Wednesday, 31 December 2008

New Year's Eve + Misc. Game Awards

The end of another fine year. Overall, I'd say it was a pretty good year. A pretty good year for videogames too, for the most part. Hence, the following.

Best PS3 Game That Was Not A Sequel To Anything Else/Best Game No One Played
... So I guess that rules out most games. Anyway, Valkyria Chronicles. It was my Christmas present so I've only played it for like seven hours so it might get awful towards the end. I doubt it. It's very, very cool. It's basically turn-based-third-person-tactical-wartime-shooter. Which is very, very cool. The strategy portions make you feel like you are a big, tough general with your little rake that you use to push minature versions of all your units around, but the third-person-tactical-wartime-shooter part makes you feel like you are really there and that you are going to get shot in the face. Which I do on a regular basis. And then I feel guilty when a unit goes critical, but it's not like Fire Emblem where your shit is fucked up permanently if your HP is reduced to zero. On the topic of feeling guilty, onto the next category.

Best Game That Made Me Incredibly Guilty
Ah yes, I wanted to play Pikmin since the Gamecube first came out. I got mine on launch day along with Super Smash Bros. Melee. That was a good day. But they didn't have Pikmin, so maybe I got something in addition to Melee? Anyway. I borrowed it from good ol' Doctor J (and found out two days later that they were doing a remake on the Wii BUT THIS TIME WITH WAGGLE!).
Anyway. The Pikmin themselves are very fucking adorable. So adorable that whenever I hurl half my squad onto an enemy and watch as they take it down, I smile. But wait! The enemy's retaliating! Oh what the fuck, it's killed like four of them. At this point (in real life), I start yelling that I WILL KILL THAT FUCKER NO MATTER WHAT BECAUSE YOU KILLED MY PIKMIN. I defeat it. My remaining Pikmin hurl the monster's corpse back to my base, where it will be turned into seeds so that more Pikmin can sprout.
But the sense of guilt lingers. However, guilt does not equate to just feeling plain terrible. Thus, the next category.

Best Game That Turned Me Into An Emotional Wreck/Best Two-Year-Old-Game-That-Most-Of-Us-Played-This-Year
Mother 3 is sweet, quirky and one of the most charming games I've ever played. That being said, Mother 3 is probably also the most depressing game I have ever played.By halfway, it's pretty obvious how it's all going to end, but the way it was executed is amazing. You get the feeling that you could've done something to prevent the ending from happening but of course you can't, it's a game. But then the final scene comes in and like reality punching you in the face, reminds you that you were involved. You were as much a part of their world as all the characters were.
Of course, the whole 'Two Year' thing comes into play because the marvelous translation project was completed this year, which I made a big deal about when it happened. Speaking of big deals...

BIG DEALS PART ONE: Fuck Yes You Are The Cheapest Game Ever
Guess how much I bought Folklore at K-Mart for? Three-dollars-fucking-fifty-cents. I jest not. The box said $20 (a wonderful bargain for a PS3 game anyway) but when I took it up to the counter, it was $3.50. Holy shit.

BIG DEALS PART TWO: That One Game That I Would Not Shut Up About
Hey guys, remember when No More Heroes was first announced? And I jumped up and down and shouted 'OH HELL YES, HEROES IS GOING TO BE TOTALLY EXCELLENT.' From that day on, I marked NMH related stuff in my diary (like when the website was going to open), read all the interviews with Suda51, looked at the concept art and wailed like a little bitch when it was delayed. And then of course, NMH 2 was announced. I do believe the cycle will repeat itself. All this being said, I'm not really sure if I can give NMH 'Wii Game of The Year'. I'm tempted to give it to. Or I could just make a separate category.

Wii Game of The Year That Is Neither No More Heroes Or Brawl

Disaster: Day of Crisis is it. The whole thing is a massive parody of pretty much every single action movie ever. You do pretty much everything in this game. You run and jump and rescue people by lifting rubble off them or by cleaning their wounds, you go through some nifty arcade shooting action and you drive your car around by tilting your Wiimote this way and that. (The driving stages were not good at all, but everything else was enjoyable and well-done so I'm willing to overlook it.) This game also gets bonus awesome points because when it was announced I was pretty 50/50 on whether it would be a decent game. I'm glad it was good. The Wii needs more good games. 2009 should be a good year though. Next one's related, because of one thing...

BONUS: Most Attractive Character
Dammit, Ray. Dammit.

Best Worst Game of The Year
You know, I love rhythm games. I especially love Ouendan/Elite Beat Agents, because it's just quirky. So what do you get when you combine Ouendan/EBA and turn it into what is pretty much a dating sim? Well, you get Princess Debut which is about your character who is transported into an alternate dimension where she is a princess and has to find a dance partner for the upcoming ball. Awww. The dancing is actually the dullest part of the whole game as you are forced to grind one song about three times a day for five days before you get another. Not cool at all. There's no challenge, and it's not HARDCORE DIFFICULT like the later levels in Ouendan/EBA But the whole dating thing is really quite fucking awesome. You have your choice of like six different princes and you're pretty much dating all of them at the same time. Holy shit, I'm a princess! Are those accessories I can wear?! Oh my god, Prince Claus is soooo dreamy!
If you do plan on playing this though, do not choose Vincent. The little cocksucker.

Freeware Game of The Year
The thing about horror games nowadays is that they're all too action-oriented (see: Dead Space, Siren: Blood Curse, RE4). What's the point of putting creepy monsters in front of me if I can just beat them to death? And jump scares are not scary. They are shocking. People interchange the definitions of scary and shocking far too often. When I play a horror game, I expect to be terrified. I expect to be afraid of standing near my bed at two in the morning because something will grab me. And then when I'm in bed, I expect to keep glancing around nervously just in case something has silently appeared.
There's like, maybe two games that has made me uneasy and restless. Then there's Irisu Syndrome. You look at it and say, 'Oh hey, this looks like a pretty cute puzzle game', but you can't shake the feeling that something is very, very wrong. This game is the only game that has scared me to the point that I ran out of the fucking room. And because of that, it's a masterpiece.

Retail Game of The Year
Rhythm Tengoku Gold. It's one of those minigame collections, except it requires real rhythm. And of course, since I don't know Japanese, I had the bonus pleasure of trying to figure out what the hell I had to do every stage. Some of them are just plain hard, like the second ping pong stage. RTG is excellent and you should feel totally awful about yourself if you have a DS and flash cart and have not played it.

Well, Happy New Year, folks! Enjoy getting drunk and waking up next to a complete stranger. Remember to steal his/her wallet and send me a nice gift because I know how much you enjoy my blog.

Thursday, 25 December 2008




Friday, 19 December 2008

Review: Queer Village

Today is another very special review day! Because, y'know, the nice Datacom dudes haven't exactly given me much to do other than "HERE IS SOME DATA, FILTER IT OUT AND THROW IT INTO A SPREADSHEET" which takes like two hours anyway.

Anyway, today I review Queer Village, an indie freeware (is that term redundant yet?) game that I first played about a month or so back but forgot about. Out of the list of games I was considering writing a review for, this was the only one I could remember well enough. For reasons that will become apparent shortly.

Quick note: If I come across as being homophobic at all (although most readers know me well enough to realise that I am extremely supportive of gays and lesbians; besides, I pretty much posted a link to gay porn like, two entries ago), I'm just going to say: It's not hate if you enjoy it.

So you're probably thinking: "Queer Village, eh? That sounds like a game where you wake up in a town and you have to escape it but the only way to do so is to sleep with all the dwarves. Or strip poker or something." So it may disappoint (or relieve) you that there is very little actual homosexuality in it, other than the loading image, which is all rainbow-coloured and pretty, the village name and the bizarre ending which I will reveal later, assuming you are still reading.

The basic premise of Queer Village is as follows:

Your brother left the peaceful queer village and went to the forest in search of mehrehem. He is lost and you must find him.

That's taken directly from the game's intro. What the hell is 'mehrehem'? A quick search says that 'meh' means 'more' in German. 'Rehem', I have no idea, but apparently it's a legit word. Maybe it means to 'hem again'? 'More hem again'. Yeah, whatever. Anyway, the game takes off. You control your persona, who is a glowing ball, with your mouse. No clicking, nothing required. Oh, one more thing that is possible homosexual is the background. It's a nice background. I would put it on my walls, but it doesn't exactly scream 'manly'. And those arrows. Follow dem arrows.

Even as you follow the arrows you'll think thoughts like 'Oh god, what am I supposed to be doing? What is with this music? Do I have to go around those blocks?' Turns out you can actually pass straight through the boxes. Convenience? Some kind of metaphor? At first I thought Queer Village was like, one of those steady hand games. Except when you touch the edges you get mauled by wolves and you never find your brother.

Anyway, you eventually come across this creepy looking guy who offers you mehrehem. How nice of you to offer to rehem my clothes more! As you can see by what he says, I actually have found my brother at this point. Ok, why wasn't I informed? Technically shouldn't I be able to just go on home to Queer Village? But no sir, because once you talk to Creepy Guy, he follows you around. You can't go back to Queer Village either because apparently it's not on the map. Ok. That's cause for concern, I'd say.

So two minutes later when you've stopped screaming at Creepy Guy to hurry the fuck up and helped him when he gets stuck around corners by shifting your mouse slightly, the game ends, and not in a nice 'You brought the man home successfully and made it back to your village' way.

Thanks for letting me know.

I swear I am not making this shit up. I should've seen it coming from a mile away, but I suppose I expected it to happen after an hour of guiding Creepy Guy around the most dangerous of blocks and fighting wild animals with nothing but my bare hands because I'm that much of a manly man. I also have to say that this ending freaked me out somewhat because that is what happens when you combine a late night, coffee, drone, Creepy Guy and then suddenly 'YOU AND YOUR BROTHER WERE RAPED AND KILLED'.

So what's the deal with this game? Pretentious Indie Gamer has some pretty deep musings on it. Me, I'm not too sure. I'm trying not to think too hard about it because, like, I'll do it tomorrow or something. I mean, on one hand I love it for being a pretentious indie mindfuck game that - dare I say it? - jumps into the box labelled 'GAMES THAT ARE ART OR IF CALLING GAMES ART IS NOT YOUR THING ARE AT LEAST DEEPER THAN HALF-LIFE OR GEARS OF WAR' but on the other hand I am puzzled and wonder what the hell the creator was trying to prove. Maybe I'll just steal Pretentious Indie Gamer's opinion.

If you do want to play Queer Village, knock yourself out and tell me what you think.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

When I do work experience, I end up writing blog entries instead

Holy hell, three entries in a week! You should all be so lucky.

I really want the Street Fighter IV collector's edition. I mean, just look at it. That is a beautiful, awesome, excellent, etc. reason for me to part with $120+. But right now I'm refraining from dipping my mind's collectorfag fingers into my hypothetical 2009 budget, because I am simply awful at 2D fighters.

Don't get me wrong, I love 2D fighters. Despite the archetypes and the typical storylines (although it can be argued and accepted that 3D fighters - heck, videogames in general use them anyway), it's one of those genres which really interests me. I remember playing Street Fighter II when I was like, four (although it was probably Super Turbo I was playing) using Chun-Li. Yes, I did suck. I think I died on my first round. So it's true, I'm shit at them. I am much more content to sit and watch someone while being loud and obnoxious and blabbing about tier lists (and I know this makes me a bad person but I have never had to do it yet. I'd refrain from talking about tier lists completely but they're fun argument starters.) The thing is, I rarely ever play 2D fighters. Why? Because they are probably the most overlooked genre here.

2D fighters don't seem to be as prevalent in game popularity over here than in other countries. Well, Brisbane, at least. I swear I've only ever seen a group of people crowding around a King of Fighters machine instead of playing Initial D or whatever is hip and cool with hip and cool Sunnybank guys nowadays once. And I go to that arcade pretty regularly. And in some arcades I've been to, they don't even HAVE any 2D fighters. Go to any EB and there WILL be that lingering, unsold copy of King of Fighters 2003. So it's quite fair to say that arcade-goers and consolefriends think that 3D fighters are worth more of their time and money. If I'm not wrong, Tekken 4, Tekken 5 and Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection all went platinum here and I know many gamers still jack-off to them.

