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I make custom action figures, so check out my site and dtart!

http://somethinggerman.blogspot.com/

http://somethinggerman.deviantart.com/
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When his best friend gets murdered, Detroit Cop Cole Phelps must look within the city of angels for answers.










The video explains itself. Criticism regarding multiplayer and storyline of red dead.

You can play timesnail here:
http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/games/timesnail

Also, I probably should have mentioned Shadow of the Colossus when I gave examples of good stories told in games.








if you read this, it is the same post I did on tomopop

Long time no see eh? Finally got around to finish Travis Touchdown after finding a copy of NHM Paradise with actual english voice over, hip hip hofuckhead.

Also in case you live on the backside of mars and don't know anything about Travis, he is a otaku assassin shat out by the insane mind that is Suda51 and servers as a introspection for gamers and the games the play.
Oh and he also cuts of heads and has a kitten named Jeanne.

Matthew Razak did an awesome rundown on the meanings behind the first 2 games
You can read it here

EDIT: Jonathan Holmes also analyzed the games villians, how could I forget that?!
Read that two part article on the bosses here

But I digress.


As before I used the SF3 Sota Remy figure as a base and even though I prefer the figure of the Joker from Arkham Asylum (the game) I made, I am nevertheless happy with the final figure.


Someone else also did a pretty awesome Travis figure in 1/6 scale. Oh who could have guessed that sculpting sunglasses in 1/12 scale would be so much more of a pain in the ass than in 1/6 scale.

The Blood Berry beam katana (what a fantastic name) was rather easy to do.
Only a piece of wire with epoxy on it.
At first I wanted to do a light up version but just did't find a small enough light.


Still looks good though in those pics.



I might aswell talk about the game now.
As I said above, there are versions of Paradise that actually have the english voice overs.
Some of the text is still in Japanese but it never messed with the gameplay.
So as long as you are willing to wait a month for the damn thing to arrive from Japan and know a good tax free seller you're good to go.


Nevertheless, FUCK UBISOFT for refusing to bring this gem to the states and europe.
One last thing though, stay the fuck away from the PS3 version, it has no blood :(

Oh yes, what a brilliant idea, cut the over the top gore out from one version and hope it sells better on the 360.
Fucking pretzel logic bullshit.

There are 2 more minutes of Travis in the video below if you don't desperatly need to save that time for all the busy browsing you have to do.
It's set to "Bad Girl" "Shinobu" and "Heavenly Star" from the NMH soundtrack.


this has been going on to long allready, so thanks for looking again
have a chocolate cranberry sunday!

http://somethinggerman.deviantart.com/
Photo Photo Photo








Disclaimer: This article only focuses on GTA IV and not on the 2 expansions.

When you take a look at main stream games these days the easiest and most tempting approach to creating a main protagonist for your game will be your average "grim & gritty" "war is hell but at the same time I love chainsawing shit to death" grizzled (white) male with short to no brown hair.
Also known as the Gears of God of Splinter Cell hero.
In case creating a superficial and stereotypical cop out story becomes to hard to do just stick to your average "wise cracking sociopath dipshit without any clear motivation for his actions".
Also known as Nathan Drake.

The idea behind cardboards like Nathan Drake is simple and almost logical.
When I play a game like Splinter Cell where I really really really love taking out dudes and looking cool doing so I do it for that reason alone; I want to rip out some spines and have fun.
I don't do it to avenge the daughter I as a player never cared about to begin with.

So therefore let's take a shit on that idea of justification/story/context and create the "relatable" blank slate hero.
But the problem with a cardboard like Drake then becomes rather obvious.
After killing hundreds of dudes and snaping their necks and searching the levels with a magnifier like a fucking idiots for hours to steal treasures you begin to wonder why the fuck you're doing that again when the game runs out of fun stuff to throw at you.
The action becomes so dry and monotone that little Drake seems more and more like a bland slate with no point for his action other than his compulsive need to murder and plunder.
So it becomes impossible to actually relate to or sympathize with Nathan because there is NOTHING to relate to or sympathize with.
Unless one actually happens to be enough of a pillock to lack as much personality as Nathan Drake and spends his life fantasizing about adventure storys like Uncharted that carry as much story as porn spoofs of Indiana Jones.
Instead you would have to come up with your own justification for everything that happens in Uncharted which begs the question why the game trys to have a story when it refuses to tell you shit about it's characters and why they should be important.

