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About
I'm 30-something. I play games and sometimes type things. I summon deities and demons, shoot raiders and wish to settle down with another girl for turn-based battles on the beach, chocobo rides and torchlit dinners in ancient Nordic tombs or mysterious castles that appear at night.

When I'm not slaying dragons or saving the galaxy, I'm probably roaming the open world, rolling into a ball to access secret passages and seeing if my Paragon rating is high enough for discounts at the mall.



For other things and stuff about me you can read here, here and here. You will learn of my origins, my trials and tribulations, how I became a superpixie and what games I really, really like!

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There's something I've just been able to unsee in Dragon Age: Inquistion.

It's Dorian. He looks like Freddie Mercury. I'm not really even a huge Queen fan, but the likeness is just difficult to ignore. I'm willing to go so far to say that he's fully Freddie Mercury in video game form.

Sure, sure, Dorian's a mage from the Tevinter Imperium, a nation where mages can live openly and freely and less magical people aren't so important. This is a switch from most of the world of Thedas, where the Chantry and its Templars hunt down or subjugate mages - but whatever, because Dorian is legitimately Freddie Mercury.

In fact, that he is Freddie Mercury should be the thing the gaming press makes sure we know. It should be the headline, the first thought the reader encounters and we should not be able to think of Dorian without hearing Queen's epic anthems.

Yes, Dorian is sarcastic and witty. He doesn't like his culture's obsession with breeding the perfect mage. He doesn't care for all the preening and posturing of his peers. This is because in his free time, when he's not exposing corruption in his nation, he's composing the next great power ballad HE can strut to - because he's Freddie Mercury.

I don't think the press emphasizing that he is Freddie Mercury is diminishing to his character at all. It could be his defining character trait! I know Dragon Age's writers and designers would rather people know about the lore, world, story, combat, exploration, customization and choice... but whatever, it also has Freddie Mercury as Dorian. If he and the Inquistion don't break out into song and perform "We Will Rock You" mid-battle at some point, I may be disappointed and reluctant to recommended the game to others. I'm hoping the writers thought of that. If not them, then EA's marketing department. Is there still time to throw together a little machinima set to "Bohemian Rhapsody?" I think so!

Can't unsee Freddie Mercury. Seriously.

I also hear Dorian will invite you to some private jam sessions - but only if you're a guy. I'm a little disappointed about that because I'm decent with a guitar. I guess if girls want to rock out with Dorian they'll have to make a male Inquisitor. Maybe I will on the second playthrough - DA:I is a roleplaying game, after all.















Okay, so my brain is exhausted from this whole week and somehow I produced a dozen drafts, two blogs, several forum posts and ran around town dropping applications and resumes everywhere because that shiny, new job I had ran out of hours. As for games... didn't play anything, really, but that will change shortly. 

I was going to go see Ghostbusters in theaters this weekend, but dwindling funds made me reconsider.  Then again, I've had the whole thing memorized since it came out on VHS when I was a kid.



I am also back to house/dogsitting while my sister and her husband go adventuring somewhere - and I'm safely away from drunken roommates that pour water on greasefires. I'll probably swing by tomorrow to see if my apartment is still there before returning Monday evening.

I also need to pick some almond milk anyway because it helps me sleep well and I like having my weird dreams. Sometimes I blog about them, like that time I rode a raft with Chun Li and Cammy down a relaxation river with other Street Fighter characters. 

This week it was just a short dream, though:



It gave me an idea for this blog, though - allow me to interpret your dreams! Either post your dreams in the comment section or send them to me on Twitter @pixielated77 and I will crus... I mean, interpret them.

For extra fun I thought I might use the interpretations to create characters loosely based on c-bloggers for my run through Etrian Odyssey Untold's Classic Mode, then retell their adventures in blogs! I was going to do one based on Podtoid last year with EO IV, but it would have ended up being an adventure where nothing but horrible things happened to a beige warrior named Jonathan because a knightly Jim Sterling put him up to random bullshit

So it might be better to base it off c-bloggers. Then I could talk about that time I saw a deer - before it killed us all.



Anyway, send me your dreams and I will interpret them.







Pixielated
9:31 PM on 08.27.2014

There once was a soldier who had a gruff voice, didn't believe in heroes and infiltrated facilities in cardboard boxes. After saving the world from nuclear annihilation twice and becoming a legend he soon holed himself up in a small cabin in Alaska. There he cared for a pack of dogs and led a relatively simple life without incident. 



He had gotten a memo one day, you see. Solid Snake had been informed that politics and social issues had no place in games. Government conspiracies, bipedal nuclear mechs, terrorists and sociopolitical conditions always seemed to frame his battles. His allies were always radioing him with their perspectives and cultural viewpoints, their knowledge of political landscapes, weapons or what animals tasted like. Even his enemies seemed to want to talk about their histories and the wars where they came from. Talk, talk, talk.

Snake wasn't interested in in other people's lives. He liked this memo he'd been sent, so he posted signs around his cabin to let all potential trespassers know he would be no one's pawn again. 

The signs read: "Politics and social issues have no place in games."



No soldiers arrived to haul him away to do another mission. He simply lived in peace with his dogs, never having to hear or worry about terrorists, nuclear weapons, clandestine conspiratorial AIs, nanomachines, cyborg ninjas, PMCs or misunderstood clone brothers. He spent much of his time by the fireplace carving wood sculptures, reading and sipping hot coccoa - that or fishing and hunting.

One day Snake decided to forward the memo to an old Italian friend via email, in hopes of spreading this new, peaceful life he was enjoying. 

Hearing a familiar notification chime and knowing checking his smartphone while driving wasn't the best of ideas, Mario pulled his kart to the side of the road to check his email. His eyes widened as he read it and then he smiled. Later, he called everyone in the Mushroom Kingdom together in Toad Harbor to tell them the message Snake had sent to him.



There was a collective gasp. The princesses looked at each other as the Toads and Koopalings talked amongst themselves excitedly. Donkey Kong ate a banana and scratched his head. Luigi was there, but no one noticed.

A few moments later, all three princesses and Bowser renounced their status as royalty, abolishing their respective monarchies. With no political structure, there would be no more kidnappings or attacks on what used to be kingdoms. Since gold coins and bananas were also a source of political power and persistent unrest Mario, Wario and Donkey Kong abolished both as forms of currency.

Additionally, all sports were also abolished since Mario looked on the internet and saw the large history where sports sometimes started wars, promoted segregation and used athletes in war propaganda. None of that in the former Mushroom Kingdom, no sir.

Mario then fowarded the email to everyone on his contact list. Those places that didn't take email he and Bowser sent flying Koopa Troopas to deliver the message. They were dispatched to Hyrule, Ylisse, then Spira, Ivalice, Dunwall, to the Carribean and countless other lands and worlds!



Other kingdoms and even empires were dismantled, even animal village mayors stepped down from their offices. The Covenant and Spartans gave up combat for cross-stitching and basket weaving. The Templars and Assassins took up painting and sculpting. Adam Jensen started installing bathroom mirrors across Detroit for a living instead of smashing them. 

When Commander Shepard got the email it cut through her like a knife. This changed everything. She paced around her room, looking first at her aquarium then over at her shower and sighed. She had dealt with the Reapers, becoming a Spectre, fighting the geth, defeating the Collectors, curing the genophage and here she was trying to unite the galaxy... was it all for nothing? What had she been fighting for?



She called Samantha Traynor to her room and let her know they'd no longer be playing chess together because chess was based on monarchies and class systems. The same would apply to the crew and card games - no more poker nights for Vega and Garrus. Cards were linked to politics, too. Emperors, kings and historical or religious figures had been featured and carried on through card games all over Earth for over a thousand years.

Shepard also told Samantha they were going to need to break up because two grown women loving each other was apparently a political statement. It was social commentary - even though the crew of the Normandy lived in a future where humanity was supposed to have gotten over such things. It had no place in the game or their lives.

Shortly after the breakup, she went down to the command center to make an announcement. 



"Listen up, everyone, " she said. "We're cancelling our mission. From here on out we're on our own and no longer involving ourselves in the political affairs of other worlds or even Earth's. We're broadcasting a message out across the galaxy to let everyone and the Reapers know that games are no place for political commentary or social discourse. With any luck, simply doing nothing else may end the war."

The Quarians and geth stopped fighting. The Reapers went into standby. The Council, Alliance and Cerberus were disbanded. There was no celebration, however, only silence and boredom. 

Back on another Earth in another time, Solid Snake looked out his window, sipped some hot coccoa and sighed as his dogs slept. Another snowy day just like the last, though he noticed some strange cubed figures with pickaxes at times. 

"Minecrafters..." he muttered to himself.

Then his eyes widened and he spit cocoa all over his window. 

"WHAT ARE THE MINECRAFTERS DOING HERE!? This isn't thier game!"



Oh, but it was now. Every world was thier game now. With no politics, no social issues, no rules and no governing purpose a universal Creative Mode was activated. It opened portals from Minecraft to all worlds, allowing the Minecrafters free reign to mine all materials and recreate worlds as they pleased.

The Tetris worlds were the first to fall since they were already cubed. Candy Crush was next, then everything in Fereldin was turned into a recreation of The Legend of Zelda's overworld. 

The Mushroom Kingdom was stripped of all its sweet, sweet gold. With no gold or sports to live for, Wario and Waluigi threw themselves on a creeper.

The Minecrafters smashed all Jensen's mirrors, something he never asked for. They tore renaissance Italy to pieces, leaving no parkour opportunities for assassins and no canvases to paint on. They chased the little guy that rolled Katamaris as the King of the Cosmos watched them work with envy. 

What were they planning to build with it all? Who knows? All Vincent Brooks and his friends knew was  The Stray Sheep was hacked to pieces, so they'd need to find a new watering hole. In Japan, high school kids couldn't even escape the Minecrafter invasion within the Dark Hour or TV worlds. Since no social issues were allowed there were no dark realms for humanity's collective unconscious to create and escape into.



Back in Alaska, Snake heard a warp pipe emerge near his cabin, then a knock at the door. Snake reluctantly answered to see a familiar face

"Suit up, Snake." Roy Campbell told him. "We're going to war and we need you."



To be continued?









If some cat is going to talk to me about journalistic integrity, they're first going to have to tell me the difference between hard news, soft news and why those two distinctions exist. They're going to have to talk about the AP news writing style and the more wibbly-wobby feature writing style. They're going to have to talk about why one story really makes the headlines and another doesn't.

If they are not going to do these things, I get the sense they're just talking about an ideal they heard on TV, not the actual journalism I know. Most of the jargon i just threw down would would be talked about in the first two weeks of Journalism 101. It is this early you learn there are processes, formatting and structure.



The front page and first section of a newspaper is going to address the biggest trending events in all corners of the world in descending order. Wars, riots, politics, major economic news, etc. World news is usually going to come first, then the biggest events in your nation, then your state/province, city or town. The rest of the important news files itself away in the pages after the front, lesser news items (i.e. soft news) get their own sections.

However, the importance of the hard news can vary by regional interest in addition to importance. California is about as likely to report on tropical storms that hit North Carolina as NC is going to write about Cali's Brush Fire of the Day. If they both have 3.0 earthquakes, North Carolina will make that front page news, but for California?



So what? I slept through 4.0s in California.  A 3.0 is a normal day, not big news. At best, a paper in CA would point and laugh at North Carolina for making a big deal over it in an editorial page funny.

Ah, yes, the editorial page. That's usually the last two pages of the front section, and appropriately placed because this is where the hard news ends and the soft news begins. The editorial page is home to opinions on the events of the day, but sometimes there's also room for a little satire and humor in there to lighten the mood.

Anyway, so this is where the hard news ends - at least mostly.

Soft news is like Schrodinger's cat. Either it's hard news or its not, but either way it's not front page material. These additional sections of a paper are where the rest of the news sometimes lets its hair down and puts on some clothes that breathe better. Soft news is also the domain of feature writing. There could be a cat in a box writing an AP-style news story about the NFL draft or it could be writing about its interview with Zoe Saldana and how lovely she is when she is not green. 



Its possible the cat could be writing about the lack of yarn-based games in the gaming industry and why it thinks there should be more of them. It could describe its love for Kirby's Epic Yarn and how much its looking foward to Yoshi's Wooly World. This would fall in the Entertainment section or, in our case, a gaming website.

Rage all you like about those Yarn Justice Wuvvers, but this is indeed where it belongs.

Sports, Local News, Business, Entertainment - all of this is soft news, but even these sections are scaled for the sake of importance and regional interests. With the space alloted based on the ad revenue given, a newspaper may have to make some cuts today for stories they could plausibly just save for tomorrow or another day. Or perhaps that editorial can wait a couple days as events unfold, then be revised to feel up-to-date.



There is also the matter of taste to consider. Is the story going to invite and attract readers or drive them away? Do we go with the US Senator caught in a sex scandal or do we expose the girl that slept her way into mangement at the local Hooters? Both people did something bad, but who is going to answer to more people? One feels right to be upset about as it may affect me as a voter, but the other feels more like I'm just picking on someone I wouldn't know anything about otherwise.

Are you seeing what I'm getting at here? If everything was treated as hard news, how would these stories be prioritized? They need to be scaled by importance or the content would become far more difficult to organize and eventually become dull to the reader. There's a need for a divide and variety.

The front page and section are geared toward being straightforward, just the facts, the "Who, What, When, Where, Why and How" of current events. It wants to give you the most information in the least amount of time so you can move on to reading about the other things that catch your interest.

Since gaming falls under Entertainment and the content is so vast during the week, the content here also has to be prioritized in similar ways. It can't all be hard news because that would be regurgitating a press release and calling it a day.

And as I said at the start, soft news is wibbly-wobbly, so gaming and entertainment news are much more subjective. You'd be there all day trying to find a conflict of interest when it might be easier to catch a politician. If the wording doesn't show bias, there is no evidence of favor it and no there are no beneficiaries its just not worth the time or energy to suss out because there are bigger fish to fry.

Some blogger getting a pack of Doritos and Mountain Dew with a review copy of Halo Master Chief Collection? I... kinda doubt that's corruption. That guy just saved a few bucks on snacks and maybe MS thought that would be a nice gesture. Remember, there's still the Halo 3 and 4 multiplayer in there, which is probably worthy of docking a couple points on its own.

If the reviewer got, like, a date with Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Lawrence and a tub full of Jell-O for them to wrestle in along with a copy of Halo 5: Guardians? Maybe we can can talk corruption then. 



Game newsblogging isn't exactly a glamorus job, though. The pay ranges from full time salary with questionable job securiity to part-timers not getting paid enough to put the Meow Mix in the bowl. Some have a second, more sustainable job to go with the newsblogging thing. Additionally, if they wish to continue in journalism of any kind, taking an offer like the one I just described would be very damaging to their potential careers. Its probably not worth the risk - but it would be a hell of a way to go out.

So let's suppose there was a kitten that made games from twine and offered her catnip to like five different cats so they'd like her and her game. Surely this constitute games industry corruption! 

First, the question here is first how you got this information and who the sources are. Sources, their credibility and emotional/mental stability are important. So is the magnitude of the people involved. They might be doing bad thing, but again, the scale matters.

Also, what did you feel was the most important information from the start? Four of these cats seem ancillery to this story and that's the cacophony this scandal rode in on here to get attention. Also, there's really only one guy with the potential for corruption in journalism. 

And really, what does Taco Bell have to do with them? Why are people applying a fast food brand to this story?

Additionally, what was the intent of getting this information out there? What was that? You're worried about the Yarn Justice Wuvvers taking over the industry? Exposing the kitten? Saving games journalism? To stop her from ruining kittenism for kittens? You're going to have to make up your minds here and pick one. 

Do you even know how to journalism?

Actually, don't answer that. I think we're done here. No, I don't think Yoshi's Wooly World is going to lead to an industry-wide yarn-based graphics crusade overnight. I think there will still be realistic military shooters and a safe space for grumpy cats in games.



Yes, twine is yarn, I don't think coincidence is evidence but by all means, keep rocking that aluminum foil hoodie.

What? You fear this will lead to Dragon Age: inquistion becoming Yarnquisition and you can hear David Gaider knitting plushies of Alistair and Morrigan right now? Uh, good for him. He can do what he wants. I might buy plushies like that. If it makes me a YJW, so be it. 

Now, if you've made it all the way down here, congrats, you have made it through the information and satire to arrive at an understanding of the scale at which news is presented and prioritized. A kitten with a twine game caught up in an internet witch hunt isn't going to rank as front page news or even backpage news in other sections of a paper.

For a Taco Bell catnip scandal to even rank and be taken seriously it's going to have to be done tastefully with pure fact because it's pulling attention away from the discussion of the medium. The conflicting voices tell me they want to help the medium and journalism, yet the story and content were questionable from the start and presented in the poorest taste. That is not journalism.

This is kind of poo that lines the supermarket checkout where its forced to compete with candy bars and beef jerky. The ones that grab the beef jerky made the better call, though I'd probably go for a Kit-Kat myself. 



If you want to fight for something people would choose  a Slim Jim over, you go right ahead.








Due to an increase in cash flow from my new job I was recently able to buy a shiny, new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4! It's a pretty spiffy device and a worthy replacement for my Nexus 7. I can run it with a brighter screen for longer periods of time, it lets you multitask with certain apps and like many Android-based tablets it lets you use micro SD cards. As a bonus for registering my tablet on the Samsung site I got a $10 credit for the Google Play store. I spent it on Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.



It was only after installing BG:EE I found out that some developers are not bright enough to figure out how to make games save to the SD card slot. Since I bought the 8GB 7" model, 3GB of that was already eaten up by the OS, the default apps and after BG:EE and Super Hexagon were installed I had like 600MB left. So I guess my plan is to play BG soon, back up my saves to the cloud and delete it so I can have those 2.3GBs it ate up back.

I do have an original physical copy of BG on PC I never got far in, but I tried it on my rickety laptop but it overheated and crashed as expected. It hates all games no matter what they are, so much it blew it's WiFi card a few weeks back so all my Steam games are off limits. So BG:EE it is!

Before anyone goes "That's why I don't do digital" - most of my Steam purchases are just hoarding for the day I have a desktop PC worth a damn. That laptop could run the original Fallout, Morrowind and Deus Ex but not without overheating. You might get fifteen minutes of playtime tops. Bastion and Torchlight maybe twenty. Super Hexagon it will run forever. That's just something I buy on anything, though.

But yes, aside from that one snag with BG:EE, I'm liking the Galaxy Tab 4. Doing this is just awesome:



That and I got just about all my MP3s loaded on the SD card. Getting them all off my 3DS's SD card is a great thing, so I guess there's a silver lining here. More space for 3DS games!

Aside from that I grabbed Shovel Knight off the Nintendo eShop and then Devil Survivor Overclocked also for the 3DS since it was on sale for $15. Additionally, I got Wario Land II as my Club Nintendo reward. Not thrilled about  such a cheap reward but I got plenty of free games from Club Nintendo in the last year anyway. 

Wario and DSO are familiar faces, though, Shovel Knight is the new kid on the block and I really dig it. The game is everything I hoped it would be and it's a very rare, special occasion when I get to say such a thing. I saw a game that was inspired by Megaman, Castlevania, Zelda II, Super Mario, Ducktales and Dark Souls and that's exactly what it is, just with a few modern sensibilities blended in.

Shovel Knight manages to take all their qualities and make them its own, which is better than just being a retro game that sends up the classics by constantly pointing at them. There's just never a moment where the game feels it has to point out another game's elements, much like Cave Story never does. Yacht Club Games just blended all the classic elements like seasoned pros without going "Dude, remember Simon Belmont?" like Drinkbox Games did with Guacamelee. That Shovel Knight doesn't go there helps it feel more classy. 



I'm really having a blast with it and it may steal my vote for Game of the Year. I suppose you could say it is a groundbreaking game, but mostly because of the shovel. It also has charm in spades.

I'll see myself out before I do more shovel puns.