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Handy's blog

What if Mario was... a GIRL!???!!!?
3:47 PM on 07.26.2014
E3 Predictions: The Results
3:23 PM on 06.22.2014
Is Toad Middle Eastern?
9:10 AM on 01.27.2014
2013 in Gaming: Better/Worse than Ever
4:28 PM on 12.30.2013
Carry Over Saves Are a Near Impossible Dream.
10:46 AM on 12.10.2013
Fanart Flops: Sonic walks with Christ, do you? (NSFW)
10:12 AM on 05.02.2013





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Community Discussion: Blog by Handy | Handy's ProfileDestructoid
Handy's Profile - Destructoid

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About
Welcome to the blog.... you must be bored. anyway im Handy, I'm a student in Ireland and I'm here to talk about whatever may come into my mind....so not much then.

Lets see... I’ve been playing games pretty much my whole life, since my Commodore back in the day to my ps3 now I’ve been hooked. Actually come to think of it I can’t remember a time I wasn’t playing games. Can’t say I have a favourite genre, I like to try a bit of everything, though I will go to town on a good RPG. I’ll have something to fill in this space as soon as my life becomes interesting.

^^^ Seriously, I wrote that like four years ago and still nothing interesting has happened.



Like everyone else on Destructoid I’m at a loss on what to fill this space with so I guess I’ll just catalogue my greatest hits, if you can call a loose collection of lists and borderline pornographic fanart “greatest hits”.



Listmania – Because liking something isn’t as important as liking it in the correct order.

Game plots that are clearly rip-offs: Part two

Gamings Greatest Slinky Invisible Women with Huge Asses

E3 Approaches: The E3 survival guide!

Something about E3: 34 things you’ll have to hear soon

Lost? Lonely? Looking for Love?

Gaming’s worst legal guardians

Gaming DIY

Valentine’s Day, Shmalentine’s.....Shmay

Get a new look at the Gaming Salon!

Hatesgiving

The NPC survival guide

Game lessons that don’t work in real life



Fanart Flops – Because you must suffer.

Fanart Flops: Back by (Un)Popular Demand

Fanart Flops: Eyebleach, I Choose You Edition

Fanart Flops: Octopus Hojo Edition

Fanart Flops: Stop Raping My Childhood Edition

Fanart Flops. (Possibly NSFW)



Wankery – The terrible results of when I pretend I’m smart.

Dear Industry: I Am Not a Psychopath

Final Fantasy Versus Itself

Only Human


The culture Gap



Sargasm – Because I’m kind of a dick.

Darksiders 2 in a nutshell

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

How Dare You, Capcom

Death to Red Shepard!

How to make a sequel

Why FFXIII is the worst one EVAR!

The Scandalous Scam of Samit Sarkar!

In the name of SCIENCE!!!




Front page – When Destructoid has terrible lapses in judgement.


Top 12 Videogame porno parodies (NSFW)

Handy’s X-mas X-travaganza begins now!

Game plots that are clearly rip-offs

Comments of the Week: Busst Stop

Comments of the week: George Michael Warfare 3



Don’t forget Comments of the Week

Comments of the Week: Tinfoil Hat Edition







Just because.
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When they announced new Super Mario 3D World heads were sent spinning at the prospect of playing as Princess Peach, unfortunately, many were disappointed as both Peach and Rosalina reinforced gender normatives by running slower and jumping differently than their male counterparts. Some brave fans took it upon themselves to reverse the situation and draw Mario as a girl, and in doing so, subverted all expectations and revealed the chauvinist precedent unwittingly encouraged by Nintendo. 



If you’re still reading this then that means you clicked, and I have already won. Here's some fanart I found. However, in an attempt to make this look like I didn’t shit this out in ten minutes allow me to present some half baked ideas I thought up in the shower. *Ahem*. If Mario was a girl than that would turn the stereotypical “save the princess” plot on its head, now a woman would be saving a man, and that would be really progressive and open-minded and avant-garde and stuff.

I’m definitely not writing this because Nintendo fans are rabid and fanatical and women in gaming is a hot button issue.



Also, in anticipation of dissenting opinions allow me to suggest that if you are a man attracted to female Mario then you’re probably gay, and gender-swapped Mario is how you lie to yourself and maintain your image. “This isn’t gay” you think, as you imaging her giant cartoon gloves enveloping your penis, “I’m straight” you reassert, picturing the gentle caress of her moustache. 

I’m sure that pre-emptively suggesting that those people are gay in no way reinforces the idea that it’s something to be ashamed of. In any case, I’ll be pretending to be so forward thinking that I couldn’t even conceive why you would go there or why anything in this article would even draw attention in the first place. 

Have I mentioned Smash Bros yet? Oh man, Smash Bros is for idiots.
Photo Photo Photo







Handy
3:23 PM on 06.22.2014

With the dust settled I thought we’d take a look back at the E3 Predictions post to see who came out on top, and to just reflect on E3 in general. All in all I think it was a pretty good showing, something for everybody no matter what your tastes or platform of choice, I’ve heard some complain that it was a boring year, and while I agree in some respects, I think it’s important to note that an uneventful showing isn’t necessarily bad a one, E3 certainly wasn’t boring last year but that’s because it was a disaster for some. 

So here’s how we’re doing this, below you’ll find my original fifty questions, followed by a short blurb on how well I think they were answered and who was correct in their predictions, it’s...kind of  mess to look at but if you read the prediction post then you've read half of this already. Also some quick thoughts on the big three and their conferences for funsies, and the final score revealing who our champion is! 


Microsoft



I have to hand it to Microsoft for how they conducted this year’s conference, while I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say this has convinced them to pick up an Xbone, their approach of “Game-game-game-game” with little to no fluff in-between did a lot to show that they at least recognise what a joke they were last year. Also, is it me of does every racing game act like they’re the hottest shit when get a Nürburgring Track?


Microsoft has been embarrassing themselves on stage for the last few years, but this year they assure us it will be "all about the games" and less about the suits. Will they make good on this promise and focus on what core gamers want?

(For the most part, Microsoft certainly did come through with their promise that it would be all about the games this year)

Coin: Heads – YES – Correct 
Tarot: Death, Reversed - resistance to change, unable to move on – NO – Incorrect 
8-Ball: "Yes definitely" – YES – Correct 


With the recent announcement of Kinect being sold separately from Xbox One, will we finally be free of the flailing beast at this year's press conference?

(It’s dead, we can finally play pantless again!)

Coin: Tails – NO – Incorrect 
Tarot: Moon, Upright - illusion, fear, anxiety – NO – Incorrect 
8-Ball: "Concentrate and ask again" (I do so) "Yes" – YES – Correct 


Will they have celebrities or sport personalities on stage?

(I honestly have no idea who the hell those people were. They were either mid-tier developers or nobody-tier celebs. In any case, they weren’t on stage and they weren't the focus, so I’ll let it pass)

Coin: Tails – NO – Correct 
Tarot: Hanged Man, Upright - restriction, letting go, sacrifice – NO – Correct 
8-Ball: "Reply hazy try again" (I do so) "It is decidedly so" – YES – Incorrect 


Will there be extended talks about TV, sports, television, TV, Mountain Dew, and so on?

(A little, but nowhere near the extent we expected, somehow Sony talked more about TV than Microsoft)

Coin: Heads – YES - Incorrect
Tarot: Hermit, Upright - soul searching, introspection - NO (let's give them the benefit of the doubt) – Correct 
8-Ball: "Outlook not so good" considering the topic, that means – YES – Incorrect 


We know Halo 5 is coming, but what about other exclusives? Will we see the next Gears of War?

(We sure didn’t)

Coin: Tails – NO – Correct 
Tarot: Tower, Upright - disaster, upheaval – NO – Correct 
8-Ball: "Concentrate and ask again" (I do so, again) "It is certain" – YES – Incorrect 


What about Sunset Overdrive? Will we see that?

(We sure did)

Coin: Tails – NO – Incorrect 
Tarot: Wheel of Fortune, Upright - good luck, karma – YES – Correct 
8-Ball: "My reply is no" - NO – Incorrect


Will we see Quantum Break in either its game or TV incarnation?

(I believe we got brief glimpses of Quantum Break, but nothing significant enough to call this a yes)

Coin: Tails – NO – Correct 
Tarot: Tower, Reversed - avoidance of disaster - YES and it won't be terrible or - NO we won't see it at E3, but it will be terrible – Correct 
8-Ball: "It is certain" – YES – Incorrect 


Will there be any Titanfall related announcements?

(Not from Microsoft anyway)

Coin: Tails – NO – Correct 
Tarot: Fool, Reversed - naivety, recklessness - YES but it will be something dumb – Incorrect
8-Ball: "Concentrate and ask again" (I roll my eyes and do so) "Don't count on it" – NO – Correct 


Will Call of Duty continue its relationship with Microsoft with a new trailer or announcement of timed exclusive DLC?

(Buy an Xbox One for the chance to pay more money sooner!)

Coin: Heads – YES – Correct 
Tarot: Star, Upright - hope, renewal, serenity – YES – Correct 
8-Ball: "Yes, definitely" – YES – Correct 


Last year's E3 was something of a disaster for Microsoft, but since then a lot of the controversial features of the Xbox One have been removed or scaled back. Do you think Microsoft has realized their mistakes and changed enough to have a strong showing this year?

(While few of the games grabbed me personally, and general opinions still seem to float somewhere around mistrust and disinterest, Microsoft have definitely realized their mistakes and had a decent showing)

Coin: Heads – YES – Correct 
Tarot: Temperance, Reversed - imbalance, excess, lack of long-term vision – NO – Incorrect
8-Ball: "Yes definitely" – YES – Correct 


Sony



Me: 70 minutes into Sony’s conference.

Sony’s conference took place at 2am to 4am in my part of the world, and in my half asleep stupor I for some reason thought they brought the thunder in the first half, and promptly fell asleep for the second when business man and the Kingpin started talking, thankfully I was cognisant enough to catch the new Metal Gear and Uncharted trailers afterwards. 

Upon second viewing (to make sure Bloodborne wasn’t a dream) it certainly wasn’t the tour de force I thought it was, but still, while I need one more big push before I buy a next gen console, they had a lot to show off. I dare say if they had of cut out all the boring suit speak and kept the conference tighter they would have “won” between the E3 conferences handily.


Sony has a propensity of throwing rather dull charts, graphs, and sales numbers at our face during E3. Should we fear more of that this year?

(Christ yes, mister Clinton gestures put me to sleep, literally)

Coin: Tails – NO – Incorrect
Tarot: Emperor, Reversed - domination, rigidity, inflexibility – YES – Correct 
8-Ball: "Yes" – YES – Correct 


With Jack Tretton's departure from Sony, will the replacement speaker be able to live up to the vast legacy of being mild and inoffensive enough to "win" E3 by default of not being terrible?

(Nope, with the other companies upping their game to “Not Terrible” it’ll take more than not being nails on a chalkboard to win now)

Coin: Heads - YES – Incorrect
Tarot: Wheel of Fortune, Upright - good luck, life cycles - YES – Incorrect
8-Ball: "Better not tell you now" (getting real tired of your shit, 8-Ball) "Outlook not so good" – NO – Correct 


Last year we were reintroduced to Final Fantasy Versus 13, now branded as a full-on Final Fantasy entry. Will we see a release window, a trailer, or anything at all this year?

