This Text Contains Offensive Language

Kevin Larsen

That's my name. It's not really unique. But to Nintendo it's offensive. I found that out earlier this year when I used my name for my character in Tomodachi Life. I was still able to use the name, but could not make a QR code out of any of the characters that shared my last name. Why? Because if you take away the L and the N you get "arse".

Sorry to those with virgin eyes for me exposing you to such a horribly offensive word.

Today when I tried to use my name in Persona Q, I received the same message. Except this time, I couldn't use the name at all. I had to use a completely different name, which resulted in me using the unofficial official name of the P4 main character "Chuck Tunoku" since "Charlie" was too long for a first name. I could have changed my last name to Larson and it would have worked, but for all the times I've seen people spell my last name that over the years it's quite annoying seeing that spelling of my name. Also the fact that this was a M rated game that for my knowledge doesn't have any real online play that my name would be seen it is even more ridiculous.

I'm sure I'm not the only one that has had this problem with Nintendo games, and it seems weird that Nintendo doesn't have some sort of way of ignoring certain names. But to have something like that even be an issue just boggles my mind. I have never had that issue anywhere else. Is someone really going to look at my last name and only see the word "arse" and be offended? Heck, it took me almost 28 years to even notice it and I see it multiple times a day.

I now wonder if I would have problems with my last name in all games on a Nintendo platform. I would like to hope one day I would never have that issue on any of their platforms again, but this is Nintendo we are talking about so I highly doubt it.

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I Needed a Revolution

Assassin's Creed Unity is the first AC game that I have liked since the first game. Unity is also the first AC game that I have actually beaten the story in. The original AC and Unity are not the only games that I have played in the series. In fact, I have played 2, 3, and 4 as well, but never even managed to get passed the too drawn out tutorial portions of any of those games. However, Unity grabbed me and for some reason I didn't want to let it go until I had finished what Arno had set out to do.

Now as anyone that will read this will be quick to point out, Unity is by no means a perfect game. It's not even close. I managed to get through the game with "only" three crashes, two that required my system to hard reboot. The controls are still frustrating at times, causing an abundance of swearing. And I still hate guns.

However, what Unity allows me to do, or at least allowed me to do earlier than previous games, is to set out to "break" the way it should be played. I'm one who will go and do a bunch of side stuff just to upgrade my character into a killing machine as soon as possible so I can easily get through the main portion of the game. I was outgeared before I had finished the second assassination, and I couldn't have been happier. I was buying legendary gear near the end of the game without having ever done any of the co-op heists. I could have easily brute forced my way through anything, but a lot of the time I didn't.

Knowing that I could just fight off almost anything allowed me to actually slow down and try to be sneaky. I tried to do the side objectives, I tried to go unspotted, and I tried to assassinate my targets using stealth. If things didn't go my way or stealth wasn't really the way to assassinate the target, Lord of the Rats I'm looking at you and your easily shot face, I could still finish the task and survive what was thrown at me. At the end of the game it did make me have to change my style a little bit, berserk arrows become a fun friend, but I didn't have to change too much.

I also enjoyed Arno a lot more than previous characters in the series, although I did like Altair too. He's not the greatest character in the world, but he was a fun character that as seemed to not care about killing people that deserved it, much like how I played the game. The story gets weird at the end, with Arno even saying what I said about the final boss's sword (except I said "fuck" while he said "hell"). But it was enough to keep me going throughout and made me happy to have finished it.

Maybe I just like the "bad" AC games. Maybe if I got passed the tutorial portions of the previous games I would have enjoyed them as well. But maybe that's a telling thing about those games that while Unity was able to keep me going through its tutorial portion, the other games weren't engaging enough to me to do the same. I've thought about going back to AC 4, but if I can't do the same thing that I did in Unity I will probably just give up again.

In the end though, and I may be the one in the minority, I hope they continue with what they did in Unity and that they make sure it's less broken next time.

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My 2013 Top 10 List

  1. Bioshock Infinite - The moment I finished Infinite was such a rough time. I wanted to talk to somebody about the game, but no one had finished it. So I waited till someone finished it and then we talked about it for an hour. It remains my favorite throughout the year from all the games I played.
  2. Saints Row 4 - If it wasn't for Bioshock, this would be number 1. This game had me laughing and just enjoying doing dumb shit that didn't really have a lot of meaning behind it. And to be honest, I didn't hate the DLC so hey another plus.
  3. Gone Home - I wish there was more. More things to look at, more creepy yet safe environment to explore, and more story. It's not that there wasn't enough, it's just that it was so good. There are 2 games that are ahead of Gone Home on my list, but if I was asked to recommend one game to someone, especially someone that doesn't play games, Gone Home would be the first thing I'd tell them.
  4. Pokemon X - I was finally excited to play another Pokemon game. I skipped Black/White 2, because I was finally bored of the series, but X/Y brought me back. It was still basically the same formula, but with at least more significant changes than previous games that reignited a series that I've loved since I was a kid.
  5. The Stanley Parable - The very first time I played this game I ran into the portion where you are put into a Minecraft portion and I was in love. So many different variations for some of the smallest choices (or are they actually choices?) and you can find something completely different. Try and break the game and you actually find something else that the developers accounted for. Oh and it has a great sense of humor too. Sold.
  6. Dead Rising 3 - If I would have played this game by myself I would be done with it by now, but that not what I wanted from DR3. I wanted to play this with someone and have been playing through it with my boss and loving every minute of it. The leveling is trivial once you get the Ultimate Grim Reaper, but that makes it more fun. Just mass slaying of zombies and screwing around with a friend makes this game a true joy to play.
  7. Battlefield 4 - Picked this up after a lot of the early bugs were somewhat solved and had a blast playing with friends. It's nothing new, but I still enjoy those crazy moments and come behind wins that you experience pretty much every new round.
  8. Arma 3 - Arma 3 is a lot like BF4 to me, except a lot more tactical and "realistic". Playing with a group of people can be absolutely incredible and modding allow for some great missions to keep things fresh.
  9. Steamworld Dig - I picked this up on Christmas Eve on Steam and absolutely enjoyed it. It's rare that I buy a game on a Steam sale and then go on to play it to completion, but that's what happened with Steamworld Dig. I played some and stopped, but wanted to go back and finish it. It wasn't long, I think it took me about 4 hours, but between collecting, upgrading, and some platforming this game kept me wanting to keep playing.
  10. Grand Theft Auto V - The only reason that GTA V is on my list is probably because I didn't play Last of Us or Papers, Please (I bought PP on Christmas though). GTAV is a lot like a mediocre relationship. It's great in the beginning, it loses that initial thrill, it has its up and downs for awhile, then things get a little rough and finally you just get bored/frustrated and the relationship ends. I wanted to like GTAV and at times I did, but it just seemed to drag too much and the online was just ok. I wanted to like it more, I really did, but it just didn't happen. But still those good times were good enough to make it on my list.
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A Loss and A Reminder

My name is Kevin Larsen and I like all of you am I user of this fine site. Also, like the rest of you, I was shocked and saddened at the news of Ryan Davis's passing. I never got the chance to meet him in person or really interact with him in anyway beyond playing with him in Torchlight 2 for TNT. But that didn't make it any less of a heart ache. Here was a man that entertained us all on a daily basis, a person I had followed since his early days at Gamespot (about half a life time ago for me), and now we will never get the chance to hear, watch, or read anything from him again. That's a selfish way of looking at it from my standpoint, as for the people that really knew him (his family and friends) the loss is so much greater.

