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  • Oh, Look It Didn't Die

    2 weeks ago

    kirstenxo Miles Luna Fangirl

    I finally wrote another blog post/review/please love me and read it I am desperate for validation. Though for real, in the midst of all the Destiny 2 hype, I wrote a review on a game that involves a lot of bisexual haircuts:

    https://krisselia.wordpress.co...

  • Why I Run

    3 weeks ago

    Caofontaine Wizard

    As seen on:

    My Website

    Medium


    /*If you're passionate about something, it's always a good thing to remind yourself why you do what you do. This is my story.*/


    yQfJp5B.jpg

    Photo by Andrew Merlino (2007)


    This is one of those deep down, discovery discussions for one who has a large passion for running that they couldn’t live without it. To go one step further, it is one of those discussions for anyone who has a passion for anything should have.


    Since I chose running and most likely you are someone who doesn’t know me, I must start at the beginning. Even if you do know me, you might not know the full picture of how I’ve evolved over time, so this might be a good read for you as well. I don’t really know. It could be too long for you to read since attention spans thin over time. Oh well. Bear with me.


    My running history began as a 14 year old transitioning from middle school to high school. Knowing that I had no interest or build for football and the only thing going for me in soccer was my speed, not my technical skills, I figured cross country would be the way to start. Also my older brother was already running. It was clear I was a novice in running, coming in with no experience or any real training, also having a coach (which I realized 3 years after the fact) who really had no idea how to coach runners at all. My first practice of the season was 3xMile. I thought was doing pretty well after the first run at about 6:27, but boy, that faded as the next 2 reps I finished behind the slowest kid. Definitely eye opening. After that, nothing spectacular other than finishing the season as a top 10 runner on the team.


    I think the real test came with indoor track, what I consider my first real taste of competitive running with a coach who actually knows running. If I thought I knew nothing about running after cross country, boy I really knew nothing after doing indoor track. Learning how to pace and be confident in your body while running laps was difficult and honestly I don’t really think I ever got the hang out during my career. Honestly, I think this was the season I discovered I liked to run. I can’t pinpoint it exactly, but I loved the hard workouts and seeing the fruits of my labor with improved times. This was the season I suffered my first injury as well. Shin splints. To this day, the bane of my existence. I ran the last race of the season with that pain. A 5:52 mile. That was painful and a lesson learned in recuperation.


    Coming back for the outdoor season with ample time to heal, it was what I considered my strongest season out of my entire 4 year running career. Vast improvements across the board and a real contributor to the team. Though another lesson had to be learned in fatigue. Definitely felt the end of the season exhaustion grinding it out. This season for sure, defined my work ethic for the future.


    Speaking of the future, is there much to say for the next 3 years? Not really, other than the recurring theme was injuries. I was not actually talented as runner and injuries ranged from the knees, back, hip, and the ever so recurring shins. I finished my career with a 4:48 mile, 10:43 2 mile, 2:56 1000m, 2:10 800, and a 58 400m. Good enough to score points, not good enough to be a state champion or national competitor. I’ll take the small rewards, I suppose.


    So it’s 2017. Where am I now? While at 25 I am considered still in my athletic prime, I’ve become, what I consider, less than the casual runner. I’m even more fragile than I was at 18. Besides the shins, it’s the lower back, left achilles, right groin/hip, knees, etc. Jeez, I might actually be dying. Physical therapy has only ever gotten me to at least 80% recovery. What a waste of money. Let’s not even talk about surgery. You might as well just chop the limb off. You’ll have to pay a handful and still have to go to physical therapy anyway.


    We now get to the actual “why” part after so much backstory. If I’m in so much pain and have no real goals to compete or anything like that, why am I even going out for runs at all? It’s a valid question. If I’m such a casual runner, the first answer would be that it’s a good fitness routine for me. It’s something I know and it’s easy for me to get into, albeit how painful it is. Now you may say, “There are other forms of exercise you can do that could be less painful”. You’re right! However, other forms of exercise are based on convenience and income. Biking? Have to buy a bike. Swimming? Need a pool or access to one. Elliptical, exercise bike, or rowing machine? Again, have to buy one, have room in a home to put it in, or pay for a gym membership, which I won’t do.


    Ok, ok, let’s stop beating around the bush. Why do I run? I love it. I really do. I love the highs it gives you and love the absolute pains it shoves. It’s character building. I truly believe that I would be nothing if I had not picked up running. It taught me how to become a hard worker by making me discover what I needed to do in order to be successful. Now, I’m not talking about being a successful runner because I already told you I wasn’t, but rather being successful in all other factors of life. How to the be successful in work, with my friends, my family, all stemmed from how I learned to work hard in running. Now, running just serves as a reminder of what hard work feels like and that what I’m feeling now can be applied elsewhere. I’m not saying I need to be sweating and my heartrate needs to be highly elevated in my work, but it’s more of, how do I apply my motivation and focus in running, to what I need to get done by the end of the work day?


    Could I have told you all that without all the backstory? Probably, but you might not understand what it took for me to get to my reasoning. I see a lot people I know who told me in the past running sucks, yet, years later, I’ll see them running 5k’s, half-marathons, and marathons as if they’ve loved running for years. I once told myself at 18, that I’d probably do those once. At 25, with my body breaking down into nothing, it’s probably unlikely. I’ll stick to taking the winters off from running to rehab, and struggle in the spring and summer to stay healthy casually running on the roads. It’s not the ideal compromise, but what I get out of it is always the same.


    Also, remember I’m a running nerd. I watch track and field on TV like it’s Sunday Night Football.


  • Ai, The Good, The Bad, The Neither

    3 weeks ago

    colespock

    Hey All! Ever think about what having Ai's around what really mean? Well check this out and tell me what you think.



  • Wake Up, Josh (New Journal, Entry 1)

    1 month ago

    NP1046

    Well...


    Apparently 4 years ago I tried to do a daily blog. That worked out well. Freshman me was WAY different than post-grad me. That's right, I made it through tech school, and I had a blast the whole way. I mad tons of friends, made a lot of cool shit, and only failed a couple classes unintentionally. Just finishing up my masters degree part-time this coming year while I start actually working. I'm working at Pratt! On jet engines! It's so freakin' cool. But that's not all I've been up to in the last 4 years (Not that anyone read my old attempt of a journal, but whatever.)

    I'll give the TL;DR of the last four years:

    Made awesome friends

    Set things on fire, both accidentally and on purpose

    Visited awesome places (from Alaska to Boston to NYC!)

    Moved

    Moved again

    Moved off campus so I would stop having to move every year.

    Moved again.

    Graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering (emphasis on the BS :P)

    Filed for a patent on my senior year project

    Got a job, started making money

    Got a fish. 


    And that brings us to today. I've been keeping up with most of the content RT puts out, mostly on YouTube because of the watch later feature. Until now, however, I've never really been able to support them besides buying RvB and RWBY blurays (holy shit, was my last blog pre-RWBY!?) and the occasional small merch purchases for my birthday. Well, today that changes. I'm now a sponsor! I may not be able to watch the podcast live at work, but I can at least support some of the funniest and most creative people on the internet!


    Also, I think I'll try to revive this blog. Maybe not every day, but I'll try to keep it regular. Maybe I'll even share some of the projects I'm working on here FIRST (haha, get it? Because I'm now a...forget it.)


    Looking forward to using the site again!


    -J

  • Starting somewhere, knowing nothing (The Beginning)

    1 month ago

    unKnightly Josh

    A little over 8 years ago I made my YouTube channel unknightly, no ambition, no direction and no motivation.


    Over the years to come I would toy with ideas, concepts and make the occasional video. The goal being to cut through the noise and guff of videos/content being uploaded each and ever hour however, it became evidently clear I was ultimately contributing to it, rather then separating and distinguishing myself from it.


    It was not until this year, that through endless contemplation, changes to landscape of my life and some anxiety scattered in between; I was able to focus on an end goal. A clear understanding for production(s) that I wanted to produce for the more selfish sense of satisfaction and more or less create something that I would show my friends.

    I plan on documenting the process/endeavor through the journal feature to provide insight to myself and others; as someone who has no experience in film, production or writing what so ever (as well as acknowledging that RoosterTeeth has been a source for inspiration and entertainment for me for the past 10+ years).


    It is with great joy, aspiration and excitement that I unveil to no-one: the creation of the Big Internet Company and its three productions: The Unknightly Show, Sofa Kings (sfakngs) and 2k Collector. Of which will be elaborated on in future posts. 


    In the meantime work begins on understanding the different platforms, concepts and worlds that are involved in attempting any level (amateur to professional) of production. I look forward to seeing the changes/growth and challenges in the months/years to come.


    Cheers,
    Josh

  • Top 5 things I like that everyone hates. (And Vice Versa)

    1 month ago

    g1TheStickman


    What's up, 2 people who clicked on my link to this on Twitter, it's YOUR BOI, STICKMAN, HERE TODAY WITH ANOTHER...blog. Wait, no! Come back! It might make you post angry comments! That's it...come back, there you are, sit down. Good boy...or girl...or whatever you choose to identify as, that's not the issue we're discussing here today. Uhh...where was I going with this? Oh yeah, blogs.


    Opinions are pretty wacky, huh? You're never going to meet someone with the exact same opinions as you, and if you have done, you've met a clone of yourself, and that's pretty cool and you should like, tell someone about that, I guess? Up to you. Again, not the issue we're here for today, I need to stop doing this, wait no, come baaaaaack...

    Whilst there's never a universally hated or loved thing, the world isn't black or white like that, and I'm only using the term Like/Hate to make things simpler, it's fair to say that often there's a general, popular sway of opinion on hot topics, be it the general consensus, the loudest group of people voicing an opinion or just the most agreeable way to talk about something without the world burning down. And it's also fair to say that often you'll find yourself on the other end of the popular opinion about something. Maybe you just liked something everyone hated, or maybe you truly loved it. It's happened to you at least once, I'm sure of it...and that's what we're talking about today...except about me, because I'm obviously a more interesting person than anyone ever, and also I can't read your minds, sorry. 

    I'm not saying EVERYONE hates/likes these somethings in a literal sense, that's a necessary simplification for a header, but the following two sets of Top 5s are a collection of things that...generally, it seems most people dislike, or hate, that I rather like, or possibly even love, and vice versa. I'm not saying they're perfect/awful, nor am I saying it's wrong to dislike or like these things, I'm just sharing some FUN OPINIONS about THINGS that maybe you don't always get to hear from this end, so yeah...feel free to voice your own opinion in the comments below, but no raging, aight? S'all in good fun. 


    And on that note, FUCK YOU I'M RIGHT, HEEERE WE GOoOOOo!





    Top 5 Things I like that Everyone Hates.


    5. Prometheus.

    Ooh, now here's a perpetually spicy meatball to talk about, especially hot off the heels of the similarly (If not more so) divisive, Alien Covenant. I enjoyed Alien Covenant, but I found it to be deeply flawed on almost every level, and definitely not as good as Prometheus, which I found to be rather good, myself! Now, I'm a big fan of the Alien franchise, which could mean I'm either bias towards, or against this side-excursion in the franchise that featured a lot of connective tissue to the original Alien film, but not a whole lot of direct connections or ...well, Aliens? Personally, I went in expecting something not directly connected to the Alien franchise or its titular creatures, and I got a visually stunning, atmospheric and fun science fiction romp that certainly lacked in important areas, feeling very much like the start of a story, rather than its own individual narrative (A story that was later tossed aside for a messy attempt at being more like an Alien film in Covenant), but on a whole was a satisfying and memorable film for me. I felt that way all hyped up in the cinema back in 2012, and I felt the same way rewatching it a few months back in anticipation of Covenant, my feelings on the film haven't changed, and I do sometimes wonder why it's just so hated. I understand and somewhat agree on the criticisms people have, I just find it hard to write off the entire movie because of them. I'd be interested to see what people think about it now, compared to the recent follow-up which oddly received a more favourable reception than the first, despite, I feel at least, suffering from the exact same problems, albeit this time moreso. It leads me to feel like people get hyped up for the wrong film prior to release, and the real reason it's so vastly disliked is for not being the film people were expecting, in addition to the issues present in both this, and Covenant.




    4. Resident Evil 5 (And 6 to a degree).

    Similar to the previous entry, this is a franchise that recieved a major course correction in light of the negativity regarding its previous entry, that said, you can most definitely argue that Resident Evil 7 was a more well thought out and enjoyable course correction than Alien Covenant. Easily. Regardless, I'm one of the few people who enjoyed the more action heavy antics of the previous two Resident Evil games, leaning heavily on RE5, compared to the clumsily manufactured RE6, but even that one I feel has some positive aspects...which yeah, is not a popular opinion to have unless you're one of those people on Tumblr who likes making animated gay porn of some of the main characters...which I was just LOOKING AT FOR RESEARCH, OKAY? GEEZ. I can certainly appreciate people's dislike for RE6, and even RE5 to an extent. Resident Evil is a franchise that is often heralded for popularising the survival horror genre, with a few of the earlier entries considered to be some of the finest games of all time. One of those entries is RE4, which is where my confusion for the hate over RE5 mostly stems. RE4, despite having a more traditionally horror-esque atmosphere, was by no means a horror game. It was a third person action shooter...thing, with elements of the spooky, but you mainly just went around blasting people with a shotgun. Intense, perhaps, but not scary. RE5 to me, merely plays out as a more streamlined version of RE4, which can be seen as better or worse depending on how much you liked the more connected locations and backtracking of 4. It has a different atmosphere and tone, but that doesn't mean it's worse, I suppose? It's just personal preference, and I can appreciate that, but people REALLY hated Resident Evil 5 for not being a horror game, but continue to love RE4 for almost the same reasons? It's strange, but there you go. Personally I enjoy playing RE5 more than RE4, even if 4 is an overall more well thought out title...it just has less frustration for me? I don't know, I just really like RE5, what can you do? As for RE6, I can understand the hate a lot more, because...frankly, a large portion of this game is pretty crap, and in general it's misguided in mechanics and concepts, but despite that, I still find much to like about it. The multiple campaigns with a connected, epic and globetrotting story is really fun, and the first half of Leon's campaign has a nice, traditional Resi atmosphere to it, even if it lacks the same quality of gameplay. I get the dislike for both games, but I can't help but enjoy them myself, or at least in RE6s case, enjoy aspects of it.




    3. Coldplay.

    When I said THINGS I didn't just mean movies and games! Yes, I don't often talk about music on here, mainly because I'm completely useless at writing about it, and the one time I did a review of an album, it was the most awful, embarrassing mess I've ever done. Actually, that's probably not true, but regardless it was pretty terrible, so despite my love of music, I tend to avoid writing about it when possible. That said, when I'm talking things I like that everyone hates, really can't avoid mentioning Coldplay, the hugely successful band that seemingly everyone on the internet hates...except me, that is. I mean, I can appreciate not liking a band in the same way I can appreciate not liking any type of music. It's just a personal preference, some people like K-Pop, some people (Me) would rather push their face into a chainsaw than listen to that sorta thing. Coldplay is music, it's maybe music you don't like, that's fine...but people HATE Coldplay, they seem to hate everything about them. They're up there with Nickleback as the internet's musical punching bag and I really don't understand why, because I really, really like a large portion of their music, mainly the older stuff (See above), but even some of the more recent tracks and albums are things I pop on from time to time and enjoy immensely, and I often wish that was less of a controversial statement to make on this here internets. Much like with my favourite band, Muse, Coldplay started out with a distinctive, generally moody selection of early albums, before slowly descending into more energetic, pop'y fare. Both of the most recent excursions for these two bands attempted to rekindle their former glory, strangely, but that's beside the point in this instance. I grew up listening to a lot of the earlier Coldplay albums and finding the moods and rhythms they carried to really engage with me (I told you I was bad at talking music), and then the more successful, energetic works linger in my mind as memorable anthems to my formative teen years, both types of Coldplay sound spoke to me, and continue to do so, and it's a shame that having a like of this band seems to be such a dirty thing to confess to others, because I can certainly appreciate not liking a band...but I really don't understand the seething hatred Coldplay specifically receive. Maybe it's all one big joke that I'm not party to, but yeah...I genuinely like most of Coldplay's output a lot, and don't understand why people hate it just...SO much. Like, oooof. Poor Coldplay, except not poor...because they're probably fucking rich as GOD DAMN HELL.




    2. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2/3.

    Oh yes, this old chestnut again. If you've been a long-time follower of my blogs (Like...V4 of ScrewAttack long-time), you'll know I've always been a fan of Modern Warfare 2, and 3...and it's always been a huge point of rage-inducing contention for internet folks...back in the days where people actually read and commented on blogs, but...I mean, not getting hate messages is the one true perk of writing on a dead website, so here we go with that Call'a'Doody again. To be fair, the universal, burning hatred of the CoD franchise in general has massively reduced in recent years...STRANGELY ENOUGH in accordance with its diminishing status as gaming's biggest, most talked about franchise. It's like..geeeee, the more popular something is, the more hatred it receives...but...more on that in the next entry, MM? Back in the far, far feeling past that was 2009, CoD Modern Warfare 2 was perhaps, the most anticipated game of all the times ever. CoD4 was a smash hit that people adored, and the follow-up to that game, the resolution to its cliffhangers, and the MP upgrades it'd receive had the masses foaming at the mouth in excitement. The hype built and built, it was talked about on the news, partly thanks to its still controversial 'No Russian' level which pushed the envelope in terms of challenging narrative tools in mainstream games at the time (feels pretty tame by today's standards, frankly), it was hot shit, it came out, made a kajillion bucks, got wide acclaim from critics...aaannd...people hated it. Like, a lot. Like, JESUS was this game despised by the loud internet masses, be it for narrative choices, gameplay mechanics (Never-ending enemy spawn segments, hands off sequences etc), disliked MP introductions such as the match-ending Nuke killstreak item, and just a general sense that it hadn't lived up to people's love of the previous Modern Warfare entry. From that point forward, Call of Duty as a brand became a filthy slur, something only mentioned in revulsion, and by the time MW3 was rolling around, the hatred was well and truly seething and long-standing. I've never felt that way though, although the MW series, and CoD is lacking in player agency, I really love the scale of the campaigns, and the increasingly over the top action set-pieces they contain (MW3 took place in WW3, for instance). They were memorable and fun action romps with tight controls and simple, but enjoyable gameplay, and the MP was addictive, arcadey fun that set the benchmark for online shooters for quite some time, in my opinion. I love all 3 of the Modern Warfare games, and as with previous entries, I can appreciate not liking these games, and I'm aware of the flaws present, but the hatred these games received? And continue to receive on perhaps a smaller scale than in the past? It's pretty damn crazy, and moreso a victim of their over-prevalence in pop culture, rather than their specific issues, I feel. Speaking of whiiiiich...




