Final Fantasy X HD Remaster Review

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Nostalgia has a way of making things from our childhoods seem amazing, regardless of if they were or not. Take the 1998 Godzilla movie, for instance. Despite being panned by critics and movie-goers alike, my seven-year-old self loved that movie. And even though I can see the movie’s flaws now, I still love it. The same thing goes for other things from my past, like Britney Spears and NSYNC’s music. I like it even though it’s absolutely terrible. It’s an oddity of human nature and it makes no sense.

29. godzilla 1998That being said, not all things from our past that we hold in a high regard are bad. In fact, some things are actually worthy of all the praise we give them. Final Fantasy X is a game from my childhood that definitely holds up to the the high standards of my biased memory, speaking as objectively as possible, of course.

Final Fantasy X was one of the first truly great games for the Playstation 2, and was the first Final Fantasy game to feature voice acting (more on that later). It was also the first game that I had ever played that had a story that really pulled at my emotions. In fact, its story is one of the best things about it.

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After nearly a decade since I beat the original, one of the first things I noticed when I started playing the the HD remaster was just how many cut scenes there were. I’d say that I spent nearly as much time watching the characters talk to each other as I did actually moving them around. At times it felt more like I was watching a movie than playing a video game.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however, as the story, to this day, is one of the most well thought out and entertaining ones ever put into a game. You really start to feel for the characters as they develop throughout the game. And in a franchise known for great stories, Final Fantasy X is one of the best, and it certainly has some of the most dynamic and fleshed out characters in the series.

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At its core, Final Fantasy X is a love story, and like half of all good love stories, it ends in tragedy. If you like true love and unfortunate plot twists, then you’ll certainly like this game.

Of course, there’s more to a game than just its story, and Final Fantasy X delivers on those things, too.

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The gameplay is as fun as it has ever been, combining a mixture of exploration, treasure hunting, and classic turn based battles. In fact, Final Fantasy X was the last Final Fantasy game to feature the turn based battle system that had been a staple of the series up until that point. That’s a shame too, because it really is a lot of fun. The only downside to it, and probably the reason it was replaced in later installments, is that it slows down the pace of the game considerably. Final Fantasy X, however, did a good job of adding dialogue and story elements into some of the important battles to make them seem more like they were part of a cut scene.

Unfortunately, the voice acting isn’t very good. At the time, voice acting in video games was relatively new, and wasn’t very good no matter what you played. The problem is, this game has a lot of it. Even some of the random characters on the street have voice actors. To be honest, I’m probably making it sound worse than it really is, and it didn’t take me long to get used to it.

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The updated graphics are the biggest change to the game. Not only are edges sharper and more defined, but colors are more vibrant and new detail has been added to make the game look more up to date. The thing is, it really doesn’t look up to date. The characters appear a bit like paper cutouts laid on top of the backgrounds. There just ins’t much depth. I’ve seen smartphone games that look better. That being said, Final Fantasy X was released nearly 13 years ago, so I really can’t fault it too much for being old. And to be fair, the HD remaster looks much better than the original did.

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The most frustrating thing about the game, and what makes it really show its age is all the loading screens. The areas that a player walks around in are minuscule compared to modern games, and because of this there are loading screens galore. Fortunately, the loading times are fast, usually taking only a couple of seconds, and I stopped noticing them after a while.

The added content to the game isn’t very significant. There are a few new optional, albeit extremely difficult, bosses, a slightly different, optional “expert” leveling-up system, a few new abilities, and a short cinematic sequence that connects X to it’s sequel, X-2 (which has also been remastered and is bundled with X, though I have not played it yet). The new stuff isn’t anything to go crazy over; however, I did really enjoy the new leveling-up system.

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Another thing worth mentioning is the music. It’s fantastic! I don’t know what it is about Japanese games, but they always seem to have awesome music, and Final Fantasy has some of the very best of it. The only franchises that I would say has it beat in that regard is Mario and The Legend of Zelda.

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Overall, Final Fantasy X HD Remaster is a wonderful gaming experience. Its story has held up very well over the years, though its graphics certainly haven’t. Its old turn based battle system is a lot of fun, and I wish that it would be implemented in some newer games, even if it does slow the flow of the game down a bit. Nevertheless, the things that made this game great back in 2001 make it great today, and though it does feel a little dated, its pros certainly outweigh its cons. If you’ve never played it, you’d be doing yourself a serious disservice by not picking it up. If you have played it, and are a bit of a nostalgia nut like me, you won’t be disappointed. I’ll bet it’ll be almost as good as you remember it.

All in all, I give this game a 8.5 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Fantastic story
  • Fun battle system
  • Great music

Cons:

  • Lousy voice acting
  • Dated graphics
  • Lots of loading screens

The Top 10 Greatest Video Game Villains of All Time

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Alright! We’re halfway through our greatest villains lists. Movies are done. Books are done. Next up, if you couldn’t read the title, is video games!

In case you missed the other lists, here are the links.

Top 10 Movie Villains

Top 10 Book Villains

And just to recap, there is no overlap between lists, so you won’t find the Wicked Witch of the West on the movie list because she’s originally from a book.

And don’t forget to vote at the end. Remember, the villains with the most votes will move onto the overall greatest villains list at the end of the month!

Boring stuff aside, let’s got onto the list!

10. Giovanni – Pokemon

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Pokemon isn’t exactly a series known for it’s villains. They always tend to be a little boring. Giovanni is certainly the exception. He was the original Pokemon baddy. He’s greedy, power hungry, the leader of Team Rocket, and one of the last foes you face in the game. He also has a thing for cats (what good villain doesn’t?) and has a major superiority complex. Oh, and don’t forget, he’s the father of the player’s rival in the direct sequel. I guess being bad runs in the family.

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9. Shao Kahn – Mortal Kombat

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Also known as the Konqueror, Shao Kahn is the emperor of Outworld and is bent on taking over all of the realms (worlds) and enslaving their inhabitants. He is immensely powerful and has an insatiable bloodlust. He also has an odd sense of humor, laughing almost maniacally at times for little reason and making statements that would be a little less than eloquent for an emperor. After all, who can forget a line like “you suck!”

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8. Dr. Wily – Mega Man

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There’s something about being good with robotics that seems to make a person want to grow a massive mustache and try to conquer the world. Dr. Wily wasn’t always evil, though. He originally worked with his arch-nemesis, Dr. Light, but turned against him after Dr. Light got most of the credit for their work. Seeking recognition for his talent, he builds war machines and powerful humanoid robots to do his dark bidding. Despite all that, you can’t help but feel a little sorry for the guy. I mean, not getting any props for your hard work is kind of rough.

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7. GLaDOS – Portal

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What’s scarier than a corrupted AI bent on killing you. Not much, actually. GLaDOS isn’t like most other evil AI’s, though. She’s witty. She’s narcissistic. She has personality! And that’s what makes her so great. She’s cold, hard silicon, but if it weren’t for her robotic voice, you’d never know.

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6. Albert Wesker – Resident Evil

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This guy is as selfish as they come. Even before he was given superhuman strength, thanks to a special virus, he was trying to gain as much power and influence as he could. After he gained his superhuman abilities, his ultimate goal became to transform the entire human race into superhumans like himself. That actually doesn’t sound so bad, unless, of course, you don’t much like the idea of having to worship Wesker as your god in exchange.

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5. Dr. Robotnik – Sonic the Hedgehog

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If the size of an evil scientist’s mustache is any indication of how diabolical he is, then Doctor Ivo “Eggman” Robitnik must be the worst! Like most supervillains, Dr. Robotnik desires nothing more than to rule the world, but his methods are especially ruthless. Sure, building a robot army doesn’t sound too original, but what about powering said robots with adorable little animals? That’s just messed up! And, unlike other evil scientists on this list, he doesn’t mind getting his hands a little dirty. Heck, not only is he the last boss in most Sonic games, he’s also the first (and the second, and the third, and the, well, you get the idea).

