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OpiumHerz's blog

11:27 AM on 04.30.2015

Goodbye C-Blogs, goodbye FP - it was a fun ride

This shit? This shit right here? It's the final straw that broke the camels back. I've been around here for now about two years, I think. I had lots of fun times here. I started a regular blog series here and I'm surprised I could keep it up for so long. I found a very cool community with lots of cool people in it. And whenever people complained about how Dtoid changed I tried to see the positive aspects, see the good things. But right now I can't help but being fucking pissed off... by something that doesn't even affect me directly, no less.

See, what I linked above is probably one of the most backstabbing, shitty things one can do. I don't like this kind of stuff. I'm a very open guy, very outgoing with my opinions and point of views (because I'm very confident in them most of the time). So you know what? I'm done with the FP at this point. And with the C-Blogs for that matter too. It's just the final straw that broke the camel's back to me and I voiced concerns and disagreements I had multiple times. Sometimes calm, sometimes very frank and with enough cursewords for people to go "U mad?". But  at this point the FP just isn't fun anymore for me and being consequent with this I also don't want create any more traffic. It's a pity because there are still faces here I like, but at this point the dislikes just outweigh them. Some of the newer new hires were already bad, but the way two good people writers got treated now is just fucking bullshit.

Calling them out on quality, if that is the only accusation, is just ridicoulus. But man, thank god we have some REAL quality here. Or here. Or even here! Man, such a high standard, how can anyone even ever compare?! Oh lawd, better go study and bring in years of real life experience for an international newspaper to live up to that or you might never be this good. No, seriously. But hey, guys, when you're already cleaning out the closet, maybe throw out whoever that backstabbing snitch was that complained behind someone's back. I would also suggest the same for the person who demoted them without telling them anything (wonder who that was). Because in my experience those people are fucking poison to any decent team. Just saying.

I'll stick with the forums exclusively from now (here is some confetti for those happy about it, print it out and throw it around) and if I have stuff to say about videogames, I'll simply publish it elsewhere. I never wrote for some internet fame, I wrote because the writing is fun and I can have that fun everywhere else. I also can get my news from any other gaming site. I'm not dependent on the Dtoid frontpage and given that it feels like it becomes an agenda driven engine more and more that makes me really happy about that. I just really don't feel like giving a site the time and clicks that decides sawing someone off like the most insidious cunt is the way to go and endorses that (in the forums at least the people are honest enough to stab you from the front). So just to make this clear, I pondered this decision for quite some time now. Seeing some of the stuff that gets fronted nowadays puzzled me, to say the least, so did some of the decisions made. Of course this blog won't change this. People tried to go this path for years now and there is a reason they're gone. Shit won't change unless you try to make it better yourself, so I'll do exactly that.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't supposed to be a call to arms. I don't expect ANYONE to follow me or start a revolution or some stupid shit like this. I don't expect reactions from the staff either (although when you rattle on the cage loud enough usually someone stops by to take a look). I write this for the cool folk of the blogs who might wonder when the next piece of mine will go up (sorry that I won't resolve all of the 2015 predictions guys) and because, once more, I feel that voicing stuff like this and bringing attention to it is important. Even if it won't have any result. This is also why I kept it civil for the most part, albeit I admit this time it's a bit hard. The way it was done riles me far more up than it maybe should, and also more than the way it was done. Maybe it riles me far more up than it has any right to, but given all the other stuff, it simply does. I took some time away from the computer after the news broke, because I wanted to cool off a bit. But it didn't really help either. Maybe it's all just ooone biiiig misunderstanding and everybody will be jolly and happy again tomorrow, but that shit like this could go down in the first place can't be undone. And given the commenst that popup under Glowbear's blog right now, I don't think it will be undone. Let's say the official statements made so far leave me... unimpressed. To put it as friendly as possible.

I'll use that additional free time to write more and to take better care of the forums, maybe finally being able to check for all the requested features and stuff like that. Be the change you want to see and all that shit.
(or who knows... maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and find my admin access revoked too *huehuehue*)

Goodbye Frontpage, we had some fun, but you turned shittier by the month over the past few months and I just really don't enjoy you anymore as it is now. No hard feelings.
Goodbye C-Blogs, you are an incredible part of a community and do fantastic work and every website would (or should) be proud of you.
And a big, glowing, smelly middlefinger to everyone that deserved, as few as you are.



10:58 AM on 04.10.2015

The worst thing about censorship is ███████ - 043 - The Order: 1886

First off, since I didn't blog around easster: HAPPY ZOMBIE JESUS DAY everybody. Hope you had some nice, blue eggs.

Salida dear readers,
my name is Jim aka "OpiumHerz" and as some of you may already guess by that nickname: I am german. With the blog series "The worst thing about censorship is ███████ " I want to simply give you a little insight in videogame censorship, which is still pretty much alive and kicking here in Germany (but I won't restrict myself to Germany exclusively). I started this blog in 2013 and consider this series to be now in Season 3. Damn straight! After getting frontpage-famous I'll continue to take stuff from my colleagues at Schnittberichte and recycle that stuff for your enjoyment.

This episode is about: The Order: 1886

Now, for once it wasn't Germany that got the short end of the stick. Naw son. The Order got rated 18+ by the USK and reached german shores without any form of edits. No, this time it was Japan who got the short end. Now I already mentioned that Japan is no stranger to censoring games, even games they made themselves (Resident Evil 4 comes to mind). The Order got the CERO Z rating over there, which is the highest possible rating the Japs give out.

The censorship was to be expected however, since the trailer for the game already got a little special treatment in Japan. Scenes that showed explicit gore or close shots of violence were replaced with more harmless/other scenes.

So it was safe to assume that the game would release censored too and that assumption would have turned out to be true. The interesting thing though is that the ingame violence, meaning in fights with enemies, is totally uncensored. One would habe assumed, given how the trailer was edited, that battle gore got hit by the scissors, but that isn't the case. There is only one thing that got censored in regards to violence. You visit a Sanitarium at one point in the game and find mangled corpses. The damage texture for some of them have been changed so the corpses don't look as maimed as in the uncensored version.

And that is al that was removed in regards to violence. Shooting off limbs in battle is still totally a thing you can do.

However, being somewhat famous for containing nudity, both male and female, this part got edited by the Japanese. In two scenes the nipples of topless women were edited out. They were simply brushed over with skin color and it looks strange to say the least.

From then on there was some alternative material to prevent showing sex in progress and male dick. The frontal nudity of men wasn't acceptable either so they gave one dude some pants and simply removed the penis of another one (this scenes were very dark, so enlarged screenshots were taken) or made the picture darker so the penis was literally overshadowed.

This is a bit of a strange one. Alternative material for sex and just making dicks disappear (something everybody of you should learn, you'll never know when you need 20 bucks) is kinda normal, even though there was nothing explicit in these scenes to begin with. Outlast featured more dick than this. But going so far to just brush over the nipples is one foot in the realm of ridiculousness. But they, at least Germany got all the blood, all the gore and all the sex for once. Victory achieved!



4:18 PM on 04.03.2015

The worst thing about censorship is ███████ - 042 - Pillars of Eternity

Salida dear readers,
my name is Jim aka "OpiumHerz" and as some of you may already guess by that nickname: I am german. With the blog series "The worst thing about censorship is ███████ " I want to simply give you a little insight in videogame censorship, which is still pretty much alive and kicking here in Germany (but I won't restrict myself to Germany exclusively). I started this blog in 2013 and consider this series to be now in Season 2. Fuck yeah! After getting frontpage-famous I'll continue to take stuff from my colleagues at Schnittberichte and recycle that stuff for your enjoyment.

This episode is about: Pillars of Eternity

Pillars of Eternity is a RPG released by Obsidian, a company that is known for games like Knights of the old Republic 2, Neverwinter Nights 2, Fallout: New Vegas and last but not least Wateland 2. All of them good games, some considered classics and Obsidian had a great reputation. And then came Pillars of Eternity.

Pillars of Eternity was funded over Kickstarter and thus offered certain rewards. For 500$ you would get an in-game memorial stone with a personalized message. And such a message now caused great, great controversy. What could have caused such a controversy? Well, see for yourself.

"Here lies Firedorn, a hero in bed.
He once was alive, but now he's dead.
The last woman he bedded, turned out a man
and crying in shame, off a cliff he ran."

Of course the thin-skinned part of the Internet was suddenly set ablaze. And finally Obsidian caved in and apparently changed the memorial stone. It was now apparently changed to:

"Here lies Firedorn, a bard, a poet.
He was also a card, bust didn't know it.
A poem he wrote in jest was misread
they asked for blood, so now he's just dead."

Now, usually this is where my entry would end. Censorship described. Fair warning: this is where my rant starts and if you want to complain that I did rant after this, you can kindly fuck off.

See, this really pissed me off. This is what we have come to now. You can't make a fucking harmless joke in a game anymore without it getting put on a gold scale. Now the tumblr crowd is always whining about the most ridicoulus stuff, like how the new Dr. Who still is a guy (sheeeit, really, 50 years into a series and they stick with what they done so far?) or by overanalyzing any given Disney movie and reading messages into a simple kid's movie most likely nobody on the production team ever thought about because why would they? This is basically the main reason why I swore to never join that community, because it's basically the Pitylympics, with the only contest being who is more of a miserable cunt (and the impression that this is what most of tumblr consist of stuck ever since - of course I know that there is more to the site).

But the upside is that usually nobody cares enough to react to their whining, seeing how it's removed from reality it can hardly be taken as real. Now one could argue that the change isn't so bad because it basically rubs it into the face of the SJW crowd that got offended in the first place. That they gave in to the change in the first place is and stays bad though. It set not only a bad, but a worrying precedent. Because once the door is opened it won't close again. Now I don't think suddenly the landscape will start to brood before breaking open and ugly (but neutral looking, because offensiveness) beasts will crawl out of the earth, starting to wrap their huge hands around companies. But it sends a very clear signal. The signal that no matter how stupid your demand is, it will be met if you have enough of a Twitter lynchmob behind you. Even if it's just a joke that's totally irrelevant to any real life problem, your asinine demand will find hearing.
That the backer allegedly was okay with the change doesn't change this and asking for this change was stupid to begin with. We're talking about a game that has fantasy creatures and wizards in it, but it has to function as a moral compass grounded in reality? Corpses hanging from trees or joking about split personalities or killing kids is okay, but watch the fuck out people, THIS goes TOO FAR.

Attacking art is something dictators and their kin have always done. I was born and raised in the country that burned books for being "degenerated art", trust me, I know this shit. Now of course one can argue that this is but a tiny change, it doesn't affect the game or gameplay in any meaningful way and yadda yadda yadda. Hey, fair enough, those things are all true. Neither does changing the blood color from red to green. It still stays censorship. And censorship stays wrong. I think by now all of you got and understood that my tolerance for censorship is absolutely zero and that I have the same tolerance for people demanding it, especially when the reasoning is "But I'm so offended by this. ;_;". I don't know what's wrong with the people who started to seriously cry over this as being transphobic, but pretending that this game would serve as any sort of moral compass for someone who would now go out to hunt 'dem shemales is just ridicoulus. It's stupid. It's Jack Thompson level of retarded. And if anyone who is reading this text was demanding the change (I doubt it), please know that you are part of the problem. Not the joke-poem and not the person who wrote it.

The irony is that this won't help trans people. Not the least bit. This won't integrate them any more into society as normal people (as they should be considered in the first place). If anything it will mark them as another over sensitive minority. A group that you aren't allowed to treat normally, which includes joking, lest you want to be hung from the next tree by an angry mob. This won't set a positive signal and this won't help anyone. It'll just further segregation. But god damnit, you sure as fuck showed them. GG, guys. GG.


EDIT: Official statement by the person who wrote the poem:



11:06 PM on 03.31.2015

The worst thing about censorship is ███████ - 041 - Coca-Cola

Salida dear readers,
my name is Jim aka "OpiumHerz" and as some of you may already guess by that nickname: I am german. With the blog series "The worst thing about censorship is ███████ " I want to simply give you a little insight in videogame censorship, which is still pretty much alive and kicking here in Germany (but I won't restrict myself to Germany exclusively). I started this blog in 2013 and consider this series to be now in Season 2. Fuck yeah! After getting frontpage-famous I'll continue to take stuff from my colleagues at Schnittberichte and recycle that stuff for your enjoyment.

This episode is about: Coca-Cola

Now, we all know and love Cola. It's what made America great and also supported the distribution of these neat little mobility scooter all you fat fucks are driving on around (here in Germany you have to be actually disabled to get one, not just fat). But did you know: even Coca Cola isn't immune to censorship. And it's even in place worldwirde.

First we have Diet Coke. First released in 1982 this maimed version of Coca-Cola was released without sugar. The sugar was replaced though wit aspartame, an artificial sweetener. This is of course like removing the blood in a slasher flick. It was a very weak version of something great and got shit on by true fans heavily, and rightfully so. Sadly this version is still in circulation.

One year later it was made even worse. Diet Coke got a re-release in form of a caffeine free version. Yes, they really went there and removed the sugar AND the caffeeine. This version of Coca-Cola is basically totally useless and I would highly recommend you stay away from this shit. This shit is basically drinkable AIDS. Avoid at all costs.

There were many versions of Diet Coke and Caffeine free Diet Coke and all of them were nothing but butchered ports of the original version. Abominations, all of them. They were clearly made to make the stuff more kidfriendly and "downgrades" like this for reasons like this make me just sick. Fuck the Coa-Cola Company for that. They didn't HAVE to release those versions, but they just went and did it anyway.


On the upside, there are also some extended versions that were released over time. Some were just for certain countries like Coca-Cola Raspberry, which was only available in New Zealand. A good extended version of Coca-Cola is also Lemon Coke. Not as sweet as the original, but a good overall addition. The best version of Coca-Cola by far, however, is Vanilla Coke. This is the ultimate version of Coca-Cola and unites all the upsides of the original with only enhancing it. This version was first released in 2002 and is basically better in all regards than the original. I would highly recommend you get this one if possible, why go for anything less than the best? It has the best taste, best controls (the cans open like by themselves), best graphics (a nice, saturated red-black) and the best smell (so sweet, yet not too sweet).

Next time we'll take a look at how Pepsi mutated their own drinks into horrible pieces of shit.


(yeah, I know, it's not a real prank, but in the age of the internet you can't pull any pranks anymore unless you fucking flat out lie, so I'll leave it at this and hope you got maybe a chuckle out of this)


9:18 AM on 03.31.2015

The worst thing about censorship is ███████ - 040 - Dying Light

Salida dear readers,
my name is Jim aka "OpiumHerz" and as some of you may already guess by that nickname: I am german. With the blog series "The worst thing about censorship is ███████ " I want to simply give you a little insight in videogame censorship, which is still pretty much alive and kicking here in Germany (but I won't restrict myself to Germany exclusively). I started this blog in 2013 and consider this series to be now in Season 2. Fuck yeah! After getting frontpage-famous I'll continue to take stuff from my colleagues at Schnittberichte and recycle that stuff for your enjoyment.

This episode is about: Dying Light

Okay, so first off, some might wonder where I have been. Around. I have been inactive recently simply  because I didn't really had much to say on the topic of games. I played Dying Light, I liked it, I played Dragon Age 3, I liked it (Review in progress) and now I wait for GTA V to be released. When it comes to blogging I can be pretty uncreative, I'm no Hyper Lemon Buster Cannon, so I deemed it the better option to shut my fucking piehole instead of writing something (I could have harped on gender stuff or GamerGate or stereotypes being used in games and why they don't matter or about the fucking dipshits that cried to Obsidian now - but really, nobody would have wanted to read that and I didn't want to write it).

But hey, censorship time, right? So, you may remember this entry here. Now what was my prediction for Techland's Zombie survival game Dying Light? Let's quote.

Game: Dying Light
Chances for uncut release: maybe, but I doubt it.
What will happen: from what I saw the gore in this game wasn't actually too groundbreaking, considering what was promised by Techland here. Still, it was enough to get Dead Island denied a classification. If the game hits a lucky day it might pass. If it won't pass, however, I can see it getting indexed.It was already announced it fell through the USK rating at this point, so this is kinda out of the game, but we saw a censored version at the Gamescom. Let's wait.

So, let's talk a bit about Dying Light, shall we? To make it short: FUCKING! CALLED! IT!
Techland showed of Dying Light last year on the german Gamescom in a censored version. They had to do so because the uncut version of the demo didn't get a rating. The censored version they created was still rated 18+ and I haven't seen it, so I can't say exactly how much they removed.

Then in January we got the confirmation: Dying Light would see no release in Germany. At all. The USK denied the full version a release, even in the censored version they gave a rating for before. Now of course this was only a demo and they had to get the full game checked by the ratings board again (if you're asking yourself why they had to go through the process again after getting a rating for the Gamescom). Techland refused apparently to censor the game any further and decided to skip the german release, but thankfully they weren't stupid enough to implement a regionlock. Just buying a US version works totally fine. Or any other version, in fact.
That is, however, not the end of the line. On February 11th it was reported that Dying Light got "temporarily indexed". This is indeed something special. These "flash indexings" don't happen too often and are only used when there is a suspicion of an acute violation of german law (remember: if a game gets confiscated it's because a judge decides it's violating german law!). The last thing I can remember where this happened was when our now defence minister, then minster for social matters, women, family and health, Ursula fucking von der Leyen, found the Rammstein album Liebe ist für alle da in her kids room and didn't like the music (the album got taken off the index soon after which was a nice slap to the face of this cunt).

Aaanywho, Dying Light got temporary indexed on February 11th of 2015. Today the BPjM released their pamphlet with the indexed and confiscated titles of the month and, lookie lookie: Dying Light got indexed on list A. This means it won't get confiscated anymore and my prediction came true. Since the game didn't get a german release anyway it doesn't matter too much to begin with though. Literally nothing changed. Boom, headshot, next.

In my list of predictions were also Bloodborne and Resident Evil Revelations 2, which already released too, so I'll take a look at them soon too.



7:59 AM on 02.20.2015

I'm a sick german, ready to friday - ask me anything


So, something lazy today,. Came down with the flu over the week which hit it's high point, I hope, today. So I parked my ass in front of my computer, got comfy, and won't get up from this seat until I go to bed anymore. I'm SO ready to friday after today, you have no idea. To pass the time for me and you, why not play the good old game we all know?

Come on fellas, don't be shy, ask me anything. I might even answer honestly.



11:19 AM on 02.18.2015

Dtoid's 9th anniversary: Birthday time is here again!


Since Andy is a bit busy at the moment, the honor of posting this year's anniversary thread goes to me. So as usual we have a little something for you to do and we have a little badge if you do the little something to do. This time we decided to make it all over bonding, the community and you: it's users.

We want you to write about 9 Dtoiders that left an impression (or maybe even influenced) on you. As an example you could take Mr. Andy Dixon, the only TRUE mascot of this site. "His love of boners totally changed my view on everything phallic. Bla bla bla...". It doesn't have to be an essay, but you should also maybe get past just three or four sentences for every one.

Of course there is a badge, too. And of course with the new anniversary comes a new badge. Soon we'll have to resort to using Final Fantasy ones because no other game series goes this high, but until then, we present you with this.

This picture might possible change though. Just to fuck with you.

You can either write a blog or make a posting here. So get to it. You'll have time til the end of april, you all of you have appropiate time to write something neat up about 9 Dtoiders you find worthy for that list.



9:04 AM on 02.05.2015

OpiumHerz's Amiibo Dealership


Alright fellas, this started out as a little personal offer on Twitter but the feedback was too big to keep it there. So, let's cut right to the core: you want Amiibos and can't get them? I'll try to get them for you! See, the thing is nobody really seems to give much of a fuck about them here in Germany. I see Villager in stock on Amazon or stores all the time. So if you want to get Amiibos for a humane price, here is what we'll do.

1. You tell me what Amiibo(s) you want
2. I see if I can get them (I have several shops in my proximity, also - see below)
3. I'll give you an estimate on the price
4. You transfer the money to me.
5. I'll organise the Amiibo(s) you want
6. I'll ship them to you

You can of course try to order them through (or any Amazon) directly. However, Chillybilly told me he did that twice and BOTH Amiibos were damaged. So another route would be:

1. You order the Amiibos from to me
2. I'll check them
3. If they're broken, I'll retoure them. I'll tell you about the damages beforehand though and will wait for your answer, if you either want the Amiibo in it's state or not. It's free for me and I think it shouldn't be too much of a hassle, but I do have to look that up still.
4. If they're okay, I'll send them to you.

There are some more things:
- Community members only. If you just see this somewhere and thing "Oh yeah, I want in on that", nope, sorry. I'll do this for the members of Dtoid.
- Private orders only. If you want 20 fucking Villagers to get your kid through college with them, I won't do that.
- I love you guys, but I love my lifetime slightly more and having someone in the house who sold a lot of stuff through eBay recently I know how much time stuff like this will eat up. So I'll ask for a small fee per Amiibo. I'll charge 3$ per figurine. No more. Everything else will be my buying price. The package, the shipping cost etc. I personally think that is a fair amount for the time I'm willing to put in (first order by ChillyBilly/smurfee/Swishiee will be exempt from this though, because I offered it to them privately before this blog).
- I will document everything with pictures, if demanded. From the Amiibo as I received it to the bill for the package.
- I should be able to do tracking numbers if demanded, but they will cost more. Again, if you want those, or express shipping, tell me. If you don't order tracking etc. I will take no responsibility for lost packages or anything. You can ask the german post to search for lost packages, but you shouldn't expect too much out of it.
- I'll send the Amiibos in air cushion envelopes. If you want real packges for further safety of the Amiibos, I can do that too, but again: it'll cost more.
- I'll keep you updated whenever I do something. Could find it for price X, couldn't find it, received/got it, shipped it.
- If you want one, leave a comment here. Others, please don't post in that comment thread. I'd like to keep them "clean" for the sake of an overview.
- Money has to be transferred to me beforehand. I won't buy or ship anything on credit. This means the money has to be on my bank account. Payment can be done directly to my german bank account or through Paypal, I accept both. If you go with Paypal, I'll buy the figurine (if you don't order it to me) once the money is on there, Shipping will be done once the money is transferred from Paypal to my account though, which should take 1-3 work days.

Seeing how some of these fuckers go away for 90$ or more over eBay, I think that this might help you getting these fuckers for a more reasonable price. If you have further questions, just ask. And yes, the Mount Your Friends tournament is still happening, registration for it will close this weekend.


2:21 PM on 02.02.2015

2 years of Dtoid

Two years. 730 days. 17520 hours. A long fucking time. Lots of things happened in this while. Hey, I told you my next entry will be a bit more lighthearted, didn't I? And I know I'm a few days early, but fuck all the the rules (it's just because I'll most likely be away on weekend though - need to get shit done here, yo).

So I kept blogging here. I didn't manage to churn out as many entries as I did last year, but I feel my writing overall got more bearable. Also I have to be honest: I'm starting to run low on content here, so spreading it out a bit more is something that I'm fine with to keep the series, generally, running for a bit more longer. As last year, I'm doing a bit of a break at the moment. I do this to get away from writing about censorship (somewhat) regularly a bit, but also so a bit of new content can maybe pile up.
I also did some non-censorship related stuff. I explained why you should totall buy Goat Simulator and was totally serious about it. You still should totally buy Goat Simulator, if you haven't done so yet (What the fuck is wrong with you?!). I also wrote a little obeisance to Gravelord Nito, clearly the best thing that ever happened to videogames. Also I started writing for Digital Confederacy, a site created by former Dtoid legend ZombiePlatypus and still somewhat active Dtoider usedtabe. I don't write a lot about videogames there, though. I focus on music from Germany/Austria/Switzerland there. So if you dig music, or want to explore something new, you should head over there. It's fun there and I enjoy it, since music is even a bigger passion for me than games are.

I also became a good bit more active in the forums. Not only because I became a mod there, but because I also became an Admin there. Since Mxy resigned, Nihil and myself got promoted. So we take care of business down there together with our only true site mascot: Mr. Andy Dixon. Things are pretty easy going, even though there is a lot on my plate. The Forums Feature Request thread I started took off a lot more than I expected.
Dtoid has become more and more my digital home over last year. I used to compare the other community where I was active with a city and Dtoid is no different, even though a smaller one. I got less active on the Frontpage though. Last but not least there were changes in the line-up I simply disliked and it got mirrored by recently published articles. Yes, I'm one of the people who got pretty pissed off that "The Badger" articles were put online. Not for their writing style, not at all. I actually dig THAT. Remindes me of Spider Jerusalem. But the content was so utterly shitty, I'm more productive by taking a wank before showering. That reminds... brb. I was also very happy about some other changes in the line up. Let's say the right people got promoted.

That being said, the Blogs are awesome as ever. Just recently I looked at a few other sites and I just realized how high the quality here is. And I'm not shittalking here. The C-Blogs are incredibly strong, considering they are just a few people writing for the fun of it.

So what brings the future? Well, first off we'll have a Mount Your Friends tournament soon. I also plan on blogging about censorship coming May or April again, at latest. There are also some C-Blog Interviews that are basically done and if I manage to pull my thumbs out of my asses, I might start getting those up again. Here and there I'll surely do some small Editorials and opinion pieces. We'll see.
If come to know some people better, but don't really know anyone as good as I'd like it. Timezones are bitch. But if nothing bad and unexpected happens, I'll stick around. Sadly I'm sure others will follow my creed, but hey, it's always good to have people around that work as an example for the person you never want to be. Even if they're just very few here on Dtoid (the douchebag density is surprisingly low too).

So, let's raise our glases once more to antoher good year. May it better than ever, may the Steam discounts be bigger than ever and may we also find pleasant things to do with our genitals.

And now get off of my lawn, you cunts.


10:54 AM on 02.02.2015

The more I know about people, the better I like my dogs


I think I've said it multiple times now: I never followed the person cult when it comes to games or the game industry (well, to be honest, I followed almost no person cult at all - I never had Star posters or anything like that hanging in my room and even now I only have a very few artists I have the utmost respect for, but nothing compared to the usual fanboying happening). Over last year though, it just so happened I did invest some time into looking a few people up. No, that's not right, let me correct that. I was linked stuff, from where I clicked my way on through other stuff of these people. Like a Twitter account or other articles or anything like that. The result of this time spent? Let me put it like this: if I had a loaded gun, I wouldn't know if I should shoot these people or myself. Be prepared, this is nothing than subjective bitching. If you don't want to read all that, feel free to skip to the last paragraphs. This is basically the antithesis of my .hack//G.U. entry - no games, just bullshit and drama.

The first one was Anthony Burch, most of him will most likely know him as the guy behind Borderlands and the oldies around here will also remember him from the Frontpage. How he ever survived here I don't know, but by god did that man make me cringe. He is the kind of guy you could accuse of being sexist just by the fault of being a male and he would get down on his knees and apologize like the worst cliché Japan guy, whose son just spilled soda on a Yakuza boss. I think the moment that tipped me over the edge here was how he complained over games that are just about killing for loot. Coming from the guy behind Borderlands this sure is rich. I also loved how he went public with his divorce (by god, as if this wasn't fucking stupid to begin with - WHY would you do that?) and offered people the means to send him anonymous messages, then complained over getting trolled through this very function. Basically this guy is like a kid that puts his hand on the hot stove plate over and over again and you just want to smack him so he learns his lesson. But hey, thank god he finally resorted to basically stealing his punchlines from jokes he finds and does online, maybe he will steal a good one one day by accident.


And than there was Leigh Alexander. I'll cut this short: I've never seen the word "toxic" so fitting for a person ever. I saw her threaten multiple people, IN PUBLIC, to basically ruin their careers forever if they don't play to her rules. She insulted the people behind charities. She insulted people working hard jobs. She advocated doxxing. Seriously, fuck her. That's all there is to her. Just fuck her. She is one of the worst people I ever had the good grace of reading about and here in Germany we cover World War II for easily two to three years in school.

Looking forward to the day she has to work a real job again and someone forwards this to the potentital employer.

Adam Sessler was a name I didn't hear a lot of until this whole Gamergate thing started. When he stated he watched hacking happen live, something I'd expect out of a Hollywood movie about digital terrorists, it raised my eyebrows to say the least. While I didn't invest too much time or effort in GG (because, after all, I don't have any stake in it) he has proven proven time and time again to be just a fucking cunt over it. Oh, and he himself ALSO advocated doxxing. It's on tape. For everyone to watch on YouTube, enjoy (funnily enough I only found the small clip first, then people said it was taken out of context - so I wasted about two minutes of my life to find out that no, it really wasn't taken out of a lot of context). While GamerGate might have brought out the worst in A LOT of people, he actually stated this in 2013 already.  Thank god now I know that calling someone a faggọt is enough to justify spreading someone's personal data. I wish this guy nothing but burning diarrhea and arms too short to wipe.

Of course you aren't...

And then there was a whole other bunch of people I only dabbled in for a really short time before I decided: nope, not gonna dig deeper here, I got stuff to do, I got games to play. Granted, I shouldn't be surprised. Being the cynic I am I just assume you're a cunt until proven otherwise for the most part. I tend to prepare for the worst possible outcome rather than for the best possible outcome. But the last ~year or so has just proven to me: I'll stick with what I have done so far now. Just stay away from the individuals. There is nothing to be gained here, only disappointment in the human race as a whole and the wish to do horrible things to horrible people. I think Sessler was the last one I had a bit of a look into and it was the final straw where I decided I'll just resist the urge.
The thing here was: apparently, everybody else knew this shit already besides me. Peoples' reactions can pretty much be summed with "Yeah, how is this news?". I would be surprised that these people have a large enough following to pay for their lifes, but as I said: cynic, no hope in humanity, fuck all this shit. I guess part of me was still a wee lad in this regard. You see, I grew up with games, like many of my generation. Back then, for me as a kid, the videogames industry was this secret monolith that produced all these awesome things. The journalists back then, at least the german ones, were people with passion. Fuck, Boris Schneider-Johne, who works now at Microsoft (no, not for X-Box - at least not anymore), translated one of my all time favorite games: Monkey Island 2. I guess because I never really took a deeper look at the people, I never realized that, yes, there are cunts in this field too.

This golden door was brought to you by the Forumers. Now please, fuck off.

Destructoid in this regard is still very much bearable for me though. I do still think that Jonathan Holmes isn't fit for the EiC position and that he not only approved the posts of "the Badger", but also, at least according the Badger, asked for them is just further proof of me to that (how fucking stupid OR desperate for clicks can you be? Or was it just both at the same time?). Which basically lead me to a simple decision: I simply won't give his articles any clicks anymore. And because of certain things he said on his Twitter account, and some generalizations towards the forum crowd, the same goes for the videos of Bill Zoeker. The reasons might be petty, but it's the only thing to show consequence in this regard. And there were other people elsewhere where I just scratched the surface before I turned back and just decided I won't waste any more time on getting me in a bad mood. To drop to more names here: Ben Kuchera and Jonathan McIntosh might as well fight for the pole position when it comes to being a huge fucking idiot. But I guess that was public knowledge a long time now too.

I still think there are quite a few people I find totally okay. Both here on Destructoid and elsewhere. But from now on I guess I'll stick to the path I had before: just don't follow the people. In some very rare instances ignorance can be certainly a bliss and I don't think my life would be any worse if I would not know  that there is Ms. Alexander out there, validating every women-hating asshole in his opinion. And if you yourself have some of those illusions left that I had a while back, do yourself a favor and stay away from researching these people. You might now think: "But Jim, this way I see who I want to support and who not". This might be true, but I found a neat red line here, which might also apply for you. I didn't read any of these people's articles to begin with. Ever since I started being a bit more of an active reader when it comes to games and game related news, I stuck with the people whose style I liked. Which was Kotaku before they started to pander more and more to demographic I'm no part of, later then Destructoid and Gametrailers. Fuck, I don't even know who does the reviews for GT. And I don't care. They're good reviews without any bullshit on the side. I'm happy with them.

The thirst has never been more real.

Bottom line: being the nostalgic I am, I miss the old times. I just miss the times before Twatter, where everybody was just a name in the list of employees. No personalities, but at least also no fucking assholes. Guess I finally AM getting old.

Don't worry people, next time it'll be something happy again, I swear.


5:21 AM on 01.27.2015

The Tournament of Dangling Dongs - Mount Your Friends!

Edit 4: Winners for the finale
Match 1: OpiumHerz
Match 2: Steven Hansen
Match 3: El Dango

EDIT 3: Winners so far
Match 1: Tonich
Match 2: OpiumHerz
Match 3: Robo Panda Z
Match 4: Steven Hansen
Match 5: El Dango
Match 6: pk fire

EDIT 2: I randomized the list of participants. Since we have an uneven amount of participants the lucky last one in the list passes the first round automatically. In this case thsi means pk fire automatically advances!

This leaves the following order of fights.

The finale will be a three dong stand off. Everyone agaisnt everyone.
I will sent out notifications right now. If you fail to manage to deliver the winner of your match until February 15th 2015, you are out of the tournament!

May the best dong win!



So it happened that just recently fellow Dtoider Tonich invited me to a round of Mount Your Friends, together with Luckrequired and... shit, I already forgot who else was with us. However, the idea for a tournament bracket came up and why the fuck not? Let's try this.

Now what is Mount Your Friends? It's a sort of... uhm... I actually don't know what genre to put this in (we have a term for in German that I can't translate though). Basically you have a climber and his dangling dong (which can be replaced with a fish or a pickle if you so desire) and a Goat on a signpost. You control both feet and hands, which are sticking to any surface they touch as long as you don't push their button. The goal is to climb atop the goat, and then the next player has to clinb atop of you. Higher and higher. All this is done within a timelimit. You can play it with a controller (which I find a lot more practical) and of course keyboard/mouse.

All we need is YOU now. It's an absolutely retarded game in all the right and positive ways and laughs are pretty much guaranteed. But we need players. So if you want to mount around with others, sigh up for this duel of manliness (girls are allowed too, but only if they're manly enough for mounting friends - hue hue hue).
This will be a duel to the dongs (no boners though, that'd be gay - the stage between flacid and errect is acceptable though). It will be played 1v1 with a 60 second climbing timelimit. Maybe I'll give a little prize out to the winner too. Just leave a comment and I'll enter you and contact you once all is done, presuming we get enough players together.

Registered Mounters:
01. OpiumHerz
02. ElDango
03. PedophilKenSebben
04. The Scholary Gamer
05. Tonich
06. Steven Hansen
07. Zerotonin
08. pk fire
09. Luckrequired
10. Robo Panda Z
11. Solar Pony Django

So register yourself now for the upcoming Tournament of Dangling Dongs! Mount strangers, become friends, mount them again and conquer the Goat! GOAT!


5:40 AM on 01.24.2015

STFUAJPG - .hack//G.U.

No drama. No bullshit. Just games.

Since the censorship topic has run a bit dry over the course of almost two years (you can only make so many articles about that topic and keep it interesting, but don't worry, more are on the way) and I wanted to write a bit more again, why not write about something fun? Games! I want to focus on games I feel went a bit under and I'm not talking about these "secret tips EVERYBODY knows". OMG, have you played this underdog game ICO? Have you, motherfucker, HAVE YOU PLAYED ICO? I'm sure over the course I'll cover something that's borderline to that field too, but I'll try to stay a bit away from it. I might also go beyond just introducing games, but they will be the sole focus. This is just about games. So what I wrote in the beginning is kinda the creed: no drama. No bullshit. Just some goddamn, motherfucking, cocksucking, cumgargling, asslicking, dick cheese producing, pig impregnating, FUCKING DAMN GAMES!

So, .hack//G.U., right?

My first contact with the .hack// series was in form of the anime .hack//SIGN. The universe has multiple entries, but they all revolve around an MMO in the not too distant future called The World. SIGN also produced a four part videogame series on the Playstation 2, which I got solely for the sake of having. An anime related game series, in Germany? I want to support that!
But what I found was a bit lackluster. The game was so grindy it was brutal. The graphics weren't too pretty either. The dungeons were absolutely repetitive. It was just not a very well put together dungeon crawler. Yet, I pushed myself into part 3 before giving up. I saw a game that was good in it's core, just not too refined. The fact that it was released over here years after it came out in Japan didn't help either. Time is no fair enemy.

And then I saw THIS fucking trailer (sorry, the quality of videos in 2005 was another one - there exists also a subtitled version of this trailer somewhere). And ho... ly... shit! I was pretty much instantly flashed. Instantly this thing was on my map. .hack//G.U. was a three part series playing version 2 of The World, after the events of the first games, with a new cast and setting (a nice bonus of the MMO setting - you can completely revamp the world in every aspect and blame it on "new version").

The plot follows Haseo, a famous PlayerKillerKiller called "The Terror of Death". As the name suggests he hunts PlayerKillers, so players who kill other players ingame. The game of The World offers basically absolute freedom in regards of movement etc. and isn't restricted like any real MMO (at the moment). Then however his dear friend Shino gets killed by a guy named Tri-Edge, who looks very familiar if you know the SIGN series or played the first set of games, which made her real life player fall into a coma.
From there on Haseo seeks to fix this and of course revenge. And of course stuff isn't that simple. Because it never is. There are functions and skills and bugs in the game that can harm the real player. A company that tries to cover everything in that regard up. And of course Haseo has more on his hands than he initially thought. But to reach his goal the absolute loner is forced to cooperate with many fractions.

The basic gameplay is the same as the first series, but it was expanded on a lot. It's still a quite typical JRPG with an action fight system. You have a party of maximum 3 people, multiple people you can invite in your party. You take quests, you level up, you do stuff on the side if you want, and you advance the plot through events either in the cities or the dungeons.
Dungeons are created by a combination of three words. New words can be acquired by finishing other dungeons (you get rated in the end and are rewarded with an item depending on your rating - which can be a new dungeon word) or you find them in the forums. Yes, there are forums! The whole game takes place inside the game, you never see the outside world or control the player outside of The World. But you do go to the desktop many times. There you can read mail (which is often needed to start the next part of the plot), look at news from the outside world and watch a mysterious, apparently game induced disease named "Doll Syndrome" spread through articles and videos or read the forums. The news websites you can read are nice to have, the articles are often accompanied by short animated clips and there even is a series where a journalist tries to uncover the truth about doll syndromes, which is told through multiple episodes, each a few minutes long. The forums get new posts in regular intervals too. Most of the time it's just reading which you will either love for the fluff or hate because, well, it's just text. You also get to interact/answer to forum posts sometimes and can get something out of it (new stage words, more flavor text, increase sympathy with party members) or you can download pictures you can use as your desktop background in the arts forum. Most of it is mindless banter, but I found it kinda cool. Especially when you then see these users run around in the game, because you recognize their handle. It can however be a bit dry at times too, seeing as it's plain text without anything else.

The fight system is, as already mentioned not turn based. When you get close to an enemy/group of enemies (three at maximum) the battle starts. Beat all the enemies, earn XP/gold/items. Par for the course. You can use weapons, magic (if you learn the spells - since Haseo isn't a magic class you have to teach him spells through respective items, while magic class users will learn spells through leveling up too) or items to kill your enemies. The variety for Haseo comes from the fact that he is what the game calls Adept Rogue, bascially a multiclass. He starts out with two short swords, but his class gets expansions over the course of all three games. After a few hours you get to use a Broadsword already. Even though I found the dual wielding to be the most efficient way to fight, it's nice to be given variety so you can play different fighting styles if you want to.

Sidequests usually involve reaching a certain number of things (guess some shackles of the MMO can't be thrown off in the future either) or present you with a dungeon you have to conquer, sometimes even delivering a little plot while doing so. For example one quest you get is handing out flyers to players. You hand them out by talking to them. So you will stop and talk to every NPC you find along your way. Another one is kicking a certain amount of so called Lucky Animals. You can find them in dungeons and have to chase them to kick them. If you manage to do so, they'll give you a blessing. Temporary state bonuses, money, you might be revived after dying while you are in that dungeon. Beware though, there are also UNLUCKY Animals. Don't kick them. Just don't. Then there is also a Card Game which gets activated throughout the game (it's down for maintenance in the beginning) which you can sink hours in, if you want to be the very best.

So there is enough to do on the side for completionists and you can advance the plot at a reasonable pace. Here and there you have to grind a bit, but it doesn't force you into hours of what feels like slave labor (one of the biggest downsides of the first series of games). Not everything that glitters is gold though. The first thing I missed personally was a way to activate japanese voice acting. The english voices are a bit dodgy here and there, but they get the job done. Dungeons are still a bit repetitive, since you only have a few design sets (Cave, Temple, Field etc.) which the dungeons are created from. Expect to see the same assets a lot. And while I like the plot per se, sometimes I found the characters to act completely illogical. That the plot is a fix thing also somewhat ruins certain moments. You can train to level 99 and completely WRECK your enemy in a tournament - it will still trigger a cut scene where you then get your ass handed to you and "plot thing X" happens. It would have been nice to create at least two versions of the cutscene where things like these would have been accounted for. My biggest gripe however is that the plot goes too far. I won't spoil anything but you reach a part in the last game where you beat a boss and it would have been a pretty perfect spot to end the game - but it goes on. There is an additional evil pulled out of it's arse you have to fight then and it's not just an additional bossfight, there is literally more story happening. I didn't like that as I found said point to be a perfect spot to bring it to an end and I still don't like it. Another thing where the story can somewhat interfere is that your party members have to available for you to invite them to your party. They can be either offline or busy and will stay in that status until you advanced the plot a notch. So there I was, in a spot where I wanted to level my healer and support, and my healer was unavailable. I wanted to level her though for the upcoming fight, which was necessary by story. The plot dictates that she comes late to that fight, so I couldn't level her right before it anymore. ... you see the problem there? Granted, you get a pretty good choice of characters over the course of the games and you usually always have someone available, but it can be annoying if you're forced to work with characters you don't like. The cities are also a bit... well. City #2 you unlock pretty quickly, for example, basically just consists of an item shop, a Savepoint and the entrance to the fight arena. Nothing I would really call a city.
Still, .hack//G.U. aged well enough. The graphics don't look too shabby and it proves that good design is timeless. And if you play this game on an emulator you can crank up the resolution and the models will look just crisp as fuck. I have seen modern games in 1920 resolution that don't have character models this sharp, I'm dead serious. Sadly the pre-rendered sequences suffer with the higher resulotion a lot. Since they are rarely used, however, it's a sacrifice worth bringing.

.hack//G.U. will deliver you a trilogy of good JRPG fun with everything needed there. A bit of animu drama (but really toned down to a pleasant scale - in fact I started playing this again recently because Final Fantasy 13 was just overkill in this regard for my taste), revenge, mystery and some nice light hearted moments. It offers a pretty good balance in that regard. If you can't stand games where you have to crawl through dungeons, this won't convert you though. Make no mistake here. But you get a rich world with lots of lore and that you basically play a game where you always play a game gives it an interesting Meta touch. It has it's downsides and is nowhere near a perfect game, but god damn it I never regretted actually importing these three games from the USA (which I had to do, because they were never brought to Europe! And it was quite expensive too). Nowadays those games go for 100$+ easily and since there are no new units produced I think you can crack out the emulator. These are some damn fine JRPGs right here and if you want to waste a few dozen hours, go for it. In a world where realistic graphics means "grey and brown" it's nice to have a game where you can put a fat bellied pig dog walking on two legs in your party. Even if he is a soft hearted wimp.


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