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Knivy's blog

4:12 PM on 11.18.2011

Thoughts on storytelling in MW3, Skyrim and To The Moon

I've been playing games for a long while now, and while I wasn't around when they first came out I've seen the huge evolution from NES to the Xbox 360. Through the years I've heard people say things like: they're art, they're a sport, they're a toy, they'll replace tv shows and movies, all different claims made by different people on different periods of time. While I don't plan to explain on which I agree or not I will say that I've always sided with the people that just talk about "interactive media", because almost every other stance forgets that what we usually call "video games" is just a format (a type of presentation that uses the tools the interactive medium provides as best they can with their goal usually set on entertaining us) and when they forget this the analysis and discussions are regarding the content, not of the medium itself.

I won't talk about interactive media per se, but I will talk some about the "video game" format, and the ones I've experienced this last week that made me stop and think about their evolution so far and wonder about the future of storytelling on interactive media.

Call of Duty: MW3

Call of Duty games are the biggest selling ones of the last few years, and while some may dismiss them based on their popularity, and others mock their patriotic stories, they’re the closest thing out there to an ideal “living the movie” that millions of people seek.

The first two Call of Duty games gain its popularity and its appeal in the way they recreated the conflict around you, with situations and effects easy to relate to WW2 movies like Saving Private Ryan (the BEEEEEEEEEEP effect of grenades near you, the whole landing on D-Day) or Enemy at the Gates (the snipers battles on the russian campaign), and being part of missions that were even seen in Band Of Brothers, the scripted beginning and end of missions did enough to hook you up and give meaning and context to the gameplay, and the AI partners running by your side in the middle of enemy fire, mortar shells, etc, complemented their representation.

The scripted events became, if not the best part at least the unique offering, of the WW2 CoDs. Fast forward to MW3, there are scripted events on every level, all over the place, with added cinema techniques to help involve the player in the experience. There are high speed chases, “tense” stealth missions, there are location changes (each different mission), camera changes (switching from the ground troop view to the copter/ac130 view), there are dramatic scenes (characters dying) and even a mission that uses reverse chronology (a part is played then fades to black, text shows up that says “20 mins before”, taking the player to the proper start of the mission).

(I’m sure someone is willing to bring up HL2 and how they did a better job than CoD around that time, and while I might agree, the lack of more episodes or HL3 doesn’t let one see how much they’ve improved or not in storytelling techniques. And no, I don’t believe Portal 2 does anything special to tell a story, I love the gameplay and the humor, but it ends up being a first person puzzle game with funny commentary.)

I think MW3 is a perfect example in the evolution of the videogames/movies merger, although just like the types of movies it’s alluding, it requires a certain degree of suspended disbelief to not question what they’re doing, and a commitment from the player to “play along” (as in, not try to break or go against the game) and just like Hamza did in real life during The Call of Duty XP: agree, believe and enjoy the ride.

I’m really interested in seeing how well done scripted events (and the different camera views) would work on other genres. I got a taste of it in Skyrim while attacking a city and it was amazing. Also, it just so happens that Skyrim is the next game I’ll talk about.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Some people look down on scripted events and completely linear stories, after all, if they’re playing videogames, if they’re doing something that requires input from them, why not let them have choices? Why not let them impact the world in whatever way they want? If they wanted to follow a straight path and mainly “absorb” what others wanted then they could just see a movie instead, right?

Skyrim is the sensation of the moment, an open ended game, with a huge world, an insane amount of quests, a “smart” engine that places them differently and of course, dragons. Most people I know are in love with it, a couple have some issues with the graphics (“My modded oblivion looks better”) and others start arguing if the story is better or not than Morrowind or Oblivion.

Reading comments on dtoid, I found one that got my attention. Done by Eternal on the video about giants, he says “Skyrim won 25+ awards BEFORE IT EVEN WAS RELEASED. Now go read the reviews for the game. You notice what is never mentioned is the ‘engaging storyline’, ‘memorable characters’, ‘deep and complex gameplay mechanics’” and goes on to say “If Call of Duty is the Michael Bay of videogames, Then the Elder Scrolls is the James Cameron. They make pretty games with fantastic art direction that try and seem smarter than they are and thus it appeals to the average consumer”.

I’m not going to talk about the gameplay, but I will talk about the story and say that I disagree, and I’ll even go ahead and compare it to one of my favorite books. Skyrim, and the type of game it proposes, is the Hopscotch of videogames. Hopscotch is one of the best known novels of argentinean writer Julio Cortazar, it has 155 chapters and at the start of it there’s the following note:

“In its own way this book is many books, but it’s mainly two books. The reader is invited to pick one of these two choices:

The first book lets itself be read in the common form, and it ends in chapter 56, at the end of it there are three stars that represent the end. As such, the reader can disregard the rest with a clean conscience.
The second book allows itself to be read by starting in chapter 73 and following the order that’s indicated at the end of each chapter. In case of confusion or forgetfulness, it’s sufficient to consult this list:

73 - 1 - 2 - 116 - 3 - 84 - 4 - 71 5 - 81 - 74 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 93 - 68 - 9 - 104 - 10 - 65 - 11 - 136 - 12 - 106 - 13 - 115 - 14 - 114 - 117 - 15 - 120 - 16 - 137 - 17 - 97 - 18 - 153 - 19 - 90 - 20 - 126 - 21 - 79 - 22 - 62 - 23 - 124 - 128 - 24 - 134 - 25 - 141 - 60 - 26 - 109 - 27 - 28 - 130 - 151 - 152 - 143 - 100 - 76 - 101 - 144 - 92 - 103 - 108 - 64 - 155 - 123 - 145 - 122 - 112 - 154 - 85 - 150 - 95 - 146 - 29 - 107 - 113 - 30 - 57 - 70 - 147 - 31 - 32 - 132 - 61 - 33 - 67 - 83 - 142 - 34 - 87 - 105 - 96 - 94 - 91 - 82 - 99 - 35 - 121 - 36 - 37 - 98 - 38 - 39 - 86 - 78 - 40 - 59 - 41 - 148 - 42 - 75 - 43 - 125 - 44 - 102 - 45 - 80 - 46 - 47 - 110 - 48 - 111 - 49 - 118 - 50 - 119 - 51 - 69 - 52 - 89 - 53 - 66 - 149 - 54 - 129 - 139 - 133 - 140 - 138 - 127 - 56 - 135 - 63 - 88 - 72 - 77 - 131 - 58 – 131”.

Hopscotch is a book that goes against passive lecture, against the passive reader, against “the type that doesn’t want problems but solutions, or fake problems from someone else that allow him to suffer comfortably while sitting on his couch, without compromising with the drama that should also be his.”, it asks for more involvement from the reader and tries to break away from traditional storytelling. As you can tell from the note, there’s a clear choice on what you want to do, get the straight “main” story or “hop” through the chapters, reading parts of the three sections the book is divided on (“From this side”, “From that side”, “From other sides”) and getting to know the characters, the atmosphere, the situations better.

Cortazar used self-insertion, and as the character of Morelli (an author), he talks about his book, and it basically wants, asks and dreams of a way of telling a story that leaves as much work on the writer’s side as on the reader’s side. I feel he says it better than I do, so here’s what he says:

“Somewhere Morelli tried to justify his incoherent narratives, sustaining that the life of others, as we acknowledge it in the so called reality, isn’t cinema but photography, we can’t apprehend the action but only its eleatic cut fragments. There’s nothing else but those moments where we are with another whose life we believe to understand, or when they talk about him, or when he tells us about what’s happened or projects upon us his intentions. In the end there’s an album of pictures, of fixated instants.

That’s why it wasn’t rare at all to see him talk about his characters in the most spasmodic way imaginable; to give coherence to the series of pictures so they would become cinema (as the passive reader would’ve enormously liked) would mean to fill with literature, presumptions, hypothesis and interventions in the hiatus between picture and picture. Sometimes the pictures showed a back, a hand resting on a door, the end of a field trip, the mouth about to scream, some shoes in the closet, people walking by the Champ de Mars, a used stamp, the smell of Ma Griffe, things like that. Morelli thought that the life of those pictures, which he tried to present as sharp as possible, should put the reader in the condition to adventure, to participate almost in the destiny of his characters.

What he would know by imagination, would immediately form into action, without any artifice destined to integrate what’s been written or has yet to. The bridges between one instance and another of those vague and barely characterized lives, should be presumed or invented by the reader, from the way they comb their hair, if Morelli didn’t mention it, to the reasons of their conduct or inconduct, if it looked strange or eccentric. The book should be like those drawings proposed by Gestalt psychologists, that way certain lines would induce the observer to trace imagined lines that close the figure. Sometimes the absent lines would be the most important, the only ones that really mattered.

Reading Hopscotch in the linear way is decent, it’s good, there’s an interesting story and a proper novel, but it does nothing special because one isn’t allowing it too. The second and proposed way is miles more rewarding, not because it touches every chapter, not because it puts “everything in order” as some would say, but because it opens up the possibility of multiple readings, it shows you that at any given time you can pick up the book, read whatever number of chapters you want in whatever order, and you’ll get something different each and every time (look at the table of chapters, see the last three). Some may judge Skyrim's story just based on the main quest, I'd say don't be so closed minded, it's meant to be enjoyed as a whole and you'll only get as much back as you invest in it.

Despite how much I’m enjoying my time with Skyrim, I have to admit that for the most part it’s still mainly a story of action, of magic and wonders. If this medium is so flexible, if this is the medium of the future, then shouldn’t there be other great stories that manage to be amazing without dealing with “epicness”, grandscale wars or saving the town/world/galaxy/universe? I’m happy to say there are. (I feel like Catherine might classify on this, but it’s a game I haven’t played so I can’t be sure and I can’t talk about it for the same reason)

To The Moon

As it’s often the case, there are ideas and experiments on graphics, mechanics, stories, etc that you’ll only be able to find in indie games. A few months ago I saw this trailer of To The Moon, it had beautiful sprites, great music, a unique premise (think Eternal Sunshine, but implanting memories and making dreams come true, before someone dies) and that sold it to me, even if it decided to come out on the brink of the giant tidal wave of big releases. I’m going to try to be cautious to not spoil anything about it, so excuse me if I go vague on some points.

I started this whole thing talking about video games as a format of the interactive media, this could be superficially explained by pointing how different the simulators used for teaching, the interactive books on the “kids software” section, YouTube, and video games are. Alternatively, I’d have to say that we’ve learned “video game” as a word, as a concept, not only as gamers but as a society, and it puts them in a position similar to Kleenex and Q-tips, where a specific brand (like how older people call any video game a Nintendo) or presentation pretty much defines them as a whole.

To The Moon stands on the edge of being an interactive book, a movie, a game, and while I know a lot of people that dismiss it for lacking gameplay, it doesn’t matter, it shouldn’t matter, it might be just my ignorance of similar products, but to me this is a unique story, told in a unique way that deserves everyone’s attention, that deserves to be given a chance.

-To The Moon, the game:

What makes a game? What separates or merges it from sports or art? There are linguistic and semantic discussions that come up whenever someone says something is or not a game, in the end I would say society defines it, and society will eventually accept or not the labels some people are fighting so hard to get. For now, To The Moon has enough to be considered a video game, you have control over characters, they can interact with some areas of their environment, there are puzzles for you to resolve, the interface is that of an old SNES game, the sprites and backgrounds are reminiscent of oldschool RPGs and it’s sold as a game on online game retailers. None of the inputs required from you are that hard, and I’m not sure if you can’t lose or if it’s just “too easy”, and while I’m personally inclined to say it’s a “non-game”, I find myself unable to say this isn’t a game by definition.

-To The Moon, the interactive book:

I don’t know how much they’ve changed by now, but I remember being on first or second grade when our English teacher would take us to the computer lab of the school, they had a couple of interactive books on the computer, which would be like a regular children book but with animations and with speakers turned on for us to hear the characters and the narrator talk. We took turns clicking parts of the environment in the background and seeing the characters do funny things with them, after all the available options were clicked, the teacher would go to the next page and we’d keep going until the book would end.

To The Moon reminds me of that, when I started playing it I figured it would be like an adventure game, but it didn’t really have enough challenging situations to compare it to them, so in a way, you’re reading this book, you’re given options on things to interact if you want to, but from what I can tell, in the end they don’t make a difference and taking the time to see what happens with the available options just rewards your curiosity with a funny comment. It might sound like I’m criticizing it, but I loved those interactive books as a kid, and this one being done with the classic RPG view/interface makes it more comfortable and appealing to me. It might be presenting itself as something more complex than what it is, but it’s done so well that you forget about it.

-To The Moon, the movie:

I think we’ve all heard criticisms of the long cinematic sequences on RPGs and some other games like MGS or read about how Heavy Rain is just a movie that needs you to press buttons to keep going, we might have even heard people say they’d love to see a certain game as a movie/anime/series instead of playing it. Usually video games reward you for playing, they give a sense of accomplishment, of doing something, of making a difference, but right after “finishing” it I didn’t get that feeling, it was more similar to the one you get after seeing an incredible film that gets to you. To The Moon could’ve easily been a couple hours long movie in sprite format, an instant machinima classic that you’d be likely to remember more than any of the best scenes from your favorite RPG, and good enough to show it to your not gaming friends and even to those movie snobs that know oh so much about films…

-To The Moon, the result:

…but it choose not to. In the gameplay trailer of TTM (it does have some spoilers), its creator just asks of you to embrace his creation with an open mind, without expectations or demands of what his “game” should deliver to you. I didn’t understood till I played it, and I can’t emphasize enough how glad I am that I did, TTM has an almost perfect balance of interaction, of story, of art and music, it opened my mind to this particular way of reading/playing/receiving/absorbing a story, inspired me enough to write this whole blog and if you give it the chance, it might have as much impact on you as it had on me, and make you think of the future and wonder what else could be achieved.   read

6:16 AM on 09.13.2011

Red Orchestra 2 Previewish Impressions

I can hear the gunshots coming from the building, but I can't pinpoint exactly where they're coming from. I'm hiding behind cover, taking random peeks, hoping I can see from what window he's shooting before he can see me. I look to my right and see my squad leader throw a couple of grenades, smoke starts to come out and spread out of them, to the point where I can't even see the building in front of me... "ATTACK!!" yells the commander, as at least 20 my comrades rush besides me into the broken down building. Gunshots, screams, explosions, I can feel the bullets passing close to me, but yet somehow I manage to get in through a window. I give myself a second to catch my breath, I start moving through the building, take out a couple of fascists looking out different windows, I can hear my comrades voice in the building now but so can I hear fascists voice echoing through the walls, there's gotta be more of them in here.

I start moving to the oposite side of the building, I see a few comrades and go upstairs, I hear gunshots, hopefully they're safe. I get to other entrance of the building, as I'm just starting to poke my head someone starts shooting at me from outside the door, I get hit, but he makes the mistakes of hiding behind the wooden door, I shoot through it and kill him. I'm bleeding, I take few steps to hide behind some furniture, I take out my medkit and patch myself, as I'm picking up my weapon I hear a lot of running steps heading my way, those pigs are counterattacking, and I just happen to be the only one in the room. My survival instincts say " run back" but I know they're going for my comrades. I pick up my gun as they start entering the building, some through the door, some through windows, I start shooting them, looks like I hit a three of them but shit.. they're still coming in and I need to reload, I move towards the furniture where I cured myself as I reload my gun, maybe I'll have another go at them, maybe....fuck, they got me, and I had just gotten the full mag into my gun. I lose control of my body, I try to lift my gun and shoot back at those bastards, but I can't lift it, my pressing of the trigger just manages to make holes on the floor, my vision gets blury and everything is turning black now... In Countdown game mode that would be all I could do for the round, in the other ones I would have to wait a bit before respawning, slowly depleting the reinforcements of my team.

Red Orchestra 2 is the sequel to Tripwire's realistic WWII FPS Red Orchestra Ostfront, for those that have never heard of it, it started out as a mod for Unreal Tournament 2004, in turn it won the "Make Something Unreal" competition ( the grand prize being an Unreal Engine license) which brought life to Tripwire Interactive. There are a couple of things that distinguish Red Orchestra 2, one is being PC centric, which lets them have all the perks that come with that: the dedicated servers for up 64 players, the mods ( A pacific one already well on it's way), the customization of servers (you can choose different levels of realism, infantry/tanks only, etc), type of anticheat (punkbuster, VAC, both, none), among other things.

As far as the gameplay goes, RO2 takes a while to get used to if you've been playing games like CoD or Homefront, while there is a game mode (Firefight) where you can run around killing people, most of the game types are domination type, that required having patience, thinking your moves and some degree of teamplay. While you can go around minding your own business this won't likely benefit your team, and with the ability to vote for removing someone from their class and the game not giving points when you're far away from the battle, while also giving a good amount of points for capturing points and helping attack/defend them, encourages people to play the game as it's meant to.

There are a lot of classes in RO2 that vary depending on the map (you won't get tank related classes on a map that doesn't have tanks), but the basic ones are assault, rifleman, machine gunner, marksman, squad leader and commander, each one has a specific purpose and a good commander will order (you can choose to accept or no) you to move to places where they feel you'd make the most contribution to your team. Assaults are meant to spearhead the way, riflemen can support them while also not being half bad at close range, machine guns are good to suppress enemies and take out a bunch if they just happen to run unprepared towards you, marksmen can take out enemies at the distance with the sniper, squad leaders are spawn points and they can also throw grenades and mark locations for the commander, as for this last one, the commander can order artillery strikes and force reinforcements (make everyone that's dead spawn at once without the wait), abilities that are useful but that have a limited number of uses. It's worth mentioning that, with the exception of firefight, every other mode has a limitation of players on each class that scales depending on the number of players on the server.

I played 15 hours of the beta, most of the time as a machine gunner or as an assault, some things like level progression and the unlock of weapons weren't available for all the beta (or the single player which I have no idea how it's going to be handled), but the basic game captivated me in a way I wasn't expecting, it's tense, it's scary, it makes you fight for every single kill and it's frustrating at times but oh so rewarding. The game is pre-loaded and I'm anxiously await the unlock, the last game Tripwire made was Killing Floor where I have close to 200hrs played on it, I can see my playtime on RO2 easily passing that.   read

1:43 AM on 06.17.2011

Summer PC Gaming Servers

Hi everyone!

So it's summer, and a lot of you guys are probably wondering what to do with your extra free time now that you're on vacations from highschool or college, and while I don't really know what to do with yours or my own extra free time, I decided to open up a couple of community servers to be running at least during this summer.

There's a Terraria one (from LA) for 10 players:

And a couple Killing Floor servers, one from the US (LA) and one from the UK (London):

Right now they're set to public, i'll password them during FNF with "dtoidfnf" as pass, and if demand requires it during normal hours i'll update this with the regular always on password.

I'll also be checking who's active during the course of the week, cause the servers could use at least another mod or two.   read

1:48 PM on 03.16.2010

Feliz Cumpleaños Ñero y Destructoid!!!



You know how much I love this place <3.

Creo que nunca he escrito algo en español aquí, así que no veo porque este no es un buen momento para hacerlo. Ya tienen 4 años, y a pesar de que no pude ir festejar con ustedes en San Francisco, definitivamente estuve festejando y celebrándolo desde lejos. Dtoid me ha dado varios de los mejores momentos de mi vida, y claramente me ha dejado conocer personas increíblemente geniales, así que espero tengan muchos años más y que aunque la comunidad siga creciendo, ese tipo de hermandad que ha estado presente desde el principio se mantenga. Feliz cumpleaños!!!   read

5:55 PM on 12.12.2009

So it's Been 3 Years Since I Got Here


I don't remember the first time I saw you or who exactly directed me to you, it could've been bluesnews, with their massive amount of daily links, or perhaps an old Kotaku one when you did the funnies on some articles, maybe even evil avatar, although I already knew you when they talked about your Jack Thompson hearing video. All I know is I already visited you when Summa started, I already was around when Faith was a writer, when Topher was Hushgush, when Niero wrote often, when you could have the site almost by yourself (or by alex, wardrox, atlas and me) late night/early morning. I'm definitely not the oldest oldfag around, and in some ways I still consider myself a newfag, but as of today I'm 3 years old in this community.

