Trophy Very Much Locked

The current generation of video games has seen the birth of, "achievements" (or "trophies" for the PS3 owners), which essentially boil down to an on screen pat on the head for doing what gamers have been doing for years, playing video games. By completing certain objectives, the player receives a small amount of points which add up over the course of time, increasing your pool of "achievement points" and garnering bragging rights over people who have less points then you. aside from said bragging rights, there are absolutely no repercussions or rewards in regards to players who do (or don't) go out of their way to amass said points. They are simply points, like the points
earned in the Atari days, are worthless outside of the self gratification they provide players. Whenever you complete a game, and the ending credits begin to roll, seeing a tiny indicator appear, telling you that you've beaten the game, and earned the corresponding achievement for doing so, provides a small boost to the already earned sense of accomplishment. "congratulations for beating the game. here are some points!" says the gaming console, which after years of mercilessly taunting us with game over screens after one hit, is now suddenly complementing our gaming prowess. destroy five enemies with a single grenade? you've earned yourself some points my friend, and the proof of your skill will be stamped for all the world to see. But ah, therein lies the rub, as the world doesn't actually care, and after the thrill of seeing yet another, "achievement unlocked" disappears after a few seconds, the sincere notion of wasting time of your life begins to take hold very suddenly/sternly/forcefully/not-fucking-around-ily.

Being a proud "trophy whore" meant that I would not stop in my tireless chase for more
trophies/achievements in order to rank up my holding in the global rank of PS3 owners. Forget homework, my time was spent studying how to get all of the trophies a game had to offer in the shortest and fastest amount of time, in order to make way for the next game, and the next, and so on. Having acquired free video game rentals from the now deceased Hollywood Video, meant trolling the local stores for games whose reputation for easy trophies, far outweighed whether or not the game was any fun and worth playing (which is usually the case). Renting Trivial Pursuit one evening, and yes that means a $60 game which uses a blu-ray disc and high definition graphics to allow players the ability to play TRIVIAL-FUCKING-PURSUIT for as long as they like, I went home and popped it into my PS3. Having already done the research, this game had been estimated at being around 6 hours to platinum. Achieving a Platinum trophy meant that you had earned all of the "points" possible and, received a "platinum" award for that game, indicating its utter completeness by none other than you. Of course the word platinum implies some degree of rarity and value, whereas the award in question is still none other than a 5 second pat on the head. So I began playing Trivial Pursuit, and playing as each of the four players, trophies began to steadily roll in every few minutes. Now this might sound as though I had mastered the vast amount of knowledge someone might need in order to successfully answer that breadth of questions. But no, after each question was asked, I would cheat and pause the game, look up the answer on the Internet, and return to the game with the proper reply, "earning" trophies in a neat and orderly fashion. This has to be the exact definition of trivial, and if it's not, well then I guess I don't understand the word all that well. Then a few hours later, the platinum trophy popped, and that was it. Returning to the video store that very night I pulled into a parking space, unbuckled my safety belt, and became suddenly overwhelmed with ennui.

Why on Earth was I wasting all of my time getting all of these trophies? My global rank had just reached the 2000's (2015 with that game's platinum), and when stopping to consider the roughly 30 million PlayStation 3's that have been sold, that had to put me in the top tier of "point earners" in the world. Yet going through the list of shitty games that I've suffered through in order to earn these meaningless points had left me feeling empty. At least this didn't occur to me until very recently, while questing for more "trophies" by playing PS3 games I would never play otherwise, were it not for the bastard trophies alluring me to waste even more time in their pursuit. The short lived buzz of seeing another "trophy" pop up in the top right corner of the screen had gone from hobby, to addiction. Growing up steeped in video games, and video game culture (yes video games have a culture all their own) meant that I would play them for fun like everyone else did. Then my love for gaming led me to have friends with similar passion for playing video games, and we would all compete to see how many "ultimate files" we could earn. During the "memory card" era of PlayStation and Nintendo64, we would all share games and play them to full 100% completion and brag to each other as to which among us had the most of these files on their memory cards. There was no reward compelling us to do so, it was born out of love and competition. Playing games were fun, but the advent of achievements and trophies had turned once unplayable games into worthy investments of time. Having wasted enough time, I've determined to stop playing for platinum, and begin playing for fun again.

Tonight I began playing Ratchet and Clank:Tools of Destruction, one of the launch titles for the PS3, and a franchise which I love. Having never played it due to lack of trophies didn't stop me from beating Assassin's Creed four times, why shouldn't I play this? Here is my PS3 ranking as of this writing.
The rank displayed here is for the PS3 Trophy Leader boards, and it is out of over 23,000 registered users.


In between classes I took some time out to do a bit of people watching on campus. Having chosen a secluded vantage point, with the proper amount of air conditioning, the voyeuristic experiment began. After roughly 40 minutes, a surprising observation was made. An astounding number of people pick their asses when they think no one is watching them. Peculiar.

Super Street Fighter 4 Update Information

June 15th is the date for the first major update to Capcom's latest entry in the Street Fighter Franchise. Here are some of the things that patch aims to fix.

-FeiLong having endless combos.
-Ultra Combos that when activated, cancel guard inputs, meaning that certain characters can use their ultra combo without risk of block or counters.
-Sagat's EX Tiger Uppercut being tweaked.
-M.Bison's second Ultra combo, Psycho Punisher, has counter damage set too low.
-Guy has a glitch when throwing.
-Ibuki has a chance of retaining her invincibility when rising from the ground for several frames longer than intended.
-When Ibuki uses a target combo against a crouching Chuun-Li, the second hit will not connect.

Thanks to for the heads up.

Beat Em Up

Beat em up, is a genre of video game in which players control characters that engage numerous enemies en mass, pummeling the insurmountable odds into submission until they have achieved victory. This kind of game is best characterized by the Capcom classic, "Final Fight" which debuted in arcades in 1989. You choose one of three characters, brawler, wrestler, or ninja, and take to the streets of Metro City, bashing the goons of the Mad Gear gang until you rescue the mayor's daughter. Sure it was simple, a punch button and a jump button were all people needed back then. As games evolved, the Dynasty Warriors franchise fused these ideas with feudal Chinese History. God of War pushes the envelope for epic confrontations, and Dante's Inferno is a prime example of literature and video games co-existing, however these games fall under the purview of action/adventure, than they would a beat em up.

The core idea of walking around bashing things senseless has become far too stale over the many years. Most, if not all, of the genre's best titles occurred back in the early 90's on 16-bit consoles such as the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and the Super Nintendo. The Dynasty Warriors franchise has become more redundant with each entry and even with the latest titles on the current next generation consoles have somehow managed to regress in their overall design and philosophy. Titles such as Yakuza break the mold by focusing on intense storytelling and a highly interactive Japanese downtown. However the actual brawling that takes places is an awful array of programming that makes me wince just thinking about it. Martial arts masters look like they are using the ancient art of epilepsy to combat each other.

Beat em ups are going through rough times, and if this once beloved genre is to survive it needs to adapt. These days most games have staple RPG elements, such as experience points for killing enemies, subsequent level ups. Even Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce (their latest attempt) has introduced various RPG elements such as item and weapon crafting, as well as equipment that alter your characters statistics. Character customization is also a necessity, as players are far more vested in controlling characters they design and create. Taking queues from games like LittleBigPlanet would be a great idea; letting players create their own "Metro City" as well as their own "Mad Gear gang" for other players to download and jump into would be a great way to promote the creativity that is the new wave of gaming.