Friday, August 28, 2009

Super Important Updates

This update post is no mere collection of minor tweaks. It's not even a collection of semi-minor tweaks. In fact, it's a complete overhaul of the entire blog! While this blog's roots began as a simple place to put my reviews and help people (especially non-gamers, such as mothers new to the gaming scene) learn more about what I view as one of the greatest hobbies in the world, I realized that a bit of a change was in order. My review system was rough, some of my older reviews didn't meet my current standards, and it overall felt rather generic. Now that I'm more experienced in the world of video games, I wanted to make this blog a fun place to go with regular updates and a unique reviewing method. I hope everybody enjoys the new features. But note that I'm still ecstatic to get questions (somebody's asking me to talk about games, it's awesome) that non-gamers and gamers alike might have, so feel free to send 'em my way! But for now, let's get started with the obvious changes, shall we?

First of all, the name has changed. Previously (and boringly) known as The Game Guide, due to a lack of ideas on my part, this blog is now called Blue Mage Reviews. It even has a mascot: Blue Mage himself! He's lurking around near the top of the sidebar, so go on and say hi. He probably won't bite. You can read all of his ramblings at the Blue Mage Page.

Next up, and most importantly, my review format has changed. The numbers mean different things now, I've added and streamlined information, there's now a quick pros and cons section, a nifty color-coded system goes along with the scores... all kinds of great stuff! Pop on over to the review guide for the details, which is a highly recommended option. All the old reviews have been modified to fit these new guidelines, so take a look at them to see what the new system is like in action!

The archive of past posts is still there, but I've also created a space for key entries, such as the Blue Mage Page, the review guide, and update posts. A couple links have been added to the sidebar too, and the Q&A has been revised. I can't be sure who's asking the questions, but there are rumors going around that point to Blue Mage.

That's the long and short of it, whatever that weird idiom it supposed to mean. It took a while to revamp Blue Mage Reviews, but it was also a lot of fun. Personally, I think it's overall a vast improvement, and if you see anything amiss or you have an idea for a change, post a comment and I'll take it into consideration. Enjoy the blog, my loyal legion of readers, and remember that the Force will be with you, always.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Blue Mage Page

To Blue Mage's no doubt everlasting delight, this space is dedicated to his remarks and... "wisdom." As our good wizard continues to share his thoughts at the top of this blog's sidebar, they will be archived here to preserve the fond memories, and also to look up stuff that he said so we can find contradictions. Let us now venture into the past to see what Blue Mage says:

"It appears that Zelda Reorchestrated is willing to compose any-- yes, any, I say-- Nintendo Franchise musical arrangement for an individual who pledges $1,500 or more. Short of fraud, I do not believe I can conjure up such currency in my current state, but I dearly, DEARLY wish for a fully orchestrated rendition of the moving and uplifting piece known as "Chocobo Theme". I do hope this counts as a Nintendo Franchise, for it is an obvious choice and would be beautiful to the utmost degree." - Blue Mage on Zelda Reorchestrated and their Twilight Symphony Need Your Help!
"As for myself, I would prefer the month-old box of stale Tostisos mentioned in Emblem 180's review than this video game. Do not mistake me; Shatter is a fine product. I simply happen to enjoy Tostitos a remarkable amount." - Blue Mage on Shatter. 
"So it has come to this. Emblem 180 has at last revealed his disloyalty to his own web log and is contributing to the enemy; that is, other video game web logs. In his article for this 'Critical Gamer' Internet location, he outright attacks Final Fantasy and its very identity, which should not surprise me considering his typical hate-filled posts. This has gone too far. I shall be forced to enact another murder plot if such behavior continues." - Blue Mage on Critical Gamer.
"I caught a glimpse of Emblem 180 playing this... Lugaru HD product. I now fear for his sanity. I also worry that he is using it as a simulator to enact his revenge concerning the sandwich poisoning incident. I shall not sleep this night." - Blue Mage on QuickBlog: Lugaru HD
"I am exceedingly pleased with my new position as Official Twitter Mage, and I shall not let the public down! Even though I am frequently put off by the 'social' aspect of 'social media', my followers will be delighted and amazed at my wit and timely informational tidbits. Oh, how I have always yearned for followers of my own. Of course, I generally refer to follows akin to those of an evil overlord, but this will certainly do." - Blue Mage on Blue Mage and Twitter.
"Great, Blue Mage hacked his way in and posted another entry without telling me again. But more importantly, it's a good thing I saw that housefly nibble my uneaten sandwich and promptly topple over for a gasping death. I seriously need to have a discussion with Blue Mage on a boundaries." - Emblem 180 on Blue Mage's Resolutions and Their Results.  
"I have a factoid to add to this collection of so-call "winners" that you might find interesting. Number of Final Fantasy games included: 0. That should tell you all you need know about Emblem 180's embarrassing list of biased stupidity and senseless drivel for idiots. Thank you for considering my contribution." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years - The End. 
"Correct me if I am incorrect (which is ridiculously unlikely, I might add), but I believe the premise of this 'Batman: Arkham Asylum' be summed up as such: 'A wealthy man dressed as some type of mutant bat enters an asylum to arrest a clown, yet the clown outsmarts him and murders people. Hijinks ensue." I do not take pleasure in crushing your enjoyment of such a product, but you can hardly expect me to understand it." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 2009: Batman: Arkham Asylum.
"I have, in the past, considered contacting Nintendo with a generous offer to include my likeness in Super Smash Brothers Brawl. However, it would be impossible and inconceivable to balance the Blue Mage with the other characters, for I would be inordinately overpowered and prone to winning. A shame, really, but unabashedly incontrovertibly true." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 2008: Super Smash Bros. Brawl.  
"Have you ever wondered why Emblem 180 enjoys this 'Halo' product so very much? Hmm? Have you? It is clearly because he cheats, and therefore wins every single match, for losing is no fun. Spitefully enough, he only uses his cheat codes when facing me." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 2007: Halo 3
"Ah, yes, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. I once accidentally electrocuted a denizen of Cyrodiil with my magical power, forcing me to defend against angry townspeople and guards until the entire village lay dead at my feet... and I saved. This game reveals a side of me I do not wish to contemplate." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 2006: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. 
"Sonic is already blue. Why must we celebrate the range of inferior colors when the perfect one has already been in place for many years? I deem this product rubbish." - Blue Mage on Sonic Colors. 
"Emblem 180, video games are not art. You are silly to think video games are art." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 2005: Shadow of the Colossus.
"Trials HD is not a good game. Do not play it. I despise this game. Of all the games I have played, this one cheats the very most. I can only assume that the 'HD' stands for... horrendously... dumb." - Blue Mage on Trials HD.   
"I do not need this 'World of Warcraft' or its pathetic expansion packages. Why would I, the enlightened Blue Mage, waste my time on such a product? After all, I have my massively multiplayer online role-playing game needs fully fulfilled with the greatest of them all: Final Fantasy Fantasy XIV Online! Now, leave me be and go away. Just... just go away! *sob*" - Blue Mage of Games of the Years 2004: World of Warcraft. 
"Emblem 180 is not the only one on this weblog who can invent puns of chortle-worthy wordplay. Observe: I am Blue Mage, and because The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker won the 2003 Game of the Year award instead of the ridiculously superior Final Fantasy X-2, I am feeling BLUE! Oho! Did you get it? I said I was feeling blue. Consider my name. Think about the wordplay between those two things. Do not worry, it will come to you." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 2003: The Legend of the Zelda: The Wind Waker.
"I do enjoy a lovely evening of Animal Crossing from time to time. Emblem 180 and I share a town in which I am better at everything. I collect blue furniture, force him to pay inordinate amounts of Bells if he desires to play my in-game copy of Excitebike, and regularly chop down any trees he attempts to plant (after harvesting the fruit, of course). It certainly is a lovely time." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 2002: Animal Crossing.
"The physics are all weird. The animation is dumb. It's too slow, Sonic games are about going fast. All you do is hold right and run, it's boring. The old Sonic games were better. The old Sonic games were never good. This is a rehash of Sonic 1. They changed it from Sonic 1 too much. Eggman's name should be Robotnik. The new Sonic is terrible. Sonic shouldn't have green eyes. I hate Sonic. I hate life." - Blue Mage on Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1.  
"Oho! Super Smash Bros. Melee is, indeed, a game at which I am most skilled! I am virtually always the player with the highest percentage on my health meter." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 2001: Super Smash Bros. Melee.
"No comment." - Blue Mage on GDC Online 2010! The Conlusion! 
"I would, of course, attend the Game Developers Conference Online if I did not already possess all necessary knowledge concerning video electronic entertainment. I am wondering, however, purely out of curiosity, if, perchance, Final Fantasy Fantasy XIV Online will be shown there. If so, there is a slight chance that I will vacate my current location immediately and set up an elaborate tent in front of the Square Enix booth." - Blue Mage on GDC Online 2010!  
"I have a hypothesis concerning Rayman's true species. He is, in fact, my own nemesis' nose. Yes, good reader, Rayman is merely a mutated version of the overrated, overestimated, overused Mario's nose; simply with added eyeballs and hair. Take a closer look. I assure you the similarities are undeniable. That, in turn, explains the lack of true limbs. It relies on a newfound, dark magic no doubt purloined from that foul wizard Kamek. Game of the Year indeed. I would not touch that pompous plumber's nose with a ten foot summoning staff, let alone one with mutated eyeballs." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 2000: Rayman 2: The Great Escape.
"Soulcalibur is no doubt an impressive game. I would like to express my desire to star in a fighting game in which I unleashed powerful magic powers and beat Mario over the head with a lead pipe. I mean this in the least sadistic way possible. If a kind reader of this humble weblog would care to create such a product, I would reimburse his or her efforts with a large stack of nonrefundable Blue Mage Bucks." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 1999: Soul Calibur.
"Although The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a fine game in its own manner, I cannot help but to question the musical decisions. The ocarina has quite a grating sound to it, as I am sure you would agree. Rather, I would have Koji Kondo deal primarily with the Italian zampogna, especially if played in harmony with the oboe d'amor in a concerto setting. Also, the cuccos frighten me." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 1998: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
"Star Fox 64 was chosen over Final Fantasy VII. I see. I understand. I have only thing to say and I shall be done. In the words of Slippy Toad:"

 - Blue mage on Star Fox 64.

"I am wary of The Misadventures of Said P.B. Winterbottom. If the cake is a lie, surely the pie must be, at the very least, a mild distortion." - Blue Mage on The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom. 
"Aside from the star of this game whom we shall not mention, I have a complaint for this "Super Insert Overly-Praised Fool Here 64". I will never set foot in Princess Peach's twisted castle ever again. The Endless Stairs quite literally drove me to madness. I could not reach their summit, regardless of my multiple-hour-long attempts to do so. I have since recovered from the incident, I believe, but to this day I consistently opt to take the elevator." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 1996: Super Mario 64.  
"If I wanted to perform baby-related, crayon-inspired activities, I would buy myself a coloring book. Hmph." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 1995: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.
"I agree wholeheartedly with this choice. Donkey Kong Country is, naturally, a far superior game than Final Fantasy VI. Yes indeed. Did you believe me? Then you are as frighteningly foolish as the author himself! Expect my resignation in the morning." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 1994: Donkey Kong Country. 
"How could one nominate a product for Game of the Year when it has a prominent typing error in its very title? By the blue robes, I shall never understand this weblog." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 1993: Myst.  
"Chu Chus > Cuccos. That is all I have to say on the matter." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 1992: A Link to the Past. 
"That is twice in a row. Do you hear me? Do you understand me? Twice. In. A. Row. My. Faithful. Readers. Final Fantasy IV a lesser game than Super Mario World? Do not make me chortle, you uncouth, unreliable, unintelligent writer! You are, to put it frankly, a dim bulb! Ahem. Pardon my language. Nevertheless, your information is as trustworthy as the grimy back alleyways of the Urban Dictionary." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 1991: Super Mario World.
"That absolutely tears it! Emblem 180 has made a direct comparison between Final Fantasy and Super Mario, and that flippant plumber has won the battle. Nevertheless, loyal Blue Mage fans, I shall undoubtedly win the war. For war it is." - Blue Mage on Games of the Years 1990: Super Mario Bros. 3. 
"I find the proposal of this 'portal gun' technology to be an inexhaustibly error-ridden impossibility. Matter itself screams in outrage at the very suggestion! If the game had given even a single rational explanation of this, such as “It’s magic,” then all would be well; yet they stupidly denied such logic. However, I do find GLaDOS to have a rather alluring voice. If I ever find the means to infiltrate Aperture Science’s facilities, I will not hesitate to seek GLaDOS out and invite her to a delightful croquet sports event in which I shall serve tea and cake." - Blue Mage on Portal.
"I liked the part where Mario was tortured." - Blue Mage on the Nintendo Power promo for Star Fox 64
"Okay, it appears that Blue Mage broke in and posted his New Year's resolutions. He could have just asked for permission, you know. Upon reading Item #1 I'm starting to worry. If you don't hear from me within two weeks... cancel my GameFly subscription." - Emblem 180 on Blue Mage's New Year's Resolutions
"Now this, my fellow cyber-viewers, is a game I can most certainly recommend. I do enjoy stacking boxes with the blue mage and then pushing them over with a large object for the pleasure of watching them topple onto the foolish thief, thereby sending her into a deep pit filled with sharp spikes. Oho! Indeed, this brings joy to my heart as a beef-flavored aspirin does to a bulldog with a painful headache." - Blue Mage on Trine
"Again with this Mario fellow. I myself had scarcely heard of him before Emblem 180's ridiculously insulting review for Super Mario Galaxy. Can we not focus on a more prominent character, such as Chupea from Chu Chu Rocket?" - Blue Mage on A Look to the Past: Mario
"I do not care about this game. I still wish to own a ChuChu." - Blue Mage on Republic Commando
"Why how surprising, another inferior Sonic product. Pardon my sarcasm, but one can hardly argue (yes, even the hedgehog-biased author of this esteemed weblog must admit this to be so) that this game is quite as broken as the average forum poster's English." - Blue Mage on Sonic the Hedgehog
"I suppose this gathering of 16-bit products is not altogether without redeeming value, yet I cannot stress how inferior this "Phantasy Star" series is when compared to the highly exciting, entertaining, thought-provoking, mage-filled Final Fantasy games. Genesis does what Nintendon't indeed. Hmph." - Blue Mage on Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection
"Those ChuChus... I must have one. I can readily promise to feed it and play with it and take it on walks and I promise to put newspapers down on the sidebar. If only I was granted this wish I would never ask for anything again and I would be as happy as a charismatic accordion salesman at a polka festival built up solely of those with six-figure incomes." - Blue Mage on Chu Chu Rocket
"I am hardly one to complain, but this review of Super Mario Galaxy has serious flaws within it. First of all, Emblem 180, my "employer" you might say, mentioned that collecting 100% of all items was, and I quote, "too easy." He obviously cheated, for even I struggled to obtain a meager 35%, so I would not trust him. Second, the game portrays blue-robed wizards as mindless enemies to be slaughtered, which I find deeply offensive on many levels. My 35% score record may or may not have something to do with my boycotting the game part way through." - Blue Mage on Super Mario Galaxy
“Why greetings and hello, my good reader! I am Blue Mage, but you may simply call me Blue Mage. I am what you could very well call the representative of this weblog… a mascot, if you will. I sincerely hope you enjoy your stay in this particular portion of textual and visual information as much as I enjoy berating-- or, that is, critiquing it. Ah, but how rude of me! I must introduce myself. I am Blue Mage, and welcome! I’m sure you will come to enjoy this weblog as much as a ravenous lion does a fatigued zebra.”