Make The Right Choice For Our Youth And The Future Of Our Country; Change The National Anthem To “Escape From The City” – Sonic Adventure 2

America is at a crossroads. Our society has reached a boiling point. A point where a change must be made, where what divides us has become too great. In the chaos of our current political climate, many have offered what they call solutions. More often than not, twisting current events and the people’s emotions in order to further whatever agenda they carry. But the true answer to our problems doesn’t lie in what the legislature would have you believe. Whether we ban one thing, or legalize another, or we start regulating this and that to varying degrees. The problem with our society dwells within our culture itself. A culture that celebrates violence, hatred, selfishness, and greed. Ideas that are present in everything we know, from the media we consume to the people we idolize. The very song of our nation is that of war and revolution, violence and turmoil. Is that the kind of message we want our children standing for in school? Wouldn’t something about friendship and unity shape them into kinder, more mentally and emotionally stable adults? Something like “Escape from the City”, the opening level theme from the hit action game Sonic Adventure 2?

Set me free

Is blind chauvinism and the toxic masculinity of war camaraderie really what we should be having our children chant religiously, every morning as we force them to stand for the flag before they even learn their letters and numbers? Is it any wonder these youths are growing into volatile powder kegs of emotional distress, having images of “the rocket’s red glare” and “bombs bursting in air” embedded into their minds before they can read and write? Much research has been done to correlate violent television or video games to violent behavior in children. As psychologist Albert Bandura has shown in his work, young children being exposed to violent people, imagery, or ideas early on are considerably more likely to exhibit violent behavior themselves; on the flipside, learning nonviolent solutions to dealing with problems is also a learned behavior in the same way that violent characteristics are. Should children really be learning that our country is built on the deaths and murders of millions which continue to justify to this day? That the defining point of our country, one of the highest points of our civilization that we all take great pride in, is an act of violent defiance that is perfectly okay because we’re the good guys? Sonic the Hedgehog, on the other hand, has never killed a soul. Sonic the Hedgehog is nonviolent by nature, content with celebrating friendship and freedom. In City Escape, the opening level of Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic does not murder those pursuing him. As the stage’s title suggests, Sonic spends his time escaping from those whom would do him harm, track down the source of said issue, and correct it in a peaceful and civilized manner.

You're too slow

Sonic’s peaceful and nonviolent nature takes form in the lyrics to City Escape’s theme song, aptly titled “Escape from the City”. The upbeat rock composition, composed by Jun Senoue and originally performed by Ted Poley and Tony Harnell, paints a laidback image of America’s greatest hero. Carefree, forgiving, a nearly Messiah-like figure. The first line of the chorus is “Follow me, set me free, trust me, and we will escape from the city”, giving the listener a sense of reassurance. The “City”, not needing to be taken on a literal level, can be seen to represent a myriad of threats. The city could be anything from a looming nationwide crisis to something as simple as a playground bully, terrorizing our kids during recess. And yet Sonic’s advice is to trust in him, trust in his mantra, and follow his example. As he says in the last line of the first verse, “Take my lead; I’ll set you free”. Much like Jesus said to do as he does and turn the other cheek, Sonic preaches to follow his way. The way of peace, freedom, love, and mutual respect and brotherhood. Sonic does not condone hate, violence, or any form of selfishness. Should our children grow up, learning to do as Sonic would do, surely there would be a dramatic drop in gun violence, school shootings, and other acts of gross violence. The Star Spangled Banner may advocate taking lives for any cause one may mistake as “just” or “well-intentioned”, training our youths to be deranged young sociopaths eager to right the perceived wrongs of our nation with lead and steel. But Sonic would never encourage such behavior.

Take my lead

The Star Spangled Banner may have been a fitting anthem for our rising nation at its birth, a world built on the back of a bloody revolution, reveling in its victory in the war. We’ve always been proud of our troops. And since World War II, when America became a superpower, our military might has been one of the defining factors of our home country. But what now, in a time of relative peace, where we find America as the aggressor more often than not? How do we justify our bombings of civilians in the Middle East, or involvement in foreign politics? How can we assist Israel in their genocide of the Palestinian people and theft of their homeland, or robbing third-world countries of their oil and resources, all while flying the banner of the underdog? How can America be the just revolution for peace and freedom, when we have become the nation policing the world, more often than not with our own interests at heart? To continue boasting such arrogant self-righteousness is no doubt part of America’s social issues. Our people are raised with such an air of entitlement, proud of being “the good guys”, those that “fight for peace and freedom”; a nation where all are given their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s no wonder our youths turn to acts of violent, self-destructive revolution as they become disillusioned with the lies of our nation. No wonder any one little thing, a bully at school, a girl rejecting romantic advances, any perceived violation of our right to our God-given happiness, could be the trigger necessary to make one snap under the weight of the oppression we endure under our free and just tyranny, united under greed and corruption, ruled by the wealthy elite and built on the backs of the poor and exploited. This is not the world Sonic would have wanted, not what he would have wanted for us or our great country.

