Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!

Archive for March, 2009

One More RE 5 Post

Posted by deckard47 on March 31, 2009

So my RE 5 article just went up over at GameSetWatch. I think it’s alright, although there are things that need editing and clarifying, I now see. Regardless, I was excited for the comments on this one. The people who comment on my blog are generally cool people, and so I didn’t expect any of them to tell me that I was just being sensitive, and that the game is after all, Set In Africa. Of course, I’d be happy if anyone wanted to argue with me, that would be super interesting. It would be, really. I figured the GSW article would get a wider spectrum of reactions. Luckily for me, Colin obliged me. Colin (the mysterious Colin) leaves this comment on GSW, sans contact info:

We get it, the game is racist. Your redundant and poorly written article offers little more than “oh noes, you shoot black people. that’s racist.”

Yes, there are stereotypical undertones present, but the virus in the game is what is making these people crazy and violent, not their heritage. Will you be writing another ineffectual article if RE6 were to take place in Beverly Hills?

Wow, Colin, you just blue my mind. Oh, and can I second Colin’s vote for Beverly Hills as the next location? Think of the new heights Capcom’s “writing” and art teams could reach, given such a setting! Please, please don’t, Capcom. I like to go to sleep at night without crying.

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Posted in Random | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

That Felt Like A Long Time

Posted by deckard47 on March 30, 2009

So, I’m back here in the land of writing and other normal activities. Posting will happen, I’m sure. I hope you all want to see Duplicity, because I really do. Later.

Posted in Random | 6 Comments »

Elves + Chris Redfield = ?

Posted by deckard47 on March 23, 2009

So Owen and I will be pushing through Chapter 1-2 tonight. I know, sooooo sloooow, but it took me a while to figure out that I couldn’t give him the amazing guns I’d saved up for him. Really Capcom? I have to use all of my fabulous, bejeweled finery and there he is with a 13-shot pistol? How does that make sense? Anyway, we did manage to take care of the executioner (that’s what stockpiling rockets from 3-1 gets you!), and take his ring. I wonder what kind of ring it was? I think it was a promise ring. He looked like that kind of guy. On a different note, playing splitscreen (even on my HUGE 20″ screen) makes everything a bit more dicey. I just want to say that I was watching out for Owen, keeping them off his back, and that he acquitted himself well. I can’t wait to ask him to repeatedly “Give me an egg!” Eggs, Chris’ only weakness! Hilariously, despite my hatred for The Morlock, I was forced to play as him, equine musculature and all. I discovered that Sheva shoots left-handed (I think), and more importantly, the camera hugs her left shoulder, whereas it hugs Chris’ right shoulder. Playing as her for an hour, I realized that I was actually tilting my head to “make up for” the difference. The ensuing sore neck (coupled with my complete lack of adaptability, it would seem) ensured the continuation of the twisted affair between me and The Morlock. Curses.

Seriously though, I’ll be getting into some Elven Legacy tonight, as well. I’m excited, to be honest. I enjoy elves in all of their formats, and their legacies, mostly. Of course (to get a bit geeky, and depending on your fantasy setting) if you think about the title to this post, the Elves would beat Chris. Just one Elf (despite her reedy frame and willowy appendages as described by the bad fantasy author) would be able to break him like a toy. That would make a great game. Mini-game Capcom, mini-game! Unless these were the elves of The Witcher. They would probably make fun of Chris’ Mom, murder his childhood friends, steal the food that his hometown badly needed, and then topple his government and subjugate his people to hard labor. Elves vs. Morlocks. I’d watch it. Wow I hope no one who respects me reads those last couple of sentences. Anyway, I’m sure that my elves will crush all who oppose them. I don’t even know where this is going, I just like the name for this game a lot. So, I see hexes, dwarfs, and shotguns in my future. Fantastic.

Posted in Random | Tagged: , | 8 Comments »

Wesker: Owned

Posted by deckard47 on March 22, 2009

Yeah, so here come them spoilers, I guess:

So I’m done with that silliness, and not a moment too soon. I guess some people think that having a dude with oozing worms popping out him is awesome. I guess some people think that fighting said dude (while he spews dialogue that rots your ace off) in the caldera of an active volcano is also cool. Again, some other people might want to listen to Mr. Morlock and Sheva ask why Wesker betrayed his PARTNER, and then talk about why PARTNERS are spiffy for ten minutes. Those same people might also think that being forced to play in a way that does not cater to the combat system’s strengths (skulking around ’till those assholes with chain-guns take 5 for a smoke, say) is really rad. I am not any of these people. I liked the game when Sheva and I were on the run or backed into a corner, facing superior forces and item management issues. I liked using every bullet I had wisely, and using melee attacks to save every other bullet or shell. By the end of the game, I was looking for spots to lay mines (an interesting weapon addition, I think) and blow up barrels, but it wasn’t with the same sense of joy. It was just: oh great, here come 50 more guys with huge guns. They should just make a 3rd person shooter where your enemies all have extreme lethargy. Because I’m fine with enemies who shoot bows, and enemies who shoot guns, but it stops being a zombie game, fast. It starts being a game with moronic enemies who jump and shoot, a lot (and have 1,000 damn rocket launchers!).

I understand that they’re moving in a certain direction, but it’s a zombie-less direction. You know what, I know “they aren’t zombies anymore,” but as Shaun once proved to us, just because you don’t say the Zed word doesn’t mean they aren’t walking, hungry dead. The game lost me, and while I am quite sure it’ll find me again, with Owen and my spiffy new 3-shot pistol in tow, it’s annoying to know that it’ll end up being a stupid, artistically offensive (not to mention those other ways that it’s offensive) jaunt through “military facilities” that Michael Bay would find lacking in character and depth. The game doesn’t do much that’s too awful (offensiveness-wise) after the military facility stuff gets in gear. They’re really too busy throwing bad acting and bad set-pieces at you to show how evil and scary Africans are. What they do take time to do is show you how awesome Jill is for wearing high heels and having huge breasts, just like Excella. Thus equipped, she can take time out in boss battles to pose seductively on banisters (no I’m not kidding). I mean, who’s surprised, I know, no one’s surprised, but it’s just one more slap in the face, I suppose, from a game that wants me to hate it and its fiction from the very depths of my soul. Bravo game.

Of course, I have a brilliant solution to this problem. Fire up 360 Left 4 Dead and play a great, not-dumb game. Play a game that piques my interest, not my rage. There’s no doubt that I’ll look forward to the next true RE game with some kind of masochistic interest , but now I’m just thinking two things: where else could they set it and be super-offensive and not care (my money’s on India or Mexico, Mexico seems like it would be more in their line of class/zombie relations), and how much of a silly action spectacle is it going to turn into, without my beloved slow shooting and careful item management. Seriously, by the end I was just picking shit up and using it. It didn’t matter what it was, I just needed a projectile with which to mess guys up. Alright, it’s time to go see how “No Mercy” treats me when I’m brandishing a controller. Wish me luck!

End Spoilers

Wesker is made of butter, and Chris is made of Ice Cream. Sheva is a Terminator. But she’s still a good Partner!

Posted in Impressions | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

This Won’t be Much of a Post

Posted by deckard47 on March 19, 2009

Because it’s about people typing funny things into search fields to get to my blog. But it’s also about games!

Down to business. Thanks to my latest Among Thieves post, the “sexy nathan drake” types are showing back up at my site. It’s nice to see you all again. Second, someone got here by typing “tom cross shouldn’t be gaming.” That hurts Internet. I didn’t know you felt that way. I like gaming so much, why would you take it away?

Anyway, I’m happy to say that Left 4 Dead 360 will be showing up soon. Hopefully I’ll be able to play it with a small amount of skill. I’m mediocre on the PC version, I’d hate to think what I’ll be like using a controller. Peggle: Dual Shot is still entertaining me. I’m now grappling with a stupid magic rabbit, whose power is utterly worthless. I long for my magic pumpkin now!

Finally, a RE 5 update. I’m on chapter 5-2 (I think), having just defeated the (spoilerz, spoilerz, etc.) ludicrous giant spider boss. I forgot to tell you about the “tribal” villagers. You thought the villagers from the first two chapters were bad? Wait for the wetlands. I was making the Tintin in the Congo reference as a bit of a joke before. This time it’s no joke. You’ll fight painted, masked, lion-clothed villagers, who look like they jumped straight out of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. Capcom, classing it up. There’s actually a boy’s diary that you find in a village, that delivers the kind of humanizing look at the pre-infected society that would have changed the beginning of the game, to some degree. Luckily, Capcom stuffed it at the en of the 3rd chapter, in an optional document… And by luckily, I mean it doesn’t make a damn difference, with every other move they make, they’re digging themselves and even deeper hole. The reasoning they give for these villagers dressing up in “traditional” garb (and by traditional, I mean ripped from tabloids and serials older than my grandparents) is paper-thin. Apparently the villagers just started dressing in this fashion (and murdering each other) after being infected… Um, apparently this is a symptom of the version of the Progenitor virus specific to that part of Africa (and specifically, the marshlands and the nearby caves), which only affects men. Men who kill their families and villages as they become infected. Capcom, this is not how you do this. Oh, I’m sure it’s just “how this version of the virus is,” but it also happens to fit conveniently into your vision of what unpredictable, violently traditional people the Africans you’ve created are. And that’s just one angle to critique this game from.

The game is getting dumber by the minute, and I hope it doesn’t take me with it. The writing is bad, the kind of bad that makes you want to go Eternal Sunshine the time you’ve spent with it. Part of it appears to be some kind of weird syntax and wording thing. It’s how a game would look if I translated it from French (but mine would be worse). You’d figure Capcom would hire somebody who knew both languages well enough to make the game intelligible to English ears. Maybe it’s just really badly regularly written? I can’t tell.

The story and script are offensive not only in their content but also in their basic approach to storytelling. Chris and Sheva make Bruce Willis (and I mean Asian women-hating Die Hard 4-era Willis, not my beloved Fifth Element Willis) look like Humphrey fucking Bogart. (more of the spoilers? Not really) Albert Wesker is the hugest kind of tool; maybe he’s what designers think gamers would like to be like? There is absolutely no reason to be interested in him. There are a million other bad guys in games who I would rather watch or fight. His sidekick, the hilariously voiced Excella (no, really, that’s her name, I bet she’s good at things… Maybe she even excels at them!), wears “sexy” clothing and attempts to use her wiles to convince Wesker to let her be his “partner” Wesker (using devilish tactics no doubt culled from the “women like debasing themselves before men” school of literary inspiration), but is rebuffed by his Manly Devotion to Wearing Glasses and Having Blond Elvis Hair. They (most of the characters) stubbornly continue to use the word “partner” a lot. It’s gotten almost as bad as the “fertile ground” situation. Also, the spiders creep me out, the little ones, that is.

And I may still finish it and play it with Owen. What kind of fool am I?

Posted in Impressions, Racism | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Interview: Uncharted 2

Posted by deckard47 on March 18, 2009

Now, normally, I’d not by the one to link to an IGN article, but this interview is about Uncharted 2, so I really couldn’t resist. There’s some interesting stuff in there (and new screens, as you can see), but I liked this bit especially:

We’ve also made sure not to separate out the times when you use these new abilities from the combat sequences. We wanted to create a seamless experience of “traversal combat,” flowing freely in and out of combat as you travel through the world. That means that you’ll definitely find yourself in the middle of a firefight while running, jumping and climbing around the environment. Again, to keep things realistic, we’ve made sure that Drake can fire his gun during all of these actions. So if you’re trying to get to higher ground and an enemy is already up there shooting down at you, you can fire at him and take him out as you’re climbing your way up. This has opened up the design possibilities available to us in a massive way, since we can now throw combat into the game anywhere it looks like it will be interesting.

This is great, because I can’t honestly think of a game that mixes gunplay and platforming in a convincing, fun way. Maybe the latest Ratchet and Clank? I love the idea of swinging from a rope across a chasm shooting enemies as you swing (I’m hoping for this, they haven’t yet described a scene like this). I would really recommend reading the article, there’s some interesting stuff in there where the interviewee talks about designing a more open-world (compared to Uncharted) space in which to play. Ooooh, and check this out:

“On top of that, we’re planning on adding several features to the game that will increase replayability and extend the gameplay experience for everyone. We’ll be revealing those features at a later date, so hold tight for more info!”

The original game encouraged me to play it over again at least once (to unlock unlimited ammo, slowdown, and other cool things), so I’m sure whatever they’re adding will be cool. I’m still curious about everything else though, like the game’s story, supporting characters and basically everything they haven’t shown us yet. Also, hopefully the characters in the game won’t be quite so stereotypical as last time (except Drake, who I liked just fine the way he was). Now, pictures!:

Posted in Interviews | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Septerra Tactics! Brotherhood of the Core!

Posted by deckard47 on March 17, 2009

Wait. What now? What I really mean to say is… two things. Septerra Core is going to be available soon on GoG.com. This is absolutely amazing. I’ve had a CD of Septerra Core for ages, and every once in a while I install it to XP and watch it freak out. I get pretty far, and then the bugs make me quit. Maybe, with this release, GoG can make the glitches go away, and I can enjoy this awesome RPG all the way through. If you don’t know what Septerra Core is about (and shame on you if you don’t!), you can check here, but I’ll sum it up for you. It features as its heroin the awesome Maya, her friend Grubb, and their robot Runner. Together (along with a large cast of characters), you’ll have to save Septerra, a series of floating world shells orbiting some kind of computer power core. It’s like a Final Fantasy game, but it doesn’t leave the same bad taste in your mouth (sorry, all of you, I have to make myself watch those games unfold, I can’t like them). Oh, and it has awesome upgrades and items, and card-based magic! I know, I can barely contain my excitement.

Second (briefly, hopefully), it’s been revealed that a sequel was proposed for Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, the Dark Alliance-esque version of the Fallout universe that came out on the original Xbox. I didn’t like it (not many people did), but apparently there’s a 30-page design doc that just surfaced, allowing us to see what the next game could have been like. That’s all well and good, but I’m still pissed that Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel didn’t get a sequel. Tell me someone else loved that game? It had that Fallout feel (and I mean the real Fallout feel, not what passes for it today), awesome tactical combat, and appearances by all of your favorite bad guys (and really beautiful 2D graphics). Every mission was a major time sink, and each of your unit became invaluable, as you leveled them up and decided what roles in your squad they could fill. Now that I think about it, I treated this game the same way I treated Baldur’s Gate 2. I’ve played it again and again, and it never gets old, just like BG2.

Sure, it didn’t feature the same amount of moral choice/exploration that F1 and F2 did, but it was their (14 Degrees East) first effort. I’m sure they could have worked that into the sequel, with an actual protagonist. It was a lot of fun, and it took part of the series in an interesting direction. There’s no reason it couldn’t coexist with Fallout in its present form (or how it might have evolved, Van Buren style). So here’s to old games that should have been bigger and weren’t, and here I do mean FT: BoS and Septerra Core. I guess today is going to be one of those nostalgia days (and a Peggle day!).

Oh, and you can get Fallout Tactics right here at GoG. What, who said that?

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Peggle, Again, Briefly

Posted by deckard47 on March 17, 2009

Peggle: Dual Shot is, unsurprisingly, a whole lot of fun. If you’ve played it, you know about the incredibly addictive “ding” of the ball hitting a peg (a sound which has transitioned wonderfully  to the DS), you know the mini-Ode to Joy that plays when you finish, and you know the weird characters and sound effects. All in all, it’s just as fun as it was before, only now it can fit in my hand. This is the kind of game I’ve been craving on the DS for a long time: something that I actually want to play in brief sessions, not something that I can play in brief sessions. My only problem so far is a weird one: the Pegs don’t glow as prettily or as brightly on the DS… Like I said, what a weird problem to have. Tomorrow I’ll take the skateboarding squirrel all the way to the finish. Exciting.

Posted in Impressions | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Peggle

Posted by deckard47 on March 16, 2009

I felt like the blog was talking a bit too much about RE 5 (and the blog and I, we don’t always agree about what to write). Anyway, I’m happy to say that I recently learned that Peggle: Dual Shot will soon be arriving for my DS to devour. I expect wacky characters, mini-symphonies, and fantastic bounce-shots. It’s going to be good.

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Seth Schiesel and the Opening Hours of RE 5

Posted by deckard47 on March 16, 2009

This won’t be the last time this happens (and hey, I’m doing it too), but Seth Schiesel decided to one up everyone else and lay down the law on RE 5 and racism. Things do not, unsurprisingly, go well. What follows is a large portion of his article, a bit of analysis, and then some linking and discussion of relevant posts/discussions:

For at least a year some black journalists have been wringing their hands about whether the game, the latest in the seminal survival-horror series, inflames racist stereotypes because it is set in Africa. The answer is no.

The series, which began in 1996, is about a virulent bioweapon that turns people into zombies and other gross, pustulant monstrosities. In what has already become perhaps the most hackneyed theme in gaming, the player’s job is to save humanity from (yet another) zombie apocalypse. Other games in the franchise have been set elsewhere, like the United States, Spain and South America. In the new installment, released Friday for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, the action shifts to Africa, where the local population in the fictional region of Kijuju has fallen victim to the Las Plagas virus.

So Resident Evil 5 exposes the perhaps uncomfortable truth that blacks and Arabs can become zombies too, just like anyone else. Blacks and Arabs do not have a secret anti-zombie gene. And just like all the thousands of white, Asian and Hispanic zombies that have been dispatched in innumerable other games before them, the African zombies must also be destroyed, or at least neutralized.

This supposed controversy is why no one should ever try to come to a serious judgment about a game — which by its nature is interactive — based on a noninteractive snippet like a trailer.

There is no question that Resident Evil 5 is mostly about a white guy and his local café-au-lait hottie running around killing a bunch of deranged Africans (as opposed to deranged white people). But this is not a movie. When you are in control of the action the racial or ethnic appearance of your enemies simply stops mattering. The basic mechanics of moving, shooting, using cover, solving puzzles, employing weapons properly and understanding the overall environment are universal, no matter whether the enemies are aliens or Nazis or zombies or gangsters or any of the other categories we use to denote “acceptable to kill.”

Resident Evil 5 is certainly violent, but it does not feel especially gratuitous in its depiction of violence against African zombies. The point of the story is that the indigenous people have become the innocent victims of evil white people.

All that said, Resident Evil 5 could not possibly have been made in the United States. Racial sensitivities and prevailing political correctness would have had American game executives squirming in their Aeron chairs the minute they read a budget proposal for a game featuring African zombies.

Not so in Japan, apparently. The Japanese development team at Capcom, which developed Resident Evil, professed surprise at the racism concerns when black game writers in the United States started criticizing the game based on preview videos more than a year ago. To help the Japanese team understand, perhaps they should consider what the response in Asia would be to a Japanese game in which the player slaughters zombified Chinese villagers.

So… Where to start? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Impressions, Racism | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Right Now

Posted by deckard47 on March 14, 2009

Is there anything wrong with waking up and playing some Fallout 3 and listening to “Right Now” by SR-71? No, in fact, there’s everything right about it. I’ve been playing a bit more F3 than usual these days, and as always I’m at a loss as to why I keep fiddling with it. I know, on some level, that I have games that I find more interesting and fun, games that I want to play more of, regardless of whether I’ve finished them (right now, that list consists of Saints Row 2, which is endlessly replayable, Homecoming, and Bood Curse). Maybe it’s the RPG guy in me, wanting more points, more skillz? Oh, and I absolutely hate some of the voices in the game by now. I’d say that Moira at Crater Supply is probably the leader of this rogue’s gallery of vocal villains. Every time she asks me one of her questions (particularly the “hot little potato” ones), I die a little on the inside. Time to go save Lincoln’s head!

Posted in Random | 1 Comment »

News, Kinda

Posted by deckard47 on March 14, 2009

So I saw two or three things I wanted to link to, so I’m going to link to them. I know it’s not very fancy, but I don’t care. Here we go:

First, Simon over at Chungking Espresso has a cool piece up about Left 4 Dead up. He’s been writing about it for a while, but I haven’t mentioned it, because I’m silly. This one is about the rhythm of Left 4 Dead. See? Go look!

Second! Over at Acid for Blood (I hate saying “over,” it makes it sound like I’m bestest buddies with the site and it’s writer… I’ll say something new from now on. After this one) Brinstar has quickly and carefully explained why the “racism expert” guy who got mentioned a ton recently is mostly full of it (and why everyone else is full of it for believing him). Like I said, her points are good, and she makes a strong argument, so go check it out. Regarding that “informed expert,” who thought that it was cool to have one dude pronounce a piece of entertainment racist or not, and have that be the final word? Hell, if you want that, I can go read Chris Redfield’s palm for the answers, or look for them in the tea leaves or something else that’s “informed” as much as this guy was. Oh, and his conclusions were shit anyway. Onward.

Third, I guess the Escapist found some site that is worried about the PC version of The Game of Life teaching their kids about homosexuality?

“My daughter noticed right away (even before I did) and clicked on one of the girls instead of one of the men and then asked, ‘Mom, how come I can marry a woman?’ And then that led into a lot more questions that, quite frankly, I was not ready to talk to my 6-year-old about.”

Oh noes. Seriously though, those are tough questions. How can it be done? Do we have the resources? Can we rebuild him? I’m glad that The Game of Life is stepping up in this area to be honest. Like the author of the Escapist article who posted this gem, I always thought that game was creepy and centered around things I disliked (marriage, houses, investments, and more words I didn’t understand). One assumes that this Christian site doesn’t know about Army of Two yet. When they do, it’s going to be a real blow, I think.

Oh, and last and least, there is a review of Skate 2 over at Popmatters, courtesy of myself. I think it’s actually pretty good (you know how I normally write), and if you crave writings about Skate 2, and haven’t purchased the game yet, check it out. Also, I have a new article up at GameSetWatch. It’s about Alone in the Dark, again, for which I apologize. Still, it’s moderately entertaining, I think. It’s time for me to wrap this up, because it’s almost Paella time. Rocking.

Posted in Links, Racism | 2 Comments »

Bioshock 2

Posted by deckard47 on March 13, 2009

Check this out, straight from Kotaku, to you (through me)!:

You play as a Big Daddy.

In fact, you’re the first of the lot, a so-called “renegade” Big Daddy who’s on the hunt for a Little Sister of his own, according to a tipster who has the new Game Informer magazine in hand. You’ll take out rival Daddies with your huge hand-drill and plasmid powers, claiming their wee sidekicks as your own. Similar to the first BioShock, you can choose to either harvest your Little Sister prize for ADAM or you can adopt her as your own.

That Little Sister comes in handy. She’ll harvest ADAM from corpses strewn about Rapture, acting as a warning sign for when the Big Sister—the lithe, lightning fast enemy who will hunt your character throughout the game—has you in her sights. Based on her description, it sounds like she’ll be one hell of a fight.

That actually sounds really sweet. I would say that I should have kept my mouth shut about whether it was going to be good or not, but I don’t remember passing judgement on it (out loud that is). So this just serves me right for secretly thinking it would be bad. Looking forward to more news of this.

Posted in News | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

CS3, I Hate Thee

Posted by deckard47 on March 13, 2009

So at my job I do a ton of Photoshop stuff, and so when Photoshop, say, decides not to open any files (as in, files I’ve created with my version of Photoshop will not open, but files created by Photoshop 7 won’t), I get angry. I get even angrier when every single fix I find on Adobe forums is crappy. Imagine my surprise, when on some random tech forum full of absolute internet animals, I find the solution. I had to create a fake printer that doesn’t exist, and then set it as my default printer. What the fuck? Anyway, things are back to normal now, but I thought I’d just rant about the hour I spent trying to fix this earlier today. Adobe, from my desk chair, I shake my fist at you (oh, and sorry this isn’t game related…).

Posted in Rant | 1 Comment »

Rock Band, Why All the Rock?

Posted by deckard47 on March 13, 2009

Rock Band, why don’t you have any Chuck Berry or Dandy Warhols? More on this tomorrow, sleep time.

Posted in Random | 8 Comments »