The Scholarly Gamer's Profile - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android




click to hide banner header
About
Working for the Government of Canada, DJing and writing about video games in my spare time.

I also work for Gamework Canada (www.gamework.ca), bringing competitive gaming tournaments to Canada!

This really needs an overhaul: COMING SOON!
Player Profile
Xbox LIVE:REDterror1938
PSN ID:REDterror1938
Steam ID:REDterror1938
Origin ID:REDterror1938
Wii U code:REDterror
Follow me:
The Scholarly Gamer's sites
Badges
Following (26)  


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!
TSG









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 put...er...fingers 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 ignorant...you 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.
TSG









(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 hunt...in 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. 
TSG









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!
TSG 

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. 

Photo








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?









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. 
TSG