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Can't play witcha, I been busy workin', baby.

Brittany Vincent is an accomplished video game and freelance entertainment writer whose work has been featured in esteemed publications and online venues like, Mashable, Joystiq, Complex, IGN, GamesRadar, VG247, Kotaku, Tom's Guide, Nerdist, TechRadar, The Escapist, Gamezebo, GameSpot, and more. Sheís been writing professionally for ten years and enjoys combining her lifelong love of gaming and extensive video game knowledge with her passion for the written word.

Currently, she is one of the Managing Editors of G4@Syfygames ( and an Associate Editor at Destructoid. She's a regular contributor at several other outlets as well.

She also enjoys writing for horror publications like Rue Morgue, Bloody Disgusting, and Dread Central. Over the past few years, sheís also worked with PR representatives to build relationships and obtain review products for her work, having managed her own gaming website and small teams to attend video game conventions such as PAX East in 2010 and E3 in 2011. In addition, she was the community manager at Japanator from 2013-2014.

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I will play nearly any video game on any console. As long as I can get a copy, I'm going to make it work. Because there are so many to wade through, I'm starting or stopping games all the time.

I'm often faced with situations where I find myself unable to progress in any of the games I've started up, whether it's due to a bump in the road or the my overwhelming backlog. I know I'm not alone, either. Sometimes, no matter what you do, or how often you try, you just can't quite get past a certain spot in what you're playing.

The first few footholds were easy to navigate, but you have found yourself at a point that you just can't quite get out of. Welcome to the gamer's plateau.

Right now, I'm playing a real cluster of games. Yeah, yeah, I know. I try to do too much instead of focusing on one. I'm wading through Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and beginning several others that I'm going to need to complete for review. Thankfully, those are smooth sailing at the moment. But I often think back to one summer where it seemed as though I just couldn't make any progress, no matter what I did.

It was a sweltering day during the middle of a windstorm. I couldn't kill the final boss of Final Fantasy III because I refused to level up sufficiently. Later than month I lost my way in Dead Rising's Paradise Plaza before I could get to the scoop point. For the life of me, I couldn't win the races that Brucie rode with me on in Grand Theft Auto IV. It wasn't a great month, especially since I was trying to power through games I hadn't completed yet back then. 

What's my solution? I remember putting them all aside and focusing on other games and other areas of my day. All the while I planned on how I would make my triumphant return, because as we all know, if you leave something problematic to fester for a few days or weeks, your return is almost always successful. It's a phenomena that I don't quite understand, but it is certainly real. However, real as it is, it's not always practical. Who wants to take a vacation from a game they bought last week? If I was horrible at something two weeks before, why should I pass the trial with flying colors now?

I can only surmise that a little time heals everything--from relationships to game overs. I don't always have time to wait though, in the case of electronic entertainment. I want to make progress now, not later. So what can I do? Lucky for me, there are a few different ways to make it over this bump in the road. They may not always work, but they will at least ease the frustration a bit. With that said, I've compiled a list of things to try when you feel like you just can't go any further. No, suicide is not one of them. And sure, they may sound like common sense, but in a world where rage quitting is our go-to defense, someone's got to talk some sense into players.

Hit up a guide online, of course

Contrary to popular belief, using a guide or a walkthrough will not make you less of a gamer. I know, I know. It may come as a shock. This may well be the most obvious bullet on my list, but it really is the best thing to help if you need instant feedback and direction. It does have its drawbacks. It can't play the game for you, so it's up to you to actually put an author's instructions to good use. I can promise you that you're not going to be shunned by your friends. Why do they have to know anyway? Honestly, who finds every single Dalmatian in Kingdom Hearts just by exploring? Okay, someone did. But if you're not all about that life, hit up a guide. Or blaze a trail and make one and vet out the frustration of being lost. Either way, you win. 


Sometimes, nothing works wonders for a roadblock in your game than a phone call. Somehow not paying attention can be the best solution. Call up a friend and complain about your dilemma. If you're lucky, they'll have a really great experience to share with you while you divide your attention between them and the boss you've failed to defeat 399459345 times (coughcoughCloudofDarknesscough). After concentrating for so long on the perfect button combination or strategy to overcome whatever you're facing, sometimes a little absentmindedness will pay off. It might just be a fluke, but sometimes you're just willing to either accept any kind of victory or throw in the towel. So go ahead, call your grandmother and fill her in on what's been going on in your life. Great way to connect and get past whatever you can't conquer, am I right?

Enlist some help.

I am horrible at sports games. Anytime I have to play anything with a section even remotely resembling sports, after a few attempts (if it isn't horrendously boring) I'll curse my own life. My father used to love to blaze through these sections with me when we would game together. He enjoys wallowing in the wide world of athletics, especially television game coverage and sports of the virtual variety. It's perfectly fine to hand over the controller to a brother, a sister, a friend, or a family member. You're in a safe place here. We're not going to tell, I promise. Would you rather stay in your slump or actually see the ending of whatever you're playing? Yeah. I thought so.  

If applicable, practice.

Okay, so maybe you really suck at Geometry Wars. The only way you're going to get better is through playing it over and over until you can figure out how to stay alive until after 100,000 because those little teal diamonds always get me you. To put it simply, if you can do it over and over, then do it. At the very least you're going to be super well-versed in this area of the game. So when anyone asks you about such-and-such area, you can puff out your chest. You know, you can be all SUPER SRS PRO. Right? That's what we all want, secretly.  That, and to be able to look down on others who enjoy one type of entertainment when others don't. 

After you've tried all the aforementioned methods and still find that there's no possible way you're going to vanquish the insurmountable task laid out in front of you, then you can always give up. Give up and never see what happens after Aerith exits your party. That's fine. Let Niko rot in Liberty City. No one's going to judge you for it. All sarcasm aside, we here at Destructoid believe in you. You'll get there. Promise. 


Brittany Stormborn of House Destructoid, Queen of the Weeaboos and the First Otaku, Khaleesi of the Great Plains, Breaker of Bust A Groove 2 Jewel Cases, and Mother of Niche/Rare Games

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I first met Link when I was a young girl, but it wasn’t until a few years ago when our friendship truly began to blossom. In the dim glow of my bedroom, I’d embark on some of the most fantastical journeys with the flaxen-haired hero, ranging from the important missions that would define him as the years marched on to the lackadaisical strolls through colorful lands straight out of a cartoon. Though he was silent, withdrawn, and in many ways lacking the maturity he would find in life during his later years, I found a kindred spirit in this young man who, despite our various differences, grew to mean so much more to me than many of the the relationships I had built in my waking life.

Riding through the countryside together, discussing everything from our plans in life to shared obsessions, I grew to know Link as well as myself: his strengths, his weaknesses, and even his mannerisms. The pained expressions that would cross his face when met with a challenge he thought he may not be able to overcome, the way he’d smile shyly and give me the most earnest expression you could ever dream of was priceless. When Ganon threatened all that was dear to us, we formed a common bond to defend our beloved land. We slept beneath the calming shade of the Deku tree at the edge of the world, brought rain to endless plains, and turned back time together. During our 3 AM jaunts to keep Termina from facing its horrific end and intimate discussions we grew ever closer, growing older, and sometimes falling away from each other when spirits of old and even animalistic urges consumed us both. When the howl of a wolf kept us apart, I was ready to return to his side once he touched the sky. And there, he truly shined. He became the hero I knew he had always been.

Even though he told me he’d always protect me, there was one he'd die for. She changed in appearance over the years, though she retained the same vibe and personality -- the idea of a Princess Zelda — an elegant, youthful, effervescent matriarch with flowing, regal garb and the noblest of intentions. But their relationship was always rocky, with the princess being stolen away so often by forces who wished to manipulate and terrorize her. And from all of Link’s complaints about having to recover her and preserve her safety, one wonders why such a gallant and dogged defender would stay in a relationship with someone he is so readily willing to speak ill of. But as I stood by and watched, a witness to his exploits, I figured it out. The snarl etched across his face with every “Excuuuuuse me, princess!” was one of playful sarcasm that any bystander could decipher as glowing, caring, loving — despite his insistence over and over (amidst Navi’s cries to the contrary) that he wasn’t quite sure he even understood the concept of a romantic love yet. He knew only what was right — the courageous thing to do. And with a glance at his left hand emblazoned with the Triforce, I knew he was telling the truth.

When we sailed the seas together in the crimson vessel, I confessed my feelings to the young boy who had grown into a savior. The spirited smile and faraway look in his eyes gave away his true intentions. As he polished his shield he looked to the sky, possibly to a new time, a new place. He smiled, but I felt a new day was dawning. A new partner. I understood. All things must change, but not always in the manner in which you’d like for them to.

When we touched the sky I put down my remote. When he returns to grace a new platform, I’ll be right there waiting. Even if I’m reminiscing about the olden days and my tastes have changed. Even if I’m not a princess. Why? It’s a secret to everybody.


Brittany Stormborn of House Destructoid, Queen of the Weeaboos and the First Otaku, Khaleesi of the Great Plains, Breaker of Bust A Groove 2 Jewel Cases, and Mother of Niche/Rare Games


Heard there was a new C-Blog editor in town and had to check it out for myself. How are you all liking it? I knew there was a lot of clamoring in the forums about needing a new one, so with that said, is it working out better for you? Hope so.

At any rate, because I'm busy writing up a ton of articles right now, I thought the best use for this C-Blog would be a fun little AMA. 

So, fire away! Ask me anything! If it's within my power, I'll give you an answer. 


Brittany Stormborn of House Destructoid, Queen of the Weeaboos and the First Otaku, Khaleesi of the Great Plains, Breaker of Bust A Groove 2 Jewel Cases, and Mother of Niche/Rare Games


Kyle graces us with yet another original from his 2014 Kyle Against Humanity collection. This particular work depicts the subject (me) at E3 2015, having possibly shunned Destructoid for "greener pastures." This relates Kyle's deep-seated need to be reassured that I'm not going anywhere. Ever.


Brittany Stormborn of House Destructoid, Queen of the Weeaboos and the First Otaku, Khaleesi of the Great Plains, Breaker of Bust A Groove 2 Jewel Cases, and Mother of Niche/Rare Games

Let's work through an imaginary exercise. I'm Gamer A, and Iím tired of all the games that I have. My friends havenít picked up anything good enough for me to leech off of them, Iím in the market to make a New Video Game Purchase. Thatís right, a New Video Game Purchase. Not a borrow or a rent, but an exchange of money for goods.

Where do I start? Well, let's say Iíve had my eye on Samba de Amigo for a good while. I never did get to pick up the Dreamcast version, and Iím a sucker for music/rhythm games. You canít go wrong with monkeys in sombreros, especially those who dance to songs that were previously in Dance Dance Revolution (El Ritmo Tropical, anyone?).

BUT Ė the mere fact that I am interested in the game, have prior knowledge of what it offers, and am planning on buying it based on the fact that I enjoy the genre, I'm gonna pass it up. You know why?

Because on Metacritic (and this is just an example) it received a 67. It must be absolute garbage. In fact, why doesnít Nintendo fill about a million trash bags with every manufactured copy and chuck them out into the ocean, Dexter-style? I mean, I havenít even really tried the game out for myself at all. Why would I even need to? Itís obvious from reading these reviews that itís a waste of everyoneís time.

So, Iím going to go with LittleBigPlanet. It got universal acclaim, after all. Obviously, I'll enjoy it more even though Iíll need to go out and purchase a PS3 with my nonexistent extra cash, the reason Iím devoid of the system in the first place. Everyone likes this game, it seems. I should too. Haha, yeah. Sackboys are probably the cutest mascots Iíve ever seen! Better go with that. Even though I really want to play Samba. Oh well!

Exercise over. And that's just an example -- I've actually got a PlayStation 3 obviously and I have Samba de Amigo as well. The above was dripping with complete, unabashed sarcasm. However, the instance that I described is terrifyingly real, only with different games and different people. Yes, there are people out there who base every buying decision solely on reviews that others have written. Rather than using reviews and secondhand opinions to get a feel for what theyíre getting into, they believe that someone elseís thoughts about a certain title must be commandments.

And that's just a little frustrating to me to see. Reviews are fantastic, and there are amazing critics out there whose opinions you should absolutely trust. But don't limit yourself in such a manner. Renting games is affordable, and doing actual research on a title youíre interested in doesnít take too much time. Reviewers are asked to provide their opinion -- just like movie critics. It's subjective. You'll find a score at both ends of the spectrum. Sometimes, you just need to jump in and take the plunge.

Itís up to you to decide whether or not to play a game based on what you heard, or what you worked out yourself. Despite the fact that I write them myself, I only really recommend reviews as guidelines and not bibles, as it were, for which games are worth your time and which aren't. If I tell you that Monster Monpiece is good and why it's good, you should take that as a baseline upon which you should build your own opinion. Take some risks. Have fun.†

Did you ever really stop to think about what it's like for those poor souls who never take chances?

"Hey! Breathing 2: Lung Capacity just came out. The graphics suck, and itís unoriginal. I'll probably stop breathing now since everyone else says itís disappointing."

Far-fetched a bit? Yes. But really, itís the same premise. Give games a chance, even if it seems the whole world is against them. Who knows? Thinking for yourself might actually be a worthwhile exercise. Then again, donít think too hard. We wouldnít want anyone to hurt themselves.


Brittany Stormborn of House Destructoid, Queen of the Weeaboos and the First Otaku, Khaleesi of the Great Plains, Breaker of Bust A Groove 2 Jewel Cases, and Mother of Niche/Rare Games
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I like to sing, even though I can't do it very well. But apparently my thirteen-year-old self thought I did a stupendous job, as evidenced by this personal narrative written in middle school. I'd like to take a quick break from your regularly-scheduled video game programming to bring you a tale from my elementary school days. A tale wrought with dreams of stardom, defeat, and Disney's adaptation of Pocahontas. Enjoy this narrative and make fun of it wholeheartedly. Those were different times back then.


At the age of eight years old, I was positive that a myriad of talents lay dormant inside of me. Having already been praised on my artistic and literary prowess, I had set my sights on the stage. Stonestreet Elementary, the illustrious public education facility that I had attended from first through fifth grade, had an annual talent show for its faculty and students. More of a way to measure social status than actual entertainment, this talent show was anticipated by both pupils and staff. Young hearts were broken and spirits were crushed by the auditions alone. Yes, auditions. This was premium child star material.†

If some poor child wasn't intimidated enough by the leagues of other talent show hopefuls, the initial shock of standing before a sea of strangers was even more unsettling. I was among the select few that saw the bare wooden floor of the minute gymnasium's stage as a way to prove myself to the public. A way to stand up and announce to my peers that I was a force to be reckoned with; someone to watch out for in the years to come.

On the fateful night of the talent show, I stood nervously in the left wing of the stage, going over my lyrics and chatting with different individuals around me to calm my nerves. "Colors of the Wind" had been my selection. Pocahontas, Disney's current marketing bid, had featured the track as part of one of the movie's more "romantic" scenes. The formulaic masterpiece had me entranced. I was among the billions that went along with Disney's half-baked character marketing schemes, and now, decked out in my Pocahontas Halloween costume and very uncomfortable moccasins, I was about to re-enact my (copyrighted) favorite scene.

"Nervous?" Some random bystander's voice interrupted my thoughts. Just when I was getting to the part that required the most concentration! I didn't take my eyes off the paper. All this person received was a slight nod, if you could even call it that.

The sound of "Brother For Sale" emanated from the stage where my mortal enemies Natalie and Emily Gaither were performing. Performing. Scoff. Identical twins doing their rendition of a childish song originally recorded by other, famous identical twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. I didn't know whose idea that was, or who thought it would be an extremely cute thing to do for an elementary talent show, but I knew whoever it was had to be out of their ever-loving mind. I assumed that the culprit had to be Natalie and Emily's mother. PTA parents and soccer moms were just like that, it seemed. They usually already had the best of everything else, so their children had to measure up for fear of being fed to the dog. Of course, either that, or the twins were evil geniuses bent on achieving world domination by being completely and utterly cute. Yes, you may gag now. I know you've been holding it back for a while.

Their "song" was almost at its end now and my turn in the spotlight was fast approaching. I adjusted the stereotypical Indian feather that was tucked behind my ear and took in the reassuring smiles from the people around me when the master of ceremonies took the podium.

"Thank you, Natalie and Emily!" The applause was deafening, but not because the spectators were stupefied by the twins' performance. They were simply overjoyed that they wouldn't have to suffer any longer. Yes, even at this young age, I experienced bitter jealous and hatred. I examined their saccharin grins, ones that just hissed "Beat that!" as they pranced by me, off the stage and down to sit in the audience. Watching their pigtails bob up and down as they made their way to a seat gave me the insatiable urge to grab one and pull as hard as I could.

Finally the emcee ceased her incessant banter, tasteless material prepared especially for events like these. Some of her premeditated quips worked for a minor quantity of the audience, but the most she ever received was a snicker or two...perhaps a chuckle. There may have even been a few guffaws, but I digress. I tuned out the rest of her garbage until I heard my name.

