Skyscraper is the writer identity of one Karl Göran Isacson, gamer to the bone and amateur reviewer of games on his spare time. He's studying (soon to be studied) game design at Stockholms University in the vain hopes of landing a career in game design, and is generally a hopeless nerd connected to the Internet far too often to get much gaming done. Blessed with an older brother with computer-savvy friends, he has been illegally playing a number of games on a variety of platforms far broader than what his paltry allowance could buy him at the time, and is now a repetentant game-buyer who spends far too much of his cash on the games he once pirated.
He thus has the super-power of having no particular biases to or against against any one console-maker, and just plays all of the games that he's interested. Expect this blog to be a varied one, because "variety" is a much prettier word than "no clear line of thought or planning". It's also shorter.
Been writing reviews since he was 16 years old (they sucked), and always trying his darn best to improve. He's here to play games, write opinions... and never answer why he calls himself Skyscraper as the answer would simply rob him of all mystique and intrigue.
So since I haven’t actually written an introductory post, I thought I could jump on this here bandwagon with reckless abandon since after all, ANYTHING I tell you will be considered “Things you didn’t know”. For I am an unknown quantity, elusive and mysterious like the platypus. Come, allow me to disperse some of my mystery with these ten truths…
10. I take pictures of my hair after I shower. Some people make duck-face pictures, I take snapshots of the amazing shapes my hair takes when it’s wet because that’s the only time my unruly mop looks interesting. Sometimes I seriously look like I belong in a shonen manga.
9. I am tall. I am 6,5 feet and after spending some humiliating years as a very stout pre-teen I was incredibly smug about shooting past my older brother and dad at the age of fifteen. Downside to this is that I get very self-conscious when there’s someone taller than me around- I want to be the top dog. Me. ME DAMMIT.
8. I was a violent kid. Between the ages of 9 to 14 I must have been one sociopathic little fucker, because mom and dad have a lot of stories from various fights that I’ve been in that have gone WAY beyond school-yard scuffles and that I… apparently just didn’t give a fuck about, because I can’t remember them myself. The prime example would be when I was nine and one of the class troublemakers cut in line in lunch. The teachers reported that I floored him with a headbutt, and then just went back to my place in the line. I don’t even think I liked the food there, I had apparently just had enough of his shit.
TO NO CHILD, SHALL I GIVE ACCOORD! HIS BRUISES ARE ON MY RECOOORD. BRUISES UPON MY RECOOOOOORD!
The strangest thing is that this apparently didn’t get me in trouble with the teachers what-so-ever, so if I did learn anything it was that the world rewards those who can channel destructive and dangerous tendencies in the right directions. And now you know. Don’t do it these days though, as I got sent into special ed when I entered my teens and it really helped me mellow out.
7. I lean heavily towards the “storytelling” side in the “storytelling versus interactivity” debate. I’ve been reading since I was three years. I’ve read books since I was five and game magazines since I was six, which means that I not only got it imprinted in me at an early age that games could be serious business and should be treated as such, but also that whenever the debate rages of favoring either interactivity or storytelling, I instinctively lean towards the storytelling side because I’ve enjoyed books far more than I’ve enjoyed playing with other kids. I feel like I should apologize to Jim Sterling just by writing these words, man.
6. I can't decide if my favorite console is the PS2 or the Nintendo DS. Because both consoles had an extremely varied line-up with a healthy amount of games for them, but also because those two were the first consoles I bought with my own money instead of getting them as a gift, and the games I bought were MY games. Not the familys, not co-owned. Mine. Those were good days, man. Good days.
5. Video games corrupting influence has taught me more about my own perversions than sex-ed ever did, and it all started with fighting games. This is gonna be a long one, and honestly tackle three subjects- why I prefer 2D-fighting games, my frighteningly broad taste in girls and humorously narrow taste in men. Due to their tendency to focus on highly detailed and ever so physical characters, fighting game ladies were some of the first to make me think naughty things (Cammy’s victory pose in Super Street Fighter 2 was the start down the road, man), but their most lasting influence was teaching me the merits of variety. I have often felt that sprite-based games, due to forcing the developers to make every character from the ground up often results in characters with their own unique builds, whereas with games that use 3D-models or scanned in real people (Tekken and Mortal Kombat basically) I end up feeling like everyone looks the same because they’ve basically use three models- one for regular guys, one for really bulky guys and one for the girls. 2D games like Street Fighter Alpha, Darkstalkers and King of Fighters were more visually appealing to me for this variety, which is why I’ve never found the Dead or Alive ladies very hot- too much same-face and same-body going on.
But once this discovery was made I found myself gravitating towards the more… unusual designs. I’ve always been the guy to pick people like Dhalsim, Faust or Arakune first because the odd intrigues me, and soon I found that preference slipping into the realm of “things I find attractive.” It started off light with characters like Natsu from Rival Schools who just happens to be a very tall girl, then to King from King of Figthers who’s a female cross-dresser (I coincidentially happen to find Ivy far more appealing when she’s wearing a mens uniform), then chars like Felicia from Darkstalkers and Sheeva from Mortal Kombat started catching my eyes and from THAT I went into the survival horror genre where I saw characters like Alexia Ashford from Resident Evil and Mellissa Pearce from Parasite Eve and couldn’t understand why my coplayers were so grossed out…
Basically I am Tycho and the people reading this are slowly turning into Gabe. I’m so sorry. And if it hadn’t been for videogames, I may still have been blissfully unaware of the part of me that finds ladies with bug-parts attractive… or, for that matter, the part of me that isn't interested in men UNLESS they are classically handsome with long black hair, well-kept goatees and asian facial features.
The reason I’m not going to apologize to Jim Sterling- because he thinks Zhang fucking He is hotter shit than THIS handsome son of a gun.
Dynasty Warriors 4 was a rather educating playthrough for me, in that regard. At first I was “WELP DIDN’T KNOW THIS PART ABOUT ME”, but then I went “Okay if I get all hot and bothered over Kerrigan, throwing a hissy-fit over something this comparatively mainstream is just silly” so I didn’t. Xiahou Dun’s cropped boy-band look from Dynasty Warriors 6 can just go die in a burning ditch though.
4. I’m studying game design with a focus on level design, modeling and being the “idea guy”. While Extra Credits has taught me that nobody needs an “idea guy”, I have none the less often ended up being just that guy when I’ve worked on game design. I’ve been responsible for the basic concept and storyline for two small games, and fleshed out the story and done level design for a third which is kind of like story-telling for a third, and just about generally been the guy people ask for ideas when it comes to world building. It gives me hope that somehow, even if I’m just average in coding and modeling, I have a future in game design. Not a bright one, but a future none the less.
3. Only one game has ever made me cry. Secret of Mana. The ending. I mained Sprite. Nuff ‘said for those who know what I’m talking about. Also I was like six at the time so that might've helped.
2. The first game I ever wrote a review for was Shadow of Memories. I’ve been part of a website that reviews games for over twelve years now. For my first review they basically just handed me the game since I was the only one who was interested in a story-based adventure game from Japan, so I sat down, played it until the end, got the worst ending because I completely misunderstood how to play the game but wrote that I loved it anyway. I’ve been writing and improving ever since, and hope that posting the occasional review here won’t be some kind of breach of contract… not that they’re paying me for it.
1. I will never be able to truly leave Capcom behind. The first game I ever played for the NES that wasn’t Mario was Megaman 3. Megaman X was the second game I got for the SNES. Street Fighter 2 captured my imagination when my bigger brother would let me play it, the curmudgeon, in ways that Mortal Kombat never could. Breath of Fire 3 was the first really big JRPG I ever played on the Playstation (and the less said about my thoughts on Myrias design the better for the weakminded out there), and Devil May Cry was the second game I ever bought for the PS2. I am hopelessly, HOPELESSLY trapped in the web of storied franchises that these guys have spun. Seeing what they do these days and what they are more and more turning into makes me weep, but… it’s alright. I’ll just smile, and tell the world that it’s okay. My wallet just walked into a door, that’s why it’s so empty. It’s… it’s so clumsy. It does that sometimes. That’s all.