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Jeremy Swindle

Jeremy is a heavy metal musician from Bloomington, IN who will argue the finer points of fast food while also defending the ideals of Zeon. He goes by the name Lord Reptile when competing in fighting game tournaments. His main writing influences include Nintendo Power, H.P. Lovecraft, Charles Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson. He may respond to your comments eventually, but don't be offended if Lord Reptile shows up to eat your head.
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The 5 Greatest Dad Beers in America

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Jeremy Swindle

1. Bud Heavy

Dadbeers

Whether you just finished mowing the lawn or your favorite sportsball team is losing the big game, Budweiser always hits the spot.

 

2. Colt 45

Why listen to me when Lando Calrissian, the real captain of the Millenium Falcon, will tell you that Colt 45 works every time?

 

3. Hamm’s

When you’re going for sheer volume, accept no substitutes. Hamm’ is the smoothest of all Dad Beers.

 

4. Olde English 800

snoopdoggoe800

The king of all 40s would still be at the top of the game if only they hadn’t put it in a plastic bottle. Dads don’t drink plastic beer.

 

5. Coors Banquet

Coors Banquet makes the list for the reason that it tastes so great even the biggest rookie can drink it warm.

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How To Survive On Desert Lizard Island: The 5 Greatest Multi-Player Video Games Of All Time

Friday, April 3rd, 2015 - by Jeremy Swindle

Editor’s Note: It’s Desert Island Video Game Debates on Fridays at PJ Lifestyle. What are the greatest video games of all time? Which titles defined their genres and dominated their time? The discussion began last week with the “most literal” of lists: 5 of the greatest games of all time that happen to be set on an island.

HOW WOULD YOU POSSIBLY SURVIVE WITHOUT REPTILE’S GREATEST DESERT ISLAND MULTIPLAYER GAMES? WITHOUT THE REPTILE YOU FOOLS WOULD BE STUCK PLAYING GLITCHED OUT MMORPGS AND BORING FIRST-PERSON SHOOTERS. THE KNOWLEDGE THE REPTILE BESTOWS IS CRUCIAL TO YOUR SURVIVAL. THERE IS NO KNOWLEDGE THAT IS NOT POWER.

1. Saturn Bomberman (Sega Saturn)

CAN IT GET ANY MORE HYPE THAN 10-PLAYER BOMBERMAN KOMBAT? NO.

Saturn Bomberman was way ahead of the game when it came to multiplayer. Although past bomberman games would allow over 4 players to blow each other up in a variety of stages, Saturn Bomberman allowed the richest nerd on the block to connect not one but two multi taps to a Sega Saturn and play on an enormous stage with 10 opponents. The Japanese version even included online play over Sega Saturn network. Sega was the way of the future, and Saturn Bomberman could be called a “Future World” of sorts.

The game also boasts a multiplayer co-op mode, allowing two players to blast through the game and enjoy all of the outrageous bosses while rocking to the game’s electronic music soundtrack.

THE REPTILE CAN’T BELIEVE SATURN BOMBERMAN CONTAINS THE GREATEST SOUNDING MUSIC ON THE SEGA SATURN. PREPARE TO BE DESTROYED BY COMPOSER JUN CHIKUMA’S MASTERY OF SYNTHESIZERS AND ELECTRONIC DRUMBEATS.

 

2. Super Smash Bros. Melee (Gamecube)

THE REPTILE HAS YET TO MAKE A LIST ABOUT THE ODD REALM THAT EXISTS BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD DIMENSIONS. BUT FOR NOW YOU MORTALS CAN HAVE A TASTE OF SOME MELEE.

Presumably you and your nerd friends will be stuck on this island with electricity for some time. It could be at least 14 years, perhaps. That’s how long Super Smash Bros. Melee has been around, and it’s still one of the hottest competitive fighting games in esports. JUST WATCH THE REPTILE’S FAVORITE PLAYER, AMSA, DESTROY NERDS WITH HIS RED YOSHI. HE IS THE TRUE KING OF THE DINOSAURS. Who would have known that an experienced Yoshi player could hold their own against established top tier characters? It’s impossible to predict where Melee will go next.

Choose any one of the many Nintendo characters in the roster, you’ll probably get dropkicked by a random nerd who’s been practicing Captain Falcon combos like it’s their job. Even if you don’t want to play competitively Melee occupies a special middle ground where it’s still an excellent party game.

 

3. Mario Kart 64 (N64)

MUCH LIKE MANY OTHER GAMES NINTENDO MADE FOR BABIES MARIO KART 64 CAN BE COMPLETED WITH EASE BUT ONLY A TRUE GO-CART WARRIOR CAN TRIUMPH IN 4 PLAYER VS. MODE. EVEN BABY REPTILE WAS ABLE TO HANDLE 150 CC SPECIAL CUP WITH NO PROBLEM.

Mario Kart made a successful transition into the world of dlc and online matchmaking gameplay but everyone knows 4-player Mario Kart 64 is where things get truly salty. Mario Kart players can be effectively divided into two types: Those who use shortcuts, and those who lose. LEARN THE WARIO STADIUM JUMP YOU AMATEURS. EITHER LEARN TO DRIFT OR PREPARE TO EAT THE REPTILE’S CART EXHAUST FUMES.

 

4. Mortal Kombat Trilogy (N64)

WATCH AND LEARN AT 2:03, YOU WEAK PATHETIC FOOLS. BACK, FORWARD, DOWN, BLOCK AT SWEEP RANGE IS HOW THE REPTILE EATS YOUR HEADS EVERY TIME YOU COMPLAIN IN THE COMMENTS.

This is but one of many ways you can finish off the other nerd after beating them mercilessly with combos and air juggles. WILL YOU TEAR THE SKIN OFF THEIR FACE? OR WILL YOU TRANSFORM INTO A PENGUIN AND DESTROY THEM WITH YOUR EXPLODING PENGUIN BOMB OF DOOM? Mortal Kombat Trilogy was the peak of not just the MK series but of nu-metal fighting games. Throw down to some Korn and Fear Factory and the let the 8-player tournament mode eat your soul.

 

5. Quake III Arena

THE SECOND MOST VIOLENT GAME ON THIS LIST IS AN EXCEPTION TO REPTILE’S RULE OF NOT TALKING ABOUT FPS (FIRST-PERSON SHOOTERS.) Quake III Arena was the last multiplayer shooter the Reptile felt lived up to the hype. Based on the same approach as Doom and Duke Nukem it was an extremely fast and hard-hitting shooter that anyone can play if they have a computer. It was one of the first huge online FPS games and much like Super Smash Bros. Melee is still played competitively. This game is so simple to play you can open it in a browser but if you have it on Dreamcast it’s like playing the multiplayer game that Perfect Dark could have been if it were ported to a system that could properly contain the hype. WHY FIGHT BOTS WHEN YOU CAN BLOW UP PEOPLE?

THAT’S ALL FOR NOW HUMAN SCUM PERHAPS THE NEXT LIST WILL BE MORE FOCUSED TO A PARTICULAR GENRE, ONE WHICH THE REPTILE KNOWS BETTER THAN ALL OF YOU WEAKLINGS. PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF THE GREATEST DESERT ISLAND GAMES OF ALL TIME: PLATFORMING EDITION.

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You’re Trapped on a Desert Island & Can Pick Only 5 Video Games…

Saturday, March 28th, 2015 - by Jeremy Swindle

Editor’s Note: We’re beginning a new series of discussions and debates to determine the greatest titles by genre in video games, music, movies, TV, and everything else of consequence in culture. The infamous Lord Reptile will preside as fight master and referee to ensure both fairness and maximum bloodshed. He was originally asked to start the series by providing his list of best “desert island video games” — the titles one would most want while trapped forever if one had to play the same games over and over again. Being a snarky, overly clever, cold-blooded creature, he then realized that some of the greatest games of all time actually take place on islands and that one could assemble a literal “Desert Island Video Game” list. And so you now have it. A more traditional, “greatest video games of all time” list will be coming later in the tournament. For now, this will more than suffice… 

WELCOME TO REPTILE’S ISLAND, HUMAN SCUM. DURING THIS COMING ONSLAUGHT OF VIDEO GAME LISTS, YOU WILL DISCOVER THE MOST DEADLY GAMES THAT OUTWORLD HAS TO OFFER. FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, MY ISLAND SHALL BECOME YOUR BATTLEGROUND. SEND YOUR KOMBATANTS TO THE COMMENT SECTION TO MEET CERTAIN DEATH BY LORD REPTILE HIMSELF. HOW WILL EARTHREALM HANDLE THE MOST LITERAL OF ISLAND VIDEO GAME LISTS?

1. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (Wii U)

How could you not want to play The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker if you were trapped on a desert island for eternity? If you can’t sail away and feel the wind of the gods upon your face as you explore the vast open seas, then you might as well just sit there and do just that in a Zelda game. It beats potentially drowning.

THE REPTILE CAN’T SWIM. BETTER SIT INSIDE AND PLAY VIDEO GAMES INSTEAD.

Many people (DUMMIES FOR LACK OF A BETTER WORD) were upset by Wind Waker’s ridiculously fresh and gorgeous cel-shaded visual style. It was quickly labeled a baby’s game by morons who compared it to the darker, more mature looks of Ocarina of Time.

THESE AMATEURS OBVIOUSLY DID NOT MAKE IT FAR ENOUGH INTO THE GAME TO WITNESS THE TOTAL DARKNESS THAT WAS THE EARTH TEMPLE. WHAT A FUN ROMP THROUGH THE CATACOMBS.

If you’ve got a Wii U, then you’re out of excuses: get this game and get lost in the ocean forever.

2. Super Mario Sunshine (Gamecube)

Some fools may argue that Super Mario Galaxy had the edge over Super Mario Sunshine, but they’re wrong.

THE REPTILE WILL NOT HEAR SUCH TALK. KOTAKU SHOULD STICK TO REVIEWING GUNDAM DONUTS AND COLOSSAL TITAN BURGERS.

Super Mario Sunshine is vastly superior to every 3D Mario game, period. It took the already fun and intuitive controls of Super Mario 64, fine-tuned them so they felt perfect, and then gave Mario a sick water jetpack that transforms the foundation of the game into an even more ridiculously fun platformer. But the most obvious strong point is in the graphics and fresh level design. Every stage has its own unique flow and bosses, and you’ll soon unlock all of the levels and have way too many shine sprites to collect. WHAT A FEAST.

The main levels aren’t even half of what this game has to offer. Around the islands there are dozens of challenging mini levels that will put your platforming chops to the test.

Playing this game feels like a vacation from the merciless vacuum of dreary adventure and shooter games saturating the market.

ALL OF THOSE BORING GAMES WITH THEIR BLAH GRAPHICS CRAMP THE REPTILE’S STYLE. SUPER MARIO SUNSHINE LOOKS GREAT AND WILL MAKE YOU FEEL HAPPY.

3. Donkey Kong Country (SNES)

Everyone knows that during the ’90s Mario and Sonic competed directly with one another for the title of heavyweight platforming world champion, but in 1994 a new challenger for the belt emerged from the depths and descended upon them like a gorilla with the strength of a thousand lesser apes: DONKEY KONG COUNTRY. NO ONE HAD EVER SEEN A GAME THAT LOOKED SO GOOD AND HAD SUCH A SWEET SOUNDTRACK. THE REPTILE STILL GETS GOOSEBUMPS ON HIS SCALEY HIDE EVERY TIME HE FIRES UP THIS GROUNDBREAKING GAME.

If you ever watched the Donkey Kong Country promotional VHS tape you had a small inkling of how this title was going to revolutionize platform gaming, but it wasn’t until you were swinging through Jungle Hijinx and smashing through kremlins with Rambi the Rhino that you realized this was a Mario killer. With the combined abilities of DK and his side chimp Diddy Kong, the duo was far cooler than Sonic and Tails. DKC can be beaten easily in a matter of hours if you’re a platforming genius, but very few players will find all the secret areas.

THE KREMLINS MAY BE JEALOUS OF THIS DONKEY KONG’S BANANA HOARD BUT THE REPTILE IS NOT ONE OF THEM. THE REPTILE ONLY EATS MEAT. HE HAS NO USE FOR BANANAS.

4. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (Gamecube)

HEY LOOK EVERYONE, IT’S SNAKE PLISSKEN AND HE’S HERE TO SAVE THE WORLD FROM A GIANT ROBOT AGAIN.

Whoa, wait, that’s not what happened in Escape From New York. Perhaps the Reptile shouldn’t have been feasting on Hamm’s when he wrote that review.

Solid Snake is Kurt Russell’s name in this story, and this time he’s going to Shadow Moses Island in Alaska to embark on a tactical stealth espionage conquest.

SHADOW MOSES ISLAND. YOU WILL NEVER FIND A MORE WRETCHED HIVE OF CRUMMY FOOT SOLDIERS AND BADASS SUPERVILLAINS. Most of the enemies in this game are just a bunch of generic goofuses, but they have strength in numbers. The members of Fox Hound are the ones who really steal the show with their over-the-top combat abilities and supernatural powers. Every character has their own unique personality that makes for a well-rounded cast that’s often missing from the plot in an average action game.

Stealth games had been around long before Metal Gear Solid, but none of them could match the sheer intensity and brilliant story that the first MGS had to offer. Playing this game is like living an American action movie that’s heavily influenced by anime.

If the playstation version of the game hurts your eyes, there’s a solid remake for the GameCube that uses a visual style similar to the sequel and even boasts the same first-person shooting mode.

5. Resident Evil: Code Veronica (Dreamcast)

Don’t let recent installments to the Resident Evil series fool you. Resident Evil used to be an extremely unique game with a killer atmosphere. It didn’t rely on using overly long and flashy cut scenes throughout the game to tell a story. No, the classic Resident Evil game would have one cheesy opener, and then it would throw the gamer into a survival situation where you had to be just as good at conserving health and ammo as you were at killing enemies. Resident Evil: Code Veronica X was arguably the last classic game of the series before Capcom opted for a behind-the-shoulder action style in Resident Evil 4 on the GameCube.

You start the game as Claire Redfield on a military prison island filled with zombies, zombie dogs, and several new monsters as you try to find a way off the island. They also bring back classic favorites like the Tyrant, who comes after you like a Terminator robot as you try to escape the island. The game is filled with jump scares and hilariously cheesy voice acting throughout, and tons of great gore.

Code Veronica combines everything that made the previous games so compelling and makes the controls much more manageable.

Much to the Reptile’s dismay, the survival horror genre has been buried under action titles posing as horror games.

LEFT 4 DEAD IS NOT SURVIVAL HORROR. IT IS AN ACTION GAME. DEAD RISING IS AN ACTION GAME ABOUT ZOMBIES IN A MALL. ZOMBIE U IS A GAME ABOUT BEATING UP ZOMBIES IN LONDON WITH A CRICKET BAT. THIS IS ALSO NOT SURVIVAL HORROR. STOP MAKING ACTION GAMES ABOUT ZOMBIES. THEY WERE NEVER THAT COOL.

THAT’S ALL FOR NOW, HUMANS, MAYBE NEXT TIME THE REPTILE WILL BESTOW HIS KNOWLEDGE OF SOME CLASSIC GAMES YOU AND YOUR LOSER FRIENDS CAN ALL PLAY.

INDEED, TRUE KOMBAT ONLY OCCURS IN THE MULTIPLAYER REALM. STAY HYPED FOR THE SEQUEL MULTIPLAYER ISLAND: RETURN OF THE DESERT LIZARD.

******

And check out some of Lord Reptile’s previous lists:

Lord Reptile’s 10 Most Sacred 2-D Fighting Games

Press Start: Lord Reptile’s 7 Ultimate Heavy Metal Albums To Begin Your List Quest

Lord Reptile’s Top 5 Apocalypse Movies

The 10 Most Overrated Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time

The 10 Worst Horror Films on Netflix: Drinking Game Edition

The 10 Most Irritating Fast Food Items You Must Avoid

Do you disagree with the selections? Would you like to start a new debate of your own about the best in a particular category? Contact the Swindle Bros and their loyal colleague/assassin Lord Reptile with your ideas and challenges: TheSwindleBros @ Yahoo.com. Image illustration via Geek Improvement.  

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Lord Reptile’s 10 Most Sacred 2-D Fighting Games

Friday, March 20th, 2015 - by Jeremy Swindle

Long ago, before “MMORPGS” and first-person shooters dominated the competitive gaming scene, there was only one way to settle who was the most powerful nerd in all the land: 2-D fighting games.

THESE ARE THE GAMES THAT WHICH LORD REPTILE HOLDS MOST SACRED IN THE FIGHTING GAME REALM. IN ORDER TO QUALIFY AS A 2-D FIGHTER, THE GAME MUST INCLUDE 2-D CHARACTER SPRITES WHICH FIGHT ON A TWO-DIMENSIONAL PLANE. EVERYTHING ELSE IS NOT WORTHY OF BEING ON THE REPTILE’S LIST.

2-D FIGHTING STILL THRIVES TODAY IN THE FORM OF ANIME FIGHTERS. BUT BEFORE YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THE TRUE ART OF 2-D FIGHTING, YOU MUST LOOK BACK AND STUDY THE RICH HERITAGE OF THE ORIGINAL FIGHTERS.

YOU ARE NOT A WARRIOR. YOU ARE A BEGINNER. FIGHT OR DIE.

1. Karate Champ

BACK IN 1984, THERE WERE NO TOURNAMENT FIGHTERS. THE TENTH MORTAL KOMBAT TOURNAMENT HAD NOT YET HAPPENED ON EARTHREALM. INSTEAD, RYU AND KEN WERE THE SAME PERSON JUST WEARING DIFFERENT COLORED GIS IN A GAME CALLED KARATE CHAMP.

Karate Champ is a game that rewards your ability to press buttons. If you hit an opponent once, the fight stops and you’re awarded points.

Karate Champ is evidence that games don’t always have to be great to be influential. It’s definitely not a very fun game but millions of idiots lined up to play it because it was the only head-to-head fighting game available. The Reptile acknowledges Karate Champ for its influence, not for being a fun game.

2. Street Fighter

The original Street Fighter may seem laughable when compared to its far more popular sequel, but in 1987 it may have been the most advanced fighting game ever created. With its enormous cabinet and iconic characters, Street Fighter quickly made itself known in Japanese arcades. Unlike Karate Champ, points are not awarded for executing moves on an opponent.

INSTEAD THE PLAYER IS REWARDED BY BEATING THE OPPONENT UNTIL THEY CAN NO LONGER STAND. SUCH IS THE TRUE NATURE OF STREET COMBAT.

Street Fighter invented the life bar in one on one fighting games, and also special moves. The original Street Fighter was essentially the very first actual tournament fighting game. Despite its clumsiness and the high degree of difficulty that goes into performing special moves, Street Fighter served as a prototype for every fighting game that came after.

3. Street Fighter II

Street Fighter had so much left to prove after its first installment. Street Fighter II will live on in the consciousness of every ’90s arcadegoer as the very first competitive fighting game. It brought in combos by sheer mistake, but players quickly began to capitalize on Capcom’s mishap and used it to punish their opponents. Ryu, Ken, Chun Li and Guile quickly became household names as a movie was made in the mid-’90s hoping to capitalize on the hype.  It wasn’t very good.

Street Fighter: the Movie may have sucked, but Street Fighter II saw at least five different updates in arcades and on consoles. Street Fighter II on the SNES was the first first 16-bit cartridge in console gaming, and its successors kept pushing the envelope in fighting games for years.

ALL OTHER FIGHTERS WERE INFERIOR TO STREET FIGHTER II FOR YEARS TO COME. IT IS MOST IMPRESSIVE THAT THE SEQUEL SURPASSED THE ORIGINAL STREET FIGHTER WITH ITS SHEER INTENSITY AND COMPETITIVE GAMEPLAY.

Street Fighter signaled the end of the dark age of arcade fighting games with the creation of the CPS cabinet, Capcom’s first of three cabinets deisgned to house their arcade games.

4. Samurai Shodown

AFTER I FINISH MEDITATING I WILL DESTROY YOU.

The Reptile did not play Samurai Shodown until very recently but it is obviously one of the finest weapons-based fighters ever made. SNK may not have gotten as much attention as Capcom when it came to fighting games but Samurai Shodown rivals Street Fighter II in terms of gameplay and presentation. Even the music makes you feel like a samurai.

Whenever you lose and push start, remember that you’re not doing it to beat the game: you’re continuing for revenge against the deadliest of foes. Your sole objective is to strike down your enemy with your sword of justice.

The staggering variety of fighters and special moves makes this one a daunting challenge even for fighting veterans.

5. Mortal Kombat

IF YOU WISH TO FIND THE REPTILE, PERFECTION IS THE KEY.

The first Mortal Kombat introduced excessive blood and revolutionary graphics provided by digitized actors. It was this element of realism combined with ridiculous finishing moves that turned heads in arcades for years. If one were to pick a movie that inspired the grisly fatalies of Mortal Kombat, it would most likely be Rikki-Oh. The sheer satisfaction of finishing off a beaten opponent by eating their head is what has kept The Reptile coming back to the MK franchise for every new installment.

IF YOU WISH TO FIND THE REPTILE, THEN FATALITY IS THE KEY.

Athough Mortal Kombat may not have introduced as many new fighting mechanics as its main competitor Street Fighter II, it was far more notorious for being the most violent video game of its time. Check out these blowhards on the news shaking their fingers at MK’s mature content. SUCH WEAK, PATHETIC FOOLS. THE REPTILE LAUGHS AT THEIR DISCOMFORT. I WILL CRUSH THEM IN ONE BLOW.

6. King of Fighters

SNK put out more fighting games than any other company and almost all of them were impressive but the most well known series is King of Fighters. Stemming from the Fatal Fury series, the creator of Fatal Fury was one of the original creators of Street Fighter. King of Fighters introduced the 3 vs 3 head to head mode which unleashed a plethora of possibilities for team combat. King of Fighters has changed quite a bit over the years but it has always boasted superior fighting mechanics. Recently it crossed over to the 3-D realm but SNK probably knew this wasn’t the best idea and returned as an impressive looking anime fighter for its 2013 installment.

7. Darkstalkers

Darkstalkers was the first true Anime fighter ever made so Reptile considers that to be a very important advancement made by Capcom. The characters broke boundaries of fanservice that no other game would go through. Plus you could play as a Sasquatch, a zombie, Frankenstein and pretty much every other universal monster you can think of plus extras.

DARKSTALKERS IS ESSENTIALLY STREET FIGHTER FOR MALL-DWELLING GOTHIC TEENAGERS. THROW ON SOME NINE INCH NAILS AND BODY YOUR OPPONENTS WHILE WEARING YOUR BEST CORPSEPAINT.

Morrigan, the succubus and main character of the franchise brought in the gothic anime hybrid that the genre had been missing the entire time.

Darkstalkers plays like a Street Fighter clone but there’s just something about it that makes it so incredibly endearing that the Reptile most certainly prefers it over Street Fighter II.

8. Guilty Gear

If Darkstalkers left fighting game fans doubting the competitive potential of anime fighters, Guilty Gear proved that they were fools for doubting the genre. This weapons-based fighter has been a mainstay at Evolution fighting tournaments ever since Guilty Gear X2. It boasts some of the most ridiculous characters to ever appear in a fighting game. The Reptile mains the pirate girl May, who fights with an enormous anchor that she lifts and swings around with ease. But she’s probably the most normal character in the entire roster, Guilty Gear is as strange as it is competitive.

GUILTY GEAR ALSO HAS A MOST IMPRESSIVE HEAVY METAL SOUNDTRACK. THAT HEAVY RIFFAGE WILL MAKE YOU CRUSH YOUR OPPONENTS INTO A PULP.

9. Marvel Vs. Capcom 2: Golden Age of Heroes

MvC2 is the most HYPE fighting game to ever exist. Although the crossover tag team fighting genre was started by X-men vs. Street Fighter years prior to MvC2, it wasn’t until the second installment of Marvel vs. Capcom when maximum hype was achieved. An insanely disorienting and chaotic fighter, you swap out fighters and use assists to overwhelm your enemy. Where else can you see Megaman, Sentinel and Chun Li team up and take out Thanos? No fighting game can top MvC2’s absurdity or blistering competitive tag team gameplay. MvC2 is arguably the only fighting game you will ever need, and that’s coming from a diehard Mortal Kombat fanboy.

CROSSOVER FIGHTERS ARE AMONG THE MOST HYPED FIGHTING GAMES CREATED. THE TAG TEAM FIGHTING GENRE WOULD HAVE BEEN QUICKLY BURIED UNDER THE COUNTLESS WRESTLING GAMES OF THE NINETIES IF IT WERE NOT FOR SUPERIOR TITLES SUCH AS MARVEL VS CAPCOM.

10. Street Fighter III: Third Strike

I FEEL THE POWER LEVEL OF THESE TWO NERDS IS VERY STRONG. THEY LOOK TOUGH. WHO ARE THEY?

The final 2-D fighting game on this list is one that The Reptile considers the last classic of the genre. Third Strike was the final version of Street Fighter III, and the only one to really get it right. Featuring both classic characters such as Ryu and Akuma and newcomers like Dudley the boxing dandy, Street Fighter III is an extremely advanced yet traditional fighting game. It introduced the counter system, which as you can see in the above video can turn the tables in even the most seemingly hopeless matches. As if this wasn’t enough, the popularity of Third Strike at Evo proved that the spirit of 2-D fighting games is alive and well in the fighting game community.

******

See more of Lord Reptile’s cultural lists:

Press Start: Lord Reptile’s 7 Ultimate Heavy Metal Albums To Begin Your List Quest

Lord Reptile’s Top 5 Apocalypse Movies

The 10 Most Overrated Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time

The 10 Worst Horror Films on Netflix: Drinking Game Edition

The 10 Most Irritating Fast Food Items You Must Avoid

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Press Start: Lord Reptile’s 7 Ultimate Heavy Metal Albums To Begin Your List Quest

Friday, March 6th, 2015 - by Jeremy Swindle

All of you feeble mortals can consider this list Lord Reptile’s love letter to classic heavy metal albums. The Reptile does not necessarily like any genre of metal more than the other, but that might be because the standards that he holds metal to are actually quite narrow. If you want to begin to have a true grasping of what metal is, you must go back to the beginning. Only then will you notice when some heavy blues and psychedelic rock bands shed their flower rock influences and evolved into something darker and much heavier.

1. Judas Priest – Stained Class (1978)

Judas Priest may have been the most important band when it came to the full realization of heavy metal in the eighties. Their album Stained Class is but one of several monstrous heavy metal albums that they released back when heavy metal was only a term and had yet to be truly defined. But Stained Class was far more metal than anything that came before it.

From that often-imitated double kick bass at the beginning of “Exciter,” to Rob Halford’s hair-raising falsetto screams throughout the entire album, or Glen Tipton and KK Downing’s blazing riffwork on tracks like “Savage” and “Beyond the Realms of Death,” this album appeals to the heavy metal maniac in all of us.

Essential Tracks for biker metallers: “Exciter,” “Better By You,” “Better Me,” “Savage,” “Beyond the Realms of Death”

2. Motorhead – Overkill  (1979)

If Stained Class raised the question “Just how much is a 70’s heavy metal band capable of?” Then Motorhead’s Overkill album is the answer. Although Lemmy may simply refer to Motorhead’s music as “Rock n’ roll,” this album is the closest sounding thing to speed metal. If Black Sabbath is responsible for creating heavy metal, then Motorhead invented speed metal. With those punk-influenced lyrics and fast tempos, Motorhead was arguably the biggest band to influence thrash metal until Venom released their debut Welcome to Hell. Overkill is the perfect album for going fast.

