Monday, 27 December 2010

The God Problem

As you know I recently played Prince of Persia, and it's storyline is basically about a dark god escaping his imprisonment. Pretty usual story yes? But it reminded me of an argument I have with myself often (Dont ask), especially after reading or watching a storyline that has gods as a central theme.

When you create a new setting for a story, especially if it's fantasy, you have to ask an important question.... Are your gods real? If you say no you actually save yourself alot of trouble.... because in that case the gods exist as a men believe them too, and in that way they become a kind of mirror of the culture that worships them.

But if you say yes, you've caused yourself a little grief.

The trouble stems from the fact that there is no right or wrong answer.... which means there is a right or wrong answer for your reader. Everyone's set in their ways and has a clear idea how certain things work, or how they should. Religion is no different, it's been one of humanities biggest arguments for a long time. No matter what you do, if you have a god that is real and effects the story in some way (They dont have to be an active deity to have an effect) your probably gonna bump into readers that dislike your vision (Not declaring holy vengeance of course, this is fiction were talking about).

This happens for me alot whenever I read a story that has light handed deity's or heavy handed deity's... Sometimes there is something there that just.... rubs me the wrong way. It's not that there wrong, or that their image could be improved... Perhaps it could have been improved, but the point is I'll look at it and go "Hrmm, dont really like that approach".

In alot of cases I'll dislike it because the gods are too human, or perhaps if there not human enough. My personal belief (Story lines, not religion, Haha) is that a deity should be recognisable as a person, and yet totally unknowable.... So basically somewhere in the middle and far away from one of the extremes.

One of the problems you'll run into in your narrative is when your god does something, but does not deign to answer why they did it. When you have a god that is somewhat active, and in a kind of communication with it's subjects but does not explain it's reasoning always gets on my nerves. This kind of deity does not need to explain its justifications (If it has any) and it's people are like children, not able to comprehend it's vast vision. Yet I feel if your going to mess around with someones life they deserve to know why, and if it's too 'complicated' then at least make an attempt....

Now your probably thinking "Well, their a god, they are above mortals and can do whatever they like" But it's that idea I dislike. If you have gods who can do what they like (Even with limitations) without having to answer for their actions then it belittles the importance of people... Makes them less somehow. Now if thats the aim of your narrative, then go right ahead.... but the trouble is I see this happen alot and almost by mistake, like the writer never thought about the consequences of adding a god that answers to no one but themselves.

For example I recently read a book which had a small Pantheon for these desert people. These gods were very real and possibly the most powerful beings in the world (A world of magic and wizards etc), and yet they were the only ones of their kind. When a neighboring nation came into some big trouble (A dragon that not only breathed fire, but melting acid breath too) these desert people came to them with their sultan and holy man and a small army. Yet there gods would not help this other nation in the way you'd expect, instead it shielded their own people and left the problem to the hero of the story (It was his fault there was a dragon at all). Now these guys did help all the injured people and helped evacuate them... But the thing is the hero begged them to help, and even though they could they left him to face this terrible ordeal alone... To teach him a lesson and give him a chance at redemption...

Yet the way it happened was completely horrible, and they would not say why they would not help. The problems not the way they acted, the problem was who they would help... This other nation had 'gods' but only make believe ones with no power.... no one could come to their aid... And so it almost seems like these desert people horde the power and benefits of their gods to themselves...

This was a world where gods were real, but only helped you if you'd been born in the desert. I'm pretty sure the writer wasn't aiming for something so bleak, but that's what we have... A deity only interested in it's own. For those of you paying attention this is an example of the unknowable deity, who is so far removed from its people they don't even know what their worshipping.

But what of evil deity's? Well you have two kinds, much like villains. Those who are born bad, and those who become it later on. Like the villains they share their birth with, I dislike deity's who are evil just cause. Not because I dislike the black and white of good vs evil but because solely evil deity's promote lazy writing and tend to be handled pretty badly. One's who become evil later on.... Are usually handled pretty badly as well... They usually go bad because they want something (Usually exclusive rights to the world) which comes off as very childish for a supposedly supreme being.

In the Prince of Persia game you have the God of Light and the God of Darkness, and they are brothers. One day the God of Darkness didn't feel like sharing anymore and just started to break everything, so his brother tricked him into a tree. Now an interesting thing that doesn't get explored alot (As far as I know) is the idea of the whole imprisoning and what it means. Think about, these brothers must have existed forever, and while they have their differences in essence their still brothers. One gets out of hand and starts wrecking the party for everyone, and then his brother, who the bad one didn't actually do anything to... seals him away.... forever. If I was the bad brother I'd feel utterly betrayed... that my brother would do something so.... so evil is unthinkable.

Perhaps the God of Darkness was really out of order smashing the world up, but that shouldn't excuse the God of Light of his terrible deed of shutting away his own brother.... If anything in many respects there as bad as each other. Darkness for not playing nice, and Light for not finding a way to balance the problem his brother had created.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Game Review: Prince of Persia (2008)

Now I've not had a good relationship with the prince of Persia games.... Oh there good games, nothing bad about that.... it's just.... As someone who picks apart story lines and notices architecture, the things put int just offended me in very possible way. Don't even ask me about it (Basically none of the traps make any sense in any context).

The newest one in the 'franchise' is detached from the others, and could very well be an another universe for all we know. First off I'd say it's a good game... but it does have problems. Luckily it removed alot of the stuff I couldn't handle in the past games, so I was able to play this without leaving in a huff. The game is very very easy in that you can't actually lose.... But that's not necessarily a bad thing, I'd say this game is perfect for anyone looking to get into games but don't want to have their nuts crushed the instant they have a go.

Another thing people disliked were the characters themselves, and I can't blame them really... It will depend on what your like (For example the main guy is a jerk face, but I am also a jerk face so we got along well). There is of course the undercurrent of romance.... But bad ubisoft, you are clearly terrible at writing romance... flirting does not equal love (This point becomes important because its why the ending is stupid). Interestingly what I thought was the best interaction between the characters is when you can 'choose' to catch the girl after you've jumped down form something.... It doesn't add anything to the game, but I thought the act looked sweet.

Now addressing the easiness of the game... It will be too easy for usual gamers, but I didn't mind so much as I knew what I was getting (Plus it didn't run so good on my pc, so the fact I couldn't die stopped me from rage quitting). The trouble of course with immortality is obstacles are no longer dangers, just time sinks.... As the game goes on it adds more and more, but all it does is slow you down... And there's alot of automatic moving and dangerous things that look like they can get you but never actually can.

If your just looking for a pretty platformer with little hassle, this will work just right.


Okay first one thing I liked that they should have done waaaaaayyyyy more. There's one boss that creates illusions and she kidnaps your girl and plunks down a bunch of copys, when you go near any of them they vanish. The idea is you have to make her do something only she would do.... which is funnily catch you as your falling to your death (I thought it was cool cause I was like.... Wait.... Time for a leap of faith). But that sort of interesting dynamic only happens once.... That is a wasted right there.

Ok so onto the ending. First of all if your gonna make a cinematic boss fight it is important you do nothing that can interrupt the flow of it. If I'm restarting because the game is doing something stupid I'll not be happy about it (Never, Never take the camera away form the player.... I'm just going to jump into walls and kill myself.... A fixed camera in a 3d platformer has never been a good idea, so dont do it).

At the end the dark god is resealed (It's a pretty generic storyline, nothing really special done with it) and all is well expect your girl is dead now.... sacrifice and all that. Now I was told the ending was stupid, but I wasn't quite prepared for how stupid it was. Basically the game forces you (Not in a cutscene, in the actual game) to release the dark god and bring her back to life. Now this is stupid because A. It voids the effort of the entire game B. She is not that likable.... She's nice but she knew what she was doing (and had already died once) and finally C. Your guy at no point does not strike me as the kind of guy that would do that.

