retail memorabilia #3: littlebigplanet

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.

front
back

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.

and here’s the back of the holder

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.

The Go! Team- Get It Together

sailor moon super s- various emotion

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?

Holy shit

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.

seriously, look at this

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.

8/13/2019: what i’ve been playing

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.

Tekken 7

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?

8/6/2019

I was looking forward to making a happier post this time. I completed two major projects, and I took the weekend off to try and recharge. And it was a good time; played a lot of games, watched a lot of movies, listened to a lot of music, recorded a new podcast episode. I had a good weekend.

But then Monday happened.

You probably saw the news: yet another mass shooting by someone who posted yet another manifesto on 8chan. More public pressure put onto Cloudflare, a service that basically protects sites like 8chan and Kiwi Farms from any consequences of the harm they do, to drop 8chan once and for all. And surprisingly, they did. Probably because they’re about to go public in September, and being connected to horrible massacres doesn’t exactly lead to success on the stock market. Cool. Great. Awesome. Anything that makes it harder for white supremacists to recruit people into their ranks is a good thing.

No, that’s all well and good. The problem I have lies with all of the people hot dogging and grandstanding over its demise, despite harrassing the people who accurately predicted the kind of shit that would happen if places like this kept going unchecked, calling them “fake allies,” “performative activists,” “pedophiles,” and all sorts of other heinous shit designed to minimize any work they were trying to do to de-platform the alt-right. The same people who literally screamed as loud as they could for people to “stop talking about Gamergate” and to “pay attention to the real issues” while trans women’s home addresses appeared on the site every other day, and while Milo Yiannopoulos was publicly complaining that his upcoming hitpiece on Sarah Nyberg had been delayed yet again because the legal team told him that it somehow managed to be too libelous for Breitbart are coming out with their hot takes that “Gamergate never ended” and “I told you so!”

And then there’s this:

This was the final straw for me. Randi Harper, the very same Randi Harper who went running, tears in her eyes and her tail between her legs, to places like r/kotakuinaction and Kiwi Farms, getting myself and several other people (mostly trans) doxxed, harassed, and stalked for years because we exposed her massive transphobia. Her support of people sending us death threats. Her “anti-nazi” blocklist that actually targets every trans woman on Twitter. Randi Harper and Wil Wheaton teamed up to make social media even more of a cesspool for the marginalized. And when there was pushback, she went to a group of school shooters to get everyone off her back. And now she wants to act like nothing ever happened.

I know that there are a lot of people out there who don’t like me. I know that you think I’m an asshole, a scumbag, a no-good piece of shit, or some other synonym I’m using to pad out this sentence. And you’re probably right on that. But I am not a liar.

I have no reason to lie. I have nothing to gain, but everything to lose by doing so, because the truth will always come out in the end. Have I been misled in the past? Absolutely! But I do not lie.

I am beyond sick and tired of being told my life, and my experiences, never actually happened. I have gone just about my entire life being called a liar. I was “lying” about Randi Harper. I was “lying” when it came to light that Zoe Quinn fucked over everyone involved with Crash Override. I was “lying” when I reported the abuse I went through as a child to my school counselor. I’m “lying” about everything. This fucking bullshit gaslighting to try and fail to convince me that the things me and several friends went through was all a big crock of shit; an invention of my own imagination. So many people with a fear of heights on top of the proverbial mountain will go to great lengths to tell you that we’re all liars. There are people who lead chapters of the DSA that will spread this misinformation.

Being told time and time again that this

never happened

all a bunch

of bullshit

figment of my imagination

all to take down the real victims of Gamergate in a fit of jealousy

lying about everything

telling tall tales to get myself over, brother

my only motivation!

No other reason!

Being involved with “anti-Gamergate” was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made in my fucking life. Unless your name is Alex, Sarah, or Allison, you were not worth the effort. You were not worth all the people who put their reputations and their literal safety at risk to support your selfish, ungrateful, transphobic asses. Not Randi Harper. Not Zoe Quinn. Not Brianna Wu. Not Leigh Alexander. Not a single one of you are worth the shit from a dog’s ass. So many people tried to do the right thing, because Fuck Nazis, and in the end, got demonized and cast out of their respective communities while you all got rewarded for it. I wish I had access to a time machine, so I can go back to August 2014, slap my past self in the face, tell that dumb motherfucker to keep your head down and mouth shut, and keep working on that King’s Field project. It’s not worth the headache, and to get dragged into petty slapfights with people I’ll never meet, and be looked at as a pariah because I felt bad for a shitty woman who makes terrible games and has even worse taste in men. Without trans women to do the work for her, it’s pretty obvious that she has no talent. I mean, why else did you only buy one issue of Goddess Mode?

Am I mad? Yeah. Am I bitter? You better fucking believe it, pal! A bunch of fucking con artists and grifters picked a fight with neo-nazis to further their brands, and when they got what they wanted, they told the rest of us to fuck off, and fend for ourselves when the alt-right came knocking on our doors. So many good people were unfairly harmed by this, and the world is on fire, too. Great job, everyone!

And to all you fucking jackoffs coming out of the woodwork thinking it’s okay to talk about 8chan and Gamergate in 2019, like you pieces of shit didn’t harass my friends nearly to death for doing the same thing at a time when that shit could have been shut down without a bunch of massacres having to occur first: if you don’t bring up all the trans people who got hurt from all this shit, and instead focusing on the cis grifters, guess what? Your Medium thinkpiece is bad, and you should feel bad.

Or maybe just take your own fucking advice

But I guess it’s a “real issue” now because “real” people are dead, and not those gross trannies making a joke out of your gender roles, right?

Fuck off. Leave me alone. I have one month left until I’ve finally reached a full year of sobriety, and I don’t need this bullshit to test my resolve.