Hi. My name is Blake. I like games and shit. I study at university... writing and that jazz, though you probably couldn't tell it. Ok, shit you want to know.
Favourite Games: Dark Souls, Resident Evil 4, Timesplitters 2, Silent Hill 2, Ape Escape, Banjo Kazooie.
Favourite Movies: Cabin in the Woods, Shaun of the Dead, Clerks, Fight Club, Machete, Dr Horribles Sing Along Blog.
Favourite TV Shows: Breaking Bad, Community, Arrested Development, Parks And Recreation, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Garth Marenghi's Dark Place, Black Books, The IT Crowd, Battlestar Galactica, Deadwood, South Park etc.
Favourite Bands: Maudlin of the Well, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Clouddead, Dalek, Smashing Pumpkins, Eminem, Cynic, Porcupine Tree, Ne Obliviscaris, Die Antwoord, Opeth.
I often disagree with gaming sites like this one. I don't often
complain, because game reviewing is subjective, and the only time I have complained is if a game that is flawed in so many different was gets a 10... However, there are a lot of games that get high marks or are widely adored that I don't think deserve that praise. Here are 10 of them.
10. Bioshock: Number ten on this list is a controversial pick, and a hard one, since I quite like this game. However, the ratings this game received made it out to be nearly floorless. The game was met with univesal acclaim for it's unique theme's and setting, which it deserves. However, this game is still immensely flawed. The shooting mechanic's are iffy, and the pacing is all over the place. Pacing is a key aspect of all videogames, especially story driven ones. The "Critically Acclaimed Story" takes the saw approach: Shit story, pile on suspense, and add a twist at the end. The gameplay basically consists of the player walking for a bit, shooting people, then running into a collapsed or closed door, and collecting stuff to help open it. What the game has going for it is the writing, something that it pulls off remarkably well. However, that alone isn't enough for the game to receive the incredibly strong praise it received.
9. GTA IV: I seem to be the only one who remembers when Grand Theft Auto was a stupidly fun satire of Suburban America, where sexual innuendo, outlandish weapons and vehicles were what the series was all about. Grand Theft Auto remembers the satirical aspect, but somehow misses the whole "fun" aspect. The game is overwhelming sombre, even though half the time it can't decide what tone it wants to have. Some of the cutscenes are whacky and hilarious, and some completely contradict the tone. 90 percent of the missions seem to be about delivering stuff, and when the game finally does give you a fun mission, you have your fucking cousin call to ask if you want to play darts.
8. Uncharted 3: Here is a seriously flawed game that received a perfect 10 in many gaming publications, including IGN, OPSM etc.
Now while I get that a 10 doesn't neccessarily signify perfection, it does signify the pinnacle of gaming. Uncharted 3 is far from the pinnacle of gaming. It has a substandard plot, even by video game standards, with some admittedly interesting characters, humorous lines and amazing set pieces. But the actual game part is lacking. The gunplay feels terrible and unresponsive, the climbing is incredibly linear, and you often can't tell which bit of scenery you can and can't climb. The hand to hand combat is punch until he does, then counter with no real challenge... until the end where the difficulty is all about you having a picture perfect memory of where all the enemies are... Seriously? This is the pinnacle of gaming? This is a fucking grade c film pretending to be a game. And the only reason it got such good reviews is because it's a console exclusive.
7: Halo Reach: Speaking of exclusives titles that fanboys will cum over now matter how ballocks they are: Halo Reach. Now, every criticism I have aimed at this game I could aim at the series as a whole, but the first two games were actually innovative, the first game showing us how console shooters can be done, and the second game for really bringing online multiplayer to consoles. After that... well the series doesn't have that much going for it. It still clings to the archaic designs of the original, with similar controls and philosophies (you know gun sights? Yeah, they are useful...). However, Halo is often highly regarded for it's story, which is also not very good. But my major problem with this game, is that it has terrible pacing. In the first level you're thrown into massive fire fight after massive firefight. Give us a few enemies to pick off before we start getting swarmed, Halo!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This game series continues to get covered in gamers collective jizz when really, it's nothing more than elementary sci fi plot with terrible pacing and decent gunplay. It also gets an extremely dishonorable mention for popularising the regenerating health mechanic, which is the second worst decision ever.
6. World of Warcraft: With the amount of people who bang on about this game you'd think it was actually decent. The gameplay is dreadfully dull, and nowhere is this more apparent than the combat. You take it in turns hitting the other person till one of them falls over. There's no skill or strategy involved. The game world is tedious, and it often feels more like a secod job than a game. I guess a lot of fault lies in the genre, but still, this is a game that damn sure does not deserve the amount of praise it gets.
5. Gears of War: Remember when action games were adrenaline filled fun? Remember you'd be running around, guns blazing, bullets flying thick and fast from everywhere, and you had to think on your feet? Well, those days are gone, due to this game. After gears of war introduced the cover mechanic, fast, frantic shooting action was a relic of the past. Instead, we sat behind walls, while the enemies sat behind walls, and we each waited for the other to stick their heads up in a retarded game of whack a mole. The biggest gimmick of gears of war: The chainsaw lancer, is rendered all but useless due to the fact that you're rarely close enough to an enemy to use it unless you're playing in easy difficulty. However, my main gripe with this is that it's bland. Sure, some of the set pieces are great, but once you get past that, it's a kind of samey game with lots of samey coloured environments.
4. Assassin's Creed (series): The first Assassin's Creed game was incredibly overhyped, so when it turned out to be a lackluster game, a fair few people were understandably disappointed. Sure, the climbing and exploring fun, and the swordplay was ok, but the game got too repetitive too fast, and never quite delivered on all of it's problems. Then the second game came out, and changed all of that. It was actually a good game, everything the first game promised to be. Sure, it took out some good elements from the first game, like studying your victim, but it was still an enjoyable action game. Then something terrible happened. The game caught "Activision fever" wherein they would recreate the same game every year and expect us to fork out cash for it. The kept the same characters, timeline, moves, etc. and the only thing that really changed were small details like graphics, or the additiion of extra henchmen or silly minigames. Yet reviewers and the masses still adore these titles for some reason. Like call of duty, one of these games is amazing, and the rest are copies trying to replicate it's success. Assassin's Creed 2 is like Diablo, and the rest of the games are like torchlight. Except the first one, which is like Fate.
3. Mass Effect (Series): When Mass Effect first came along, it was an interesting little hybrid of rpg and gears of war clone. It was like KOTOR and GOW had a baby, and the baby mostly took after the fathers side, because the gunplay was pretty appalling, while the story and roleplaying side of things were good. When Mass Effect 2 came along, KOTOR must have run off with another woman and abandoned him, because almost all the RPG elements were abandoned, and the series turned into a GOW clone with a text based adventure attached. That's ok though, because the story was still ok, right? Out came Mass Effect 3, which furthered the GOW clone motiff with text adventure, but they forgot to make the one thing the series had going for it at this point: Story, a valid concern. You see kids, the thing about stories is that it's the end that sticks in your mind, and with an ending like this, it stuck in your mind, but for all the wrong reasons. Now, I don't mind that, I certainly wasn't going to be an entitled little bitch and protest. What I dislike about the game is how acclaimed it is: Simply for the story. The shooting is shit house, and the choices are forced illusions. Sure the universe is expansive and cool and all, but this is a game, not a movie, something that critics these days seem to forget.
2. The Elder's Scrolls: Skyrim: Continuing in the Bethesda tradition, this is a fantasy RPG that offers an immensely immersive world, that is truly immense in size. However, that's all it really nails. The exploration is great, sure, but the combat is atrocious, the quests are repetitive and the story boring pathetic shit. And I haven't even touched the bit about this game being a broken sordid mess of bugs and glitches. This is ok on the glorious pc, where you can mod the shit out of this game so that it looks like bethesda never ever touched it, but on consoles it's a different story. I first played this game on my PS3, and it was ok to begin with. However, after about 10 hours, the game began to run like a slideshow, all the time. I couldn't access quests, or finish the main questline. It was a nightmare. Anyway, my point is that a completely broken game, with shithouse mechanics should excused because it does one thing well, especially when other games, such as Alpha Protocol, get scorned by critics for having the same problems.
