Check out Josh Hayes, a name Charlie uses for journalism on the internet so that he can say silly personal things without the fear of them being exposed openly. That and to hide from people he knew who he don't want to find him, not no way, not no how.
I’m no lawyer nor am I a morally rightious person. I play a lot of video games, my name is Charlie. I'm an ignorant man, but I want to be more learned. I want to appeal to logic, as the culture of video games folds in on itself more and more.
I wrote this long essay as an examination of the letter of the law and weather of not we should follow it. Every person needs to have their own beliefs and ideas, but laws are laws. If we can bend and break some, how do we decide what is acceptable and what isn't to be broke or bent?
I love the idea of an eye for an eye kind of justice, it’s human like that idea. What is mine is mine, thusly, what is yours is yours. That probably worked out well for a few centuries, until bold men like Genghis Khan united warring tribes into a unified group of murderers. How do you deal with a large group like that? How do you police that group from itself? When everyone shares resources and ideas, even would barbarians need law. The foundation of civilization is law. Without laws, wouldn’t we turn into barbarians? How can we be more civilized as a people without some kind of rules in place to govern ourselves.
The idea of the letter of the law is as stated. It cannot be argued against things that were in our more ancient times, written into stone. A famous example of laws written in stone come from the Old Testament, the ten commandments of God. These are stone tablets with inarguable laws meant to make everyone’s lives better. Unfortunately, in my country, America, people forget one of the laws written on a piece of paper when the whole idea of democracy was started, a separation of church and state. This easily understandable statement of law means that court houses, public schools, or any other government buildings shouldn’t have religious laws placed front and center. There shouldn’t a picture of a religious leader hanging up in a school. Even worse, evolution as a theory, which when defined as a word means: “someone thinks this might be what happens.” Don’t take my word for it, I looked it up to make sure I wasn’t being stupid.
Theory is defined as:
A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, esp. one based on general principles independent of the thing to be...
That means, it is something someone supposes. If you really get easy, it means guessing. Stuff people believe as fact are guesses.
I don’t like arguments like this. I look the law as it is stated. It seems that information isn’t that hard to find these days. Even with certain topics being suppressed or under-represented in any media, Destructoid included, I can still find information. What is information? Well, besides power, information is watching videos, reading forums, scouring poorly designed blogs, searching twitter, looking through web search after websearch, and it doesn’t require a whole lot of effort. People these days hate working so much, they don’t even want to type words into a web browser. I imagine this is because they never learned to type, but my imagination is fucked up.
The thing is, people want to argue about law, when it isn’t that hard to understand.
This applies to video games with two stories from the last few weeks:
Ugh, I hate losing progress on a game, but the difficulty of the game is in losing progress. I love fighting against a game.
This game is a nightmare to try to play without losing progress.
There was another DS RPG I started up, but didn't finish the tutorial. I'm awful.
EDF 2017 - Xbox 360
This genre of budget games is something I'm going to miss going forward with video games. I don't think these kinds of games will keep getting made or released in the west.
Angry Birds Star Wars - iOS
My wife got this for free.
This is a better game than Angry Birds.
It is still the same exact idea of crush the castle. You sling birds at pigs and the structures the pigs have, with the intention to kill all the pigs. This game addresses one of my complaints from Angry Birds, that certain birds can do things extra while others are just stones with no special abilities. Nearly every unit does something, but I don't necessarily love what they do. Another wrinkle to the mechanics are planets with gravity, I assume this is from Angry Birds Space, but I haven't played that.
As for the Star Wars license, this dresses up the characters as Star Wars characters. The red bird is now Luke with a light saber, the bomb bird now can push objects as Obi Wan, and a piggy dresses like Darth Vader holding objects in place as you try to smash him and his storm trooper pigs.
I played a ton of this game.
I not only played it on my iPod, but my wife's iPad got a lot of play. I found it better on the bigger screen, it was just easy to maneuver on that screen. My man hands are still effecting how I play games.
Path of Radiance - GameCube
Finished it! I played on normal and it was easy. I had a little trouble on maybe three maps in the game.
Early on, I kept restarting when I lost a guy. About six levels of that, I gave up when I lost someone, "expendable."
The idea that I don't have time to do this game perfect bothered the crap out of me. Losing fictional characters goes against my personal ethics code of never leaving a man behind, I hate the idea of loss. Especially the idea that someone could be expendable.
I ended up losing maybe half a dozen guys over the game, some a guide I looked at said were great characters, but not for me. They died. When I import this save into the Wii sequel, those characters are dead. If I play that and lose my save, and characters who should be dead show up, it won't feel real.
Like in Walking Dead when my save broke on the last episode, all my choices of who I saved and what I did disappeared. No apology from TellTale or reassurance that it won't happen in the sequel can forgive that moment of being ready to finish the game, and not being able to. If a save editor doesn't exist, I might not play part two simply because the events won't match.
Without consistency and canon in fiction, it ceases to be credible in my eyes. This is why I have such a hard time reading a lot of comic books. When a story does come together that has such a long legacy and knows its history, I love that. That's the kind of stories I want to craft. Everything is canon.
Except in the case of a retcon, in which case, nothing is canon.
I've looked into picking up a copy of the sequel, but I don't want to pay full price for a six year old game. Nintendo games are so nuts on the pricing, Amazon has copies for over a hundred fifty dollars and GameStop has it listed used at fifty bucks. Well which is it? A hundred and fifty or just fifty dollars?
I don't think I want the sequel. I might move on to the 3DS game when pick one of those up.
Nimble Quest - iOS
My wife got this, so it showed up on my iPod.
I hate it. It is awful. Imagine snake, but with a fantasy theme. Your characters attack enemies, but movement is all snake. It isn't good.
As I write all this, I'm picturing pull quotes. I also think, what if the developer saw this? It is an iOS game, so it could just be a person.
This game is awful.
Machinarium - PC
This is one of those games I've had forever, but never played.
None of this has anything to do with Machinarium or what it is, so I'll just stop talking about that.
Machinarium is a point and click adventure game, The way it's put together looks like it could possibly have been done in flash, but I don't know how exactly. The game has such an attention to detail in the artwork and animations, that I'm kind of stunned. Someone put in some work on this. I managed to make it a few screens through the game solving puzzles picking things up and stretching my robot. I don't like point and click adventure games, so I may never play this amazing looking game ever again. It's a real bummer too, because this game looks great, I did a decent job solving the puzzles, but I just don't know how I feel about it.
I had some fun with it, that's more than I can say for a lot of games I bought.
Red Dead Redemption - Xbox 360
I forgot I had this. I didn't buy it, I had rented it and my wife had played some of it, but neither of us finished. She bought it, but I had the game spoiled for me by the Internet. It was such a bummer. I later rented the zombie expansion pack, which I enjoyed, knowing the ending helped me appreciate the jokes of that game.
R-Type Final - PS2
Shmups, which my iPod changes to shamus, is one of my favorite genres that just doesn't get play like it used to. It isn't discussed openly hardly anywhere, but I love it.
I don't like the vertical ones as much as the horizontal ones.
For me, I'm a U.N. Squadron Gradius, and R-Type kind of guy. Those are my jam. When I looked through my cases of PS2 stuff, I wanted to play this.
I made it to the fourth level before I quit, I was on the easy difficulty and had some trouble doing it.
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne - PS2
Ever play a game that was so incredible, you had a hard time explaining why it was so great? I can tell you how you would hate this, the grinding of levels and difficulty in understanding the mechanics are why I like this game. That and the tone and atmosphere it creates, like a nightmare.
Unfortunately, some of the advancements in the ease of play from Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey have spoiled me. I miss being able to check status and skills at the same time. I get confused so I check my skills.
I also have no qualms about checking guides now.
Especially in a game I've been playing for over two years that has tons of mechanics and actual labyrinths. The section of the game I'm on, is called the Labyrinth of Almala or something similar to that. I don't have any guides with me right now I'm days removed from my couple hours with the game too.
But Nocturne is all I'm thinking about.
I actually made progress when I played this time, but it took some effort.
As I started, I was in the alma, Alama or alalma, I left to look for a fiend boss called the Pale Rider or Red Rider, I can recall which, but the guide said I could fight in the first dungeon, a hospital. The fiend's are like optional super bosses, they unlock levels of the Alama which unlocks the true demon ending. That's what I would like to go for I think. I'm not much for law and I don't like chaos much more. The fact that in this Alama, I'm directly getting information from lucifer makes me anxious to see what's at the end of it.
As I make it to where I think I need to be, I read closer in the guide. To fight this boss I need to have made it to the third level of Alama. I was lost on level two. So I walk back, wander around a bit, then realize I have a moon key that opens doors in this level. I have no clue how of where I got the moon key, but I used it and saw the cutscenes at level three, then pressed my luck in a spot on level two of Alama that would give me a to of money.
The floor was poisonous, or cursed, it was hurting my party with every step and every fight was tough. I was killed, as was forced to start over at level two again on my old save.
Everything I did for two hours was gone.
