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Amethystine's blog

1:46 AM on 09.15.2007

Halo 3 Diorama: Cool, But Once is Enough

First of all, spare me all of your Halo hate, I know the Dtoid community is mostly against it in general. This is mostly about its foolishness in advertising, not the game itself.

Yes sir, that there virtual tour of the Halo 3 diorama/monument of the battle of New Mombasa is plenty spiffy, but as you glide along the pre-set path showing you dynamic views of intense looking battles, you might notice that there are links to enemy profiles and 'First Person Accounts' from now old veterans of the battle (As the monument was supposedly created about 50 years later, yeah whatever).

You might also notice little links to videos. These include the now famous 'Cereal Serious Business' ad with the elderly accented man talking about firing from an overturned Warthog (which is in there too, indeed). Also, near the end of the tour, there is a link to the other diorama based ad you may have seen here on Dtoid, where the Model Master Chief arms a plasma grenade and lifts his head at the end. I'm sure he does something bad ass with it after that, but wouldn't it be nice if we could see what it was?

This brings me to my next point.. which is actually the only point behind this blog post. There are three other videos linked to along the guided tour, named 'Hunted', 'Translator' and 'Gravesite', respectively. The first two of these videos will not be available until September 25th, 2007. That's right, on the game's launch day! While it might seem appropriate at first, I ask you: What is the bloody point of unlocking content no one will be around to watch? Did they really think anyone would go back to check on those promotional videos when they could be out snapping up the real deal?! No one's going to go back and slowly slide through the tour's path to get to them again, especially not after the 25th! I figured they'd lead up to the release, like any normal promo videos would.

Anyway, whatever. The real messed up thing is that the 3rd video I mentionned is going to be released on October 1st, almost a full week after the game's release. What the hell? No one, no one, no one will see that. Why wait that long at all? Is there spoilerific material in it? If so, and they're waiting to make sure everyone's finished the game before such story ruiners are revealed, then their logic is still failed, because there'll be plenty of people who might have waited to get a copy, or simply couldn't.. if but for 6 days, anyway. And while they're waiting on getting their copies, they can go online and see news of whatever spoilers are contained within, thanks to some internet cockjockey.

Of course, if there was such a person who wouldn't have the game at that point, but also cared about not getting things ruined, they might try to stay off of the net, a la Harry Potter 7 or something.

I don't know. I didn't mean for this to turn into a long rant. But if you've ever read any of my other posts, you'll know I have a tendency to let things get out of hand, post-length-wise.   read

8:40 PM on 09.04.2007

Yet More Thoughts on Metroid Prime 3

Some spoilers about gameplay, I guess: No story spoilers here!

No, this isn't a review. I pretty much completely agree with Tristero's 'official word'.

I do want to say, though, that while they're really good, I thought the controls weren't that perfect. Not as awesome as everyone seems to say, anyway. All the hardcore people (I think) seem to prefer the 'Advanced' controls, where there's pretty much no dead zone at all where you can move the Wiimote without moving the screen. I thought it was smooth and all, but sometimes I just want to be able to keep my video game head from drifting around if my arm or wrist gets just a bit slack. After a handful of hours of getting tired of seemingly being unable to make Samus exert her neck muscles to keep her head in place, I switched to the middle setting of 'Standard' and thought I'd try it for a bit. Then when done the game, I realized I never thought about changing back. Oh well, that's a matter of preference, I know. I'm just surprised no one else seems to think the same way about the 'Advanced' setting.

Also, I was so focused on shooting people in the face with my Wiimote, I forgot to dance around and aovoid being hit like I used to. That's just me, though.

As for the overall feel of the game.. I don't know. Maybe it was how fast I went through it, and I barely stopped to smell the roses.. or maybe it was how I had just been playing BioShock for a solid week.. or maybe it was my intense need to compare Prime 3 to the first 2 to make sure it measured up that I missed how good it was while it lasted. Or my obsession with finding everything and scanning everything in as timely a manner as possible..

Anyway, I finished it in three days, and it seemed like I might have gone too fast, but I had all but one scan and only missed 2 pickups (which I got after another hour or two anyway), so how rushed could it have been if I completed it so thoroughly?

Oh, and those battles during puzzle sequences? Or rather.. puzzles during never ending battles? If you don't see it.. if you don't realize that you need to do more than kill everyone, because they just keep coming.. well, you wind up killing space pirates for a half hour before you figure out you need to do a bunch of stuff at the same time, too. (Stuff that might reset before you're done, even!) And then you're pissed off at yourself for not realizing it.. and you just get mad at the enemies that keep bugging you while you're trying to work! I bet it'd be fine if you knew it was happening, but you're just as likely to be really mad at the game for doing that to you. That sort of thing never happened before.. at least not in a Metroid game. Not that I remember. And, what if you come into a battle with several enemies and you start thinking there's a puzzle you have to do.. but it's really just the enemies to kill? That could be crappy too. I haven't heard anyone else mention these before.

And, while the grapple flinging in battle is cool, does it have to make you stand still to do it? Doesn't that kinda defeat the purpose of this awesome control scheme that lets you free aim and strafe and everything? But then you get locked in while you rip off a shield, or tear a bot apart while 4 others blast at you while you could be shifting and shooting. Oh well! I'm sure everyone noticed how much more grapple action there was in the game, just to make the nunchuk get used more. Not a bad idea, but.. well, it starts feeling a bit too much. Why does the grapple suddenly do so very much?! Whatever.

I'm not going to say anything about how you use the right handed Wiimote to move Samus' left hand because I understand most people are right handed.. and that the Wiimote is the main component. Actually, I don't have a problem with it, I just like bringing up stuff like that, because I'm a lefty.

Enough has been said about the inclusion of talking people and other things.. the only thing I'll say about that is I didn't mind it all, I just wish they'd get off the radio. I don't mind the hints and map things telling me where to go.. but when you stop me from scanning stuff while you talk to me on the radio, I get antsy! Didn't they let you turn off the hint system in the other two? Yes it did! Oh, and WHY is the hint system comprised of a giant QUESTION mark on a room? Shouldn't it be an arrow and an Exclamation mark. A question mark makes me think.. "Ok, Samus, there's SOMETHING over there, what is it? We don't know. Go look!" Most of the time, they know and they told you what it is. I know, sometimes they really don't know, but still.

Wow, this is turning into a rant. I want to remind anyone reading that I did love the game and I love the series and I love the Wii, so I think that's why I'm being so hard on Metroid, here. I'm bashing its little faults that kept it from being perfect in my eyes. I rant because I care!

One more thing: Stacking beams is great so you don't have to switch.. but I kinda liked the transformer stylings of the presto-chango blaster arm cannon in the first 2 Primes. That, and if you knew what to use, you could toast everything pretty well. In the new one, since your beam just gets more and more powerful, so do the enemies, leveling up like in an RPG. So you wind up just button mashing away at them. Or charge shooting them. I generally wound up just multi-missiling anything tough I came across. Like Pirate Commandos. (More like Pirate Commandon'ts!) Was the free aiming system really supposed to make us overlook the lack of strategy of picking the right tool for the job?

I just don't know.. I'm certainly going to play it again. I'll be able to relax and enjoy it more, I think. I find I appreciate everything more the second time, because my brain knows what's coming and isn't constantly grabbing every new thing it's presented with and clamouring for the next bit. Also, movies seem shorter the second time because of this, I think.. anyone else notice that?   read

2:34 AM on 08.14.2007

To Anyone Who has Declared that BioShock isn't 'All that Great'

BioShock is about the story, the moral choices, the collapse of a once truly utopian society.

It's about the implementation and combination of varied disparate violent elements used for the action, to allow the player to defend themselves through a myriad of unique ways. The combat as customizable as the weapons and self modifications used to wage these battles.

It's about all the little things, the details in the world, it's visual representation and the degradation of that which was once fantasical and pristine.

