Thursday, 25 April 2013

Final Fantasy X: Open Concept Barn

I'm replaying Final Fantasy X, and I got to one of the parts where you get a different cutscene depending on who you were palling around with.

Two of the characters get into an argument about organized religion. While driving to their next destination, the protagonist and one other character are talking it over. It's meant to give the player some insight into the thought-process and feelings of characters that are otherwise pretty guarded (FFX is populated by several hard-asses who refuse to tell the main character important information. There's a good reason for why this is, but it makes them to seem like cold, unhelpful jerks for the first half of the game).

Who the main character talks to on the way is different, depending on how you play the game.


Saturday, 20 April 2013

No, Seriously

I am excited to announce I've begun pre-production on my latest project: "Thrusto's Last Score"! It's going to be a turn-based RPG about a robot who CAN NEVER STOP HUMPING.

Oh, and one of your team-mates is God.

I am not even close to kidding.



Friday, 19 April 2013

Little Witch Academia

No sooner than I question whether or not mankind will ever even desire to rise out from the swamp we've placed ourselves in, the animation studio Trigger posts its' short film: "Little Witch Academia".

There is nothing I don't like about this. There isn't a single frame of animation that isn't dripping with charm. It's boisterous and stylish and pretty, but it never veers too far off-course, or too far in one direction. It is never deathly-serious, nor sickly-sweet. There isn't a single sexy fanservicey character. There's excitement and humour and warmth. Characters learn from their mistakes here without feeling like it's trying to cram a message down my throat.

It works. In half an hour, it has more entertainment value than some major hollywood productions(especially our limping excuse for an animation industry right now).

Go watch it. Clear 30 minutes from your day and check it out. Share it with your friends. Every animated feature, even the terrible bargain bin knockoffs are the result of months, sometimes years of hard work. This is one of the few pieces of animation I've seen where you can see the care and devotion in every second. It's not often I get the feeling a company had as much fun creating something as I did watching it.



Thursday, 18 April 2013

Self-Destruct Button

Do we even WANT to be civilized?

Civilized means being well-behaved, punctual, polite, consistent, unemotional and useful. But in all of the media and fiction we consume, we're always chasing for that certain something that makes us lose control of our emotions. We seek to blow off carefully structured activity for mindless, random wanderlust. We want what will make us feel like a kid again, young and out of control. We seek to shed a tear, to pump our fist in unexpected victory, to loathe the bad guy's guts and to praise the hero. To praise ourselves.

We go to the Superbowl for the chance to feel that unbelievable joy wash over us, when Our Team wins and  Their Team loses. We read books to feel the gut-wrenching pain of the protagonist's failures, and to revel in his overcoming his obstacles. We listen to music, play video games, watch movies and tv, and read books in the hope that it will awaken something primal in us. Because that's the one thing civilization doesn't have to offer.

Maybe the hijacking of culture by shallow style over substance, shock-drama and reality tv isn't out of greed.  Maybe it's not that we, as a society want to be children. Maybe we want to be apes. Maybe it's not that being an adult was harder than we wanted it to be; maybe being human is too much for us to handle. 

Do you ever get the feeling that our species is frantically looking for its' self-destruct button?



Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Phoenix: FINALE


The last issue of my Halo webcomic is now online. Titled "Reborn", it's 104 pages long, split by an Epilogue. All in all, the entire series clocks in at 600 pages. After several years of production, it is done.

 You can read the entire thing at, or select individual pages/chapters from the Archives.

"Halo" belongs to Microsoft.



Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Michael Bay's Mega Man X

I am troubled by the trend in video games of simply "rebooting" classic franchises, in ways that are fundamentally wrong. The badly-designed, ugly re-imaginings that confuse missing the point of the source material with "going in bold, new directions"(or what Winston Rowntree called "Franchise-destroying change for the sake of change").

And they usually title these abortions in ways that just make it annoying to talk about them years later. Sonic the Hedgehog. Bionic Commando. Devil May Cry. Tomb Raider. The upcoming Thief installment isn't numbered or otherwise categorized from the original moniker, which looks like it might as well be an entirely different game. Now we have to clarify if we're talking about the original good game, or the stinking pustule that borrowed its' legacy.

At least Bomberman's terrible reboot had the decency to add the subtitle "Act Zero", which could be synonymous with "Bad Version".

They're usually overly serious, gritty, pandering only to cheap gimmicks of the time. Often they lack not only whatever creative spark made the originals so enduring, or any of the original people who worked on it, but also any polish or even a sign of remedial QA testing. If they are useful in any way, they are barometers for everything wrong with video games at the time of their creation. A historical record of how clueless the people in charge of making video games can be.

If there is one small silver lining to Capcom's total abandonment of the Mega Man franchise(and Keiji Inafune's ragequit from their offices), it's that we were spared the horrible reboot of Mega Man X.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Grand Jury Prize 2012

The Grand Jury Prize is my annual thingy that acts as an alternative to first place, in my list of the Favourite Things of the year. It's not 11th place. It's not the Best Thing. It's just another possible contender for the first-place standing of a given year.

Yes, I know I literally just did something like this, but that was for 2011. Because I'm a procrastinator. My selection for the year of 2012(which I'd still say is pretty late) is as follows: