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3:53 PM on 01.22.2013

The Big Bang Theory’s Greatest Game Moments.

Finally, we’ve received the social acceptance we’ve strived so hard for. For years we were the victim of bullying and mean spirited jokes but finally, finally, nerds and gamers are no longer singled out as socially maladjusted manbabies. And it’s thanks to shows like The Big Bang Theory that portray gamers in a positive light, that don’t rely on lazy stereotypes or defamation of our culture, that we’re at last being laughed with, and not at.

The Big Bang Theory, in case you didn’t know, is an incredibility well written show about a couple called Penny and Leonard an autistic man named Sheldon theoretical physicists who somehow can’t afford their own place nerds. In fact the writing is so good that the audience laughs at roughly every sentence and they even came up with a wacky catchphrase. Sometimes the nerds say nerd things, and sometimes they say science things, which is funny because everybody is laughing so it must be good.

The Time They Play a Game.

Oh man, look at them play those videogames, isn’t that funny? You know they’re real games-masters because of how they hard they type their keyboards, none of them even need a mouse. And real gamers use headsets to talk to each other even when they’re in the same room, they’re definitely not wearing them to undermine their image and make them look stupid in the eyes of the viewer. And look how seriously they take it, everybody knows videogames are trivial distractions.

Games Are Better Than Sex

Ha, you idiots, stop enjoying yourselves and objectify those women, those women who came to laugh at you.

Gaming addiction.

It was very brave of Big Bang Theory to broach such a serious topic as addiction in such a tasteful way. It showed how after just minutes of playing an MMO a person can become instantly addicted like it’s turbocrack. It’s also great how they implied that people playing online games are devoid of any real life accomplishments. I hope a lot of parents watched this episode, and remembered to fear gaming all over again. I can’t wait to discuss this down at the “virtual tavern”.

A Girl Plays a Videogame.

This is funny on so many levels. I mean first of all, there’s a girl playing a game, that’s already hilarious in its sheer audacity, but then the idea that she’s actually good at them? That’s just crazytown. But the icing on the cake here is Sheldon’s zinger about how attractive people can’t be good at games, hoo boy, they’ve got our number, keep reading ugly.

Wii Bowling Night.

Oh look, they’re taking games seriously again, isn’t that funny? Wii Sports has appeared in about five episodes of BBT during my research, and it’s always hysterical because they’re not actually doing the thing that it looks like they’re doing, but I chose this clip because it doesn’t just have fun with gamers, it manages to joke with Jewish people, homosexuals, the disabled too! No wonder this show is so popular!

A Girl Plays a Videogame Again.

Now that’s more like it, look at that stupid annoying woman, with her “pew pew” sounds and pink laptop, and her insistence that her boyfriend wear a matching outfit. She didn’t even know how to play the right away on her first time! That’s what it’s really like when a woman plays a game. At least I assume that’s what it’s like, I’ve never seen it happen, I’m just a stupid ugly gamer like the rest of us after all.

Games Are Better Than Sex Again.

Remember when Halo upgraded to Halo 3 and included all those hi-def graphics and enhanced weapons systems? That’s how you know the writers did at least four minutes of research. And of course sex hasn’t been upgraded to include those things, that joke made so much sense it gave me a migraine. But everything turns out okay because only a nerdlinger wouldn’t prioritise sex over everything else, like spending time with your friends, what a loser.

The Time They Name Some Videogames.

Hahahaha, the audience sure loved that one! You can really tell what huge nerds they are what with the massive collection of 24 games they’ve accumulated over the last five console generations. They don’t even have the right consoles to play some of those games, that’s how dedicated they are and how well thought out that skit was. But really the true genius here is how just saying the name of some games is the punchline, it’s almost as if the idea that someone likes the biggest entertainment medium in the world somehow hilarious.

Thank God we have shows like the Big Bang Theory to represent us in the mainstream, people were almost beginning to judge us for themselves there, we sure dodged that bullet. I only hope that someday I can write something as funny and insightful as The Big Bang Theory but for now I guess I’ll just have to rely on these recordings of people laughing and this giant “APPLAUSE” sign to trick people into thinking something funny is happening.


8:44 AM on 12.28.2012

Search my name? That’s just masturbation.

So this is a thing now. But after searching my name I only found out there’s a lot of sad people out there that share my name and feel the need to self aggrandise on Urban Dictionary. So unless you legitimately believe that on the day of your birth your parents said “This baby is obviously the Rambo of sex. We must think of a fitting name.” “Ronald!” then maybe it’s not the best place to find yourself.

I will however search the name I chose here on Destructoid. Because searching your name and then twisting it to stroke your ego? That’s just masturbation. And there’ll be no stroking or masturbation when searching for Handy!

1. handy 455 up, 264 down

to wrap your hand around a guys cock and vigoriously move up and down until the male begins to cum

I gave my boyfriend a handy and then had to wash my hands because there was cum on them.

3. Handy 69 up, 38 down

A hand job!

" I was on the rag so I gave him a handy to hold him over"

4. Handy 150 up, 129 down

Safe alternative to oral sex. Eliminates the risk of herpes.

Weinberg: Yo did she bitch suck you off?
Weinshel: Nah son, she just gave me a handy and split.

10. Handy 50 up, 55 down

To give a sexual favour using your hand

Jaydee gives good handys behind the bike shed

11. handy 36 up, 44 down

Slang term for a handjob.

"Handy" Mirandy gave Joel a handy in the back of the bus on the way home from band camp.

13. Handy 18 up, 32 down

Essentially a handjob except for a handy is often quick and on the sly. Ejaculation may or may not occur on the female, depending on the location recieved. In order to have a "sick handy" one must both turn down a BJ or sex in exchange for the handy, and must also bust a load directly onto the female in excess of 3 oz's of manjuice.

[i]Dr D got a sick handy from some bitch with a sideways puntang last night.[/b]

19. handy 6 up, 51 down

small skinny and like to suck on the cock


22. handy 2 up, 63 down

Small Skinny and likes to suck on animals cocks


So there, I think we’ve all learned a little something about making ourselves feel good, getting in touch with yourself, and how to love yourself at least once a day. NO MASTURBATION WHATSOEVER.   read

2:44 PM on 12.13.2012

Metal Gear Rising: Impractions

Yes, that is a combination of impressions and reactions, expect much more wordbining in the spirit of Revengeance.

So, the Metal Gear Rising demo has been in the hands of those who bought the ZOE Collection for quite some time now, and seeing as it’ll soon be in the hands of you handsome people via standalone demo I figured I would share my impractions (repressions?) now rather than rub it in your face two weeks ago.

The demo takes place with post-op Raiden soon after he gets his new body, sporting a new pair of even creepier high heel foot things and familiar bandana/impromptu eye patch – I guess he didn’t bother to get a new eye despite getting everything else, including his other, still working, eye replaced – and we’re introduced to blade mode with a quick tutorial.

Really it’s just a playground for cutting stuff up and to get down the basics of blade mode, one interesting thing is that you don’t need to “swipe” the analogue stick, just choose your angle of approach and let go, they let you do it either way but in my opinion swiping still just feels right. Another thing is that if you don’t want to wiggle your thumb everywhere you can just press Square or triangle for horizontal or vertical slashes, which is a nice touch when you want to just enjoy the spectacle or really go all berserker on something.

There’s also an equipable cardboard box tucked away in the tutorial, to reach it you need to cut down a pillar to make a ramp leading around edge of the area. I unfortunately never realised this and instead cut down both supports and spent ten minutes bouncing the bridge off Raiden’s head and kicking it around until it glitched its way into a makeshift slope for me. It was stutarded.

When the demo begins proper we get our first taste of combat and it’s a bit of a mixed bag. There’s nothing wrong with the combo system itself, it’s just that it’s not really explained to you in the demo beyond square for light attacks, triangle for heavy. The light combo string can go on indefinitely or be switched in to the heavy string at any time, by switching back and forth at different points in the combo strings is where new moves can be found, think Bayonetta but with more “free-form” switching back and forth between heavy and light attacks. It’s actually much harder to explain than it is to figure out for yourself. There’s also a lot more variety opened up by waiting half-second “beats” between attacks, but again without any explanation or movelist in the demo you just have to figure out what does what.

There are also unique attacks used with the analogue stick and either attack button, for example tapping forward twice on the stick and pressing triangle will give you a dashing strike a la Devil May Cry’s Stinger, moving back then forward with the analogue and square will perform a palm strike, and spinning the left stick with triangle will give you sword-foot breakdancing funtimes. I’d prefer a lock-on method for these moves as in DMC since I find that much more comfortable and intuitive, there is lock on system, but there might as well not be for all the good it does.

The parry system is well implemented once you get over your instinct to dodge roll in this sort of game, pushing the left stick and square towards your attacker will block it, time it right just at the last moment and a follow up prompt will appear allowing you to do all sorts of crazy shit, both of you will probably end up in the air, one of you will come down in pieces.

Basically the combat is a nice balance, there’s plenty of depth there to be uncovered for fans of Platinum’s signature action, in fact I know there’s tons of depth there but without a movelist or combat tutorial it’s like playing Street Fighter back in the arcade before you figured out how to throw a hadouken (and keep in mind that this demo is before you start unlocking skills and using secondary weapons). But new players and holdover Metal Gear fans can still have fun and get by with the basics, unless it pulls a Batonetta and things get balls-hard (blard) as soon as the demo ends.

There are some niggling concerns, I still hope a dodge is unlocked at some point, you can’t exactly parry a rocket or grenade and breaking into a ninja run not only breaks the flow of combat but has a slight delay, basically if you see a rocket coming and you’re not already moving it’s probably going to hit you. The camera can be a pain too, it doesn’t zoom out during combat, making it hard to concentrate on what’s coming at you when fighting people and Gekkos at the same time, meaning something will usually jump in from off-screen and hit you.

But those are all minor complaints when you can grab a Gekko’s head, gymnast swing between its legs and slice it to bits while flying up into the air upside-down, ripping out its heart is then optional if you’re feeling sassy. It’s definitely in line with Bayonetta and Vanquish in that it’s just packed with “holy shit did I just do that” moments, only now it really does feel like you’re doing them instead of just mashing square to make it happen. And precision chopping enemies to regain full health and batteries is an interesting dynamic, your health can end up dangerously low if you don’t pay attention but if you play smart you can instantly be back on top.

Rai-Rai’ goin’ Cray-cray
I won’t get too heavy into spoilers, really there’s not that much to spoil anyway, but there’s definite foreshadowing that Raiden’s starting to go off the deep end, maybe not MGS2 ending level crazy, but he’s definitely enjoying himself a bit too much. There’s been a lot of “guilty-pleasure guilt-trip” games lately, games that have you do something fun and violent but then turn you around and say “look what you just did”, I’d love to see Kojima take a stab at it, he might have even been the first one to do it with the whole Sorrow thing in the first place.

Codec Moments
Optional codec conversations, a personal favourite of mine, are back after being woefully underwhelming in MGS4. There’s actually a bit more banter reminiscent of Snake Eater, from conversations about life after SOP to support members making fun of Raiden’s unwanted nickname - “Mr. Thunderbolt”. It’s just a nice touch I’ve always liked about the series and I’m glad to see it back.

Can love bloom, even on the battlefield?
Metal Gear games have always been cheesier than Liquid Snake at a fondue party, and Rising embraces that and takes it to a whole new level. There’s a certain self awareness to it now, groan worthy lyrics kick in at the end of boss fights, characters sarcastically ask each other the meaning of life, and beyond the demo there’s apparently Ninja Turtle references and awful mariachi disguises that Raiden thinks are impenetrable.

Overall, Metal Gear Rising looks to combine the strengths of Platinum with the more “out there” elements of Metal Gear, so long as you don’t come in with any misconceptions of a focus on stealth or pacifist runs and just embrace the cheese then good times will be had. Really the main problem with the demo is it looks like it was built for the show floor, with a Konami person shoutsplaining the finer points as you play.   read

8:17 PM on 10.20.2012

It’s All About Context.

