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The Problem With Edge

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Content Warning: Mental Illness, Suicide, Sexual Assault.
Spoiler Warning for Nier: Automata

If you've been on the internet long enough, odds are pretty decent that you've seen something described as "edgy." That said, if you're one of the numerous forty-somethings I've had to describe the term to, I'll preface this post with a short and sweet refresher.

Calling something "edgy," at the most basic level, tends to be a disparaging remark directed at the overtly dark nature of something. If a work is gratuitously violent, deals in dark subject matter like drug usage/suicide/rape/mental illness/anything that makes tends to make people uncomfortable, contains thematic elements about the permeability of morality or flirts with the idea that "bad is good, actually," then odds are, it's liable to get branded as "edgy." Some prime examples of popularly accepted edginess include:

- Suicide Squad
- Shadow the Hedgehog 
- Any Final F…

Do Games Owe Us Anything?

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I've been thinking of writing some thoughts on Zoe Quinn's excellent book, Crash Override, and how it's made me think really hard about the keyboard-banging subhuman I was in high school. There's also a series I have in the pipeline where I go through all of the Final Fantasy XIII games and do mini-essays on them. That's on top of a new novel idea I have. But today, I saw an article that got me thinking, so I'm delaying all of that to ramble for a bit. That alright?

Now, I want to preface this with I don't enjoy doing "takedowns" of other games writers, unless it's "Breath of the Wild sucks because I don't like it." Fuck that guy, honestly. This isn't that. It's a bad look for me, and as someone who's been on the receiving end of some light harassment for my opinions on both CGM and Game Revolution, I know it doesn't feel great. So I guess I want it to be clear that I'm not trying to attack the writer of this…

Do Yourself A Favor and Play Get Even

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Currently, Get Even sits at critical acclaim out of about 130 reviews on Steam. On Metacritic, it sits at an aggregate score of about 75 out of 31 critics. One look at those critics shows that most of the reviews aren't coming from major sites - Game Informer, PC Gamer, and the Spain branch of IGN are all I'm seeing in terms of the big-name sites. The console versions have even less coverage. I know for a fact that the site I wrote for before going on an extended hiatus due to a career shift, CGM, didn't get a code to cover it. Namco Bandai kind of just pushed it out, did a brief targeted Facebook ad campaign, then called it a day.

That's criminal. Get Even deserves to be in the conversation of 2017's best. Frankly, I don't think the company knows what it has on its hands.

If you haven't played the budget-priced game, please go ahead and do that. I paid for it out of pocket, day one, because I remember hearing about it a few years back. This is something tha…

Sonic Jam - "Shadow The Hedgehog" (2005)

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“Critics derided the game's unwelcome sense of maturity for a Sonic game, especially the addition of guns and other weapons.”

This passage is on the Wikipedia page for Shadow the Hedgehog. Released in 2005, Sonic Team’s first and only tryst with not focusing a mainline Sonic title on the Blue Blur himself isn’t looked back on fondly. In fact, it wasn’t exactly a big hit when it came out, either. To a lot of people, this is the point where the series jumped the shark and veered out of control. Both critics and classic fans balked at the direction Sega took its flagship franchise, and on the surface, that’s understandable. To be sure, Shadow the Hedgehog is a game which takes everything that came before it and burns it to the ground – quite literally, in some cases.

Yet I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. Despite a lot of people who’ve argued vehemently to the contrary, I still maintain that Shadow the Hedgehog is a good Sonic game. In fact, it’s the only 3D Sonic title,…

Finding Solace When Everything Is Terrible

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Lately, I've been getting into anime more.

Two shows I've really been enjoying are School-Live! and And Yet The Town Moves - on top of also getting back into Dragon Ball Super. School-Live! is one of the most ambitious things the anime industry has done since Madoka Magica, or even Neon Genesis Evangelion. There's a tangible, raw emotion behind it, as it feels like both a show made by people tired of being shackled by the production committee system, and a beautiful testament to the strength of friendship during hard times. While it's pitched as "moe with zombies," it's a lot more than that.

And Yet The Town Moves is also fantastic, as I discussed on the last episode of Rocketto Punchi. It's an absurdist comedy that makes me happy every time I watch it, and also makes my brain work a little more than your average anime comedy. It's dumb and smart in equal amounts, and I really appreciate that. Plus, if we're being honest, Hotori is adorable an…

Rocketto Punchi Episode 8 - And Yet The Gundam Moves

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This week, Elias, Preston and Russell tackle the Death Note movie and chat a bit about the 2010 surrealist comedy anime, And Yet The Town Moves! You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll be subjected to one of the greatest tangents about Gundam you've probably ever heard!

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We're lonely.

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Falling In Love With Shooters Again In Quake Champions

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My first memory of first-person shooters, as a genre, goes back to 1998. We'd gotten a shiny new PlayStation so my mom could play MediEvil, a game that I'm half-convinced she could still speedrun with her eyes closed. It didn't take my dad long to find stuff he wanted to play on the thing, either. Well, that's not entirely true. It took cursing his way through Resident Evil, Dino Crisis, and Tenchu because they "didn't control right" before he stumbled onto first-person shooters. And while he did pick up Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, and other games of the day, the one I first remember watching most was Quake II.

There was something about that game that still stands out in my mind today. Little five year-old me was in awe of what was happening on the screen. Horrific, Eldritch polygonal monstrosities ran at the screen, as if they were about to jump out into our living room. Sprawling labyrinths lay open on our flickering Sanyo CRT TV, like a window into another w…