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About
I am a Brazilian student in Norway. I also happen to really, really like games! I'm a huge RPG fan, especially JRPGs and party-based WRPGs, but I also enjoy nearly every genre, from Mario Kart to Limbo to Bulletstorm.

Backlog:


Folklore
Fatal Frame Series
Dishonored
Far Cry 3
Lollipop Chainsaw
Ninja Gaiden 2, 3
Hard Reset
Tomb Raider
Bard's Tale
Castle of Illusion
Dungeons And Dragons Chronicles of Mystara
Legacy of Kain Pack
Natural Selection 2
Shantae
Resident Evil Revelations
Silent Hill Downpour
Anarchy Reigns
Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
Legend of Dragoon
Crysis 3
X-com Bureau Declassified
Final Fantasy V, VI, Tactics
Persona 2 Eternal Punishment
Dust Elysian Tail
DARK SOULS 2!!!!!
Flashback

Currently playing (as of 1503/2014): Dark Souls 2, Dishonored, Dark Souls 2 and Dark Souls 2.

My 3DS code: 3995-6846-8256. For some reason it doesn't appear in the player profile.
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PSN ID:CaimDark
Steam ID:CaimDark
Wii U code:CaimDark
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You know you're really screwing up when you manage to piss off somebody like me with your online (non)policies. You see, I'm very much a single player guy. I like multiplayer as much as the next guy, but my main gaming drive are story-driven single player games. I roll my eyes when I hear talk of "persistent worlds" or tacked-on multiplayer on previously single-player games. Which doesn't mean I don't also like to play some games online, sometimes a lot, like Dark/Demons Souls, Monster Hunter or (gasp!) Call of Duty.

I also like Nintendo games, and many of them are perfect for multiplayer. I also happen to have a couple of friends in my home country who aren't hardcore like me, but also like Nintendo games and own Wii Us, and most Nintendo games that have come out to the Wii U has been the same story. Friend: hey, cool can we play game X? Me: nope, it doesn't have online. And it's getting really annoying. Playing online with me was one of the reasons they bought a Wii U, and it turns out the only game we can play online is Sonic Racing, and one of them didn't really like it (too hardcore for him!), so we rarely play it. A few minutes ago we were even considering getting Pokemon Rumble U just so we'd have something to play, until I checked and found out it also doesn't have online. He said "crap, the Wii U doesn't have anything online, this sucks", which is what motivated me to write this post. No online just cost Nintendo 2 sales of Pokemon, and while I'll get Wonderful 101 and Pikmin eventually, me and my friends would have already bought them if there was online. I wonder just how many potential customers Nintendo is needlessly losing with their ridiculous online stance.

He's right, this sucks. Yes, the Wii U has Monster Hunter, Black Ops and several other online games, games I've played quite a lot, but  the ones I could play online with my friends, we can't. Not a single one besides Sonic. We'd love to play Mario U, Luigi U, Pikmin, Wonderful 101, Game & Wario, Rayman Legends (though this one is thanks to Ubisoft), even Nintendo Land has some criminally underrated minigames. Perhaps most egregious, we also won't be able to play Mario 3D World.

Perhaps just as annoying as the lack of online in all those games is the ludicrous explanation: the game was designed to be played with people in the same room. That's the reason Nintendo gives every time, and it's ludicrous. When did it become one or the other? Why can't we play with people in the same room AND online? Would it be be more fun with real people in the same room? Always. Would it still be fun online? Absolutely.

The world is becoming smaller and smaller. People like me, who spend time in several different countries and have friends in several of them, are increasingly common. Not that I'm suggesting that's a demographic companies should focus on, it's just an example. Online play comes in handy for everybody: people whose gamer friends have different schedules, with family who don't like the same games, you name it. The notion that a game isn't fun online because it was meant to be played locally is... I don't even.

Seriously Nintendo, just stop. Think about it: you're pissing ME off, ME, a long time fan who isn't all that into online games. Now imagine the consequences of this ridiculous attitude with the legions of online-centric gamers. This is going too far. Just stop. Please. Really. Seriously.








While many gamers are anticipating the coming next generation of games, I have been, ironically, looking more and more to the previous generation, thanks to the joys of emulation. Among the super hot AAA games I've played this year are such new releases as Luigi's Mansion (the first one), Ar Tonelico and Shadow Hearts (SH in particular is a great RPG series, one that deserves a blog of its own).

I first decided to try my hand at emulation when I brought my PS2 with me last time I visited home so I could enjoy some old school RPG goodness, only to find that, for some reason, the component cable doesn't work (I get sound but not image), and the games look absolutely hideous using the standard cable, enough to turn me off them completely. Then I remembered "hey, wasn't there a PS2 emulation project"? By this time it should probably be working well, so I checked it out.

Boy did I like what I found! I thought PC emulation was something complicated that took lots of work to, well, get it to work, but it's nothing of the sort. I found PS2 emulation very simple, and it worked very well. Then I decided to try Gamecube emulation, and my experience was just as good. Even if you own a PS2 or a Gamecube/Wii, you might want to consider emulation, because it renders many games in HD, with AA and other effects. So I thought I'd put together a quick guide for those Dtoiders interested in trying it out.

Playstation 2 Emulation

Even though we're talking about decade-old games, you still need a decent PC to run them. By that I don't mean a super rig, but it can't be a netbook either. As long as you have an ok video card and an ok CPU, it should be enough. Naturally, different games can be more or less demanding on the hardware.

The name of the PS2 emulator is PCSX2, and you can get it here. In this page you can find the download, guide, and pretty much almost everything you need. Even if you're not tech savvy (which I'm not), you can get the emulator up and running in 10-15 minutes.  You can play the games directly from the DVD, or create a ISO image from the disc with imgburn.

Note that I said you could get ALMOST everything you need from that page. That's because you also need the PS2 bios, and that's a Sony copyright, so they can't link to it. There's a tool to extract the bios from the PS2 and transfer it to the PC, but it sounds rather complicated. Even if you do own a PS2, I suggest you simply type a few keywords on Google and download it from the world wide web. Then you simply unzip the files in the designated folder. Again, the whole process won't take more than a few minutes.

Quick tip: one of the things you'll find when configuring PCSX2 that's not well explained is that you can run the games in "hardware mode" and "software mode". Basically, the difference is that you can only do nice things like increase the resolution in hardware mode. Software mode uses the CPU to render the picture, and only the native PS2 resolution is available. You'll generally want to use hardware mode whenever possible, but if the game has graphical glitches or bugs, software mode usually solves them.

Gamecube/Wii Emulation

The Gamecube and the Wii emulator are one and the same, and this time there's no need for any bios stuff. Just go here, download and install Dolphin, follow the steps shown in the five-minute beginner's guide, and if you don't need to set up the Wiimote (if you're only playing Gamecube games, for instance), that's all you have to do. It's actually simpler and faster than setting up the PS2 emulator. If you want to use the Wiimote, it will take a bit longer, and you will also need a sensor bar and possibly a bluetooth dongle. One of the cool things about Dolphin is that you can map motions to the keyboard or controller, making some games actually easier to play, such as Donkey Kong Country Returns.

Getting the games to run

Unlike the PS2, Windows generally doesn't read GC/Wii discs (at least mine doesn't). If you're a horrible, horrible, horrible pirate who doesn't mind depriving long-dead publishers and developers of the revenue they are entitled from their long-lost games, that's not a problem, you will simply download the image from you know where and run it straight from your PC. You naughty boy/girl/transgender/whatever the hell you identify as, you!

If you have the physical copy of the game (and if you intend to play Wii games that are still in print, you really should!), Kotaku has this handy guide. It's a simple process, and it will take you about 15 minutes to complete.

Emulation in action

I've been playing Shadow Hearts 2, and since I'm such a nice guy, I took some pictures to show you guys just how dramatic the difference can be.


Standard Definition.


Bam! Instant HD edition. In some environments and in motion, the difference is even more noticeable.

Still not convinced? Well... time to bring out the big guns.


SD boobs.


HD boobs!


I rest my case.
Photo Photo Photo







CaimDark
10:03 AM on 07.28.2013

Remember the Entitled Gamer? Yeah, me neither. Not too long ago in real world time, but roughly 35 million years ago in Internet time, the press was having a field day mocking the so-called Entitled Gamer. Since the games media is trend-driven and behaves like a herd to an almost embarrassing degree, the Entitled Gamer has long since been relegated to Internet oblivion. Misogyny is the bogeyman of the day, though already it seems to be fading away.

Back when the Entitled Gamer was the day's menu, I mostly remember chuckling at some of the more hypocritical rants, but it never occurred to me how incredibly entitled some of those railing against Entitled Gamers could be themselves.

Enter Phil Fish and some random dude called Marcus Beer, apparently known as the "Annoyed Gamer". Before I continue, I'm going to take a deep breath and reveal my darkest, most shameful secret: I don't worship indies. I don't pretend to despise AAA or claim that "graphics don't matter" (amusingly, such statements are sometimes followed by shows of excitement about the gorgeous games of the next generation, but I digress). I don't play indies often. I don't think anything that looks like a rudimentary NES game is beautiful by default. I don't see indies as "the future", the salvation of the industry or god's gift to videogames, and (*puts on body armor*) I'll take Assassin's Creed over Braid any day.

It's not like I hate indies either, and I've played a few. Braid was mind-numbingly boring, but Limbo was incredible. Bastion was pretty good, if nothing terribly special, and I have a bunch of Humble Bundles in my backlog. I just don't worship them just because INDIE, and I don't pretend to hate AAA because AAA.

I probably made a terrible mistake in coming clean on the World Wide Web, but hopefully nobody will threaten to kill my family.

So, back to the Annoyed Gamer. I don't watch podcasts, but I read somewhere the rant against the "BlowFish" was in the very beginning, so I decided to see what it was about, and I just couldn't believe what I saw. If you want to see for yourself, feel free to look it up, I'd feel dirty linking to it, like Sterling likes to say.



The gist of it is that Mr. Annoyed Gamer, a middle-aged guy constantly throwing around "fucks", "hipsters" and "BlowFish" in a Mattrick-like attempt to look like a cool kid, was absolutely outraged that Jonathan Blow and Phil Fish refused to comment when contacted by Gameinformer about the then rumor Microsoft would allow indies to self-publish. For whatever reason they didn't want to give them a quote, and that royally pissed off Mr. Annoyed.

He goes on that they should be GRATEFUL the press shows such an interest in their work, starkly reminds them it's a two-way street, and advises "snubbed" websites to boycott the BlowFish next time they come "begging" for promotion of their next game.

I just... wow. I don't hate indies, but it looks like he does. Can you imagine him telling Activision to be "grateful" that oh-so-mighty game sites are nice enough to give press coverage to Call of Duty? I doubt it. But because the creators of two widely beloved games are just two "hipsters", they'd better be at the beck and call of the press, like dogs on a leash. Or else. Press members always behave like they have the moral high ground, rendering judgment on everyone and everything while being unassailable themselves, but they can be just as petty and "evil" as any EA.

When I saw that, I remembered when Entitled Gamers were all the rage, and I imagined press members with this unbelievable level of entitlement and a hubris the size of two Microsofts ranting against evil Entitled Gamers. It's just hilarious.

I've never played Fez, and if the press wasn't constantly on the lookout for his latest tantrum, I wouldn't know anything about Fish either, so I don't feel strongly about him or his games, but as a gaming enthusiast, it's clear to me that Fish's exit is a net loss for the industry, whereas Mr. Annoyed Gamer is a nobody. If he vanished today, he'd have about as much impact on the industry as I'd have if I decided never to play another game. That a guy like him believes game creators owe him and people like him anything is just...



