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6:07 PM on 10.07.2009

Dim's Film: Analysis of Rebound [NVGR]

In my last blog, which I posted approximately three seconds ago, I posted all three parts of my film Rebound which I wrote in mid-July at the very beginning of the Summer Holidays and started filming soon after I got back to school.

The film is heavily influenced by my own life. While I will try to avoid going into too much detail here (as I mean, who comes to a blog on Destructoid to hear my pathetic emo whining? Come to think of that, who comes to my blog on Destructoid anyway?), I shall try and give you an overview. I met a girl. She was bad news from the start, there were constant rumours about her, but I loved her - was infatuated. However, I got hurt. Over and over again. And over time, it seemed like she was disinterested in my. I tried to better myself so that she would love me - I had always been on the large side, so I began to lose weight for her. But still, I was always having to go to her, she would never come to me. After a while of distancing myself from her, she dumped me on my birthday.

Thus began my long period of depression. My friends were not there for me. I had never had a truly close group of friends, so it figures as much. But even the people I thought I was close to weren't there. However, after a long time (and I mean a long time), I tried to reach out to someone. And little by little, I made more friends. And now, finally, I have the closest, most amazing friends I have ever had and am the happiest I have ever been. Still, however, my low self esteem continues, as does the poor image of myself.

That is the story in very brief.

During this depression, I did not attempt to make any more films. I had practically new friends. Who would I make them with? However, I decided last Summer that I would write another script - and as self-indulgent as it might be, I shall do one based on my life. And that is this film.

REBOUND ANALYSIS
The film starts with my character, Edward, telling a joke. As you may notice, Edward's hair is a lighter colour than it is later in the film and is curly. He also wears glasses. This line is meant to show how Edward used to be, prior to his relationship with Alissa. The person laughing as his joke, originally, was Simon, but the person playing Simon (Edward's best friend) did not turn up on the day we filmed this scene so I had to improvise. The way Edward and Alissa first meet eyes is how I remember meeting eyes with my ex-girlfriend. Everything seemed to slow down and get brighter, more beautiful, and it felt like we were the only two people in the world.

The music playing in the background is "She Moves in Her Own Way" by the Kooks. This upbeat song fits with the initial mood of the scene and then I believe it shows some bitter irony later when things start to go sour. The line spoken by Girl #1 is meant to show the public opinion of Alissa, that Edward, although having no prior girlfriends, could do "so much better than her". Christine's line "Oh my God! Did you hear what she did!?" is meant to show the number of rumours there are about Alissa, and what she might or might not have done in the past.

Edward's worst fears are realized when Alissa admits whatever she had done was true. But with a simple "I love you", Edward's fears are quelled as he is far too in love. Or is he just infatuated? He is introduced to Alissa's "friend" Steven, who she soon describes as "fit", immediately making Edward feel inferior. Alissa then demands they "cool it off" for a bit. Edward waits patiently for Alissa to return, but as soon as she does, she dumps him, leaving Edward puzzled and alone.

I used very fast cutting here and re-using the same two shots just changing the characters and time to try and convey a lot of information about their relationship in a short amount of time, as this is only the introduction and the main portion of the film is about how Edward deals with the aftermath of the relationship, not the relationship itself.

The next scene re-introduces you to Christine, who is now Edward's best friend Simon's "homework buddy". It would have been much better if Simon was also introduced in the scene prior to this but whatever - nothing I can do about it now, is there? Here, you learn that Simon does not really like Edward any more. The scene ends by zooming on into an old birthday card from Edward to Simon, Edward proclaiming Simon and him as "Best Mates Forever".

This then fades into a scene of Edward alone in his dark room. His appearance has changed and he now wears all black clothes. He does numerous activities alone, such as drawing, playing video games and exercising, continuing to try and lose weight. It is in this scene you are first introduced to one of a few running gags, this being Edward's obsession with Pokémon and presumed Butterfree fetish, as he has named his Butterfree "Alissa". You see he is drawing a picture of Alissa. He steps back and observes his wall before putting sticking the picture on it. There is then a wider shot, revealing that the wall is plastered with pictures he has drawn of Alissa, revealing his total obsession with her.

Edward then decides to do something. He visits Steven's house and confronts him. While contemplating Steven's muscles, he imagines Steven naked, showing Edward's slight homosexual tendencies. Upon finding out that Steven and Alissa did a lot more than just kiss, Edward lunges at Steven, only to be thrown out of his house.

This next little scene is something we shot on the last day of filming. While people might just find it randomly funny, it is actually a clever in-joke referring to the first film I made (if you disregard True Warriors, True Warriors 4 and Assassination, which you should. And everything else I made prior to Dirge of the Dead). The film was called "Chase" and was pretty much a chase/fight between two guys, as one of them owed the other money. The first line in the film is "Have you got the money?" to which the other would reply "What money?" However, Edward, still very pissed off and upset, replies with a very frank "F*** YOU!". The person who asks for the money, my good friend Mus who I accidentally forgot to put in the credits, stared in Chase but was the person who owed money, instead of the person demanding it.

Edward decides to do something extreme, as he does not know what to do next, so he buys a can of larger and a packet of cigarettes. However, while walking to the river, he runs into his "best friend" Simon and his girlfriend, Christine. Simon decides to take this opportunity to let Edward know exactly how he feels by plastering a sign reading "emo fag" on his back. Originally, I wrote this scene so that you did not see what the sign said, and only found out later when at the river. However, while shooting I found it much funnier this way.

Edward pours explains exactly how he has been, both to Simon and Christine's shock (something I enjoy doing to those I want to freak out. They asked, didn't they?). When Christine is re-introduced, Edward immediately says that "in some ways, this is all [her] fault". This shows how ridiculous Edward is as a character, willing to blame everyone but himself for the situation he is in. I believe this line is one of the strongest examples of my own self parody in this film. Christine does not react well to this and is immediately carted off by Simon, who whispers "depressed twat" under his breath while leaving. There is a slight good in this scene as Simon's bag magically disappears half way through, and can be seen in the bottom left corner as they walk away. Little do you know that half way through this scene, the film switched to an alternate dimension where everything was EXACTLY the same, apart from the fact that Simon put his bag down. Or something.

The day we filmed the next scene was very windy, so unfortunately there is a fair bit of wind blowing in the camera - we even had to dub two lines over! Edward sits down by the river and watches it for a bit before pulling out the contents of his pocket. He tries to drink the larger, but is taken aback by its strong taste and spits it out. He then tries to light a cigarette, but he cannot get the thing to light. He swears loudly, and suddenly a girl appears next to him, asking if his mother ever "[taught] him not to swear?". We had to dub in this line.

Edward tries to ignore her but the girl continues to pester him, even calling him "Ed" while he insists his name "Is Edward". Both of Edward's replies are taken from another shot of Edward saying the line, so I was rather impressed I was able to cut the audio together so well. Upon further pestering, he decides to open up to the girl as that is the only way she might go away. He soon finds out that the girl is a lesbian and has had sex with his ex-girlfriend (this part of her character was based on someone I met who had. My ex-girlfriend had a very busy year while I was alone). Edward proclaims that it's her fault that his "only friends are Pokémon!", yet another Pokémon reference.

Edward tries to tell a joke which falls flat, before suddenly becoming serious again and explaining to the girl how Alissa made him feel. After a brief hug, the girl gives Edward her phone number before leaving. Edward is suddenly slightly intrigued by the girl and shouts after her, asking her name. She replies "Sophie!". Edward mutters the name to himself as Sophie walks off.

This scene, and the relationship between Edward and Sophie here, is rather reminiscent of that of Tatsuhiro and Misaki's relationship early on in "Welcome to the NHK". Which I find as really odd as I hadn't even seen Welcome to the NHK before writing Rebound!

When Edward enters his room again, he turns on the light. This is meant to symbolize Sophie shining light into Edward's dark world. This scene is rather long for how little actually happens, as it is just Edward contemplating whether or not to text/ring Sophie. All I wanted to do was convey the nerves and apprehension I, and probably many other guys, have had when trying to text/call someone you like. In the end, he decides to phone her.

This next scene was one of a few "filler" scenes I wrote after I got back from holiday in Poland because I felt the script was too short. Seeing as the film still ended up at 22 minutes, 55 seconds long, it was still way too short as I was aiming for half an hour. However, what I tried to do in these scenes was develop the characters of Edward and Sophie and their unique friendship with each other. Edward discovers that Sophie is in the year below him and still at middle school, yet has had sex with Alissa (yet again based on the same girl I mentioned above). Edward is shocked to find this out and then makes a depressing comment about him self, which Sophie hits him for and continues to do so for every time he says one.

Oddly enough, one of the friends I have made since writing "Rebound" does EXACTLY the same thing to me. Funny, huh?

Edward then wonders aloud how two girls have sex (influenced by a scene in Chasing Amy, one of my favourite films ever, Kevin Smith being my favourite writer/director ever). This prompts Sophie to show him two girls one cup, which makes him throw up. In the next scene, Sophie tells Edward he "really needs to get laid". Something a girl, who I didn't know too well before, said to me after talking to me for ten minutes. I guess I just give off that kind of aura. Sophie then drags Edward to his house, so that she can start to help him.

Upon entering Edward's room, Sophie notices the wall covered in pictures Edward has drawn of Alissa. They take them down together then burn them in Edward's back garden - Edward doing the deed himself, so he can finally let go of Alissa. I originally intended the papers to start to burn, then Edward stands back and they both watch them. However, surprisingly, the papers burned REALLY well, so I decided to keep the entirety of the clip and just speed it up. I felt the film needed a little more music so I decided to add "Early Sunsets Over Monroeville" by My Chemical Romance as I feel the song captures the mood of the film perfectly. Also, I added some clips of Alissa playing in slow motion over the burning papers. To add effect.

Sophie then begins to try and help Edward truly get over Alissa. Her first step is making him wank for the first time (take into account Edward is based on me). I bought the issue of "ZOO" myself from a local One Stop and felt very uncomfortable doing so, as for one I find the over sexualization of women disgusting and disrespectful and also as the women who served me was old enough to be my grandmother.

The second step is improving Edward's clothes, as all he wears is black (based one me still). The third and final step is meeting other girls. Edward tells each of the girls a sick joke (something I have a bad habit of doing as times, especially when I am nervous) which disgusts all of the girls who each in turn slap him. I got my glasses knocked off the first time I was slapped, by the way. It hurt a lot.

Sophie, pissed off with Edward dragging his heels every time she tries to help him, walks away, leaving him on his own. A common motif of this film is the shot of someone walking away. Walking back home, Sophie runs into Alissa who is back with Steven. Alissa has trouble remembering who Edward is, even though she "ruined [his] life" which she unenthusiastically apologises for. At this moment, Edward realizes that he is "in love" (or just infatuated?) with Sophie, and tells Alissa that he "loves someone else now" before storming off in an attempt to hurt her the way she hurt him. However, after leaving, Alissa turns to Steven and asks "Who was that?".

Back at home, Edward is yet again contemplating phoning Sophie. This time, his thoughts are fast and scrambled, so I used quick cuts. After arranging his meeting with Sophie, he runs to his bathroom and for the first and only time in the film there is a soliloquy. Edward explains how he feels about her - or thinks he feels - and then simply shrugs off her homosexuality as a "phase... like a Metapod, about to evolve into a Butterfree! A beautiful Butterfree..."

Cue scene of Edward masturbating to a picture of Sophie and a Pokémon card featuring Butterfree. Pretty sick that I thought of this scene while looking around concentration camps in Poland, right?

Edward then re-enters his room and grabs a deodorant can (notice the Scott Pilgrim Volume 1? If you have not read Scott Pilgrim, I HIGHLY recommend it). He sprays himself with a lot of deodorant and, upon noticing that he may have sprayed a bit too much, says to himself "S***."

Edward meets Sophie back at the first spot they met, in front of the river. Notice how Edward is wearing different clothes, trying to impress Sophie. After an awkward silence and pause, Edward tries to kiss Sophie, who gets up and backs away. After a brief argument where Edward confesses his "love", Sophie storms away, telling Edward to "GO F*** A PIKACHU!"

