Summer is like hell but different, also I'm famous.

 

God damn it you guys.
 
God fucking damn it.
 
We have once again entered the horrible purgatory of our hobby known as the "Summer Drought" in which no games come out ever and we must scrape by with but the barest of offerings. We salivate at even the smallest of scraps tossed to us like rabid animals fighting over a leg of meat after being forcibly starved over several weeks because we are owned by the proprietor of a dog fight and this metaphor isn't going anywhere. 
 
I could probably make some real poignant  statement about companies bleeding us dry in the summer to make us ravenous to eat up whatever shit they put out if I wasn't bored as all hell.
 
The only things even worth looking forward to are downloadable games and shit that already came out like Xenoblade Chronicles. I guess Diablo III is coming out at some point? Yeah, like that will happen.
 
Anyway, the point of this thread is I am bored and need shit to do, amuse me with your horrible tastes in video games as I justify it within the context of talking about what you are playing right now.
 
Here is my clever canned example to bait you into falling for my devious trap.

Tribes Assend:

  
  
I keep telling people to play this and they don't listen to me. Why? Probably because they are terrible people, terrible people who hate video games add are part of a secret society dedicated to destroying the industry and plunging Nintendo into bankruptcy so as to get closer to their true target, Satura Iwata, the last true son of man.
 
Tribes is really fucking good you guys. It's really fucking good. It is the best multiplayer FPS to come out since TF2, and I don't say that lightly. I played TF2 and little else for two years straight and I still have been known on occasion to boot up for a game of Dustbowl or Hightower. It's kind of incredible how much they have in common. They're both fun as hell, they're both like no other shooters on the market, and they both have an incredible sense of humor despite there being absolutely no good reason why either of them should. Admittedly much of the humor in Tribes is outside the game, but then again at some point they had to know 16 grown men sitting in an online server spamming "SHAZBOT!" and "I AM THE GREATEST!" wasn't exactly going to be the most serious of affairs.
 
But yeah, it's kind of hard to catalyze what makes Tribes so much damn fun. In a lot of ways it bends to modern design philosophy perhaps a bit too much, but it still manages to feel like is pulling all the right strings to get that classic FPS vibe. Maybe it is the super fast pace that games simply don't have anymore, maybe it is the slightly higher but still accessible level of entry, maybe it is just having to use weapons that actually require you to aim. It is hard to pin point it, but Tribes is just as satisfying as it is fun to play. You don't just have a good time, you feel like you've actually done something skillful and praiseworthy despite just playing a fucking video game about mecha-men flying across a space beach yelling at each other over a flag.
 
I like it.
 
Also I guess it technically comes out this month so fuck maybe I invalidated this entire thread.

Legal Legends:

I don't know what it is about DoTA 2, but I just can't get into it. Maybe it is the confusing sub systems that are poorly explained (and by that I of course mean not explained at all), the bland and honestly kind of depressing map artwork, the characters that feel familiar but at the same time incredibly foreign , or maybe just the lack of mechanics that I thought of as vital to my MOBA experience that just don't exist in this game.
 
In a lot of ways DoTA 2 has made me appreciate League of Legends more. DoTA feels like a game that has been completely locked in time, not changing or improving, not learning any lessons or trying to fix its flaws. It feels very old, and having never played the original WCIII mod that still came through very strongly for me. Certainly there is value in that, just as there is value in re-releasing classics like DOOM, but at some point I think it is a bit strange that there is so much fanfare over what feels like a multimillion dollar graphical update to a terribly outdated game,
 
I really just like everything about League. I like how easy it is to slip into a new character you've never played and still do well, I like that the map is completely constant so it really feels like you are completely in control of a match, I like that every role on a team is very defined and fun to play, and I like that no matter how or what I choose to play I can feel like I'm making an impact on the game and helping my team to victory or defeat. I think that's what I like so much about League that other multiplayer games just don't offer. An average match is so long and arduous and each member of your five man squad has such an impact on how things play out that it never really feels like you lost, or won, because of a fluke. It's entirely in your control. A lot of people will cite that as the reason the community can be so hostile, as even one bad player on a team can shift the odds dramatically, but I've always seen it as an incentive to actually communicate with my team and try to improve our play and strategize.
 
I really hate how detached mutliplayer gaming has become. Often will you get into games now where everyone is just sitting there, completely silent throughout an entire session, as they move from objective to objective not even stopping to figure out who this guy standing next to him is. That's just an impossibility in League. If you choose to ignore the other four players on your team you are going to lose because there is absolutely no way you can carry the game on your own. It adds a real human element that I just don't find in games anymore. Often it can bring the worst out in people, as I'm sure more than a few can attest, but if you have the stomach for it you'll definitely have an interesting experience and maybe even meet a few stand-up chaps along the way.
 
To get back to the game though, I really do enjoy it. I like how paced it is, how each game has predictable phases that it inevitably enters yet they never play out exactly the same. There are so many variables, yet it still manages to feel constant. That's probably why League is the first game I've ever really followed a competitive scene for. Here are these guys playing on the same map I have spent hours on, doing the same things I have done, but in a completely different way. I just love how creative you can get with things like team compositions and strategies despite it all feeling so binary, it's really quite incredible. Riot has succeeded in creating a game that is the very definition of hidden depth. I am always learning more. The times for jungle creep respawns, the gold amounts for last hitting minion waves, the perks and duration of Baron buff. That probably doesn't even look like English out of context. Every time I sit down with League I'm learning something new about the mechanics, it's always getting deeper and more interesting no matter how much time I choose to invest in it. There really just isn't a huge diversity of multiplayer games that are so knowledge based yet so accessible at the same time. I found it so easy to get into, yet at the same time the League I am playing now and the League I was playing less than a year ago are almost two entirely separate entities.
 
It really is quite a marvel of good design sense and balance. I'd probably write about it more if it weren't so damn addicting.
 

Devil Survivor 2

They made Devil Survivor again.
 

Also I got 400 Followers

  
    

What am I doing with my life.


   the blog.
66 Comments

Ultimate Black Friday Survival Guide: I Punch Holiday Shoppers

Okay bitches, it's that time of year again. Time to rob the 1% of their delicious products by exploiting ignorant retailers to get shit at ridiculous prices.

LET'S GO!

(Not covering hardware, you want that shit go find it yourself.)

BEST DEALS IN BOLD

Walmart - Sales Start at 10 PM (Bring other stores' ads into Walmart and they will honor the deals)

Yakuza 4 - $10
Skyward Sword Limited Edition - $60 
Dance Central 2 - $15
Infamous 2 - $28
Arkham City - $28
Gears of War 3 - $28
Battlefield 3 - $28
Forza 4 - $28

Best Buy - Sales Start at 12 AM

3 Months of Xbox Live Gold - $8
Dance Central 2 - $25Once Upon a Monster - $25
Deus Ex: Human Rev. - $30
 
Gears of War 3 - $30
Forza 4 - $35 
Assassin's Creed Revelations - $35

Target - Sales Start at 12 AM

BABYSITTING MOMMA - $5 
Dance Central 2 - $27
Gears of War 3 - $37
Resistance 3 - $37

K-Mart - Sales Start at 5 AM

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection - $35 
Battlefield 3 - $35
Enslaved - $10
RAGE - $30 
ICO & Shadow of the Collosus HD - $30 
Gears of War 3 - $40
Forza 4 - $40 
SKYLANDERS STARTER PACK - $50

Gamestop - Sales Start NOW

All Used Games Buy 2 Get 1 Free
RAGE - $30
Forza 4 - $40
Street Fighter IV: AE - $20
Rocksmith - $50
Rayman Origins - $40 
L.A. Noire - $20
Sonic Generations - $30 
Battlefield 3 -$40
Okamiden - $20

If I missed anything good feel free to point it out and I'll add it to the list.

And as always, mother fuckin' Amazon and Steam.

15 Comments

Why Sonic Adventure 2 has the best story in gaming, period.

Okay listen up, because I have something really important that I’ve wanted to share with you guys for a long time.

It will take some time to explain, but, this is just really important to me, so if you would take the time to read through this I would really appreciate it. I know it’s a lot, but please, just give it a chance.

