Saturday, 21 August 2010

Lets Talk About: Heroman

Well, to be honest I really want to do another lets watch series. The problem is there's literally nothing worth watching at the moment, not even to make fun of it. Oh sure you say, there's plenty of anime from the past you could do... but come on... I've pretty much watched all of them and I really dislike rewatching things. So it's got to be new.

For a long time now I've been waiting for Heroman to get back into it's stride so I can make fun of it again. I mean, I only did like what? 13? 12 episodes? This is apparently a 26 episode series and we've already hit 21....

I have no idea what they were thinking when they made all these other episodes.

It's kinda funny actually, you'll be told to watch all kinds of series because even though their opening is weak... it gets better later. There's of examples of this, and people willing to trudge through are usually rewarded for their efforts. Heroman's strange in that it does the complete opposite of this... The start is the best, and the rest is just awful.

To get a better understanding of what's going on, listen to this-

As you should know most hero story's start out small, getting used to their powers and slowly ramping up the enemies. This is the start bit that's awful, because there's literally nothing interesting you can do with it... Because your the power rangers at this point.

After this the main main villain is usually introduced, and we start having an actual story that spans lots of episodes.

Heroman has done the complete opposite of this. We've already had the main villain appear, so now were going through this character building phase... and it's just... What? Really? If you were gonna do this you really needed to do it at the start or not at all.... I'm serious, forgo the whole character development... because your not good at it and nobodies interested... just... keep rolling out ridiculous and never explained plots like the giant pinballs (Yes, even though they were kinda important, we have not heard a single thing about them for some time).

I feel like this anime could have easily tried to go the Gurran Lagann route, by just ramping the awesome up more and more with each episode (Or in Heromans case the retardation). But the instant the bad guy... from space (This is important) is defeated... were suddenly contending with very.... earthly problems... That's called a downgrade, you can't do that, it doesn't work.

Honest to god I was expecting something ridiculous like Kogorr's brother coming to earth and vowing retarded vengeance upon his killer (Which is funny, cause Kogorr killed himself). Then there's nothing else about space... It's like putting a single cherry on your pudding... it's a pudding! Not a salad! Go all the way!

Oh sure there building up to something... but... why? Why build up? Why not just take the plunge? Were here to have fun? Not to wonder how the aliens retarded technolgy works.

See if I had my way, what would have happened next is Kogorr's brother would have appeared, had a good old brawl... And then a cyborg Kogorr appears! Who calls himself Mecha Supreme Kogorr!

I mean come on... That was easy and instantly awesome... This isn't hard!


There might be a silver lining, Iron Man the anime will be coming out soon... and you'll be damn sure I'll follow that.

Oh, I hope it's retarded.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Dead Space

Ok, here's another of my little gaming embarrassments,

I can not deal with scary games.

I think I did talk a little about this during my bioshock talks, but lets go again. I really can't deal with them. When your watching something scary that's not so bad, I mean you might jump a little but otherwise? It's just pretend.

When I play games I get really into them. It's not my character in their fighting monsters, that's me. So stuff that would normally only kinda creep you out makes me completely wig out. One thing that helps keep me out of that, and treating it like a game, is if I have a friend with me for the ride.

Tell me, did you think Dead Space was easy?

If so, you clearly did not do what me and my friend did.

He was the mouse, I was the keyboard. Imagine that for a moment, you can't control what direction your facing, only which way you step. We had to play on easy just to make it doable, cause you die when you stop working perfectly together.

Anyway, that's not actually what I wanted to discuss, I wanted to talk a little about Dead Space 2.

Looks great, I probably won't play it... But it looks great. But an interesting shift in narrative has taken place, where before the main character was silent... now he talks.

There's alot of complaining going on and you have to give it... if you suddenly change something people will complain. But I think alot of people are missing an important point. In a game that wants to have horror elements you need characters to relate to, and to express your fear along with. I think not having a talking character in the first game was a mistake.

If you want proof of what I'm talking about check out some gameplay of Dead Space: extraction. All the characters talk and I thought it was pretty good. My favourite bit is the first chapter when your a simple miner going completely insane.... When stuff first goes weird you don't know if people are turning into monsters or if you've gone insane and your just killing people now. That's interesting... and the easier way to pull it off is if the character talks.

(Of course, a legendary designer would find a way of getting that across with only visual clues... But that takes some serious above and beyond talent to pull off correctly)

Plus whenever there's a new voice in any game I find people complaining. What's the matter? Do you not like the concept of talking? Does an audible language offend you?

Thursday, 12 August 2010



Monday, 9 August 2010

God Damn You Bioware...

Ok, seriously, you need to stop doing that. It was fine the first time, we were all very impressed... it does not mean you should do it a second time...

Now you might be wondering what I'm talking about... Why? Aren't you psych yet? You... Eh... your just making my life harder.


I think everyone should know Mass Effect by now, right? Good game right? No arguments here. Dragon age? That was a good game too.

Bioware, there both good already... you don't need to make them the same godamn game.

Oh you think I didn't notice? This trend your starting to follow? I'm calling it now, Biowares games are going to slowly look more, play more, and seem more like Mass Effect. Why? Well thats easy, cause Mass Effect sells bitchs.

For a long time people have been fighting against, and accepting the concept that Pc gaming has been dieing. However both sides are only half right. PC gaming is not dieing, but pieces of it are... because it's changing, and has been for a long time now. Despite whatever contempt you have for them, the fact is games can sell really well on consoles. Certain games anyway. And people notice this, their drawn to it... there is no fighting it... They have to go where the big bucks are.

You know what sold really well on consoles? Mass Effect? You know what else did? Dragon Age, and everyone would agree that that was primarily a PC game. Now there have been some pretty nasty rumors going about, how Bioware might be cutting alot of PC features and basically making it a console port instead... If thats true... Well that's a sad day indeed...

But there's something else I wanted to bring up.

In Dragon Age 2 you follow the main character. Important to note this, not your character... but the main character.

....... FFFFFFF-

Basically Bioware have decided to follow the design decision they took with Mass Effect and apply it to Dragon Age, where you follow a premade characters. Now for an RPG this is great on the design floor... I mean, when you can have over 30 different types of characters (race, class, blah blah blah), that's alot of extra dialog you have to go through?

But when you only have one character to worry about? Wow, that's a load off your mind. This is not a decision I'm really behind.

Oh it's so easy to see why Bioware did it... But damn it... This isn't a book, or a film Bioware... This is a game... and games can do things books and films can't... and that's starring everyones own personal character. Why would you throw that away? It's something bold, something that truly marks games above other mediums.

I'm sure the story will be fine, you've proven your not completely stupid when it comes to that (Only sometimes), but this is not the path you should be walking down.

Didn't you say how J-RPG's were bad? And yet here you are, doing the exact same thing they did? The reason I liked western RPG's is because I could make any story I wanted!

Why would you throw that away?

Friday, 6 August 2010

Blizzard: Should I admire you? Or pity you?

An interesting thought hit me today.

I was going over some gamer news, alot of it never really applies to me but I like to know whats going on for when I jump back 'in', when I came across a story about a new blizzard game.

Now what got me thinking was this comment from this clearly cherry eyed youth (In spirit only perhaps) hoping that they come up with something new and innovative. Oh how I wanted to take this person away from this cruel cruel world so no one could hurt them.

Ok, I want you to really think about Blizzard for a moment, especially if your a fan, really think about the sort of games they've made. There is one thing you should notice about all of them, it's not something to be ashamed of... but it is the truth.

Blizzard has never come up with an original idea for a game. No, where blizzards success lies is in taking good games, and refining them to a crisp perfection (For those genres, wither you dislike them or not is not an issue here). There's nothing wrong about that, it's arguably harder to improve something that already exists then to create something (I don't believe that for a second, but that's just me).

It's at this point you should realise the problem Blizzard faces today....

They can never make a new game.

It's gonna be Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo, or nothing.

This isn't a failing on their part, but it is a trap they unknowingly put themselves into. You need to look no further then the new starcraft game or the up and coming new diablo game... fundamentally nothing has changed... because they cannot afford to risk such a move.

Sometime ago I reviewed the new Command and Conquer and told you I had the utmost respect for the guys behind it. The series was running dry anyway, and so they took a gamble... A gamble that was, to some people, a slap in the face of all their old time fans. But at least they tried to do something, even if it was their last gasp in some respects.

Blizzard can't make this gamble, at least not yet. They've basically hit this point where all their doing, all they can do, is refining their old games... but how long will that last? Will someone speak up, and tell them that this time of bliss cannot possibly last unless they take a risk? Or will they all stay silent, and waste away like so many high mountains that came before them? Or worse yet, perhaps they will turn to stone... and only speak when you funnel money into their mouths...

Did you see the parody's of other stuff in Starcraft 2? Is it just some gamers giving elbow nudges to the past? Or a shriek into the wild that says "I don't know what else to add!"? When does parody became a lack of ideas?

I have this image of all the blizzard guys, riding the ship of dreams and success, and reaching their promised land of fame and fortune. It is a grand time, and the party shows no sign of stopping. But one member looks out the door, into the endless sea and asks "Hey... where did the boat go?"