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I am luke. i write music. i play games. i ramble rant and rave. be kind to me or treat me mean.

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PSN ID:kumasimc
Steam ID:thesoundboy
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i really like The Order: 1886. 

Wait! Don't go! That's not all I'm here to talk about! Please stay and indulge my blogginess for a moment. 

You see, the reviews for The Order have been quite divisive and I'm trying to figure out why exactly. And yes I understand everyone has different opinions but this game has had adjectives as different as "Masterpiece" and "drab", or "Brilliant" and "mediocre" thrown at it.

So what gives? Part of me believes the general public will like this game more than reviewers as reviewers have been playing little snippets of it for a while and have grown weary. But then the press has mostly had an apprehensive opinion of the game from the start, claiming it to be just a 'pretty cover shooter'. 

What I'm wondering, is where did these expectations come from? I don't believe Ready at Dawn promised anything more than 'cinematic', 'exciting' and 'gorgeous'. They weren't trying to invent a new genre, simply take an existing one and polish it to hell. 

Kotaku said it was like "Gears of War if Gears of War had been a bad game". Well well, that's a painful comment. However, I thought Gears of War was really fun, really pretty, but had an absolutely pitiful, nonsensical story. So the mere fact that The Order has a pretty decent story already puts it one up on Epic's, er..., epic. 

I just don't see how after getting a slew of supposed AAA games that were damn near broken, not too mention another round of Call of.... [yawn] Duty and 2 (TWO!) more Assassin's Creed variations, why a game as polished, pretty and fun as The Order becomes an example of how bad a game can be. 

Now, I know I've gotten a bit opinionated here, but I'm just already excited to see what RAD does next after finishing their latest. Any thoughts? Preferably not vitriolic? Let me hear it! Opinions are good! As is open discussion. 

Who am I kidding, nobody reads this. But it's fun to pretend!

Til next time, love, peace, and women are people too 


10:23 PM on 11.24.2014

Reew Games appears to be a small, independent video game developer out of Russia. They have never released a game, to my knowledge. Their first game is in development, and it's called Reverse Side. It utilises Unreal Engine 4, is set on the dark side of the Moon and appears to be a sci-fi survival adventure game.

And it was supposed to come out over a month ago.

That alone isn't that big deal, but the method in which the game has been delayed has been quite strange.

I first stumbled across the game's page on Steam while checking out what new items were coming up. It looked intriguing and I am someone who often puts down money on indie games just to see what's out there and support the development community. I quickly added Reverse Side to my wish list, and waited. When I checked back, the release date had come, but the game had not.

There seemed to be a lot of confusion about what was going on, exacerbated by the fact that the developer wrote mostly in Russian and didn't have very good english translators. (One of their trailers had the tag "Welcome to Moon.")

Soon the release date was pushed back a week. Ok, no problem, it's rough for a small developer, I get it. So I came back a week later and...


After a while the developer left a slightly awkward post about "Now the game is to be checked. If all goes well, it will be immediately downloaded and available in the store". And the wait continued.

In good faith, it seemed, Reew Games decided (though they REALLY shouldn't have) to release a free demo to appease the interested gamers waiting for the release. And it seemed there were people (myself included) who were really curious about this game. After the demo was released, however, I was even more curious.

It contained barely any options, a ridiculouly long opening shot (it sits on the title for about 30 seconds) and a very strange game underneath it all. The camera was uncomfortably situated over the shoulder, but in a way that your character's barely-detailed head blocks about a third of the screen. The camera also has a filter that makes it look smudgy and has more lense flares than a JJ Abrams movie. All of this would be forgiveable if it worked.

Upon loading the first level I found that none of my objective markers led me to anything useful. This it seemed was because I couldn't find a workable "action" button to open any doors or activate any objects. Some people said "E", some said (strangely) "Tab", I tried them all, including mouse buttons and nothing worked. But I did notice it had a console option.

