My name is Angel.
My first gaming system was an Atari 2600 at the age of 4.
My first pen and paper gaming was accomplished by age 7.
My favorite genre is Survival Horror.
When I wanna pick up chicks I wear my Soundwave shirt.
I am blunt and honest.
I have a lot of random interests from biology to fetish lifestyle to body painting.
Lego Batman 2 - PS3
Persona 4 -Vita
Andy said to keep this thing rolling and if you don't obey your community managers You probably get dickslapped so here goes...
1. I can play the Saxophone.
And I can play it pretty fucking well.
Well enough that in high school I was recruited to go with some other high school kids and learn and play in a few places in Europe.
I was always invited to tons of musical festivals to learn during my middle school.
My band director was even approached by another school after a festival to ask if there was any way they could connect my parents about transferring schools and they would pay the out of county cost.
So yeah...I can play the sax.
2. I am a pretty insanely devout David Bowie fan
Around the age of nine, I became pretty much what I am today. I decided my parents were never getting better, and so as so many before I looked to a different savior....I looked to David Bowie.
And in him a savior I found. I surrounded myself with him. Built him shrines on my wall that (no joke) went from my floor to my ceiling. I can name every Bowie album in chronological order. I have won the young Bowie fan award from BowieWonderworld twice. Some of my short story based in the world of Bowie's Diamond Dogs is still on the front page. I own tons of lost Bowie relics including a poster from 1964 with his real name on it. I have even talked with his Ex-Wife and the drummer Woody from the Ziggy Stardust days for different articles. I was even on the Beat the Geeks internet edition as the Bowie Geek.
David Bowie is on my pantheon. He should be on yours too.
3.I love to body paint.
4. I am a Texturephile I don't know if it's brain damage from my childhood or whatever mental instability they want to label me with this week, but textures set me off.
Texture can immediately change my mood, the course of my thoughts, what I eat, whether or not I find you attractive, and what I dream about.
I think since I have trouble talking a lot my mind just ignores the conversations and goes straight for what it can learn from touch.
Texture rules so much of my life....it borders on the ridiculous.
I have ignored people based on how their hands felt against mine.
I cannot eat meat with the bone attached.
I have an odd attraction to latex and stainless steel.
On occasion I sleep in dry bathtubs because of the way the porcelain feels.
And the list could go on for days...
5.I am a cyborg. Nah I'm just kidding...but I do have metal plates and screws inside my skull and around my left eye.
6.I have a secret love of baseball....that always comes out when I'm drunk. I enjoy baseball. I don't watch it much on TV, but I really enjoy it in person and on the radio. I played it as long as my school would allow me to growing up.
See if you have a vagina they eventually make you play softball, but I was a pitcher and have SUPER TINY toddler hands. So for me softball was not an option I begged to continue on the baseball team, but it was a no from everyone on the school board.
So this love and happiness stayed buried for a long time....Then my brother took me to see a live MLB game.
And all those wonderful memories of sweat filled afternoons, the feel of the leather baseball glove surrounding your hand, and the dirt under my feet soon to be covering my socks. It had me by my soul again.
Funny thing is though I don't understand everything about baseball so I feel really weird talking about it.
Until I'm drunk.
Once I'm past the tipsy stage and on the downhill to sleep baseball fills my head and it's all I will want to talk about for...anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours.
7.I can read tarot/runes/tealeaves, perform palmistry, do astrological charts, and I can perform/instruct Druidic ceremonies. My great great Aunt (and her mother before her and so on) was a mystic/soothsayer kinda lady and the arts of that kind has been passed down in the females of the family. It's all pretty interesting stuff. I was happy to learn it and the like. My sister and I used to perform the rites of spring when I was until she was kicked out of the family for a few years. I wanted to learn more, but mom went through cycles of drug induced paranoia were she would go into SUPER BORN AGAIN MODE and decided that all of our heritage was devil's work. Sigh.
8.I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons for almost 17 years. Straight up. Character Sheets. Dice. Ravenloft is my second home.
9. I am not a high school graduate Around my junior year of high school, I started to suffer really god awful panic attacks.
Panic attacks of such magnitude I would be taken out of class to sob and try to catch my breath in the hall. I couldn't stay in the classroom. I blacked out from not being to get breath on more than one occasion.
I attempted to graduate early since I had enough credits. My councilor informed me that the school I went to doesn't allow that because the county won't give them extra funding if they allowed students to do that.
I could not continue. I could not function in that place. I could no longer learn.
10.I am a furry. I love anthropomorphic art. I love wearing all kinds of costumes. I love making up characters. I love acting like an animal. I love animals. Though I don't LOVE love animals. I don't care what you think of furries or what you've been told. Every furry I've ever hung out (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ONE SKUNK) has always been awesome. So try not to hate until you hang out with us besides if anime has taught us anything it's that tails and animal ears are hot.
So I did this...because I love you all and it was really hard. hehe hard.
Games have always been around for me. Which is very good when you're the youngest of 4 children and everyone else is at least 5 years older than you.
No one wants to play with you, and to top it all off you're poor enough that you have to adjust your sleeping habits so when you don't get to eat you can just sleep until the stomach pain dies down.
My childhood was a complete mess. I was poor, I lived about 35 minutes out of anywhere you could even call a town, no central heat/air, and my parents both suffer from mental illnesses.
Unless, my brothers happen to be taking an interest in me that I was on my own.
I mostly played with the animals outside of our house and told them all my problems. On the weekends however, I got to go stay with my cousin and play his video games.
There was no greater experience for me as a child.
Running through exotic locations, making friends with characters, and humming soundtracks when I wasn't playing.
To see the great Mana tree was awe inspiring, and to travel the End of Time was so fantastical.
But real life often gets in the way of these fantastic places and narratives....
Because we were so poor. I didn't get to eat as much as I should have. Leading to lots of problems with my health.
I developed Rickets. My legs hurt constantly and I would cry myself to sleep. Walking up and down the stairs at our house became a near impossibility without being on all fours.
Not being able to run and play as a child is devastating. But my video games were still there. I would lay in bed and play all day sometimes. Going places I never dreamed of.
They offered an escape from my situation. A solution to have experiences that I couldn't participate in. Friends that I could play with and an overall feeling that I was still doing something that would have an impact even if it was to fictional characters.
But sadly it was not of the end of it. I developed ulcers which still hurt me on occasion to this day. My spine is compressed, and I'm about 6 inches shorter than I should be. I have a weak immune system, and if I'm in the sun for more than about 15 minutes I burn terribly.
Today, I had to call out of work due to severe ulcer pain. But even now, I lay in bed and watch my husband play Red Dead Redemption.
And I escape and have some relief from my pain and my troubles.
...As to why I'm writing instead of doing what I should be doing.
Probably because I made a deal with my husband that every time I start a new game I have to write something, or I don't get any new games.
Well, since I started Yakuza today I have to write something.
So let's do a first impressions article since I haven't brought myself to finish a game in about 6 months.
First Impressions: Heavy Rain
If you’d like to skip the epic wall of text go to the next red text
Made a very hot topic due to our own Jim Sterling and Sony's never-ending ad campaign.
Heavy Rain is one of those anticipated games by all gamers all for different reasons. The gamer's gamers were excited due to the uniqueness promised and the as always the promise of a game made for gamers. Damn, that's a mouthful.
Some were excited if only to scoff at the lack of major action and the gameplay that relies purely on QTEs.
Others were just excited to try something different.
And towards the release many were excited just because everyone would shut up about the hype.
As for me, I've been excited for years.
You see in my teenage years I was (and still but to a lesser extent) obsessive over a man named David Bowie. While, I can still name every album of his in Chronological order, I can no longer do track times.
(I've gotten better.)
Anyway, this drew me to the attention of a somewhat lesser known game called Omikron: The Nomad Soul.
Now, this game was not the best game ever. However, this game struck a cord with me. One of the first "adult" games I had played without assistance or being exposed to it first with another party. From it's unique landscapes to it's interesting subplot and that fact the soundtrack was David Bowie and Reeves Gabriel. I was hooked. I found the idea of having so many characters with so many backgrounds fascinating as well.
The idea of characters with their own complete previous identities coming together is one of my favorite premises in games and literature. Therefore I played it incessantly.
It was at this time I noticed Quantic Dream. I enjoyed their ideas and their hopes of making games more narrative based. I endured for a few years in the hopes of a sequel to Omikron.
I waited patiently for Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy. Becoming rather excited along the way. During this time Quantic released their first trailer for Heavy Rain. Originally believed just to be a demo to show off the PS3's capabilities. It was interesting, but with Fahrenheit on the horizon I just ignored it.
While Fahrenheit was interesting I found the ending to be severely lacking, no matter which one I obtained. The introduction of the actual Indigo child towards the end was rather annoying as well. All the character relationship building, the interesting hallucinations, and the cult all came to garbled speeding halt much like a car into a concrete barrier. It was abrupt and anything, but satisfying.
For the most part the QTE's were well executed. They kept me involved and provided a reasonable amount of action. The few that were inexcusable ones such as controlling Carla's breathing while trying to escape the Mental Hospital. These were just tests in futility as the only thing you could do was memorize your way out trial and error style.
Even for all it's faults, I found it an interesting departure from traditional gaming. Sure things could have been better, but those are the chances you take in your first attempts.
But playing got me really interested in Heavy Rain, for if their first attempt was pretty good. Then when they actually knew what they were doing it could be phenomenal.
Yes, I just realized I had to describe my entire history with Quantic Dream, before I could even begin a first impressions article. Sorry to be so neurotic, but like a said Character History is VERY IMPORTANT to me.
Now, back to Heavy Rain. *Some spoilers will follow.*
To say I went in without expectations is to a say a child doesn't like candy.
Sure, I had expectations. Some have already been interestingly addressed, others I'm waiting to see them play out.
I'm particularly attached to Ethan most likely due to my own lack of a happily childhood and comfortable home life.
Though his beginning narrative deals with mundane actions, i.e. the infamous teeth brushing, I find a nice sense of calm with this. A happy man his happy family. I did find his son, Jason rather annoying, and his younger child, Shaun, endearing.
Quantic does a pretty good job making me comfortable with Ethan and showing me his life is happy.
The scene at the mall wading through the crowd was slightly frustrating in its execution, but it was mostly due to me still adjusting to the somewhat awkward walking controls. However, the next event was rather predicable for me.
This is where Quantic Dream failed on its mission a little. If its ultimate goal is to make me feel for its characters this is one scene that lacked for me. The event was predictable and I didn't have any attachment to Jason. I found him annoying and ungrateful. I felt nothing at the death of this child. I know I should have, but there was nothing but a void.
I was almost laughing with the dark sense of humor part of my brain.
When Ethan reappears, his lush house and happy garden are replaced by dark concrete walls and raining city streets. A pretty good analogy to how his life is going.
His earlier endearing son, Shaun, is now almost as annoying as Jason. Though I still feel attached as I know this kid is just sad.
Onto Mr. Shelby, he’s straight forward. Old, chubby P.I. with a heart for justice. Nothing too special. I like how he is presented. I feel like I can relate to him enough to make decisions I feel the character would make. Being the knight in shining armor that I am saved the hooker, I always save hookers. I found the QTE action adequate, though I feel sorry for you if you haven’t memorized the different icons for how you’re supposed to press the buttons. If I hadn’t I would’ve been pretty annoyed by this point.
No complaints with Shelby or any of his actions so far. I find it amusing that a chubby asthmatic older gentleman has all the action scenes so far.
Now, onto the only character for whom I have any contempt….
I find Norman Jayden. Ridiculous, from his name, to his accent and so called storyline.
He seems flimsy from the get-go. While is ARI is interesting I find that it’s his only redeemable quality. His statements are awkward and chalky. There’s nothing I really do as him that’s pleasing to me in anyway. Nothing that makes me feel for him. I’m confused how he’s a drug addicted FBI guy when there’s obviously advanced technology by this point in time and therefore drug screenings should be easier and more efficient.
His accent is very try to hard on part of the voice actor. He never sounds serious and I find myself repeating everything he says in the voice of Down syndrome child. Also, apparently Quantic’s character designer was staying up all night downing redbull while jacking off to the Matrix when they sketched him.
Perhaps, it’s just the choices I’ve made that make him an uninteresting dult, but I can’t imagine what could be that different.
The only thing in his story so far is the investigation itself. In that case though I would just assume pick Shelby any day of the week.
He is really the only “special” FBI agent I’ve ever seen. He can barely say his name without slurring into an mental challenged state.
Onto the lovely ladies scenario…I haven’t played much into hers, but I enjoy the voice acting and her action scene was rather good.
In recap, Quantic Dream has already failed it’s mission somewhat. It will be interesting to see how the rest plays out. Either was so far it’s interesting.
The controls can be annoying, but kudos for using the amount of rain as timing/framing device….
Not like you did that with the Temperature in Fahrenheit…
I keep meaning to post things I've written here. No joke, I have about 20 half to seven-eighths done articles sitting on my laptop. Waiting for me. Also, mocking me on days that I haven't had enough sleep.
But to be honest, I've got a lot going on currently. I just got married in November, and I'm trying to secure a better job situation for my husband and I.
Today is not for talking about me though. Today is an odd day. It's my friend Katie's birthday.
Katie is a great friend of mine. She's 24 years old today.
She's not much of a gamer, but she'll listen to me summarize and reweave stories from RPGs for hours at a time. She loves intelligent stories no matter where they're from. She loves to read. Never leaves home without a book. Even always carries a tote bag instead of a purse so her books won't get bent. She used to bring her mental floss magazine into to work for us to read together, because I was the only other girl at work interested in anything vaguely obscurely cerebral.
She has a wonderful laugh and makes a ton of goofy ass faces that are funnier than any terrible line Barrett has from FF7.
She's one of the first friends I'd made as an adult. You see, I'm a terribly shy person. I also come across as odd, and I make situations awkward. I swear it's my natural talent. You always remember when you meet that first friend though. Your first job or class outside of high school. Completely new people you've never meet. I'm practically a mute in those situations. But She reached out to me. Made me not feel so awkward. Made me know it was okay to be an intelligent girl out in the world.
She's a great person and my best friend. In fact, the best female friend I've ever had.
I asked her to be my maid of honor. She was planning my 21st birthday party too.
I got married on November 13th last year......
And she wasn't there. Except for a picture. And a feeling of goodwill.
You see. This is Katie's first birthday since she was killed last May. It's a very odd day.
I was an odd child. Reveling in things beyond my years, due to my lack of interaction with children my age and essentially being raised by teenagers. So my interest in Survival Horror came very early. By the age of six, I had seen a few horror movies. I can remember my brothers playing Dawn of the Dead on the VCR and having to run up and shut it off whenever my mom came out of her bedroom. Not to mention my cousin practically forcing me to watch the Nightmare on Elm Street movies with him.
Anyway, since I was a child I wasn’t really allowed to play the Playstation because of the fragility of the discs. That was the rule, despite the fact that I was always more careful with them than my brothers. I can remember waking up in the living room (where the TV was) and hearing gunfire. Gunfire wasn’t too unusual at my house as my parents are survival enthusiasts (that’s a nice way of saying they’ve made me watch Red Dawn about 60 times.) I peeked from under the covers to see a new game being played. I went to set next to my brother to watch, and he immediately told me to go back to bed. This was odd as I’d seen all kinds of horror and terribleness with my brother. If something was so bad that he didn’t want me to watch it must be awesome. In response, I put on my best six and a half year old girl “I wanna play too and I’ll cry and I might tell mom if you don’t let me” face and he eventually conceded. Though he did say “If you have nightmares it’s not my fault.”
As I watched I was intrigued, there was a mansion a real place on the screen not only that, but my brother was playing as a girl. That amazed me because the only games I had played where you could be a girl were Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy 3. This girl was in 3D which was also amazing to me she actually looked like a real person. As I watched her explore this faraway placed I was entranced. Then however the zombies came…
I want to point out here. That at the time I already knew what zombies were, and in general was not scared of them. I had seen Night of the living Dead and both versions of Dawn of the Dead, and then I had seen Freddy and in my 6 year old mind there was nothing more scary than Freddy. However, I had never seen zombies in a video game. So I was kind of surprised to see them there. I remember asking my brother if Freddy was in the game just to make sure I wouldn’t get scared in front of my brother. I saw these zombies lunging at Jill, and her just running away. I was furious with my brother. I knew how to handle zombies. I had seen the movies! You shoot them or hit them in the face, and then they die! You don’t ever run past them ‘cause they’ll just keep coming. So I begin asking my brother why he’s not killing them. He says “You can’t always kill them.” I get mad and say “Why not!? That’s what you’re supposed to do to zombies!”
And in reply he says “Because Angel, I don’t have any bullets.”
Those words astounded me. You’re in a game…with zombies…with no bullets? That mangled my little brain. Why would ever play a game where you are with zombies and no bullets?
That’s a death sentence….
I proceeded to imagine that the game was a death simulator. That’s all I could fathom in my little mind. I asked my brother point blank. “Why do you want to kill the lady?” I think my brother was struck a little by the question, and it took him a few moments to respond. “I’m not trying to kill her. I’m doing my best to make sure that she survives.” The word survive is well known in my family as I mentioned earlier. From that moment on I knew the mission that this lady had: To survive. From then on I wanted that lady to live. I became a spotter for my brother pointing out herbs and glowing objects.
I was terrified of the game. Watching the cut scene with the first zombie gave me nightmares. The dogs crashing threw the window made me scream. The creak of the doors and ladders still make me wince a little.
From the typewriters to the bullet supply everything in this game wanted to kill the lady, Jill. As of six and a half I would not let them win, and I still don’t now that I’m in my 20’s.
I remember those nights full of fear and the big difference between the movies and the game. In the game, I had a chance to save the good guys. It wasn’t a big chance, but it was still there. I liked that. I liked having some control in the world full of horror. To be able to bitchslap Freddy would have changed my entire outlook on life as a child. Either way, even though I couldn’t slap Freddy. I could save Jill.
Over the years, I never have given up having that excitement of fear. The thrill of survival and the accomplishment of helping the character survive.
From Clock Tower to Silent Hill
Parasite Eve and Haunting Ground and more Resident Evils
Fatal Frame to Even going back to Alone in the Dark ….
I’ve been there. I don’t think I’ll ever leave…And I doubt they’d even let me.