The Top Five Most Unintentionally Terrifying VG Characters

They're Not Fooling Anyone

by Randy Marr
 Because it's almost Halloween, and because kids these days love lists, I decided that the two need to come together and grant me victory over The Internet. Everybody else has their "Top 10 Scariest Games" lists, but those are pointless. We all know that Fatal Frame is god damned terrifying, so let's move on, shall we?

   Pyramid Head might be a big, scary monster, but that's because he was supposed to be; he was headlining a Silent Hill game. What's truly frightening is how many times a video game character comes along, who's supposed to be all cute and cuddly, and goes completely the opposite direction: instead they make Pyramid Head seem safe.
  •  He's always watching you.
    Amigo: Monkeys may not be terrifying. But when they're hoped up on speed and wielding maracas "like deadly weapons," according to his Giant Bomb page, Amigo is to be frightened. And what's more frightening than Amigo? His god damned world. It's like a kid's cartoon as seen through a nightmare filter. Everything is alive, wide-eyed, and staring at you, and you're pretty sure that the Sun himself is going to eat you. If that monkey doesn't tear your face off first.
  • Mr. Game and Watch: Oh, how adorable, he even has a "Mr." to try and prove that he's human. In reality, he is a cruel mockery of humanity that only Lovecraft could have dreamed about. Bound by only two of our three dimensions, Mr. Game and Watch could be Mr. Game and Watching you right now, and you'd never know it, because he's standing sideways. The last thing you would hear before he consumed your soul into his bucket of nightmares is a loud beeping sound, echoing forever in your afterlife of torment. And worst of all: He just might be the reincarnation of Cthulhu. Don't believe me? How about after you see this:
     Ia, Ia, Game and Watch sleeps in the house of Ry'leh!

 Ladies and Gentlemen, your Dark Lord of Madness

  • And it's coming for you.
    Dog: Man's best friend in the wake of an alien appocalypse, you might think Dog is aways there to back you up. This giant robotic... well, it's not really a dog shape; it's more like an ape. But it acts like a dog, which makes you think it'll stay loyal, right? WRONG. This is the fucking apocalypse here, and we don't have time to maintain our pet robot monstrocities. It's only a matter of time before that thing short-circuits and rises up against it's human masters. And I'm not sure even Gorden "the Free Man" Freeman has enough firepower to send Cyber-Cujo to Robot Hell.
  • Timmy and T ommy Nook: The spawn of my arch nemesis, Tom Nook, (or I guess one of his siblings, because they're technically
    his nephews), these two freaks are pulled right out of The Shining. Don't believe me? 1: They're twins. 2: They speak in slightly out-of-synch unison. 3: That glossy, dead-eyed stare they both have.  "Come play with us, An imal Crossing Boy. Forever, and ever." Isn't there a corn field somewhere these two should be menacing?


  • Tingle: Never in a video game was I so sure I was going to be raped, than the first time I met this spandex-wearing thirty-something year old man in a dark alley of a mysterious alternate world. Just... Gah, just look at him! The police are going to have to study his maps to find out where he buried my cold, lifeless body, along with the hundreds of other children. It's no wonder this man isn't allowed inside Clock Town. And it's no wonder he was arrested in Wind Waker. Oh did I forget to mention that? He's also apparently IMMORTAL. And pan-dimensional. Either that or his balloons are actually a TARDIS from which he can stalk Link in any of his various incarnations. I would say, at best, this is a guy who has just gone off the deep end, and I expect him to go Postal any moment.
    Majoras Mask Tingle
        So what other video game characters terrify you, even though they probably shouldn't? Feel free to drop 'em in the comment section below.
Werewolf Bar mitzvah, spooky! Scary!
Boys becoming men, men becoming wolves!
Tracey Jordan - Werewolf Bar Mitzvah

Zeromus Must Die...

But I Just Can't Kill Him

Help me out, guys. I want so very badly to beat Final Fantasy IV on the DS. I've tried my best but it appears my best can suck it, because after almost 15 tries, I just cannot get through Zeromus. His battle is easy breezy up until the part where it rains hot, meteor death from the sky. My party is in their 70's, but I just can't survive it. There's no warning to avoid it, just sudden murder. I've had a few "Lucky" shots where Kain will be in "Jump" mode and avoid it, but he gets butchered soon he's not good enough to pick up the party before another wave of Meteor knocks them on their ass.
So, aside from the fact that I'm apparently not as good at finding items in that games I thought I was, and am thus missing a few "key" augments (as the FAQs would have me believe), what can I do? Any advice out there for a wayward gamer?
At this point I'm ready to just pack my game up and trade it in. I don't want to do that, though. I want to play it through new game + even. But I just cannot fathom a method for getting around this stupid Meteor. All the FAQ strategies I read go along the lines of "After he hits you with meteor, pick your party back up!" but I can't because they're all dead.
This is a plea for help. I don't know if I can run through B8-B11 anymore. I don't know if I can sit through those boring ass computer-run battle sequences anymore. It's too damned frustrating and I'm about to give up. I'd appreciate anything you guys have to offer.

Dead Space S Rank: What's Next?

"Your Assistance is Required" - Albert Wesker

    Dead Space is officially my first fully completed 360 game. 1000 sweet, sweet points are mine. (2nd S Rank after Age of Booty). With that down I look to the future for my next S Rank, but for that I may need the Giant Bomb community to assist me. My big 3 options right now are Fallout 3, Fable 2, and Resident Evil 5. Fallout I'm on my own, and that one will take a while as I still need to start and finish a "bad karma" playthrough.
   I guess what I'm saying is: I need dolls. I know I've got a couple, but if you have all 6 and a few spare minutes, I would love to leach that success. Help a fellow Achiever out, would you? If you don't have all 6, maybe we can help each other. I have Hammer, Theresa, Hero, and Garth. I'm missing Reaver and... whatever the 6th one is. Is it your sister? That infor would also be nice.
   As for RE5, well heck, I don't know. I'm missing one or two from the main cluster, but also I haven't gotten any out of the Versus mode pack. Perhaps we could start up a Versus league or something. Or maybe there already is somewhere here, in which case, would you mind pointing me in that direction?
   If you're willing to help or need help with any of these games, feel free to just leave a message below and I'll get to you with my Gamertag and we can help each other out.

Paranormal Activity: A Movie Review

The Most Terrifying Flick Ever?

by Randy Marr
    There's little chance you've heard of this film, a succesful indie flick struggling to make it's way to the big box office. So here's a trailer to help catch you up a little:
   If you like what you see, the official site for the film has a place where you can go to demand the movie in your area.
      Katie and Micah are a couple living in California, enjoying their adorable little lives when something begins to bother Katie. Her boyfriend invests in a nice camera, which serves as your eyes and ears for the entire movie, in order to survey their days and nights to try and capture some of the creepy goings on camera.
   The movie is staggered into two segments: the days and the nights. During the day we usually get a sort of "What happened last night, what can we do for tonight" run down of events, leading into the nights. That's where the fun really is. The whole experience is indeed like a roller coaster. I know it's a terrible metaphor that movies have used before, but it really works for this one. During the days we' re generally coasting, getting a laugh or two, or some general information. But once they set up on the tri-pod for evening, you become trained to grasp the arms of your chair (or loved one, in my case) tightly, bracing for the inevitable "drop."  What this effectively does is keep you from getting acclimatized to the fear. For example, contemporary scary handi-cam film Quarantine (or REC for you indy fans) keeps you submerged in the fear and the scary moments. But Paranormal Activity lets you come out of the scary and relax again for just long enough that when we get back to the night segments, you get to experience that decent into terror all over again. Expertly executed.
    Paranormal Activity relies more on mood and incredibly simple tricks to pack you full of dread, instead of pricey special effects and tons of jump scares. Instead, it is superbly paced, and convincingly acted. I was surprised at how real this felt, and at how much I felt these people were legitimately terrified. I'm trying to avoid making comments like "you'll be scared out of your damned mind!" because I don't know that you will be. You might be one of those people who can't be scared by movies. But even if you are, I think you can appreciate all the appropriate steps this movie takes in order to scare somebody else.
   If you're thinking it looks too Blair Witch, let me assure you that it's supposed to. It's about regular people with a camera in hand while something terrifying happens. But! This movie does it exponentially better, taking better steps to terrify you, letting you take breaths so you can't get accustomed to the fear, and by not having a bunch of long, drawn out scenes about people being stupid and losing a map. I liked Blair Witch as an experiment, but this movie really evolves the concept and perfects it; turning Paranormal Activity into one of the best horror films I've ever seen.
   How about you? Have you seen the film? What are your thoughts, without giving away too much of the plot here. (Actually, that brings up a question, do you like reviews that try and avoid plots as much as possible like this? I'm kind of trying to figure out if this is a better way to go, because it's the kind of review I appreciate.) If not, does it look interesting? Have I convinced you one way or the other? Jeff, if you're reading this, it's not Zombies so don't worry about that zombie fatigue you're getting.
John Barrowman - Doctor Who Theme

A Look at Metroid Metal

Let's RAWK!

by Randy Marr
   Alright I'm going to do one of the two things I do best: talk about video game music. (The other is rant about the stupid things video gamers do that make us all look like the bunch of maladjusted sociopaths Middle America thinks we are.) My only problem here is that I unfortunately lack in any real background in music, so as usual I can just talk about my earnest feelings here. Subject of interest: Metroid Metal. 
   Originally introduced to me in a post on Penny Arcade, Metroid Metal is phenomenal, plain and simple. It's a take on the brilliant compositions made famous by the series that you just don't see. Oh sure, the fine folks at OC Remix have taken some tremendous stabs, and sure, I absolutely love some of their work. But for the most part, it's all played to the same strengths of the Metroid music. The fine folks at Metroid Metal have taken it to a whole different galaxy, and while I'm not going to make the ridiculous argument over who's better, It's easy to say that Metroid Metal belongs up there with the best of them.
   I want to push one of my favorite pieces as a great example of what these people are doing to Metroid's original scores. Phendrana Drifts is arguably one of the most gorgeous pieces in Prime. It's atmospheric, and chilling. I get cold just listening to that song. But it's very much electronic. So what happens when you make it metal? This:
  Awesome, right? Let's just throw out, because I absolutely love it, the theme to Metroid 3: Corruption, shall we?
  There's more like this to be found on the site, so I'll let you go there to download the MP3's or maybe even buy their new album. Of course you can listen to the rest of these tracks on Youtube if you look 'em up.
   Did anybody see their live show at PAX? How was it? What do you guys think of the tunes? Love to hear some feedback down below. Or I guess see. Whatever, you know what I mean.
Metroid Metal - Item Collect

Bit.Trip Void: Your Minimalistic Ikaruga

My Mind: Sufficiently Blown
by Randy Marr
I don't know if this game is yet hitting the forums but here I go anyway because I find forums to be a cesspool that must be avoided lest I succumb to the raging beast inside of me and become The Incredibly Bulk. What? I don't know, it's late and I'm tired. Where was I?
Bit.Trip Void, yes. You've heard of the series? Bit.Trip this and that. Well here we go, a video trailer for the amusement of one's visual receptors. OBSERVE!

Interesting, yes? Sort of an Ikaruga premise made simpler, and more techno. Less anime. Well I can say Giajin has done it again, I want another game. Now if only some money. Funny thing 'bout being fired, leaves you wanting more things than you thought.
Anybody excited about this game? Big fans of the series in general? Been fired recently for wrongful accusations, like myself? Drop us a comment. It's gotten quite lonely. Maybe I should go ranting more about how stupid everything is. That always seems to rile some folk up for my amusement. Like throwing rocks at a hornets nest, only the hornets can't even see me and are probably not as smart as hornets should be.
I recommend some music here. I dunno. I've got a signed copy of the Earthworm Jim Anthology by Tommy Tallarico. It's good. Listen to that.

Video Games Live Adds 30 New Shows to 2009 World Tour

The Most Grand Video Game Orchestral Event Gets Bigger

by Randy Marr
   I'm not writing this as some half-assed attempt at just getting some news out there, I'm doing it because I legitimately and absolutely love this show, and am hoping that somebody else out there might have the chance to encounter it that they never had before. I know Giant Bomb has a pretty broad audience across the globe and decided it'd be a good audience to present this information too. They've recently added shows in Tokyo, Japan, all across China, and they're even going to go to Cardiff, Whales, despite that pesky rift that Torchwood just can't keep close.
   If you've never heard of Video Games Live, here's a quick rundown: It's awesome. Famed video game composer Jack Wall (Mass Effect) and Tommy Tallarico (Earthworm Jim) go around the globe, enlisting local symphony orchestras to help put on a hell of a show, playing music from a wide variety of video games. They have over 60 set pieces to choose from, playing about 15-20 in a given show, so odds are they'll find something you like. If you hit up youtube and look around, you can see they put on a hell of a show. But if you're interested, don't look too much, you'll spoil the show for yourself!
   Anyway, tickets are on sale now and you can click here to see if you've been one of the recently added locations, or if I've somehow convinced you to go see a show near you.
   Has anybody ever been to one of these shows? What do you think? If you haven't, are you likely to go? Feel free to drop some comments, I always love to hear 'em.

360 Price Drop Confirmed

You've Probably Already Seen This

   Just to add to a little fuel to the fires of unnecessary but ever-present fanboy stupidity... I mean discussions... The 360 Elite has been price-dropped by $100, according to the Spotlight on my X-Box 360. Don't believe me? I'd get a screen but there's no need too, you can check it yourself.
   See? Told you.
   Any case, it's obvious this is something that needed to happen to keep in competition with the PS3. So now then... If you haven't gotten a 360 yet, would this be the time for you? Or are you going with a PS3? (or are you like me and already been suckered into all the consoles before any of these awesome price drops? Okay not entirely, I did get a PS3 when it was only $400, and I got it on a deal for a $100 gift card... So I guess that one kinda counts.) 
   And in case anybody's wondering, yes I have a Wii and yes I still enjoy it, too. Though I think it'd make great sense to drop the thing fifty bones, just to stay a little ahead of the curb.
   While I'm here, I've been playing Arkham Asylum for the last 5 hours and initial impressions are good. Stay tuned. I may even write a review. Been a while since I've done that.