Archive for the ‘ Trends ’ Category

Medals and achievements

This is a bit of a strange phenomenon in gaming, and beyond. I sort of understood the achievements on Xbox 360, but the ideas of medals in Flash baffles me. Newgrounds has available many thousands of points in medals. Newgrounds is one of the greatest lampooners of the trend.

This has become so much of a joke that entire games were made to make fun of the medal unlock. Like this:

Not only do we need a sense of satisfaction for winning a certain part of game, we need a sense of achievement to show other people outside of high scores in the game. Achievement Unlocked 2 came out lately, as well as upgrade complete which provides satire on instant gratification mentality.

Anyway, no time for a real rant. I think I should discuss a few notable flashes.

There was the weirdness that is Psychosomnium.  

This is a short and unique platformer with some interesting twists; the goal is to learn the strange little tricks that work in ways you wouldn’t expect. I don’t to spoil it. Let’s just say you’re in a dream, and things are different. The controls are very simple, but the puzzles are mindbending.

I’m in love with Bullet Heaven.

It’s a fine example of the bullet hell genre, a shooting game where projectiles are everywhere and you shoot a poop-ton of bullets toward endless waves of powerful enemies. This one has beautiful graphics, great upgrades, and hours of gameplay. The bosses are epic.

Those should keep you busy.

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My terrifying realization

That title sounds like the name of an episode of Scrubs. I wish it were. No, the horror that has befallen my psyche is this: I am a Flash consumer whore.

I complain about people like me all the time. The people who say “Hey, I recognize the thing that this is a tribute to or parody of, and that is all I am going to watch regardless of quality because I am too stupid to realize the value of creativity and original content.”

But then I realized that when I surf over to newgrounds and look at the front page featured movies I immediately click on my favored content: Lately, Minecraft.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Addiction^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

By the way, I realize this isn’t a “gaming blog,” but I feel I should document what this is so they too can further understand my pain. Plus, it has made an impact on flash culture.

G4 has a decent explanation, but I can try to sum it up as well: It’s like legos, but with monsters that try to eat your soul. It is so epic, that it led me to become a mindless sheep and watch flash videos without discretion.

I suppose I do just watch the handpicked best, not bothering with the not-featured garbage animations. I can take some solace in that. But that is simply an excuse.

There is nothing wrong with fanaticism. The normal consumer can view only Super Mario flashes and get on with their lives. Knowledge, in this case, is a Pandora’s box that leads to a loss of time. Specifically, I know what is possible with a medium, and I enjoy a variety that extends past what I know.

There is no word for this trend, and perhaps I can’t explain exactly what I mean without rambling. If anyone else can put a title on this digital disease, leave me a comment. I’m ashamed of myself.

The importance of long-running series

I can’t believe that in the two months I’ve been writing a blog about Flash, I have never once mentioned what is easily the most-watched flash animation content on the web: Homestar Runner.

Or, as is often the case, the emails of one leather-pantsed ladiesman, Strong Bad. Seriously, it was a life-changing little cartoon series that became amazing. To learn about the site, there is a fan-made HR Wiki with almost 2700 articles to tell you far too much about the series. I suppose it slipped my mind due to the lack of consistent updates in the past 6 months.

Let’s just say that in the dark days of Flash 1, the brothers chap (HR’s creator) were young and burgeoning, but quick to learn. And while some will say they learned of internet animation from the god-awful and childish (even by my standards) Joe Cartoon, I was a middle-schooler and smiling as Strong Bad answered his emails. Unlike many flash cartoons of the early era, HR was very funny while being tame and relatable, with most sites featuring sensationalist media fueled by teenage lust for violence and sex.

That’s not to say that the early Homestar Runner content wasn’t laughably bad. But all artists must hone their craft. A comparison would be an early strip of the popular gamer comic Penny Arcade [ in the beginning ] and [ lately. ] When you have 12 years of practice, your skill with the digital arts grows substantially. Yet how much more difficult are consistent animations of quality? Much more difficult, that’s how.

Since 1999 they have been making Homestar flashes, and I pray for a return of the long-term flash. I want a theme that goes on for 200 animations. I want humor without being trite or disgusting.

I want full series.