"We constantly have to revisit 'Why would Donkey Kong do this?' or 'Why would this environment be like this?' And then we start thinking: 'We're making a game about a gorilla wearing a tie.'"
-Michael Kelbaugh of Retro Studios on Donkey Kong Country Returns
"I have to say it's kinda scary how much you know about this game."
-Nicolau Chaud creator of Marvel Brothel
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.
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.