BioWare: To DLC, or not to DLC?

April 9, 2012

That is the question. Mass Effect is a popular Trilogy with a prominent and loyal fan-base. Recently, Mass Effect 3 was released and graced with fantastic reviews across the board – that is, until people completed the game. People were upset enough about the ending to the trilogy to petition BioWare for a new one. Back in previous gaming generations, before the luxury of DLC, the ending you got was definitive. You either liked your ending, or hated it; there was no petitioning developers to appease you. I remember when Final Fantasy 7 came out, everyone was up in arms over the death of Aerith, but that event was accepted as part of the game dynamic. If FF7 had been released in this current gen, would we petition a DLC to keep her alive? In my opinion, I respect developers creative integrity within their games and take my gaming experience for what it is, and appreciate what I’ve played. I view video-games as art and would never tell an artist to do a “better job”, so to speak. To me, the act of petitioning is a great example of mob-mentality. This wouldn’t of been prevalent before the DLC generation. When you watch a great movie but are left unfulfilled by the end you dont ask for your money back or petition the writers or director. At least I would hope not. I feel this should be no different with gaming, as I almost feel this could potentially be a setback to the industry. If we complain enough, will we get what we want from developers in future games? No matter how you feel during your game, or upon completion, the game is doing it’s job by evoking any sort of emotion within you.

On the other hand, I think downloadable content is a fantastic addition to current gen gaming. The ability to download free or relatively cheap add-ons to games you already own breaths new life into gaming. I think the fact that BioWare listened to fans and is willing to entertain them by compromising and releasing a free DLC that clarifies plot points in the game is interesting. While it is not an entirely new ending, it sheds light on a lot of points that players were critical of. I can only hope that players will respect this fan-service and this DLC. I also hope that this is not going to be a new trend in gaming, relying on DLC to soothe our ennui in situational gaming.

From the press release, posted to EA’s official news site:

BioWare, a Label of Electronic Arts Inc. announced Mass Effect™ 3: Extended Cut, a downloadable content pack that will expand upon the events at the end of the critically acclaimed Action RPG. Through additional cinematic sequences and epilogue scenes, the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut will give fans seeking further clarity to the ending of Mass Effect 3 deeper insights into how their personal journey concludes. Coming this summer, the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut will be available for download on the Xbox 360® video-game and entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC for no extra charge.

I asked some of my Twitter friends for their opinion on the matter, and the responses were diverse and fantastic:

“I think it’s ridiculous that the fans complained, but I think it’s polite for Bioware to confront / fix their #halfassery.”

“I think Bioware is doing something that most companies don’t. They are actually considering what the fans think and feel.”

“I don’t think it’s as reactionary as people think. I think @bioware had it planned all along.”

“I liked the first ending, so this is just more awesome. Then again, I just love Mass Effect, good and bad.”

“No one has the right to demand change to an artistic vision. If u don’t like it, don’t buy it or what they make in the future.”

“Some people think Bioware caved in to pressure, while others are glad about it. Personally, I think about breasts and girls.”

“I think the way they are doing it is perfect. I mean yeah the ending wasn’t that great, but thats their prerogative, what i really wanted was more explanation of what happened, and thats exactly what they are giving me.”

“Doesn’t look too promising. We want much more than closure: Plot holes being filled, endings that pertain to our choices, etc.”

“Even if the ending was terrible, I don’t see why people feel like it should be altered. That doesn’t happen with other games.”

“It makes me think that Bioware is a pussy company and doesn’t have a single backbone in the entire corp.”

“I think its a shame. We shouldn’t be dictating art.”

So, what do you think? Does BioWare ows us something? Are we just greedy in an age where fresh content can become so readily available, or should we just accept our endings just like “the good ole’ days”?

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Maxim Magazine wants a “Girl Gamer”.

April 5, 2012

To a lot of women, gaming and the industry is a proverbial clubhouse with a large “No Girls Allowed” sign nailed to the front. Unfortunately, with sexism still being a prevalent issue in the world in general – primarily in a male dominated industry like gaming, it’s not surprising more girls are not active participators. Like a lot of kids my age, I grew up playing video games and as I grew older, developed an interest in them that transcended just casually playing them. For me, video games have always been my primary interest, I didn’t realize that this was regarded as “unique” until I got into my late teens or early twenties. That is when I started hearing the term “girl gamer” and guys started regarding me as a unicorn of sorts. Granted, I didn’t know a lot of other girls personally that had an interest in the industry, but I never really thought about it NOT being a gender neutral activity. I grew up gaming with a lot of guys, and it was never an issue. Now, at nearly 27, the past several years I have noticed quite a transition within the community. With the gaming community undoubtedly growing larger, it would almost seem “en vogue” to play games. Girls who now never played games are getting into the community, some even competing competitively, or promoting themselves by running YouTube channels about games. Are these girls legitimate, or pandering towards a vulnerable audience? It’s hard to say, but guys will either fawn over them or relentlessly question their authenticity. While other girl gamers should be embracing them as part of their special sub-culture, most are secretly competing to be the “better” girl gamer – as if there can only be one. This community is a double-edged sword. Guys get up in arms about “girl gamers” saying it negates equality, but then either put them on a pedestal or tear them down entirely. Girls focus on the sexism that is so destructively prevalent in gaming, yet rarely embrace and support other female game players. As a community sharing such a consummate love for one common denominator, we are surely doing a great job segregating ourselves.

This brings me to Maxim Magazines Gamer Girl contest. I will admit that I had some reservations about the contest. I knew Maxim probably cared little about the girls credentials and passion for the industry, and was probably looking for the nicest pair of peripherals instead. It aggravated me to think so many fantastical qualified girls would be overshadowed by professional models looking for an easy way into getting noticed by Maxim. I decided even though I am not typical Maxim material, that I am more than qualified to represent the community. I decided to compete, not necessarily to win but to represent female gamers in a positive light. To draw attention to the fact that this community is suffering from a debilitating separation. There is absolutely no problem with a girl being proud that she games, just like it’s okay for any other person to be proud of whatever it is they do. Men, and even other girls mistake this as attention seeking. I am hoping that men will notice not all of us depend on playing games to define us or to garner attention. I am hoping other girls can put aside their egotistical self-perseverance and embrace other female game players as part of their family. So far, this contest is a prime example of the “Dark Side” of the community. A lot of girls pandering their sexuality and not their credibility at all, and on the other side, there are lots of men that seemingly come to the site solely to tear the women apart. Why? This mental process eludes me. I read and hear very often that men wish they could find a female to game with, and when they are presented with a proverbial buffet they act like monkeys and throw their own shit.

In my honest opinion, I will support any girl taking an interest in the industry, like I do with any of my male friends. There shouldn’t be such a division within the community and industry, but we are the ones perpetuating these stereotypes. There are already an overwhelming amount of ladies pleading they are “the real deal” while trying to discredit other gamers. This is embarrassing to not only the individual, but to gamers as a whole. Contests like this truly bring out the worst in people, with the only silver lining being you can network and make some great industry friends throughout the process. I truly feel when men stop perpetuating all the misogyny in gaming, maybe girls will feel the need to stop impetuously proving themselves. I am realistic enough to understand we can’t 100% eliminate sexism within the community, because to do that sexism has to be extinguished in its entirety – and I just don’t see that ever coming to fruition. What we can do though, is break down these stereotypes and truly embrace our reverence for the industry and view every gamer as equal. Whether you’re a competitive gamer, casual, trophy hunter, FPS only or you prefer PC over console – It shouldn’t matter; I have my fingers crossed for the day that it doesn’t.

Journey to the center of my heart.

