Cartoons, Legends and Wasted Potential

Spoilers for Avatar/Legend of Korra

This right here is a blog about a TV SHOW. Which, you know, isn't a video game. But hey, I'm throwing it up here anyway, because I hear Korra's in with the cool kids. And it's one of the most disappointing wastes of potential this side of Mass Effect 3. In fact, to say I was disappointed by Legend of Korra is both unfair and an understatement. And it’s worth talking about. So let’s have a blog to say something about legends. Spoilers for both Avatar shows follow, so watch them first before reading, because they’re very much worth your time.

Aang, relaxing at home.

I was introduced to Avatar: The Last Airbender a good few months ago by a friend of mine, and after work got in the way for a while, I got real into that show. I watched all of Season Two in one sitting, because clearly I am an insane person. So yes, it’s good. But why is it so good? Why did that particular cartoon inspire the fanbase reaction that it did? The answer, to me, isn’t just because of it’s cool characters, plot or setting, but that it had something to say. And it used those awesome characters to say it. Like many children’s shows, there were week to week episodes where the characters learned a life lesson in order to overcome the problem that confronted them. Some episodes were hamfisted about this (look no further than “The Great Divide” or "The Painted Lady") but more often than not, Avatar hit these out of the park, without feeling preachy.

This, however, was not where it shined. Where it shined, was it’s arc. And like all good "legends," it was not a story for the sake of itself, it had something to say. And neither the arc or the “message” of the show were especially original, they were just very, very well told, and a clever deconstruction of the chosen one concept. We don’t have a chosen one. We have two. Aang may be the Avatar, but Zuko feels as if he has a predetermined destiny too, that is to capture said Avatar. Both feel they have responsibilities to a path already laid out for them. However, Zuko is very much the villain of the first series. He’s the prince of an evil empire, intent on conquering the world, and capturing our lead. Needless to say, a bad dude. Through one of the best written character arcs on television, he ends up Fire Lord, who hand in hand with The Avatar, brings about a new age of peace.

Through the addition of his beautifully done redemptive arc, the message changes from “good conquers evil” to one of acceptance. One of admitting, but not dwelling on your mistakes. And that we should be more open to the possibility of forgiveness, for that takes the effort of both sides. Now, these are not new messages, in fact they’re very standard morality tales and have been done to death, but that doesn’t matter. The way in which Avatar tells the story of these characters about the possibility for good from within anyone, makes me feel great about humanity. It’s a perfect message for your average kid, going through those school struggles (you know, the target audience!), and Zuko's parallel story is what elevates the show from beyond some wacky kids on a quest to save the world.

Which brings us to Legend of Korra, and the main, most crushing flaw: it has nothing to say. At least, in my opinion, and definitely nothing that makes it worthy of "Legend" status, indicating that it has some knowledge to pass on. It begins in probably the most perfect way, Korra is the opposite of Aang, she's the avatar, and you gotta deal with it. She relishes in the physical side of her role, but cares not for the spiritual. So she sets off to Republic City to learn Airbending, which she will struggle with, as she needs to be in the right frame of mind to connect with her powers, which requires some spiritual growth.

Korra doesn't really have the standalone "lesson of the week" episodes, and it doesn't need them. It's a serialized plot, which is fine. That's the style of episodic storytelling The Wire uses, and it's one of the best shows of all time. The Last Airbender shined when it actually stopped the plot, just hung about in Ba Sing Se doing nothing, and we got two of the greatest episodes of television ever produced, but Korra doesn't have that luxury. It has to balance characters and plot far more deftly to succeed. It does this to middling success.

