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The Scholarly Gamer's blog

11:35 AM on 03.29.2015

New Opportunities Thanks to Old Friends.

When 9 and 9 meet 9

Hello my fantastic friends. I have had the most interesting and life-filled week ever, and felt that I needed to touch base and share some of it with you all, because if anyone would appreciate it, it's you lovely folks. I've got another new job, my restaurant job has finally started (albeit a little oddly), and some big wedding details have finally been solidified! 

If you hadn't noticed, once again I've sort of went a little bit AWOL. I haven't up and disappeared or anything, but my prescence has once again slowed. You'll be happy to know that it's not because of how I've been feeling though, I've actually been doing a lot better lately. No, it's because I've actually got some really exciting opportunities coming to me. 

I was going to build up to this, but I'm actually so freaking excited and have had the hardest time containing myself about my new job. Officially starting tomorrow, I am going to be an Associate Editor with G4@SyfyGames! I will be writing news posts daily and one feature or review article every week! I can't even describe how stoked I am about this job, and how grateful I am that it was offered to me. I've always thought that I was a solid writer, but more from the academic paper-writing side of things. I'm really excited to give this job 125% though, and bring my own positive outlook on gaming to my writing. 

I won't bore you all with details, but I hope that you'll come and check the site out after it officially launches tomorrow! I will not be leaving Destructoid in any way though, and I hope that my involvement with G4 News will only strengthen my involvement with video game communities and Destructoid CBlogs specifically. This will always be my home, and you've all become amazing friends to me.

It's nice to know Mr. Destructoid is just like us. 

In other (less exciting) news, the restaurant job has taken off and its great so far! I made such a good impression I had a bunch of servers ask me why I had to be stuck in the kitchen and wasn't working Front of House with them. Apparently I'm very tippable? Like a cow. I was told by the Head Sous Chef though that I may be too enthusiastic. I actually thought it was a joke at first, because seriously, that's a thing? I'm sorry, am I too passionate about this job? Would you rather I just go throguh the motions like everyone else? Silly people, they just need to get used to my high-energy.

In wedding updates, caterer has been chosen. Photographer has been chosen. Ceremony sorted out. Officiant chosen. Decorations on their way. Mind melting, but things are progressing. I actually had a really neat idea for my wedding, but I'm not sure yet if it's ging to work so I need to do some more research on it. No spoilers, but if it works out you'll know soon. :) 

In blog-related news, I'm going to still try and run Band of Bloggers, but I myself have not had a chance to write a blog yet. I've been playing through Majora's Mask, but with other priorities I haven't made the dent that I wanted to. If I can, I'll still get a blog out in the next couple days, but I'm spending a lot of time focusing on my first game review currently. Have to make sure that it shines. :) 

There is one more thing though. I really wanted to thank you all, for everything. If I hadn't started to blog on this site and met all of you, I wouldn't have this new exciting opportunity. And it really was all of you that made this my home, and made me want to stick around and continue writing and learning about each of you. So thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart. You've all been there for me during hard times and great times, and I look forward to all the fun times we'll have together in the future. And hopefully sexy times as well.  


10:27 AM on 03.23.2015

The Friendly Gaming Master List - Round 2!

Round 2. FRIENDS!

Dear Destructoid Community,

Back by popular demand, here is the second iteration of the Friendly Gaming Master List! I've had a handful of people message me in the past little while about the list and updates, so I've decided to bring it back around one more time. There was really no point in updating the previous one, because it would never be seen. 

So if you are new to the community, or if you missed it the first time around, here's the 4-1-1. If you want to participate in this little project and connect with more members of the community, comment on the thread below with your Gamer ID for any console, Steam, or game (like LoL), and the page will be updated accordingly. Don't forget to let people know who you are from Destructoid when you are adding them! 

If you're already on the list, but just got a new console or changed your ID, just let me know in the comments and I'll update it accordingly! 

Bucket of Love

Happy Gaming!

The Master List

Steam: absolutfreak
NNID: BadMoonWarboss
PSN: WiseFwomYoGwave

Steam: airtight_hag
PSN: Cornmance

XBL: arglactable
PSN: arglactable
Steam: arglactable

PS3: varin_omega

Ben Davis bbain
PSN: bbbain
Steam: bbainn
NNID: ScarrittAndBean

Xbox Live:BigDoniel
Wii U:BigDoniel
Steam: BigDoniel.

Bill Platt
Steam: ChillyBilly
PSN: Chillybillz
Xbox Live: chillybill
NNID: ChillyBilly

NNID: BBaller17
3DS FC: 3454-1429-6473
PSN: BurningGrav
Steam: BBaller1337
Skype: ballin1337

PSN: r3wind96
XBL: theundeadbox 
Steam: r3wind96

Steam: CaffeineNight

PSN: camiwaits_us

NNID: CelicaCrazed
PSN: CelicaCrazed

Steam: Indie 5000
LoL: Knell
Xbawks: iduelwield
wii u : Knell.TD

Cold Lazarus
Xbox Live: Canary Trap
PSN: SerpentSong
NNID: The_Phoenician

Steam: Poke of deatH

PSN: daiamar
NNID: daiamar
Steam: daiamar

Darren Nakamura
Steam: Dexter345
PSN: Dexter345
Xbox Live: Dexter345
NNID: Dexter345

Dreamweaver (Earl of Dreams, Weaver of Love)
Xbox Live: TraitortoHeaven
PSN: TraitortoHeaven
NNID: DreamDecker
League of Legends: DreamDecker

El Dango
PSN: MikHoest
Steam: MikHoest

XBL: GC Etosi GiR
Steam: Etosi_GiR

PSN: The-Explodey
Steam: Dubhe_dalailuna

PSN: Fenriff
NNID: Fenriff
Steam: Fenriff Shev #1563

FlanxLycanth (Kanye JR.)
PSN: Flanx17
Steam: FlanxLycanth
LoL: FlanxLycanth
FF XIV: Ferus Lynk (Zodiark EU)

GajKnight (Sexy McRompalot)
PSN: gaj76
NNID: Gajknight
Steam: Gajknight

GoofierBrute (Cookie Manster)
Steam: GoobyPls
Wii U: GoobyPls89

Gray Times
PSN- Baboon_Baron
Wii U- BaboonBaron

PSN: kyletrapa (PS3/4/Vita)
Friend Code: 3024 - 7372 - 4609 (3DS)

XBL: Hdawger
Steam: Hdawger


Hyper Lemon Buster Cannon (HLBC, Son!)
PSN: Cbizzle2590
Wii U: Cbizzle2590
Steam: Cbizzle2590
3DS: 4983-6094-1677

XBL: iNfANT cOMA (only one with space)
Steam :iNfANTcOMA
Blizzard friends list : iNfANTcOMA

Jagger Gravning
PSN: Blood-Pudding

PSN: Rocy_Racoon9

Steam: keisal
Xbox: keisal
PSN: keisal

Xbox Live: GenericDude
PSN: lawman316

Steam: Lazich

Steam: lotuseater20
NNID: ThePlotHoles

XBL: LuckRequired
PSN: LuckRequired
Steam: LuckRequired

Luna SY
Steam: Luna Sy

Steam: andrepuh

Steam: Meanderbot
PSN: Meanderbot
Xbox: Meanderbot

PS4(PSNID): SkeezillaPK
WiiU Network ID: MikeSkeez 

Mike Martin, AKA PhilKenSebben (AKA Wonder Dick)
PC: Steam: Philopian/hillbillysk8 
Xbox Live: PhilK3nS3bb3n
Origin: Thundermangina
Blizzard: Some shit, only play Diablo 3: RoS, msg me here if you want to play
PSN (3 & Vita): MickGuerrera

Monkey News
PSN MonkeyNews14
Steam Monkey_News

PSN: MortyMnemonic
Steam: MortyMnemonic

Mr Andy Dixon
XBL: Mr Andy Dixon
PSN: MrAndyDixon
NNID: MrAndyDixon
Steam: MrAndyDixon

PSN: Nanashi707
Steam: nanashi_06

Xbox live: Spartan 31337
PSN: Nukkus

Steam: NuttyComic

Occams Electric Toothbrush
XBL: TheHumboldtKid
PSN: Mother_Meat
NNID: Not really sure
Steam: Occams_electric_toothbrush

Patrick Hancock
NNID: P-Dude
Steam: P-Dude
PSN: venusuarus
XBL: Sonci

PSN: Nanashi707
Steam: nanashi_06

Preposterous Whitey
Xbox Live: DoctorHair
PSN: DoctorHair
Nintendo Network: DoctorHair
Steam: MetaNiGHTS

Steam: PSISomething
LoL: PSISomething

Steam: CrimsonNinja6
PSN: CrimsonNinja6
Xbox Live: CrimsonNinja6

Wii U: DeGreatEvon

Xlive: RalekUS
PSN: Ralek_US
NNID: Ralek85
3DS: 2809-7989-1816
Steam: RalekS

PSN/NIntendo Network (3ds and WiiU)/Steam: RenaudB90.

Steam: Retrofraction 
LOL: Bobthebomber
Reflex: Retrofraction
MWO: Retrofraction
GOG: Retrofraction
Origin: Retrofraction Retrofactio#1600

Roberto Plankton
PSN: brucebozinsky
WiiU: RobertoPlankton

Robo Panda Z
War Thunder: RoboPandaZ
Smite: RoboPanZ
Hearthstone: RoboPandaZed#1455


PSN: Scield
XBL- Scield
Steam- texasspectre
3DS Friend Code: 1006-0818-7516

Wii U: Terrorcats
3DS: 2148-8161-7267
PSN: Terrorcats

Wii U: SupahBroda
Steam: scriptbr
PSN: scriptsoap

Steam: ShadeOfLight
NNID: ShadeOfLight

Silver Waseskuk
NNID: E-Vac_Silver
3DS FC: 3797-6989-6564
PS3: SilverRyu21
Steam: Varrick-Sama-Senpai-San

Sir Shenanigans
PSN: SirShenanigans

PSN: SirNinjaFace1979
Wii U: SirNinjaFace

NNID: smo5000
PSN: smo5000
XBL: renjiro9

Steam: TheSnave
NNID: TheSnave (Wii U and 3DS)

Solar Pony Django
Steam ID: lokik21 *(message with Dtoid name)
Wii U: KAMaxamillianK

PSN: sonic-429
NNID, Xbox Live: sonic429

Spieler Dad
XBL: Der Spieler Dad
PSN: Der-Sizilianer58

Terry 309
Steam: Terry309

PSN & XBL: TheDust34
NNID: TheDustinThomas

The Scholarly Gamer
XBL: REDterror1938
PSN: REDterror1938
NNID: REDterror1938
3DS Friend Code: 2853-0228-0883

Steam: Tonich

[Tyrant] Rico Penguin
PSN: TheUltimateEnd
Blizzard: Oafkad#1958
Friend Code: 3050 - 7686 - 8755
NNID: No idea
Steam: TheUltimateEnd

Steam: Soda Popkinski
Wii U: SodaPopkinski
XBL: EvilPopkin

Uzi Bazooka
Steam: Wakjąkága UziBazooka#1724
3DS Friend Code: 0232-9659-1416

Wrath and Pride
NNID: JustawayWrath

PSN: Zepinephrine

XBL: Zer0t0nin
PSN: WingedDirewolf
NNID: Zer0t0nin
Steam: Dtoid_Zer0t0nin

XBL: Zer0t0nin
PSN: WingedDirewolf
NNID: Zer0t0nin
Steam: Dtoid_Zer0t0nin

*Last update: 3/23/2015

Game Together


1:46 PM on 03.18.2015

Birthday Games! =D

Happy Birthday Mr. Smithers

Yupp yupp yupp! It was my birthday on Friday, March 13th and as of yesterday, I've been able to reap some of the spoils of being My fiancee and I came to the conclusion that 27 is still considered mid-twenties, so I don't have to start freaking out until I'm 28. Which is good, I do enough non age related freaking out as it is.

Side note, I actually had a quarter-life crisis at 20 after my good friend drunkenly convinced me that at 20 years old, I had not accomplished near the amount of things I should have by a quarter of the way through my life. Needless to say, I trashed everything that night, and me and him don't really talk anymore. Much better now.

I don't know why its the case, but when you get games as a present, or games that you originally didn't expect that you were going to get, it's always so much better. As many of you know I used to pretty much buy every game that was coming out, but since I have the wedding coming up shortly, I actually have to be conscious about what I'm spending my money on. It's been sad, but also kind of nice to step back from my game-buying addiction. 

Needless to say I've been much better, but yesterday my fiancee bought me Final Fantasy Type-0 and I traded in Evolve so that I could pick up Battlefield: Hardline. I don't remember the last time that I felt so impishly happy starting a new game up. Maybe it's because one was a present, maybe it's because I've been waiting for these for a while, maybe it's because the setup for Type-0 was so intense and full of the feels that I had to watch it twice. In a row. 

I played Type-0 for about an hour and a half and was so stoked with absolutely everything about it that I decided to put it down for a minute and shift gears. A more mature Final Fantasy story, amazing combat system, and some solid characters already made this game feel like it was going to instantly skyrocket to the top of my Top 5 Final Fantasy games. Even just typing this is making me geek-out a bit internally. 

So I started installing Hardline because I wanted to show Ashleigh the intro for Type-0 when she got off the phone, and 10 minutes into the campaign it was already one of the best single-player Battlefield experiences that I've had. Now I was geeking out hard at this, and I've never got really into a BF campaign before. 3 chapters in, I was set. Ths is exactly what I wanted from a cops & robbers style game, and I'm excited to see where the story goes, and to experience the other side of the law. 

The multiplayer experience is also a step-up from what I'd seen recently from Battlefield. Not that Battlefield 3 or 4 had lacking online experiences, but I found that the modes got a bit stagnant after a while. That and Battlefield 4 was pretty much broken for almost a year. But the new modes in Hardline? Heist, Hotwire, Rescue, they are all awesome. Rescue feels like it's holding me off until Rainbow Six: Siege drops, and the other modes are great evolutions of classics Battlefield. All in all, it's a win. 

Then it dawned on me. I had a demo for Final Fantasy XV sitting there waiting for me. Holy shit. Talk about sweetening the pot with a pre-order bonus, I know several people *cough* Fenriff *cough* who were hugely enticed by this add-on, and now I see why. The remainder of my night had me sucked completely into Duscae, and I never looked back. 

For a demo, they have really done an amazing job opening up the game for players to enjoy, and I am going to get every single second that I can out of it. Fast-paced action combat similar to Type-0, absolutely gorgeous graphics, and gameplay that was unexpected in a Final Fantasy game but wholly welcome to me as a huge fan of action-RPGs. While Type-0 still feels very much like a more methodical action-RPG, XV was balls to the walls action and chaos. I felt right at home. 

I'm looking at you XIII.

Happy fucking birthday =D. It's funny as well that these games have partially helped to lift me out of my recent slump. It's not like they're a cure, but the excitement that I've felt from playing them is something I haven't felt in a while even from solid games, and it's great to know it's still there.  I think Final Fantasy games are good for that, because they really give you an all-encompassing world to lose yourself in. 

Oh, and I also got myself a little present last week after an exceptionally crappy dentist appointment, and put a new 3DS on my Futureshop credit card. I know, I know, Futureshop. But I don't have to pay anything for 6 months on it, with no interest. Right? RIGHT?!?! So I also grabbed Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D, Persona Q, and Pokemon X. Ok, so maybe I still have a problem. But one I don't have to pay for until after the wedding. Win-win.

I promised myself I wouldn't rant this time, so I'm going to cut it off here. Speaking of Majora's Mask though, I hope you are all playing a Zelda game for Band of Bloggers right now! My fiancee and I are Zeldaing together this month, and its been a great time so far. I'll write a reminder blog in the next week about that! 

Hope everyone around here is well! I've been crazy busy with wedding planning this past week again, so haven't been commenting as much. But I've been trying to read and favourite as much as I can. :) Off to meet some caterers and a photographer tomorrow, so hopefully that will go well! 

Games games games!


7:00 PM on 03.07.2015

Band of Bloggers: The Wasteland Recap

Stories From The Apocalypse

We made it! It was a gruelling month, but we fought hard against all odds, and we made it through. We battled giant irradiated albino scorpions and Chinese cyborg ninjas, Tanked our way through bandits #1-4522, and re-casted the set of Fallout: New Vegas to fit your primetime TV slot. Some loved every minute, while others loathed them. But the important thing is, we made it. least some of us did. But no one can be expected to conquer the hell that is a corrupted or glitchy game file. Fallout on PC has always had a troubled past, but I suppose that's what it gets for being played by the #PCMasterRace. Racists. It is interesting that it seemed to be the PC gamers that ended up having problematic experiences, but I guess that's what you get for being able to play Fallout with cars and lightsabers. Ahem...I digress. 

Thanks to everyone who participated in February's Band of Bloggers! We got a total of 8 blogs, which is great for the first month of our event! People wrote about so many different aspects of their experiences, and it sounds like everyone had a blast with it, even if some playthroughs got unexpectedly cut short. We were really stoked to see such great participation in the event, and we hope to see even more great blogs for our March Band of Bloggers: Hello Hyrule! 

Nanashi Takes Us Back To The Perilous World Of The Original Fallout

Nanashi started the month off strong with a journey back to 1997, to tell us the tale of Ed Temple. Like pretty much every journey into the Wasteland, Ed's started with killing Radscorpions. It's like a right of passage in almost every RPG from the late 1990s until very recently: Kill giant bugs. Wasteland wanderer? Kill giant bugs. Wizard about to save the world? Ok but first, kill giant bugs. The really lucky ones get to kill giant bugs while also being in a basement or sewer. 

Ed was an exceptionally intelligent wastelander by most standards, and even founded the very first Folk band after the fallout, Ed and Ian. Even though Ian hogged the spotlight, and a lot of the XP, they had a groovy blues melody that was enjoyed by all, but the scourge of giant vermin and bugs. Because that's what post-apocalyptic folk bands do, they battle giant mutated pests with smooth tunes. Hot damn, what a time to be alive. 

But unfortunately, there was one giant bug that not even Ed and Ian (or their great Overlord Nanashi-san) could overcome. Just as they were Rocking Their Way Through Junktown (first album title btw), Nanashi made the mistake of saving his game. Bigggg mistake. Everyone knows you can't save a Fallout game, especially in a blues-infused gunfight. You have to play for 50 hours straight. 

And even though Nanashi's journey into the wasteland continued as he traversed the denizens of internet forums searching for a solution, Ed Temple's came to an end that fateful day in Junktown. But his struggles weren't for naught, because 13 years later (in real-life time, I have no idea how the timelines of the games actually overlap...probably simultaneously) New Vegas Radio played a song about that fateful day.

There will be a trophy waifu waiting for you on the other side, friend.

Private Luck's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Private Lucky Pepper had a troubled past, he somehow never made it more than fifteen minutes into a Fallout game before February. Turns out he's snacky. I get it. I can't count how many times I've started a game with a slow beginning, got snacky, and began the quest of the ultimate sammich. But not today. Oh no, today Corporal Luck defeated the character customization boss (like Bruce Spingsteen) and emerged with a fancy bonnet. 

Sergeant Luck did not envy the idea of traversing across Nevada on foot, and tried to enlist the help of a two-headed buffalo. No luck there. *Pauses for punny laughter* So instead, he decided to steal everything that wasn't nailed down on his quest to open a variety store for hoodlums. Not content with the life of a shopkeep, Lieutenant Luck championed his way through mutant geckos while his spurs sang out a fine tune, and realized the benefit of dynamite over a 10mm. 

Captain Luck's last great deed was trying to mediate an argument between two wastelanders as he headed for Nipton, but it ended as most arguments do in a Bethesda game. With heads-a-rolling. By this point, Major Luck was content to fulfill his last deed in the wasteland: robbing people blind to create the perfect tea and biscuits. I think that deserves a promotion, Field Marshal Luck. 

I'd follow you into the trenches anyday. 

Riobux Presents: The Super Awesome Wasteland Happy Hour Special

I'd just like to start by saying, I wholly agree. I'd love a real AMC/HBO/Netflix Fallout adaptation. There have been some alright post-apocalypse shows, but I think the Fallout: New Vegas setting would make for a great setting, and luckily our new host Riobux agrees. Otherwise I'd have to vaporize him. 

We start with quite a blank slate of a character in Fallout, which really gives a writer a lot to work with. Going outside the typical white-male protagonist, Riobux discusses how black, gay, or transgender characters could impact the overall theme of the show and discuss important issues. This is what I like about Riobux's writing, he always brings up themes that really gets me thinking. I'd like to have him behind actually designing this TV show. 

As far as episodes go, Riobux posits that episodes could travel from village to village tackling quests for the inhabitants. I like the idea of staying in a town for a few episodes, namely "the town with the big dinosaur" (or Novac for you picky wastelanders). There are some colourful characters and fun quests to be had at the foot of Dinky the dinosaur. 

We add in some companions that will travel with the main character throughout the series, and we've got a solid Fallout show. Every protagonist needs some loveable cohorts, but mostly Rex. Really, anyone except for Boone. Seriously, leave him behind. I find him to be like the Lydia of Fallout. (I Fus-Rah-Doh'd her ass off a cliff. "Accidentally".) When Boonydia finally bit a bullet, I didn't even feel the need to reload a save. 

In case you'd never seen this before;
You're Welcome.

Retrofaction and Tank Man Tank Life, Tests, Raiders, Gary 33, Gary 27, Gary 32, Gary 43, Gary 1, and...Seriously, Fuck Gary 47.

TANK MAN SMASH....I almost feel like I could leave it at that. But I won't, because the Adventures of Tank Man were awesome. But if I did just have to say one thing about Tank Man, it would be that everything he came into contact with broke. And not just broke, but was shattered from any existence in the corporeal dimension. Including the game itself. 

Tank Man is born? Kaboom. Tank Man writes the GOAT. Donezo. Tank Man's father leaves. Emotional destruction. Tank Man gets surrounded by raiders with guns? It was like 2010 and Chuck Norris jokes were all the rage again. Are you getting my point? Nothing stood in Tank Man's way. 

And not only did Tank Man do awesome and catastrophic things, but they were all accompanied by a very fitting soundtrack. He also tried to find friends to join with him in his quest, but he either got bored of them or they were eaten by rabid dogs. R.I.P. John. Luckily he did come across a Super Mutant who understood Tank Man better than he knew himself, and the two became the best of friends. 

Lastly, huge props to Retrofaction and Tank Man for trooping it through the game even through it crashed 12 times in 20 days. Retro saved a lot and managed to make it through the game after much struggle...Nanashi saved once and broke his completely. Oh Fallout

If only he hadn't been eaten by dogs. Oh John-Senpai...

 Dreamweaver Does Just That, And Brings The Wasteland To Life

Well hot damn. I'm really glad that someone decided to do a full on fanfic, and if it was going to be anyone, Dreamweaver was the man to do it. A lot of us told stories from the perspective of our characters, in fact, pretty much everyone did. But Dream took it that step farther and brought us a 3-part epic based off his trials and tribulations in the Nevada Wastes. Somehow without any waifus or Nicole Watterson though. I was slightly disappointed. 

A Drop to Die For was a metaphor for how the rape of our natural resources in the 21st century is leading us towards a chaotic future. You all caught that, right? On the surface, it was Dreamweaver solving the day-to-day problems of the waste (most likely the same people General Luck came across), but beneath that was a many-tiered metaphor about geopolitics and the Arctic.

Last Man Standing brought to us the real perils of New Vegas, when a high Speech stat isn't enough to belay the fighting. That and it brought to light the true and present threat of twins. Seriously, there is always an evil twin, and 9 times out of 10 they have a rocket launcher. It's Terry and Sherry all over again.  I was actually playing with Dreamweaver when the scene that inspired this part happened, and it was pretty awesome. Luckily in the game, he had the ability to freeze the missile mid-air and heal when he checked his watch. 

Divide and Conquer was nothing more than a jab at people who are playing Fallout 3 without the DLC and do not have access to the Chinese Stealth Armour. Seriously, it gives you like a bajillion to Stealth and cloaks you when you crouch. It's pretty much all I wear in my game, so I took the story less as a slight against me. Luckily, Dreamweaver didn't know that I was crouched around the corner with my trenchcoat and .44, and saved his life at the end there. Did you catch that it was me? Yeaaah right, a "Mysterious Stranger" did it. Be serious. 

Stay Gold, Bronie Boy. 

Fenriff Thinks Fallout New Vegas Is A Hot Mess. I Think Fenriff Is A Hot Mess.

"More like Fail-out: New Vegas." Ahahaha, you can't even write that stuff. Well played brother. Fenriff's addition to February Band of Bloggers was to tell us how much a mess the game we all wasted a month playing is. Seriously, half of you could barely finish it, and over 50% of people that wrote a blog mentioned some sort of bug. I think he might be onto something. That or he was just really jaded after beating Final Fantasy XIII-2. I'm guessing the latter.

So let's break Fallout: New Vegas down according to the Fenriff Classification.