1. Call of Duty: "Clap clap for captain obvious. How did we know you were going to choose Call of Duty, the most reviled game among console gamers?" You say. Well, while it is an obvious choice, I am putting it here for another reason. This game gets slandered too much. While I agree making the same game over and over again is wrong, and the business ethic's of Activision are atrocious, like Assassin's Creed, if you only play one of these games, it's ok. Actually, it's brilliant. These are some of the best shooters on the market. Ok, that's because the vast majority of shooters are shit enough to make this vile piece of mundane shit look good... ok, I can't do it. I'm a follower. I hate this game as much as you do. Don't judge me. These games are shit.
So there you have it. My top 10 list. If you feel the need to voice your opinions, please fuck off and remember that your opinions are wrong.
Fuck you IT staff, with your nine hour internet maintenance. Thanks to you I am in a state of unsufferable boredom, with very little to do. Which kind of disturbs me to be honest, because the internet being down should be a temporary setback. However, atm, this means that I can't submit my assignment, I can't start another assignment, I can't read my ebooks, I can't access my movie collection because it's on the network for sharing, and I can't play any of my steam games because it's decided that it won't start offline mode without the internet; and as much as I love the irony of that last one, it is frustrating nonetheless. Social interaction is currently out of the question, as most of the friends I actually want to talk to are at class, and I can't go to class, because the class I should be at now is internet studies. Jesus.
So anyway, I thought I might share with you my idea of a game that will never ever get published, because the gaming industry is a bunch of conservative cunts, who get nervous if you hint at anything more serious in theme than shooting things. Anyway, here's to wishful thinking.
Before I start, as much of a shock as this may come to you, seeing my appalling gramatical skills on here, I am actually an aspiring Author/Journalist. The reason for my shit grammar on here? It's a blog. Seriously. I'm not trying to change the world with this, I'm merely presenting my thoughts the way I think them most of the time. So if they come out incoherent and unstructured, that's because they are.
Anyway, this started as a novel, and slowly evolved into a game concept. The game is called Power of the Gods! (Working title.)
Basically, this game is a satire of religion and politics, which imagines each set of religious deities as a seperate empire. The story is simple: In recent times, Christianity is declining in popularity in recent years, and the rest of the religious entities around the world are fighting to decide who will be the next major religion, or "world power." You take the side of the Greek Gods, and play as their lackey: Hercules. It is your job to sabotage them, through smear campaigns, manipulation, vandalism, theft, and all that fun stuff.
You're job also entails more than that. It involvwes keeping the press from knowing certain going ons, getting your fellow gods to behave, and making sure information about strip club visits aren't leaked.
The game plays out like an adventure rpg, in that a lot of the game involves character interaction and puzzles, although there will be combat, it's not a main feature. It's not an open world, though there will be explorable hubs, similar to Deus Ex. I want multiple ways to tackle each situation, but I want the main emphasis to be on biting satire and humor.
The characters themselves represent what they are, for instance, the god of war (Ares, not Kratos) is an arrogant, racist and misogynist pig who doesn't care about anyone but himself, The God of Death is disgusting, vile, and repulsive, yet people have a morbid fascination with him.
The humor of the game will make or break it, naturally, so when I finish the first level on rpg maker I'll show you and let you decide for yourself. However, I'm trying to do like a South Park style humor, mixing low brow humour with satire, however not as low brow as South Park can get. There will be shock lines. For instance, Hades is a necropheliac, which leads to a group of people abusing him, and Hades trying to defend himself. They say: "You're not evil? YOU HAVE SEX WITH DEAD PEOPLE!" His response? "They're dead, they can't feel anything." There will also be video game references, where Ares is told to shape up or ship out, Zeus points to a picture of Kratos and says: "He has the ratings you know." Stuff like that.
Now, I have no illusions this game will ever get signed, and if it did, it'd be nothing short of a miracle. However, this is just a hobby of mine. So tell me what you think!
Due to being a lowly student with no source of income other than Australia's Tax money, I haven't had the money to buy any new games that I want. So I've been revisiting some older games and trying to finish other ones. Among these are: Mass Effect 3, The Binding of Isaac, Silent Hill 2 and Vampire the Masquerade - Bloodlines. The interesting things about these games is that they all contain some very adult content.
