How the GameFAQs Character Battle Should Have Went

That might be the longest title I’ve ever had for a post.

Anyway, the GameFAQs character battle is always good for a laugh.  A good concept but it’s nothing more than a joke now.  Thanks to an overabundance of Nintendo and Final Fantasy fanboys, the same people end up in the finals every year…Link and Cloud Strife.  So, disregarding their opinions, we’ll see who should really win the character battle.  I’m judging the battles on game appearances, as well as popularity.

The battles are decided in some weird format, so as to give other characters the illusion of a chance they can win.  For the first round, two winners are decided by popular vote.  They advance to the next round, while the two losers go home.  Anyway, here’s the first round (officially titled the “battlers”).  Losers crossed out.

Division 1

Cecil Harvey vs. Jade Curtiss vs. Wario vs. Zack Fair

I actually had to look up who Jade and Zack were.  Jade is from the Tales RPG series (Tales of the Abyss) while Zack Fair is a minor character from Final Fantasy VII who got his own game recently (Crisis Core:  Final Fantasy 7).  Cecil Harvey is the main character of Final Fantasy IV while Wario needs no explanation.  He is Mario’s rival who has been around since 1992 (when he appeared in Super Mario Land 2).  Wario advances because he’s the most recognizable, thanks to the Wario Land and WarioWare games.  None of the other three are worth advancing, since they’ll most likely be eliminated in the next round.  I’d vote for Cecil but Zack is more popular and has appeared in more games.  As much I’d love to stick one to Final Fantasy VII, Zack moves on to the next round.  Ironically, Wario and Zack also advanced on the GameFAQs battle.

Link vs. Luke fon Fabre vs. Shadow the Hedgehog vs. Zidane Tribal

Link should advance, without question.  As a flagship Nintendo character, he’s sold systems alongside for Mario since the SNES.  Luke fon Fabre is another Tales of the Abyss character.  Zidane advanced in the GameFAQs poll because he’s the main character for Final Fantasy IX.  Being a Final Fantasy character does not merit advancement.  Sonic games suck but Shadow is the most interesting character in the franchise since Knuckles.  Shadow’s also been in more games.  Sonic games, but still, Link and Shadow advance.

Duke Nukem vs. Kefka vs. Marth vs. Niko Bellic

A decent contest, although all these characters aren’t really worth much individually.  Duke Nukem hasn’t been relevant since the late 90’s and when he’s brought up now, it’s because his game has been in development for ten years or so.  Kefka is all kinds of awesome but he was only in Final Fantasy VI.  Sephiroth gets a lot of love but Kefka is the one who destroyed the world.  Marth is from Fire Emblem, a popular series in Japan that was recently released here due to his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee.  Niko is the protagonist from the recent release Grand Theft Auto IV.

Duke might be a joke now, but back in the mid-90’s, there was no character more badass than Duke Nukem.  He advances, thanks to nostalgia.  Niko does not have staying power so, while I would vote Kefka over Marth, Marth advances because he’s appeared in two Fire Emblem games and sparked American interest in that series.  Kefka is awesome but Marth has more influence…and popularity (sadly).

Altair vs. Guybrush Threepwood vs. Isaac vs. Lucario

Altair represents Assassin’s Creed, a recent release.  Guybrush Threepwood is the star of the Monkey Island series.  Isaac is irrelevant, a Golden Sun character.  Lucario is one of the newer (4th generation) Pokemon in that drawn-out series.  Guybrush advances due to him being in multiple games (good games, at that).  Isaac is out because he’s unheard of, so it’s a fight between Lucario and Altair.  Who wouldn’t want to see that in Super Smash Bros.?  I’ll give the edge to Altair because he’s a main character.  Pokemon have to be caught, so it is possible to play the game he’s in (Pokemon Diamond or Pearl) and never see him.  His cameo in Super Smash Bros. Brawl does not merit advancement…especially since he’s nothing more than a Mewtwo copy.

Division 2

Liquid Snake vs. Luigi vs. Roxas vs. Sho Minamimoto

Liquid Snake is Solid Snake’s clone brother from the Metal Gear Solid series.  He dies at the end of the first game but plays a role throughout the series…despite being dead.  Now, that’s character power!  Luigi is Mario’s neglected brother.  Roxas would only get votes because he was in Kingdom Hearts and I have no idea who the hell Sho is.  Regardless, Liquid Snake and Luigi advance.

Bowser vs. Deckard Cain vs. Geno vs. Phoenix Wright

Bowser’s persistent role as Mario’s antagonist merits advancement.  Deckard Cain appeared in the original Diablo.  Geno only appeared in one game, although a good one (Super Mario RPG).  While those are worthy games, they don’t hold a candle to Phoenix Wright, who has his own series on the Nintendo DS.  Phoenix convinces a jury of his peers to advance with Bowser.

Fei Fong Wong vs. Knuckles the Echidna vs. Mario vs. Zelda

The first fight that will have people arguing.  Fei Fong Wong is irrelevant, he can’t compare to Knuckles, Mario or Zelda.  Knuckles is better than the majority of Sonic characters but has the luck of being in a tough fight with two of Nintendo’s most popular stars.  Mario sells games and while Zelda doesn’t play much of a role in the games she’s in, they are named after her.  Knuckles fights valiantly but Zelda squashes him to advance alongside Mario.

Lloyd Irving vs. Mudkip vs. Tom Nook vs. MegaMan X

After a good fight, we get this crap.  MegaMan X advances on popularity.  His games used to kick ass but haven’t been the same since the Playstation.  Mudkip is another Pokemon while Lloyd Irving is another Tales character, his game being Tales of Symphonia.  Neither have nothing on Tom Nook, who has gained notoriety in the Animal Crossing series.  Advantage:  Tom Nook.

Division 3

Crash Bandicoot vs. Nightmare vs. Raz vs. Samus Aran

Crash Bandicoot was once a mascot for Sony but has since fallen out of favor.  Nightmare was a Kirby villain (a forgettable one, at that) while Raz is the star of Psychonauts, an innovative game that (unfortunately) never sold well.  Samus Aran advances, thanks to her role in the Metroid games and frequent appearances in Super Smash Bros.  Crash advances because of weak competition.  That and being the face of a franchise (if only for a generation) is nothing to sneeze at.

Frog vs. Ganondorf vs. KOS-MOS vs. Neku Sakuraba

Frog is one of the many characters from Chrono Trigger and has quite a good backstory to him, unlike some other RPG characters.  Ganondorf is to Link what Bowser is to Mario, the main adversary in The Legend of Zelda series.  KOS-MOS is a character from the Xenosaga series but does not have the merit to advance.  Neku is a character from the recent The World Ends with You RPG who won’t advance because no one knows who he is.  Frog and Ganondorf move on to face Crash and Samus in the next round.

Falco Lombardi vs. GlaDOS vs. Vincent Valentine vs. Wander

Arguably the worst fight so far.  None of these characters are worth advancing to another round.  Falco is probably the best here, having a supporting role in both the Star Fox and Super Smash Bros. series.  GlaDOS is the AI from Portal.  Vincent Valentine has the luck of being from Final Fantasy VII.  Wander is the main character from Shadow of the Colossus.  Vincent and Wander can fight it out, but ultimately, Vincent would win out on popularity power.

Balthier Bunansu vs. Big Daddy vs. Gordon Freeman vs. Scorpion

Better than the last fight, but not by much.  Balthier is a supporting character from Final Fantasy XII.  Big Daddy is an enemy in Bioshock.  Gordon Freeman is the star of the Half-Life series while Scorpion is one of the more popular Mortal Kombat fighters.  Gordon and Scorpion put the rest of the fighters to shame and move on.

Division 4

Amaterasu vs. Chrono vs. Frank West vs. Kaim Argonar

Another spectacular bout of suck.  Chrono, the lead character in Chrono Trigger, is the only one worth advancing.  Amaterasu comes from the underrated PS2 title Okami.  Frank West is the lead role in Dead Rising, while Kaim is from the Xbox 360 RPG Lost Odyssey.  Chrono and Amaterasu advanced in the GameFAQs poll, they’ll do so here too.

L-Block vs. Meta Knight vs. Ryu (Street Fighter) vs. The Dog

L-Block might have won last year but…it’s not a fucking character!  It’s a damn block from Tetris!  How did it even enter the poll?  Since I’m using my criteria, L-Block is disqualified.  At the very least, if people are going to vote for a joke character, pick something that works…like the dog from Duck Hunt.  Speaking of the dog, he’s good for an Internet meme but that’s all.  As a result, Kirby’s archenemy, Meta Knight, and Street Fighter’s Ryu advance.

Alucard vs. Captain Falcon vs. Diddy Kong vs. Kratos Aurion

This is a rather good selection of characters.  Alucard is an antognist in the Castlevania games.  Captain Falcon made a name for himself in the F-Zero racing games, but rose to prominence in Super Smash Bros.  Diddy Kong is Donkey Kong’s buddy from various games of that franchise, though he is more neglected than Luigi.  Kratos, not to be confused with the God of War character, is a character from Tales of Symphonia.  In the end, Diddy Kong has been irrelevent since Donkey Kong 64.  At least Captain Falcon appeared in all three Super Smash Bros.

Arthas Menethil vs. Ike vs. Pikachu vs. Spy

Arthas is a character from Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.  Ike is similar to Marth in that he’s from the Fire Emblem games, but stars in a different one.  Pikachu is the only one worth advancing here, since the creature is synonymous with the word Pokemon.  I’m guessing Spy is from the Spy vs. Spy games but that can’t be confirmed.  GameFAQs voted Arthas to advance and might as well follow suit.  None of the others are worth advancing past the next round anyway.

Division 5

Donkey Kong vs. Miles “Tails” Prower vs. Tidus vs. Weighted Companion Cube

Donkey Kong advances because he’s one of the oldest characters (along with Mario, he’s been around since 1981).  The Donkey Kong Country series helps him out, although he’s taken a hit in recent years since Rare left Nintendo.  Sonic’s friend, Tails, beats out Tidus (the main character from Final Fantasy X) and the weighted companion cube from Portal (which is a device, not a character).

Banjo vs. Captain Olimar vs. Mega Man vs. Nero

Mega Man is the only one worthy of advancement here, but GameFAQs rules dictate two must.  Captain Olimar captains the Pikmin franchise while Banjo had his own game, Banjo-Kazooie.  Nero is…I don’t know where Nero is from.  A Final Fantasy VII spinoff of Boktai 2, regardless, he’s not advancing.  I’ll give the nod to Olimar here.

King Dedede vs. Pit vs. Ryu Hayabusa vs. Zero

A nice fight between some rather mediocre characters.  King Dedede is Kirby’s adversary, Pit stars in Kid Icarus, Ryu is from the difficult Ninja Gaiden games, while Zero is from MegaMan X.  Ryu and Zero advance, because Ryu has been around longer and Zero is more prolific than the others.

Albert Wesker vs. Sackboy vs. Solid Snake vs. Vivi Ornitier

Albert Wesker is popular throughout the Resident Evil series.  Sackboy was entered into the tournament before his game (LittleBigPlanet) came out so he is disqualified.  Solid Snake is the face of the Metal Gear franchise.  Vivi is a character who appeared in Final Fantasy IX.  A one-time appearance in a prolific RPG is not good enough for advancement.  Snake and Wesker for the win!

Division 6

Chris Redfield vs. Fox McCloud vs. Sora vs. Tim

Chris Redfield, like Wesker, is from Resident Evil.  Fox McCloud has his own series, Star Fox, and figures prominently in each Super Smash Bros. game.  Sora stars in Kingdom Hearts while Tim…I don’t know who Tim is.  Fox advances because he’s a first-party character, although is games have sucked since Star Fox Adventures.  Chris would have advanced if he had starred in more games but just hasn’t had that luck.  Sora takes advantage of Chris and moves on…and yes, I know that sounds gay.

CATS vs. Nathan Drake vs. Squall Leonhart vs. Yoshi

CATS is only famous because of an Internet meme (All your base are belong to us).  Nathan Drake starred in Uncharted, a good game in its own right.  It does not, however, compare to Final Fantasy VIII (which is quite popular).  Squall is the main lead in FFVIII while Yoshi has been Mario’s companion since Super Mario World.  Yoshi and Squall demonstrate why popular vote sucks and move on.

Axel Steel vs. Cloud Strife vs. Midna vs. Miles Edgeworth

Axel Steel is from Guitar Hero, barely qualifying him for the tournament.  Outside of his look, he’s unspectacular.  Cloud Strife is the popular lead from Final Fantasy VII, one of the most overrated games of all-time.  Midna is also overrated, who had a major role in Legend of Zelda:  Twilight Princess.  Miles Edgeworth is Phoenix Wright’s rival.  The overrated tandem of Cloud and Midna advance due to weak competition.

Mewtwo vs. Ness vs. Pac-Man vs. Travis Touchdown

Mewtwo is one of the more popular Pokemon…and a first-gen one to boot.  Ness has starred in the original Earthbound and appeared in Super Smash Bros.  Pac-Man was iconic in the arcade days of the early 80s but has since fallen from grace.  Travis Touchdown is a forgettable character from No More Heroes, a recent Wii release.  Mewtwo and Pac-Man advance because of weak competition.

Division 7

Big Boss vs. Jinjo vs. Kirby vs. Lucas

Big Boss is like Liquid Snake, playing a major role in each Metal Gear Solid game (even if he’s dead or whatever).  Of course, Big Boss’ role goes even further than Liquid’s, as he was also in the original Metal Gear games.  Jinjo is a forgettable character from Banjo-Kazooie.  Kirby is a prominent Nintendo flagship character, although more on the level of Star Fox than Mario or Zelda (Kirby is not nearly as popular).  Lucas starred in a Japanese Earthbound (Mother) game and appeared in the recent Super Smash Bros. Brawl.  Like the previous contests, Big Boss and Kirby trounce the weaker competition.

Kain Highwind vs. Master Chief vs. Professor Layton vs. Raiden

Kain Highwind played a prominent role in Final Fantasy IV, but lacks the popularity of the characters in the later games.  Master Chief is, of course, the main character in each of the Halo games.  Professor Layton has his own puzzle series of games on the DS, but I honestly had to look that up.  Raiden was one of the most hated characters of all time when he showed up in Metal Gear Solid 2.  He redeemed himself in the fourth game and here too, as he advances alongside the Chief.

Captain MacMillian vs. Leon Kennedy vs. Riku vs. Siegfried Schtauffen

The Captain is from Call of Duty 4, although I couldn’t have told you that off the top of my head.  All these characters aren’t really worth a damn.  Leon Kennedy is a notable character from the Resident Evil games, giving him a pass to the next round.  Riku is either from Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy X.  If it’s Final Fantasy X, I’ll vote for her because my penis said so.  Otherwise, she’s totally forgettable.  Siegfried is Nightmare, a Soul Calibur fighter.  Leon and Riku advance because of, three guesses, lackluster competition.

Dante vs. Hogger vs. Laharl vs. Ramza Beoulve

Division 7 is officially division crap.  Dante of Devil May Cry is the only one worth voting for here.  Hogger is an enigma (he/she/it advanced on the GameFAQs poll but I have no idea what Hogger is), Laharl has appeared in the Disgaea games, while Ramza is from the original Final Fantasy Tactics.  I’m going to have decide on game quality here and Final Fantasy Tactics wins out.  Dante and Ramza for the win.

Division 8

Commander Shephard vs. Magus vs. Sandbag vs. Sonic the Hedgehog

Commander Shephard is the main character from Mass Effect.  Magus is Chrono Trigger‘s anti-hero.  Sandbag might belong here, but why is it here instead of other game characters (examples:  Spyro the Dragon, Earthworm Jim) is beyond me.  I might even disqualify Sandbag because all you do is beat on it in Super Smash Bros.  Sonic, Sega’s claim to fame, is the only character that’s worth going into the second round.  As for who advances with him, as much I’d vote for Shepherd, Magus is more popular and gets the nod.

Auron vs. Marcus Fenix vs. Rydia vs. Sub-Zero

Tidus had the luck of being in a tough contest, but Auron, another Final Fantasy X character, may fare better.  Marcus Fenix is the main badass in Gears of War.  Rydia is from Final Fantasy IV while Sub-Zero rivals Scorpion in popularity among Mortal Kombat fans.  Sub-Zero will advance with Auron.  Fenix is badass but Auron has a better story…and is the sole reason that FFX is even worth tolerating Tidus’ bitch ass.

Nana vs. Ratchet vs. Sephiroth vs. Tifa Lockheart

Nana is one of the Ice Climbers.  Popo did not make the poll for some reason.  Ratchet has his own series, Ratchet and Clank.  Sephiroth and Tifa are both Final Fantasy VII characters.  Since Ratchet has his own series, he’s worthy of advancement.  Sephiroth and Tifa duke it out for the final advancement, but since Kefka didn’t advance, Sephiroth shouldn’t either.  Kefka destroyed the world, while Sephiroth…stabbed a main character and looked pretty bishy doing it?  Tifa advances…possibly because of her looks.  Hot damn!

Oh and the Ice Climbers just plain suck so Nana gets left out in the cold.

Heavy vs. Jill Valentine vs. Kratos vs. Revolver Ocelot

Heavy is a class in Team Fortress, which really shouldn’t be here.  Jill Valentine has appeared throughout the games.  Kratos is the main character in Resident EvilGod of War.  Revolver Ocelot is a character who has a hand in every game.  Kratos moves on because he’s so badass while Ocelot and Jill fight it out.  Jill has fallen out of favor since Metal Gear SolidResident Evil 3 and Ocelot’s stock has grown.  Ocelot shoots Jill dead to move on.

So, the qualifying round is done.  Next up, round one!  Some of these characters shouldn’t be on the list, while others are missing.  Earthworm Jim and Spyro the Dragon, I’m looking at you.  I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting.  Sub out an overabundance of RPG characters and joke characters (L-Block, Sandbag, weighted companion cube!) and this battle would have been more interesting.

Differences from the GameFAQs poll?  Shadow the Hedgehog advanced instead of Zidane.  Guybrush Threepwood advanced instead of Lucario.  Tom Nook advanced instead of Mudkip.  Crash Bandicoot replaces Nightmare.  L-Block was disqualified, allowing Meta Knight to advance.  Captain Olimar replaces Nero.  Albert Wesker takes Vivi’s place.  Ramza takes Hogger’s place in that crap division.  Magus destroys Sandbag to takes its place.  Ratchet’s games allow him to kick Sephiroth’s overrated ass.  Revolver Ocelot gets revenge on Jill Valentine.

The most noticeable difference, though, is in division 5.  Weighted companion cube was disqualified and Tidus was voted out in favor of Donkey Kong and Tails.  Tidus could be argued in Tails’ place but Donkey Kong, one of the oldest and iconic characters in the history of video games, was voted out in favor of a damn cube?  And because he wasn’t some blonde haired dude who would be better off as a woman?

You better get up out the way
Tomorrow we’ll rise so we’ll fight today
And no, I don’t give a fuck what you think and say
’cause we are gonna rock this whole place anyway

Criminal Comebacks

It is not the greatest of games, but The Punisher had its moments.  Not a game to go back to repeatedly but the interrogation method was a neat concept.  Usually, criminals give you information.  Most of it is worthless but some of it is necessary to advance the plot.  Occasionally, an enemy will say something that isn’t too relevant.  Something like pleading for their life.  Of course, as a witty comic book character, The Punisher always has an appropriate comeback for these cries.  Most of these are uttered when Frank kills the son of a bitch, but sometimes, there’s a cooler response when scum is allowed to live.  Some of the best are posted.

Criminal:  “I’ll go straight, I promise!”
Punisher:  “Bones, promises, both break.”

Criminal:  “I just got married!”
Punisher:  “Honeymoon’s over.”

Criminal:  “I just wanna go home!”
Punisher:  “In a box.”

Criminal:  “I’ve got kids!”
Punisher:  “So did I.”  If you let him/her live, he’ll respond with the more intimidating, “If I see you again, they’ll be orphans.”

Criminal:  “Have mercy!”
Punisher:  “Death is a mercy.”

Criminal:  “I’m dying!”
Punisher:  “Not anymore.”

Criminal:  “I’m innocent!”
Punisher:  “So were they.”  If you let them live, you’ll hear,” Stay that way.”

Criminal:  “I have a family!”
Punisher:  “Everybody does.”  If they are allowed to live, “Then go back to them.”

Criminal:  I’m gonna be a dad!
Punisher:  “No, you’re not.”  If they live, “Be a good one.”

Criminal:  “I’m not ready for a coffin.”
Punisher:  “It’s ready for you.”

Criminal:  “It’s my birthday!”
Punisher:  “Last one.”

Obama in a Nutshell

I saw the following quote describing a blog being advertised. Immediately, I thought of Barack Hussein Obama and the mass number of hippies who think he’s the best choice for the Oval Office.

I don’t have the answers and I don’t have a plan…but I’ve got a few good ideas and the belief things will work out alright.”

Somehow, people think that is enough to lead. It is not. Ideas and beliefs are not the only things necessary for leadership. Execution of those ideas and necessary judgment are also requirements and Obama fails on both counts. This is a guy who has lied about everything; from his stance on abortion in the Illinois state congress to his tax plans. This is a guy who has nothing to show for his career except for a degree and two books. How ironic that he has taken the time to write two books, but not one article of legislation. Yet, he is a contender for one of the most prestigious offices on the planet. Liberals will cry about how some Presidents that have taken office have not had necessary experience. Perhaps not, but the argument does not revolve around experience alone. It revolves around accomplishments. And every President ever elected has had an accomplishment to point out. Obama has nothing.

This is a guy who has campaigned on the defeat and downfall of American troops in Iraq. What a patriot. In fact, he voted against the surge on the notion it would make conditions worse . The military has proven him wrong . Noticed how media coverage on Iraq has fallen in the past year or so? The biggest foreign policy issue in the last Congressional term and Obama was on the wrong side of the fence. Can any red-blooded American imagine this goof as commander-in-chief? Even his vice-president pick said Obama’s lack of judgment would land America in hot water. People harp on about George Bush’s terrible foreign policy but that is nothing compared to what Obama has planned.

The rest of the world may prefer Obama to John McCain but that’s because they realize how weak and inexperienced he is. Obama gets compared to John F. Kennedy often. What most people forget about Kennedy is that his foriegn policy was crap. Kennedy is responsible for both the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Kennedy’s ineptitude was exploited by our Cold War opponents, a fact that is overlooked due to his tragic assassination. Of course, countries like Cuba, Russia, Venezuela and Iran support Obama. This is their chance to get even with America, just as the Soviets saw Kennedy in the same light 40 years ago! This is their chance to pursue their wants without regulation or intervention. Without American insistence, the rest of the world does not have the strength or courage to stand up and stop them.

What’s Obama going to do if Iran continues to develop nuclear weapons? Continue economic sanctions that have yet to deter the Iranians? Obama will attempt to negotiate with true evil rather than stand up and face it. He will be a combination Neville Chamberlain’s defeatist spirit with the idiocy of Jimmy Carter.

Obama has lied about his associations with left-wing radicals like Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers. He has lied about his associations with ACORN, an organization that specializes in voter fraud. In fact, if anyone exposes the truth of his relationships to these people, he works to shut them down. When he’s not using the Justice Department to shut down free speech, he shrugs it off with lame excuses. “That’s not the Jeremiah Wright I knew” and “I was only 8 when Bill was bombing government property.” He attended Church for twenty years and never heard any his preacher’s (many) anti-American rants? Who cares if he was only a kid when Ayers was committing acts of evil? Do you want your children, the future of society, shaking hands with al-Qaeda operatives forty years from now? After all, they were just kids when 9/11 happened…just like Obama was a kid when Ayers was bombing federal buildings. It’s bad enough that Obama thinks that is a decent argument but Ayers is unrepentant about his past. In fact, he wishes he had done more!

If people ignore all that (and how could they? It’s an impressive resume of suck) and elect this man, they’ll find out just how damaging his Presidency will be to our economy. The financial market is already bracing for four years of the man. Contrary to popular belief, higher taxes do not increase federal revenue. When taxes rise, people end up saving what money they do earn. That is not a recipe for economic growth. Tax cuts, on the other hand, allow citizens to spend their money on economic goods which will, shockingly, increase revenue and stimulate the economy. But hey, life should be fair, the government should be able to take your money and tell you how to spend it. Don’t buy into the farce that is his 95% tax cut, the Wall Street Journal has already busted that myth. This man will take your money in the name of fairness under the banner of socialism and redistribute it however he sees fit. Give the government an inch and they’ll take the yard. In an Obama presidency, the government will take quite a few yards, perhaps the entire field.

Then there’s his stance on health care, which he believes to be a right and not a responsibility or privilege. That is a very poisonous string of thought. If “free” health care is a right, what else is a right? Higher education? Shouldn’t everyone have the right to that too? Note the quotes because nothing is ever free. If such programs are enacted, how will he and Congress afford to pay for such programs?

The list can go on and on but these are major concerns surrounding a potential candidate. These are also concerns that have not been addressed by the mainstream media, who have decided that investigating the personal lives of Sarah Palin and a plumber from Ohio are more newsworthy.

Barack Hussein Obama has run on the slogan of hope and change…because after four years, that’s all you will have left. Hell, that’s all he has to offer.

Music and Games

I was going over the playlist (checking for broken links and all…since I get so much feedback about it) when I noticed just how much of it is made up of music from games.  Or from games that introduced me to that particular song.  Check it out.

Akira Yamaoka is the composer for the Silent Hill franchise.  “True” is from Silent Hill 2 and “You’re Not Here” is the main theme from Silent Hill 3.

Christopher Tin’s “Baba Yetu” is the opening theme for Civilization IV.

Every Sonic game since Sonic Adventure has always had some kickass, if a little cheesy, rock music to serve as its soundtrack.  Sonic Team even has its own band, Crush 40, to compose music for each game.  Azure Blue World is the theme to the first Sonic Adventure stage (Emerald Coast) and Live and Learn is the Sonic Adventure 2‘s theme.

Green Jelly’s Carnage Rules is the intro to Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage for the SNES and Sega Genesis.  Since the SNES and Genesis used cartridge-based media, the music did not sound nearly as good.  Compare the SNES version to the Genesis one.

Harry Gregson-Williams is the composer for the Metal Gear Solid series.  He’s also done some other work (I believe he also did the score for Narnia) but for me, his work for Hideo Kojima’s franchise will be his greatest.  Debriefing is from the end of the third game, Snake Eater, and it really adds to the finale.  It’s on my shortlist for songs I want played at my funeral.  The main theme from the 2nd game, Sons of Liberty, is also there.  Finally, Sorrow is my favorite piece from the 4th game, Guns of the Patriots.  Ironically enough, the song I picked from the first game (The Best is Yet to Come by Rika Muranaka) isn’t composed by him.

The theme for Star Wolf plays in various Star Fox games and also makes an appearance in Super Smash Bros. BrawlBrawl also has Sonic Boom, the main theme for Sonic CD.  Not a good song to fight to but I like listening to it.

Koji Kondo is a composer for many of Nintendo’s first-party franchises, such as Mario and Zelda.  I only bothered with Zelda in this case.  Lake Hylia is from Twilight Princess and the first 30 seconds of the Spirit Temple theme from Ocarina of Time is just badass.

I don’t know who did the soundtrack for Desert Combat, a Battlefield 1942 mod, but it’s easily the best music I’ve ever listened to while waiting for a game to load.

While the above songs were composed for games

Sports game usually have a good soundtrack to them.  Well, used to.  Madden NFL had some kickass songs until around 2005, when they all of a sudden slumped off.  The best of these songs appeared in 2003 (Andrew WK, Epidemic, Good Charlotte and Seether) and 2004 (AFI, AM Radio, blink-182, Serafin SOiL, Thrice and Yellowcard).  They’ve picked up a bit in recent years, though.  Madden 08 gave us Atreyu, Shadows Fall and Sum 41 while Madden 09 has tracks from Disturbed, The Fashion, From First to Last, In Flames, The Offspring, and Rev Theory.

Vince McMahon’s WWE promotion has had long-standing ties to rock music and his companies’ games reflect that.  Allele, Bullets and Octane, Dark New Day, Nonpoint and Versus the World all have songs in his SmackDown! vs RAW series of games (the songs I’ve picked are either from the 2006 game or the 2007 version).  Some of these songs were lucky enough to be the theme song of select pay-per-views.

Both Saints Row and Grand Theft Auto have had (at least) good soundtracks.  The one for GTA:  San Andreas is truly impressive (Helmet, Kiss, L7, Living Colour, Stone Temple Pilots, Toto).  Saints Row isn’t slouching either, with Europe and Ratt.  Saints Row also has, of all things, a classical music station!  It’s weird doing drive-bys to the tune of Mozart or Beethoven but it’s also pretty damn funny.

Battlefield: Vietnam represented the 60s and early 70s well with their soundtrack.  They have songs from Count Five and The Kinks.

And I couldn’t really write this without mentioning Guitar Hero or Rock Band at least once.  Nirvana shows up in the first Rock Band (a song I can actually sing to!).  Poison and White Zombie make an appearance in Guitar Hero III.  Freya’s song kicks all sorts of ass in Guitar Hero II, especially the bass.

Oh, and the only reason I have Sweet Victory there is because it was on an episode of Spongebob Squarepants.  The one where Squidward’s rival challenges him to some sort of music duel.

The winner takes all
It’s the thrill of one more kill
The last one to fall
Will never sacrafice their will

Saints Row 2 Impressions

I may be the only person who prefers Saints Row to Grand Theft Auto.  Don’t get me wrong, GTA is great fun but there are some serious flaws with it.  Things like the plot (usually uninteresting and, worst of all, you have to progress through the story to be able to go everywhere you want), flight controls and hard missions detract from GTA‘s greatness.  I’ve never beat San Andreas because I could never learn how to fly a plane, which is essential to the plot for reasons I never got to find out.

Still, it was all we got in that genre.  Only certain RPGs could rival the “freedom” GTA provided.  Imitators like True Crime fell flat, leaving GTA without a challenger or good-enough imitator.

