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11:19 AM on 10.20.2008

"You can't win a Pulitzer for writing about Princess Peach."



Sorry if I come over as kind of a dick here, I like this site and its community quite a lot, but sometimes I don't get Destructoid, or gamers as a whole. On the one hand you repeatedly crucify every movie critic who doesn't take video games 100% seriously as an art form that is worthy of serious discussion every bit as much as film or literature. See Roger Ebert or, last week, Roger Moore.

And then there are statements like "You can't win a Pulitzer for writing about Princess Peach", which isn't from a Fox news show, but a Destructoid motto, where you insist that video games are basically nothing more than silly, time-killing fun, and that no one should ever take them seriously.

Ironically, when trying to proof how video games are equal to other art forms, the argument that is coming up mostly is "But I cried when Aeris died in Final Fantasy VII", citing a game that is extremely cheesy and silly itself (I mean, come on). Do you really think you can impress Roger Ebert, whose favorite films include Au hazard Balthasar, Battleship Potemkin, The Bycicle Thief, Persona and Tokyo Story with Final Fantasy VII? It's cases like that when the seemingly splitted personality of the gamer ("Games are silly fun/high art!") unites into a bizzare whole.

So please tell me: Is the medium of video games, its possibilites and its industry worthy of serious discussion or will it never be more than a mindless diversion you shouldn't think too much about? Please make up your mind and tell me what you think.   read


12:00 PM on 09.15.2008

Dragon Quest IV DS: Some impressions



Since the Dragon Quest IV remake for the DS came out a few days earlier in Australia and Europe than in the US, I've been playing it for quite a while now and thought I share some impressions.

First off, the game is pretty huge - I'm currently 30 hours into it and there are still parts of the world map I haven't explored. And most importantly, it is fun. The overall plot may be nothing special, but the chapter structure works really nice and adds a good deal of variety to the first half of the game (I especially liked the Torneko Taloon chapter) and an epic feel to the second half. There are also day-night cycles, a feature that I like very much in RPGs.

The difficulty is perfect so far. Some of the bosses are quite challenging, but with the right strategy you can beat them even without much grinding. Also, there are no Game Overs - when you die, you lose half of your money and are resurrected in a nearby town, but you keep your items and experience. Later in the game, you can deposit your money at a bank.

I love the visual style. It's detailed, colorful and makes good use of the limited 3D capabilities of the DS. You can play most of it like a classic 2D JRPG, but in many locations, like towns, you can spin the view around with the shoulder buttons, which is in a way pretty amazing.

The interface is very user-friendly. Party and inventory management is a piece of cake, and magic spells enable instant traveling between towns and minimizing of random battles. You can only save the games in churches, but there is a quick save feature if you have to interrupt your playing session.

One thing that pisses me off a little is that the party talk feature from the Japanese version is missing in the European release (and probably the US one too). I know it's not essential, but it's said to add a lot of atmosphere and characterization. I mean, we wait seven months for a localization and then stuff is taken out? Not nice.

But that's about the only bad thing I can say about this game right now (that and that the focus is on the bottom screen all the time, which I find wearisome to the eyes in non-stylus games, but that's a matter of taste I guess). Dragon Quest IV for the DS is simply fun, a pleasant and enjoyable experience.   read


11:08 AM on 06.22.2008

The start of the affair: The Atari ST



I really can't remember which was first: The Atari ST or the Sega Master System. One of these two systems, both belonging to my parents, introduced me to video gaming. But I'm quite sure I spent more time with the Atari ST, just because it was always available, whereas the Master System spent most of its time in a closet and was only taken out occasionly. On the other hand, I still play on the Master System today, still buy games for it; the Atari ST however was thrown into the trash when my family moved - along with all its games. Thank god I kept a few pieces like the beautiful facsimile of Henry Jones' Grail Diary - a part of the copy protection for the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade adventure game.

I still remember many things about the Atari ST, like the loading sound of the disc drive, the klunky mouse, the wait cursor (which was a bee) and of course, most important, the numerous games that showed me the range of possibilities of this exciting new medium I was about to explore. "This way you can experience various adventures yourself!" My father's words, as he explained the concept of video games to me.

The most important game for me - and probably still my favorite - was the already mentioned Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, my first adventure game. I instantly loved exploring this world, being able to try a whole lot different things and proceed in the story (which was new to me at that point, I hadn't seen the movie yet).

But beyond classics like that (Populous, Dungeon Master, Winter Games, Railroad Tycoon - loved them all), there were also a few more obscure games. For example the point-and-click-adventure Chrono Quest, which had wonderful art design, but horrible game design. Most important though it was scary as hell: The sudden, cheap deaths, which were always followed by a really creepy, synthesized screaming sound, haunted my dreams for a long time. The story was quite interesting: It revolved around using a time machine to travel into different time periods. Too bad you couldn't cross a street in ancient egypt without a bunch of camels running you over!



Another one was called Starglider 2 - an action/simulation/puzzle game with polygon graphics, where you flew around in space and could land on different planets. Since the instruction booklet was in English - a language I couldn't speak at that point - I never figured out what to do. The coolest thing I remember about this game is that if you got too close to the sun, the whole screen began to melt. Which I found pretty awesome at the time. Also, there was a casette tape in the package that had the theme song on it. That was nice too, because the song really rocked.



Then there was a game based on the Pink Panther cartoon. Its gameplay was a little bit like Lemmings: You played as the Pink Panther, who had to keep a sleepwalker from waking up by pushing him, building ramps etc. Why? Because you were a burglar trying to loot his house while he was sleepwalking, that's why. Even Inspector Closeau was in the house, chasing you; it was really hard. I couldn't survive ten seconds without cheating.



There is one last game I want to talk about. It was called Hostages, and it revolved around some special-anti-terror-unit dealing with a hostage situation. Because of this realistic and quite violent scenario my parents didn't allow me to play it, which means I had to do it secretly. Oh, the taste of the forbidden fruit! There were four gameplay stages: Getting to the bulding in which the hostages were held while dodging searchlights, using a sniper rifle to kill a few bad guys inside, then breaking through the window from a helicopter and finally, moving around in the building to find and kill the terrorists and save the hostages. That last stage was my favorite: It was from first person and therefore probably my first FPS-like experience, which I found very exciting at the time.



Anyway, time went on, and when a 486 PC with Windows 3.1 entered the house I began to abandon the old Atari, like I did it with the Master System when the shiny new Mega Drive arrived. But you know what they say: You never forget your first time.   read


7:40 AM on 06.04.2008

Best DS flash demo EVER! (Rolling Panda Baby Edition)

You may have heard of Namco-Bandai's upcoming DS pet game National Geographic Panda (Panda-san Nikki). Well, for those of you who can't wait, there is a flash demo on the official site now. The site alone is probably the greatest thing in the whole internet, but once you click on the second pink button at the top, the demo starts.



Granted, it's not exactly massive; all you can do at the moment is rolling a panda baby over. But I swear to you, once you've started, you simply can't stop doing it over and over again, for hours and hours and hours - especially because of the amazing background song that will stick in your head probably forever. And just look how happy the little fella looks everytime you did it!

God, pandas are so awesome. What's Final Fantasy IV again?   read


1:19 PM on 06.02.2008

LucasArts mocks adventure game fans



Today Eurogamer asked LucasArts employees Chris Norris (PR manager) and Jeffrey Gullett (Fracture assistant producer) the one question that's on the heart of possibly every adventure game nostalgic in the world:

"Are you ever going to make a graphic adventure again and why at least can't you just re-release them?"

Which is especially a good point considering that classic point-and-click adventure games are going through a kind of revival in terms of popularity. Just look at titles like the Sam & Max series on the PC, Hotel Dusk and the Ace Attorney series on the DS, or Zack and Wiki (and soon Sam & Max again) on the Wii. And don't forget that many people get an R4 just to play LucasArts adventure games on the DS using ScummVM.

Well, Gullet really has the balls to tell us that "the cart size of the DS makes it impossible to put out ports of any of our old graphic adventures." He says that "there's literally not enough room on those carts to put the games out."

And Norris adds that "we're still making adventure games but they're a little bit different than before with survival horror games and the like."

Okay, so in summary you tell me that The Secret of Monkey Island won't fit on a 256 MB DS cart and that I should go play Dino Crisis instead?

Fuck you, LucasArts. Not that I'm really mad that you don't want to make adventure games anymore - fortunately there are others now who do that quite well. I'm just a little mad at how little respect you have for the people that made your company as big as it is today, telling them such a bunch of bullshit.   read


4:58 PM on 05.21.2008

My Indiana Jones 4 review (spoiler-free and even remotely VGR)



My love for Indiana Jones and my love for video games, specifically LucasArts adventure games, began at the same time. That's because the source of both was the highly underrated Last Crusade adventure game - one of the first games I ever played. This way I became a fan of Indiana Jones before I had even seen one of the movies, and when my parents finally decided that I was old enough to watch the movie the game was based on I felt like it was christmas, only better.

