Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Two in One!

Well for the past three days I've missed my blog post, but there is a good reason for this. Let me elaborate:

If anyone in any sort of modern working environment (Or.. eh... "school") says "This is like slavery" I will pull out a whip, WHICH I CARRY AT ALL TIMES, and strike them with it shouting:

"No it is not!"

Unless you have ever worked on an archaeological field trip for weeks or months on end you have barely scratched the surface of what slavery is, of what it is like to do deeming manual labour for hours on ends regardless of weather or pain. When you watch a film that depicts people in slavery you might spar them a comforting thought for their trouble, when I see it my body begins to ache with old pains and I lie on the floor and whisper softly:

"I... I understand my brothers..."

Anyway, moving on, I'm just going to do one big post on three topics I thought you should know about dear reader.

Do pay attention, there will be a test later.

Climatic Endings in Games

Lets get something clear before we begin to discuss. What I mean by climatic ending is the gameplay finale. Now the end of the gameplay can feature a few things, it can either end at the last boss or it end on what I like to call the Fools Ending.

Now I don't doubt many would love to disagree with my unkind naming (We'll get into what it means for me in a moment), but you should note now reader that I do not care what you think. I never have and I never will. Frankly the world to me is a place overs may reside so that perhaps one day they will have the good fortune to gaze upon my brilliance. It is awesome being an ego maniac, I highly recommend it.

The Fools Gold ending is the one where you play out the final scene. It is usually after the boss fight and is normally about the emotional build up of the entire story pivoting on this last scene. It is the last thing the player needs to do to turn the last page and end this story by their own power. Lately developers have discovered that the best way to do this is by using quick time events.

Stop. Doing. It.

The problem you see dear reader is that this sort of ending is the kind certain people use to show that the gap between film and game is becoming thinner all the time. Whats this you say? But James, surely you would approve of this? I mean this can only improve the games story?

Perhaps it can dear reader, but in entirely the wrong direction.

Movies are about characters, even places, and they can explore the deep depths of us as a people. Games have, and will always be about the you. I don't care what you say, at the end of the day a game is about your experiences and no one else's. Even if the plotline is completely linear and controlled so everyone has the same outcome, thanks to gameplay you can have your own personal experiences.

I'm pretty sure that the straight faced, few jokes Chris from Resident Evil ever threw a grenade at Sheva.... But I did.

Honestly, it was hilarious, and I'd do it again in a heart beat. Yet here we are in a cut scene and she doesn't seem pissed at all? She must be pretty forgiving.

This topic actually reminds me of Fallout 3, because in that game you really could have your own experience. My character started out as a bumbling hero who meant well but actually couldn't save many lives until the crushing depression of the wastelands got the better of him and he had an almost divine urge to eat his enemies, but he redeemed himself when he met his super mutant friend and went on super tag team adventures to save what they could of the wasteland... And in the end his gave his life to save the wasteland... and as his vision faded he could make out the image of his father... He died with a warm smile on his face.

My friend on the other hand went completely mad the instant his father disappeared and would swing between honest hero and psychotic murderer. He controlled his lapses by flipping a coin whenever his character met someone new. It was like having two-face as a flat mate and I could only smile at how different his experience was.

Now hold on James, you haven't even said why you've called it the Fools Gold ending? The reason dear reader is because it is a difficult ending to do. No other sort of ending can reveal your writers lack of skill, or in fact in your developers lack of vision then an ending like this. Resident Evil 5 is a good example actually, after you beat the last boss there's one tiny quick time event that completely destroys the flow of the ending for a jarring moment. It required no skill from me other then the ability to press two buttons. All the way through the game your testing your mettle against the zombie horde, refining your tactics and getting better weapons.... and all of it counts for bugger all in that single last moment.

Vikings ending is truely epic... If you like Brain Cancer

Some games have tried to combine the 'cinematic ending' with the boss, but it carries the same dangers the Fools ending has. On the other hand if done right it is truly an epic end. To sum up, a good end boss battle is one that requires skill to win, rather then a mere emotional investment with the story. If it can do both, fair enough, but if the developer goes "Well we want the gamer to feel good about themselves so we'll make the ending easy" then he deserves a slap.

For me a good ending can give me fond memories of a game, and a bad ending can taint the entire experience... Nothing in my eyes can redeem a bad ending.

That's a Good Point But....

I have noticed something reader. I don't doubt its due to my recent turn in studying scientific documents (Or at least I like to think they are) but whenever someone uses information from other sources to make a point, say on the news, in the local paper or in an essay arguing something...

I find myself wondering where their references are.

I mean honestly, if you can't show me where you got your information from then why should I believe anything you say? If you pulled this in any scientific community you'd be laughed at and nick named captain bullshit.

I released I do this now after reading an essay on why pot should be legalised, you know... the same old debate. He had alot to say about old historic figure heads who smoked and I think he said that George Washington of America was one of these, which I find hilarious to imagine. He also had alot to say about the conspiracy by other businesses hemp endangered and how they slowly made it illegal. He had all sorts of facts about how there are no real health risks and so on and I could only think "Well those are some good points you've made, but where are you getting these facts from?"

Suffice it to say he did not include any references in his essays, or any clear indication of where he was getting his facts from. Now I could very easily look this up myself in places not run by people off their heads, or by propaganda machines, or the very misinformed Internet. Of course I don't care enough to bother doing this but it made me think alot about these sorts of arguments.

These arguments can only affect one group, and that is people. It is not a difficult group to manipulate, all you really need is a bit of charisma and know how and your away. This of course is the problem. I could say banana's grow underwater and if I had enough charisma and apparent 'facts' I could get people to believe me. Trust me, people have been fooled by sillier things.

Of course this all happens because normal everyday people sometimes don't question where these facts are coming from.

So dear reader when a fact that relates to your or your views props up that your interested in, find out where their facts come from.... Then actually find out how it was gathered because most likely dear reader, the person quoted was also talking shit.

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