Tag Archives: video games

Hachi’s Games of 2016 (For Both Measures of that Phrase)

I'm too lazy to make a proper opening pic, here's what Google Images gave me.

I’m too lazy to make a proper opening pic, here’s what Google Images gave me. Just imagine more guns and Italians.

So, 2016. What a fucking thing THAT was, huh? Famous folks dying by the dozens, politics becoming more cartoonish than ever before and people finding new and creative ways to hate each other while inuring themselves against criticism or mind-expanding influences. The cesspool of the internet becomes ever more violently knee-jerk in its reaction to new or unpleasant ideas, and I’m pretty sure someone from Tumblr mailed me an envelope of anthrax for being a straight white guy in a progressive world. DC movies were trash, bookstores disappearing, fire at the disco, dancing in the streets, mass hysteria!

But none of that really matters, because it was also a remarkably good year for video games, both on an objective and personal level. Sure, the stagnation of the Triple-A gaming market is still alive and well, but I found myself drowning in a veritable smorgasbord of high-quality games across handhelds, consoles and even the indiesphere. I played more games this year than I have in quite a long time, even dipping into my long-neglected backlog and investing in some missed gems from generations past, and even if I didn’t finish every one that I got my hands on, good times were had by the bucket-full.

Typical ground rules of listmaking apply. Even though I own a great many of the big releases of the year and plan to hit them all in time, I’m limiting it to games I played either to completion or for enough time to have an informed opinion on them, so sorry to DOOM, Uncharted and Final Fantasy XV. You all look great, but I just haven’t tasted you enough yet. And because I have delusions of legitimacy, abstract superlatives will be handed out to those deserving of them. And finally, the most repetitive but necessary of disclaimers: For the most part, this list represents the games I got the most enjoyment out of regardless of popularity, mainstream appeal or review opinion. Games that left an impact on me in the swirling vortex of activity that is my life. In short, it’s personal opinion so if you don’t like it, eat me. Continue reading

Troy Baker Revealed to be the Voice of Catherine’s Vincent

Troy Baker has recently been hinting at this on his Facebook page and now it’s finally confirmed. Baker will be lending his voice talent to Atlus’ Catherine, voicing the protagonist Vincent Brooks.

You may know him as Tales of Vesperia’s Yuri Lowell, Snow Villiers from FFXIII, or Persona 4’s Kanji Tatsumi. Troy Baker will add Vincent Brooks to his already extensive list of voiced roles. Personally, I’m a fan of Baker’s work and think he’ll do the character justice. Atlus usually is spot on when it comes to voice work, and knowing Baker’s involvement in the game only gets me that much more excited for its release this summer.

As an added bonus for Soul Eater fans, here’s a clip of Baker singing the infamous Excalibur song.

Did I mention I can’t wait?

Gaming: Something We Have to Defend?

I’m going to start this article with one simple fact…I love video games. I’ve been playing them practically my whole life, since as early as I can remember. Gaming is my biggest hobby and I’ll even go as far as to say it’s part of who I am. Now before you think this is a love letter to all that is gaming, there’s a reason for this. I was having a conversation with my girlfriend and my “fondness” of gaming was mentioned. I won’t go into details, but I ended up having to explain why I enjoy games so much and why it’s just as viable as any other hobby. Afterward I thought about the conversation and wondered…why did I have to defend the fact that I play games?

I’m sure many gamers have had similar experiences when someone may question why we play games, or why we don’t find another past-time. At times these people can even be condescending, as if by playing games we’re automatically deemed lower than others. But why do people think this way, and why do gamers have to justify their enjoyment of games?

FoxNews' coverage of Mass Effect, with blatantly wrong information.

I think a large stem of the problem is the overall view of games in the media. Either games are viewed as something for kids and young adolescents to enjoy, or games are a bad influence that can cause developmental issues and violent tendencies. In a sense, these views coincide. People are so worried about kids being exposed to mature or violent themes that they forget that games aren’t only made for kids. This is why we have the ESRB ratings. If a game is rated M, then that means parents should be careful about letting their children play such games. I understand that it’s still easy for anyone to pick up an M rated game, but rather than taking a more active approach on monitoring what their child plays, many people seem to feel that just having these mature games out there is a crime.

Let’s take the recent game Bulletstorm as an example. Here’s an article about Bulletstorm possibly being the worst game in the world. The game has guns, profanity, body dismemberment, sexual innuendos, and more. But I doubt the creators had nine year old children as their target demographic, despite what the people in the above article seem to think. This game was made for people who love over-the-top action and dirty humor. In a way, it reminds me of a movie that was released last year called The Expendables. The action-packed, testosterone-filled, explosion-fest of a movie had a similar audience in mind, and the movie accomplished what it set out to do. It was entertaining fun for action buffs, and Bulletstorm is trying to do something similar for gamers. However, it’s Bulletstorm that gets all the controversy. While some of the sexual terms are a little extreme, this game isn’t for kids, and much worse has been said and shown outside of video games. There are plenty of movies that feature graphic violence, sex, and controversial themes. Heck, I could say the same about books as well, but when those things appear in a video game you have to hide your children! The fact is, children and adolescents can’t be shielded from everything, so rather than have people get angry over the material in some games (which can much more easily be found in all sorts of media), isn’t it better to inform children about some of these issues instead blaming games? Really, video games get more negative press than they deserve.

You got me, I'm playing Bulletstorm...

But I guess this goes even deeper than game controversies. Maybe the biggest reason why gamers have to defend their hobby is the fact that video games just aren’t taken seriously. Perhaps this is due to misinformed people who only view games as the media presents them, which again isn’t in the brightest light. However, if more people were willing to accept that games can be as just stimulating as any book, movie, or hobby, maybe we wouldn’t have to defend the medium. The journey experienced in a role playing game, the competitive spirit evoked by a good fighter, the sense of teamwork achieved in a cooperative shooter…these are the things more people need to hear about, but there are plenty who can’t see outside of their little box. So much work and effort goes into making a good game, and it’s a shame that the industry doesn’t always get the respect nor the recognition it deserves.

I do hope that eventually games become as widely accepted and embraced as other entertainment mediums. I don’t know if that day will come, but frankly…I don’t care either. The fact that I can have fun playing games and converse with my fellow gamers about them is something important to me.

I know why I love games, and that’s enough for me.