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News

GamerGate: More Fuel to the Fire

On September 17th, Milo Yiannopoulos over at Breitbart gained access to e-mails from a google group called Gaming Journalism Professionals.  The “GameJournoPros” as they call themselves, are a collection of journalists from various gaming websites that speak with each other to collectively promote events, games, and various other areas of the gaming industry. To show examples of the corruption, one e-mail even speaks about removing threads about GamerGate, a problem that has plagued the movement since its conception.

The following day, Milo released another article about the GameJournoPros.  This time, he gives us various quotes from the e-mails, giving names to each quote.  The quotes reveal journalists from Polygon, GameSpot, Kotaku, and Wired, just to name a few.  Several comments about the gaming culture were made, Andrew Groen, a WIRED contributor, went as far as to call our culture toxic.  William O’Neal from TechRadar made this comment “Who here hasn’t slept with a PR person or game developer? #AMIRITE.” These are just two comments that were in the article.  There are many more that you can read through the link at the bottom of the page.

I personally find many of these comments disgusting and believe that something must be done.  These journalism “professionals” that we pay attention to for news, are pushing their own agenda on us, getting in bed together to further their own careers, and putting down our culture.  Enough is enough.

Tell me what you think in the comments and remember, make your voice heard about #GamerGate.

Link to initial article: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite

Link to follow up article: http://www.breitbart.com/breitbart-London/2014/09/18/The-emails-that-prove-video-games-journalism-must-be-reformed

Categories
Opinions

Kotaku Controversy: Gamers Are Now Dead?

Over the past couple of weeks, the Zoe Quinn story has escalated to point of being the gaming version of Watergate, as proven by the #Gamergate trend flying around twitter. Kotaku, being the geniuses that they are, seem to only make matters worse by pointing fingers and preforming all amounts of bigotry.

For those of you who haven’t heard, Zoe Quinn, a writer for Kotaku and creator of the indie “game” Depression Quest, has had controversy surrounding her for a couple weeks now. This is due to her ex-boyfriend making a WordPress blog post about the various things she had done during their relationship. The post revealed that she had cheated on him with a couple indie developers, and, most notably, her boss at Kotaku. This threw the gaming community into a frenzy that just won’t stop, as it should.

While this only scratched the surface of what has happened over the past few weeks, we’re going to talk about one of Kotaku’s recent articles on the subject. If you would like to learn more about Zoe Quinn and why gamers have the right to be angry, check out this video

That link takes you to a video from Internet Aristocrat, who does a great job of explaining the situation and why we have every right to be mad.

On August 28th, Luke Plunkett at Kotaku released an article titled “We Might Be Witnessing The ‘Death of An Identity’” the article talks about gamers and saying that being a “gamer” is a label that is dying off, and speaks about Zoe’s struggles since this whole thing started. The author goes on to quote gamasutra and Dan Golding (On tumblr), both of which claim that gamers are mad because the term “gamer” is dying off. Two that he Luke uses are “Gamers are over. That’s why they’re so mad.” And “what we are seeing is the end of gamers, and the viciousness that accompanies the death of an identity.”

I can’t get over the sheer amount of stupidity in this article. Prior to these this whole situation with Zoe, the gaming community just had the typical “Oh my console is better than your console” argument. But then this whole situation with Zoe, a writer for Kotaku, sleeping with her boss and multiple indie game developers, that is what people are angry over, corruption. But Kotaku is pointing fingers at the gamers saying we’re insecure about our identities. That is asinine! While Kotaku has changed their policies over this whole ordeal, they’re clearly not happy about it as they feel need to make things up and put others down, just like a child.

I understand that Zoe Quinn has received harassment, I understand that people have gone overboard with the death threats, the sexual abuse, and what have you. But I speak for the people who love video games and don’t want their passion destroyed by corruption, I speak for gamers. There’s a difference between a gamer and a troll, and clearly, the people at Kotaku don’t know the crowd they are catering to.

To read the Kotaku article in question, click here

 

Categories
Opinions

A PC Only Future?

If you’re a gamer, you can’t read an article about a video game without some PC “master race” fanboy coming in and talking about how that game would look so much better on his or her PC. While they may be annoying to hear, they are right. Just about any game on a high end PC will look better than its console equivalent. But when people say that we are heading towards a PC only future, I generally tell them to slow their roll. As I go through my points I’ll be doing a quick little tally of benefits for the console and benefits for the PC to help prove this point.

Unless you are a MOBA, MMO, or strategy game, multiplayer tends to perform better on a console compared to a PC. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, just look at the population of Call of Duty on a console to that of the PC, the numbers are staggering. Additionally, good luck playing couch co-op on a PC. While you can, you might as well get a console unless you want 4 people crowded around a computer desk. A console can both play online and give the fun experience of couch co-op. Chalk one up for the console.

