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About
Name: Josh
Age: 30
Most Favorite Game: Xenogears
Least Favorite Game: Resident Evil 5

At 30 years old you would think that I would be tired of games. However, it seems to be the one thing I refuse to grow out of. What can I say? I can sit down and enjoy a good gaming session just as much as I can sit and enjoy reading through the classics of literature. Also, I write things....kinda.
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Disclaimer: I had originally written this on May 31st, 2012 on my own site, so the content is from last week. However, some Dtoiders suggested I post it here because they thought it was an interesting article, and that's exactly what I'm doing. Also, because I know you guys hate text heavy posts I've added in some pictures to entertain you.

I’m not entirely sure when the wretched tentacles of the real world’s troubles began to wriggle their way in to my preferred form of escapism, but I would really love it if they would stay the fuck out of it. You see, due to a recent surge in pseudo-intellectualism, it would seem that many gaming “journalists” are desperately attempting to force real-world problems in to the minds of gamers everywhere by drawing parallels between fictional plot-lines and cultural topics that the majority of people do not give two shits about.

That last point sounds harsh, but it’s true. There are just some things in this world that people do not and will not give a damn about, and there are some people out there who are just going to have to come to terms with that reality. So, I bet whoever is reading this is wondering why I’ve just spent the last one-hundred plus words talking about something entirely vague. Well, this is the part where I direct you over to this article right here that inspired me to type something up. The author of this particular article apparently, and with such seriousness, decided to make a call-to-action that “fans” of the developer Atlus need to “hold their feet to the fire” about certain cultural issues that the author felt were important. That, in and of itself, is a noble idea, but the author fails on numerous occasions to properly make their point because, to them, everything they have written is fact. The problem, you see, is that they don’t believe what they’re telling their audience is an opinion. They are assured in their own haughtiness that they actually believe that everyone else who would possibly read their ramblings must agree with them one hundred percent.



Don’t believe me? Just read the comments. The first dissenting opinion to the article immediately provokes the author to confront the commentator, but the author doesn’t approach the opposing view sensibly or with any sense of maturity. No, They responded with an accusation that the dissenter was “transphobic” and that, for some reason, they should take an economics class on boycotts or something. When the dissenter responded back with a perfectly reasonable point about how the author completely ignored all logical discussion and went straight to name calling and insults, the author then responded with this totally mature response:

Transphooooobiiiiiiiaaaaaaaaa~

Congratulations. You’re now a five year old.

The author didn’t screw up by writing an article about something they felt was important. No, they screwed up because they wrote an article and then verbally attacked anyone who didn’t agree with their opinion. They forgot that their several hundred word thesis on “transphobia” in a select number of games was just an opinion and not some widely accepted viewpoint. When reality came-a-callin’ and someone didn’t completely subscribe to their own personal newsletter they became hostile, juvenile, and bigoted. Remember folks, bigotry just means that you’re “obstinately or intolerantly devoted to your own opinions and prejudices”, and the author defeated themselves by turning in to the very same kind of bigot they were speaking out against. Once the author realizes this truth they can move on with their lives and hopefully be a better person.

This brings me to my next point and the next article that sought out to reach the hearts of readers.

Well, I’d like to say that this Kotaku article sought to reach the hearts of readers, but that’s not true at all. No, the article intended to shame everyone who came in contact with it, and that’s pretty evident by the first three words of the article. You see, the author felt tremendous guilt about an incendiary comment they made during a very competitive match of Gears of War 3, and after beating the odds the author gloated in to her microphone that she “raped” her competition. The author is a rape-survivor herself, and it wasn’t until after she screamed the horrid comment through her mic, and only then in front of another rape-survivor, that she realized she had said something terrible. She then spent the next few hundred words elaborately detailing exactly how her realization made her feel, but, instead of just saying “I said a terrible thing and I am a horrible person for it”, she wanted to remind everyone out there that they are just as shitty as she had been.



She implies that the intense competition between gamers has a way to bring out the worst in them. She then goes on to say that “playing games can bring out the Hyde in all of us” while discounting the possibility that playing games only brought out the Hyde in her. She’s trying really hard to tell her readers that she isn’t part of the same flock of assholes that plague my headset in multi-player matches, but I’m not convinced. I’m a very competitive person, but I’m also not the type of person who gets off verbally berating the people I’m playing against. I really don’t mean to sound unnecessarily harsh towards the author of the Kotaku article, but I really wish people would just own up to their own mistakes without blaming it on culture, gaming, or anything other than themselves.

What comes from the mouth is just the overflow of the heart and all that stuff, right?

Well, I’d like to move on to my last discussion about a mini-troversy that popped up the other day. Hitman: Absolution is an upcoming 3rd-person shooter.stealth title that puts the player in the shoes of a contract killer who is notoriously good at what he does. Considering that this is a game where the player runs about and commits murder for money in the shoes of a hitman its surprising that people would get upset at this trailer:



Hitman: Absolution - Attack of the Saints Trailer

Did you see that at the 1:04 marker? Those are ass-cheeks. Not just any ass-cheeks either, but the kind of leather-clad cheeks on hot assassin nuns.

The trailer was immediately labeled as tasteless and accused of dabbling in cheap pandering all because it involved a gang of hot women in nun outfits showing some skin and looking deadly sexy. But why? Well, in my opinion (and probably not yours), it seems that many people in the gaming media are just plain uncomfortable at looking at something and enjoying it. The Hitman trailer is just one of many instances where something that is meant to be experienced and enjoyed is completely torn to shreds by faux-intellectualism. You see, the people who get outraged at this sort of thing really want to appear as if they’re the smartest person in the room. It’s easy to spot this because they’ve already gone out of their way to make others feel stupid for enjoying something so…beneath them.

Just go look at any of the comment section of any of the numerous re-posts of the Hitman trailer and you’ll find gems like these:

BOOO

BOOOOO

YOUR GAME IS CASUAL PANDERING GARBAGE

BOOOOOOOO

Or this:

what a hateful piece of shit of a trailer

Or these:

This is just insulting to consumers’ intelligence. Plenty of people seem to be defending it though…unfortunate

Did i just see a white man punch a black slutty nun in the face and then shoot her?

That last one is my favorite because the commentator inferred racism from the video even though there was no logical reason to come to that conclusion. That final comment is a succinct example of what this entire opinion piece was about. Comments like that are loaded and designed to draw attention, or grandstand, to a subject that really had nothing to do with the trailer or game at all; Whether it be rape-culture, sexism, transgenders, racism, or any other hot-button issue of the times. I have a hard to believing that a majority of people actually sit around, playing their games, and then get their feelings hurt so bad they have to try and diminish the developers work through accusations of intolerance or accusing them of condoning negative aspects of human culture. I’d like to believe that most people play their games and don’t get their undies in a wad over them, but with the more commonly occurring habit of industry journalists and commentators psychoanalyzing every gaming ad campaign or title that attempts to nudge (not even push) the envelope further, it’s looking as if we have an outrageously outraged future in store.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this is entirely my opinion and I am very much aware that there will be at least one person out there who absolutely disagrees with me.

You know what? That’s okay.
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Sad Robots...

There are few things in this industry that motivates me to write these days. However, when I came across this ambitious indie title by Theory Interactive, I had to bring it to the Destructoid community to share with all of you. Not much is really known about the PC title "RESET", but the developers (literally three guys creating this vision from scratch) have a fairly interesting concept moving forward. Here, I'll just post up their own words to give you the idea:

"Reset is a single player co-op first person puzzle game with a strong emphasis on story and atmosphere. The unique game mechanic in Reset is the ability to travel back in time to solve puzzles co-operatively, with yourself."

That last little emphasis that I placed in there? Yeah, I am completely sold on that.

The developers provide weekly updates via their blog, and they've been releasing a decent stream of information since their unveiling back in March. Unfortunately, these guys weren't able to get to attend E3, so this wonderful project wont get the attention right now it probably deserves.

The developers just released the teaser trailer for RESET this past week and, I have to say, it strikes a fairly emotional tone. That's fairly impressive considering the game is still in its pre-alpha stages. Still, I hope that as many people as possible will become interested in this game. The reveal trailer for RESET is below, and, one more thing, everything you see is from the in-game engine. All of it.

Here is the link to the reveal trailer
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When Final Fantasy XIV was revealed one of the first things that was announced was a beta test. Within a matter of weeks a beta application went up on the main FFXIV site, but nobody has received any word on when the actual beta test would start.

Well, that is....until now.

Via the official Final Fantasy XIV twitter page the beta has been announced to start on July 10, 2010. Holy shit! That's this saturday! Since i'm not one of the lucky ones who have been awarded a Beta Key yet i'm not entirely sure if they have been given out, but I can assure you that when/if I do get one I am going to be all over this. Final Fantasy XI and I had a love-hate relationship for quite a while. I seriously loved the game world that Square had created, but I absolutely loathed the leveling system and the asinine partying requirements just to take down a simple goblin. Given my history with the first FF online game I wasn't really too sure if I was going to pick this one up.

However, after finding out what was going to be available in the collectors edition of Final Fantasy XIV I have pretty much relinquished my caution for the game and have prepared myself to pre-order it as soon as I possibly can. Honestly, I have no idea why I'm so excited over this game. Is it because the majority of the crap that Square has released lately has been absolutely abhorrent and this game actually seems to hold some level of potential? Could be.

Either way the beta test starts this Saturday for both the EU and NA versions of Final Fantasy XIV, so for those of you with a beta key you wont have to wait much longer before you can hop on a Chocobo and ride off in to the sunset.
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I'm trying to compile all of the information regarding the event and stuff it in to one single post so pardon me if everything seems thrown together right now. Good news already flowing from the event so lets get started shall we?

1. Parasite Eve 3 announced for PSP - Hell yes. That's all I can really say about this one. I was totally bummed when I heard that PE3 was going to be a mobile game, but when news was hitting that the mobile game had hit a snag it looks like they shifted to PSP development. Either way my PSP just had its socks rocked.

2. Final Fantasy XIII demo coming with Advent Children Complete - Awesome. I was expecting a demo, but to see it being packaged in with the FFVIIAC BD release is just icing on the cake.

3. New FFXIII Versus trailer - Can't watch it because it's closed doors, but I'll post up a link later if I can find anyone that has ripped it from the event.

4. Kingdom Hearts Coded expected for 2008 winter release (Japan) - Meh, wasn't picking this up but for people looking forward to it this is good news.

5. Final Fantasy Agito XIII confirmed for PSP release - Turns out the once mobile exclusive has been set up for PSP release. Apparently the handheld is a hell of a viable platform for SE considering it's still got some damned impressive sales in Japan. Either way this is good news for me since I haven't had a good RPG in my PSP since Brave Story and Crisis Core.

6. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 and Birth by Sleep get release dates:
- Birth By Sleep = 2009
- 358/2 = Winter 2008
I think we already knew this but they are announcing it again anyways.

7. Final Fantasy Dissidia has confirmed release date: December 2008 in Japan. For the rest of us in the states and in Europe we have to wait until 2009 for out FF fighting game. :(

8. Final Fantasy XIII finally gets a release window!!! - Square-Enix has just confirmed that 2009 will be the magic year that FFXIII gets released.....in Japan. Hopefully everyone else wont have to wait too long. Also it appears that Versus XIII is expected to get a planned simultaneous worldwide release....for now anyways.

9. Japanese blogs are claiming to have seen Kefka in the Dissidia trailer. No confirmation just yet, but that bit of information is circling. If it's true I just hope they keep a similar laugh for him.

10. 14th Member of "Organization 13" is revealed and named Shion and apparently looks like Kairi or something like that.

11. Real time footage for both FFXIII and FFXIII Versus have been shown at the event. Forever-Fantasy is trying to find the trailer and will be posting that sweet awesome goodness up as soon as possible. They claim it looks like a "highly evolved FFXII" field.

12. Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete PS3 bundle announced. Expected to be released in March 2009. So, yes, Cloud does make his way back to the playstation but it looks like it's in the form of a film and not a game.

Via Final Fantasy XIII Net and Forever-Fantasy

Well, that's it for the news from the conference today. There is still one more day of the conference so I'll make another post tomorrow to include that stuff as well.
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No, he isn't made of thousands of polygons, but in the realm of gaming he is far more unique to me than most of the high-res avatars I control upon my television screen. As I told all of you last month the "Start of my Affair" with serious gaming began with a 16-bit RPG game, so it should come to no surprise when I say that one of my favorite (if not my most favorite) characters also comes from the 16-bit era.

He was the first character to appear as the "Silent Protagonist" in any RPG game that I had played at the time and at first I found the idea apalling. Most of the RPG's I had purchased and rented all featured characters who spilled out their lives in wall o' text after wall o' text, but this new character never uttered a word. No, aside from the random response choices and silent emotes he never spoke a word, so his inner most thoughts were never displayed until I realized that his inner most thoughts were left up to me, the player, to experience.

I am, of course, referring to Crono from Chrono Trigger



Because I had been so accustomed to lead characters prattling off about how their lives I was seriously agitated at first by the fact that Crono was appearing as if he would never speak a single word. However, it was because of his silence and the games complete dependance upon me, the player, to decide each and every choice for him I became far more attached to his story more than any other character in an RPG. Not to mention his humble start that led to a series of unfortunate events that dragged him from one end of the time stream to the other.

He didn't have dreams of becoming a [insert generic fantastic profession that all children idolize] and the story didn't involve him having to abandon his family to leave and go through some rite of passage to become a man either. He was just some normal teen (supposedly) who was just heading off to the fair to see one of his friends and everything else just fell upon him like a perpetual stream that consisted of one ton of bricks after another, and the fact that he continuously rolled with the punches (no matter how hard they were) was what made him so likeable to me.



But how, you ask, does a character who basically never utters a single piece of dialouge manage to gain so much love? Well, that's easy. It's the fact that the game does so well of putting the player in Crono's shoes that it almost forces a bond with the story. For example, Crono's Trial after the fair, while obviously only going to end in one certain way, can in fact play out in many different fashions if Crono (you) chose wrong during your stay at the fair.

IS he guilty? IS he Not guilty? Well, that's all up to YOU now isn't it? Your choices determine Crono's fate in many instances in the game and unlike any other game I have ever played your choices can actually take Crono away from you, forever. Yes, thats right, you can lose Crono for good unless you have taken care of him and made sure of his survival. It's that type of bond with the protagonist that made me think of Crono when I first sat down to write this monthly musings.

Yes, I know it's pretty late in the month, but I had to think pretty hard about who I wanted to write about. Then it came to me while I was sitting here writing one of my own stories (personal project) and I was thinking about how, sometimes, characters can display more emotion and more of a connection with readers without ever saying word one. Then it hit me and I knew who I was going to be writing about.

So, that's pretty much it. Crono became one of my most loved characters in gaming because he was the first character I had the opportunity to make an impact on his story. His silence meant that "I" was his ego and his conscience, and through his shoes gamers were able to travel through time, save the world, and have a heck of a time along the way.
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Yes, I know it's late but I was on vacation that week and I'm also really lazy. thankfully Comic-Con hasn't been a suckfest so I don't expect to have to write up a scathing opinion on it.



See that video up there? It's filled with all types of bad ideas. Generally, all of life is filled with ideas that seem good at the time but in hindsight you usually realize that your plans of past genius end up being ends of pure future fail. That's kinda how I felt about E3 this year and by the looks of about 90% of the internets everyone else did too. Since I live to damn far away to have ever gone to an E3 event it didn't really bother me that they switched from a public event to a press event, but at the time that they announced it I couldn't help but feel that everything was going down hill.



This years E3 only served to prove my point and firmly place the impression upon me that any other E3 after it will just continue to exponentially suck. Which, in case you were wondering, means that each year following this one will just suck more than the year before it.....usually by 50% more suck than previously sucked. I'm going to break my impressions down a bit here:

Microsoft Conference - Final Fantasy XIII!!!!!!!111!1shiftone!11!!! That's pretty much it. All that money spent on a presentation and instead of showing people the things they were actually interested in (Alan Wake, Halo Wars, Splinter Cell, etc etc etc.) all they got was more info on Gears of War 2, Fable 2, and they revealed a hideous new dashboard with Mii--..ahem Avatars and then they coupled it off with a multi-platform announcement of FFXIII. Woo~

So, summing that up it equals: Stuff you already knew + stuff you had already seen - stuff you actually wanted to see + stuff you didn't want to see + "We yanked another PS3 exclusive" = Awesome? I think not.

It was a waste of time considering what all could have been shown.

Sony Conference - CG!! CG!! CG!! That was the name of the game unless you were one of the lucky few to have been invited behind closed doors to see some of the other games that were being shown off, but then again those games are SECRET so it doesn't matter that you were lucky and saw them because you can't even say shit about them! God of War 3? awesome! MAG? Awesome! Can we see real time? NO! Not awesome.

Pics or it didn't happen!

Yes, Little Big Planet is digital crack and I will no doubtedly be picking up that nugget of goodness on the MINUTE of its release, but like most of the other titles that we saw being showcased at E3 it's going to be another 3-4 months or so before those titles start trickling down the line towards the disc slot of my monolith. Sony promises more Gigantic, blockbuster, megaton announcements at Leipzig but then again they also told me that Home would be out 9 months ago and now they tell me that the release date doesn't matter.

Come on guys, I can only play MGS4 and Burnout for so long before I am resorted to digging in bargain bins for "Genji: Days of the Blade" (which I actually DID mind you but I have yet to inflict massive damage on any large crustaceans.).

Nintendo Conference - "Remember that awesome console we told you about that would bring you dreams of being a Ninja in your living room and fighting hoardes of baddies to the death? The one that would incorporate state of the art motion control to make you a virtual hero? Yeah, that thing doesn't fucking exist, but thanks for being a bunch of suckers anyways."

That's pretty much how I felt throughout the Nintendo presentation. Seriously, Wii Music was the biggest waste of technology that I have ever seen and if I see one more stupid cooking game or carnival time waster be released for the console then I am -DONE- with Nintendo. Oh, but don't worry! You'll get another Metriod, Zelda, Mario en masse within the next two years so don't you "hardcore" gamers fret because Nintendo is apparently totally not alienating you guys at all....



Be honest....you all know your going to buy that thing on the day it comes out. Then you'll forever be put off with playing music just like Wii Fit made you realize how crappy faux-exercise was.

Anyways, if this E3 impression seems a bit harsh or filled with nothing but rabid opinion well thats because it is. It's pretty much how I, a gamer since the 2600 days, saw the entire conference through my eyes. I watched the videos and read the stories and all I got was a big giant mound of suck. So, bringing this all back around to the first topic at hand I'd have to say that E3 has now become just a giant bad idea.

And how do we get rid of a bad idea? We stop doing it. That's how.
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