hot  /  reviews  /  video  /  blogs  /  forum

FRESH MEAT  
|   FROM OUR COMMUNITY BLOGS

Vault91's blog


9:16 PM on 03.25.2013

We don't want to take away your games...



It's a sad state we find ourselves in, when Developers have to struggle against publishers JUST to have a female protagonist in their game.


What the hell happened?


I know games have always been more or less male focused, but it feels like something did change in this generation when the COD's came in and brought with them the "age of the sausage fest" .Testosterone fuled shooting galleries. The "white male protagonist" became the standard and anything that deviated from that was not acceptable...to publishers at least, because that's what they think everyone wants, and that is what gets made.


Can you name a game this generation that had a female protagonist AND hit that sweet spot of financial and critical success? because I can only think of one. Tomb Raider, and lets be honest that game only got made because of its title...."Tomb Raider". Without that name and brand recognition it would have had no chance.


Sure Mirrors Edge has some really cool stuff going for it, but that games was flawed, other games like Beyonetta or Heavenly sword might be considered good but they weren't huge successes, for things to really change it has to do both, that's how trends are set, and the current trends are in desperate need of change. Because I don't know how many Nathan Drake lookalikes I can handle before I burn my computer, swear off games and find a new hobby...like knitting


But I'm getting off topic here, what I was referring too at the start was the upcoming game "Remember Me" which *gasp* stars a non-white female character, a complete oddity in this day and age, apparently the developers were outright told that "no...you can't have a female protagonist. it will upset the dudebros"


am I the only one that finds that seriously sad and pathetic?



why is this? who do we blame? the Publishers or the Audience? aside from it being a chicken/egg scenario I personally think its a symptom of the same problem, a serious lack of risk taking. Its the reason Mass Effect became less RPG focused and gained multiplayer, its the reason Dead Space 3 got the treatment it did.....everyone's riding the COD train, or to be fair everyone's going for what's perceived as "popular" hell I just remembered now the new Tomb Raider has multiplayer...I never played it but its there. Why do you think they put multiplayer to a game like tomb raider? I think you already know the answer.


Aside from all this, what really gets me are the excuses people make for this kind of thing. "Gamers" start getting uncomfortable, they try and push the Idea that this ISN'T a problem, acting like there is some scary force with an "agenda" that will come in and force developers to make female characters to fill some kind of quota...yeah


are you fucking kidding me?


aside from the possibility of that happening (which is about as likely as someone reading this and giving me a million dollars to write another one) the fact that your basing this on the Idea of "artistic integrity" (that the developers should be free to create what they wish to create) is good and all...but absolutely ridiculous


the AAA industry HAS no artistic integrity, not when the makers of Bioshock infinite had to put Elizabeth on the back of the box and "whats his name" striking some badass pose on the front .Not when we still can't have women running around having "Agency" and shit, that just confuses some poor guy and puts him at risk of catching "teh gay"



"I" and many others are not condemning all gamers or the developers as evil, and we don't want to have females in every game just for the sake of it (maybe I would if I had the power but then...I'm still waiting for my million dollars) I simply believe creators should be able to (within reason) create the kinds of games and characters they want, and that the is something SERIOUSLY wrong with the industry when you are outright told you can't have a female protagonist



and for the other argument "maybe they are just giving players what they want" again, chicken and egg. Good games with female protagonists don't get made, so they don't get bought. You can't tell me playing as a female makes gamers brains explode when Tomb Raider did so well, also perhaps "pandering to what's perceived as popular" ISN'T the best strategy for making games? are you honestly OK with games becoming a bland mix of stupid? are you OK with the industry itself treating you like some socially stunted man-child that gets seizures in the presence of a women? doesn't the general public and sensationalist media already do that?



fuck that, we deserve variety, we deserve better



YOU deserve better[img]   read


8:08 PM on 10.01.2012

Why can't we have both?


Originally I wanted nothing to do with Borderlands 2, after my experience with Borderlands 1. I talked about that breifly a few posts ago, Borderlands 1 was not a bad game (or bad expereince) it was a game that I should have liked due to many reasons (the wacky colurful world mostly) but unfortunatly it turned out to be rather tedious under all that cel shading and humour, I admit I didn't get all that far, mabye it would have gotten better...I don't know.

So I decided that Borderlands 2 was probably not my thing, much like Skyrim was not after I played oblivion.

But thankfully I was wrong....sooooo wrong. I'm not sure what it was, mabye a few reveiws and such but for whatever reason I gave into hype and tried out Borderlands 2. And yes, this game is AWSOME, it has everything I liked about B1 and takes out everything I "didn't" like, such as the way "MMO" style charachter interaction...and grind quests.

Now NPC's actually speak to me and not through imaginairy task lists, now the story is actualy "good" or at least engaging....I've been surprised (and shocked) at least a couple of times, and now (another pleasant surprise) the events feel more personal..I've learned of my chosen charachters backstory which is great (Maya the Siren).

My only nitpick is the game does burn you out a bit witht the constant never ending waves of enemies you have to kill inbetween whatever it is your doing...but thats to be expected with a game of this nature.

Essentially borderlands 2 is a game that is as fun to play on your own as it is with others, which makes me wonder....is it too much to ask to have that in all games? why does it have to be one or the other?

take B1...most people would say its really fun if played with freinds...which is kind of true, but then [b/]anything[/b] is more fun with freinds, hanging out in some parkinglot at night drinking is more fun with freinds.....watching terrible movies is more fun with freinds....

taking freinds out of the equasion, if your left with somthing thats kind of "eh" then did that somthing deserve a free pass in the first place? its the kind of thing where people say Mods make Oblivion good.....I mean if you need mods to make Oblivion playable then it doesnt seem like such a great game to me, much like if you need other people to make Borderlands 1 playable...it seems like somthing failed....somwhere

well..thats just me anyhow   read


8:59 PM on 08.12.2012

The Problem with Darksiders

I have a confession...I never actually finished Darksiders. I got to the part with the "portals" and the angel telling me to do something with "beams" repeatedly (the beams, the beams, the beams, the beams, the beams, the beams SHUT UP!) but perhaps I just couldn't work out what I was meant to be doing or I got distracted by something else , but at some point I removed it from my steam list and havenít looked back.

but the thing is I actually liked Darksiders, I think it was an absolutely gorgeous game in terms of visuals, and lots "hackey-slashey" fun to be had, who cares if it was a GOW clone that "borrowed" from alot of games.... not me!

so whatís the problem exactly? is it the story?...well that might be part of it but I'm not entirly sure..from the get go I really had no clue what was going on or why I was doing anything...but from what I can remember basiclaly the apocolypse happens and war jumps in but he made a faux pas because apparently it wasn't supposed to happen and the angels are being dubious and wars in huge trouble with the boss or something so he has to wear this embarrassingly oversized gauntlet and get followed around by Mark Hamil doing his Joker voice and he runs around talks to some other godly beings an breaks shit up and kills stuff and um...yeah

I think that didn't help the main problem

our "hero"



aside from his adorable little pigtails hanging out of his hood its clear the impression wer'e supposed to get here is of the "brooding badass" variety....as far as character design....well I'll give them points for the fact he isn't a Nathan Drake

but its his personality that counts!....

if he had one

all he ever seems to do his trudge about being all scowly...like a teeger who's mum took his xbox away. again the question of "why" is always there....why is war such a miserable bastard? is it because he got into trouble? .I mean christ...the guy is WAR why isn't he a little more enthusiastic about the fact he is a god like being with the ability to fight like a boss?

actually mabye thats part of the problem...the Idea is to be powerful....but by virtue of him being WAR THE HORASEMAN OF THE APOCOLYPSE he's already overpowered...even when he was "de-powered" he was over powered..to he point of me not caring

see the thing is its kind of hard to really get behind the hijinx of other worldly god-like beings....its just kind of beyond me, why should I care? all the humans are already undead




and its just thease assholes left to fight it out "just because".....why do we even need the apocalypse? in Darksiders it certainly didn't seem to have anything to do with us Meat-bags as in "judgment" and then when I think about it "souls" are currency for new weapons and powerups...so does that mean the 2500 souls I used to buy something used to be 2500 people? 2500 individuals screaming out in dispiar?....I just gave those souls to a deamon!..what the fuck is a daemon going to do with those souls! my god! WAR is an asshole!

and we were doing fine with our Iphones and computers and Xbox's untill a bunch of angels and daemons showed up to wreck our shit and revert everything to the middle aegis ..Canít they find another planet to play war games on?

much like the whole "heaven vs hell apocalypse" story....I just don't get it, perhaps because its overall scope is just too "big" for me to get

and what exactly do super -god-like beings do? the apocalypse happens once...do they fight wars? negotiate politics? do the horsemen of the apocalypse have any hobbies or interests in the meantime? can such beings mate and have children?

ok, perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself here...there seems to be some kind of "other realm" thing at play so obviously they have their own little world

but as I was saying, maybe I'm supposed to care when war gets "depowered" and gets in trouble with the boss and all the stuff but its hard when I honestly don't care....and maybe if he could emote beyond scowling it would be easier but sadly no

even if I were to compare him to his (most likley) closest counterpart Kratos from god of war



Kratos is an in-human dick, thereís no denying that. However at least in God Of War 1 this was kind of the Idea, its a Greek tragedy which involves a man losing his humanity. With war its like theyíve made a Kratos but without anything remotely interesting

its not that I need humans in these things to empathize...just a human element. Like Hellboy, he is in no way human, but he was raised by humans, he acts human and when supernatural forces come along and start getting on his case about "destiny" and "destruction" and "the apocalypse" he says "fuck that", snaps his horns off and does what he wants

its just a shame because the world of Darksiders is so gorgeous and fun, yet I have to explore it with WAR, like going to a carnival with some miserable sad-sack who doesn't want to be there and you have to bug to go on the rides with you...

it makes me think...like what if instead of playing WAR you instead play as one of a rag-tag group of survivors who "somehow" went into stasis for the 100 or so years the game skips over..and wake up to find that world they are in makes Mad Max look like a family picnic....somewhat annoyed that the angels/daemons having wrecked shit up you gain powers (do a deal with some deamons..it canít be the hard) and go fighting in an effort to tell both heavan and hell to "get the fuck off our planet" and freeing trapped souls of people ....

ok..mabye I'm thinking too hard...maybe I'm missing the point, and I guess its just supposed to be a big hackey-slashey game thatís not meant to make you think

and hell..I didn't finish it, maybe thereís alot I'm missing here, like maybe the plot had a point and WAR learned the meaning of friendship or got together with Urial the Angel

I'm just thinking if thatís what WAR is like then I can only Imagine what a joy Death is going to be like....



sunshine and rainbows I'm sure...   read


10:52 PM on 08.06.2012

Morality..the right and wrong way


well Red looks more badass..But the blue matches my eyes....



Chances are youíve probably played a game where you are presented with "moral choices". Choices you have to make based on what (the game) decided its right and wrong. Often such scenarios fall flat when put under scrutiny. I think some games handle the use of "choices" and "morality" better than others


First off, I'm going to talk about the absolute worst offender, Fallout 3. To me this game is an example of how not to do morality and choices.

Fallout 3 is set in post-apocalyptic America. More specifically DC. The funny thing is the post apocalyptic genre is one that challenges our concept of morality...like...a lot. When society crumbles so does "right and wrong", to what lengths will we go to for survival? At what point do you lose your humanity? Is a world without humanity worth living in? (And all that other deep stuff)

Fallout 3 takes such a setting and paints it black and white....like Disney black and white....do you want to be Scar or Simba? The light side or the dark side? Run a home for orphaned puppies or bathe in the blood and tears of children? Take your pick!

Ok, I may be exaggerating....

within the story of Fallout 3 you are more or less shoe horned into the same role, you are the kid from Vault101 and your out looking for your dad (assuming you see it through and don't just say "fuck it" ignore the quests and play the rest of the game as a slaver....in a way that could be equally valid)

One of the main problems with moral choices is that "it makes no sense to be evil" unless you're being evil for the sake of being evil.

Like I said, in FO3 the main story will generally follow the same route, you will look for your father, and you will work with the "Brotherhood" no matter how much of an evil prick you are

So why are you an evil prick in FO3? Stealing and killing certain people is one thing. But a lot of the time the "evil" decisions don't really seem to come from any kind of struggle or need to survive. Or any real "reason" other than some petty gain and "the lulz"

Ok, so maybe Kid Vault101 is an asshole...a lot of people are assholes. It does seem a little odd considering your upbringing...so he/she was just born an asshole..or has some serious daddy issues which translate into killing and stealing...I guess thereís nothing wrong with allowing for the fact that the player is going to do bad things (since not everyone is a straight as an arrow moral crusader like me)

The main problem is (as I said) when the choices are so bland and predictable, itís been said before the most evil people don't believe they are evil...they are just utterly convinced that their way is "right"

Back to FO3. Bethesda made the world very black and white, like "The Brotherhood of Steel", some fans say they "ruined the brotherhood of steel", they did and they didn't

They didn't "change" the Brotherhood of steel, what they did was wrote in a scenario where the BOS were "lawful good" instead of "lawful neutral". They wrote that there was a rift in the faction over "mission priorities" and that the "BOS" were now fighting super mutants (more or less helping people) rather than looking for technology The "outcasts" are what the "actual" brotherhood of steel are like

So while what they did may be on "bad fan-fic" levels, its still perfectly valid lore wise. Just wanted to make the distinction

Anyway, as I said no matter what you do in FO3 the main story is going to follow along the same path, youíre going to fight against the enclave with the Brotherhood. You can't join the Enclave. You can fetch quest for the outcasts but you can't join them or re-unite them with the BOS or help them "take back leadership and therefore see the consequences of the BOS pulling out of the region.

perhaps the game would have benefited in getting rid of the annoying Karma meter altogether, in a post apocalyptic situation having an annoying little sound cue constantly berating you for every little thing like stealing stimpaks from slavers when your injured doesnít really fit with the setting...morality can shift and change depending on the situation


The morality fairy


As in so what if I killed Moriaty?... had it coming because he was a prick!


Pictured: a Prick man with a Prick beard


another thing about FO3 is that you donít have to think at all, thatís the major problem, choices are boring when you don't have to put any thought into them, granted its not all bad since the game still is allowing for the fact your an asshole-uh....I mean for the fact you will play as an asshole

But if the game acts like its choices have actual weight beyond "hmmm..I'm felling a little evil today.." Then you'd want that to show

So. Mass Effect

Mass Effect takes a different approach to the "morality thing", again your role in the story is essentially the same , your Commander Shepard fighting the reapers (the difference between this and FO3 is FO3 presents itself as the kind of game that should give you more flexibility)

Itís essentially what attitude you take, are you a ruthless renegade? Who will go to any length to get the job done? Or an upstanding Paragon? Who will fight for fairness and justice while keeping ones hands clean? Thatís the concept..

But the problem is it falls completely flat.....the thing is Renegade Shepard is not only a major prick. But a majorly incompetent Prick


Major Prick reporting for duty!


lets just ignore for a second that in ME3 our choices feel kind of meaningless....I have not yet played the extended cut so please no spoilers for that..REGARDLES of how awful/good it is

Can you name one relatively important choice where being a "renegade" worked out for the better? The Idea behind renegade seems to be that he/she will get the job done "at any cost" and that in some cases this is a necessary thing....

But the fact is it isn't. There is no Paragon option that turns out worse than the Renegade alternative, (the only one I can think of was the "re-write" incident with the geth)

at least in ME1 such choices were not so clearly "marked" so it seems reasonable not to release the rachni queen or even save the council (on my first playthroguh I didnít because everything was at stake)

But in ME2 its either Paragon or Renegade, the choices are color coded for your convenience and no thought what so ever is required. Itís essentially a "good/evil" karma system repackaged as something else, I know that handing the collector base over to Cerberus is a bad long term move. Not because I had to think (though I did...because fuck Cerberus) but because itís in blue, and blue is better, regardless of what I actually think

Now regardless you could say that the renegade/paragon is merely a role playing thing. a form of "flavor text" which is true, and no doubt being a renegade makes sense sometimes and is probably fun (I wouldnít know, I hate renegade shep) but the fact is it presents itself as something "different"...a choice system that requires thought when it really doesn't

The only choice I was ever truly stumped at was the very last one....and we all know how that went...


It still haunts me......



And this seems to come from the same thing. when you think about it may actually be better to do away with marking choices as "good" or "bad" and just presenting them "as is"

because things like "good and evil" or "paragon and renegade" in a way train you to play a certain way...and at the end when they throw an actual "real" hard choice in your face (like Infamous 2 or ME3) it throws you out

maybe its good because its like "ohh! deconstruction!" and all that....or maybe its bad because (as I said) it takes away any thought and if you do make a choice that goes against your usual pattern then you feel like your doing something wrong..

Dragon Age: Origins had a similar approach to Mass Effect, again you are the Grey Warden, you are there to fight the dark spawn threat, you can be a hero or an absolute prick about it

the difference is there is no set "measure" of your morality aside from what your companions think of you, each has their own moral alignment and will approve or disapprove depending on your actions. or leave if they hate you that much (and whatever you do Morrgain will disapprove)

and I think this is a great approach...I'm free to make whatever decisions I deem necessary, and only answer to my companions and not some invisible Karma Fairy who gets annoyed when I steal from someone who was trying to kill me

and even for a "straight edge" moral crusader like myself it still presents me with interesting situations

like when I think I called upon the aid of a blood mage to help save a possed Mage child....only to have Alistair (the one you could call "good") chew me out on the evils of blood magic, to which I defended my position and shut him down, he wasnít happy with me,

I feel like the game gave me some genuinely grey situations and not just the illusion of them


but then again I think Infamous (that has Binary good or evil choices) works more or less because it isnt an RPG, nor does it claim to give you "tough choices" its a sandbox game that allows for the fact that gamers + sandbox =lots of dead civilians, but also allows for that fact that some of us arenít interested in mindless chaos


its like being able to play god of war or Prototype without being a massive dickbag, something I really like. and I guess (judging from the cover) they are trying to paint Cole as somewhat neutral and possibly "inclined" both ways, both work more or less within the story. Of coarse thats just my interpretation.

aside from Dragon age: Origins a game a I feel does moral choices well is Fallout: New Vegas

it still uses the basic "universally right and wrong" Karma system which as blogger myherozero pointed out creates some inconsistencies

however the reason I think F:NV does moral choices well is because much like Dragon age your relationship with the different factions matters, you can be on pretty bad terms with the Karma fairy but best buddies with the NCR

alot of the plot revolves around deciding which faction holds the best hope for the future of New Vegas, and at first glance "NCR vs Legion" seems pretty black and white...unless you seriously think the Legion are the best option. in which case I'd point out Caesar is a lying hypocritical little prick


who has a very punchable face


but aside from the legion the real decisions lie with Mr house and the NCR, that was where I had to make tough choices

because you could go through executing every whim of the NCR because you believe yourself to be paragon...only to stop and realise how many people youíve actually screwed over in the process....is it right to kill the great Khans or Mr House because the NCR demands it? what about following Mr House? or going solo? which is the right decision? or maybe you don't care. maybe its all about the power

I remember when I killed Mr House he asked "why?" and whatever answer I gave felt very hollow and unjustified.....because mabye it wasnt right, but the fact was I had to do this bad thing in order to achieve what I thought was right, and there was no "good karma" feeling to back it up

There was something very satisfying about playing the NCR and then at the last minute showing them the door (in a more or less polite way) not because I was evil or didnít believe in the NCRÖbut because I just didnít they were right for New Vegas right now...a hell of a lot more interesting than being a wasteland Jesus

or if you want to be "evil" you could play a character who was a legion fan boy or NCR fascist...again unlike FO3 you have actual motivations to you being a bastard

anther issue with Moral Choices is being "locked out" I can't think of many straight examples except some Pirates of the Caribbean RPG I played a long time ago on PC...

but essentially being "locked out" shouldn't feel frustrating, like a characher comes to you with a morally dubious task but you decline. and then you never find out what happiness next. Its like you've got the Karma fairy on one shoulder berating you for even thinking of accepting. and Danny the devil on the other telling you how uncool you are

Hence why I like the Dragon Age aporach..you never feel like your closing doors, but theres still other things to try for another playthrough

F:NV does have a form of "locking you out" as in if you piss off a faction you can't get by without getting shot (or wearing a disguise) but then it still integrates your alignment with the story, I can team up with whomever I please and I suppose it makes sense for the NCR to outlaw me if I'm buddies with Caesar

so essentially I think the main problem with moral choices is they are too ridged, its ok to have a sense of "right and wrong" since we all like good guys and bad guys but putting a numerical value on something as "subjective" as morality usually waters down our "choices" and makes them boring.   read


7:46 PM on 08.05.2012

Get your multiplayer out of my game!

Letís talk about borderlands




On the surface it seems to be everything I'd want in a game, a crazy colorful yet gritty sci fi world, unique visual style, quirky characters, lots of guns and shooty action...[i]and/[i] the ability to play as a woman. Whatís not to love?

And yes...it certainly has its apeal, but theres one problem...

Itís dull as fuck.

after a while the novelty of Pandora wears off...after Iíve switched my gun around for the 100th time and killed a boss (who has respawned) itís getting old....some old quests..Same old monsters and psychos to kill. NPC's don't talk to me thereís just a big menu that pops up in my face with some text (not bad by any means...but certainly not all that engaging)

If youíre familiar with Borderlands then you already know what I did wrong, I was on my own...solo...a lone wolf....

I was playing it as a single player game

In reality itís more like an MMO, respawning bosses and enemies, a "grind" feel to it, and characters that give you a quest with some text and send you on your way. I have a kind of loathing for the MMO genre (but I'll get to that later)

Now I'm sure borderlands is an absolute blast to play with others and I'm sure thatís certainly what was in mind when they made it. Is it really fair of me to criticize Borderlands for this? Is it fair of me to expect a decent single player? I mentioned the voice acting thing, maybe that amount of dialogue just wasnít in the budget, I don't know.

But how hard would it have been to make things a little more single player friendly? itís not like they were far off....the opening is great, the world of Pandora interesting, there's certainly something going on story wise (even if they do say it was an anti-climax...I never got that far) one thing I remember was collecting audio logs of some scientist lady who was going insane over her obsession with "the vault", and later told me to go "apply blunt trauma to my head with a rock until I forget"..That was great

Perhaps it would have been more immersive if charactersí spoke to me in person rather than (literally) through a wall of text. Perhaps it would have felt less monotonous had Boss's actually stayed dead after I killed them, and maybe a little less lonely if I didn't get dropped off by the bus and never see my buddies again (because their spots were meant to me taken by others players)

But then maybe such changed are kind of "breaking" it ...perhaps this is all nitpicking...and perhaps I'm just a bad "Gamer" for not being satisfyed with shooty action alone

I don't think Borderlands is a bad game for what it is, and after reading up on Borderlands 2 Iím even temped to give it another chance. But I mention borderlands because while itís a good game...its "a game that you can play on your own but is really meant to be played with others'

And this is my main point...in this day and age its hard not to feel like the "single player experience" we know and love is under threat


LEAVE ME ALLOOOOOONE!!

Some time ago if someone mentioned Multiplayer in Mass Effect 3 to me I would have scoffed at the Idea "multiplayer? In ME3?! Such a notion is preposterous good sir! Now off with you! I have no time for such folly!"

Fast forward a year or two and oh look....ME3 multiplayer. What about dead space? That game that thought it was scary? And was trying so hard people were like "ohh! dead space you scared me so much!" but it was an act because no one wanted to hurt Dead Spaces feelings....well Dead Space 2 comes along and it has competitive multiplayer....at least Dead space 1 was making an effort, and now thereís Co-op in Dead space 3 because no doubt someone over at EA decided it was a must...along with "cover" based shooting..Probably the same with ME3

Or even non-EA games...Assassins Creed, Uncharted games you wouldnít think need multiplayer...but its there

Multiplayer has now become "standard" like a tutorial or having the system requirements on the back of the box (you know...box's...PC games still exist in those)

I'm not anti multiplayer...though my relationship with online gaming is love/hate (much like Anime).As much as I was (and still kind of am) against multiplayer in ME3 I still played it...quite a bit actually. I find multiplayer is really fun for a while but gets old quickly, I also have an internet cap I have to think about, which I admit has seriously limited my dive into multiplayer. Thatís just me of course.

And the examples of Assassins creed and Uncharted may be somewhat unfair since in those cases single player takes centre stage first and foremost.

Itís no big revelation that tacked on multiplayer sucks...just being there for the sake of being there, Why should I be bothered? I'm bothered because the very presence of multiplayer potentially takes away what they could have put into single player. Sure that sounds kind of paranoid, and you could argue thatís not the case in ME3 or even Dead space 2...aprently being as short as DS2 is acceptable for that genre of game.ME3's..."problems" may be due to other factors (rhymes with "bee" and "way"...together...in that order)

I have a kind of logic in regards to this thing. If a game (like Deus Ex:HR or Infamous 2) comes out without any multiplayer then that game is essentially saying "this single player is what you are paying for, therefore in theory it should be up to standard and worth your money"

Now I know in the real world is not exactly like that, BUT at least I know what I am getting for my money. The thing is multiplayer as a feature is completely useless to me, so I have to be sure I'm not getting a game and it turns out its only 6 hours long, Or even if you like multiplayer, the fact is if or when it eventually dies (this of course varies a lot)...what are you left with? Either way youíre left with half a game


Homefront

But then maybe complaining that games like Battlefield and COD are not worth it in terms of single player is like going into a strip club and complaining that the women are being objectified...no oneís cares, thatís what everyone is there for.

So what about stuff like co-op? Thatís the best solution right? No, wrong, thatís even worse, as far as I'm concerned itís a bigger problem than tacked on multiplayer. Not saying Co-op is bad, it can be great...and games like Saints row have impletmented it without affecting the single player

however going back to my Borderlands example, I fear that we may get more games that "can pass themselves off as single player" but in reality are meant to be played with someone else...like Diablo 3..well ok Diablo 3 wasn't even trying... Because "online is popular therefore we must have online"

for someone like me a game like that is already dead on arrival....

Next point, going back to my mention of COD and Battlefield and "getting value for money" leads into the issue of the current pricing system and all kinds of complicated stuff as to whether or not games are worth their $60 (well in my case $80-$100) release price

And itís no secret that there are "issues" in the industry with money...to put it lighly, even somone like me can see that (though I do not claim to know what I'm talking about in regards to that)

So with the $60 pricing model (and games as a single standalone product) in question they are looking at different ways to get our money...somtimes for better...and somtimes for worse. Stuff like Microtransations, subscriptions and ďFree to Play"

All of which lend themselves better to multiplayer

I get the impression in these tough times publishers see a heavily online focused game as a cash cow, and itís not hard what with WOW being....WOW. Everyone wants a slice of the sweet sweet MMO pie.
Is that the reason they made The Old Republic an MMO instead of making KOTOR 3? Ok maybe itís a bit cynical to think so, since they were at least trying to give us some kind of story (but then I wouldn't put it past EA to really really want a WOW killer)

[This is going to get ranty]

the thing is...I hate MMO's, so much it irritates me when people used to point to WOW's success (or the MMO being a mainly PC thing) as evidence of PC gaming "not" dying (if that was the case it would already be dead to me)

A while ago I tried "The Secret world" because it seemed interesting and I figured I might try the online/MMO thing...a certain itch I felt like scratching

And after playing a bit and making two charactersí (one for Dragon and one for Templar...because screw the illuminati) I thought it was really cool, I liked the world, the mystery and story, the setting...there was only one problem

It was an MMO

With the same MMO bullshit

Running around...questing, grinding with people running around dressed as wankers

It could have been a really cool single player RPG but instead it had to be an MMO...and ok, I admit its clear I'm just not an MMO person, I'm not saying MMO's are inherintly bad, obviously lots of people enjoy them


like these guys

MMO's just arenít for me, and I guess the reason I even bring them up is maybe I feel like they keep getting made because (as I said) everyone wants a cash cow...

The point to my rant is I feel like the single player RPG will turn into the "MMO". Does a Mass Effect MMO seem out of the question? (or a movie staring Sam Worthington directed by Micheal bay)

(I apologise to any MMO players)

.Then theres the "F2P" issue, even hardcore multiplayer (and MMO) types roll their eyes at the Idea, since F2P kind of has a stigma of "low" quality..But is also considered "pay to win". Games like Team fortress 2 and The Old republic have gone free to ploy (in TOR's case it seems rather embarrassing given how many times they said they wouldn't) and of coarse everyoneís expecting The Secret world to eventually go F2P...It does make you wonder when the people behind Crysis are talking about focusing on F2P

Not to mention subscription ďservices" in regards to "the big two" online first person shooters, COD and battlefield

It seems according to them online is where the money is

My final point is, when you add online to a game you have to make allowances for that...thatís why MMO's and games like borderlands have all that crap, respawning enemies/bosses, "post it note" quest givers with the usual fetch quests...they have to allow for the fact that there are other players..[i/]and thatís fine[i]

BUT you can't give the player the option to play on their own and call it a day (or still make them be online 24/7), that does not make for a good single player experience.

and at this point I admit I have not mentioned games like Journey or Dark Souls, where the online aspect is implemented in a creative way that enhances the experience...while I still don't like the Idea of having to be online when I'm essentially playing by myself I can't deny that maybe these games are a sign I don't have to fear the "scary" future of games and online..But that said forever journey thereís a game with tacked on multiplayer.


While I canít get angry at trends or blame everyone for following trends I do wish the industry would stop acting as if Multiplayer is somehow essential...or interchangable with (or better than) single player..They are completely different experiences. I wish they had more faith in the fact that some of us prefer single player and really don't need an arbitrary multiplayer mode to buy a game.

Sometimes I just want to play alone   read


7:42 PM on 08.01.2012

My top 10 favorite protagonists

when I think about it top tens lists are kind of lazy...especially for something as obvious as "favorite protagonists" they are easy to write and easy to digest, and not exactly exciting unless its something a little more interesting, or your somehow interested in the tastes of the person writing thing

and I don't think anyone is dying to know what protagonists like......

but right now due to lack of available energy drink and sleep my brain isnít functioning at 100% so I'm going to be lazy

10.Issac Clarke-DeadSpace


in the first game he's a mute with a bucket on his head

in the second game he's a guy with the bucket on his head

but I kind of like his bucket head you know? Maybe itís only because of all the crap he goes through, but you can't help but feel sorry for the poor bucket headed engineer. I'll be honest it was kind of a nice little surprise finally seeing his face at the end of Dead Space 1 (even though its entirely possible at the start...just not obvious) it was the kind of face your dad might have


not when he's staring at you like that though........


9.Chell- Portal



"what? she doesnít count! sheís a non-character" correct, a silent avatar for the player. We don't know her......she never says a word

but what about Gordon Freeman? people like him and he's as silent as ever. I think the difference there is Gordon has people all around him telling him he's awesome, believing in him (also the fact he wears glasses and is a physicist. in videogame land anything remotely different increases the "interesting factor by 50%)

Chell only has an AI trying to kill her while taunting her for being adopted and having no friends......except for an inanimate cube


why does everybody hate me?

but the fact is portal just wouldn't be the same if it were a robot or some gruff solder....maybe I'm being biased because she's female and I'm so often starved of non optional female protagonists....hell in any media....for some reason I just like her

and although we don't ever hear here speak or see her emotions, going by actions alone we know thatís she's smart....she doesn't take crap from GlaDOS (hence the no speaking) and we do know for sure that she's tenacious.....really really tenacious

8. Ezio- Assasins creed series



At first I wasn't too keen on Ezio...."whos this asshole? where is Altiair?" this was some kid in a white hood, not the Assassin I had become attached to in AC1, where was the castle? the order? where did it all go? (had I paid attention to the time skips and the codex it all would have made more sense)

At first he was just the kind of character I really don't like, womanizing, smart alec..an Italian renaissance Nathan Drake...but then I soon leanred the point of AC2 was him becoming an assassin, taking over the order...when he grew the beard. I got it (again actually paying attention would have made it easier)

he kind of grew on me, especially by AC: Revelations where we play as an older Ezio...
I mean I'm not sure I needed 3 games with the guy but by the end I kinda liked him. like an old familiar face

now I just hope Connor isn't a complete dick in AC:3

7.John Martson- Red Dead Redemption



Say what you want about Red Dead, it's certainly a very well written and even brutal game (emotionally brutal that is...I abused the "auto-aim" like a 5 cent whore)

John Marsten is an ex outlaw out a quest to track down his old outlaw buddies in hopes of redemption in the eyes of "the man"...for the sake of his wife and child..and the fact that "the man" is kinda making him do it

some might say the events behind the game are somewhat unbelievable (how hard is it to disappear off the grid in the early 1900's?) ..and Johns kind of an idiot blindly going along with whatever he's told

John Marsten is rough around the edges. But not unlikeable at all..in fact he seems to have a heart under all that,,,,"bounty hunter"-ness...and he's sympathetic . Here's a man who is desperately trying to "believe" that "the system works" and it will grant him Redemption if he does thing right thing, that its possible to be a good person if you try hard enough.

Its tragic really...


6.Adam Jensen- Deus Ex: Human Revolution


Because he's cool

Also because he can talk or sneak his way out of "most" situations (with the exception of the stupid boss ones)....he doesnít need to kill. Heís too cool for that

5.Cole Mcgrath- infamous 1 and 2



Cole. what is it I like about Cole? he wears a really cool jacket.....he's into free running and urban exploration...and he has a kind of "rough around the edges but has a heart of gold" appeal

He does get a little "smoothed out" in his Infamous 2 makeover, but thankfully itís still the Cole we know and love

a guy who's far from perfect, who gets alot of crap dumped on him..but keeps doing the right thing because deep down he's a good person (or because you know the game is about moral choices and they have to allow for both but whatever)

4.The Boss-Saints row series

Yes, I know thats actually Shaundi but I don't have a pic on hand....and for the sake of a visual representation its close enough


How do you make an insane GTA style sandbox game even better? you replace Nico Belic with a custom Psychopath of your own!

you could argue The Boss doesn't count since he/she is customizable...however since whatever you come up with is a fully voiced character and theres no real "role playing" involved I'd say she (in my case) definitely counts

morally questionable and an appetite for destruction "The Boss" is all about the pursuit of happiness....and that happiness usually means violence..power..and more violence .of coarse doing awful things in a game is usually big turn off ..but in this case its hard not to root for The Boss....and its not like your opponents are saints (harr harr)

I will admit that I havent finished saints row 3 and am a little disapointed it seems gutted for DLC...and also that its silly (yeah I just criticized saints row for being silly)... SR2 was silly but it had an interesting story and a shocking moment or two

the least you can say is that as much of a monster the Boss is she still cares about her "homies" and will crush anyone that threatens them

also for the ladies....if you want to be fat..then you can be fat, how many games do they let you be fat?

3.Altiair -Assasins Creed



Altair gets the label of "bland" now and again, but I believe it is seriously undeserved

The thing with Altair is..in alot of other games featuring your usual everyman I think "yeah he's ok..but it would have been better if it were a women/robot/alien/anything at all"

but in Altiars case...I would not change him at all, he fits, he works, he's awesome. What some see as blandness I see as cool professionalism, even when he is being arrogant, I like him because he seems to have a brain...he questions the creed and the authority of his superiors, and he learns not to be a dick

which I can't say for other's......

I just feel a bit sad we only saw his story finish in a spin off game, text in AC2 and flashbacks in AC:Revelations

2.Yoshi


Yeah, he's looking a little out of place on this list which I was keeping mainly this gen (which was actually pretty hard)..but I feel he needs a mention

the thing is Yoshi is better than Mario...he's cooler, he's more likeable...he has better abilites..and according to the mushroom kingdom history (if there is one) there would be no Mario without yoshi If Yoshi hadn't taken it upon himself to drag little baby Mario across the land in "Yoshis Island"...while tackling bosses, koopas, shyguys, ice, snow, water, lava and all of the crazy shit that is the mushroom kingdom...... then Mario would probably be dead and Luigi one of Bowsers minions

so what happens to Yoshi?.....he gets to be Mario's bitch



yeah...Fuck Mario


and the winner is....

1.Comander Shepard- Mass Effect


Commander Shepard is almost anything I could want in a videogame protagonist he/she is customizable in gender and appearance so he/she feels kind of personal...they are "your" shepardÖgranted I could never get her looking decent...but I actually like the "default" they came up with for ME3 and I used that...I think it suits her perfectly (my shepard anyhow)

Shepard kind of dances between being blank slate RPG charachter and a "pre defined" charachter...I guess that is open for interpretation, Some people aren't a fan this aproach to role playing (and Mass Effects status as an RPG is shakey at best) personally though I love to see my protagonist speak, it makes her really feel like part of the world (and Mass Effect is a very awsome world)

Shepard is probably one of the best female protagonists there is....like Samum Aran but better.....sure..she's optional, but I think she's enough of an entity herself to count. She's the hero ...she kicks ass...plain and simple.....and I've never been as attached to a player character as I was to shepard.. especially in Mass Effect 3 where alot of things go wrong.....(both in game and out)

so in conclusion

you can fight like a Krogan
run like a leopard
but you'll never be better than comander Shepard
-Miracleofsound   read


9:06 PM on 07.31.2012

Hey fanboys!...leave those games alone!

Some time ago the wonderful Jim Sterling did a video titled "A game by any other name" as part of his "Jimquisition" video series.

The basic Idea in the video was "why get upset if a game shares the name of your favorite series/franchise but is totally different?" mainly regards to reboots and spin offs.

At first this seems counter intuitive and completely against the common "view" that's shared within the forums and comments of the Internet.

"WHHHHAAAAT???....you mean I shouldn't care when they go and fuck up my favorite series by turning it into a first person shooter???"

but then, when you think about it. From a logical standpoint it's actually not such an insane Idea, if its a spin off or reboot then its more or less supposed to be seen as a separate entity....if it just has the name the.....well whatís in a name? Things get a bit more grey when your talking about direct sequels, but even then its not always a bad thing

it could be a great game in of itself and if its not or just nor you thing then it doesnít affect the originals (like really glad they never made a Terminator 3 or did any more Alien films after the 2nd one)

but it is understandable, thereís something horribly rage inducing about having something you love changed or even butchered to have "mass apeal"


with their COD and their Facebook and their...."Skrillex"

but anyway, change doesn't always have to be a bad thing. Like Fallout 3

in my first blog post I pointed out the flaws in Fallout 3 but I do actually like the game. Before FO3 I was only really vaguely familiar with the original Fallout series, they were turn based RPG's known for their unique world and quirky sense of humor


Actually...I think this might be Fallout 2

when it came to FO3...oh boy...was there nerd rage and bile.."TURN my precious game into a FPS!!?? HOW DAAAAAARE THEY!!!"

now I will admit FO3 is by no means perfect

-it plays fast and loose with the lore
-it takes itself a little too seriously at times
-it has a terrible approach to moral choices
-it suffers from Bethesda blandness

BUT that said I loved it at the time..I absolutely loved the world of Fallout and for all its flaws FO3 introduced me to that

and then Fallout New Vegas happened


I got spurs..that jingle jangle jingle....*jingle jangle*

and I honestly think that game is kind of amazing in its scope and what it manages to achieve with what they had. And fans to say its "closer" to the original Fallout in spirit

but that said I imagine people still hate it purely because its a "FPS' and its not turn based...well good thing for those people is that Wasteland 2 is coming out

my point is FO3 introduced the world of fallout to a new audience, it brought it out of obscurity and Fallout NV probably would not exist were it not for the sucess of FO3. Unlike Fallout tactics, Fallout: Brotherhood of steel and an original third game that turned into vaporware....

The fact is alot of people enjoyed those games... I ask hardcore "fans"....is that such a bad thing?

Or take something like Dead Space

Unlike others I am actually cautiously optimistic about Dead Space 3....Dead Spaceís strength was never in being genuinely scary. This is probably the scariest moment in the entire game


RISE AND SHIIIIIIIINE!!!!!!

But it did have a fantastic atmosphere and franticly creative combat. It did have you panicking as you tried to get away from the necromorphs while down to your last 3 shots...

I admit Dead Space 2 was a little short and its tacked on multiplayer was....tacked on, but it was still an awesome experience and an improvement over dead space 1 (in certain ways). The focus on action was a good thing....and a game that takes place on a ship overrun with horrors has never looked so gorgeous.

Despite the whore mongering wankery of EA (HERPA DERP! we must sell 5 million copies! we also must be above 90 in Meta critic....where is our call of duty!? its not fiar!!!)


this is EA.....

In spite of that I think the team behind Dead Space is actually good, and should hopefully be able to deliver a great game.Taking the game and putting it on a planet doesnít have to ruin it and even co-op is not such an insane Idea,since in Dead Space 2 Isaac was not alone.Even focusing more on shooting isnít a death sentence in terms of being uniquely Dead Space (I am kind of pissed however that your co-op buddy isn't ellie..I mean come on!)
Even if it is different (and even if the difference isnít for the right reasons) itís not game over yet.

Or the new Devil May cry game...I know nothing about Devil may cry except for the fact that people hate the new Date (for the reboot) with a passion



And I think wow......Dante looks like such a wanker......but old Dante even more so because of his stupid "Anime" look (yes thatís right. I think new Dante looks like less of a wanker)

HOWEVER....I get it... you don't have to be a fan to understand why people don't like the new Dante, its rather obvious

And finally Tomb raider.....granted I think the controversy is more due to the...."thing" in the trailer. Personally I think it was a big overreaction and I am actually really hopeful for the reboot, I think this is a direction that needs to be taken, actually trying to get us to empathies with a character rather than look at her tits.

Anyway, repeating what I said earlier...what if the new DMC game turned out to be really good?

Or what if they made a Mass Effect spin off FPS and it was a really really good game?

Is it right to say they are "crap" without any exaggeration? I mean its one thing to not like a game because itís not your thing but to think its bad only because itís different? Perhaps if we took a step back and accepted it we wouldnít need to have so much nerd rage

But then.....

This happens



ffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck

And this is where it all falls apart

Ok, step back for a second...itís the late 90's and the Nintendo 64 is all the rage..Whats one awesome groundbreaking game? Super Mario 64?...HA NO!!! Fuck Mario

ITíS BANJO KAZOOIE!


from a much more innocent and crazy time...

Banjo Kazooie is insanely awesome, from where Rare still had it (seriously Rare were awesome) itís much like Mario 64 with flatforming..Puzzles and collecting things. Banjo was a bear, a laid back type of guy. His best friend was kazooie, a tomboy bird (tom bird?) with a smart mouth and a fiery temperament; together they made an awesome team


wha?...hey Kazooie!, hold this while while I rub my face in the grass texture

Even for the crude graphics of 64 is had an awesome art style (or at least evidence of one) the worlds were colorful and creative, the humor was subtle and funny, the characters lovable and memorable, and the general concept ingenious

So then...fast forward, Rare gets bought my Microsoft....and this happens


I'm sighing so hard it hurts right now

ok..where do I start. well letís start with the obvious

now I hate to criticize art direction or style, thatís mainly subjective and all about the look they are going for even if it may not be to the personal taste of the viewer

but Kazooie looks like a drag queen!......maybe itís to make it more obvious that she's a girl, but that was part of her charm, she's a tom-bird! its ok that you can't tell...her original incarnation was cute...but this? this is freaking terrifying!

and Banjo? well he's not as bad but his eyes are still too small and his overall shape is blocky....why?

I mean itís just frustrating when they have the technology to make them look like they were originally intended



and they come up with that...I think the in-game sprites in the originals look better.

but thatís really nothing compared to the main problem...the absolute 50 ton straw that has not only broken the camels back but split it in too



whats Banjo Kazooie 3 about?...uhhh..wait no...its "Banjo Kazooie: Nuts'n Bolts"?....ok what does that mean?












VEHECHLES!!


VECHECLES FOR EVERYONE!!!




words cannot describe.....

quck question...whatís your favorite game of all time?...does it involve vehicles? what if your favorite game had vehicles in it?...was that your favorite part? does anyone enjoy vehicles?....well of course! lots of people enjoy vehicles!....and lots people are wakers too

..ok, seriously now. The main focus of Banjo Kazooie:NB is building and driving around in vehicles...as learning that wasnít bad enough itís the way they implement it that adds an extra layer of sting. Basically they smash through the fourth wall where a TV man tells you "gamers these days donít want to collect things!. they want to shoot things! ..therefore vehicles!!" itís downright depressing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjUjOo0tNN8

no! fuck you TV man! you clearly have no Idea what I want!

Banjo Kazooie was never Lord of the rings in its approach to the grand adventure but this crap woth LOG (Lord of Games, the TV man) is really too much. it sucks all the life out of it

at this point I could make a joke about turning it into a first person shooter.....but oh wait. THEY ALREADY DID



in Banjo Tooie there are levels that involve First person shooting (bird shooting?) you could play against your friends in four player.....you could all play as all the characters....like a Jinjo because those guys are small and fast...or if you didn't feel like being fair send out one of those tiny clockwork suicide bomber birds to take out your opponent

it was awesome


so we have a situation where they could have rebooted the thing into a FPS and it would have made more sense...

again, the vehicle thing not only baffles me because I don't like it...but mainly because I just do not understand where they were going with it. If they were trying to go for mass appeal then "vehicle construction" doesnít seem like an insanely popular genre, even when the game was released

or were they going for the nostalgia sell? well the intro might say so trying to remind us about how cool the banjo kazooie games used to be...except that Idea goes right out the fucking window at the first mention of vehicles (seriously!? vehicles?) the fans are already pissed off

so who is this game for?......kids...thatís all I can think of...and kids are not exactly the biggest market for Videogames...especially not on the Xbox. I'm not saying they shouldn't market games to kids, in fact itís a shame there arenít as many kid friendly games out there. But you don't have to change the game to market it to kids.

I donít think I mind changing the game...in a perfect world they wouldn't, but lets say they did, the one thing I remember about banjo kazooie is not collecting things...its the world and the action

what if it was an action game like god of war? (game play wise) where the focus is on combat and combos I probably would be totally cool with that, or an adventure game like uncharted? yeah I know the fans would still be pissed...but running around with banjo and kazooie as our playable characters is the main thing. the most important thing...and they fucked it up

but then according to Wikipedia the game didn't sell all that badly. so I guess the jokes on me

and this problem is my point .On one hand I understand and accept that fans sometimes need to chill the fuck out and itís not the end of the world if their favorite series goes in a different direction. On the other hand

this


Kazooie wonder's where it all went so wrong.....

gaaaaaarrhhhhhhh!!!

I can't exactly subscribe to the "chill out" Idea only when it suits me (like in the case of Fallout) but I also cannot and will not accept Nuts and bolts as anything other than a great big middle finger pointed at everything I liked about Banjo Kazooie

even though I do honestly think at least some of my points are valid beyond pure nostalgia, but the fact remains that I'm a big old hypocrite...this is a logical problem I can't work out

but then. I guess opinions are opinions, neither right nor wrong...and has non biased and accepting as you try to be you still have biases and preference

and now honestly I actually don't like criticizing fans (even if that's what I've been doing this whole post) and that's actually because of the Mass Effect 3 fiasco.....to feel so strongly about something only to be shot down with "whiney, bitchey, entitled" is frustrating

but whatís downright rage inducing is when some asshole says something along the lines of "you only didn't like the ending because your a triple double whiny entitled fan and it wasnít sunshine and rainbows!"

I didnít like the ending because it wasn't happy enough?.....no, please donít make up bullshit reasons, at least try and understand before you argue

that's why as easy as it is for me to say

"ok...seriously your upset over the new Dante? youíre upset because Dante looks slightly less of a white haired wanker than he did before? oh right! Devil May Cry was SUCH a master piece and Dante was such a serious character with all the depth on complexity of a novel. GOD FORBID they do anything to change that"

and I'll be honest. I can't help but think that. but you know what? I don't care about Devil May Cry. I donít know anything about Devil may cry...I'm really not in a position to say anything about Devil May Cry because "I don't get it" so I'm quite happy to not talk about it and I wont jump into any argument about DMC believing what I said is a valid statement. It's ok...you don't have to tell me why the new Dante sucks...I "do" and "don't" get it at the same time

if that makes sense...

there something else important I haven't mentioned until now, and itís something Jim Didn't mention in his video

there is a reason that old time fans do care, and its all because of the name, because that Reboot or radically different sequel means that you may not get the game you knew and love...in fact you may never get it again...but its there, in name only, and that may be worse than not having a sequel at all

because this "thing" you donít recognize is a constant reminder of what could have been, a constant reminder of something you love taken away from you and turned into something you hate

like you once had this brief but passionate relationship with a guy you honestly thought you were in love with, everything was perfect....but he had to go away. and when he returned he looked like this



and he likes Skrillex

but....

the fact is if someone falls in love with this new Skrillex loving heroin addict person then that's not wrong or bad... that's love, itís a beautiful thing, he's not your guy anymore but you have to accept it

just like I have to accept the fact that some people provably played and enjoyed Banjo Kazooie nuts and bolts, maybe even got introduced the series that way.

and you never know... maybe one day a bunch of the right people will get together on Kickstarter or some future equivalent and make that niche game you've been missing for so long

  read


8:51 PM on 07.30.2012

Why do I hate Nathan Drake?

Some time ago I bought my first console. A PS3, because it seemed to have the more interesting exclusives

And you can't look at the list of PS3 exclusives without mentioning the "Uncharted" series. I had only heard little details about it, but that didn't matter because from those details and the cover I already knew everything there was to know about Uncharted


I wonder if he'll ever say anything "funny"

An Indiana Jones like treasure hunting adventure....pretty much

Though apparently people didn't like Nathan Drake. Now I'm rather forgiving when it comes to game characters, I don't "hate" any unless I'm supposed to hate them and I generally feel neutral otherwise (like Jacob from ME2 or Desmond from Assassins creed)

And since gamers tend to be drama queens (c'mon admit it...at least on the internet) I figured he was just disliked for having a personality...I mean how bad can it be right?

So of course we dive into the first game (literally! hurr hurrr), where we are introduced to Nathan Drake the lovable rouge adventurer and his inevitable girlfriend Elena the intrepid reporter,

yep....thatís Elena.....

Pirates show up, gunfight and jokes ensue...you know the drill .And Sully, Drakes father figure/mentor comes flying on a plane to rescue them

And really at this point I don't know what else to say about the characters, you already know them, Drake is the wise cracking everymen adventurer main character...Sully is an older womanizing guy. Which is great...I mean being a player is something I really like in a person...it makes them likeable...it...does........really


I'm actually kind of sad I never got to shoot Sully...for real that is

Anyway long story short its drake running around the jungle killing mercenaries and maybe rescuing Elena once or twice and I'm like ok...This isn't so bad; I mean at least he talks and all that....this fun...I..I like Nathan Drake...I really do

"Strangers trying to kill me. Left my map on a burning plane. Elena's missing, most likely dead. That's great. Great start, Nate".

ahaha oh Nathan, youíre so hilarious!

so....

fucking....

No...I'm sorry, I can't do it. I was actually making a conscious effort NOT to hate this character...But I did anyway,

Part of the problem is 99% of his dialogue is sarcastic quips and jokes. Drake speaks in a somewhat smart ass "self aware" way... (his catch phrase being "oh crap!" alot of the time) ...you know that works great when you have something to balance it with , but it just gets grating when thatís all anyone seems to be saying (and it really is all anyone seems to say...other than his name if you die alot)


OH MY GOD NNNNNAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYTEE!!!!!!!!

Aside from the humor (and oh boy is there HUMOUR!) The drama in the series mainly comes across as Nathan proclaiming "everything I touch turns to shit!" (waaahh) or Elena or someone else telling him "No! Nate!....you have to beleeeeeeeeeeeeiiive! But then maybe itís unfair to criticize the game for not having drama on par with say....Requiem for a Dream

I think the main problem with Drake is they are trying so hard to make us like him, trying so hard to give him a personality to make him a character but somehow he comes across as even more bland and uninteresting..Actually no, I take it back...he comes across as even worse, annoying

why? His dialogue? His stupid face? His hair? I don't know. The man is pure annoying distilled into one creature

Itís everything...like the developers are saying to you "see this guy? You love him don't you!..Of course you do! You love him, you think he's awesome! You want to be like him! Look at the face? How can you not love that face?"


neeeeeeaaarrrrgghhhh

Which makes me hate him more

What about his flaws? Well apparently he's afraid of clowns....

Yeah....

that's...really really not funny or original (seriously I'd be more accepting if that joke wasn't in almost every single fucking story ever...they could at least make it something unique like snakes or Porcelain). Well actually I think his chronic "hero" syndrome is seen as a flaw...

Yeah, thatís not a flaw guys, címon...give us somthing thats actually a flaw...not "being too hot headed or too heroic" or some stupid....*sigh* never mind

I still can't quite explain what is it I hate about him, and when I think about it, it really is him thatís brings down the series for me, I imagine the game if instead of drake it was any of the other characters. I realize I'd probably like the game 100% more...like playing as Elena as she goes off "intrepidly reporting" in far off countries and warzones where she has to fight off hoards of ethnic minorities...

No seriously I would play the shit out of that game

I think itís because Drake is the purest representation of "the everyman" he represents the need to have "mass appeal" by diluting anything remotely different or interesting. His jokes, whatís he says when he's in a tough spot, his fear of clowns...he's the Everyman you've seen before...and I realise I fucking hate "the everyman"

And then there's the chart, youíre probably familiar with it



It gets worse....

Because I had this dream once that they took one of my favorite videogames of all time and they-

OH GOD NOOOOO!!!!


NO NO NO NO NO NO !!!!


Alright...who is that? Thatís Cole McGrath from Infamous 2 well that "was" to be Cole McGrath from Infamous 2. See they gave him a makeover....

And the funny part is Cole is on the chart second one up from the bottom left corner....

Thankfully they didn't do that

Here are the original and final designs



My point is apparently he that isn't "EverymanĒ enough...you have you be an "ultra" Everyman, you have to be a Nathan drake

Ok, now letís look at a promotional image for Saints row the third



Whoís that? Well I'll tell you who it isn't...its NOT Jhonny Gat (Jhonny Gat being a prominent character in the saints row series)
Now I get a feeling it may have confused some people into thinking it was...due to the hair and the glasses, being recognisable traits of Johnny Gat...but no turns out thats the "default" image for the player

Johnny is on the left there



Now aside from the heavily gel'd hair and the sun glasses....our player representative is looking rather brown haired....and white....somewhat "everyman" donít you think?

Where as in Saints row 2 our default PC was (much less prominently) displayed as a bald goateed Hispanic (I think) man, who showed up in the "loading stills"...his face wasnt even on the cover



Ok....ok, I know, its advertising, of course they are going for mass appeal, it doesnít even matter since thatís all changeable in game

Moving....what about Dante? I'm talking about the new design on the right



"WHAT?' you might say? Dante? Look at him! The new Dante looks nothing like Nathan drake!

and yes, new Dante is most definitely on the flamboyant side, but look closer...you change his cloths, and maybe give him a bit of a haircut.....and you've got yourself a skinny "Everyman"

Seriously a character like Dante being a hair cut away from Nathan Drake? I mean what is it about that hairstyle (Drakes quiff) that's so appealing to game designers!?

or what about John Tanner from Driver san fran sisco?


...ok.....ok he probably doesn't count because he existed before Uncharted or any of these games but still

Am I just grasping at straws here?......probably

but now I'm getting off topic, this is about Drake after all


even more hateable in child form

I'm not accusing Nathan drake of being behind some conspiracy to turn all videogame protagonists into Nathan Drake lookalikes...nor am I even implying he had any influence in it (though the first uncharted did come out around 2007) no, this trend of the "Everyman" existed before Nathan Drake

I guess my point is the "Everyman" in Video games has gone from a vague description to something surprisingly specific (either Nathan Drakes hairstyle or close cropped/shaved)

Anyway.....


I don't actually hate the Uncharted series...I mean I'm not a huge fan and I was quite happy to pawn them off to the game store for some measly credit after...but I don't hate them, I get the apeal, and I like it when a game treats its charachters and story as important...plus it did make me smile as much as it made me cringe

the problem with the Uncharted series is that there really is nothing there of substance...nothing interesting new or unique...games like Assassins Creed or Deus Ex have something unique to them..Something recognizable in visual style, setting or story

Uncharted has the fact thatís itís just like an action B movie youíve seen a million times before!!


More like.....TREASURE PROTECTORS!...amiright?

And yeah, that totally works for some people...I mean Dragon Age: origins is as tolkein esq as you get and Mass effect is rather "standard" in its aproach to space operna-ness but I love them both

So being "clichť" isn't always a bad thing

That said however...in my case it doesn't work

Like the frustratingly annoying relationship between Drake and Elena...as in lets have them break up in-between games to so we can put them back together again! Doing this once in the sequel is...ok...doing it again in the third game!? No, thatís stupid

Itís like they don't really know what to do with it once they get Drake and Elena together they break them up again, to put them back together...rinse repeat. Why couldn't drake and Elena just be together while they go off adventuring? No really...would that be so bad? Itís not like they can't do their "bickering thing" why not?


Pictured: not Elena
ohhhh...yeah..that

to be fair that seems to be a problem in alot of media..not just videogames..

I will say though that there a few things I am thankful for, that they are vague enough about the whole thing (breaking up/getting together in between games) that itís not as annoying. That Elena and Chloe are actually returning characters and itís not just a revolving door of female characters for Drake to get it on with (unlike Indiana Jones) and while they are "love interests" for Drake they aren't bad characters.....Elena is more or less competent and Chloe is kind of cool aside from being morally dubious at times

she's the promiscuous one who kinda sorta hooks up with drake, whose accent dances between Australian and British and I still can't quote place it (I'm gonna say British) In uncharted 2 she spends her time switching between "sides" (I still don't know what she was doing in Uncharted 2) and not getting along with Elena

dat jaw...


In conclusion...I guess I hate Nathan Drake because he is boring, uninteresting and obnoxious all at the same time. He is the representation of everything wrong with video game protagonists and perhaps a symptom of the "take no risks" attitude of the AAA...industry.   read


7:54 PM on 07.29.2012

Why Bethesda RPG's kinda suck.....

Bethesda RPG's (the Elder Scroll's seres, Fallout 3) have certain things in common. Giant worlds full of things do to and places to explore. Quests to fulfill, creatures to slay, things to steal, people to talk to...and steal from, then maybe kill.

What's not to love?

So no, I genuinely don't think they are bad games. In fact even though I'm not a fan I have to say I'm glad Skyrim exists. In a world full of FPS's that are 6 hour's long (oh right thereís multiplayer...who doesn't love multiplayer?) a game where you can say without a doubt that you are getting your moneyís worth (at full price) with hundreds of hours worth of game time, a game that has no multiplayer because it knows it doesnít need it.....I can't help but admit it's a good thing.

In fact it makes me a little sad I can't like it.

but the fact remains that such games like Oblivion and Skyrim fall completely flat for me . The reason that these games just don't work is hard to explain (also completely 100% subjective, just to make that clear) but I'm going to explain why...and it starts with Fallout 3

Fallout 3 was definitely the exception to Skyrim and Oblivion. I loved the world of Fallout with its quirky retro 50's vibe against the backdrop of post apocalyptic wasteland. Crazy robots, lasers....a cartoon mascot with a mischievous grin. The world itself itís probably the best thing about the game and the Fallout series in general.



How many games have this guy?

So anyway, not too long ago I decided to replay Fallout 3.That was when I noticed those little "Bethesda" things creeping in that I hadn't noticed before

So the game starts with you being born and growing up in Vault101. Liam Neeson is your dad ,your mother is dead, your best friend (or maybe more) is Amata,the overseers daughter. Your Rival is some asshole Named butch, and the Overseer does not like you for some reason (he's also the guy you swear your life too). As you grow up you begin to get the impression life in Vault101...kinda sucks, but then you never know..because fate has something else in store for you. Long story short Dad disappears, the overseer flips out and has his goons go after your head. With Amatas help (and her dads 10mm pistol) you manage to escape the Vault....and then youíre on your own


yay?

It was when I entered the first town of "Megaton" for the second time (where new players are more or less supposed to end up) where I noticed the problem

I walk into town and the first person I meet is the sheriff....he seems nice enough, and the rules around here are fair.People might get a little freaked out if you glance at their stuff for more than a nanosecond (it's locked for a REASON!) but its civilization more or less....

So again, I've just stumbled my way out of the vault I'm talking to the sheriff. Thereís a bomb in the centre of the town..Apparently. So I've agreed to disarm it

Wait what?

Yes, the atomic bomb in the middle of Megaton. Somehow in the conversation I've agreed to maybe disarm it.... you know...if I feel like it. Lucas Sims (the sheriff) is totally cool with that, I'm some kid who literally hasn't even seen daylight for the first time yet, but disarming an atomic bomb is really no big deal.

Ok ...well I'm on a mission, and the next lead on dad is some bar owned by a guy called Moriarty. In the bar I get the option to talk to some girl named Lucy West who wants me to deliver a message to her family. We havenít talked much, she doesnít know me, apparently I'm the best choice....aside from say a local she knows or some hired person who knows what they are doing.

These wastelanders certainly are trusting arenít they?

but enough of that, I should get some supplies, best place in Megaton is owned by a crazy women called Moira Brown.

Of course we start talking and she has some crazy plan for a "wasteland survival guide" and needs help...my help. Ok I can see why no one else wants to do that, first person she comes across seems as good as any..Except then she says something that kinds of worrying..."you have way more Wasteland experience than me!"

uh huh....so Moira brown had literally never left her Shack...ever...(that is one way to survive the wasteland I guess)


we live in the shack..we die in the shack

So now I'm helping Moira with her pet project....also the doctor wants me to help some kid out with his drug problem....and a man in a suit approached me in the bar wanting to do some kind of deal with him.....yeah

so this makes me ask...

Why?

why is my character getting bombarded with everyoneís chores as soon as she steps out of the Vault?

ok..I do get why. Its side quests, itís an essential part of the RPG....why am I complaining about being given quests like its odd? I know in games thereís always a little dissonance between story and game play, especially when it comes to side quests. I mean would commander Shepard really be wasting her time arguing with a couple about what is best for their unborn child in regards to gene therapy? (and for some bizarre reason her input is what has the final say?) No, I don't think so


I'm a spectre! and I'm telling you to get your baby gene therapy!

But in the case of Fallout 3 and oblivion (even skyrim) however....it feels weird, almost unnatural . I used Fallout 3 as an example because itís something odd I noticed which I didn't before.Although it may not look that way, it is really noticeable the way the NPC's act.....as if they have seen the Camera following my character around and know I'm the PC and giving me their quests is something why are supposed to do. You could argue that they don't know I'm fresh out of a Vault...excpet I think they already seem to know that when I talk to them.

Again, why do I get given quests? Why do anything? And I feel even if I were to ask the NPC's themselves the answer would be

because itís an RPG...and youíre the main character

Not because it makes sense for my character to do so, or for the story (no, I imagine in universe Lucas Simms would give me a warning not to touch anything..then expect me to be dead within hours)...but because it feels like the creators of the world shrug and say "umm....thatís just what you do"

Oblivion and Skyrim in my opinion even worse offenders. Thease games gives you complete freedom, which is the main draw of the series, you can do anything or be anything

And thatís my problem

I can do or be anything...but the game doesnít really care

You are a blank slate. There isn't really dialogue, just vague statements and words alluding to what your character would be saying (I'll admit that FO3 is only slightly better in that regard)

I get that, itís to give you the freedom to role-play however you wish, to define your character...in fact the "make it up yourself!" mantra seems to be what most people say (and love) about Skyrim and Oblivion...I get that, some people dislike the "growing up" intro in the Vault, which is understandable from a role play perspective as its seriously limiting (hence why I believe there is a mod to have you wake up in a shack somewhere in the wasteland)

But I don't like it. I don't think I lack imagination, I can get totally lost in worlds that appeal to me, but itís not my job to come up with story or characters....I could envision my character any way I want with back-story, motivations personality but if It feels like the game (more or less) treats me the same. I'm not a character; I'm a blank space in a world full of NPC's...a blank space for them to give quests too. Thatís the fundamental difference I'm talking about, in the worlds of skyrim and oblivion when you look closely there is something missing.

Making it even worse are the NPC's in oblivion who don't act like normal humans (or humanoids),


you know if I ever wanted to do a thing I could talk to that person who knows about that thing that I'm not going to do...............................I saw a mud-crab the other day

I admit Oblivion was probably brilliant back in the day, but it has not aged well when compared to Skyrim...and even with Skyrim there's no real motivation to do anything, I snuck my way through a few dungeons but when I figured there was no real reason or end I stopped playing and traded it in, I donít feel like Iíve got much of a personal stake in any of it.

Itís like for all the talk of worlds that are "immersive" and "real" they feel as shallow and artificial as ever

So with that said are they any RPG I have enjoyed?

Fallout New Vegas, counterpart to FO3 is an example of how to do an open world RPG. While it is buggy and has its flaws in my opinion it is vastly superior to FO3 (and I actually think it was unfair it got the "expansion pack" label at the time)

it has a better story, not that I think the main quest of FO3 was bad (except for Liam Neeson being a horrible and father and an idiot) but FO:NV's story is not only larger and grander in scale but its structured so that a lot of the things I do feel connected to my main goal.


I have to find my father...after I collect enough Nuka Cola Quantum for the crazy lady!

it has better characters...mainly your companions who all have their own stories, issues and personalities Not to mention Mr. House and Caesar being interesting and memorable. Even though the "Courier" has no pre defined past they don't feel nearly as blank as my Oblivian/Skyrim charachters . In FO3 the companion thing falls flat, they are there and they help you in combat but thatís pretty much it, thereís nothing to them except a karma requirement and a few lines. With charachters like Jericho I get the feeling there's the potential for a good quest (where Jericho learns the meaning of friendship....or some crap like that)..if I could recruit him (which I can't)

not to mention F:NV has some of the best moral choices Iíve ever seen in a game...FO3 on the other hand is an example of how NOT to do morality in a game (but thatís another issue altogether)

FO3 does work better as "go in any direction and see what you can find" game, Bethesda does shine in the "little details" area...whereas F:NV feels a little more restricted in where you can and can't go (at least at the start) but anyway, F:NV is a game that has the scope of a bethesda RPG without sacrificing the focus

Or take a game like Dragon Age: Origins...its been a while since I played that, but from what I remember I had freedom with my character, but my character also had a really cool back-story I could get into (Female city elf) she was a character who actually had a stake in what was going on which made me see it through to the end even if I did absolutely suck at the game itself

Itís obvious now that I'm more "story driven" than anything else...which is true, hence why I'm more of a fan of Biowares approach than Bethesda's (neither is "better" than the other its just personal preference)

I will however bring up Dark Souls, which is rather similar to Skyrim.Blank slate character, "bare-bones approach" to storytelling, yet for some reason I liked it better than Skyrim. I think it was because from the opening I felt like "oh shit, this is serious"...seeing your character wasting away in a cell...to crawling out into the harsh unforgiving world of dark souls (reminds me of that part in Dark Knight Rises) so I guess my point there is I don't always need the story dropped in front of me through cut scenes and fully voiced protagonist....sometimes "show, don't tell" can be just as effective

The main thing with Skyrim and Oblivion (and maybe Fallout 3) is that they sacrifice focus for freedom, and this is not bad....obviously there are a lot of people who like that, and with games getting a bad rep for "railroading" perhaps absolute freedom is something we need alongside good single player and games actually worth a $60-$100 price tag in terms of content

that said I prefer to have focus, I don't mind not having the freedom to kill who I want or the game being slightly linear or my character being voiced...in fact I think I prefer that. Its one thing to have the freedom to do what I want but itís nowhere near as fun if I don't have a driving motivation   read


  Around the web (login to improve these)




Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter?
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -