Normally, when I write entries like the one that I just did, I tend to get cold feet soon after and delete it. Mostly because I’m either worried about backlash, or even worse, some right-wing dipshit using my experiences as some piece of evidence in the never-ending trial of Idiots vs Feminism.
I will not be taking this one down. These are my thoughts. These are things that happened to me, and so I wrote them down on my web site which I own. If some craven opportunist wants to misinterpret it, that’s not my problem.
As far as my current mental state goes, it’s a little better. Finally getting all of that out and no longer internalizing it was helpful. Obviously, putting my emotions out there like that did hurt quite a bit, so I’m still in “recovery mode.” Trying to avoid the noise that the internet provides, keeping to myself as best I can. I’m finally home from this work bullshit Friday afternoon, so I can get back to doing cool things with my art tools. My next post, whenever that is, should be a bit higher in spirit than this. This was, like I said, something I needed to put out there, and now it is. For good this time.
I had a bit of a meltdown today that led to me finally just outright saying this: Zoe Quinn is an abuser. They are a liar, a manipulator, a racist, a TERF, and just a generally shady person. A side effect of me getting mad is that I foolishly made a Twitter thread about this; the exact opposite of “getting a blog.” So I’m going to post about it here.
Another problem is that I don’t have any hard proof. I used to have a series of private messages that would confirm a number of things I’ll be saying here. They disappeared when my previous Twitter account was mass reported to hell, and ultimately suspended, coincidentally, the last time I had planned on making my thoughts Zoe known. As a result, everything I’m going to say is now circumstantial. Whether you choose to believe me, I don’t really care. I’m not writing this because I want this to go viral, or because I am looking for internet clout, or some other stupid reason. I’m writing this because I am sick and tired. Sick and tired of having to keep all this private. Sick and tired of having to be looked at like I’m the asshole because I dared to say that the internet’s golden child is in fact, a shitty person.
I’m also sick and tired of every alt-right scumbag coming out of the woodwork and thinking that it’s okay to put their metaphorical arm around my shoulder as though we’re friends. To have these nazis fucks talk to me like one of their own. Like, “Yeah man, I’m with you! She’s a whore who fucked a bunch of guys for good game reviews and literally killed the Night in the Woods guy! You know, Joe? Or Fred? Or whatever his name is. I’m obviously very torn up about this!” My problems with Zoe are actually real, and not some made up bullshit that came because some incel on Youtube was mad about the titties in Dead or Alive being slightly smaller.
So let me get this all out of the way now: no, Zoe is not censoring your games. Zoe did not sleep around for positive reviews of Depression Quest. And no, Zoe is not at fault for Alec Howlowka’s suicide.
Zoe did, however, exploit the labor of transgender women. Zoe did lie and convince us all that any backlash they got from “Punk Games” was out of jealousy and transphobia, not because it was a garbage article that tried downplaying the work that people of color had put in to pull the indie games scene out of the dark ages of Jonathan Blow and other interchangeable white men with bad politics who thought they were too cool for Halo, in favor of promoting the work of two alleged sex predators. They and their friends used a series of coincidences, misunderstandings, and a couple of actually shitty people’s actions to do this. I mean, hey, who’s going around calling me a retard over something I didn’t even write? Certainly not this group of people suddenly appearing all at once to tell me that I’m good, and trying to get me fired up at some community I had literally never heard of prior to all of this!
And this is where the anger starts to kick in. I’m more angry at myself for this than anyone else. Because I let myself get lovebombed and ultimately be the shield for someone to escape any negative criticism that they’re a fucking racist asshole. I let myself be used. If you’ve never been in a situation that left you feeling exploited or betrayed, know that it fucking sucks. No matter what you do, or what anyone says, that guilt stays with you. It’s one thing to have a shitty friend, it’s another when you don’t realize that you’re being conditioned into becoming a cult member until it’s too late.
Something I had been thoroughly convinced of by Zoe and friends for so long was that a game dev by the name of Soha El-Sabaawi had created a Twitter blocklist designed to target trans women who were fooled into believing Ian Miles Cheong when he was still pretending to be a leftist, pre-Witcher 3. Now, I’ll be real with you, here: I’m not entirely sure if that’s a lie or not. All I know is, I was told that she hated trans people, then we’re all suddenly getting blocked by people in games I’ve never heard of, let alone ever interacted with. Maybe she really did come up with the first trans-centered mass blocklist. Or, maybe it was all bullshit to hide Randi Harper creating her own “anti-Gamergate” list that, you guess it, targeted trans women first and foremost.
But, I will say this, and give credit where it’s due: Soha and I, we’ll probably never be friends; too much shit has happened in the intervening years that I don’t see that as ever happening. However, she was dead fucking right in telling Zoe to fuck off all those years ago. I just wish I was smart enough to have realized that then.
I was not a member of Crash Override. However, I’ve been friends with a number of people who were. Every single one of them, even the ones that don’t even like each other, all say the same thing: that they were promised to be paid to sift through people’s death threats, image spam of gore and child pornography, and given nothing. No money, no support when Breitbart and 8chan and Kiwi Farms all came knocking on their doors. No support when Zoe’s game industry peers were going around calling them pedophiles, nazi sympathizers, and abusers. Just a post on their private twitter that they were “glad to be rid of people I never want to talk to again.” I should have taken a screenshot of that. And while I was not involved with Crash Override, I can tell you that Zoe privately messaged me to let me know that they were the only “employee” involved with the project. Nobody else, not even their partner at the time, was involved. Just Zoe, tirelessly fighting online harassment using such brave methods as “telling people to change their email passwords.” Zoe also told me something else through these DM’s, which I’ll get to later.
And by “later,” I mean “right now.” Zoe also lied to me about CO’s involvement with Randi Harper, and the shameless fraud that was the Online Abuse Prevention Initiative. There was NO association, I was told. They didn’t even like Randi! It was totally fucked up that she went off on some bigoted power trip, teaming up with message boards full of school shooters to dox trans women! Totally sucked that you got your own thread on Kiwi Farms because you told her and Wil Wheaton to go fuck themselves!
Well, we know what the truth was:
My personal info is posted online. I get an eyeful of society’s worst talking about wanting to kill me every day. I get to spend years worrying about whether or not the shit I’m dealing with will do any splash damage to the people in my life. I’ll spare you all the details of the full year I spent having a panic attack that one of my friends or partners would have to deal with their own doxxing thread.
And someone who I thought was a friend is off playing a shitty video game with the person responsible.
To say I was angry would be an understatement. I had spent the last couple months being told by my friends that they all got fucked over and ripped off doing Zoe’s “anti-abuse” work, and now here they are, rubbing their and my misfortune in our faces. Ironically enough, playing as a fucking healer, when all Zoe has done is hurt people. I let loose on Twitter, ranting and raving. Other people made their Medium posts about the shit they had dealt with (now deleted). And what happens next? Zoe lets everyone know not to “believe any conspiracy theories you may have heard,” and goes running off to everyone’s favorite transphobic sack of shit, Jesse Singal, to run defense.
Do you know how insulting it is to see your face on that asshole’s timeline? To have it captioned, “these are the people who want to reignite Gamergate,” straight up telling people that I became a neo-nazi because I got tired of Zoe Quinn’s bullshit? The man has twenty something thousand followers, and, despite any degree of common sense, still gets work in a number of publications. That’s a lot of people who saw a synonym for “bigot” labeled under my face. Fuck that.
And you know what? A problem with writing this? Why on Earth would you ever believe me, or anyone else who has come forward with their own horror stories? Like, who would you rather listen to: someone who, despite everything I’ve written, actually did and does deal with shitty harassment on a day-to-day basis, or a group of people that includes Ian Miles Cheong, Peter Coffin, a guy who was run offline after being outed a sex predator, and a group of autistic trans women who spent the last couple years getting into it with a community primarily made up of queer people of color? Of course you would go with the former! Why would you ever want to listen to me? I’m a white person who was utterly convinced that some Arab woman I’ve never met was some kind of anime supervillain with a grudge against anything outside the gender binary. There’s a paranoid part of me that thinks that was done by design. That we were all useful idiots for a con artist to make a few bucks. And now that Zoe got what they wanted, who gives a fuck? We’re all discredited. All people that you’ve been told never to believe or support. It’s perfect!
It makes me fucking sick to see someone try to show me whatever pity party Zoe is throwing today. Like they’re not stable enough with their Marvel money and book sales, while everyone who got strung along and left to eat shit are still barely clinging to life, even four years later. You know who’s a victim? Sarah Nyberg. You know who’s a victim? Hazel Connor. You know who’s a victimizer? Zoe. I mean, yeah, I got left with PTSD and a complete inability to trust people and everyone thinks I’m a racist scumbag, but at least I didn’t lose my fucking home! I didn’t have ostensibly leftist people buy into right-wing horseshit that I’m a pedophile or a domestic abuser, despite demonstrable proof to the contrary, because someone with a platform refused to stick up for me because it was too inconvenient for their bank account. I got off fairly easily by comparison.
We were all nothing more than people who wanted to do the right thing. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I can tell you that I got involved because I was tired of right-wing assholes in my backyard (that backyard being “video games”). I was working on a group project a month before GG kicked off. Half the team left, in fear that they would be a target because of their own marginalized status. That was the final straw for me. Nazi Gamers Fuck Off was my state of mind. I wanted to help people; to change things for the better. I also realized I was no longer a cis man, and I was looking for a place to belong. In the end, I got fucked over, and most of it is probably my fault. I don’t mean to turn this into my own pity party, but I do sincerely believe that it’s probably too late for me to actually make amends; to properly atone for hurting others. I said a lot of horrible things. I did a lot of petty shit that did me no favors. I know that I’ve said “sorry” on multiple occasions, but I don’t think that’s going to be good enough. And I don’t what will be good enough, if anything. That’s something I have to take responsibility for.
But I can leave you all with this: Do Not Trust Zoe Quinn. Let me say this again, but in all-caps, for emphasis.
DO NOT TRUST ZOE QUINN
That will lead you down a path of pain and misery that you do not want to go down.
Here’s the thing: I don’t want money, or an apology, or anything like that. All I want is my life back. A time where I lived in blissful ignorance; where I only knew the name “Zoe Quinn” because supergreatfriend played Depression Quest on his stream, and I didn’t watch it because Bully Demise and Undertaker (Retro) weren’t involved. A time where I wasn’t a fucking cult member who lost any sense in my head and became a pawn in someone else’s grudges and bigotries. I want the time where I was marginally happier back. Of course, I’ll never get that, and I’ll probably always be mad about that. Always be mad about the lies, the gaslighting, the endless heart emoji’s, the “I love you”‘s, and rhetoric about trans pride that meant nothing. It was all bullshit.
Again, whether or not you believe me on this is up to you; I’m not really in any position to demand trust. I’m just making my feelings known, because I’m tired of having to relive it in my head, over and over.
Something I’ve been trying to push and get over for what seems like the last few years is a return to the days of Web 2.0. As it turns out, I’m actually a pretty big fan of a time where everyone had their own space to express their thoughts and showcase their talents and personality, without having to do so on the same three or four web sites run by nazi jerk offs that nobody likes to use.
Realizing lo these many years that I really, really, really don’t like social media. I bang on about it a lot, but it’s true. Now, I can’t say that social media never did anything good for me; met a lot of my close friends, met my girlfriend, found a larger platform for my artwork and game development. But for all the good, there is so, so much more bad out there. A lot of heartbreak, a lot of betrayal, doxxing, lots of headaches and bullshit. Like yeah, without social media, I wouldn’t have as many friends, but I also wouldn’t have a 20+ page Kiwi Farms thread. I wouldn’t have a girlfriend, but I also wouldn’t be hated by a bunch of people I’ve never met because I was dumb enough to fall for a white woman’s tears when she got backlash over a shitty, racist-in-retrospect article.
And on top of all that, I’m just tired, dude. I’m tired of the quote-tweeting, and the screen capping, of whatever stupid bigoted shit HitlerGamer69 said today. I realized way too late that being an independent watchdog does nothing for nobody. You’re not going to end white supremacy by sharing Richard Spencer’s Facebook posts and saying, “get a load of this guy!” I don’t care what transphobic shit was spouted by Graham Linehan, or Jesse Singal, or Ricky Gervais, or Meghan Murphy, or Leigh Alexander, or who the fuck ever. That shit fucks with my mental health, which we all already know is extremely fragile and tenuous to begin with. Doesn’t help that, despite my best efforts, I’m still stuck in that 2015 mindset of checking my timelines first thing in the morning, and hoping that I don’t find a fucking suicide note.
So, why get a blog? Well, for one thing, I don’t have to see all that shit I mentioned up above. Another thing, it lets you say whatever you want, for as long as you want. Some of you motherfuckers out there like to use Twitter to write a whole damn essay. I don’t want to read theory or whatever in 180 character pieces. And you can put that whole thing down in a blog format, and you don’t have to worry about being interrupted by bad faith arguments mid-way through. They have to read the whole thing to give you shit first. No more of this “part 1/484” shit, put it all down at once.
The great thing about having your own space on the Information Superhighway is that you can just post whatever the fuck you want, dude. Want to post a screenshot from Sonic Jam on the Sega Saturn, then follow up with a picture of a butt, with no rhyme or reason? Go for it! Hell, I’ll do it right now.
Post about games. Post about music. Post about food. Movies. Books. The local Chinese restaurant down the street from your apartment. Your latest haul from the thrift store. Design the look of the site to match your personal aesthetic if you want. It’s all about you, here! In a time where so much of the internet is consolidating to a rigid corporate structure, maintaining your own individuality is more important than ever.
In creating your own space, you get to make the rules. You don’t have to worry about being mass reported and having your shit taken down. Unless you’re posting like child porn or trying to recruit people into the klan, in which case you should consider going offline and doing a Swanton Bomb off a very tall height into the nearest pile of broken glass. Fuck you. But yeah, otherwise, you don’t have to worry about terfs and The Gamers trying to silence you.
I think the point I’m blindly groping for here is to just kick your feet up and have some goddamn fun on the internet. I can only imagine how tired the rest of you are at always being at someone’s throat, and vice versa.
Now I’m going to post another song at the end of this entry, because fuck it, I can.
Been a while since I’ve done a “life” post. Mostly been talking about games or getting mad at wrestling (update: the last several episodes of AEW Dynamite have been pretty sick, so I’m willing to forgive that egregious misstep on their first episode). So what the hell, let’s talk about me here.
Almost a month ago, I officially became a sex worker! Nothing too exciting, I just work on a phone sex line. It’s been pretty alright. I’m not making enough for it to become a full-time job, but it’s a good source of additional income, and I can always use that. Plus I can always laugh at the really weird calls, and silently fist pump when people tell me I have an effeminate voice.
I’m still away from home on business for two more weeks, and I’ve been going crazy. Not being able to work on my game or on any kind of cool art shit has been immensely frustrating, doubly so because there are people who support me via Patreon to do that shit, which I have not been able to do since goddamn September. It sucks. I’ve been trying to find other creative outlets I can do from here, like trying to do some writing, but I have immense writer’s block that comes from the realization that I have not written anything that wasn’t a blog or a video game article or a Twine story in about a decade now. In fact, I found that last piece of writing a while back, during a conversation with Maddy about poetry. I wrote a bad poem about, you guess it, outer space:
It’s dark outside.
This cold, terrible blackness seems to stretch on for eternity.
No sign of light.
No sign of life.
A huge weight lifted off of me, I float about this darkness with awe and fear in my heart.
Then they pull me back to reality.
Come in Major. Come in.
Sorry, Ground Control, but I’d rather stay up here.
Yeah, it wasn’t great. Probably why I haven’t done anything like that since. But I need to do something creative soon before I completely lose my mind.
And hey, speaking of my mind, my last subject for tonight. I’ve been doing a lot of internal fighting with my shitty ass bipolar head recently. Like, I think anyone who knows me knows that I was I spent the last few years in a really bad, messy, confusing situation where myself and entire communities were played against each other by some bad actors and led to stupid in-fighting that went on for way too fucking long and probably could have been nipped in the bud if we realized that things were all a misunderstanding, and if certain people with platforms used them responsibly, instead of egging everyone on like a bunch of gay paranoid Pokemon. Trying to get past all those bad feelings; those trust issues, the bad shit, the constant social media sniping, all that crap, has been really hard. I’ve been going through this pattern of feeling pretty good, having some hope that I won’t be emotionally trapped in the past. Then someone will say something or something will happen and it causes me to spiral my ass all the way back to square one. That sucks. But the last couple of weeks? Barring like one day, it’s been a lot better.
Maybe it’s the sobriety finally taking effect (14 months on the 7th). Or losing contact with people who would encourage my bad, self-destructive mental habits. Or being forced to sit alone, annoyed by my own thoughts until I finally had enough. Or a combination of all of those things. But whatever the case, I just got fucking tired of the anger and the bitterness. I’m forcing myself to close the book on that part of my life.
I’m pretty sure I’ve said this like a hundred times on here, but I need to reiterate it for myself because I clearly did not get it until now: I’ve spent so much time fighting. Having this mindset of needing to take a side in everything. Not looking at the bigger picture. The bigger picture is that I have people in my life that I care about, and vice versa (I hope). I don’t need to focus on anything outside of that circle. Is that maybe a privileged view, ignoring anything outside of my immediate vicinity? Yeah, probably. But I don’t care. I’ve finally decided that it’s a privilege that I’m going to use. Like, I could go on Twitter and take some potshots at someone who claims to be a trans activist, but does nothing but harm to her fellow trans women, OR, I could be happy and proud as fuck that my friend’s first album is coming out soon. I could see whatever dumb ass shit Jesse Singal said today, OR, I could sit back, remember that my girlfriend is kicking her addiction problems’ ass as hard as I am, and be over the moon with joy about that. It’s fucked that it’s taken me 33 years to realize this, but why have I been so focused on things that upset me, when I could have focused on all the good? I mean, I know the answer: I’m mentally ill. But I think you understand what I’m getting at here. I don’t always have my good days, but I need to remember all the beauty that I have in my life, instead of trying to die by a thousand cuts. I can’t let that darkness win.
Oh right, I should post a song before I hit “publish.”
Can’t remember the reason why, but about a decade ago, I bought an external hard drive from my old job. It’s a 500 GB deal that needs a wall outlet in addition to a USB connection. It’s old, dusty, and it stopped working once, but has since been running just as good as when I bought it.
I decided to take a look at it recently. I’ve been doing a lot of moving around and not being home due to work reasons, so it’s been fun to go through the past ten years of memories, and see what I kept on here. It’s mostly music, old games, and porn. But there’s some other stuff that I made or saved that I feel like sharing.
Here’s an old animated sprite I made of myself. I used to have this really sweet jacket that was black, with red stripes down the sleeves. And on the back was this cool drawing of the X-Men. Sadly, I no longer have that jacket.
And here’s a terrible photo I took of when I was front row at a My Bloody Valentine reunion show. To date myself, this was taken with a flip phone. The iPhone was nothing more than a Steve Jobs fever dream at this point. The show was awesome, by the way, even if I got beer spilled all over me by an over zealous security guard who absolutely needed to shove his way past me, despite being in a wide open space he could have easily navigated without making contact with anyone. The opening acts were terrible too, and probably no longer around.
I’ve been getting back into Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup lately, and I have some older versions of the game on here, back when “Sludge Elf” was a species you could be. Kind of fucked up that they were removed since, though. I mean, they are called “Sludge Elves.” That is so fucking aesthetic!
This picture of me at a college party back in 2006. I never actually went to college, but I did go to a lot of their parties.
Surviving screenshots of projects/games I started and never finished. And yeah, the term “Lonely Frontier” was something I came up with late one night, working on a text adventure about outer space that I don’t think ever made it past that one passage. I would start things, get stumped on either a technical or creative aspect, and then stop making things. That’s how I was in those days. Still kind of am today.
Here’s some music. I’ll post some songs, no rhyme or reason to them. Just stuff that’s good, and that I listened to on repeat night after night in those days.
That’s pretty much it. Like I said, it’s otherwise images I saved for no real reason, roms, and such. Plus a few other things that I have a slight emotional connection to that would make absolutely no sense if I posted them. But hey, hope you liked that tour down memory lane. I’ll try to post more often now that I’m not stuck in places with bad internet.
Last night was the first episode of All Elite Wrestling’s television show, Wednesday Night Dynamite. Pretty much everyone in my social circles knew how pumped I was for this show. I was excited because holy shit, there was a reason to care about wrestling again. I quit watching WWE well over a year ago due to a combination of the Trump shit, the Saudi Arabia shit, and the JBL-Mauro Ranallo shit. And I don’t really have the time or the money to keep tabs on New Japan, as much as I would like to. So now here’s this new company, full of good wrestlers I like, going out of their way to appeal to people like me, having a new TV show on TNT, which hasn’t aired wrestling since 2001.
I was pumped for this match in particular:
Riho vs Nyla Rose to crown the first ever AEW Women’s champion. Now the deal with Nyla, if you weren’t already aware, is that Nyla Rose is a Native American transgender woman. While I may not be Native (I am extremely white), I am a trans woman, so you better believe I was ready to cheer my fucking lungs out for her. Plus, the booking gave me every reason to believe she would win: AEW has spent the past year going out of their way to court an LGBT audience, hiring Sonny Kiss, an openly gay Black man, in addition to Nyla. Cody Rhodes constantly saying “wrestling is for everybody,” banning Vince Russo, a homophobic wrestling writer, from their events, in addition to removing fans that chant queer/transphobic shit during their events. Cody and the Young Bucks may as well have broken through my TV glass and grabbed by the collar and yelled “we want you, specifically, Ramona, to watch this television show!”
So I did. And it was a really great show! Then the semi-main event for the Women’s title was gearing up, and I was gearing up. I was ready to fucking run around the house, cheering and yelling and annoying the shit out of everybody with my enthusiasm. I was ready to see Nyla kick some ass.
And then…she lost.
To say my energy was sapped and the air was taking out of me would be an understatement. I was crushed. I was angry. AEW had worked me into a shoot, brother. The main event of Dynamite may as well have been Cody Rhodes emptying a bag of money into a garbage can, and setting it on fire.
This wasn’t some Daniel Bryan “the guy I like lost” bullshit. Nyla not only lost, but was booked like a fucking fool the whole time. Why would you try to use a steel chair in full view of the referee, knowing that this is not a no-disqualification match, and that you will lose if you hit Riho with the chair? The entire match, she keeps pulling out chairs from under the ring, Fire Pro style, while the commentators keep asking “why is she doing this?” Nevermind the fact that Nyla outweighs Riho by almost 100 pounds, and could simply use her size instead of relying on a weapon. Why is Nyla going for a Senton Bomb to the outside of the ring? What I was told last night was not that Nyla Rose couldn’t get the job done against Riho because Riho was the better opponent, it was that Nyla Rose could not get the job done against Riho because she is a fucking moron. But hey, thanks for the ratings, queers! We might consider telling Jim Ross to quit making snide “she’s not being man-handled, she’s being woman-handled” remarks next time!
I turned the show off after that. I didn’t care anymore.
Like, you spend a year appealing to the LGBT wrestling fans. You book Nyla to win a women’s battle royale from the #1 spot. You keep wink-wink-nudge-nudge promoting the women’s match as “history in the making,” which is definitely not meant to be taken as a loaded statement. Riho doesn’t even work for AEW full-time! You all but said “Nyla Rose will be our first women’s champion.” And while they may have banned Vince Russo from their shows, it’s clear they didn’t ban his booking philosophy with that ridiculous swerve. Great representation, to watch someone just like you compete in the big leagues, then look like a total jabroni and literally fall flat on their ass. Great representation to see Nyla get punked out by Kenny Omega, a man who kayfabes his sexuality worse than Dolph Ziggler kayfabes his politics.
I was originally going to have a section here about the people who have told me that Nyla “isn’t ready yet, brother” or how she’s suddenly a bad wrestler who botches all her moves in ways Sin Cara can only imagine. I won’t entertain that shit. It’s all cis white dudes saying that anyway, and it’s just another example of the wrestling double standard where even if Nyla was the drizzling shits in the ring, what would set her apart from the staggering number of shitty white guys who couldn’t work to save their lives winning titles and main eventing shows? What’s the difference between this hypothetical sloppy Nyla and like, Ryback? Like, I’m as big a CM Punk as you’ll ever meet, but I won’t pretend for a second that he didn’t have quite possibly the worst elbow drop in the history of the business, or that his career defining match at Money in the Bank 2011 didn’t have him falling over and fucking up constantly. Well, nevermind, I guess I did entertain that shit.
I’m mad about this. I really am. I understand that it’s asinine to care about a TV show, but like, I want to like AEW. I want to support AEW. I’m not here on my blog complaining because I hate the company and want to see it burn and end up in Vince McMahon’s tape library. But fuck me, man, you can’t spend all this time and money to reach out to a leftist queer audience, then pull the rug out from under everyone like that. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the idea of Nyla Rose losing matches; I don’t think she should have a Goldberg-like undefeated streak or anything like that. Everyone has to lose some time. But this match was the big one. This was your first impression to a massive audience, the chance to set yourself apart from the competition, your chance to put your best foot forward, and you fucking stepped on everyone’s Nikes. Will I be watching the show again next week? I don’t know yet.
My birthday was on the 5th. I didn’t make a post then because I wasn’t home, and I’ve also been dealing with being sick, so I haven’t been able to take screenshots and pictures.
Anyways. I’m 33 now. So I’m going to do another post about the games I got as gifts (and a couple I bought on my own), and then follow up with a serious topic, like the adult I am.
This one was a gift. I recently finished Yakuza Kiwami 1, and I went right into this one. What I’ve played so far is really cool, and I would like to go back and play Yakuza 2-5 to get the full plot. I’m not too far into it; still doing sub-stories on chapter 1, in fact. Something I’ve liked is the seamless transitions; you go from walking down the street to immediately fighting hoodlums, or opening a door and entering a restaurant or Club Sega without a fade to black first. It’s really cool.
Kiryu is just such a relatable guy. He’s old and tired, but keeps getting dragged into other people’s bullshit. He wants to help everyone and do the right thing. He wants to chill out with some Virtua Fighter 5 and watch Anri Okita take her clothes off (maybe don’t click on that with your mom in the room). Like, same dude.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3
This game fucking rules, dude. You can have a team of four Spider-Mans. You can team up the good members of the X-Men (no more Gambit, thank fuck). You can play as the Avengers, but replace garbage characters like Iron Man with the Wasp or the goddamn Falcon. Plus the game was made by the XBox Ninja Gaiden people, so there’s more to this game than mindlessly pressing attack while watching numbers go up and hoping the fanservice keeps your attention, something the first two games were guilty of. On top of all that, I should repeat that it has motherfucking Venom. Venom who is actually a good character to play as this time around, and straight up uses some of his moves from Marvel vs Capcom.
Metal Wolf Chaos
Oh boy. I remember really gagging to play this game for about a decade now. I mean, a Japan only From Software game on a system I never owned? I needed to get my hands on it. This, despite Devolver Digital bungling the promotion of the game with their “Make America Great Again” bullshit that led to myself and a lot of other people dealing with a couple days worth of online harassment by The Gamers for rolling our eyes and saying it was fucking stupid. But you know, that’s not FromSoft’s fault. I was sure the game would be good anyway.
And…it is. It’s fine, mechanically speaking. The problem here is that it’s not 2004 anymore. A fascist America that locks up political prisoners and refugees in cages, blames the rise in crime on illegal immigration, relies on mainstream media to demonize antifa activities, and creates a narrative that the only person who can save the day from corruption is our “brave” President isn’t really satire anymore. That’s real life. Fifteen years ago, this would have been a decent parody of America’s post-9/11 attitude. In 2019? There’s nothing to satirize. The only difference between this game and our current political climate is there’s no giant robot tearing its way across the country. It’s very uncomfortable to play a game that says things like this, knowing that it’s the current GOP party line:
And it sucks, because again, that’s not From Software’s fault. I want to like this game, but man, it’s so fucking hard when things that were considered over-the-top jokes back in ’04 have since become very real. This might draw some heat, but I have to say that maybe it would have been better if this game were never re-released. Just have people mod an XBox if they wanted to play it so bad.
