Mega games get mega reviews in a megaly disordered fashion.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

PETA's "Games": How not to do irony right. Or anything right for that matter.

I have a confession to make. I fucking hate PETA. With every ounce of my being. This doesn't make me a bad person, just like how disliking organised religion doesn't instantly make you a satanist. There's loads of reasons for my dislike but the primary one is the way they've been butchering (geddit?) games in the name of irony. For an organisation that is against suffering they've been going out of their way to bring ridiculous and pointless grief to the gaming industry in the form of "parodies" which achieve absolutely fucking nothing. Like Mario Kills Tanooki. He gets his tanooki suit from a magic leaf, not through skinning animals. It's a glorified onesie. How can you use something like that to be a dick and protest things? It doesn't make sense! And Cooking Mama? It's the most inoffensive, delightful cooking game. And they've twisted it into an abomination and brought unpleasantness to the world. Good Job, you've increased the hate in the world by a little bit, PETA...

That one on the bottom right? That's Sea Kittens. PETA tried to rebrand fish as "sea kittens". No word of a lie. Fucking sea kittens. BECAUSE THAT'S GOING TO MAKE KIDS LIKE THEM, NO?
I'm going to ignore most of the games, because there's no way of washing the memories away without prescription drugs so I'll just stick to the big 'uns. Like: Super Tofu Boy. Most of you should know that Super Meat Boy is one of the most rewarding but fucking ridiculously hard games you will ever play next to Dark Souls. You play a cube of meat in a platforming world trying to save Bandage Girl from Dr. Foetus. I've died around 3,000 times in the game (honest. Probably more) due to the harsh but fair levels of the game. And I fucking love it. And then I played PETA's Super Tofu Boy. Nrrrrrrgh. As a parody it's decided it's target is going to be McDonalds, which is admirable I guess seeing as McDonalds is a douchehole company. BUT: they also take a swing at Meat Boy himself, labelling him as smelly, rotting and angry which is incredibly harsh seeing as meat is both natural and delicious and only rotting if you leave it out for ages. The insults don't stop there though. The game is so badly put together that getting to the end of a level is almost impossible thanks to the shoddy control system and overall mechanics of the game. I gave up in disgust after two levels as it was giving me so much fucking stress. I admire trying to change the world, but fucking hell this is a shit game. No message was carried across due to the inept and shoddy creation of the game. You can't make a point if people can't play the game. The offensive hit at SMB filled me with anger as well, until I heard about Team Meat's rebuttal: they released a secret character (Super Tofu Boy) in the PC version of the game. Super Tofu Boy couldn't sprint or jump very high making it impossible to finish the first level, in turn making it the single greatest parody of a parody yet. Parodception.

World's Greatest "FUCK YOU" awarded to Team Meat. Also, parodception is now copyrighted by yours truly.

So, that's the one of the most obvious of the games done (and the most humorous) but now to deal with the whole reason for writing this: POKÉMON: BLACK AND BLUE. Right, those of you who played/watched Pokémon will know that there has always been a fine line between companion and captive, and it's constantly being explored by the creators. Ash struggles between the social convention of "collecting" Pokémon and fighting with them, and them actually being friends. You can see this all the time but for those who don't remember: how about when Ash sacrifices his life to stop Mew and Mewtwo from fighting and is brought back to life by the magic tears of all the Pokémon? Or when he uses his body as a meat shield to save Pikachu from the Spearow attack in the very first episode? Or when he has to let Butterfree return to the wild to find a mate and he (read: all of us) has a good cry? It became such a big deal in B&W that the line between good and bad becomes incredibly blurred. The antagonists are forms of Pokémon freedom fighters leading to a storyline so big that it actually has a sequel (almost unheard of in the main Pokémon series). A summary: kids are taught by this video game that freedom of will for pets is important, that Pokémon are companions that should be treated right, that they have free will and emotions and feel pain, hurt, sadness and need to be treated as friends (much like real animals). And then PETA shits all over the entire series with the monstrosity that is Black and Blue.

I'm pretty sure that counts as fighting fire with fire. Which only works with forest/bushfires. And some forms of science.
So. The game itself. Pikachu escapes from Cheren, electrocutes him repeatedly, attacks Professor Juniper, repeatedly injures her, recruits Pokémon to his cause and then uses them to force his views on both Ghetsis and Ash using their unique powers over the elements to brutally injure them. Firstly: the fighting system. It makes no sense. Each Pokémon has four moves (good) except they don't follow any real Pokémon established scheme (bad). There is no recognisable effectiveness system, leaving you clueless for the most part. There is no healing system (I always healed my Pokémon in the games, kept them healthy and happy). You can't tell if the moves are buffs, special based or physical based. Hell, there's no real system to the monster set-ups at all, they could just be faceless nothings and achieve the same outcome which defeats the attempt at giving the Pokémon any kind of soul and actually backtracks slightly. Each battle is forced upon you removing the exploration and companionship of the games, killing the attachments you form. It removes the attempts of your character to better the world with his friends while at the same time learning how to better him/herself. For the entirety of the game you're bombarded with false advertising of cruelty in the series, with each of the characters claiming to not give a shit when in fact they're only trying to do good by the little fellas. The ultimate insult comes when they use "prizes" to spread propaganda of cruelty to animals in a game set for children. I find it hard to accept that using a fairly innocent and yet deep game for people of all ages including kids is the best medium for trying to almost brainwash kids away from enjoying games or the life altering friendship of a pet. "Prizes" should not be graphic and horrifying images of cruelty to animals. They can be far better and more thought out than that. If you want an example, play New Super Chick Sisters. It's poor, but it makes sense, is decently built, teaches you without being offensive and could be more easily called a parody.

Let's fight PETA's fire fighting by fighting the fire with fire. Because according to PETA that's now okay.  And so is ethically killing things, which I was pretty sure they were against. Or not. I'm confused about what PETA now stands for...
We all know that cruelty to animals is wrong, and if you DON'T then a piss-poor propaganda style "parody" of a gameboy game is not going to fucking change that, is it? And ethical-ness? Is it ethical to aim this kind of thing at children? Is it ethical to "free" pets from their owners by putting them down? Is it ethical to show that extreme violence towards "bad" people is the answer to the problems? Ruining games and acting like a dick does not win people to your cause. It just makes people think you're a dick. Because you are being a dick. And use a different medium that doesn't involve children, yeah? They just want to enjoy being kids and playing games. Leave the hard decisions for when they're older and can actually form their own opinions and not yours.

Never trust someone who uses The Situation  topless to advertise a message.
Fuck PETA. It pretty much shits all over it's own points and fails at forming coherent opinions on cruelty, resorting to base images of extreme events. And it ruins my favourite games which is the gravest insult of all.

Rant over. See you next time. And feel free to enjoy your food whether it be meat or vegetable, just make sure you know where it comes from and how it's made. You don't need PETA to achieve that.

Links to the "games". Play at your peril:

*UPDATE* I'm painfully aware that the factsheet thingy is tiny so: Link to the actual PETA fact sheet thingy:

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