I met you at a strange period in my life

The end of highschool and the start of Uni at 2005-2006 was really weird, there was the usual "omg guys i'm gonna miss you" to friends, the packing and all that for moving out, getting into a new city, new home, etc. And as happy and excited as i was about all of that, it all went downhill pretty fast.

My class schedule was horrible (first class at 7am, got out of last class at 9pm) my career director, the one that chooses teachers, schedules and courses that will open, hated that they had to offer videogame developing focused classes. During a convention in the campus I met some people from a smaller newer school that was starting, I looked into it and decided to move there after the semester was over, and I did.

In the middle of all this there was an arduous constant calling/txting breakup, which did hit me pretty bad, but not as bad as finding out that the new school i was on wasn't didn't really offered a certified title (well, they got approval for one generation of students and all the others would be pending approval, which they obviously didn't tell us and i just found out overhearing the principal talking between classes).

As I was debating if I wanted to continue with the classes or not as they were actually pretty good, although overwhelming enough that I needed caffeine pills/drinks everyday and would sleep like 50% less than I do now , I found out my dad had cancer, and his treatment or surgery was gonna take a huge enough chunk of "get knives to college" fund my parents started when i was a kid, so i had to move back home and look for a local Uni. I got back home to chaos, my dad didn't take the news very well, and he was sure he was gonna die despite treatment, so when surgery on him was suggested he actually refused, believing that money would do us more good once he was gone. A few months went by with him just lost in drinking. I didn't look into local colleges or anything, I got a job and also had the job to make sure he didn't lose his.

I'm not really a religious person even though most of my family is, and december 12 is a religious holiday over here, so with my dad in the condition that he was, my mom asked me to go to church with her to pray for him, on the way back we had an argument about what to do with my dad. I signed up that night, with her away with my grandma while my dad was on his 4th bottle of wine of the night. Although finally getting on dtoid didn't make anything better right away, the snowball of awesomeness had been thrown.

Enough of the emo part

I was avatarless for the longest time, but back then their weren't enough trolls to make it completely acceptable to ignore avatarless users. I started FNFing thanks to Snaileb and Bahamutzero, I started commenting, I definitely wasn't as involved as I am now due to the family stuff going on, but with things looking better, I actually considered to go to the 2007 dtoid anniversary party in Miami or to PAX07. I ended up using the money for other stuff, still, I swore I would make it next year.

And it rolled and grew...

In a "fuck it, I'll do it" moment I decided to go to MAGFEST in 2008, my first meeting with dtoid people, I stayed with Hitogoroshi, BlindsideDork, Rockvillian and Cowzilla, also happened to meet rockstar legend Dale North and VWGTI. It was amaaaazing and adam's stories about me can still be read here. Also big props to !Old Man Hito++ for introducing me to IRC.

A month or so after MAGFEST I found out dtoid's 2nd anniversary celebration would be in Cancun, even if it was on the other side of my country, it was still my country, so I HAD to go. I'm glad I did, I got to meet most of the editors and Tazar and Bahamutzero. I'll never forget the moment I got to the hotel, and everyone was having dinner, I was guided to the table and Dyson pulled out a chair and said "aaaaaaaand welcome".

The cblogs came out, the forums were still that way --->, I met dtoidLA! I played the greatest game ever with Aborto at comic-con, where I also met Charliesuh, Mandi, Stella, Suff0cat and Earthbounderness. Audiosurf also came out, and with it I probably made the longest cblog contest ever. And of course, I went to PAX, where the list of people I met is too long to put in here, but that it kept inspiring me to get to whatever dtoid gatherings I could. Like more dtoidLA parties, or baltinarp, or the Miami aniversary, or blipfest (in a few days!!!).

I slowly made dtoid a bigger part of my life, and what started as me just visiting another page for gaming news ended up being a meeting point for awesome people, at some point my vacations started to get planned around dtoiders gatherings, my gaming decisions started to get based mostly on the number of dtoiders playing the game, my drunk calls went from local people to me calling naia, aerox, chad and/or mandi. I'm going to blipfest next week, I plan on going to pax east and west and hopefully visit Texas and San Francisco for some NARPing next year, you guys have no idea how much I love being a part of this, although hopefully you do.

Thank you.

Now for oldtimes sake, epic credits (which weren't done in video cause MW2 has taken over my life)

Blindsidedork: I'll get a PS3 eventually!! As eventually as I'll go to a MAGFest again!

Rockvillian: Can't sleep, patriarch will bring you to your maker :O.

Cowzilla: Did you kill the evil Kazar Tam?

Herogeysha: IRC IS awesome, talk more often!! Also the baltinarps at your place are epic, it was kinda like magfest but with less rooms and more people sleeping on the floor.

Snaileb: You showed me the ropes on dtoid even if you probably didn't even notice.

BahamutZero: Hope I see you at blipfest!!

Electrolemon: Is becoming a man :O.

AgentMOO: I bought your game and I haven’t played it with other people!

Teta: Come on! Save the monies and go to PAX!

Airox: When I read your comments with the Nu avatar it made think as if he was talking and moving like in CT.

Atlas: Evil jim! NEVER FORGET!

Aborto: The mummy!!

Power Glove: You and Nick are the greatest Rock Band news team,

Chad: You're awesome! And I miss Luna!! Really wish I could've made it this weekend.

Drewbies: Bawls!

Passionate Styos : Get your visa so you can visit dtoidla! Also I need to visit you once the crappy weather stops.

Kyle & Donna: How will you ever outdo the slide?

Pew: Go To Bed!!

Mandi: Homie!! !dtoidsd++ #hell's yeah. We need to hangout more often! And you need to stop daring me to do stuff, I swear at nights I can still taste that green sour drink, although it's still better tasting than this

CountingConflict: One of the greatest part of PAX08 was hanging out with you and Macca, I WILL go visit you texans at some point.

Coonkip: You're too drunk to read this! You're still as great as your hat though.

Item Forty: Really wish you were around during my drunkcast.

Tactix: Fedora phenomenon, wish I could've seen you sing last week!

Naia: Hugs, cookies, sprinkles and cupcakes!!

Vexed Alex: Yay! Mexiforce!!

Ogu: Actual mexican :D

Zserv: We never had another RB battle :O.

Camtub: Love your videos, wish you were still here more often.

Kryptinite: Totally not green :(, not even under his pants :/.

Lost Crichton: You’re an epic epic man, I can’t see anyone doing a better job as mr.dtoid on the pax panels any time soon.

Blehman:Well, your sense of humor is great! And actually, your avatar either makes me want a shake or reminds me that my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.

Wardrox: I'm a total fan of NGcast, seriously great. Also your Pink Godzilla mohawk is classic :D.

BigPopaGamer: I wanted to do the drunkcast PAX thing! But I woke up way too late that day!.

Macca: Drinking vodka with you was one of the best things ever, getting caught with the bottle in the restaurant was one of the most hilarious things ever also :P.

Keener: Omg! You actually welcomed me in the forums <3 <3

Mxyplyzyk: And you welcomed me in the cblogs!! :D

Dexter345: You know why I love you.

Dyson: Best story teller I own, also incredible cool person to hang around with.

Riser Glen: I learned the ways of Christian Bale from you.

-D-: Aren't you in LA? I think i've only seen you once there!

Garison: ***cuddles*** <3

Tino: See you in a week!!

Cataract: If you lived over here you’d be of drinking age already.

Nintendoll: 038813231480, what’s yours?

Suff0cat: Dude! Those cheese fries at chad’s karaoke were amazing!

TheGHost: I’m glad I’m one of you neverending list of friends.

Scottyg: Keep the black yoshi dream alive!

Tactix: I will visit you guys, I promise! Maybe next time I will make it to Dyson’s GDC party.

Necros: WTF happened to your hair? I bet it’s a publicity stunt for failcast . :P

Rio Mcarthy: We need to play Rock Band again!

Gandysampras: I need to go to the UK and visit you guys.

Bunnyrabbit2: Maybe next PAX we won’t get distracted with other stuff and actually get the dream
team on the RB stage.

Pheonixblood : You’re doing a good job with the UK people, keep it up :).

Halfie: !gandy and halfie++ # :D

Chooly: Traveling buddy!

Miss Hinasaki: Stop forgetting about IRC, we miss you!

BushofGhosts: Love playing odst with you, even if you just keep bragging about your penis.Also you owe me a hug!!

Samit: Happy birthday!!

SleepingAgain: When are you going to a dtoidla something?

Storyr: You need a narp, at your future place, before PAX.

GuitarAtomik: I show every friend the “I’m a shark” video, they love it.

Nademagnet: I’ll never forget your idea of asking “Would you like some of my delicious sandwich?” during the PAX panel.

Thegoldenavatar: Lets drink a bottle (or two) of vodka next pax!

Detry: Backout!!

Workmeng: I’m guessing you won’t read this, but it’s still crazy I haven’t met you in person.

DjDuffy: Herro Copter!

MadNinja: Are you still like 12?

HarrasmentPanda: Stop being so busy!

Technophile: I want a 3rd anniversary badge! I wasn't on the forums that day cause I was in the party!

Kaciesaurus: Where's the drunken halo nights you promised?

Ceark: Great seeing you again on Halloween, that dtoid anniversary comic you did was incredibly epic.

Huskyhog: Cancun roommate, if I don't forget I'll gift you a mexican hat.

Crocbox: Crotchlunch.

Bloodylip: Get rocky's number!

Atheistium: I should’ve gone to PAX07, you’re probably a blast to hang out and drink with.

the GAMEGOBLIN: Best paint artist ever!

Hoygeit: You were an awesome drunk at PAX.

Zero Atma:Great dinning with you and scotty the last night of PAX, also I'll never drink as much champagne as in that one brunch thing.

Tdiddy: Still wish you hadn't leave the Miami party so early, make it to PAX!

Asian Joe : I can’t actually think anything else than “too many dicks on the dance floor” when I read
your name right now.

Aiya/Stella: Plushies!!

Bean Pearly: I’ll go with you to a hipster coffee place when I visit SF :P.

Tiff: You and Maya should join katamaris!

King3vo: Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing, you do the best "kniiiiiiiiiives" scream greeting in person.

McSnow: Your sterling costume was great, hope you go to pax again next year,

Yashoki: Loved it when they talked about trolls during the pax panel and you stood up <3, great hanging out with you.

Hamza: No one will ever forget that metroid run…

Nick Chester: Or you failing drums :P.

Colette: I swear once I get shelves I’ll make a cblog in Tomopop about my plushie collection. Also <3 <3

Conrad: Missed you at PAX, I better see you next year or I’ll stop digging your articles!

Rey:I admit I was one of the "gtfo" people when you started promoting your show on the cblogs, you didn't make a good first impression, but you're crazy cool in person.

Jim Sterling: Chad claimed he got drunker at PAX than you in Cancun, I still have my doubts.

Impossibleplant: Your drawings were great! Haven’t seen them posted in a while.

Dale North: That duet you did with Colette in Miami was beautiful.

Niero: I honestly feel I grew with dtoid, thanks to this site, to these people, I've had crazy amazing weekends, gaming sessions, karaoke sessions and chats on IRC and gtalk, I hope I see you soon! And more often once you move to SF.

To the persons I probably forgot to mention and which I obviously shouldn't, I'm sorry, the awesomeness gets overwhelming while trying to put it in words.   read

11:31 AM on 10.20.2009

Destructoid's PAX 09 Panel

So, it took me a while to get something to convert the HD .mts video I captured to something I could upload without too much trouble, but It's finally done. I know the quality isn't the best one ever, but that's because I had to downgrade it a bit so I could get it out ASAP, seeing as how it's already been more than a month since PAX, but don't worry, I'll upload something more HD like on the week and just replace the videos.



[embed]152511:23902[/embed]   read

3:32 PM on 09.25.2009

The Forgotten: Pieces

Atlus is a company I love to follow, from the awesome Disgaea, the never ending stream of DS RPGs, to the mixed rhythm game Ontamarama, Atlus has been one of the few companies that I blindly trust, their logo alone can make me get a game regardless of knowing things about it or not.

For the longest time I thought my love for Atlus was set in stone with Disgaea, born with Thousand Arms, but a few years ago I was looking through my SNES games and I found Pieces, the real first Atlus game I played and loved.

Pieces is a puzzle game... literally, the game is about putting together puzzles before your opponent does, which as expected can be either an AI one or a friend in VS mode. Once you start a match you get a few seconds to look at the image the puzzle forms, then you start putting it together from the pieces that appear on top of your side. Every time you set a piece correctly within 15 seconds of the last one you fill part of a POW bar, when you fill that you get a power up, which can go from offensive, like sweeper (removes some opponent's pieces) or mirror (inverses opponents control's), to support, like radar (arrow guides to the right way) or helper (grabs pieces and puts them itself).

Single player would be a sort of story mode where it's just you against different characters that get progressively better, among them there is a rice bowl crab, a delinquent boar, a robot and a mermaid. There are three difficulties in single player, but those actually just mean skipping levels (as in choosing "medium" would make me start on the third level l if I had picked "easy").


But the best part Pieces is the multiplayer, I used to play it all the time with my cousins and the rate at which you can get power ups and the variety of them would lead to crazy Mario Kart like battles, especially once we had played it for a while and already knew all the puzzles. And for those that aren't so competitive, there's also an "all play" option that could get up to 5 players in a relaxing "let's just put puzzles together" mode.

I know this might sound like a crappy Wiiware game, but the cute character sprites, the fun power ups and the amazing music make it one of my favorite SNES games and I title I would love to see brought back to DS or XBLA.   read

2:36 AM on 09.15.2009


I'm trying to put my PAX experience in words and I find myself overwhelmed by the things i could say, but at the same time i don't find enough words to say it, it might be cause I am writing in a second language for me, but words like "great", "fantastic" or even "amazing" don't really capture everything that PAX was.

PAX was chad singing, naia drinking, mandi getting slapped by a trout, it was the multifaceted gender changing Mr. Destructoid, it was kai's cooking skills (although i didn't get to eat with him), his beer run speech, the elusive katamaya, the dan paladin sighting, gavin being his "master of self control" self while i filmed him, hamza telling old stories, the drunkcast and the failcast (even yashoki :O), husky getting yelled at by the manager of the E&C, Niero and Colette hanging out, some random guy asking the whole crowd of dtoiders to come up to his bar, the brits, the canadians, the latins, talking with the only other completely foreign language speaker the legendary Prof. Pew, hell, PAX was even the oldest of men (Hitogoroshi)! And yeah, I know it included some games, perhaps a bit of SC2, No more heroes, the Turtles Smash Game or something I actually didn't see, and also some panels, arcade games in gameworks and the necessary food, but I think most of us weren't there because the convention :P.