Let's take a quick look at the bastard child's father Indiana Jones for a moment, in particular The Last Crusade.
In that film we see Indy's desire to find treasures not to become rich (which would be enough reason to say the least) but to aquire academic knowledge and put them in a museum for others to see.
The guy even works as a teacher for fuck's sake. Apart from Clint Eastwood in Eiger Sanction I can't think of any badass action hero who is also a teacher, but I degress.
My point is that the complex relationship with his father who was never able to express any feelings for him, the journey that brings the two together over the course of the movie and his desire for knowledge are more than enough justification for doing all the cool shit he does in the movie.
You know, banging that Nazi slut, killing tons of Nazis, becoming immortal, having bike chases, solving riddles etc etc.

The aspect of being a history teacher kinda comes into play with Half Life's Gordon Freeman and his job as a scientist in a sense that it should create disconnect between the story and the gameplay.
While The Last Crusade shows a short scene with Indy teaching history and therefore establishing his desire for treasure hunting and making this aspect of his personality only relatable to actual teachers who happen to also be treasure hunters (read: nobody) there is never a single level in Half Life that has the player as Gordon do any scientific research.
There is no sense of disconnection, instead the game says "you are a scientist, done, now have fun experiencing our story" which is a great way of giving context without any infringement on the player taking over the role of Gordon.

Now back to Indy, the fact that you can not directly relate to certain aspects of his personality do NOT mean that you can not sympathize with him as a character and the developing relationship between him and his father or his simple desire to aquire knowledge and treasures for everyone instead of keeping it in the hands of rich greedy fucks, who all happen to be horribly killed in the end.

So, creating a character is never ever ever about relating to them (mostly because it's all fiction and exists in good old unreal hyperreality) and instead about making them SYMPATHETIC.

This is why cardboards like Nathan Drake piss me off, because there is never a single indication of why I should sympathize with even BITS of his (lacking) personality.

Which (fina-fucking-ly) brings me to the Grand Theft Auto IV.
GTA IV was in terms of gameplay total let down, which can be summed up in a single sentense:
It had nothing to do and the stuff you could do got boring as fuck.
But where the game truly shined was in the character department, in particular Niko and his cousin Roman.
Unlike Cardboard Drake, Roman is a believable flawed character.
A guy who believes in the american dream, comes to the states and builds a small business as a taxi driver showing off his passion and struggle to rely on himself.
But on the same time he gambles away his money and gives in to the flaws of temptation.
However he remains sympathetic because he is still trying to build a better life and to afford taking care of and marrying Malorie.
Roman certainly doesn't show the complexity of James Sunderland from Silent Hill 2 or Wander from Shadow of the Colossus regarding his personality and actions.
But similar to somebody like the Prince of Persia (in The Sands of Time) or Travis Touchdown he shows flaws and makes mistakes while still keeping integrity and his hopes and thoughs and beliefs straight.

While Roman appears like a usual flawed human being Niko makes for some fun tragedy and bitching about human condition.
Past GTA games either realized that the main character had to be a psychotic murdering lunatic mostly influenced by Mr.Blond from Reservoir Dogs (read: Tommy Vercetti) or failed to realize that and had him endorcing in romantic relationships, taking care of his crackhead mother and giving money to his deadbeat brother (read: Victor Vance) without acknowledging that the player would then skip that shit to drive a tank up a hooker's ass.
Niko actually manages to succed in this insane balance act between being a psychotic killer and taking care of his loved ones.

In this scene I for the first time really got what made Niko tick and why GTA IV tried to be so anoying with the friends calling you to go bowling.
Niko was mentally scared by the things he witnessed during the war that he is no afraid of nothing, not even his own actions. The first time you kill somebody in GTA IV Niko actually says "I actually wanted to kill nobody in this country" without trying to come of wise-cracking.
Up to that point in the game the horror's he endured were only hinted at and now you actually realize that Niko hates nothing more than killing people even though he is that good at doing it and now you understand that this veteran would rather spend time just doing what the empowerment fantasy dipshit in us hated about GTA IV, driving friends around and playing bowling with them, enjoying fast food, going to a strip club etc.
However when you as a player decide to go postal and butcher half the people in Liberty City you can blame it on Niko's almost destroyed psyche.

