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C Blogs of 07/16/13 + STOMPY-ISMS


When I was growing up, the Empire's mighty AT-AT Walker would routinely crush the shit out of the little pussy ass dinosaurs from Jurassic Park.

Alright, so the T-Rex was pretty badass, he had a battle-damage ribcage and jaws that could hold a G.I Joe on their own (Gung Ho, it was always Gung Ho in his ridiculous dress blues), so he was cool. But the Dilophosaurus? With that big stupid frill? SQUISH. Robots always beat lizard monsters (and Jedi beat giant robots - circle of life young padawan).

So I thought Pacific Rim was great. My affection for giant stompy robots is well known, so this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, but I thought I should let you all know anyway. This is a movie that promises giant robots beating up on Godzilla-esq monsters and it does not disappoint.

The giant brawls are definitely the highlight of the movie. I absolutely loved the pacing and direction of the combat. It was exciting and brutal, but managed to avoid the typical super in-close, spastic blurry-cam non-sense that has defined a lot of recent action cinema. You get a sense for where the Jagers and Kaiju are, what they are trying to do, and what exactly is going on. It would have been real easy for director Del Toro to cheat and make everything too crazy to follow, but the dude put in the work to do it right.

There are legitimate criticisms to make. The plot relies on some decent, but expedient, exposition-dumping here and there with the typical dash of techno-babble to move things along. Although I have to say I find that infinitely more palatable in a sci-fi giant-robo movie than something like Man of Steel. The characters are fairly shallow. The main characters working some well worn tropes and the secondary pilot teams being, I suspect, tongue-in-cheek cliche. But how can you not love a pair of stereotypical super-stoic Russians piloting the biggest and dumbest mech!?

- I love that the Russian mech has a giant nuclear cooling tower for a head, turbine flame throwers, and telsa-coil powered piston fists. Every part of that sentence makes me smile.

That isn't to say there isn't any emotional depth. Call me a sucker, but I was genuinely moved by a scene mid-way in the film where a lone four year old girl runs through the empty and dead streets of Tokyo, only to be specifically menaced by one of the towering Kaiju monsters. Manipulative heat-string tugging? Maybe, but it worked.

Maybe I was just overwhelmed. Me and my lovely girlfriend Kass saw it in an IMAX because she routinely has great ideas. I don't normally go to IMAX theatres, but in this case it was definitely worth the extra few bucks and the drive. This is a big spectacle of a movie so you might as well see it on the biggest screen with the most intense sound possible. Plus, the 3D goggles at the IMAX made me feel like a back up synth-player for Devo.

While watching I couldn't help but think the franchise could be made into a fantastic game. Not in the obvious "giant-monster beat down a la' Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters" vein (like I understand the XBL game supposedly is). I think it would work really well using the same formula as XCOM.

The parallels are hard to miss. Both titles feature humanity coming together through nations, military, corporations, and even the black market to rapidly sling-shot their technological might forward to defend against an alien/monster menace. A big sub-plot of Pacific Rim is the research team dissecting and studying the remains of the Kaiju from different angles and disciplines to find the best way to combat them. All the while the doomsday clock ticks down as the frequency and intensity of the attacks ramp up. Members of the shadow council grow paranoid and antsy, nation pull their support and funding, everything is going to shit and it's up to the protagonists to snatch humanity away from the edge.

It would translate into a very similar gameplay loop. Select your research projects, toss funding at the strategies and tech you think are important, expand your Shatterdome (yes, they call the Jagger bases "Shatterdomes"), train up your pilots, and outfit your Jaggers with the kind of tech and weapons you feel work best. Toss in some more inter-personal goings on and make the combat more actiony and I think you have a recipe for success. I'd play it at least.

- Some amazing fanart making MWO look cooler than it has any right to.

In other stompy robot news, if Pacific Rim has you all worked up and you really want to play a giant robot game, Mechwarrior Online had a fairly substantial and important update today.

Yes, I know, more MWO. I'm not happy about it either.

I more or less kicked the habit back in late-April, early-May. The "labour of love" of playing MWO became way too much labour for too little love. Bugs, performance issues, and horrid balancing issues sucked every drop of fun out of what was already a C-Minus of a game.

But they've had a few decent patches since moving the game in the right direction. The one that came out with today though is a major watershed moment.

I won't get into too much nerdish detail, but they have finally curtailed the proliferation of extremely potent pin-point sniper weapons and added some MUCH needed punch back to the close range weapons. After many long months of waiting behind a ridge only to be obliterated in one shot when you eventually stick your head out, we can finally get back to playing proper Mechwarrior a game where giant robots duke it out, peeling layers of armour off each other in protracted battles and ripping enemies apart one piece at a time.

The way they did it was super inelegant and laughably difficult to explain to players who don't traffic the forums and related wiki sites on a regular basis. Developer PGI is still so bad at communicating information to the player base that it boarders on satire, like if the Onion did a bit about an inept development house. But the important part is that it worked.

MWO is the most fun it has been in months. It still has tons of issues, but if you love giant robots (like me), got super excited watching Pacific Rim (like me), and want SOMETHING to replicate the sensation of piloting a building sized weapon of doom MWO is free to play and available.

If that isn't the damnation of faint praise, I don't know what is.

* - Is it wrong that I kind of dig the crazy-robot-European versions of Contra? I mean, oily muscle bound dudes are part of our North American heritage, but robots are just so cool.

* - Haven't listened to this Communitoid yet, but it has our man ScottyG guest appearing so you know it has to be badical.

* - Nanbu's mom had a close call with the Big-C. Swing by and give her a virtual hug now that it's all over.

* - Taterchimp has some ideas about graphics. I don't agree with all of the, but this is a well made blog you should check out.

A - Despite the fervor, MOBAs are not taking over. (Is this really something some gamers worry about? Jesus.)

A - Dizzastergaming digs the PS4 controller.

E - Dxmagma's entry to the SMT contest, get savage.

E - Option1Soul's entry into the SMT contest. It features a Virtual Boy game so I think it should win automatically.

E - Mother fucker dropped a poem on your ass. The SMT contest is heating up.

$ - Jinx with the deals! MK9 Komplete sounds like a steal, but buyer beware, I saw Brad Nicholson on twitter fuming about how broken the online VS is.

R - TheManchild gets some random stuff off his chest and makes some awesome picks in the Steam Sale. SSFIV is a fucking steal for what they charged and Rogue Legacy is my new jam (you know I wrote a guide for it recently right?)

S - Party foul! Making a poor first impression with some old spam from his tumblr blog, Tcinkwell tells us all what he thought of E3 a month after the fact. I know it's tempting for bloggers to try and reach a larger audience by spamming their articles all over the C-blogs, but keep it to yourself.

S - Ack, more! And this one is from back in May! TCInkwell, you seem like an alright guy and I hate to put you on blast, but you need to write some original content for Dtoid. An intro blog would go a long way before you start dumping your old articles all over us.

- The British Jagger program was a total failure.


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About CblogRecapsone of us since 11:27 PM on 07.02.2008

About Cblog Recaps

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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.


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

-Aporia: Beyond The Valley (Multiple Keys)
-The Witness
-Citadel: Forged With Fire (Multiple Keys)

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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