Critique - SidAlpha

09 December 2017 on rants. 8 minutes

This… isn’t a post I really wanted to make, but I feel that from a certain point I have to. So let’s get down to it. I’m gonna be picking at a critic, which as you most of you should know is one of the easiest ways of getting on a number of folks bad sides. Having said that, I feel there’s a need for at least someone to speak up, outside of comments who dont get their own page or their own spot.

Notice: Header image used under the presumption of Fair Use. I don’t think I should need to state that, but given the thinskinnedness of both the person involved and the persons fanbase, its important to note this fact.

So… SidAlpha. For those of you who don’t know, SidAlpha is the name of a guy who runs a YouTube channel. The channel was relatively unknown, until Jim Sterling got sued by Digital Homicide and SidAlpha started covering the page. His channel grew a bit, but never really grew until he got DMCA’ed by a thinskinned asset flipper on Steam who didn’t like Sid picking on his videos. He then got collar bumped by various other critics and he quickly reached a degree at which he could start working more on his channel than just a hobby. Having said that, recently he has reached a point for me at which I personally believe that I cannot say in good consiousness that I desire for him to continue doing what he does.

That said, let’s get down to it. My problems with SidAlpha I think can best be summarized in a list of headers, with me going over some various bits and bobs as to why I think that.

SidAlpha likes to attract drama

This is one that will likely get me the most piss in my inbox, but I’m gonna say it anyway: Sid likes to attract drama. Now obviously, I get that as someone whose main job constitues critizing video games, one will occasionally get some flak, wheather that be from your readership due to quite clearly sucking off the publisher (re: IGN) or from a developer because you didn’t like their games (re: Jim Sterling).

Having said that, there is a difference between attracting drama and wallowing in it. SidAlpha does the latter. In case you are curious, here’s what happens when Jim Sterling (someone else who tends to attract ire from developers) gets a DMCA: he makes a short, five minute video on it, which as far as I am aware does not run ads and files a counter claim. What happens when SidAlpha gets a DMCA? He makes two different videos, both of them in the nice little money spot of 10 minutes, one of which to complain how crap YouTube is for allowing it and shitting over the developer for another round and then another for gloating how his ability of his video being Fair Use (which I’m not going to argue against, his videos are Fair Use) and showing how he is effectively immune to these attempts. Oh and both videos have monetization turned on.

Now the DMCA system does suck. I’ve seen several folks get slammed with it by people who weaponize it to silence criticism, but there is a difference between explaining you got a DMCA and wallowing in the fact that you got a DMCA and showing how much better you are than these people.

SidAlpha has trouble apologizing

Egotism is one of the biggest problems on the internet. After all, when everyone tells you you made a mistake, it is much easier online to put your fingers in your ears and go LALALALALA. While that isn’t what SidAlpha does, any time he issues an apology for his behavior (if he even makes an apology and doesnt attempt to continue claiming his side was correct), his apologies always are backhanded.

For a concrete example of this, look no further than Gloom. A relatively simplistically made Soulsy game, SidAlpha chose to slam the game for it’s relatively poor controls, the (in his view) lazy artstyle and some other parts. After he slammed the game, the developer choose to fix portions of the criticism SidAlpha leveraged against him and then politely asked SidAlpha for a rereview of the game. In my opinion this is a relatively reasonable request. The developer changed the game after listening to criticism, meaning the criticism on it had a positive influence on the developer, meaning they learnt from their mistakes. Asking for a rereview since the original criticism has since been changed to resolve some the critique leveraged against it to me is a reasonable thing since at that point, a review is outdated, and the average viewer might get the wrong image.

Now to me that is a reasonable thing. To SidAlpha however, it is not. SidAlpha instead chose to throw a tantrum, basically equating the developer to be amongst the scummiest in the industry (at least that is how I read his response). Now after a day or so, SidAlpha did calm down and chose to make a new review of the game, as per the developers request, however to me the entire thing felt as nothing but an afterthought, where he simply realized “Fuck I attracted drama by slamming this game, better go and fix my public image.” instead of learning anything meaningful, since his more global response video to the developers request was littered with “but developers arent supposed to be able to ask for that and I still believe I am in the right, even though I am also attempting to apologize”. You can look up the videos for yourself (no way in hell I am gonna link SidAlpha), but I do feel that this example in particular underlines SidAlphas behavior of not being able to apologize for his own mistakes.

SidAlpha likes playing the victim card

This one mostly relates back to my first point, but it’s quite simple: SidAlpha takes an attitude that mostly appears to be “Me and my fanbase VS. The rest of the world”. There’s a number of things wrong with this attitude, first and foremost being that anyone who disagrees with you on even the slightest matter instantly gets demonized, getting called the worst of the worst out there.

A more prime example of this behavior is his entire behavior in the Alex Mauer situation. While the Alex Mauer situation is pricklier than a fucking thornbush, I do feel it perfectly underlines this particular argument. While most people involved in the case were willing to quit discussing the matter after she was taken to court and left talking about the court case to Imagos’ Softworks’ lawyer and only discuss major advancements, SidAlpha chose to continue making videos on the matter, constantly saying that this could wind up being a savior for both him and others and that Alex Mauer should be knocked down a peg for her behavior and should face serious charges.

While the Alex Mauer situation is again prickly, I do personally feel that she should have received a fine of some sorts, mostly as a scare tactic for other DMCA abusers, there is a difference between simply having that as your opinion and saying it at basically the end of all the ~20 videos you make on the matter while also ripping off Leonard French’s publicly available livestreams on the court documents and adding very little to it other than that we inferred from the first 10 times you said you think should happen to her.


There is a number of other things I could say, but all I will say is this: I believe that SidAlpha is someone who likes to attract drama, has issues apologizing when he is in the wrong and really likes to suggest he is the one who is the good guy in all of this (while I personally think that someone’s good guy status is kinda doubtful if you constantly keep attracting a bad guys ire in the first place). As a result, I’m not going to give SidAlpha any ad-active future watching time from me (fuck it I use adblocker). If you have or are watching SidAlpha and also have had these doubts ever since he started doing this stuff, I’d highly suggest you do the same. This man does not deserve either your money on Patreon or your ad-viewing time. I’m not about to compare him to Keemstar, but I’d say that Sid could see Keem if he were to look down below him in a figurative appartment of people who like to attract drama if you know what I mean.

Either way, it’s been me, Evi, and I’ll hopefully meet you near the end of the year for my little GOTY list. Maybe I’ll even do it in an audio format 👀 . Anyway, I hope all of you have a great day, and I’ll see you all on the next post.


The GOTY 2017 - Now with less shick hydrobot

So…. 2017 is drawing to a close. I’d say it’s been a better year than 2016, simply by virtue of the fact that 2016 had what I would say is the biggest political split of American left and American right/alt-right I’ve seen in my life. By that comparison, 2017 has been a rather tame year, only broken up by (at least for me) several chances to shake my head and smile in relief that I don’t live in the United States. Anyway, while I could go and continue my ego stroking, the fact remains that 2017 is coming to a close, and with it, it’s time for my one and only “Game of The Year” awards. Here are the standards I’ll be working with: The game does not have to have been released in 2017. There are a ton of games I’ve played this year that came out earlier than this year, but yet I feel they’re GOTY worthy. The exception is the Best GOTY award, which is reserverd for a game that came out this year. These are my opinions. I’ll go over the reason for my choice a bit and then will leave you with a link on where to get the game. Ready? Set. Go! Runner-ups Actually let me go over some of the runnerups first. These are various games that, while I’d recommend them any day, they simply didn’t provide me with enough “wow factor” to make them GOTY games. Gunpoint - Originally a GOTY contender, and still a game that I would highly recommend to anyone. A stealth based puzzler, you are tasked with obtaining various items on a map/getting away without being caught. Sadly it got overshadowed by a similar entry on my GOTY list, but if you’re looking for a 2D stealth game, Gunpoint more than delivers. Fair warning though: The noir style story can be a bit heavy at times. HIVESWAP: ACT 1 - Fuck it. Hiveswap has been in development since 2013, has had various allgeged embezzlement problems with The Odd Gentleman and then suddenly switched to in-house development after that was resolved. As far as gameplay goes, it’s an adventure game, except it’s one I can actually understand how to play, rather than having to look up a guide online. Really, the main draw for it I’d say is the fact that Undertale creator and Homestuck musician Toby Fox did a large portion of the soundtrack. The reason it’s not GOTY is simply because while it is a great experience, it didn’t provide me with the same WOW factor the games that are on the GOTY list. Flinthook - The final entry on my Runner-ups and an entirely deserved one. I can’t play Flinthook for my live, but fuck it if it isn’t an awesome experience. It uses an interesting time slowdown mechanic along with a bullet hell provided by the enemies and let’s you use a hook to move around. Really it’s a lot more awesome than I’m describing it here. It’s not GOTY simply because I couldn’t beat it, but fuck it if it isn’t an amazing experience to simply kick back and play it for a couple hours and unleash your inner pirate. Yarrr! With those out of the way, let’s move to our real awards. These are in no particular order, except for the last one. “Best dark game” Might as well give them some unique names, although they won’t be repeated for the next GOTY. Starting off our list is Darkest Dungeon, Red Hook Studios and Kickstarters lovechild. A dark, almost rogue-like, RPG with lovecraftian horror beautifully intertwined into it, Darkest Dungeon is right up my alley. Every character feels unique and the game does an excellent job at making you care for your characters while also torturing them with the same glee one would normally find in a Victorian torture chamber. And yet… your characters press through, until they’re murdered brutally. That, combined with an amazing soundtrack and an even more amazing narrator (A big shout-out to Wayne June. The game wouldn’t have the same atmosphere without him. “Dazed… reeling… about to break!”). Darkest Dungeon definetly earns the GOTY position. Oh and it got two more DLC’s, one of which adds an entirely new questline and both add new heroes! Pick it up if you’ve got the chance. “Best action/stealth game” Next up is Deadbolt. There isn’t much I can say about Deadbolt, except well… IT’S FUCKING AWESOME! You play as the Grim Reaper and you’re tasked with mowing down the various amounts of mobster undead to stop some new drug from spreading. That said, you only have a single hit point, meaning that if you get shot at any time during your attempt, it’s GAME OVER. Deadbolt isn’t easy. A lot of people will probably get turned off by the time investment needed to master the game and “git gud”. But if you are willing to put yourself over that wall, you’ll find that Deadbolt is probably gonna be one of those games that will stay with you and in your mind for quite a while. “Best sandbox game” Hitting 1.0 release only this year, but in development since 2015, Starbound is basically what Terraria would be if you had a proper world switching system. You play as one of 6 races and are simply tasked with exploring the universe and getting the best gear. While there is a storyline and some amazingly designed missions for it, they mostly take the backseat and are only there if you are interested in it. While it’s a bit clunky at times, in general it’s an awesome experience which I would recommend to anyone even slightly interested in sandbox games. It’s also got a modding community at the same level of skill as some Minecraft mods so thats gotta count for something. Oh and it did what No Mans Sky did without sucking. “The Best Game of The Year 2017” We’ve hit it. There is no coming back from this. This is the most venerable award of all GOTY ones. This is for games that… well, perfection doesn’t exist, but damn if these games don’t come close to it. If you’ve ever interacted with me anywhere, whether that be on Twitter or on Discord, you probably learned one thing about me: I fucking adore Hollow Knight. A metroidvania about bugs, Hollow Knight is the debut game of Team Cherry, and is basically anything I have been looking for in a metroidvania. Bringing Dark Souls to 2D is a common thing indie’s like to try and do. While some games directly clone Dark Souls to 2D (Salt and Sanctuary comes to mind) and others try mimicing the difficulty curve (Cuphead along with any of the other “willingly step on the pointy end of a rake games”), there are very few games that actually manage to bring over the atmosphere while still keeping the story it tells fresh. Hollow Knight is probably the game that I’ve seen it do best. You explore the ruined kingdom of Hallownest, locating the various bugs and hearing the tales and stories of the kingdom and figuring out why it turned out the way it does. Gameplay is comparatively simplistic, but is a beautiful dance between staying out of the way of enemy attacks and getting up close to them to hit them with your nail. Along the way you meet various adventurers, from the hilariously incompetent Zote to the mysterious Hornet to the friendly Quirrel. All characters are highly memorable and almost every single one of them kept me motivated to keep going. Same goes for the Soundtrack. Christopher Larkin did an amazing job at composing the OST, and it’s really the best OST I’ve had the honor of being able to listen to in the past two years. Here, have a listen: Hollow Knight (Original Soundtrack) by Christopher Larkin If there is one game you should get from this GOTY list, it’s Hollow Knight. Team Cherry did an amazing job and it’s most certainly the best game I’ve ever played in the past four years. Conclusion I hope you enjoyed my list. Please remember that these are my opinions, and therefore they may not neccesarily match with yours. That said, it’s time to end the year and go for 2018! Who knows what that will bring… I personally am not having really any games I’m looking forward to getting hyped for that will be released in 2018, except for Into the Breach and Terry Canvagh’s new game. Have an excellent christmas and a happy new year, this was Evi, signing off ✌! ~ev1l0rd