Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Celebration #3

Thursday, March 27, 2008

You did a really nice job with that compliment. If you keep working on that...

Last night, while I was at rehearsal, my best friend was online playing Team Fortress 2. Evidently, he played some rounds with one particular player, who kept telling him: "Hey. If you keep working on that, you could be really awesome."

Now, you might not be reading this as the blatantly patronizing insult that I see it as, but just consider this: the "potentially awesome" player has put 200+ hours into this game and was the top scorer every single round. Sometimes with double or triple the points that this oh-so-complimentary teammate had. He is the top scorer in so many of the matches that I play with him. And he's not just a point-hoarder. He plays smart, gets the objective, works with the team. I love playing with him. He is already awesome.

This got me thinking about other situations in which a comment like this is not appropriate:
  • Roger Federer beats some 17-year-old nobody 6-0 at tennis. At the net, the kid shakes Federer's hand and says, "Good game. If you keep working on that, you could be really awesome."
  • A doctor leaves the O.R. after a difficult, exhausting, but ultimately successful operation. The doctor's colleague looks over and says, "Close call. If you keep working on that, you could be really awesome."
  • A high school senior pours his heart into writing the application for the college of his dreams. In the spring, he receives a letter from the university: "We're sorry to inform you that we are unable to offer you admission at this time. Your penmanship, however, is excellent. If you keep working on that, you could be really awesome."
  • A man's wife walks into the room wearing a new dress. He looks up, smiles, and says, "Hey. If you keep working on that, you could be really awesome."
I've learned a very important lesson from all this: the simplest compliments are always the best. Everything else is just as likely to be a knife in the back.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Celebration #2

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sequel Revolution

Why is it that gamers expect something extraordinarily modern and revolutionary when it comes to game sequels? Consumers and media alike seem determined to undermine a sequel's success if it's only a slightly improved version of the original. People start calling it a $60 expansion and other such nonsense.

Maybe it's just me. When a sequel for a game is announced, I expect the developers to a) continue the story and b) fix what was broken. If I wanted something utterly new and different, I would buy a different game. If I wanted an elegant improvement over something I already liked and the continuation of a plot... well, then I would buy the sequel. After all, that's what sequels are for.

Granted, if you wait ten years for a sequel, then you expect updates in gameplay and technology. But that's true of any game... you can't be a contender in 2008 with 2002 graphics or 1995 gameplay.

Rainbow Six: Vegas had great gameplay, a fun and exciting multiplayer experience, and awesome environments. In 2, they've given us a sprint button, an engrossing RPG-like experience (in both multiplayer and campaign), and fixed the ludicrous co-op from the first game. The game picks up where the last one left off. This is what I call a sequel.

Maybe I'm not a sufficiently discriminating consumer.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Celebration #1

Every Friday, I'm going to start posting an image homage to everything great from that week. Here's this week's celebration:

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Metal Gear American

I'm very nearly shedding tears with the recent announcement that MGS4 will not have a Japanese language track stateside. Evidently, Kojima couldn't fit everything he wanted onto a single disc and this is one of the cuts they'll be making.

The only reason this is blog-worthy? No one else I talk to seems to care! Now, I'm not the kind of elitist girl who turns her nose up at the impurities of dubbing. But with 99% of my favorite games and movies, the translation and the voiceover just don't do the original justice. I find the voice actors hired by Japanese developers to be completely dull at best and infuriatingly irritating at worst. When Blue Dragon started up with American voice actors, I scrambled to reach for my controller and switch the options to Japanese.

And with Metal Gear? I just can't imagine sitting through such a convoluted story and such epic cutscenes if they're being read by whatever twobit American hack Konami could get their hands on.

*deep breath*

I will admit that I'm not the world's number one Metal Gear Solid fan. I won't slice my wrists if the game passes me by. But I was looking forward to more quality content for my dusty PS3. And I don't know if I'm up for more David Hayter. (Brilliant as he was in Eternal Darkness.)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

New Blog!

Starting March 1st (that's today!), I'm moving everything over to this lovely site on Blogger. I'll be dragging over some of my old posts, but... honestly, I don't have time to do laundry. So website maintenance won't exactly be at the top of my list.

In the meantime, hooray for the new site!

And here's a fun picture: