Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 24, 2014

Freezing outside = Guilt Free Gaming

Ahh, it is freezing in my area. Freezing doesn’t mean much to people in colder areas but in places like Houston, everything goes to hell. All the on-ramps and off-ramps get iced and people normally driving 100 mph on the freeway (no hyperbole) have ‘interesting times’. If you had to be somewhere early morning, it got cut down due to how hazardous it is to travel. (Yet once at noon, everything becomes a pleasant day and all ice melts).

There is not much you can do on days like this. You can’t go outside because everything is frozen. So today is a guilt free day of gaming. Any video games you want to play, all day, guilt free because you can’t do anything else.

This week I played through Star Control 2 (DOS version, not the Ur-Quan Masters version. I wanted to see how the DOS version held up.). I finished it within two sittings. Game is still gloriously fun even though I know where to go and where all the best resource systems are (Starting out, there are two worlds full of exotic resources in Alpha Centauri, but you have to be skilled with lander hopping and save your game with every dispatch due to extreme hazards). Star Control 2 could benefit from a ‘random star system generator’ where all the races are moved around and the planet resources become randomized. That is the only thing that can make this perfect game ‘more perfect’ (and it is a perfect video game. I still can’t believe such a game exists…)

When replaying Star Control 2, I realize that if the game came out today that it would be giving a Mature +17 rating. The game is full of sex. This is interesting because the game is Western made about space ships shooting at each other. In the Umgah race above, you can clearly see the race using penis and breasts as the ‘control system’. There is an alien sex scene with the Syreen (a fade out of course) which are space babes. Their ship is the ‘Syreen Penetrator’ and looks like…

The Talking Pet on board your ship will inform you of female ensigns crushing on you. You bring back the Shofixti race by obtaining trapped females and getting an old warrior together and having them procreate wildly. (I love how the Shofixti warrior threatens to take your withered reproductive organs and hang them on his back mirror.) Even the Mycon seem obsessed with reproducing (though they are fungi). The Slylandro race of gas beings even has sex dialogue in it.

What I love about Star Control 2 is how it epitomizes gaming pre-Industry before everything gets smashed into a corporate plan. This game is so out there! Yeah, it has alien sex, ancient evils, galactic epic wars, Frungy (always have to remember the Frungy), humor everywhere, extremely polished arcade action, fun RPG elements, and so on and so on. The game is extremely colorful with rich blues and yellows. The soundtrack surpasses most games.

I’m not sure how this game doesn’t fall apart. I like out-there. But I do not like out-there like Aonuma style creativity. Perhaps it is because the game grows from a ton of sci-fi cliches and literature that holds it all together (the Humans in the game are a parody of Star Trek for example).

If you look at the games that emerged from the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, they are ‘way out there’. Younger people are used to the franchises but consider if you played these game when they came out. Super Mario Brothers is totally ‘out there’. Mega Man is way ‘out there’. Early Final Fantasy is way out there. Chrono Trigger is ‘out there’. If you showed these games to a corporate game industry meeting today, they would not get approved because they are too ‘out there’. Yet, that is what a game needs (unless it is a sports game). This is entertainment. A game needs to be like a clown walking down the street where people stop and stare. A game cannot be serious. A game cannot be cliche. However, you want people laughing with the clown, not at the clown. The clown must be cool or you end up with an Aonuma or Sakamoto type mess where the game becomes ‘lame’.

Being that I’m looking for the next ‘out-there’ type game, I’m about to try TERA Online. It’s a F2P game (that’s been around for a while) like a Next-Generation WoW but with action skill-based combat and skimpy females. Holy moly, its a MMORPG that is rated 17+.

It’s images like that which make me go “WTF is going on here? Hahahaha…”

It is quite a pretty game for being F2P. But it so… ‘out there’. This has to be some Korean game. But this sense of ‘out there’ was what Japanese games felt like in the 1980s (in a good way, the games were so damn well polished).

TotalBiscuit seemed to like it. Though reviewers like him don’t get to play a MMORPG for very long due to the nature of their jobs.

Now let us look at HEAVY PLATE ARMOR…

I just can’t stop laughing. It amazes me this game was able to get made. You have Blizzard being harassed for making their females more ‘comic book’ orientated cool (which means not being fat). In fact, you have lots of people criticizing fantasy games where the female is wearing armor that makes them look skimpy. What does this game do? It does everything the OPPOSITE in total political incorrectness.

What brought this game to my attention was how most game reviewers kept panning the game, including many hardcore gamers, yet there is a ton of praise from more normal gamers. A very important indicator to me was the high amount of female gamers playing. We hear from self-declared advocates of women that women do not like females dressed in skimpy clothing. Yet, the reality is that women love it. What is the most played race for females in WoW? Blood Elf. I remember hearing producers from science fiction shows always say that for female aliens, the actresses always want to play a ‘pretty alien’ and that the make-up must be done to make them look ‘pretty’. It would appear the ‘self-declared advocates of women’ complaining about skimpy females in video games are insecure about the female body due to their own body being fat, out of shape, or whatever. “You can’t have that armor on her. It is not realistic!” We’re playing a game with fantasy dragons and walking trees, and they are lecturing us about realism?

The running gag in TERA Online is the Elin for the girls looking very young. Interestingly, the EU censored the Elin females so that they were ‘boy shorts’ instead of women underwear.

I just can’t stop laughing. It’s not that the game has this being rated mature, but that the game is so well polished and big budget. You’ll NEVER see anything like this come from the Game Industry. (BTW, nice music in that video. It’s from the game.)

If you don’t laugh at 1:20, I don’t know what to say. How in the world did this game get made? hahahahaha. It is stuff like this that tells me this is not an ‘Industry game’. Remember, I haven’t even played the game yet. What draws my attention is to how COLORFUL and ‘OUT THERE’ the game is. Japanese games today seem like they ‘try hard’ to be ‘creative’ and come across as lame like Aonuma games. What I’m seeing here is making me laugh.

Last E3, it was announced that TERA Online has 2 million people and growing. Why is it that I haven’t heard of this game? Or rather, what is it that you never see the Game Press talk of this game? We got informed everything about Star Wars: Old Republic. Why not this?

So I am going to upload this post and go try it out. What else is there for me to do on this icy morning? What if this is the successor to WoW!?? Irony is the hand that controls the game market.



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