Bioware may be the master of self parody. Only a company completely lacking in shame would officially unveil their next game before the previous entry had even been released -- yet Bioware did exactly that with SW:TOR, months ahead of ME2's launch.
I understand that SW:TOR is an MMO, but even so, it's a ridiculous concept. A concept not really laughable because the game I was referring to was in fact near a release date.
Most major publishers only have a handful of games in development at any given time. Bioware, with just one gameplay idea, has more in the works than I can remember at all times. And with each sequel, each spin-off, and each non-sensical bland name, I care less and less.
I think the fantasy's worn off.
I saw a trailer for ME3 this week and I was almost pained by how little of a shit I give anymore. It was just another dreary, dark, pompously "epic" trailer with more boring orchestral score, more quasi-Star Wars aesthetics, and more ludicrous costumes drenched with brooding depression.
I used to be all for that. I'm one of those vile creatures who came to the series through SW:KOTOR -- a game that's not really cool to hate because people realize it's an old game and has it's faults and outdated ideas, but still like it for what it is. -- and so I have no problem with the more linear, less futuristic Bioware games. However, Bioware has just done so much of it in such a short space of time, and has almost completely saturated its market to the point where I just can't take it* anymore.
The situation is simply overwhelming. Right now we have SW:The Old Republic, Dragon Age 2, and Mass Effect 3 all in development at once. All of them are gameplay-wise indistinguishable from one another, and all of them will likely feature the same boring tropes that Bioware have relied upon for years. I have no problem with games that don't innovate, but please tell me why I should care about three games being developed at once that all seem to be the same fucking thing?
Bioware is, essentially, the George Lucas of videogames. It can't leave well enough alone. Star Wars : Knights of the Old Republic, which I still proudly believe is a fantastic game, has been systematically torn apart by Bioware with unwarranted sequels, prequels, spin-offs and narrative rewrites, and now the entire game is just a waffling, overwrought mess. We had , all of them adding more and more convoluted twists and turns to the series, with less and less respect for the audience.
Am I alone in thinking that it's just too much? A painter who cannot leave his work alone typically ends up with a canvas full of muddy brown shit, and that's Star Wars now. After retroactively introducing increasingly silly characters into the series, and bogging it down with grandiose, meaningless tripe, Bioware has ruined the whole thing. Just like what Lucas did with the Christmas Special and the first (last) 3 episodes.
Then there are the names. Mass Effect, Dragon Age : Origins, Awakening, Neverwinter Nights... what does it mean!? What does any of this pretentious fucking shit mean!? The names alone turn me off, as they give a clear indication as to just how up-their-own-arse the games are going to be. Anybody who hides behind bastardized English or the pointless rearrangement of sentences in order to appear clever and "deep" is a complete and utter dick.
Neverwinter Nights suffers from this as well. Once, it was one of my favorite franchises, but the more complicated and vague Bioware makes the plot, the less I care. We haven't seen hide nor hair of a Neverwinter Nights 3, but we've seen the exact same bullshit as the Bioware series appearing on consoles -- Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Star Wars. Just this endless stream of flatulent names, with stories that stopped making sense years ago, and characters that couldn't be thinner if they were made out of Lena Zavaroni's stomach lining.
Remember when Bioware games were an event? A real treat? Each game was a self-contained story lasting hours and hours, and they only came along once every few years. They were special, and they meant something. Their stories began and ended in one epic sitting, and each one was distinct and always brought something new. Contrast that to now, where the main entries in the series can't be separated from the huge amount of spin-offs and remakes and fucking sub-sequels. Now the franchises is just a grey sludge, everything looking and sounding alike, and constantly in development with at least five games in production at any given time.
Bioware is just a machine now. A lurching, thunderous behemoth, methodically plodding forward in perpetual drudgery, churning out the same foggy irrelevance over and over again.
So when I see a trailer for ME3, or SW:TOR, or whatever inflated, grandiloquent name it's given itself this week, I can't even muster the strength to roll my eyes anymore. I already know what it's going to be like, because Bioware seems incapable of pushing itself in any area other than predictable plotlines anymore. The game dialog is going to be a repeated stream of made-up words and douche characters who have to learn to share their hearts, the graphics are going to be the same stuff that we've seen already, and the gameplay will be another old idea re-purposed to look new, but will likely just be less interesting.
It was always like that. I've just gotten used to it due to the overexposure. I know I've had enough. It's too much now. And it's not just a case of too much. It's too much, too soon, too clumped together, and too histrionic. Bioware has officially lost the plot, and I've lost all interest.
Hyperbole that isn't funny to emphasize statement.
You see, the only game I ever want to challenge my limits in was the original Super Smash Bros. However, playing online is a no-no and competition in my area is inexistent (closest being hours away). I was partially inspired by the SmashGodJoel ''Isai'' Alvarado.
So there starts my journey through competitive Smash. Without anyone to play with, I left Smash64 until the community see how great a game it is again. So now that leaves me with Melee and Brawl.
Melee. Oh melee.
Melee is a fun game. Very, very fun. It has amazing depth for a seemingly mindless party-game, with discoveries still being made 8-9 years after the game came out, and the competition, even down from the golden age of 06-07, is still going strong. Europeans are challenging America's best, South America is getting up there and Japan, well Japan is nowhere to be found. Which is sad, because goddamn those guys were fun to watch.
Canada, well, we're all a bunch of chokers. (Except Kage, which is surprising since he never wins canadian tournaments.)
But why can't I dedicate myself to get pro at Melee? And what does this all have to do with raping noobs?
We're getting at the second part, don't worry. But the context is important.
You see, fighting games have these things called characters matchups and tier listings.
(Smash64 and Brawl have those too, we'll get to those.)
What you see in the bigass image is how ''good'' characters are if you are facing someone else that is your own level, assuming you both know what you are doing. The tier list is how good a character is in a tournament setting. This differs from other fighting game where tier lists are directly based on character matchups because characters are not the only variable - Picking the right stage against the right characters and banning the use of a certain stage against you is a very important part of competitive smash, and a huge factor on tournament results. Your opponent beats you in an opening random 'neutral' stage (stage with minimal changes) and you're not confident enough to think you can beat him on your character's best stage? Pick that rare stage you'll think your opponent never goes to but you practice on and he'll spend time adjusting to the stage when you don't, giving you the edge. Even if your opponent knows the matchup between the two characters inside out you will be more comfortable on that stage and maybe you'll win!
But matchups are still important. And the only way to overcome matchups is by dedicating yourself to a single character, and even then some of them are clearly disadvantaged, and pass a certain point (Middle of the tier list here, Ganondorf) your character's chances of winning tournaments with consistency dwindles to almost nothing...
Doubles (2v2 matches) is what makes Melee for me, and is what makes me go back to it. It makes a fast-paced fighting game even faster and dynamics change almost completely to where Teamwork single-handedly overcomes greater skill at the game. Smash64 doesn't need it, and Brawl's 2v2, while an improvement from the 1v1 game, is skewed by MK.
Brawl. Oh brawl brawl brawl.
Tripping. Meta Knight. Snake's utilt. I mean, seriously, seriously, just look :
I like brawl. It's just fucking stupid.
But again, what does this have to do with raping noobs?
Singles will always be the main part of smash and the place where you get to most recognition, but it's the part of Melee I like the least. I don't have the dedication, and in the future I won't have the time it would take to get 'good' (optimal tech skill).
So I decided that, in every game I enjoy, that have some sort of competitive head-to-head (No time records shit, hate that stuff, so dumb). FPS games, Fighting games, RPS games, I will get good enough to rape noobs.
So until I can find a game like Smash64, I just pick up stuff from every game I play.
Third Strike : Reaction speed, Timing.
Smash64 : Comboes
Melee : Movement, Reading.
SF2 : Spacing, Zoning, Cheese factor
Brawl : abusing shit
MvC2 : Memory for stupid ass long comboes/zoning stuff, abusing even more shit.
SF4 : Churning that butter, Hitboxes and frame tricks, Not jumping into the rape.
Stupid Third person shooter I won't name because you should not play that shit : Finger endurance.
TF2 : Patience.
Smash in general : Teamwork.
And with all of that and basic knowledge of whatever game I'm playing and what to watch out for, I rape noobs.