Name: Griffin D. Hamell
Location: Rochester/Syracuse, N.Y.
I am just a writer and a poet. I currently go to Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York for English (Creative Writing). I have an obsession with Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, and H.P. Lovecraft. Oh yes, I almost forgot that, I am fucking delicious. Even if I offend you, I will always love you.
Final Fantasy I
Suikoden I & II
Final Fantasy VI, VII, VIII
Should I self-censor myself now? Should I be liable for presenting the truth-- the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Showing the truth of a general trend could only get me in trouble, right? You probably do not see where I am going with this. You are possibly confused upon seeing this article. In a few moments, I will present the evidence so that my argument can be illuminated-- or this will be the 101st rendition of a trendy fad in blogging.
Now-a-days, most "controversial" subjects that are put forth in different forms of media. Though they are still seen as taboo for some. These forms of media are mainly video games, music, and films. In actuality, some of these subjects are actually subject to freedom of speech, and should not be trounced upon upon by certain individuals who have an biased agenda.
Let me take you back to the olden times, specifically 1782, when a certain novel was published in France. A country later known for it's very liberal ideas in science, and a predominately atheistic population. This novel was called Les Liaisons Dangereuses or The Dangerous Liasons written by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. You may have heard of it because thee have been a few (atrocious) film incarnations of it. A story that centers around a certain Marquise and Vicomte who use sex as a way to humiliate certain individuals. Yet, one of the major themes of the novel is the bet between the Marquise and the Vicomte. This entails the defoliating of a certain girl by the Vicomte; a task that the Marquise does not believe will happen. For the time the novel in which it was written, it was very controversial. It was banned in 1823 for being too amoral.
We have come a long way since then. Still if we see anything remotely suggestive, it has gone too far. This is evident in Sergio Leone's violent and controversial 1984 film Once Upon A Time In America, and even the more recent Saw franchise. Print for 50 years or so has not been all that controversial. My prior point would be true, if you do not count Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code because of the so-called conspiracy revolving around Mary Magdalene. Could this mean our society no longer has the time to berate print for suggestive themes, and now turns to a faster, more engrossing way to criticism? Through means of art and freedom of expression?
More recently the new AO-rated Manhunt or the controversial scene in the new Modern Warfare has gotten people up in arms. If media outlets like Fox New did not cover such things, the excuse to freak out would not be there. If you do not remember the outrage surrounding Mass Effect, I would suggest going on YouTube and searching it. They took one of the events at the end of the game out of context. To them, they they found the supposive act of human-alien sex to be outright abominable.
These instances of taking things out of context, and jumping the gun just because it violates your belief has been going on for centuries or even eons. I am not making a case that it has to stop. No, I am merely illustrating the idiocy of those who take these stances. It's either the fact that they do not want kids handling these forms of media. Yet, sometimes without thinking kids' parents buy them a M rating not thinking of the images that could be within the game. If only parents took the time and read sites like What They Play, some of the outrage could be avoided. Otherwise, mature adults can look past these controversial themes and weigh their value. They are not the publisher or producer of a product. They should not have any say in what should or should not be given to the masses.
Some "controversy" just fits well inside the context of a story. Sometimes it doesn't. If you are the easily offended, then don't play the game, watch the movie, or read the book. Just remember the wise advice three wise monkeys once said, "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil". Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
I will leave you with some parting wisdom too. As the phenomenal philosopher Dr. Dre once said, "Bitches ain't shit, but Hoes and Tricks."
I will not lie. I am tremendously cynical about the industry now-a-days. So much that, I have not bought a new game in about a year. Things are not the same as they were years ago. Genres are flooded with mediocre titles-- some even trying to pass themselves off as good games as well. It could be that I am just older than most of the current games. I am slowly nearing my 23rd birthday in February, but I can still remember the joy when I obtained a Nintendo Entertainment System. Most of the games for that system could be ascribed to some of the casual games we have to day. If the idea was thought of back then, I could even have seen a peggle-esque game for it. Slowly, but surely, I then recieved a Super Nintendo. You could not imagine the sense of joy that brought me to be able to play such games as Super Mario RPG, Chrono Trigger, and Final Fantasy III/VI. Then there was the Playstation with such titles as Suikoden I, Suikoden II, and Final Fantasy VII.
Now a days, things are rough. It is a overly boated market with some games that, are more of a name than anything. Others, well, they are just trash masquerading as games. Every year, the casual game market is filled with even more awful simulators containing the word "tycoon". Even worse, you have a company called Blue Fang developing a game called "World of Zoo"-- what could that be? A World of Warcraft-esque zoo simulator? I had not heard of them either until they released a press release stating that they were deeply saddened when they had to layoff 15 people, but they had a new proprietary engine to speed up game development that called for less people.
I am even suprised at the amount of money Popcap can make off games like Peggle. For those who do not know,Peggle is merely a Bust of Move clone with unicorns. I tried the game not too long ago when I still played World of Warcraft. With the addon you can play a game inside a game! Remarkable, huh? I neglected my civic duties in World of Warcraft (another soul ripping game) to play Peggle for 5 straight hours! I have heard other people have played the game for longer. I frightens me that developers wish to make these kinds of games that make you lose productivity and even friends.
I am going to go out on a limb here and predict in 20 years we will no longer need developers for casual games. Some company will develop a product which just generates casual games on the fly with certain parameters. Maybe we will even get a "Dave" moment when these engines go haywire and refuse to do work for their human masters.
Before any of you jump down my throat and say, "How do you know? The games are not out yet", let me let you in on a secret. The two games I am about to discuss are currently in beta. Aion is currently in Closed Beta, but I was lucky enough to get in. Had to pull some strings though. Secondly, Huxley, is in Open Beta via FilePlanet.
The MMO genre is another one that developers, as well as, producers are trying to milk for all their worth. This time I will not even blame Electronic Arts. Except on the foolish move to merge Bioware and Mythic. I digress. The tables have turned on the Korean MMO developers. At one time the market was still heavily dominated by them, but I believe there has been a certain shift. The Europeans and Americans have taken up the reins which in turn has influenced many Korean games. One example of this can be World of Warcraft's huge influence on Runes of Magic. Even on WoW's former Chinese maintainer, The9, who are currently developing World of Fighter. Original, huh.
I have attempted to play the game Huxley, but after 4+ years of World of Warcraft, I can hardly get into it. Sure, it is a First Person Shooter, but it has a exploration elements to it. So if you need a little help picturing this game, it is a combination of both Team Fortress 2 and World of Warcraft. Which is a turn off to me. The same goes for Aion. It feels like another World of Warcraft knock off with a new story. World of Warcraft meets City of Angels.
I am cynical, hence the title. I just cannot get myself to play another MMO after World of Warcraft. I even tried the pedantical MMO, Eve Online. Everything seems like a copy after a copy after a copy. No one feels like taking risks anymore and that brings me to my last section.
The Big Four (Kind of like the Big Three, but not)
Borderlands, the FPS/RPG hybrid, should be good. This could be because of my love affair with anything Randy Pichford touches, but I really believe this game could be good-- or it could be very bad. I know, I know. I am sort of contradicting myself. I did say most people are just trying to do what is popular and not trying to think original, but I think this will be one of those games that will keep me coming back for awhile. It is a simple concept reminiscent of Diablo and even Pitchford has said something like this. If you want a fun game with lots of possibilities then this is the game to get. It is fun and should not suck your soul from you. This is the game I have the highest hopes for due to the concept.
Mass Effect 2? Well, I just think it is an excuse to make another Mass Effect. It is no longer a new IP. It is now just a franchise that will spawn even more sequels that star Commander Sheppard-- unless he dies in this game because supposedly the main mission is a suicide mission. Suicide mission, eh? Did you say suicide mission? Yes, it shows up about 4 times on the official website. Yet, I thought the last game's main mission was a suicide mission since it was so dangerous... Oi vey.
Do not buy a game because of the name/brand/franchise!
What is there say about this lovable game? Bioshock 2 will suck. I gave the first game a 10 because it was helmed by Kevin Levine. Bioshock 2 is not. Which leads me to believe that Bioshock is just a way to make some easy money for 2k. What a shocker!
Dear scene, I wish I was deaf.
The good old days are gone. Mediocrity shall reign supreme.
There seems to have been some sort of issue with my first post here on Destructoid, and to tell you the truth, I could careless. As the late great painter, Georges Braque said, "If they don't like it, fuck 'em." I think that is a philosophy we should all live by. If you are really concerned though, you can be assured I will begin writing game only- elaborate game only posts after this one. I wanted to have at least one post on why I am here.
I am a guy who is not one for conformity. This is why that I cannot join a community like IGN, Gamespy, or Gamespot. I have tried and failed. Since they in fact seem too commercial too me- too oversold. For instance, it appears that Gamespot is now a member of CBS' repertoire of sites. That ends my interest write there since I am not a fan of "big business". Now, I don't want to turn this into a rant perse, more of an enlightened piece of why I chose to be here in the first place.
What does Destructoid mean to me? A flourishing of outre, (pseudo-)intellectual capabilities. This community unlike others seem to actually care what their readers say. So much that, I am actually inclined to read the posts, since the heads of this great organization think so as well. The community writers on this site seem to understand the "no bullshit policy", and know exactly what I want to see in a review. No fluff. I don't want to read a review at some other site on a game, and then go out to buy it, and then conclude that somehow the game publisher influenced the review. Then I'd be sitting in my chamber of solidarity yelling, "You motherfucker!". I recall reading an article about Hideo Kojima stating that he wanted reviewers look over the flaws, and I hope no reviewer answered this call of arms so to speak.
If you would like to see why I like the reviews on this site, I will use an example. In Jonathon Holmes' review of Animal Crossing: City Folk, I could really already tell how it was going to be from the first line. This line went, "Animal Crossing: City Folk may be the most unfortunately named videogame I've ever played". Now, I am one to formulate my own opinion from the facts that are laid out to me. Maybe it's just the writer in me, but that is an excellent way to begin a review. A line like that really pulls you in. Since many games now a days aren't new; meaning that most of them are just franchises, like Animal Crossing, I kind of knew what to expect. This roughly was "Why would I have any interest in this game? Seeing that it is about nothing, and the fact that I don't have a Wii". Even though these thoughts came to mind, I wanted to read the review because it seemed interesting. Not the drab reviews I find on other sites. Truthfully, I don't want to watch a video review- it's just a quickie to me. I don't learn anything besides watching game footage and a few tidbits about the game. Then usually it ends up with the reviewer giving gameplay tips, not a review on the elements of the game.
This should give you a general understanding why I am here. Also, if you have read this far down, then I recant my previous blog post on here. It was more of a way to see how the blogging system works. It's quite intuitive I believe, and I will get more use out of it as time goes by. I also should be here to stay, unless you kick me out with pitchforks and torches. If you don't want to well, keep up the good work. I love the community already.