Is Nathan Drake worth his weight in gold? Let's find out together with UnchartedPalooza!!

February 4, 2016

UnchartedPalooza!! Drake’s Fortune

It should go without saying, but for posterity’s sake?  The entire purpose of this post -- and by extension this whole miniseries -- is simple: I want to find out how good the Uncharted series really is.  Or if it’s even good in the first place.

I wouldn’t know, because as embarrassing as it sounds, I’ve barely played any of the games prior to this.  Based on how much traction it’s gotten, I’d like to at least assume that the franchise is good.  Perfect?  Probably not.  But you don’t get to become a marquis title on one of the big three consoles by being merely average.  You have to be something special.  Something awe-inspiring.  Something fantastic.  True, it’s entirely possible that Uncharted’s traction is unfounded, and that its definition of “special” is actually a bunch of smoke and mirrors -- the most basic of the basic, elevated to godhood thanks to marketing and hype.  Or maybe the series is actually incredibly good, and deserves its place in the spotlight despite its AAA status.  Who knows? 

The only thing I know for sure is that I’ll find and present my own personal answers via this miniseries.  Well, actually, that’s not entirely true.  I know that based on my experience, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is roooooooooooooooooooooooooooough.

And yet, it feels strangely familiar.

February 1, 2016

Xenoblade Chronicles X: A Double Lariat

Is there anyone reading this that laments the loss of the game’s bust slider?

Just before Xenoblade Chronicles X hit store shelves in the west, there was that controversy over “censorship”, i.e. gamers couldn’t raise or lower the size of their created female characters’ breasts.  The argument, or something like it, was that Nintendo decided that gamers weren’t capable of handling those matters.  Or, if you want to play strawman, they didn’t want to deal with outcries from the “dreaded” SJWs.  It was either that, or they caved into demands as part of an overly-PC culture, even if it meant sacrificing artistic merit.

I think that -- as usual -- there’s no right or wrong answer to this controversy.  On one hand, I can see the issue; as a guy who hopes to write about characters of all shapes and sizes, including the improbably buxom, it’s disheartening to know that I can’t create whatever I want because somebody decided to take certain tools away from me.  And again, it implies that the mere presence of sexuality (such as it is, given that breasts are simply body parts) is the problem, not the context or execution of it.  On the other hand, it’s still possible to define a character by more than just a body type, especially since the potential is definitely there to cause a controversy.  Although given that the default bust size is generous, I wonder if it would make for some little girl avatars that raise a lot of questions.

But enough about that.  Let’s talk about my avatar for the game, Lariat.

January 28, 2016

Are Japanese Games Just Plain Better?

(Alternate post title: Time to Throw a Molotov Cocktail at a Gas Station Covered in Dry Grass and Fireworks)

This should be a given, but I’m going to ask that anyone who’s stumbled upon this post should hold off on leaving a comment until AFTER they’ve finished reading the post in full.  Okay?  Okay.  In exchange, I’m going to undercut the post, the title, and myself by giving a straight answer: nooooooooooooooooo.  The land of the rising sun has released plenty of terrible games in the past, and it’ll always have the potential to do so.  By the same token, the west will always be able to put out some of the best titles the world’s ever known -- especially with the rise of indie gaming.  It’s not a black-and-white case, and it never will be.  A good game is a good game, no matter where it’s from.

So why the post?  Why the incendiary title?  Well, I’ve been thinking (as I always do); I’ve been thinking about the games I play, and the industry as a whole.  On top of that, I’ve taken note of my preferences -- and since I try to think critically about why games work (or don’t), I’ve been trying to figure out why I have the opinions and preferences that I do.  Contrary to popular belief, there’s a reason behind my actions.  They’re not always good actions -- and popular opinions even less often -- but I think I may have figured something out.

January 21, 2016

Introducing: UnchartedPalooza!!

I have a few confessions to make, and they’re not at all conducive to my character or credibility.  So let’s go ahead and rip off each Band-Aid as fast as we can.  And then dump a vat of acid on the wounds.

January 18, 2016

D.O.X. is Dead #9: Coolness and Drive

Wait.  Who is writing this?

Such a lust for page views…WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO?

Oh, wait.  It’s me.  I’m writing this -- post #666, as it so happens.  So let’s make it special, shall we?

January 14, 2016

What’s the Best Comedy on TV?

Have I mentioned before how much I miss How I Met Your Mother?  I have?  Well, I just thought I’d bring it up again -- because man, I loved that show.  Still do, arguably, seeing as how there are still reruns airing.

I just thought I’d open with that, because 1) I have a confession to make, and 2) I’m probably about to rustle a few tail feathers.  So here we go.  Controversial opinion time.  Ready?

I’ve never been able to make it through a full episode of 2 Broke Girls.  And thinking back on what I’ve seen, I’m kind of proud of that fact.

January 11, 2016

The Hateful Eight: Because 789

Well, I wanted to make a subtitle that referenced Killer7, but a “classic” joke will have to do.

Even though I’m probably going to finish this post with a few thousand more words in place, there’s a part of me that’s struggling to describe The Hateful Eight.  Part of that has to do with the fact that I knew virtually nothing about it going in besides the title and Quentin Tarantino’s name attached to it.  (He didn’t steer me wrong with Django Unchained, so he’s obviously earned my trust.)  Information probably hasn’t been hard to come by, since I’ve seen articles go up here and there on the internet.  I never got around to reading them -- except for one review that I clicked on, but couldn’t be bothered to actually read.  Because reasons.

Part of me thinks that that’s a mistake; staying well-informed is vital in a lot of circumstances, even if it’s for something as seemingly trivial as the entertainment industry (inasmuch as the haven of art and creativity can be “trivial”).  On the other hand, maybe it’s nice to be surprised every now and then.  If you don’t know what’s coming, then the surprise can be that much more satisfying.  Or as pleasant as bathing with angry piranhas, but whatever.

So where does that leave The Hateful Eight?  Pared down to basics, I think it’s a good movie -- great, even.  But it is absolutely, ABSOLUTELY NOT for the faint of heart.  And I’ll explain what I mean…with enough spoilers to shroud the entire west coast in darkness.

January 7, 2016

The 4-Year Anniversary Box Social: The Answer Lies…

Okay, I know this is technically coming in a little before the official 4-year anniversary, but since I didn’t do an end-of-year post, I decided to get some of that stuff out of the way here, ASAP.  That way I could move on to other, better (?) stuff.

Now then.  Let’s start with a megaton of an announcement: I think I’m going to be a Birdie specialist in Street Fighter V.

January 4, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Unleashed: Revelations: Revengeance: Revolutions

Okay, time for a controversial opinion (as if my confliction over The Force Awakens wasn’t bad enough):  I think the Millennium Falcon is kind of dumb-looking.

It’s all right, I guess.  But for a ship of its supposed caliber and speed, it’s kind of clunky-looking; shape-wise, it looks like a plate with some shoehorns glued to it.  No style, no grace -- which is kind of the point, given its owners, but it’s still not what I’d call ideal.  Now, the X-Wing?  Fine.  A-Wing?  Cool.  Y-Wing?  That’ll do.  I know those aren’t in the same class, but then I remember that the Star Destroyer exists and looks cool (inasmuch as an imperial death machine deserves respect), so it’s just like, “Yo, what happened, Han?”  On the other hand, the canon has also produced “beauties” like the B-Wing, so their aerospace engineering is probably a little spotty.

I guess what I’m getting at here is that, like I’ve said before, the past is not sacrosanct.  We don’t have to blindly accept that everything from the good old days was perfect and exemplary, because otherwise we end up in situations where “the things from the past are always better than things from the present”.  By the same token, we shouldn’t blindly reject everything because it’s from the past.  Lessons can still be learned from it, and elements (if not whole productions) are still appreciable.  It’s all about balance, and giving credit where credit’s due.  Like and dislike with reason and respect.

I just thought I’d throw that out there, in case anyone reading this decided to hunt me down and pin my lifeless body to a towering spire as a warning to their enemies.  So let’s move on…amidst all of the spoilers.