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.
My first book, Bonerquest had a preview posted this month of the entire first chapter. I put it up here on Destructoid, because this is where I post things. It was online all day, I hope you read it. I received no comments or e-mails about it, so I can only assume I wasted a great deal of time writing the thing. I'm bothered by that and have become completely distraught, with feelings of hopelessness. I had a week off work this month, which I slept through most of. I'm apparently very tired. I'm beaten, but not defeated. I'm going to pursue advertising my books elsewhere. I've an admission to make about Destructoid, I don't follow it as closely as I used to.
The website feels splintered and everything is compartmentalized away from everything else. The Dtoid Show is a Revision 3 internet television program, with its own rules and logic. The cblogs are the opinion columns, where everyone who wants to be heard tries desperately to say something. The forums are a wild west all there own, the once small haven has now blossomed into a mess where I can post silly things and leave them for weeks before anyone finds them. And then there is Podtoid, where they talk about sucking each others dicks for two hours every week. And then and then, there's twitter, google groups, e-mail groups, facebook, twitch, and all these other fragmentations of Destructoid. I don't feel like I need to come to Destructoid's website to be a part of the group anymore.
I went to Boston to meet up with Destructoid. It was a strange experience. I was gifted a lapel pin of the mascot by Hamza himself. I met with guys from the Destructoid Twitch channel, the channel that every time I've barely visited. I wear that pin and my Tomopop T-shirt I bought and my Retroforce GO T-shirt, and I wonder if I'm wearing advertising or wearing something I'm proud to be a part of.
Here are the games I played this month.
The Walking Dead - Steam
I donít think I spoiled anything here, I put out my choices in a very general way.
Iíd finished the first part, months ago when it was new. I made the final choice everybody else did, sided with Kenny. So when Episode 2 started, I was pumped. I messed up the first bit, really, really bad. Then I didnít shoot the woman, but I did kill all three of the other characters. They all deserved it, jerks! I liked Episode 2, but the plotline was extraordinarily cliche and I saw it coming a hundred miles before it happened.
Episode 3 seemed to last forever. It just kept going and going, with more and more things happening then slowing things down to an agonizing crawl. I hate the crawly parts where I have to walk back and fourth with items trying to find the right one for certain situations. Those are dumb. I like talking to the characters, but when I have to solve situations by finding the right object, and I donít know which object I need and have to slowly walk from one screen, through another, finally to the one where I need to use an item, and it fails, three times, I get kind of bummed about that type of stuff. Otherwise, this one had some great moments. I left the girl, let Kenny take care of things, and I wanted to kick the guy off the train. It wouldnít give me that option, but I wanted to just pick him up and throw him off right there.
Ironically, the character I wanted to kill, I later saved when presented the choice to kill him or not. I felt bad about leaving the girl, that she probably would have been helpful in spite of the reason why I left her. The buildup of enemies I liked, the showing of a poster of the lead bad guy is probably going to show up in the fifth episode as the main bad guy. I donít know why I have that feeling, but I do. The moments that I really enjoyed here, was when the game let me actually shoot a bunch of attacking zombies. I always yell at the screen, ďThere are only like six zombies there, you guys can take them out! You have guns! Use them you idiots!Ē
Unfortunately, the game was having noticable technical issues in episode four. The game would lag up, ocassionally messing up dialog. I had a strange bug in episode two, where Kenny leaned foreward and nodded, contiously. I laughed hysterically at that and how silly it was, but here these glitches kept happening over and over. I solved the Kenny thing by just reloading and I was right where I needed to be. Here, the bugs kept going. The game crashed to my desktop twice. Overall though, I really enjoyed the build of episode four and all these new characters. I tried to solve things peacefully, saved the guy, and I was nice to the girl when I saw the tape she was on. Things are looking bad for part five, but Iím very excited to see how my story plays out. Iíve got some help, but not everybody is coming with me for the last episode.
As I load up Episode five, I notice immediately some problems. The choice from the end of the last episode, doesnít play my choice. Only one of the three people I brought with me are here. I thought, ďNo big deal, Iíll just replay the ending and try again.Ē I did that four times, it wonít save for some reason and bring my choices over. I began playing detective searching the internet as I let the ending movie from episode four play over and over. After an hour, I decided this was the worst way I could possibly spend my vacation.
These issues tainted the entire thing for me. If I was to review this game, Iíd be pretty pissed off about it. As it is, I have wikipedia and can just read what happens and never buy another TellTale game ever again and on every news post I see about their game, I can chime in caps that this happened to me.
Something as broken as this, really bums me out. This is why video games are horrible. Iíve a lot of things I could have done, but instead I played pretend with virtual zombies and the whole thing just fucked up. Walking Dead took some cool ideas from Heavy Rain and other modern adventure games and inspiration from dialog trees to make a really fun interactive movie. Unfortunately, it is broken and messy. I had issues with my controller not wanting to work, forcing me to restart the game. Issues with dialog lagging in episode four were pretty rough. All throughout every episode, if a character hands another one something, prepare to see some wild hammer space logic applied to the game. I imagine the car battery was shoved up their ass, for safe keeping.
Iíd like to hope that theyíll patch this so it will work, but my saves for Episode 4 arenít even appearing in the folder with other saves. The game broke itself and I will forever think negatively of it, in spite of some really great moments.
4/10 - The game is broken, I donít suffer broken games.
I finally played episode five, after playing the end of episode four two more times trying to save my choices. Eventually, I started up episode five on a separate save, letting it randomize events until I got something close to where my game was. I ended episode four, the first time, with only one person not coming with me to episode five. As I finally, finally got into episode five that guy was with me. Episode five offered up some closure, but not enough for me to feel satisfied. Iím upset about the saves not importing right, one character referenced events that were the exact opposite of what happened in episode four for me and Iím not even sure if the ninja girl lived or not in this save. Iím really angry, I hope TellTale gets their shit together next summer.
They really fucked this up. I never brought up some of the worst gameplay moments of this, they really, really boned that up. If this had just been interactive fiction, without any movement or light puzzle solving or attempts at gameplay, I would have loved it more. I look foreword to the many rip offs of this style of game.
And Iím especially loving the gaming press talking about it ďstarting a new genre.Ē For a group of people who are supposed to be professionals, they sure donít know about the fucking things theyíre talking about. Not that they give a fuck.
Dark Souls Prepare to Die Edition - Steam
I like playing Dark Souls while watching TV shows on my laptop. I usually just do podcasts, but Always Sunny in Philadelphia is now on Netflix and Iím fond of that show. Iíve made it pretty deep into Dark Souls with Magic Johnson, Iím in Blightown now. My knowledge of the game has become sketchy of this part, as I hated it. Surprise, I still hate this part. Anything with little catwalks makes me uncomfortable, there was a level in Demon Souls like this as well, and I didnít like that much either. There was another part in Demon Souls, before you fight two gargoyles, that had these teeny tiny little ledges that I jumped in the air and started screaming profanity like I was in a Tarantino movie. Not that I donít always talk like Mr. White, but I do have some decency sometimes. I called a guy dick nipples this month, that seemed to break him emotionally.
Dark Souls is still amazing, I love playing it. I started over a couple other chracters, Iím about to ring the second bell with Magic Johnson, and I like this game.
Metal Warriors - Super Nintendo
In an interview on HardcoreGaming101 about Zombies Ate My Neighbors, the lead guy talked about Metal Warriors. Itís a tough game, and I like robots. I had played Cybernator the day before, just for a little bit. I also loaded up Front Mission 3, then realized how deep a game that is. The fake internet and the constant talking ruined that game for me and any Front Mission game Iíve played for that matter. I tried to do a bit of Front Mission 4 as well, but my Playstation 2 has finally died.
Let me go off on a tangent completely unrelated to Metal Warriors.
Besides the Xbox 360, is there a less reliable piece of hardware than a Playstation 2? Iíve had five of them break on me. Over the course of twelve years, that is a lot of Playstations. Iíve had disc read errors, overhearing issues, a laser that just decided not to work, and this one doesnít want to power on. Iím really pissed off at everything and hate the world.
Metal Warriors is a delightful game to play, especially when I realized I could jump out of my giant robot and play as a man with a jet pack and little pistol. I love that type of shit. It always amused me in an old Nintendo game with Metal in the title, I want to say Metal Mech, but that isnít right. I made it to the fourth level before quitting Metal Warriors upon my first death. I got to brave in the robot suit with spiked mace and just got slaughtered.
Binary Domain - Steam
Man, this is a good game! In the first hour, Iíve done some silly things. I opted out of the tutorial stuff, which is the greatest feature any modern video game can have. The storyline in this thing is a monster so dense, I just watch and nod having those same feelings with Metal Gear Solid. The storyline is also ripped from Blade Runner, I wouldnít be surprised to find out that my most trusted allies are actually the robot bad guys Iíve been fighting this whole time, or better, that my character is a robot.
That isnít why Iím into this game.
Iím into this game, because I can shoot the shit out of robots!
And the storyline is wild, full of silly situations and hilarious dialog!
I can make their legs and arms pop off really good! Even shooting their heads off is amazing in itself, but that it also then confuses them and making them shoot their friends! Now thatís a gameplay feature! I love the regular enemies, Iím right back to Ninja Turtles slaughtering robots by the dozens.
But even better than that, are the bigger robots!
I stood on top of a robot and shot itís robot brains out.
This game, is amazing!
Earthbound - SNES
I managed to find my way through the dessert mole hole!
Then, I realized I donít really like Earthbound. Charm of the world and the humor is great, but the battle system just doesnít do it for me. My characters donít feel like a team, they feel like Ness and two characters heís dragging along barely keeping alive. The storyline will end with my characters saving the world from an evil robot, no matter what. Iím doubtful anyone would die and if they did, they would just come right back like it never happened. Iím not really feeling this thing like everybody says I should be.
I like it, but I donít love it. I donít think I ever will. I quit and didnít touch it again all month.
Breath of Fire - SNES
I thought I would finish a game I always wanted to. Turns out, I donít really want to do that. I donít want to play through the first two thirds of Breath of Fire again. In fact, I donít think I want to play the last little bit either. I just, I donít know. I liked it, but Iím over it. I never want to think about Breath of Fire or Eternal Ring ever again, these games and me are broken up. I feel like making a tape of myself shooting my copy of Eternal Ring with a pistol, Iím that angry about it. That game should not have been as butt hole awful as it is.
Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition[/size]
I love getting a game I wanted, free. I say ďfree,Ē but this isnít really free. Playstation Plus cost me money and now I have another game I had wanted.
My Playstation controller has been busted for the last year, I got a new one, but it wonít sync up or charge. So Iím playing with a busted left analog stick, which is pretty key to Zangief. All of his special moves involve spinning that stick, almost all of his moves. I still did decently. My timing is off when I do the spinning move that blocks projectiles. I feel bad that Im so out of practice. I played a little Chun Li, but it was so bad. I managed to win, but I couldnít recall how to shoot her fireball. Iím so dumb.
Half Minute Hero - Steam
So this is actually, a really great game. I finished it on my vacation and I highly recommend it to everybody. It takes the concept of a role playing game and makes lots of jokes about the many cliches of those games, nothing we havenít seen before, but the trick is the gameplay is condensed to only thirty seconds before the villain destroys the world. You can play an entire adventure, in just a few minutes. Unfortunately, I figured out this game towards the middle, beating the poop out of it. I was able to level up and beat the boss of any level without any trouble. This is a problem for me.
When I play a game, I want challenge. I want difficulty. I want compelling gameplay. Half Minute Hero has that, but it is buried until after finishing the game multiple times. Spread across two halves, a retro graphical style and a paper cut out style, the game has a lot to play. I'm not sure I want to play any more of it after finishing up the Hero 30 portion of the game. The princess 30 and evil lord 30 were cute distractions, but I don't think I can hang with them.
I'm done with this game, as far as I'm concerned the ending where my hero was frozen for centuries is the end of the series.
Final Fantasy 3 - Super Nintendo
I loaded up an earliar save, back at the very start of the world of ruin. Actually, before I even got into the world of ruin. I quit for the first time, learning that the ninja character could not be brought back the way that I played through the final part of the first half of the game. As I played walking around, I wondered why I didnít just restart the game. It was fantastic when I first played it, but I donít have the time to restart it up. Iím thinking Iíll do that, when I find the time.
X-Com: Enemy Unknown - Steam
This is the game of the year, there isnít anything else that I still want to play that Iíve finished. Iím dusting off classic difficulty, the more I play, the better I get at playing the game. Iíve failed a few times, but the game Iím playing now Iím cleaning house. I just got laser weapons and armor, and in my first battle with the mutons I destroyed them and some crysallids pretty handily. Iím hopeful that I can finish this game with a victory.
Alundra - Playstation
I didn't like it. Conrad wrote a big stroke post about it and how great it was, but I found it to be not so great.
I'm not much for this style of rouge like, with the grids and everything. I've tried, but unless I have freedom to move and attack the way I want to, I feel like I'm playing a board game. Z.H.P. and Shiren the Wanderer bothered me for those reasons, so did the Mystery Dungeon games I played. Oh those Mystery Dungeon games. The pokemon one just seemed like garbage warmed over. Not that Alundra is garbage warmed over, it just isn't for me. It didn't grab me like games need to.