It's about its darkness and mood of isolation, desperation for escape and survival, and perhaps the yearning to help those not yet completely gone, beyond the players ability to aid them.

It's about Why and How did it all go so very wrong?   read

1:44 AM on 08.14.2007

The Truth About Mother Brain?

So! Auroras, eh?

Spoilers of a trailer within:

The newest trailer for Metroid Prime 3 has some spooky details revealed about an interesting bit of technology within the Metroid Universe. Allow me to paraphrase: 'Developed by Galactic Federation scientists, an Aurora is a biological super computer. Originally intended for scientific use, they are now used by large companies, the military, etc. Thousands of Auroras have been produced and are assigned female, male, or gender neutral personas. All of them can be linked via a network, giving them access to a near limitless database.'

(Aww, isn't that cute, they have the internets too!)

The most interesting thing that can be seen in this trailer is what an Aurora looks like. Although in 3D, it's hard to recognize. Not until I saw one in a water filled, glass tube, surrounded by familiar tubing and automated defences did I realize. It's a freaking Mother Brain!

Now, anyone who's seen the trailer knows this already, of course. Although, in truth, the declaration should be: 'Mother Brain was an Aurora supercomputer!'

Thanks to this new preview, we can be certain we will see an Aurora in Prime 3. Hopefully not an evil one, though.. of course, since we know now they're really just tools used by organizations, it's really up to whoever owns these fancy PCs to dictate their personality. I guess. It may be that Samus will need to interact with one that the Federation owns and utilizes. Or one of each variety.

The unfortunate North America cartoonization of all the Nintendo franchises decades ago lead people to think 'Mother Brain' was a sort of Queen of the Space Pirates, that talked and.. well, mostly talked, I guess. And wore make-up. I never saw those old cartoons. But still, did they have to do that?

Anyway, I always believed old Brainy was simply a hub controlling force, but it seems now that it may have simply been a computer to analyse logistical data and perhaps advise on the Pirate's next move. Why make a big honking PC the end boss in those old games, though? Well, since it was such an integral part of the Pirates operation (maybe it controlled environmental systems on Zebes too, it's destruction triggering a meltdown of the base, self destruct mechanism or not), it makes sense that Samus would target it after the defeat of all her more mobile foes. Take out their information systems, why not? Of course, all those automated defences and lava didn't hurt to make leave that pile of junk for last.

(Who puts lava in a room with a supercomputer?! They need cooling. God forbid there was a Mother 360!)

Of course, one has to mention Mother Brain's sudden locomotion at the end of Super Metroid. I can only surmise the pirates made that body for their (most likely newly bought/stolen Aurora compy) current Brain, in case they ever had another run in with one of those wacky bounty hunters. Prime 1 mentions briefly that they basically made Ridley a new body after the original Metroid, resulting in Meta-Ridley, so why not make a nice last defence for their persona-acquipped hub computer? It would have worked too, if it weren't for those darn kids.. well, just one kid Metroid.

So! Mother Brain: Evil bio-supercomputer with a mind of it's own and a penchant for galatic domination? Or simply an effective, well guarded tool used by the pirates to strategize and organize?

Also, now I can't help but think about comparisons and paralells between these newly detailed Auroras and the human-personality endowed holographic AIs of Halo.

Uh oh, you can't mix Metroid and Halo! Especially not on Dtoid! I'm doomed!   read

12:55 PM on 08.13.2007

Super Metroid: Next Week to be the 'BEST WEEK EVAR' PS - Super Metroid

Sorry to steal your catch phrase, Concelmo.

I'm sure many others probably already know, or at least figured that Nintendo was waiting to release Super Metroid around the same time as Metroid Prime 3 on the Wii, and that's now been confirmed by the news on the Wii Shop channel of all places.

The detail their 'Month of Metroid' as follows: The Metroid Prime 3 preview channel download for WiiWare last week, the original Metroid download for the Virtual Console this week (Aug 13th) and the über-hotness that was, is and will be Super Metroid for download on the Virtual Console next week (Monday August 20th)!

Oh, and Prime 3 the week after that, of course. But come on, we'll all still be playing good old Metroid 3 then, right?

On a personal note, I had just returned from my local EBGames after purchasing a new Wii Points card, because I suspected that this was going to happen, when I found this tidbit of newsgasm. Vindication never felt so good.

PS - Do you think I'm too excited about this?   read

3:03 PM on 08.04.2007

Finally made a Blog Header

Sorry for anyone looking for another one of my long winded posts about whatever just struck me about videro games, but I'm just looking for feedback on the banner I just uploaded.

What'dya think guys? I churned it out in an hour or so. I hope you like pipes.

More actual serious gaming posts are forthcoming, I'm sure of it. Because this site and the internet in general is nothing if not SERIUS BUSINEZZ.   read

12:24 PM on 08.04.2007

You Fail at Video Games! But that's a good thing.

Spoiler alert! Vague Eternal Darkness spoilers in this post. You should still play it, though, I don't go into specifics.

After my last posts, the commenters mentionned that games never have you fail at the end, or die at the end, since that would piss off the player and be unsatisfying. Mostly, I agree, but writing a satisfying ending where your player accomplishes what they set out to do, perhaps in the moment of their deaths, can be done, too. I'm not so sure about the inverse.. a satisfying ending where you survive the ordeal, but are not able to complete what you apparently were setting out to do in the start. Maybe there'll be a game where, right at the end, you choose to either win and die in the process, or save yourself and fail at your mission in the process.

Anyway, like I said, games aren't able to have the main character die, I'll agree for the most part, which is unfortunate. But I can also think of one example where it worked pretty well to have your character die or fail. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.

In Eternal Darkness, you played as a progression of people throughout history, who have had dealings with the evil force that made up the antagonistic element of the game. Several of these characters died or failed in their quests, but they served to educate the main character, who was reading (and playing through) their stories. It was shocking when your current avatar would fail, die or end up in an asylum (the best part), but it was done very well, in that in the end, you used the combined efforts to vanquish the evil. I'll never forget the way that one guy gets.. well, I won't spoil that one for you.

This also left you bereft of that comfy notion that: 'I'm the main character, I can't die, haha!' Because after playing for a little while, you weren't too sure what might happen to you. Which is what helped make it that much scarier at times. In Resident Evil, you pretty much know you'll get out alive, in the end, since the point is to 'survive the horror'.

Of course, when you 'won', you have a vision of the next bit of evil in line succeeding, and you've failed once again, ultimately! Only by playing through and failing at the end of the game 3 times or so, setting up a rock, paper, scissors cycle of the 3 forces of evil destroying each other, could you truly defeat all of the darkness and "win" the game.

I think it was an awesome game, failing characters and all. Not to mention that your first character fails, dies and winds up an earthly avatar for the evil you spend the rest of the game trying to kill. That was classic, utterly.

After I finish playing 'The Darkness', I'll probably play 'Eternal Darkness' again. No, I don't see a pattern there. It's just a coincedence! Anyway, I'd like to see how many people out there played Eternal Darkness and maybe agree with me? Anybody? Everybody?!   read

3:38 AM on 08.04.2007

But is it ART? Part 2: Art and Games, Games and Art

This is/was something of a responce to this post, but then things got out of hand and I kept writing and writing and then it wouldn't all fit in the comment box and it got all off topic, so I'm throwing it up here!

Gauger wrote: "I think one could argue that a painting could be high art, even if it compels you to stop looking at it, but I opine that the looking is as much a part of the experience of the painting as what the painting itself portrays. If one is not looking at a painting, one is not experiencing it. The same goes for games. The minute I stop wanting to play a game, my experience with the art of it is crippled."

You could make the argument that it's possible for a piece of art, be it a book or a painting or a piece of music, be shocking or repelling in some ways and cause you to want to look away or stop it, but also compels one to look, read or listen further.

Or, in the case of stopping and not looking back again, there's certainly been art that is meant to shock.. to have a person see it once, then look away, never to see it again, the initial shock value being the only intended effect/result. Even if you're not actively looking at it, the memory of it could be considered part of the artistic intent and emotional effect it has on the viewer.

So if there was a truly artful game that made you want to stop playing it at a specific point as its intent, you could say your experience with the art of it was complete.. as long as it was designed that way, anyway. For example, you might reach a certain point in the game and something truly horrible happens. Then the game stops everything asks you to choose between two simple things: To stop or to go on. If implemented correctly and built up to well enough with emotional involvement to seriously give the player pause as the tradegy befalls them and about half of the audience does stop there, they'd be given a satisfactory ending and left to wonder what would have happened had they gone on. I would hope they'd be left wondering with lingering doubts for a least a while after they had put the game away. That sort of interactivity is exactly what games can do, as opposed to books or other media.

(Of course, most gamers would just save before the decision and do both, with the ingrained notion of finding/reaching the 'true, proper' ending, thus ruining the effect.)

As for an artistic game that tries to shock the audience, I imagine a gristly scene of gore to disgust/repel a player (as opposed to give them a visceral thrill, as it seems that's the only use for gore these days), perhaps in a crime scene you come upon as a cop.. the desire of wanting to capture and see the prepetrator of the foul act brought to justice being the hook for the rest of the game.

Anyway, now I'm struck with a concept for a murder mystery sort of game. A detective story. You play the police detective, of course. You're thrust into your role with a nasty murder crime-scene and left to try and hunt down the killer with the old flatfoot routine and basic forensics like fingerprints and blood types. Nothing too CSI fancy. Anyway, my sudden idea was that after ages of searching and digging and hunting for clues and all that jazz, you realize you're never going to catch the killer. The case will go unsolved. Maybe throw it into a game that has other, solvable, cases, to make the game seem less 'cheap', overall. With the one unsolvable case, the artistic merit comes in it forcing you, the player, to realize that good doesn't always win and things aren't always resolved. (but lack of closure sucks!) You tell your police superior you're giving up the case and it all ends.

Of course, I just had another idea while writing that.. once you give up the case, an alternate mode of play is opened while the other is closed and you play as the criminal and must evade the police endlessly, in a reflection of what when on during your investigation as the police.

Would that qualify as an artistic game, if produced with enough style and well-balanced story telling? As long as it doesn't jerk you around too much, I think it would be compelling without being traditionally 'fun'.

(This Part 2 was also written at about 6 in the morning after being up all night, what is wrong with me? I bet I'll come back and see that it makes no sense to me later.)   read

2:54 AM on 08.04.2007

But is it ART? Part 1: Fun VS Entertainment

This is/was something of a responce to this post, but then things got out of hand and I kept writing and writing and then it wouldn't all fit in the comment box and it got all off topic, so I'm throwing it up here!

The article asks how the definitions of "art", "fun", and/or "gaming" would have to change to have games be taken as seriously as other mediums like books, movies, music and paintings. I'm going to look at 'fun' and 'entertainment', mostly.

I realized when I saw Black Hawk Down, and tried to define its qualities afterwards, that I could not call it 'fun', or even exactly 'entertaining' in my somewhat limited definition of the word, back then.

I came to appreciate film critics' use of words like 'gripping' or 'compelling', since movies about war or atrocities like genocide aren't exactly uplifting or highspirited.. but they do make you think. Hense the often used term 'thought-provoking'. So, I realized I could be 'entertained' without something being 'fun' or exciting in the 'f***-yeah!' action movie sort of way.

The question is if games can do the same thing, and be compelling enough to keep us playing (or should I say 'participating', as 'play' suggests something 'fun') even if they're simply thought-provoking. I suppose it would come down to what people go to games to receive. Do we, as a culture want anything other than FUN from our games? Some do, but I think the majority use games only for pleasant distractions as opposed to more serious, dramatic fare. (The majority of all the people who play games, at least, not just the cool, art supporting people on Dtoid)

Yes, it's always been that games are just distractions for kids, at least, that's the image that's been applied to gaming. Probably because of the name. Just like 'comic books', which for the most part should be called something else since they've evolved past being more than cartoons on paper for kids.. more and more, they're called 'graphic novels'. So too should 'video games' be called something more mature now that we've moved so far past cartoons in pixels. The best I can come up with is 'Electronic Interactive Entertainment' or something of the sort. Maybe a clever acronym?

