Lucien’s First Take: Final Fantasy XV (Platinum Demo)

It’s finally happened!  There’s been a release date given to a game that has been ten years in the making.  Now we got a demo!  I decided to try out the feature on my share feature on my PS4 to see if I could make a video showcasing it.  The lag quality in this is off the chart.  It’s borderline a slide-show.  Sorry about that.  But, for those of you who don’t mind, here is my first take on this demo.  It’s free to download, so I recommend seeing it for yourself.

Hopefully you all are as stoked for this as I am.  Let me know what you think down in the comments, and it’s a good day to be a gamer!

Initial Verdict
9 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONL: #UncoveredFFXV

It’s finally happening!  This is it!  After ten long years of waiting and hoping and dreaming, we finally have a release date for this game.  You all have no idea how excited I am.  They just showed the newest trailer and it has got me more than a little emotional.  It starts out making you think it’s just another stupid epic fantasy game, but then they flip the script.  See for yourself.

I can’t think of a better song for this film.  I honestly can’t.  “Stand by Me” is not only one of the songs the set the tone for a generation, but it was also a film that told the best coming-of-age stories of all time.  That’s what this game is.  It is a game all about a road trip adventure with four guys, who are having to grow up in a world that is not especially kind to them.

But did you see how enjoyable this was?  You have them broken down by the side of the road.  They are having to push their car along.  That’s hilarious!  But the biggest thing is the friendship between these characters.  Every moment of this trailer was all about capturing how they are not just traveling companions.  It is so much bromance, and I couldn’t be more excited.  Plus, we get to see more gameplay.  There is some chocobo riding, which looks like fun.  The game looks so fucking gorgeous!  Everything about this is going to be unfathomably exceptional.  It also shows that mini-games are back!  You can play pinball and poker!  That’s just what we’ve seen so far.  It’s like this game learned its lesson from all the failures that have come before it, and now we are getting the best product that we possibly can.  But there’s more!

A new demo is coming out tonight, which will be an introduction to gamers as to how the gameplay will work.  It is set in a dream that Noctis is having as a small child, and you unlock a summon that can go in the actual game!  This is everything I could have asked for an more.  Square Enix’s servers are going down tonight at 12:00 EST.  Count on it!  It will be 9:00 where I’m at.

With the game coming out on September 30th, the wait is almost over.  I’m a child again, seeing a game that I can’t wait for and riding that hype train for all its worth.  Less has definitely been more with this game.  You get to ride a boat, and there is even a way to make your car fly!  So much to explore, and I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.

Let me know what you think down in the comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“It’s been a long time.  Too long.  But not much longer.”  -Noctis Caelum, Final Fantasy XV

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Playstation 4.5

We live in an age where people are more than willing to replace tech so quickly.  I don’t get this.  Nintendo barely lets their new console have any time in the light, and it’s being drawn to a close.  Now Sony is being rumored to be developing a new version of the PS4.  An upgraded one for all this 4K gaming that’s so popular on the PC.  At this point, it’s all but confirmed.  And this is bugging me in was that you cannot believe.

Why is it that a game company that just made a console is now making a new version?  By making this updated hardware, they are basically saying that they are making the console that everyone bought obsolete.  Did the not see the mixed reactions to what Nintendo is doing with their new console?  Did they simply not care?  Are we in an age where gaming is becoming more and more expensive, and I’m not gonna lie – I’m not a fan.  Why is it acceptable that a company can release a new console that makes another one outdated just a couple years after releasing the last one?  I don’t have the kind of money to make that kind of replacement!

A lot of people are saying that with PCs, you are having to upgrade.  But see, that isn’t true.  If you have a nice rig, you can game for quite some time without having to make major upgrades.  Or you can upgrade your hardware by making replacements. of graphics cards or upping your RAM (among other things).  A good gaming PC can last you five years, if you are like me and don’t buy every new game each year.  In other words, it’s pretty much like a console.

The reason that people like me like console gaming is because we are basically buying a promise that we won’t have to buy new hardware for about five-seven years.  That’s a pretty good thing.  However, that may be going away.  Now the gaming companies are deciding to get greedy.  Microsoft has already talked about doing this sort of thing, since the Xbox One is more underpowered than the PS4.  But I don’t have the money to be constantly replacing consoles.  If this is where the future of gaming is headed, I guess I’ll just invest in a good gaming PC.  I will miss the Playstation exclusives, since they are knocking it out of the park, but that’s what it is.  I don’t have the kind of cash that these people want me to.  So fucking ridiculous.

Until next time, a quote,

“The gaming industry, right now, is going through puberty.  It’s awkward, it’s strange, and it’s confused.  And so am I.  I have no idea where the hell anything is going.”  – Rich

Peace out,

Maverick

Musical Insanity: All the Single Furries!

Part of why I am glad that I keep a very limited tab on what people of the modern age are into is because if I kept a closer tab, I’d want to kill a mother-fucker.  I already want to beat the living shit out of all the millennial hipsters I come across who want to pretend that they are so cool, spouting their hipster bullshit.  But then you have the people who will actually admit that they are into pop culture (for all, all that hipster BS about being retro is garbage.  Retro is in now.  They made a fashion statement.  They set trends.  I hate hipsters so much), you get to partake in music that is absolute garbage, and I bet that most of you go to “the club.”  A place where the worst of modern music gathers.  Well, that and people who listen to SiA with the intent of enjoying themselves.

So when I come across madness like this, I am left with a profound wish that I could just find the nearest cliff to jump off of.  Why?  Because this is the worst thing that will ever be created in the history of the world.  No surprise, it caters to furries.  Let me make something clear – I don’t have a problem with furries, provided they keep far away from me.  It’s like bronies.  I don’t get them, but to each his/her own.  Just keep the hell away from me.  Simple, right? I’m a guy who is weird too, so I keep to my own in-groups.  To the point that I keep enough of a finger on the pulse of the world because otherwise this website would be very boring.

The point of all this is that I don’t know what this piece of musical madness is parodying, and I don’t want to know.  I bet the original song is equally-terrible.  But this is the most bat-shit crazy thing I have ever seen, and you watch this music video at your peril.  Good luck.

Furries, let me make something very clear – I’m all for self-determination.  You are free to live the kind of life that you want to live.  That’s fantastic.  But what compelled you to make this?!  Why would you have this video be something meant to have you and your representing?!  I have to believe that the furry community at large found this just as insane as I did.  It’s hard to sit through this.  This is the music that they play for terror suspects to get them to talk.  Water-boarding is terrible, but I honestly think that if they took the A Clockwork Orange approach with this song, we could destroy terrorism forever.  Just have all terror suspects watch this.  It will break them.

This song has production values!  It was filmed in a studio!  The lighting is good!  Why was this lunacy so funded?!  Who funded this?!  I need to find them and ask if they are on the CIA’s payroll.  It would make a strange kind of sense.

To any furries who may come across this, please let me know if this is a thing that you are all okay with.  I need to know.  No joke, I desperately need to know…

Until next time, a quote,

“And despite what Nietzsche said, the abyss doesn’t stare back at you.  It just is.  Honestly, that’s a lot more frightening.”  -Triox, Butt Wait! There’s More!

Peace out,

Maverick

I’m Not Afraid of Death

The terror attacks in Brussels have gotten a lot of people scared out of their wits about the idea of a terrorist coming into their lives and fucking up their day.  But that’s not me.  Make no mistake, I am not afraid of the idea of being killed by a terrorist.  That doesn’t frighten me one bit.  The fact that it is unlikely in the extreme is not even part of that.  Though it is true that you are more likely to get bitten by a shark than you are to be killed in a terrorist attack.  At least in the First World.  In the First World, you are more likely to be crushed by a vending machine.  You are more likely to be stomped to death by a moose.  There are lots of things you are more likely to be a victim of than terrorism.  Thus, I am not afraid of death by terrorism.  But the reality is that I’m not afraid to die at all.  Not one tiny bit.

My mortality is a companion, to me.  It’s something that I know will come to an end one day, as it will for everyone.  I don’t get why people are so frightened of the idea of dying.  I don’t believe there’s an afterlife waiting for me.  I like the concept, but I don’t actively believe it.  Besides, if I were going to believe in an afterlife, I would believe in the one from Beyond: Two Souls.  An infinite existence where you can go anywhere and see anything.  Time and space mean nothing, and you can explore at your whim.  That sounds cool to me.  But that’s just wishful thinking.  I realize that the fact is that when I die, I am likely going to just blink out of existence and that’s that.

I was talking to a friend the other day, and he told me about how he carries a gun wherever he goes because he is afraid of being accosted by a criminal.  It apparently happens quite a bit where he is.  Someone nearly got shot out there.  I don’t get his need to have a gun.  Never mind the fact that a would-be criminal would likely get the jump on him, and his gun wouldn’t protect him at all.  I just don’t get why he is so eager to defend his life.

