Rundown (9/27-10/03) Long Sleeve Season

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Wherein I discuss clothing preferences, a blocky new challenger, and the return of a game where the initial conflict could be solved by taking a hammer to some drywall!

Autumn is well underway, meaning that society and the powers that be really did botch things so hard that a global quarantine/pandemic/lockdown did last for half a year, but it also means that I no longer need to wear short-sleeved shirts, and can return to my natural comfort zone of long-sleeve shirts.

This is one of my many eccentricities, a strong preference for wearing tops with longer sleeves, and it is one I hold for many reasons:

  • Sleeves provide a barrier between my skin and the outside world, especially when I am working at a desk, protecting me from whatever germs may be on the surface.
  • I have a lot of anxieties and insecurities about how I look and my body in general, and by wearing long sleeves, I am showing less of my body to other people.
  • I have a lot of built-up disdain for short sleeves as, when going through adolescence, I despised my arm hair. How it looked, how it felt, and the fact that my arms were no longer smooth, even though my arm hair was very light and mild, all things considered.
  • I still despise my arm hair, shave it every few days, and whenever I wear short sleeves, I worry that stray bits of my arm hair will be visible, even though it grows super slowly and blends in with my skin.
  • Sleeves are warm, I enjoy being warm when it is cold outside, so I have a very strong association with them as such.

I think these are all at least somewhat reasonable justifications for not liking something, and if not… I’m autistic, and a strong preference for certain textures or the way things feel against one’s skin is pretty common in autistic people, so I really don’t HAVE to explain my reasoning.

Now that this week’s prerequisite of personal incidental bull honky has been taken care of, let’s get on with the video game news, which was fairly light this week.

The first, and biggest, story I picked out this past week was a new character joining the prestigious roster of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. These have been a regularity over the past two years, and while these were once a source of great joy for me due to the hype and video-game-based happiness that comes with characters being recognized as all-stars, lately I feel these announcements have become clouded with toxicity, as Smash fans have had it for so good for so long that they have become utterly unreasonable and elitist, to the extent where I think they don’t want characters to get into the game more than they actually want characters in the game.

Anyways, this announcement was definitely a common one on many prediction lists, as a Minecraft character is coming to Smash Bros. Yes, the default player skin from Minecraft, Steve, is joining the fray with his blocky body retained, his moveset filled with resource gathering and crafting, and kit unlike anything else in the game. He can place tile-based objects on the ground, build structures, and craft weapons during combat, so at the very least he will be a novel character to play, and probably one of the hardest characters to implement in the series thus far.

Naturally, Steve will come with various alts, including the female default character Alex, a zombie, and even an Enderman for good measure, though I must bemoan the fact that not all eight skins are for different characters when there probably are at least eight recognizable human-shaped characters in Minecraft. I say probably because while I played a fair bit of the Alpha on my crappy eMac back in 2010, and was quite partial to Coe’s Quest for the first hundred or so episodes, I lost interest in the game before its full 2011 release.

For me, Minecraft was a small curiosity, a game that popped up in the news when somebody did something crazy with its versatile framework, and reminders that its original creator is a sack of dog testes with millions to his name and zero friends. But for another generation, it shaped their view and perspective of what video games could be, and I deeply respect the game for doing as much. It encouraged children to embark on creative ventures alone or with their friends. Inspired them to look into modding, server maintenance, coding, and general game development. The game has been used by educational institutions for years to teach teamwork, problem-solving, and general communication skills. And it has caused millions to gain an appreciation for the medium that they might have never felt if they did not have access to this title.

Because of what it did, how many people it affected, and its indisputable success, having sold over 200 million units, I think it is right for the game to be amidst the pantheon of Smash Bros., and wish that more of the vocal minority would recognize this event for what it is. Characters from the highest-selling game of all time being brought over to a game that aims to celebrate video game history. If anything, this was to be expected.

Oh, and Mii Fighter Costumes were added with this update, as to be expected. This round includes Creeper, Pig, and Diamond Armor costumes from Minecraft, spreading the blocky goodness about, but also features three more series representatives.

These include Gil, the protagonist of The Tower of Druaga, an RPG series that was home to some innovative and foundational titles, but never really found a following in the west. Mostly because the only title ever localized was the 2004 Mystery Dungeon spin-off, The Nightmare of Druaga: Fushigi no Dungeon. And yes, that was the game’s actual localized English name.

Bomberman joins the fray after being an assist trophy, but despite having a rock solid skin, his moveset will likely feel at least a little bit empty due to a lack of bombs or general explosives. …Which he could have had, at least to an extent, if he were made a gunner, and not a brawler.

Lastly, Travis Touchdown from No More Heroes will be joining the brawl as a mere swordfighter costume, rocking his purple jacket from Travis Strikes Again. I was hoping to see the crass edgeboy make his way to the series as a fully fledged fighter, but if there is anything one can say about Mii Fighter Costumes, it’s that they’re better than nothing.

But you know what I didn’t expect? For Konami to just plop the 2004 PC port of Silent Hill 4: The Room onto GOG with no real fanfare, after putting four other games on the platform a week ago. Silent Hill 4 infamously was not originally meant to be a Silent Hill game, was considered the black sheep of the series upon launch, and failed to live up to the lofty heights of parts 2 and 3, which are classics in their own right. But SH4 is a game with its fans, many finer points, and is considerably better than the mixed efforts that came from later developers’ attempt to recapture the magic of the series. That said, I need to look at this and ask why they would start re-releasing the series on PC with this game when it would make the most sense to start with part 2. Well, it would actually make the most sense to start with part 1, but that never left the PS1, and Konami sure as hell doesn’t have the source code anymore.

Regardless, a classic horror title is now readily available on an evergreen platform and will hopefully garner more fans and attract the attention of those who passed the title by when it was originally released, and those who might have never played any of the original Silent Hill quadrilogy. This is good for preservation, the medium at large, and allows the dedication and talent put into this title to live on without relying on dedicated enthusiasts to make the game functional on modern hardware or host the original files, as the title was not available on any digital storefront before now.

…Yeah, that’s about it for this week, as few announcements were made for whatever reason. See ya next time!

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