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THIS TIME WITH ACTUAL BLOG!
Hey please watch the video so you can laugh before we discuss some stuff brought up in said video, that will only make partial sense if you just read and then watch the aforementioned video. I’m not trying to tell you how to eat your sandwich, but the last time I tried to eat a PB&J inside out it was really sticky.
Haha! That was pretty fun, those guys should probably be showered in some combination of sluts and cash! Now let's talk about why Dragonball Z, Call of Duty, Pokemon, and a dozen other franchises who get away with yearly releases. I have taken the liberty of dressing them up as Metal Gear Solid villains, Because that series handles its sequels with respect and timing.
The lovers of. Fans are defined in the dictionary as an instrument for producing a current of air. This isn't all that different from what we mean by the word in reference to pop culture. In fact we can replace only one word in the definition and get our intended term. An instrument for producing a current of hype.
Hype surrounds these consistent releases before they are even announced. Every newsbit of the next Assassin's Creed or the next Battlefield, gets hundreds of thousands of people desperately looking for more. There is an endless list of theories, hopes, and fears posted for the assumed next title, before most have had a chance to even play the recent one. We are instinctively bound to hunger for more of what we enjoy. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, but it can control us.
If humans could be defined singularly, it is to consume. Food, air, we even hunger for social connection. We hunger for more than we can ever hope to devour, our eyes truly outpace our stomachs. Downloadable Content has won. It isn't going anywhere because the snackable map packs and costumes tide the the consumer over until the next big thing. Desiring more of what we enjoy seems only natural, but slowly it defines us.
No, not a fan of Persona. Your fandom becoming core to your life. Anyone who will go to the lengths to dress up as the character, or tattoo the logo to their body, obviously loves the culture so deeply it becomes defining. They have chosen a theme to help tell others what they are at their front. These diehards sit at the center of the yearly cycle. They are often the greatest perpetrators of the infection.
It oozes out of the already convinced, your friends and loved ones demanding you to enthrall yourself in their new obsession. Their excitement for the entertainment rubs off and convinces you to try it, and potentially turn you into a fan. The circle starts anew.
It takes a multiple massive derailments of one of these franchises to kill it. Both CoD Ghosts and AC Unity were abhorred not a year ago for their failures. However they continued to sell, and their next installment will as well. Even in failure the games are pushed into becoming pop culture, drawing us to be apart of the much larger world that seems obsessed with this content. The next game is already in discussion, before the current one is even fixed. Who can blame us for falling into this restless cycle, we yearn to be a part of a much larger creation. We wish to understand our fellow man, to relate to their passions. We have to believe the failures of today can grow into the amazement of tomorrow. The perfect moment can be replicated or even improved upon. Without this hope our lives lose meaning. Either way millions of us promise our money to the company's next installment before even a whisper of it is explained.
So is it the publisher's fault? Are EA and Ubisoft the monsters we sometimes paint them as? Perhaps their own fears of falling into irrelevance drive them. If even bad press is press, then why not push the game out early, buggy, and faulted? The hungry buyers will consume every dripping bit of the next title without so much as a resistive outcry. Even through bad reviews and endless criticism, the title will often sell in name alone. Why trust in the unknown when we know exactly what pedigree we're getting with our favourite annual treat? There is the reason I try to play so many indie titles, and maybe you should too. It's hard to let the hype ruin the unknown and new. It's also hard to be unreasonably let down by it.
It's the best I can do.
Destructoid used to have a pretty cool little news show. We went to school to learn how to run a news station. Now I pull wire, and Ian is a mechanic, and we're trying to prove we didn't waste those formatitive years of our lives. This is my five inch dictation, which I rambled about at the tail end of Neiro's most recent blog. Hopefully I won't anger the recapper gods too much by just having these few sentances and this video.
While you're there watch some things about indie games on my channel, maybe even subscribe. We're gonna see if we can do one of these a week but no guarantees if you all tell me we blow ass in the comments.
We totally blow ass, just don't be such a dick and actually say it.
Oh and I completely started to play Fallout new vegas and be part of the merry band'o bloggers, but then I played alot of random greenlight stuff instead. His name was Unbuntu and he mostly threw spears, it would have been racist but he was asian. Maybe I'll go try to wrap that up.
(This started out as a reply to sonic429's blog, so go read and upvote him first. http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/sonic429/how-long-does-a-game-need-to-be-lengthgate-287970.phtml)
I want you to think of your most favourite game.
For me the answer is an instinctive response, Final Fantasy Tactics. This game had sprawling customization, a plot as thick as gravy, and something I can describe as endless replayability. You can play through the game with a million different party compositions. 20 Character Jobs that can intertwine on a five point skill system. Every enemy monster is recruitable and unique. Dozens of story characters each with their own backstory and reason for existing, and UNIQUE character class outside of the shared trees. If I was lost on an island with a solar panel powered handheld device that could play one game, I would say FFT every single time. I could literally play it in new ways untill I died.
But that isn't why it is my most favourite game.
It is my most favourite game because there is a fantastic forward moving story that can be digested at whatever speed the player decides. FFT also encourages playing it however the hell you want. This is how a story with a fourty hour minimum playthrough keeps a game fun, at least for me. I traded a chicken for it at a flea market.
The Order 1886, which a year ago had Xbox owners turning away in shame, and Playstaion owners shouting as if from the heavens, has been recieving some flack lately. It seems a five hour campaign feels a little thin in the tooth for sixty dollars. I'm not here to argue what anyone's hard earned money is worth, I just want to do some theorycrafting on what a defines a good game.
How long does it take to normally "beat" your favourite game?
How long did you play it?
Not too long ago games weren't "beat". The Endless classics like Pacman, Galaga, and Donkey kong didn't get "beat", they just eventually beat you. (Don't anyone start giving me shit about bluescreening them you didnt know anyone could do that untill fistful of quarters.) Quarter droppers had to be hard, thats how they kept people playing them, but they also had to be fair paced. You can't make a customer feel robbed by dying too early, but they'll quickly get bored playing without challenge for too long.
Let's take this philosphy to some modern games that I'm willing to bet a handful of you said are your favourites. Hotline Miami, Last of Us, and League of Legends.
According to Howlongtobeat.com it takes a little over five hours to beat Hotline Miami. Someone out there in our great big world speedran it in just over thirtyfive minutes. I have three hours in it and I'm not even half way through. It is a Fun game, and I got it for three bucks on a steam sale.
Last of Us takes most people around fifteen hours to beat. I have a little over fourty on my save. This was by playing through it on two difficulties, and dabbling with the multiplayer. I picked it up day one for sixty bones. It is a Fun game.
League of Legends matches take an average thirty four minutes. The game is truly free, and in the last six years i've logged around two thousand matches played. That's Sixty Eight Thousand Minutes played. I've (optionally) spent just over three hundred dollars on pallete swaps and costumes for my internet action figures. It is a Fun game.
Hotline Miami uses it's difficulty to recreate that coin drop arcade mentality, but on an ADHD scale. Last of Us relies on a combination of film style plot flow, with Peak/valley-stealth/action to get people to play. Fun Fact fifteen hours is actually a little long in comparison to a season of a T.V. show and many gamers still beat Last of Us within a week of purchase. League of Legends pits up to ten players against each other in half hour sized doses of almost baseball style gameplay. These little spurts of intense action spread out over a game that revolves around reading a map have helped turn it into a behemoth of a playerbase. Having your core gameplay decisions based around habit formation and a social multiplayer model didn't hurt either.
But now we get to The Order 1886, which promises to serve up around five hours of intense steampunk werewolf slaying action. With no multiplayer or deep sense of customization, and enough QTEs to sigh at, once excited fans are now questioning what they've preordered.
Perhaps by comparison to our peers we see our faults.
Gears of war seems to give us similiar gameplay with an eight hour campaign and a beefy multiplayer. The Underworld Series of movies offers six hours and fourty some odd minutes of werewolf killing action. If one wanted to argue Just for the sake of time played versus cost efficiency; watching the Underworld series of movies while playing Gears is going to end up a more full experience than what 1886 has put forth.
