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Sundays with Sagat

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Sundays with Sagat: Sexy meow meow Tetris meow


Apr 03
// Jonathan Holmes
[Sundays with Sagat is a video series where a man named Sagat talks to you about videogames. This is serious business.] What do Rod Stewart, the Gen-5 Pokemon starters, Tetris wall-decals, Albert Wiskers, Felicia from Darkst...
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Sundays with Sagat: Fighting game fans are insane


Mar 27
// Jonathan Holmes
Disclaimer -- I wasn't originally going to post this video. I shot it the same week that Sagat and Pals review Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, and within a few days after the game launched, most of the stuff about on how Marvel Vs. Cap...

Constructoid: Sagat vs. the Handsome Boy All-Stars

Mar 15 // Jonathan Holmes
It's certainly not a new idea for videogame character designers to borrow from the "Hollywood leading man" archetype. Like I mentioned in the video, Pitfall Harry brought his brand of Indiana Jones stylings to the gaming world long before the creators of Nathan Drake were out of short pants. Things got even more Hollywood in the '80s and '90s. Konami really excelled at the co-opting of Hollywood actors and movies in the pre-PS2 days. The original Solid Snake looked exactly like Rambo, while his nemesis, Big Boss, was played by a sprite-based Sean Connery. A different Rambo look-a-like starred in Contra, also from Konami, but he was paired with an Arnold Schwarzenegger clone. Almost the entire monster squad of the original Castlevania was lifted from classic Universal Pictures horror films, and that's just the list from their bigger games. Konami was even bold enough to change Solid Snake from a Rambo-type guy to a Kurt Russell-type guy, starting with Metal Gear Solid on the PS1. Just as several actors might end up filling the same role over time, we've already had multiple virtual actors take on the role of Snake (four in total, if you count the Rambo-styled original Snake, the Michael Biehn-inspired art on the box of the original Metal Gear, Kurt Russell-Snake, and Sam Elliott-Old Snake). Using characters that look like Hollywood actors in videogames was different in those days. For one, it wasn't as common as it is now. "Hollywood" games were the outliers, whereas purely gameplay-focused games were the face of gaming. Developers also tended to use more interesting virtual actors back then. Konami worked hard to utilize specific virtual actors for specific virtual situations, as opposed to the "make a generic handsome brown-haired guy who vaguely looks like Paul Rudd/Ben Affleck/Ed Burns/Chris Klein and have him shoot guys" character design technique that we see so much of today. Perhaps more importantly, back in the '80s and '90s, there was still heavy use of abstraction in the creation of these "realistic" characters. Even Snake's depiction in Metal Gear Solid involved mosaic-style texture maps, and heavily stylized ink-and-brush portraits in the codec cutscenes. There is an inherently expressive component to these two art styles. As I know from experience, when you're limited in how many pixels (or lines) you have at your disposal, the pixels you choose and where you choose to place them say a lot about you and how you see things. I'm not sure I can say the same thing for the way that Nathan Drake, Alan Wake, the Shadow Complex guy, the guy from Heavy Rain, and the multitude of other nondescript, "realistic" characters of today are designed. Sure, they're all written in very different ways, and they have a variety of different facial expressions, but in terms of the way they look from a design perspective, they express almost nothing. Looking at these characters reminds me of a dream that a friend once had. In his dream, he went to work in his car. He drove there on his regular route, perfectly recreated in his subconscious mind. In the dream, he arrived at his regular cubicle at the regular time. Then he played some Tetris while sipping his coffee, still feeling pretty tired and not up to working. After an hour or so, he got to work on his data entry. Then he took a long lunch break, played some more Tetris, got freaked out that he was going to get caught goofing off at work, finished his data entry for the day, and went home. Then he woke up. After telling me about this dream, he looked at me with a very serious face and said, "Jonathan, did something happen to me? Did I somehow become... boring?" I told him not to worry, that this was probably just a fluke, and that tomorrow night, he'd be back to dreaming about Grimace from the old McDonald's commercials levitating upside down and pooping lasers at him while a horde of robot zombie hookers tried to French-kiss him on his armpits with snake tongues. It was easy to tell my friend that he's not boring, that his "realistic" dream was just a fluke, but I'm not sure that I could say the same thing about the game studios churning out all of these "realistic" games today. I understand that next to motion controllers and new online features, the biggest selling point in gaming today is replicating the "blockbuster" experience. I understand that all the segments of gaming (developers, press, and players) have often felt like the red-headed stepchild of the film industry for a long time, and now that consoles and PCs are powerful enough to outdo Hollywood, developers can't help but want to show the film industry that they can beat them at their own game. I get all that. My question is, do we really need to get rid of the red-headed stepchildren (and Native Americans) of gaming to prove that we're not the red-headed stepchildren of the entertainment world? Did Ryu really need to go from being a crazy-eyed ginger to just another average-haired, average-faced, average karate man in order to win over the public? The issue speaks to the inherent sense of inadequacy that game developers (and gamers) are often stricken with. It doesn't help that so many game developers make a fraction of what filmmakers earn, and that the amount of bad press that games still get on a regular basis is staggering. The list of reasons why gamers and game developers feel like second-class citizens is far too long to get into here. Suffice it to say, I think we can all agree that a lot of game developers, reporters, bloggers, and players have bought into the idea that gaming isn't as legitimate and respectable of an art form as film, books or music. Personally, I think the way to show that videogames aren't a lesser art form is for developers to play to the strengths of the medium. Realism is not, and never will be, a "strength" of videogames (or any computer-generated imagery, for that matter). Still photography, motion pictures, and of course, real life will always look and feel more "real" than videogames do. Of course, there's no harm in trying for realism, if that's what you're truly interested in. Just as there is something to be said about the pursuit of painting the perfect still-life, there is something admirable about the pursuit of crafting a perfectly realistic polygon-based character model. That said, anyone who tells you that the greatest use of paint, a brush, and a canvas is the pursuit of depicting a realistically shiny fruit basket doesn't know a hell of a lot about painting. As for how videogames could play to their strengths better, that's not so easy to pin down. Videogames have so many strengths as a medium that it's impossible to pick just one. I guess we could start with the way that the medium allows you to feel as though you have physically entered the imagination of another person, providing you with the opportunity to get to know them from the inside out. As I mentioned in today's episode, the way that videogames break down the barriers between on-screen characters and off-screen characters (off-screen characters meaning "you") is arguably the one thing that videogames do better than any other medium. Because of the way that videogames give us a mainline into the world of the game (and therefore, the internal world of the developer), you don't need realism in order to form an emotionally charged connection between you and the on-screen world. All you need is a controller in your hand, and the will to play. This allows for game developers to provide almost any kind of content to the player, with the guarantee that we'll be able to relate with it on some level, so long as the controls are good and the game world is engaging. In short, you can make a game about anything, and as long as it's interesting and fun to control, people will play it. We live in a world where the most popular game series of all time has practically no written dialog, and stars a fat, baby-bodied plumber who stomps turtles to death while eating mushrooms that he finds stuck in brick walls. That kind of wholesale surrealism isn't likely to gain mainstream acceptance in other media. It's only because the Mario games came to us in videogame form (and because the games are so fun to play) that the franchise has gone on to become one of the most powerful forces in the entertainment world. As usual, I've prattled on for too long, but I'll close by saying that just as female videogame characters don't need to be sexy or sexless in order to appeal to the mainstream market, male videogame characters don't need to be bland, standard leading men. Videogames is the one form of art where your only limitation is your own imagination, and absolutely anything (from enraged, white-skinned, bald, god-killing men to round, fat, pig-hating birds) can go on to gain critical and financial success. There is no reason why the greatest form of expression yet devised by human beings should ever be trapped in the same boxes that confine film and other, lesser forms of art. That's just silly, right? Constructoid: Helping the Xbox 360 to sell in Japan Constructoid: Helping Nintendo win back the Hardcore Constructoid: Peach and Bayonetta talk Women in Gaming Constructoid: Big Daddy and the Katamari King on Parenting
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[Constructoid is a pixel-animated show about Destructoid editor Jonathan Holmes and various videogame personalities. They've got some constructive criticism for the world of gaming. Check it out.] There's a lot going on in ...

Sundays with Sagat: Affirmative Action for the overweight

Mar 08 // Jonathan Holmes
"Big guy" (Ice Hockey on the NES) Approximate Weight: 350 pounds The big guy from Ice Hockey is one of my favorite video characters ever. Sure, he promulgates the idea that obese people are slow, violent punching bags, but he's also really good at hockey. His slap shot is sublime, and he can easily beat the tar out of the two other classes in the game. It also makes a awesome sound when he bounces someone off of his belly. Wario (Wario Land, WarioWare) Approximate Weight: 275 pounds Like Earthquake from the Samurai Showdown games, Wario is a chubby, mean, greedy, and flatulent dude. He's pretty much Mario, but evil, and fatter. Is Nintendo telling us that there is a proportional relationship between how fat you are and how evil you are? Maybe. One thing is for sure, though -- Mewtroid in WarioWare is pretty much the best thing anyone has ever made ever. Mary Ivonskaya (Tobal series) Approximate Weight: 308 pounds The Wii balance board would allow Mary to play Wii Fit, but just barely. Her self esteem would likely take a hit in the process, as the thing would surely call her obese. I know how you feel, Mary. Maybe that's part of why I find you so attractive. I relate with your fat struggle. It also has to do with the fact that, despite your reported weight, you still have a rockin' hourglass figure. In fact, it's sort of hard to believe that you're 308 pounds. If you look that good, and are more than 100 pounds heavier than I am, you either have really dense muscle tissue, or you were weighed on Jupiter when your demographic data was collected for the manual of Tobal No.1. Mamma (Loaded series) Approximate Weight: 513 pounds Mamma may be an enormous, developmentally disable psychopath who alternately dresses like a baby and a giant bunny while indiscriminately murdering everyone that gets in his way, but... Yeah, that's all I got. Rufus (Street Fighter IV) Approximate Weight: 408 pounds Rufus does a lot of things right. For one, he defies the "slow fat guy" stereotype. He's one of the fastest, and most deadly, characters in Street Fighter IV. He's also an egomania-driven food addict who is thought to symbolize both the arrogance and the obesity epidemic in the United States. Sadly, now that Yun and Yang are in Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, a lot of tournament players are already swapping out Rufus for either of those faster, prettier, and easier-to-use characters. Still, Rufus will always represent the brief, shining time when the "weird fat guy" was on top of the world, or at least, on top of the world of Street Fighter. Anyone who eats too much (Metal Slug series) Approximate Weight: 345 pounds Starting with Metal Slug 2, grabbing too many food pick-ups would cause you to suddenly get super fat. This fat status causes you to become slower and easier to hit, but on the bright side, your gun gets fat too, causing it to shoot fat bullets. Being fat also gives you the ability to attack your enemies with a fork. I guess that's some sort of crack at fat people? Like they are cannibals, or fork lovers, or something? Actually I hadn't thought about it until just now. I was too busy thinking about how awesome the Metal Slug series is and how it has some of the best sprite animation ever. I don't know if anyone will ever top Metal Slug 3. Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike comes close, but it doesn't quite get there. Wait, what were we talking about again? I guess that's my list, folks. I hope you liked it. There are a lot of other overweight characters I could choose, but they're either fit enough to have four-pack abs (like E. Honda), are basically appetite personified (like Quina Quen and Pac-Man) or are just blatantly gross and bad (like the Boomer and that guy from Heavy Rain). It's pretty tough to find overweight characters who play a central role in videogames who are not slow, stupid, mean, food-obsessed, or all of the above. Donut Drake is the only other one I can think of, and apparently, that whole thing was supposed to be some sort of joke. I don't claim to be a world expert on this topic, though. Maybe I'm missing something. Did I overlook your favorite fat videogame character?
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This week's Sundays with Sagat is a little different. For one, it's the start of a two-part crossover with this other video series on Destructoid. Secondly, this is one of the only episodes in the series to get an accompanyi...


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Sundays with Sagat: Pirates are NOT f*cking theives


Feb 22
// Jonathan Holmes
A little while back, our own Jim Sterling let you know how he feels about videogame piracy. A lot of you didn't agree with Jim on his point that piracy is theft. Birdie didn't agree with him either. He threw together this vi...
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Sundays with Sagat: What is this I don't even


Feb 13
// Jonathan Holmes
Sometimes stuff happens at Sagat's house. It's my prerogative to show you this stuff. That's the way that I want to live. I hope you find some redeeming value in this thing. At the very least, I bet it will make you feel bet...
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Constructoid: Helping the Xbox 360 to sell in Japan


Jan 12
// Jonathan Holmes
Welcome everybody to Constructoid, a video series where a panel of videogame characters and myself engage in a (mostly) constructive critique of game developers, publishers, journalists, characters, and players. This is the ...
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Character Studies: General Bit Hospital Trip


Sep 29
// Jonathan Holmes
[Character Studies is a series about videogame characters talking about videogames. It used to be called Sundays with Sagat, but then we had to fire Sagat because he was unprofessional towards a famous person.] In this episo...
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Character Studies: Juri Duti


Sep 22
// Jonathan Holmes
[Character Studies is a series about videogame characteres talking about videogames. It used to be called Sundays with Sagat, but then we had to fire Sagat because he was unprofessional towards a famous person.] We have a ve...
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Character Studies: Remakes Vs. Reinventions


Sep 15
// Jonathan Holmes
[Character Studies is a series about videogame characteres talking about videogames. It used to be called Sundays with Sagat, but then we had to fire Sagat because he was unprofessional towards a famous person.] You my remem...
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Sundays with Sagat: Street Fighter Final Fight finale'


Sep 08
// Jonathan Holmes
Well, this is embarrassing. This week was supposed to mark the beginning of a new direction for the series. We got writers, a set, a wardrobe consultant, and most importantly, celebrity guests. Unfortunetely, due to Sagat's ...
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Sundays with Sagat: Dead Rising and dead Birdie


Sep 01
// Jonathan Holmes
This is the last episode of Sundays with Sagat before the proposed reboot of the show. We'll get a sneak peak of Sagat's new take on the series this Saturday during Destructoid LIVE PAX panel. Until then, behold -- the death...
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Sundays with Sagat: Nice tan, Kyo


Aug 29
// Jonathan Holmes
Sagat no longer feels so alone. On this very special episode of Sundays with Sagat, we have two very special guests. As you might have guessed, it's very special. This video was created without the solicitation or any prior ...
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Sundays with Sagat: Ape Escape 4 fears and Felicia


Aug 25
// Jonathan Holmes
You ever get so excited about a videogame that it keeps you up at night? That's what Sagat is going through right now with Ape Escape 4. Luckily, he's got a friend to soothe his savage soul. This episode is bitter sweet for ...
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Sundays with Sagat: Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom Vs. Birdie


Aug 18
// Jonathan Holmes
This is my least favorite Birdie episode. In fact, it might be my least favorite episode of Sundays with Sagat altogether. So why am I posting it? Well, thus far, quite a few of my least favorite episodes from this series ha...
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Sundays with Sagat: How about a shower? Sound good?


Aug 11
// Jonathan Holmes
[Sundays with Sagat is a video series where a man named Sagat talks to you about videogames. This is serious business.] Last week, Sagat promised to get out of his depression and start being productive again. First though, i...
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Sundays with Sagat: Alan Wake, Depression, and Meows


Aug 04
// Jonathan Holmes
When Sagat suddenly disappeared from this series, a lot of you were like "Cool. Peace out, fatty. Your pancake boobs wont be missed." Surprisingly, a small number of you actually cared. You said that you preferred Sagat to a...
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Sundays With Sagat: Grand Theft Auto V Casting Call


Jul 28
// Jonathan Holmes
This episode is about a less popular, less well-paid Street fighter 2 boss trying out for a newer, hotter series. I guess he needs the work. Side note -- this video is dedicated to the few people who took the time out to cal...
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Sundays with Sagat: Final Fantasy


Jul 21
// Jonathan Holmes
[Update] Looks like LonexWolf606 actually won the contest. Sorry! Worse still, I can't PM him/her for some reason. If you're reading this  LonexWolf606, email me at [email protected] so I can get you your winnin...

Sundays with Sagat: What's in a name?

Jul 14 // Jonathan Holmes
Sundays with Sagat: What's a videogame for? Sundays with Sagat: Mario 64 Vs. Mario Galaxy Sundays with Sagat: The Hardcore/Comedy Conundrum Sundays with Sagat: Uncharted 2 Sundays with Sagat: Redefining "Hardcore Vs. Casual" Sundays with Sagat: Guest Starring Birdie
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[Sundays with Sagat is a video series where a man named Sagat talks to you about videogames. This is serious business.] [WARNING] This video has swears. Also, the intro is loud, and the rest of the video is not (though we ...

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Sundays with Sagat: Guest Starring Birdie


Jun 27
// Jonathan Holmes
Here's the first episode of Season 2 of Sundays with Sagat. If you're new to the series, here's a quick recap; this is a video series where a man named Sagat talks to you about videogames. This is serious business. Sadly, Sa...

Sundays with Sagat: Uncharted 2

Jun 13 // Jonathan Holmes
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If people weren't all that happy with Sagat's thoughts on Super Mario 64, I can only imagine how they'll react to his take on Uncharted 2. Personally, I don't think that Uncharted 2 is that bad. It certainly isn't the only g...

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Sundays with Sagat: The Hardcore/Comedy conundrum


Jun 06
// Jonathan Holmes
  [Sundays with Sagat is a video series where a man named Sagat talks to you about videogames. This is serious business.] In this week's video diary, Sagat takes on the "hardcore games don't sell on the Wii" misconce...
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Sundays with Sagat: Mario 64 vs. Mario Galaxy


May 30
// Jonathan Holmes
[Sundays with Sagat is a video series where a man named Sagat talks to you about videogames. This is serious business.] This week's episode started off really good. Sagat went on a tear about how each Mario game has a coun...
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Sundays with Sagat: What's a videogame for?


May 23
// Jonathan Holmes
[Sundays with Sagat is a video series where a man named Sagat talks to you about videogames. This is serious business.] Welcome to the premiere episode of Sundays with Sagat, a new Destructoid-exclusive video series. This we...

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