Article The Dorklyst: The 9 Coolest Motorcycles in Videogame History

By Owen Parsons and Caldwell Tanner / July 21, 2011

9. Excitebike (Excitebike)

No list of awesome videogame motorcycles would be complete without the classic pixelated motocross simulator featured in pizza parlors across the country. It usually came as a twofer with Super Mario Bros., but that was just a decoy to keep the other kids away from the screen where true red-blooded 9-year-old motorcycle fanatics could hold court.

Sure, the bikes themselves aren't that great. They overheat and stall out if you so much as brush up against the throttle. But for those fleeting moments after you launch your bike off a giant ramp, as you soar over the rest of the pack like a majestic two-stroke eagle, all those engine troubles are forgotten. And nothing surpasses the pleasure of overtaking that speedy blue asshole & clipping his front tire, forcing him into a brutal head-over-handlebars tumble. I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure this was the first Nintendo game where trying to give your opponent a spinal injury was a key part of the gameplay.

Filed Under   the dorklyst   motorcycles

Article The Dorklyst: The 10 Greatest Suits in Videogame History

By Dan Angelucci / July 19, 2011

In the early days of video gaming, fancy outfits were not an option. The Space Invaders were as indecent as they were violent, and Pac-Man made his rounds with his pellets hanging out. As time wore on and graphics got better, this simply wouldn't do, and characters needed real costumes and outfits.

Among video game outfits, there's perhaps none more revered than the suit. Be it a fancy dining jacket, or a metal suit with special powers, suits are one of the cornerstones of video game character design. Here is our celebration of the greatest videogame suits.

10. Suit (Tim, Braid)

Most of the "greatest suits" in video game history are suits that have some effect on gameplay. The suit worn by Tim, main character of Braid, is not one of these. While it has no bearing on the character's powers (unless it's a time travel suit and I missed something, but I doubt it, because the dinosaur didn't mention it, and I trust that guy), it does give the game an interesting, classy aesthetic. There's something endearing about a character going through a big, messy adventure who insists on wearing a suit, like a tiny pixelated Christopher Nolan.

9. OctoCamo Suit (Solid Snake, Metal Gear Solid 4)

Throughout the Metal Gear Solid series, Snake has had a variety of interesting suits, ranging from an unlockable tuxedo to a cardboard box, but perhaps the most useful suit worn by Snake is the "OctoCamo" from MGS4. This suit, given to him by Otacon (who else?), is a smart camouflage that can blend into any environment, and even match the temperature of the surrounding area. As you might expect, this makes a sneaking mission much easier. In fact, a little too easy. Wow, I just lost all respect for Snake. It's like he's not even trying anymore. (Just like Kojima. Boom, roasted.)

Filed Under   the dorklyst

Article The Dorklyst: The 7 Greatest Betrayals in Videogame History

By Mark Filipowich / July 14, 2011

Betrayals are great plot motivators in video games. Or developers seem to think so, because at least one member of any given game's cast inevitably just hangs around on your side long enough to crap in your salad. A lot of betrayals don't make much sense. Or they come out of nowhere. Or worse still, they're so predictable that they the only one surprised is the moron protagonist. But every once in a while, a game comes along and pens an act of duplicity so daring that it manages to shake the foundations of everything you thought you knew. Here are seven such moments. Oh, and at least one of these games is from the past year, so:

7. StarCraft – Arcturus Mengsk

It's hard to peg Starcraft as sweeping epic of the human condition, what with the countless marines you so casually throw into the meat grinder just to delay an opponent's expansion. But the campaign of the first Starcraft painted a pretty bleak picture of advanced space-politics. The Confederacy has an iron-grip on human activity across dozens of planets. Even as two alien races emerge to challenge human dominance, colonial oppression runs deep. You turn to Arcturus Mengsk, a cunning strategist and master of oratory to liberate your species in the sector. Mengsk, his Lieutenant Sarah Kerrigan and the nameless commander controlled by the player are able to strike a few key victories against the Confederacy.

But ol' Arcturus has a few more plans than just easing living conditions under Confederate rule. Manipulating the two new aliens, Mengsk wipes out an entire planet, leaving his second-in-command for dead in the process. After Mengsk's betrayal, no human force in the galaxy has the strength to challenge him. And after supplanting the Confederacy, his government proves to be just as intrusive and just as brutal.

Filed Under   the dorklyst

Article The Dorklyst: 7 Promised Sequels We'll Probably Never See

By Sophie Prell / July 12, 2011

Seeing as how LulzSec recently ended their hacker crasher cruise, I thought I would be a good Samaritan and fill the lulz/asshole void. So allow me, dear readers, to be your troll for a day. Allow me to show you the way things are, as heartless and cruel as you like it. Here are seven promised videogame sequels that, as much as you might want them, will probably never come to be.

That's right. Cry. Cry, and fuel my list of torment. For it begins with…

7. Psychonauts 2

To be fair, we could make a list entirely out of Tim Schafer projects alone, but Psychonauts holds a special place in gamers' hearts and minds (see what I did there?). The first game followed Raz as he climbed the ranks from cadet to Psychonaut, all the while unraveling a conspiracy amongst the camp counselors who were supposed to be helping him. Just as he finally sorts out his powers, and an exciting new psychic crisis presents itself, the game ends. The cliffhanger practically begs for a sequel, and Schafer himself said back in November 2010 he was ""ready" for a Psychonauts 2."://

He seemed pretty proud of his cult classic, saying that, "Over the years it's gotten into the hands of a lot of people, through being two dollars on Steam for a while, and being pirated [empahsis added]," and that, "…if all these people were going to buy the sequel it would be a big hit."

Oh, yeah! If only all those pirates — you know, people who steal shit — would just buy the game, maybe it would be a big hit! C'mon, publishers, what's holding you back from a business proposal like that? And think of all the merchandising you can do with this cuddly cast of characters.

Filed Under   the dorklyst

Article The Dorklyst: 6 Great Homemade Games You Need to Know About

By Kevin Corrigan and Lev Novak / July 7, 2011

Not all video games have the benefit of million-dollar advertising campaigns and giant corporate monoliths to shove them forward into the spotlight. And not every gamer has $60 to drop on a triple-A title. But if you look around, you'll find plenty of small scale operations churning out gaming gold at little or no cost to you. Here are six of the best homemade games that you need to be playing.

6. Sleep is Death

What is the object of Sleep is Death? I can't tell you. No, not because I'm a dick. It's because it depends. It depends on who you're playing with. Sleep is Death is unique in that one player plays as the player, and the other player plays as the game. The game will be unique every time because of the person playing as your game.

Hold on. I know what you're thinking: This sounds pretty artsy fartsy pants. You're right. Sleep is Death is artsy. It was made by Jason Rohrer. You may be familiar with Rohrer's previous game, Passage, where you walk towards the right side of the screen until you grow old and die. Don't let that discourage you; this game's a lot more fun.

Sleep is Death is a point and click adventure on it's surface, but what you're really doing is working with a friend to create a story. It's kind of like Dungeons and Dragons, if Dungeons and Dragons didn't have any real rules or goals. Not only can this result in some pretty ridiculous scenarios, but the 30 second turn limit practically enforces it.

It's hard to even call Sleep is Death a game. It's more a fun creative outlet. The learning curve for playing as the omniscient game-god is rough, but I recommend giving it a shot. The experience is wholly unlike any other video game. The only limit is your imagination! Only for real, not like when we say that to little kids.

Buy Sleep is Death (pay what you want)

Filed Under   the dorklyst

Article The Dorklyst: 6 Most Underrated Duos in Videogame History

By Brandon Hoang / July 5, 2011

Pick any schmo off the street and they can easily rattle off every one's favorite video game teams: Mario and Luigi. Rachet and Clank. Sonic and Tails. Mega Man and Rush. Kong and his Diddy. But what about some of the lesser appreciated duos? The teams of two putting their collective necks on the live to better our lives? Here's our tribute to gaming's most under-appreciated tag teams.

6. A Boy and His Blob – The Boy… and his Blob

A boy. A blob. A sh*tload of jellybeans. Endless possibilities.

Anything the boy wanted, the blob delivered. You need to climb some stuff? I'm your ladder. Feed me some tangerine jellybeans, you got yourself a trampoline. Got a hankerin' to rocket off into space? It'll cost you something root beer flavored.

These two could do it all and they did it through friendship: the most powerful flavored jellybean of them all. Not to mention, I can't think of many characters that can actually complete an entire NES game in under 10 mins.

Filed Under   the dorklyst

Article The Dorklyst: The 7 Most Flawed Relationships in Videogame History

By Lev Novak / June 30, 2011

7. Mario and Peach

The Relationship: Alright, if you're on this site, you know this one. If you somehow don't, just google it- wait, actually, don't google it. You may find some…things.

The Problems: It's not a class issue: even Luigi managed to score a princess in the Mushroom Kingdom and, come on, he's Luigi here. No, the problem is that Princess Peach and Bowser are clearly doing the warp-pipe shuffle behind Mario's mustachioed back.

I'll give you a minute.

But Lev, you're saying, calling my name out to the computer with a plaintive wail of disbelief. "There are eight koopa kids, each with their own castle, plus Baby Bowser. How could Bowser and Peach crank that many out while she was captured?" Well, reader, maybe they didn't. Maybe the princess got peached while they were all together playing tennis. Or baseball. Or soccer. They have a lot of opportunities. And if Bowser really isn't hitting that, why is he so eager to spend summer recreation around his general enemies?

Filed Under   the dorklyst

Article The Dorklyst: The 7 Dumbest Weaknesses in Comic Book History

By Dan Abromowitz / June 28, 2011

Remember that one friend who didn't know how to hack it on the action figure battlefield and would insist that every attack your plastic gentleman threw at his or her plastic gentleman was blocked by an invisible, invincible forcefield? Remember how annoying that was? Superheroes and villains need weaknesses; otherwise, they're crappy action figures. Unfortunately, comic writers too-often take the easy out by throwing up their hands and saying, "Well, if he can fly, the rest doesn't have to make sense." Here are seven comic book weaknesses that make Kryptonite seem sensible.

7. Wood

Way back in the '40s, long before the Green Lantern was Ryan Reynolds in a knock-off TRON costume that shows off his abs, there was Alan Scott, an engineer who found a magic lantern, carved a ring out of it, and went off to fight some crime. The first Green Lantern didn't have much going for him in the way of coolness: his uniform was a pair of green parachute pants, a purple cape, and a red shirt with a picture of a lantern on it; and his sidekick was a cabbie from Brooklyn named Doiby Dickles. Worst of all, though, was his weakness: his magic, ancient, powerful ring has no effect on wood.

For most superheroes, this would be a problem entirely never. For Alan Scott, it was a problem all the time. On his very first outing, he gets a sound drubbing from a gangster with a wooden club, and his arch-nemesis, Solomon Grundy, is a reanimated corpse made mostly of swamp matter. When you've got a purple cape on and you're afraid to go into furniture stores, you might want to take some time to rethink your career path.

Filed Under   the dorklyst

Article The Dorklyst: 8 Greatest Heroes-Turned-Villains in Videogame History

June 23, 2011

It's hard being a protagonist. You make countless sacrifices, battle through countless levels, die countless deaths, and for all your hard work, you're still never going to be as cool as the villain. It's surprising how few goody-two-shoes ever make the transition to bad guy status and take advantage of its perks: cooler costume, army of minions, a chill flying death fortress to hang out in while those sucker heroes come to you.

But when they do, it's always a big event. We're talking about genuine good guys (playable protagonists) that somehow end up on the opposing side (antagonists that need to be taken down). Here's our list of the 8 greatest heroes-turned-villains in videogame history.

8. Alex Mercer (Good Guy: Prototype; Bad Guy: Prototype 2)

To be fair, whether or not Alex was ever "a good guy" is up for debate. He spends most of Prototype slicing & dicing anyone who has the misfortune to wander onscreen, and the rest of his time is occupied by learning new freakish nightmare powers in order to craft himself into a more efficient murder engine. Is it wrong to feel sorry for the enemies in a game? I'm hesitant to ask, because it feels like if Alex could reach out of the TV screen and kill the player, he would (I hear Radical Entertainment is working on that tech for the sequel). I wouldn't be surprised if the original idea for this game had you controlling the US military and was called The Story of the Horrible Monster No One Could Stop And Who Ate Everyone The End.

However, in the gap between developing Prototype and starting work on the sequel, apparently one Radical employee took a look at this walking wall of fleshy horrorblades and said "Hey, our hero looks way more like a Silent Hill villain than a protagonist. Let's just run with that angle." In Prototype 2, you'll be playing as a new character, a war veteran whose his wife & child were killed by Alex's rampage in the first game. Your new goal is the execution of your former main character. The working title? Prototype 2: You Deserve This.

Filed Under   the dorklyst

Article The Dorklyst: The 10 Lamest Mascots in Videogame History

By Staff / June 21, 2011

The 1990's were known for plenty of things. The fall of the Soviet Union. The dot-com bubble. Yikes! pencils. But it was also the golden decade for Mario and Sonic, the two most successful mascots in the history of videogames. And just like real royalty, there was no shortage of inbred wannabes squabbling for their throne. Here are the lamest videogame mascots in history.

10. Crash Bandicoot (1996-present)

OK, calm down. I'm not saying Crash Bandicoot is a bad game. Let's just set that issue aside for a minute and examine Mr. Bandicoot as a character. Crash didn't come around until '96, years after the attitude-plus-species naming convention went out of style. Even still, Crash was an exercise in pandering. Sony wanted their own flagship character to compete with Mario, but didn't have a mascot. So they bought a field guide of Tasmanian mammals and thumbed through it, briefly toying with "Willie the Wombat," before settling on a "bandicoot." Now that's an animal that sounds like it can skateboard!

Honestly, they could have picked anything because Crash is based on design constraints, not anything that exists in real life. He's orange because that color shows up well on TVs. He doesn't have a neck because the Playstation couldn't handle necks. What we ended up with is a character that looks how Bobcat Goldthwait sounds. Luckily, Crash barely talks. That, along with good gameplay and fun levels, saved Crash from competing with Bubsy 3D for most annoying platformer of 1996.

Filed Under   the dorklyst