But it shoudn't be about time played or money spent. It should be about time enjoyed. If The Order could have me replaying the campaign on multiple difficulties, a multiplayer or co-op, or even just being so good that I can't put it down, Then I would drop the asking price. I'll use games like Asura's Wrath as a defense to that statement. Even at only seven hours to beat, Asura didn't have me regretting my purchase. I can play that game all day.
So let us not fall into the trap of whining about time to beat, or paying sixty dollars for something you could obviously just rent. Lets discuss our Time Enjoyed of these titles. I find it a much stronger measurement of a game's worth and after all
Here's a game I can't make a video of because it is for phones and capture cards that work with hdmi mini ports are like fucking unicorns.
Monster vs Sheep.
A mobile game about hurling sheep into a monster's stomach to make him too tired to wreck the city. Yeah, why not? My inner Kaiju-fan Scottsman is as excited as the N64 kid.
Like a Blastoise Mega evolution gone wrong the Monster has risen from the ocean to destroy humanity, only by stuffing it with mutton can we ever hope to survive.
Color me excited to fork over two bucks on February 19th.
Also I play/review unknown games on youtube; because the world needed more streamers. This one is about trials and tribulations of pizza delivery in space.
Been a few weeks dtoiders, but I assure you i've been busy.
Do you know anyone that went to a "make games" school?
Not something legitimate like Digipen, or took a computer science major at a university. I'm talking the for profit colleges that spent more time building their ad, than their program. Think of the lamest commercial that ever aired on G4, yeah one of those schools.
I applied to seventeen colleges as a teen. I could have recieved scholarships to half a dozen schools for any major I wanted. I was offered a full ride to a state school for theatre, something I only did in highschool for the Ladies.
Instead I hopped on a bus, spent three weeks at Full Sail, and had the absolute luck to catch a cable airing of Good Will Hunting on a sunday afternoon. Matt Damon made me realize I was paying thousands a year to be walked through the tutorial of Game Maker. Dropped out in time to get most of my tuition back.
So I went back home and enrolled the following semester in a community college. They didn't offer any game programs, so I enrolled in their broadcasting department. Funny story, I only did that because I had myspace(back in the day) messaged every celebrity and person I ever idolized, asking what to do with my life. The only one to respond was Christopher Sabot. He politely and almost instantly informed me that I should put my nose in a book and study something technical. You can always find a job doing the technical stuff, but not the fun stuff. So with Piccolo's advice I started learning about Communications.
Have you ever taken a radio class? If you're lucky it's a has-been spreading wisdom, but mostly it'll be teacher assistants who haven't left the campus grounds in a decade telling you radio is dying and you won't be able to find a job. Cheery bunch.
Then I took a semester of classes to become a cop, because state employee benefits are top tier and my hairline was starting to look like Bruce Willis ala Diehard. I hated it.
So I went back to radio for two years, working odd jobs and sucking at the sweet tit of the pell grant for as long as it would let me. Eventually I lost all drive to go to school, moved to New Jersey, planted a bunch of trees, shoveled some snow, met a girl, and brought her back with me to my home state of the good ol' North Carolina.
Local community college starts offering game design programs and my cooking job only works me on the weekends. Two semesters of that and I realized I coudn't script for shit and my art makes first year Penny Arcade look like Picasso. I can make some amazing french toast by this time however.
Back in broadcasting, managed a Gamestop, intern at Facebook, some random classes for fun, and now I'm a licensed contract electrician for a huge security company. Yeah I don't know how that happened either, but such is life.
The issue of it all, is I am not in love with what I do. It pays the bills, the job has some fun moments, but 90% of it is pulling wire in unfinished malls, or driving all the way to Kentucky because a client unplugged the goddamn sensor a second time and the wire needs to be fastened down.
So an old radio school buddy and I started doing let's play/review/promotion stuff for indie games. For the first time in a long time I'm in love with something that can remotely be called work.