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4. Kefka – Final Fantasy VI

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There’s something about clown makeup that just makes some people go crazy. Or, maybe it’s the other way around, and crazy people are just simply attracted to the look. Either way, it’s hard to argue that Kefka is the worst of such, uh, colorful villains (there may be one exception, but he’s not a video game character, so…). What makes him so bad? A lot of villains want to rule the world, but they always fail. Kefka didn’t. Not only did he destroy the world as its inhabitants knew it, but also became, literally, a god in the process. He then proceeded to try to kill everyone that was left on the planet. That’s pretty dang evil!

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3. Bowser – The Super Mario Series

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Also known as King Koopa, Bowser doesn’t ask for much. All he wants is to Marry Princess Peach and rule the Mushroom Kingdom. Is that so much to ask? In fact, if it weren’t for the meddling plumber, Mario, he would have gotten his wish a long time ago. He’s a talented guy, too. He can golf, race go karts, play intricate party games, and a whole host of other things. All that talent isn’t enough to get him what he truly wants, though. Oh well, you can’t fault him for trying.

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2. Sephiroth – Final Fantasy VII

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A lot of people would argue that Kefka is a better Final Fantasy villain than Sephiroth. They would be wrong. Sure, Kefka is stronger (slightly), and yeah, he actually succeeded in destroying the world, whereas Sephiroth didn’t. Spephiroth, however, has something that Kefka doesn’t, and most villains for that matter: a really great back story. Sephiroth used to be a good guy. A revered hero, actually. Once he found out the source of his strength came from the corpse of an evil alien, however, he began to go insane with guilt and anger. Ultimately, he decided to finish what the alien had started and destroy the world. Oh yeah, and that’s another thing Sephiroth has over Kefka. His plan is way more twisted. Not only does Sephiroth want to destroy all life on the planet, he wants to, as he put it, “sail through the darkness of the cosmos with this planet as [his] vessel.” Villainous! Oh, and he also has a really badass theme song.

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1. Ganon – The Legend of Zelda Series

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This is an example of a villain that just won’t die. He’s been stabbed through the heart, stabbed through his head, turned to stone, and sealed in alternate dimensions multiple times. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! His survival is really not so surprising when you consider the fact that he is the reincarnation of the source of all evil, the Demon King, Demise. He has conquered Hyrule several times, and, according to the official Legend of Zelda timeline, has even killed Link, the hero of the series, at one point, leaving nothing but the gods themselves to stop him from plunging the world into darkness. If that doesn’t make a villain deserve the top spot, then I don’t know what could!

That’s just my opinion, though. What do you guys think? Vote below!

Capital Cities: In a Tidal Wave of Mystery – Review

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Every once in a while, you come across a song, album, movie, or book that no one is talking about. For whatever reason, it has been overlooked by society and left to be forgotten. Capital Cities’ new, and first, album doesn’t quite fit this description–or at least it doesn’t yet.

Aside from one radio friendly single, In a Tidal Wave of Mystery doesn’t have much going for it. The album has been privately produced, so it doesn’t have the marketing budget behind it that more high-profile albums receive. It also doesn’t exactly follow popular music trends or feature any current mainstream artists on any of its songs (Andre 3000 is the one exception). No, if it weren’t for In a Tidal Wave of Mystery‘s single radio friendly track, “Safe and Sound”, I probably would never had stumbled on this album at all, and that would have really been a shame, because this album so SO GOOD!

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Okay, so maybe it’s not the best thing I’ve ever heard, or even the best album that came out in 2013, but it definitely deserves more praise and recognition than it’s getting.

One of the greatest things about this album–which is probably a result of being privately produced–is that it doesn’t sound much like anything else out there right now. It’s a mixture of funk, EDM, jazz, and has a real strong `80s vibe. And believe it or not, it works! There is no song on the album that doesn’t feature either a trumpet, a saxophone, or a guitar, and I honestly wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s so rare to have real instruments in music today, so hearing instruments being featured prominently in an album is truly a breath of fresh air. Take that fact and add to it that every song is incredibly upbeat, and it’s a wonder that Capital Cities isn’t already starting to become a household name.

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That being said, this album is far from perfect. There’s more than a song or two that just aren’t good. For instance, there’s an almost whimsical quality to “Lazy Lies,” that just annoys me. And “Patience Gets Us Nowhere Fast” and “Love Away”, while not being terrible or unpleasant, are not memorable, and they come off as a bit bland.

One of the most interesting things about many of the songs from In a Tidal Wave of Mystery is that I generally enjoyed the singing in the verses more than in the choruses – an odd thing, considering that most songwriters strive for the opposite.

There were exceptions, of course. “Safe and Sound” and “Farrah Fawcett Hair” had great choruses that made me think, “I’ll probably be humming this later.” The others, however, like “Kangaroo Court,” “Origami,” and “I Sold My Bed, But Not My Stereo,” had choruses that either came off as a little harsh or uninspired. That’s not to say that these songs are not good, though. To be fair, “Kangaroo Court” is one of the best songs on the album.

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Overall, In a Tidal Wave of Mystery is a wonderful album, bringing some fresh sounds to a very stale music scene. It is a great first record attempt by a couple of ad jingle writers, especially considering that they made the album under their own label and produced it entirely by themselves. I said that this album could very well be forgotten by the mainstream in a few years, and unless Capital Cities knocks out a homerun with their next album, it very well may. If it wasn’t for the success of their Safe and Sound EP from 2011, the album may have never been made.

But maybe I’m being a bit too pessimistic. Capital Cities is an extremely talented duo. I’m sure they can be twice as successful with their next album, although I imagine they might hire another producer to help them make some more radio friendly tracks. Whatever their future is, I am in love with their current offering. If you haven’t listened to In a Tidal Wave of Mystery, you’re really doing yourself a disservice.

Overall, I give this album an 8 out of 10.

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And for those who care to know, I have ranked the songs from the album from best to least best.

1. Safe and Sound
2. Farrah Fawcett Hair (feat. Andre 3000)
3. Kangaroo Court
4. Origami
5. I Sold My Bed, But Not My Stereo
6. Center Stage
7. Chartreuse
8. Chasing You
9. Patience Gets Us Nowhere Fast
10. Love Away
11. Tell Me How To Live
12. Lazy Lies

The Top 10 Book Villains of All Time

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Here we are in the second entry into my Villain Appreciation Month tribute. Last time I gave my list of the greatest movie villains of all time. If you haven’t seen it yet, here is a link to the article (https://ifihadanycentsatall.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/the-greatest-movie-villains-of-all-time/). This week, I’m giving my list of the greatest book villains of all time.

Now, just as a reminder, this is only one of four categories of villain lists. There are movies (the last one), books (this one), comic books, and video games. There is no overlap of villains, so all villains will only appear in the lists covering the medium that they originally appeared in, so Joker, for instance, won’t be in the movie list because he’s from a comic book.

And don’t forget to vote on who you think is the best at the bottom. After all the lists have been made, I’ll compile a top ten out of the villains you all voted for from all the lists, giving us the overall greatest villain of all time!

Oh, and uh… I made a mistake in the last list. The number 1 (and of course, it had to be number 1 :/) in my movie list, Norman Bates, turns out to be from a book, so I have to retract him. Fortunately, he’s being moved to this list, because, ya know, he’s from a book. Now, I know it’s hard to believe, and I’m sorry, but people on the internet make mistakes, too.

Anyway, without further ado,

Shall we begin?

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Yeah, he’s from a movie. He’s not in the list, so get over it.

10. The Frankenstein Monster – Frankenstein

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There have been many incarnations of the Frankenstein monster over the years, but none has been more terrifying or iconic than the original. Mary Shelley’s version wasn’t just some grunting, slow-walking zombie, like later incarnations portray him. No, he was fast, he was strong, and above all, he was super smart. I’d even go as far as to say that he was even smarter than Victor Frankenstein, the man who created him. Couple that with the fact that he hates the world for being unable to see past his grotesque appearance, and you’ve got yourself a good villain. Sure, you can sympathize with him. After all, it’s not his fault he’s so ugly. But that doesn’t excuse him from being a murderer.

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9. Wicked Witch of the West – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

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She’s mean, she’s green, and she’s got an army of flying monkeys. Despite all her power, the Wicked Witch of the West is a little peculiar as far as witches go. She is afraid of the dark (odd, no?), mostly only has power over wild animals, and can be killed by a bucket’s worth of water. There’s a reason for this, though. She, like everything else in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, is a metaphor for the political world of the time it was written. That, though, is a story for a different post. And, metaphor or not, the Wicked Witch of the West is an awesome and brutal villain, certainly deserving this no. 9 spot on the list.

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8. Ersnt Stavro Blofeld – You Only Live Twice / On Her Majesty’s Secret Service / Thunderball

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This dude is the original super villain. Also known as Number 1, Blofeld is the head of an evil organization, has a fluffy white cat, is bald, has a big scary chair, and has plans for world domination. You can’t get much more evil than that! Arch enemy to James Bond, Blofeld and his organization, SPECTRE, has consistently been a major threat to the world. Oh, and if you noticed that he has a striking resemblance to Dr. Evil, it’s because Dr. Evil was modeled after him.

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7. The White Witch – The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe / The Magician’s Nephew

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She’s as evil as she is beautiful, and that’s pretty dang evil. A lot of villains try to conquer things. It’s a pretty evil thing to do, after all. But the White Witch, or Jadis, actually does, successfully taking over the land of Narnia, and ruling with an iron (er, icy) fist for 100 years. She is extremely powerful and possesses eternal youth. In fact, the only one that can stop her is Aslan (Lion Jesus), which is fitting, as she is pretty much the equivalent of the Devil in The Chronicles of Narnia.

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6. Norman Bates – Psycho

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Yeah, I screwed up on the last list. But now Norman is on the book list, where he belongs. Too bad for him that the competition is a little tougher here. He went from being no. 1 to no. 6. Ouch! Still, it can’t be denied that he is a horrifying villain, and one of the most realistic of the bunch. He could be an actual person. That’s TERRIFYING! The guy kills his mom, leaves her corpse in his house, dresses up like her, thinks he is her, and kills people! That’s downright creepy. The scariest part is, for all you know, this guy could be your neighbor. He’s one of the greatest villains, for sure. To be honest, I’m getting scared just thinking about him.

5. Professor James Moriarty – The Final Problem

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Moriarty is to Sherlock Holms what Blofeld is is to James Bond. The arch nemesis! He is the architect of a great deal of the seemingly random crime in London, and amasses a vast fortune because of it. He is a bonafide genius, and evil to his core. The only complaint I have about this villain is what he has become in the recent Sherlock Holmes TV show. The show is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but that is not Moriarty, or at least not if you want to go by the book.

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4. Hannibal Lector – Silence of the Lambs

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He’s a serial killer. He’s a cannibal. He’s a genius. He is just plain creepy! Like Norman Bates, Hannibal Lector could exist in our real world. That’s just a terrifying concept, if I do say so myself, so I think I’d prefer to move on to no. 3. There’s really noting else to be said about this monster that hasn’t been already, anyway.

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3. Voldemort – The Harry Potter series

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Anyone who thinks that Voldemort is rated too high on this list isn’t very well versed in the Harry Potter books. He is a genius (Hmm… Seems like a lot of geniuses end up being villains, doesn’t it?), he’s a power hungry sociopath, and he’s a no good, mud-blood hating bigot. He desires nothing more than to rule the world, both magical and non-magical, and purify the wizarding race from all half-breeds (wizards and witches with non-magical ancestors). All those things make him sound a bit like Adolf Hitler, actually. The main exception being that Hitler wasn’t able to resurrect himself from the dead.

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2. Sauron – The Lord of the Rings trilogy / The Silmarillian 

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Middle Earth’s version of the Antichrist, Sauron served the the Dark Lord, Morgoth (Middle Earth’s version of the Devil) before Morgoth was defeated and cast into the void until the end of days. After Morgoth’s defeat, Sauron took over the role of Dark Lord, forged the Rings of Power and attempted to conquer Middle Earth. And sorry if that quick synopsis sounds bit confusing. I did my best to explain it as simply as I could. The point is, this dude is one bad hombre, and is by far the most powerful villain on this list.

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1. Dracula – Dracula

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He’s not the scariest, nor is he the most powerful. He may not even be the most evil. But there is no denying that he is iconic. There have been countless adaptations of Count Dracula. Some might even argue that Bram Stoker’s original isn’t even the best. Regardless, Dracula, in one shape or another, has haunted the dreams and fascinated the minds of generations. If you think about it, he is kind of responsible for the Twilight series. After all, without him, vampires wouldn’t be cool. Now that is evil! He deserves to be no. 1. No doubt about it.

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Or at least that’s what I think. This is only just one opinion, after all. What about you?

Vote below for your favorite. Remember, the most popular choices will go up against villains from movies, video games, and comics for the title of the greatest overall villain of all time!

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD – Review

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The Legend of Zelda as a franchise, let’s be fair, lacks in many areas when compared to other games. It is not the prettiest or most graphically refined, nor does it have the most original story or gameplay. Heck, each game is basically the same thing over and over again. The games, for the most part, don’t appear to occur in any particular order, and if one tries to tie them together, there are discrepancies galore. Despite this, the Legend of Zelda is probably one of my favorite video game series.

The games have a certain charm about them. They have that certain something that not only keeps you entertained while you’re playing, but also keeps you wanting more when they’re over. Nintendo seems to have found the perfect balance between story, action, and puzzles that keep people coming back. The only changing variable between the games within the franchise is the tone that that basic story is told in. This is perhaps what truly keeps the games fresh.

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The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker is one of the more notable entries in regards to this. It followed one of the most critically acclaimed games ever made at the time, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and dared to change just about every aspect that people loved about it. Instead of being dark and more realistic like its predecessor, Wind Waker went in the complete opposite direction, choosing to be bright, colorful, and very cartoony.

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Originally released on the Nintendo Gamecube in 2003, the game is based in an open sea full of little islands, and not much else. The player plays as the reincarnated Hero of Time, who, despite being a child, discovers that he has to stop the evil intentions of the resurrected Ganon and rescue the descendant of princess Zelda. Its slightly changed-up story is by far one of the most interesting in the series, but its departure from its darker predecessor to its new bright and cartoony style was met with a lot of criticism, not least of which came from me.

I played the game when it was first released, and enjoyed it, but longed for the return of the old, darker look. That being said, Wind Waker has grown on me over the years, and after playing its HD remastered version, I find myself appreciating it in ways my 12-year-old self probably couldn’t have.

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First and foremost, in regards to The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, the new updated graphics must be mentioned. They are absolutely stunning! Nintendo adjusted the color gamut and the lighting, changed some of the effects, altered the appearance of the clouds and sunlight, and DANG does it look pretty. I found myself sometimes just looking at the screen, not even caring to play. It was like a work of art. It has an effect that more realistic games just can’t compete with. It has style! It is a 100% improvement over the old version of the game, and the graphics alone, in all of their cartoony glory, make it worth playing.

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Wii U version is on the right

Its art style aside, Wind Waker also had some of the best gameplay in the series, perfecting the auto-targeting system that its predecessor introduced, and adding gameplay mechanics that the series never had before. Puzzles and dungeons however, for the most part, aren’t the best or most memorable compared to other Zelda games, and the game is by far one of the easiest titles to beat in the series.

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One of the biggest drags on the game is the sailing required to get from one island to the next. The act of sailing can easily take up a good third or quarter of the time spent in the game, and aside from dodging the occasional shark, mine, or octopus, there really isn’t much to do while you are traveling. Added to that, if you want to go in another direction, you have to change the direction of the wind, which involves playing a song and can be a bit time-consuming. The HD version does address this, however, adding an extra, optional item called the Swift Sail, which allows you to sail twice as fast and eliminates the need to change the wind’s direction as it does it for you automatically.

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Another item that was added to the HD version is the selfie camera. In the original version, you could find a camera hidden on one of the islands, and use it to complete some of the side quests in the game. In the newer version, you can now turn the camera back on your character and have him make faces over whatever happens to be behind you. You can then upload those onto Nintendo’s social network and have people Like and comment on it.

I can’t tell you how many selfies I took with bosses and clever (I thought) captions in the background. Of all the additions Nintendo added to this game, this one was by far the best. I’d be surprised if more games don’t have this Twitter-esk function in the future. It was a blast to use!

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As I said before, the dungeons in the game are not as memorable or difficult as some of the others in the series. There also seemed to be fewer of them as well. The final dungeon, however, is an exception. It, along with the final showdown with Ganon is actually one of the best finales of any game I’ve played. I don’t want to spoil anything, so all I’ll say is that it was pretty dang epic.

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Some people are now calling this game a masterpiece. I wouldn’t go that far, although it may be close. There are certainly things that could be better about it. The sailing was tedious, despite being a novel idea when the game was first introduced, and the dungeons could definitely have been more difficult. It leaves something to be said of a game that can be played ten years after its release and not feel outdated. By the nature of hardware limitations and changes in storytelling trends, such games are extremely rare. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker is definitely one of those games. Even its graphics, updated to HD or not, thanks to its heavy cartoon style, hold up better than even some of the newer entries in the series.

Overall, I give this game a 9 out of 10.

What do you guys think? Comment below!

The Greatest Movie Villains of All Time

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Villains. You gotta love ’em! They make life interesting. They make stories fun. Heck, without them, there technically wouldn’t even be heroes.

So, to celebrate Villain Appreciation Month (and yeah, I just made that up), I’m going to be making several top ten lists of the greatest villains ever. Each list will feature villains from a certain type of media – movies, books, video games, and comic books – and there will be no overlap. So, for example, if a villain originally appeared in a book or a comic book, he/she won’t be on the movie list.

At the end of each list will be a box where you can vote for your favorite villain. If the villain isn’t in the list, write it in the comments below. At the end of the month, I’ll compile a top 10 out of the most popular villains out of all the lists, and you all will vote on the the order they will be ranked in.

Then, we will finally know who the greatest villains of all time are!

Mwahahahahahaha!

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Got it? Good.

So to kick it off, here’s my list of the greatest movie villains!

10. Hal 9000 – 2001: A Space Odyssey

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I’d be willing to bet most of you don’t know who he is, or have even heard of the movie he’s from (it’s almost 50 years old, after all), but I’d be willing to bet you know the music from the movie. Google “Space Odyssey music” and tell me you don’t hear this song on a regular basis. Regardless, this guy, or computer, to be a little more accurate, is an absolute a-hole! I mean, imagine flying through space with a machine bent on killing you and everyone else aboard your ship – and mostly succeeding! Know him or not, he definitely deserves to be on this list.

9. Scar – Lion King

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Yeah, he’s from a Disney movie. So what? He’s a great villain! In fact, Disney is great at making memorable villains, which is why you’ll be seeing a couple more before you reach the bottom of this list. Connections with giant talking mice aside, Scar is an almost Shakespearian character. Take away him being a lion and all, and he’d fit right in with one of Shakespeare’s tragedies. And yeah, he’s evil, but you can’t help but sympathize with him a little bit. After all, who doesn’t want to be king?

8. Hans Gruber – Die Hard

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Who? The bad guy from the first Die Hard movie. Duh! Not everybody remembers his name, but he’s a hard character to forget. He’s greedy, sociopathic, and has no respect for human life. Oh, and he’s also German. Sounds like a good combination for a villain to me. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s played by Alan Rickman, the dude who played Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies.

7. Captain Hector Barbossa – Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

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Geoffrey Rush is such a great actor. He can go from being a handsome, mild mannered speech therapist in one movie (The King’s Speech), to a horrifically ugly zombie-pirate in the next. And boy does he make for a good horrifically ugly zombie-pirate. Originally the first mate on the Black Pearl under Captain Jack Sparrow, he led a mutiny against said captain, took command of his ship, and left him marooned on a forsaken desert island to die a slow and painful death. I guess it’s only fitting that shortly afterward he would be cursed by an Aztec spell that would make him die a slow and painful death, too, minus the death part (and plus the part where it turns him into a walking skeleton). Trouble is, the curse only served to make him even more evil.

6. Terminator – Terminator

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“I’ll be back.” “Hasta la vista, baby.” “Take my hand if you want to live.” These are only just a few one-liners uttered by the Terminator (a.k.a. Arnold Schwarzenegger) that have transcended the movies to become part of our pop culture. But quotes alone aren’t what make this cyborg a great villain. He rides a motorcycle, he can shoot a shotgun with one hand and hit his target, he’s from the future, he has a funny foreign accent for some reason, he’s a robot, he wears sunglasses, and he wears leather and can actually pull the look off. The list goes on and on. In a nutshell, he’s a badass, plain and simple.

5. Agent Smith – The Matrix

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Boy, it sure seems like there are a lot of robots on this list. Well, technically, Agent Smith is just a program. He has no real robot body. But dang, he really doesn’t need one, either. If Terminator was a badass, then this guy is a, well… whatever is badder than a badass. Not only does he dress impeccably (a perfectly fit black and white business suit with sunglasses), he can also dodge bullets, give the best sneer you’ve ever seen, and above all, knows Kung-Fu. Did I mention he has infinite lives? Whenever someone destroys his body, he just borrows someone else’s. After all, if you think about it, the Matrix is kinda like a video game. In fact, there really is only one guy that can take him on and win, and that’s Keanu Reeves, because, you know, he knows Kung-Fu, too.

4. Dr. Evil – Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

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Whoever made the rule that good villains couldn’t be hilarious obviously didn’t tell Dr. Evil. This dude is bent on conquering the world. Or is it destroying the world? Actually, I think he just wants to hold it for ransom. Whatever his goals are, he is set on carrying them out in the most elaborate way possible. And that, my friends, is why he’s a great villain. Sure, it makes it super easy for Austin Powers to foil his plans, but what does that matter? Dr. Evil is by far the most entertaining villain on this list, and that certainly makes him deserving of this spot.

3. Maleficent – Sleeping Beauty

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It’s true that Disney’s Sleeping Beauty was not originally a movie, but that doesn’t mean this villain came from a book. It’s hard to imagine a Sleeping Beauty without Maleficent, but believe it or not, she didn’t actually exist until the 1959 animated movie. That’s a shame, too, because the self proclaimed “mistress of evil” is one of the scariest and most iconic villains ever invented. She is powerful enough to put everyone in an entire kingdom in a state of endless slumber, and, if she’s pushed far enough, can transform into a fire breathing dragon! She’s even getting her own live-action movie, due to arrive in theaters this summer. If that doesn’t tell you she is a great villain, I don’t know what will.

2. Darth Vader – Star Wars

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He’s big, he’s dressed all in black, he’s got a creepy helmet, and he can choke you with his mind. He’s the quintessential villain. No doubt about it. And honestly, what is there to say about this guy that most people don’t already know? The only thing holding him back from being on top is his younger days as the whiny Anakin Skywalker.

1. Norman Bates – Psycho

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All the other villains on this list have been larger than life. In fact, there really is no way that any of them could be what they are or do what they do in our real world. But this guy, he’s a different story. And that’s precisely why he’s number one. He could be an actual person. That’s TERRIFYING! The guy kills his mom, leaves her corpse in his house, dresses up like her, thinks he is her, and kills people! That’s downright creepy. The scariest part is, for all you know, this guy could be your neighbor. He’s one of the greatest villains, for sure. To be honest, I’m getting scared just thinking about him.

EDIT:

Okay, so it turns out that Norman Bates is actually from a book (of course he is…). So he has been disqualified and moved over to the book list. That means Darth Vader is numero uno for the movie villains! So far, based on the poll, that’s where he belongs anyway.

All the other villains move up a spot as well, and Gordon Gekko, from Wall Street, is the new no. 10! I’d give him a picture and a caption, but I have a feeling not many people will vote for him anyway. Then again, you guys could prove me wrong.

What do you guys think? Be sure to vote below!