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15

May

Let’s Talk About What Happened to the Blog, Part 3

Hi there. Doug here, writing from THE FUTURE (thanks to the magic of time zones and the International Date Line).

Anyways. I too saw Nick’s post over the weekend; I actually talked about it live, in-person, with my good friend (and leading Sasquatch contributor) Tyler, since I went to visit him up in Tokyo. We were both a bit surprised, honestly.

Yes, what Nick said is true – back in the winter, our Wordpress got truly jammed up and the site started trying to redirect you to someplace with Cyrillic and the stink of a back alley. We need to spend some cleaning time to get everything working again. This hopefully will happen soon; I know I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished (hiccups, warts and all), and seeing it redirect you to some Russian nonsense is a slight to me.

But I agree with Aaron as to the more important “why”. God abhors a vacuum, so if we truly wanted to keep writing, we would have – this Tumblr (or another idea) would have popped up sooner, and the dot-com may even be fixed. But there’s something deeper here – for myself and Aaron, it’s the priorities of real life shuffling, while for Nick, it’s games themselves.

Personally, my gaming time has only really dropped for one month since arriving in Japan – and that was the first month, before I had a console here. The problem is, much of my gaming has been more “normal” – I game because it’s a way to relax. Living in Japan, the last thing I want to do is sit and pour an entire weekend into playing a game by myself when I could be exploring.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t played anything, though. I’ve been a part of video and board gaming nights with my friends, I’ve bought Japanese games, I’ve figured out how exactly to keep up my habit over here, and I’m about to and invest in Diablo III. I don’t think games are perfect right now, but everything from the brilliance of Journey to the almost-but-not-quite-there-ness of Mass Effect 3 still draws an emotion from me. Hell, even the stuff around the periphery – like Republique’s 11th-hour save on Kickstarter, or Kickstarter in general – still gives me lots to think about every week.

I just haven’t been writing.

But I honestly miss this. Everyone needs a creative outlet, and only recently did I realize how much I missed writing. When Sasquatch was at its finest, we were writing multiple articles a week and enjoying the entire thing. It wasn’t just writing, it was writing with my good friends, working together for a common good. I miss that as much as anything else. And I get the feeling some of you guys enjoyed our work from time to time, too, and we’d like to provide you something else to read.

We’ve said it before, might as well say it again: Sorry for the delays. We’ll try to be more regular from here on out.

14

May

Let’s Talk About What Happened to the Blog, Part 2

Hi, Aaron here. How are you?

That’s nice. Send the missus my best.

Moving along: This past weekend, fellow co-founder Nick Cummings updated our Facebook status with an explanation of sorts. To paraphrase, he wrote why we don’t do much of anything anymore. You can read it in full by clicking this.

Not that it needs to be said (or re-said depending on who’s reading), but we don’t make a living off of Silicon Sasquatch; it’s our hobby. Actually, to call this a hobby would imply we spend significant amounts of time and effort posting articles and cropping images when we aren’t working full-time jobs. We don’t.

Nick and I had many grandiose plans for the “brand” of the blog over the years, but slowly those dreams faded under the pressure of reality. Moving out of your parents’ house costs money.

So what is the problem? Why don’t we write about videogames like we used to?

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29

Mar

Editorial: Mass Effect 3, Shitstorms, and Other Considerations - Spencer

My copy of Mass Effect 3 was ordered just before the brunt of the shitstorm hit. A general love of the series, combined with the gleeful ravings of my friends, prompted me to order the “N7 Collector’s Edition” with the cheapest (read: slowest) available shipping. Having managed to largely avoid learning the twists of the title’s predecessor, playing it a few weeks after release, no sense of urgency struck me. Instead, I put on my information-blocking tinfoil helmet and prepared to weather the wave of “Spoilers Ahead!” tags.

Onward came the complaints, and goodness there were a lot of them. From my cursory, intentionally-brief glances, many seemed to be complaining about how the end wasn’t happy enough, or how it didn’t make sense to them, and that was fine by me. So there’s a little bit of complexity present, so it doesn’t turn out all sunshine and daisies. Didn’t they know there was a war on?

My sensory-deprivation headgear remained firmly in place until my copy of Mass Effect 3 arrived. I opened it. I gleefully savored the collector’s edition materials (a rare purchase for me). I proceeded to play, every night, perhaps a bit more than a normal sleep schedule should permit. I dabbled in the multiplayer a little. Finally, after much delight and enjoyment, I reached the end. The credits rolled, the stinger played, and I thought to myself “well, that isn’t so bad, is it? That was pretty okay.” I started my New Game+, dug out my copy of the original for a Renegade playthrough, then decided to head out for a drink. 

The thing is, though, the ending wasn’t “pretty okay.” Where I had been intending to sit at a hipster bar and cobble together some lines of shitty fiction, the ending of Mass Effect 3 festered and itched in the back of my brain. It wasn’t a feeling of anger, no, but it did leave me with a profound confusion that was not going away. Not since KotOR2 had an RPG ending so thrown me for a loop. So here, dear reader, I will try to dissect the main thread running through my mind: seriously, what happened?

(Warning: Spoilers Contained Beyond)

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Numerous thoughts on Mass Effect 3 - Doug

Mass Effect 3 is a big, important game. I have a lot of different thoughts about it – and without going into spoiler territory, here are many of them. They are wide ranging both in length and in topic, but be warned: I like reading into the subtext of fiction, so it happens often.

This isn’t a review so much as noting different aspects of the game. No big spoilers. Enjoy.

**

I got a text message a week or two before Mass Effect 3 came out from long-time Sasquatch contributor Tyler. This isn’t exactly out of the norm, but this particular exchange is relevant to our humble little web site. 

Yes, Mass Effect 3 is available on the PlayStation Network. The same day the game was released in brick-and-mortar stores, you could download it directly to your hard drive; in fact, Sony advertised it as available at midnight Pacific time, which proved true.

Is…is that the future I’m hearing? Yes, it is. (PC gamers in the back, keep it down, I can hear you snickering).

Seriously – this is worth getting woken up a few minutes early for. This is some serious progress, quite frankly, as you have to imagine that A. Sony paid quite a bit of money to EA for this day and date and B. probably pissed off a few of their key retail partners in the process. After all, Mass Effect 3 is being launched as one of EA’s enormous tent-pole games for the year – with the marketing campaign to prove it – and absolutely can’t fail.

Of course this is a boon for Tyler and myself — otherwise, the two of us are looking at importing the U.S. version, and there will be a delay thanks to shipping. Even if it was available in Japan the same day, I doubt it would be the equivalent of $60 – it would probably cost more.

More importantly, though, this is one of the year’s most anticipated games available for download the same day it’s released. This is the progress we like to see towards a digital download-friendly future.

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Hey you guys

Hey guys, Doug here. You may not have noticed, but Silicon Sasquatch has been comatose for a little while. Long story short, we need to do work on the architecture of the site, but lack the time.

So, we’re gonna chill out on Tumblr for a little while and hopefully get in the swing of publishing content again. Pardon the temporary digs.

-Doug