I go back down to level three, this time I knew my way around the confusing dungeon. I had my moon key. I watched both cutscenes. One is Lucifer telling me about the man who caused the apocalypse in the game, that he was involved with a Gaea cult. Then the fiend cutscene, the four horsemen of the apocalypse are let loose. They left into the world.
So now, I look through guides and ski across a skill called attack all. I want that. My favorite thing is crowd control. I need to hit multiple enemies with my main character. His stats are all power, so I need that. I need to go back to a place called mantra hq. I didn't know if I needed to find that place or if I had been there, I read around a bit more. Turns out I was there. I must not have had enough strength at that time to unlock what I needed. So I go to a town I think is close there, my god the name of this town is Ibuekeno or something similar, and turns out I get to fight a fiend.
A couple tries on him and I whoop him, then wander trying to find the mantra hq. I was lost in a dark tunnel that I know I had been to, but I quit. I was done.
Every month I write what I played on my ipod, but I've been busy doing things. But not really, I've been in a dark place emotionally I guess. It sort of came out in this writing.
I've been trying to post this for three weeks now.
Randombullseye's March 2013
Hi everybody, I feel fantastic. I didn't die this month and I wasted time playing butt loaves of games!
Fire Emblem Path of Radiance - Gamecube
Made it about halfway into the game, feel like quitting it now that the game has turned me loose. I'm determined to finish, and my strategy of not leaving a man behind has changed.
If someone expendable dies, they're gone. I can't restart for guys who aren't key to my strategy.
Don't have that kind of time.
Pikmin - GameCube
No game makes me feel more awful than pikmin. I finished it thirty parts of your space vessel collected on thirty in game days, it wasn't difficult, but it wasn't easy. Parts required a little thinking, other parts required some brute force. I liked those parts.
Picture my stats, if I forget to put that in yell at me. (I have it on my ipod, but that's in the other room right now. I did 30 days with 30 parts)
Ni No Kuni - Playstation 3
Made it to the end game, it seems to want to drag on visiting every town and caricature again. This was a stinker of a game, but I had some fun with it.
Katamari Forver / Retro City Rampage - Playstation 3
My nephew wanted to play some games so I showed him these, him and my niece disliked Katamari but loved Retro City.
Chrono Trigger - iOS
One of the best games ever, actually playable, what I mean is the controls aren't stupid like every other ios poet, and it doesn't have any visual or audio problems.
It also doesn't have minute long load times like the stupid Playstation version.
Mega Man 10 - PSN
I played as Bass on easy and I had a great time playing it. I wasn't looking for challenge, just a good time and I got it.
I played as Proto Man on normal and was dusted constantly, making no progress at all.
Sim City - SNES / Sim City 2000
Everyone wanted to play the new one, I wanted to play the old ones.
In Sim City, I made a couple really great towns. One was devastated by a plane crash while I left it on overnight. I imagine that's what happened. The other, I just have up on once I filled the screen.
In 2000, I found that making a city was difficult. I forgot how to do anything in the game, just bulldozing ground and making the basic buildings was a chore. After a couple bad starts, I finally got a good city going, but I just couldn't keep the economy working. My city was in debt and broke before I knew it.
Then I built a mega city that was perfect, I had rail systems, subways, and it was an incredible piece of work, but a riot ravaged it. It was only after struggling for twenty minutes in pain that I realized I had to control my fire departments and police.
Etryian Odyessy 3 - DS
Almost bought a 3DS on sale, but didn't. Intention was to pick up the fourth game, but no. So I got a copy of part three, it is very much like part one, but the ease of play has ratcheted up, as has the difficulty. I am getting killed left and right, I love it.
It isn't the games fault that it didn't tutorial me up the ass, it is my fault for not doing it right.
Donkey Kong Country 1 & 2 - Wii Virtual Console
My wife had this, I played some of both with her. I love these games, but I'm done with them. I don't want to say I never want to play them again, but I did say that to her.
I probably shouldn't have said that, these are her favorite games.
Not a lot of video games this month. In fact, this might be the least amount of games I've played.
Here are the games I played this month!
Ni No Kuni: The Wrath of the White Wicth - Playstation 3
Such a beautiful game, but the computer controlled allies are the most informant I've encountered. In Persona 3 your party member was entirely controlled by the game. Usually they would make decent derision a based on the tactics I set for them. Drago Quest has had some type of auto battle that works the same way, even the level 5 developed Dragon Quest 8 had such a competent system for this, that I kept it on throughout most of the game. I much prefer having my party members do their own thing, but very wisely Persona 4, like Dragon Quest 8 presents automated party members as an option.
In Ni No Kuni, this isn't an option. I am forced to let the two extra party members do their own things, usually they're only helpful at distracting enemies and nothing more.
