Month: April 2015

Abnormal Mapping 27: Do Your Bit To Stop The Sun

FFVIII

Matthew stood by the grave, and looked upon the headstone. Time had withered the slate, there was no name left to mark a life long since lived. And all the people seemed to pass on by, catching the bus, going to work, eating chips and going to bed. He didn’t understand how they could walk here without hearing the warning, those deafening screams of the forgotten, keeping him awake night after night after night. One day he would be screaming too.

“No,” he whispered to himself, turning away. He couldn’t change his fate, but he could tear down heaven and hell to punish those who chose it. Who were Gods to sign his death sentence, to force upon him an existence never requested, and all too soon, steal it away? No longer could this cycle continue. The Gods would fall to his hand, and for one brilliant, shining moment, as the pain of existence blinked away, there would be silence.

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This Month’s RPG Explorer’s Club: Final Fantasy VIII

Next Month’s Game Club: Attack of the Friday Monsters!!

Games Discussed: Final Fantasy VIII, Pokemon Shuffle, Star Wars, Super Mario Bros

Music This Episode
Blown Away by Kevin MacLeod
Ami by Nobuo Uematsu
Shuffle & Boogie by Nobuo Uematsu
Fragments of Memories by Nobuo Uematsu
Man With A Machine Gun by Nobuo Uematsu

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Mario, When The Sun Rises

Mario

What makes Mario ‘Super?’

Well, he jumps incredibly high, he can break blocks just by jumping into them, plus he can double his height and throw fire out of his hands with the aid of a mushroom or a flower. By all accounts, that is a fairly super guy. On the other hand, he has incredibly poor control of his own momentum, and he dies upon immediate contact with other living things. There’s relatively little evidence to suggest Mario is anything more than an ordinary human being.

Before embarking on the journey of the Morning Mario, I’d played only recent entries in the series. To me, Mario had always been a game of empowerment, a game which allowed you to feel this precise sense of control, to experience a powerful kinetic force of momentum. I’d compare it to Spider-Man 2, a game literally about experiencing the movement of a superhero. To play Mario – be it the careening straight line of NSMB, or the melancholy tinged planets of Galaxy – is to be super, for just a little while.

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Abnormal Mapping 26: Blend Till Non-Litigious

elegy

The Mappers deal with the loss of technology and hope in the only way they know how: deep existential crisis and how it informed criticism. Good thing they’ve finally stumbled across a game that is willing to compete with them for who can be the most fatalistic, even if it means doubling down on prescriptive ideas of what educational/artistic games should be. Also, we talk about lore for almost a half an hour and nobody makes a Star Trek joke, so it’s all a minor miracle today in this post-computer episode of this post-computer podcast.

You can get our podcast on iTunes, on Stitcher, or you can download it directly by clicking here.

This Month’s Game Club: Elegy for a Dead World

Next Month? TBD, sorry!

Games Discussed: Elegy for a Dead World, Pokemon Art Academy, Rock Band, Resident Evil HD, Even The Stars, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Skyrim, Dragon Age: Origins, Dishonored, Alan Wake, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Battlefield: Hardline, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Dark Souls

Music This Episode
Blown Away by Kevin McLeod
Game Over from Sega Rally Championship
Rock the Dragon by Shuki Levy and Kussa Mahehi
Wicked Child by Kinoyu Yamashita
All I Want by Offspring

VaniaMania: Castlevania

VaniaMania, the sister series of Morning Mario, sees Matthew trying to tackle the earliest games in one of his favorite series one continue at a time. How can you stop Dracula when you’re only limited to three lives a day?!

Castlevania is a classic Konami platform action game released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986. It used to be Konami’s most popular game series, still going as of a few years ago.

Final Fantasy XIII: Tales From Cocoon

FFXIIII’m currently making my way through the Fabula Nova Crystallis, and I recently finished up the original game. It’s a mess, and one deserving of a thorough critical breakdown, which Matt handily provides throughout his Let’s Play. Here’s an episode from it that puts some of the game’s ambitions and failures in context with the rest of the Final Fantasy series.

As a relative newcomer to Final Fantasy, I don’t have the familiarity to offer that kind of analysis, so instead enjoy a series of contextless anecdotes about my time playing the (in)famous video game, Final Fantasy XIII. There will be spoilers, there will be a bunch of meaningless lore jargon, and all the earnestness imaginable.

Honestly, there is no approach more fitting. (more…)