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About
My earilest memory is of playing a PC port of Pac-Man on my dad's computer. My next earliest memory is of playing a PC port of Tetris on my mom's computer. I've been happily and hopelessly into video games and everything to do with them since, and while I have my favorites - pretty much the entire Metroid series (except, you know, that one) - there are very few good games I haven't played and enjoyed.

Now that I've been here for a few months I guess something else should go here, so: I've set upon myself a personal goal to write and post a blog at least once per week. Sometimes, meeting this deadline means that those articles are not up to the standards I would like, and I'll simply shove them away unpublished and try again next week. More rarely, they turn out great, and up they go. Even more rarely, I'll actually feel very satisfied and accomplished, and will get all excited for the loads of attention I won't be receiving. The following blog entries are ones that I believe fit into the latter category, preserved here in order of appearance for my (but quite possibly also your!) amusement and enrichement:

Battlefield 3: On Scale, Freedom, and Wookies
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - David Sarif
Bigger, Longer, also Harder - A Counter-Case for Longer Games
Location: Darkest Africa
How About a Mass Effect 3 Article with No Ending Controversy (Spoiler-free!)
Quest for Blood: How Seeking Ultraviolence Showed Me the Best Side of Videogames

Also, I mantain the monthly Cblog Analytics series, which tallies up a bunch of statistics and presents them in a simple and organized format. The results are always interesting and often surprising - all the math is done on my end, so no matter how number-phobic you might be, it's worth checking out! This year's entries are listed here:

February
March
April
May
June
July
August
Badges
Following (8)  


Oh my, it's been a while, hasn't it? I knew I'd falter on the every-week thing at some point, but since I did two articles a while ago I'll pretend nothing happend and move on. Also: By "UI," I'm talking about not just various kinds of menus but also HUDs and similar data displays; this may not be technically correct in game-speak but I need a general term and it's good enough for this article



One of the (hundreds of) great little touches in Max Payne 3 is its very beginning. After a couple of pages of lawyer speak and after press-starting through its main title, I was immediately thrust into a cutscene of Max arriving at a new apartment and promptly drowning himself in alcohol and self-pity. The music swells, the camera blurs and bleeds out, Max stumbles around in drunken agony - and only then does the main menu slide into view, sliding back out directly into the next cutscene as soon as I select my difficulty options.

It's easy to dismiss this seamless, loading-free stream of cutscene-to-gameplay as gimmickry, but the simple fact that it's so noteworthy (as far as I know, only Uncharted does likewise) seems to highlight just how important front-end presentation is to a game - and how depressingly often it appears to be completely neglected.

Sure, like just about everything in the medium, the main menu and the pause menu and the score and the lives and the ammo and so on were displayed with nothing but function in mind during gaming's early days, because why on earth would you lavish attention on a few meters when there are sprites and backgrounds (and then skyboxes and character models) who need that loving craftsmanship so much more? Of course there were fancy decorations on arcade cabinets and those one-game LCD handhelds like the Game & Watch series, but they were just that - decorations, supplying what could not be rendered by the Hamster-Wheel Age technology at work.


Gotta go fast

Skip forward to the '90s - we're still in the middle of bare digits, simple bars, and cumbersome themed menus; the most nuanced and thoughtful frontends I can think of are Doomguy and BJ's right-angled mugs scowling and - when health is low - going so far as to bleed and scowl at the same time.

Yet there is one game which seemed to actually give some significant thought toward the meters and numbers that would be on screen for 10 hours straight, and that is Half-Life - the title so famous for showing just how engaging and involving a game world can be when it's more than a loose string of made-to-order death-arenas and floating rocks. The HEV suit in which protagonist Gordon Freeman treks through hell-on-Earth doesn't only provide a plot-excuse for having abstract symbols and gauges plastered across his eyeballs - it reacts to the world around him, more effectively grounding and drawing the player into Black Mesa, like when it calmly states in its soothing GPS-voice "major fracture detected; morphine administered" after the player sustains an injury that (I would assume) causes Gordon's leg bone to shatter into bits and protrude itself half a meter above what was his kneecap. Great stuff.

Another four years leads to one of the best examples of UI-gameworld integration ever in Metroid Prime. If you have played this game on or near release, you probably remember looking upward, watching the raindrops splash across the TV, and sitting in place for over a minute going "oh SWEET." I do too! Everything from the subtle sway of the visor as the arm cannon sweeps to the left to the fog lingering on the screen after passing through a leaking pipe to Samus' faint reflection and raised arm when lit up by a nearby explosion further served Metroid's trademark sense of isolation - that this thin transparent window is the only thing protecting you from an entire planet bent on your destruction.


HHHHHHHNNNNGGGG

The fact that these kinds of things tend to pop up in first-person games is likely not a coincidence - not only is the "visor" method an easy way to explain away one of the most abstract necessities of gaming, but the tendency of the relevant genres to focus on the world around them lends itself quite naturally to making sure every aspect of the game makes thematic sense; even the relatively mediocre Syndicate reboot from earlier this year had a wonderful little touch where the player's cyber-vision would highlight and provide a small description on f*cking everything instead of just plot-essential objects. Still, it's not just about HUDs - Fallout 3 ties inventory and character management into the charmingly rugged Pip-Boy you can pull up on your wrist, Far Cry 2 (which I've waxed about before) coats its menus in the same African grit that pervades the rest of the game, and even panning the camera out uncomfortably close to the back of Dead Space shows us the real-time, in-universe holo-UI - an absolutely brilliant stroke, removing that abstractness I just mentioned and whatever safety you might find in your run-of-the-mill pause-menu, augmenting its intended focus on horror.

It is unfortunate that such titles are exceptions - paging through my memories and game library, I'm having an immensely difficult time thinking of anything else, much less anything from before the current generation. The recent push toward minimalistic and unobtrusive frontends is an improvement, certainly, but when even Gears of War - a series to which the word "subtlety" is treated with the same manner of semi-hostile confusion and bewilderment as the word "female" was at my high school's D&D club - is getting by with nothing but an ammo meter at the top-right, you know there's improvement to be had; only Metro 2033 comes to mind as taking full advantage of having no UI beyond the new-game load-game menus.

Yes, I hear you screaming "FABLE 3!" way over in the back there. While bold, magically teleporting your character (no matter where he/she is) to a connection of rooms staffed by an out-of-place John Cleese is not only more cumbersome and time-consuming than a good old-fashioned inventory menu, but ultimately just as senseless and arbitrary. And yet, it is an effort - and I'd love to see more developers try and tinker around with these age-old conventions.


Not only that, but it keeps trying to sell me things

Here's one: does a game even need traditional menus? Of course there has to be an array of technical options tucked away behind a Start or Select button, but imagine slotting in a fresh disc, sitting through the obligatory legal-speak, and then hopping straight into gameplay. A journal (which the player would be conveniently sat in front of) may take the place of a load or even a level-select menu, for example, and the inventory could be just that - a backpack or a briefcase which opens to show its genuine contents, to be rearranged, emptied, or enlarged by the character's own hand. The effective actions and "steps" the player has to take haven't changed - merely the manner in which they are presented.

As technology improves and designers get more creative, I have no doubt that that we'll eventually start seeing some real widespread effort placed into these kinds of things - while I dismissed Gears UI strengths as fairly pedestrian a couple of paragraphs ago, the fact that they are there and are now commonplace does indicate progress is being made. With another console generation on the horizon, another leap can't be far away.
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If you were here at the beginning of the month, you probably don't even need to read the Analytics to guess what half the stats will be about. But do it anyway, because they're likely even bigger than you think! And, of course, make sure to check out last month's edition if you want to compare charts and other things.

I've added the Bloggers Wanted stat back in as a part of the Topics Covered category, but beyond that, there's not much changed since last time. With luck, I shouldn't have to count these by hand anymore in the near future, as a more convenient method is ostensibly on the way - but for now, apply a modest amount of salt to the ones-digits in comments, faps, and topics.

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Remember: If there's something I haven't covered that you want to see next month, post it in the comments!



In total, precisely 500 blogs were posted this month!
-(That's 5 less than last month's count of 505!)
-neat

The most-blogged day was Monday the 2nd, with 42 blogs!
-(That's 18 more than last month's most-blogged day!)
-This was due to the illustrious bbain kicking off a "10-things-about-me" trend, which basically grabs all the awards this month despite happening at its very beginning - the most faps and the most comments were to be found this day

The least-blogged day was Sunday the 22nd, with 5 blogs!
-(That's 1 less than last month's least-blogged day!)
-Another Sunday! I wonder how long this streak will last. As you might expect, the fewest comments and faps happened on this day

On average, there were about 17 blogs a day!
-(That's 4 more than last month's average!)
-The front-loaded early days are what's skewing the average up despite the blog count being nearly identical to last month. It also provides a good bit of the following trendline's steepness; while the overall trend is still declining, the numbers are around the same as the last two months after all the dust settles





The flavor of the month was 10 things about me, which was written about 74 times!
-(That's 20 more blogs than last month!)
-W-O-W - that's about 15% of the month's blogs. Glad to see that thing took off as well as it did

This month's Bloggers Wanted topics prompted 44 blogs to be written!
-Specifically:
Disappointment - 2 (trailing from last month)
Dreaming - 32
Collaboration - 10

About 71% of blogs were varied enough to have less than 5 blogs per topic!
-Disregarding the Bloggers Wanted category (which was not included last month), that jumps up to 79%, or 1% more than last month. Either way, considering how many people were in the 10-things-a-palooza, the rest was light fare - PAX East covered some territory and Mass Effect is still stumbling around the building looking for the exit, but everything else was nicely diverse





A total of 3,586 comments were posted on the Cblogs this month!
-(That's 604 more than last month!)
-Daaaaaaaaa…

50 blogs received no comments! ;_;
-(That's the exact same number as last month!)
-huh

The most commented blog was Occam Thoughts: 10 Things About Me, by Occams electric toothbrush, with 44 comments!
-(That's 29 less than last month's most-commented blog!)

On average, there were 120 comments a day!
-(That's 34 more than last month!)





In total, the Dtoid community fapped 2990 times!
-(That's 918 more than last month!)
-…aaaaaaaaamn

91 blogs went through the month fap-free! ;_;
-(That's 1 more than last time!)
-Interesting how both this and the no-comments counts are almost identical to last month. This'll be another one to watch in the coming future

The sluttiest blog was 10 things you didn't know about bbain, by bbain, with 54 faps!
-(That's 8 less than last month's sluttiest blog!)

On average, there were 100 faps a day!
-(That's 33 more than last month!)





This month, 56 new members posted their first Cblog! (That's 1 more than last month!) In order of appearance, they are:

Skyscraper - Ismoista - Keith Ballard - 1337 Sammich - Jacob Sigg - Cody Walker - Iris Repliforce - UrbanToledoGang - PixelsAmpersandBits - gutsack - Charles Cox - Lord of the Thunder - Sir Davies - Shifty1897 - KeithTheGeek - molamolacolacake - lordscar - TheOgGamer - onomatapedalo - jessalynzo - StrongStyleFiction - Burdmayn - Nick R P Green - jennyfish - ASaiyan - Jradrox - JR Stone - DougCL - RUSKULL - berto - eriyon - ninjapresident - r0b0t0 - David Nolan - sdgundum990 - Shinta - Anton Govorin - streetpassnj - exp0d - Probchild95 - Robert Cousineau - ShotStopper93 - TheEliteSpear - Stephen Beirne - Hottrod - ThisIsTheUltimate - Alpha Unit - sandwichassassin - Nebunez - nonetheartist - virtuaroid - jenrai - Juhwann - Prettyboy - My Enormous Hairy Downstairs Kitchen - EAPidgeon

