SheitGeist, Installment 1

About SheitGeist:

Don’t try to deny it, the industry has gone round the bend, and what is worse the industry commenting on the industry is currently completing its third round around that same bend, and that is just positively loony. The western gaming industry and media have spotted their own reflection in the brown coloured lake of their own latrine offshoot and fallen in love, but no one seems to be around to kick them in the arse so they can get a closer look. In short, there is plenty of love going around, but where is the hate? The world needs hate. That is where I come in, your friendly neighbourhood ball buster.

My quest to bring some much needed balance to things by kicking the western industry in the jewels every chance I get might be as futile as the one Don Quixote partook when he decided to challenge the windmill, but I don’t care! Someone has to stand up for the Japanese on this side and they sure as hell aren’t going to do it themselves, because they are too busy being awesome. Hence, SheitGeist, where I in an attempt to go against the current flaunt my pent up hatred for everything western in the industry and swoon over anything Japanese.

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I have no false and pretentious aspirations of professionalism staying my hand, so my bias will come across with all the subtlety of a shotgun to the face. So, if you are one of the lepers who thinks the westerners are doing a bang up job of steering since they seized the reins to this industry of drunken bullocks then by all means feel free to sod off and jump off of a cliff. But please don’t, because the following was written with the specific purpose to piss you off and ruin your day, like you have mine.

The strange beast that is the JRPG, Part 1:

Some clever bastards might find it funny to point out that in my infinite hatred of everything from the west I have repeatedly spewed my hot molten sulphur of fury upon the scaly skin of FPS creators for infinitely remaking Quake, which was itself a remake of DOOM, which was a remake of Wolfenstein 3D, which again was a remake of Catacomb 3D, while at the same time having no trouble whatsoever with the Japanese creating most RPG’s in the image of Dragon Quest since 1986. Of course if such a clever bastard even existed the answer to his smug questionings would come in the form of the discovery of his decomposing corpus face down in a ditch and the necessity of dental records for identification because it has been mauled too beyond recognition to be identified with any other traditional means.

The dead mutilated bastard would have had a point though, as even my biased mind has not been completely oblivious to the fact that the Japanese RPG genre seems to be stuck in a rut of sorts. But let’s get one thing clear right off the bat, the situation of the Japanese RPG and the western diarrhoea puke that is the FPS exist in two completely differing dimensions of severity. The rut the Japanese seem to be stuck in compared the western one is like comparing a runner slowing down due to a mild cramp to another runner that has lost both legs and arms, laying face down as a motionless torso with its face inch deep in a pool of his own precious life sustaining fluids while several 18th century coaches carried by 4 full bred horses are repeatedly driving over him and crushing his spine.

For one thing, even if the formula for the Japanese RPG was made in mid 80’s it is still sufficiently complicated and has enough of those fill-out-the-blanks-yourself parts to allow each game in the genre to distinguish itself from the rest in clever and unique ways. In stark blinding contrast, the foul smelling and worse tasting formula for the decidedly western FPS goes something like this. Align a cursor with whatever you want dead and then mash the kill button until it is dead, then align the cursor with the next thing you want dead and do it all over again. If FPS developers want to get really freaking creative then they might require the player to move closer to whatever they want dead and occasionally try to dodge as it futilely tries to fight back during the 20 second lifespan it is allowed from the time it is spotted by the player.

Ironically even those two atom sized challenges have been nixed in the recent shit’o’lution (my made up word for a kind of shitty reverse revolution patented by western developers) which is the advent of the cover mechanic that can be used to hide behind an indestructible cover while cowardly waiting for the non-existent enemy AI to force it to poke its head out so you can comfortably and with minimal effort plant a bullet in it.

Playing an FPS is nothing more than mental masturbation for that part of ones brain that one has in common with reptiles, and unlike real masturbation that rarely is anything more than a few minutes wasted this act seems to last for hours on end.

Tracing the history of both these game genres it is pretty evident they each are the most popular type of game in each their region of birth. Unfortunately with that popularity also comes conservatism in regards to giving conventions a much needed kick in balls to change things up every once in a while, although in two very different degrees of severity. Although the skeleton formula for the JRPG was set in stone in the 80’s the core part of the gameplay was never the less left up to the developer to decide, which they have proven to be able to do with great creativity and variety time and time again. The FPS developers on the other hand have mistaken creativity and variety in the core combat with varying the gun model sticking out of the screen and the damage the bullets coming from it do, in reality the only semblance of core gameplay existing in FPS’s is the kill button and the action of mashing it.

Where the future of JRPG definitely does not lie:

I love playing RPG’s but lately I’ve been forced to put playing them aside in favour of other gaming pursuits due to a number of points of frustration that I’ve always felt needed to be addressed by their developers. I had been walking around thinking about these points of frustration and how they could best be addressed in hopes of turning them into the rant you are currently reading when suddenly I tripped over an article on IGN called “Let’s Play Doctor: Role Playing Games”. Fine, I though to myself, some one has gone ahead and done my work for me and in a fashion where it might actually be seen by a few people. I started to read the article expecting to find inside it cover of some of the topics I had been musing over myself when after a few paragraphs I had to stop reading and gouge my own eyes out with a dessert spoon. I stopped because within the space of a few lines I heard mentioned the name of a certain recently released western game aspiring to call itself an RPG, which of course with the western media being the self gratifying whores that they are had been given so much verbal fellatio since way before it had even been properly unveiled that I imagine its cock must have fallen off from wear by the time it was actually released into the cesspool of rabid demand forming its horizon stretching perimeter.

Whenever the western media lines up and bends over Goatse style to shower a game with their brown projectile of liquid praise I immediately run for cover in my bunker and lock myself in there until it has passed. Of course 2007 marking the year where the western media abandoned the last shred of sanity and took dancing to the streets covered in nothing but a thick layer of their own faeces and a crudely made tinfoil hats means that I have been stuck in that bunker for pretty much ever since, and I don’t imagine I will be coming out of there anytime soon. Gone are the days where I, aspiring to be what one would then call a true gamer, attempted to purchase every system and play any game that received high marks from the media. I learned my lesson of never doing that again when said practice, going again
st my own intuition, landed some of the most monumental stinkers of my gaming history directly into the pile of my currently played games, which incidentally was how I to my infinite regret came to play the original Gaylo game; may my soul eternally burn the red fires of agony in hell for doing so.

Upon, in that article, bearing once again witness to verbal fellatio for the by then cockless game that I had so hard been trying to ignore the existence of made it pretty clear to me that the true title of the article was “Let’s Play Butcher: How to kill the JRPG and replace it with something shat out in the west”. Needless to say by that time I stopped reading and started sobbing. Yes, typical of western logic it was being suggested that something foreign should be “improved” upon not by making changes to it by the merit of its origins but instead by ripping it apart and replacing it with something completely different that was developed in the west, which therefore must naturally be better. Indeed, everyone loves the smell of their own, and the west seems so infatuated with the smell of their own nauseating mental farts that they want to bottle up the fragrance and sell it fancy French perfume shops. Try as I might to avoid those shops their salesmen never the less always seem to be able to find me and upon doing so waste not a second spraying their farts in my face while straight face telling me to like it.

I’ll begin covering the absolute fruit bat crazy ridiculousness of that suggestion by pointing out that it is impossible to replace JRPG’s with western RPG’s because there is no such thing as a western RPG. When somebody says “JRPG” a proud continuing history of hundreds of games having been released by dozens of studios since 1986 immediately springs to mind. When someone with a misplaced sense of pride bleeding out their every orifice utters the cursed words “Western RPG” only two companies come to mind. Yes, only a pathetic twosome of companies are every three or so years shitting out the brown nuggets of glory that forms this haphazardly strung together loosely defined group which only an idiot would label an game genre. In the mean time the products squeezed out by those two companies are so different that anyone attempting to label the set that they form a genre would then be forced to label the produce of each company a subgenre of that same genre, which of course just adds to the absurdity of it all.

Allow me now to give a brief description of what each of those two companies has been busying themselves creating this last decade or so by starting with the one that creates what I can only describe as being a single player MMOG. Yes, a MMOG with all parts intact except for the part where there are other actual people running around in the game world making playing said game annoying in addition to monotonous, repetitive and boring. Of course, removing the annoyance of having to tolerate the existence of ones fellow man only removes the annoying part of MMOG’s, leaving intact the monotonous, repetitive and boring parts, which if removed as well would result in the game box being shipped with a blank disc inside it.

The other company forming the sadly overrated twosome seems to have a particularly strong affection for creating games that carry in them a pretence of choice. Yes, choice, as in “choose one between A, B and maybe C, or else…”, which I have observed to be somewhat of an obsession in the leprosy stricken gamers of the west. Arbitrary choices that are spread throughout the game to give one the illusion of freedom but at the very best only break down into a blatantly obvious evil versus good choice that ultimately in an hidden way determine which of the million different endings you get when you finish the game. I like multiple endings as much as the next guy, but where such things feel right at home in games like Silent Hill which I can play from start to finish within the span of a day and therefore stand a chance of seeing all of the amazing 5 variations of, I on the other hand have no bleeding chance or interest in putting everything else in my life aside for the year it would require me to play through and find all the million endings in a 40 hour+ game, rather, I prefer one ending, a bloody good one.

This western obsession with the existence of an illusion of freedom in all games, I believe, must somehow be related to the threatening large volume of liberty ejaculating tossers with the proudly swaying flag of their country attached to a flagpole sticking out of their bum that can be observed living there. The misplaced desire for freedom and liberty for all harboured by these poster children for some kind of Nazi sponsored eugenics program is slowly turning the wheels of the industry to veer off road towards the ravine of sandbox gaming where games are no longer games, but places where you pretend to play a game by making up your own.

I like linear games with a single ending that I have little to no influence over because when I sit down to play a game I want to trust the developer to create the ultimate focused experience around me. The developer is the storyteller and purveyor of gameplay, when I play a game I do it because I want to see and experience what he wants me to, if I wanted to create my own experience by yanking the control out of the hand if the developer and cock everything up by deciding everything myself then I wouldn’t be playing a sodding game, now would I? No, instead I would just close my eyes and pretend I was on an adventure of my own; it would take up less of my time and would be cheaper too.

To close off this week’s segment let me say that I am not a complete clueless git, so I am aware that once upon a time in the 80’s there actually was a period were an legitimate genre of games existed worthy of being called Western RPG’s, but just like the horrible fashion sense of that same decade it is a thing of the past so let us not mention it ever again lest someone is tempted to bring both back from the grave. With that said let us say a final bugger off to the western RPG, kick it in the jewels, throw it in into the endless abyss of some dark pit and never mention it again lest we should be tempted to do so in a humorous and degrading way. Instead, next week, let us turn our noses to the Japanese RPG and provide a sane, logical and western hating approach to how they could be improved upon, as the genre deserves.

Article continues next Friday.

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