A Look Back Review: The Order 1886

A Look Back Review: The Order 1886

In a World of Monsters and Men, the Real Terror is QuickTime

Back in 2015, studio Ready At Dawn decided to grace us with a cinematically beautiful but flawed game The Order 1886. Teased to be a monster fighting game in which a secret society in London went out and saved the unsuspecting world many times over. However, this was a whole bait and switch, because what we ended up with was a mediocre shooter, taking down mainly rebel humans who are fighting against current society with maybe a total of 7-10 half-breed werewolves.

This wouldn’t be such a problem if it hadn’t been shown off in all the trailers as being a sort of Van Helsing esque organization hunting down werewolves and kicking monsters asses and taking names. Yet the spots that were released were pure thriller vibe where the werewolves were constantly on the offensive and you and a group of NPCs had to hold your own. The game doesn’t even try to instill that sort of terror into you when you play, from the beginning it is slow, cinematic, and focused solely on bland shooting against humans. You know, except for the prologue, that is simply the game beating itself up early because it knows it messed up.

The Combat is… Meh

What makes a basic shooter?

  1. Cover Shooting
  2. Some Sort of Melee feature
  3. At least 4-6 different types of guns (each with random variations)
  4. Stealth sections
  5. Shooting from the Hip

The Order has this in spades, that isn’t exactly horrible but it can be depending on execution. With that, I can safely say that The Order doesn’t reach beyond its means, it is a standard shooter with just enough flaws to keep it from being anything better than bland. The melee is a quicktime button press and you have to be close enough for the prompt to show up to be able to do it, where stealth kills force you to time the attacks with the same type of button prompt. These prompts, in stealth mode, result in instant death by the guards you’re taking down, this also includes you getting spotted from halfway across a courtyard covered in bushes.

Where it shines are the gun variations, from rifles, pistols, and shotguns to interesting inventions made by the one and only Nikola Tesla as a young man. The weapons he hands you come in the electronic shock type rifles, Thermite Guns in which you ignite thermite when you launch a flare, as well as grenade and rocket launchers. Each of the generic weapon types also has a handful of different variations, though sometimes the differences are really hard to spot, leading to some pretty bland weapon cycling.

It’s as basic as you can get with a shooter and yet it still manages to feel bland and uninspired. The science weapons feel interesting till you use all the ammo and have to switch back to standard weapons.

Though that’s the whole feel The Order has, it feels like it could be something fantastic but somehow falls short. The best example sits on the overall graphical power that it holds.

The Order: 1886_20171118150353
The Two Feelings I felt while playing this game

Beautiful Looking But Hard To Look At

The Order is gorgeous in all aspects, I can’t say enough how amazing it looks. It’s cinematically impressive, pushing the bounds of how games that early in the console cycle. They even went so far as to force a wide screen theater mode and put the black bars on both the bottom and top of the screen (which can truly be irritating).

It felt like Uncharted levels of beauty that not many companies have been able to implement into even current gen titles. And if any of those paying attention to this whole thing, this game was made in 2015. Every aspect of the game was stunning, well designed, no true flaws other than the black bars and the somewhat smog effect that seemed to cloud most areas in the game.

The Order: 1886_20171118065137
Somehow, Gray can see far away what we can’t see close up

Even though it was without major flaws, something that did manage to take away from one of the biggest highlights of this game was the forced inspection mechanic. While you are forced to slowly walk around most of the levels when you’re not shooting people, you will come across random items that adds partial background info (which most of the time you’ll easily ignore what they say or see any real meaning in them). You’ll be tasked to pick them up and rotate them around in your hand with no real rhyme or reason. Most of these can be skipped, unless you want to platinum the game then you kinda have to, but the ones you’re forced to do have no meaning, just trying to show off what details they worked super hard to fit in.

When you get handed new weapons, they force inspection to imitate you inspecting an actual gun with the ammo and and the slide works. It also kind of does the inspection deal when having to overpower terminals, but it is really just a timing section. And unfortunately this just kills the pace of the game and ruins the absolute beauty of The Order. Having to sit still and turn junk around in your hand for a big portion of the game just makes me want to scream, and only takes away from something that really made the game shine.

The Order: 1886_20171113214038
Touching in inappropriate places, Sackboy knows this all too well.

Well that and the fact that most the conversations in the game are really stiff and you can even notice the other characters feel uncomfortable. The writing seems to be coherent in most places, like conversations going on between characters in cut scenese and even NPCs in the background have decent dialogue marred by weird repetition if you move forward just a little bit further ahead. However in a handful of scenes, the conversations between characters are cut short, making everyone feel awkward, and you can read it on their faces. What makes it more awkward is you can’t skip cut scenes like that, which is a bummer when you know the scene isn’t going anywhere at all.

The True Monsters

The gimmick of QuickTime Events have been around for a long time, stretching as far back as the 1980’s, becoming more popular in late 90’s and early 00’s. Some of the games associated with QTE would have to be Shenmue and Resident Evil 4. Most of those games pulled off quicktime events in such a decent fashion (even though some of RE4 caught you off guard because they were seamless with the cut scenes).

This brief history lesson was easy to setup my horrible attack on the asinine amount of QTE in this game is RIDICULOUS! It’s pretty much integral in progressing in the game. From the opening level, you have to mash buttons, time slowed down button presses, or move down directional sticks to grab weapons, punch someone, or dodge an attack. To say this game had a combat system would be lying, it has a QT system outside of gunfights and even then during stealth missions it tries to leak in to gunplay.

TheQuickTimers
The True Title of The Game

And it wouldn’t be so horrible if done properly, but it isn’t! It is just awful, it’s done almost every five minutes, it is not needed and breaks up how the story and action flows, and it adds a horrible grainy filter to simulate in their own way ‘time distorting’. It just breaks everything that is good or could have been good about The Order. If there was anything to be saved from this game, it was crushed by QTE.

What makes it worse is that the 2, count em, 2 boss fights are nothing but carbon copy QTE fests where you dodge and strike. Nothing screams doomed for failure than your final boss being a QTE.

Coming To Order

Theorderprettypolished
The Other  Council Members Debating

With everything about this game coming to a head, it’s time to put The Order 1886 to the Council’s vote. With such a beautiful looking game with mediocre shooting combat, pared with forced observation and limited exploration in what could have been an expansive world, this Look Back seems to be not worth the peak over the shoulder.

The best about it was it looked great and had passable but overdone combat, with a story that was there but left by the wayside. The things that killed it was the ridiculously overused QTE mechanic, forcing you to examine objects on end for no reason, and a horrible short play time, as well as a slow moving pace when you’re not firing on enemies.

The Order 1886 felt, like many who came before me said, a giant prologue to a much bigger game. The ending felt like there should have been more to it, as if we missed something along the way and possibly a large portion of the game was cut due to time constraints. 6 hours to finish the story (closer to 7 if you want to Platinum the game) and so much going wrong for it, make the things that went right just didn’t shine bright enough.

Postives:

  • Graphically Impressive
  • The Environment Is immersive
  • Gun Play Passable and sometimes Fun

Negatives:

  • QTE Bogs Down Everything
  • Story Bait and Switch
  • Horribly Slow/Sluggish
  • Incredibly Short (6 Hours)

Looking Back I’d say The Order 1886 should get a 5 out of 10

Honestly I’d go lower but I can’t fault a 2 year old game that tried hard and made the best of a bad situation.

 

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ThanksGaming: A Thoughtful Reflection on 2017

ThanksGaming: A Thoughtful Reflection on 2017

Holy Shit, It’s been almost a month!

A whole month of procrastinating. A whole month of medical issues. A whole month of adjusting to new work schedules. A. Whole. MONTH.

I have had one hell of a time adjusting to a whole lot of bullshit during this past month. I can’t begin to apologize to everyone who has ever read my posts. I have been so close to writing.. well anything at all but something came up and I found myself either fast asleep, in horrible pain, or just to frustrated to write anything coherent.

In order to make up for the lack of content, I decided I would try to satiate some kind of reader interest by doing a Thanksgiving special of sorts, and also let you know what and when then next article will be up to read (psst it might been sooner than a month!).

What Being Thankful Means

The word ‘Thankful’ gets passed around a lot during this month and the month to come, with a holiday revolving solely around the idea of being thankful. But what does it mean to be thankful?

Is it just saying thank you for anything to anyone who does something remotely nice?

Or is it being appreciative towards the things you are given, the blessings in your life, and the people who you are close to?

I’ll go with all of the above, because in all honesty, it’s not only about respecting and appreciating things in your life, but also expressing thanks where it is due. Letting people know you appreciate them/ thank them for all they do is an important part of the process of growing and helping others keep act kind/helpful.

Video Games Deserve Thanks Too

As weird of a statement as that may be for some, there are plenty of reasons why we should be appreciative of what video games and their devs bring to our homes.

They give us the ability to go on adventures on far away worlds, without making us leave ours. They give us a sense of badassery that we may or may not be physically inclined to do normally. The can give hope, inspire others to do great and kind things, they can even help people cope with major illnesses.

The games and the creators behind them make all this possible for gamers in need or just those who want to relax after a hard day. Developers, voice actors, project coordinators, animators, audio masters, everyone involved deserves a huge thank you for helping you to experience all these amazing things.

Video games pretty much raised me in my early years and helped support me even now when I have a rough day at work or need a distraction from my messed up knee. I owe them a huge wave of Thanks and so much more.

To all developers and anyone associated with video games in any capacity, THANK YOU. I appreciate at it is that you do and have done for me!

What’s Next?

A continual run of background music with repeated “thank you”s should be playing in the background for all those people who deserve it.

Now that I’ve expressed my gratitude for those who deserve it in the gaming industry, in other facets of life there are plenty of people who deserve thanks as well, but right now is not the spot for that. What it is a spot for is the next article and when it will be coming out. I recently just finished The Order: 1886 about as quickly as everybody warned me I would. I’ve been tinkering with a new review system, a review system titled “A Look Back” where I obviously review older games (it can stretch back to retro games if I get the chance).

Usually I don’t get to afford these games when they come out, only able to get them on sale, or when income tax comes rolling in and even after that, it’s no guarantee I can play them to completion when I have zero time. Hence where my look back reviews will periodically come in. When I finally finish up a game and have taken enough notes, I can write up a LBR on the weekend after. Or on holidays, which will be the case with The Order. 

So keep an eye out for that later this weekend, after I roll over from the food coma from the coming festivities.

For now, I just want to say to all those reading, Happy Thanksgiving and hope you and your loved ones enjoy your holiday! 

 

Vicarious Gaming: Life of the Poor Gamer

Vicarious Gaming: Life of the Poor Gamer

I know, I know… I’ve been absent for a while.

It has been one hell of a time finding any spare moment to sit down and write without feeling like crud, or being half asleep, or hell being in the right mindset to write. Dealing with kids, new job schedule, now as of this past week I’m also getting super sick. It’s all been kicking my ass in about 5 different directions.

Recently I started a new job and the good game fortune I was experiencing from my birthday has kinda peaked till probably well after Christmas, so I’m basically in a lull for new games. It would just happen to be right around the time when one of the most highly anticipated games for the Nintendo Switch dropped. You all know what I’m talking about, and if you don’t you really need to come up from that Underground Level and smell the Piranha Plants.

That’s right, Super Mario Odyssey dropped and everyone has been hitting my Twitter and YouTube feed’s like they were trying to sell drugs to an addict. Hell it, it’s working because I’m jonsin for the day I can afford a Switch and SMO (and a few other games but why get greedy?)

As I sit here and watch as others show off the costumes, brag about 100% of the coins, talking about when they will be dropping reviews, I sit here and feel a bit out of the loop. I get to live vicariously through everyone who plays it, and it feels just like watching other people play a game in front of you, yet in slow motion. Basically infuriating because you see how to get what they need to do, but you can’t grab the controller and try yourself. Just imagine trying to show your younger sibling to play an Uncharted game, and noticing every time they don’t explore for the treasure. UGH!

Writing this gives me a sense of closure and feels nice to have something or someone to talk to about just how crappy it feels watching all the other “kids” get name brand shoes while I’m stuck with Nikdidas that your mom got from your  neighbor.

Sure I’m playing Destiny 2 at the moment, but I’ve burned out of new things to do. I can go back and catch up on my backlog, but I feel I limit myself on reviewing older titles because everyone seems to have already played them, or at least formed an opinion. Why would they want to hear mine on something a year or more older?

That’s thinking I should probably get away from, but can’t seem to stop myself when I get to this point so for now, I’ll sit here and watch from afar your awesome discoveries in Super Mario Odyssey, heck if I see something that can be shopped into a good meme that no one else has already come up with, I’ll share it on Twitter or something.

But just remember, if you see someone on the outside of your window, it might be me watching you play. At least give me a 10 to 15 second head start before calling the cops, I just want to see some new Mario folks.

-ProdigiousJ

PS.

I know it’s a bit shorter this week, but like I said, I’ve been so out of it I can’t come up with good topics to really hunker down and write about. Maybe pitch me some suggestions over on my twitter @ReedicusRex and let me know what you might want me to look into, or maybe even tell me that older reviews aren’t as bad as I seem to think they are.

For now, take care, game well, and always Rise Above. (Phoenix Overdrive has taught me well)

PPS

Also, I’m currently raising money, and trying to see if I have the chance to stream on game day this year for Extra Life. Life might get in the way but I still want to try to help out the kids who are in need of medical treatment and the hospitals/hospital staff that help them every single day. Just follow the link to my Extra Life Page and learn more and maybe help out some kids who deserve a 1Up on life.

 

Is Minecraft Killing Lego? The Building Blocks Decline

Is Minecraft Killing Lego? The Building Blocks Decline

We All Had a Favorite Toy Growing Up

For many my age and those ages proceeding mine, the one name synonymous with creativity and mental growth just so happens to be Lego. The Lego company has always had a place in my heart during my formative years, every year for Christmas I would ask for sets like the underwater sets “The Stingrays”, the Space explorers set, and even a pirate ship or two. Almost every year, I’d get them, and spend the next day or so putting them together, allowing time for mixing set pieces together just for shits and giggles.

I’d be hard pressed to find a better toy to define my childhood better than Legos before video game consoles. That and the cassette playing robot from Tiger called 2XL. That robot was fantastic, can’t deny that.

However, with kids being born in the generation where technology reigns supreme, the idea that Legos would be the top pick for kids under the age of 8 seems to be fading. At least that’s how things seem to stack up, while companies in the gaming/digital industry might just be on the rise of catching the attention and hearts of kids around the world.

The Signs of Decline for Lego

Recently reported by Lego Chairman and former CEO Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, The Lego company will be cutting 1,400 jobs by the end of 2017. 8% of their workforce being cut because of the 5% profit drop in their established markets (mostly Europe and America). Knudstrop stated it was a “one-off” move in order to switch things back to normal and focus on the small company they’ve been used to operating. While their Asia market seems to be flourishing lately, it hasn’t offset the loss back in the established markets.

Sure, every company has highs and lows in terms of sales, like Apple back in 2016 had the same percentage dip in profit because poor iPhone sales. Seems the removal of the headphone jack was a poor decision. Both these companies experienced at least a decade of ever increasing profit but suddenly dropped in the blink of the eye.

So why is this as a sign of Lego’s soon to be downward spiral? Why am I hating on Lego so much even though I have such fond memories of the building block giant?

Well it’s like reading the writing on the wall, or on the tablet screen rather. Kids under the age of 10 (sometimes even 19 and older) have rallied behind the open world builder Minecraft. Everything from building replica castles of their favorite video games, to just building homes or shelters to see what they can do or how much havoc they can cause. Even just watching Youtubers playing through their own Minecraft adventures is a pastime for kids these days.

Let that last one sink in… the current generation is complacent just watching other people play Minecraft. In the small group I could speak to while researching, a 5 year old was content just watching videos all day and as they get to use the game themselves, they can replicate everything they saw the Youtuber do.  Their older sister (19) said she’d pick Minecraft over Lego, and she grew up with Lego! I even proposed the hypothetical situation if someone walked up and offered 6 sets of Legos or a fully paid for copy of Minecraft what would they pick and they still chose MC. Sure my survey was on a smaller scale and I wished I had more people to talk to but I’ve been limited in my time lately so I pulled what I could together.

I also polled those older than 20, closer to my age, and it was an obvious shoe in for Legos. I was not surprised by this, as my generation and the ones prior grew up long before computer games were as advanced as they are now, or even existed at all. The idea that those raised with toys like Lincoln Logs and Legos just didn’t seem the type to jump ship and hype over the video game equivalent. That’s a discussion for later on down the line though.

Minecraft: Developing The Future

As of 2017, developer of Minecraft  Mojang reported selling 122 Million copies of the game, and at the price of $29.65 (at least for PCs) would total around $592,900,000 in total sales since it was released in 2009. That’s not factoring in the free editions for Windows 10 they’ve given out and the discounted price for the full game here and there, so the figure is probably a little bit lower but still that’s a hell of a lot of money in just 8 years.

The popularity of Minecraft is undeniable, hell I found out doing laundry the other day that my son owns a shirt for them and I’m not even sure he knows what MC is. Honestly the reach of the open world builder has gotten to a point that Lego might have reached back it’s release years. Yes Lego has years of sales and activity under their belt than Minecraft has now but that doesn’t mean they can’t be rivals in the market.

Minecraft has their own merch, as mentioned from my son’s shirt, but also the foam swords and pickaxes, the glowing blocks, and so much more. Factor in the merch, the 122 million copies sold, the speed at which videos about it go viral, Minecraft has the staying power to take over the top spot from Lego.

The coincidental timing between Mojang’s success and Lego’s recent, but minor, decline shows that this might be the perfect time for Lego to be knocked out of number 1.

What Could Be and What Once Was

From what I found out from this adventure into which builder was better was slightly surprising. Going in, I thought that the generation after mine was going to call for Minecraft as the clear winner and I wasn’t wrong, even some of those that were just outside my generations door were rooting for it. The real surprise came from my Twitter poll, which while writing this  was still going on, I saw the majority of the votes went to Lego as the leader. Granted it was 5 out of 6 people but hey there are people out there who still feel Lego is on top and who can blame them when they’ve been number 1 for so long.

I personally love Legos, always have and I think I always will, which seems weird I’d be writing up a piece about how Legos might be going out of style but I like seeing things on both sides. Minecraft I can’t fully get my bearings on, I see some people crafting such amazing landscapes like castles and so on and yet the times I’ve sat down to play, I can hardly craft a house due to my perspective of it. Maybe if I can’t see the whole building while trying to construct it I just can’t wrap my head around it. Then again it’s been years since I’ve even picked up Minecraft, maybe I’m not remembering it properly. Also noted that I’ve been building houses in 7 Days To Die so my experience might differ if I picked up a copy now.

I honestly didn’t think anyone would be interested in reading about this, but after a few people convinced me and another helped me by voting for it out of a few other topics. Hopefully there is someone who finds my thoughts on the subject titillating to some extent, maybe enough to point out holes in my theory.

All in all, I am glad I took the time to look into this, was nice to get other people’s opinions on the subject for a change, rather than just Googling it and seeing what some guy in Boston said 4 years ago. I liked the fresh conversation, and it brought me out of my shell a little bit.

Let me know what you think in the comments below, or just follow me on Twitter or Facebook and spill your guts there.

-ProdigiousJ

P.S..

As with last my article, I’m still listening to and supporting my buddy’s music, Planet Revolver and it’s really getting me through the writers block so I want to give him a shout out.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/hope/id1274304272

https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Planet_Revolver_Hope?id=B2o4riocnjsxcxmxvxn4pmlfhxq&hl=en

https://www.facebook.com/PlanetRevolver/

Please do go give him a listen and maybe pick up the album.

YouTubers Needing Accountability? The Wake of the Pewdiepie Racial Slur

YouTubers Needing Accountability? The Wake of the Pewdiepie Racial Slur

Unless you have been living under a rock, and that rock doesn’t have a good wifi signal, you will most likely know the incident involving the Swedish YouTuber.

A few days ago, in the middle of a live-stream of PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds, Felix aka Pewdiepie blurted out the N word when insulting someone else in the match. Quickly he then tried to cover it up and briefly apologized in the same video. This is the second controversy that Pewds has been through in the past year. Earlier this year, he used the website Fiverr and paid two men 5 bucks to hold a s sign that said “Death To All Jews”.

So needless to say, the YouTube star has been on a fucking roll in 2017. Honestly people are vastly divided in how they want to react to the recent slip up, the clear path through this whole situation is unknown and murky at best. A majority of people, the knee jerk reacting folks, are quick to bash him, call him a racist and worst of all, some game developers (Campo Santo of Firewatch) are calling for copyright strikes. As of this writing Campo Santo have in fact pushed it through and removed Pewds Firewatch play through from his channel.

camposantwet

The Other half are those who defend him, long term fans of the Let’s Player and just some random writers online all believe that it was a ‘heat of the moment’ slip up and that he shouldn’t be demonized for what he may or may not have said. Others have defended him by simply saying “It’s just Pewdiepie being Pewdiepie, which is kind of the worst way to defend someone in a situation like this, but hell who am I to judge.

Where Do I Stand?

To be clear, I do not condone the use of racial slurs by anyone, no matter race, gender, nationality. I generally shy the hell away from people who use these words of hatred in everyday life. I wont say it and I don’t intend to be caught slipping up saying it because I can’t bring my self to say any of them without feeling horrible.

That said, I understand heat of the moment slip ups, I know everyone has an “Oh Shit!” word, and in fact I know someone else who has the N word as her OS word and she’s white as porcelain. The difference between her and Pewds is that she is unapologetic about the whole thing, she doesn’t care who hears her and doesn’t care if it offends people, Pewds on the other hand felt some kind of instant remorse when it slipped.

Trick of the Tongue, he messed up and said it. There is no going back from that but getting better or just fading out of the spotlight. Yeah it was in the heat of the moment, I’ll concede that argument, but having that word in your vocabulary at all is a little bit frightening and says something deeper is going on with you and the relationship to said word. Maybe Pewds is a “Closeted Racist” as some people are speculating, even though Campo Santo Dev said he might just be worse. The Anti Semitic video from earlier this year where he “joked” by paying those men to hold the sign, was enough to make you think he just might be.

To break it down, he had time after he came up with the idea, before he started shooting the video, before he wrote out the request to the men, and so on that maybe, just maybe this whole thing is a bad idea, that insulting a race of people like that might just be a bit racist. He had time and he failed to utilize that time to bring himself to a halt when doing the bit.

My takeaway is that he might just be closeted in his racist beliefs and if that’s the case I feel sad for Pewdiepie, but hey who knows, maybe he has just be fueled by the darker side of the internet and gaming where that word is tossed around like a hacky sack during lunch hour and subconsciously he has been ingrained with these words and ideas that he feels he just pushing the envelope and nothing more till the backlash ensues.

Honestly I can’t tell you what it is, and like most people, I can only speculate what he has going on in his head. I can say that maybe, closest racist or not, he and other Youtubers need to be held accountable.

Keeping Them Honest

The wake of both events, the one earlier this year and the one a few days ago, resulted in some pretty big losses to the Pewdiepie channel. After the “Death To All Jews” incident, Disney cut it’s support for him as well as YouTube dropped his show off the premium service, with his N bomb incident Firewatch dev took down his video of their game, as I mentioned above and more possibly looming on the horizon.

But is that really a Bad thing?

I mean, yeah however this ends up turning, it could have been a slip up and Pewds could be a decent human being corrupted by the dark side of things, or he could be as the other half see him and just be an absolute monster, so why don’t we take both roads as far as punishment?

In school, when kids would get into fist fights, no matter who was defending or who attacked first, both kids got in trouble, and worst case scenario they were suspended or expelled. At least that’s how it was in my school, could have been way different in some of yours.

fist-fight

The idea isn’t lost on me though, whether he is a racist or a nitwit, he should get slapped on the wrist, so to say, no matter what. It was a live-stream, he knew the consequences when he was going on, because he’s probably played off camera hundreds of times and if he messed up then he knew he would mess up live. So punish accordingly, in fact all Youtubers should be held accountable for what they do. Sure there are laws and rules of YouTube that I don’t dare dream to understand, and some people are perfectly fine with saying and doing things like this and no one bats an eye.

That’s the problem though, no one gets concerned until someone with more Subscribers than most get involved and people can find a way to spin the story. It’s always worst case scenario when the most popular, and oldest, channels get involved.

The problem is that no one starts reprimanding people from the bottom to the top, they let the low hanging channels get away with stuff because the media isn’t all over it (yet) or they just don’t see them do the ridiculous things they’ve been doing because they aren’t people like Pewdiepie or Markiplier, two of the bigger names in gaming on YouTube. So why don’t we start treating everyone equally and start spanking all of our kids, not just when the oldest acts up.

Maybe if a racial slur is uttered a suspension on their channel for a few days. It may not seem like a lot but for people who monetize their work, a few days can mean losing plenty of money. I’m not saying I’m ok with taking some Youtuber’s livelihood away from them, but there has to be some sort of accountability where things don’t get this out of hand when a bigger channel goofs up.

I don’t have a clear solution, nor do I think anyone else out there might, but maybe it’s time we start thinking about it. Because whether he meant to or not, Pewdiepie has insulted two races now within one year, and has had huge failings with other companies because of it. Maybe it’s time it stop being news because it only gets noticed once in a while. Maybe it’s time to start holding Youtubers to a certain level decency from the get go.

Now I’ll probably get hate from tons of YouTube stars, and I can understand why. I don’t want you to stop making content or stop making your living off of it but I also don’t feel like we should give people any more fuel to bash on not only the YouTube scene but the gaming industry. All I’m asking is holding yourself accountable for what you say and do. You do have tons of influence over your fans, hence the Pewds fans protecting him saying “Pewds gonna Pewds” basically. Just be mindful, maybe someday we wont have to wake up and see another Youtuber in a slam piece by the Wall Street Journal.

-ProdigiousJ

P.S.: A friend of mine just released his first (I think) album, it’s House music, but I seem to love it and it helped me break my writers block so I want to support it here. So I’ll post some links to it below!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/hope/id1274304272

https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Planet_Revolver_Hope?id=B2o4riocnjsxcxmxvxn4pmlfhxq&hl=en

https://www.facebook.com/PlanetRevolver/

Please do go give him a listen and maybe pick up the album. I love his work

My Top 5 Video Game Creepypasta

My Top 5 Video Game Creepypasta

Horror/Paranormal Media Has Always Had A Deep Impact On People

Sometimes the effect is more prominent in some rather than others. I was recently scrolling through my Facebook feed, trying to do my best to find some scrap of video game news to write an article on this weekend, when I stumbled across a weird report about a horror movie, Annabelle: Creation. Apparently a woman in Brazil, while watching the horror flick, starting to act weird around what is apparently the scariest part of the movie. (I wouldn’t know, and never will as I am not planning on watching this movie about a haunted doll. Me and paranormal stuff is iffy at best). Her friends said around that scene, she began acting ‘strange’ and then after the movie, she started screaming and punching herself while throwing herself on the ground. A bystander filmed her screaming on the ground and coughing uncontrollably, but no punching is seen.

While my wife thinks she is doing anything for attention, but I don’t concur, at least I don’t think the 20 year old woman is just seeking attention by beating the shit out of herself. Some people might do self abuse to gain attention, I’ve met a few in my life and have subsequently wondered aloud “Why the hell would you do that?!” That aside, I know from experience that psychological horror, the terrifying levels of fear layered in most games seeking to make gamers wished they’d worn their brown paints is truly effective. Even VR games right now are borderline heart attack inducing, the Resident Evil VII demo had me losing my shit, but I also got freaked out by my own virtual shoulders but that’s a story for another time.

That’s the powerful effect of media these days, it cause people to experience super heightened states of terror, causing fits, screaming, at base levels, and even at more historical levels, the merging of reality and fiction by seeing or hearing things from the game in your everyday life. Many articles have been written about how horror games effect the brain, both for the good and the bad, and I can’t find a official word or diagnosis for what I experience when I continually get cold chills and get super paranoid about what lye in wait for me. Maybe just increased paranoia for me. Who knows.

Regardless this sparked within me the idea to post up a list of some video game creepypasta, you know that weirdly colored noodle dish that your mom makes, and you’re almost certain she isn’t using Ragu but human blood for the sauce but never want to call her on it? Yeah I would have liked to do a more thought out topic this week but I’m the process of moving and dealing with a whole hell of a lot of personal issues so in depth research on any of the topics I want to touch is super difficult to do with NOOOO time to spare. So I’ll list behind my Top 5 more interesting Creepypastas about video games while giving briefest descriptions about them. Some of these get creepier at night, but most we know are just fiction. Still has a weird effect on my brain but I can’t figure out why that is. Maybe I’m fear intolerant, if that is indeed a thing. Anyway Let’s move on!

Polybius

5. Polybius

While this is one of the oldest and more commonly covered story of the Arcade cabinet that was implemented by the government, and caused psychological effects like insomnia, the need to play it over and over again (addiction), and in many worst case scenarios, suicide. The story was always said to be placed in a local arcade in Portland, everyday men in black (not Will Smith unfortunately) came in, collected a data read out from the machine and leave. Players who experienced the night terrors, the headaches, and so on would, as mentioned, either commit suicide, or, as the creepypasta wiki states, quit playing video games all together. That part doesn’t make sense to me and is rather new information to me. But the really interesting thing is that about 5 years ago, YouTuber MatPat of The Game Theorists posted a theory video talking about it and many shady government activities that could have feasibly been tied to the idea of this “mind controlling” video game. I’ll post the video below for a reference if you’d like to get your collective conspiracy theories in order on this one.

You can read the basics on this here and see the weird but strangely horrifying extension of it here

4. Fallout 3: Numbers Station

This one is new to me, but has some pings of deja vu, in a way that maybe I’ve heard it before but I for some reason or another blocked it in my mind. I wouldn’t know why, it’s not even that terrifying.

So the idea is that in Fallout 3 (one of my all time favorite games btw) has an area, basically have to be in a very specific spot to pick up this radio signal. This radio signal is hosted by Three Dog, or what some people speculate is his voice actor Erik Dellums not in character repeating a set of numbers, always a string of different and seemingly random number followed by sets of Morse code. After years of speculating, people translated the code and found relationships to the numbers corresponding in dates, some or most being in our future.

Some of the decoded messages were:

“The Queen has died today. The world mourns, as on days like these, we are all Brits.” 4:2 March 19th, 2014.

“Have you watched my YouTube video yet, I uploaded myself kicking bums in the nuts.” 24:16 December 24th, 2012.

“I can’t believe Britney’s actually won an Oscar!” 21:33 February 27th, 2023.

“I can’t believe they’ve actually done it. Not long left. They were warned, but they just had to keep pushing the boundaries of science. The noise. I can’t take the noise anymore. And the light, dear God! The Universe is slowly unraveling around us. I’m not going to wait for death. I have a pistol in the attic.”

The only one that got me feeling terrified was the last one, but I get the sense I’ve heard this before. Again I feel this weird sense of deja vu but I included this one because of the weird prophecies that were listed and coming from the Fallout Universe. Better than the creepypasta about Novocaine in air vents playing out the events of the beginning of Fallout 3, where they claim it’s just a hallucination. I also couldn’t find a good, clear auido recording of this GNR Number station, so if anyone can find it where I can actually tell it’s Three Dog. Let me know. Read the story here

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3.  Jvk1166z.esp

This Morrowind mod seems to be popular and generally the overall popular stuff I tend to avoid because… well is my nature to hate what is popular. Sue me. Regardless while reading this one, I was pretty well creeped out. I always have this weird feeling when the games can actually bring the real world into the virtual, in this case where the game brings the real world skyline in. This story is basically this mod prevents you from finishing the games original main story as all quest givers are dead. Most the time the NPCs will look up into the nights sky and repeat “Watch the Skies”. A new main quest is added in, which also added in a new character not seen in the game before. Basic stuff of creepypastas, right?

Well as the players go on this new quest, heading to a place called the Citadel, this new enemy is constantly following you, dubbed The Assassin, you will constantly lose health, and if you sit around to long, you’ll catch glimpses of this guy, before he screams loudly at you and disappears. As you progress, the game grows visibly darker, the NPCs will move from the towns to the caves causing you to not be able to fast travel their locations. Most of them will stop talking at all, and eventually you’ll see skittering NPCs in the corners of you vision but the more you move towards them, they move away. The kicker is the skyline, as I mentioned, some how took the mapping of the night sky from our world from 2004, and would progress in in game time.

This pasta mentions that their is some door and the writers friend said he still hadn’t seen the door open but had some vivid dream within a dream about the game. They were told they were soon to see the door open. Then, as all creepypasta stories end, the friend was never heard from again! And the call came from inside the house! And He had a hook for a hand!!!

Check out the full story here!!!

WARNING: These next 2 hold sensitive material, even for just being creepypastas. You’ve been Warned.

merrywood

2. Escape from Merrywood

I was scrolling through the titles of these pastas and I was drawn to this one, because it seemed like this random sunshiney rainbow experience that would maybe suck people inside the game.

That was not the case. By god was I wrong. This one revolved around a game experiment that big company Konami released in a limited market with no marketing campaign, just to test people’s reactions. Escape From Merrywood stars this chalk drawing monster that looked like a 5 year old drew, within the first scene chases and can attack and kill you in an instant. You have to run away and are greeted by a village, which apparently you reside in. You then get told that the beast is named Merry, who only attacked you because you broke curfew (he will also attack if you basically try to escape the village forest). As the game progresses the NPCs inform you that Merry is friendly and he is the “happiest thing alive”. Then you realize soon that your objective is to kill Merry in order to beat the game, but there is a twist!

Merry can’t be killed by you. He can only be killed by…. himself.

So the goal of the game is to get the happy go lucky beast to kill himself. Let that sink in because that is dark as fuck. Basically you go around and find “happy shrines” and destroy or defile them. Then you also find out what animals he likes to talk to and communicate with and then manage to not be seen killing them while he watches.

I told you this was dark as shit…. I… I can’t describe how horrified I was to finish this one but I pushed on through.

So once you reached a certain point, you find a teddy bear (belonging to Merry) an old photo, and a lighter. You then exit the town, which normally results in a cutscene where you die instantly, you are met with a quicktime event. You hold the bear up and he stops in his tracks. He says he knew it had to be you and didn’t understand why you had to make him so miserable. You then get the attack prompt, which makes you rip apart the bear and then light the photo on fire and set both items ablaze. You’ve broken the beast, he has no will to live so you get the option to hand him whatever weapon you have and then he offs himself.

This whole story just… it’s terrifying to think that if there was any trace of truth, the implications that someone designed a game so horrible that instead of tackling depression and suicide in a positive way, someone wanted to see how someone felt making someone reach those depths.  It’s disturbing and hits me personally as I suffer from depression, it hurts people and it has caused issues in my life. Reading this destroyed me for a little bit, but felt this needed to be mentioned. I don’t approve of it but it warranted people hearing about it.

Read it in length here

1. Akarui Mirai

This one that I found interesting and the most plausible because of it’s subject matter.

The basic story is about this kid who was programming in RPG Maker, wanting to make a game with him and his friends. He was about halfway done, when one day he loaded up the file to work on it and yet it was completed. 100% Done, and the kid had no idea how that was even possible. So just like any smart people do when they find something already finished for themselves, he played the game instead of trying to find answers.

The game looked great, the exact way he and his friends had envisioned it. Though as he kept exploring, he found more and more NPCs repeating a line about how they were sorry for what happened to someone named Mirai. Having no clue what that was a bout and being disturbed about just how perfect this game looked, he searched around and found an area he never planned for. Heading to this area, he investigates this Mirai, and is basically directed toward a graveyard. Among the graveyard was a small crypt, which he just so decided to investigate.

I’m cliff noting the story, leaving out major details, but click here to read it in length.

As he enters the crypt he is stopped three times, feeling an odd sense of deja vu, like he knew about this Mirai name and what it was trying to tell him about this part of the game. He is stopped by the wandering spirit of Mirai, she has black hair, red eyes, and burnt face. She keeps calling to him, asking why he wouldn’t play with her, why didn’t he save her, talked about how she was burning and couldn’t breathe, then refers to the player by his name. After exploring the crypt the guy goes outside and finds out the story.

It talked about how she was a kid who was dejected by the player and his friends for some reason, so she ran home in a huff, crying and not paying attention, she tripped and fell into her fire place. Her face was horribly burned and the town medic came in and examined her, then said not to move her that he’d be back. So what does every kid responsible do, instead of listening to the medic, the kids take the girls “body” and bury her to honor her. Once the medic finds out she was buried they rushed to the graveyard, dug her up and found she tried to claw her way out. She was still alive but died before they couldn’t reach her.

This story took it’s toll and the player, and the ultimate feelings of deja vu finally catch up to him and remember this all happened. In his world. That he had a friend named Mirai and how she had this same accident, that somehow he blocked it from his memory because he and his friends were to blame for these events. When he confronts his parents, they are at first shocked but realize he has remembered and take him to visit her grave.

The only reason this one sticks out to me and I saw it is plausible because people’s minds have a unique filter to block certain traumatic events from their mind, while subconsciously leaving clues so you can eventually reach the point where you can cope. The situation where he finds his game completed could have been the time in between when he just so happened to cause this accident, so between when he started and when he finished this took place. Hence the time skip. He coped by developing the game and leaving behind the memory so he would remember Mirai one day and realize just what he had caused, accident or not.

 

And With That A Palette Cleanser

After working on these, I realized I put more time than expected when writing, but I am glad I could get something fleshed out. I know my posts have been rather weird and all over the place, but with all the shit hitting the fan lately, I’m in a personal tail spin and looking to find my way out. I will put more time and research into larger topics that mean something.

Or maybe I’ll just post up more random bs when I get the chance. We’ll have to see but thanks to all of you who have stuck with me through these basic posts

-ProdigiousJ

Level Up! Another Year Another Lesson

Level Up! Another Year Another Lesson

Every Year Serves As A Long (Somtimes Painful) Learning Moment

Lately, life has pretty much been piling one thing atop me after another and yet I persist. Though this is the reason I haven’t been able to keep a structured posting schedule or done anything besides personal posts. I know you’re all probably tired of the personal talks but hey, it’s the only thing I can invest time in while I wait for 90% of these issues to pass, which hopefully will be done with by the time September rolls around

REGARDLESS! This past weekend was my birthday, I leveled up to level 28 and gained a bunch of irritating perks upon reaching it. Mostly +2 in headaches and +4 in crap decision revisiting.

As a kid, I can’t remember may of the birthdays till after 10 years old or so, but they were simple birthdays, I guess. I kinda grew tired of the concept over the years, then as I reached high school I realized birthdays were kinda all smoke and mirrors. The amount of friends who attended, the amount of gifts, and the truly sad part is you see just how many people actually give notice that it even is your birthday. You were fooled as a kid or at least since you were younger, things seemed different, possibly more pleasant than they seem as an adult.

So it’s safe to assume that I grow rather jaded over birthdays every year I manage to pull my body and sanity to the next level. However, the past few years have made me realize that I’m becoming more insightful or at least that borderline that. This year I start on my inevitable downhill slide to a midlife crisis at 30, but it also made me realize that I have to finally start bucklin down to aim towards a more structured future. Sure I should have been working on that from a long while ago, but I’m a slow learner and a bit stubborn.

I’ve also realized I’ve become more harden towards most people, stupid mostly, but I’m still willing to offer good advice then tell people to screw off when they admit they wont take my advice. In a sense, I feel like I’m becoming more like my Papa, who passed away earlier this year. He was quiet, worked hard, said what he thought, but was kind in his own way. I feel like maybe, in someway, with each level that passes, I become closure to someone I admired and respect when I was growing up.

Regardless, I’ve never truly noticed the growth I’ve gone through on each birthday. It should have been an obvious thing but just like with New Years Day, you reflect just a little too late on what’s important and what’s happening around you. But as I grow older, I feel like I’m nearing a spot I want to be in. In a career, in my hobbies, and in general, my life might just be nearing a place of comfort. Maybe I can finally stop looking to the past and look towards the future instead.

Like I said at the beginning I have a whole HELL of a lot going on right now, a bunch of issues that will hopefully be resolved by September. So for now a bunch of personal posts might litter this blog until I can finally sit down and do official research on actual subjects. When that times does come, you are more than welcome to comment suggestions on future articles or maybe for one concentrated article for the next few weeks so I can pump on out instead of a few minor posts, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

-ProdigiousJ