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7:19 PM on 03.15.2012

Diary of a Ship Jumper



Hey guys remember me?

What has been happening since...the last...time...I....saw...you...guys?

When was that by the way? December...Right last December...Wait...DECEMBER?!?!?

Shit that was three months ago.

Still I just finished my final essay about surrealism and thought I could remind myself that I once used to exist here.

Yeah it was weird because the C-Blog Interviews returned just as there was this renewed focus on the C-Blogs so that must be this supposed divine hand of revolution. I mean Handy, Kraid, Beyamor all those guys returning at this time just as Mr. Dixon has been put in charge of the C-Blogs? That can't be a coincidence.

Viva la Revolution

I like how one blog became the catalyst for everybody in the community to finally vent their grievances. I was busy studying the French Revolution the past year so I enjoyed that quite a bit. Though I'm a bit disappointed that we didn't go through anything like The Terror. I mean I for one think that Occams would make an amazing Robespierre. Just imagine all the paranoia and guillotines...Beautiful.

Also, why have we not beheaded Marie Antoinette yet? People, you guys are going about a revolution the wrong way! Peaceful petitions? The Government making concessions? Where's the aristocratic ignorance? The Military occupation? GUYS! WHERE ARE THE GUILLOTINES!!!!

...Ahem..Sorry I ran off on a tangent there.

Surrealism

Best. Assignment. Ever.



and



along with



and



It was like writing about video games but...not.

Pretty much a paper where I go "And this guy was a pervert, and that guy was a pervert!"

So yeah...Art History...Great stuff.

Video Games

Over the past two weeks I became the sovereign ruler of Denmark.

Under my leadership I defeated the upstart neighbor city-state of Saigon. It was a long campaign but after many months of burning their crops and stealing their food, the capital city fell and I annexed its people because I am a merciful leader.

So yeah Civilization V is an amazing game.



I also bought the new Silent Hill game because fuck reviews.

I'm pretty impressed actually. Without going into too much detail, the new game is pushing all the right buttons for me.

Life

It's been...tough. I'm not going to lie. There was a nervous breakdown a while back and it required the attention of professional help.

I'm mostly better now but things haven't quite been the same since.

I think people who follow me on Twitter know what I'm talking about.

Still, I'm doing much better and I'm regaining control on my life so good things.

In other news you guys can blame me for Stevil because I'm the one that asked him to work for us. He told me about how he kept getting the shaft and I really hated to see someone like him not get the exposure he deserved.

It was fun, sort of like diplomacy or something. I want to play more Civ V.

As for everything else?

Well I can say that I missed you guys. That I think about you guys every day and sometimes consider leaving a message only to be embarrassed and hang up the phone.

I can't promise anything but the main thing keeping me away from the C-Blogs was that I didn't recognize it anymore. It wasn't the same C-Blog I first fell in love with and it wasn't the one I grew with. I don't think it'll ever be the same but steps are being made to repair some of the more broken elements so who knows what will happen in the future.



So that's it for me for now. Hopefully our paths will cross again.

xoxo   read


11:34 PM on 12.15.2011

I Was Once a Blogger but Now I'm but a Pie



Hey guys...Remember me? Neither do I.

It's been a while hasn't it. It's been a loooooong while. I missed you guys. I missed you guys a lot. Remember when we used to have adventures? Like that time you and I and that peasant from the village we kidnapped to guide the way fought that evil demon lord and he was like "Woah!" and we were like "You suck!" and then he was like "Okay." and he was all sad. Then we slayed him and won life...Those were better times.

Gone: The Law of Thermal Dynamics Story

So I guess the reason for my disappearance could be attributed to three things.

1.) Finals. Those things suck and was all sorts of not fun times.

2.) Lack of games. After moving out of the house and into a dorm I didn't have a television to play games with so what else could I talk about? Sports?!?!?!

3.) I got a writing gig over at Twinfinite. Yeah I guess someone felt sorry enough for me to decide I could awkwardly sew together sentences for them. I write about anime now and get all the girlfriends so that's fun.


Games: The alternative fuel

Since my lack of tv has limited my experience with any major console release I have discovered very late in the game the joys of Steam. Would you believe me if I told you that you could play games on a computer? I know I shat bricks too.

So with that I've finally got around to play Super Meat Boy which is hard as balls. as balls


....Balls

I also finally downloaded Psychonauts which is fun as balls.

There are a lot of balls in my life now.

Now that I'm home though I've finally started on the new Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and let me tell you this secret....

No come a little closer....

...a little closer.

.......I like it.

Like Tom Hanks I drift with a volleyball named Wilson

So I didn't have my usual group of Xbox live ne'er do wells to talk life with due to the whole "television" thing. Luckily Twitter is the dwelling of my favorite Dtoiders so there was that but what about the C-Blogs? I haven't been here in weeks and I feel bad and at the same time lost for I hardly recognize it anymore.

Most likely it is my fault for not being here for so long and hopefully this blog will ease me back into writing whatever mundane thought enters my head...

Nutella is fucking delicious.



And with creepy stalker-ish resolve I vow to make our relationship....stronger

So hopefully we can re-establish this thing that we used to have. With me commenting and writing and you, commenting and writing and together we will both be commenting and writing....and stuff.

New bloggers whom I haven't met yet. Hi, I love you.

Old bloggers I haven't spoken to in a while. Hi, I love you.



Chirstmas

I'd change my avatar to something Christmas-y but Penguins with automatic weapons already scream Christmas motherfucker! so I'll leave it at that.

Congratulations

So good friend FameDesigner is now engaged to his girlfriend! Both are fabulous people whom I've had the pleasure of meeting and we should all congratulate them!!!

Good Bye

Good Bye.


OccamsElectricToothbrush   read


5:13 PM on 10.27.2011

But If I Scream it Won't Be Silent Anymore.

I wrote this back in September so some minor details may have changes since then....*sigh* I was really hoping to play the game this year.

Silent Hill: Downpour is set to arrive very shortly and for any fan of Silent Hill this is a nervous and trying time. It is no secret that the once great and infallible staple of horror is now met with both skepticism and worry from both its fans and the creators who are tasked to return the series back to its former glory. The challenges facing Silent Hill currently are forces that are both numerous and difficult to overcome but I have a feeling that Silent Hill: Downpour has the potential to exceed expectations.





Ten years ago Silent Hill 2 was released to nearly universal praise for its atmosphere, story, graphics, and gameplay. It weaved a story and plot mature enough to handle marital stress, sexual violence, and the consequences of murder with a setting and creature design that accurately honed in on primal fears and conveyed them both with equal clarity to its players. Then came Silent Hill 3 met with similar yet dwindling reception. Afterwards, many argued that Silent Hill 4 was starting point of the downward slope to mediocrity (Though recent opinion seems to imply a growing appreciation towards the title).

I’m not here to analyze why the series has been getting steadily getting worse mainly because I don’t believe the series is in a state which I can say that they are bad to begin with. No, the real enemy facing the Silent Hill series is not that different from the internal doubt that haunts the protagonists in the games themselves. The idea that the Silent Hill games are getting worse has been accepted universally not only by the gamers, but by the developers as well.

What happened? Silent Hill 4 didn’t enjoy the same praise as the games before it and a panic set in that clouded the judgment of everyone involved. Firstly, by this time Silent Hill 2 had become synonymous with the epitome of a mature horror story because it set a standard some say of a true survival horror game. The fear of a tarnish on the Silent Hill name worried many fans. Then before any time could elapse and breathing room established, Akira Yamaoka, sound designer of the series, made the even worse mistake of having said on record that Silent Hill 4 "isn’t very good".






The nails on the coffin were set.

There are many that would argue that Silent Hill 4 isn’t very bad at all. If the shouts of complaints for the missing Silent Hill 4 from the HD collection are anything to go by then people still have a keen interest in the game. However, the very lack of the game from the HD collection clearly shows Konami is still buying into the idea that “the fourth game ruined Silent Hill”. This resurgence in opinion for Silent Hill 4 is probably because it has been some time since Silent Hill 3 and those who played the fourth game have now gone back and played it without crippling its value. Another explanation is that now that the considerably “worse” Silent Hill games (which I will maintain aren’t anymore bad than they are adequate) have been released, anything by the original Team Silent is a godsend. But looking back on it what was Silent Hill’s original sin? That a game was a bit well less received than the ones before it?

There is an imaginary standard regarding how great the series used to be not because of any real merits, but because Silent Hill 2 and the term "true modern survival horror" has become synonymous with each other. Yes, Silent Hill 2 is a great game, a near perfect game, one of my favorite games, but at this point, if people just wish for another Silent Hill 2, gamers have better luck just replaying the game.

Another more interesting dilemma facing the series is something of a derivative from the first problem, wherein a new Silent Hill game tries to distinguish itself by trying to create its own twist ending or reveal so expected by the series. Each new Silent Hill game has attempted to establish some reveal to varying degrees of success, but a twist ending is as closely associated with the series itself that it has become expected of each game to have one. Anyone who plays enough games would argue that this diminishes the impact of such reveals. One thing Silent Hill: Downpour is doing differently is confirming a villain protagonist, a convicted felon Murphy Pendleton. And no, he was not wrongly imprisoned says developers.

I find this to be a good sign of what the game is trying to establish. Taking the usual Silent Hill guilty protagonist and toying with the idea of playing a bad person rather than revealing that you’ve been playing a bad person. If done correctly, perhaps the feeling of what it truly means to be a criminal will come through with a real sense of gravity.

Now while the big reveal has been repeated with each succession of games, there is finally the problem of differentiating each game from one another. The best of the recent releases in my opinion was Silent Hill: Shattered Memories which, while a re-imagining of the first game, created a memorable experience and delivering the best use of the Wii motion controls I've ever used. Shattered Memories told a story and revealed a surprisingly shocking end that actually made sense while still being completely unexpected. The worst? Probably Silent Hill: Homecoming which just seems like a poor attempt to emulate the second game with nothing it can rightly call its own.





The series as of late have fallen into a trap in which there is a feeling of obligation to keep successful aspects of the series and begin crafting around these various and sparse story and gameplay elements. One worrying concept is that the game has taken direct aspects of previous games such as the blending other world from Homecoming and the escape portions from Shattered Memories. Hopefully these elements help redeem these creative aspects of previous games rather than simply rehash used ideas.

In fact, the Silent Hill series could take a page from Nntendo's actions with a flagship title of their own, The Legend of Zelda. Liberated from any sense of wanting to keep the fans happy by building a game around concepts established in previous titles and therefore limiting their own creative process, the current Zelda team seems to have a greater freedom in their design choices by finally moving past fan favorites to create new features and build around new ideas. There is a legacy to both the Zelda series and the Silent Hill series and the fear of attempting something, not just new, but vastly different is what's holding back these titles from evolving. But Zelda is currently working on it so why not Silent Hill?

As I said, the last few Silent Hill games aren’t bad by any means. At best they are underappreciated and at worse lazy, uninspired clone stitched from successful elements of the series in a sad attempt to be a Silent Hill game. If there’s one thing to be sure of is that the series is an integral part of Konami’s library and they don’t seem to want to ditch it any time soon so if Downpour doesn’t put life back into the series I’m sure there will always be a next time. Hopefully by then there will be a company that can confidently take the series under its wings and fly with it to unimagined territory. Just as the protagonists in the game learn to move on without being chained to the past, so must the developers relinquish the heavy bonds with its predecessors.   read


4:32 PM on 09.29.2011

A Blog About The Legend of Zelda

It is a general truism of this world that anything long divided will surely unite, and anything long united will surely divide

I can't speak for you, but I love my mother. She used to tell me stories before I would go to bed every night for a year or so...then she ran out of stories and just told me to start reading. King Arthur, Sinbad the Sailor, the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, she somehow knew each of these stories and would tell me of their adventures, of the voyages, of that thieving bastard Lancelot (her words not mine) and the Battle of Red Cliffs.

Let's fast forward about a year and by then I learned how to read fairly well. It was also around this time I became the proud owner of a game called The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I was reminded of the Adventures of Camelot and of the Warring states of China and how magical the entire experience was. I never finished the experience until a couple years later (The game was very hard) but I immediately knew what I loved so much about the game which was that it reminded me so much of the stories my mother would tell me when I was slightly younger than when I was young.

Today I've grown a bit and still I love the Zelda games for retaining that element of childhood wonder and fascination, that mythology that the series had built for itself and later turned into staples of its own stories. Just as how no story of Camelot is complete without the great sword Excalibur, no Zelda story is complete without the Master Sword. The series continues to perpetuate itself in the world it created twenty five years ago while at the same time expanding the mythos forged over time. In short, it has remained just as innocent and whimsical, grand and full of wonder as it had for so long.



Now imagine my surprise when I read this over at IGN a couple days ago. Now granted it is just the readers of one particular website and no way telling of a majority consensus, but a lot of people read IGN and I've had way too many conversations about the Legend of Zelda series to know that many others share this view. No, not just that Zelda should have voice acting, but this idea that the Zelda series should grow up. That a game made to have children fall in love with a beautiful world should grow up with the audience that first fell in love with it twenty five years ago.

Somewhere along the line a few gamers began to feel upset that Zelda held onto this "kiddy" feel. I think we all remember gamers when Wind Waker was announced. The outcry that followed was disheartening to say the least. That a game we played as children would somehow stop being for children- I mean what kind of world do we live in when the phrase for children is a bad, derogatory thing? No, I have yet to meet an extremist that demands for sex, blood, and gore in a Zelda game, but there are those who grow tired of the story of saving the Princess from the forces of evil and want some odd story about betrayal or something I usually zone out once they start writing their own Zelda stories. And yes, voice acting is a modern norm for video games, but if I may, let me just say a few things about Zelda and not try to convince anyone of anything.



I think the first thing that should be said is that I don't think Zelda can be defined entirely as "childish". Yes, it's for children, but just as you find out about adultery and other naughty things from old stories, dark elements can be found all across the Zelda games. In fact, there is a helpful list of all the nightmarish things put into a game where we once had this adorable little guy become a badass and stab Ganandorf in the face. I mean like his sword just entered a guy's face! It even made a creepy sound! Yet people want a story with whatever warped definition maturity has these days. No, the Zelda straddles the line of definition by being a mature, even existential (too far?) tale wrapped in a simple allegory. Just as there are extremists who deride Zelda stories as being incredibly simplistic and childish to be worth the time of any "Mature Gamer", there are those who somehow find deep, Plato like philosophical questions in the series (No, I do not believe Link is a Christ metaphor). While I don't agree with either side of the spectrum, just the fact that such interpretations of the story exist be evidence enough that any tale, as long as it provokes thought and at a more primal level, resonant emotions, be heralded for great story telling? Not just defined narrowly as either "childish" or "mature", but instead be praised for being a great story instead? No, you don't have to like the Zelda games, but can those who once have and once loved it really look back and say "Oh, I used to like the series and then I grew up."



Now about the desire for voice acting. Remember earlier in this blog somewhere near the first couple of sentences I told you my mother would tell me stories before bed? Well she also did awesome voices too. Her impression of King Arthur pulling out the sword from the stone (No lady in the water for me) and going "Woah" in an almost Keanu Reeves like fashion may be the greatest moment in my childhood life, and though I may be sketchy on some details I do know this: My mother was certainly not a professional voice actor.



Give Link dialogue? Couldn't hurt. I mean you could hear the tale of Sinbad the Sailor and still relate to him even if he did things like plunder and say things like "Bring forth the whores!" (Like I said, some details are sketchy) and still a seven year old will relate. A seven year old could relate with a rock if it was interesting enough (don't ask). But a voice?!?! I don't think you've ever heard a child come up with voices for characters, but that shit is not only magical but goddamned adorable and you want to rob a child of that right? If you answered yes then I have bad news for you; You're a monster.

Now that that has settled in, let me end by saying this. I love the Zelda series. There are people who don't love the Zelda series either from the beginning or anymore and that's perfectly understandable. But wishing something you loved before and expecting it to change just so you can love it again is wrong. I mean just read that sentence again and imagine telling that to a woman or a child or anyone else for that matter and it sounds really bad...and it is. If I may just say one thing about Skyward Sword, the game seems to include an aspect I actually do desire from a Zelda game which is an actual romance between Link and Zelda. I mean yes the subtext was always there, but this one seems fleshed out a bit further. I do hope this game makes Link and Zelda the next Romeo and Juliet equivalent in my mind.

The End.


(I'd be cool with this.)   read


12:39 AM on 09.23.2011

You Used to be Bigger (And Late PAX Pictures)

I'm sitting in front of a cardboard box which acts as a desk for my laptop. Written on the box/desk are the phrases "Don't think...Feel", "I never asked for this", and "Hobo desk". In the room next to me a lady is playing Bach's Little Fugue on the cello and I'm thinking that this would be a nice time to write a blog.

Video Games

So I noticed on Twitter that #GoW3 was trending and I remembered that God of War 3 was released. Then I remembered God of War came out awhile ago and that Gears of War 3 must have been released. I don't have anything against the Gears of War franchise, but just like the Call of Duty games, Battlefield games, Final Fantasy games, Assassin's Creed games, and the Dead Rising games, I have no interest in them. Now being apathetic doesn't mean hate and as my friends on Xbox Live will attest, I don't have some odd need to go and shit on or convince the masses of their ignorance of franchises I just don't think about. Well the internet will remain the internet so what will you do right?

I have been playing a lot of Street Fighter IV on my friend's computer (I can't connect to xbox live at the moment, but I'm working on it!) and I've really gotten into the groove of how those games work. I'm pretty confident in my abilities as Dudley that I can proudly call him my main. I mean he's a British boxer that wears a bowtie and drinks tea in a mansion! That man is brimming with class and sophistication.
Also kind of video game related is that I made a new friend named Silver. All of my PokeDreams are coming true! PokeDreams



Life

Now the Cellist is playing Beethoven and I've come to the conclusion that I need more Franziska Von Karma in my life. I recently replayed the second Phoenix Wright title and remember how much I loved her...What? Video Games is life.



Small thing about the Nintendo TGS conference...Why are you so lazy Nintendo? I mean geez I liked some of the things I saw, but I would have imagined that with your recent troubles you would put money where your mouth is and begin funding a lot of adventurous projects to rally some excitement for the 3DS but instead you put all that money into making Monster Hunter 4 a 3DS exclusive. Do you know what you did? You just effectively got your hands on a hardware seller the laziest way imaginable. Congrats Nintendo, your 3DS is going to succeed thanks to the softest bullet ever shot.

PAX

So PAX was a month ago, but the memories will last a lifetime, and even though I didn't post a picture of my good times, you can still see me on the front page this week wearing the Mr. Destructoid helmet and standing next to the Green Power Ranger (or the Bridget cosplayer from last week).



If you don't know why you should go to PAX next year, let me paint you a picture. Occams is in the kitchen with a plate of sausages, Knutaf and COM 01 are in the backyard grilling, Beyamor and Law are sitting on the sofa having a deeply philosophical discussion on the nature of the rock band Queen, Kraid is singing German Death metal, Steezy XL is playing Mario Kart DS, Nihils is playing around with a camera, Qalamari is wearing a cool hat, Fame Designer is mixing cocktails, and Mr. Andy Dixon is out hunting badger, or as he calls it "Mr. Dixon's Special Stir Fry"...Also me and Beyamor shared a futon so already it was the Best. Week. Ever.


(Me and Scion of Mogo being badass. No Punk No Life!)

I also met the cast of Hey Ash What You Playin?...I'm the one looking confused while holding a sandwich.


(Just eating a sandwich, meeting awesome people.)

I want to give a shout out to everyone I met at PAX that made it such a great time! Jesse for offering me the tickets after they had been sold out and essentially being the reason for all my happiness, Thought Devourer and Husband who made my latex dreams come true, Xzyliac for being Xzyliac, Crime Minister of course for being my wingman and bathroom buddy, Funktastic for being a true Asian inspiration, Jon Carnage for being fucking Jon Carnage, and Niero for giving me a place where I met all the people I just mentioned.


(My favorite picture out of PAX. Took the one Corduroy typed on.)


(Thanks for the memories Big Boss!)


(Asian Off 2011. Be there next year for Asian Off 2012!)

Stuff

That "thing" is going to return soon so there's that.

Sorry that my pictures are so big. I might post the rest on Flickr if I get the chance.   read


8:08 PM on 09.02.2011

Back Once More Space Cowboy? (NVGR)



Toys in the Attic

I’m fairly convinced this entire episode is an extended dream sequence.

A mysterious monster has invaded the Bebop and is taking each crew member out one by one. Who or what could possibly be behind such a nefarious attack on the ship?

Dunno actually, but it’s like watching The Thing so there’s that.

Kill it with fire and send it to Hell is what I say, but who knows? It might go well with bread.





Jupiter Jazz (Part 1)

Spoilers

Spoilers.

Spoilers. Spoilers.

When you go into a relationship, platonic or romantic, familial or intimate, there is fear. Sharing your life with another is always frightening and sometimes that fear is what ultimately leads to disintegration. Always the What Ifs rather than actions that create vulnerability and running away becomes a much more appealing option day after day.

Faye ran.

Understandable really. The crew of the Bebop resembles a family more and more each episode and if there’s any habit of lonely people it’s that they usually enjoy being alone.

But what is it they say about trials? That a test of endurance usually strengthens? I don’t really know.

When you meet someone you love more than life itself you become chained. No one in that relationship wants the chain to break but if somehow it shatters than they will do whatever it takes to reconnect with their lost partner.

Spike is looking for his missing half.

I wonder if it’s his past that forces him to look for Julia or is it because he wants her to be there in his future. Regardless of the circumstances, I think it’s safe to say that it’s hard to comprehend a man or woman in pursuit of something no one understands.



Jupiter Jazz (Part 2)

I once read a book with a character who was a woman but with the mind of a man who is gay.

Now I’m not bringing that up to make assumptions on the sexual orientation of any major characters in these two episode, but it relates easily to my main point about identity. Namely, who or what factors decide such ideals of identity in life? Is it gender? Is it innate? External rulings? Regardless of any force of civilization that sets standards that dictate anything, the choice of identity, of who you want to be ultimately rests with you. Sadly it’s presumably easier to follow along with the pact.

After all, the realization that individuality exists simply opens the door to a new question of “How do I create my own identity?” and that’s where the true problem lies.

Do you forge yourself through your experiences? Do you mix and match? I’d like to think it is a natural progression. Like adding layers to a base that’s so inborn that nothing you do can change that core.

But I digress from the episode.

The collective Jupiter Jazz parts 1 and 2 is another beloved, plot heavy inclusion into the Cowboy Bebop storyline that asks a lot of questions while at the same time provokes some thought. Great action, plot twists, and beautiful scenery art makes these two something worth appreciating. Jet also gets some useful characterization as a man who’s really grown fond of his new family and is scared of losing this rag tag group of misfits that somehow become a close knit group of kindred spirits.

Oh and questions of the opening monologue:

“ What warrior is it?”

“A lost soul who has finished his battles somewhere on this planet. A pitiful soul who could not find his way to the lofty realm where the great spirit awaits us all.”

Perhaps it means that a warrior, a person who fights for survival, has finally finished the battle of life only to realize that struggling against the great tide of life leaves nothing but a weakened corpse, yet the interesting thing is the entire series is full of characters fighting for so many things…Maybe it just means that Heaven is beyond the reach of anybody who keeps looking for an absolute answer.



Bohemian Rhapsody

And we’re back to something of an episode I find really hilarious in hindsight.

They always say vengeance is futile or that it doesn’t solve anything. That the pain won’t disappear and the likes. But that feeling won’t be felt until after you have revenge I’m assuming. That lingering pain that doesn’t disappear…but what if you just forget afterwards?

Would the burden of both the original trauma and the seeds of revenge both alleviate the afflicted?

Regardless that’s what happens after an old man’s revenge plan decades in the making finally comes through only for him to be too senile to remember anything.

Hilarity in futility or success without appreciation? I don’t really know, but like with everything here; food for thought.



My Funny Valentine

I always thought Faye Valentine was the greatest female character of all time. Sexy, yet in control, a femme fatale that doesn’t lose sight of either her goals or her femininity. While a weaker female character would lose sight of one or the other in the process of being the show’s lead female, Faye Valentine pulls her weight as a character completely free of the rest of the cast. When she has adventures she simply takes off and leaves and when she’s in trouble she tries to solve them herself. In fact, all the characters act independently of one another.

My Funny Valentine is part of a spread out origin story for our main heroine. Glimpses of her past as well as the basic story of her origins are mapped out in this episode and for the most part shows a pre life of crime Faye which is not only adorable, but pitiable and vulnerable. They just don’t make female heroines like they used to.

My favorite episode in the entirety of Cowboy Bebop is a Faye centric episode so there’s that.



Black Dog Serenade

I still maintain that Jet is still the least characterized member of the Bebop and his moments of brilliance always shine when he’s interacting with others and rarely appears in Jet centric episodes. I get what they’re trying to do with character, a burnt out detective who would go on to emulate the noire private investigator complete and yet throughout the show I’ve always felt that all you saw was what Jet resembled rather than what he was…and then it hit me.

Jet’s a pushover with Spike, he’s the one who cares the most for the little family that formed aboard the Bebop (and that’s saying a lot because I like to think they all love each other deeply). He used to be a hardened detective but he’s softer now and maybe that’s the point. Age doesn’t make you more badass it just simply makes you wiser, kinder. Jet is arguably the wisest member of the crew, he’s the one who isn’t necessarily searching for anything (unlike the rest of the crew) and even if he was the noire detective Black Dog of the police force, he’s now a big softy and I think I’d have that over the brutish burnt out old dog any day.

This episode though really does rely on the noir elements heavily. Black and white, fedoras, intrigue and betrayal and a damn manly ending that I have to admit filled me with some form of happiness. If you want a cool episode centered around Jet Black then this is the one.



Mushroom Samba

Oh Jesus Mushroom Samba. The alternative man’s favorite episode.

Okay, let me paint a picture for you. 70’s blacksploitation, funky soul music, Ed saves the day while the crew are each 1.) swimming in a toilet 2.) Walking up stairs for the entire episode 3.) discussing the meaning of life with inanimate objects.

You think you know Bebop? Watch this and perhaps you too will learn to live a little.



Speak Like a Child

When we grow up I think we forget how optimistic we were as children.

Even the difference between ages 4 and 7, 7 and 13, 13 and 18, 24 and 30 there are significant changes in personality and mentality that I think is overlooked commonly.

Like as children the concept of future was more of excitement than fear. The idea that there's a tomorrow was so instinctively joyful that it would be hard to imagine there were people who dreaded the next day so much they might jump off a building. Food for thought.

If you lived in the 90’s this episode is really meta as the search for the elusive betamax is what carries our heroes across the ruins of Earth. I don’t really have a philosophical musing for this episode because everything I hinted about aging, childhood innocence, and even nostalgia are all tackled brilliantly in this episode and I love it.

  read


4:22 PM on 08.21.2011

I Live To Die Another Day



Haaaaaaaaaa….

So it’s been what? Half a month since my last blog? Yeah well I don’t really need to apologize since I know no one was terribly broken up about the absence but this past week I went ahead and fought a stomach virus and won.

Yeah, kicked it’s ass but not without losing the entire contents of my stomach…vomit is gross. It was a hard battle but drowning myself in vitamin C and losing about 5 lb in sweat helped me defeat the difficult foe.

So yeah…getting sick isn’t fun so just remember to always take good care of your body. I was deciding whether it was the popcorn from the shady movie theatre or the mystery purple drink that did me in but alas trying to deduce something that already happened is counterproductive.

PAX

PAX…YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!

Can’t wait to meet people, hug people, party with people, eat with people, eat people…uh…wait.

I missed the ice breaker chat yesterday on account of not feeling too hot, but hopefully come Thursday I’ll be back to 100% full power.


Interviews




Man…people really like interviews don’t they? I mean this entire summer TWO people were like "Hey man? Where the interviews at?" and ONE very interesting Community Manager was like "Hey man, Interview this guy because I'm telling you to."

...That was weird but he did bring up a good point.

Well worry not my curious friends for Interviews will be ending the summer long hiatus this September. Yup, it’ll be back and the same as ever! Last time it came back it was bigger than ever but I can’t top that size again so it’ll be generally the same. Who knows? Maybe I’ll finally learn how to make a podcast for the long awaited Interview-Cast (Hint: Interview-Cast is as likely as Half-Life 3)

So yeah, people who feel like "Why haven't I been interviewed?"

Don't worry!...Ever.

But yeah, well remember if you want to know more about your fellow community members, there’s always this index full of fun interviews!

This is a link you should click because link rhymes with click

Burp

Ooof, my stomach is acting up again.

Games


I'm a Unicorn!!! Thanks Fame Designer!!!

Pfft, don’t you remember? I don’t play video games.

Movies

Cowboys and Aliens was pretty bad.

30 Mintues or Less was surprisingly good.


Conclusion

Yeah so AlphaDeus released his community album and it’s a great album that I think people should listen to, he also has two other albums both of which are great. I really recommend picking up Alpha and Omega from his bandcamp. Worth every penny.

I don’t know why but I haven’t seen a lot of Adopt an Avatar blog this year…hmmm, hopefully the tradition doesn’t die out, that would be a shame.

Enkido is back...HE'S BACK AND I'M NOT DREAMING!!! Maybe he'll also join Twitter maybe?



Lot of new faces on the Toid (Makes it sound like an STD). Hi! Welcome to the C-Blogs!...Well that’s actually a rude way to go about that. I have a lot of catching up to do on the blogs so I best get reading.   read


1:08 PM on 08.08.2011

Jokes On You! I Don't Even Play Video Games...Wait.

I was sitting around my desk today figuring out different ways to kill time when I realized that I’ve actually played a lot of videogames since the last time I spoke to you people. Now I don’t mean you people as in that you guys are different from me, I just mean it in that you guys scare me half to death with all your…productive energy.

Off we go to the fantabulous world of fake words and fungineering!

Shadows of the Damned



I traded in LA Noire for this. Best decision I made this year. This game had everything I wanted in a game, tight pacing, great action, humor, voice acting, and music. Dick jokes? Done in a clever way, or as clever a way you can get away with saying a dick joke. Honestly, I’m going to have to say the same thing as I do with all Suda 51 games and it’s that if you enjoy a good grindhouse movie, Tarantino, From Dusk Till Dawn, you’ll surely enjoy this game; and while the entire game has that grungy aesthetic, the last boss is as operatically beautiful as they come.

LA Noire



Oh LA Noire why? I wanted to love you so much yet you weren’t original, you weren’t even LA Confidential….you broke my heart.

I’ve already written, talked, and ranted about my problems with LA Noire so all I can give you is an abridged version. Nothing you do matters, the game treats you like you’re stupid and punishes you for having your own thoughts, and Cole Phelps is an asshole and yet you’re forced to feel bad for his jerk ass.

Done.

Catherine



I was so happy when I saw the cover of Catherine for the 360. Between you and me I’m more of a butt guy anyways. Personal preferences aside I really did enjoy Catherine. The game is any puzzlers wet dream of great story and great puzzles. I thought to myself jeez, I wish there were an endless mode or something and there was. I still play it if I want a little Tetris fix.

The story is actually done really well and not sexually driven as the misleading advertisement suggests. In fact, I’m pretty sure the M rating came from the swearing and alcohol rather than anything sexual in nature. The choices are delivered in some interesting ways and the morality meter doesn’t even judge morality as it does something much more interesting. The Best Katherine ending is also probably one of the greatest things of all time and all the supporting characters are outstanding. Orlando and Erica especially…I’m getting giddy just thinking about it. Oh yeah, no shame in switching over to easy mode (or very easy mode in my case…shut up).

Batman: Arkham Asylum



You want to be Batman? Either play this game or wait for the sequel. This is by far the second best superhero game I’ve ever played. The first? Spiderman 2. Aw yeah nostalgia goggles have blinded me.

Vanquish



Best. Bullet time. Action. Ever.

You play as super soldier Sam Gideon with the ability to race across cyber fields leaving behind him a field of destruction. The only thing in his veins are awesome and nicotine and when he’s not leaving women swooning in the dust he’s defeating evil Russian robots.

Or at least that’s what I’m imagining in my head.

In reality it does all those things minus the story elements so the game plays amazingly but the story and characters are boring as hell.

I still love it though.

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet



You know, the entire game was interesting…Yeah, I had fun and was blown away at times…All that I can’t remember though because I’m stuck on the last boss…And he just won’t die….

:’ (


Halo 3: ODST



My favorite Halo Campaign. The Halo game for people who don't like modern FPS's.

The philosophy of the Halo games is that you’re a super soldier that does nothing but win wars and kick ass. It’s about Rock n’ Roll and alien destruction and some sort of story which I enjoy but can never remember in detail.

Okay now forget about everything I just said for this.

ODST is slower, more atmospheric…Jazzy.

It’s about vulnerability, fear, isolation. It’s a noir detective story and a Halo game. It’s all about the feel and the feeling is that something is off center. It's you against the world and sadly the world is much, much stronger than you.

I love it.



Well, there’s that.

I always wondered what it meant when someone says “I liked it, but it just wasn’t deep enough.”

I mean yeah, there’s such a thing as trying to grasp too much meaning from something, but wouldn’t it depend on the person if they had any weird philosophical revelation from something?
Another argument in subjectivity I guess.   read


6:03 PM on 07.24.2011

Still Hanging Around Space Cowboy? (NVGR)



So I think I got the schedule for this down. Every so often I’ll be posting this up hopefully finishing before August ends. The number of episodes I cover will be the number on each disk. This is disk number 2 out of 6 disks. If people don’t want to read four more blogs following this I’ll probably squeeze more into a single blog, but regardless of whether I finish this blog series or not, I find myself writing these things in the late hours of the night on my own for fun anyways so it’s really a fun thing for myself to do.

As always, spoilers.



Sympathy for the Devil

This episode is another memorable one in the entirety of the series mostly for its mystical background. This summary will have super heavy SPOILERS so I suggest you skip this one if you haven’t seen it.

Who wants to live forever? I certainly wouldn’t want that. If all of life is a race that we all lose then continuing to outrun it sounds like a nightmare. It’s the implications in the episode that’s really food for thought. Could you imagine a world in which you’ve far outlived many of its current citizens and yet in the universal eye you are still a child? The dedication needed to continue surviving while having the burden of childhood chained onto you? Having to outrun and outmaneuver not death, not time, but human perception would be a never ending torture.

I’d like to think in the end Cowboy Bebop is about freedom. Freedom from the past, freedom from the Earth, freedom from pain, and freedom from life. The idea of freedom is different for every one of us but we’re all looking forward to the moment in which we can take a deep breath and truly feel free from all restraints in this world.



Heavy Metal Queen

I really like this session. It has all the fun action sequences, explosions, and some clever jokes but if I were to analyze this session then I would have to state identity as the main theme of this one. The idea of who one is changes because a person continually grows. The me from 8 years ago is different from the me now but to dismiss that former “me” as a phase would be callous. Rather everything that I am, was, and will be are in essence “me”. Some people have trouble accepting that fact, that life is in pursuit of a singular identity buried deep within them and maybe they’re right. In the end I’m just a lazy person who figures that wherever or whoever I am today is the real me. Just like how the character introduced in this session tries hard to cover up her past, she learns that it really doesn’t change anything in the universe to deny her past.

There’s a really cool sequence in some asteroid mines also.

Fun session though.



Waltz for Venus

Session 8 is a pretty melodramatic episode which was even lampshaded in the preview at the end of the last session. Following the new character of the week, a guy trying to do good by mistakenly getting involved with the bad and having to deal with said troubles in which the Bebop crew also get tangled in.

I’ll give it that it was a pretty endearing session, not one of my personal favorites, but fragile in a way. With the Bebop crew you see a sort of directionless atmosphere that could get oppressive but our new character this session has goals which he is close to obtaining and that sort of positive character trait is a refreshing break from stagnation…yet this isn’t really a happy series is it? People try hard to solve all their problems with a magic bullet but I think at this point it’s safe to say that the only ones who have magic powers are either the devil or god and there are no such things as a Deal with God is there?



Jamming With Edward

“Nothing good ever comes from Earth”

It introduces Edward, go watch it.

But seriously I love the way this episode introduces Ed as well as introduces more cool sci-fi aspects into the show.

While searching for a hacker who carved similar drawings to those of the Nazca Lines, the Bebop crew are told to go on the hunt for a “Net Diver” (Hacker) named Radical Edward. What they find ends up spelling trouble for the crew in the form of an outer space dogfight of sorts.

Of course there is a very strong current on the message of loneliness which seems to be an underlying theme throughout the entire series. A child with no family who tries to lodge herself into a new, seemingly more interesting one, an immortal whose isolation from the Earth and from humanity forces him to re-create a time he once felt welcomed, and the idea that loneliness can be cured through company. In the end, the earth is a really lonely place now and what’s the calling of an adventurer if not to go off and have adventures?



Ganymede Elegy

No, just wandering with some weirdoes

I used to think Jet had the weakest characterization out of the crew. He has a back story as a cop who lost his arm and a pretty strong code on what it means to be a man which he spouts occasionally. Then there came this session which I saw out of order so probably after seeing the antics of the rest of the crew and you begin to see that Jet is a character built on a solid foundation rather than uncertainty like his fellow crewmates, but that doesn’t necessarily save him from the pain of the unknown.

He [Jet] returns to his home planet, the planet he used to be a cop and the planet he presumably lost his arm. He also lost his love here and maybe somewhere along that line his current emotions cemented, hardened, and built the Jet Black that now roams the stars as a member of the Bebop.

He returns home to find his old love to have moved on with a new man, but rather than any juvenile jealousy, he faces it with a sense of resignation. He had his chance and played the wrong cards, c’est la vie. But for a man who believes that a man needs to be strong and honorable, it hurts him to see his beloved to be entangled with a coward, a child by his standards. A dribbling, know nothing whose full of fear and uncertainty and the pain of how he, a man with strength, courage, and wisdom, could lose out to a mere child who lacks everything Jet has. Damaging to a man’s pride to lose to a weaker man, but damaging to a man’s heart knowing he has to hand over his love to a weaker man.   read


6:28 PM on 07.20.2011

Howdy Space Cowboy (NVGR)



I was first introduced to the world of Cowboy Bebop in middle school I believe. The first episode I’ve ever seen of the series was Session 19 Pierrot le Fou.

A shocking entrance into the world of Cowboy Bebop and perhaps depending on one’s view of the series it was either the perfect or worst way to be introduced to the world of Cowboy Bebop. That particular episode was mostly silent, more horror than action, cerebral and disturbing, yet distilled as a high adrenaline, high insanity episode that is expected of the series.

After watching Firefly on Netflix I found myself wanting to revisit the world of Bebop. I picked up the complete series on DVD and began watching from the first session all the way to the twenty sixth, something I haven’t done in a good 4 years. Lot of episodes I remember, more episodes I’ve forgotten. Moments I loved and moments completely new. Watching all 26 sessions over the span of three days was the perfect escape I needed. And now as all things loved reaches its natural conclusion, I’m going to try to explain to myself what it was exactly that made the past three days damn near perfect. Episode by episode and maybe even the movie which I saw on Netflix for the first time about 5 months ago. Also spoilers.

3. 2. 1. Let’s Jam.




Asteroid Blues

If ever there were a more perfect introduction to a series, this is it. Quite frankly, going back to the first episode after already having a knowledge of the series makes the first episode the perfect capsule for the entirety of the Bebop universe. The creators from the get go definitely had the entire philosophy of their show mapped out before the end. First there’s the characterizations, the philosophy of Spike, of Jet, their relationship, the mysteries. Everything about them shown in this episode have the right amount of characterization to have you invested in these characters. There’s also the fight scenes and chases, both staples of the series, both choreographed to perfection from the start. Then there’s also the philosophy of the show itself. The rule of cool, the homage to Antonio Banderas, the Noir staples, all present, all blended.

There is an entire mythology around the Cowboy Bebop universe and yet because it's derived from modern (or at least 90's) trappings, nothing seems unfamiliar. At the same time it's original in concept rather than something as lazy as "Space Cola". There are Bounty Hunters in space, drugs called Red Eye, foreign planets that characters call home. An entirely new universe that feels foreign and familiar at the same time. Nothing needs to be explained in detail, everything is comfortably foreign. I believe that to be the true genius of the Bebop world.

Truly a series that would break genres right from the beginning and it would be known as Cowboy Bebop.



Stray Dog Strut

If the first episode was viewed by a newcomer the impression would probably be the same as the one we all had. A cool show with cool characters and lots of action. I wouldn’t be surprised if the director wanted each and every viewer of the new series to think that way. Then decided to show the remaining half of his genius, the parts where the show is not only an ultra cool sci-fi action anime, but a humorous slant on everyday life in space. A couple of bounty hunters are on the job. Their target? A dognapper. The drugs that made the user super crazy and super creepy in the previous episode? A super intelligent dog in this one.

Hilarity ensues.

There is no doubt that this episode has a different pace than the first but it sets up the audience for the unexpected. For every episode like Asteroid Blues the audience will have expect an episode like Mushroom Samba and on the extreme side Pierrot le Fou. The unpredictability of the series is what drew many to it in the first place and surprises are always something to expect with each episode of Bebop.



Honky Tonk Woman

Sexy.

Around the time I saw this episode all those years ago, Faye Valentine was the sexiest character in existence to my young television addled brain. More than that I could probably go on about how she is one of the more stronger female characters in entertainment, but anyone who has seen the show could probably make similar arguments and would lead this analysis into trodden territory. Because obviously a woman who is in charge of her sexuality, plays all the right hands, can pilot a star craft and shoot at people all while keeping up the femme fatale persona is a role model in some sense or another. Aside from that though there is a really cool outer space sequence which involves the trading of money and of course is action packed.

There is one thing I want to touch on before I finish with this episode and it’s an idea that I will be centering on throughout the rest of the series and it’s the idea of wandering. Space is large. More vast than the ocean and infinitely more lonely. Without a destination or goal one is just a drifter, something Faye calls Spike during the episode. A “Gorgio” without pride…maybe being an unproductive member of intergalactic society means death.



Gateway Shuffle

This episode has one of my favorite openings ever. We see Faye without fuel orbiting a planet waiting for a little help getting to her destination. The food wrappings and discard float around her as she again uses her sex appeal to try and fish some aid from fellow travelers to no luck. All the other space travelers are going fast; faster than Faye, faster than the Bebop. Those who pass by Faye have destinations and goals unlike our female protagonist and the lack of inertia from both her and the crew of the Bebop would lead to their reunion later on in the episode. Both have nowhere to go so why not drift together?

The episode scared me a bit with the eco-terrorist called “mama” by her followers. Her inability to accept any “monkey business” was a bit monstrous and the implications of her experiments were more than diturbing. Still her goal is like those of all eco-terrorists and she would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling kids and their dog. The episode ends with a nail bitingly tense race for survival on the edge of literal oblivion, the kind of action you’ll see that gets the blood pumping and perhaps acts as a catalyst for Spike to accept Faye into the crew after surviving an ordeal like that. On the list of things Spike hates the most, animals, children, and women with attitudes he’s now inhabiting with two of those.

We’ll have to wait for the other a bit.



Ballad of Fallen Angels

If you saw only the first two episodes of Cowboy Bebop and decided it wasn’t for you then you made a mistake. In fact, if you stopped anywhere before watching Session 5 Ballad of Fallen Angels then you stopped too soon.

Legendary, mind blowing, breath taking. Ask any fan which episode of Cowboy Bebop is their favorite and this is surely in the top 5.

Beginning with two criminal organizations ending the bloodshed between the two forces, the peace doesn’t last long with the appearance of a mysterious villain. What follows is a glimpse into the mysterious past of Spike Spiegel with its only purpose raising further questions. It unfurls to operatic heights of shootouts with gangs in a church reminiscent of Hong Kong action movies of John Woo (a personal favorite of mine actually). The wet dream of Quentin Tarantino on opium reaches penultimate heights in a beautiful end sequence.

And in the midst of all the violence are two quotes. “When Angels are forced out of Heaven they become devils.” and “I’m just watching a bad dream I never wake up from.”

There is a theme that I’ve been focusing on throughout my viewing of the series and it’s that without a sense of purpose in life, one is subject to a slow death. Finding a purpose in life is hard and maybe one can’t truly awaken until they find their calling. Perhaps the ennui of life is actually the feeling of death. Maybe all this talking means I shouldn’t be allowed a keyboard and access to the blogs.

If you enjoy anime but not fanatically, a passing curiosity with the Cowboy Bebop series then I suggest watching Session 5. The enclosed storyline of each episode in Bebop means you can jump into pretty much any episode in the series without prior viewing and Ballad of Fallen Angels may be just for you if you need a quick kick of some good action flick.


Well that’s the first 5 episodes of Cowboy Bebop. I don’t really know if I should continue or not but I do want some feedback for future references.   read


5:48 PM on 07.18.2011

I've Seen the Lizard

In a world where scum and villainy walk down the sidewalk hand in hand to steal old people’s ice cream and little children’s 401 K, a hero is needed.

Sadly that hero isn’t here so instead you get the random thoughts of a perfectly sane man.

It is time for the




Film

Due to my friend’s odd sense of obligation we went off to see the 7th Harry Potter film. The obligation being that he’s seen all the films and would like to be there for the finale. Anyways, enjoyable film despite not having read the 7th book so take that as you will discerning public.

Another film we saw? Larry Crowne, the Tom Hanks film…There were old people everywhere….everywhere.


Television

I’ve won. I’ve been showing my family the true glory that is Arrested Development and they love it. Now it’s always “Let’s watch the next episode of that Jason Bateman show!” and I know inside that I’ve done the lord’s work.




I also recently had a marathon of all 26 episodes of my second favorite anime of all time, Cowboy Bebop.

Ennui…an unemployed bored youth such as myself counting down the days until I can feel useful again put me in the perfect mood for this show as it shows a crew more often than not, drifting through the stars waiting for another possible event.

I’ve seen the lizard.



Anyways I was thinking of writing something, maybe an analysis of the entire series or an episode by episode analysis…no don’t worry, not 26 separate blogs. Anyways might as well keep this brain from rotting away by deeply looking into a piece of entertainment.




Music

They Might Be Giants releases a new album tomorrow so that’s going to be fun. Aside from that nothing else.

Games

You know how every now and then I finish a large batch of games and write that blog post with pictures and occasionally throw in some odd thing at the end? I’ll probably write one after Catherine comes out next week.

Books

Who reads books amirite?

Joking aside I found my complete collection of Sherlock Holmes!!! I didn’t even know I owned such a collection! I think it must’ve been a gift to me. Oh well, I’ll be beginning that so yeah.


Life

Two days ago I took out my bicycle because it was a lovely day. On the way to lunch I had a bit of an accident that flung me off of my bike and shredded my left knee. It hurt. So, losing my appetite I got on my bike, turned around, and rode home. The End.


I wish college would start soon. The part time job market seems to be tough here and I can’t seem to find work. I know for a fact I’m not trying as hard as I should, but applying to the midnight shifts of nearly everywhere I go seems to be a good idea. Regardless it feels like I’m just floating around waiting for me to wake up from some weird waking coma…I need to try harder.


My house will not get hotter than 85 degrees. The moment that thermostat reaches 85, I turn on the AC. That is the rule of this land. My people will not suffer heat greater than or equal to 85 degrees. I am a just king and though I will not help them with their food shortages or their wars, my people will live in a comfortable 77 degrees climate.


My eyes have that crazy look so I guess I should end this.

I’ve seen the lizard.

  read


5:53 PM on 07.05.2011

Freedom: Because All I Have is Time

When a game offers expansive lands, hours upon hours of quests, side quests, alternate routes, branching story lines, Easter eggs, what that game is really doing is challenging the player to invest time into the game.

Want to farm a bit and makes some gold? Go ahead. How about traveling across the great mountainous region to collect some materials for the Gold Shield of the Sleepy Dragon Person of Great Power? Have at it! How long would it take to finish it all? 12 hours? 46 hours? 1 month? 7 months? A year? And even then what does one do with their gold and shield? Tackle the main quest with new weapons that would make overcoming the adventure easier? Use them to equip themselves to face even larger challenges? In the end it really is an investment.

A player’s initial input of such and such hours would have returns of such and such rewards whether they be items, story pieces, areas and quests. The more time that is invested, the greater the returns. Of course in all investments there are of course losses. With every new side quest completed the demon continues to destroy villages. For every flower collected into the log book a family waits for their father. For every chicken kicked a princess waits in her tower.

And I bring this up because I have yet to play a game like that. A game in which every hour lost to racing villagers in a local Dodo race or betting on a herculean reptile fight, the princess still waits in her tower, the Evil Emperor puts off his plans of world domination another day, and a family is still waiting for the father that promised to return to them in a month.



The true loss in the investment of time is the loss of said time, but instead of disappearing or being subtracted from the initial payment, it simply moves into nonexistence. The months of farming and adventuring disappears from canon and once you do decide to return to the action, the campaign against the Demon King or the solving of the key case, the story picks off where you left off, not caring about the farming excursion and instead effectively having that month disappear, and even if you do have that golden shield as proof of collecting materials from across the land for who knows how long, the story treats the item as having materialized from non existence while devouring your time into that same void from which that very shield came from.





The most recent example was L.A. Noire a game that I consider to be the biggest disappointment of 2011 (so far). A case in homicide which I blundered through, overlooked key evidence, failed interrogations, and ultimately jailed the wrong perpetrator led me to take the lash of a very mad Irish police captain. “The worst goddamn detective in all my years of the force” he says as he puts me back on the beat. But do I have to play 3 hours of patrol again just to get into the man’s good graces again?

No.

Instead I move past to the next case in which he calls me and my partner “His crusaders, against the fight against evil! Truly we are a God send!” Now the incident may be seen as a time lapse of sorts, but to ignore a detective who jailed an innocent man and brutalized witnesses on circumstantial evidence surly must flag a red light in an ever vigilant Irish Teutonic Knight?



Sadly, that and the fact that Cole Phelps is a detestable human being prevented me from enjoying yet another open world game that gave me too much freedom and limitations in all the wrong places.

Freedom is a blanket term for no boundaries, a game in which a player can do what he wants, when he wants, how he wants to do it, but the idea of freedom and a set story works in contradiction with one another. In order to have a story progress in a way the story teller desires there needs to be some restrictions on the actions of the player but the mutant hybrid of free choice and narrative story telling has given birth to the disregard of unity. Sub quests and the Main quest act as if existing in two different worlds. One world is in imminent danger, the other free from such trivial matters, and this small little separation is what drives me crazy about Freedom.

I want a game where the flow of time travels in one direction. A game in which every hour spent procrastinating is time where the Demon King destroys another village, a village that may have been important in stopping said king. Perhaps the princess is executed, but fear not for the story takes a turn towards darker territory where the hero, despised by all the people of the land for letting their beloved princess die, continues to make amends for his mistakes as the loathed anti-hero.

I want a world free from the constraints of non unity. An open world game where not only every decision truly matters, but every hour is of the utmost importance.

A lot to ask?

Maybe, but all we ever get is time.

  read





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