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Spyro

Talking to Women about Videogames: You! Like what I like!

Nov 01 // Jonathan Holmes
Actually, there are a lot of reasons why, most of which we've gone over before. The fact that you can't compare one game's worth to another game's has been discussed heavily here on Destructoid. We've also talked a lot about how it's the reviewers' responsibility to communicate their opinion of a game, not to predict what your opinion might be. And let's not forget all the times we've talked about how some gamers identify so closely with the games they enjoy that they take it as a personal insult when those games are disrespected or criticized, and conversely, a personal triumph when those games are praised and rewarded. That's all definitely part of what's going on with this "GRRR! My GOTY hasn't even come out yet but YOU BETTER LOVE IT TOO!" mentality, but I don't think that's all that's going on here.  It all comes back to the need that some people have to be perceived as "right" and "normal." In fact, one of the most common criticisms that I get for making Talking to Women about Videogames is that I am somehow making all gamers look wrong and abnormal. It's interesting to me that people would think that I am somehow doing them a disservice by making myself look like a jackass once a week. If anyone should be worried about looking incorrect and abnormal, it's me. Thankfully, I stopped putting much stock in being normal and/or whether other people see things my way a long time ago. In fact, when I do meet the occasional "normal" person (meaning, someone who is a lot like me), we quickly run out of things to talk about. There is no negative space to fill when everything is homogeneous. The differences are what give us room to share new ideas and the potential to become more enlightened and interesting individuals. [Illustration by Norma Bar] Looking in the mirror is nice, but it doesn't go anywhere. Looking into the negative space allows for a lot more potential for adventure and empowerment. It's kind of like the Mega Man series. You start off the game with just one perspective/tool/weapon. As you go through life, you meet other people with totally different perspectives/tools/weapons, such as Wood Man, Hard Man, and of course, Centaur Man. At first, you might be daunted by their perspectives/tools/weapons because they are so strange and difficult to wrangle with. With perseverance and continued interaction, you'll understand how they work to the point where you have them "mastered." From there, you'll gain access to the abilities yourself, in a process we call "ego integration." Jim Sterling was only able to take on the character of Virgilio Armandio because he embedded himself so deeply in the world of gamer culture that he had learned to actually think like an art game snob. Because of these interactions, there is a little part of Jim that is really like Virgilio and can see things the way that art game snobs do. He can switch on that part of himself at any time, exaggerate the intensity of it, and honestly think in that manner for a brief time. When he gets into character as Virgilio, it's like Jim is selecting "Virgilio Man's" weapon from his internalized weapon select screen. He wouldn't be able to do that unless he'd already mastered the art of interacting with the many Virgilio's of this world. Sadly, not everyone wants to interact with people who have different perspectives/tools/weapons than their own. Some people want the stage select screen of the metaphorical Mega Man game called "human life" to look like this: These are the people who say you are wrong for not liking the games that they like in the exact way that they like them. They run to Metacritic and claim a reviewer is "wrong" if he gives a score that is too far from "the average." They're also likely to conform to the opinions of others, to follow the herd, buying whatever blockbuster game is "hot" right now, regardless of whether they want it or not, pretending to enjoy it just to fit in. These are the people who crave for normalcy and uniformity in our world. They are both afraid to be different and of those who are different. These people are missing out on a lot. Besides all the knowledge and power that they lose out on by only seeking social interactions that feed their narcissism, they're also dropping the opportunity to show the world who they really are. When you tell the world what games appeal to your unique interests, it says something about you. What games you like reflect your values, your perspective on the world, and your priorities. When you tell the world what game is your favorite, that shouldn't be seen as an opportunity to "try to fit in." These are videogames we're talking about! In my day, not fitting in came with the territory for everyone who admitted to liking videogames. No, when you tell the world what videogame you like the most, that's your chance to interact with the world, to be potentially known, and as a result, to be understood for who you really are. Trust me, it's much more satisfying to be accepted for being the real you than to gain fake acceptance by pretending to be just another penguin in the herd. Now, I'm not saying people should go out of their way to like weird games just to seem special. Like I've said in the past, working towards non-conformity is just another way of conforming. The idea here is to be excited, not threatened, by the fact that we all like different stuff. I know it's easier said than done. Underneath it all, we all have a primitive side, and we all want our favorite games to "win" once GOTY time rolls around. That said, I believe we can all do better than that. When Mass Effect 2 got so many Game of the Year awards in 2010, my gut reaction was "Super Mario Galaxy 2 was robbed." But after a few seconds, I realized how stupid that was and instead went about trying to understand exactly how Mass Effect 2 manage to outdo so many other excellent games that were released in 2010. Admittedly, I'm still trying to figure it out (something about having sex and forming really meaningful relationships with aliens and/or sexy ladies?), but the fact that I still don't know keeps me intrigued. [Illustration by Arcade Art] Some of the most interesting, elightening conversations I've had about gaming have been with Maurice Tan, Max Scoville, Conrad Zimmerman, Jim Sterling, and countless Dtoid community members who have very different reasons for playing videogames than I do. Once you get past the initial "I can't believe you like that crap!" stage, the amount of fun you can have talking with gamers of different tastes is nearly endless. Without different textures, there can be no friction; without friction, there can be no heat; without heat, things get dull fast. So I encourage you all to go on liking whatever games you like, never be ashamed of what games you enjoy the most, and never bash others for having different interests than you. Train yourself to take that instinct to attack and turn it into the instinct to explore. Get good at swapping perspectives with strangers, gain new tools and weapons, get stronger and more comfortable with your unique qualities, and truly get to know all the fantastic and amazing people available to you through the vast reaches of the Internet. If we all work at that, then eventually, instead of having a reputation for being a squabbling, nitpicking, infighting group of grumps, the world of online gamer culutre will be seen as the million-strong group of enlightened, super-genius badasses that I know it can be.  Even though I don't agree with her, I honestly see why someone might like Spyro more than Skyrim, at least at first sight. Killing a dragon is cool, but on the surface, being a dragon might be even better. If you're at all threatened, angry, or confused by that idea, then you're still doing it wrong. Past Episodes: Talking to Women about Videogames: 3DS 2nd nub panic Talking to Women about Videogames: Gears 3 isn't perfect? Talking to Women about Videogames: Sexy vs. sexist? Talking to Women about Videogames: What makes you want? TtWaV teaser: Sony's online sucks now? Talking to Women about Videogames: I'm not a real gamer? Talking to Women about Videogames: Fear for the future Talking to Women about Videogames: Going mainstream TtWaV teaser: Battlefield 3 Vs. Modern Warfare 3
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[Talking to Women about Videogames is a series where Jonathan Holmes talks to different people who are women about the biggest videogame news of the week for some reason.] I'll never forget when the first trailer for Un...

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The DTOID Show: Yell At Master Chief & Skyrim Impressions


Oct 17
// Max Scoville
Hey gang! We're alive, somehow, even after the events that took place this weekend. If you missed it, we did a 24 hour Extra Life livestream to raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, and YOU GUYS donated ove...
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Robots, sharks & ghosts in Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure


Oct 11
// Jim Sterling
Activision has released five new videos for Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, detailing a selection of characters that your kids (or the kids you're pretending to buy them for) can purchase as toys and scan into a console as vi...
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Preview: Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure


Oct 07
// John Speerbrecker
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure is doing something no other videogame has ever done by making real collectible toys be an integral part of a videogame experience. It's a novel concept, one that has left many people scratching their head at such an idea. In this new ambitious take from developer Toys for Bob, I finally got to see first hand just how this whole concept works.
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Skylanders cross-platform across console, PC, mobile


Sep 28
// Jim Sterling
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure is hoping to be one of the hot toy products this holiday season, featuring small action figures that can be slotted into a "portal" and brought to life in an accompanying videogame. It's a delici...
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Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure gets an overview trailer


Aug 05
// Harry Monogenis
Activision is trying to revive the Spyro franchise with Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure. The new game sees players needing actual toy figures of the playable characters being placed in a "Portal of Power" extern...
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Pachter: Spyro Skylanders will underperform


Aug 04
// Jim Sterling
I've previously expressed a strange excitement for Activision's toy crossover Skylanders: Spyro's Adventures due to its nineties-flavored gimmickry. The publisher is pumping big marketing dollars into the franchise, but analy...
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Weirdly, I really want Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure


Jul 15
// Jim Sterling
Activision's pitch for Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure has been met with some derision from gamers, and it's not surprising. The idea of plugging toys into a thing in order to interact with a videogame seems tacky as anything b...

E3: Use real toys to play Skylanders Spyro's Adventure

Jun 06 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Skylanders Spyro's Adventure (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, 3DS, Wii [Previewed]Developer: ActivisionPublisher: ActivisionTo be released: Fall 2011 Now before you go crazy, know that the three initial figures you get with every game are all that are needed to play through the story. You just won't be able to fully explore all parts of a level unless you have specific heroes, however. Each hero has some kind of special power (like one character is made of fire) and only that specific character will be able to open up the special area. Anytime during your adventure, you can remove the figure from the portal and swap it out with another figure. There has to be a figure at all times so the game will be paused while you're making the switch. Each figure also has on-board memory so all the leveling up, upgrades, loot and accessories you earn will be saved in the figures. The reason for the memory card within the figure is so kids can easily take them to a friends house and play with someone else. The portal can accept up to two figures at a time so players can battle each other in the Power Stone-like multiplayer. It wasn't made clear if the memory is also backed to the console, which it hopefully is as kids lose small toys very easily. As for the game itself, I played on the Wii version and it seemed like the standard affair. The overall design is basically what one would expect from a kid focused adventure game -- cute, linear and pretty simply. The overall goal is to defeat the big bad named Chaos. Chaos exiled all 32 heroes into our dimension and because there is no magic in our world, they're transformed into toys. Putting the toys onto the Portal of Power puts them back into the Skylanders world. A cool way to get little kids into thinking they're really a part of the adventure if you ask me. It's an interesting way to do a videogame for sure. At first I was against the idea of this whole concept but then I realized that kids are going to want toys based on these characters regardless of them being part of the game design. Plus like I said, you can beat the game with the three figures that come with Skylanders so you won't be forced to buy extras. I am curious to see what the Skylanders experience will be like on the handheld, mobile and PC version of the game though. I'm also curious as to how Activision will be selling the toys. I asked a rep on the game and while he couldn't give me a price, he did state that we can expect various theme packs and bundles over the course of the game. As for the actual game with all the extras, it looks like it'll probably retail around $69.99. A little on the pricey side if that's the final price, but the overall game is expected to be 10-12 hours long on top of whatever else we can expect out of the multiplayer.
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Skylanders Spyro's Adventure sees the return of the lovable purple dragon and he's joined by a wide variety of heroes. All 32 of the playable heroes will also come in actual toy form. The figures are important here as you ha...

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Three new Skylanders Spyro's Adventure trailers released


Jun 03
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Activision is planning to show off Skylanders Spyro's Adventure at E3 next week but until then, they've released a few new trailers to promote the game. Each trailer focuses on the three heroes you'll be playing as that come...

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