Critical Examination: There Doesn’t Need to be a Discussion About Difficulty in Gaming

I recently watched the review of Cuphead by a YouTuber that I find genuinely engaging.  I often have some disagreements with stuff or think some of his perspectives are not the best, but I am not the kind of person who has to agree with everything someone says to like their content.  Contrary to popular opinion, not all of us critics of the regressive left are as bad as the people we criticize.  Some of us actually can deal with disagreement and even have some genuinely lively banter on the subject.  This particular YouTuber and I have actually had very lively debate in the comments section of my own posts where I reference their work.  As a way of helping promote this individual, here is a link to their review of Cuphead, now let’s get to the point.

In the video, he says that there is a genuine discussion that should be had about difficulty in gaming.  This talking point has come about after a frankly hilarious video of a game journalist being oddly incapable of dealing with the tutorial level had this person getting well-deserved ridicule.  There was a guy who is very physically handicapped making a video showing his ability to play the game well.  I’m sorry, but he fucked up, and there’s nothing wrong with making fun of the video that was put out and his butthurt reaction to it.  There is especially nothing wrong with ridiculing video game journalists for standing up for being bad at games when this is their line of work.

The aforementioned YouTuber said difficulty vs accessibility in games is a worthwhile discussion.  I am here to respectfully disagree.  Now let me make something clear – I’m not talking about this when it comes to video games that are virtually unplayable.  If a game has a stupid difficulty spike that makes things unfair, that is something worth calling out.  I’m talking about games that make very clear the fact that they are hard and you should be expecting that.

Best example – Dark Souls, but instead of looking at that (because I never got into the franchise), let’s take a look at a game in the same vein that I happen to love – BloodborneBloodborne is hard.  Really hard.  This game will fuck you up.  Dark Souls is a game where you are encouraged to play defensively and wait for openings to attack.  Bloodborne is nothing like that.  Playing defensively will get you killed.  The reality is that it is a game where you are actively encouraged to take risks.  Did you just take a really bad hit?  Well, if you have the guts and fast timing, you can get back into the fight and regain some of the health if you do it quickly.  You got a limited window, idiot!  So get in there and fight!  That style of gameplay is not accessible to everyone.  Plus, the fact that the game demands that style of play also means that you are going to be putting you fate in the hands of blind luck more than you’d like.

But here’s the thing – the players of this game know this.  They accept this.  It’s an understood risk of playing this game.  Because that’s the kind of game that From Software makes.  It’s in the vein of a franchise that was marketed specifically on it being really, really hard.  The original poster for Dark Souls had the line “Prepare to Die” on it.  Players went in with both eyes wide open.  Uncompromising difficulty.  But here’s the thing – you can learn how to work with that.  You learn the placement of the enemies, and the weaknesses of bosses.  Then you put that knowledge to use and fight your ass off.  A little luck will sometimes be required, but you will learn by trial and error.  Lots, and lots of error.

At what point does a game that is difficult become inaccessible?  When it doesn’t appeal to the casual?  Games that market themselves on difficulty are by their nature going to be niche.  Despite the mainstream success of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, they are games made for a certain type of gamer and they know that.  They aren’t the only ones.  Look at Devil May Cry 3 as another example.  That game’s difficulty is downright punishing at points.  The final fight with Vergil requires nerves of steel and a little bit of genuine luck to overcome.  But players understood this.  No one was saying back in the day that we needed to have an Easy mode.

The big debate seems to be that we need to make games easier so that people who don’t like difficult games can have them.  Why?  Why should a game designer compromise their creative image of a game in order to cater to people who don’t want to invest the time or energy to master the game’s mechanics?  You can become pretty badass at Bloodborne if you just learn the placement of enemies and learn how to telegraph their attacks.  I can take on giants and wolf-men early on just by being able to dodge at then strike while taking time to step back and recover energy.  It’s not that hard.  Guess who I did that – by mastering the game’s mechanics.  While the enemies get more difficult in New Game Plus, now I have the weapons I like best and can make even shorter work of my foes.  Because by now I’ve played the game long enough to have that level of mastery.

Plus, there is no way to make that game easy.  Not really.  The game’s entire mechanics are centered around the difficulty and playing well to be able to overcome that.  Everything is built around that!  Take that away and what are you left with?  A game where you wander around beautiful gothic environments and kill the occasional bad guy.  Where’s the fun there?

I’m not seeing where this idea that games need to be easier in order to cater to more people comes from.  The new Assassin’s Creed game has a kind of spectator mode where there are no enemies or threats and you can just wander around the world and look at stuff.  I mean, sure, the environments are pretty, but why not just make a game that is an open world walking simulator at that point?  I don’t even hate walking simulators on their merits.  My favorite game of 2015 was Life is Strange.  But Assassin’s Creed isn’t that type of game.  It’s the kind of game where you are supposed to be taking out targets and using stealth to infiltrate places.  All of the game’s mechanics are built around that.  Take that away and what’s left?  Nothing important, that’s what.

Here’s the thing – I get that hard games can be frustrating to people.  The uncompromising difficulty of Cuphead with its catchy art style and glorious music (sucks that I don’t have an Xbox One.  Will never get to play it unless I get a decent gaming PC) is something players have to adapt to.  But forgive me if I actually believe that players can do that, instead of having to have their hands held the whole damn time because the devs need to make a mode just so they can get in on the fun.  I can play the easy mode on Persona 5 because I love the story and I am just dying to get ahead on it without grinding for long periods of time.  But then I can crank up the difficulty on Doom and rip and tear with the vast arsenal.  But the thing is that both devs made those choices for those modes to be in it.  Can you imagine Doom with a safe mode?  That sounds boring as fuck.

Will be sending this article to the aforementioned YouTuber.  We’ll see where this goes.  What about all of you?  Thoughts about the difficulty vs accessibility in gaming?  Let me know in the Comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“It is one of man’s curious idiosyncrasies to create difficulties for the pleasure of solving them.” – Joseph de Maistre

Peace out,

Maverick

Advertisements

Lucien’s First Take: Left Alive – First Gameplay Trailer (2018)

What do you get when you take some of the creative minds behind the Metal Gear franchise and team them up with Square Enix?  You get a game that is set in another game’s universe, and seems to combine action, survival, and mechs.  The concept behind this game is “action survival,” a unique premise that has a lot of potential.  The world looks grim and depressing, set in a kind of alternate universe Croatia, with multiple EU’s battle for supremacy using mechs.  Not much is known about this game from the trailer, but it’s got me intrigued.  And I guess I won’t have to wait too long.  For just now debuting this game, they aren’t making players wait long.  Hopefully that means some cool trailers in the not too distant future to see what kind of game this is.  Let’s talk about it.

We start off with a quote from Fyodor Dostoevsky.  He’s written many times about the nature of war and man, with the implication always being that we are violent animals and that hope is a fool’s errand.  Nice.  We see this quote is well-used, as we see a violent battle taking place in a snow-filled Eastern European nation.  A giant mech with giant bullet casing falling to the ground is blasting apart a target while a soldier in armor is on foot by its foot.  The text seems to implicate that humanity is nearing its end because we have learned nothing and continue the endless cycle of killing.

From a mech we see a character who definitely looks the part of a haggard Russian stumbling out.  Is this a protagonist?  An antagonist?  Who can say.  The details are spare here.  They definitely seem to be dismayed as they look upon all the destruction around them, only to look up and see helicopters carrying mechs ahead, looking to continue the battle.  Alright, so we got some grim imagery and themes at play about war and the nature of mankind.  You can see the Metal Gear influence here.  I am digging this.  Especially as Konami has decided to have their flagship series now have unicorn zombies.  What a fucking joke.

Then we see what little gameplay footage there is.  A lot of darkness, hiding, and sneaking.  I get the feeling being a tiny human opening fire on a mech is a bad idea.  This is very interesting stuff.  If people who have worked on the Metal Gear franchise are using that sort of gameplay in a game about mech warfare, that can only lead to good things.  Very excited to see what comes out next about the game.  We shall see.

Initial Verdict
Intriued

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR/Lucien’s First Take: Sky – Teaser Trailer (thatgamecompany)

My favorite Indie game of all time is Journey.  It was made by thatgamecompany.  They’re a company with a penchant for doing unorthodox things with the medium.  They prefer artistry and unique control schemes.  Whether it be the abstract yet undersea quality of flOw, the pure visual poetry that was Flower, or the absolute narrative and visual perfection that was Journey, this company has shown that they will take good concepts and run with them in strange ways.  I’ve been waiting to see what their next big game was going to be.  Well, the wait is over.  They’ve released a trailer.  Let’s take a look!