While PC’s can run games more efficiently, they have their downsides. Sure, you can run that game on Ultra settings, and you may be able to for a while, but eventually you’ll have to lower the settings or spend $200 on an upgrade that allows you to do it. The nice thing about consoles is you never have to worry about that. Games on a console or optimized for that console, and thus more convenient for you. Quite honestly, while some games look great on PC compared to others (Crysis) most of the time they don’t look all that different in comparison. PC gets one for efficiency while the console gets one for convenience.

Indie games are the PC’s second biggest benefit. Indies are great. They deliver something that most AAA fail to do as of late, deliver a unique experience. While the PS4 has been putting quite a few indie titles on PSN, nothing can compare to the PC’s lineup of Indie titles. There is no if, and, or but to this statement. PC gets a point.

Well what about the games? Well, that is a subject that is entirely based on the person. Do you like MMO’s? PC is probably a better choice. Do you like fighters? Well console is more than likely the way to go. So both console and PC get a point for this one.

For the readers at home who have been keeping score, the console has three points, and the PC has three points. Each system has its benefit and each has its short coming. This doesn’t make one better than the other. I believe that consoles will become more like PCs as time goes on (hell, they’re pretty close already) but I don’t believe that consoles will ever truly be gone. The separation is good for the consumers and good for the industry. Just like it’s a good thing that there are multiple consoles. It gives people choices so there is something for everyone. Each gaming outlet has its own theme. PC is more strategy and independently driven, Microsoft is more sports and action, Nintendo is more quirky, fun, and loving games, and Sony has more serious single player stories. Each has its niche and that’s a-okay.

Categories
PC Reviews Reviews

Hyphen Review

*Note: I did not finish Hyphen due to the games extreme difficulty. I finished roughly 2/3’s of the game.

 

Hyphen is an Indie game created by a studio called Far Space Games. When I received this review, I had no idea what to expect. Little did I know that I had accepted to review one of the most frustrating games that I have played in my lifetime.

Hyphen is unique in fact, its only possible comparison isn’t even a video game, it’s the board game Operation. You control a large hyphen (a line?) that is constantly rotating clockwise at a consistent pace. From a top down point of view, you lead the hyphen through a maze of various obstacles, and if you touch the wall while trying to make it through them, you have to start at your last checkpoint. The obstacles range from laser guns firing at you, to narrow passage ways, to rotating wheels. Some levels had unique scenarios that offered features like shrinking your hyphen in certain areas in order to pass through and area. These were generally found as power-up like items, and could not be used outside that level.

You have no control in which way the Hyphen rotates, you do have some “control” over how fast it rotates. When I say control, I mean you can make the hyphen slow down a tiny bit. Unfortunately this ability was tied to how fast you could move the hyphen itself, so it was a fairly useless ability as far as I could see. Unfortunately, control is one of the factors that hurt Hyphen the most for me. This game is not suited for a keyboard. Period. Some may not have an issue with this, but moving diagonally through a narrow passage way on a keyboard was a huge pain for me.

As I mentioned earlier, the game is rather difficult. But it isn’t clever level design, or brain busting situations that make the game difficult. It comes down to the games mechanics. Games like Don’t Starve are extremely difficult and have trials that are overcome by knowledge and experience, and at no point do those games feel unfair. Hyphen doesn’t do this. The constant spinning of the Hyphen you control feels like it was simply implemented to raise the game’s difficult through the roof. Consider this situation from the game, the hyphen is rotating, and you need to get it through a narrow hallway. The hallway itself is LONGER than your hyphen, but the hallway’s width isn’t even big enough to fit two lines if they weren’t rotating. This isn’t good game design that is creating difficulty for the sake of making something difficult.

Hyphen’s appearance looks similar to Geometry wars, and art style I particularly enjoy, but where geometry wars was smooth and fluid, this game looks kind of clunky and cheap in comparison. The soundtrack isn’t awful. Some tracks had a tendency to annoy, while others I found kind of catchy. None of the game’s music will make it onto my iPod anytime soon, but I’ve heard worse soundtracks in games. The level design was often plain. A frequent obstacle was just a triangle sticking out of a wall and obstacle a friend of mine dubbed “the nacho.”

Quite honestly, Hyphen could have been a lot better and a lot more fun if Far Space focused less on difficulty and more on the game. Throw out the slowdown ability and the constant rotating and give me the ability to rotate freely, change the level design to fit these mechanics and this game would have already gotten much better. Just thinking of small changes like these makes me feel as though Hyphen was a missed opportunity and could have been so much better.

Hyphen isn’t a great game. The only way I feel as though you would get enjoyment out of this game is if you’re watching another person playing it and keeping failing at it. All and all stay away unless you want to get extremely frustrated and feel little accomplishment afterwards.

PG3_10

 

Categories
Playstation 4 Wii U X-Box One

The Next-Gen slump and AAA Titles

The PS4 and the Xbox One were released last year in November with the Wii U coming out in the U.S. in November of 2012. All three systems currently are pretty barren when it comes to titles. The Wii U has had a lack of games since its release, but is starting to pick up steam after the release of Mario Kart 8 and several others later this year. Microsoft and Sony’s consoles also have games coming out, but aside from the yearly franchises, we’re not getting much that’s new. What’s the deal? Well, this slump could actually be hurting more than people realize.
If you look at every launch throughout the industries life time, you’ll see a trend. Most of the time, you’ll just see games that show off the system’s power, or games produced by the company that made the system. You generally have one or two gems that keep people busy until the release of bigger games coming either right after the systems launch or the next holiday. But this generation is different.

While quite a few games are coming out in 2014 there several issues that are crippling next gen consoles and their owners. The biggest offender is multi generation games, meaning a game is developed for both the previous generation (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii) and the next generation. (Xbox One, PS4, Wii U) The PS2 kept receiving games well after the PS3 came out, but they were mainly sports titles and child friendly games. If you look at the games coming out exclusively for next gen systems, there are only 11 titles. (at the time of this writing). If you look even further, you’ll notice only 8 are brand new games. Every other game is being released for two generations of consoles, which hurts consumers.
The new generation has had the bestselling consoles of all time. But game developers are making games for previous generation consoles, this creates a betrayal. The new systems come out, people are wowed at what they can do, purchase the system, and are left rot for the coming months. The consumer buys a new console close to launch expecting more games, but every game is also being released on the previous generation. This makes the consumer feel as though he or she could be getting a lower quality product or he or she wasted money on the new system. Neither of these scenarios play out well for the companies. It forms a distrust that seems to be ever growing.

The 2014 game line-up could be good for some, bad for others. Personally, I think 2014 is a bit of a letdown when it comes to AAA titles. Nintendo isn’t too bad this year. But even then, I’d say I’m excited for maybe seven AAA titles this year. Which is quite heartbreaking considering I was expecting more from my next gen consoles at this point. The Wii U proved this to be an issue, and from the looks of it, the PS4 and Xbox one could easily end up in the same boat.

Indie games have been proving themselves as defining factors in the game industry, and I believe if the bigger companies don’t get their act together, the Indies very well could be the next system sellers. While No Man’s Sky is 100% indie, it is close enough to inspire other indie developers and prove that they could make a game that is on par to AAA titles or even better.

Categories
Opinions

Why Nintendo Isn’t Dead Yet

Awhile back, Nintendo reported their loss of $457 million over their last fiscal year. The Wii U is Nintendo’s biggest problem as it has only sold 6.17 million units over its lifespan.    (At the time of these reports) The 3DS has sold 43.33 million during the product’s lifetime, but fell short of Nintendo’s expectations. The 3DS is selling extremely well, Nintendo’s expectations, or should I say hopes, were to just a little bit too high.  While $457 million is a lot of money, the old dog isn’t dead yet.

This year at E3, Nintendo was throwing games and information out left and right. We got games like Zelda Wii U (working title) Xenoblade Chronicles, Splatoon, Mario Maker, Star Fox, and more. While the Wii U has been a bit dry since its release, it clearly has stuff coming for it. Quite a few of the games announced are not being released until 2015, however 2014 is completely bare. Super Smash Bros, Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta 2, and Captain Toad are just to name a few.

Believe or not, but the multiplayer games that Nintendo creates have pretty huge followings. Games like Super Smash Bros, Pokémon, and Mario Kart have huge communities that tend to be extremely die hard for their respective game. If Nintendo pays a little more attention to the fans of its competitive games, I see them raking in the dough. I believe they’re working on their interaction with the competitive community. Mario Kart 8 got support in the way of custom races, Mario Kart TV, and the ability to upload straight to YouTube. A crazy amount of Smash Bros fans tuned into a tournament that Nintendo set up featuring various pro players from the smash community.  Pokémon has actually already gotten some competitive support in the form of EV training within Pokémon X and Y, making it easier to train pokemon to battle competitively.

Nintendo has a certain quality that the other companies just don’t have. Nintendo repeatedly puts out games that are not only a higher quality experience when it comes to gameplay, but they are also a higher quality in game design on a technical level.  While the PS4 and Xbox One have more power under the hood, Nintendo makes their games with an attention to detail. Very few Nintendo games require extreme patches or fixes to get rid of bugs, glitches, or other game breaking effects. Overall, they are just well made.

While the Wii U is underpowered in comparison to the other consoles, Nintendo knows how to work with the power that it has given itself. In fact, very rarely does Nintendo go for a extremely realistic art style, so their games don’t need the most powerful technology in their console. Mario Kart 8 is a beautiful game running at 60 frames per second. It honestly looks better than some games I’ve seen on the more powerful systems. Super Smash Bros. is also shaping up to be a beautiful looking game. But Nintendo is proving it’s not about how much technical power you have, it’s about what you do with what you’re given. Even further than that, it’s not always about the graphics, it’s about the games that come out for the console. (Shovel Knight anyone?)

Quite honestly, Nintendo cannot die off. The gaming industry needs them. The Microsoft, Sony, and PC have the dark, serious game, Nintendo offers something unique and special n the end, The lack of titles is just a road bump. You can even see that the big N actually isn’t alone in the matter. Sony and Microsoft’s new systems are quite barren right now as well.