So, my answer to the question above about what would have to change is; Gaming would need a new image, one that's about more than just frivolous fun, and we'd need lots and lots of games that are serious and thought-provoking, whose elements were less about game'play', but more about participation in the entertainment to drive the activities.

--Unfortunately, I can't think of any activites in the average game that aren't already inherently fun when performing them vicariously through an electronic avatar. Driving fast cars, shooting stuff, running around places.. it's always been that way, that all the jumping and stuff we do is supposed to be the 'fun' part of a game.. but I'm sure there's a bunch, I just can't think of any, since it's 5:30am now. Help me out, will you? What stuff can we do in a game that's not simple fun, but is engaging? Exploration?--   read

11:13 PM on 08.01.2007

Thoughts on Zombies & Racism

This will be my attempt to convey my views on the recent 'Racism in Resident Evil 5' debacle. I say 'attempt' because the whole thing is quite the quagmire which really comes down to personal views on the state of segregation/racism in America and the rest of the world. So I'm going to try and get to the root of the controversy instead of the actual problem itself, the preview video.

{If you want to skip some boring analytical stuff, "Hit the Jump" and slide on down to the next place you see these brackets.}

First of all, obviously the setting is a very big part of the current scandal. Everyone is reacting to the fact that it takes place in Africa. (While I have heard that it's possibly somewhere else, like an island nation, let's assume for the sake of argument that it is, indeed, Africa.) I suppose I should mention that no one has said anything about the video's portrayal of the setting in the first place. The area is depicted as harsh and alien, with the bright sun and silent footage, save for the music, as well as admittedly creepy glances towards the camera (and therefore, the viewer) aimed at making the entire environment seem hostile. A scene of an angry mob lynching someone, should garner them no sympathy from the viewers, whether the audience believes the victim to be one of the villagers or an outsider, a public hanging is generally disapproved of.

Only after this is established is the main focus of the preview introduced, Chris Redfield. It may be true that he is the only caucasian present and is dressed vaguely like an authority figure, I think it should be apparent to most that he is supposed to appear as a stranger or an outsider. Since we hear his voice and are introduced to him by name, the viewer is supposed to attach to him as our protagonist. Fans of the series of games will already know who he is by name and know his motivations, but someone unfamiliar with the story should still realize that he is an established person, since he is given a name. If he were a new character, there would be no point in naming him in a simple preview, as no one would know who he is. If this realization is made by someone who doesn't know who he is immediately, they should realize also that he must have already been set up as a white male, stopping protests declaring he should be black as well.

Getting back on track, we then see Chris looking perhaps a little scared at suddenly being alone in the midst of the formerly busy village he was just walking through. More evidence that he is out of his element or in danger. This is meant to be a scary bit of CG animation, afterall.

The next thing we see is Chris coming upon what would look to an unfamiliar viewer as (I think) two men torturing or otherwise assaulting a third man. After the first two flee, the third man obviously has been harmed, due to the visual of the blood coming from his eyes, and is obviously not aware of what he's doing as he attacks Chris. For his part, the protagonist does not move to stop the victim, simply holding him off, grappling with him.

Again attempting to analyze the content as though I was not aware of the mechanics of the game, we then see Chris backing away from groups of advancing threatening people bearing bladed weapons. The next several scenes depict our 'hero' being surrounded and attacked, forced to the ground and targeted by people throwing what look to be fairly large knives seen earlier being used to chop meat. During these scenes, Chris appears to be taking a fairly pacifistic stance, backing away while warding off attacks with a small fire-arm as well as throwing off people who grab him and pushing them away. Admittedly, there are a few pistol shots used, one of which was only to deflect the course of an inbound knife, and one punch thrown by him, but overall, the idea that he is defending himself while trying to escape seems completely plausible and acceptable.

If this trailer tells a story, we then see escalating violence on both sides of the conflict as the game progresses as Chris uses a shotgun and then a rifle very briefly, interspersed with him being completely surrounded, trapped and cornered and sliced at with blades several times, as well as more shots of him trying to escape up some stairs or into different places.

The whole thing ends with Chris running and leaping off of an undefined wall/building/embankment, possibly injuring himself rather than facing the hordes of hostile pursuers.

{Jump down to here!}

First of all, I want to respond to what I saw of the article Jim Sterling was responding to in his post (which inspired me to write my own). They mention a white man "killing Black people", even though there is surprisingly little violence on Chris' part. The only instance of a death in the video being the lynching at the beginning, committed by the villagers and perhaps Chris' single shotgun blast and burst of fire from an assault rifle (which didn't appear to hit anything, as I recall). His shots with the pistol are all rather ineffective looking. As for 'killing', it seems very much that that is what the large number of villagers is trying to do to the protagonist.

Next, the article says, "The Black people are supposed to be zombies". This shows that the author of the article in question realizes that the beings in the video have become something other than human beings, as it is widely known that zombies are more than walking corpses. Honestly, stopping a zombie is only desecrating a corpse. Having acknowledged that the people present are 'supposed to be zombies' might explain away and justify their actions in that they are no longer in control of themselves. Furthermore the fact that Chris is reluctant to attack said monsters should only further garner sympathy for him.

They go on to mention "depiction of Black people as inhuman savages". As I said, they have already established that the black people present are zombies. Since they already pointed this out, it opens the door to the argument that zombies are altogether different from a 'savage'. Saying someone is a 'savage' implies that they are less intelligent and barbaric.. but depicting someone as a zombie gives no bearing on their life or actions before succumbing to the great equalizer of death, then rising as a mythological being that classically has only one motivation, which is hunger. Denoting that they ARE zombies only proves that they're just hungry, and are depicted attempting to eat the protagonist.

(I know they're actually not zombies, but Ganados. But that distinction is only important to people who are already fans of the games)

Lastly, the article attempts to accuse Capcom with the statement that "this video game is marketed to children and young adults". I don't think I need to say anything to convince you that this game is not trying to attract children. The scary overtones and the violence devoid of bright colours or cartoony antics of any kind should be proof enough. And, more than likely the game will receive an 'M' rating upon release, hopefully limiting the 'young adult' range that should be able to purchase it to those people already on the verge of adulthood.

Once more looking at it in a purely non-Resident Evil way.. it's entirely possible to imagine that Redfield is only attempting to survive the horrible situation in which he's placed (wait.. survive.. horrible.. that sounds familiar). Or perhaps, if one must infer an ulterior motive, it might be that he's attempting to stop the men that first attacked the third man in the initial encounter. Or maybe he's there to stop the man with the megaphone and his criminal followers. At this point, it's useless speculation.

What isn't useless OR speculative is this: Since the setting is one that, by all logic, would only have black people living there, it makes no sense that any character would be anything but african. The only reason the main character is not black as well is because he's an established character continuing the story that he is a part of. Since there's a giant 5 in the title, people who don't know the story should assume he's the same main character there's always been. If they checked and found that the previous 4 RE games had black heroes, only to be replaced by a white one when the series is set in Africa, then I would agree that something is fishy.

What would be controversial is if this game was set in an American city and had a white male walking amongst normal, everyday people as they went about their daily lives without attacking him, and he simply sought out and attacked black people as opposed to white people for no reason as they went by. If that was the object of the game in question, then yes, this scandal would probably be justified.

(Also, to a lesser extent, if the game was as it was, in Africa, with the same africans everywhere, but they DIDN'T attack him and he suddenly begins a slaughter, it would only prove that he wanted to kill a lot of people and didn't discriminate within the parameters set before him.)

Holy crap, this is way too long, no one is going to read this, what have I done??!?! Oh well. Hope I didn't bore you to death by now and thanks for reading.