    1. The Walking Dead (TV Show).

    The bigger you are, the harder people want you to fall. No media ...thing...knows this better than AMC's The Walking Dead, the televised adaptation of the long-running Robert Kirkman comic series which, until recently had been going from strength to strength in terms of scale and financial/ratings success, and the bigger and bigger it got, and the more of a talking point it became, the more people seemed to grow to despise it, it all bubbling up to an overflowing shitstorm that arose from the Season 7 première, which mainly people viewed as the point of no return, to the extent that its ratings actually plummeted, and most media websites, ironically given the nature of the premise, proclaimed the franchise as dead in the water, not long for this world, and all that jazz. And whilst it's had missteps and suffers from flaws, I've never, NEVER understood the boiling, universal hatred for The Walking Dead, be it at the start, or right until the most recent episodes. There's several different camps of hate for this show, there's the previously mentioned group who hate it mostly because it's just too prevalent in pop culture these days, then there's people who hate it because it differs from the source material, there's people who hate it for being too slow and lacking in action, and there's people who hate it for being too action-heavy and lacking in a strong narrative. It's generally compared in quality to the far more loved, popular TV show second placer Game of Thrones, which, admittedly I haven't watched so can't comment on the comparison, but it just tends to come across as a resentment towards TWD for being more successful than GoTs despite an apparent difference in quality....much akin to previous entry CoDs hatred, compared by many to the Battlefield franchise, which is similarly the second placer in the military FPS genre (Or at least was, EA didn't handle that as well as HBO have handled GoTs it seems). For me, I'm just a big fan of The Walking Dead show, it has problems, and could do with being a shorter, more punchy show, compared to the 16 episode seasons which feature a good deal of slow-paced filler that varies a lot in terms of quality. But it's big-scale, event television that when it all comes together? Can be tense, exciting, heartbreaking, or all of them in one. As someone who enjoys horror, zombies and gore, having all of that in a mature, well crafted and acted drama with truly memorable characters? I just really find it hard to get the hate, even if I can appreciate much of the criticisms weighed against it. As with CoD, I feel like the contempt for this show will die down as the general, at one point massively upscaling popularity starts to dwindle, but for now, and possibly always, this is one thing I really like, that I don't understand why so many people hate it, and so much at that.






    Hey, so that was a fun, but somewhat repetitive little list, huh? WELLL, now let's turn the whole thing on its head and do the reverse, time to talk about some HATE. Okay, when I say hate, I mean dislike ...hate's just a punchier term to use on the thing, y'know? Anyway, here goooooes...




    Top 5 Things I hate that Everyone Likes.




    5. Castlevania (Netflix Series).

    The most recent inclusion on this list, and one I'm still struggling to work my head around. Back in July, Netflix dropped a 4 part animated adaptation of the long-running and popular Konami (HISSSSS) gaming series, Castlevania. The response from the majority, nay...all people? Delight, glee and high praise indeed. My own opinion? Uhh...not that? Whilst it's nice to see Castlevania get a new lease on life, and the ending moments of this short test-run of a possibly bigger show offered some potential for improvement...but on a whole? I didn't like the Castlevania show, at all. And it really baffles me, seeing just how much people like...nay...LOVE this thing. It's an inconsistent, crude and hyper-edgy show that, at least in my opinion, fails to capture the atmosphere or tone of the gaming series, and yet people say it's possibly THE best gaming adaptation of all time...and..granted, that's hardly a particularly competitive field, but if it wasn't for the use of the name Belmont, you could pass this shit off as any old bog-standard vampire anime...esque thing. To me, it doesn't feel like Castlevania at all, and people who say it's a perfect adaptation? I feel like they haven't really played the games? I mean, I'm not the world's most expert player of the series, but I've played and seen enough to know they wouldn't spend upwards of 5 minutes talking about bestiality, and have the main character spend 70% of the series drunk and unable to finish a single sentence without swearing. The opening and closing moments of this show offer potential for a higher quality of product, but the majority of the time it just comes across as a low-quality mini-series that feels like a direct to DVD animation sliced into four drastically differing pieces. If you liked the show, good for you, I just can't appreciate it on any more than a trashy entertainment level, and it certainly isn't a faithful recreation of the tone of the games. Also, the amount of attention it's giving to professional edgelord Adi Shankar, who now wants to work his same 'magic' over the likes of Assassin's Creed, and even worse...Metroid of all fucking things? Not a good, sorry.




    4. Pacific Rim.

    Maybe this stems from my general dislike of traditional anime tropes, but...I really wasn't a big fan of Pacific Rim. Okay, it looks really nice, and the one, neon-drenched, cargo ship battering scene set in Tokyo? That's fucking magical, but otherwise? It's honestly kinda boring, and in addition to that, a lot of the characters come across as either bland, or irritating. At least to me. It's basically a series of generally (Excluding the Tokyo showdown one) dull monster/robot fights taped together with somewhat annoying character moments, worse of which being the two goofy scientist characters, who I wish I could crush with a real giant fucking robot. And despite this, Pacific Rim remains a massive cult success, it received glowing reviews and a devoted following of fans, to the extent that, despite being a financial disappointment in most corners of the world (China excluded), it managed to wrangle together a similarly big budgeted sequel, this time sans Idris Elba, and sans Guilermo Del Toro which, for me? Were the two best things about the original, which makes it hard for me to have much interest in the Uprising, despite my deep rooted love of giant monster fights, which really says a lot about how the first film didn't impress me. The thing with films like this is that they absolutely revel in the tropes and homages that inspired them, and you're either into those, or you aren't. I wasn't, and that leaves me somewhat in a minority here, within nerd society. I don't despise Pacific Rim either, I'm just not exactly a fan. If you gave me a sequel that focused on inventive and visually striking fight sequences, and less so on obnoxious characters and deep-rooted cliches? Maybe we could talk, but for now, yeah...this ain't my jam, which is really hard to admit, given how much I loved that GOD DAMN TOKYO FIGHT, WOOOOOO.




    3. Yooka Laylee.

    Oooh, now we're getting into blood-boiling territory for me. I'm aware this recent indie platforming spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie received mixed reviews, and some negative thoughts based on particular issues leading up to, and post-release, but on a whole, a lot of people really liked this game, and some went so far as to say they wept with joy just from seeing the main menu. Me? I didn't just not like this game, I despised it, as anyone who followed me on Twitter back when it came out can attest to. For transparencies sake, I have to say I went into this game very hopeful, I actually helped Kickstart this game back in 2015, to date my only crowdfunding pledge, and hOOOoOo was I not impressed upon receiving the final product. Even when it's a functional game, it's merely a by the numbers, mediocre platformer which wears the charms of previous games by these developers like skin ripped off a body. It looks vaguely like the things you remember and love, but beyond the basic superficial similarities, it's a soulless, charmless husk. You can probably play the first iteration of the first world and think...HEY, that wasn't too bad, y'know? Looks okay, plays...okay...ish? Sure. But the deeper you get into the rather short campaign, the worse and worse it plays, and the more and more broken it becomes. And this game is BROKEN, even to this day. Playtonic have said a patch for a lot of the issues is coming, but this game came out in APRIL and it's AUGUST now. It's too fucking late, and the fact they sold this broken shit at £40 RRP? Unacceptable. The game looks and plays like it wasn't finished, or they ran out of money, which boggles the mind given this far exceeded its initial Kickstarter goal. The last few worlds are, at times borderline unplayable and have vast, empty spaces of nothingness. The unlockable moves are frequently garbage to use, the final one, flight? It's like trying to pull a screaming, flailing child in a straight line. It's fucking impossible. The game is lacking in actual challenges, the difficulty instead saved for segments that aren't well designed, or wrestle against the way the rest of the game plays unsuccessfully. Just....AaAAGHH, this game is a terrible mess, and the division among gamers between those who loved this thing and defend it to the ends of the Earth, and people who can see how broken it is? It's crazy. I get that people were excited for Yooka Laylee, and I get people have a lot of nostalgia for these guys previous games, but they dropped the ball on this one, and dropped it so hard it shattered into a million, irredeemable pieces of shit. If you managed to filter out all the awful so much that you had fun, I'm envious of you, because I REALLY didn't like this game, and I will not be supporting Playtonic in the future.




    2. It Follows.

    Now here's a film that everybody loves to bits that I absolutely cannot stand. In the modern age, truly acclaimed horror films are hard to come by, most fall into either the decent or terrible categories for most. But you get one or two critical darlings in the genre a year, and in 2015, It Follows was one of them. 97% positive reviews, a lot of acclaim from both critics and moviegoers alike, it was a financial and critical success...and I have no idea why. I think it's garbage, very nice looking, well scored (Musically) garbage, but garbage all the same. It's not scary, the premise isn't unique, thought out or interesting...and the deeper, intelligent themes people praise the film for having under the surface? They're right in our face and lazily included from start to finish. In case you haven't seen the film, the premise is that there's a sexually transmitted curse that, once you've received, will have you being slowly stalked by constantly changing apparitions that disguise themselves as strangers, and once they eventually catch up to you, they kill you. OoOOOOo, SCARRRY. A girl has sex with a guy, who then drugs and ties her up, having passed the curse to her, explaining that it's like a descending list of people, once the newest person dies, the previous person will become the victim again, the only thing she can do is ruuuunnn...y'know? And that's about it, the exact details of what the curse is, or what it's capable of are never explained, and you could argue ambiguity can make for good storytelling, the film uses this lack of clear rules as an excuse to just do whatever the fuck it wants, to the point where it makes no sense and it's really fucking stupid (The curse is supposed to appear as random people, but turns up naked twice, and one time it's just randomly pissing on the floor for...no reason? And then it's unstoppable, but becomes fightable when they decide it's good for the plot) People say this film is great and clever because it uses the SEX KILLS trope in horror as a literal premise for the film, and is SUPER DEEP and STUFF because it's like...an STD and teen sex commentary or whatever. AMAZING. Except it's nooot. Basically, it's a monster that kills you for having sex, and the film is about people trying to avoid dying, and then dying, and then having sex, or whatever. And there's some super unsubtle teen suicide imagery that people say is really clever. But it's nooot. It's the kind of superficially themed film that people think is really clever and unique, but absolutely isn't, and if you spend 5 seconds thinking about anything that happens in the story, you'll realise how dumb it is. I was stoked to finally get to see this film back in the day, and not only did it disappoint me, but it pissed me off as well, and it continues to frustrate me when people sing this film's praises like it did something clever, cuz it didn't. Sweet soundtrack though, Disasterpiece? Nice. Just like FEZ.




    1. How to Train your Dragon 1 & 2.

    Okay, so...I'm not the world's biggest Dreamworks Animation fan by any means, that much is clear if you read At the Screwvies over on g1 Features, or my Twitter. I tend to find their films to be crude, childish, bland and not at all engaging or funny. Films like Shrek, Monsters vs Aliens, Boss Baby, whatever...they're trashy crap to me, and I've never enjoyed them. If those films are DWA's normal, money making output, then How to Train your Dragon is somewhat their prestige franchise. The one everyone says is a far more nuanced, dramatic and epic collection of films that stand head and shoulders above the studios other output, with some considering them among the best modern animated films, up there with Disney, Pixar and Ghibli. That sorta thing. I...however, can not say I feel the same way. Whilst the original HTTYD film, and its sequel are slightly better than what shit Dreamworks can usually scrape off the bottom of their shoes, neither the first or the second HTTYD movies, to me, are anything more than mediocre and bland, with some pretty visuals in the second helping slightly with an otherwise unengaging and oddly toned experience. I went into both with high hopes, I watched both on DVD, after months of hearing people sing their praises post-cinema release. The first film getting a lot of love, the second? Possibly even more. Both times, I've sat through them and come out the other end totally unimpressed. I just don't...like them? Sorrrryy. For starters, I really hate the main cast of characters, particularly the lead guy, Hiccup. The fact that the son of a weirdly Scottish mother and father Viking pair (Y'know, those Vikings with the Scottish accents) ends up with an American accent, and an annoying, whiny one at that beggars belief. The whole tribe of Vikings is a mixture of Scottish and American for like, no reason whatsoever. These characters and their attempts at comedic antics fall on death ears for me, and the majority of them prove more irritating in their bland and samey character traits and tropes, and spending so much time finding them annoying to be around makes any of the somewhat out of place emotional scenes feel completely barren of engagement for me. Right from the opening narration to the closing words, I find the whole premise, and the journey we've been on in both of these films uninspired and dull. Yes, some of the dragon designs are fun, and Toothless is cute, but...he's cute because he's basically a cat in behaviour, they didn't do anything interesting, they just projected a likeable creature's mannerisms onto a fantasy ones. Cut and print, make the merchandising moolah, the end. I really, really wanted to like these films, people love them, and as with anything, to like something is far more pleasing than to hate, but I just couldn't enjoy either of them, and I won't be coming back for the third ride, if it ever indeed rolls along. I commend the second film for taking risks in terms of the time-skip, and introducing a deeper mythology, but it wasn't enough. If you love these films, that's fine, I didn't though...and that's...sorta...the preemiiissee of this blog. Weeee.






    Well how about them apples, huh? What fun we had, now...like I said at the start of the blog, my aim with this blog was not to enrage or shit on other people's opinions, just to voice my own, and how it compares to the general consensus online. If you like these things, or hate them...that's fine, and you can tell them all about it in the comments below, so we can have a nice, civil and interesting discussion about THINGS. What are some things you love/hate that others feel the opposite about? Let me know down there too! Agree with the things I said on here? I'd love to know! Comments are appreciated, and if you had fun with this, some social media sharing about would be greatly appreciated! 

    Until next time (Maybe a review of Samus Returns, MMMM?), LATER GATOOORSS.

  • “Where Do You See Yourself in X Years?” (7/31/2017)

    1 month ago

    Caofontaine Wizard

    As seen on:

    My Website

    Medium


    /*I don't really know if I'm experienced enough to talk about this. If not, well, here's something that has been on my brain for a while.*/

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    At any job interview, this is the question I hate the most. It’s an open ended question, so there’s supposed to be no right or wrong answer, but on the contrary, there actually IS a wrong answer.


    We’re asked this question as if we’ve mapped out our career and life path 5 to 10 years out. Not everyone has an answer to this question. We’re not certain where our future takes us. Things also change over time, so your plan could be severely altered in a way that needs to be adjusted so that instead of a 10 year plan, it’s now become a 12 year plan.


    My simple answer as an aspiring software engineer is that I have no idea where I see myself in my career years from now. All I want to do is work and continue learning so that I have a relevant skill base that will take me anywhere. Surprisingly, that is a wrong answer. I can tell from the body language of the person interviewing me. I can recognize the tone in their voice shift over the phone, clearly unsatisfied with my answer. Then they proceed to question my answer, as if criticizing it is going to give them something solid.


    Every company focuses on loyalty because they want you to believe in their vision and support them for as long as possible. Therefore, if your answer is, “I want to continue learning,” their response will be, “Well, what happens if you’ve learned everything at our company? Will you leave in order to pursue a new learning opportunity”? They will respond with such scorn and disbelief and wonder why their time is being wasted on someone who could potentially leave their company in 1-2 years instead of 5-10 years.


    So am I supposed to apologize for wanting to learn things at a company? Or should I reevaluate where I want to be in my career years down the road? Why can’t the desire to learn be an acceptable answer for people? It’s the right attitude, correct? I just want to work, simple as that. Make some money, potentially retire by 40 and whatnot. Win the lottery.


    You spend too much time planning your future, you’ll never have time to start working towards it in the present. Plain and simple.

  • Why I Am Not A Coach (6/30/2017)

    1 month ago

    Caofontaine Wizard

    As seen on:

    My Website

    Medium


    *I used to post a lot here. Not sure why I stopped. Maybe it was due to lack of time or I just wasn't reaching an audience to make it worth it. I'm going to try and make a larger effort to do so. I write things that are in my brain and try and share them for no real particular reason other than to just post into the internet void. If you do end up reading, it's much appreciated.*

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    It’s something I’ve never felt I had to write about explaining myself because it is a career path I never considered. Since I am now displaying my life much more in internet writing, I felt this might be something people would want to read. At least for those who know me, it’s possible this is of interest.


    I fell in love with running at age 14, where most high school kids are actually introduced to running by participating in cross country or track & field. I was not a natural athlete by any stretch of the imagination, but I guess I liked being what I thought was a good athlete in these sports. I was average at best, but a contributor in the sense I scored the occasional point in a competition.

    It’s funny because I remember some people in high school in disbelief that I wouldn’t be competing in college. Those are the people who aren’t seeing the real picture. A 4:48 mile doesn’t get you in the door in Division I, it’s almost a charity to let you walk on in Division II with the expectation you’re most likely going to be cut, and you’re probably in the top 7 on a Division III team. I also destroyed my legs to the point I wake up in pain every single morning. Sacrificing that much to be an average athlete in high school (yes, in the grand scheme of things a 4:48 mile is pretty average in high school)? Well, that’s another explanation for another day.


    Now that I’m starting the fourth paragraph, I guess I could explain why coaching has never been in my life view. First off, I work a 9–5, so coaching is unrealistic because you can’t fully invest in your athletes, high school or college level. That’s just the simple, cop out answer though because it’s so easy to say.


    The real answer is this. I’ve talked about how I destroyed my legs in high school to the point that trying to even jog produces unbelievable pain. 2 rounds of PT in a span of 5 years treating a problem that no specialist has any idea to what’s going on was a waste of money. If I can’t keep my own running body healthy, how am I expected to keep the bodies of high school athletes healthy? Now I’ve designed my own coaching philosophy as kind of a “what if”, but I feel I couldn’t go through with it. I have knowledge that could be useful in coaching, but at the end of the day, I have no confidence that I could produce athletes with results and that I’d ultimately break them. They’d never see their true potential due to that. I understand injuries come with sport, but mitigating that is a result of good coaching and smart athletes. Could I coach well? I have no idea and I’ve kept myself out of trying for this very reason. Plus the 9–5 thing too. Scheduling is so unrealistic.


    I will admit, however, during my time volunteering at my high school track team, there is a sense of satisfaction watching athletes do well. Definitely enough to break some of my own rules in order to make coaching happen. Who knows if it’s in the cards for me? Something to really think about as time goes on.


  • RetrospectoScope

    1 month ago

    corky559

    As I get further into my "real adult" life, it's so strange for me to think about my relationship with video games, animation, and basically any content...  It's all things that most people attribute to children or younger people and boys especially.  My brother used to be all over video games and computers and whatnot, and, as I'm obligated to do as older sister, I teased him about it and told him it wasn't going to get him anywhere in life.  Oh, how the tables have turned.  I'm graduating this upcoming December with a degree in English without a clue as to what I want to do other than write content for.......something.  I spend all my time playing games and watching cartoons, most of which are actually meant for children.  

    I'm trying to get into streaming now to move forward with something in gaming, hopefully...maybe.  It is not easy to get into,basically, a whole new field.  I don't really know anyone in the gaming community due to lack of funds and all sorts of other reasons.  I have one person who watches my streams pretty regularly and that one person honestly makes my day, because I personally don't know why he/she is watching my poor quality streams, but that's neither here nor there.

    And what the true struggle is, is that I am not tech savvy.  I have a microphone from 2011, I think.  And I can't afford anything new.  But this is something I really, truly enjoy regardless of my lack of qualification and understanding of anything computer/technology.


  • Cheesecake

    1 month ago

    LoZelda Supposedly An Adult

    Yeah that got your attention. Did you know this weekend is National Cheesecake Day? Did you know I'm kind of a master at making cheesecakes? Did you know my community had the opportunity to make me do a baking stream for them and share one of my recipes? DID YOU GUESS THESE ARE ALL RELATED QUESTIONS?


    On Saturday starting at 1pm I'm doing a stream showing from start to finish how I make one of my favorite things, the fudge truffle cheesecake. If you want to do a sort of bake-along with me, the rest of the details and the ingredient list is chilling over here. While it's baking, we're going to finish building some LEGO and play with the pups, so pretty much it's going to be the best stream ever smile

  • Fundamental Gaming -Thinking together, playing together-

    2 months ago

    MrEmerald

    I created my YouTube channel with the purpose of having a place to talk about my life and various topics that most people do not commonly discuss. My main series on my channel is called Fundamental Gaming because I began playing games as a way for me to step out of life for a little while and reflect. Even though that is not the sole reason I play games, it is definitely a major part of my personal experience. I do not care too much for views, but it was a great feeling when I was told by people that my videos either helped them think a little more about their own lives and even helped inspire some to discuss their feelings in a way they had not previously considered. That alone is a good example for why I love making these videos. I haven't uploaded for a while now because of life changes, but I do plan to continue very soon.  


    Emerald Radio


  • Time and cause - Journal #9

    3 months ago

    JohnMirra

    Well. Howdy. Many things can happen over a few days. I say that many things can happen, but to me I'm just an observer, politics, friends, family. 


    What to start with? I guess politics, I used to be so interested in politics, I used to study it in college, I kinda loved it, USA politics has always been more interesting to me, but I dig all countries really. Well this time I honestly did not care, I just observed, I would be lying if I said I did not get a little into the numbers, but I went to bed about halfway through the whole ordeal, I woke up, and boom it was over. Mostly. Haha. Let us see how that pans out. 


    I live at home with one parent. Most university students choose to travel the country or even overseas and live in student accommodation. Well it just feels like I am stuck in a loop at Keele university. I make friends one year or semester and then they end up going home if they are international students or even UK students. It's great when we are together, they are interesting, fun, but it's all just... Temporary.


    I've made a few friends this year, two from overseas, one is going travelling and then going home, the other is moving away for summer. I feel like the song 'Hurt' by NIN or the cover by Johnny Cash. 'Everyone I know goes away. In the end'. It's damn sure a little depressing I know, you probably think what a sob. Well I agree, I have my demons, just like Cash did, the scars to prove it, etc, etc. I'd rather not get into it. I'm not one to feel entitled, but it would be nice for someone to stick around that gets me, just when I feel I am getting to know somebody, they go away. 


    I think I just crave change, it happens to a lot of people, I just feel stuck in life, I feel great when I am somewhere new, even going to Liverpool for the weekend was great. I'm off to London next weekend, I should count my graces I guess. 


    I'm not ungrateful with my life at all. I'm blessed in many ways. I'm just a little sick of seeing friends and old friends moving on with their life while I feel stuck. LOL. 


    It's 2am, I love rambling, this is actually me being quite restricted, I write these for myself mostly.


    Notes

    Wonder Woman was awesomeeeeeeeeeeee

    omg this is my favourite thing about going to the cinema minus the actual movie haha - FAVOURITE

  • The Stickman Reviews : Resident Evil 7 Biohazard.

    3 months ago

    g1TheStickman

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    Resident Evil 7 Biohzard (PS4, Xbox One, PC) Available now at Retail, PSN, Xbox Live and Steam.

    What is it? : After taking a sharp turn into the action shooter genre in 4-6, Resident Evil goes back to its Survival Horror roots in a stripped back soft-reboot of the long-running franchise.

    PS4 version reviewed.


    What's up GANG, it's me again. Here I am, with another B L O G. WOAH. WOO, and so forth. Last time, I gave my verdict on the long anticipated, game-changing latest entry in the Legend of the Zelda series. This time? We're checking out the much anticipated, game-changing return to horror for the Resident Evil franchise, one of my all time favourite game series'. Now, the previous two main instalments were met with heavy division, RE5 due to its horror light, action heavy approach to RE4s formula, and RE6 for...that...but worse. Now, I really like RE5, and enjoyed a reasonable amount of RE6 despite its many flaws, but I was very excited to see the franchise return to survival horror, and actually...potentially be scary for once? Previous RE games have mostly been atmosphere heavy but lacking in actual frights, in my personal opinion. That said, RE7 received a lot of hate from 'hardcore fans' of the franchise upon its surprise reveal at E3 2016 due to the shift into first person gameplay, and the (at the time) seeming lack of expected RE tropes...like guns, monsters and its mostly beloved cast of characters. 


    Well, the game has been out for a while now, most people liked it a lot, and the fan hate seems to have more or less been drowned out but I only recently got a chance to play it myself...so what do I, ME, THE STICKMAN think of Resident Evil 7? LET'S FIND OUT...IN THIS REVIEW...HEEERE WE GOOOOO.

    Oh yeah, and I'll be keeping things pretty much spoiler free, apart from in the well labelled SPOILERS!? category, so if you haven't played the game, feel free to read the main review, just give that part a skip. AIGHT, NOW WE START.




    The Good.


    Visually Detailed, Richly Atmospheric.

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    One thing the Resident Evil franchise has been known for since the very start is providing a high level of visual polish for its respective platforms at the time. It may not seem like it now, but at the time the original Resident Evil looked pretty damn good for a PS1 title, and RE4 pushed the limits of what the Gamecube could achieve visually back in the day. RE7 has switched up the visual style of the franchise this time around, shunning the artistically embellished environments and slightly cartoonishly designed characters for a more photo-realistic approach, and whilst that can be sometimes hit and miss for the character models, it's fair to say that the switch paid off tremendously for the game world itself, because DAMN does it look good. This will become immediately apparent from the moment you take control of main character, Ethan for the first time out in the sunset soaked Louisiana overgrowth, and will become all the more obvious once you enter the dingy, filth-ridden interiors of the Baker plantation. For the first time since the Gamecube remake of the original RE1, this is a Resident Evil game that drips with a rich and deeply unsettling atmosphere, pairing a huge amount of details, both in literal texture resolutions, and little touches that make the world feel all the more lived in...and promptly abandoned, along with exquisitely laid out lighting that makes the already nerve inducing locations all the more engrossing and tense for the player.


    In addition to visual polish, there's a lot of great touches that make the world and its characters more believable, and yes, more unsettling. From a sound design perspective, RE7 is up there with the horror gaming greats, each step you, or any other number of people or creatures take in the dark, claustrophobic corridors comes with a weight and feel in its sound. Creaking wood, squishy mould, crunch of broken glass and the echoing clank of metal as you climb ladders all keep you on edge throughout, and the way each door creaks and the way chairs shuffle against you when caught by your leg certainly won't help you relax either. That's not to mention the ambient sounds surrounding you at all times in addition to your own noises. Hearing an unknown person clunking around upstairs, or a creature of some description screeching off in the distance will frequently give you pause as you make your way through the various, perilous location, in addition to the standard horror tropey sounds of rustling leaves and creaking rocking chairs and the sort. The whole game oozes with atmosphere and tremendously detailed environments from start to finish, which really helps RE7's setting have a huge sense of eerie character, and the first person perspective, paired with the way Ethan's body subtly interacts with the various walls, doors and objects as you explore really makes you feel like you're right in that detailed, unnerving Baker Plantation. One of the most important aspects of a horror game is a setting that feels alive and unsettling, and RE7 succeeds in that goal, and then some.



    Genuinely Tense and Creepy.

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    Atmosphere and visual details are all well and good for a horror game, but you know the MOST important part for a horror game to be? Actually...horror...roror...horror'y. It needs to be scary, don't it? And whilst the concept of fear, and what specific things scare someone varies from person to person, I personally don't feel like the Resident Evil games have ever been especially scary. They have a lot of jump scares, and tense moments due to scarce ammo, and RE3 and 4 came close at times to providing genuine horror scenarios (Nemesis and the Regenerators provide some genuine THRILLS, just not consistently enough), but...yeah, they've not been all that scary, let's face it. Resident Evil 7 is not consistently a balls to the wall horror experience, but for a sizeable chunk of the game, particularly the opening 2 hours? It comes closer than any RE title prior, and maintains an eerie, unsafe atmosphere for the player throughout. It does this by taking a lot of the previously mentioned pro-horror aspects of past Resident Evil games, whilst also taking a lot of inspiration from western horror films, both recent (Found footage and the James Wan catalogue) and old (Texas Chainsaw Massacre springs to mind), grouped with the first person perspective, to offer a mix of scripted, cinematic scares and in-game stalker mechanics that become all the more tense due to the scarcity of ammo and the real-time nature in which you manage your inventory, health and weapons.


    It's a good mix, well blended together in seamless transitions between standard gameplay and more scripted sequences that at times actually offer more agency than you'd think looking over them at face value...not that you have much time to examine a scenario, given how fast-paced and brutal the horror highlights of RE7 are, the photo-realistic approach and current-gen visuals offering some deliciously gruesome gore and hugely entertaining creepy moments that aren't going to go down well with some, particularly if played in VR, I'd imagine. When the game isn't taking you along for a narratively guided spooky ride, it's also providing tense gameplay care of its stalker mechanics, present mostly in the front-end. Once you enter the main bulk of the game, you'll find yourself quickly working against an enemy that's not exactly...killable, and whilst you can temporarily subdue them with ammo, the scarcity of said ammo (This is Survival Horror, after all) will make simply running and hiding a far more profitable, if not tense pursuit. Now, this isn't Alien Isolation, you're not constantly stalked by an intelligent, unstoppable nightmare from practically start to finish, there are areas and sequences where you'll be quite safe from harm, but you certainly won't know that whilst playing, and the mere threat of a dangerous enemy of this nature potentially lurking around each dark corner and through each creaking door makes for an automatically tense and unnerving experience, and that's certainly enough to make this a more genuine horror experience than any RE game prior. Throw in a sweat-inducing boss battle at one point in the game, and a grotesque, aggressive collection of monsters that make sure you'll never be safe for too long, no matter where you are, and you've got one Resident Evil game that lays the horror on thick, and I'm all the happier for it.



    Return to old-school RE design, but with modern improvements.

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    One thing that got the (apparently) hardcore Resident Evil fanbase in a right tizzy at RE7s big E3 2016 reveal was the change in gameplay perspective, and scaling down of location from the global, blockbuster escapades of RE6, to...well...a spooky house. An evil residence, if you will. Despite hearing no end of people desperate for RE to be survival horror again, and aggressively shitting on the legacy RE4 had over the franchise, this pure horror soft-reboot got people REALLY MAD. THIS ISN'T RESIDENT EVIL, THIS IS JUST A P.T. CLONE, BOOOOOO. And sure, the early reveals and divisive 'Beginning Hour' teaser led many to assume this was indeed the case for the game, and led most to believe the majority of what people expected from Resident Evil was being thrown out the window...that really didn't turn out to be the case at all. In fact, RE7 is more akin in design to the original trilogy of franchise titles than anything else, with a whole lot of modern gaming sensibilities blended in to make this an authentic feeling Resident Evil title, that also fixes and streamlines a lot of aspects that simply wouldn't work in a modern game. Less Yooka 'We just did the same shit again except worse' Laylee, in its old-school roots return, basically. Thank fuck for that.


    The RE6 days of running around the globe, shooting giant ostrich soldiers and having high octane motorbike sequences in China are gone, my friends. We're back in a spooky mansion (of sorts) looking for weird keys and solving really elaborate and implausible puzzles to open doors, and having things go bump and BOO in the dark, and that's pretty damn great, I feel. It's been so long since the last Resident Evil game of this style, that it all feels oddly fresh. Manual saves, safe rooms, inventory limits, storage boxes and scrambling around the environment in a desperate search for Shotgun Ammo are all back, yet none of it feels tired or old-fashioned, because the game itself is designed in a way that takes the core feel and concepts of classic Res, and brings them right up to date. There's no door opening loading screens between rooms, but the game replicates that feeling of tension when entering by having you physically push the door open. The game has manual saves which will set you back a chunk of progress if you die whilst exploring, but the game also auto-saves before big sequences, meaning you don't get caught off guard by a sudden giant monster or chainsaw. Your inventory is limited and loosely based on item size, but it's now real time, and has a nice, chunky feel to its use, with weapons mappable to the d-pad, instead of you needing to clumsily open your inventory to fetch your handy pistol. It takes what was good, and what was charming about the classic Resident Evil games, and applies them to a undeniably modern product. When you throw in the richly detailed and memorable setting, full of locked doors, puzzles and tantalising secrets, you really do feel like you've returned to the basics of what made Resident Evil popular in the first place, but all the while feeling like this is an entirely new experience for the franchise. It's an almost perfect blend of old and new, and despite the initial naysaying, it feels authentically Resident Evil from start to finish. Even if it lacks boulder punching or wacky QTEs. SHUCKS. NEVER MIND EH.




    Well paced out.

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    As much as I loved Alien Isolation, the last AAA survival horror game I played, it's fair to say when it came to pacing it wasn't exactly perfect. The game started with a lengthy introduction sequence, which is fine, before shifting into a very lengthy Alien stalker sequence, then a far too long 2nd act of shooting androids, then a finale that was basically a more scripted and slightly annoying variation of the first stalker sequence. At 19 hours of gameplay, it's good to have variety, but in an ideal world you'd mix those varying sequences together to create a nice pause between each type, rather than making what feels like several different games stapled together. Resident Evil 7 is a lot shorter than Alien Isolation, and therefore is already going to fare better in the pacing department because, simply put, there's less content to pace out, but regardless of length, it manages to really nicely blend together a host of different sequences, with stalker mechanics, classic RE exploration, boss fights, narrative segments and more weaved together in a way that means, with possible the exception of a late game portion, no one segment overstays its welcome. What this means is you get a decent amount of respite from the tenser mechanics of the game, namely being chased around by unstoppable enemies, RE7 choosing instead to shake things up quite regularly, whilst still providing the general threat of an unseen, deadly enemy lurking in the next room, meaning whilst you won't spend so much time running from the Baker family that you become numb to the threat, you'll still feel like they could turn back up again at any moment, even if they aren't actually going to.


    Resident Evil 7 also does a good job of rewarding your completion of horror/combat-heavy sequences with some time to breathe and often retrace your steps in order to acquire items you may have missed earlier before you step out into the next area, and whatever unknown terrors await you there. It may be a scarier experience than prior Resi titles, but it's not unrelentingly stressful to the point where you don't want to play it. Similar to RE4, each change in setting provides a new type of challenge for the player, even the main Baker threats vary considerably, both in their method of attack, and also the settings you encounter them within. Whilst you may find yourself running for your life from one, the next may instead offer a more puzzle based ordeal, or at least a different kind of reason to run away and hide. There's also segments which take a break from the Baker...situation entirely, the Moulded enemies tending to fill in for them, providing a similarly vicious opponent, but this time far more manageable and, best of all, killable. All in all, RE7 is a far better paced horror game than we've come to expect, not taking too long to kick things off, and not spending too much time wallowing in any one type of hell before introducing you to an entirely new one. The quality may vary from segment to segment, but the regular changes are more than welcome.



    Isn't afraid to be campy.

