Console flame wars

I dont know if this has been going on since the days of commodore 64 and atari, since I’m only 26. I do however know that ever since I’ve been into gaming, these rivalries have always existed.
Anyone out there who had a nintendo always thought sega was the “black sheep”, and vice versa. This was true with many things when I was little though; Nirvana versus Pearl Jam, Coke vs Pepsi (or Jolt), Saved by the Bell vs Degrassi. These issues all have one common variable, and its that everyone with these strong opinions truly believe it to be fact, and not what it really is: Your own opinion.

Though maybe its just because I was a lot younger, but these issues have really seemed to take a high degree of seriousness over the past couple years.
Games have always been expensive, but compared to how things were back in the golden age of gaming, these companies are now fully realised as big business and therefore almost anything related to gaming now has some sort of cost to the gaming enthusiast. There are seriously SO many games and dlc’s out that I want and I just cant afford now. This is life.

Its almost like gaming is no longer even a hobby to a lot of people, but almost feels more like a “passion”. I know there are people out there that just “play games”, and people who didnt like Coke OR Pepsi (bullshit, you fuckin Mountain Dew creeps), but those people who are on the internet posting and learning about gaming really feel its more than a hobby, and typically those would be the same people on the front lines of these console wars.

It all stems from a basic principle that most people tend to believe that the decision they made was the right one. Your opinion is the “right” opinion to have, because theres no way you could be wrong. This obviously is a deeper issue which stems into more than just console wars (religious people also kill eachother over the same ideology… although only loosely compared), but at the core of all this – thats what it really is.

People are now spending so much money on gaming, and once you invest that much into something, it really cuts like a knife to think “oh my god, did I make the right decision?”. On top of your own feelings that youre not wasting your own money, you’ve got these gaming companies also telling you that you made the wrong decision. Segas always ripped on Nintendo, Sonys always ripped on Microsoft, The PC users just sit back and think that theyre king shit because they have PC games, literally everyone thinks their decision is right. Companies obviously will continue to do this, since thats just business, but you should really know when to make your own decisions, when to accept them, and when to accept others. At the end of day, we’re all right. We made the right decision because we bought what we wanted.

There are so many arguements over which is better, and why this is better than that. Every system out there has faults, and every system has its own awesomeness. Having said that, its a truly great time to be a gamer, as there are so many choices for every style of playing. Next time you jump headfirst into a console flame war in any way shape or form – remind yourself that what youre about to say is simply your opinion, and that no matter what choice you made, its the right one (unless you bought a Virtual Boy).

Just one mans opinion
Flame on!
/Dave

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Something Ain’t Right in Wainwright

The X-Files/30 Days of Night #1
Written by Steve Niles & Adam Jones
Art by Tom Mandrake

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It’s been a while since I’ve given any thought to The X-Files. I loved the show (until David Duchovny left), and the movies weren’t too bad either. I wish I could say the same about 30 Days of Night, however. I’ve never read the comics, except for the first 1 or 2 issues, and the movie was pretty bland. But the idea behind it, vampires using the cover of a month long darkness to feed, is very intriguing. Mix the two franchises together, and it has the potential to be a great recipe.

The story opens two weeks into the darkness in Wainwright, Alaska. “Patches” Brown is out plowing the streets in vain, as a blizzard ravages the landscape. Interspersed among the panels of Patches, we see a shadow speed through the blowing snow, nothing visible but sharp claws. Patches (whose real name is Henry-Lee) is lost in thought, unaware of anything except the road, and his plow, until he comes upon a horrible scene. A dozen or more trucks. All wrecked, with splatters of blood everywhere.  Naturally, curiosity gets the better of him, and he explores the wreckage. But what he’s seen is nothing compared to what he finds next. The decapitated bodies of the truckers, suspended on a pole. Heads lying at the base, while the blowing snow slowly covers their faces. This introduction sets the stage for what is a wonderfully drawn, and wonderfully written first issue.

The atmosphere is beautifully realized, with the foreboding tone of a pitch dark blizzard in Alaska offset by the fun, and often chuckle-out-loud repartee between Mulder and Scully. An example being a scene where Scully is already on the ground, as Mulder hops out of a helicopter, only wearing his usual suit and tie.

“Hello, Scully. It’s really cold here.”

“It’s Alaska, Mulder.”

It’s this kind of writing that really draws me in to these characters, and their world. Everything seems near pitch-perfect. Scully, as usual, only wants to find the truth, shushing Mulder until substantial evidence can be found. Fox, of course, instantly thinks of howling creatures and anything else outside the norm that can explain the murders. Oh, how right he is.

As far as secondary characters are concerned, aside from Patches, there aren’t very many. We’re introduced to Federal Agent Daniel French, “Frenchy” to Mulder. It’s obvious from the outset that these two aren’t exactly friends. French fills the dickhead, holier than thou role very well. I instantly loved to hate him, and I look forward to seeing him make life miserable for our beloved team. Well, maybe I want to see him get pulled apart by vampires a little bit more. Either way, I’ll be happy. Oh, and the vampires show up too, making a bad day just a little worse for poor Patches.

The artwork by Tom Mandrake also fits well with what’s going on with the plot. Having never heard of Mandrake before this series, I came in with no expectations and was pleasantly surprised. There’s nothing flashy here. No action set pieces, or crazy explosions. Just well drawn characters conveying fear, anger, and gleeful murderous intent (in the vampires that is) with ease. The backgrounds are essentially non-existent, but it totally works within the context. It’s perpetual night and there’s snow on the ground, what would you see anyway? If there is one thing I could nitpick on, it would be the coloring. It’s not bad at all, just unnecessary. I might be in the minority of most modern comic book readers, but I don’t think full color pages are always the way to go. A black and white layout here would have worked much better in my eyes, making what already feels like noir horror that much more so.

All in all, this is a great start to what I hope be a fun adventure with my favorite FBI agents. And it’s only running for 6 issues, giving me more hope that everything will stay this good throughout. I’ll definitely be at my comic shop next month, picking up issue #2.

I want to believe,
Kurt

We Masters! We run Bartertown!

Well, here we go.

Welcome to Master Blasters. A place where the two of us can sound off on video games, movies, comics, and anything else we want to talk about. And you’ll like it, or we’ll find you.

So, welcome! Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. It’s sure to be… entertaining. If only in that ‘watching a train wreck’ kind of way.

Until next time,

D and K