Like Yakuza 6, I’m still pretty early on with this one, but what I’ve played so far has been fucking great. I’m digging on the whole concept of “cleaning” people of mental illness and trauma that they struggle with, at your own expense. I’ve been told that the game gets heavy into some queer/trans stuff later on, which I’m looking forward to. And hey, it’s a game with a PSX/N64 aesthetic not made by people who have made thinly-veiled threats towards my found family! At the very least, it gets my nod of approval for that. Snark aside, I’m definitely going to be diving back into this one hard.
The game looks nice. That’s about it, really. It gets frustrating pretty quick, putting enemies right under ladders and on platform edges, ready to attack you the second you attempt to make progress. Bosses have attacks with zero frames of animation, simply warping to you to do damage. Controls are pretty sluggish. Exploration can be a pain, with a lot of backtracking, even for its genre. It feels like one of those games where the dev team played Dark Souls, and the only lesson they took from it was “this game is hard.” Kind of a let down.
Not a new game by any stretch; I played this game when it got translated back in 2005. But I felt like replaying it, given the recent revelations of Nicalis being run by racist scumbags, one of the biggest “no shit” stories in gaming since the Riot Games allegations last year. So I loaded up the original freeware game, not bothering with that dirty “Cave Story+” bullshit. And what do you know? It still rules. An absolutely timeless game. As far as I’m concerned, this is what the concept of “Indie” should be. Making great (“great” being subjective, obviously) games that you feel strongly about that resonate with whoever plays them. I’ve spent so much time these last several years wondering why I still bother making games, despite everything that has gone down in that time. I loaded up Cave Story, and I was reminded why. There’s still a place for us; the real artists. Not the sociopathic rapists and egomaniacal transphobes.
ACTUAL SERIOUS THING NOW
Two weeks ago also marked my one year point of sobriety. Not a single drop of alcohol has entered my system since then. Admittedly, I’ve had my close calls the whole time. And August was kind of a rough month, as well (read those posts in case you forgot). Dealing with PTSD triggers without something to dull the pain can be difficult, but I did it.
This is a bottle of vodka I’ve had sitting in a cabinet by my desk. Last year, I took one last drink from it, and put it away. I left it there as a challenge to myself; to see if I had the strength to not give in. And I didn’t. As much as I wanted to at times, I kept myself from opening that door and pouring myself a drink.
Thanks to everyone who supported me during this time. All the friends and partners who stuck by me, even when they probably shouldn’t have. The faceless strangers a world away who had me in their thoughts. Even those who wanted me to give up and die. I’m still here and I’m sober because of you. And it may not always seem like it, but it has helped out tremendously with my mental health. Things are still hard, what with being an abuse survivor with BPD and PTSD, but I no longer feel the need to rely on alcohol to try and deal with it. That’s one battle in the war won.
Well, this was kind of a disjointed post. But I hadn’t done one in a while, and I was too busy to do one when I wanted to. So hopefully you liked this one, and I’ll be back soon (I hope) with another post about something.
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but I found this while digging through my closet today, so it’s time for a new post!
This is small booklet, for lack of a better term, to promote the at the time upcoming LittleBigPlanet.
You open it up, and you get this sort of box/card holder type thing. It doesn’t open or anything.
But it does hold a number of postcard sized slips that list out all of the games’ features.
Now unfortunately, I no longer have a working scanner (those Resistance 2 scans I have were done years ago), so iPhone will have to suffice for all of these cards. There are twelve all together.
Now, all of these have a design on the back. You put all twelve cards together, and it turns into this:
Now, I remember looking forward to the game really bad. I ended up buying it at launch. I have a thing for games that include a robust level creator. Games like Megaman Powered Up and Mario Maker are a permanent part of my collection, and LBP has hung around on my shelf for the same reason.
It’s just a shame that the games themselves are not especially good. At least aesthetically, the series is great. Amazing soundtracks and, if you know what you’re doing, it’s capable of some fantastic visuals, too. But the controls are really floating and hard to deal with, and the physics engine only adds to lack of handling you have. And on top of that, the actual level editor is really fucking complicated. I played this game in my 20s, and was having a hard time figuring out really basic things like putting platforms in the right place. LittleBigPlanet is a game aimed at like, eight year olds. If I, at around 22 (TWENTY-TWO!?) years old was struggling to make something, what chance do literal children have, you know? That being said, I still own all three of them, and load them up from time to time. Even if I can’t make shit in it, I can still sometimes find some good stuff other people have put together.
So that’s it for this post. I’m still digging around, looking for some bits of old promo materials I still have. Right now, I’m trying to find a collection of lanyards and pens, miscellaneous stuff.
And because this is a LittleBigPlanet post, figured I’d post one of the songs from its awesome soundtrack.
Something I’ve mentioned a couple of times in the past was how often I would read and re-read issues of Diehard Gamefan Magazine as a kid. I don’t bring it up much as an adult, due to me finding out that the editorial staff were all scumbags (writers seem okay, though). Not really interested in waxing nostalgic for a magazine once run by someone who uses the term “thug” to describe Trayvon Martin, you know?
But as a kid, I didn’t know. Not too many people did; internet in 1996 wasn’t what it is today. Enough about that, though. I was into it mostly because it was a magazine willing to cover a lot of obscure shit that you never would have heard of otherwise, with a pretty massive import section. Of course, me being a literal child at the time, I couldn’t afford any of it, but I had an active imagination, and would often times imagine me playing these games that looked really cool. Magic Knight Rayearth, being one. That section was also my introduction to the Fire Pro Wrestling series, and I don’t think I need to link my PC Gamer article again, do I?
One of those games that I obsessed over was Sailor Moon Super S- Various Emotion. My last post talking about Sailor Moon fighting games triggered this memory. But I remember reading its one page preview, because I was such a massive Sailor Moon fan and watched the show every day (station UPN 20, channel 3 on your cable box), I wanted to play this game so bad. Now, I didn’t have money, neither did my parents. I didn’t even own a Sega Saturn until I was 19. Actually ordering imports at that time was ludicrously expensive, and apparently pretty sketchy. And on top of that, I didn’t have any knowledge of the Japanese language. But it didn’t matter, because it was Sailor Moon and by fucking God, I needed it in my life.
I never did end up owning the game.
However, emulation exists! And playing Saturn games has been…okay-ish, for the last few years. So I figured, why not finally sit down and play this game?
Various Emotion is absolute garbage. Without a doubt, the bottom of the fucking barrel for Sailor Moon. Probably one of the worst games ever made. No joke.
It’s another fighting game, I think. There are buttons, but they don’t really seem to do much. And that’s not me doing some angry game guy bit, I legitimately have zero fucking clue how the controls in this game work. You press a button, and maybe you’ll throw a punch, or taunt, or stand there doing nothing. There’s such a massive input delay that I’ll never figure out what does what. Plus animations take way too fucking long to play out, and look like this:
It’s slow, it’s plodding, it runs like shit and looks worse. And, that’s another thing, at risk of sounding like some kind of hipster: I have never thought that prerendered graphics have looked good. Prerendered backgrounds, like in Final Fantasy and Resident Evil? Great. Timeless. Chunky looking bullshit that’s supposed to look like a human being? No. Fuck off. I didn’t even like them in Donkey Kong Country. I know that not liking DKC makes me stupid, and I know that it’s insulting, but it’s also the truth, but I am nothing if not a beacon of Dumb Bitch Energy. I didn’t even like it in Fallout, but I put up with it, because Fallout rules.
This Sailor Moon game is straight up unplayable. 9-year old me would be crushed to see this in action. Should consider myself thankful that my first Sailor Moon game experience was playing the Mega Drive one as a teenager. Now that’s a fucking video game. A game that really got me through some tough times in my adolescence. Maybe I’ll talk about that some day. But for now, I’ll just say: dude, fuck Various Emotion. Not worth the nearly twenty year wait.
My uh, last two blog posts were a bit on the negative/angry side. So I thought I would go back to more positive, happier posts. I’m going to talk about video games! This will mostly be fighting-game centric, so be aware I’ll probably end up using jargon that could possibly fly over your head.
Sailor Moon Super S- Zenin Sanka!! Shuyaku Soudatsusen
It’s a Sailor Moon fighting game. Specifically, a ROMhack designed to make the game more competition-friendly. And it plays well enough. The real issue here is, because I didn’t really feel like hitting up Parsec to see if anyone was playing a fan-edit of an already woefully obscure fighting game, I’ve been fighting the AI. Holy shit, the AI is so horribly cheap and unfair. CPU enemies always start with more health than you, they have better defense, they can hit harder (Sailor Uranus has a low roundhouse that can take off nearly 25% of your health, but does significantly less damage when you play as her), their projectiles can sometimes completely bypass your guard, their anti-air’s have a hitbox that goes behind them, so forget about using Sailor Mercury’s triangle jump.
You might think that’s something added in with all the other changes made to this version, but as someone who has played pretty much every Sailor Moon game (including the garbage DS platformer only ever released in Italy), no, that’s how they all are!
And that’s the biggest issue with these games. Well, one of the two biggest issues. The first one is: how the fuck are there so many 1-on-1 fighters based on Sailor Moon, a series about teenage girls coming together, cooperating and becoming close friends, despite their differences and personality traits, to make the world a better place? But the other problem is: why are these games so fucking hard? At least this one didn’t have garbage controls, which is more than you can say for the rest of them. Now, I can win fights here, despite all the obstacles put in front of me. But I’m also in my 30s, with about 20 years worth of fighting game experience (and at least two years of being proficient at a couple of them) to my name. Sailor Moon is a series aimed at kids! Some poor seven year old probably got one of these games as a gift, threw it into their Super Famicom, and after asking, “why are the Sailor Senshi all fighting each other?” proceeded to get her ass kicked by the computer over and over again. Like, come on, game devs, try and understand your demographics, here!
That being said, I still think it’s great. Probably the second best Sailor Moon game, directly underneath Sailor Moon on the Mega Drive. You should play that one.
Ultra Fight Da! Kyanta 2
This is a doujin fighter that looks like it was made in MS Paint, there’s almost nothing in the way of damage scaling, the game’s speed is about 100 miles an hour, and the sound effects are all the creator making sounds with his mouth. You watch a match video, and the game looks broken as fuck; like two joke MUGEN characters going at it.
And yet the game…works? Like, really well? It’s actually incredibly fun once you figure out the game mechanics. The characters, despite looking very simple, all have designs that stand out really well. And, while I can’t read Japanese, and the text is all buggy and glitched out, it appears that the plot involves someone being force feminized by an eldritch abomination named after a steak?
So basically, Kyanta 2 is loaded with Slimegirl Energy, and I can’t recommend it enough.
I’ve been bitten by the Tekken bug again. And wouldn’t you know it, but I haven’t been half-bad at it? Season 2 Alisa is a force to be reckoned with, and it rules. Making her more of an aggressive character, as opposed to being on the defense, relying on slow zoning attacks, is a great idea. I’m one rank away from entering the orange ranks, meaning that I’m going from having delusions of adequacy at fighting games to…maybe being almost halfway good at it. My big weaknesses at the moment are still trying to escape throws, and get better at blocking lows on wakeup. Doesn’t help that I was matched up against a lot of King players today, and he’s like the Joe Biden of Tekken, and does not give a fuck about your personal boundaries with his grabs and weird lariat that looks like it hits high, but is actually a low.
Resident Evil 2
I got the RE2 remake on sale. For those who don’t know, I am a huge, huge, huge, huge, HUGE Resident Evil fan. 2 is tied with 4 as far as being my favorite in the series, so yeah, I was definitely looking forward to seeing how Capcom would modernize the game. I mean, the remake of RE1 is a stone-cold classic.
And man, the RE2 remake…it’s…it’s not that good.
Mechanically speaking, it’s a mess. You can no longer push zombies once they’ve grabbed you; meaning you get grabbed, fuck you, you’re taking the hit and you don’t even the benefit of being able to shove the attacking zombie into a group of other zombies to give you some breathing room. The stomp attack is gone, so if you get grabbed by the leg, ha ha, fuck you, better waste a sub-weapon because apparently your feet are made of glass now. Enemies have ludicrous range to their attacks; you can get grabbed, slashed, tackled, and punched from a mile away. It doesn’t help that Leon and Claire move like you’re in a dream where you’re trying to run. And hey, how about those “B” scenarios? How about removing any traces of suspense and tension from the original game by having Mr. X appear around literally every fucking corner, clapping his asscheeks faster than Sonic the Hedgehog, throwing out wild haymakers while you’re stuck in a cramped hallway, hobbling along like an old woman, not reloading your fucking gun even though I am mashing the fuck out of the square button for fucks sake Leon WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR DEAL??????
Narrative wise, it’s actually worse in the aspect, too. There is no suspense to the remake at all. In the original game, you didn’t see William Birkin until you were on your way out of the police station. And even then, it was only his arm.
The remake? Eh, fuck it, just have him show up almost immediately and get into a fight. Whatever.
Mr. X? You know how in the original game, he only appeared a handful of times, but when he did, they were intense encounters that actually meant something? Well who needs that shit when you can have him annoy the fuck out of you every three seconds, and even if you take him down, he’s only out for about ten seconds.
He’s just…there. All the time. It’s not scary, it’s annoying.
Despite being on much better hardware, the game significantly less gory now. Ben, the journalist? This time around, he gets his skull crushed by Mr. X. Gruesome, yes, but here’s how Ben died in the original (or at least in Leon A):
Literally ripped in half by a parasite implanted in him by William Birkin. It’s a lot better and more gross than being on the receiving end of a Kona Crush head squeeze (brah). The entirety of Resident Evil is built around body horror. The zombies. The monsters. They were all human at some point. Resident Evil’s horror comes not from its graphical fidelity (or lack thereof) or from dogs jumping through windows. The horror comes from the realization that all these things you’re shooting and running from were people, just like you. A soulless corporation experimented on them in order to make a little more money, and paid off government officials to look the other way while everyone else suffered (at least before RE5’s racist ass came along with its weird retcon of Wesker wanting to take over the world by making everyone a zombie). Ben getting killed gruesomely by this parasite that turns into a massive creature called the G-Mutant (which the remake reduces to a standard enemy, good job), is another example of this. That’s why his new death falls flat.
Oh, and the remake completely glosses over Chief Irons being a serial rapist.
And this leads to my biggest issue with the remake. It’s kind of shocking sometimes, going back and playing these old Playstation games. Resident Evil 2. Final Fantasy VII. Metal Gear Solid. They all had some sort of point to make. Corporate greed. A mistrust of authority. Anti-war sentiments. The environment. Now, I know I’m far from the first person to notice the massive backslide games have been making over the past decade or so into more of a conservative, reactionary state. And I’m not even getting into the behind the scenes bullshit, I’m talking about what’s on screen. Most games these days seem to have the message of “Join the Army. Listen to your parents. Turn down that Rock and/or Roll music.” Games glorifying police brutality and America’s Forever War in the Middle East become huge sellers and get on Game of the Year lists. Making a game today that even implies that maybe America isn’t such a great place will get you death threats! And even the series’ that I’ve mentioned have fallen victim to this backslide. Metal Gear Solid V? Barely even talks about geopolitics, instead focusing on a revenge fantasy between two GI Joe figures named “Big Boss” and “Skull Face,” with a prologue chapter that is probably the most disgusting piece of misogynist garbage in the history of video games. Final Fantasy XV? The main character is the royal heir to an entire country, a far cry from the rebels fighting against evil empires, money-hungry corporations, and military schools putting children into war zones. Now here’s Resident Evil 2 outright calling a cop; THE cop, a corrupt rapist who is not to be trusted. In 2019, that is a bold thing to put out there. And I’m not pulling some “we stan a legend Capcom so woke” bullshit or whatever. It’s just another good example of how far we have fallen. The new Chief Irons is now reduced to a greedy official who lost his mind after the G-Virus outbreak who calls an eight year old child a “bitch.” Not so strong, is it?
Just…everything about it is such a disappointment. And I’m actually really sad about it. Like I said, RE2 is one of my favorite games, and to see it getting mishandled so badly for a new generation kind of hurts a little bit. On top of that, there’s still the matter of next year. The year the Final Fantasy VII remake is supposed to finally come out. When I buy that game at release (and I will), am I going to re-experience what made that game so special and so magical? Or is it going to be like Resident Evil, and make me shake my head at what could have been?