April 5, 2012

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While it is debated whether or not that video games could be considered art, games like ThatGameCompany’s “Journey” put up quite a visually stunning fight. While the main campaign is considered relatively short in comparison to most games, it effortlessly delivers a more thought-provoking and emotional connection throughout. Journey is unique in its simplicity. You play as a caped figure waking without memory in a desert, and the controls are basic; you can run, jump and “glide”. By tapping the circle button you can “chirp” and if you hold the circle button down, upon release you let out a larger, louder chirp which displays your characters unique symbol. These chirps allow you to communicate with what appear to be tapestry, and tapestry creatures which can seemingly aid you in your adventure. You can openly explore the world at your leisure, discovering archaic drawings that slowly paint a picture of your lost civilization, and collecting glowing glyphs that allow you to grow your scarf which enables you to glide higher and for a longer duration. With no memory or distinct direction within the game, you are simply shown your destination – a bright light at the top of a very distant mountain. Your destination is nearly always in view, acting as both a map and a monument of motivation.

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The true beauty of this game lies not within the gorgeous landscapes or beautiful real-time lighting that turns something as simple as sand into glittering gold – but within the online experience. While on your journey you can run into other anonymous online players. You can only differentiate each player by their unique symbol when they chirp. This lack of direct communication makes for a compellingly sincere experience. Some players rather journey alone, while other experienced players will gladly show you the way, and some new players will look to you for help. The magic of playing with another adventurer, is that every single experience is different. You will come up with different systems of communicating with one another through chirps and jumps, some players will protect you and ultimately some players will tragically lose their way, leaving you with an poignant sense of loss. You can very easily play through the game in one sitting, which some people mistake as a possible weakness in a game – but not with Journey. Every play-through is so extraordinarily different and emotionally compelling, giving this game a true sense of fortitude among other current blockbuster games.

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As a whole, Journey soars and sings beautifully with a perfect combination of an emotionally thought provoking story, radiant graphics, expansive and engrossing levels and sweet and simple mechanics. You are carried through all of this by a whimsical soundtrack composed by award winning Austin Wintory, who also composed the soundtrack on ThatGameCompany’s other hit, fl0w. I believe Journey is a perfect example of “video games as art”. It softly argues so many compelling ideals: life, death, loss, loneliness, companionship, and identity. Journey truly shines light and showcases what a fantastic industry the video game market is. This game truly is all about the journey, and not the destination.

Top Ten: Video Games

April 3, 2012

This list took me an unreasonable amount of time to put together, and was incredibly difficult. I have played so many games, and so many have impressed me for different reasons. To make myself feel better I have included a long list of honorable mentions. Godspeed getting through this! In no particular order:

10. Mystic Quest

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This game is technically part of the Final Fantasy universe, which amazes me now as an adult. Mystic Quest is a simple, fundamental RPG. You explore 4 different Element based worlds, defeating 4 bosses and retrieving an elemental crystal from them in hopes of fulfilling the Knights Prophecy. This game provided my first solid memory of a “true” boss fight. The final boss fight took me about 45 minutes; I had to use potions liberally and timely, I had to divide certain tasks between myself and the second player under my control, and my palms were sweaty and my tiny child brain was fried by the end of it all. It was truly the greatest. While this RPG may seem Juvenile in comparison to other great SNES RPGS of it’s time ( Secret of Mana, Earthbound ) it hit the spot for me.

Favorite Part: Meeting Phoebe and exploring with her.
Least Favorite: The last boss fight and his “mirror” attack. Just – stop! STOP. FUCKING STOPPPPPP.

9. Jet Grind Radio

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I worked a shitty summer job one summer vacation during High School, and most the money went to video games and anime. No shame. I bought a Dreamcast, and with it I bought Jet Grind Radio. I’ll admit I bought it because of the flashy cover and obscure game premise – but I am glad i did. The game-play is unique, combining skating physics and exploration, and the ability to perform dancing/spray painting combos. What a genius idea. It just works. The controls were easy to grasp almost immediately while guided by an array of eclectic music by DJ Professor K, the DJ for the radio station that all the “Rudies” listen to. Another fantastic feature was being able to create your own personal graffiti. My friends and I got really creative and…uh, juvenile with that feature. With expansive skating environments and the music being the heartbeat of the game, the replay value of this game alive and well for me.

Favorite Part: Hitching rides by grabbing onto cars
Least Favorite: Not enough levels for my liking.

8. Little Big Planet

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If you can dream it, you can ultimately create it in the world of Little Big Planet. This imaginative platform may be short on the campaign side of things, but the million of user created online levels more than makes up for that. Collecting stickers, props and costumes becomes an integral part of the adventure. Playing this game co-op is never NOT hilarious. The more people you play with, the more chaotic. I tend to panic and grab onto the nearest Sackboy and drag them down with me.  I’ve played this game for an embarrassing amount of hours, and picking up another player and throwing them is still just as funny as when I did it the first time. While living in The Tester loft, we had a 4 player Little Big Planet game going – and I am pretty sure we were all laughing so hard that we were crying.

Favorite Part: Playing with a friend(s)
Least Favorite: Needs more collectables! MORE CLOTHES.

7. Infamous 2

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I tend to like “sandbox” style games for the freedom and ease of game-play, and Infamous 2 is my favorite one. It also doesn’t hurt that Cole is a handsome bike messenger – that is my bias speaking as a fellow cyclist. I remember watching the opening scene for the first time and trying to figure out what bike it was that Cole was riding. He also has several bike related tattoos, and as a bike nerd that appeals to me. I enjoyed the modern day setting of this game, and the idea that some people contain a “conduit” gene within them. The story of this game different and impressive, and I found myself enjoying and caring about every single mission. I have played this game both as a “good guy” and a “bad guy” – and what is remarkable to me is I didn’t enjoy one more than the other, as they both bring a lot of difference and excitement to the game. I knew I was going to love this game immediately when it throws you right into the excitement immediately by starting you off with a “boss” fight. With the addition of user made missions and the ability to upgrade and acquire new powers, this game has me wanting to ride a Tandem bicycle with Cole himself.

Favorite Part: Throwing cars at everything/everyone
Least Favorite: The boss fight with the Hive lord in the swamp. Ouch.

6. Braid

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This game is so impressive to me I almost don’t know what to say about it.  It’s truly one of those titles that you need to experience to fully understand. I feel this way about Journey, as well. It’s a puzzle platformer with stunning art and music, a thought provoking story with difficult but fulfilling game-play aspect. You can control various aspects of time throughout different relating levels. While frustrating, I have never wanted to understand and play a game so fully. The various time-manipulations in the game along side the romantic yet dark story, and the twist at the end….uhg. Just play this title. Please. Whatever you do. You can download it for both Playstation and Xbox – even PC! Do yourself the favor. If you hate it, just go back in time and pretend it never happened.

Favorite Part: Putting the puzzle pieces of the story together.
Least Favorite: The headaches I got while trying to figure some of the puzzles out. 6 bottles of Advil later…

5. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

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I know the “fan favorite” of the franchise tends to be Ocarina of Time – but Wind Wakers sincerity and cel-shading won me over hard and fast. As much as I love Ocarina of Time, it was a true battle of nostalgia and over-all experience. Wind Waker won because it was so much different than what everyone was expecting, yet still stayed close to the true Legend of Zelda formula. I valued the simplistic whimsy of the cel-shading and the sense of wonder sailing around the map gave me. Link and Tetra, who is later revealed to be Zelda, have a fun relationship throughout the game. The last fight with Ganon is hands-down my favorite of any Zelda game in the franchise, ending my adventure on a fantastic note – no pun intended.

Favorite Part: Discovering and exploring the Tower of the Gods.
Least Favorite: Tingle. You are the Jar-Jar Binks of the Zelda universe.

4. Zombies Ate My Neighbors

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I had this game on both Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo. My little brother (co-op partner) and I would play this game for hours, until our parents had to literally pry the controllers out of our hands, or shove a hot pocket in our mouth to prevent starvation. We would go into full on gamer tunnel vision with this shit. You could play this game 1player, but it wasn’t nearly as fun. Working as a team to save cheerleaders, tourists and even dogs from a plethora of B-movie horror stereotypes was way more fun than it should of been. Armed with comical weapons such as squirt guns, and cans of soda – the sheer campy-ness of this game was damn near perfect. With over 50 levels to survive, becoming more and more challenging – the replay value on this game is probably one of the best in my opinion. Every level was so different and unique in it’s difficulty, making it hard to get bored. I loved this game so wholeheartedly, the only time I’d take a break from it, was to try and recreate its iconic music in Mario Paint!

Favorite Part: Drinking potions and Hulking out.
Least Favorite: The “Giant Baby” level. Oh god. Just let me get through this level..

3. Metal Gear Solid

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Oh, Solid Snake. How I love thee. I could write Shakespearean sonnets about how much I love this game and the entire series. My dad picked this game up for me while on his way home from work one day, after I had showed him a review in a issue of EGM. I immediately took it to my room and got down to it. Holy motherfuckin’ shit. What the fuck. Within the first 5 minutes I was enthralled. Fantastic music, engaging intro and controls that made sense. The excitement I felt when the Genome Soldiers could notice and track my foot-prints was incredible. Never in my life was I so excited to spend so much time in a game, waiting, hiding, sneaking, planning – This game was engrossing right from the beginning. Collecting weapons became a thrill. Putting the story together piece-by-piece was all I could think about in my Junior High classes. The characters were all dynamic, that you even found yourself sympathizing with them. I’d listen to the OST on my CD player on my way to school, planning my course of action for when I returned home and back to the game. After relentlessly trying to save Meryl, to my confrontation with Liquid – no game has ever had a hold on me like Metal Gear Solid did. I love all the others in the series, and hope that Kojima never relinquishes creative input into the series. I wear my FoxHound patch proudly.

Favorite Part: The fight with Revolver Ocelot. He’s awesome.
Least Favorite: Mashing that O button to save Meryl.

2. Final Fantasy 9

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One of my favorite RPGs and easily my favorite Final Fantasy. As a person who is primarily driven by story and experience within games, this delivered and exceeded my expectations. With a colorful and moving cast of characters set in a sprawling and whimsical fantasy Utopia, the essence of this game is self discovery and innocence. I have played this game in full multiple times and at different ages. It touched me and taught me something different every play through. This is rare for a game to touch me so continually. From the unique character story arcs, to the battle system, to the music – this RPG is near perfection to me. In fact, it truly is perfection. I can listen to the Final Fantasy IX OST and it immediately takes me back to all those familiar places that were to me, more like home than the house I was playing the game in.

Favorite Part: When Garnet reinvents herself by cutting her hair, and embracing uncertainty and adventure.
Least Favorite: The uncooperative “Trance” system could of been a little better.

1. Journey

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I have so many feelings towards this game that if I could marry it – I probably would. Despite it being a short, downloadable title for PS3, it contains more emotion and delivers a much more fulfilling experience than a lot of titles I’ve played. The heart of this game lies within the anonymity of the online play. Through your Journey, you come across other players. You can not communicate directly with them, but you can “chirp” to them, displaying your unique symbol. Some players may not be interested in going through the game with you, while others will depend on you, and sometimes lose their way. You can tell new players by their robes, the more you play, the more elaborate the pattern on your robe will become. You can even achieve a white robe. You can help new players with their Journey by holding their hands, so to speak. Every Journey is different. I met a player at the very start of the game, we chirped to show appreciation and concern and eventually completed the entire Journey together. Before walking through the final light, we stopped and stood next to each other for a minute. My partner then drew a large heart in the sand with their feet, by running the pattern around me. I have never been so mentally and emotionally stimulated by a game experience. This game truly is all about the Journey, and not the destination.

Favorite Part: Guiding new players to glowing glyphs and helping them grow their scarf.
Least Favorite: Acknowledging that a player you were helping has lost their way.

Honorable Mentions!

Portal

Ikaruga

Twisted Metal

Silent Hill 1, 2 and 3

Resident Evil 2

Battlefield 3

Donkey Kong Country

Final Fantasy Tactics

World of Warcraft

Diablo 2

Half Life

Chrono Cross

Skies of Arcadia

Mass Effect 2

Uncharted Series

Metal Slug

BioShock

God of War 2

Ultima Online

Marvel vs Capcom

Power, Wisdom, Courage: Rest in Peace TriForce Mike.

February 3, 2012

I grew up with this kid. He was one of my greatest friends “growing up” during some really important years. This kid and I would dress up as super-heros and run through the mall. We would set up LAN parties and game until we passed out in a hallway. We would have hour long discussions about The Legend of Zelda; Ocarina of Time was the best game ever. We’d play at the park at night, trespass and tell the cops we were Zombies. We’d have Ninja Turtle pizza parties.  We’d have super-soaker wars. We’d spend hours at Denny’s drawing and playing with legos. We’d spend hours going through old action figures and playing NES games. One time he got really drunk, asked me to shave his head, and ran naked into neighboring dorms pillaging their beer and snacks. We’d have comic book debates for hours. This kid was the personified Ninja Turtle Michelangelo, and it’s only fitting that his name was Micheal. Some knew him as Mike Pandel, others as Triforce Mike, a force within the nerd community. I just knew him as one of my greatest childhood friends and adventure partners. Mike was taken away from us several days ago by a senseless bicycle accident. As his friend and a fellow cyclist, I’m still processing all my feelings towards this.

There is no doubt Mike is loved by so many. This is prevalent in all the love that has flooded his Facebook and other forums in the days following his departure to a place I can only hope is similar to Hyrule. Everything that can be said, has already been said dozens of times by everyone that knew him. It’s worth repeating because he is so deserving of it. He’s friendly, intelligent, passionate – and what makes him truly unique to many, is that he is undoubtedly his own person. Never worried about what anyone thinks, he is one of the most care-free individuals I have ever met. He is extremely contagious. Hanging out with Mike was sort of like taking a warp whistle to a different land. One that was fun and innocent. This is a rare quality, I feel, and absolutely Mikes best. It’s hard to write coherently about losing someone. I could ramble forever, and fill this blog with sad recollections and pictures and videos. Mike would hate that. Mikes true goal in life was to just be happy, and have fun, which is a thought process that I definitely share. So, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that with every Zelda game I play, with every comic book I read, every pizza or dorrito I eat, every convention I attend, every action figure I touch, every bike ride I take – Mike will be at the front of my mind. He will never truly be gone. I think there is something extremely special about keeping someone so close in that respect. How someones departure can change you in such a way, for the better.

Cowabunga!

I cant convey how much I will miss you or how appreciative I am to have known you. There is no measurement for feelings like these. I just hope you’re in Hyrule, eating pizza and drinking beer. Naked.

 

Quantum Conundrum.

January 22, 2012

I am a huge fan of Valve. Half-Life is one of my favorite games, and I don’t think I’ve every truly disliked much about any game that Valve has put out. One of their best, in my personal opinion, being Portal ( and Portal2! ). Kim Swift was one of the lead developers and level designers on Portal. Portal was even based on the core mechanics of Kim Swifts personal project called “Narbacular Drop”. She has since left Valve to work as a lead over at Airtight games, working with a small creative group on a new title – Quantum Conundrum. I have been watching game-play footage of this game for a few hours now, and I am really, really excited for Kim’s new project. It still has a Portal “feel” to it, and is a relatively comical first-person puzzle shooter – which seems about right considering Kim’s lead involvement in it.

Let this games release be Swift and victorious. See what I did there?

The Tester 3 Trailer.

January 18, 2012

Finally, the trailer for The Tester 3 has gone live. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while now, namely because I’m a sucker for nostalgia and I wanted to see my nerd family again, and re-live some of our antics in the house. It was truly great, and albeit slightly embarrassing, to see your existence played out in front of you. When you’re in the house, you get so used to the cameras being there that you almost forget you’re being filmed, so it’s really something  to see from another perspective what was going on. With that said, I really cant wait to see these episodes. I truly hope you guys enjoy it, and I cant wait to see just how magical the wonders of editing truly are.

Also, I will be reviewing every episode on my YouTube  Channel, so feel free to subscribe. I’ll do my own reviews, and will also be reviewing episodes with other members of the cast. If you’re really bored, have no video games to play, or want to feel better about yourself, you should definitely check out the internet pollution that is the YouTube comments on the trailer and other related Tester videos.

New Year, New ….News?

January 6, 2012

First of all, Happy New Year! Secondly – ever look at a word too long and start to realize how weird it looks, then you think you’re spelling it wrong? I just had that moment while typing the title for this blog. New. What a weird-looking word. Anyways!

