One Year Older...

Today, I am officially 24 years of age and it feels good I guess. No one really likes to get older but its just a way of life.  One of the good things though about this birthday is I ain't working on it, as opposed to last year where I was and it pretty much stank because of it.  You might be wondering what I got for my birhtday.  Well check the videos on the blog before and you will know since they are pretty much what I got since I just wanted money to get various games that caught my eye during my trip into town on Monday.  Also, got two t-shirts that you can find right here & here from my mother (would like show pictures of me wearing them but the computer ain't processing the pictures that I am taken for some reason.  I wanted them for a while since they are pretty awesome looking shirts in my honest opinion and well, I have got back into WWE again so why not.

Got a game called Rhythm Paradise ala Rhythm Heaven in the post today and man that game is tricky.  Its quite hard to get the timing down in some of the mini-games I have played thus far but I am sure with a little bit of practice, I will get better at it.  Banjo-Tooie came out on XBLA and got it and will actually try and complete that game since I never did on the N64 (got to the 6th world before I stopped playing it). 

As far as what videos are coming up from myself,  well I am going to go the Talor route and start doing collection videos since I am pretty much near the 500 game mark after the barrage of games I got in the past week.  Some of them are of course XBLA, Wiiware and Virtual Console games but the majority of them aren't (Well, duh).  Will be doing gameplay videos again and anything else that comes to my mind.

I am having a relaxing birthday this year, which is nice to have and I have another 3 days off work before I go back on Sunday then have another 3 days off.  Anyway, take care guys and keep on gaming!




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To Youtube I will go!

I have come to the conclusion that there is no point in me doing videos primarily for GB and GS anymore mainly because they are always the same and have got too boring by a lot of people's standards hence why not a lot of you out there still watch them, which I do appreciate.  After watching a guy by the name of Pete Dorr's (check him out) videos over in Youtube last night for 2 hours and others including my old GS friend, Stephanie (princesszelda), I have decided that it is the best place to do videos now and come across great people who enjoy gaming as much as I do.  I have a channel already, which has several gameplay vids up and responses to GB Qotw stuff but over the next month or so, I am hoping to make it full of videos like impressions, collections and pick up vids like the majority of gaming users do on YT.

Also, with the exception of Denis, Eric, Talor and Michael, no one else I know tends to do video blogs on a consistent basis anymore and its quite a shame since it was the reason I became good friends with some of them.  I have been introduced to new ones like JonnyAvacado, Shred and others over the past 6 months and appreciate that I'm being introduced to more great people elsewhere now. 

So if you want to continue watching my face rambling on about games, then Youtube will be the place to go (but I will embed the vids here like Talor does). The first video will be coming up tomorrow with my recent pickups and there is a few thanks to said user I mentioned above.

Toodles.


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Wrestlemania 25 Review




 



For the past two years, I have given my thoughts on the WWE's biggest show of the year, Wrestlemania and I might as well do it again here for all of you who care, which is 2. :P  This time though, I decided to do it in video format and give you my thoughts there.  I could have done a better job perhaps but take it for what it is and enjoy nonetheless.  I also talk about what occurred on RAW at the end of the video.

I will do a video blog updating my status tomorrow perhaps depending if something I am waiting on comes.  Until then, toodles.
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The Red Ring Strikes Back!

15 months since I got my 360 back after getting it repaired, it has once again succumbed to the infamous Red Ring of Death.  To tell you the truth, I was waiting for it to happen since my 360 tended to not shut off properly whenever I used the controller to turn it off.  The lights will be off but you can still hear it still on and it has been like this for quite a while. 

Was playing RE5 co-op with my friend Denis aka D-Boy and all of a sudden it froze.  Turned it off and turned it back on only to see them lovely red lights flashing on my console.  One thing I can be happy about is that I haven't had as many problems getting 360s repaired and that as someone like Eric (Devean) who has gone through 6 of them.  This is only my 2nd 360 but has been repaired before. 

To tell you the truth, I honestly don't know what I should do.  One part of me is thinking get it repaired again but whats the point if its going to end up happening again down the road since it was already repaired once before.  Plus I might have to pay for it since that whole 3 year warranty for me is up now (although maybe not since this one I have is a replacement one I got in May 06 from one I got in March that year because it had AV problems).  Another part is saying just get an Elite when I have the money, which I do at the moment but I just spent money on a DSi and would rather save some.  Besides, its not like there is anything coming out over the next few months I am dying to play although I want to play them nonetheless (Chronicles of Riddick, Tales of Vesperia, GH Metallica etc). 

Also, haven't really been updating at all to tell you the truth but I am in a bit of a gaming slump and have not really played a whole lot over the past week.  With this happening now, that is probably going to get a bit worse.  What I have been mainly doing over the last several days is surfing the net and watching Royal Rumbles as part of the RR anthology I got last week.  Ordered the Summerslam one, which will probably be here this week.  WM will have to wait until I can find it at a reasonable price.

I might do a video blog this week but it depends on how I feel.  My 24th birthday is coming up at the end of this month and I have booked the week off work for that because I would rather have the day off work on my birthday than going in. 

That is pretty much all I have to say on this situation.  Let me know what you guys think I should do.  Until then, take care, keep on gaming and toodles!



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Darro's Top 30 Games!

Two years ago, I done a Top 10 video of my favourite games of all time.  Last year I did a video of my top 20 favourite games.  This year, I am not going to bother with a video since believe me, I tried already and the first two parts were nearly 40 mins because of my constant rambling.  This time, I have gone up once again and going to list to you my top 30 favourite games of all time.  I could perhaps gave a reason or two why I like the game but I will end up writing a novel pretty much when its all said and done.  Some games have switched places since last time and of course there are new inclusions since the list is bigger.  So, without further ado, the following is my 30 favourite games of all time at this point:

30.  Klonoa: Door To Phantomile
29.  Super Metroid
28.  Bubble Bobble
27.  Ristar
26.  Sonic The Hedgehog 2
25.  God of War
24.  The Legend of Zelda: Twlight Princess
23.  Final Fantasy IX
22.  Nights Into Dreams
21.  Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic
20.  Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon
19.  Kingdom Hearts II
18.  God of War II
17.  Super Mario Galaxy
16.  Banjo-Kazooie
15.  Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble
14.  Lost Odyssey
13.  The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time
12. Sonic 3 & Knuckles
11.  Super Mario World
10.  The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
9.  Conker's Bad Fur Day
8. Super Mario Bros 3
7.  Super Castlevania IV
6.  Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots
5.  Final Fantasy VII
4.  Shenmue Saga
3.  Okami
2.  Chrono Trigger
1.  The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past

Well, as you can see, ALTTP is still my favourite game of all time but after playing the wonder that is Chrono Trigger, it has placed itself at a quite close 2nd.  Other new inclusions since last year include MGS 4 and Lost Odyssey.  Look out for a video blog giving me my detailed thoughts on Chrono Trigger next week along with my latest purchases.  Until then, keep on gaming and ROCK ON!!

Toodles.


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Darro's Dominion Episode XXIII

 


Its been quite a while since I actually did a Darro's Dominion but here it is back in its long, drawn-out glory.  So what is featured in this episode?  Well,  I talk about certain problems in my job, the games I've been playing and my love for Chrono Trigger and also a little announcement that 3 people will care for.  Its all here in this episode of DARRO'S DOMINION!!!!

Will be doing a video similar to Talor's aka thewesker where he shows off the game guides he has in due course so look out for that. 

Toodles.
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Best of 2008 Awards: Winners

Technically, its Tuesday here now when these are up but finished the whole thing before so take it anyway you want.  Here are the winners for the rest of my 2008 awards along with details and stuff as to why they won.  Some of the winners might be surprising to you guys out there and if you disagree, then feel free to comment and say why.  Anyway, without further ado here we go:

Best Action/Adventure Game
God of War: Chains of Olympus
No More Heroes
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Grand Theft Auto IV

Winner: No More Heroes
Runner-Up: Grand Theft Auto IV

No More Heroes is just one of those games that you have to play just for its sheer insaneness in a way.  It has a unique graphical style that is associated with Suda-51 games and has that kind of weirdness that was seen in his previous game, Killer 7.  It had a great lightsaber-esque weapon known as the beam katana, great boss battles (Destroy Man being a particular favourite) and had all-around fun gameplay that made this a great game altogether.

Best Shooter
Gears of War 2
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2
Metal Gear Solid 4 - Guns of the Patriots
Dead Space

Winner: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Runner-Up: Gears of War 2

Some might not even call it a shooter but that’s what it is in the end of the day in my opinion.  Metal Gear Solid 4 just had those moments that made your jaw drop and will stick with you for a long time.  Moments like the Metal Gear vs. Metal Gear fight, the final boss battle and the motorcycle chase just signify what it takes to be a great shooter and MGS 4 done that in spades.

Best RPG
Lost Odyssey
Fable II
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
The World Ends With You

Winner: Lost Odyssey
Runner-Up: Fable II

Lost Odyssey was a terrific 80+ hour journey for me and hated to say goodbye to it once I got done but alas, it had to happen.  While the gameplay is pretty much traditional, everything that revolves around the game is what makes it special.  The great characters, spectacular 1000 Years of Dreams Sequences and more is what made my time with this game all the more pleasing.  It was a no contest since it was one of my favourite experiences of 2008.

Most Underrated Game
Lost Odyssey
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2
Castle Crashers
Saints Row 2
Dragonball Z: Burst Limit

Winner: Lost Odyssey
Runner-Up: Castle Crashers

While the game didn’t necessarily get bad reviews, I do believe it should have got better scores than what sites and that gave it.  One being that it only got 73% in a mag called Gamesmaster while Blue Dragon, a RPG made by the same team that is too easy and has no coherent story got 86%, which I still can’t get over to this day.  Sure, it doesn’t have the greatest gameplay or most epic story but most of the things in there are done well enough to warrant more recognition.  A lot of people were busy playing Burnout Paradise and other games when this came out and thus it got shoved aside for games that didn’t deserve their time (Burnout Paradise is not one of them now. :P)

Most Overrated Game
Grand Theft Auto IV
Super Smash Bros Brawl
Soul Calibur IV
Braid

Winner: Grand Theft Auto IV
Runner-Up: Soul Calibur IV

Yep, I think GTA IV is overrated, sue me.  While I thought the characters were well done and the city breathed life unlike any other, other things in the game kind of pushed it down a bit for me and thus why I think it is overrated.  The missions never vary greatly whatsoever and it gets boring after a while doing the same crap.  The radio stations ain’t as grandiose or funny as they were in previous editions (oh Lazlow, how I loved thee in GTA III) and I just didn’t get into the story like so many others seem to.  Maybe I should give it another shot but the lack of mission variety is preventing me from doing so.  It does not deserve the 10s it got in my opinion but its still a very well-done game.

Best Multiplayer Game
Mario Kart Wii
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2
Gears of War 2
Castle Crashers
Rock Band

Winner: Mario Kart Wii
Runner-Up: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2

You might be surprised with this but quite frankly, online multiplayer on Mario Kart Wii is hella fun and probably the most fun I had all year in terms of online hence the reason it won.  Having 8 or more people in a room doing the different courses is just plain fun although one negative about the mp is how luck is half of the equation.  You could be leading the entire race then all of a sudden you get blasted by everything and end up in the bottom half (believe me, this has happened to me on several occasions).  I pretty much played nothing but this for a week and tend to go back to it now and again (the whole luck thing is sort of what put me off playing it more regularly) and is still fun to this day.  It would’ve been nice to see new tracks or something just to extend the lifespan of the game that little bit more.

