Saturday, December 24, 2016

Cold Smokes and Metaphors, Part 1


The dark enveloped me like a cold, lifeless blanket. Streetlights left stark orange holes in the fabric, casting harsh rays of visual perception on a snow-covered cityscape. Legs stiffly pumping as they seized up in the breeze, I crunched through the weighty white blanket towards the scene of the crime. I already used blanket. Shoot. Well, it fit better for snow anyway. We’ll retcon the darkness into a cardigan or something.

Turning at the corner of 5th and Simile, I came face to face with tonight’s job. It was a grizzly scene, and not the kind you see fishing for salmon. The stiff was sprawled out on the concrete behind that taught tape TP of the local PD. The chief was already there, looking down his wobbly, grim-faced lip-fur at the blood on the snow beneath him. Well, the stuff wasn’t actually on the snow. It was mostly along the curb, mixing with the filthy gutter slush for a sort of spotty dark brown color. I knew that on top of everything else, the killer had a profound disrespect for the conventions of visual symbolism.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Genericide Update: A Payload of Discontent

Words! Unlimited transmitters of information, unparalleled transportation for communication! These supremely significant symbols signify all knowledge that shall ever pass from one human brain to another. Pouring from the mouths of all who live easier than air, they infest the world with ideas equally insidious and ingenious. Thrown to the wind like flowers in the breeze, they ingrain themselves in the hearts of men. Also alternate genders of human, a small subset of clever animals, and theoretical lab experiments where cardiovascular systems gain sentience. Words are tools, to an author as a hammer and nails to a carpenter or confidence and mental insulation are to successful businessmen. But there are not a thousand hammers of varying shapes equally equipped to conquer every nail. For the humble author need not worry about mere execution, but the tools. Before he can concern himself with composition, he must select the instruments. Before he can compose a sentence, he must select the words.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Genericide Update: A Fresh Jug O’ Word Juices

Why hello there! Been a while since we’ve had a chat like this, eh imaginary friend I pretend is an active audience? A few months, as a matter of fact. Though it only spanned two different topics, I’ve spewed out a fair few words lately. Last week I slipped off the metaphorical hook due to Thenksgorbing, but now America is done reminding the world of its enjoyably unhealthy relationship with food and I’m back on said hook. That metaphorical hook has me by the metaphorical jaw, and if I don’t want to end up catch of the day I’ll have to write a blog update or something that fish do I don’t know this was actually a terrible metaphor for my situation.

Since it’s been a while, allow me to acclimate myself to the proper mindset for my uniquely endearing* brand of non-content (nontent, if you will). Ahem:

*Genericide earned a perfect score on a scale of one to endearing, by a panel of five judges that were all me in a delightful assortment of different wigs.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Great PokeClone-Off Finale

On this winding path through lame jokes and Poke-themed armchair game design, we are finally at the beginning of the end, which is author-speak for “whenever sounds most dramatic.” The sun is setting, the ship is leaving dock, and the fat lady is running low on lung capacity. We have reached the end of the road, the line, the journey, the thread, our wits, and the overextended intro sequences. And we’ve hit that point with a whole mess of baggage still waiting to be packed in.

So it’s time we got to it! This final post will focus on the miscellaneous, those nuggets of critical gristle that don’t fit within the neat, juicy cuts of analysis covered before. I’ve condensed these turbulent storms of raw opinion into five sorta-distinct categories: Level Design, Difficulty, Post-Game/Multiplayer, Economy/Interface, and Mini-Games/Side Quests.  Each will be worth five points, which I have ingeniously combined with my incredible skills of basic multiplication for a 25 point total. The critiques will be doled out quickly and efficiently, like extremely condescending machine gun fire. And that rapid rain of ravishing reverence and ravaging ridicule will begin…

…hold on, let me just check my wa – RIGHT NOW!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Great PokeClone-Off Part 4: Customization and Writing

There is a series that is very good at one particular thing. It excels at long-term strategic planning. It embraces widespread personalization. It’s the master of modification. Customization is its middle name.

…No not Custom Robo! Customization is its first name. I am of course talking about Pokemon. Its full name is Pocket Customization Monsters. It had some weird parents. Or maybe they were just a fan of underwater creatures and stealth puns.

There’s another series that’s very good at a different thing. It shines at designing an intricate narrative. It loves crafting characters and directing dialogue. It’s the sultan of scripting. Writing is its middle name.

…No not Pokemon! Are you kidding? This stuff is serviceable at best. I am of course talking about…actually, I don’t even know what series I’m talking about. I’m sure one exists out there. Somewhere. Probably. I just know it’s not Pokemon.

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Great PokeClone-Off Part 3: Combat

When you go to visit the Mona Lisa, you may notice they don’t react kindly towards your attempts at rotating the painting, plugging it into a wall charger or smooshing Poffins all over her face. As was explained to me by an unusually patient police officer, this is because the Mona Lisa is not a video game. Through rigorous abuse of the term “scientific method”, I’ve done some testing and confirmed that:

1. Some things are not video games.
2. Video games are different from other things.

I’m planning on writing my thesis on this one: 3. Video games are things you can play. And the first thing you think of when you hear the word play? Murder. So it’s high time we broke down the “playing a game” aspect of these video games, starting with the part where you physically harm others to become successful. These gameplay sections will be worth extra points, because horrific violence is inherently hilarious. Or because it’s a big part of the experience, if you’re feeling boring and accurate.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Great PokeClone-Off Part 2: Audio

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, every other possible sexual orientation and all manner of living creatures on Earth (except sharks): Welcome back to The Great PokeClone-Off!

This week’s installment of The Great PokeClone-Off is brought to you by PokeMart Incorporated. Remember: Shop smart, shop PokeMart! (Guys that, uh…that line doesn’t work as well with the letter swapped out. Also, I don’t think our target demo will get the reference? That movie came out like 6 years before – okay okay I’ll stick to the script!)

Last time we explored a feast for the eyes by comparing game visuals. This time the meal is moving a few inches back on your cranium, because I’m serving up a feast for the ears. I’m assuming that’s where your ears are. If you have eyes on the side of your head you’ll have to go elsewhere, sharks.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Great PokeClone-Off Part 1: Visuals

Several months ago, I visited a Gamestop with some friends. It was the first time I’d set foot in a physical game store in over a year. As digital markets like Steam rose in popularity, I cut down on corporeal visits. Soon I made the decision to buy nothing used if I could pay the actual creators, and a second nail flew into that coffin. Now I’m a post-college adult with a day job, several creative hobbies and a backlog of dozens upon dozens of games I already own. Brick and mortar outlets are so far off my radar that Gamestop could start doing trade-ins for human skulls and I wouldn’t notice. On top of that, I’d never visited this particular store. So while waiting for friends to inspect some trading cards, I did what any sensible person would do:

I stripped that whole store down to the god damn marrow.

The result was what I’d like to call The Discount Fifteen. 15 games purchased for 30 US dollars. I dug through mountainous drifts of sports games, shovelware and sports games again (there were a lot of sports games) to find the diamonds in the rough. Or more accurately, the gravel shaped like funny faces in the rough. The games I selected were not all good - though you’d be surprised what Gamestop will let sink to the bottom after an arbitrary amount of years. But even those not “good” were at least interesting, and the first I popped in a console was a game called Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Super Paper Mario Part 4: Writing

Super Paper Mario is a game with flaws. Even the most ardent fans wouldn’t call the game perfect. But when complaints about it arise, there is a common response. There is one element of the game that supposedly makes up for everything else. From the moment you start writing a critique, you can see a vision flash in your mind’s eye, a person countless miles away with fingers poised above a keyboard. If you listen to the whispers on the wind, you can hear their call: writing!

When people complain about Super Paper Mario’s transformation into a platformer, you hear the call: writing! When people moan about Super Paper Mario’s removal of RPG elements, you hear the call: writing! When people whine about Super Paper Mario’s complete absence of difficulty, you hear the call: writing! When people trip over a discarded Super Paper Mario disc, you hear the call: writing! When you stub your toe and Super Paper Mario happens to be in the room, you hear the call: writing! When your dog urinates on the good rug and Super Paper Mario wasn’t in the room at the time but you were kind of half thinking about it in the back of your mind a minute or two before it happened, you hear the call: writing!

An exaggeration, but not as much as you’d think. In my experience, the common defense of the game is not to support the gameplay. The gameplay is dismissed as “good enough” and people gush about how great the writing is to make up for it. And though I can quibble on particulars, I agree. The writing is not some shining savior that absolves every other sin in the game, but it helps a lot. So it’s high time we dissected it, to see what it is that works so well for people.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Super Paper Mario Part 3: Odds and Ends

Greetings yet again, weary web travelers! Sit and gather round the fireside for toasty tales of amateur game analysis. Don’t actually do that though. What, did you bring your laptop on a camping trip? Knock that off, there’s friends to tolerate or s’mores to be swiped! Only reason to bring a laptop while camping is to look up how to avoid a deadly bear mauling. I’ll give you a hint: It’s not by sitting out in the open with a laptop, you doofus. By the time your browser loads “Buzzfeed’s 11 Most Shocking Bear Accidents” the animal will be enjoying it alongside a midnight snack of your succulent flesh.

And what’s the alternative? That you’re started an indoor campfire next to your desktop? I appreciate your dedication to verisimilitude, but this blog isn’t worth a case of fatal arson! At best, it’s worth a few felony misdemeanors and some light insurance fraud. Anyway, what were we talking about? Oh yes. Super Paper Mario. We gon’ talk ‘bout it mo’.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Super Paper Mario Part 2: RPG Mechanics

Welcome back, spambots and tumbleweeds that make up my recurring viewers! Last time on our thrilling adventures of hobbyist armchair game blogging, we cracked open Super Paper Mario. We took a break for the more literal minded among you to tape your game discs back together, but now you’re all back, for some reason. Today I’ll be talking about the gameplay unrelated to the old run-and-jump. Specifically RPG elements. So enough intro! As a famous man* once said: “Let’s-a go!”

*Though for the life of me I can’t remember who. I think it might’ve been a wrestler. The Great Gorgonzola or something.

Numbers That Go Up

Super Paper Mario handles RPG elements poorly.

There. We’ve got it out in the open, and now we’re gonna break it down, piece by piece. We’ll start with one of the most basic elements of an RPG: leveling up.

Just don’t level up Resistance, you casual.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Super Paper Mario Part 1: Jumpin and Jammin


The first two Paper Mario games are some of my favorites of all time. The first game was a light-hearted storybook adventure with a colorful cast of characters and locations. It created combat that was fairly simple, but in doing so actually drilled down to the essentials for refreshingly minimalistic gameplay. It offered the strategy of turn-based RPGs with none of the unneeded complexity, and an added boost of tactile/timing based challenge.

The second game, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door was an improvement on the already excellent original in several ways. The combat received a plethora of small but notable tune-ups, the dialogue was funnier, the plots were more varied, and the soundtrack was phenomenal. The series was an amazing one, and eventually I’ll have to do them justice with their own write-ups here on the blog. Especially since…well, it’d help to keep things positive. You’ll note I said the series was an amazing one.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Genericide Update: Illegal Ear Lending

Friends! Countrymen! Lend me your ears! Or, y’know, don’t. I have nothing important to say. Also, readers need not be citizens of the US to lend me your ears. Out-of-countrymen are also welcome to lend me your ears. But in interest of stimulating my local economy, only countrymen are permitted to lend me the full ear. Foreigners will be limited to lending me their outer ear, no further into the canal than the ear drum. If I catch any illegal immigrants trying to lend me their Cochlea we’re going to have to get the authorities involved.

Friday, September 2, 2016


So the Super Paper Mario articles crawls onward, but have been further delayed for a couple reasons. The first is that I haven't found the time to listen to the soundtrack, particularly since my internet has been a cavernous hellhole of agonizing sloth and dropped connections this week. The second is that the hulking three part article is now large enough that it'll need four. I'm not sure how much longer it will be but I don't want to keep actual content withheld so long. In the past, I would sometimes pepper these droughts with short stories I'd written for classes years back. I still have some I've never posted here, so I thought I'd post another. Initially I was going to throw in my opinion on it, but I've decided it's better to let it stand on it's own. Enjoy.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Genericide Update: Appendages Sprout From My Human Torso

ANNOUNCER: “Good evening ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for the world’s self-proclaimed most popular game show?!”

*Applause probably!*

ANNOUNCER: “FaaaAAAAaaantastic! Then welcome to The Completely Established and Not at All Slapdash Genericide Super Fun Quuuuiiiiiiiiiiiz Show!”

*Applause once more!*

ANNOUNCER: “I’m your host: Mr. Host! Are you ready to meet our three faaaAAAAaaabulous contestents?!”

*Applause all up ins this business!*

ANNOUNCER: “Then let’s get started! First off: Contest Number One! Why don’t you introduce yourself for these lovely folks?”

Friday, August 19, 2016

Genericide Update: Rocket Surgeons are Useless

There are some men who achieve great deeds in their lifetimes. Some have spent their life toiling the pursuit of charity and goodwill. Some champion political causes for the betterment of mankind. Some sharpen their skills every day so they may become unparalleled masters of their respective crafts. Some journey where no men have gone before, across the reaches of space, time and our own human psyche.

Me? I have a working, up-to-date computer. CLOSE ENOUGH.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Genericide Update: A Cocktail of Slapstick Sorrow

Note: This one goes a little long, and is basically just me whining, so here’s the important bit: No updates yet. Maybe not next week either. Blame computer stuff. kthanxbai

I considered starting this post with a big hulking paragraph of parable all just to set up for my usual joke about inconsistent updates. Then I realized if I were making a metaphor for disappointment, the cleverest thing to do would be disappointing you! Actually, that’s a lie. I just got lazy. Hey, whaddaya know, mission still accomplished! I think I’ve found the perfect excuse, guys. That’s the real reason I don’t update with a full post each week, obviously. It’s not that I can’t be arsed to kick my cerebrum into gear, it’s that the whole thing is a deep artistic statement. An incredibly convenient deep artistic statement.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Oblivion Adventures Part 21: Bow-ing Pains

The sewers of the Imperial City were a bustling, thriving ecosystem. The towering monument of polished stone above was as strait-laced as can be. Things were pristinely maintained, gold flowed freely without concern, and the ratio of guards to actual citizens was near 1 to 1. The biggest threat to the police force was an imaginary man with a gray sack on his head. The closest thing the city had to back alleys were charming little decorative courtyards where you could barely hide from the blind. To put it simply, it was not a place that encouraged crime.

But crime isn’t some household pet that slinks away ashamed when given a good scolding. Like an annoyingly persistent fungus, it’s hard to get rid of and good at spreading itself where you aren’t looking. The Imperial City had a lot of people. More to the point, it had a lot of rich people. It also had an immensely sprawling sewage system, almost as spacious as the city itself. So long as the more unscrupulous members of society didn’t mind the smell or killing the occasional mudcrab (and who could object to that?), it was basically one giant rent-free, law-free living arrangement.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Genericide Update: Shambling Piñata Golems

Once more into the breach we go. Buckle up and simmer down, because you’ve got another week of no Genericide slamming straight in front of your headlights like the world’s most disappointing dead deer. I mean granted, I can’t think of a situation where a dead deer would be welcome, at least for the mentally sound. Perhaps it’s a deer filled not with grotesque deer guts, but instead delicious candy? Though at that point it isn’t so much a deer as a deer-filled piñata. I don’t know at what point we want to draw the line between deer and abomination of science, this isn’t a blog debating the philosophy of transdeerism. Besides, piñatamancy has been banned in these parts for centuries, so the point is moot.

Back in the realm of coherent lines of thought that are worth wasting brain space on: we have news on the next post!  Front and center amongst these interesting tidbits of knowledge is the following: Next post is not this week. You are not, in fact, reading it. Though Oblivion does in fact contain deer, I’m reasonably certain none of them are shambling piñata golems. Though I’ll grant you that should probably be a mod.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Genericide Update: Flawlessly Executed Yeti Surgery

So here we are, back to the comparatively insubstantial wisps of update posts. After three solid weeks of content, this was pretty much inevitable. Some of you may retort by pointing out there were four solid weeks of update posts before that, but as the words leave your mouth I’ve already dived out the window and left the attack helicopter to cover my escape. By the time you’ve alternated between taking cover behind chest high walls and firing the conveniently located RPG into the cockpit, I’ll be lounging on a scenic beachfront far from any consequences. It is at this point I will remember that my blog is entirely digital, making it impossible to flee from by moving to a different physical location. Also, I am like 90% sure I don’t own an attack helicopter.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Child of Light: Combat and Progression

This Child of Light series has seen plenty of genteel discussion so far. We’ve spent some time admiring the serene beauty of the visuals. Whisked ourselves away to the soft and atmospheric soundtrack. Carefully and thoughtfully dissected the root problems within the writing. That’s all well and good. But the obvious follow-up question any sane person would ask: When do we get to the gruesome murder? That’s right, stuff away your pacifism you non-gender-conforming-deragotry-word-implicating-you-as-weaklings, it’s time we talked about the combat.

I really like the combat in Child of Light, except when I hate it with intensity unmatched by mortal men. This dichotomy is also present in the game’s RPG progression, albeit to a much subdued degree. In an effort to pace things properly and give you time to clean the bile spewing out of your monitor, we’ll be alternating on the good and bad. Think of it as eating a delicious ice cream cone in a flavor of your choice, then intermittently washing it down with a forkful of dumpster treasure and insect chitin. Now that I’ve whetted your appetite and fully convinced you how great this idea is, let’s launch right in!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Child of Light: Writing

The first post I made on Child of Light was pretty positive. Sure there were some minor grumbles round the middle. But I mostly said nice things and good feelings were had by all. I prostrated myself before the screenshots on my monitor, hailing such praise for the visuals that you’d think I’d started a new religion. The compliments I gave the music were so enthusiastically comprehensive that in certain countries the soundtrack and I are now legally married. I’m pretty sure every member of the audience got a free dirt bike.

That was then, and this, assuming my rudimentary understanding of time and written tense is correct, is now. Things will go a little differently this time, but I hold up last post as a shield against accusations that I am that most reviled of animals: the “hater”. Like a used nose ring in a bowl of cheerios, the bad must be revealed so it can be avoided in the future. I’m not trying to shoot the messenger or deride the culinary merits of cheerios, it’s just the nature of criticism. You know what they say: If you love something, sometimes you just have to kick it in the dick. That’s what they say, right? Pretty sure it is. If it isn’t then I’m beginning to suspect my parents were full of shit.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Child of Light: Art, Music and Miscellaneous

In a turn of events that’s pretty rare these days, I actually finished a video game last weekend two weeks ago relatively recently. The game in question is Child of Light, an independent RPG developed by Ubisoft Montreal in 2014. I quite enjoyed it, but for all the parts I liked, there were some I was indifferent towards, and some that outright frustrated me. Polarizing experiences such as these are always more interesting to write about. So much so, that this article had to be split into multiple parts! Next week is going to be about the game’s writing. The article after that will tackle the game’s combat. As for right now? Everything else. But specifically, we’re going to start with...

Friday, June 24, 2016

Genericide Update: Connect Four, I Won!

I know I know, believe me I know. The first Child of Light post is almost done, at about 4k words. I could scramble to post it now if I rushed through the editing process. However, the whole point of these update posts is so that I can keep myself in practice while also giving articles proper care and attention. Giving myself time now will make a better product later, as well as more time to build up a buffer for subsequent weeks. Please don’t quote me on that in the likely scenario that I fail to deliver a couple weeks in the future. Uh, don’t quote that following line either. Y’know what, it’s probably for the best that you instantly forget any words from my mouth as soon as they pass through your skulls.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Genericide Update: Yeah I Just Talk About Zelda

“I’m not sure if I’ll have the article ready for next week.”

-Grand Admiral Genericide of the USS Disappointment,
June 10, 2016...and seemingly every week after

What more explanation do you need? If you answered “the kind that actually explains something”? First of all, how’s the weather down there in Snarkansas? Enjoying a cool, refreshing sassparilla? Second of all, yeah okay fine. The short explanation is e3. The medium explanation is e3 and Zelda. The longest explanation is that I may have replaced my computer with a giant monitor that just plays the Breath of the Wild trailer until I get bored of it or the heat death of the universe, whichever comes first. Close race, place your bets. If you’re wondering how I’m typing this article without a computer, let’s just sidestep that query and hope my neighbor doesn’t come home anytime soon.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Genericide Update: Technically Considered Success

Another week, another update. I hope you’re ready to have that week-old disappointment dug out from the back of the fridge and re-heated! On the downside, it’s another seven days with naught but a rambling diatribe on nothing of significance. On the upside, at least it’s on time. Low standards baby! The path to what is technically considered success!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Genericide Update: The Winged Unicycle of Adventure

It’s Friday, and that means it’s Me-Putting-Words-On-A-Screen-And-Then-Sending-Them-Through-The-Internet-So-You-Can-Read-Them Day. I tried to get that on calendars but they rejected my proposal. I argued that it would be quite easy to include a magnifying glass with each calendar sold, but they claimed I was missing the point.

Last Friday was a momentous occasion. It was the first Friday since starting weekly updates on a deadline that I completely failed to update weekly on a deadline!


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Oblivion Adventures Part 20: The Ceremony

S’razirr walked into the main chamber for the first time since he had entered this crazed cultist cave. There were a number of robed individuals bustling about preparing things. Then again, “preparing” might be a strong word. Apart from the ones standing guard by their leader at the altar, they were mostly just sweeping the cave floor dirt into other, apparently more desirable dirt piles.

“And that was how I killed my mother” said Darren, walking in behind him. “Serves her right for burning that loaf, eh?!”

S’razirr had tried to ignore his unfortunately friendly companion since he awoke. However, it was hard to ignore something so constant and really, excessively graphic.

“So that’s my mother, father, sister, baker, neighbor, dog, neighbor’s dog, friend’s neighbor’s mother’s dog...oh! I never told you about what I did with my teacher, did I?! Well to start I went and bought thirty feet of rope, a dead hog and a carving-”

“This is your ceremony room?” S’razirr interrupted.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Genericide Update: Starting Strong

Well here we are again. I sure am glad I one-hundred percent committed to absolutely bringing home heaps of fresh content every week. Imagine, if I hadn’t decided I was gripping punctuality by the horns and breaking my pelvis riding it, I would’ve been disappointed by this lack of content all alone. Now we can all be disappointed in me together! It will be a beautiful bonding experience. We can all hit a piñata of me until it breaks open, revealing nothing because I am very subtle at metaphor. Then I’ll realize no one actually came to the get-together because like three people read these things and I never sent out invites to the impromptu metaphorical pity party beforehand. After this realization I’ll sob softly to myself in the corner. So you know, an average week but now I’m writing it down!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Genericide Update: On Update Announcements About Updates

Why hello. I didn’t see you come in. Ha. This is a funny joke, as this is a pre-recorded message, and I have no manner of seeing you in the first place. The hilarity of this humorous gaffe is granted extra joke quotient by means of it being a text post, even lesser in vision-capabilities. It is even further bolstered by the fact that this exact joke has been used many times by other people. Therefore, the statement was both a joke and a reference. In the real world, this would make it less funny. Fortunately, we’re on the internet: Where only hilarity can result by continuously bringing up a delicious buffet of dead horse entrees. May I take your coat? HA! How am I supposed to manhandle this outward fashion layer when I am on the other end of your internet? You’re probably not even wearing a coat! Unless you are. Then I suppose it’s slightly less hilarious. I’ll adjust the joke quotient.

I suppose it’s time we got down to business. Straighten your tie, dust off your pants, pull up you suspender straps that no one actually wears these days, because I’m about to hit you with some HARD FACTS.

FACT 1: Guys, making internet funnies is haaaaaaaaard.

FACT 2: Guuuuuys, having a real job is haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard.

FACT 3: Guuuuuuuuuooooiiiiiissse, having a real job and also making internet funnies is HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR....aDUH.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Homestuck Part 3: Music

Note: This is the third post in a series. You’d think that’d be obvious with the “Part 3” in the title, dunkass. It’s like, do you even read the things shoved in front of your vacant, listless sight orbs? Clearly not, or I wouldn’t have to spend so much time chastising you for making me provide theoretical answers to questions I assume you made. Moron.

Part 2 (the part before this one) is here.

Part 1 (the part that is not before this, by process of elimination) is here.

And we’re back for the final installment! Thought you could avoid my typical music rant because this wasn’t a video game? Think again! (Actually you could easily avoid it by simply not reading, especially now that this is its own article. Just bear with me).Though Homestuck isn’t a computerized electronic television game of any sort, it does draw a lot of inspiration from video games. From this imitation has blossomed forth animations, interactive portions, and a ton of music. The music community around Homestuck has produced over 25 albums for a total of more than 500 songs. That’s an impressive amount of audio devoted purely to one webcomic. It’s also surprisingly good. There are some uninspired, dull and generally average songs, especially on larger albums. All the same, there’s a ton of music I like here, and some I absolutely love. The songs take a lot of inspiration from video game music, not just in use of chiptunes or electronic sounds but in the sense that they feature instrumental music with strong, recognizable melodies.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Homestuck Part 2: Fan Adventures

Ye find yourself in yon GAME BLOG. Ye see a FLASK. Obvious exits are PART 1, PART 3, and PART THE ONE YOU ARE READING. What dost thou do?

>Get ye flask

>Ye can’t get ye flask.

>Go PART 1

>Ye cannot “Go PART 1”. Thou must navigate using the HELPFUL LINKS to exit this BLOG POST.


>I’m sorry, I don’t know how to do that with “BETTER BLOG POST”.


Last time I gave an introduction to Homestuck, speculated why it was so popular, and offered some of my personal experiences on it. I said that I would talk about Homestuck-adjacent media and offer a conclusion this time, but that’s not quite accurate. See there’s this thing you’re supposed to do with articles, on the tip of my tongue, hmm oh yes: stop writing them. I didn’t do that, and so now I’m going to take a page out Hussie’s book and divide my subdivision. Today I’ll be discussing fan adventures, and soon we’ll cover music. Soon meaning a few days, because I said I’d post this Friday and I didn’t. But in a sense, is Saturday not the Friday of the soul? Is it not the ephemeral realm of freedom from the shackles of our daily lives, taking flight into the wondrous realms of joy amongst the clouds of recreation? Could it be that when we say Friday, in our deepest heart of hearts, Saturday is what we are truly understood to mean?

No, not really. I have some professional experience with past-me, that guy is full of shit.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

On Homestuck, Part 1

Note: This was originally going to be one article, but I rambled on even longer than usual and there was a lot of what could technically be described as “research” involved. As a result, it’s been split into two parts. The second half will go up on Friday. For those of you viewing from the mystical portal of chronology known as the future, you’ll find that it’s already here.
...and also here. Future me didn’t warn me this would be a three parter.

Two weeks ago, after exactly 7 years of updates, a comic called Homestuck finally ended. I’m here today to talk about it.

I rarely talk about anything personal on this blog. I rarely talk about anything unrelated to video games. I rarely talk about my opinions on wildly popular topics. Today I plan on breaking all of these trends, in observance of my biggest unwritten rule: “I write what I feel like.” However, this would be nothing without my second biggest unwritten rule: “Don’t suck.” Inspiring wording on that one. Point is, even though this article is outside my usual wheelhouse, I’ll endeavor to keep the quality similar, like that of a wheelbungalow or at least a wheelshanty.

I’m also aware that Homestuck has something of a...baggage behind it. This immensely popular internet sensation brought in millions of fans from every corner of the digital realm. Based on the content of the piece and the culture generally seen around it, it’s a safe bet that most of them were teenagers or the recently teenaged. Combined with the fact that Homestuck itself is very strange and heavily memetic, and it’s no surprise it frustrated those outside its fandom. Hell, sometimes it frustrated those inside it. So if you don’t like Homestuck, I have good news for you! The final seal on the ancient wizard’s curse I used to force you to read all my blog posts has dissipated. You don’t have to read this. I won’t take offense. In fact, I’m literally unable to take offense, as my readership is so small ambient google noise is indistinguishable from a dip in views.

Pictured: Traffic after a cat rolls on a keyboard and accidentally visits Genericide.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Oblivion Adventures Part 19: The Day Before

Last time on Oblivion Adventures, Shush was visited in the dead of night by a mysterious stranger, who was soon given a dead flight out the inn window. The next day we escorted an eccentric nobleman through hordes of undead to place an artifact in the chamber of a forgotten king. In video game terms, this is basically asking to be betrayed. A bevy of bludgeons were shared all around. And today...

S’razirr was not having a good day.

The khajiit had always tried to lead a good life. Which, by his definition, was one wherein he did bad with enough caution to never get caught. It was a policy that had served him well ever since he’d run away from his home in Elswyr 11 long years ago. Thing is, it was the kind of lifestyle you could only screw-up once.

So he had thought when, several days ago, he’d shot a 7 foot tall hulking mound of orange-and-purple orc who’d politely asked him not to. His second request had been made with a warhammer as tall as S’razirr, and just as heavy if his nerves weren’t telling tall tales. The tales they told down the nearby cliff were quite tall, but it was hard to doubt their accuracy. Speaking of...

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Genericide Update: Retrospective Ramblings

As of a couple weeks ago, I’ve made 100 posts here on Genericide. Considering the amount of verbiage I vivaciously vomit, this is an impressive amount indeed. For me, I mean. I assume those people I hear about with “competency” and “standards” and “real jobs” would aim higher. But that last point has changed for me recently. Those who read my last update will know it was a goofball throwback to a bunch of my previous hijinks, all under the guise of me not having time to write. In a case that basically never ever happens, it takes inspiration from what’s actually going on in my life.

After a period of post-college unemployment, which allowed me to start these consistent updates, I secured a full-time job about a month ago. Between the job, the commute, and trying to work on an indie game on the side, the 8ish hours a week spent on these blog posts is tougher to maintain. That being said, I want to make it clear: I am NOT going to stop updating, or even stop updating weekly. It won’t be easy. Sometimes I may miss Friday, though I hope never more than a weekend without an update. Forcing yourself to start a creative project after a work day is rough, and I’m not going to pretend I’m immune to distraction and procrastination. But even though my audience remains nearly nonexistent, I’ve had fun with these regular updates and I want them to continue, for myself if no one else.

That being said, I’d like to look back at the almost four years(!) of this blog with a little retrospective this week. I thought it would be a fun change of pace. It turned out to be a mix of self-congratulatory pride, awkward cringing, annoying bookkeeping and vague bewilderment. The last was caused by articles I had completely forgotten as I’d never finished writing them. I suppose you want a look at those? Very well, here’s a Link.

Friday, April 1, 2016

The 31st

On March 31, 2016, I was sitting in my cubicle at the job factory when a strangely insubstantial finger tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around to what I’d think was someone in a crappy grim reaper costume were it not for them being literally half-transparent. I don’t know many transparent people, so this narrowed down names to remember quite a bit. Their face appeared to be enveloped in all-consuming shadow beneath their hood, so that meant I couldn’t guess who they were off of, say, a distinctive nose. But most tellingly, they were adorned in a series of chains weighed down by boxes of obscure Korean MMOs.

“Herbert C. Ghost?” I asked with a bewildered expression.

“Ah, good, you remember me. Saves me the time of explaining myself again.”

“A few holidays ago you visited me with memories of three awful MMOs past, though it turned out to be just one at the time. Then I recycled that awkward holiday special set-up next year by visiting you directly. I got tired of your awkward shtick, which is why you weren’t in this year’s crummy game special.