(We didn’t see jack shit, and I for one will no longer hold on to “they’re waiting for TGS” hopes, that’s game’s vapourware until I’m happily proven otherwise)

Coin: Heads - YES – Incorrect
Tarot: Devil, Upright - bondage, addiction, sexuality, materialism - um... YES? – Incorrect
8-Ball: "As I see it, yes" - YES – Incorrect


Will we finally see the Last Guardian again? Is it still real? Was it ever real?

(After reassurance that The Last Gaurdian is definitely still a thing Sony preceded to...do nothing once again) 

Coin: Heads - YES – Incorrect
Tarot: Hierophant, Reversed - restriction, challenging the status quo - YES (assuming the status quo is that it's been missing for years) – Incorrect
8-Ball: "My sources say no" – NO – Correct 


After a lukewarm reception, will The Order: 1886 prove to be anything more than "just" another third person shooter?

(I’m not even sure it a third person shooter for all the good shooting did in that trailer, are we sure that wasn’t a cutscene? Either way, The Order sill has a lot to prove) 

Coin: Heads - YES – Incorrect
Tarot: Empress, Reversed - creative block, dependence on others - NO – Correct 
8-Ball: "Reply hazy, try again" (yet again, I do so) "Ask again later" - FUCK YOU, 8-BALL  – Incorrect because fuck you 8-Ball


How about the new Uncharted? Will we see that?

(I’m pretty sure Nathan Drake should have brain damage for the amount of times he's been knocked unconscious and woken up in strange places, that or he has a drinking problem)

Coin: Heads – YES – Correct 
Tarot: Death, Upright - endings and beginnings, change, transformation - YES but it's a kart racer now – correct (we don’t know that it isn’t a kart racer)
8-Ball: "As I see it, yes" – YES – Correct 


Will they show support for the Vita, or will it forever remain the stretch goal that Kickstarters stop before reaching?

(The closest thing to support was the announcement of the Playstation TV, which is essentially a Vita for people who don’t want to shell out for a Vita, not exactly what I’d call a stellar endorsement) 

Coin: Tails – NO – Correct 
Tarot: Star, Reversed - lack of faith, discouragement – NO – Correct 
8-Ball: "Concentrate and ask again" (this fuckin' guy) "Yes definitely" – YES – Incorrect


Will Sony keep trying to make the phrase "PlayStation Nation" happen?

(I didn’t hear the phrase, but as mentioned I was half asleep) 

Coin: Heads - YES – Incorrect
Tarot: Tower, Upright - disaster, upheaval - YES – Incorrect
8-Ball: "You may rely on it" - YES – Incorrect


Will they be focusing on Morpheus, Sony's new VR technology?

(While it had a presence, Sony smartly avoided focusing too much on something we can’t get hype about from our couches at home)

Coin: Heads - YES – Incorrect
Tarot: Judgement, Reversed - self doubt, refusal of self examination – NO – Correct 
8-Ball: "Better not tell you now" (the coin never gives answers like this) "Most likely" - YES – Incorrect


The big one for many people: will Project Beast be revealed at Sony's conference?

(Bloodborne is here and life is worth living again!)

Coin: Tails - NO – Incorrect
Tarot: Justice, Upright - fairness, truth, er... justice – YES – Correct 
8-Ball: "Most likely" – YES – Correct 

Nintendo



Nintendo is tough to talk about this year, while I think they certainly had the best overall E3, I personally believe they had the weakest conference. Only 45 minutes and most of what was discussed were already known quantities, don’t get me wrong, Nintendo had a lot to show at E3, but for some bizarre reason they chose not to show it when they had the entire world’s rapt attention. Every time I bring this up someone corrects me with “they didn’t have enough time”, I’m sorry but are you insane? It was pre-recorded! And half as long as the other conferences! And they spent twenty minutes in a goddamn aquarium and wool shop! TIME was not a factor! 

And Splatoon is not as big a deal as you think it is! It looks like a fun little game, but you know if it was on PlayStation or Xbox people wouldn’t be hyping it up like they are now. It’s completely immature of me, but something about Nintendo fan’s tendency to cling on and make a huge deal out of something small really gets my goat. Dynasty Warriors is a joke, but reskin it with Zelda characters and suddenly it’s amazing! ARGLE BARGLE RANTRANTRANT! 

Nintendo definitely won E3 this year, but not for the reasons Nintendo fans will tell you. (God, I am a man-child)

As people have no doubt been asking for years now, will Nintendo announce a new entry in one of their beloved B-tier franchises such as F-Zero, Star Fox, or Metroid?

(What we got were some blurry background shots of a new Star Fox, as far as Nintendo fans are concerned the second coming of Christ was confirmed)

Coin: Tails - NO – Incorrect
Tarot: Strength, Reversed - weakness, self-doubt - NO – Incorrect
8-Ball: "It is decidedly so" – YES – Correct 


Will we see Monolith Soft's "X" this year?

(We sure did, and it looks sweeeeet)

Coin: Tails - NO – Incorrect
Tarot: ZA WARUDO - MUDAMUDAMUDAMUDA – WRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY – WRY is always correct
8-Ball: "Outlook Good" – YES – correct 

How about Smash Bros? Will we get any new character reveals?

(Palutena and Pac-Man enter the fight! This is what happens when you don’t create any new characters after 1986)

Coin: Heads – YES – Correct 
Tarot: Emperor, Upright - authority, structure, solid – YES – Correct 
8-Ball: "Cannot predict now" (I shake the ball a little more than necessary) "Cannot predict now" (I shake the ball violently) "Don't count on it" - NO – Incorrect


What about Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem? Will we get any new information on that?

(We didn’t get shit! How long must I wait for my Demi-Fiend X Chrom fanfic to become a reality?)

Coin: Heads - YES – Incorrect
Tarot: Hierophant, Reversed - restriction – NO – Correct 
8-Ball: "Yes, definitely" - YES – Incorrect


Last October, word was mentioned that a Wii U Zelda game may be on the way. (Possibly just a prelude to Hyrule Warriors.) Could there be a new, proper, Zelda coming our way?

(We got our new Zelda...sort of. I personally consider the announcement underwhelming, just a picture of a field and some discussion of vague concepts, we don’t even have a name yet, you’re kidding yourself if you think this is coming out before 2016. That said, I’m just not personally invested in Zelda games and have never enjoyed their structure, I know fans who freaked out at what was shown) 

Coin: Tails - NO – Incorrect
Tarot: Hermit, Reversed - withdrawal, isolation - NO – Incorrect
8-Ball: "You can count on it" – YES – Correct 


The 3DS has been doing excellent but there doesn't seem to be much on the horizon. Will there be any new announcements?

(I gueeeess, nothing aside from Code Name: S.T.E.A.M, things are looking lean for the little portable that could)

Coin: Heads – YES – Correct 
Tarot: Star, Upright - hope, renewal, inspiration – YES – Correct 
8-Ball: "Very doubtful" - NO – Incorrect


Is it possible Nintendo will make a bold move and just announce a new console altogether?

(Nope!)

Coin: Heads - YES – Incorrect
Tarot: The World, Reversed - lack of completion, lack of closure - (possibly referring to the Wii U) YES – Incorrect
8-Ball: "Outlook not so good" – NO – Correct 


There will be an open-to-the-public Smash Bros event taking place across America during E3. Does this mean gaming websites are seriously going to have to dispatch people to Best Buy for hands-on previews?

(Not that I’ve heard of, though I’d consider it hard hitting journalism considering what some sites have been up to this year)

Coin: Tails - NO – Correct 
Tarot: Chariot, Revesed - lack of control - NO – Correct 
8-Ball: "Very doubtful" – NO – Correct 

General



Third-party showings were sort of weak this year. EA promised six new games and literally had nothing to show, they tried to cover it up by pretending they were giving us a “sneak peek” behind the scenes, but it was sadly obvious that they had nothing beyond concept art. It’s becoming clear that Ubisoft’s breakneck turnarounds are starting to affect development, as every game shown touted the same big feature: co-op “seamlessly” integrated into singleplayer, Aisha Tyler however, is still the best host by miles. 

Overall, E3 2015 is going to be weird as we’ll be seeing most of these games again. 


Ubisoft made waves the last few years by springing last minute surprises on us at the end of their conferences, will they do it again this year?

(They sure did)

Coin: Tails – NO – Incorrect 
Tarot: Priestess, Upright - intuition, mystery, subconscious - YES – Correct 
8-Ball: "Yes definitely" – YES – Correct 


Will said surprise announcement be way too early and end up getting pushed back two years?

(It sure will)

Coin: Tails – NO – Incorrect 
Tarot: Hermit, Upright - introspection, inner guidance - YES (I'm interpreting this as Ubi looking inside and realizing "Oh shit, we announced this way too soon again") – Correct 
8-Ball: "Most likely" – YES – Incorrect 


Will there be a new MGS5 trailer?

(Kidnap some goats and rub a dead guy on your face, can't wait!)

Coin: Heads - YES – Correct 
Tarot: Magician, Upright - skill, action - YES – Correct
8-Ball: "Very doubtful" – NO – Incorrect 

Will we finally get a real look at Persona 5? (Note: Chad asked this question on my behalf to a peccary in 2010. That peccary was a filthy liar.)

(Coin, Tarot and 8-Ball are all on my shitlist next to that peccary) 

Coin: Heads – YES – Incorrect 
Tarot: Lovers, Upright - love, union, relationships – YES – Incorrect 
8-Ball: "Reply hazy try again" (I need this, 8-Ball) "YES" – YES- Incorrect 


Do you think by any chance there is perhaps maybe a small possibility that Call of Duty might conceivably have a presence at E3?

(It was a long shot but wow, can you believe it Call of Duty was there?) 

Coin: Heads – YES – Correct
Tarot: Death, Upright - change, endings and beginnings - NO? (though it may refer to a change within CoD, not our exposure to it) – Incorrect 
8-Ball: "Outlook not so good" – NO – Incorrect

Is the new Mass Effect to be revealed this year?

(I do not consider that...concept work to be anything close to a reveal)

Coin: Tails - NO – Correct
Tarot: Magician, Reversed - poor planning, latent talents - NO (it's coming along, but not ready for E3 -- perhaps just a vague teaser) – Correct (cannot believe how correct that was)
8-Ball: "As I see it, yes" – YES – Incorrect 


Will Mountain Dew and/or Doritos have an embarrassingly large presence this year?

(Dewritos Pope was lurking around E3 but I didn’t see anything that would constitute an embarrassing presence) 

Coin: Heads – YES – Incorrect 
Tarot: Temperance, Reversed - imbalance, excess – YES – Incorrect 
8-Ball: "Signs point to yes" – YES – Incorrect 


Will we finally get a look at the next Fallout game?

(Siiiiiigh)

Coin: Tails - NO – Correct
Tarot: Judgement, Upright - judgement, rebirth, inner calling – YES – Incorrect 
8-Ball: "You may rely on it" – YES – Incorrect 


Will Shenmue 3 be announced or do I have to keep sacrificing these goats?

(Running out of goats here)

Coin: Heads - YES – Incorrect
Tarot: Emperor, Reversed - rigidity, inflexibility - NO – Correct
8-Ball: "Ask again later" (sure thing, we've only been waiting THIRTEEN YEARS for this!) "Outlook Good" – YES – Incorrect 


Does Ubisoft seriously have the balls to announce two mainline Assassin's Creed games at the same time?

(They aren’t that bad...yet)

Coin: Heads – YES – Incorrect 
Tarot: Moon, Upright - illusion, fear, insecurity - sounds like a YES to me - Incorrect 
8-Ball: "Don't count on it" - NO – Correct

We all know the answer already but, as is tradition: will a Final Fantasy VII remake be announced?

(No, but we got G-Bike! Getting closer!! Any day now!!!) 

Coin: Heads – YES – Incorrect 
Tarot: Death, Reversed - resistance to change, unable to move on (starting to feel like this card is referring to me asking the question rather than answering it) – YES ANYWAY(#GoldenSaucer4Life) – Incorrect 
8-Ball: "Very doubtful" - NO – Correct


Will Beyond Good and Evil 2 be announced?

(FF7 remake has a better chance)

Coin: Tails - NO – Correct
Tarot: Priestess, Reversed - hidden agendas, refusal to listen to oneself - NO – Correct
8-Ball: "Outlook good" – YES – Incorrect 


Will Platinum Games announce another revolutionary genre-defining masterpiece that will get overlooked by the gaming press once again?

(Much as I love Platinum, I have reservations about Scalebound that I may write about some other time, but for now, with Bayonetta 2 also in the pipeline, let’s just say yes)

Coin: Tails – NO – Incorrect 
Tarot: Devil, Reversed - breaking free, power reclaimed – YES – Correct 
8-Ball: "Ask again later" (goddamn prima donna 8-Ball) "It is certain" – YES – Correct 

Will David Cage be present and will he say "h'emotion" more than three times?

(David Cage was busy filming more uncomfortably long shower scenes this year)

Coin: Tails – NO – Correct 
Tarot: Empress, Reversed - creative block, dependence on others - (sounds like David Cage to me) YES – Incorrect 
8-Ball: "You may rely on it" – YES – Incorrect 

EA just announced that they would have six new games to show off at E3. Will even one of them be a new IP?

(EA didn’t have ANY new games, yet alone new IP, they even didn’t have two wireframe models to rub together) 

Coin: Heads – YES – Incorrect 
Tarot: Hanged Man, Upright - suspension, restriction – NO – Correct 
8-Ball: "Signs point to yes" – YES – Incorrect 

Will Half-Life 3 be revealed, followed by world peace, genetically modified flying pigs, and free milkshakes?

(haha, no)

Coin: Heads – YES – Incorrect 
Tarot: Temperance, Reversed - imbalance, lack of long term vision (seriously?) – NO – Correct 
8-Ball: "Very doubtful" - NO – Correct


Rumours abound of Resident Evil 7, but I think what we'd all really like to know is if the critically acclaimed industry darling Dino Crisis is finally getting the attention it deserves?

(Still no Dino Crisis, maybe Capcom will listen to me if I act like a shrill baby and harass their employees) 

Coin: Heads – YES – Incorrect 
Tarot: Chariot, Reversed - lack of control, aggression - NO – Correct
8-Ball: "Better not tell you now" (I will drain out your blue dye and drink it in front of you one day) "It is decidedly so" – YES – Incorrect 


Is it true that Project Beast is actually an elaborate red herring to distract us from From Software's true reveal: Metal Wolf Chaos 2?

(We’ll have to settle for Bloodborne)

Coin: Heads – YES – Incorrect 
Tarot: Sun, Reversed - temporary depression, lack of success - NO – Correct
8-Ball: "Most likely" – YES – Incorrect 


Will Capcom announce a new Mega Ma-ahahahaha, ahhh, sorry sorry *ahem*. Will Capcom announce a new Mega Man? *snicker*

(Mega Man disappointment sustains my lifeforce)

Coin: Tails - NO – Correct
Tarot: Wheel of Fortune, Upright - Good luck, destiny, turning point – YES – Incorrect 
8-Ball: "It is certain" – YES – Incorrect 


They've been stringing us along for ages -- after months of teasers and subtle hints could we be on the verge of finally getting our first look at Tractor Simulator 2015?

(Actually...yes. I have no idea how to react when my joke questions come true)



Coin: Tails - NO – Incorrect
Tarot: Lovers, Upright - love, union – YES – Correct 
8-Ball: "Very doubtful" - NO – Incorrect


Will Capcom announce Devil May Cry 5 followed by one whole minute of deep apology bowing?

(They’ll come around...)

Coin: Heads – YES – Incorrect 
Tarot: The Fool, Upright - beginnings, innocence, spontaneity – YES – Incorrect 
8-Ball: "Don't count on it" - NO – Correct


TOO HOT FOR THE FRONT PAGE! THE CENSORED QUESTION THEY COULDN’T HANDLE!!

Will Kotaku try their damndest to make a sexism controversy out of something? 

(Holy shit did they ever, wish I had mentioned Polygon in the question too, as far as I’m concerned they’re the same thing now.)

Coin: Tails – NO – Incorrect  
Tarot: Moon, Upright - illusion, fear, insecurity (that’s our Kotaku) – YES – Correct 
8-Ball: “Without a doubt” – YES – Correct 

AND THE WINNER IS................



Coin – 19
Tarot – 29
8-Ball – 22

Tarot Cards! JoJo! Persona! Other things that use tarot motifs! Psychics too I suppose! Yaaaaaaay!
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Handy
9:10 AM on 01.27.2014

First, we discovered that the clouds and bushes in Super Mario Bros. were using the same sprite. 

Later, mankind theorised that the entirety of Super Mario Bros 3. was actually a stage play.

And now, I have unearthed the next “it was there all along” revelation of the Mario universe; Toad is Middle Eastern. Sort of, I mean, he’s not from the actual Middle East or Arab or anything, he’s a mushroom, but just roll with me here. 


Reason #1 – Look at Him



I feel like either I’m the only person in the world who sees this or everybody else in the world is aware of it and just never mentions it; but Toad’s design is heavily based on Arabic culture. When I was little I always wondered why Toad wore the same outfit as Disney’s Aladdin, but looking at it now I see that Toad is completely decked out in Arabic garb, not only is he wearing an Arabian vest and harem trousers (actually what they’re called), but the real cinchier was when I realised that his mushroom cap is supposed to be evocative of a turban. 


Reason # 2 – World 2 is Always a Desert. 



To date, the second worlds in Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, New Super Mario Bros., New Super Mario Bros. Wii, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Paper Mario, Paper Mario: Sticker Star, New Super Mario Bros. U and Super Mario 3D World have all been desert themed. Assuming that Mario takes the shortest route possible to Bowers domain this indicates that the Mushroom Kingdom encapsulates or borders vast expanses of desert land, given how early in the game you visit I’m betting it’s the former, this means that the Mushroom Kingdom must integrate and share much of the land’s culture and people. 


Reason # 3 – Mushroom Royalty 



These fine gentlemen are the Mushroom Kings, appearing in Super Mario Bros. 3 as the lords presiding over the Mushroom Kingdom. You may notice than they all have dark complexions and several of them dress in style reminiscent of Middle Eastern nobility, except for the Viking and...um, potato? Let’s just assume they rule over the vassal states. Were that not to convince you enough have a look at this fellow...



That is the Mushroom King, the Mushroom King, as in Peach’s father. Appearing occasionally in the comics as a bumbling fool, this is the closest we've gotten to any sort of official word on big daddy mushroom himself, and as you may notice, he’s a goddamn sultan! In fact, it’s becoming more and more evident that Peach and Daisy are the odd ones out when it comes to the Mushroom aristocracy.


Reason #4 – Doki Doki Panic



Doki Doki Panic was the basis for what we in the west knew as Super Mario Bros. 2, what was originally an Arabian Nights themed platformer was reskinned to become a Mario game, and since Mario games were already surrealist nonsense very few changes needed to be made beyond inserting familiar characters. Toad replaced Papa, a squat man wearing an Arabian vest, harem trousers (again, actually what they’re called) and a turban, sound familiar? I’m not saying Toad is a rip-off, he was created first, more likely is that they wear similar clothes because vests were an easy way to distinguish the arms of a character, much like Mario’s overalls. The point is, Toad already looked exactly like his Middle Eastern counterpart, and the fact that Nintendo haphazardly smashed an Arabian Nights themed game into the Mario world doesn’t exactly hurt my case. 


Reason #5 – Nobody Cosplays Toad because it Looks Racist. 



It becomes shockingly obvious when you stretch Toad out to human proportions that this character is Middle Eastern. Anybody cosplaying as Toad is put in the unfortunate position of being mistaken for a genie by anyone outside the gaming community. 


Reasons #6 #7 #8 – So Many Other Things!



Am I the only one seeing this!? What about the Dryites from Paper Mario? What about the pyramids that appear in so many levels? Are Shy Guys supposed to be female Toads in burkas!? Okay, no, that one was stupid, but you can’t deny the irrefutable evidence that Toad, and evidently, much of the Mushroom Kingdom, are thematically and allegorically Arabic.
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What a year, eh? Another triumphant year for current gen consoles, the introduction of the next generation, the higher standards of AAA experiences and the greater exposure and availability of indie games. Yep, it’s a pretty great time to be involved in gaming.....

But fuck that, let’s complain and think up stupid categories for stuff I want to talk about. 


Fork-Tongued Merchant of Lies Award – Randy Pitchford



Gearbox were on a roll, the terrible-but-totally-not-their-fault-they-swear Duke Nukem had become little more than a bad memory, and they were basking in the afterglow of Borderlands 2’s critical reception, Gearbox had finally rid themselves of the stigma of releasing awful, broken games and were on the road to recovery. Then Aliens: Colonial Marines happened. Now, when most developers and publishers don’t have confidence in a game there’s a few steps they take to minimise damage, they don’t send review code to game websites, they cleverly edit trailers so as not to show gameplay for more that second-long flashes at a time, and basically release the game quietly and hope for the best. No hype means no backlash. 

But Gearbox took things in a different direction, deciding to instead embargo the review code till the game was released, falsifying trailers to the point of being unrecognisable, and going into a complete media shutdown, only breaking the silence to acknowledge the rare flicker of praise the game got. The only indication of the game’s quality we had was an unusual talk Randy gave at DICE a week before release in which he was adamant we recognise that other studios worked on the game. All this was bad enough before the accusations of embezzlement, the lawsuits, the finger pointing and that time he spent $25000 for a magician’s ponytail. But at least we know their true colours now, never again will they sink their teeth into one of our beloved...JESUS CHRIST TELLTALE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? RUN!! GET AWAY FROM HIM!

Runner Up – Peter Molyneux.

What was inside The Cube? A publicity stunt....damn it, Molyneux. 


Post-Trilogy Prequel in a Massive Franchise You Already Forgot About Award – Gears of War: Judgement



Gears of War was a big deal. Where Resident Evil conceived the over the shoulder shooter Gears popularised it, for better or worse, Gears of War played a part in shaping the current generation. You’d think the fourth entry would have done better. The prequel starring Baird, because apparently when your choice is between the fan favourite and a guy created to justify four player co-op the black guy still can’t be the lead, was released to average critical acclaim and poor commercial success. Could this be a sign that we’re finally tired of freakishly muscular men shooting aliens in the face? Or are we just tired of these particular freakishly muscular men shooting aliens in the face? Only time will tell. 

Runner Up – God of War: Ascension

Maybe we’re just sick of the Gs of War. 


Evil Genius Award for Achievements in the Field of Bastardry – Don Mattrick



The Xbox One reveal was a trainwreck, between the invasive concepts and attempts to control what we did with our games to the mixed messages and Don Mattrick’s displays of outright contempt for the core audience, it was almost as though he wanted the Xbox One to crash and burn. Not long after the PR disaster that was our introduction to the Xbone Mattrick left Microsoft for Zynga, it seemed he screwed up so bad he was fired...........OR WAS HE??? You don’t just clear up your desk and become CEO of the world’s leading casual game provider, Don knew where he was going well before E3, at best he was completely checked out at that point and didn’t care about the Xbox One, at worst, remember that Zynga is the company that constantly espoused the coming revolution of social gaming and the death of consoles. Don Mattrick wasn’t just jumping ship, he was cutting loose the lifeboats and poking holes in the hull first.

Runner Up – Randy Pitchford

Did I mention the whole Aliens thing?

Oddly Specific Genre Award – Aging Father Figure Travels Through a Hostile World With Young Woman



The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, and The Walking Dead are games about ageing men in a world gone to shit as they travel with and protect young women that circumstance has placed in their care, perhaps over time the women will begin to take care of themselves and toughen up as they come to terms with harsh realities of this world, perhaps the men will open up and let themselves care again, perhaps game journalists will call it “emotional” because our lexicon is severely limited and we have such low standards that making us feel any emotion at all is considered an achievement in this medium. Snark aside, it is promising that three games can be so similar yet offer different experiences, and all three can reach varying levels of success. Both game developers and players are reaching their 30’s and 40’s and many are now parents themselves, and it’s wonderful to see this shift reflected in gaming. 

Seriously though, stop it, we’re playing to get away from the damn kids. 


Runner up – Incredibly Boring Thing Simulators



They’ve always been around, but 2013 was the year the gaming community at large became aware of the incredibly boring thing simulators. Have you ever dreamt of delivering a crate of tomatoes from Southampton to Amsterdam? Of course you haven’t what’s wrong with you? But somehow there enough people out there to make truck, train, and airport simulators not just successful, but flourishing yearly franchises. We give Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty a lot of shit, but how different do you imagine Tractor Simulator 2014 will be from Tractor Simulator 2013. What amazing advancements have been made in the world of tractor simulation since then?

Controversy That Missed the Point Award – Bros Before Hos



I’m not going to defend it, the God of War games are pretty vile in my opinion, they’re brutal, cruel, and borderline embarrassing for the industry. But for some people, a trophy called “Bros Before Hos” crossed the line. Half the women go around with their breasts out, every game involves having QTE sex with a random women for XP, this isn’t even the first game in the series built around viciously killing a trio of sisters, in the third one you have to kidnap a consort and mutilate her in some gears to hold a door open, and in the finale of Ascension you literally stab the final boss in the tits. But no, all that was fine, the real point of contention was a bros before hos joke that Adam Sessler misinterpreted. 

Runner Up – Like, 90% of the Other Controversies


Least Amount of Fucks Given – Hideki Kamiya



Hideki Kamiya wouldn’t give a shit if he had diarrhea at a scat convention. 




Schoolyard Slapfight of the Year – Marcus Beer vs Phil Fish.  



In what started as a (for once) completely uncalled for outburst on Phil Fish escalated into full on name calling and nonsensical “say that to my face over the internet” exchanges, things came to a head when Fish cancelled FEZ 2 and took his ball home while Beer’s mother called him in for dinner. Cliff Bleszinski, comically unaware of his position as King Dick of Dude-Bro Mountain, pleaded for Fish to return to the industry, but it fell on deaf ears. At the time of writing Fish remains secluded in his pillow fort and Beer was reprimanded by his superiors with no dessert for a week.
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Can The Walking Dead deliver on its promise of past decisions affecting Season Two?

Carry over saves were a revolutionary idea, the concept that decisions you made could have repercussions that went beyond just later on in the game, but could carry over into the next game altogether put a whole new spin on things. Your decisions went beyond the immediate conflict, was it wise to anger or kill a certain character or faction you don’t like? They might not appreciate that next time you run into each other. Or better yet, sticking by your convictions, even making the wrong call and having it come back to bite you years later in the next game can be immensely satisfying, it makes it matter, that your influence changed more than just the next line of dialogue. Truly, carry over saves left their mark on the face of the industry.

Weird, considering only one game series has actually tried it. 



With Season 2 of The Walking Dead looming over us this Christmas like an Anti-Santa with a sack full of harsh realities, and with it the promise of carrying over our decisions, I’ve decided to explore why this feature isn’t used more often. It can be devastatingly effective, it built Bioware one of the most invested (and rabid) fanbases in gaming, I might even go as far to say it’s something that can take game narrative to the next level. So why is it so ridiculously underused? Well, for starters...

It’s a logistical nightmare.

Having a decision leave big consequences in a game is hard enough, having it leave big consequences in the next game, yet alone a trilogy, is almost ludicrous. You need to create a tree of branching events that will matter to the player while not interfering too much with the main plot, and since games like this are very involved and responsive to fan feedback, that’s like putting together a puzzle before half the pieces have been made yet.


Fan-made chart depicting the various outcomes of the suicide mission. 

Take the decision to cure the genophage for example, factors in those events stretch across the entire trilogy, whether or not you killed Wrex, saving or deleting Maelon’s data, if Mordin survived the suicide mission, when and if you choose to reveal the sabotage, all these things change the characters involved, their interactions, and the context of the decisions you make. In one save I decided to do right by the Krogan and cure the genophage, in another with Wrex and Eve dead I decided it was in the galaxy’s best interest to sabotage it. 

Now consider that in addition to all those variables they also have to consider which team members are with you, their dialogue, all the incidental dialogue in the game world stemming from your decision, ensuring there are no continuity errors in each version of events, double the voice work for a Shepard of either gender, no, quadruple it because there’s at least two sets of dialogue depending on paragon or renegade speech options, and double the dialogue of everyone who speaks to Shepard to react to either of those speech options. That’s a lot of work, a lot of assets, a lot of money, and a lot of headaches. One wonders if it’s all worth it considering the other big caveat with carry over saves....

They only serve to shrink your audience.

Every publisher wants to sell as many copies as possible, they want to reach out to new players and get them interested in their product, that’s kind of hard to do when playing the last game is a requirement for your biggest selling point. It might be a good way to keep recurring customers, but assuming you got your new IP off the ground with the first game that’s not really your biggest problem. That’s why Mass Effect 3 had to introduce so many new elements, and why so many old elements couldn’t play a role too crucial to the plot.


Hey kids! Wanna play Mass Effect 3? All you have to do is find and buy a six year old game and its sequel and in about eighty hours you’re ready to go!

That’s why the Mass Effect 3 marketing was based around “Take back Earth” – it’s the only thing in the Mass Effect universe new players could relate to, that’s why Shepard is haunted by the Starchild – new players needed a face to represent what’s at stake, that’s why they included the everyman James Vega – to have someone as new to the world as they are, that’s why Felicia Day had to....actually no, there’s no excuse for that one. Mass Effect’s biggest strength, a consistent world and characters shaped by your choices, became its biggest weakness, all of it could alienate new players. Compromises have to be made.

It’s easy to forget, but nobody has attempted anything that ambitious before or since, the most we’ve gotten out of previous saves is a line or two of dialogue, maybe a cameo, if you’re lucky you might get some early XP or unlockables. Will The Walking Dead become the next game to carry on decisions in a meaningful way? Maybe, The Walking Dead works on a much smaller scale than Mass Effect, allowing it more freedom, but as evidenced by the different outcomes from episode to episode and 400 Days, it seems The Walking Dead is still beholden to the same limitations. Both also have a different approach, with The Walking Dead working more with the illusion of choice, rather than actually changing the outcome of most events.


Goddammit, Kenny.

Of course, just because carry over saves are such an undertaking doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be tried, look at what just attempting it has done for these games. Even getting us part way there has elevated them to new levels of critical acclaim and success. I do hope more developers venture into this relatively unexplored area of gaming, carry over saves might be a near impossible dream, but the rewards are there for those who rise to the challenge.
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Welcome to Fanart Flops, the blog that insists fanart is one word no matter what spell check says. For those not in the know Fanart Flops is a collection of the oddest and most confusing videogame fanart by otherwise talented artists. The baffling, the bizarre, or just the out of context, all are gathered here for your enjoyment/horror. While I do try to avoid the more “raunchy” art out there nothing should be considered safe for work, and I will occasionally bend the rules if I think it’s worth the laugh (especially the last one here). 

We’ve got some real gems this time, you are not prepared for some of this stuff, I could literally explain that one of the pictures involves Garrus tied to a table being tickled with an electric whisk by the grandmother from Everybody Loves Raymond and you still wouldn’t be prepared for that image....and then there’s Scrooge....



Welcome back everybody!







I don’t think this is particularly bad, I just include it because it addresses Sonic’s weird double eyeball thing that I’ve brought up here before. 




Praise the sun, Banana Knight is here!




While this is clearly terrifying I’m really just using it as an excuse to bring up this piece....






So religious Sonic fanart is something I keep coming across that I can’t wrap my head around at all, can someone explain this? Did some church hold a competition or something? 














And a crucified Yoshi for good measure. 




Lion King fanart for inappropriate games is a whole other can of worms I may open someday.




Okay, I actually quite like this one.




Foxhound yoga, sure, why not?




Squidgirl snake, okay, whatever.




...you’ve lost me now.







Is it wrong that the thing I find most disturbing here is Sonic with his gloves off?







This is by far the best thing you will see today.




You clicked on Fanart Flops, you knew the risks.




“Assassin’s Steed!” – me while uploading this three days after first seeing it.




Pretty sure earth food would kill Garrus and that is definitely the thing to focus on here.







[Insert comment about Capcom shitting on MegaMan here]






You may recall a collection of Sly Cooper fanart on the front page not being received very well.












Stay off my turf. 




What little I recall of Gex involved him being a media obsessed shut in but I’m not familiar with the Gex cannon post Enter the Gekko. 




Yup, sexy Abe.



You guys in the LGBT community think you have it bad? Bioware doesn’t even consider ferret enthusiasts!



But I bet you didn’t even think of that.




Did ya?




Check your gay privilege, ferrets aren’t even an afterthought.




They demand equality.



I think we’re about tapped out for today, please remember to check with your consultant if your eyes burn for more than two hours. And I’ll leave you with this wonderful piece celebrating the return of Ducktales. 

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