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3:27 PM on 06.01.2015

♪ Everyday is great at your Junes! ♪ (June 1st)

[During the month of June, everyday is Persona 4 appreciation day! Come see for yourself, and get in touch with this latest series of blogs!]

I was bored last night, waiting for when I could conclude my eyes were heavy enough to fall asleep. Too tired to do much of anything, not tired enough to lay in bed content that I wasn't supposed to be doing something at that moment. Anything. So, I considered doing a blog. Too tired for that too, but an idea did come to me. It was the most brillaint, perfect idea I had ever had! It's definitely better than that idea I had for a full-body shave suit.  

See, I just so happened to begin my journey to finally finish Persona 4 yesterday, with still so many hours ahead of me. It is also now June first. "Let's work with this.", I said.

So, welcome to the first iteration of a blog series I hope to keep daily throughout this next month. Call it a diary of sorts. Everyday this June, I'm going to detail whatever's been going down in my world of Persona 4 because that's how obsessed someone can get over these games. Believe it or not, I don't foresee me running out of content anytime soon, so let's hope this works out!

I should cut to the freaking chase and out that I'm not playing the original version, but the Vita's Golden iteration. Why? Well, it's got not only the better everything but more of that better everything! I prefer the new Chie. I prefer the new Teddie. In fact, a whole lot more. It's also got a Halloween event now, which is my favorite holiday! 

Perhaps my preference has something to do with much of my exposure to the original release being through DSP, who is, despite becoming a tad less insufferable since I last checked in on him, still a dickweed. 

For those who don't know, DSP (or "DarkSydePhil") is a let's player on YouTube who's become outstandingly infamous for not only his inability to play almost any video game but his poor attitude (to say the least). He doesn't just get frustrated, he whines. His whining turns to blaming the game, which incites aggravation in his viewers. Then that aggravation incites aggravation in Phil, which leads to him making himself look even worse. He doesn't play nice, but not in a charming sort of way. Not at all. He's just an asshole with little conduct or sportsmanship. 

To add to that, his commentary is awful. He always laughs at his own stupid jokes, he's inflammatory (during the credits sequence of Bioshock Infinite, he was forcibly insulting the cast members in their reprise of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" like a high school jock), and he suddenly turns 13 whenever he sees a pair of tits. He doesn't come off as sarcastic or satirical, but genuinely obnoxious. Dare I say, incredibly sexist. 

My sick curiousity peaked, though, because I knew he had been playing Persona 4 recently.

More of DSP's nonsense aside, it's made me appreciate Golden even more. I always thought OG Chie sounded a little too much like Yukiko with a sore throat, despite them being two completely different characters. I feel her new voice fits to her personality much more while distancing herself from many other female characters I've heard. She's occasionally a little too squelchy when she's yelling or frustrated, but I generally prefer it. As someone who's been around several gigantic tomboys while growing up, every bit of her now feels ever so nostalgic. 

I also thought Teddie's scratchy original VO was a bit too on the nose. I get it... he's a cute bear. *Rawr* *Snarl* and all that. His new VO, though? I love it. It's still cute, but it now has a smooth and endearing "draw" to it. There's still a hint of his original VO here and there, but it's appropriate enough. They handled the voice direction really well with this re-release slash expansion and that holds true for what I've heard from Marie thus far as well. 

This screen does not do it justice. In Golden, the Velvet Room looks absolutely gorgeous!

Quick! Somebody get him a tissue, it snot too late!

Just as fitting as it is the month of June, I begin my Persona 4 playthrough during a week that has seen lots of rain in my local area. Thankfully, we, specifically, have not seen the worst, but you may have heard that the state of Texas has been getting hit pretty hard recently. For me? A soft rain and the subtle dottings of thunder provided a fitting backdrop for my first day in Inaba. 

If there's a following fog and murder mystery afoot, I'm going to lose my shit. 

When I originally played Persona 4: Golden, I was absolutely blown away by literally everything about it. The story, the poppy visuals, the presentation, the level of polish, the music, all of it! Even when I had decided to waste time with Chie-chan and all I got out of it was... I-I don't even know what the hell this is. 

But... thanks? 

One of the aspects I found most impressive was how the story tackled people's "inner selves". It made me think how my "Shadow" would appear before me and how I would react to it. To be honest, I'd probably react the same way as the protags and that's especially if I were several years younger than I am now. It was interesting and totally radical. 

However, having now had a second run with the early sections of the game, I can't say I still feel it's as masterful a set of plotpoints as I once thought it was.

It's easy to see what they were going for and it's commendable, but some elements feel just a little cheesy or inexplicit. I get that Yu's "wild card" was a way the developers felt was appropriate to contextualize player choice, but it's actually silly how special you're made out to be (if that makes any sense). It may've been better to actually just let the mechanics be rather than try to explain them in a way that loosely fit into the narrative. Yu didn't have to even "face himself" in any other way than just doing what he did naturally in order to gain his Persona, whereas everyone else has a "Shadow" counterpart to tackle. Hell, they aren't even the ones who have to take care of actually battling the things!

I could further nitpick, but I won't. I still love the characters and what the story tries to be in relation with it's mechanics (the murder mystery aspect is a whole 'nother discussion that I'll probably get to as the game comes to a close), but it can sometimes come off as corny. Persona 3 handled this aspect better, I feel, in that it didn't really explain them at all beyond "You're special because you're the hero and others have Persona's because they've awakened to them or something... Dark Hour... I don't know.". Inexplicit still, but less offensive. 

To close out each EIGAYJ (catchy!), I'll be featuring some Persona-related media. Namely: one Persona 4 song and one Persona 4 R34. I've got plenty of both, honey. 

I decided to finally delve into Lotus Juice's (the hip-hop artist featured prominently throughout the franchise) solo work several days ago in part for my preparation for Persona 4 and have been both entertained and disappointed. Most of my music is conveniently located on Spotify, but he only has a single album available on the service. Beary sad. Even then, some of the material is far far away from my personal tastes. 

Don't get me wrong. I like "sex, drugs, and rock n' roll", but, when it's applied to hip-hop, it often sounds... creepy. I mean no offense to those who produce or enjoy them, but songs like Buzz just don't sit well with me. With rock, there's usually energy and a lovely melody to it. With hip-hop, the vocals come off as genuinely seductive and I'm just not turned on by alchohol and the artist wanting to see my booty bounce. 

With that said, much of his CARPE DIEM album is very pleasant. One song, in particular, stuck out to me. Do For Love, in fact, features not only long-time Persona vocalist Yumi Karamura, but composer Shoji Meguro! Whoa! I know! It sounds a lot like a lost Persona 4 track, right down to it's mixing and the tone of the instruments. Some of it's in Japanese, but that's okay. It's surprising how well Lotus Juice can rap in English even though English was a second language to him and he has spent much of his life in Japan. 






I never said booty wasn't completely off-limits, did I? 

See ya next time!


3:36 PM on 05.22.2015

7 more things you should ignore about SeymourDuncan17

What's more fun than blasting 80's new wave out the front car of a train shaped like a hot dog wiener while you're being tit-cuddled by Jessica Nigri? Leeching off blog trends! And who doesn't love talking about themselves? You? That's a lie. I don't want liars reading my blogs. Of my many fetishes, liars aren't one of them.

First off, do like me while typing and play this while reading:

You shall feel as one with me and my words (it'll also offset the upcoming sadness). 

Second off, I wanted to touch butt base with the community since my life has been slowing changing over the past month or two and, thankfully, for the better! I haven't been over it much here (if at all), but, this past year, I've been going through a real hard time. Let's just say gullibility, paranoia, loneliness, and ADHD do not go together in a very tasty sandwich. Not to say I've been completely alone or in a living hell (some people even here have it worse or way worse than I), but I've had some growing pains to get through. At 24, I'm going through nonsense I should have gotten out of the way when I was still a teenager. Knowing one's self, where I wanna go with my life, why I feel this or that, those sorts of things. 

It isn't always there, but it's been what's kept me doing nothing with my life for far too long. 

But, in this past week especially, I've calmed down tremendously. I've begun exercising again, I've been a lot more motivated to generally do things, and I also realized I look really fucking cute in glasses. Makes me wanna get my eyes checked like I really should be doing anyway. 

With that said, let's say some more stuff about me that is at least somewhat positive. You gotta realize that, even at your worst, there's something about you that makes you great like nobody else and I do feel pretty great right now. I can feel the creative juices flowing...


1. I haven't finished a single game I've started in these past couple months

Not a single fucking one. And I've been really trying too! *sobs*

To be fair, most of them I haven't been quitting because I've been deciding I was more interested in playing something else when I could have been happy finishing what I was already playing like I used to do, but it's a little frustrating nonetheless. I love games, but, lately, they have not been loving me back. 

Final Fantasy IX hurt the worst because it was such a beautiful game, ignoring it's combat, which I felt became horribly monotonous after about 15-20 hours. Murdered: Soul Suspect had some of the most trivial of gameplay spliced in-between some story bits that were alright (though, to be fair, the stealth was becoming halfway interesting some hours in), The Evil Within plays like butter... melted and caked onto a rusty pan, Bloodborne just isn't my thing despite it's very high quality, Freedom Wars' long-winded dialogue bits that just aren't that worthwhile and numerous tutorials wore me out quick, The Witcher 3 is awesome (if not occasionally flawed) but I began to feel as if I was really missing out having barely played 1 and not touched 2 at all...

Wait! I did finish Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. That was the most adorable game I had ever played. 

I can't count how many times I audibly squee'd at the highly-concentrated levels of cuteness on display. 

But, that was it! 

I'm gonna give Persona 2 another shot in just a few short hours because I didn't really give it a fair shake considering how much I was impressed with certain aspects, but I may just quit that one too. I'm gonna try really reeeeeeeally hard not to, though! This funk has got to stop!


2. I quickly learned that purchasing games from general megastores is a very very stupid idea

Taken just a few months ago.

Bitches on cocaine. 


3. I wish I could be paid to think about cute guys

3-hour Boner Specialist. Chairman of the Bara. Doujin Analyst. Something. Ya know, in-between my photography, editing, and contributions to BareTwinks. 

Why not girls? Vaginas are scary! Did you not already know that? You can't get much more complicated than that as far as stimuli go. They, women, in general, are complicated. I love them, though. I really do. They drive me absolutely crazy with lust. But, I know what guys want. I would proudly, enthusiastically, methodically, happily suck a cock while cradling, fingering, groping, slurping... there's a connection I have with dudes, on a sexual level, that women can't beat.

I could think about cute guys all the live long day, but I have yet to see a single penny for all my efforts. Wasting potential, if you ask me. 


4. I still haven't skipped a night of watching The Simpsons

Go me, right?!

If you read my last "[x] things about [person]" blog, you might remember that I had stated there I had been watching The Simpsons every night for about a year. Now, as crazy as that may sound, given that blog is now over a year old, this means I've been watching The Simpsons every night for two freaking years! How could I possibly? Well, it's simple: The Simpsons is the embodiment of great television. 

Other shows have come and gone and I have watched a lot of those as well, but nothing compares to curling up for bed while I slip on one of my 14 or 15 Simpsons DVD sets or maybe waking up and starting my day with an episode going on in the background because "Why not? My PS4 hasn't automatically switched off yet.". 

That I can still laugh out loud (or "lol") at many of these episodes is pretty astounding. Whether that's a testament to my terrible memory, the show's quality, or both, I don't know. I just know that I love it. 


5. I wanna be in a band

By now, you must have noticed that I love music. Probably even more than I love video games. My days wouldn't be complete without either Spotify or wailing on my acoustic guitar. On said acoustic guitar, I have tricked out many a gnarly riffs, licks, and progressions that I don't do anything with, but I want to do something with them. 

I don't have the willpower to make a career out of a project entirely done solo, so I want to be in a band! Even as my own worst critic, I feel I could add a lot to an already awesome band. I may not know music theory or scales or keys or anything like that, but you give me just five minutes and I guarantee something I come up with will catch your interest. Bitch, I can make you sweat. 

So, yeah. Musician for hire! Or do you need a good full body massage therapist? I can do that too. I also boil a mean bean soup. 


6. I'm going back to Alamo City Comic-Con this year as Human Teddie

Above is a test shot I did with whatever I could do with my hair at the time (I plan on getting a professional to handle it the morning of the first day) and a button-up with the completely wrong color and design as well as a red wristband I taped to it.

If I lost a little bit of weight, I think I could pull it off pretty well! There's also finding a tuxedo shirt with the appropriate ruffles, which has proved frustrating. I may have to do with a white button-up with the flaps serving as "ruffles", but I don't wanna... half-Vaas it... like I did last year. Eheh. I may even try for a new costume each day! But, woo boy, would that be a challenge. I loved it so much from last year, though, that I think it'd be worth it. Here's hoping Troy-senpai is back and we can discuss, in person, why he hasn't responded to any of my tweets or late-night Skype calls. 

Oh, I would love going as a Borderlands bandit the second or third days. Would give me a reason to scream a lot. If Deadpool can bring a boombox blasting Lil' Jon, then I think they'd deal with a few video game quotes. 


7. One of the worst days of my life traumatized me into never drinking or smoking again

I also mentioned in my other "things" blog that I would possibly, one day, go over this story. It's a much more interesting tale than that psychadelic dentist trip one from last time. On top of which, it still involves drugs!

This is where I'd say don't do those things, but you can still do the nice ones. Not the ones that lead you near death or to vomiting in a Little Caesar's parking lot. 

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. 

When I was 15-17, I, like many other obnoxious teenagers did, experimented with drugs. I didn't do shrooms, pills, or dip, or any of the harder drugs like cocaine or meth, it was just good ol' based Mary Jane. I remember my first time and the sore throat that followed and while I didn't enjoy the taste, I rather enjoyed the high. It helped that it was something my friends were doing while I was around and who was I to poop on their pot party? We'd invest in all we could. The cheap stuff (which we had a word for that I forgot), kush, skunk, whatever and made pretty efficient use of it too. If there was one thing we knew how to budget, it was weed. 