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    Resident Evil as a franchise is a lot of things, but one thing it ain't is high-art. It's the cheap and grotty, but delicious burger to (early) Silent Hill's fine dining, and we wouldn't have it any way. Right from the start, and the first game's truly atrocious writing/acting, RE has been, first and foremost, a fun and campy horror romp. Recent games have forgotten that, unfortunately. RE4 was deliciously cheesy, but RE5 took things in a grittier and po-faced direction, the campier moments coming across as unintentionally stupid (I guess much like RE1s acting) rather than genuinely fun hearted, and RE6 being weirdly serious for a game based around weird ostrich zombies with machine guns. There's nothing wrong with serious or sad moments, but a game in the Resident Evil canon shouldn't be afraid to be stupid and fun, and fortunately RE7, despite the realistic approach and dark moments, absolutely embraces the campier aspects of the franchise. Most of that campy fun comes from the Baker family themselves, most of them are pretty threatening as enemies, but provide a lot of goofy lines and silly moments, none of which I really want to spoil for you. Ethan's weirdly nonplus reactions to the unfolding events, intentionally or not, offered me a lot of chuckles, and one later game puzzle sequence based around a candle is deliciously silly, even if the end results are rather grisly. That's RE7 in a nutshell, really. Unafraid to embrace the cheese of the franchise, but also eager to gross you out with its intensely over the top violence, or scare the shit out of you with the very same characters you were previously laughing at. It's no RE4 in the corn factor, but much like a lot of the game, it's a nice return to form for the franchise to dip back into the campy B-movie horror antics that made the earlier entries in the series so oddly charming.





    The Bad.


    Blows its load in the first 90 Minutes.

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    Whilst Resident Evil 7 is a fun game throughout, it's fair to say it hits its peak in the first 90 minutes to two hours, and never quite manages to return to those dizzying highs afterwards. That's not to say what follows isn't good, but it certainly can't hold a candle to how the game so expertly throws you into its world. As with most games of this nature (Namely, on the shorter side), I played RE7 in a series of hour or so sessions, generally completing a key area of the game before saving the next for the following day. Because of that, I played the opening 45 minutes first, which are easily the best horror segments of the entire game, providing an unrelenting, gloriously intense opening sequence that's up there with some of the best game openings of all time, a sequence that had me grinning to myself in bed before sleeping afterwards. The next hour or so of the game introduces the first, and I would say most intense and fun stalker sequence of the game, and also provides some exceptionally classic RE gameplay, before wrapping up with a bombastic and massively entertaining boss fight. End session 2, cue me still riding that glorious high of excellent horror and well crafted gameplay sequences. From that point on, things progressively go downhill, not massively, not rapidly, but downhill all the same. 


    Segment #2 provides another cool setting, but the main threat isn't quite as good this time, and it also dishes out some annoying, mercifully underused enemies, before culminating in a truly sweat-inducing boss battle that again, leaves things on a high note, but maybe not as high a note as before, but you could argue that maybe it's the first 2-3 hours of the game rather than the first 90 minutes that are its peak, for sure. The sequences that follow are all still good, and have a nice mix, but feel a bit more half baked and lacking in ultimate pay-off. They also never reach the same deliciously tense and eerie levels as the opening act, the true horror of RE7 lurking in its beginnings, not in its middle or end, unfortunately. In its final act, the game reaches its lowest points, an odd detour provides the least enjoyable (But still fun) sequence of all, and the ending itself lacks much in the way of punch. It's also strange how the opening hour of the game offers a reasonable level of invisible agency, there are several sequences that will play out differently depending on how you navigate them, they feel like scripted events, but in actuality are optional sequences, which is really cool...but then the game just forgets to do that for the rest of its running time, making me feel like the game was sold and developed around the solid opening foundations, and then awkwardly put together with a lessening degree of developer confidence for the rest. The game for me never ended up being bad, and even the worst part of the game wasn't on the same level of poor as the low-points of other RE games, but it's still a shame that all the creativity and genuine thrills that the opening of RE7 provides couldn't be maintained through the rest of the experience.



    Main Protagonists lack Personality/Conviction.

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    One of the most controversial aspects of RE7 for franchise fans upon its E3 reveal was the announcement that this entry in the franchise would be far more isolated from previous instalments, and you wouldn't be playing as, or meeting any of the much loved (For the most part) Resident Evil character roster. No Chris, or Leon...no Jill or Claire. In their place? Ethan. A man going through hell to save the wife he thought already lost, Mia. Sounds compelling enough, but in the end, Ethan is barely a character at all, and the supporting cast of good guys, Mia and Zoe, fail to leave any lasting impact to the point where you really don't care about their fates at all, which isn't very good, especially for a series that has got such a collection of beloved, memorable characters in previous titles. Ethan is a man of few words, and what little he says fails to convey any sense of character or accuracy for the situation this apparently normal, combat training lacking dude finds himself in. Again, the opening sequence provides some promise, as we're introduced to his motivation, and see him going through a truly harrowing experience with a suitable level of anguish and SCREAAAMINNNG. But from that point it's almost like he's on some sort of mood stabilising medication, reacting to the grotesque and horrific with dry one-liners and the occasional, flatly delivered expletive. We never end up learning much about him, he doesn't really go through any sort of meaningful arc (With one exception that will be covered in the later SPOILERS!? sequence), hell, we don't really even end up seeing what he looks like properly. He's just an avatar for the player to explore the Baker plantation in, which is often the case for first person games, but you expect a lot more from Resident Evil. 


    Mia, the wife Ethan's searching for is the only one to receive a meaty level of development or backstory, but even so said backstory feels contrapuntal to the behaviour/actions of the character we are seeing in the main narrative, to the point where she becomes one of the most uneven aspects of the whole experience. And as for Zoe...Zoe sure is...there. Although again, showing some initial promise in the first act, that's all quickly cast aside to present someone who's just there to push the game forwards and not much else at all. The Baker family are the main stars of the show, predictably, being the most interesting from a design, personality and backstory perspective, but even some of them feel poorly fleshed out, with a lot of the crucial details left to be found in text logs lazily peppered across the maps, rather than as part of the game's narrative itself (I get that this is a staple of the franchise, but some of it should have been made part of the story). Whilst I have no issue with taking the franchise in a new direction and introduction new, less capable characters to make things more tense and personal, the lack of effort on the developers behalf to make these newcomers worth caring about is truly very poor, and you end up caring little for their ultimate fates.




    Main Monsters are dull, annoying to fight.

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    Whilst the Baker family are visually unique, charming and provide different types of experiences for their various segments, the most common, basic enemy of the RE7 is the 'Moulded'. Turning up in the first act of the game, they are an initially eerie and unsettling change of pace from the unrelenting attacks of the first Baker family member, with the initial moments of the basement set introduction to them providing another great moment for the game, dripping with menace and atmosphere. But by the end of that sequence, and for the rest of the game, they become nothing more than tiresome and dull. Feeling suspiciously similar in design, attack and frequency as Resident Evil Revelations' Ooze enemies, the Moulded come in a few different variations, but all end up looking exactly the same, and any threat or horror they may have induced initially quickly fades into annoyance, because these guys? They're a pain in the ass to fight, and will eat up the majority of your health and ammo supplies as a result. For the most part, they're manageable fodder. Give them a few shots to the head and they'll not be bothering you any more. Unfortunately, when they come in numbers, things become less manageable and more annoying. 


    The Moulded have a habit of swaying their entire bodies about, making accurate shots nearly impossible to guarantee, and whilst they seem like they'd be slow and easy to deal with regardless, they're surprisingly quick, and have attacks that not only have a far longer range than seemingly makes any form of sense, they also deal a lot of damage with each hit (There is a defence mechanic, but it's clunky at best). Again, that's all well and good when you're just dealing with the one, but the game often throws 3-4 of them at you, and in the early segments, you'll be encountering them in narrow corridors and cluttered rooms, making keeping a distance from multiple of these lunging enemies a right pain in the ass. More often than not, you can just run past them or close the door on them (They're unable to open unlocked doors that can be just pushed open because reasons) without taking too much damage, but at several points you'll need to actually explore a room or solve a puzzle, and that's when they become a real problem, but not in a fun way. Not only is all of this a pain, but the amount of hits it takes to eliminate these enemies varies way too much. Some can be taken out with a few shots to the head, others will take twice that many bullets, and both pretend to be downed, and also take a while to be confirmed dead, meaning you waste ammo and health on the misleading enemy animations. When you don't know what actual horrors lurk around the corner, and ammo is scarce, you really don't want to be wasting precious bullets on these nuisances, but the game often forces your hand in that respect. Basically these enemies are visually lacklustre, and not fun to fight against. Some actual enemy variety would've been great, this is Resident Evil, after all. When RE6 one-ups you in a key department like this? You've got yourself a problem.



    Insane Loading Times.

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    A brief, technical criticism for sure, but it's as problem all the same. Whilst for the most part, RE7's world takes place in one seamless area, not requiring any loading screens to explore, when the game does need to load? You better strap in, because it's going to be a long wait, at least on the basic PS4 (Presumably it loads better on PS4 Pro). When starting up a save file again from the main menu, you can expect a loading time in the minutes, rather than seconds. I'm pretty sure it almost always takes at least 2 minutes for the game to load itself up at any time or place in the various levels. That's an insanely long loading time, one that's longer than Breath of the Wild loading the entire, vast open world on Wii U. This is a PS4 game with 23GB installation required just to play, it shouldn't take this long to boot up. Even if you play the entire game without closing it once, taking advantage of the PS4s handy-dandy suspend mode for games, which lets most if not all PS4 titles remain paused in the background even when the system is turned off, you'll still have to sit through similarly lengthy loading times for the various VHS tape sequences, to the point where the VHS timer animation on the loading screen will actually loop back because it's taking so long. And even with both of these insane loading times, it still takes a further 20-30 seconds for some of the textures in the game to load after the game finally starts up, which is ridiculous. This may well be a specific to standard PS4 problem, but it's a problem all the same, and whilst I'm aware the game has has a lot to load up, 2 minutes is still a mind-boggling amount of time to wait just to start playing.



    Wastes VHS potential.

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    When RE7 was announced, one of the things that sounded most interesting to me was the introduction of VHS tapes, that aimed to provide separate, found-footage styled experiences featuring a cast of side-characters beyond Ethan himself. The thought of what crazy, horror-filled fun could await me in these various discoverable in-game tapes was far more prominent than my confusion as to why VHS tapes were being so predominantly used in a game set in 2017, and how these recordings were made with modern cameras and then converted to VHS tapes by people who surely had no time to do that and/or were dead (Something RE6 did as well on a smaller scale, oddly). The 'Beginning Hour' demo, despite not being wholly representative of the core RE7 experience, also teased the opportunity for VHS tape sequences to be able to effect the environment for Ethan in the present, offering a wealth of optional secret content, both in discoverable tapes, and time-bending unlocks. And then I played the main game and found out there's only 4 tapes, one of which is the same as Beginning Hour's tape, without the fun time-bending puzzles, and all the tapes are basically mandatory, or right in your face to the point where you can't possibly miss them. WELP.


    That's a pretty disappointing turn out, given the massive potential for inconsequential and fun spooky side-sequences the premise provided, not to mention the ability to present backstory to the player in ways beyond merely typing out some lore to read. But nope, you get 4 tapes, 3 new ones, only one of them providing any kinda of stand-alone horror experience, and only one providing any clever mechanics for the main game. All in all, it's a huge wasted opportunity. And that wasted opportunity becomes all the more suspicious when you realise RE7 came with a season pass baked in from the start. What does the season pass contain? A series of found footage styled, individual sequences that provide unique horror experiences and important backstory for key characters. Oh. So basically, they took all the non-important VHS tapes out of the main game, where they were probably secret collectables, and instead paywall'd them into individual DLC products of varying length and quality to the point where the season pass itself isn't of consistent value because they were clearly not meant to be stand-alone products. Oh. Great. Thanks for ruining a really cool idea for your cool game, Capcom. I guess even when we're doing something the fans want, for once, you'll still find a way to balls it up in some department.



    Doesn't go 'RESSIDDENNT EEEEVVILL' on the menu.

    I meeaan....come ooooonn! Even BLOODY OPERATION RACCOON CITY DID THE 'RESDIDDENETT EEEEVILL' PART, GUYS! I get you wanted to have a soft-reboot for the franchise, but SOME THINGS YOU JUST DON'T MESS WITH, MMM? Even if you didn't have it on the menu, you could've stuck it at the end for a fun ending surprise, but nope! It's just not in the game at all. No RESSSIIDEENNT. No EeEeeEVIL. Clearly, because of this, it's the worst Resident Evil game ever made, sorry guys, it's true. I would never lie to you. It's all over.




    SPOILERS?!


    The Choice, the Ending.

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    We're in spoiler town now, as the SPOILERS?! heading suggests, so if you don't want key parts of RE7 spoiled, please do not read this part. Okay? OKAY. GOOD. So...at the end of the game's 2nd Act, entering into the 3rd and final sequence, the game, oddly, presents you with a choice. After doing battle with Jack Baker for the final time, you end up with only one vial of cure for the moulded infection left, and the game rather abruptly makes you choose between Mia or Zoe. Mia being the wife you'd thought lost, Zoe the girl who helped you get to this point, and make the cure in the first place. Neither of them have had much fleshing out at this stage in the game, Zoe in fact never ends up being fleshed out at all, whilst Mia has spent more time attacking you then anything else up to this point. That said, the obvious choice is Mia, she's the reason you're here in the first place, so you go ahead and cure her. And then...weirdly leave Zoe alone as you sail away, Zoe never being seen again from that point, dead or alive, her story is over, THE END. From that point on, you get attacked by the mould, Ethan gets kidnapped and you play as Mia for a sizeable portion of the 3rd act, fleshing her backstory out and revealing the true mastermind behind the events of the game. But what happens if you give the cure to Zoe instead? You take Zoe with you instead, leave Mia behind ..and then Zoe immediately dies in the same attack, Ethan gets kidnapped again...and then...Mia, for literally no reason is in the same location and the exact same sequence plays out again. Oh. 


    The key difference is in the ending to the Mia sequence, and the game itself. If you cure Mia she just ends up getting infected at the end of the sequence anyway, but she manages to get you to safety before it takes over...and then, at the very end of the game, she's alive and well...and...seemingly cured, and Ethan talks about how great it is that she's back. Woowee. If you don't cure her? She doesn't get you out in time, she turns, and Ethan has to kill her. Cue sad ending where he escapes alone and contemplates his lack of future options. Woo. The issue with all of this is...how odd a choice it is being given to you. The main objective of the entire game is to rescue your wife, and Zoe has had barely any time to make an impression, how many people are going to pick her? And then the ramifications of that action are quickly brushed aside to the point where it doesn't even make sense. If you cure Mia, she gets infected again anyway, if you cure Zoe, she dies immediately and then the game plays out as if you picked Mia in the first place, except this time you hit her with a crowbar a bunch and then have a blub about it at the end. That's it. I'm all for choice and consequence in games when it makes sense, and works. But this choice feels...not even half-baked, it feels like it's not even been put in the oven yet, comes out of nowhere, gets promptly ignored and only has a bearing on about 1 minute of the game. It's stupid.




    Worth Buying?

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    Whether or not RE7 is going to be worth the full price of admission is going to depend on how you establish the worth of a game, on the overall quality of the experience, or the amount of content provided in the package. In terms of the overall quality of the game, as I feel I've laid out in this review, it's a consistently enjoyable, atmospheric and well paced horror title, with a case of gradually diminishing returns after the first 2 hours, with maybe an ending that will leave you wanting. It's not a perfect game, but it offers a lot of great moments, and even in its weaker moments is still a solid and quality product, and a great return to form for the RE franchise. That said, in terms of content provided? It's maybe a little lacking compared to past RE titles. With RE4-6 offering campaign running times in the 12-20 hour marks, compared to RE7s 6-9 hours, with additional content on the side, such as unlockable costumes, additional side-stories (In the case of RE6 and later versions of RE4) and meatiest of all, The Mercenaries (Which is understandably absent in RE7, but still missed), a robust arcadey shooter with multiple characters, settings, enemies and in the case of 5/6, online multiplayer. RE5 and RE6 also offered online co-op for the campaign, and the option to select specific levels to replay in the pursuit of collectables and high scores. RE7 has none of these features, although it does offer some unlockable items depending on the difficulty you beat the game on, and the amount of time it took you to beat it, but these aren't particularly fun unlocks so much as they are useful items for future playthroughs. Other than that, RE7 offers no high score system, no option to replay specific levels and no on disc side-content (Although the game hints at future, free DLC, the situation regarding that is all very much up in the air right now). What it lacks in bonus content or replay value, though, it makes up for in a high quality, well paced campaign, and should you ever have the money to pick up a PSVR headset, the entire game can be played in VR, for added spookyness. The value of RE7 as a purchase is going to depend on if you favour a reasonably lengthy, tightly designed campaign over a wealth of content that may vary in quality considerably, I'm looking at you, RE6. Regardless, at this point in time, it's probably quite easy to get a good deal on RE7, so maybe that won't even matter.




    Conclusion.

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    It makes me really happy to see the Resident Evil franchise return to its survival horror roots, and do so in such a polished, well designed product. I may be in the minority when it comes to really enjoying RE5, and finding enjoyment in the notoriously uneven RE6, but this is easily the best Resident Evil game since 4, and I would personally say it was a better, more Resident Evil'y....Resident Evil game than 4, which changed the game up considerably, and provided a lot of fun in the process, but certainly didn't bring a lot of palpable atmosphere or fear to the table (In my opinion). RE7 isn't perfect, it never manages to rekindle the dizzying heights of the opening acts once they've passed, and the most frequent enemies are also the least enjoyable to encounter. But when it all comes together, it really does sizzle with an energy and quality that's been absent from the franchise for a long time now, and brings the best aspects of the original trilogy of games into the present day whilst adapting it all to feel fresh and modern. I have my issues, but on a whole, I feel this is a great game, and a right change of course for the franchise. I hope they continue down this avenue for the inevitable follow-up, and Resident Evil 8 polishes up the few naggling problems I have to create a truly magnificent product. But for now, Resident Evil 7 is...a....WELCOME addition TO THE FAMILY....aah...SON! AHAH...AHUHUH...AHOOHHH....get it? Cuz...that's a line...in the game. Mmhm...ukay...never mind.





    There we go, another review...reviewed. Or whatever. What did you think of the reviiiew? Have you played the game? What are your thoughts on it? Where does it rank in the series for you? Do you think I'm a fucking idiot for liking RE5? LET ME KNOOOOOW in the comments below, and be sure to ZING this fucker, and share it about if you feel it's worth sharing. Have a good summer, guys and gals, see you soon! LATER GATORS.

  • Transitions Are Hard

    3 months ago

    MackenzieRuth17

    Graduation: April 29th, 2017 with a BS in Human Services, Counseling


    New job: starting sometime in the following weeks


    Two weeks notice: halfway through the first week


    Grad school plan: TBD


    Moving out (not to a college campus): TBD 


    These are all answers to questions I'm asked on an almost daily basis. Monotonous, dull, predictable answers from a recent college graduate that people pretend to be surprised about when given as a response. When asked these questions, I feel as though those questioning are trying to see if I have a plan because they don't. Or maybe, those questioning find comfort in my no knowing what the hell is going on, because if a 20-something can't figure it out right a way then maybe they aren't as bad off as they thought. 


    Although my "season" of transition is more apparent than others, I am learning that we are all in transition. Some have a five-year-plan, some a five-second-plan, and either way we are just trying to make our way through. Transitions, no matter how small, are hard and don't let anyone minimize that for you. You can feel growing pains. You'll never really grow into this life otherwise.

  • The Daily Pack: Introduction

    4 months ago

    Scaramooch

    Hello everybody!


    Check out this new Hearthstone series called "The Daily Pack"! Follow Scaramooch on his journey to collect every Hearthstone card in the game!


    Click here for The Daily Pack: Introduction


    Thank you,


    Scaramooch

  • Road to a YouTuber House - Chapter 1: People, Places and Things

    4 months ago

    DerekE23 DrummerBoy

    I suppose I should clarify my current situation. It's a bit of a challenge in its own and I haven't really even started yet.


    I live in a smallish, kind-of hick town in Florida called Ocala. In no way, shape or form is this town the center of digital media or is it a Silicon Valley 2.0. Not even a 0.5. This place is considered to be the horse racing capital of the world. Farmland and forest for days. 


    We have a mall, so I guess there's that.


    The point I'm trying to get across is that trying to start any form of business or hobby that delves into the great beyond of technology or Internet HERE is practically masochistic. There's no support for that kind of thing. So starting off, that's a huge challenge. Plus, how does one explain to a Floridian landlord we'll be using the place to record podcasts, skits, videos and the such? I can imagine the blank look on their face now.


    The people I have trying to work with me on this don't really help the problem either.


    My friend Michael (if you'd like to get to know him, be sure to watch my GTA videos on my YouTube channel and you'll get a quick idea on what hes about) and I started this idea in the first place. 


    Actually we really wanted to go into game design, went to school for it together and decided it wasn't really for us. Then we started making gameplay videos and enjoyed it so much we wanted to make it a full-time thing. We thought, wouldn't it be cool if we could record all of our gameplay, cameras, and mics under one roof and literally work from home and make entertaining stuff for people instead of having to lug around all of our electronic junk just to make a video or two in a couple hours? We decided to make this our main goal from then on. Kind of over our heads here, but if you have a dream you can't just say no to it. You have to let it happen. 


    We then asked around our personal posse of friends and asked if anyone was interested in starting this up. So we enlisted the help of our friend Kevin, and my girlfriend Anna. I already live with Anna so it was pretty much a sure thing from the get-go. But fact of the matter is she can't deal with Michael. He's a bit of a handful, understandably. Over time, tensions rose between the two and she didn't want in anymore. So then there was three.


    We all three work at the same place, oddly enough. It's okay pay, enough to get where we need I think but with only three people it makes it difficult. How are we supposed to pay for everything house-wise without the financial support of more than three people?..


    Equipment isn't an easy acquisition either. I have a set of equipment for my personal channel (capture card, mic, camera, computer, etc.), but to hit the standards of quality that we're setting for ourselves we really need a set for every person involved.


    It's basically mostly financial issues, personal drama between people and the location of the house. These are the pre-house issues we must overcome if this is to work.


    We have a lot of work to do.

  • Road to a YouTuber House - Chapter 0

    4 months ago

    DerekE23 DrummerBoy

    Hi everyone. 


    Seeing as I don't really have a "blog" and no real other outlet to rant and rave about my ongoings, I think I'll post about this amongst my RT friends. I feel as though you, of all people on this earth, will understand and have a common interest with the topic of the journals that I will be writing here. So here we go!..


    With no exciting introduction, I bring to you my tales of struggles and achievements. My strange, unrealistic path of starting a YouTuber house. 


    (What is a YouTuber house? Well damn good question, friend. Basically it's a commonplace where people live, or not, and come together physically to record, produce and publish Internet video content. You may have seen plenty of examples of this, but most notably, because of their inclusion to the Let's Play family: The Creatures is a great group that do this very thing.)


    Of course, this sounds very complicated, time consuming, and unrealistic. Do I have a large fanbase to boost my chances? No, not at all. Do I have an exorbitant amount of money? Not in the slightest. What I do have is a few great friends whom I love, some equipment, a full time job and a f*cking dream. And I feel that, at this very moment, that's all I'll need to get hyped enough to try. 


    Along the way I'll write here and post updates on what goes on, if any progress is made and how the situation is faring. I hope you enjoy my series of journal entries here. Thank you!


    -DerekE23 (Derek Edgerton)

  • Budgeting and Sickness

    5 months ago

    kirstenxo Miles Luna Fangirl

    This is more of an update than anything. Things I rarely do because I feel I don't have as much of an impact as I'd like to think I have to many people around these parts but hey, I like to write and this is one way to do it.


    On a very warm, spring day in England (precisely the 11th April) I came down with a terrible case of the sniffles. Now, I'm not one to be stopped or put down by the sniffles because I encounter them so often through hay fever that a sneeze or a dribbly nose is nothing. But these sniffles were unlike any sniffles I'd encountered ever before... I went to work the next day with what I thought was a bad cough (at worst a minor case of tonsillitis)... Oh, how I was wrong...


    Throughout the shift I was overcome with coughing fits, sneezing, dizziness and eventually gagging from the smallest things...someone put a milk jug in a glass of water and it mixed together to look like semen and I just couldn't cope. I went home that day and thought to myself, "This is no common cold...this is...THE FLU."


    So, for the past 5 days I've been in and out of consciousness, coughing up phlegm into a bucket because I'm so scared of being sick my body actively rejects the action of it, watching a lot of Pokémon and Pokémon theory videos on some damn cool channels (which if you're interested I'll link below) and procrastinating (but not really because I physically couldn't sit up for a long period of time) my assignment. 


    BUT, I feel better now. Which means I go back to work and college and have to finish the assignment which is actually due Thursday and I've done at best 40% of it hahahahaha I'm crying. What I really wanted to talk about was the most adult of adult-ing things:


    BUDGETING

    Now, Kirsten, why on earth would you want to talk about that? What a ridiculous topic! "No one cares!" they scream from the mountains of youth. "It must be nice being rich," they make remark at Gavin. Oh, sorry. Too soon?


    Because folks, I'm experiencing for the first time in my life an actual time where I have to budget. "Woe is me," the blessed and reasonably lucky woman-child cries as she looks at her bank account with over $100 in, "how on earth will I manage with such low monies?"


    Well, you'd be right with one thing; I am a woman-child.


    But also, yes, I'm pretty lucky. At almost 21-years-old, I still live with my parents. Parents who in fact don't expect me to pay rent or anything towards utility bills, the luckiest of all millennial children, y'see. I love my parents for this but this rule only applies because my brother never paid rent even though my mum wanted him too but my dad was too lenient on the rule so therefore I reap the benefits: second-child perks at their finest.


    However, this does mean I get other benefits. I have more disposable income than others do because all of the money I earn from my job is for me. This isn't always a great thing though as the bills I pay are: phone bill, phone insurance and credit card bills (for those expenses I've made at short notice such as buying a brand new computer at last minute because the last ones motherboard decided to fry, yes, I'm still bitter).


    Even with these factors, I've managed to have all this money due to just saving as a teenager from my parents giving me an "allowance", asking for money at birthdays and Christmas rather than gifts and storing it in my bank account and I really mean since I was about 13-years-old. Really, if you are a teenager and wondering how you can make that £5 or $5-a-week last, just save it! Store it away! If you have that option, I know some people don't but consider ways you can, if you need to get a bus, consider walking? I used to walk EVERYWHERE in my city and when the centre is 45 minutes to an hour away on foot depending on route, you actually end up saving that £1/£3 quite easily.


    Anyway, not the point. I've decided to use all of my savings (which was close to £6k if you want reference for how much I've saved) to go on a trip to Austin for RTX! It literally has put a major dent in my accounts and also this year (spoilers) I've decided to make an addition to my blog that hopefully some of you will be interested in but it requires buying new software. With all these things in mind, someone, it was me, may have forgot about her bills this and next month and this is how I've come to the very adulty thing of BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET


    Don't be me and get slightly comfortable with enough money to survive and actually go on the biggest adventure of your life and then forget that you actually have to pay for your life at home. This isn't to say I'm struggling with money, I really am not. I have enough to pay for my bills comfortably and for any more holiday expenses (which is increasing by the day) easily but it does mean that paying for anything else like games, books or music has to be put to the wayside.


    Adulting is hard even if you're mildly privileged by your own work ethic. Anyway, I hope this didn't sound like an "oh I have so much money" whinge because it wasn't meant to. I'm just lamenting the fact I'm officially an adult with money problems; something I'm lucky to have no experienced until the age of 21.


    So this was a long and a huge update. Check out my blog because I'm about to start (hopefully) posting on it way more now that I'm not sick and not doing as many assignments. I'm in a musical in May which is pretty cool and exciting; it's literally my acting debut lol. And I have an announcement for my blog hopefully soon, maybe? I don't know. I'm more active on here again for a while too so yo.


    Here's those cool Pokémon YouTubers if you're interested:

    Bird Keeper Toby

    Truegreen7


    <3

  • The Stickman Reviews : The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild.

    5 months ago

    g1TheStickman

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    The Legend of Zelda : Breath of the Wild (Wii U, Nintendo Switch) Available now at Retail and on eShop.

    What is it? : After years of waiting, the latest entry in the beloved Zelda franchise arrives, bringing with it a lot of major formula changes that turn the linear objective based RPG into an Open World Adventure game.

    Wii U version reviewed.

    Why hello there, ladies and gentleladies, welcome to another BLOG. It is me once again, The Stickman...obviously...it's my user page, after all.

    Like I said on my last two blogs, I've been planning to review the newest title in the Zelda series since before I'd even got the game in my hands, and after just over a month and 80+ hours worth of immersing myself in this new, expansive iteration of Hyrule, I think it's fair to say I'm now well equipped to deliver my verdict on Breath of the Wild. And that's what I shall be doing in but a moment.

    Zelda games always tend to receive high praise, generally deservingly so, and Breath of the Wild has been no exception...if anything, it's been getting exceptionally higher praise than any Zelda title for quite some time (Read : Ocarina of Time), but it does have its detractors, not necessarily people who hate the game, but people who don't think it's all that hot shit. Those people are generally swiftly executed by fanboys, but it does raise an interesting idea...is Breath of the Wild really one of the best games of all time? Or will it end up like Skyward Sword, a game praised to high heavens at the time of release, but has since become a much loathed dark sheep of the series (And I'm not entirely sure why, it was brilliant, despite some flaws and technical hitches). Does Breath of the Wild have the same fate awaiting it, or is this retooled and reloaded entry in the franchise truly awesome, and maintain that honour 80 hours of gameplay later? LET'S FIND OUT. WOO.




    The Good.



    Huge, detailed, visually stunning world.

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    If there's one thing that will become immediately clear within the first 10 minutes of your BotW experience, it's that the game looks truly gorgeous. Pushing the Wii U seemingly to its absolute limits, it delivers not so much an ultra-realistic world as it does a rich, colourful and detailed work of visual art. The grass blows gently in the wind and shines softly in the sun, the water shimmers, animals frolic through the sun-soaked woods and wafts of smoke and dust trail along the ground all around you. You're soaking in all this atmosphere as you approach the ruins of an ancient temple and enter. That's the start of the game. The first trail in the first corner of the first zone of what's a massive, varied and sprawling open world that delivers a Hyrule like you've never seen or experienced before. Around every corner, down every hill and up every cliff lies something new to explore and soak in, there's no walking up to a invisible door and entering the next part of the world, it's all there in front of you from the very start, Hyrule is yours to explore at your own pace, whenever you want, and it all looks stunning. The visual quality of Breath of the Wild never falters, even when you enter the various shrines and dungeons across the map, or sit through a cutscene, and the various key locations within the environment have a genuine sense of scale and immense satisfaction from discovering, be it an important location like Hyrule Castle, or just a small town by the coast. These places feel alive and brimming with detail, when it rains, the people in the area will run to the nearest Stable to take shelter, when it gets dark, travellers will make camp and start fires, when you run through the vast, beautiful green fields of Hyrule, birds fly away, deer get startled and gallop around, sometimes even turning on you when feeling threatened. There's just so much beauty and detail in Breath of the Wild's world, it's hard to list it all. It provides a living, breathing and extensive world that features the exact sort of things you'd expect Hyrule to feature, but does so in a way that makes seeing them in the distance, climbing mountains and running through forests to get to them, and then exploring these new towns or ruins feel like more of an adventure than anything Nintendo have accomplished in the past. It's one of the best gaming locations committed to disc, and it's almost worth the price of admission by itself.




    Full of things to see/do, and packed with fun characters.

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    Now, it's all well and good having a beautiful and detailed world, but it's not much good if there's nothing to do within it, right? That's true, and quite often the case with some...generally a lot of open world titles. All the time is spent making the world look pretty, and making it big, and then they run out of time to actually have anything to do within it except shoot some people, blow some shit up, or drive off a cliff, with maybe a few time trials along the way. Breath of the Wild has the 'piss about' factor in spades, that's for sure. You can explore the world, find enemy outposts and fuck them up with a multitude of varied weapons or whatever metal boxes or explosive barrels are lying around nearby. You can go hunt deer, blow up a goat and propel yourself across the map on a stasis charged box that sends you hurtling off a cliff to your death. You can do those sorta things, and those are super fun. There's even a few short and sweet time trials dotted around in hidden areas, but beyond those standard sandbox trappings, there's a whole lot more to see and do...a WHOLE lot more. When heading towards your first main objective in the game post-tutorial sequence, you'll quickly learn the true, nefarious time-trap of this game...and that's...THINGS. Things to see, things to do, things to explore and oh so many things wanting to one-hit kill you. Sure, you can set a marker and think you're going to just make it straight from A to B, but that's before you realise there's a whole fucking alphabet of other shit you're going to get distracted by before you get there. 

    Enemy outposts, shrines, stables, towers, ruins, random interesting looking buildings and constructs...a shiny thing or two...rocks that you're just gonna HAVE to pick up and see if there's a little Korok friend underneath....hell, even bug catching or mushroom collecting. There's an infinite amount of distracting shit to do, and most of it is very fun indeed. If you were to ignore everything and go straight to the main objectives, I feel like you'd miss 90% of the game, and be all the worse for it. You're going to want to climb every mountain, jump down every hole, explore every suspicious looking alcove and breakable wall, and most of the time, you're going to be glad you did. Even on the main objective route, you're going to encounter beautiful locations, charming (And apparently really sexy) characters and a slew of side objectives of varying length and reward just whilst being around that specific area. Even on the last day of my playing the game, mopping up the last few scraps of interesting content, after 80 hours of playing, I still managed to find a really fun, secret character in a secluded corner of the map, and also got myself a good piece of 'equipment' within the same stretch of time. Skyward Sword, for all its great qualities, felt like a long time to play. Breath of the Wild? You'll find yourself in a timeless void where you'll decide to play for an hour or two, and end up playing until 3am. Everything from climbing vast mountains to encountering sudden, random, huge scale boss fights, to trying to mix together ingredients to create the best meal for yourself soaks up your time like a sponge in the best possible way. It's the perfect social life killer...and alright, yes, the shark is pretty handsome. You happy now?



    Non-linear, exploration based, flexible difficulty.

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    I'll be honest, when I read the pre-launch, paid critic reviews of Breath of the Wild, and frequently heard that they felt it was the hardest Zelda game since the NES? I was worried, deeply worried. I'm very much a experience over difficulty kinda guy. I'd rather a game held my hand and took me down a hill on a beautiful adventure, then pushed me off a cliff and challenged me not to die. Sure, there's some sense of satisfaction and gained bragging rights for surviving that bumpy, jagged and steep descent off the cliff, but...you didn't really have a fun time getting to that point, did you? The thing is though, a natural sense of challenge, something that can be alleviated through dedicating time to the game, and rewarding my exploration of the world? That's a lot better, it's something I really like about the Metroid franchise, which, with the exception of one or two entries that just really curb-stomp you no matter how much you feel you're prepared, tends to reward your dedication to exploring the world and finding items with a less insurmountable challenge. Breath of the Wild is that kind of game, although...to be honest, I'm not entirely sure it's as hard as the critics have been saying in the first place. The challenge of this game comes from the way in which health and damage is given...and taken. Previous 3D Zelda games tended to have enemies that chipped your hearts away, generally at the same rate, and it was based around you not getting hit, and collecting health through various pots and grass clumps, rather than preparing yourself for a battle prior to it. Breath of the Wild no longer gives you hearts in the environment at all, and enemies can potentially take you out completely in a single swipe if you're unlucky. That sounds annoying, but when you realise surviving a battle...of any scale is based entirely around how prepared you are for it, and if you make sure you're always prepared for these battles, be it through stocking up on ingredients that you turn into food, that gives you health or various boosts in speed/defense/stealth/attack, or equipping stronger armour (Some of which has specific benefits, such as heat resistance of faster swimming) and weapons of varying levels and attributes, all of which you can acquire simply by exploring the world and completing side-objectives? Then you're going to find it's not really all that hard, and that's a great thing indeed. This is a game that both rewards you for exploration and preparedness, and also allows you to decide how hard you're going to want things to be by allowing you to choose how strong your weapons are, or how sturdy your defence is. You could make this the hardest game in the world, or the easiest if you put the time into exploration and experimentation, and when playing a sprawling open world RPG, why wouldn't you put the time in?

    Another great thing is how open and non-linear the whole experience is. Yes, you have main objectives, the same standard of objectives as has been in previous 3D Zeldas...go here, defeat this thing, do a certain number and then you can do the final boss. But once again, you could potentially ignore these objectives and take on the final boss almost immediately after being allowed into the world. I...wouldn't advise it, but it's technically doable. Not only can you ignore any other main objectives and just skip to the end, but you can also do the main objectives in any order you see fit...none of them are mandatory, and none of them are given you to in a specific order. Just do them or don't. Harden yourself up for battle, or fight enemies in your underpants. Tackle the various dungeons, or just jump over to Hyrule Castle and fight Ganon. The choice is yours, and the difficulty of it all is entirely up to you, and that's fucking awesome.



    Dungeons are short, but sweet.

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    Along with various other aspects of the game announced long prior to its release, something that especially rustled my jimmies, as a long-time Zelda fan was the apparent scrapping of the big and varied dungeons that the franchise is well known for, particularly since the jump to 3D. Sure, they weren't always great, and often ended up deeply confusing, but they were big, exciting bookmarks in your adventure, experiencing them for the first time, getting the new item, fighting a big boss. The thought of Zelda without these kinda things? It was genuinely concerning, and whilst I do still sorta miss the old stylie Zelda dungeons, I must admit the new, shorter and punchier style were a blast all the same. The definition of what a Zelda Dungeon is has changed quite a bit in Breath of the Wild, and there's three kinds to see (One of these three being a singular example I'm not going to talk about much cuz spoilers), one of which you'll be seeing a damn sight more than the others. The first, and most common, are Shrines. Shrines are mini-dungeons, essentially, and they're scattered in great number across the Hyrule map ...how many, you ask? 120 of them. Yep. That's a lot of them, and whilst a few too many resort to tedious Test of Combats, which basically mean "Kill the same enemy as the last Combat Test, but this one has another arm, or a higher health bar than the last" that are neither challenging or fun...or just serve to be a one room reward presenter for a shrine objective that took place outside of a shrine rather than in, the ones that actually put the effort in? Of which I'd say about 60-70% do? They provide short, simple but often challenging physics based puzzles structured around your built-in tool set of bombs/magnesis/stasis/ice...nesis, that can often be solved in more than one way, or fudged if you want to CHEAT THE SYSTEM, FUCK THE PO-LICE and what not. Barring the motion control puzzles (We'll get to that shit later), these puzzles are generally a lot of fun, and provide you with both a warp point on the map (Which you're gonna want, trust me) and a Shrine Orb to add to your collection, which at every fourth orb, provide you with either a heart piece or an extension of your stamina bar depending on what you choose to get...or choose not to do so at all, depending on how you want the difficulty to play out (Taking us again back to that flexible difficulty thing the game's got going on). These are plentiful, generally fun, and provide a meaty, rewarding side objective outside of the main ones which we shall now talk about...NOW.

    The second type of dungeons are the ones you're more accustomed to, just with a new flavour. You're tasked with four main objectives soon after starting the game, and these four objectives are....essentially four dungeons. Playing out somewhat like an extended shrine, making this almost the examination to the normal shrines mini-lessons, where you learn new puzzle mechanics that you then have to put into practice in these, with an additional, environment shifting mechanic tied to each of the four main dungeons that activate different things, and allow you access to otherwise hidden corners of the dungeon. You go around, completing mini-objectives within it, finding secrets, then fight a boss and then that's it all done. You can compete each of the main dungeons in less than an hour, quite easily, and whilst that may seem like a bad thing when compared to previous, largescale, sprawling and epic dungeons found in previous 3D Zeldas, it does mean each dungeon is short, sweet and punchy, never outstaying its welcome, whilst also each providing a fun and satisfying experience based entirely around puzzle solving and exploration. The epic nature of these dungeons is provided by their setting and terrain transformational properties, rather than size or labrynthial qualities of older Zelda game dungeons. The jury's out on if they're better or worse, but they're still a lot of fun, and immensely satisfying to complete. Basically, Breath of the Wild has a lot of dungeons to explore, they're just not the dungeons you're accustomed to for the series...but that's not necessarily a bad thing.



    Feels truly epic.

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    All the things I've listed above are great, individual achievements, but what makes Breath of the Wild so staggeringly special is how they all come together as a whole, legitimately epic package. Zelda games, particularly 3D ones have often had epic moments, epic boss battles...or cutscenes, particularly moments in dungeons or feelings of satisfaction from reaching certain places, or solving certain puzzles. Breath of the Wild has all of those, but also has the massive, connected and well scaled world to explore, it has the flexible difficulty, the varying gear and weapons, the massive assortment of side-content to do, random points of interest to explore that could turn out to be hugely important, or just fun little distractions. Moreso than any other Zelda game prior to this, your progress feels earned, the items you collect aren't just found in dungeons as part of a formula, you don't just get the ultimate weapons and gear as part of the story, you have to find it, you have to work out how to get it, and then you have to earn that acquisition. Some of the coolest things you can find in the game, and the most powerful, are entirely optional, and beyond the occasional hints here and there, the game never outright tells you where to find optional content, or how to go about receiving it once you do. Due to the destructibility of weapons/shields, and the limited capacity of which you can carry these things, items have a worth to them, you can break out your flashy fire sword, but you risk breaking it, and not having it available for a bigger battle, some may see that as a bad thing...I certainly had my apprehensions on the concept upon finding out it was part of the game, but it works really well, and means you never use the exact same weapon for too long before needing to change things up, and experiment with different types. The game doesn't hold your hand, it doesn't check up on you if you take too long to reach the next objective, it just unleashes you out onto the world and lets you find your own way. Going on a long journey, fighting off enemies, discovering hidden secrets, and then making it to your objectives feels immensely satisfying, and they almost always come with a sense of awe upon encountering them for the first time. Breath of the Wild has a lot of great aspects, and not only do those stand by themselves as plus points, like in this review, but they all gel together perfectly to create an amazing, beautiful and varied adventure on an epic scale the likes of which the Zelda franchise has never seen. Also, you can slide down hills on your shield. That's pretty neat.




    The Bad.



    Consistent framerate issues.

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    Alas, for all its positive aspects, and there are a lot. No game is perfect, and Breath of the Wild isn't an exception to that rule. Perhaps the main, objectively poor takeaway from the game is just how frequently choppy it can run, at least on the Wii U. I'm aware a patch was released a couple weeks back, which reportedly fixed most of the issues up, but I saw no such joy on my own copy of the game. For a game this vast, detailed and beautiful, it's decidedly odd in which regions the game's framerate suffers the most. Exploring the massive open world, jumping off the top of cliffs, having the whole region on display? Nope. Random, gigantic enemies soaring around or stomping about nearby you? No problem. Going into a closed off town that has a gentle breeze in it? You better believe you can expect a lot of stuttering. Walking through a small woody area? Yep...it's that gentle breeze again. It seems like the system can run the game perfectly fine, but it's the small ambient effects, such as heat ripples, wind effects, or large explosions that cause it to stutter, often heavily so. The above image, showing a enemy outpost full of exploding barrels that you can throw a bomb into and detonate? Should be an immensely satisfying moment, and it sorta is (Although it doesn't outright wipe out the enemies for some reason), but the game splutters and puffs due to the size of the explosion...and yeah...okay it's a big one and stuff's getting smashed and shit, but then at other points the same scale of chaos plays out just fine. Similarly, two of the dungeons take place with a wide, moving view of the outside world, one of them stutters frequently when venturing around the outskirts of the dungeon, the other...which seemingly is rendering even more, runs like a dream. It's strange, you could chalk it down to it being too powerful for the system (Although the Switch has similar issues so, if that's the case RIP), but it's inconsistent in its issues to the point where it just doesn't make sense. One common enemy, a large moblin kinda...dude, has a tendency to freeze the game momentarily upon being hit. Like, that's a common occurrence in the game...and you'd think, 'oh maybe it's just too big an enemy for the system to handle' but then there are VASTLY larger and more animated enemies at other points in the game that work just fine. It's a baffling, but mercifully uncommon (relative to the size of the game) problem, but it's a problem all the same.



    Awful motion controls.

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    AAAaAaGHH. Perhaps even more baffling than the framerate issues is this unwanted and poorly implemented inclusion. Motion Controls. Oh yes, this may be an old school, press buttons to attack kinda Zelda again, but you better believe there's some shoehorned in wiggling horseshit to suffer through. On a basic level, the game lets you move the gamepad around to aim things such as the in-game camera (as in, taking pictures camera) or your bow, and those work fine. But things really take a turn for the sour upon encountering motion control based Shrines. Technically optional, although strongly encouraged to beat due to the many rewards from doing so, the vast majority of Shrines don't feature motion controlling at all. But the ones that do? Hooooo...booy....they sure are awful. The above pictured one is perhaps, the worst offender. On paper it seems simple and somewhat appealing, a motion controlled maze, and a ball to guide through it. Just...guide the ball through the maze, make it to the end, put the thing in the thing...boom. Done. But oh no, that'd be too easy. What this one does is...not work. At all. On multiple levels. For starters the tilt controls are broken as fuck, the maze itself is twitchy as hell, the ball rolls off into oblivion at the slightest sneeze, and...most obscene of all, the angle of which you're shown the maze makes it nearly impossible to work out how to aim the fucking thing to get it onto the other platform and beat the puzzle. I carefully made it to the end, through much frustration and heartbreak, only to find the ball miss the platform completely due to my perspective on it. So...then you just end up cheesing the thing and flipping the bloody maze about until you violently flick and propel the ball to its destination, instead of actually solving the puzzle. There are several other puzzles that involving titling, and the are all janky and awkward to play, but this is by far the worst. You often have to tilt the whole gamepad upside down in order to get some things to work, which is just moronic. Considering the previous Zelda game, Skyward Sword nearly perfectly implemented a heavy amount of motion controlling to its experience, it's baffling to see Nintendo drop the ball so hard...into a shitty maze that you can barely control. Ahuh. See what I did there.

    On a brief additional note, since it's not worth its own singular segment, it's also supremely baffling to see the Wii U gamepad go completely unused in any capacity beyond off-TV play. There's no menu system, or map...or anything. The developers have made the argument having a second screen would detract from the immersion of the main game (Something they made the opposite statement about when trying to sell the Wii U, instead of the Switch), but frankly, that's bullshit, and the only reason the Wii U version lacks any gamepad features is so the Wii U version doesn't have any features the Switch version would then lack, and would then prevent people from wanting to upgrade/invest in a new system. I'm not taking your immersion bullshit, Nintendo, you downscaled the Wii U version's features, we all know it.



    Dodgy voice acting.

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    Now, you could make the argument this is a subjective complaint, which is fair. In the same way some people hated Peter Dinklage's turn as your little robot... thing in Destiny whilst I thought he did a good job, some people have been positive to praising over the voice acting in Breath of the Wild, the first game in the long-running series to feature substantial voice work, by which I mean the first to do more than just go HEY, LISTEN or HEHEHEHEH. Nintendo have tried adding voice acting to their big 3 franchises before, with varying levels of success. Mario Sunshine's VA was atrocious, whilst Metroid Prime 3's was pretty decent...and....we don't talk about Other M's voice acting, we just don't. Breath of the Wild lays somewhere inbetween the two in terms of quality, but given the amount of time they've had to get this voice acting business down, and the ease it generally comes by others to do competent fantasy voice acting in their games...BotW is a poor show, ranging from decent, to downright bad.

    The quality of VA seems to vary depending on the Hyrulian species being given a voice. The VA for the Rito and Zora characters, with the exception of one Zora, are pretty well handled, they don't provide a particularly memorable performance, but it does the job, and the main character in the Rito camp provides the best work in a cocky, arrogant sorta way. Things go downhill from here though, the Gerudo VA is fine too, just not quite as fine as the previous two, but the Goron? Oh god do the Goron voices suck. For the most part, they sound about what you'd expect, the dumb, brutish and loud voices we've likely all given them in our heads whilst playing previous instalments, but...the goofy and cartoonish feel doesn't really suit the tone of what's being portrayed on screen, and goes so far as to take away from any emotional resonance the scenes in question might have had. The other Goron voice? Oh dear, oh dear dear dear...that is just...ooof. Awful. Think whiny anime nerd dubbing voice, and you're about there. The voice does nothing to endear you to the character, and really does quite the opposite. The other vocal work is pretty naff too, the Hylians have a really awful attempt at a 'fantasy British' accent, I'm sure you know the sort, and it's pretty overdone, but even with that, it feels decidedly amateur hour in this particular instance, for what I can only assume are professional actors/actresses. There's another voice who I can't really reveal the origin of due to spoilers, but they seemed to be putting on that fake dramatic voice people do for jokes. Basically...for me the voice acting peaked at serviceable, and sank down to pretty damn poor at times, and no, it's not going to spoil the game for anyone, but it's a decided negative for me, considering the potential of a franchise like Zelda making that leap to vocal performances. Don't give up, Nintendo, just....try a bit better next time?




    Weather/Time specific situations can be frustrating.

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    Beyond the weapon durability, which I don't personally have an issue with, this is definitely the most talked about criticism of Breath of the Wild, at least it is when not taking into account the lack of dog petting available in the game, which...yes, ruined the entire 80 hour experience for me also. One of this game's strong points is its atmosphere and details, and part of that is the day and night cycles, and also the various changes in weather you experience. A lot of the time it's glorious and sunny, sometimes it gets a bit grey and cloudy, and in some regions it might even snow. And then there's rain. Oh yes, rain. On paper, that may not sound like a big deal...if you have weather, you're gonna have rain, and most Zelda games have had rainy sequences, so what's the problem? WELLLLLL...it's the way in which said rain affects your traversal, and it's a pretty big issue that you will absolutely encounter many times throughout your playthrough. You spend a lot of time in Breath of the Wild climbing up things, like I've said before in my positives, part of the fun is scaling mountains, or buildings...places of interest, and finding something cool at the top, or the other side of that cliff-face. Great, right? Oh no, oh look, it's raining, and I forgot to bring a brolly. No matter, I'm the Hero of Time, I can get a bit wet, I'll just climb up here and...oh...I'm slipping. Oh I'm going to keep slipping until I run out of stamina and fall to my death. Great. Yes, any time it rains, and rest assured, it rains a lot, in fact in some regions it rains more than it shines...any time it rains, you can't climb, basically. Small journeys, okay fine, but anything more than a few hops up? You're fucked, it doesn't matter if you've fully upgraded your stamina wheel, doesn't matter if you've given yourself extra stamina, you won't make it. It's designed to stop you from doing so, and sure, climbing in the rain I bet would be pretty hard...but this is a video game, one based largely around exploration, so whose bright idea was it to remove an ability during a common weather occurrence? There's literally nothing you can do at any point in the game to prevent this issue, and more often than not you'll be partway through a lengthy expedition up a mountain when it occurs, meaning you have to actually wait for the rain to stop, because no, you can't start a fire to skip ahead time, because...IT'S RAINING. I get why this is a thing, but it's really annoying and I want whoever decided it should be the case dropped into the bottom of a well in the midst of a monsoon for some ironic punishment.

    Rain is the main offender, but there's a few other annoying weather/time related issues. First up, Blood Moons, the randomly occurring lunar event that causes enemies to respawn. Cool idea, good way of not letting you empty Hyrule of enemies, and it's fun to see the trippy proceedings happen when you're not affected by it. That said, if you're in the middle of a battle, or attempting a sequence of events that you'd much prefer the enemies you just killed not to be around in? One blood moon later and viola, you're fucked. The first time I had a blood moon occur, it was mid-battle with about 5 or 6 enemies, I had low health/armour at the time due to being early in the game, and after the cutscene informing me of the MOONAGE played out, I got killed by a respawned enemy before I could so much as touch a single button on my gamepad. It's not usually a problem, but it's an annoying one when it is. Temperature related issues are abound also, if a place is too cold/too hot, then you can't explore it without losing health unless you've got the correct gear, or have used a time-limited potion to give you access, which is fine...but a bit frustrating also, because this is a game largely about freedom of exploration, and these things inhibit your ability to explore, there's also apparently three kinds of hot in Hyrule, spread across two regions, and one of them leaves you straight fucked no matter how good a gear collection you have. A niggling complaint maybe, but it bugged me when trying to explore, and...the last thing an exploration based game should do is make exploration not fun-impossible at that point in time, I feel.



    Hardest content lacks worthy payoff.

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    Although Breath of the Wild can be a challenging game in general, depending on how you've equipped yourself (As I said earlier), it's fair to say that the hardest parts of the game by far are optional encounters, and not the main game itself. If anything, the main campaign's offerings feel decidedly easier, and I suppose that could be considered a good thing, not making the meat and potatoes of the title inaccessible to a less hardcore audience, whilst still providing challenges to them via the flexible difficulty, and optional side content. That's great, the problem however, is that said extra content, the stuff that offers the most challenge of all, almost always fails to provide a worthy pay-off for its hardships. Having higher difficulty content provide greater rewards is a common trait of any fantasy RPG, particularly one as huge as this. MMORPGs or games like Skyrim offer cool gear, useful weapons, additional side content, a whole plethora of things, and you often know the reward before you go in, that's why you do it. In Breath of the Wild, the side-content that doesn't tell you what you're going to get is almost always something dull, like some rupees or maybe a pair of shoes if you're lucky. If you do know what the reward will be? It's going to be a shrine, which...great, cool, shrines are fun, but the ones at the end of tasks like this are basically just a set of stairs and a pat on the back, with maybe something shiny in a box if you're lucky. Only a handful of the harder Shrine challenges provide a meaningful reward you wouldn't have otherwise, and the reward for beating ALL the Shrines? It's cool, but by that stage in your game will not be useful, and making it useful will turn out to be perhaps a bigger chore than its worth. You get rewarded for doing these tasks, but the rewards are predictable, identical and often not worth the amount of time you put into something.

    Additionally, the random boss encounters you stumble across around the map provide the biggest enemy challenges out of the entire game (Including the final boss), one particular species of which will absolutely destroy you, and fighting them becomes less a case of defeating them as it is outlasting them with the aid of various foodstuffs as you chip away at their immense levels of health. Regardless of which one you're fighting, the payoff is generally the same thing, some monster parts you can only acquire from beating them, perhaps selling for a high price or making a stronger elixer, maybe some other random gubbens, and...a weapon or two that's not so much exciting and unique as it is exactly the same shit you can find anywhere else in the map for none of the trouble. You can make the suggestion that winning the battle itself is reward enough, but bullshit, sorry. These random high level battles aren't particularly interesting in their challenge or conquesting, and whilst you do get rewarded, it's not nearly interesting enough to be worth doing after you've done it once or twice. Having challenging side content is all well and good, but it really lacks the satisfying reward you deserve for taking it on.




    SPOILERS?!


    Narrative Issues.

    tumblr_oo0dh9BIhC1vuwsa7o3_500.png

    This is major story spoilers, guys. So do not read this part under any circumstances if you haven't played the full game and wish to go in blind. I'm not going to spoil everything, and I won't do so in detail, but I'm going to discuss the specific narrative structure of Breath of the Wild, and give examples of why it's an issue, so there will be spoilers. You are warned!

    One of the main aspects of this particular Zelda game that Nintendo kept heavily under wraps basically until the release of the title, is the story. We knew the basic idea of Link waking up in a room, and something having happened 100 years ago, but we didn't know what exactly he was going to wake up to, and who he'd meet along the way. We did know Princess Zelda was in it, and had a reasonably crucial role...as it turns out, the role is 99% in flashbacks, or...forgotten memories, rather than in the present, and the same goes for basically the entire rest of the game's main characters and plot points, and whilst that's an interesting idea, it does lead to a serious issue, and that's to do with emotional investment. When everything important to Link as a character has been and gone 100 years ago, and you only find out about characters you're supposed to care about through brief flashback sequences, it's really hard to...care about them? Not for lack of trying, but it's just hard to feel invested in something that's already happened. Zelda, for instance, is a character you only encounter in the present day at the very, VERY end of the game, and it's for all of 5 seconds before the credits roll. Every other moment featuring her takes place 100 years ago in brief cutscenes that attempt to show her struggle to become the guardian of Hyrule she wishes to be, and also show how she quietly resents Link for being given responsibilities she herself has strived to assume. That's great and interesting, but you only see it through sequences in the past that at the most are a minute or so long, completely out of sequence due to the way in which you discover these lost memories. It almost feels like you're seeing a clip show from a previous Zelda game you haven't played, meant to remind you that you're supposed to care about her, and whilst some of the scenes are quite good, they never have that resonance.

    Similarly, the four guardians you knew and watched fall 100 years ago lack that connection also, the game tries very hard to make them seem important, but you get snippets of brief time with them, and that's all. The Zora guardian, seen above is supposed to be a love interest for Link, someone he was seemingly going to marry, and provided him with a ceremonial set of Zora armour to solidify that, and...Hylian/Fish romance issues aside, you should care more about a love interest that's died at the hands of the villain. But the relationship is only established in one cutscene and then brought up once or twice after, briefly. If these characters were around in the current timeline, you had moments with them throughout, that established relationships and had coherent story-arcs and not out of sequence clips, and then they fell to Ganon? That would've been far more powerful, and wouldn't leave you feeling detached from the grand narrative of the game. None of what's in Breath of the Wild narratively is bad, and the basic premise of waking up 100 years after a quite literal calamity is good, but it comes at the trade off of caring about characters in the same way you may have done in previous titles, which, given the better presentation, and voice acting at hand, is a bit of a waste.



    Worth Buying?

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    For the past few reviews I've done on here, this has been a point of some contention for me. The 'Worth Buying' section is about whether or not the game is worth the price it costs, regardless of if what you're buying is good. Sometimes it can be really good, but too short to be worth £40-50. Other times it can be hard to recommend a flawed but fun game to people at full price, because there's no telling what side of the spectrum other people will fall in terms of enjoyment. For Breath of the Wild, however...things are really quite simple. For your £40-60 purchase, depending on what version you're picking up, both in platform and in terms of special/collectors edition, you're getting a stupendously high quality game, with a non-speed running/rushing around running time of at the very least 50 hours or so, making around ...10 hours of content for each £10 you spend, if you do the bare minimum of exploration and side content. If you throw in exploration, which is really one of the main selling points of the game, you've probably got another 10 hours right there. Side content and shrines? Probably another 10. If you do what I did, and get every shrine, and do a large majority of the side-missions? My playthrough clocked in at just over 80 hours. If you want to 100% beat the game? You're probably looking at upwards of 90-100 hours. And the best part is that it never feels like a 50-80 hour chore of a game, it sucks away time and absorbs you in its world quite easily. So basically, it's a great game, with a huge amount of bang for your buck. So yes, it's Worth Buying, I think I can say that with some confidence this time...finally. 



    Conclusion.

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    The older you get, and the more games you've played, the harder it becomes to find truly special ones. You lose that sense of wonder you might have once had, and much like watching a lot of horror movies, it becomes harder and harder to be surprised or engaged the same way you might have once been, the more and more things you play. That's not to say you can't enjoy anything ever, far from it, but it becomes harder to be truly spellbound by something. Breath of the Wild is not a perfect game, no game is, let's face it. But it managed to rekindle those senses in me for the first time in a long while whilst playing through it. It's a unique and magical experience, full of freedom and fun on a scale very few games manage without bringing hefty problems and tedium with them. It feels bold and at times jarringly different from other games in the franchise, and yet it still feels very much like the Zelda you know and love where it counts, the personality, iconography and feel of a Zelda title are all still there, but the gameplay and layout feels new and exciting, in a way the franchise hasn't experienced for a long, long time. It shines in both the little details and the grand picture, the gameplay is varied and polished, as is the world itself. The atmosphere and sense of adventure is palpable throughout the entire experience, I was discovering new and exciting things right up to the very end of my long and memorable adventure. No, some things don't work as well as others, and the story. whilst epic in feeling, lacks the same emotional connection as previous entries did, but that's a small price to pay for all the good and great things on offer elsewhere. This gets batted around every time a new instalment is released, but I think I can safely say this is currently my favourite Zelda game I've played, having spent 80 hours truly absorbed in its wonderful world, full of fun characters, epic sequences, entertaining side-content and abundance of beautiful sights to see, and places to explore. And if it's my favourite Zelda, then that no doubt says a lot about how I rate this game in general. It's a must-play for Zelda fans, which goes without saying, but it's also something you owe it to yourself to seek out regardless of interest in the franchise. It took a long time to get here, there were a lot of doubts and concerns along the way, but Breath of the Wild is here, and it was well worth the wait. It's a truly exceptional title, and one of the best games I've played in recent memory.




    Well, there it is! There it goes! WHAT A FUN TIME, did you have FUN? I did. I guess Breath of the Wild is pretty good, huh? Have you played it? Did you pick up a Switch just to play it? What do you think? A solid 7/10 all around I hear. Didn't like it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, same goes for your thoughts on the review itself. You may well be getting another review a lot sooner than you think, but we'll see about that...for now, y'all behave, have a good Spring, and until next time.........LATERGATORS.

  • New Blog Post

    5 months ago

    Marchant

    Hi all,


    I write a travel blog, giving useful hints and tips to those going abroad. New post is up please check it out:



    https://www.smarchant.com/single-post/2017/04/04/Travel-Tip-Book-in-advance



    Thankyou


    S

  • EVERY Godzilla Film RANKED

    5 months ago

    g1TheStickman


    Wassup my guys and gulls? It's YO BOY STICKMAN HERE WITH ANOTHER HIGH QUALITY BLOG THAT NOBODY WILL READ BECAUSE WHO READS BLOGS ON THIS WEBSITE ANY MORE, WOOOOO.

    Now, with the recent release of KONG : Skull Island in cinemas, and the impending crossover with Godzilla that was teased within it, it's safe to say giant monsters have been on the minds of many, particularly the big G himself. Everyone loves Godzilla, I know I do, but I've never really written a blog about the franchise...until TODAY. HUHHHH.

    That's right, to celebrate the King of the Monsters himself, I've watched EVERY Godzilla film released in the UK, old or new, Toho or other, and we're gonna rank them from best to worst! Yes, that's a big undertaking, there's been a lot of them, but...hey....what's not to enjoy about watching giant monster movies? The only rule for this list is that the film had to be a part of the Godzilla franchise. Skull Island may have referenced him, but he didn't turn up, so that one doesn't count. Everything else? It's ON THE LIST.

    Grab a can of popcorn, kick your hands up, and settle in for a EPIC COUNTDOWN. HERE WE GOOOOO.


    Godzilla (1998).

    A predictable last placer on this ranking of all things Godzilla, although not a film I hate in quite the same regard as others, maybe because it was actually my first introduction to the character of Godzilla, back in 1998 when I was like...5? I probably didn't even get to watch it until a couple years later, shiet man, I dunno. I remember having a toy from it though, where like....a little baby Godzilla was in an egg with a removable plate on the front, and you pressed the back and then the toy broke because it wasn't very high quality. The film was a big deal when it released, but gained very few fans despite some impressive special effects...for the time, and large scale action. The main issue is that Godzilla him...herself is not really Godzilla so much as she is a big CGI iguana who doesn't really do a whole lot aside from dodge missiles that then blow up landmarks that can be shown off in the trailer. They get the character wrong, and everything around the character is your standard, corny 90s disaster movie, a time before 9/11 when you could destroy a city, crush people and generally cause mass chaos, and have a heckin' fun time in the process. The writing is awful, there's lazy stereotype characters coming from all corners of the globe and, as is the case with most Godzilla films it feels, there's just not a whole lot of Godzilla? And then she dies. And then they have a stupid bit with some babies, I dunno. As a kid I quite liked the film, so it gets a bit of an easier ride with me than most, but it's fair to say it's neither a good film, or a good Godzilla film. Oopsy.



    Godzilla (2014).

    Another attempt at an American take on the BIG G that, although faring a lot better in general, still gets a lot of hate from people, particularly fans of the Toho franchise. Much like its semi-prequel, Skull Island, it's hardly a work of high art, and is deeply flawed in a lot of respects, but is still very enjoyable, and beautifully filmed...at least when you can see what's going on, cuz...didn't really notice at the cinema so much but SHIET THIS FILM IS DARK AS FUUUCK. Taking more cues from the original 50s Japanese take on Godzilla than anything else, this is a film that focuses more on the human struggle in the wake of Godzilla's reawakening and consequential disasters then the monster himself. It gets a lot of hate for lacking scenes with Godzilla himself in, which is pretty similar to the 50s film, but then also spends a hell of a lot of time on MUTOs...who are very much your standard post-Cloverfield dangly legged big bug boys, they're cool, but it's called GODZILLA, not MUTO MATING SEASON. On a whole the film is a good time though, with some great special effects, visuals, and a few truly badass moments at the end when Godzilla finally DOES SOMETHING, WoOooOAAAHHH. It set a good, badass heavy standard for the new western take on Godzilla, which will then hopefully be ran with in a broadly more action heavy, visually bright and enjoyable sequel in 2019. It's a good starting point, but not perfect by any means.




    King Kong vs Godzilla (1962).

    In a world with The Room and Nicolas Cage starring Wicker Man remakes in it, the term 'So Bad it's Good' gets a lot of traction these days. Needless to say, a lot of older (Read MUCH older) monster movies fall into that category thanks to their goofy effects, bad acting, cheese factor and just general crumminess, be it a timeless crumminess, or maybe a film that's aged truly awfully. King Kong vs Godzilla, from the early 60s, specifically the US dubbed version is easily one the best in its class when it comes to gloriously terrible old cinema, and I frankly wouldn't want it any other way. A mixture of awfully dubbed Japanese character scenes and hilariously low budget, abysmally scripted US sequences that look like they were filmed in someone's bedroom, and of course, a heap helping of naff looking rubber suits and effects creates a perfect storm of awful that ends up becoming something truly magnificent. The King Kong costume alone is a work of art, looking akin to a decaying toy from another century come to life, and somewhat drunk at that, with Godzilla being on fine, early 60s spine-wobbling form to boot. Nearly every scene has something to laugh about, in reality the only bits that aren't funny are the parts where the film actually tries to be. There's a lot of anticipation for the 2020 King Kong vs Godzilla film, but in all honesty, I'm not sure it can beat the dizzying heights of Kong haphazardly throwing polystyrene rocks at an enraged Godzilla who continuously does a weird dance where he waves his arms up and down, to the point where you can actually hear the rubber suit crumpling each time. It is. GLORIOUS.




    Gojira (1954).

    Time for a complete tonal shift, because DAMN is the first movie, at least the original Japanese version of the first movie, dark as fuck. Made as less of a fun monster battling romp like the previous choices, and more of a chilling parable to the all too recent at the time nuclear atrocities that occurred within Japan during WW2, this film spends less time focusing on the monster itself, and moreso on the despair and anguish suffered by those left in his wake. A nuclear energised ancient being awoken by hydrogen bomb testing off the coast of Japan starts his rampage by seemingly vaporising a troupe of fishing boats (Based on an actual tragedy that occurred) and then proceeding to decimate several other regions of Japan, including Tokyo itself, the film features tortured souls, haunting choirs and just a whole lot of misery. Sure, the special effects on the monster sequences themselves may come across as pretty goofy and amusing, but those are few and far between, and the real focus is on the human impact. It's still a damn effective film to this date, and provides a different experience to what you'd expect, looking on at the iconic characters legacy as a fun smashy bashy monster fighting DUDE.




    And that's it! Every Godzilla film currently released in the UK, RANKED for your entertainment. Thank you for joining me on this long journey through one of cinema's most iconic character's expansive, varied and no doubt entertaining library of works, all of which are available in the UK right now, which is just great, I'd hate to miss any more of these entertaining exploits, that's for sure.

    What's your favourite Godzilla film? What do you think of the placements on this list? Have you ever had sexual fantasies about Godzilla, or any other kaiju for that matter? Did you wish this blog was an actual countdown of the many Godzilla films released in other parts of the world, but no the UK, instead of this somewhat bitter-tasting April Fools blog? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW, SEE YOU IN A COUPLE WEEKS FOR AN ACTUAL BLOG, a review of Breath of the Wild? Oh boy, that'll be GOOD, better come back for that, mm? MMM? PLEASE? Cool, later gators.

  • She Returns!

    5 months ago

    kirstenxo Miles Luna Fangirl

    I finally posted a new review but I'm pretty late to the party on a lot of things despite not actually being late to the party so enjoy:

    https://krisselia.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/rev iew-resident-evil-7-biohazard/


    <3

  • Long time no journal!

    5 months ago

    crofteria

    Realized I haven't really posted a proper journal here for a while so I figured I'd keep you a bit up to date on what's happening in my pretty uneventful life, in case people want to know and whatnot.


    --- I'm leaving for Stockholm tonight for the Swedish Championship in Cosplay (also known as Cosplay-SM)! I'm not competing myself, but I have a few friends who are going to, and I also know most people who are performing in the intermissions and who are hosting the entire thing, yadda yadda. It's going to be streamed here tomorrow at 8:30PM CET (2:30PM CDT). I think it'll be in Swedish, but hey, you don't need to understand the language in order to admire the amazing costumes and performances you'll see!


    --- I've been busy the past ten weeks with a game development project at my university. A lot of work and a lot of stress, but it was a super interesting and fun experience to work with an entire team of fellow students to create something together. I'm already looking forward to next year's project! Creating is fun.


    --- Speaking of creating and cosplaying, I haven't been super active when it comes to making new cosplays as of late due to the development project. I have, however, worked a bit on a cosplay that I've been wanting to do for years (ever since before I started cosplaying). Not going to spoil anything yet... but she has a huge friggin' ball dress and I'm super excited for that. (Facebook page for my cosplaying adventures here!)


    --- And on the topic of creativity, I've resumed to my good ol' YouTubing! Well, kinda. I've uploaded a few new videos which is neat since I've been inactive for about a year due to life getting in the way. I will get back to it properly soon, though, so that's going to be fun! (My YouTube can be found here. Cringey content deluxe.)


    How've you been doing, and how are you currently doing? What's going on in your life, you neat person you?

  • Top 10 'Legend of Zelda' Creatures.

    6 months ago

    g1TheStickman


    OH SHIT, HELLO THERE. It's me, The Stickman...back at it again on...the internet? Anyway, howdy, hope you're all doing well. Me? I'm okay, just a little bit EXCITED because there's a brand new Zelda game coming out in a matter of HOOOURS after we've waited...well, we've waiting a very long time. It's looking to be good stuff, and whether you're playing on the all new Nintendo Switch, or the poor unloved bastard that is the Wii U (Which I am doing personally), I hope you have a great time, I'm certainly hoping to have one. As always with these big franchises releases, the build-up to the arrival of the new makes you full of nostalgia for the ones that came before it. And whilst the Zelda franchise may comprise of games that tend to be a bit on the long side to quickly replay in the run-up to a new one, it's certainly fun to think back over the various excellent instalments of the series, and remember your favourite aspects. One of mine? It's the creatures! Goodies, Baddies, standalone unique ones or entire races....they may have been in just one game for just one moment, or maybe they've been with the series since the very start. Whatever it is, we all have our favourites, and that's what this blog is about, it's my 10 favourite Zelda creatures from across all the games I've played. Now, I haven't played all the Zelda games, there's a lot of spin-offs and handheld games and whatnot...and I've also not finished some of the ones I've played for various reasons, so if your obscure favourite from the NES/Game Boy/DS is missing, it's probably because I haven't encountered them...or maybe I just didn't like them! Opinions are CRAAAZY like that.


    Couple of ground rules to set out before we start, if a species has been in multiple instalments, I'm going to specifically talk about my favourite incarnation, with acknowledgement of later/earlier appearances, should they exist. I'm counting different variations of the same creatures across the multiple timelines of the franchise as different creatures because...well, they are, from an evolutionary standpoint. And I'm also not counting bog standard creatures (Sorry Cuckoos and Keys...you're just chickens and bats, let's face it) or creatures from other franchises that turn up in Zelda at some point (The Bowows in Link's Awakening are cute, but c'mon guys, they're Chain Chomps...that's...THAT'S A MARIO, Y'KNOOOW?). Also, you're probably not gonna see a lot of humans/hylians/elves/faries/whatever because...c'mon...they're just like, people I guess? S'kinda booooooring. If your fave isn't on the list, feel free to let me know what they are, in a ciiiivil and respectful way in the comments below, and I can let my thoughts on them be known, let's have some FUN, FOLKS!

    ANYWAY, WITH ALL THAT SAID AND DONE...HEEEEEERE WE GOOOOOO.



    10. Minish (The Minish Cap).

    Also Appeared in : Nothing...that we saw? Hm.

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    Hey, they may have never been on-screen for anything but the GBA gem that is The Legend of Zelda : The Minish Cap, but when they're so dang small, who's to say they haven't been there all along? You probably crushed 100s of them across the 30 years you've been able to explore Hyrule, you horrible, inconsiderate monster. The Minish (Or Picori depending on who you ask) are cute little...mouse people? who live a titchy tiny microscopic life amongst the foliage of of Hyrule unknown to anyone. They're a myth, something the kids enjoy talking about...and there's no proof they're real at all...until Link himself ends up on the same scale thanks to his living hat friend, Ezlo (Who was almost on this list himself) who grants said ability to shrink down. When it comes right down to it, the Minish are regular people on a different scale. They all have different personalities, live normal lives, and are pretty distrusting of strange folk who suddenly turn up in the neighbourhood going HYAH, YAAH, HEEE-AAAAAH. As would you be, I bet. What makes them stand out is pretty obvious. They're tiny, and adorable. They live in little grass houses and have cute faces and just...WHAT AM I TO DO EXCEPT LIKE THEM? It's a shame they haven't appeared in more entries to the series, but...I mean, it'd be tricky to do so I bet. Who knows, maybe Breath of the Wild has some of the little guys hiding around amongst its vast world, that'd be neato.




    9. Schule and Sale : Alligator Friends (Link's Awakening).

    Also Appeared in : Nothing, I know, it's disgusting.

    tumblr_om47wfkTQ81vuwsa7o2_r1_1280.png

    What's that you say? The Minish aren't an obscure enough inclusion? WELLL...here you go, dollface. Have some alligator friends, Schule Donavitch and Sale specifically, from Game Boy title, Link's Awakening. Technically these handsome devils may never have even existed, the island they come from, Koholint Island appears to Link after he gets stranded at sea in a boat crash, and fades away completely after the goal of the game is achieved. Was it all a dream, or was something more magic? Let's hope it was real, because it'd be a crying shame if these FRIENDLY ALLIGATOR BROTHERS never existed. One's an artist, the other's a merchant, both always do their job with smile on their face, and both wear HATS. WOAH. As a reptile and an artist myself, I can certainly relate to Schule, although I must admit I've never done a life drawing of a hippo model before....who's level of ...uhh...breastage? depends on what region you're playing the game in. We're not here to talk about hippo tatas though, we're here to pay tribute to alligator friends who are cute and wear fun hats. Like...that's it. They don't really do anything, and they basically don't exist any more, potentially...but DAMNED IF I CAN RESIST SOME CUTE ALLIGATOR FRIENDS...with hats, remember that. HATS. CRIPES. I can't even handle it. And god knows I wish I could handle these total babes. Y'know?




    8. Light Spirits (Twilight Princess).

    Also Appeared in : Skyward Sword...in name alone.

    Moving on from the clearly very attractive to the unique and badass, now we're talking LIGHT SPIRITS...SAAAY WHAAAT? Appearing exclusively in Twilight Princess, although getting a namedrop of sorts in Skyward Sword, these guardians of the world of light turn up whenever you enter a location corrupted by the Twilght Realm for the first time, firstly tasking you with restoring balance, and then reverting you back to regular ol Link, who at these stages is turning into a WOLF every time he enters these corrupted portions of Hyrule...we might get back to Wolf Link later. The first goes so far as to grant you the iconic green tunic...or heroes garb. That's right, not only can these guys de-furry you, they can also dress you afterwards. That's pretty handy dandy. Basically, these dudes are giant mystical creatures who each incorporate a BIG ball of light into their body in some form...and...well, thank god none of them are Taunikis, let's put it that way. You've got a deer...sorta thing, a monkey, a bird and a sea serpent, each protecting a quadrant of the vast land. They're all badass looking, are encountered in cool locations, and have ominous, EPIC music that sets the tone for one of the more somber entries in the Zelda series. They don't really appear much other than in these specific sequences, but they do pop up at the end and lend a helping hand to a specific character in the game's closing moments....and looks pretty damn BADASS when they're all standing side by side, glowing like a big...shiny....collective...thingy...hmmm. Anyway, they's cool, I LIKE 'EM.





    7. Lizarfos (Ocarina of Time).

    Also Appeared in : Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, Hyrule Warriors.

    The first entry on this list to really...turn up in more than one title instead of being one hit wonders, they potentially are even turning up in the new Zelda game you maybe have heard is coming out pretty soon, but we'll find that one out for ourselves, hmm? Although they've appeared in several titles, the specific Lizalfos I'm talking about come from that much loved 3D debut classic, Ocarina of Time. You first encounter these bouncy boys in the Dodongo's Cavern, AKA the second dungeon of the game and needless to say they make quite the immediate impression. You enter a big chamber, the doors seal shut, and then these DUDES start bounding up to you, hopping across lava surrounded platforms to stab the shit out of you with their swords. They prove possibly the trickiest foe to fight in the game at that point (Although it's all relative, frankly, game's pretty easy), with their penchant for jumping around and sudden jabs, accompanied by their trademark goofy screams, they truly are FORMIDABLE FOES...I GUESS. They also have quite the dress sense, decked in spiky shoulder pads, vests, and...weirdly enough, in the original game, metal cod pieces making for a gimpy, Mad Max style that I can really get down with. They appear in a couple other sequences, but this is their real moment to shine. There's a similar enemy, called Dinolfos, who appear in other titles, but let's not get bogged down in the specifics of partially armoured, screeching stab reptiles. Needless to say, these HUMANOID FIGHTING REPTILES are not to be trifled with, but I'd certainly like to get a stab or two from these bouncy boys.





    6. Gorons (Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask).

    Also Appeared in : EVERY game since.

    Now here's a true mainstay of the Zelda bestiary! The Goron made their debut in Ocarina of Time, much like the fellas above, but unlike those, these rock munching bros have more or less appeared in every instalment in the franchise since be it as a recurring race within the games, or sometimes in smaller, cameo based roles such as in Skyward Sword and Wind Waker. They're most known for their debut role in Ocarina of Time, though, and the follow-up Majora's Mask, in which you actually get to play as one via a transformative mask that may or not be turning up later. I'm mainly focusing on Ocarina of Time, though, since they have a larger role in that game. In OoT they make an immediate impression with their shy, dopey...and somewhat stupid ways. Desperate for rocks to eat in a home built out of...and filled with rocks of all shapes and sizes is...pretty damn stupid, but like a cat that just can't quite work out how to pick a piece of ham off the floor, you gotta love the Goron despite their severe cerebral shortcomings and sometimes annoying tendency to barrel into you without warning. That's not to mention their chieftain, who's a total BRO. You first bond over some sick jungle beats, and then later are made an honorary Goron and offered a heap helping of most likely bone crushing hugs from him and his whole GANG OF PALS. They're just a bunch of fun guys to hang out with...and sure, one of them is fucking massive, and rips you off with a shitty sword that takes an entire lifetime to finish making, but what's one bad apple in a crate full of delicious ones that want to hug you? Uh. Well you get the point.




    5. Deku Scrubs (Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask).

    Also Appeared in : Oracle of Seasons/Ages, Four Swords Adventure.

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    Long before people were GIT'ing GUD, these scrubs were the OG example of plant based lifeforms that really needed to step their game up in the fight department. One of the first enemies you encounter in Ocarina of Time, appearing on numerous occasions within the Great Deku Tree (First Dungeon) and then numerous times after, their main method of attack is to spit deku seeds at you...which is kinda gross, when you consider they're producing those from their own bodies. These seeds can be a potentially lethal attack for Link at the low level of health he has in the first sequence of the game....that is until you raise your shield and deflect the seed back...at which point, well let's just say they don't have much else to offer in the challenge department. In fact, Deku Scrubs are the only enemies in the game to resort to immediately surrendering when their plans fall apart, even going so far as to try and sell you the very thing they were firing at you moments before as a bargaining chip to stop you from FUCKING MURDERING THEM. Their seeming reluctance to fight, offering of useful advice or ammunition, and general cute appearance/sounds, particularly when they start bouncing around the place in fear, make these Spitty Simon's a memorable encounter, and as with the Gorons, a species you become intimately familiar with in Majora's Mask when you end up becoming one yourself. More on that part later? Ooohh, maaaybe, but for now, these are some scrubs that never managed to git gud, and as someone who has failed at life personally, I can most definitely sympathise with them.




    4. Loftwing (Skyward Sword).

    Also Appeared in : Nothing.

    Whilst Epona, being basically just a horse...even if she is YOUR horse, is forbidden from appearing on this list of Zelda specific creatures, it was unlikely that we'd go the whole list without some kind of mount making the list...and well, what's not to love about these big, doofy beaked birb friends? Loftwings, the main method of transport for the citizens of Skyloft in the most recent mainline Zelda game, Skyward Sword have only appeared in that specific game, and may well never appear in anything again, which would be a damn shame, cuz I love them very much. Your mighty STEED, the Crimson Loftwing especially is a cool customer, proving a faithful and affectionate mount for Link as he embarks on this, the earliest instalment in the Zelda franchise chronologically. In fact you have quite the exercise of faith in your feathered friend demonstrated every time you jump off one of the many floating islands that make up the sky-high portions of the world, your friend always being there to catch you, rather than letting you plummet to your death and turn into the legendary Strawberry Jam of Time on the pavement of whatever long-lost region of Hyrule lurks below, although at least then you and your Loftwing would match colour scheme. Some people may hold a deep contempt for this entry of the series, but I personally loved it, and one of my favourite things to do was soar through the skies on my Loftwing as the epic score played in the background. Loftwings both look cool, are good PALS and offer a hugely practical use within the game itself. They're the complete package, also, you just have to love their goofy cute duck bills. Awww. So pretty.





    3. The Great Valoo (Wind Waker).

    Also Appeared in : Nothing.

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    I mean...he's a DRAGON? Y'know? How can you not like a dragon? And not just any dragon, a goofy, tubby dragon friend with tiny wings and doofy arms and legs. One who sticks his fat ass in a volcano to keep his colossal buns nice and toasty and makes silly noises when he's grumpy. Presenting...the GREAT VALOOOO from the supreme Zelda title that is Wind Waker. Sure, he may be one of those special creatures that you must, under no circumstances EVER search for on Google Images unless you have a fetish for giant dragon fatties and any other number of niche kinks relating to cartoon dragons, but that doesn't take away from his adorable and goofy charms within the game. Quite literally saving Valoo's ass is your first major task within Wind Waker, the journey to plunder said booty comprising the first dungeon of the game, and there's just something about a tubby dragon sitting atop a volcano that makes a rather good first impression for your shiny new, sea faring Zelda adventure. Beyond briefly turning up to burn the shit out of Ganondorf's stupid pirate lair at the end of the game's first act, Valoo doesn't really...do all that much except sit on his fat ass and enjoy the feeling of volcanic steam shooting up his kaiju sized pucker. And there's something to be truly admired about an ALMIGHTY SKY SPIRIT and PROTECTOR OF THE CITIZENS DRAGON ROOST ISLAND who does naff all, someone who could probably solve the whole Ganondorf problem in 5 seconds flat if he wanted to, but chooses instead to maintain a toasty warmth on his big dragon butt instead. I think we can all relate to a being that has the potential to be so much more than they are, but chooses instead to focus on pleasuring the asshole on a 24/7 basis. Or maybe that's just me. Hmm.



    2. Kikwi (Skyward Sword).

    Also Appeared in : Nothing.

    There's a few one-off little races of creatures in various Zelda games, but the problem is a lot of them tend to be a little...creepy? The Koroks are sorta cute, but the fact their faces our leaves stuck onto stumps...and they make bell sounds when they move about is unsettling to say the least. And as for the Ooccoo in Twilight Princess...aaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAGGGHH!!!!! *Ahem* That said, there's one species along those lines, in fact in a lot of ways similar to the Korok, that manages to both be unique and fuckin adorable, and we're of course talking about the Kikwi, these little planty floofballs are something else. Encountered en mass within the Faron Woods in the first below-cloud segment of Skyward Sword, the Kikwi species first appeared, and as of now, have only appeared in said game, and sorta fulfil the role of the Koroks of Wind Waker and, to a smaller extent, the Forest Children from Ocarina of Time in being a tribeslike group of forest dwelling individuals who love a big...tree, and dwell exclusively in the forests. These ones are the best forest dwelling tribe, though, because...well...they're fuckin CUTE, Y'KNOOOW? They look cute, do cute things, and make possibly the cutest sounds out of the entire Zelda canon of creatures by some considerable margin. Some of them even prove to be slightly useful too, even if others are COWARDS...but...awwww...cute cowards. Cute cowards are the best cowards. Also, they've got little plants growing out of their heads! Which is...uhh...slightly disturbing now that I think about it, but...uhh...looks cute at least. Let's pretend they stuck it on with glue, like a little plant hat. Aww, plant hat. Ain't that precious. And a hell of a lot better than the ...MONSTROSISTITITES that are Ooccoo...JESUS, NINTENDO...that's the scariest creature in all of gaming. What were you thinking!?





    1. Link's Fursonas (Link to the Past, Majora's Mask, Twilight Princess).

    Also Appeared in : Others.

    Link, you GOD DAMN FURRY. JESUS. It's all well and good visiting various creatures and critters in the Zelda games and being all like "Oh hey, those are neat", but it's another thing entirely to BECOME one...and no one is more adept at getting themselves turned into Zelda creatures like our boy Link OVER 'EEERE. Across his 30 years of adventuring in the gaming medium, he's undergone all sorts of transformations, he's turned from child to adult in Ocarina of Time, he's been a fairy in Zelda II, he's been a baby, and a tiny boy, along with several ring based physical changes into various enemies of the Zelda universe in the handheld instalments, you name it, Link has turned into it, be it voluntarily or through some curse or spell. But he's perhaps best known for his beastial transformations in Link to the Past, Majora's Mask and Twilight Princess, and it's Link's hands on, playable experiences as various creatures that takes the top spot on this list, because HELL...why admire a creature when you can play as one instead? That's a lot more fun. Both ALTTP and Twilight Princess offer transformations in the form of a curse caused by entering a dark realm. In the SNES classic, Link finds his early journeys into the dark world plagued by fits of...well...being a magic pink bunny with a link hat who's basically FUCKED if anyone decides to fight him. In Twilight Princess things are a bit different, he still gets cursed into another form by dark realms and forces, but this time he can KICK SOME BUTT because he turns into Wolf Link, a powerful canine who, along with the weird nude...imp...who's actually a person who wears clothes normally called Midna straddled atop him, can accomplish all manner of things, eventually even being able to turn into a Wolf at will in order to talk to animals, track scents and solve various puzzles, it's pretty neat. And then, somewhat famously, you have the masks of Majora's Mask. Initially once again cursed into the form of a rather cute Deku Link, who, much like his Deku Scrub BROs is pretty weak but can fight back with spins and spits, before then being returned to normal with the added benefit of being able to turn Deku again care of a mask that causes EXCRUCIATING PAIN upon fusing with the body. He later gains masks that can turn him into a big dopey Goron that can roll around and generally be really annoying to control, and a Zora that can swim real fast and play a sick ...fish guitar...thing. Hm. Basically, with the exception of his bunny adventures, Link owns the fursonas that are often thrust upon him by evil forces, and uses them as a tool to explore a different side to the world he's in, and also fight foes in new and...often more cumbersome ways. This all adds up to Link and his many fursonas being the most memorable creature in the Zelda canon beacuse you get to BE them...y'knooow? And before you say "Oh Bunnies and Wolves are normal animals so they shouldn't be on the list"...MAGIC BUNNIES AND WOLVES THAT ARE ACTUALLY LINK. THANK YOU. GOOD NIGHT.






    And there we have it, another Top 10 done with. What do you think of the picks? Are you too fascinated by the butthole of The Great Valoo? What's your favourite Zelda creature? Was it on the list? Were you REAL MAD it wasn't? Let me know in the comments below. Also, are you picking up Breath of the Wild in the near future? What wacky creatures await us within the confines of THAT game, huh? Who knows, but it's going to be fun finding out. I may even review it down the line, so WATCH THIS SPAAAACE...WooOAAHH.

    Thanks very much for reading, if you enjoyed it...why not leave a comment and ZING the ol thing, eh? And do make sure to spread it around on the social medias if you want others to check it out. Hope y'all have a great March, enjoy the new Zelda if you're getting it...enjoy the Nintendo Switch if you've been brave enough to pick that up during the launch window, stay well, and I'll see you...LATER, GATORS.