Violence in games is nothing new, but with new technology we are able to render in gruesome detail what was merely the psychotic fever dream of a very.....lets say interesting few. Now we can not just visualize it, but we can see a video game character get his throat torn out, or see a man torn asunder by a horror beyond description. Even back before these graphics, games like fallout let you blow peoples chest cavities out. Violence has been embedded in our games DNA since their inception, with the violent slaughter of countless blocks in Block breaker, or the horrible treatment of one innocent pixel ball in Pong. Yet this raises the specter of whether or not violence is truly something we want associated with our increasingly scrutinized industry, as more and more forces look upon the worst and see a nightmare where we see monotony. Violence is not bad, even if there are cases where it is stupid. Allow me to extrapolate your mind out.
Violence with meaning Nothing is more heartwrenching than watching someone you have grown to love or at least care about be devoured in the most horrible way possible. The Walking Dead adventure game shows this off beautifully, as we watch characters we have grown to care about be violently ripped apart This is not done only to shock the player, but to dishearten and bring true sadness. Here violence is appropriate because it hits home how horrifying this new world is and that no one is truly safe. Violence is an efficient tool to deliver brutality, moreso than any words could ever be. Violence is a tool, and like any tool when used properly it can augment a great experience, but when used badly it may result in hurting the overall product, like a chainsaw to the groin. When the violence means something it can be a very useful aspect indeed. Deep experiences use this to their advantage, such as Spec Ops:The Line's horrific kills as the game progresses, hammering home the point that you are no hero but a monster who uses violence to try and solve his problems, but only causes yet more pain and suffering. Hotline Miami ties killing to points, with horrible violence hidden behind a cartoonish facade that slowly unravels as you characters sanity drains away, showing the consequences of violence against ones fellow man. The original Bioshock played around with the idea of player agency, revealing at the end of a twisting journey how many people you had killed at the behest of someone asking nicely, putting into perspective your more loathsome acts as those performed not out of necessity but hunger for more violence and more tools to inflict that violence. Fallout 3 has you blowing the heads off of raiders, sometimes horrifically dismembering your enemies as their bloody stumps let fly arms, legs and eyes. That drives home the brutal world you inhabit, one where you are just as brutal as your enemies in your attempt to survive this violent, cold world. Yet there are many more games out there that have violence for the sake of violence, and those are-
Violence without meaning Fallout 3 also pops up here again, because incidently those scenes are awesome. Perhaps that sounds juvenile, but there's something enthralling about blowing off a super-mutants head and watching it fly across the room. Violence is also cathartic, and for some reason we seem to be attracted to it, even if just in video games. God of War and Dead Space are both dripping with gore, in some ways literally, with limbs being shorn off, heads being torn off, and one particularly violent scene wherein you beat a man to death using a door. This is done for the sake of violence, and while in the case of GOW it weakens the story a bit because it is done for its own sake, it is also enjoyable and visceral to do these things.It is engrossing to see just what line will be crossed next, and it is darkly enjoyable to partake in the violence. And while it does get to a point where it disgusts or annoys rather than enthralls, most games can toe the line between fun and morally reprehensible, like beating defenseless people or killing womens and being rewarded with a trophy. Man did not survive for thousands of years by being nice, and video games could be seen as being close to a gladiatorial combat thing. We like outlets to dispense our rage and latent instincts at, something to let us vent or be the badasses we long to be, in a similar method to post apocalypse games. We enjoy the blood-sport, but ultimately that brings me to the main point which is that-
Violence in games is no bad
When I play a violent game like God of War 3, I may cringe but I never really get disgusted. No, that happens when I watch a TV show and someone gets their fingernail ripped off, a scene that didn't bother me nearly as much in GOW3. And herein lies the difference. Fallout 3 and all the other games that fall into category 2 are almost cartoonish in their violence, and we can immediately tell the difference between this and reality. And therein lies the key. See, we like the catharsis of playing as kratos, but if someone said "here, take this murderer rapist who is also downloads music illegally and beat him to death with you bare fists" I like to believe most of us wouldn't do it, because that's real life. With the exception of some of the mentally ill, we can tell the difference between reality and games, and that is why it doesn't monstrously impact our day to day lives. Perhaps it does to a small degree, but it also doesn't cause us to go out and beat people to death with clubs. Violence in games is something that can be used effectively or entertainingly for a player, but it does not change who we are in the end, and only serves to entertain. Violence is not bad in games, but it should serve a purpose, whether to drive along the story or to be entertaining to that sick part of our minds that enjoy the blood. Violence should be a part of games, because using it we can blow off some steam, but more importantly we can explore the deepest regions of our minds, and question deeply held beliefs or be emotionally impacted. A video game world without violence would be a cleaner, nicer place. But the world is not a place like that, which is what can make games so compelling. Not all games need violence, but it is foolish to argue that not all games should not have violence as well. Because video games are a reflection of us, and violence is as much a part of as as artistry or music, and we must explore that, whether it leads to hunger for more or a hunger of evolving beyond it. Leave comments below and tell me what you think! I look forward to agreeing and discussing or disagreeing culminating in me TAKING YOU DOWN TO PAIN TOWN!!!!!
The Indie gaming scene is pretty big right now on PC, as anyone with any semblance of knowledge of the gaming community is probably aware of. Indie gaming is an interesting endeavor, due to its need of unique or original game-play/hooks to enthrall the player in a hypnotic trance that gets them to buy the game. Not all are great, but I do like how the market has a tendency of ferreting those out while praising the great ones.
Hey, wasn't this supposed to be about the Vita's salvation, or some other random thought bubble? Well yep. It is. See the biggest issue one finds with the Vita is that issue all of us Vita owners are painfully aware of: that moment when you boot up the system, and go "huh, guess there's nothing to really play on here" and throw it back into its lonely little position, waiting for something substantial to come out. Yet the release flow has been slow, and many lament the systems lack of games as a major factor of why people don't get to use it as much as they want. Its a gorgeous machine, but it needs games to feed it, and keep us playing between the blockbuster hits that may or may not hit it out of the park, with some being spectacular failures. So how do these two ideas link together?
Indie games on Vita. This hasn't really been too big before now, but many indie games are migrating to the platform, and this represents the Vita's best hope for a better gaming library. Not only that, but it also represents an opportunity to get indie games into the hands of those who don't really PC game, and that will win Sony tremendous favor if they can keep up this indie support. And based on Jonathon Blows presence at the PS4 unveiling, I believe that's what we will be getting.
Limbo. Retro City Rampage. Thomas was Alone. Guacamelee. Hotline Miami. Mutant Blobs attack. All of these games are Indie, all are pretty well acclaimed or at least generating excitement in the case of Guacamelee, and all are coming to Vita. Already we have these great games coming to a system desperately in need of them and we see that Indie support is a master stroke if Sony can truly ride the wave and keep it up. While Xbox Lives archaic rules and regulations are seen more and more as a barrier to entry and, more dangerously for small studios, money, Sony has courted these developers and offers them more freedom and an easier system to get their games out and make money. Many developers have complained of this Microsoft attitude, Ala team meat and Retro City Rampage, as well as Valves issues getting free DLC to its customers. This is a terrible move by Microsoft, but in the end, who cares? They still have Halo, they still have Gears of War, they are going to still have blockbusters, alongside those Indie developers who choose to stay, like the twisted Pixel. Yet, so does Sony, yet this move helps them seem as the champion of the small developer, even while Sony's big franchise pull in major cash. But you know what lacks majorly acclaimed games and a larger library?
The Vita. The system and indie gaming, should the relationship flourish, can help the Vita grow stronger, become the go to platform for those looking for portable Indie games, and an easier way for Indies to find commercial success beyond the PC. And the Vita can have more games to play, and hopefully bring up the sales numbers or at least reward the faithful for their patience for bigger games, though even those may be eclipsed by the Indie successes. And as all of us with Vita's know, that's something we desperately want-and hopefully will soon have, wherever we choose to play.
Recently, EA commented on their disgusting comment that all future EA games would have microtransactions.
ALL OF THEM.
However, one of the creatures in EA's backtracking department slithered down and said that their games possibly could all have them, not will technically. Whew. Crysis averted!
However, after reading comments, I saw more than a few people whining about gamers whining, or asking why it's such a big deal. I felt that a blog was required, to pour out my feelings on the matter and tell those people WHY it's such a BIG FRACKIN' DEAL.