The best week of my life was spent skipping school with my (still) best friend as we chilled in my apartment, smoking it up each day and watching movies like Next Friday and Mrs. Doubtfire. And eating several pizzas and bags of cheese puff twists (remember those?) and Sour Patch watermelons in the process. Those were the fucking days, man.

You know what "shotgunning" is? It's when you and someone else exchange the smoke from your hits, mouth to mouth. It was so hot. 

However, one day, fate had decided I was to have a wake-up call. A blessing in disguise? For all I know, I could have made an even worse mistake later in life if not been for this day. I think about this all the time and it's a little scary. For as stupid as I was back then, I can't imagine I would have ever gotten into harder drugs or have drunken myself silly enough to deeply regret my actions later (or not be around to regret my actions), but, then again, half the crap I did when I was a teenager I can't believe now. 

A friend of a friend of mine came over and said that he had gotten his hands on the dopest of the dope. He called it "lemonade", but I... don't think it was lemonade (a little research brings up what is known as "tincture of cannabis"). After a brief assurance that it was all on the up and up, he poured me about 3 or 4 cups. I drank it and, almost immediately, I was smiling from ear to ear. It was great shit. My friend of friends gulped down even more than I, though taking it far less on the nose. He was a chief amongst us druggies. Actually, a really awesome dude, now that I think about it. I miss him. 


That friend of mine whom I was closer with was with us and he, for whatever reason, decided to not have any. He probably wanted a dinner and a show because not 5 minutes into downing our glasses, we were ordering pizza. Minutes more go by and me and Soloman (the friend of friends) were, naturally, still flyin' sky high, anxiously awaiting when we found it best to start our drive down to Little Caesar's. 

When that time came, we got into Solo's car (with him at the helm, no less) and headed on out. 

Mere moments pass and I started to feel incredibly claustrophobic, panicing and proclaiming that I wanted out this instant. My friend tried to calm me down, but then even Solo started chiming in. "Ohhhhh, it's not just him. I'm feeling wierd too, man.". Solo and my friend began arguing over whether they were to pull over or not, while I sat in the back getting worse by the second. 

Eventually, I went deaf. I looked left to right from my back seat and all I could hear was through a muffled filter like I had witnessed a close-proximity explosion. Then, I began seeing a grey tunnel. It wasn't even going through my head that I should maybe attempt to stay awake. I think I was too afraid to consider it. Sure enough, I "greyed" out and the next thing I remember is climbing out of the car and vomiting. As I looked up, I noticed we had arrived at Little Caesar's in the end. I guess my friend convinced Solo to keep driving, even in his and my states. 

Fucking asshole. 

My mom arrived to pick me up, but with the surprise addition of my best friend who was now being treated to the sight of me, eyes barely open, vomit dripping down my clothes, and my speech hardly intelligible. Great. I also had to have her and my other friend watch as my mom gave me a bath because I could barely move without help. Perfect! 

A bit of solace, as after I had dressed myself while, somehow, simultaneously lying on the floor, I literally crawled into the next room and got into my mom's bed. Lemme tell y'all, that bed was like heaven. I absolutely sank into those sheets. Assuming the worst of it was over, I could now relax. Even my best friend barging into the room to give me the whole "You're so stupid! But, I'm glad you're okay." speech couldn't faze me. All I had to say to her as I stared at her with a smile and blurred vision was "... God, you're so beautiful.". I meant it, too. I'm not sure if she knew that. 

From what I could see, she smiled back, but then quickly launched back into the other room to yell at my friend for letting me do what I did. According to my mom, she gave him a real what-fer.

See, that's a motherfucking best friend. God, I loved her so much, and not just as a friend. I'm getting teary-eyed just thinking about it. What a dame. 


So yeah. Before that afforementioned dentist trip, that had been the worst day of my life. I stayed in bed for two days, with The Road to El Dorado on repeat on the TV near me. I didn't care. I just needed something besides quiet self-reflection because I probably didn't actually sleep but several hours during those two days despite almost always having my eyes closed and my strength drained. 

From then on, for the longest time, the idea of picking up another pipe or glass of alcohol made me shake. I did try smoking with my best friend and an acquaintance of her's some time after, but I ended up ruining it for both of them. 

To this day, I don't drink. However, I wouldn't mind seeing recreational pot legalized. It'd probably do wonders for my anxieties. 


6:22 AM on 05.18.2015

My mom gives us the skinny on the sexiest men in gaming

Somewhere in deep South Texas, born and raised, on the playground was where she probably spent some time at... is a woman that has been, to me, in several ways, the most important person in my life. She birthed me, she fed me, she protected me, she never judged and always helped out whenever I needed it, and she bought me a lot of awesome video games. Way too many, at that. I even still mooch off of her and she obliges with nary a leering glance. Like any person, she isn't perfect, but she is still lovely and great and caring. And I love her very much. 

This is why I have decided to poll her on the video game world's sexiest men. 

In this slightly awkward interview, I lay out who I believe might catch her fancy as well as some characters who I would be surprised to have her find attractive. I asked her not to take it too seriously in that respect, but, alas, we don't exactly carry the same sense of humor. Had she, I would have gone reeeeally out there. Prepare for some mostly blunt responses, but I think we'll have some fun nonetheless. 

In no way do my biases work towards convincing her that some characters are better than others. I can assure you of that


Me: Mom? 

Mom: Yes?

Me: Ever heard of games journalism? 

Mom: Uhh... I guess? Yeah.

Me: Well, that's what I'm about to do some of. 

Mom: Okay...

Me: I maintain a somewhat popular blog on Destructoid and I thought it'd be cute, funny, stupid, lighthearted, etc. to poll you on some of video games' most sexy men. Because I know you like men and stuff. 

Mom: (laughs) Ummm...

Me: It'll be fun! And it won't be but for a few minutes.

Mom: Uhh, alright. 

Me: Awesome!


Geralt (The Witcher)

Me: Since there's a third game in the Witcher series coming up very soon, in honor of that, what do you think of Geralt? 

Mom: .... think of him as far as what? 

Me: Well, his physical appearance, his attitude...

Mom: How do I know his attitude?

Me: Well, I'll tell you! 

I don't wanna describe him as a sleaze when it comes to love, but he's kind of a... I guess a one-night stand sort of guy. 

Mom: Oh. 

Me: Kind of a love 'em and leave dude. 

Mom: Look-wise, yes. Attitude, no. 

If that's who he is, that's who he is, but it doesn't make him a bad person. 

Me: Well, no. There's nothing wrong with a one-night stand as long as it's consensual.


Trevor (Grand Theft Auto)

Me: Trevor... Trevor's a reeeeal shitty person.

Mom: Look-wise? ... kind of the same deal.


... you mean as far as my tastes?

Me: Yeah. He's a schizophrenic, he's...

Mom: Oh yeah, that's my type! (chuckles)

Me: ... he's a murderer, he's... (laughs)

Mom: (laughs) No. Not even cute. 

Me: Well, you can always go for the "face with personality" card.

Mom: Ehh, no.

Me: Ok!

Mom: Especially when he's a schizo-murderer, no. 

Me: And he's an asshole, at that. Even ignoring the murder, he's a real asshole. 


Dante (Devil May Cry)

Me: Gettin' into some pretty boys, here's Dante from Devil May Cry. 

Mom: Yeah!

Me: He's a demon hunter...

Mom: Yeah!

Me: ... and he's a good guy, for the most part. And he's kind of a "Totally radical!" kind of guy. Cool 90's bad type. 

I was thinking maybe he'd be too young for you.

Mom: Well, yeeeeeah. I didn't think we'd be going for that part.

Me: Yeah, but physically and attitude...

Mom: Yes!

Me: You wouldn't be, at all, turned off by his personality? 

Mom: Well... I guess not. I don't think I'd go for someone saying "Totally radical!", but... (laughs)

Me: Well, he has that kind of persona. 

Mom: Somebody my age wouldn't be saying that!

Me: Like, something he says in Devil May Cry 3 is "This party's gettin' crazy! Let's rock!"

Mom: It might make me laugh, but...

Me: Yeah! He'd make ya laugh. 


Dante (DmC)

Me: Now, there was actually a reboot of Devil May Cry in the form of DmC. This is Dante from that. He's more of a ruffian, rebel-type.

Mom: He's cute.

Me: This is a prequel to Devil May Cry, but it was also meant to be a reboot somehow and... he's not an ass, he's just kind of a flawed character. 

Mom: His body looks bigger than his head...

Me: (laughs) It's probably just the angle. I'll find a new picture.

Mom: That's better. 

Me: He's also a one-night stand sort of character. Until he became the Dante you saw before. He cleaned up a tad and just became a cool, fun character. 


Anders (Dragon Age)

Me: This is actually somebody I don't know anything about. I've just played the games... sort of. His name is Anders.

Mom: Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Me: Just from looking at his picture, he's probably very snarky.

So, physically, he's your type?

Mom: Hmm... yeah, I guess so. 

Me: I'm not sure of his sexual preference. Considering the games he's in, he could be homosexual. So... no chance with him!

Mom: Ah. 


Varric (Dragon Age)

Me: How do you feel about short men?

Mom: Nah! They have to be at least my height.

Me: (laughs) Well then, you may not like Varric from Dragon Age. 

Mom: Not saying I'm not attracted to 'em, it's just... no.

Me: Physically, not even? 

Mom: Mmm no.

Me: He's another cool, suave character. Makes ya laugh. He's a writer!


Kuja (Final Fantasy)

Me: Getting into some Japanese designs, so it may really not be your type, but here's Kuja from Final Fantasy. 

Mom: Mmmm... not really.

Me: Too skinny? Too...

Mom: Too skinny, for one.

Me: Too dismissive looking, too evil...?

Mom: I can't even see what he looks like! (the picture is rather small)

Me: Well, here's a cosplay of 'em...

Mom: Too feminine looking. 

Me: (laughs) Yeah, that's pretty much Japanese character design in a nutshell when it comes to younger characters or even the villians. 

The mindset behind that, I'm not sure of.

And if it means anything, here's his "Trance" form where he becomes somewhat of a beastly version of his former self...

Mom: Mmm, no. 

I'm not sure if that's any better.


Squall (Final Fantasy)

Me: Getting into some more Final Fantasy characters, here's Squall. 

Mom: He's got too much of a little boy face. He looks like he's about 17.

Me: Yeah. He might actually be more 15 or 16, but sometimes when Japanese games are localized into English, they might bump up the ages to more reflect our idea of what's legal by making them 17-18. 

Mom: His legs are longer than his body!

I'd say no.

Me: So, too young for ya?

Mom: Waaaaaaaaaaay too young.


Nsync (Final Fantasy)

Me: Final Fantasy XV is coming out soon enough and I wanted to get your opinion on, actually, all the main characters at once. 

They're pretty much a boy band fetishist's dream. The joke around the collective community is that they practically look like a boy band.

Mom: Mmm. That's what they look like. 

Me: Well, from what you can tell from this picture, which do you like? One? All? None?

Mom: (points to the right, first from the middle) He's cute.

Me: Okay. 

And I assume that guy (points to the right, back from the middle) is too young looking for ya?

Mom: That's, yeah, er... no. Not with that hair. And the color.

Me: And it's the hair with this guy too? (points to middle)

Mom: Yeah. 

Me: There's a lot of that going around in Japanese character design as well. 


Chris Redfield (Resident Evil)

Me: There's actually two versions of Chris Redfield. Here's the older one from the classic era. 

Mom: Mmhm. 

(throws hands up) I guess!

Me: Well, here's his Resident Evil 5 and 6 model. On steroids, basically.

Mom: (chuckles) Yeah.

Me: Too big for ya? Not into muscles?

Mom: Not that big! That's like Arnold Schwarzenagger big!

Me: He's bigger than Arnold Schwarzenagger!

Mom: Or The Rock. That's almost too much!

Me: Well, the face. What about the face? 

Mom: Yeah!


Leon Kennedy (Resident Evil)

Me: Here's Leon from the same franchise. 

Mom: I remember him from the movie!

Me: Did he look like that at all? 

Mom: Ehh, kind of.

Me: You like 'em here?

Mom: Yeah!

Me: The hair too pretty boyish for ya?

Mom: Yeah, but just as long as it's not overboard.


Danny (Game Grumps, Ninja Sex Party, Starbomb, etc.)

Me: Surprise! This one's real. His name's Danny, most famous probably from Game Grumps.

Mom: No!

Me: Too young for ya? The hair? 

Mom: Everything. 

Me: (laughs)

Me: Nothin'?

Mom: Well, he's not ugly.

Me: No. 

He's sort of a whacky, fun dude. Stupid humor can be his thing.

Mom: And personality sometimes makes up for everything.

Me: Of course! Long-standing relationships just about require a good personality. 

Mom: Looks don't always matter. 

As your grandma always told me, "You should marry your best friend.". I thought she was crazy!


Jacob (Mass Effect)

Me: I wanted to find a decent African American character to showcase. Unfortunately, there aren't many centralized African American, Hispanic, etc. characters in general. But, here's one. Name's Jacob from Mass Effect. 

Mom: (nods head) Mmhmm!

Me: He's a very fit dude. A military man. Very stern and to the point. "Hoorah!" and all that. 

Mom: That's okay. 

Yeah. Nice lookin' guy. 

Me: To the best of my recollection, most, if not all, these human characters were modeled off actual people. So, it's not super weird!

Mom: Okay!

Me: With that said...


Thane (Mass Effect)

Me: He's actually an alien, but he's... human-esque. Here's Thane from Mass Effect.

He's a tragic character. Told to the player that he is potentially to die very soon, he's now trying to simply do all that he can for the greater good before that time may come. A very sweet, gentle, soft spoken character. 