Most of the "do you want this dude to live or die" choices in the game were totally useless and superficial except for Niko's final encounter with Darko Brevic, the man responsible for most of the shit Niko faced during the war.

This scene and the final outcome does not determine anything regarding the endings of the game.
Instead it shows how Niko either gave in to the easy temptation of revenge by killing Darko or how he finally managed to use rational deal with his troubled passed by starting a better life (mostly) free from death and sorrow.
It's these kind of choices that really call for player agency where you get to witness a character's development and then take part in shaping what kind of a character they are in the end.
That way this choice between doing what would be right - but hard to do and what would be wrong - but very very easy to do applies for both Niko and the player and respectively reveals what kind of person you are.

So yeah, in terms of believable human character development and moral ambigouity and psychological complexity GTA IV is paired together with the game's satire and delusion of the american dream probably the best GTA game, which is why I can not wait to see what the fuck will happen with the story of Red Dead Redemption.
Even though the gameplay was fucking boring until Ballad of Gay Tony came out.
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Disclaimer: Minor spoilers about Shadow of the Colossus, Silent Hill 2 and Prince of Persia - Sands of Time. Also I one time got sidetracked and made a reference to Melinda Gebbie and Alan Moore's "Lost Girls" to talk about Prince of Persia.
(for which I am very proud but feel nerdy as fuck - if somebody wrote about the bathtub scene and the catacomb talking scene of sands of time as if it was a scene from Lost Girls that would have totally knocked the socks of the monthly musings thing, even though the message was simply make love not war)




Humans are flawed, that is a commonly known fact. If we all were flawless and perfect there would be no "Übermensch"idea and Jerry Siegel would never have given Alan Moore the opportunity to write a clever story about Superman (for those caring it's called "For the man who has everything" and yes it's been made into a Justic League episode).
But flaws in themself can be wonderful little things to challange and overcome and help us become
better people. Statements about the human behaviour can be as objective as they please but when we react to a mistake we made our reaction tends to be ... well subjective.

So let's start with the most messed up guy on the list.
James Sunderland has been called to Silent Hill to find redemption and salvation.
Contrary to the game's first minutes he has been called not to find his late wife, but to accept her death and deal with the circumstances surrounding her death.
No spoiler regarding what James did or didn't but the plot twists are better than in Shutter Island.

Second hero of the day would be the Prince of Persia, who starts out like a jocky douche destined to find honor and fame on a battlefield (must repress urge to talk Metal Gear Solid games) and ends up destroying an entire kingdom and turning his loved ones into mindless monsters.
However he makes a desperate atempt, hopeing to undo this shit by trying to wind time back with the help of one of the women his father enslaved.


Wanderer actually reveals almost nothing about his backstory and leaves much up to observation.
He does not show any sign of courage (the kind of courage you would need to accept and deal with a terrible loss), but mere desperation, by stealing a sword and traveling into the forbidden land in order to revive a girl even less is revealed about.
Not only is he a thief, he also says that the consequences of his actions do not matter to him so long as Mono lives again. With that said he travels out to slaughter 16 innocent colossi that bear the spirits of Satan (Dormin -> dormer -> sleeper -> guy who holds the power over the sleeping aka the dead -> come on, he has horns on the head, how could you not think of the devil) in order to give him back his power.
Now the thing is, Wanderer gets more and more taken over and filled by the dead colossi and NEVER EVER questions that; nor does he appear to show some sign of regret for killing them, but then again maybe his regret is a more subtle one.
Still, I wonder, what would happen if somebody asks Wanderer:
"What the fuck are you going to do about that satanic demon thingy you unleashed you prick?"

He has become so desperate about reviving Mono that he sacrifices not only the colossi, but also himself.
What does that tell us about his relationship with Mono?
This is the kind of sacrifice you would make in a comepletely altruistic, unselfish and giving love.
Either that or the guy seems to feel responsible for Mono's death; but still, the important endresult remains of him not being able to cope with a mistake/death and refusal to accept it without a fight.
Even if it means to fuck everything up even more.

