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Finding the right Meta for your Overwatch skins!

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Overwatch is a 5 year old game now, isn’t that crazy? 5 years is a lot of time to think about how it was all wasted playing this one game. (That’s not true, I’ve played other things, because I don’t want to exaggerate just how much OW I have played during its time.)

Just as well. in it’s 5 year span, the game has collected a shit-ton of skins for every character. And since the player base is all about playing a specific meta, I have painstakingly determined which meta should be played based solely on character skins. So grab your team of 6*( soon to be 5, in OW2) and rock your enemies as a fabulously coordinated group!

*Some metas may not work out to being a full team. Some Metas even require skins that you can no longer get.

Also, there’s most likely going to be some overlap. This is by no means a perfect list and the Meta is going to change as the years go by. Some skins just also get to work well in other categories.

NATURE META

Since the days of Captain Planet, Mother Nature has always been a force to reckon with. With the looming threat of climate change, due to humanity's ability to slowly kill the earth we live on, find escapism in a video game with this nature themed set. Surely the blunt force of the Reinhardt 2020 Atlantic all-stars skin will make big pollution quaking in their boots.

Skins: Echo (Moth), Orisa (Forest Spirit), Moira (Venus), Reinhardt (2020 Atlantic All-stars),

Technicality: Bastion (Overgrown), Reinhardt (Griefhardt)

BEACH META

Suns out, gun out, bleach those buns out(?) play those Overwatch heroes at their most hottest skins available. Take shade under a tree with Ana, or save a team-mate that goes too far into the deep-end with a Pharah/Mcree combo. There’s really no tanks that work too well with this Meta, unless you’re taking Zarya to MUSCLE BEACH.

Skins: Ana (Cabana), Baptiste (Tropical), Bastion (Sand Castle), D.Va (Waveracer), Echo (Surf’s up), Hanzo (Wave), Junkrat (Beachrat), Mcree (Lifeguard), Pharah (Lifeguard), Soldier (Grillmaster), Sombra (Tulum), Torb(Surf’n’Turf), Widowmaker (Cote D’Azur)

Technicality: Zarya (Workout), Roadhog (Toa)

SPORTS META

Take me out to the baaaaallll gaaaammeeee, take me out to the crowwwwd, buy me some peanuts and crackerjack, I don’t care if we tell every character to show up to the baseball diamond getting ready to play a different sport, cause that’s exactly what’s happening with this Meta. Perhaps Football would be more fun to watch if there was an MMA fighter ready to take down the quarterback.

Skins: Doomfist(Karate), Genji(Kendoka), Junkrat(Cricket), Reinhardt( Gridironhardt), Lucio( Breakaway, Slapshot, Striker, Selecao), Mei( MM-Mei), Reaper( Biker), Roadhog( Lacrosse), Symmetra( Figure skater), Tracer( Sprinter, Track and Field), Winston( Catcher), Wrecking Ball( Lucio Ball), Zarya( Champion, Weightlifter), Zenyatta( Fastball)

CARBON FIBER META

Like co-ordinating with your team but dislike wacky skins that are all over the place? Well enjoy the sleek-sexy designs of the default skins but with a carbon fiber look.) Sometimes the simplest metas are the deadliest. Just don’t forget your shades. (Ashe gets a HUGE technicality in this category, cause it’s more about B.O.B.)

Skins: Brigette( Carbon Fiber), D.Va( Carbon Fiber, Midnight), Doomfist( Carbon Fiber), Echo( Carbon Fiber), Genji( Carbon Fiber), Orisa( Carbon Fiber), Pharah( Carbon Fiber), Reinhardt( Blackhardt), Sigma( Carbon Fiber), Zarya( Midnight), Zenyatta( Carbon Fiber).

Technicality: Ashe(Posh), Baptiste(Spec Ops), Hanzo( Kyogisha).

PIRATE META

As if you still haven’t gotten over all those sea-shanties from the beginning of 2021, well grab yer best mates, and annoy your enemies with references to pirate-y things. That won’t get old fast at all!

Skins: Ana( Corsair), Baptiste( Pirate, Buccaneer), Junkrat( Bilgerat), Roadhog( Sharkbait, Mako), Sigma( Flying Dutchman), Torbjorn( Barbosa, Blackbeard).

Technicality: Torbjorn( Viking).

WORK META

Though we’re nearing (hopefully) the tail-end of a pandemic, it resulted in massive amounts of unemployment rates globally. A lot of people resorted to Overwatch to pass the time, giving OW lots of money even though there hasn’t been any new content in OVER A YEAR. But don’t you just miss having a job? This is the Meta for you.

Skins: Brigitte( Engineer, Mechanic, Feshkarn), Mei( Firefighter, Rescue Mei, Beekeeper, Honeydew), Mercy (Dr. Ziegler), Moira( Scientist), Reinhardt( Conductor), Symmetra( Vishkar, Architect), Torb(Ironclad)

CRIME META

Be gay do crimes m i rite, youth of today? Nothing like sticking it to the man, with plucky rebelion. You can be mobsters, Gang members or just a punk. Not that it’s particularly a big part of the meta, but choose the best sprays for these skin, and get those old-fogeys on the other team to think of you as a real asshole. * Ashe, Junkrat and Roadhog already fit into this category by default.

Skins: Ashe( Mobster, Gangster), Junkrat( King Jamison), Lucio( Corredor), Mcree( Mystery Man, Vigilante), Roadhog( Militia), Sombra( Azúcar, Los Muertos), Tracer( Graffiti, Punk, Ultraviolent), Torbjorn( Deadlock, Chopper)

ACAB META

Sure, there’s been controversy in the past about a couple of characters getting police centric skins in the game. But little do people realize that the game is about future-cops. The name of the game IS the POLICE! So beat it into your opponents, that Overwatch is here to give you a reason why they were disbanded in the first place. Don’t actually roleplay the part though, it’s dark enough as it is.

Skins: Ana( Captain Amari), Brigitte( Riot Police), D.Va( Officer), Mercy( Combat Medic), Reinhardt( LT. Wilhelm), Soldier 76( Strike Commander Morrison, Formal 76), Tracer (Cadet Oxton)

Technicality: Reaper(Blackwatch Reyes), Genji( Blackwatch), Mcree( Blackwatch), Moira( Blackwatch)

CASUAL/FORMAL META

A personal favourite of mine, is the meta where characters are just wearing civilian clothes. That’s it, that’s all you need for this meta. Whether they’re going out somewhere fancy or just having a day off, this Meta is about all of those!

Skins: Ana( Cabana), Ashe( Socialite), Baptiste( Tropical), D.Va( Cruiser), Doomfist( Formal), Hanzo( Scion, Casual), Mcree( On the range), Mei( Pajamei, Echopoint), Pharah( Aviator), Soldier( Ugly Sweater 76), Torbjorn( Lumberjack, Ironclad, Chief Engineer), Widowmaker( Biathlon), Zarya( Snowboarder, Workout)

PARTY META

This is almost a catch-all category. Because what does it even mean to be party meta? Toys? The 80s? The dumbest skins in the game? Perhaps every game is a party in your own little way but these are the ones I’ve deemed to be peak Party-meta. Get out those dance emotes!

Skins: Ashe( Mardi Gras), Baptiste( Funky), Bastion( Brick), D.Va (Nano Cola?!) Echo( Bird of Paradise), Junkrat( Junkfood, Circus), Lucio( Jazzy, Equalizer), Moira( Glam, Moon), Orisa( Icecream), Reaper( Masquerade, Mariachi, El Blanco), Roadhog( Pachimari), Summetra( Magician, Holi), Tracer( Comic), Widowmaker( Comtesse, Huntress), Wrecking Ball( High Roller, 8ball, paper cutting) Zarya( 80s) Zenyatta( Toybot)

SPOOKY META

A really easy meta to get into, as it seems some of the best skins for any meta come out around Halloween time. Mostly undead with a couple of killers in there for good measure. The meta is guaranteed to give teams nightmares (Permitting, you’re really good at the game. So good in fact that you will haunt your opponents thoughts with the constant dread they will never be good as you.)

Skins: Ana ( Pharaoh, Ghoul), Baptiste( Vampire), D.Va( Shin-Ryeong), Doomfist( Swamp Monster, Spirit) Echo (Ragdoll, Good and Evil), Junkrat( Junkenstien), Genji( Oni, Karasu-Tengu), Hanzo( Dai-Tengu, Demon), Lucio( Gorgon), Mcree( Undead), Mei( Jianshi), Mercy( Witch), Moira( Banshee), Pharah( Enchanted Armor, Possessed), Reaper( Pumpkin, Dracula, Shiver), Reinhardt( Coldhardt), Roadhog( Toxic, Junkenstien’s Monster), Soldier( Slasher: 76, Immortal), Sombra( Bride), Symmetra( Vampire), Tracer( Will’o’Wisp), Winston( Werewolf, Gargoyle), Wrecking Ball( Jack’o’Lantern), Zenyatta( Cultist, Skullyatta).

DOOM/HELL META

There’s nothing discouraging you from mixing Doom/Hell Meta with Spooky Meta, this is just making it a more specific thing to group with. Probably has to do with all the fiery bits and Diablo like things.

Skins: Roadhog( Butcher), Ashe ( Warlock), Doomfist( Blackhand), Junkrat( Inferno), Orisa( Demon), Reaper( Hellfire), Reinhardt( Bloodhardt), Symmetra( Dragon), Genji( Atlantic All-Star 2018), Mercy( Devil)

STONER META

The Meta is simply “Characters that have skins in which they are stones” But if you wanted to get cute, this is where Junkrat’s Junkfood skin goes.

Skins: Baptiste( Terracotta), Brigitte( Stone), Bastion( Tombstone), Winston( Gargoyle)

Technicality: Reinhardt( Stonehardt) Such a reach too, because the armor is stone but not his head. GAWD!

WAR META

War Meta specifically put characters in this category if they have a military based outfit. Which is also really lazy in that you can just ask yourself the question “Does this skin have camo of some kind on it? IT DOES? Wow, I guess that’s where it goes then. It’s a lot like the carbon fiber Meta in a way, but this one gives you the ability to shout HOO-RAH! Without it being too weird.

Skins: Ana (Sniper), Baptiste( Desert Ops, Camo, Combat Medic), Bastion (Gwishin), Echo( Stealth, Camo), Mercy( Camouflage), Orisa( Camouflage) Pharah (Security Chief), Reaper( Soldier 24), Reinhardt( Bundeswehr), Soldier( Commando, Night-Ops, Alpine), Winston( Desert), Zarya( Frosted, Siberian Front, Arctic) Bastion( Stealth)

CYBER META

Since CyberPunk 2077 was a lost cause, it’s time to saddle-up as Cyborg 76. What do we do with all the cyber ass looking skins? Do we just add the things have have cyber in the name or are we going for a specific look? Honestly, the meta could just be Ana and Sombra and I would be happy.

Skins: Ana( Cybermedic), Genji( Blackwatch), Hanzo (Cyberninja), Lucio( Equalizer), Soldier( Cyborg), Sombra( Fantasma, Augmented, Cyberspace), Torb(Cybjorn)

Technicality: More of a subset of cyber, but Oracle skins can go here if you think of it as some fuckin weird cyberpunk heirarchy. Moira ( Minister, Oasis), Sigma( Oracle, Prophet), Symmetra( Oasis).

SENTAI META

This Meta is a lot like the party meta in a way. What does it mean to be sentai? You have one skin to really use and make it somehow work with a bunch of others. I think I’ve watched enough power rangers in my time to know what I’m talking about, okay? I’ve seen enough episodes to try and impress a girl. It didn’t work. Instead I’m putting this list together.

Skins:( Ghoul), Bastion (gearbot), D.Va( Academy), Doomfist( Irin, Caution), Echo( Ragdoll), Genji(Sentai, Oni), Junkrat( Hayseed, Scarecrow), Lucio( Ribbit, Hippity Hop), Mercy( Devil, Imp), Orisa( Megasoma, Dynastinae), Pharah( MechaQueen, Raptorion), Reaper (Plague Doctor, Nevermore), Reinhardt( Wujing), Roadhog( Bajie), Soldier( Venom), Sombra( Black Cat), Widowmaker( Scorpion, Pale Serpent), Winston( Wukong), Wrecking Ball( Biohazard), Zarya( Cyberian).

SANTA META

From Sentai to Santa is a very good segue. It doesn’t involve everything in the winter category just things that could be related to Mr. North Pole himself. But with the way Rudolph looks, there’s some weird kinks going on.

Skins: Junkrat( Krampus, Elf), Lucio( Andes), Mei( Mei-rry), Roadhog( Rudolph), Torbjorn( Santaclad), Tracer( Jingle).

Technicality: Ana( Gingerbread) every santa needs some kind of mother figure to set him straight)

COLD HEARTED META

This is the part of the winter theme that has all the bad guys in it. By technicality you can add Junkrat’s inferno skin to the meta if you’re going for some kind of Heat Miser/ Cold Miser thing with Roadhog.

Skins: Sigma( Rime), Sombra( Rime), Moira( Ice Empress), Doomfist( Jotunn), Pharah( Frostbite), Roadhog( Frosty)

YETI HUNTER META

The last of the winter Themed metas, and if you think about it, a subset of the adventure meta, but just a bit more specific. Mei captured the Yeti and forced it to fight on her side, with the help of some mountain locals. Oh ho ho! How cute!

Skins: Winston( Yeti), Mei( Yeti Hunter, Abominable), Mcree( Mountain Man), Torbjorn( Lumberjack)

Technicality: Bation( Avalanche) The conceit behind this is… how else are you going to capture a yeti?

STAGE META

This meta is all about skins that are more performative than the others. Fables, Operas, Ballets… you know that kind of stuff. Basically it’s comprised of metas that are just too small to be their own category. But maybe as the years go by, these metas will grow, and we can all be happy!)

Skins: Ana (Tal) Ashe ( Little Red, Tiger Huntress), Bastion (Dragon Fire), Brigitte( Opera), Hanzo( Kabuki), Lucio( Samul Nori), Mcree ( Scrooge), Mercy( Sugar Plum Fairy), Moira (Mask Dancer), Orisa( Sanye), Reaper( Rat King), Sigma( Maestro), Sombra (Face Changer), Symmetra( Magician) Tracer( Hong Gildong), Widowmaker( Pale Serpent, Odette, Odile) Mercy (Sigrun, Valkyrie)

HISTORICAL META

Historical Meta is mostly in quotation marks here. I’m taking a bit of a liberty in what that means, but looking at the skins, you kind of “get it”. There’s enough there to make it work, the things in this list by technicality are the skins from the 2021 Archives event. To your discretion how you want to mix and match them, cause it kind of works, but only KIND OF.

Skins: Genji (BAIHU, BUSHI), Hanzo( Huang Zhong), Pharah( QingLong), Reinhardt( Guan Yu), Torbjorn( Zhang Fei), Zenyatta( Zhuge Liang) Reaper( Lu Bu, Imperial Guard) Brigitte( General), Mcree( Magistrate), Soldier 76( Soldier 1776), Tracer( Cavalry), Widowmaker( Mousquetaire), Zarya( Polyanitsa)

ADVENTURE META

Adventure Meta is all about White people looking adventurous and fun while everyone else comes off looking like a racial stereotype. Like you wouldn’t think about it until you try out this meta, and really look deep within yourself if you’re okay with this. Hey, if you’re a fan of stuff like Indiana Jones, then this is perfectly fine. There is no real specific theme to this category, it's just casually racist.

Skins: Ashe( Safari, Jungle), Doomfist( Leopard, Monk, Spirit, skins like that) Genji( Nomad, Bedouin), Lucio( Capoeira), Mcree( Gambler, Riverboat), Pharah( Asp, Raindancer, Thunderbird, Bedouin), Roadhog( Toa, Islander), Sombra( Demon Hunter), Tracer( Slipstream), Widow( Comtesse, Huntress), Winston( Safari, Explorer), Wreaking Ball( Submarine) Zenyatta( Subaquatic)

Technicality: Brigitte( Shield Maiden)

SPACE META

Space Meta is Niche because it’s mostly Tanks. Only Pharah has enough rocket fuel in her jetpack to make it to the moon. But Space is also where Sigma is also in this category by default. It’s where he lost his shit! I guess it’s because no one could hear him screaming.

Skins: Pharah( Orbital), Sigma( Dr. De Kuiper), Zarya( Alien.. If people still even have it?) Zenyatta( Zen-Nakji) Winston( Specimen 28, Horizon), Wrecking Ball( Horizon, Lunar)

TALON META

Talon Meta is separate from Crime Meta because Talon is just bigger than crime okay? Crime is small time, Talon is bigger picture! There’s a lot of big things in store for Talon. So why don’t you fuck around and find out?

Skins: Baptiste( Talon), Doomfist( Talon, Classic, Formal), Reaper( Default), Sigma( Talon), Moira( Default), Widow( Classic, Talon, Noire, almost every one of her skins works here.), Sombra( Talon)

“FURRY” META

I almost want to call this a joke meta because to get into “furry” you really just need to wear animal ears of some kind. Only a couple of characters in this Meta are animals, and some murdered animals to wear them on their person. *awkward laughter*

Skins: Ana (Snow Owl), Brig (Goat), D.Va( Black Cat), Doomfist( Swamp Monster), Echo( Kkachi), Genji( Karasu-Tengu), Hanzo (Lone Wolf, Okami), Lucio( Snow fox), Mei( Penguin), Mercy( Dragoon), Orisa( Bull Demon) Reaper (rat king), Roadhog( Bajie), Sombra( Black Cat), Symmetra( Dragon), Widow( Scorpion), Winston, Wrecking Ball, Zenyatta( Cultist)

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Beaten to death and Stranded: A ranty SPOILER blog

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Sam Porter Bridges is his name, job description and the company he works for. Maybe in Hideo Kojima’s America, corporate identity is everything, but even in the old days we were identified as Shoemakers, Smiths and Bakers. Though there’s something purely “coincidental” as being a Weatherstone working at the Weather Station or a Southwick at South Knot city.

I mean we can probably unpack how on-the-nose the last name ‘Strand’ is for this game.

Before I continue on, please note that this blog is going to get into spoiler territory. there’s a lot to unpack here. I don’t know if I can accurately pinpoint the exact crux of the problem that IS Death Stranding but I can certainly come up with an idea somewhere.

I’M GONNA RAMBLE.

What it looks like in my brain when I'm trying to make my arguement.
What it looks like in my brain when I'm trying to make my arguement.

Fragile but not Fragil and certainly not Fra gilé.
Fragile but not Fragil and certainly not Fra gilé.

An easy place to start is all in the way people are named. It’s something we give a pass to when it’s a stealth action military game, yet when you’re a delivery person walking around handing out parcels it feels a bit too much. This guy over here? He is called Deadman because he’s built from the parts of other dead people. That guy’s name is Heartman because he voluntarily stops his heart every 21 minutes to find his dead family. That lady over there? We call her Mama because she was pregnant once. Don’t worry, she doesn’t really have a kid, IT DIED. But we call her Mama anyway, either as a way to make her feel better or as an insulting reminder that her baby is dead and continues to haunt her workspace.

When it was revealed that Mama has a twin sister and that their names were actually Målingen and Lockne I looked around the empty living room in which I sat and scoffed. “WHY NOT JUST GO WITH THOSE NAMES?!” I shouted, “Those are perfectly good names and why the fuck is Sam so STUPID?”

This is of course in reference to the scene in which Sam Porter Bridges thinks Lockne, THE IDENTICAL TWIN SISTER, is Målingen herself. This is of course after Målingen tells you that she has a sister up in the mountains and that Målingen can’t even leave her workstation because of dead baby.

You can’t pull a fast one on Sam who quickly assumes that it’s Målingen playing a trick on him.

“Mama, is that you? Quit playin’ around Mama I know it’s you! How did you get all the way over to Lake Knot city considering everything I went through just to get here! You’re totally Mama stop lyin!”

There’s two theories here. Either Kojima thinks his audience is dumb, or Kojima has always been a terrible writer. I’m aware there’s probably a disconnect here in the sense that I’m playing a translated version of the game and not in its original Japanese but the message is clearly the same. The constant need to over explain things (oh we’ll get there) or having a character be incredibly ignorant on purpose for the sake of exposition is frustrating.

Again, this is probably the kind of stuff we that gave a pass to when this game was called Metal Gear Solid. It was easy to accept Snake as being an ignorant protagonist, because in the world of Metal Gear there was a lot to explain (and most of the time it’s not till last minute). There are Giant Mechs, Snake is one of three brothers, one of them is British and the other was the President of the United States. Child soldiers, Hind-Ds, Cyber Ninjas, Big Boss... the list goes on!

Traveling across the whole of America doesn't take very long on foot.
Traveling across the whole of America doesn't take very long on foot.

The plot for Death Stranding is essentially: You have to go from house to house delivering packages as a way to convince people to use the internet.

“Thanks for giving me this box of underwear I guess I will sign up to America Online.”

A little while later you keep getting emails about “how great Ludens are”. Cause why not be masturbatory over the mascot in your company logo.

OKAY, this reminds me of something else. At some point in the game, there’s a guy that hates delivery people because someone special to him was killed in an explosion. The way he’s talking about this girl, you assume it’s his daughter. A little while later you find out she’s still alive and lives on the other side of the hill next to him. He doesn’t believe you and tells you to find stuff in a BT zone. When you do that he apologizes for being an asshole and says if that girl really is who she is, then please deliver this hourglass she loves to play with.

When you arrive at the other house, this is the only time in the game where someone walks out onto a stage under a spotlight and delivers a monologue about love and loneliness. Then you wrap her up in a tarp and carry her to the guy. When they finally see each other after such a long time, she throws the hourglass at his feet and they get married. Oh wait… she isn’t his daughter?

I’m downplaying it a lot here, but it’s with a purpose. In earnest this is a wonderful moment at first. If this mission was your elevator pitch about travelling across America and connecting people, I could have really been sold on the concept of human stories in between back breaking parcels. Hell it was one of the few moments in the game where tears actually meant something.

But there were two moments that killed the scene. One, Sam stood there like an asshole unable to react as the girl poured her heart out (Which could have easily be fixed by just not panning the camera over to show him). Two, the moment they say they’re getting married you get an email from the guy telling you about how marriage sucks. AFTER THEY JUST SHARED A GODDAMN MOMENT AND ENTHUSIASTICALLY SAID WE’RE MARRIED NOW.

Oh god, don’t even get me started on everyone emailing you all the fucking time about nothing particularly important. Since you are the person connecting everyone to the internet, it feels like you’re the only one they ever talk to, with classic emails such as:

  • Ludens are the greatest thing in the world.
  • I’m proud of all the work you’re doing even though I don’t know anything about you other than you're the guy that gave me a box of metal.
  • I found a usb stick but was too afraid to get it.
  • I know you heard this from the important characters but Isn’t it crazy that Samantha America is so young looking.
  • We’re unmarried now I’m moving back in with mom.
  • Hey Sam U up? Just want you to know you’re great.
  • HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF FAMITSU?
  • Do you think Kojima likes me.
  • I don’t trust you because you work for a living, but let me tell you about plants.
  • I’m so happy to be on the internet now I can tell everyone about the joys of cosplay.

You can pee on BTs but Sam gets shy if you try to pee on people.
You can pee on BTs but Sam gets shy if you try to pee on people.

Involuntary one sided conversations with NPCs that don’t tell me anything really important to the game itself is a thing that almost always bothers me. It’s different when it’s characters you’re playing alongside or have in your party because you’re already learning so much about them, but it’s different in the context of people you just deliver to, and they spam your email account.

And how about all those interviews that tell you things that they already told you but differently?!

Anyway that was a tangent, where was I.

Another thing that gives you a hint that the writing feels insultingly bad is the use of things like BB, BT, EE and so on. The BB is a 'Bridge Baby', and when abbreviated sounds an awful lot like ‘baby’, but we just can’t call it a baby because it’s not a baby it’s a tool.

BTs are 'Beached Things' because they probably didn’t know what else to call them, and BTs just sounds cooler I guess.

EE is the 'Extinction Entity' Also known as Samantha America, also known as Amelie also known as Spirit Lie (or whatever the fuck. If you go with Latin it’s Sea fish Mendacium or something.) that is responsible for wiping out all life on the planet. The thing that you were actually building towards the entire time! You’re connecting America to Amelie so she can kill everyone one!

She’s also the reason for why there’s all these BTs and her Ha Bridget Strand (or Bridget Beach if you prefer, it makes sense because she’s the Ha to the Ka) is responsible for the BB that becomes the catalyst for the EE to make all these BTs really fuck up America.

You know this stuff before it’s being explained to you as it leads up to the first credits, you’re retold this stuff before it gets to the second credits and then you’re essentially retold this stuff again but from different perspectives before the third credits. (WHICH IS ALSO THE SAME SHIT THAT THEY WERE GIVING YOU PIECEMEAL THROUGHOUT THE GAME. But now you get the privilege of watching it all play out in order INCASE YOU DIDN'T GET WHAT WAS GOING ON.)

I know I’m going all over the place but, at this point I was 47 or so hours into the game and I became angry. This had every potential to be a simple game. Kojima, who is known for his over the top narratives, could have said, “I’m working on a new game from scratch. I could just make a quaint little delivery game, that is engaging around the mechanic of delivery through and around difficult terrain.“

This guy has also been making games for years, and loves making his stories (or at the very least dialogues) the more important aspects of his games.

He's about as cool as Norman Reedus on AMC's RIDE with Norman Reedus.
He's about as cool as Norman Reedus on AMC's RIDE with Norman Reedus.

I felt insulted at the end of Death Stranding because I feel like he should have learned something about storytelling by now. The biggest problem Death Stranding has is that he doesn’t trust the audience's ability to understand what’s going on. Which is why it constantly over explains things throughout the game only to make you sit through 2-3 hours of being told everything you already know at least 4 more times. The game’s pretentious meandering with constant metaphors made me start to wonder if I’ve ever actually liked Metal Gear in the first place.

But maybe I just grew out of it.

And like OF COURSE MADS IS SAM’S DAD, AND YEAH LOU (that’s the name of the baby that Sam carries around) IS PROBABLY SAM’S KID IN THE FIRST PLACE. But why the fuck is Mads calling it a BB. I mean sure, you call it BB for the audience’s sake, but we’re not stupid. Mads seems incredibly against the whole thing as time goes on but just can’t seem to give his own son a fucking name?

Also holy shit, Everyone suddenly has access to the same beach for narrative purposes only?! You have to walk all the way back to the first city in the game for narrative purposes only?

You can’t Shoot Amelie in the head even though you’re given a gun, but what you really should do is HUG HER?

Also another thing, Die Hardman’s monologue at the end of the game was enough for me to say Tommie Earl Jenkins was robbed at the Game Awards, so lets get him an Academy Award instead.

I know these thoughts are a little messy, but I figured I should give some detail into why it was my biggest disappointment of 2019. In a way, I’m happy I got to experience the gameplay for what it was, but the story did everything in its power to not make it worth it in the end.

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This year of Games 2019

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Gather around kids, it’s that time of year again where your old pal Bonbolapti talks about his top ten. Which is honestly a surprise to me, a majority of my year has been spent continuing to play games like Overwatch, Fallout 76 and Battlefield V. As much as I would like to have those as three guaranteed slots of my goty list, there’s a strong enough list of games I’ve enjoyed aside from those three.

So without further ado,

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10 The Outer Worlds

This game had a bit of a weird hype to it, and pointing out that the original creators of Fallout were behind this game definitely led to that. People were excited for The Outer Worlds because New Vegas was the best Fallout game in their eyes. Yet when The Outer Worlds came out, their enthusiasm took a 180 and aside from Parvati being the only thing they took away from it, the general reception has been “not great”.

I don’t quite echo those sentiments, because the writing is strong (which is important for a game like this). Dialogue trees are interesting, and emails of the space business world are fun. It’s biggest problem is that every quest after the first one keep hitting the same beats. So it changes from interesting to predictable in a heartbeat.

Still, as I’ve said before the writing is strong, and the companions are great to tag along with.

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9 The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

My Second Favourite remake of something this year. But I’m thinking about this game as it relates to my friend Dolphin Butter who played through it during his extra life stream. And I kept trying my best in trying not to tell him where to go and what to do.

Though I haven’t played Link’s Awakening since the original GameBoy days, a lot of what this Switch remake was doing only felt like second nature to me. I must have been on autopilot going from one dungeon/errand to the next. It ended up being a nice little bit of nostalgia that may have been over too soon. But much like my original copy, I will eventually pick it up and play it all over again.

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8) Picross S3

The annual adding Picross to the goty list essentially making this a top 9. I do this to keep pointing out how good Picross is, and if you think you’re someone who has never played picross before you have quite the backlog at this point in time to keep you busy for HOURS.

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7) Phone games

Phone games are essentially clumped together because I play them all at the same time. And if you’ve read my previous blog you know exactly the ones I’m talking about. Dragalia Lost, Dr. Mario World and Mario Kart Tour consistently keep my attention as I use transit.

I suppose there was also the added benefit this year of having Apple Arcade on the iOS where I got to play games like Assemble with Care, Various Daylife and ChuChu Rocket! Universe. But that’s the kind of stuff I’m patiently waiting to be made available on the Mac OS because well I don’t want to play too many games on my phone, then it would probably die too quickly.

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6) Cadence of Hyrule

I guess I became very much late to the party with Crypt of the Necrodancer (because I also just straight up haven’t played it yet), but I’m really happy I got to play this. I also just think it’s the sheer novelty of an indie dev from Vancouver getting to make a game with a Nintendo property.

Wonderful music, catchy boss fights, and a bite size experience, enough to make me go I DID play this, yeah I did enjoy it. HMMM maybe I should play it again.

Seems to be the theme for Zelda games this year for me.

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5) Astroneer

It’s not that this game was officially released this year so much as I’ve finally gotten around to playing it. It’s been an enjoyable experience if only because I’ve been playing with one of my favourite people. That’s always key cause I don’t think I would enjoy playing these kinds of games alone anymore. I know I could get bored too quickly, if I’m by myself and the objectives are aimless.

But discovering something with someone else, highlights those experiences in a way that sticks with me. And just eventually became my rainy day streaming game if I’m just not feeling like playing Overwatch.

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4) Wargroove

WOW. I’ve never played Advance Wars, but this game does a really good job of capturing the spirit of that franchise. I MEAN after admitting I’ve never played Advance Wars I have a pretty good idea I know what it’s about.

Ultimately the best part of this game is the level/scenario editor that is brilliant for anyone deep into the weeds of what this has to offer. Putting it on this list has reminded me to buy it again on steam so I can do a better job of using those editors, the one thing I’m not comfortable with doing on the switch version.

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3) Tetris 99

The best Tetris/Battle Royale game this year, and I’m very particular about my Tetris games. (I only gave Tetris Effect an Honorable Mention last year. I don’t know if that tells you anything.) Good Tetris multiplayer only needs to be about the line breaking and when you match up with 98 other people, how fast you can do it is the real challenge that keeps me engaged. Only the good players continue to play it now, which makes the game HARDER, but when you’re in and you’re doing well, being all up in the top 10 players left, that heart is racing and you’re in the TETRIS ZONE and then you lose with a 3rd place finish you can’t help but thing “gawdamn I was RIGHT THERE… guess I gotta go again.”

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2) Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Three Houses manages to take itself out of a rut that Awakening and Fates was pushing it towards. Placing you as a teacher in a Religious school, that you manage your weeks building relationships with your students and peers alike. It changes the dynamic of the game that could be polarizing if you’re a fan of the older games and seeing what this franchise has turned into.

It’s definitely not without its predictability, but it makes up for that by having interesting characters with their own motivations and problems. The Personalities is everything in a game like this, and probably why I’ve felt the most encouraged to have multiple play-throughs.

That being said, I hope this is the only Fire Emblem game of it’s kind.

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1) Resident Evil 2

Yes, my favourite game of 2019 is a Remake of an old PS1 classic. Capcom basically gave themselves the difficult task of not only making RE2 all over again, but updating it with the sensibilities of our current generation of gaming. To some it could ruin the perfect nostalgic experience they have in their brain. But for me, they created a uniquely new experience while allowing those moments of nostalgia to take place. I know these halls all too well even if they don’t play out the same.

It’s use of lighting, scarcity of bullets, and the looming threat around every corner is what made classic RE great, and they nailed it. I think about this game a lot. And I’m looking forward to RE3. and then I hope they remake Dino Crisis.

Biggest Disappointment: DEATH STRANDING

Hideo Kojima could have made a beautiful game with a simple concept, but he spent 4 years of his new studio making a first year film student’s arthouse feature. I could go off on how the game introduces unnecessary things for the sake of “world building”, a threat that doesn’t need to be there, traversal that just becomes obnoxious, the constant downplaying of supposedly critical moments, and hijacking the game to tell you the same goddamn thing multiple times is just infuriating.

I could have really loved Death Stranding this year, I put 74 hours into it. But the last moments of this game make none of that worth it, and I REALLY hate myself for that.

Best Song

That being said, this is Death Stranding’s only redeeming quality, and it’s really friggin catchy.

Game I bought but computer can’t handle it, but wait why did I buy it in the first place.

I’ve had a morbid curiosity of Left Alive since it’s announcement all the way up to its release. I know what I’m getting into playing it, and I’ve waited for a deal good enough on steam to encourage me to buy it.

And now that I have it, the computer can’t run it very well. So I’m afraid I’ll never truly enjoy it. So for the time being, I bought it for no reason.

Good job me.

Twitch gaming moment of the year brought to you by Arby's.

Back when there was an uproar of people upset that Brigitte got a police officer skin during the anniversary event. For shits and giggles my friend Maple and I spent a day playing as officers Brigitte and D.Va patrolling the levels and stomping out crime. But then one simple moment changed our perspective.

Something about cornering Orisa and beating her to death dressed as police officers became the perfect example of why someone might think of these skins as a bad idea. (You know, because of what that might represent, for a person) And I choose this clip in part as a shocking moment for myself, and also a teachable moment of how it could be perceived.

MAYBE THIS IS WHY THE OVERWATCH ORGANIZATION WAS SHUT DOWN, JACK.

That’s it, that’s the thing this year! As I look forward to 2020, the only thing I can hope for is to be able to follow through on a lot of projects that I have planned, and to stream more. But really to just have a happy time and do things like play fun games and shit.

That’s all we really need in our lives. Fun n shit.

Your pal,

Uncle Lapti.

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Them Nintendo Phone-y games.

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I’ve wanted to make this blog for a while, because here’s the thing… As the gaming landscape has been changing throughout the decade the one thing that has become more tolerable over time is playing games on the phone. Well sure, people still scoff at the idea, but I can’t help but embrace the fact that Nintendo makes phone games now.

I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking “Bon, I figured you were here to tell us about things such as Teppen, Dota Underlords and Letterpress, but it turns out you’re just a Nintendo fanboy!”

I’m not here to argue that, but I am here to maybe make cases for why Nintendo’s phone games have been some of the things that took up a lot of my time this year.

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First, Let’s talk about Dragalia Lost. Which technically was released last year, but wasn’t actually available in Canada until February 2019. It’s an action RPG that's big on gacha which isn't actually as egregious as FE Heroes' and chalk full of anime tropes. But on the other hand it’s a lot of fun to play and the levels are quick to get through and can easily sneak in some time if I’m on the transits.

But because it has a main story that can only update at a moderate pace, it constantly goes through side events more frequently. I’m pretty sure I’ve stopped paying attention to the main story of the game in favour of just questing for characters I-don’t-actually-care-about-but-they’re-there-and-I-might-as-well-I-only-have-to-build-up-500-points. I suppose that’s to keep people interested in the game, but sometimes it’s hard to keep up an I simply don’t have an emotional attachment to everything except for the Dragon that’s horny for human D and the socially awkward black magic bunny girl. And I also recently forged my friendship with Mega Man of all people.

I think it’s important to state that the game is fantastically written as a light hearted adventure, and each character has a cool personality despite being so many to choose from. Like really, I keep unlocking all these friggin characters but I’m only going to use the Fire Emblem heroes, because they’re the strongest characters I have, and one of them is Marth the Hero king.

So to recap:

  • Fun action adventure RPG on the phone.
  • The dragon wants to fuck the protagonist.
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The middle part of this blog is the Dr. Mario enthusiast section. I’m saying that because everyone one I talk to tells me to my FACE without even BLINKING that Dr. Mario is BORING. And I have to sit there convincing myself that they JUST DON’T GET IT! But then Dr. Mario World just did the thing that those Brain Age games did on the DS all those years ago.

THE. PILLS. GO. UP.

Which honestly, doesn’t matter if they go up or down, the touch screen functionality feels good and each new puzzle goes from nice and easy, to complicated and thinky. This game also has a variety of “doctors” to choose from, which are all your favourites like: Wario, Bowser, or those stupid fucking baby versions. Ultimately, the gacha is the most unfair in this game if only because it takes forever to build up 4,000 coins (if you don’t want to spend real money on tickets) and the rates to get the characters you might actually want makes it feel next to impossible, especially with ‘assistant’ characters! Each assistant does have a beneficial stat that will help you with certain puzzles (somewhat) but when rolling for a new character they honestly just get in the way.

I hope to unlock Dr. Daisy some time next year.

Wait, there’s also the Multiplayer aspect to it. Which is fun and you can keep versing as many times as you like without having to wait for hearts to refill. And the benefit of each Dr. character is that they all have a different special ability which could either help you, or screw over your opponent. Which again, unless you want to spend real money, Good luck getting anyone.

So to recap:

  • The puzzles are great, and I’m sorry you feel that way about Dr. Mario.
  • As a phone game it’s not really important, but it’s a bummer that you don’t really get much of a chance for the character you might want.
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Lastly is Mario Kart Tour. The thing you need to understand about Mario Kart Tour is that it’s not a racing game but actually a Score Attack that’s heavy on chance. It’s less about where you place in a race and more about the points you rack up (which of course you get more points when you reach first place).

For each race there’s 3 tiers of how well you can boost your score multiplier. And only certain characters are better than others on some races (Which you can get by either spending coin, or tossing rubies in the gacha machine). Tier 3 racers are important because they get three item slots and a bonus chance for crazy points if all three items are exactly the same (like you’re winning the jackpot on a slot machine or something).

It’s just really important to emphasize that this isn’t a racing game, even if it says Mario Kart. But I’m NOT saying that I don’t think it’s fun, because I think it is. The gameplay loop is one that convinces me that I know I can get a better score. So I try and try again, especially on cups that are community challenges that you have to work your way up the ranks for.

Obviously the better your racer, kart and parachute, the better your chances at a good score. Which is unfortunate if you haven’t been able to roll for the characters that are necessary for the race.

There is actual multiplayer coming to the game eventually, and I think it was supposed to happen in December, but clearly I have no idea. It might end up being the mode that people would really want out of the game too. But I guess only time will tell.

So to recap:

I'm going out of my way to share my user ID for this one. :D
I'm going out of my way to share my user ID for this one. :D
  • Again, don’t think of this as a racing game.
  • I really do play the same courses over and over again just to get a better score I’m happy with.

In mentioning these phone games now, it really frees up a lot of space I will have for my eventual game of the year blog. But I just wanted to share thought space on some of Nintendo’s phone game endeavours that I’ve really enjoyed this year.

Like…. Really enjoyed.

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What is this Death and why is it Stranding?

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I’ve said this before plenty of times, I think... In writing, on streams, day-to-day living and probably in my sleep a couple of times, “I hate fandom.” Not that I despise being a fan of things. If you like something, you should be proud that you like it and you’ll hopefully know a group of people that also enjoy the same thing.

But fandom has become this singular identity. This enjoyment of a product in which you also want to become the thing you enjoy so much. I’ve lived on this planet long enough to know when people love something in moderation and when their soul is being entrapped in a tiny little box labeled “fortnite dances”.

The elephant in the room is getting larger and it’s name is Death Stranding.

I could be embellishing my blog a little bit here, based solely on how I feel like it’s being presented to me. Geoff Keighley is the best and worst example of this. A conflict-of-interest waiting to happen, as he kicks off the opening night of Gamescom to be in service of Kojima. Reminding everyone that he cried at the Game Awards, and that he and Kojima-san would be reunited once again. Mouth agape, waiting for that golden shower, only to be disappointed that it’s actually a mechanic in the video game and wasn’t really promised to receive one.

Did you see how many people ran up to the stage, holding their phones out waiting to be looked at? Did nobody care that you can edit your ride in Need for Speed’s new PHONE APP?

I know this is just a small example, but I don’t understand what Death Stranding is, when it feels like they’re distracting me with my own petty grievances. So I’m going to try and figure this game out, what it looks like to me, what I hope it is, and whatever is inevitable.

What it looks like.

MAMA introduces the crying mechanic from Super Mario World 2, and how you can deal with it.
MAMA introduces the crying mechanic from Super Mario World 2, and how you can deal with it.

The Postman is probably one of my favourite movies of all time. The idea that a man escapes a militia to become a U.S. postal worker, travelling from town-to-town, finally delivering mail that was lost all those years ago. It’s hilarious because it doesn’t feel like it's that far into the future and everyone in the U.S. seems to be lost on the concept of mail. They even co-opt the idea of the mailman to be more of a resistance army. It’s the post apocalypse and any job can really be whatever you want it to be, because it doesn’t matter anymore.

Now imagine that for Death Stranding, but instead of the U.S. Postal Service, Amazon is more technologically advanced as ever and is given the task to reconnect America with the power of delivery. An idea expressed with recent clips at Gamescom.

The new character MAMA is a kind, gentle person that is stuck working at the Amazon warehouse and can never leave. She’s a sympathetic character, with the tragic story of, “while she was pregnant the company wouldn’t even relax her hours, let alone give her time off to go to the hospital and give birth.” As a result her dead baby now haunts her from the other side via umbilical cord. Every other mother in the “Amazon family” died during childbirth and are sent to another facility, while their babies are put to work as “Bridges” to that other part of the game that isn’t quite explained yet. (so let’s just call it the other side.)

What I hope it is.

That being said, My hope for this game is that it’s a glorified walking simulator. It looks like you spend the whole time travelling on foot (or motorcycle I guess) delivering packages to Geoff Keighley holograms all across the country.

Experience the side mission of trying to help Keighley round up world exclusives for the next Game Awards.
Experience the side mission of trying to help Keighley round up world exclusives for the next Game Awards.

Sometimes a tar-like militia will try and invade your personal space and prevent you from making deliveries. So far they haven’t introduced any real way of defending yourself, so running away is your best option. (Unless that’s what they introduced the pissing mechanic for. I can guarantee gamers everywhere will pee all over the ‘Tarmy’ as an act of self defence. Feel free to come back to this blog months later and post a clip from your favourite twitch stream below.)

My hope for this game is: Even though there’s going to be a convoluted anime-bullshit story we’ll spend 50 hours watching, there should be a decent amount of tedious delivery gameplay that I will happily spend 70 hours aimlessly wandering for.

The second hope for this game is that I have an endless supply of ladders and I can lay them all out one by one, truly connecting together America.

What it probably will be.

Since this is the Metal Gear developer that is never truly happy with every game he makes, it’s probably a many years into the future spiritual successor built specifically for Mads Mikkelsen fetish enthusiasts. The “I don’t know, whatever” gameplay developed for MGSV will be developed even further...

Hell you know what, all bets are off with whatever kind of game this is going to be. From what I was alluding to earlier, Kojima’s following is basically cult-like and you can see it with gamers and even the press. Death Stranding is going to be the test of seeing if Kojima can do whatever he wants and we will all love it, even if it’s going to be terrible.

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(I'm not trying to be cynical here, I am looking forward to it, but the PR for this game needs to settle down.)

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Rivals School: a Three Houses blog

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Three houses, the latest game in the Fire Embull series, is a game about family. A game about the friends you make along the way. A game about the separation of church and state. You play as either the male or female version of Byleth, a young merc with the least amount of dialogue in the game. (But don’t worry, they’re a blank emotionless canvas, so it makes sense.)

Just before you set out on a job with your father, you have to break up a fight between a bunch of school kids, which actually turned out to be a job interview for a teaching gig at the local church. It’s there, where you decide which band of misfits you want to have under your wing.

Then you live out your days instructing in the art of combat and worry about which one of your students you should take to the prom.

I’m kidding, that last part isn’t really a thing. To anybody that buys this game only so they can say out loud, “Which character are you going to MaRrY?” probably isn’t aware how much this game is actually about War and politics and mysterious god-dragon-people-things. But I’ll get into that relationship building in a minute.

Those who can't do, teach.
Those who can't do, teach.

The first thing you will SURELY notice when playing this game is the structure being different. Instead of just travelling to points on a map, going story beat to fight and so on, you spend most of your time at Garreg Mach Monastery. It’s where you do everything from fishing, eating, singing hymns, having seminars and generally running around bonding with students and teachers alike.

Actually if you play it a lot like I did, you find way too much missing items on the ground and annoy every single person until one of those items happens to belong to them. I DON’T KNOW whether or not this foreign coin belongs to Dedue but I keep getting told he’s from Duscur! I figured that was a pretty big hint, BECAUSE NOBODY ELSE WANTS IT!

(ahem). At the end of the month you take your class go out on a mission where you have to deal with bandits or other lords that will have one of your students emotionally traumatized. This happens enough times where war is inevitable and everyone has the final exam of their lives.

But whoever the Valedictorian is, is up to you.

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Okay. Let’s talk about relationships.

From what I’ve known about the series since Awakening, is that relationship building has always been the most shallow part of the games. They seem to give this impression that if you talk to someone a couple of times you just get married and have a child fall into your lap from a wormhole. You don’t build up a real bond with any character, they’re just your reward and you get to touch their face.

In three houses there’s a lot more effort is trying to showcase the important parts of everyone’s personality. While the support conversations are still very much a thing, the length of each conversation and the vocal performances take a step further in caring about everyone in the class rather than the typical players instinct of “Well I want to marry her because she’s cute and/or has breasts.”

Over the course of the game, you learn so much about anyone that you might be interested in. Their likes, fears, problems with nobility, family, cooking or whatever before the time comes for you to put a ring on their finger. It’s these bits of character development, over objectification, that are so important. A clear example of this is Bernadetta.

Mood.
Mood.

Her social anxiety takes control of her at every moment, so much that she never wants to leave her room. Has a hard time talking with people, who she believes are worlds apart in approachability. Yet every single classmate deals with her/helps her out in the best way that they can. Eventually you learn about why she is the way she is and you realize just how she’s basically the most relatable person in the game.. You come to terms with your own inability to leaving your house or talking to others, and because you see so much of yourself in her, you walk by her room every day in an attempt to get her out of her shell. I don’t know, maybe there’s cake outside? As the months progress and the bond grows deeper, you have no choice but to kill her because she’s now the enemy.

And a little bit of yourself dies too.

All in all, this game is fantastic and I’ve never been so quick to have another play-through with any other Fire Emblem game. Each house has a cast that is so unique, being lead by a character who has their own wants and needs hiding under their sleeve. There's been political unrest for years and a church is somehow in the centre of it all. In some ways it's par for the course, but in others I was surprised or overjoyed with wherever it was going.

As it is the latest installment in the franchise, a lot of the changes they made from class building to story progression are smart and make sense for the game that it is. Which makes it surprisingly unique and I would be happy if it was the only FE like it.

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E3 2019: Nonspecific Corporation won videogame fan show!

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It’s E3 season babyeeee, time to dust off the old blawg with some of my award winning takes. Award winning in my mind and takes if you want to call them that. I’m not here to make them hot, I’m just here to have them. Look, I try not to be a cynical fuck about E3 every year. Not everyone on this planet wants to do that. We’re here because we enjoy this time, we want to see new and exciting things. I have no interest in slagging a developer or publisher just for the sake of doing it. That being said, US! The people who play games! We are the true winners of E3 every year!

PRE PRE E3

"So then I said, Weed 3 am I right girls?!"

Before anything really began, Google showed off some Stadia news that still makes me wonder if this is a product that only exists in their Silicon Valley bubble. I’m sure the future is streaming yadda yadda... But come on the rest of the world, let alone country, is probably not up to speed with the Google hive.

That being said, the most exciting thing they did was announce Baldur’s Gate III. So really that’s all you need to know about Stadia, a PC game that you don’t need to play on their service.

This thing is, I need to see it to believe it. Like, see it on a wide range of internet speeds before I can determine whether or not it would be worth anyone’s time, or their data cap. It really do be like that.

Then the next day, Electronic Arts hired Greg Miller to shout at everything very early in the morning! Announcing one new game (A STAR WARS GAME, with that guy that played the Joker on Gotham) and ongoing support for their other titles. So yes, I’m happy to announce TODAY that I will still be playing Battlefield V for the foreseeable future.

(and get that Sims 4 expansion pack when it goes on sale.)

PRE E3

The REAL Pre-E3 started on Sunday with Microsoft in the front cutting to the chase with games, Game pass and a tease of their next console. Most of my Microsoft brand gaming is on the PC so as long as they mention it was coming to that as well, I was pleased.

Perhaps the most surprising is the NA release of Phantasy Star Online 2 (sometime next year). But I guess most people were floored by Keanu Reeves who was just happy to be there. One person was lucky enough to get a copy of Cyberpunk for free just for yelling at him. I can think of at least 10 people I would love to yell at if it meant I was getting something in return.

Fixing it in real time.
Fixing it in real time.

Later on Bethesda came out on stage humble and with a sense of humour about Fallout 76, announcing new content for it, as well as Elder Scrolls stuff and things. The showing off of all their new Shooty games, like Doom and Wolfenstein. Plus a spoooky game (gameplay yet to be seen but impressions are interesting). Trailers are great, but gameplay videos would be EVEN BETTER. Thanks in advance next E3.

I know where my heart is on this one, I play a fair amount of FO76 when I can, and it’s roadmap of content is still exciting to me and I love what I have to look forward to.

Also yeah, that’s not what I would have done with the next Commander Keen game.

The following day I paid attention to Ubisoft and Squenix. I don’t really know what to say is exciting about Ubisoft, there’s an awful lot of Tom Clancy going on in that company, but I guess it works for them.

Watch_Dogs AnonSec on the other hand, I want to like. The first game was a bit of a slog but the sequel magically turned it around for me. I don’t want the series to go back to being up it’s own ass, but it looks like it might be really far up there this time.

Look! There she is!
Look! There she is!

Square Enix on the other hand started the show with a show stopper and then eventually added another show stopper. Okay sure, I like Final Fantasy 7 just as much as the next person, but you know Tifa is going to be in the game! It would be nice to start seeing this remake beyond the first couple of hours cause we’re all still under the impression that it’s episodic even though they said it’s 2 bluerays big. Aside from other announcements they finally showed off that Avengers game which sure looks like a game. That’s for sure! Surely!

Continue to read this blog for a *SUPER SECRET SENTENCE*.

THE START OF E3

Then the Start of E3 began with Nintendo, the company did not waste any time in showing off game after game after game. Some new, some ports. Some major surprises! Seeing the brand new ‘Trials of Mana’ for the switch is great (as a long time Mana fan) but revealing that it’s actually a remake of Seiken Densetsu 3 which is part of a collection that was released TODAY in NA is even better.

Also, HELLO I see you all there in the colosseum of social media websites ready to say your theories of what the sequel to Breath of the Wild could possibly be, I stand before you with my head held high and my thumb in the air to shout, “I’VE SEEN THE TEASER MULTIPLE TIMES ALREADY! LET THE ZELDA SPECULATION COMMENCE!”

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For the rest of this blog, I just wanted to jot down some bullet points for things I wanted to say here and there that caught my interest:

  • It seemed like this was an E3 that really wanted to bring personalities on stage that would get people uncomfortably excited. But boy howdy, that dog on the Ubisoft stage is very well trained.
  • Every once in a while I still think back to 1313 and how much I would have wanted that game. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order feels like that with a little metal gear assistant.
  • Apex Legends Season 2 news is great and it’s still not going to make me better at that game.
  • I’ve never been particularly excited about Battletoads passed ‘being a small child’ but that’s definitely the least offensive art style they gave that game.
  • Bleeding Edge looks like they took Battleborn’s assets and made a better game. (I know I know, I’ve made that same joke somewhere else.)
  • I never would have imagined to be happy to see Flight Simulator again, fingers crossed for a new Midtown Madness!
  • Banjo in Smash is cool, but Dragon Warrior Hero is a confirmed rumour from a long time coming. Just another sword guy though so I don’t know how to feel.
  • Okay Elden Ring, I’m sure it’ll be great but fuck I’d be bummed if From Software can’t dig themselves out of their Dark Souls hole.
  • Two things having Terminator stuff in them for shits and giggles is kind of two things too many.
  • Age of Empires II gets its second remaster and all I want is for them to make an ENTIRELY NEW ONE.
  • GearsPOP is evidence that there’s always a market for something.
  • Minecraft Dungeons is a good way to slowly introduce your children to Diablo.
  • How is Bambi 2--Sorry, I mean Way to the Woods not the most endearing video game you’ll want to play immediately?!
  • THE LAST REMNANT IS ON THE SWITCH BITCHES! If you go to the Switch’s eshop it calls the game a CULT CLASSIC and that’s really all you need to know.
  • *Final Fantasy 8 is remastered and it looks really GOOD!* Arguably the best game of the three PS titles.
  • Any video game Dragon Ball related is basically the equivalent of buying Madden every year.
  • People seem to be surprised that there’s only a Wii version of Just Dance 2020, when they don’t understand that the Wii U plays Wii games, and you’ll need the Wiimote anyway.
  • Also I laugh at RE5 and 6 coming to the switch but I know I’m going to end up buying one of those two.

That’s it! That’s my E3 impressions this year, and there was a heck of a lot for me to be excited about, even if some of those things happened to be ports on the switch. Surprising amount of things to look forward to later this year even though plenty of these titles are still a year away, some even longer.

I really do enjoy this time of the year.

Your pal,

Bonbolapti.

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Which Overwatch character is probably a cop?

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The 3rd annual Overwatch anniversary event has begun which gave another handful of fun/silly skins for a bunch of your favourite shooty game buffoons. That also means that not everyone is going to agree with the skins each time they’re made.

Perhaps you feel uncomfortable with the sudden knowledge that Mei’s got a booty that won’t stop, D.va doesn’t break the internet as much as you’d hope, or you’re also appalled by the idea of Brigitte being a cop.

While we’re not going to argue the low-hanging-fruit-semantics about a video game that is solely focused around an organization of future police. It would be fun to shed light on all of the characters to see which ones are actually cops or not.

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As a founding member of Overwatch, and a real impressive sniper. Ana was always on call to protect her home and her people. When she was shot in the face by a professional dancer and Overwatch disbanded, Ana turned vigilante under a different alias.

Being wanted for espionage, assault and theft (like most officers of the law clearly do when they lose the job they love), she bumps into Jack Morrison one day and decides that justice is the way to go, and adopts a new alias as a cat person.

Is Ana a cop? Yes. But like, a grizzled detective at this point.

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Rich and surrounded by white privilege, Ashe committed crimes at a young age because when you’re young and wealthy you ain’t got time to be told what to do. When she met McCree they shared a love for being urban cowboys and crimed so much that it got McCree into trouble.

Since he went legit, it only made Ashe crime even harder. She lives her days bossing people around, stealing, causing havoc and wishing she wasn’t so notorious so she could attend the Met Gala at least once.

Is Ashe a cop? Far from it. Basically the opposite of a cop, but clearly the sheriff of her little gang of thugs.

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One of many children orphaned because of Omnics, he grew up wanting a better world for himself and others. So he joined the military as a way of doing so. When his service was over, he didn’t know what else to do. Since Talon was recruiting he joined in hopes of being a cop, but he was really more of a bad cop.

Once he realized that Talon were the bad guys, he said “No Thanks.” BUT Because he knew too much, Talon tried to stop him. Since he has so much army skills, it’s really hard for Talon to stop the guy. Currently living his life on the run like he’s Jason Bourne or some shit.

Is Baptiste a cop? I think for all intents and purposes sure. That seems to be the only kind of job he thinks he can get. But maybe he’s also a chef somewhere. I hear he likes food.

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Without even thinking too hard about it, Bastion is part of an oppressive force that wanted to put human beings in their place. He was on the front lines, fighting a war that he was programmed for.

Though, ever since he met a bird, he’s been trying to make up for all that killing by wandering around and noticing how beautiful life is. Despite him turning over a new leaf there will forever be a group in protest, always bringing up his past over social media. He’ll never be able to live it down, he might even get triggered. The guy IS a walking sentry gun.

Is Bastion a cop? I don’t really think Bastion is anything anymore. But if he did want to be a police officer now, he’ll probably have to change his ammo to rubber bullets.

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Clearly since she now has a skin where she’s in full Police riot gear it’s safe to say that Brigitte is a cop, or at the very least aspires to be one. Hearing stories from uncle Reinhardt all throughout her childhood, has only inspired her to be a knight in shining armour. Basically behaving like most people who get into the police force in their first year.

But you JUST KNOW Brigitte will be in a situation where she’ll screw up and put a civilians life in danger. Do you see how she swings that mace around? I don’t think she actually knows what she’s doing and is honestly kind of a bully.

Is Brigitte a cop? She’s such a cop! But one of those good cops that you read about in the news where a duck is stuck in a storm drain, so she goes to help it out.

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A story as old as time. Girl gets gud at a video game. So gud in fact, that the Government of South Korea wants her and a group of other game savy youngsters to be part of their ELITE TASK FORCE to protect the city from Omnics.

Given her history with the Omnic threat, I guarantee you D.Va will be on the front lines waiting to throw tear gas at those protesting for Omni rights. (Well I guess if some of those people were Omnics, what would be a tear gas equivalent for them? Some sort of EMP?)

Is D.Va a cop? Without question. And she’s played a lot of shooters that prepared her for making the wrong decision at the wrong time.

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The heir to a prosthetics company (which is great because he lost an arm in the Omnic crisis). He trained in martial arts in what you would hope was for good, but Akande was brought into Talon under the previous Doomfists’s wing… or arm.

He trained as a mercenary, hoping to do good things for the organization, ultimately he betrayed that Doomfist and took up the mantle to lead Talon into a more aggressive and fearful direction.