But, well, he's an alien. Not your type?

Mom: No! (chuckles)

Me: (laughs) Okay!

... couldn't even maybe get past the alien looks? If he were a nice g-...

Mom: No!

Me: Okay, okay!


MaleShep (Mass Effect) 

Me: Back to human characters, this is the main male character from Mass Effect. Named Shepard.

Mom: Yeah!

Me: Depending on how you play, you can have him be an asshole, a middle ground guy, or a nice guy. So, I suppose his attitude doesn't really matter at that point. 

Purely based off physical appearance...

Mom: Yeah!


James Sunderland (Silent Hill)

Mom: Yeah!

Me: He's a broken character. 

You wouldn't care if he were the type of guy to come to you about his problems, maybe cry a bit... just be generally emotional? 

Mom: No.

Me: You don't care? 

Mom: No, I would care!

I mean, to a point.

Me: He's just a depressed character. His wife died, then he gets a note from who might be his dead wife, possibly crazy...

Mom: That's a loooooot of emotional baggage. No. 


Troy Baker (everything)

Me: Another actual person. 

This is one of the people I met at Comic-Con last year, Troy Baker.

Mom: Hmmm... cute. Pretty boy.

Me: I think he looks better with a beard, so...

Mom: That's a nice looking guy!

Me: Like 'em better with the beard?

Mom: Yeah!


Salvador (Borderlands)

Me: Here is a more cartoon-y character. Name's Salvador from Borderlands. Another short dude, but he's not ugly...

Mom: Not for me. 

Me: The beard? The hair? Short stature? 

Mom: Yeeeah. 

Me: Everything? 

Mom: Evvvverything.

Me: (laughs)

Me: Nothin'?

Mom: No. He looks like a troll. 


Faust (Guilty Gear)

Me: How do you feel about men with bags over their heads?

Mom: ............


Yeah, no.


Ratchet (Ratchet & Clank)

Me: You remember me playing Ratchet & Clank? 

Mom: (knows what's coming) (chuckle) Yeeesss.

Me: How do you feel about anthropomorphic characters? Ratchet!

Mom: ... other than being cute...

Me: Nothin'? 

Mom: I caaaaan't say.

Me: Some actually find characters like these sexually attractive.

Mom: And, hey, that's them!

Me: Yeah! (nervous) More power to 'em! 

(inner conflict)


Captain Qwark (Ratchet & Clank)

Me: Okay, fine. Here's a human from the same series. He's just a very exaggerated figure. Named Captain Qwark.

Mom: He looks like someone that would probably make me laugh...

Me: Yeah...

Me: Eh? 

Mom: Can't say it does anything for me. The nothin'!

Me: He's an egotisical sort of guy, but not straight up evil or even kind of evil. At least, not now he isn't. He just simply thinks more of himself, trying to be the hero he's made himself out to be. 

So, physically and attitude, not your type?

Mom: (shakes head)

Me: Alright!


Dr. Nefarious (Ratchet & Clank)

Mom: Oh! I know him!

But... from where? 

Me: Probably from Ratchet & Clank, which I played a lot of when I was younger.

Dr. Nefarious is an evil mastermi-... well, not a "mastermind". He's sort of a clutz. But, he is evil. (impersonates) Sounds kind of like this! (end) And he thinks he's great, but he's not so great. Gets things done, but it always blows up in his face. 

Mom: Nooooo.

Me: Well, just imagine flesh over those robot parts, then maybe... (I forgot to show her his human form)

Mom: No!

Me: (laughs)


Peppy Hare (Star Fox)

Me: You sure on the anthro characters? Peppy Hare?

Mom: (minor frustration) They're cute!

Me: Alright!

I was hoping you'd surprise me and say "Oh! I'd do that!". 

Mom: Ugh. Nice. 


Monkey (Enslaved: Odyssey to the West)

(Note: I could swear Monkey was actually part monkey and had a tail. I realized far too late that I was way off. I even played the game! Agh!)

Me: Well, how about half-animal, half-human characters? Here's Monkey from Enslaved. 

Mom: Got a cute face...

Me: The tail wouldn't bother ya?

Mom: I guess not.

Me: You can't imagine that coming into play in the relationship? Ya know...

Mom: C'mon!

Me: WHAT?!


Adam Jensen (Deus Ex)

Me: Adam Jensen. 

Again, he's the kind of character where you can play good, bad, neutral, so his personality is up in the air.

Mom: Yeah! Cute.

Me: It's weird what you consider "cute", I consider more rugged and masculine. 

Mom: It's just what I like!

Me: That just a word you use willy nilly? 

Mom: Well, alright, "he's a good looking guy". 

Me: Alright then!

And he's augmented. So, he's got heightened perception, strength, durability, and so on. Might wanna take that into consideration. He's probably very much your type. 


ProJared (ProJared)

Me: Another real human! His alias is ProJared.

Mom: Ooooooooh no!

Me: Oh no? (chuckle)

He's got kind of a Steve Buscemi charm about 'em. 

Mom: I'm sure that makes him very funny, but as far as looks...

Me: And he is a funny guy! He's a game reviewer. He's a pretty funny guy, yeah.

Me: Not even in his best pictures, a liiiiiittle bit? 

Mom: Mmm, can't say that. 

Me: Oh, okay. 

Mom: No offense to 'em.


Isaac Clarke (Dead Space)

Me: Now, this is somebody you probably want to, emotionally, stay clear of. Name's Isaac from Dead Space. 

Mom: Ehhhhhh... not too bad. 

Me: He even looks pretty emotionally distressed in this picture.

Mom: Looks pretty much mental in that picture. 

Me: He... he has a reason for being crazy because of what happens in the first game, but yeah. He is crazy. 

Mom: Yeeeeah. 

Me: He wouldn't kill ya, but he'd probably cry during sex.

Mom: Emotionally unstable?

Me: Oh yeah. 

So, again, too much emotional baggage? 

Mom: Yep. I've got too much of my own stuff to deal with. I don't need someone else's. 

Me: Well, not to say you wouldn't at all help out someone, emotionally, if they needed it.

Mom: I didn't say that!

Me: Alright, alright!


Link (Legend of Zelda)

Me: Nooooow... you may see some child photos...

Mom: (looks dreadfully worried)

Me: ... but, we'll be focusing on adult Link. For obvious reasons.

Mom: Yeeeeah. 

Me: He is a young, pretty boy. But, he is legal! 

Mom: Yeah, I don't do pretty boys. 

See, Janice (mom's friend) is the pretty boy lover. 

Me: That's what I thought! I thought interviewing her would be a lot more interesting!

Mom: She probably would be.

Me: Yeah!... no offense to you.

Me: Nothin'? 

Mom: No. Like I said, he's too much of a pretty boy. 

Me: Okay. 

You wouldn't imagine, maybe, because he's younger that'd mean he was more agile, energetic, fun to be around...

Mom: No!

Me: Fine, geez!


Nathan Drake (Uncharted)

Me: Here's Nathan Drake from Uncharted. 

He's pretty much a carbon copy of Indiana Jones. He's a smart alek, suave...

Mom: Mmhmm! Yeah!

Me: ... he's a treasure hunter, raids tombs, ancient secrets and all that. 

Mom: Sounds good!

Me: Probably would land you a nice bit of comfort. 

Me: So?

Mom: Yeah! Sarcasstic...

Me: You like sarcasstic types?

Mom: That's all I've ever been around is sarcasstic guys! It's probably half my problem. 

Me: (laughs)


Solid Snake (Metal Gear Solid)

Me: Here's Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid. 

Well, actually, there's another form of him around here. This is him pretty darn old.

Mom: No. 

Me: You're not into gilf's? 

You know what that stands for? 

Mom: No.

Me: Grandpa I'd Like to...

Mom: Nooooooooo!

Me: Okay! (laughs)

Me: Well, here's a younger version of him. 

Actually, I'm not even sure that this is, canonically, Solid Snake. The story deals with different timelines and clones and whatnot, but, either way, it's pretty much him physically.

Mom: No. 

Me: He's a stern sort of dude. Very intelligent and skillful, but not really the kind of guy who'd go out of his way to make you laugh.

Mom: Nope. Nah. 


Waluigi (Mario)

Mom: No. 

Me: No? 

... not even, as you'd say, "cute" for being a cartoon? 

Mom: No. 

Me: Mustache doesn't do anything for ya? 

Mom: Yeah, no. 

Me: The manliner? 

Mom: No!

Me: Okay, okay!


Samus (Metroid)

Me: There's totally a guy under that armor. Where does your mind go? 

Mom: Absolutely not. 

Me: (laughs) 

The face is a mystery! What does he look like?!

Mom: No. 

Me: Your mind doesn't conjure anything? 

Mom: Nah uh. 

Me: You don't have an imagination? 

Mom: ... I'd be afraid to say I did. 

Me: (sigh)

It's a female.

Mom: I was fixin' to say... if I had to take a bet...


Robert Lutece (Bioshock)

Me: Here's Robert Lutece from Bioshock. He is one half of a pair of twins. 

He's a very proper character. Classy, upkept...

Mom: Oh. Nope.

Me: He's humerous, but in an antagonistic fashion. 

Mom: He's got a sourpuss lookin' face. 

Me: Yeah. (chuckle)

Mom: Nooooope. 


Eikichi (Persona)

Me: Another younger character, but his interesting attire may make up for that. Eikichi from Persona. 

Mom: Innnnteresting is to say the least. 

(points to the MC) The other one's cuter. But, he looks like he's about 15!

Me: He doesn't look that young!

Mom: Okay, 17. 

Me: Right. Canonically, I believe, like most other Persona characters, he's 17-18. 

Me: But, ignoring him being too young for you?

Mom: Mmmm... maybe.

Me: Sort of a Marilyn Manson appeal? 

Mom: I'm still laughing about Marilyn Manson being on Sons of Anarchy.


Yosuke (Persona)

Me: From the same series, here's Yosuke.

Too pretty boy?

Mom: Yes. 

Me: He's a ditzy, clumsy character, but...

Mom: And he looks like he's about 14!

Me: (laughs) He's legal, if not 17. 

Mom: He doesn't look it. 

Me: Now, would you date him if you were younger?

Mom: If I were younger, yeah!


Kanji (Persona)

Me: What about Kanji?

Mom: No.

Me: No? 

... no more comments? Just no? 

Mom: Just no.

Me: Hansen will not be pleased.

Mom: Who? 


Frank West (Dead Rising)

Mom: He looks like Chris Pine! (laughs)

Me: (laughs) 

People say he also looks like... oh, that guy. Ghostbusters? 

Mom: ... Dan Aykroyd? 

Me: Yes!

Mom: Yeah, I guess, right there he does. His face is long like his. 

Yeah! He's good. 

Me: Another funny character. Makes ya laugh.

Mom: Yeah!

Me: Adventurous too. Stupid, but still real nice. He's also very versitile. The name of his game is to use anything at all possible in the environment to clobber his enemies. It can range from hotdogs, to CD's, to chairs, so that's something.

Mom: They teach you that in martial arts!

Me: Yeah! You can even learn martial arts in the game. He's perfect!


JonTron (JonTron, Game Grumps)

Me: Another human being. His name is JonTron, or Jon Jafari. 

He's a veeeeeeeeeeery wacky, funny kind of guy.

Mom: Noooooo.

Me: ... fat? 

Mom: Yeah.

Me: Not into fatter guys? 

Mom: It's not necessarily the weight, it's just... no. 

Me: (laughs) Okay. 

Mom: I'm sure he's fun as hell and crazy, but...

Me: Oh, he is! You're just not into especially eccentric types?

Mom: No. That's just a little bit much. 

Me: Again, even physically... no? 

Mom: Nah. Not my type. 


























Niero Gonzales (Destructoid)

Me: This is the head of Destructoid, Niero Gonzales. 

Mom: He's cute.

Me: Okay. 

I'm not sure of his personality, but he's probably a fun guy. He's responsible for a fun website and all. 


Jordan Devore (Destructoid, Saturday Morning Hangover)

Mom: Ehhhhhhhh...


Me: No? 

Mom: Nuh uh. 

Me: Too nerdy lookin'? 

Mom: Yah. 

Me: Too nerdy?!

Mom: Mmhmm. 

Me: The glasses? Red hair? The...

Mom: At least in that picture, yes. Too nerdy lookin'. 

Me: Well...

Me: That one? 

Mom: No. 

Me: Well, alright. 


Dale North (Destructoid)

Me: Here's Dale North, previously of Destructoid.

Mom: Nooo. 

Me: No?

Mom: No. 

Me: Well, he's pretty well-liked around the community for his looks. I'll find a better picture of him.

He's in love with Japanese culture like I am. Also, a thing for corgi's. 

Mom: Mmm no. 

Mom: Well, there he's not too bad lookin'. 

Me: Got a nice smile. 

Mom: His face is so long!

Me: Such a dog lover. 

Mom: Mmhmm.

Me: Doesn't do anything for ya?

Mom: Nooope. Doesn't sell it. 

Me: What do you like more? Dogs or cats?

Mom: Dogs. (looks to our cat) No offense, Summer.


Steven Hansen (Destructoid)

Me: Eh? 

Mom: (chuckles) No. 

Me: Is it the hair... is it...

Mom: Just... doesn't do anything.

Me: Not ugly, though. 

Mom: I didn't say he was ugly! Just not my type. 


Jim Sterling (Destructoid, Podtoid, Jimquisition, Podquisition, Squirty Play, etc.)

Me: Here's the guy you said sounded a lot like Ricky Gervais from that podcast I showed ya. 

Mom: Yeah! He sounded just like 'em!

Me: Physically, not your type? 

... uhhhhh. It's... with all due respect to Sterling, it's hard to find a picture of him that isn't intended to be stupid or dramatic. 

Mom: Yeah, they all look pretty stupid!