Now there is at least one common factor those 3 dudes all share and no, it is not the fact that they all share some sort of relationship with a girl (Mary, Mono and Farah), it's the fact that they all want to correct something in their life they regret and end up developing over the course of the game and grow as persons.

James wants his wife back but ends up accepting her death and depending on the endings faces redemption by either being given a second chance with a new relationship or killing himself.


The Prince wants to return his loved ones back to normal but develops a reluctance to war itself when he enters the catacombs and the bath house.
War is something that happens when we say no to our imagination and use fighting as a last resort.
The prince now understands that and ends up loving and having sex with Farah, which is the obvious opossite to war and the maximum of (sexual) imagination (again, make love not war - sorry for the Lost Girls reference there).
Not only does he find love, but within the 3rd game he accepts his father's death and becomes more mature to face the reality of taking responsibility for his actions instead of traveling back in time for like the 10th time.


Wander however gets fucked the most.
He simply wants to make everything right but forgets and ignores the consequences of his actions.
Reviving Mono means pretty much destroying the world, which is similar to a key scene from the new inane Prince of Persia game only executed without having a nagging bitch around.
Also, Mono has less syllables than Elika, therefore she is obviously less of a twat.
But the great thing comes through the end where Wanderer shrinks back to a little infant and Mono wakes up and starts taking care of him.
At first he just wants to take care of Mono and shows his desperate act of self sacrifice but then HE becomes the one depending on Mono's ability to take care of him.
If you were asked for a definition of altruism just write Shadow of the motherfucking Colossus under it.


So anyhow, I just felt like writing something regarding 3 of my favorite video game characters regarding regret, desperation, sacrifice, hope, love, compassion and lots and lots of other gay shit and how they
- even though the games are all linear and don't serve to let the player tell their own little story and express themselves - make for wonderful rounded and truly human characters thanks to their flaws, desires and overall characteristics.
You know, the kind you would hang around with, get drunk and smoke some pot with.

Because even though I never had to deal with my wife's death, unleashed the Sands of Time or revived a girl by to avoid dealing with letting go of the dead, I think everybody can relate to what it feels like to try and make one step into the right direction and then make 2 steps to the right into a rusty nail.
Or maybe I was just fucking bored of Just Cause 2

Now enjoy the best song of the SOTC soundtrack.
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(Disclaimer: wrote this because I was really bored, I allready feel sorry if you read this)

Not interactive and linear:
a movie...duh, also Heavy Rain, because the final plottwist will allways be the same
Interactivity has been reduced to the point where it might as well not exist (unless you really want to fuck the story up even more)

Not interactive and not linear:
The endings in Silent Hill 2
I think those are not linear because the outcomes can allways be different but they depend on shit the player will have no clue about (unless you play the game with a guide in hand)

Interactive and linear:
MW2 "No russian", Bioshock, Shadow of the Colossus, Prince of Persia, inFamous etc. etc.
There is only one way to play through the story and even if it will end up linear it can at least feel right, without any conflict between what I want to do and what the game expects me to do.
Said design is also be able to let the player experience certain emotions and make him think interesting things depending on what kinda person you are.

Interactive and not linear:
Sims, Far Cry 2 buddies, True Crime L.A.
You have full control over what happens during the story in the end and will end up with different outcomes.
This should be again devided into SCRIPTED and NOT SCRIPTED, i.e. "player get's to express himself through non linear mechanics" and CREATE ways to play and even tell a story.
So let's say you must kill some dude, but you are given many ways (either lots of scripted events, or you can create your own little idea through the mechanics) to kill said dude.
Outcome will be the same but you can change the path to your outcome the way you wanted.
But maybe you can change the final outcomes and end up with an entirely different story.
That would make for some difficult programming.
Somebody should call Fumito Ueda to make an RPG.
Well, if the endings to Bioshock were more depending on free will and choice and not on how much Adam I want and how much I hate girls or if Fallout 3 was more of an blank slate RPG with more branching story arcs those would be able to count as non linear games.

I'm sorry that you just wasted 5 minutes, enjoy the volleyball scene from Top Gun