Category Archives: Gaming

Kresh Plays: Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin

Hey everyone, it’s Kern here. This week Kresh finished playing “Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin” over on our Twitch channel.

We take a lot of pot shots at the game for its lack of story telling, but according to Kresh the gameplay is quite fun, and in my opinion it’s pretty enjoyable to watch. You an check out the full play through below.

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin tends to have darker themes than its other counterparts. This is an action focused role-playing game developed by Team Ninja, and published by Square Enix. The game stands as an alternate universe prequel of the original Final Fantasy that released back in December of 1987.

The story line follows a cast of characters brought into a fantasy world to face down something known as “chaos” and features something of a twist for an ending. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin was released in March 2022 for plenty of platforms. You can play it on WindowsPlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and the Xbox One. In a small way it’s kind of like the Dark Souls of Final Fantasy games, with a darker feel to the story. There’s some real grit here, and it’s worth at least a watch, if not a play-through of your own.

As always beyond the playlist there’s more information about the game below. We hope you enjoy it!

Kresh Plays: Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

Want to watch the full playlist on YouTube instead? Click here.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6 (Final)

As I said above, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is an action focused role-playing game. That means it’s a little more fast paced than your typical fantasy style story. There is fall damage too, a fact we learned much too late and hilarity ensued.

In any case, players will take on the role of our main protagonist, Jack. You’ll be exploring environments and fighting monsters and visiting locations based upon the main titles of the Final Fantasy series. From the ever famous Tonberries and Crawlers, to spiders and bats if you’ve played Final Fantasy games before the callbacks are endless. You’ll traverse new areas inspired by the series classics and there’s a little something for everyone.

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Combat takes place in real-time, with Jack being able to switch between jobs. Once again, if you’re a Final Fantasy fan, there’s a lot to like here. For those unaware, though, some jobs do physical damage. Others heal or do magical attacks. You can also do a finishing move that violently and crystallizes the enemy. Doing that causes them to explode with volatile intent, but its worth doing.

The boss fights are pretty decent, Team Ninja did a very good job subverting my personal expectations. As a long time Final Fantasy fan myself, I’d expect to see one area boss only to find out that Kresh would be facing down something entirely different.

I made a post earlier about the “bad writing” regarding the game. I do still stick by that. The story line has a lot of lazy or skipped-over elements. More on that in the blog post. The main takeaway is that if you’re expecting a Final Fantasy level epic saga, you won’t find it here.

According to Kresh the gameplay is solid and I enjoyed watching her play it. As much as I give it beef for its bad story telling, it’s not that awful. Actually, in the last hour and a half or two, the game really ramps up and gets very good in the story telling department.

I do think that ultimately if you’re looking for an action packed adventure you’ll probably find it here. There’s a lot of really neat little additions, cool nods to the wider series, and revisiting some of those old locations in a new light is pretty nice.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time.

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You can help support us through PayPal or Patreon.

Meanwhile, check out some of our other great content below. You can also find more information about supporting us at the bottom of this post.

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier. If you don’t care for Patreon, and don’t care about perks, you can always support us through PayPal too… links below.

Those who join via Patreon get special perks, such as extra content, quicker updates, and more.

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To Our Supporters

Thank you for helping us to enrich our content.

Patreon Supporters:
($3) Little Ferrets: None
($5) Demented Minions: Francis Murphy and Andrew Wheal.
($7) Fandom Ferret: None
($14) True Blue Ferret: None.
($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret/Fluffy Ferret: Josh Sayer

The Demented Ferrets are Streaming Final Fantasy XIV

Hey guys it’s Kern here, with a quick update. As some of you may know, we play Final Fantasy MMORPG’s such as FFXI (Final Fantasy 11), and now we’re going to start streaming FFXIV as well (Final Fantasy 14).

I’m excited to be able to start fresh characters and begin the story-line of Final Fantasy XIV from the very beginning… which we will be doing next month, in the meantime, you may see me goofing around on the game on my own during early morning side streams on an alt character. You’ll want to be sure to follow us on Twitch for when we go live.

As far as Final Fantasy XIV, we’ve been playing the game for a long time now, years in fact. These particular games mean a lot to us, so it also means a lot to be able to share the experience with you all. From Vana’diel to Eorzea and back again, our misadventures have taken us far and wide.

We’ll be sure to still play around in Final Fantasy XI every now and then, but with most of the story-line there showcased and completed on our live streams, it’s time to get into beefier content. I can think of no better story-line than Final Fantasy XIV, an epic saga to be sure when we go all the way back to the start.

Together, Kresh and I will play on Saturdays for main story-line content, and every now and then I’ll play on off days, farting around on other jobs and all around having a good time.

I’ve already done a few early morning, lazy streams of the content, and the vods can be found here:

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time.

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Meanwhile, check out some of our other great content below. You can also find more information about supporting us at the bottom of this post.

