Monday, 17 June 2013

Rate me and I will Berate you




I have recently been reminded of how annoyed I get at being rated.  I have just played through  Gears of War Judgement, which is a decent sequel, of the not really as good as previous games type. They haven't made many changes to the gears formula,  but one of the few they made annoyed me a great deal. Instead of having a grand sweeping narrative they broke the game into 15-20 minute sections,  and then they assigned a score to each section, with the aim to get up to 3 stars per section, yes, like Angry Birds. So they manage to take a grand sweeping (if massively violent) narrative and turn it into a score attack game. 
                                                                                                                                                                  I as a gamer I don't respond well to being told that I am playing a game wrong,  and that is exactly what this was. You may well be having fun and then the game happily points out that you really should have gotten a couple more headshots and you were knocked down one too many times to get the 3 stars.  Well screw you game,  it is my choice I will play the way I want and not let you put me off having fun.  I had a very similar feeling when they introduced mission completion percentages into the Assassin's Creed games with Brotherhood. The whole idea essentially saying that, well yes you haven't failed,  but you haven't done it properly,  have you.  

Innovation of Goliaths.


After watching the big reveal about the XBone, and the Play station 4 I have been left underwhelmed by the offerings for this next generation of console. Don’t fear though, I’m not going to write a blog bashing the creative choices of multi-billion dollar corporations, that would be redundant.

To hold hate or contempt for Sony or Microsoft for doing what they do best would be like hating a monkey for eating banana’s, or give a cow crap for eating grass.

The offerings from both companies are a hot topic all over the internet but what no one has discussed is that the problem does not sit on the shoulders of the console manufacturer but with the developers of software.

Gaming has been stagnating for a while now with most triple ‘A’ developers churning out ‘safe’ bets. EA are a great example of a company afraid to venture far from the path. It wasn't always like this though. For a brief shining moment EA stood tall with new ideas like Dead Space and Mirrors Edge. Then quickly they reverted back to old habits like Madden.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The 'Lets Play' battle.


“Let’s play” video’s have been a big part of gaming culture for years. Everything from super short game tips, to walk through video’s to massive play sessions. Some have an entertaining commentary others are just straight game video’s with nothing added. Twitch is a website dedicated to video’s of people playing games. You really could argue that it’s an integral part of gaming culture and its been this way since we were technically able to record and stream games.

At this point software like OBS (open broadcast software) and FF Show make it a simple process to record a game along with another video source (such as your face) and then record that for YouTube or broadcast live to places like Twitch.

Friday, 7 June 2013

You can't be friends with Microsoft



Microsoft have just confirmed some more details about the Xbox One, most of which aren’t exactly great. Very limited options to lend and resell you games, regular internet connection require and some pretty hefty restrictions on what you can do with games you buy. I think all these are pretty appalling, especially as I am a regular renter of games, which presumably will no longer be a option.

I have no desire to defend Microsoft, none of these things are good as a consumer, and I certainly won’t be picking up a Xbone. However I have to wonder if we should be surprised by these choices. After all Microsoft is a business beholden to it’s shareholders to make money, and they obviously think that using these methods will ensure that they will make more money.I think that sometimes people, wonderful, enthusiastic, passion people, forget that companies aren’t there friends. I am writing this right now on Google Drive, because it, like the majority of Google's services, is fab. It is easy to forget that Google is trying to make money out of me (in large part by watching what I am doing).

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Guild Wars 2. Some level 80 observations. (Part 1)


Guild Wars 2 is a fun game. I play it a lot and recently hit level 80 with my main character (a Male Human Mesmer.) I don’t feel like replaying with one of my many alternate characters just yet as with the personal/living story still going on I can't help but feel like hitting the level cap is far from ‘finishing’ the game.

With some MMO’s maximum level means that no matter how many quests are left you pursue raiding or PvP for endgame but with Guild Wars 2 and its single quest line structure hitting level cap means very little. There is still the same to do no as there was when I was level 79.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Does sex sell games?



Having now watched two of the Tropes in video gaming series, which should be at least interesting to everyone unless you are a sexist asshole (if you are, piss off). I realised that the writing and questing in mmo’s is is actually pretty none misogynistic compared to the general game market. From WoW to Neverwinter to LOTRO it is all remarkably gender neutral plotting. Hell half of the Guild Wars 2 narrative super team Destiny’s Edge are female.

It made me feel a little less ashamed of being a bloke when I thought of this, but then the internet kicked me in the balls with the reminder that mmo’s can be shamefully sexist. MMO armour for females even in games like GW2 and WoW can be pretty damn skimpy, and then I remembered the likes of Scarlet Blade exists. This being a game that takes the sex sells approach of having entirely female characters with giant boobs wearing pretty much nothing. Not that I am convinced that with games sex does sell.