What if I had just spent this entire time digging a hole directly underneath me? How far down would I have gone? How would I have got the dirt out of the tunnel? I can't dig endlessly down without consequences a la Dig Dug. Would I have found any fossils? How far would I have to dig before the ground got really hot from the earth's core heat-
It's been a while Destructoid. My last gaming related blog was last June, back when the innocence of my youth had not been stamped out like a virgin spring, or a virgin on a spring, or a virgins springs...I don't know where this is going.
While I've still been lurking, dropping the occasionally unwitty remark, I haven't been particularly active around these old parts. I think even at my best times, I've never been particularly active around here. I've been here for many moons actually, standing on the side of the riverbanktoid for about 3-4 years now, and I'm sure many of you have never even seen me. I've gone through multiple blog poster changes (Still lucky enough to have just got to experience the "pre-Disqus" phase of this site for a good time, tracking down replies was quite fun), many staff members and the odd contreversy or two. Definitely not been here as long as certain goliaths, but its weird to not feel like a new kid on the block around this place. I've never been particularly active in this place, posting sporadically at best, but I always tried to say something that at least people would enjoy reading. Odd as well, that although I've never been active, I still love this place to death. Well not odd, considering just how interesting this place is, but still slightly warming of the tubular bits in my heart.
So in the last 9 months, I assistant directed a terrible film (apocalyptically bad). I got a girlfriend, which is absolutely miles away from the person I was in my many older blogs (read some of them back, Jesus Christe) and she's beautiful and I love her which is always a killer plus. I got a soul sucking job serving the elite of middle class England at their events, and the proceeds of my soul being torn to shreds have gone towards what I wanted to show you guys today. My friend and I, combing the recesses of our minds, decided it would be an exquisite use of our time to make a film series. Being both mega film buffs, mega game buffs, mega just people with a lot of time to kill inbetween mortal kombat and whatever film we put on, we wrote a web show about sentient stuffed animals getting into progressively darker adventures. Toy Story on meth perhaps. Anyway, the first episode is out and we'd love for you all to check it out if you could spare the time. Also quick note, fellow Dtoid alumni Alphadeus will be helping out with the soundtrack at some point, so be sure to keep an ear out (in a jar perhaps) to hear his absolutely stellar music.
If you want to let me know just HOW putrid you thought it was, leave me a comment below and I'll be busy sticking my head inside a bucket pretending I'm Pyramid Head. Since I've also started picking games back up again, hopefully I can get back to giving you a little taste of what's going on inside my magenta colored mind.
Yes bbain I stole your idea. Yes I had the idea before your blog came out. History will remember me as the tailcoat to bbain's beautiful maginificent illustrious...ness.
Anywhooooo, I've never been the biggest sharer on Dtoid, here, and honestly things with me change every few months it seems. I'm now working as an Assisstant Director on a film, and if all goes well, the production company I'm working with now might fund or help produce my own short film, which would be pretty damn cool. I just finished exams and I have a music festival to go to in two days which will probably involve crazy hijinks and illicit substances.
Anyway, you might be wondering what Music Corner is. Well it's pretty self explanatory you fuck...okay I'm sorry come back I didn't mean that. Music Corner is something else I've decided to start where I just share some of my experiences in life along with some music I've either just discovered or classic tracks that hold a place in my mind and heart. There's no limit on what the music can be, and I'll try to be as open as I can about stuff which I've done or has happened to me. Just a way to try and connect more openly with you lovely guys and girls. Hopefully there's something here for everyone! (Oh and for those who are interested, my series "Sex and..." part 3 discussing the Mass Effect series should be coming out soon, whenever I find time to finish it!).
Finally I get this is NVGR, even though I play some of these songs during games. I really don't feel like I have to specify that its NVGR, its just music. It's not like I'm misleading you and the NVGR tag can be a turn off. It is what it says. A music corner.
Hope you guys enjoy!
I just met Paul McGann a couple of days ago, who is most commonly known from Doctor Who as the 8th incarnation, or to me, from the classiest British film ever made, I from Withnail and I. If you haven't seen it, I would reccommend it with all my heart. It's one of the most beautifully funny and sad films I've ever seen, and the characters are absolutely staggering. It's also one of the only films to ever feature music from Hendrix himself, and rumour has it that's its because of this film that the Hendrix estate stopped letting filmmakers use his music at all. Regardless, its one of the finest films to ever have graced my eyes and meeting such an integral part to the film was a thing I can successfully cross off my bucket list. R.I.P Richard Griffiths.
HOLY SHIT JURASSIC 5 CAME BACK.
Okay I wish I actually knew who J5 were up until two days ago. From this track, they sound pretty damn good. I really like Chali 2na's deep bassy voice, but honestly I'm a sucker for any one with good flow. I started last year with Wu-Tang, moved through Deltron 3030, Hieroglyphics, Beastie Boys and now I'm going to start with J5. I hope they are good.
This is a guy my friend just introduced me to. He got a cult re-release last year, and his weird synth-y music I dig so hard. It's also crazy to read up about this guy, because there is pretty much no information about him. It's crazy to still remember that we have limits, that not everything is available with a "google search this". Some things are just lost to time. And not in the "look at all this ancient history" type of way, in the "things happening now" which we will never know about. For all the reporters, all the news outlets, all the facebook shares, we still don't know a lot of stuff, and we never will. This makes me very happy.
I got really heavily into becoming a musical omnivore this year. I've listened to more albums and music this year than in at least the last 5 combined. I've lost count of all the music I've got through, but it keeps coming up good so I keep going to get more. Also one of my friends Aisha is essentially cherrypicking the best of world music and sending it to me. This isn't necessarily it, but I do like it a lot.
Computer Chess was a really difficult film for me to watch. It was so unlike anything I'd watched, and that was both really good and really bad. But it was just so strange. I don't know if I'll ever be able to watch it again, but I'm glad I did. It confronted me with things which were uncomfortable and truthful, like an acid trip. And as for this track. It's haunting and I love it.
Finally this. I don't really know my reggae, but this is a track I spent absolutely years looking for after I heard it off of a snowboarding video. When I found it, I literally jumped up and down. In front of 100+ people. It was a great moment for me.
I hope you've dug some of my music selections. It's an integral part of my life, and it feels nice to be sharing it around. It would be great to hear what you think of some of these tracks or to recommend your own or to even start your own music corner perhaps. The best blogs are ones that are personal as well as well written, and you don't get much more personal than music tastes.
So a new part to me new series about all things sexy sexness in games which aren't actually about sexy sexness. Honestly the response to the first part was...mixed to say the least, but who cares. Write until I don't want to, that's how it should be. So let's keep on keeping on with part 2 of the series, where I discuss sex in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. I'll try to be as spoiler-less as possible, but this is a sort of in depth look at the overarching themes of sex in the game throughout its course, so there's not much I can do about it if you're trying to avoid them. Also most likely NSFW. LET'S START!
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was developed by CD Projekt RED (now CD Projekt) was released in 2011, 4 years after its predecessor. It's possible sexual encounters are theoretically endless (until you run out of coin), but essentially it boils down to 5 possible direct sexual encounters as you the protagonists, along with quite a few indirect scenes as well. It doesn't do sex in the same way it was done in the first game, there are no romance cards. Instead, sex is shown through cutscenes, of varying degrees.
Where we left off, in The Witcher Geralt was having lots and lots of sex. Some people might have said too much sex. Regardless of your view on the first game, the second one starts with the morning after some sex. Perhaps he spent so much time having sex that they just wanted to show him after it. Who knows.
I'm jesting actually, the scene is done to establish the brand new relationship Geralt is in (or carried on depending on your choices from the previous game) with one sorcereress, Triss Merigold. She is the primary romance in the game, and their moments in their relationship are executed perfectly with a real sense of intimacy, something not usually or almost ever scene in videogames. Though Triss has vanished for most of the game, doing her own 'tang', their relationship is in no way made ridiculous or one dimensional by her fawning over how much of a man Geralt is, or some other bullshit that James Bond films seem to love.
The sex scene between them is one of intimacy, of believability and dare I use the word...love. It's also three great things. It's tasteful, which is difficult to get right considering the trend between young teenagers who play RPGs and porn consumption. It's also a funny scene, with the humorous interjections from the Scoia'tael warriors and the myth involved perhaps not out of place in a Shakespearean play. Finally as well, its pretty damn sexy. While its not overly explicit, its also not exactly a shy scene, and it embraces it, rather than tries to gloss over it as quickly as possible a la Mass Effect. I'd probably go so far as to say its one of the most, if not THE most, realistic depiction of sex so far in video games. Simply put, its just a fantastically handled scene for a very well written relationship.
However one sex scene does not an analysis of the thematic themes of sex make. And for Geralt, his relationship does not necessarily imply monogamy. Polyamory was a theme which was prevalent in the last game, and toned down here it is, it is still here. Geralt can sleep with prostitutes for meaningless sex, he can have sex as a gift from an elf he saved earlier (relatively meaningless, a little uncomfortable with the whole let me gift you with sex, but hey I'm sure it happens), Geralt can sleep with a succubus in a great mini-sidequest which really challenges just how much you are willing to go for a virtual quickie. And he can also sleep with Cynthia, a Nilfgaardian spy who appears earlier (who I will talk about later) in a relatively friendly and meaningless casual encounter. It's nice to see the themes of sex again explored so liberally, and not make it the all binding contract or something else that's stupid. People have sex for many reasons, and CD Projekt have done a fine job of incorporating it. Not everyone who has sex is filled with deep and meaningful love, some people just want to get it on.
The Succubus quest in particular, is very good at this. In her very nature, she is lusty and contains a power of sex that men fall under and even go crazy over. While the evidence of her nature stacks up against her in a quest to discover who is murdering her suitors, you have to choose whether to kill one of her possibly guilty suitors, or the succubus who could easily be accused just for her nature. It is a pretty challenging quest, just because its difficult to decide who to pick.I'm sure the succubus' nature probably swayed many people both ways, either damning her or siding with her and having sex with her. Either way you never really find out, but it does raise the question of 'Is she guilty just because of who she is?' The game doesn't judge the succubus for what she is, that's for you to decide.
On the other side of the game, if you pursue a different path, you can encounter another relationship, with main character Ves. A combatant who is part of the elite special forces of the region, but as she states, "I'm also a woman". Ves is not defined by her having a vagina, but she also doesn't act like she's not one. Although not playing this path personally (I just didn't have enough time), I tried to research it as much as I could. Ves and sex is a very different barrel though, because although she is romantically involved with Geralt, sharing fluids about midpoint through the game, she is also raped by one of the kings in exchange for her life. The game does not let you forget she is a woman either, as she is the only member of the special forces who is not murdered in a purge, and is instead raped and left. It makes a bit of misstep in my opinion then, that they send her away and promise to essentially avenge her.
It's a misstep because Ves to be honest, doesn't seem incredibly traumatised by the event (perhaps that's the failings of the voice actress). Hell maybe in this world, she isn't even incredibly traumatised. After all, Ves has been through a lot. But it seems strange for the game to just go "Your role is finished Ves, do background stuff". It proves motivation for Roche's revenge and rage, but it ignores the rage or want for revenge that Ves might have. Perhaps it didn't want to turn it into a rape revenge story, but then its just a little strange as to why they would introduce it in the first place. I guess its just essentially that it was a plot point. Which leaves a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth, because using rape as a plot point is pretty lazy, especially if the central character of the event is then sidelined.
The last thing I will talk about is actually two things. The first is that the general air of race and its 'ism' transcends into sex in the game, as characters make reference to characters of a different race in derogatory or not ways. In the first chapter, the general shitface of the town is found (on a certain path) is found to have been holding an elf hostage and have presumably forced the sex on her and made her pregnant. They deliver the child, and she kills herself in shame and rage and just wants her suffering to end. A great bit is when one of the NPC's callously shrugs the whole thing off just before she dies and just shows his disdain for the elves "I'd never even touch a she-elf". It's a deft show into how racism can get into all parts of life, even the sex. Also Saskia finding a compromise between races is also another deft example of this, and more humorous and less racist.
The final thing (Jesus this has been going on for long) is the themes of BDSM which run through the community of mages and sorceress in the game, though one is more exploited than the other. Philippa, constantly is involved in dominatrix-esque activities with her acolytes, and Dethmold (although never shown in the same way that Philippa's) has a sex slave. Honestly its just a subtle exploration of the general way the magical world seems seperate from the non-magical world in the game, especially since their world is filled by people of constant and usually unchecked ambition, it seems very natural that it would be a breeding ground for power relational sex which isn't something seen so much in other areas of the game. It's a little exploitative perhaps, and not handled in exactly the most maturest way possible, but considering the standard they have to work with, its still an interesting detail to add into the mix of already wealthy material on sex.
So honestly that's it. The Witcher 2 tackles sex in the way all games who want to use it seriously should. Multi-layered, complex and (for the most part) actually understanding what sex is. It has its faults, but in fitting with the whole game, its not perfect. It's certainly damn good though.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next part, where I discuss sex and the Mass Effect Series! Any feedback would be great! read
SEX. SEXY SEXY SEXNESS. SEXY INTERCOURSE. ALL OF THE SEXES.
Okay now we've gotten that out of the way. Let me try and explain what this is. "Sex And..." is a series which I've been wanting to get up and running for a while. A vast majority of games don't deal with sex in any kind of way, which is pretty weird since its about the most natural thing we do besides eat, drink and socialise. I want to take a look and highlight the games that do tackle the subject and highlight how and why they include sex.
I won't be delving into H-Games or anything which is designed specifically to be pornography or visual titillation to the point where that becomes the main focus of the game, because not only are there already probably many forum posts dedicated to that, but that's not what I want to get at here. I want to look at games which incorporate sex or sexual themes into their games as a part of a whole, and how they deal with it. I'll try to be as spoiler free as possible, but I'll be talking about the games to a large extent, so read on at your own risk. I mean it also might be a little NSFW, but if you don't get that from the title then come on.
With that, let's take a look at one series which is noted for its sexual content in terms of the videogame world, everyone's favourite albino monster hunter, Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher and The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings which will be in Part 2.
[u]THE WITCHER: ENHANCED EDITION[/u]
The Witcher: Enhanced Edition was released in October 2007.
It's possible sexual encounters are 25 all together, including the mutually exclusive encounters and the extra encounter provided by the premium module "The Price Of Neutrality".
So sex. I never took notice of it when it came out, but apparently it caused up quite a stir when it came out due to the way it goes about it. Each sex "scene" is the same cutscene veiled by a red aura and a individually drawn...well a sex card. Here's one to show you what its essentially like. Each scene is also accompanied by a pretty cringey musical cue.
Get the gist? I hope so.
Okay so as I said earlier, there are a lot of sex possibilities in this game. Well not actually sex, but sex implications. One of the in-game jokes is "A Witcher! Hide your women!". According to the game's lore, witchers have lots of sex essentially and are also infertile. So Geralt is not going round making loads of witcher mutant babies with lots of random woman.
These encounters for the most part, are summed up by the word earlier. Random. There are two of these sex cards for the different prostitute characters and there are cards for romance interests which play an important role which runs through the game. However for the most part, most sexual encounters are relatively casual and meaningless. Some of this cross from believable to ludicrous however, and its difficult to try and understand whether its the developers taking the piss or just taking the casualness of it to its logical extreme. A good example is of a Villager in Chapter IV, who asks for a sugardoll (a sweet), and once given it, has sex with Geralt. In fact there is a lot of gift giving which is then returned by sex just enough for it, even if it is a parody, to be a little uncomfortable.
A big defense of this was "You don't have to have sex with anyone technically" which is bullshit. If the game contains something, then its not about whether you the player utilise it or not, its about exactly why the developers have put it there in the first place. The motivations and intentions are pretty important, especially concerning an issue as socially sensitive as sex.
It's difficult as well, considering there is a big divide between all of these sexual encounters (for the purposes of this, I will assume that you completed as many sexy cards as possible) and the other side of things, the relationships.
You have the possibility of two continual relationships beyond casual sex, Triss Merigold or Shani. The relationships continue until a point where you must decide who to give a child you care for, Alvin to. From that point, you actually spend a brief period of time dealing with a very different character. Geralt becomes a doubtful father figure, who starts thinking about the long term future beyond the events of the game, especially in regards to Triss (that was the relationship I pursued), both who can't have children naturally, but both want a life for themselves.
For a brief period of time, the game manages to transcend the veil of casual empty sex to something more fulfilling, more complex and difficult to think about. The Witcher begins to actually call your actions and your lifestyle into question. Geralt no longer can just be a monster slayer, he starts to realise he has other responsibilities now. It was actually pretty intense stuff.
But you still get to have loads of casual sex. Talk about a having cake and eating it situation. It seems pretty surprising that after this stuff, Geralt gets to have sex still with loads of women and no one ever calls him out on it. Obviously you don't HAVE to, but the fact that its there implies that they wanted that option open, and it was pretty surprising for me the staggering lack of consequences after committing and exploring all this heavy stuff, that the devs just decided to let it go essentially. Just because its a fantasy game, doesn't necessarily mean you can ignore consequences for certain actions.
One thing that's good is the variety of depth and motivations for the characters. Some of them are one dimensional and crude in their sexy sex sexness and a few of them are from the classic "You saved me, do you want to have sex" school of thought, but many of the women characters are strong and independent and sexually liberal in a way that was pretty refreshing in a game with a sexist environment. They have many reasons for wanting to bonk, and the majority have nothing to do with fawning over Geralt or his acclaimed sexual prowess (for all we know, he could be the worst, but if he is no one tells him).
