It’s that time again. That wonderful time where I go dumpster diving through every transphobes least favorite den of piracy: the Internet Archive! Let’s get fucking started!
NamCollection 50th Anniversary
NamCollection is a five-game compilation of Namco PSX games for the Playstation 2 only ever released in Japan. The games included are:
- Ridge Racer
- Ace Combat 2
- Mr. Driller
Now, while this is not the digital monument to classic games that the Namco Museum series was, it’s still pretty cool. You get all these games on one DVD, with some slightly updated textures for all of them, and in the case of Ridge Racer and Ace Combat, analog controls.
Going back and playing these games, it’s pretty incredible how good they are even now, decades after their release. Except for Tekken 1. Tekken 1 fucking sucks. Playing this, I wondered out loud how this spawned eight sequels that were all really good; like okay, Tekken 4 was not super stellar, but at least it had ambitions that only failed due to the genre it was in. Tekken 1’s controls are fucking terrible. The AI is the worst kind of SNK mind-reading bull shit. Characters have about five moves that you can never get to input right. Heihachi and Paul can straight up kill you in two hits. It sucks. If you want to play a Tekken game so bad, there are plenty of other options out there, and three of them are also available on the PS2.
Ridge Racer is pretty good. The thing about the series prior to Ridge Racer 4 is that I am terrible at them; I just cannot wrap my head around the way the cars handle. It feels extremely sensitive compared to other games, even more recent Ridge Racers. A big problem is that PCSX2 uh, kind of sucks when it comes to mapping analog sensitivity,so trying to use the analog sticks to drive was a hassle, as it had no problem turning to the right, while trying to turn left literally did not work unless I moved the stick all the way. I’m sure the analog stuff works fine on original hardware, but it does not here. Game is still fine, despite me being bad and my emulator refusing to cooperate with me. Only real downside is that this is the original release of Ridge Racer, locked at 30 FPS, and not the updated 60 FPS version released with Ridge Racer 4. I’m not a big FPS person; I’m fine with 30, but I feel like racing games should go as fast as possible, so it’s a shame that the 60 is not the game on this collection.
Ace Combat 2 is awesome. Ace Combat in general is great, except for that horrible American one that everyone somehow has in their game collection. While I still had the same analog troubles here as I did with Ridge Racer, it’s not as big a deal as I can handle the planes here better than I could the cars there. Being on PS2, the planes have a little more detail on them, which is cool; if I’m going to be uncritically taking part in the American War Machine (this was before Ace Combat took more of a “war is bad” stance), it might as well look nice. The action is just as wild and frenetic as it was on the original Playstation. I have nothing to complain about here, other than some control issues that are not the game’s fault.
Klonoa is one of those games that is really good, everyone agrees is really good, and I have never, ever finished. It’s one of those games that I load up in an emulator, play around with for a few levels, then I say, “yeah this is cool, I will come back to this later,” and then I never do. I really should get around to fixing that at some point. Even now, for this post, I simply played a few levels and said, “yes, good.” Sorry everyone; I will turn in my Gamer Card at the end of the post. Klonoa is good, or at least the first five levels are.
Many of you have asked what klonoa game I am playing. It's the new one on the wii. I'm at level six. I play with my pants around my ankles.
— matthew perry (@MatthewPerry) May 16, 2009
Like the older Ridge Racer games, I am fucking terrible at Mr. Driller. I have played and owned multiple versions of the game, and I am incapable of completing any stage beyond the easiest, Baby’s-First-Game level. I like Mr. Driller, but I do not understand him. I suck at it, but the game is good.
Aside from playing host to obscure video games, video game collections, and queer literature, the Internet Archive also has a bunch of racing on it! Looking around, it has Grand Prix’s dating all the way back to the late 80s, the incredibly exciting time where you got to see the rivalry between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna unfold, to the modern day, with its current attitude of “we are literally a sports manga now.” That’s awesome.
The Archive also has episodes of the Netflix documentary Drive To Survive. My introduction to F1 was a YouTube video on a gaming channel that I’m subbed to, but for normal people, this show is what got people invested in the sport of Auto Racing. Granted, reality television is a complete work, but at least this is a good work. There’s a video on YouTube that I would recommend as a supplemental material for DTS. F1 Racing is pretty cool, and you should at least watch Drive To Survive if you don’t have the patience for a longer 2-3 hour race.
Looking at more trans zines
Given recent events and me writing a big angry post telling TERFS to go die, I thought I would go back into looking up old trans publications. But rather than look at old magazines that showed off queer happiness with outdated terminology, I was looking for something angry. I went back in time to the 90s, and the early 2000s. I wanted to compare and contrast the different eras, and I was not let down.
Here’s some weird, tru-scummy bull shit from the 80s. You can tell by reading this that there is this theme of, “you will never be a real woman.” Reading through, there’s this attempt at both-sidesing the concept of being trans. It does say that you should feel free to express your gender as you please, but also says that taking hormones is totally a crutch in the world of drag queens. There’s still the reiteration that trans women are simply cross-dressing men, this constant use of “he.” Cis gays are shown in pictorials having fun and enjoying life, while anyone on HRT is shown in pornographic spreads. Now, I most certainly do not have any objection to trans porn, but there is something being said when you have these polar opposites of “here are normal people” and “here are these weird, exotic freaks who only exist as a hole to park your actually functioning dick into.” It’s kind of bull shit.
Meanwhile, going back to TranSexpress in 1996, it’s very much a “fuck you, we’ll do what we want” style. There’s a few things in here that are a bit iffy, but again, it was ’96 and it was written and published in the UK, so I would be shocked if everyone involved with this publication weren’t round up and forced to witness cisnormative culture like that one scene in A Clockwork Orange until they weren’t trans anymore.
Going forward in time even more, to 2000. This next zine I found is honestly a complete heartbreaker. The reason why is because having read through it (or at least whatever parts survived the terrible Xerox job), it shows that nothing has changed in twenty-one years.
That sucks. This was 2000. We’re still going through this fucking performative, faux-leftist “Just Asking Questions,” I-Support-You-Until-I-Actually-See-One-Of-You shit. A few years ago, I said that people might support trans women as a concept, but will just as soon join in on our harassment and marginalization and assuming that every negative stereotype about us is true. As I very angrily put a couple posts ago, I’m kind of over it. Over these cis clowns thinking that we’re monsters, and also over all the fucking “pick me!” trannies that will gladly sell you out and throw you, not under the bus, but under a moving diesel train, and have the audacity to say, “nothing personal, just business” afterwards. Fuck off, let me enjoy my PS2 games and racing in peace.
I can at least be glad that, although shit still sucks, our voices have only gotten louder and angrier. We’ve gotten meaner and more aggressive. This is a trend that will only continue.