Me: (chuckles)

Mom: (glances to Google search) ... is that... Willem Dafoe? 

Me: Yes! A thing of his, previously, on Podtoid was this idea of Willem Dafoe movie pitches. Go to Hell Monkey Adams, District Dafoe...

Mom: (laughs) I love Willem Dafoe! (laughs)

Me: I'm trying very hard to find a good, legitmate picture of him. 

I... guess this is close enough.

Mom: No. 

Mom: I'm sure he's funny as hell, but no. 

Me: He is! He is hilarious. 

Mom: And, yes, he's sounds like Ricky Gervais. 


Chris Carter (Destructoid)

Mom: He's cute. 

He looks like Nick Lachey. 

Me: Who's that?

Mom: He used to be married to Jessica Simpson. 

Me: Oh my!


Jonathan Holmes (Destructoid, 'Sup Holmes, Samus and Sagat, Podtoid, etc.)

Me: Just one more. 

Jonathan Holmes! There he is, makin' a wacky smile. 

Mom: I hate the thumbs up pose! I don't know what it is...

Me: (laughs) You hate thumbs up pictures? 

Mom: I don't get it. I just think they're so stupid. 

(Sorry, Randy!)

Me: Or the dreaded "duck face".

Mom: Or that too!

Me: Okay, okay. Here's a more flattering image of him then.

Mom: Maybe it's that stupid Career Point commercial that really made me hate it. 

Me: Eh? 

Mom: Nah. 

Me: Not really?!

Mom: No. 

Me: I think he's a good lookin' guy!

Mom: He's kind of cute there, but... mmm. 


Me: Is it his baldness? 

Mom: No! 'Cause I like bald guys, and he's not really bald.

Me: You find almost-bald awkward or what?

Mom: He's just losing his hair. He can't help it! 

Me: He's also pretty well-built. 

(massages the point around his stomach) He's... sort of lost it with his age. 

Mom: Hmm.

Me: That second picture was probably the best you can find of him from these days. 

However, back in his 20's...

Mom: (looks impressed) He's pretty ripped!

He's changed quite a bit. 




I didn't think she'd be so darn picky! I like most of these guys! I expected most of the younger dudes to turn her off, but I'm surprised at the lack of affection for Varric or Monkey. And no Holmes?! Oh well. I'd definitely take them all to bed and let them do all the work. Oh yeah!

What's your take on some of these guys? All of them?! Whoa! Slow down! 


2:59 AM on 05.15.2015

Bethesda will close out their E3 conference with a bang

Bethesda is likely one of the few large game studios that still pull in a lot of good graces with the community. They fully support fan works and mods, their games are worth their price and then some (inevitable bugs aside), they don't annaulize, they know how to do DLC right, they know when to keep their mouth shut, and they actually do try new things every now and again (The Evil Within, Dishonored). 

They've gotten so large, in fact, and they (probably) have so many projects going on at the moment that they feel a whole E3 conference devoted to them is warranted. That's exciting! Somebody's gotta fill Nintendo's slot, eh? 

That's not all. Rumors are circulating and it looks like we'll finally be seeing the next installment in one of Bethesda's most popular franchises! You know the one. 

It's not just that game I'm looking forward to. Maybe they'll announce Dishonored 2 along with a *cough* "remaster" of the original (I'm not lying, I'd buy it). Doom 4 has just got to be a thing. What about a new Home Alone tie-in? The possibilities are getting me absolutely wet. 

I've been doing a lot of thinking about it lately. It's so close that I can smell it. It's a very satisfying stank. 

It's not just in my head either. The hype is so real that I've gathered a team of top tier video game scientists within my bathroom to put together a humble piece of tech that we, in-house, like to call the "Space-Time Penetration Thing". It not only sports a slide-out grill and stove for cooking all the meat you could ever want to shove down your throat and several convenient USB ports, but it even allows us to see, smell, and hear into THE FUTURE!

Allow me to extend a loving grope upon your butts as I let in all my fellow Dtoiders on an exclusive first-look and spoilerific peak into Bethesda's E3 2015 conference. This is no "leak" or wishlist, this is the real deal.

The on-board drone has launched and reached 88 mph. Future-time sync is established. Let's prop up the 20-inch, tube display and see what's happenin'!


It's mostly black, but... oh! We're starting to get a clear visual. 

Oh snap. Dishonored 2: Master of Disguise looks really awesome! I love that we now get to possess the minds of not only our enemies but their furniture as well. The armrest strangling that guard in the tight bell bottoms was the best part.

And, of course, we get a Dishonored: Glossier and Also Complete and Sometimes GOTY Edition. Sadly, about all that's new in this iteration is the Carnival Mode which turns all enemies into hideous clowns that laugh and honk their noses whenever you're spotted. But, I'm sure it'll land them some profit. I'll help with that. It does look pretty good. 

Doom 4, now simply titled DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!, seems to have undergone some changes since it's teaser trailer some time ago and it's behind closed doors reveal. It's surprisingly vibrant. Just as blood 'n' gory, mind you. Most strange is that the enemies are now classic Nintendo characters like Kirby, Link, Metroid, Mario, as well as some larger enemies like a Glass Joe/King Hippo hybrid beast inspired by Punch-Out. The unsettling faces of shareholders and depressing sales charts litter the walls while the iconic Super Mario theme tune plays in reverse with sound spikes signaling horde spawns. 

It's a definite change of pace, to be sure. Whether it will work out for them in the end remains to be seen. I do know one thing, though: Game journalists will love it. 

Yeah, yeah, yeah. The Evil Within released a while ago. Yeah, there's still some DLC. I guess that's nice. Of course, it's now being sold to us episodically. That's weird. 

Now we're going into sales figures, quirky jabs at #GamerGate, and... is that The Elder Scrolls Kinect?! Jesus blooming Christ. This is getting pretty awful. 


But, wait. The Elder Scrolls Kinect trailer is cut short and...



There's a radio playing the Ink Spots! It's just like that thing they did! Oh-... oh my god, I'm so happy! Yes!!!

It's zooming out further! The anticipation! I'm melting like a snowcone in Phoenix. 

Okay, this is definitely not just a rerelease of Fallout 3. This is something new! 

Somebody restrain me because I may actually try leaping into the display. 

.... wait. 

This... looks familiar somehow. But, I can't put my finger on wh-

Oh no. 










... w-w-what just happened? WHERE'S THE DISPLAY? Is this still the trailer?
































































4:30 PM on 05.05.2015

AMA: See more of Seymour

I know you're not tired of these. 

I was just going to enjoy everyone else's AMA, maybe even get some gift ideas for my aunt's birthday, but since so many have already done one by now I almost feel obligated to do one myself. But, a nice sort of obligation. Like a relaxing poo when you've just come home from a Huey Lewis concert. And yes, they played Power of Love. 

[^ 69 words, yo]

Well, go on and ask me anything. That's how this works, right? Nothing is off-limits, but I can't prove that what I'm saying is the gospel truth. I may tell you my favorite game is The Last Of Us when it's really Sonic Heroes. I might give you life advice that "inadvertently" leads into an awkward misunderstanding which lands in you in the drunk tank for several nights. I'm like a birthday goodie bag or box of chocolates, so ask at your own risk. 

Preferred Topics:

1. Video games

2. Midna

3. Farts

4. Music

5. Cannibal otters



11:16 AM on 04.30.2015

Happy thoughts! Happy thoughts!

DLC gougingStudio closings? Needless controversy? Community quarrelsSuicides (seriously, RIP)?! Also, no Kanji?! 

Can you believe it? Video games aren't always happy. As great as they can be, the industry surrounding them is a big hunk of doody (that'd be an interesting direction for Activision to take) a lot of the time. Hell, even the community can be particularly toxic and, in the age of The Internet, it's sometimes very hard to escape when we just wanna tweet at or IM our friends/family or maybe watch some hilarious John Oliver skits on YouTube. 

I once made a quirky "unboxing" video of Battlefield: Bad Company around when that released and I had comment after comment peeved at the audacity of someone being unfunny. I'm very sure your time isn't so precious that wasting just a few short minutes of it is worth that very nasty comment. 

In these 7-8 years, things haven't changed at all. If anything, it's gotten worse. Ugh.

We all love Donut Drake. But, if he were real, imagine the struggle. 

I no longer believe this is a natural transitional phase. The Internet simply gives far too many opportunities for assholes to be assholes. Until we have the perfect set of tools in place to avoid as much as of this terrible behavior as possible, the Internet will continue being a double-edged sword. 

Whenever that day comes, it'll probably be a while. This is why it'll do you a lot of good to keep positive, you idiot. Here's a few things to remind you how this industry can be as often awesome as it is woeful, from your friendly neighborhood husbando strongman (I really should take down that awkward picture of me in the top right)




The Butthole Surfers were once in a video game 

Recently, I was reminded of this and I couldn't help but smile. A rush of nostalgia swept over me and I had to dig deeper. So, much of my time spent listening to music these past couple weeks has been spent listening to their Independent Worm Saloon and Electriclarryland albums. Now aren't those just fantastic album titles?

They're sort of punk/post-rock (whatever that means), though not always. They can do very soft traditional rock and as well as some other odd experimental nonsense. They aren't one-trick ponies. I do tend to fall in love with bands that have a clear groove, but who aren't afraid to try something new every now and again. Even if it's just to flex their ability as musicians. 

The original studio cut, naturally, is considerably better.

Your body must be ready for My Brother's Wife. 


Blizzard eventually fixed Diablo 3 and it's now a really fine game

While launch-day woes are, sadly, now almost commonplace amongst online-centric titles, it's probably safe to say that nothing has been quite as bad as what happened with either Diablo 3 or SimCity. Not only were there awful connection issues, but their online-only requirements were completely arbitrary and did much more harm to loyal consumers than strongarmed justice to those scurvy pirates.

EA took off the online-only requirements for SimCity some time ago, but SimCity has remained (from what I hear) a very mediocre experience. What did Blizzard do, though? They removed the Auction House that was crippling the very notion of the game's genre, they provided offline play through the very awesome console ports, and, to top it all off, they also have been carefully patching in smaller fixes and new content on a regular basic. To this day, new stuff is being added and that's pretty swell. 

Should they provide offline play for PC players? Yes. Seriously. But, to say that Blizzard hasn't been trying would be plain untrue. Over this past year or so, Blizzard has restored a large handful of my faith in AAA gaming and I really hope we see more actions like these being taken by publishers/developers in the coming months/years. Their upcoming titles don't look too shabby either.


Jim Sterling is on the case

Oh no! Steam's run amuck! There is so much shit to trudge through on a daily basis! Where's all the good games? What the hell is this?! There's no executable file! WHERE'S MY MONEY BACK?! What ever will we do?!

What little curation Steam's Greenlight and Early Access pages have gotten is likely thanks to our former D-toid contributor Jim Fucking Sterling Son. He's still going at it with his (now completely indie) Jimquisition series, but lately he's found a new calling in his YouTube LP's. These videos have led to many opening their eyes to not only Steam's lackluster services but the potential for indie game developers to be just as bad as (if not worse than) some in the AAA market. 

The pitty parties and grudges these developers can hold never cease to amaze me. That they can so willfully exploit the good graces of the indie community pisses me off. That they remain ignorant of the basics of game design and do little outside purchasing assets to use in their cobbled together messes to sell for upwards for 10-20 dollars is astounding. 

However, that we have a rather large (heh) saving grace within such a cesspool is at least slightly reassuring. 

I had to stop typing to watch this wonderful stage play yet again.

If Valve ever get their head out of their asses in regards to Greenlight and Early Access, you'll know who to thank. Jim rightly deserves a pully for all the hard work he's done to make sure the games industry is just a little bit less crappy.


The Zelda Rap

I couldn't have done any better myself. 


We're in a time where dreadfully imperfect and/or underdog games can be a success

Now, this is the part of the Internet that makes me very very happy. 

Back when, if a game wasn't being commercialized, it needed good reviews. If it wasn't getting good reviews, then you'd need all the luck you could get if you wanted your hard work to pay off. This was the sad truth of game development once upon a time and without easy access to the world at large or at least some sort of magical video distrubution network, there was no way to tell if it was best to ignore the bad press and take the plunge. Whatever gems you may have found were mostly up to chance and likely still so many gems lay dead in generations past.

These days? The people love Deadly Premonition, despite it's initially lackluster reviews. Indie releases can easily sell in the hundreds of thousands or even millions. Hell, Minecraft, a game (that was far from finished, mind you) that gained it's popularity through literally nothing but word of mouth and YouTube, has gone on to be one of the most successful video games of all time! Nevermind all that, it's just now so much easier to find games to look forward to and then enjoy that would have otherwise drifted way under your radar.

And it's all thanks to the Internet and digital distrubution. 

This shit here is even getting a movie!

I would have never fallen so deeply in love with horror games. Games that focused on experimentation or pure storytelling, I would have scoffed at. And, most of all to me, considering their niche appeal, I don't know if I would have ever picked up a Shin Megami Tensei game had one of my e-friends never decided to play Persona 4's Like A Dream Come True over our online game of Left 4 Dead (I used to have a video of this moment up on YT, but I guess I deleted it) and now it's probably my favorite franchise of games. 

Digital distrubution, specifically, doing away with the middleman has opened up all sorts of wonderful doors for video games and the industry wouldn't be anywhere near as exciting without it. I do love my physical releases, but I can't ignore all the good the Internet and digital releases have done for gaming as a whole. 



Check this out...

The right commentator can make even the shittiest of games entertaining

If you've been around Destructoid here or there for some time, you'll probably know I'm a huge fan of Cr1TiKaL. To describe him in as concisely of a way as possible, he has the mind of a scholar but the mouth of a sailor (and a heart of pure gold). Tasteful buzzwords like 'nipples', 'asscheeks', and 'anus' sprinkled amongst such colorful commentary as:

"Is this some type of ancient bigfoot mummifaction ritual... or are these two bigfeet just warming up for an assing competition?"

