23 year old video game blogger and college student. I could pretend that someone else wrote this section, so it'll be a spiffy 3rd person About page, but that’s weird. I currently write at RelyOnHorror.com where I am the Managing Editor. I host my own podcast there as well.
Studying for a Communication Arts degree and am set to graduate in December 2013.
12 year olds are the most detestable group in multiplayer gaming. The moniker “12 year olds” is not representative of the actual age of the children within this group, but the connotation is quickly and generally associated with “asshole kids” to those in the gaming community. When someone complains about children in multiplayer games, you’d be remiss not to hear them called “12 year olds”.
There are some despicable kids out there across Xbox Live, PSN, and PC – vile children whose parents should be monitoring them and washing their mouths out with soap when they hear a stream of expletives or verbal attacks come from their offspring. Racist and homophobic remarks get bounced around like a playground ball, and personal attacks are commonplace in online communities where children are present. There is a troubling issue at hand that stems not from the children, but from those they share their online communities with: the adult gamers. These children are merely a product of their online environment and it’s about time we stop calling for their exclusion and take a stand against those that act so vehemently toward them.
I can go on and on on how vulgar and offensive the “adult” gaming community can be as a whole – especially online, and how we need to change (which we do), but my focus is on how we treat kids. Many of those terrible “12 year olds” were created by us. In a way, we are responsible for the high pitched swear words we hear so often in our online matches and lobbies.
My first multiplayer experience was in 2006; I was 15 years old. I had just received an Xbox 360 Wireless Adapter and couldn’t wait to try out my first game (and only game at the time), Perfect Dark Zero. The prospect of playing with other people excited me so much – I hoped to make friends, enemies, and prove my skills in a multiplayer arena. Now, while all of that did happen eventually, my first experience online was not a pleasant one. As I tried to come to terms with the game’s rules and online features, I asked others players for advice and information. I had heard that Perfect Dark Zero featured voice modulation of some kind and wanted to toy around with it. With the first words I spoke, I was immediately attacked and made fun of for simply being a kid.
“How do you use the voice effects?”, I asked my team.
“Why? Because you sound like a bitch?”, said someone.
You can imagine how quickly my perception of online gaming changed with that comment. What could have possibly drove this person to be so aggressive towards someone clearly younger than he was? Well, I suppose the same reason why anyone would choose to be rude to kids online: the desire to humiliate and abuse.
The humiliation of children is something I’ve heard first hand over my many years playing online. Attacks such as the one that happened to myself are often unprovoked and simply a result of a kid speaking over a headset. I’ve heard male children called “fa**ots”, “homos”,”bitches”, and quite often told to shut up until their “balls drop”. Regardless of how medically incorrect that last insult is, it’s thrown around a lot! Evidently it’s an offense to be a game-playing child online; the mere presence of a prepubescent voice is enough to spur insults from fellow players.
There is a prevalent trend in online gaming culture that revels in the humiliation and disrespect of others. Whether that be with children, women, LGBT individuals, or what have you. My concern regarding the abuse of children is that not only is it nonsensical (as well as hypocritical for older teen and adult gamers) to attack someone because they’re younger and share the same passion as you, but the act sets a precedent to online behavior. What are we teaching kids about social interaction online if we allow them to be verbally insulted and humiliated when ever they try to play a game? Are children not impressionable beings that are prone to pick up behavior that they’re exposed to?
This calls up the old saying, “Monkey see, Monkey do”, because hate is something that I believe is learned. When a child goes online to play a video game and instead gets called a series of insults, we can’t expect all of them to maturely shrug it off and focus on the game. Some will adapt to the toxic environment that’s been created. Some children will begin fighting back using the same tactics that they’ve learned within their online environment.
Asking for better behavior online is a massive request, but one that I think is worth repeating, especially where children are involved.
I grew up as an only child. I’ve spent many days of my childhood bored and wishing I had a sibling to play with – someone to make up stories with and play games with. As I got older and became an adult, I found that I really wanted to become a father. I’ve always liked kids and saw no need to be mean to them if they’re simply looking to have fun. Kids are enviable in what little they need to concern themselves with in the world and how much fun they get out of things – like video games.
As someone that has grown up around video games and online gaming communities, I’ve seen how bad things can be for kids. In the future, whenever I become a parent, it’s going to be difficult seeing my kid’s experience be soured by those out there with hostile personalities. Yes, this is the way of the world and I don’t plan on sheltering my kid, but the concern is there for online abuse. I’d like my child to share the same hobby as I without some idiot disrespecting and harassing them because of their age.
To be honest, I’ll probably pick up the mic and say some nasty stuff of my own… but I digress!
I’ve never seen the need to disrespect a kid playing in a multiplayer game, because I was once in their shoes! It would be hypocritical of me to state that a child shouldn’t be playing a video game in my adult presence – I did the exact activity at their age. Despite the clear hypocrisy behind this, I still see it happen: kids getting shunned from communities because of their age. Even friends of mine that I respect seem to share this stigma against kids. They believe that kids will often ruin a gaming space with poisonous language and profanities, but is that not overly presumptuous and perhaps helping perpetuate the stereotype? It most certainly is.
This argument does bring up the concern over mature games and whether children should be playing titles rated outside of their age range, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s up to the parents to decide – not some angry teenager or adult that can’t stand the presence of a kid in their match. Regardless of the game’s age level, this does not mean a kid is not allowed to some respect from older players when they play alongside them. Let the parents decide what their kids can play, and let’s make an effort not to harass children merely for trying to enjoy the same hobby that we do – perhaps even a hobby we’ve enjoyed since we were around their age.
Nudity in video games has been a mostly one sided affair – with the amount of visible female anatomy far outweighing that of men. Video games have featured women completely nude, breasts and groins exposed. Similarly to the movie industry, men - pardon the pun - get the shaft and rarely have their parts visible on-screen even during nude scenes within mature-rated content.
The absence of male nudity within games is ignorant, dismissive of a variety of demographics, and in some cases, nonsensical. A variety of scenarios across a breadth of genres have equal opportunity for tasteful and non-sexual nudity – as a means to show maturity within the medium.
There is an issue of inequality present. Publishers believe that the targeted male demographic can only handle seeing women exposed in video games. Bare penises in video games are few and far between. I'm not talking about the occasional suggestive joke image or dildo. Nor am I calling for more sexually explicit games with on-screen sexual activity. Logistically, we should be seeing far more male nudity than the game industry is willing to show us. Penises can be a vital storytelling tool to evoke an emotion out of the player – whether that be fear, comedy, or simply displaying a fact-of-life situation within a sophisticated narrative. But there is still a hesitation: a lack of contextual male nudity in popular media, especially in video games.
Let's start with my favorite genre; horror. Consider this scenario: an evil corporation has transformed human beings into terrible, disgusting monsters. The mutations have ravaged their forms and the need for clothing no longer applies. All body parts are intact, but transformed. However, there is a distinct lack of monster dong.
Let's look at this image of Resident Evil's Tyrant. Its arms, legs, and body have increased in mass, and its skin a dull gray tone. The Tyrant is completely naked, but upon examination of its lower region, no trace of genitalia can be found. Sure, we can say that it was removed during experimentation, but where is the visible markings of removal? Resident Evil Remake has brilliant texture work, so any intent to suggest that the Tyrant had genitals prior to experimentation is not apparent. The Tyrant was simply designed to disregard this aspect of basic human anatomy. But why? Did Capcom's designers fear that the inclusion of male genitalia, or even a slight suggestive mark, would make players more uncomfortable than gore and death? Apparently so.
Looking at a Naked Zombie, also in Resident Evil Remake, there is a distinct lack of markings where the family jewels should be. As with the Tyrant, it's as if someone simply airbrushed or covered the area with flat skin, removing any detail or suggestion that parts are missing. Code Veronica's Naked Zombies actually had visible damage to their genital areas, which didn't imply that the designers were afraid to acknowledge the existence of male parts, but merely had a lack of a desire to include them. The PS1 era Resident Evil titles wouldn't have been able to render these parts if they wanted to.
If this matter is strictly due to the potential discomfort of players, then why wouldn't a horror game make use of something so simple within the design of a nude male creature? Frictional Games' 2007 episodic title Penumbra features a monster type called the “Tuurngait Infected”. Tuurngaits are naked, zombie-like creatures with mutilated genitals. This phallic and tubular body part that connects its stomach to its groin is the Tuurngait's most striking feature. Had the monster not been equipped with such a strange-looking willy, its scare factor would have significantly been reduced.