PS - On a lighter note, it's also widely known that black cultures invented zombies, in a way. So shouldn't they have been more offended at all zombies in popular culture up to this point for NOT being black? Everyone was ripping off a clearly Voodoo originated IP! j/k   read

2:44 AM on 07.30.2007

My First Blog EVAR in the history of time. Also, Responce to "The Casual Conflict"

Hey intertrons, I'm only making this blog post because the comment I was writing to post onto 'The Casual Conflict' written by Lewzr got waaaaay out of hand, and since it's happened in the past, I figured I'd try to start a blog here in case I ever feel the need to write so much about a topic that's brought up here in our lovely site of discussion on all things Gaming.

So here's what was going to be my comment on that thread I linked above:

As always, there are two sides to all the arguments presented here.

We can say having more and more 'casual' gamers is a good thing, to have the general population realize games aren't all super violent and won't make you into a killer. But then you can also say that the 'casual' games are too easy/reptitive/childish, making these new gamers believe that all games are that simplistic.

But then you can also declare, that from that situation, a new casual gamer, perhaps someone in their 20s who just never was into games before now (I mean, you didn't think all the new gamers are actually babies, grannies and your mother, right?), picks up a Wii or a PS2 on the cheap and plays something nice and simple and easy.. then finishes with it quickly, the 'overly-simple' game leaving them wanting more and drawing them into slowly more mature titles.

I'm also surprised no over-sexed male here has made the point that the casual demographic that companies like Nintendo are aiming for is the female one. Having more women playing games can't be a bad thing, right guys?

(I'm finding it hard to resist writing what I think some jock might say to this. Something about a girl playing with a Wii. Never mind.)

Anyway, my intial thought was simply that we shouldn't care so much about 'resources' being put into casual games, since they take less work to make, I believe. So let the game developpers make casual fare! If it brings in a multitude of new wallets that'll feed the monsters that are the big franchises we're so desperate to see made, all the better!

Lastly, I think the negative reaction about this new trend supposedly 'legitimizing games' through new casual stuff has to do with how the average gamer wanted to be 'accepted' and the desire to remain a bit of an 'underground', half-secreted culture.

The everyday hardcore gamer wanted the rest of the world to finally realize that games just ARE cool, without the industry having to pander to the 'outsiders' to get them to see the light. The fact that we had to go as far as creating something like the Wii to do it is frustrating to some people, I think. The fact that some people, -like anyone older than 40- just can't get a grip on traditional controllers (yes, that was a pun) escapes a fair number of us, I believe. We just wanted everyone we know to wake up one day and say, "Oh! Blowing stuff up IS cool, okay. And games ARE pretty artistic, I get it." It's just not that easy, though.

The other thing I mentionned was that there's a subconscious desire to have gaming remain a niche market. We want other people to understand.. just not butt in on our industry. There's a trend these days that seems to be that if something is really really popular with a lot of people, it's not cool anymore. Things are only cool when it's your own little secret and the whole world doesn't know about it. Like a friend of mine's opinion of Halo, in a sense. He thought it was so cool back when it was the Mac computer gamers little secret.. but then Microsoft bought Bungie and turned it into this giant, hate-absorbing franchise, just because half the people out there don't want to like the mainstream because they think it makes them average, they think it makes them normal, like everyone else. So now my friend doesn't like it as much anymore, even though it's the same game it always was, and then improved through it's sequels.

Halo continues to be a bad example, but I'm sure you can think of something else appropriate to replace it with in my ancedote, and it'll make the same point about people losing interest in something once it becomes popular.

So, yeah.. a lot of gamers think their past-time is being taken away from them in a way, but we don't have to worry because the big three are never going to give up on the big hardcore titles they know we love. They're just going to make a pretty penny on the side with casual games. And hey, maybe because of that side-dish, you'll have a new hardcore buddy that broke his gaming teeth late in life (22 years old, ZOMG) on the Wii.

PS - Not me, though! I got a NES when I was 5 or something. :P   read

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