Edward turns back around to face the river, trying to not cry. Originally, Simon was meant to appear here (which would make A LOT MORE SENSE, by the way), but the person who plays him was not able to make it on the last day of filming so I used Christine, as the person who plays her helped out a lot during filming (GO CHARLOTTE!). There is yet another emotional scene as Edward explains how he feels to Christine, explaining how he has "never been happy, probably never will be" and that Simon, his best friend, was not there for him when he needed him. As he begins to cry, Christine gets up and tells Edward to get over himself, before walking away, leaving Edward crying at the side of the river.

Fade to black.

The last song is "Bran-new Love Song" by The Pillows, the same band who did the soundtrack for the anime FLCL. I also used a version of "Beautiful Morning With You" for the montage with Edward near the beginning of the film.

A lot of themes in Rebound are inspired by Chasing Amy, which I mentioned before. The whole "falling in love with a lesbian" idea came from there. Also, the name "Alissa Chase" (with the main female lead in Chasing Amy being Alyssa and the film itself being CHASING Amy). The name for Edward came from Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, which I was watching at the time. The name for Simon came from the character Simon from the British comedy series "The Inbetweeners".

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Hopefully, through that VERY LONG analysis, you can see that a lot of thought and effort went into producing my latest film. Not that you have read it, of course. As I doubt anyone ever will.

I promise that my next blog will ACTUALLY be video game related. Sorry.

Dim.   read


5:44 PM on 10.07.2009

Dim's Film: Rebound (Finished) [NVGR]

Rebound is the story of a boy, Edward, dealing with the break-up from his lying, cheating ex-girlfriend who broke his heart and left him in a state of severe depression. After nine months living as a shell of his former self, he meets a new girl, Sophie, who tries to turn his life around.

I've been mentioning this film for a while (in my profile and in blog posts) and in my last blog I posted the trailer and a poster for the film, which had just been finished. I also mentioned I was planning on premiering the film at my school on a large screen. That plan crumbled so I decided that I was just going to upload the film to YouTube, because I wanted people to say it.

A few things to bear in mind while watching: I am fourteen. I am still learning. My friends are also still learning. I tried to get stuff shot ASAP, so sometimes some corners are cut slightly rough. Also, I have no external microphone with wind protection, so there are a few scenes when wind is a minor issue. Still, it's okay, right? I mean, you need to see some of the s*** on YouTube made by people far older than myself.

[embed]151311:23378[/embed]

[embed]151311:23380[/embed]

[embed]151311:23381[/embed]

PLEASE POST SOME FEEDBACK. Also, please rate, comment, and (maybe?) subscribe on YouTube. And there is always the Facebook page which I might put to some use if I actually get a good number of fans. Or something.

I am so sorry for the THIRD NVGR blog in a row. I really am. This is honestly just a shameless plug for my awful film. Oh well. I have no other way of getting out there. Sorry again. After my next blog, which shall be a thorough analysis of the film through my point of view, which shall also destroy any kind of enjoyment you might have priorly got out of it, I shall try and blog about some video games. Dissidia, Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy XIII's new trailer. Maybe.

Sorry.

Dim.   read


1:29 PM on 10.06.2009

Dim Returns! With a Poster and Trailer for his Film [NVGR]

It has been just over a month since I last blogged on Destructoid - showing how awful I was at keeping to my plan of blogging at least once a week. With returning to school, starting filming my first film in over a year "Rebound" and, of course, Dissidia: Final Fantasy I have been too busy to blog. But I return and hope to continue blogging once again! Not that anyone cares.

In my last blog, I explained a little my "history" as a "film maker" and also posted the script for my new project which I was just about to start filming, entitled "Rebound", based heavily on recent events and people I have known in my life. I strongly suggest you DO NOT read it, seeing as the film is now finished. That's right, I FINISHED it! In three weeks, no less! A tremendous achievement taking into account how long it usually takes me to complete my films!

I plan to premiere the film at my school this Thursday (emphasis on the try, seeing as I have been ill from school these past two days and have been working through a friend to try and book the theatre hall after school on the Thursday) and then upload the film to YouTube in three parts. I also want to do an in-depth director's'/writer's/producer's analysis of the film once it is on YouTube, and I shall probably post that here. I mean, what else am I supposed to do? Create my OWN blog on Blogspot or something? Pah.



Anyway, that is a poster I made to try and convey the scattered and complex thoughts of the main character, Edward. Hopefully it'll explain some of the relationships between the characters so you can go into the film with a little prior knowledge. That is assuming you WATCH the film. Which you probably won't. I would love it if you did, though.

[embed]151143:23312[/embed]

And there is a trailer I quickly pieced together earlier today. Regardless of whether I get to actually premiere the film at school on Thursday or not, I shall still upload it to YouTube then. Can't mess up my self-imposed deadlines, can I?

Please join me.

Oh, and THAT is the link to the Helium Cow Films page on Facebook. Become a fan, please? I mean, if you want... I would like fans very much... But I mean... if it would be an inconvenience... I really should start using it to upload the posters/trailers/information about upcoming films.

I plan to start filming a new films, entitled "Empty Love" this Saturday, also based heavily on events in my life. Specifically, a very funny conversation I had with my friend one Saturday morning. My goodness, I am such a whore. Using this video game blog to plug my awful films. I apologize.

I'll get back to the whole "video game" thing soon, honest. As the introduction to my blog may have suggested, I have been putting a stupid amount of time into Dissidia: Final Fantasy, which is my new obsession and I would love to blog about why it is awesome. Furthermore, the new Final Fantasy XIII trailer has been affecting me in ways I only thought girls could. I've also been putting a little time into Chrono Trigger (and I mean LITTLE. I seriously need to play that game some more). I ALSO bought a GameBoy Color - FULLY BOXED - and Link's Awakening DX, one of the three Zelda games I previously did not own. And Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is out this Friday in Europe!

I'd love to get some constructive criticism on my film. I really have put my all into this and tried my best. Certain issues came up and I had to alter certain things in it, but still... Yeah... Wow, this is a rather well structured way to end a blog, isn't it? Trailing off into ellipses...

Dim.   read


1:59 PM on 09.03.2009

Dim's Script: Rebound [NVGR]

I started making films in 2005, then gave up. I started making very short animations based on video games using 3D flash animator to create GIF files, then editing them together to make the animation. In 2006, I started making films again. In 2008, I developed a slight obsession with zombies due to the Resident Evil games and George A. Romero's "of the Dead" films and began my biggest and most ambitious project yet: a zombie film called Dirge of the Dead (turn the annotations off Dim it!) which turned out to be a plagued with problems, not the least of which being un-flexible filming times inside the school and unwilling and disruptive actors/extras.

I have not made a film since, as I have been going through a lot of problems for almost two years now. I always wanted to do a film similar to Skins (British drama series focussing on teenagers) but focussed on one character, using both comedy and heavy drama elements. Whenever I tried to generate more ideas, though, the film would always in some way end up reflecting my life and I would give up. Furthermore, none of my "friends" were interested in making a film. Or at least, not as much as I was.

However, at the beginning of the Summer Holidays, I decided to myself "Screw it, I'll just make the damn self-centred film based on myself". I planned to film it that Summer, but a lot of people were away on holiday. But now we are back at school, I plan to start filming this Monday! I would love to get some more advice on my script before I do start filming, though, so I might be able to improve the film.

I'm obviously not the best script writer in the world - I'm very confused about how to write the direction, to be honest - does it need to be more literal like a play or more emotional like a book? I've seen it done both ways and I think in the script, near the beginning, I tried with the more emotional reasoning behind the direction and then just gave up towards the end and wrote it more literal. I fail, I know. Also, I'm very confused about how to write montages. Do I write every point that I want to get in the montage in as much detail as I need there to be or do I just write generally about the entire thing?

The character of Edward is very much based on myself and is indeed a parody of myself at many times during the film. The other characters are all based on friends... and not so friends... I have known during my life, at times with several people rolled up into one character to make it more dramatic.

When reading (or IF reading, which I doubt anyone will do) please imagine the film as, well, a film. It might make it funnier.

Sorry about the download link, I just didn't know how to incorporate the script lay-out into this blog.

Please enjoy and PLEASE do not be too harsh! But I would love some advice, I really would! As I said, I plan to start filming next Monday and if everything goes speedy I may be finished in a month, maybe two, which will help as I have the half-term holidays in six weeks which I will be able to get a lot of filming done in.

Oh, and there are probably a few typos still in the script. Point any out if you do find them! As I have said before, I fail.

Dim.   read


10:10 AM on 09.03.2009

Dim's Impressions: Final Fantasy X (Second Take)

I first played Final Fantasy X two years ago, and while I try to be as positive as I can be in life, I always end up complaining about the game. Lack of detail in the NPCs, bad lip-syncing, sometimes poor voice acting, linear world map etc. It's rather an odd thing to do consider the game is my fifth favourite Final Fantasy game, and I adore the series. It would definitely make it into my top 20 games of all time, if not top 10.

I made a lot of new friends this Summer Holiday, and one of them (Lee), while not having played Final Fantasy X, adores the song "To Zanarkand" which he was shown by one of his friends he met online. A lot of the time when we hang around in town, he will steal my iPod and open up the Dissidia soundtrack just to listen to the song. However, yesterday, I finally invited him round my house so he can start playing the game and I decided that it would be a fantastic opportunity to take a second look at the game.



For an early PS2 game, the graphics, especially on the main characters, look amazing. However, as I mentioned before, the graphics of the NPCs are far less detailed and it creates a huge disconnect in the game. The lip-syncing is off a lot of the time and look especially bad close up on NPCs where their mouths just switch between a couple of low polygon textures. The voice acting is still cringe worthy in places - one of the girls Tidus flirts with at the beginning in Zanarkand has the most high pitch, screechy voice in the world. However, I was reminded and just how solid the voice acting was in other places - namely, the main characters, where it is needed.

While all my complaints about the game still remained and I was reminded fully of them, I was also reminded of everything fantastic about the game. The art style and character designs are great, as is the music. For the first time, I was playing the game on a decent sized TV with a relativity good audio set up which made even the simplest background music sound terrific. The TV also helped show how fantastic the FMVs still look.

While the game is much more linear than previous Final Fantasys, I was reminded of what a God-send the map in the top left corner of the screen was - I am currently replaying Final Fantasy VIII and it is INFURIATING when you cannot see where to, or even where you CAN go. The very tactical CTB battle system is also one of the most solid and enjoyable battle systems in the entire series.

It was a great experience to watch someone play through the beginning of the game (and play occasionally). It was myself, Lee, our friend Sidd and her boyfriend Brandon. It goes without saying that I am a huge Final Fantasy fan and Brandon is a relatively big fan too, Final Fantasy X being his favourite game in the series along with X-2. So essentially it was three guys watching the game, absorbed in the experience, completely geeking-out over Final Fantasy while Sidd sat playing with her phone.

Then after we finished, we continued to watch some Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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I finally decided to play some more Killzone 2 and completed the game. Everything I said about the game still stands. I would blog about my continued impressions but I really have nothing else to say about it, unless I decide to compare it to other first person shooters this generation. I've also continued playing a little Chrono Trigger and might continue Final Fantasy VIII or the original Phantasy Star a bit later on today.



The Summer Holidays have finally ended as I returned to school today. One of my friends visited Japan during the holiday and brought me back the AMAZING gift of the first volume of the Phoenix Wright manga! Sure, it is in Japanese and I cannot read it but it is AWESOME to have. Furthermore, as I have finally gone back to school, I can start filming my new film "Rebound" and I hope to start next Monday! I would love to get some last minute constructive criticism on the script so I may post it here later on today. As if anyone is interested.

Oh, and I started a blog on Japanator. I really need to finish watching the last two episodes of BECK so I can blog about my impressions...

DISSIDIA: FINAL FANTASY IS OUT TOMORROW IN EUROPE! I hope I can scrape enough money together to buy it!

