Monday, April 30, 2012

Wallet VS Quality

I really wish that all games lives up what the developers want, but I know that would make me feel bad for being poor and I can't buy all of them. And every time I hear people dooming the game right at its announcement, I really dread the thought that there is people who really wishes for others failure. Except my wallet. She would be please.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Intelligent? Yeah, Sure...

And that is how I feel about AI partners in games. They either are completely useless or they just get in your way. Some of them don't even serve to attract enemy bullets away from you! Honestly, developers, if the AI cannot even serve as bullet magnets, don't bother.

Out of Ideas

I want thank my twitter friend teh_tommy for inspiring me on this one.

Originality is a good thing, but that does not means it is something necessary. Many people criticized Sony brawler All-Stars Battle Royale as being just a copy of Nintendo's Smash Bros. The funny thing is the people throwing those accusations around haven't played the game. Most people who have, told us that the game have a very different feel than Smash, and that you don't feel like playing Nintendo's brawler.

And even if it was, if originality was something we really demanded, we would not have so many FPS, because they all are based on the same mechanics and principles that id Software defined years ago. If the Sony brawler is obviously following Nintendo's formula, but here is the thing: if you don't have a Nintendo console, you cannot play Smash Bros. Sony is providing the chance to PS3 owners to have a similar experience. And if they make a great game, even if it is a clone, I don't see why that is bad.

I prefer a thousand times to play a good clone game than a bad original title. Of course, if you can have both, the better, but if originality was a requisite to any,book, or any creative product, we would have nothing to play, see or read. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

You Must be a Specialist!

Dear Internet dwellers,

If all your experience with a subject is what you heard someone who actually had the experience, your opinion is not a fact, and you should not do affirmations based on that. A game do not suck because you saw a screenshot or video. If you have not played the game, you cannot affirm it will suck. You cannot affirm a book is bad if you don't read it, you cannot affirm a movie is bad without seeing it, you cannot affirm a song is awful without listening to it and you cannot say a game is bad without playing it. Screenshots and videos can, at best, tell you that the graphics aren't that good or that the sound is weird, but not that a game is good with just those.

If you have not played the game, please don't say it is have weird gameplay, that the hit detection seems off or anything regarding gameplay. This goes to everything that you can only say you know of by having direct contact with it. Every time you affirm something without having really experienced it, you just invalidate your opinion.

Man With No Name.

7 Anime and Games Characters That I Want Made in the figma Line

The Ice Witch from Ben-To

Mael Strom from Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka?
Charllote from IS (with her IS if possible)
Misha (kunoishi ver.) from Ar Tonelico
Naoto Shirogane from Persona 4 (both versions)
Female Main Character from Persona 3
Ayane from Dead or Alive 5

Thursday, April 26, 2012


In recent news, Valeria Lukyanova become somewhat a sensation because she aims to look like a Barbie doll, the iconic plastic girl who many women had when little. The fact is that, to me, is weird to look at her. I never thought that a real human could cross the uncanny valley and look unreal(I don't know if those photos of her are photoshoped, and she claims they aren't, so I will go with her for now).

Looking at her photos, my brain cannot just decide if what he is seeing is right or not. Her belly and curves are unnatural, her face have weird symmetry and her eyes seems to be too big. sure, I don't doubt that there is plenty of people who find her attractive, but I would have trouble talking to her, because I would always being trying to find if she is real or not.

It is the big eyes. 
While she is unsettling, some animation studios and game developers do a way better job of scaring the shit out of me with the uncanny valley. Take BrĂ¼tal Legend, for example. The game don't use realistically human beings, but cartoon-like ones. The uncanny come from the use of realistic textures for the main character, to the point of we being able to see his skin. It is the skin with defects we expect from realistic characters, but on him it become very weird.

His 5 o´clock beard is the thing who more trouble me. It is a very realistic texture, but on a cartoon character like him it is troublesome. Every close-up makes me look trying to find all what puts me off on him, wishing that they have used simpler textures on the character. It would help a lot.

He looks like Jack Black and Jessica Rabbit lost son...

Heavy Rain is another game who is a bit scary. Playing the game and them seeing the actors whose characters where based on is somewhat downright creep. you start to wonder if any of those people really exist or if they are just computer generated. You doubt me? Look at this video and tell me you don't get a little weirded out...

It is the most bizarre thing I have ever saw.

I think everyone who makes this kind of thing must be very cautious about how much 'realism' they want to put in their work. If you make something very realistic, be sure to make everything realistic. Even one thing slightly of can kill the sense of immersion because we started to look for what is wrong with that picture/scene. If you want to do something cartoonish, avoid putting realistic stuff in. It cause the same weird effect on my mind(and probably to a lot of minds).

Oh, and girls, if a videogame character like her:

Looks more real than...

I think you should stop with plastic surgery. Please?

The (Un)Chosen One

One of my favorite anime genres is the harem anime. You know the kind, the one where several girls are in  love with one guy. Usually he is already in love with one girl, making all the girls more obstacles to his love to that one girl(like in Love Hina). In others, the main character does not start loving any particular girl and we see the show to see with whom he will end up. Some games, specially Japanese games, also play with this concept, with multiple endings where you may play the right cards to end with the right girl(not only visual novels and eroge, but games like Star Ocean and Catherine did it too).

The funny thing, I have this weird tendency to not like the main heroine. in most of those anime and games, it is pretty clear which girl the creators want the main character to end with. The Evangelion series made it clear that Shinji and Asuka are supposed to love each other. But I always rooted to Rei to ended up being the one Shinji loved.

It may be a cultural thing, making me, a Brazilian, have a different vision of what kind of girl is supposed to be the 'best', while the Japanese have a different vision. Usually, it is the childhood friend or the first girl the male protagonists meets that ended up happily ever after(Evangelion being the exception, but Evangelion is the exception to many things).

In the first Ar Tonelico game, it is clear the girl that the creators have a predilection for. While Misha, the energetic, happy girl is my favorite, it is the sweet and shy Aurica that they push harder to make you like. The OVA they made also played with the idea that Aurica is the one supposed to be the 'canonical' love interest.

In the current show Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?, my favorite character is Mael Strom, a character that in the first season seamed to be just a secondary character (her role expanded in the second season), while  Ayumu, the protagonist, seems more attracted to the silent Eu, a necromancer who fits all his fantasies because she is emotionless to the point of 'talking' with a notepad.

I really like her as a character.
Eu is the first girl of his 'harem'. So, again, it may be a cultural thing were the first love is the most important thing, but this bothers me a little because it not only make the ending more predictable, it make me a little sad for the characters who aren't chosen because they weren't 'destined' to be chosen. If the character don't fit the bill about the 'ideal love' and 'destined encounter' concept of the game or anime creator, no matter how dedicated or how much this character work hard, he will never be the one who will be happy with the main lead.

In the end, I know I have no influence(except in games, and even there not all games) to choose the perfect pair (in my eyes), but I really like to see if those shows and games can surprise me, like Shuffle! did, with an ending I never saw coming, which was a glad surprise. I think more writers should play this idea of messing with those 'unwritten rules' of anime conventions and surprise us more. Starting a show knowing how it will end because you already figured out the 'rules' can be pretty boring.