6 hours ago - 3:30 PM on 05.24.2015
Yeah, you read that title right. I said I play [i]Destiny[/i] and you know what? It really isn't that bad of a game. However, let me be totally honest and say that I don't actually play the "main" part of the package. See, you know all the talk about how the game is pretty much killing waves of enemies one right after another ad nausem? Yeah, I don't really do that. I did the minimum amount of story missions to reach level 5 (I haven't even gotten past the Moon part of the campaign), and only did two Strikes because "I was curious." What I do play is PVP, specifically Control in the Crucible. Why, you may ask? Because fighting against other players in this game is strangely fun for me, and this is coming from someone who's usually into cooperative gameplay. When I played [i]Dark Souls[/i], I purposefully kept myself a low level so I can go back to my favorite bosses to help out players in need. In fact, I did that so many times in [i]Bloodborne[/i] that I almost got the 40 Insight points you need to see certain monsters in the game that you aren't allowed to see until the story dictates you are (so it's kind of like an early spoiler for dedicated players).
Anyway, my goals in [i]Destiny[/i] is pretty much trying to reach the highest level as I can with just doing Crucible matches. See, the way leveling in [i]Destiny[/i] works is that after level 20, you don't use XP to go higher. Instead, you have to equip pieces of armor that have this new stat called "Light", and you need a certain minimum to reach the next level. This disappoints me greatly because there's a particular helmet I enjoy wearing that you get really early in the game that gives NO Light points (it's the one posted above. That ugly dude is not my character by the way). That means that I will never reach the max level unless I take it off, but I love the way it looks so much that I never will. I'm legitimately sad about it because even though levels don't matter in Crucible (everyone's on relatively the same playing field), telling me I can't ever be the best I can be not because of my skills but because of my preferences in fashion, is kind of a pet peeve of mine. Plus, they rank the "team" order by highest level, so that means never being maxed out means I'm always going to be standing in the background looking like a nub when I usually perform the best of my squad. :(
But hey, I'm still having fun playing matches in [i]Destiny[/i], though I'm pretty sure I'm going to drop it once [i]Splatoon[/i] comes out. I can't wait to customize THAT character! :D
Like many others, I was pretty disappointed with the last Global Testfire [i]Splatoon[/i] had yesterday. To reiterate, the Global Testfire is a "stress test" where Nintendo wanted to see if their servers could handle a huge load (that's what she said) of players by restricting availability to one hour worldwide. Since Nintendo has been hitting hard with the [i]Splatoon[/i] advertisements, I assume that many people have overloaded the servers, which is great because that means this game may actually be successful. Unfortunately, for an hour, we couldn't get into a lobby, or if you did, you couldn't connect with other players. That may have hurt the game. Worse, someone noted that Twitch had 50,000 people watching [i]Splatoon[/i] streams, and the server overload reduced that number down to less than 20,000. Still, once it was finally working and they gave us an hour to play, I fell back in love with [i]Splatoon[/i]. Like I said before, I'm actually pretty decent at the beta, to the point that I'm usually top of the list. I still only used the Splatter Jr., but hey, it shoots fast and kills at a pretty instant rate. Plus, it comes with the Bubble ability, with basically makes you invincible. It's funny to stand there when a Roller be rolling, then pop a shield at the last second and see them panic as they figure out what to do.
I love this game so much, I can't even tell you how happy I am to play this. Firday can't come soon enough! Speaking of coming, I teased that I'll (hopefully) have a "special" blog to help keep Dtoid hyped for the game. I'm still holding out for any last minute images that may be worth sharing, but it's also because I still haven't censored the pictures and I have other matters to attend to besides recaps and Comments of the Week. Speaking of CotW, I have a good feeling about this one, so do look forward to that!
Also, just to ask: any chance someone can happen to snag me the [i]Splatoon[/i] amiibo? At the bare minimum, I want the Inkling Girl, but if you can somehow get an extra three-pack, that would be best. Whatever the case, I'll pay you for it with a reasonable amount of mark-up since my only other resort would be from scalpers anyway.
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Pixie+The+Fairy/what-motivates-your-creation-of-a-character--292683.phtml][b]* -[/b] Maybe I'm a bit biased, but I love love LOVE talking about character creation and customization in videogames, and Pixie certainly has a knack for it! Check out some of Pixie's creations, and definitely be sure to blog your own for me to read (on a Saturday, perhaps? :3)![/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/n0signal/e3-2015-my-top-anticipated-games-292665.phtml][b]A -[/b] Though he has written a list of his most-anticipated games of the year, some of the games n0signal was looking forward to were either delayed into 2016, or cancelled. So, he's back to talk about what he wants to see at E3 2015.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Scary+Granules/scary-granules-episode-29-ultimate-edition--292662.phtml][b]P -[/b] Scary Granules is back with Episode 29, where your hosts talk about how life without videogames suck, what to call the REmake, and scary movies.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Beldomsey/splatoon-global-testfire-server-overload-292675.phtml][b]N -[/b] Yesterday saw the last [i]Splatoon[/i] Global Testfire, and Beldomsey speculates that the reason the servers went crashing down was because there was simply too many players hopping on.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Terry+309/looking-back-warcraft-3-reign-of-chaos-frozen-throne-campaign-review-292670.phtml][b]R -[/b] Terry 309 wants to talk about all the good and bad parts of the old RTS RPG [i]Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos/Frozen Throne[/i] campaign. Is the game cool enough to sit on a throne, or does it only spread chaos?[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/TroyFullbuster/top-5-n64-games-video-format--292668.phtml][b]C -[/b] TroyFullbuster has a video of his Top 5 N64 games, and intends to produce more now that school's over with. I normally just place these under Gametoid, but come on man, at least write some stuff down![/url]
1:33 PM on 05.23.2015
Something very weird happened to me on Thursday. I was heading back home from the gym, and as I was entering my hometown, I watched a dear crossing the road about 200 feet ahead of me. This was about 7am, so lots of people were heading the opposite direction as me as they started their work/school commute.
I watched the deer the entire way, waiting to see if it would actually make it across the road. It didn't. It wound up getting hit by a Mack truck that was going a decent velocity, and I watched it flail about in the air like a rag doll and slide across the road about a dozen feet before finally skidding to a halt. It was obvious that the hit from the truck killed the deer immediately, so at the very least, it was a quick and painless one. I was only about two minutes away from my home when I witnessed all of this, and it may sound weird to say this, but I had a weird moment of spirituality and realization of my own mortality.
Doing a Google search for a picture of "mortality" made me depressed, so here's a picture of me wearing a banana suit with my sister-in-law.
Unfortunately, I've dealt with more death in my life than I care to think about, but I realized that I had never witnessed anyone's or anything's final moments before that morning. I've lost my best friend, my grandparents, aunts and uncles, pets, and I've been there for the passing of a few of my wife's family as well. But for some reason, witnessing the final moments of this deer's life really got to me. I'm not sure why, either. I don't even like deer (unless I'm eating one, of course). The only animal I like less would probably be geese, but it's illegal to kill them for some reason, even though they're the biggest jerks in the animal kingdom. Yeah, goose, it's cool that you're just sitting in the middle of a busy road, blocking traffic. Geese are douchebags.
Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah, deer. I guess the reason it got to me as much as it did (and don't get me wrong, I wasn't traumatized or anything) is because it got me thinking “that could have been me.” Granted, I'm not as stupid as deer are and won't be running blindly across a busy road, but I've been close to getting in so many head on collisions and had so many instances in my wrestling career that could have gone dangerously wrong that I'm kind of amazed I'm not dead or in a wheelchair.
Man, that was way more dark than I expected it to be. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm thankful for my life, because it really can be taken away from me at any moment. Here's some pictures of puppies to lighten the mood.
There, that's better.
Anyway, I just got back from the flea market, and I don't want to oversell anything, but for those of you that enjoy those videos I make of my game finds, you're in for a good one this week, because it was quite bountiful.
As far as what I've been playing, I decided to hold off on The Witcher: Wild Hunt in favor of Puzzle & Dragons Z/SMB Edition. The main reasons being that 1) The Witcher will be $40 in three months, and 2) I may just wait for the inevitable GOTY/Complete/Ultimate/Geralt's Buttsex Edition to come out next year and pick it up then. I'm sure the game is more than worth the $60 + $25 season pass when considering how much there is to do in the game, but the flea markets have made me much more thrifty.
This is actually my first experience ever playing Puzzle & Dragons. I'm playing the Mario Edition while my wife is playing P&DZ, which is what it will now be forever referred to by. My wife is way more into the actual RPG/fantasy thing than I am, while I basically bought the game because they slapped Mario's face on it. I'll be there on day one next year when Angry Birds: Super Mario Bros. Edition comes out.
So far, I like it, but I don't love it. It'll likely be the kind of game that I continuously come back to though, because that's what I do with puzzle games. My only legitimate complaint is that you only have one save file per game, so my wife and I can't both play P&DZ or P&DSMBE at the same time, which is why we've split it up.
Even for a beginner, I'm not finding the game to be very difficult, but hopefully that'll change as I get further into the game.
Alright, everybody happy again? Recaps are GOOOOO!
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/OrochiLeona/knightmare-80-s-kids-in-chromakey-carnage-292617.phtml][b]*[/b] - We got Nick Arcade, the UK got Knightmare. Not exactly an even trade-off.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Riobux/affect-the-affections-love-in-videogames-292630.phtml][b]*[/b] - Very interesting read from Riobux regarding how love and relationships is portrayed in gaming.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/El+Dango/thick-as-thieves-sailing-under-a-black-flag-292618.phtml][b]*[/b] - El Dango declares that Pirate Thieves are best thieves.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Jed+Whitaker/true-kinect-gamer-progress-update-1-a-starts-a-start-292651.phtml][b]S[/b] - Week 1 of Jed's True Kinect Gamer project is complete, and the results were very good. Stay the course, friend![/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/SeymourDuncan17/7-more-things-you-should-ignore-about-seymourduncan17-292638.phtml][b]A[/b] - You can ignore these facts about Seymour, but the story of him getting high is worth the price of admission alone.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/anystrom0/co-op-for-life-introducing-your-partner-to-gaming-292626.phtml][b]A[/b] - Have a significant other who isn't much into games? Give anystrom0's tips a try.[/url]
Sounds logical to me.
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Panzadolphin56/eu-fnf-may-22nd--292607.phtml][b]F[/b] - Anyone interested in the EU FNF can find more info here.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Nintendoid/nintendoid-fnf-may-22-we-need-you-splatoon-292609.phtml][b]F[/b] - Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate hosted by Mr. Strider.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/PS+FNF/ps-friday-night-fights-my-knees-look-like-swiss-cheese-edition-292625.phtml][b]F[/b] - PS gaming for the PS gamers.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/SigfriedLion/guardians-of-our-lives-destiny-and-the-skinner-box--292654.phtml][b]T[/b] - The Skinner Box experience of Destiny is the reason I've still not played Destiny.[/url]
Don't forget about these guys coming out next week...
Thus concludes another Friday recap. I hope it was as good for you as it was for me. Don't worry though, I'll come back to see you next week, hopefully with something less depressing to tell you all about.
Anyway, go out and do something good for someone else, it'll make you feel good. I promise
2:37 PM on 05.22.2015
Last week I discussed getting into a stealth game or two, and really enjoying both of them. I also pondered whether I should give Deus Ex: Human Revolution a go. I still had this game backlogged, but being in the stealth mood as I was, I figured “why not?”. By now I’ve almost finished it.
So here’s the bombshell: I do not like Deus Ex: Human Revolution. At all.
I had contrarian opinions on The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past before. But at the very least there I could still see why some people might like it despite its flaws. I can’t say the same thing for Deus Ex. I just don’t “get” this game at all.
First and foremost, I was very disappointed in Deus Ex as a stealth game. Maybe I shouldn’t have played it as a stealth game in the first place, but that’s what I did and it’s not very good. On the whole, the stealth is really shallow in this game. All you have to do is stay behind cover, and no one will ever spot you. The Right Mouse Button may as well be the “win”-button, or the “invisible”-button. The only thing that’s left for you to do is to stay out of the guards’ line of sight, but this has proven incredibly easy so far. Their patrol patterns are very predictable and only rarely overlap. Despite the fact that there might be three guards in any given room, most of the time you only have to deal with one at a time because the others can never spot you from where they are. Then it’s just a matter of waiting for the one guy you’re dealing with to look the other way, followed by playing hopscotch from cover to cover.
It got worse when I invested in the Camouflage upgrade. The upgrade system is well done, but I felt like very few upgrades are actually useful for stealth. There’s the upgrade that essentially gives you Arkham-style Detective Vision which is great, you can get a better radar which is nice, but other than that it’s camouflage all the way. Putting track markers on enemies makes the HUD more confusing than it helps you, you should never need silent running as long as you’re being careful, and the Cone of Vision upgrade makes the mini-map almost impossible to read. So Camouflage it is.
From that point on, the rest of the game becomes a joke. You see four enemies guarding a door? Camouflage past them. There’s an annoying camera in your way? Camouflage. A laser grid that will surely detect you? Even that gets fooled. You can upgrade Camouflage to give you about 9 seconds of invisibility per energy tank, and if you purchase the upgrades that increase the regeneration rate on your energy, for all intents and purposes you have transformed into the Invisible Man. Now Styx also had invisibility, but at least that only lasted for a short time and couldn’t be used more than a couple of times each level because you’d run out of mana. In Styx, you used invisibility to get yourself out of a tight spot, or to make your way to a place where you could climb up and take the high road. In Deus Ex, invisibility lets you bypass almost everything in the game. Also unlike Styx, there are hardly any alternative routes in Deus Ex, so you’re stuck with cover hopscotch + camouflaging for almost all of the game.
- And then this asshole gets in your face.
Apart from the stealth, there’s everything else. I’m going for a Pacifist run here so I don’t participate in gunplay, but from what little I’ve played it’s unremarkable at best. You sit behind cover, you point and you shoot. You might throw a grenade sometimes, but that’s it. Now to be fair, I only had to play Deus Ex as a shooter during the boss fights. Plenty has already been said about the boss fights, but I can’t let this go: they suck. Especially if you’re going for stealth; this game dumps you in the bossfights with only a tranquilizer rifle and a taser on your person, and then expects you to shoot down a man of steel. To its credit there are several caches of guns and ammo in every arena, but why is there an arena in the first place? Dishonored didn’t make me kill any of the enemies. Hell, you could leave Daud completely unharmed if you wanted to. Deus Ex wants none of that. “I heard you like guns in your stealth game, so I put some guns in your stealth so you can shoot while you stealth”. No, incredibly bad take on the Xhibit meme, in fact I do not like guns in my stealth game. And I especially don't like being forced to use them.
So if the stealth doesn't hold up and the shooting doesn't hold up either, what's left? The story I suppose. That and worldbuilding. I've never made it a secret that a well realized world and an interesting story can save a game for me. So can they save Deus Ex?
No, not really.
Last week I worried that because Deus Ex is Sci-fi while both Dishonored and Styx were Fantasy, I wouldn't be invested in the story as much. That has proven entirely correct. From the minute the game started the story just couldn't capture me at all. Some SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT.
I don't know, the whole "a secret organisation is out to get us" just doesn't work for me. I couldn't care less about some secret organisation of shady people unless they're some Necromancer cult or something. And I especially don't care about some shady organisation when you're implying that we're essentially dealing with corporate warfare here. I don't give the slightest shit about your corporation, show me the rest of the world! How is this technology affecting people other than the manager of Sarif Industries? What's going on out there besides our own problems? It also doesn't help that Adam Jensen is a completely unlikable character. His voice actor took one too many classes in the Christian Bale school of gritty voices, and it makes him hard to sympathise with. Even when you play him as the biggest goody-twoshoes the game will let you, he still comes across as a jerk. He's gruff and in your face, and he feels like what happens when you try to create the ultimate stereotypical cool action hero. Of course, he's ex-SWAT. Gotta have that.
...And then it turns out that the Illuminati are behind everything. Really. The Illuminati. Just straight-up. For the love of god, why? Are they even trying to make this shit compelling? I don't know if this story could be any more cliché. I guess the only thing that could make it even worse is if it turns out that the scientists who were supposedly killed in the opening aren't dead after all. OH WAIT. Still though, it could be worse. It could turn out that one of the good guys was secretly the Big Bad all along. OH WAIT. Well, at least Adam Jensen isn't some kind of clone or something, some kind of experiment gone horribly right. OH FUCKING WAIT.
So yeah. I played Deus Ex, and I left very unimpressed. I'll probably finish it later today or maybe tomorrow, but then I don't think I'll ever pick it up again. As compared to Dishonored and even Styx the level design is lackluster, the stealth is boring and simplistic, combat is mediocre but still gets forced upon you on several occasions, and I'm more interested in "A Day in the Life of a Brick Wall" than whatever it is that Adam Jensen and Sarif Industries are doing.
I did not ask for this game. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have taken it either.
Hopefully I get to talk about Splatoon by next week. Should be oodles more fun.
- Pictured: How to Break Deus Ex: Human Revolution in 8 Easy Steps.
A - JPF720 discusses Double Fine, its documentaries and Broken Age.
P - The new PStoid with the art master himself: Roberto Plankton!
- Experience excitement as Adam Jensen has to deal with...a difficult person.
F - Xbox FNF and babbies.
C - Help us out with our Montly Recaps! We need your thoughts!
T - If you ask Forgotten Bastion, Life is Strange is only just getting good. Let's hope it lasts!
R - I haven't played a good on-rails shooter in ages. Maybe I'll take Lord Spencer's advice and check out Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles.
R - Where does ScreamAid keep finding these mobile games that are not shit? I mean this one isn't GREAT, but still!
- Here's the neatest room of the game, which you will hate by the time you're done with it.
? - This is a thing. I have no better description for it. "Thing" it is.
C - Does anyone actually PLAY Hyperdimension Neptunia? Or do we just ogle the ladies?
F - Yes, we have blogs. No, you're not doing it right.
S - You're calling out Jim Sterling for a satirical article he wrote years ago? Even though Jim doesn't work here anymore? Sure thing buddy.
- Look at all these places we won't let you go!
May you always find water and shade
12:22 AM on 05.22.2015
It feels good to finally feel at home in G-rank. I crafted G-rank equivalent armor, have myself a dependable weapon, and can fight almost anything provided I have the support. I'm usually the only one among a group that doesn't cart, though when I do, it's because I get caught in a bad situation as the last cart (stunned and poisoned on my last 10% of health for example fuckingazurerathalosfuckyou). I've reached the point where fighting something as bad as a flame-spitting, rock tumbling, G-ranked Gravios is business as usual, just give me those delicious Black Gravios Crowns to craft with. But it baffles me how everyone few hunts I go on, someone enters my lobby with a defense of roughly 450. 450 defense is suitable for high ranked hunts. 600 is what I consider an important benchmark to hit so you don't get one-shotted in G-rank. 550 is the minimum so you're not scrambling for mega potions for every careless mistake and hit from a G-ranked Narjarala or Rathalos. These numbers are for blademasters by the way, or melee hunters. Gunners naturally have access to less protective armors but hey, they can fight from a relatively safe distance.
From now on, I'll inspect my would-be hunting teammates for their qualifications. If their defense at the very least doesn't make the cut, I need to back out because they're going to waste our carts. The other day someone got one-shotted, then quit out of our hunt. It's one thing to have low defense and be our Achilles' heel, it's another to leave and cut our offensive power in half.
My girlfriend is convinced I'll only be on my Monster Hunter kick for another two weeks. Sure, Splatoon is out soon, so I will most likely join up on that. Oh, there's no doubt I'll be playing it. But I don't think my Monster Hunting will slow down anytime soon. I'm still only on the horizon of the peak of the game and there's still so much to be hunted and experienced: Crimson Fatalis, Special G-permit hunts, apex monsters, and level 140 guild quest hunts for the highest top tier equipment. I may grow tired of having weak hunters as teammates but we all work together to slay a powerful creature, and that's an incredible rush. Splatoon, being head-to-head, will be subject to head-to-head concerns like steamrolled matches and stacked teams. I'll have to see if I have time to get on the second testfire to get a feel for how matches flow and how disconnects are handled and how it feels to play a game that wasn't conceived to be a kill/death ratio game but a territory control game.
Just know that if a Monster Hunter game comes to Wii U or PlayStation 4, I will play it because I am now sold on the franchise of MH. That means I'm sold on a PS4.
In other news, I've got a few blogs on my queue guaranteed to go out the door to FP. The middle of May has been slow on community promotions because things just kept lining up to keep me busy. I've already got one out the door with another prepped up. Promoting the monthly recap is tough because I have to figure out how to convert all the bbcode that's still being used (don't use bbcode, use the in-editor tools for once), plus a few more are popping up I'll have to take a look at. Nobody ever seems to send me FP suggestions so if you're dissatisfied with the number of FP promotion, we're sharing blame on that, ok?
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Bardley/papers-please-hindsight-292487.phtml][b]*[/b] - Bardley sees the hindsight of paper media[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/wutangclam/how-to-talk-about-video-games-with-normal-people-publishers-292512.phtml][b]*[/b] - Ubisoft is basically any mediocre Philidelphian sports team and other easy to understand comparisons[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Agent9/bummed-out-about-p-t-have-a-video-292495.phtml][b]A[/b] - Goodbye P.T., we hardly knew ye[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/TheDustinThomas/hall-of-game-felix-the-cat-nes--292501.phtml][b]S[/b] - Dustin does Felix the Cat[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/James+Internet+Ego/the-players-that-make-us-seem-terrible-292506.phtml][b]A[/b] - James waxes on the good gamers who make us look bad[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/RedHeadPeak/is-minecraft-bad-for-adults--292508.phtml][b]A[/b] - Minecraft is bad when not taken in moderation[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Hyper+Lemon+Buster+Cannon/i-ain-t-dead-yet-hlbc-update-ama--292513.phtml][b]D[/b] - Hyper Lemon Buster is back bitches![/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Shinta/the-witcher-3-impressions-1-hour-in-30-trade-in-value-at-gamestop-i-called--292503.phtml][b]R[/b] - Shinta dislikes most things, like Witcher 3[/url]
10:28 PM on 05.21.2015
So the monthly recap is a thing we've been doing for the last four months and I've been spearheading that effort. it is a feature I wanted to do for many reasons, but it is also a rather challenging task given the amount of varied cblog content it is meant to cover. I guess you could say there's only so much one fairy can do and I've been doing a lot of it.
The monthly recap essentially curates the best of everything produced in Destructoid in the community blogs. This is meant to include links to all the topsauce from daily recaps, additional picks from recappers and reservists, Promoted blogs, Bloggers Wanted entries, Band of Bloggers entries, Comments of the Week, Podgasms, Cblog Analytics and trendy things like "10 Things" or "Ask me anything" blogs.
When the month ends, I collect all the links pertaining to these things from the other recappers and work to convert that into the monthly recap. That blog has an intro, those varying sections and closes out with "Recap Team Favorites" which is where we put all the Topsauce provided it didn't already fit one of those other sections.
I've started to see some problems with the process, though - the main one being it eats of three to five days of free time whuch I spend sorting and coding anywhere from 80 to 120+ links and is tiresome, forcing me to take numerous breaks. Additionally, since my laptop's WiFi is broken, I transfer a lot of files from tablet to laptop and back and have to ensure there are no formatting conflicts or elements lost when i do a cut/paste from the tablet to the cblog editor.
Thankfully I do have apps that play nice with the cblog editor.
Still, even if my PC and internet situation were better, this would still be a lot of work and I want to make the process not only more efficient, but add more community flavor to the recap as well. I realize it seems weird to say that since the blog we end up producing is really all about you guys but when you end up doing 90% of the heavy lifting you get a little disillusioned, I guess.
When it's all done, I put it in the editor and let Strider, Luna and whoever else on the team wants to take a crack at editing have at it. After it has been published and runs it's course in the cblogs, it later goes through him, then it's off to the front page a week later.
The result oftsn looks like this:
As a big a pain as I make it sound, though, the response is usually worth it and I sometimes notice you guys seem a bit more energized afterward because a spike in blogging seems to occur shortly after.
Anyway, I'm here writing this looking for feedback on the monthly recaps. I feel there is still room for improvement. Improvments I'm hoping to see implemented in the May recap ais letting another recapper/reservist come in to write an intro and maybe let other team members write some things into the various sections once they're sorted out. I've also got a little something worked out to give it a slight bit more community flavor and I'm hoping we can see more of that
That's meant ot be a surprise for now, though, so I'm not tellin'. If you have any ideas to share on how to get more community flavor into to the format, though, I'm all ears.
Which leaves me with one question I'd like answered by you guys - do you like the "Recap Team Favorites" as it is or would you like to see it changed? This section is the place where all the Topsaunce goes that didn't fall into any of the other categories. Usually, I alphabetize that section like the others, but write it in paragraph from because I think just leaving a massive list of links there is kind of ugly and lacks personality.
Writing it in alpha and weaving in little mentions and jokes along the way lets the reader skim/anticipate finding a mention or several about their blogs and I think that's a nice way of highlighting everyone topsauced in an even fashion, but I suppose there is something to be said for deeper categorization that helps readers find what interests them faster. After all, the monthly recap does serve as an aggregate or sorts on top of an extra layer of curation.
All that said, I'm looking for your thoughts and opinions on the matter, plus any others you might have. We're about eleven days out before the process begins anew and I have to compile all this stuff again. Well, I don't have to, but I like you guys and want to do it. I just want to find ways to make it easier, more appealing and hopefully one day this gets so easy anyone on the Recap Team can do it.
Now, if you will excuse me I'm going to go level up for the May edition.
-Pixie The Fairy
8:11 PM on 05.18.2015
Mad Max: Fury Road may be the best action movie I have ever seen.
Scratch that, it IS the best action movie I have ever seen.
I grew up watching a lot of the greats in the 80's and 90's, but found the genre rather stale in recent years. The Avengers: Age of Ultron, while still a fun move, embodies much of that staleness. Too much of the action consists of cut-away shots implying action rather than choreographed fights and sequences. Many of the actors don't do their own stunts and too much CG is used to emphasize the visual spectacle. On top of that, for all the people involved, it feels like many characters get pushed aside to emphasize the main ones too much.
I was excited to see War Machine, Falcon and Heimdall appear in Age of Ultron but then they were hardly used for anything. Their appearances were fleeting, which is lame considering they're all amazing characters.
Mad Max: Fury Road goes the opposite way in every respect to modern movies. It's made of gasoline, nitro, sand and flame. It is a two hour road trip and high speed chase. No one has superpowers, instead human frailty is a constant reminder whether it's heroine or antagonist, physical or psychological.
Max is not the true protagonist of the story, he just got mixed up in a situation in which he's ultimately useful to Imperator Furiosa. She has taken the warlord Immortan Joe's harem and wants to deliver them to freedom. She's also one of Joe's elite, the sole driver of his War Rig, which she robbed him of after deceiving him into believing she'd use it to obtain vital resources for his army.
Which brings us to Max.
Max starts out captured by Joe's War Boys and is used to interesting ends. Seems he's used as a sort of unwilling blood doner for the War Boys... and also a hood ornament to drive into battle once Joe gets wise to what Furiosa has pulled. This is how he meets up with Furiosa and the gang.
Max is the interloper and eventual sidekick in this movie. Another way of putting it is imagining Fallout 3's Lonesome Wanderer meeting up with New Vegas' Courier. It's Furiosa's show, the Lonesome Wanderer - or Max, in this case - is just mixed up in it. I like that it played out this way.
I can't say much of Tom Hardy's Max in contrast to Mel Gibson's as I'm now catching up on the past movies, but he does pull off Mel's angry, worried and concerned looks off rather well. He really doesn't say much in the movie. In fact, dialogue is pretty minimal all around, but always effective when used.
As for Furiosa, she's a new action icon. Charlize Theron put in an amazing performance, though like Max much of what she says is less important than what she does. This movie puts a stong premium on visual characterization and gives the audience enough credit to figure out the rest on their own. This isn't in an objectifying way, but ways that show emotion - pride, anger, ambition, hope - and all the beauty and ugliness that falls in between.
Just looking at Furiosa, you know she's seem some shit.
This also carries into certain events that are occasionally implied rather than shown. Max goes and blows up things sometimes, we know and expect this from movie previews alone. The movie shows what is necessary and that helps keep the focus on Furiosa in many respects.
And considering this flick is either a mechanic's worst nightmare or wettest dream, that's probably a good thing. Lots of cars died in the making of this film. Max not blowing up a few more cars on screen is a wise budget move.
My goodness, the cars are just nuts.
Finally, all the characters involved feel necessary and don't go to waste, big and small. Given this is about Furiosa getting these women to safety and the stakes are always high, it's awesome how these other ladies take on duties and don't really care if Furiosa doesn't like it. They are going to help in whatever way they can.
Also, the movie has a guitarist standing on a car loaded up with amps and the electric guitar is also a flamethrower. There is also a car loaded up with war drums and guys banging away at them. The bad guy's soundtrack is a living thing in this movie. It's amazing.
If that doesn't make you want to see Fury Road, nothing will.
Now on to Pixieisms: Recap Road!
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Oculin/azure-striker-gunvolt-it-s-all-for-speed-292324.phtml][b]* -[/b] He's going the distance, he's going for speed.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/TheDustinThomas/send-me-suggestions-for-my-top-5-series-an-update--292309.phtml][b]C -[/b] Send TheDustinThomas suggestions for his Top 5 series.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/ScreamAid/video-game-music-compilation-41-super-street-fighter-iv-special--292317.phtml][b]M -[/b] ScreamAid compiles some Street Fighter IV music for your listening pleasure.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/TheKodu/i-m-fed-up-of-politics-can-we-talk-about-games-oh--292316.phtml][b]S -[/b] I just feel like I've heard it all before.[/url]
4:16 PM on 05.17.2015
Okay, well, last week saw not one, not two, but five (yeah, I got lazy with the dramatic build up) new episodes of [i]Girl Meets World[/i], the spinoff sequel of [i]Boy Meets World[/i]. I only caught three episodes though: two of them were pretty good, but one of them had me laughing so hard that I had to pause and rewind the episode. If you haven't seen them, be warned that this recap will contain [b]spoilers for "Girl Meets the New World", "Girl Meets Pluto", and "Girl Meets Mr. Squirrels"[/b]
So, first up is "Girl Meets the New World", when Riley and Maya enter a new grade and don't want Riley's father, Cory Matthews, to be their teacher anymore. They kinda hit a bit with the meta jokes, as fans of [i]Boy Meets World[/i] remembers that Mr. Feeny was the character's teacher from grade school to even college, so obviously there's some references here and there. It was cute to see Riley and Maya trying to get away with their usual antics with other teachers, and the moment when they made one teacher quit and Cory Matthews had to return not ten seconds later was genuinely funny ("This is [i]your[/i] fault!").
The main plot, aside from a couple of jokes, actually wasn't that good, and the subplot featuring the bakery was admittedly weak as well. But it was a good episode for one reason: they managed to merge both parts of the episode together in a damn fine finale. See, the point with the girls was that they didn't want to have their hand held by their parents, with Riley's dad as their teacher and Maya's mom working at the bakery they hang out at. Riley even does a narration about how she's not the center of the universe. However, when the [b]surprise ending[/b] (I especially don't want to ruin the reveal) shows that this whole time Riley was speaking an eulogy at a funeral, and how this death showed her that they need to still be close to their family, was very poigant. I even had my jaw open when it hit me, and the phone call cameo from Mr. Feeny ("Hey, you still there?") at the end really cemented the delivery.
"Girl Meets Pluto" was also pretty great, especially for all the old [i]Boy Meets World[/i] references. Basically, after a kid named Farkle gave the idea to do a time capsule, Cory remembers he had one with Topanga and Shawn and want to go dig it up. One part that had me slightly giddy was when Mr. Feeny made an appearance. Excusing the "apparition" in the very first episode, this was the first time he met the group face to face, and it was nice to see him again. It's a shame that it was ultimately too a short scene, but Riley's and Maya's attempt to do the Feeny call was adorable, although a bit contrived and forced.
The best part of this episode are all the references though. When Shawn came back and offered to take Cory to a restaurant when he thought Cory was dying, they did a nice callback to a scene they did when they were kids ("They WANT you to take the rolls!") However, when they opened the time capsule, they brought back significant knick-knacks from the previous series. Cory takes out the jean jacket he gave to Topanga when they were dating, which was also the first time they told each other they loved one another. VERY surprisingly, because it was one hell of an obscure (but important) callback, Topanga pulls out a love letter for Cory... written by another girl. This was Lauren, even mentioned by name despite having appeared in like two episodes, when Cory thought he had to date her in order to see if Topanga was truly right for him. In the original series, Topanga broke up with Cory because she hoped he would've known without dating Lauren; now, she takes the letter/ date as a test of their relationship, and how they succeeded. D'aww.
Heartbreakingly, Shawn placed the mementos of his ex-girlfriend Angela. I mentioned in a previous recap months ago that I disliked what happened with her and Shawn. I felt like it betrayed her character development (long story short, she had an emotional "revelation" where she didn't want to be like her mother who left her father... only to end up leaving Shawn anyway), and I'm hoping there's actually going to be a good reason for it. But anyway, Shawn even mentions the book of sonnets and the strawberry kiwi lip gloss. With realization that he may not fall in love again, it manages to drives the subplot between Shawn and Maya's mother. I'm not sure I want them together as I do Shawn and Angela, but all signs point to that considering Maya expressed wanting Shawn to be there for her.
Finally, "Girl Meets Mr. Squirrels" was amazing because it brought back my favorite character in the series, Eric Matthews, in an amazing way. Referencing the "prank war" back in [i]Boy Meets World[/i], Cory knows that Eric is skilled at bringing people together, so when Riley and Maya have a fight, he asked for his help. Returning in a spectacular fashion, Eric dressed up as the "crazy hobo" "Plays with Mr. Squirrels" persona seen in a "dream" segment of the original series. He even had the beard hiding the lollipop necklace that he pops into his mouth! While he does take it off eventually, that entire scene was too damn funny: when Riley blew the "trouble" whistle (I'm sure you wouldn't call it a rape whistle in a Disney show), Eric pulled out one of his own to blow back. My favorite moment was when Eric started dancing, so Riley shut the door... only for Eric to open it a second later so he could continue. It was glorious, and the rest of the episode was filled with so many jokes that this is probably going to be my favorite.
The back half of the episode wasn't as funny, but it did have a sort of life lesson to it. Turns out, the fight between Riley and Maya was because Maya was called short and Riley didn't have her back, so Maya felt like she couldn't trust Riley. She then told Riley how Riley's a klutz, but will always defend her when people thought of calling her names. Riley didn't know about that though, and started feeling a bit depressed... however, others characters reveal certain aspects about themselves that they don't like, and how this episode kinda, sorta teaches them that you need to acknowledge and accept your flaws. I'll admit, I'm very short, and I never really saw that as a disadvantage. But then again, I never had sex before, and my favorite position is missionary, so you could see how that might be a problem... :(
Anyway, that's it for my babbling. On to the recaps!
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Kesskuron/pokemon-the-wider-audience-292287.phtml][b]* -[/b] Kesskuron knows that the [i]Pokemon[/i] manages to hit almost all demographics, but have you ever wondered why that is? Kesskuron has his own thoughts about it, and why there's a little something for everyone![/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/wutangclam/take-me-out-to-the-role-playing-game-292293.phtml][b]* -[/b] Sometimes, it's all about perspective. People look at [i]MLB 15: The Show[/i] and think it's a sports game. Wutangclam decides that it's an RPG, and after reading some of the comparisons, I'm gonna have to agree with the guy![/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Pixie+The+Fairy/another-ten-things-about-a-pixie-292302.phtml][b]* -[/b] Just when you thought you knew someone, out comes the secrets. Pixie the Fairy, formerly known as Pixielated, has ten more things she wants to share with you all![/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/AJMaciejewski/a-healthy-look-at-health-indicators-292280.phtml][b]A -[/b] For his first bog, AJMaciejewski wants to take a brief look at how the simple concept of health bars grew over the years, and gander at the many different forms of them there are.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Forgotten+Bastion/looking-back-assassin-s-creed-292304.phtml][b]A -[/b] With all the excitement of [i]Assassin's Creed: Syndicate[/i] (well, I'm interested), Forgotten Bastion hasn't forgotten about the series' root with the original title, and wants to talk about the start of it all.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/JPF720/10-things-out-of-720-and-ama-if-you-so-desire--292282.phtml][b]I -[/b] JPF720 has 720 nuggets of information about himself, but only chooses to talk about 10. Stingy prick. If you want to know more, you can always ask him in this Ask Me Anything![/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/ScreamAid/a-little-bit-late-introductory-blog-ama-i-guess--292288.phtml][b]I -[/b] ScreamAid might be a little late getting around to making the introductory blog, but better late than never! Come to read a little about this fella, and then stay to ask some of your personal space-invading questions![/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/avsky/any-beatmania-iidx-fans-out-there-i-need-you-to-buy-my-collection--292283.phtml][b]? -[/b] Avsky is about to head out overseas, and thus wants to sell some of his stuff. If you're a [i]Beatmania[/i] fan (I don't know you would when when you could be the superior [i]DDR[/i] one), and you need some extra stuff, look at what he's got.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Fevoki/anime-drake-pyro-vvvvvv-292300.phtml][b]? -[/b] Fevoki just wants to chat about a couple of animes he saw, some of the music he's listening to, and some of the games he's playing. He also includes a video of him playing a demo of [i]VVVVVV[/i]![/url]
12:41 PM on 05.16.2015
My childhood is over, guys. Just, like, dead. Okay, that may be a little dramatic, but it sincerely feels like that sometimes. That's bound to happen as I get older, and I'm at the age now where a lot of the athletes I idolized growing up, especially the professional wrestlers, are either dead, dying, or a shadow of their former selves.