Later I watched the other movies too, of course, and today the state is the following: I love Raiders of the Lost Ark, don't really care for the most parts of Temple of Doom and still adore every single second of The Last Crusade.

Therefore the announcement that in the fourth movie Sean Connery wouldn't reprise his role as Henry Jones Sr. made me quite sad. And that wasn't the only bad thing I heard about it. Especially the fact that Frank Darabont was replaced as a screenwriter by David Koepp because George Lucas didn't like Darabont's script weren't exactly great news. And it seemed to went on in the way that Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford constantly had to fight against Lucas to somehow keep the franchise in the realm of dignity - because we all know Lucas loves to rape childhoods with a spiked stick.

Anyway, despite of all this I didn't give up hope, mainly because the director was still Steven Fuckin' Spielberg, a man who understands the childlike wonder and magic of Hollywood cinema like maybe no one else. Also, Cate Blanchett!

To make a long story short, I've seen it now and here is my opinion: I think it's a great movie. I also think it's a horrible movie.

That may sound weird and/or pretentious at the first moment, but the thing is that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a schizophrenic beast. There are scenes that made me think: "Oh my, that's awesome, I want an Indy movie every year now". And then there were the little moles. And the monkeys. The scenes that are way too much over-the-top even for Indiana Jones. The bloated finale. And finally the single most ridiculous and cheesiest closing sequence I've probably ever seen in my life. What. The. Fuck.

Why is this movie so amazing at one moment and so bad at the other? Well, a tantalizingly simple explanation would be to credit all the bad scenes to Lucas. It sure looks that way when considering the discussions he and Spielberg had in interviews, concerning filmmaking philosophies. The scenes that work are the ones with good old-fashioned action and humor, reminiscent of the older movies. The moment you see CGI, it's generally going downhill. I may sound like a grumpy old geezer and of course there are exceptions to the rule, but the main impression of the movie is a constant power struggle between Master Spielberg and and Digital Guerilla Lucas.

However, despite of that the movie is definitely worth seeing. There are just too many great things about it. Harrison Ford's smirking charme. Playfully executed action sequences, fist fights included. Caves. Mummies. Snakes and scorpions. And last but not least: The many little homages and easter eggs. There is even a small Han Solo moment. If that was Lucas' idea, then I may manage to forgive him.   read


11:19 AM on 05.12.2008

Games that were different - 1st Person Dungeon Crawl Edition, Part 1: Dungeon Master

When it comes to the history of PC RPGs, the first person dungeon crawler is surely one of its most important chapters. It's a tradition that started with games like Akalabeth (1980) and Wizardry (1981) and lives on today either strongly evolved (The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, 2006) or in a relatively pure and unchanged way as a niche genre (Orcs & Elves, Etrian Odyssey, both 2007). I'd like to talk about two specific games from this tradition that were so unique, different and groundbreaking that they changed not only the genre but the world of video games as a whole. The first one is called Dungeon Master.

In the beginning, RPGs were incredibly abstract, frustrating and complicated, suited exclusively for hardcore nerds. The majority of RPGs prior to 1987 is virtually unplayable today. Most of the them were ugly, unforgiving, completely turn-based and controlled with dozens of keyboard commands. Here is an in-game screenshot of Wizardry IV: The Return of Werdna (1986):



Looks like fun, doesn't it? Of course not all of the games looked like that, but I just want to give you an impression of the general experience.

Toward the end of the decade things started to change, one reason being the rise of console RPGs like Dragon Quest, Phantasy Star and Final Fantasy (sure, the early iterations of these seem pretty unplayable today too, but they were still very accessible compared to the contemporary Wizardry games) another being the advent of more powerful PCs like the Atari ST and the Amiga.

In 1987 FTL released what would become the best-selling game on the Atari ST: Dungeon Master. It was later ported to Amiga, DOS and even SNES and FM Towns. The whole game took place in one big dungeon; at the beginning the player entered the "Hall of Heroes" where he could choose up to four adventurers that were magically trapped in mirrors to form a four-member party. His goal: Lead the party deeper and deeper into the dungeon to find and destroy the evil Lord Chaos.

So what's so special about it? Well, first of all Dungeon Master established a new, realistic sense of time and space in the genre. Instead of being turn-based, everything played out in real-time, which led to action-oriented battles that still remained tactical, largely because enemies didn't just pop up randomly - they physically moved around in the dungeon themselves. You could for example hear or see them in the distance, shoot an arrow and retreat - and so could they. Another important aspect was the fact that you were able to make use of your enviroment, like throwing things that were laying around at enemies or even sqashing them with the closing mechanism of a heavy steel door.



Apart from the realistic sandbox gameplay the most groundbreaking feature was the intuitive interface. Dungeon Master could be played entirely with the mouse, no keyboard commands necessary. The cursor was shaped like a hand and used liked one when interacting with the gameworld. Everything was done by clicking, dragging and dropping and basically completely self-explanatory.

Another new and refreshing aspect was the magic system. Spells were formed by combining various symbols, including one that determined the strength of the spell. Nearly everyone could use magic, but only the characters with enough practice and magic points were able to pull of the really powerful versions of the spells.

Practice is the word that leads us to the experience system that was again very intuitive. You weren't getting experience points for every killed enemy, instead your actions influenced your skills. If you used healing spells a lot, you would become a better priest; if you used your sword a lot, you would become a better warrior. It was a realistic approach that let you tweak your stats by practicing: Pick up and throw a really heavy stone often enough and you would become stronger. This concept would be used later by other games like Final Fantasy II or the Elder Scrolls series.



FTL released two sequels, Chaos Strikes Back in 1989 and Dungeon Master II: The Legend of Skullkeep in 1994, but beside the official sequels they were billions of clones and epigones, most famously the Eye of the Beholder series. Thanks to the large fanbase of the game there are also a lot of ports and remakes, so if you want to play Dungeon Master today, you shouldn't have much of a problem. My personal favorite is Return to Chaos by George Gilbert, which is a faithfully recreated 1:1 remake for Windows that looks, sounds and feels exactly like the original and optionally enhances it subtly. It also includes Chaos Strikes Back and even Dungeon Master II.

To close on a personal note: Dungeon Master was the first RPG I ever played (Man, those mummies creeped me out as a kid) and when I replayed some time ago, I noticed that it is still extremely intriguing and addictive today (and even quite scary). The graphics have aged really well too, despite the fact that the stone walls of the dungeon look the same during the whole game. In short, I love this game. And to reference yesterdays Mother's Day - it's also one of the favorite games of my mom, so its greatness is pretty much official.

Don't miss Part 2, where I will talk about the one first person dungeon crawling RPG that finally surpassed Dungeon Master in terms of influence and changed the face of video gaming forever.   read


8:32 AM on 04.04.2008

Gaming's guilty pleasures: Games that are "too easy"



Being part of a "Hardcore Gaming Community" as Destructoid calls itself, where you can hear complaints about the low difficulty level of modern games every day, I definitely feel kind of weird admitting that, despite my nearly twenty years of video game experience, I really enjoy it when games are easy. In fact, when I fire up Metacritic to read reviews about a game I'm interested in, discovering that the game is widely considered to be "too easy" then this can be the final reason I go out and buy it. You could ask yourself now: Can someone be called a "real gamer" if he nearly doesn't care at all about one of the aspects of gaming that defines it for many people - challenge?

It's not that I can't enjoy a game if it's challenging. Many of my favorite games could be described as quite hard. And of course, once in a while I also like playing a particularly challenging game, looking how far I manage to get. But most of the time, hard games annoy me. They destract me from the aspects that I'm really interested in - things like story, characters, art design, atmosphere.

I never cared for sports. I approach games like I approach movies and literature, the great thing to me about gaming in particular simply being the interactive experience. When I deal with a piece of art and/or entertainment I demand a time-out from our achievement-oriented performance society where most define themselves over nothing other than their careers and numbers of people they have slept with.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I don't want to see difficult games anymore. It's great when something like Contra 4 comes out, that is about nothing other than challenging the hell out of you. I have nothing against the fact that there are hard games. But the point is: Not every game has to be that way. There are so many other, more interesting aspects you can build a game around, especially today.

Let's take an example and look at a quite recent game that was critized over and over for being "too easy": Sam & Max: Season One (yeah, technically it isn't one game but six episodes, but in this case that's irrelevant).

I love Sam & Max: Season One. I probably never had that much fun with an adventure game since the big days of LucasArts. It's filled with original ideas, hilarious writing and cleverly designed puzzles. Anyway, every time an episode was released, it wasn't long until the complaining started: "Way too easy! Hit the Road was harder! Where's the challenge? This is for babies!" And I kept asking myself: Why do these people need a challenge so badly in something like Sam & Max? Isn't it about story, dialogue and humour? When I say that, people normally answer: "Well, if you only care about those things, why don't you just simply watch the cartoon version?" Which is rather stupid, because in the same way I could ask: "Well, if you only care about challenging puzzling why don't you just simply solve a bunch of fucking Rubik's cubes?"

Of course puzzles are an essential part of an adventure game. But the thing is: The actual puzzle design of Sam & Max: Season One is incredibly great. You can tell how much effort the designers put in making them original, varied and simply fun - they really stand out. But still there are people that are pissed, because they don't get stuck every five minutes. During the whole season I had to consult a walkthrough just once (and that was because of a design flaw, but well, that's another story). They call it "too easy". I call it fluent gameplay. And yes, sometimes those types of gamers annoy me. Just like RPG players who first grind all their characters to Level 99 and then bitch about the final boss being not challenging enough.

Of course you could argue that I simply suck at video games. But it is excactly this kind of elitist thinking that is part of what prevents games from being recognized as an art form by the mainstream public.   read


8:33 AM on 03.26.2008

10 Master System games I would like to see on Virtual Console

Alex Kidd in Shinobi World

This is by far my favorite Alex Kidd game. It's based on a cool idea, that I would like to see more often. What if the games Alex Kidd in Miracle World and Shinobi had a baby? Well, as the title suggests, this game is the answer. It's simply a fun little platformer that doesn't take itself to seriously. You fight mainly the same enemies and bosses as in Shinobi, just presented in the cute Alex Kidd artstyle. And in an early, sadfully never released version, you even fought Mario (dressed like a samurai and called "Mari-Oh").




Castle of Illusion + Land of Illusion

In a time when some of the best platformers were licensed Disney titles, these two Mickey Mouse games belonged to the very best of them. While Castle of Illusion is a classic straightforward platforming game, its sequel deepened the gameplay by adding Metroidvania-style elements. You still have seperate levels, but earning new items and abilites you can revist them and discover new areas that were inaccessible before.




Fantasy Zone 2: The Tears of Opa-Opa

Yes, Fantasy Zone 1 is good, but in my opinion, Fantasy Zone 2 is better, at least on the Master System. The reason for this may be that it was specifically designed for the system, although there also was an arcade version and a quite ugly NES port. The main difference to the first game is that each level contains of three sublevels that you can change between anytime, as soon as you discovered the warp gates. It's also a really hard game, naturally, and the colorful LSD-style visuals are great to showcase the graphic abilites of the console.




The Ninja

In this little-known gem you take the role of the ninja Kazamaru, trying to free the land of Ohkami from the tyrannic emperor Gyokuru. And to save a princess, of course. But all these things didn't bother me when I played the hell out of this game as a child, and it shouldn't bother you either. All you need to now is that you see yourself from a top-down or isometric perspective most of the time, trying to get to the end of a level with enemies coming for you from all directions. And yes, that is as hard as it sounds, so be ready for a challenge.

Thankfully you can find power-ups that make you faster and your shurikens able to kill multiple enemies at once. If you press the 1 and 2 button simultaneously you even go invisible for a second and to do this sometimes at the right moment is crucial if you want to stand a chance to survive.

The only downside to this game is that you have to discover five scrolls that are hidden in the levels to get to the final boss. These scrolls are nearly impossible to find if you don't know how (for example hitting some statue several times to make a scroll appear). But apart from that, I love this game.




Ninja Gaiden

Yes, us Sega kids had a Ninja Gaiden too. Not a simple port of one of the NES titles, but a completely new game, developed by Sega itself. It came out in 1992 and was released only in PAL regions, so most of you probably never played it.

Despite being made by a different developer it's in my eyes worthy of the Ninja Gaiden name in every aspect. It's fast, fluid, has tight controls, great music and, thanks to the color palette of the Master System, it actually looks better than the NES games. Maybe it's a tiny bit easier, but have no fear, that's still hard enough, especially in the higher levels.

And yes, I know the second screen in the video says "Ninjya Gaiden"... It was fixed in later versions.

[embed]77737:9629[/embed]


Putt & Putter

This is a rather obscure, over-the-top minigolf game with pinball elements, where you have to activate switches to lower bridges, hit bumpers to earn points and navigate through warp gates. I love it, mainly because it's great multiplayer fun. There's nothing better than hitting a switch that moves the treadmill that the ball of your opponent is on and watching it drop into the water.




