So, most of my gaming time these past few months has been playing Street Fighter. I like fighting games, but I've never been any good at them. Street Fighter is pretty much the crème de la crème, so what better one to try and actually make an effort to become not terrible at. It's a slow process, but I'm at a point where I'm winning games somewhat regularly against similarly skilled opponents, and I'm no longer a total newb at the games.

So, I decided to make a video of me playing it. In fact, I hope to make this a regular series of videos, with one every week or so. As I've mentioned before, I used to make crappy Call of Duty videos back in the day, but stopped mostly because of a combination of lack of motivation and my terrible upload speed. The latter hasn't really changed, but I'm at a point where I sort of want to try and make somewhat regular content again.

The Salt Sessions is going to mostly be me playing ranked games on SF4, while making an attempt to articulate what I'm doing and why as I'm playing. This first episode, the pilot if you will, was mostly a spur of the moment thing I made at 3am after a few beers. It's been a while since I've done any video making, so this served mostly as a test for my recording setup: I have a decent microphone, but it isn't particularly well suited to recording while I'm in the middle of playing a fighting game.

So join me over at JeoDotMe on YouTube, a channel I made specifically to tie into this blog. I've mulled the idea of doing video accompaniments to previous blog posts before, but obviously never went through. Now that I want to try and make more video content on the reg, perhaps I might do that. In any case, it's likely that you'll see more than just fighting games on this channel in the future. In the meantime, I will (hopefully) have a new episode of Salt Sessions every weekend(ish).

I was originally going to put this at the end of another post I was working on, but as I was writing it, I thought it probably deserved to be it's own post. I'm going to assume that you have at least some knowledge of the CoD scene on YouTube. If not, you can safely skip this post. The post I was originally working on, expect to see within a few days or so.

Hutch revealed that he is quitting. And I mean quitting quitting. He's quit his job at Machinima, he's moving back home from LA, he's not going to be posting videos at all and he's unlikely to be active very much at all on the Internet, whether it be on Twitter or elsewhere. He, for whatever reason, has decided it's time to bow out. I'm talking about this because, I, once upon a time, made Call of Duty YouTube videos. I stopped a few months ago, however, for a number of reasons. Mainly because I wasn't enjoying it any more, and I don't like the direction that the "community" has been heading in for a while now.

But Hutch was one of the good guys. He was the reason I originally started to make videos, and he was the reason a lot of people started to make videos. And, for better or worse, he's the reason the CoD scene on YouTube is as big as it is today. He wasn't the first to make CoD gameplay commentaries, but he was the one that popularised it. Hutch's quitting could (hopefully) be one of the nails in the coffin for the CoD scene on YouTube.

That's one of the reasons why I quit: I hate what the "community" has become. Back when I first started watching CoD videos on YouTube, the community was an actual community. There weren't a whole of people doing it, and the guys that were were faily close-nit; everyone knew everyone else, at least in some respect. Now, the community houses well over a million people. One million plus people is not a community. There are people who have Machinima contracts that have thousands of subscribers, that you will have never heard of, even though they're doing the exact same thing you are. That's how big it's gotten. And with the rise of Machinima and the insane growth of the scene, the focus turned from making videos because you loved making videos to money.

Take some of the bigger channels, WoodysGamertag is a good example. Compare his videos from two years ago to his videos now. Whenever I go to the front page of YouTube and see all the new videos from the people I'm subbed to, all you see is uncreative videos, with titles and thumbnails designed to grab your attention and get as many views as possible, simply so that person can make some money. Now, I have no problem with people making money off their videos, if said videos are actually well made and required effort to make, Stuart being the prime example. It just annoys me when I see people with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, putting up ugly videos that are creatively and intellectually bankrupt, yet getting thousands of views and making enough money to earn a living.

Actual content aside, the fact that some of the big names don't know, or are simply too lazy to make even the most basic steps to make their videos look good. To name a few names, Wings of Redemption, Blame Truth and xJawz are a few that are guilty of putting up videos that are just plain ugly. No colour correction, so everything is just bland and washed out; resampling not disabled, leading to their videos having awful ghosting due to the raw video and rendered output having different frame rates; and low bit-rates, making their videos, combined with the previous things, looking like a compressed ugly mess. Three different things, which take a combined 15 seconds to fix, and yet it makes your video look infinitely nicer. And that's without the boring, uninspired commentary, with them begging you to like and favourite their video. Looking at you, Blame Truth.

And that's why I quit YouTube. I wasn't big, I wasn't popular. I barely had 300 subscribers to my name. But it was something that, once upon a time, I used to really enjoy doing. And it's something Hutch used to enjoy as well, and while the reason he decided to quit is just all speculation, it's clear to see that he didn't have the same spark he had three years ago. The fact he decided to bow out at a high point is something that a few other people should probably think about doing.

Oh wait, no, because they haven't worked a day in their lives and will be fish out of water when the YouTube money dries up.

 

Well, hello there. Isn't this a surprise? It's been quite a while since I've had a blog. About 3 years, I think. The last one was AWSUM.org.uk, which had a mildly decent run but was eventually left by the wayside. I've had a large number of blogs in the past, so hopefully, this one won't go the same way, that is, neglected and not updated for months before eventually being shut down. I can't even count how many times that's happened now. The problem with those ones was that I generally stuck to blogging about personal stuff... and my life isn't particularly interesting, moreso these days, since I'm no longer at school. Which is why I'm going to try and write a little bit more about stuff that actually interests me on here. Like video games. Because I do love me some vidya gaems. Although I don't exactly have aspirations to be a games journalist or anything, I may even attempt some reviews and stuff on here. Oh my. Should be interesting.

So, since the topic of video games has already been dropped, SKYRIM.

I originally planned to have this blog up and running about a week or so ago. But, you know, SKYRIM.

Last week, I finally started playing SKYRIM.

SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM.

Skyrim.

I struggle to remember the last time a game has sunk its claws so far into me and kept me hooked for this long. No, Call of Duty titles passed Modern Warfare 2 don’t count. Especially Modern Warfare 3. Since it’s release in November, I’ve sunk a little over three days into MW3′s multiplayer, as well as played through the campaign. But that’s it. I haven’t touched the game in over a month, and I’m unlikely to ever go back to it for any reasonable length of time. It took a couple of years to get here, but I think I’m done with Call of Duty. I enjoyed the everloving shit out of MW2, but the titles since then, I’ve put a progressively smaller amount of time into. Oh sure, I’ll no doubt end up picking up Black Ops 2 or Iron Wolf or whatever the hell that game ends up being called in November, but I can see myself being finished with it sooner than any of the other games thus far. I don’t enjoy CoD as much as I used to, so naturally, I don’t put as many hours into it as I used to.

But OH MAN SKYRIM. At the time I am writing this (which will be significantly before this blog’s “proper launch”, February 6th, to be exact), I started playing a week ago today, and I’ve already sank over 30 hours into this thing. And that’s with a couple of days of light/non-existent play. Last Sunday alone, I played it for 12 hours, and about 8 hours today. It’s not often that single-player games grab me quite like this, the most recent I can think of being Fallout 3, also made by Bethesda OH WOW WOULDN’T YOU KNOW IT.

Oblivion never quite grabbed me in the same way Fallout 3 and now Skyrim have. I just didn’t really have time for it. I got Oblivion not long after I first acquired my 360 and, being a lad with a fair bit of disposable income and a shiny new toy, bought pretty much every game I was interested in. Sure, I’ve played Oblivion, but I managed to keep its claws at bay, simply because I had a metric shit-tonne of other games I also wanted to play at the time. And when I was done with those games, Oblivion was one I just happened to never get back to. I may go back to it later, for dat gamerscore, when I’m done with Skyrim, sometime next year.

While I mentioned that I may try my hand and doing game reviews and such on here, expect no such thing for Skyrim. Unless constantly gushing about how much I fucking love that game counts as a review. I know my limits, and even attempting to write a coherent review of a game so open and broad in scope as Skyrim would be nothing short of idiocy. And a waste of time.

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To amend this post to something a little closer to the actual "launch" of this blog (everything written from here on out was written on the 15th of Feb), I've recently being playing Gotham City Imposters. It's... well, I'm not entirely sure what I think of it yet. I don't dislike it, that's for sure. I've played enough to level up to low 20s (a couple of hours or so) on the XBLA version and as I'm writing this, the PC version is currently downloading off Steam. Whether or not it'll be ready before I head to bed in a couple of hours will remain to be seen, since my connection is spotty at best, and Steam's "Time Remaining" estimate is wildly fluctuating all over the place. At the very least, I should get some time in before work tomorrow. What will likely follow will be a post on here of some sort, where I attempt to try to arrange my thoughts about the game into something vaguely coherent. Whether or not that'll entail a full review, I don't know. I feel that strictly multiplayer-focused games can be kind of hard to review, especially since I have a history with and love of this particular type of game that it would be difficult for me to stay completely objective. I don't know. I might try a review, I might not. Regardless, expect me to talk a bit more about it in the near future on here.

I also played the Mass Effect 3 demo. It was good. I liked it. It has its flaws, but overall, it left a good impression on me, so I will definitely be picking up the full release at launch, most likely via pre-order. Don't wanna miss out in the inevitable in-game shit I would score from ordering early. As for the demo, it felt great. The shooting and combat in general feels much improved, similar to how ME2 was an improvement over the first Mass Effect game. It's no Gears of War, sure, but it's feeling more and more polished with each iteration. The cover system can be a little spotty, and the rolling about and whatnot can feel a little weird, but it's definitely not bad overall and as I said, feels better than the previous game thus far.

My only real gripe with it is that some of the dialogue and writing is a little... bad. Especially the end scene of the first section, with the overly dramatic, over-the-shoulder, "Good Luck". Urgh. I hope (and expect) the full game will live up to the standards of writing the previous two games set. But yeah, apart from those minor (and I say minor) gripes, the demo was still perfectly enjoyable, and I'm still very much coloured excited for the final release in a few weeks.

So there you have it, the virginity-taking post on this nubile young blog.