"...And now, folks, here is eight-year-old Brittany Vincent, performing the Pocahontas hit, 'Colors of the Wind'!" I shuffled timidly out to center stage. Palms sweaty and heart fluttering like a frightened rabbit's, I faced the crowd of fellow students and adults to force a bright smile. My eye caught a glimpse of my father and his camcorder, about to immortalize this atrocity on film. Oh, joy. The first notes of the song blared through Stonestreet's unimpressive sound system and I walked up to the microphone.

"You think I'm an ignorant savage
And you've been so many places
I guess it must be so
But still, I cannot see
If the savage one is me
How can there be so much that you don't know?

The crowd in stunned silence, the music quieting for a moment to strike up the next chorus...I felt completely at ease. I watched all of my worries and anxiety fly away like the words sailing out of my mouth. I smiles and began the next verse. It wasn't until a few lines in that I realized the complexity of the song I was singing. I didn't have much time to ponder it, however. The last verse had arrived...and...

"You can own the earth and still
All you'll own is earth until
You can paint..."†

Holding my arms wide open, I hit the last few notes.†

"...with all the colors...of...the...wind."†

The song slowly faded away and I took a bow in response to the thunderous applause. It was true. I was multi-talented and I could do anything I set my mind to. This talent show was in the bag. Walking down the side steps to settle down in the audience, I felt like royalty. On top of the world. Nothing could ever bring me out of that euphoric state. Still, I played it cool.

"That was excellent!" beamed Ms. Roth, the talent show coordinator. Trying my best to mask the big smile on my face with a contemplative blank stare, I mumbled something like "It was okay, I guess." I passed the twins on the way to my parents. They stood and smiled, very politely. Very cute. Very fake.

"That was great, Brittany!" Emily almost seethed. Hatred oozed from her words like blood from a package of uncooked hamburger meat.

"Probably better than us," added Natalie. "I think we messed up a few times." Lying through her teeth, of course. I mustered a "thank you", sarcasm thick as honey, and sought out my parents. They too showered me with compliments and undue praise. After suffering through such, finally, the moment I'd been waiting for arose. Mr. Perkins, the current principal of the incredulous school, walked out onstage, all eyes suddenly on him.

"We've had a showcase of so many wonderful talents!" he boomed, adjusting his tie. I rocked back and forth in my seat impatiently. These adults. They loved keeping everyone in suspense. On and on he droned until he reached the only important part of his lifeless monologue. "The time has come now to announce our winner! Rather, our winners," He said this with an enormous grin. "Remember: Everyone who participated is a winner." I rolled my eyes. It was such a shame that my elders always had to rely on such banal clichťs. Get to the point already!†

"The winners of Stonestreet Elementary's annual talent show are..." He paused dramatically, obviously wanting to prolong our suffering. "Natalie and Emily Gaither! Girls, come on up and get your prize!" My face fell. HOW in the world did they win? WHY? Anger boiled in my stomach like the infamous concoction of MacBeth. My eyes bore a hole in the twins as they displayed their sweet little "I'm-perfect-and-there's-nothing-you-can-do-about-it" smiles. Cockily they accepted a small silver trophy.

"Thank you, everyone!" they shouted in unison. My parents rushed to console me, afraid that this defeat would emotionally scar me for life. I don't know. Maybe it did. Everyone kept giving me these hangdog looks. Their sympathy made me nauseous. I didn't want pity, I wanted to win! Only a couple moments later, the spawns of Satan pushed through the writhing masses of the gymnasium to meet the rest of their perfect family.

"Nice job, Brittany," Emily sneered. "I didn't think you'd win for a minute." Little Miss Mary Sunshine, wasn't she? However, after those words left her mouth, what I'd felt during the performance surged through my head again. I'd felt important...everyone had been looking at me. Me. I turned my head to her and shrugged.

"You only won because you sang a song about selling a sibling. People go for that sort of thing." I turned my back, not waiting for a reaction. I gave her time to try out my tongue twister before facing her and Natalie again. "Besides, we all know who the real winner is. Right?"

Indeed, we did, namely myself. Even though I hadn't won the trophy, I'd felt sensational. I'd had my so-called fifteen minutes of fame. Well, four minutes. The other eleven would come another time, perhaps. I had been doing something that it seemed I was skilled at and it felt wonderful. In my mind, I was the reigning talent show champion. Maybe those tired clichťs are clichťs for a reason. "Everyone who participated is a winner." They're true.


Brittany Stormborn of House Destructoid, Queen of the Weeaboos and the First Otaku, Khaleesi of the Great Plains, Breaker of Bust A Groove 2 Jewel Cases, and Mother of Niche/Rare Games
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