While Sonic Adventure 2 may seem, from the outside, to be just another middling 3D action game with a tacked on story, this is hardly the case. In fact, it is just a shell whose hard candy center is one of the best kept secrets in gaming. If the Sonic Adventure series, if it can really be called that, is remembered for anything it is its ridiculous music, and voice acting, and really pretty much everything about it is. Few people, however, know that some of that music, namely the themes accompanying the Knuckles levels, were written by long time Sega audio producer Tomoya Ohtani in association with rapper Hunnid P. Even fewer are aware that, right under Sega's nose, he penned a veritable opera for the little monotreme. Hidden within each of these seemingly incomprehensible songs is the tale of a very confused soul, lost in a reality of its own design, that is struggling to come to terms with the profound realization of its utter powerlessness in the world. It is, in a word, beautiful. Perhaps this is somewhat unbelievable claim, but let me assure you of its authenticity.

I've created a write up delving into, in detail, this tale of epic proportions. But first, some explanation.

Foreword

Before I begin, I'd like to establish a few things so that we are all clear on what this actually is.

First off, you have to realize that this is not, completely, Ohtani's original vision. Because he had to make his true intentions as unnoticeable as possible in order to get his songs approved, and since Sega ultimately had the final word on everything, his work has been obscured to some degree. Everything had to be contextual to the levels in the game, which had already been finalized before Ohtani was brought in, but thankfully Ohtani left behind song titles to serve as additional clues the original meaning of each piece. I will be examining these as well, and as such I have included them alongside the name of each level.

With that out of the way, let me clarify one more pressing issue that is most likely at the forefront of your mind. I'd imagine that, right now, some of you are thinking "Why haven't I heard of this before?" That's a very good question, and one that deserves an answer. Honestly, I do not know and would very much like to know why this is so rarely discussed as well. It was in 2007 that I first stumbled upon a MySpace post by Ohtani, linked to me through an IRC chatroom, nearly six years after the game's original Dreamcast release. I assume Sega must have ordered the post taken down before it caught mainstream attention as I have yet to find the original or a duplicate copy. Perhaps it was simply out of a fear that they would appear (more) ignorant to their customers, but I can think of no other reason as to why this sudden information would suddenly disappear from the net without a trace.

You can find his MySpace profile here.

I was quite shocked to find that there is virtually no information left on the net regarding this astonishing, and admittedly hilarious, misappropriation of resources. So, naturally, I decided that I should chronicle this story somewhere before it was lost forever.

I hope it was worth the effort.

Prologue

Ohtani's story was basically that of a man torn to pieces by the realization that his entire life is a self-fabricated monstrosity. Basically, Ohtani is implying through his lyrics that the world of Sonic the Hedgehog is actually an illusion, formed under the aide of hallucinogens, that Knuckles has created to shelter himself from the harsh realities of the real world. It's basically story of utter defeat by one’s own self and a glorious revelation and rebirth. The classic tale of a man becoming more than himself only when he is at his lowest. It's quite a remarkable story, and one made all the more so by the medium through which it is told. There are a few things essential to understanding this story to the fullest.

1. This is a monologue. Every song is quick to remind us that this is an account of Knuckle's thoughts in the first person in the beginning of every song. This is a tale told by its narrator, and as such there are things to consider. Is Knuckles being completely truthful to the audience? Is he even being completely truthful to himself? There are implications made by the narrative style, and it is best to keep these in mind before continuing.

2. Ohtani never had the final say on the music for each song. Although he did have a generally idea of what the music would be like for each track before he composed the lyrics, he never actually had any influence on the final pieces of music his words were performed over. He would often be forced by Sega to completely redo a song, giving him very little time to fix the lyrics for each new master. As such, the meaning of the lyrics and the context the music places into hem may seem to clash at times, but keep in mind that in most cases these are two separate bodies of work.

3. The final level in which all the characters team up is not canon to Ohtani's story. He had no creative control over the music in this part, and thus, it should not be considered part of his work. I should be quite easy to dismiss this considering that there are no actual lyrics to the music in this section of the game, but it is worth noting all the same.

4. There was a song cut from the game. Early in development there was going to be one more Knuckles level in the game, a snow level. This was actually the last Knuckles only section, and thus it was originally the final act of Ohtani's epic. I do not, as previously stated, have a copy of the original blog post in which Ohtani revealed the true meaning behind his lyrics, however I will attempt to recount the final chapter's general overview as best I can. With that out of the way, let's get on to the part you've all been waiting for.

Chapter 1 - Kick the Rock (Wild Canyon)

Kick the Rock is the first and most unassuming of the Ohtani tracks. It's a very light-hearted, very fun song. It is meant as a reintroduction to the world of Sonic the Hedgehog and what it, and Knuckles, is all about. Basically, it is a set up for things to come. However, don't be fooled by the upbeat rhythm, there is darker subtext work here. The first thing we notice is the use of the word "Echidona" in the line 1 of the second stanza. Not only is Knuckles not an "Echidona," but Echidona is not actually a word. Knuckles is an Echidna, and for Sega to have made such a slip up with their own character would normally be inexcusable. However, this was no slip up, this was intentional.

Here we see Ohtani begin to play with the idea that Knuckles is beginning to realize that he isn't sure who he is anymore. This is further implied by the line "Never seen a mic hog spit like a menace" as Knuckles is also not a hedgehog. This line, specifically, may be one of the early warning signs that Sonic, and the rest of the cast, are all actually Knuckles himself, drug fueled personas created by a desperate imagination trying to hang on to the illusion. There are also some other mature themes briefly glanced over in this song like sex, Knuckles's often rash and violent nature, and of course drug references.

Although Ohtani never specified what, exactly, Knuckles may have been consuming in reality, the popular consensus at the time was crack cocaine. This is implied by the title "Kick the Rock," as well as Knuckles's constant paranoia regarding the safety of his "Master Emerald.” Although this would not explain the extreme level of hallucination he is experience throughout the story, it is never implied that Knuckles is only taking one type of drug so he could, in fact, be partaking of multiple substances.

Chapter 2 - A Ghost's Pumpkin Soup (Pumpkin Hill)

Here we begin to see Knuckles slowly begin to succumb to his paranoia as the once wistful valleys of the Wild Canyon are twisted and contorted into the nightmare realm now known only as Pumpkin Hill. The important things to recognize are the metaphors Ohtani is using with the ghosts and pumpkins. Basically, the ghosts represent the few remaining scraps of Knuckles's conscious, waking mind that realize the truth of his situation where as the pumpkins are the hallucinations, created by his subconscious in self-defense against recognizing reality. As Knuckles comes closer to the truth of his dream world's fabrication, they begin to transform into horrifying abominations in an attempt to ward him away back into their comforting embrace.

This is further expounded upon in the title, "A Ghost's Pumpkin Soup," that denotes the fact that this wretched dream scape in which Knuckles now resides was, originally, a creation of his waking mind attempting to escape its frustrations with the world. This is also the first song in which the true nature of the Master Emerald is revealed. The Master Emerald is, in actuality, Knuckles's mind. Every time it comes close to completion it is broken apart as he suffers yet another mental break down, further isolating him from the reality which he so feverishly denies.

The two most interesting lines here are those of 8 and 9 in the second stanza. Knuckles explains that his "graveyard theory" is that a ghost tried to approach him but "got leery." Let's look it at from the perspective of the ghost as a metaphor for Knuckles's waking mind. Knuckles's conscious mind, the one that is aware of the falsity of the illusion, approaches him attempting to bring him back into reality. However, it gets "leery" before it is able to do so. Now what does leery mean? Well the traditional definition is a caution brought about by completely rational fears, realistic fears. Think about that, realistic fears. This is just another example of the masterful word play at work here. The ghost is not afraid of being harmed by the corporeal Knuckles, it is afraid that he is not capable of handling reality without doing irreversible harm to himself.

Knuckles then begins frantically climbing, the menacing anecdotes issuing forth from the pumpkins corrupting his every thought, trying to find any semblance of rational behind the events that are beginning to tear his world apart. He then jumps off and begins flying deeper. Deeper not into darkness, but into his own consciousness, desperately searching for answers.

Chapter 3 - Dive Into the Mellow (Aquatic Mine)

This is the first track whose music really detracts from Ohtani's lyrics, although that may not initially seem to be the case. The problem with the song, and really even the title "Dive Into the Mellow", is that it implies that Knuckles has lapsed back into hallucination and is farther from the truth than ever. In actuality, that is not the case, at least not yet. The use of "mellow" in the title is meant to invoke a feeling of almost reaching that point of clarity. Basically, this is the point in the story where Knuckles reaches out towards reality, almost manages to finally, after so long, touch it, but inevitably falling back into darkness as is evident by the next song, "Deeper."

The music here is meant to be a bit more erratic, to convey the idea that Knuckles is frantically searching but also very much confused with the concept of who he actually is and why the world around him is shifting into a dark, antagonistic nightmare realm.

This is when we begin to see Knuckles questioning the world around him. He begins to question why things are the way they are, even somewhat resenting it as is evident in the lines:

Makes you wanna sit back, enjoy the life

And do the things you like doin', get to shine

It sure beats fighting with the foes all the time

But I gotta do it, they always stay out of line

But there is also a profound confusion ailing Knuckles. He feels lost in his own home, in his own mind, and he is still plagued by demonic visions, his subconscious still mangling itself into an ever-darker form. He feels trapped, like he is drowning in it all with no hope left of finding a way out. But there is still one light left, miniscule though it may be. He remains determined. He has no goal, or even any way of knowing exactly what it is that he is searching, but he refuses to back down. It is that trait that defines Knuckles, but also leads him to his eventual downfall.

Chapter 4 – Deeper (Death Chamber)

And here is where we finally arrive, the breaking point. This is the climax of the story and where everything starts to fall apart for Knuckles. This is where Knuckle’s darkest fears finally take over and drop him into a terrifying realm known as Death Chamber. He breaks, almost instantly. The visions he is confronted with prove to much for him to handle and his mind finally snaps.

It is in this piece that the construction of the Sonic Universe as a lucid hallucination is brought to bear and the truth of Knuckle’s situation is exposed in full force. The lyrical aspect of this song is actually incredible minimal, and as such almost every single line is packed with meaning.

From front to back all I see is stones

I'm glad that I don't call this home

This is the beginning of the song when Knuckles starts to panic. He knows that what he is seeing isn’t right, but he is still apprehensive. He is actually starting to realize what has been going on, but he doesn’t want to accept it. We can see this apprehension specifically in “I don’t call this home.” This statement wasn’t prompted; in fact he had no reason to say it at all. Except it IS his home, it is his mind, but he wants to believe above all hope that this is just another horrible hole in the earth that his emerald somehow fell into.

Eggman wants to steal our soul, keep the Emeralds and build a throne

Now this is very interesting and really brings to bear the crux of the story. Eggman wants to steal our soul? I’m pretty sure that has never been Eggman’s MO, and notice the wording. He wants to steal “our” “soul.” Not “Our souls” or “My soul”, “our soul.” This is further confirmed by the reemergence of the idea of the Master Emerald. Once again the idea of the emerald as the pieces of Knuckle’s mind is brought up again, with Eggman, who we can only assume at this point is the ultimate manifestation of Knuckle’s damaged psyche, wants to build a throne out of the emerald so that he can gain control of the Echidna and keep him safe from reality once and for all.

Not if I can help at all

I will not let him take it over

Need I say more?

And it is then that we come to what may be one of the most simultaneously beautiful and terrifying pieces of music every created. The Argument.

"Sonic, what are you doing here?"

"I heard you were on a quest for the Master Emerald"

"You know me and you don't get along"

"I don't think that's the point right now, Knuckles

I know how much that emerald means to you and I wanna help get it back

Stop bein' stubborn and think"

"Well, I guess you're right"

"Ya damn right Knuckles"

"I know Eggman's secret station's here somewhere All we have to do is find it"

"I know we'll need a key to get inside

That's our only way to find it So let's go"

It is here that Ohtani really shines as both a lyricist and a storyteller. So much struggle, so much anguish, and then that release.

This part can be a little difficult to follow, so allow me to break it down.

Just as Knuckles is about to give in, perhaps even opting to commit suicide, Sonic appears out of nowhere and urges him to go on, to not give up and keep charging ahead. Obviously, if there was any doubt, this pretty much seals the fact that Sonic is just another personality created by Knuckles, but there is more to it than that. It was generally a consensus at the time that, much like Eggman, Sonic is the avatar of the remaining pieces of Knuckle’s waking mind and most likely always has been. It is in this time of need that Knuckle’s conscious mind finally refuses to obey the rules of this warped reality and sends a messenger in the guise of one of Knuckle’s own creations to guide him to the truth, to guide him to the key to escape his self created prison.

And it is with this that the final battle commences.

Chapter 5 – Space Trip Steps (Meteor Herd)

There is, surprisingly very little to this track in terms of narrative. There is certainly a little development here, but the main focus was to be on the music carrying the flow of the battle with Eggman. Sadly both the story and music of this level were changed rather late in the development of Sonic Adventure 2 when it was decided that the final section of the game would feature all the characters rather than just Sonic and Shadow. This was a major blow to Ohtani’s work, but it was so late in the game’s life that he could neither alter or abandon his magnum opus even if he wanted to.

While the original brilliance of this track may be lost to the ages, we can still at least garner some info of the final confrontation between Knuckle’s and Eggman from the song’s lyrics.

Obviously the first thing most listeners will notice that Knuckles and Sonic are now in space and, as Knuckles puts it, they “left from our home.” This is not to imply that they have physically left home, as I’m sure you are all already aware, but they have left the realm of Knuckles’s subconscious completely. They have ascended to a new plane, perhaps even some kind of spirit dimension, to finally confront and kill Eggman.

As they dodge meteors to reach Eggman, it was speculated that the meteors were probably the subconscious finally resorting to physical violence against Knuckles, perhaps even causing him to harm himself in real life, Knuckles notes that he has a crazy look in his face. This is not actually because Eggman looks weird, but because he is no longer Eggman at all. He has adopted a new nightmarish form that is the true avatar of Knuckles’s delusional state, but Knuckles himself fails to notice has he has become overwhelmed completely with determination.

The rest of the song consists of consists of a repeated chorus that was most likely added after the fact to fill up space as the original track was, as previously mentioned, supposed to be almost entirely instrumental.

It really is a shame.

Finale – Find Myself (Snow Bank Mountain)

In the original version of Sonic Adventure 2, Knuckles would defeat Eggman only to fall to earth, landing a top a gigantic snow covered mountain, which he would then snowboard down, much akin to the first Sonic level of the game. This was intended to be a reward for the player and a break from the normal gameplay of the Knuckles levels; it is assumed there were to be more than 6 levels in early development. Further into development it was going to serve as an interactive overlay for the credits, this was when Ohtani got a hold of it.

Snow Bank Mountain was cut relatively early, so while Ohtani never was able to complete a finished lyrics sheet for this section of the game, he did in fact have a finale written out.

Ohtani did give some idea of what he had intended to do with the ending in his MySpace post, but he was never explicitly clear about some major details, hoping that each individual could draw their own conclusions to the story that would satisfy them.

The two most popular theories at the time were as follows.

The Fall:

A majority of people believed that Snow Bank mountain was, in fact, a mountain of drugs and that having been exhausted in the final battle with Eggman that his subconscious took the opportunity to take back control of Knuckles and send him, quite literally, spiraling down into oblivion. It is assumed that the ride down the mountain is paranoid Knuckles who has lost all control on a deranged drug spree and that the final black out to credits is, in actuality, meant to represent his death.

In this version of the ending the title could be considered black humor or even ironic as Knuckles’s true self turns out to be the animalistic, impulse driven drug fiend he had been all along and there never was truly any hope for a release for him other than death.

The Rise:

Many were unsatisfied, including myself, with such an obvious and, quite frankly, disappointing twist to what had otherwise been a masterful crafted tale. Many believed that Ohtani was far better than this and sent out to dig deeper into the previous entries to derive the true meaning of Find Myself.

