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About
Hi, I'm Topcatyo. I do art and stuff. This is this comic I update.

http://dragonswithpompoms.blogspot.com/

I'm an avid video game enthusiast and I like to stay in the know of video games and I like to be educated on various issues involving video games. I don't flaunt it or anything, it's just that sometimes, to the right people, it makes for good conversation. Plus I like to flaunt my knowledge.

I'd love to say I own every console and have played every game, but I don't. I lack the funds (it's an expensive hobby), but I play what I can and I always enjoy a good game (and sometimes a bad one).

So, yeah. Video games.
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I figure because I am such a creative (not really) guy, I'll occasionally talk about a game I'd love to see made sometime. Chances are these games will never be made because dreams don't come, unicorns do not exist, and people won't ever read these posts.

I'm sure at some point in their lives, every avid video game fan has thought up a game that doesn't exist, probably won't ever exist, and is too impossible to pull off to exist. Sometimes, if they're inventive enough, they'll make that game with varying amounts success. Others are just left to wish for that game, knowing it'll never happen.

Well, I'm not inventive or smart enough to make my dream games, but I figure I could write them down for some reason.

Contact Lost (very working title).

Imagine this: You're some scientist who works on Mars in some science-y station doing things of science when, one day, something cataclysmic happens and, like Gordon Freeman (who is also a scientist), you have to escape from the facility alive.

However, unlike Gordon Freeman, you don't fight aliens or horrific creatures from another dimension on your way out. You just have to get out, no enemies to break up the pacing, no weapons to kill said enemies with, and only the occasional other survivor to sort of help you out (but for one reason or another, they eventually leave you and you have to go on your own again). Problem-solving, logical thinking, and generally avoiding the wrong route is the main goal you have as you escape from this collapsing facility. Armed with only your Mars Survival Suit (also a working title), a flashlight, and your wits, this game is all about tension as you try and escape the compound.

But that's only a small portion in the beginning of the game. You see, the real game starts, oh, say... five hours after the beginning when you finally escape the compound. Mars isn't colonized yet, so getting out of the compound was only step one to staying alive. You find out where the nearest compound is to your position and, braving the barren wastes of Mars, make your way to it.


Mars is pretty red.

This is the main portion of the game, where you experience how truly alone you are on the planet. You walk across long stretches of desert as you head for the compound, always keeping a check on how much food and oxygen your suit has left, and the temperature. Your suit can only stand a certain range of temperatures, which is fine and dandy because when it's daytime the temperature is fine. Night, however, is another story. In the preset area where the daylight has finally run out, the player is engaged in a desperate struggle, hurrying to find a place warm enough that your suit isn't destroyed by the biting cold. How you get to a warm spot is something I have not figured out yet, however. Maybe an area of methane gas spewing out of the ground? I dunno.

As you trek across the barren Mars surface, the player finds oxygen tanks (I'll have to figure out why scattering them about Mars makes sense), makes his way through caves, climbs down craters on Mars' surface, and any other geographical landmass that the developers happened to feel like putting there (the Mars surface is open to some reimagining for gameplay).

No enemies, no outside help, no weapons, and one singular goal. Just survive getting out of the compound and survive Mars as you make your way to the other outpost many miles away. This is the one of many games I'd love to see.










When I heard about the new Prince of Persia game mid 2008 and, later on, saw how pretty it looked, I was so giddy I had to get a change of pants. The new pants weren't quite as comfortable as the pair I had been wearing several minutes before, but that was alright because there was going to be a new Prince of Persia game and that was awesome.

I didn't actually play the game until July this year, more than seven months after it had come out and four months after they released the actual ending of the game that you had to pay extra cash for (which, might I add, is complete bullshit). It's not that I lost interest in the game, the whole time it was out I would mutter to myself on occasion "You know, I should play that new Prince of Persia game, whatever it's called." No, I was just strapped for cash, and I still am, so buying games is not a luxury I get to enjoy too often and renting is out of the question because I like to explore every facet of a game when I play one, and five days was in no way ample time for such a manner of playing.

When I did finally get my hands on a copy of the game, I was prepared to devote an entire afternoon to basking in the glory of the new Prince of Persia title. Eventually real life got the better of me and I ended up only playing for about two hours that day, but over the span of several weeks I would finally work my way toward beating the game and getting to the ending that would appear if you payed an extra fifteen dollars. When I finally did reach the end credits of the game, I was left with a bad taste in my mouth, and not because of the non-ending. There was something about the game that was just so... familiar...

To illustrate a point, allow me to explain the unnamed character who isn't royalty but is nonetheless named "The Prince" in the latest installment of Prince of Persia.

"The Prince" is a daring adventurer who has had various escapades and has explored the world far and wide seeking treasure from forgotten tombs, and has gained knowledge of the world and how it works from his past journeys. He is an aloof, fun-loving character who is thrown into a bad situation involving an ancient, abandoned city. The wise-cracks and one-liners come aplenty, but he has the ability to show his serious side, and he doesn't really go too in-depth about his past. He seems selfish at first, but reveals himself to have a good heart and a conscience. He is voiced by Nolan North.



Now, allow me to describe the character of Nathan Drake, main character of 2007 Playstation 3 exclusive title Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, a game that is so far one of my favorite games of this generation.

Nathan Drake is a daring adventurer who has had various escapades and has explored the world far and wide seeking treasure from forgotten tombs, and has gained knowledge of the world and how it works from his past journeys. He is an aloof, fun-loving character who is thrown into a bad situation involving an ancient, abandoned city. The wise-cracks and one-liners come aplenty, but he has the ability to show his serious side, and he doesn't really go too in-depth about his past. He seems selfish at first, but reveals himself to have a good heart and a conscience. He is voiced by Nolan North.



Throughout the entire time I played Prince of Persia I got the unmistakable feeling that I had played a platforming game with neat acrobatic gameplay, combat, and the occasional puzzle that needed solving with this same exact character before. Now, please note I'm not calling the games similar. If you boil them down to the basics they are very similar (and you have now ruined a perfectly good disc by putting it in boiling water for I don't know what reason), but you're definitely playing two very different games. No, my concern is with the wise-cracking and at times goddamned annoying main characters of the game. They are the same. They act the same, they sound the same, their professions are the same, and their good looks and impossible hair are the same. It's all the same. I don't know if this would have been less noticeable if Nolan North had not voice-acted for both characters, but all I know is that it did not help. Granted, Nathan Drake was a much less annoying character, but that changes nothing, they are clones of each other down to the very last offhanded and comedic comment nonchalantly brushing off their latest near-death experience.

I know I'm not the only person to see this. When I discussed the game with my good friend it didn't take very long at all for us to get to this subject. Now, I'd bet that these similarities are accidental and were never even noticed by Ubisoft when they were making the game, but it was something I could not, for the life of me (or The Prince, who I had jump off of just about every edge in the game) ignore the similarities between the characters. It was so prevalent in my mind that I kind of expected Nathan and Elaine to be one of the unlockable skins in the game that I never bothered to figure out how to get. Are they one of the unlockable skins?

Now this offers a whole new question, as well Are our video game characters becoming too samey and are they all just starting to become homogeneous? The answer is: Of course, don't be stupid. Grizzled space marines and the scared protagonist who eventually comes to his own and the girls who seem cold and distant from the main character but eventually open their heart to them and they fall in love and make kissy faces at each other. Sentence fragment. It's not a sign of the apocalpyse for good stories or anything, it's just that you're always going to have, in any media, characters who are the same as other characters, just like how Bruce Willis is always going to be the hilarious toughguy in the movies or Michael Cera will forever be typecast as that awkward kid (I wonder what'll happen the day he decides to sport a beard. You know it's coming). Despite all this, you're going to have your unique characters as long as there are good developers out there who hire good writers to make good characters for good stories.

As a whole I won't comment on what I thought of the latest Prince of Persia game (I thought the game to be too easy, slightly boring, and I didn't find either the story or the characters to be engaging. Also, you had to pay fifteen dollars for the ending. Seriously, what the hell?), I simply had to wonder if anyone else noticed this strange phenomenon scientists call "These Two Characters Are Exactly The Same" Syndrome.

I think that's Latin or something.