"Nihil" is the pseudonym I use for writing / gaming on the internet. I came across Destructoid by searching for information on Way of the Samurai 3. Tubatic had the most comprehensive coverage on it I'd seen anywhere.
For that, and for leading me to this community that has changed the course of my life, I thank him.
I started gaming in kindergarten, when the most advanced piece of hardware I could get my hands on was a black plastic handle and an orange button attached to a brick. I used it to blow up little squares on a black and white television screen. A couple years later, I was molested by the girl next door after beating her copy of The Legend of Zelda. I have mixed feelings about the experience.
Unfortunately, over the years, my ability to maintain a passion for games has waned (as in being able to play through them start-to-finish). This is due to various reasons and issues that would be too emo to get into at this juncture. But even though my passion has waned, my interest in them has not, thanks in great deal to the extraordinary friends I've made during my stay here.
Although my free time on Wednesdays are gone, the spirit of HUMP DAY HAVOC lives on!
For those of you who aren't available for Friday Night Fights or Weekend Warriors, this is also a thing you can totally do, if you're hip and like playing games with other people in the middle of the week. I remember being that hip...
Oh right, if you're going to host a game, say so in the comments or here, in the following format:
GAME PLATFORM TIME(PST/CMT/EST/ECT) IDENTITY
I'm not as professional as those other guys with their fancy section headers and video game references, but I know how to compose a list. It's not a big one, but it's there.
Steam ID: Wraith
I played the first Payday once. It was aight. I think I liked the music more, though.
Til next Hump Day, this is Nihil, your new forums ninja insomniac mod, signing the F off this B.
A little thought experiment I've been kicking around.
In recent times, the GAMER classification of geek has become a bit of a joke unto itself, depending on who you ask. There was a bit I heard the other day (I can't remember for the life of me where), where a nerd was complaining about dudes who only play CoD and NFL calling themselves "gamers". Now, for my personal history with the label, I used to take pride in it, because I was teh hxc gamer, and by that, I mean I played almost everything, not just games rated M.
But when Modern Warfare hit the scene (to be honest, for me it kinda started with Counterstrike), I think everyone who shared my sentiments at the time knew change was in the air for the industry. Everyone and their grandma's dog who would say outright, "Oh yeah, I play video games" was only playing MW. Some guys only play CoD to relax after a stressful day. I gotta be honest, I don't understand it.
This isn't a dig at the CoD games, even though I find them boring as fuck all. I know they're good for what they are. I think I might've had fun playing them once or twice, with people I knew. But as a long-time player, I can't help but think it was detrimental to developers who had something else great in mind, before publishers wanted to jump on the make-it-a-twitch-shooter bandwagon.
And I often wonder what it'd be like now if MW2 didn't exist or wasn't as popular (again, this isn't a dig, just a thought experiment). Because I remember a time before then, when I still wasn't satisfied with the industry as a whole, but it didn't feel as stifled. Then I think, CoD players don't even really care, because they have their game that they play all the time, and everyone else plays it, and it's going to keep getting new installments and DLC probably til the end of time.
But if you don't like CoD that much, replace it with something you actually like. Not in the way of it suddenly becoming popular now, I mean imagine if it were already as popular as Blops or Battlefield is at this point, after years of exposure and general acceptance in pop culture. What would you want it to be?
I know for some of you, that game would be Dark Souls, even though it's already gained quite a bit of popularity. And even though it's pretty unrealistic that it would ever get as big as CoD, I want you to imagine what it'd be like if it were. Everyone's fucking playing it. How big of a difference on the media would it make? Would it feel unnatural that it's so popular? Would you get all hipster and feel that it isn't for you anymore? Girlfriends complaining that their boyfriends play it too much. Those same girlfriends playing it because they're afraid of being single or end up actually liking it.
CCG versions, movie deal rumors, the works. I know there are a few genres this experiment doesn't really work for. Jrpg's are one example. But if it is the game you would've liked to see become popular, in lieu of military FPS's, go ahead and think about how much brighter a world it'd be if it were.
It's the last day of the month. It quite possibly could be the last day of the year. You don't know. How many apocalypses were we supposed to have? Six? More? Maybe they're just late. Maybe they're having a poker game, and whoever wins gets to end Humanity.
And the blinds are currently at infinity +2 and infinity +1. You can't wait forever.
I mean, technically, you could. But you shouldn't.
For those of us that aren't available for FNF or Weekend Warriors, Wednesday is our chance to shine, baby. But if you don't wanna shine, you can play video games instead. Join us or post your own game, system, time of day, and gamer id for people to see and be intrigued. Like this:
What: Full House Poker/SF3/Monaco
When: 1pm PST
Who: Nihil xInfernum
For the past couple of months, I've been working two jobs - one during the week and one during the weekend. The one during the weekend is a twelve hour shift that starts in the afternoon, which means I can't fight at night on Fridays, and I usually sleep-in like a warrior Saturdays and Sundays.
So I was an unhappy panda, until I saw that commercial...
By the Gods, I am genius.
If you're one of those people that doesn't GET IT, this is a mid-week meet&play for those of us that aren't available for FNF or Weekend Warriors, but don't want to be like "Hey guys, I'm playing this thing. Please play with me, y'know whenever. I mean, you don't have to, if you don't wa... No? Okay..."
Now you can be all like, "Yo, Dawg, you missed it. We made brain porn, on the real. Shit was cray. Don't worry tho, we do dis erry wed-nes-day. Hashtag cumgitsum."
So for the past couple weeks, I've been playing Monaco on the 360 in the afternoon and at night. I'll be continuing to do that. I'm also up for SF3: 3S because fitans and it was on sale last week.
Same deal as the other meet-ups, you can say what you'll be playing on Wednesday, on what, at what time, with your gamer id, either in THE FORUMS or here in the comments like this:
Hi. Do you like hotdogs? Do you like funky fanfares playing in the background while you eat hotdogs? If so, why not press play in that video right there while reading this blog, which is kind of like eating a hotdog. Or an asshole, depending. Enjoy.
For a while there I thought I was losing the battle in giving a shit about gaming. I still don't, to an extent. But I want to care more, I just don't know where exactly to put my energy. If I were smart, I would work on a writing portfolio and use it to get hired on a dev team, and eventually make "Devil's Playground" a reality.
What, you thought I was joking last week? You thought I just pulled that out of my ass? Well, you thought right, for about half of what I wrote. The other half I'm actually hoping someone has the balls to do Fucked-Up Indie Comedy/Horror Film: the Game. Most likely starring Ellen Paige, the way things are going. I want it, and by proxy, I know you want it, too. Well actually, I don't hope for it to happen one day, because that's too much faith to put in someone else that I don't know.
I just want it.
In the meanwhile, I guess I could put energy into playing games that keep my attention for more than a couple minutes, which lately seem to be only tactical strategies with unit permadeath. Because I also play chess, and you don't get to reload your game when you loose your queen in chess.
Did I mention I suck donkey ass at chess?
My relationship with the Fire Emblem series began on the Game Boy Advance, back in 2003, I believe. Wait, that was almost a decade ago? Jesus... Anyway, it was a significantly superior experience to Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced. To put it simply, I hated almost everything about FFTA and I liked most things about Fire Emblem. I liked that it had a more mature tone akin to the first FFT game, but a different set of combat mechanics. I liked the amount of badass detail in the combat animations and I liked the music. I don't remember the story at all, but it was decent enough for me to keep going and beat the game. What I didn't like was that it reminded me of how much FFTA disappointed me. So much that I made a thread on gamefaqs entitled "Square doesn't like making good games anymore" and went on about how I had to rely on another developer to uphold quality storytelling and combat design in their RPG games.
It was met with disapproval; some of it justified, probably. My only gratification came from the fact that I had downloaded FFTA instead of buying it. One of the smartest consumer moves I ever done. Man, I felt like I really stuck it to them by not buying the game. I won that round... And then they made a sequel a few years later that sucked just as much.
I don't like Square Enix, you guys. I want them to get fucked. They're the Japanese EA as far as I'm concerned. But they make games. They may not be good games, but they're still games. That's good, right?
Anyway, Fire Emblem. After my experience with it on GBA, I snagged the Gamecube installment ASAP when it launched. It, too, looked promising as all get-out. Upgraded graphics, expanded battle mechanics, and another decent story that I'd ultimately forget the entirety of at some point. Shit delivered.
I guess story isn't really a deal-breaker for me like I used to think. Final Fantasy Tactics really set the bar, but so long as the dialogue doesn't make me want to break the disc, it's kind of a nothing matter. What matters is that I feel like a badass tactician, making badass units kill badass things in badass ways. Dude, if you ever wanted to feel that, Fire Emblem lets you fucking do it, unless you're not into the anime style art and animations. Which I am. Not to say I'm a fan of anime in general, I simply appreciate quality artwork - especially if I can make that quality artwork stab things in slow motion.
So yeah, I bought a 3DS specifically for the newest Fire Emblem. I know what you're asking, because I was faced with the same conundrum: $200 for one game? In this economy, in these hard times, do you really believe that to be the smart decision?
Bitch, I've made bad financial decisions in my lifetime. This certainly was not one of them. Plus it was on sale for $120 at Target, so shit ended up being $180 including tax (and the game) instead of $260+. See? I'm dumb, but I'm smart in my dumbness.
I've yet to beat it. Unlike other SRPGs, unit classes aren't readily available to be replaced. So when it's gone, you're that much more fucked going into the next battle without it. Which is what happened to me, pretty much for every battle after a certain point. I'd get an archer, he'd die, then I get screwed by wyvern riders. I lose a priest, then try using only potions to heal units, and then over half my guys on the field die. Way to make me feel fucking rusty, Fire Emblem Awakening.
Like hell I'm starting over on normal, but goddamn. I don't think I've reloaded saves this much since playing Dragon Age to see the different choice outcomes. That was a preference, though. I have to reload here out of necessity. I can't move forward without that fucking unit. DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND? NO I CAN'T LET THE MYRMIDON KILL EVERYTHING, EVERYONE NEEDS TO LEVEL UP. GODDAMN IT, WHY WOULD YOU ATTACK TWICE LIKE THAT? IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. ATTACK ONCE SO YOU CAN DEFEND ON THE NEXT TURN AND NOT DIE YOU FUCKING IDIOT. HOW THE FUCK D-oh my bad, I guess I should've checked to see if that ONE BARBARIAN, OUT OF ALL THE FUCKING BARBARIANS ON THE MAP HAD A HAMMER INSTEAD OF AN AXE. FUCK ME, RIGHT?
You see? $180 well spent.
That happened as well. Kind of ashamed about that. Went from classic, to normal, to baby-mode, and now I'm about 6 months in and regretting starting with Ironman on. Jesus christ, this fucking game. I went looking for memes, and I must have laughed for about a half-hour straight. But really, I was crying on the inside, as you do when you play XCOM - when you're not crying on the outside...
(it's funny because it's true. and it happens a lot)
(it's funny because Africa)
(unrelated yet clever picture)
You may call yourself a god trying to beat this shit on impossible ironman. I'd call you a masochist. I was never acquainted with the original PC game, but I feel like I should have been. Then again, I might not have bothered with it, since isometric games at the time looked like butt by the time I started playing on the PC, and I don't think screenshots really do it justice. Well, screenshots don't really do ANY strategy games justice. A screenshot of chess doesn't do it justice. Unless...
Yep, I'm on board.
Because whoever loses dies.
That's what I want to happen.
I lightly touched on how important story is. Part of the charm of the unit permadeath factor is that it provides emergent story on top of the in-game story, if you're into that. Whether you want to or not, you begin creating relationships, either between you and certain units, or between the units themselves - a notion that the Fire Emblem series creators have zeroed-in on and locked down within the gameplay itself. A pretty fucking ingenious move, if I may say so (even though it smatters of dating sim, and you know how that fucking turned out). I still remember stories I created between units in FFT. And given the dark nature of the cannon storyline, shit was intense. It was a pretty big deal when a unit died, not just from all the grinding and job skill combining, but also because of the backstory I put in along with that particular unit, which is fairly easy to do in that game. I think that's what initiated my thirst for permadeath in my SRPGs.
If a game with an already intriguing plot and semi-memorable characters can allow me the luxury of directly creating further narratives within that universe, in turn, affecting the way I play the game, that's something special right there.
Unless of course you're playing XCOM, in which case, you can't get attached to anyone. Ever.