I'm a woman who loves her video games. I'm also pretty much a nerd for all that is nerdy: MST3K/Riff Trax, Star Wars, Anime/Manga, Kevin Smith, X-men Comics, and of course all things video games. Someday, I would look to get paid to write for and/or about video games. I'm awesome, so it'll will probably happen.
I have a strong hatred for the Atlantic Ocean.
Yoshi BBFs forever: Me, Suff0cat, Wardrox, and ScottyG.
Preferred games are RPGs and puzzle games. I like the occasional FPS (Timesplitters: FuturePerfect being my favorite) and some racing (Burnout Reveeeeenge).
Current Games: Burnout Paradise
Left 4 Dead
Space Invaders Extreme
Harvest Moon Island of Happiness
Chrono Trigger DS
My Project 365 That link is to some of my photography/photoshop art done for Project 365. If you don't know what Project 365 is, GOOGLE IT DUH.
There's plenty of commotion after this year's E3. Nintendo disappointed (again), Sony busted out some big titles, and Microsoft concentrated on the social software of the Xbox 360. But in the fray, what really caught my attention was Takahashi's comments in the Eurogamer article where he talks about Katamari and consumerism.
Takahashi is really a man ahead of his time. While other developers are making games as simple entertainment, he is making games that intertwine fun and social commentary. Katamari Damacy is a game that I (and I'm sure many others) have not really taken a lot of time to think about deeply. This is probably because as gamers, we are trained not to. Most games are about quick reaction time or strategic thinking, leaving no room contemplation or interpretation. To me, Takahashi's games are reaching in the the realm of classic literature by manipulating these standard components of gameplay. This may sound like a strange comment, but bear with me while I explain.
Good books are those which are well-written, and can send out a powerful message. Books like these you will frequently find on bestseller lists. But truly great books are those which are not only well-written by standards of language, but also through use of symbolism and allowance of open, personal interpretation. These are piece of literature that allow the mind to explore and make a personal connection with the writing--sometimes one that may not have been intended by the author.
Katamari Damacy is a great game because it leaves itself open to interpretation. Yes, it was intended as a statement on consumerism. Yet it also leaves itself open to a multitude of personal interpretations.
Can it not also be seen as supporting the perseverance of individuals in the face of great challenges? I mean, the King asks you to make the moon in a half hour. It seems like an impossible task for such a measly Prince. The physical rewards giving to the Prince by the King are hardly worth the effort. So the Prince's main motivation is from within himself--whether it is driven by a sense of responsibility for his family or for the larger responsibility as Prince of of the Cosmos. He gets no true reward for his actions besides self satisfaction.
It can also be seen as making a statement on the fragility of human life in the grand scale of the universe. A larger-than-life being makes a simple mistake of knocking out the stars and through the course of the game, the whole world is destroyed for it. People are proud that we have been able to fill the world with all sorts of wonderous things, but it is for this very reason that the King targets the Earth. There seems to be no regret on the part of the King or Prince for loss of human life; in fact it is portrayed as amusing. Isn't it strange to think that we've been playing a game that trivializes human life in the grand scheme of the universe, and never once stop to think about how powerful that message could be?
The key to his game is simply, in some ways, the blatant shallowness of the King and the blind obedience of his son. Neither character takes time to think about the consequences of their actions, just as human being frequently act without thinking. Does it not also reflect our own blindness as gamers, playing whatever is shoved in front of us and not asking what war games or fantasy games represent in the larger scheme of things? Has anyone really ever stopped to think about what games like Call of Duty represent? The horror of war and death, which most game designers have no experience with, is not even truly and accurately portrayed (though I'm sure it is done to the best of their ability). It can be seen as a powerful statement against those who look but don't see the world around them.
Some people may read this and think, "Holy Jesus, you're taking this way too seriously. It's just a game!" But those are the type of people who only set the gaming industry back, preventing it from reaching its full potential as both an art form and entertainment. Gaming is in a very in-between place. There are certainly plenty of games out there that are trying to get a message across. Their methods however, are simplistic and unrefined. The messages are often boiled down to one sentence: "Do the right thing," "Defeat the enemy," "Justice Prevails," and so forth. These messages are often diluted through gameplay that is repetitive and provides no direct connection to the message itself. How does shooting someone in Gears of War represent justice? Does the death of an enemy bring Marcus Fenix closer to justice, or just allow him to make it to the final level?
When we think about what is the most impressive in a game, oftentimes what first comes to mind is either graphics, story, or entertainment value. Most games today lack a personal message or connection with the player. There are very few games today that use the medium to convey meaning while allowing the player to simultaneously draw their own conclusions based on their personal experience with the game. Katamari Damacy as well as Noby Noby Boy are intriguing games because they serve as open ended metaphors for larger life issues.
So the question stands: Why aren't there more games that try to make a personal connection with the player? The answer is simple, one that Takahashi also knows: money.
A game that connects with someone on a personal level means that everyone will have a different reaction to it. I know plenty of people who think Katamari Damacy is a stupid game. That is because their personal connection is different from other peoples'. Games like those done by Daniel Benmergui (Ludomancy) are also a good example of open metaphor games--there are no instructions, you simply must interact with the world as best you can. By not outright telling the player what the "winning" situation is, Benmergui lets the player freely explore the environment and make decisions based on their own emotions and personal preference.
Because games like this have no formal instruction or way to win, they are very hard to market to a wide audience. Those who are less patient will get frustrated easily and give up, saying the game is poorly made. To a degree, it requires the player to care about characters or stories that are difficult to understand--and that is a challenge that not all gamers are up to.
This trend of open-ended metaphor games is one that I hope will only grow larger as gaming becomes more mainstream. There will be room for these niche games. The original Bioshock made it about halfway by installing a twist that made you question your identity and motives. However, this brief moment of a self-contradictory existence is only lightly touched upon, as your character automatically makes the correct "moral" decision (which is more based on self-preservation than morals). Still, this baby step towards games that make you think is much appreciated, as can be seen by both sales and raving reviews.
People seem to be pushing innovative gameplay this year, but what they should be pushing are innovative ways of connecting and communicating with the player. I hope to see more developers pushing the envelop when it comes to games that will make you ask questions instead of answering them. This to me is the only way that a gamer can become more actively (mentally) involved in the gaming medium.
Hey guys, so I had some drinks tonight. And it just reminded me of all the good times I had at PAX being drunk with you guys. Remember that time I stole your hat, CountingConflict? Or that time I played against Asain joe in drunk DDR? What about that time I made out with Mid3vol, or drank that mysterious half-full glass of beer at redwood bar? Those were good time.
I might keep writing about PAX, but it's an ATV trail so I might just have to turn back.
Seriously, destructoid people are the best people, even when I can't feel my face. THE FACE STILL LOVES YOU. All of the good friends I have now, I found through this website. I dunno. I mean, it's not like I didn't have friends before this. But meetin Dtoiders near me, was just totally rad. They're all just people I can be myself with and it's awesome.
Also, vote for sickNasty in that Mirror's Edge contest, because he had to show off his junk to all of NYC in Times Square. Tourists took phtos with him. HARDCORE.
Happy birthday Samit!
More love to Destructoid people. I'm an extra nerdy nerd, because I'm a girl who loves video games and sci fi and anime, so there;s a pretty limited niche of people who share my interests. At my school here, there's practically no one I get along with. But Dtoid people, no matter how long I've know them, feel like they've been friends with me for years. It's totally awesome.
Also, mid3vol requested that I blog her dick. I'm not actually sure how to go about doing that. And Gandy needs to grow his beard back.
I'm sur there are other, important things I should say. Besides "Destructoid is awesome." But alcohol is making me a little sleepy. So I will say goodbye, and that IRC is awesome. If you want to talk to me drunk, go to #destructoid on the dynastynet server. DOOO EEEEEEEEEET!
I started playing Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness a month or so ago and I noticed something strange. There was no Destructoid Review! So, let me give you a super quick review of a game that might possibly revive a dying series.
Hooray! Let's ride a cow and have the baby chickens ride the horse!
Now, I've progress about a year in the game. In previous games, this would me that I was about a third of the way through the game. No so this time around. After a season in HM:IoH, I soon realized that almost everything takes longer to accomplish in this game--except earning money.
You start at the beginning of the game with almost literally nothing. There are only about 5 villagers on the island, you get no dog or horse to start with, the bridges to other areas of the island are completely broken, and each of you animal barns is so small they only have two feeders. Crops start out pretty similar to the other games: you buy them from the store, you have to sell 100 of each of the beginning crops to unlock more, etc. There are a few interesting differences that help you out at the beginning:
1. You can put ANYTHING in your shipping bin. Weeds, cans, rocks, whatever. This is actually pretty helpful as in this version when you hit rocks with your hammer, they turn into "Stone Material" which you can sell for a pretty good price.
2. You can see how much people like you; villagers OR marriage candidates. This is pretty useful since it takes much longer for people to become good friends with you in this game.
3. Your tools upgrade completely differently. They have a certain number of open slots for "Wonderful Stones." Each of the 7 stones has a different function (using less stamina, working on a larger area, having a stronger effect) and can really only be gained by winning festivals (lame).
4. You can see your stamina and fullness. This is super useful. Fullness is difficult to keep up at the beginning of the game, since you can't cook and neither of the two restaurants are open. Fullness determines how early in the morning you wake up, and stamina is the same as the other games (if you work too much you black out and go straight to bed).
I haven't really played a Harvest Moon game since More Friends of Mineral Town and A Wonderful Life, but I have to say I'm glad I picked this one up. Like MFoMT, the concentration isn't really on earning money--you can earn money pretty easily in either game. However, in IoH the concentration is really on what you do with your money. You can improve the town roads, repair the bridges to other areas of the island, upgrade your house, chicken coop, animal band, stable, supply shed, build a maker shed, build a greenhouse, upgrade your household appliances, etc. Or you can concentrate on goals that aren't money related, like reaching the bottom of the mine, becoming friends with everyone, winning festivals, upgrading your tools, unlocking recipes, and more. There is just so much to do in this game it is insane.
That said, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with it. With other Harvest Moon games, once you've played one jumping into a new installment of the series is pretty simple. It's almost too easy to become quickly successful in the game. IoH does not allow you to do this. It forces you to play the game at a slower pace, especially at the beginning of the game when it is next to impossible to refill your stamina. I was barely able to manage growing three fields (3X3) of crops in my first season.
My sister says Pierre "is gay." He's the one that looks like Willy Wonka...I might have to agree.
Another disappointment was the characters. It is still one of my biggest complaints in the game: all of the Harvest Moon characters have zero personality. They're pretty generic. Any given character could swap dialog with another and not really change the game much. There are only two character who seem to have real personality: Vaughn (who's kind of cold and distant....and reminds me of Zero from Vampire Knight ;_;) and Regis (who is rich and pompous). Even the "wild natives" of the island are boring as hell. The Witch Princess isn't really evil, mean, or even mischievous. Many of the characters are bad copies of older HM characters with newer (and sillier) names: Kai is Denny, Maria is Sabrina, Gotz is Gannon, Rick is Elliot, Lillia is Felicia, Gray is Vaughn, etc. That being said, one of the problems I have is that I don't want to marry any of the candidates that the game gives you.
WAKKA CHIKKA BOW WOW!!!!
While I don't think the Island will ever compare to any iteration of Mineral Town (N64, PS1 or GBA), it's still a pretty good installment in the series. I appreciate the new pieces of gameplay that have been added, but I would still like to see a little more creativity when it comes to characters. A good chunk of the game is based on interacting with the people on the island, and it would be much more enjoyable if they all didn't seem to be the same person. New gameplay also makes the game more challenging, but it pretty much just pushes me to prove my HM fandom and mastery by doing everything.
Also, this game is awesome because the default female farmer name is Chelsea. THEY KNEW I AM THEIR BIGGEST FAN ZOMGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Do you think people would get it if I did a cosplay???
Bottom Line: If you are a fan of the series, you should by this. If you have never played a Harvest Moon game, keep searching for a copy on N64, PS1, or Gameboy Advance.
Alright, PAX is fast approaching and I need help! Last year a did a couple of fun cosplays: Pa Rappa the Rapper and Yukari (Persona 3). This time around I need help deciding what cosplays to do.
I don't want to do any SUPER sexy cosplay. I want to wear something that will be at least semi-comfortable to walk around in all day. I also don't want anything with crazy moving parts that will take forever to put together. It also needs to be something that I can realistically do (don't pick female characters with obnoxiously large breasts).
And no, I'm not cosplaying Cammy.
So, here are a couple ideas of my own I had, but I want your input for whether or not you like them/any other ideas you have.
#1 - Amy from Soul Caliber IV
Amy is little, like me. Getting a wig right will be a pain, but I might just cheat and do a curly wig in pigtails. I actually already have the skirt for this outfit. It wouldn't take too much tweaking from my mom or my crafty friends to get this put together either.
#2 Ulala from Space Channel 5
Um I fucking love this game. This cosplay would actually be super easy. My sister has a bad-ass Ulala costume from Halloween a couple years ago, and with her permission and a couple of adjustments I could make this work quite easily. I know I said no super-sexy costumes, but this would also give me an excuse to learn all of the dance moves from the game and dance all over the place for no reason, which is a definite plus.
#3 Rikku (FFX)
I want to do the FFX Rikku not only because her outfit is more classy, but also because it is fucking impossible to find a good scarf for the costume (I am a perfectionist and would probably kill myself trying to find one). It's probably (oddly enough) one of the harder cosplays to do just because of the ridiculous detail in her outfit. It looks deceptively easy, but with the crazy neckline, buckles everywhere and that strap thing on her leg, I would have my work cut out for me.
My cop-out cosplay would probably be Celeste from Mirror's Edge. I'll probably only do it if I run out of time/money for my other cosplay ideas.
My buddy power-glove made a post earlier today about a new monthy c-blog topic called Monthly Lulz. While some people seemed to think it wasn't a great idea, it kind of inspired me a little bit. So, I thought I would make a post about the strange transformation that occurred to one of my favorite video game heroines between game sequel: Yuna.
Apparently Yuna's lonely days after the defeat of sin were not easy. Friends went their separate ways, and Yuna bore the pain by becoming an internation pop star...and whoring herself out. You think I'm exaggerating? Check out her Sailor Moon-inspired striptease at the beginning of the game. In front of thousands of people no less.
So anyway, on to my WTF breakdown.
This doesn't seem so bad at first glance, right? WRONG. Just because you are a girl who is hot and has nice boobies doesn't mean you can take a pair of scissors, cut up all of your clothing and wear the fashion Frankenstein outfit.
1. The Unnecessary Hoodie
Look, I like a hooded shirt just as much as the next person. But I can't for the life of me figure out why you would put a hood on a...well, let's just call it a halter top. Why would you even need a hooded halter top? I mean, if you're wearing a top that skimpy, it's probably pretty warm out. The hood doesn't seem to be very functional. Especially with that crazy rat-tail hair extension thing going on. I mean, is there a hole in it for the wrap to go through, or does it just stick out the side? Oh wait, I get it now. The hood is there so Yuna can coil up the rat tail and hide it after hours of harassment from school children, all asking if they can have "just one more game of jump rope."
2. The Bicep Gauntlet
First off, how do you even lace that thing onto your arm? You'd have to get someone else to do it or else risk looking like a retarded dinosaur. I can't really see what purpose this has for Yuna. I mean, for a big burly man it would serve as a great pick up line: "Why do you wear a gauntlet on your bicep?" "Why, too keep people from getting to the gun show for free." Or something like that. They don't even look particularly durable. If I was to stab and/or shoot Yuna in the arm, I bet it wouldn't provide much protection. However, it would make a pretty good tourniquet...oh my god. Yuna's a fucking junkie. Well, I guess that explains half of the outfit right there.
What the fuck is this? I have no idea what this is.
4. The Half-Skirt
I want to know who thought this shit up. Who looks at a skirt and says "Yeah that's cool. But you know what would be better? CUTTING IT IN HALF!" Cutting the skirt in half doesn't make it more efficient, in fact it becomes more cumbersome than ever. That shit will get caught in every automatic door around. The only reason for having half of a skirt is if Yuna had some sort of horrible childhood scar on the outside of her left thigh. That must be it; even her Songstress outfit has a half-skirt on the left side. Should have been wearing those gauntlets on her thighs I guess.
5. Spanky Panties
For those who don't know, "spanky panties" are what cheerleaders normally wear under their skirts. They're comfortable with A LOT of coverage so that football players and fans won't get more of a show than they paid for. Here, it seems like Yuna ran out of money. I mean, those boots must have been fucking expensive. Or maybe she's trying to make up for having too much cloth on one side of her outfit. I think maybe drunk one night, she took the line "Show us some leg" a little bit more seriously than she should have.
So there you have it. Yuna's clothing was either super expensive designer stuff, or else a misfit of re-sewn garments from various other outfits. In either case, what was she thinking?
Last night, I got wasted in IRC. To be honest, I can't remember what I said, but when I woke up this morning the caps lock key was on. So whatever I said, it was VERY CAPITALIZED.
This morning, I found a notepad file on my desktop named "IRC." I don't remember when these happened, but I did at one point start taking down quotes since AlsoCocks is still borked. So, enjoy the things that I can't remember. And that Kacie can't remember.
kacie|drinking when people say xbawks
kacie|drinking I like to imagine them playing on a chicken
*** mid3vol is now known as Dyn_User3007541
*** Dyn_User3007541 is now known as SuffOcat
Suff0cat Oh shit not this again
SuffOcat I LIKE IT IN THE POOPER
coonskin05 ill ban hammer you with my dick Mandi
Gandy|Drinking fine mandi, dont enjoy seeing me in all my man bear glory
mid3vol gandy i am now in love with you and your mass amounts of facial fur
The_Young_Scot DON'T LISTEN TO KACIE
Gandy|Drinking She a crazy ho
The_Young_Scot SHE'S A SPATULA
01:30 Suff0cat: Someone hold me
01:31 Detry: Gimme teh tits
01:31 elysse did it in his butt. in his butt.
01:31 randombullseye holds suff-O-cat.
01:31 Cataract holds suffocat
01:31 Detry fucks tits
01:31 Cataract smells suffocat
01:31 Suff0cat: Hell yeah!
01:31kacie|drinking: how cute
01:31 nindrunkdoll puts suff0cat in a sleeper hold
01:31 Gandy|Drinking holds Suff0cat......sexually
01:31 mid3vol: ewwww have you ever seen the niptuck episode where his son attempts to give himself a circumcision?!
01:31 Cataract starts going for the reach around