Peace

As a nation of unity and diversity, our anthem should not be written by those whom would seek to exploit and oppress us; the wealthy elite, controlling us like little pawns, using whatever controversial political points in the media to divide and unite us to their whim, whenever it may be convenient to their agenda. Francis Scott Key, the man whom originally wrote the lyrics to The Star Spangled Banner, was one of these men. He was not one of us. As detailed in the short biological piece “Francis Scott Key: Patriotic Poet”, Francis was born into a wealthy, slave-owning family, on a Maryland plantation. His father was a captain in the army, his friends other wealthy children of early America. One of his closest friends, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Roger Brooke Taney, would go on the issue the infamous Dred Scott decision. Francis and his friends were not upstanding advocates for freedom and justice. They had no qualms keeping other human beings as their slaves, blatantly stating that they held no rights. And yet we allow this man to represent us, to write the very anthem we hold in such high regard, instead of the upstanding hero Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic has never owned a slave. Sonic, whom exists in a vastly more diverse world than ours, with an exponentially greater variety of races and ethnicities, does not hold any of his vulpine, rodent, or avian friends in any lesser regard. He doesn’t treat any of the humans he walks among any differently than his anthropomorphoid brethren. Wouldn’t his opening level theme music, composed by a Japanese-American rock artist, fit in better with America’s themes of diversity and acceptance? Sonic the Hedgehog, an ethnically and culturally neutral figure, does not favor any one demographic. Any white child, black child, Asian child, Christian child, Jewish child, or Muslim child could be Sonic the Hedgehog. There’s no One Nation, Under God with Sonic. In fact, the closest Sonic gets to uniting church and state is in the pre-chorus of Escape from the City; “Trusting in what you can’t see”, a verse ambiguous enough to be all-encompassing of any belief. Sonic simply asks to have faith, not just in God, but in whatever your faith may include. Perhaps Sonic simply wants you to trust in the bonds of love and friendship, another unseeable force binding us all together.

A nation united, under Sonic’s guidance, cannot fall. Together, we would stand stronger than any other time in United States history. Together, we can show the world what we can do. With the glorified culture of corruption and violence buried, perhaps our children would have other goals to attain besides the pursuit of money and power. Compassion, art, empathy, and living in harmony with one another; these are the lessons we should be teaching them. That Sonic would be teaching them. The streets would be cleaner, there would be no pervasive drive for violence or greed. There would be no need to ban guns anymore, because there would no longer be a need for them in the first place. And all it would take is acknowledging one little hedgehog as our national hero, and upgrading our primitive nationalist anthem to one of peace and unity. Make America fast again.

References

Bandura, A. (1965). Influence of models’ reinforcement contingencies on the acquisition of imitative responses. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 1, pp. 589-595.

“Crush 40 (Ft. Ted Poley & Tony Harnell) – Escape From the City.” Genius, 19 June 2001, genius.com/Crush-40-escape-from-the-city-lyrics.

Gregson, Susan R. Francis Scott Key: Patriotic Poet. Capstone, 2003.

“The U.S. National Anthem.” The U.S. National Anthem – The Star Spangled Banner, www.music.army.mil/music/nationalanthem/.

People Die When They Are Killed, Like If You Cry Every Time

Video games are capable of conveying a vast array of emotions. Interactive media can weave grand tales that hit just as hard as any traditional form, arguably even more so thanks to the audience being directly involved.

Massive, sweeping worlds with intricate lore. Deep, symbolic narratives that make us think. All kinds of stories take form in the game industry.

And then there’s the odd PBS documentary like Valiant Hearts: The Great War you wake up to in a drunken stupor at 4am and watch with glazed, dead eyes until the darkness takes you once more.

Snore

If you never cared for the less popular prequel to World War II, it’s kinda hard to blame you. Like, who even was the main bad guy? What even happened? There were no Nazis or Communists. There were like Serbians or something? And what even is an Ottoman? Maybe if they had cool outfits like the Nazis instead of wearing padded, upholstered, backless and armless furniture on their heads, someone would actually remember what they looked like. The marketing team for WWI was very lacking. It was just kinda people killing each other.

But those people were human. That is the moral behind Valiant Hearts, the historic side-scrolling puzzle game developed and published by Ubisoft for just about every major platform. PS4, Xbone, PC, and even mobile. With or without ads. Wouldn’t want anyone missing out on this deep, heart-wrenching tale.

There’s a dog in it. You hear that? A dog. How can you possibly deny how emotional this story is?

Hope he doesn't fucking die haha

Valiant Hearts is the incredibly moving tale of the bleakness of war, told through the eyes of multiple protagonists, a dog, and some puzzles. Not very hard puzzles, you kinda just walk back and forth and do things. That’s the game.

The totally evil Baron von Robbie Rotten has been using his 100% historically accurate mechanical death zeppelins full of elaborate Rube Goldberg machines to terrorize all of Europe, and is out to steal the Krabby Patty formula. Only our lovable band of Mr. Bean impersonators can defeat him and save the world, all while watching their families and friends die in hilariously animated cutscenes.

If there’s one thing Valiant Hearts totally excels at, it’s being sad and hilarious at the same time. Everyone talks like a Muppet, there’s some cutesy exaggerated mannerisms and speech bubbles, and there’s some hilariously choreographed sequences where you dodge bombs to music. It’s great because those bombs which totally murdered a ton of people are dropping to the tune of a funny song, haha.

Allahu Ackbar

Ha, look at this goofball. Shaking his fists, and saying an object with his speech bubble. Because he can’t talk real words, he’s from Turksmackistack or whatever. They only communicate in incomprehensible shouting and obscene hand gestures. Those crazy foreigners, haha.

It’s a good thing Valiant Hearts totally nailed its ambiance and story right, because that’s the only thing saving it from the painful slog of “puzzles” making up the entire rest of the game. If you wanna learn about World War Uno from this game, hope you like walking to the right and occasionally picking things up and putting them somewhere else.

Given the option of watching an actual documentary and playing Valiant Hearts, it’s a really close shave, lemme tell ya. A droning, dull, monotone voice listing off dates and times, detailing all of the very factual and historically accurate bullshit that happened during WWI versus the trite, mundane, offensively elementary gameplay that encompasses Valiant Hearts.

how 2 make hot dog

Here’s a good puzzle. How to make hotdog. First you take the water. Then you add the hot. Then you add the dog. Just like it says on the sign, right behind the hotdog machine. It make hot dog. You win.

The gameplay is incredibly varied, including puzzles, action, stealth, you name it. And yet all of it is held back by the sluggish pacing and tedious design. It’s not fun. That is the underlying problem. The game is just not fun. Sometimes the puzzle is as simple as needing to flip a switch, but the switch is broken. So you need to go find the switch, which is in a different room. And bring it back and stick it in the socket. You solved puzzle, congrat.

It’s all thanks to the incredibly touching narrative that the game is held together at all. The totally sad, tragic tale of how war kills people dead, which still finds time to throw in some light-hearted moments where some totally wack, goofy shit happens. You could totally combine all the best clips into a Valiant Hearts Funny Moments compilation. That shit would be lit.

Peter Griffin trips and falls into mustard gas funny moment

Valiant Hearts is a beautiful game, oozing aesthetic and ambiance. It tells a tender, emotional story with the tact and respect of a Garfield comic strip over the course of several chapters of matching shapes and colors; the shapes and colors are all in another room though, and you can only move from room to room on one of those little stair lift things disabled people use to get around their house.

The game is clearly made with a lot of love, the art style is great and there’s an incredible attention to detail. They’ve really gone to the library and done their research on this guy, and it’s really pretty educational. They should start packing this bitch onto CD’s and shipping it with history textbooks or something. Because it’s educational and really fucking gay, just like the games they usually let you play at school. Except Lemonade Stand, that shit was the best. Learning math was fun.

Valiant Hearts doesn’t seem to know what it’s doing in the purest of ways, and yet it’s good at whatever it’s doing. Not what it’s trying to be, but what it’s doing. It looks good, it’s incredibly polished, and the attention to detail is there. But it’s an entry-level puzzle game that’s too slow and clunky to be a visual novel but really would’ve been better off as one, its lazy excuse for interactivity actually holding back the game instead of helping it.

Ruh Roh

It’s a tragic war story written as a Peanuts cartoon where Snoopy skateboards around with sunglasses on and fucks Charlie Brown’s mom and makes him watch because he’s just so fucking zany. That dog will burn in Hell, God damn him.