The majority of the character plots come in the form of two love triangles (arguably three, even Tenzin gets one set up). Is that too many love triangles for one show? Yes, why yes it is. I could talk for hours about how I feel the way they go with love triangles undermines the entire season, but that's for another time. (Shortish version: Bolin's situation within them is the most unfortunate, and then his reaction is the least strong. Gets the shortest straw, makes the least fuss, then cries. Doesn't get angry with anyone, just gets sad, and by the end of the episode, comes to terms with his position. Bolin establishes himself as the kindest and most forgiving and understanding man alive, and then they never develop him any further than this despite him being the one of the group that you want to see more).

But enough about that! Let's talk about the ending ending, and how Legend of Korra comes so close to redeeming every single flaw it has, then throwing it all away. Korra loses her bending! Thematically, the plot has been about perceptions of equality, and Korra was always gifted. She judges her worth on how well she's doing with her bending, and relishes her unique position as the Avatar. Then she loses it all. This is the story development that comes both out of left field and seems as if it was inevitable all along: The Avatar so skilled in the physical but disconnected from the spiritual loses her physical abilities.

Let's stop and say how beautiful Republic City looks.

At this point, everything I'd seen so far in the show went up a level in my mind. For example, those the teenage (obviously) way that the relationships played out as the major focus were deliberately overpowering, all a set up for this moment of revelation where Korra has to re-evaluate all her priorities, and continue her journey without what she had considered the most important part of her identity, setting the stage for a beautiful story of triumph in future books as Korra becomes the first Avatar without bending powers, and becomes legend not through physical ability, but through the spirit and character. That right there is having something to say. That is one uplifiting message that makes me feel good, and again, speaks to that child/teenage target audience, of overcoming perceived weakness, and discovering strength from within, and not defining your "quality" by your ability, but instead through who you are.

Then two things happen: One, she gains airbending. Not through spiritual peace, but through seeing her boyfriend in danger, through anger and desperation. This is only a minor problem, as it doesn't entirely undercut what happened minutes earlier. What does is when at her lowest point, Aang just shows up and gives her her powers back, and the power to heal others, and she gets Mako, and she can go into the Avatar state. And what does that "have to say?" That when you get to your lowest point, someone will fix your problems for you? Sure, the lowest point/highest change metaphor is a good one, but Korra doesn't influence change within herself, despite clearly being an extremely strong character, with the capacity to do so. She's given the powers on a plate, and never has to truly confront her over reliance on the physical, even though the implication is that she is now in control of both disciplines, physical and spiritual, being that she can now connect with the Avatar State at will.

It was a real letdown, because up to that point, none of the flaws ruined the show. Korra is an excellent character, Republic City is a brilliant location and I enjoyed the majority of my time I spent in this world. But it reduced the show from "Legend" to just another story where cool stuff happens and then it ends. Perhaps it's because we're only 1 book, 12 episodes in, but Korra Book 1 was far more standalone than any of the TLA books. And in comparison, Episode 12 of TLA was The Storm, a fantastic flashback episode where we learn that Aang and Zuko really aren't that different. At this point in TLA, the mission statement had been set, the pieces laid out, and the hook was firmly in my cheek. Korra has such a beautiful story, perhaps even a better one, firmly within it's grasp, and lets it go to take a lazier way for the sake of a happy looking ending, though it's hollowness, the Deus ex Aang dampens any ability for a sense of triumph. And hollow was one of the last things I expected from the Avatar universe.

Legend of Korra isn't "bad" by any stretch of the imagination, and I'm going to be right there watching season 2 with everyone else, but I'm deflated. I want more than anything for this show to be the best thing ever, because it's currently the only televisual window into the Avatar universe, and I want to spend as much time there as possible.

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A Grey Matter (Spoilers)

EDIT: This blog has a sarcastic tone that people misread as being judgemental towards people for what they did in a video game. That's my fault for not making it clear enough, it's simply a method to point out how TWD reveals things about our personalities and how through it's gameplay mechanics, TWD makes us care not just about characters, but how others behave to characters. It's pretty majestic.

If you like Kenny, I still want to be your friend. <3

The Walking Dead is a Video Game

And this blog post has all the spoilers.

Maybe you've heard of it?

I've begun to use The Walking Dead as less of a game and more a judgement tool for my friends. It works far better than any kind of personality test or preliminary conversation, cutting through the fleshy meat of small talk and straight to the bone at core of an individual - truly impressive for a video game. Yes, the story is engaging and emotional, and that's awesome, but I don't think they've got enough credit for how much The Walking Dead reveals about you as a person. Both through the choices you make and the choices you see others make. I don't want anything to do with anyone who:

  • Killed Ben
  • Killed Larry
  • Left Lilly by the side of the Road.

Within the game, these are all valid choices, which you can make, and many did make - they are not wrong. But this game got under my skin in such a way which no other game did. You kill the Rachni Queen in Mass Effect? Sure, that's the evil choice, but there's no grey zone there. I will never say you made the wrong choice in a Mass Effect or a Fable, despite those choices being far more black and white. It really speaks to the quality of the storytelling that I cannot see any of those moments hitting the other way, and get passionate about my side of the greyest of grey areas.

Sure, I cried at the ending, I cried Ben's death (poor guy!), and I was in love with the game before, but it wasn't until I got into a real heated discussion with others about it, until the full picture was laid bare, and all sides argued their points on all decisions, fought for the most pointless of moral minutia, that I realized how excellently crafted the game is at just bringing out all sides of people - what I thought was the only good choice, others may see completely backwards, and I may think you the worst on all counts, but there is no right answer.

So thank you, Telltale! You made not only a great game, but brought back that spark for truly passionate discussion (I'd go so far as arguments) that had been dormant for a long time. Don't fuck up season 2.

Outro Bullet Points Are Cool...

  • For those curious, this whole thing started because of this podcast I did on Screened, which a) is still a thing that awesome people are trying to keep alive, and b) was just really interesting, as it felt at points we weren't discussing the game, but what it means to be a good person - something I haven't felt before in relation to god damn vidja games.
  • I saved Doug, and Doug is easily one of the best characters in the game. I watched Carley's death, and felt it to be less impactful than Doug's, mainly because without Carley, Lilly is pushed as the main female L.I., and it that was the angle they took to mine the drama, rather than Carley as the L.I. who suddenly dies.
  • I really liked the tag at the end of the credits, a mixture of hope and cynicism that struck a chord beautifully with me - I didn't see it at all as a sequel hook.
  • I'm blogging again. Remember blogs?
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Ezio and I

WARNING: This blog contains unmarked spoilers for Assassin's Creed II

Ezio Auditore da Firenze is one suave motherfucker. He's done two things for me:

  1. Help me understand where BioWare got the naming conventions for Quarians from.
  2. Been completely fucking awesome.

I'm about half way through a marathon of the Assassin's Creed series so far, got the first 3 games about a month ago for the low low price of £18 overall. The first, as many have stated, was total wank, but somehow felt better than at the sense of visceral speed and chasing. I don't know why, perhaps the camera was closer or something, but I couldn't help but feel, as I went into II, that something intangible had changed, and the game had lost it's heart.

Then i met Mario, and I ceased to give any semblance of a shit. The world of renaissance Italy is sublime, and the feeling of, yep, brotherhood between you and all these historical dudes is pretty sweet. Needless to say, when I finished that game, and the twist occurred, I felt bad. I felt real fucking bad. Ezio meets god, and all she wants to do is talk to Desmond.

No one told me there would be BioShock levels of mindfuckery in this game. I felt bad for playing - if the animus wasn't being used, Ezio wouldn't have been railroaded into an existence that merely served to convey information to the player. It was a little touch, and thankfully, not overplayed, but in the subtext, it commented damn well on the relationship between player, and player character. You believe to be helping them, when in reality, you are helping yourself.

I'm not melodramatic, I wasn't bawling or any shit like that, it was just a nice, subtle moment, that really put that series in a context that you hadn't thought of before, yet made complete sense.

As a postscript, I'm up to Sequence 5 of Brotherhood, and that game is even better - especially in Ezio's story. Unlike the beginning of Assassin's Creed II, which follows the 'Western RPG' tradition of storytelling introduction to the letter, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood... does exactly the same thing. Except it's with Characters you've spent a whole game giving a shit about. It's like when the Normandy blows up in Mass Effect 2.

You've come to call that place Home.

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Mass Effect 3: Passion and Hypocrisy

So, Mass Effect 3 is a bit of a thing. If you're on any kind of gaming forum on the internet, you know that. And Mass Effect 3's reaction has become kind of important, in how it relates to games and how they are perceived as art/entertainment/machines etc. To sum it up, either you're angry at BioWare, or you're angry at Bioware.

One side is displeased because of the large number of plot holes and contradictions within the last 20 or so minutes of the game. They are deeply invested in the ME universe, and feel betrayed, because whether this is reasonable or not, they had a huge passion for the universe, and believes it deserves a send off that makes sense. Not a happier one, as many detractors seem to simply assume.

The other side is displeased because BioWare's own Doctor Ray has responded. And many people, including most of the staff on this very site, are angered by this. These are the people who are passionate about another thing: Video Games being taken seriously, and feel like that an acknowledgement that they are listening to fan feedback, and are making an announcement about possible changes in April, undermines the artistic integrity of video games, if they can be changed on a whim.

Mass Effect 3, either way, is taking Gaming into Uncharted Waters. And here's a picture that slightly relates to that statement.

Each group has had pretty much a similar reaction of hitting the moment that makes them feel betrayed by the thing they were most passionate about, and knee-jerk reacting to the same conclusion: Getting pissed off with BioWare. One side tends to see the other as either bunch of entitled whiners who have no right to suggest changes be made, or conversely, snobs who feel superior, hiding behind the excuse of artistic integrity to defend an ending that was bad.

Now, that's a problem. Essentially, combined we have a group of people, who are all passionate about games and all believe BioWare have made amazing work in the past. And now they are all pissed off with a company that simply wants to get out of this with a group of fans that still like them, and the respect of their critical peers. The announcement today was pretty much a non-announcement, saying that they are listening to fan-feedback, but don't want to sacrifice artistic integrity. No one has any idea what they'll do, whether they'll go with the popular indoctrination theory, add more choice, re-write the ending, or simply add scenes that better explain what happened, without changing the outcome.

So yeah, the point of this blog was to show that really, both sides are not that different. Each have had strong reactions, and some individuals have taken things way way way too far (the FTC guy, for example), but it's just people reacting loudly to what they are passionate about. Personally, I'm strongly passionate about both things, the Mass Effect universe, and Games being taken seriously. And whilst I was dissapointed in the endings, I don't know how to feel about all this. I don't feel great, but I don't feel the worst.

I know one thing I'm actively trying not to be, though: Angry at BioWare.

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Welcome To Azeroth. You're late.

Let it be known, that as a human being - in the real world, I am not a man of facts and figures. My talents lie in the creative side, in that what cannot be expressed through order. Yet, there is order to it. There are rules. I do not merely create. I craft.

And Today, I have been crafting: War.

Welcome To Azeroth

That stupid introduction was merely to set up one thing: This blog is about World of Warcraft, motherfuckers. I thought now was as good a time as any to get into it - y'know, cause 7ish years into an MMO is a brilliant time to begin playing it. I've got a Dranei, she will fucking kill you with fire.

And it's a perspective that's rarely seen - that of someone new to World of Warcraft, so I thought it might be interesting to just bring a bullet point list to the table, for a short blog of what's right and wrong with a 7 year old game, that 11 million + people are still paying for.

Good

  • It looks pretty as hell. I can't get it to run ultra. I've turned a lot of the settings down to keep the framerate high - it's a surprisingly demanding game for how old it is, and whilst I'm running on Lion, on a mini (so I have a fairly shit sucky gaming experience) - it gets a good balance between looks and performance. And most of it is just the damned art style. It's great.
  • Dungeons. I've only run a couple of them at this low level - and only run deadlines once, and the latter was particularly fun. I hear it had been completely overhauled for Cataclysm, and it showed. It was mostly voiced, had 3D frames in quest windows, good quests, and it was enjoyable. The rest, not so much. So I'm hoping there's more like this.
  • Loot. God damn I love loot. There's nothing I like more than loot. World of Warcraft is loot incarnate. More loot is always needed. The loot never ends.
  • Questing, and XP. It's great at just - conning you into feeling good. Shiny! Big Numbers! Feel positive!
  • My Guild. I'm on a new server - so I was invited in like, 5 minutes of creating a character, but it's been awesome to type '/g' and ask any newbie question, and find an answer. I didn't feel like the community wasn't accepting.

Bad

  • Gameplay. I've only played 2 MMOs in my time - this, and City of Heroes, and the gameplay in City of Heroes his far superior, by a bajillionty miles. I'm just casting repetitive spells.
  • The Addons. I'm running like 40MB worth of Addons, to improve the functionally of the UI. I also come from the world of console gaming, where there are no mods. Blizzard have had 7 years. This game should have all of this UI functionally that it needs in the base UI.
  • I don't know why I'm still playing. There's no compelling story, there's no end, there's no people I know in real life. Everything persistent about it exists merely inside it, and whilst I'm playing it, there's nothing that's more fun then any of the console games I need to finish - or perhaps losing over and over in Starcraft. These don't cost £8 per month.

So I'll end this short little thing with a question. Why am I still playing WoW? Why do I want to keep playing it?

Outro, Bitches.

So yeah, this is more to kickstart a discussion than anything - I'm aware that similar discussions have happened in perpetuity since the inception of MMOs, but how many of you are still playing? Are any of you new? How does the genre continue?

Here's what I'll say before I go: 99% of these people on this server don't play other games. They play Wow. It isn't a game, this is some second life shit. That's not what I'm looking for, really. I'd love a game that I can consistently play with my friends, as a multiplayer game. However the only one that appeals to my group of friends is that Call of Duty. I'd prefer Starcraft, or Burnout Paradise - but what can you do?

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Ground Textures, Orchestras and The Real World

That's right, it's time for me to report back on what is quite possibly my personal most anticipated game of 2011:

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon

I booted up my xbox, to put it a little bit of Saints Row 2 - lo and behold, the AC:AH (which I will always pronounce as a bird's caw) demo was online, waiting for me. It was promptly downloaded. I don't know how many AC fans there are on this site - I don't even know if I count as one of them, but this is a preview coming from the perspective of someone who loved the effin' shit out of Fires of Liberation.

Above: Angels in the Skies. Pretty, HD Angels.

The demo begins by letting you know that it is Ace Combat. The high point of the series, the way it meshes Radio Chatter and Orchestral Epics to create a real 'fist pumping' feel as you 'shoot down some bogies.' At first glance, you'd swear you were playing some kind of up-rezed version of 6. The UI's extremely similar, the basic flight controls feel right. However, things are different. For one - this isn't made up Japan world or anything - Welcome to Earth, motherfucker, and mourn the loss of David Caruso, because Miami's a battleground.

That's the first big difference right there, the story. Obviously, this has been known about for a while - and fair enough, because the Ace Combat story style has been somewhat middlingly received. Personally, I found the in mission radio chatter to be excellent, and the between mission, following that mother and also everyone says angels all the time for planes and GET IT IT'S A METAPHOR? Yeah, that was terrible. All gone now. The word Angel is not spoken. However, it's lost it's flavour. There could have been a way for them to continue the weird narrative ideas they've been having in the past, without making it seem like Call of Duty in the skies. (There are multiple characters, some significant first person 'moments,' and 'They hit I-95 is uttered. In this one demo).

But really, the story itself is irrelevant. The radio chatter is there, the sweeping music is there, so you would assume all they need to do is get the gameplay right, and then they'd have at least some level of a success on their hands. And, to a degree, they do. The flying feels good, you shoot down planes in the standard way. However, they've added a new feature, which is cool - the first time.

It zooms in, puts a degree of auto pilot on, and you have to keep your target in your sights, and perform QTE style dodging, to kill guys better. This has replaced the red bar that would appear on the screen when you were (almost) guaranteed a missile hit. Whilst it's cool, and the dodging system feels truly great, it just seems to make fights take way longer. The challenge in six, I found, was not attempting to dogfight - because dogfighting is usually just going round in circles. It was more about having lots of targets, and taking them all out without getting hit so much. Whereas this demo presents a level in which every fight is broken up into one on one engagements using this new mode - and even outside of this mode, planes just take longer to go down. It's not a game-breaker, and it's still fun, but I have my doubts that it'll hold out to the full game.

Also, you can fly helicopters, and that's dumb as shit.

To Summarise

  • I'm still excited, but more cautious after playing the demo.
  • It plays just like Ace Combat, controls wise. But the features that have been added really change the way you have to take down planes, and i don't know if it will hold up.
  • Helicopters, and the playing of them, is shite.

One Final Thing

The music! It's pretty damn awesome, listen to it.

It also follows the formula so much that the previous one is practically identical, without the electronic music. Once the main chorus set in of both, they are almost the same. But like, not the same enough that it's a new version of 'your favourite song,' just like - yeah. It's a middle ground that makes it feel like a pastiche, rather than a new theme that is epic and amazing.

It may not seem like a big deal, but the AC6 music has been iconic to me in gaming since I've heard it, and like, no one else but me will think this way, so ignore this section, but that puts a real bummer on me.

That is all, folks. Blogs be keepin' comin'.

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Breasts Optional

Big ups to Sweep - for kicking up this Blog initiative. I remember the old days. I would write these things. It's time to bring the glory days back. So, why don't we indulge ourselves? Let's talk about Video Games. Heck, let's get to the heart of the issue. Let's get to what's important. Let's get to the meat of the matter.

Ninja Gaiden 3

 I  remember this. 
That's right. This is Ninja Gaiden 3. Everyone watched the trailer? Good. We shall begin with a preface:

I'm a big motherfuckin' fan of the original Ninja Gaiden. This is also a giant lie. I am a fan of Ninja Gaiden Black. The franchise has had a long and storied history that we do not need to concern ourselves with. However, this game (and it's predecessor, but Black really refined the formula) is, quite possibly, my favourite game of all time. It will never be topped. It will never be kicked off this pedestal. You see, I'm a young man, and it hit me at just the right time, every game I play now is viewed by my jaded, cynical eyes. It had an amazing fight engine, and made me give a shit about high scores. It also had a terrible camera, the worlds most confusing city, a non existent insane story - and fucking ghost fish. And an (obviously) atrocious water level.

Also, it was fucking hard.

So, faced with creating a sequel, a certain insane 13 year old was faced with the question: how to make a sequel? His choice: more. More blood, more gore, more enemies, more insanity. He even managed to fit more breasts in. And more crazy bosses. And even more GOD DAMNED GHOST FISH. It was not as good as Black, certainly in parts it was more 'fun,' and the new weapons were amazing - but it just wasn't as tight an experience. However, I'd say it was a worthy sequel, and whilst I didn't get into re-playing and karma running in the same way, it was a game that got that franchise right.Which brings us up to this

 At least they have learned the art of designing females with clothes.

I'm not going to be one and say that the previous games were flawless. In fact, they had significant flaws. And they've changed things that are for the better - the woman featured in the trailer seemed to wear clothes, which is great. Some may say that Itagaki's blatant objectification was a flaw of those game. However, Not being serious enough was not one of the flaws. Why yes, the stories were non-existent, they did not need to be existent. You had a ninja. He had a sword. People died in a brilliant way. End formula. When I'm killing a Japanese Cockney(?) anti-ninja trooper, I do not need wish to feel guilt for it. Actually, that's not true - making the player feel guilt in a game is a powerful tool, something that can be used to improve the emotional impact of a video games, and subverting expectations.

Ninja Gaiden is not the venue for it. The core of that series is scoring you on your ability to cut fools up. Attempting to make you feel guilt for that very action is merely going to turn people away. It's not playing to the strengths. I am all for games which explore morality. I am all for games where fools get cut. But putting them together (especially in what looks like poor poor cutscenes) will devalue the combat. There are ways to do this well - I hear Gears of War 3 has this kind of thing, getting to a more emotional story. But just, with everything I've heard, after so much love for this series, there is no better way to say it:

I am very worried about Ninja Gaiden 3.  

End blog. The initiative begins.
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They Got Me

A Wise Man Once Said...

Now, I don't know the exact phrase, but I know Vinny has a tendency to load up Steam and buy (and I quote) hells of video games. I just got steam. Today I loaded my laptop and saw they had a weekend sale.
 
And low, my digital wallet is now around £15 lighter, as I have just bought Team Fortress 2 and the Magic: The Gathering game. I probably don't even want them, but they were on sale, and you know, I might want them in the future...or...yeah, I can't justify. Valve done got me, good and proper. Now let me go purchase Garry's Mod. It's on sale too. (See what these things do? They get inside your brain.)
 
Team Fortress 2 itself runs pretty damn fine on my shitty little laptop. It's only about 20fps, but aside from that, which I'll need to get used to, it runs perfect at my 1360 x 788 resolution. However, I learned one thing: I suck at Team Fortress 2. Everyone that's been playing that game has been playing that game. And playing it hard. I'm only 16, and this was my first "proper" PC multiplayer experience, and just finding a server was confusing enough! I am a product of my naieve youth, and matchmaking has left me spoiled.  
 

 Because I can't be fucked to scroll through looking for a screencap of a server list

Welcome to the League

Another game I've been checking out (as that is the period I am in, some kind of transient testing phase, to find some permenant laptop gaming solution, due to not really being able to go online on my Xbox) is League of Legends. Now, I've never played DotA, my entire experience of that one obsession being that Basshunter song. And so I thought I'd check it out. And oh dear lord, is it addicting. Now that I understand what "Laning" is, I feel like my eyes have been opened to some kind of nether-world, an underworld I fear I may get too close to.
 
You see, as you just control one dude, you think "I could do this! I'm gonna get into it," whereas other strategy obsessions (StarCraft) are, just from a glance, obnoxious and obtruse, and present themselves as they are. But no, League of Legends is decieving, it coaxes you with free to play offers, gets you hooked and makes you pay for the steam version to use the character they just locked away again (which, I would like to add, I have not purchased yet). And it's only a little bit of clicking. 
 
Unless it goes on sale, I shalln't purchase anytime soon though. I have single-player ass games to get through. PvZ is still on section "3" (Back Yard) and Torchlight slowly creeps along like an adventurer in a dungeon, impeded by minions that must be defeated through a series of clicks. 
 

 Terrifying

A Short Note on Catharsis

During times of school, one needs a sweet release, an escape from the mundane. I've chosen gaming and blogging for now. I feel I need to step up a gear, have some kind of "thing" to write about, rather than year old games that no one cares about. This website's awesome. I need to see what happened to the Luchazine, cause that was awesome before I left pre-issue 2 as I had no games to write about. The team on that were swell guys, and I really need to start reading that magazine, as helping out on issue one showed some "hells of awesome" community content. Goodstuff.
 
I forget where this paragraph/segment is going. Giant Bomb is awesome, I need to write better words and stop writing at either 7 in the morning or 11 at night? Something like that. 
 
Steam stole my money.
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A Short One

It's ten to eight in the Tylea residence, as I write this. I must leave at ten past eight, to learn information which is apparently vital for later life, in the form of A Levels. I'm not going to lie, I think whoever told me that is lying, but alas, for the EMA of £30 a week (because I am, surprisingly, poor), it is a worthwile option. So I picked a great time to blog, didn't I?

Shatter

Shatter holds the honour of being the first game I beat on this shiny nice new laptop (That takes fucking ages to load and shut down ):). And let me tell you, there was no opportunity wasted on my part when playing that game. Suck and Blow puns galore. Even a few punmanteus. But not many. I'm immature.
 
Anyway, Shatter. I'm rather LTTP but I don't care. It'll probably run on your PC. It will. It ran on this piece of garbage that can't even run Red Alert 3 at like, low quality. So, knowing that, you should most definitely buy it. It's Alt+Tab friendly; one can Facebook, Shatter and Microsoft Office at the same time. Those words should not be used as verbs. But yeah, it's like Breakout/Arkanoid but SHINY-LIKE. I love it. 
 
-Checks time- Oh, shit. Have a picture!
 

A short, Plants vs Zombies request

YO, COULD YOU NOT PAUSE WHEN I ALT TAB OUT. THIS IS LIKE THE BILLIONTH TIME IVE PLAYED THE OPENING DEMO LEVELS. kthx.
 

That about wraps it up

I really do need to go and get dressed now. This is what a blog written in 5 minutes looks like. I even had Iron Maiden playing in the background, cheering me on. Til next time, fools! 
-Out.
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A wild Tylea appeared!

Tylea used Blog!

If one were to describe the effectiveness of said blog as "super," they would most likely be considered wrong. I shall proceed to, in a series of paragraphs, explain a certain number of points. (2)

I have a new Laptop

Why is this significant? Well, for one, it's got some ghetto-ass set up with ethernet cables and other such unworldy devices to connect to the internet. My house is fucked up for this kind of thing, we don't even have wireless. We need to move, but there are complications. Anyway, now that I have a laptop, I've been spending more time on GiantBomb. So, time to jump back into the community! With blogs!
 
Also, I now play more games. With afformentioned "ghetto-ass set up" (a phrase that I'm sure I have no right to use), my xbox is not connected up to the internet. I've not played it or been online in yonks. However, new laptop = STEAM. It's not a good laptop, it's no gaming machine, and will only run games optimised for this kind of thing. For example, Torchlight and Shatter run like a dream. The Red Alert 3 demo has to go to 1024 res, and with everything aroun low on the quality settings.  But for now, with Torchlight, and League of Legends at my side, I am most definitely set. Eventually I'll get wireless internet and a nice small HDTV, and have my xbox and laptop in the SAME ROOM. Mindblowing, eh? And then, more video games.  
 
This increased ability to be back on GiantBomb, and indeed play more video games, brings me onto issue 2:

Giant Bomb Subscription

I recieve £30 a week on EMA. I've spent a little on steam. Within the next few weeks, I may bite on a yearly subscription, even though I'll have no use of any of the extra features provided by it. But hey, more GiantBomb! And the Bombcasts already seem to be longer. I'll definitely give them money to keep this up!
 

Outro, bitches

I need a new "out" in my blogs. As I'm back, blogging hard, and should probably go re-add all my giantbuddies to twitter; for some reason I deleted everything from that infernal contraprion, as twitter annoyed me. And yes, the outro I stole from Sweep (a talented blogger, who needs not my pimping - you already care about every word he writes) is probably not that good. "Outro, bitches" may seem forced.
 
Anyway, I'm here. And I have games to talk about! (Like Torchlight and Shatter. Hot new releases). Viva la Blog.
PEACE.
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