Thursday, 28 July 2011

Origin, Dragon Age

Okay. This one's going to require a bit of a history lesson. There are 3 major players in this story:

EA, Bioware and Valve.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Castlevania: Dracula Ain't No Thang

NOTE: The following is tongue-in-cheek. I feel stupid even having to point that out, but apparently there's a growing number of people who actually write like this and expect it to be taken seriously. And there's an even greater number of people stupid enough to take everything they see at face-value. And that's more terrifying than any ghoul or goblin I can think of.


I don't get why Dracula gets such a bad rap in the Castlevania games.

Besides his fashion sense, I mean.

What exactly did this guy do? So the guy needs blood to survive. That's not HIS fault. I can't blame you for needing food. And blood is something we naturally renew, so you don't even have to kill your victim, unlike all of those cattle we go through on a daily basis. How do you live with yourselves?

His castle shows he has fine taste(not counting the mausoleums and skull-walls and such). At least the guy has some class. How many people reading this have a bedroom as tidy and elegant as this guy's? And I don't think yours has an kickass blood-fountain or doorman who's also a Griffon. And have I mentioned he's not a sparkly dipshit metaphor for abstinence?

Friday, 22 July 2011


No classic friday today. Or posts for a little while. Been feeling under the weather the last week or so. This heat-wave isn't helping.

end of line


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Mega Man Legends 3 Canceled

I'm sure this had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the guy championing its development for the last forever or so left the company in disgust with its ridiculous demands. Totally.

But honestly? This is probably for the best. A Mega Man Legends 3 without any input from the guy who poured his heart into it probably wouldn't have been worth the wait anyway. That said, it's still quite the dick move to give people that small shred of hope, only to snatch it away again. It certainly won't damage their bottom line, but they've certainly run out of goodwill from me.


Monday, 18 July 2011

Mass Effect 3: James Vega

Meet Mass Effect 3's newest squad mate. In a game universe with dozens of interesting alien species that would have made fucking awesome team-mates, they give us a white guy with a douchey faux-hawk who does a lot of crunches.

Way to break the mold, Bioware.

Don't we already have Kaiden to be the boring whitie no one puts in their squad or talks to or looks at if it can be at all avoided? Do we really need another one of those? And what if you PLAY as a Commander Shepard who's a boring white guy? Well then that's half of your team being a poor man's recreation of EVERY OTHER VIDEO GAME EVER MADE.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Classic Friday: "The Game I Want"

 Damn it.

Okay, here's your Classic FriSaturday, my personal dream video game project that will be waiting for me if Heaven is real and God doesn't mind all of the masturbation:

Thursday, 14 July 2011


I remember one time I was at a friend's house, and we played Halo 2 online. We joined a custom game where they were playing by rules they made up. It was called "Zombie". I don't know if it started there, or was carried over from a different game. It was based on honour rules. If you died by the enemy's hand, you had to manually switch over to the enemy's team, and now must face your former comrades. Like how after you've been bitten by a zombie, you become a part of the same mindless horde that took you down.

People liked this enough for it to be a built-in game mode in Perfect Dark Zero and Halo 3. No more having to go in and change teams by hand.

Then Gears of War 2 had the "Horde" mode, where victory is impossible and the only real goal is to see how long you can last against waves of increasingly dangerous opposition. The end is inevitable, the goal being to see how long you can cheat death. People liked this enough, so Left 4 Dead put in "Survival" mode, and Halo gave us "Firefight".

Then games like Dark Void gave us Jetpacks(although they were around during the Duke Nukem and Tribes times, they were out of vogue until recently.) We liked those, so now they're back apparently.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

One of the folks behind "Amnesia: The Dark Descent" explains the perilous road from pitching an idea to selling a completed product. He mentions Super Mario 64 as an inspiration for his horror project. Yeah.

We tend to take releases for granted, and it's a tiny miracle that any video game that isn't a guaranteed thing like Halo or Mario gets released, but Thomas Grip explains just what a nail-biting photo-finish some games turn out to be. These guys were on the precipice of closing up shop more than once, and were saved seemingly only by the occasional Steam sale. Because of this, they were able to release a game that was about atmosphere and dread instead of killstreaks.

It also means we got videos like this.



Movie Bob: Dark Matter

There are a few people whose opinions I don't always agree with, but who otherwise represent stable pillars in a sea of undulating childishness. People who would rather wait a while to let their thoughts take form, instead of racing to be the first to say something stupid. People that I sometimes look to for guidance on certain issues I feel unprepared to deal with. People whose opinions are more valuable than mine. People like Roger Ebert, Shamus Young and Pitchfork. And people like Bob Chipman.

So what happened to Bob?

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Extra Credits: A Shoulder To Lean On

Allison Theus, the artist for the show Extra Credits needs shoulder surgery badly. James Portnow, the writer of the three-pronged weekly effort put up a place to give donations. Because her insurance wouldn't cover it under a "pre-existing condition", they needed about $15,000. As of this writing, they have...

Wait WHAT???

Monday, 11 July 2011


I'll either have an Operation Rainfall post or an Extra Credits-related post up tomorrow. Until then, I direct your attention to this review of "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" by Roger Ebert.

Speaking as a guy who has spent way too much time thinking about a big-budget adaptation of the Mega Man X video game series re-imagined as an existentialist thought exercise about the capacity for super-intelligent machines to think or feel, this review seemed like kind of a downer. Not because I disagree, but because I think the gulf between a theoretical advanced android and a human person might not be so vast as we'd like to think. And if that did turn out to be true, then a review like Ebert's, whether he intended it or not, says more about humanity than it does about machines.



Saturday, 9 July 2011

Play For Japan

Farting penis monster for charity.

No, seriously. This was going to be a post on Operation Rainfall until I saw that. Somebody thought that was a good idea for an album cover for music that's supposed to(somehow) help Japan after it's devastating hat-trick. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this seems like the kind of thing people would look at, and then pay Godzilla to wreck Japan even more, just to prevent art like this from happening again. Which seems like the opposite intention for disaster relief, doesn't it?



Friday, 8 July 2011

Classic Friday: "We Summon Rock"

Square-Enix is releasing a rhythm-based music game based on music from the Final Fantasy franchise. Sounds interesting to me, since I'm a huge Nobuo Uematsu dork. Today's Friday, Classic was written before the keytar was added to these games, and before the Rock Band/Guitar Hero plastic instrument franchise fad died off(or was it murdered?). That said, I still prefer my idea:

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Small Wonder

A Batman: Arkham City artist explains the gritty reboot of Robin. Because if it's one thing more video games need, it's brooding bald guys who fight people.



Monday, 4 July 2011

"Fragile Dreams" Review

(In the interest of full disclosure, I abandoned this game for a span of several months after being hopelessly stuck at one part. It was a carnival stage, and just trying to find my way out to progress to the next part of the game was an exercise in futility. I spent days combing every inch of this area, even backtracking to a previously completed mall area just in case I missed something.

Eventually I had no motivation to play Fragile Dreams anymore. I couldn't even bring myself to look at Game FAQS until several months later. This review should have been up last year, but I felt so thoroughly defeated by this game, and for all of the wrong reasons: Its art-design of a rustic, post-apocalyptic world hid a doorway that should have been in plain view, which was never pointed out on the map. The game made no effort to point me in the right direction. This was a total failure on Tri-Ace's part to communicate an objective with the player.

A year later, and I finally pushed through with the help of an online strategy guide, although no other portion of Fragile Dreams is that poorly designed. The product itself is rough around the edges, its battle system clearly an afterthought. It's clear where this game's priorities are, and they are better than most. And yes, the experience matters as much as the product itself. What does one rate a game that does many things right, and one thing outrageously wrong?)

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Review Ratings

Once in a while I will post a review of something here. Movies, games, maybe an album or a novel or something else. Depends. While I believe the actual words should take precedent for whoever might read these things, I know that people don't always have time to go through an entire wall of text(which I am prone to provide, brevity not being a talent of mine).

So we come to ratings. I have a rating system which combines the needless constrictions of the "Four Star" system, and the redundant stupidity of the "...OUT OF TEN!" rating guide used by shitty video game websites. It's out of 5, but I make room for .5s too, so there's a total of 10-11 possible ratings.

(Five being a thousand blowjobs, and Zero being a thousand blowjobs, BUT they're all from the Crypt Keeper.)

For those of you curious, that's supposed to be the face of an original(pfft, HAHAHAHAHA) character I made a while back. I used to have a gamer webcomic with this guy at the same time I was writing the odd review, and I thought a symbol of his face/mask/thingy would tie in well enough. Now I guess it doesn't really serve any purpose still being there, but I like it, and it's my site, so fuck all ya'll so yeah.

I know ratings like this are stupid. Roger Ebert once wrote: "I write reviews for those who can read, not those who can count."... or something. Yeah, maybe they're dumbing down society or whatever. But that's the way the wind's been blowing for a while now, and I might as well take it seriously. Or at least, try to be consistent with how I give them out.

Just posting this so that you'll know what that weird little icon is at the top of future reviews I'll post here.



Friday, 1 July 2011

Classic Friday: "Skyward Snore"

Today's Classic Friday article sheds some light on why I'm more interested in Xenoblade than the new Zelda game: