Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Always Sometimes Monsters
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

Always Sometimes Monsters won't give you warm fuzzies

12:00 PM on 09.09.2013 // Brett Makedonski
  @Donski3

Maybe you'll learn something about yourself

Are you a good person? I like to think I am, but I guess I don't really know. "Good" is a relative term, and the line can become muddled pretty quickly. Everything's circumstantial, and it doesn't take long for self-preservation to kick in when the going gets tough. Maybe I'm not as good of a person as I thought. Maybe sometimes I'm a monster.

Vagabond Dog's first title, Always Sometimes Monsters, aims to analyze this concept in great depth. The role-playing game eschews standard RPG tropes in favor of a position that anyone can sympathize with -- real life. It might not be a situation that everyone's personally experienced, but it's one that's within the realm of reason. As a downtrodden writer on the brink of eviction, you find out that the love of your life is ready to marry someone else, and you set out to do everything in your power to put a stop to it. Damn anyone that gets in your way. Sometimes, you're a monster.

It's obvious that relationships play a large part in Always Sometimes Monsters, and Vagabond Dog gives players the freedom to explore. More interesting than your love interest is the way in which others will react to you and your partner. Straight, white couples might have an easy time; interracial gay couples won't be treated with the same kindness by everyone. Sometimes, they're monsters.

It's not fair, but it's certainly realistic. Enough to make you numb. Enough to make you realize that maybe your well-being is all that really matters. During the demo, I could actually feel myself growing increasingly callous to the needs of other characters. I was only interested in looking out for myself. Before long, any semblance of hospitality came with an ulterior motive -- I thought I'd benefit from helping this person. Damnit, maybe I'm always a monster.

This wasn't a mistake. Vagabond Dog did its best to ensure that everyone will feel this odd confliction. Creative director Justin Amirkhani told me that "Talk of good versus evil is just marketing speak. Always Sometimes Monsters is really a tale of selfishness versus selflessness." It's an important distinction to make. Good and evil feels so unabashedly black and white; dealing with the consequences of selfishness is entirely more justifiable, even if you might just be lying to yourself. You'll have to eventually come to terms with it: maybe you're always a monster.

By the end of the demo, I was running away from a particularly volatile situation, leaving a young man to fend for himself against his shotgun-wielding junkie uncle. There's a chance I could've talked him down. I didn't want to stick around to find out. Self-preservation, and whatnot. As the gunshot rang out, the screen went black and thanked me for playing. It was almost mocking in a sense, like it didn't just heavy-handedly force the staunch realization upon me that I'm always a monster.

I got the feeling from my time spent with Always Sometimes Monsters that these moments would come along with fair frequency. It might not always be a life-and-death situation; it might be the opportunity to ruin someone's career, or to get a recovering addict re-hooked on drugs. In a vacuum, of course no one would ever do these things. When faced with the dilemmas within the context of the game, those decisions won't be as easy. It'll just be a lot easier to stomach if we accept ahead of time that we're all always sometimes monsters.



Brett Makedonski, Associate Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Donski3 Tips
While you laughing, we're passing, passing away. So y'all go rest y'all souls, 'Cause I know I'ma meet you up at the crossroads. Y'all know y'all forever got love from them Bone Thugs baby... ... more   |   staff directory





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Always Sometimes Monsters


  Aug 29

Always Sometimes Monsters is an RPG about life and love

The sequel to the Ryan Reynolds hit Definitely, Maybe


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Calendula: Is this the start of the cynical "meta" games?

Testing the new blog editor update

With The Sudden Outbreak of Resident Evil Remasters...

(Fire)Watch Out!: Moving past our sensitivity for spoilers

Shouldn't gaming be more than a digital tableau?

Avengers Academy is a diseased freemium abscess on the taint of mobile gaming

Persona 4 Golden and Positivity

Cblogs of 02/06/16 and 02/07/16 + Lane to Lane Combat within the Storm

What is Metroidvania?

Wanna Bet? Fall 2015 Finale

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Gamer girl avatarGamer girl
Hello Peeps, new gamer here, so glad to be one of you starting today! This is how i will spend my evening after office! how about you? :)
Scrustle avatarScrustle
Our friend Jim Sterling talks about the demise of GameTrailers and the problems with the current games media model in general: [url=http://www.thejimquisition.com/2016/02/gametrailers-was-a-victim-of-itself/]GameTrailers Was A Victim Of Itself[/url]
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Went into Gamestop on my workbreak to kill a bit of time today. SMT:Devil Survivor 2 RB for €30 and Pillars of Eternity for €5 more.. As if my RPG coma couldn't get any deeper. With Numenera and the 3ds release schedule, what a great time to be an RPG
robtassassin123 avatarrobtassassin123
Isn't This Gif Funny!!!!
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
Watching the third and fourth Crow movies this morning, because I'm a supporter of #hottopic.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
As usual it's up to Simon Miller to ask the hard questions. He's a guy that knows the score https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNM4f8n5X5w
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
I'm still trying to understand the logic behind calling Shiren Mystery Dungeon a spinoff and linking to Pokémon Mystery Dungeon as an example of mainline.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
I didn't make this, nor do I know the person who did, but this Shovel Knight remix is too good not to share around. It's of my favorite track on the OST. Those surprise vocals at the end, tho!
Shinta avatarShinta
http://www.twitch.tv/hamachin/v/42638738 Valkyria Chronicles: Azure Revolution demo stream. Check it out now if you want to see how it looks.
Lawman avatarLawman
Totally game-related, I promise.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Initial impressions on the new Digimon PS Vita game: Has Guilmon. I'll give it a Guilmon/10. Guilmon of the Year 2016. That means it's good.
Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
Coming soon: the cat-waifu game of our steamy dreams. [img]http://i.imgur.com/UPjQCI4.png[/img]
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
They should make a Lego version of LoL just so they can call it Lego Legends.
Parismio avatarParismio
Its time for:
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
If I were to develop a mobile game, I think I'd call it Nekro Atsume.
Parismio avatarParismio
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
The ultimate waifu has been decided scientifically. There is no need to participate in the waifu wars any longer. (I won't tell you who it is until I make my own post of course)
ThePlotHoles avatarThePlotHoles
After being a Dtoid member for more than five years, finally wrote my first real blog post. Thoughts appreciated! http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/ThePlotHoles/-fire-watch-out-moving-past-our-sensitivity-for-spoilers-340096.phtml
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Spent all weekend sick. Missed this show. Ive been wanting to see some Death Magnetic live too. Oh well. Next time. Mainly this song.
Jinx 01 avatarJinx 01
Looks like Titanfall is getting a TV show... not sure why but okay I guess lol. Link in comments.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -