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I’ve been playing some vid cons lately and I want to write a few words about each of them.
I’m a little behind on the news, and I had no idea that the fan-translation for Ys V was finally finished back in November. Ys V is, I guess, something of a departure for the series, using orchestral music (or the SNES’ equivalent) rather than the synth rock of previous entries, and having buttons dedicated to attacking, blocking and jumping. It’s a pretty good game, my only complaints being that the plot seems incomplete (characters that just show up and leave with no real development), the boss battles are pretty lame, and the magic system is more or less completely useless.
Ys VII is what I refer to as “Secret of Mana only good.” It does the three party real time combat thing a hell of a lot better, due to better AI and the faster pace the game moves at. Like Ys V, I’m right at the end of this one as well (Ys games aren’t exactly known for their length).
The Legend of Heroes- Trails in the Sky
Another Falcom RPG. You may be noticing a pattern here; a pattern I’ll get to in a moment. I’m still pretty early on in this one, getting my ass kicked by flowers and bugs. I’m also going this out there: this dialogue is probably some of the most well-written prose I’ve ever seen in a game. Ain’t even kidding.
Ys vs Sora no Kiseki Alternative Saga
It’s a fighting game with Ys and Legend of Heroes characters. It’s good, and I would recommend that my readers play this and the other games I’ve posted so far. Particularly readers who fit on the LGBT spectrum, female readers, non-Caucasian readers, basically anyone who fits into a minority group (particularly one that the gaming industry has it out for). For whatever reason, here in the US, Falcom games have the absolute worst fanbase, full of conservative shitheads completely out of touch with reality. The weirdo that runs Ys Utopia, the ECMs, Kimimis (yes, bigoted assholes that moderate ECM’s message board are “worth my time”), and Turbo Boarders of the world. And these games are awesome and deserve better than that.
I’ve also been replaying Deadly Premonition. The first time I played it, I rushed through it, not taking the time to do any side cases. This time I’m slowing things down, seeing all there is to see in Greenvale.
I wanted to do another Summer music compilation. This time, using vid con music, particularly from the Sega Genesis. Not only is it my favorite system, it also has a sound chip that produces an excellent “dirty” sound. So I picked ten tracks that fit that mold; the kind of sound that would appeal to the older audience Sega wanted so bad back in the 90′s.
It is the Summer of 2008, and I’m bored out of my mind. I’m at work, leaning against the counter, half out of exhaustion, the other half out of simply not giving a shit anymore. I’ve worked here three and a half years non-stop. No vacations, only one day off a week. I’m tired, and it’s finally starting to show. Taking a look at myself, I look like shit. Heavy bags under my eyes. Constantly grabbing my lower back in agony. Knees aching. Rough stubble on my face that has the consistency of sandpaper. Bloodshot eyes. The Works. And that was only my physical state.
Only two people notice any of this: the first being my closest friend in the world (at that time anyway), who was an older woman who treated me in a very motherly way, the other person being the first man I ever loved who didn’t love me back. Just by looking me in the eye, he knew more about me than I did. He knew, and he told me as such, that I was going to lose it. That at some point, I would feel the weight of the world crashing down upon me. I could have sworn that boy was psychic, because that was exactly what happened. By 2010, I was a bitter drunk, hiding myself from the sense of shame that came from selling myself out for popularity; my quest to become the next great music journalist was doomed from the start, and I should have known better.
But back in 2008, I’m leaning on this counter and chugging down some terrible energy drink that tastes like piss and probably shortened my life span by at least three years. Suddenly, the boy I’m crazy for looks me dead in the eye and says to me, “This job is killing you, I can see it plain as day! We need to get you out of here before then.” I just nod and give that half-hearted “yeah, yeah” answer when you don’t think somebody is being serious. “No, really,” he tells me, “I’m moving to Michigan in a month, and I think you should come with me. I think getting you somewhere new would be good for you.” Dang, he really was serious.
I didn’t know what the hell to think. On one hand, even if I knew full well I wasn’t going to get what I really wanted out of the deal (him), a fresh start in a new location was probably the best thing that could ever happen to me. One the other hand, I was young, didn’t have a whole lot of money and was just barely getting by, I had only left the state of Colorado one time when I was eighteen (some friends and I took a short road trip to Nebraska to buy fireworks), and there was no real guarantee that I was going to be successful there. I thought long and hard over the next few days before telling him no. Eventually, he left, got married and started a family. And eventually, I lost my damn mind.
In retrospect, it was probably for the best that I didn’t leave the state on a whim. But sometimes, when I’m feeling really down about life, I can’t help but think “What If?” Had I taken that risk, would I have ended up better off? What kind of life experiences would I have gained from it? What course would my life have taken? I guess it’ll just have to be a mystery.
Also fuck Arika for nerfing the shit out of Vega. For fucks’ sake, he can’t even jump off the side of the stage unless he’s doing his Sky High Claw or his Flying Barcelona Attack. And I thought Vanilla Street Fighter IV was bad (in regards to balancing out Vega, I mean).
Skullomania is a pretty cool dude, at least.
This is an artbook for Resistance 2 on PS3. You’ve probably noticed by now that all of these posts have been for Sony products. This is because Sony, or at least our Sony representative, was super cool at providing service and making my retail life much easier and giving us goodies for the heck of it. Microsoft was decent enough, but they hardly ever came by. Nintendo’s rep was a fucking dick who looked and acted the part of some shithead gamers.txt stereotype. As a result, I was very pro-Sony for a very long time.
Resistance 2 was a decent enough game, I guess. The co-op was sweet, but the single player campaign and the deathmatch stuff was a little lacking, I felt. Regardless, it was still magnitudes better than Killzone.
I’m working for WWE as a manager, and my first clients are the newly reunited tag team of Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. I should be getting them ready for their next match and thinking up my next promo, but I decide that we should all take a trip to the museum, instead. So it’s just the three of us, checking out all the exhibits and having a good time; Dolph really liked the Native American exhibits. Also I should point out that both of these guys were wearing their wrestling gear the whole time, and I found it funny that we were getting exposed to other World cultures while Jack Swagger has his “We, The People” Tea Party singlet on.
We get hungry, so we stop at the cafeteria for some lunch. Jack gets separated from us at this point, so Dolph and I take a seat and discuss anime while eating sandwiches. Eventually, Jack shows up, surrounded by a group of teenage girls. I turn around so I can ask him what the fuck is up, and he sprays me with a ketchup bottle. Him and the girls all laugh at me, and he says, “Hey! Loosen up, you Mark!”
Every once in a while, I like to check back on my boy (and yours) ECM and see what new bigoted bull shit the former Gamefan E-I-C can come up with. I know that that might come across as an unhealthy grudge, but honestly, I tend to forget about the dude until someone reminds me, usually either by asking me, or indirectly reminding me by reblogging one of his dumbshit friends on my Tumblr dashboard.
Oh and what do you know it’s yet another “gay people are mentally ill” post. I never get tired of seeing those, let me tell you. And I know I shouldn’t be so mad. I mean, this is coming from a middle-aged man who dresses like a fifteen-year-old metalhead who has just discovered Dream Theater, who took a terrible magazine in Gamefan and somehow managed to run it even further into the ground (and I’m pretty sure was running the show when Capcom caught them red-handed selling off a beta of Resident Evil 2), whose reaction to the cover of Super Street Fighter IV was akin to someone who just heard JFK was assassinated (Dudley fucking rules, you nerd), and seems to think that only working out once a week is enough to become the Aryan Superman he sees himself as:
But I can’t help myself, you know? No matter how sad and pathetic the person saying it may be, I just refuse to stand for any kind of bigotry, especially homophobia. It’s just how I am. Normally, when I get mad (actually mad or just internet mad), I would say something like, “I should just chill out more.” But then I realize that “chilling out” around bigoted assholes is a load of crap, so my final sentence will be “fuck you, you fat motherfucker” and posting pictures of dudes I want to bang (mostly this dude, but fuck, can you really blame me?) because homosexuality is actually really good .
I’m riding a bus. To where, I don’t know. But what I do know is that there is a man harassing a young lady in the back seat. She’s clearly uncomfortable and is looking for help, and nobody is coming to her aid, so I decided to get up and move to the back. By the time I get there, the man is getting more and more aggressive with his advances. I literally pick him up carry him down the aisle, all the way to the door. The driver pulls over and lets us out. I throw a right hand into this guys face, before shoving him away. Before I can get back on board, though, the driver has shut the door and sped off. Great.
With nowhere else to go, I walk into a processing plant. Once I enter, I instantly have a job, so I get right to work. Eventually, the shift ends, and everyone immediately forms a line at the back door. I go to do the same, until I remember that I left my bag sitting on a table. So I go to grab it, and once I do, I turn around to see that the entire plant is empty. For the second time, I’ve been left behind.
Time passes. Days or weeks, I’m not sure. Either way, I’m now hiding in some teenager’s closet. I’ve been living there for a while, trying not to be found out by his family. Of course, his dad does eventually figure out that I’m there, and after a phone call, a couple of armed guards arrive and haul me off to a large warehouse.
This warehouse is full of people either cowering by themselves, praying, or crying in huddled groups. I’m slowly beginning to realize why I’m in this building, as well. Everyone else is either Latino, Black, Asian, Indian, Women, Trans, or Gay.
Eventually, we’re all shipped to a city underground. It’s full of run-down apartment complexes and dingy bars. It has a dirty water supply. The food is unfrozen, spoiled tv dinners. The television only gets two channels: Fox News and static. And there are signs everywhere reminding us this is not a home, it’s just a hunting ground. At any point, tourists can come down, armed with whatever guns and ammo they can carry, and kill us for sport. And that’s my new life.
I got bored today, and decided to take pictures of shit I have in my home. This will be similar to my retail memorabilia posts (hence the title), which reminds me that I still have at least one more of those left to do. I just need to borrow a scanner, first.
To begin, here’s some stuff tacked onto this massive corkboard I have.
My domain name is up for renewal in September, and I’ve been thinking about some things. Specifically, the name of this site. I mean, it’s not 2008 anymore, and I’m getting too old to be in a “punk rock” phase. I’ve just been thinking about maybe changing the name and buying a new url when the time comes. I have no idea what name I would come up with, though. Or maybe I’ll just be too danged lazy to change it and stick with what I’ve got because, hell, it’s been around long enough.