Skeletroy’s Song of the Month – Sunsetriders stage 1

“Bury me with my…money.”

Skeletroy’s first video gamed cover album, “The Legend of the Musical Ninja”, is set for release on March 27th! Check back to thatruled.com in a few weeks (8, to be precise) for more info!

 

Pens & Panels: The Wicked & the Divine

Another Samantha Maybe comic book review!

Back with another Image comic, The Wicked & the Divine. You’ve probably heard great things about the comic, watch and see what I think!

Spoilers Ahoy!!!

Continue reading

Skeletroy’s Song of the Month (bonus song) – New Messiah

Song of the Month (bonus) – Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge – New Messiah

Thanks for checking out my Song of the Month remixes! I’ll be releasing my first video game cover album, “The Legend of the Musical Ninja”, in January, stay tuned for a lot more great music!

And as always, you can hear the previous songs in this playlist:

Skeletroy’s Song of the Month – King Dedede’s theme

Song of the Month #3 – Kirby Super Star – King Dedede’s theme

Next month I’m going to go with some songs from games with Ninjas! Please leave a comment on whether you’d prefer to hear the stage 1 theme from Ninja Warriors (TG-16), “Chinatown” from Shinobi, or “Lahja’s theme” from Ninja Gaiden 2.¬†

And if you’ve missed the previous Songs of the Month, you can find them on this playlist! Thanks for listening, I’ll see you in a month!

Skeletroy’s Song of the Month – Metal Gear Solid 2 theme

Song of the Month #2 – Metal Gear Solid 2 theme

Next month, the choices are all from Kirby games! The choices are “Green Greens”, “King Dedede’s theme” or “Gourmet Race”, please vote by leaving a comment!

 

Skeletroy’s Song of the Month – Castlevania – Wicked Child

Song of the Month # 1 – Castlevania – Wicked Child

This is the first song of a (hopefully) long running series of SNES style thrash remixes.

Please vote for next month’s remix by leaving a comment! Would you rather hear a song from Adventure Island II, Zelda II, or Metal Gear Solid 2?

Skeletrios – Mario Platformers

3. Donkey Kong (Game Boy – 1994)

Donkey_Kong_94_box_art

It may seem odd to say, but the Game Boy version of Donkey Kong is not only a hidden gem among the system’s library, it’s THE title that fuses all the Mario titles together, combining the past, present (circa 1994), and future of the plumber’s exploits. It begins with the original four stages of the Donkey Kong arcade game, but this is far from where it ends. An additional 97 stages follow the original four, making a total of 101. There are nine more worlds, comprising a Big City, a forest, a pirate ship, a jungle, a desert, an airplane, an iceberg, a rocky valley, and a tower. Several stages take elements from Donkey Kong Jr, including climbing ropes/vines, as well as several of the enemies.

dk94-screenshot-3

Although this is a Mario game, it’s not a Super Mario game – and by that, I mean that there are no power ups. No mushrooms, no fire flowers, no stars. Super hammers are available, but they’re few and far between. Also, you can’t run by holding the B button. Even with that design choice, Mario has a wider variety of moves than he does in the main series. You can perform a backflip, a handstand, and a triple jump (a la Super Mario 64, which would be released 2 years later). In fact, the only real cue this game takes from the original Super Mario Bros is the ability to swim, and the only cue to Super Mario Bros 3 are platforms that fall when you stand on them too long.

7

It instead looks more to Super Mario Bros 2 for inspiration. Each of the normal stages is a puzzle platformer, the goal for each is to find a key and take it to a locked door. It’s almost like every stage is an elaborate Phanto chase, only with a time limit replacing the masked aggressor. Many enemies and items can be stood upon, picked up, and thrown, becoming the basis for many of the obstacles and boss stages. Conveyor belts, spikes, and icy floors all made their debut in SMB2 and also appear here. Many of the stages also incorporate vertical elements, owing both to the influence of SMB2 and using the Game Boy’s screen limitations to the developer’s advantage. Donkey Kong also takes a cue from the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros 2 by using Poison Mushrooms. While they don’t kill you in this game, they shrink you, limiting your jumping and lifting abilities. Was this an inspiration for the Micro Mushroom in New Super Mario Bros on the DS? To summarize, Donkey Kong is not only a revitalized version of the arcade original, it’s an expanded experience that may give you a different perspective on the evolution of the Mario series.

medium

PS: at the time of this writing, Donkey Kong for Game Boy is $3.99 on the 3DS eShop, and the NES version is $4.99. The NES version is missing one of the four arcade stages.

2. New Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo DS – 2006)

60638_front

Hindsight is a funny thing. With the popularity of the New Super Mario Bros. series, it seems odd that Nintendo didn’t make a 2D Super Mario Bros platformer since the release of Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins in 1992, although that claim is debatable, considering the Super Mario Land series transitioned into the Wario Land series with 4 main entries from 1994 to 2001. There was the aforementioned Game Boy Donkey Kong in 1994, which spun off into the six entries in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series from 2004 to present, which incorporated more puzzle oriented gameplay, but remains a platformer starring Mario nonetheless. There were also 4 main entries in the the Yoshi’s Island games, beginning with Super Mario World 2 in 1995. It really all comes down to how you specifically categorize them. I know people who categorize the Donkey Kong Country series as Mario games due to their shared history and similar gameplay…so yeah, take all that with a grain of salt.

Super_Mario_Land_2_box_art

New Super Mario Bros. worked so well because it was produced with honest intentions. Nintendo wanted to do a simple reboot of what made the classic Super Mario games so great, tweaked and updated for today’s audience. They also got the opportunity to include a few design elements from earlier games that were never implemented due to hardware limitations, like the Mega Mushroom which grows Mario to the height of the entire screen.

21269-super-mario-giant-mario

The later entries in the New SMB series are very good as well, but they lack the freshness, simplicity, and charm of the original. New SMB 2 on the 3DS is basically a coin collect-a-thon. New SMB Wii uses waggle controls for spin jumping, which marrs the overall experience as it’s a very inaccurate form of movement for a series known for its perfectly smooth control. Newer power ups like the propeller hat are fun, and the multiplayer aspect leads to some frantic situations, but playing through it felt like Nintendo said “the first one sold so well, let’s just follow that formula and add more elements from Super Mario Bros 3”. Where New SMB felt like a loving nod to the map screens of SMB3 and Super Mario World, the later entries only feel like a rehash of that concept. Don’t get me wrong, it is a minor complaint, but World 2 of every game doesn’t need to be a desert simply because it was in SMB3. World 3 doesn’t need to be the water world, but they’ve basically pigeon holed themeselves by repeating the formula, to the point where it’s also the formula for Super Mario 3D World. You know you’re going to go through the ice world, the jungle, the mountains, a sky/pipe world, and Bowser’s world (which usually doesn’t show the entire map, leading to a false ending which brings extra stages/more worlds).

World2NSMB

There are other places from the Mario universe to base a game on, like Dinosaur Land in SMW or Beanbean Kingdom in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. With all that being said, I’d recommend playing all of the New SMB series to find your favorite, they’re all great games and it’s neat to see how they incorporate older items and enemies into newer games. But you can also find the DS game easily and inexpensively, as New SMB is available digitally on the Wii U Virtual Console.¬†

Intermission 

If you didn’t know me at all, you probably assumed this would have come down to the “holy trinity” of Mario games – Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and Super Mario 64. As you can see, that was definitely not the case. SMB3 ranks somewhere around 7 or 8, and Mario 64 ranks waaaay lower than that.

2362273-nes_supermariobros3_jp

Let’s get this out of the way – SMB3 is great. It fleshed out the Mario universe we know today more than any other entry in the series, and its influence can’t be denied. I just don’t really like the slippery controls. Normal ground in SMB3 feels almost like ice in most other games, and I’m not a huge fan of the ice levels to begin with. But Mario 3 is fantastic, it’s just not one of my favorites (I like SMB2 the best out of the original trilogy).

Super_Mario_64_(NA)

Mario 64 also had a huge impact, not just on Mario’s universe, but on the transition of gaming as a whole from 2D to 3D. I hated it at the time, and only gained respect and found enjoyment from it through the DS remake.

Super_Mario_64_DS-Graphics_comparison

It’s such an ugly, blocky, muddy looking game. I realize that video games were treading new ground at the time, but they completely abandoned an art style on the cusp of mastering it. I was an arcade kid in the 80s and 90s, and saw bigger and better things than home consoles could provide at the time…unless you owned a Neo-Geo, and honestly, no one did.

street_fighter_alpha

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island was released in mid 1995, and features a gorgeous cartoony, hand drawn art style.

Yoshi's_Island_-_Gameplay

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars was released in early 1996, and shows a somewhat dated but still artistically beautiful computer generated style. So I was pretty excited thinking about what a Mario game might look like on a more powerful console, and did I ever get the opposite of my expectations.

EZ2-620x

Super Mario 64, released three months after SMRPG, looked like a hot mess of blocky polygons when it was released, and only gets worse as time goes on.

2482291-sm6403

Secondly, a lot of people give Super Mario Bros. 2 a lot of crap these days for not being a “Mario” game…but what makes SM64 a Mario game? Other than the fact that you’re playing as Mario in the Mushroom Kingdom on a quest to save Princess Peach from Bowser, nothing about it is remotely close to anything you’ve ever known from one. If you love it, great. I like it more than Super Mario Sunshine, but less than the two Galaxy games. But to me, the 4 3D Mario games are too different to be considered Mario games, moreso than SMB2, SMW2, or Donkey Kong ever was.¬†

Aw441jK

1. Super Mario World (SNES – 1991)

Super_Mario_World_Coverart

With the video game industry’s collective decision to only produce 3D games as they were the wave of the future, I took a step to the side. If companies weren’t going to make the games I enjoyed any more, I just had to stick with the collection of great games I already had. And to me, there is no greater game for the SNES than Super Mario World. I played it every week for nearly a decade. Now 24 years later, the graphics still look very crisp and clean.

super-mario-world.3

The music is very fitting, and is an interesting study for composers as almost every song has the same melody, just in different arrangements. The controls in SMW are one of the few games I’d truly describe as flawless. I can still speed run the game in 13 minutes, and recently did a 100% playthrough in preparation for Super Mario Maker.

218725-super-mario-world-snes-screenshot-reznor-guards-the-fortresses

At the time, video games didn’t really have “trophies” or “achievements” for doing ridiculous things, so I made my own. I’m sure a lot of people did things like that though. For example, I know I’m not the only person who played through Mega Man X using only the Mega Buster, or played through A Link to the Past with the lowest level Master Sword. Now that I think about it, does anyone else remember those trading cards in the back of Nintendo Power that had challenges like that?

35

If Super Mario World got too easy, you could increase the challenge by not getting one or more of the four colored Switch Palaces. It basically allows you to set your own difficulty level out of a potential 16 combinations, and makes things a lot tougher when some of the power ups and platforms aren’t available. That, combined with the other factors mentioned previously, as well as the introduction of Yoshi, makes it a game with virtually infinite replay value, and makes it my favorite Mario platformer of all time.

Block Switch Palace

Skeletroy’s Favorite Commercials

Hey folks, I know it’s been a while since I’ve done any updates, so I figured I should let you know I haven’t gone away. Far from it, to be honest – I’m currently working on a huge animation project, and it may take a long time before I release anything.

This new project started out as a sequel for Adver-tainment, but kept gradually moving away from the “commercials” aspect of it. In light of that, I’d like to share three of my favorite commercials with all of you.

3. War Amps PSA – Astar the robot

So creepy. So scary. So memorable. This ad has been burned in my brain since the 80s, and is one of the big reasons why I wish I was a robot – if my arm came off, I could just put it back on. There was a terrible CG remake of this ad in the late 90s, and it lost most of its bizarre charm in doing so.

2. Sapporo – Legendary Biru

While most commercials are made to simply sell a product, this one was made out of love (and probably a little hate with all the editing). It’s a two minute ascent, from a rocky cavernous base to a sumo tournament to fire breathing dragons, eventually reaching a city skyline at night. It’s punctuated by a wonderfully percussive tune; no dialogue is spoken as none is needed. Over 5 years later and this ad still looks great, and is still a treat to watch.

1. Omega Co-Axial Chronometer

It’s going to take a lot for a new commercial to kick this one from the top spot. This is art. Everything about it lines up to create something incredible. The visuals are breathtaking in their design. The song “Smiling” by Henry Gregson-Williams (best known for his involvement on the Metal Gear Solid soundtacks) fits so well with the video that it tugs on the heart strings. I’ve heard of people who have gone to places like the Vatican or the Sistine Chapel and have been so filled with awe and wonder that they openly weep. This commercial IS my Sistine Chapel. In the words of the narrator, “there are moments so perfect you can hardly believe they were made by humans.” This definitely counts as one of those moments.

How to Avoid Spoilers!

Jim hates spoilers! Here’s how to avoid them!

Want discounts on games? Go to http://k.thatruled.com/1E6U63n!
Channel Art by J-Lizzle: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49K
All channel music by The Senseless: http://k.thatruled.com/1FcaX6L
[*some trailer music provided by The Jingle Punks]

Forum & Clan Hub: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49L
Clan Information: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYi9
Twitter: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49M
Google +: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9Q
Facebook: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYyo
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr2ii (Network)
Twitch: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9U
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49P (Team Channel)
Website: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9V
YouTube: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9W

How Do We Protect the Video Game Economy?

DLC and freemium models suck, but how do we change things? How do we get from complaint to solution?

Want discounts on games? Go to http://k.thatruled.com/1E6U63n!
Channel Art by J-Lizzle: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49K
All channel music by The Senseless: http://k.thatruled.com/1FcaX6L
[*some trailer music provided by The Jingle Punks]

Forum & Clan Hub: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49L
Clan Information: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYi9
Twitter: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49M
Google +: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9Q
Facebook: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYyo
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr2ii (Network)
Twitch: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9U
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49P (Team Channel)
Website: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9V
YouTube: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9W

No New Raid In House of Wolves?! [Destiny]

Jim asks, “Why is there no raid in the House of Wolves expansion?” Also, “Does it matter?”

Want discounts on games? Go to http://k.thatruled.com/1E6U63n!
Channel Art by J-Lizzle: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49K
All channel music by The Senseless: http://k.thatruled.com/1FcaX6L
[*some trailer music provided by The Jingle Punks]

Forum & Clan Hub: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49L
Clan Information: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYi9
Twitter: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49M
Google +: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9Q
Facebook: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYyo
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr2ii (Network)
Twitch: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9U
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49P (Team Channel)
Website: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9V
YouTube: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9W

No New Raid In House of Wolves?! [Destiny]

Jim asks, “Why is there no raid in the House of Wolves expansion?” Also, “Does it matter?”

Want discounts on games? Go to http://k.thatruled.com/1E6U63n!
Channel Art by J-Lizzle: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49K
All channel music by The Senseless: http://k.thatruled.com/1FcaX6L
[*some trailer music provided by The Jingle Punks]

Forum & Clan Hub: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49L
Clan Information: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYi9
Twitter: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49M
Google +: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9Q
Facebook: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYyo
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr2ii (Network)
Twitch: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9U
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49P (Team Channel)
Website: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9V
YouTube: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9W

Should Retired Online Games be Playable Forever?

In the battle for the preservation of games, what role does copyright law (aka the DMCA) play, and how far can it go?

Want discounts on games? Go to http://k.thatruled.com/1E6U63n!
Channel Art by J-Lizzle: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49K
All channel music by The Senseless: http://k.thatruled.com/1FcaX6L
[*some trailer music provided by The Jingle Punks]

Forum & Clan Hub: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49L
Clan Information: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYi9
Twitter: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49M
Google +: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9Q
Facebook: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYyo
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr2ii (Network)
Twitch: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9U
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49P (Team Channel)
Website: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9V
YouTube: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9W

Yappin’ Wiff Janzer: YouTube Subscription? Girl Gamers? Entitlement?

Yappin’ Wiff Janzer: What’s with this YouTube Subscription service? Who polices teh Girl Gamers? Are Gamers hung up on Entitlement?

Want discounts on games? Go to http://k.thatruled.com/1E6U63n!
Channel Art by J-Lizzle: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49K
All channel music by The Senseless: http://k.thatruled.com/1FcaX6L
[*some trailer music provided by The Jingle Punks]

Forum & Clan Hub: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49L
Clan Information: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYi9
Twitter: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49M
Google +: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9Q
Facebook: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYyo
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr2ii (Network)
Twitch: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9U
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49P (Team Channel)
Website: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9V
YouTube: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9W

Sleeping with the door open: Dying Light Highlights – 04/08/2015

Jim make poopy with zombies.

Want discounts on games? Go to http://k.thatruled.com/1E6U63n!
Channel Art by J-Lizzle: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49K
All channel music by The Senseless: http://k.thatruled.com/1FcaX6L
[*some trailer music provided by The Jingle Punks]

Forum & Clan Hub: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49L
Clan Information: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYi9
Twitter: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49M
Google +: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9Q
Facebook: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYyo
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr2ii (Network)
Twitch: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9U
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49P (Team Channel)
Website: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9V
YouTube: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9W

Rainbow Six Siege Alpha Stream TONIGHT!

Stream starts at 7pm Eastern, 6pm Central, 4pm Pacific! Click the annotations to watch! See you soon!

Want discounts on games? Go to http://k.thatruled.com/1E6U63n!
Channel Art by J-Lizzle: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49K
All channel music by The Senseless: http://k.thatruled.com/1FcaX6L
[*some trailer music provided by The Jingle Punks]

Forum & Clan Hub: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49L
Clan Information: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYi9
Twitter: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49M
Google +: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9Q
Facebook: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYyo
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr2ii (Network)
Twitch: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9U
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49P (Team Channel)
Website: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9V
YouTube: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9W

People That Grind #1 – Jasper Redd

In the inaugural episode, Jim has a delightful, insightful, and intellectual conversation with the comedy visionary, Jasper Redd.
http://k.thatruled.com/1Dlrip4
http://k.thatruled.com/1OazdJy
http://k.thatruled.com/1DlrftB

Want discounts on games? Go to http://k.thatruled.com/1E6U63n!
Channel Art by J-Lizzle: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49K
All channel music by The Senseless: http://k.thatruled.com/1FcaX6L

Forum & Clan Hub: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49L
Clan Information: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYi9
Twitter: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49M
Google +: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9Q
Facebook: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYyo
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr2ii (Network)
Twitch: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9U
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49P (Team Channel)
Website: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9V
YouTube: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9W

Preorder Reselling & Scalping Needs to Stop!

Jim is sick of greed mandating the post-retail market. It’s time we put our foot down.

Want discounts on games? Go to http://k.thatruled.com/1E6U63n!
Channel Art by J-Lizzle: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49K
All channel music by The Senseless: http://k.thatruled.com/1FcaX6L

Forum & Clan Hub: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49L
Clan Information: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYi9
Twitter: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49M
Google +: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9Q
Facebook: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYyo
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr2ii (Network)
Twitch: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9U
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49P (Team Channel)
Website: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9V
YouTube: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9W

GHJ Plays Splinter Cell: Blacklist for the First Time!

I really, REALLY miss Michael Ironsides. Sigh.

Want discounts on games? Go to http://k.thatruled.com/1E6U63n!
Channel Art by J-Lizzle: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49K
All channel music by The Senseless: http://k.thatruled.com/1FcaX6L

Forum & Clan Hub: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49L
Clan Information: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYi9
Twitter: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49M
Google +: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9Q
Facebook: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYyo
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr2ii (Network)
Twitch: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9U
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49P (Team Channel)
Website: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9V
YouTube: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9W

What Are You Escaping From?

Jim asks what gaming helps you escape from.

Want discounts on games? Go to http://k.thatruled.com/1E6U63n!
Channel Art by J-Lizzle: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49K
All channel music by The Senseless: http://k.thatruled.com/1FcaX6L

Forum & Clan Hub: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49L
Clan Information: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYi9
Twitter: http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49M
Google +: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9Q
Facebook: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPYyo
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr2ii (Network)
Twitch: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9U
http://k.thatruled.com/1txr49P (Team Channel)
Website: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9V
YouTube: http://k.thatruled.com/1wWPW9W