(Vocal Reprise) LBP, and a few sorta, kinda related thoughts on online play

When I start writing a post, I usually don’t know how it’s going to end. But with Little Big Planet, I knew exactly where things were going to end up — with me complaining about being stuck in the game. I could feel the tension about that rising with each paragraph, and it took more than a little effort for me to hold back. I don’t like to talk much about first drafts, but man, if you had read the first draft of this post, you would have thought LBP was the worst game in the world. But it wasn’t, and it isn’t; I was just releasing a bunch of pent-up anger directed squarely at myself and my lack of fortitude. I actually held onto that draft for several months after publishing this post. And when I finally deleted it, it was the best feeling in the world. I still haven’t beaten LBP, and I honestly don’t know (or care?) if I ever will.

LBP, and a few sorta, kinda related thoughts on online play, original post from 4/12/2012
Duration: 10:10
Final thought: Doing this reading was dreadfully humbling. It’s a wonder that I ever managed to grasp the English language at all.

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Little Big Planet cover art (c) Sony, Media Molecule


Mash This!

The following post originally appeared on Geek Force Network, July 25, 2014.

“Have you heard this crazy song?” the driver said to us sitting in the backseat of his car.

He slowly turned up the volume and yelled “It’s pretty awesome!” For moment all I could hear was the familiar “duh duh duh duuuh” rhythm of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. It took a moment for Kayne West’s “Gold Digger” to register. And as I listened further, I realized that I wasn’t listened to Beethoven’s classic wasn’t playing at all, but rather it was “A Fifth of Beethoven,” a less than favorite off of an otherwise great album, Saturday Night Fever.

The song concluded and our friend asked “Pretty cool, huh?”

Someone in the car responded “What was that?”

“A mashup,” came the simple answer, followed by “this station plays them all the time.”

And so it began.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition Revisited

When I last left Dragon Age: Inquisition this past winter, I was picking up the pieces of an aborted playthrough with the help of a new playthrough. Gone was my “fresh start” with Inquisition, replaced by a recreation of the rogue (and roguish) female elf whom I had made for Dragon Age: Origins. Well, after a ton of fits and starts and more than little grumbling, I finally finished the game! Yes, I waved a bloody goodbye to the game’s primary antagonist, Corypheus, saved Thedas, and became the greatest Inquisitor the world had ever known. It was…enjoyable? Entertaining? Worth 50 hours of my time?

Dragon Age: Inquisition box art © Bioware, EA, Microsoft

Dragon Age: Inquisition box art © Bioware, EA, Microsoft

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If Happiness is a Battle System, then Xenoblade Chronicles Makes Me Smile


There are no two ways about it — since finishing DA: Inquisition, I’ve been OD’ing on Xenoblade Chronicles. At this point, it’s like heroin: the immediate and thrilling high of playing it far outweighs its later consequences. Recently on United We Game, I discussed one of the game’s most addictive aspects: its usual and wonderful battle system. Auto-attack, unique and easy to access abilities, and a brilliant cast of teammates are all I want from any game now.

Originally posted on United We Game:

Image by cary. It's mine, I tells ya! MINE! Image by cary. It’s mine, I tells ya! ALL MINE!

Though I might have conked out on my self-promise to complete Metroid Prime, I haven’t given up on a number of other challenges that persist in my backlog, one of which is finishing Xenoblade Chronicles. Long story short, back in 2013, I started Xenoblade Chronicles, only to give it up after realizing just how long it was. At 60+ hours just to beat the main story (and 100+ to complete everything), I simply didn’t have that kind of time to devote to a single game. This past February, a copy of the game wormed its way back into my life, and I couldn’t turn it away this time. I picked the game back up, right at my last save point from two years ago, a mere five hours into the game. I’m now just over 40 hours…

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(Vocal Reprise) I wanted something different and found out the world ends with me.