I’ve always been of the mind that while men and women are (obviously) equal they are not identical, and I’m going to speak really carefully here to get my point across without accidentally offending anyone, what I mean is that speaking on a broad scale men and women tend to be different. If I was born a girl I would be a fundamentally different person than I am now, whether by nature or nurture, I would not be who I am today, either because women are naturally inclined to go certain ways or because my experiences throughout life (school, friends, etc), especially in the developmental stages, would be different.

I always thought this was an important factor for creating a character, men and women aren’t interchangeable, but lately I’ve noticed a lot of games challenge this idea, with varying results, and now I’m starting to wonder if maybe it’s more in the world building that lets me buy into a characters opinions, gender or sexual orientation. You can’t just say character X is a strong woman, we have to know what it means to be a strong woman in the context of their world or it means nothing.

A lot of people believe that playing as female Shepard in Mass Effect is a better experience, but FemShep and MaleShep are exactly the same character. Same mo-cap, same combat abilities, same dialogue (barring romance), so what is it that makes FemShep better in some people’s eyes? Being female puts Shepard’s character in a completely different context.

Playing as a girl in Persona 3 can be a very different experience, playing as a girl in Mass Effect is nearly identical to a male. But both pull it off well in different ways.

Firstly, the context of the world. Part of the reason Bioware was able to pull off a protagonist that could be either gender so well is because Mass Effect is set in the future, it’s believable to assume that by this point humanity has achieved true gender equality, everybody treats Shepard the same no matter if they’re a man or woman, and no one bats an eyelid over their commander being a woman. Put this in contrast with something like Dragon Age where somehow humanity has overcome sexism, racism and homophobia which I find jarring in a medieval world where everybody still discriminates against elves or mages or what have you.

Then there’s the context of the characters actions. Even though male and female Shepard do exactly the same things, it says something different about the character depending on their gender. For example, in Mass Effect 2 there’s a renegade option to headbutt a Krogan to shut him up and establish dominance, when MaleShep does this (aside from being hilarious) it says “Ha, Shepard is so alpha that he headbutted a Krogan!”, but seeing FemShep loaf a Krogan says something completely different. To be honest, I don’t know what that something is, but it’s different and it’s interesting and I like it. Or hell, maybe it does say the exact same thing as MaleShep, but then it’s still different, it’s a member of the “fairer sex”, and a fairer species no less, establishing herself as the alpha male of these hulking space monsters.

It always surprised me to hear the Metal Gear games praised for Vamp being bisexual, I thought he was a rather poor representation, mincing around the battlefield, licking his knives, and just generally being a creeper, I though he fit perfectly into the trope of the Depraved Bisexual. But then I remembered, Vamp was originally intended to be a woman, but when a boss with water based powers was scrapped and Fortune was introduced, Vamp was changed to a man. Aside from gender and inheriting the now defunct bosses’ water abilities nothing else changed, including his relationship with Scott Dolph.

I wonder, would I have found Vamp as offensive if he remained a woman? Dancing around, licking blood off her lips and acting like the classic sexually charged vampire, you know, everything Vamp still does as a man? Was it my own perceptions or eagerness to hop on my high horse? Or should changing a characters gender mean more than swapping out their character model and voice actor. Honestly, I don’t have an answer to that question, I don’t know if there is an answer to that question, at best all I can say is judge it on a case by case basis.

While we’re on sexual orientation, Fallout: New Vegas also included lots of gay characters, including two of your possible followers. As characters, I thought they were great, to have gay characters whose entire being isn’t based around their sexuality was refreshing, it was just a part of the whole. But I find it impossible to believe how nonchalant they were about it, they live in a fairly uncivilised post-apocalyptic land, and if that wasn’t bad enough it’s in the ruins of a society based on Fifties values. The only way this world could be worse for gay people is if the super mutants were religious fundamentalists.

And then there’s the logical inconsistencies.

I get what the creators were trying to do, just like with Dragon Age, the developers were trying to allow for more player choice and to be as inclusive as possible, that’s great, I totally encourage that, but the worlds these games take place in aren’t that inclusive. Thedas and The Wasteland are so harsh and discriminatory that it’s jarring when characters drop the fact that they’re gay so casually. You can’t just transplant our modern values into these bleak and often malicious settings, not without some kind of justification at least, have someone say that differences like that stopped mattering once the bombs fell, that people kill each other for food, not whether they like boys or girls.

I’m not trying to say that the default for any fictional world is that homophobia should be present or assumed until we learn otherwise, maybe these things were just never an issue in these worlds, but the sad fact is that these issues do exist in our world, and the player will still notice them.

In Borderlands 2 people offhandedly talk about same-sex spouses and exes all the time and I can buy it because that game is off the wall and doesn’t take itself so seriously, and no, I’m not saying homosexuality isn’t serious and shouldn’t be portrayed that way, just that the setting isn’t as heavy as the other examples. Even though Pandora is basically Planet Texas, because Borderlands 2 is so flippant about everything it doesn’t break my suspension of disbelief when Sir Hammerlock mentions his ex boyfriend or when Axton comments on Salvador’s well toned ass. Kanji in Persona 4 is probably the most realistic take on the subject but that could, and has, fill an entire blog on its own.

Playing Uncharted as Doughnut Drake completely changes the context of why everything collapses under his weight and makes the game a story about Drake’s struggle with obesity.

We need to understand how these worlds work in relation to ours, if being gay or a strong woman isn’t a big deal in your world then you need to paradoxically give us a nudge and wink to let us know it’s not a big deal. You need to give us context, or let the player create their own. I’ve gone over this blog again and again and I’m still afraid people may misinterpret it so let me just be clear, I’m all for more diversity in games, I want them to be more inclusive, I’m just saying that giving the player more freedom can be a double-edged sword, doing so can sometimes lead to incongruity with the setting, and other times it can lead to us creating our own story, and that I’d like to see more of the latter and less of the former.   read

3:22 PM on 10.03.2012

Fanart Flops: Foot Fetish Krang Edition.

Welcome to Fanart Flops, the horrifying videogame fanart feature that did it first, Something Awful and Kotaku .......even though there’s probably a dozen people who did it before me.

