I launched a new site for my various interests called 2 Broke Nerds, and you should head over there for my ramblings about television, movies, and games. I have been lax about posting stuff, but I will get back to it soon. I have decided to make this site more about the nuts and bolts of all the things I do regarding my projects. It is a place I can discuss tools I use, marketing ideas, and just general story development. I want to write fiction in addition to all the non-fiction articles. I spend a lot of time on TV tropes so I can use this space to really deconstruct all the stuff I watch, while 2 Broke Nerds is devoted to gushing or complaining as a fan. Overlap is possible.
I really have ended up using a lot of new tools so it might be good to get some of that out there where it might help others. When I think about how much I have learned in the last couple of months its pretty amazing. Also, I have managed to get through a lot of media and I got things that need to be said that are not of interest to someone just looking for a review or an opinion.
I got a lot of complaints about things, mostly dealing with tropes and cliches that I feel are mostly contrived. I rather handle those with examples instead of theoretically. Hopefully, I can start writing some fiction and nonfiction books and document some of my process and concerns. It would be interesting to chronicle things that affect how I do things. There are some other projects I am considering, and am not sure if I will incorporate them here directly or branch off with new sites. The Chaos Vault will form a sort of scratch pad for me so I can think and chronicle at the same time. It should be interesting if I ever become somebody.
The Dumbing Down of Children
An example off the kind of stuff I want to talk about would be useful. I have been watching the old Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters cartoon, and it is a sloppy kids show. First of all, I want to say that this is the reason children are so damn stupid. This show has so much exposition that its almost insulting, though I am not the age group. The kids I’ve met would be smarter than this though. I was smarter than this.
The show tries to build so much drama and an even match, but it flies in the face of any logical game progression. Every card the people in the show draw are the exact card they need to turn the table. It is like they never get any useless cards. It just seems absurd that they would draw things so perfectly. Turn after turn the balance shifts between the two players for dramatic tension, but it ends up being boring. The strategic effect they are trying to create fails, because it feel so contrived.
Also in the opening story arc of Duelist Kingdom you almost never see the cards in the hands of the players, which allows them to come up with whatever they need. I wonder if this had to do with their production time. They probably had like 30 minutes to write a whole episode, though it is based on a manga. I cannot imagine that the focus on the card game could be done well in manga form. The format makes it hard to weave intricate plots with a card game, because it would be boring. I mean their decks looked like they had 40-60 cards, but they always drew the same group of cards. These provided almost perfect synergy. It takes some of the gasping surprises out of it. I mean the kids would have to be the dumbest on the planet to not remember that this or that card was used this way.
The strategies are almost always the same by each player. Strategies can be the same, just play Magic 2014 and go with the Eldrazi deck, but there are still variations in the sequence. Think about Mai and her Harpy Lady. She almost always opens with that or uses it within 3 turns max. However, she only ever uses exactly one of these. I don’t think the game works that way. If you have multiples you can put multiple ones. If you hand one then you probably won’t get Harpy and Cyber Shield within the first 2 turns every time.
I only ever played the game on PSX so I’m not sure about the rules. Considering the number of banned cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament play I do not think the game itself is as well thought out as Magic: The Gathering. For that game cards are retired over time as the game evolves, but only some really early cards have been banned outright. In some cursory research I do not even see recent cards that end up banned. There are not Alara cards that are no longer valid, but Yu-Gi-Oh cards can be banned within a year if they are over powered.
The series has no believability when it comes to the duels. Since the game is an actual one with tournament play this seems fairly unforgiveable. Some creative license can be taken, but not to the level that they take it on the cartoon. I’m not going to read the manga, but I don’t think it is unfair to expect adaptations to fix any flaws that might exist in the original. Basically, they can’t win with me. Being true to the source and being stupid is as unforgivable as just being stupid.