I said as much on
Twitter, but it bears repeating: Gaim strikes
me as what happens when a man watches the movie version of West Side Story, and takes it WAY too seriously -- and upon
realizing that the streets of New York aren’t filled with gang battles won via
elaborate dance moves, proceeded to have a nervous breakdown.
The show starts in one place, and becomes
something completely different barely a quarter of the way in. Without giving away any spoilers, let’s just
say that head writer Gen Urobuchi has evidently been playing a lot of Devil Survivor…and unfortunately,
happened to watch huge swaths of the abysmal anime adaption.
That -- much like the
majority of this post -- is pretty depressing. So you might want to have your favorite comedic video or song uploaded.
“The LORD is merciful
and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always
chide, nor will He keep His anger forever. He does not deal with us according
to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the
heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who
fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our
transgressions from us.”
A while back, I got to
meet one of my dad’s work friends, and he asked me what I had in mind as per
the whole “life” thing. I told him I had
the writing equivalent of “hoop dreams” -- though not in those words, because
that would require me to be witty on the spot. In any case, the conversation ended up
shifting to J.K. Rowling and the mind-crunchingly famous Harry Potter series -- which he didn’t think was all that great.
Not being a devoted,
diehard Potter fan, I can’t say his
opinion filled me with rage. It caught
me off guard, sure, but I understood what he meant. Failing to do so would bring me closer to
believing that the canon is perfect, which -- as you know -- is impossible so
long as it fails to focus on Sir Neville M.F, Longbottom. But for what it’s worth, I
think that overall, the Potterverse has
its fair share of juice. It wouldn’t
have become a cultural tour de force if it wasn’t. Although considering what other book series
also became a tour de force, that might not have
the hallowed status it once did.
The only way you can is
the obvious way -- by bringing up the fact that it’s a forty dollar demo. And it IS a forty dollar demo, without
question. That’s literally the only
reason it exists, even if it’s got a spiffy title independent of the upcoming The Phantom Pain. And it’s not a justified existence by any
means, believe you me. Remember, I’m the
guy who raised a stink over The Last of
Us and its DLC -- fifteen dollars for maybe an hour and a half of
cutscenes, and maybe thirty minutes of gameplay. So I can’t in good faith recommend Ground Zeroes to anyone.
And jeez, does this set
one hell of a bad precedent. Konami and
crew likely only did it because they needed to restock the war chest, and they
figured with the MGS name attached,
they could get away with it. And they did. Even if some people raised complaints, others
-- and plenty of them, by the sound of it -- spoke with the one thing that
mattered: their wallets. So I guess this
is the new standard now. I take issues
with games like Destiny offering access
to its beta demo solely by preordering the game (and “subtly” pushing a
thought-free purchase under the idea that “eh, I already preordered it, so I
might as well keep it”), but that’s a saintly practice compared to Ground Zeroes.
You might think it’s a
little unfair of me to add a game like Mercenary
Kings to this miniseries, by way of it being a shooter in the sole sense
that “it has guns”. But then again, I
could counter that by saying there was never any exact definition as to what
sort of shooter would appear in the ShootStravaganza. Given that there’s a third-person shooter
coming up, is it really so far-fetched to have a game that leans hard toward being an old-school 2D
No. No it is not, good sir or madam.
Moving on to more
pertinent matters -- this game has sprites, and that makes me happy. I agree with the sentiment of a lot of
gamers, and think that sprites are cool…and on top of that, something precious
ended up being lost in the transition from 2D to 3D. I’ve got one of the later Breath of Fire games on my PS3, and the
animations there make me lament that that didn’t become the future of
gaming. Same goes for Street Fighter; I like (and still play) IV, but there’s just no beating the
marvel of Alex tearing his shirt, Sean’s two-fisted dragon punch, and pretty
much everything about Makoto and Elena.
A well-made sprite leads to a level of artistic expression that 3D can’t
always match. Or if not that, then it at
least offers something friggin’ cool.
So the same applies to Mercenary Kings, as you’d expect. I just wish there was more to it than that.
I’m well-noted for being
an optimist, but sometimes it’s pretty hard.
That’s to be expected, sadly. Negativity is part and parcel of the World
Wide Web these days, and with good reason: it’s a place where fans -- where
those who care deeply about the things they love -- find out on a regular basis
that something bad is about to go down. I try to counteract that here,
but the woes of the video game industry and its mounting failures means that a
lot of times, I have to get negative, too.
So you know what? It’s time to do something different. I want this to be a happy place, and I can
think of one surefire way to do that: paying tribute to my mom. Today’s her birthday, after all, and she’s
such a great person that I HAVE to give her the praise she deserves. I don’t do that enough, but that’s to be
expected when you’re about as good with people as trying to spell the alphabet
backwards…while on fire. (As evidenced
by that curiously-morbid joke.) And
seeing as how I have yet to encounter a greeting card that can cram several
thousand words onto a folded piece of paper, this will have to do.
So gather ‘round. Have a seat.
Because I’m going to wish my mom a happy birthday the only way anyone
can: by giving 100% irrefutable proof that she’s the best in the universe.
It would be 110%, but
doing that would require making the post’s title in all caps. And as per The Rules of the Internet, that
would put the post's credibility in danger.