I explored the console commands, desperately trying to find a way to proceed, and eventually I found a way to skip the opening level and get to the Moon. Finally I was playing something that seemed remotely like a game. Not a very good one, but a game nonetheless.

It seemed as if the demo was not meant to be released, but that in order to keep people interested they had to release something. I'm still not sure why they thought this would help. The mystery was way cooler than the demo. (The demo was also described as merely a "tech demo" though I'm not sure that helps its case since "technically", it's broken.)

Since this demo the game has been delayed on an almost weekly basis, with no real explanation. Russian translations of some of the comments bring up talk of the developers being unprofessional and having used people without paying them. It's all circumstantial however and also hindered by the terrible quality of Google Translate.

Today the game was supposed to come out. Today it was pushed back a week. Another handful of "WTF?" comments have made the rounds on the message boards, and the developer has again barely said anything in its defense.

I am completely fine with delays. I would rather have a great game later than a broken one now, but it's this constant carrot-dangling that I find mystifying. Why not delay the game a month? Why not go early-access? And what exactly is the problem?

A while back I bought a game on Steam called "The House". It was horrible. I won't get into it here but you can read all about it in the user reviews. That game was released and has continued to be supported on Steam. So what could be so bad about Reverse Side that Steam won't release it?

That one comment, though: "Now the game is to be checked. If all goes well, it will be immediately downloaded and available in the store." It makes me think that every week Reew Games sends its latest version to Steam and every week Steam says "No."

And Steam said yes to "The House".

What is going on here?

I should give up. There is no reason to follow this game at all anymore. And yet, I'm sure on Dec. 1st, the new release date of the game, I will be logging on and checking it out. Most likely it'll have a new release date, and a new handful of exasperated/humorous comments about the developers ineptitude.

But maybe one day we'll get to see the dark side of the Moon. And maybe, just maybe... it won't suck. Here's hoping.





Ok, so it's been awhile. I'm relatively new to PC Gaming, you see. I played PC back in the day of Doom, and Rise of the Triad, but right around Quake and Dark Forces my computer became out of date. Being that I was just a little tyke, I was dependent on my parents and they didn't really care about graphic cards or the like.

So consoles it was! 

I went from NES to Genesis to PlayStation and then pretty much every console after that until now. I recently bought a computer with a nice gaming setup and started plundering the depths of Steam. And dear god is there a lot of shit on Steam! That said, I have been rather busy buying up classic games (The Longest Journey, Another World) PC exclusive games (Amnesia, Dear Esther), Multi-Platform games that just look and play way better on PC (Bioshock Infinite, Skyrim) and indies, indies indies (Papers, Please, AntiChamber, Gone Home, The Swapper, ETHER-One, Year Walk, Lifeless Planet, The Binding of Isaac, Kairo, Goat Simulator, MirrorMoon, SuperBrothers, Starseed Pilgrim, Thirty Flights of Loving, The Stanley Parable.... on and on and on)!

So.... ahem. Sorry bout that, I'm back now.

But Let me just talk for a moment about this mammoth month of may we are having!

First off, Transistor. Wow. It's been awhile since I have just sat down and destroyed a game like that. I could not stop. The game just throws you in and never lets up. I kept figuring out new things about it (it's really worth it to play with as little prior knowledge as possible) and it absolutely blew me away. 

Next up, Wolfenstein: The New Order. This game has gotten some "meh" reviews, but I must say, if you grew up on FPS, and started with id and Apogee games, you have to play this. I can best sum it up this way. There's a little easter egg where you can play a level of the original Escape From Castle Wolfenstein towards the middle of the game. The graphics are the original graphics but with a polished HD sheen. oh, and your arm is his new arm. But here's the thing, When I remember playing the original, that's how I remember it. When I play the actual EFCW it feels so old, but this little bonus brings back how it felt. And in a way, that's how the new game feels. It feels like what Wolfenstein would be if it had just been released 20 some years later. It's both modern and retro, classic and new-fangled. It's got that perfect blend of B-Movie over the top action and wonderfully directed cinematics that make it hilarious and heart-warming all at once. As soon as I heard that the team was made up of former Starbreeze Devs, I knew It would be solid, and that's what it is. Solid. If you want and appreciate a good, single player FPS, you'll dig it. If you remember IDSPISPOPD and "They'll bury you in a lunch box!" You'll love it. It's a love letter to the First-Person Shooter.

And here's the kicker, May isn't even done yet! Watch Dogs (and no, I refuse to insert that little underscore in the middle) is right around the corner, and for those looking for a real treat that's more hidden away, May 29th will be a very special day. I urge anyone who believes in supporting original game developers to plop down 20 bones, log onto Steam and buy "Among the Sleep". There's a free demo up if you wanna try it, but it's a first person atmospheric horror game, where you play a 2-year old. (of course, this being Destructoid, you all probably already know this.)

Well, I'll be back soon with another ramble before the month ends. I hope all is well with any of the few who read this. 

Log on, rock witch!


PS, there's a certain robot hidden in Wolfy that we all know and love...

7:18 AM on 04.15.2014

My dear friend Cleo recently introduced me to a game called A Dark Room.

If you haven't played it, do so now. it's on iThings and the PC version is free if you have a decent browser.


So, A Dark Room is a MOSTLY text based adventure but don't let that scare you! (Who am I kidding, I'm on Destructoid, I think I'm in good company) It starts off very simple and quickly becomes a crazy, intricate and intriguing adventure. 

It brought me back, I must say. 

I'm 30 years ripe and can't remember an age without videogames. One of my earliest memories is of sneaking downstairs at night when I was like 4 and seeing my dad playing Super Mario Bros. (I always loved how they abbreviated Bros) and literally jumping every time Mario did.

When we got our first computer we rocked COMPUSERVE! Take that, AOL! My brother used bulletin boards (before this crazy internet thing happened) to get us games (and porn)! My parents tried to lock him out and he hacked back in and locked them out. Good times.

But ADR reminded me of a time when graphics did not matter one iota. I remember when I was so scared of the first Doom, because I could hear the pink monster breathing around the corner. Now I can't feel scared playing it because of the doom super metal music playing at all times. METAL! DOOM!

And to continue ranting, does anybody remember that game where you were trapped in a control room and you had to guide this FMV chick through and enemy outpost, making sure to guide her and keep her from falling into steam pools or getting generally murdered? What was that game called... I loved that game.

oh, and Maddog McCree.


It's a great game, and not just for nostalgic reasons (A Dark Room, not Maddog McCree, which is a great game for much more evil reasons). Even my younger girlfriend got into it, eventually yelling at me for not wanting to give some wandering dude my furs. (He wanted 50! You don't need 50 furs to stay warm, you confidence trickster!)

So embrace the newness of oldness and give it a whirl! Til next time, I'm Kumasi the soundboy, saying "They'll Bury You in a Lunch Box!"

Oh, Hideo. Kojima-san. You crazy mish-mash of a man. 

You, you, you and you're super lengthy cut-scenes, crazy plot twists and weird obsession with snakes and foxes.

You, who make videogames that are at the forefront of the argument for artistic merit in our medium, yet you, who decry such an idea on the silly notion that "You can beat a videogame, you can't beat art, so videogames aren't art".  Psshh... Thanks a lot.

You who have such a storied and deep franchise that I just want to absorb it all like a little nerd-sponge. But alas, "easy", "simple", "accessible"... you know not these words.

You see, I have always wanted to experience the Metal Gear Solid Extravaganza but never really did. Every time I tried I ended up being cornered by 18 dudes while trying to figure out how to get Snake to not be pressed flat against a wall, which apparently takes 19 button presses, and masters in bio-mechanics.

Not really, but...

You see, I'm all for developers using complexity to give a player more control, and difficulty to create a major sense of accomplishment, but isn't an elite operative supposed to be able to kill a guy with his thumb, shoot off another guy's moustache from 20 paces and rewire an electric razor into a stun gun without breaking a sweat? 

I admit, I am the failure here. Spoiled on years of platformers, and then ruined by the super-intuitive likes of Splinter Cell. I should have tried harder, I should have given more of my time and focus, I should have skipped that damn assignment, quit that shitty ska band, dumped that girl (who never loved me anyway), and learned to master Metal Gear Solid! I am a GAMER, right? WTF?, me!

I have tried to play every single MGS title (not counting Metal Gear Rising, which I think doesn't count [actually, I am suddenly wondering why the dang heck I haven't played that one yet!]) and I never got far at all before giving up. Until now.

Oh, complain about the length all you want, Ground Zeroes is my cup of "Don't fuck with me"-tea. It's a beautiful little minuet called "Here is how you feel like a Bad-Ass." I am hoping that maybe it will inspire me enough to actually go back and rock my way through at least the main entries prior to this one. Maybe I'll be able to make as much sense as sense can be made out of this crazy universe Kojima has concocted! Maybe I'll even be up to snuff in time for The Phantom Pain!...

Or maybe not.

Either way, I am happy that I have finally played a piece of Kojima's world that resonated with me. And if I never beat another MGS title, I'll always have my little Ground Zeroes, of which I can say, with a smug little grin "Yeah, I beat that..."

4:25 PM on 04.02.2014

Salublations and teethings to all, my name is often Luke and sometimes kumasimc and i'm now on that perilous precipice of first bloggerdom hoping above all that by the time anyone reads these I will have honed my skill and achieved the rank of "acceptable enough to not induce massive flaming poop bags on my front porch, or whatever else that could be a metaphor for." The precipice looms. I shall begin with the teetering.

Being of the lucky generation of people who have never experienced a world without video games, and combining that with my hopeless cries of "Art, Art and more Art!", I have always believed in video games as an exciting, new and goddamn amazing form of art, which the world should, and will eventually be forced to pay attention to. I dip into this sentiment because on a whim today I hooked up the ol' Wii (cuz the GameCube was out of reach) and booted up one of my favorite of favourites, Killer7. 


I am so sad that I will never, ever play a game like this again.

When my wee little 21-year old self first played this game, it all but rearranged my very molecular structure. The cel-shading looked like Windwaker had been modded by Quentin Tarantino on an acid binge. The story was indeed very strange, but not completely indecipherable, as if Miike had written a video game while hanging out with Tarantino, all the while feeding him orange juice and telling him the walls were only moving because they were friendly and liked to dance. The characters, the anime cut-scenes, the worlds, the voice acting/robo-ghost-voices and even the strange mix of adventure, third person action, FPS, rail-shootin', and super lite RPG mechanics made me excited to be alive at that point in gaming history. Resi 4 be damned (for the record I love Resi 4 and have played damn near every incarnation of it, I'm just trying to make a point here), this was my most anticipated title of the 2005!

And the reviews mostly said "meh". 

Suda51, whose career I have enjoyed following and whose games I have all loved, has never come close to creating something anywhere near as masterful as Killer7 again. He moved towards focusing on the extremes of his style. To be fair, much of his work still holds a lot of weight, but even the man himself has called it his masterpiece. On the publishing side I'm sure it would be too risky, and too financially costly to put out something that blatantly "Cult-y" as a major release ever again.

It is sad. But I have hope.

With the rise of this little thing called indie games there has been new power given to the artists of our venerable institution. (We venerate, right?) Technology, self publishing and markets such as PSN, WiiWare and Steam (and I guess XBLA...) have given small teams the ability to try things that will push our most beloved pastime (to hell with you, baseball!) into new and exciting territory. 

But I digress. Actually, this whole post is a digression. But these are the kinds of topics I hope to focus on in more focused posts yet to come. If nothing else, consider this an introduction. And off I go.

In the name of Harman...