Phil Fish has always gone out of his way to portray himself in the worst possible light, but this guy actually managed to make me sympathetic to him. Fish stated that he's not canceling Fez 2 "because some boorish fuck said something stupid", and while that's clearly not all there is to it, it obviously influenced his rash decision. While I won't lose any sleep over Fez 2, I wish Fish has a change of heart (hopefully while learning to behave like a decent human being and staying the hell away from Twitter), both because of his incredible talent, and because it would be a crying shame if he let the "boorish fuck" get the best of him.








A couple days ago, I commented in a CNN post about the Snowden, Ecuador and United States saga.  It seems the U.S threatened Ecuador with withholding a trade agreement if they harbored Snowden, an agreement Ecuador wasn't expecting to get anyways, effectively handing Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa, known for his anti-Americanism and penchant for authoritarianism and irresponsible populism, a platform to score easy political points at home and all but giving him an excuse to grant Snowden Asylum. I pointed out that was a stupid move, and that was all it took for some commenters to respond that "I hate Americans".

Yesterday, news broke out that a Precursor Games employee was charged with possession of child pornography. Tony Ponce, who posted the article, and several commenters were jubilant that "a sick man was going to rot". Other commenters and I merely reminded people that it's all too easy for someone hellbent on destroying you to plant such things on your computer, and we should not be so eager to irreversibly destroy a man's life without making damn sure he is guilty first. Apparently, that makes us supporters of pedophilia. As one commenter colorfully put it, anyone "defending pedophiles should let me fuck their ass without lube. Disgusting" (I don't quite remember the exact words, but it was something to that effect).

I don't have a problem with Hitman Absolution's sexy nuns trailer, I don't have a problem with Dragon's Crown art style, and I don't have a problem with depictions of female sexuality in games. It obviously follows that I hate women and support violence against them.

Back to the Allistair Pinsof/Chloe mess... don't worry, it will be brief. I don't believe being depressed and transgender gives anyone a license to scam, I think it's unfortunate that so many in the trans community actually defended her scam (rationalizing that she really was going to die, she just lied about the cause) and descended upon Allistair like a pack of rabid dogs. It doesn't matter how I actually treat transgenders, that's proof positive I hate them.

I don't believe rape is off limits in games. I don't believe gay and rape jokes should be outlawed. I don't believe rape deserves special status among any other of the depressingly large number of horrible tragedies. Like the vilified Mike Krahulik said, nobody minds "offensive" jokes until it offends them personally. I don't have a problem with Penny Arcade's Why So Serious panel. I'm sure rape victims don't find rape jokes funny and may be hurt by them. Just as I'm sure Parkinson's sufferers aren't thrilled to see a disease that costs them so much being used for cheap comedy. I'm sure family members of slain police officers may feel hurt when they see people having fun killing police officers in a videogame. I'm sure gay people who deal with discrimination their entire life don't like gay jokes, I'm sure devout Muslims in Yemen are offended by western caricatures of the prophet Mohammad (somehow I suspect this last example will get a lot less sympathy than the others). I'm also sure many rape victims have laughed at gay jokes, just as many gays snarkily dismiss the latest Muslim outrage. And on and on and on it goes. None of which gives anyone the right to decide for the rest of the world what is and isn't allowed in their media. Clearly, that means I hate gays and support rape culture.

People... if this is the best we can do, I guarantee you, 20 years from now we'll still be exactly where we are now, taking pointless potshots at one another from our manicheistic trenches, and nothing will have changed.








As expected, after Microsoft's shocking reversal last night, while the overwhelming majority celebrated, a few lamented the loss of the "awesome" "features" they'd just lost thanks to whiny online nerds. Among them is the Gizmodo article Sterling just  responded to, and while he did a great job demolishing the supposed virtues of "the future", there are a few thing I'd like to add, specifically regarding the most common defenses of Microsoft's DRM: Steam and iTunes.

