I was really going to write something about e3, or all this DRM, or Sony kind of junk kicking Microsoft and what I actually think that will mean in the long run. But, I imagine you’ve heard that to death in the last week or so. Sometimes people assume or declare things with such little rational thought that I feel like I have to be some kind of counter balance. But, that shit gets exhausting, yo. And for what? Irrational people are rarely in a state of mind to have their mind changed. It’s just not their thing.
So instead, I’m just going to talk about Animal Crossing. I had been waiting for a new iteration for a while. There are certain games that I get legitimately excited about and this is one of them. These games occupy a strange corner of my mind. I mean, there are games I’m excited for that don’t make the cut into this elite group. I guess the best way to describe them is as games I’m really excited for. But, that doesn’t sound as profound as it feels in my mind. Games/franchises that fall into this category (in no particular order and I’m sure I’ll forget something): Animal Crossing, Halo, Metroid, MechWarrior, Mass Effect. I’m pretty sure that Smash Brothers and Mario Kart will get back in this company when the new versions release. I think if was saw something with as much imagination as Super Mario Sunshine, Mario might be able to get back into my good graces. I’m sure Super Mario 3D World will be great, because it’s Mario, but it seems to lack any personality beyond that.
Well, that got off track quickly. So, Animal Crossing. It’s been pretty interesting to see a lot of people come out of the woodwork who have never touched this franchise. With social media as booming as it is these days, a person can easily feel left out when everybody is talking about this thing that they have never experienced. It’s also difficult to truly convey what makes Animal Crossing so fun. To describe it to a person makes it just kind of sound like a loan simulator. There’s nothing fun about a loan simulator. I think it’s got to be weird for people unfamiliar with Animal Crossing to hear their friends describe these kinds of things on Twitter because the things they’re saying sounds stupid, but it’s super clear that they’re enjoying the shit out of it. It probably doesn’t make a ton of sense, and I think that’s what makes all these people want to try it. So far I’ve managed to get through my first house expansion. That’s about halfway paid off. I spend all my time after everything closes collecting fish and bugs to unload at the museum. If you change the clock on your system to get stores open, you’re a dirty cheater. If you can live with that, then go right ahead. But know that I’m judging you. I also won the bug catching competition on Saturday. I felt pretty great about that. That’s one of the cool little things about this game. Events like that are programmed by a date in the game. So everybody everywhere is doing it on the same day. We all got to sit around on Twitter and compare our bug scores. We’re all fucking nerds.
I started up The Last of Us tonight. I wasn’t sure if I was going to play it. I guess Naughty Dog spaces out their games just enough for me to forget that their games control kind of weird and hop back on board. I will say that one of the earliest sequences in the game made me think a lot about the sort of binary rules that video game worlds sometimes seem to operate under. You likely already know that in The Last of Us the world has been overrun with a virus that makes people all fucked up and kills them and shit. There’s a point early on where you’re walking through an underground area and you see all the spores of this virus floating around. Naturally the characters throw on a couple of gas masks and make their way through the spore filled hallways. Now, it’s not just a little bit of crap floating around… the air is thick with this shit. Eventually they emerge back into the sunlight and fresh air and just throw the masks off, make a joke about loving fresh air, and carry on.This is a fucking deadly spore-born virus that has killed the fucking world. It’s all over your goddamn clothes, dawg. That mask you just ripped off? Covered in it. Your bare ass exposed hands? Covered in it. You’re fucked. Game over. But of course, that’s not how video games work. In the video game world, that gas mask was a giant protective shield that kept a 20 foot safety bubble around our heroes. The same thing happens a lot with block buttons in melee combat games. There are a lot more of these kinds of things. Feel free to list any you can think of in the comments. I understand that these are necessary to keep a game moving forward or to balance them. A sequence in which your character has to scrub down and change clothes after emerging from the spore-filled building probably wouldn’t be terribly compelling. I just think it’s kind of silly when you think about it. We probably shouldn’t think about it.
Finally, I want to get you guys a little more involved around here. I want to start up a sort of Q&A post. Just you and me, chatting. Well, really, you send in your question and then I say whatever the fuck I want, leaving only the comment section for you to say anything. And we can lock that shit down any time we want. Really, you won’t have much power here. But you guys know I love you, so it’ll be ok. If you’ve got a question you want answered right here on this site, just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Mailbag” in the subject line so I can sort it out easily. I’ll likely only identify you using gamertags or first names unless you specify otherwise. This is a gaming website, so that themes is encouraged, but roaming way off the beaten path is fine as well. Ask anything. If you’ve ever listened to our podcast, you know we’re no strangers to tangents. Depending on people’s interest in this, I could have something worked up as early as next week. If participation is low at first, I may have to stock up questions for a bit, but I’ll get to you I promise. Let me hear form you Nation!