Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A nice big island, with a nice big drink, and a girl with nice big bags of ice for my aching head.

I have beaten Crash Bandicoot.  I can now officially, finally, say this.  I only used a save state on Slippery Climb, reloading the checkpoint a few times.  I feel this is warranted, for I plated the entirety of Crash Warped and most of Crash (from Papu Papu to Cortex) in one day. 

I love Crash, but now it's time to move on to other games.  I'll probably get the racing Crash games if I get a PS2, which I've been considering doing after Christmas.  I'm sure all of this information intrigues you deeply.

I was going to go in-depth about the Herculean trials I went through to finally get the game finished, but I'm not in the state of mind to tell such a tale in a way that would be worthy of reading.  I'll just say regardless of how hard Gex is, I won't have nearly as much satisfaction beating it.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Oh, and One More Thing...

I knew I had a reason for being bitter.  I just saw clips of Crash:  Twinsinity.  And it looks great.  Maybe not Crash Warped great, but still, enough to envy the people who had a PS2 growing up.  The only game series I have left to beat are Crash, Gex and Mega Man.  It seems my Nintendo fanboy days are over.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Spyro Three - 4/5. On par with the others. I still prefer Crash.

I've just beaten the third Spyro the Dragon game.  It was pretty easy overall, which is how I remember all of them growing up.  Now I've beaten the main four.  I'm sparing myself the Gameboy Advance versions, the one for the DS and the atrocious one for the the Gamecube (the first one was more-or-less in the vain of the PS One games, and I enjoyed it though it got shitty reviews).  It's raining out.

Well that's another chapter of my childhood gone.  Sooner or later I'm going to have to grow up and become "responsible."  Nah.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Momentary Confliction

I'm somewhat conflicted as to what serious academic work to start next.  I wanted to do a work on Utilitarianism (mostly highlighting the frankly obvious distinctions between Utility and Moral Sentiment Theory, and arguing in favor of Mill) with a little Sci-fi thrown in, but I also want to do something examining Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.  I'll probably do the former, but who knows, I might focus on that one and begin work on the latter.  I'm also researching Hinduism.  It's amazing how many beliefs and perspectives which seem contradictory can be held in various schools yet lumped by a single designator.

That's it for now.  I might have some work for you guys soon.  Oh, and I also got further in Gex a few nights ago than I did my entire childhood of playing.  The best possible indication that I'm hitting my stride.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