I'm not saying that Tekken, nay, that 3D fighters in general are bad games. I enjoy the occasional match and all, but it really is a cinch if you just button mash. If you can actually play it properly, good for you. Point I'm making is that I can beat story mode with any character even if I don't have a fucking clue what I'm doing - with pure button mashing. Or better yet: "Hey, that's a cool combo. I'll just spam it over and over to win the match."

I find that this is also the case with any 3D fighter of your choice (save for Virtua Fighter, save for maybe Virtua Fighter 5 because I don't recall wondering why all the characters were moving around in molasses). Button mash, spam knockback moves, pull off an infinite juggle combo. Oops, did I make a physics pun there? That too. People love 3D fighters because they're easy. And because they love boobs. In 2D fighters, you get nowhere with button mashing. You'll win maybe the first two matches by dumb luck but after that you'll be wondering how the fuck the CPU managed to land a 'PERFECT' on you.

As mentioned previously, just because I love Soul Calibur doesn't mean I'm not going to bag it when I get the chance. After all, it's not racist if you're mocking your own race.

It makes sense though then, that the overwhelming preference for 3D fighters over 2D fighters affects which games we are and aren't going to get over here. Street Fighter IV was obviously going to make it over, since it's so gosh darn popular. But I sure as hell haven't seen any Guilty Gear cabinets (and I've only seen the actual console games at like, one store, disregarding Judgement and Dust Strikers). It's like whoever's in charge of distribution has said: "Let's just not bother with any 2D fighters for Australia except for SFIV because it's the only one people give a fuck about." (Oh wait, SFIV's 2.5D anyway.) In any case, this is extremely upsetting. I want Accent Core! I want Blazblue! I want those games that people might not give a damn about now but will maybe fall in love with if they only gave them a chance.

... Looks like I'm gonna have to buy SFIV for my fix.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

I swear the next post will have nothing to do with adult content

Instead of getting photos off my phone so I could make the real entry (as mentioned here), let's just say that I was BROWSING MATERIAL THAT I CAN NOW LEGALLY BROWSE.

This page has made me curious. (Nothing TOTALLY NSFW - just a bunch of characters wondering whether having a big nose means you have a big penis. That's kinda interesting if it's true.)

I want opinions! Or if you'd rather not share your opinion, that is totally cool and I will go and hire some male prostitutes with big noses.

For reference, the name of this particular one is Rugby Dormitory 204 which is totally not gay at all.

And to make it so that this isn't a completely awkward and gay post, Metal Gear? On the iPhone? And Silent Hill and Dance Dance Revolution? I don't give a damn about MGS4 getting ported to the 360, rumour or not, so why do I give a damn about these Konami games getting on the iPhone? Especially since it is more likely than not that they will suck.

Monday, 15 December 2008

A VERY FUCKING BORING ENTRY (but I've got to post sometime, right?)

So apparently I now have a job. And by job I mean I'm doing work experience at this IT company called Datacom. After a day of working there, I still have no clue what they do. Maybe because I spent 5 of my 8 hours there today staring into space because I didn't have any login details, but the people seem nice. Apparently I'm doing service desk help or something that requires equally large amounts of talking into headsets to people, which worries me slightly. And it is really not like the IT Crowd at all, maybe.

I also still have no clue where the hell the office is, but I somehow managed to walk to the city with tremendous amounts of luck and the map the nice receptionist gave me, otherwise who knows how many times I would have been raped by now. It's in West End or something, so come and visit me. Or you could just call me and ask me ridiculous questions about your computer.

Nintendo also relaunched their new official magazine today (which I haven't read properly yet). I am a sucker for free stuff and bought it mostly for the calendar, because $9 for a calendar, albeit a Nintendo calendar, is very fucking cheap. What I expected: Twelve months of Mario. What I got: HOLY FUCK IS THAT MADWORLD, WIND WAKER, NO MORE HEROES, PIKMIN AND CHRONO TRIGGER ALL IN ONE CALENDAR? FUCK YES YOU ARE THE BEST CALENDAR EVER

Expect some game reviews soon. I promise the next entry will be more amusing and image-based. It is about what I saw when I went to Target last week. You will be upset, if you give a shit about the fandom at all.