This ties in to my absolute abyss of depression and how I don’t really like this mortality bit all that much.  What is so great in life that it’s worth being constantly afraid for.  You die, and that’s it.  Whatever happens to us after we die, the fact is that all of your problems are over.  It’s the ultimate release from all the stupid BS that we have to deal with in the mortal plane.  There’s a book called the Hagakure, which I read because it has this great passage about life, which I have emulated in everything I do.

It is a good viewpoint to see the world as a dream. When you have something like a nightmare, you will wake up and tell yourself that it was only a dream. It is said that the world we live in is not a bit different from this.

That quote is the personal view that I live to.  I don’t actively care about most anything that happens in life.  I have to care about my finances and whatnot, but I have no existential crises that I fear on a daily basis.  Death just seems like the end to all the nonsense that I have to deal with every day.  When I die, I won’t have to care about my bills.  I won’t have to care about my lonely apartment.  I won’t have to care about my nigh-dead friend life or my utterly-dead personal life.  Death is the ultimate liberation from those concerns.

So why does my friend worry so much?  He never answered when I brought this thought up.  Is it just something that is accepted that life is supposed to be cherished.  Why?  You die, and that’s it.  All of your problems are done.  Nothing else matters.  In that last moment, you get to slip away and let it all go.  That sounds like the most freeing thing in the world.  The reality is that our existence in this plane is the thing that is so much ugliness.  Childhood is the greatest time you will ever have, and all of us neglect to see how good it is.

I guess this rambling post was just to tell you that you all and your attachment to this world interests me.  I want to know what is so important for you to fear for it.  If you believe in God, then doesn’t the idea of dying seem appealing to you.  You get to go to God.  If you don’t, then all of your problems are about to end.  Eternal rest.  It’s interesting.  But I guess that’s it.  Let me know what you all think about mortality in the comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“When I was younger, I wasn’t afraid of anything.  I didn’t have the slightest fear of dying.  No reason for it.  I thought that if I die, it was fine with me.  Anytime at all.”  -Spike Spiegel, Cowboy Bebop

Peace out,

Maverick

You Are Actually Fighting Against Helping Real Women?! (A response to Anita Sarkeesian)

The First World problems bar of modern feminists never ceases to amaze me.  It really doesn’t.  See, they don’t have any actual problems, so they choose to make what victims they are the entire narrative.  Whether it be crying some crocodile tears in Syfy’s The Internet Ruined My Life or going on to the feminist rag The Mary Sue and crying about how hard you have it.  Of course, if it were anyone else, I would say that it was some poor, delusional narcissist who just can’t handle that life isn’t giving them everything they want.  You know, like Crypt Keeper Wu.  But it isn’t that.  It’s professional con artist Anita Sarkeesian who wants her coffers filled even more.  As some of you know, she’s been promoting a new series of videos that she is crowd-funding for.  To the tune of $200,000.  For some reason, five videos will cost that much (complete bullshit).  It’s been shown that she already has all the stuff to make these videos.  It’s made some people wonder what exactly she needs the money for.  Anyone with perspective knows that she is just bilking her fans out of more money.  But the people at The Mary Sue can’t be bothered to learn things.  After all, they were tricked into thinking that a guy who wrote a fake article about Final Fantasy VII was real.

When TJ, aka The Amazing Atheist, made a video in response to pimp a charity drive he is doing to help actual women (linked here), our friendly neighborhood con-artist was not going to let this stand!  How dare someone try to actually help women.  We should be helping fill Anita’s coffers!  Maybe this has something to do with how her fundraising efforts are slowing down.  Let the professional victimhood begin.  Anita wrote an article to cry her own crocodile tears.  Here’s a link, now let’s talk about it.

Two weeks ago, Feminist Frequency launched a crowdfunding campaign for Ordinary Women, our new video series about incredible, defiant women throughout history, and we’re pleased to say that we’re on our way, having raised over $73,000 from more than 1,200 supporters so far. Your generosity and enthusiasm mean everything to us, especially in light of the pushback we get every time we speak up or speak at all.

We aren’t pushing back, Anita.  We’re taking a moment to tell the people who may be ignorant of you that you are a con artist.  That’s a fact.  You Kickstarted your way into wealth, and never even finished that.  Now you are asking for an absurd amount of money for a new project that is even smaller in scope and which you already have shown that you have all the materials for.  Forgive us if we think that you are full of shit, and someone should know.

When we launched the project, we knew that it was going to put a target on our backs, and that the online harassment directed at us was likely to spike again.

Actually, sugar-tits, we were glad that you were leaving the gaming world alone.  For real, I never anticipated having to talk about you again.  If it weren’t for this blatantly-dishonest article that is smearing an actual effort to help women, I never would have.  We want you to be gone.  But you have realized that your efforts to leave the world of gaming behind has a cost.  Namely that you can’t profit off of gamers not liking what you have to say.  Now it would have been the no one who watches your videos, because who actually wants to watch a video about history?  Oh, I’m sorry, a SERMON about history.  Because you are just as much a huckster as any preacher.

In response to our new project, a very vocal, known harasser who has spent years attacking feminism and individual feminists on YouTube, has launched a counter-fundraising campaign specifically designed to both discredit me and mobilize his viewers to abuse me further on social media.

There you have it, everyone.  TJ wasn’t trying to actually help women.  He wasn’t trying to counter this con artist helping herself by giving to a real charity that does real good for women in the real world.  No, he was doing this specifically to hurt you.  God, what a fucking narcissist.  I wouldn’t be this angry, if it wasn’t all for the express purpose of more coffer-filling.  She doesn’t even believe this!  This stick with tits just wants you to give her more money.  The reality is that she does not care about the truth.  Real women’s issues?  Fuck that!  I need more money!  So, with all the humility of a Donald Trump supporters, she is out shouting her victimhood to whatever rag will listen to her.  God forbid that she maybe should try and at least acknowledge that this cause will help real women.  Because it will.  The charity that TJ picked has a very excellent rating from several organizations that rate charities.  The International Women’s Health Coalition is doing real good, for women in parts of the world that need it.

What things have you done for women, Anita?  How much or your $1.2 million budget over the last four years went to a cause that helped actual women?  How much of your $20,000 speaking fees did?  I’m betting the answer is pretty fucking small.  This huckster, this con artist, is trying to paint people giving money to an organization that does real good as just some campaign to discredit her.  And she doesn’t believe that.  Not one word of her empty article is something she genuinely believes.  Like any good con artist, who has tended her con with all the dedication of a farmer with their crops, this demagogue is doing this just so that she can look like the victim and be given even more money.

Is there no low that you won’t stoop to, Anita?  Are you so eager for money that you don’t care about your fellow women, who you are totally cool with throwing under the bus in order to get more of it?  What a scumbag you are.  You are such a piece of shit.  At least with Brianna Wu, she’s just a narcissist.  She is a believer in her BS.  She actually believes that her life was ruined by the Internet.  You are just trying to fill your pockets with more money from stupid people.  And you have an entire organization that is with you to this end.  I hate to end with the same quote twice in posts about you, but to be honest, it’s just so damn fitting.  A pity that the people who actually read The Mary Sue are too stupid to see you for the charlatan you are.

Until next time, a quote,

“Never play a man for the short con when you can play them for the long one.”  -Frank Fontaine, Bioshock

Peace out,

Maverick

Critical Examination: When Choice-Based Games Fail

I made no secret of the fact that I didn’t like the end of Life is Strange.  I made a post talking about why I didn’t like it.  I made a post where I did my own self-indulgent corrected version of the ending.  But as I look through that post, I realize something that I didn’t before – I am guilty of the same thing that the people who made the game are.  The reason that the ending is something I despise as much as I do isn’t because it’s a giant plot-hole or ridiculously sad for NO reason.  The problem with the ending is deeper than that.  It’s a problem that in this game is actually worse than the last game with the EXACT same problem.  Most of you might see where I’m going with this.  But to really address this problem, we have to look at games that get it right.  Then we can talk about the games that get it wrong.  I am, of course, talking about when the endings of choice-based games fail.  Let’s talk first about a game that gets it right.

Until Dawn

This was one of the most unexpected survival horror games I have ever played.  It was a send-up to so much of the nostalgia that I loved growing up.  From the campy story-line to the tank-controls, this was a game made with all kinds of love for the craft that it worked with.  But this game also did something else right.  Something done so well that I was legitimately shocked when I got to the end.  It got the choice aspect down the best that I have ever seen.  How?  That will take some explaining.

It helped that the narrative of this game played over the course of one night.  In one night, you had to develop characters and make choices that had real consequences.  The consequences were visceral and right in front of you.  I’m talking, of course, about who lives and dies.  That was the biggest consequence of your choices.  Depending on the actions you take, some characters will live, and some will die.  There is no reset button.  Once you make that choice, it’s done.  What’s more, your choices actively shape the relationships of the characters that you are controlling.  You get to see this play out in their interactions.  If you chose to sacrifice Josh instead of Ashley, then you foster a relationship between her and Chris.  If you chose to shoot yourself instead of her, that relationship is cemented.  You see her kissing him when he goes out to save Josh later on.

This game had real consequences with your choices.  Ones that were clear-cut and shown to you.  But this game has a trick – it was all done in one night.  A game with a larger narrative can’t be so simple.  When this game ended, you got to see the ultimate fate of the choices you make.  Instead of some stupid ending choice, the ending to this game was just the culmination of all the choices.  Everything came together, and the ending cutscene was seeing the characters who survived the night being interviewed.  That’s smart!  None of the stupid final choices.  Just the ending to the game.  This game did it flawlessly.

Now, let’s look at a game that did it wrong.

Mass Effect 3

I know, everyone saw this coming.  This game is famous for an ending that is so terrible that it ruined this game for most people.  Were it not for how unfathomably good EVERYTHING else about this game was (up to when the Victory Fleet went to Earth), it would have done the same for me.  But it was all so good.  However, it’s no joke that the game’s ending is bad.  Video after video after video was made explaining why.  It’s pretty simple – the three final choices you make are bullshit.  What’s more, they are ALL plotholes.  Each and every one.

Why does shooting a tube trigger an explosion that destroys the Reapers?  Why does it also destroy the Geth?  How does this technology work?  Why are you walking toward the tube as you shoot it, with it being abundantly clear that it will kill you?  How does grabbing two do-dads make it so you can control the Reapers?  Why not have them all go pile into the nearest star after having control?  How does Shepard maintain his/her conscious mind after doing so?  Without a body, how does Shepard exist?  How on Earth does jumping into a beam of light merge organic and synthetic life?  That is literally impossible.  How does no one realize what absolute hell it would be to force sentience on the husks that were created by the Reapers?  Am I the only one who sees this ending as the most nightmare scenario of all?

These are just a scant few of the endless series of plot holes that were wrong with this ending.  And the truth is that so much of why this ending sucks comes down to having to make this final choice.  There was a fan-cut to the ending of this game where they cut out all the god-kid stuff, and instead had it be where Shepard and Anderson are both bleeding out.  When the Crucible docks with the Citadel, it goes off and triggers the Destroy ending.  That was so much better.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still stupid, but at least that makes some sense.  This game actually had the balls to introduce a character in the last scene and create a stupid ending that ignores every single thing you did throughout the series.

Here’s another game that got it right.

The Wolf Among Us

Unlike the previous Telltale title, this game had it where the choices you made didn’t just affect who lived and died.  It also affected the relationships that developed over the course of the series.  As Bigby Wolf, you are having to keep the peace in a part of the world where there are a lot of unpleasant people.  Every choice you make affects those relationships.  But the real thing that makes the end of this game works isn’t how there is some final choice.  Instead, there is a final confrontation that culminates in all your choices mattering.

Did you kill the villain of the game earlier?  That was something you could do.  Did you save the life of the club owner who knows the truth about how the girls who work there are kept enslaved?  Did you allow the woman who gave him the enslaving tool the right to kill herself?  Did you foster positive relationships with the various characters, which other characters can then exploit?  Did you solve the various mysteries that were in front of you?  Everything you did affects the final confrontation where the crowd is judging the villain of the story.  That is genius!  One final test, to show how well or poorly you played the game.  Very smart.  It is also cathartic because, if you are like me and want to immerse yourself in a game’s world, getting to play the politics of a world can make you feel like you are a part of it.  The growth of relationships is a good way to have choice mean something.  After all is said and done, and Bigby is continuing his life, you get to see even more results of your choices.  That’s brilliant!

Which brings is back to Life is Strange

Conclusion

The thing that Mass Effect 3 did wrong is the exact same one that Life is Strange did.  Instead of having some big moment of culmination of your choices, all of them get immediately obliterated and turned to ash.  We have seen two examples to games doing it right.  Another example would be The Witcher 3.  In that game, your choices and how they shape things isn’t always clear.  The politics of that world are pretty interesting.  But it makes how things play out that much more appealing.  The thing is, when we play a game that involves choices, we want to feel like they matter.  It’s the whole reason that we were so eager to get further in.  When a game chooses not to follow through on this, it’s more than a little upsetting.  Then you get the assholes like the ones at the now-defunct Kotaku who say that gamers are entitled because we want a game to stick to its conventions.  They have the right to their opinions, I guess.  But they’re still stupid.

Hopefully I get to see more games like the ones that got it right.  I loves me some choice in a game.  It makes things interesting.  Let me know what you think down in the comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“Freedom of choice is more to be treasured than any other possession Earth can give.”  – David McKay

Peace out,

Maverick