The World Ends With You remains a high point of my gaming past. But as much fun as I had with the moody Neku and his graffiti-stained afterlife, writing about the game proved most challenging. It made me face one of my biggest gaming flaws: that I don’t pay much (or enough) attention to story in games. Prior, I had never given much thought as to why I play games. While writing this particular post, that question loomed, especially when I ended up with little more than a bare-bones discussion about the game and some faltering excuses. It stands in stark contrast to the feelings I associate with its memories. Ah, how rears the ugly head of the dangers of nostalgia.

I wanted something different and found out the world ends with me, original post from 12/19/2011
Duration: 4:47
Final thought: Damn, stumble lately? Talk your words, woman! TALK! I’m so confused. :\

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Mission Chrono Trigger: Of Fake Queens and Real Frogs (with Swords)

These days, I play games at one rate: slow. And if I’m gearing up to beat one game, things slow down even more with anything else that I may be playing. What does this have to do with anything? Well, nothing really. I mean…it’s like…SHUT UP I DON’T HAVE TO JUSTIFY MY EXISTENCE TO YOU GODDAMMIT!

Um…well…that escalated quickly.  I’ve been a bit on edge for no good reason lately. I should be jumping for joy because (trumpets flourish) I completed — yes, completed —  my first real playthrough of Dragon Age: Inquisition over the weekend! Oh yes, I did — do I hear a few woohoos? No? Oh. Well I’m all woohoo and shit over it because it means I finally get to write about the game. I’m aiming for those words to appear here next week. Now, what this excitement has meant for Chrono Trigger is that it feels like I’ve barely progressed with it. Like, maybe I’ve managed another hour or two, if that? However, the nice thing about the game is that the plot doesn’t screw around with  a million sidequests and nonsense. That’s not to say that you can’t go exploring on your own to find this, that, and the other, but Crono has a purpose, and following that purpose is your main goal as the player. It’s a little strange playing a game that offers up a seemingly concise main story. Then again, I’ve been knee deep in Inquisitor madness and Mechon-slaying, so what the hell do I know? Not much, apparently. So let’s just get on with my mission, Chrono Trigger.

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Fifteen Songs (This is becoming a habit.)

(And a habit it will likely remain, it seems.)

For the past couple years, I’ve offered up at some point a play on what was once (and probably still is) a social media-driven, musical tag game. Put your iPod on shuffle, list the first fifteen songs that appear, tag fifteen friends. Last year, this post appeared around Labor Day. The year before that, it was at the same time as it is now, around Independence Day. As I’m currently unable to focus on any one task for more than a few seconds (except with Dragon Age: Inquisition — the end is near, I can soooo feel it!), it only seems right that I should make this into a official thing, because, right now, writing about songs is nearly the only thing my feeble brain can handle. So here we go with the shuffling iPod and another personal peek into the strange place that is my musical psyche. As always, I’ll put the first five songs from the list on blast and provide links to the rest at the end. Click away!

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It’s not what games have become, it’s what they are.


Every now and then, I have to get a bit ranty. And though it may seem pointless to rant against the wilds of comments made on the Internet, it’s simply what was taking up most of my mind on the day I wrote this post for United We Game. “It” being negativity surrounding whatever it is people think the video game industry has become. I argue that the industry hasn’t become anything, but it has evolved and changed with the times, whether you like it or not. And that’s what it’ll continue to do until…well…it gets destroyed by a giant meteor. And when that happens, the whole human race with presumably go with it, so…

And there’s your Monday morning happy thought. Ciao! :)

Originally posted on United We Game:

Image by Flick user Satish Indofunk Image by Flick user Satish Indofunk (CC)

You’ve probably read or heard this comment before.

“If this if what [x] has become, then [insert response like I fear for the human race or I don’t want to be a part of it].”

It’s a comment that, if you spend any time on the Internet, you’ve may have often seen in response to many of today’s games, and especially games that don’t fit someone’s personal definition of a “video game.”

We’ve covered the question of “what is a video game” on the site before, and quite frankly, what we found was that no two people described “video games” in the same way. Gaming may be a multi-billion dollar industry, but video games themselves remain deeply private affairs. No two people will ever experience the same game in the same way. That’s not to say that two people who…

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