Sonic the Hedgehog 1 + 2

These are simply good old Sonic side-scrolling action. There was a third Sonic game on the Master System too, called Sonic Chaos, but I remember the first two being way better. While of course not as good as the Genesis titles they are still fun to play and probably better than most of the Sonic games that are coming out today. And god, how I love the music from the Bridge Zone.




Zillion

Released 1987 and based on an anime series that aired during the same year, Zillion was kind of a cross between Metroid and Impossible Mission. You explore a huge underground labyrinth, tricking you way around traps and security set-ups, shooting bad guys and finding codes to use at computer terminals and gain access to new areas. Later in the game you are able to take control of two more characters and have to use the abilities of all three to succeed. There was also a sequel called Zillion 2: Tri Formation. I never played that one, but I read that it's very different and not as good as the first one anyway.

  read


10:49 AM on 03.24.2008

Games that were different: Leisure Suit Larry



The great thing about the various series of adventure games by Sierra during the 80s and 90s was that they offered something for everybody. If you wanted to discover fairy-tale landscapes and rescue princesses from evil witches, then you played the King's Quest games. If you wanted to fly spaceships and fight aliens in the future, your choice was Space Quest. If you wanted to be a badass cop and hunt criminals, you went with Police Quest.

But maybe you weren't interested in any of that heavy, heroic stuff. Maybe you wanted to play something that was a little closer to your life than saving the world - like, say, hanging around in sleazy bars trying to impress some girls that are completely out of reach for you and therefore making a complete idiot of yourself. Those of you were saved in 1987, when Sierra published the first game of what would become one of the most popular adventure game series of all time. This game was called Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards.

Here's the premise: For one night you take the role of the 40-year-old programmer Larry Laffer, who has the strict goal of finally losing his virginity and entering a relationship with a woman. Therefore you visit a bar, a casino, a disco and various other places to find girls, impress them and, ideally, get in their pants. Wikipedia says Leisure Suit Larry is "regarded as the first adult graphic adventure", but if you look at it, there isn't really any hardcore adult stuff in the game, it's all more about naughty innuendos. Hell, it even is kind of educational: If Larry has unprotected sex with a prostitute, his genitals explode shortly after. You know, just like in real life.

The game was written and programmed by Al Lowe, who himself was inspired by Chuck Benton's purely text-based Softporn Adventure. Gameplay wise it's like every other early Sierra adventure. You walk around using the arrow keys and if you want to do something special you simply type it in. That works quite well and is especially fun for the reason that you can do a lot of different stuff. The best thing, however, - and that for me is the selling point of the Leisure Suit Larry games - is that most of your actions are commented on by the narrator in often hilarious kinds of ways. Al Lowe's writing really is what makes his games enjoyable, because even when you fail, there is always something to laugh.

In 1991 Sierra published an enhanced remake with point-and-click-controls and amazingly beautiful VGA graphics. And of course there are five more Leisure Suit Larry adventure games and actually all of them are still fun to play. But the first one stands out as one of the most important titles to bring comedy into gaming. Also, cocks.   read


1:36 PM on 03.23.2008

Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste

Hi Destructoid,

Pleased to meet you. I'm 22 years old and from Vienna, Austria. That means that I live in the shithole of gaming, called Europe, and my first language is German, so please don't think I'm a retard or something if my English isn't perfect.

I started regularly visiting Destructoid a few months ago (now you know how long I've been lurking ZOMG!!) when I discovered RetroforceGO! which is my favorite podcast in the whole wide web since then. This might have to do with the fact that the most recent home console I own is the Super Nintendo. So don't tell me about OLD SKOOL. I own a DS and play modern PC games though, it's just that I've always been more of a PC gamer and rediscovered console gaming not really until last summer. There will be a day I get some of this modern Playstation stuff you kids are so excited about since the mid-nineties.

I said "rediscovered" because in my childhood I was madly in love with the Master System and the Mega Drive. So yeah, I was a Sega Kid, but hey, here in Europe that wasn't such a rare thing as it was in the US. Anyway, my primary gaming machine was always the computer. First the Atari ST, then the PC. But also this is quite usual over here.

I play nearly all kinds of games, but most of the time my favorites are the ones with focus on narrative. I'm also a "Games are art"-hippie and play games for content rather than for challenge. And yeah, I do think that's a pretty smart way to say "Despite nearly twenty years of playing games I still somehow suck at most of them".

Ah, screw you, my mom says I'm hardcore.   read


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