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NOTES:

-Until a better method presents itself, statistics are counted by hand, per-day. Comments and Faps are recorded at the end of the next day, to give the community ample time to read and respond. I also do my best to disregard obvious spam-posts, but I can easily miss one or skip over what's actually just a really shoddy & self-aggrandizing but otherwise legit Cblog. This means that there are likely minor errors and inaccuracies present, but none of them should be significant enough to invalidate anything

-Cblog Recaps and last month's Analytics are not counted, but all other serials (like FNF) are, under the rationale that serials still exist for the purpose of "creating" content under a certain topic or theme, while the Recaps & Analytics merely seek to sort and organize the blogs

-For the flavor of the month, I do not count Bloggers Wanted topics - the statistic is instead recorded separately. A Bloggers Wanted topic that covers another popular, non-BW topic is only filed under the BW statistic

-There is still some inherent subjectivity in deciding what constitutes a "unique topic," so keep that in mind if there seems like there's some obvious category that I've ignored (although feel free to tell me)

-Statistics are not intended to impart any kind of judgment or opinion in and of themselves - If I have any personal thoughts, they are noted below the corresponding statistic
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I'm going to be breaking my usual once-a-week routine here to reply to this article by FrDougal9000, because, as the large comments thread would seem to indicate, it really needs one. For the purposes of this piece, I'm speaking about the platformers - comparing Mario Teaches Typing to Sonic '06 doesn't seem fair. FOR SONIC AHAHAHAAHAAHAA

If I were to pick one word to describe Mario - one word to encompass his style, his contributions to the medium, his very essence - it would have to be "creativity." Applying the description to a series that hasn't put out a non-sequel in nearly five years does seem odd, and let's be honest; we haven't moved away from the formula of jumping on, over, and around a sequence of obstacles since 1986.

Where Mario's genius lies, however - and where hundreds of other would-be imitators inevitably fall short - is in taking that incredibly simple concept, executing it to almost literal perfection, and applying it across a dizzyingly, dazzlingly diverse set of levels, environments, and secondary tools. Super Mario 64's very first three levels have you tossing a giant sentient bomb off a mountain, coaxing a killer eel out of a sunken ship to reach the treasure inside, launching yourself out of cannons, racing a huge turtle, and more. Super Mario Bros. 3 handed you powers of flight, and sent you across a hitherto-unseen array of moody forests, snowy peaks, labyrinthine castles, and scorching deserts where even the sun itself is after your head. Super Mario Galaxy sets itself into probably the softest science-fiction universe in existence, allowing it to completely throw out physical laws in its quest to provide the player new and interesting ways to leap over pits.



But their sequels? Super Mario World took the base concepts of "lots of powerups and a world map" and blew them to massive proportions, providing multiple paths and exits, f***ing Yoshi, and a huge amount of detail in the presentation thanks to the capabilities of the SNES. Super Mario Galaxy 2 contains more variety and ingenuity in a single world than you'll find in most full games, constantly flipping perspectives and gravity while introducing awesome things like the Bulb Berry to keep the variety constantly flowing. Even Super Mario Sunshine, probably the closest thing to a "mistake" the series has ever come close to (quite a few people actually find it their favorite), takes the Super Mario 64 formula and centers it around creative usage of a goddamn water-hose -and still manages to rarely repeat itself.

When you look at the pitiable floundering of, say, the Sonic franchise, whose first jump to 3D in Sonic Adventure practically sold itself on novelty before the series regressed into buggy, awkward, cumbersome mediocrity, the slick, superb polish and boundless originality of his Italian rival shines all the brighter. Castlevania lumbered along on life support for years, only finding reasonably firm footing after its umpteenth reinvention in Lords of Shadow; Crash Bandicoot and Spyro have all but disappeared; even Donkey Kong remains trapped in the second dimension and even Metroid has suffered painful blows in Prime: Hunters and Other M.



It's because that creativity - that earnest, expansive, almost child-like ability to conjure the fantastic out of the mundane - carries with it a kind of timeless magic and wonder that can reduce manly men to girlish giggling. Only Nintendo's own Legend of Zelda franchise comes close to possessing that kind of power, and even that series is far more guilty of retreading and rehashing, with its latest appearance in Skyward Sword frantically tossing in as many ancillary features and structural changes as it can muster to capture the same freshness that Mario seems to pull off so effortlessly.

To put it even more simply - Mario is fun. No; he's not just fun to play. He is fun. He represents that giddy delight, that enraptured smile, that reason video gaming as a medium appeals to so many different people in so many different places. I play Mario. My brother plays Mario. My 5-year-old cousin plays Mario. My parents play Mario. Nothing in gaming is as universally adored - very, very few things anywhere are as universally adored. As long as there's an audience for fun, there is an audience for Mario - because, in every meaning of the word, it's constantly, consistently, incredibly fantastic.
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I do! Packaged with shiny new copies of Windows 95 along with a Weezer music video, Hover is a shallow, ugly, bare-bones tech demo with three short levels, moronic AI, highly luck-based design, and a paltry selection of mechanics - most of which are irrelevant toward the central goal of running over flags.

Hover is also a game that I love.

85% of this is nostalgia. But it is nostalgia that - when I booted up the game a couple of days ago for the first time in years - sprayed out of every orifice, dripped down every limb, clogged my nose, blocked my ears, and forced me to change into a new pair of pants. Hover was my first 3-D game, and the first game in which I was able to reach up and scrape some flaky chips off my parents' high scores (remember those?).

It's a very personal kind of feeling that's different from going back and playing, say, Pac-Man, because unlike the yellow ubiquity, I feel as if Hover was this amazing little secret I and only I had unearthed - none of the few acquaintances I had at the time ever thought about which part of the Windows 95 Install CD-ROM you're supposed to eat first, much less what lay within its digital contents. I was surprised to find that the trippy, quirky music and grainy, out-of-place sound effects had imprinted themselves so heavily that I was actually doing my utmost to hit every power-up and every tile, just to feel another wave of pleasant recognition.


Speaking of trippy, check out this level art

But the other 15%? This is one of the things I love about rediscovering old games I only played as a kid - now armed to the teeth with the knowledge and experience to analyze and break down even most joyful, delightful, and earnest titles into a dull, grey listing of component parts, I can pick out just what it was that enraptured my young mind so easily and completely.

In this case, it was the feeling of isolation in a hostile and indistinct world (which, probably not coincidentally, is something core to the Metroid series I devoutly worship). The nature of the game is as innocuous as it gets - drive around in bumper cars and capture three to six flags before the AI can do the same. But where are those flags? I don't know. So I search around - what's that powerup? It's too blurry - I can't make it out. Closer and closer - oh crap, I just got stuck in a sink tile! Even though I quickly memorized the layout of its few maps, the flag spawns were randomized just enough (and the level design was poor enough) that I could never just sail across a few set places and call it a level - there was always uncertainty, always exploration needing to be done; always the feeling that I was lost in a hazy, passive-aggressive labyrinth.

Key to all this was the AI, referred to quite ominously as "the Drones." There were three on each map - one to seek the flags, one to sail around and do nothing of importance, and one whose mission is simply to track you. Today, of course, I realize that the threat of being pushed slightly in a direction I didn't intend to go in is probably the least threatening thing in the game, what with tiles that vaporize flags you've captured, trap you for several precious seconds, or abruptly spin and launch you to the other side of the level; but at the time, hearing the soft, brief, airy tone that announced a Drone's intent to ram into me at full speed elicited the kind of startled gasp and frantic maneuvering that I wouldn't rediscover until Ocarina of Time's Shadow Temple.


I SEE YOU

All of this was surely unintentional, of course; the awesome feeling of being lost in a hostile maze was due to confusing and unintuitive level design, the tension of being in an indistinctly claustrophobic world was thanks to the blurry and poorly filtered visuals, and the sense of isolation was brought on by the lack of friendly AI or any multiplayer option. But did the fact that the crack team of Microsoft engineers probably never gave a single consideration toward making Hover anything but a short, mindless half-advertisement stop it from acting on me in such a significant manner?

Certainly not. Perhaps the pools of nostalgia I haven't yet managed to towel out of my eyes are coloring my viewpoint somewhat, but Hover, completely unintentionally, manages to hit a kind of atmosphere that many modern games can't do when they're trying their very best, and I can't help but find that to be incredibly neat. Now, if you'll allow me, I have to pop out the door for a second - there's still a six-year-old high score to beat.

(If you want to try Hover yourself, you can download it for free off of Microsoft's FTP server! Check out the "External Links" section at the bottom of the Wikipedia page I just linked)
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A couple of days ago, Serious Sam 3 was on sale. So I bought it. The following piece I wrote about it may look and sound and feel and walk around and pick its nose a lot like a Review™ does, but I assure you, it isn't one! Nobody likes those! I simply found a few neat things about its general design which I thought would make for interesting reflection and analysis, but the words did end up sounding real important- and official-like, so I think I'm trying to say sorry about that if that is indeed the case

It is easy to look Serious Sam 3 as exactly what your mom envisions the first person shooter to be: A puerile and gratuitously gory rampage in which the player is tasked with annihilating as much as possible as quickly as possible, whose killing fields are strung together by thin wires of clichés, caricatures and nauseating one-liners.

It is easy because it is true.



There is something the game is not, though, and that is "mindless." When one thinks of more cerebral entries in the genre, their thoughts might turn toward the Far Cry or Crysis series, whose open-ended encounters and fiendish AI provide for and require thoughtful, out-of-the-box approaches; or perhaps something like SWAT or Rainbow Six, in which well-planned and well-executed tactics trump basic mechanics every time.

In a way, I found that the same concept applied to Serious Sam 3. The game did not "rely" on good aim and fast fingers, because it assumed I already had them. Its (admittedly lengthy) introductory levels dipped straight into parody - tiny smatterings of enemies, appearing in groups no greater than four or five, spawn in predictable nooks inside narrow, artificial corridors; the starting pistol comes with an utterly superfluous iron-sight feature; a military chopper crashes - but, crucially, served as a covert tutorial, slowly introducing what enemies do what and what weapons kill what best - the hammer can clear out groups of charging cyclops-things, the double shotgun works best against skeleton monsters, and so on.

In the "average" shooter, pointing and killing is the "end" - how speedily and efficiently the player can transport bullets into enemies' heads is what constitutes the measure of their performance. In Serious Sam 3, it is merely the means - of course I will be holding S and Mouse1, but the real challenge lies in figuring out how I'm going to take the tools I have and use them to carve my way through the hundred-strong wall of aliens standing between me and the other side of this arena.



Pull out the Assault Rifle. Pick off some of the kamikazes. Double shotgun - wait until the skeleton thing is right in front of me and fire. Another one - dodge to the side, turn around, repeat. Pull the Rifle back out, do a 180, and strafe to the right, mowing down more infantry. Hear the mechanical sound of a walker to my left - pull out the rocket launcher, hit it in the face. Do another 180 - another skeleton thing is coming right at me. Quick dodge, hit it with a rocket as it flies past. See a thin area in the horde. Quickly dash the crosshair between infantry, popping off two shotgunners here, three kamikazes there; I'm on the other side, and ready to shave off another sliver of extraterrestrial flesh.

The above is a transcription of a little less than 13 seconds of gameplay. Again, the "point" isn't the aiming and firing - doing that flawlessly is simply a fundamental requirement. Instead, the meat of the combat is an almost rhythmic dance of dodging and weapon-switching; it reminds me of a cross between Batman: Arkham Asylum's wide palette of counters and counter-counters, Geometry Wars' need for constant movement and the occasional mad charge into the thick of it, and what I like to call the "Bullet Hell Inversion," where the goal is not so much to dodge projectiles and hostiles as it is to occupy the tiny fraction of space where there aren't any.

