Default Tester

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Join Default Tester and save the Galaxy. Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?

Great question. If I only had one video I could play it would be this.

Oh crap sorry! Extra Credits! Along with Heathcliff, I dedicate this story to the following people, in no particular order:

Ada Lovelace

Kurt Vonnegut

Bill Gates

Steve Jobs

Grace Hopper

Ray Kurzweil

Gabe Newell

Barack Obama

Michelle Obama

The Fam

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Under Construction

Taking a brief hiatus to decompress after this... interesting year. But don't worry, those changes I wrote about so long ago are on the way. Maybe a brand new site, new Default Tester format, some new faces, and waaay less of my ramblings! Yay!

And to the folks that stuck with me through the rocky first year of this experiment, at the risk of self and sanity, and out the other side. Thanks. You mean the world to me. Now off to the sacred silence of sleep. Ah fuck it, and Jerbz.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.141 : Issue : People : Stalwart

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Issue Games : Sam Jackson

What do Sam Jackson and video games have to do with each other? I don't fucking know. Nah, that's a lie. He has voiced more games than most, his work ethic is incredible, and besides the fucking corniness and pandering, he is a genuinely good dude.

But, god damn he referenced himself a lot during that show, and everything referenced him. I gotta ask, are people afraid of Sam Jackson? Do they not tell him to calm the fuck down? Does he have, "People?" Everyone talks about how much the new Star Wars sucked. But no one ever has an opinion on Mace Windu.

That poor lady from Nerd machine. She is nice, I worked for her once. Garry... I just... It's done. To call your company Nerd Machine, and not get that name right... It's done. Might as well have had Geoff Keighley show up, would have been better than that. The dude from Chuck should be nervous about this. The best part, Garry took it in stride. Ain't even mad tho. Fuckin hate that dude.

I feel like the rest of the awkwardness of the night was just regular VGA awkwardness. Celebrities reminiscing about their first time playing Super Mario brothers to a room full of PR kids that probably got their start on Super Mario 64, and presenting awards disguised as trailers, barely concealing their disgust at where their career is at. Like William Shatner at a Sci Fi convention in the late ninteys.

No, that's not true anymore. They seem to approach it like they would a Teen choice award now. As in they understand what this audience does for them, and why their agent booked the show. If it came down to confused looks and disinterested claps at the Emmys, or a rousing ovation and wrapped attention at a video game party. The choice sounds pretty easy.

But I get it now, I see why the show exists. It's a celebration. The loss of Nintendo Power makes me realize that shit like this should be out there. Because video games are on that slippery slope to becoming fuckwads that take this shit too seriously. I know I am. I hope the VGA's fart and poop and say curse words forever. Have some fun with it for god's sake, and go back to pretending we are movies again tomorrow.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.140 : Issue : People : Spike

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Issue : Games : Altruism

I was getting ready to churn out more bah humbug in this post, when as part of my typical procrastination route I turned to that one website with all of the blue links for advice on how to better not start doing whatever it is you need to be doing at the moment.

It was the same neighborhood, as it usually is. Was getting ready to watch a Charlie Brown Christmas (Porn Parody) then dig back into my bulging Steam queue when I ran into this.

I don't know why it jumped directly into my feels, I don't know how it instantly bypassed all of my bullshit on the internet safeguards, and I will probably rubber band back into a general hate for all things ule-tide by the time the actual day rolls around.

But if this is what can come of the season, if this is what it could actually about, well... fuck. I'm with it. Sorry about this btw, guys, no jokes today, no games. Just try and be good to someone, without politics, without wanting something back. Let's call it a cease fire. Start here if you'd like. Also, Jobz.

The Protoculture Mixtape v. 139 : Issue : People : Pravin

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Issue : Games : The Big Picture

I just hate Steam so much. I just love Steam so much. The big picture is sexual, I love that I don't even know what to do with it yet, but can just tell it can do everything. I feel like running around and shaking the electronics and entertainment industries. "Do you not see what Valve and YouTube are doing? Did you not watch that one movie where Daniel Day-Lewis explained this exact scenario!?"

Eh, it's all goody. It was only a matter of time until companies like Google and Valve began racing themselves. It's that kind of party. The old heads think they can stay alive with stock blocking patents and that gatekeeper swagger. "We are console! You shall not pass!" Yeah, that's been over. It's adorable how they hang on though.

Independent publishing on multiple viable platforms killed the first party star. That's what that relationship was about. THQ knows what's up. In video game land the popular kids have officially started to copy the hipsters. Next up: "Raise the roof and Bling-Bling."

God that UI is so sexy. Well, computer sexy, which is ugly and grey. So, British sexy. Which is sexy to me. I should stop writing, but I won't. Monopoly is "Controller friendly?" Really? Also, how's Dawnguard? Worth it? Also, relax I have been busting my ass at work I haven't quit TF2. Crybabies. Also, Jerbz.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.138 : Issue : People : Go See

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Issue : Games : Yule Tide

Holy hell the holidays are horrible (I'm sorry I rhyme when I get worked up.) Seems the more cheer the world fabricates, the more depressing things get. Whatever, no need to get trapped in the captivity of negativity, to quote T-Bag. Wha? prison break references don't work anymore? Awful show? Wow.

Everywhere you turn something is leaving. Nintendo Power is no more, City of Heroes went lights out, the super hidden gender discrepancy in the gaming industry is out of the bag. No more boys club! Says the minority. Well that last one was obvious, in all fairness. But you get my drift.

December is looking like the perfect storm. Maybe the Mayans were right, but in a different way than we all think. Maybe that date is just the time everything goes to individual shit instead of collective shit. No giant Tsunami, or zombies, or earthquakes. Everything that makes up each and every humans reality falls off the husk one at a time, until there is nothing left of the world you knew. That time is over, long live the new age, whether you like it or not. Or whatever.

Fuckin' holidays. The Roman calendar is ballz, everybody knows that. And the Mayans were trippin. You know what? These ancient society's have been leaving a mess for too damn long. Good thing we have our shit together. All we will be leaving are Youtube videos, ski-doos,  and positive vibes. You are welcome, Planet Earth. Somebody on the server asked me to talk about the Saxxy's for this post, so yeah, well, they are awesome this year, and Bad Medicine won, so that was cool... I just.. I wonder if the coffee is done? I should probably check. Oh yeah and Jerbz.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.137 : Issue : People : Myrrh

Friday, November 30, 2012

Issue : Games : Walnuts

A long time ago I was a little kid in the Jungle, and my first job was selling bags of walnuts on the side of the road. My best bud at the time had a dad that was really into the value of a buck and earning your keep and everything else you would hear in country songs not about heartbreak and drinking, or see on truck commercials. "Like a rock," and all that.

So we came to him talking about wanting Streets of Rage for the Genesis, with our value sale being that we would be asking for less quarter money for the arcade stand-up version. He leaned back in his chair and said... Hmm, I think there is a way you two can make this happen. Interested?

The next day he woke us up at four in the morning, threw our bodies onto the back of a flatbed truck, and drove us to some location in the dark heart of the San Joaquin Valley, which is an agricultural version of Mordor. We spent the rest of the morning walking around an orchard filling bags with walnuts, which on a drizzly morning feels like slowly pulling testicles from wet screaming nutsacks.

Then we threw the full bags of walnuts onto the flatbed truck, then he threw us back onto the flatbed truck, and we drove back into town. We thought we were done, on the ride back we asked about our money. He said, "Not so fast. These walnuts aren't going to sell themselves."

He pulled into this dirt lot across the street from the mall. He got out and set out two lawn chairs right on the southern edge of the four way intersection. He told us to take a seat. We had just become old enough to understand how much shame and embarrassment was involved with what he was asking us to do. But we did it, for Streets of Rage.

It was the longest day ever. Everybody we knew saw us at least twice, somebody threw a soda at my head. Nobody bought any goddamn walnuts. When he came to retrieve our bodies six hours later he asked how many bags of walnuts we sold. We told him we sold exactly none. He said, "Well damn, tough luck. You didn't make any money today, but there is always tomorrow." Fuckin' hate walnuts now. Also, Jerbz.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.136 : Issue : People : Freemont

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Issue : Games : Sonic Sneaks

You can tell a Steam sale has you by the balls when everything they are offering, you already own. Pack it up when that happens, its over. Valve owns you. There were only five games I had not previously purchased offered during the Autumn sale. I bought them all. I should feel shame. I do not.

One of them was Sonic something or other. Why would I do that? When would I find time to play that? And where would my enjoyment from it come... I said to myself as I installed and pressed play. It turned out to be some new style sonic, the type where the camera is behind him and every movement is out of your control and he ends up kissing human females at the end probably.

The weird thing is that there is also the old sonic in there, the one where he is shorter and the camera is to the side of him and you are allowed the illusion of control and he probably ends up kissing Tails at the end. Or so Tails wishes. You know what's going down there. Tails' closet probably looks like a shrine to Sonic. I can't be the only person catching that whiff.

Anyway, here is the weirdest thing... And also where the shame comes in. I like the game. I would have never gotten ten barefoot steps near it if thanks to the steam store it would have been cheaper not to play it. Which is what I said to myself in order to click the checkout button. Wasn't funny then, not funny now. But there it is, I am naked before you, the newborn unicorn, a fan of a modern Sonic game. What does this say about me? Was Charles Hamilton right all along?  Why isn't there a Sonic's around here? Shits all the way in Temecula for Knuckles' sake. May as well be on Mars. I just... Oh yeah and Jerbz.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.135 : Issue : People : Eggman

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Issue : Games : Curleh Mustache

So many gaming event's during the holiday season. So many places I am not. Damn interwebs changed everything. Well that, or work, or life. It probably is how it used to be somewhere, dark rooms, sticky floors, flashing lights, and energy of the new. People still gather, fun gets had, but that anonymous divide between game players and the physical bodies of game players increases every year, that shit is happening.

There is Dreamhack, and that's good, there is the PAX series, and the Cons, and the E-triples. And all of those are good as well. But they feel like holidays. Check it, you dress up, people come from all over, you eat drink sleep and game (notice I didn't say shower). Then poof, a memory in a scrapbook, cards for the kids, and anecdote, A moment.

And here, let me put on my rosey glasses for a sec... But that arcade tho! it was there everyday, it was local, it was dynamic, it had an untenable business model when faced with the new era. But hey, whatevs, Things are so much easier now.

People give the fighting game community a looot of shit for what goes down in those Vann Damme esqe Lionheart ass tournaments, but one thing is for sure, when you sit down next to your opponent, look him in the eye, shake his/her hand, and then go into battle, the gravity is different. The "W" feels a bit more important. Shit gets real. Yeah it's cliche, but whatever. And shouts to IFC Yipes, putting another Curleh Mustache tournament in the books as of this writing.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.134 : Issue : People : Lament

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Issue : Games : Steamgivings

My steam .exe opens to the library like anyone else made of sanity, but I know it's there. Calling me, calling my emaciated wallet. Fuckin' Steam, man. Dark magicians and puppet masters. What the fuck is an Autumn sale anyway? doesn't even make sense.

I'm thinking about getting Dead Island. I already own Dead Island. There is no reason whatsoever to want it again. It wasn't even that great, but it's cheap. Who am I kidding, I want to get it all, and never play any of it. Just filling up my "One of these days" queue some more. I have all this shit in checkout, ready to pull the trigger, but I can't... Just a lonely, weak, pathetic man.

It's times like this where I wish I was into football more, even the English kind. Anything but video games. Fuckin' Max Payne 3? Man, I need that in my life right now. As if Black Friday wasn't enough. Talk about a made up holiday created to sell stuff not called Valentines.

Now there is Kinda Dark Thursday, Seeya Saturday, Sunday Funday, Cyber Monday. It's like all you have to do is name a day different, mark shit down like two bucks, and people all the sudden decide they need everything ever. It's weird and I don't roll like that. I ain't standin in no white mans line lookin silly.

Anyway, the Steam Sale. I just clicked the checkout button and regret nothing. Now I will take my customary turkey nap, which will bleed into sleep, which will bleed into work, which will bleed into never playing any of the fuckin games I bought. Like getting physically ill thinking about playing them, ignoring it like an unwanted birth. And Jerbz.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.133 : Issue : People : Itis

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Issue : Games : Hitman Absolutley

Anybody Playing Hitman Absolution? Nah, Ok. It's one of those games where the hubbub comes from somewhere but in the back of your mind you know its the dedicated core multiplied by the PR Catherine wheel turning a med to a zed. It's not the sneakiest of sneaky games, it's not the most capable of shooters.  It's not social commentary, it's not documentary, it is just.. fuckin Hitman. But there it is. And people love it.

Metal Gear, yeah I get it, Siphon Filter, sure, but Hitman has never been close to those titles on any levels, not even once. And the funny part is all anyone could talk about pre launch were the Nuns. Nuns with guns. Not even Postal level shock for shocks sake. I should be saying Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino level, but come on. That is disrespectful to somebody.

It's always been one of those games you play over the weekend and forgot you played. Or best case scenario you remember something about it that had nothing to do with gameplay. Something about a nice kill snuffed by bugs, probably a lame joke, maybe some titties. The type of game that keeps game-fly in business.

I have a copy sitting over here on the desk from my time at square. Shit, can I say that? Ah who gives a fuck, a baby's handful of people read this crappy rag. "Scream as loud as you want! Nobody can HEAAAR YOOU!" Anyway, read a fanboys review, It's about as close you are gonna get to an unbiased opinion. And then think of the funny shit I should be saying for this ender-ender, and tell me how much I failed to do so. You try this shit, it's not eazy.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.132 : Issue : People : Stuffin

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Issue : Games : WiiUstops

So Nintendo Wii U's have been spotted in the wild. You get that shit? No? Yeah well, me neither. Talk to Triforce, you know where he at right now. Probably still walking home from the Nintendo store cause there ain't no trains running.

Nintendo products have come to mirror how I feel about gay friends. I grew up with them around, love and support em to tha grave, but I have no idea how the fun in gay sex works logistically. Introducing new joysticks every twenty seconds, all types of dongles and whatnot. Just release some damn games.

Having said that, I would gladly suck twenty dicks in a row without taking a breath for a free Nintendo WiiU. Just kick that around your noggins, you PR skumbags. Knockin' boots. BMST LFG SUKDIKS... PST.

It was the same with the DS and the Wii. I just saw people playin' flip top double screens that looked like Tiger handhelds, and waggling dildos at giant screens at E3 and went, "Oh Nintendo, you so crazy!" Yeah crazy like a fox, them shits sold like gangbusters.

Now here comes this system based a fuckin' Xzibit meme, and you know what the journos are gonna say about it, "What the fuck does this thing do?" But they might learn from prior mistakes and not claim that ain't nobody going to play it this time. Even though we are all waiting for Nintendo to take this Doo-Dad shit too far. That's what happens when Nintendo gets overconfident, Virtual Boys show up. Shit's like the Mayan calendar of video games.

Zombie U though, off the chain. Nintendo owes Ubisoft a pulled pork sammich for that one. Might even get other third parties interested for like two seconds, before they realize people only want to play Mario Zelda and Metroid on that shit, and it looks like graphical doo-doo in HD on seven year old tech, and nobody really gives a fuck about it. I hope somebody I know buys that shit so I can play it more. If not, whatevs.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.131 : Issue : People : L'amour

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Issue : Games : Raunchy

Video game stories suck. I am aware that its not at all a fair, viable, or defensible statement. But it has been lodged in my feel bone, a relief to get out. A ten pound drop right there. I defend them so much, I had almost forgotten what I know to be true. They are aw-to-tha-ful,  truly a labor to get through.

Pandering, violent, and for the most part devoid of anything resembling soul.  If you believe in story progression, character development, or not being bored to death, then you probably do not like video game stories of today.

It is going to be a long day at work tomorrow. So worth it.

Go crazy, that first paragraph deserves a lot of crazy, but cmon, search your heart. You know it to be true. There are exceptions, yes, and yes, and yes, but even those are few and far between, and well, still not exactly "Willy Shakes," stuff. It has become sort of a given that story will never be star of the show in a video game, it is the new actuality.

At the start I think it was about the limitation of the medium. Only so much disk space to go around, only so many things you could do. Now, I think it's just too many cooks in the kitchen, too many pots on the stove. Taking a good idea and feeling you have to stretch it into sixty hours of gameplay. Toss some doo-dads here and there to keep us busy, and you have the new criterion. I dare you to sit through the full credits of Assassins Creed 3. Had about a trillion producers, a billion designers, and fifty directors of cape movement. I think I popped up in there and I never even worked at Ubisoft.

Kids don't even play tabletops anymore, triple AAA's are comprised of multi player and save points every two steps. And all the kids Jay-walk. I've seen em! Whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, evening TV? It's a rare condition, this day and age, to play any good games on the... fuck it I don't need an excuse to  play these videos. Everything was better when we were young, everything sucks now.

The generation before us didn't know what they were talking about when they said it, but goddammit it's true now. And what the fuck is an Invader Zim! Oh.. ok... wait, this show's pretty awesome. Also, Jerbz.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.130 Issue : People : Pine

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Issue : Games : Revisions

It takes a special kind of crazy to get through the final stretch before a release. Better yet, crunch time requires the ability to modify sanity. The best way I have found to deal with it is to abandon all hope, allow it to envelop you, and simply let the madness in.

People will send you videos, watch them, the videos won’t be funny in the least at first, but over time they will become more and more mentally invasive. Allow this. Delirium will set in, it’s ok, let it massage your back, Shiva will guide you away from the hurt and the code and the mean people that took your precious.

You will leave work, wake up, and feel like you never left. This is good, this is progress. You will remember a task to be completed, and do it although it has already been done, and in the back of your mind you know it has already been done. You will be waiting on a deliverable for four hours, only to find a problem with it the second it arrives, causing you to wait for it until it is returned thirty minutes before you are scheduled clock out. You know you are close to enlightenment when you no longer dread someone coming in and asking for “volunteers.” You just fire up excel and lean back into that groove you dug into your ergonomic chair.

You will get super angry at people crunching chip bags, drinking the last of the coffee, and repeating the same lame ass story to everyone. Over time this will mature into fantasies about walking up and jump kicking them in the neck. You will get calls from family and feel like they are strangers; you will walk around the parking lot on break talking to your significant other, pretending that’s enough. It will either be an argument, a planning session, a thing that holds you together, or something that sends you back to square one. This never gets better.  

And then one day it’s done, the game is released, the bird is away, the dishes are done. And if you are that special kind of crazy, you enjoy every day of that brief stretch of time before the next alpha shows up. Also, Jerbz.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Issue : Games : Automation

Test automation is the use of special software to control the execution of test plans. It’s comprised of comparisons of actual outcomes against predicted outcomes, test preconditions, and report functions. It’s designed to increase productivity, so don’t worry.

It usually follows outsourcing, which is where a company hires really determined humans that live far away to do three times the work, in half the time, at a fraction of the cost. It’s designed to increase productivity, so don’t worry.  

Video game automatons get all Chicken Little when either come around. I never know how to feel when this stuff appears on the scene. Its entrance is always the same though, basically the monorail song with words like synergy, pain points, and verticals sprinkled around.  

People speak of automation like it’s the precursor to Skynet. First the geo scripts then the robots then the time travel then the Sarah Connors. Nobody gives credit to the stuff that has to come before it to make the other thing a reality, namely humanities prolonged game of hot potato with what is seen as grunt work.

Watching the maid clean up house through the sliding double doors while you sit in a hammock sipping a cold drink sounds a lot better than doing it yourself. And having a Roomba doing it absolves both the guilt and the need to keep an eye out for theft. A win win.

 If a bleak future of robotic servitude is to come it’s probably because the robots got tired of doing something, and ran out of other robots willing to do the job. Or they need our blood for oil, either way. I ain't even mad at automation. There are things that automation can’t do that a human can do... Umm...Right? Well, we enjoy what we make, there is that.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Issue : Games : Any Road

Sir, You Are Being Hunted is going to be a game about what happens when robots get bored.  You play as a dude being hunted for sport across the English countryside by gentlemanly robots of leisure. Gameplay elements look to be born of Thief, DayZ, and that movie where they were trying to kill Ice-T in the woods.   

It reached its Kickstarter goal in a couple days, so people obviously want to play it. Jim Rossignol of Rock Paper Shotgun is making it, so its pedigree is on point. One can expect the writing to be self-aware, funny in a melancholy key, and dry as a biscuit. The English ones, or my auntie’s biscuits, they are dry as fuck (Sorry Jo-Jann love you!).

The game will be using procedural generation. Designers love the freedom, QA hates the unpredictability. Testing floating assets is Groundhog Day meets an Easter egg hunt in ultra-hell. A common bug in a procedural test plan is:

Issue: Geo: Design: DPO: Castle appears inside mountain (B)
Repo steps:
1. Launch Title
2. Enter command /Goto every fucking where
3. Give up searching. Choose to believe it a product of crunchtime dementia
4. Go on smoke break
5. Stand in parking lot, rethink life choices        

In games like DayZ, the scary comes from the baddies; you want to run from them. I already want to walk toward these robots; or at least be in their general vicinity. Also, Jerbz.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Issue : Games : Third Succsession

I can’t bring myself to play the MechWarrior online Beta, for fear I will never return. I can say that comfortably, because I know exactly what’s waiting for me in there.

Lost nights perusing the shop, c-bills burning a hole through my dungarees, caressing the static mesh of Ferro Fibrous armor, gazing doe eyed into the cavernous abyss of chromed out double heat sinks. Veraciously assembling arms, legs, and guns on a bolt chest chassis by way of some Mary Shelly-esque techromancy in a blissfully Sisyphean effort to attain perfect balance of heat spill, mass, and critical space.

It happened with Front Mission, happened with Robotech, happened with Gundam. It happened with all of the MechWarrior titles before this. I love Mechanized combat, I am an addict in remission, in hiding, which is why I cannot under any circumstances play an online MechWarrior game. Not even once.

The closest to the feeling I get thinking about returning to the cockpit is when I hear people speak of getting lost in WoW. The faint tint of Aspartame on their breath when they claim to be “So happy they unsubbed.” The fear in their eyes cultivated by stifled understanding that it’s patiently waiting on some URL to yank them back the moment they get comfortable. It’s not even escape at that point. An addiction they never truly beat, just outran.

I started the download while writing this, got way too sexual somewhere around “double heat sinks.” It was good run, had a job, friends, just bought a bed, so close to the semblance of a life. I wonder what the world will look like when I get back.  Swiiiiiing Loooooowww, Sweeet Charrrriiiiooooot, Commmin for to carry me Hoooooommmeeee.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Issue : Games : 343 Solutions

I find it interesting that the success of Halo 4 under new management arrives with the news that George Lucas is handing the Star Wars franchise to the house of mouse. People hated Lucas for all the creative control he exerted over the mainstream Star Wars projects, and blamed him for driving the franchise into the ground. I wonder how that felt for Lucas? The world screaming, "You are killing our baby!" The baby he gave birth to and nurtured into adulthood.

Then one day he finally breaks down and gives it up for adoption, packs it's belongings into a van and watches it head off to the happiest place on earth. And now he and the world wait until 2015 to find out if it was the right decision. I wonder if he is going to watch the new trilogy? I wonder if he secretly hopes they fail?

Everyone has an opinion on Bungie's handling of the Halo series, although it's one of those things that no one talks about openly. Enjoyment of the halo series has become the new religion or politics of the video game world. As in it doesn't fucking matter how anyone feels about it, it serves a purpose, and will be there regardless.

The game makes money hand over fist, jumps demographic models, has tie in's all across the entertainment landscape, and has some of the most dog rabid fans you will ever come across who will buy anything with the Halo name on it, and cut you without hesitation should you say one critical thing about the game. I wonder if Bungie is happy to see Halo 4 doing well somewhere else?

Everybody knows I am not a fan of Halo, have not been a fan since the first, am not a fan of this one. I used to not say anything when the subject came up, but it's not going anywhere anytime soon, and I don't have the energy for that shit anymore.I understand what saying that means, I am an idiot, I must have never played them, I should kill myself, etc.. I get it. But for the record, once again, I will explain why I do not enjoy Halo. And also, some stuff I like about Halo.

The game is generic, it is a generic looking shooter. Bungie worked with the environments, palette  and assets they had on the first game, found a hit on their hands, and became scared to change, or better yet, were dis-encouraged to change.

The button mapping, control scheme, and multiplayer are the best seen on console since Goldeneye. The multiplayer community on the other hand, no one to blame except the human race.

If you really want to feel the full force of a Halo fans fury, question the story. Call it silly, Play the games multiple times, read the books, learn everything there is to know about it, and then continue to call it silly. You might as well have said abut the bible, "I think they may have been making this up as they went along." I think the story is silly.

I think Halo 4 is more of the same, with one, grand, shining exception. 343 spent lots of money on focus testing and level balancing to mimic the gameplay and world that fans are comfortable with, but they also added an ingredient that has potential to turn the series into something wildly different, a few honest questions. Has master chief been the story's monster this whole time? And, will the artificial intelligence that runs him live forever? That's not silly, those are good questions.

This Week in Gaming Oct 28 - Nov 3 - by  SpeakingOfGames

The Protoculture Mixtape v. 125 : Issue : People : Conduction

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Issue : People : Creeds

So this blog will be going through some changes, Tupac style, fairly soon. It's going to look different, and the content will focus more on, you know, games, instead of it being my way of making up for not having LiveJournal as a kid. Shhh, don't be scared ho, change is ok, or at least, better than bad. If it works, out, all good. If the digital replica of a messy room that it is now turns out to be better, then that will indeed be a surprise to everybody.

I have a good feeling about this. I think this is what a good feeling is, although I am worried that the change will get more people to read it, which would totally ruin my whole, "I dare you to read this discombobulated manifesto," thing.. Anyway, moving on.

Assassins Creed is a game about an assassin who's creed is that he needs to be killing a bunch of dudes. A creed is an authoritative formula of religious belief, or set of fundamental beliefs, that make it so you need to be out there killing a bunch of dudes. As opposed to dudes that go out there and kill a bunch of dudes for no reason. So it's basically religion.

The mission structure has you sneaking up on dudes and hiding in between groups of people that like to walk around in a diamond formation through the streets. You also get to sneak up on corrupt people and yoke them out from the back or trip them and make them fall into a pile of doo doo, then you jump into a bail of hay. You know what assassins creed is by now, it's in the damn name. It's not called Debaters Credo, do the math.

I am phoning this one in so hard, sorry, it's been a crazy day. But if there is one paragraph of worthwhile content in this post please let it be below what I am writing at this moment because this sentence is not going to be it by a long shot. Is that five paragraphs already? Shit. Ok. Ummm, how was your Halloween? No wait, I got it! Jerbz.

The Protoculture Mixtape v. 124 : Issue : Games : Modulation

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Issue : People : Sandy

Only thing to talk about right now is Hurricane Sandy, or Assassins Creed. The East Coast is waiting for one, the West Coast the other. Close up shop boys and girls, nothing else going on.

The election? Shut the fuck up, pundits. It's seven days away, and people are dying. Halloween time? Carving pumpkins with the kids? Stop it, it's in bad taste. Got caught in front of a video camera next to bags of Doritos and a space marine? It's all goody, news cycles gonna be Terry Bogarded by matters of true and immediate salience. Just take a seat in front of the tv and drink every time someone brings up Katrina.

There is always an air of inter-webs excitement before a disaster rolls around, people in areas that will be affected post pics of empty City streets, tweet about how they hope school is closed, upload pictures of their Facebook fuck you! [Insert disaster here] parties. Run video segments about horses. Meanwhile, the disaster is perched on a ledge watching the festivities, just waiting.

Then for a long time, nothing. A few hours later, the feed changes into trees bursting through homes, blurry video of cars being lifted off the ground, news reports, statistics, that kind of stuff. The the timeouts, the service drops, the 404's. Can't F5 fast enough. Sometimes the release date is something you never wanna see show up.

Good luck to all in it, and buy a round for the EMT's, city works, and net tec's when you run into them. The Doppler types say it's only gonna get rainier.

The Protoculture Mixtape v. 123 : Issue : Games : Blue Watch

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Issue : Games : Home Base

A long time ago I was a grom in the city, and life had somehow become all about drinkin' smokin' skaitn' and playin' games. It was all I did, I thought I had it under control, but wasn't sure. I was ok with that.

I still went to school and got good grades, because I was scared of what would happen if I didn't. I was a latchkey kid, and the only way my folks would ever get a clue as to how far down the self destruction rabbit hole I had gotten was if they got a call from the truancy department. So the double life had to exist.

It really wasn't hard to keep up. I enjoyed reading even when drunk or otherwise indisposed of feeling in my extremities. It helped with immersion. I would pop in and hang around in the back of class, take a test, and pop out. My school was so impacted most teachers didn't even know my name. I was just the weird quiet kid in the back that did the work and never gave them a hard time. After a while even they fell in line with the double life silent agreement I had with my parents.

They ignored when I was obviously hungover, smelled like a reggae festival, or was just straight up absent. As long as the assignment showed up double spaced in twelve point font, no one had a thing to say except keep it up. Super easy mode.

The only teachers who didn't fall for that shit were the creative types. My English teacher lectured me on my future after I accidentally threw up on another student in his class. My photography teacher had a mock intervention one day after a group of independent pharmacists interrupted her class to collect a debt from me. That kind of stuff.

The hardest on me in this regard was my political science teacher. She was a mean old bird that came from Australia and never left, she smelled like bourbon, and hated Bill Clinton with a burning passion. In her class everybody had to participate in discussions, there was no grading scale, and if you failed it was because you were stupid.

I thought poli sci was my strongest subject. My pops was in politics, my family were political junkies. I couldn't get more than a "C" on anything in her class, and I was really trying. It was bullshit. One day I hung out after class and stepped to her full of piss and vinegar.

I said, "What's up with these grades?" She turned to me and replied, "You get those grades because you are full of shit. You sit in the back of my class stoned and only contribute when you have no other choice. Everything you say or write is a lie. Not even a funny or convincing lie, just groundless regurgitation from some tv show, book, or fruit loop. Which makes you an average politician, so you get average grades."

I was finna cry. Whats worse is her accent made it sound sexy. I just sat there quietly. She broke the silence by saying, "Tell me something honest. Tell me what you did this weekend, leave nothing out, as long as it's the truth."

So I told her the home base story. It  happened that weekend. I left nothing out, broke down a couple times while telling it, have never told anyone the story since. It was one of the hardest things I had ever done. Then she told me a story. Her story blew mine out of the water. Then we went and had a drink. We never had sex, she was super old, It was different times back then. I thought about it though. Is that gross?

Later she gave me a job as her T.A. We still talk from time to time.

This Week in Gaming Oct 21-27 - By SpeakingOfGames

The Protoculture Mixtape v.122 : People : Tableland

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Issue : People : Compromise

Games Journalism. what the fuck is games journalism? I don't ever remember it being an actual form of the word. It has always been this. It has always been everything explained in the picture above these words. People get so butt hurt when they see pictures of things that are obvious. It's sad.

I feel sorry for Mr. Keighly though, the sacrificial pitch man. He tries, and in all fairness he does more for gaming than most. Just what he does for gaming being the thing that ruffles the other most. He looks like he is asking hard questions to the future him who is looking at this photo.

Remember Nintendo Power? That magazine was all about Nintendo  and power. The idea of that magazine advertising or writing about something other then a Nintendo product was ridiculousness.  Remember Gamers Republic? Remember Game Informer? Ah, simpler times. People give Gerard a hard time about his leanings, while he shoots back, "Y'all should probably tend to your own garden."

I don't feel as bad for the fangirl that got exposed in Mr. Florence's article. What the fuck was she doing? Public relations. Most game journalism is public relations. Peanut butter meets jelly. I have seen many a journalist walking through the workplace, treated like royalty, flights, room, board, chips, and snacks. Hand in hand with marketing and pr, getting shown the best parts of the pie, while the chaff is hidden in the back.

Not many complain that blogging doesn't get the respect it deserves anymore, because it probably is. No one is even trying. Can't write the article if no one likes you enough to talk to ya. Can't play the game if ya can't get it free.

The people that sacrifice their lives, families, and sanity to make games are getting fired in droves, and all anyone can talk about are the folks that cheerlead them. Sometimes I truly believe doing this crappy thing for kids is just silly. Also, Jerbz.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.121 Issue : Games : Complimentary 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Issue : People : Assets

In the video game world the term asset is used to define anything digital that is used for a larger production. It can be a tree, a bush, a rock, a box, a dumpster, whatever. A shit ton of assets make up a game, all sprinkled around an area to provide the illusion of a vibrant world.

The term "Art" usually goes in front of the term asset, but that phrase is transient. Nowadays assets can be photographic, 3D rendered, bitmapped, animated, motion capped. The toy box is full of toys to play with these days. Most artists are designers, most designers artists, but they are all Americans, unless they are not. Actually, a large number are not. I don't know why I just wrote that.

I was never an art guy, the closest I came to the art life was back when I would do these horrible drawings of X-men characters in my elementary school notebooks, and then an unfortunate extended graffitio phase. Not exactly exit through the gift shop stuff. Although I can and will say that one piece I did where I had the Tasmanian devil spinning under my name in neon green and purple wildstyle was... it was a different time.

The art guys say the hardest thing about fixing asset bugs is that the assets are used over and over, everywhere. so if you have a rock formation that's broken in one place, you most definitely have that same problem somewhere else. And if you fix the rock formation in that one place, you probably broke it next to a thousand more lakes rivers and streams all over the world.

That must be nerve wracking, every fix is a choice you know will change a bunch of unknown DPO's all over the world. All the game artists I know drink a lot. Now that I get to thinking about it, all artists I know drink a lot. I don't get it.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.120 Issue : Games : Placement

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Issue : Games : Haunts

I was watching one of those shows about famous singers that judge people that want to be famous singers a while back. It was the one where there are four famous singers sitting backwards in king chairs, and there is a person that wants to be a famous singer behind them singing, and if they hear something they like in that wanna be famous singers voice, they press a button and Viola! That person is all the sudden a famous singer as well.

That is life in a nutshell, methinks. the young getting the ok from the old to sing. We all have something we want to be. Don't lie. Most have been thinking about being that something for a very long time. We just don't believe that something is possible, or plausible, or responsible. It's failure, or the prospect of failure, or the expectancy of failure, or all of the above that keeps us from perusing it.

It's that damn need for validation we all have, but work hard to pretend like we don't have. It should be good enough just to sing, but it's not. Searching to close the "it's not" part of the issue runs you right into the possibility to fail blocakage. There are many ways to fail. Never trying being the most common.

That's how I see the indie gaming world, that's how I see the whole sing for your supper thing. Just people finding new ways to put their stuff out there in front of the veterans and public that decide if what they are offering is worth the offering.

I think the draw to that show is those wanna be singers having enough balls to just get up on stage and belt on out. Maybe they are singing to the famous singers to get famous as well, maybe they are singing just because it's a platform to sing on, maybe they are singing because they have nothing left but singing. It's all goody, the songs get sung, time gets had.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.119 Issue : Enervation

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Issue : Games : Odysseys

I have no idea why people act like trapped in the closet isn't the greatest single piece of thing ever. Oh, not a fan of R. Kelly’s two thousand part series about rachetness and spatulas? Liar. Take it as a comedy, take it as commentary, or take a drink every time he repeats a lyric, doesn't matter. It’s all magic, it’s all mystery.

Just wait until you hit the age of bad hips and social security checks. All of your friends are dying of old age instead of whip-it induced falls into vats of poison, and when you ask your kids what they saw on Broadway last night they say, Cats. But they really went to see trapped in the closet, the musical.

Oh yeah, I am supposed to be talking about game related stuff. Project green light might be waving the fee, IGN is going on the ho stroll, and Nintendo may have been using child labor to make games for kids. Hey, remember that part in trapped in the closet where Sylvester and James are rolling around with the gun and accidentally shot Twan?

Yeah, overtime is definitely getting to me. Also, jobz.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Issue : Games : Humble Approaches

Books and video games have always been in the same boat. Common family born a bit apart, cousins, mostly. Games have it kinda bad, nobody is sure what they are worth. Books have it very bad, can't give them away. As in if you walked up to a person of a certain age today and put a book in their hand, they would try to beat you to death with it, assuming disrespect.

Not that it matters, the dwindling cabal of humanoids that will always love and protect books don't give a rats ass who else enjoys them, like a choice you have in life or something.

Now books and video games are actually sharing ways to exist, vis-a-vis this whole "Tell me how much you want to pay for this group of things and I will give it to you at that price," Thing. Those old dudes that do video game comics and the president of science fiction and puppets are all about it. Great time to get fashionable guys. Also, smart move.

It's kind of like "Dating for Geeks," you put yourself out there in the form of your work, and then they choo-choo-choose you. With the added benefit in you getting the tips. I bet those broken kids thank that quickly approaching space they believe their chosen god lives in everyday that people are out there figuring out new ways to make them monies.

Oh yeah, and that Halo thing. Did ya really think they were gonna let that slide? Stop it. Now, windows 8 maybe, but Master Chiefz is serious buiznezz.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.117 Issue : People : Portents

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Issue : People : Sky Physics

There is an asteroid heading to Earth. We are not supposed to be in any danger, according to scientists. There is an Armageddon joke in here everywhere, I will not chase it. We were researching a weird bug about meteors the other day. Moon rotated one way, and a meteor shower rotated another.

The tester that found it called everybody over and sped up time with a slash command. We sat there, about ten guys, just watching a unnatural sky spin against the meteor shower, talking among ourselves about what was wrong with it.

The observable sky was up for debate. Should the meteor fall be going a different way? What about the velocity of the fall looks off? The color, should it be a deeper orange? the debate got heated, and we spent a long time after the talk died down just staring at the sky-fall. Things are different when you know something can be changed. The questions actually mean something.

The only thing that sucks is you stop accepting things for what they are. It's a sci-fi game, the writers and designers are probably doing the same thing. All in flux. There are a lot of other things to do in the game. I don't think the end user is going to take that much time to stare up at the night sky. The guy bugged it just to be safe.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.116 Issue : Games : Chondrite 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Issue : Games : The 4th Stage

Game journalism. What the fuck is it? I don't claim to be a games journalist. I don't claim to be a rapper either. Dylan. But I also don't claim that games journalism is a thing that you can pin to a wall, or blame for the woes of the industry. I mean it seems simple enough. Video game is getting ready to coming out. The people that make the game want other people to know about it. The middle man steps in and handles the transaction. Peanut butter meets jelly. What the problem is?

There are games dudes that report the news. This is happening, that happened, etc.. There are games dudes that report opinion, this might happen, that shouldn't happen, this is never going to happen, this is what we want to happen. And all of that is cool. Where am I going with this? Oh yeah, advertisers.

Say a traditional media journalist does a story on high gas prices and right next to the story is a giant advertisement for Shells new clean up the environment initiative. If the person keeping the lights on has a word in anything I don't even need to read that story, because I know what the nugget is going to be. Buy this despite that. I used to think that peanut butter and jelly could exist as their own sammiches, nay, were supposed to exist apart with the combination being a mutually beneficial plus. Now, not so much. I don't think it was ever like that.

It takes so much just to tell your friends about stuff you think is cool. Fuckin' dumb. And if you are wondering why that project eternity pic us up there then lean closer to the screen cause screw you its beautiful and peaceful and yes I had a hard time with marketing today and I just remembered I have pizza in the fridge. Oh yeah and Jobz.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.115 Issue : People : Impasse

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Issue : People : Epiphanies

I don't even know if I enjoy playing video games anymore. I thought that for the first time today. I was sitting at my desk, writing a bug, thinking about picking up Dishonored, and the thought passed through my head that I might not even want to play Dishonored, I just think I do.

I listen to the guys talk about games all day long, I help make them all day, I read about them on break and at lunch, I play them when I get home, but I have never questioned if I even like them until today. A couple questions about what happened could be, why did it take me so long to ask a question like that? Or, what would I do about it if the answer to the question be returned as a no?

Well, Fuck. Now the question line branches doesn't it? We could go to the who would I be without video games place. We could go to the what would I do if not live in video game player land place. We could just ignore the question.

Maybe I have just been lying this whole time, saying I like games when I really don't, chasing them obsessively to prove a point that no one is really pressing me to defend.  Maybe the reason I have lived in games for so long is that you don't have to necessarily enjoy something all the time when you love it. Like a football player that can't remember when he didn't play, or a fisherman that just happened to live on the sea his whole life, but was never really fond of boats.

Anyway, I should get to playing Dishonored in a bit, I am also looking forward to working through X-Com, and Natural Selection 2 looks to be coming along nicely. Fall is always ripe with releases. Where does the time go?

The Protoculture Mixtape v.114 Issue : Games :  Arbitration

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Issue : People : Epic Smokebombs

So Cliffy B is off Epic? Wow, work a few hours of overtime and you end up on some Rip Van Winkle shit. All that time hanging out with Notch must have put ideas into his head. Or all that time at Epic watching the ideas in his head get diluted into things that were not the ideas originally in his head could have been it.

When a marquee player leaves a team there is always going to be the same response. "We are still the core that we were. Do not be alarmed." Which is cool. I don't think Cliff was all of epic, but he certainly wasn't a little bit either. And lets not act as if the man didn't have demands of his own, being the face tends to do that.

Word is he was good to the people in the pit there, so that counts for everything. Those testers swear by him, talking bout he came down there with donuts during crunch and would follow up on his bugs in person, to the point where his face in the bay wasn't met with hushed conversations and downcast eyes. It was all hey! What's ups, and look at Hollywood over here come to slum it! He gon' be aight. They gon' be aight. I wonder what this means for Fortnight though? Good luck guys, and fuck it it's rap day quit crying Derek.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.113 Issue : Games : Dare To Dream

Friday, October 5, 2012

Issue : People : Debate Street

The presidential debates were magical. Like two dudes that had an obligation to show up somewhere and talk about stuff, showing up to talk about stuff. The one guy made it a point to talk about stuff that he knew his party wanted to hear. The other guy made it a point to talk about stuff the public wanted to know about. Apparently there was a winner, so I guess it went well.

The only memorable string of words I walked away remembering was somebody talkin' bout cutting funding for PBS. Really? The station that teaches children their abc's and shows people how Celtic bands are supposed to rock out is the money pit holding our country down? First the space program, now the free antique roadshow hookup. I dunno, doesn't sound right.

Politics is a tough racket, apparently even tougher if you play them vidja gaimez. Poor Colleen Lachowicz is learning that the fast and hard way. I guess it's not cool to be an orc rouge and a political candidate at the same time, because the inter web virtual Johnny Mnemonic verse is really serious business. Wow, sad. Good thing she wasn't a LARPer. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The Protoculture Mixtape issue v.112 Issue : Games : Counterpoint

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Issue : Games : Resi - dissent

Wow, Resident Evil 6 is getting rocked. Can it really be that bad? As in, can it really be that bad compared to the other resident evils? Dub just bought that shit today. Hope he didn't log on to even one site, because they are all saying the same thing. Launching this title will be like having a hot fart launched into your mouth. Good luck on that man, gotta come to your own conclusions sometimes.

Hey, that's cool, its only the first salvo. All types of Halo's and Assassins Creeds and other types of whatnots are on the way to take up time and space and other physics type stuff. But wow, journalists, when in agreement about the quality of a title, go at it with such verve. Especially a game that is an assumed purchase, sitting there with that can't touch this attitude. They really like their jobs that day, the worse the game, the better the review.

Anything else fit to print? Hmm... Oh, the steam Gamemaker stuff is out. Unfortunatley nobody hates that... so... yeah, that is cool if you want to... you know make stuff, check it out. I am sorry it is super hot in here right now and all I want to do is soak my bunions, eat some ice cream, and watch the Expendables 2. I suggest Capcom do the same. Haters man, shake it off.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.111 Issue : People : M - Virus

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Issue : Games : Arma'na Leg

So Day Z is getting ready to be released as a standalone. That is a weird place for ArmA to be in. "Hey no, no, wish you the best of luck man. We will be fine over here." Nah they will be aiight, I'm sure the guys at ArmA saw this day coming and planned accordingly. If we are to feel bad for anyone, feel for the ArmA devs still in Greek jail for taking pictures of Austerity, a.k.a where other countries will be in about seven years. Whatever happened to free (X) t-shirts? Is that only for rap?

Also, zombies, we done yet? can zombies be played out? Or is it a vampire situation where all you have to do is dress them modern or sprinkle some angst on them to make them fresh. Personally I cannot wait to meet our new feelings endowed zombie overlords. Call of Duty : Black love. No, Sarge, don't be scared of feelings, even if they bite. Kiss my taint, the puns will stop when I am emotionally stable again, they comfort me.

Speaking of Minecraft, which we always are since it appears to be defacto Kevin Bacon of the gaming world, Notch don't fux with Windows 8 and doesn't want it anywhere near Minecraft. Open revolt, nice. And against the flagging flagship of the information age. It will not end well, these things rarely do, trust me, and, it's super unnecessary, these things usually are, but a man has to have... a code. So what dude? It's Notch, he is a coder, it is so valid. Lazy writer my ass! Haha ok yeah you got me I is.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.110 Issue : People : 1Bitten_x_2Shy

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Issue : Games : LiveStops

NBA LIVE 13 is not coming out. So there is that. Was it supposed to come out? Was there an NBA something or other before this one that was supposed to happen? Man, these are hard ass questions. If I played basketball games these questions would be even more pressing. More John G's wheelhouse. I bet he has an opinion on this, or at least one worth a damn.

A press release to say a game is not coming out this year. Shouldn't Duke Nukem have had, like, a million of those press releases going out? I would have slammed so many dunks in NBA LIVE 13, it's lucky it's not coming out.

Conan O' Brien has been reviewing games recently. I'm with that. He comes at it from the perspective of a guy who doesn't know anything about games and enjoys them for what they are, also kind of resents them, but still has jokes. I am going somewhere with that, hold on.

Which one was NBA LIVE? Was it a good basketball game? It was EA's franchise right? Was it the one where you could follow players over a career and buy them houses and gold bidets and whatnot? I know it's not the one that you actually bounce a basketball to play, because that one is not called NBA LIVE. Double Dribble was fun, when is the next Double Dribble coming out?

Oh, Conan O' Brien reviewing games and Jimmy Fallon debuting games are just the tip of the iceberg. Hollywood is going to press games hard this year, from every angle imaginable, so get ready to see any celebrity that might appear to be close to interested in games, or interesting to gamers, hawking the shit out of them, if at least through the act of standing next to them. It's not just for E3 anymore. EA should make a Mutant League Basketball game. I'd play the shit outta that.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.109 Issue: People : Vicissitude 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Issue : People : Dr. Strange - Com

The X - Com series is a bunch of games about trust issues. No, the X - Com series is a bunch of games about paranoia. No, The X - com series is a bunch of games about aliens. Or the X - com series is a bunch of games about how we don't trust each other, aliens or not, or something like that. Oh, and it is also about load-out management, and making a bunch of strategic moves in order to shoot stuff.

It's painted from the sixties palette of who is a red, wheres the nuke, standoffs, hard choices and acceptable losses. And then the aliens show up,but at the end of the day they turn out to be just another piece on the board.

X - Com, enemy unknown is out in demo form, and it's worthy of the pedigree. 2K did right by the toolbox in letting you know just what you are playing and why you will be uncomfortable playing it right out of the gate. Then they upped the others by letting you know that grid jumping can be pretty, mission hubs can be innovative, and the strategy genre can still be worth fifty bucks if done correctly.

I was saying somethin' about mining memories a few days ago, well, if you are going to do it, this is the way to go about it. There is a reason this series gave birth and direction to so many other games, to the point where if you have played X - Com from the start you can see where other games sliced elements off buffet style. Also, China can wait, go for the scientists. Sorry ATM Sonic, I'm just sayin'.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.108 Issue : Games : Decommission

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Issue : Games : VaultLights

Both Torchlight 2 and Borderlands 2 feel like the same games that gave birth to them. Not cousins, or long last family, but those type of twins that look like each other in most ways. They complete each others sentences and can't wait to let you know they are twins.

Maybe developers think players want the next game to be as close as possible to the one before it, as not to scare and confuse players. Maybe publishers want sequels to be as close as possible to the one before it, as not to scare or confuse profit margins. Maybe players want sequels to be as close as possible to the one before it, because contrary to what we complain about, we are deeply scared of change. It confuses us.

John G and I were talking about Sifl and Ollie coming back a few days ago, and he was taken aback by the fact that I was pretty "whatever" over the idea of it's return. And for the record, that "whatever" is not the Liam Lynch reference of note, it will be coming in the last paragraph, and it will get your earlobes wet.

The source of my ambivalence is that the Sifl and Ollie show that will be airing soon will not be the Sifl and Ollie show from before, it will be a twin, it will be finishing the sentences of an old show, just with a focus on dem video games this time. Not a bad thing, just not a new thing. A year of Bill and Teds and things I loved years away that kids today have no reference to or idea of what even made them awesome can and should only illicit a "Aight, I'll take a look." But John G had a good point when he said I would still watch it and I would still laugh. True, True.

Here is the thing, and I was thinking about this all last paragraph. I may have oversold the whole "Earlobe dripper Liam Lynch reference," thing. It was over the top, and I want to take a step back to reset expectations. Fuck it, lets phone it in and go with the goat rap. Wow, these Dorito's Jacked chips are off the haberdasher, I need these in my life right now. Oh, I am still typing things? I could just backspace, but c'mon, seriously, why?

The Protoculture Mixtape v.107 Issue : People : Enolument

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Issue : People : Borderland Hopper

So, Borderlands 2, huh? A.K.A Dubstep trailer mashers. A.K.A The Grindatorium. A.K.A That game Ash's brother worked on in between Epson salt baths. A.K.A ... Claptrap's adventures in minion-sitting. I am having fun, because the game addressed all of the problems it had promised to address in the love letter sent to me and only me about the stuff I was mad at last time, but then forgot about.

The video options are great options for video adjustment, the menu flow is more polished... All of that shit is 2 legit to start quitting, Hammer-man. Still, and here is the thing, I don't know how to accurately explain this one either, but the game play got a shade of boring about three steps into the tutorial area.

Is there is some hater-aide in that punch, yeap. Some niggling in that wiggling? Racism. but truth up front, the gameplay was in the driver seat the first go round, now I feel as if Claptrap's and Handsome Jacks' fantastic raps (Which by the way, are on track for funniest in game chatter of the year. Shouts to diamond horsies) are carrying the team, while there wasn't much substance given to the gameplay itself outside of murder type and frequency.

Keep in mind I am not that deep, and also keep in mind that the pros so far far outweigh the midget cons in masks, but that is out there and it is what it is. Now having said that, there is also the little mater of... nah, that was about it. Also, Jobz.

The Protoculture Mixtape v. 106 Issue : Games : Butt Stallion says hello!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Issue : Games : Black Mesa

Black Mesa Source is out. Ten years in the making. New coat of paint, new intelligence, you know the drill. I am procrastinating on playing it, although I don't have many reasons to. I see it as revisiting someone or going somewhere you have already been. You know it is going to look different, if only because time rules work like that. Like your room when you were a kid, you are bigger as an adult, so everything looks small. Or with the person, you are just going to have more to talk about later, because you both have seen and done more shit.

I am wondering if black mesa has anything new to talk about. I am sure it does. I heard it's not even done yet as well. Why release it half done after ten years? I am sure there is a very good reason for that as well. I am going to play it eventually, I am sad for valve, and it gives me stuff to shoot at until Borderlands 2 comes along.

Duke is out, Black Mesa is out, what is going on with vaporware these days? Poop or get off the pooper, I guess. As if there is a Half life to these sorts of things, and they come in threes. C'mon you gotta work with me here, who comes out of the gates swinging? Puns are a legitimate writing tool, and I choose to believe that.

The Protoculture Mixtape v. 105 Issue : People : Crab Heads

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