Best tracks for going fast: ”Overkill,” “Stay Clean,” “(I Won’t) Pay Your Price,” “No Class,” “Damage Case”

3. Rainbow – Rainbow Rising (1976)

Ritchie Blackmore was arguably just as important as Tony Iommi when it came to his influence on heavy metal. Deep Purple’s early albums were ridiculously abrasive for early 70’s hard rock, and Ian Gillan’s high-pitched shrieking left a huge impression that would later influence falsetto giants like Halford and King Diamond.

But why would the Reptile review one of Deep Purple’s albums when Rainbow Rising is vastly superior? As much as I acknowledge Ian Gillan as one of the very first metal vocalists, he has nothing on Ronnie James Dio. Before Dio’s solo band, before he replaced Duke Osbourne in Black Sabbath, RJD had already established himself as the greatest heavy metal singer of all time in Rainbow.

Personally, my favorite release from them is the live album Rainbow On Stage but I’ll talk about that at another time. When you hear the song “Stargazer” you’ll be hooked on Rainbow Rising. That was the first epic metal song ever made. Ritchie Blackmore’s neo-classical harmonic minor scale abuse, which was somewhat rare at the time save for Uli Jon Roth’s early mastery of shred, also served as an influence to the power metal genre.

Top tracks to listen to while praising Lord Dio: ”Tarot Woman,” “Starstruck,” “Stargazer”

4. Black Sabbath – Master of Reality (1971)

Black Sabbath’s debut is widely recognized to be the very first heavy metal album, making Black Sabbath the very first metal band. But it wasn’t until a year later that Reptile is convinced the master doom rockers released the album that truly DEFINED heavy metal once and for all: Master of Reality. This was the very first metal album young Reptile bought on vinyl.

When Sweet Leaf comes on you know this is the album that if it could talk, its breath would reek of liquor, stale beer and great weed. Sweet Leaf was the first anthem of stoner doom metal. The galloping song of doom that is “Children of the Grave” might as well be my funeral dirge. Then you flip the side and “Lord of this World” comes on and crushes that nerd Eric Clapton and his silly flower rock band Cream into bits. As the placid flute ballad Solitude comes on take a minute to reflect on your pathetic life until the low tuned opening riff of “Into the Void” lurches into the scene like a George Romero zombie. Near the end As Lord Iommi rips some nonsensical guitar solo over Master Butler’s heavy bassline you ponder if this flawless slab of metal could have come from human hands. Well they didn’t: Tony Iommi’s fingertips are fake.

Best tracks to listen to while blazing: EVERY SONG. THE REPTILE ENDORSES EVERY SINGLE SONG ON LORD IOMMI, MASTER BUTLER AND DUKE OSBOURNE’S TIMELESS METAL MASTERPIECE.

5. Mercyful Fate – Melissa (1983)

Heavy metal simply doesn’t get much better than Mercyful Fate. King Diamond is arguably the most iconic frontman of all time. His early lyrics focused on themes of Satanism and witchcraft, and this album stands out for telling a story of sorts. Concept albums were an almost non-existent gimmick in metal at the time, as was corpsepaint. Mercyful Fate was really the first band of their kind. To this day I still think King Diamond is one of the only legitimate heavy metal musicians to use corpsepaint.

But when you peel away all the theatrics and evil lyrics, you’re left with an undeniably solid heavy metal band. Hank Shermann and Michael Denner are easily one of the most underrated guitar duos in the genre. The solo exchange in “Evil” can match the intensity of any Judas Priest or Iron Maiden solo. Mercyful Fate’s twin guitar approach was as groundbreaking as it was heavy and melodic.

Top tracks for your Halloween metal playlist: ”Evil,” “Curse of the Pharaohs,” “Black Funeral,” “Satan’s Fall”

6. Iron Maiden – Killers (1981)

Iron Maiden’s last album before their acrimonious split with frontman Paul Di’anno is one of the last truly memorable albums of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Although Bruce Dickinson was definitely the right frontman for Maiden and they went on to create some of the greatest ’80s metal albums with him, to me Killers stands out by representing everything that one could possibly hope for in a NWOBHM album.

The sheer intensity of Di’anno’s vocals on tracks like “Wrathchild” and the titular track are simply unmatched. Steve Harris serves as an example to all bassists that even when there’s two dueling guitarists like Adrian Smith and Dave Murray trying to blow everyone away it’s those galloping and abrasive bass licks that really make the songs move. “Genghis Khan” is also arguably the finest instrumental heavy metal song of all time, very technical but also unforgettable.

Top tracks to listen to while stalking the subway: ”Wrathchild,” “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “Another Life,” “Genghis Khan,” “Killers,” “Purgatory,” “Twilight Zone” (special edition only)

7. Angel Witch – Angel Witch (1980)

The most heroic sounding band of the NWOBHM was years ahead of everyone else when it comes to their heavy riff game. If you don’t get hyped when you hear the first solo on the title track you should probably check to make sure you still have a pulse. Guitarist/vocalist Kevin Heybourne sings in the melodic yet gritty style that NWOBHM is known for but his high-pitched wailing is a far cry from that of Biff Byford of Saxon or Paul Di  Anno of Iron Maiden. Still, he makes up for this with his fantasy-themed lyrics and the fact that he’s handling both lead and rhythm guitar duties while still being a competent vocalist.

Tracks for NWOBHM enthusiasts: ”Angel Witch,” “Atlantis,” “White Witch,” “Gorgon”

******

This article begins PJ Lifestyle’s Culture List Project, in which we begin looking backward at the section’s previous years of lists that argued about and ranked everything in popular culture, while also starting to think about the future for new approaches to the infamous “Listicle” genre that has come to conquer the internet both to jeers and applause.

What pop culture lists and debates do you want to have at PJ Lifestyle in the future? We want to figure out the best, worst, most overrated/underrated across all categories and genres. Movies, TV, Video Games, Food, Books, People, Culture and History — on Fridays it’s List Day. Get in touch with The Brothers Swindle on Twitter with your suggestions and ideas for what you want to read and argue about. (Submissions can be emailed to DaveSwindlePJM AT Gmail.com Here’s an assortment of Lifestyle lists across genres to chew on in the meantime:

Lord Reptile’s Top 5 Apocalypse Movies

The 20 Best Films of the 1930s

The 10 Most Overrated Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time

The 10 Most Cringe-Worthy TV Flops

10 Movies Much Sexier Than Fifty Shades of Grey

The 20 Best Films of the 2000s

4 Fallacies Killing Feminism

The 10 Worst Horror Films on Netflix: Drinking Game Edition

The 10 Most Underrated Movies of 2014

13 Reasons to Fall in Love with Lana Del Rey

15 Songs Millennials Must Listen to in Order to Understand the 1980s

The 10 Most Irritating Fast Food Items You Must Avoid

The 20 Best Films of the 1990s

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Lord Reptile’s Top 5 Apocalypse Movies

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015 - by Jeremy Swindle

You’re reading the concluding post for Preparedness Week, a weeklong series of blogs about disaster and emergency preparation inspired by the launch of Freedom Academy’s newest e-book, Surviving the End: A Practical Guide for Everyday Americans in the Age of Terrorby James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. You can download the e-book exclusively at the PJ Store here.

5. Mortal Kombat

If the apocalypse means having my skull smashed open on the rocks by Goro while Napalm Death plays then count me in. After all, Reptile is just Shang Tsung’s humble bodyguard for swatting down mortal weaklings in this film. The Reptile can take a few body slams with no problem.

Anyway, if you’re unfamiliar with the Mortal Kombat video games’ plot it shouldn’t matter. The movie involves a brutal tournament between the mortals of Earthrealm and Shang Tsung’s flunkies of Outworld. If Earth’s warriors lose the 10th tournament, the emperor Shao Khan becomes the ruler of Earthrealm.

I’m not going to spoil the ending but it should be fairly obvious that a certain Shaolin monk by the name of Louis Kang lays the smack down on the evil sorcerer and reappears for the sequel, Annihilation. This is the only proper MK film. Don’t bother with any others.

Mortal Kombat is a fine apocalyptic movie for parties or any situation.

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The 10 Most Overrated Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time

Friday, February 13th, 2015 - by Jeremy Swindle

Editor’s Note: this list is an expansion of “The 5 Most Overrated Guitarists in Heavy Metal“ from earlier this month. It’s also a continuation of an on-going series exploring the highs and lows of the genre. Send Jeremy your ideas and arguments for which bands and albums are worthy of praise and others in need of rhetorical decapitations. He can be challenged to battle on Twitter here.

Due to the commotion that was roused in the comments section by Lord Reptile’s Guitar list, he has returned with a vastly superior lineup this time. Lord Reptile enjoyed reading your petty squabbles and thought it appropriate to KO 5 more guitar players. Lord Reptile is a generous god.

Every guitarist on this list (except maybe the dude from Avenged Sevenfold) was hugely influential to Reptile when it came to learning how to play guitar. That being said, as a musician it’s very important to look at other musicians objectively and poke fun at each other’s antics from time to time.

If you can’t handle some internet writer’s witty jabs to your guitar idol then maybe you’re just better off hiding under your bed until your mom says it’s okay to use the computer again.

No disrespect is intended towards anyone here unless they have stupid hair or tribal tattoos.

10. Nigel Tufnel (Spinal Tap)

Spinal Tap is an absolute rubbish band. The fact that they cannot even function on the same level of stupidity without lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel is quite pathetic, really. His solos are among the clumsiest in heavy metal, one is almost reminded of master Angus Young but without any sense of finesse or substance.

And then there’s his infamous guitar solo where he kicks a guitar on the ground and plays his main guitar with a fiddle. I know it’s a joke, but let’s be honest: he probably couldn’t play an impressive, self-indulgent guitar solo even if he had a sheet of acid in his headband.

9. Richie Faulkner (Judas Priest)

Come on, Judas Priest chose this scrub to replace the retired master KK Downing? What were they thinking? They probably could have picked any world-class guitarist, but no, they had to choose this nobody. The fact that Richie Faulkner was the guitarist who composed Christopher Lee’s cringe-inducing Christmas metal album should have been a huge red flag.

Priest simply just does not have the same blazing, dual-guitar approach that helped make them the greatest heavy metal band of the ’70s. On the one hand you had Glenn Tipton’s superior finesse and melodic soloing, and then BAM, KK Downing kicks you in the face shredding on the other channel playing the most passionate rock ‘n’ roll guitar solo to finish off the exchange. Glenn and KK played off each other brilliantly, and that’s sadly missing from the newest Priest album. Hopefully Lord Halford will release a new solo album because he’s still shattering skulls with his screams of vengeance.

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The 5 Most Overrated Guitarists in Heavy Metal

Monday, February 2nd, 2015 - by Jeremy Swindle

HermanLi

5. Herman Li (Dragonforce)

This joker thinks the monkey grip on his signature guitar looks way original, but if you listen to Steve Vai you know that he’s about 20 years too late on having a single original idea when it comes to anything relating to playing guitar. Herman Li gets the lowest point on this list because although he is in fact very fast, he is still an annoying showboat with totally overblown abilities. There is no way Dragonforce would be a band without pro tools. They are the T-Pain effect of metal.