As always, for those of you who don’t know (run, run away now!), Fanart Flops is not a collection of bad fanart, most artists featured here are actually quite talented, but unfortunately insane. Fanart Flops are the most bizarre and confusing pictures to be found on the internet, sometimes it’s a strange idea or concept, sometimes there is some reasoning behind it but we’re seeing it out of context, and sometimes it’s just “off” for lack of a better term.

I’m going to forgo peppering shitty jokes around every picture this time, I always felt I needed to contribute more than just uploading pictures for these blogs, but that’s because you don’t see the hours I spend searching for fanart that meets the ridiculously specific rules I’ve set myself (some of which I break this time around), and also because I have to suffer the really nasty stuff I can’t post here.

So check your sanity at the door, you won’t need it where we’re going.

Is it being pumped in or sucked out? Would either answer make you feel better?

In fairness, they should have expected this sort of thing when they sexualised a gorilla.

See, this is the thing about Fanart Flops, I know this is referencing something, I just have no idea what and it’s hilarious out of context.

Gotta go fast?

Okay, this one is definitely intentional, but “Krogan Kok” makes me laugh so hard I had to include it. That and I’ve see a lot of Mass Effect alien cocks in my search for Fanart Flops and this is probably the only one I could get away with posting.

It took me a while to get this one, then I did and began to hate the world in a whole new way.


3:04 PM on 09.19.2012

I Gots Dibs on Gaige, yo.

Some people might think it’s stupid to stake a claim on a character we know next to nothing about and won’t get to use for a month, but I consider it prudent, because Gaige is most definitely the best character by far, so good Gearbox decided they could get filthy rich be releasing her as DLC, and by invoking the right of dibs I retain sole use of her until further notice.

“But Handy” I hear you ask, “stop doing push ups and tell us why she’s so great!”. Well...99...if you...100...insist.

She has sex with robots probably.

I’m assuming that’s what a Mechromancer does, romances mechs. Gaige can’t be satisfied by a mere human, to fulfil her insatiable appetite it takes pistons and gears and motors and chassis and a complicated system of pulleys and a lot of motor oil, and that is something we have in common.

She has a robot arm.

Not only does it make all reload animations 37% cooler but there’s a harrowing tale behind the mechanical limb that fills out Gaige’s inspiring backstory. Gaige lost her arm in a tragic accident that may or may not have involved robot-sex, but instead of overcoming her disability like those pussys at the Paralympics she built herself a robot arm, but the robot arm was too well built. Every time Gaige tried to take a drink or pick up the phone it would shatter in her mighty hand, and she would scream to the heavens, no longer able to finish her Dr. Pepper. Cursed by her own genius and unable to hold down her job as a handshake envoy to the germaphobic she moved to Pandora to escape people drawing parallels between her and Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget. All of this is cannon, Anthony Burch told me.

She has a big fuck-off robot.

Axton has a turret, which is almost like a robot but much, much lamer, Maya need to ask enemies to be polite and hold still so she can shoot them, the only advantage to Zer0’s ability is that we don’t have to look at his stupid non-face, and Salvador needs to work himself into a frenzy to use both hands for some reason. Gaige, on the other robotic hand, need only call on her faithful friend D374-TP, or Deathtrap, to decimate the hoards of Pandora. Who needs co-op partners when you have a robot buddy to take on the wastes with you. Not Gaige, that’s who.

She’s a strong female role model

Unlike that trollop Maya, Gaige is a true shining beacon for women in gaming. While Maya pretends to be strong and confident in herself, her looks betray her attitude, only wearing a swimsuit and pants, making sure to pull them down just enough on one side so we all know it, with her glowing blue tramp-stamp and lipstick that belongs in a B-movie vision of the future where people add the prefix “cyber-“ to everything.

But Gaige likes to keep it casual, a simple skirt and hoodie, she doesn’t even care about that plaster on her face, maybe she’ll take down Handsom Jack’s empire, maybe she’ll laze around the house on Sunday, who knows. Topping it off with informal twin tails and thigh-high stripped stockings, not because they’re sexy, but because they remind her of her favourite movie – Beetlejuice. Again, all cannon. Ask Anthony Burch if you don’t believe me.   read

7:46 AM on 09.04.2012

50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, Tears in my Eyes.

“That bitch took my skull.” – 50 Cent, poet laureate.

50 Cent: Blood on the Sand is a deeply personal journey, both for the player and 50 Cent himself, putting to light some harsh truths about gangster culture, videogames as an interactive storytelling medium, the war in Iraq, and the human condition. Some may dismiss it as 50 Cent’s personal million dollar wank fantasy, thinking it can only be enjoyed on an ironic level or by those emotionally damaged enough to actually aspire to be 50 Cent, but those people are philistines, too close-minded to appreciate the tale of subtle social commentary and deep political intrigue that is 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand.

Our journey begins in Iraq an unnamed Middle Eastern country as Fiddy finishes up a concert in what must be the only intact structure in the entire game. Literally one second after finishing his set our hero drops the mic and heads straight backstage to collect his money like a true artist, when told the promoter doesn’t have ten million dollars on hand 50 responds by kicking down his door and pointing a shotgun in his face, luckily the promoter has a priceless diamond encrusted skull for some reason, and agrees to give it to 50 in exchange for not murdering him, but mostly as payment for the concert, because really, 50’s music is worth about as much as a priceless historical artefact.

Hell, his music is a priceless historical artefact.

It’s a clever parody of the persona that people project onto Fiddy as a heartless, money obsessed thug, who cares more for getting paid than putting on a good show for his fans, and the perceived culture of violence in gangster rap as he is put under peer pressure by his friends in G-unit to “waste this fucker” in regards to their promoter. Fiddy is placed in a moral dilemma as he must choose between the death of a man or risk losing the respect of DJ Whoo Kid.

Afterward we are treated to a deep philosophical debate between 50 and the promoter about who has the best Gangsters, New York or NotIraq, 50 remains adamant in his conviction that New York is indeed a tougher place to live, I assume this is 50 Cent’s masterful use of irony at play, because this conversation is literally taking place in an armoured convoy in a bombed out war zone. But before this battle of wits can be decided their convoy is ambushed and the skull is stolen by a mysterious woman referred to only as “Bitch”, which I’m sure is a commentary on the treatment of women in the world of gangster rap.

