Thursday, 29 September 2011

Colony Wars

Some games you don't realize how much you missed until years after it left your memory.

Granted, this article by a determined fan trying to get answers on the creation of the series isn't the most informative read, but after this long it's not hard to see why info would be scarce on a series that hasn't been updated since before the Playstation 2. Still, it shed a small light on video game history.



Monday, 26 September 2011

The Gunstringer

Huh. So it turns out you can get funding for a game concept you literally pulled out of your ass, just by frantically looking around your nearest location for inspiration. Really puts my super-secret idea for a game I've been nursing for 18 years into perspective.

It also reminded me of this.



Saturday, 24 September 2011

Character Showcase: "Rarity"

Growing up as a young lad, there were "boy shows" and "girl shows". There was a certain code among the boys that girl shows were, and I quote: "icky". They were not tolerated. We were only to watch Manly shows, with Men doing Manly things without any pesky women getting in the way. Because otherwise it would be "gay".

I think if that was the point, we may have had our priorities backwards. Far be it for me to question the wisdom and time-honoured traditions of insecure 1st-graders.

But then, I was mostly raised by my mom and sister. And since life was and continues to be an emotionally crushing hellhole which leaves me "too scared to die and too damned to scream", I was in need of some distractions when the boy shows weren't cutting it. I wasn't above watching the occasional programming for whom I was never the intended audience. And I didn't have friends until the 5th grade anyway, so it's not like I had any reputation to lose by giving Sailor Moon or Hello Kitty a chance.

I think the major thing keeping me away from these Girl Shows and franchises wasn't the fact that they were for a different audience. It's that the majority of them that I tried watching were, quite frankly terrible. Even by 80's/90's kid show standards. It was as if they were made mostly by clueless men who greatly underestimated little girls or something, but LOL THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN, SEXISM AIN'T NOT THANG RITE

I'm glad to see those days may be behind us.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Smash Bros. Brawl Remixes

Super Smash Bros. Brawl has the most soundtrack of anything that's ever needed music. It was a gargantuan project, assembling pretty much every name in eastern video game composition into one project, to remix classic Nintendo songs. Pretty much any song I ever enjoyed from all across this companies franchises were represented, sometimes by composers I've admired and followed over the years.

Oh, and they got my favourite composer, Nobuo Uematsu, to compose the main theme song. Nothing that awesome and nerdy will ever happen again.

Here's my 10 favourite song remixes from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in no specific order(not including original tracks like Final Destination, or songs that were included but not remixed):

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Professor Layton Vs. Phoenix Wright

Nintendo's reluctance to bring Xenoblade, The Last Story or Pandora's Tower to the west told me, in no uncertain terms, that it doesn't want my business anymore. That my money is no good to them. And I can respect their decision.

And by "respect" I mean "face-palm".

I really don't want to give up on this company or its products. Honestly, I'm not trying to boycott this here, but I'm not convinced they haven't given up on me. That said, if they ensure the release of THIS GAME in the States, they will do a lot toward rebuilding some of the goodwill they've lost.

Image courtesy of



Friday, 16 September 2011

5 Ways To Tell You're Irrelevant

John Cheese and David Wong of have in the past said some of the more frightening and honest stuff about the state of modern video games. That their latest article leaves such a sour aftertaste is unfortunate. These two rarely miss the point this badly.

It's called "5 Ways to Tell You're Getting Too Old for Video Games", and it tries to pass off all of today's hideous failings in the industry to us just being a bunch of old coots. They also make the claim that video games today are no different than they were in the Pong era, by virtue of the fact that there were copy-cat games there too, in comparison to our onslaught of brown FPS games.

Oh, and they also insinuate that Final Fantasy VI is on the same level as Call of Duty's zombie mode. Just because kids today are more immersed in that, in a -vaguely similar- way we were enraptured in the world of magicite and espers. See, it's not that games themselves are getting shittier, or that the industry is focusing too much on the racist 8-year old demographic. No, it's our fault because we aren't letting our inner-child roam free, free like the birds and the bees and the cute little bunnies.

Guys... NO. Holy shit, that's just... no.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Final Fantasy X Remake

Yeah. The one with Tidus.

Wait, I thought remaking Final Fantasy VII was "unrealistic"? But this one isn't? So, instead of getting what everyone is asking for, they're going to give us what NOBODY wanted? A game that doesn't need to be remade, because it looks and plays fine as it is compared to today's technology?

Not six? Not the three PSX era titles everyone won't shut up about?

Look, I'm not saying I didn't like FFX. It's one of my favourite games, in fact. But I really have to wonder if Yoichi Wada isn't trolling us at this point.



Extra Credits: "Cutscenes"

I've said my piece on Cutscenes. I don't like unskippable, badly-acted cutscenes that don't make any sense any more than the next guy. But I do feel that, when done right, they can be one more reward for the player. I don't even mind cutscene-heavy games, as long as I'm entertained. I also think the people who want them banished entirely are people who don't understand video games.

I guess what I'm saying is: I agree with Dan and James on this one, and they managed to get that point across with greater brevity and civility than I am capable of.



Monday, 12 September 2011

Video Games Suck

So Halo 4's "Creative Director" quit. About a year before the game is due. Early enough in development that no known gameplay footage exists, we know nothing of the single-player storyline, the multiplayer modes, the enemies, the allies, the weapons, the equipment or the setting. And already Ryan Payton's had enough.

The straw that broke the camel's back was apparently Microsoft keeping a short leash on what their new team can do with the franchise. This does not fill me with confidence. It's bad enough they're focusing on that worthless green turd just to satiate the demands of dumb-ass kids too young to be playing an M-rated game in the first place. And "Creative Director" is a pretty vague job title.

But if the people they specifically hired to get creative with their franchise are so restricted from creativity that they start rage-quitting, somehow I doubt they've got a handle on this video game thing. And after this many years, this company really should know better by now.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Ten Years

Not really a whole lot I can say that others aren't saying a lot better. Especially people who were much closer to the impact than I was. My being a Canadian I can't claim the same experience as the Americans, but it has given me an interesting vantage point.

In the time since, I have seen from the United States equal parts hope and fear, courage and cowardice, reason and insanity. We talk of how we banded together and showed our true colours, while at the same time many others were taking advantage of that sudden patriotic camaraderie to suit their own selfish, destructive ambitions. We are more suspicious now than ever, less trusting, less certain.

In many ways, we're still crawling out of the wreckage. But we're still here. The sun still rises. And no amount of fear and hostility can break that.

My neighbours down south have been hit hard, harder than I'd like to imagine. And I think they've been wounding themselves for the last decade with their fear-mongering and pseudo-civil war "Us vs. Them" mentality.

But whatever doesn't kill you...



Friday, 9 September 2011

Classic Friday: "HUGO STIGLITZ"

I was hoping I could make these Classic Friday posts be at least vaguely on topic with something that's happened recently, but that's what I get for putting off saving those articles until it was too late. So you get an old review of a Quentin Tarantino movie:

Thursday, 8 September 2011

OC Remix: "Back In Blue"

OC Remix released their newest album: A collection of mixes from Mega Man 9. Pretty solid overall, and the only track they fucked up completely was Hornet Man's. I find that happens a lot with them and tracks with male vocalists. It's how they killed the Credits Music from Mega Man X, and the final boss tracks to FFIV and Donkey Kong Country 2. There's a few decent female singers there, but not one talented male vocal performer.

That complaint aside, I'd recommend giving it a listen. Some very talented people on this one. If nothing else, it will tide things over until they release their gigantic Mega Man X series tribute album.



Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Crytek Me A River

It's pretty sad that stories like this are becoming so commonplace they're almost not even noteworthy anymore. Crytek joins the ranks of EA, Rockstar and Activision when it comes to companies with dickhead bosses and allegations of hellish working conditions.

If there is any truth to these accusations, this is not something we should tolerate. But if this is how companies treat the people who bring us our entertainment, what do we do? Do we boycott the game entirely? While it would send a message to these companies in the only language they understand(money), it has the unfortunate side-effect of wasting the blood, sweat and tears developers go through to make these games. Even if those games are flavourless, mass-produced shlock. And I don't think pirating is the right way, either.

And it could just be bogus, a stream of lies by a guy rightly fired, now entangled in a vicious "he-said, she-said" situation on public display. Hey, just playing devil's advocate.

Either way, something is very rotten in video games if this situation is becoming the norm.



Friday, 2 September 2011

Classic Friday: "Tamers"

I'm happy to report that I've found a couple of older articles I HAD saved to my hard-drive before the old site died. Which means Classic Friday can still exist for about a month or so.

I also mentioned a few week's back that I'm planning on writing a list of my favourite cartoons. Well, here's one of 'em:

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Selina Kyle

Dear Lindy Hemming, costume designer for the upcoming "The Dark Knight Rises"...

You can do better.


Okay, Bane looks alright. I'll give you that.