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1:25 AM on 12.31.2014

Depression

Andrew Dice attempted to kill himself earlier this year because of Trails in the Sky The Second Chapter. This came as a shock to me because I'd followed Carpe Fulgur for a number of years as a translation studio. After I became enthralled with their first project, I began keeping a lookout on this company's rise to prominence as they became what I considered to be the catalyst to the wave of Japanese PC games that have made their way west recently.

The optimism the studio presented before they went dark this year was refreshing and represented a pair that really seemed like they had the special something it takes to become something big in this industry. Trails in the Sky was their opportunity and it crushed the soul of the man who dared to dream big. He's lost that opportunity because he entered into the vicious cycle that is depression.

Most of us deal with that monkey on our back regularly. Some days are better than others. Others are so much worse than the ones before it.

I've struggled with it all my life. I think this hobby of mine is a coping mechanism for it. I enjoy escapism much in the same way as many of you. I love how it takes me away from things. For years, I've tried to write blogs to emphasize what I enjoy as a sort of brain dump to move things forward. In fact, I've been struggling with a bit of depression right now, which is what made Andrew's struggle so shocking for me.

So I figured I'd open up about my depression.

 

I'm still in my 20s, but I have considered myself middle aged for a few years now. I have been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis since my college days, which doesn't stop me from feeling like an old man on a day to day basis. What really ages me though is my father who succeeded in commiting suicide with a gun when I was about 13. Sorry if that's sudden, there isn't really a way to finesse that statement. If my memory serves me right, he'd have been about 53 which makes me over half way there.

My mother was hospitalized by her friend roughly half a decade ago after finding she'd taken too many pills in what mom has said was not an attempt, but a misunderstanding. Seeing her spitting up charcoal in the ER is still etched in my head.

In high school, I was drawn to my now ex-wife who had a history of troubles that involved tell tale signs of depression.

I've had to struggle with understanding what depression actually means to the people around me all my life. I've been thinking about what the world would be like without me since puberty. I've randomly thought of my suicide as a joke. As a joke! It's almost absurd to write out as I don't even think I can elaborate how I've vividly internalized the words "God I wish I were dead" with how I could do it, but with no intent truly behind them.

I say no intent, because I've personally had to understand the reality of what happens after somebody dies like this. I've had to come to grips with the why and the how and seen the indecency that can come out of it. I'm not and never will be suicidal out of sheer stubborness, but I can get pretty depressed and it sucks and can overwhelm everything.

I write all this for a reason. I've never had any help with depression. My father died towards the end of my freshman year of high school. My mother pushed me to go to a support group of students that had gone through this, but I was told that since it was near the end of the semester I'd have to wait until the fall before I could join. So I went a whole summer dealing with my father's death in my own way.

I had friends that helped me and friends that avoided me that summer. I had family do the same. Some of it helped, some of it hurt, and some of it I just didn't understand how to deal with.

By the time the fall semester began, I started to use my counselor as a means of cutting class once a week. I never once talked about my father in those sessions and I learned very quickly that these people were about as interested in hearing me talk about it as I was in actually talking about it. So for an hour every week, I talked sports. I didn't even care a whole lot about sports. It's just a hell of a lot easier to talk about than anything else.

Which is interesting. Now that I think about it, even on here I've done the same. Years ago the lovely Chad Concelmo posted a write up on how unsettled he felt in his playthrough of Space Quest 4. It sparked a bit of a controversy in the community (especially in the comments which has unfortunately been deleted in this the Disqus era). He was called a wimp at the time by some.

My immediate reaction was to write up about how I just couldn't play Persona 3 in some sort of support for him (or maybe just me), which I never did. I really wanted to, I just...never did. Consider this to be my delayed effort. I couldn't play that game based on the imagery (like you see above) constantly put forth. I don't hold anybody accountable for putting it across, I just emotionally couldn't get more than an hour in. I like to think I'm stronger but that just offends my sense of fun.

Small things set off emotional triggers and the weird thing is I knew this going in. I tried to power through it as some stupid sort of quest of emotional strength. Then I just couldn't. I guess it was my way of trying to feel like I could enjoy things like games without being controlled by imagery.

I somehow tied this back into games. I don't know why I thought of that, but maybe its just me reminiscing. I won't take it out because it's long overdue.

My main point (before I decided to go on about Persona) was that I, like many people, avoid dealing with depression. As a father and the heir of a family run business, I know stress. I know expectation. I know failure and what it means not to meet a goal. I know all these things.

I only now know that I've been avoiding venting. That's why my new year's resolution is going to be to go to a therapist and actually vent. For years I've internalized stress. It's worked to get me through some things, but eventually I've come to realize that I don't really like to rely on friends and family for venting. I need somebody to help.

My family and friends have been there for me through good times and bad. They just really don't know it. Maybe you do the same, or hell you might be more relatable with yours. It doesn't really matter. If you are suffering through depression, make it your new year's pledge to do something progressive about it. We all have a monkey on our back. Maybe somebody can help us before we stare at a knife like Andrew did.

I don't know if it'll fix anything for you. I don't know if its going to fix anything for me. I do understand that depression isn't something that just appears as a bad day. It's a bad week, a bad month, a bad year that beats on you. It changes how you think. It crushes you. It also won't go away without some change.

Escaping into film, games, blogs and the like was a great way to mask issues behind creativity for me. Its not an answer for depression. I don't even know if there is an answer. There are people out there that can help though. If you don't feel comfortable with those close to you, there are people you can pay to sit down and work them out with you.

I'm going to try that out. I welcome you to please do the same.

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10:53 AM on 10.26.2014

Streaming Live for Extra Life



I am streaming for the Children's Miracle Network event Extra Life. If you would like to come join me, do so. If you don't, that's just fine. I am doing this to raise funds for sick kids so if you could spare any change, that would be swell.

Find out all about why I'm doing this, the raffle and more here.

Watch live video from manasteel88 on www.twitch.tv

  read


11:34 PM on 10.23.2014

Extra Life Info and Raffle



Well it is time again to give back to the less fortunate by giving to the hospitals that treat them. That's right, it's Extra Life time. This year at random, I've chosen to randomly represent a hospital system in New Jersey. I encourage you to sign up and gather donations for any of the many hospital groups represented for Extra Life.

I have created a Destructoid team page so you can do just that.

To help drum up support for donations I've collected a number of unused steam codes and will offer them up for raffle. All the details are down below.


Extra Life


With this year's event, I will be raising funds for Children's Specialized Hospitals, a system that does a great deal of work across a number of locations in New Jersey. They offer services across the board from autism awareness and training to long-term care for a wide range of disabilities.

As with every year, I chose one hospital at random. I probably will never need their services as I don't even live in the state. The reason I choose random hospitals is because it doesn't really matter which one I choose specifically. Helping children regardless of location should be the goal for all of us.

My Extra Life Page is here

Raffle Prizes

If you have ever donated to my Extra Life events, you've received a game. Each year I have collected a number of games that I raffle out personally. This year is no exception. I'm still going through my list, but here's a start.

AAAaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAA for the Awesome
Aerena
ARMA: Gold
ARMA II
Alpha Prime
Anodyne
Bad Hotel
Borealis
Capsized
Dear Esther
Frozen Synapse
English Country Tune
Full Bore
Gemini Rue
Jack Lumber
Little Inferno
Metal Slug 3
Proteus
Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball
Sanctuary RPG
Take On Helicopters
The Bard's Tale
The Ship
Thomas Was Alone
UFO:Afterlight



Schedule
I will be streaming all day October 26th. Twitch seems to be giving my PC issues so we'll see come Sunday if I can even run anything. The theme this year (which coincides with my low powered PC) is games from my childhood. If I can't get Xsplit or my stream to work, I'll bust out the SNES and rock this out old school and take a picture of my struggles.

If I can, I'll try to beat the AWFUL Spider-man/X-men Arcade's Revenge as well as some other games that I own like Super Mario World or FFTAdvance.

If you want, come watch me. If you don't want (I wont judge), just donate and I'll love you all the same.



FAQ
Since you haven't asked, I'll just post some random stuff:

How to Donate?

Click on the link below:

Donate to Extra Life

Fill out all the information and the amount you want to donate. Even if you only spare a dollar, I will gladly accept it and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Next, make sure you click the little box that says "Allow participants to see my email address"



This allows me to track who donated so I can enter you into the raffle. If you choose to donate anonymously, I won't be able to see you and I won't be able to get you entered in the raffle.

If you want to message me for a certain game, I won't promise you the game, but I won't say I won't be swayed by the request of a donor.

Donations are live right now so please donate anything you can.

How can we watch you?

On Sunday October 26th I will hopefully be streaming on my personal Twitch page.

When will you draw the Raffle?

Depending on how sleepy I am and how many donations I have to send it, it could take me a day or two to get back to ya'll. I should be raffling things off by the 2nd though.

Why do this?

Well, I want to get as much money I can to help sick kids across the world. I'm doing this because we all need to help reduce the cost of healthcare for children. I won't promise you this will save lives, but it has the potential to change them. If the money raised just pays for a single janitor to clean the hospital for even a day, that helps recovery for these kids. If it buys a bunch of pop sickle sticks, that is something that reduces the always increasing medical costs.

I'm only asking for whatever you can give. $1 suits me just fine. While it's still open I will ask you to do anything you can to help raise funds for children's hospitals.

I have no money, what now?

Join our team and ask for your own funds. Advertise via twitter, facebook, etc. or just join the twitch page if you have time. Fundraising events need word of mouth for people to get excited. I'm trying to get people excited and any help is...well...helpful.



Sorry for the lateness of this post, but I've been ripping my hair out trying to get my streams to work. FFSplit is a great alternative to Xsplit except when it crashes every goddamn time I go live. Xsplit is being a real resource hog, so I don't know how this is all going to play out on Sunday. Also, I have no idea how to use OBS.

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12:37 AM on 10.20.2014

Stuff...but more importantly, hello again internet.

Hi guys. It's...uh...been awhile. My god, December??? Look how time flies.

It's been so long, that I doubt many of you will have remembered me. The ones that do, god bless you. The ones that don't, don't worry about it.

I quit my job over at Twinfinite in June which makes this my first real appearance back on the web since then. I've been busy building my own website for work (the one that puts a roof over my head) and well, it has been taxing my time. I'd love to say that I quit my job for some serious drama after seeing the dissolution of the "gaming press" over the past few months, but honestly I needed to take some time for me. I had lost the fun of all of this which means I needed to leave.

It was a dick move that I quit like the weekend before E3 and left them a reporter down though. I felt kinda bad about that.

The crew that were running around when I was there were all really cool. If you happen to see one of them at a convention or randomly walking the street, run up and give them a high five for me.

Anywho, this isn't a post to say I'm going to be writing a bunch of articles, but something popped up on my feed this weekend that said Extra Life was going on, so I had to set something up. I whipped out my little pathetic donation jar at work and even got my kid working a lemonade stand for extra change because it helps sick kids.

So seeing as how I couldn't find a Destructoid or Twinfinite Team Page, I just decided to make one out of the blue for Destructoid. You can join if you haven't or you can just donate whatever extra cash you have lying around to a good cause.

I'll do a full write up this week at some point since I have no idea how I'm going to set everything up on my outdated laptop I'm currently writing on. Not even sure if this thing has the power to run any games, let alone stream them, so I'll need to sit down and think this thing through.

Less importantly, this time off has given me very little time to focus on anything. So honestly, I've been playing Pokemon for the first time in over a decade.

The way that Nintendo has gone on to improve this system really proves why they are the only ones in this genre. Just the way that dual types affect things is impressive to see implemented with such restraint. I think Y has its share of issues, but it is a beautiful game that I've been picking up and playing whenever I have free time.

Now all I need is friends so I can understand how awesome a "friend safari" is.

Other than that, I've not felt really impressed with anything. New console cycles have a way of stemming things as everybody gets caught up, but nothing has made me foam at the mouth, which means I'll just hold on to my money all the more.

What has been interesting me are these nice little Humble Bundle book deals. I'm extremely sceptical of the online distribution of comic books. The idea is something easy to comprehend, but the implementation is not there amongst any major publishers. Or at least it wasn't years ago.

Fear of theft is something I'm not keen to fall behind as a consumer. Locking my books to websites crappy readers gives little encouragement to make me want to invest in a product. For a company like Crunchyroll I'm less apprehensive because piracy is insane in the west for manga and this gives everyone a cheap chance to adopt some new material. Marvel doesn't get that break.

These Humble deals however are wetting my whistle handily. I migrate my entertainment rapidly. Be it games, film, or comics, I find myself always toeing a line between the 3. Since DC's ham fisted relaunch and Marvel's destruction of Spider-man, I've not felt passion for the medium in years.

Paying some $15 for 12 books that I can have on every crappy piece of computing I own in my house isn't such a bad deal. I can finally see if dropping Acclaim was the turn around that Valiant needed. Hint: it was and I'm kinda impressed at the quality of Harbinger.

I'm happy to be reading and investing (cheaply) in some comics worth reading again.

I don't know how to end this, so I guess I'll finish on why I've become a bit disillusioned by games over the years. When I got really into games, it was JRPGs that defined what I was looking for. To be exact, it was the triple threat of Breath of Fire III, Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy Tactics that cemented what I loved about gaming.

Capcom has abandoned the Breath of Fire series and the man driving Final Fantasy became too ambitious and had to flee the company and leave it to corporate bigwigs who knew not how to build a product, only to make profits off it. When this pheonix rose from the ashes and brought us something new as Mistwalker, it was a pair of good RPGs in Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey.

Then everything started to turn downwards. The reason for this again was corporate bigwigs. I'm a huge fan of Sakaguchi, but 2010 and 2011 was absolute bullshit for him. In one fell swoop, Mistwalker lost every single developer they had for their projects. Something to think about when you complain that he's making an iOS game.

AQ Interactive was Cavia (Cry-On), Artoon (Blue Dragon), and feelplus (Lost Odyssey) before the 2011 merger with Marvelous. For those that like to connect the dots, this merger took Sakaguchi's entire development structure and destroyed it in the span of a year. It turned a potential JRPG powerhouse and reduced it to an iPhone developer.

The worst of which is that most the teams were disbanded or broken up to freelance elsewhere. The director has no team and the teams have no talent. The revival of the great JRPGs from the east fizzled in one fell swoop as they were just beginning to become something worth noting. Anyway, I am still pissed off about that and as somebody that had to review a lot of JRPGs between 2010 and now, I still haven't gotten over it.

See you guys this weekend. Donate, if not to me then to any number of organizations that are doing real things this month. Give some change to a homeless guy or something, just do anything that makes someone or some thing better.

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7:53 PM on 12.14.2013

Stuff...but more importantly, Happy Holidays



Hola. It's getting to be Christmas time. Hope you had a nice Chanukah. I know nothing about Kwanzaa, so if you celebrate it or any other tradition this month, good will to you.

Anywho, it's time again for what I have dubbed as a mind dump.



I've spent the past 2 weeks talking about indie devs. Not just any indies though. I have been talking about dead indie developers. One who was dead and came back to life, and one who was alive and then died as soon as my articles went up.

Craziest thing about all this was that the website went down within minutes of my interview going live. I checked the page, went back and published and clicked on a link to his site...gone.

It really is something to want to play a game that doesn't technically exist anymore. I mean the internet is a virtual treasure trove of games content. I could find not only games that are over 30 years old, but versions of the same game that have been improved for the better.

So when I wanted to play a 5 year old game that was publicized and shared over much of the internet, I was shocked to see it wasn't available anywhere. Then when I see a developer I kinda like about to go through the exact same thing, well I got like 5 articles done about this stuff.

Anywho, boom links:

Searching for Demakes: I Just Wanted to Play Some Sexy Seaside Beachball!!!
Searching for Demakes 2: Back in the Habit
Spotlight on Lazy Brain Games
Interview with Lazy Brain Games
Interview with Lazy Brain Games 2: Electric Boogaloo



I finally got feedback on an FFT article I wrote on my birthday which left me giddy. I know that's a bit sad, but writing for smaller sites is tough. If you write controversial or even stupid shit you do fine with comments. Those that have great personalities also do well. I don't really do all that and I make my real stuff research heavy which makes it a bit harder to simply criticize (though not impossible). Not saying that's the only issues, bland articles can be bland, but from what I've seen, 1000+ word articles that aren't either controversial or full of personal stuff aren't all that interesting. In other words I need to work on defining my style.

But anyway, an important article for me is that FFT one since I actually had to put in a bit more research to the ending to what is my favorite game. See, I couldn't for the life of me remember what happened to the Germonik Scriptures (a pretty important book in the game) and some other hinted at, but unseen actions. After a bit of research only one real conclusion stuck out in my mind and I wasn't really sure if it would be backed up the same way among the very rigid fan community.

Fortunately somebody actually agreed with me and my paranoia can subside. I still have no idea if I'm right as the PSP game I never played could prove me wrong. Still, that was gratifying for a post I have been concerned about for like 6 months.

Enough work. If you want to read more stuff I wrote, I've spent a lot of time updating and making pretty that side bar thing over on the right=>=>=>=>

I did that more for me than you as I'm a narcissist and like to reread my old writings. You though can read some what I assume must be mildly interesting articles if you want. Or don't, I won't judge.



I don't own a "next gen" console right now and that is bugging me seeing as I review stuff all the time. Really, it is only because I just don't want a console right now and don't want to be obligated to buy one just to have one. It was the Original Gamer that said something along the lines of "If you haven't written about the new game consoles, don't consider yourself a games writer," and I've taken that to heart. Not because he's right, but because these things do matter and I guess I really do need to be working towards getting one.

Clearly the only console worth actually going out and grabbing out of anybody is Nintendo's 2/3DS. Solid console, good games, blah blah blah. Personally, I just don't trust Nintendo anymore. Not all of Nintendo mind you. Nintendo of Japan is pretty neat a lot of the time. Much like Sony, they do great work for Japan as Microsoft sorta does for America. Having home territory is great for consumers.

Unfortunately, I don't trust those guys at Nintendo of America. They bug me fairly regularly with dumb marketing plans, weird decisions, and this air about them that they are the soulless distributors of a purchasable good. I mean, I understand that working at Nintendo is probably a tough job, but I honestly feel that there isn't any one person at the top of Nintendo of America that I could even say I'd like, let alone purchase from. Something something parlays that to be about the Wii U.

The Xbone (is it still cool to call it that?) and PS4 aren't anything special right now to me. No real BC means they need at least a year to year and a half to form a competent enough selection for me to think about. Since I'm a huge fan of BC this irks me so much. I'm mildly concerned about the hacks (both legal and illegal) that have occurred recently among the two. On principal, I hate that I have to pay for online as well which makes the 2 systems policies eerily similar. The only difference is how you like your console to interact with your TV and well, I don't care enough which means Sony is barely winning this one out solely on cost.

I'm glad both consoles seem to be selling though. That's great for the industry and means we'll see some great content coming in the future.

That leaves really only the PSV, and well I do kind of own a broken one of those. Hairline crack meant the system is now a paper weight. Screen is fragile and I'm not sure I want to go through that again with my kid. So all that is left on my mind is an Ouya, but that isn't really next gen or something I want as a legitimate games console. Plus Ouya 2.0 is probably 3-6 months away.

That's not to say that each of these consoles lacks something special for a purchase, I just don't see any reason to rush out there and buy myself one. Which in turn means I'm still stuck playing all these new games on my PS3/360/Wii/ and a few old ones on the DS/PSP like a sucker. Maybe I'll run out and grab an Ouya with a 2DS after the holidays or something since they are the cheapest of the 5.

Though it might just be that this is the first time in over a decade that I've ever been solely reliant on getting personal gifts like this that I'm nitpicking the shit out of the consoles in my head. Consoles are a present for the family for me. Now with just the kid and myself, I think I'm satiated with the things I have.



Welp, it seems like it is Game of the Year time and I honestly haven't been amazed by this year as I was last. Many more REALLY interesting games, yet not many I would throw out as 100% guaranteed amazing though. Not like last year. Oh man 2012 was so good.

I have one that I feel pretty good about though, and I'm going to stick with it when it comes down to time to vote, though I still have 2 or 3 that I need to play before then.

Console of the year however is an easy one for me. PS3 killed it this year not just on games, but on the fact that Microsoft backed off hard, Nintendo never really showed up on the console front for me until SM3DW and the millions of Betas/Early Access showing up for sale are killing PC stuff for me. If I'd recommend a console for you for 2013, I'd tell you to get a 2/3DS and a PS3. They are both cheap as hell and have a stellar lineup.

For records sake my personal selection is:
360: Console of the Year 2010
PC: Console of the Year 2011
PSP: Console of the Year 2012
PS3: Console of the Year 2013

I wish I could spend some time to type the GOTY's all out this year, but I doubt I will. I've been having a hard time gauging what my schedule will be like this year and my mind has just been all over the place remembering which games I've played through and really enjoyed.



I dunno, that's all that has been on my head for the past day or two. I'm sure next time this will be more substantial, but I also hope by then I won't have to be concerned about games that are no longer available or games I have to champion as the best of 12 months. Off now to go do something meaningful and wrap all these presents for the kid.

If I don't see you by then, have a Happy Holidays and enjoy spending time with the people you love the most.   read


10:10 PM on 11.01.2013

Stuff...but more importantly, thanks for last weekend



I'm sick. Again.

The doctors have me on some sort of clear pills that look like beads you'd wear around your neck and then they gave me a laundry list of things to take over the counter. Since I'm sick and I am in some sort of daze, I'll type stuff.



So the Extra Life marathon I ran last weekend only did about $41.Yay for charity! I was hoping for a bit more, but it was hectic and that's my fault entirely. Andy, Batthink and the others will be getting a whole slew of codes for what they did. If you still want to donate to be part of the raffle, please do so. I'm marathoning with Twinfinite this weekend for like 6 hours at the bewitching hour. I dunno, you might see me passed out unconscious for like 4 of those hours.

We'll see how it goes. We'll be offering raffle prizes for that as well so donate to enter each respective raffle. Thanks again for doing your best just to help some people who need it.
Batson's Children's Hospital (Raffle List)
Sick Kids International (Raffle List)




Alright, I love things like this. When companies release information on lifetime sales data, it really begins to showcase what's been going on with decision making behind the scenes. Capcom did that last month for their investors and I had a blast going through the numbers of their Top 60.

Some things that stood out are:

Breath of Fire has only 3.1 million units over all 15 releases they've had. Compare that to Dino Crisis at 4.4m over 11 releases and Dead Rising at 5.9m for 11 releases and you can see why there aren't any big Breath of Fire games coming out. For math kids, that's about 200k units per title, which if you factor that 4 and 5 likely had a smaller number of units shipped, you can sorta see the hesitance.

Street Fighter II was amazing for Capcom. Like seriously amazing. In their Top 61 games of all time, the game is on the list at 2, 6, 22, and 30. This isn't even including what lies below. Street Fighter IV is at 9, 26 and 54. You know what isn't anywhere on the lists? Street Fighter III or any of the other fighters from the era when Capcom began to pull away from Fighting Games. The only game on there is Street Fighter Alpha 3 and that is way at the bottom. No Marvel vs Capcom 2, Darkstalkers, or Capcom vs SNK.




So I've decided to give anime watching a retry. I've been out of the loop for about as long as people have been talking about Attack on Titan. Still haven't seen it, not sure if I want to, but I have been watching Monogatari because it is familiar. Not sure if I'm a big fan of this season either, but I do love the fact that there is 2 episodes dedicated entirely to summarizing the plot of season 1 and I think it was the OVAs. It has been a really really long time since I've cared about either and it was nice to remember where we've come.

Which is the exact opposite of what The World God Only Knows did. They decided to bypass what would probably have amounted to a full seasons worth of content just to try out a more interesting arc. Or at least that's the reasoning some people have justified this is that they are going to get to a good arc, but you just can't do that and expect people that haven't read the manga to keep watching your show.

It is the most criminal thing I've ever seen a program do. For those not informed here is how it worked out. The show ran 2 seasons about a gamer using his dating sim skills to woo women and chase out ghosts from their hearts. There is about 1 more season worth of content of this before they change the formula to focus on a core grouping of 5 of those conquests. One of the five was from that missing arc and another was from a direct to DVD special that hasn't aired outside of Japan.Those are CRUCIAL moments.

So they spend 5 minutes montaging through what should have been an entire season and just start everything else off as if nothing had happened between season 2 and season 3. I eventually decided to skip watching all this and just go straight to the manga. I didn't want to, but I'm not about to pretend this awkward presentation didn't just kill it for me.

I've been personally wanting to build a game for about a year and a half. Which means that nothing has been done about this. The reason is that I can't code. That's a lame excuse, but I don't want to try and put anything down on paper until I have an engine worked out that will do what I want it to do.

I was looking at Ren'py for the longest time, but I just can't wrap my head around python enough to transform this really awesome RPG engine in to a game. I like Renpy because it is a game engine basically built upon transforming images. Meaning I put a picture on screen and I make it do something. It works when I want to do a straight VN, but when I try to modify the engine, I just break the shit out of it.

I've also been looking at Game Salad and others, but I want to be an Android/PC developer since that's the phone I prefer (plus Ouya). One day I'm hopefully just going to disappear and try and figure out how to put this all on paper, but until then I'm just stuck.



So last time I was totally ambivalent at the work I'd been doing at Twinfinite and that's been dwelling on me a bit. I'd say depression played a part of that or maybe I was just being hard on myself. I realized this when I saw a coworker post a link to my PS2 ads article that I did early this year when we were all in a group talking about advertisement in games. I dunno, that kinda perked me up. So here are a list of articles I wrote that I combed through my history to see if I liked. Read / Don't read, I'll still love you all the same.

Sony made art out of ads
Why the PS2 Was So Successful
Too Cheap - An Opinion on How Value is Under Appreciated in Games
The 5 Best Moments from EVO
10 Disney Classics that Need A Remaster (I was going to post this, then I found out a coworker of mine disagreed with the list in the comments and thought twice. Then I decided screw that, I still had fun with my list)
Olan Durai: The Forgotten Hero (This was just fun because it made me remember new things about the game like how the Germonik Scriptures are still with the corrupt Glabados Church)
The Graying of Gaming (AKA: I'm getting too old for this shit)
An Interview with Scott Thunelius (I just had a lot of fun talking to this guy, he was in a really great mood that day with me and the people at the show)
What is Your Deserted Island Game? (Where I find out through polling that simulations are the only answer)
DC Kills Again (I'm highlighting this just because it was the last comic book article I got to write before we went straight gaming)
Arcadecraft Review (I think I was being a jerk with this one, because I had built this game up so much in my head that I went out to break this game apart and yet still gave it ****/5)


I also wanted to post this vid, not because it is anything spectacular, but because I legitimately had a lot of fun in it. I've never played Minecraft and even though the sexy cloud Beyamor had gifted me the copy, my first attempt was disastrous. So, it sat and languished.

These guys got me to try it and I think we all had a bit of fun screwing around. Also, that pic of me was because apparently my Twitch recording had a big logo over my forehead. So instead they asked me for a picture and I gave them the one with me and the Black Ranger fist bumping. Why the Black Ranger was cropped out, I have no idea and I look goofy as hell out of context.



I dunno, I'm starting to get a bit of a headache. I just wanted to thank ya'll again for donating. If you can check me tomorrow on stream or any of us really. Last week was really a moment for me to sit back and try live streaming again since I haven't done that in what feels like forever.

I totally dropped the ball too. I missed people in the chat, didn't have my mic on for like 2 hours, spent waaaaaay too long playing SFxMM. Still I had fun, it was nice to be able to do that all with you. This time I'm going to play some Abobo and a few others so please bear with me as I try to do this streaming thing again. If you don't want to watch me, much more interesting people will be doing their thing earlier on. If you do watch, thanks.   read


12:19 PM on 10.26.2013

The G3 Extra Life Marathon is Now LIVE! Total raised so far: $41

[center]

[UPDATE: Just beat SFxMM and man did that take longer than I expected][/center]

We are LIVE! Today (and even some of Sunday as well if you'll have me), I'm going to be spending my time with you lovely people playing video games in an attempt to raise as much money as possible to help some sick kids. I'm going to do my best, so I ask that you please reach in to your pockets and pull out any spare change you can to donate to a good cause.

To get more excitement going, I have set up a raffle, a video stream and most importantly, a donation page to raise funds for the hospital.



G3 Gaming and Giving for Good

Like I said, this event will be raising funds for the University of Mississippi's Batson Children's Hospital. As with every year, I chose one hospital at random. I probably will never need their services as I don't even live in the state. The reason I chose random hospitals is because it doesn't really matter which one I chose specifically. Helping Kids regardless of location should be the goal for all of us.

My G3 Page is here

I will be playing a number of games on October 26th, 2013 to raise support. We'll get to the games in just a second.




Raffle Prizes
If you have ever donated to my Extra Life events, you've received a game. Each year I have collected a number of games that I raffle out personally. This year wanting to do something a bit bigger, I've been hoarding codes for this. The result is that I've got a pretty good number of games I'm personally donating to this event.

This year I have some games to give out to both events.

Here is the Raffle List for G3.

------------------------------------

On November 2nd I will be doing a separate marathon for Sick Kids International with some friends. I've hoarded games for this so you can enter that one as well if you like those games.

Here is the Raffle List for Extra Life.





Schedule
I will marathon through Mega Man X Street Fighter without Power Ups or the charge shot, just because those things confuse me (I'm a simple man). Afterwords, I'll play through some Organ Trail, Skullgirls (hit me up, manasteel88 on Steam) and other fun games.

Stream Schedule: 2PM EST October 26th - until you people obviously grow tired of me sometime on October 27th

If you want, come watch me. If you don't want (I wont judge), just donate and I'll love you all the same.


FAQ
Since you haven't asked, I'll just post some random stuff:

How to Donate?

Click on this link below:
Donate to G3

Fill out all the information and the amount you want to donate. Even if you only spare a dollar, I will gladly accept it and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Next, make sure you click the little box that says "Allow participants to see my email address"



This allows me to track who donated so I can enter you into the raffle. If you choose to donate anonymously, I won't be able to see you and I won't be able to get you entered in the raffle.

If you want to message me for a certain game, I won't promise you the game, but I won't say I won't be swayed by the request of a donor.

Donations are live right now so please donate anything you can.

Do I need to donate twice to get in both raffles?

Yup. Sorry, but one is mine personally. One is an event I'm working with other people. I want both to be super successful and I've split my game donations accordingly. Donate here if you want to enter the Twinfinite raffle.

How can we watch you?

On October 26th I will be streaming on my personal Twitch page

When will you draw the Raffle?

When I recover from the marathon on November 2nd. Shouldn't be more than a day or two.

Why do this?

Well, I want to get as much money I can to help sick kids across the world. I'm doing this because we all need to help reduce the cost of healthcare for children. I won't promise you this will save lives, but it has the potential to change them. If the money raised just pays for a single janitor to clean the hospital for even a day, that helps recovery for these kids. If it buys a bunch of pop sickle sticks, that is something that reduces the always increasing medical costs.

I'm only asking for whatever you can give. $1 suits me just fine. While it's still open I will ask you to do anything you can to help raise funds for children's hospitals.

I have no money, what now?

Advertise via twitter, facebook, etc. or just join the twitch page tomorrow if you have time. Fundraising events need word of mouth for people to get excited. I'm trying to get people excited and any help is...well...helpful.

  read


6:07 PM on 10.25.2013

I will be marathoning tomorrow for Extra Life.


The eve of G3 is upon me, and you as well if you choose to join me. This year I have chosen to support the University of Mississippi's Batson Children's Hospital. I'm focused on spending most of Saturday October 26th with you lovely people (and even some of Sunday as well if you'll have me) in an attempt to raise as much as possible to help any children that become ill.

To do so, I have set up a raffle, a video stream and most importantly, a donation page to raise funds for the hospital.


G3 Gaming and Giving for Good

Like I said, this event will be raising funds for the University of Mississippi's Batson Children's Hospital. As with every year, I chose one hospital at random. I probably will never need their services as I don't even live in the state. The reason I chose random hospitals is because it doesn't really matter which one I chose specifically. Helping Kids regardless of location should be the goal for all of us.

My G3 Page is here

I will be playing a number of games on October 26th, 2013 to raise support. We'll get to the games in just a second.




Raffle Prizes
If you have ever donated to my Extra Life events, you've received a game. Each year I have collected a number of games that I raffle out personally. This year wanting to do something a bit bigger, I've been hoarding codes for this. The result is that I've got a pretty good number of games I'm personally donating to this event.

This year I have some games to give out to both events.

Here is the Raffle List for G3.

------------------------------------

On November 2nd I will be doing a separate marathon for Sick Kids International with some friends. I've hoarded games for this so you can enter that one as well if you like those games.

Here is the Raffle List for Extra Life.





Schedule
I will marathon through Mega Man X Street Fighter without Power Ups or the charge shot, just because those things confuse me (I'm a simple man). Afterwords, I'll play through some Organ Trail, Skullgirls (hit me up, manasteel88 on Steam) and other fun games.

Stream Schedule: 2PM EST October 26th - until you people obviously grow tired of me sometime on October 27th

If you want, come watch me. If you don't want (I wont judge), just donate and I'll love you all the same.


FAQ
Since you haven't asked, I'll just post some random stuff:

How to Donate?

Click on this link below:
Donate to G3

Fill out all the information and the amount you want to donate. Even if you only spare a dollar, I will gladly accept it and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Next, make sure you click the little box that says "Allow participants to see my email address"



This allows me to track who donated so I can enter you into the raffle. If you choose to donate anonymously, I won't be able to see you and I won't be able to get you entered in the raffle.

If you want to message me for a certain game, I won't promise you the game, but I won't say I won't be swayed by the request of a donor.

Donations are live right now so please donate anything you can.

Do I need to donate twice to get in both raffles?

Yup. Sorry, but one is mine personally. One is an event I'm working with other people. I want both to be super successful and I've split my game donations accordingly. Donate here if you want to enter the Twinfinite raffle.

How can we watch you?

On October 26th I will be streaming on my personal Twitch page

When will you draw the Raffle?