We have all sent our condolences to them and have wrote many things like this here on Giant Bomb and many other places, and knowing that I wasn't going to write something like this, because it is just another thing for the same cause that has no extra meaning or anything. But after last night I couldn't shake the thought. It stuck with me all day for my drive to and from work and while I was trying to get work done. The thought was why did it stay in my mind? I think it was because of the affect that he did have on me, even though he nor anyone would consider it. The stuff he did, along with the rest of the Giant Bomb crew has, has brightened days when I felt like crap; has put smiles on my face when all I was able to muster was a frown before; and has taken my mind of things that have always bothered me. To me that is something I will never forget and will always be thankful for.

The other thing that kept it in my head was that we as people on the internet and in reality sometimes forget the reality of things. Anyone at any moment can be gone the next. On the internet we tend to forget that users we interact with are people and that things we say at times can never be taken back. It's always bugged me seeing comments complaining about something a staff member does or just another user. It's why I'm mindful of what I say, because you never know when that person could be gone. That's why I started this with my real name, it's because I (not some anonymous user name) am sad at the loss of Ryan Davis as the rest of you and will always be thankful for who he was and what he did for all of us.

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Persona 4 Golden - Playthrough One Thoughts (Obvious Spoilers)

I've stated before that the original Persona 4 was my favorite game of all time, well that continues with the Vita release of Persona 4 Golden. I was concerned going in that it wouldn't live up to my expectations that had built up with all the stuff I had read about it, but having beaten it last night I can say for the first time that it has not only met my expectation but actually surpassed them.

How did it surpass them? Simple, it made a game that was already had a fantastic story, incredible characters, and fun combat and improved on them in so many ways. Gameplay wise, P4G was a lot easier than the original. When I first played P4 I played it on easy and still died a few times, but with no real consequence. When I played P4G I played on Normal since I knew what to expect, but found myself easily getting through dungeons with only one death the entire game on a hit from a self sacrificing pair of dice. I would not only knock out one dungeon in a day, but I'd also go through the optional boss of the previous dungeon in the same day. Some people would complain about no challenge, but this lead to me being able to play the other part of the game a lot more than in the original.

Being able to focus more on the social aspects and story of the game allowed me to enjoy P4G to the fullest. It's the same story in basic, you still rescue people that are thrown into the TV, find the real killer, and then go after the real reason that everything happens (assuming you get the true end). But there is so much more added. You can now have a social link with Adachi, which I didn't complete (that'll be in playthrough 2), and that's kind of crazy especially with the fact that you can get a bad ending if you go through the whole thing. There are new events such as a ski trip, you form a band to play at Junes, and that damn Valentine's Day event. That event made it an easy choice that on my next playthrough I will be focused on Naoto only, especially since she was one of the two lover relationships that I didn't get. The Valentine's Day event made me guilty for just getting as many lover relationships and the events with the girls themselves were nice themselves, Chie's was the best but I stock with Rise.

But all that doesn't compare to the addition of Marie. She could have just been a throw off addition, a new social link and some new personas, but she wasn't. She was a key part to the actual story that you didn't get to see in the original. It was a fantastic arc with her, to find out the things you do about her, and to see where it ends up had me with a big smile on my face. The only thing that would have made it better is if you could have her in your party, but it makes sense why you don't, although the end credits have me a little curious about what role she may have in anything from now on since it does show her with a persona and also the events from Arena.

So am I happy with what they did to my favorite game? Hell yea I am. Everything they added, everything they changed (I didn't even go into how much I like the new Shuffle Time and being able to pick skills to inherit), and just the overall polish of the game I couldn't ask for more. Heck, I even like the new voice actors for Chie and Teddie, although I do miss the old voices they do a great job making up for them. I could keep going, but I think I'm more looking forward to getting started on my second playthrough so I'll just end with some screenshots.

My party:

Star Wars meets Star Trek?

The All-star of my personas:

Level 99, He Ho!

Some random screens:

Rise, A lot more than a pretty face.
A great group of friends...OH GOD! What did you do to your hair Kanji?!?
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Waste of money?

As I was moving stuff around I realized a few games that I had purchased that made me wonder why I wasted my money. Now most of these are collector edition remorse, but with reasons beyond the I didn't need the extra stuff in the end. First off is GT5 L.E. which while I like cars and the little car included is nice, I honestly didn't enjoy GT5 that much. I played it for a day or two, and a couple of hours with friends and that was it. The second one is the Star Wars The Old Republic Collectors Edition. If I didn't play the game as much as I did for the first week or so, I would have been banging my head against a wall for buying it. Thankfully I did play the game for awhile and enjoyed it (haven't played it since December though), but the stuff that came with it really bums me out. I haven't even looked at the statue that comes with it. It's just a big box that takes up space. What a waste.

The last one that I noticed brings up another thing that bums me out. I bought the c.e. of Bioshock 2 as I was pumped to play it and thought the record that came with it was cool, which it is, but ended up never playing the game. I literally have had the game since release day, and haven't even put it in my 360. Not only that but I don't even have a record player. It really is just a pointless purchase, and I'm going to have to find a day or two where I play it just to make me feel a little better about myself. Then again it's not the only game that I've bought that I haven't played. I got Enslaved, but never played it (but I did install it at least). Ended up getting Uncharted 3 with my new PS3 and it sits on the floor still in the wrapper. Also, got Rayman Origins and never even tried it, which is a problem that I'm solving this week come hell or high water.

Then there is the nightmare that is Steam. The nice thing is that at least it doesn't take up any physical space, but man I have a lot of games that I haven't even installed once that I've purchased. Most of the games don't have play times and if they do it's maybe 20 minutes at most. And there's games on my list that make me wonder why I even bought them. But then again I was sitting here earlier looking at the sale on the Dungeon Siege Collection and was thinking that it wasn't a bad deal. Gah, I would never even play them.

It's sad thinking of all the money I could have saved. I could have my own place. I could go on vacations. I could do so much more. Oh well. Live and learn.

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I didn't get jack!

Since it's the internet and people have been having fun complaining about different things that they didn't like about Mass Effect 3, I thought why not. But I don't really have much to complain about. Sure the ending was a little depressing no matter what you choose, there is a good amount of jank in it (I couldn't get over how my guys eyes made him look possessed half the time lol), and just some other random stuff that people have been complaining about. But the biggest travesty the game commits is with the Jack relationship.

I enjoyed the conclusion to the relationship with Jack in Mass Effect 2 as it was something besides the "yep, they did it" that I ended up with in Mass Effect, so I was hoping for something a little bit more in Mass Effect 3. Boy was I disappointed. I was pumped when the mission with Jack occurred (oh dear is that a spoiler?!?! not really) and even enjoyed how it played out and ended. But all that happens after that ("major" spoilers ahead) is you have a little conversation with a joke about how Shepard can't dance and then you go dance. Really? That's it?

I didn't expect her to play a big role, but come on, give the people that actually liked Jack something. Didn't have to be a love scene or anything, but something besides a few seconds of weird dancing. So, like everyone on the internet, I demand that this travesty be rectified! Whether it's DLC (I'll give you a free one BioWare, call it the Jack Pack) or a brand new game where you just play as your Shepard and Jack and go and kick some new flying talking space ship looking monsters. I'm not asking for much. Just some more of my favorite tattooed, ass-kicking, foul-mouthed, biotic powered chick.

There you go BioWare, once you get done fulfilling everyone else's demands, which I'm sure you're slaving away at this moment, I will look forward to seeing what you do to make me happy. Thank you in advanced.

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Just Cause 2 - Screw Your Missions

When I've had the free time to play Just Cause 2 I enjoy the hell out of it.  My only problem is those missions that it has to keep the "story" moving along.  I don't want no stinking missions to play, I just want to go around causing as much Chaos as I possibly can.  Sure I'll get around to the missions, but when just tying cars to the ground and watching them fly or just flying around the island with my parachute is a blast.  I almost wish they would have just left it a sandbox game with no missions or story and just said go blow stuff up and have fun.  Cause in the end that's all I want to do :)

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