The biggest clue was when Ohtani mentioned that he had made a major revision to Find Myself upon learning that it would become a credits stage. Now why would that be? Ohtani had, up to now, made no concessions for Sega’s bull shit. He had kept true to his story and refused to let his superior get in the way of telling it.

And that’s just it, it wasn’t in the way at all. In fact, it was just what he needed.

The credits themselves would be the multiple personalities of Knuckles, the friends he had come to love and cherish over the years he spent with them, slowly disappearing from him as he slipped more and more back into reality as he cruised down the mountain. Knuckles would never face the camera, he would never look back until the game was over. There, in fact, most likely were NEVER to be any lyrics, an eerie silence juxtaposed next to nearly two hours of nonstop monologue.

The game would end with a cut to black and complete silence as the Sonic Team logo came up for one last time and simply hung there, waiting for the player to provide input for the game to continue.

The player themselves would have to cast away Sonic, not only a character that gamers around the world have known and loved for decades, but also the last and only true friend Knuckles had ever had, even if he was imaginary.

The player themselves would have to pull the final plug on Knuckles’s warped reality and finally set him free.

Truly a masterpiece of modern media.

90 Comments

I Hate Video Games: A blog about working class struggles

You know, a lot of mother fuckers have been writing blogs recently. And I mean a lot of mother fuckers. I'm not sure what the deal is, but everyone seems to think that they have an opinion on things and that they matter.

Well guess what, world, I matter too and I have opinions, probably more opinions than everyone else combined, and it's time that I had a blog too.

But if there's one thing that pisses me off more than anything else, it's that all these blogs are about video games. Who the fuck even cares about video games anymore, I mean really? Video games? When was the last time anyone actually cared about video games? I'll tell you when.

NEVER.

So I'm turning this shit on it's head. I'm going to write the world's first, greatest, and only video game blog that isn't about video games.

Am I making waves yet? Well sit your asses down and strap your life jackets on tight because we're just in the eye of the storm, the storm of change.

Not only is this blog going to cover a wide range of controversial and thought provoking topics of discussion on a weekly basis probably, but it's also going to be about how much I fucking hate video games. I have a lot of things to say about video games, and most of them are not good. In fact I would go so far as to say they are rude, foul, unwarranted, offensive, and above all both crudely conceived and written.

So let's get the revolution train underway with today's topic.

Mother Fucking Waiters and Why They Don't Deserve My God Damn Money

So I want to start this blog off with a somewhat controversial topic, and that is all these fucking waiters stealing my god damn money "because."

Okay listen up, society, because I have a bone to pick with you. Why does this jack ass 16 year old that just happens to have the shit job of couriering food to my table deserve a fucking tithe just because "it's hard." You know what a lot of jobs are hard. I haven't exactly had the best working experience, but no one thought to ever thought to just hand twenty bucks when I was a jack ass 16 year old, why is it that I have to pay this asshole just because he has to interact with me, a paying customer who doesn't want to give this jerk my money?

You know I hear a lot of bull shit arguments for why you should tip, so instead of trying to justify common fucking sense I've opted to demolish all of these one by one, gladiatorial arena style.

Overwhelmingly the biggest advocacy I hear for tipping is because waiting is apparently the hardest fucking job in the world and they deserve our extra cash for all the bull shit they have to deal with. Well someone fucking explain to me what it is their doing that I couldn't do myself? I came to this god damn restaurant to eat nice food I can't cook, not to have some fucking high school kid pour a coke in my lap and forget my order. To further illustrate my point I've constructed a detailed list of things a waiter can do that I could not do myself.

I tip my barber because I can't cut fucking hair, they provide me with a service that I could not perform on my own. They earn that shit. Waiters are a fucking disservice, they are actively making my life harder than it needs to be with their fucking bull shit. Pretty much any place that uses a fucking ticket system gets this shit right. I order food, they call my god damn number, I got get the god damn food, and I got eat my god damn food. Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication.

Bringing up this counterpoint usually results in the fucking waiter white knight brigade playing that "this is the only job they can get and they really need to money card." Well you know what, fuck you. You know who else needs money? The people in the fucking kitchen. I've talked with people who have been waiters in their past lives and again and again what I hear is that with tips they make significantly more money than anyone in the kitchen. Yeah these aren't fucking 5 star gourmet restaurants these assholes are working at, but that's still pretty fucking sad. The people doing actual work are getting paid just above minimum wage for literally standing within the bowels of hell for eight hours a day, I've seen those fucking kitchens that shit is crazy, while these fucking cunts waiting tables are getting paid out the ass in tips they don't even have to pay taxes on.

I read a wikipedia article so I know this is fact.

And whenever someone actually thinks to rewards those cretins making their food for once it's "Send my compliments to the chef." Yeah real good job their money bags, I'm sure those compliments will help the guy grilling your fat ass a 12 ounce steak will appreciate your charitable donation while Johnny dip shit is toking up with his friends behind Wal-Mart with half your fucking bill.

So the short of it is if you tip, fuck you. Tipping is fucking stupid and you should feel ashamed.

Go give your fucking money to charity if you have so much extra cash that you can just throw it at some dumb ass whose just going to go spend it on Madden and blow.

The ONE Video Game I Actually Enjoyed Playing

I was going to write something about Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines but I can't be assed to go boot it up and take screen shots so guess what you get to hear about Battlefront II instead.

It's a good game and you really should have bought it while it was on sale.

I'm going to go play Planescape now, here is a screen shot from Animaniacs on the Gameboy.

Until next week.

Probably.

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The Mostly Complete Beginner's Guide to TF2


So there are a lot of guides out there for TF2. Guides on specific classes, game modes, maps. The one thing that is a bit harder to find though is a real beginners guide. A guide that dishes out all those neat tricks vets learned when we first had to use them, or the little things new players might miss by accident and never learn until months down the road. Well this is that guide, this is the guide that's going to open all the doors for you in TF2 and really make the game really enjoyable. With such a huge influx of new players and people coming back for the first time in months, if not years, I thought it would be a good idea to create a little repository of information like this locally so that anyone new to the Giant Bomb/Tested server, or just the game itself, could get a handle on the game quickly and really start having fun.

So let's get started.
 

First Off


if there is anything you still don't understand about basic game mechanics, or there is something you want to know more about that isn't included here, go to the TF2 Official Wiki. It is a good wiki and I endorse it, that's how you know it's good.
 

How do I get new weapons?

 
Some people will tell you the only way to get items is to wait for them to drop. Those people are fucking retarded. It seems that all this time, people have forgotten there wasn't always a drop system. Before there were drops, everyone had to get new items for each class by completing class based achievements, and you can still do this to get weapons as well.
 
Better yet, you can game the system and get all those achievements in just an hour or two.
 
Look, maybe it's cheating but you're behind the curve already. If you want some of the most essential items in the game including both the Spy watches, Heavy's Sandvich, the Medic's Kritzkrieg and Ubersaw, and the Soldier's Equalizer this is the easiest way to do it.
 
The first thing you're going to want to do is download an achievement map, preferably one based around the class you want to be doing achievements for. There are a ton of them out there, including a few pretty funny fake ones, and you should have no trouble finding a few to use. Just in case, here are a few general achievement maps for you to try out:
 
Achievement Turbo
Achievement All 
 
The most important thing to look for is that it has an open spawn where you can see, and fire at, every single person who spawns.
 
Now ideally you want to get a friend or two to help out with this as some achievements are difficult to do alone, but with the following method you should be able to get a majority of them by yourself with little to no issues whatsoever.
 
Step 1. First click the little + on top of the Browse Server button, this will allow you to create your own TF2 server. Don't worry if your connection is terrible or your computer is shit, because unless you plan on bringing your friends in this isn't going to be a problem.
 
Queue up one of the achievement maps you've downloaded and wait for the server to load.
 
Step 2. Okay, now this is the part where you need to pay attention. Now that you are in the server you need to hit the ~ key on your keyboard to open up the game's console. If you haven't played a lot of PC games, this is basically what you use to control all the aspects of a game by inputting commands it recognizes, in this case we are going to control the server to spawn bots for you to kill.
 