There's no other way to put it: anyone who invokes Steam or mobiles as a defense of the Xbone is misguided at best and outright dishonest at worst. First, let's back up a little to Steam's early years.

At first, I actively avoided Steam. I didn't like the idea of being forced to have a third-party software just to play games I bought at retail. Slowly but surely, however, I came around. So how come that couldn't have happened with the Xbone? Man, there are so many reason, and so few hours in the day, I'll try to keep it as brief as possible.


My reaction to anyone who uses Steam to defend Microsoft's DRM.

The pre-digital distribution PC world was quite different from the console world then, and to a large degree, even from the console world now. Rampant piracy, real or imagined, led to ever more convoluted and draconian DRM measures. Constant updates and patches that had to be manually downloaded and installed added yet another hassle. What Steam did was come and say "hey, I'm offering you a service that, at the end of the day, keeps all the restrictions you already have to deal with, but streamlines them and makes them a lot more painless". Steam didn't become the beast that it is by imposing a slew of restrictions that no one had to deal with before and banging people on the head until they were convinced to embrace "the future", which is what Microsoft attempted to do. Steam offered a way to make life EASIER, not harder for the sake of "the future".

Oh, and those sweet, sweet prices. 75% off sales! That's all thanks to the magic of digital distribution, and if only we got rid of discs, consoles will instantly join that fantasy land, right? Er, no. This may be a good time to point out that, despite popular belief, Steam is only one of many places where you can buy your games. Yes, Steam has incredible sales. Do you know who else has 75% off sales? Amazon. And Gamersgate. And Greenmangaming. and Gametap. And GOG. And Impulse. And all the others digital stores I'm not aware of. Do you know why they all have those sales? Hint: it's not because digital makes everyone feel goody goody. It's because of a little thing called "competition". You know, that thing that is utterly and completely absent from the console digital stores? If you believe a digital-only console world where each platform has a single store monopolized by the platform holder is going to mimic the price effects of competition because DIGITAL, well, I regret to inform you that Santa Klaus doesn't exist.

There's another part of the puzzle that sets PCs and consoles apart: retail. Consoles still rely on specialized retailers like Gamestop that they can't afford to seriously undercut with their digital offerings. PC has no such concern, and Microsoft's Xbone would do nothing to change that dynamic.

There is yet another factor I'd add, though this one is less straightforward, and admittedly is solely my interpretation. Valve is a small (yes, compared to the likes of Microsoft or even Sony, "small" is an apt description) and, most importantly, privately-owned company effectively controlled by a single man who can do whatever the hell he wants. Valve doesn't have analyst expectations to beat, quarterly profits to show, demanding investors to please. This allows Valve to take more risks and do things differently. If you don't believe being publicly or privately owned can have a huge different in a company's management, just consider that Michael Dell is taking his company private in a 24 billion deal so he can focus on his long term recovery strategy without the pressures of quarterly results. It feels like a lifetime ago, but when Valve started experimenting with big sales (which led other stores to follow, which in turn led to even bigger sales. Again, competition), it was just that: an experiment with no guarantees it would work. Are you willing to swallow Microsoft's dictatorship on the off chance they are willing to take similar risks in the future? I'm not. Oh, and have I mentioned that Steam can be used offline? Yeah, those corporate white knight always gloss over that small detail.


I'm almost sad Microsoft backed down, I'm gonna miss these!

Finally, judging from everything I wrote, you'd think I'm a fan of Steam, right? And you would be correct. Yet, I have no intention of letting a platform holder dominate console gaming like Steam does PC gaming, because I recognize that, for all its success, Steam is a massive erosion of consumer rights. One whose legality is not even 100% assured given the decision in Europe that digital software is, in fact, consumer property. Steam made the more unpalatable aspects of PC gaming a lot more palatable, and so it succeeded, but console games are still generally expected to be the property of the consumer, and that's how they should stay. As it is today, most console games are like toys: you unwrap, you play, you own it. The fact we have lost that right on PC only makes me all the more protective of those rights on consoles.

Then we come to iTunes... this one is so baffling, I don't even know where to start. At face value, the comparison to Steam might seem to hold water, so it's worth devoting more attention to it, but iTunes... seriously? I'll just leave this quote from the Gizmodo piece:
Fair enough. But compare that to the benefits of DRM. It helps build an ecosystem that is easy and convenient and, most of all, affordable enough to draw customers. That's what Apple did with iTunes and music, and it's what Amazon did with books. The content was just too easy to get and too cheap to bother with pirating it. We could have had that with the Xbox One and games.


Do you follow his logic? Because Apple sells songs for $1 a piece, it follows that digital would suddenly make those massive multi-million dollar $60 games that fail when they sell only 3 million copies "too cheap to bother pirating". Do I really need to debunk that? Does anyone? It's hard to even believe the author is writing that in good faith.


You know you're desperate when you resort to World of Warcraft to justify demanding  an Internet connection for single-player games.

Kyle Wagner, the writer of the Gizmodo article, concludes by recognizing this episode proves our voices do matter but lamenting "how widely that nerd-influence can swing an entire generation of hardware, based solely on the whims of internet jokes based on information that isn't even accurate, and tinfoil fears about worst-case scenarios" and "Microsoft losing its nerve on this isn't just disappointing for the features we lose. It's unfortunate because it shows just how heavy an anchor we can be." I'm sure Adam Orth and some hardcore Xbox fans share his sadness. Fortunately, most other consumers celebrate Microsoft's humiliating U-turn for what it is: evidence that gamers and consumers aren't nearly as naive and gullible as Microsoft and Kyle would like us to be.
Photo Photo








It is my immense pleasure to announce that, despite all the hate from immature, progress-fearing, change-hating dinosaurs, Micro$oft (I just wrote it like thi$ because someone wrote a blog to say they hate it. I'm petty like that), Microsoft finally sold me on their vision for the Xbox One when they said the Xbox 360 can be plugged into the Xbox One! What's that? You're asking why the hell you'd  want to do that? I have no idea, but it's exciting because CHANGE! DISRUPTION! Major Nelson is excited too. It was one of the first things he asked, even though he doesn't really know why he'd want to do that either. But to be fair, Microsoft hasn't been clear about why many things about the One will be beneficial, or even about how they will work at all, so it's not like he can break company policy and start giving straight answers just like that.

This is yet another in a long list of Xbox One features that we're all excited about, even though nobody really knows why. Like Smartglass, for example. Did you know you can manage your inventory on your tablet or phone? It's the next evolution in gaming. Now, when you're smack dab in the middle of hardcore, fast-paced action, instead of fiddling about with a slow, unrefined UI, you can just put the controller down, pick up the tablet, choose your items, put the tablet down, and pick up the controller again! That, my friends, is called streamlining.

Major Nelson is confident that "gamers are going to love our vision of the future and what we're going to offer for gaming", and with such killer features as plugging one console into another, it's hard to disagree. Like Microsoft has said, gamers will buy whatever, and they are unconcerned about the backslash because "change is always unsettling". So if you are still on the fence about the future, my friends, I have just three words for you: "change, future, progress". Once you understand that, you will come around, because, as we have been told time and time again, both by Microsoft and a good chunk of the press, all it takes to turn something seemingly bad into something good is to label it "change", "progress", or "the future". And if they bind it all together in a cool sounding message like "we're confident that core gamers will buy anything once they see the progress. We expected some backslash, because change is always scary, but once we drill into their head that they will absolutely love our vision of the future no matter what, we're sure they will".

Well played, Microsoft. I have no doubt Sony and Nintendo are preparing to take refuge in the shoe business (because everybody needs shoes, so the potential install base is just ridiculous. Logic dictates that it's much better to make shoes, a potential market of  7 billion people than to make silly Mario games that sell to 30 or 40 million people at most) as I write.