Is Doomfist a cop? The opposite of one, but likes to punch cops all day. One time he even punched himself out of prison.

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Being the youngest son of the Shimada clan, Genji had no interest in illegal arms dealing. Instead he lived a life of luxury doing ninja shit and being a playboy. Once their father died, Hanzo got all uppity that Genji didn’t take the family business seriously and almost killed him.

Overwatch swooped in and saved his life in exchange for him basically working for them. He did so, but didn’t like it and wandered the earth to find meaning in his life. When he crossed paths with Zenyatta, the monk told him all about the Iris and Genji was finally at peace. Would probably work for Overwatch again if it meant getting all cozy with Mercy.

Is Genji a cop? Genji is all about that ninja lifestyle that I guess you can say he is a cop. As long as what he thinks he’s doing is just.

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The oldest Shimada brother and the one bound by the duties set out by his father. Hanzo took over the family business, of selling arms and illegal substances, because business was good. It wasn’t until his fight against Genji that he couldn’t bare working anymore, and was branded as an enemy by his own clan.

Though he’s going to be spending a lifetime trying to right his wrongs, he’s stubborn to think that will ever happen. At the very least it won’t be done as incense offerings on the anniversary of his brother’s “death”.

Is Hanzo a cop? No, but most likely the guy that sold weapons to cops as well as the bad guys. Will say “no comment,” every time he’s asked on the matter.

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Okay, seriously. Of course this guy’s not a cop. He builds explosives without thinking about it and has robbed places here and there (getting to be on a number of most wanted lists). But since he considers all Omnics to be terrorists, would ramble on some story about starting a neighbourhood watch for finding and killing them.

With him, everyone’s lives would be in danger at all times. A far-right leaning lunatic that abides by the ‘open carry’ law.

Is Junkrat a cop? Even if he wanted to, would not be able to pass any tests.

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Lucio grew up poor, but became a Social Justice Warrior through the power of his music. Though not the type that you would find on tumblr. This guy is super positive and always uses his celebrity to inspire others, and to eat a balanced breakfast.

When the Vishkar company came to town to suppress people with their ‘sonic technology’, Lucio stole it and created wicked cool DJ sets, that encouraged people about the virtues of activism. His music became so popular that he now tours the world.

Is Lucio a cop? No, but has probably used a police siren for one of his tracks.

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As stated earlier, this frisky bad boy frequented in a series of crimes with albino-mean-girl Ashe. Then Overwatch came along and said “Be part of our Black Ops group or rot in prison forever.” Clearly chose the former and had it pretty good up until he watched Reaper kill a man for no reason.

Even though it went downhill from there, McCree owed so much to Overwatch and went full on vigilante after it disbanded. Always showing up at the right place at the right time, doing the right thing.

Is McCree a cop? Yes, probably even a Narc.

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A happy-go-lucky climatologist taking part in Ecopoint initiatives to fight climate change. This scientist was part of a team that studied climate manipulation in key parts around the globe. She was stationed in Antarctica.

Sadly became the only one to wake up from a nine year cryo sleep. Overwatch was no more, and the planets climate had worsened. So with her little robot buddy on her back, she logged all the data hoping to do something with it, and walked out of Antarctica all by herself.

Is Mei a cop? No she’s a scientist. And one that apologizes for every little thing that she does. Not even close to cop material.

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This advocate for peace was the best doctor at her hospital. So good in fact, that Overwatch wanted her to join them as a combat medic. But while she was there, she disagreed with what the organization was doing in terms of it’s weaponizing of research she was taking part in.

Once it disbanded though, she felt better for it and traveled the world as a doctor, helping out those in need.

Is Mercy a cop? Never in her wildest dreams, because they do nothing that she stands for. Would likely take part in a riot but only to help those who were hurt by anyone’s actions.

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The biggest science nerd with all of the controversial opinions. Moira once published a paper that detailed the methods for customizing your genes. While other like minded people were appalled by what she wrote, Overwatch hired her because there is no way that what she wanted to do was ever going to be a bad idea.

So she experimented on Reaper making him the man he is today.

Once Overwatch disbanded, she became the scientist she always wanted to be in Oasis, but clearly had already been supported by Talon for years. Even has a seat on their council. What could go wrong?

Is Moira a cop? Again another scientist, but would not shy away from helping out police in her favour.

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When a series OR15 police robots were destroyed by Doomfist in Numbani, a little girl took all the discarded parts and created Orisa. Programmed to be a good Omnic, with a good heart and to be the hero the world needs. Orisa also can’t help but fanomnic over heroes of old, and really likes Lucio’s music.

I guess it’s important to note that Orisa is basically a robot through the eyes of a child. So she likes to have fun and learn, but doesn’t exactly understand her own strengths quite well.

Is Orisa a cop? Although she’s quite “new to the world” Orisa is still a cop at her core. Will always think she’s “doing the right thing”, and “knows what’s best for people.”

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Pharah is the biggest girl scout in the game, with a penchant for awkwardly flirtatious lines. Always wanted to join Overwatch just because her mom was a part of it, even after the whole “disappearing from her life” thing happened. She joined the army and rose up the ranks and after her service she was hired at a security firm.

Though Overwatch was no more, she was still determined to make a change around the world, but because she worked in security detail a lot of her work involved putting AIs in line. Real boring stuff.

Is Pharah a cop? Of course she’s cop, if only by her own hubris. Like I said before, she’s the biggest girl scout. Not only would that make her a good cop, it would also make her pretty insufferable.

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A founding member of Overwatch and eventually became part of the ‘dirty cop’ unit known as Blackwatch. Gabe was part of the same super soldier program as Jack, but obviously went down a different path in life.

Maybe being part of a Black Ops unit just does that to a person. Because he soon led a rebellion against Jack that split the organization in two. Eventually he donned the moniker ‘Reaper’ and did bad things for Talon. In which he was obtaining data and using it to eliminate Overwatch agents.

Is Reaper a cop? For the sake of arguing he’s definitely a cop for Talon. Always does the dirty and protects the organization and their interests.

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A soldier of the German Armed Forces that fought against the Omnics the first time around. Was too full of himself in his earlier years and almost got him and his squad killed. But since he’s the guy in the big armor, he took his MVP skills to Overwatch where he befriended a dwarf, and filled far fetched stories into the minds of Torb’s children.

His overactive imagination is what keeps him going, and his armour is guaranteed to be his deathbed, but as long as he’s crushing his hammer through the skull of his enemies, I suppose life is good.

Is Reinhardt a cop? I can’t really imagine Reinhardt having a headline where the phrase “Police brutality” isn’t involved.

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After the Omnic crisis, and the Australian government not giving a shit, Mako became a RUTHLESS KILLER™. I suppose, if you think killing Omnics makes you a ruthless killer? It might even be fair to call him a racist? Regardless he’s very big and very dangerous.

At some point, he agreed to be Junkrat’s bodyguard where they agreed to have a 50/50 split on any riches they stole. The rest is basically history I guess.

Is Roadhog a cop? How about, most likely to be called a cop killer.

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Soldier: 76 is the biggest boy scout in the game. Jack was also the first official commander of Overwatch and big player in protecting the world. Used to have it all: a loving relationship, super soldier bod, was the perfect role model. Then once he started disagreeing with Gabe it all went to shit and basically faked his death to become an asshole vigilante with a gun.

Him and Ana still hangout to this day, doing that old people thing where they reminisce about their glory days.

May or may not have the phrase “I’ll cry when I’m done killing,” if you ignore the fact that’s actually from a GTA game.

Is Soldier: 76 a cop? I guarantee you he still thinks of himself as one, but all he’s doing is going around hurting people for the “greater good”.

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Another one of those “Orphans” thanks to the “Omnic crisis”. Sombra did what any other shut-in would do, work on her mad h4xx0r skills. Well, probably the reason why she decided to in the first place, is that amazing film from 1995.

She hacked Lumerico, Vishkar and Volskaya so well that it caught the attention of Talon that saw her as a tremendous asset. Little did they realize that she joined for herself in the hopes of taking all of their data.

Is Sombra a cop? No, but in the likelihood that she ever gets caught big time, may just end up working for the FBI.

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Symmetra is a hard-light engineer working for Vishkar Corp. But also does nefarious things for her company, like stealing things to blackmail competitors. But she’s the best she is at what she does and that may or may not be due to the fact that she’s on the Autism spectrum and has a tough time in social situations.

At least she has a sense of humour even though she can’t seem to make up her mind on whether or not what she’s doing is good. Or what her abilities should even be.

Is Symmetra a cop? Sadly no, but I suspect she would be really good at interrogating someone. So possibly a consultant.

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One of the greatest weapon-smiths in the world who joined Overwatch for exactly that reason. Long time ago he had a small part in what would eventually become the Omnic crisis, as he helped design the Bastion units. People thought he was crazy for thinking sentient robotic intelligence was a bad idea but he certainly had the last laugh.

He even lost an arm and an eye. Afterwards when Overwatch did their best impression of peacekeeping, He was ahead of the game in R&D and still wanted to put an end to bad robots everywhere. That is, Until he met the Bastion unit that he helped design. Now he only likes that one.

Is Torbjorn a cop? Yes, but like... The engineer for the cops where he makes all the weapons for them, whether or not they turn out the be bad ideas.

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Ms. Lena Oxton was a young girl that signed up for Overwatch’s experimental flight program which went horribly wrong and she ended up with Chronal Disassociation. But thanks to her old-buddy-old-pal Winston, he designed her a device to keep her molecules in check.

Now that they had this on their hands, Overwatch trained her to be an OFFICER OF THE LAW. But if you think about it, thanks to her plucky attitude, would be great at PR for the company should anything go wrong. Right?

Is Tracer a cop? YES! Even after the disbanding of Overwatch she’s a walking unauthorized neighbourhood watch that nobody can seem to catch.

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Once a dancer and beautiful wife to a big player in Overwatch. Amelie was kidnapped by Talon and turned into a sleeper agent. A sleeper agent that killed her husband in his sleep. Only to be taken by Talon again to be the best gosh darn sniper in the business. Once shot Ana in the face and killed a robot monk beyond repair.

Even though she’s a cold hearted killer that takes out anyone she’s told to, she would still visit her husband’s grave. Which I guess could mean her heart is still there, even if it’s incredibly tiny.

Is Widowmaker a cop? No, but there’s cop potential. Like one of those CBS shows about a dancer who turns out she’s pretty good with a gun. (And then as the seasons progress she uncovers secrets about her dark past, then maybe at the end of the 4th season it ends on a cliffhanger where they want you to believe she’s the bad guy now.)

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A real smart space ape, genetically engineered on the moon, who escaped to Earth once the ape uprising happened. Once on Earth he was welcome by Overwatch as a chief scientist. And would help out with missions, R&D and was generally happy to be there.

When Overwatch disbanded, he went into seclusion working on science things all by himself, waiting for the day he could slap bad guys around again.

Is Winston a cop? Though he works for the cops, he isn’t much of one himself. Might also just be a bad idea since he’s prone to bursts of rage.

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A real smart space hamster, genetically engineered on the moon alongside Winston. But once he escaped to Earth with Monkey boy, Hammond went down a different path. Landing in Australia he modified his escape pod and took part in the mech arena battles over in Junkertown.

It was there he gained fame as the #1 fighter, and I guess that’s pretty much all he does with his time.

Is Wrecking Ball a cop? Who’s got time to be a cop when you’re too busy bullying Australians with your large rolling mech?

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The world’s strongest Athlete from Russia, who sacrificed personal glory to fight against the Omnic crisis. (Also a noted Omnic racist.) Would basically drop everything to fight for the glory of her country even if that means, ending her career as a professional bodybuilder.

Basically had to come to terms with the fact that Volskya was dealing tech with Omnics, but after going on a mission with a robot man, eventually got over her bullshit.

Is Zarya a cop? I’d wager she was born to be a cop, narc, snitch and detective for her country.

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He wanders around seeking spiritual enlightenment. Don’t kid yourself, dude is not a cop. He helped Genji find peace with his half-human/half-robot body. Cops aren’t capable of that.

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Nico Nico Why

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I’ve been falling behind on writing anything, but there’s a bunch of games that I’ve finished here and there, so collecting my thoughts takes a while. Then when I think about the things I want to write, I basically forget.

(And then I go off and play something else which doesn’t help the thoughts I want to stew and hopefully write about.)

Fun fact: With a lot of the blogs I’ve written so far this year, I’ve scrapped a bunch of shit. But there’s something particular that I want to get out, that evidently is always on my mind. I want to get through it by talking about a certain character.

For starters, I don’t know how often people think about the nuance of a character in a video game. Specifically a female one. That might be due to people caring more about the way they look or how badass or some shit, reducing it down to a simple form and saying “so-and-so is really cool, you’re being ROOD.” It’s like debating who is cooler between 2B or A2. A2 has an interesting story to follow based on what you learn about her up until you play as her, but 2B looks like a gothic lolita.

(Whoever put this image on the site, didn't realize how much white space is in it.)
(Whoever put this image on the site, didn't realize how much white space is in it.)

That being said I need to talk about Nico from DMC V. A game where every character is already goofy and dumb or “badass”. A caricature of an attitude, that just fits the game that it’s in (Devil May Care… that’s what it’s called right?) It’s centered around over the top goofy nonsense and a “stylish” combo system, so the characters are made to reflect that.

This is an interesting thing that I’m trying to bring up because the sense of style or attitude of these characters is definitely more prominent to a game like this. Character development is not it’s biggest draw, (a supposed plot-twist is really just farted out, but let's face it, we all knew it was coming anyway) but since this is the 5th game in the series, (6th?) You pick things up about them along the way.

So Nico comes in, and is introduced as some asshole. Sidekick and chauffeur to Nero as they drive around in the mobile division of the Devil May Cry franchise. (I worry nobody gets that joke) Sporting the trailer trash look and an accent her father doesn’t even have, Nico’s behavior seems almost unnecessarily hostile toward Nero. It’s like watching grown up versions of Lucy van Pelt and Charlie Brown.

But then as I played more of the game, rolling my eyes at everything, there was something that clicked. And it was the moment Nico meets someone (cool to her) for the first time. All of that previous jerk-ness was left in the van and she was reduced to being nervous, giggly and stuttering (this one, a trait that her father has). Like you actually see what Nico is really like for the first time, and it made me think about every other scene with her in it.

Suddenly, her character came off as a little sister that wants to fit in with cool kids. Nico thinks that she’s supposed to behave a certain way, and when she sheds that for a moment, I end up appreciating what her deal is, because I had a scene that offered some strangely important development.

I can admit that sometimes a preconceived notion can get in the way of a character and that’s usually the case with video games. Whether it’s a fighting game or FPS or RPG, we gravitate towards the things that look cool or sexy. I want to play as this guy cause his armour is so badass and he’s got like 50 belts and a giant sword that can flame up and shoot bullets, or I want to play as this woman because she’s specific to my fetish. Since you just play as them, it’s all usually surface level and never seems to matter.

With Nico (and every other character in DMC) you can see her as a cool or garbage design and move on, which is something I almost did.

Because I hate it, I think it’s dumb.

Yet as the game kept going forward and she became more realized, her design made sense. Over time, she became less of an image and more of a girl who wants to prove she’s just as good as her grandma and has no remorse for what happened to her father.

And now I’m chain smoking in vans at high wreck-less speeds.

sadly, this is the last you hear of Mr. Soldier.
sadly, this is the last you hear of Mr. Soldier.

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Tetromino Royale

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I like to think it’s inherently obvious that I’m a Tetris guy but never in my wildest dreams would I imagine a Battle Royale against 98 other players. Well, I guess it’s the kind of joke you would make in passing. Where someone just says something they think is funny because of how ridiculous it sounds.

Like: 100 Sims drop onto a property and all try to sabotage each other. Or 100 hundred janitors have to kill each other but the last one alive has to clean everything up.

But now that I think about it, I’m sure a Fire Emblem Battle Royale would probably work.

Surprisingly, Tetris BR is basically where we’re at right now. Since “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” companies everywhere have been trying to capture that magic. The simplicity of dropping onto the island and shooting everyone else till you’re the last one standing, is exactly why Fortnite gave up on it’s original mode that they spent years on... to allow for easier access into a child’s parent’s wallet.

But it works doesn’t it? It’s a basic concept that we just know about video games, and not a lot of them really break the mould unless they add some kind of twist. Fortnite has buildings, recently popular BR darling Apex Legends has hero abilities. (Which are fun and interesting but not as Overwatch inspired as others seem to believe, Welcome to my Ted Talk.) Even Paladins is doing the Battle Royale thing, because why not?

You shoot, you kill, you win or die.

[picture of my family in my nightmares.]
[picture of my family in my nightmares.]

But here I am, sitting in my own little corner, excitedly playing Tetris 99 not because, it too is now a Battle Royale game, but because it’s mechanics are a breath of fresh air from the otherwise conventional understanding of the genre.

It’s one mode, standard Tetris, no items. Just your own ability tossing garbage at others in a handful of ways. And I’m sure I can hear people even now, grumbling under their breath, “Is that all there is?!” I can tell you as someone who has played a shit ton of Tetris in their lifetime, that’s all there needs to be.

Not to say that there isn’t actual strategy involved. With control of the right stick you get four ways to send your garbage. At the start it defaults to random, which keeps your distance from any real engaging. Attackers, another option that is exactly how it sounds, you send garbage to anyone highlighting you. KO, goes for anyone with the highest number of Knockouts and Badges attacks anyone with the highest amount of badges.

But that last one is the gimmick of this game. The more KOs you get the more badges you receive. The more badges you have, the higher the percentage of garbage you get to send to your opponents. Something that is especially threatening in the late game and might make your game of skill in to a chance of luck. If you’re not already bombarding your opponents, in the last 20 placements, with garbage, then you sure as shit better hope you’re fast enough to get yourself out of a hopefully easy well.

But I have to stop myself here for a second and ask the question, what does this have to do with Battle Royale games and me? If you’ve watched me stream ever, you know I play a lot of Overwatch. I’ve grown a lot in my own ability, I’m fairly good at shooting the gun, but not when it comes to aiming the gun. You figure I would have some sort of general idea on how the game works. But my ability in Overwatch doesn’t actually translate all that well into other shooters. OW feels different from Battlefield feels different from CS:GO feels different from Apex. And part of my frustration with playing the next big Battle Royale game is that they all feel different from each other and yet, there’s a disconnect that comes from the fact they’re all really the same thing.

[Me, an intellectual.]
[Me, an intellectual.]

A lot of those games have to do with how fast a person can get to the items, and how good their aim is. I’m sure there more to it, but there’s far more people out there that I do not feel as though I’m on equal footing. I see that with opponents, and I see that with the friends I play with. In the end, I always question my ability and get frustrated staring at a skill ceiling that isn’t even that high.

This almost sounds like I’m going to start talking about how I’m just better at Tetris than I am a shooter, and I’d be lying to myself if I said that’s not what this blog really is. But I’ve been playing Tetris since the game boy, and universally, it’s been the same game since its inception. (Save for a couple of balance changes to make it much more easier and accessible.) It’s a basic puzzle game that everyone knows how to play. Granted, if you go into this game like every other Battle Royale not really knowing the best way to play, you can take solace in the fact that you all start in the same place, using the same kind of pieces to make the same kind of lines.

I do get excited about playing Tetris, but the point I’m trying to make here is, it’s fascinating to see a puzzle game stand out in a sea of shooters. It’s amazing that someone, somewhere thought it could work. And I hope it could be an example for someone else to come along and ask themselves...

“What is another way we can twist the convention?”

(I played this for an hour till I got the 1st place win.)

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