After it finishes toying around and takes the training wheels off, Serious Sam 3 ends up requiring a level of mental agility and acuity that'd send Brain Age stumbling for some Advil. The 13 seconds I wrote about above are just that - a fraction of a fraction of one encounter, each requiring a rapid mix of assessments. How quiet is that kamikaze scream? Is that enough time to rocket a walker firing at me? I just killed a scorpion-thing with my double-shotgun; will the reload be finished quickly enough to take down the skeleton monster coming at me from behind?



Looking at the dozens of things that pass through my mind during a firefight highlights the intricate, brilliant design work that at first is masked by the horrendous animation, glitchy shadows, awful dialogue, and general roughness on the game's surface. The detail went into mechanical things - each enemy has a distinctive spawn and movement sound, from the trademark "AAAAAAAAAAAA" of the kamikaze to the thunderous stomping of the raging bull. Their AI and movement is straightforward and predictable out of necessity, not laziness - precise timings and rhythms are drilled into my head, to be called upon (along with each highly distinctive but equally useful weapon) as notes and flourishes in the destructive symphony that I must flawlessly improvise during each battle.

Where, say, Bulletstorm drives the player to pull off awesome stunts through the carrot of points and upgrades, Serious Sam 3 punishes doing anything else with the stick of swift death. Where nailing a sick riff in Guitar Hero rewards you with a sky-high score multiplier, stringing together flawless rocket hits and dodges rewards you with a precious two seconds to collect yourself and prepare to do it three more times. Survival isn't the minimum line - it's the only one.

It could be said that this line of thinking is archaic, a relic of the days when video games were intended for nobody but children and neurotic obsessives - where even completing a game was a privilege to be enjoyed by the skillful few. I would have to agree with this, and concede that it's probably for the better that most games aren't designed with the same philosophy. But as the one-off throwback that it is, I can't help but be impressed at Serious Sam 3's big noggin, and how sneakily it hides it behind the gore and explosions - it's something I found myself missing dearly in the modern era of shooters. I can only hope it finds its way back.
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Another month ends, another bunch of numbers reveal themselves! Since I knew what I'd be looking for at the start of the month, there are quite a few new statistics I've been able to record, and the organization has rearranged itself accordingly. I've removed the Bloggers Wanted statistics since that has recently been reverted to (apparently) a bi-weekly thing, and I've also removed the most prolific blogger and shortest (and therefore also longest) blog categories, as I believed them to be too meaningless and narrow in scope compared to the other things I'm looking at.

Other notes about what/how I record and do are listed at the bottom of the post. Don't forget to check last month's Cblog Analytics post if you want to compare charts and such in more detail than I'll be doing below.

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Oh, and remember: If there's something I haven't covered that you want to see next month, post it in the comments!



A total of 434 blogs were posted this month!
-(That's 71 less than last month's count of 505!)

The most-blogged day was Monday the 19th, with 24 blogs!
-(That's 2 less than last month's most-blogged day!)
-Looking at the day itself, there doesn't appear to be any significant anomaly - it was simply the intersection of the first day of the rather popular BW topic "Disappointment" and the massive ME3-ending wave

The least-blogged day was Sunday the 4th, with 6 blogs!
-(That's also 2 less than last month's least-blogged day!)
-February's least-blogged day was also a Sunday - not much of a surprise, really; you'll see in the graph below that the number of blogs posted drops off sharply on the weekends

On average, there were about 14 blogs a day!
-(That's 3 less than last month's average!)
-Interestingly, the overall trend was the opposite of last month - the number of blogs per day increased steadily as March wore on. The release of Mass Effect 3 almost certainly helped to stimulate this, but there's another likely factor whose impact you'll see highlighted a little farther down