The Lady of the Lake example is really really good, just because it shows that even being a god doesn't mean you can't have sex. In fact, Geralt is often thrown off of his "witcher charm" as they seem to put it by these confident women who know what they want. Even though you are in the driving seat of the game, its not always you who makes the come on (zing). Skip to about 1:37 to see the scene.
Honestly The Witcher does have some problems, it's 'gotta catch them all' is a humorous but also true summing up of a large part of it. And it does create a mindset of 'maybe this girl will give me sex' which is damn problematic, to the point where I was honestly surprised by one of the characters not having sex with Geralt. It's definitely not a shining example of treating women beyond sexy objects, but it also wasn't the train wreck I had heard it was. Sex is easy to come by in The Witcher, and for the most part it carries little consequences. And just like Geralt's sword(s), it's a double edged way of painting a world.
Jesus that took a while, Sorry for it being a bit shabby, I'll tackle Assassins Of Kings next time, and that will be more interesting hopefully. I'm also a little thin on material for this series (I've got a few, but like I said in the intro, not a lot of people deal with this subject matter) so any suggestions would be appreciated.
I am a 17 year old, heterosexual male with utter assurance about my gender and my sexuality. If anything, I am a game marketer's dream. A classic stereotype of everything that embodies the belief that gaming is for children or horny teens.
I would also like to state that I am probably horrifically under prepared to tackle such a complex subject as this. I currently attend college (in England, so its kind of like American University I think ?) and it has an LGBT community, and I am friends with a few people of differing sexualities. I am not completely ignorant to the plight of the LGBT community in today's world, and I do my best to keep up with news regarding it, which isn't saying much really.
Gaming In Color is an important film, I can say that much with complete clarity. But is it a good one?
Gaming In Color is a film about the LGBT community inside the sphere of gaming, like a Venn Diagram where they fall in between the circles of "Video Game Enthusiasts" and "LGBT" members. It charts a path through the recent developments inside LGBT video game related events, most notably the inclusion in homosexual romance in games such as Mass Effect 3 and Fable III, and the creation of the Gaymer X convention in San Francisco (notable now for it having to shut down in the conventional sense for becoming essentially "too popular, too quickly"). It is also essentially a call to arms for game developers to become more sensitive and more open to exploring the use of LGBT characters or issues in modern video games, and helps to illustrate the plight of being ostracized in a place that you already use for escapism.
Just to get it out the way, as far as technical points, the film is pretty sound. It won't win any awards for cinematography, but its not aiming to. There are some minor focusing issues in some of the segments filmed at Gaymer X which are a little distracting, but other than that, it's a nice flowing film which helps to serve its purpose of illustrating these messages.
The film raises a lot of questions. A lot. Dealing with them is another matter. Why is it that developers are so scared of creating LGBT characters? What has exactly fostered this culture of LGBT hate in a place which is usually stereotyped for outcasts? How are devs dealing with it? Is it right to have a convention which is predominately focused on these issues alone (Short answer; yes.) Is escapism and lack of consequences really good? Are games even art? All these and more in your latest broadcast at 11...sorry, I mean they are in the film.
It brings forward these questions, and lays them on the table, like a Magic : The Gathering tournament. But it makes no moves, it offers no solutions beside a reference to League Of Legends "Tribunal System. It brings a lot of difficult questions to the surface, but then leaves them there, floating and bouncing from one to the next without a lot of depth. For a film that deals with such an inherently complex issue, it feels disparagingly simple.
But I can't really fault it for that. In the film's description, it sites itself as an exploration of the queer side of gaming culture and the game industry's LGBTQ presence. And it's a fantastic starting point. For me, who knows little about the day to day trials of being discriminated against, it was pretty eye-opening in revealing the insidious nature of many even good natured non-homophobic people can just be inherently uncomfortable around this alternative.
But is that enough? To just lay out how difficult it is to be part of two practices which 'regular society' deems deviant and unnatural? Well yes and no. It's a fantastic introduction, but that's all it feels like. A fantastic starter, but you're waiting for the main.
For example there are certain issues I believe are integral that it misses out, one of them being the element of time in this rapid fire culture, when no one seems to have the time to invest, because they're either too busy or too wrapped up in this certain obsession. Can we really have diversity, in a gaming "state" where almost all of us already have enough games to last at least the next 7 years, where games are practically a dime a dozen and cookie cutter characters become the norm because no one has time to play lengthy games. Can diversity ever flourish in the casual game market, a place where characterisation is summed up in a single word or sentence?
It also presents a very contentious view on believing more minority characters should be included into games. One thing I couldn't help but notice is that it seems very unaware of the difficulties attached to writing a story, especially when writers find it very difficult to write outside of their own experience (I'm generalising, but I've written scripts for movies, and I know just how hard it can be to write from a different perspective. I also know how difficult it is to write a good story, let alone a mediocre one.) It takes a surprisingly simple view on the subject which I found deeply uncomfortable, because games as a medium blurs the line between role-playing and passive story-telling, and shouldn't be treated just as wish fulfillment.
Honestly the thing that surprised me most of all of this, is this call to arms to triple A developers, the most conservative, creatively barren, safe and homogenized part of the industry. It almost seems to miss the point of hard-working developers like Christine Love, a developer I've followed for a long time, who create games which deal with topics that are extremely relevant to the LGBT community, because it's too busy trying to convince Ubisoft or Activision to start creating games which deal with their aims and issues.
There seems to be an unspoken need for validation by the mainstream gaming culture, or otherwise it won't be valid. And it's fair, to ask for that. To draw an analogy with the film industry, Jared Leto winning an Oscar for his performance as a transvestite is a signpost to show that the industry is becoming more aware and more ready to accept roles which might have proved controversial. But progress is slow, and change which is happening right now, takes years to show effect in the mainstream culture. Why? Because mainstream culture is simple. Even a game as well selling as Naughty Dog's The Last Of Us is a blip when you compare it to the Call Of Duty series. The fundamental divide between profitable, easily marketable games and games with "artistic vision" is a difficult balancing act.
It seems to shrug off the work being done by experimental and indie devs as relatively inconsequential when compared to the impact say if Ubisoft made a game with a LGBT protagonist, but then it draws a difficult conclusion. If this is what you really need, then you have to grossly oversimplify the character to appeal to a market willing to only deal with surface appeal. Gears Of War is an example they use, and the characterization in those games is completely non-existent. Is that what the LGBT community really needs to help bring it into the mainstream, and more importantly, is it even worth it if you have to sacrifice integrity and any chance of representing your characters realistically?
It seems fitting then for me to bring up these questions and not to provide answers for them. Gaming In Color is a very important film, and one we could all really do with seeing. It showed the best of these people, and that is that they are people, not myths.
But for me ultimately it showcases the shallowness of both the gay culture and the gamer culture, and neither of them would really want to admit it. The "It's just a game" argument stopped being useful when people stopped treating them as shallow empty distractions, and now it highlights that if games aren't these empty distractions, and are worthy of our adoration, why can't we start treating them seriously?
There's a million and one cheap distractions, why can't we start having games which treat subjects seriously? And more importantly, why can't we have fun and be open with it? We can expand our horizons, but the thing I don't buy is that we need the triple A devs to do it for us.
Nevertheless, it's a good and important film. Shouldn't ask for more.
P.S This is my first blog post in forever that I actually feel is satisfactory. Hope you guys enjoy it. And a big thank you to the filmmakers, who spent an incredible amount of time creating this film which allowed me to talk about it in my own stumbling way. read
Telltale's Back To The Future is definitely not their finest work, nore it does not fall under its tragedies (something to do with Jurassic Park and the Wallace And Gromit games?). Now yes, most people would argue that for the time being as it stands, Telltale's The Walking Dead stands tall as its magnum opus. And yes I agree with it. The sophistication combined with the brutal reality in the writing and the characters and pacing and oh my god it's good. But let's put aside that whole other can of worms.
Because you know what, Back To The Future was absolutely fantastic.
Look it had problems, that's for sure. The puzzles were uneven as fuck, dialogue "hmmm" moments where you hmmm and haaaa because you're not sure if you can say that without being cheesy as all hell? Yeah it had one or two of those. At times it was incredibly shallow, at other times...not so shallow. Set ups usually involved "fix the dominoes up for 70%, 30% actual progress occurs". And this was definitely not a story with any kind of super moral troubles, emotional descents into madness and tears, and the most terrifying of all
But jokes aside, Back To The Future was a story written for fans of the series. It was not a game to be (the dreaded) "All-Inclusive" and try to balance bringing in newbies and giving hardcore fans (the also dreaded) "Fan Service". If you didn't see the movies, then fuck where you know the story is not a thing oh god I haven't slept at all I should not be writing in this state.
Still though, this game made me feel like a child again. I gasped at every twist, a few I didn't even see coming. I laughed at most moments of set up funny-ness (not a word). I followed every storyline with conviction, and I even got a tiny bit sad when one Doc from a different timeline died, and when they did the whole "Spielberg homage/rip off to dysfunctional fathers" and this game has been out for forever I can talk about the game if I want to, screw spoilers.
But just everything about it made me happy, it made me so damn happy I just feel happy thinking about how happy I was when I played it. It hit all the right nostalgia notes, still giving away plenty of original storylines to continue to pique my interest. I found it to the most part, very well executed, though like all things, sometimes it dipped here and there (1st Episode, 1 hour on one puzzle, I wish I did a lot better at puzzle games).
I could go on, but the thing that made it best of all for me, better than the Walking Dead. It was just light-hearted and a very silly. No deep moral decisions, no impact on the world coming back three games later, no intricate conversational system, no terror or regret at the choices I've made.
95% of my time with this game I felt like shit. 5% the game was on pause.
Look I love those games too, I'm not just taking the piss. Mass Effect is incredible and changed my life in a couple of aspects, and I'm a sucker for all that influence and impact systems. The Walking Dead is the first game ever to make me shed a tear. These games are prolific feats and fantastic works that's for sure, but just for a little while, can we not just have some fun? Do people still remember that word? People seem to frown upon that now, as if fun isn't an option because we need to discover our moral boundaries or fuck shit up on CoD. I'm just talking about good old fashioned adventuring fun! An adventure, a classically relatable yet cooler than you protagonist etc etc. Back To The Future doesn't break new ground, but my oh my does it tread over old one so well.
Back To The Future was a real refreshing experience in a time of such tragedy. It was pure escapism at its finest, and you can't fault it for doing its job damned well. It was fun, and happy, but also a little sad in its own Hollywood way. It wasn't deep, but neither superficial to be disregarded. It reveled in its own absurdity, and by doing that it was convincing enough for me to love it. It was just madcap insanity, reigned in by some semblance of a plot bouncing from A to B back to A to C back to A etc.
I don't care if other people hated it, or loved it, or anywhere inbetweened it. I didn't write this for an open discussion (though do not take that as an invitation not to, I love talking to people about games), I wrote this to express my tremendous gratitude to Telltale for creating something that was so enjoyable to me that it will stay with me for a very long time.
Back To The Future was created by people who loved the series, for people who enjoyed the series. And for this reason, I can't praise it highly enough.
Great Scott, Telltale, this was some heavy shit.
Back To The Future, one of the most interesting science fiction franchises to stick two fingers up at science.
(I know this was a lot rougher than my usual work, but I just needed to vomit words about this game, because it really is simplicity at its finest. Apologies PK) read
LOOK AT ME I WENT TO COMIC CON BLOO BLOO BLOO FUCK OFF. But anyway, I took Phil to London MCM (Comic Con for you non-UK folks basically)and so we went on our first adventure together, and here it is! Just a fore warning though, it could have been a lot better, I just couldn't be fucked at some points, because I was too busy enjoying myself. Sorreh Phil :(
We got to the station so early that it was still locked up. Walking around my town center with a character from Harvey Birdman at 4:30AM with no one around was pretty serene. It was pretty bizarre in context now I think about it.
LOOK AT ME AND PHIL RIDING A TRAIN. LOOK AT HOW LONDON WE ARE
6:00AM and I'm finally here. What happened next was three hours of waiting sitting next to characters such as:
-The dullest 'Last Of Us' Promoter I've ever heard. Scratch that, one of the dullest people I've ever heard.
-A cross-player who I was unsure of what gender they were until they spoke, who was sullen and sad, despite being at MCM.
-A girl dressed as Rukia from Bleach, who was lovely.
-A group of 14 year old boys who were so nerdy it hurt. But they seemed nice enough.
LOOK PHIL NEMESIS HAS GRABBED YOU. SEE YOU LATER, YOU CAN FUCK RIGHT OFF IF YOU THINK I'M RESCUING YOU FROM NEMESIS.
Okay, I rescued you from Nemesis.
Look at this yellow...thing. Look Phil, I got you a picture with a thing...I think it was called Dave.
Here is Phil pictured with white people fighting, dressed as more famous white people. But one has a robe, and the other has orange trousers so its all good.
Here is Phil with ponies, because I read once that Phil enjoyed fucking ponies. Take that as you will I guess.
We even got to meet Mark Meer! MARK FRIGGIN MEER! I CAN'T EXPLAIN HOW AWESOME HE WAS AND HE'S JUST FUCKING AMAZING ARRRGGGGHHHHH-
One more note, Mark also wins the badge for being the only guy there who knew what Phil's avatar was! Anyone want to explain what the hell Harvey Birdman is, because it sounds fantastic :D
And there you go! Phil and I went to our first expo together! We played some great games, most notably Tekken Card Tournament, Rayman Legends, Deadpool, Remember Me, Project X Zone and the re-make of the classic arcade game Space Harrier 3D. Also, Dynasty Warriors 8 was like every Dynasty warrior ever. Tales of Xillia was nice, and so was Grid 2. Some of the games though were pretty average. Deadpool wasn't particularly fantastic, and I wasn't too fond of Remember Me, but it still looked pretty early so it deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Four best games there:
-Lost Planet 3 - Had an amazing "The Thing" vibe to it
-Space Harrier 3D - Eshop 3DS game coming out, fantastic fun
-Tekken Card Tournament - Sweet free app that's highly addictive, has a soon to come real life card element to it
-Rayman Legends - If you liked Origins or Jungle Run, or love Rayman in general, you're going to love this
And that's it guys! I bought some fantastic comics, played some great games, and met a lot of fantastic people. Till next time guys! read
Sup Dtoid bloggers, long time no see. No blog or anything today, but I have been thinking about making a return and writing again, exams are killing me at the moment.
Anyway, every PAX, Dtoid runs an avatar adoption scheme, which I was taken to by bbain who to this very day is still just as awesome for doing that. So in gratitude, I took his avatar to MCM Expo here in London ( which is basically our Comic-Con)
Anyway its happening again in a week's time, so does anyone want me to take their avatar to MCM to get some cool pictures? Just drop a comment and then (if there are any entries) I'll pick someone to take!
How do I write this? How do I sum up 2.5 years of Dtoid? Comments and PM's and Blogs and responses and people and dicks and staff leaving, staff coming, dicks, people leaving, people expanding and everything inbetween. How do I sum up what this all means to me?
My God, seriously how could I ever do this justice? What Dtoid means to me, what it was, what it became, how it has been intrinsically woven into the fabric of my life for the past couple of years.
Lets just say I suck at goodbyes.
I'm not going to be saying goodbye forever, I'll still be around, reading articles and commenting random stuff I can think of, but as far as blogging goes, I'm done. I'll still be around to participate in avatar adoption schemes and maybe, just maybe, I'll actually one day meet someone from Dtoid, I live in London y'all, so hit me the fuck up.Here's my pimpin twitter bitches:
Here is my first blog. A pathetic excuse for a blog, ignorant and unbroken, it was more of an odd rant rather than a blog. But I learned. I like to think I became a semi-decent writer. One of the many things I have to thank for Dtoid.
Oh god, how much I have Dtoid to thank for. I could dedicate an entire blog to that. The amount of kindness, rudeness, education, enlightenment, humour, hilarity, sadness, anger, madness, insanity, loveableness, lots and lots of homosexuality makes me truly appreciate how much I value this place of all places, if there are dark corners of the internet, then Destructoid is that bit in the center of the room lit up by so much light it's kind of hurts your eyes. Seriously what the fuck, is there no light switch in here?
Now many (many is a strong word) reading this may be thinking "Who are you?" or "I remember you wrote a blog a long time ago, so you kind of quit then?" or "Why you filthy prick?". Well because I'm a different Alex, a different PK to the one who blogged before. I've moved into a much better place in my life and I think its better to end it on a high note, eh?
Luckily for you pricks, I won't be leaving Dtoid, I'm just ending blogging. I'll still be listening avidly to podcasts and reading articles and blogs like fuck knows. But as for actively creating blogs. I'm done. Either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become a villain? I'd rather leave when my writing hasn't declined in quality.
But its not that. I've got so much going on, I simply don't have time. But on the other hand, I don't want to leave this fucker on indefinite hiatus, so I'm gonna say goodbye, and if in 4 months or so, I suddenly feel the need to blog, maybe I'll return. But for now, I'm saying goodbye. Properly. Check out my oscar speech:
So here it is. To everyone who ever commented or gave me feedback, I waited avidly for every piece and read it all, even if some of it was mean. Or spam. Gotta luv dat spam.
To everyone who tried to offer insight onto me psyche, I loved you for trying. DynamoJoe's advice still sticks with me today.
To my C-blog idols, the ones I aspired to, both former and still current. Elsa, Strider, VenusInFurs, bbain, Voltech, Blindfire, Wolfy Boey, TheManWithNoName/TheDoctorWithNoName and everyone else I can't think of.
To Occams, your witty comments were one of the only reasons I read the comments sections. Words cannot describe how much I love you for these.
To the teams at Secret Moon Base and Communitoid, I still await each episode with eager anticipation. I fucking love these.
To all the staff who have ever contributed, and especially those who took the time to read my blogs, I still remember Johnathan Holmes comment on my Zombies blog.
To Mr Andy Dixon, for running an incredible community. And that fucking pink dressing gown man. I need one.
To bbain again for taking my avatar to PAX. It's one of the only community interactions I've had, but I was so grateful for it.
To VenusInFurs for showing me The Little Prince, and being one of the first people to broaden my horizons on this place.
To PhilKenSebben, my greatest friend on Destructoid, the one who I am most grateful for on this site. He was there for me in a time of need, and I owe him a debt I can never repay. You generally are too awesome to be my friend.
To Niero, for creating my favourite site on the internet. For real.
And finally, to everyone who I haven't mentioned, to everyone who doesn't know me, who might not even read this, or be checking out my work for the last and final time. You guys make Dtoid so much more than every other game site. I will generally never forget my time here.
Oh fuck, this really is happening. It's all written out, waiting to be published. 2 and a half years summed up in these words. Jesus Christ, it's really been beautiful. This was definitely one of the best choices ever made in my life. I will never be able to do this place justice.
Damn Dtoid, I guess I'll see you on the other side.
I never did tell you guys what game my favourite game was? Well, honestly? I associate good games with good memories, so honestly? It's a spilt between Rayman Advance, Deus Ex Human Revolution and Halo 3. Halo 3 is the game that defined this generation for me. Rayman is childhood. Deus Ex is the classiest game I ever played.
Also, fuck yeah limbless boy.
See ya later Dtoid. It's been so much more than fun. read
Damn Destructoid. It's 12:30 AM, I have to be up at 8:00 so I can go watch a documentary about Simon and Garfunkel at college, and things are a lot different from the man/retard/fish/Will Smith look-a-like I was at the beginning of the year.
As I commuted back home on those fucking trains ( I saw a documentary about trains recently, its some crazy stuff, a more important change in the world than the Internet, so take that you fucking memes) my mind drifted back to this summer.
Let's roll back down memory lane, I was downright miserable. I hadn't seen my friends since I broke up from school, and my days were spent inside, online, or in the garden reading. I was getting cabin fever, and was going a little bit crazy, probably because of all my free time. It was also the last time I was seriously blogging on Destructoid.
The story can't actually continue till you press the button.
Fast forward to November, and I have a social life (with people, not with dolls), I'm focusing really hard on my studies, and I'm happy. Yes my friends can be trying, and I could nit-pick out any other bullshit, but I can't. Because I'm happy. And I'm too distracted to ponder the gaming world and its contreversies.
That's not to say I've stopped gaming. What do you take me for? Why would I even be still here if I wasn't still actively interested in gaming? I took a day off today, just to play Dark Souls and watch a film about Henry IV of France (good, but not great, also it's in French). I still play plenty of indie games, and The Walking Dead was amazing.
That's the crazy thing. The thing that has changed about me. I've learnt "The Art Of Moderation". I've learnt to phase games out of my life to the point where they still exist, but as a secondary area, rather than my primary focus.
Sometimes at school, during boring maths lessons, I would imagine a Mass Effect conversation wheel would come up when people talked to me. SO MANY DECISIONS.
When i was meant to be revising for my high school exams in May, I was playing Mass Effect 3. When i was at school, meant to be learning, I was thinking about Mass Effect 3 and talking to my friends about Mass Effect 3. I probably could have got far higher grades, if I hadn't been so damn distracted. If I wasn't playing Mass Effect 3, I was playing Minecraft on a server with a Skype call. I was just gorging on fictional media to fill a void in my stomach. I read 17 books in the first half of the year. For a teenager, that's some pretty messed up baloney.
But worst of all, it made me take advantage of video gaming. I wasn't able to appreciate it, because I was surrounded by it constantly. Surrounded by these walls I had built around myself.
What's really weird is that my friends have gone through it aswell. My friend was a serious WoW addict, now he's a party skater douche who smokes a lot of weed. While not the best transition, going from 4AM WoW raids to making out with drunk chicks is a lot of nerds dreams.
And while no, unfortunately, I haven't gone down the route of stereotypical teenagers to nights I'll forget (I have a weird ability to not get hangovers) and "illegal substances" (though I have an unnatural amount of contacts in that area) , I've still changed from that depressed, raging, self hating, lonely guy.
Destructoid, you always seem to help me out. Whether I'm dropping the odd comment here, or just remembering some of my experiences since I've been here. First time I read one of Elsa's blogs, or when VenusInFurs reccomended "The Little Prince" to me (that book was beautiful), or just seeing all your comments, the fact that my work was validated by your approval really meant something to me.
And now I'm here, and I think Destructoid helped me along the way. Reading about all of you, your opinions, your lives, your lies, your "Declarations of War" (yes you PhilKenSebben) it gave me a way out, a way to experience something besides my own solitary confinement.
I think the way to describe blogging for me was "therapeutic". It allowed me to get what I wanted off my chest, and the people were always keen to give a helping hand (sometimes a little too keen, I'll be mailing back that hand that one of you sent me, who is James McButtJuggalo?), and maybe now, I'm all therapy-ed out. Does that mean I'll continue blogging?
Hopefully, I don't want to stop. But at least I know to myself, that if I end up never blogging again, it's for a good reason, rather than just plain laziness (or you know, banging Playboy models, either one sounds cool).
One of the people from Communitoid defined the C-blogs as "The Guest Bedroom" , but it's not. The C-Blogs is, at least to me, the heart of Destructoid, the "Living Room". The front page is the entrance, welcoming you to something much more than a front door. And you have the other sections, but I can't be bothered to name them. But the C-Blogs is where the family shut the fuck up, listen to each other, and watch re-runs of Deadliest Catch, Fraiser, and Courage The Cowardly Dog, or whatever else it is you Americans watch.
My mum used to get angry at me for playing games all day, saying I was wasting my life. Now she moans (jokingly) at me for always going out. It always makes me smile, to see that I have moved on from who I was, because to be honest, I kind of like myself now, and in the end, isn't that all that really matters?
Also, if you came here to see pictures of me busting one out, I'm sorry to disappoint you, have a picture of the jacket from Drive instead.
Loves you Destructoid, go all Tina Turner and keep "Rollin' Like A River". read
So last PAX, I had my avatar adopted by bbain as he went to PAX, and me being in England, 16, and broke, had absolutely no way and no intent on going there. But I wrote a blog asking someone to take my avatar to PAX (through Dtoid's customary avatar adoption), and bbain got me to see loads of awesome stuff. It also made me realise what a horrible avatar picture I have :P
So I returned the favour, and I took him to London MCM Expo, which happened today (can't feel my legs) so let's start bbain's awesome journey!!!
This is my train station, It's 6AM, and the sky is still pitch black. I do not understand this logic. Also, I was up at 5, so my brain is incredibly scrambled right now.
I'm in a queue! Also, we got there an hour earlier than usual, so I proceeded to spend the next hour talking to a transvestite called Mai/Matthew. The two events don't have any correlation, but I thought I'd just drop that in.
And then just behind me! BAM! A father and son duo of Umbrella security (I think?) Doesn't stop Operation Raccoon City from being a piss poor game, no matter how touching this is.
What is this? Empty queues at the biggest nerd event in England?
Oh that's much better. Now we can be penned in like cattle from every direction!
This was literally the first thing I saw when I walked in, so I took bbain over to get a nice picture with Knight Rider!
Here we met the writer of a comic about a lunar based satellite which puts on a suit and fights crime. He thought bbain had a pretty cool face. Also, a human shaped moon wearing a suit. 'Nuff said.
This is the creator of a comic called Zombie Bears and it's first episode was called "Left 4 Ted". It was a happy moment. I think he enjoyed it, as he gives me a subtle wink to tell me what he's going to do to that picture when he gets home. I managed to grab it before he ran off with it to do unspeakable things.
This is bbain meeting youtube comedy duo OMFGIt'sJackAndDean (trust me, their videos are a lot better than their name), and also, you don't want to know what made Jack pull the scared meerkat face.
Oh, look who it is!! It's Hollie Bennett, former Destructoid EU Community Manager, and now a Consumer and Community PR Executive for Namco Bandai! She literally convinced me to buy Ni No Kuni, but alas, I have no PS3 :( On the other hand, she was super awesome and bbain had fun to, you can tell by his smile!
Me and bbain played some Halo 4, where he brought me no luck, and I was massacred 4-14. Fuck you multiplayer. Also, if bbain was an AI, he wouldn't go rampant, because he already has rampant sex appeal.
Some bear from League Of Legends. I say no more on the subject.
bbain decided we should go meet Cas Anvar, who is noted as being the guy who voiced Altair in Assassin's Creed Revelations. Also, he was in Source Code, and starred a bit in Lost.
And finally, bbain went to go see Alexis Cruz, Skaara in Stargate and Stargate SG-1 . I've never seen either of those shows, but he did some voice work in L.A Noire, and more importantly, he was selling his own brand new wicked cool (that phrase hasn't been used in 20 years) graphic novel "The UnProfessionals." I've read a little, and it's some good shit.
And that's it! I hope bbain had a nice time, and if he didn't, well then tough shit. But seriously man, it made my MCM a lot more fun knowing that I was doing something for a friend I've never even met, but greatly respect man.
Somebody in the forums had this as an avatar picture, and I wanted to bull tackle him with happiness,because that shit is funny.
Sup, people, just a question, any Dtoiders going to the MCM Expo next week? I've never met anybody from Destructoid (and I've been here a while, at least I think I have, time seems to lose it's flow when you're reading through the forum game of Werewolf) but it would be pretty awesome if I could meet up with all these people who I read about online.
Now, for the real reason you bastards are here. I have Hawken beta code, and I'm gonna make you jump through hoops to get it. Give your opinion on these things:
1) Leonardo Da Vinci
2) People who wear Abercrombie & Fitch
3)Fall Of Cybertron (If you have played it, if not, your opinion on Transformers in general)
4) Why Agent 47's chrome dome is just so damn shiny
Also, you don't have to enter to give your opinion, I enjoy reading other people's useless opinions just as much as I enjoy chewing on the side of tables. Which is to say, a lot. read
My name is Alex. I'm 15 and I hide in my dark corner of the internet writing a so-called "blog" here on Destructoid. I think far too critically of myself which has reflected on my personality, as I'm cyncical and highly critical of...well a lot of stuff.
Anyway, games. It was all about the GameBoy Advance when I was young, and have grown up on an unhealthly diet of portable gaming (GBA,DS,PSP), a recent introduction of console gaming , lots of fictional media, and yummy food.
I'm lazy and very day-dreamy, non-committal and kind of temperamental. Plus I get distracted easily...I'm really painting a rosy picture here aren't I? Still, if you stick around, (I'm hoping) you may find something of quality here, and who knows, I don't think I'm THAT bad, right...right?
So yeah, vidjo games.
Deus Ex Human Revolution
Batman Arkham City
Total War:Shogun 2
Jurassic Park:Operation Genesis
Super Mario 64
House Of Dead III
Also, I have twitter now, even though I now feel like a complete sell out. Follow me and see how uninteresting I can be.