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11:58 AM on 12.07.2014  

UK Proposes New Law To Stop People Shoving Skylanders Up Their Butts

Continuing his never-ending quest to protect the public from non-existent threats, UK prime minister and Conservative party leader, David Cameron has proposed new laws that would criminalise the act of shoving Skylanders up the arse. This comes shortly after the government imposed much tighter regulations on the UK porn industry, but Cameron believes these recent changes are not enough.

"There are some real sickos out there," announced Cameron, in a manner so stiff, you could have sworn he was a Skylanders figure himself. "This is a really depraved and decadent society we live in today. A world that sells stilettos where the heels are buttplugs, a world that makes Sapphire Blue Anal Beads that cost 120£, a world where grown men and women shove children's toys up their anuses. It's time we rounded these people up and throw them in the one place where no one can shove foreign objects into their anus: prison."

After the news, a public opinion poll showed that most were both curious and befuddled by the speech. Many responded that they had never seen or heard of any case where anyone had put a Skylander figure up their chungus. In fact, of all the people that participated, no one had even thought about it, let alone commit the act of slowly sliding a cheeky Skylander in and out of ones bum hole, until Cameron had mentioned it in his speech. Some seemed to get excited the more the spoke about it.

In unrelated news, sales of Activion's popular Skylanders series have now tripled. To celebrate, Activision has suggested creating some sort of Skylanders branded stilettos. 

  read


8:29 PM on 12.03.2014  

Developer Cancels 'Hatred 2' For Not Being Controversial Enough

Hatred Game

Destructive Creations, the videogame developer behind the controversial 'Hatred' has decided to cancel a planned sequel after both fans the media had reacted poorly to previews.

Set in the present day, 'Hatred 2' would have put players in the shoes of Michael Brown, a 43 year old white male police officer who goes on a rampage and starts killing unarmed black men. The game was first revealed to the public at a recent press event where a trailer was premiered. But the reaction from the audience was not what Jarosław Zieliński, Destructive Creations CEO and his team were hoping for.

"People just didn't seem too phased by the contents of the game," Said Zieliński, "After successfully upsetting everyone with our first title, we wanted to make something that was even more outrageous, even more shocking with the sequel. But all we got was general apathy."

Zieliński recalls an exciting moment when he thought he'd seen a journalist gasp in horror, only to be later informed that said journalist was merely yawning.

"It's like everyone has seen this sort of thing so many times before that they've become desensitised to it, you know? They're just so accustomed to seeing innocent black men die. Police brutality has kind of gotten boring at this point, and we pride ourselves on not making boring games at Destructive Creations, only ones in poor taste. We had to cancel the game."

But Owen, a 26 year old white, male gamer disagrees with Jarosław Zieliński's assertions. He argues that the reason why the game wasn't controversial is because the black men killed aren't innocent. According to him, some weren't even unarmed. "There ain't nothing controvertial about killing thugs." Declares Owen, as he scratches his beard with the barrel of his shotgun.

"Look the level at the gas station for example. The black guy is holding a gas pump in his hand, which could far too easily be mistaken for a gun from a distance. And if you're standing in a gas station with something that vaguely looks like a gun, you're pretty asking to be burned to crisp by a giant explosion. You're asking for it."

Right now, Destructive Creations has decided to move onto other projects. One of there more promising ones has players take control of a man who sexually harasses women on the street. The team hopes that people will actully care enough to be outraged by it. 

  read


6:36 AM on 04.08.2012  

A random list of 10 things that you probably don't know about Wolfy-Boey



Hello there, I am Wolfy-Boey. You might know me from such old ass blogs such as this or this or maybe you don't! But who cares about that stuff, out with the old and in with the new I always say. Lucky for you, what you clicked on by accident is holds not one, not two but 10 totally fresh and new factoids about me, me, me!

So sit back and enjoy, as I selflessly strip myself bare in front of your naked eyes!

10. I hate cupcakes

Let me make one thing clear, I HATE ICING. I happen to think icing is the worst thing to ever happen to baking. I do however, love muffins, so when I was to atrocity that is the cupcake, I couldn't help but sneer. I couldn't ever bare to swallow my first bite. The way I see it, cupcakes are the result of someone trying to mask the awfulness of some bad muffins he's made by just covering them up with lots and lots of sugar. Cupcakes are a disgrace to the cake family. It is a muffins with bird crap on it.

Muffins >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Cupcakes.



9. I used to think out loud in class when I was a kid

This was a habit I developed when I first changed schools and didn't have any friends. I'm an introvert by nature, and I mainly feel awkward when surrounded by a lot of people. So I mainly sat quietly in the back of the class all alone. Not having anyone to talk to meant that all my witty and unquestionably hilarious comments would go unnoticed. I recalled when Guybrush Threepwood would talk out loud in The Curse of Monkey Island and decided to do the same. People thought I was talking to myself (to be fair, I kind of was). People were getting scared.

To make matters worse I used to sit next to the wall and would occasionally crudely draw dinosaurs and tanks on there. The rumour mills began spinning wild tornadoes once I started drawing tiny soldiers killing each other. Then there was my general weirdness. The fact that I carried a gourd to class with me everyday. My packed lunch having an apple ALL THE TIME. Talking about video games any and every time I spoke. A general lack of interest in more popular subjects, like football, basketball and other ball related activities. Tucking my shirts under my pants. Dear lord, when will all this WEIRDNESS end!

A year later, the school would hire a psychiatrist and I would be her first - and as far as I know, only- student. I sat in a room with her, she asked some questions. She then left the room, leaving me with a paper, a few pencils and instructions to draw whatever was on my mind at the moment. I drew some dude riding roller blades. The whole process took about 5 minutes. I never saw her again.

I guess I was deemed normal. I wish I had that on paper though, because most people still don't believe that I am.

8. I love Waterworld

Yes, I mean the Waterworld where Kevin Costner drinks his own pee and Dennis Hopper wears an eye patch. Yes, I am aware that it's too long, that Dennis Hopper is INSANE in it and that Kevin Costners character is unsympathetic. I still love it.



7. In High school I rented my DS to a couple of students

I had previously lent my DS to some class mates during History class, but they loved it so much they kept asking for it every time. I got annoyed after a while because really, I wanted to play Advance Wars: Dual Strike and I didn't anybody else messing up my campaign. So I refused to lend my DS to anyone unless they payed me by the hour. To my surprise, they accepted. I made quite a bit of money. Instead of investing it back into my business and buying more DS games though, I just used all my profits to buy a lot of fruit Mentos.

I have no regrets.

6. When translated, my real name has the potential to be pretty awesome.

My real name is Iyad El-Hout.

El-Hout literally means: The Whale.

The origin and meaning of Iyad is very fuzzy, but the ones that have repeated themselves the most are: might, warrior and pigeon.

Thus, my name is: Mighty Warrior Pigeon, The Whale. Yup.

5. I can stretch my toes pretty far apart.

The one thing that stuck with me after watching Disney's Tarzan wasn't the epic, emotional and inspiring score by the always amazing Phil Collins, nor was it the grand finale or the gorgeous animation. Nay. the only thing on my mind as soon those credits rolled; How the fuck did Tarzan stretch his toes enough to grab vines with his pinky toe?

After that I stretched my toes as far as I could at least once just before going to sleep. In a few months time, I had succeeded and would forever make my relatives jealous of my toe stretching skills.Who says your dreams can't true?

Actually, about that...

4. I tried applying to Digipen to study Game Design

Whenever anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was clear: A Game Designer. I loved playing video games and was (and still am) genuinely fascinated by the hard work, dedication and design necessary to create. Alas, it was not to be, for a series of unfortunate events that sorely lacked any presence of Jim Carrey, I missed the deadline and never really got a chance to apply a second time. Now I've somehow ended up in Scotland studying for a career I honestly can't say I'm too excited about. C'est la vie, n'est-ce pas?






















3. I don't eat or sleep much.

This seems quite odd on contradictory considering how both how lazy I am and how passionate I've become about cooking. I pretty much force myself to go to sleep and have to remind myself to eat most times. I always found it hypocritical that my parents scolded me for wasting precious time during the day and then demanded I waste at least 8 hours of night sitting comfortably in a bed, staring at the wall. I guess I prefer to spend my time on more productive endeavours like procrastinating or scratching my bum. If I'm feeling a bit proactive, maybe even, I don't know... Do both at the same?

2. I performed at a comedy club twice.

At first this may seem to contradict with my previous mentions social ineptitude and crowd anxiety. Surprisingly though, I'm actually a pretty good public speaker. Maybe it's the fact that I know what to talk about before hand and prepare what I want to say even. Maybe it's that, the fact that both parties know what to expect from each other. Or maybe I'm just unbelievably charming and charismatic and I just don't know it. I don't know. All I know is, I don't vomit on anybody whilst preforming, and that some people laughed at some words I said. So that's good!

Still, I can't help but feel I could do a lot better. My delivery wasn't as precise as I'd like it to be and I din't really move or express myself with my body, in fact I barely moved at all. This is definitely something I wish to pursue further, so I hope I improve. Now, I just need to find a gig that isn't 400 miles away.

1. I am the only one who still (or maybe ever?) tags all his blogs with "Gay for Joseph Gordon-Levitt"

Because I'm still totally gay for Joseph Gordon-Leviit.



BONUS!

Coldplay are my favourites musicians and Viva La Vida is my favourite album.

Don't look at me like that. Their music is marvellous. Stop looking at like that!

It's beautiful! It is!




Well, that's ten things you didn't know about me. I hope this can bring us closer and maybe even become friends one day. Now leave me alone! I want to listen to Yellow in a dark corner with nothing but my feelings besides me.

SHUT UP!   read


4:29 PM on 11.14.2011  

Cooking: An Epic RPG



With dungeons, Wizards, brave Knights, fire breathing Monsters and Silly Hats, the world of cooking is a tempting one. Like any rewarding hobby, however, it requires a lot of time and dedication.

