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Day: January 1, 2020

Top 10 Favorite Jedi

There is no emotion, there is peace.

There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.

There is no passion, there is serenity.

There is no chaos, there is harmony.

There is no death, there is the Force.

The Jedi Code

I love me some Star Wars, from the creatures, the characters, the lore, the story and of course the Jedi. Who doesn’t want to be a Jedi when they were a kid? Remember the first time you watched Star Wars and how much you were in awe when you witnessed your first lightsaber duel? Or when John William’s score hits right in the perfect moment or when you got your first Star Wars toy or video game? That, my friend, is the wonderful world of Star Wars. As you can tell, I’m a fan. I love the characters and throughout the years you’ll start to have your favorites and have reasons why they mean so much to you. These are my personal Top 10 Favorite Jedi in Star Wars.

Galen Marek

“StarKiller” made his appearance in The Force Unleashed games. Being forced sensitive, Darth Vader took the boy as his secret apprentice and personal assassin. He was ordered to hunt down Jedi Master Rahm Kota, Shaak Ti and Kazan Partus who all survived Order 66. You get to witness how powerful Starkiller really is. Whether you’re taking down a Star Destroyer, defeating Jedi Masters and even Darth Vader himself. You have the option if you want to go fully to the Dark Side or Light Side. Of course, me being me, I first went to the Light Side during my first playthrough but because it was such a fun game and the story and character were so compelling. I did another playthrough but this time, I went fully to the Dark Side. So, technically Galen Marek could either fit under the Jedi or the Sith. Plus I highly recommend playing The Force Unleashed games, you won’t regret it.

Plo Koon

Clone: “We’re just clones, sir. We’re meant to be expendable”
Plo Koon: “Not to me”

If you watched Star Wars The Clone Wars (2008) you might recognize that scene from the show. It shows how much Plo Koon cared about his squad which really hurt me when Order 66 was initiated in Revenge of the Sith. I remember being so heartbroken watching all these Jedi Masters being taken out one by one. And Plo Koon was one of them. He left such an impact on me that I made my character in Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy into a Kel Dor species in honor of the fallen Jedi Master. And of course, with a green lightsaber.

Ki-Adi-Mundi

Ki-Adi-Mundi was one of those Jedi Masters you would make fun of, but can’t help to like him. His design is so weird that it’s cool. He was my main character I played as in Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2005) game mode Hero Assault. The scene where Order 66 was enacted. I felt so bad for him, cause he was leading a charge in Mygeeto fighting the Separatist but then his Clones turned on him. But props to him for fighting till the very end. Surprised they didn’t land a headshot…

Kit Fisto

Everyone’s favorite smiling Jedi Master Kit Fisto. You probably recognize him in a couple of scenes in Star Wars Attack On The Clones during the battle on Geonosis. The cool thing about Kit Fisto was the fact he was more of a laid back Jedi Master. Also, he was a great fighter in water and on land. But, sadly he was struck down by Palpatine during his arrest in Revenge Of The Sith. But damn, he had a great smile! Also, fun fact! He was originally designed to be a Sith Lord, but was later changed to be the character we all know and love.

Mace Windu

Mace Windu is one of those Jedi that you automatically know he’s a badass. Then he pulls out his lightsaber and it’s purple. Why purple you asked? Well, the color of the lightsaber depends on the welder. It’s like an extension of their nature, a reflection you may say. Mace Windu has a blend of Light and Dark when he’s in combat. Forcefulness and sense of excitement when engaged in battle, you may have seen this being fully displayed in his fight with Palpatine in Revenge Of The Sith. Or actor Samuel L. Jackson just wanted a purple lightsaber. But whatever, it’s still cool!

Qui-Gon Jinn

I feel like Qui-Gon Jinn is very under-appreciated and tends to get a lot of hate from the Star Wars fandom. I personally love Qui-Gon because he knew there was corruption in the Jedi Council. They even offered him to be in the Council but declined to follow his own path. Now, that’s badass. He trained Obi-Wan, figured out how to become a Force Spirit, and he believed that Anakin was the Chosen One. And who can’t forget the amazing fight with Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace? I’ve always been a fan of Qui-Gon Jinn as a kid. I even got a green lightsaber because he had one. To carry that tradition, I set my lightsaber in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order to green. Plus he’s portrayed by Liam Neeson, so that’s pretty dang cool.

Anakin Skywalker

Everybody’s favorite angsty boy Anakin Skywalker. Not only he’s an amazing pilot, but he’s also the Chosen One. Sure, we love to make fun of his thoughts on sand, and his idea of babysitting younglings. Anakin Skywalker’s story of the boy who came from nothing to having an ego, to being a general, and eventually falling to the Dark Side. Which led to his redemption in his final moments in Return Of The Jedi. Not only he brought balance to the Force, fulfilling the Prophecy but he came back as Anakin Skywalker. But sometimes I wonder “What if Qui-Gon survived?” Would we have a completely different outcome? Would Anakin fulfill his role as being the Chosen One? Or maybe, it was the will of the Force for it to happen as it did? But that’s a completely whole new conversation.

Yoda

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering” Those are wise words from Grand Master Yoda. Now, don’t let his size fool you this little guy can really do a lot of damage. The duel with Count Dooku in Attack Of The Clone or the duel with Palpatine in Revenge Of The Sith are just small examples of how powerful and cool Yoda is. Yoda is like that grandfather figure you’ll turn to hear stories, or take advice from. Cause they have wisdom and knowledge. He was the Master to many Jedi, including Luke Skywalker, Count Dooku, Mace Windu, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Yoda will always be a badass in my eyes.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Who doesn’t love Obi-Wan? I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody who doesn’t love the heck out of Obi-Wan. The dude is filled with class and sass. He fights with such grace and follows the Jedi Code to a tea. I’ve had hours-long conversations about why Obi-Wan is amazing and why he’s one of the perfect Jedi in Star Wars. There are so many highlights like the fight with Jango Fett in Attack Of The Clones, the fight with General Grevious and who can’t forget the fight with Anakin in Revenge Of The Sith. There are so many memes and one-liners you can reference and people will automatically know what you’re talking about. Obi-Wan Kenobi is what every Jedi should strive to be. Plus he puts up with Anakin shenanigans, so mad respect.

Luke Skywalker

To me, Luke Skywalker represents Hope. The light at the end of the tunnel, your everyday person being a hero and doing what’s good. But Luke was also flawed, and learn from his mistakes. That’s great character growth. Not only Luke put everything on the line to save his father cause he believed there was still good in him. That’s Luke Skywalker, a true Jedi. Like his father before him.

Well, that’s my list! I would love to hear about your Top 10 Jedi and what makes them great. We love to hear them! As always, May the Force be with you.

The Nintendo Virtual Boy: Failure or Brilliance?

Every gaming company will have its fair share of failures and mishaps. Microsoft with the Kinect for the Xbox One, the Red Ring of Death for the 360. Sony with the PlayStation Vita which should’ve never failed. The old thick daddy PS3 which is thicc with three “C’s” and that maxed out price tag of $599 which is a massive yikes. Sega with the botched launch of the Saturn in North America and “$299” with the Sony PlayStation killed that system, the current state of the Sonic franchise. The brutal murder of the Sega Dreamcast (thanks again Sony you evil blue bastards) that ultimately took Sega out of the console market for good and even Nintendo with the failure of the Wii U… and the canceled PlayStation from 1993. Jesus Sony, you keep killing everything.

Every company has had their fair share of bumps in the road and failures, but one console that gets the most ridicule of them all, and it is the Nintendo Virtual Boy.

Check out some gameplay from BuzzFeed Multiplayer

Now there’s obviously terrible consoles out there, like the Atari Jaguar, the Philips CDi, anything Tiger Electronics ever made including the Game.Com, every AtGames console, the Amiga CD32 that ultimately killed Commodore, the Mattel Hyperscan which was a weird console, any console with a numeric keypad. Serious question and mini-rant: whose idea was it to turn a game controller into a freaking phone? I can’t call 911 on a controller while I’m playing B-17 Bomber on the damn Intellivision, and there’s zero purpose to have more than 14 buttons… oh wait, there’s 14 buttons on controllers nowadays as well as scuf controllers.

Well you get my point, unless I’m calling the fire department or the police, numeric keypads on controllers were absolutely dumb. Now back to the article. The Apple Pippin which only sold 42,000 units (420 joke), the Pioneer LaserActive which sold 420,000 units (second verse, same as the first), as well as external peripherals for games that costed hundreds apiece and used CD’s twice the size of vinyl and was a technology that aged like breast milk, the Gizmondo.

The mere existence of LJN with their notoriously bad games and that ONE CONSOLE they made that the Angry Video Game Nerd properly tore into it and ripped it a new butthole so wide, he found out the answer of 7 ÷ 0. The Virtual Boy gets the most hate out of all of these systems, and this is mostly due to the review that the AVGN himself made about the system in February 2008 that was eventually uploaded to YouTube in August 2009. That’s where everyone’s opinions about the Virtual Boy comes from, and as a proud owner of a Virtual Boy, and because I spent hard earned money on it, let’s see if the Virtual Boy is as bad as everyone makes it out to be.

Watch Angry Video Game Nerd’s Review on the Virtual Boy

The Virtual Boy had a really short life, being released in August 1995 in America and being discontinued in March 1996 with only a handful of games ever released, making it one of the smallest gaming libraries in existence. Today, Virtual Boy’s run from $250 to even $1,000, with games varying in price, from anywhere between 20 dollars for Teleroboxer, to hundreds of dollars for the American cartridge of Jack Bros. or even more for the Japan-only games, which is good news if you’re wanting to own one and planning to collect them all, as the Virtual Boy isn’t region-locked.

The Virtual Boy was supposed to be a virtual reality console made by Nintendo, and it was made by the inventor of the Game Boy, Gunpei Yokoi. The Virtual Boy also came out during a very awkward time, as the N64 was being made, and developers were making games for the system, while the Virtual Boy was pretty much on its own, from a developmental standpoint.

Nintendo higher-ups wanted the Virtual Boy to be released by 1995 as the N64 was around the corner, and they didn’t want the Virtual Boy to shy away from the release of their big-time console release, and in August of 1995, Codename: VR32 became the Virtual Boy, and immediately became the laughingstock of Nintendo failures and is regarded by the internet as “the worst console ever”. There were mass reports of headaches and eye strain when it was released, and this went on until its discontinuation. Only 22 games were released for it until it got discontinued, and later on in 1996, the N64 was released.

So how and why did the Virtual Boy fail?

Well, if you look at the specs of it, and compared it to the SNES, it was more powerful by a long shot. After all, it is a 32-bit console, but the Virtual Boy, was rushed into the market, and was far from finished. It was pretty much supposed to be something you have on your head, but because it was rushed and the technology was too expensive, they had no choice but to make it stationary.

Another issue was that they wanted to research if the red LEDs that were used would be safe for the human eye, and because that would’ve taken more time, they pretty much put warning labels all over it. Now it wasn’t just the Virtual Boy that did this, the 3DS also has a lot of warning labels on it due to a Japanese law behind it.

Were the red LEDs safe for the human eye? Actually in today’s studies, yes. So if the Virtual Boy had some sort of legacy release, we probably don’t have to worry about eye problems. But there’s also something behind that as well. The reason why eye strain and headaches were common, was the one thing no one does at all. Reading the manuals. With every game you purchase comes a manual, and that manual shows you how to properly calibrate the two eyes of the Virtual Boy to your sight, as you’ll need to align it to where you can see four squares on the corners, two in each eye, which would be the dial of the system.

The slider would be the depth perception of your eyes, and that’s more of a personal preference than a beneficiary thing, like the 3D slider on a 3DS. But what if you’re still having headaches and eye strain? Well there’s a video on YouTube explaining it, but essentially if you still have eye strain and headaches from it, chances are that your eyes can’t detect or adjust to stereoscopic sight, so that means you probably wasted money on something you can’t use. There are some decent games on the system like Teleroboxer, Wario Land, Galactic Pinball, Mario’s Tennis, Jack Bros., Mario Clash and the one or two I haven’t mentioned, but the rest is either mediocre or abysmal like Waterworld, which was another issue. Almost all of the games that were made for the system were first-party games, no third-party support of any kind, it was basically a pure Nintendo console.

Now is the system capable of handling something like say Doom? Yes, in fact, members of Planet Virtual Boy have talked about possibly making a Doom game for the Virtual Boy. Not only that, there were a plethora of games that were ready to be released to the system, but because the system had a very bad reputation, 37 games were abandoned along with the console, and the link cable that never came to be until recently thanks to the Homebrew team over at Planet Virtual Boy.

So, does the Virtual Boy deserve the hate it gets?

I don’t think so. The Virtual Boy was a corporate mishap due to the higher-ups’ decision to launch it when it wasn’t finished, and when research on red LEDs wasn’t even finished, and they released it at a weird timing as it was released a year before the N64 came out. The other factor was user errors that led to media outlets to give the system the bad rep it had gotten. Had we simply read the manuals, the system wouldn’t be so shunned.

The development of games was nearly impossible since everyone in each R&D department in Nintendo was doing something and no great game was able to be released for the system with the exception of Teleroboxer and Wario Land. And honestly, the fact that it was also falsely advertised as a portable system, with the fact that it’s a tabletop console, along with a 180 dollar price tag in 1995, the writing was on the walls for it.

Regardless if this was a failure or not, it was an innovation and a massive risk on Nintendo’s end. As a proud owner of the Virtual Boy, the controller for the system, while odd, is ergonomically amazing, as the controller fits perfectly in your hands and all the buttons sit in place with your thumb, and your index finger. The idea of two D-Pads, although relatively unused could’ve made for something interesting, as it’s probably the closest we got to dual analog sticks in the 90s that we’re so used to today. That, and if the Virtual Boy never existed, the 3DS would’ve never gotten released, which means the Wii U would’ve been game over for Nintendo, and VR wouldn’t be where it is today. That or Nintendo would’ve released a handheld that could’ve been the backbone while the Wii U was in disarray in an alternate universe.

Yes, it definitely was a failure, but it doesn’t deserve the consistent hate it gets all because one very popular internet personality says it’s a pile of crap. While I do think it’s a matter of interpretation of how good it may be to you, it’s definitely not a terrible system. Hell, the 64DD (Disk Drive) sold far less than the Virtual Boy and flopped even faster than the Virtual Boy, but it never got hate. It does seem unfair to give a system that was rushed heavily to market any sort of hate, especially when it could’ve been something amazing.

Do I recommend buying one and trying it out on your own? Well if you’re willing to cough up money to purchase one fully working with a controller, the visor and stand, along with spending up to standard prices for the games, then heck yeah. Although I do recommend something with elevation to put on it if you are a taller person to alleviate the sore neck issue that may come. If you want to get games for a good price, Planet Virtual Boy is the perfect place to make trades and purchases for the Virtual Boy.

The Virtual Boy may have been a failure, but its legacy lives on.