Alright, so we got this character who looks a lot like the hooded nameless character in Journey.  They seem infinitely more spry and happy than him.  Alright!  So where does this game take place?  You open up and see this massive island in the sky!  Oh hell yes!  The visuals on this game are a cut above. Our character glides down, and there are others!  Lots of others.  So I’m guessing a multiplayer component much like that in Journey, on this time with more people.  That’s cool.  It’s pretty clear that this game is taking a lot of cues from its predecessor, but that’s not at all a bad thing.  After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

They take off from a platform and we have flying mechanics!  Oh hell yes!  But the trailer’s over?!  That’s not cool!  I wanna see more!  They totally got me salivating.  Alright, let’s watch to the end and see if they have a release date.  Since this company has been pretty tight with Sony up ’til now, I’m not worried about being able to get it on my PS4.  So when will it be coming out?!

I’m sorry, maybe I didn’t see that right.  “Coming Soon to Apple iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.”  Are you fucking kidding me?!  What the fuck is this shit?!  Not only are they making it exclusive, but it’s exclusive to shitty Apple products?  It’s not even specific to a console, but their shitty mobile products?!  What the fuck is this shit?!  I’m seeing articles by Polygon where they’re saying it will come to Apple first.  Where is the basis for first?  I looked on the website and on statements by the devs.  Everything points to this being exclusive to those outlets alone.  I’m not seeing anything about a wider release.  This is bullshit!

Look, I get the idea of exclusives.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll never get to play Cuphead on my PS4, even though it looks absolutely fantastic.  That’s just how it goes.  But why the fuck is it exclusive to this crap?  What if I don’t want to fork over the money for this?!  What if I don’t want to have to shell out hundreds of dollars for crappy Apple products to play a game from my favorite company?  I’m sure that Apple paid BIG dollars for this neat little scam.  Well fuck.  I guess I’m not going to get to play this game then.  Because I don’t want Apple’s overpriced devices or their fucking overpriced TV.

I’m kinda curious what happened between thatgamecompany and Sony.  They always seemed to be tight.  I wonder if there was a falling out.  Maybe Apple offered more money?  If that’s the case, then I bet my bottom dollar that the games they make for the foreseeable future will be exclusive to their mobile garbage too.  Well fuck you, Apple!  You won’t sucker me into buying your second-rate phones or TV that will break and I have to shell out even more money for a replacement.  Nope!  It genuinely hurts to see this be how my time with thatgamecompany ends.

Initial Verdict
Fuck Apple

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Tingle Trailer Pre Alpha

There are days, growing in number, when I think that the real failure of GamerGate was that we gave a platform to the stupidest and most corrupt part of video games.  After all, the disgusting, amoral horse-face known as Brianna Wu is running for Congress.  Can’t wait to watch her get destroyed in debates.  We also gave the talentless hacks like Zoe Quinn a platform as a “game developer.”  Because if her choose-your-own-adventure “game” Depression Quest didn’t show you what a great talent she is, then the fact that she has a new Kickstarter project that has over 2,000 people who have donated should give you pause.  What is this project for, you ask?  Well, why should I tell you, when I can show you instead.  The phrase cringe-worthy is so overused these days, but it’s so fucking fitting.  Get ready to cringe until you have no capacity left to cringe.

Let me put this in context for you – 2,000 people have donated to this.  That’s right, at least 2,000 people wanted to see this.  That is assuming Quinn didn’t use sock puppet accounts to make it look better than it is.  We learned that she will use sock puppet accounts to get what she wants.  Like during that very mature fight she had with Candace Owens.  However, let’s give this madness the benefit of the doubt and assume that over 2,000 people actually saw this and were like, “yeah, this seems like a worthwhile cause.”

What will they be getting for their money?  Well, I’ll tell you – this insane bullshit!  A full-motion game that didn’t learn from the fact that full-motion games were universally terrible.  And what is this game about?  Well, as we learn from the opening scene, it’s about pounding ass!  That’s right, this game apparently is about the “Tingleverse” where gay sex abounds and I’m assuming Tom Cruise is working at a fudge factory packing fudge.

