Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Chemical Plant Zone

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Overall Sonic 2 was leaps and bounds over Sonic 1 and zones like Chemical Plant are why. Though I also loved Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles, for me there will always be a special place in my heart for the Chemical Plant Zone. ~J.A. Laraque

Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Chemical Plant Zone

I have to be honest, long before I played with five and a quarter disks or searched for an Amiga computer, I was a console gamer. I started with the Sears version of the Atari 2600 and throughout the years have played them all. I like to look back on those days when console gaming was unique and in a completely separate world than PC gaming. Thought I have a lot of fond memories of Atari and the early Nintendo and Sega consoles it was Sonic the Hedgehog 2 that really made me a fan of the series and of video game music.

Sonic Chemical Plant Boss

One of my favorite zones was The Chemical Plant Zone. This zone had it all for me, the industrial look, the various tubes and pipes and the music, it just stuck in my mind and I could play it over and over.

It was one of the fastest zones in the game, even from the start you were racing down ramps being blasted by fans, blazing through loops, this zone had it all. With the cityscape in the background and the blue chemical liquid oozing out of everywhere, it just set the scene perfectly.

This zone had break away floors, spring bumpers and chemical hazards, but strangely enough, not many enemies. Truthfully it did not need them as the zone itself was a challenge, one that you wanted to come back to again and again.

sonic-2

I also believe this zone had one of the easiest Robotnik bosses. On his stage Robotnik had you between two rotating platforms. He sucks up the chemicals from the pool below you and tries to dump them on you. The trick was to hit him while he was refilling his chemical tank. What many did not know at the time was if you had a second controller plugged in you could control tails. All you had to do is send tails after him while he filled up for an easy win.

Sonic 2 pic
Sonic 2 pic

The music of the zone is one of my all time favorites. It has that mix of classic 16-bit gaming and an industrial computer music flow. Like almost all of the classic 8 and 16 bit games the music is very catchy even though it is repetitive. It has been remixed countless times, but I find the original fantastic in its own right.

Overall Sonic 2 was leaps and bounds over Sonic 1 and zones like Chemical Plant are why. Though I also loved Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles, for me there will always be a special place in my heart for the Chemical Plant Zone.

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J.A. Cares Issue: The Vampire Diaries

I haven’t been to the movies in a long time mainly because my home theater kicks the crap out of most of the non-IMAX screens out there. The other reason is a lot of movies just suck ass and I rather not twilight posterwaste my money on them, but what happens when a movie is affecting your home life?

Raul Paulo writes:

J.A. please help me, I met this really cool chick a few months ago and everything was going fine. We had great conversations and the sex was fantastic, then a friend of hers showed her the Twilight movie and now she is completely insane for it. All she can do is talk about the books and the movies, she swoons over the male actors and it’s affecting my relationship. She is going to camp out for a week for that damn New Moon movie and hasn’t given me even a hand job in months! Please help me.

Wow, I truly feel sorry for you really, which is odd for me since I hate everyone. Personally I hate Twilight as well. Normally I could at least say that it gets kids to read like Harry Potter does, but really there are almost no redeeming qualities to Twilight, the books, movies or fan base.

sparkly_vampire_by_blastedgooseFirst off Vampires don’t sparkle, how can you be angst, a bad-ass and sparkle all at the same time. I mean really, could you image having a Twilight vampire attack you at night, but you escape only to find them sitting on a rock bare-chested and sparkling? I would kill myself for ever being frightened of that. Raul, the first thing you should do is punch your girl in the face, not that I advocate violence, but hey, what’s more bad-ass than a punch in the face, oh right, sparkling.

Have you ever seen the Twilight convention photos? I haven’t seen that many portly women since the great Sara Lee baked goods give-a-way of 2006. It’s like a World of Warcraft convention with plus sized females. There is a sea of pale white high fructose corn syrup enhanced women and then the one ninety-eight pound male emo twat that they surround like hyenas circling a carcass.

You need to either sever or remove her eyeballs, but considering 52% of New Moon ticket holders claim they dream about vampires, that may not work. Now I all_day_long_i_dream_about_vampires_tshirtunderstand how Going Rogue could sell, why America Idol is a rating giants and why I can’t find plus sized women to hit on.