Once you are in the console type in "sv_cheats 1", this will allow you to manipulate the server. This will turn achievements off, but that's okay for now.
 
Next type in "bot", this will spawn a bot. These are not like the bots in Offline Practice, they aren't going to be doing anything unless you tell them too, and this is just what we want. Keep spawning these bots until you hit the cap which should be 23, leaving one slot for you to make 24 players.
 
Now, type "sv_cheats 0" to turn cheats off and then type "retry" to restart the server. You can now earn achievements again.
 
Step 3. Look up the achievements you are aiming for and start the massacre.
 
The only real downside to this method is it will screw up your player stats, but once you are done farming these can be easily reset using the Stats screen should you choose to.
 
With this method you should be able to get all of the class update items for each class extremely quickly and without much fuss.
 
Enjoy your new weapons.

How do I learn a class?

 
Outside of looking up the previously mentioned class guides and just trying things out, here are a few tips. 
 

Training

 It's best to try out all the capabilities of a class on your own before taking it into a live fire situation. The best way to do that is on the following map:
 
tr_walkway
 
This map is basically one long hallway with all manner of vantage points that will spawn bots running through it for you to fire at. You can adjust all sorts of things like whether or not the bots are firing or not to create the type of training enviroment you want.
 
You should also, of course, check out the included tutorials on Soldier, Demoman, Spy, and Engineer to learn all the capabilities of those classes as well as the offline bot practice mode to get a general idea of how your class can best assist your team in an actual match.

The Basics

Here is a quick run down of what classes are easiest to learn what you should be doing as each class:

Easy Classes:


Solider: General purpose combat class. Soldier is great for new players because he is relatively easy to learn the basics of but has a huge overhead for mastery. Basically when you are starting out you just need to aim and fire, trying aiming at the enemy's feet to maximize splash damage and pop them into the air. Whip out your shotgun rather than reloading your rocket launcher if you run out of ammo and need to reload. Try to use your rocket's firing distance to your advantage by keeping classes that like to get up close like Scouts and Pyros at bay with a few blasts to their feet. You can rocket jump to higher areas by jumping and then firing doward, use the height advantage to amplify your splash damage. Try to keep near the front lines and push them forward.
 
Heavy: Assault class. Heavy is good for teaching new players about class weaknesses and strengths, because Heavy is pretty much at the two extremes of both. You will need to watch your back for Spies aiming for your huge back and keep your head out of view from Snipers. When not trying to keep your fat ass alive you'll be the hardest class in the entire game to kill by conventional means with 300 health and the strongest close range weapon in the game. Always try to keep your gun revved up with alt fire when you think you might be getting into combat and jump and rev around corners to give you the combat advantage. If a Medic is on you, which is often the case, make sure to watch out for him as he will not only keep you alive but he will help to heal your team as well. If your Medic needs health, drop your Sandvich with alt fire if you have it equipped for him to pick up. You too should try to stick close to the front lines at all time and work with your team to move forward.
 
Scout: This is probably the hardest of the "easy" classes, so you may want to hold off on trying Scout for a bit. It's not that he is that hard to learn, he uses fairly standard FPS mechanics, but his movement can take a little getting used to and he, like the Solider, has a huge overhead for mastery. As a Scout you will need to focus on using your speed and close range firepower to distract the enemy and capture objectives. When in combat get in close and circle strafe your enemy while firing off your Scattergun, if you run out of ammo switch to pistol and back off rather than reloading. Use your double jump to get a height advantage on your enemies and take obscure routes to control points or intel.  You can capture control points much faster than every other class, usually, so use this to your advantage and get to points quickly before the enemy has a time to react. Good examples of where a Scout can really screw the enemy team over with a quick cap are the final points of Granary and Cold Front, both of which cap in seconds and go twice as fast with a Scout on top of them.

Medium Classes:

 
Medic: Learning Medic is a great way to learn other classes as you will get to see them at work while helping your team out a ton. Medic may be the single most important class on a team, and as such you should try to know the basics of TF2's gameplay before trying your hand at Medic, specifically you should know when to deploy Ubers. As a Medic you gain Ubercharge as you heal teammates. You gain more Uber for healing wounded teammates so make sure not to stick on one target, your team will thank you. When healing, stick on your patient a little while after they hit max health when using the Medigun or Kritzkrieg, their health will extend past full and into Overheal giving them a temporary boost in health. When your Ubermeter is full you should generally only deploy on two occasions, either when you need to obliterate a heavy enemy defense or when you are about to die. The first will normally occur near objectives where you will need to take out Sentries and enemy players, the best classes for this are usually Heavy, Soldier, and Demoman. If you are about to die, it is best to deploy your Uber and save yourself and your patient rather than dying as Uber does not stay conserved after spawn. While it may seem like a waste, it is better that you are alive and without Uber rather than dead while your team goes without a Medic.
 
If someone calls for Medic you will see a tiny speech bubble with a + sign in it appear on your screen, this will indicate the level of health at which the person who just called is at as well as their general location. As a rule, you should try to heal everyone at any chance you get, but if they are very low or trying to take an objective they should take priority. The more red there is in a call bubble, the lower that person's health is, you can also sometimes discern their distance by the call itself if you pay close attention. If you are tied down to the front lines and can't move to their location, try calling for Medic yourself as a signal for them to come to you. I find that most of the time this works out very well for both myself and the patient in distress. Really, the most important part of playing Medic is communication. That is to say, talk. If you don't have a mic, at least say something so your teammate knows you are about to Uber. There are a few voice commands you can access directly in game, so you may want to start trying to use these as well.
 
Sniper: Generally speaking most people don't consider Sniper a very complex class due to how generic his mechanics are in the realm of FPS games, but there is a reason he's here and that reason is charge. Unlike most FPS games a headshot does not mean instant death on some classes. A normal headshot does 150 damage, which means it will not down a Soldier, Demoman, Pyro, or any class that is Overhealed. To take these classes down you will need to charge your shots, which is done by staying scoped in for a few seconds as the meter on your HUD slowly builds. At max a headshot will do 450 damage, enough to take down an Overhealed Heavy, but this is not necessary in most cases. While a majority of learning Sniper is based on learning to do headshots on all the classes, it is also important to manage your charge well. Rather than keeping scoped in all the time waiting for charge to build, you need to learn to scope quickly and get enough charge to either down a small health class with a headshot or hit a stronger class with a charged shot and then take them out with a body shot if necessary. You will also need to learn to deal with Spies as they will be your most frequent opponents outside of other Snipers and the occasional long range Soldier. Make sure to listen for their distinctive decloaking noise and never stay scoped too long once you've made your location known to the enemy. If you have Jarate equipped you can throw it as a Spy to make them visible even when cloaked and score minicrits on them as long as it is in effect. If you are near your team you can also use your Jarate in a supportive role to make the enemy team more vulnerable, it can also put out teammates on fire.
 
Don't use the Huntsman. Ever. Unless you are confident in your ability to score kills with it, don't use the fucking Huntsman.
 
Pyro: Learning Pyro these days is all about two things, air blasting and Puff and Sting. Puff and Sting is going to be your main offensive tool in one on one so it is important to learn it early. The flamethrower on it's on is great for clearing rooms and hitting multiple targets, but it is no where near as effective as Puff and Sting.You will need an Axetinguisher equipped and preferably a Degreaser, although the latter cannot be unlocked via achievements. Basically, you need to get your opponent on fire with the flamethrower and then finish them off quickly by switching to the Axetinguisher and using the flames to score crits. If you pulled it off correctly you should be taking most classes down in one to two swings. if they run pull out your Shotgun or Flaregun to finish them off, the Flaregun will core crits if they are sill on fire.
 
Air blasting is quite a bit more difficult to learn and will require a lot of practice to truly get down. Basically, if you hit alt fire while your Flamethrower is out you will be able to reflect enemy projectiles including Soldier and Sentry rockets and Demoman grenades back at the enemy. The best way is by going onto tr_walkway and trying to reflect the bots' projectiles back at them. It takes awhile to get the timing down but it is definitely worth it. You can also use your air blast to blow fire off of your teammates, so make sure to do this as well if you get the chance.

Complex Classes

Engineer: The key to learning Engineer is realizing the role of the Sentry. The Sentry is not there to protect you, it is there to protect the objective and it is there to protect your other buildings, but mostly to protect your other buildings. The single most important building you can ever build as an Engineer is the Teleporter, with the Dispenser coming right after that. Getting your team to the front lines as fast as possible is the best thing you can do to help your team. When you spawn the first thing you should do is get a Teleporter entrance up right outside the spawn door, and the second thing you should do is get an exit up, barring you aren't on the offensive team in an Attack/Defense map. You should learn the location of ammo boxes on each map so you know where to get more metal, don't rely on your Dispenser alone or you will never survive. Next, get a Dispenser up, preferably someplace it can supply you with metal while still being within reach of your teammates, if you are defending an objective you will want it wherever you intend on putting your Sentry up. Now that all of this is done, you can build your Sentry. Make sure to level up your buildings as you soon as you can, though leveling the Teleporter should take priority unless you are under heavy fire. If your buildings come under fire don't abandon them unless you need to, pick them up and move them. If an Uber is coming your way, run. If your buildings are being sapped by a Spy, don't panic and follow these simple steps.
 
1. Kill the Spy
2. Unsap the Teleporter
3. Unsap the Dispenser
4. Unsap the Sentry if it is still up.
 
To remove sappers, just hit them a few times with your wrench. You'll need to work quickly to save as much as possibly. Here is the reasoning behind the order. No matter what, getting your team to the front lines takes priority, they are more powerful than any Sentry ever will be. Next, your Dispenser carries your metal which will allow you to build up another Sentry much more quickly. Never save the Sentry first, ever. Unless it is your last line of defense, never save the Sentry.
 
This is of course all completely variable depending on the situation, but this is the basics. I may go into more complex strategies for the Engie at a later date, but for now just practice and keep your priorities in check.
 
If you do end up in a combat situation the Engineer's arsenal is very similar to the Scout's, albeit is much weaker. If an enemy is in close to medium range blast them with the Shotgun and then finish them off with the pistol. You may also want to use the Wrench at close range, particularly on Spies, as it has a very high crit rate tends to take most classes down in just a few swings. The one thing you should never do as an Engineer is pursue your opponent, especially if you are unsure if they are close to death. Your job is to protect your buildings and keep everything running, not to get kills. Points are nice, but helping your team to victory is even nicer. If you die and there is no one to repair your buildings or knock off sappers, your team could find itself in a lot of trouble really quickly. That Scout isn't worth it, just chill pardner.
 
Demoman: Demoman is quite possibly the hardest combat class to learn, this is because all of his main weapons use indirect fire and are very tricky to get used to the trajectory on. This is another class you will want to practice with bots on as the key to playing a great Demoman is learning to hit moving targets with your Grenade Launcher. Sticky Bombs are great for defending and laying down traps, but your Grenade Launcher should always be your primary means of offense. There is no real way to teach it, it's just something you have to learn on your own. Tossing a few grenades in the enemies' general location is enough to get a few good kills every now and then, but if you can't hit an enemy dead on with a grenade you should probably keep practicing or try another class.
 
If there is one thing the Demoman is good at it is clearing areas and wrecking Engineer buildings. Your Grenade Launcher is enough to take out Sentries most of the time, although Stick Bombs will be preferable in some situation. Usually it comes down to if the Engineer is repairing it or not. If the Engineer isn't near the Sentry and it can't fire at you., toss a few Grenades at it. If the Engineer is on it or it can easily hit you, it is usually better to use the Sticky Launcher. You may want to get a Medic's help in either case as taking down Sentries is one of the best things you can do to help your team push forward.
 
Other than building demolition Sticky Bombs are great for clearing and protecting certain points. Trying laying a few down on a point so you can pull the trigger with alt fire to kill anyone that tries to cap instantly. Remember that your Stickies can be destroyed with a few shots, so try to hide them out of sight. You can also try using Stickies to set up traps in combat, running around corners and laying down a few Stickies to blow up your opponent should they dare to come after you. The hardest thing to pull off with Sticky Bombs is Sticky Jumping. Much like the Soldier's Rocket jump, Sticky Jumping requires you to jump over a Sticky Bomb and then blow it up to send you flying into the air. It's a little bit harder than a Rocket Jump simply because you have to be timing it correctly and also have to be moving correctly. Some find it easier than Rocket Jumping because of the ability to trigger the explosion, some don't. Once again, practice makes perfect. 
 
If you play Demoknight, don't play Demoknight.
 
Spy: Spy may be the most difficult class to learn if only because he has to know how all the other classes behave. To be a good Spy you will need to know when to strike and when to stalk, when to move within a crowd of enemies and when to stay back and wait for an opportunity. This is, once again, not something that can really be taught. If you plan on playing Spy you need to be observing other players at all times, especially when playing other classes. The spy has two main tools, the Knife and the Sapper. The Knife is capable of downing any opponent instantly if you hit them from the back, therefore it is the most powerful weapon in the game. That can be very alluring to new players, but you need to know what you're doing. You need to learn how people react, and most importantly how they move. The best way to score a back stab is anticipation, knowing what the enemy will do before they do it.  You also have a revolver, though this should be used for escaping rather than kills. The two situations you would use this outside of that is taking down Snipers wearing a Razorback, a wooden shield that blocks one back stab, or quickly taking down Engineer buildings you have sapped.
 
The Disguise Kit allows you to visibly appear as an enemy or as someone from your own team, both of these have their uses. Disguising as your own team let's you move towards the front lines without altering the enemy to the fact that there is a Spy about, this will become less useful as you rack up more kills. The other use is deception, putting the enemy at ease. if a Soldier follows a Sniper through a hallway, he isn't going to be checking his back when he turns a corner. That is when you strike. Disguising as an enemy is, of course, very useful for getting close to your objective, either a specific enemy (the Medic) or an Engineer's buildings. There are two tell tale signs of a disguised spy you will need to watch out for. The most obvious if your class and player name. If that team doesn't have that class, you're screwed. Once again, you need to observe. Secondly, if a player sees his name on you, you are also screwed. If you are disguised as a Sniper try to avoid areas where Snipers dwell, if you are an Engineer try to avoid staying near buildings, etc. The one class you should never disguise as, at least if you are disguising as the enemy, is the Medic. People will know you are fake the instant you refuse to heal them.
 
Cloaking is by far a much better tool for moving behind enemy lines, but you have to use it efficenty. Cloaking lets you become completely invisible at any time, for a limited time, by pressing alt fire while any weapon is out. If you are using the standard Spy watch, you will only have a limited amount of time before you are forced to uncloak, a dead give away. Make sure you have enough time to move to a out of sight location before decloaking, you can also pick up ammo boxes to extend your cloak if you are using this watch. If you are using the Cloak and Dagger you will have an unlimited amount of invisibility as long as you watch your meter and wait for it to recharge. Use this to your advantage to watch your enemy and wait for the perfect time to strike, just make sure to stay out of their way as bumping into a cloaked Spy reveals them for a split second. If you are using a Dead Ringer, the Disguise Kit is actually kind of useless to you as you are mostly going to be focusing on back stabs. Let an enemy think he has killed you and then get him with his guard down and finish him off with a stab. Watch out for your decloak as it gives off a very distinctive noise that will alert the enemy to your presence.
 
From Tim_the_Corsair on Sapping and the Revolver:

For starters, you should always Stab and Sap Engineers if possible, not Sap and Stab. The SG turns slow enough that this should be possible the majority of the time, and is (arguably) easier than sapping and then trying to get behind the Engineer. Further, I'd argue that if you need to sap first, you're better off shooting the Engy than you are going for the stab, as it helps avoid a face full of crit wrench AND will usually get the Engy to come after you and leave their equipment to blow up.

Also, the revolver and it's variants are good for more than just knocking off razorback snipers and escaping. Ignoring the advanced strata possible with the Ambassador, the basic revolver can be used to execute fast classes with low health (Medics that are close to ubering, Scouts), and can kill Pyros fairly easily if you can land your shots.

The biggest mistake new spies make is underestimating the usefulness of their gun; at least a third of my kills are typically from shooting targets of opportunity or nailing Pyros and Scouts that come after me, and it is a very important skill to learn to boost your survivability.


 

Learning New Weapons

Although I'd love to, I don't have the time to go into specifics on every single weapon for every single class, so the next best thing you can do is go to the people who did have the time. The official Team Fortress 2 wiki is a great place to go for specific information, and below you will find a link to each class page where you can look up specific weapons as well as their stats and functionality:
 
Scout
Soldier
Pyro
Demoman
Heavy
Engineer
Medic
Sniper
Spy

We'll be back shortly

 
I'm going to add a crafting and trading sections next, but that's going to take a bit while longer so for now I'm putting a cap on this and putting it out there so any new players can start digging into all this delicious content.
 
Also I need to make sure I didn't completely fuck anything up.
 
If there is anything you would like added, or you would like to contribute, just post it here because I made this a blog so I have to read each and every one whether i like it or not.
 
Hopefully this helps you guys out and I hope to see you on the battlefield dominating my sorry ass sometime soon.
 
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Terraria has convinced me I never had fun in Minecraft

So I don't have a lot of time to write this because I need to go play more Terraria so let's just get this shit done up front.
 

Minecraft is fucking boring.

 
I mean, I like it. It's not a bad game, it's just boring. The only real excitement I ever got out of it was building the one thing, being happy with that, and then causing rampant destruction with complete disregard for those around me. 
 
I set the whole island on fire.

But, that isn't really fun.
 
Or at the very least, it stops being fun when everyone else notices that everything is on fire and you have to deal with the consequences of that.
 
Terraria is fun though, and I'll tell you why. Terraria actually feels like a game. I'm not saying Minecraft isn't a game, that would be stupid, but it sure doesn't feel like game.
 
And that's probably because it was never really designed as game.
 
Now I'll admit, I never followed the development of Minecraft that closely, but I did pay attention. I was in pretty far back before Beta, when the water still flowed forever and all the servers had infinite resources. I remember seeing the videos, reading some of the blogs. Minecraft was always something that was played, an interactive experience, but there was never really any objective to it all, it was pointless. It was just a world this Swedish guy had built, and there's was something kind of fun and exciting about having things just be that simple.
 
The motto of Minecraft has always been "Sure, whatever."
 
And before we go any farther, let me just say it outright. Terraria wouldn't exist without Minecraft, It just wouldn't. A world in which that happens does not exist. It borrows too many elements, too much of the core gameplay is nearly identical. You could try to make that argument, that Terraia is something completely, totally new and fuck me for even insinuating that the developer might have borrowed any ideas for this astonishingly bround greaking gift from god, but you're not gonna win that.
 
Terraria was built on the shoulders of Minecraft.
 
And that's not a bad thing, that's how development works. That's how invention works. That's also what makes Terraria so great.
 
They took Minecraft and turned it into a fucking game.
 
I'm not just mining to mine now, there's actually a purpose to it all. There's structure, it feels like you're actually accomplishing something.
 
The basic flow of a Minecraft session goes something like this: Mine to build, build to survive, survive to mine deeper, mine deeper to build stronger structures, build stronger structures to make survival easier. Throw in some wanton exploration and a little whim of wanting rarer items just, well, because why not, and you have what amounts to the entirety of all of the thousands of millions of hours ever spent in Minecraft.
 
Now of course there is create mode, which is the real bread and butter for some people, but you can only get so far with blocks. It's really impressive what some people turn out of this fairly simple process, but I do not have time nor desire to figure out how to build complex geometry using such basic tools or the technology to import pre-made models because that's just a dick move.
 
That's a dick move you people who do that. Except you Kinect video guy, you're okay.
 
But to get back to the point, Terraria just feels more like a game. The flow of Terraria goes something like this, and you'll notice some similarities here: Mine to build, build to survive, survive to mine deeper, mine deeper to get better equipment and build a larger home to attract NPCs, get better equipment and attract NPCs to fight bosses, fight bosses to get better equipment and access new areas, explore new areas to get better equipment.
  
When you write it out this way, it becomes apparent that this is much more than a Minecraft clone, it's a game that took the base the Minecraft laid out and built something much more complex and engaging on it. When you finally take down one of the huge, "I will fuck you over in 10 seconds flat" bosses that would have completely floored you just hours prior, it feels like an achievement. That's something tangible, that's something you can hold onto emotionally and remember. That is one of the moments that makes any game worth playing, a return on your investment. That's the pay off for time spent.
 
And that's just the one fucking part, it goes way deeper than that. You have to fulfill special requirements to get NPCs you can buy useful items from to come to your house, there's special events that will trigger randomly like Blood Moons and Goblin Invasions, there's tons of craftable recipies to take advantage of, secret areas to discover like floating islands and underground jungles, and then there's the loot.
 
Oh god, the fucking loot.
 
Terraria is the type of game that makes itself on its loot, this is why you fucking play, this is the real leg up it has on Minecraft. There are so few games with exciting loot, loot that actually lets you do cool things you couldn't do before or that actually increase the functionality of your character. The first time you break open a shadow orb and find a Ball-O'-Hurt or Orb of Light it's like fucking Christmas. 
 
I mean just look at some of this shit I have.
 
 Enchanted Boomerang

 Hookshot (Bionic Commando Arm)

 A SWORD THAT SHOOTS FUCKING STARS

I'm not even that far into the game yet, and I am very excited to explore more of the world and find more crazy shit. If there is one flaw with Terraria, it's that there isn't nearly enough of it. I'm quite a few hours in, but I already know where the cap is. It's going to take me quite a while more to make it there, and by there I mean HELL, but knowing that end is there, and that I am quickly approaching it, is somewhat disheartening. My only hope is that the Redigit keeps churning out more content as time goes on and creates even more perilous lands for my chums and I to explore.
 
I'm of the mind that, given enough time grow, Terraria is a real threat to Minecraft.
  
Terraria is everything Minecraft could be, but Terraria is already here.
 
So yeah, I'd pay attention to Terraia if I were you. I'd also play it if I were you, but that's just me, and I'm not you.
 
But if I were you I'd play it, because it's really fucking fun.
 
And on that note, I have to go figure out how I'm going to murder this old man after his morphs into a giant mother fucking skeleton.
 
 
Author's Note:
 
Oh, and, just for shits and giggles, if you want a cool server to play on I totally know one.

YOU DON'T GET TO COME ON THE SERVER ANYMORE. YOU SHOULD HAVE BEHAVED.


 
 You wish your house was this bitchin'. Also I have a light saber.

Additional Author's Note:
 
As I'm writing this, the patch notes for Minecraft 1.6 have been posted.
 

Fire no longer spread indefinitely

 
Fuck you Notch. Fuck. You.
40 Comments

My First TNT

I have never actually played in a TNT before, that was actually quite fun. 
 
In any event, it was probably one of the better matches I played. It literally came down to the last second when a whole dog pile of maybe five dudes all got wrapped up in someone's smoke bomb and cluster fuckery ensued. I even got to brutally murder a Ubisoft employee. 
 
Also, let's not forget that i get to immortalize this little gem on the internet for all eternity. 
 
  

  
  I'm pretty boss.
3 Comments

My First Day in EVE Online

WHAT IN THE MOTHER OF FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE

 
I've been passively interested in EVE for the past year or so, but I never took the plunge because I kept hearing how difficult it is to get into. You hear all these cool stories about corporate wars and back alley espionage however it is surrounded by this impentreable barrier of numbers and graphs that only those most dedicated to dedication will be able to even hope penetrating. 
 

That's the perception anyway. 
 
What i encountered in my first day of EVE is quite the opposite. 
 
First, let's just talk about getting into EVE. After you create your character you are immediately dropped into a ship and the first thing you see is a tutorial. This tutorial teaches you how to navigate space, how to fight, and how to perform various other basic activities in EVE along with giving you some free items to boot. After docking at a station for the first time and figuring out what's all up in there you may notice something else. 
 
Oh what's this at the bottom left side of my screen? It appears to be a chat box. 
 
But this is no ordinary chat box. This is the world's best fucking chat box ever. It's like all the other MMO's out there, it's basically an in game IRC. You put in the channel you want to talk in and boom, viola, you are there. That's not the cool part though, that would be the Rookie channel it is automatically tuned in to. There are actually player volunteers recognized by CCP, along with other regular players, that just sit in there ready to answer questions. I entered a question only to have the exact answer I needed within twenty seconds. 
 
It's fucking great. 
 
Now i've heard, through the grapevine let's say, that joining a corporation reigns in the same benefits of having a veteran support group to call on as well as, you know, fiscal assets. For someone like me though, someone who maybe isn't ready to just toss my loyalty over to whoever is hiring, having this instant support hotline is fucking great. 
 
Did I mention that there is an in-game internet browser as well? The tutorial links you right to a fucking wiki page for extended detail on certain items. Shit is crazy as hell. 
  

But now let's get to the part you all came for.

 
EVE is actually a fantastic product, you just have to be in the market for it. There really isn't that much difference between EVE and, let's say, a World of Warcraft. The only significant difference is that players govern everything. 
   
Now I did just start playing yesterday, so of course my view is going to be a bit skewed towards the naive, but I think I've gotten the basics of how this world operates. The mechanics are incredibly similar to any other MMO on the market, it's how they are used that make it all seem so foreign. For instance, you still farm. You can go hunt down hostile NPCs, or hunt down other players. You still grind, but you are now grinding your mining laser against an asteroid for resources. You still craft, but now you are crafting goods to trade on the intergalactic market. 
 
Yeah, it goes a bit deeper than that. There are things like territorial control and planet development and shit that I'm no where near getting into, but that isn't the point. 
 
The point is that you don't have to be concerned with teaching yourself those things to enjoy the game. 
 
EVE is a game all about player communication and interaction. if you aren't willing to do that, you are going to fail. Everything you need to know to get you started down a specific line of class development, and I use that term loosely, is readily available to you. You can get everything you need to start building yourself up as a soldier, a miner, an industrialist, or anything else. It's all unscripted, how you make you want to make your riches is up to you.  
 
And make no mistake, this is a game about wealth acclamation. If you aren't doing it for cash, you're doing it wrong. 
 
But to get back on topic, the resources to start down a career path are available to you. You need to use that as a launching pad to get into a corporation, many of which seem willing to accept newcomers with open arms. I think the misconception some people make is that getting into a corporation, or really a guild in any MMO, is going to be difficult if you don't have something of perceived value to offer to a group. This is EVE online though, so you already have something to offer.

Money is power. Resources are power. People are power. Those are the rules of EVE. 
 
When you boot up the game you already have one of the most valuable commodities in the entire game. You. No one is going to conquer the universe on their own. Even if you do get a few trusted allies together and start a corporation you aren't going to get very far unless you have someone to do the dirty work. People need couriers, escorts, miners, scouts, everything and anything you can think of. What people need most are bodies, people to bring in the revenue.  
 
Because bodies are such a vital asset, corporations aren't going to let you go to waste. A lot of them will, upfront, say they will train you in your specific field of interest. You want to mine? Here, buy this ship from us at half the regular price and let use teach you how to get the most out of it. PvP? Even better! Let's take this into private chat and discuss your role on the front line. 
 
Now, once again, I'm speaking somewhat from ignorance here. Perhaps my perception of EVE is slightly more fantastic in it's scope than the reality, but so far it really doesn't seem like it. 
 
What I see in EVE is what so many other MMOs try but repeatedly fail to create. Possibilities. I look at this game, this world, that CCP has created and all I can see are the places I could go and the shit I could get up to. This is a game in which what you do next is entirely up to you. There is no A to B. You aren't being lead from zone to zone, following the ghostly carrot of levels with no real reward. 
 
I chased that carrot once, but then I bit down on it only to get a mouth full of sand. 
 
EVE is just different. Fresh.  
 
It really brings into perspective why all these other MMOs have come and gone over the years. They keep chasing that level train, the WoW train, but to what end? WoW succeeds because it offers up the best perceived reward, but that's because Blizzard is Blizzard. You want to see more of what Blizzard has to offer, you want to exist in that world. When other people step up to deliver that kind of experience, they can't. They aren't Blizzard. 
 
What EVE offers is something tangible. You can own something, something with actual, albeit virtual, worth. In WoW you can have your rare items, but there is always going to be someone with the same or superior gear. In EVE you can own space. You own a part of the actual game world. And not only that, but you own a part of the game world that every other player in EVE can no longer own. The very fact that this piece of territory belongs to you and your corporation means that you've not only made an impact upon your own wealth and resource pool, but you've made an impact on the world. Every person that plays or will play EVE will now exist in a world in which this patch of territory belongs to you. This is your fucking land, and that means something. 
 
Well, that is until someone decides to take it from you. 
 
Now this has all been fun and whatever, but the only reason I even took the time to write this down was because CCP was doing server maintenance. 
 
They are no longer doing server maintenance. 
 
Bai.  

Fun Fact: I was too lazy to screen cap something interesting. Here is one of my ships scanning some shit.
31 Comments

My first 360 just died

My first Xbox 360 that I have had since October 2007 has just died at a weeks past it's third year of commendable service. 
 
It seems I've come into the fold of the majority of Microsoft's consumers, seeing as it's like 99% likely your console is going to choke even though the goddamn NES in my basement still works like it was fucking 1985, at a most opportune time. The 360 Slim is now on sale, the Kinect is set to launch on November 4th, and it's going to cost $100 fucking dollars minimum to get this fucker fixed considering my warranty is expired. 
 
It isn't a red ring by the way, it should have been though. Just a few weeks off from 3 years, that shit would have been hilarious.
 
Why do you care? Because I need someone to help parse out my options. 
 
The way I see it this can go down in one of five ways.
 
1. I send it in for repairs (No.) 
2. I try to fix it myself (Might do it anyway and just sell the fucker online for a quick buck if I don't completely ruin it.) 
3. Buy a new Arcade used for $100 or less. (It's not like it will be any more fucked up than the refurb they'll undoubtedly send me.) 
4. Buy a 360 S 250GB at $300 (I'm aware there is a 4GB version, but I need some fucking breathing room.) 
5. Toss it out a fucking window.  
 
Now, honestly, I don't really give a shit about Kinect right now. Kinect is not even on my radar. When it comes to Kinect we don't. 
 
Connect. 
 
On a demographic level. 
 
I do like new hardware though, and I like having my options open to me. Is Kinect going to be worth purchasing in the future? Yes, at some point a good game is going to be made using Kinect and then it will be worth purchasing. Is it worth adding $100 to the price of my movie ticket when it will surely see a price drop in the next two years if nto sooner? No, no it is not. 
 
But I do like new hardware. 
 
This is basically the route I've taken when buying updated consoles, and for some reason it ALWAYS happens not to long after said updates are released. 
 
I guess I'm just super lucky. 
 
It's the reason I have a DS Lite and only a DS Lite, because the only way Nintnedo would ever get me to buy a DSi is if they knocked me to the ground, ripped it out of my hands, and threw it off a fucking bridge. 
 
And then I still wouldn't get one because that's a dick move. 
 
So while ponying up $300 dollars seems a bit like the extreme end of the spectrum, I consider it more of an investment than anything. For all intensive purposes, the Move and Kinect are basically console generation 7.5. While the hardware is essentially the same, or exactly the same in the PS3's case, the games we will be playing on these devices is certainly taking a bit of a radical shift. Let's just look at it this way: The Wii was not especially graphically superior to the Gamecube, yet we still consider that part of this generation of console. Yeah it's kind of a weak argument, but that's really what I see the 360 S as in a lot of ways. A Wii to the original 360's Gamecube. 
 
Enough of that bull shit though, you guys need to get on the ball and help me figure this shit out.  
 
Come on, chop chop. I needs the opinions and I needs them now. 
 
Short Version: 360 S for $300 or original 360 for $100. Debate.

23 Comments
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