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Introduction

Version 2.12

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Alright. So.

Hey! I can do this now!

If you’re reading this, then congratulations. I guess. There was a time where this was my refuge from a tunneled out VGF Blog web page with my plan being to shift onto a new website called Writscrib as Tumblr sucked and still does. WELL… Writscrib shut down and Tumblr would probably say I’m inappropriate for advertisers. So… this is pretty much my permanent residence barring some shiny new website showing up.

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Personal, Moral, and Societal: Motivations in Video Game Stories

Or why kidnapping plots are an easy way to invest an audience, pretty much.

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!

Originally, I had this idea on a very controversial subject: Specifically, the depictions of Nazis in video games and how touchy people get about it despite it being a failed ideology and is held up by the sort of people they’d have put a bullet between the eyes of in their heyday. But then… hey my main talking has nothing to do with that and I find it more interesting. I guess I could just put up other examples and skirt that issue. Yeah, maybe I should have done that.

Heh.

Wolfenstein Youngblood isn’t very good. It threw away the last vestiges of subtlety the games have had up to this point in order to embrace the rocking 80’s aesthetic and required multiplayer. Ignoring the gameplay, which according to reviews isn’t very good either, the plot attempts to have a continuation of its alternative history where the Axis Powers won World War 2 which was then followed by Germany pounding Italy and Japan on the head to get full control thanks to supreme tech advancements. However, rather than the previous games’ B.J Blazkowicz or his now wife Anya Oliwa, the game centers on his two daughters Jess and Soph. Unfortunately, they are so bombastic and one-directioned that if you teeter from the narrow demographic this game attempts to aim for with them, you will tumble straight into Cringe Canyon from which there is no escape. It wants you to just hoot and holler, kill Nazis and throw up devil horns because it’s a multiplayer game, I guess. Here’s an example if you want to see what I mean. In one of your first interactions with a “Nazi” the game basically decides that he has to die because of his title when, even by this point in the story, Nazis currently control a lot of the world and run the sort of regime where you either lace up boots as a Nazi or get stomped on by their feet, meaning you’re probably killing a lot of people who are only doing their job because it’s this or death. It’s the sort of discussion that can be seen as “dangerous”. Hell, Nazi killing was made a selling point in Wolfenstien to the point that you have to wonder if the dev team is made up of people bullied by fat race realists or something. But ironically, the game’s attempt to get you into the mindset of the protagonists fighting the system is by using a societal goal to put you into their… armor?

1,2,3,4. I declare a stab war!
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Shovel Knight, The Warriors, and Retaining Nostalgia

We’re gonna take you back to the past… To play some s**tty games that suck ass!

Sit back and let me tell you about shoveled knights!

I did a discussion on, like, sincerity in creating media before. This, therefore, gives me carte blanche to do another article on a vague topic found in many works of art and or media: Nostalgia! It’s everywhere you have been at some point previous to where you are currently. Ate catfish as a child? Maybe eating catfish now will remind you of those good times! Liked watching Terminator? Well here’s a sequel hoping to recapture that old memory! Got spanked as a child? That’s probably why you have your sex partner spanking you nowadays! You bad boy. You probably deserve it too, you naughty naughty child 😉

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Tokimeki Memorial and the Foundation of Visual Novels

Game Saved.

(Gif from escafloozy)

This is a topic I’ve been wanting to touch on for a little while now thanks to a number of reasons. Reading up on some, discussions on how bad some are… Not meaning to turn this into an advertising for Visual Novels like I did a while ago for ROMhacks, so this one has a more narrow focus. Still, I find Visual Novels to be a sort of medium that allows for exposition heavy worlds to exist in the interactive space and allow the imagination to take hold. At worst, it’s more a case for someone to waste your time with bad writing that they can’t get anyone else to animate or act out. But, primarily, visual novels have far more of a reputation to portray pornography or at the very least focus on romance more than anything. This isn’t a reprehensible thing as it’s an easy goal to achieve. Or so you think. Like anything else, the chance for failure can easily be underestimated and the holes are unseen. As such, many that attempt to jump into the genre can very easily get a bad idea of what this genre is capable of. So… what does make a good visual novel? Well, heck if I know certain but I can talk about why Tokimeki Memorial works, and why the attempt to westernize the series as “Brookmore High” didn’t work. Maybe we can bring everything together.

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Mortal Kombat 11: Where Are They Now

Part 3 of my extensive coverage that may very well lead to comparisons between Reptile and Marie Curie. Stay tuned!

So, here’s something I didn’t notice initially: I’ve been sort of focusing on Mortal Kombat without fully realizing it. The first article (in which I pontificated on why I think Mortal Kombat stood the test of time against everyone else that copied them) was made before MK11 was even revealed. The second was my critique of Netherrealm’s design capabilities in which I said that their skill in designing characters has more or less been a case of luck more than actual skill. Then I made another article on character design in general… But I never really thought about doing an article on MK11. I did the same thing, making an article on DoA 6 before it came out but never went back because other than saying “I was right” there wouldn’t be anything of worth. Mostly, I was never planning to buy and try MK11, because Mortal Kombat was never my cup of tea, and even if it was there’s been a ton of microtransaction bulls**t thrown in that I’d rather never do that. But someone wanted me to return into this game and see how the designs of MK11 fare in my mind compared to the past: If the backbreaking abuse inflicted on contractors has improved or taken away from these characters old and new.

Ha Ha.

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AM2R and the popularity of ROM Hacks

Remember the Gym Leaders of Kanto? Well now they all have Gen 7 Pokemon. Go Wimpod!

(Credit to PC Denjin for this gif)

Encroaching into some serious “STFU” territory here, but for a lack of topics on my mind has brought this idea. ROMhacks are not necessarily fan game projects exclusively, but generally they are modifications of an existing game, using the mechanics and structure to make something as unique as it can be. Sometimes its changes in graphics, sounds, or text but in other cases it can be a complete change of the game itself. Basically, imagine an expansion pack made by fans of the game. A Super Mario Galaxy 2 made by fans of the game, to put it in simple terms. Naturally, the legality of such endeavors depends on who owns the original work and their stance can change entirely on what is convenient at this particular moment. However, I am decidedly pro-ROMhack and I have no problem taking that stance to my grave if so desired. However, I’m not going to be the one that gets someone in trouble, so while I am playing a ROMhack that brought me to this topic (a Super Mario World hack called JUMP 1/2), I put Another Metroid 2 Remake in the title for the sake of what little protection I could offer.

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YIIK and Silent Hill Homecoming: The Postmodernist Viewpoint

That’s a YIIKs from me, fam.


Image taken from @TheLordOfLard on Twitter

This image is a quote from the director of YIIK: A Postmodern RPG. Andrew Allanson’s passion project centered in rural America during the late 90’s focusing on Alex Eggerton’s return to his home town where he comes across a strange dimension filled with monsters, gains new friends, and deals with the hi-jinx that ensue as a result. You probably don’t need me to say this as you can kind of infer it from the quote, but it didn’t do so well critically. It was lambasted, torn to shreds, and despite the team behind it believing this game would pull turn based RPGs into the future, most saw it as a list of what not to do. However, the picture is only part of it. The quote is a little out of context and isn’t made entirely out of malice. Andrew’s reasoning is that people want flawed characters but only to a degree that saving the world justifies who they are. His influences for this main character is supposedly taken from authors like Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club and Invisible Monsters and Haruki Murakami who made works like 1Q84 and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles.

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Character Design and Personal Taste

I know it doesn’t SOUND like video games, but work with me here.

Man, I knew I forgot to do something.

So, last month I made a post on Mortal Kombat’s character design process. However, I totally forgot part of it, and since deleting and rewriting that thing to be even longer would be more laziness than usual I’m going to expand what I’ve wanted to say and put more into it. I pointed this out in that previous blog post, but discussing the ideas behind character design is practically impossible with just about anyone. No one wants to point out how a character’s use of one weapon or another or use of outfit speaks to their character. It’s sex appeal or nothing. Either it’s a cult-like chant to demand Jax dress in a burqa at all times, or they begin humping Kratos from God of War, drooling and obsessing over their sexual fantasies with that character. I’m only kind of joking with these comparisons. Kind of.


These pixels… they are nipple pixels. The horror.
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