I've an option to tell everyone to defend or attack, but this option doesn't tell the character I control to do that. They just stand there like an asshole while the big boss who clearly telegraphs their super attacks does more damage than I would like. Now I hit the all defend button, then frantically rush to defend. This is a problem for me.
I'm also annoyed by the shop owners and their stores being repeated throughout the game with minimal interior changes. Some have a treasure chest or don't.
My team has grown to include two extra characters and over a dozen monsters. I don't have any real attachment to any of them. The designs aren't striking or charming, nor are the personalities presented. The girl character has no characterization at all. She merely is, "the girl." The second guy party member is defined as being a thief, abut wait, he's got a secret he doesn't want to tell. I figured out his secret hours before the other characters. The story is moving along at a snail pace.
I'm now officially in the third disc slump of Ni No Kuni. I had a boat, now I can fly around the world. I want as little to do with this as possible now. Why does freedom in these games make me want to quit? I've third evolution monsters, who now need leveled up for the third time. This isn't charming, that's frustrating. The only monster that doesn't look stupid is the skeleton I have who now has a bull skull.
Over the last few nights I've had off, haven't touched it. I've thought about it, but I've felt despair. My marriage has broken, my view of the world has shifted darker than it ever was, and I've lost all confidence in myself.
While writing the tenth chapter of Bonerquest, the final chapter, I broke emotionally. It was very upsetting as I confronted my own demons in writing. I knew I would, it was in my outlines, but finding the words to express it and really living in absolute darkness mentally, broke me. I cried. I sat in bed. I took a lot of baths in the dark and just say there, trying to find something positive to think of. I just can't. This book is a nightmare I wrote down and I'll be happy when I publish it and never have to write or think about it again.
Why is it sad?
Well, the story spirals downward in such a way that hurt me to visualize. Things start off bad and go worse. This story will hopefully effect you emotionally when you read it. It gets up it's own ass a couple times over, but I think the humor layer works and that's the most important part for me. If this book isn't funny, I fucked up. If the book isn't sad, then I fucked up. I fucked up thinking I could write this story.
When I first came up with Bonerquest, I was about fourteen. It was much sillier and the ending wasn't there. The year after I did a sequel to those comics, that went even deeper into chaos. None of the real meat was there. A version of one of the antagonists was there, but he wasn't defined. The fairy people, who I decided not to call fairies today, they were there.
It was while laying in a bathtub in 2005, that I realized what the perfect ending would be. What the perfect origin for the main protagonist would be. As I tried to write it, I started off with changing protagonists every chapter. What a genius and original idea, I thought. Nobody has ever done this! I was so stupid. My writing involved a b-level plot that felt like a bad fantasy story, it wasn't me. It had a basalisk that I decided should just be a dragon, but it seemed stupid to just use a dragon. The first two chapters were a mess. The idea of portraying the world from different protagonists who all are liars rewriting their own history as they tell it, that fascinated me. I loved that. But I just couldn't pull it off.
In 2008, I worked as a bag boy at a grocery store. Another bagger claimed he had wrote a novel that was a satire of Adam and Eve that involved a pot smoking snake and hippies. Stephen met with a publisher in Virginia, or so he claimed. To my knowledge his book remains unpublished, if it ever existed.
It was in the bathroom one day where I was taking a leak, as I often do at work. There is a certain joy in being paid to piss. Stephen showed up to do the scheduled bathroom check, where baggers were required to clean toilets and once over the bathroom. Usually this involved going back and flushing the toilet. If you were unlucky, as I was once, you'll find the toilet full. When Stephen said he was there to do the bathroom check, I explained it was still there. This made him giggle, such a simple statement made him say, "I like you Charles, your a funny guy. You should try writing like I did." I explained I spent my teenage years online, developing Internet comics. Writing and developing a lot of different comics, none of which I was super proud of, but I did the work. The experience was there. After eight years, I knew how to tell a story and develop characters, even with lots of spelling errors and logic holes, I could make something interesting.
It was 2008, that I had accepted the honor of making Bonerquest a video game. In 2010, I had butthole surgery and told the doctor I could write a novel about the pain I felt, which amused her. My suffering them informed my lifestyle, even now. As I lay bleeding out the ass, I was as close to death as I could be. I sometimes wish I had let myself just bleed out the ass and die, that would have been the funniest way possible to die, but I didn't.
I want to experience life. All of life that I can. I don't like keeping secrets. Suddenly I take my work stocking shelves less serious. I got married. I've flew on planes and met people from Destructoid in person. I'm alive and all I can think of is death. I hate where I'm at, what I'm doing, and have no motivation to continue to live this lifestyle. As I am now is not how I will be, I can do better.