I wouldn’t call it a bad game, that would be a little too harsh on it. But to call it a good game would be a little more than an overstatement. It’s simply what it is; a documentary as a video game, a blunt, monotone stream that drags on at a slow, constant pace. Some people tune in specifically to watch it. They’re gonna be the ones that enjoy it.

And anyone else lucky enough to catch it at 5am after throwing up pizza rolls and sitting huddled in their bed, wrapped in a thick cocoon of blankets while the spinning stops, they’ll be watching. They’ll be comforted by the voices, the pictures, maybe even retain a tidbit of knowledge. But it’s not something they’d tune in to watch. And it’s not gonna be what they were watching when they were engorging themselves on several boxes of pizza rolls.

You Can Now Use Your Gold My Nintendo Points To Get Free Handies From Reggie Fils-Aimé

Nintendo’s loyalty reward program has been in an awkward limbo for quite some time. After killing off Club Nintendo back in 2015, Nintendo launched the new “My Nintendo” program, which would sync up their newer platforms and mobile games with a more sleek and robust system. Coins could be tracked automatically for digital purchases, and one all-encompassing Nintendo account could be in charge of all of it.

Except when the Switch launched, the only rewards ever available were for their older platforms or mobile apps. The Switch rewards were locked away behind a perpetual “Coming Soon” banner.

But finally, Nintendo has come forward with what we’ve been waiting for. And as it turns out, it’s something much greater than any of us could have ever imagined.

Yes, my body is ready

In a stunningly bold move on Nintendo’s part, NoA’s very own Reggie Fils-Aimé will be the reward players will be working towards. Or rather, his services. Reggie will be lending his hands, mouth, and more to lucky gamers to satisfy all of their hardcore gaming needs.

A handy chart on the My Nintendo website details Nintendo’s new rewards program, listing 100 Gold Nintendo Points as being equal to the ol’ buff and wax from the Regginator himself. 500 is a blowie. At 1000, he won’t even say “no homo” after. Anything after 1000 is left tantalizingly blurred out, like an unlockable character, awaiting a brave soul to earn 2000, 3000, 5000, and 10000 Gold points.

For 1000 Platinum Nintendo points, Reggie will text you “hey wyd” and that’s it. At 10000, he’ll meet up with you for dinner, then pretend to go to the bathroom but just ditch you with the bill. For the hardcore Nintendo enthusiasts, a whopping 50000 Platinum points will earn you Reggie spitting on you and making a remark about your genitalia being unappealing.

Nintendo has never quite screwed their customers like this before. This is definitely a welcome change from purchasing hundreds of dollars of expensive consumer electronics just to get some cheap plastic knickknack. They’re finally giving the player something of value. A fleeting ten seconds of physical interaction. Not their first choice of reward, but it’s better than nothing.

The new “My Nintendo” rewards are live as of right now, and can be redeemed right from the Switch’s eShop.

Only One Hero Can Defeat Sans The Skeleton From Five Nights At Steven’s Undertale, And It’s Wilford Brimley

Roleplaying games are some of the most diverse out of every genre, with RPG elements and themes spreading to and influencing almost everything these days.

Games of every type now utilize leveling and experience systems, and RPG’s have graced just about every kind of story. Fantasy RPG’s, sci-fi RPG’s, modern day adventures with cars and guns to weirder things like Earthbound.

But every once in a while, a game comes along and switches up the genre like nothing ever before. An unprecedented adventure, with a story the likes of which you’ve never seen.

A revolutionary story

As early man crept from their caves and huts into the light of knowledge and literature, so too shall all whom experience the greatness that is Miitopia, for the 3DS.

Never before has a game ever reached such levels of depth and immersion. Such robust artistic value. From the moment Vegeta swore loyalty to me and pledged his blade to the cause of good, to the moment the great priest Shaquille O’Neal brought Grumpy Cat back to life in the dramatic turning point in the battle against Nicolas Cage. Nothing could prepare you for the great sacrifice Hank Hill had to make, or what becomes of Guy Fieri.

“Spoiler alert”, you may say. But there’s no need. For all I’ve mentioned is but the tip of the iceberg. I’ve hardly scraped the surface of this grand tale. To know “Jurassic Park” taked place in a park called “Jurassic Park” is a greater spoiler than all I’ve listed.

Perhaps

Miitopia is a masterfully crafted title, blending the deep, complex social sim features of Tomodachi Life with a turn-based RPG formula.

You’ll get to step into the majestic world of Miitopia as yourself. Or Jack Black. Or a Minion. Or Naruto. The character selection screen is immense, spanning every possible being, living or dead, fictional or not. I can’t imagine how Nintendo got the rights to all these characters. Miitopia may just well be the most expensive game ever developed.