Of course PAX was also alcohol consumption, with hugging and kissing, with boob grabbing and that whole moving your mouth and pronouncing things, what's the word? oh yeah, "talk". With old friends, saying "hi" to them, with the people you've just "met" but with whom you've already irc'd, gtalked, skyped, twittered, facebooked, etc. for months or even years. PAX was like a rare physical manifestation of the site, the forums and IRC, where you would see a random dtoider walking around and you could just get close talk to them and hangout, it was the dtoid community Live, a chance to see how cool everyone is, and just have a pretty fucking amazing wonderful time.


PAX was one of the best weekends ever, and if PAX East starts building up to be at least a bit of what this was, then trust me, I'll do everything I can to get there...even if i ended up with consars again, it would still be so worth it.

PS: I miss everyone <3, especially the ones that couldn't make it this year.   read

11:05 PM on 08.26.2009

Bunch of HoN Beta Keys Giveaway (Shortblog)


The DoTA like game is giving a bunch of beta keys away here, so i thought about giving you dtoiders a heads up. There are only 42,362 keys left! :O

PS: Add me in there, my username is knivy.   read

11:38 PM on 08.24.2009

Why I Love Dexter345

He gives me a 1month code for xbox live for free :D

also this


1:26 AM on 08.13.2009

Killing Floor Review

I've been playing this game for a couple of months now, and since I never saw a dtoid review despite my constant "Aerox get Killing Floor!!", I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Killing floor is based on a UT2k4 mod of the same name, and it's made by the same guys that did Red Orchestra, so I guess that could count as good references. The game is pretty basic, it's mainly a different take on the "invasion" game mode from UT2K4. The main goal in here is to survive a certain number of waves (you can choose between short, medium and long) against a bunch of different types of creatures. As you would expect, each wave gets more difficult than the last, with more and tougher monsters each time. You get money for each kill and some extra if you survived the wave, between these you get a minute to buy weapons, ammo and armor from the trader, some mysterious girl that despite looking at the insanity all around you refuses to open her doors until the coast clear. Once you're done with the waves you get to battle the boss, The Patriarch, which looks really pissed at you for killing his babies.


The game is made to be played with up to 6 persons in co-op, but there are already mutators to get that number up to 32. There are 6 different perks that you can level up, medic, sharpshooter, commando, berserker, firebug and support specialist, each perk can get up to level 5 by achieving certain requirements (like doing X damage with a shotgun or healing X hp from teammates), the perks give you bonus in damage or defense, and also a nice price discount with the trader on certain weapons.

If you think all this will make the game too easy, think again. Killing Floor scales according to the number of players, the more players there are in the server the more enemies you'll get, and even though lvls 3-5 might find Normal a walk in the park, Hard and Suicidal difficulties still prove very challenging, I say this as a lvl 5 support specialist and a lvl 4 sharpshooter.

One of the first things I notice about killing floor was that it came out with very few maps, 5 to be exact, and although they are pretty different, they are clearly not enough. Tripwire announced a new map as free DLC to come out soon (along with the ak-47 and the katana), but meanwhile you'll be glad to know that the mapping community for Killing Floor is insane, just take a look at ]this list, come on, go on, just click it. I guess it helps out that they have a $10,000 grand prize for the winner of their map making contest, but a lot of those maps were there even before the competition was announced and are just getting updated "contest version".

As you might guess by now, the main focus on Killing Floor is the multiplayer content, even though it has a single player mode, the game is waaaaaay more enjoyable when you're playing with friends... or randoms. That's right, from this couple of months i've been playing the game i can say that the community in there is probably the best I've found on any game. It might be 'cause of the scaling I mentioned, or maybe 'cause of the lack of friendly fire, but people are usually willing to help out if they can, be that with money, tips or just covering or healing you.

Before I'm done, for those that might ask, no, this game isn't like L4D, besides the not zombies, the more open scenarios and the fact that you don't just escape, but actually win, Killing Floor has more of a hunter feeling, a "you might be deadly... but so am I!", while still having a ton of "oh shiiiiiiiiit" moments throughout the match.

I called Killing Floor "generic" when I was on Failcast, and I stick by it. Killing Floor doesn't bring anything new, it really isn't innovative, the dramatic slowmotion kills might be overdone and you could get angry when enemies get stuck on a map and you have to go look for them, but It's still only $15 bucks, a ton of fun and by far the game I've played the most this year.

BUY IT and play with me! (At least you Rocky and Aerox).   read

6:51 PM on 07.31.2009

Thanks for the Neves Shirt!!

So I just got home from eating delicious lime cake and drinking some coffee with my best friend and I find this at the door!!

OMG could it be? YES!! It's the amazing Neves Plush shirt I won!!

My cat obviously wanted to take a look at it....

But oh shit! dtoid pin has attacked my kitty!!

Looks like they've joined forces gurren lagann style :O

Anyway, thanks again dtoid!! From me and from my cat Lynch ( now Lynchtoid?) !!   read

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