The Doc Speaks: Konami, please stop.

Tacky?  Tasteless?  Perhaps!  But, it’s one way of capturing the well deserved backlash, right?

Oh, Konami!  You’re either gluttons for pain or you’re the biggest brunch of trolls within the gaming fandom this side of <insert joke about your disliked side in a gaming fandom conflict of choice here>. A ways back, my complete distaste and disgust was reserved for Electronic Arts (alias, “EA Games.”  Over the years, my ire towards many companies came and went.  This is mostly because they became less relevant and suffered for their mistakes.  That or they realized what they have been doing wrong and have made an effort to correct their past issues.  In EA’s case, one could say it’s the former leading into the latter.  However, the time to grill them is over… for now.  We’re here to dig into Konami!  I have a feeling the disdain for Konami will not vanish any time soon.

NOTE:  I know I didn’t post anything during the previous weekend.  The fair I volunteered at took a fair bit out of me, in addition to my non-stop job hunting… which may as well be a job all its own.  So, my time feels squeezed and attempting to balance it is quite the struggle.  As always, thanks for understanding.  Also, if you’re keeping a distance from the Konami clusterfuck, please understand my reasons for continuing to be flustered with a company that I supported for ages.

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Please support a friend’s kickstarter!

If you’re a fan of dark fantasy, new weird fiction, weird westerns and other forms of genre blending, please check out the kickstarter for Ashe Armstrong’s 2nd book in his Demon Hunter series, “Demon Haunted.”  It continues the adventures of battle scarred and ever observant demon hunter, “Grimluk”, an Orc setting to make things right in a world gone wrong.  In the series, you have a mixture of classic fantastic staples straight out the Dungeons & Dragons multiverse that have advanced into a pseudo-19th century inspired world.  The magic is weird, the locals are weirder, and the rules are rewritten!  Backers even get a copy of the first book, so they can be all caught up once the second is released!  So please, lend a hand to continue making this fun series a reality.  You can find it here.

Ramblings: Hype Backlash Returns!

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Around last year, I discussed something I referred to (in a tongue-in-cheek manner) as “The Drizzt Effect.”  Long story short, an out of the blue concept becomes popular… too popular.  Suddenly, everyone wants to play as this character in other peoples’ games.  However, I’m not going to be talking about D&D that much here.  This time, it’s more so about the gaming community (while reflecting on and poking fun at my take on things.)

Overall, last year had a mix of satisfying releases and disappointing ones, as does any year.  I personally enjoyed Witcher III as a well done follow up to its predecessors (as well as an adaptation of the novels.)  While the hype train almost deterred me a little, I decided to challenge it on its own merits.  Overall, a satisfying game, even if Geralt is kind of Batman.  Now, can I say that for all the following games I had adverse reactions too?  Heavens no!

As I’ve said in another post, fandom tends to ruin things for me.  I’m a bitter old soul who becomes unnerved by too many screaming, celebratory voices.  Beforehand, it was Five Nights at Freddy’s.  The series itself is okay in my opinion, not particularly engaging or fun, I did like the first game at the time it came out though.  At first the lore caught my attention, at the very least as a well written creepypasta.  Then the relentless waves of how amazing it was surged everywhere.  I couldn’t escape absurd and esoteric theories, strange fan works among other things.  In a sense, I’m an angry hipster who hates when things get popular.

Perhaps none highlight this more than Undertale.  When I first heard about it back early Fall, I found it to be a charming homage to Earthbound and various other classic RPGs (particularly from the earlier 1990s.)  I had my fun, but the game didn’t really stick with me too much (even after going through a non-violent run.)  So, I packed my bags and decided to check something else out.  No harm done.  Then the floodgates open.  From the Hellscape that is Tumblr, dank memes and jabbering shoggoths emerged from the woodwork to shout at the world the glory that is that game.  I repeated my cycle of quickly becoming a jaded old man.  Returning, I had come to see a game that’s not as “hard” and “deep” as I initially considered (or at least, as others had said.)  I found the game more shallow and lacking the humor and depth I originally thought it had.  I also booted the game to do a “genocide run” out of spite.  And so, I enjoyed the tears of feels-filled fans, as being a very petty and vindictive gamer can be fun all its own.  Now I’m at the point where I roll my eyes and move past.  But, that is the cycle of hype backlash for me.  While I don’t care about what I consider a charming yet mediocre homage anymore, I’m sure something will earn my very petty ire.  This all depends, what are waves of rabid fans going to clamor about next?

In Which I Ramble About The Planes.

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While I didn’t make any formal announcement, I’ve decided that stuff pertaining to tabletop gaming will stay on my other page, Daemons and Deathrays.  That said, things not involving roleplaying games or board games will go here.  It’s not that I feel I should keep them separate, so much as my tabletop blog deserves plenty of love as well.  With that, here’s an article in which I talk about the Planescape setting and how you can use it for your D&D games and beyond!  You can find the article here.  Please, check it out and let me know what you think.

Image Credit: Sigil by Samize

The Doc Speaks: It’s not uncommon to feel “Grinchy”

It’s been that time of the year for a while and it’s safe to say that many of us are sick of it.  We see Mall Santas chugging whiskey outside the local shopping center, spoiled brats screaming about how getting the newest toy is a sign of love, the same holiday pop covered by a flavor of the year music group, sickeningly cheery decorations mass produced by Hallmark-esque megacorporations, you get the general idea.  For many a bitter cynic, the yuletide season simply sucks.  In a sense, rewatching How the Grinch Stole Christmas, there’s a lot to relate to.  Perhaps something about the plot makes us all the more bitter.  But, why is that?

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Happy Krampusnocht!

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I almost forgot it is one of the most wonderful times of the year!  I’m not referring to Christmas, no.  I’m referring to the night where Santa’s Satanic Little Helper scoops up all the naughty kids Santa doesn’t wanna deal with.  This is the Night of the Krampus, of course!  Over recent years, he’s even obtained more popularity with plenty of pop culture attention.  In fact, I might turn my attention to a new movie very soon…

IMAGE SOURCE: Chris Piascik

My sympathies for the victims of the Paris Attacks

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I was going to make a rambling post, but I’d rather say that my heart and thoughts go out to those affected by attacks by hateful extremists.  Every day, I am saddened by humanity being pulled down by ignorance and hate; the people who perpetuate this violence are indeed a part of it.  This is just a reminder that we must come together in solidarity and love rather than let hate take over us.  This is what hateful people want, including many propagandists who want to pin and blame a scapegoat or generalizing an entire population.  We’re better than that.  Let’s help the affected rebuild, even if it’s through moral support, and show that we are connected as a greater humanity.  If there’s one good thing about the Information Age, it is bringing us all together.

IMAGE CREDIT: Jean Jullien