On Violence and Thievery

--Posted by Stray Dog @ 12/11/03 20:01 PST.

On Violence and Thievery

Hello. This is the Stray Dog. I am pleased to meet you. What? I can’t hear you! Lean closer to the monitor! Oh, well. Any ways, this is going to be my first endeavor on behalf of Limitlessunits. Please, be gentle. For my inaugural effort, my hope and, indeed, my dream is to brilliantly, and without fear, tackle the world of bouncing polygons and shining silicon that is video games because, really, what could be awesomer than that? No, tell me! Right now! I still can’t hear you! Whatever.

For my subject, I draw your attention to the controversial, yet strangely evocative debacle regarding video game violence. Now, before you stop reading simply because you are tired to death of this topic, O illustrious and well versed surfer of the web, I implore you, hark unto my words a moment longer. For I feel that, if you are to judge my work properly from this point on, you must understand where my allegiances lie on important issues such as this, piracy, etc… Down to business.

The argument lies between “what harm or effects this video game violence produces” and the creative rights and liberties of game developers. I can understand the side of the former inasmuch as I don’t feel excessive violence is a necessary evil (you may take this comment with a grain of salt in that I still feel guilty about a Russian soldier I shot in the back of the head while playing “Golden Eye” 7 years ago) however, I understand why some would find it enjoyable and, indeed, an indelible facilitator of the experience. The true difficulty appears in the form of impressionable, young children getting their hands on these games. Here, I am in favor of parental intervention. Is your child mature enough to blow off the limbs off a bloated rotting corpse? No? Then don’t buy them “Resident Evil.” Is your child old enough to handle topless women doing back-flips on half pipes? No? Then don’t buy them “BMX XXX” (no body else buy it either, for that matter, sheesh!)

Basically, it boils down to this: if your child cannot distinguish fantasy from reality (like the ones who are suing GTA III developer Rockstar after it “inspired” their shooting spree) then maybe the problem is bigger than some silly game. Maybe, instead (or in addition), they should sue television producers for airing violent shows or movie companies for using violence to top the box office. Or perhaps they should sue American culture for being obsessed with violence or the whole world for being a violent place! (it would be an interesting trial: the Johnsons vs. Iraq) Or maybe, just maybe, these boys (and others like them) should take some responsibility for their actions and realize IT’S A BAD IDEA TO SHOOT PEOPLE!! And there are consequences if you choose to! Holy #@$%!! Maybe these boys’ parents (though I use the term loosely) should realize than their little babies have lost all grip on reality and the game, though I’m sure it didn’t help the matter, is not the root of the problem! Besides, they put ratings on games for a reason, people! (heavy sigh) Okay. That’s over with. Moving on . . .

I enjoy a good game as much as anyone. However, I am not always able to plop down fifty bucks several times a week to keep up. I have found that, if I can reign back the burning thirst in my bosom for new and better games, add some patience and buy them after they are not so new, I can save a butt load of money (that’s a lot, for those of you not familiar with modern colloquialisms). This is why I have been so grateful for stores like Game Crazy, Game Stop, EB, and others who carry used games along with new. Every once in a while I will stumble upon a bargain that I will pass along to you. When a game makes it into this section, you can bet it’s good, cheap ($20 or less), and generally easy to come by. Without more ado I give you . . . Stray Dog’s Bargain Bin: the place where I do all the dirty work and you keep the diamonds I find in the rough.

Today’s feature: Sly Cooper and the Thievious Racoonus about $15 used ($20 new, Greatest Hits version)

Developer: Sucker Punch, Publisher: Sony

Sly Cooper was well received when it was released and now that you can pick it up cheap, you have no excuse. Buy it right now. I enjoyed this game from the moment I put it in to the moment I completed the last level. The levels are creative, the power ups are evenly spaced so as to avoid frustration from lack of purpose and the characters (though slightly obnoxious) are funny and well designed. The cell-shaded graphics, which are slightly dated, do a good job of conveying the general light-hearted atmosphere and many of the boss battles (Mz. Ruby’s to be specific) are ingenious and enjoyable instead of overly difficult and repetitive. The one thing that I didn’t like were the Master Thief challenges which are time trials where you have to complete the levels in a ridiculously short amount of time. If you have a masochistic bone in your body, no doubt you will enjoy these as well, but for the rest of us, just use a code to unlock the documentary instead and save your controller from being flung at the wall.

All in all, this is a great game and receives the Stray Dog Bargain Bin Gold Star of Approval (suitable for framing)

Video Games