Can you believe it? Video games aren't always happy. As great as they can be, the industry surrounding them is a big hunk of doody (that'd be an interesting direction for Activision to take) a lot of the time. Hell, even the community can be particularly toxic and, in the age of The Internet, it's sometimes very hard to escape when we just wanna tweet at or IM our friends/family or maybe watch some hilarious John Oliver skits on YouTube.
I once made a quirky "unboxing" video of Battlefield: Bad Company around when that released and I had comment after comment peeved at the audacity of someone being unfunny. I'm very sure your time isn't so precious that wasting just a few short minutes of it is worth that very nasty comment.
In these 7-8 years, things haven't changed at all. If anything, it's gotten worse. Ugh.
We all love Donut Drake. But, if he were real, imagine the struggle.
I no longer believe this is a natural transitional phase. The Internet simply gives far too many opportunities for assholes to be assholes. Until we have the perfect set of tools in place to avoid as much as of this terrible behavior as possible, the Internet will continue being a double-edged sword.
Whenever that day comes, it'll probably be a while. This is why it'll do you a lot of good to keep positive, you idiot. Here's a few things to remind you how this industry can be as often awesome as it is woeful, from your friendly neighborhood husbando strongman (I really should take down that awkward picture of me in the top right)
The Butthole Surfers were once in a video game
Recently, I was reminded of this and I couldn't help but smile. A rush of nostalgia swept over me and I had to dig deeper. So, much of my time spent listening to music these past couple weeks has been spent listening to their Independent Worm Saloon and Electriclarryland albums. Now aren't those just fantastic album titles?
They're sort of punk/post-rock (whatever that means), though not always. They can do very soft traditional rock and as well as some other odd experimental nonsense. They aren't one-trick ponies. I do tend to fall in love with bands that have a clear groove, but who aren't afraid to try something new every now and again. Even if it's just to flex their ability as musicians.
The original studio cut, naturally, is considerably better.
Your body must be ready for My Brother's Wife.
Blizzard eventually fixed Diablo 3 and it's now a really fine game
While launch-day woes are, sadly, now almost commonplace amongst online-centric titles, it's probably safe to say that nothing has been quite as bad as what happened with either Diablo 3 or SimCity. Not only were there awful connection issues, but their online-only requirements were completely arbitrary and did much more harm to loyal consumers than strongarmed justice to those scurvy pirates.
EA took off the online-only requirements for SimCity some time ago, but SimCity has remained (from what I hear) a very mediocre experience. What did Blizzard do, though? They removed the Auction House that was crippling the very notion of the game's genre, they provided offline play through the very awesome console ports, and, to top it all off, they also have been carefully patching in smaller fixes and new content on a regular basic. To this day, new stuff is being added and that's pretty swell.
Should they provide offline play for PC players? Yes. Seriously. But, to say that Blizzard hasn't been trying would be plain untrue. Over this past year or so, Blizzard has restored a large handful of my faith in AAA gaming and I really hope we see more actions like these being taken by publishers/developers in the coming months/years. Their upcoming titles don't look too shabby either.
Jim Sterling is on the case
Oh no! Steam's run amuck! There is so much shit to trudge through on a daily basis! Where's all the good games? What the hell is this?! There's no executable file! WHERE'S MY MONEY BACK?! What ever will we do?!
What little curation Steam's Greenlight and Early Access pages have gotten is likely thanks to our former D-toid contributor Jim Fucking Sterling Son. He's still going at it with his (now completely indie) Jimquisition series, but lately he's found a new calling in his YouTube LP's. These videos have led to many opening their eyes to not only Steam's lackluster services but the potential for indie game developers to be just as bad as (if not worse than) some in the AAA market.
The pitty parties and grudges these developers can hold never cease to amaze me. That they can so willfully exploit the good graces of the indie community pisses me off. That they remain ignorant of the basics of game design and do little outside purchasing assets to use in their cobbled together messes to sell for upwards for 10-20 dollars is astounding.
However, that we have a rather large (heh) saving grace within such a cesspool is at least slightly reassuring.
I had to stop typing to watch this wonderful stage play yet again.
If Valve ever get their head out of their asses in regards to Greenlight and Early Access, you'll know who to thank. Jim rightly deserves a pully for all the hard work he's done to make sure the games industry is just a little bit less crappy.
The Zelda Rap
I couldn't have done any better myself.
We're in a time where dreadfully imperfect and/or underdog games can be a success
Now, this is the part of the Internet that makes me very very happy.
Back when, if a game wasn't being commercialized, it needed good reviews. If it wasn't getting good reviews, then you'd need all the luck you could get if you wanted your hard work to pay off. This was the sad truth of game development once upon a time and without easy access to the world at large or at least some sort of magical video distrubution network, there was no way to tell if it was best to ignore the bad press and take the plunge. Whatever gems you may have found were mostly up to chance and likely still so many gems lay dead in generations past.
These days? The people love Deadly Premonition, despite it's initially lackluster reviews. Indie releases can easily sell in the hundreds of thousands or even millions. Hell, Minecraft, a game (that was far from finished, mind you) that gained it's popularity through literally nothing but word of mouth and YouTube, has gone on to be one of the most successful video games of all time! Nevermind all that, it's just now so much easier to find games to look forward to and then enjoy that would have otherwise drifted way under your radar.
And it's all thanks to the Internet and digital distrubution.
This shit here is even getting a movie!
I would have never fallen so deeply in love with horror games. Games that focused on experimentation or pure storytelling, I would have scoffed at. And, most of all to me, considering their niche appeal, I don't know if I would have ever picked up a Shin Megami Tensei game had one of my e-friends never decided to play Persona 4's Like A Dream Come True over our online game of Left 4 Dead (I used to have a video of this moment up on YT, but I guess I deleted it) and now it's probably my favorite franchise of games.
Digital distrubution, specifically, doing away with the middleman has opened up all sorts of wonderful doors for video games and the industry wouldn't be anywhere near as exciting without it. I do love my physical releases, but I can't ignore all the good the Internet and digital releases have done for gaming as a whole.
Check this out...
The right commentator can make even the shittiest of games entertaining
If you've been around Destructoid here or there for some time, you'll probably know I'm a huge fan of Cr1TiKaL. To describe him in as concisely of a way as possible, he has the mind of a scholar but the mouth of a sailor (and a heart of pure gold). Tasteful buzzwords like 'nipples', 'asscheeks', and 'anus' sprinkled amongst such colorful commentary as:
"Is this some type of ancient bigfoot mummifaction ritual... or are these two bigfeet just warming up for an assing competition?"
"If getting attacked by trees made your nipples cold, my nipples would have achieved absolute zero."
"Of course I don't make it over when I really need to, so now I have to watch this cat get clobbered by the forbidden anus of a sunken ship again."
"Where did he go? How did he escape if he was unconcious? What was he doing up here? So many questions, but there is only one logical answer: The airvents through the party and, just then, he was receiving a blowjob from the airvents as a souvenier."
And delivered in the manner they're delivered in fills me with such profound joy.
As easy as it is to assume the contrary, YouTube LP's aren't all panderish hoots and hollers. If Cr1TiKaL isn't your style, I've also been recently enjoying Cox and Credor's Outlast playthrough and especially Retsuparue's Darkseed 2 post-commentary. All worth a laugh or two in case you're in the mood for settling into an afternoon of YouTube marathoning.
Clefable with pancakes
Might be the cuddliest thing you see all week.
Miracle Of Sound
When I haven't been listening to The Butthole Surfers, I've been listening to Miracle Of Sound. He's been around for quite some time and he's one hell of a musician. He's also a huge nerd like us all here, so most of his music pertains to video games. I don't always gel with his lyrics or vocals, but he's amazingly talented nonetheless. Tackling a plethora of genres and with solid results, sometimes even outdoing a game's original soundtrack.
Speaking of which, A Dog's Life, I love everything about. I first listened to it outside the context of the above video via Spotify and even then I knew it had to have been about The Wolf Among Us. It's a fittingly grim, synth-centric track that really makes me wanna replay the game despite my ho-hum feelings on the actual playing of it.
One of his more interesting tracks, to be sure.
Unrelated to video games, he recently released a really fucking awesome heavy metal album that you should definitely give a listen if you're into that sort of thing.
Butt jiggle physics
There is seriously not enough of this.
The latest Mario Kart 8 DLC turned out splendidly
3 new characters, 4 new vehicles, and a whopping 8 tracks together in one pack for just 8 dollars? Why not round it up to 10? Charge 15-20 like everyone else? Exclude DLC from the season pass? Wait WHAT?! 200cc difficultly across all cups... FOR FREE?! What do you think you are DOING Nintendo?! Think of all the EA, WB, Capcom, Activision, and Ubsoft execs that would have literally killed for DLC this good but would have valued so much higher! No wonder the Wii U is so deep in the hole!
Nintendo may be behind the times a bit, but is that so bad when you consider what is now generally "with it"? Fuck no. It's depressing to say, but I love that I can actually count on Nintendo to give almost zero fucks about pre-orders (for better or for worse), to provide me with a working game at launch, and to put out post-launch content that entices rather than gouges or exploits. They haven't yet taken the piss and I really hope that trend continues. Continues to provide another example of DLC done right. Companies like Nintendo, CD Projekt Red, Bethesda, and Rockstar (at least when it comes to single player) know what's up.
From personal experience thus far, I really love Super Bell Subway. Straightforward though multi-layered tracks are typically amongst my favorites (my favorite of the previous DLC pack was easily the Excitebike track). I also don't remember Ribbon Road being so awesome! Guess because I never realized drifting was an essential strategy in Mario Kart until I got MK7 (doh!). And the music that plays after the finish line on the Animal Crossing track? So lovely. So, so lovely. The music, in general, they have put so much work into. They went above and beyond with these DLC's.
It's now very hard to pick anyone but Isabelle. I have her riding on Dry Bowser's bike with humongous tires and it's just adorable.
On the horizon...
What at first looked tremendously dull now seems so incredible to me. Fallout + Arkham + vehicular combat? I want it THIS much!
I absolutely love the Rockstar Developer Diary approach to gameplay showcases. It shows confidence in the company's work and gives me a good idea of what the experience will be like without seeking alternative sources of information. Catchy, minute-long, cinematic montages are cool and all, but that tells me so little about the actual game part of your fucking video game. Sequel or not, I wanna see some goddamn gameplay!
SMT x Fire Emblem (Illusory Relevations #FE)
HOLY SHIT IT'S ALIVE! It's back with a new stupid working title that I hope will be changed considerably before it's localization, but YEAH WOO IT'S ALIVE!
Like many have said, it is not at all what I was expecting from this "SMT x Fire Emblem" concept. I expected something much darker. Something more in-line with SMT proper than Persona. Actually, Persona isn't even this poppy. This trailer came straight out of left field and I didn't even think it could possibly be this "SMT x Fire Emblem" until I saw the title splash.
With that said, it does still look absolutely gorgeous and I thoroughly dig the music. To that, perhaps looks can be deceiving. Maybe they handpicked the lighter elements of the game to draw in more of the casual crowd. Who knows? I just wanna try it for myself already! Nevermind Routine, SOMA, or Narcosis, this has been the true test of patience!
Oh hey! Speaking of which, almost 2 years ago, this video released showing off indie horror title Routine and it got me monumentally excited!
Since then, we've heard so little about it and it's making me paranoid. Not to say the developers haven't been keeping up with the updates as their last one was as recent as last month, but that last one was not until about 6-7 months of complete silence. For a game that looks as good as this, that is so painful! Same goes for the aforementioned Narcosis and SOMA, two other excellent-looking indie horror titles that we hear so little about and so slowly.
That's one of the advantages of the indie scene, I suppose. That you can take as much as time as you need to make sure your group's vision is met. Surprisingly, these games don't seem to have lost much relevance since their debuts, so I guess they really know how to get people staying interested with what little they do eventually show.
Man, I don't even know if my computer will be up for the task. I have the worst luck with PC gaming, even with my "gaming" notebook that released just a few short years ago. At least SOMA will supposedly have a PS4 port.
Zelda Wii U
The promise of a new 3D Zelda, alone, is enough to warrant hype from me. Nintendo seems to have learned from it's mistakes with Skyward Sword and it's resounding successes with A Link Between Worlds and is, ideally, about to grace us with the best Zelda to date! All that could assure my purhcase any further would be talks of Midna as a returning companion character.
Heck, I think a mere cameo or easter egg would be enough for me.
While what little direct footage we've seen of the upcoming Zelda title looks incredibly rough and almost completely void of anything at all interesting, I trust Nintendo to iron all of that out in time for a true reveal and it will be amazing.
It's been too long since I've last watched this trailer. I'm tearing up with joy just hearing those first few seconds of music! IT'S GOING TO BE SO BEAUTIFUL! ;A;
I probably talk too much about Shin Megami Tensei. Namely, Persona. But, I can't help it. They're such powerful games in both story and gameplay. I hadn't even scratched the surface of Persona 4 and my hype for it was unreal. I was floored by it's quality and since then I have been completely entranced by much of the franchise otherwise. They have the perfect balance of story and gameplay, with the mechanics around said story and gameplay being tremendously solid. Witnessing the new stories that Persona 5 will provide as well as getting a feel for how it evolves the gameplay will be a defining moment for me as a gamer.
I'm trying to stay realstic. Thing is, I can't always tell if I'm doing just that or not. That's how much Persona has meant to me. If Persona 3 and 4 and even Catherine (to an extent) are anything to go by, I'm going to be in heaven once this baby releases. I sincerely hope it meets my expectations.
So, how is it that you keep positive? Play your favorite games? Plug your ears, shut your eyes, scream, and pretend everything is just fine? Clobber yourself with a blunt object until the bad men stop? What's are some good things you'd like to share with me? It can be anything!