Tag Archives: naughty dog

Uncharted, We Meet Again

Sometimes, it feels as if certain games come to exist in my house thanks to pure fate.  Most of my games I seek out myself, but Uncharted is one series I never once put my mind to acquiring, and yet, here I stand the owner of not one, but two, entries from the series.  The main reason why Uncharted never really appealed to me was because I’ve never been a fan of games that are too…realistic, I guess?  There’s just something about games that feature realistic-looking humans or even just good, ol’ planet Earth that don’t appeal to me.  (I mean, the Sly Cooper series seems to take place on Earth, but it’s populated by anthropomorphic animals, which is okay in my book.)

When I bought my PS3, it was accompanied by Uncharted 3.  I decided to play the game, since I had it in my possession, after all, and while it was pretty cool, I quickly forgot about it shortly after completion.  For a short while, I considered checking out the first two games, and then that just never happened.  And yet, that was certainly not the last I would see of the series, even if I didn’t know it at the time.  It was with the recent purchase of my PS4 that another Uncharted game snuck its way into my gaming shelf once more, the fourth (and final?) entry in the series.

Fancy seeing you here, Nathan Drake.  Long time no see. Continue reading Uncharted, We Meet Again

Day 14: Current (or Most Recent) Gaming Wallpaper

The newest of the 30-day video game topics is my current or most recent video game-themed wallpaper.  As much as I would like to have actual video game wallpaper, I’m assuming they must mean my computer’s desktop.  And due to my obvious level of obsession with all things gaming, it should come as no surprise to anyone that I do indeed have a video game desktop.

I actually went through many different images for my desktop in the semi-distant past.  I…don’t remember most of them, but I do recall having a screenshot of the secret ending of Donkey Kong Country 2, where the Kongs are gazing at the sunset, along with a Jak 2 screensaver.  That’s right, there was a Jak 2 screensaver, which I earned by completing this odd, little game on the game’s official web site.  It had Jak sitting in jail, looking bored, while bugs crawled around and the sky outside would change depending on the time of day.  Kind of…weird, to say the last. Continue reading Day 14: Current (or Most Recent) Gaming Wallpaper

Day 12: A Game Everyone Should Play

I am slowly making my way through the 30 days of video game topics I started…probably a few years ago, and today we have finally reached…number 12.  I’m not even halfway done yet!  Yikes!  Well, this topic involves a game everyone should play, and I had to put careful consideration into which one I would pick.  Not only do I have a lot of great games that I would definitely recommend to others, but I wanted to make sure my choice wouldn’t also be used in other 30-day topics in the future.  After careful consideration, I ended up going with a game that is very special to me, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. Continue reading Day 12: A Game Everyone Should Play

The Duck’s First Novel

Hello, everyone. I have something rather nifty to share with all of you, and I completely forgot about it until now. I finished my first novel. Now, in all honesty, it is, in fact, a fan fiction novel, but I still think it was a pretty cool accomplishment. This story is fan fiction for the awesome video game series “Jak and Daxter”, and it stars the main villains from the first game, Gol and Maia. You see, these wicked siblings were not always evil, but were made that way due to studying Dark Eco, a very corrupting substance, for far too long. This stuff warped their minds, which resulted in their decision to try and flood the world with Dark Eco so that they could remake it in their own image. Fortunately, they failed and ended up trapped inside the very Dark Eco silo they were trying to open.

In case you didn't believe me, here's the title.
In case you didn’t believe me, here’s the title.