Set-up of the game and character creation: An absolute mess. 
The Karma system: The dumbest nonexistent mechanic ever. 
Backpacks: How many gun holsters you got bro?
Repairing: How many gun holsters you got bro?
Working as a courier: Watch out UPS, Fenriff's out for blood. 
Mop Buckets: Loves them, oddly. He spent quite some time in one. Teeheehee...
Bouncing: Loves that too. Like a wasted kangaroo. 

And that pretty sums up Fenriff's experiences in Nevada. And you know what the most twisted part of it all is? He admits that he wants to keep going back for more. I mean, I play games on Hardcore mode with one-hit kills, but this guy is a sadist. I think you should probably talk to someone man. Right after you're done bouncing in your mop bucket. 

Good Grief. 

TSG Drones On And On About Playing Fallout Ethically. Seriously, Who Let This Guy In?

Holy crap on a cupcake. Does this guy ever shut up? They should call him The Rambley Gamer. Heh, burn. So first he played some Fallout: New Vegas, and apparently was kind of an asshole while he was doing it. Tried to justify it as "Neutral Evil" for like 2 paragraphs and even used a chart, but let's face it. He was just being an asshat. But then he felt bad at being an asshat, and tried to play Fallout 3 as a good person. Well, that's not entirely true either. 

First he blew up Megaton, and then he decided to be a good person. You can't do that man. Trying to have your Fancy Lad Snack Cakes and eat them too. And who knows if he was even that good of a person? If his Speech skill is really as high as he said it was, he may have just been lying to all of us too. I just feel cheated and dirty. 

3000 words later, we've learned more about this guy than we have about Fallout, and he even snuck in a fart joke. For shame. By the looks of it, he probably sunk far too many hours of his life into it, I'd wager around 100. 100 hours without a single bug though, that's pretty impressive for a Fallout game. Apparently he successfully beat Fallout 3 with the highest karma though, even though it's a pointless and stupid mechanic. Oh great, now Fenriff's wearing off on me. 

Liberty Prime, you should have taken down the Iron Curtain. 

Well that was a bit longer than I had originally anticipated, but hey, it's my first Recap blog and I got kind of excited. Man though...that guy was right, I really should be called The Rambley Gamer. Thanks again to everyone who participated, and we hope that you are already enjoying the wonders that Hyrule has to offer! 

Game Together.
The Rambley Gamer


10:58 AM on 03.05.2015

Sick & Tired of Being Sick & Tired.

It's Not You, It's Me. 

Bleh. That pretty much sums up the past couple weeks of my life. Well, actually since about January, but the last two weeks have definitely been exceptionally "Bleh". So I just wanted to touch base with you all, while I struggle to finish the Band of Bloggers Recap on top of the rest of my backlog of blogs. 

As I've mentioned before, I'm generally doing a lot of things. On my plate right now are such delicacies as wedding planning, Masters thesis, learning Russian fluently, working one job which really sucks while waiting for another to start in a few weeks, and battling my constantly evolving trend of symptoms. When I ist it out right now, it actually doesn't seem like that much, but the first three items alone could be full-time jobs. 

And so what am I really doing then? Well, pretty much nothing. I've really been struggling since January to balance all of these things together and work on them simultaneously, but most days I end up waking up already feeling defeated before I've even done anything. I used to get up at 7-8 am, but now it's shifted to anywhere between 9:30 and 11. If I get up any later than 11 I really feel like a bag of shit. 

I used to be able to do everything. I remember when I was in my 4th year of my Undergrad degree, I was DJing at a club 2-3 nights a week as well as working as their Promotions Manager. I was finishing up all my final papers, one of which was around 50-55 pages long, as well as studying for a couple final exams. I was helping to maintain a house as a co-landlord, living with my fiancee (girlfriend at the time), getting some good gaming in, and still finding time to hang out with my friends. 

I hate these things so much. Keep Calm and BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAH. 

And now? Getting up feels like a struggle, let alone accomplishing next to anything in a given day. It's really weird for me to feel this way, and I haven't really gotten to the root cause of it all yet. Or at least, I don't think that I have. As I am generally checking up with my doctor for my other health issues, I decided to bring this up at my last appointment, and then after about 30 minutes was prescribed some anti-anxiety/depression medication. Celexa or something. 

Well shit. I'd heard from doctors before that I may have some anxiety, but I was always a mind over matter type of person. Me? Anxiety or depression? Fat chance. I'm one of the biggest extroverts you'll ever meet in person, I DJd for hundreds of people weekly, I manage a club's promotions. You must have the wrong person. My mom always recommended I try some medication as well (she's a family doctor), but I generally just flat-out refused it. 

Bow Chicka Bow-Wow.

So I pretty much just swept it under the rug and powered through it for the next 2 years, until the end of my last course-semester of my Masters, where in the middle of writing my final papers I had a panic attack. First ever in my life, and it freaked me out huge. So I got some Lorazepam, just to take when I started feeling really anxious, but after going through the 5 pills I felt alright again and just powered through once more. 

But about a year and a bit later, here I am again. I was stressed the past year working for the government, but it was a general 9-5ish job, and I didn't have to worry about much else while doing it. Life was pretty good.

But now, with so many things on my plate and a time-frame to complete all of them, I feel useless again. I honestly don't understand how with so many things needing to be done, I can't even focus on one of them. Most mornings, I just get up and sit on my couch looking at a blank screen before throwing Friends or something on. 

Can't. Can't. Can't. Can't. 

I knew it was getting bad when I stopped being able to really play games. It's not like I can't play them at all, but some days I don't even have the drive to play a game or spend time on Destructoid. It's like all I can manage is laying around with the TV on. I think the worst part about it, is that I constantly feel like I'm wasting time and my life, and yet simultaneously feel like there is nothing I can do about it.

When I think about it though, it seems ridiculous to me. I may have a lot of crap on my plate, but it's not like I've had an exceptionally hard life or even recent past couple years. Yeah, it's stressful as hell sometimes, but to me it doesn't make sense that I'd feel this way. Ugh, and that really frustrates me as well. Thinking about why in the hell I would feel this way, seems to make me feel even worse about it. 

Is this what anxiety/depression feels like? I honestly don't know, because this is the first time in my life I've really felt like this constantly, but holy crap does it suck. And I have so frigging much I need to be doing, and no idea what to do about any of it. The wedding planning at least seems to be going along well, which is good because its in 3 months exactly. Can't decide on caterers though. Stupid caterers...

Anyways, I just wanted to rant a bit to you guys, because I really only talk with my fiancee about this. I think that not being part of a constant social environment has been affecting me a bit, because as an extrovert I tend to feed off social energy and feel revitalized from it. I'm hoping that my new job at the end of March will help. I'll be cooking at a JOEY Restaurant (I think you guys have those in the States), in a $10 million kitchen. Pretty stoked for it, and the people seem really awesome. But it will also being more responsibility on top of everything, so we'll see how that pans out. I just want to be able to get my work done, is that so much to ask?

Looks pretty fun! 

So, that is my life in a nutshell right now. Everything to do, and nothing getting done. I'm hopefully going to have the Band of Bloggers Recap done Saturday; there was word of a couple late blogs that I wanted to wait for to include. Thanks to everyone that participated as well, we had a blast with it! 

I'm going to try and spend a bit more time hanging out in the CBlogs as well, and I know I've been a bit hurting for that lately. You are all really fantastic, and I know I can always talk with you about stuff like this. Thanks for listening to my crap, I feel a bit better just for getting this out. 

Love love love love love. 


1:49 PM on 02.26.2015

My Top 9(ish) Nutcrackers

Я Люблю Вас Всех

So I'm a bit late getting to this blog, but between discussing ISIS and wrapping up this month's Band of Bloggers, it's been a busy one for blogging. There have also been some amazing Top 9s already, and I was unsure of how I wanted to write one. 

Let's face it. I could never narrow it down to only 9 of you whom I love, and if I tried to list everybody chances are that I'm going to forget some people. If sending out my wedding invitiations lately has taught me anything, its that I may forget you even if you're part of my ceremony. So I've been playing around with some ideas, but it wasn't until watching an episode of The Simpsons the other night that I decided how I wanted to write this. 

So here is my ode to my favourite Nutcrackers in this crazy community. Please press play on the video below, and then attempt to read this along with the music. When the main part stops and there is the interlude for about 20 seconds (0:28-0:48), I'll switch writing formats so that you know where you should be. This may be a complete failblog, but in my head it works perfectly. Then again, lots of things work perfectly up here that probably don't in practise.

So, without further Apu (ahahah, I will keep repeating this joke), Tchaikovsky and The Scholarly Gamer Present: Get Nutcrackin'

Mike Mcphil is the king shit,
And you know you want his dick.
Dream is like my brother
and I wouldn't want another (EVER!)

I think that Gajknight loves me most,
I'd cross the Atlantic to ride that post,
Andy keeps the community alive,
Without him we'd most surely die. 

Occams is essential,
I'd like his picture on my mantle.
Retro was my first friend here,
We all are lucky he's our peer.

Elsa's like our mother hen,
Surprised she tolerates the crap we spin.
Fenriff's writing's really great
A blog a week for 8 months straight. 

Now take a mental breath. You have about 20 seconds before this starts again. I was going to write something for this part, but it would just be too complicated to follow along with. This was a silly idea, and I can't express quite how much you all mean to me here, but I'm having fun with this. I'm sure even without saying anything, you all know how important you are to me and how large a part of my life you have all been. Halfway through writing this, I actually kind of want to make a recording of it now, just for some extra oomph. Speaking of Oomph, I think it was the great Genghis Khan who once said...Oh shit, here we go again! 

Tonich is my Russian homie,
Of everyone here he really knows me,
Riobux, Spieler, RedHeadPeak,
They teach us lessons every week.

TheDustinThomas I'm a fan of,
ErrorMachine wielding bearded man crush.
You Can't Say That's my favourite contest,
LuckRequired you're the bomb shit. 

Luna, Pixie, Wrenchfarm, Hoffman,
Strider, Dango, Nanashi, Shade and
HLBC with the stamp,
Bbain now a Front Page man,
Lastly the one who brings us cheer,
It's About to Get Gay in Here!

Phew. Well, I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to fit it all in at the end there, but I think I made it work! There are some people that I was not able to quite cram in (CaimDark, and Zerot0nin. Fuck guys, you know I love you too) and, and as I said I've undoubtedly forgot someone that probably means a lot to me. I won't start doing a bunch of honourable mentions here though, because then I'd likely just forget someone from that list. You can just yell at me in the comments. =D  And shout out to the new blood around here, I look forward to getting to know you all more! 

EDIT: This is why you don't write this blog right after 4 hours of wedding planning. I knew I'd forget important people. 
ChillyBilly/Cold William/Bill Platt; I can't even imagine a Destructoid without you. You're everything I want to be when I grow up.
OpiumHerz; You're my German Mounting bro. I'm stoked we've started chatting more, your cynicism makes me smile.  
Scield; You put up with all my lateness on FNFs and crap, and you've always been such a great guy to me.  

I'm thinking of re-writing the lyrics to "We Didn't Start the Fire" for my next tribute to the CBlogs.

Love you all, and I can't imagine a Destructoid Community without any of you!


1:43 PM on 02.25.2015

Band of Bloggers: Can the Wasteland Corrupt?

Not Bloody Likely. 

Frigging finally. I have been trying to write this blog for the past week and everytime that I have sat down to to keys, something has needed to be done or sporadically popped up. Not saying this was necessarily a bad thing life-wise, but I really wanted to write this blog. Wedding, job hunt, thesis, wedding, Russian, job hunt, doctors, job hunt, got a job, more doctors. It's been a long week, so this may not be as flushed out as I had originally wanted it to be. 

If this is your first time reading about this, I'll be gentle. Band of Bloggers is a new community project being orchestrated by Fenriff, Dreamweaver, and myself which was best described by Mr. Weaver as a "videogame book club." The goal of BoB, as it will henceforth be known (and not to be confused with the rapper), is to play the same game, or series of game with the rest of the CBlogs community and then come together at the end of the month to share our experiences. This can be done in any type of blog-style, and will be wrapped up together in the following week in a Recap Blog. Because let's face it, this community loves recaps.

As a side note, R.I.P. to Fenriff's CPU for any who did now know. This is one of those times that you want to replace the deceased as quickly as possible. Like when little Timmy's hamster dies. Hopefully Fenriff will still be able to find a cute little brown and white CPU, so no one will be any the wiser. *Takes a moment of silence* But let's talk abut Fallout now. 

He'll never know the difference. 

For my BoB post, I have decided to take a look at how I acted within Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, in comparison to how I may actually act in an apocalyptic situation. I used Fallout 3 as my attempt at playing as "myself" for this analysis, and then compared my experiences to how I played a previous save file of New Vegas. I will not be going into a lot of specifics of either game though, and will instead look at broader overarching themes and thoughts that I had. 

I played Fallout 1 and 2 when I was younger, but then I fell out of gaming for a little while when I went to university. I ended up playing New Vegas before I played Fallout 3, because my first experience with Fallout 3 was when I was at a friends house, and watched him run through what at the time looked like the same textures and dull grey bugs for like an hour. At the time, I thought it was bland and drab looking. When New Vegas came out, I decided to give it a real shot, and absolutely fell in love with the series all over again. 

To start, I played on the hardest difficult and with hardcore mode on. If I'm playing a survival apocalypse game, I want it to feel like it. My gameplay style in my several New Vegas files had always been kind of similar: it was how I played Dungeons & Dragons (which was my first ever RPG), and how I began to play most games that allowed for this much choice. Neutral Evil. Well, maybe Chaotic Neutral to an extent, but I found that I was generally a little more cold and calculated then a Chaotic character, and I don't believe True Neutral is a thing. As a DM, any PC (Player Character for any of you not nerdy enough) that started out True Neutral usually had their alignment altered by 2-3 hours into the game from actions that were clearly neither "true" or "neutral". 

Why not play Neutral Evil, right? It always made the most sense to me. I have never been a merciless killer, or a cruel character, but I always looked for opportunities that I could exploit for my own advantage. And if that meant the occasional person had to be robbed and left to the Radscorpions, or murdered in their own shop because they kept giving me lip, so be it. In Fallout: New Vegas, I tended to do all of the things that I felt a NE character would do. 

And Abed takes on both good and evil traits throughout the show. True Neutral is a fallacy.

So I was never stupid about it. If someone, or some people, needed to be done away with, it was done in an organized manner with few witnesses (and assuredly, none surviving) but it was never without purpose. Near the beginning of the game I killed and robbed some travelling merchants, but when it became pointless for me to do so because of my level or wealth, I wouldn't harm them. How generous of me, right? I also almost never played with a survivor, and only teamed up occasionally when I really thought it was needed to tip the scales. My character didn't play well with others, and the thought of sharing loot was an absurd one at best. (I know these things don't actually factor, but we're roleplaying here people!) 

I also never aligned with any of what I considered to be the evil factions in the game. I worked with the NCR, even though I had my own personal agenda while doing so, and I strongly condemned the actions of the Legion. I only ensured that their view of me stayed Neutral long enough for me to cause some serious damage to them, before fully siding against them. My character did not see the actions of the Legion as purposeful, but just senseless and wanton destruction and death. I even tried to save people from the Legion when presented with an opportunity. I was not doing this to help them though, I was doing this to crush the Legion and show my strength to them. 

I'm sure I'm not the only one to do this, but with a game like Fallout I sometimes like to create my own narrative as I'm playing through the game, if you couldn't tell already. While there is certainly an overarching plot to the game, there are plenty of opportunities to forge your own story in the wastes, which is part of what had me excited about this Band of Bloggers theme. 

I did not play Fallout: New Vegas as me, but I played it as my favourite way to play RPGs. I do not honestly think that I would be able to act like this in a real apocalypse for the most part, asides from perhaps standing up against the Legion, because some of my actions make me feel kind of bad afterwards, even if my character was totally fine with them. It was a great playthrough though, and after killing Mr. Vegas, and eventually taking much of the Wasteland for myself, it was time to sit back and just reap what I'd sown. 

It's important to separate yourself from your Player Character kids.

Now as I mentioned, I'd be intially underwhelmed by Fallout 3. After my amazing experience with New Vegas though, I had to give it another shot. By this time, the GOTY edition of F3 had came out, so I picked it up with all the DLC. Why not? I was so sure I was going to love it this time. And boy howdy did I ever. I'd heard from many people 3 was the superior game (I put them almost on par), and I was starting to see why it won so much praise. 

My first playthrough of 3 I was just having fun and playing like my Neutral Evil New Vegas self. But then I came across a dilly of a pickle of a melonscratcher. Blow up Megaton or save the town and all its citizens. Blow up Megaton or save it? Blow up....Save...Blow up...Save...Wait. I get a penthouse suite 5 hours into the game? *Click*

Ahem. Fuck yes. I mostly used a rundown apartment in New Vegas, and it took me forever to get that, so I went for this option immediately. And then the guilt set in. Was that really something even this character would do? Like, yeah I benefitted, but at what cost? I was conflicted if this was too far even for Neutral Evil, and leaning towards the Chaotic perhaps, but it didn't sit right with me. Or my character for that matter. So I started thinking about restarting and trying a different approach. 

Around this time my fiancee had finished beating Skyrim and almost as many extra things as she could accomplish. 250+ hours I think. Maybe 300. True love, right? Anyways, she wanted something similar, so I suggested Fallout 3 as I was already debating restarting my file. She went for it, and we designed our character together and started playing. She wasn't as big of a fan of the apocalypse setting as she was of fantasy, so before long I pretty much took over. Until she'd lost interest in it, we'd talk about the decisions we were going to make, and tried to be a generally upstanding person when we could. For instance, we decided not to blow up Megaton. Shockingly, my feminist pro-human rights and social justice fiancee was not a fan of murdering hundreds of civilians. Probably for the best, because I didn't have an itchy trigger finger this time around. Shortly after that though, it was all me. 

In comparison to how I acted in the Nevada Wasteland, in the Capital I tried to do all of the things and act in a way that I strongly felt I would actually be representative of me if I encountered these situations in real life. I put points into Speech, Repair, Science, and similar skills so that I would be able to solve problems in non-violent ways more often than not. Now, this is not to say that I didn't make sure my Small Guns skills were up to par, but I stayed away from ranking up most of the other combat skills for quite some time. 

Because let's be serious; I'd want to defend myself in the apocalypse if it came down to it, but realistically I'd only do it if it was absolutely necessary. All these other skills though? Survival, Medicine, the aforementioned skills, those sounded necessary. Speech was paramount for my skills though, as in real life I am a huge extroverted people-person, and a decent arguer. I enjoy making logical arguments and hashing them out with people, as well as using my knowledge and language to convince people of thigns they may not have agreed with in the first place. 

But to be good at convincing, you can't just be a smooth talking used Pip-Boy dealer; you need Intelligence to back it up. Obviously Charisma won't hurt either. (I know that Charisma is the actual stat needed for Speech, but as I mentioned before, roleplaying.) That and Intelligence has always been my favourite stat in RPGs, as it allows you to rank up your skills much quicker. Toss in a little Perception and this character was exactly what I wanted and how I'd envision myself. Smart, not half bad looking, and with some keen observation skills. Throw in a ballcap, a bandana and some medical issues, and it's totally Matt Ferguson. 

More like Wastedland

So I played through Fallout 3, keeping in mind that the character I was playing was not a player character at all, but the actual player. This was my mirror, and I wanted to always see myself reflected there. 

I'm not going to lie though, I came close to breaking a few times. As it is Fallout, there were numerous opportunities for me to steal, and kill, and make completely clean getaways. I remember talking to one lady in a random small house (can't remember where) and thinking about how I still did not have anywhere to live yet. And her house would make a nice place to call home....No! Snap out of it Matt, you'd never even consider that. 

There were a few times that I almost did do something, and only stopped myself because there is really no option for middle ground. To give an example, the bodyguard in Moira's shop in Megaton. After sitting at around 50 hours of playtime, I was getting reallllllllllly sick of him still lipping me every time I walked in, even though Moira and I obviously had an awesome relationship. I helped her with her dumb experiments, she repaired my crap. Although, I did eventually have to crush her dreams. Seriously though, I got bad radiation sickness, repelled Molerats, and danced around in a minefield. Seriously Moira. A. Fuck off. and B. Don't quit your day job. After that though, we were cool. 

Moira Proudly Presents: Killing the Lone Wanderer

But I digress; that bodyguard needed to be smacked in the head. But I knew that if I did it, I'd have to kill him, and I didn't actually want to kill him. I wanted to put him in his place, but not kill him. If there was any type of dialogue option, that would have been great. And I didn't really want to punch him a couple times and run away and deal with all of the.....fallout (Hehehe). I just wanted to tell him off. 

I think that is one thing that would be neat to have implemented a bit more, some sort of social interaction metre per person (kind of like Fable 3 I suppose, but better in every way) in which I could express my displeasure to them short of actual violence. Because I know myself and I know I could only be violent if my life absolutely depended on it, but I very much enjoy telling people off who are being assholes or offensive, or name it. If you're following me on Twitter you've seen it recently.

I don't just do it online either, my fiancee hates that I occasionally do it in public, but I cannot stand to see people being rude or offensive towards someone. Or doing stupid or dangerous things that could hurt others. So I tell off people in line who berate cashiers, (and once at a restaurant when someone almost made a server cry), I engage people who make offensive comments to try and bring them down a peg and see their ignorance, that sort of thing. Don't be an doucebag, and I won't have to point out your ignorance/lack of tact in public for all to see.  

I've digressed again sort of, but that is how I am and that is how I tried to behave in Fallout 3. But because there aren't that many opportunities outside of quests to use Speech for that type of thing, I had to let some things slide a bit more.  For Fallout 4, I'd like to be able to interact with every NPC so that it really feels like you can have an impact on everyone. Or implement some non-violent actions. You know, be able to fart on the bodyguard or something. Sorry, couldn't resist...oh Fable

You have displeased me!

Oh man...2500 words? Ok, wrapping up now. So getting around to the title of my blog. Did The Wasteland corrupt me when I was actually trying to play as me? Not even a little bit. I was tempted, sure, but only when I started thinking about my character as a player character, and not as myself. I always kept myself in check, and ensured that justice prevailed.

I freed slaves, helped androids, destroyed the Krivbeknihkahnawammabammadingdong, helped the misunderstood tribals, returned American historical artifacts (although I wanted them for my house), peacefully settled the Superhuman Gambit, defeated aliens, messed with the Enclave, and most importantly, made the ultimate sacrifice. At least, I thought I had until I woke up with Scribe Rothchild standing over me...not creepy at all. Oh no wait, the most important thing was stopping Moira from killing us all. Oh Moira...

I'd like to briefly talk about the end of the game though, because it's easy enough to sacrifice yourself when you are playing a game, but how many people actually feel like they could do that in real life? I thought about this for a little, and I actually think that I could do it. I've stepped in between confrontations several times before in my life to try and peacefully mediate them, and once almost ended up losing my life for it. (Warning, about to get kind of personal!) I don't normally share this story, but I always feel like this is a community I can open up to. 

About 7 years ago, I was out with a female friend, and we ended up being confronted by 3 huge guys wearing bandanas across their faces. Long story short, I gave them my money after one of them mentioned the word "shank" but when they went to try and take her stuff, I couldn't stand it and stood up to them. I ended up with a metal pipe to the head several times, received a buttload of stiches, and was told I was lucky that I didn't have permanent brain damage and more severe injuries. After this happened, I was a bit of a wreck for a while and could barely walk down the street alone in daylight without sketching out, but in the longrun it helped to make me who I am and I'm now a stronger person because of it. And you know what? I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I had to. 

And that is exactly how I tried to play Fallout 3. And I'm really happy to say that not only did I succeed in playing "myself" pretty well, but that I had an amazing time doing it. I at no point felt like I was missing out by not blowing towns up and stealing everything that wasn't nailed down. I felt good about my choices, good about my character, and overall, good about myself. And at the end of the day, isn't it nice to play a game and feel good about yourself while doing it? 

So at the end of this long road, does the apocalypse corrupt? Well, I can't answer these questions for any of you. But for myself, The Wasteland can try and corrupt me all it wants, I'm going to fight back like Project Purity. 

"I don't want to set the world on fire. I just want to start a flame in your heart"

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read this...oh damn it 3000 word essay of sorts. And sorry to get so personal at the end there, but I felt like it really helped to drive home the point that I was trying to make in this blog. Thanks as well to everyone who participated in this month's Band of Bloggers! I've loved reading the blogs so far, and am excited to see what people post in the coming days! And as always friends:

Game, and love yourself while doing it.


12:42 PM on 02.20.2015

TSG debates International Relations and Gaming on Dtoid...with himself.

(Warning, while not graphic some images may be disturbing) 

2 blogs in 2 days. Look at me go, I'm on a roll again! This is going to be a short long one as well, but I had some stuff I wanted to get off my chest, and I wanted to do it within the confines of this wonderful community instead of having the front page trolls have their way with it. Their way is messy. 