“I JUST said you didn’t have to explain that! Also, blaming me for that ‘shtick’? Immature and a little hurtful actually, thanks for that. Only not actual thanks, because I hate you.”

“Then why are you here?” I said, turning my swivel chair back towards my desk. “I have very important, very boring work to do here and we’re months out from Christmas from either direction.”

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Oblivion Adventures Part 18: Killers and Kings

Last time on Oblivion Adventures, Shush’Ogar met surprisingly competent resistance on his latest relic-snatching heist. They were all nonetheless turned into unsurprisingly dead resistance, at least as far as he could tell. We rejoin our orcish adventurer back in the imperial city...

De elf wit de ice cream cone hair did a gasp when Shush walked in de room wit his fancy square of rock.

“You’ve done it!” he said. “You’ve actually managed to recover the high fane! Magnificent! May I please see it?”

Shush handed over de rectangle-thingy covered in squiggly lines an de fancy elf seemed real happy about dat. He turned it over in his hands a bunch an traced de lines, mumblin to himself under his breath.

“Astounding, absolutely incredible, this is just...” de elf paused an looked up. “Is that blood?”

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Bravely Default: Filler and Plot Twists

Four weeks ago, I wrote an article about Undertale and Completionism, and in it I briefly mentioned a game called Bravely Default, grumbling about it having filler. Three weeks ago, I finished playing Bravely Default, and decided it was time to voice opinions that had been bubbling over a saga of a hundred hours. Two weeks ago, I wrote about the good in Bravely Default, of its marvelous combat and its magnificent music. One week ago, I discussed the story of Bravely Default, my tone slowly souring in the face of thoughtless clichés and disconnected, diminished side quests. This brings us tumbling towards that land on the precipice of both the foreign and familiar, the present. Ladies and gentlemen, we have, in all senses of the word, reached the endgame.

And with it comes one emphatic warning. This post will not just contain spoilers. No, it will contain MAXIMUM SPOILERS. Should you choose to read on, you will be like a barrel of fish shipped to Kansas in a sunbed. Like a child whose parents buy him every Amiibo, Skylander and trading card on the market. Like a banana with a peel black as the deepest abyss. SPOILED, SPOILED, SPOILED, down to the very core. Everything is on the table, and that table is under a spotlight of a worldwide live television broadcast. If you have any ambition of experiencing the late-game revelations of Bravely Default for yourself, turn back.

Well, uh, maybe not literally. That would make it hard to operate your computer. Just navigate to a different webpage, I guess.

Let it never be said that I am thoughtless with plot details. Here is that warning one final time:


With that out of the way, let’s begin with a recap...

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Bravely Default: Story and Side Quests

Last week I opened up a new series on Bravely Default, and I started things out pretty positive. This is key to keep in mind, because it’s all downhill from here. This second post will focus on the writing of the game, and will feature MINOR SPOILERS. Specifically, I’ll be going into various details of the story and spoiling some mid-game side quests. However, all the major plot twists and late-game story will be saved for a third and final post. It’ll take some effort to avoid talking about them, but they deserve their own time to shine (or, uh, the opposite of shine. Absorb light?). Let’s dive right in with a basic overview of the story.

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before

The writing in Bravely Default isn’t terrible. It has some neat ideas and there’s some untapped potential, but the execution is questionable from the moment you open the game. It begins with a couple brief cutscenes that, even in retrospect, contribute absolutely nothing. This video shows the introductory scenes, but the actually important ones start at 2:30, with one scene for each main character. They’re about as generic as they come (though the music remains excellent throughout).

First we have Anges (pronounced ahn-yes), a serious shrine maiden stereotype spouting overwrought dialogue about a crystal of the four elements. Next we have Ringabel, a dashing rogue who’s also a womanizer and amnesiac. Third up is Edea, a headstrong daughter to a major political power. Finally we have Tiz, a simple farm boy from a sleepy village that’s instantly blown to bits along with his brother. Sound familiar? It should, if you’ve played literally any JRPG ever made. This is the type of set-up you’d give to a parody of JRPGs, but Bravely Default plays this premise completely straight for much of the game. You’re four extremely generic protagonists following along a generic plot to re-light four (generic) magic crystals.

Also, you reawaken the crystals with a quick-time event. Wa-hoa, Bravely Default, save some innovation for the rest of us!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Bravely Default: The Good Stuff

As video games continue to grow in popularity every year, it becomes increasingly difficult to see the medium as a whole. The recent surge of indie titles, crowdfunded titles, and re-released classics ensures that people never lack games to play, even purely inside their favorite genres. That’s absolutely fantastic, but it makes it much harder to keep up with every major release, and I was crap at doing that to begin with. So despite the fact that Bravely Default fits my turn-based RPG tastes and was released on 3DS back in 2012, I only got my hands on it a few months ago.

It’s convenient timing, as I’m late to the party just in time to be early for another. The game’s sequel, Bravely Second, is releasing today in Europe and within a couple months in the US. I recently finished the original game, and have a lot to say on it. Like most interesting games to discuss, Bravely Default isn’t all good, bad, or mediocre. Rather, it has some parts I really enjoy and others that really frustrate me. So over the coming weeks I’m going to run a multi-part series on the game. The later posts will focus on the writing, where most of my issues lie. This first one is spoiler free and mostly positive. So let’s examine the large amount of things that worked in Bravely Default, starting with its combat.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Oblivion Adventures Part 17: Expected Surprises

Last time on Oblivion Adventures, orcish adventurer Shush’Ogar obtained a new job typical of his profession: recovering an ancient artifact. But not-so-shadowy forces are conspiring against him. Can our hero possibly survive this ordeal?! Are you kidding me? Are you not familiar with video games? Or serialized stories? Have you been paying ANY attention? Why even ask that question?! Sheesh, I swear, you readers. I’m not saying you’re stupid.

But you’re stupid.

S’razirr was scoping out the perimeter of his latest job. He was the first to arrive at the dilapidated ruins apparently named Malada. The set-up seemed simple enough. The door to the underground complex was surrounded by half-collapsed structures, in a clearing atop a steep hill. Plenty of cover, easy to box someone in, good place for an ambush. The khajiit grunted his approval and then hopped up the lower branches of a nearby tree overlooking the entrance. He nestled himself in the crook where the branch met the trunk and propped up his feet. S’razirr pulled a knife and a lump of bark out of his pocket and lazily started carving while he waited for the others.

For a while there was nothing but the early morning sounds of chirping birds and the gentle swaying of branches. S’razirr yawned and looked down at his idle carving. It was starting to look a bit like the face of his boss. The khajiit scowled and nailed the bark to the tree behind him. He sighed,  extracted the knife and pocketed it. Squinting up at the sun, it looked like he still had a while. His compatriots did not live close. He sat dozing in the tree, half-awake until he suddenly heard a sound.


Friday, February 12, 2016

Undertale and Completionism

I’m sure plenty of people are sick of Undertale, and even sicker of people saying that they can’t talk about Undertale. For what it’s worth, everyone is entitled to their opinion and the game won’t appeal to everyone. It does a lot of clever things that are better experienced yourself, so it reaches this weird middle area where many love it but can’t express why. It’s entirely possible that even without hype or spoilers you could play the game, not care, and wonder why everyone wouldn’t shut up about it. That being said, I’ve finally decided to say something related to this game I enjoyed so much, and am giving the proper warning:





...okay, are they gone?


I don’t believe you.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Oblivion Adventures Part 16: Friendly Conversations

Last time on Oblivion Adventures, our hero charged into the Arcane University and broke both people’s patience and game mechanics. This time...

Bothiel the elven wizard was having trouble keeping up with her colleague, Raminus Polus. While she had been having her upper-middle-afternoon nap, a new recruit had apparently made quite an impression on the master-wizard.

“So he just left?” she said, yawning slightly and rubbing her half-lidded eyes.

“He just left!” said Raminus, limply throwing his hands in the air. “I told him there was more he needed to know but he just barreled through the university exit. I don’t even think HE knows where he’s going, he just shouted something about ‘testin out his new magicky tings’.” Raminus dropped onto the bench beneath him and folded his arms.

“Well hey, at least he shows enthusiasm.”

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Star Wars KotOR: Why Don’t I Enjoy This?

Some months back I did a review of the mediocre Dragonball Xenoverse. To keep things interesting I did so in a new format called Why Do I Enjoy This. I compared the pros and cons of the game individually instead of giving blanket opinions. Obviously I enjoyed the upsides more than I disliked the downs. I’m now returning to that formula, but from the other side. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is agreed by many to be a fantastic game. It’s heralded as one of the best things to come from popular company Bioware, one of the best games to come from Star Wars, and some of the best writing to come from the medium. Knowing all this, I purchased the game on sale years ago.

I quit playing after a couple hours.

The game just didn’t grab me. So life moved on, I played other games, and every so often I would stare guiltily at the installed but un-played Star Wars game. After a year or two, I gave the game another shot.

I quit playing after several hours.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Oblivion Adventures Part 15: Strongest in the Universe-ity

Raminus Polus was having a very quiet day, which was just the way he liked it. As a Master-Wizard at the Arcane University, he had reached the point in his career where he could safely do whatever he wanted and not be questioned so long as he claimed it was important. He was currently researching the sociological progression the common populace went through when simultaneously exposed to fear, excitement, boredom, increased knowledge and a sense of knowledge far greater than the actual increase. To people not questioning his research, this was known as “reading the paper.”

Of course the only animation the game has is reading a book, but it’s a newspaper in SPIRIT.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Oblivion Adventures Part 14: Future Plight

When we last left our stalwart hero, he-

Shush are so excited!

Er. What?

Shush are real real excited!

Okay, yeah, I got that. You’re not on yet though, give me a second.

Oh, okay.

Right. So as I was saying, last time we saw Shush’Ogar-


Would you stop that! Shush did some quest for a crazy person or something, whatever! That’ll have to be good enough, since you won’t shut up. Now you can-

Okey so Shush are real excited on account of a great ting dat is about to happen which is Shush are gonna get his last mage-y rigging-mount-daze-on! Shush checked his countin a whole buncha times an dis town place he was goin to were de last one in Cyrodil dat he had ta visit! After dis Shush will get into de fancy mage school in da city an dey will teach Shush all sortsa cool magicky tings an den Shush is gonna be de most bestest at spells in de whole Mundus!

All Shush has gotta do is head inside dis buildin!

Blah blah usual compliment that the towns have varied architecture, blah.

“Hey guys! Shush are here for mage-y trainin!”

“Uh...this is the fighter’s guild.”


All Shush has gotta do is head inside dis buildin!

So does this mean I have to compliment the architecture again?