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LONG BLOG

C Blogs of 06/25/13 + Wrenchisms

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What a magnificent bastard. Hannibal, you're the undisputed champion of television this year.

If you haven't been watching this kick-ass series, you NEED to get down with it. Whether you're a fan of police procedurals, horror, psychological dramas, or just needy woobies and the psychopaths who love them, there is something for you in this show.

It isn't often something around my home makes it to the "must-see-TV" list. My usual viewing habits mostly consists of "must-eat-this-pork-sandwich-is-anything-on-TV?-TV" and "oh-I-missed-an-entire-season-of-American-Dad?-TV." But Hannibal sliced open a hole in my chest wall and slid it's way into my heart.

Anytime I watch a really great crime show, I'm just reminded of what a bummer L.A Noire was. Look, I get it. It's hard to make a real "police game." There is a delicate balance that's hard to achieve. It has to be gamey enough to be a game, but deep and plot driven enough to mean something. Player choice should always be respected, but there has to be a limit on how far the player can stray from the investigation, or at least a firm nudge now and then to get them back on track.

It's how we end up with ridiculous multiple-fatality car chases and gun fights plopped awkwardly in the middle of an insurance scam case. It's how we end up with multiple-choice dialogue that consists of one right conversation chain, and a bunch of others where Phelps screams like a madman.

But I still dream of a detective game that does it right. Maybe it's a matter of inspiration. L.A Confidential and Two-Fisted pulp novels don't mesh into a great game apparently. You get a weird stew of GTA meets Dudley-Do-Right. But maybe something taking it's cues from Silence of the Lambs with the larger than life personality of Dr. Lecter or the modern remake of Sherlock with Benedict Cumber-face and all his pissy inhuman behaviour would be a better fit.

A plot and world that lends itself to narrative jumps and nearly supernatural criminals. Where the protagonist has a reputation for being unstable, at the fringes of law enforcement. Tolerated only barely by the more professional and conventional investigators. Make it believable when the protagonist doesn't act exactly like a by-the-book lawman instead of constantly nagging the player about it.

That said, Deadly Premonition might be the best detective game out there. Yeah, the controls are garbage, the characters bizarre, and the plot often nonsensical, but it all makes sense in the context of that world. I never felt it was out of line for Agent York to waste a day creeping around neighbourhood windows or chatting with the regulars at the bar. When he got into a gunfight with ghostly moaning apparitions, I could take it as a matter of fact part of his life. Of course he's going to fight ghosts, this is Agent York we're talking about, a man who gets his best leads from his morning coffee.



You might laugh, but as an audience we're willing to put up with some crazy stuff so long as we like a character and the logic of a show or game stays consistent. It's not all that realistic that Will Graham is able to reconstruct a crime scene and intuitively know the killer's motives and likely next move based on an "empathy disorder" and a keen eye. Sherlock proves himself to be damn near psychic, or even a fraud, because of his superlative deduction abilities (to the series credit, this actually becomes a major plot point). Hannibal gets away with an awful lot of murder without ever leaving any nasty bloodstains on his clothes or picking up any defensive wounds that might betray his criminal actions but hey, we love the big ol' cannibal too much to call him on it.

I want to see another detective game. It would break my heart if L.A Noire and the troubled Team Bondi managed to strangle the entire genre while it was still in its crib. But maybe the direction isn't to go bigger or more real, but stranger and more surreal.

That, and Wendigos. Always feature a Wendigo killer.



* - I'm not hugely nostalgic for the old days of Sega, but if you don't get an erection while listening to the Streets of Rage soundtrack, you simply aren't human.

* - I love games, but damn if the industry doesn't have it's share of shit-stains. All this creepy harassment of women, whether at trade shows or over Xbox Live, has to stop. It's making us all look like garbage.

* - Dat character art. Dat Freddy Mercury. I'ma Cling Together with this blog and wish I was playing Tactics Ogre right now.

* - I dig Elsa's kick-ass, take no prisoners, attitude to feminism and her refusal to be a perpetual victim. But at the same time, I can understand how hard it would be for a women to openly defend herself in a social/creepy environment like being awkwardly propositioned or touched at E3. Anyone who has had to face the choice of being the buzzkill of calling an asshole on his mean spirited joke and ruining the family Christmas party, or letting it slide and let him get away with it can probably relate. Even worse for women who work in the industry with these people. Even if it's warranted, ruining the party mood with a big open handed slap could easily get one labbled as "hysterical", "sensitive", or God-forbid, "a bitch." When defending yourself could cost you your career, it's not easy to stand up. Change in the industry has to come from all corners, women need to stand up for themselves, men need to back them up, and misogynists and creeps need to be marginalized and fully told that we won't stand for that shit.

A - Uhf, some tough cuts on the block for Smash Bros. Personally, while I love all the characters, I think it's better to have a balanced and polished game instead of a huge roster where half the characters are broken one way or another. Besides, between Megaman and the Wii Fit Trainer, who else do you need?

A - The Ouya launch has been a blunder from top to bottom. I want to believe that a small independent company could get into the console biz, I really do. But the Ouya just isn't the horse I want in the race.

A - Sometimes we enjoy things we know deep down are bad. It's why you'll dig through the bottom of a bag of cheese puffs, or in JoyfulSanity's case, plug over 60 hours into FFXIII.

A - The random and arbitrary laws of German censorship continue to baffle me.

A - Captain Scramble is getting a little uncomfortable with the amount of brain and viscera in his gaming diet.





C - When it comes to kickstarter and backing projects, it's best to follow your gut. If a project seems scammy or slimy, it probably is.

C - Skid Row Trash isn't happy with Microsoft yet.

N - Saint's Row IV isn't making the cut in a land founded by criminals and settled with genocide. I smell another "The Worst Thing About Censorship is ---" coming up.

N - Pixeljunk Monsters is getting an HD re-release!

T - I was going to snark on this blog until I saw that you have to pay for skill trees and specializations. Cosmetic crap is one thing, mechanics are another. Yuck.





C - Ugh, I hate it when people start blogs with apologies or hostile "if you don't want to read 3000 words of -blank-, leave right now." It's such a turn off. This is a long winded response to a year old video about a pretty niche topic, so yeah.

F - Poorly written and riddled with spoilers. Another pet peeve of mine is when bloggers take a super aggresive tone, a "fuck you, I don't really want to write this or care if you read it." If you don't care, don't post. Shit blogging is shit.


-Wrenchfarm

FPotD
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About CblogRecapsone of us since 11:27 PM on 07.02.2008

About Cblog Recaps

Schedule:
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Reserve Recappers:
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Current "Bloggers Wanted" assignment
Fake it until you make it

This month's bloggers wanted prompt is something we stole. You see, by stealing this idea, you have no idea how truly inept I actually am. By pretending to know what I'm doing, I have clearly used my ill-gotten status to meet such big-time celebrities as Darlington Woolie "Pie Stealer" Madden or Sara from [insert pixel indie game studio here].

This month's bloggers wanted was inspired by the internal enjoyment we had at reading TheBlondeBass' promoted blog on faking conversational anime knowledge. And now it seems as good a time as ever to pretend to know what's going on since the new Fate/Grand Order game launched and qtoid is talking about it. I am a big fan of the character design of Artoria in the blue dress, or Artoria in the suit, or Artoria in the red dress. But seriously, we enjoyed the format so much that we want to ask the community for their own ideas at faking it at all sorts of things.

But this prompt is not just for anime, of course. The video game industry is fractured with all sorts of niche interests that only an insane rich person with no job could realistically know everything about. This month's bloggers wanted is about taking a subject you want to offer advice on faking knowledge about in order to help the greater community, for better or for worse. If this doesn't sound serious, don't worry, you're not supposed to take it seriously. You don't have to be an expert in whatever you talk about any more than Bass is an expert in anime.

I seriously don't know if that was a compliment or an insult.

Offer advice on anything you can expand your mind on. Want to help people get into character action games? The more Ss you put into its grading system, the cooler it is! Want to convince people to get into the Neptunia series? Just say "Nep-Nep!" and you're all set to convince people of your technical knowledge! Can you get someone into RTS game by just talking about your APM? Someone's bound to believe some random technical jargon you made up!

To get started, start a blog and title it "Faking it: [your blog title here]." Then you can be as serious or facetious as you want as you provide advice on any number of things: learning how to play fighting games, trying a long-running franchise you've probably neglected, or even explaining a game's timeline. Heck, you can probably seriously try on that last one and we still wouldn't believe you.

Good luck this month. Only true cowards rely on facts. Real heroes pretend to know what they're doing!



Current Community Contests
PREPARE TO CONTEST - The Master Gaming List Birthday Giveaway!

Good Morning/Evening/Yesterday, my Friends/Robots/INSERT WAIFU HERE,

More or less a week ago, the Master Gaming List turned one year old. I had a speech prepared, but the blog editor ate it four or five times over the last few days, so I'm kind of winging it now.

Despite all of the threatening and cajoling I initially made to get you all on the list, I never imagined I'd still be adding names a year later (and by "you all", I mostly mean GajKnight). It was kind of a ridiculous undertaking at first, trying to make a semi-permanent, easily-updatable list of everyone's contact info. I'm not even sure what everyone was being hyped over last year that got me to do this.

That said, I'm glad it came together, and this list has lead to many other things for me on Destructoid; whether it was me becoming our laziest, cuddliest Community Manager, or our laziest, cuddliest Reviews-type-person, I have always enjoyed the full love and support of this community.

In thanks, and with the assistance of quite a few others, I've gathered up a number of game keys to give away to you all.

The Contest

I've never run a contest before, so let's keep things simple. Write me a haiku about your favorite game.

Rules

1. The haiku must not include the title of the game.

2. I will accept any other form of structured poetry if you are unable to haiku but can iambic pantameter (you monster).

3. Please state what key you are going for, and a backup if that one is taken (admittedly, it's quantity over variety here)

4. The tentative end date of the contest will be August 13th, and will be bumped at least once during that time.

Available Keys

-Stellaris
-Aporia: Beyond The Valley (Multiple Keys)
-The Witness
-Citadel: Forged With Fire (Multiple Keys)
-Armello
-Undertale
-ABZU

Thank you to all 282 of you who have made the Master List a successful project over the past year! I will continue updating it into the forseeable future.


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