On the Shamefulness and Inaccuracies of Sectarian Leftism

If there are two points I could make in-regards to the course of Leftist tactics, it might have to be these:
-          That if we truly believe in Materialism we must promote Socialism via materialist methods (e.g. worker unions, organizations etc) to change the working classes’ conditions and their way of thinking via shift in the ethos or general culture of society which will occur far more naturally utilizing general materialist tactics.  Idealist tactics (similar to that of the New Atheists) are to be utilized but only as a secondary approach.
-          Comrades must be unified.  All sectarianism unless it is sectarianism of fundamentals (such as whether to be materialist or idealist) is pointless bicker that only functions to segment the intellectuals of the left and further themselves from the real potential of the class-movement and the working-base itself.
Comrades of all affiliations and ideologies are guilty.  Anarchists who remain in the past and discuss the actions of Trotsky and Marxists who complain the Anarchists are bourgeois without giving proper refutation or even making any distinction ‘tween Individualist and Social Anarchism – as Lenin fails to do in his two essays (if you can even call them that considering their length) regarding a supposed distinction ‘tween Anarchism and Socialism.  Firstly let me state that I’ve only read these two pages in-regards to Lenin explicitly arguing against Anarchism (though he does mention it in some of his other essays I’ve read which I won’t bring up) and that these are the only pieces I’ll use in both depicting his lack of understanding of Anarchism and the waste of time that is sectarian bickering.
He begins his essay Anarchism and Socialism (1901) by saying the Anarchists (he includes Stirner and once again makes no reference to the radical distinctions ‘tween Egoist Anarchism – or any other form of Individualist Anarchism – and Social Anarchism.  Though this is a fundamental problem about his critique of Anarchism, I’ll simply note it one final time and move on) in their history have done nothing but produce “general” statements against exploitation – as opposed to either giving cries to specific forms of exploitation (which Anarchists do) and giving a methodology of revolt (which Anarchists do).  I would be amazed if Lenin ever read Bakunin, well, maybe that’s not entirely the case.  It could very-well be that Lenin has read Bakunin’s assertions for the need of worker camaraderie and materialist revolt against the Capitalists (as-well as specifically demonizing the bourgeois and class-relations for Man’s plight, so this idea that Anarchists speak only the vague platitudes against oppression that have been spoken since the Roman Empire is simply absurd) and is a liar.  Honestly whenever someone expresses something of such profound ignorance it seems just as likely they are being dishonest. He also seems to not understand that in the Capitalist sense private property would not exist under Social Anarchism – once again stunning ignorance.  Mentions failure to understand class struggle – once again has he read Bakunin or Kropotkin?
He mentions fragmentation of the working class.  If anything, wouldn’t Marx (whether reasonable or not) have done this by kicking out Bakunin from the International?
He shows the true mindset of the Bolsheviks in the beginning of his second essay Socialism and Anarchism (1905)[1]  Of course the “Worker’s Deputies” is not an organ of proletarian self-organization.  This would be the case in an egalitarian Socialist framework where the worker’s actually owned the means of production.  Instead, they were only sheep of the State in the USSR, which Lenin made sure was so when he did not allow the worker’s to organically organize and both use the fullness of their potential as well as grow their potential by in-effect forcing them to use not only their muscles but their brains in organizing their communities in a Materialist way.  It is funny that Lenin criticizes the Anarchists for being bourgeois when in being a politician, and creating yet another Representative Democracy, what has Lenin created if not a Socialist Bourgeois nation of laws, politicians and organization being centralized on-high rather than being the freeing source of responsibility of the working class?
Lenin seems so ignorant, to the extent that combined with confidence seems to be sheer stupidity, when he states the Anarchism is bourgeois society turned inside-out.  It is almost as if he believes all Anarchism is in the vein of Benjamin Tucker and Stirner and – I told myself I wouldn’t repeat myself, but it’s so blaring that there really is little else that much be said[2].  If Lenin is going to be so daft and ignorant, then I personally feel I can be ignorant of any potential points of someone so intellectually ingenuous or incompetent. 
Though I wanted this essay to show the type of nonsensical bicker that is made by the Sectarian Socialist, I will end this paper by being partly sectarian myself, and remind the reader that Socialists are Utilitarian (that is, we by-in-large do not believe in fundamental human rights outside of the utility of the human populous, and if we do, we do not extend it to scum like the Koch Brothers that anyone except Bourgeois Socialists and Anarcho-Pacifists – who are typically Individualists or Primitivists like Thoreau, Dorothy Day and Gandhi – agrees should be murdered ethically, though some may perhaps rightfully claim it could be the wrong move tactically; though I would contend for them it would, but for an attempt on all Capitalists or Congress it wouldn’t) and therefore those who decry they would do anything[3] even murder fellow comrades (as the Bolsheviks did once they took power) or innocents to maintain the society of ”Materialist Socialism” does not understand human nature or what it is to be a Materialist Socialist, namely comprehending human nature and the causality of things, and once innocents are murdered for dissent, then whether or not you maintain your Empire for the Worker’s is irrelevant – for all is for naught.

[1] . If we were to regard the Soviet of Workers’ Deputies as a workers’ parliament or as an organ of proletarian self-government, then of course it would have been wrong to reject the application of the anarchists.
[2] The philosophy of the anarchists is bourgeois philosophy turned inside out. Their individualistic theories and their individualistic ideal are the very opposite of socialism. Their views express, not the future of bourgeois society, which is striding with irresistible force towards the socialisation of labour, but the present and even the past of that society, the domination of blind chance over the scattered and isolated small, producer.
[3] And we shall therefore resort to every means of ideological struggle to keep the influence of the anarchists over the Russian workers just as negligible as it has been so far.