Nudity makes most people feel uncomfortable. It's socially unacceptable to go out completely nude in public. Being nude somewhat creates a feeling of vulnerability. Being confronted by a creature or person that disregards the social taboo to nudity and the feelings of vulnerability it creates, is frightening. When it comes to monster designs that are derivative of the human form, the more anatomically correct the creature is, the more discomfort it creates for players.
Seen above is an image of the two brothers in Red Barrel Games' Outlast. These two men are not creatures, but simply homicidal maniacs that lack clothing. The two brothers have a calm but threatening demeanor. Their disregard for the faux pas of public nudity further exemplifies the harsh conditions of the chaotic environment in which they reside – and their troubling mental states. Their exposed winkies have a far deeper connotation than simply being obscene.
Penises don't have to be scary, as much as some publishers and developers believe they are. They're simply a part of the male body. If game creators want to strive for mature, contextual, and non-nonchalant displays of nudity in their games, they’re going to have to realize that the depiction of male genitalia won't literally burn the eyes of immature and insecure adult gamers – clearly breasts and lady-groins haven't produced those results.
Let's look at a few games that have featured male nudity in a light of a non-sexual nature. One of the most universally recognized examples would be in Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and the Damned. In a meeting with Congressman Thomas Stubbs, protagonist Johnny Klebbitz (and players) get an eyeful of flaccid man-meat after several intentional close-camera shots. Rockstar intentionally danced around the showing of a penis in a video game as if proudly boasting that they were brave enough to do so – expecting players to drop their guard at the possibility of ever seeing a penis so clearly in their game.
I have yet to play Grand Theft Auto V, but I'm told that male and female nudity is in no short abundance. GTA Online players have the choice to run around without pants. It may be crass and humorous to some hoping to be edgy, but Rockstar's inclusion of a natural element of the human body shows progressive and mature thinking – whether or not it's used as a comedic tool by players.
Rust, a recently released Steam Early Access title by the creator of Garry’s Mod is a game about survival in a post-apocalyptic world. Rust features a whole lot of male nudity as all player-controlled characters in Rust start out as naked, bald men. Rust is not trying to say anything or be groundbreaking with its inclusion of nudity; it merely presents the naked male form as a fact of life. In context of a survival game where hypothermia and radiation exposure are constant threats, nudity and all of the vulnerabilities and handicaps associated with it, exist to accentuate the realistic concerns that one would have while living in harsh conditions.
The Metal Gear Solid series is no stranger to acknowledging the frank and beans found between a man's legs. Countless times throughout the series attention to a man's parts have been used to bring comedic value to a scene - or even a means to confirm someone's identity. I'm sure we all remember Raiden's nude adventure at the climax of Metal Gear Solid 2, right? Comedic situations such as this can be found in a few older games as well.
In the past, during the arcade and pixel graphic days, some games humorously showed nude males and their pixel-by-pixel length wangs and/or butts. Rampage, which starred two men and a woman as playable monsters, would revert its mutant characters back into human form if they incurred enough damage to their health. The original Rampage had its characters cover up their special parts and nervously walk off screen. In Rampage: World Tour, graphical improvements gave developer Game Refuge Inc the raw technical power to render tiny pixel penises for their naked characters. River City Ransom featured a spa scene where the main character's butt was exposed. But where there's one semi-nude video game guy, there's 100 times more instances of exposed women.
Women have been subjected to objectified female video game characters for decades. A scantily clad warrior with impractical armor, the damsels in distress, etc. The fact that when we do see some skin in games, it's mostly female characters retreading the same lazy and offensive path. Women are marginalized and ignored when it comes to the dominant demographic that most games cater to. Who's to say that women don't want to see some skin as well? I'm not asking for reverse objectification, mind you, but an effort to make the playing field equal. Games are largely designed to cater to a male hetero-normative demographic, despite reports stating that women make up 45% of gamers [Sales, Demographic and Usage Data, ESA]
In contrast to other countries (especially European ones), American sensibilities are still prudish – we're a culture that's far more supportive of violence in media than acknowledgment of human sexual nature. Murder, gore, and violence in gaming is less appalling - less challenged by consumers, than a female protagonist having a love interest, or optional gay character relationships, or something as simple as seeing a fake penis.
For the medium to grow and to be all-inclusive, we must drop the stigma of male nudity within games. If a game developer sets out to feature nude women for titillating reasons, all the while purposefully ignoring their male characters, they're not only perverting and abusing an artistic medium in hopes to appeal to a perceived male-only demographic, they're promoting a double standard. A standard that considers their male demographic immature, perverse, and moronic – while showcasing their own aversion and fears towards male nudity.
Brothers, sisters, let us embrace the video game penis for all that it stands for: growth, inclusiveness, acceptance, and equality!
Note: the images are censored so the article can be safe for work. The uncensored versions are one click away!
So, like all the cool kids have done, I too have written my own GOTY list. There are five games listed in no particular order, and you may or may not agree with them. Check em out!
The Stanley Parable
The Stanley Parable snuck up on me and impressed me more than I could have imagined. I had never heard of the original mod, nor the hype prior to the release of the standalone version, but once I saw how people reacted to this game, I had to try it. I launched the game, not knowing what to expect, because a lot reviewers avoided spoiling the magic (much to my appreciation), and I became transfixed and highly amused by what I was seeing and hearing. The only way a person can recommend this game without spoiling it is saying that, “you should just play it as soon as possible”. So go do that, and also read my Honorable Mention in Horror article about The Stanley Parable, on Rely On Horror.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
It’s not often that I find myself so in love with a game that I replay it numerous times back-to-back. Before I did so with MGR, I played through DmC: Devil May Cry about two to three times. Before that, I powered through several replays of Silent Hill Downpour. Before that…I don’t remember a time when I could muster up the drive to do so, outside of my childhood.
My first playthrough of Metal Gear Rising was a tad disappointing. It wasn’t that I was hoping it would be more likeMGS or even have some proper stealth elements, but I just didn’t get into it. Perhaps, this was because of how I was playing the game – stepping right off of DmC, I probably jumped into it seeking high number combos and flashy moves. I beat the game, loved the last fight (despite it being pretty difficult), and then replayed it. I then replayed it again. And Again. And again.
Once I understood the game wanted me to play with Zandatsu in mind – eliminating enemies through my cuts rather than my combos – I started to become deeply invested in the game’s combat system. I finished one difficulty and then moved on to the next. Out of all of my friends, I am the only that can say that I completed the game on Revengeance difficulty. I’m not an expert player at anything, but I think I got damn close with MGR!
As of writing this, I am pumped to replay Metal Gear Rising on PC. I don’t know how many more playthroughs I’ve got in me, or if I’ve lost my ripper skills, but I’m excited to hear more goofy dialogue feel the satisfaction of turning cyborgs into sashimi.
Outlast won’t win any awards for originality within the horror genre. It takes place in an asylum, and it’s got an evil corporation in it; and…the enemies are crazy deformed people that want to hurt you. The game also has got its fair share of gore as well, and there’s a heavy usage of familiar gameplay mechanics. But despite all of this, it’s a hell of a good game. I reviewed Outlast and gave it my very first 10/10 on Rely On Horror.
Outlast takes a bucket full of horror cliches and tropes, freshens them up, throws an extremely polished coat of paint on them, and them confidently thrusts players into its wonderfully realized world of horror. The gameplay is simple but tense. The imagery is not original, but it is expertly designed to produce a foreboding and ominous asylum that is both impressive to look at and terrifying to be in.
DmC: Devil May Cry
I’ll start by getting this out of the way: I’m not a diehard fan of the Devil May Cry series. I’ve purchased and completed each game in the series as they were released since the very first, but I’ve never been extremely invested in the characters or world. I enjoyed the first Devil May Cry as a child – it was somewhat creepy but also very exciting to play. Plus, at the time, a game about shooting and fighting demons was on the top of my “that’s cool!” list.
As I’m sure many others will say, I didn’t like Devil May Cry 2 very much at all. As for DMC3, I loved that game when it released (so much so that I completed in a handful of days), but ended up selling it rather quickly. When DMC4 was announced for the Xbox 360 (the only console I had at the time), I celebrated like many others. But when DMC4 released, I was left disappointed by what I got; I didn’t like Nero, and I didn’t enjoy yet another game in which Dante acted like a reserved cool guy that felt too cool to tell anyone what he was planning (DMC2), and I most certainly did not like the game’s plot.
While the internet went ablaze when the line “My name is Dante” was spoken in the first teaser trailer for Ninja Theory’s reboot, I recall enjoying the trailer’s song and making a comment about how New-Dante looked a bit too much like Hilary Swank. Once I got my hands on the game for review, I fell in love. Ninja Theory’s Enslaved was quite the beautiful and charming game. My only issues with it was that the combat system was a bit simple and unsatisfying. With DmC, they crafted something much, much better. Like Enslaved before it, DmC featured a rich and colorful world and striking level design. The style of the game, heavily influenced by anarchist and rebellious behavior, along with its soundtrack by Combichrist and Noisia, won me over. In fact, I used to play a custom Combichrist playlist while playing DMC4, because the in-game combat track got of my nerves fairly quickly.
DmC‘s combat was deeply enjoyable, and new Dante has pinchable cheeks. Both of these features are among the top reasons why the game was one of my favorites this year. If DmC2 is ever sanctioned by Capcom, no matter how unlikely that scenario seems, I hope for a better story and deeper, more complex characters along with a slew combat improvements.
The Last of Us
The Last of Us is a fine game to play and witness. With combat that’s as grim as its narrative, it explores mankind’s penchant for violence. It may be yet another “zombie” title about humans being the true monsters, but it handles this theme masterfully.
Naughty Dog has given us a story that’s filled with hope and despair. Hope for a world to return to what it once was: a mask of order and civility that hides what humans are truly capable of when all structure is lost. Hope for a father figure to save the world (or maybe just his).
The Last of Us is a culmination of a quantity of powerful, brilliant, and engaging elements that come together to forma fantastic piece of interactive storytelling.
Breaking someone’s skull with a brick is pretty fun, too.
It has been a month since Grand Theft Auto V released on consoles. Millions of copies were sold in a matter of days, making this game the biggest entertainment property to date. As I watch friends and internet communities rant and rave about all of the things Los Santos has to offer, my desire to play the game ever increases. I haven’t purchased GTAV. I haven’t played it at all, actually. Criminal? Surprising? If you spoke to some people they’d say either-or, or both of those things.
I’m just sitting here waiting for the headline “Rockstar Announces GTAV PC…”. I’ve previously written why I’ve opted to favor PC gaming over consoles this gen, so this post won’t focus on why I’m waiting for the PC version of GTAV (those reasons are fairly obvious anyway). Instead, I just wanted to remember and reflect on my experience with the series.
My first Grand Theft Auto game was GTA3. I remember hearing great things about it from friends. I was in elementary school at the time it released (let’s avoid the children playing M rated games debate for now). I don’t recall much about convincing my mom to get this game for me despite news reports at the time – after all, she bought me BloodRayne despite the boxart being so suggestive. What I do recall is picking it up a few months after release from a game store in Harlem called GamePlaza. Gameplaza would shut down and reopen a lot due to what I assumed at the time was breaking so many streedates. Maybe they were just poorly managed. Who knows? Anyway, I went to this store a lot over the years to buy and inquire about new games. My mother and I were both known by the clerk that worked there throughout the week. He had no issue with selling me mature games after a while. What did he care? A kid got to shoot and run over people in a video game. Why deny a child happiness, right?
GTA3 was a delight to my wee-little senses. I never actually beat it due to an extremely difficult mission near the end, but I did play it numerous times and spend countless hours free roaming. There was nothing about Liberty City that looked like New York, but that age I pretended I saw familiar locations anyway. At that time GTA3 was so impressive that it was hard for anyone not to look at it in awe.
Fast forward to October 27, 2002: the day of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City’s release. By then I had become much better informed on things happening in the game industry. I anticipated that day feverishly. I remember being antsy in class, itching to leave school and run to the store with my mom. If I recall correctly, a friend of mine got his copy when his mom picked him up from school with the game already in her possession. When I got to the store the familiar clerk had my copy prepped, bagged and waiting to be traded for a cool $49.99 plus tax. He was a nice guy from what I remember. Although, I think it was just because he had the hots for my mom.