The flavor of the month was (once again) Mass Effect, which was written about 54 times!
-(That's 39 more blogs than last month!)
-Shock and amazement! I didn't even have to begin counting the numbers up to tell you it'd be this way, but there're still some pretty surprising figures. As illustrated in the pie chart, 37 of those are centered around either the game's ending or the controversy surrounding the game's ending - even the ones that avoided the ending have 7 up on the next most popular topic, DLC

About 78% of blogs were varied enough to have less than 5 blogs per topic!
-(That's 11% less than last month!)
-Of course, even something as huge as ME3 can't change the fact that nearly 4/5ths of the months blogs remain unique - it's amazing how many different things we can find to write about in this little hobby of ours





A total of 2,982 comments were posted on the Cblogs this month!
-come on you jerks you were only 18 away from 3,000

50 blogs received no comments! ;_;
-oh but when you're being dicks you hit the nice round figure

The most commented blog was The writing on the Destructoid front page sucks: A short complaint., by EternalDeathSlayer, with 69 comments!
-(That's 30 more than last month's most-commented blog!)
-See the next statsistic for why this is of particular note

On average, there were 86 comments a day!
-The fascinating part happens on the 13th, where the above blog kicks off a big hoopla about what was apparently a low point in the Dtoid community's existence - a decline which started right before I slid in here, and thus escaped my notice until then. After this - and you'll see an identical trend with the fapping - there seemed to be a huge surge in community activity. Borne of ill circumstances or not, it's great to see the healthy boom - I hope it continues to grow throughout the year!





In total, the Dtoid community fapped 2072 times!

90 blogs went through the month fap-free! ;_;
-oh look there's another nice number - hey at least neat, round assholes are better than

The sluttiest blog was The State of the Community Blogs, by Mr Andy Dixon, with 62 faps!
-(That's 22 more than last month's sluttiest blog!)

On average, there were 67 faps a day!
-And it comes full circle. What I said up there about the comments applies down here - it's great not only to see an awesome community get recognized by the website, but also to see that they do indeed listen to us when we think things need some reworking - and really want to push that along! Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there's a single other gaming outlet that has this kind of relationship going - it's a really, really neat thing for a new guy like me to walk into





We attracted 55 new members this month! In order of appearance, they are:

Wolf Girl - uuddlrlrbadick - Grey P Anderson - Olo Nexus - Rhysybaby - The White Rose - Stephiroth - Robby Mamonluk - amx70s - Gamegodtre - Wuyunk - Mokuu - uber bondy - KD Alpha - LightForceJedi - wenger56 - Vampknight 364 - ThatDocktorGirl - Captain Carrion - JeffreyMann - DocSeuss - Samson R Jinks - Rianq - Aruji Shinigami - Gaming Novice - Laraso - David Eby - MarcisHawkins - StormTrooperGuy - Bryan Carr - DrButler - Gamers Ballad - John Posey III - pcgamer09 - dredgman - kirrylord - disgaeniac - God Complex - Roberto Loya - Beatlespip122 - TaleSpun - TMillsap - TheChosen - warezIbanez - OHShuzBallz - LongDeth - SS53 - Levito - Hound Of Hades - Kristi78968 - Caliban - Zombie Orwell - TimOfTheNorth - Oculin - JPNags

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NOTES:

-Until a better method presents itself, statistics are counted by hand, per-day. Comments and Faps are recorded at the end of the next day, to give the community ample time to read and respond. This means that there are likely minor errors and inaccuracies present, but none of them should be significant enough to invalidate anything

-Cblog Recaps and last month's Analytics are not counted, but all other serials (like FNF) are, under the rationale that serials still exist for the purpose of "creating" content under a certain topic or theme, while the Recaps & Analytics merely seek to sort and organize the blogs

-For the flavor of the month, I do not count Bloggers Wanted topics, but the blogs themselves are factored in

-There is still some inherent subjectivity in deciding what constitutes a "unique topic," so keep that in mind if there seems like there's some obvious category that I've ignored (although feel free to tell me)

-Statistics are not intended to impart any kind of judgment or opinion in and of themselves - If I have any personal thoughts, they are noted below the corresponding statistic
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