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5:39 AM on 01.22.2015

Stealth Purity and the Long Cheat

[img]http://www.destructoid.com//ul/user/1/118562-285676-bnerjpgjpg-620x.jpg[/img]

Some of us are not born to be stealthy, some of us revel in the gung-ho gameplay, whereby we see a plethora of cocky enemies ahead and we have seven weapons in our inventory and a handful of grenades and we know what we’re going to do. We didn’t even decide to try a tactful option. It’s going to be messy and you’ve already selected dual wielding as you make your approach.

Then there are people who enjoy pure stealth games and get a thrill from silently infiltrating and disenabling massive compounds. There’s a satisfaction in completing an entire level, taking out your enemies without them even being aware and when they do notice something is up, it’s far too late. That is of course if you don’t mess up. Then you need to rush to stop them from alerting more guards and sometimes you panic and use a bazooka by accident and well it kind of blows your cover in every sense of the word.

So we have the stealth game and we have the aggressive guns blazing game – but what about the games that offer us the option of both? The tactical shooter is what we currently label the stealth shooter game and I’m going to discuss why these remix games are so much fun and why maybe modern day stealth games are actually one long cheat to the end goal.

 

Silence Dance and the Accompaniment of Mayhem

Many game snow that are ingrained in our mind as being shooters, offer a stealth approach to many missions. In fact in the past couple of years and no doubt ahead of us, more games will let you approach volatile scenarios completely, in a sneaky tactical manner, if we so choose.

Examples include the Crysis Series, Far Cry, Deus Ex and even Call of Duty. One game that is particularly enjoyable when played as it is spiritually intended is Wolfenstein: The New Order.

[img]http://www.destructoid.com//ul/user/1/118562-285676-downloadjpg-620x.jpg[/img]

This game which works well as being simple in its goal – fun, chaotic propelling of ammo towards Nazis, also lets you take out a range of enemies stealthily, if you can. All these games, bar Crysis offer the same approach to what is called ‘stealth takedown’, you crouch, move carefully and then when close enough hit whatever button automatically enter stealth kill mode.

Crysis as a series encourages you to use more tactical approaches by giving you a wider range of means to execute foes covertly and make the road ahead easier. You can affect the environment, use special gadgets, even the ultimate cheat in stealth, invisibly – all to make the path ahead easier and also add variety, which many people claim is lacking in big FPS games.

[img]http://www.destructoid.com//ul/user/1/118562-285676-donutjpgjpg-620x.jpg[/img]

The heart of Wolfenstein is a FPS, guns blazing, ammo everywhere and health packs being your best friend. You can stealth kill if you want, in fact it might be easier, but it’s not the essence of the game. Crysis and Far Cry are presented in way that makes you feel as if you can decide how to play, but why would you waste the chances you’re given.

But do these elements in shooter games, really justify the addition of the word stealth in the game description? I suppose that’s up to you. We’ve talked about games that at face value, are the polar opposite of stealth games, now let’s get a bit closer to the top of the tier.

 

Stab and run, or run and stab?

Ubisoft’s Assassins Creed ticks off a lot of boxes for gamers. It’s billed as an “action-adventure open world stealth video game “. Quite a mouthful, but better than a mouthful of poison blade death right.

[img]http://www.destructoid.com//ul/user/1/118562-285676-SDERPjpgjpg-620x.jpg[/img]

In the spirit of the game, you should play as an assassin and by that I mean sneakily and covertly take out your enemies. You have means in which to assassinate prime targets without being seen and then evade once spotted. True hard-core wannabe human eliminator will hope to engage in assassination missions completely invisible, never to be noticed from the moment you enter an enemy red zone, the execution of guards and your main plot related victim and then subsequently you escape from the now aware and volatile area unseen.

All of the games in the series have a standard method and inventory for taking either approach. Some games introduced gameplay that made things handier (I’m not talking about not drowning in 2 feet of water like in the first game, though that was appreciated). In Unity we have our first unique change, a sort of throw-back to the Commandos games, where you can assume a disguise to bypass your enemies, but it will evaporate if you get to close to them. This can be quite a useful trick, so long as you disguise yourself not as the people you’re trying to bypass. Speaking of Commandos, it had the same offer of going stealthy and making your life easier, or risking more volatile approaches which did not guarantee a level complete.

[img]http://www.destructoid.com//ul/user/1/118562-285676-cmndjpgjpg-620x.jpg[/img]

I could have added the Rocksteady Batman games in to this section, because let’s face it they’re very similar, also in their marketing with one coming out every year and not much changing (I do like the games though). But Batman does allow for more freedom in terms of going in and completely annihilating without the need of stealth, even if it is favourable, compared to Creed.

By that rule I’ve applied, I could also add games like Dishonoured, Hitman Absolution, and Deus Ex to name a few.

[img]http://www.destructoid.com//ul/user/1/118562-285676-BeFunkyhtmnjpgjpg-620x.jpg[/img]

So while you can go at it from a madman killer perspective, certain games let you know, quite promptly, it’s not the best method and you’ll probably be killed or trapped if you don’t plan things out properly. And if you do succeed by blazing in like a constipated bull, you may only survive due to luck or a glitch in your favour. Some games reward you with that fictional badge of honour that is an achievement boop (well not anymore Xbox One!) if you complete a game that offers a variety of completion methods in gameplay and you choose to be an invisible killer or passer-by of opponents until the very end.

Nevertheless as I said it is possible to take on certain missions of a more abrupt approach, but Assassins Creed is a stealth game, it’s just still not as pure as we need to really feel like what stealth embodies.

See no, hear no, stealth so

Ok we’ve covered a very brief variety of how stealth games actually come in different packages and that there are variant degrees throughout. We have shooters that offer tactical approaches, which still count as stealth but are no necessary at all, because these games usually lump you with a backpack armoury to slew all foes. We have action stealth games, that have stealth in their description title, rightfully so but still allow room to manoeuvre in how true to the art you need to be. Now let’s talk about games that mean for you to be a stealth pro and will let you know without delay that any other tactic earns you a time out in the naughty chair aka the death loading screen.

[img]http://www.destructoid.com//ul/user/1/118562-285676-UnsereFreiheitjpg-620x.jpg[/img]

Translation: Never shoot a donkey with a melon full of lying cheese pens

I suppose it won’t be a shock that I’ll be focusing heavily on Splinter Cell and yet given the recent games released under the title it feels a bit tarnished, not in terms of the games themselves (I found Conviction and Blacklist to be fun enough), but in terms of using this series as a sound basis for what a full blooded stealth game is.

Splinter Cell was one of the first games many people were exposed to that put such a taxing emphasis on truly operating under stealth. I myself remember having to become one with the NSA training program to pass a particular submarine mission.

[img]http://www.destructoid.com//ul/user/1/118562-285676-review610jpg-620x.jpg [/img]

Thief isn’t just about keeping quiet throughout so that you don’t get stabbed, I mean that’s paramount but it’s also because in a way you have to because being a little tricky voleur is your livelihood. The first few games were pure in essence, you had a code of honour and a code of action. Similar to the laws of Assassins Creed but the darkness of Thief gave an air of no other options. In Creed you character, your decisions rapidly birthed freedom and straying. The newest game in the Thief series, offers a looser approach similar and yet not as polar to how Splinter Cell is headed.

[img]http://www.destructoid.com//ul/user/1/118562-285676-BeFunkythfjpgjpg-620x.jpg[/img]

Sniper orientated games could be classified as true stealthy games as well. I suppose many of us assume that stealth means to be clad in black taking out naughty nerdowells from questionable angles rarely with a non-melee weapon.  Sniper Elite is a popular series where you can’t just run away or whip out your RPG to beat your missions with flourish.

[img]http://www.destructoid.com//ul/user/1/118562-285676-BeFunkynhjpgjpg-620x.jpg[/img]

 The night is Dark and full of dildos

A think most of us can admit that a common trait of extreme stealth games, is constant replaying and reanalysing your approach after death screens rub your inability to keep the noise down in your face. Truth be told the annoyance comes from my own underdoing’s but primarily from how long it takes to load up from a save file. That’s an irritating for any game!

[img]http://www.destructoid.com//ul/user/1/118562-285676-FalloutNVLoading1articleimagejpg-620x.jpg[/img]

Could have paid off a mortgage waiting on this game….

I think that stealth plays an important part in video games, as a mechanic for practise (not for real life assassinations of course…of course) and as a style of gameplay we should keep enjoying. Some people find that they aren’t good at a certain genre of gaming and I can see how stealth games might be a scary area for the uninitiated. Yet I believe that it’s a genre that yields reward and skill in repetition (whereas sometimes that isn’t always a naturally honed skill with fighting or driving games). It would be interesting to see stealth games come out further introducing interesting, sometimes accurate and innovative styles of gameplay.

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2:41 AM on 12.17.2014

Threaks and the nice side of Gaming

[img]http://www.destructoid.com//ul/user/1/118562-267895-BeFunkyUntitledjpgjpg-620x.jpg[/img]

Given that I am not employed by Destructoid, there should be no conflict in this particular piece. I am also not paid by or engage in lude acts with Threaks. Though I do engage in raunchy times with German beer. 

The year has gone by quite quickly, as many before have, and while many people are writing about their favourite games or what they are thankful for, I'd like to take this chance to combined the two and give a shout out to a wonderful indie gaming company based in Hamburg, called Threaks.

The guys at Threaks created a video game called Beatbuddy and it's a game that I still play on PC and on iOs. I don't just play the game because it's fun, because I have had extremely pleasurable memories of my interaction with the team behind it when I did press related work for them, but because it's one of the things that helps get through a rather long and depressing commute 5 days a week, to and from work. 

[img]http://i.imgur.com/hz1Jwh0.gif[/img]

I have helped out or worked for a few game related companies and to be honest the only ones that keep in touch and show actual appreciation, instead of just cutting ties despite you helping to promote their game, are these guys. I was part of the PR team for Maia and spent a lot of time reaching out, sending codes and press releases to various companies. My thanks for this was nothing and then for some reason to be unfollowed by the creator of the game. This is just one example. My point with this is that the gaming industry can be quite a tight clique'd one but only for a few people. It's not that open to letting new people in, without almost ensuring they know there's a class distinction. I've met a lot of lovely people, but I've also been met with a pretentiousness that has no place existing.

[img]http://ow.ly/G1GJp[/img]

The guys at Threaks, are humble, creative, friendly and are one of the reasons that I want to maintain and evolve in larger strides within the gaming industry, because that honesty and openess to engage and offer credit where it's due, it sorely needed. Especially these days when there's so much drama running rampant. This is also something that could be remember by communities.

So thank you Threaks, thank you Germany, thank you Opium, thank you to the friendly Dtoid folk I know and thank you to the people within the gaming industry in the UK who can even spare a moment to say hi and remember we all started somewhere and they all climbed the ladder with the help of other people.

Have a good Christmas and New Year everyone and if you want, check out Beatbuddy, the game or the awesome soundtrack. It made me take a few moments to enjoy a game, bop my shoulders, when some days, lots really, were grey.

Take one!

[img]https://38.media.tumblr.com/d4ed4455148851c4a53d08b8206d30a3/tumblr_mt70botJg81qc4uvwo1_500.gif[/img]

iOs Review:

Link to the Beatbuddy App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/beatbuddy-hd/id774751518?ls=1&mt=8

Link to Beatbuddy on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/231040/ 

If anyone would like a promo code for the iOs version, I have a couple so hit me a DM over at my Twitter @tilderasgrave

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1:00 PM on 11.03.2014

FNF: Friday Night Frights - Propah Scary Innit

Well hello.



We did Friday Night Frights last week and it was a really enjoyable experience. The film chosen was Creepshow (what a load of shit that was...with a surprising cast). This week we want to pick something that ups the anty a bit and go for proper spooky. Or as chav Panza would say "iz propah shitpants m8".

As always place your prefered time (including zone so we can work that shizzle out) and any suggestions for the film. We pretty much decide the actual film at the last minute, but give you time to 'acquire it'.

Don't forget your skype as well!

Look forward to seeing more people join in.

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10:33 AM on 10.05.2014

Things you can say to ensure you look like a dick

Before the panties get twisted, I am not an advocate of either side of this gamer gate thing, but sometimes you gotta rant.


"Check your privilidge"
If you're white and male, automatically you are oveflowing in an abundance of privilege. Because someone else said so, mkay. If you also happen to be straight, the worst of all orientations clearly, then the general consensus is you have never suffered any trauma in your life and if you have, it's unlikely to compare to trauma suffered by anyone that does not identify as you. Or you know look like you. Ya pasty mick fuck.


[img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-s2NHzxTTLEQ/VCRJFHIVwuI/AAAAAAAAH8A/Wg_qtkfkrNc/s1600/whitepeople.gif[/img]


The problem with this is very simple, you don't need me to spell it out. Every damn person matters, everyone should be heard and no one suffering should ever be demeaned. Everyone is someones child. If your child was bullied because they were gay, if they were in agony because they didn't feel they were in the right body and if they were dismissed because they tick the "default privilege" boxes, how would you feel?

"I'm *insert recent sexual/gender orietantion that never existed before the last couple of years and probably wouldn't if the internet didn't exist*"


I'm funny about my own sexual orientation, mainly because none of the mainstream ones really apply to me. I like tits and hips, but I don't really enjoy the gay 'scene', because all I've ever been exposed to was the negative side. This is a personal opinion based on relationships and nothing to do with political stances. Anyway, just a brief disclaimer before someone says "who are you to speak, you're just a bear". You don't know what/who I am, so never assume.

It's not exactly the claiming you're a hypersexual, shoelace queer avodcao, so much as that you assume eveyrone else should telepathically be aware of this and if they say "excuse me m'aam" when addressing you in public, because maybe you dropped something or maybe they need to get by you, that you lose your shit, log in to tumblr and start ranting about the oppresssive world.
[img]http://www.hitohi.com/images/shoelace%20aa.jpg[/img]


"I was raped by ..."
Anything that is not actually rape. In an episode of Transparent, a feminist lecturer says that an exclamation mark ! is seen as a masculine and by existing is a form of rape against the feminine.

[img]http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/facebook/000/787/356/d6f.jpg[/img]

Please do shut up with your stupid stupid noise.


Claiming that you are being raped daily by even the existence of white CIS males, grammar rules or a mascara pen on a shelf, because it represents phallic dominnance is not only moronic, but completely dismissive and insulting to anyone on this planet who has been raped or suffered sexual/abusive trauma.


"CIS"
[img]http://pamelasanford.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f45b4586970b0147e16f1708970b-pi[/img]


No, calm yourself before you pass out, I don't just mean this word.

People that are upset when strangers or anyone label them on their behalf, then doing so in return are hypocritcial and childish. If a man says he's a man, if a woman says she's a woman, she does not need to include CIS in a disclaimer if they do not wish, for your benefit. Plus I can't look at that word without thinking of cysts, which ain't nobody got time for. But I don't just mean CIS, obviously not and I understand what it means, in the correct, non-aggressive context, but the general notion that you alone have the right to choose what you are is fine. I do it, other people do it.

But if you can dish it, you may as well take it, because textual/verbally assaulting someone else and telling them what they are, completely eradicates any sympathy you are owed and the basic point you tried to get across


"Sides/Gates/Fences"


[img]http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/2014-04/enhanced/webdr05/30/19/anigif_enhanced-20573-1398899655-1_preview.gif[/img]
In what world do we live in, where it is not common knowledge and common sentiment, that anyone is susceptible to abuse and everyone has the same rights (well they should, but the world we live in ya know)? I see many people on Twitter alone, that hark of the obscenity of segregation, yet they themselves are the most prominent advocators via self segregation. Because if you don't stand out, if you're not in your own bubble, then you won't get as much attention, you're not as special and you can't play that triumph victimising card, which many people do like to play.


If we look at the gaming industry alone, we know that there is corruption and sexism. If we make our eyes less Brock-like, we know that the same is said of so many other industries in the world. Gaming is no different, the shock factor shouldn't be so damn high. Bigotry is rampant, sexism is tragically alive and well and we should not put up with it, but so far the efforts made, the howls screamed have no bettered that for anyone.

We spend so much time catergoirising and arguing over that, the point is missed and lost. It's like when you sit down and make a colour coded chart of when you're going to study before exams and you don't really follow it. You spent more time with your highlighter and writing headers in as nice a pensmanship as possible, than you did studying and improving your chances of succeeding. It's the same with the methods that have been going on currently.

"We are warriors, we are soldiers"
[img]http://www.pwpix.net/superstars/u/ultimatewarrior/images/ultimate-warrior-wwf-champion.jpg[/img]


Show me your scars. Show me your wounds. Show me anything that validates using that terminglogy as you sit in front of your laptop, with your latest iphone and argue online. Giving yourself a title that is something someone else actually is, literally and deserves, when you do not, is disrespectful and arrogant.


"If you're not with us you're against us"
Am I? ...and? .....that it? Ok good, have a nice day.


[img]http://static.tvguide.com/Includes/newsletter-images/blog-images/appetite.gif[/img]

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3:16 PM on 09.28.2014

How Gamergate effects Elbows and Fanfic Consequences

It doesn't.....moving on!

BEST ELBOWS IN VIDYJA GURMS!

Donkey Kong
[img]http://www.mariowiki.com/images/thumb/c/cb/Donkey_Kong_Artwork_(alt)_-_Donkey_Kong_Country_Tropical_Freeze.png/300px-Donkey_Kong_Artwork_(alt)_-_Donkey_Kong_Country_Tropical_Freeze.png[/img]
DK's elbow double as a shag. And by shag I don't mean what you think I mean, dirty birdies. His fluffy, carpet like fur covers all of his body, but excentuates his strong elbows, in a way that would make a brony convert.


Rayman
[img]http://o.microsites.ign.com/rayman_timeline/images/hero_rayman.png[/img]
Most would say "Hey Glowbear, Rayman doesn't even harm arms, let alone elbows" - but I say to you, who has the right to judge what an elbow is. If you're white and hetreosexual then I don't want to hear you dismiss this man of ray's game-given right to be acknowledged as an elbow wielder. Seriously get a grip.


Worms
[img]http://www.pssite.com/upload/news/83/22/69/small_832269393.jpg[/img]
Last year, scandal ripped the nations of the earth when it was revealed that Worms, are actually elbows. This makes absolute sense if you think about it, especially in relation to the strength and angling needed to hurl bombs and various other weapons. Without elbows, there can be no victory.


Big Daddy
[img]http://media1.gameinformer.com/imagefeed/featured/gameinformer/features/battleroyale/bigdaddy.jpg[/img]
Big Daddy's elbows deserve a spot on this list, because they are vital to his capacity to wield a massive fucking drill and hoist it up and down as it completel annihiliates anyone that he shakes hands with.


Bayonetta
[img]http://www.destructoid.com//ul/user/1/118562-267895-256015B1jpg-620x.jpg[/img]
[img]http://www.destructoid.com//ul/user/1/118562-267895-2jpgjpg-620x.jpg[/img]
[img]http://www.destructoid.com//ul/user/1/118562-267895-3jpgjpg-620x.jpg[/img]
[img]http://www.destructoid.com//ul/user/1/118562-267895-4jpgjpg-620x.jpg[/img]
Need I say more?

Walugi
[img]http://files.sharenator.com/23060.jpg[/img]
I'm frothing up here.

 

Awful Gaming Fanfiction #5 Half Life Consequences

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arG4_7Y_1tQ[/youtube]

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6:27 AM on 09.21.2014

Awful Gaming Fanfiction

I thought it would be a good idea to start a series of readings based on terrible gaming fanfiction. The first bundle are depraved sexual nopeness and then we start getting it the flat out stupid, in terms of 'plot' and use of the English language. More will come, I intend to update frequently on our channel

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DaupDzWiBs[/youtube]

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1CAfHUZKrw[/youtube]

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h0JX_UKbCU[/youtube]

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16dOEZmk2-Q[/youtube]

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2:51 PM on 08.31.2014

Top Eye Merkins in the history of Video Games

Mama always told me "if you can't find a bear to marry and have to be a filthy inter-racialist, then at least get someone with a good set of eyebrows". I'm still searching Mama...so stop texting about it.

People often assume that to beat a game you need skills, you need lots of ammo and lots of tactics. But no, what you really need is a warm brow. Trust me, the following video game characters got where they are today because of
Chins! I mean...Eyebrows!


Here we go with the Top Foreheard Fluff Patches in Video games


Bowser


I was this close to just having him on the list and leaving it. Look at that weave-manship. Look at the vibrancy and the flow. Those are some majestic eye brows Bowser, I'm frankly now confused as to why Princess Peach never fell for you.



Tails


Tails has a rare condition found in video game land, knowns as "dem brows won't quit". What started off as a normal set of eye brows, has rapidly expanded since Tails hit puberty and covered his entire body. The truth is,†Sonic†collects coins because he needs enough money to pay for an experimental eyebrow calming procedure that should not only stop Tails from being such a rampant butch, but eventually reduce the eyebrows to their originally volume.


A photo of Tails pre-pubescent years.


Brock


Brock has 4 eye brows

Angela Lansbury


She's appeared in†Street Fighter, Hatoful Boyfriend, she played the Latino dude in†Gears of War†and well, need I say more?


Angry Birds


All the gang here (and they are a gang in every sense) have a wide array of multicultural, binary eyebrows. And best of all you can take them with you on the commute to work.

Crash Bandicoot


Crash is a cheeky little scamp who runs around jungles topless. His eyebrows are indicative of the rebellious era of the†Playstation 1†and are no doubt the reason he smiles so much.

Jax from him and Daxter

Why eyebrows matters to characters...



This is wrong!!   read


8:39 AM on 08.30.2014

Top Chins in the history of Video Games

It's easy to find yourself in a catch-22 situation when embarking on the life changing road that is video gaming. One can be either too focused on minute details such as graphical intricacies or find themselves too complacent and offering no care whatsoever.†

Yet regardless of your stance on gaming as a hobby or gaming as a scandal laced fanart hotbed of controversy, lets not forget that video games have given us some damn mighty chins. Yes chins, the eyes of the neck block, the "I have no free hands, so I'll use it to turn on this light switch", what makes us stand out, sometimes literally and dangerously.†Chins!



Here we go with the top Chins in Video games


Lara Croft


The lass†from Tomb Raider 1 aka illegitimate sister of Dot Cotton, is one of the few video game characters who uses their own chin as not only a lock picking tool but also a means of flat out cutting through steel.

Wario


He†has squished testicles for a chin, so obviously the other panel of fictional judges that reviewed this racy article were hesitant to allow him a spot on this list. But who are we to deny a ballsack glued to your underlip area? If Wario was a real person, he'd be a bastard in an ice cream van. But for now, he's just a video game character rocking a double chin of win. Kinda apt that†Walugi†has a dildo for one.


Altair


This geezermust have a magnificent chin because he's a very shy boy and likes to hide his chin, so I'm assuming it's quite majestic but him being a humble little stabber makes him not want any attention. You know...cos kamikaze leaps from great heights into a cart of beggar wenches doesn't make anyone bat an eyelash.

Then we have...


Oh hell no,†NEXT!

Sleeping Dog Cop Guy

Sleeping Dog Cop†has a nice chin, because we need to include some multi-ethnic chinnage here.†He went a bit overboard with the tattoos though.

Angela Merkel


If ever there was a video game chin I'd make love to it'd be this one.†Mmmhmmm.


Prof Layton†

This suave smarty pants has one of the most unique chins across any platform or genre, because it looks like a hat that sits on his head. He's the Linda Lovelace of Nintendo.


Marcus Fenix, you big manly man you. Look at that man chin. Is there anything more masculine, more rawr than your own jawline. I don't think so. THIS IS VIDEOGAMES! UH GET SOME!

Honourable mention of those less fortunate...



PoorKirby, born in the ghetto, gangsta punks stole this CIS blobs chin



Pacman†is void of chin and yet somehow he got himself a wife. I dunno about you, but a having a chin is a vital part of supporting yourself during certain acts of lovemaking or as I call is, velvet-spelunking. Here, here Pacman, you're da real MVP!
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3:23 AM on 08.19.2014

It's ok not to play Depression Games

Recently with the death of†Robin Williams, depression has been discussed quite a lot. Also with the push of†Depression Quest†and ironically the scandal involving the personal lives of the creator†Zoe Quinn†and others (I won't spread the Burger and Fries blog because that's not necessary), the value and merit of the game has been discussed.




To be honest, I never really heard much about the world of depression before the past few years. I knew someone in University who suffered it and took medication. I didn't quite get it. I said the stereotypical line to myself "how can he be doing well in university, have a boyfriend, a car he adores, a loving network of family and friends" and yet he often finds himself in this black hole, he can't explain where he needs to be alone and take medication. I will say that will educating yourself is important in life, people cannot be blamed for simply not knowing the details of every illness and situation that all humans can/do go through. There's a difference between being unaware and plain ignorant.


It was my first encounter and it wasn't until 2 years later I would go through my own bouts. I don't suffer from clinical depression, but I do go through extreme cases of it. I endured it for a year straight, loss of hope, waning faith and it was all new to me. I'd been sad of course, but this was new, fresh, roaring with life and yet so empty and dead.
Then last year before Christmas I went through a pretty insane patch of it, that still occurs today. This time, something new hit me...anxiety. Oh fuck. I can't describe it gracefully. You kinda know it's coming and you want to fight it, you sit in a silent panic internally, willing it to subside and not to come back. I had to phone a close friend one night, just to talk to her, I was crying, I was desperate...and I was so frightened.

I'd like to also to just highlight that just because someone is not diagnosed with depression or suffering it due to a chemical imbalance, does not make the depression they go through any less harrowing or invalid for purpose of discussion.



I've†written before about how gaming can help you through low points. Another†cblogger has also shared their experiences. But while it's good to talk about these things, a lot can be said for not delving in to talks of depression as a topic, taking a back seat and playing video games like†Depressing Quest†and†Actual Sunlight, can have a doubled edge sword effect.†



I think it's perfectly ok and understandable to play these games that you can relate to or that can give you even a glimmer of insight, but on the other hand I would like to heavily promote the idea that it's also ok to†not†indulge in them.

Playing video games can help you when you're going through stages of depression, because you're playing something immersive that takes your mind off it. It doesn't fix anything, but it gives you a mental relief. I can play†Mass Effect, Pokťmon, Metro†or anything and just focus on getting through the levels, indulging in the story and for a little while not being bogged down in what I'm usually thinking when not heavily distracted.


HEAVILY DISTROOCTED!

I wouldn't ever play games like†Depression Quest, whilst being in a very dark place. I've started a playthrough of†Actual Sunlight†and I'm not sure if I want to continue. For me if I do, it will be to simply complete the game. Again if you do for whatever reason, then that's good, that's dandy. But for me I see it as a slippery slope, one that is letting†me†succumb even further. For others that feeling of understanding can make them, momentarily perhaps, feel less alone and so for that reason, I get it.



On the†Scary Granules Channel†I begun a play-through of†The Cat Lady. Unlike†Depression Quest†and†Actual Sunlight, this game is brutal in it's visceral, cerebral bluntness and gore. The game is like a shock of emotional, deathly lightning, that's how I felt when the initial subdued, bleak opening dialogue ended.

I decided to not go on any further after a certain point of the game. It was very close to home in the subject matter and I could get a feeling that no matter how this game ended, there would be no uplifting conclusion or aftermath, not really. The path being taken by our heroine, if you could call her that, was not one of redemption or resolve and upon reading the script for the remainder of the game I didn't want to play, I found out that my assumptions were pretty accurate. Though the elves and choices you make and characters you come across were a lot more morbid than I would have guessed.



Again this is a case of something having the ability to resonate with someone, but whether that leads to a positive or negative effect is wholly dependant on the individual.


Summary of things I've learnt under the "gaming and depression" umbrella:
There's a lot to be said for playing online multiplayer games when you're in a rough spot, this is coming from a 95% single player gamer. It's nice to play with friends or people who are cool online, for a brief moment, you kinda lose that feeling of loneliness.

Decide for yourself what is the best course when it comes to picking a game to play when you're depressed. Go with your gut and trust yourself whether you decide to play something where depression is the primary theme or decide not to. It's ok either way.

Don't beat yourself up or beat others for not knowing what you're going through. How could they, it's such a solitary, internal personal conflict.†

Play games for what they are, don't let the e-drama ruin that for you.

For those that are interested and not aware, though you probably are -†Depression Quest is free currently on Steam.†Despite the actions of the creator, that doesn't really encourage me one way or the other, not to at least give folks a heads up and decide for themselves.   read


3:27 AM on 08.13.2014

Glowbear takes to the mountains for charity



So I'm giving another go at raising money for a good cause. Alcoholic Bears Not-So Anonymoose was a riveting raunchy success. We made enough money to buy even more booze than we had already.

But seriously, I'm posting here because I'd like to ask for any donation, even as small as £1 from anyone or if not spreading the word would be equally appreciated.

https://www.justgiving.com/ClaireMountainBear/

The plan is as follows:

Last time I organised an event called Inclusion Con, this time I'm making it a little bit more personal and instead of having to rely on companies ect, I just have to rely on myself. That can both be less stressful but also more daunting, because only I can let people down. But hopefully not.

I will be walking from Sligo/Galway to Donegal (they're places in Ireland don't ya know) and then climbing my home mountain Muckish, where I will camp out for a nght, fasting for 24hrs.



This is all for charity (Special Effect are one of the major charities dedicated to helping the inclusion of disabled gamers). So the money will all go to help people with disabilities get their kick-ass gaming on. It's also personal for me on an emotional and spiritual level, I suppose.

Cheers everyone!
  read


2:54 PM on 08.08.2014

It's what's on the outside that counts



The past few years in gaming have pushed forth many different topics and principles. Those who play video games complain, more as consumers, than as gamers and yet both are intertwined together. But what part of us expresses ourselves as one over the over and has one element been a more prominent and louder voice, on social media, forums and general consensus?

We can all agree, I would at least presume, that one universal nitpicking we all have with gaming is the cost and that the cost has fluctuated up a steady slope for some time now. I am personally surprised that people can not only afford the latest consoles that have come out, the Xbox One and PS4, but †also have a collection of games already amassed. But we don't know peoples financial circumstances, nor is it our business too. But be that as it may, we know one thing - the video game industry is taking the piss when it comes to their marketing strategies and their pricing systems.



Though there are a variety of areas in which this is apparent - take for example Playstation's current set up where by you can digitally rent a game for a stupid price that increases the longer you hold it, but overall it would be a wiser, more profitable decision for a gamer to buy the game fully to own, not lease or just wait for the price to drop at some point in the near future.†

But as I don't purchase digital games, outside of Steam and they aren't really shafting anyone themselves (though the masses of crap games, that aren't even full games in any right, that flood via Greenlight right now, really needs controlling) I am not affected by such silly and anti-consumer benefit marketing plans, I complete agree they are doing a disservice as opposed to what the companies behind them thought, we'd think they were doing i.e the opposite.


For me my own gripe comes with regards to pre-orders.†

The first time a video game pre-order really rattled me was when Batman: Arkham City was announced. Not only would it have multiple versions for you to choose from, but there were ridiculous exclusive locations implemented.†



For example: The yellow lantern Batman costume (which doesn't look that great but still) was only available at the time when purchased in stores in Australia. There were quite a selection of skins, that were only available depending on the individual purchase you made, the store choice, the location of some stores ect. Then of course there was the downright unimpressive†Catwoman DLC (not unimpressive because of the gameplay itself). That would not have been rubbed in our faces as much, if we didn't have to see Catwoman related trophies that unlocked achievements, littered throughout Arkham City when you played the game minus the DLC you needed to pay extra for.†

This goes on and on, we can mention the Day One DLC scandals that continue to occur and of course the kickstarter of them all, the one that got quite a lot of notoriety - the†Mass Effect 3 Prothean Day One†DLC ....but I will hone this piece in a little more, narrowing the crosshairs on what made me write this up.

Ubisoft....Ubisoft. I said this†
and I genuinely am starting to think it might be the case.

Assassins Creed†games have been churned out at an alarmingly rapid pace ever since†Brotherhood. Also funnily enough Brotherhood is one of the best in the series so far. But no sooner has one been announced, then the next has been given it's Amazon slot and image galleries across gaming sites have been filled.†

But before we even get a glimpse at the story elements that will crop up in the next full fledged game (white dude with some sort of Americanised version of an accent does stuff), we are exposed to the pre-order special collector editions. All of them. At once. Wham!


It's as if developers want us to care more about the cardboard box and piece of plastic (if you're lucky to get physical goodies) than we do the game. You know the thing that they've supposedly put a lot of hours, crafting, filling with virtual life, expanding on a fleshed out story that people talk about and wonder what will come next. What we see online or in store, that is attached to a hefty dollar/pound sign, is meant to entice and mean more to us than what is found within the game itself.

Though not exactly the strongest case for this notion - the†Alan Wake special edition†was one I looked forward to owning and am glad I have it. The game itself was unlike anything else I played and was very enjoyable and spooky to me. But within the contents of the special edition, the game itself, the thing that you will be spending most time with, you should be more focused on, was the most lazily, unlovingly packaged piece -

This is the Xbox 360 game case...yeah I thought I'd been given a standard PC version too at the time.

Now obviously†Alan Wake†didn't suffer from being part of a churned out franchise and the quality of it's overall collectors edition didn't negate the gaming quality.†Assassin Creed†games don't lack in technical quality either, but they do lack in using a massive bucket of options. They can steer their characters and stories in any direction, yet they overall stick to a very copy/paste formula. The same can be said of their marketing strategy. Yes the collector editions for each game is unique in style and gifts within, but as I said, we will see more information about what pulls of our wallets than we will of the game for certain periods. We are overloaded and while it is our decision to look up news of such things or how to spend our money, it doesn't mean that developers and stores don't have some†responsibility. If not in shamelessly trying to overdo it, then try to at least do so in a†way that doesn't make it feel like you neglect the product we all actually want, the one you got in to the industry to create to begin with.


These people work hard to create games that will stick with us forever, more than box covers.

Gamers are getting wise to these blatant tricks now, because so many companies have jumped on the overload "ooh look at all the shinies" bandwagon, that transparency has been obliterated completely. We know now that we have an option to wait it out and not only get all the DLC we want at a more affordable price but get it and the new full game at a cheaper price!†

When†Fallout New Vegas Ultimate Edition†came out, a new copy of that game, including all DLC was cheaper than buying just even the standalone copy when it first launched. If anything you;re doing yourself damage gaming companies. Ubisoft is trending quite a lot on social media for the wrong reasons. If it's not because they come across as lazy gits in the realms of diversification, it's their hyping and flooding of pricy collector editions for games.

Right now my†dilemma†comes with a much loved franchise of mine -†Dragon Age.†Inquisition†is†coming out soon and I want to continue with getting the Collector Editions (something I only do if I really am in to the game). But what they are offering and the price for it, is a let down. I don't know if gamers as a whole, want crazy big expensive swag. For me personally, I prefer funky, enjoyable trinkets and something that adds value to the game, maybe to your desk and overall is something I am excited to wait for from the postman.


Hurry the feck up and drop it!


Anyway, I just find it a bit shallow and irking, that in general, there's so many areas of the video gaming industry from both sides of the fence, that are clouded with controversy. This may be lower on the list, especially when there's sexism, exploitation and other scandals floating around, like a lumpy bigoted elephant, but it is still an issue. Pre-ordering is something that some people, like say†Totalbiscuit†are against, as in the act of doing so, based on their take on the principles and execution of gaming marketing teams. I'm certainly not against pre-ordering, but I do advocate that we all try not to rush and give in to that urge to buy a game as soon as possible, if there's a high chance we're being shafted. Not to get a pre-order just for the sake of it, if the contents just seem to be last minute and were advertised in such a way, as to reel you in. I certainly know that I'm feeling that right now with†Alien Isolation.†


Must...resist...SiggyPout!


I am taking a very long step back from that game, but open to the possibility that it may be a worthy homage to the film series I enjoy immensely, but they are wise in their plugging of the original Alien cast as DLC to reel us wary fans in. But I won't give in, until there is some proof in that pudding and I'd have more faith in this industry I spend a lot of money and time on, if they did not take us for fools and tried to add a sense of equilibrium to their marketing ethics.

I was gonna say something about this....but I won't. We can all have a little giggle in our own time.†


£5 quid now if you fancy a new collectors edition :p   read


3:13 PM on 03.18.2014

The Thing: What could have been



The Thing is a third-person survival horror video game developed by Computer Artworks and it could have been something that when talked about now, is remembered fondly. It could have been a really enjoyable game, that did something different and paved the way for similar innovations and evolution's. I was excited about this game, I wanted it so bad and I really thought it would be something special.

The final result we received, was a lackluster third person action shooter that didn't really exude any horror elements and those that it loosely grappled to, it executed in a fairly dull and predictable manner. The main ingredient to this games uniqueness and potential success was the party paranoia and how your playable character could effect it for better or worse. Paying no attention to the escalating fears of your ice pit comrades and not making any conscious efforts to comfort them was suppose to result in them either turning against you and everyone else, as their delusional suspicions of who was infected hit a point of no return or for some reason they themselves turning into a Thing and attempting to kill you. Emphasis was placed on this aspect, be mindful of your party's stay of mind and prolong their sanity and usefulness.

That was what sold the game for me, nothing else. Maybe the barren white wilderness was another plus as I hadn't played any game in that setting, but the psychological aspect was a paramount piece of enticement for me. And it was all a lie.



When a game offers an element of choice and does not deliver, then we judge it on harsher terms. Most games will promise good game play, decent graphics, perhaps an innovation of play and if you're lucky a compelling story. These are basic set principles that we commonly associate with games and if they falter in any sector, they're critiqued thus.

But when a game promotes the gamers decisions as having an effect on the game play and in some cases the world in which it is set and completely lacks any noticeable difference, we're on another level of deceit and disappointment.

The Thing suffered from a time travelling Peter Molyneux effect.†


The Peter Molyneux effect (which I've only heard myself coin but it's not hard to guess) is when a game promises you a world wind, story enriched adventure where your choices have consequences. This means that certain actions you have 'chosen' should be reflected in immediate or future scenes. The Thing promoted itself as letting you have that perk power. But your actions have no consequence at all.

To ensure your party longevity you can help put them at ease by say, giving them some ammo or giving them a better weapon than what they have. So your random dude is freaking out, his insanity meter is about to pop or is even just a little bit above average on the 'heading to crazyville' range. Calm him down and gain his trust by giving him a gun. It's simple yes and if it had of been elaborated on a bit more, such as dialogue options or executing certain actions before them that depending on your choice of actions would ease them or escalate their fears, then the game would have been a lot more interesting and certainly more gripping. What we can do is repetitive and unvaried and it makes not one lick of difference.



No matter what you do every event is set in scripted stone. Near the end of the game I had a 2 party members with me. One was mentally sound and had not really given me any trust related grief, the other started freaking out. So I gave him a pretty decent gun and because I had plenty spare I gave a weapon and ammo to the other, consistently calm partner. Both turned on me either by legging it or having the utter cheek to turn in to a Thing. This happened less than a minute after my party transaction, we took a couple of steps in a snow tunnel and they both just hit a point in the game that commanded them to run out their script. So I reloaded and this time didn't give any extra ammunition to either, walked a few feet toward and you guessed it, both turncoats did it again! It was predestined, it was scripted, it was bullshit.



The survival horror genre is one that has a lot of copycat games floating about, after a while even those that do the job well can seem a bit boring in repeat succession, especially to those that are keenly interested in horror games. The Thing could have been something different, it didn't have to be immensely deep, it just had to add a few little tricks and actually let us play what we thought we were playing. If it had of executed the paranoia meter and what exactly contributed to it with some finesse and applied the same thought to how the player would try to handle the situation, the game would have stood out for the right reasons. The foundations were there, the ideas were on the table and yet somehow along the way, it's as if the developers simply stopped or forgot and decided to just shovel out something that was void of all the unique elements that would have made it worth playing from a horror perspective.

The Thing on it's own, in my opinion, isn't that awful a shooter in its own right, but there's a bunch of them out there and while I'm giving it that bit of praise that bit of praise isn't exactly teeming. Maybe you disagree or maybe you don't know it, but the Thing was a game that slipped under the radar pretty much and it could have been a must have for many people, if the simple promises that were made, were actually stuck to and I believe they could have.

Also Peter Molyneux ruins every precious thing he touches!!   read


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