"Do you know any swear word in a foreign language? German, French, Polish? When you say it out loud, no biggie, right? Not a problem to use it during a family dinner, I assume?"
"That is how all the f-bombs sounded to us. Being Polish, all the strong language in Bulletstorm was just exotic and fun to us. We did not feel its power. In other words, Epic thought this is what we wanted and respected our creative vision, while we had no idea this vision was a bit more than we really wanted."
"It was only at the end of the development, when I read the Polish translation of the game, that I realized how dirty we were. I swear a lot. A LOT. And yet still I ...kind of blushed."
Well how about them dicktits?
We knew Bulletstorm wasn't exactly going to blow the world away with its less serious take on the shooter, but even the fine people that can fly who work at People Can Fly were surprised that using a naughty word every 4 words can turn off some players. My opinion? I never finished Bulletstorm, but the cursing never bothered me even though I'm of Polish descent... although I never heard the dialogue in Polish. Probably would sound like filthy gibberish. But yeah, too much of a certain thing can hurt a game in the minds of some gamers, even swearing if you can fucking believe it.
As time goes by, we see technology expand and grow beyond our wildest dreams, yet we all know the future holds even greater possibilities. We live in a world of instant communication, information, and gratification because of technology, but this has been the norm since the beginning of time.
And although the future might look bleak on the surface, man's ingenuity and ability to invent can only make us better as a society for many millennia.
On that note, perhaps it's time I get an iPod. I'm thinking an iPod Touch... 5th generation when it comes out. If I had more music, I'd go Classic, but I don't have nearly enough music to fill it. Plus, I can try this Angry Birds game Conan O'Brien keeps joking about.
I believe the Zelda hype should be beginning to show itself soon, right?
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is about a few weeks away from release and it's looking like a Zelda game... you may portray that statement in a positive or negative light depending on your alignment and tastes. I will be that guy who will wait impatiently for the second (or 16th) coming of Christ. I seem to be one of the few souls around here who is legitimately excited for Skyward Sword, but if I remember correctly, most of you sold your Wii consoles long, long ago or shoved it in a closet where light can't get to it so you probably don't give a damn about another Zelda game.
Boy do I sound like a dick, but perhaps it's because I expect a lot more clamor from people when a main Zelda title looms near. Is it because it's late in the Wii's lifespan and most people have moved on? Is it because it doesn't look dramatically different than other Zelda games? Is it because it looks too dramatically different than other Zelda games? Call me old-fashioned, but the days leading up to the release of a new Zelda game should be spent talking about said Zelda game. I find it a bit strange that we were going crazy over this image for days while we tried to analyze every square inch of it and the actual game gets little attention.
I've been looking through the various articles and rumor posts about the game and I believe it's doing a lot of things right. It's 100% Ganon-free, Link can upgrade weapons and other items, ride giant birds, and then there's Fi, the latest incarnation of Navi/Midna. And from the trailers, I'm sensing Skyward Sword is an amalgamation of numerous motion control concepts that have been used in other games, like when Link has to balance himself on a giant sphere a la Super Mario Galaxy or when Link shoots that beetle thingy which probably controls much like the dogfighters in Wii Sports Resort. Skyward Sword could end up being the best case for motion controls to date.
But until I get my grubby hands on the game, it's all about the hype, or lack thereof right now.
I don't consider myself an alpha male.
Yet I still thought buying Alpha Protocol was a good decision. When a game of its size is being given away, I feel guilty if I don't buy it. I've been hearing people sing its praises and yet at the same time, cursing the game as a huge disappointment, and everything in between... but since I paid $2 for it, the disappointment argument for me personally is officially disqualified. Basically what I'm being promised is Mass Effect combined with Splinter Cell and yeah, I guess that description fits, but I wasn't impressed with the first hour of the game so far. Yes, it's safe to say I've barely scratched the surface, but first impressions count towards something and Alpha Protocol has yet to convince me it's any good. It appears to be a game that could've used an extra few months of work to get the controls to work properly and to smooth out some of the cover issues. Also, I suck at picking locks for some reason. I believe there's a decent game in Alpha Protocol somewhere, but I haven't seen it during my brief time with it.
And finally, more Zelda?
I've been asking myself whether I should spend my cash on The Binding of Isaac or go to Burger King and pound down a Triple Stacker and some onion rings. It's hard for me to say no to BK, but The Binding of Isaac sounds and looks pretty cool. It's Rogue, but also Zelda, like old-ass Zelda... or The Guardian Legend... or the parts of Blaster Master when you're not driving a fucking tank. And it looks very much like Super Meat Boy for some reason. However, I think you all knew that already. So instead of stating the obvious and blogging in generalities, let's just say I need a solid rogue-like game of my own. Someone a while back mentioned Dungeons of Dredmor... which might be the better game for me.
Dungeons of Dredmor it is then. Yes, I actually made a gaming purchase decision while blogging. To be honest, I just bought both games right now. Expect thoughts on both next time... maybe.
It's hard to believe that the antiquated print magazine is still around despite the rise of the internet and tablet PCs, but I guess there's still people out there who prefer the feel of paper across their fingers. I'm not on of these people. Once I started using the internet regularly, my Nintendo Power subscription was no more replaced with Gamespot and IGN, the powerhouses of gaming news at the time... and the present time I guess. That was about 12 years ago.
Today, Future might not have a future in the print magazine business as they're boosting their digital department and perhaps cleaning house. That means mags like Nintendo Power, OXM, Edge, and PC Gamer might be only available on your iPad or Steam or your mobile talking device in the near future.
I'm not exactly against this digitalization of media, but it is another memory from my childhood that is coming to an end as a former subscriber to Nintendo Power. I had always looked forward to my monthly Nintendo fix through that magazine and it's sad to think kids these days might not have something like OXM to look forward to in the mail. Then again, kids have the internet and I'm speaking like an old coot who hates change. Change can be good, dammit! We get our news virtually instantly nowadays so the thought of waiting a month for news is sounding ridiculous in today's world.
In a few years, the children of the world will be reading Nintendo Power on their magic screens while I will look through my old, tattered pile of Nintendo Power mags looking for cheat codes for Super R-Type and tips on how to beat the final boss in Crystalis.
Now if you excuse me, I'll be downloading Alpha Protocol just to see what the hubbub is all about. I feel obligated to try it out since I paid about the same amount for that game as a convenient store chicken sandwich I had today... and I hope it's just as good as that sandwich.
Pornography comes in many forms and you should all know, what with all the naked cartoon pussy and all. But Sears is playing catch-up. Take a gander at this actual product that Nintendo surprisingly approved.
Now... let's analyze this sling bag together, everyone. Available at Sears.com.
At first glance, it appears that King Dedede is buttfucking that Waddle Dee, the Goomba of the Kirby franchise. The king looks very pleased as if he's in some sort of dream land. The other Waddle Dee wants no part of the action and is looking away in shame, yet is in direct fire of the sticky liquid (I assume it's sticky) being sprayed all over. I have a feeling Nintendo will be taking this fine product off the market very, very soon.
If that's how Nintendo wants to market the release of Kirby's Return to Dream Land, I will fully support the game and buy it on launch day. And if Nintendo has a collector's edition with a full-body Waddle Dee pillow, I will finally have some use for my Wiimote condom.
If you've been wondering why I've been lax with this whole blog over the past few weeks and months, it can be explained with the words "writer's block." I've been struggling to write about the many topics that have been swirling in my head for a while now and unlike my early days of blogging here at Giant Bomb, I'm attempting to create some sort of standard of quality to a point. Combine that with a busy summer, a pinch of real life, and a lack of time spent playing video games, there's been little for me to actually blog about. Hopefully with the summer season ending and the busy gaming season beginning, there's hope that I can start providing the community with something... anything.
And maybe the end of 2011 will make up for a pretty lackluster lineup of games I believe we had throughout 2011 as a whole. Maybe the past few years have spoiled me, but this year has been a disappointment. The games that interest me have been few and far between and all the games I'm looking forward to in the near future (Skyward Sword, Bioshock Infinite, Borderlands 2) are still weeks, months, and maybe years away respectively. I guess I had so much fun with last year's games that I'm suffering from gaming fatigue or indifference to new things... I'm not sure. Maybe it's because the Wii decided to take a long sabbatical or the bad economy finally catching up to us, but 2011 kinda sucks at this time and is ruining the blog I built with my bare hands.
Or maybe I'm just fucking lazy.
Oh, and I guess it's becoming common knowledge, but Mento gets my vote for rookie of the year in the Giant Bombosphere. Go read his stuff if you haven't already.
Well that's a small load off my chest. Now Sweep won't ban me... tonight.
It's officially Labor Day here in America, a day where we do the opposite of labor. It's a lovely, little piece of irony we celebrate every year. It's also the last day white clothes is acceptable and the last day most of us will grill our burgers and durgers this year. But I think we should cancel Labor Day this year since nobody is actually working in America right now. That's right! 100% unemployment here in the U.S. Can't believe that day finally came when we all collectively said, "Fuck it!"
So I'll celebrate in my own unique way. I might spend the day buying Bastion or Limbo and playing Bastion or Limbo... or cleaning up the backlog. Or awaiting the Dead Island reviews to see if that's worth getting. I know zombie games are so 2008, 2009, and 2010, but they're so 2011! Or I should just play some Left 4 Dead which I haven't touched in ages. Or maybe I should ask myself why 2011 has been such a disappointing year in video games? Decisions, decisions.