And while it was implied in the “Jak 3” guide that the two were still alive centuries later during the events of the later games and could eventually return, this never happened, and how much can you really rely on what a guide says anyway? Nevertheless, I wanted so very badly to see another game with them in it, but since it appears that’s never going to happen, I decided it was time I took matters into my own hands. Gola and Maia would return, but it would be in the form of a novel I would write, proving all the more that I am an obsessive lunatic. Continue reading The Duck’s First Novel

The Duck Dreams of PlayStation Characters

I had a rather short dream the night of 8/7/14, but I wanted to write about it anyway because it related to one of my favorite games of all time, “Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy”. In this dream, the game apparently had a scene with Gol and Maia, the main villains, that got cut from the game, and I remember I was playing the game and exploring this place that was supposed to be Gol and Maia’s citadel, but it was more like a Medieval castle.  I remember being in this hallway, and there were these platforms that would only appear in the wall for a limited time, and you had to climb up them to get through this doorway.  I tried multiple times to climb up them as quickly as I could, and I eventually made it through the doorway, which ended up leading outside Continue reading The Duck Dreams of PlayStation Characters

Day 5: Game Character I Feel I’m Most Like (Or Wish I Was)

It is now day 5 (or topic 5, as I am way beyond day 5) of my 30 day video game posts, which focuses on a game character I think I am most like (or wish I was), though this may or may not already be pretty clear from the title.  This is a rather hard one.  There are a lot of characters out there, and there are some I share similarities with and some I don’t.  But, I am really not sure who I am most like, and it’s a strangely embarrassing question, I think.  I’d sound like a weirdo if I said, I don’t know, I was like Samus.  What a conceited jerk I’d seem like to everyone.  I think I’m similar to the super awesome bounty hunter from the “Metroid” series?  Yeah, right.  No one compares to Samus because she is awesome.  Well, no, I wouldn’t choose her anyway, as I am nothing like Samus.  Perhaps that counts as a character I wish I was like, but still.  That’s not a good topic, either, as there are a lot of characters I wish I was like.  I wish I was cool and brave like Samus.  I wish I was as sweet and kind as Sora from “Kingdom Hearts”.  I mean, who doesn’t have a dozen characters they wish they were like?

            So that brings me back to which character I think I’m most like.  Well, none of the heroes, that’s for sure.  None of the villains, either, fortunately.  I’m neither heroic nor villainous.  So I guess I’d have to go with a minor character.  After thinking long and hard, for much longer and much harder than I really should have been, I decided on one particular character I may share the most similarities with.  This character would be the not-so-well-known Vin from “Jak II”.

            You may remember the post I wrote on this guy.  Vin is this nervous, nerdy character that manages the Power Station of Haven City.  While I certainly don’t do anything important like he does, I believe our personalities have some unfortunate similarities.  For one thing, I am super nervous like Vin is.  I’m sick to my stomach right now.  Why?  I don’t know.  Maybe because there are a million things out there to be sick to your stomach about.  Where to begin?  I may not fear Metal Heads as Vin does (if they existed, I’m sure I would), but I do fear all manner of illnesses, clowns, natural disasters, bears, crime, bear-clown hybrids, and that fateful day I just know is coming when a large spider is going to end up in my house or the smoke detector will go off due to low batteries, and I will not currently possess the necessary skills to stop it.  I also dread the day my computer finally dies.  Or gets so dang old, it simply isn’t compatible with anything anymore.  Heck, I was nervous enough when Youtube was acting up on my computer (I love Youtube).

            I am also paranoid.  While Vin thinks everyone, including Baron Praxis, is out to get him, I have suspected others were out to get me, too.  There were multiple occasions where I was alone with someone, and the thought suddenly went through my head that, if they decided to kill me, what would I do?  How would I fight back?  And if I failed, would anyone ever find my body?  (Well, I’m not going into the middle of nowhere with people, but a duck body may be pretty easy to hide due to our small and compact size, and my corpse may spend years in the ventilation ducts in the ceiling, which is surprisingly fitting, as the word ducts sounds like ducks.)  I started to panic inside, thinking this is a prime murder location.  If I was a murderer, surely I would murder myself here.  If they wanted to do it here, they would probably succeed.  Oh, if I just hadn’t made the decision to go here with them, I would have lived a long and happy life.  Or I worry that when we’re driving somewhere, someone is going to take a detour to drive me out into the middle of nowhere and butcher me rather than continue on to our planned destination (I’ll drive to the comicon alone next time, thank you very much!).  That’s the reason why I do the driving.  Plus, people drive like maniacs, with their lane-changing and their lack of turn signals.  You always know when I’m going to change lanes.  Always.  No surprises driving behind this duck.  You’ll just be stuck driving the speed limit.  Sorry.

            Also, it is not part of the game itself, but “Jak 3” has these goofy interviews with the characters, and while it is not canon, the characters are still, well, in-character.  Anyway, in this interview, Vin is also bothered by “people getting too close” and germs, which is why he doesn’t shake hands.  I don’t like people getting near me, either.  I don’t hug.  I also don’t see the appeal of kissing (get your face away from my face; I’m not food!) or holding hands (I don’t want to touch your clammy mitts, either!).  I also usually don’t like people sitting next to me.  I know I’m on a full-sized couch, but sit on the other couch.  My bubble of solitude needs a good ten-foot radius.  I also don’t like shaking hands.  It’s filthy.  We’re going to have an epidemic that will spread like wildfire because of this bizarre ritual to grasp the hands of everyone you meet.  You don’t know what disease they have.  If they have leprosy or some other affliction of the epidermis.  If they wiped their nose or coughed or sneezed on their hand.  You don’t know if they washed their hands or not after they went to the bathroom.  You can’t know these things, and it would be rude to ask, and yet you are expected to touch other people and get their germs on you.  Why?  I say we do away with the whole thing.

            So there you have it.  I share the unappealing characteristics of a guy described as “pathetic” and “a bit crazy” by other characters in the game.  Which are words possibly bouncing around the minds of my readers right now.  …Hey, you guys aren’t, perchance, considering to murder me, are you?  Oh, what’s wrong with me, now you know I’m on to you, which will only make my assailants all the more sneaky.  Must lock doors and keep Keyblade close by…  Not that I don’t always do that anyway…

The Duck is Keeping a Close Eye on You….

The Duck Attempts Another Route to Fame and Riches…Fan Fiction

Recently, I wrote a post about how I missed doing fan art, due to the fact that my comic was taking up much of my Photoshop time these past few months, and will continue to possibly for years.  So I’ve been drawing pictures the old-timey way, on paper, then, scanning them into the computer.  But, that hasn’t been quite enough, either.  For some reason, I’ve been feeling quite a void in my tummy.  Partly, I’m just hungry.  But, I think it’s also being caused by something else.

            I’ve been reading quite a lot of “Jak and Daxter” fan fiction lately.  And I finally decided doing just fan art wasn’t enough.  These stories are making me want to bring my favorite characters to life through more than just little doodles.  And then I was suddenly struck with a big bolt of inspiration.  I had an idea!  In my soft, oozing brain meats!  I had this idea of a story about the main villains from “The Precursor Legacy”, Gol and Maia.  These two had likely once been good people, but they were twisted by prolonged exposure to Dark Eco and made into wicked people that wanted to open the Dark Eco silos to flood the world with the stuff and reshape it.  They were then trapped in the silos by our hero, Jak (not assisted in any way whatsoever by Daxter).  While the two have still not returned officially, it is still rumored that they survived and could eventually come back.  This has caused many people to write stories about their return.  As will I.

            But, I don’t want to write just another story where they return, cause lots of trouble, then get killed, as entertaining as those are.  I want to take a new direction and explore their past selves more and any chance that they can change and become the people they once were, if that is even possible and if they would ever do such a thing if given the opportunity.

            So as is often the case, while bathing in the nearby duck pond, all these ideas floated around in my head, not unlike me.  In that pond.  The story began forming before I had a chance to get paper.  And so as soon as I could, I started to write the prologue.  And then I went on to write the first few chapters.  So far, this chunk of the story isn’t too dreadful, either.  I had learned not super long ago all kinds of skills for writing in a more literary style, and I think that helped me a lot.  If I do say so myself, and I obviously do, I think it’s not bad.  I found out when I asked my mom to take a look that my handwriting is indecipherable to all but me (it seems I have invented a new system of writing; I’ll call it the ducklabet), but once I read it aloud, she seemed entertained, despite the fact that I read largely in a monotone out of discomfort reading in front of others.  Of course, she had to like it, as parents are compelled to like what their offspring create, but still.

            So I recently started an account on fanficion.net (the greatest fan fiction site there ever was, is, or ever will be) under DuckofIndeed.  And I know this would appeal to a very small audience, but I ask that anyone who likes “Jak and Daxter” fan fiction take a look at my story.  It will be going up in bits and pieces.  I have also posted below the beginning narration from my story, before the characters show up, where I described some stuff in the most marvelous manner I could muster.  Mustard.  Yum.  Please take a look and tell me what you think.  Fortunately, my typing is much better than my handwriting.

            The first chunk of my prologue begins:

Far, far out in the Wasteland was a place few dared to go, even the Marauders and citizens of Spargus, who possessed spirits toughened to leather by the harsh life of the desert.  This particular place had been forest once, centuries past, but the innumerable sands of the Wasteland had finally crept even here and swallowed up all the trees.  Now, little stood there but dead pillars of wood, the remains of the trees whose roots had been choked with sand, and dunes that were gradually eroded away by the wind to only be built up elsewhere.  And something else.  Something else stood in this particular section of the desert and was the reason the people of the Wasteland did not tread here.

Several large pillars, once hundreds of feet high and now made considerably shorter as the sand built up around their bases.  They were of varying sizes and of bronze Precursor metal, showing signs of wear, but less than expected from their treatment over the years, though with much of their original shine gone.  The Dark Eco silos.

These pillars always filled all who saw them with dread, and who could blame them?  These pillars, built possibly thousands of years ago by the Precursors, contained the majority of the planet’s Dark Eco.  Such a substance needed to be contained.  While it had existed as long as any other kind of Eco, this variation was dangerous.  It twisted all it touched, turning all who were exposed to it to something no longer quite human.  Or simply killed them.  The dark bubbling ooze meant death or worse, and it couldn’t be allowed to coexist with the fragile life of this world.  That was why the Precursors banished it away to the confines of the silos.

But, for some, it also meant power, and that was why, long, long ago, two people tried to open the silos.  To take that Dark Eco and use it to reshape the world.  They tried to play God, and they were punished for it.

And that brings us to the other reason why this was such a feared place.  Centuries ago, those people had been locked away in those same pillars they had so desperately wanted to open.  Some thought them dead.  Some had their doubts.  And the rest, well, they had forgotten the two had ever really existed.  Their story had turned to legend for a time until so many years had gone by that no one believed any longer that it had ever happened.  They were eventually reduced to monsters parents used to scare unruly children.  In fact, few remembered anymore that they were even human.  Even fewer knew what kind of people they had once been.  Centuries ago.

            I hope that encourages people to stop on by fanfiction.net and continue the story.  Yes?  Yeeeeesss?  Please, it’s been a whopping 24 hours, and I have no reviews!  Why must life be like this!

Fanfiction.Duck

Vinvasion

For the last several months, I have been spending all my Photoshop time working on the final draft of my comic, only taking breaks for special little projects.  This, however, has made me sad.  I miss doing fan art, but I also don’t want to slow down on the work on my comic.  It’s taking enough time as it is.  Ten pages in six months?  Is that slow?  I don’t know, but it feels slow.  To compromise, I decided to continue working on my comic and just draw fan art on paper and ink it and scan it in rather than do them on Photoshop like I usually did.  It doesn’t look as nice, but at least I still get my fan art fix.  I also decided it would be fun to draw many pictures of a character or characters with various poses and expressions, with at least one colored in colored pencil.

Are you out to get him?  Because he thinks you are.  So are you?
Are you out to get him? Because he thinks you are. So are you?

            So here you have the first of these pictures (click to enlarge).  This picture includes many sketches of my favorite “Jak and Daxter” character (actually, possibly my favorite character ever), Vin, who was mainly seen in “Jak II”.  (I actually wrote a post about him not long ago, in a galaxy not that far away.)  Vin is very cowardly (note his expression of absolute terror in the upper right), very paranoid (he’s got a gun in one picture, no doubt to protect himself from all the people he thinks are out to “get” him), and very smart (as he happily ponders math problems that would give most people a bad case of the frowns).  He also spends a lot of time working on the many computers in Haven City’s Power Station (and so he is doing just that near the top, a picture I am less than proud of, but at least it allowed me to practice more complex finger poses.  You know what, just avoid looking at the top middle of the page.  Thank you.)

            So behold, my many pictures to depict the (not crazy?) scrawny genius.  Some are better than others, but I hope you like.  My inking and colored pencil skills are lacking, as is my ability for coloring within the lines, a basic skill I should have picked up as a duckling.  Actually, my drawing skills in general are lacking.  But, I am not talented like Vin is.  I’m just a simple duck.  Oh, and Vin is property of Naughty Dog.

The Duck Has Become Vin’s Stalker a Little Bit

In Defense of a Coward

“Hey!  Who you calling crazy?  I can’t help it if the world is out to get me!”-Vin

            I decided I wanted to write about one of my favorite characters of all time (he may actually be my favorite character ever; I made a chart and everything, is that weird?), this time, a character from the “Jak and Daxter” series.  Most people like the loud and rambunctious Daxter.  Or the heroic Jak.  Or the gruff, former Krimzon Guard Commander, Torn.  Or Ashelin, ‘cuz she’s tough (and doesn’t wear a lot).  Me.  I like Vin.  Yeah, that’s right.  Problem?  (Major “Jak II” and minor “Jak 3” spoilers ahead.)

            Vin is a minor character from “Jak II”.  I’m not entirely certain what it is Vin does, but he is not only the foreman of various projects around Haven City, but he spends quite a bit of time in the city’s Power Station, no doubt doing important stuff related to the Eco Grid and the city’s shield walls, which he seems to take very seriously.  (He must be a pretty busy guy.)  He is also a valuable informant for the Underground, a group dedicated to stopping the evil Baron Praxis.

            You first see Vin after Torn tells Jak and Daxter to rescue him from the Metal Heads at the Strip Mine, though after braving the dangerous creatures there, our poor heroes are almost shot by Vin himself, who completely panics at the presence of these two strangers.  Luckily, Vin’s aim is terrible.  Despite almost killing Jak and Daxter, Vin can be quite helpful, providing them with valuable information and helping them with his impressive knowledge of the city’s Eco Grid.  And despite being a rather minor character, he still provides our heroes with some of the most valuable information of the game….

            Major spoilers coming up.  Unfortunately, like with most of my favorite characters, something terrible usually happens (be careful if I like you because I’ll probably jinx you, sorry).  Eventually, Haven City’s shield falls, and the Metal Heads get into the city.  Vin tells you through the little radio what happened, that Kor (who turns out to be the Metal Head leader in disguise) is responsible, and that the Metal Heads are breaking into the Power Station.  While you never know what happens for sure, Vin is badly injured, most likely by Kor (which is why I absolutely hate that son of a…a Metal Head).  A bit later, as Jak works to defend the city, he hears Vin’s last words, a weak, “Jak…  Kor…  Construction site…”  We never hear or see Vin again in this game, but it is obvious from Samos’s statement later that Vin has died.  Somewhat fortunately, Vin does show up in “Jak 3”, as a floating hologram head in the Power Station.  According to him, he somehow put his brain into the Eco Grid, apparently before the Metal Heads got to him (which sounds a little confusing, as he was clearly injured in “Jak II”, so I can only assume he did this after being injured by Kor, but before the Metal Heads got in).

            Despite Vin somewhat coming back in “Jak 3” (for only one cut scene, though, grrr), I am still sad about his fate.  Yes, he’s happier now that he’s safe from Metal Heads and whatever other things he imagined were after him, but now he’s stuck in that computer.  It must get lonely in there.  (And he now has computer viruses, power surges, and accidental deletion to worry about.  You think he’s thought of those possibilities yet?)  And I think it’s terrible that Jak didn’t put forth any effort whatsoever to help him when the Power Station wasn’t really even that far away and instead went to look for Sig, who can defend himself.  (Seriously, who needs more protection, skinny, little Vin that is completely incompetent with a firearm or big, burly Sig, who is equipped with a Peacemaker?  Huh?  Huh?)  And it’s sad to hear Vin mortally injured and alone on the other end of the radio.  The poor guy is dying, but manages to tell Jak where to find Kor, allowing Jak to find the true identity of the Metal Head leader, and no one even attempts to help him.  Where’s your gratitude Jak, you green and yellow-haired freak!

            Anyway, as you can tell, I am quite distraught by Naughty Dog’s treatment of poor Vin, but now I suppose I must get to why I like Vin so much.  Besides being super smart and super nerdy, he is also super paranoid, claiming that “the world” is out to get him, including the Baron.  He’s quite pessimistic (repeating often during the Eco Grid game in “Jak 3” the words “It’s lookin’ bad.”) and terrified of Metal Heads, and according to the model viewer in “Jak 3” (which may not be quite canon, but I do believe the characters are still, well, in character), he also doesn’t like germs, shaking people’s hands, or people getting too close.  He’s also described as “pathetic” by Torn and “a bit crazy” by Jak.  Which, I must admit, are both accurate.  Okay, so far, Vin’s sounding a bit like a downer, isn’t he?  Well, all of these traits actually make him a pretty fun character, and seriously, I’m not done with this post yet.  As Vin would say, “Sheesh!”

            Anyway, I also like Vin because he is a rather complex character in some ways.  Like a real person, he has character traits that can contradict themselves.  He seemed a bit arrogant when you first meet him, as he expected an “army” of people to save him from the Metal Heads, but he is also humble; when Jak complimented him for his skills with the Eco Grid and called him a genius, Vin denied being any such thing.  He’s also usually a pretty nice guy, too, despite being strangely grumpy with Ashelin once with no real provocation.

            He is also clearly a coward, but despite that, he must be somewhat brave if he was willing to risk his safety by helping the Underground with fighting the Baron.  (The Baron experiments on people with Dark Eco.  Is that someone you want to mess with?)  And not only that, but as I mentioned, Vin was dying when you last hear from him, but he still made sure he got that last bit of information on Kor’s whereabouts to Jak.  People can say he is pathetic and weak and paranoid, but there are times when this coward has more bravery than the average person.  How many people in Haven City wouldn’t be considered cowards, but took absolutely no stand against the Baron?  Even in the real world, there are very few people who are brave enough to fight back against tyranny.  So anyone who disses Vin, you’ll have the Duck to contend with.  Seriously.  Don’t even.

            I am also sad that he seems to have so few fans, though I can understand why.  People seem to usually want characters that are tough or brave or cool.  Vin was none of these.  He’s a wimp.  He’s clumsy.  He’s pitiful.  But, Vin was a likable guy.  And he was fun.  He was always so nervous, so hyper, and a bit eccentric.  I always found him to be one of the funniest characters in the game, from watching him scream and fall down when Daxter claimed to see a Metal Head in the Power Station to listening to him whine about Metal Heads and people trying to kill him.  He was a great character.  Both a genius and a total wreck.  A huge coward, while at the same time, at least brave enough to help fight the Baron and even give Jak and Daxter one last clue when he was dying.  And ironically, one of the best members of the Underground (and how differently would things have turned out if they hadn’t received that information on Kor?), while at the same time getting mocked behind his back (I saw you roll your eyes, Ashelin.  Or at least, it was a half eye roll.).  To quote Vin, “It’s not easy bein’ Vin!”

            I did not provide a picture.  I drew one over a year ago, but I’m too embarrassed to show it.  Plus, a picture just can’t do him justice.  It’s much better to see Vin in action, so I included a cut scene below, where Vin wants Jak and Daxter to blow up the Eco wells at the Strip Mine.  It shows Vin’s personality quite well as he spazzes out and complains that everyone wants to kill him.  It’s also one of his funniest cut scenes.  (I’m sure you’ll be able to tell, but Vin’s the guy with the white hair.  Daxter’s the orange weasel.  Jak’s the remaining person.)

Duck, Likely One of Vin’s Many Fears

It’s Like SSB for the PS3, and That Even Rhymes

One day, I was thinking to myself.  I was thinking how neat it would be if there was a “Super Smash Bros.”-like game for the PlayStation.  Then, I could have Ratchet beat up Jak.  I could have Jak beat up Ratchet.  And that’s really the only combinations I could think of, as I’m actually pretty limited on my knowledge of PlayStation characters.  But, it would still be pretty cool.  And then, a completely different day, I found out there was indeed such a game.  “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale” for the PS3.

            So I ended up having to buy this game.  It’s not often something I’ve pondered about has turned out to be real.  When I got it, I found that this game is a lot like “SSB”.  As you’d expect, there are a good number of characters (20, I believe) from a variety of PlayStation games, such as “Ratchet and Clank”, “Jak and Daxter”, “Little Big Planet”, and “Infamous”.  And there are stages that take place in locations from those games, though some games get rather ignored, though I don’t care because the “Ratchet and Clank” and “Jak and Daxter” series got stages.  So I’m good with that.  The gameplay is pretty similar, as well.  Just like in “SSB”, attacks are done by pressing a combination of a button and tilting the control stick.  One thing I like is that this game has more attacks than “SSB”, as you can use Square, Triangle, and Circle to attack rather than just A and B.  You can also throw people and dodge attacks and such.  And double jump, despite being against all laws of physics.  I wish I could double jump.

            There is one main feature of the game that makes it a little different from “SSB”, which is how you defeat your opponent.  You don’t simply get their damage counter really high and then knock them off the stage.  You can actually attack the other character for an hour if you want and never defeat them.  Don’t know why you’d want to, but it’s your life.  Anyway, in this game, you attack your opponent until your meter gets high enough, and then you unleash a super move on them that, if it hits them, always kills them.  (It’s a lot like those Final Smash attacks in “Super Smash Bros. Brawl”.)  You can even wait for the meter to get extra high for a level 2 or level 3 super move.  Some of these are pretty cool, as you sometimes get multiple attempts to attack people when you use them.

            Another thing I find fun is that characters also go up in rank the more you use them.  This doesn’t affect the character at all, but it does unlock different icons (these little pictures that show up under your character on the loading screen that shows who’s fighting, which is kind of pointless, but okay), costumes for the character, “minions’ (these are little stubby versions of characters from the various games that sometimes cheer you on), and other such things.  I am disappointed that there are no characters or stages to unlock, though.  They’re all there from the start.  It was fun unlocking them in “SSB”.  But, I hear you can download two characters and a stage.  I probably won’t.  But, you can.

            Some of the stages can be pretty interesting, as well.  One thing I like about this game is that all stages have two parts to them.  They start off with a location from one game, and then they change and incorporate things from another game.  This makes them a bit more interesting.  For example, in Hades, there is this creepy monster in the background that sometimes tries to attack the players.  Then, halfway through the stage, these cute, little dudes with spears show up in the background behind the monster, while adorable music plays, which is very out of place.

            I ended up having fun with this game.  I just really enjoy getting the opportunity to play as a wide variety of characters and maul (or get mauled by) said characters.  That’s why I love the “SSB” series.  Though, while this game is a lot like “SSB”, it is lacking in one area, a variety of things to do.  There just isn’t a lot to do in this game.  Not really.  Like, this game has a story mode for every character, but it’s all really the same.  And calling it story mode may be pushing things a bit.  I think to call something story mode, an actual story should show up in there somewhere.

            These little “no-story” modes really just involve a little cut scene (well, more like a picture of the character(s), with dialogue) with the character(s) on some small, little quest.  (“Hey, Dax, let’s find a new kind of Eco.”  “Okay.”  Or “Hey, Clank, let’s find some gold bolts.”  “Okay.”)  Then, they fight a lot of battles that seem unrelated to anything.  There is then a real cut scene thrown in later, where they get into a fight with some other character, usually for some absurd reason (are video game characters really that sensitive that they’ll attack someone for the slightest perceived insult?).  Then, at the end, you fight this floating head guy called Polygon Man (which I think of as kind of this game’s version of Master Hand from “SSB”).

            In addition to “no-story” mode, there are also combat trials where you are supposed to do certain things, like defeat people a certain number of times with your level 1 super move or only attack with the square button and such.  There are some general ones, and there are a bunch for each specific character, too.  These started out fun, but then they get a bit boring, and I gave up.  Like I said, I found parts of this game disappointing.  While it will take a long time to do everything in it, a lot of it is really the same, so it will get boring if you try to do it all.  I think “SSB” games have a lot to do, but there is enough variety that it stays interesting.

            Despite a few things that disappointed me in the game, I did have fun playing it, and I’d like to talk just a little more on my favorite parts of this kind of game, the characters and stages.  My favorite characters were Jak and Ratchet from “Jak and Daxter” and “Ratchet and Clank” respectively.  Not only were they some of the only characters I actually knew, but they both came from games I loved and were a lot of fun to play as.  Playing as Jak feels a lot like controlling him in the actual “Jak and Daxter” games, plus his level 3 super move allows you to control Light Jak for a limited time.  Ratchet was fun, too.  You could have Mr. Zurkon (my all time favorite weapon from the “R&C” series) help you fight for short periods of time, complete with his usual insults and taunts (“Yoohoo!  Mr. Zurkon’s looking to kill you!”)  I also like that with his level 2 super move, you can use Clank to attack people.  I like watching people run in terror from cute, little Clank.

            Other characters I liked were Big Daddy and Sir Daniel.  I have never played their games, but I thought they were fun characters to play as.  Big Daddy is just awesome.  He wears a diving suit and has a big drill.  What is not great about that?  And Sir Daniel is a goofy, mumbling skeleton that is almost impossible to understand.  I have gotten attached to him.  Least favorite characters include Sweet Tooth the clown and that rapper dude.

            When it comes to stages I liked, my absolute favorite was San Francisco, for the simple fact that Dr. Nefarious (my favorite character from the “R&C” series) shows up in the second half, along with his silly space station from “A Crack in Time” that resembles a giant version of his head.  There’s also an “Uncharted 3” stage I think is pretty cool.  It’s the part of the game where Drake’s on the plane (hey, that sounds like a movie title, “Drake’s on a Plane”…), and the back opens up and the cargo starts to fly out.  It was awesome in “Uncharted 3”, and it’s awesome now.

            I also both like and get overly upset by Sandover Village from “Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy”.  This stage brings back lots of “Jak and Daxter” nostalgia and makes me wish all the more they’d make another game, that’s actually good.  It made me happy and depressed all at the same time.  Then, halfway through the battle, this stage’s transformation saw Sandover Village get turned into a golf course, which peeved me quite a bit.  Don’t desecrate a location from one of the greatest games ever made, you sons of…!  Swear words to you all!  Swear words!

            So this game, like the Sandover Village stage, managed to make me glad and sad at the same time.  The game could be fun.  I loved playing as my favorite PlayStation characters, along with new ones.  It has more variety in terms of the number of moves characters have.  I also liked how the stages change.  But, I thought that, after the initial excitement wears off and I’m done checking out all the new characters and stages, the game gets a bit boring.  All the extra things you can do are too similar.  I don’t feel there was as much variety as the “SSB” series.  I enjoyed it, but in no way can it compete with “SSB”.  At least, not for me.  And seriously, I just like sending people flying off the screen.

PlayStation All-Ducks Battle Royale, the Fighting Game Where You Only Play as Ducks