Also, they’re probably one of the most repetitive power metal bands to ever exist.

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The 10 Worst Horror Films on Netflix: Drinking Game Edition

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Jeremy Swindle

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1. Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

Drink through the opening montage. It contains all the awesome deaths from Tobe Hooper’s original film. The rest is nothing but garbage.

The story focuses around Leatherface’s only surviving relative, an orphan who looks like she hangs out at the food court and listens to Evanescence in her spare time. She inherits the old Sawyer house from her grandmother. What could go wrong? SPOILER ALERT: Leatherface is still living in the basement. After hacking, bludgeoning, and hanging all of her friends, Leatherface turns into a hero at the end. Avril Lavigne tosses him the fabled chainsaw and she says, “Do yer thing, cuz.” Leatherface hacks up the town’s mayor. Then they both go home and listen to Rob Zombie in the Sawyer nu-metal basement.

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The 10 Best Deals in Fast Food

Saturday, October 11th, 2014 - by Jeremy Swindle

So, you’ve come this far. You know which fast food restaurants are a waste of time, and which ones are a better deal than your local Applebee’s. But we’re not through yet. There’s still way too many options! There are so many fast food restaurants on the highway that it can get absolutely bamboozling when it comes to making the perfect choice. If only those interstate signs would provide some instructions to lead you and your road crew to the quality grease. Don’t despair: I’ve been there too, and after trying just about everything out there, it’s very easy to reduce the fast food game down to a simple “yes or no” answer.

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1. Little Caesars Pretzel Crust Pizza

Although you can never go wrong with the Little Skeezers Five Dollar Hot n’ Sweaty, an extra dollar gets you way more grease in the form of the new Pretzel Crust pizza. Wendy’s had their chance with their pretzel bun burger, but that was trash. The Pretzel Crust pizza, on the other hand, is a pizza filled with nothing but great ideas. Normally you would have to go to the mall to get a pizza pretzel along with the obligatory trip to Hot Topic, but not anymore. Little Caesars wins this round for taking mall food out of the mall.

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The 10 Most Irritating Fast Food Items You Must Avoid

Saturday, September 13th, 2014 - by Jeremy Swindle

10. Arby’s Jalapeño Poppers

Jalapeno poppers would appear to be a fine choice to side with your Arby’s meal; under ideal circumstances they could make for a decent sandwich topping. However, a more appropriate title for these little green bastards would be jalapeño exploders, because they burst open upon the first bite, searing the inside of your mouth. The spiciness is understated, but how can you taste anything when your taste buds have been burned by fried cheese? The jalapeño poppers should come with a warning that says “WARNING, WAIT AT LEAST 20 MINUTES BEFORE EATING. LIQUID CHEESE WILL SCAR AND BURN YOUR FACE.”

9. The Taco Bell Cantina Menu

If you spend more than 4 dollars on a single item at Taco Bell, you’re doing it wrong. Taco Bell should not be creating conventional food. They should stick to folding random objects in half and calling them tacos. The Cantina Menu should be banned. The idea of Taco Bell disguising their greasy brand of tacos as something gourmet is totally disgusting. Their Cantina Burrito was the only Taco Bell item that could be described as inedible. Most Taco Bell menu items are meant to be humorous; this tries to turn Taco Bell into something that isn’t funny or appetizing.

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The 10 Best Fast Food Restaurants

Friday, August 29th, 2014 - by Jeremy Swindle

10. Jack in the Box

J-Box takes the term “fast food” quite literally. When they say that all of their food is made to order, what it means is that your burger is thrown on the grill before you’ve finished ordering food and will be assembled long before you pull up to the window. But although their punctual burgers are tasty, the tacos are truly unique. They arrive in a food truck sleeve and are served in a very crunchy shell overflowing with jalapenos and queso. Utter perfection.

J-Box would get a higher spot on the list if only their chicken game wasn’t so lackluster.

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Five Video Games You Loved as a Kid But Will Hate If You’re Dumb Enough to Play As an Adult

Sunday, January 1st, 2012 - by Jeremy Swindle

Perusing through my massive back catalog of games from my childhood has led me to one conclusion: Games of the past have more capacity to challenge the imagination than those on today’s consoles.

Pocky and Rocky for the Super Nintendo! Can any childhood be complete without it? Come on, surely I’m not the only one who has played this? No?

In essence, the 2-D warmth of games we played as children symbolize a spoiled innocence that has been long lost, which has since been replaced by so-called “Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games” (MMORPGs) and first-person shooters. Games can still be addictive, but the enhanced technological capabilities of today often provide a shortcut. Technological innovation replaced game play innovation. Today game story lines are often bogged down with tedious cut scenes which just take away from the game play more than anything else. The titles on older systems of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and first half of the ‘00s weren’t just reduced to the number of polygons or shades of green. They relied on fun game play and clever artwork to keep their patrons entertained – instead of hooking hopeless addicts with make believe social lives which require a monthly subscription fee and the final ounces of one’s self-respect.

Perhaps though, I should be more balanced about the Video Game’s Golden Days. In some ways, it was actually the Dark Ages.

This is what Pokemon Stadium looked like when it first came out in 2000. It may have been state of the art at the time, but play it now and you’d better have some killer weed.

It would be misleading to say that all of the games from the past deserve recognition. Video games are just like all media: the majority of titles were overhyped, derivative, and poorly designed. This list covers some of the worst offenders from my own vast collection. After weeks of gaming I’ve narrowed down my list to five guilty titles that were considered classics at the time of their release but now do little more than piss you off. Play at your own risk.

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