Saturday, March 30, 2013

Metal Gear Solid, or not?

Metal Gear Solid V
When I think about Metal Gear Solid there are three names that comes to mind. I would like to explore these three names in this article.

David Hayter

For those who do not know, David Hayter is the name of the voice behind Solid Snake in all the games in the series not featuring a text bubble to relay the dialogue. David Hayter is an icon. He was one of the first truly great voice actors back in the early days of voice acting in games. The level of quality in the first Metal Gear Solid way back in 1998 was revolutionary in its time, although the writing/translation of the japanese script left some funny and awkward moments.

So what's special about the name David Hayter in this article's context? Well, naturally because the next big numbered game in the series has been announced, and in an interview on, it was announced that David Hayter will NOT be returning to his role as Solid Snake/Big Boss in the upcoming sequals. David Hayter has been the voice of these characters for 15 years. I can hardly believe I'm typing this. The man has been a guest of honor in many panels and conventions where he is mostly known to answer Q&A's about his role as Solid Snake. David Hayter is a beloved actor and hearing someone else's voice coming from Snake would just seem too surreal to be true.

Hideo Kojima
The mastermind behind the incredibly  successful series. Some would refer to him as the 'japanese George Lucas'. Truly a great and inspiring creator of great series early in his career. And like Lucas, he is seen as more and more eccentric and rarely challenged on his views and ideas whether he wants it or not. Regardless, he might have made his biggest mistake so far. I'd say his decision to exclude David Hayter from this title reminds me  a little of George Lucas' Jar Jar Binks wich was a widely accepted terrific idea.

In the aforementioned interview with Gametrailers he was asked about his decision not to use the popular voice actor. His reply was: "What we're trying to accomplish here is to recreate the Metal Gear series. It's a new type of Metal Gear game, and we want to have this reflected in the voice actor as well". It's impossible to say until the release of the game how this will play out. It could be a weird Kojima-esque twist  where Snake now has a female voice. What stands out is that this is a numbered entry in the series, so I feel this is a mistake. It implies that the game will be familiar to anyone who played the previous entries without any major changes.

Not too long ago there was a Devil May Cry remake, and it was not a numbered entry because it was a completely new game loosly based on the original series lore, hell, it even had a new name "DMC". Will the next one be called Devil May Cry 6? I highly doubt it, since that would give the idea that they were going back to the original Dante's world. Kojima himself has dabbled in this just recently with the Metal Gear spinoff Metal Gear Rising. New main character, new theme, new type of Metal Gear, not numbered. I guess you could argue that 'V' is not really numbered entry since it's a roman numeral. Even if Mr. Kojima thinks this is funny, fans of the series might disagree.

Akio Ohtsuka
For 15 years Akio Ohtsuka has been the Japanese voice of Solid Snake, equally as beloved as David Hayter to their respective fans. Now, with the upcoming remake of Metal Gear surely he too will be replaced? Nope, not at all. One could speculate as to what might have occurred between Mr. Kojima and Mr. Hayter, but replacing Hayter as Snake and not Ohtsuka makes it seem like there is more to the story than either side is willing to share. Either way, the loss of Hayter is a grand blow to the series in and for western fans and players.

Mr. Kojima, meet Mr Lucas, you two have a lot in common.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Music tied to games

So the new Army Of Two is just around the corner, personally i enjoyed the previous two for the solid coop play in them, flawed as they might be.
And their latest marketing strategy has been to team up with Big Boi and B.o.B to make a rap music video, this makes me consider the Def Jam effect where the game became less and less about the gameplay and more about the rap and\or rap artists.

There are some cool names attached to this project like Joe Flanigan, Zack Ward (my personal favourite b-movie actor of all time) and Benito Martinez, yet here we are, i realize people who enjoy rap music (listening to lauryn hill - everything is everything while writing this) might not see my point here, my point is whenever in history music has been mixed into games that are not rythm based, it has produced some godawful franchises or ruined existing series.

Like i said before, Def Jam series, used to be an epic brawler, heavily rap influenced to be sure, but it was never about the music, it was about the fun core gameplay and over the top moves you could do in the fights, hell, in the second in the series, Def Jam : Fight For New York, there was a big focus on making your own fighter with special moves and all.

Before :

After :

My point is, do we really want a music genre or artists to influence how we view our games or how the games themselves play out?
I dont think theres a clear answer, i think with the right game and the right artist it may even make the hype and game better.
Do i think games in general should try it?
Hell no! if you get that 1 perfect combo of artist, genre and game you will have ruined 100 games before it trying to figure out the right combination.

Me and my go-to army of two partner will play Army of Two: The Devils Cartel on release, good or not, for the brofists and laughs with some snacks and a few beers.

This series is what i would call "the game of bro's" lets hope the newest addition chestbumps its predecessors in a similar manner.

Tropes vs videogames the video!

The video in question

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"tropes vs women in video games"

This is pretty much the response i wrote and wanted to post to @feministfrequency's latest video;
 "Damsel in distress: part 1 - tropes vs women in video games" 
wich revolves around the objectifying of women in videogames (in the 80's 90', but we dont say that because the level of toleranse in todays games would invalidate the arguements she makes in the video).

So what happened was, i intended to post this on her facebook page, but realized half an hour later that it would be way too much and it would fill her whole comments page and i have not seen any of her other videos, she might do great thigns for women everywhere, i specifically disagree strongly on her video games video, wich i might point out was a kickstarter project, she asked for 6000$ to make this video series, but recieved almost 160,000$ to make.

Yet the whole video is 20 minutes of her up against a drab background screen with a few video game clips <.< i see people do this for free make waaaaay more creative video's than that, hell, anyone can make more creative videos than that with a hd camera.

Man, i could buy a house with that money, i could buy a hd camera for like 500$ and a green screen for like 100$, the chair i'd sit on. lighting, everything i need for 1-2000$ and i'd have 155,000$ all too myself, my videos would look uncreative and bland with me and a single coloured background and some clips from the game i mention.....ooooh wait, thats exactly what she's done <.< well played, soo, can i get 150k$ too? ill totally make 10-12 pop culture videos 20 minutes in length.... hmm i might just start a kickstarter... 

Anyway, heres my original post:

I just saw your video game video, and i feel i have a counter comment; i think your points regarding videogames in and of  themselves are baseless, i will tell you why; late 80s; if you would imagine yourself (woman) the hero, would you rather rescue
 A:princess in need 
B:prince in need
 if you say A you're just as discriminating as the rest of the industry, if you say B thats ok, opposite sex' attract each other and if you imagine your boyfriend\husband kidnapped you would  want to save him.
Thats the same thing with men, its all very natural, the reason women get depicted more as a 'damsel
 in distress' would be because the gamerbase of that time was 98%male.

So, lets do some math, lets say there are 1 million players in the late 80's early 90's, would you make a game with a  female protagonist rescuing a prince for 20 000 players aimed at the female playerbase of that time? 

Or would you make a game with a male protagonist rescuing a princess for the other 980 000 players aimed at the male playerbase of that time? 
Also, you use ocarina of time as an example, would it be different if it was a prince that got caught or would your
 skewed perception of the game remain unchanged? would you campaign on men's behalf? probably not.
What you fail to mention is that this game is nothing like mario, The hero's name is Link, but this is ZELDA's legend, you play as nothing more than a simple subject to a princess, you also failed to mention zeldas continued involvement in the game whereas she is clearly much more powerful than link and saves him or helps him continue his quest.

She does this in the disguise of sheik. because a princess can not be seen doing such things, she is not 'damselled' and removed from the game because she is weak, she is removed and it is too dangerous because she is royalty and Link is expendable since he is a mere subject, a peon in their kingdom.

What other really big game series are from that era? sonic? Sonic was never about saving a damsel in distress more than it was helping woodland creatures escape robotnik's experiments or having a reason to run fast from A-B.

Cant defend double dragon though <,< i see your point there, but on the flipside you just ignore Metroid wich is 

like top 5 game series from the 90's, but it has a female strong protagonist so i guess that goes against the theme here.

I realize you dont have a monarchy in America, i live in Norway, and if one of our princesses got kidnapped and actually escaped herself (or king\prince for that matter) i think we would all be shocked and it would ruin the image and value they had.

It would seem below them to do such things when they have all of us, their subjects to free them and wage war against whoever took them from us, presidents are a dime a dozen, but our royal family cannot be replaced 
(this is not a political comment and im not saying either thing is better, i guess im just saying we get more of a chance to connect to our leaders since they are there our entire lives, but that is just my opinion, true or false as it may be) and therefore hold more of a value, we feel a need to protect them and save them if they are in trouble.

As for modern games, ill look at the biggest titles from the last 2 years:

COD black ops 2 is irrelevant, ME3 you can play as a male OR female commander, uncharted 3 had strong female supporting actors but it was ultimatly Nathans story, playable in multiplayer though, more recent releases; dead space 3 actually has a damsel in distress, however that was just a ploy to convince Isaac to go to the ice planet and she was as much in distress as a african american woman (race diversity weeee) and a middle aged man shown to be weaker and relying heavily on the 2 apparently stronger female characters in their group.

You got Tomb Raider, and ill just say one thing; Lara Croft is the strongest person in the whole game saving both female and male characters several times throughout the game, she does things

 noone else are capable of and is depicted as a strong, highly intelligent survivor Who is clearly a woman.

The point of it all is that you are mad at 90's society for making games for their core audience: the young\young adult male.

If you look at games made post 2005 when the core audience is getting closer and closer to a 50\50 player base you see alot more diverse characters and roles in games. all your video is doing is saying "REMEMBER WHEN WE USED TO BE TREATED UNEQUAL BECAUSE WE HAD NO INTEREST IN GAMING, BUT WE DO NOW SO NOW WE CAN LOOK BACK AND SEE HOW UNEQUAL WE WERE TREATED? LETS PROTEST!"
 and it comes off silly to anyone with a good head on their shoulders and some common decency.
Let me put it like this, if you feel you have to tell the world and show the world where the problems are, you are the one making the problem, i have never in my entire life viewed women as a weaker sex.

My Father left my mother when i was 2 years old and she was still going to school.

She is my biggest role model, she starved so i could eat when we were really poor, she bought a NES for me when we couldnt afford gasoline so she could go to her night jobs. people like you are telling the world women are seen as weak and treated wrong, no ma'am, i think its you who view other women weak because you feel you have to tell them they're treated weak. 

Naturally this is way too much to put in a commentary section on someones user page so i hopefully someone reads this at some point, although i doubt it ;)