Ok, let's see... Well, I am Brazilian, speak both portuguese and english(none of them properly ;) ), have 32 (Yes I am old, shut up) and work at a cable manufacturer. My first videogame system was an Atari 2600 when I was 8yo, then the Sega Master System at 11, a PC, then all the Playstation Family(PS1, 2 and 3 and the PSP).
Nowadays my primary gaming platform is the PS3 and my favorite game is Battlefield Bad Company 2, so if will wanna play or get some help with a trophie, my PSN ID is Man_w_no_name. Feel free to ask me to add you as a friend. My favorite game of all time is Final Fantasy VII and the worst I have ever saw is Danger Girl for PS1.
Aside gaming I love movies, books, anime and manga, Doctor Who and weirdness. So that is it. Hope to find good friends here at Destructoid.
Thanks to falsenipple for the header image! It is awesome as the creator.
Every year, there is games that seem to be made to take the number one post of other games. Some want the Call of Duty throne, others the Elder Scrolls crown. Some comes from new studios, others from studios that aren't as big as the ones making the games they want to take down. They, many and most of time, try to recreate the game they want to beat, usually just changing enough in it to don't be an outright clone. Others don't even bother in not being a clone. And often they fail to succeed, most of the time closing their doors when the high costs of the attempt to be king isn't rewarded with strong sales.
One of the reasons is simple. People play the number one games for a reason. If they can play the original, that they know what to expect, why play the clone? And specially, why play a clone that many times doesn't even met the quality of the original? So, most attempts of beating the number one by using the same weapons that it uses usually are met with defeat.
Many people complain about games being too 'samey'. But this year, if anything else, showed that unique games can be successful despite people expecting high standards from the infamous AAA titles. Telltale and their The Walking Dead game showed you don't need to be a CoD clone to be a success. Dishonored showed that you don't need to have multiplayer. Borderlands 2 that you don't need to look all brown and military. Several of the best games this year were far from being similar to other games.
I do believe that small and medium sized developers need to stop trying to make the same games the big ones make. What they need to do, in fact, is discover the games that aren't being made but that have people who will play it. It is the guerilla marketing strategy. Discover a segment that the top games aren't filling in and take it for yourself.
Since you are small or medium, don't try to make a game as expensive as the big guys make. There is plenty of people that don't care if the game don't run at 3000 FPS and that the number of pixels in the screen is a billion kazillions. Gameplay is the more important, so, instead of making ultra-realistic graphics, go for beautiful, different ones. Compensate lack of money to do something technical perfect with something original, unique.
Make your game with the money you have. And them aim to sell it accordingly. If you make an expensive game, you will need to sell more copies at a premium price to get your money back. But if you make a budget game, at a budget price, you can either sell less copies to turn a profit or you will sell more copies because the price is more inviting than the usual $60. Either way, turning profit will allow you to make more games, and even to make better games with time.
The second thing is that there is plenty of people that don't care about some of the big titles out there, or that even can't find any joy in playing them and when they buy a different title, they are searching for an experience that can fulfill their desires. Instead of aiming at the people that are mad in love with the top hits, the people small and medium developers must search for is the people that aren't playing those games and why, then making a game for those people.
Another way is finding the people that still loves certain genres and that are left in the cold by the big studios and providing great experiences inside the genres they like. Again, many of them aren't asking for big budget titles, and in fact quality, specially in games, doesn't necessarily needs lots of money to achieve.
Competing with the big wigs is hard. And in fact, most of the times is pointless. The people that play their games aren't the only players around. The gaming scene is big, and there is plenty of fish out there, if you stop trying to get the same spot in the pier and go to that calm place over the rocks.
2012 will enter in my game as the Year of Emotion. This year, more than any other, showed games that weren't only great to play, but that messed with how I felt. Be either the innovative way that journey conveyed one of the most powerful and meaningful story I ever saw in a game, and that without using voice acting or even text; be it Spec Ops: The Line, making you regret being a trigger happy killer; or having to do some of the hardest decisions ever in The Walking Dead. But none of them was the most powerful experience I had this year. The one that made it was the most unlikely game ever, in a genre not well know for dealing with story and character development.
A fighting game.
Persona 4 Arena is the only fighting game I bought this generation. My love for the Persona franchise and knowing that both Atlus, famous for good storytelling and Arc System Works, famous for developing solid fighting games, made me sure I would love it. What I didn't expected is that they could make one of the most emotional, tear jerking story I ever met in fighting games, and in fact, in most games.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
'Do you understand the words coming out of my mouth?'
When you unlock Labrys in story mode, you start discovering her back story. Labrys is created as a humanoid weapon to fight against Shadows. To properly fight Shadows, she should be able to summon a Persona, and that requires her to develop a personality. In order to do so, the scientists that created her put inside a Dusk Plume, some sort of crystal that allows her to develop a personality.
At first, Labrys is just an android (or ginoid if you are pick) with no emotions at all. But as she fight against her 'sister, androids of the same model as her and start interacting with one of them, number 24, she start to develops a personality and emotions. As her story progress, she become more and more human like and develop a strong friendship with her sister 24.
But them, the scientists kept her fighting against her sisters, making Labrys wonder why she must do it, why she must destroy them, specially knowing that they are like her. After each fight, they would upload their data unto her, but sometimes memories of her defeated sisters would slip unto Labrys. Their feeling would slip unto her, making her more and more human.
And finally, the scientists make her fight against her best friend, #24, in order to force her to summon a Persona. Believing that a strong trauma would awake the Persona, these scientists, knowing what they were doing, put Labrys to fight against someone she loved. Even after Labrys damaged #24 to the point of her not being able to fight anymore, the scientists forced the damaged android to fight, forcing Labrys to 'kill' her sister and best friend.
And them, after uploading the data unto her, Labrys discovered that #24 had dreams of her own, and that she trusted that Labrys would be able to carry on with those dreams. Labrys was trusted to carry the wills and desires of her fallen sisters. Yet, the scientists decide to wipe Labrys memories and emotions, since an emotive 'weapon' wouldn't be a great weapon.
Labrys, with the prospect of forgetting who she become, the dreams and hopes of her and her sisters, the final wish #24 entrusted her with, rebelled. Using all her power, even almost awakening her Persona, Labrys tried to escape, to protect those precious dreams. To protect the last wishes of her defeated sisters.
And them she discover that she is in an island, without ways to escape. Without any chance to fulfill her dreams and the ones she was entrusted with, she gave up. But there, looking the sea that she can't pass, she desires that someone in the future, looking at that same sea, could fulfill the wishes she couldn't.
I must admit, I almost cried there. My brief description of her story don't make justice on how emotional this is. I never imagined that a fighting game, of all genres out there, could be able to have such powerful moment. Labrys story is one of the most emotional ones I have ever crossed over in games. I am glad I was able to play such story. And I hope 2013 don't shy away of trying to tell stories that aren't just excuses to shoot/kill things, but that can touch you and make you wonder.
Because yes, every game in every genre can deal with emotions. All you need is someone that knows what they are doing. And hopefully, we will have more and more games like those.
Naoto Shirogane is one of the main characters on Persona 4, made by Atlus, a JRPG that deals with identity issues, high school drama, exploring a mysterious world inside TVs and a murder mystery. At first, Naoto is a young ace detective, that helped the police to solve numerous cases, despite being still a high school first year. As Naoto gets involved into the case, it is revealed that, in fact, she is a woman passing as a boy. And it is here that some misconceptions seems to happen.
Naoto comes from a family of famous private detectives, and from an early age showed interest in becoming a detective and carrying on the family business. But because she is a woman, and the world of criminal investigation is a male dominated one, she decide to pretend to be a boy, so to avoid the police dismissing her skills because both her age and her gender. Since she couldn't hide her age, she decided to hide her gender.
It is here a lot of people get confused. In no moment in the game is implied that her cross-dressing is sexual of nature. She doesn't do it because she feels attraction to other women or because she believes her physical gender is not compatible with the gender she believes she should be. She do it so she can receive the respect she believes her skills. In no moment in the game it is implied that she did it because she wanted to be a man.
As the game progress, after she is confronted with her hidden feelings, she start to accept that she is a woman, and that this shouldn't hold her from being the detective she wants to be. She decide to not hide her true self anymore and become a great woman detective, to get the respect she deserves, not with deceit, but with hard work.
The several faces of Naoto
Many people got angry with this, because they believed Naoto to be a transgender character and felt that she not assuming such role was a betrayal and a case of Atlus being hateful. But they forgot that in no moment in the game Naoto's sexual identity was said, even implied, to be that of a transgender. It was people searching for someone to identify themselves with that make them believe, without base, that Naoto was like them. And when the game revealed that Naoto cross-dressing had nothing to do with her gender identity, but with her need to be accepted in the job she loved, they got disappointed, even angry.
Since we don't have many heroes that aren't straight characters, many people who don't identify themselves as straight search everywhere for heroes and heroines that fits the image they have of themselves. Naoto seemed to fit the role at first, but when her true reasons where revealed, breaking the expectations, people get angry. It was their expectations that betrayed them, the image they projected themselves, not Atlus.
As the story progress, specially in Persona 4 Golden, Naoto comes into terms with her identity and her true desires. She left behind the image and expectations she had of what a great detective should be, that of a manly adult man, to understand that if she wants to be respected as a detective, she need to accept herself and work to get the respect of others, not conform with the image others created and that she impose on herself.
She accepted herself. Apparently, people can't accept her outside of what they want her to be.
Interestingly enough, many of the people that got angry at Atlus are doing exactly the same mistake Naoto's and society in Persona 4 made. Expecting someone to conform to an image they projected themselves upon others and then demanding this image to be fulfilled. Persona 4 main lesson is of acceptance of yourself and coming to terms with what you want against what others expect of you.
In this curious case, it is clear that people forget completely the lessons the game tried to teach and decided that their own expectations should have being met. Naoto's identity issues never had anything to do with her sexual identity. It had to do with being accepted as the person she is, not the person others and herself wanted her to be. And maybe that is what people need to remember.
That the main lesson of Persona 4 is not just the acceptance of yourself. It is also to learn to accept others and not let your own expectations cloud your eyes and hide the true others in front of you. Because if you let your expectations hides the truth in front of you, you will be disappointed.
We have a saying here in my country. The worst blind is the one who refuses to see. So, next time, always remember to not let the fog of your expectations hide the truth in front of you. Otherwise, disappointment waits.
Novelas are Brazilian soap operas. They are very different from Mexican soap operas, since they don't have the over acting and implausible plots. When I was a kid, my family was poor, so we had only one TV in my house. And I have a mother and two sisters, meaning that TV at night was all about seeing novelas. So, as the only boy until my father got home at night, I was forced to do something else or watch novelas.
A typical Brazilian novela is all about a couple of a charming, brave and all right good guy meeting an innocent, beautiful girl and falling in love. And them the bad guys around them trying to keep the couple apart for several reasons, from the bad ones loving one person of the couple, to social status to greed and any other excuse the author could find. Then you would spend 4 to 6 months wondering if the couple would ended up together, if the bad guys would receive the deserving punishment (to save your time, yes, most of the time, to each question), who killed Odeth Roithmann (if you are a Brazilian around my age, you get it).
So, as part of how I grown up, I can't deny the novela's influence. I still love a nice love story about people's fighting to get together, to see if the main character will ended up with the person I am rooting to be the one. So, I can't deny that everytime a love story is put in a game and there is several possible endings, I get curious to see if my favorite couple will end up together.
That explain in part why I find Visual Novels attractive. My first contact with Visual Novels was an eroge (yes, a porn game, live with it) when I was 16. It was Season of Sakura, or Plagiarism: The Game. And it was quite fun. Would I be able to hook the main character with the girl I like most? Or will I screw up? It was quite a remarkable experience to me. The sex scenes at the end, a reward to any horny male teenager, didn't mattered so much at the end. The story, the characters, all that mattered way more.
I know a lot of you are reading and thinking that I am a lonely perv that want to have sex with underaged girls. I am a pervert, but not of that kind. I have no sexual desire for underaged girls. And I am not lonely, albeit no girlfriend right now. I work, I go out, I flirt. Not everyone is drawn to Visual Novels because they are socially awkward perverts. Some of those Visual Novels have great stories with some remarkable characters. Some of them have no sex at all.
Of course, the bad reputation of them avoid them to be localized in the West, which is a shame. I would love to play some titles like Fate//Stay Night and Stein;Gate. Yes, some of them get so popular that become anime and even entire franchises on its own. And you don't do that, for more that some people want to believe, just by being a porn game for perverts. Asks how many porn titles become franchises outside porn.
Not all Visual Novels are about scoring with high school girls.
Many Visual Novels aren't about looking girls at bath, upskirts and dating stereotypical anime girls. Some have compelling, interesting stories and unique characters. The prejudice the whole genre gets and, specially, its players, only hold up some true incredible titles to have any chance of coming West. The interesting thing, it is not the dating sim element that holds it back.
Most people loves to talk about their favorite BioWare mate, like Tali from Mass Effect or Morrigan from Dragon Age. Or even their love of titles that are heavily made around a dating sim element like Persona 2 and 4, and yet many will see any pure dating sim or Visual Novel game as unacceptable. Funny stuff. Saying that your character got to bed with a blue alien is OK but saying you was able to make two fictional high schoolers fall in love makes you a criminal.
It is a shame that due to several reasons, some great Visual Novels that I would love to play will never get a chance. Of course, my own circumstances make accepting the genre existence easier, while others simple cannot see the appeal, and it is way easier to dismiss and mock than understand and accept. Yes, I realize that there is plenty of Visual Novels that only exists for people looking for porn. But that is not the only ones that exists.
I know a lot of people are just happy with games being all about shooting things. And that they prefer games with no stories at all. But I particularly don't mind a game that is only story, neither I have a hate for any story that don't involve you trying to end the existence of something else. In the end, it is just a question that I am different. This doesn't mean I am better or worse than anyone else.
I think it is a shame that sometimes due to several prejudices something that people may enjoy will never have a chance. Probably I am not alone, and I am pretty sure someone will come on the comments and make a lot of a fuzz about what kind of lame person I am. Of course, if I cared, I wouldn't have wrote this in the first place.
But I really would love to see some of these games get a chance of being released, even if just as a digital tile. Some of them have compelling premises, others just seem to be fun stories. And after all, we all just want a game that are a good time spent playing.
The second analog in the PlayStation Vita, for many, was a correction to one of the biggest flaws of the PlayStation Portable. And specially, it would open the doors for one of the biggest, most popular genres in this generation of games: the first person shooter. Unfortunately, all attempts on making a FPS on the Vita that would fill this need, for several reasons, have failed.
Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified (how many subtitles a game need? Next we will have Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified: Carl's Duty) was a rushed effort, with an alleged 5 months development. All other attempts till now to make an Vita FPS have met mixed to negative reception. It is not something inherent to the platform, I believe, but with developers not putting much thought in it. Therefore, I put some, and here is my ideas to make an FPS in the portable system that would be interesting.
How Vita FPSes feels like now.
First, everything starts as a normal FPS. You are fighting in WWIII, with one of two superpowers that split the world's domination till that moment. You are fighting your way, following orders like any soldier, in what is basically a tutorial mode. Then, in the middle of a firefight, you hear intense talk in the comm system and look up. Several dozens of missiles past through the sky in direction of the major city in your background. Than a series of lightning like flashes happens and all communication dies. Panic start to take care of the battlefield, while everyone is trying to make the communication system works. But it is too late.
Every city in the world and every tactical military location was hit by a new weapon that decimates all human life, leaving only the soldiers in the middle of nowhere alive. Because WWIII have being so long and the cost in human lives was so high, the only survivors are all the young, inexperienced soldiers in the remote battlefields around the planet.
With the world as they know it in ruins, some soldiers decide to return to their homes to find other survivors. Others try to restore the chain of command and keep the war going. Your soldier, together with an enemy soldier and a friend of the military training days, decided that there is nothing to keep fighting for and that the journey back home is too dangerous and pointless. So, your group of three establishes a camp on the outskirts of some rural areas near the city and start scavenging for supplies.
It is here that I wish to put an unique series of game mechanics. First, the quantity of supplies you acquire establish how good your character will be. Lack of food will make your character have half the amount of health he would normally have. Lack of medical supplies would make your health regeneration take twice as long. Lack of ammo... well, let's keep that all ammunition you have would be the ammunition you find around.
Going to the cities, battlefields and other places would be basic mission you and your partners would do. Of course, the amount of each kind of supply you can take with you is limited, forcing you to choose what you need most at the moment. Choosing ammunition can cost you health if you left no space in your bag for food, for example. In you incursions, you also will met people of all kinds. Maybe insane people, soldiers still fighting a war that doesn't matter anymore and people trying to still your supplies. But also, people that you can recruit to your camp and that can add something to your overall status.
Recruiting a mechanic means that you may have someone to fix that jeep and you will be able to carry more supplies in each excursion. A medic can make you medical supplies last longer and give you health and regen bonus. A computer tech can make communications work again and enable the use of drones in the battle. A cook or farmer can make the food last longer and maybe rise its own. other soldiers can be used to scout areas for supplies, protect the camp from bandits and alternate with your partners.
Of course, I would add some hard to make choices. For example, should you storm a house and take all food from a family that is shooting at you trying to survive? Should you take with you to your camp some children that will only reduce your supplies? Also, the people in your camp would have discussion you would need to solve.
I would make it as organic as possible. Just go away of the house to let the family leave or go ahead and shoot them. Go to the side of the character you agree with or between both to get a middle ground answer.
I would also add a certain deep of strategy games here. Who should go with you in the next mission? Should you send some scouts around or keep them around the camp? The mechanic should fix the jeep, allowing you to take more supplies back with each mission or help fix the generators and make food last longer with an refrigerator? All could be done with the touchscreen before each mission.
You could also use the touchscreen to plan strategies during the mission. While you and your two partners act in real time, you could put some extra soldiers to give you cover or to block some exits so you could have a better chance at the firefight.
I would make the mission goes as episodes, each with different challenges and enemies. In one episode is a group of soldiers trying to achieve the same ammo depot you are, in other episode is a crazy guy with a tank destroying places where supplies can be found. In other, a group of religious fanatics trying to take your camp down and its supplies. Also, I would either make missions short, 10 minutes tops, or make them a mission with 3 or 4 segments, where you could take a break between each, so making it easier to play on the go.
As for multiplayer, I would use some of the same mechanics. Every mode would reward the players with supply rewards, that would give them more ammo at the start of a round, more health, fast regen and such. Only the winning team would receive rewards, making being a team player crucial to be in the top boards. Matches would be short, 5-7 minutes each, so you could play a match or two in the bus.
Of course, this is just some ideas I had. A talented developer could make this awesome. Shame I am not one. So, that sit for my idea of a Vita FPS. If you have a Vita or want one, and is a fan of FPSes, how would be your perfect game?
Games are entertainment. Of all things in the world, entertainment goes way down there in the list of important things. You know, after things like health, food, home, family, happiness, money, job and other human beings. Entertainment goes after all of those. Yet, sometimes, I see people getting way too worked up with it.
I know people love games. That is an important activity to them, something that many times get their head out of their problems. That having a nice distraction is all good and important to people. But every time I see people getting to angry about something game related, I got a bit worried about them giving an undeserved importance to games. Specially when it is about something minor.
See, today on my Twitter feed, I discovered that some people is getting angry at Erin Fitzgerald, the new voice actress for the character Chie Satonaka, from Persona 4 Golden, the new version of Atlus PS2 classic for the Vita. See, Atlus changed Chie voice actress for some reason, and fans of the old voice (Tracey Rooney). See, Tracey's portrayal was weird at first, because she sounded too old for a high schooler like Chie. But with time, many people grown to love it. I loved old Chie's voice. But I also like the new voice provided by Erin, that I heard before at Persona 4 Arena. You have all the right to like one more than other. But getting angry at the new VA seems stupid.
Erin probably have nothing to do with the changing of VAs. She was hired to do a job, and while you may not like it, getting angry at her is getting angry at the wrong person. In fact, getting angry at all is utterly stupid and if you are, you are blowing it out of proportion. The changing of VAs in a game is hardly what I would call something worth getting angry about. In fact, getting angry towards videogames at all is something that is not worth getting angry about.
Erin Fitzgerald, ladies and gentlemen.
Even if your angry make some change in games, what do you get? Maybe a new ending in a game, some free DLC. And all that will really not have any meaningful impact in the world. It is not like you convinced your government to change laws for the better. Or that you helped some war refugees having a better life. You, at best, get a few seconds to feel proud of yourself for something with very little importance.
Of course, I am not saying that we just must let game companies do whatever they want. It is very health to discuss with ourselves what games do right and what they do wrong. And if you think a game is doing something you don't like, it is OK to say so, and to not give money to a company that have done something you don't agree with.
What is not OK is getting angry, demanding others to get angry and specially being awful against other people, specially people that have no power to change what you think is wrong or aren't at fault in the problem, for something that in the end have very little importance. A game is just a game, a form of distraction. I love games too, and I want them to be perfect. But I also realize that games don't deserve me stressing about them.
If you are getting to worked up because of games, maybe it is time to stop and think. Are you giving too much importance? Are they having too much space in your life? Are the changes happening to games really worth all the time, energy and heart attack rising risks you are putting into it?
Enjoy your games. If a game is making you angry, don't play it. Remember, that in the end of the day, a game is just a game and there is way more important things to do with your life.