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Destructoid! Home of the brave, the fearless and the slightly incontinent.
I love coming to this place, and it is literally just for the community these days; I've been stooging around here for years now... must be nearly four, and I've interacted with a lot of people over that time. Most were honestly pretty forgettable, but a good number have been really amazing, really genuine people - especially those I've interacted with down in the darkest pit of Destructoid, so without further ado I would like to talk a little about the people who have helped make my daily internet adventures so enjoyable:
(mandatory tone-setting piece)
Glowbear – (Also known as front page superstar Claire Sharkey) How to describe Glowbear? Genuinely wonderful. You know I often make rude jokes about her, frequently on the Scary Granules podcast, in the show posts, and generally on the forums but I've honestly got to say all jokes aside she is quite probably one of the nicest people I've ever met. And that goes for online or offline. She's always easy-going and willing to share whatever she's got with others – even going so far as to share her food and lodgings with other Dtoiders for events and just for hang-time, and she's always looking out for people and trying to help them out when they're down. All round she's a classy dame and the best thing you could do all today would be to drop by one of her blogs and tell her she's amazing.
Philkensebben – (Also called Mike Martin now) is pretty awesome generally, and a really nice guy to boot. Don't get me wrong he's a fucking arsehole and if he doesn't call you a cunt within five minutes of first talking to you there's probably something drastically wrong with him that day; but underneath the many, many layers of crude language and child-like temper tantrums there's a really genuine, decent guy, who'll be telling you how much of a fucking shitlord you are one minute and the next helping you when you're having a bad day. He's also a lot of fun to game with, and pretty good at shit-talking. I only regret I couldn't do more to help him with the terrible shit he always seems to go through.
Roberto Plankton – It's not often I like to describe anything as sublime, it's even rarer that I'm moved by the art I see, but both these terms apply to how I feel about Plankton's work. He crafts pictures only a haunted mind, ever so slightly out of phase with reality and society could fathom; and I honestly consider him possibly one of the great masters of art of the modern age, just undiscovered and unpopularised as of yet. His art is a nightmarish juxtaposition of the mundane and the extreme, twisting the popular into the dark and letting the unwritten taboos of the modern world taste light for the first time. Almost like a reaction to the inane stupidity and unconsciousness of general society Plankton offers the chance at a potential cure ...you need only twist the contours of the box one more time to taste it. It has been a treat to befriend him on the forums, and despite my having little to give in return he's created a number of pieces representing my avatar and username, which I am eternally grateful for. I think if I could hope for anything for him it would be to see his work recognised for the creative genius it is, and maybe to get to work on a project with him sometime.
...oh, and a 10% cut on whatever he makes and sells in his lifetime. Seriously, I'd never need to work again.
Usedtable – (Also known as Tubby now), is just basically a big ball of muscle on little legs. You'll often see him round the comments section on front page threads either challenging people to fights or slamming people (verbally) over one thing or another. Unlike a lot of internet tough guys though he's actually the real deal, and actually a really nice guy on top of it. He also really believed in me when others didn't think I was a dolphin, and I will always remember him for that.
Zombie Platypus – ZP doesn't seem to come round these parts much anymore, and honestly I can't blame him. A lot has changed about Dtoid and I guess he always felt as though he belonged to the older Dtoid, but I can't help but miss the guy. I know him primarily from the forums, where he had the privilege of being the most frequent poster in them there parts, but he also occasionally did a Cblog, and one time even wrote a short creepy pasta piece for a thing me and Glowbear were involved in, he's another really great artist and a really funny guy to boot. He did some really amazing username art for most of us forumites ages back, and I seem to remember he had a thing for knee-high socks :?
Stevil – I guess sans the older Dtoid regulars most people won't recognise Stevil as a big name on Dtoid, which is a shame. It probably isn't really surprising though as he hasn't written anything in ages and his blogs seem to have disappeared mysteriously. I remember Stevil though, admittedly I appeared on Dtoid just around the time Stevil stopped blogging properly, only catching the odd blog he continued to put out on occasion; but at the time at least, as a big survival horror fan, stumbling across the vast treasure trove of old blogs Stevil had accumulated was something else entirely. His keen insight into the mechanics of Survival Horror and its history made his blogs a delight to read, and it's really a shame he stopped writing. He's also been a guest on the Secret Moonbase podcast a few times, which is a treat to listen to, and he's even been on my podcast. He still pops up on the forums to regale us with pearls of pop culture wisdom but I remember him most as the guy it's really stupid Dtoid never hired as a horror writer... because seriously, wtf?!
Occams – I honestly don't know Occams too well, he's somebody on Destructoid that's mainly left an impression on me because of the trail he leaves behind rather than our actual interactions (and I mean that in the nicest way possible.) Like Plankton he's somebody who seems to have one foot perpetually wedged in the doorway to hell, and an ear against the gap to catch the whispers; I haven't seen any art he's made (if he makes any) but he definitely crafts nightmare fuel with his posts and tweets with what little materials he has to hand, and as somebody who's always existed somewhere closer to the weird than the normal his posts always seem to make me smile, and usually laugh.
Browneye – So Browneye is something of a mystery to me, he posts a lot but I don't know all that much about him. Seems like he hits the animu pretty hard, he also seems to like poop and probably wants to make out with Phil loads. Anyway, I like him for the same reason I like Phil, he's rude and obnoxious at times but seems genuinely lovely underneath it all. I guess the main reason he's on this list is because he's somebody who's about a lot but doesn't seem to throw himself in the spotlight too often ...and hey, I'd like him to feel as if somebody appreciates his posts.
Lion – I feel it hard to describe how I feel about Lion - that may just mostly be because of my stunted inability to express human emotion in any particularly effective way though. I will just say that he likes cool things that I quite like – like Dark Souls, the visual efforts of Junji Ito, and writing like you've just come out of an archaic fantasy novel, and that is super; and he's one of those people who I really feel it would be a shame if disappeared from Dtoid... though that's pretty much like everyone on this list (and many more I haven't the space to list.)
Marche & Firion – Sooo Weaboo. So so weaboo.
Strider – Reviewed one of my blogs before it had even been published one time. He loved it. What a star!
Corduroy – Reading his posts always make me feel as though I'm being shouted at by an old man who thinks I'm on his lawn.
PK Fire – Is 12, and teaches 12yr olds. Wow.
Nihil – Likes dark alleyways.
Luna – Possibly a wizard! Very Cool!
Brightside – Streams filth.
'A Magical Dolphin Plays...' is a series of short blogs where I write in-brief about my experiences with some of the lesser known games I've played and hopefully explain a little bit about what goes on in the game and how the game feels overall, before offering my thoughts on whether or not I think the game is worth recommending to others. Hope you enjoy!
Originally known as 'Halloween' before the developers were hit with some sort of copyright notice and had to rework elements of the game, and obviously inspired by the movie, Babysitter Bloodbath is probably the closest thing you'll get to a Resident Evil style Survival Horror game that pays homage to slasher movies. A spooky murder mystery experience where the murder is your own (that you're trying to avoid) and the mystery is who keeps letting all these psychotic mental patients loose at night.
What I did in the game:
I start in a modest house, being introduced to two particularly blocky parents.
I am apparently a babysitter. Hah.
I'm unsettled already...
So we basically spend about five or ten minutes here being introduced to the kid, our character, the basic mechanics and the setting of the game. It's very bare bones. I do a little exploring, get a few items and then make sure the kid is in bed before our plucky young heroine decides to dial out to make a bootycall to some dude she met at the mall the other day... don't judge.
What follows very quickly is we get our first blood sacrifice, seen hanging from a wooden fence, before we're introduced to an escape mental patient who thinks my face would look a whole lot better with a knife through it.
This does not end well.
Babysitter Bloodbath was certainly a surprising treat to play as a survival horror fan. For what it is this game really perfectly captures all the elements of those old-school survival horror games from the PS1 era, mixes them up with the things you'd expect to see most in a slasher and adds in a dash of modern game standards. What you end up with is a rather entertaining, albeit short, ode to survival horror games and slasher movies.
If you're the sort of person who really likes their games to challenge in that sort of overly frustrating, very tense, way that early survival horror games did so then you'll probably enjoy Babysitter Bloodbath a lot. Though it doesn't take it to the degree that a full-blown survival horror title might, if only because of time considerations, Babysitter Bloodbath will have you hunting for items, scared shitless as you're about to be murdered, and wondering why the fuck your character doesn't control more easily.
The only real problem I have with Babysitter Bloodbath is... well, it's just too short. I mean the game itself is really good, but playing through it, noticing all the key moments occur (the parents leaving, the news on the radio about the escaped mental patient, the weird call, etc), it just feels as though it happens too fast. Being a big fan of survival horror games it makes me think of other classic survival horror titles, and how much more awesome this would be if it were a few hours long, instead of half an hour - if the tension were stretched out a bit longer; and ratcheted up a bit more before the big reveal.
Overall I'm impressed enough with Babysitter Bloodbath to recommend it to horror fans, it's short and will probably leave you, like me, wondering why nobody has done something like this in the retail game market before but I think you'll get a kick out of all the obvious little nods to the slasher genre and to survival horror games.