I'll start with Mass Effect 3, which I started playing for about an hour then realised why I stopped. That's right: It's a shitty cover based shooter with a text based adventure attached to it, pretending to be an rpg. It doesn't do any of those seperate parts overly well, and even manages to fuck up the one thing the series had going for it: The story. But anyway, I'm getting off topic. I remember hearing all this hallabaloo about there being gay relationships in the game. People were going off their tits before hand because Shepherd could get down and dirty with a member of the same sex. To these people I say: Please, find a pointy object and bang your head against it so that society can evolve. I don't give a fuck if you're christian or muslim and your beliefs run contrary to their beliefs. Gay people are people too. I thought we discovered this around the time Elton John came out. And if your beliefs are that strong, you shouldn't be playing a game where you murder millions of people anyway. Hypocritic fucktards. I know you all watch lesbian porn anyway.
Now that that's out of the way, I can move back on topic. I am a firm believer in any form of media being able to explore darker and more adult themes. Thats what freedom of speech is all about. The Binding of Isaac touches on child abuse and heavy religious themes. Silent Hill explores sexual frustration, abuse, torture and “euthanasia”. And in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines (Buy it, it's fucking fantastic) there's a big section about a daughter being raped, and accepting it because she thought thats what love was and him walking in on the wrong daughter and her killing him... It's all very deep stuff. These instances, if handled right, can make for interesting character exploration and plot devices. They can even convey a message, although they don't necessarily have to.
While I believe all these things should be present in video games, however, I do believe they should be handled correctly. For instance, one could discuss the topic of say: Child molestation. It could be a heavy theme in a game, hell, I'd even be ok with having a joke about it (after all, humor is the best combat), but I don't believe that the child molestation should be a part of the interactive section of the game.
You see, many video games shy away from these sorts of themes, opting to be politically correct, and if they do have dark themes, they do it for the shock value. But it sets a double standard, especially when we can murder millions upon millions of people, but a guy can't fuck another guy, or can't mention religious or other adult themes for fear of offending people.
Anyway, that's my little rant about that subject. What do you feel about homosexuality or other themes being present in games? Keep in mind, if you say anything homophobic, I may have to make out with you.
A lot of my blogs on here are written to point out an issue, or to help procrastinate assignments and neglect the education I'm paying 15000 dollars for. Every so often however, I write something with one purpose: To piss off fanboys. This too serves a point, as fanboys are like an alcoholic's wife, in that even though their husband pisses away their money, neglects her interests and beats her repeatedly, she still loves him and sings his fucking praise down the street. They make up excuses, stating "It's ok, he's doing this because he lost his job" or "I must be the one in the wrong, since he'd never do anything to hurt me..."
It is however important to realise, however, that while you may love your favourite game developer or console, that not everything they do needs defending. They've got people who write apology speeches for that. You're job is to buy their products, and hopefully enjoy them, and show them respect in the form of opening your wallet. However, when said developer fucks you over, or makes mistakes, it is important to point these out. It is important to request that nintendo make a new IP before I use mario's moustache to suffocate him, and it's important to tell Bethesda that they should treat all their customers with respect, not just the ones who take microsofts cock to the mouth every so often. Also, it's evil to sue indie companies for using a word, thus taking away free fucking speech. Are you going to sue the bakery down the street for selling cinamon scrolls Bethesda? Or what about every pc user ever for hitting scroll lock you evil fucks.
Anyway, I think you get the point. However, I will ask one thing: Play the fucking game before you judge it. Don't whinge because Dante looks different until you play it. Does his lack of hair throw his center of gravity off? Does all the My Chemical Romance he listens to cause him to give up and let enemies finish him off once and for all? Little things like that aren't anything to get up in arms about, especially when the game itself could still be orgasmically great. People whinged about David Tennant's Doctor Who when they first saw him, and guess what? He was fucking brilliant, so shut your festering gob you tit.
So in closing, fanboys: It's ok to admit that your favourite game has some flaws. I will: Dark Souls has a level called Blighttown which is the worst level in anything ever. Resident Evil 4 is one big fucking escort mission, and the person you're escorting is mentally retarded; and Silent Hill 2 has terrible combat. However, it's also important not to judge things off a knee jerk reaction. Wait till you've experienced said problem first hand before you throw chainsaws at it. Oh and one more thing: Memes. Are. Not. And. Will. Never. Be. Funny. Stop saying I took an arrow the knee or I'll force you to take a bladed dildo the throat!
Please note that I posted this on 1up a few days ago, so if anyone wants to accuse me of plagiarism, you can fuck off.
Well, Guild Wars servers are currently full, and I'm lagging like a bitch. So time for some fun. I've decided my pet hate today is publishers, the greedy sell out fucks. I've decided to see whether their seedy gaming practices would work in the movie business. So, I'll get straight into it.
Blizzard: Blizzard shouldn't be in the movie business, but film critics seem to adore them. They don't make films so much as they do make 20 minute episodes, release them once a month, make you pay 30 bucks for each one, which are then released on the big screen. The same thing happens in each one, and to outsiders it looks incredibly tedious and boring, but fans seem to become addicted to it. Perhaps it's a drug being pumped into the theatre? Regardless, Blizzard refuse to let people purchase dvds, insisting that if you want to view their product, you must be at a theatre, in a social setting, at all times.
They have a monopoly over one genre for years, which is partially because they've been the only ones to actually make a decent product in said genre. Well, that is until Arena net came along, kicked them in the nuts and said: "This is how we do things now!"
Activision: Activision and Blizzard have been teaming up for a while now, though they have entirely different philosophies in game making. Whereas Blizzard makes a product and supports it indefinitely, refusing to make anything until at least 5 years have passed; Activision release the same product each year with different actors and slightly different set pieces. They recently enlisted the help of the ADHD riddled Michael Bay to direct their movies, and have basically told him to go nuts. They mustn't have let him know about a secret Transformers movie though, because it actually turned out to be alright, and that smarmy cunt Shia La' Douche wasn't anywhere to be seen.
Bethesda: Long have they been the fantasy geeks go to, their movies are riddled with plot holes, dodgy resolution and the dvd's are prone to just stop working. However, fantasy fans will forgive anything as long as the finished product is epic, and epic they are. Bethesda have enlisted Director Peter Jackson to direct their movies, telling him that the films will not be released if it is under 12 hours. The movies are acclaimed titles, even though their "Depth" is derived from unrelated plot points that go nowhere and are quite trivial in relation to the overall plot, and the overall plot is just a Tolkien rip off.
Bethesda have recently shown their bad side though, trying to copyright specific words, suing independant companies, and going against a contract they signed with the original owner of one of their properties. Still, no one seems to care as long as their products maintain their grand scale, no matter the expense.
Bioware: Considered to be one of the greatest storytelling companies in the business, they originally stuck quite clingily to the fantasy genre before moving to the realm of science fiction. Typical tropes of Bioware films are interesting characters, action sequences that are all a bit samey by the end, merging genres of action and drama (but kind of half arsing both) and being the pioneers of the "Choose your own adventure" style of film, ensuring no two viewings are exactly the same, unless you're a boring fuck who hates change. Bioware's products are becoming increasingly dumbed down however, starting off as films for those with intelligence, but succombing to the whims of the people who enjoy films with Tom Cruise in them.
Valve: Years ahead of their competitors in terms of style, sophistication, and customer benevolence; Valve have rarely stepped a foot wrong, and when they have, they've been quick to remedy it. They recently released a new digital distribution tool that has grown to monopolise the industy, forcing Netflix into bankruptcy with it's accessibility and amazing prices.
It's films are of immense quality, pushing boundaries and causing imitators to try their hardest to imitate. Valve, however, made their biggest splash when they entered the realm of comedy, creating something fresh, dark and intelligent, and still managing to sell incredibly well. Despite all the good the company has caused, certain people have spoken out about it. Head of the Evil League of Evil, EA has pulled many of it's films from Valves distribution medium, and indie filmmaker Notch has spoken out against Steam monopolising the industry, even if it is because it's the only not shit distribution service out there.
EA: EA became the largest and most prominent film studio in the world. They grew to infamy initially due to steadily stealing shady business practices from their opponents and utilising all of them, forcing their beloved, unique franchises to copy ideas from other, more mainstream titles, and selling drugs to school children. Eventually, they decided films weren't enough, and decided to invade Poland, starting a global war. Today, they have become a world power, and recently lowered the legal age of prostitution to 8, but taxed it heavily so the families of the prostitutes remain poor.
There we go. Those are my ideas. If you have any of your own ideas, or want to write something for companies I missed like Ubisoft etc. feel free to do so in the comments.[/img][b]