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Playing games, writing about them. A vague validation for this strange time-wasting hobby of ours.



RPGs are my bread, and platformers are my butter. I love old games and Marvel Comics games, Final Fantasy and Atlus, beat-em-ups and tactics RPGs.
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touchofkiel
5:51 AM on 08.07.2014

Enjoy a little welcome music, from one of the greatest opening themes ever.




Mission statement. Well, that sounds formal. Some people have their trophies and their achievements and their high scores and their 100% game saves to validate the fact that they just spent hours of their lives playing a video game. Me, I like to write about them. 

But it's been a while. I used to blog regularly for 1UP, which tragically went under. I've been a longtime lurker and commenter at Dtoid, using Discus, but I figured it was time to start up the old blog again. 

Boring facts: I'm American, live and work in Japan. Which is all you're getting.

It's easy to cover and write games you know - most of the time - but it can be more rewarding to try new games. I'm making a sustained effort to try out the "classics" that never really clicked for me (Zelda, Metroid, Castlevania... many, many more) that, for whatever reason, I could never get into. I mean to give them a sincere effort, or perhaps try to understand precisely why these games don't click for me. 

And of course I'd like to continue writing about the games I know and love. I'm interested in the greats, but the shit is just as interesting. And let's hear a round of applause for that forgotten level, neither bad enough for infamy or good enough for acclaim: the mediocre. Most "average" games are quality games with good ideas that tend to be crippled by major design flaws. Or vice versa! A perfectly 'fine' game that does nothing new whatsoever. I'm interested in all of them!

RPGs are my bread, and platformers are my butter (though it often feels like I can't hang with the hardcore platformers anymore; either my skills have deteriorated, I don't have the patience and obsessive behavior I did as a child, or both). 

I'm especially interested in superhero games, particularly Marvel Comics. I may have stopped reading the comics (thanks Mark Millar!), but I'll always have a soft spot for the characters and associated media. Sort of like those "comic fans" who turn their pants brown when they footage of Superman v Batman, but aren't particularly interested in the finer points of Frank Miller's classic work. Guhhh what have I become-

I'm interested in trying new games and genres, especially the PS3 titles that are so, so cheap these days. The kind of game you hear about and think, "hey, that looks pretty alright," and then never can justify paying $60 or even $40 for it. I'm not sure I can have anything new to say about, say, God of War at this point; if ever I were to write about it, it would be from the perspective of someone who has played very few of these over-the-top action games from the past two generations. 

Games are too experiential a medium for us to rely on dry old descriptive text, after all; they're meant to be played, and everyone's experience is different.

(Which isn't really to say I'll have anything interesting to add to the God of War discussion, aside from wide-eyed "gosh darn this game is violent." But I'll try.)

Let's get this out of the way. I own a MacBook Pro. I don't really wish to apologize for it, but my first MacBook lasted 8 years. Non-stop usage, 24/7, careless abuse. Not a single problem. No hardware problems, no security issues, nothing wrong with the OS. As a console gamer born and bred, and as someone who doesn't need any Windows-exclusive programs, I never had any reason to consider otherwise.

But I'm looking to change that, though. That part about being a console gamer. I could probably count on one hand the number of honest PC games I have played in my life. I simply cannot get accustomed to using a mouse and keyboard. But I'm going to try.

See, I discovered GOG (and Steam, less so). And their wonderful selection of games - cheap games, and classic too. So many RPGs I haven't played. And genres - point-and-click adventure, simulation, grand strategy - that are more or less a bust on consoles. And they're available on Mac!

So I have a pretty robust list of PC games I've added to my massive [s]backlog[/s] pile of shame. Again, trying new things, fresh perspectives and all that. And when it comes to that, I do have Windows installed via BootCamp; I mainly use it to play Final Fantasy XIV, but I do have a few Windows-only games I've purchased from GoG that I'll get around to eventually. And OSX has some solid emulation capabilities, too.

Wait, emulation?



I have a decent collection of older games, but they sure as hell didn't make the trip to Japan. I'm not going to try to defend emulation, but here are my reasons for using it (with older games only):

[ol]
[li]Screenshots. This is key - I prefer to take my own screenshots, rather than rely on sources whose links may or may not become broken in the future. [/li]
[li]Save states. When I write about a game, I try to finish it. But since I'm writing about old games, and since my skills (for whatever reason) are not what they once were, save states are a must. I try to limit my "cheating" to save states only, and not Game Genie. Surely there will be a few exceptions.[/li]
[li]Convenience. I own many of my favorite games that I'll be writing about (not all, I'll admit), but I simply could not afford to lug those systems to Japan.[/li]
[/ol]

Hell, I couldn't even bring my PS3 or Wii (though they're being shipped to me soon). At the moment, it's me, my 3DS XL, that beautiful white Vita, and... a MacBook Pro. 

For anyone interested, here is the controller I use for all my emulation:



Fairly cheap, decent enough. It's a nice replica of the SNES controller, except all the face buttons are convex, and the d-pad is a little stiff and click-y. But it works well for just about anything, really. For emulation, I use OpenEmu, a shell/library for an assortment of great emulators. 

I play a single MMO. And that is Final Fantasy XIV (i100 BRD, for those curious). Anyone on Exodus, feel free to hit me up: Dantes Winsome is the name. I intend to write regularly about it; it's an interesting game, and there's plenty to say about it. I used to play on PS3, but 1. I don't have my PS3 at the moment and 2. its performance is far superior, even on a Macbook running Windows. 

And... wow. That was a long-winded introduction, and I apologize. Next time I promise more pictures and shiny things and less navel-gazing. 

"Ooh, what will you write about next time?" I knew you'd ask. Well, I'm stuck on this guy at the moment... 



image courtesy of MobyGames


Wait, did I just say I was trying really, really hard to not use Game Genie codes? Get me a fork; it seems tonight I sup on my own words...


(If anyone has any tips on formatting, feel free to chime in. This is really not my thing, and some things... are not working for me.)
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