Why Trump is Literally Wario (Literally)

 An exploration of what Trump’s administration means for Mario lore.

“Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.”
– Robert Frost, ‘Fire and Ice’ (1920)

A Spectre is Haunting the Mushroom Kingdom

In two days time Donald John Trump will take the Oath of office of the President of the United States. He will become the 45th President and preside over the world’s superpower. Alongside a nuclear arsenal, massive surveillance state, and the military, he will gain the treats attached to all the Presidential ceremonies. He will join the great continuity stretching from Washington to Lincoln to Kennedy to Johnson to Reagan to Obama to him. He will gain a Presidential library. Schools and memorials will be dedicated to his memory.

His inauguration brings to a close the long twentieth-century. With it, globalisation shivers and fascist isolationism is brought back with teeth to boot. President Donald John Trump. President Donald John Trump. The thing that should not have happened has happened. President Donald John Trump. President Donald John Trump.

So what does this mean for Mario?

Continue reading

VGAs: Done Right

VGAs

About roughly one billion years ago I wrote one of the very first ‘Game Critique Corners’ on Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. Forgive the spellings, grammar and general ‘young Hardisty’ vibe that the piece carries, but I still think it makes a valid point about the Spike VGAs. Both in video-games themselves, from cut-scenes to voice talent to linearity, and the industry itself, from advertisements to merchandising, there has long been a thought that we are simply living in the shadow of cinema. The term ‘cinematic’ has practically been  said about every video-game for the past decade, and it’s this term that I think is now outdated. For a while the ‘cinematic’ influence was our stepladder to higher expression, and now I think it’s happening. Now the teenage identity crisis is over. Now we have our own messages, themes, ideas and celebrities from Schafer to Newell. Now we have our own voice talent.

The above image is taken from the nominations for voice talent in the Spike TV VGAs, the largest ‘gaming awards’ thing. This thing has been ridiculed, dissected and been utterly despised by gamerkind since its inception. Because it’s not for gamerkind. Gaming journalist personality Geoff Keighley has served as producer on the project for many years now and I can honestly say that, after so long, this is one giant leap in a good direction. Go look at how Journey is nominated for Game of the Year, how Emma Stone is the last ‘celebrity’ nominated for voice talent and how Spec Ops: The Line (a goddamn SHOOTER game that DESTROYS AND DEMONIZES ALL SHOOTERS) is nominated for something. More importantly how Nolan ‘I am in everything and give stellar performances every single time but yet have yet to receive a fucking Spike VGA award’ North is primed to get something for once, for Spec Ops as well.

This was the VGAs’ voice nominees two years ago;

Look at that. Not a real video-game talent in sight. Just celebrity after celebrity after Rob Wiethoff after celebrity. You can imagine them sending letters and requests to agents to PLEASE ATTEND! PLEASE LET PEOPLE SEE VIDEO-GAMES ARE COOL! It’s a compromise. One that, quite frankly, remains detestable but necessary. Video-games had to become popular to become widespread, to gain credibility. Celebrities was the fast track. Keep in mind I still think that talent like Gary Oldman and Wiethoff delivered INCREDIBLE performances in their respective games, but video-games have long tried to find their own mix of talent. Now we have our own A-listers and B-listers and so on and so forth.

We still have work to do, obviously. We still have celebrities helming the thing, we still have some stupid nominees (Assassin’s Creed 3 for game of the year? Really?) and there’s still the issue of some ridiculously warped categories like ‘Character of the year’ and ‘Most anticipated game’ and the general giant advertisement for next year’s titles. Award shows shouldn’t be trade shows, they should be separate.

But the voice talent nominated? Some of the nominees for some of the bigger awards being goddamn downloadable? Spec Ops: The Line being nominated?! A game that literally beats the shooting genre to death and calls it out on everything (my personal game of the year and the main topic for my next book).

This is more than pleasing.

Up, Down, Left, Right – Volumes Four and Five, Remasters Available

All Kindle and ePub edition of Volumes One to Three are now available. They’re shoddy transfers, I know, but they’re legible at least. You’ll notice one or two additions to the books section, including my American Psycho book now named Killer Looks (the title that I think garnered the most votes) as my next book. You’ll also notice Volume Four and Five are up there for you to have a look at. Go on. Look at them.

Volume Four is releasing late 2012, possibly right at the end of the year, and Volume Five is launching the month before I go off to university. I should tell you right now that in the next month you’ll be seeing a lot of changes to Blogossus, including the return of ‘This Month In Hardisty’ which can only mean one thing.

Volume Four will be a case study focus of the community reaction to Spec Ops: The Line and will hopefully unravel the myths, legends and impacts within the community sphere of ‘gamerkind’. It’s going to be the longest volume, I think, and will be filled with a variety of chapters detailing links in responses to design choices of the game to the developers themselves.

Volume Five will be my final piece of games journalism for a few years and it focuses on me. Narcissism! It’s about the nature of nostalgia and the ‘retro’, tying the series back to Volume One as we focus on our history and our future. An emotional affair perhaps.

That’s all for now. Read the new remasters if you want! Ta ta!