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Checkpoint: freedom planet

First thing I want to say is that I’m in no way a review site. I want to talk about what kind of changes games are going to have on the medium, my opinion on changes to the community and such, and other stuff like that I’ll leave the reviews and rating of games for those were more centered around it,(Cough cough if you’re into that stuff goes check out 1001 up.com they’re awesome cough cough). However every once in awhile you might see me recommend a game or two most likely on checkpoint. So that brings us to freedom planet.

So when kickstarter is not messing aroud giving thousands of dollars to a guy making potato salad ( its sad that I can say that sentence and be completely serious.) They get a chance for small developers to have a shot at making a game when they usually would not, one of these is freedom planet. Developed by galaxy trails freedom planet is a high speed platformer taking elements from GunStar heros, rocket Knight, And Sonic the Hedgehog It’s obvious that the developers Wanted to capture the feeling of old Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Platformers.

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That being said freedom planet also bring a good amount of originality to the table. It’s very combat oriented compared to something like Sonic the Hedgehog you’ll be fighting enemies a lot more than you’ll be blasting through them. As for the most of the bosses they have incredibly high damage attacks and a good amount of health not to mention being interesting and varied from each other. However because of this most of the time it comes down to remembering attack powders rather than fighting the opportune moment to strike its not too much of an issue it’s just something I noticed.

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Oh and there’s multiple playable characters with unique abilities and before you ask yes I am the master of segways. There’s lilac a character that focuses on speed and mobility, she plays like a combination of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sparkster the rocket Knight. Carol who’s combat style makes her be more in the thick of things sort of like a zero from Mega Man X. And Mila who has more of a puzzle platformer feel to her. As far as actual stages go all the characters are well balanced and satisfying to play. however when it comes to bosses Miele is incredibly underpowered, she only has half the health of the other two characters really doesn’t have a good way to dodge attacks the cover most of the screen depending on the boss the difficulty can shoot up suddenly while playing as her. other than that the difficulty of a boss can range depending on who you’re playing an hour you’re using their specific moveset. this coupled with the multiple pathways in the stages along with character specific stages really adds to replayability.

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All this combined with tight controls, great music, and a surprisingly in depth story for a platformer definitely makes freedom planet something you should check out. If you got the extra 15 bucks lying around it’s available on Steam and Galaxy trails website.

Just really quick I’m having an argument with a couple of my friends does lilacs a Scyther or cyclone when she does her double jump. just a argument that we’ve been having for a couple of weeks now.

Myras Signing out.

Update where I’ve been for roughly a year

I would like to address that I haven’t been posting. at first it was because I had a lot to juggle during my junior year of high school. once I didn’t have an entire class purely devoted to working on the blog it was hard to find time to write posts. As far as the summer goes there was a lot of things that happened to be all at once the kind of demoralized me from working on this. so I’m sorry there has a better post for a while and I’m not just saying sorry for the few of you who read this I’m saying sorry to me too cuz I love writing these and I hope that I can keep writing them through the future.

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Video games as art

Well, let’s get question one out of the way.  “Do I think video games are art?” “Yes, I do, video games (even on the most basic level) have narrative, visuals and music which stand on their own as art. So yes, video games have art in them.

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So that answers your question.  Fine I’ll give you the answer you want. Do I think that video games themselves are art?  The definition of art reads as follows, “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”  Pay attention to those last two words, emotional power.  I don’t care who you are or what you say there is no debate video games have emotional power. The most commonly seen emotion that video games produce is joy or happiness, however you to put it, this is present in almost all, if not all video games. They make you laugh or get excited, games just make you smile for whatever reason. This is just what most games do. You have games with huge open worlds like Skyrim that will put you in a sense of awe because of the scale of everything.  Survival horror games like Resident Evil 4 and Silent Hill 2 that make you have a feeling of dread, fear and anxiousness, something horror movies could never pull off as well.  Or there are also games like Bioshock and BioShock Infinite where the atmosphere of rapture and Columbia is just flooring. I can assure you that I could write individual posts about each one of these games and probably will sometime in the future, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about right now. So yes it is a proven fact video games are art by definition however, can they, should they, and will they be taken as seriously as other arts.

Can video games be taken seriously as art?

This is a short one, yes, video games can be taken seriously as art, anything can, but it doesn’t mean that it should.

Should video games be taken seriously as art?

Let’s take a look at what this would entail. First of all taking video game as seriously as other art such as film, literature, and music would mean being proud of it. How many of you  have a DS? Okay now how many of you feel uncomfortable playing it in public, now do you see what I mean? I know that a lot of people don’t have a problem playing video games in public, I play my DS all the time regardless of where I am. The problem doesn’t lie with people that don’t want to play video games in public other than something like Angry Birds or other widely accepted casual games, the problem lies with those who would ridicule them for doing so. The only way to fix that is to have a bunch of people go outside their comfort zone and show the they’re having fun and don’t care what other people think. We won’t have to appeal to the masses if we are the masses. All we have to do is make playing a DS or a PSP or whatever, look as normal as reading a book or listening to music because in reality it is.

But even once we get to that point what good will it do. How can video games help humanity in ways that other mediums have not already.

I here about how video games improve hand eye coordination but what I don’t hear nearly enough about is how RPG’s improve your math, reading, and resource management skills and games like Pokemon are teaching these skills to kids at a young age. This is all happening without them even knowing it.  Don’t believe me? My friend is a huge fan of fantasy RPGs, he is a math major and one of the smartest people I know.

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If I had a dollar for ever time I heard that video games make people anti-social, I would have enough money to travel around and tell everybody how wrong they are. Yes, video games can, emphasis on can, make you anti-social, but so can, more emphasis on can, movies, books, or almost any activity that can be done alone.  How many can effectively make race, and appearence null and void.  Okay, okay,  yes there is a lot of racist comments in online gaming and gamers are the ones that need to work on it, but multiplayer games do a lot more good then people think. Think about this, in an online video game the first thing that people see is your character,  which could either A., be customizable so anybody can look like anyone or B., be a preselected character. This makes it impossible to judge people by appearance. If you become friends with somebody in a game, your mind is naturally going to associate them with their profile picture or their characters appearance, at least that’s the way it is for most people, even after seeing somebody in person.  So as far as online gaming goes your associated with whatever you want to be associated with. Because of this, the first thing people judge you by is personality and/or skills both of which are traits that can not be determined by race.

Video games do so much good for the community and don’t get recognized for it.  The things that I’ve already skimmed over could get multiple posts of their own, but for times sake I’m going to have to cut off the here. But if you want to see some stories about how video games do good for the community, I recommend that you watch the video Blow, it’s something that a group called Polaris put together along with people from the community. The story about a group of friends playing Starcraft  is something that strongly relates to what I just talked about involving multiplayer games.  Also, the fact that the person telling the story is represented by a character from the game their story came from is exactly what I was talking about when I was mentioning association earlier.

so yes video games Should be taken seriously as art.

Will video games be taken seriously as art?

I’ld like to yes, yes there’s no doubt about it, I’m a 100% sure, but I can’t. However, I can help to make it that way and so can you. All it takes is spreading the word telling people to really look into what video games can do for society and to give it the respect it deserves. If we do this, games can do even more good than they already are.

myras signing out

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Fireballs, Hedgehogs, And Hand Cannons (Super Smash Brothers)

At E3 2013 Nintendo announced Super Smash Bros 4 (shut up that’s what I’m calling it) at first i was excited but not wowed.I had expected the villager to be a new character and I knew the game was going to look better from a graphical stand point then its predecessors in the series. I was happy but  not super hyped, like when I saw Super Smash Brothers Melee for the first time.

I feel that….. wait one sec, what’s that.

..holy crap did you see that!! this might be the best trailer I’ve ever seen. Okay maybe not that good, but it was done almost perfect. At first it show the games good points then it lets you reflect on it. Nintendo knows you weren’t going to be that impressed, it was just   going to make you think the game was going to be okay. They want you to feel that the game was going to be good, just good. Then they did what the fans wanted.

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Smash is (in itself) a very simple fighting game. It’s pretty clever actually.  It’s simple to learn  for people that are new to fighting games, but has a lot of depth, a day to learn and a lifetime to master.  For instance, in a game like Street Fighter you need to learn complicated and unintuitive controls and most of your skill comes from of knowing how to execute moves under pressure from your opponent. In Super Smash Brothers moves are easy to execute and puts more of a focus on when to use the moves rather than how. This is not saying  that Street Fighter or games like it are worse than Smash Brothers, it’s just stating the fact that Smashes fighting system is more innovative and intuitive then other fighting games and deserves praise for it.

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However, this is not why I’m talking about Smash Brothers. I have a question for you have you ever had an argument with a friend about which video game characters would win in a fight or how they would work as a team. I’m guessing you have and you had fun with it. It’s kind of a shared dream for us gamers to have thier favorite characters to cross over with one another. The closest thing we are going to get is Super Smash Brothers. This is’nt a negative statement.  Think about how close Nintendo has come, they have some of the best ip’s in gaming history that makes for an amazing roster of characters alone and to have icons such as sonic, mega man and solid snake in that roster as third party characters goes beyond expectations. The game play is not the selling point it’s the fan service, that’s why this was the perfect trailer for this game.

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myras signing wait one sec

I just wanted to say something. In my last 2 posts it might of seemed like I don’t care much for mega man or sonic game but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Mega man 2 and the rest of the original games are great except for 7, I just find that before people beg for a sequel they should think about if they really want one.  I’m a huge and i mean huge sonic fan. To give you an idea, my second favorite game of all time is sonic 3, period, no argument. I just thought you guys would like to know that I’m not just throwing around critism at things that I don’t like and don’t know that much about.  As long as something is flawed or worth talking about it has my attention, that is something I guarantee.

mmsonic01

myras signing out

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Flash Back (Sequels)

Nostalgia…. it’s funny, people in the game community say we need change, but demand that we go back to the “good old stuff”. ” I want a sequel to this game”, they say, but when it comes out they complain, “it’s not nearly as good as the original”, or “it’s the same thing I’ve played before”. So what the heck does the community want. Don’t look at me, in fact what the heck do I want… what do you want?

In my first post, I kept referring to the community as some separate entity that I wasn’t a part of, or at least looking back on it, it seems that way.I apologize for this, I am just as much a part of the community as somebody who would take the time out of their day to read this article.  Trust me when I say that my opinions are not above those of others. With that out of the way lets get started.

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Nostalgia is not a bad thing in fact, I think it’s very important. Having fond memories of a game, series, or even a point in time during the medium is not a bad thing, it keeps ideas alive. However making the same game under a new name is not nostalgic in any instance. It’s a cheap way to rob you of your money, is what it is. For example Madden 2010, 2011, 2012, you get the point. Though I’m not interested in these games in the first place, I do realize when somebody is putting a new label on something they just made a year ago.   They pass off what amounts to minor updates or at best cheap dlc as a new game and the sixty dollar price tag is right there to back it up.

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So that’s what you all wanted to hear, well most of you.  So now we talk about Mega Man…..

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So before you kill me listen. The Blue Bomber second entry in the series, Mega Man 2 is great especially when it came out, awesome stuff really. One might even say that it should get another sequel or 2….. or 8 oh wait. I don’t care who you or what game you make, you can’t have a game series that follows a formula as closely as Mega Man and not have it get boring and repetitive even if it is for the sake of Nostalgia. Mega Man doesn’t have a broad enough concept. It’s always 8 robot masters, it’s always a side scrolling run and gun platformer, always fighting doctor Wiley, the same old thing every time. What’s that you say…. Mega Man X you say,  why yes, yes your right. Thanks for pointing that out, it captures the ideas of the original, but innovates with new ideas like new antagonist, protagonist and story elements, along with innovative game play mechanics without making the game feel totally unfamiliar to veteran players. Except it will never be as good as 2 because it’s not one of the original Mega Man games and…oh wait.

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see what I mean. This is how the community, no we act,  I just wanted to point that out so do me a favor and don’t kill me?

myras signing out

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Jumpstart (Sonic the Hedgehog)

Now I know I said that I would not talk about commonly discussed issues in gaming, but this is something close to my heart, and I did not want to wait any longer. So let’s talk about Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s no secret that the blue blare hasn’t been so hot over the last few years. Most of the community has declared the game series dead and that it should just stop.  Some say that he is on the verge of a come- back, and some even say that he’s already there. What do I think? Well were should I start.

1. People have to stop comparing the new titles to the originals.

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does not equal

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Sonic 1, 2, and 3 are some of the most praised games in the history of gaming.  They even managed to rival the likes of Nintendo’s Super Mario which was an incredible feat at the time. The fact is that we almost barely get games outside of the series to be that good.  Zelda skyward sword doesn’t get criticized because it’s not as good as ocarina of time, I don’t see why sonic does. However…….

2. Learn Level Design…..again

Sonic team needs to LEARN A NEW WAY TO MAKE 3D ENVIRONMENTS THAT WORK WITH THE SPEED. Yes sonic Lost World looks like they fixed it and if they did more power to them. However stuff can still go wrong and sonic team needs to know how to handle it when the time come.


3. If you want to make other games, make other games

The point is as simple as it may seem, if you want to make a game that has nothing to do with the game play of sonic, then don’t.  The biggest problems I’ve seen just have to do with a sonic game having a game play style that has nothing to do with them.  It seems that sonic team wants to experiment, but A. can’t because whatever they throw out gets branded as a sonic game because saga thinks it will sell better if people see a familiar character. Or B. They’re in a contract where they specifically have to work on sonic and have no other way of expressing their ideas other than through sonic games.

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So this is what I think is the problem with the series, but sometime in the future I’m going to see what I can do to suggest ways to fix them.

Myras signing out