I, I don’t get this.  Who is this appealing to?  Who thinks this is funny?  What’s the joke?  That you can draw dicks?  Okay, I guess.  That we have people in weird costumes being gay together?  That we can get talentless hacks like Mara Wilson, Jim Sterling, and Willy Wheaton to be in this?  Wait, is that Dante fucking Basco?!  How far you can fall from Avatar: The Last Airbender to this insipid crap that has gotten thousands of dollars raised.  I think it was over $80,000 as of my last checking the Kickstarter page.

And it’s gay erotica?  Is the idea here that all these people just decided that they would do something stupid just for the fuck of it?  If that’s the case, why would 2,000 people decide this was worth giving their money to?  Fuck it, I’m calling it, this is Zoe Quinn with sock-puppet accounts.  I’m sure Willy and his succubus wife gave sizable donations, but I think the bulk of the small-time donations are from Quinn using sock-puppets to falsely inflate this product.

Maybe the goal here is to get on gamers nerves so she can say, “look at those losers!  They’re all mad over this stupid thing?!”  I’m not mad, Zoe.  I’m…what was this made for?  I don’t get it.  Who finds this funny?  What was the funny part?  Mara Wilson being in a chair talking about gay sex?  That’s not funny.  Why didn’t they get Gail Chord Schuler to do it?  She’s shown to be pretty damn good making gay sex funny as fuck.  Look up her book “Jesus the Eternal Bridegroom.”  Her reads of that book is the greatest thing ever.  Still have fond memories of that on the Drunken Peasants.

Nothing in there is funny.  I half-expected to see Steve Shives in this.  I guess this is where the talentless’ careers go to die.  We have washed-up celebrities like Wesley from Star Trek, Mara Wilson, and Chris Kluwe.  And I am fucking shocked that they got Dante Basco to do this.  Did his career suddenly die off as well?  Did he peak with his last role in cartoons and now is just playing out the string?  We already knew that Jim Sterling sides with the sex SJWs, so him supplying the voice to a monkey isn’t the shocking.

I’m just trying to understand what the goal was here.  To see how many idiots and their money could be parted?  Did they want in on that piece of Anita Sarkeesian pie?  Why wasn’t she helping out with this?  Actually, scratch that.  My opinion of her has immediately improved because she has more self-respect than to join in with this crap.

Nope.  I give up.  This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.  It will never get dumber than this.  The SJWs will think they made me mad or are hoping for some gamer to get their knickers in a twist.  They haven’t.  It’s like they decided to make something about gay sex in the hopes of getting people riled up so they can say, “They can’t take a joke!”  Didn’t work.  I’m not riled up.  Why?  Because I honestly can’t understand the motivations here.  If I understood what they were going for, maybe then I’d be mad.  But I don’t, so I’m not.  Wow, what a complete waste of my time.

Initial Verdict
“You’re in a fudge factory packing fudge.  You’re a fudge-packer.”

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Life is Strange: Before the Storm Episode 1: Awake

I’ve talked at length about how my favorite game of 2015 was Life is Strange.  While it had its flaws, it told an interesting narrative about a girl with time powers and a mystery that unfortunately had a lackluster conclusion.  The outright-terrible ending of the game, however, didn’t ruin the entire experience for me.  I still love everything leading up to it.  It’s kind of like Mass Effect 3 in that regard.  When I saw the announcement for this, I was more than a little pissed.  I mean, why would I want a prequel?  It’s a story I already know!  Rachel and Chloe were tight as fuck, Rachel was secretly in love with Frank, she gets killed.  What more could they fill in?  I said in my First Take post that if this was just some stupid prequel telling us crap we already know and nothing else, I would ream this game a new one in a way that Square Enix would feel.  I’m happy to say that this prequel challenged my skepticism.  It’s not perfect, but for the flaws it has, it has some things done better.  Let’s talk about it.

This game is still a prequel.  Set four years before the events of the original game, we see a much younger and much more vulnerable Chloe.  She’s trying to get into a concert where a band who is weirdly playing the tune of another band (did the actual band not want their name associated with this game?  You’d think they at least would have had to have the song licensed, so why not just play as yourselves?  Odd).  After getting in trouble, it’s here that we see her meet Rachel Amber, the most popular girl in her school.  From there, our young protagonist gets involved in a new life of freedom, friendship, and maybe something more.

There’s a lot to say about this prequel, and it’s a lot of the same stuff one could say about the original game.  For starters, the dialogue is just as bad as the first episode of the last game.  Maybe this is a trend with this game.  I don’t know who their writing staff is, but no teenager anywhere talks like this.  But just like the original game, that grows on you after a while.  It sure as hell grew on me.  So there’s that.

The visuals are much better.  They’re using the Unity engine, and it really stands out.  The faces in-particular.  My biggest complaint with the original game was that the faces were so inexpressive.  Better facial animation would have made some of the best scenes of dialogue even better.  Here, there is much more expression, and it makes the dramatic climax of the episode really good.

One thing I do miss is that the time powers are gone.  Now, instead of being able to rewind and make a choice about whether or not you want to follow through with something, you have to basically own it.  Not gonna lie, that does bother.  You also can’t restart episodes from various chapters.  That’s kinda frustrating too.  Here’s hoping future episodes fix that.  But you do have some new mechanics.  Like this back-talk mechanic that makes no sense in reality but it is kinda cool that you get to play mental games with people.

Let’s talk about the characters.  There are some REALLY weird voice-actor changes that totally take away from characters.  For example – David.  I grew to like him at the very end when you finally see under the hood of his mental problems if you tell him that Mr. Jefferson killed Chloe and he shoots him.  Whoever they got to replace him as a voice actor does NOT sound at all like a torn-up veteran.  The first guy they got was a douche, but you believed he’s a tormented veteran haunted by what he saw.  This guy sounds like a fucking doofus.  There is no presence with this guy.  Same with the dude they got to replace William.  I can at least forgive that because you only see William in dreams.  His weird speech patterns fit with the scenes they are in, but still.

Ashly Burch is back to play Chloe, and I genuinely do like her character more.  It’s pretty clear that the voice actress is older, but the performance feels more genuine.  Stereotypical punk Chloe is cool and kinda hot, but young and vulnerable Chloe is genuinely more interesting.  One of my biggest complaints from the first game was the fact that we never got to meet Rachel Amber, since I assumed that the power Max had has some connection with her.  Thankfully, I at least know that’s right.  But that gets into spoiler territory for this game.

Something I’d like to add is that there is one genuine improvement over its predecessor.  So many choice-based games make it so that the choices feel meaningless.  This episode doesn’t!  There are a ton of variations, little things that change in scenes because of choices you make.  It was surprising when I’d go through the same scenes over again and have them play out differently because of things I’d done.  That’s pretty cool.  It gives me some hope that the decisions I make in the end will actually amount to something.

Overall, this game is about growing up.  It’s about Chloe accepting that her dad is dead and making a new friend and how she can’t deal with how alone she is.  We also get to peek into the life of a character who I always wanted to meet.  But I am glad to see that it isn’t just a prequel to stuff we already knew.  They actually go back even further than recent history and give us some stuff.  We get some hints as to the nature of the supernatural in Arcadia Bay, which I am desperately hoping they run with.  I’m curious to see where this goes, and while I do hate how much Max gets shit on, we have two new characters to see where things go.

Final Verdict
7 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

15 Characters Some Idiot Thinks are Offensive (A response to Chris O’Connell)

That’s a pen name, by the way.  This person is so ashamed of what pathetic click-bait this is that they don’t want to have their real name associated with it.  It seems that they want to talk about 15 characters in games that Sony has made who are just so offensive.  There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s get right down to it.  Here’s a link to the article, so you can see the stupid for yourself.  Let’s rip this to pieces.

15. Ivy Valentine (Soul Calibur)

Regardless of what the developers claim, Ivy’s outfits keep getting skimpier and skimpier, calling more attention to her looks than her actual fighting prowess. Yes, she is one of the best fighters in the series, but the developers can’t get past the horny teenager shtick.

From a purely practical standpoint, Ivy’s outfits are crazy. Not only are they not practical, no human on earth could keep them on standing still, let alone pulling off the moves Ivy does.

Yes, let’s castigate her lack of realism here.  The character who uses a sword that can extend into shapes and is possessed by demonic energy for the lack of realism in her outfit.  Also, what’s the problem with making her sexy?  The lack of realism in her outfit doesn’t mean shit to me.  Yeah, the boobs would fall out.  I don’t play video games expecting perfect realism.  If that were the case, then The Last of Us would have ended with Joel not ever being able to get a car because gasoline does spoil, believe it or not.  It’s something that literally EVERY post-apocalyptic game, film, and TV show gets wrong.  Without exception.

There is nothing wrong with making Ivy hot.  My girly-mate Quinn said she wants to motorboat those tits as much as any guy.  Turns out, lesbians exist.  I know the SJW camp wants to pretend they exist, or not let their opinions into the conversation by saying it’s made for men (that’s so homophobic, when you think about it).  Ivy is in control of her sexuality.  Her character is aware of how hot she is.  She views the whip-like nature of her blade in a very dominatrix way.  Plenty of women like to be the Dom in their relationship.  Are you saying their sexual choices are bad?

14. Sheva Alomar (Resident Evil 5)

Their entire argument for how she’s offensive is a clothing option you can unlock.  They completely gloss over how she is a badass and tough character, all so they can rag on the fact that you have an outfit to unlock that’s risque.  This was such pathetic click-bait.  I am more ragging on this article for the garbage it is so I can get some rage I have been bottling today off my chest.  Roll with it.  They actually do make an argument that her character is bland and virtually non-existent.  A sign that this guy has never played this game.  Is she clearly a side-kick?  Yup.  But she is still a tough fighter and serves a role in the story.  She’s not the co-op partner in Halo, who just is a phantom that disappears with each cutscene.  Seems by saying her character is non-existent that you are the one reducing her to how she looks.  Kinda sexist.

13. Rikku (Final Fantasy X)

This is the one that really pisses me off.  They are showing her from X-2!  They only talk about her look in X-2!  Yeah, I have my problems with that looks too.  It’s stupid.  I genuinely love her character in Final Fantasy X!  Her character, worldview, look, and her culture’s atheism are some of the best parts of the game.  Rikku is a likable girl who is bubbly as a cover for some deep problems with the world and a thinking mind that is trying to find a way to save her cousin.  But all this bullshit article can do is focus on her outfit and they don’t even put the right goddamn title on the game!  Fuck this article!

12. Quiet (Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain)

Sexy woman bad!  It really is amazing how SJWs basically treat any woman who is even a little sexy as wrong.  I have to wonder what they do when they see women who want to show their bodies off.  Like a girl I know.  She works hard to stay in shape, and she likes to show her body off in very revealing outfits.  She’s not a model, but with how hard she works to be in shape and how unabashed she is about her sexuality, I can’t help but think that people who think like the asshole who wrote this article would say they are wrong.  No wonder they don’t have a problem with Islam.  Just admit that you want women in a burka and be done with it.

11. Larry (Leisure Suit Larry Series)

Yes, Leisure Suit Larry is offensive.  Anyone who plays these games knows that.  And how is this on Sony?  The biggest game in this franchise was for PC.

10. Duke Nukem (Duke Nukem Forever)

This article isn’t even trying anymore.  And again, why should Sony feel bad for it?  The developers of the game should feel bad because they created a piece of trash.  It’s a bad game.  Everyone in gaming admits that it’s a bad game.  No one likes this game.  But Duke was always meant to be offensive and over the top.  Who is surprised by this?  Toddlers?

9. Auntie Poulet (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City)

Fun fact: Auntie Poulet is voiced by Miss Cleo. That is where the fun ends with this offensive character. Auntie is a voodoo priestess stereotype that has Tommy Vercetti kill Cuban NPCs for her after drugging him.

Auntie Poulet leans into the whole voodoo stereotype to the point where she becomes unbelievable as a character. It is ridiculously over the top and offensive. Women from Haiti are not all voodoo priestesses that use their magic to get their way.

What the fuck are they even talking about?  Who thinks that all Haitian women are voodoo priestesses?  Where the fuck does this “stereotype” exist?  Nobody thinks this!  And the stereotype about voodoo priestesses is that…they drug characters…and have them kill criminals to help them?  I don’t get it.  This article has really lost the plot here.  And so far as I remember, this game was also multi-platform.  How is this Sony’s fault?!

8. The Women Of Killer Is Dead (Killer Is Dead)

A game from a company know for making games that hold nothing back and are more than a little sexually empathetic is bad because you can have sex with women in it!  Yeah, this guy wants chicks to wear burkas.

7. Ashley (Resident Evil 4)

Although not as sexual as Sheva, Ashley does not help the Resident Evil franchise. The president’s daughter is a damsel in distress that the player begins to loather not only for her vapid, tasteless portrayal, but also because saving her butt is frustrating and infuriating.

Damsels in distress are an unfortunate video game staple that demeans women and is offensive. Ashley is the most pathetic version of this trope. She can barely stand on her own two feet, let alone stop from being taken repeatedly. It is really upsetting to watch as such an underdeveloped character drives the plot. After recovering Ashley for the tenth time, the gamer wishes she could at least hold a gun, for women and sanity’s sake.

What the retard who wrote this (and clearly just took lines from Anita Sarkeesian’s old series of videos) fails to realize is that we hate Ashley not because of some bullshit involving a trope.  We hate her because her AI is poorly programmed and she can only be kidnapped or killed.  Yeah, saving her is a pain in the ass.  It’s bad partner AI.  I am really regretting responding to this.  It’s basically like debunking the watered-down version of an Anita Sarkeesian clone.

6. James Earl Cash (Manhunt 2)

Manhunt is not meant for the faint of heart. That is why parent groups wanted to never let it see the light of day. The game forces the player to take part in the brutal killing and torture of any enemy Cash can get his hands on. The violently sadistic nature of each kill leaves little to the imagination.

Cash is an offensive character because how he disposes of each enemy. The snuff film angle really has not been replicated since the second entry in the series. You could say he is being told to do such things by the Director, but how quickly Cash takes to it all is in his nature. Cash was created to be the gamers vehicle into this world of gore.

I swear, this idiot who wrote this is so close to being close to the point without it going right over their head.  Yeah, Cash is a violent degenerate.  He’s a psychopath who does horrible things for the sake of a narrative.  That was the point.  Rockstar wanted to make a game so violent that it was piss people off.  Players ate it up because they understood that this game is just a twisted way to get some crazy out on digital people.  It’s like how people listen to those ASMRs about having a girlfriend to simulate a relationship.  You get to have some emotional catharsis and no one is actually hurt in the process.  How did this point escape this retard?

5. Sammy Wasabi (Freaky Flyers)

There are no good characters in Freaky Flyers, as the stereotypes are laid on pretty thick in this game. Sammy Wasabi might be one of the worst one though. Sammy Wasabi is a horrible Asian stereotype that has buck teeth and flies a plane called the Kamikaze Express.

I did a little research on this one.  What’s the problem with this guy?  There is this huge intro about how he is a genius.  He’s got a ton of accomplishments to his name at a young age.  He is a fun character.  Not to mention, are we not going to point out that the clearly American characters in this game are made to be the stupidest people you can possibly imagine?  Is this all exaggerated stereotypes, sure.  But they clearly are not above making every character a stereotype in the negative.  I half-expect the black chick I saw in the trailer for the game to call the guys she kicks the shit out of “suga.”  If a game is honest about what it is doing, I don’t see the problem.

I’m sure the argument is that if we perpetuate these stereotypes, it will make people more racist.  I can see this guy, and I don’t think that all Asians have broken Engrish and buck teeth.  In an age before everyone was some butthurt pussy who needs to have their ideas constantly validated, I bet there were plenty of Asians who saw stuff like this as amusing as I do the fact that the Americans in this game are stupid as fuck.

4. Barret Wallace (Final Fantasy VII)

Although he is the first black character in the series, he is unfortunately a walking stereo-type from his mannerisms, lack of intelligence, and over the top speech. Japanese developers have continually had a hard time portraying other races in a positive light. In fact, that might be an undertone throughout this list. Barret might be the most infamous example of a Japanese developer trying to create a Western black man for Western audiences.

Barret is one bad mothereffe, but that does not make up for his representation. His tattoos and Mr. T like appearance are just the cherry on top of this sundae. Gamers grew to look past his exterior as they progressed through FFVII. He is a solid character underneath it all, but first impressions matter, and this one was super offensive.

I’m calling it!  This was written by a person who never played ANY of these games.  Wanna know how I know that?  Because Barrett is a bad motherfucker and everyone who plays the games knows it.  He has a cybernetic arm that can be upgraded with better weapons.  He’s the leader of a resistance (or some might say eco-terrorist group) group and you know that he is a boss from the moment you meet him.  I love that they got that right in the new version of him in the remake that I’ll never play because fuck Square Enix and their episodic bullshit with this game.  I’ll wait for the full version to come out.  First impressions don’t mean shit.  If that was the case, then I’d think Tidus in Final Fantasy X was nothing but a whiny bitch, or Balthier is a Han Solo rip-off.  It’s what’s under the skin that matters.