[b]EA is a terrible company
I think we all remember that astounding announcement that to make its money back, Dead Space 3 would need to sell 5 million copies. Yeah, and you may also remember that Dead space 2 had only sold 2 million up to that point. This was something of an issue, as it also was released with EA full well knowing about the microtransactions system, which makes me wonder how badly they mishandled their finances on that. But ok, surely this situation isn't that bad, they can't be that terrible of a company to...
Oh, how interesting. Apparently the guys who developed the Devils Cartel all got laid off, before the freakin' thing came out. How fair of them. Do you see the problem here, or do I need another example of their terrible practices? Ok, how about that new iOS racing game, the one that requires 500 dollars in cash to get through and get a significant amount of actual content? But hey, at least it was free!
[b]Games are still expensive as hell
60 dollars used to get you a full game. Then DLC came along, but rather than add more to a good game for a price, ala Skyrim and Fallout 3, games that needed no DLC but had it as a welcome companion, they did something else. Which is to say they hacked off cool gear and weapons from some sort of bonuses menu or extras, and charged money for it. Now that's not too bad in and of itself, except they charged exorbitant prices for this content. Stupid, but still at least it was sitting in the store, not shoving itself in your face, just sitting there to buy if you wanted to. The games lost a little something, but nothing huge. That is, until they pulled an even worse DLC practice into the light and showed it off like proud parents. Which is day one DLC, like the prothean DLC, which added quite an interesting and eye opening element to Mass Effect-but you had to pay 10 dollars for an incredibly important part of the games lore, something that by its existence takes something critical away from the game.
And now we have this. Microtransactions, which not only rear their ugly heads in the game world-including DS3 a game previously praised for its immersive and intuitive HUD system that made the game infinitely more immersive. This severely damaged the games atmosphere, and despite positive reviews for the most part, was noted as nothing more than an immersion breaking irritation. Mass Effect 3 had these as well, but they were only in the multiplayer and didn't pop up at all in the single player, leaving the player alone so they wouldn't be disturbed on their interstellar journey. And its only going to get worse, as the two combine and publishers like EA start stripping the game of content to add as irritating microtransactions, and then not even having a price cut, claiming that their crappy business practices justify their need for money from us, resulting in games being even more expensive for less content. And if you think that even if they do pester you, you can just ignore it and let it be, come on. Do you really think they will put in a system like that and simply let it sit in the background? Look at the microtransactions games they hold in such high esteem. What do they do to squeeze more money out of you? Make the game's best items incredibly hard to obtain with in game points and ramp up the difficulty, both of which are apparently nestled firmly in DS3. And it will only get worse. Imagine having huge chunks of a 60 dollar game, cordoned off until you spend even more money. Think it's ridiculous? Consider how quickly that whole DLC thing came into popularity the minute it seemed it would work. But wait, what's that I hear in the background?
If we don't complain, if we shut up as so many people seem to think we should, we get steamrolled over. If gamers hadn't whined about ME3's ending so much, we wouldn't have gotten a better resolution to it and the game would've been left with that weak ending it was stuck with before. If we don't complain, companies will continue to push their crap down our throats, and we will be left with subpar product that we have no say in to change. If we don't complain, nothing changes, no one listens, and ultimately we are stuck with inferiority, rather than what could be. Not all complaining is good, but we need to fight the crap-otherwise we will be swimming in it.
Thanks for reading, and feel free to chime in below. Perhaps I could say more, but you came here to read a decent sized blog, not a thesis paper. I'd like to hear what you have to say, and discuss why you feel that way. Hope to complain with you soon![img][/img]
Sometimes you have to work for it, sometimes......sometimes they just give it to you. For those of you buried under several rocks, EA recently released SIMCITY, a poplular continuation of the popular series. And as of today, 3/08/13, about 3 days after launch the game is basically unplayable. Due to its horrible DRM, one that pulls a Diablo 3 and doesnt allow offline play, few are able to connect, the game is literally being stripped of features to try and fix the issue. Surprise, Surprise, It didn't work. EA has also shown why they cannot be trusted with the issues above, because they have refused refunds, and threatened one customer with Origin banning should he dare try and prevent his money from going to buy a broken game they wouldn't let him return. EA has offered no reason why they didn't have enough servers for a massively popular game, that was expected to be massively popular. And this is that whole "shitty practices crippling games" thing that I was talking about. If there was any hope EA could find a way to pull off microtransactions, or hell, even DRM, this proves they deserve no faith. And their response over the last couple of days-silence-has just gone to show that they don't care if their customers are getting screwed. All they care about is that their little systems get into the game, no matter how broken, no matter how out of place. And if they can't even handle DRM, something thats been around for years, then whats going to happen when they try to heavily pump microtransactions into their games? I think you know the answer. Sound off in the comments, thanks for reading.
Hello. You are receiving this blog from the past! Technically. I will basically be posting my blogs from my main blog site to here, and see if anything sticks. Hope you enjoy!
As one of the five people in the US who owns a Vita, I admit I was excited for the new Killzone game. I wasn't really ever invested in the series, though I enjoyed the second one a great deal, good looking as it was. And with its dual-stick nature, one would think the Vita would be a great platform for Fps's and third person shooters. But while Sony Bend showed us that 3rd persons shooters could work well, even if sporting some irritating flaws (golden abyss) no FPS has risen to the challenge. Yet I have hope that this may be the game to finally showcase the power of the vita-its running off the killzone 3 engine for Helghans sake- and that it may be a good shooter. Here's why you should, like me, be cautiously hopeful for a kick-ass shooter.
We can only hope
1. Its not being made by Nihilistic software
Nihilistic software is, if their track record is any indication, a horrible developer. So bad, in fact, that they now exclusively make digital games, which I have a feeling no one will be rushing to buy. Their first game that was known to a wide audience was the Ratchet and Clank game all 4 one, also known as the one reviewers called mediocre. But they had the chance to bring Resistance: Burning skies to vita, and like Sony Bend (creators of the best resistance game, Retribution) add an incredible game to the franchise, because insomniac obviously doesn't give a *** about their shooter franchise anymore, so the bar was set pretty low-though expectations were high. But rather than clear it and create a decent game, its been critically panned as awful and failed to create not only an interesting shooter but another worthy title to add to the resistance library-and now it must sit out in the trash bin alongside Resistance 2. Because if you enjoyed that pile of garbage, then you need to stop and play 1 and 3 along with Retribution to understand why you shouldn't have.
Instead this new one is being made by another team, but this is an internal Sony team, with direct aid from the guys who made the originals. And while they are untested as well, I think we can trust them a bit more because.....
2. Its been stewing much longer than COD: Declassified
Oh hello again Nihilistic software! Whats that? You have another game coming out, a mere 6 months after your first, horrible game? Great! And you also say that not only was it not complete enough to make something for 2012's E3-the same year it came out- but it ended up being a horrible, short, AI brain-dead snore of a game?
Perhaps therein we find the issue with these games, because obviously they didn't take enough time to make sure they got the love and time they deserved. I blame Sony a bit for this, for being stupid enough to offer one, small, unproven studio all this stuff at once, and I blame them for being stupid enough to do it. I also blame Activision, for not saying "hey lets make sure we give this to a good studio so we can make even more money than all the money in the pockets of gamers during COD season!" though perhaps the explanation is in the quoted, not completely real, statement. Sony seems to be learning though, because this game sounds and looks like its been in development for a while, and with its existence known since may of last year and a due date the same as GTA V-perhaps not the wisest decision-Sep 17, they'll have plenty of time to finish up and hopefully at least give us a competent shooter. Additionally the game play they showed looks good,and wasn't released one month before it released and 5 minutes after it was done.
[b]3.Whatever happens, it looks gorgeous
Maybe its not uniform, but this game looks great. Time will tell if it craps itself and messes that up, but until then hold out a little flicker of hope. And if not, hey, at least you will have GTA V to console yourself with as you deal with a beautiful but crap vita game.
Hey....Uhhh....looks pretty good. Huh.
And that's a pretty good consolation prize.
And that's....well basically it really. Theres not much more known about this game, but I am optimistic from what I have seen so far. Hopefully Sony doesn't mess it up, and hopefully this starts off a successful line of great vita games across the gameplay map. But if not, well...... lets hope some third parties start hauling ass. Also go try Oddworld, Strangers Wrath. It'll give you something to do with your vita and its a great game.
Hello. You are receiving this blog from the past! Technically. I will basically be posting my blogs from my main blog site to here, and see if anything sticks. Hope you enjoy!
I am on my second play through of Borderlands 2. I beat the game alone, after my buddies wussed out, and found it extremely difficult to beat, yet still I won. Then I started again.
And it's as difficult as shit.
Now some of you might ask, why use that particular word? Why is that to such a degree of swearing? Well I'll tell you why.
Borderlands 2 is so difficult, that it is literally the only word that can express it. There is no other word, in any other language that can express how difficult it is except that one. But this isn't Dark soul's difficulty per se, it's more overbearingly hard, but once you let it break you it's not as frustrating. I feel that this is the way to play the game, if not with friends(that's really the best way), because it adds some cool stuff to the experience. Let me break it down for you:
It makes you think tactically
Before I played BL2 alone on true vault hunter, or even with my buddies I would simply run into combat situations, without a care for the guns I used, just as long as they shot good and boomed real nice.
That ain't gonna fly in true vault hunter mode.
Now when I grab gear, I make sure to exploit its ability against certain enemies, and I am more cautious to make sure my guns are up to the task of what they need to be to survive, rather than swap them out with a better stat, but crap use gun. I now hold onto guns longer, and try to avoid replacing them with anything but what I will use. Now I think carefully about where I put my turret, and think about a good place to take cover, because crouching isn't all that effective when half your body is still above said cover. It's made me think more about how I do things, what guns I should use, and how to approach things. In short, it made me try to use some tactics rather than simply run around shooting for dear life.
I mean I still do that, but now I think about it a little more. Yep.
It helps to have a friend who doesn't judge you for that.
[b]It makes you play side-missions
Let me tell you a little secret: while a decent amount of borderlands 2 quests seem dull on the surface, the humor and pop-culture references surrounding them make them really interesting. But I didn't play them much because I was too busy blowing through the main quest.
You'll quickly find that's not a viable option in true vault hunter mode.
Its kinda like this, really
If you attempt to get through the game without doing side-quests, not only are you missing out on some bitchin loot, and fun dialogue and references, but you will get your ass kicked. And while that may happen in the side quests, in the main quests, you will REALLY get your ass kicked. You are outnumbered, outgunned, and you need to get tough enough to deal with that. And I really appreciate that, because it helped flesh out Pandora, and gave me a better feel for this world. It really improves the world and the characters, teaching me things I didn't know about many of the characters, or their various experiences. It made me care more, and made things funnier in context, as opposed to generally funnier. They are also pretty fun, and like I said, you get some epic loot. Here are some examples: a talking shield/gun, a Hyperion shotgun (which is so incredible it would blow your brains away) and all sorts of customized costumes. I didn't pay them much heed, but after fighting a riff on teenage mutant ninja turtles, and RAK-MAN!, I have to keep doing them to see what crazy crap will happen next. Also: 3 dog reference. HELL YESH!!!!! And the main game is almost impossible if you don't do this, so I am glad I got forced to do it, because now I want to do it. Which is pretty good, considering that almost impossible thing.
The Loot fest only gets better
Yeah, the loots always pretty good (relatively speaking) but I found myself getting more and more excited to open chests as I explored and did quests, just to see what crazy thing I would discover next. It's a small, obvious thing, but this correlates directly with the side mission thing, so I thought I'd throw it out there.
Imagine that, but like, 700 times better.
Ah yes, but now we come to the dark side. See, borderlands 2 has this irritating habit of never giving you enough ammo, all the time. It doesn't matter so much when you're playing, as enemies drop all sorts of ammo, and chances are one gun won't go dry, but then there are the boss battles. Specifically BNK4R, or Bunker. There's never enough ammo, and the respawn rate of ammo is pitiful. The main problem is that while there is enough for a clean run, killing the boss without dying, that never happens. And the bosses always regenerate health, which isn't an issue until you realize that all your guns are dry, and you're all out of money to buy more. Money is basically useless anyway, but once you run out you can't buy more ammo for this cheap damn fight, so you'll have to pray that you get lucky enough to grab some and get through the battle.
