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Shoot the Breeze: Funky Cool Travels Through Time


Like grandma emerging from behind the shower curtains, sopping wet and altogether too familiar, #ClassicDestructoid returns. The king is undead, long live the king.

Welp. That's about all I have to say this week. Thanks for coming.

I was, in all truth, going to be including a few words about #NewDestructoid's shiny newness, having felt as though I was only just getting into the swing of things, but those innocent intentions have, like a bout in which two wrestlers have entered the ring wearing the same pair of neon spandex shorts, graduated to a no-holds-barred grudge match between Destructoids New and Classic. In keeping with this, please enter your comments to an appropriate nu-metal theme.

Alright, you caught me kidding on both accounts, though please don't let me stop you from putting together your own oily, tights-clad choreography. Any comparison between the sites old and new is hardly productive. I will take the time for two comments, however. The first, I was shocked at how much a return to the old face felt like coming home. Second, god damn have I missed BBcode.

Like Giraffes Made of Rocks

This week, I picked up Lock's Quest again. Everything Jimbo said in his review holds, especially that bit about buying the game if you have yet to do so. It will make you happy. It may make you popular. It could even make you mancakes*. Time will tell. I can pretty well guarantee you'll be making towers though. Coming out of Lock's Quest, one can't help but look at Peter Jackson's cinematic masterpiece The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and, scoffing, declare, "A meek two towers? I shall build so many towers his entire extended trilogy collections looks like an iPod commercial." The remainder of the afternoon will be spent imagining a rock battle between Sauron and Bono with the Ringwraiths on bass.

*Syrup in a shot of whiskey.

I think I've entered a burgeoning romance with Tower Defense games. It's starting to seem to me as something more than a coffee break staple, providing themes of strategy but completely bypassing the actual intelligent direction that sees me as the King K Rool of RTSs, defeated by eight-year-olds and monkeys alike. There's also something really rewarding about setting up a strong defense and letting it roll, like creating a heaven-thwarting Rube Goldberg machine that pours your mancakes for you. And of course, there's some allure of a tall, sturdy tower thrusting its way skyward that I can't quite put my finger on, no matter how much I lust to do so.

It's a Freudian penis joke. It's at this point, an observer might note that I'm struggling to get this blog together.

But more than the simple, terribly run-of-the-mill defense games, I find myself succumbing to those imbibing a shade more action such as our boy Lock manages to do on his quest. Of comparable worth is XBLA's darling Monday Night Combat, a game whose heady fusion of shooter and tower, to make no mention of robots and bacon, extended my exuberance beyond what any less rounded game could have managed. Towers done good, if you will. For no reason I can name just yet, buildings + *wildcard = rip-snorting good time**. I guess it's because that building part is so, well, passive? Defensive? It leaves room to do something other than plunk down structures and there's where being able to run around shooting and/or ratcheting is such a riot.

**See attached document for buildings + more buildings game specs.

Anyway, something for me to think on. Lock's Quest is still a fantastic game and I'm hoping more of its ilk comes down the pipe. And not just in the genre-straddling stream, but in that particular world. I'm a sucker for anything of the engineering flavour, so the cross-pollination between architects and engineerings sits just right with me and as a steampunk aficionado (a tenet of proper nerdery), the clockwork robots may as well be cog-draped callgirls. As I've only really just started to play again, I'm hoping more to say occurs to me, but for now, let's put a big ol' period on this guy.

The Party Van

I'm starting to think Halo is more of a social vehicle than a game. Don't misunderstand me, it's a game, it'd be pretty hard to argue otherwise, but it's real strength unquestionably lies in its friendly orgies. Playing by your lonesome is well and good, but the experience is only truly transcendent with someone on the other end of the mic/couch. I can't help but feel, and I'll admit this is conjecture so heavy (Author's note: Bey, edit this out when you can make a conjecture joke that doesn't work its way back to witch burnings), that a lot of the disdain for the game stems from people missing this core philosophy.*** The game is fun on its own, but it really comes to greatness when taken as something to bring people together.

***I have inadvertently labelled everyone who dislikes Halo as a social outcast.****

****I will take no steps to rectify this.

I know, a ridiculous claim for a game that has done more for teabags than Britain's greyest earls, but if my unfounded speculation is to be believed, these are the facts. Okay, maybe I'm diving too far into anecdotal evidence, but while the game's actual mechanical shooting is, if solid, bordering on humdrum, I continue to have a fantastic time getting into games with friends. And yeah, that's something that can be done with any number of titles, but between the easy party systems and the fully supported coop modes, there's a huge emphasis on bringing folks together. Certainly it isn't alone in the features, but the priority it seems to give them is what allows my fondness to persist.

It's an odd sentiment, that a "hardcore" game can be so reliant on its social aspect, but I'll stick by it. Picking up the odd match with an old friend isn't a subsidiary routine - it's the driving force behind the overarching experience. Mashing that left thumbstick over the corpse of someone you'd hope to call a pal is the reason this game exists. Grab a controller, grab a friend, get some memories. That's the heart of Halo and the reason the franchise is such a hit.

Or, at least, that's what's been rolling around in my head today.

The End

Right, well, I can't remember anything else I was going to write this week. Normally I'd make notes in my diary about what I- I'm sorry, the little shred of masculinity that's still holding strong in my big toe demands I correct that as journal - anyway, normally, there'd be some record of my thoughts to draw inspiration from (too often conspicuously empty), but I seem to have lost it. Er, the journal, though I can't imagine my mind being too far behind. Regardless, nothing much else to say today, but I will ask this - are you, my beloved reader, getting anything out of these? Loathe as I am to sink into an even greater state of irrelevancy, I'd like to know how I'm doing with these weekly blogs. Thoughts? Opinions? Are helter-skelter offshoots like today's fare acceptable? Is there something else you'd like to see? Are you even still reading? Am I alone again?

Please complete the anonymous survey for a chance to win fabulous prizes!*****

*****I'm in an asterisky mood today. Prizes may include the fabled sixth-tier asterisk.

I've really got to start getting around to whipping these things up before the last possible minute.
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About Beyamorone of us since 1:10 PM on 06.24.2009

I知 a gamer. Take a minute and get over that shock. I can say I知 an Xbox man, though I値l support anything that advances gaming (I love you Sackboy). I致e also got a DS Chunky, so I can take this whole nerd thing on the road.

As far as genres, shooters and western RPGs top my list. Halo, Fable, and Morrowind, for instance, rock my socks hard. Of course other things, stuff like Animal Crossing and Kingdom Hearts, do their share of stocking rocking.

In the world outside of buttons and pixels, I知 an engineering student (that nerd thing I mentioned? I do it hardcore) on the west coast of the Great White North. I知 a fan of a harder rock, bands like Breaking Benjamin and Hurt, though I値l kick it (very much figuratively) to stuff ranging from The Fray through Franz Ferdinand to Five Finger Death Punch. Optimus Prime is my hero, but I do love Starscream. Finally, thumbs up to you for reading this. You池e never getting that time back.

Kirbey by the talented and generously endowed (probably) Enkido