I know it's sad that she didn't get the life she wanted (It's not really, poor writing and so on) but she'd already died.... Her time was up even before you met her. He'd clearly let go before (What with being a dashing rouge and so on) so there's no reason he couldn't do it again.

Worse thing is they released an epilogue as DLC, and I watched it (Not buying it, Ha) and it;s an even worse ending.... Not cool. Not cool.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Hype: Anime Winter 2011

Haha, I see what I did wrong folks. I jumped ahead a bit too far, as were still in the winter season.

Well it should hopefully be- OH GOD! It looks aweful!

Rio-Rainbow Gate

I.... Urgg..... It's an anime based on- I shit you not- a slot machine.

I dont even.... What the hell am I even supposed to say about that?

Starry Sky


Basically it's about a girl joining an all boys school. Because that's never been done.

Like 20 times already.

I know I rag on sometimes about anime being the same.... but it's things like this that really dont help.


Well you already know about this one.

It's unlikely that it'll be the target of my next Lets Watch, as I'd rather not stick to one franchise. It's funny to beat up on marvel but I got other fish to fry.

IS: Infinite Stratos

Seems to be about powerful exo-suits, that could be interesting-

Wait for it.

Seems only women can pilot them? Ok.... A bit weird but whatever-

Wait for it.

Women dominate the earth.... Well if there the only ones that can use the suits then-

Wait for it.

Oh, there's one guy who can pilot one of these suits so I guess-

Wait for it.

Ok, so he gets drafted and put in an all girls school to learn about piloting the exosuits-

Bam! It's a harem anime! Man that is one of the most round about ways of making a harem anime. Although it's a pretty crowded genre (Why is this a crowded genre?!) so you have to do some pretty nutty things to stand out.

Oh and if you don't know what a harem anime is.... I ENVY YOU! God.... I would love to go back to those days... Those days when things made sense and weren't really awkward.


This is interesting, not the show it self but what I thought of the manga.

It's a comedy one and for the most part it does that pretty well. But a funny thing happened, at one point it removed it's main premise (I imagine for character development?) but it became painfully clear that the whole story relied completely on this main premise. Without it it was terrible and generic.... and unfortunately the writer seems to be a big fan of pushing this terrible story angle to the front, even though it's been done before and way better.

I'd say a miss unless your a really dedicated anime viewer.


Oh my good god, another harem anime.... These are.... these are cancer.

Cardfight!! Vanguard

An anime made by the guys who did Yugioh and Duel monsters?

Ok, someone made a deal with satan, and I thank you good sir.


Ok, I'm not even putting a picture of this one.... cause... If someone found my blog because of this anime? I'm not sure i could live with myself.

Basically it's about a sister wanting to have sex with her brother.... really badly.... i just.... Why do you throw these at me japan? I am not catching that.


I.... I dont even.... What?

Man, my sister is going to have a f***ing fit when she finds out about this.

Haiyoru! Nyaruani
Ok, it's about a demon girl just kind... hanging around I guess? That's not too unusual... wait.... there's a bit more of the title? Let me just wipe that a bit-

Haiyoru! Nyaruani: Remember My Mr. Lovecraft

She is an old one.


Lets Watch Ironman: Part 8

Tony: So Tan, I was thinking later we'd-

Tan: Urm... I'm sorry Tony.... I'm just.... so confused right now.

Tony: Damn, I telly you what Computer... She's a hard nut to crack. But I'm close.... I can feel it..... in my penis...

Computer: Urgggg.... Why am I able to feel disgusted?

Tony: Shit! Kid in the road!

Aki: Hiii!

Tony:... Sooo..... Your saying your from Zodiac? I'll be honest with you... Women have made bigger lies in order to go out to dinner with me.

Aki: But I'm not lying, look I have psychic powers.

Tony: Ohmygod that would be great at parties-

Tony: I mean.... What a terrible burden you carry.

*The next day*

Tony: What on earth are you doing down here?

Aki: I'm cleaning!

Tony: Silly girl, I have robot slaves for that.... now go answer the door. If it's a guy with claws tell him there might be sandwich in my trash for him.

Tan: Hey Tony-W.... Who are you?

Aki:... I'm.... Tony's Daughter!

Tan: She's.... Not really your daughter.... right?

Tony: Well..... Statistically.... Everyone is my child... See, I went back to the past a few times.... and well long story short Bishop told me not get frisky and... I didn't listen.

Aki: Is that what you were doing last night with that blond lady? I thought you were wrestling?

Tony: Ahhh! Shut up little girl!

Tan: Hmph, I have some things I need to do.

Tony: Wait! No! Come back! DAMN IT!

Tony: You just broke my number 1 cardinal rule little girl.... No one.... and I mean no one is allowed to ruin Tony Starks relationships.... But Tony, or his wing man, alcohol.

Aki: I'm sorry....

Tony: .... Awww don't be sad.... I know! Lets go on a walk, thats what kids do right?

Tony: Ugh.... See isn't this fun?

Aki: Mister Tony.... Do you even know how to walk? You fell over like three times?

Tony: Ok.... I'll be honest... walking is for poor people.

Saku: Tony Stark... I'm with child services, we've been looking for that little girl.

Tony:.... Your not with child services....

Saku:.... He's on to us! Taze him!

Tony: Wh-AHHH!

Tony: GAH! That was so unnecessary!

Saku: Sorry about that, but the little girls dangerous.... she can control metal.

Tony: So she's like Magneto?

Saku: No, she can control metal with her mind.

Tony: So like Magneto?

Saku: No! She can even lift you just by using the iron in your blood.

Tony: So like Magneto?

Saku: Look shut up, ok?!

*Generic plot battle against Zodiac!*

Tony: So Aki, did you enjoy your anime adventure?

Aki: I sure did Mr Tony Sir! I especially liked the cyborg dolphins!

Tony: Yes, I doubt we will ever see their like again.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Lets Watch Ironman: Part 7

Computer: I refuse to believe that is milk.

Tony: Oh whatever, just cause I'm an alcoholic does not mean I only drink alcohol.

Computer: Ok, I guess I'm sorry-

Tony: I mean.... There is milk in this.... But it is mostly vodka.

(Bullshit Tony does not drink that much, just look at that drinks cabinet behind him! No way that is full of exotic fruit juice)

Tony: What the? What's Tan doing out in the rain? She could catch a cold- Holy shit her clothes are wet she'll need to get naked!

Tony: Tan! What are you doing out here? Rain is for poor people!


Tony: Oh Nooo! Date Rrrrrrraaaaapppppeeeee-



Tony: AHH! No headmistress! Don't molest me!

Tony: Urg.... God... Gonna need alot of Irish Car bombs to re-suppress that...

Tony: Tan! Wake up! Did you rape me?

Tan: What? No! We've just been kidnapped.

Tony: What? Why the hell not? Am I not hot enough for you?

Tony: Oh what the f*** is this shit?

???: We meet again Tony Stark.

Tony: Oh my god! It's you!.... That guy!

Yinsen: You.... don't remember who I am, do you?

Tony:..... No idea.

Yin: Hrmmm.... Anyway....

Yin: I am from Zodiac... without your little power core you wont live past the day.... but were giving you 24 hours to join us!

Tony: Ha! Like I'd ever join a terrorist group.... Now while I'm here, where is the booze?

Yin: What? This is a deserted island? There's no alcohol here.

Scorp2(On Radio): Yin! Sir!

Yin: What is it?

Scorp2: It's Tony! He's made a laser rocket launcher!

Yin: What? But there's only trash on this island... What is a laser rocket launcher?

Scorp2: It's a launcher that fires rockets that shoots lasers! Everywhere! Oh god he's found me!



Yin:... What the f***?

Tan:... Wow Tony.... you were amazing.... and you even managed to make a new small power reactor out of all that junk.

Tony: Well, I made the first one in a cave out of old missiles and a broken toaster... So it was easier this time round.

Tony: Tan.... I am sober right now.... so you know it's not the drink talking.... I want to be inside you.

Tan: Oh Tony.