Man, I just love this game. Just as I said in my Best of the Rest post for 2009, I have become a crazy Raizing fan. Garegga is one of the few titles where I can keep playing for two hours and not get angry or hate the game. There is so much strategy and so many possibilities, that I just love playing it.
I started in on trying to go for distance and made it to stage 5, through the platforms to the first of the four end bosses and gave up the ghost shortly there after. The score sucked, but it was the first time I ever made it to the 5th stage and faced the platforms, which I took out without a problem. I think I gained a lot (no pun intended) from watching the INH and Gamest replays of those stages and studying the patterns. I was actually pretty blown away that I made it that far.
For this run, I wanted to start scoring well and worked on keeping a medal chain and working over some of the bosses for points, though Madball still is on my to-do-later list. I made it to Satanic Surfer - the boss of stage 4 - for this run and died very stupidly on some of the crossing fire.
I think I will be sticking with Gain ABC for a while - I was playing using Miyamoto for a while, but found that I like Gain better - for the speed and scoring possibilities.
Just like last year, I've decided to do a best of the rest post to show all the other stuff I'm into besides video games.
Without further ado, here's last year's best stuff:
10) Nike SB 'Brain Wreck'
2009 was an incredible year for sneakers, culminating in a few really hot SB releases, including the Blue Lobsters, the Guccis and the Todd Bertraud-designed Brain Wreck. The shoe is a great combo of hot pink and gray and probably the most ostentatious shoe I have ever liked. The lining is gray and sewn to look like brain matter. Unbelieveably awesome.
9) NintendoCapriSun on youtube
Just like last year, I found a new favorite replay guy to watch on youtube - NintendoCapriSun. Aside from the awesome name, he's one of the best Let's Play-ers I have found - funny aand enjoyable. He actually sounds like he enjoys posting, which is quite different from the majority of youtube LP-ers. He plays all kinds of stuff, from RPG's to Castlevania titles (yea!), but if there's a negative, it's that he doesn't do Let's Eat.
8) Lux Delux - iPhone app
It's a game, but it's also on my iPhone and it goes with me where ever. I play this daily and I have for about 6 months. It's basicaly Risk with touch screen functionality, but also with a ton of other maps like Vietnam, Castle Lux and even one called Earth vs. Mars.
7) Jay-Z - Blueprint 3
Jay-Z always comes with some heat, but Kingdom Come seemed ok (for Jay, 10x better than all else anyway) and I thought Blueprint 3 might be a bit weak, a sign Jay was slowing down. Well, no reason to worry - it's really hot. I mean super hot. Everytrack is banging and I have been listening to this album for two months almost everyday and it still feels fresh. A true classic.
6) Vintage Ralph Lauren Polo clothing
Vintage clothing is usually not my bag, but this year I got into old Polo gear in a big way. Now, it's typically hella expensive, so it requires dedication and time to find the best deals and I have both. Plus, I'm hecka OCD, so hunting down rare stuff at good prices is really fun. I copped a bunch of gear this year, including a few Polo Bear fleeces, a 1992 Polo Sport rugby and the total gold of the year : a Polo P-Wing pullover jacket. So classic.
5) 2x Cinelli track bikes
When I started working in the bike industry about ten years agon, I had a bike messenger come in to the shop with a brand new black Cinelli Supercorsa Pista and I fell in love. It's such a clean, classic bike with simple small logos and all black. This year, I made a helluva trade with a cat in Chicago for his and rebuilt it with some new Velocity rims, a SRAM Omnium crank and some NJS Nitto ergonomic rare track bars. Shortly after getting this one, I got a chance to get one of the Cinelli x Mash collab frames designed by Benny Gold and put that together with a mish mash of gear including a SRAM Omnium crank and my older set of Open Pro/Miche's which I have been riding for 8 years now. It looks incredible and rides just awesome. Best moment came when I was at a party/ride with some friends and a guy came running up to me - "Hey, this is the bike! I saw this on Belmont and took a bunch of pictures! Wow - this is yours?" I could only smile and say "yup."
2009 will mark they year Raizing took over from Cave being my favorite STG maker. I really got into all three of these games and I love the Toaplan-like mechanics of the early titles and the difficulty of the rank-based Yagawa titles. There's so much strategy in the Yagawa games that I still haven't gotten totally comfortable with them after playing them for the last two or so years seriously. It doesn't hurt that Manabu Namiki was on point with the OSTs for BG and APB.
3) Nike x Patta Air Max 1
Some shoes are instant classics - the Jordan 1's, the original Nike Air Trainer and others are a slow burn, getting better with age. This shoe is somewhere in between as I didn't really feel it when it was announced and saw pics, but it grew on me over a few weeks and right when I decided to cop it, it was sold out. A day or so later, I got an email from St. Alfred - my homeboys here in Chicago - that they were getting a restock. I hit up my friend there to hold a pair and copped them that afternoon. The mix of materials is superb with cordoroy, denim and velvety soft suede and the colorway (while a little more colorful than my normal fare) is excellent.
2) New jobby job - SRAM Corporation
Now it is a big company - 2800 employees worldwide and I have never worked for a big company, prefering small, owner run joints, but as I got older, I wanted security and benefits more than a say in the company. I had been going for a position here since the beginning of last year and my wish came true in October. The people here are awesome, the pay is great, the benefits stellar and I couldn't happier. It's also only a 15-minute ride to work in the morning as opposed to a 1 1/2 hour drive to my last job. Plus, I get a lot of free stuff and that's very, very cool.
1) Macbook & iPhone
I've been a PC user my whole life and after liking the iPod and seeing how cool the iPhone was, I decided to get a Macbook. Holy crap - it's like someone designed a computer that is actually intuitive and easy to use! It's fast, slim and sexy and I am totally in love. I dd get a free iPod Touch with it and after playing around with that for a bit, realized I had to get an iPhone, which is so awesome it's silly. My last phone was a five-year old Blackberry I used to text with that I never used for internet. This thing is like going from using a spear to using a ballistic missile. So effective, so nice.
Thanks for reading my blog this year or coming to one of my events. Much love to you all in the New Year!
Got back from the holiday break and decided to buckle down and finish this game. Took me 1 try last night, which totally surprised me. I had tried to clear this about five or ten times and never could make it past the final boss, but took him out with relative ease this time.
I'm not sure where the difficulty of this titles lies in comparison with the other games, but it felt harder than Super Star Soldier. Just to confirm that, I played SSS about a half hour afterward and finished that off as well with a 4.7 mil score. Finished off the last boss with no lives in reserve. I think its just a bit harder than SSS overall, but with the options acting as bombs, you can squeak past some spots in Final Soldier that would give you trouble in SSS.