I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again. I’ve been a horrible blogger. I’ve been so busy with so many things. Also, i’ve been lazy. Really lazy. I’m not even going to lie. I’ll do my best to catch you all up on everything, but if you follow me on Twitter than you probably already have an idea. I am really glad that I can finally announce that I was chosen from hundreds of applicants to be on the show Sony Playstation The Tester: Season 3! Out of hundreds, twelve hardcore gamers are picked to live in a house with each other, and compete in video game related challenges. Every week someone is eliminated based on performance in said challenges! There are a lot of surprises in eliminations and for the most part, it’s never easy to say goodbye to your room-mates, who become more like family as the days go by. There is the obvious drama – no doubt about that, but you’ll have to watch to fully appreciate it. We are all competing for a chance to be in the final episode, where the top three gamers compete against each other for the ultimate reward. The reward is a job, working on an unreleased title at Santa Monica studios. Which is a HUGE deal – Santa Monica is responsible for the God of War series. Being able to work there would be a dream for most avid gamers. As if that wasn’t enough, there are other tech prizes, a $5,000 signing bonus and a fucking car. So, yeah, as much as we all loved each other, shit gets REAL interesting when you’re all competing for all of that. The Tester Season 3 airs Febuary 7th. Until then, check out the cast bios and videos on the site

I did some photo-shoots recently that I haven’t posted. Namely just fun stuff, tattoo magazine stuff,  my favorite of which was this comic book themed shoot where I was both a hero, and a villain. If I were to actually pursue a career in villainy – sequin booty shorts would probably actually be my first choice as far as costuming goes. Totally practical. I have some projects lined up that are Playstation/Video Game themed – Which im excited for. I dont model much anymore, unless its a favor – but any nerdy project, sign me the hell up.

I have been an avid World of Warcraft nerd since the game made its debut. I can talk about that game for hours. So you’re best not to get me started. It really made me a true fan of MMO games. Ultima Online was like my gate-way drug of MMO’s, and WoW sealed the deal. Now, outside of loving MMO games and talking shit to assholes on vent, I really love the Star Wars universe. Maybe more than I love dragons – and thats a lot. So, now with the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic I had to hang up my wands and potions, and oh, any and all of my spare time. With the epic-fucking-fail that was Star Wars: Galaxies, I was a little concerned. I felt a little better knowing BioWare was involved, and as I ferociously YouTubed game play videos, I realized then this was truly going to be a gem. I had no idea just how great, though. Im sorry, but the story in this game ( IN MY OPINION ) blows Warcrafts out of the water. The ability to make decisions through your quests is fantastic. The voice acting is amazing. All the races and classes are great – I STILL cant decide what class to focus on leveling, because they are all truly so fun. The environments are fantastic – and this game still stays true to the heart of the Star Wars lore and universe. Basically, Im in love. If I didn’t learn self control during my Warcraft days, id play this game for day with little to know sleep. Lets just talk about what a babe my Chiss Bounty Hunter Mercenary is. Seriously. You can find her on the server Tarentatek. Her name is Pryde. Add her up!

I’d also like to point out how much will power it took to chose to do this blog entry rather than level her up. That’s a big deal. Any pathetically addicted MMO’er will know.

Things I Love Thursday!

October 27, 2011

1. Playstation: I’ve always been an avid gamer, and recently i’ve been throwing myself back in, deep, by revisiting classics. I love the Playstation Network for allowing me such an array of classic games for download. I’m currently revisiting FF7, FF8, FF9 and Ninja Gaiden. So good! Also, for the past three months I have been trying out for The Tester. The competition has made its way towards the end, and it’s been a really eventful ride – so you may or may not see me on this coming season! Stay tuned! If I dont update next Thursday – then you’ll know for sure!

2. Dr. Pepper Chapstick: This stuff taste like shit, really. Not like Dr. Pepper at all. I mean, sort of, but regardless, I keep buying it for nostalgic reasons, since I used to buy it with my allowance as a kid. I love it, for sure, and recently thy started making it with “a hint of color”. Oooh la la.