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier. If you don’t care for Patreon, and don’t care about perks, you can always support us through PayPal too… links below.

Those who join via Patreon get special perks, such as extra content, quicker updates, and more.

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To Our Supporters

Thank you for helping us to enrich our content.

Patreon Supporters:
($3) Little Ferrets: None
($5) Demented Minions: Francis Murphy and Andrew Wheal.
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($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret/Fluffy Ferret: Josh Sayer

Resident Evil – Long Play (Jill)

Anyone who knows me knows for a fact that I love the Resident Evil franchise. I think that the games are some of the best that survival horror has to offer.

Today’s long play starts where it all began, Resident Evil for the PlayStation, in 1996. Alpha Team members are headed for the mountains northwest of Raccoon City. With missing Bravo Team members to locate, and a diabolical pharmaceutical company performing twisted experiments, it’s sure to be a nightmare.

This particular long play showcases Jill’s scenario.

Resident Evil (Jill) Long Play

I really do love this game, flaws and all. Let’s be honest, though. There are a lot of flaws with this old title these days, especially now that we have remakes and also a remastering to compare it to. By today’s standards the game is as campy as it is dated. It isn’t exactly ideal, but it is a historical icon in gaming. That’s not something anyone can dispute and for me, that’s reason enough to play it.

Resident Evil Retrospective Review

Resident Evil features a fairly typical story. A rescue mission is taking place. With a string of murders running rampant across the fictional Raccoon City, it’s up to the police to find out what is really going on. In response to this, the Special Tactics and Rescue Service, or “S.T.A.R.S.” have been sent to look into the issue. Having been sent deep into the mountains, the first team has gone missing.

Tank controls and limited ammo supply is the name of the game here. The antiquated graphics leave much to be desired, and don’t even get me started on the voice acting.

Still, there’s an old world sort of charm to the original Resident Evil, and if you’re a fan of the horror medium, it’s worth a look if you haven’t played it already.

I’ve already done a full retrospective review of the game, so go ahead and give it a read if that interests you. There’s also a properly edited video of the script if that’s to your interest instead.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest, and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll catch you next time. Meanwhile, check out some of our other great content below.

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier. If you don’t care for Patreon, and don’t care about perks, you can always support us through PayPal too… links below.

Those who join via Patreon get special perks, such as extra content, quicker updates, early fiction chapters and more.

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To Our Supporters

Thank you for helping us to enrich our content.

Patreon Supporters:
($3) Little Ferrets: None
($5) Demented Minions: Francis Murphy and Andrew Wheal.
($7) Fandom Ferret: None
($14) True Blue Ferret: None.
($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret/Fluffy Ferret: Josh Sayer

Spyro the Dragon – Long Play

As you probably know, we’ve started doing “no microphone, long plays” of video games over on our YouTube channel. Spyro was one of the first ones we did.

Spyro the Dragon: Reignited Trilogy released for the PlayStation 4 and  the Xbox One on November 13th, 2018. It later received a release on the PC and the Nintendo Switch on September 3rd, 2019.

This trilogy is a remastering of the original Spyro trilogy developed by Insomniac Games. The original three games ran from the years 1998 to 2000. These games are platformers featuring the protagonist, Spyro. He’s a young purple dragon with a little bit of an attitude, and a flair for breathing fire, and flying around.

Basically these games are everything you’d come to expect from a platforming title of the early 3D era. From colorful worlds to explore, laughable antagonists and the somewhat snarky personality of Spyro himself, you’ll come to find that that these games are a product of their era in gaming.

Spyro the Dragon: Reignited (Longplay)

While I wouldn’t say that the trilogy brought a new breath of life into the gameplay experience, it did at least manage to make the series accessible to a new generation of gamers around the world. Even as a remaster, the first game is just a little clunky by today’s standards. There’s no disputing that. Even so, the relatively low level of difficulty makes Spyro the Dragon a solid choice for parents with younger kids interested in gaming.

In the first game, you’ll rescue Spyro’s fellow dragons and recover all of their stolen treasure. You’ll also face up against Gnasty Gnorc, the game’s primary protagonist. If you like early 3D platformers, you’ll probably like this reignited version of Spyro the Dragon.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest, and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll catch you next time. Meanwhile, check out some of our other great content below.

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier. If you don’t care for Patreon, and don’t care about perks, you can always support us through PayPal too… links below.

Those who join via Patreon get special perks, such as extra content, quicker updates, early fiction chapters and more.

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To Our Supporters

Thank you for helping us to enrich our content.

Patreon Supporters:
($3) Little Ferrets: None
($5) Demented Minions: Francis Murphy and Andrew Wheal.
($7) Fandom Ferret: None
($14) True Blue Ferret: None.
($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret/Fluffy Ferret: Josh Sayer

The “Bad Writing” of Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

To start with, we’ve all heard that excuse time and time again from fandom. In our favorite shows, movies, books and other media, there’s always someone who shouts two simple words into the void; “bad writing!”. They shout this before leaving the matter at that.