This is a dangerous condition as bad as the Jonathan Taylor Thomas is going to marry me so I can’t play hide the tea cup with you epidemic of 1994. You see Raul; your precious little flower will have no problem dumping you because she thinks some vampire is going to fly in at night and ravager her.

If you don’t want to see your girlfriend walking on the beach next to a sparkly douchebag you need to nip this in the bud quick fast in a hurry. My advice, get them to start playing Farmville, at least your only competition will be a little black sheep.

Obscure Gamer – Recipe for success

Infinity Ward are the chefs, and they have been toiling away in Activision’s kitchen to send out a perfect dish for Christmas 2009 – Modern Warfare 2. But what is the recipe for success?

– Take a large cut of familiarity

The Call of Duty games have steadily and slowly built into a major franchise, and there is no doubt that Modern Warfare was a brilliantly conceived jump into a more modern combat arena. Gamertags reveal hours spent chasing the perks and Achievements. The returning characters and continuing storyline will also be very attractive.

– Use only the choicest ingredients

Limited editions attract more sales. The package including night goggles may seem extravagant, but it got more people talking about the game. However, the price remains an issue. The RRP (Recommended Retail Price) was a much higher £54.95 here in the UK, only to be dented by massive discounting at various supermarkets.

– Stir in some controversy

Not that the recipe needed added spice, but it got some anyway. The airport level, with players cast as a CIA operative working undercover as the bad guys attack civilians, has rightly attracted criticism. The last-minute addition of an option to skip that section of the game is almost cowardice on Infinity Ward’s part. Either they believe in what they have created, or it should not have been in there. But the critics are misguided – this is an 18 rated game, so it is up to parents and retailers to ensure children do not play it.

– Place under a source of heat

The media spotlight has been intense. Midnight shop openings and the launch event in Leicester Square got the cameras out.

– Set the timer

Timing is very important. Other games have jumped out of the way, giving Modern Warfare 2 a clear run-up to Christmas. Also, Microsoft has been banning machines capable of playing pirated copies from Xbox Live in an attempt to ensure that people buy it.

So, millions will be enjoying the feast of first-person action and multiplayer combat. But they should be careful not to bolt their food – the single player mode is brief, lasting just a few hours. And in a few months time there will be other dishes competing for attention online…

Recipe for success

Recipe for success

Infinity Ward are the chefs, and they have been toiling away in Activision’s kitchen to send out a perfect dish for Christmas 2009 – Modern Warfare 2. But what is the recipe for success?

– Take a large cut of familiarity

The Call of Duty games have steadily and slowly built into a major franchise, and there is no doubt that Modern Warfare was a brilliantly conceived jump into a more modern combat arena. Gamertags reveal hours spent chasing the perks and Achievements. The returning characters and continuing storyline will also be very attractive.

– Use only the choicest ingredients

Limited editions attract more sales. The package including night goggles may seem extravagant, but it got more people talking about the game. However, the price remains an issue. The RRP (Recommended Retail Price) was a much higher £54.95 here in the UK, only to be dented by massive discounting at various supermarkets.

– Stir in some controversy

Not that the recipe needed added spice, but it got some anyway. The airport level, with players cast as a CIA operative working undercover as the bad guys attack civilians, has rightly attracted criticism. The last-minute addition of an option to skip that section of the game is almost cowardice on Infinity Ward’s part. Either they believe in what they have created, or it should not have been in there. But the critics are misguided – this is an 18 rated game, so it is up to parents and retailers to ensure children do not play it.

– Place under a source of heat

The media spotlight has been intense. Midnight shop openings and the launch event in Leicester Square got the cameras out.

– Set the timer

Timing is very important. Other games have jumped out of the way, giving Modern Warfare 2 a clear run-up to Christmas. Also, Microsoft has been banning machines capable of playing pirated copies from Xbox Live in an attempt to ensure that people buy it.

So, millions will be enjoying the feast of first-person action and multiplayer combat. But they should be careful not to bolt their food – the single player mode is brief, lasting just a few hours. And in a few months time there will be other dishes competing for attention online…