Monday, November 19, 2012

Consoles And PCs

While this post is mostly inspired by what I am hearing about the launch of the WiiU, it really extends to all consoles these days so anyways.

The game.

I was born in 1982, I will be 30 in December.  I have owned many, many Nintendo systems.  I will likely own a WiiU at some point because I just think it is all sorts of cool but I am reading online about how the system has to receive a patch as soon as you get it home.  Wut?  What happened that made it so our consoles leave the factory imperfect?  My Super Nintendo never needed a patch.  But I figured out the problem pretty darn fast.  It's that our consoles want to be computers.

This doesn't work for me.  For me, consoles are consoles and PCs are PCs.  They don't compete, they don't interact.  They shouldn't do either of those things either.  When a console tries to be a PC, it does it poorly and you wish it was a computer (see The Sims).  When a PC tries to be a console, it does it poorly and you wish it was a console (see EVERY FUCKING RACING GAME).  But then there's this thing called the Internet that console makers really wanted to take advantage of, so they started building their consoles like computers.
Here's the problem, the Internet is the realm of the PC.  It always has been, it always will be.  Consoles just suck when they get on the Internet.  It makes game publishers sloppy and makes them force shitty ways for consoles to make use of the stupid Internet.  Not only that, when you're a user like me that doesn't take their consoles on the Internet, you end up alienating those users.  Online functionality for me seems like this magical realm until I actually get on it and realize that consoles just don't belong on the Internet and those that have their consoles on the Internet are quite depraved.  Jokes about 12 year olds telling people on the Internet to fuck their mothers exist for a reason.  We have people levelling up for killing people with machine guns so they can buy hats.  We have games that get released with few changes from their predicessor just to add more multiplayer functionality.  Fucking Minecraft.
I know this isn't anything new, but when I heard that the WiiU is basically hinging everything on online use I threw up.  I am one of those people that when I buy something, I don't really expect it to change unless I continue to pay for it.  When I buy a game, I expect the game will stay that way unless I buy a different game.  That isn't the way it is anymore.  But even further, I've gone so far to not purchase games because I knew that I would have to get "DLC" in order to make use of it.  NO!  NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO!  It still pisses me off that I don't have all of the stuff I paid for on my Forza 4 disk because I haven't connected to the Internet.  How fucking fair is that?!  You included a second disk with the damn game, why do I have to download even more shit!?
So call me old, but I think that building games with full intent of patching them or only to add DLC later is a huge cop out.  The greatest games in history didn't need patches, why do today's?  Because they can.  Enough.  Those of us that don't have broadband Internet coming out of our ass would really like to have our consoles back.

Thank you.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Short Game Review: Pokemon Black 2

This post started out differently but I didn't finish it before I actually played the game so now I'm going to write a review.  I've had about five hours play time on Black 2 at this point and managed to get a couple of badges so far and the verdict is that Black 2 feels a lot like Black and that's a good thing.

The battle mechanics are essentially the same as they were except the selection of Pokemon is a lot different.  In fact, the selection reminds me a lot of SoulSilver.  I started with Oshawott and I have a Pidove but those are the only two Pokemon in my group right now from Generation 5.  There are a lot of Generation 1 and 2 Pokemon in the first areas to encounter.  Playing the game some more reminds me a lot of SoulSilver.

One thing that is definitely missing is challenge.  The first three gyms that I have worked through have been pretty darn easy.  Challenging the first gym was the biggest challenge at this point because I did not have a type advantage and there was no really good place to level up at.  The other two gym leaders had major type disadvantages.  The "Poison" gym leader was a joke and fell to a Magnemite that was 4 levels lower.  Sonicboom to death.  The "Bug" gym leader had Swadloon and Leavanny which has 4x damage from Fire which made them one shots to my Growlithe.  I've also noticed lots of chances to have Pokemon healed in large areas to prevent the need for lots of potions or running back and forth between the Pokemon Center.  But these things really aren't new, Pokemon Black was very easy on the player as well, reserving the challenge for the parts of the game after the game.  You lost the game.  For this reason, I hesitate to say "Pokemon Black 2 is easy" because it very well could be difficult by the end of the game and I could be over grinding and making my Pokemon higher levels than they need to be.  I am also blessed to be getting Pokemon that I really like having.

But it is kind of fun experiencing the game again with slightly different characters and areas and the music is fantastic.  While that might sound kind of funny since the music is very similar to the previous game, the existing pieces were touched up and the new pieces are great for a portable.  Giving every trainer an animated intro was an excellent touch and the game retains the speed of generation 5.  Looking closely at some of the Pokemon, their animations are different, at least the starting Pokemon.

Now that I have finished it, I was shocked by how much easier it was.  The game seems to force you to have higher level Pokemon by the end so when the Pokemon jump to the 60s in the post-game, your Pokemon are already there.  I've started collecting the wide range of legendaries available and have experimented with the Pokemon World Tournament and I've been very challenged.  I am enjoying it.

The verdict?  The game isn't as good as Pokemon Black because Pokemon Black exists.  If this had been the first game in the series, I would have been extremely satisfied with it.  Because I've already put so much effort into Black, this one doesn't feel quite as good.  And that is sad.

Youtube Poop

Sorry for the long delay in writing, I just haven't cared for a while.

Youtube Poop is one of the top 10 things ever created by man.  If you have not seen one, you are missing out.  The premise behind a Youtube Poop is to take something and use video editing techniques to make it dirty.  For example, making Spongebob kill people or Twilight Sparkle have sex with Spike.  Like most things on Youtube, there are good ones and there are bad ones but lately technology has improved to the point where poopers are creating some incredibly high quality videos.

Most people looking for Poops the first time will find them made from footage of old Mario and Zelda CD-I games for the Phillips Laserdisk.  The games were incredibly lame and the footage even worse but these videos are present in nearly all early poops and gave rise to the memes "My boy", "All Toasters Toast Toast", and "I wonder what's for dinner".  The Mario animated series are also topics of many early poops and gave rise to some of the early speech twisting resulting in Mario saying "Shit".  Today however, Youtube Poops have gotten incredibly advanced and moved on to essentially all subjects.  Children's television is the biggest target with poops of Spongebob, My Little Pony and iCarly being widespread.

The Crap Door - Trololol'd
Possibly the best Youtube Poop ever made and illustrates all of the elements of Youtube Poop.

Youtube Poop, like many types of videos, has stylistic elements that are typical to the genre.  Poops rarely use all of the elements but they easy enough to recognize after watching a few good ones.

Speech Twisting - Early poops straight swapped audio from other things onto video to make it appear that characters were saying something they were not.  However, more current poops actually twist multiple syllables together to create new words that the character appears to be saying in their own voice, usually swear words (As shown in the above video when the narrator says "overworked servant of the fucking thing upstairs).  This element creates hilarity because we have a character swearing when he shouldn't.  The Crap Door uses a lot of speech substitution as well like when the skull says "Oh god, it's a book of PORN, you don't want to fap with that sort of thing."  Using speech twisting the editor has managed to make the video tell a completely different story than it should have.  In one of my favorite MLP poops the author remixes some speech in the opening sequence to make it sound like Twilight Sparkle says "I used to suck my brother's meat.  Oh shit it's Mr. Clean."  I die every time.

Repetition - Obnoxious repeating is a very common element of Youtube Poops.  Some poops overuse this element to the point of annoyance but the video above does it perfectly multiple times as shown when the character Berk is looking through stuff and picks up the book of PORN multiple times, the crap door squishes the spider many times and Berk runs down the hall over and over.  Repetition is an important comedic element but it is also one that bad poops abuse badly.

Swearing - All good poops have swearing, they just aren't as funny otherwise.  How real the swearing sounds makes a really big difference and whether or not it's in the character's actual voice.  Just tacking in swear words isn't nearly as funny as hearing a character like Patrick Star say "Spongebob, let's fuck."

Out of Control Visuals - These are becoming more common and add a lot of style to poops.  Altering the original video is a very advanced technique and is a hallmark of a truly good pooper.  I've actually seen a poop where the author was able to make it look like Spongebob was killing everybody he works with.  It was excellent and highly stylized.

To end, I'll post the links of some of my other recent favorites for you to enjoy.  You might laugh.