I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking this, but the big, red phone will be exploited for dangerously hilarious purposes. I assume that was clearly in mind when they approved of this stupidly bad/stupidly awesome idea. If you're not aware of this phone, it's a subscriber-only thing... and I reluctantly renewed my subscription even though I was on the fence about it for months. Maybe I'll start watching more of the Happy Hour shenanigans and buy a shirt or something for the good of the universe. But this phone... oh I have plans for that phone.
Dark, sinister plans.
They may regret this whole phone idea, but if they're gonna go full steam ahead with this, maybe they should add voicemail so we can leave dirty messages for Vinny because Vinny appreciates dirty phone messages.
Video games, when it comes down to it, is all about numbers. We strive to achieve the highest scores and reach the highest levels almost all the time in video games. We often look for a number or grade to make us feel better about our progress and skill, but numbers made an impact on games in so many ways... or maybe vice versa, I'm not really sure. But anyway, here are some numbers that shaped the way we play games. Commence numbering!
The number 1 is synonymous with the beginning of the game. It's the level of your character when you first boot up a new game in your favorite JRPG. It's the number of the first act in Sonic the Hedgehog. In fact, Mario takes it farther with World 1-1. The first level is probably the most important of any game since first impressions can determine whether you'll enjoy the rest of the game. The number 1 is sometimes associated as a sign of weakness in some games. A level 1 character doesn't sound the least bit menacing and are pushovers, but you typically don't stay at level 1 for very long. The number 1 can also be a positive thing. It feels pretty awesome being the first at something, like a leaderboard or a race or a high score screen with 3-letter initials of people you never met.
As time goes by, the number 8 becomes less and less important, but the number 8 is crucial to video games in two major ways. First of all, it's the number of bits in the classic video game consoles, the NES and the Sega Master System. The 8-bit aesthetic is still celebrated even though our current technology is getting very close to photorealism. It reminds older games like myself of a time when platformers ruled the planet and all you needed was a D-pad and a couple buttons, and even that couldn't prepare you for the crushing difficulty of some of the games of that era. But it's not just about bits, it's also about levels, worlds, and stages. Level/World/Stage 8 is typically the end of the line, the final showdown, the coup de grace. It's where the game ends either in a blaze of glory against the hardest foe you've ever faced in your life... or in death. While the elusive 9th world pops up when they need to pad out a game with extra-tough levels, it's all about the 8th stage where you fight Bowser, King Dedede, etc. There are games with 6 levels or worlds and others with more, but for some reason games with 8 levels feel just right, not too padded with filler or not too short to the point where you feel like you got shortchanged. Today, that rule doesn't really apply, but we still see games that keep it traditional. Just look at what Nintendo released the past few years.
It's more of an RPG thing, but the number 99 is usually the opposite of 1. It's typically the maximum level you can reach in a game where leveling your character is part of the game. Getting to level 99 is normally not necessary in most RPGs, but it's a goal some people try to achieve for their own silly, selfish reasons. Getting to level 99 means a lot of grinding so getting to that lofty number is not for the faint of heart, but once you get to level 99, you feel like you can destroy anything in your path. I've done it myself a few times playing Earthbound (because I'm a crazy person) and since I'm trudging through Chrono Trigger at this time, I'm crazy enough to do the same in that game. But why not 100? I guess it comes down to not wanting to add an extra digit because it makes no real sense overall... or sloth on the part of the developer.
One of the side effects of the 8-bit era is that games were limited in its computing power. After all, it's all about 0s and 1s at its core. And that brought us the 255 phenomenon (that should be a concept), a common restriction found in RPGs and games where you collected things in large numbers. Basically, this happens when the 8-bit value reaches its maximum, or 11111111, or 255. This was a common occurrence in games back in the old days, but this phenomenon carried over to a number of 16-bit games and even several current games, mostly RPGs where the use of numbers is most important. It doesn't really affect us as it used to... imagine if Link could keep all those rupees he had to throw away or if there were more than 255 levels in Pac-Man. He'd do some more gambling in the old man cave.
And finally, this one has deep meaning for the Xbox 360 achievement whores out there. 1000 is the maximum number of achievement points allowed in the every vanilla retail game for the 360. And while DLC can goof up the numbers a bit, 1000 is the ultimate goal for the those who wear their achievement score on their shoulder. For some, it's a pointless system that forces arbitrary rules on the player, but for some it's a symbol of perfection. However you describe it, the number 1000 is important to many gamers.
Here's the part of the blog where I question you, the audience. Did I miss anything? How can I forget the dreaded sequel numbers 2, 3, and 4? 16-bit anyone? 32? 64? Have you ever wondered why these numbers made sense? Do you care?