OK, hmmmmm, where do I start? I guess I should start at the beginning of my gaming life. I'm talking summers spent in Clacton arcades wasting 10p's on Championship Sprint, Double Dragon and Turtles. I'm on about California Games, Daley Thompson and Winter Olympics... Aaaaaah, the C64 days, when I was but 5 or 6 years old, seemed the sunniest. I swear it was either bright sunshine soaked summer or just plain snow in those heady times.
Nowadays, like the weather, gaming has gotten complex... So much choice and so little cash.
In a house with many consoles and far too much gaming testosterone, I devote most play time to my PS3. I don't have a preference for game type, although I'd say FPS's float my boat the most and RPGs haven't grabbed me by the balls once, yet.
Right now I'm playing Black Ops, FIFA 11, Enslaved and Fallout 3 (GOTY Edition)
Having played about 3 hours of Arkham City, it is safe to say that I am loving the game. Everytime I smash a bunch goons to bits either hand-to-hand combat-style or via stealthy shadowplay, or swoop from building to building like some mighty demon, I get that warm fuzzy feeling that only certain games can give you inside. But there is something really bothering me. Not game-breaking, but… just… well, in the way, convoluting my new life as Batman.
Now, the side missions are cool and you can focus on solely the main story if you want, but I can’t help but feel that The Riddler is doing his best to spoil the experience for me by having his assortment of trophies everywhere. Marked out by often huge question marks, scrawled on buildings or flashing like messy neon distractions in the night, these things are doing my nut.
Perhaps it’s just me – never a massive fan of collectibles in campaigns - but this is often making for an experience that doesn’t feel quite as engaging as it probably should. And if flying around the streets greeted with them at every turn isn’t bad enough, every building you enter you will find walls that can be blown open to reveal trophies. These are incredibly disappointing as you are half hoping for them to lead to hidden passageways and secret routes, but they don’t. Instead they just distract you from what you are doing and give you a little Riddler trophy.
I don’t think the game does well at explaining anything either – whether it be gadget use or combat – and if I hadn’t played the first game, I’d be clueless as to puzzles and certain unreachable areas earlier on in the game (ie. Ones that need a zipline that I assume you will get later). This also extends to these Riddler things. I see big ugly buttons dotted on floors and walls, which open doors the reveal trophies. But I am crying out for a Companion Cube as when you leave a button, the doors shut. I’m sure later on in the game all will become apparent, but Rocksteady haven’t bothered letting people know any of this.
Everything else in the game is spot on, I’m just disappointed that they decided to squeeze as many of these Riddler trophies into Arkham City as humanly possible, making for an often messy, visually confusing game. This guy is the biggest thing on my mind too often while playing. I don't want that.
Riddle me this: is it just me who wants The Riddler to go away?
Over the past few days/weeks/months there has been a lot said on the issue of used games, trade-ins, online passes and whether or not these online passes are fair or worthwhile. Jim Sterling told gamers to "have some self-respect" and deny developers the satisfaction of making you pay to play online when you buy a used game by basically not doing so. Conrad Zimmerman claimed that for gamers who prefer to immerse themselves in a single player campaign, the prediction that used games will become cheaper as a result of online passes was good news.
The way I see it is that online passes are firstly cheapening online gaming by spelling out to gamers: “THERE IS AN ONLINE FEATURE THAT WE’VE TACT ON TO THIS GAME, BUT IT’S NOT ESSENTIAL TO ENJOY THE GAME.” There is also the wonderful feeling that as a used game buyer you are hated by the developer. You’re not in the club. Not only does page 8 of your booklet have some mashed potato stuck to it from the original owner’s toddler, there is also the fact that we don’t want to give you the entire game – the complete package we lovingly put together – because we hate your guts right now and your name’s not on the list because DON’T DESERVE IT YOU CHEAPSKATE FUCKO.
Developers are acting like some stuck up twat that hangs around with the popular kids and who will only talk to the geeky, bespectacled (less rich) classmate if he or she hands over their freshly made lunch every day. And even then, they won’t exactly respect them like a human being. You see, like Conrad Zimmerman, I am a fan of single-player games far more than I am of online multiplayer ones. Yet, I fear his feelings on the matter could well be wrong, simply because online passes will only become more and more prevalent, resulting in pretty much every game having an online function, just so the developer has the chance to make an extra bit of money from second hand sales. This will ultimately lead to less attention being paid to the single player campaigns I so blood-thirstily crave.
This has got me asking myself how much developers like EA have made from the selling of online passes. How many times has that copy of Dead Space 2 been traded in and re-sold and how many of these owners have bought the online pass? Four, five or maybe even six times… who knows? Therefore, there is a potential for EA to have made a great deal of cash from the sale of just one disc, but they’ll of course pass the measure off as trying to “protect” itself from the sordid world of trade-ins. Moreover, if you spent money on an online pass for Dead Space 2, you’ll probably feel ripped off now. It’s a good example of a great game with a multiplayer function stuck on for no good reason.
All my gaming life I have myself relied on trade-ins to maintain a healthy flow of video games in my life. Having realized a long time ago that I’d need food and drink to survive, I thought it best to not spend every penny I had on games. The amount of games I have played that I wouldn’t otherwise have touched is pretty hard to figure out. But it’s a lot. Jak & Daxter is an example of a series that I became engrossed with a long time ago after a chance encounter in the used game section. Since then I have gone back for more from – you guessed it – the BRAND-SPANKING-NEW-IN-THE-FUCKING-CLUB section. Where’s my medal?
Developers need to wake up and realise that they actually have these stores to thank for keeping them afloat all these years. So many titles aren’t worth full price it is unreal. But by giving more and more people the chance to play your game – people who often rightly wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole at full price or buy it knowing they didn’t have the chance to trade it in a week later – you are opening up doors you wouldn’t otherwise have. Trading games is also catalyst for gaming, giving gamers the impetus to play through a game so he or she can trade it for another rather than let it sit and collect dust like the pile of shit it probably is. If a new game I want is on the horizon, I find myself making time to complete a game I own so I can think about trading it for my next fix. It’s a cycle of love that seperates it from the used clothes, cars and movies of this world and is putting into the industry as much as it is taking out and has been doing so since the mid-90s as far as I can tell.
I for one would have given up gaming a long time ago had it not been trade-ins.
SO DEVELOPERS: GO FUCK YOURSELVES IF YOU THINK YOU CAN RIP THE PISS OUT OF GAMERS, THE PEOPLE WHO MADE YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE, YOU STUCK UP, SPOILT PRICKS. YOU CAN ALL BARELY STRING ONE OR TWO GOOD GAMES A YEAR TOGETHER BETWEEN YOU ANYWAY.
I used to really love this site when it would look down its nose at the likes of Kotaku and IGN for using wanking - the single biggest weakness for any gamer - to pull in punters. It was great to be able to point people in the direction of a gaming website that had interesting things to look at and read that were not porn-related, unlike what most of its competitors were doing. We all spend 95% of our recreational internet time looking at porn as it is, and a gaming site should be what it is. Who cares if other sites get more hits from scraping the bottom-most barrel of N4G, promising sweaty, shivering wrecks a glimpse of some Japanese bird with half a tit out.
But now I'm clicking over here and seeing a video simply showing pole dancers at TGS or an "exclusive" video from a Playboy model holding a joystick like it's her cock, with Nero (I love you mate, but come on now eh) declaring:
On one hand we stubbornly have ignored our numbers and rarely strayed from core gaming news. On the other hand ... well, you don't want to know what the other hand is doing.
And just because the biggest ever click rate came (no pun intended, VOM) from the nerdcore gallery of boobs in 2006, don't believe that, once their cold sweat had dried, they'd mopped up, finished walking in on themselves and woke up to reality, these people ever returned.
It was also always great that the Dtoid community was full of some strong female writers and commenters often trying to find somewhere that they could belong, but really and truly this is a bit of a door slamming in their faces. Panic over: Dtoid is a boys club, afterall. Phew.
Just a little disappointed that's all. You're better than that, Dtoid. And I say that having spent many hours reading and blogging on here. You haven't even posted a review for fucking Resistance 3 yet, so let's just put the fucking kittens on hold indefinitely and focus on being a decent gaming website, minus the sexist bollocks, yeah.
I've been silently creeping in the shadows of Dtoid for too long. And, no, I'm not new here... to those who are newer than me here, I was here when you were there. I was commanding this shit when you were commandeering attacks on N4G and wanking yourselves silly over at Kotaku. I've seen things some of you will only ever hear about.... what am I on about?
Anyway, hello, I love you all and I thought I'd just drop in and try to promote my new blog. It's quite tough getting off the ground when you are a new blog wesbite but I think if there is any community I can rely on with getting some hits, it's the lovely Destructoid. This is the site where I began my venture into video games blogging and it continues to inspire me to this very day.
I used to blog all the time and share with the community the silly things in my head. I'm now a chip off the old block, as it were.
For the record, I won't be copy/pasting my shit here for you all to be annoyed by but I will probably be dropping a fair few hints. I've paid my do's on Dtoid, so I'm not afraid to shamelessly plug my slowly decaying life for you all to see.
Nah, you can't click this image. Who am I, Bill Gates? Not happening here. Click the link above like I said.
Basically, this is a blog I have started with my good pal Jack and we like to take a slightly sideways look at the world of gaming. You can't expect much sense to come from it but you may have fun while you're at it.
Having beaten Modern Warfare 2 last week I was left with mixed feeling about a number of things. We've heard countless takes on the airport scene up to now and, quite frankly, I'm sick to the teeth about it. I am, however, rather intrigued as to the context that the stage - and others featuring innocent people - have been placed within the world of Modern Warfare 2.
