Sergeant Slick Says: "I'm afraid you are all morally

blows whistle

Sergeant Slick: A-TEN-SHUN. Alright, now you lilly-livered, slackjawed beardy types with RMI from too much Dom2.* I’ve called your pansy white asses (and even if you’re black, the amount of sun you get still makes it tighty white, you burrowing mole-types) in here to explain the newest mission.

Now its going to be very simple and easy to understand. Those who DON’T complete it will be going back to first grade and learning from SOO-PUR MARIO BROTHERS, Double Dragon and fucking Pitfall where I think you’re unskilled fetal claws can handle the challenge. First of all, a way of determining how many people are going to be participating in this mission.

I need you to raise your hand as if you’re trying to get to heaven, ('cause son, you’re not gonna get there through the merit you’ve shown in THIS army) if you have boughten this game for the Gamecube:

If you, “I need glasses” pansies in the back can’t see it, its Viewtiful Joe.

Alright then. All of you who raised your hands are exempt. You may go. As a reward.The men will find Sylvia waiting in the next room wearing about as much money as poor Capcom made from this game in dollar bills, which is to say, “Use your imagination, but if you don’t, she will.”

I see there are a few women who have raised their hands. Alright then, go ask my secretary for the way to access the hidden peephole in the men’s showeroom, I…I mean, female sergeants have been known to use without getting caught and Victor and Flik from Suikoden, as well as Hector, Sain and Kent from Fire Emblem are currently showering in there. I know you’re outnumbered, god bless you, but in this type of thing there just seems to be more Tab A’s than Slot B’s.

responsible gamers who reward innovation, quality, commitment, depth and creativity with their wallets leave

Now for the rest of you.

Men (and women). I’m disappointed in you. What do I always hear from you? “Not enough innovation!” “Nobody makes creative games anymore!” “I need THE SEXY REVOLUTION!” “Everything’s all the same these days!” “No one takes risks!” And then you turn around and reward only the massive wielders of the cookie cutter for what ultimately tastes like those bland girl scout sorts with the sesame seeds in them.

Now can anyone tell me why? Peeshy Gamurse?

Peeshy Gamurse: Because our noses are so huge they block out the sun. When we stick them in the air, we can cover small refugees like women and children from gunfire. Despite the fact that we also hop around like retards who enjoy nothing more than their own farts, it is REALISTIC. We can’t get it up for immersion because the bright colors tell us it FOR TEH KIDDIES! LOLOLOL!!!

Sergeant Slick: Exactly. What was that last part, again, Peeshy? About immersion.

Peeshy Gamurse: [size=2]We can’t get it up.[/size]

Sergeant Slick: What was that? Couldn’t hear you?

Peeshy Gamurse: [size=6]We can’t get it up, sir.[/size]

Sergeant Slick: Oh but you can. It’s only $19.99 and now its out for the PS2 today, every Dick, Jane and little Johnny can get their hands on it. Nothing much has been lost in the translation. ONCE AGAIN, its cleaning up on the review circuit. Plus, for you silly EE-MER-SHUN types, its got enough brief snatches of cinematic Viagra to get your game on. What was that about bright colors? What makes you think a fantastic, deep, challenging, varied parody of Japanese and American pulp fiction from comic books to noir to Jules Verne-esque tales of adventure to Red Baron type flying to manga to Godzilla isn’t MATURE? Did you SEE that scene with Sylvia in the movie theater? Where do you think her head was aiming at, folks? Now I’d like one of our goth fags to tell the team who they are and tell me why they should buy it. Just 'cause its 2D and action oriented, doesn’t mean it can’t hold your attention for a long time, nor that its mechanics can’t stand up with the very best, normal-mapped whosawhatits-Raggedy Ann and Andy-physics, specular highlighted 3D accelerated, MAKE MY PENIS FEEL HARD games of today.

Goth Fag #1: You can tell a goth fag by their tendency to offer nothing but snappy, mean, derisive posts about other’s beliefs in the P&R forum, thus making the fact that they spend their days in arguing in a little hole over whether Bush or Kerry lied the most seem meaningful, sir. But I don’t understand why–

Sergeant Slick: Because Capcom have even seen fit to IMPROVE the game for you doe-eyed, black-nailed, limp-wristed Hot Topic dwellers. Dante from Devil May Cry has been added as a playable character is in it! And you know what THAT means!

Goth Fag #1 (smiling): Every goth fag in a 50 mile radius will be tickled pink by the presence of a dark, demonic, too-cool-for-you badass whose name is some obscure reference to intelligent shit goth fags should be interested in, but never read anymore.

Soldier #1 whistling to Soldier #2: What’s with the Sergeant today?

Soldier #2 whispering: He’s just sore, 'cause Kitsune and his Jappity Jap friends can’t get into him. They declined for “cultural reasons.”

Soldier #1: Hmmm. If I may, sir? How are we to complete the objective listed “jumping puzzles?”

Sergeant Slick: Puh. I bet you don’t expect the fact that they are actual, real, use-your-brain and THINK about it puzzles. Not just elements of skill. The jumping part is easy. Any 6-year-old can do it. Its the manipulation of your powers with respect to time and space that create some of the most innovative and brilliant puzzles this entire generation. That and there isn’t a single crate in the game. No closets either, so you, “Wah, wah, a monster will come out, read me a bedtime story, Sergeant Slick” types will be fine too.

No, no. Soldiers. The real reason you hate what you call jumping puzzles is because of imprecise camera angles and crappy design. Viewitiful Joe has neither of these. You’ll finally understand the old school meets new school desire to get from Point A to Point B. Viewtiful Joe will inspire you “I need an epic” folks to replay it in order to master and unlock everything, driving your skills to insane heights Ninja Gaiden can only dream of in its higher difficulty levels. And heck, if you don’t, its twenty dollars and will still probably take a longer while to finish than Max Payne or somesuch, whose bullet time can’t hold a strategic candle to VJ’s time manipulation aspects. (Actually, not even the easier hardest difficulty is as hard as Ninja Gaiden and reviews overrate the difficulty, there’s a super-fun, full-blooded Kids mode for you arthritis types. But you won’t see be forced to learn the tremendous VF-like depth of mixing up combos and fighting techniques in that mode.)

Men, your mission and you cannot choose to accept it, you MUST, is to buy this game. Tell those girl scouts, no thank you, you don’t want those bland cookies, even if they smile and simper and tell you about the sesame seeds.

What you want is a game that can only influence the future of gaming for good and not for evil. And one of those games, my friend, is Viewtiful Joe.

Henshin-a-go-go, baby!


*Please don’t take this entire piece’s little bit of fun as if I’m actually putting you down with my own opinions. Its just poetic license. No harm meant. :)

This is probably the wrong forum for unrequested/unwanted advice, but what the fuck? I understand that you are trying to become more fluent and natural with your English, and I have a comment on your writing:

Too many words, not enough meaning. I appreciated your post (and agreed with your advice), but it felt like I was reading Babelfish translation from “Japanese” to “Koontz.”


I’m just… that is, I… what? What the fuck?

Come on, that wasn’t even vaguely Koontzian. Besides, what’s wrong with a little bit of off-the-wall every now and again?

I bought this game on release day, son (for GC).

I guess that makes me General Slick.

That was unexpected… I was thinking it was going to be a tirade about how we should be all wetting our pants over Viewtiful Joe 2, but it turned out to be a rehash of an old thread in self-indulgent multiple-personality clothing.

I think Kitsune’s English is better than most natural-born speakers’.


Top-notch job, Kitsune.

That was brilliant! Please, let Kitsune write reviews for the Q23 main page! :D

Wait a minute, Koontz doesn’t make threads about games…

Heh, I nought that thing twice, one copy for a friend who still hasnt bought a GC. (so that he WILL, eventually, break down and buy it - the cheap fucker doesnt even have to pay a mortgage, he can drop 99$)

Awesome game. I really wish that some of the 2d classics of the past had gotten a somewhat similar treatment - expecially the crappy ps2 castlevania…

Agreed, but he could probably use an editor now and then.

</lost me at the Suikoden shower peephole Tab A Slot B thing>

Guys have tabs, girls have slots?

Yeah, I get that, but it had just wandered so far away from what I had thought the original point to be that my brain sort of spun off into orbit and I had to stage an emergency deep space rescue mission to recover it. By the time I returned, I remembered that I already owned Viewtiful Joe, so it was a moot point anyway.

He’s right, though. If you don’t own Viewtiful Joe, I hate you.

I don’t own any consoles, nevermind just not owning Viewtiful Joe.

So, am I your sworn enemy now?

