Saturday, 30 October 2010

Lets Watch Ironman: Part 3

Tan: This is it Tony, the latest in EMP technology it's called the-

Tony: Looks stupid.... Make it again.

Tan:.... Tony this took years of development, the shape is crucial to it's functionality.

Tony: Doesn't change the fact that it loos like a retarded Light bulb.

Tan: Ur... Look I got a call.... on my IPHONE!

Yama: Tan! How are you doing? You remember that thing we were making years back?

Tan: You mean the thing that did the thing?

Yama: Yeah... Urmm.... It seems the rest of team have all died... Thought I should tell you just in case.... although I don't think there's anything to worry-


Tan: Hello? You there? Huh that was weird... Tony? Where'd you go?

Iron Man: Tornado, huh? Computer! Give me an analysis!

Computer: Its a... tornado?

Iron Man: For science!
Iron Man: AHHHH! Holy shit!

*Iron man shoots out of the tornado and crashes through a building*

Iron Man: Urrgg....

Computer: Why the hell did you do that!

Iron Man: Blarg.... I shouted for science and everything... was sure that would work...

Computer: What would work? Are you drunk? Hang on, gonna use the suit to give you a breathalyser test and -Holy crap! You are way over the limit for piloting a robot suit! Get out of there right now!

Iron Man: Awww...

Tan: Oh hey Saka, I came to ask about the Tornado thing.

Nan: You guys made a machine that makes Tornado's?

Saka: Yeah that's right. We lost funding so we never used it... I got all the plans in the back.

Nan: Wait.... So.... Anybody could just walk in there and steal your plans for a tornado machine?


Saka: You know too much!

Tan: Oh my god! He's got a gun!

Nan: A laser gun!

Tony: Oh hey there, I got to burn some time until I'm a bit more sober, you need any help around here?

Aid Worker: Your Tony Stark right? We don't need help from a weapons dealer!

Tony: Wait what?...Wait.... Oh I see... Since I used to be an arms dealer that makes me a bad person? Well look here assface! I am a bad person because of my uncontrollable alcoholism, not because of my past careers! You know how rich I am? I was going to call in like hundreds of planes and helicopters to help out here.... I have a button on my phone that summons a circus whenever I want one... In two minuets everyone here could have been watching tigers and elephants and people jumping through fire.... but no. Since you just judged me even before you got to know me you get nothing!

Aid Worker 2: There.... There was gonna be a circus?

Tony: Not anymore chumps... Later.

Tan: So like.... I heard that alot of people died because there wasn't enough aid to go around?

Tony: They had their chance... Didn't you say you got attacked by a guy with a gun?

Tan: He was like 80 years, I kicked his ass.

Tan: Ok Tony, use the new.... redesigned EMP device to shut down the tornado machine.

Iron Man: Still looks stupid!

Gemini: Iron man! So you've-

Iron Man: SLAM DUNK!

Iron Man:Hahahaha!.... 3 points.

Monday, 25 October 2010

The Final Fallacy

Now before I carry on I want to make it clear that it might be unfair of me using Square Enix as an example, I only say this because I haven’t played any of their recent games myself and this post is working purely on hearsay, but a critique was brought up against them recently and I thought it made a good topic.

Now I don’t know if you ever played or heard about Final Fantasy, but for gamer history it was kind of a big deal. Now the latest one came out of a while ago, and a lot of people didn’t like it (I’ve kept away from recent games because they remind me of everything I hate in anime right now). One of the problems someone pointed out was that Square Enix opted for style over substance.

What many final fantasy fans might not release is that the games have always walked the tightrope of style and substance. Many would claim that this ‘decline’ of substance actually started around the most popular one, 7, and continued onwards until the latest one, but these people don’t quite understand what the substance of these later games actually was.

Now you outsiders have an interesting position on this debate, if you’ve heard of Final Fantasy you’ve probably heard a fan’s almost crusader like admiration for their favourite Final Fantasy. But your just sitting there wondering, aren’t they just the same games?

This is the core issue at work here during this debate between the series, everyone, especially the fans, on some level expects them to be the same game.

You see Final Fantasy is a very interesting specimen because despite having so many similarities with each instalment, there all radically different from one another. Each game has a unique theme with which to tell its story, and at the end of the day the debate about which is the best is actually all about this central theme.

For example 8’s central film is friendship and trust, it’s about learning to believe in others and yourself. 9’s is Mortality, the inevitability of death and how the characters interact with that. 10 is all about the sins of the past, how they shape us, and asks, should we suffer for the sins of our fathers?

Now the great final fallacy (Haha, see what I did there?) is the fact that the first one you play is most likely going to be your favourite. After you have a favourite one you’ll expect the others to be much like it. So the reason that there is so much outrage between the games is because most people are expecting a continuation of their central theme, and thus are disappointed when this doesn’t happen. When you first play one you’re usually judging it on its own merits, but the instant you play another your now judging it against the one you like… There is no way to stop this, it’s just human nature.

In many cases you might simply dislike these themes, or not understand that their there at all. For example I really really dislike 7. I played it, and I hated every moment of it. I was never going to like 7 because my heart already belonged to another, and I was never going to give it a chance.

But this doesn’t just apply to the theme you see, it applies to every single aspect of these games. The graphics are different, the visual style, and even the gameplay is always different in some way… and it’s hard to not be disappointed that it’s not just all the same. I think the best example of this is the character Sid… In final fantasy Sid is always a character, there’s always someone called that, but his role in each game is usually vastly different… from being a background character, to a side char, to a main one, to even a player character… This is the point I’m trying to make, in many ways the Final Fantasy games are the same, but in just as many ways their very different.

At the end of the day this is what separates the fan base and it’s not something easy to admit to yourself. You might think to yourself “Duh I already knew this” but you need to have a good long look at yourself… no weaselling out of it, and understand that you do this and you are not correct in any way for doing it. By simple human nature it is very hard to comprehend that you could be mistaken, and that your opinion might have no merits what so ever.

Another complaint that rises up often between the games is the fact that the main character is annoying and dumb, or that some other character is annoying. First of all you don’t truly understand what annoying is if this gets you riled up, you think to yourself that there’s no way there could be anyone more annoying than this. You are wrong. Perhaps you thought Jar Jar Binks was f*** annoying, but you took solace in the fact he’s not real… and then you will meet that person who is just like him… and your faith in humanity will die that day….


You might think that this critique doesn’t apply to your favourite main character, but it probably does. There would be no character growth if there were no failings, so they have to be annoying or dumb in some regards. Perhaps you were upset that the latest characters look like wimpy girls? News flash, if the hardware had allowed it that’s probably what all the characters would look like. Did you not see that amazing wind like art that *is* Final Fantasy? If you’re thinking your 2d characters were immune to that you’re wrong, that’s exactly how they would have looked.

Alright so hopefully we now all understand a little more about the Final Fantasy games, but we still need to talk about the latest one. Now as I’ve already said I haven’t played it so I can’t be sure… But from what I’ve heard I think I’d agree that the latest one has chosen style over substance and not released what a mistake that was. If you look seriously at the final fantasy series the gameplay and the story have largely been two separate entities… they might have crossed over here and there but largely the context of the gameplay makes no sense in the context of the story.

Now you might be thinking, how would that work? Surely that hurts the whole game? But actually if anything it might have been FF’s greatest strength. I mean think about it for a second… you can tell any story you want… but have any sort of gameplay that you want. For a game designer this must be great, because you’re not limited to the rules of the setting and can go bat bananas with the gameplay (Which is why the characters can summon meteors, but when the story comes around suddenly giant robots worry them).

To me it seems like the latest FF has tried to merge the story and the gameplay and discovered that if you do this you are limited by the setting, which could be one of the many reasons they chose to take out lots of gameplay features. But I don’t really know.

The point I'm trying to make is that Final Fantasy fans are insane, and you should stay away from them.

... Myself included.

(Man, you don't even know.... When someone says something bad about the FF I like I become F***ing irrational... I can not control it at all)

Episode 3

You know…

At the moment I’m trying to get back into console games (I.e. By fixing my Ps3) and so I make sure to keep up with the latest news so I’m not left behind. So I’m looking over the news and Value announce their releasing this new game… I don’t normally care about this sort of thing because the only valve game I like is portal, but it’s hard not to notice something in any of the responses following these announcements.

Episode 3.

God damn you people sound like a broken record about this shit.

It’s a weird thing to do with human nature, but at the suggestion of a new thing that you like it suddenly becomes as important as your human rights. For some reason you’re no longer looking forward to it, but now you’re entitled to it.

So haters gonna hate.

Whenever I see this I just want to sit these people down and talk about two things…

One: Development cycles of ‘epic’ games have shot through the roof, Blizzard has proven that you can spend 12 years without a sequel and it will still be successful. If episode 3 is going to be as good as you somehow believe it will be, it probably needs a long time to make.

Two:… This is my preferred response… Valve doesn’t care about Half-Life at the moment. This isn’t hard to imagine really, more than any other company at the moment Value still retains alot of its own personal identity. They’re not like the big publishers, churning out sequel after sequel, they can pick and choose what they want to work on and when they want to work on it.

From a creative stand point (The one I’m familiar with) dropping Half-Life is a great choice. Just looking at all the other games Value have released (Not even taking into account Steam) you can tell their spreading their wings and doing things they actually want to do… Half-Life might be there golden child, but like any success story focusing on only one of your hits will get you remembered… for only that. You only need to look around a little to find famous authors etc that are only remembered for one of their works… and how frustrated they were with that.

Besides Gordon Freeman might never talk to the player, but I bet he’s an asshole at work.

KOTOR: Part 2

I think I know the big problem I had with Knights of the Old Republic.

I’ve already gone over how Bioware is unable to do good evil dialogue, and how relying on a single plot twist can destroy the experience for anyone who has it spoiled. But even if they had kept these things, I now realise that it could still have been handled well…

To get to the heart of the issue you need to look at the core theme of Knights of the Old Republic. In a way it’s the core theme for many of Biowares games, wither they realise it themselves or not. You see Bioware is a firm believer in the after effect… I’m not using the right terminology here but you must have heard of the old argument, are you born the way you are? Or is it your experiences that shape you? Bioware is in the latter. Have a good long look at some of the evil characters in Biowares games, you’ll find most of their bad guys are bad for a reason.

From a writing point of view this is a very good route to take, for experiences mean backstory… and that means they become more developed… thus more relatable and therefore more believable. It’s this backstory which gets your audience interested in your characters growth.

It is this concept Bioware handles really badly in KOTOR.

Let me just set up the beginning for you… You wake up in an exploding ship and are very briefly informed that you are part of the republic and that there’s stuff to do so let’s go! Here you can choose to be nice, or bad.

I’ve already gone a little over how being bad pretty much destroys any immersion with the game, but Bioware makes a horrendous mistake here if you know the plot twist. The backstory of your character is given at most, one or two lines… it has no depth what so ever. In most cases it’s expected that the player use their imagination to fill in the holes here, but if you know the plot twist there are no holes…

At the end of the day KOTOR is a story about a second chance, it gives you the option of acting differently from that but as far as the game and the stories canon goes, this is what it’s all about. It’s about being born as a good person, living virtuously, discovering your dark past and choosing to abandon it in favour of your new life.

Most people (My friends are not included) will play the game as generally nice person, and in a way Bioware bets on this. It’s for this reason the games plot twist is highly praised, because most people played the game ‘correctly’.

There are two things Bioware should really have done to make their game much better, and friendlier to people playing during the buzz of spoilers.

The first is to just straight up take out the evil dialogue at the start of the game, not only would you have avoided a lot of awkward and badly written evil dialogue, but it would have given the player time to identify with their character and decide how this ‘second’ life was going to turn out. Even if you knew the plot twist you’d at least be sent through the right door, letting you break the game later.

The second is something Bioware is actually much better at these days, but was really needed in KOTOR. More in-depth backgrounds. A line or two doesn’t cut it, you need a much bigger background if you’re going to get involved in your character. Mass Effect actually does this really well, letting you choose your past career as a soldier.

I know why they would be tempted not to go for the second one, because it has the chance to create plot holes if done badly. Also it is outright tricking your player. I know the whole plot of KOTOR is about tricking the player into making him think he’s something he’s not, but it’s more of “Well, we never really said you ‘weren’t’ this thing…” it’s cheeky but I’d consider it a more socially forgivable trick. But they should have really gone all the way, the more in-depth the background the better the reveal. If you were however spoiled this background stuff would still push you towards making a character that fit the background rather than the ‘real’ one (You’d do this because you’re a story fan, there’s no resisting it).

Because they didn’t do either of these things I was allowed to send the game, the story, and it’s theme way off track.

Having choice in games is good, but when you’re trying to tell a story that only really connects well with one of those choices… it’s frankly a better idea to remove the choice and focus on the theme.

Can I Haz Posts?

Right, so been awhile since I posted...

Yeah I was being lazy.

But I actually do have a backlog of stuff I wanted to post, mostly stuff to do with gaming and etc. I also want to talk about the new fallout game when I get a chance, as its currently a hot topic.

And yes I will do the next Iron Man epi, and yes Tony is still a dick, lol.

Anyway, I'll throw some stuff up in a bit now.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Lets Watch Ironman: Part 2

Kur: Mr Stark.... I want to ask you a serious question.... Did you try to smuggle weapons grade plutonium into Japan?

Tony: Plutonium?

*A few days ago...*

Tony:.... Awww.... I'm so baked right now..... F******.... I still need to get some plutonium for that free energy mathingy... Computer! Order me up some A grade plutonium!

Computer: Sir? Isn't that dangerous... not to mention highly illegal?

Tony: Shuuut uuuuppp! I don't remember programming you to be a bitch!

Computer: Hrmm... No I don't suppose you would.

Tony: Hrmm, nope, doesn't ring a bell.

Kur: Well anyway I need you to head down into the council chambers, you know... just put people at ease.

Government Man: Tony Stark! Did you try to smuggle plutonium into Japan?

Tony: Ahem-

Tony: I'm being set up!

(I seriously had to get a picture of that to prove to you that is what he actually says, half the stuff that makes Tony seem like a dick in this Lets Watch is actually stuff he's doing)

Tony: Oh hey there! Can I get another ride? There are some really pissed off people back there.

Nan: Urr.... Sure.

Tony: Oh wow, this your boyfriend or something?

Mas: Oh no I'm just the-

Tony: Well that's a relief! It'd be awkward to find out that you could no longer pleasure Nan physically after I've worked here. Seriously, years from now she will cry herself to sleep, because she knows whoever she marries will be nowhere near as amazing as me.


Mas: I'm sad now...

Tony: So who's hungry? I'm thinking Taco's.

Nan: Well hopefully the police will find that plutonium soon... Hopefully it'll show who was behind this.

Tony: Oh I've got a feeling no one will ever find out...

Nan: Oh no, if they actually get their hands on it it wouldn't be hard to trace.

Tony:... What?

Nan: Yeah these days dangerous substances like that come with unique atomic codes you can use to track all sorts of things, like buyers for example.

Tony: Stop the f***ing car.

Tony: Computer! Did you put my name down on that order!

Computer: Well of cou-

Tony: Oh you useless piece of crap! I knew I shouldn't have been drunk when I made an AI!.... It's ok, I can fix this.... I just got to get it before the police do...

Iron Man:.... Hey Kur?

Kur: Oh hello Stark-....Are... Are Iron Man right now?

Iron Man: Yeah maybe- Look I went to the ship and I couldn't find any leads, so I was wondering-

Kur: Oh! While you were there did you see any survivors?

Iron Man: Survivors?

*Moments ago*
Survivor: Oh thank god your here! Some weird guys came in and took the plutonium!

Iron man: Don't worry! I'm gonna send for help!

Survivor: Oh thank you Mr Stark! We'll get your plutonium back yet!

Iron Man:.... Oh..... I see..... Hrmmm...

Iron Man: Oh look at that! The ship and all the evidence suddenly exploded!

Iron Man: Nope, no survivors.

Tony: Good thing I can follow the radiation to find those bastards.

Computer: Sir, why are you taking your car, and not the suit?

Tony: Well I never get to drive this thing.... She's been lonely you know.

Terrorist 1: Hahaha! No one can stop us!

Terrorist 2: Hey! Some guy is following us!

Terrorist 1: Ha! What he going to do? Give us a speeding ticket? Hahaha-

Terrorist 1: Oh my god it shoots missiles!

Tony: Shit, missed.... I'll get you yet!

Saku: Hey! Stop destroying things! Stop breaking the Law damn it!

Tony: Haha, silly man, laws don't apply to me.... Now check this shit out-

Iron Man: I'm Iron Car.

Computer: Arrgrggggg.....

Cancer: I am Cancer! A powerful Kn-

Iron Man: PUNCH! Hey guess what!

Cancer: AHHHH! What!

Iron Man: LASERS!


Today's top story, Iron Man retrieves plutonium, Tony Stark quoted:

Tony: I am about to hand it over to the police! Opps! I just shot it into space! I guess we will never know who bought it now! Oh well!

Kur: So.... What did you think of Tony Stark?

Saku: He is an A grade Asshole.