Best Sound/Music
Gears of War 2
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots
Lost Odyssey
Grand Theft Auto IV
Rock Band

Winner: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Runner-Up: Lost Odyssey

Explosions, monologues, action-packed music? Check, check and check again.  MGS 4 had it all and done it to a standard you see in very little else.  The voice cast return for what is supposedly the finale of the series (but I heard MGS 5 is happening or it could be just Metal Gear Raiden. :P) and do a outstanding job throughout.  David Hayter once again shines as Snake and Patric Zimmerman does wonders as Liquid Ocelot.  But its not all about the voices.  The sound quality and music has to be in there also and Kojima and co deliver.  Each sequence just seems to have the perfect tone to it and the music just fits especially the radiator part with Snake crawling where everything just seems to be going wrong and all hope is gone.  An outstanding production throughout and will be going back into the world just to see and hear some of those brilliant moments again.

Best Story
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots
Lost Odyssey
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

Winner: Lost Odyssey
Runner-Up: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

You may think the GOTY was the hardest category to decide but in all honesty it wasn’t, it was actually an easy decision compared to 2007’s.  This was the hardest since two of these games have in my opinion incredible stories and was very hard to choose one over the other.  In the end Lost Odyssey won mainly due to the back story of Kaim through the 1000 years of dreams sequences and show more to this character.  Some people say its pretty much been done before but I was gripped with the game from beginning to end wondering what was going to happen to Kaim & co.  Oh and you can’t forget the wonder that was Jansen.  Sleazy and drunk at start of the game but by the end, he has somewhat matured and pretty much falls in love with another main character and if you want to know what happens, play the damn game! :P

Best Graphics
Gears Of War 2
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots
Grand Theft Auto IV
Dragonball Z: Burst Limit
Castle Crashers

Winner: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Runner-Up: Gears of War 2

MGS 4 is without a doubt, a spectacular looking game and you have to be stupid to think otherwise.  Just the various cinematic sequences that occur throughout the game (done in real-time I might add) just show how gorgeous this game can be.  The facial expressions, the various animations, the effects just bring together the best looking game of 2008 hands down.

Best Boss
The Leviathan - Gears Of War 2
Liquid Ocelot - Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots
Henry - No More Heroes
The Wizard - Castle Crashers
Hive Mind - Dead Space

Winner: Liquid Ocelot: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Runner-Up: The Wizard - Castle Crashers

One word: epic.  The final battle between Liquid and Snake on top of the ship just sums up the whole MGS series and its just an cool battle to play.  One thing that makes it special is the way it goes through the different entries in the series with a theme from each one and showing still shots of certain events from each edition along with the font and energy bar from those editions.  Its just a classic seeing these two old guys having a good old fist fight to the bloody death and in the end, one man prevails. I just loved every second of this battle and was no contest after playing it that it would be beaten to tell you the truth.

Blast From The Past Award
Alex Kidd In Miracle World
Banjo-Kazooie
Wonder Boy
Ikaruga
Soul Calibur

Winner: Banjo-Kazooie
Runner-Up: Soul Calibur

When I heard that Banjo-Kazooie was coming to XBLA, I thought it was pretty cool but alas it was not the Rare game I wanted on there (people who know me would know which one I do want).  I have the original anyway on the N64 and when I heard about the whole free code with pre-orders of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, I thought why not.  I’m glad I did since it transported me back to 1998 and just fell in love with that game all over again. Done absolutely everything in the game there was to do and glad to see the sequel come in April although I have never finished it since I just didn’t like the backtracking to previous worlds when you get new moves (it only needed to be done once in this one).  Rare might not be the great company they once were but playing this shows how damn great they were during the 16-bit and 64-bit days.

Most Disappointing Game
Grand Theft Auto IV
Super Smash Bros Brawl
Nights: Journey Of Dreams
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Burnout Paradise

Winner: Grand Theft Auto IV
Runner-Up: Burnout Paradise

So why did I find GTA IV disappointing you say? Well, it was my most anticipated game of 2008 and it came out on my birthday of all days.  But in the end I thought it was a great game but thought it would be somewhat better judging by the amazing scores it got. The first reason is that the mission variety in the game for me flat out stinks and its pretty much go here, kill dude or dudes and/or go pick something up.  Sure the other ones had their fair share of these but they had other missions that stood out and were fun to do but this one is full of them that it starts to become pretty damn bland.  The other reason has to do with the story.  There were parts that were good in it no doubt but to me I felt disappointed with it the same way I did with Bioshock in 2007.  I know Rockstar were going on a more realism direction with this edition but some of their inclusions didn’t work out the way I wanted it.  The Friend system gets boring too quickly, the handling of vehicles gets some used to but is completely fine afterwards etc.  Hopefully the upcoming DLC makes up for my disappointment with this game since I loved the previous editions but I somewhat doubt it.

Best Downloadable Game
Braid
Castle Crashers
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
N+
Megaman 9

Winner: Castle Crashers
Runner-Up: Braid

Castle Crashers has me going back to the good old days of great beat-em-ups like Golden Axe, Final Fight and Streets of Rage and shows me why I love playing games in the first place.  It has once again the incredible design from The Behemoth team and it has elements of those games I mentioned in here and make it a very enjoyable game to play.  The main problem people had was the online was busted hence you couldn’t play with friends but I found it to be enjoyable both online and offline.  The different weapons that you had (dragon fire sword FTW!), the animal orbs and the different locations like Alien Hominid’s spaceship make this an enjoyable journey to go through.

Best DS Game
Professor Layton & The Curious Village
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates
The World Ends With You.

Winner: Professor Layton & The Curious Village
Runner-Up: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates

This game only came out in the UK in November while the US got it back in February.  Luckily I got it in a store, which has import DS games and got it and glad I did, as I was wanting to play it for a while.  It is such a delightful adventure/puzzle game and some of the puzzles are pretty easy while others are fiendishly difficult and take some thinking to get the solution.  It has a great art style to it, as I know its from Japan and I know there is already 2 other games also, which I hope make their way to Western shores sometime soon.

Best PSP Game
God of War: Chains of Olympus
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

Winner: Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Runner-Up: God of War: Chains of Olympus

If you know me, you know that Final Fantasy VII is one of my favourite games of all time and the game that got me into RPGs.  A game based in the universe has to be a good thing plus it is a prequel that tells the story of Zack Faire.  It is not at all like FF VII in that the gameplay is different and in a good way.  Its real-time, which at times I prefer over turn-based although I enjoyed that in Lost Odyssey.  Oh and even though you knew what was going to happen in the end, it was still sad and brought a little tear to my eye since he was such a likable character.   It wasn't the hardest of games, as I didn't die once outside the side missions but the story and gameplay kept me within the world again and adored playing the 20-30 hours I stuck with it.

Best Wii Game
Mario Kart Wii
No More Heroes
Super Smash Bros Brawl
Wario Land: The Shake Dimension
Okami

Winner: No More Heroes
Runner-Up: Mario Kart Wii

Travis Touchdown is a bad-ass.  He goes through various people, some that are pure nut jobs and just kills them for money and pleasure and to become the No 1 assassin.  This quest of his makes No More Heroes my favourite Wii game of 2008.  Its one of the games that doesn’t need to fully take advantage of the Wiimote’s controls but does them in a way that works perfectly.  The way you do a motion with the nunchuk and Wiimote to do a wrestling move when prompted is a fine example of good controls.  Its great that the katanta’s moves were configured to the A button and not the Wiimote itself.  The jobs and missions outside the main quest are actually fun to do and don’t feel like a waste of time.  A sequel is coming, which has me excited and hopefully it lives up to the brilliance of this one.