Characters can be assigned a variety of RPG classes, ranging from simple knights and mages to scientists, chefs, and even cats. Different classes will have different abilities in combat, and different combinations of classes will be pivotal in defeating the dark lord and saving Miitopia.

Vegeta and Shaq, power couple

Where Miitopia really shines, however, is in its efficient and streamlined RPG design. In a world where every RPG is vying to be the most bloated, definitive time-sink, Miitopia stands in sharp contrast. What makes up an RPG has been deconstructed to its very core, and reassembled for convenience and a smooth play experience.

Dungeons are simultaneously sprawling, branching mazes and linear pathways that auto-scroll, boiling down the “adventuring” to simple point and click choices. Battles are fast-paced and tactical, and yet can be mostly fast-forwarded through with minimal intervention, as your team of heroes can make choices to cast spells, use abilities, or heal themselves and allies on their own. Other recovery items that are broken down to a few basic functions are easily accessible from the touch screen, and can be used on the fly at almost any point in battle.

Off to destroy Dinkleberg

Should you wish to fully explore every nook and cranny of the game, you’re always free to. And yet, if you only wish to get the job done, the game can be breezed through with relative ease. The mechanics are surprisingly flexible, and allow whatever level of immersion one might prefer, giving a true sense of “roleplaying”. Refreshing, for a genre that’s quickly forgetting what it truly means to be an RPG.

Of course, Miitopia’s greatest strengths are also its greatest weaknesses. The simple battle mechanics and dungeons that mostly play themselves take a backseat to the “Tomodachi Life” style madness unfolding on screen at any one point. Which ultimately means that the replay value is entirely dependent on how much joy you can squeeze out of forming a party of Hank Hill and his family and having them wage war on the Dark Lord Bill Dauterive.

Damn, queen

Once you’ve seen every ketchup bottle, banana, and tearful bonding moment between Guy Fieri and Mr. Clean, there’s not much left to really see. When you’ve seen Hillary Clinton’s face plastered to a giant demonic entity, or a “Twerky”, which is a really fuckable turkey, all that’s really left is the simple RPG mechanics.

There’s only so much le random funnyz one can possibly bury in a game, and if you spend a little too much time getting acquainted with the people of Miitopia, you’ll start to notice the jokes recycling themselves and the repetitive grind of watching Sasuke put the beat-down on bad guys for you. Once you’ve hit that point, it’s a lot harder for the game to keep your attention.

like lord waffle king dot com on fb

Would I still give it a perfect score, if I used a scoring system at all? Absolutely. There is nothing more priceless than Timmy’s Dad using mad science to destroy a golem with Peter Griffin’s face on it.

Maybe you disagree. Maybe you’re the type that would rather play some Nazi game, where everything is hyper-realistic and there are no minorities. To you, I say, you’re still wrong. Because in Miitopia, you can just make your main character Hitler anyway.

In Miitopia, everyone’s fantasies are a reality. You can make the Dark Lord Shia LaBeouf, and have Alex Jones rise up to smite him. Or you could play as Bernie Sanders, and fight the Monopoly Man. There is nothing more inclusive than this game, ever, in the history of video games. An all white cast, and all black cast, a cast of all anime characters. Or just every single role, played by Jack Black.

I can’t think of anyone on Earth that could possibly dislike Miitopia. And if there are any, I will personally kill them myself.

Overwatch’s Newest Support Lesbian Is Finally Revealed

Blizzard has been on a roll with adding new characters to their extremely popular SFM porn creator, Overwatch. The once established meta has been flipped on its head many times, with new characters and various nerfs and buffs changing up even the most conventional Overwatch heroes and strategies.

They’ve especially been nailing all of their Support heroes. Each one has found their role in the game, and each one has brought something new to the table. The newest, a pretty sick shield.

About to take out a Lucio

And here she is, about to put the pain on the enemy team’s Lucio.

Brigitte is a Support Tank, meaning that her included nude skins for her SFM porn debut include some rather ripped arms, a killer set of abs, and a rather beefy schlong. Not as big as Reinhardt’s, but larger than Torb’s entire body.

With powerful melee attacks, a shield, and the ability to heal and buff her teammates, Brigitte can do something no other healer can do. Not die for two seconds.

How the meta will shift to accommodate her remains to be seen, but considering her robust moveset and ability to take a hit or two without fucking dying, one can only assume she will be a go-to healer for a lot of players.

She’s on the PTR now for PC players, but it’s only a matter of time before she’s live on PornHub for everyone to get a crack at trying out.

There is no official release date for Brigitte on console or the public servers yet.