Earlier this year, Sam Simon, one of the original creators and brilliant minds that created The Simpsons, passed away. And this past week, Harry Shearer, who does the voices of some of the series' most iconic characters (including my favorite character, Mr. Burns) has decided to leave the show. It makes sense, I guess. The dude is a little old, and the show has been around for over a quarter-century now. Doing anything for 25+ years is bound to get boring regardless of how much you love it.
I think Shearer leaving is finally going to be the death blow for the series; a series that needed to end over a decade ago anyway. At this point, the series almost has double the amount of mediocre/bad seasons as it had great ones, and those great ones are the reason it's my favorite show ever, but it's time to pull the plug, even though it'll still pain me to see it happen. It's kind of like the Nester and Max comic in the final issue of Nintendo Power. It's bittersweet, but it was a great ride.
Lots of things have been happening to me game-wise. I managed to buy an Xbox One on the big Cowboom sale that was going on yesterday. $225 plus free shipping from a legitimate retailer is something that's hard to pass up. It's mainly for my wife, as the One will be stationed in our living room rather than the game room, but as long as she will relinquish the Xbox to me once the new Gears game comes out, there won't be any problems.
I'm pretty sure Bloodstained is going to be the first thing that I ever support on Kickstarter. It's well past it's original funding goal, but by God, I really want a physical copy of that game, and I've liked every Castlevania title Igarashi has done, so I trust him enough to throw down some money in advance.
I also picked up a few games on the PSN Flash Sale (which is still going on until Monday). I snagged Trials Fusion, Peggle 2 with all the DLC, and Super Mega Baseball. From the limited time I've spent with SMB so far, I can already tell that--as a baseball fan that hates baseball simulation games--I'm going to love it. It's a solid baseball game while managing to be just over-the-top enough for me, but not so much that it becomes a baseball parody.
Anyway, Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Edition is coming out Friday, which means next Saturday is going to be spent doing a lot of nothing but vegging on my couch with my 3DS.
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Jed+Whitaker/the-e3-weight-loss-journey-of-a-true-kinect-gamer-292262.phtml][b]*[/b] - Watch Jed play Kinect games in an effort to shed some unwanted lbs. As a former overweight man myself, Jed, I just want to say that you have my support.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/SeymourDuncan17/bethesda-will-close-out-their-e3-conference-with-a-bang-292208.phtml][b]*[/b] - Considering what it bought about, Seymour's Time-Space Penetration Thing turned out to be a bad idea.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Agent9/filling-the-void-292248.phtml][b]*[/b] - Smaller teams are filling in the gaps in our hearts with their spiritual successors.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/n0signal/retrospective-final-fantasy-vii-final-fantasy-x-292271.phtml][b]A[/b] - n0signal takes us back to a simpler time and recounts his FFVII/FFX memories.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Panzadolphin56/eu-fnf-may-15th--292201.phtml][b]F[/b] - EU FNF this week features some Dead or Alive 5.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Nintendoid/nintendoid-fnf-05-15-14-more-sleeps-until-splatoon-292232.phtml][b]F[/b] - Only 14 more sleeps until Splatoon, but in the meantime, play some Mario Kart 8.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/VinylGamer/from-realms-beyond-i-have-arrived--292236.phtml][b]I[/b] - Everyone welcome VinylGamer to Dtoid...NOW![/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Terry+309/looking-back-need-for-speed-carbon-review-292234.phtml][b]R[/b] - Terry309 takes a look back at Need for Speed Carbon, and I must say that I support his review scale.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Riobux/riobux-recommends-vlad-the-impaler-292250.phtml][b]T[/b] - Riobux submits for the approval of the Dtoid Society: Vlad the Impaler[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Shinken/build-your-own-motorcycle-game--292277.phtml][b]C[/b] - Once I realized this was a joke blog, I enjoyed it a lot more. Still kinda pointless, but not quite worthy of a fail in my opinion.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/videogamestore/resident-evil-6-game-292227.phtml][b]S[/b] - Listen Videogamestore, if that is your real name, if you're going to try and sell videogames, try to sell good ones instead of garbage like Resident Evil 6.[/url]
Seriously, Resident Evil 6? I'd rather you push Operation Raccoon City on me.
I usually try to be really positive at this point of the blog, but having to think about RE6 just really bums me out...
9:13 PM on 05.15.2015
When I first heard of Kill La Kill, I thought it was nothing more than your typical Shonen anime with an overdose of fan service, so I ignored it for months. Then I watched it. And it turns out… I was right. Somewhat.
This anime is INSANE. Every episode is shock-full of action and fan service. But that is not a bad thing. In fact, this is one of the most entertaining anime I’ve watched. Everything is so over-the-top and humorous that is difficult not to smile. The animation is well done and fun to watch. The story is simple, but it has enough drama to keep you interested. The dub is surprisingly good! Screw you weeaboos – I’ll take a great anime dub over a good sub any day of the week. I generally enjoy anime more when they have great dubs, like Baccano! and Cowboy Bebop. But I digress.
My main criticism of Kill La Kill so far is that every episode seems to follow the same formula – Ryoku goes to school and fights a boss. She first gets her ass kicked, but then she overcomes the obstacles and wins, usually after transforming to her semi-naked suit. Lots of pantie shots and nose bleeds in-between. Hopefully the anime will remain interesting enough until the end.
Thanks to a Dreamweaver blog a few weeks ago, I’ve also gotten back to watching Adventure Time. I’m not sure why I stopped watching it, but it’s really easy to watch individual episodes from time to time, since they only last around 10 minutes each.
Most of the episodes are entertaining, others are a bit meh. All are weird. That weirdness is much of what makes Adventure Time endearing, but it’s also what makes it a little tiring at times. One of Season 6’s episodes, Food Chain, where Finn and Jake learn about the food chains of birds and caterpillars by transforming into them, is so surreal I’m still not sure if I like it or not. And still I enjoyed the episode where it’s revealed Jake’s tail has a life of its own and performs on a circus at night. Like I said, the weirdness of Adventure Time can be a double-edged sword. The best episodes tend to be the ones that advance the narrative.
I’ve talked about an anime, a cartoon and I would talk about a TV series too, but I don’t have a lot to say about Game of Thrones. My last blog on the subject didn’t get much attention, so I’m guessing the c-blog Dtoid community is not big on GoT. And the fifth season has been somewhat slow so far, building up to bigger events. I can’t wait for a certain sadistic character to die in the finale of this season.
That’s all from me today. Thank you for reading and see you next week!
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/KingSigy/nostalgia-goggles-292013.phtml][b]*[/b] - KingSigy disserts about nostalgia and how it affects – or not – our enjoyment of old games.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/wutangclam/cheat-codes-price-tags-and-the-gaming-industry-s-evolution-292020.phtml][b]*[/b] - Wutangclam talks about cheat codes and how they’re unfortunately rarely present by default in games anymore.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Fenriff/fen-out-of-ten-a-review-of-me-by-me-for-you--292057.phtml][b]*[/b] - Fenriff is back with a nice retrospective of his blogging career![/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Lord+Spencer/lessons-we-learn-from-videogames-292008.phtml][b]*[/b] - Lord Spencer tells us of the life-changing lessons he learned from videogames. Remember kids – if you have your eyes on someone, just give him/her lots and lots of eggs and eventually he/she will be yours.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/ctg867/nintendo-needs-to-be-more-like-valve-but-not-how-you-think--292027.phtml][b]A[/b] - Ctg867 believes Nintendo should celebrate and take advantage of fan-made content, like Valve. [/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Cannibal+Steven/photoalbum-2-zeno-clash-ii-291986.phtml][b]S[/b] - Cannibal Steven takes you on a picture tour through the strange world of Zeno Clash II.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Terry+309/awful-boss-battles-nefasturris-291992.phtml][b]S[/b] - Terry 309 hates on awful bosses in his new series. This time featuring Devil May Cry 2.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/CaltySlitorous/inside-the-slit-sort-of-nsfw-but-you-know-the-deal-by-now--292029.phtml][b]S[/b] - CaltySlitorous shares what has been going on in his life lately.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Titannel/titannel-s-talks-ama-woo--291973.phtml][b]C[/b] - Ask Titannel his darkest secrets.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/FlanxLycanth/ama-allow-it-ask-then--292011.phtml][b]C[/b] - Ask Kanye West anything. [/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/LegendPenguin/help-legendpenguin-out-with-his-summer-backlog-if-you-want--292019.phtml][b]C[/b] - Yo, help LegendPenguin out with his backlog, will you?[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Travis+Touchdown/metal-gear-solid-v-press-event-5-12-15-292048.phtml][b]N[/b] - Travis Touchdown rounds up what we know from the MGS V press event so far.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/anystrom0/mass-effect-trilogy-conquering-the-backlog-292010.phtml][b]T[/b] - Anystrom0 has been enjoying his voyage through the Mass Effect universe so far. [/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/JPF720/so-that-just-happened-white-night-291991.phtml][b]R[/b] - JPF720 reviews the light and dark White Night.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/CoconutmilkFilms/game-pondering-artsy-games-are-destroying-gaming--292044.phtml][b]V[/b] - Coconutmilk ponders whether or not ‘artsy games’ are killing gaming. [/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/TheDustinThomas/flea-market-game-finds-5-9-15--292016.phtml][b]V[/b] - Uncle Dustin shows you his Flea Market finds. Also, check out Error Machine’s latest video.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/RadicalYoseph/a-letter-of-thanks-and-a-sincere-apology-to-ubisoft-292006.phtml][b]L[/b] - RadicalYoseph writes a letter of sincere thanks and apology to Ubisoft… Or does he?[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Chist/us-fast-tracking-of-trade-agreements-stopped-for-now-292056.phtml][b]?[/b] - Chist explains what the Tracking of Trade Agreements means for us.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/chicagolocks11/locksmith-chicago-291981.phtml][b]F[/b] - Do you live in Chicago and are locking for a locksmith? No? Ehm…[/url]
9:17 AM on 05.15.2015
This week I felt invisible again.
Fortunately, this time I did it on purpose!
Recently I dived back into two stealth-games I had lying around: Dishonored and Styx: Master of Shadows. By now I finished Dishonored plus all of its DLC and I'm nearing the end of Styx. Both are a good time if you're into the genre, but Dishonored especially so.
On the whole, I have mixed feelings towards the stealth genre. On the one hand there is nothing more satisfying than killing an enemy who didn't even realize you were there. The guy's just walking around minding his own business when *BAM*, dead. I also enjoy picking off enemies one by one until there's only one left standing. That guy most be shitting his pants at that point. All his friends suddenly disappeared and he doesn't know what the fuck. He knows that something is out there, and it's coming to get him. But he doesn't know what it is, where it will strike from, what it can do or whether it's even still around at all. And then all of a sudden the alarm goes off because the chancellor has been murdered, although nobody ever saw a thing...
On the other hand, I'm not very good at stealth games. I get spotted all the fucking time, so a lot of my time playing these games consists of reloading the same save over and over again until I find something that works. That gets a little tiring after a while, to be sure. That said, on balance I still enjoy the good stealth games out there. I'm even thinking of picking Deus Ex:HR back up once I finish Styx just to get more of that sneaky goodness. Although being a self-proclaimed "Fantasy nerd" rather than "Sci-fi nerd" I'm worried it might not capture the same spark. And is Thief any good?
- Pictured: why I'm a Fantasy nerd.
Like I said, between Dishonored and Styx I'd definitely go for the former. One thing that it absolutely nails is the feeling of being a total badass. Corvo isn't being sneaky because he's too weak to barge in the front door, he's being sneaky because the mission requires that nobody knows he was there. It's sabotage, not destroy. Besides, my Corvo just prefers the more subtle approach. Yet even being sneaky, Corvo is a total boss. He can teleport almost anywhere, he can stop time, he can possess you, he can run silent as the night, and so much more. Corvo can go anywhere he wants to go, and there's not a thing you can do to stop him.
Meanwhile, Styx is sneaky because he knows his limits. He has some fight in him, but the moment two enemies team up on him, he's dead. That's why a needs to be clever to reach his goal. That has a charm of its own, but it's not quite te same as Corvo's "If I wanted to, you'd all be dead". Even on the stealth level, Styx just doesn't have the same options, and it shows. Styx can create clones (which themselves can set traps or hold enemies in place), has throwing knives, can throw smoke bombs, and can go invisible. That's about it.
As a result of this, you can tell that Dishonored and Styx require vastly differently strategies of attack. In Dishonored, you can be a lot bolder. You can try to kill every enemy you see and if shit hits the fan you can easily bail yourself out by slowing time or teleporting away. Even when you can't and you do get caught, you can fight your way out no problem. Styx is different. In Styx, you want to avoid confrontation as much as you can. If you don't strictly have to kill one of the guards, you shouldn't. There are so many guards in your way (so, so many; a 100 in each level is nothing) that you rarely have a good opportunity to kill one of them without being spotted by his friends. And when you do get spotted, you're fucked. You've got a few get-out-jail-free cards, but they're not something you want to be relying on. Any time you can find another way around your enemies (such as the rafters, or the sewer system), you should take it. Similarly, if you can find a way to take out an enemy without actually having to go down there yourself (such as by cutting the ropes of a chandelier), you'd better take it. Ultimately, the entire design philosophy of this game is very different. It still works for me, but I'd pick Dishonored over it anyday.
- Not something Styx should be doing, ever.
But like I said before, I do enjoy both of these games. For a large part, that's because of the level design. While Styx doesn't have a teleport like Corvo does, he can certainly climb like the best of them. Both games here are stuffed to the brim with alternative routes to your target, and it's glorious. If you look carefully enough, you can always find a better way to cross that room full of enemies. My favorite is going invisible and get myself up into the rafters as soon as possible. Exploration is kind of my thing, so these games are perfect for me.
So those are my quick thoughts on my two stealth games of late. A question though: Would you be interested in a semi-professional review of Styx: Master of Shadows? It seems that Destructoid never reviewed this game, but it deserves a look from stealth-game fans. It also features the same world and lore as Of Orcs and Men, which Destructoid did review way back when. I don't usually write actual reviews for the Cblogs, but I've been considering writing a few; however I'd only consider reviewing games for which it's relevant to do so. For example, I reviewed Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright when it was out in Europe but not yet in the US and Destructoid's review wouldn't see the light of day until it got stateside. (interestingly enough, I gave it the same score as Destructoid eventually did)
Styx seems like it would fulfill my 'relevant' criterium, so let me know if this is something you'd like to read.
* - Konami is dead, long live Ko-no wait, fuck Konami. Titannel offers a retrospective of a company fallen from greatness.
P - Ask RobertoPlankton some questions for the next PStoid. Here's one: why are you so awesome?
A - Is there new hope for non-gritty games on Xbox and PS? Is the Ratchet & Clank movie proof that Sony isn't all 'mature' all the time? I hope so, that would finally give me a reason to buy one.
E - You can ask GajKnight everything. Here's one: Why are you so GajKnight?
F - PS FNF + Bodily fluids. I don't know either.
R - Here's a review by ScreamAid for the game SciAnts, an Android game that is...apparently not shitty? Well whaddayaknow.
F - Rudorlf just made me want to see the new Mad Max despite the fact that I didn't know the first thing about Mad Max until I read this blog.
May you always find water and shade
5:54 PM on 05.14.2015
Nowadays, when I go to the forums, I'm really only interested in checking the anime thread. For the past week, the Community Discourse thread has become the Community Train Wreck thread. Well, it is a thread made for discourse, so I suppose that's to be expected. But it's become especially toxic lately. I don't even know why I bother checking in anymore when really I should just go straight to Animetoid and show Browneye that yes, I am watching Shirobako diligently and giving it its due.
I've had so little time to promote some good cblogs. Luna is the one who usually pushes on improving the community aspects, but grad night is starting up again plus I have a vacation planned with my girlfriend over the weekend and lots of homework to push out before the final days come upon me. In fact, after these caps go up, I need to take my car over to check on the tire pressure, which is important for 200 mile road trips.
It also surprised me to come home from a midnight closing shift to find my old bedspring mattress unceremoniously changed to a memory foam mattress. No warning whatsoever from my parents, just peace out bedsprings, here's memory foam. I have nothing against memory foam, as its supposed to be better than springs. But I need a few days to really wear it in since foam is so goddamn firm. For a week straight I've been waking up early, denied a sleep in,and it'll continue like this, in addition to a hard mattress until Monday. I'm running on fumes and need a nap but I have the fucking sky falling around me. Even during my vacation with my girlfriend at her parents' place, I'll be sleeping on the couch.
So I'll be glad to get at least one FP sorted out for the weekend.
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/RedHeadPeak/how-historically-accurate-is-the-witcher-part-2-292102.phtml][b]*[/b] - How Witcher is history?[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/TheDustinThomas/error-machine-podcast-51-luke-s-burning-bra-292086.phtml][b]P[/b] - Luke burns his bra and Dustin has to deal with it being the title of his podcast[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/ShadeOfLight/here-are-some-answers-now-ama--292087.phtml][b]E[/b] - Shade answers his own questions[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Lord+Spencer/wii-reviews-resident-evil-the-umbrella-chronicles-292092.phtml][b]R[/b] - Spence dog reviews Resi Evil: Umbrella Chronic[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Titannel/the-process-music-that-inspired-the-story-nvgr--292060.phtml][b]M[/b] - Titanny shows us some music that's helped get his juices flowing[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/FlanxLycanth/what-newbie-trigger-happy-mod-is-deleting-my-comments--292068.phtml][b]F[/b] - Flanx is on a rampage[/url]
1:17 PM on 05.12.2015
What have I been up to, somebody asked me? If you checked out my last blog it was getting through my backlog a little by taking a break from the hottest releases. Sadly it's a bit painful to do it this way with games like Bloodboner and Mortal Kombat X out but I must press on. Hopefully when I'm satisfied with how many back logged games I went through (honestly I'll settle for like a third of the list...) it'll be time for Uncharted 4, which I'm heavily going to get into (competitive, might start up my youtube channel again, etc.) and by then the first two games I mentioned plus others I want like the Wither (oh god the Witcher... :( ) will be piss cheap which will make this piss cheapskate happy!
Anyway, first up on the list is the Grand Theft Autos, namely GTA's II, III, Vice City, and San Andreas all of which I have sadly yet to beat. GTA II I never got that far into simply because I was young and not very good at it. Maybe I made it to a tenth of the game I don't know. GTA III I never had until recently and then I simply put it down before I finished the game (bad move!), for Vice City the last mission glitched or something and wouldn't be triggered so I am practically done with that one, maybe I will play through the whole game or better yet save time for others by just seeing if the last mission feels like letting me play it since all this time has passed, and lastly San Andreas, that game is just too damn long so I also put that down, shame I had just made it into the city too.
It's painful to look at this list for me, on top of which I would like to pick up and play Vice City Stories at some point as that's the only one left for me to play, except for the original two GTAs and GTA Advance as I have no interest in them. I decided to skip GTA II for now because it's hard as balls and I'm stuck on some ridiculous mission and instead am playing III. Now I don't want to talk too much about it as I'm saving that for this month's Band of Bloggers which is conveniently allowing me to talk about Grand Theft Auto but I will say it has been good to return to the old Liberty City. I love me some modern Liberty City but this is pretty nostalgic and fascinating. Sadly the radio stations in this game are way too underwhelming for a GTA but what are you gonna do, I'll have to settle for indistinguishable drum and bass station MSX, reggae station K-Jah and the theme from Scarface on Flashback FM. Occasionally I'll turn on Chatterbox to hear Lazlow's annoying voice but delightful satire. Don't think I'm familiar with the talk station from this game yet so it's all fresh to me. Had this been LCS or GTA:IV that'd be a whole different story I practically have those talk stations memorized.
Man I'm so glad that Grand Theft Auto exists, and that I get to talk about it. All of the games that I've played from that series have been so delightful it's basically worth it to me to have the market oversaturated with crime sandbox games that are ultimately an inferior experience. Yeah, I love me some Saints Row or Sleeping Dogs but none of them really compare to what you get in Grand Theft Auto. It's come a long way and they continue to deliver the quality that I expect, that I have come to love since the first time I played as Gecko and drove over lines of Elvis impersonators (sorry Elvis!) and had a bald mustache guy scream "Kill Frenzy!" at me and waited still so the character would start smoking. All of it is just awesome. Keep it up guys! Though maybe the next Grand Theft Auto should be set in a new place or are you forever going to return to areas that you've already explored which is ok in its own right but how about a revision/modern version of the city from GTA II?
Now on to today's Recaps!
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Kyle+MacGregor/a-gardevoir-for-all-seasons-291961.phtml][b]*[/b] - So Kyle has to launch into a rap career I am just now realizing... Go read his poem about Gardevoir and decide for yourself, should his name be MC Gardevoir or Lil Gardy?[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Lord+Spencer/grow-a-thicker-skin-dustructoid-and-bring-back-hoffmann-291918.phtml][b]*[/b] - I mostly agree that opposing (key word:) viewpoints shouldn't be suppressed simply because they make you uncomfortable but if you look at the things Hoffman was doing it's kinda not a surprise this happened which I think even Lord Spencer realizes it to an extent. Buddy, he was breaking rules it isn't out of line to penalize him for it. Anyway topsauced it simply because it's very relevant, pressing & etc.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/SpielerDad/sharks-can-thank-sega-for-their-two-penises-291942.phtml][b]*[/b] - Makes me sad with all this Sega news but if they're serious about "taking a breather" for a few then maybe we can get back to those Sega glory days, ... probably not though.[/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Solar+Pony+Django/ask-the-pony-boy-anything--291939.phtml][b]D[/b] - AMA with Solar Pony Django![/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/StriderHoang/salutations-this-is-strider-ama-291952.phtml][b]D[/b] - AMA with a ninja master![/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/TheKodu/preview-bff-or-die-291944.phtml][b]P[/b] - TheKodu does a preview video/written blog for BFF or Die, still better than Johnny Burnes![/url]
[url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/ScreamAid/locom-review-2d-water-physics-fun--291958.phtml][b]R[/b] - ScreamAid reviews flash to play game, Locom![/url]
No fails go home guys! I leave you with this: mind somewhat blown.