The Art of Trolling

As a player who appreciates teamwork and a gentlemanly attitude (you too ladies) from fellow players, trolls are pretty much my least favorite gamers to encounter. They are the bane of the online multiplayer world, and I suspect we will never be rid of them.

As a general rule, I try not to get ragey during these encounters. Instead I choose one of several viable responses. A) correct all spelling and grammatical mistakes, B) troll back, or my favorite, C) nice them to death. While not the simplest of tasks, politeness can hopefully lead to improved play. At the least, it generally ticks of the troll since they are not accomplishing what they set out to do.

Last night, however, I was unable to employ any of these options, and simply gawked in awe as every troll-esque action that could happen, did.

Thus I present to you, lovely readers, the Art of Trolling, as shown by my most recent game of League of Legends:

Step 1:
During choosing phase, do not call a lane, do not communicate with team. On third pick, choose Karthus, even though mid has been picked and the only lane not called is Top. When teammates question choice, do not respond.

Step 2:
Enter game. Do not go to the one open lane. Instead go the bot lane, which has a viable duo team. Do not leave lane when asked. Force support to top lane.

Step 3:
Hug tower and be mostly unhelpful.

Step 4:
Finally engage in communication, but only blame teammates for why the game is going poorly.

Step 5:
Spend majority of game at base or sitting between towers AFK. Occasionally ping the jungle incessantly to drive teammates insane.

Step 6:
End game with zero kills and few assists. Blame teammates for losing and being terrible. Flame your heart out.   Accept no blame. Talk about teammates’ mom.

Step 7:
Mission accomplished; you ruined somebody’s night.

To be fair, trolls are not always all bad. Sometimes they are hilarious. Occasionally they carry. If they aren’t doing it in ranked games, I could care less. But the above case has already ruined my first series since returning from my long hiatus as well as ruined what was an otherwise lovely evening. I could care less that you think it is fun to troll. Go play normals, because nobody cares about those.

Last but not least, maybe you could just act like a decent human being? I’m sorry you have issues and nothing better to do, but don’t take it out on me and my team.  Kthxbai.

Sincerely,
Clawing my way up the ladder

Disclaimer: Before it comes up, I wholly understand that one player does not win or lose a game. As a team, we could have adapted better and potentially pushed back. It is not the loss of the game I am complaining about, but the attitude of the player. Even a lost game doesn’t have to leave you miserable at the end.

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Persona 3: Japan at it’s Finest

Atlus is one of my most favorite game companies of all times. I have been playing their games since the ripe age of 14, but they were producing LONG before that.

Some of the better known series probably include Disgaea, Growlanser, and Shin Megumi Tensei. Some of my favorite Atlus games include the enticing Catherine, the whimsical Dokapon Kingdom, and the alluring Odin Sphere. A full list of games can be found at Wiki: List of Atlus Games.

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Above all, however, Persona 3 is my absolute favorite. When P3 came out, I was 16 years old. I had probably read about the game in PSM (PlayStation Magazine) and was highly anticipating it. At that time I had done enough research to know I was not old enough to purchase it at the Mature rating. I also knew there was no way my parents would purchase it for me, due to the nature of the game. Yet I was determined. The fresh new collectors edition with art book and limited soundtrack had come out and by George I wanted it. I had just gotten my license that summer, so when the GameStop clerk asked for mutt idea I stood tall and handed it over with a smile. To this day I don’t know I’d he did the math wrong or if he took pity on me. Either way, I got out of the store that day with the game I wanted and was absolutely ecstatic.

There was a reason why Persona was rated M. It was scary and mysterious, the dungeons were covered in a blood like substance, the themes were awfully adult, and most of all was the gun shaped Evokers for which your party would use to summon their personas. By “shooting” themselves in the head the surge of adrenaline would bring out their inner strength.

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The uniqueness of the game aside (thanks Japan), I was immediately hooked. A long time fan of RPGs, the contrast of dungeon clearing at night while attending high school and making friends during the day left me constantly wanting more. I will admit,  the social link aspect with a dating sim feel was my favorite part. Overall, the 70-100 hours of gameplay kept me busy for a long time.

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Then came the next version, FES, which I of course had to have. With added features, new personas, and an all new story line to tack on to the end. I’m ashamed to admit that I still haven’t completed this. The only available mode is that of “really freaking difficult” and the lack of social link importance was a bit of a turn off, as I didn’t like mindlessly grinding through the dungeon. Like I said before the relationship aspect was my favorite part.

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Finally came Persona 3 Portable for the PSP. In this version you have the option to play as a female protagonist. I was totally psyched for this version, but wasn’t ready to spend the money on a third copy of the game. This past Christmas I was lucky enough to finally receive a copy, and I am once again absorbed in the P3 universe. When you start a new game you receive a disclaimer saying the lady protagonist is not just for girls, but meant for seasoned players looking for a renewed experience. With many different social link options and entirely different outcomes, it allows old players a new experience. Personally, I love it for the newness AND that I get to play as a kickass lady fighter.

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If you’ve never played the game than I’d certainly recommend it as well as other Atlus games.  If you have then props to you! I’d love to know what your impression was. Thanks for reading!

Remember Me – Mnemception

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Release in June 2013, Remember Me is a game made by Capcom for PC, PS4, and Xbox 360. There was a lot of hype for this game, and some disappointed reviews after it was released. I waited a while to purchase it due to the negative reaction and because I’m a stickler for value and wanted it at a lower price. That lowest price can currently be found at Amazon.

My initial impressions led me to believe that this would be a very powerful experience. The characters and images were vivid and my expectations were high. I had a feeling it was going to keep me on the edge of my seat.

Nilin, the main character and heroine of our game, is a powerful female figure. Nilin is a) pretty kickass b) has unique abilities that others like her cannot begin to fathom and c) has a certain presence that often sent chills up my spine. Nilin makes me think of a futuristic Lara Croft. I often felt as though I was in the Animus, and certain scenes remind me of those in Mirror’s Edge. Nilin is one ferocious lady and she’s out for blood.

As a woman, I often hold games with female protagonists in high regard, because they relate to me better than male characters. I love the “girl power” feeling that comes from kicking everybody’s ass as Nilin. That being said, I do worry that the male consumer base will not find such a connection with our hero. I would not characterize Nilin as overtly feminine; she’s a fighter and a rebel, so I believe you can find at least a few aspects in which to relate to her.

The combat aspect of the game can be a little tricky. I have heard several complaints about the combat system being repetitive and dull. While it is repetitive (you complete the same combos over and over), I would not necessarily find it dull. My first play of the game was on “normal” mode, and even still I had to replay certain fights multiple times. The most difficult thing for me was when you would encounter mobs of enemies and had to use Nilin’s dodge while still attempting to complete a combo. This is one of the aspects that kept me on edge throughout the game. Just because the combat combos may become “dull” over time, that doesn’t mean the combat itself does, as new foes are introduced and strategies must be redesigned throughout the game.

Overall, I was quite pleased with Remember Me and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I would certainly suggest that it may not have been worth its introductory price, and therefore I am glad that I waited for it to go down in cost before purchasing. I enjoyed the graphics and futuristic scenery. There were occasional puzzles that the player must deal with that I frustrated over and was proud to complete. I was surprised by the twist at the end of the game and was pleased with the final outcome. The one thing that I was truly disappointed by was the length of the game. In some ways it feels more like a prologue, like this should be only the beginning, and I wish that there were more so that I could continue enjoying the world that I had worked so hard to heal.

If I had to give it a rating, I would give it a 7/10. All in all, it was definitely worth the play.

Old School Gamer – Instructions Not Included

After recently buying a new game for my X Box 360, I noticed that no manual was included. This is something I have noticed rather consistently in many newer games. Now, perhaps this is just my inner nostalgia talking, but I miss the days when every game you bought had a detailed and well cared for manual. When I was younger and went to buy a new game, I would generally rip open the plastic on the car ride home and read through the manual, building anticipation for actually playing the game. These days, I drive myself, so that particular enjoyment has been lost. However, I often still look first for the manual in order to get an idea of what to expect when I play.

Yet I find a lot of games these days don’t have them and I find this highly disappointing. One particular instance in which I believed it would be truly useful was with Assassin’s Creed III. I was having difficulty adjusting to the change in combat style from the previous games to the new one, and wanted to brush up on how to properly fight, so went looking for the manual. Of course, there was none, and I cried myself to sleep that night.

I’m still terrible at AC3, by the way.

But that’s not the point. The point is, manuals show a significant amount of care from the makers and helpfulness to the player. Many games had a brief history, introduction to the game/world, or character references. I always enjoyed going through the Kingdom Hearts manuals just to see what they said about the characters, and look through it when not playing the game, even though you can find all of those things in Jiminy’s Journal.

The lack of game manuals can probably be attributed to the change in gaming and technology culture over time. Reading has been left to the wayside while in-game tutorials have become the norm. It’s like the difference between picking up my dictionary or thesaurus, or searching for it online. Maybe this just speaks to me becoming part of an older generation of gamers that I notice the difference at all. In the end though, I’ll always remember the days where I would gleefully look through the manual to immerse myself in the game before even having the chance to play it.

How should a gamer girl be

Gaming Girls

Today we have reblog from buzzfeed.com on how should a gamer girl be.

Women and girls who play video games are up against a lot: one-dimensional female protagonists, sexual harassment by male gamers, objectification, and a litany of weirdly specific — and impossible to fulfill — criteria for what “real” gamer girls should be.

If male gamers and nerds have always, to some extent, been challenged to prove their “authenticity” to others in the community, those tests have been based in knowledge and skill. With female gamers, it’s quite a bit more complicated — and more than a little sexist.

What gamer girls (and, relatedly, their comic book cousins, “fake geek girls”) should and shouldn’t do (and what they should and shouldn’t look like) is a frequently heated topic of Internet discussion, particularly on Tumblr. (See thegamer girl tag in particular.)

Here are just a…

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Final Fantasy X – A Love That Knows No Bounds

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I think that I can say, without hesitation, that the tenth installment of the Final Fantasy series is by far my favorite FF, as well as my favorite game of all time. I have started the game from scratch at least three times, if not more, and have spent well over a 100 hours playing this game alone.

Now, one may ask why this is my favorite game. I say this because I have encountered too many people who really disliked this particular Final Fantasy. This may be because X was a really big jump, and had many changes, from the previous games. Or possibly for various other reasons, I’ve heard of some who simply don’t like the characters, storyline, whatever. To each his own.

Anyway, here are the reasons why I adore Final Fantasy X:

  • At the time of its release, FFX had graphics that blew your mind. The design seemed very streamlined, and overall it was a huge jump from the previous games. Even now, I find myself impressed by the CGI cut scenes.(Photo courtesy of Dorkly, http://www.dorkly.com/comic/54193/graphics-through-the-ages )Image
  • While this is something others likely won’t experience, a huge reason why this games stands out so strongly to me, is that it was my first Final Fantasy game, other than Tactics, which is a completely different kind of game. Being my first, this is the installment that got me into the series in the first place. If it weren’t for this game, I may never have played any of the Final Fantasies, nor found myself loving RPGs as much as I would.
  • The Hymn of the Fayth. As a whole, the FFX album doesn’t necessarily impress me any more than other Final Fantasies. The Hymm, however, quickly became one of my favorite things to listen to. I loved the variations on the theme as you progressed through the game, and I loved the solemnity of the theme, and how it always gave me chills when I listened to it. That being said, I guess I should point out that To Zanarkand is also one of my all time favorite songs, which I use to lull myself to sleep each night. Suteki Da Ne is another big favorite.
  • Mini-games. Blitzball. Blitzball is both the most irritating and most satisfying mini-game I have played in a Final Fantasy game. While the first game, which is required to play in the storyline, is hugely frustrating, subsequent games which you may or may not choose to play can become hugely gratifying in the long run. The satisfaction of making the Besaid Aurochs the best team in the league, and laughing maniacally each time I beat the Luca Goers, has been the reason I most recently have spent so much time on Blitzball.

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  • The battle system. I absolutely love this particular battle system, much more than any Final Fantasy Game I have yet to encounter. Not dealing with the ATB gauge and having the opportunity to strategize as I played out a battle meant a lot to me. This may be due to my love for the SRPG FF Tactics, which was a game I had played much of before this one, and learned that slowly making your choices was the best , and only, strategy. Adjusting to the various other battle systems has never been particularly enjoyable for me.
  • The characters. Auron. While I care for nearly every “main” character of FFX for one reason or another, Auron holds a special place in my heart. He is by far my favorite character in this game, for various reasons, but the main  reason being how downright cool he is.

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So, those are my top reasons for why I love this game. Do you have any deeply ingrained emotions towards this installment? Is there a different Final Fantasy that you love like I do this one? Feel free to comment and let me know what you think.

Gamer Problems – Buying Skins

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I have been playing League of Legends for a little under a year now and have encountered various tough decisions throughout my gameplay. One of the major decisions was whether or not to purchase RP. When I had first started playing League, I swore that I would never allow myself to purchase RP, because it was a game, and not worth spending money on. If I happened to receive some as a gift, great, but I would not buy it for myself.

This decision did manage to work for a time, my boyfriend and I occasionally exchanged gifts of RP on birthdays or at Christmastime. Yet as time went on I began to want skins more and more. Partially because I enjoyed the game so much and partially to show my love for a particular champion.

Now, this may be a problem that only I have, but choosing a skin has never been easy for me. This is likely due to my being acutely aware of the fact that I am paying REAL MONEY for these skins, and I hate to waste said real money on something I won’t absolutely love. That being said, I have gone weeks before actually using RP that is stored on my account. Sometimes I keep some on hand, just in case a skin I like goes on sale, in which case, it holds more value because I am getting it at a lower price.

So, what exactly goes into making a final decision on a skin, one may ask? Well, apparently, quite a bit.

1)    Plain and simple, do I find it aesthetically appealing. This could mean, is it pretty, is it cute, or, from my odd perspective, or is it kind of sexy (I don’t know why, since I’m a girl, but I actually find the fanservice skins entertaining).

2)    How often do I use the champion? Just because I really like a skin, doesn’t mean it will get much use if I don’t play the champion very often, in which case, it’s kind of a waste of funds. For example, I like Caitlyn, finally bought her, but then found I hardly played her. While there was one skin in particular I really liked, I only played her maybe 1 out of 20 games, so it wasn’t worth buying it.

3)    Finally, what does it cost. Even if I really like a skin, and it fits under the preferences of the first two categories, I may choose not to buy it and instead get more skins for a smaller cost. I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m cheap, but I do certainly know value when I see it. I put off buying a Lulu skin for a long time, because Dragon Trainer was my favorite but it was much more expensive than most the other skins I was interested in.

Keep in mind, all of these important factors went out the window when Riot introduced mystery gifts. I exchanged gifts with friends and received two for a champion I absolutely hate, just for the thrill of mystery gifting.

So, what goes aspects go into your decision when buying a skin? Do you have a particular favorite skin? Or do you completely avoid them because you feel they aren’t worth the money?