Last year I had a religious experience. Like a lot of Biblical encounters, it happened unexpectedly one night while minding my own business. I never thought such a thing would happen to me, but now here I am: I am in love with Doom after playing it for the first time last year.
Doom is definitely a hypermasculine power fantasy. The Marine you play as is ripped and vascular, his face grimacing at you from the bottom of the screen at all times. You shoot demons with an increasingly powerful array of guns, blowing them into bloody chunks while a soundtrack heavily influenced by thrash metal plays. On paper, it does sound like something I’d hate (except for that soundtrack), but I couldn’t have been more wrong about that, because it’s so…pure? Am I really wanting to use that word to describe this game? Yes. Doom is pure.Continue reading DOOM DOOM DOOM→
Being a Godzilla fan for virtually my entire life has shaped me in a way that I’m only starting to become aware of in recent years. I prefer practical effects over CG. I don’t trust movie and videogame reviews all too much. While a lot of fans—especially in comics—obsess over continuity and timelines, Toho Studios never gave much of a damn about such things for most of the Godzilla movies, so I’ve learned not to care much either. Playing a perfectly designed videogame, reading a perfect comic, listening to a perfect album—all of that is awesome, when everything falls into place and works so well, looks and sounds slick, but…I don’t know. For some reason, that isn’t as appealing to me as something that isn’t quite so perfectly put together. I like seeing when mistakes are made. I like awkward translations, weird cuts, proportions that are somehow off. It feels more human to me. I can relate to it better as an imperfect artist and imperfect person myself. I like it when things get occasionally sloppy. Continue reading Lousy, Shoddy Fun→
I bought Splatoon a few days after it came out. I’ve been playing it every night since, barring one or two days. I’ve been trying to write about it for a week now. I’m in love with this game and its world and I can’t figure out how to articulate it.
To start, I love the world that this game is built around. The title screen when you load the game is an empty bedroom, presumably belonging to your Inkling character (I chose to play as a girl, of course), with a map of the room on the gamepad’s screen and spots of ink indicating you’ve gone out. Inkopolis is this bustling, lively place where player characters hang around. Music blasts across the hub area from speakers set up in front of the building, which serves as the game’s multiplayer lobby. It feels like Tokyoto from Jet Set Radio, or the way Shibuya was depicted in the World Ends With You, and I love that the music is actually a part of the world, that what you hear (some of it is known as “squidcore”) really is what everyone listens to in this particular inksplattering game culture. Continue reading SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT→
I had just fought my way through a rather dreary village made up of rundown shacks built from rotting wood. I made my way into a large barn, occupied with only one foe, not too different from the other pitchfork and axe-wielding ghoulish figures I’ve been cutting down for so much of this game. I started towards him, but when he noticed me, something weird happened. He groaned, clutching his head. Before I could take the time to speculate what his problem was, his head exploded, with perhaps a dozen venomous snakes emerging from what remained of his neck.
If I wasn’t playing videogames or watching cartoons as a kid, I was outside playing. I’d sink a lot of time into Pokémon, then go out and pretend I was my trainer from the game, going on adventures and meeting cute girls. Or I’d make up my own character who’d fight alongside Cloud, Barrett, and Tifa in Final Fantasy VII. I think most kids with active imaginations did this sort of thing, right?
Using the last of my Club Nintendo coins before they shut the whole thing down this summer, I downloaded EarthBound on the Wii U Virtual Console. I’ve tried playing it a couple times before on an emulator in high school, but could never get into it. Now, as an older, hopefully smarter person, fumbling my way through my late twenties and waxing nostalgic all too frequently, the game is a delight. It’s very much along the lines of how I’d play pretend when I was little, leaving the house to go on a big adventure to save the world, wielding a plastic baseball bat pretending it’s a sword—that kind of thing. Continue reading We Feel Groove!→
I’m a fan of Suda51 and his crew at Grasshopper Manufacture. They make weird, crazy, unpolished, problematic games that are unlike anything else and I love them for it. I’ve mentioned before how Travis Touchdown from No More Heroes is not only a favorite videogame protagonist of mine, but also that I sort of base my clothing choices off of what he wears, which led one of the Gamervescent Overlords to tag that article with “Travis Touchdown: Sartorial Role Model.” I wake up laughing over that sometimes.
I’ve already written about Akira Yamaoka’s music for the Silent Hill series. It comes as no surprise that he’s best-known for his work on that series. I have to admit though, much as I love those collaborations with Mary Elizabeth McGlynn and Joe Romersa, Silent Hill was not my first exposure to his music, nor is it my favorite. For me, it’s his soundtrack to Contra: Shattered Soldier, composed with Sota Fujimori.
You are a filthy slob and almost certainly a terrible pervert who shouldn’t be allowed around women or children. You’re a greedy jerk obsessed with gold, you wear complementary colors that are an eyesore with green elf shoes that don‘t match at all, you’re out of shape, you devour more garlic than any human being should (I try not to imagine the smell,) and something about your big pink nose and the mustache which grows from it makes me think you’ve got a nasty infection that won’t go away.
Nintendo – I bought a Wii U in March. A month or so later, so did one of my best friends. Then our other best friend bought one when he came in from Korea for the summer. We reunited with an old friend from school last weekend, crammed into my room, playing Smash Bros and Mario Kart while reminiscing. I haven’t really gotten excited for games in a long time, only buying one or two things a year for a while now, but the Wii U really reinvigorated me, and I’m so happy that my closest friends own one too so that we can all play and laugh with one another, even if one of us is currently in another country. And if we aren’t playing together, we’re usually sending obscene messages to each other in the Miiverse. Nothing says friendship like crudely drawn penises, right?
Anita Sarkeesian – For making awesome feminist video critiques. Also, thanks to loudmouths who hate her for making it very clear to me that I should avoid you. It’s good to know up-front you’re an asshole that I shouldn’t bother with, saves me so much time and energy.
Bethany and Jennifer – For being totally cool with letting an idiot like me contribute to such a great gaming site with my inane rambling! [Eds. Note: Awww! ♥♥]
Hannah (who is currently in Korea visiting family) is thankful for:
Portable games, such as Nintendo 3DS series and mobile games. My airline and train travels are not boring anymore!
Bethany Bryan and her twistedamazinghilarious brain and her beautifulbottomlessheart. Y’all know Bethany is the reason this website still exists, right? When I grew too weary of shouldering the burden on my own and nearly abandoned it, Bethany trekked out to find G-vesc and me lying lost and almost dead in the wasteland and carried us back out again (true story!!). If you enjoy reading Gamervescent, you should send her a card, or at least a Facebook wall post of naked Alistair. [Bethany Note: This seriously made me a little teary. You’re too much.]
…and the rest of these jokers who contributed to this post and contribute regularly to this site. Luv u guysss, you are thebestpeoplewhoexist, seriously.
And also the best person who does not (yet!) contribute to this site, my wonderful friend who works at GameStop and made sure my guy and I got a Deluxe Edition of Dragon Age Inquisition even though we didn’t pre-order it. That’s love, man.
The vastly improved make-out physics in Dragon Age Inquisition’s romance cutscenes in comparison to those of previous DA games, dang!
that my birthday is so close to Thanksgiving I get a new game EVERY TIME
[relevant to the above:] Bizarre Creations’ newest Geometry Wars 3!!! I LOVED the first two in the series and now in 3D? Let’s do this!
Light bridges. When traveling becomes a bore, run across a bridge of pure light and try to complain – can’t.
Yoshi plush toys. Because… this:
Dragon Age Inquisition’s in-depth character creation! I have never been able to make a believable Asian character until the new DA came along with its healthy number of toggles and swatches! Yeah, Haeinous has whitish-blue hair and more face tats in DA than she does in real life, but still. THIS IS AMAZING!
Cooperative games, because I love playing with my friends. My favourite evening is a Mario Party evening.
Having enought money to play World of Warcraft every month. It is such a great game.
I am thankful for the new versions of old games. Especially the Legend of Zelda games! Does anyone really have enough space for all the old consoles and the old games?
The rainy days. They are the perfect excuse for a gaming day. We don’t have many of those in Madrid, so that makes it much more special.
I am thankful for portable consoles. I used to have a Game Boy and it was huge, heavy, and the battery was shitty, so I couldn’t really play outside with it for a long time. Now I travel a lot and the Nintendo 3DS is perfect even for a 6-hour trip.
Finally, I am so thankful for those who make walkthroughs of difficult games and share them online. You guys are heroes.
And we are ALL thankful for you wonderful weirdos who visit this site! Have a great Thanksgiving, dudes.
I can only play Alien: Isolation for an hour or two at a time, once every couple of days usually. And when I do play it, I have a hard time sleeping at night. It isn’t necessarily because of how scary and stressful the game can get, although that is part of it given that I now jolt at every little sound I hear. It’s just that, once I’ve played it a little bit, I spend the rest of the day being unable to think about anything else. Not even Taylor Swift’s brilliant new music video can stop it. It may be a bit of a problem.
For one thing, it’s impossible for me to predict what’s going to happen in this game. First, there are the other people stranded on the Sevastopol with you. Some of them will shoot you on sight without a moment’s notice. Others will yell at you to back off and, if you listen and do so, will leave you alone after that. I hid under an operating table as a man whose partners I’d witnessed the Alien murder came into the room, gun drawn, shouting “I know you’re in here, I just want to talk!” I had no idea if he really wanted to talk or if he was going to kill me for letting his friends die. I didn’t have much time to think about it either, as a big problem with shouting is that you give away your position to the Alien, and, well, the Alien is obsessed with killing. Continue reading Perfect Organism→