Now here’s my real criticism:

I am unsure as to why having a firm grasp on the English language means you should laud someone as being an excellent writer. If Kitsune were German and learning English, or if he were Brazilian and learning English, none of us would be so quick as to issue this kind of praise. Instead, it seems as if some sort of inner-geek wet-dream about Japan prevails, and we have this completely overblown praise about someone completely based on their ability to speak English when isn’t their native language.

Aside from his grammar not being perfect, his word-usage not being top-notch, and his grasp on making a concise statement sorely lacking, he doesn’t have perfect English. Saying he does would be a disservice to him and everything he is striving for. I’ll give it to him that he is doing something that most people would never do, he is trying, and he will never get anything but a standing ovation from me on that, but this praise-beyond-criticism attitude has to stop, this attitude that just because he is Japanese he is infallible has to stop.

Speaking English is not something that warrants unending, undying love. I do it every day. DrCrypt does it every day. Tom Chick does it every day, and to a much lesser extend, so does Brian Koontz. DrCrypt is known for having a firm grasp on the English language, Tom Chick is known for having the ability to say a whole bunch through a small fictional column, and Brian Koontz is known for being a damned nutback.

It isn’t because of their grasp on the English language, it’s how they use it, it’s what they say with it. I cannot, no matter how many times I read and re-read a Kitsune column, understand just what the hell he is supposed to be saying. Stringing together a bunch of unrelated paragraphs into a paper does not make you a Literary Master. Stringing this paper out over multiple pages means you need an Editor. Kitsune sorely needs an Editor, sorely needs constructive criticism, and nobody gives him that. Instead we have an extended blowjob that lasts six months with people on both sides going “Hey suxx!” or “No he’s the best thing since Gary Whitta’s Ed-Page in PC Gamer!”

Complaining about all of this, or giving unwarranted praise, as everyone has been doing thus far, does nothing to help.

So here’s my attempt at constructive criticism:

A) Being stylistic, such as this thread-starting post was an obvious attempt at being, is fine. However, taking two pages to do it because you’re spending most of your time on excess filler is not. Be concise. Cut out a lot of the frills. If you’re going to tell a story about why we don’t like a game, then don’t make it sound pompous. Make it fun. Like Brent DiCrescenzo over at pitchforkmedia, say it in a single page and make that page tell your entire story.

Start out with a point. Go from there. Don’t start writing and then try and converge it all later. It won’t work. Instead, have an idea where the column’s going to go (ie liking Viewtiful Joe is not a good foundation for writing a column; liking Viewtiful Joe for x and y and knowing why you think those features are good is). Instead of stringing it along by a series of witticisms and stereotypes, string it along by narrating it. Tell a story about these soldiers, don’t use them as a means from getting to this sentence that is sort of supposed to be point A to this sentence that is supposed to be point B. Don’t do that, if it doesn’t flow naturally, don’t force it. Being stylistic and failing is a lot worse than being boring and informative.

B) As with above, be concise. Cut down on the filler. I realize this may be hard because you speak another language, but all of the extended vocabulary you learned while speaking Japanese need not apply. If you are learning with a teacher, then get another teacher, they’re doing you a disservice by teaching you in a manner that makes you excessively wordy. If you’re learning on your own, then I understand, it takes a lot of time to grasp even the most basic of verbal and written tendencies of that language. At this point, though, you’re not learning basic stuff. Maybe it was the material you read when you were learning, I don’t know, but a few good places to start would be Tom Chick’s backpage in Computer Games Magazine, Rick Reilly’s backpage in Sports Illustrated, read an Isaac Asimov novel or The Andromeda Strain (by Michael Crichton). Science and medicine prepare you to be a writer better than anything else, they teach you to be precise in your wording, concise in how you say it, and if you have enough creative backbone, you can mold that into your own style. It works, the best way to be a better writer is to study better writers than you.

Douglas Adams made a career on carefully inserting a single run-on sentence into a single paragraph. Later in his career he had your mind wrapping itself around two pages worth of the English language for you to even get the joke. You are not that advanced. Don’t try and be as big and epic as your heart wants to be until you’ve mastered the ability to do it.

C) Content. Now look, this is an extension of the two above points. In the midst of your writing (sometimes pages upon pages of it) your message is lost. Yeah, we know you want us to buy this game, or buy that game, or this game is good and that one isn’t, but your two columns for the frontpage have left me in a daze. Numerous people didn’t call you out on your column on Japan’s military views because you were wrong, they called you out because you didn’t properly explain yourself, your views, and why you think Japan thinks that way. We can call you out on facts all day long, but if you take the time to properly setup your article, properly set up what your points are, clearly say what it is you’re wanting to say (notice a trend?), then we won’t have any recourse. We can’t come back with anything but responding to the facts, and if you clear up as many loose ends as possible, you’ll find that the amount of facts that we can contest is cut down drastically.

Don’t be vague. Don’t waver from the topic at hand. Frivilous chatter and inane speech do nothing to push the article forward, instead they serve as a way to derail it. Throwing a witty opening quote is fine as long as it fits the context, and as long as you don’t have to read half of the article to find out the punchline. It’s confusing. Opening an e-mail, or other informal writings like this is perfectly acceptable because it doesn’t have to make sense, but you are trying to capture an audience here, and when we see that quote, we think of it as being a subheader of sorts, a lead-in to what the next section is going to be about. The pictures are the same, what’s the point?

D) If you have a lot to say, split it up into multiple columns. We all have a lot to say, I know I do, but there’s always another day and another paper waiting to be written for me to say it in. Knowing what belongs in your story, paper, dissertation, whathaveyou is an artform. If we could write the perfect paper the first time, we wouldn’t need an Editor, but we can’t. Practice will make it so that over time we will be so good at writing in our own particular brand of style that there will be a bare minimum of things needing to be edited, but even the best writers sometimes need a dialogue wash or the likes. The best advice a young writer can be given is to form a close circle of smart readers who you can trust to give you advice. Ones who will point out an error, or when something isn’t interesting. Ones who will not waver in their job to be hurt your feelings in the quest for helping you out.

Until you find this group, anything that seems like it could be a topic to discuss all on its own probably is. If you find yourself writing an article on modern Japanese military views, then don’t give a full page background on the history of Japan’s military, hit on strategy games being somewhat militaristic in nature, and then drop that point like a bad habit before coming back to it a page later. Don’t go from military, games, military, games, small conclusion about how gaming is going to change the face of Japan’s resistance towards military-themed entertainment. If your ultimate goal is to speak out about how pop-culture is changing Japan, then write about that. If your ultimate goal is to speak out about how Japan is ignorant towards military themes on purpose, then write about that. Don’t flip flop in an attempt to strengthen your final point, you only weaken it, because the rest of the article has nothing to do with it.

I hope this helps. I honestly do. I’m far from being a professional writer, or even a good writer, but this is some of the wisdom I have been imparted over the years. I assume you have Tom helping you because your stuff is going on his website, and I think that that is an absolutely wonderful start. You have an excellent writer giving you first-hand knowledge of what writing is all about, I’d imagine, but sometimes that’s also not the best way to learn. Get a teacher. If you can’t get a teacher, get a book (Chicago Manual of Style). Write write write, every single day, filing down every single imperfection you feel you have. Post on the board every single day, or every other day, with a small page or two. Ignore assholes, ignore me, ignore people who compliment you, ignore everything but the constructive criticism. Everything else is a distraction.

This is all my humble opinion of course, and I do apologize if this was offensive, I hope to God you do not take it that way. I do not mean it that way. You have nothing but my respect for doing what you do, trying as hard as you try, and for that, as I said earlier, you will never have anything but me standing up and applauding you. You get an A for effort. I would like to see you get an A for content and an A for style in the eyes of all of the dissenters, so in my complete lack of infinite wisdom, I thought I’d offer up this bit of constructive criticism.

Now, I’ll take my own advice and turn off my fingers before I fall into the trap of tedium without anything to say like I’m trying to advise against.


Now, I’ll take my own advice…

too late! :)

I think, I think, I think… I think I need a self-help group because I got a sickness and the only cure is writing, baby!

<Randy Savage>OH YEAH!</Randy Savage>

Most. Uncharacteristic. Post. Ever.

Guys, lay off Kitsune. It’s seriously looking like jealousy. He obviously has a passion for games and he is trying to convey it in a fun way. So what if you’re not used to his writing style? He’s not doing it for mental masturbation like our “most respected thinker on this forum, by far”. He’s creative and it shows. You can either politely choose not to read his posts or you can take his stylings for what it’s worth. Either way, a little more class and a lot less uncouthness will get you farther with the prom queen rather than railing against a boisterous guest.

I wish people would learn how to get along instead of saying, “you’re different, so get out.”