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I've got a backlog (games I have that I still need to beat). Everybody does.

BioShock and Portal are some of my favorite games.

I love the SNES. So many great games Pilotwings, SMW, F-Zero, UN Squadron, FFIV & VI, Secret of Mana, Super Mario RPG, ActRaiser, Super Metroid, The Legend of Zelda: a Link to the Past... the list goes on.

I love playing the Xbox 360. I enjoy the Wii just fine, but I LOVE the 360.

Iplay Rock Band the most (probably) at parties, or in my Rock Band band Blargg with Dexter345.
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Gun.Smoke Is one of my vary favorite games for the NES. Just thinking about it makes me want to slide it into my Nintendo at home and play with myself.

...


Anyway... Like all games of it's generation, Hours of Gameplay was achieved by you sucking at the game, dying and trying again. It wasn't too tough to get through the first level (as long as you could find the WANTED poster). Walk through town, shoot Bandit Bill (when he's standing), The second level wasn't all that much tougher. Rocks, cactus, bad guys, Cutter: FUN!

The Comanche Village... the third level. Home of Devil Hawk. Shit gets real serious real fast. You'd better be packing the Shotgun, the Machine Gun or the Magnum. In this level, most of the baddies take 3 standard bullets to take down. You're not even going to make it through with out them. You've got enough cash too, so go ahead and spend the money on the Horse.

Even then you might not make it to the end.



There he is. He jumps around, he throws fieballs (sometimes 3, sometimes a spread of 5) and the low-level baddies are unrelenting. Do you play it safe and shotgun him from the side? Do you still have your magnum? You can take him head on if you dare, but he likes nothing more than to jump in close and spray you with fireballs while you're distracted by gunshots, arrows and enemies. If you can endure, You take home $25,000, the 2nd biggest prize in the game. You'll be able to buy back all the guns you lost. But first, time to put down the controller and shoot up the WANTED poster with your fingers.



Aww! I hate that bullet pattern. You don't even get him good in the face!

You think you're done? Ninja, FatMan Joe, and finally the Wingates themselves await. Each level from here on is another testament to your skill at the game. But the first real test, the entrance exam to awesome will forever be Devil Hawk at the end of the Comanche Village.








We had a party. It was over a WEEK ago. In real life this was very recent, but in internet time, a week ago is a time long gone away, the only remnants being a possible internet sensation or the rare and immortal MEME. ("Immortal" internet time < 1 year) MamaDonna and I are calling it the E3 NARP, but only because it was the last day of E3.

Ugh, typing. Here's some pics.









Yes there was a giant slide. The giant slide got quite a reaction.



Everyone was watching the sliders. It was the main attraction that night.



UNTIL...












a ROBOT appeared! (I giggled like a little girl for like, 5 minutes.)



I couldn't contain my (ahem) excitement!



More sliding





and plenty of Rock Band



but eventually people got tired of/on the slide.



Fun times were had by all.









It's finally happened. I felt it coming and today was the day.

I leave work last. I have about an hour to myself, and for the most part I am done with what work I did have for the day. So I come to Destructoid a lot of the time. I get so in the mindset that when the phone rings, bringing my attention back to work, I have had to think and remind myself what company is paying me for my time.

Today I answered too quickly.

"Thank you for calling Destruct-"

oops.

*fixed*

The customer seemed unphased, but I could barely keep from laughing at myself.


YOU'RE IN MY HEAD, PEOPLE!










There they are. Just look at them. He's a Sky Pirate. She's a Viera. (Vieras are part rabbit, part great ass.) What's not to like?

Okay, so maybe I should go into greater detail.

I like Final Fantasy XII. Maybe you don't, but we can still be friends. My sister calls it "The List Game". I admit, lists of spells, items, techniques, gambits, hunts... there's a lot of lists. I like the way the game plays, I like all the things you can do/places to explore/creatures to find.

But that's not what this is about. This is about the characters. Final Fantasy XII is wonderfully voice-acted. You and I both know that in games, in Final Fantasy's this is not always the case. Fortunately, the different characters are brought to life through the talents of the voice actors and the not-terrible dialogue in the game.



Fran is a Viera and as such has a life-span far greater than that of Humes (humans). It has been 50 years since she left her people, and she is shamed for having done that. She no longer hears the voice of The Wood, and she is pained by that lack every day. She has chosen to ally herself with a man who has chosen for himself a new name and a new profession: Balthier, the Sky Pirate. In FFXII "pirate" isn't so much the rape/pillage type (although there is some pillage) but is more... a man without a country sworn to the allegiance of no one. Balthier has his own ship, has left his old life, and can come and go as he pleases. Fran travels with him, further ostracizing herself from the Viera who think little of Humes.



The character of Fran fascinates me. (No, it's not just the aforementioned great ass.) She's like the old Chinese guy in kung fu movies. She's seen a lot, and has a great calm about her. She speaks seldom and she chooses her words carefully, masterfully. During the cutscenes in the game, more than Ashe's hard choices, Basch's loyalty, Vaan's brashness, what I really crane my neck to hear is Fran's wisdom. Balthier is pretty easy going most of the time, but when Fran speaks, he backs her, and solemnly encourages others to do the same. Fran's choice of Balthier as a friend speaks more for him I feel than his action or his veiled past ever could.

I wish I could go more into the specifics of the story, but this blog is about the rare find and precious jewel that this slice of video game storytelling is to me.

It's about something else too...


I'm married to MamaDonna and we have 2 kids (online names TBD). I have learned and grown so much during my near 5 years of marriage and Donna and I have been to the far extremes of life and back, together. I was raised Mormon and Donna converted. We met at church. We were married in the Mormon Church, even sealed in the Mormon Temple. I admit, I've never felt comfortable in my own skin growing up, and I always struggled to fit the mold I was trying to occupy. Through our early married struggles and the resultant until-4am-conversations that you have about life, yourself, and each other I found myself changing. Bit by bit and piece by piece we started making our own decisions about what was okay for us between us. Just us. Not subscribing to someone else's ideas but discussing and determining what we wanted, and what we thought was okay. Eventually we decided to stop going to church, and I have to say that I feel more like myself now than I ever have in my life.

What does this have to do with Balthier and Fran?

Isn't it obvious?

They each have left their previous life behind and they are themselves with each other. No show, no masks, only truth and acceptance. I haven't beat the game yet (I'm at Ragnarok), but Donna and I haven't finished life yet either. I don't know what lies in store for us, or them. But I found in this piece of fiction, this wonderful art, two characters whose lives I identify with, who I am fascinated by, and who I love.









http://bannable-offenses.blogspot.com/

Maybe you don't know who [GM]Dave is. Maybe you read his blog starting from the beginning. Maybe you don't stop reading for hours.

Anyways, here was his entry today. I luld.

[u]The Adult Gamer[/u]

Alternate Title: "Are you buying this for your son?"

As I'm sure most of you know, it's not easy being an adult gamer.

If we can even find time in our hectic schedules to sit down and play a game, people still act like we're doing something weird.

I don't know when I crossed that line into adulthood, but I'm sure I never saw a sign about leaving all your video games behind.

You'd think there'd be a sign, wouldn't you?

And yet, every time I mention video games to one of my non-gamer friends, they get this weird look on their face.

I'm sure you know the look. That kind of confused brow furrow like you just started speaking another language.

I've never really understood that.

It's not like I'm breaking out my pokemon cards and asking them to trade or anything.

And what if I did?

If another adult looks at me and asks me about baseball, I don't look at them like they're retarded.

Well... no more than I would usually.

Apparently, there was a memo sent out about what hobbies are appropriate for "grown ups".

I didn't get it.

I can buy a full outfit of camouflage clothing, grab a gun, walk into the woods, get drunk, and shoot an animal in the face.

Normal.

Try to buy a copy of Call of Duty 4, sit in a nice comfy chair, and play it.

Not normal.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love a good, drunken face shooting as much as the next guy. Throw in some hookers and you've got one hell of a Saturday night.

But how exactly does me sitting on a couch and enjoying a game become the weirder of these two hobbies?

I remember one day I was talking to a guy I know. One of those friends of a friend.

When I mentioned going home to play some FFXI, he got that look on his face.

Yes, that look.

Maybe face shooting isn't that weird of a hobby.

Then, and this is the strangest part, he started calling me Mario.

As in Super Mario.

I mean, what the hell is that about?

Mario?

That doesn't even make sense.

That's like hearing someone's going to go play baseball and calling him Tiger Woods.

(note: Tiger Woods does not play baseball)

So, I asked him what he does for fun.

[GM]Dave>> So, what do you do for fun?

See? I told you.

Guy>> Oh, I'm in to rock climbing.

Rock.

Climbing.

And he thinks I'm strange for playing some video games.

How the hell does anyone consider rock climbing to be a normal hobby?

Do you know cliffs exist?

That's God telling you to turn your stupid ass around and walk in the other direction.

If you see a sheer rock face and think "Dude, I'm totally climbing that", then there's a good chance you probably have some form of brain damage.

The good news is that you probably don't need that helmet anymore.

Save your money.

I get that gaming isn't everyone's thing.

I accept that.

But that just means those other people aren't right.

They need to accept that.

It's like a compromise. We'll both agree that one of us likes games and one of us is retarded.

And damn, I like me some games.







KyleGamgee
3:03 PM on 05.28.2008



That's insane.

That's commitment.

I don't have the stones for something like this, but I'm GLaD someone does.

Wicked awesome.