“Where’s mah skull, bitch?” – 50 Cent, role model.

And so we take control of 50 and begin our quest of fighting terrorists through the Middle East to retrieve a diamond covered skull. The gameplay is a beautiful parody of modern shooters, a completely bland third person shooter, occasional boring forced driving sections, every boss fight is a helicopter, and the brownest environments of any game ever, the ground is brown, the sky is brown, every building is brown, this game has more brown than Poo Mountain in Conker’s Bad Fur Day. With every kill a meter will slowly decrease, and if you can kill again before it empties the meter will refill and you’ll be given a multiplier for bonus points.

Yes, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand reintroduces killing for points to gaming. It’s an exploration of the effect violent media has had on society, seeing the results in a world were violence has become trivialised. After all, there’s no way 50 Cent, a former victim of gun violence, would ever star in a game that glorifies it, that would just be profoundly moronic.

”You’re one crazy bitch, you know that?” – 50 Cent, lyricist of the streets.

Soon, 50 meets an arms dealer who gives him one piece of sage advice that he should adhere to: “Trust no one”, 50 takes this advice to heart by not trusting the arms dealer which paradoxically means he will trust every person he meets in the game despite every single one of them turning on him. 50 then goes to a strip club to find out the whereabouts of the skull, it is here that 50 meets his greatest ethical challenge yet. After our hero pushes a stripper and asks “where’s your boss, bitch?” he comes face to face with the strip club owner, Eddie, who is also his biggest fan.

50 must now confront the consequences of what he has encouraged through his music. This man dresses and acts like 50, he has modelled his lifestyle on his music videos, Fiddy looks around at what he has created by proxy, life is hard enough for a woman in this country, ravaged by war and religious fundamentalism, and now, thanks to him, the few that remain are being exploited for sex. 50 has a crisis of conscience, should he continue projecting his gangster image? Or must he give up the excessive lifestyle he has become accustomed to in order to restore his moral integrity? Can he help these women seek a better life? Should he take Eddie under his wing and teach him the true values of life, respect and what it means to be a musician as he tries to redeem the strip club owner, and perhaps, himself?

Spoiler: Later on he blows up a bus full of strippers.

A little more on gameplay. Scattered throughout the levels are crates full of bling 50 must collect if you want to earn medals, these crates full of diamond rings and gold dogtags are a stark juxtaposition to the meagre surroundings, it’s a commentary on the forced integration of western decadence in the Middle East. Accompanying you in each mission is an interchangeable member of G-unit, who randomly and without explanation swap places between missions and never appear in cutscenes, perhaps a metaphor for the other members feelings of resentment as they are overshadowed by Fiddy. And of course the swear button, which is necessary for to you earn bonus points, showing us, the player, how it must feel to have to force profanity into you works to be successful.

Next 50 is approached by a mercenary group that tried to kill him, 50 agrees to help them steal some gold so long as 50 get’s half, they rob the gold, killing two innocent men, the mercenary leader betrays him, helicopter boss fight. 50 eventually catches up with Bitch, and kills her Boss in a helicopter boss fight. Bitch then reveals that a man named Wilder has the skull and that he’s holding Bitch’s family hostage, then they kiss for some reason, no doubt lamp shading forced romantic subplots in games.

”Gimmie my skull, bitch” – 50 Cent, artist who preformed for the illustrious Gaddafi family.

Several helicopter boss fights later Fiddy finds Wilder and we learn that the concert promoter is in cahoots with him. Now, normally this would raise a few questions in most games. Why did Wilder rob the promoter if he planed to pay him off? Why didn’t he just take the skull? Why did he bother paying off the promoter, who can’t do shit, instead of just paying 50 for the gig? Why give 50 the skull in the first place if you were just going to rob it off him? Why create this convoluted series of event to entangle 50 Cent in this at all? Especially when all it does is motivate him to kill all your men because you stole something you already own? Did 50 just forget about all that gold from three hours ago? He just kind of walked off and left it there. Luckily the writers of Blood on the Sand sidestep these issues by never noticing them.

And it is at this point that Fiddy must kill the promoter and fight his way through Wilders henchmen, but just when the skull is within his grasp, he is faced with a tough moral choice.

Yes, you read that right, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand has a moral choice.

50 finds a shortcut to Wilder but Bitch, who is en route to save her family, informs him that unlocking the door will activate the security, unlocking all the doors and swamping her with enemies. And so the player is faced with a harrowing decision, unlock the door: sacrificing Bitch and her family, or take the long way around, which means playing 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand for another fifteen minutes.

The game then splits in two wildly different directions as taking the shortcut leads to Bitch betraying you, but going the long way around leads to Bitch betraying you....over the phone. Showing us how choice in a game never really matters as the story always ends up hitting the same notes anyway. One last helicopter boss fight later and Fiddy has finally gotten his coveted diamond skull back, after killing hundreds of people, destroying the remaining infrastructure of a war torn city and making off with the broken country’s last remaining piece of wealth that he has no claim to, what does he do with this relic of immeasurable fortune?

Totally worth it.

I could go on about how amazing this game is. About how the city is completely barren except for the enemies, meaning they were the ones at his concert. About the subtle parody of rapper narcissism by having a game about 50 Cent, were all the music is 50 Cent, and 50 Cent goes around collecting 50 Cent posters. About the stellar voice acting, where 50 actually sounds like he has a mouth full of marbles and never emotes, or the astonishing face capture technology, which truly encapsulates the half inflated balloon filled with meat that is Fiddy’s face. But really, this is a game that must be experienced firsthand, then you’ll understand why “Bitch took mah skull” is the “Would you kindly” of 2009.   read

4:22 PM on 08.27.2012

Adopt an Avatar: giving people Handys at PAX

Well, this place has been all about the community spirit lately hasn’t it? And you know one of the loveliest community traditions Dtoid members carry out every year? That’s right, avatar adoption! The wonderful act of Dtoiders going to PAX who take the avatars of the less fortunate members who can’t make the trip for one reason or another. I’ve been lucky enough to have had two foster parents take me on the trip in the last two years, Elsa and Corduroy Turtle, and both were kind enough to chronicle my avatar’s adventures so I could live vicariously through them.

So I decided that this year I would forgo trying to convince you with an assortment of blatant lies and would instead show you what my avatar has gotten up to, what you can expect, and what kind of people you can meet if you’re willing to give a out a Handy on the sly.

And also make as many handjob jokes as possible.

Jim sterling was quite pleased when he received a Handy in the dead of night.

But Occam’s Electric Toothbrush got a Handy in the middle of the street in broad daylight!

Max Scoville will pay good money for a quick Handy.

Tara Long got a Handy when she was least expecting it.

Danny Baranowsky, composer for Super Meat Boy and Binding of Isaac, was so flexible he could lick the Handy he was receiving.

Derek Yu, creator of Spelunky, got a well earned Handy to relieve his stress.

Even Renegade FemShep got a Handy. See? Bioware support all relationship types.

Carmine sympathizers were giving out free Handys to support their cause.

While it should be mechanically impossible for Juri to receive a Handy, I’ve seen plenty of Street Fighter fan art that tells me otherwise.

Mr Andy Dixon Wario got himself a Handy too.

Johnny Cage got a Handy right in the middle of the supermarket, that can’t be good for hygienic standards.

Mr Destructoid can get a Handy whenever he wants.

Hamza got a Handy…..

...Two years in a row! Could you get me that hat-trick?

The cast of Mega64 all got Handys, the new guy with the dreadlocks did not approve.

All Dtoiders at the meet ups got a Handy under the table.

Of course Neiro got a Handy.

And finally, a picture of Corduroy Turtle giving Ken Levine a Handy.

So what do you say? Would you like to adopt my avatar and give everyone you meet a PAX a Handy? Giving out Handys left and right till your hands are covered in sticky white fluid, by which I mean the kind found at those hygienic hand gel stations I assume they have to help stop the spread of germs at PAX.

Huge thanks again to Corduroy and Elsa for taking all these pictures.

Disclaimer: If you adopt my avatar I hold you under no obligation to take pictures with gaming celebrities or Destructoid staff members or to do anything else if you don’t feel like it………..though Elsa did send me some swag…..just sayin’.   read

6:20 PM on 08.13.2012

Dear Industry: I Am Not a Psychopath

(Back to blogging! It’s been far too long, after another stint in the hospital and some minor surgery I’m finally feeling well enough to start writing again, if all goes well I can keep it up semi-regularly again.)

(I’m sure you’re thrilled)

Hey games industry, how ya been? It’s been a while, haven’t seen you around lately, the summer lull I guess. Listen there’s something I wanted to talk to you about, the way you’ve been acting lately is kind of...concerning. I hear you’ve been coming home later and later these nights, you’re covered in cuts and bruises, you’re starting random fights, in the face of violence you don’t seem scared or aggressive anymore, you’re just nonchalant about it, it’s getting kind of creepy. Also, I’m going to stop talking to you like you’re a person now, because that’s also getting kind of creepy, and this is starting to sound like an abusive relationship break up blog.

So yeah, violence, arguably a cornerstone of gaming, after all most games are about overcoming obstacles to achieve a goal, and killing things is a really fun obstacle to overcome, so what’s the problem? Well, in my humble-as-a-cottage-with-self-esteem-issues opinion, the depiction of violence has gotten way out of hand as of late, to the point of stupidity actually, half the trailers out there seem to follow the same distinct and disappointing pattern. We start with a slow build up, setting the tone, building tension and interest, probably lots of CG, things are going well, then the gameplay footage kicks in, and heads start exploding, and people get impaled in slow motion, and tomahawks meet faces, I’m not really sure what happens after that because my eyes tend to roll back so far I can actually see my brain cells dying, but all I can recall before I pass out is the faint whisper of dubstep in my ear. The point is, ultraviolence has become a scarily commonplace thing in gaming.

I really hate to use that word, “ultraviolence” is the kind of sensationalist term reserved by the Daily Mail to depict Mario’s treatment of turtles, but there really is no other suitable phrase. This isn’t a realistic portrayal of violence, I’d encourage that, these are games that, for lack of a better term, luxuriate in it, they relish in their own gratuitous sadism, they think it’s cool, and what’s worse, they think we think it’s cool. Even the more tame games still come across as disturbing when compared to other media, shoot a guy in any generic FPS these days and the wound explodes with a giant red glob like he was a suicide bomber on a practice run with jam jars strapped to his chest, giant geysers of blood erupt from bullet holes, in the world of gaming blood meeting metal reacts in the same way as Coca-Cola and Polos, God forbid you shoot someone in the head, lest the game stop everything , go into slow motion, change camera angles, and show us in detail what a cranium being penetrated looks like as a reward for our accuracy.

It just cheapens everything, it cheapens the experience, it cheapens our actions, it cheapens death, and it cheapens their profit margins because the game gets rated higher and reaches a smaller audience. Who does it help? It cheapens gaming, just imagine for a second that you know nothing of games, it’s just not your thing, you hear about the hottest new game everybody’s playing and the first picture you see is this....

Judging from his face I guess we’re both supposed to be getting off on this.

This is where the myth of games making people violent comes from, of course we all know its rubbish and games don’t affect people’s behaviour, but if you look at it from an outside perspective can you really blame them for coming to that conclusion? It’s really easy to connect those dots. We’ve become desensitized to violence in games, we do so much fucked up shit, I just killed a priest and ate him in Skyrim, and that game’s somewhat subdued with the violence. Have you seen footage of Dishonoured? For a game that promises a pacifist playthrough they sure love stabbing people in the face. From what I played of Condemned 2 it’s a game dedicated to caving in the heads of homeless people with blunt objects. Dead Space replaced actual horror with gore porn. At one point in God of War 3 I thumbed in a man’s eyeballs!

This is what we’ve come to, slow-mo x-ray cross sections of Nazis getting shot in the balls.
Also the DLC is historically inaccurate as Hitler only had one testicle.

I’m not against ultraviolence in and of itself, but games like Mortal Kombat and Gears of War can only get away with going that far because there’s a level of self awareness there, they know they’re being superfluous and over the top, camp even. But a game can’t take itself seriously if they go that far, Prototype 2 was filled with relentless gore, the secret government wetworks organisation was full of rednecks who constantly talked about enjoying civilian massacres and slipped “fuckin’” into every sentence, the game is desperate to look mature and comes across like it was written by a fourteen year old for all its effort. The only good line in the entire game involves a threat to “soul fuck” someone and that’s only good because it’s the one time the game acknowledges how thoroughly horrible your actions are.

All the Jonny Cash in the world can’t make this not stupid

I’ll admit I laughed the first time I shot someone in Fallout and his head flew off and rolled down a hill, but after the four hundredth time it gets old, you phase it out, and when someone walks in and sees my non-reaction to it I look mental. Graham Linehan once said that he vastly prefers playing Driver to GTA because of the simple fact that in Driver pedestrians will always jump out of the way, not only does it evoke the feel of seventies cop shows and movies, reinforcing the games themes and aesthetics, but it’s guilt free. Whereas getting from A to B in GTA involves watching people’s heads thunk of my windshield in all the bonecracking glory of the Euphoria engine, then Niko Bellic complains about the “crazy Americans” before agreeing to kill the boyfriend of a mob boss’ daughter because he doesn’t like him, for fifty dollars. It’s a bit jarring.

So please Games Industry, stop treating me like a psychopath, I enjoy a good power fantasy as much as the next guy, but stop making me feel like a total bastard. You’re embarrassing yourself, all the blood and guts comes across as desperate pandering, the videogame equivalent of a backwards cap and sunglasses, you’re better than this, we’re better than this, give us and yourself a little credit, show some class and tone it down a bit.

Except for the Tomb Raider reboot, because I like to imagine that all the knocks Lara gets in the prequel is setting up why she hates nature so much and spent the last ten games shooting endangered species.   read

7:09 AM on 05.04.2012

Game plots that are clearly rip-offs: Part two

(One of these days, one of these days I’ll write two blogs in a row without getting sick and disappearing for a few months.)

Well, here we are again. After last times shocking exposé you think game developers wouldn’t try to pull this sort of thing again, but no, it seem they think us all basement dwelling social recluses who won’t catch on to their deceit, well they’re wrong, some of us are paranoid basement dwelling social recluses who read way too much into things.

Once again they’ve tried to pull the wool over our eyes, like a woolly jumper that’s neckhole is too small, well I for one will cast of the jumper, the jumper of lies, and march bare-chested through the streets in protest, unless it’s cold outside, in which case I will wear a jumper, but it will be a synthetic blend of justice and integrity that itches with truth, not like those game writers, the woolly bastards.

In case you missed it last time, basically, game writers follow around other media waiting for them to vomit up an idea so they can catch it in a frying pan and tell us it’s a lovely omelette they made us, or a creepy stalker who finds a discarded slice of pizza in a bin and fondly remembers it as a lovely date the next day. Read on to learn how they can rip-off others so swiftly that it would come as no surprise that most game writers moonlight as Brazilian waxers, which they do actually.

Gears of War clearly rips-off Sex and the City.

Two groups consisting of four people who represent the worst characteristics of their gender. The main character who constantly laments their dissatisfaction with the state of their world and life, yet somehow trudges on doing nothing but make it worse, there’s the friend who’s mind is solely focused on finding a spouse, along with the fan favourite loudmouth brazen one who seems to be overcompensating for their complete lack of depth by wanting to fuck everything, and the other one nobody really cares about, I dunno, probably cynical or something, it’s not like I ever watched Sex and the City, or played Gears of War for that matter, but hey, since when has that stopped people forming opinions about them?

On the surface they might not seem alike, but once you swap out gratuitous violence and chainsaw guns for shoes and pretentious drinks with sticks of celery in them or whatever, it becomes apparent that both are two sides of the same coin, a popular coin that get’s championed as deceptively deep and artistic by it’s creators and fans alike because they’re afraid to admit that they enjoy a piece of media that appeals to their more primal instincts, banging and....the other type of banging....with guns.......because they go bang.

Flower clearly rips-off Every Tampon Commercial.

I mean come on, did they really think we wouldn’t notice? Sans the girl in the light flowing dress, Flower is nothing but playable visual imagery of every tampon ad ever put to television, it’s just petals wafting around in the breeze, and dried up patches of grass springing to life again, or closed flowers slowly opening up in laboured metaphors.

At this rate I’d venture that the reason all the Journey reviews are so vague about the gameplay is because it’s really hard to describe a game where you pour blue liquid on different types of cloth to show which is the most absorbent.

Assassin’s Creed clearly rips off Blackadder.

Mankind throughout the ages! A journey through history as we follow the exploits of descendants in an influential yet mysterious dynasty, who are all conspicuously identical, right down to unique features such as scars and moles. Set in time periods such as the Middle Ages or the Renaissance. The protagonists, always on the outskirts of history’s spotlight, their deeds influencing or revolving around the great figures of the past, showing us how the powerful and idiotic skew history to their favour and are remembered as greats. And minstrels who won’t leave you alone when you’re just trying to take a stroll.

Ubisoft? More like Ubi stealing plots soft of 80’s British period sitcoms.

Yeah, I went there. *sassy ethnic finger snap*

Fable: The Journey clearly rips-off Railworks 3 Train Simulator 2012.

Yes it is.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution clearly rips-off Final Fantasy 7.

So the protagonist works as security for this morally questionable mega corporation until a horrible incident happens and he’s gravely wounded, said mega corporation take him in and turn him into a super soldier. Spend some time in a cyberpunk world where the immense gap between the rich and the working class fuel disparity amongst the people, he then travels the undercity slums where the sky is blocked out by a plate housing the upper city where the upper class citizens live and work for a tyrannical corporation, everybody worries that mankind is exceeding its grasp and going against nature with the use of Materia Augmentations, along with some cringeworthy dialogue from the black characters, a massively ambiguous ending, and then there’s THE HUGE MAN, WITH A GATLING GUN FOR AN ARM, CALLED BARRET!!!


I don’t know why my eyes are the only ones that see the truth, it’s a curse really, but the people must know! Destructoid is my megaphone, and just like every girlfriend I’ve ever had, I will press my mouth against her and scream as loud as possible till I get everyone’s attention.   read

12:37 PM on 03.14.2012

The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Once upon a time there was a little shepherd boy who looked after the sheep of a village, the boy loved spending time with the sheep, you see these were special interactive sheep, he much preferred them over the other the other, more passive forms of farm animal. Cows had really gone downhill lately and he wasn’t that into reading chickens, no, playing with the interactive sheep was where the boys passion laid.

Yes, it’s going to be one of those awful metaphor blogs.

But one day he thought he noticed something amiss with one sheep, “WOLF! WOLF!” he cried, rallying the entire village up the hill to his aid, “What’s wrong?” one villager asked, pitchfork in hand, “This sheep has a gay option!” the boy said while pausing for a moment, waiting for gasps of horror. As the villagers retired back down the hill the boy was left furious and confused, how could the sheep ask if he was gay? How dare it! But the boy didn’t have time to think, there was more trouble afoot.

“WOLF, WOLF” he screamed. The villagers ran back to up the hill, perhaps the boy was mistaken the first time. “Remember when the farmer cancelled that Mega Man Sheep? Well now this other sheep has Bad Boxart Mega Man in it! Clearly the farmer is trying to personally insult me!” The boy watched the villagers stroll back home, he couldn’t understand it, why wasn’t everybody else furious? Did they not love interactive sheep as much as him? Why weren’t they livid at the farmer who provided them with all their meat, veg, and dairy over this convoluted and veiled insult?

Again and again the boy would assemble the village, “This sheep’s eyes are too green!” “This sheep’s ending didn’t satisfy my personal expectations!” “This sheep got 8 out of 10 from the Annual Meat and Livestock Review Association!” ”This Fem-sheep is blonde!”. He tried everything to get their attention, he would start petitions, claim to boycott the farmer, at one point he gave money to Olaf, the poorest man in the village, and said “Look everybody! I’m nice, now let’s Retake Baaas Effect! Change the ending!”

Then one day the boy noticed something, sheep were starting to come out with online passes, one sheep had enough wool for an extra twelve jumpers but the farmer was holding them back so he could charge for them later and make the fall line look more appealing, another had day one DLC that added a huge amount of context to the story but it was clearly cut out so they could charge for it, all sorts of genuinely dirty business farming practices were going down. The boy cried “WOLF!” as loud as he could. But nobody came.

“Ugh, there he is, moaning about some trivial bollocks again” thought the villagers.

“That little shit complains no matter what I do, why should why should I listen to this one?” thought the farmer.

“He’ll buy me anyway” thought the sheep, who was apparently sentient now.

Do you know why the woodcutter came to help Little Red Riding Hood? Because she didn’t accuse every old lady she met of being a wolf.

I warned you it’d be one of those awful metaphor blogs.   read

11:10 AM on 01.28.2012

How Dare You, Capcom.

How dare you, Capcom. You’ve got some nerve, waltzing in here like you own the place and slapping your loyal fans right in fucking face with your giant ball-top style cock. After everything I’ve done for you, Capcom, you have the cheek, the sheer audacity, to include bad box art Megaman in Street Fighter X Tekken.

Fuck you, Capcom.

Fuck you to Hell.

Literally fuck you with my penis all the way down into the fires of Hell itself.

Why? Why did you do this to me? Why would you include bad box art Megaman as one of the joke characters in SFXT? Why didn’t you pick the other Megaman, you know, classic Megaman, or Megaman X, or Mega Man Volnutt, or Megaman.exe, or Star Force Megaman, or the old cartoon Megaman, or the other old Captain N cartoon Megaman. If you picked one of them nobody would have complained that it wasn’t one of the others.

You have once again disrespected devoted Megaman fans by including an in-joke only they will get and have laughed about for decades, you bastards. You murdered Megaman, and nobody ever talks about him anymore, but that wasn’t enough for you was it? You had to dig up his rotting corpse and drag it through the mud one more time, just to spite us. Just to antagonize the people who keep asking for more Megaman – you gave them more Megaman, you are literally the worst people ever, provoking the fans who gave you nothing but unconditional love for years until you did something we didn’t like.

You will treat him with God damn respect he deserves.

First, they cancel Megaman Legends 3, just because they didn’t think it would make any money, as if that makes any kind of sense, the idea that a company would rather make a profit then please a handful of people is ludicrous, then, they put Zero in MvC3, and Zero isn’t Megaman and they know that, then they put a picture of Megaman in the background of UMvC, as if to say “We hear your concerns but we don’t give a shit and also hate you”, then after all the kicking and screaming we did about Megaman not being in a fighting game, they put him in a fighting game, the sons of bitches. By making reference to a bit of trivia only Megaman fans get and joke about they are clearly telling us how much they hate Megaman and how much they hate us.

Bad box art Megaman is clearly a metaphor for how they feel about Megaman today, he’s nothing but a joke, a bloated, disgusting, mistake from the past who’s only remaining purpose is to be laughed at, just like his fans. Some people might just think that they did it ‘cause it’s funny, and sure, some people might argue that Megaman has been much more prevalent since his “death” then he ever was at the height of his popularity, but those people are wrong.....because. Bad box art Megaman’s appearance in SFxT is clearly intended as phlegmy gob of spit thwaping off the collective face of all Megaman fans. For Capcom, or should I say Crapcom, because they are crap, this is nothing but a mean spirited gesture.

When we joke about it, it’s funny and ironic. When you joke about it, it’s a malicious, backhanded insult.

Because logic.

For Christ sake, my firstborn is called Cut Man, do you know how much bullying she receives over that? But I’m willing to bear that burden because I care, about Megaman. Apparently I’m the only one who still does, so how dare you, Capcom, how dare you listen to what fans are complaining about and then give it to them in a funny and different way, you are actually worse than Hitler, do you know that? I don’t know about you, but I’m buying a ticket to Comic-Con so I can personally make sure Seth Killian actually gets punched in the face this time, because it was probably his decision.   read

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