Maybe it's just action RPGs that lose me. Secret of Mana doesn't do it for me. I've had a copy of Beyond Oasis that I don't want to play either. Every time I look at a Tales game, I just can't. Tales of Phantasia looks like a lot of fun, but every time I try to start it, I just quit in the middle of the first fight. I've done that for ten years.
Xenogears - Playstation
The opening movie, grabbed me immediately. It was pretty cool. I have no idea what is actually happening in that movie, because as I finished watching it I was put into a generic fantasy town with a bad haired hero who fights with his fists. I had a feeling this town would be burned, sure enough as I finished the first little bit, a bunch of robots showed up and somehow my character also got into a robot. I quit playing at that point.
Minecraft - PC
I wasted, so much time doing nothing in minecraft. Just digging things up passes the time for me. I donít know what to say.
Endless Space - Steam
This is a civilization like strategy game, that takes place in outer space. The game has a lot of depth and I can play on the mac book, which I like.
I played through a game on the easiest setting on a tiny map. I didnít quite slaughter my enemies, against three other alien races I allied with two of them and crushed the odd man out. Then I opened borders with the orange aliens, positioned my spaceships on their worlds, then declared war on them. When I last quit, I was beaten in a couple of fights against their spaceships. Iím unsure if things will end in victory or not.
The game has a very creatively written copy, but like most PC games or role playing game books, well written copy doesnít always mean the gameplay equals into that.
Buck Rogers - Matrix Cubed - DOS
I imported my team from the first Buck Rogers, all of whom are killers. It wasnít that difficult to do either, I set it all up pretty quickly and managed to play with the command prompt bullshit without any hassle.
The game itself, actually pretty dope. It seems to have more branching paths and dialog trees than Buck Rogers had. By that, I mean I hit a couple of them in the two hours I played. Iím really into it. When I get more time to really commit to it, I want to play the ass off this game. I just want to sit with it and play nothing but it, end to end. Iíve miss located my rule book for it and the log book, so Iíll have to find those again.
Iím using a program called Boxer for my Mac book, it works much better than dos box ever did for me. Everything works and I like playing these games.
FTL - Steam
All my progress is gone. I had unlocked about half of the spaceships, maybe more. I also had the variants of some of those ships, now not unlocked. When I get to a PC again, Iíll rebuild a save and put that into my steam cloud, then have that save on my Mac. I hate that I have that thought to rebuild a save and get my progress back where it should be. Video games have become a sad, sad thing.
Operation Darkness - 360
I want to finish this, but I just canít. An hour a level, for easy levels, is making this thing the time sink of time sinks. Still, I try. I want to finish this game, but Iím doubful of it. I actually played more Lost Odyssey, just by finishing the opening cinematic tutorial stuff again. Iím on disc three, which I canít locate. Iíve got a copy, but who knows where I put that. And the storyline became so dense with all the hundred year story stuff that I had skipped, I felt like I didnít know what was happening.
I like Bioshock more in retrospect than when I actually played it. Bioshock 2 was free this month on the Playstation, but I already had it on Steam and don't want to play it again there. I have the first Bioshock on there too, with no reason to ever go back to it. All the games that are derivatives of Bioshock, which itself was a spiritual successor to another game, I play through once.
X-COM and Dark Souls I've gone back to and really enjoy playing. Both Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas I've gone back to, but I'm looking for new things to do and ways to do things differently. I feel like I've played everything before and I'm not sure if I liked any of it the first time through. My feelings about video games have changed a lot in the last couple years. Patches for broken games becoming an accepted thing, downloadable content that makes major retcons that cost money to add into a game, digital distribution in general hasn't done me well. I've an Xbox 360 hard drive full of games I can't play anymore. Most of which I bought again on Steam. The ones I would ever play again anyway. Everything breaks. Nothing lasts forever.
My playstation 2 died, just as I had I time on my vacation to play it. Also the power went out one day while I was on vacation. It just seems like I'm wasting my time, trying to find time for the hobby I don't like as much as I used to.
By far the least reliable hardware that Iíve ever played, is a playstation 2. I now regret buying every PS2 game I ever wanted to play. If anybody has one they donít want, Iíll take it and use it. If I decide to play games anymore.
Next year, I have to slow down playing games. Things have to change. Iím focused on writing books and producing content. I want to shoot videos and put out a comic book next year, as well as produce music. Video games arenít going to feature into those things.