Monthly Archives: July 2013

Entertainment

So I like them good movies like S-dog Millionaire, Exit Through the Gift Shop, and that one about the Shawshank prison, but if you don’t like Wall-E then I don’t think you know how to love because that shit makes my soul weep every time I see it. 

Harry Potter occupied my angsty years in middle school and a Song of Fire and Ice is brutally amazing. That’s all I feel like discussing about literature.

That said. The Walking Dead scratches my zombie itch, and Game of Thrones is the best show on TV, nuff said. It’s also safe to say I’ve had air bending withdrawal before, so I love Avatar and Legend of Korra.

As for music, don’t get me started, Kendrick’s the best rapper out there right now, and for some reason I think of Frank Ocean whenever I’m Thinkin’ ‘Bout You.

Atmosphere makes the Sunshine better because Yesterday I saw my dead dad, but whenever I listen to Calvin Harris I have a Flashback to when I saw him at Lollapalooza.

Deadmau5 is awesome, and Daft Punk is my favorite band because they are Harder, Better, Faster, and Stronger than anyone else on the market, they also show me how to Get Lucky with people I don’t care about.

Some Nights I like to have Fun. because that’s the only way to listen to Kanye West while he registers late to dropping out of college. I also aranged my stuffed animals around my pillow, making an Animal Collective while My Girls dance to their LCD Soundsystem. But sometimes All My Friends make me Panic! at the Disco because When The Day Met The Night Ratatat comes with their Loud Pipes looking for attention.

All I really want is Justice for D.A.N.C.E. because Fred Falke knows how to lay down a bass line at 8:08 pm At The Beach, except when Madeon’s young face plays that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ Remix because that shit gets me hoppin’.

Honestly, though, MGMT just thinks It’s Time to Pretend that their Kids because the Beastie Boys decide to Make Some Noise.

Pink Floyd make classics, and Porter Robinson shows us that it’s Easy to speak his Language.

Now don’t take me as a Twilight fan, but I don’t mind having a Vampire Weekend every once in a while, and who really gives a fuck about an Oxford Comma.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Experience with Bioshock Infinite (Minor Spoilers)

Infinite was very similar to The Last of Us, in that it sucked me in from the start and didn’t spit me out until I fininshed it, and If I didn’t start playing it so late last night I probably would have finished it in one sitting, but even I have trouble staying awake at five o’clock in the morning. So I had to settle for the good ole’ two sittings to beat it.

Playing that late also made for one of the weirdest experiences I’ve had in gaming, because right before I went to bed was when Booker and Elizabeth first started going through the different dimensions, parrallel universes, tears, or whatever they’re callin’ em now. In a way, I felt like I was already dreaming because of how abstract the concepts were and how confused I was right before hitting the sack. All confusion and sleepiness aside, I really enjoyed this game and by the end of quite an ambitiously audacious story became my favorite Bioshock title of the three.

Confusion was a big part of my playthrough because the game throws so much at you throughout the game, especially at the end. Once I finished the game the first thing I did was look for an explanation to the story on the interwebs because my mind was spinning at that point. Although, I hope I don’t make it sound like the story doesn’t make sense, because it holds up for the most part, which is quite a feat considering how complex it becomes at the end, and it was my fault for binge playing the hell out of this, causing my brain to be mush by the end. It was one of the only games I’ve played where I was truly mindfucked coming out of it, and I had flashbacks of when I came of the movie theater after watching Inception for the first time, and I loved it for that.

The troubling question for me, though, is whether this should have even been a game? I say this because the story was just so well done, that I feel as though I would have rather just watched a movie version of the game, so I could have focused more on the intricacies of the story rather than having to fry my brain on shooting down tons baddies for long periods of time. Also, I found the vigors (or plasmids, in the other Bioshock games) to be forced in this entry because they didn’t fit all that well in the world. In Rapture, they worked really well because of the science-infused theme that surrounded the world, and messing with gene pools made sense for the people within it. In BI, it’s literally there because they were in those previous installments. Nonetheless, like I said before, this was my favorite Bioshock game because of the story, one that I will enjoy to play in the future when I’ve forgotten it’s secrets.

Playing this game and The Last of Us has made for one of the best, if not the best, summer of gaming I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of, not to mention other games like GTAV and South Park: The Stick of Truth coming later this season. Whether I liked Bioshock Infinite more than The Last of Us is a whole other post in itself, but I can safely say it is one of my favorite games that I have ever played.

Tagged , , , ,

My Love/Hate Relationship with MOBAs

I played a shit ton of League of Legends during the late fall and early winter this past year, the cause of that spurt of  non-stop playing is still as unknown now, as it was during the lonely nights playing it. Whether it was because I was injured, unable to play Ultimate at my college, finding a different competitive outlet, or because I actually enjoyed the game enough to spend god awful amounts of time playing it is still hard to decide, but nevertheless those long hours of getting lost in a competitive MOBA still absorbed my life for those few months.

I bring this topic up because I started playing MOBAs again recently when the long awaited DotA 2 finally came out of beta. The problem I have is that whenever I go on these binges of playing MOBAs, at some point I always become conflicted about them, unlike any other type of game I have ever played. There are multiple factors  that contribute to this conflict, one being that I like the idea of them, I love being able to control a character with its own special abilities and lore, as well as being able to see my improvement when I play with certain characters.  One of the best feelings is to find that one hero/champion that you understand the first time you play him/her as if they were made just for you to play them. Although, at the same time the learning curve is very steep, and people in game are usually no help at all, so it takes a good amount of playing to actually get to the point where you can play with a champion for the first time with no major problems. Time, both in the long and short term, plays a big factor in MOBAs because, in the short term, games are ridiculously long, and by the time you’ve played three or four full games you can end up playing four or five hours without even intending to, making me wonder what I’m really doing with my time.

That is the question that comes through my mind every time I play a MOBA for a long period of time. I am a relatively pragmatic person, so I always think about end results, as I don’t like to waste my time. This is another aspect of my conflict with MOBAs because I always get deceived when I start playing MOBAs thinking that the end result is winning games, but after a few games there is a shift that always occurs where I realize that there isn’t really an end result because there’s always more games to play. The only result that I can think of would be getting so good that you could make a living of it, but I don’t want to even know how long that takes. I never have this problem with other games because most of them have an ending, and usually, if I pick the right game, feel better from getting through it. Even other multiplayer games don’t create this problem because most of them don’t take so much time to have fun with or have such a steep learning curve. And having fun can sometimes be hard, depending on your personality, because both the community and game itself aren’t very forgiving. If there’s one thing I know about League of Legend’s players, it’s that they aren’t afraid to tell you that you suck, even if you only make one mistake in a game. Not saying that they don’t have that right, but it can get demoralizing if you are a sensitive person, making the mute button a pivotal part of the game.

Even after writing this post I still cannot decide if I like or dislike MOBAs because there are almost as many pros as there are cons for me when I look back at my experience in playing them. Will I continue you to play them?Yeah, probably off and on again, and since everybody and their mother seems to be making one of these I am sure there will be different variations that might fit my wants and needs than what’s currently on the market. I guess, as simple and obvious as it sounds, it really comes down to whether it’s fun, and maybe I am way over thinking this topic and I should just forget about amount of time it takes to play the game, and instead just enjoy it.

Tagged , , , ,

Holidays Are Weird

As another July 4th ends, I can’t help but feel how strange holidays are to me. The reason being, I don’t feel any different on holidays than I do any other day. Beside the fact that a lot of people get to have the day off, making it easy to see friends and family, there isn’t much that makes holidays that much more significant to me. I’m just as happy/mad/sad/emotional as I would have been if it weren’t a holiday, but maybe that’s how my personality is, as I don’t feel an obligation to change my state of mind because a certain holiday represents a pivotal day in history.

What’s even more bizarre are the many people that determine their favorite time of year by the holidays that take place during that time, especially Christmas. What I don’t get is if you love feeling that way during that period, why not feel that way all the time? To me, saying “I’m going to be happy during this time of year because of said holiday”  is the same as saying “I’m going to be happy tomorrow.” They’re both in the future so what’s the big difference? Okay, yes, you give and get gifts on one of those days rather than the other, but wouldn’t it be more fun to give those gifts at a time when it wasn’t mandatory?

This is the dilemma for me because if you love everything about Christmas, act like there’s a Christmas every month of the year loving every month of the year. If you love to dress up in costumes or decorate your house for Halloween, then do that all the time. If you love being patriotic on the 4th or your country’s respective independence days, then act like it’s your country’s independence day everyday.  I find it interesting that we love to make certain days mean something, when everyday has the potential to be amazing no matter what date it possesses.

My point is that holidays shouldn’t dictate what we do or how we feel during our everyday life. Maybe I’m wrong, but I get the impression that a lot of people put a lot of stock into holidays thinking they will be happy once that becomes a reality, but I would argue that everyday has the potential to be amazing, so to pigeonhole certain days as “special” is pretty silly, and maybe we should view everyday as a holiday.

Tagged , , , ,

Angry Haiku

Eff you, negative
Comment, go home, I hope you
Fall into a hole

Tagged , , , ,

The Swapper Review

As I walked up to the final chapter of The Swapper, I was confronted with questions that applied directly to the core of our existence, and had me thinking about subjects that few games, if any, have ever inspired me to ponder upon. It takes a special type of game to do that and that’s why I loved playing it so much.

You play as a nameless character in outer space who’s ship malfunctions causing him to land on an abandoned station in an unspecified area of space. At first the space station seems uninhabited, but soon you meet the last survivor of the space station who is keen on getting off it. Her strange personality and odd instructions helps provide mystery to the story, and adds to the already ominous tone that exists in the game from the moment it begins. The setting plays a huge part in the games narrative, as it spurs intrigue from the get go. When I first started the game, I already had questions about what happened to the station, or why it was there in the first place, and this curiosity never subsides because they do a great job of adding enough elements to the story to keep you guessing,  but not too much to bog the game down. The minimalist soundtrack also accentuates the atmosphere of the game very well, fitting perfectly within it. Ultimately, what I was most impressed with was the story itself, especially near the end, and like I said before some very profound questions about life and our existence are asked that no other game I have played has even scratched the surface on.

The gamplay of  The Swapper is very well executed, taking simple concepts and finding extreme depth within making for some incredibly hard puzzles that took me a while to figure out. It speaks to the creativity and effort that the developer put into this game and it’s level designs. The kicker of the gameplay is a device called, you guessed it, ‘the Swapper’, it’s a device that can manifest up to four clones that mimic your movements, and is called the Swapper because you can “swap” consciousness with any of  the clones you create. What’s brilliant about this device is that it actually serves a purpose in the whole scope of the story, it isn’t there just so you can get from point A to point B, instead it is an integral part of the narrative and is the reason the developer was able to ask the thoughtful questions I mentioned earlier. The puzzles themselves consist of retrieving orbs to unlock new areas, and like any good platformer as you go on there are more components added to the gameplay that make it harder, but these elements all fit well within the confines of the game, and are never overly complicated, but when put together makes for some truly challenging puzzles.

After finishing The Swapper, I get another sense that many developers are beginning to understand how to use video games as a great story-telling device, because even though this game had some really rewarding puzzles, they aren’t what I took away from this experience. What I did take away was how The Swapper tells an ambitious, intriguing, thought-provoking story that I have been thinking about since I finished it about a week ago. That being said, I would recommend to almost anyone, with the only drawbacks being that the difficulty sometimes took away from my experience as well as it being a bit short, but if you don’t mind those two things I would definitely give The Swapper a shot, who knows it might even change your life.

Tagged , , ,