20170324

Happy Friday! 2017/3/24

It's Friday! Yay!

Last night was a great first stream for my brand new KotOR stream series. We'll be going again tonight at 2000 central time. We'll continue to explore Taris in an effort to find Bastila, and it's going to be great. Carth and I have made some great progress.

As a side note, the game hilariously defaulted my character's name 'Warm Kyja.' I have no idea why.

Check out episode one here or below:



I'm excited to keep this series going! Like I said, 8PM central, and we'll go 90-120 minutes. I'll be streaming from my Twitch channel and then pushing to my YouTube channel.

I'm also planning to hit up more Mass Effect: Andromeda and Torment: Tides of Numenera. I'd also like to get back to Horizon: Zero Dawn, and I think I'm going to just do an hour a night of that. It seems like that kinda game. And since it's trapped on a console, it's hard for me to do much more than that.

So, what about you? Whatcha playin'?

My in-laws are also visiting. They're great folks. This isn't the best weekend for a visit, though, since we just got back from two weeks on the road, and are still settling back in. I'm not sure exactly how this ended up happening, but it did. I've also got a lot of stuff to do around the house, so ... not sure what people expect from me this weekend. Oh well.

Oh, and Rogue One released on digital today, so I'll be checking out some extras, for sure.

Otherwise, I'm starting up the year's yard work and household maintenance, so that'll take up some time, too. Like I said, I'd planned to get back into the swing of things, but I also don't want to blow off my in-laws and make them feel unwelcome, and I need to get some max chill time. So, we'll see.

How about you? Whatcha playin'? What's on your weekend docket?

-Blaine

20170323

KOTOR TONIGHT

I love Mass Effect: Andromeda. I know, I've said it a buncha times already, but I actually think about wanting to play it when I haven't played it in the last 24 hours, and that's unusual for me. That's kinda my litmus test for whether or not I love a game.

Still, I'm really excited to start my KotOR stream series tonight!



It's gonna be really interesting having those two games juxtaposed for a while, since KotOR came out of BioWare back in 2002, and MEA, also from BioWare, just hit. One can actually see the basic framework for the Mass Effect series in KotOR, since that dev team went right into the first Mass Effect from there. It'll be fun playing those side-by-side.

A big part of the reason that I'm so excited for my KotOR (1&2) stream series is 1) I haven't played them in several years, and 2) KotOR rescued gaming for me. I'd been a JRPG guy up to that point, but Japanese dev, especially roleplaying games, had gone a direction that I was not digging, and KotOR acted as the lifeline that I needed, and it led me to a much larger world.



Also, Star Wars is one of the things in this world of which I am the most fond. The Old Republic setting, in particular, really resonated with me. It's thousands of years prior to the films, which unshackled BioWare from having to work in or around the film lore. They went to the comics and referenced the Tales of the Jedi series, which is FANTASTIC AND YOU SHOULD READ, and this gave them a great jumping-off point.

There's also a great KotOR comics series called 'Knights of the Old Republic' (imagine that), and it is nearly as good as the games.

When I play through the first KotOR, I'll be playing only with a few mods that let me set the resolution to 1920x1080. When I get to KotOR2, it'll be heavily modded, so that I can play something that resembles a completed game. It'll be modded to support 1920x1080, but it'll also have the cut content restored and finished, some of which I've never seen. This is going to be a blast!



The schedule, right now, is Thurs and Fri nights at 2000 central. I'll probably also sneak in some weekend sessions when I can. I suppose adopting a more strict schedule could help my regular viewership. What do you think?

While I'm playing, I'll be dropping some fun knowledge about the development, the in-game lore, and my own personal stories about previous playthroughs, how I first heard about it, funny tangential stories, and the like. You're gonna love it, I promise.

I'll be streaming on Twitch, and then pushing it to YouTube after each stream is done.



So, again, that'll be tonight at 2000 central time. We'll start from the beginning, and it'll probably be the first time that a lot of you see KotOR in a modern resolution. Also, for those that are interested, it is going to be a canon playthrough. Our KotOR 1 protag is going to be a male, and the KotOR 2 protag will be female. I'm also going to try and make choices within the bounds of the canon. Well, the canon within SWTOR, anyway. As you may know, Disney deleted the expanded universe, including all the excellent Old Republic stuff.

Regardless, I look forward to seeing anyone that wants to hang out and talk Star Wars or KotOR tonight!

-Blaine

20170322

It's Fashionable to Be An Asshole

I get it, man. There was that one tremendously well-written horribly negative review of that one game, and it was hilarious. That's always stuck with you. Not only was it a genuine piece of art, but it gained a lot of attention, and the writer was showered with praise. You wanna have one of those in your portfolio. I feel ya, dawg.

Combine that with the need for internet users to pile on and belong to that club that everyone's joining. Again, I understand. I've worked for years to break myself of that habit, and I'm mostly successful, but I may have piled on with the others on Sean Spicer. For the most part, though, I don't really try to belong anywhere. But I totally understand the impulse.

Here's the problem, though. Your shock tactics, when you try really hard to apply them to a product that may not really fit the mold, cost you credibility, and ultimately makes you part of the problem.

Let's take Iron Fist, for example. It's got problems.

Halt. I want to state now that I'm not linking back to any of the offending reviews because I don't want to give them clicks or views or any warm feelings.

Anyway, Iron Fist has problems. Totally. The first episode was not terribly enjoyable. It's got pacing problems, the action looks slow and weird, especially relative to the other three Defenders shows that are available right now, the bad guys are mindlessly BAD, and none of the characters really pop in any way during the first episode. It was bad.

And then, in the second episode, it starts to get better. I actually really wanted to watch the next episode right away. I didn't, because time is precious, but I plan to watch it tonight.

But, it has problems, at least two episodes in, and I'd guess that these don't totally go away. Absolutely address the issues, but stop trying to crucify it in an effort to make a name for yourself. You're a talented writer, but a lousy fucking reviewer.

What's interesting is that some of the extremely over-the-top negative reviews got their facts wrong. The writers were so hell-bent on writing a bad review, and more specifically, writing a gloriously bad review, that they either misunderstood or intentionally fudged facts that were specific to the plot.

Let me add, too, that I don't have a dog in this fight. I've never read an Iron Fist or Defenders comic, I'm a casual MCU fan, and thought Jessica Jones was the only absolutely amazing Netflix/Marvel series so far. I thought the first season of Daredevil was very 'blah.'

The action in the first season of Daredevil was extraordinary, D'Onofrio as Fisk was Emmy-worthy, the supporting characters were OK, but Matt Murdock is bland as hell, and the story was ... meh, as was the pacing.

As a side note, the most interesting part of the second season of Daredevil was The Punisher.

Anyway, what's most disturbing is the tone, in these cases, in which the writer conveys joy and excitement at being able to whip the product.

Hell, I saw some of this same behavior, to a lesser degree, with Mass Effect: Andromeda. In the reviews, at least. We saw the same orgy of hate regarding the animations stuff on Twitter and in comments sections, but the reviews, occasionally you'd come across that random outlet that, in the text, was really stoked to just take a giant shit on the product.

It's weird. I don't know if this is specifically American behavior, but it seems like we can't wait to murder our heroes. We can't wait to start hating what we once loved. I don't understand it, and it's actually a behavior in which I can't remember ever taking part, but I see it all the fucking time. It's a terrible habit, and I wish we'd stop pouring so much of ourselves into hating something.

What I would've rather seen in negative reviews of Iron Fist (which, based on two episodes, it looks like it deserves some criticism) is less hyperbole, more constructive criticism, and why you liked what you did, and why you didn't like what you didn't. Be chill.

Some day, you may get to review a licensed 3DS game that is an absolute turd, but until then, focus more on being reliable and trusted than jerking yourself off over a minor disappointment.

Also, I'm 12 hours into Mass Effect: Andromeda and very much enjoying it. I'll do a fuller write up on the early parts of the game this week.

Last, don't forget: I'm starting my stream series for KotOR tomorrow night over on my Twitch channel. I'd love it if you'd join me.

-Blaine