You can find a dozen videos for every AAA game out there, but so many little gems get lost in the wash. I can vouch how hard it is to make so much as a Mario clone, and my buddy Ian has a voice that makes our videos irresistable. He also knows how to plug the mic in, which is a big plus, as I never passed that class.
So here is a Youtube video that may be all I can contribute to the gaming industry. I'd like to romanticize that this some grand project. Really it's me and an old friend choosing to play some unknown titles, and thinking we're funny enough to show it to the world. In the meantime some gems get noticed for what they are. Little stories by people who had the drive and passion to do more than I ever could, and some of them are damn fun to boot.
P.S. I'm Tyler Charles Dixon, but my friends call me asshole and you fine people of Destructoid can continue calling me Charlie, or Asshole, or Tyler. I respond to most when I'm pulling cat5 in your local mall.
This isn't a top ten list. Every single one of these shields is the coolest, most protective, blockiest best buckler it can be. A buckler is a small shield, here are some other cool words for shields. Note, dropping these words can get you some mad fly respect.
First Number One Shield.
The Bulwark of Azzinoth
There are three classes in World of Warcraft that use shields, and all of them want this baby. You wanna know how cool this shield is? It came out four expansions ago, and it is still the number one transmog for shields. Look at those spikes. Nobody wants to hit a dude covered in 9 pylons of goddamn. It is also just flat out huge, that is an 8 foot mancow playing peekaboo behind that portable wall.
Second Number One Shield.
Everybody knows this shield. A variant of this beast has kept the reincarnation of courage safe for almost three decades now. Best part about this shield is that it dosent burn up. Link strait up jumps into a volcano and that sweet hylian steel is like no problem bro, I ain't no pussy deku shield!
Third Number One Shield
Whoa! That shield looks like a girl. Back the junk up, that shield is a robot girl. She may look like a gatling gun toting blonde, but she was soley designed to defeat shadows and defend the S.E.E.S. team. Not convinced? Check out her persona, Palladion Athena.
Yeah thats right! This girl is such a shield that her subconsious representation of her inner strength is that of a shield toting shadow destroyer. Aigis is a number one shield and best Persona 3 lady.
Fourth Number One Shield
Braum's Winter Door.
A personal favourite of mine in League of Legends. Braum makes supporting your allies a man's game. His brawny physique isn't wasted on swinging axes. The Winter Door just flat out blocks all enemy ranged attacks. In a metagame where the point is to get your ranged character as huge as possible, Braum kindly tells them to get blunked. Nice ult ezreal, would be a shame for someone to negate it entirely.
Fifth Number One Shield
The Seahawks Defensive Line
They're number one for a reason, baby! 12th man or not, these gents make neon green look cool. Best check them balls Patriots, they're about to get smacked down. Football!FOOTBALL!!FOOTBALL!!!
Sixth Number One Shield
Captain America's Shield.
You ever been so patriotic as to beat a dude to death with a disc of metal resembling the flag of your homeland? Made from not one, but two indestructible imaginary alloys. Stars and Stripes will strait up defend the U.S. of A. and throw this frisbee right through your communist (and/or) nazi skull.
Seventh Number One Shield
The Nvidia Shield.
I don't own one of these, because I'm just a poor boy from a poor family, but please don't save me from the monstrosity that is the future of portable gaming. Master/Slave computing proves that with enough cash, You can play Crysis on the subway. I know we don't have hoverboards yet, but this kinda makes up for it.
Eighth Number One Shield
The Meat Shield.
Guess what idiot, you're so dead your team mates are shooting your corpse. I thought teabagging was the pinacle of shooter insults, but being hoisted and used as a bullet sponge from the guy that just teabagged you, is taking it to a whole other level.
Ninth Number One Shield
The Fire Emblem
Also known as the Shield of Seals, this plot device has been integral in killing more than a few baddies in its day. Although it needs five gems, strait up Thanos style, to unlock the true potential, once it does, even Marth starts to look masculine. Evil Dragons beware, this stalwart defender of the royal crown is about to make you shit yourself.
Tenth Number One Shield
Anyone that can withstand Kathy Griffin for four years, has the durability of a diamond. Nuff said.