Does Anyone Care About My Blog?

I know for a fact that it’s a dumb question. I care about my blog, and that’s all that really matters.

But I get the feeling it’s a question a lot of people ask. What do you have to do to feel important? To be noticed, to be read. I know my thoughts are interesting, but does anyone else know that?

I know that seems silly, because it is.

At the end of the day, who cares, for the vast majority of people, this is a hobby, one they’ll probably eventually stop, and there isn’t anything wrong with that.

The fact of the matter is, we’re writers, we may not be paid to write, but we are publishing content that is just as important as a best selling novel. I really mean that. Not everything has to be noticed to mean something.

There are ways though, to try and ‘beat the trend’. Tags are your friend, use them. Social media is something to invest in. Be active in updating your blog.

Yet, if this is just a hobby, don’t stress.

This really could be its own job. You have to be your own marketing team, manager, writer, graphic design artist, ect. Each one on their own is a job. So don’t feel bad, if you’re not doing that.

You can get bogged down in all that stuff. If this is a hobby, just focus on your website. Unfortunately the internet isn’t what it was. Everyone used to have their own website, now people have a Facebook page. The internet changed, it most likely will again. It’s such a changing environment, I don’t see the internet of today staying the way it is forever.

If you look at your stats sheet and you feel discouraged, don’t. That’s not what matters, all that matters, is that you did something.

Failure is never in trying, it’s the absence of action, then you’ve truly lost.

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Dragon Age 4: The Hype is Real

I just can’t wait for this game, current speculation is for it to come out in 2021, and I’m like, WHY?!?!

I’ve already waited four years, I mean, I have to wait another three?

That’s too long. I’m still looking forward to it, the hype is still very real.

It’s just, why?

Also, Solas, you betrayer! I will fight you in combat, you’ll be the greatest Shakespearean villain in gaming, if done right.

I’m hoping this game isn’t another Mass Effect: Amdromeda. Don’t get me wrong, I like that game. But please don’t let Dragon Age 4 be a buggy mess, please just let it be awesome.

I’m ready for the game, just, don’t disappoint me BioWare!

I Fantasise about a Fantasy Game

Witcher 3 was, and is, one of my favourite video games. I’ve played it twice, finished the expansions. I love this game. I also adore Dragon Age: Inquisition. Finished it twice. I thought it was a fun time.

I’ve essentially been waiting for two years for the next big fantasy game to come out and it hasn’t happened yet.

Yes, I could play Final Fantasy XV, but it isn’t a traditional swords and sorcery type games. It’s far more Japanese. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it isn’t exactly what I’m looking for. It also technically won’t fully update for awhile, so I want to wait for it to finish. I want to play the best version of that game.

I want to play a video game where I have sword and slay magical creatures. I want a game with a great story, where I’m the hero. Where I can get the girl. Where I save the day.

This is one of the reasons why I loved Skyrim. That game was great, even if it was thin on the story front. I’ll never get over the killing butterfly mechanic. A strangely fun aspect of the game. The vampire expansion was fun too.

Other than Dragon Age 4, I can’t think of another traditional fantasy game on the horizon; and you know, that really sucks. I really want to play another one of those games.

I want meaningful choices. I want an expansive world with it’s own unique lore and intricate cultures, I want to see different people from different places unused to each others customs. I want to feel uncomfortable in certain situations because I’m not sure how to react to these other ways of life.

I want to see frictions between people because their nations are at war.

I want a world that just breathes with life. Political intrigue. Fascinating twist and turns. So on and so forth.

I just don’t see a game that’s anything like that coming out.

It’s probably a miracle that video games like this are ever made, because it’s a tall order. Yet when they are made, it really is a beautiful miracle.

The closest game that I think of that might be like this is God of War. We’ll have to sit on that to see if it really will be that kind of game.

I should probably pick up Dragon Age: Origins. I played it once but never finished it. I might have to give it another go because I have an itch that needs to be scratched. I also am waiting on the Switch, so it’ll be awhile before I can give The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild a proper play. Even then I’m still unsure if it’ll scratch the itch.

So Fantasy games, where are you? I’m getting a weird rash without you.

Most Anticipated Games of 2018!

2017 was a great year for video games, but I think next year will be just as good.

Spider-Man:

This is easy to put on the list. It’s a game about being a web-slinging badarse. Why wouldn’t it be here? Is it the greatest looking game ever? No. I like the bright colours and the kinetic energy. The only thing I really wish is that there was more variety of colour. Maybe there will be, we’ve only seen a trailer, but so far so good!

God of War:

I mean you’re a God with an axe! You travel with your son. Nothing can really measure up to you as you stomp their brains into the ground. I see no issues here.

Red Dead Redemption 2:

A cowboy in what appears to be a very compelling, beautiful, open-world. Sounds good to me. I just hope I get a female option and that there are no microtransactions.

Days Gone:

Zombies! Zombies everywhere! I couldn’t help myself. This honestly seems like a fun game, nothing ground breaking, but I don’t think it has to be. So long as it’s fun with a decent story then I’m happy.

Kingdom Hearts 3:

I hope this game isn’t delayed, it looks amazing. I think Pixar as a video game is never something I thought I wanted, but now I do. So again, please come out this year! It’s a really damn pretty looking game.

Vampyr:

I’ll be a vampire. It’ll be total rpg. Meaningful choices. A flexible plot. Sounds great. Sign me up. The graphics could be better, but I’m not complaining.

Skull and Bones:

I want to be a pirate. I heard that the ship combat isn’t the only element to this game. I hope it has a first person campaign, because then it’s got my attention.

Shadow of the Colossus:

A remake of a classic game. I really want to see that. It looks lovely and compelling. I’m on board.

A Way Out:

Couch Co-op! I missed you! EA can’t be trusted, so I hope to God this is a good game!

Metro Exodus:

This really looks like something different. A shooter with a strong element of horror, with a world that just breathes with character. Awesome. I hope it lives up to the trailer.

Octopath Traveler:

An old school jrpg. I love these types of games, it just needs a great story. For me these games live or die by the narrative. So long as that’s good, everything else should fall into place.

Games I can’t wait for that probably won’t be here until 2019:

If 2017 was great and 2018 has that same potential, I think 2019 could be even better. Honestly, I’m not pulling anyone’s leg.

The Last of Us 2:

This is probably one of the most anticipated games coming out in general. If it’s anything like the first game, I think it’ll be wonderful. I’m certainly looking forward to it.

Dragon Age 4:

I really want this game to come out! It’s been too long! I love Inquisition. I love the world, the lore, the characters. So long as this is improves on the previous game, I think that this will be a fantastic ride.

Cyberpunk 2077:

I honestly adored Witcher 3. It’s one of my favourite video games full stop. I hope it’s just as good as it’s been rumoured to be. I honestly can’t wait for this one. I hope we get some news on it next year, because the anticipation is at full throttle with this one.

A Video Game About Video Games

I know, it’s super meta, but the fact is many fans of video games (including me) aren’t exactly certain about the process that goes into developing and creating one.

I know it can involve tireless ‘crunch time’, that there are coders and artists that don’t always see eye to eye. That these things can take years to make, ect. But I don’t know how it works in detail, the process, the time, the budget and where it goes, so on and so forth.

I think that this would make a great game that could not only be fun, but teach people how to games are actually made. How would it work? Is it even possible to have a ‘teach me game’ and make it fun. Sure, and it’s been done before, just not in this industry.

Shirobako is great example of this. It’s a show I’ve yet to watch, yet it’s influence on the anime community could be felt by fan’s everywhere (and on most forums). It’s a show about, you guessed it, creating anime. It had such an influence that people would reference it in discussions about how anime was made, and it was as much a work drama as a show about ‘how to make anime’.

And this is how this game would work! Make a work drama about making a video game. Hell anime already tried to make this show with New Game! (another one I might have to check out?).

It could start with a young person (man or woman, depending on your choice) who’s a college drop out that has no clue where to go from here. They thought they wanted to be a lawyer, but after two years of barely passing tests and a recent death in the family (their grandmother?), they don’t see much point to it any more. They’re lost in their life.

Well while walking to the store for some milk, they see a flyer on the ground in a puddle, ‘programmer wanted: no experience required’. They pick it up, and it starts raining. Running home, they realise, ‘I don’t want to keep cooped up in my room any more’, so they make a call.

Who answers but a twenty-something that never finished high school. A person with artistic talent, a dream, and a need to make a game. You meet with them at their house where you find four other people. Everyone who at some point lost their way, so you agree to help them make a game. You’re quick to learn and the drama is never ending.

Maybe someone ends up pregnant, someone else recently quit a dead end job; and the other girl of the group is a stay at home mother that just needs some time in the week away from her kids. And the choices you make either help this game to finish or never get completed. You don’t even need to ‘really code’ in the game.

It could even all be in the same graphic level of Pokemon Gold or Undertale. My point is, I think this is just one example of how a game like this could be made and I’d love to see it. I hope someone makes a really cool game about game development, because I think it’d be a great way to know this stuff. So that there isn’t this great divide between a developer and a fan. So there is just a bit of understanding to be had, and hell, it could just be a cool game too!

What Ever Happened to Couch Co-op?

[This article may contain spoilers to everything]

Remember when multiplayer meant handing a spare controller to your friend? I do. What happened? That’s what I think whenever I boot up a game like Titanfall 2. Don’t get me wrong, I like that game, a lot. But I can’t play the campaign mode with a friend. That cuts down the re-playability to me from hours of fun to 0.

If I wanted to play with a friend, we’d both need two TVs, two consoles, two wifi connections (if you’re in separate houses), two controllers, two copies of the game, ect. That’s not even including potential other costs like microphones, headphones, and so on. This doesn’t even count paying for online multiplayer. It’s ridiculous.

I’d like to play games on the TV with one console. Thank you!

Before you say that the current consoles don’t have enough power, what about Halo 4?

Halo 4 still looks like a game that came out this generation, but it was out on the Xbox 360 when that hardware had become ‘obsolete’. Yet that old piece of hardware is more capable than a PS4 and Xbox One when producing a great looking game with traditional split screen functionality?

I’m just not buying.

I’ve seen people get around this by having two TV’s and the whole set-up with two games and everything. So that they can play on the couch together. That’s far too much effort to just simulate split screen. It shouldn’t be that hard, especially ‘in the future of gaming’. It should be as easy as putting in a disc and handing your friend a controller.

Now there are some modern examples that break the trend, mainly indie titles and stuff from Nintendo (like Arms and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, both coming out this year). It’s nice that the Switch seems to be at least trying to bring it back. But these are more and more becoming the exception, not the rule.

Is this because companies make more money selling more versions of their games this way, while Sony makes you pay for PS Plus for the privilege of playing with your friends? You know, it’s very possible.

I remember when consoles really did have an advantage over the PC and it was the fun that was couch co-op. Now I’m not saying it can’t be done on PC with mods, ect. But it isn’t the same, it not as accessible or as simple as it should be.

It’s not something that as a console player I want to be meddling in. I want it to be simple, I don’t want to work at getting the experience I had with gaming a decade ago. Especially if the mod doesn’t work and I’ve got to figure out why, it seems like too much to ask for something that used to be so easy.

So slip screen, where are you? I sincerely hope you don’t go the way of the Dodo.

When An Ending Ruins Everything!

[This is a dumb article filled to the brim with fan word-vomit…you’ve been warned!]

[All the spoilers! Everywhere! Run!]

Final Fantasy X’s ending made me angry, why? Well before the credits, I was satisfied. Tidus is a dream, he basically dies and returns to his father. Ambiguous, makes no sense, but it’s a Japanese game, I expect weird (if you don’t believe me, watch the Space Adventure Cobra movie opening, it’s worth it, promise). Then he just swims to the surface of the water for no reason. So what? Is he dead? Alive? Does him high-fiving his dad mean nothing?

Then there is Nier: Automata, it’s a cool game. I didn’t play it myself, but I watched a friend through most of their playthrough. The story had me enthralled…until the epilogue. It made no sense! Also why did A2 climb the stairs near (ha ha) the end…just like Video Girls Ai’s ending? At least in the one I saw. Then A2 dies, everything falls apart, and we had everything ‘explained’ away. In a monologue, which is weirdly weak given the games top form beforehand.

I mean, when we got the reason for why that Boss wanted to be ‘more beautiful’. It was tragic, unexpected, and moving. It made sense, given everyone’s affection for that man, it drove her mad. That had set up, this speech came out of the blue.

Then I watched a variation of that ending where they live…is this supposed to be Groundhog Day, Edge of Tomorrow…Madoka Magica? It makes no sense! Video Girl Ai makes way more sense…and is more enjoyable, and has closure…for the most part.

Also did Spike Spiegel die or not? The director likes to tease that fact…ambiguity!!!

Here’s the thing, I don’t even mind if an ending is unclear, but it has to earned. Final Fantasy X seems to be baiting the audience, undoing a perfectly good conclusion. Nier: Automata pulled the dumb philosophy card that Pycho-Pass wears proudly. Quoting random philosophy to an audience doesn’t make you smart, it just makes you look like a bit of a try hard. Kind of like Evangelion, a series that’s been milked for decades because of it’s ‘deep’ ending (people to this day seek depth from it’s puddle).

But Rent, surely you jest? Name something with ‘true depth’? What’s something you don’t consider pretentious? (Yes, I used that word!)

Angel’s Egg. It’s thought provoking, deliberate, absorbing. It possibly has no meaning, yet it’s Christian imagery can’t be denied. It’s an experience of a film, and is just beautiful. If you like Final Fantasy’s art, research it, you’ll find a very interesting connection to the two. In some ways it’s the best representative of that art style you’ll ever find in motion. It’s a work of art.

Now everything mentioned here is art (expect Phyco-Pass…); but Nier: Automata, Final Fantasy X, they seem to falter at the finishing line.

Nier: Automata has some of the most beautiful writing I’ve seen in a video game. It’s translation and voice acting is wonderful. It’s not afraid to diverge from a more literal translation, an issue that plagues some anime, and I think it’s better for it. Lupin’s The Mystery of Mamo, the Frontier Enterprises’ dub, is another good example of how to make something feel natural in English.

The Apartment is another film that’s just filled with meaning.

The mirror…it’s broken.”

Yes, I know. I like it that way. Makes me look the way I feel”

That scene just captures every poignant thing in that film. It says so much, without slamming it in your face, and I love it for that.

Nier: Automata kind of just goes off the deep end, like Evangelion. It makes no sense, it doesn’t feel earned. It just felt like it fell apart, adding ‘revelations’ out of nowhere.

Then again, maybe that’s the point? Or, there may have not been no point.

Kind of like this article. At the end of the day, this is all subjective, but to me, this ending wasn’t worth three playthroughs. My friend was left unsatisfied, so was I. It was Final Fantasy X all over again for me, a good game just fumbling at the last moment.

It almost did it…almost.