After traversing through the streets of Brasil, hot on the heels of a geezer in Adidas tracksuit bottoms and half a spliff hanging out of his mouth, I was astounded as to the level of innocent civilians around in the game. "This is next-gen" I thought to myself as I crunched down a green, blue and yellow peanut M&M and thought about maybe leaving my room for a piss at some point.
Then I landed on American soil. Finger on the trigger, I passed through a suburban town with white picket fences, nice cars, swimming pools, dog houses, the lot...
Well, maybe not "the lot". Something wasn't sitting right with me, I wasn't feeling compelled to enjoy the mission or care about what I was doing at all. But why? I'll tell you why: because there wasn't a law-abiding American citizen in site, that's why. Dead or alive, there wasn't a single person other than those carrying guns. I can only assume we are supposed to believe that these people were evacuated and that the Russian soldiers were standing around porches and bathrooms wondering whether this was some kind of huge practical joke - a disused Hollywood movie set, probably last used by Tom Hanks in The 'Burbs.
Where was the sugar-sweet American blood that would be shed in order to avenge their brothers and sisters from the Moscow airport?
Did I miss something? Were all these people evacuated while the parachutes and bombs rained down? If so, I apologise. The US Army did a stellar job with that. But I doubt that was the case. I would have appreciated the site of people running for cover around these streets, scrambling out of their houses or lying dead in their doorways.
This wouldn't make me happy in a morally ambiguous way; far from it, in fact. I just feel that within the context of war brought on by an act of terrorism, it would have been far more enthralling, powerful and... well, correct to show that these atrocities can have repercussions that may be a little hard to swallow for the more patriotic among us.
Did Infinity Ward duck out of any plans to feature American civilians in order to avoid the risk of upsetting a post-9/11 public that would most likely jump down their throats? Were they told to leave them out by the powers that be? Or are they just a bunch of jocks who love USA (USA, USA) a little too much?
Gather round, ladies and gentlemen. Pull up a chair and line your puckered arses on a pew, as we go on a journey into the minds of those behind the most powerful force in global television and how these minds are out to bring down the PS3.
Let's rewind back to last night, shall we? BBC One broadcasted their show Watchdog, in which the presenter - a bloke with a soft Scottish accent and a rather self-righteous attitude, tonight represented by Anne Robinson - sits on the edges of desks in a dimly lit (health and safety anyone?) studio made to look like an "office" or "television epicenter" and talks shit about some sweeaty builder with a mortgage to pay. Phones will be ringing off the hook in the background and Joe Bloggs office worker will pretend to talk to some poor old pensioner in Potters Bar with broken central heating and a stiff cat flap... of course, you can't hear them at all. If you did, you'd realise they were actually calling their mums to ask if they still had visible hat hair on telly. I digress.
Last night's show featured an assasssination attempt against the PlayStation 3, claiming the infamous 'Yellow Ring Of Death' was getting out of hand. Below are the facts from the show, why they are out of line, a few of my own assumptions (also known as the truth) and some interesting things that have happened on BBC.co.uk Today. All of which proves that the BBC are in bed with Microsoft.
- Claimed that PS3 costs £400 – that hasn’t been true for nearly two years
- stated that 12,500 UK machines had suffered the ‘Yellow Light Of Death’, a conclusion drawn from Sony’s claim that 0.5% UK’s 2.5m PS3 had suffered issues - show neglected to mention that not all reported problems are related to the YLOD (I for one had a different problem). Also, 0.5%??? I pay my TV license, go to the supermarket, cook my square meal, sit down and turn on Watchdog to be shocked by THAT?
- Sony was accused of offering only a standard one-year warranty – every other consumer tech firm in the country does this.
- some claimed they had suffered console failures had lost the data stored on the machine - back up your shit
- Something about trapped gas. Probably from a crackpipe in Sony HQ.
Click on this new.bbc.co.uk (if you do it soon, hopefully things will be as I saw it). Scroll down and on the right will be a write-up on the Watchdog thing. However, curiously, a few PC screen inches above this, in the "Also In The News" section, is a story entitled "Farewell Master Chief: New Halo 3 game stars 'ordinary' characters".
Isn't it slightly (read: massively) odd that on the main page of BBC News is a headline that links to a promo video of ODST?
Add to this the Watchdog article, which goes on and on about the YLOD but makes absolutely no mention of the rather massive Xbox 360 problem, 'Red Ring Of Death' - from which the name of Sony's new problem is derived. There is also ZERO mention of the recently released and highly promoted £250 PS3 Slim in the article. Perhaps a quote that the new model would hope to irradicate issues would have been useful to mention.
I'll leave you with this thought: BBC iPlayer has been installed on the XMB to increase the likelihood of the YLOD happening.
Conclusion? BBC love Microsoft, or have been bought and sold by Bill Gates.