Monday, May 4, 2015

On Super Mario World

A few hours ago I beat Super Mario World, one of the main titles that haunted my childhood.  A game I’d play when at my Godmother’s it was a title of frustration for me because it was a well-made, challenging and time-consuming game.  And due-to my inability to play the game whenever I wanted, it was just one of those titles that got away.  Strangely enough, I also played Super Mario Bros and Mario Bros 3 at my Godmother’s (I think she had a NES and then replaced it with an SNES, only I’m thinking of someone else’s house for the SNES) but didn’t have the same feeling of being robbed.  I think it was because I had much more time to play SMB III growing up, and though I only beat it about a year ago (maybe more now) I couldn’t beat it because of its difficulty.  With SMW, though it is a difficult game, what prevented me from advancing, and what would likely be just another cause for my future neuroticism, is that I couldn’t advance because I couldn’t find the way to get out of the Forest of Illusions. Now of course know you have to go down the blue pipe in FoI II (if memory serves) but without a lot of time to explore, I felt deprived of my rightful gaming glory by my pedestrian parents; who were too simple-minded to understand the virtue of Mario’s quest.
I have to say, I still prefer SMB III to SMW.  There’s just something about the stages and the difficulty that’s just right.  It also is a lengthy game with lots of additions like the item tray.  SMW has Yoshi, and the cape which is comparable to Raccoon Mario, but not being able to use any potentially saved-up items (save one) can be frustrating, particularly towards the end of the game which I’ll get to momentarily.  The game is a bit short and felt sporadic with its difficulty.  While SMB III was a gradual uphill climb more-or-less, SMW will have many easy levels throughout the game, and have difficult bosses or random levels here-and-there.  I know it’s not in the Mario tradition, but some of the bosses (the first and last one before Bowser to be specific) seemed so tough if you’re not experienced with the mechanics of hitting the Koopa Kid in the lava that part of me thinks that this game should mimic Mega Man and have a check point before the boss.  Also only having a checkpoint in one of the castles was a bit frustrating but overall something I didn’t mind much.
However, what I did find frustrating to the nth degree was the second last level of the game.  It begins with a fairly easy moving line of blocks that you have to stay on for the majority of the challenge while maneuvering around swinging balls of death.  Simple.  For the next area you have to dodge Magickoopa’s shape blasts while dodging Dry Bones and waiting for Magickoopa to hit yellow blocks that go straight up creating a wall preventing you from advancing.  This part needs serious alterations.  First off you really should get rid of the ball-and-chain part of this level; the Magickoopa is difficulty enough and it just becomes incredibly annoying that every time you die you have to do this over-and-over a-gain.  Not only that, but if you were playing the game on the SNES or “honestly” on a emulator, when you get a game over, you’d have to do the last few stages over again, get to the castle, pass the ball-and-chains and without recent exposure or a chance to practice get killed by the Magickoopa a-gain. Also the mechanics of the Magickoopa should be changed.  He follows your movements too accurately and appears to shoot another blast too soon.  If I jump, he’ll shoot almost exactly where I was when he fired his blast, which makes it difficult when you’re not trying to trick him into hitting the block wall, but instead trying to simply avoid his blasts and jump on him perhaps.
The main problem however is how Magickoopa’s blasts work.  Here do one of two things.  Either get rid of the damn block wall that prevents you from moving, making it similar to Yoshi’s Island (Super Mario World 2) where the Magickoopa is teleporting and shooting beams at you before you fight baby Bowser.  And if you’re not going to do those, then in the name of Miyamato make his fucking magic blasts hit the blocks whenever they touch them!  It has to be precise; otherwise it just passes through it towards you.  And even when it does turn the blocks into koopas (if memory serves) the blasts still is heading towards you.  Make the blast pass transparently through the block if you want, but make it transform the block into something.  There were times were the time ran out because I was waiting for Magickoopa to hit the block just right.  And get rid of the possibility of the blocks turning into mini Thwomps. That’s just cruel.  They stay stuck in position with all the other blocks, until a block is transformed above or below it.  Then its pattern of movement becomes so limited to the area you need to go through that you’re going to get hit.  Because I saved my emulator to the beginning of the Magickoopa area, I could just re-load a-gain and a-gain but it was still incredibly frustrating.  If you only had a few lives left, and wanted to actually try to become skilled and experienced at this stage, when then tough shit, you just wasted a life and could very-well get a Game Over because some gray block that won’t get out of your fucking way, and because the Magickoopa won’t hit the blocks to let you get on with the stage.
I should say here that another reason I found it incredibly frustrating is my emulator wouldn’t save (or retain my saves) if I closed the application.  I dreaded going through the whole game again if the emulator crashed (which it never did) and I already had to go through the first three worlds or so three times because I closed out of the emulator.  It did steal from my gaming experience a bit, but I saved all of the main positions from the last two levels, so I can try to do it all in one go if I choose – which will probably never happen.
I found it a bit difficult to get the hang of kicking the Mechakoopas at Bowser, since I never had to kick a turtle shell directly into the air at any other point in the game.  The boss stage is of moderate difficulty, but I feel they’re a bit stingy with item blocks towards the end of the game.  SMB III was perhaps, and SMB definitely was, but for some reason it seemed to not be as much of a problem in the former.  The latter I beat in High School by only playing stages 1-1, 1-2, 4-1, 4-2 and the entire last world, so I feel I don’t have a right to complain about the stinginess of items or difficulty.  Overall however, the first Mario probably is the hardest.  SMB III and SMW are probably about tied, but SMB III seems easier to me because I’ve played it more.  Also I’m honestly not used to playing with Yoshi, and the movements of the dinosaur just feel a tad clunky and awkward.  Not at-all like actually playing as Yoshi in SMW II.  The only point in the game where I needed to look online to see what to do was one of the Ghost Houses, and I probably could’ve figured it out, but like I said I wanted to finish the game quickly so I wouldn’t have to play three-quarters of the game over again.  If they changed the second-last stage to the game, I would say with little uncertainty that this game is reasonably tough and deserves almost as much praise as SMBIII as being one of the best platform/sidescroller games in existence.
Now I just need to be Crash Bandicoot and my childhood will be complete.  Though it’s not as if that’ll stop me from being a perpetual man-child.