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Member since: 2008-02-16 20:20:55
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  • DTOID TORONTO NARP CALLED OFF

      12:08 PM on 08.01.2010




    Sorry everyone, but I've just arrived at the groove bar to find out the guy in charge of the event isn't going to be here to run it. I'm really disappointed and I want to apologize to all the Dtoiders who were planning on coming out today. I'm here for at least the next hour or so to catch anyone coming. If you do come, look for the dejected guy with the laptop - that's me.

    The Technoshack - My Setup

      4:14 PM on 01.06.2010


    In this, the time of Cold Weather and Soggy Socks, I decided to keep myself busy by doing whatever it takes to save myself venturing outside into the Cold, so I took a bunch of pictures :D
    It would be easy to discount this little unassuming shack as a toolshed at first glance. But oh, what goodies do lie inside this tiny room! Venture with me, and I will give you a tour of:

    THE TECHNOSHACK



    Inside is my Man-Cave, forged by pure force of will into the very place I sit writing this post. It may be small, and it may not have plumbing (this sucks,) but it's home, dammit.



    The rear wall is for television and console games.



    The side wall is all fancy Arts, which I stare at while drinking expensive bourbon and wonder about things all pensive-like. "But what's that in between" your asking.. Well, I shall indulge.



    Why, the Photo-Booth pictures from PAX, of course!
    There my fellow Canadian (turned Aussie) TheGHost, Kind-of-a-big-deal Hollie aka Phoenix Blood, Simmy (whom I owe almost enough money to fill a bathtub,) the Artist Mikey (Who drew the shirt you're about to see), The Jerk theGoldenAvatar (<3,) A real Stand Up Guy Suff0Cat, The grammer Nazi himself Halfleft (sorry we collectively turned you to the drink,) my roomie circa pax '08 McSnow, and the Beast known as Kryptonite, who is on the second set of pictures (Congrats on the Marriage BTW.)


    Here's the business end of it all, my rig. Primarily a PC Gamer (I dual boot, so get off my case with your LOL MAC shit,) I have this bad mother effer because I'm trying to get into Video editing as a career.


    Mikey drew this awesome shirt I had as many people sign at Fancy Suit night as I could, See if you can spot the Penis Coonskin graced upon its folds!


    Rio McCarthy sent me this amazing Christmas Drawing! If you're wondering about the pepper in the picture, it involves an unfortunate incident with hot pepper juice and a particular pair of itchy testes. I wrote a forum post or something about it, just search for "UNBELEIVEABLE PAIN."

    There you have it, my setup,
    Have a good night, Destructoid!
    Photo Photo Photo

    Check out this sweet Bioshock 2 swag!

      8:02 PM on 09.19.2009


    If you wern't at PAX (this happened, but I still <3 you.) then you would have missed out on an awesome display by the Bioshock 2 Guys. There's this little website you guys may have heard of called theressomthinginthesea.com. If you live under a rock, when you go there you are greeted with a pretty unassuming office you can explore, owned by a man whose daughter was abducted by the Big Sister. This awesome teaser came to life at PAX (and E3 as well, apparently.) Everything was meticulously crafted from the books on the shelves, the cork board of evidence of abductions, there was even a reel-to-reel recording machine that played some creepy monologue about a man in prison.



    Anyways, there is a puzzle that the people monitoring the booth were encouraging everyone to solve. To get an idea, imagine a picture swapping puzzle, and then put 5 sides on it, and you kind of have an image of what I had to deal with. Since I wasn't leaving the booth until I got my Johan Vasquez print that day (that's for another post,) I decided to pit my hungover brain against the puzzle at hand. It didn't take very long, once you got the basic idea behind the puzzle, but it was impressed upon me that it's mind numbing difficulty proved too much for people to handle.



    So, here are the scans of my prize, enjoy!














    Photo Photo Photo

    PAX Supplies: An Overview: No Crumbs Edition. (FAILBLOG)

      11:39 AM on 08.28.2009




    1) Gillette Fusion Hydra Gel
    Because a gamer's beard is made up of some of the worst god forsaken rocks ever to be forged in the depths of hell and is therefore a formidable opponent. But I have the answer.

    2) Body Wash
    To clean off the crabs that will no doubt take every chance they can to launch themselves at my crotch.

    3) Shampoo
    To clean off the head crabs that will no doubt take every chance they can to launch themselves at my head.

    4) Dental Travel Pack
    Because this is a vacation, a time to relax in the comfort of luxury. And nothing spells luxury quite like brushing your teeth with the dental equivalent of steel wool!

    5) Hand Sanitizer
    An acid to burn off the quarter inch layer of filth and disease accumulated by handling the same objects as thousands of other gamers.

    6) Ear Plugs
    Because sleeping on a plane is difficult without these babies.

    7) Compressed Smelly Air
    Because I care about the Ladies.
    Photo

    Why I Love Destructoid

      9:30 PM on 08.24.2009


    Photo

    The Foundation: Resident Evil and Sweet Home

      12:30 PM on 07.13.2009


    Sweet home is a very scary game. Famicom fans in America, however, never got the chance to experience its' gruesome story and frightening atmosphere because of a halted release. Mostly due to Censorship issues with the story line and what was considered really graphic gore for Famicom titles around 1989. Luckily today, fan translated roms are floating around the interwebs and give us an opportunity to experience what is considered by many as the first Survival Horror game. More importantly, door for door, Sweet Home inspired Shinki Mikami's ideas of what Resident Evil should be.


    And that is the subject of this Cblog. My attempt is to draw a direct line between the roots of a much loved game and its' probably lesser known influences. By comparing inspiration to popular franchises, we can gain a better understanding of how things have evolved from their storyline, gameplay, and more. Over the weeks, I'll go in-detail about the 'games before the blockbusters' with the likes of Fallout, Diablo, The Elder Scrolls, and on. So welcome to 'The Foundation: Examining the Roots of Todays' Popular Franchises.'



    The largest comparison to be made between Sweet Home and Resident Evil is the setting of each title. Both largely take place inside a mansion littered with monsters and puzzles to challenge our attempts at escape. Outside the walls of the veritable death traps seem unimportant while being inside the mansion, and surviving are main objectives. Shinki Mikami, in an interview about Resident Evil, said his idea was not to focus on story, or to even have a story, but to focus on conveying fear effectively. Sweet Home can be looked at as the epitome of style over story. You have very little background, initially. The team of 5 enters the mansion of a deceased painter to find a particular piece of art. The mission turns to survival once the ceiling collapses around the front door and the ghost of the painter claims 'Fools! Those who defile my home will feel my wrath!' Other information is scattered about by notes, much like the notes of the infected Professor in RE. These notes as story telling mechanics have, over time, become great additions to the main plot and don't disengage the player from the gameplay any more, making them choose to ignore the side story over the main. Examples being the audio logs of Bioshock and Dead Space.



    The opening door animations in Resident Evil have been borrowed directly from Sweet Home, to fill the otherwise black loading screen between levels. Shinki Mikami liked the idea because he said it created tension. Sweet Home did a lot of things differently for the time it was released. For one, you start with a party of 5 members, and if one of them dies, they are gone for the rest of the game. This lead to a possibility of 4 different endings, one for however many members survived till the end. The endings vary depending on how many of your teammates you rescue in RE as well. Each of the 5 characters only had 2 inventory slots, a mechanic now looked at as a staple for defining what a Survival Horror game is. You would find yourself constantly backtracking to pick up items you didn't think you would need for puzzles later on. Resident Evil remedied this with the weapons Cache at each of the Save Rooms where you could store weapons, keys, and puzzle items. The puzzles in Resident Evil are clearly connected by it's predecessor, let's just say you will be pushing things around. A lot. As games evolve, developer-made obstacles and how they are overcome evolve as well, but at times, still fall back on collecting an item in one place and using it somewhere else.

    For a game with 8-bit graphics, based on a movie, Sweet Home conveys fear with a technique that holds up to modern games. You won't find dogs jumping through windows for cheap scare, but the presentation in design and from orchestration is very ambient and tense. Particular cut scenes are genuinely creepy, I won't go into those because I would rather you play the game through and experience them yourselves. Watch the video below only if you want to see what I think of as the most gory presentation in 8-Bits since Hitlers Exploding Head. Spoiler Alert as this scene occurs over half-way through the game.


    If Sweet Home the film was never made, or was a commercial failure, or was simply never considered to be optioned into a game, the Resident Evil we know today might be a very different game than it is. So for that, Sweet Home, I salute you.

    Thanks, AgentBBJ for suggesting Sweet Home, and if any of you have lesser known games that inspired today's big players, post them in this thread Thanks!

    Regarding E3: Left 4 Dead 2 Has Me Wet In The Pants

      6:53 PM on 06.01.2009




    Left for Dead 2 is probably the biggest announcement of day one at E3 as far as Iím concerned. But Iím apprehensive at the same time excited..
    Itís a fine line a zombie game walks to maintain atmosphere and pacing, in representing the tension of insurmountable odds, like being in a tank slowly filling with water from the underside. If thereís one thing in the new announcement that really could break what Valve has done so well on itís giving the common infected a new ability. Before reading more into the article at Rock Paper Shotgun I was annoyed to say the least - one of the great attractions of left 4 dead 1ís common infected was that not only are there just a fucking obscene amount at any given time, but they were deadly en mass while indistinguishable from one another. And then someone figured to change things up and turn some of them fireproof. As if god saw fit to grant these people invulnerability so that in death, they could ruin a Survivors day a little better than the average Zombie. In reality though, it looks like Valve has taken what Iíve just mentioned and addressed the concern by placing fireproof infected in Hazmat Suits. Presumably worn by a bitten human before turning, the bright yellow suits do well enough to explain fire retardancy. Also making them stick out like a sore thumb, and unless used very, very carefully a bulky yellow suit running at me will break immersion in ways that will make me rage in ways I have never fathomed.



    But for the sum of itís parts LFD2 looks like it will be successful improving on an already winning formula. The AI Director has been improved by introducing a feature that will change the paths for the survivors must take to reach the next safe house depending on their performance. In one example, depending on if the AI Director feels you've been doing poorly or spectacularly well, a graveyard portion of a map will be either a single corridor affair or a deadly maze of catacombs.
    The sequel is set in Southern America, which has a lot of potential for very nice maps, and portions will be played in Full Daylight, changing the intensity from the bright outdoors to pitch black interiors. Random weather has been introduced by the AI Director, another nice cosmetic addition. Death animations have been amped up as well as the Gore Factor. Melee weapons are now a part of gameplay also.



    Not much has been said about the new infected other than the teaser video where we saw The Charger and a change to the Witchís mechanic. Kind of a mix between a special infected and a tank, the charger has one huge arm used to shoulder slam the survivors around, damaging them, but not instantly incapacitating. In the daylight maps, the Witch is now up and about, wandering a path given to her by the AI Director. It was difficult enough to try and find an alternate route around the Witch in L4D1 but to have her suddenly turn the corner in front of you is going to cause some shitted pants. A new gameplay mode is going to be announced eventually, (Wild Speculation) possibly a last stand type of scenario with checkpoints and barricades? (/Wild Speculation)

    Two publications have already had a hands on with one of the campaigns and even spoken about L4D2 with developer Chet Faliszek.

    Burn Zombie Burn Impressions

      3:17 PM on 03.27.2009


    Sometimes itís great to be able to turn off the brain for a while and enjoy something where thinking is optional. Burn Zombie Burn is a lot like that. All the great things about arcade enjoyment, and you can keep the quarters! And believe me, if this were a cabinet at the old Sharkade Iíd have burned through a small fortune on it already.


    Please insert 25c to continue

    Burn Zombie Burn is purely based on scoring points and massacring zombies by the horde with an array of firearms, bats, and lawnmowers. The art style is cartoonish and your protagonist (if you want to use a term usually reserved for things with a medicorum of storyline) is Bruce, a kind of characture somewhere between Elvis and Duke Nukem. Donít go looking towards this title for itís depth, but I digress.


    Not Exactly the Wanderer from SOTC

    In as much as a person can enjoy a game for itís story line and how immersive or involved you become, the way that Burn Zombie Burn does itís thing makes it a great game in itís own right.

    For ten bucks youíre definitely not going to be dissapointed.

    This blog is a repost in Memory of Vexed_Alex

    In Memory Of Vexed Alex

      3:16 AM on 03.27.2009


    Today marks a moment I personally would never want to announce... But as it is, here I am, announcing something most painful to me and a great burden to the rest of the community. Because today marks the day we've lost a great member of the community, an active Destructoid member since the days I first started lurking this site. As some of the regular IRC members knew, Vexed_Alex has a drinking problem, one that we would make jokes of, but ultimatly cost him his life. We're so sorry to hear that one of Destructoid's original members have passed away.

    So, in memory of Vexed_Alex, our prayers are with you and your family,

    Happy Birthday Neiro & Destructoid

      10:38 PM on 03.16.2009


    Here's a picture I snapped of the celebrations in Miami of Mr. Destructoid looking thoughtfully towards the future.



    <3 U Guys
    Photo

    When the cat is away...

      2:00 AM on 03.15.2009



    Expanded Universes and Immersion

      11:56 PM on 03.08.2009


    Since this months theme is about "Expanded Universes" I'll argue that games and the stories or shows created about them to be a planet... Consider that a planet's pull is proportional to its mass. So, more spin-off material makes a larger, more engaging experience.
    A proper story line, and enough questions in need of answers are reasons I like turning to the serial novels etc. of an exceptional title. The trash aside (Books all for profits and catalysts to sell more copies,) good material is like a mini-history lesson, drawing a parallel line over top a story, and succeeding to expand on things that dialog, cut scenes and character development alone could fail. As a learning tool, the expanded universes bring lore and mythos to an otherwise linear experience of what you see is how things are.



    Yes the poem came before the game, but to appreciate the latter you should read it.


    I think an excellent use of expanded universes is to fill in the blanks in a story that won't fit in the main theme. It's a lot to digest, but it might also give you a better understanding of your protagonist, his companions, the enemy, and the world you have to survive in.. Breaking the immersion by a sudden unexplained circumstance, or event, is awful. It's arguably easier to succeed against an opponent you understand. Likewise the battle is all the more immersive knowing the history of the war.





    Bioshock expands it's own game with it's audio logs. This use of a storytelling device like it in other games was rare. The tapes answered questions and revealed story elements otherwise outside of the scope of Bioshock's scenarios. I only argue the tapes being too much of a crutch. I'd eat up every printed word I could find on Rapture... Bioshock 2 should be a book.





    As horrible a movie Street Fighter: TLOCL is, I can sum up the point of this post using it as an example. Because it was made, my experience of Street Fighter IV is made better because of it.
    With more backstory, you're sure to immerse yourself further in a game.








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