Then Saints Row came out for the Xbox 360.  Saints Row is nothing more than GTA ripoff, but a fun one!  Saints Row took GTA‘s flaws and fixed them.  Hard controls?  None whatsoever.  In fact, drive-bys can be done in this game!  Same for driving and shooting at the same time.  Missions were not too hard but if one was, you could always restart it from the beginning.  In GTA, if you fail a mission, you have to drive all the way back to where it started.

In short, Saints Row is fun and with a second game coming out, hell yes I’m hooked!

You think you can steal from me!?  You think you can fucking rob me!?  You stupid!  Fucking!  Backstabbing!  Piece!  Of shit!  …Hey, what’s up?  I’m sorry about the mess.  Billy here thought it would be a good idea to skim off the top…well, let’s just say he was wrong.


*cue Mortal Kombat joke*

Oh, and this is random and not as refined as posts here usually are.  See?  That’s not even coherent.  Anyway…

Friendship is one of those things that’s defined in the dictionary (a rather lame definition) but even so, it’s hard to explain.  It’s one of those things people don’t think too much about…and probably shouldn’t.  I’ve been trying to figure out just who is a friend and what makes them so for quite some time now.  Here’s some examples that are bothering me lately.

I saw Brandon up at Blue Ridge the other day.  That’s the first time I’d seen him since last semester (April, at the latest).  He said if he’d hug if it wasn’t gay.  Brandon’s cool, but never hung out with him a whole lot outside of school…even though he was just a short drive away in Grottoes.  *shurg*  Then I met up with this girl I hadn’t seen since middle school.  Or high school.  She didn’t recognize me at first but once I told her who I was, she actually give me a hug.  It was damn weird.  Was she just being nice or did she actually miss me?  I’m going with the former.  I met up with another two girls from middle/high school in an English class last year.  It was more of a “Hey, how are you, okay let’s get back to work” reaction instead of a hug.

I also saw Phil had posted (twice) on my old Myspace that I’ve lost the password to (and also lost the e-mail address that sends the reset password to).  I thought he had left town and went out of state.  I owe him a visit, but would he mind me just showing up at random?

Another thing:  people get really pissed when I tell them we’re not friends.  It’s not that I don’t like them (well…most of the time) but it’s that I don’t see them every often.  Right now, my criteria for friendship involves people I like and people I spend time with.  There are a few people I know that I like but don’t ever talk to.  Ever.  Are they friends?  Should I make exceptions to the rule?  Should I give them a call instead of expecting them to call me?  Can I stop think of annoying questions to ask?

Usually, I let my friends take the initiative.  I’m not really that busy and have tons of free time.  Everyone else I know seems to be busy, whether it’s college or work or any sort of extra-curricular activity.  If I call them, I’m interrupting with their schedule.  Besides, they have other friends that are worth hanging out with more than me.  That doesn’t bother me, just something I note.  They work and earn money, which is also more important than friendship.  Hell, if it’s college, at least they’re getting an education or working for a future.  I damn well don’t want to interfere with that.

I’ve ran out of things to ramble about.  Anyway, there’s a reason why I have the quote listed below.

My brain’s not a nice place to be.

Bridgewater Visit

The second (and maybe last) of the college visits was yesterday.  Unlike EMU, Bridgewater was planned at the last minute…like this week.  So, the schedule was a mess.  Another interesting tidbit was that my schedule was reversed, with the exception of a class visit because there wasn’t one.  So, instead of touring campus before meeting with the department head, the reverse happened.

One thing that would have helped Bridgewater would have been a class visit.  I’d have gotten a better look at the teacher I met with (can’t pronounce or remember his name) and some insight into Bridgewater’s education.  As a result, the department professor I met with didn’t seem too exciting.  I also did not have too many questions for him, like I did for the EMU professor.

After meeting with the department head, I waited almost an hour for the tour…and it was a long tour.  Bridgewater’s campus is significantly bigger than EMU’s.  That tour was over an hour, at least.  We even went inside some of the dorms, which put me off from living on campus.  Once again, there was a cute tour guide.  Actually, there were two…a guy who wasn’t.  Three tour guides but two out of three isn’t bad.  EMU was one-for-one, though…

Bridgewater doesn’t get a long write-up because I found something about EMU that was really annoying.  Bridgewater, I didn’t find enough information to steer me one way or the other.  They steered me towards the open house they have, which I’m not terribly interested in.  I’ll still put them over EMU but only because EMU has fallen out of favor.

Life is dangerous and complicated and…it’s a long way down.