A Short Discussion About ‘V’ From DMC5


COMPLETE SPOILERS FOR DMC5 WITHIN.



So last week I appeared on Brandon Carey’s stream with Matthew Lovenzka to talk about Devil May Cry 5, and while I was pretty excited and discussing things during the latter half of the stream, I was rather quiet for the first half. Anxiety be like that sometimes.

So, in an effort to clear my thoughts on the missing pieces, here’s a few notes on someone major that I didn’t talk about enough.

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No Feet, Dead Man, and Cap’N Shammy: A Sea of Thieves Tale

Header Photo by Alan

A dimly lit tavern and it’s quiet shanty tunes offer a night of reprieve for weary sailors on this dark and stormy night.

Oh, and the mead. The mead helps a lot.

Resting in the corner with drink in hand sits a lone pirate. He mumbles to himself between drinks as a duo comes through the door. Soaked in rain, one of them is a burly woman of sorts, covered in tattoos, and the other a scrawny man missing a hand. They each take a seat next to the drunken pirate.

Betwixt their idle conversation, he lifts his head.

“Dark night,” he says.

“Aye,” the woman responds, “cold as well.”

“No colder than the night me and my crew met The Queen of Crests.”

The man sighs.

“Gods, not this again. Every bleedin’ tavern this happens,” he moans.

He gets up with, “can’t a man just have a drink in peace.”

The pirate man lies his head back down.

The duo get up to leave.

The pirate slams a few blue-ish coins on the table. They glow in the faint lamp-light. The woman and man look on with awe.

“What are these?” the woman asks, her eyes fixated on the their beauty.

“The story’s true, if ye care to hear it,” the pirate responds with a sly smirk.

Slowly they both sit back down.

The pirate takes a long chug of his mead.

“Our tale begins on a night much like this…”

Continue reading No Feet, Dead Man, and Cap’N Shammy: A Sea of Thieves Tale

In Memory Of Mitch

I’ve never been particularly good at talking about myself, and the story of my relationship to Suicide Silence isn’t an easy one at that. For years, I told myself I would write this story during the month of November, and always let it slide by, because it always felt painful to think about these years in my past.

But these days, I’m doing well. I’m moving forward.

And I think it’s important to remember a moment when I wasn’t.

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The Future Of Interactive Friction

This is very off-the-cuff, so it’s definitely not going to be a very professional sounding post.

Today marks the first time anything has been uploaded to the Interactive Friction channel since the end of the Kingdom Hearts Primer on March 2nd, and I wanted to express some thoughts about the future of the channel as related to myself.

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Funny Games: As Real As The Reality Which We See

Released in 1997, Funny Games, written and directed by Michael Haneke, tells the story of a family on vacation being invaded, tortured, brutalized, and eventually murdered by two young men. Aside from the fact that the film is incredibly violent without any reason, what’s notable is that Paul, one of the two young murderers, consistently breaks the fourth wall and acknowledges that the audience is viewing the film, and and questions whether him knowing he’s in a film makes it as real as ‘reality’.

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What I Learned From The Kingdom Hearts Primer

Header Photo Credit

The Kingdom Hearts Primer was teased on September 27th, 2016 and ended on March 2nd, 2018. That’s 522 days to make this series happen, not counting the original botched recording that started exactly a year before the teaser went up. My co-host Brandon Carey and I totaled 103 episodes, averaging about half an hour a piece, or simply a clean 100 if we don’t count the custom-made trailers.
While I didn’t work every single one of those days, the primer was still something that hung around me that entire time, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot from it. Here’s a few of those things.

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The Journey’s End | Persona 3

Header Photo Credit

Note: For this article, it’s assumed that you’ve played Persona 3, or at least have a cursory knowledge of the game’s plot, characters, and combat system. If not, you may find yourself a bit lost.

Memento Mori. Remember that you will die. Remember your death.

Riding the train on the way to a new city and new life, we suddenly experience a moment in time where everything twists. The city is bathed in reds and greens, and everyone around us now resides in a literal coffin. To everyone else, this moment in time doesn’t exist. To us, and a select few others, it has a name: The Dark Hour.

This, and the enormous, seemingly endless, tower that dominates the landscape during this time, make up the bulk of Persona 3’s narrative, themes, and play hours. I can’t honestly say that Persona 3 is better than any of the other games in the franchise, but I feel that some aspects of it are worth taking a closer look at.

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I felt like I spent a lot of 2017 not doing much. While the Kingdom Hearts Primer rolled in and onward from the previous year, the sheer monotony of the editing process started to take its toll on me. At the same time, I also finally filmed one of my dream projects, LAST NIGHT, that I wrote back when I first started film school. Then I proceeded to barely work on the editing for it, even though I had to take off of school for a while do to financial reasons.

Whether for those reasons or not, not too many games seriously gripped me this past year, but even so, I deeply appreciate the level of storytelling, intimate or grandiose, through writing or gameplay, that video games are coming to consistently achieve.

Here’s a few of those.


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The Problem With VIRGINIA And Cinematic Storytelling

VIRGINIA, created by a small handful of devs at Variable State, is a short, two hour, interactive film. With little to no ability to actually control the game most of the time, it’s about the furthest we have seen the bridge between video games and film tilt towards the latter side, yet it does little help guide the narrative or tone, and in places, actually works to its detriment.

The plot of Virginia takes place in 1992, with you playing FBI agent Anne Tarver alongside agent Maria Halperin, looking for a missing young boy. During its run over the course of a week or so, it liberally uses filmlike framing and editing to keep the player invested in the story, but this setup more often than not works against it. The problem is that we often don’t get to control Anne beyond a small frame to move the camera around, because our first instinct when we do is to explore the environment. Look behind us, check the corners of the rooms, explore every square inch before continuing on for tidbits of extra context to the plot. Yet almost every single time, all that’s waiting for the player who excitedly searches for more to learn about this world is a blank, desolate wall, and a now broken pace. At times, we can even miss plot points because we were in one of the few moments where we could actually move around in a full 3D space.

Virginia so desperately needs to played a specific way to be enjoyed completely, and that’s full steam ahead, no matter what. The further we get into the game and stop checking behind us, the quicker the game cuts, the less the music obviously loops.

While I can respect what Virginia is trying to do on some level as a filmmaker myself, it goes much too far in the direction of film that I wondered what I got from actively playing the game at all. The little bits of interactivity come down to a single button press, leaving me feeling like little more than a remote control consistently pressing play because the film wants to make sure I’m paying enough attention.

What I Want From Final Fantasy XV

Author’s Note: I’m well aware that this particular topic has been talked to death at this point, but I think it’s endlessly important to reiterate since it continues to be a quiet but very painful problem in a modern male’s adult life.

I remember the afternoon I was seeing off my old friend Keegan, after he spent the previous night playing video games and watching anime with me. I must have been around 11 or 12 and, without giving any thought to it, I hugged him goodbye. Not some kind of nonchalant side hug, but a real loving one, because he was my best friend and I really cherished him and his friendship. Afterwards my mother took me aside and told me that she thought that was really strange, and that maybe I made Keegan or his mother uncomfortable because of that. While the memory receded quickly, it internally fucked me emotionally up for years.

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