#437 Games from my Backlog for the month of October 2014

October is here and with that it is time to break out the freshly picked pie, Halloween decorations and start looking for a handful of new games to play for the new month. This is just another installment of my long running series where I try to get my gaming backlog under control.

For September I played through VVVVVV and The Walking Dead Season 2,

VVVVVV was the game I played on my Twitch Stream and as I wrote about it in my pixel perfect post earlier this month, it is a surprisingly open world 2D platformer that wonderfully polished the game and controls by limiting the action to using the Left and Right arrow buttons and the one action button that flips your gravitational pull. It is not much but what it did to was to scratch the itch that I have been having lately.

Closing comments: VVVVVVVV is not a game you complete, or even finish, but rather game to play up to the point where you rage quit. and then you leave the game alone for a few months.

Closing comments: VVVVVVVV is not a game you complete, or even finish, but rather game to play up to the point where you rage quit. Then you leave the game alone for a few months and return back to it for a few more stages.

The Walking Dead Season 2 was another wonderful game, that I played off Stream because I was afraid I could not properly comment on what was happening without ruining the atmosphere and after playing through I was glad that I did not try to live stream the story.

My favorite thing about the game’s series is the interesting depiction of the various political/idealists extremes, whether it be everyone pull their own weight of pure capitalism, the every man for themselves mentality, or the harsh dictatorship in the middle of Season 2. I also like how Season 2 focused on the theme of broken people, as these survivors lasting for so long rather than the theme of constantly searching for hope and haven in looking for Clementine’s parents.

Despite my best efforts the game still forced me to invoke an emotional response from me and even forced me into situations where it was so intense that I abandoned my morals and themes of my past decisions.

TellTale games don't think you could not add a Image comic book Easter egg with me catching it would ya?

TellTale games don’t think you could not add a Image comic book Easter egg with me catching it would ya?

Now that we covered last month’s game lets move on to the games that I am going to play for this month. and this month, the month that house one of my favorite holidays, I am going to do something different. Instead of playing through two set games to play in my spare time I have a few selected Halloween theme games to play on my Wednesday streams to get in the super spooky mood. I am not listing them here because I want them to be a surprise but they are some titles that I have already played and some I have not even installed yet.

The other reason I want to do this is to free up some spare time to read some of the Lovecraft stories. A few years ago I bought the complete works of HP Lovecraft and every October I try to read the all the short stories I can before the month is up, it is pretty much a tradition at this point.

**Monthly announcements**

It occurred to me that these posts would be a good place to list off some video game announcements that deserves some mentions but might not warrant an full post.

The first one announcement is that today is my 23rd birthday! And with that I have two games that will soon to be in my possession. The first one is the Wii U exclusive Bayonetta 2 from my parents and the second one is The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth from my brother.

The funny thing is my brother knows my stance on preordering games, I have talked to him about my personal policy on the matter, using this game as example, multiple times.

The funny thing is my brother knows my stance on preordering games, I have talked to him about my personal policy on the matter, using this game as example, multiple times.

For a special bonus I want to leave you with a Be MOP post I wrote 2 years ago to celebrate my 21st birthday.

 

The second announcement I want to make is just a reminder everyone that I am going to be a 24 hour gaming live stream event on my Twitch channel this 25th on behalf of Extra Life.

this was the reward I promised you guys if I was able to reach my fundraising goal for this year we did so now I have to be true to my words.

this was the reward I promised you guys if I was able to reach my fundraising goal for this year we did so now I have to be true to my words.

 


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#436 The curse of being an experienced gamer

With my increasing twiddling free time I have been powering through the Second Season of The Walking Dead game because the game is currently on my chopping block because it is on my backlog. Playing through a major chunk of the story and I can not say anything more about The Walking Dead than I did before with Season 1 (Be MOP #259). Playing the new story is fun and plenty emotional but I noticed that the magic I had experienced with the first game was gone.

One of the Walking Dead’s selling point is that all the choices you make in conversations and the actions you take will affect the story and a year ago when I played the first season I full heartedly believed it. A year later and after seeing some other people’s walkthroughs I realized that the game has certain key events that needs to happen that, no matter what you do you can not avoid.

With that realization it did affect the choices I made in Season 2, for example early on I knew I was going to be keeping me in a house full of new people for a while, knowing nothing could change that I decided not to make waves when talking to these people.

Not like that would help, in both Seasons I played Lee and Clementine as compassionate people who placed more importance on the group rather than themselves, whether I personally keep to that why of thinking when the Zombie apocalypse happens, time will tell.

Not like that would help, in both Seasons I played Lee and Clementine as compassionate people who placed more importance on the group rather than themselves, whether I personally keep to that way of thinking when the Zombie apocalypse happens, time will tell.

I have mentioned this problem here and there a few times before;

In any Pokemon game post Generation 3 I have a nasty habit of building my core Elite 4 team beating team, by the second gym. After following a bit of the professional Pokemon tournaments I know all the move combos and I build them early on even if takes up a quarter of my moveset early on.

After playing so many 2D platforming, whenever I pick up a game I instinctively know where to jump and where to go for any and all secret passages and hidden treasures when I had my first playthroughs of Ducktails Remastered, BattleBlock Theater, and Kirby Triple Deluxe.

And I fear the same thing will happen to one of my most anticipated games of 2014, Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. I have played literally hundreds of hours in the first game and I am afraid that I will be going through the motions instead of experiencing the rush of fighting new enemies and bosses and exploring newly unlocked levels.

My list of most anticipated games of 2014 is, Binding of Isaac Rebirth, Bayonetta 2, Pokemon Omega Ruby, and Super Smash bros for the Wii U

My list of most anticipated games of 2014 is, Binding of Isaac Rebirth, Bayonetta 2, Pokemon Omega Ruby, and Super Smash bros for the Wii U

This seems to be one of the few negative effect of being a experienced gamer where you play a game, and it may be a great game but you end up knowing all the tricks it can throw at you and you go into a new game of your favorite genera with that feeling of not knowing is gone.

And I hate it.


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#435 Filler Post: First Contact

What do you get when you mix real life commitments, an unscheduled trip to the local Town Hall for car resignation paper work, and the finite amount of time I have before going to work? You get a Star Trek related filler post for this fantastic Friday.

The bits of advice I give to any aspiring blogger is; create a blogging schedule, stick to it and "Always have an escape plan"

The bits of advice I give to any aspiring blogger is; create a blogging schedule, stick to it and “Always have an escape plan”

I say, if an alien force had any plans to go back in time to the moment I had my First Contact with videogames in an attempt to prevent me from being the man I am today, best bet would be the exact day when I was enrolled in the YMCA’s elementary after school program where my mother snuck a few extra Warheads Extreme Sour candies in my after school snack pack so I could trade them away from for my first Pokemon card.

Now you know one more part of my extensive origin story

Now you know one more part of my extensive origin story


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#434 Actually going through my Steam Library

Last night I sat down and took a good long look at the newly updated Steam Client to get my first impressions at the new front page, catalog, and Steam Curators system. I do not who where to start with that, so I need a bit more time before writing anything about the updates.

I do not know how Journalists write about it and form opinions about these updates so quickly.

I do not know how journalists write about it and form opinions about these updates so quickly.

While steam was open I did take a good hard look at my own library. It has been long established that I have complained and tried to manage my gaming backlog with my long running, “Games from my Backlog” series, but it is easier to complain about your own personal Sisyphus boulder as a big massive blob when you do not properly know what you have in your backlog.

because instead of a spending my free nights playing videogames I would much rather look at my collection of games.

because instead of a spending my free nights playing videogames I would much rather look at my collection of games.

With current disposable funds being low, while being bored with the games currently at my disposal, I took a plunge and went through my library and do you know what I found? A bunch of game titles I have absolutely no interest in playing.

Within my steam collection found a handful of indie games, point and click adventure, fighting, and “action adventure” games that I have never had any interest in ever buying or playing in the first place and I presume are only in my possession because they were acting as consolation prizes from Humble Bundles. Interesting enough I also discovered one completely dead game, an A.R.T.S/MOBA abandoned by the developers.

I also found a few Halloween/spooky themed games to play during my October stream session. But do you know what? I also found some fun but forgotten games that I have wanted to play. and last night I pushed the steam and internet connection to the limit by downloading; Dark Souls, Transistor, and Brothers a Tale of Two Son, bought from the most recent Summer Sales, but also Pac-Man Championship Edition, Reus, Risk of Rain and Dustforce and so much more. Resulting in enough games to hold me off until the winter sales and beyond .

During this journey of self discovery  I heard of my parent's words of not having to buy the latest toy because I had enough toys already and I should look through those first.

During this journey of self discovery I heard of my parent’s words of not having to buy the latest toy because I had enough play things already and I should look through those first.

I am curious about all the other gamers with impossibly massive backlogs on your steam account, have you found any games you have bought a while back that you have actually meant to buy and that you still want to play? If you leave your answers down below I am interested in seeing what games have been forgotten by other players.


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#433 Mighty No 9 crock pot project

On this little blog of mine I tend to talk about either indie or AAA games I either own or planning to own but I also talk about games that have just been released that I have no interest in buying. But on this site I have not talked much about crowd sources games, like one the games I helped fund and is slated to be in my gaming catalog by next year, Mighty No. 9.

photo-main

I have not talked too much about Mighty No 9, or as I call it Totally-Not-Mega-Man, since little over a year ago when I pledge the Kickstarter project the required $20 for the backer reward of a digital download code and when I wrote about that game and Black Mensa when I compared it to fan fiction by way of economics (Be MOP #270).

Between that post and now I have not paid much attention to the progress of the project, and for the past few months I completely forgot that the game existed and that I backed them. Even though I receive constant email status updates I have automatically ignored them, a useful talent to have when subscribed to so many political mailing lists. That was unlike Totally-Not-Mega-Man finally got my attention with a special email code about a ‘free’ promotional 3DS game, Mighty Gunvolt.

'free' as is, free to all backers and those who already backed the Kickstarter project or those to bought Azure Striker GUNVOLT.

‘free’ as is in free to all backers and those who already backed the Kickstarter project or those to bought Azure Striker GUNVOLT.

 

Mighty Gunvolt is a indie proper 8 bit game that acts as a holy marriage between Gunvolt and Totally-Not-Mega-Man with both characters in the rooster. I have it downloaded the game and it is currently next on the chopping lists while I am working on my way through Mega Man 2 and Legend of Zelda on my 3DS gaming backlog.

Currently I am using Kickstarter as a crock pot, putting all the ingredients, funding, in at the beginning, turning it on, leaving it alone, and letting it cook for a few months rather than a few hours. The only catch is that the amazing dish that you have been waiting months for runs the chance of not working out as well as planned.

Luckily for Totally-Not-Mega-Man had it’s fundraising campaign go live before I started seriously looking at the rest of the highs and lows of the videogame world after moving away from playing nothing but World of Warcraft. Now I have a bit of reservation on videogame funded kickstarter with the recent news of so many gaming titles that, through improper management of funds or resources, failed to deliver what they have promised in a game or in some cases a game at all.

I am an reasonable man, I do have the ability to change my mind and opinion on the idea of kickstarter, from a placing your preorder money on a roulette wheel and hoping for the best, back to the idea that it is a place where passionate people can make the games they have always wanted with the help of fans and equally passionate players.

That ability is change my mind is riding on how well Mighty No. 9, my only funded Kickstarter project, will succeeds in quality, value and game play. No pressure. So far I have already seen some fruits of the labor from the Mighty No. 9 project with this Mighty Gunvolt game, acting as an  appetizer and to whet our appetite on what we might see from Mighty No. 9 in the future.


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#432 The road to #GamerGate is paved with good intentions

You know that I did not WANT to do another #GamerGate blog post so soon. I have been meaning to write a proper post for a while. I have been following the entire event as it has unfolding since it’s conception well over a month ago, and while I have mentioned the effects and fallout of #gamersgate twice already (Be MOP #419 and #431). The terrible thing is it seems that every time I sit down to write a post covering the entire event or a recap of what just happened, a new twist is added or revealed every other day.

But out of everything that has happened, all the accusations and name calling and conspiracy talks I want to focus on three major incidents and wrong doings that Game Journalism have committed, that has been revealed and brought to light from this past month.

The big three are:

  • The Original Sin of having an established journalist having an affair with a game developer, and while writing and financially supporting the work by the developer. (Source)
  • Another journalist writing about the works of friends, significant others, and roommates. (Source)
  • and most recently and most inflammatory the reveal of the secret mailing list of journalists talking about the recent events and leads that lead into talking about what these journalists write about and how to write it. (Source and follow up Source)

These are all wonderful examples and outcomes from the #GamersGate movement because all those accusations have been confirmed, by a Kotaku post from Stephen Totilo about his employees and by admission of guilt by tweets and comments of the journalists in the secret mailing list. The thing is what has been done by the sites and people involved was incredibly unethical.

“– Deny favored treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage.” -The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics

Despite the damning evidence here I firmly believe that all of these events might have been done with the best intentions .

Hanging out a bit too closely with leads and contacts because they were at or hosted some really cool expos and parties, as we have seen with staff of Destructoid having their pictures taken with prominent PR members AAA gaming industry.

Writing about your friend/patreon user’s pet project or creation on the site that you write for and that gets thousands of hits per day as a sign of good will.

Or as we seen from the recently leaked emails from the secret Gaming Journal Pros threads advocating the blocking any coverage of the Zoe Quinn event to help prevent any more harassment coming her way or thinking it would be a good idea to get all the journalists to pitch together to buy Zoe a “feel better” gift for her.

But what they, the journalists, did was still wrong, beyond wrong they broke some founding rules of journalism. Because of what they have done to try to protect someone from trolls, help significant others/patreon and just wanting a place to talk to fellow journalists they were in fact changing or ignoring the recent objective stories, promoting people for their or their own financial gain, and creating a place allowed the passive (or if you read some of the emails aggressively) attempts to sway the direction and message or video game journalism.

***

That is the problem with ethics, it’s that what you want to do might not line up with what you want to do.

I get it, having and following work ethics is a double edge sword, it is great to have as a defense when you have to do something that is unpopular but it is terrible burden to have when it prevents you (or suppose to stop you) from doing the fun stuff.

I have been there, there have been times in my line of profession when I did not know what to do and I had to refer to my code of ethics for guidance and for the answer for better or worst.

With all the glam and fashion of being some of the most viewed journalists in your field and when you constantly get first looks at the newest games, free giveaways, and invitations to all the biggest gaming events I could find it quite easy at time to do the thing you want to do for a story rather than things you have to do.

But work ethics are there so we have an established (and to keep up) a professional image and to keep it a constant professional image for all the other workers, clients, and people you work for.

Those rules are there so that people in and out of the workforce can trust you to do your job. Moving forward how can anyone ever trust these people to write an unbiased article about any of these game developers if they refuse to remain a proper distance away from a source to remain professional.

Videogame journalism, as we have seen, is still a new form of journalism but simply because it’s new does not exclude it from any form of ethics, or cherry picking the essentials. We are in an age where even YouTubers, not professional journalists with web shows but regular people with personalities are expected to have ethics and use disclosures lest you forget the events surrounding XB1M13.

At the end of the day all of these game journalists fall under the same category of some of the greatest Pulitzer Prize winners and people who risk their life for a source or a major story. After reading all the emails from the recently leaked email logs from GameJournos Pro I believe that these journalists did not mean to do harm when they were discussion the possibility to not cover the story, what they have done in their private talks and actions they took did inflict harm to the name of Journalism.

Now these journalists involved needs to be reprimanded for it, with a combination of mass resignations for the worst offenders, massive reconstruction of these website’s code of ethics and how to approach sources and stories, or at the very least complete transparency on what wrongs and these other sites and writers have done in the past and present with regards to GamerGate.


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#431 What does it mean to be a “Gamer” and other titles

Forward: This post is a long time coming, on top of the recent published articles from various news sites declaiming the title, ‘gamer’ as obsolete and tainted from the recent #GamerGate social media movement.

 

Yip we're doing this topic. Buckle up

Yup we’re doing this topic. Buckle up

I hold several titles, ‘gamer’, ‘blogger’, and ‘streamer’ as a result of the various choices I have made from my past. I proudly wear those titles now but that was not always the case, there was a time where I had to go through a personal journey in order to build up self respect and confidently announce that I am a gamer, a blogger or a streamer, and in my personal experience all titles went through the same cycle.

 

It always starts out the same with dabbling with the new media or concept, whether it be being gifted my first game,Pokemon Red, by my parents, biting the bullet and starting a World of Warcraft video game blog (this one right here) or committing myself to a constant streaming schedule. At first, for me but I assume many of other gamers out there, there was a period of time where I kept my gaming activity to myself not being the first to bring up videogames, blogging, or streaming in conversations and when I would have those conversations I would be with close friends in the corner of the lunch table in middle school or just as causal blogging side project with my college friends.

During that time I did not refer to myself as a ‘gamer’ or ‘blogger’ but rather ‘a guy who play games’ or ‘a guy who has a blog’ in fear of retaliation and because at the time, it could have been easily disproven that that was someone I was not, a poser or someone jumping on the bandwagon.

For refrenece, at all of these these times only owning a few games or publishing a few dozens blog posts/stream sessions with no real viewership.

 

What makes gaming, blogging, streaming stands out from all of my other hobbies that I have picked up along the way was that I kept to gaming, playing more games, going out and actively looking for gaming news sites and articles and liked minded people. and I kept to my writing and streaming schedule with Be MOP.

Then I got to a point, and again I assume I can say this for many people as well, where I have put so much effort and passion into your hobby that I could not deny the title to anyone, not even to myself. The “I’ve made it point” in many people’s journey.

For reference this was when I was making and rearranging my social calendar to make my World of Warcraft raids, reaching the 60th Be MOP post and when I was starting to decorate and customize my blog’s wallpaper and banner with screenshots I took from the Mists of Pandaria beta. As for Twitch I reached that point when I started to get constant viewers coming back to my stream to watch and interact with me in the chat room.

 

As I was writing this I did not realize I was more or less writing about the steps of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs but if the shoe fits

As I was writing this I did not realize I was more or less writing about the steps of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs but if the shoe fits

With all that back story of my gaming life, why does it bother me that there are game journalists out there trying to convince me to move away from the name of gamer? Because I worked incredibly hard to build up the title of gamer and blogger in the eyes of my friend, family, and myself and it is insulting when some when a group of people, from within the same group no less, tries to change what it means to be a gamer by dragging the title through the mud. All in an attempt to shame us away from it because of a few bad apples or an exponential boost in mobile gaming population.

Neither the Democrats or Republicans Party tried send out internal and external memos to their supports to abandon using the word ‘Democrat’ or ‘Republican’ when one or a few of their politicians got caught in a scandal. Both parties stuck to the name because they realize the title “Democrat” or ‘Republican’ does not mean the group of people, but rather an idea that a lot of people group up under and rally behind.The same can be said about the title Gamer, it is not named for the group of people who plays games it is a name for the people who are avid fans who feel passionate about their hobby and goes out on day trips to gaming conventions and who cares about nurturing and growing the media on a whole.

P.S: To bring a counterpoint to the idea that the title, “gamer” is being diluted because of the introduction of causal and mobile games bringing in people that have never played games before; My mother and I are both literate and can and has read books, but only one of us constantly frequents goes down the bookstore, attend book meetings and events, actively go out and read new genres and works from new authors, and thinks the best time to relax is with a blanket and a nice book. She is a ‘reader’ while I casually read books on the side.


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