Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Geek Rant Previews: What I'm Not Posting Yet

Namco's "No Export For You"

I am sad now.

Namco is a Japanese video game company that used to be known for creating Pac-Man. It is now known this video game series known as the Tales series or as some call it, the Tales Of series. A series of games that have nothing to do with each other except the main protagonist is a teenage male who uses a sword among other things. Basically the games have similar themes and elements but are not sequels or reboots or anything. The story of all the games is usually long detailed and in some cases, complicated but known for being very good.

In addition to the complex and interesting stories, the Tales series was known for it's lovable, unique, and well developed characters, good and bad. It also has a unique battle system that many JRPGs could benefit from. You see, in most normal JPRGs, when you walk around in a dungeon or the overworld (the area you walk in between towns and cities), you get randomly assaulted by a monster for you to fight. The most obvious and well known example of this system is Pokemon. Now many people in the west dislike the random encounter system. It's preferred to be bale to see your enemy, strategize, strike as appropriate, or at least be able to get to town safely if you're too weak.

Namco's Tales series remedied this in their more recent games with a system where in the overworld, there are icons that represent enemies. If you touch them, then the fight starts. sometimes they chase you, but basically you can see them and decrease your chances of having to fight and you can fight only when you want to.

Another great part of the Tales series actual battle system was that it was active. You could actually move and maneuver your characters and attack in real time and strategize in real time. This in contrast to more static and traditional Japanese role playing games that have a turn based combat system where you open a menus choose and action and watch the constant back and forth. Fun for some but not for all.

Now, with an active battle system and engaging storyline, the Tales series is very much loved on both sides of the ocean. However, there has been a cold chill in the air and I fear the economic downturn, as well as the general reception or JRPGS, are to blame.


The Green Lantern

When All Else Fails, you call Mousa the 14, that one ranting geek.

Many geeks know who or what a Green Lantern is. And if you're one of my non geek readers then know this, its not actually and 100% literally a lantern that happens to be the color green and its some sort of meme. If one were to say someone ad powers like a Green lantern they should be ci8ing a certain versatility or external power source. If one were to note one had a stupid weakness like Green Lantern they would be citing a now outdated but stupid weakness to a common object. These things are given, but if you, my reader, are not your average geek, you most likely have absolutely no idea who or what I'm talking about. But this is the internet so that's unlikely, but because I try to keep the barriers open here as usual, I will address you my reader as though you are both one or the other.

When I first learned that Green Lantern might not actually be well known, I thought it odd. You see, GL is put on a similar iconic level as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Someone who rounds out that power set along with The Flash, Aquaman, and Palastic Man. But I'm willing to bet if you asked your average shmuck on the street, you'd find they are more familiar with The Flash or Aquaman than they are of Green lantern.

Now before I go into the reasons why Green lantern should be known better an dwhy the Green lantern is not known better, I deem it best for me to do a little informal and informative exposition. Why? Because it'll be easier on you than reading Wikipedia and easier to come by than the general info sites.

Now, to begin, when people refer to Green Lantern, they usually are referring to the Green Lantern Corp, an intergalactic police force in the DC comics universe. the first ever green Lantern from the comic book Golden Age was a man named Alan Scott whose origins and powers were magic in nature and while the bear similarities to the powers of the modern Green Lantern, they differ in limitations and and power source. the GL Corp as we know them today were introduced during some Silver-age of comics character reboot that gave us versions of superheroes closer to what we're familiar with today such as the change from the original Flash Jay Garrick and Green Lantern Alan Scott...

The Old, The New, And The Left Behind

When All Else Fails, you call Mousa the 14, that one ranting geek.

I've come to the conclusion that geekdom is a freaky amalgam of pop culture and nostalgia. On the one hand there is a lot of worship for old things a la Thindercats, the Mario Games, and Star Trek and yet at the exact same time the needs to keep up with new things relevent to our general itnerests in vital. While this can be the same for many things, This is about "geek culture" not everything else so nya.

Allow me to elaborate

The Old

Nostalgia plays an enormous part in the geek identity it's amazing really. I mean a huge part of it is all about never letting go of our childhood after we've grown up, whether it's our old favorite cartoons to games. And then we try to put some sort of adult-like or grown up spin on it, looking deeper than necessary, analyzing and elaborating and expanding. Obsessively re-watching or replaying things in order to mark down each individual detail to sometimes try to construct the universe we've been given.Or perhaps an attachment for characters whose arcs have long since concluded, whether or not their arcs were resolved.

TV Tropes

Seriously, what's wrong with that place?

I honestly haven't a clue because I love it.

But in all seriousness, this place is loved and hated for many a reason and as a person whose style was inspired by the website, I figured I would explore this entity known as TV Tropes.

Now, for those who aren't in the know, TvTropes is a website dedicated to identifying and giving a name to the various tools and conventions we see and expect in media. It's not really inventing, the website basically finds things that are already there, give them a name and a humorous description followed by a list of examples. The website also has many works pages which list examples of tropes they demonstrate and...

Oh, right, forgot to write the definition of "Trope" since it's not exactly a common word these days. A "Trope" is a figure of speech or or something recurring across a genre or type of creative work. So I guess the site invents figures of speeches for things that recur across genres or creative works. Ha ha, two for two!

Anyhow, so yeah, it's a simple, fun, and casual website that's all about media. obviously the people interested in this are geeks who really love their media. The website started with just television tropes due to their origins with Buffy The Vampire Slayer fans but obviously things have expanded. We never bothered to changed the name of the place because by the time the members of the site even considered the name Media Tropes it was a little too late.

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