Best PS3 Game
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots
LittleBigPlanet

Winner: Metal Gear Solid 4 : Guns of the Patriots
Runner-Up: LittleBigPlanet

Pretty much a no contest.  I was certain the 2nd game was going to take it at the start of 2008 but I have barely played a lot of it compared to MGS 4.  It just has that sheer quality that you don’t see in a lot of other games these days. Sure some may say its overrated and they are entitled to their own opinion but what I see is one of the best games of 2008 by far.  The voice-acting is absolutely amazing, the cinematic moments are straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster and just the experience you have from start to finish is something to behold and you will never forget for quite a while to come.

Best Xbox 360 Game
Lost Odyssey
Gears of War 2
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2
Rock Band
Grand Theft Auto IV

Winner: Lost Odyssey
Runner-Up: Rock Band

I spent over 80 hours in this game, which is probably more than the other four games on this list combined.  That is saying something even if it is a RPG.  I adored Lost Odyssey and its beautiful story and characters.  It just had something about it that made me want to keep playing it hence why I went all the way with this one since sometimes I tend to play a bit into a RPG then never touch it for a long time or ever again.  But this one had me from the get-go thanks to the main character Kaim and the mystery surrounding his past.  The 1000 years of dreams sequences are one of the main highlights and some of them can be real tearjerkers and just show the loneliness of Kaim in a way since he travels around the world meeting all sorts of people and friends but knowing he will wander on while these people will eventually die.  The ring system attached to the gameplay I believe has been done before but its new to me and it brought a little strategic element into the battles since there were various rings to use and had to find what one was best for which battle.  The music is exquisite and the voice-acting is quite good and just made it a special game.

Overall Game of the Year
Lost Odyssey
Rock Band
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots
Gears Of War 2
No More Heroes

Winner: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots
Runner Up: Lost Odyssey

I haven’t been a huge fan of the MGS series.  I played the previous 3 while only finishing the first two.  I enjoyed the first one quite a bit while the second one had some moments but was pretty much drawn out with long, boring cut scenes (MGS 4 has its share  of cut scenes but most of them are interesting to watch unlike 2).  I planned to play this game anyway since it looked good of course and the gameplay was refined in that you could play it anyway you want as opposed to the stealth (went with the stealth anyway since it’s the way the game is meant to be played.).  What I didn’t expect though is to be absolutely blown away by it and thus it is for that reason and more it is my 2008 GOTY.  The gameplay has been refined and makes the game more fun to play now and less frustrating especially with the shoulder view instead of overhead.  The boss battles are awesome to play through like the one that won a certain award and moments like Snake crawling through the radiator part and getting burned alive pretty much but going all the way to save the day is just pure greatness.  I believed an entirely different game would have come and win my GOTY and that certain game isn’t even in the top 5.  I bought a PS3 to play this game and well, you can pretty much say that it was money well spent. 

There you have it folks, the winners of my 2008 Best of Awards.  I hope to actually get them done a lot eariler for the 2009 awards.  There are some great games out this year and hopefully some don't disappoint and others do surprise me like some did in 2008.  Keep on gaming and take care!

Toodles.

Edit: I realised I made quite a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes and thus some sentences didn't make much sense.  I really should have proof-read this before I put it up but its all been taken care of now.

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Best of 2008 Award Winners Coming Tomorrow!

You know those awards I did the nominations for and then did the first part in video then just completely didn't bother doing the rest of it?  Well, at long last I will be doing the rest of the winners but in text format like I said and maybe just a sentence or two explaining why since I don't really want to spend an eternity on this blog to tell you the truth (I am lazy, I know).

Even if it is way late (its February now for pete's sake), it will be coming your way tomorrow and a video blog sometime after.  I actually did one on LOTR: Conquest but didn't bother uploading it since it was pretty meh.  Will do  one this week talking about some of the games I am looking forward to in 09 amongst other things.  Stay tuned!

Toodles.

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