Fast forward again to the release of San Andreas and the cycle restarted. I got the game on release and played it to my heart’s content. I remember my friend Jeremy not being allowed to because his mom disapproved of its mature content – I’m sure the Hot Coffee debacle didn’t do the situation any favors, either. We used to play the game when he would come over to my dad’s place or when I was at his’ and his mom wasn’t. My dad didn’t care one bit. Hell, he probably encouraged it; some “boys will be boys” reaction to the media’s “protect the prostitutes and children” shtick.
I really enjoyed San Andreas. From the main character sharing my name (so that I could get the full effect from my success or failings at missions) to the feature rich gameplay and large world, I had an all around good time. My fondest memories from that game have to be the randomized pedestrian aircrafts falling from the skies and landing in the streets. Those were always a fun surprise that gave my imagination a little kick, making me wonder what fictional turn of events led to that NPC crashing his or her plane. Depression? Engine failure? An accident? It’s better not to think of it as an AI shortcoming.
GTA4 released when I was in high school – not exactly at a point worth reminiscing. I wasn’t too impressed by GTA4′s campaign, but its online free mode gave me many hours of fun with friends. While I was a bit homesick and dorming for my first year at college, running around a fictional New York City made me feel a lot better. Playing GTA4 for hours on end and munching on “free” (with tuition) cookies and brownies were definitely the building blocks behind my freshman fifteen (more like thirty).
And this brings us to GTAV. As much as I’m aching to play it, I’ve gotten much better at resisting video game spending. Well, I wouldn’t count those Steam sales because they save me so much money (I think)! It’s so weird seeing all of these people enjoying this massive game and I haven’t even touched it yet. I think I’ve changed as a consumer, as a gamer, and as a person. I used to feel compelled to get games at launch. Now I hardly do it. The last two times were Kingdom Hearts HD (still not finished) and BioShock Infinite (which I regret). Now I just sit back and play a bunch of games that I’ve accumulated on Steam. Finishing them one by one and procrastinating on completing my more colorful games. But you can rest assured that once GTAV hits PC, I will be picking that up on day-one at retail so I can rub my face on the cover and say “it’s been a while”. Maybe the wait will be worth it? I hear GTA Online, a mode I may end up playing more than the campaign, still needs some work – from the server issues, lost characters, and angry players. I don’t mind hopping in once that’s all been settled.
I remember a time when I could become fixated on a video game for weeks, months even. Hour upon the hour counting down as my childhood imagination became satisfied by what I saw on the screen and accomplished with a controller. I may only be twenty two years old, but I miss that feeling of wonder fondly. What happened to it?
As if I’m already suffering from some sort of midlife crisis (more like quarter-life), I long to become captivated with games like I used to be. Most recently I’ve been hoping to rekindle that feeling of glee by playing titles like Ni No Kuni and Kingdom Hearts HD. And it’s working alright. I have lots of fun, I smile, I laugh at the cute stuff, but every now and then when in combat I call the cute, little monster that I’m fighting a “fucking asshole” or a prick”. As if I was hoping to end their lives, not incapacitate them. I’m a terrible person, I think!
Now, I’m not resistant to charming games or happiness–if I was I’d probably not be blogging about this but seeing a professional. What I merely mean is that it’s hard for me to become enchanted and transfixed into these games like I had been when I was younger.
A lot of the times I need to be in the right mindset to play these type of games. If I’m not, I’ve noticed that I begin to gravitate toward games that my twenty two year old self is more familiar with. Games with shooting, violence of some sort, or angry things. That’s pretty depressing if you ask me. When I was younger, I got lost in Double Fine’s Psychonauts (at one point I even wanted to be called Raz). I’d spend hours in the original Kingdom Hearts killing Heartless. I’d replay Bob Omb Summit in Mario 64 with the flying hat and show the secret teleporting flower patches to friends. I didn’t need to return gunfire in a game about angry people with angry problems and their angry tools of peace. I’d just hop around for awhile, revisiting levels that I had already completed just because. Is it overexposure to similar-minded type of games and not enough “happy” stuff?
It’s really a shame that I’m not a Nintendo fan. They produce some of the finest games in the happy and charming “genre”. Maybe I just need to put aside the shooters, the horror games, the hyper-violent titles that I play on a regular basis and create self-restrictions on what games I should occupy myself with. Maybe just for a week or two. It’s not like I’m playing GTAV right now, anyway. A big problem behind this though, is my willingness to drop money on games that I’m not sure I’ll love. I want to love games like this, but the financial risk is a bit too high for me to take the plunge. It’s a cycle of evil! This goes with Nintendo as well. I’ve played Mario Galaxy, Zelda, Pikmin, Animal Crossing, but I’ve not been compelled to add them to my list of games that I must play.
In the future, occupying myself with all these sort of games will reset the balance (I hope). It must mean something that despite being more comfortable and interested in a lot of these grittier games that I still wish I was as a fan of feelgood happy stuff. Persona does a good job of making me go “yay, friends and happiness!” but that probably doesn’t count because it’s supplemented with tragedy and death–the sustenance that fuels my current gaming interests (to my own chagrin it seems).
Anyway, now is the time that I ask you, my infinitely deep pool of people that are interested in what I have to say, what do you think? Have any of your felt similar? Can I learn to love again? Someone help me get my groove back.
Venom has to be one of the most interesting Marvel characters ever created. Since I was a kid, he’s been my favorite. Eddie Brock and the black alien symbiote used to give me child hood envy and I wished I could have a cool alien costume just like him. Being a huge Spider-Man fan, I found Venom to be my favorite character in the series. Since Venom branched off from Spider-Man and has had several independent series, I think the guy deserves some much needed attention.
After finishing the first comic in the new Venom series this week, a sudden re-interest in the character hit me. Venom needs his own game. Not just another comic game adaptation. Venom is a creature that inspires fear. His image and abilities have the potential (and have) to scare the crap out of people. Originally just a buff guy in a blue-black costume, over time, Venom’s appearance changed into something monstrous. Razor teeth, claws and brute feral strength have become a part of the character over the years. Venom’s character and history has the potential to be one brutal M-rated action horror title.
Eddie Brock and his alien pal have had harsh, scary moments together. Venom, once an evil creature became a lethal protector over time. His nobility may have involved eating some brains and slaughtering criminals, but his heart was in the right place. It would be unfair of me to not mention Mac Gargon, or any other of the Venom hosts. While they all had their own unique experiences as Venom, Eddie Brock holds the most potential for a riveting tale. The time between Lethal Protector and Eddie’s rebirth as Anti-Venom holds a great opportunity for a dark tale to be told. Whether new, or based on one of the other mini-series.
Perhaps even a game as Eddie Brock and his newly formed Anti-Venom symbiote against an evil threat would be amazing. Spider-Man: Web of Shadow had a good story to give, but it’s presentation was lacking. Nor was it a horror game. The time after Venom created a truce with Spider-Man holds the best opportunity for riveting tale. Eddie Brock is a disturbed individual and his weak mental state combined with the alien symbiote host gave way for a good dramatic tale over the years. Brock’s sanity was in question during his independent series. His time gone may not have been fully covered. Here lies a empty spot for a game to take place. Perhaps even the mini series called The Hunger can be used.
Making Venom a deep dramatic horror tale would require the game to be severely brutal. I’m not talking of any game rated below a M for Mature. Venom, as a character, is a monster. There is no need to sugar coat his horrifying appearance. But what kind of game would benefit him? What comes to mind is a mixture of The Darkness -in terms of brutal comic style- and Prototype -brutal as well, but similar in combat style-. The Darkness is a game about a character enduring a bonding with a demonic being. Eddie Brock co-exists with the alien symbiote. Here lies potential to create a narrative driven story with a battle for control, sanity and free will. Prototype has Alex Mercer as a guy infected with a virus that allows him to transform and use his tentacle appendages to kill foes in brutal ways. I am hesitant to think of an open-world Venom game, but perhaps it could work. Getting the lack-luster Spider-Man games from Activision out of my mind will require some time.
Venom to me is a Marvel character that is worth exploring in a videogame. His dark past, and weak sanity has driven him to do horrible things. He is literally the victim and the perpetrator in one. A dark story that delves into his and Eddie’s mind accompanied with brutal gameplay could create a great psychological action horror title. Just please, don’t bring back Topher Grace.
Have an ideas for a Venom game? Let me know in the comments.