Ah, the joys of having your internet down for days at a time. If nothing else, it provides a fair amount of time to actually play games, rather than accumulating them like an compulsive packrat kleptomaniac. I swear to god, it's like a Best Buy vomited in my living room. Also, I'm fairly sure the spindles are reproducing while I'm not looking....Will post video when I can confirm that.
I would have written something sooner in what laughably passes for a viable blog if I hadn't been stifled by a Square Soft rage-induced writer's block. Mother of god, who would have thought seeing one article on this site would make me want to scream incoherently while kicking a game developer down a flight of stairs. I'd get around to generating an all-encompassing bile spewing retrospective on Final Fantasy in general, but the thought of digging through the source material makes me want to rip my fingernails off with a putty knife. For fuck's sake, I can still lay a fair amount of my current carpal tunnel at the feet of Final Fantasy 8. I'll make a confession right here and now. I've been harboring the desire to pummel the person who thought making me sit through 20 minutes of animation every time I cast a summon spell with a bat. Repeatedly. For about 10 years now. This fantasy has progressed to me wanting to learn how to understand someone saying in Japanese "Dear god, I think my hips are broken".
But anyway. -takes deep cleansing breath- Thanks to whoever invented cigarettes, things like this don't make me go utterly bugfuck homicidal on a bi-hourly basis. Without them, I couldn't even get to the actual point of this drivel, even thought it is semi-related. Sort of.
It seems to me that when playing RPG's, my inherent tendency is to go towards the good guy side of the coin, whenever there's more than one choice available. It just seems like what's expected of you, being portrayed as a typically heroic character and all. But in all honesty, I'm sick of it. It's shallow, one dimensional, and I've yet to see any instance where I can, as a person, give enough of a shit to actually WANT to do these things. It just seems like the true definition of being a hero is having a sign taped to your back proclaiming "Please, let me be your errand-running bitch". Yes, I'll save your grandchildren from mutated chihuahuas. Yes, I'll deliver a letter to your loved one, even though they're half a fucking continent away and I just happen to be the one hapless bastard saddled with being the world's salvation. Yes, of course I'll get your cat out of the tree! And while I'm at it, I'll also retrieve the lost ancient Frisbee of who gives a rat's ass from the roof of the ruined citadel. And when I'm done, I'll be slaughtering the rabid tribe of drug-peddling Girl Scouts. But not for the villagers afflicted with tainted thin mint addiction. Just for my own sense of joy, and the glee of wading through rivers of blood and brightly colored sashes.
I know these things exist for a reason. My character exists to do everything up to and including wiping the asses of a nursing home full of octogenarian PCP addicts who will attempt to stab me with Swiss army knives or garotte me with adult diapers full of stinking excrement, all in the name of a few extra experience points. Or a shiny new doodad, like the kidney stone amulet of incontinence inducement. Don't get me wrong, I love making goblins shame themselves via faulty bladder function right before I puree their skulls with my patented cinder block on a stick as much as the next guy. But it's getting more than a little stale.
I'm in search of something different. Not just in the RPG realm, but overall. I've severed heads with razor wire in Manhunt, run down hordes of pedestrians in GTA, butchered heroes with demonic minions in Dungeon Keeper, mowed down police and small children with automatic weapons in Postal, and been bored half-retarded while trying to rule the world in Evil Genius. But none of it seems to work. Not in that "make you giggle maniacally while implementing the latest idea on how to torment/debase/defile/obliterate as many people, places and things as possible" kind of way.
I know I can't be the only person who's had these thoughts. That thought in the back of your mind that even though you're playing a character as full to the brim as possible with evil, that it still lacks that individual flair. The closest I've seen to a game having a lot of options in this area so far is Fable, but that seems to be utterly obsessed with how mean you can make a character look, rather than how horrific and despicable you can make your character. I mean, if video games are used as an interactive means to vent your simmering core of vitriol, hatred and utter loathing out into the universe, then isn't the entire experience hollow if you can't truly let everything go and be evil on a cosmic scale?
I realize that with the amount of gathered experience in this community, that my entire argument could be invalidated through a single comment on some game I've never seen or heard of. I'm okay with that, honestly, as long as whoever bursts my bubble tells me where I can find it. I'll just deliver a hasty thanks for the heads-up and run like hell to go play the damn thing.
To wrap this up, I'll leave with a quick story. I walked into my local pen and paper RPG store years ago, money burning a hole in my pocket, and asked the proprietor what was the strangest, darkest, most violent game he had on the shelf. He pointed me to a game called Kult, commenting that that one was the weirdest one he had. I walked out with that book, and it has turned out to be one of my absolute favorite games of all time. It was dark, strange and twisted, with a million ways to make your character uniquely depraved. I loved it, because with only a few exceptions I could push it as far as I wanted to. I can only hope video games can eventually reach this point, to become a more fully formed exploration of thoughts and impulses that most people won't even acknowledge, let alone delve into. read