It was on my wedding day, we met with my wife's maid of honor, and I brought up the topic of editing something I wrote. I wanted to write a novel and self publish it. That no one has to believe in me, that I'm incredible, and that working night shift is actually killing me. That sitting inside all day, is killing me. That I have to make drastic changes, that will all begin with writing a professional novel. She thought I was joking and agreed to help out. Now here I am, two years later, preparing to send her the complete mess as I want to publish it. I'm sad.
There was a thought, that I would begin drinking heavily when I finished the book and had it sent off to be printed. That I would go into a Leaving Las Vegas kind of life for a long time. I've never drank before, but I've had a bottle of whiskey that I stare at. I don't want to do this.
But yeah. I've not touched Ni No Kuni in about three weeks. I like it, I want to finish it, but I probably won't for a bit. I'm really busy.
Battle Cats - iOS
My wife downloaded this on her iPhone, so I got it on my iPod. It's a tower defense kind of thing with cats. As I played it, I wonder why I did so? It wasn't fun leveling up creatures. It passed time at work, but it wasn't really a good game. I got forty levels into it, why do I want to finish it if I don't like it?
So I did finish it, I was places I didn't want to be, all month. No gameboys, meaning psp of DS, but I had the iPod with me. I have it at work with me, I don't love this game. The social hook, "pay to win" stuff bothers me, and this type of bullshit is defining video games not being discouraged. As much as it bothers me, there are people who just want to win and pay to unlock everything.
My argument against pay to win style games is simple: the game is playing to win, if you just pay for boosts or items that help you win, why pay extra for those items? If I could just pay five dollars and have my team on Ni No Kuni be a bunch of badasses, that defeats the point of the game.
Interestingly, this game had some "free" social hook stuff to unlock points. I'm bothered by these so much, I took some pictures. Keep in kind, buying items in these games doesn't guarantee that you'll win. How the fuck can people but this shit?
Beastie Bay - iOS
This is kairosoft's free to play game. While stuck somewhere I dabbled in it, it was ok. It's kind of like their dungeon and astro games, except now featuring exhausting RPG battles. I say exhausting, because selecting attacks for your monsters is so slow, it makes every battle drag. I don't like that, so I quit playing it, never touched it again.
Actually, I need to go delete it right now, that's how I feel about it.
So much for slowing down and not playing video games.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch - PS3
What is Ni No Kuni?
Level-5 who created Dragon Quest VIII, which I finished around this time last year, are the developers of Ni No Kuni. But wait, there's another creative force, the people who've produced some top level anime cartoons, Studio Gibli, came up with the designs and anime cutscenes that are doled out in the same way Playstation and Sega Saturn RPG animations were, few and far between and confusingly of little consequence.
This game is dope, but I don't know how many people who read what I write agree with my sentiments on Japanese role playing game. I let someone watch me play, she said it looked amazing, but left straight up explaining to yell when "something happened."
JRPGs are not the exciting show pieces that their developers seem to think they are. These are slow paced, single player, and obtusely difficult games. That's when they're at their best and Ni No Kuni, about ten hours in has all these features.
And it has maybe the most childish storyline ever. The word whimsy isn't enough to describe this game.
For example, in the ton of Ding Dong Dell I met the kitty cat king to ask him for his magic wand. It goes a little deeper than that, there was a light Forrest dungeon and boss before that, with a friendly talking tree too. I'm curious to see how much farther this goes, how silly can things get? Will it surpass the talking duck people of Suikoden III as the most ridiculas thing that isn't shown ironically or with any amount if sarcasm. It legitimately presents the kitty cat king as his god damn meowjesty, referring to him as such.
I love this. In a world of dark and gritty stories, I kind of want some whimsy fun stories.
Even if combat can look messy, like this.
That isn't to say the story isn't dark, it goes Disney dark with the death of a character and their possible resurrection being the whole motivation for the game. I've a strong spider sense feeling that it will not work out, but it will somehow be okay.
I'm not much for side quests, I usually hate them. Like in Dragon Age, those boards with things to do on them, I walked by every single time. I never once touched them there, but in Ni No Kuni I'm in. I'm down to do them for the layers of rewards given to me. Stamps are given, like a gas station rewards card, and when you fill it that you're given a choice of upgrades. The early ones are a little lame, but moving faster on the world map I jumped on. That's the sort of upgrade that will get me doing side quests, but I don't know how to fill in my card with all the options on here. There are a to of question marks, and that bothers me.
I'm bothered by the lack of fast travel, so many hours into the game the world map is just big enough that I don't want to walk back across it for side quests. I just can't do that. I can zoom or fast travel around, I would feel a lot better. The opening video for the game revealed my character riding on a dragon, so that will happen eventually, but I need fast travel to really dig into these side quests.
It also has my favorite kind of side quests, where a stronger monster is out there and I have to go kill that. Final Fantasy XII wasn't beaten by me for the inclusion of such monsters. I just love that concept. It goes back to super bosses in old RPGs. I love that concept so much.
The actual battle system is a melding of Poke'mon and the Tales of games. Battles take place in a 3D space where position matters, but attacks are chosen from a radial menu. Besides your human characters, each of them controls three familiars who are little monsters that fit inside your pockets and have a very Rock Paper Scissors elemental variety. I named my first one Bill Paxton and I don't think I ever want to ditch him.
Once I got the second party member, battles became clunky and messy. She's completely ignorant and doesn't listen. Her strength seems to be doing a minimum of damage and healing herself just long enough to last five minutes in a battle. She just dies. She sends her Pokemon, a few attacks later, she just dies. During a boss battle when we clearly needed to defend, she doesn't.
Aaron Linde says a few hours later I'll get the option of telling her when to attack and defend with the circle button, that's interesting, but I'm not sure if that will help. Artificial intelligence controlled characters are not new to role playing games, Persona 3 forced it and made that work, Drago Quest has had some form of automation for party members in a lot of their games, but in those characters aren't as allergic to life as this second party member.
Oh and she loves using all her magic in a single random battles. I can tell her not to use abilities, but she needs to use abilities to do a decent amount of damage. I'm really, really bummed that she doesn't jump in and make things better.
Combat is now difficult, which surprised me. I thought the game would not bump up at all, but hey, here it is. Some challenge thrown in, I like that. I like Ni No Kuni.
If I don't finish it soon, I probably won't finish it. I've a bad record with finishing games, but my RPG record is the worst. I started organizing which ones I hadn't finished and the list hurt to look at and I just quit writing it.
I have gripes. Shops and their shopkeepers all are recycled over and over again. In spite of the high quality of the artwork, it feels uninspired. It isn't the same kind of consistent look from Dragon Quest, it's the fact that a lot of monsters just aren't interesting or new. They feel like generic Pokemon rip offs. Jade Cacoon had some fascinating creatures, but this doesn't. Nothing really dazzles me, other than boss monsters. They've really done well with those, but they're also very generic. The whole thing is a little generic, but high quality.
This isn't sad, brooding, or dark and I really love it for not being that. I'm not saving the world, I'm on a personal, selfish quest to save the main characters mother. I also giggled when she died, what should have been an emotional scene just doesn't work at all. Oliver never broods about it, which I'm okay with, but he is way too happy for this. At thirteen I was a mess, and it was only a cousin of mine that had died. And Oliver is thirteen, but seems like he's six. What the shit is that? Why is he such a little puss? He just seems like such a child, at thirteen I knew what was up. This kid walks around like he doesn't. I'm kind of bothered by that, but maybe I was just an asshole as a kid.
Sleeping Dogs - Steam
Sleepy Dogs is a pretty ok game. It runs ok on my computer, it is like all the things people said Yakuza was like. It is Grand Theft Auto, in China, with an emphasis on martial arts over gun play. Game looks great, has a silly storyline that takes itself a little too serious for me, and I got it on sale for fifteen bucks.
XCOM - Enemy Unknown
I played a butt load of this. I was sick with the flu and a little delirious, but I managed to whoop classic mode.
Torchlight - Steam
Got this and the sequel in the steam sale, specifically to play on my Mac book.
Turns out, Torchlight 2 isn't on the Mac.
I got this, because someone in my household decided to buy the Sims 3 and spend hours playing that.
Gameplay isn't so bad. It's a lot of wandering around smashing monsters, collection loot, and leveling up. The storyline is there, but I couldn't care less. I picked a brute character, but the game is really easy on the normal difficulty.
I got a few levels into this game, when I was invited to play Torchlight 2.
Torchlight 2 - Steam
So my friend wasn't able to play immediately so I started up playing this. I like this more, but it is more of the same from Torchlight.
I picked the beserker and played quite a bit on my own and with random players online.
When I had the flu, I played a butt load of this game. I played with three of the classes and had an amazing time. I played on the hardest difficulty as well, the game is just too easy on anything other than the hardest difficulty which is strange to me. That's bothered me since that started around when Halo was new, but hey video games.
The Last Stand - Dead Zone - Flash
This was on konregate, a website kid of like new grounds but not as good. The previous last stand games were cute little zombie RPGs, but this is an MMO and I was suckered into wasting lots of time playing it.
I put in maybe five hours over the course of a week. I had never played a proper Facebook game, even if this is on kongregate it is very much a Facebook game. It has all the social hooks and micro transactions that serve to annoy me. I hate that, but I like zombie survival stuff.
You gather up resources on trips out to various buildings in a section of map. As you level up, new sections open up. They take longer to travel home from in real time, meaning that I watched an episode of bullshit then played this for a half hour. Once it got to over and hour, there was no way I could give a shit about this game.
It has a player vs player option, but in not a competitive gamer or into Griefing. So I never tried it. Actually, I love Griefing, but only with people I know. Nothing is more satisfying than screwing everyone on a video game, hearing their groans of desperation and finding out how serious people take games. They're games. This doesn't matter at all.
The game gives you goals to accomplish for experience, once you hit enough goals you get another survivor. I had seven or eight when I quit. If anyone wants my account to play this game, I'll give you the name and password. I give that little of a shit about it.
The game lacks any real depth, which is why I never want to think about it again.
I played other flash stuff, like frog fractions, but not as much of it as this stupid last stand game.
I really hope I only put five hours into this, but as I think about it, I spent a lot more when I had the flu. I didn't touch Xenogears but a piss poor flash game I put time into?
Earthbound - SNES
I finished up the mole dungeon in the dessert, but I didn't go back to town yet. I'm thinking I'm like halfway through this game? I want to finish it, but I'm not loving it.
Penny Arcade 3- Steam
The DLC is out, this was one of the top games of the year for me. I'm not loving the DLC. The class system I loved so much, isn't here. Instead I'm given a character from the first two penny arcade games, that I have no attachment to.
The humor is as on as it was in the main game, and the story is just as terrible. I'm not compelled by the lead characters or invested in what they're doing. These are just two guys, bumbling around for no reason.
A crab monster had the description of being cray, that made me laugh.
FTL - Steam
I found a program to rebuild my save, the one on my Mac didn't save or something, I lost progress and all the ships I had unlocked.
But, when presented with the option to just, unlock everything, I did that. I just took all the ships and their variants. I'm a bad person.
I played quite a bit with a crystal ship, I still fucked up.
Endless Space - Steam
I'm done with this for now, I whooped a single game of it, that feels like enough. It was a fun simulation, kind of like civilization with a space theme.
I spent over the last week of December and this month, maybe a dozen hours playing this.
Fallout 3 - PC
Still haven't done those DLC packs, we have them, my lady bought them because she loved Fallout. I'm not sure if she played them either.
I spent a lot of time walking towards operation anchorage, but just couldn't make it. I got stopped by some talon mercenaries, who I killed most of but decided to turn back towards megaton, where I disarmed the bomb and got the house and that's where I quit.
Slow motion kills, when the bullet spins around and the camera follows right with it into a guys face, that's still amazing. On a Saturday when I had two hours to do anything, this is what I did.
Mega Man 10 – PS3
For some reason, I booted this up. I thought playing as Proto Man was something I could jump into. It was not what I expected at all. The mid boss on the electric sheep's stage rocked me and that was that.
When Jenny touched upon their face and felt an exposure of wires and black ooze, they uttered a cry and said as women will, "Oh Winston, this is the last time I can see you. I am not going to survive long."
This year, unlike last year, I want to make some really well defined goals.
Gaurdian Heroes still begs me to play it.
It keeps declining in value, as I look at it every day with wonder and awe. I think to myself about buying the HD remake on the Xbox 360.
9) Finish Xenogears - or a letter to ParaParaKing.
That ParaParaKing was onto me about playing Xenogears for what seemed like forever. He probably mentioned it twice to me, although him playing the part of my friend Benjy to Samit constantly messaging him about Portal makes for a better story. Even if it isn't exactly the truth, I was asked to try out Xenogears. Last month I had a week away from work for vacation, and finally played Xenogears.
Played for about two hours, is more like it.
It seems very interesting, I loved the opening film, but the actual game itself has left me wanting more. The early doomed to burn town cliche was right where I quit, just as the giant robots showed up and my character somehow had a giant robot to fight with, I quit. I have a save just before entering the robot fight, but I just didn't care enough. I liked how the anime cutscene showed up, remember when cutscenes were rewards? They were interesting glimpses at what the developer intended a game to look like, instead of just annoying movies that slow down a game?
8) Earthbound, I played that too. This year I want to finish it.
Last year, I also said I was going to try Earthbound once again, as every time I ever started it, I always hated it and found it lame.
Yeah, I really stood by that for years.
Now I'm a little more warm on it. The charm of the game has grown on me, but the gameplay has started to drag. The modern world setting is a great change of pace from the usual fantasy and science fiction settings for a role playing game, but the real winner and most important thing about Earthbound is the sense of humor the game has. Enemies are usually very silly, weapons are silly, and even the things you're tasked to do are humorous in nature. But that's the problem, humorous and silly aren't funny. They're charming and humorous, but I've never had a monsterous belly laugh or openly giggled at anything in Earthbound. It evokes a sense of childhood exploration, like The Goonies, but it doesn't have a fat kid truffle shuffling.
But, the weird stuff goes completely weird. I love weird. A whole town of giant nosed aliens who all have their own font style and speak strangely to you, that's my kind of jam. I also am quite fond of just walking into a weaker enemy and instantly defeating them, gaining those precious experience points. At this point my party is miss matched. The main character is about a dozen levels above the other two, which makes all my strategy revolve around him bashing enemies. For better or worse, I over leveled the main guy early in the game.
I'm anxious to see the ending of the game for myself. I could just watch it on you tube, but I'd be missing the context in which it needs to be sent. If you're unfamiliar with it, the creator of the game based the encounter on his perception of pornography as a child. Somehow he viewed it, I'm guessing he had an unmarked VHS tape or film reel, and just sort of saw something that made him very uncomfortable. From that, he came up with the final boss of his video game. Kind of like how all of my writing reflects my relationships with women and the really shitty things I've done as a person. I love that sort of adaptation of material, I might jump into Earthbound first.
I just finished a section in a dessert where I fought moles and found gold, so I could save the blues brothers again. This game!
7) Talk more about Suikoden: read: Play more Suikoden.
I loved both the original Suikoden games, they were fantastic. The first has aged a little harder than the second, and Suikoden II has a rough translation, but for that genre of game, they're among the best I've ever played. Nothing feels as Mbig or involving as Suikoden games. Which is probably why I didn't like Suikoden III as much. Not having a solo protagonist, Suikoden III had switching protagonists to show the same conflict from three different angles. I'm curious to play that one again and to really dive into Suikoden IV and Suikoden V, both of which I bought and never had time to finish.
But first I want to play Suikoden and Suikoden II for the tenth time. The first was rather short, I finished it in about a week? The second I recall taking two weeks. This was playing every day for an hour or two, maybe more if I was feeling froggy. I want to play them again with a fresh perspective.
6) Buck Rogers: Matrix Cubed
Another game I haven't finished, but am absolutely in love with. Last year's list, I wrote about buying copies of both Countdown to Doomsday and Matrix Cubed. Well, I have copies of both now, their "log books," and a "rule book." Computer games had some really fucked up logic for what they included in the original packaging. The log book is actually important, story relevant blocks of text that are all vital to understanding what is going on. Without this log book, I wouldn't know what was happening at all. For example, the flavor text in the game says "he explains everything about the laser, see log book entry #27!" Well, then you're supposed to open this book, find the twenty seventh entry, and that is what the character says to you. Rather than you know, actually display the text in the god damned game, it has this bullshit. I'm assuming the AD&D games by the same developer pull the same stunt.
Luckily, I also have what is called a "rule book." This is a strategy guide that has maps, outlines exactly where to go and what to say for the best possible outcome of a situation. If I absolutely cannot figure out where to go or what to do, I love having this. Otherwise, I don't want to look in it's direction at all.
Last year I completed the DOS version of Countdown to Doomsday. It was pretty incredible to play the original version of this game, the "real" version of a game I loved so much. All the things I enjoy about the game are there, somewhat expanded upon. The graphics definitely need overhauled, they're butt ugly and occasionally non-existant. In the Genesis game you had a physical representation of your character to equip weapons onto in one of the strangest menus ever in a game.
In the original DOS game, it is simple text with equipped items listed as such.
What's really great is that Matrix Cubed allows me to pull in my team of killers from Countdown to Doomsday, which is a process not all that complicated. I managed to pull it off with relative ease in a program called Boxer for my mac book. I'm now playing what turns out is more like the second half of the same game, than a real sequel. It's more of the same. All the skills and weapons all seem very similar. Enemies are different, but use strategies that are much more intense than the first game. Everyone seems to have grenades and wants to use them, luckily, I have rocket launchers and missile launchers that utterly decimate them, which amuses the fuck out of me every single time I do that.
I'm curious to see how the plot of the game plays out. If the adventure is as wonderful as the Countdown to Doomsday was.
1) Release episodes of a retro gaming podcast I recorded last year!
Myself, Tony Ponce, and Bianca Torres all did some podcasts about retro games last year. The first of which, I released as a secret bonus kind of thing last year.