As many of you know, I recently wrote a blog on military recruitment and videogames, which was really just an objective and brief history of some of the examples used by the American government. The whole point of the blog is that is was meant to lead into a blog discussing the new Insurgency mod that has been taken over and re-worked by ISIS and/or their supporters to be used as supportive propaganda for their cause and as a recruitment tool. 

One example of their in-state propaganda. 

I was initially super stoked when my blog got front-paged, because these are actually the things that I want to discuss. Not just here, but in life in general. Videogames and international relations: it's pretty much my bread and butter. 

After my blog got front-paged though and the greater internet community got their claws into it, I'm unsure if this is the venue for me to continue posting my academic-gamer articles. STOP. I'm not in any way saying I'm leaving, so get that out of your mind right now. I'm just unsure if discussing videogames in the context of current politics and international relations is really suited for this site. Or maybe its just not suited for the front page. 

There are some amazing authors on here who discuss important themes and gaming, and even as "The Scholarly Gamer", I'm not even close to the most scholarly. RedHeadPeak and Riobux, to name two of my favourites. Both have done some amazing work discussing videogames and how they relate to mental illnesses, history, and other important topics that are generally extremely interesting to read. The smart thing is, they are usually not very controversial. They make sense; you read them and go: "Hmmm...yes...quite" as you sip your tea. 

Well, I didn't think my post was that controversial either, but here we are. Now don't get me wrong, I am totally alright with being called out for generally whatever on this site. Do your worst; I professed my love for EB Games shortly after joining the site and managed to get 330 comments to 13 likes. Pretty sad ratio right there, and man were many of them seething hate. Looking back on it, it was hilarious, and awesome. I regret nothing, and still love EB. Maybe slightly less lately. 

But I do get annoyed when the trolls start claiming to know how the world of international relations works, and calling me out for a plethora of things that I didn't say. (This was compounded by me being away for a few days after posting to take care of wedding plans and the job case you were curious, both going great!) So, I'm going to briefly touch on some of it. Why? Mostly because I miss being in a seminar and being able to argue intelligently with people about international relations, but also because they're mostly wrong. And I'm annoyed. 

According to some my moniker is pretty ironic, and the creation of a mod to support IS isn't a terrorist act. Welllllll, it is. Creating propaganda or materials that support terrorism falls under that category, as well as even discussing interest or support for these groups. Also terrorism. It's called conspiracy. Some others think I'm in love with American propaganda. Doesn't anyone know the difference between objective and subjective writing anymore? At no point did I even close to express that opinion. I simply discussed it historically. 

My personal favorite was that I have a "clouded and single-side focused view of international conflicts." Oh man, that made me chuckle. This was based off this person's assumption that I did not understand the US role in the regional conflicts that led up to the emergence of ISIL, which was in no way discussed in the article. I'm unsure of where they got that idea. Yeah, my one opinion in the article was anti-ISIL, but I never said "Oh yes, America did a great job with the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, etc." 

I've only spent the past decade studying international relations and geopolitics, and just finished working for the Canadian Government, but yeah, you're probably more qualified to make these arguments than I am. Sorry to sound cocky friends, but I can't stand when people act like they know what they're talking about, especially concerning something so important and controversial. 

Whether or not you support the American Middle-East conflicts, most people understand that the rise of extra-regional terrorist organziations such as Al-Qaeda and ISIL are partially in response to their perception of American global hegemony. But thats not what my article was about. Maybe the next one will discuss that, but I can't stand when people pull assumptions out of midair and run with them. Maybe I do support American wars abroad, maybe not. But I do not support what ISIL is doing, regardless of what their excuses are. 

In the past, some American perceptions about the region have not always been the best, but they have also been on point in many cases. While Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) did cause civilian casualties through airstrikes, it also saved thousands upon thousands of people who would have died if they had not assisted. Much of this "war" involved rebuilding towns and helping civilians. I've spoken with several veterans about their experiences, and it was never about the fighting. It ws always about the real things they did on the ground to improve people's lives. 

But again, that's not what I was talking about. I had one opinion in that article, and I firmly stand by it. Regardless of your perceptions about American wars abroad, what ISIL is doing is horrible. They are beheading civilians and journalists, raping and torturing, burning people alive, and recruiting children from all over the world, especially America, Australia, Canada and the EU. And on top of their uses of other propaganda, such as through social media and religion (BTW Muslims generally hate ISIL because they are perverting the Quran) we are seeing them using a videogame now. 

ISIL's 17 year old Australian posterboy, Abdullah Elmir

I personally believe that the creation of a videogame to be used as a tool to glorify ISIL's cause, reach out to more people, and possibly recruit them is considered an act of terrorism by definition, and at the very least conspiracy.  This part of the discussion may be open for debate though, because since this is such a new tactic, there is research and analysis that needs to be done. On the origins of the mod, on its actual intended purpose, but more generally on videogames and terrorism/recruitment themselves, and the impact they can/do have on people.  

This has gotten longer than I intended it, and there is still much that needs to be flushed out here. I start a blog talking about how I'm not sure if I want to continue my academic-gaming discussions, and look where it ends. Chances are I will still write at least one follow-up blog on the ISIL mod, but for those of you who want to know more about this and follow this discussion, I invite you to join Mr. OpiumHerz and I in the near future for a discussion blog on this topic. 

I'm going to spend tonight killing offensive and ignorant gamers in FPS games. Take that moral high ground. 


2:13 PM on 02.19.2015

Band of Bloggers March Ideas & February Reminders

Stories from the Apocalypse

Hello friends!

We hope that you are all having a blast crafting your own apocalyptic stories in Fallout 3 & New Vegas! As the month is coming to a close, we just wanted to take a moment to remind you that blogs need to be posted by February 28th to ensure they make it into the BoB February Wrap-up. 

Remember, this blog can be about anything related to your experiences creating your story from the apocalypse! Write a fanfic, discuss your battle tactics, analyze how you relate to your character, or describe your inexplicable love for one of your followers! 

Can't tell if this is sexual or threatening. Threateningly sexual. Like this reminder. 

So now comes the ultimate question: What would you like to play in March? 

Please submit any ideas you have for the theme of the March Band of Bloggers games in the comments below, as well as any specific games that fall under your chosen category. As well, if you have any thoughts or opinions about future Band of Bloggers, please let us know! We hope that you have all had a blast playing through Fallout and we can't wait to see what you decide to write!

Game Together!

p.s. Has anyone dared tackle Final Fantasy XIII-2 with us? I'm still working through it...but I know at least one person has finished it. 


11:44 AM on 02.08.2015

Oh yeah, and I'm working on a Vidja Gamez rap

It was this or writing my thesis...

Before you judge me for dropping a second blog in just over an hour, I have one question to pose for you. Would you like to write my thesis? No? Let's move on then, shall we. :)

As many of you know by now, I'm a DJ and a pretty big fan of hip-hop.  As a DJ, I mostly perform all of my sets live because I used to hate DJs that came and dropped pre-produced sets. That being said, I don't have as many skills in producing, so recently I've actually been working for a little with a couple producers to create some beats for a proto-video game inspired album. 

I've had this idea since I was in my last metal band about 4 years ago, and we were actually going to write a metal song based around the ridiculous atmosphere of multiplayer gaming, specifically focused on League of Legends and Call of Duty. It was called "U Mad Bro" and it was pretty funny. At least, we all thought so.

That being said, after that band I've found it hard to get together with 3-4 other people continuously that are equally motivated, so I've stepped back from the metal to focus on some hip-hop and electronic music. "U Mad Bro" got synced up with a dubby-electro beat, but we never got around to actually recording anything, because I do not have any recording equipment in my tiny Ottawa apartment. 

Well, recently after reading Ms. Molotov Cupcake's blog and listening to her spoken word rhymes it reinvigorated me to write some lyrics. If you missed it, do yourself a favour and listen to this audio treat: Frak What You Heard. She says it awful, but I find it awfully entertaining. PS Brittany, if you're reading this, has anyone thrown that to a beat yet like you wanted? If not, if I can download the audio track, I'll make that a project soon =D. 

Then I wrote a rap blog, and found out Hyper Lemon Buster Cannon is also a fellow hip-hop enthusiast, which made me smile, and we discussed our different flavours in rap. Check his blog out here: A Tribute to Hip-Hop. At this point, I pretty much had enough talking about it, and decided to start writing a rap.

I'm about halfway through, but I need a  better microphone adapter for my laptop so I can get a better sound from my voice and equalize it properly. I'm not a huge fan of how it sounds now, but I still wanted to share it with you because I had fun doing it, and the research I did for my last blog was more sombre. So let me know what you think! I'm also not sure I'm going to go forward rapping it in this style. I've got a bunch to choose from though, because I've always been a character rapper, since I grew up listening to Eminem, so I tend to enjoy rapping in different voices depending on context or theme. 

So without further Apu, here it is! I hope you have a chuckle, either at my expense as a 26 year old white guy who just finished working for the Government of Canada writing a rap, or because of the lyrics. I'm easy=D. 

Lord Pretty Flacko Vidja Gamez Remix

Creeping down the lane, you about to get shot.
Don't know who you're playing, better give me my props.
Think you're super like a Saijan, but you ain't bringing home the bacon,
You're just flat pancaking, like you work for iHop.

See my Light, the prestige, I went straight to the top
See how I snipe ya with ease, with my Thorn or the glock.
All this loot on my back, it's why I lean when I walk
We live like MMO fiends, Azaroth around the block.

Man I grind erryday, have you read my blogs?
Seen the games that I play, do you like them odds?
Maybe watch what you say, before you meet me round the way,
Before I come on your flank like...

Now you're waiting to respawn, hear you talkin that hate,
I keep my rage up in the game, fuck your #Gamergate.
Got some shit you wanna talk, how bout you bring it to the field,
How bout you leave them cats alone that just express how they feel?


12:14 PM on 02.02.2015

Actually, Dying Light IS that good.

I haven't written anything about a specific game in a while, so I wanted to take a few minutes today to tell you why Dying Light is actually a fantastic zombie game, and what many of us have been looking for in a first person zombie experience. 

Now, I myself am a true sadist. I want my apocalypses to be truly horrifying, so if there is a hardcore mode, or more realistic game that I can be playing, I normally go for that. That being said, DayZ/Survivor Stories are my general favourite types of zombie games. Scavenging is taxing and barely rewarding, great items are very hard to come by, humans are the far scarier enemy, and death is permanent. Mmmmm...makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 

But, as someone who is only a fledgling member of the #PCMasterRace, I tend to play all my new releases on console, and will ahve to wait for the PS4 DayZ to really get into the game at over 12 FPS. Which is why I am here today to tell you that Dying Light is a fantastic game which not only fixes many of the issues of Dead Island, but adds in some great features which have been sorely missing from many zombie games.

Sweet dreams. 

Now I won't go into depth, because Mr. Chris Carter did a solid review of the game already, but there were several amazing aspects of Dying Light which he left out and I would like to address. Destructoid Dying Light Review by Chris Carter

Now, as mentioned in the review, the movement and parkour system is a welcome addition to the game and provides some of the best delights to be had in Harran. This is even better by night, when you are being chased by exceptionally fast zombies that continue to amass the longer you run. Luckily, you can look behind you while running and slow time down for a brief period to chuck throwing stars and moltovs over your shoulder. Well done Techland. 

So yeah, that's nifty. But it gets even better. Remember Walking Dead: Survival Instinct? That atrociously done game that felt like it belonged on 6th Gen consoles, and barely anyone touched? Yeah, well I beat it. Horrible game. But it had one thing going for it: stealth. Stealth is often overlooked in many zombie games in lieu of the frantic combat, but Dying Light gives you the chance to experience both at your leisure. 

Not only can you sneak around map to avoid zombies instead of parkouring, which is expecially helpful at night when sneaking becomes essential to avoiding the volatile zombies, but you can creep up behind a zombie (or human) and snap their neck. Now, I know this is very simple at its core, but its something that provides an entire different level of gameplay to Dying Light. Instead of running around at night, or even during the day, I spend a lot of time sneaking and executing zombies, trying to stay unseen as I loot through houses and shops. Oh, and if you really want to stay unseen, you can smear zombie guts on yourself from any recently dispatched foe, in true Walking Dead style. I actually squeeled a bit with excitement when I saw this perk. 

Did I mention you could make car bombs? Right?!?!

You can also play this game with friends, invade others as a hunter zombie, unlock all sorts of mods, craft some great weapons, and there is much more environmental fun to be had, using downed wires and overturned cars with gas leaking out. Oh wait, but I forgot the best part. 

Guns actually do what they're supposed to in this game, unlike almost every other zombie game out there. Headshot? Zombie dies. Human dies. Body shots? You can keep peppering them but its almost pointless. *Sighs* Man...that made me happy just writing that. I was beyond stoked when I picked up my first gun and realized they actually behaved like they are supposed to. It doesn't take 3-5 headshots to take a zombie out. And another thing about guns! If you point a gun at bad guys without guns, they'll run or put there hands up kind of like I Am Alive. Man, so stoked on that. 

Oh shit. I actually lied, and saved the real greatest thing until the end. THERE IS A FUCKING GRAPPLING HOOK. Ahem. Now, I don't know if I've ever expressed this to any of you before, but grappling hooks are almost never a bad idea. Name a bad game with a grappling hook. You can't, because there aren't any. Just Cause, Lost Planet, Far Cry 4, Tomb Raider (grappling arrows count). I've lobbied many-a-company to start including grappling hooks in more games, and luckily Techland was the first to comply with my new standards. 

Ahem...Well, this Bionic Commando wasn't all bad...

The grappling hook is at the end of a skill tree, along with stealth kills, so you won't get access to these goodies until at least 10-15 hours in. Personally, I think this is a great idea. It allows the gameplay to stay fresh even after you've played a hefty amount, and adds in some new dynamics which make for some amazing fun! Grappling is more a la Just Cause 2 than anything else, and lets you slingshot to your destination after securing the hook. It makes the chases even crazier, and once you get good allows you to swing through Harran like zombie Spiderman. Er...zombie-hunting Spiderman. Apoca-Rico Suavez. You know what I'm getting at. It's some sexy times. 

So, for those reasons on top of what Mr. Carter stated in his review, I'd put this game a lot closer to a 9 than a 7. Especially considering Dead Island got a 7 by Jim Sterling and this game improves on a plethora of details and added a grappling hook. But, reviews are subjective so that really doesn't mean anything. All I'm saying is that Dying Light is awesome, and you should play it.

Grappling Hooks. Zombie-gut camouflage. Awesome guns and gun-related AI. Grappling Hooks. Stealth kills. Rico Suavez. Grappling Hooks. 

Game Grapply. 


11:19 AM on 01.24.2015

Community Event: Band of Bloggers

Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together. 

Recently Fenriff, Dreamweaver and I were talking and discussing how hard it was to get people to play specific games, whether or not this was on a Friday Night Fights or when you're just looking for someone to grind with. What came out of this discussion was an idea for a new community event called Band of Bloggers that will gather up Dtoiders to play the same game every month, and then blog about their shared and different experiences afterwards!

Think of it like a book club but with video games. Right? RIGHT?!?! If only your grandma knew you were this cool.

In my day, there was no "fast travel". We had to walk 30 miles in the snow, uphill both ways, just to visit Winterfell. 

Since we didn't want to just choose games and force you all to play them (well, Dreamweaver did but we figured he had just been “reading” too much doujinshi), we will post a blog at the end of each month with a specific theme and a Strawpoll with 5 games. The games will all fall under the general theme, and at the end of the week we will post the results and all go forward together into the new month playing the community choice game.

The games will also all be older and generally cross-platform, so that the majority of people will have at least 2-3 games on the list, or be able to purchase the winning game for cheap. For games within a series, we will often allow people to pick one of the games to make this more inclusive!

At the end of the month, we will ask people to share their thoughts on the game in a blog post, and we will combine them up and do a big recap on the experience!

February's theme will be: Stories From the Apocalypse!

Fallout 3 / New Vegas
Metro 2033 / Last Light
Dead Island / Dead Island Riptide

Why apocalypse? Because everyone likes a good romp through the wastelands, lopping heads off no-do-gooders, and crafting sex dolls out of motorcycle chassis and cactus fruit. So click on the link below, vote for the game that you want to be playing in February with Destructoid, and come apoca-lose yourself with some great people!

Strawpoll :

The end of the world comes in all shapes and sizes. 

As a bonus, Fenriff, Dreamweaver and I will also be venturing back into Gran Pulse over the course of February to save Lightning and Noel from a future without the human race in Final Fantasy XIII-2, keeping with the theme of apocalypse. We'd love for people to join us on this adventure as well, if they can manage the full game-load!

So cast your vote on which apocalypse you would like to visit in February, and look forward to the results coming next week!


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