"If getting attacked by trees made your nipples cold, my nipples would have achieved absolute zero." 

"Of course I don't make it over when I really need to, so now I have to watch this cat get clobbered by the forbidden anus of a sunken ship again."

"Where did he go? How did he escape if he was unconcious? What was he doing up here? So many questions, but there is only one logical answer: The airvents through the party and, just then, he was receiving a blowjob from the airvents as a souvenier."

And delivered in the manner they're delivered in fills me with such profound joy. 

As easy as it is to assume the contrary, YouTube LP's aren't all panderish hoots and hollers. If Cr1TiKaL isn't your style, I've also been recently enjoying Cox and Credor's Outlast playthrough and especially Retsuparue's Darkseed 2 post-commentary. All worth a laugh or two in case you're in the mood for settling into an afternoon of YouTube marathoning. 


Clefable with pancakes

Might be the cuddliest thing you see all week. 


Miracle Of Sound

When I haven't been listening to The Butthole Surfers, I've been listening to Miracle Of Sound. He's been around for quite some time and he's one hell of a musician. He's also a huge nerd like us all here, so most of his music pertains to video games. I don't always gel with his lyrics or vocals, but he's amazingly talented nonetheless. Tackling a plethora of genres and with solid results, sometimes even outdoing a game's original soundtrack. 

Speaking of which, A Dog's Life, I love everything about. I first listened to it outside the context of the above video via Spotify and even then I knew it had to have been about The Wolf Among Us. It's a fittingly grim, synth-centric track that really makes me wanna replay the game despite my ho-hum feelings on the actual playing of it. 

One of his more interesting tracks, to be sure. 

Unrelated to video games, he recently released a really fucking awesome heavy metal album that you should definitely give a listen if you're into that sort of thing. 


Butt jiggle physics

There is seriously not enough of this. 


The latest Mario Kart 8 DLC turned out splendidly 

3 new characters, 4 new vehicles, and a whopping 8 tracks together in one pack for just 8 dollars? Why not round it up to 10? Charge 15-20 like everyone else? Exclude DLC from the season pass? Wait WHAT?! 200cc difficultly across all cups... FOR FREE?! What do you think you are DOING Nintendo?! Think of all the EA, WB, Capcom, Activision, and Ubsoft execs that would have literally killed for DLC this good but would have valued so much higher! No wonder the Wii U is so deep in the hole!

Nintendo may be behind the times a bit, but is that so bad when you consider what is now generally "with it"? Fuck no. It's depressing to say, but I love that I can actually count on Nintendo to give almost zero fucks about pre-orders (for better or for worse), to provide me with a working game at launch, and to put out post-launch content that entices rather than gouges or exploits. They haven't yet taken the piss and I really hope that trend continues. Continues to provide another example of DLC done right. Companies like Nintendo, CD Projekt Red, Bethesda, and Rockstar (at least when it comes to single player) know what's up. 

From personal experience thus far, I really love Super Bell Subway. Straightforward though multi-layered tracks are typically amongst my favorites (my favorite of the previous DLC pack was easily the Excitebike track). I also don't remember Ribbon Road being so awesome! Guess because I never realized drifting was an essential strategy in Mario Kart until I got MK7 (doh!). And the music that plays after the finish line on the Animal Crossing track? So lovely. So, so lovely. The music, in general, they have put so much work into. They went above and beyond with these DLC's. 

It's now very hard to pick anyone but Isabelle. I have her riding on Dry Bowser's bike with humongous tires and it's just adorable. 



On the horizon...

Mad Max

What at first looked tremendously dull now seems so incredible to me. Fallout + Arkham + vehicular combat? I want it THIS much!

I absolutely love the Rockstar Developer Diary approach to gameplay showcases. It shows confidence in the company's work and gives me a good idea of what the experience will be like without seeking alternative sources of information. Catchy, minute-long, cinematic montages are cool and all, but that tells me so little about the actual game part of your fucking video game. Sequel or not, I wanna see some goddamn gameplay!


SMT x Fire Emblem (Illusory Relevations #FE)

HOLY SHIT IT'S ALIVE! It's back with a new stupid working title that I hope will be changed considerably before it's localization, but YEAH WOO IT'S ALIVE!

Like many have said, it is not at all what I was expecting from this "SMT x Fire Emblem" concept. I expected something much darker. Something more in-line with SMT proper than Persona. Actually, Persona isn't even this poppy. This trailer came straight out of left field and I didn't even think it could possibly be this "SMT x Fire Emblem" until I saw the title splash.

With that said, it does still look absolutely gorgeous and I thoroughly dig the music. To that, perhaps looks can be deceiving. Maybe they handpicked the lighter elements of the game to draw in more of the casual crowd. Who knows? I just wanna try it for myself already! Nevermind Routine, SOMA, or Narcosis, this has been the true test of patience!



Oh hey! Speaking of which, almost 2 years ago, this video released showing off indie horror title Routine and it got me monumentally excited!

Since then, we've heard so little about it and it's making me paranoid. Not to say the developers haven't been keeping up with the updates as their last one was as recent as last month, but that last one was not until about 6-7 months of complete silence. For a game that looks as good as this, that is so painful! Same goes for the aforementioned Narcosis and SOMA, two other excellent-looking indie horror titles that we hear so little about and so slowly. 

That's one of the advantages of the indie scene, I suppose. That you can take as much as time as you need to make sure your group's vision is met. Surprisingly, these games don't seem to have lost much relevance since their debuts, so I guess they really know how to get people staying interested with what little they do eventually show.

Man, I don't even know if my computer will be up for the task. I have the worst luck with PC gaming, even with my "gaming" notebook that released just a few short years ago. At least SOMA will supposedly have a PS4 port.


Zelda Wii U

The promise of a new 3D Zelda, alone, is enough to warrant hype from me. Nintendo seems to have learned from it's mistakes with Skyward Sword and it's resounding successes with A Link Between Worlds and is, ideally, about to grace us with the best Zelda to date! All that could assure my purhcase any further would be talks of Midna as a returning companion character. 

Heck, I think a mere cameo or easter egg would be enough for me.

While what little direct footage we've seen of the upcoming Zelda title looks incredibly rough and almost completely void of anything at all interesting, I trust Nintendo to iron all of that out in time for a true reveal and it will be amazing. 


Persona 5

It's been too long since I've last watched this trailer. I'm tearing up with joy just hearing those first few seconds of music! IT'S GOING TO BE SO BEAUTIFUL! ;A;

I probably talk too much about Shin Megami Tensei. Namely, Persona. But, I can't help it. They're such powerful games in both story and gameplay. I hadn't even scratched the surface of Persona 4 and my hype for it was unreal. I was floored by it's quality and since then I have been completely entranced by much of the franchise otherwise. They have the perfect balance of story and gameplay, with the mechanics around said story and gameplay being tremendously solid. Witnessing the new stories that Persona 5 will provide as well as getting a feel for how it evolves the gameplay will be a defining moment for me as a gamer. 

I'm trying to stay realstic. Thing is, I can't always tell if I'm doing just that or not. That's how much Persona has meant to me. If Persona 3 and 4 and even Catherine (to an extent) are anything to go by, I'm going to be in heaven once this baby releases. I sincerely hope it meets my expectations. 




So, how is it that you keep positive? Play your favorite games? Plug your ears, shut your eyes, scream, and pretend everything is just fine? Clobber yourself with a blunt object until the bad men stop? What's are some good things you'd like to share with me? It can be anything!


8:00 PM on 04.23.2015

I've got more cool video game shit to shove into your (eye)holes

TheDustinThomas' recent flea market finds inspired me to do some more finding of my own. Though, my only real secret is my local anitque gaming shop. I've made no "secret" of that. I average a good load of stuff everytime I visit as I hold with me a very unstrict shopping ruleset:

1.) Is it cool? Buy it.

2.) Is it great? Buy it.

3.) Anyone have a problem with that? Buy them something nice.

If I want it and it's not outlandish in price, I may just get it. I mean pretty much fucking anything I'll potentially get. 

A 3-year old Street Fighter novelty drink? Why, who could pass up the chance?!

I've also made no secret of my love of Shin Megami Tensei, so I'm very happy to have snatched up a few things related to the franchise recently. Before a short while ago, I only ever owned the LE of SMTIV, but now... I have more. More is always awesome. Unless you're talking about something awful like sneezes or spiders.

Above are some soundtracks. The two Persona ones are specialities as they're actually the "Reincarnation" albums which remixed, extended, and/or reworked various tracks from Persona 3 and 4. Will we see the same for Persona 5? We can only hope. God, I hope. 

Also, like the original soundtracks, they're very veeeeeeery good. 



Gotta say, Boo might be my new favorite plushie. He's always been one of my favorite Mario baddies, next to Dry Bones and Shy Guy. All of them likely very misunderstood characters. Like me, man. Dry Bones has already died once and is just trying to live as best as you can as bones without muscle, Shy Guy has let his anxieties get the best of him, and Boo just likes to kid around. 

Mario's just never in the mood. He's got some fresh cake to get. 

Now we're getting into the especially great stuff. 

The art was a piece I originally bought off an artist at last year's Alamo City Comic-Con. In retrospect, they were sort of impulse buys considering their cheap price (10-20 bucks, depending on the size), but my mum brought up the idea of framing them. Never would I have thought to do that, but if I was going to frame any of them it was definitely going to be the Zelda one. 

And it came out pretty amazing! A weathered gold frame with regal red matting, it fits the piece perfectly! I couldn't have asked for a better job. 

I'll probably commission a real good Midna piece at this upcoming Comic-Con. Dark blue frame. Oh, that would be sweet.

Now we come to the crux of this post: A LOT of PSP stuff I got today. Also, El Shaddai and Murdered: Soul Suspect. Been meaning to get both of those for some time. 

Ever since realizing that I was a real stickler for physical copies of my favorite games (sometimes on multiple platforms) and that the PSN's PSP selection just wasn't always going to cut it, I've been wanting to purchase an actual PSP. I did used to own one during it's first couple or so years, but even then I barely played it. I have fond memories of some early PSP shooter that I can't remember the name of and Midnight Club 3, but that's about it. Now, we're about to forge some new fond memories!

I've already found myself playing several rounds of Crazy Taxi. Couldn't help it! It's been far too long since I've played that gem. It's got some sound sync issues with the voice overs and the framerate is only a somewhat smooth 30-45fps as opposed to the original's 60, but it's all pretty much there. Such a great, great game. 

In case you can't see the picture well:

Dead Head Fred - A humorous-looking platformer, possibly in the same vein as MediEvil. Also, if it's anything like Right Said Fred, it's going to be at least pretty solid. 

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite - I don't care if I don't like Monster Hunter (haven't given it enough of a chance), this game is a classic and I'm going to at least try it.

Star Wars: Battlefront II - I was hearing some good things about the PSP ports of Battlefront, so I plunged. New Battlefront hype also helped.

Practical Intelligence Quotient 2 - ... yeah. I have no idea either. It did look interesting, though. Seems like a puzzle game. 

Crazi Taxi: Fare Wars - I used to love the PS2 and arcade releases so goddamn much so this was a no-brainer. 

Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition - I remember this being a surprisingly excellent port. Actually sort of amazing they fit such a content-packed, 3D experience onto an UMD. 

Also, I swear I'm done with amiibos. 

I swear. 

I swear.


I swe-...

Dirty barnacles. You are foul, Nintendo. Foul. 



Also, here's some other pictures I took today:

My neighborhood as vented through Silent Hill.


A frog looking for a very big penis. 


7:37 AM on 04.20.2015

How SMT fixes what I've found wrong with JRPG's

For some cocking reason, during my wee lad stages, JRPG's never grabbed me like the many shooters, racers, and platformers that made up most of my gaming time. I don't remember being particularly picky as even splassics like Wizard Of Oz for the SNES got plenty of attention from me and I even regularly played Vegas Stakes, which was nothing but virtual gambling. 

I was fucking 8. Loving slots and roulette. Whatever! Yet, games like Final Fantasy, Legend of Dragoon, or Chrono Trigger, I barely even knew of. Well, I did play a tremendous amount of Pokemon, but who didn't? All those others, I completely ignored. 

During the PS2 era, despite the many classics of said era and my tastes maturing, this only changed ever so slightly. I played hours and hours of Final Fantasy X, Star Ocean: TTEOT, and Kingdom Hearts, but I never finished them. I had the free time and persistance to do so, but they were always dropped in favor of games of similar length, such as GTA: San Andreas, that I happened to fall more in line with. 

These days, on the other hand, there aren't many games I'll flat out refuse to try and the Internet has proved to be paramount in that newfound passion for video gaming. I've found love in the survival horror genre, Flower is one of my favorite games of all time, I actually sort of dig Dear Esther, and I've been dabbling in just about any JRPG I can get my hands on.

Here's the kicker: I still can't finish a single one.

With an exception...

It's been a while since I've felt truly passionate about what I'm writing about. Even my music blogs can sometimes be more trouble than they're worth, for as much as I may absolutely love video game music and music in general. But, this? Ever since delving into Persona 4: Golden around the time it released, I have been absorbing myself in the universe of Shin Megami Tensei and have been, for the most part, consistently enthralled. It might very well now be my favorite franchise of games, so I've been dying to give it some critical attention at length. 

Yes. Shin Megami Tensei, whether it be mainline or it's many (and I do mean many) spinoffs, has remained almost literally the only JRPG franchise that has kept me engaged for the long haul since becoming an adult. There's always something about any other that makes me groan and, subsequently, quit. It's not even that SMT is always amazing. It most definitely is not. ATLUS just seems to know not to dick around when you're crafting an experience that isn't going to end anytime soon. 

As I type this, SMT: Strange Journey is stuck in my 3DS on Sleep Mode, with nearly 20 happy hours of play put into it and I still cannot wait to see what's just around the next bend. Yet, most JRPG's struggle to hold my interest for even 2 or 3 hours. Weird, no? 

Allow me to make a few points. 


You see that world before you? Looks pretty snazzy, don't it? Too bad I never got to really explore it before I completely lost my patience with what is supposedly one of the greatest JRPG's of the last generation, Ni No Kuni. 

Go on and say I'm crazy, but I was just not having what Ni No Kuni was having. Sure, it has excellent gameplay, great ideas, and beautiful visuals/art, but even ignoring it's awfully-presented story brimming with incredibly annoying characters (Drippy being the one I actually enjoyed) it's got some reprehensible issues with it's pacing and tutorials. 

You see that, now? You will know this game's battle system and world mechanics like the back of your hand before you're through just dipping your feet because this game will refuse to shut up with some of the most patronizing and intrusive tutorials I've ever had to slug through. If I had a brick for every time I said "Yeah, I get it." or "Wow, fuck off already.", given some hired help and a little glue, I'd be able to construct an entire apartment complex. 

I'm am serious. Not 3-25 seconds (I counted) of gameplay outside combat before hitting your first town (which can take a while) goes by without either banal dialogue or a thoroughly useless tutorial propping up. Even when I had hit that first town, I was still trying to be convinced that this mother/son story was a real tear-jerker when, so early into the game, there is no real reason for me to care about any of it. The mother had all of 5 minutes (if that) of screentime before she died and I'm supposed to feel sorry for this protagonist who I've also barely gotten to know.

To say that it was overplayed would be an understatement. 

Essentially, what the story in the beginning amounted to was "A mother has died, which is an inherent fictional tragedy. Look! Those are tears he is crying. That is also sad, because they are tears and he's just a kid. Ahhh. This is such a powerful story". You know who else writes like that

I didn't feel as if I was playing a game, moreso doing homework while momentarily getting distracted by something far more fun and interesting. 

Who dies early in SMT? Fodder for a death count. Unknown soldiers. And they don't beat you over the head with it either. These deaths add early tension and intrigue, not EMOSHUN. 

When you are made to care about someone's death, it's fucking tragic. For anyone who's gone down the Chaos path in SMTIV, you know exactly what I mean. It's heavy. It's heartbreaking. Even if you weren't that big a fan of this particular character, there is something to be said in the gruesome way that they die and especially considering all you had been through with them. 

Not even Persona is at all laden with tutorials. Just like SMT proper, they hand you the basics in a concise manner and then leave the rest to you. Hell, your initial fights in Persona offer no tutorials at all! You know why? There's not exactly a whole lot left to the imagination when your only options are a single attack, no magic, no ability to escape, and a single target. 

If this were Ni No Kuni, you can bet your sweet bippy that these fights would make damn sure that you understood that whatever menu selection was highlighted was what was going to shift into a new menu when you pressed 'X', that "Attack" was where your "attacks" were, etc. They'd probably even make sure you remembered what the function for moving around your character outside combat was so that you could smoothly transition into another series of tutorials in the next fight.

This is what's called respecting the player's intelligence. If I feel as if I'm being treated like an idiot, simply put, I'm not gonna be on good terms with either the game or it's developers. Many other games are the victim of terrible tutorials, but at least those end much quicker than Ni No Kuni's and while Ni No Kuni might be more mechanically complicated than a lot of games, there are intuitive ways of teaching a player your game, no matter how complicated, without burdening them with text. 

You're artists, not manufacturers. Get creative. 

You might've noticed that I haven't once complained about the very idea of focusing on a game's story rather than it's gameplay. That seems to be a common misconception whenever I make complaints not just about Ni No Kuni, but any game of it's kind. No. That isn't my problem. Remember that I said I actually liked Dear Esther (despite it's pretension)? My focus simply lies in how a game's story and gameplay are presented to me. 

For it's first several hours, Persona 4 is mostly story. However, story and gameplay are delivered with a clear consistency, there are little tutorials, there is build-up rather than senseless/anxious prodding of your humanity, and complimenting all that is a general quality that is incredibly solid. 

Ni No Kuni lacks all of that. All the more painful is that it would be just fine, juvenile storytelling aside, had the developers known not to take the piss out of their own ideas. 


A little more talk and a lot less action

This isn't actually something I have a big issue with (now), but it has been something I've found myself occasionally irking over since Pokemon Black/White and how SMT handles it is simply preferable.

You see, in Pokemon Black/White, like in every substantial Pokemon entry, there is a "Team" antagonist. A group of jerks that are out to do jerk things in Poke'Land. Here, they are called "Team Plasma". For some time, they are made out to be basically the Pokemon world's answer to PETA. However, it is later revealed that their push for Poke'quality was but a front for tricking the not-jerks into releasing their Pokemon in an attempt to thin out potential resistance. 

A masterful plot, to be sure! But, no matter their ulterior motives, this canonical concern over Pokemon "enslavement" got me thinking that, ya know... yeah. Pokemon is essentially cockfighting. All those years spent playfully butting into other trainers and Pokemon for friends, XP, and glory was given new perspective and, for a long while, it made me feel very guilty for wanting to continue with the franchise. 

I know it's sounds stupid. I get it. "It's just a game". That would be reasonable, had Team Plasma never been a thing. I can continue pretending what I'm doing in a game is all on the up and up and loosely justifiable so long as said game doesn't then try to tell me that maybe what I'm doing is, realistically, pretty terrible.

At that point, fantasy and reality collide in the most unpleasant of ways. While an interesting idea and an adorable satire on the radical side of PETA, Team Plasma doesn't lend well to the universe of Pokemon. In fact, it blows it wide open. 

Thankfully, after a little while, I've gotten over it and will happily play even Black or White to it's conclusion. Still, for these past few years, I haven't been able to play Pokemon with as purely innocent of a mind as I was once able to. 

In SMT proper, as well as in Persona 1 and 2, you aquire demons/personas by conversing with them. Consolidating them according to their personal tastes or morals will usually start things off, though sometimes they will extend a helping hand before you even have a chance to select "Talk". Typically, that's not the case as you usually must negotiate after the aforementioned conversation in order to officially win their favor. This could mean paying them, granting them an item from your inventory, letting them pummel you right quick, etc. 

Assuming it all goes well, they will then usually end up your allies from there on out. 

I use words like "usually" quite a lot here because the system is very unpredictable. Demons/personas may just take what they get from you and leave, they may refuse to talk to you, their stances aren't even always the same. You only have vague hints to work off of, such as their visual attire, how they answer to previous questions, the manner in which they speak, their fighting styles, etc. Though, as I've said, this sometimes isn't enough. 

While this unpredictability can occasionally prove annoying given the level of challenge SMT provides and the necessity of aquiring as many allies as possible, most of the time it's very satisfying and crafts a believable world where otherwordly and intelligent creatures live and fight alongside or against humans. Whereas Pokemon, by comparison, is, ironically, far more brutal and contrived. 

It makes plunging the world into total chaos, destroying it entirely, instilling God's law, somewhere in-between, etc. with a clear concious a whole lot easier. 


Skill over outside reliance

In stark contrast to Ni No Kuni, Rogue Galaxy was an equally as vibrant experience that I was finding myself very much enjoying from the onset. Aspects lovingly reminescent of the original Star Wars trilogy and action-RPG concepts that were actually somewhat creative rather than derivative of many other JRPG's, there was something immediately likeable about the whole thing. 

Collecting and crafting new equipment was also insanely addictive, your allies were fun and humerous (despite some dodgy voice acting here or there), there were multiple playable characters almost from the get-go, the combat had as much flair as it did fun... there were so many things to love about the game.

Until I realized exactly why it was I was finding the combat so "satisfying". 

Potion hoarding. 

Considering how cheap these things are, the game seems balanced not around the combat, but around your ability to grind as many potions as possible. 

Once I began to feel as if the game was becoming a little too difficult, I began to reevaluate my strategies around blocking more rather than using it as an afterthought. This gave me a chance to observe just how the AI was doing without my assistance and, wow, they're fucking idiots. 

"THIS is why I'm loosing potions and revives so quickly?!", I asked myself. I've seen the AI literally stand perfectly still for seconds, doing nothing, leaving themselves open for a critical blow. Given the real-time aspect of the combat and the inability to pause and closely observe the battlefield (camera controls are switched off while paused), there is no intuitive way of making sure your allies are making use of their most basic functions like they should be. 

You can change characters at almost any time, yes, but this will only alleviate so much frustration. The "Team Commands" also don't do a terrible amount. "Stand Back" is telling them to do nothing while clumsily running away and only sometimes blocking, "All-Out" will have them using potions and revives automatically (they at least do that pretty well), "Focus on the same target" I swear doesn't even fucking work, etc. 

The last boss I fought was the final straw. He has a far-reaching insta-kill attack which, naturally, requires having a few revives on hand. You can't be playing all 3 party members at the same time, so somebody is likely going to die and that somebody might very well be the main protagonist who is the only person on the team that has the tools required to allow damage from other teammates to be done to the boss

Smart. Really smart. 

In SMT, items are often used as last-minute resorts. In combat, if you have the right team, you'll hardly ever need to use them except for those rare instances. Not only that, but using potions on a consistent basis will require a lot of money. Money better spent on the Compedium, gear, upgrades, etc. 

There are attributes that will negate some attacks completely, send damage back, convert the damage into health, or simply resist certain attacks. You can also have your own insta-kill attacks, as ineffective as they may often be. All the while, the games are still very challenging and you will only make it out alive if you know exactly what it is you are doing even at times you are convinced you absolutely "got it". 

Early on, the games may even outright hand you plenty of healing items or even a healer demon/persona. Before long, observant players will have it become clear that healing attributes are far more useful than simple potions and that's when you start experimenting with Fusion. You may even want to keep some demons/personas in your inventory for the sole purpose of using their skills outside combat (which is a thing you can totally do) to heal your party. 

Building an A-Team of perfect warriors for every occasion or grinding items. Which sounds more fun to you? 

I'm not going to pretend that items are completely useless in SMT or that they aren't sometimes just about required, but at least 95% of the time it all comes down to healers and how efficient you are at maxing out your parties. That, to me, is significantly more satisfying and actually makes me feel as if I'm accomplishing something rather than letting an item so easily obtained do all the work for me. 

In regards to SMT's own "Team Commands", many seem to think Persona 3 before Portable was, at times, almost unplayable because the AI was inable to follow up on said commands. 

If I'm being frank, I don't think these people knew how to use them all that well because in my 50+ hours of Persona 3: FES (granted, this is only maybe halfway through), I only had Yukari make a single mistake in healing me rather than a weakened teammate. Could higher difficulties (I was on Normal) exaccerbate this minor issue? I don't doubt it, but I, personally, never found them to be detrimental in the slightest. Each command drastically changed each member's strategy and, 99% of the time, they did what I expected of them. Whether it was guarding, buffs/debuffs, exploiting weaknesses, whatever. 

But, hey, there is always Portable. 



Now, this one? This one hurts. It really hurts. But, I gotta say... I had to quit Final Fantasy IX. 

It wasn't because it was bad. Lord, no. For it's first 15-20 hours, it was sheer quality. The charming characters, the gorgeous settings, the great music, the story, the solid combat... I was so convinced that I was going to finally finish a Final Fantasy game, be able to talk about it with fellow fans, and maybe even read our Ben Davis' Experience Points piece on it. 

Final Fantasy IX was shaping up to be one of the greatest games I had ever played, but I, sadly, just couldn't take the immense amount of grinding required to experience the game's best aspects. 

Whereas Rogue Galaxy relied on potions to get you through even some run of the mill fights, Final Fantasy IX simply makes it all too easy for that to become how you get yourself through fights despite it's lack of challenge. 

At the point that I was at, in a very short amount of time, I am able to casually obtain plenty of "gil". Enough gil, in fact, to suit up with the latest gear, some extra niceties, as well as a whopping 99 potions and still have maybe 10,000-20,000 gil leftover. For the uninitiated, that is a lot. I had way more gil than I knew what to do with and my enemies stood no chance against both my supply of potions and my various healing spells. 

To make matters worse, combat in Final Fantasy IX is simplified to a fault. Besides gratuitous healing outside combat, my strategy was the same attack for every character and for just about every fight. Even most boss fights had a certain air of predictability to them. "Instead of using this attack with this character at all times, I'll have to occasionally use this one." like it was no big deal. 

Lack of difficulty and monotony do not go well hand in hand. I can play a game for it's artistry or story, but not when it's 50-100+ hours long. After some time, the actual act of playing can quickly become a burden when I'm not getting any meaningful feedback from the game. Pointless battles, long treks on-foot, etc. 

If I could skip the gameplay of Final Fantasy IX, I most definitely would. 

Boss fights in SMT? Hollllyyyyyy shit. You better believe they matter. 

SMTIV, in particular, has some of the most legitimately frightening or intimidating boss fights I've ever witnessed. Merkabah, Lilith, Lucifer, Pluto, Asmodeus, etc. and even if you are fully-prepared with tons of items, the best demons, and the best skills, things will only go so easy as long as you have an exact strategy in mind and even then you can be surprised. 

Personally, playing for stats and memorizing the objective best party to use for every fight is no fun. So, I usually get members that I'm presuming I'll need and then I pick out who I happen to be feeling that playthrough. So, I'm only making it even more challenging for myself. Heh. 

"I want that one. I like him."

I also just have a really terrible memory. So that helps. 

While there might be some grinding to do in these games, it never gets old because of it's perfect level of challenge. It may look easy, it may even feel easy, but just wait until you either make just a single mistake or are thrown just one curveball. Momentum is suddenly in the enemy's court and you have to think fast. 

The battles themselves also stay interesting as exploiting an enemy's weakness is of the utmost importance. The exact fashion in how these systems play out varies from game to game, but, at their core, it remains the same: Know what attacks work best for which enemy. Don't do that and fights will either last much much longer (wasting HP, MP, items, and lots of time) or you'll die very quickly. Demons/personas aren't Pokemon where their attributes are often front and center. Just because an enemy can fly, doesn't mean it's weak against "zio" attacks. Though some do have obvious weaknesses, most do not. 

Not only are you always on your feet, but your strategies must differ from fight to fight. All of this accomplished with very simple mechanics rather than branching rulesets, weird deviations, or randomness (... not that there's anything wrong with that). 

SMT does so much with so little and that's something I've always appreciated in any medium. Perfectionists have a lot on their plate if they want to be the very best you can possibly be at these games, all the while casuals have both strict rules yet plenty of freedom in how they can act within said rules. 

God, I love this franchise. 




I didn't think this blog would be quite this long, but there it is. Words, man. 

I still have plenty more JRPG's to try. Final Fantasy XII has been fairly impressive (awkward acting aside), but I've only played a few hours. Wild Arms 4 is also in my collection and that should prove interesting as people seem pretty polarized about the changes that came from the staples of 1-3. I should also give Tales of Xillia a second try.

Oh and I've been meaning to play Valkyria Chronicles for a loooooooooooong time. I bet that's at least decent. Maybe even worth a complete run. And Xenoblade! That was pretty good. But, again, I only did get in a few hours. Stuff like Xenoblade and Final Fantasy XII were games I was playing back when I had nowhere near the moxy to complete games I have now or had when I was much younger. 

But, as of now, my point stands. There are so many JRPG's that I just cannot gel with and, somehow, it all comes back to SMT.



And while we're at it...


Such fucking good music!


5:11 AM on 04.16.2015

Do you have any Rockstar Video Editor creations to show off?

GTAV remains probably my favorite GTA ever. It's the first GTA that has it all. Not just a good story, not just a wonderful open world, not just a plethora of content to delve into, but incredibly solid mechanics as well. It's been interesting seeing R* evolve from GTAIV to GTAV. Everything, from that to Red Dead Redemption to Max Payne 3 (the shooting is practically ripped wholesale from MP3), was leading up to what is rightly considered by some to be their opus. 

I wonder if we'll see that happen with Naughty Dog's Uncharted 4: A Thief's End? Combining what the developer has all but nailed with Uncharted and the freedom in combat and powerhouse storytelling of The Last Of Us. Also, Crash and/or Jak will be relegated to clothing unlockables, so they'll be there too. 

Right now, though, we're at the PC port of GTAV. What comes with it besides stupidly awesome graphics potential? Well, modding support for one thing! Also, a handy dandy video editor. As somebody who's been in the machinima scene (by "scene", I mean my room in my old apartment with a crappy handicam) for years and is still interested in the medium, this is particularly exciting. 

I've spent a couple hours with it by now and it is, no surprise, pretty damn nice. 

So, what can you create? 

Not literally anything, but if you set your mind to something cool or fancy rather than anything especially ambitious, I'm 95% sure you can do it!

I'm honestly surprised that they've allowed access to the radio tracks for optional audio additions. Not every track, mind you, which is likely because of re-licensing issues, but more than enough for sure. Unfortunately, though, The Next Episode is not one of them. Same goes for I Want It That Way. Dangnabbit!

In about 20 minutes, I was able to conjure this cute little test project:

When I discovered you could animate from camera to camera, I knew I'd be able to eventually pull off some real neat stuff. I mean, I'm no director... but, I suppose that's what Director's Mode is for!

No, it's not. That was a stupid thing to say. 

I decided to get slightly more inspired with my second piece by using the video editor's Director Mode, which allows you to use specific characters from across almost the entire campaign and more! Me? I chose an Altruist member. Because naturally.

You casually unlock more characters to pick from as you get further into the game, which is a nice way to entice people to keep returning to this specific facet of the video editor. Not only that, but you can actually free roam with whatever character you choose! You can't take your weapons with you (though characters can have weapons according to their personalities), but you can at least get some quick laughs by playing as Jimmy frollicking around on a scooter like we know he would given the chance.

I have just one more so far, which is easily the most comprehensive of the bunch. 

This was where I started to fiddle with all that I could. Camera effects, tasty transitions, multiple music tracks, combining more than one recorded clip, etc. What resulted was something I think is pretty respectable. Not anywhere near as quality as that first video by 8-Bit Bastard, but I'd proudly set it alongside the rest of my better works (of which, there are very few). 

As far as the actual game goes, the port is damn solid. Even with my poopy notebook, with everything turned down to the lowest they'll go (minus resolution) it runs @45-60 fps and with visual quality akin to the original PS3/360 release. That is way way better than I thought I'd be able to handle it. I didn't even think I could run it at all!

I don't see me playing the game a third time, though. Not this version. For sure, though, when I get a better computer. To me, I'll gladly take the PS4/Xbone's up in visuals and a clear 30 fps over going from that to PS3/360 quality and a somewhat smooth 60 fps. A big part of the charm of GTA is it's open world and I'll take whatever I can to make it look more beautiful without sacrificing too much of the performance. 

Haven't dabbled at all in Online as I'm not a fan of general online play unless it's co-op or a Nintendo title (Mario Kart 8 is a fantastic online game, especially without any mics and those humble Mii avatars). 

I can see myself getting a lot out of this. Even if I never ever beat another campaign mission, these 60 bucks will, before long, have been worth it. 



Do you have any videos you've made with the video editor? Show them to me! NOW! 


8:43 AM on 04.01.2015

A very sexy Nintendo Direct fallout blog

Today's Nintendo Direct won't broadcast until the very latest hour possible, being 5pm my time. That's practically several days away. I could take so many naps before then. I could eat so many meats and play so much Playstation 2. Which I will do, but still. 

Is today anymore special than normal, though? Why am I so excited? It's April fucking Fools. This is the perfect chance for them to announce something like so totally fake, but then they're like NOPE REAL PLEASE UNDERSTAND AND GET EXCITED! Everyone collectively poops their pants and wanks one out real quick. 

Nintendo has presented on April Fools before. But, that was just a "mini" Direct that happened to fall on the usual days Nintendo decides to do these Directs. Today may also happen to fall on one of said usual days, but THIS IS REALER THAN THAT ONE BEFORE! This is going to be a hardcore as fuck presentation, not some dainty "mini" Direct. 

Who knows what they might cook up? 



Slowpoke tail? 

Zelda Wii U has been delayed, many of the Wii U's other bigger announced titles either don't have a solid 2015 release date or are missing in action, and Devil's Third looks like crap. After the Wii U's amazing 2014 run, Nintendo must still have some tricks up their sleeves. All that momentum can't just magically dissipate immediately into 2015, right? 

We have Splatoon and Yoshi's Wolly World and that's about it. Two games I don't have a terrible amount of interest in. Therefore, Nintendo MUST have more to show me! What about that new working title Starfox? That could be officially announced and released this year. They've been supposedly developing it for quite some time.

And what about those "leaks"? Should we even get into those? I'm a wild speculator and have a habit of getting my hopes up. Same goes for you cheeky nympths. 

But, a new Paper Mario would get me reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally excited. 


Well, fuck that too. We can ignore these "leaks", but that doesn't mean I can't personally hope for more than what we've gotten before during these Directs. If you've only ever payed especially close attention to the more exciting Directs, remember that many of them don't announce much or even anything at all. I do have my wishes, though, that I'm holding close because nobody else has told me they might happen. Yet. 

Pokemon SoulSilver and HeartGold on the Wii U Virtual Console? *orgasm*

ZombiU getting a sequel? 95% not happenin', but that would be pretty fucking cool. 

A Midna amiibo? 99.999% not happenin', because Nintendo hates me. 

A Wii U shop app for Nintendo apparel/toys/accesories? Meager possibility, but I would absolutely love that. 

ATLUS is supposedly going to be featured in some form. They retwattered news of today's Direct, afterall. With that, we could see some news of the upcoming Devil Survivor 2: Break Record, the rumored Attack on Titan localization, or maybe Persona 5 will be announced for Wii U. 





We'd see remakes of the first two mainline SMT titles before that. Compiled in a convenient bundle on 3DS for 20 dollars, physical release and all. Which would also be fucking awesome. 

If there is, yet again, no more information on SMT x FE, I'm well-prepared with the following gif in response: 

Because, boy howdy, am I tired of waiting. 



What are you personally hoping for? How disappointing will it be? What am I doing with my life? 


4:14 PM on 03.30.2015

Do some real cool shit with your new Spotify console app!

No longer do have I an opportunity to just talk about video game music. With Spotify now having released on both the PS3 and PS4, I can finally talk a little bit about that music that you here in those un-video gamey things like movies, TV shows, commercials, and your phone. 

Not so subtle dig at mobile gaming. I'm such a stinker. 


God, I love this fucking album.

You know I love talking about video game music. As are gameplay mechanics, cutscenes, the art, UI, etc. music is one of the many tools in the toolbox of a developer in order to create the experience they want to. Whether it's love, freedom, sadness, anger, whatever. Music (or general sound design), when implemented just right, can accentuate these emotions and you feel far more than you would have otherwise. 

More conventional expressions of music are real great too. I mean, just because you're not jumping over lava pits or defeating a rambunctious boss to The Tubes' "She's A Beauty", doesn't mean it's not an excellent song. Sometimes people even turn off a game's soundtrack in favor of music such as this. Why? I think they just like pretending they know better. 

But, I get it. We're all like that sometimes. I've even gone through the trouble of creating 5 short playlists themed around 5 Playstation hits that I happen to enjoy like everyone else does for whenever you or I get in an especially self-important mood. 


Dragon Age: Inquisition

Link to playlist

Whenever I played Inquisition, a lot of my time was spent exploring every inch that I could of the wonderfully-crafted locales. Not just for the sidequests or collectables, but to simply lose myself and take in the sights. You need to relax, grind some materials, and hunt some wildlife? I think you might also need this playlist. 

Ghost B.C. - "Ghuleh / Zombie Queen" (It does eventually ramp up, but even then it's largely appropriate.)

Crosses - "Trophy"

College and Electric Youth - "A Real Hero" (Don't tell me this isn't your ideal hero song.)

The Doors - "Waiting for the Sun"

Tame Impala - "It Is Not Meant To Be" 

'Til Tuesday - "Voices Carry"

Pretty Lights - "Until Tomorrow"

Cocteau Twins - "Heaven or Las Vegas"

Natalie Merchant - "Carnival"

Fiona Apple - "Shadowboxer"


Borderlands 2 + The Pre-Sequel

Link to the playlist

A lot of the Borderlands franchise takes place within barren environments. Deserts, icy tundras, swamps, etc. Fighting around these parts is not a heavy metal ride. It's concentrated, therapeutic, slightly edgy. The following playlist encompasses that perfectly, if I do say so myself. Lots of echoing acoustics, mellow distortion, with added spice here or there. 

Kasabian - "Running Battle"

Butthole Surfers - "Pepper"

Dave Matthews Band - "Two Step"

Days of the New - "Face Of The Earth" 

Monster Magnet - "Space Lord"

Caveman - "Today" (Sadly, not on YouTube. Easily my favorite of the bunch at the moment.)

The Heavy - "Short Change Hero"

Steve Earle - "Satellite Radio"

Boy Dylan - "The Man In Me" (I don't know. I can somehow imagine this along to a cute, humorous trailer for The Handsome Collection or something.)

Dr. John - "Right Place Wrong Time" (Pretty damn funky compared to everything else here, but it somehow fits with your usual Borderlands action.)


Diablo III

Link to playlist

You know exactly what to expect from this one. Whearas Borderlands combat takes up a beer and a cozy backseat, Diablo is frantic, demonic, and generally epic. This calls for intensity. Balls to the wall, ass to mouth, eyes to your unrelenting foes, with weapon in hand and a frightening battle call (yes, all at the same time). Grow some hair, 'cause it's time to get heavy!

Machinae Supremacy - "Force Feedback"

Fallen Angel - "Sinner's Vengeance"

Chthonic - "Legacy of the Seediq"

Devin Townsend - "By Your Command" 

Anthrax - "Lone Justice"

David Lee Roth - "Just A Gigolo / I Ain't Got Nobody" (I'm just being a dick here, but I do find the idea of playing Diablo along to this kind of hilarious.)

Megadeth - "Take No Prisoners" 

DevilDriver - "Desperate Times"

Mercyful Fate - "Evil"

Fear Factory - "Demanufacture"



Link to playlist

There's not a terrible amount of video games quite as obnoxiously cute and upbeat as LittleBigPlanet. If a kitten were a video game, it'd be something like this. Heck, the characters of LBP3 would make for a fine line of pet playthings. Everything is so damn happy. I'm in such a good mood now, because of this playlist. Thank you, me!

Anamanaguchi - "Meow"

Prince - "Partyman" (Not the original, but it gets the point across. Get the real deal on Spotify!)

Crystal Fighters - "Plage"

Canned Heat - "Let's Work Together"

The Delfonics - "I Told You So"

Len - "Steal My Sunshine"

Eiffel 65 - "My Console" (The song's basically a glorified Playstation ad!)

The Chemical Brothers - "Block Rockin' Beats" 

The Time - "Jungle Love"

Pharrell Williams - "Happy" (Because, well, duh!)


inFAMOUS: Second Son + First Light

Link to playlist

Nothing too incredibly ambitious here. I went all 90's for this one, the Seatle music scene both an inspiration for Delsin and Fetch's characters and the game's soundtrack. The ambient echoes during the casual strolls through the open world hit me so well in my pleasure center. Hopefully this last little playlist compliments them just fine. 

Nirvana - "Rape Me" 

Alice In Chains - "It Ain't Like That"

Bush - "Body"

L7 - "Pretend We're Dead"

Melvins - "Revolve"

The Offspring - "Gotta Get Away"

The Presidents of the United States of America - "Stranger"

Sponge - "Plowed"

Toadies - "Mister Love"

Marilyn Manson - "Rock Is Dead"




Signing off! What games are you finding yourself playing on your Playstations? Any music you like to chug along to whilst doing so? 


5:19 AM on 03.28.2015

15 games that will define 2015 for me

We are nearing the end of March. Both you and I are wondering why the heck I'm writing this now rather than at least a couple months back. Well, I have a very simple answer for that: "........."

Can I have some time to think, please?!

Thank you. 



































I... have no real good reason. 

On the upside, it gave me an opportunity to perfectly structure in a whole category that I wouldn't have otherwise been able to fit in and realize that there actually isn't that much I've been looking forward to. That's great for my backlog, which I've continued neglecting like a bad memory. Literally dozens, maybe hundreds, of games long and I'm not getting any younger.

Oh and the Hadron Collider still scares the fuck out of me. Will we all be at the mercy of an ever-expanding black hole that swallows all on Earth and some distance beyond in a matter of a days, all in the name of scientific curiosity? Maybe, and I have a life to live! I have a legacy to keep! I've never tried English chocolate! But, most importantly, I've got video games to play!


Backlog Beauties

Persona 4: Golden

As much as I may praise my adoration for the Shin Megami Tensei franchise of games (and you'll see a lot throughout this blog), I have yet to finish any but SMTIV. Just about every single one is a very long experience and I haven't been doing well with sticking with games that aren't even a third their length(s). I've never had a patient bone in my slightly chunky body, but, lately, I've been trying to change that. 

A short while ago, I asked myself "It's never not awkward when I talk to myself, but don't you think you should at least try to finish a few of these considering how much you've enjoyed them thus far?". "Sure, me.", I said back. "That makes a lot of sense.".

When I first played Golden, my first time with any SMT game, I was in love with everything about it. I had not been so obsessed over a video game probably since GTA: San Andreas. The colors, the story and characters, the gameplay, the soundtrack... oh god, the soundtrack.

That I only managed to clock in 18-20 hours when I've easily made it almost 60 for both SMTIV and Persona 3: FES is very peculiar. But, when I return, I'll finally be able to talk at length about it with fellow fans. Something I've wanted to do for so long. That I've mananged to somehow avoid spoilers despite my many Google searches and being apart of the largest SMT fan group on Facebook is also surprising. 


Final Fantasy IX

This is one I'm actually playing right now! So far, it's splendid. One of those "motherfuckin' adventure" games. Every setting thus far has captivated me in some way, the characters are (despite some occasionally dull writing) lovable, it rewards exploration, and the soundtrack is excellent. 

I should've featured this one in my previous music blog.

There's a loooooot of story, though. Normally, I wouldn't sit through so much text unless it were especially awesome, but the world and what joy there is to be had with the characters are pulling me along just fine so far. Just hit the hidden city of Cleyra, so I probably still have a very long journey ahead of me. 

The reliance on potions and Pheonix Downs is also a little questionable. But, generally, I'm really enjoying it. Heck, I may just finish it to see how Vivi's character turns out. The little guy definitely needs some love. 


Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey

As I mentioned within the parenthesis above, there's going to be a lot of SMT stuff here. 

More than Nocturne or even FES or Golden, I'm excited to start up and (hopefully) finish Strange Journey. Several times, I've had it mentioned by reputable folks as the SMTIV before SMTIV. That it could've very well been a numbered sequel considering it's size, scale, and quality. Since becoming aware of it, it's always seemed the most tantalizing of the PS2/DS era, though I've laxed on it in favor of the more widely-appreciated titles. 

I'm absolutely giddy in anticipation for it's boss fights (is it any wonder why the franchise houses many of my most favorite enemy designs?), the soundtrack, the dreadful atmosphere, all of it!



I have almost no idea what to expect from Killer7, which isn't common for me. Whenever there's a game I want, typically, I at least have a rough idea of how it's going to play. With Killer7, it's totally up in the air. I bought it "because it's Suda", who hasn't always provided me with awesome experiences but, rather, memorable ones. Had I finished the original No More Heroes instead of venturing forth with (the vastly superior) No More Heroes 2, I probably would be looking back on it fondly despite it's wonkyness. 

I think it's a... shooter? I've also heard it's on-rails? But, to what extent? How thrilling!

And what's up with that art and the crazy characters? Suda. That's what's up with them. 


Alien: Isolation (Nightmare Mode)

While I may have beaten and greatly enjoyed Alien: Isolation once already on Hard, it's semi-recent (and free) "Nightmare" update has me interested in giving it a second playthrough way sooner than I had intended. 

The supplies density on Hard, while scarce, still wasn't as scarce as I would have liked. Flamethrower fuel was in a surprising abundance and, at times, I was (given my status) wasting supplies for grenades and health packs just to be able to pick up more of those same supplies. There's only so much that can be done to keep the xeno at bay and repeat strategies, often times, don't work within a single section, but all that extra shit I had packin' definitely softened some of the welcomed tension.

Would be nice if the more supplies you had, the slower you became. 

Speaking of the xeno, it's even more creepy stalky on Nightmare. Brokenly so? I wouldn't put it past the developers to do as such as it was already about as hard as I'd imagine it could be, but we'll have to see. Perhaps it's heightened senses will make the backtracking and walking sections a little more exciting. 



Upcoming Contenders

Persona 5

I say "contender", but there's no chance that I won't at least enjoy Persona 5 on some level. Worst case scenario, it has an excellent soundtrack (if the music from the latest trailer is any indication), it's tried something new for once since Persona 3, and the main protagonist shall prove to be great doujin fodder. 

Best case scenario? It's the most brilliant JRPG ever. 

I love that it's still turn-based. That was probably my biggest worry considering the rise of action RPG gameplay. You'd think developers had suddenly decided that turn-based combat was inherently flawed or something. As much as I wouldn't have blamed ATLUS for pulling such a stunt, I'm very glad they didn't. To add to that, while the characters do feel formulaic (docile protag, dudebro partner, angsty female, animal companion), their "Dark Hour" alter egos might lift them up from average to some of the franchise's best. 

And the new visual style and more dynamic presentation? There's so much greatness to digest from it and it might not even come out this year! But, oh, please do. Be my guest. 


Until Dawn

Another one that may not release this year, but I hope it does. Actually, I'm paranoid it won't even release at all despite it's recent coverage. It just... feels like one of those games. It's already gone through a reworking since it's origins as a PS3 PS Move title, so who knows what the future holds. 

As is, though, I'm hoping for this to be the Heavy Rain that we all thought we'd get. Ya know, with actors who spoke with natural accents, a story that wasn't filled with plotholes, and from the minds of folks that aren't obnoxious in their self-importance. It's similarity to Quantic Dream's Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain is uncanny, right down to the 3D exploration, QTE's, and it's focus on pure graphical prowess and storytelling. 

Contrary to popular opinion around some circles of the gaming community, I don't mind a game like this every now and then and I hope Until Dawn does it right. 


Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition

When this was announced alongside DmC: Devil May Cry's Definitive Edition, I was pleasantly surprised, casually interested, and very happy for those much bigger fans of the franchise than I. After it's latest trailer, though, I'm incredibly psyched to play it. 

Between you and me, I think Devil May Cry only got good once DMC3 released. 1's "soft" lock was 100x more egregious than DmC's and it's fixed camera angles did not lend well to the fast-paced action gameplay. 2 fixed some of that, but was outstandingly dull otherwise. 3? 3 was fucking awesome. There's no argument to be had there. It's awesome. And DmC I quite liked. But, I have zero opinions of 4. 

5 playable characters is what's getting my attention, nevermind the great-looking combat. That's some insane variety/replayability! The more tasteful characterization, coming off of some recent time with DmC, helps a bunch as well. 


Persona 4: Dancing All Night!

If you told fans of Shin Megami Tensei around the time Persona 3 was achieving it's success that we'd eventually come around to playing a rhythm game based around it's music with franchise characters dancing around like J-pop idols, they'd probably slap you across the noggin, think about it for a second, and then throw you money because that's an amazing idea. 

While I'm more of a fan of Persona 3's darker and more mellow soundtrack, Persona 4's is definitely excellent in it's own right and more suitable for a poppy rhythm game. These are some of the only sorts of games I'm especially good at and I could see myself pouring many hours into it. Changing outfits, perfecting my scores, ogling at the overbearing adorableness, etc. 

The official soundtrack remixes, too. I am going to absolutely salivate over them. 


Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Uncharted 1 and 2 are easily amongst my favorite games of the last generation, with Uncharted 3 still nestled somewhere snug within "games I would play again". They continuously have made me feel like the badass treasure hunter I needed to be in order to find myself out of all of these wonderful and spectacular scenarios set across the globe, in places I wish I could be in right this moment. 

I've also always gotten a real kick out of the characterization of Drake and Sully, in particular. Bosum buddies, teacher and pupil, always providing great banter. Excellent performances all-around as well and I'm deeply interested in seeing how they evolve both the characters and performances after the insane levels of success The Last Of Us has garnered. 

In both gameplay and story, they've supposedly taken cues from their previous efforts in order to push what it means to be an Uncharted game. No doubt the most ambitious entry to come and, like it or not, it's going to be something special. 



Recent Misses

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection

Say what you will about Gearbox, but they have got it nailed down to a science with Borderlands at this point. A science I can most assuredly get behind. 

I loved the original Borderlands, but since Borderlands 2, it hasn't been easy to go back. It's objectively better in so many respects and I found myself pouring well over 100 hours into it over the course of just one short month and that's with going to college 3-4 days a week. After then, I accumulated another 50+ in just the DLC. And I beat the campaign three times

Being able to now conveniently play it and The Pre-Sequel on my nice television and in 1080p/60fps is going to be pure heaven. I'm not sure if I'd ever stop. 



While all you raspcallions are busy playing Bloodborne, probably even idling it next to you as you read this, I've told myself that it's something I could probably hold off on for another couple months or so. It really does pain me, but I've been trying my best to prioritize my gaming habits and my backlog + Borderlands are just slightly above Bloodborne's excellency. 

Guess if I had been able to finish a single Souls game, I'd be that much more excited to play it RIGHT NOW, but, as it stands, I simply respect the franchise a great deal.

It's game design is brilliant, it's art is fantastic, and it's approach to storytelling is refreshing, but my frustration with the difficulty (which is all on me) has always resulted in me putting it down in favor of something more my level. I love a good challenge, but I usually save that for repeat playthroughs. The Last Of Us? Soared majestically through that on Grounded. Call of Duty 4? It was tough, but I did eventually concur Veteran. The Souls games? They're Very Hard/Dante Must Die/Impossible/Fuck You Fuck You Fuck You by default

Bloodborne, though, I could see myself finishing with it's focus on more offensive tactics. I've heard some claim it's more challenging, some say it's less so, but, either way, perhaps the switch up in gameplay will push me forward to it's end. I really hope so. 


Resident Evil: Revelations 2

I actually played through the first episode of Revelations 2 when it released, to give myself an idea of whether the full retail package was going to be worth it. For 5 bucks, I got what was the best Resident Evil experience I had gotten since RE4, as well as a pretty fun and extensive Raid Mode. 

It faithfully brought back the tension and darkness of the older RE's while retaining a more RE4-focused approach to combat design which RE5, RE6, and even occasionally the original Revelations seemed to carelessly butcher with little worthwhile upsides. Though, what I found in Revelations 2's first episode was exactly what I had been looking for the franchise to return to for so long: controls and enemy encounters that worked solidly in tangent and supply scarcity that forced me to act while on the edge of my seat. 

This return to form, I hope is carried on throughout it's entire 6 episode campaign. If it can do that, perhaps there's hope for this franchise yet.  


Grow Home

There are so many swell looking indie games releasing these days, that it's impossible to keep track of them all. If it weren't for PS+, I'd be completely skipping out on quite a few that I'd likely really enjoy. 

While Grow Home doesn't seem to be blowing minds on any level, it looks to lovingly bring back that mascot adventure charm of so many 90's titles that some now attempt to tackle with very mixed results. Thankfully, though, it has received generally very positive feedback and our former chungus-in-chief Jim Sterling's YouTube looksee of it convinced me I needed it in my life as well. 

Cute, funny, bright, innocently fun. Something to break up how I will be spending most of my video game playing this year.


The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D

Whenever Zelda has failed to impress me, I always try to give it a second chance because I adore the franchise's concepts and lore so much. If I could imagine the perfect video game, it'd probably be a lot like a Zelda game. Sprawling overworlds and perilous dungeons, a huge arsenal of exciting tools and weapons, expressive characters, vibrant motifs, charming music, I could go on. 

At it's best, I can think of no better way to be spending an afternoon. Thing is, it's so rarely been at it's best for me. Minus Twilight Princess and Wind Waker, my impressions have been all over the place and that goes especially for Majora's Mask. I've gone at length about why I couldn't enjoy it, but, basically, it was a nasty combination of dull and confusing. Lots of running around, waiting, running around... more running... 

I don't think I fought a single enemy during my time with it nor was I captivated with it's characters outside that brief moment with The Happy Mask Salesman. It's visuals haven't aged too well either.

This all brings me 'round to the recent 3DS update. It looks wonderful, some of it's encounters have been altered, and it's progression has been updated to feel much less vague or arbitrary. I already know I love Majora's Mask's art and mechanics, it's just how it was all put together in the original release that turned me off from continuing too far past it's beginning sections. 

I wouldn't be surprised to find Majora's Mask as suddenly my new favorite Zelda game. At the same time, more than any other game on this list, I'm concerned about how I will take it. It's times like these that remind me that, as a critic, going into a game can be very exciting in so many ways beyond what can be gathered from it's surface level merit. I have a point of reference, a game I could very possibly love or still hate... 

Please. Please be awesome.




So, how have y'all been enjoying 2015 in gaming so far? What are some games you're looking forward to? 


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