Dim.   read


5:49 PM on 08.23.2009

Dim's Rants: The Ignorance of Games Jouranlists

I'm a mild-mannered person. I rarely get angry. But there is one thing in this world that makes me more angry than anything and that is ignorance. While at home, I am usually in a constant state of looking for podcasts to listen to while playing video games or doing other things. While watching the latest episode of GameTrailer's "Invisible Walls" podcast, I was almost shouting at my laptop in frustration.

This episode focusses mainly on the news of Sony's new PlayStation 3 model and price cut and how that will affect the industry. At around 10 minutes into the podcast, the Invisible Walls crew start to discuss the fact that Sony is no longer pursuing backwards compatibility with the PS2. Shane Satterfield remarks "I think I've honestly used the backwards compatibility on my PS3 like four times... I mean, it totally makes sense if Sony eliminated it because if I'm a hardcore gamer and I've only used it a handful of times then imagine the casual gamer".

I understand that Satterfield has been in games journalism for many years - he probably grew up playing the NES and possibly the SNES. He has had a chance to play all the games from the last generation as he has been reviewing many of them for GameSpot and then later GameTrailers. However, I am 14. I have been seriously gaming for about 5 years now and have only recently realized in the past couple of years how many amazing games I have missed out on, quite a lot of them on the PS2. Since then I have been buying many PS2 games and I still have many more I would like to buy - the Onimusha series, Zone of the Enders, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus and so many more.

While over the past couple of years I have bought a Wii, an Xbox 360 and a PS3 (in that order), I have honestly bought more games for my PS2 and played it more than all of those consoles put together. Furthermore, surely casual gamers, who play less games in general and would want to play their old favourites from the previous generation, would still want backwards compatibility? It is stupid to assume everyone - or even ANYONE - would be fine with the lack of backwards compatibility.

When talking about using the backwards compatibility of his Xbox 360, Marcus says that the thing that stuck out most was "Oh my god these games look f***ing awful". Graphics whores in general annoy me, and when a games journalist insults games that are five, six years old commenting on how the graphics look poor... it does no justice towards the games. Of course they do not look as good as more recent games on more recent hardware, but the graphics of a game should be compared to that of other games on the hardware or other games at the time, as well as comparing the artistic design.

Games Journalists (I'm considering using air quotes because the term is so loose) usually over-exaggerate when it comes to graphics and this also grinds my gears. In the recent IGN video review of the G.I. Joe video game, Hilary Goldstein remarks "You just look at it and think it's a last-gen game, yes, you even think it's an N64 game". When was the last time Goldstein played an N64? As someone who played Goldeneye last month and sent quite a lot of time playing his N64 last year, I shall say that G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra does NOT look like an N64 game. The 360 and PS3 builds do not even look like last generation games.

1Up's Retronauts Podcast, hosted by Jeremy Parish, is also full of early 3D graphic-bashing. I have tremendous respect for Jeremy Parish (although he is insane to think Final Fantasy V is the best Final Fantasy. More like the 8th! And that's just in the main series), but I recall a lot of negative comments about a lot of PlayStation/N64 games' graphics. If I recall correctly, there were a few things said about The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Let me say this. Ocarina of Time STILL looks mighty fine for an N64 game. The way the game is designed and the way the graphics are stylized... it all combines together to create a very visually appealing package which still holds up. It frustrates me that the PlayStation and N64 are used as examples of bad 3D graphics when there are games like Vagrant Story and Ocarina of Time on them - sure, they do not push as many polygons and pixel shaders as more recent games do but the art design and consistency is fantastic.

Now, to get to what frustrated me enough to write this hate-fuelled blog.

Further into Invisible Walls episode 71, the crew begin "Wii-bashing". While I am not happy with how the Wii has turned out and the majority of people who play its view of video games, I appreciate the console. My favourite entries in the Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Super Mario and Resident Evil franchises have all appeared on the Wii. I love the Virtual Console and hope to download a LOT more games from there when I have more time/money.

Overall, I do not think game journalists appreciate how much it costs to buy video games when they come out. I almost always buy pre-owned (unless it is a new entry in one of my favourite franchises) because I simply cannot afford to buy the games new when they come out. While people criticize how few games there are worth playing on the Wii, there are still many titles on it I want to buy and play. And the same goes for all consoles.

However, when it is your job to play and review video games, I suppose you cannot help but become jaded and more uninterested. I love jumping into the world of a single game and exploring it completely - enjoying the story, the characters, the world... drawing fan art, discussing the game with friends... That is the kind of emotional experience and connection with a game that games journalists cannot experience, because once one game is done, they must move onto the next game to play that and review that. Which is sad, because I believe that shows a lack of appreciation for the older classics that helped shape the industry - something many people growing up playing games today lack.

I would love than anything to write about video games and follow the industry. However, if doing that makes me turn out like THESE people... well, no thank you. Now I must re-think my career path. *Sigh*

Thank you to everyone who has read any of my blogs and thanks for the comments! Please leave some! And add me as a friend, too! I need more friends.

Dim.   read


9:21 AM on 08.20.2009

Dim's Impressions: Killzone 2

I mentioned in my introduction blog that I had been borrowing Killzone 2 and Need for Speed: Undercover for about a month from a friend, yet had not started playing either of them. After a long session full of drawing magic in Final Fantasy VIII this morning, I finally gave up and decided to start playing Killzone 2.



My birthday is on the 6th March (mark it on your calender) and Killzone 2 was released at the end of February. For my birthday, I was planning on buying Resident Evil 5 (as I am a big Resident Evil fan) and Killzone 2. I even played the awful first game and the frustrating yet fun Liberation on the PSP in the run up to buying Killzone 2! But in the end, I decided not to get Killzone 2 - instead, I decided to ask for Persona 3 FES and Persona 4, which was released on the same day as Resident Evil 5 in Europe. And I will never regret it!

After downloading the update for Killzone 2 (I hate downloading updates!) I finally started playing. The introductory cutscene was very nice, with a set up showing a propaganda speech by the Helghast leader Visari and the ISA invading the Helghast home planet of Helghan after their invasion of Vekta in the first two games. The new main character, Sev, interacts with Jan Templar and Rico, also from the first two games. Jan, who used to be the main character, is now a colonel and is "sitting this one out".



Something I like about the Killzone series is the art style. For a Western game, it is interesting. "Hard Sci-Fi", which is a more realistic take on science fiction. The graphics, which are some of the best of any console game, help present this art style. The graphic technology in Killzone 2 is one of its features which has been promoted most, trying to show how much more powerful the PS3 is than its competitors. However, I cannot help but think Resident Evil 5, a game released a couple of weeks after Killzone 2, looks better. And that game is MULTIPLATFORM. Let's hope games like Uncharted 2 and Final Fantasy Versus XIII can show that the PS3 is actually more powerful than the Xbox 360.

The game also controls very different from most other first person shooters. The character feels and moves with a very decisive weight which is to emulate the sheer heaviness of the armour and weaponry that Sev is carrying. There is usually a lot of action happening around Sev, with multiple characters shooting at each others and plenty of explosions. The all out chaos actually makes you feel like you are in the middle of a huge war.

However, after the first ten minutes of playing, I was reminded why I prefer RPGs to first person shooters. The reason? Characters. To give you an example, a female scientist in Killzone 2 is trying to talk to Rico about the history of the situation and the Helghasts' motives and Rico replies "I don't care about any of that shit". This game is full of annoying, stereotypical, aggressive male characters. One-sided characters who I do not care about at all.

You may not have realized from my pictures of myself but I'm not the most masculine guy. Currently, I'm wearing UK size 8 girl's skinny jeans, which are STILL too big for me and have my nails painted black. And I just finished straightening my hair. I'm not violent or aggressive - quite the opposite. Yesterday, I was beaten up pretty badly by one of my brothers and did not raise a finger in resistance.

So I am a pacifist who plays video games - a form of entertainment which almost always revolves around conflict and fighting. My pacifism has become very strong lately and I've become even less aggressive (or more of a pussy, depending on how you look at it). So while playing Killzone 2, I constantly thought to myself "Wow, this is violent."

I play a lot of RPGs, which always do have a combat system in them. But in RPGs, there is always more to the game than the fighting. The battles are always strategic and have you thinking about the best action to take, and the story usually deals with deep emotions between the characters, picking up on a number of themes. Persona 4 did this incredibly well, with each of the characters fighting a shadow version of themselves in the TV world, which would always highlight the negative and secret aspects of one of the character's personality, something I was able to relate too. Final Fantasy VI and VII have the party travelling across the world, discovering each character's individual backstory and motive for joining, which would always be something very emotional. However, in most Western games, there is no emotional core to the game. The only emotion tied to the experience is aggression. The characters in Killzone 2, as of yet, have no real character. They are there to shoot things. And what sickens me more is that they ENJOY it.

I think the division here is that Western games are trying to be films, an art form which is usually more dependant on the events during the film because the film is not long enough to develop a large cast of interesting characters that could carry the film by themselves. Japanese games, however, are a lot closer to manga and anime which are focussed more on the characters. Western games are usually a lot shorter than Japanese games, which also does not help the game develop a strong cast of characters. Japanese games tend to have a lot more imagination and artistic design behind them - just compare the character designs in any western game to any Japanese game.

Marcus Fenix VS the Protagonist of Persona 3.
Marcus Fenix is some big guy with a bandanna or something? He wears some kind of armour. He has a scar on one of his eyes I think? While the Protagonist of Persona 3 has blue hair with a long fringe, wears a school uniform which consists of black trousers, a black blazer and a white shirt, which has frills. He also wears a black ribbon-like tie. He has a Gekkoukon High School badge on his blazer's left side and he wears his red "S.E.E.S." band on his left arm. His MP3 player dangles down his shirt, hanging around his neck, and he is usually listening with large silver earphones that attach on behind his ears and cover them entirely. See what I mean? I have played through both Gears of Wars games and Persona 3 FES once and once only, and THAT is the impression of the character designs I have had left upon me.



Sorry for anything I got wrong about either of the characters - I was just trying to remember what they looked like from, well, memory. I have added in the pictures afterwards. I have a lot more to say about Western games versus Japanese games, but I have realized that this blog was SUPPOSED to be about Killzone 2 so I should probably get back to that.

Really good first person shooter, probably has an interesting online mode too if I could be bothered to play online. I have only completed the first mission so far and will continue to play it little by little but I doubt my impressions will change regarding the violence and characters. I'll probably post another blog if any of my impressions do change.

So I shall now leave to go play some more Killzone 2 until the characters annoy me enough to stop, then I shall continue playing Final Fantasy VIII.

Dim.   read


10:14 AM on 08.18.2009

Dim's Introduction and Set Up

Hey. My name is Dim.



That's me there, on the left. I've been gaming as long as I can remember, since I was 3 years old, have been following the industry in some way shape or form since I was 9 and have been seriously collecting/following/playing for a couple of years. I've been lurking on Destructoid for a lot of my news for about a year, so I finally decided to join so I could start blogging.

I'm 14 years old, male, 5'11", have blue eyes, wear glasses and have long blue hair which is usually hidden under a hat which has a little Bulbasaur badge on it. I own a NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii, GBA, GBA SP, DS Lite, PlayStation, PS2, PS3, PSP, Xbox 360 and around 200 games including a version of every Final Fantasy released under the brand in the UK. My favourite franchises are Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda and Pokemon, although I love a ton of others too. My favourite genres are RPG and Action Adventure, although I try to play games from every genre.



That is my room, where I do pretty much all of my gaming. Sorry for the low quality of the photos, I took them with my camera phone.

[img]http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs175.snc1rawn and coloured recently, which isn't saying much. /6569_1033958825507_1721545455_70284_4904487_n.jpg[/img]

That is my desktop - I have both a PC and a laptop. I'm not much of a PC gamer and have only ever used it to play Final Fantasy XI and the first three Fallout games. I'll probably use it to play Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine at some point or other. My laptop is usually sitting on my chair next to my bed. Because I'm lazy.



That is my 14" wide screen TV which is connected to my PS3, N64, SNES, Wii, GameCube and Xbox 360. I wish it was bigger. I wish something else was bigger too...



There is my PS3, sitting under the TV. I still find it hard to believe I own one. I used to be such an anti-Sony Nintendo fanboy. After completing the first three Metal Gear Solid games, I realized that I had to play Metal Gear Solid 4 so I ended up buying one. I ACTUALLY realized I needed to buy one the night I completed MGS3 - it was 2am in the morning, my eyes were stinging from having played it all day and I remember thinking to myself "Damn it, I'm going to have to buy a PS3!" Now, it is the console I have the highest hopes for and I am looking forward to the games coming to the PS3 the most. Hopefully a better build of Final Fantasy XIII, Versus XIII, Final Fantasy XIV, hopefully Persona 5...



Under that I have a load of my other consoles.



On a little slide-out shelf, I have all of my handhelds. I got the GBA on March 6th, 2003 as a birthday present. It was second hand and now the back which holds in the batteries has snapped off - I hate children. I'm self hating, you see? I did the same thing with my old GameBoy Color. The GBA SP was bought a long Pokémon FireRed in late 2004. I sold a load of old games to get it, such as Donkey Kong 64, which I now regret. But I had so much fun with my SP...

I've had my DS Lite since launch. I bought the original DS on launch date and was set on not buying the DS Lite, but I was in Argos the day it launched and I had enough money, so I just thought "God damn it, it looks so much prettier" so I ended up buying it. So glad I did! Ended up selling my DS to a friend and using the money to buy Buffy Season 7 on DVD and Star Fox Adventures. The white PSP (urgh, I hate the colour) was acquired last year so that I could play Crisis Core, which I bought before it was launched in the UK from a shop near me that sells import games. I really want to sell it soon and buy a black PSP Slim & Lite or a PSP 3000, but I don't have enough money.



Under that I have another slide-out shelf where my N64 and SNES sit. Well, while I say MY N64, it is technically my brother's. It's the console I grew up with when I was very young and I have tons of memories of playing it. Next to it is a SNES, which is a recent addition to my family of consoles. In it is Starwing (Star Fox for those without stupid legal issues preventing them releasing it under the proper name). I think the entire Star Fox franchise is really underrated.



My GameCube, Xbox 360, PS2 Slim and Wii. I got the GameCube in April 2004 - this is around the time I started to follow the industry and was for many years a Nintendo fanboy. I bought it with birthday money because I REALLY wanted Pokemon Colosseum, because of course I am a huge Pokemon fan. Because I bought a GameCube, I bought an issue of NOM (Nintendo Official Magazine) which was amazing. Very funny, witty and still great to read. Then my interest just snowballed from there.

The Wii was bought for me for Christmas 2006. This was still back when I was a huge Nintendo fanboy and Nintendo could do no wrong. I was so anticipated for it. While a lot of people who were in support of the Wii now bitch about it, I am personally still pretty happy with what it has. It has my favourite instalments in the Zelda, Mario, Metroid, Resident Evil and Smash Bros. series on it. It has some really cool exclusives such as No More Heroes, a type of game ALL of the consoles are lacking. And the Virtual Console is AMAZING. And WiiWare has some really cool titles on it too - no matter what anyone says, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King is a KICK-ASS title. If the Wii had some more traditional titles and a good library of RPGs and better online features, it would be amazing. If it was pretty much a PS2 with Xbox 360-like online play, it would be amazing. Persona 4 is the best game released thus far in 2009 (in the UK) and that is on a last generation system. So there.

The Xbox 360 was bought around May last year. While I have more Xbox 360 games than any other current generation system, it is probably my least favourite current generation system. Not to say that it is bad, because there is no bad system, as they all have their own positives and negatives. Maybe I dislike it most because of how popular it is with hardcore gamers. Maybe it is because of the kind of gamer it attracts. Maybe it is because I have to pay to play online. Maybe it is because it lacks the entire "Japanese"-ness of the PlayStation that I adore. Maybe it is a mixture of all of them combined.

The PS2 Slim is also a new console for me. My damn brother has taken away his PS2 from my room out of spite because he is an idiot. He doesn't even play video games. It is LITERALLY sitting in his wardrobe gather dust, not doing anything. Anyway, I decided I needed to get my own one. So I bought this. It takes up less room and also plays my old PlayStation games which the other PS2 did not. Thank goodness, because I really wanted to play through Final Fantasy VIII and my PS3 refuses to play it.



There is my second TV which I recently wheeled in from the spare room where we store everything that is unloved. Which begs the question "why am I not in there right now?" It was the TV that used to be in my room when I lived in my old house, but since I moved house I have been using the smaller one. Since I bought a NES and a Dreamcast, though, I decided to wheel it back into my room so that I could hook them up to it.



So under the second TV, I have my PlayStation, which is actually as friend's but I hope he never asks for it back, my NES and my Dreamcast. I bought both the NES and Dreamcast last week. The NES came fully boxed with two controllers and Super Mario Bros. - for Ł20! Which is AMAZING! I bought the Dreamcast along with Soulcalibur and a VMU for Ł23, which is also a great deal. I need to play them both more when I get some time.



There I have my Wii and my GameCube games. Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes and Super Mario Sunshine are both recent additions. On top of that you can see a little wooden box which has all my controllers in, which you shall see later.



There I have the rest of my GameCube games, my Xbox 360 games, my PC games and my two Final Fantasy DVDs (need to get Resident Evil: Degeneration and Advent Children on Blu-Ray too). I bought the new Prince of Persia back in February and I STILL haven't played it! I also bought Phantasy Star Universe because I love the old Phantasy Star games (well, I'm playing through the first one on the Ultimate Mega Drive Collection and I love it) and because it is an easy 1000 Gamerscore. Although I really don't care about it. Above you can see my straighteners, because I straighten my hair, because normally it is afro-curly.



There I have my PlayStation, PS2, PS3, PSP, NES (see the little black box? That is what Super Mario Bros. came in), Dreamcast games and Final Fantasy III (which I imported) on the DS. Of course, Super Mario Bros. and Soulcalibur are both recent additions. I've had Silent Hill Origins, Shin Megami Tensei: Lucifer's Call and both the DDS games for AGES and haven't played any of them. LittleBigPlanet and Uncharted are currently on holiday at a friend's house while I borrow Killzone 2 and Need For Speed: Undercover. Both of which I've had about a month and have not played. I've been too busy recently...



Here I have my GameBoy and DS games. I've been playing a LOT of my DS recently and I love it. I need to buy Pokemon Pearl and Platinum so I can have all the games in the main series. But I play too many other kinds of game these days.



Here I have my N64 and Xbox games. Having had the N64 since I was very small, a lot of the cardboard boxes have been squashed or lost. Even the ones I have look kind of a mess on the shelf. So I ordered a lot of VHS boxes off the internet and made covers for them, featuring the artwork on the box for each game and added the name of the game, usually using the logo, to the spine. It looks very nice, I think. The Rugby games and Need For Speed game on the Xbox though? They're my brother's. Urgh.



There we have my small collection on manga, Pikachu, Jigglypuff, a Final Fantasy VIII strategy guide and the NES box. While I've been interested in manga and anime for years, I never really watched that much. I watched all of Groove Adventure Rave (Rave Master) subbed and watched Death Note while it was being released subbed and then later dubbed (seen it all 4 times through now). However, I started watching Naruto in May and got hooked. I went to an anime expo with my friend later that month (had two weeks notice and went as a half-assed Squall cosplay, but people noticed I was him), mainly because of the video game stuff, but the entire J-culture just blew me away and I felt "I LOVE THESE PEOPLE! I WANT TO BE THEM!"

So since I got back, I've watched A TON of anime. SO much. And I've started buying manga too. I also have some Zelda manga - I need to get the second volume of the Ocarina of Time manga. I have quite a few strategy guides, but as I am currently playing Final Fantasy VIII, that is the one I have there. Just to clarify: Final Fantasy VIII is NOT my favourite entry in the series. It is my 4th, preceded by XII (3rd), VI (2nd) and VII (1st). I just totally love the characters of Squall and Rinoa. I love Cloud from VII, but I think as kick-ass as he was in Advent Children, they made him too bitchy and whiny and not as sarcastic and witty as he was in VII. Of course he is a lot more timid in Crisis Core, but that makes sense. So there is the NES box I mentioned earlier behind all of that stuff. I can't believe it is in as good condition as it is! I feel so retro owning it.



And the controllers. All cramped together in harmony.



To the left of my computer monitor, I have a fair few little cow and Pokémon plushies, some Pokémon figures and a Metaknight, which I received from ONM (Official Nintendo Magazine, after it went under new management and started sucking). I love my Meowth, because I love cats. I have the cows because I also love cows - as I mentioned in my profile, I used to make amateur films (and plan to continue soon) and the company name was "The Mad Cow", but for any future projects I'm changing it to "Helium Cow Films" because it is far less generic.



To the right of my computer I have my Yoshi Kart, Tifa Lockhart figure, my Naked Snake figure (who needs Tifa for support), a Cortana figure and my pen for my graphics tablet. Very nice.



To the right of that there is my PS2 Slime controller, based on the Slime from Dragon Quest. I ordered it a couple of months ago from Amazon for Ł15. I love it so much!



On my bed sits my Chocobo, Vincent (named after Vincent Valentine) which I ordered a couple of years ago around the time I was playing Final Fantasy X and just before I started playing Final Fantasy VI. He's one of my most prized possessions.



Look at all those posters on my wall! Needs more Final Fantasy, to be honest. The Twilight Princess poster came with the strategy guide, the Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions art card came with the game and the NES poster I have there was IN THE BOX with the NES when I bought it. I couldn't believe it!



I had a Zelda keychain a couple of years ago, but all of them broke off. So recently I decided to stick them to my wall with blue-tac.



I ordered some Final Fantasy VIII stuff to go with my Squall cosplay for next time I go to an anime expo (in October) and that is what the little gunblade and ring are. Although they're not part of the actual cosplay, I'll show you that bit later. I have a Naruto headband (Village Hidden in the Leaves, rogue-Nin, like Itachi Uchiha's) which I bought from a friend stuck to the wall and those little keyrings (Sasuke Uchiha and Rock Lee) were given to me by a friend. Much love.



That is a wooden replica of Squall's Gunblade from Final Fantasy VIII which I bought for Ł30 at the anime expo in May. Another one of my most prized possessions that I totally adore!



That is Squall's Griever Pendant from Final Fantasy VIII, which was what I ordered from eBay (the ring and miniature gunblade came with it). I wear it ALL the time.



And finally one more thing I wear all the time - my hat. To help keep my hair flat, but also inspired by Sid Jenkins from Skins - a look and attitude I have down so well that half of my friends now call me Sid. On it is a little Bulbasaur badge which I received from the ill-fated Pokemon Official Magazine, an off-shoot on NOM, that only ran two issues. Sad face.

So what else about me? I love manga, anime, television series (things like Buffy, Doctor Who, Lost etc.) and film. I'm a big fan of Joss Whedon and Kevin Smith - Kevin Smith being one of my biggest inspirations in life. Clerks is my favourite film of all time. As I mentioned earlier, I used to make little films and I plan to start that again as soon as I can, as I am sitting on a almost 30-page script which is definitely the best thing I have ever written, being both moving and funny, or so I think. I also enjoy drawing a lot and draw a lot of fan art, mainly for games. I'm not that good though and have no idea how to use Photoshop. But I guess I'm okay. I don't know.

My deviantART account, if you want to have a quick look...
My current YouTube account

The only thing I have on YouTube is the last thing I made, "Dirge of the Dead", a tribute to classic George A. Romero zombie films with some influence from 28 Days Later. It's very much meant to be a tribute with classic slow zombies, a cliché plot etc. etc. It isn't very good, as I DID make it a year ago and it was hindered very much by the people I tried to make it with (just see me bitch in the making of videos!). Anyway, I hope you enjoyed (who am I kidding?) reading my little introduction and set up. I hope to blog at least once a week in the future - I might get in a schedule of making sure I blog on a certain day each week.

Please add me as a friend if you want to. Friendship is good!

Anyway, have a good day and I leave you with probably the best thing I've done recently. It's Neku and Shiki from the World Ends With You. I love that game so much.



Dim.   read


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