Hate that guy
Aside from that though, it all depends on the perspective from which you approach the situation. At first I found it to be a negative, but upon reflection I find it highly improves my game experience, and am glad for it. But what do you, the reader think? I want your opinion! Do you disagree or have something to add? You may get your name in an insignificant blog if you do! But only if you have something to add. That's important.
TELL ME. Seriously.
Hello. You are receiving this blog from the past! Technically. I will basically be posting my blogs from my main blog site to here, and see if anything sticks. I have been blogging since earlier this year to help myself learn to write better, and also to vent my frustrations and views in a manner that hopefully others will find enjoyment from. I like to discuss things with people as well, and this gives an invaluable opportunity to assert my own opinion and perhaps discuss interesting things with commenters. I hope you enjoy my blog, and I also hope you leave a comment so we can discuss things! Thanks for reading!
Ok, so I've decided to take a bit of a break from that Fallout 3 thing, somewhat because I feel that stepping away may improve my perspective, and mostly because it wasnt getting as many hits as I am used to. Petty I never pretended to not be, but more to the point, I just finished Dishonored. Is it worth your 60$?
Yes, yes it really is, so go buy it right now unless you're some kind of soulless automaton who hates fun.
Dishonored is a game in which you seek revenge for your murdered Empress/lover, and try to find your ward/(daughter?) Emily. Thats the story in a nutshell, and while there are some twists and turns throughout the narrative, I won't discuss that in a anything more than a broader sense unless some people want to have a conversation about it. However, as a framework for the open ended areas and gameplay, its a rather good story, and while not as collassal a story as say, Deus Ex: Human revolution, its still fun enough that I would at some point like to return to the land of Dishonored, and learn more about it. Thats the mark of good storytelling and setting, a deep, rich and dark world that leaves you wanting more. And I want more, about the whales, Pandyssia (a foriegn continent) and the other Isles of the Empire. Heres hoping that Arkane makes the desicioin to explore this world more, if not through Corvos eyes. Now lets talk about what makes Dishonored my game of the year, at least before Assasins Creed comes forward to combat it, and not counting the walking dead.
And awesome hair. So very beautiful.
Freedom. Take a moment to contemplate that word, and think about its application in games. The freest application of this through play is probably, as referenced prior is Deus Ex: Human Revolution. In fact, some of the people who made the original are on the team at Arkane studios. What seperates this freedom from something like fallout 3, is not the openess of the world, for these are simply very open levels, not open worlds, is the freedom of choice. Now, one could argue that Fallout 3 has this, but the sheer freedom of how you play is what the key is. Its signifacntly better in Dishonered and Human Revolution because there are multiple paths, powers and methods that you can use, more so than Fallout 3. Yeah, there are different methods to approach Fallout 3, but they are ultimately all the same area, with little entrance, and misson execution variety, as thin a distinction as it may be. There are areas in Dishonored that I didn't even visit that my power set and methods allowed me to bypass. And lends a bigness to the world it wouldnt have if there was only one linear hallway, without branching paths or an open playground.
Sidemissons that build upon each other are also present, leading from one misson to another. Don't do one, and it won't carry into the next one, changing your experience, and this showcases heavy flexibility. Movement is also fun, with a more fluid movement system than Fallout 3 or Human Revolution. The swordplay is also well done, with timing required to get the best results. There is also added joy in the non-lethal ways to take down targets, as they add more to the experience and add challenge. This is very satisfying and each non-lethal takedown is incredibly ironic and well deserved. Your moveset is also very versitile, like your only free ability Blink. will you blink above a target, and above assasinate or blink behind a target and silently take them out? the choice is yours. The asthetics are very impressive, and the hands are weirdly huge, though its a nice asthetic seperator in addition to being hilarious. Its an incredible game, and is well worth your time, so get it now.
Do it for the huge hands, freedom and violence. And for the children, I suppose. But mostly for the huge hands
also, sorry for any grammar errors, but the spellchecker is kinda crap. I'll try to write this up in word next time. Thanks for reading, and make sure to leave a comment. Maybe you didn't like the game, maybe you had other reasons for liking it, whatever I'd love to discuss it with you.