I hate these Sarkeesian wannabes and their bullshit arguments.  Context matters!  Character matters!  These people say it doesn’t.  I fucking hate that.  By that logic, you can easily write off pretty much every character I like.  By that logic, Joel is the worst person ever in The Last of Us, because he is an asshole who is gruff and violent.  But then you get to know him and see the forces at work inside him which as you understanding by the end why he chose to sell humanity up the river to save Ellie.

The last entries are all from games I’ve never even heard of, but trust me, it’s all bullshit.  We’ve seen up to this point that these people castigating conservatives is funny, because their views on how women match up real nice with Islam’s, and their views on race end right where the skin does.  Hell, they even said it.  They don’t care about what’s underneath that.  It’s all about how the person looks.  These people are sexist, and racist.  Fuck that noise!

Until next time, a quote,

“For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” – H.L. Mencken

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: BioMutant: Gameplay Trailer

I first heard about this the other day, when a leaked image showed a one-eyed cat person holding a sword.  And immediately I wanted to know more.  2017 has been kind of a slow year for gaming, but it’s clear that the best is yet to come.  2018 already has some big things in its roster.  There’s the God of War reboot, Insomniac’s Spider-Man game, and now we have a game which is being advertised as a kung fu game with furry creatures, guns, and mechs.  All of these things sound good to me.  And this trailer, while definitely leaving me wondering a lot of things, has at least got me intrigued.  Let’s take a look.

We begin seeing a little robot grasshopper.  That’s kinda cute.  It hops away to its master, a furry creature waving its hand over a pool of what looks like nuclear waste.  I’m assuming the title ties in to that.  What is the story with this universe?  I’m hearing that it’s some kind of post-apocalyptic sorta place, but that doesn’t jive.  There are places in this game’s world that look like real world dilapidated places.  Is the story here that the mutant ooze turned animals into kung fu furries?  You know…I can dig it.  This game clearly is meant to make little sense, so let’s go with it.

Our little furry friend then has a giant furry monster show up looking to mess up his day.  Pulls out a pistol, but that doesn’t help.  Then we see him whip out a katana and charge it up.  Game on!  But really, the gameplay section is the part that got my attention more.

There are good parts, and there are bad parts.  The good parts are the environment.  This is definitely not maximum fidelity, but you know what, that’s fine by me.  I kind of miss the undercooked look of RPGs from back in the day.  Has it really been so long.  And it won’t be too demanding on my hardware.  Still got the first generation PS4.  I also know that high fidelity doesn’t always mean great content.  My favorite game of this year is perfectly capable of running on the PS3 (which it was also released on) and was damn-near flawless.  I’m willing to give this game a chance.  But the water looks amusingly low-tech, not gonna lie.  Oh well, the sunsets are glorious.  Plus, seeing how you get around is very fun.  You can fly in giant dirigibles, use gliders that remind me of the one Aang had, or even board a jet-ski!  Very nice.

I love this little section where you have your furry friend inside a mechanical hand walking around and then transforming into a finger pistol and shooting things.  It’s a sign that this game isn’t going to take itself too seriously.  Have mechanics that are silly and maybe a little stupid.  After all, is the finger robot wind-up?  That looks like a wind-up thing on its back.  Cute.  As is how some of the little furry friends you come across method of speech.  Seems they are taking cues from 90’s platformers, like Banjo Kazooie.  Interesting.

Something that does make me wonder is the combat.  How is this going to work?  What are the mechanics?  They are saying this game will use martial-arts, gunplay, mech combat, and customizable weapons.  That’s am ambitious roster to have.  I honestly wonder how that will pan out.  Is there a HUD?  If this game is trying to hang its hat on deep combat, getting to see more of how that worked would have been nice.

All-in-all, I’m curious.  An open-world RPG with furry creatures fighting with katanas, guns, and mechs has all the ingredients for one hell of a game.  Apparently the studio making this is THQ Nordic.  Didn’t THQ go under?  Someone let me know what the story of this is in the Comments.  I’m gonna wait for reviews, but I think this game is going on my Most Anticipated Game of 2018 list, when it comes out.

Initial Verdict
Promising

Peace out,

Maverick