I’ve seen messy writing in plenty of pieces of media, I’ve seen poorly executed writing even beyond that. However, bad writing is an outlier in such a drastic way that it actually annoys me to hear this turn of phrase more often than not…

Typically a person says this if they don’t agree with a narrative decision within the media presented to them. There’s plenty of discourse to be had about how something could have been done better, sure enough. No story is flawless, after all.

In point of fact, and I say this very adamantly, I tend to find that the “bad writing” argument crops up more often when a person can’t pin down why they dislike the writing so much. That’s why I’m very unrepentant when I say that the “bad writing” argument is a misnomer for greater prevailing issues.

The issue itself could be many things. Perhaps a personal chord was plucked to make someone feel that way. A story could in fact have “bad” moments of “writing” within the material to upset a person. To someone directly and pointedly offended, “bad writing” might be a solid critique of the way a certain theme was handled… I see that argument a lot in the RWBY fandom. Certain subject matters aren’t always handled with care and concern, so that’s why the critique crops up… but really, in that example, the writing isn’t “bad” per-say, just poorly executed.

There are occasions that it could just be “bad writing” though, truth be told, because there are very rare circumstances when what lies before you is actually little more than a pile of irredeemable drivel. The issue is, that’s an oddity, not a rule… but I have located an oddity recently.

As a gamer, I’ve seen poorly contrived plot elements take a back seat for the sake of bombastic gameplay more times than not. In gaming, this is sometimes a serviceable tactic, but not always… a most recent example comes to mind in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. You can watch our gameplay of that over on our Twitch channel…

What makes writing bad, generally comes down to how core issues present the themes in the game. To another point, I find the characters themselves generally unlikable. I find this to be the main problem in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin.

To be pointedly clear though, this really only applies to the beginning and middle of the game. The last hour and a half, two things happen. Firstly, the cut scenes vastly improve. Secondly, the story actually gets VERY, VERY good!

However, the very good part only applies to the latter section of the game, not everything preceding it, and that’s the reason I’m using it as an example today.

In the earliest parts of the game the plot line often comes down to finding a way to cram the word “Chaos” into as much of the dialogue as humanly possible… in some cases, the story itself jumps the shark by doing a fast-forward to skip an event or two that was obviously deemed required by the writing staff.

Let me walk you through why this is “bad writing” directly on its face. Three guys meet, and immediately after introducing themselves, we get a “bro-fist” as they decide to join together. Then, directly after the very questionable act of deciding to become best buddies, we get two throw away paragraphs about what happens after, with no context or plot driven narrative to fall back upon.

That problem is, that jump in content reduces down to explaining the events that took place, without player related input, or even screen splash showing the event. It’s just a black background with white colored words explaining what players should have gotten to experience…

That’s it, just those two plain black images about visiting with the king, who refuses to allow them to take on their intended mission. Instead, they spend weeks together slaying monsters, and that’s it… literally, that’s all you get before the screen fades to black.

Why were they refused? Why do these supposed crystals look like giant cockroach turds? Why are these characters joining forces simply because the crystals can “sense each other” as one of the characters says they can? Why, amid what amounts to be a throw-away paragraph does it seem like a total and complete afterthought?

It feels like either pure laziness, or a decision compounded by some freakish lack of planning, or a budget crisis. Bad design, no cookie for you. Either way, the story goes on from there… a game shouldn’t feel that way, if it could in any way be avoided.

As a player, you return to these characters, who by now know each other, although we the players still know nothing of them. They’re all sitting upon a boat, complaining about how bored they are, and how they want to do the job they came for already, defeating “Chaos”.

We still don’t have a “why” for any of the above that feels reasonable, and you’d be correct to call that “messy writing” by video game standards. You’d be fair to call it lazy in general. In that singular case, where neither gameplay nor firm story-line exists yet, you could go so far as to call it bad writing. You’d even be right to do so… because at this point, we know next to nothing about these characters, or their deeper motivations.

I don’t often care much for the “show, don’t tell” rule in writing. There are times you do have to “tell” an off-screen plot element or two instead of showcasing it… but this use of “telling” is much too flagrant here. It is bad writing, firm and flat out… that’s why I fall to Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin as my foremost example of “bad writing”, because frankly, there was just no excuse.

As I said before though, in gaming, a good story-line typically takes a back seat to bombastic gameplay. To be honest, that game is very bombastic, over the top in the best of times.

According to Kresh, who is playing the game on the stream, it’s also pretty fun on occasion. Perhaps that’s a saving grace, but the story-line and the occasional direct lack of it, does hinder the game too.

I cannot personally comment on how “fun” it is to play. I can only speak upon the theatricality of the combat itself. However, I’ll say this, you’d be hard pressed to call the gameplay itself boring, as even your small, typically encountered leveling fodder have a habit to explode in bright, if ominous colors.

This tends to leave a crystalline residue of their exploded corpses in their wake… and frankly, as I said, it is bombastic. I don’t think you could call it brilliant, or even tangentially metaphorical to the plot-line at all. It has ties to the deeper themes, sure enough… but it doesn’t lend to the world building in a way that feels satisfactory. It just looks cool.

All-in-all if you need a very recent example of bad writing in game design, look no further than Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. Does it entirely ruin the game? No, not exactly. It’s still a serviceable gameplay experience. It’s interesting enough for me to watch, and for Kresh to play… so there is that at least. That said, if you want a solid narrative, this isn’t the Final Fantasy title for you… far from it.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time.

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You can help support us through PayPal or Patreon.

Meanwhile, check out some of our other great content below. You can also find more information about supporting us at the bottom of this post.

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier. If you don’t care for Patreon, and don’t care about perks, you can always support us through PayPal too… links below.

Those who join via Patreon get special perks, such as extra content, quicker updates, early fiction chapters and more.

Click to Donate

To Our Supporters

Thank you for helping us to enrich our content.

Patreon Supporters:
($3) Little Ferrets: None
($5) Demented Minions: Francis Murphy and Andrew Wheal.
($7) Fandom Ferret: None
($14) True Blue Ferret: None.
($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret/Fluffy Ferret: Josh Sayer

Kern Plays: “Dear Esther: Landmark Edition”

Hey guys, it’s Kern here with a little bit of gameplay. Dear Esther is basically a walking simulator with a heavily laced narrative focus. Due to that I won’t be diving too deep on this one, there isn’t much to explain.

Dear Esther is a first person point-of-view exploration first and foremost. Although you might also coin it an adventure game, I’m hesitant to do that. There’s really no enemies or prevailing threats. All that you’ll find here is a riveting story… 

Kern Plays: Dear Esther

More Information

Dear Esther was developed by The Chinese Room for the PC, PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. The game was first released in 2008 as a free to play model. Later on, the game was entirely redeveloped for a commercial release in 2012.

As I said above, the game features very minimal gameplay at best, which is why it is often called a “walking simulator” a phrase you generally either love or hate as a gamer.

Personally, I think games like these have their own value, particularly if well written prose is the goal ambition of the design from the start. Dear Esther showcases this perfectly. Really, you only have one main objective here; explore the island the narrator stands upon. While you explore around and get your bearings, a troubled man explains his turmoil and reads a series of letters to his beloved, yet deceased, wife. Details of her death are slowly revealed as you explore around the island.

That’s about it… no really… that’s the basics of the game.

It is noteworthy to state that despite the minimalist style and gameplay, the game was critically acclaimed for the story it tells. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it horror, but if you are the imaginative sort, it can be a bit unsettling.

When 2017 came around, an updated version known as the Dear Esther: Landmark Edition was released, based on the Unity engine. That’s the one I’m playing in the video.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at it’s finest, and level grinds are par for the course. ..

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier. If you don’t care for Patreon, and don’t care about perks, you can always support us through PayPal too… links below.

Those who join via Patreon get special perks, such as extra content, quicker updates, early fiction chapters and more.

Click to Donate

To Our Supporters

Thank you for helping us to enrich our content.

Patreon Supporters:
($3) Little Ferrets: None
($5) Demented Minions: Francis Murphy and Andrew Wheal.
($7) Fandom Ferret: None
($14) True Blue Ferret: None.
($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret/Fluffy Ferret: Josh Sayer

Artwork: Uncharted

Kern’s Note: hey everyone, Ruka wrote this before the movie came out, but I’m an idiot and life happened, so it got stuck in backlog until now… but enjoy the artistic endeavor!

Hello everyone! This is your friendly Demented ferret’s artist Ruka, and today I will be talking about one of the most acclaimed franchises in video game history and now a major motion picture. That’s right folks I’m talking about the one and only Uncharted.

Thieves by Rukangle

Uncharted is one of the most recognizable game franchises in the last 15 years. With groundbreaking graphics, breathtaking designs, it is one of the best consistent story arcs to offer a fantastic ending in any video game. Naughty Dog made a game that could be loved by all who play it, and in turn, cementing their reputation as a highly respected video game developer in the industry.

Kern’s Resident Evil Retrospective Review

Resident Evil Retrospective Review

Resident Evil features a fairly typical story. A rescue mission is taking place. With a string of murders running rampant across the fictional Raccoon City, it’s up to the police to find out what is really going on. In response to this, the Special Tactics and Rescue Service, or “S.T.A.R.S.” have been sent to look into the issue. Having been sent deep into the mountains, the first team has gone missing.

Keep reading

As an Indiana Jones inspired story, the Uncharted series reminds me of the classic PlayStation games like Tomb Raider, Prince of Persia, and Resident Evil.

Like many games before it, the Uncharted series holds 3 main pillars of gameplay aloft; Combat, area traversal, and puzzle-solving. Set in a traditional action puzzle game the game allows us, the player, to complete a single track series of levels with linear gameplay and in a 3rd person perspective style.

The story follows a wise-cracking, treasure hunter, Nathan Drake voiced by Nolan North. He’s skilled in combat and a knack for history and finding himself in trouble.

With the help of friend and business partner, Victor “Sully” Sullivan voiced by Richard McGonagle, they journey in search of treasures lost to history. On the way, they encounter several other characters to help them along on their journey. Like Chloe Frazer voiced by Claudia Black, is an Indian-Australian treasure hunter and thief for hire with a business and former love interest of Drake and Elena Fisher voiced by Emily Rose, is a headstrong and intelligent journalist, foreign correspondent, and love interest to Drake.

Together they embark on a journey into the unknown and its dangers to try and prove if the stories of legends are more than just stories. The developer for Uncharted is one that surprised me.

Kresh Plays: Crash Bandicoot

I will admit it took me a good minute to realize that the developing studio, that brought us Crash Bandicoot and Jax and Dexter, some of the most iconic childhood games, was behind this masterpiece of a game.

Established in 1984, Naughty Dog managed to create a franchise to join the technology changes that Playstation 3 brought in its wake. Both on the critical and commercial aspects, with well over 50 awards by different gaming publications and have sold well over 41 million copies worldwide and becoming the face of PlayStation.

It also opened the doors to show that they are capable of more than just cartoon-style gaming. From its graphics and storytelling, it helped elevate and ultimately evolve the game experience and how a game should be made. It is because of this that Uncharted is deemed as one of the most successful games of all time.

For years there has been fan-made trailers and videos circulating the internet, from who should play what character and what story should they try and continue the series, but it was actor Nathan Fillion’s 2018 Uncharted a fan film, 15 minutes long live action of the game, that made the loudest noise when it came to the possibility of bringing the game to the big screen.

Now after years of rumors and possibilities it became official, Sony Entertainment has chosen Ruban Fleischer to direct, alongside a star cast to interpret these unique characters. With Spider Man’s: “No Way Home” actor Tom Holland as Nathan Drake and Mark Wahlberg as Sully, it makes us wonder where in the timeline will this movie is taking place, and will it choose to follow the story, the game has provided us or will they give it their own Hollywood twist.

It is no surprise to anyone that such a well-rounded and acclaimed game made its transition towards the big screen. It joins the ranks with other fellow major games like Tomb Raider, Resident Evil among others trying to break into a totally different industry and let me tell you it can be hard at times. It might be because the games have set up the story so well, its transition to the big screen, tends to be a bit difficult.

I believe this has to do when developing the story and characters in a movie form, the time is what makes it difficult. If we were to compare them to let us say, The Witcher series, based on another video game, it makes a world of difference, since they have the time and are able to flush it out with more detail.

What does this suggest to the masses? If the Uncharted movie triumphs on the big screen, we could see a boom of console games-based movies in our future, in hopes to have a market similar to that of Marvel and DC.

Uncharted has a way of keeping you entertained, in a way not many games do, at least for me. This is my kind of game. Entertaining, funny, witty, and with a hint of history. For me, the fate of the movie varies a bit, here are my key questions;

  • Can Tom Holland step out of the shadow of Peter Parker?
  • The chemistry between Drake and Sully is an important part of the series, and in doing so, will Wahlberg deliver on this character? 
  • Will this movie stand on it self or will it hope for the actors to carry the story?

I guess we will have to see when the movie hits theaters on February 18, 2022. Until then, if you guys find yourselves interested or curious about anything I said, please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

If you like this content, please consider supporting us on Patreon, and follow us over on our Twitch channel for gaming-related content, where I make an appearance via chat, well like always, this has been Ruka of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest, and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you around! Until then please be sure to check out our other content below.

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier.

There is a $1 tier, perfect for blog readers, so don’t hesitate. Join today!

Patreon Supporters

At the time of this post there are 2 supporters of our content, in the “Demented Minion” tier and 1 in the “Fluffy Ferret” tier.

($1) Little Ferrets: None
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($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret/Fluffy Ferret: Josh Sayer

Writing Fan Fiction – Consider The Characters

Hey everyone, it’s Kern here. I’ve written a few posts about “fan fiction” before, basically centered around the impact of fandom and how to combat writers block.

These posts are not for people that want to be best selling authors. If you want to do that, you shouldn’t be writing fan fiction. They’re also not for those looking to make a quick buck, as that’s not the heart and soul of what fan fiction is. .. not to mention, that’s a questionable act besides.

No, these posts are low stress, low expectation, built around discussions based on a hobby that I care for greatly. I know many other people do too. When it comes to fan fiction, I read it, I write it and I love it.

I am such a huge supporter of fan fiction that I even choose to to read it over many best selling books. I made a blog post regarding that already. However, my view stands strong and I’m not likely to change that opinion any time soon. You can check that one out if you care to, I’ve linked it for your convenience.

To be succinct though, my preference comes down to the way the medium is handled. It isn’t perfect, far from it.

Fan fiction often lacks the punchier written format we expect from professionals, and to me that’s the main appeal. It will always be a diamond in the rough. That’s usually a good thing, as it means fans are enjoying thier ability to explore thier own creativity.

With my views of fan fiction laid bare and transparent for all to see, let’s move on to the meat and potatoes of this post. First though, I have an important question for you…

What is the one thing a good story cannot do without?

Well, there’s only one thing really… characters. Well-written, compelling characters are the single strongest asset to the fan fiction medium.

Fan fiction will inevitably be separated from other writing styles simply because the concept has already been laid out in front of you. Whatever your fandom of choice, there are already fans of it. You’ve already been given a set of predetermined parameters in which to work with. When we talk about gaming, anime, movies and television, the characters within the series are by far the bread and butter of any piece of writing.

The reason for this is because established characters we know and love are ones that we want more of. When the main series ends or takes a break, the fandom remains. It’s fun to interpret major set pieces in your own way. The characters are typically the first touch-stone fans use to do that… now clearly they aren’t the only building block of importance, but they are the one I want to look at today.

Aside from a few key examples where settings, and their obligatory set pieces become particularly noteworthy, those things will never tower over the characters themselves in a fan written work. When you boil it all down, the reason why is simple…

A story is about what happens, and the characters are who it happens to...

If characters aren’t compelling, readers just won’t give a rat’s ass what happens to them. Impeccable action sequences and mindfully placed drama doesn’t add anything if we can’t be brought to care about who those things are happening to.

No amount of skillful writing can save a story that has poorly written characters. Thankfully in the world of fan fiction, you aspiring writers out there already have a perfect template. The characters you know and already love. You’ve got the whole tool chest right in front of you. You know how they should look, you how they sound, you know their dialogue and vocal patterns.

The characters in the fandom you’re writing for have already been made. Like a child playing pretend, it’s up to you to decide how you want to play around with your imagination. There’s all kinds of ways you can do this.

You can choose to subvert what you know. I highly suggest this. Add a little flair, amplify key character traits and lessen others to background static to suit your needs in your fan fiction. Do you want to take your favorite action hero and cram him in a coffee shop? You can do that. Actually, funnily enough coffee shop fan fiction tends to be pretty popular too.

What to mix and match your favorite characters across different series, you can do that too! I’ve done that myself using Final Fantasy XI and RWBY. Both series have a lot of the same thematic elements, personal character struggles and compelling undertones to explore. These two series play off of each other particularly well for combat too.

Don’t believe me? Find a mage in a Final Fantasy game that casts “haste”, and then check out Weiss Schnee when she battles with yellow dust during Roman’s fight Atleasian Paladin in the RWBY series.

The clock Weiss makes for Blake really is a neat thing. and the skill as a dust mage plays off logic found in the mages of Final Fantasy games.

Both of these skills do the same thing. Speed up character attacks. These are two universes I absolutely love, and combining aspects of both really appealed to me. Putting aspects of both into the same fan fiction was just par for the course for me.

For my fan fiction, I chose to take Curilla V Mecru from the video game Final Fantasy XI, and place her into the RWBY universe in my fandom related writing.

Why was I compelled to do this? Easy, it’s because Curilla’s homeland of San d’Oria reminds me heavily of the kingdom of Mistral in RWBY.

This mixed with the fact that she shares so many common personality traits with Weiss Schnee and Winter Schnee of RWBY makes me wonder what these characters would be like if they could be friends (and perhaps romantic interests).

I decided to explore that, and fan fiction was my gateway through that journey.

The takeaway; the key of good characterization is to focus upon what interests you the most.

We’re likely to notice the aspects of characters that mean the most to us. Perhaps it’s their fighting style, their personality, or maybe it’s just the way they chose to dress. There are always aspects we, as fans, cling onto. Traits we love and tidbits we’re drawn to. However, it’s not just what we love about the characters that matters. It’s typically a well placed character flaw that seems the most interesting to explore.

Ultimately we won’t be brought to love every single thing about our favorite character. To be sure, if there isn’t a flaw someplace… well, that’s a huge issue and it is bad writing. You can still love a flaw while respecting that it is a flaw, though. When writing, play with those flaws and your readers will thank you.

At the end of the day fan fiction thrives not on the story you craft, but the interesting dynamics of the characters and world you showcase through your own eyes.

This has been Kernook of the Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at it’s finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time. Meanwhile, check out some of our other great content below. Be sure to join us over on Patreon to support more content like this. Also, we have a Twitch channel for gaming, come check us out!

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier.

There is a $1 tier, perfect for blog readers, so don’t hesitate. Join today!

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At the time of this post there are 2 supporters of our content, in the “Demented Minion” tier and 1 in the “Fluffy Ferret” tier.

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Kresh Plays: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

Hey everyone, it’s Kern here. Awhile back, Kresh completed Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (The N. Sane Trilogy version). Below is the archived footage and a bit about the game.

Kresh completed this game on a live stream March of 2021, and you can find our live stream channel over on Twitch. If you like to watch live streams, come check us out when you’ve got some free time. Currently we stream two days a week, and run archived footage on the Saturdays. Be sure to follow our Twitch for more information, and to be updated when we go live.

If you’re a monthly subscriber to our Twitch channel (any tier) you also get access to our official Discord server as well.

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

For those of you who want a bit more information, let’s just gloss over some of the basics. This is your stereotypical 3D platformer of the late 90’s early 00’s era. Although the remastered version of the game lives up well to its predecessor, it can still be a tad clunky from time to time. Then again, you come to expect that from a game like this.

In general, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is a family friendly title as most platformers tend to be, (although when it comes to commentary, Kresh and I certainly aren’t since we swear so much). If you pick this game up for your household it shouldn’t disrupt too many sensibilities.

The game originally came out in 1997 for the PlayStation. It’s the sequel to Crash Bandicoot, a game that came out in 1996. The series is developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment.

In 2017 the game was re-released as part of the  Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. Those of you who’ve played a platformer like this know what you’re in for. These platformers were known to be a bit difficult and this game lives up to expectation on that front.

We’ve got a blog post and play-through of the first game in the series that you can find below. You may want to check it out first if you’ve never seen a Crash Bandicoot game before, although I’m sure that’s pretty unlikely. Anyway, if that interests, you, you can find the link to that post, and the gameplay footage below.

For returners of the series, it’s back to the standard formula, more or less. There’s stages to beat, crystals to collect, boxes to smash and the fictional “Wumpa Fruit” to collect. Like always, you’ll gain extra lives when you collect enough of them. Trust me, you’re going to need them.

You play as Crash Bandicoot, a goofy protagonist with an adventuresome spirit. Crash once again is being manipulated by the (hilarious) evil villain named Doctor Neo Cortex. The crystals you need to collect are scattered between 25 different levels. Every now and then, you’ll encounter a boss battle.

Your usual foes are back with a vengeance he demented Ripper Roo, the Komodo Brothers and the ravenous Tiny Tiger make an appearance. Of course, once you collect all of the crystals, you’ll also face down Doctor Neo Cortex himself.

Nitro boxes make their first appearance in this game, and they can act both as boss mechanics and little green boxes of doom scattered around the stages. No, really, these are boxes you don’t want to touch or try to smash. They’ll explode on contact, There’s only three levels that they don’t show up in at all; The Pits, Totally Bear and the Intro, which acts as a game tutorial.

All in all, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is a solid game throughout. It has a decent story-line, and although Kresh and I absolutely suck at platfomer style games, we both agree this is one you should try if you’re looking for something to play.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll catch you next time… meanwhile, check out our other great content below.

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier.

There is a $1 tier, perfect for blog readers, so don’t hesitate. Join today!

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At the time of this post there are 3 supporters of our content, currently all of them are in the “Demented Minion” tier.

($1) Little Ferrets: None
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Game Review: The Static Speaks My Name

Warning: The game I’m reviewing today is called “The Static Speaks My Name”. This game contains mature themes.
Mature Content: This game deals with the concept of suicide… it’s not too overly dark or graphic, but the theme is looming and present.
Kern’s Disclaimer: This is not just a typical little indie title, it has a narrative that needs to be handled with care and respect. Know that going into it. One more time for the people in the back. This game is NOT for young or impressionable gamers. If you have delicate sensibilities regarding the content warnings above, maybe just don’t read this review or play this game. I won’t be held responsible if it triggers the absolute crap out of you.

I enjoy indie content, particularly when it pushes the conventional narrative limitations of media in an interesting way. The game I’m reviewing today does strictly that. Before I begin my review though, I do hope you didn’t disregard my content warning above. If you did, scroll back up and read it first.

The thing that sets this game in a different category from other indie horror titles, is that this game is less “terrifying” and more along the lines of “tragically unsettling”. I wouldn’t call it a horror game per say, because I don’t find it scary in the traditional sense, nor unnerving in the general one. Rather, this game dives deep into the realm of psychological horror in ways I rarely ever see.

It’s not scary, it’s chilling. Thematically speaking, “The Static Speaks My Name” is a short title, but far from a sweet little package. The game is more of a “narrative experience” than a game itself. Actually, I’d hesitate to call it a game because there is a clearly a narrative to be found here, but there’s not a whole lot of “gameplay”. The price is right though. As of writing this blog it is completely free on steam, and the time investment to complete the game is minimal.

The fact that it will take most people about ten minutes to to complete it says enough on its own. Honestly, you can beat in it half that time if you really wanted to rush it. Now, while some people may find the length lacking, the content isn’t. What you’re given in that short time isn’t anything to scoff at.

When you begin the game, a brief prologue begins. Surrounded by a dark space, you’ll see something in the distance and you’ll have to walk closer to it. As you do, you’re given three things. A name, an age, and a cause of death. When you get close enough to what is basically that floating cloud in the middle of a dark expanse, you enter into the body of a man, and you live out is last moments alive.

The beeping alarm drags the man from slumber and he awakens to a home that’s just a little strange. Everything seems just a little out of place and just slightly out-of-sorts.

As a first-person game, you play as a man named Jacob Ernholtz. As a player, you soon put the pieces together to find out more about this man, and his final decision. To be clear though, the game isn’t all doom and gloom. It’s not all awfulness caked in pure and unbridled cynicism. If it was, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it.

Actually, “The Static Speaks My Name” does something else. It attempts to tell a story that has little to do with the event that ended this man’s life, and more to do with his final moments that preceded it. This game is not an analysis nor a deconstruction of the prevailing topic at hand. It’s not even about the physiological nor social conditions at play when ones goes about making such a choice.

Rather the game carries a heavy undertone with the concepts of obsession more than taking one’s own life. As though the pictures hanging upon the wall act as an all consuming focus that Jacob Ernholtz couldn’t possibly escape a fascination with. He isn’t a good man in the slightest, which only further makes it hard to relate with him on any level. I’d say that that fact alone is what makes it a horror title. It isn’t the inevitable end that makes the game so unnerving to me, it’s the character you play as, and just how disturbed he obviously is.

Just take a look at the image below as a hint to just how obsessed he is with that one painting and the painter behind it. I assume you could extrapolate all kinds of meanings from this if you really cared to, but as for me, I don’t care to try at all… really, just playing as the guy is enough for me to be unsettled about just what in the hell could have been going on in his brain.

As for gameplay, it’s just a game about slowly twisting mundane moments in this one man’s life. Cleaning the microwave, admiring his collection of paintings among the wall, or eating his pet shrimp. Simple details, really. However, it soon becomes clear that this is the point of the game, the simplicity beyond horrific spectacle, which the game cares very little for. it doesn’t glamorize it’s core themes, but rather, it seems to spit upon the idea that typical cliche’s about depression needs to be continued on in ways we would normally expect.

They’re tired, they’re dusty, they’re old and we don’t need them. The game seems to say this, to exemplify that notion in every act, The game doesn’t spell things out for you concisely, there is no neat or tidy conclusion, and you won’t be likely to find yourself re-playing the game more than once to pick to pieces every little detail.

Once is enough, and the slow spiral of madness seemingly induced by paintings upon the walls is truly macabre in notion, but not quite in a way that inspires empathy or compassion… especially after you notice just what else this man keeps in his house.

The fact of the matter is, what makes this game notable, is that it inspires a gambit of emotions. There’s dark humor mixed with tragedy and although it is sad, dark and pretty disturbing, I find that it is a fitting end to this short game.

Now, onto the “static” concept and the idea of seeing other “static deaths”. If you look at the reviews, or commentators on Steam you see that notion brought up often enough in their reviews section. Here’s the thing, I’m glad we only have one story. One glimpse, one looking-glass, and that’s all. I don’t want more than this, and I’m glad that we don’t get more than that.

The reason for this is because while I do think that perhaps more “statics” would have been interesting, I believe it would have made the game rather unpalatable in the long run. There’s only so much of this grittiness that anyone can take, and there comes a time when a compelling point to explore these concepts crosses a line too far.

If this game had been any longer, if it had explored too many more deaths or the disturbing minds behind them, it wouldn’t have just crossed the line for me. In fact, it would have trampled all over it and left a big steaming pile of dung in its wake. The solo developer, Jesse Barksdale, was wise not to take this narrative, or this game that far.

So, I guess the final question is, do I think you should play this game? All in all, if you can handle these sorts of themes, it might be worth your time to play it. Keyword being might. Once again, it’s short and it’s free. Those are low barriers to entry, so long as you can swallow down the core themes, which is the much larger, prevailing question. I can’t answer that, and to me that remains the ultimate conflict.

I think “The Static Speaks My Name” is an interesting narrative experience. However, I don’t think most people would “enjoy” playing as as such a disturbed man who eats his pet shrimp and has a nasty little propensity to obsess about a single painting. Honestly, give it a try if you want to take a dive down into that kind of character. If you have no interest in that, then this game is not for you… keep away from it.

This has been Kernook from The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time. Don’t forget to check out our other great content.

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier.

There is a $1 tier, perfect for blog readers, so don’t hesitate. Join today!

Patreon Supporters

At the time of this post there are 3 supporters of our content, currently all of them are in the “Demented Minion” tier.

($1) Little Ferrets: None
($3) Fandom Ferret: None
($5) Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.
($10) True Blue Ferret: None.
($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret: None.