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Vandalvideo Blog

Ever wondered what the inside of a 360 looked like?

 Well bam, there it is. This is the beginning of Vandal's month long journey of studying his 360, and figuring out why it is that Microsoft fails at fixing these things. This project was spawned out of them failing to fix my RROD 360, and it breaking down a week after getting it back. So Microsoft, balls in your court son. If I can fix this before you give me my money back, you fail, and you should hire me.

I'm giving up video games.

As shocking as the title may sound, I'm beginning to get fed up with video games in general. All my favorite genres are dieing thanks to the great casualization, and now all my systems are failing due to shoddy design. I've gone through 3 XBOX 360s so far, and now my warrranty JUST expired on my Halo 3 limited edition 360 just when I purchase Blazblue. I don't have the money to have the thing repaired. On top of that, my PC is dieing from old age as the bearings are saging. I've had to practically turn it on its side and let it lay on the ground. Gravity is the only thing keeping my PC functioning at this momment in time. About the only upside is my PS3 hasn't imploded on itself yet. You know what? Screw all these malicious developers pumping me for money, the shoddy manufacturing jobs on these platforms, and the general lack of appealing games this generation. I'm DONE!

Now can you get platinum?

Hey, I'm all for absurd video game challenges, but this is the most absurd, in your face peice of crap I've ever seen. For those that haven't heard, Prototype is a game about viruses, mutants, conspiracy, etc etc. Once you beat the game and complete all the side missions on gold, which is the best you can get, a message pops up saying, "Congratulations, you got gold, now can you get platinum?"  After spending so much time on those side missions, that is totally not cool bro.

Special Games, NDAs, and BETAs

Your friendly lawyer vandalvideo has been selected to participate in a beta which, as of, I can not officially speak of. Look forward to exclusive content once the NDA has been released.

Stereotypes and Games

Outside my window and across the ocean is a land paved with neon signs, chicks wearing cat costumes, and business men stumbling drunk down the street with their ties wrapped around their heads. At least, that is the image I've come to expect from my eastern brethren. Across that very sea there is probably another version of myself staring back and picturing Americans running around with M16s, killing cows, and riding horses. This cultural divide between the East and West has given rise to some of the most ill-fated ventures in entertainment. A lack of understanding has affected everything from television to video games. . Square-Enix is a company which has shipped their own version of fantasy across the ocean to the American audience. From trouble times games like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest have arose to represent an entire genre to the western audience. Final Fantasy is probably the name that comes to many gamers' minds when they think of the term Japanese Role Playing Game (JRPG). JRPG, while varied in nature, is a term that has become synonymous with the type of game play present in these two franchises. Turn based game play, androgynous super heroes, and archfiends terrorizing the land are just a few of the conventions that western gamers think of when the term JRPG gets thrown around. . In contrast, companies like Bioware and Bethesda have released games which have largely defined the western stereotype of the role playing game (WRPG). WRPGs are identified by moral choices, lucid character interaction, and free form gameplay. The roots of WRPG games stem from titles like Baldur's Gate, Fallout, and The Elder Scrolls. Among these games, themes are repeated as gods or dystopian societies attempt to destroy the fragile order in the world. . However, these two genres are far more similar than many would care to admit. At the heart of the games lie a hero's quest, character progression, deep story elements, and a common enemy. Despite their similarities, RPG games have been artificially split into two overly broad classifications. In reality, there are no unifying elements behind JRPG or WRPG games. Each game takes place in a unique universe with different characters, plot mechanics, and game play elements. This truth is lost on gamers from both sides of the ocean, as these genres have become synonymous with the mainstays of the genre. A cultural war has been created between the Final Fantasies and the Baldur's Gates. . Video games aren't the only form of entertainment that has suffered at the hands of this cultural war. Likewise affected, cartoons have artificially been split up between two different genres as well. Labels have been artificially assigned as both sides of the cultural war attempt to justify their own opinions. From the beginning of eastern and western cartoons, there has been this divide. . When one mentions cartoons it brings up fond memories of sitting in the living room on a Sunday morning watching G.I Joe. As many may know, G.I. Joe followed the adventures of military crime fighters trying to stop the evil Cobra Commander from unleashing his terrorist plots. In contrast, when on thinks of eastern cartoons they think of Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, and One Piece. eastern cartoons have become synonymous with overpowered characters saving the universe from grandiose evil by using unrealistic powers. While some of these stereotypes may hold true, both styles of cartoons are far more varied. Eastern cartoons, commonly referred to as anime, range from stories about knights fighting demonic forces, a girl who has the ability to travel back in time, a girl who is tasked with ferrying sinners to hell, and a doctor who has to cope with saving the life of a serial murderer. In contrast, western cartoons are about boy scientists, mysterious islands, and mutated animals. As these examples illustrate, the normal conventions of the mainstream cartoons don't adequately cover the variety of material that the medium covers. . But how does this all relate to modern day video gaming? This perceived cultural divide has caused many developers to begin developing for what they consider to be the demographic of other nations. Eastern developers are dropping their old conventions in favor of old men fighting figures that look like they popped out of REZ, World War II games, an spy conspiracies. Western developers are generalizing their audience even more to appeal to othe demographics by trying to incorporate a diverse cast. In both sintances, developers are abandoning their traditions of providing unique games in an attempt to appease what they erroneously believe to be wildly divergent wants. Fans that appreciate the style of companies like Square-Enix and bethesda have become dissapointed by released and announced titles like Nier, Front Mission Evolved, Silent Hill: Homecoming, Fallout 3, and many more. . Whatever side of the ocean you may be on; there is a need for change in the entertainment industry. Square and Bethesda aren't the ones that should be changing. The games that they have been providing for decades are changing for the worse in an attempt to appeal to an imaginary demographic. But where did it coem from? It was perpetuated by stereotypes that have been forced on them by the video gaming public. Derogatory terms like 'Animu', 'Cowboy', and others have forced the hands of developers. This change in path can only be corrected by a concerted effort to inform people about the true nature of the cultural war.

What is it like to be a law school applicant you ask?

Law school.  Two words which strike fear in unsuspecting students. The application process is enough to break the will of even the most stalwart academics. Applying to law school involves the equivalent of sacrificing your first born on the alter of admissions. They poke, they prod, they test, and they read every last thing about you. You spend hours upon hours studying for a test which doesn't make sense in the context of application. Questions are presented with 500 word articles and games which are enough to make the most calm savant succumb to insanity. In the midst of the chaos that is the LSAT, you have to write personal statements which delve into the deep recesses of your motivation for wanting to become a law student. The admissions people gauge your writing capacity by scraping every last ounce of experience you have from the bottomless pit of story you have. On top of that, you have the experience of asking your professors to list your strengths and weaknesses in letters that you're never able to see. All the while, your GPA and academic history is combed through with a fine tooth comb... and yet, at the end of all this, you become part of the select few who get to stand on the door steps of wealth and say, "I went through it." God I love law school.

Need Suggestions

Ladies and Gentlemen, Whomever may be reading, next Spring I am going to have achieved my Bachelor's of Science. In order to graduate, I need to take 2 extraneous classes in Spring. Those classes can be anything at all.. that is offered. I get to choose between all of the fields you can imagine; Religion, philosophy, political science, language, biology, geology, art, sociology, psychology, legal assistant studies, criminal justice, geography, history, latin, nursing, physics, interior design, math, theatre... (Goes on listing fields in his mind) This question I pose to you; If you had the opportunity to take any class in your college in order to graduate, what would it be? PS: No basket weaving.