3. Marceline: I gave this hot B’ her own post a while ago, but she deserves to be thrown in again since I’ll probably be dressing up as her for Halloween. She is my favorite Adventure Time character ( next to Jake ) and I wish so badly that I had a replica of her Axe Bass. She’s as smooth and as badass as her bass. Truth.

4. Dunkin Donuts Iced-Coffee: Even though I consider myself a bit of a coffee connoisseur, I still have always preferred Dunkin Donuts. Call me a sell-out, I dont give a shit. This stuff is delicious, and where else can I get a Tuna Salad Sandwich and a pumpkin muffin? Come on.

5. Cold Weather Music: There are a lot of bands and songs that I directly equate with the coming on of colder weather. The short list is Modest Mouse, The Faint, Cursive, Rilo Kiley, Bright Eyes, Dashboard and Postal Service. Now is the time when this music best hits me, and I play it on repeat. I wait all year for this feeling, and it can not be topped. Ever.

6. Purple Hair: I have really been digging purple hair lately; There is no real reason to prompt this. I think I have been toying with the idea of going lighter the past  year or two, but not wanting to stay my natural color of blonde. The idea of light purple hair really entices me, because its lighter, one of my favorite colors, and relatively cartoony, but I have been holding off because my boy has expressed disinterest. Who knows, though, the dye has been ordered and delivered, so anything could happen.

7. Cat-Eye Sunglasses: I usually wear prescription glasses which doesn’t leave me a lot of time to wear Sunglasses, but, since i’ve been wearing contacts lately, I’ve gone Sunglass shopping. I didnt like anything I tried on – but then I found a pair of Cat-eye shaped glasses and I am convinced they are the only shape for me, and will never wear another type. I feel these look great on anyone, and Target of all places has a great selection.

8. Cider: Beer doesn’t agree with me so well, because I have a pretty severe allergy to gluten, so I have been drinking cider recently. Which is both delicious and fitting of the season. My favorite will always be Strongbow, but, Woodchuck makes a few delicious varieties that my tummy and I appreciate. If you’re a big beer drinker, but you find yourself puffy or waking up sluggish after drinking, try drinking cider instead!

 

Sex: Not A Mutant Power

September 29, 2011

Growing up with comic books, I’ve seen many incarnations of different characters. I’ve seen the ladies from X-Men go from modest heroines to over-sexed models with boobs jobs and an apparent addiction to the Chuck Norris Total Gym. As an adult now, and having grown up with this constant evolution in illustration, I realize it just sort of comes with the territory. This story I came across about a 7-year-old girl who idolizes Starfire from Teen Titans sort of broke my heart, though.  I am always thrilled when kids read comic books – I feel it help gives them an appreciation of writing and art.  This little girl, who idolized Starfire, doesn’t grasp the concept of continuum or character evolution, and for her to see her idol turn into an over-sexed bimbo sort of hits home. I know if they tried to turn Kitty Pryde into a Double-D brat in a bikini I would lose both my mind, and my faith in that specific read for sure.

How precious is her book-mark?

This is what she thinks of the old Starfire.

“She’s like me. She’s an alien new to the planet and maybe she doesn’t always say the right thing, or know the right thing to do. But she’s a good friend, and she helps people. She’s strong enough to fight the bad guys, even when they hurt her. Even her sister tried to kill her, but Starfire still fights for the good side. And she helps the other heroes, like Superboy and Robin and Raven. She’s smart too. And sometimes she gets mad, but that’s okay because it’s okay to get mad when people are being mean. And she’s pretty.”

This is what she thinks of the new Starfire;

“I can see almost all of her boobs… Well she is on the beach in her bikini. But… she’s not relaxing or swimming. She’s just posing a lot… she’s not fighting anyone. And not talking to anyone really. She’s just almost naked and posing.”

And when asked if the new Starfire is a good hero, replies;

“Not really.”

In this day and age, unfortunately, I don’t think there is much that can be done to change how over-sexed culture in general is becoming. That doesn’t mean I cant remain slightly apathetic and long for the golden age of comic books again.