When I recover from the marathon on November 2nd. Shouldn't be more than a day or two.

Why do this?

Well, I want to get as much money I can to help sick kids across the world. I'm doing this because we all need to help reduce the cost of healthcare for children. I won't promise you this will save lives, but it has the potential to change them. If the money raised just pays for a single janitor to clean the hospital for even a day, that helps recovery for these kids. If it buys a bunch of pop sickle sticks, that is something that reduces the always increasing medical costs.

I'm only asking for whatever you can give. $1 suits me just fine. While it's still open I will ask you to do anything you can to help raise funds for children's hospitals.

I have no money, what now?

Advertise via twitter, facebook, etc. or just join the twitch page tomorrow if you have time. Fundraising events need word of mouth for people to get excited. I'm trying to get people excited and any help is...well...helpful.

  read


11:45 AM on 10.22.2013

An Extra Life Schedule and Raffle List. Let's Help Sick Kids


Alright, now that I've got my ducks in a row, it is time to talk of Extra Life. Unfortunately, as most of you gathered from my last blog, my schedule has been tumultuous at best. This leaves me in a bit of a conundrum. Since I can't marathon straight 24 hours during the regular event this year due to being a loving father, I have decided that spreading it out will fill that little insane quota of 24 hours that I've set up in my mind.

This year I'm actually going to be marathoning twice because of this. Once for me and once for Twinfinite. So let's break these events down:


G3 Gaming and Giving for Good
I named this after the now defunct Extra Life marathon I've been pushing for the past 2 years. It's catchy and I have the banners...sooooo. I'm marathoning for it.

This event will be raising funds for the University of Mississippi's Batson Children's Hospital. As with every year, I chose this hospital at random. I probably will never need their services as I don't even live in the state. The reason I chose this hospital is because it doesn't really matter which one I chose specifically. Helping Kids regardless of location should be the goal for all of us.

My G3 Page is here

I will be playing a number of games on October 26th, 2013 to raise support. We'll get to the games in just a second.


Extra Life
This Event will be raising funds for Sick Kids International, a program that brings sick kids from around the world to the hospital for treatment. I work on the side with a blog known as Twinfinite. I forced everybody to get involved with G3 and Extra Life last year and everybody had so much fun that we're doing it again. This year we chose Sick Kids International because it was like 1 of 3 international hospitals and my god does it make a great tag line. "Help Sick Kids!" We wanted to hit an international organization and this was a great one to choose.

Our Extra Life Page is here

Raffle Prizes
If you have ever donated to my Extra Life events, you've received a game. Each year I have collected a number of games that I raffle out personally. This year wanting to do something a bit bigger, I've been hoarding codes for this. The result is that I've got a pretty good number of games I'm personally donating to this event.

This year I have some games to give out to both events.

Here is the Raffle List for G3.
Here is the Raffle List for Extra Life.

I'm not sure what the final list for Extra Life will be, but here are the games I am donating to it. Yami has a few games she's added and I'm sure we'll have others, but these are the games I can guarantee I will hand out to you.


Schedule
I've been brainstorming what I've been wanting to do for awhile now. Originally, I was going to come on here and ask ya'll what you would like to see me play. Part of me still wants to do that, but in previous years I've come across two very real issues. Game A ran really slow, and Game B while awesome in theory is boring as hell on stream. SOOOO....forget all that.

Plan B was that I was going to do a marathon off of a game. I sort of got this idea from watching way too much of Retro Game Master. So in typical Kaicho fashion, I'll be doing that with Street Fighter X Mega Man. With all of the Mighty No. 9 hype, I figured that I'd get around to beating Capcom's last attempt at the Blue Bomber. Since I like to play without powerups, it should be more (or less interesting) for you hopefully.

Anywho. Once I beat this (or if I do, we'll see how badly I really do suck at this game) I'll play some other games with ya'll. I'm thinking Organ Trail. We'll see what the mood is like.

Stream Schedule: 2PM EST October 26th - until you people obviously grow tired of me sometime on October 27th

If you want, come watch me. If you don't want (I wont judge), just donate and I'll love you all the same.


FAQ
Since you haven't asked, I'll just post some random stuff:

How to Donate?

Click on either link below:
Donate to G3
Donate to Extra Life

Fill out all the information and the amount you want to donate. Even if you only spare a dollar, I will gladly accept it and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Next, make sure you click the little box that says "Allow participants to see my email address"



This allows me to track who donated so I can enter you into the raffle. If you choose to donate anonymously, I won't be able to see you and I won't be able to get you entered in the raffle.

If you want to message me for a certain game, I won't promise you the game, but I won't say I won't be swayed by the request of a donor.

Donations are live right now so please donate anything you can.

Do I need to donate twice to get in both raffles?

Yup. Sorry, but one is mine personally. One is an event I'm working with other people. I want both to be super successful and I've split my game donations accordingly.

How can we watch you?

On October 26th I will be streaming on my personal Twitch page
On November 2nd I will be streaming with others on the Twinfinite Twitch page
When will you draw the Raffle?

Both raffles will be drawn after November 2nd's event. Depending on how sleepy I am and how many donations I have to send it, it could take me a day or two to get back to ya'll.

Why do this?

Well, I want to get as much money I can to help sick kids across the world. I'm doing this because we all need to help reduce the cost of healthcare for children. I won't promise you this will save lives, but it has the potential to change them. If the money raised just pays for a single janitor to clean the hospital for even a day, that helps recovery for these kids. If it buys a bunch of pop sickle sticks, that is something that reduces the always increasing medical costs.

I'm only asking for whatever you can give. $1 suits me just fine. While it's still open I will ask you to do anything you can to help raise funds for children's hospitals.

I have no money, what now?

Advertise via twitter, facebook, etc. or just join the twitch page if you have time. Fundraising events need word of mouth for people to get excited. I'm trying to get people excited and any help is...well...helpful.   read


12:48 PM on 10.21.2013

Testing 1, 2, 3...



Well it is time again to give back to the less fortunate by giving to the hospitals that treat them. That's right, it's Extra Life time. This year at random, I've chosen to randomly represent a hospital system in New Jersey. I encourage you to sign up and gather donations for any of the many hospital groups represented for Extra Life.

I have created a Destructoid team page so you can do just that.

To help drum up support for donations I've collected a number of unused steam codes and will offer them up for raffle. All the details are down below.


Extra Life


With this year's event, I will be raising funds for Children's Specialized Hospitals, a system that does a great deal of work across a number of locations in New Jersey. They offer services across the board from autism awareness and training to long-term care for a wide range of disabilities.

As with every year, I chose one hospital at random. I probably will never need their services as I don't even live in the state. The reason I choose random hospitals is because it doesn't really matter which one I choose specifically. Helping children regardless of location should be the goal for all of us.

My Extra Life Page is here

Raffle Prizes

If you have ever donated to my Extra Life events, you've received a game. Each year I have collected a number of games that I raffle out personally. This year is no exception. I'm still going through my list, but here's a start.

AAAaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAA for the Awesome
Aerena
ARMA: Gold
ARMA II
Alpha Prime
Anodyne
Bad Hotel
Borealis
Capsized
Dear Esther
Frozen Synapse
English Country Tune
Full Bore
Gemini Rue
Jack Lumber
Little Inferno
Metal Slug 3
Proteus
Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball
Sanctuary RPG
Take On Helicopters
The Bard's Tale
The Ship
Thomas Was Alone
UFO:Afterlight



Schedule
I will be streaming all day October 26th. Twitch seems to be giving my PC issues so we'll see come Sunday if I can even run anything. The theme this year (which coincides with my low powered PC) is games from my childhood. If I can't get Xsplit or my stream to work, I'll bust out the SNES and rock this out old school and take a picture of my struggles.

If I can, I'll try to beat the AWFUL Spider-man/X-men Arcade's Revenge as well as some other games that I own like Super Mario World or FFTAdvance.

If you want, come watch me. If you don't want (I wont judge), just donate and I'll love you all the same.



FAQ
Since you haven't asked, I'll just post some random stuff:

How to Donate?

Click on the link below:

Donate to Extra Life

Fill out all the information and the amount you want to donate. Even if you only spare a dollar, I will gladly accept it and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Next, make sure you click the little box that says "Allow participants to see my email address"



This allows me to track who donated so I can enter you into the raffle. If you choose to donate anonymously, I won't be able to see you and I won't be able to get you entered in the raffle.

If you want to message me for a certain game, I won't promise you the game, but I won't say I won't be swayed by the request of a donor.

Donations are live right now so please donate anything you can.

How can we watch you?

On Sunday October 26th I will hopefully be streaming on my personal Twitch page.

When will you draw the Raffle?

Depending on how sleepy I am and how many donations I have to send it, it could take me a day or two to get back to ya'll. I should be raffling things off by the 2nd though.

Why do this?

Well, I want to get as much money I can to help sick kids across the world. I'm doing this because we all need to help reduce the cost of healthcare for children. I won't promise you this will save lives, but it has the potential to change them. If the money raised just pays for a single janitor to clean the hospital for even a day, that helps recovery for these kids. If it buys a bunch of pop sickle sticks, that is something that reduces the always increasing medical costs.

I'm only asking for whatever you can give. $1 suits me just fine. While it's still open I will ask you to do anything you can to help raise funds for children's hospitals.

I have no money, what now?

Join our team and ask for your own funds. Advertise via twitter, facebook, etc. or just join the twitch page if you have time. Fundraising events need word of mouth for people to get excited. I'm trying to get people excited and any help is...well...helpful.



Sorry for the lateness of this post, but I've been ripping my hair out trying to get my streams to work. FFSplit is a great alternative to Xsplit except when it crashes every goddamn time I go live. Xsplit is being a real resource hog, so I don't know how this is all going to play out on Sunday. Also, I have no idea how to use OBS.

  read


10:33 PM on 10.13.2013

Stuff...but more importantly, I'm divorced



Hola. Long time no...blog?

It has been well over a year since I last communicated with you beautiful people. The reason? Well, to put it lightly, I'm divorced. With a bit of precaution, my lawyer advised me to get off the electronic grid. I didn't Twitter, I didn't blog anything but reviews and news stories and I didn't get the chance to do a best of at the end of last year. It was a very difficult custody battle to go through and to be honest, it was the hardest experience I've ever gone through. I'm not going to go in to specifics. Not because I don't want to vent, but you understand how little it truly will change things.

All I choose to say is that I now understand how hard a divorce really is on a person. As a product of divorced parents, I still had absolutely no idea.

Anyway, that's my excuse. I say all that, because I miss brain dumps. They are the place where mediocre ideas go to die a pointless and lukewarm death. Since I haven't done one of these in so very long, I figured it was time to change that.



Extra Life is really different this year. As somebody that has gone through the motions for the past few years, it just feels odd not to have a G3 event leading up to Extra Life. For those that don't remember, G3 (Gaming and Giving for Good) was a Microsoft sponsored Children's Miracle Network event for the past 2 years. I guess since they are focused on ramping up the Xbox One launch, they decided to pass on co-sponsoring an event like this. Which is fine I guess. Last year at $1000, we were in the top 10 for fund raising, which is chump change compared to what Extra-Life did. There are reasons for this, (I think G3 was like 3 weeks or so before Extra Life), but it is a shame that nobody wanted to give or game for anybody this year.

Extra Life as well has had an issue with being able to collect donations for international organizations. Last year we raised funds for the Children's Miracle Network International Fund which sends grant money to hospitals overseas. This year the money stays in the USA and some parts of Canada. I think NAFTA let us get the Canandians, but the issue had to do mostly with international tax laws. The international charities themselves are actually the hospitals in North America that fly people in from around the world on a case by case basis to take care of their hospital care, which is kinda cool. That is what we chose for Twinfinite.

That means however that Extra Life as an event is going to be huge this year. Twinfinite is doing something big, which I've been less a part of building up simply because my life has been utterly consumed by that excuse I opened up with. I honestly have no idea what those cats are doing, but I know that this year I won't be able to 24 hour marathon during the event. I have my kid on November 2nd, and that's where my focus is going to be for most of the day. I'll definitely be on camera during our 24 hour stream at some point after the kid goes to bed, but I just won't be able to commit to anything during normal waking hours.

Not being able to take charge of the event has been messing with me (since I had actually wanted to try a few new things this year to liven up my stream). I don't just want to sit on the sidelines, so I'm probably just going to run a small event maybe on the 26th because I think I get a kick out of doing impromptu charity events. I'll keep ya'll posted. I'll probably have a raffle of some extra games I have lying around, I don't know.

Lots of words aside, donate, fund raise, advertise all you can to help sick kids these next two months. I'll gladly take any change you can give me to go towards a good cause.

My Landing Page



SPOILERS to the Killing Joke:
Alright, let's talk about torture porn. Grant Morrison went on record with his opinion on Alan Moore's The Killing Joke and it was something that seemed absolutely brilliant, until I picked up the book again. To start, I hate the Killing Joke. It is a well written, well drawn bit of psychological torture. That's about it.

Alan Moore also has disdain for it, but that could just be because he hated what DC had been doing with his works. For all I know, he could have wanted to put a little crik in the page and DC vetoed him which pissed him the hell off. In all honesty, it just isn't a great story. Joker remembers the worst day of his life and decides to kill himself the only way he can. By torturing and destroying the most sane man he has ever encountered: Jim Gordon. He blasts Barbara in the stomach, takes her clothes off, photographs her now paralyzed form and then strips Jim Gordon naked, parades him through a roller coaster of madness to make this man finally accept that crazy can't be stopped. Batman finally shows up and listens to one final joke from the Joker. This is where Grant's theory on the end comes in. Apparently, Batman breaks the Joker's neck.

To be honest, that's an easy response to have only reading those last pages. However, the fact that the Joker could never break down Jim Gordon really muds this theory up. Jim Gordon is for better or worse, Batman's rock. The beauty of Batman is that everyone around the character essentially exists to give the character dimension since he really doesn't have much else other than being a ninja scientist detective. When Jim tells Batman to play it by the book in arresting the Joker, a part of him has to follow this.

Anyway, my theory is that the Killing Joke is the Joke that kicked off the Joker's bad day. In the story the Joker bombs a show, which means he couldn't afford a better place for his pregnant girlfriend. She dies in the apartment and he's forced to take a job that turns him into the Joker. The joke he tells Batman, is the joke that would have turned his career around in comedy and probably changed his life. You see it in the smirk he put on the man that has heard a million of them, but has never laughed at one of the Joker's jokes before. I'm not satisfied with this theory, and I'm not satisfied with Grant's since I still hate the way this book ends. I just still like my theory a bit more since it is the only one I feel maintains the characters all around.



I must say that I'd usually advertise an article I wrote that I liked, but this past year has been mostly reviews for me. There is a lot of interesting things you can do with a review, but the only one I've actually had fun doing is The Last of Us. It was fun, because I really didn't want to tell anybody anything spoiling the game. I mean if there is one game this year that you just don't want to spoil for people, I think it is The Last of Us.

I was talking with Scott Thunelius who did Necro about the game before an interview and I told him that I thought it had some flaws. He thought I was mad for not being wildly impressed and we debated it, but it really came down to the fact that it felt like a Naught Dog game. The pacing in sections are always promising, but there is quite a bit of the game early on that swings wildly in pace. The last half is fabulous so I had no qualm about giving a 5/5 to the game, but since I'm thinking game of the year stuff, I've had to reflect on where these games stack up.



Speaking of Game of the Year's, I've been thundering through a lot of the games I missed last year. It was a phenomenal year for SRPGs and after playing a good chunk of them, I still feel satisfied that Growlanser is GOTY of last year.

I've been thinking of how to do series on exploring SRPGs of the past (since I have so goddamn many of them). I dunno, its an excuse to play and write about the games I love, but I need to find a proper format for how to write them out since I doubt anybody just wants a plain review of an old game. Plus I'd want to have at least 4 articles done before I did anything with them so...lots to think on for this.



As part of the recuperation process, I've been watching lots of terrible shows that really do make me feel better. Brooklyn 99, 2 Broke Girls, Big Bang Theory, New Girl, Agents of Shield...the list goes on and on. I know they are awful, but I need laugh tracks and stupidity.

I'm still amazed at how awful Agents of Shield turned out to be. I mean I saw it coming, but Marvel has been really progressive with their brands lately. It just feels like a giant step backward and since the damn thing is now picked up for a full season, it needs to be supported as if somebody is actually going to come in and breathe some life in to the show.

Nobody will, but as fans, your hopes are the only things that get you through mediocrity.



I got bored and wrote up a list of anime I'd recommend for people that want to get in to that sort of thing that you can watch for free and isn't just the typical shonen anime.

Jin-Roh - great designs and interesting themes. Dramatic police story.
Gunbuster!! - THE space anime epic (cut down to movie length). Really good still.
Final Fantasy Advent Children - Shallow action fluff, but if you just like fancy 3D action, it works.
Castle of Cagliostro - The first Ghibli and easily one of his bests.
5cm/sec - real art house stuff here, but if you like that, you'll love it. Follow it up with Voices of a Distant Star if you aren't asleep by the end of 5cm.
My Little Monster - Cute little romantic with great comedic timing.
Big Windup - solid baseball drama
Puella Magi Madoka - EXTREMELY slow starting (when it gets good it gets really good), but really interesting dramatic take on Sailor Moon-like magical girls
Slam Dunk - The Basketball anime. Oldy, but goody.
Dragonball - Lots of people have only heard about DBZ, but the original still holds up really well and focuses more on the humor rather than battles.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya - Season 2 is take it or leave it, but Season 1 was a defining anime of its time. If the episodes seem a bit out of order, its not you.
Michiko to Hatchin - if you like everybody's standard recommendation of Samurai Champloo or Cowboy Bebop, I recommend this after those
Sankarea - Zombiephile love story. I liked it as a comedy romance and it has characterization. YMMV on whether you like zombies or romance.
Kaiji - Interesting high stakes gambling anime. Great for suspense junkies.
Future Diary - Crazy anime about becoming god.
Tiger & Bunny - For the comic book fans out there.
Death Note - Mystery, Suspense, Notebooks! One of the more over the top anime, but still really good.
Little Nemo - silly kiddy cartoon about Dreamland. Not a high recommendation, but I grew up with this so I will put it on my list.



I dunno, we'll have to do this again some time. I'll keep ya'll updated about Extra Life. This year I randomly chose a hospital in Mississippi to represent for myself. Every year I pick a hospital at random and Mississippi seems like as good a place as any to start fundraising. I've got a few bucks in my makeshift donation jar at work and I'll have a few raffle items to hand out to those who donate.

I'm thinking I'll be streaming a Mega Man vs Street Fighter run through that doesn't use powerups (since I hate using powerups). I'm not sure if it'll be 24 hours (since I've done this before and nobody is up past 3am in the first place), but I've been storing game codes since late last year for this. I'm ready to roll.

I'm not sure if I did this whole brain dump thing like I used to, but hey...I'm still trying to get back in my groove.   read


1:17 PM on 09.11.2012

I made a game based on Darius! Judge me on it!



So, I made a visual novel for Glorious Trainwrecks' (the Pirate Kart guys) special SPAAAACE themed game jam.

Okay, it might not be a game in the traditional sense, but I have absolutely ZERO coding experience. None. So while this might not be a platformer like Yorda's Figment or a shmup like that game Tubatic made, this is something.

Since I really only know how to write, I created something that required as little coding background as possible. Fortunately, Ren'Py is tailor made for that. Since I was developing on a timeline, that also worked well for me.

The guidelines for the game jam were to create a game in 2 hours with the only rule being it had to be classic space shmup themed. This being my first go at doing real work, I extended the 2 hour rule to 2 days. The only rule is it had to be space themed, not that it had to be 2 hours long.

From the beginning, I had only one theme in mind. Take a classic shmup I've never played that also happens to have a crap back story and make it work. From there it was easy. DARIUS would be my game.

You know, the game with the giant fish bosses?



Yup that one.

So I set out to make a game based on the back story of Darius. This is what I created:

Check out my game!

It's a bit on the big side, but that's mostly because I wanted to keep going with it (still kinda do). A lot of art assets I didn't use are still in the game's folder. Sorry that makes it a bit big, but when the clock hit 12, I put the game down and uploaded it.

This shouldn't take you guys more than 10-15 minutes to get through so if anybody has any comments, please throw them at me. I'm kind of afraid that our resident shmup expert Bullet Magnet is going to tear this apart. I have a lot of things I'd like to expand on with this, but this is what I got finished while I still try and figure out why I can't get the code to work like I want on the next part.

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