It’s that time of the month again (that time of the month being “whenever I feel like it”) where I crack open every transphobes least favorite den of piracy, the Internet Archive. Since I decided to dedicate an entire month to a handheld system, I have been looking for anything cool related to it here.
Problem: there really isn’t anything super cool, I’m sad to say. Mostly rehosted reviews from YouTube, some old clips from The US Army Presents: G4 TV, and some magazine scans. Unfortunately, it’s no longer the 90s, and games media began its descent into the boring “we’re too cool for games” atmosphere we know today. I’ll try and make this entertaining, which is more than I can say for these original sources.
Jessica Chobot Licking a PSP…again
Might as well start by ripping this fucking band aid off. I’m sure you all remember Jessica Chobot from that time she licked a PSP back in the mid-2000s, something that got a lot of nerds worked up, either because “why is there a girl doing stuff to my video games?” or “whoa, check out the hot chick licking the gaming system. It’s like she’s licking my fuckin’ dick, bro!” Well, she’s here to do again. Hachi machi, I guess.
A couple of things: why does a tech review show need a laugh track? Yes, I know, it’s not literally a machine that plays a laughing effect; it’s the production crew making noise, pretending to be interested in what’s happening on-screen. It’s still stupid. Whatever, this is one of those shows that The US Army Presents: G4 TV put together to try and distance themselves from when they were still TechTV. You know, getting hosts who could not give a fuck less about the subject of the show, calling things “gadgets,” trying to give the show this “night life” edge to make it look cool, that sort of thing. There’s a reason why The US Army Presents: G4 TV is now the “Paramount” Network, and is home to endless reruns of Bar Rescue.
Oh right, a girl licked a PSP in a provocative way. I told you that there was not a whole lot of shit for me to find.
Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII Strategy Guide
Yes, someone out there thought that an extremely short, linear game that seemingly only exists as a form of mockery for anyone who cares/cared about Final Fantasy VII absolutely needed a strategy guide. For the record, Crisis Core might very well be the worst game on the fucking system; a needless, insulting prequel to the greatest game of all time that felt less like a love letter, and more like a bomb threat. It’s also a game that takes great pains to explain every last aspect of it to you. There’s an in-game tutorial that you can access whenever. But whatever, Brady Games is getting their asses kicked by the growing presence of GameFAQs, and Final Fantasy is popular, so maybe a couple of marks will buy this?
I looked through this whole thing, with a lot of useless information that you could find either in-game or by using common sense. What is missing, however, are two tips that players could actually use:
- You can avoid most of this game’s terrible combat by hugging the walls when traveling down the same boring corridor.
- In Banora cave, you can find Emerald Weapon hiding out behind a wall of ice.
There’s not really a whole lot else to say; I mostly wanted to take the opportunity to say that Crisis Core sucks, and I really fucking hope that none of what was in this game shows up in the next episodes of the FF7 remake.
PSP: The Official Guide Book
Now, I thought this would be yet another strategy guide. No, this a whole multi-issue publication dedicated to the PSP, only with a misleading name. Unfortunately, this is a UK-based publication, with all the bull shit that entails. So, let’s take a virtual trip to TERF Island and see what they think about video games, I guess.
Not that anyone really needs it, but if you were ever looking for documented proof that the British are brain-wormed idiots, it would be right here, with this middling review of Mega Man Powered Up. Forget for a moment that MMPU is like, probably the best game on the PSP by a fucking mile, the actual writing here sucks as bad as this terrible opinion. Believe it or not, a remake of the first Mega Man game might actually, in fact, play like the other Mega Man games that followed it. What an amazing deduction. These people have college degrees.
I went ahead and looked at the previous month’s issue, as I had a feeling about something. Sure enough, that issue had a preview of MMPU.
Oh okay, I was right, and this was like every other shitty magazine of the time. You know the kind: previews glowing with praise, getting all excited about the game coming out, then a month later, the review is written and ends with some bull shit like, “play this if you’re the kind of person who’s not allowed within 500 feet of a school, jerk!”
How about a double-page spread on GUN? Remember GUN? Everybody loved GUN, right?
No! Nobody loved GUN! Fuck GUN! I played that shit, and it was terrible, trend-chasing garbage that was rightfully forgotten almost immediately. It wanted to be a free-roaming GTA knock-off, but it also wanted to be a linear shooter in the vein of Max Payne, but it also wanted the element of strategy from playing multiple sides against each other, but it also wanted to be this and that. Ultimately, it was a boring, overhyped shooter where the “GTA” elements were nothing more than letting you shoot random civilians, which would cause the PS2 to freeze. Anyways, here’s a whole bunch of hype about its undoubtedly also terrible PSP game. Fuck you, Mega Man, Colton White is here to lead gaming into a new generation.
Now, it’s pretty obvious that I’m being extremely negative, and coming across like I’m in a bad mood. This is because I am! I wanted to find some cool shit about this cool little handheld, and instead I am being given a reminder of the exact moment games changed, and not for the better.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if there weren’t really good games coming out during this time; I literally just insulted an entire country in defense of Mega Man, but rather, this is when the industry began to change. Or at least, become less subtle. The beginning of that transition into the monster we know as “AAA” today. The time period when games media became so utterly cynical. I’ve talked about the older magazines, and that were terrible, by and large. But at least they were staffed by people who actually liked the fucking things! Not like the mid-2000s, or even now for that matter, where it’s mostly coiffed douchebag Firstname Lastnames hoping they can eventually work their way to reviewing Playboy: The Mansion for Maxim Magazine. Gone are the days of publications at least willing to give half a page to something that didn’t have massive advertising budget to it. These are the days of Assassin’s Creed being cynically shoved in your face, while awesome shit like Rengoku 2: Stairway To H.E.A.V.E.N is going to be left in the dirt. Not that games press didn’t have issues with giving a little too much attention to total shit back in the day (see examples: GameFan giving the cover to fucking Skeleton Warriors, and the whole mess every other publication had with Rise of the Robots). Games as a business has changed, and changed for the worse.
I understand that this post may come across as “old man yells at cloud,” but I’m not a person who is completely averse to change. As an example: I’m a big wrestling fan, and wrestling has absolutely changed from when I was a kid, but it changed for the better; I’ll watch the worst AEW show over the best Hulkamania-era WWF show any day of the week. Gaming does not have an AEW, where the business is run by people actively involved in that business, as opposed to out of touch suits embarrassed to be there. Suits changed gaming. Everything has to be so fucking slick and “cool” and you have to acquire things in a certain way; Top 10 Games Least Likely To Result In You Being Turned Down For Sex By A Woman I Made Up In My Head. Something that is really hurting today’s press, aside from all the rampant abuse and bigotry, is that they all want to be like the Big Boys. You should never want to be like the Big Boys. You have to be an alternative. What can you bring to the table that I couldn’t get at IGN? It sure as hell isn’t boring writing and doing what you can to sweep Activision-Blizzard’s heinous actions under the rug!
Potentially controversial take here, but I think that we, as critics, need to go back to 30 years ago. Not literally 1:1, but I mean in terms of having a personality, having a staff that doesn’t think they’re too cool for Halo because they’re worried that they might accidentally go into multiplayer and wind up on a team with a poor person, having a unique look, maybe hire someone that isn’t yet another white dude with a terrible beard, having something that can keep me reading, even if I don’t agree with every opinion presented. This post was a stark reminder that we don’t have this, and that’s frustrating, because games are cool, enthusiast press is cool. Liking things is cool! I hate being negative on my web site, believe it or not! I would much rather talk about things I like than things I don’t. But I have to be negative here, because this all sucks. I would like to see some change.