Often, quests can demand a lot of meticulous planning and strategic action. You must make sure to choose the right party members, weapons and equipment for your quest, lest you fail miserably and end up with nothing but a dry steak and an over seasoned salad as your loot.

So join me, as I recount the tale of my most recent -and by far my most challenging- escapade to date: The Portuguese Lemon Tart.

Firstly, I thought I'd introduce my chosen party members:


Alexander Ovum, a cocky and eccentric knight.

Alexander has served me well many times before and he is versatile and highly dependable. He's a bit of quirky fellow. I don't get why he keeps cracking up all the time.


Archimedes Citrus, a powerful shape-shifting wizard.

Archimedes, I've requested his help many times in combat. Is most powerful spell, "Acidity", has come in handy more times than I can count. I've never relied on him like I'm about to today as he can bit a bit clumsy. Let's hope he doesn't disappoint.

Our heroes noble goal was a simple one: to create the best damn Portuguese Lemon Tart know to man.

Our adventure begins, and almost immediately, we were faced with our very first adversaries: four tablespoons of sugar.

They were far more devious that we had anticipated. It seemed as if most of our attacks were ineffective, and escape from them seemed impossible. Luckily Archimedes had remembered that sugar would melt in water like that witch from The Wizard of Oz. He quickly summoned a spell that whisked all away into the nearest pond.


Victory!

But though our victory was indeed sweet (pun intended), we could not be feel a slight be of concern. After all, if a few mere edible crystalline carbohydrates could cause us such hardship, we clearly not powerful enough to complete our quest.

So we did what any adventurer would do in a situation like this:


Grinding.

And with the help of some evolutionary gemstones...


Commonly referred to as "lemon zest" and "unsalted butter"

Our heroes managed to evolve into a something new and more powerful than ever before:


LEMON CURD!

Now, we were ready. With a new found strength and abilities never before seen across the entirety of this kitchen, we were ready to head into the twisted inferno of a dungeon that is:


THE OVEN

As a feeble, weak, slim and unbelievably handsome human, I cannot risk having my face melting from excessive heat. It pains to send my soldiers, my friends, alone to complete their quest. Furthermore, once they go in, they would have to be successful. There are no second chances.

I gave them 30 minutes to trek through all the rooms and complete them. No more, no less.


It is my great pleasure to say that they managed to do so flawlessly.

But this sadly, is not the end. No, for no quest would be complete without an all mighty boss fight at the end, would it? No story would be complete without an epic battle of good VS evil to punctuate its end, of Heroes VS Villains.

Oh, and what villains we had to face.


Gaster: A greedy and vulgar beast.

It is as if this monstrosity was made for the sole purpose of consuming anything that comes into contact with it.


Os: A garrulous and snobby gourmand.

He is Gasters oldest friend and loyal goon. He doesn't speak much, but he does it's either to complain about something or talk about things no one cares about (like videogames).

Now is the time.


The Battlefield is ready

I make my approach...



BUT WAIT!


Something is missing...


My top hat, but of course! (Top Hat increases chances of success in life by 99.9%)

And with one full sweep, Gaster and his friend are no more.


Our quest was a resounding success!

You may have noticed by now, fair reader, that I have yet to make mention of any sort of reward. Well, you see that right there, fair reader? In the blurry picture below.



It took me around three hours to get this meal prepared, photographed and done. It took only fifteen minutes to actually eat those tarts. But that right there, that smile, is worth it.

Because whether I spend sixty bucks or just a measly dollar, whether I spend five minutes or a one hundred hours, if all that hard work and effort -no matter how big or small- makes you smile in the end of it all, even if it's just for one second, it's all worth it.

That smile is the greatest reward.   read


7:14 PM on 07.11.2011  

Freedom: A 7 Year Olds Perspective



One fun little thing about our childhoods is the way we viewed everything in life. Everything was either oversimplified or blown completely out of proportion. And yet most times these views hold some surprising truth behind them. Sometimes these views can be even seen as too blunt or unsympathetic even.

Playing through De Blob 2, the game makes no attempt to be subtle about the themes its trying to tackle. Its quite obvious that the game deals with freedom of expression, censorship and urbanisation culture. Many may even see its analysis on these topics as juvenile and maybe even short sighted, but honestly thats why I find De Blobs handling of the subject so intriguing. The game isnt meant to be intellectually stimulating or anything, after all, the games main audience is the young of mind. Hence, the games interpretation of these topics is done in such a way that five year old can relate with, and in doing so it becomes a window to how a child perceives them.

Lets take a peek inside and see what could a seven year old tell us about freedom.



First and foremost is the hero himself, Blob. Yes that is real name. Blob is that free spirited child in all of us who used to dunk his hands into buckets of paint and chaotically splash colours on anything, and everything he can get his grubby little hands on. Hes an enthusiastic and easily excitable little fellow who loves to have fun and a good adventure. Hes also a lazy slob who would love nothing more than to sit around in his house and watch some cartoons on his television. In other words, hes the ultimate seven year old kid.

In Blob's world colouring is both saviour of his people and the destroyer of his enemies. Its almost like some magical power that operates on the power of blobs creativity and spirit. Colouring creates music where there is silence, it shines a light where there is darkness, it brings hope where there is sorrow and it transforms bleak and desolate environments into an oasis filled with cheer.

Im sure all of this would resonate with a child. When I was but a young lad, a time where tamagotchis and Pokmon ruled the playground, when I drew something on a piece of paper I would imagine it somehow come to life in front of my eyes. Every drawing of every dinosaur and giant robot was something I believed, in my tiny mind, could actually exist. That somehow my crayons could be a doorway to my imagination, and open the floodgates to my mind. Hey, if Santa Claus could be real, then why cant a dinosaur riding a giant robot while bromancing Spider-Man be real either.

From this frame of mind, it's easy to see how Blob can easily become the hero of many young ones, maybe even a role model. The power he has is the same one we wish we had.

Now, we have the antagonist, Comrade Black. The antithesis of what blob represents. He despises colour and individuality and would love nothing more than to have the entire population become bland, ordinary, obedient citizens. One thing that I find interesting about his character is the fact that the developers leave his motives and actual goals a bit ambiguous. Sure his ambitions are clear, but why? Why is it that he wishes that everyone becomes colourless, lifeless drones that obey his every command? Is it that hes envious of others who are more desirable and loved than him? Maybe he wasnt loved as a child? Or maybe he truly believes that what hes doing is for the better, that somehow it will lead them to new found glory. Could he just be misunderstood?

But by not clarifying this, it leaves the player free to interpret his persona as the player sees fit, and Im sure young players in particular can read his character differently from one another. He can be seen as principal kill joy, that principal a kid remembers from school who always ruined everybodys fun with his rules and regulations. That school bully that always pushed you and your friends around and stole your crayons. Or that overprotective parent who forces you to study and never lets you go out and play.



What I find frightening, however, is the fact that no matter how hard the game tries to paint (ha!) Comrade Black as a villain, I cant bring myself to see him the way the characters in the game do. The man does commit some nefarious deeds, no doubt, but hes not what I would call a villain. For a cynical adult such as me, he comes off as a satire more than he does an evil-doer. Because everything he does seems to spoof real life political leaders and dictators.

I mean, lets take a look at his actions for just a second. He wishes the entire world to follow his ideologies and principles like generic drones, and hell go through any means necessary to do so. He has a corrupt government where the only ones who work under him without questioning his orders. At the beginning of the game he even disguises himself as some sort of religious leader called Papa Blanc (bearing an uncanny resemblance to the pope) creates a religious cult for himself so as to brainwash citizens into blindly following him and voting for him in upcoming elections.

All of this, and I still cannot see any evil in his actions. Because as an adult, this all seems far too normal and even familiar. For a seven year old it seems diabolical, but for a twenty year old, it seems normal.



Taken from this writers point of view, when you take all of that into consideration, De Blob 2 no longer becomes a simple tale of good versus evil, but of a child who refuses to grow up. It becomes a story about the struggle one goes through while growing older, and abandoning his older much more colourful world of pleasantry and carelessness. And not about freedom from obsession or tyranny, but the freedom to be oneself and marvel in the things you love.

That's what freedom is all about, the choice to be whoever you want to be. It's the simplest concept in the world, so simple in fact, even a seven year old gets it.   read


7:52 AM on 05.25.2011  

P2 Press Start: The day I met Tyler.



I go in, and the first thing I notice is the scent of armpits, old socks and greasy fries. The air conditioner is broken, again. Its hot, and Im wearing that horrible thick, blue sweater my aunt gave me on my birthday. Five minutes in and already, Im drenched in sweat. The shouting of unsupervised spoiled children in the background, I walk up to the counter, and I look into the dejected eyes of the man before me and I slip him all the money I have in my pockets. Im comfortable; this is all familiar to me. Im at the arcade again.

I ask for twelve coins, but he gives me only ten. He tells me that the price went up since last time. I dont mind. I dont care about the money. I couldnt care less about it, Im just here today for the same reason I come here every other day: to get away, and I play some good video games. And today, just like every other day, Im playing Time Crisis II.

But this day was not like every other day.

I go to my cabinet, and I reach down my pocket and take my first coin up. It glistens because of the sweat from my hands just before I put it in. My first coin is inserted. I have nine others left. I pull the trigger, Ive begun to play. I aim and then I shoot, I take cover and I then get out and repeat the process. I forget the world, I forget what I have and I dont have. I forget that Im alone. Every time I pop up and shoot someone in the face, Im happy, Im comfortable. So far, this is all familiar to me.

But suddenly, something happens. Out of nowhere, I hear the racket of a coin being slotted in next to me. A new player joins me. This player is Tyler.



Lifting his cumbersome red gun with only one hand, Tyler looks at me and gives away a light smile. He doesnt say a word, just that smile is enough. No introduction, no small talk, nothing. Tyler just gives me that smile, and were both ready to start.

We work together beautifully. Without delay, we both push down the pedal at the same time. Tyler and I, we fire at pretty much a rhythmic manner. Its almost like were playing off notes to a familiar song. He knows his queues, and I know mine. He guns down the ones on the left, I take down the ones on the right. When hes reloading, Im shooting and vice-versa. If one of us gets hurt, the other immediately fires at to provide a diversion. Even the pickups, even the pickups, we evenly split.

Moving through the town square, Tyler and I, we work together beautifully. Its almost as if we have the same mind. But mistakes still happen. I make a fatal error; I look at the other screen when I should be concentrating on mine. Seeing me dead, Tyler breaks away from his monitor as well. I have six coins left.

The first area is cleared, we move away from the pretty town square to some hidden alleys. Were supposed to chase down some psychopath with a suitcase. Shoot. Shoot. Shoot. Shoot to kill the criminals. Shoot to save the world. Shoot to solve the problem. Shoot to forget the world, to forget the problems. You have to keep shooting. Tyler and I, we keep shooting, but it seems we cant keep up. I cant keep up. I like to think were playing to the rhythm of "Where is my mind?" by Pixies. I keep missing my queues. I keep missing my queues. I keep missing my targets. I cant keep up with this much longer. Tyler carries on without me, but he cant finish this alone. No matter how hard he tries. He strives to succeed. He pushes himself to make it, to achieve something. Except something is always holding him back, and that something is me. I cant keep up with Tyler, and he cant keep on saving me.

Our rhythm is broken. The tempo is ruined. The song is over, but you can still make out some noise. Were hammering away with our guns, hoping something good comes out of it. Hoping well survive until the next area. Death, after death after death, the suspense is mounting. I am eager to make it to the end, let me at least make it to the end.

Luckily, we do. Tyler and I, we've reached the end, my joy is incalculable. Tyler and I, we've reached the end, together. I have two coins left.



This is it. The climax, the grand finale, la fin, whatever you want to call it. Tyler and I, our next challenge is to take down some lunatic with a suitcase. Wonderful. All this time, were chasing after a suitcase. In our pursuit, weve killed hundreds, weve destroyed public property. Weve probably wrecked families too, at least one of those guys must have been a father. Some poor kid is probably an orphan now. All of this, for a suitcase. Lovely.

Focus. Tyler takes left, I take right. Just shoot everything in sight. I can do this, I have to do this. Tyler, he smiles at me one last time. Dont worry about it, he confidently tells me, everything will work out, it always does. Tyler: dirty blonde hair, blue eyes, a red and white T-shirt, hes relaxed. Slim and just a little bit overconfident. Focus. I know Im capable of completing this. I have one coin left.

Tyler, he is what I can only dream to be. He is the answer to all of my problems, the solution to my flaws. Accuracy: The ability to perform a task with precision. By that definition, I am inaccurate. I can barely preform any task, let alone do so precisely. My ambition is handicapped by my laziness. Tyler is accurate. It comes as no surprise to me that he is the one that fires the very last bullet. The one that ends it all. Just one bullet can change everything. Just one simple moment in time can make you notice what you've done, and what you want to do. It can make the difference between who you are and who you could be. Game Over. Tyler and I, we worked beautifully together.

And now for that moment. That moment in time where I notice what I've done and what I want to become. For as the screens fade to black, I glance upon the reflection. There is no one but for one man. It was only me, holding both guns at the same time.

The truth is, there is no Tyler.   read


10:31 AM on 05.04.2011  

When Worlds Collide; And Opinions too.




What do you think of this game? If I were to ask you to tell me what you think of Portal 2 or maybe Call of Duty: Black Ops, what would say? Are they worth my money? What about the story, did you find it engaging? Was it what you hoped it would be? What did you think about them?

Shut up. It doesn't matter what you think.

The fact is you're(possibly?) a human. A damned dirty homosapien who has his own opinions and views about life, the world and cupcakes. Well I don't care what you think, I have my own damned opinions and I happen to think that muffins are better. The chances of me liking what you though was the greatest thing since deep fried Twinkies are about as good as me winning the lottery tonight; slim to none. And I happen to know the winning numbers too.

So what now? What do we do to solve this dilemma? Well my friend, the question is not "what?", but "who?" Who can we trust? Who can give us their unbiased opinions about videogames, and we would be unable to argue? Puppies? God? Jim Sterling?

The answer is simple: Video Game characters. After all, who better to trust than the very people who were part of the damned games. No one knows video games better than they do, therefore their judgment is unquestionable and their critique unbiased.

So, in the first of what I hope can become a reoccurring series, I will assemble three of the most high profile of video game characters to discuss and, of course, review a game. And today, I've chosen one of the most iconic games of all time: Super Mario Bros.

Reviewing and discussing with us today are three equally iconic characters, all chosen from different decades. Sonic The Hedgehog, Mario's age old rival and former nemesis. Samus, star of the Metroid series. And finally, Captain Price, and new face to gaming from the Call of Duty series, who many believe encapsulates this generation of video games.

Let us begin:

-Me: So guys, what do you think about the first Mario Game?

-Sonic: I think it's the best one. Over the years Mario got fatter, he got slower, the games became less creative and they lost a bit of that special magic. Also, his overalls are too blue.

-Captain Price: I honestly remembered it was way more fun when I was a kid, these days it just seems less so. I honestly believe this one was a rookie attempt, and with each newer entry it seems to be getting better and better. As time passes, and they put more work into it, the developers unlock new technologies. With that they have new options, and more ways to make the games better. So the more time they invest, the better they get.




-Sonic: So you're saying the new games are better then?

-Captain Price: I'll bet you a couple of pints that they are mate.

-Me: Samus, what's your input?

-Samus: As the man stares blankly into my eyes, I feel compelled to answer him. After all, he did ask me a question. But what should I say? Should I attempt to tell him something different than what they expect and risk alienating my fans? Doing something that could tarnish their love for everything I have done, and all the memories I have given them? Should I just say what I think they truly want from me?

Why did that Metroid jump in the way? As a child I had a puppy named Billy, would Billy have jumped to save me if he was there? I'm guessing not, since I was too busy writing poems in my diaries to bother feeding him. Billy didn't like me, most guys don't seem to like me either. I wonder why?

The man is still awaiting my answer, he is still staring blankly into my eyes, only now it's coupled with a slacked jaw and a sense of boredom and disbelief. I want to give in to this compulsion to answer him, but what of the repercussions of my actions? What about my emotions? What if I have my period just as I am about to answer? What if periods tasted of strawberries?

I finally work up the courage to answer and I say: "what's the question again?"

-Me: Ok... Sonic and Price, let's get back to you guys, so what was this argument going between you two?

-Captain Price: Right, Sonic here-- what kind of a name is Sonic anyway? -- was arguing that FNG Mario was better than the new ones like Galaxy 2, which I truly believe is the best Mario yet, that is until the new arrives of course.

-Sonic: Look, I don't like using food metaphors, but I'll make an exception this time. Mario is like a good chilidog, it worked perfectly the first time they did it, no need to change it or tamper with the recipe. It's prefect as it is, in fact if you change anything with a chilidog it ends up becoming just a regular hotdog, and hotdogs are boring.




-Samus: This game has mushrooms in it, I like mushroom ketchup.

-Captain Price: Mate, I counter your food metaphor with another: Omelets. With every omelet you keep getting better, and slowly but surely, the omelets just keep itching closer to perfection with every attempt. It's impossible to reach, but you get closer with every waking day.

FLASHBANG! BOOM! Your move now, mate.

-Sonic: Pure videogames, this is what I seek when I search the vast vistas that are my memories. And when thinking of true pure gaming I think of two main things I think of, pixel art and chip tune music. These two are tied by their very core to videogames. Another, more crucial quality exists also: Simple fun. The future Mario games might not have sacrificed their simplicity, but they have been gradually attempting to do so. With each game a new power-up is added, a new mechanic and a new enemy.

Add to that, the fact that they've become 3D has made them lose a certain irresistible charm to them. Maybe it's out of my own preference, but I truly believe that the simpler a game is, the better. The less needless gimmicks and cheap mechanics you give me, the more fun I have.

-Samus: Has anyone noticed his moustache keeps changing from black, to brown, and then black again?

-Captain Price: You've hit me hard mate, real hard. Luckily however, I have regenerative health. This means, that with time I actually heal, I improve. Funnily enough, this is how I've always seen the game industry. Many see as the technological leaps and bounds we experienced ruined what was once a golden age of gaming. But they are wrong. With these advancements came with them many new problems. And this is when game designers became truly creative again. With new challenges came new solutions, and with them new gameplay opportunities. Now merge that with all the past knowledge of past endeavors in gaming, now you have a master plan for success.

Judging by the games getting released today, you can clearly see that many triumphs were made, the new Mario games are definitely included. Super Mario Bros. is not a bad game, but it's paled as the shadows of greater sequels have come to eclipse it.



-Me: Samus, any last thing you'd like to add?

-Samus: When faced with a controller, you have two choices. A or B, Start or Select, Traditional or new. But to run the game, to actually play the game you have to actually turn it on first, and that is done in one universal way, the power button.

-Me: I think that actually makes sense. Well, that about wraps it up I guess, thanks to all for participating.

BONUS QUOTE:

This is what Link form the Legend of Zelda series had to say on the matter:

"Whenever I think of Super Mario Bros, I'm speachless..."

Well, there you have it folks. One of the most iconic games, criticised and analysed by equally iconic game characters. Yet even they could not come to an agreement. I guess there's some lesson in there somewhere.

The only thing I've learned though, is that sometimes, silence truly is golden.   read


1:24 PM on 04.25.2011  

What Video Games Have Done to Us


Bringing people together since 1985

Hobbies have a way of bringing people together. There is no better way to strike up a conversation with another human being than to have a common interest: favorite sport, movie, television series... Whole relationships can be built solely on the basis of one common occupation, and sometimes they can even flourish into a friendship.

Video games are no different on that matter. Many have got into discussions and debates on the subject of gaming, and many have also developed friendships because of it. And like any other hobby, the number of such relationships grew exponentially over the course of time until they became their communities.

This is where video games become much more unique than any other medium or hobby.

Football fans may sit together to watch a match every week, whilst movie buffs may watch a movie on a weekend and ping pong players, well their just hoping anyone out there likes ping pong in the first place. But gamers, gamers were always a bit different in this regard. Because even when gatherings are never planned they just happen. Whether in the arcades or at home, theres always someone who can come along and join the fun, even if theyre not actually playing.The bond that games can create between us is one of a kind. The fact that players and observers can create a symbiotic existence within a game is something no other art form can dare claim to have.

And this power is made even more astounding when you think of the universal appeal that videogames hold. As a result, gaming has come to span a wide range of people. No matter what gender, race, ethnicy, religion or nationality, it seems anyone and everyone can enjoy video games.


The Appeal of gaming: No other medium has ever succeeded in attracting the lucrative bunny market before videogames.


Many can tell stories of the times where they shared their screens with their brothers, sisters or cousins as they played games like Super Mario World. Tales of how two brothers would work together to come to solve any problem, or even how one game helped build relationship with someone you will never forget. But times change, and with them so do our habits.

As home consoles and the Internet came spread to most our homes, and the arcade scene crashed, many predicted that gamers would become more isolated than ever. Many though that this niche culture we had created would just fizzle as we locked ourselves in our rooms, never to make any further contact with putrid humans. But they couldn't be further from the truth.

If anything all these factors have brought us closer together than ever before. Just look what were doing, look at what youre doing right now! Scanning every tiny morsel of gaming news, reading every blog, commenting and discussing all day long. Afterwards its on to some much needed porn, but then its all back to videogames. Heck some of us even join forums and maybe start our own blogs. And of course, multi-player gaming has changed as well. Gone are the days where one could only play with a few friends nearby, anyone and everyone in the world can be our teammate, enemy or partner.

Strangers, all of strangers, most of us have never met one another and yet we get along so well. We have somehow become the absolute opposite of what we are stereotypically portrayed as, while keeping faithful to said stereotype at the same time. Were still in our rooms, on our computers geeking out and nerd raging faithfully to our public persona's. But contrary to popular belief, we were never alone in doing so, and we did actually connect with people. All our words may be through avatars, but these avatars have real people behind them.


Look at them, they only now discovered what weve known for centuries!


The fact is we have so many social interactions online that I would theorize that we probably invented the precursor of what social networking is today. We were the first to embrace it, so how could we not have been a part of how it would eventually become? We were the first to demand the option to comment on articles, we originated the "@ (insert someone's name)" reply and Im fairly certain we might have been the first to share personal details online. Heck, even online dating might have originated from us as well.

Maybe this all happened because we were lonely, and maybe because we were kind of isolated, and maybe that's true. But one cannot deny that what had come as a result is thriving culture and community that is entirely it's own beast. We had tamed this mighty creature others so casually call the "Internet". And while others are only beginning to unlock its true potential and discover its gifts on facebook and twitter, we have turned all the knowledge we have acquired to further enrich our culture and broaden our communities.

Look no further than the site you are currently reading: Destructoid. Look at what happens on the blogs and on the forum. People Schedule parties and meetups at each others houses, weekly fight nights, send gifts and even interviews! Oh, and have I mentioned already that this occurring between random strangers?

Video games have always been a more unique form of entertainment that the rest. Yes, many times it borrows from others, but the level of interactivity it provides is exclusively its own. I guess maybe all that might of rubbed off on us. As even when we couldn't interact with others, we found our own unique way to do so.

As a result, weve come to have a different, unique community of our own. So unique in fact, that even as most start embracing what weve been doing for so long with their social networks, most still dont fully understand us.


This photo alone is unequivocal proof of the awesome power of video games   read


7:23 PM on 04.18.2011  

What Videogames can do to you


What does it mean?

The very first time I experienced a game I got stuck.

I was stuck not because I found it too difficult or complex. No, I wasnt even to begin the game let alone be confused by it. I couldnt get past the title screen, and for one simple reason. I couldnt understand what it wanted me to do. I found the simple command to PRESS START incomprehensible for one simple reason, I just didnt understand English.

The truth is Im an Arab. I was born in Lebanon, Beirut on the 5th of February in 1991. Obviously, being born in an Arab country means that my native language is, of course, Arabic. As such my first experience with videogames consisted of me staring at a bright screen, doing absolutely nothing. But I had heard great tales from others, of the great wonders that the Mushroom Kingdom held, and the beautiful landscapes of the Green Hill Zone and I yearned to explore these fabulous worlds. I persisted, and pretty soon I managed to memorize a few repetitious words (loading, continue, start etc...). However, I only truly became obsessed with gaming when we finally got a PC into our home. And this when things started to change.


WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!


As I grew older, so did my passion for games, and pretty soon just playing the damn game wasnt enough. All the worlds I had seen and explored had characters and backgrounds to them. I wanted to know them all, and nothing was going to stop me! What was professor oak babbling on about in Pokmon Red? Does "Get Over Here" mean awesome spear rope? Who was this mysterious princess? Why is she always in another castle? And what the hell is a "Yoshi"?

More and more questions arose, and in due time I managed to find answers. I yearned to unlock the meaning of what I could only presume were symbols. So I did what any kid would do, I asked my parents. Luckily, my mother was an English teacher at an an instituion, so help wasnt too far out of reach. But it wasnt enough, for my mother was too busy to indulge me whenever I wanted. So I began to delicately observe and study, with each spoken word I would carefully moniter the immediate actions and reactions of all characters.

Finally, my adamant determination payed off, and pretty soon I began to learn.

I managed to learn that Charizard wasnt hitting himself because he was an idiot, but because he was confused. Link wasnt a douchebag who just harassed chickens and killed monsters, he was the hero trying to find the tri-force to save Hyrule. And Yoshi turned out to be, well... A dinosaur name Yoshi.


This accurately displays my grasb of english back then


And as my understanding of this language expanded, so did the diversity of my games. I began to try out new games in genres I would of never dared to try out before. I dared to play adventure games, a genre which hugely relied on story for entertainment. The Curse of Monkey Island became my all time favorite game, and sparked a new interest within me. Through my new found enthusiasm for rich, deeper storylines, I came to play such classics such as Metal Gear Solid, Tail Concerto, Resident Evil, Half-Life and many more.

And my love for all things Pokmon also led me to watching its TV series which subsequently led me to watch even more Television cartoons and series. I began to watch cartoon network on a daily basis and I have fond memories of Dexter's Laboratory, Courage the Cowardly Dog and Samurai Jack. By then, my vocabulary, enunciation and grammar had all reached a point where I no longer had any troubles with English at all. I could read, write and speak the language with relative ease. I had exposed myself to it for so much, and for so long, that it had become almost second nature.


Words. I know them.


And here I am today, once a child who never knew how to get past a title screen, now a man writing a blog. Id like to believe that Ive become quite proficient in this language. And yet I was never actually educated in this language. I was in a French school, and yet I am better in English.

Weve all heard many people speak of the negative impacts of videogames and what they can do to us. Ironically enough, if it werent for said games I would have never understood what they were saying. Although, I still dont know what the hell theyre talking about.   read


10:08 AM on 04.16.2011  

Review: Deep Deep Dungeon



This is a game which I find has gone criminially unnoticed, so Ive decided to review it to bring it to light. I hope this helps encourage some people to at least try it.


Platform: iPhone/iPod Touch

Price: 1.99$ USD/ 0.99

With Deep Deep Dungeon, developer iQubi has attempted to turn a genre that seems exclusively tailored towards core gamers, the Role Playing Game, appealing to more casual audiences. But is it even possible to turn a genre that is so deep and complex in its nature, accessible to people who are accustomed to puzzle games such as Angry Birds? And more importantly, would it remain fun? Read on to find out.

Now to iQubi, the answer to the proposed dilemma was quite simple. What theyve done is strip down the RPG experience to its fundamental core, keeping only the basic values that make it fun; slaying monsters, character progression and customisation. So instead of going on epic quests in expansive worlds and chatting with NPCs and the like, DDD instead thrusts the player directly into the action, giving him only two locations for him to choose from; the shop, where he can buy potions and weapons, or straight into a dungeon and to killing beasties. And this is the entire DDD experience in a nutshell; you just defeat baddies, gather gold and then move on to the next floor. And the cycle keeps repeating itself until you kill a boss and move onto the next big dungeon. Now I know that what Ive just described may imply that this game is quite redundant, but the reality is that it isnt. The game is actually quite addictive.




While it is true that the game entails a certain rotation of sorts, thanks to a couple of factors the game remains constantly entertaining. The first, and most crucial, is the novel combat system. This consists a long orange bar wherein a cursor is continously moving. Attacks are only successful when the player stops the cursor over this bar, it is also possible to pull a critical attack by timing it exactly over a relatively small red line. If the player misses, then so does his avatar. This system works splendidly, as it keeps the gamer engaged in the action, all the while keeping the battles themselves swift and fun. Now, couple that with the random dungeons and varied enemies you will face, both of which help keep every play through seem fresh. Then add the brilliantly catchy music youll hear along the way. And now you can see why I so specifically chose to describe the game as addictive.

The game isnt without its faults however, as its greatest strength, its simplicity, ends up becoming its weakness. The game can come off as shallow, especially with only 6 weapons to choose from and a very basic levelling up/upgrade system, depriving the game from any real tactical depth. Furthermore, youd be led to believe that a game called Deep Deep Dungeon would have more tongue in cheek humour, but this is disappointingly not the case.




Nevertheless, that doesnt detract the game from being an immensely fun and accessible RPG, and probably the best casual dungeon crawler on mobiles right now.   read







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