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Gamemaniac3434's blog

My Favorite Game: Fallout 3
9:00 PM on 09.08.2014
Youtube promotional questions
1:17 PM on 07.16.2014
Goin' to the _dogs
11:10 PM on 06.17.2014
Bioshock Infinite: Later thoughts
10:08 PM on 05.19.2014
How Sony won* the war E3
1:46 AM on 06.11.2013
"Violence: An argument for a (metaphorically) punching non-violence"
11:24 PM on 04.14.2013

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Gamemaniac3434's Profile - Destructoid
Gamemaniac3434 's blog
I am a gamer who loves PC and PS Vita. My favorite game of all time is Fallout 3, and if you ask me about it you will never get me to shut the hell up.
I blog infrequently, but hopefully I can at least push out one a month. I also plan on trying to post reviews here and there, so check in every now and then to see whats going on!

I also tweet now and then, so check it out.
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PSN ID:Gamemaniac3434
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I have played games for a decent amount of time, ever since I can remember. I played through some great ones as a kid, and even today I find something that suits my fancy to a good enough degree to declare truly great. We all have a tendency to rate most highly that which we play as children, or at least young adolescence because, in my opinion, this is our moment where something can perfectly define what we are, or do something amazing we never thought could be done. There’s so many different experiences that what caused your favorite game to be there is often up to the right timing, right lifetime frame of reference and perhaps countless other things leading to what that one game is that is just bliss. For most, as mentioned before, this happens as a child. Look at all the fans of Zelda games, or other older childhood games that were made when gaming itself was in its childhood. But irregardless…

Not quite so for me, as you may have ascertained from the title. I have played many games, and had played many before Fallout 3, with Bioshock being in a close span. I had just gotten into gaming websites as a hobby, and read about the game. The box got me, and after doing the research I tried the demo that enthralled me with visions of Rapture (teehee) but then I got another game. This one was a darker looking game as well, and I bought my copy used out of a GameStop with my older brother’s age advantage. The game had an interesting and incredibly detailed little game manual, a little booklet to describe how to survive in the nuclear holocaust. I looked at a back, promising choice and limitless possibility, and the...naughty? Mischievous?...way it said find your father...or not, with a wink made me smile. A game that promised much, and delivered. It trounced the already amazing sequence from that Bioshock demo, and blew me away like so much nuclear ash. And so, Fallout 3 could begin, with a blinding light, the last of many for a new awakening. 

Yes, perhaps I was something of a sucker for that dramatic little intro that so effectively introduced, not with word, or cut scene, or anything so physical-but that entrance into the hell of the wasteland. Yes, the sections where they dazzle you with a sudden revelation seem to have suckered me in as a kid, but nothing but that Bioshock scene has struck me in quite the same way. It threw you out into the world, running from bullets and your previous home into this new, destroyed world. There were so many different directions to go, the world was mine to explore. But the game was signposted well enough to let me know that megaton should be my next destination. This game blew me away, the emotions swirled and mixed and I felt shock and awe at what had befallen the world, even knowing what the game was about. It was an amazing moment, and I spent so much of that first bit just exploring the houses, looking at those skeletons and considering what had happened to those poor people.

The game is so littered with interesting set pieces, and there’s more than a few odd things that even as much as I have played this game-and I am willing to guess it goes above 200 hours- I still find new things. The world is so dark and depressing, but full of potential exploration and good memories. I remember killing raiders and then summoning a robot ally from his stasis to fight their support in the Super Duper Mart. I remember running from raiders and swimming away, my prior choice taking the lead belly perk proving to be a wise one. I remember the eeriness and unsettling atmosphere of the Dunwich Building-and the disturbing, unexplained, unexplainable obelisk within its bowels. I remember the nerve-wracking fight through each building filled with howling ghouls screaming in the distance. I remember the raiders who shook me down for the Nuka Cola formula so they could reinstate the great hockey arena battles that time and bombs had worn into a twisted memory of the true past. Some of these moments were unscripted, and they just happened, or at the least weren't tied to quests persay. So many more happen every time I play the game, and the world is so atmospheric, as things crash and explode in the distance as you wander this lonely, desolate shell of a world. It feels like an apocalypse, the world is deep and oddly quiet, with music kicking in but never being obtrusive or noticeable to an irritating degree. There were things that made me chuckle, things that made me laugh, and through all of it the shocking violence,

the horrible meat sacks the mutants carried and left behind…the first centaur encounter out of nowhere…it’s a game made all the more wonderful by its atmosphere, and the grim sadness that pervades everything.

Yet its enthralling, and the true freedom of choice is astounding, with unspeakable acts of violence or heroic acts of kindness-or the cold detachment that more than a few characters seem to have invested their points into…I love the world. The menu is intuitive and build into a wrist mounted computer, which further immerses you in the world, and the side quests are numerous and for the most part interesting, or linked to something interesting. It’s hard to truly put into words, hard to sum up how I feel about this game without writing a book…..but ok to sum up, if I had to try and end this with mere words…..



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Let me begin by saying that I do not use Youtube as a medium of self expression, though I have considered it. Let me also concede that there's a decent amount about this already from people far more ďin itĒ than I, but hey, its something current that needs talking about and I donít want to not post something for too long, lest people who frequent here think I have departed for that big Fallout 3 in the sky.

Now recently, a study was done -link here-of several Youtubers who admitted to taking money for coverage. Now while the numbers that were posted were relatively high, you also have to take into account those who straight up lied about any involvement. This survey should also be taken with a grain of salt, as all surveys should but it does raise issues around promotion.Some people will wonder why people taking money for promotion is such a bad thing, and thatís a fair question. Totalbiscut does this sort of thing, and no-one really takes issue with his promotional stuff. But the key for him is that he discloses when heís doing something promotional and is taking steps to make that even more transparent. And therein lies the issue at the root of the core of the center of this rotten appleÖin the center of the earth. Or something.

The issue is transparency, and this creates a severe question about the ethics of youtube journalism. Theres probably a fair amount of youtubers out there who donít disclose this sort of promotional deal-look no further than Machinima, which was caught producing content for the Xbox one for money. The problem they ran into is that they told no-one about it. It got found out, and they took yet another hit to their credibility, which has slowly been dropping for a while now but this helps highlight the problem at hand. This happened a while ago, but if even a big channel like them is doing stuff like this, than what are the implications for smaller channels? That may have seemed like an unlikely or small issue before, but this survey highlights that it may be neither of those things at this point. Hell, Machinima has been seen as iffy for a while now and could therefore be passed off as an anomaly, but this is undeniable. †

Not only is this practice against the law, but more importantly it violates the trust between viewer and viewee. These laws are weakly enforced at best, at least if this is this widespread without any FTC action, but that means that said laws are pretty unimportant to the discussion at this juncture. Taking money for coverage without telling your audience is unethical, and if my itty bitty little blog got paid to write something up or have adverts or some other stuff, you can bet your ass I would take that sweet cash-but I would also make sure to alert you to the situation. The audience is the reason for your youtube channel and what money you make off of it, and when you lie to them about your coverage and payment you break the trust between them as surely as Ubisoft releasing Watch_Dogs crippled broke the trust between PC gamers and the devs. They deserve to know if you are actually enthusiastic about what you are promoting, or are being paid for the promotion. Yes, maybe if they know they will get upset, or decide not to get interested in that thing due to the promotion aspect, but thatís their decision to make, and considering they are what supports your channel you owe them that decision. Youtubers who do promote gaming content are in the spotlight, and even smaller ones have an audience that depends on them for news and opinions. Taking advantage of that trust is poor form, and if your audience finds out and leaves to find someone they can trust, I canít say I have much sympathy.

So there's my thoughts on the topic. Again, I have very little insight on the topic but I thought I would just let ya know what I thought and maybe make more people aware of the issue. Another blog will be forthcoming, and if I start gettting a regular enough following I will try to be a lot less sporadic. Generally when something happens that pisses me off or makes me happy I want to talk about it, so given the stuff the gaming industry likes to pull, I should have fresh material soon enough. Feel free to let me know what you think, suggested corrections or whatever, I do actually value the feedback.
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11:10 PM on 06.17.2014

Ubisoft has made some good games in the past, and perhaps in the future and they have some of the most interesting games out there for a big AAA.

Thank god for that, by the way.

But they do tend to fuck up, a lot.
And sometimes, they're so rock-fuck stupid that it drives me crazy. They mishandle PC ports consistently, especially for Assassins creed, and they bait fans with promises of franchise continuation while knowing they will most likely never make a new iteration, see Beyond Good and Evil 2. And now this. Watch_dogs is having some good financial success, selling around 4 million copies around its launch, and that upsets me because now I cannot get excited for anything they show, because of fears that they are lying their asses off to us. But I digress, let me build my case, and show you why I feel this way, should you not be sure why I am upset.

Get it, get it? Cause building with legos, and....also because its a really cool legos....

E3 Lies
Colonial Marines, Dark Souls 2, Watch_Dogs, that one Killzone 2 trailer-what do they have in common?

Well the fact that they lied in initial trailers as to the games graphical fidelity. All these games showed game-play at their respective E3 conferences, yet they later turned out to be lying. And yes, while Watch_Dogs and Dark Souls 2 look pretty good, as well as Killzone 2 but less so because not PC, they don't look nearly as good as advertised. They promised more than they could deliver, and if it had been only on console I could've understood, but as someone who bought Dark Souls 2 for PC can tell you, this is not the case.

It's not a secret that most if not all companies use high end PC's to show graphics off, even for system exclusives. It is simply a more powerful machine, and I am willing to admit that I can see why they do this. Even if it is for console, you want it to look the best it can and the only way to do that is to get it on a steroid cooled PC. But that's not my issue. You see, they get away with that because the human mind is a fickle thing, and won't remember that compared to the game on their system. Hell, even with the dramatic difference some people can't see the change in Watch_Dogs and Dark souls 2 without comparison. Colonial marines looked like shit and it was mainly a press show off thing so it was less in the public eye. But I understand, as anyone who plays a game from even a few years ago, like Infamous, looks better in our minds eye than in reality, sadly. So I'm going to link to a video, and if you think the graphics thing is not a big deal, watch the video and I guarantee you'll see the problem.

That's not the issue, the glaring problem with Watch_Dogs is that it was lied about, not that it looks bad. Had they not lied, I think it would have been less reviled for said deception, but a lot of people looked to this game as representative of the next gen, and looking at all those amazing graphics, with wind, rain, trash, wet coats, even as a PC gamer, perhaps somewhat foolishly, I was excited. But then all this crap happened, and it killed what excitement I had. The meh response it's been getting has killed the rest of the excitement. But then something happened. Something amazing. Something Rock-fucking-stupid amazing.

The Killer is in the house!
Again, this was understandable on consoles, but how could they think not even a really powerful PC could handle those graphics? It was assumed to be a lie, then, a vertical slice, a demo created to lie to us solely.
But it wasn't, as this man can eloquently tell you and better yet, show you with almost that level of graphics in his retail copy.

Others have said this as well, but the games final graphical state is not bad.
The files for that E3 trailer level of graphics were in the files. No mod was needed to be created, just some files to be teased out. It's not at the same level yet, but the person who discovered this is still working entirely within the files that came with the PC game.
And really, what more do I need to say? They lied about the game, were too incompetent or malicious to activate them on PC, perhaps to try and say the fact that consoles can't do that yet isn't so bad. We just don't know yet, but what we do know is that they crippled the PC versions graphical potential intentionally, and whatever the reason I am disgusted. They were too lazy to remove said files during the crippling of the PC version, and whatever the reason the game could have been that much better, the promise could have been meet, and they could've avoided the hate.
I don't buy that Sony and/or Microsoft paid them to cripple it. Lots of games come out and look a lot better on PC, and I don't think these two would ever cooperate on a venture like this. Singularly, I don't buy it either, because it seems too much a risk to convince gamers that their systems are the same power as the best PC's. Console gamers in the vast majority are not stupid, and they know their system can't compete with the most powerful PC's in the land, but there's a lot of reasons they don't buy PC. Very few expected better than PC, but they did expect better than the previous generation and for the most part they are getting that. So that's out. So why?

As of right now, I don't know. It seems that something rotten is going on, and I will update here as needed, but whatever the case Ubisofts stunning incompetence in removing said files or implementing them is clearly on display, and I advise you stay away from Watch_Dogs until this gets figured out. Let them know with your cash what you think of lying and then intentionally crippling one of the major gaming systems, and buy it for cheap on a steam sale in a couple of months or pirate it, as they seem to be so afraid you will do. They have continuously shown a lack of regard for PC, and therefore a decent chunk of their consumers and now that their little batch of lies has sold 4 million, they will see no reason to stop, I can guarantee. So watch carefully, because why not do this again, if the reward is 4 million games? Everything they show is subject to scrutiny, and if you trust it look at this and wait for their games to come out. Because they may just lie again, and they don't deserve your preorders. Or your money, for that matter, until they prove they deserve it.
The mod, for your perusal.



UPDATE: 10/7/14


And now we get a look behind the gears, and we see the rot. I had suspicions that something sketchy was going on, but now we have proof that they are not only not above lowering the parity on a better system, but that its also a matter of course. Honestly, this seems to be out of stupidity and laziness, and I think it was the same for Watch_Dogs. In case you didn't read that post, basically they kept the parity on both consoles the exact same because one (Xbox one) couldn't run as well as the other. Not for money, not for promotional deals. But to avoid the debate, and stuff. This is just brilliantly stupid, and though Ubisoft has released a PR bullshit comment, please take this for what it is. This is a company that supports a culture of laziness and stupidity and is more than willing to force an inferior product on consumers if its easier to do so. The irony of this gentlemens statements are that it is causing fierce discussion, and most of it isn't too peachy for Ubisoft. This company doesnt not deserve your support unless it earns it and hard. Wait for reviews, and if the reviews aren't perfect, wait til the price drops. Let Ubisoft know how you feel about being sold something that is not nearly as good as it could be becasue someone else bought something that is not nearly as good as your thing, and we don't want you to debate about it! 

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Bioshock Infinite.†

Bioshock infinite was a game that was critically lauded, and received tons and tons of praise, even from some hardline critics, which was more than enough for me to decide to check it out. †I got it on sale for 40 bucks, and played through it. I only lost my focus a bit later on in a dull section, but I finished the game around august.


After letting this game stew for a while, I find my opinion has worsened from even my lackluster feelings after beating the game.†


Before you begin in with cries of you don't get it or you can't compare it to bioshock, I will bisect those two arguments right here and now. First off, yes, I may have missed bits of the subtext but I understood what was going on and it was a bit of a mess. Being pretentious does not mean being misunderstood, it means pretending to be making points and pretending to be smarter than you are, and this game is not nearly as intelligent or interwoven as it would like you to think it is.†

Secondly, yes I can compare it to Bioshock because itís called Bioshock infinite, has pseudo-plasmids and similar combat and even clearly steals sound assets from the first. The very name invited the comparison and therefore invites criticism regarding that. By naming it and lifting so many elements a comparison must be made, and one must look to what Infinite does differently than the original Bioshock to isolate what it is, and whether or not it is indeed better than its precursor. †Now with that out of the way, no I would not recommend this game at full price, though at a sale price I can recommend it for a play-through at least, to see if it works for you. The game squanders its potential by not focusing on the more interesting bits, like talking to citizens and exploring the town with dull combat, which is infinitely more boring than Bioshock (hah, mother fucking hah). Thereís no real sense of progression, the fights are just long and drawn out, simply making fights more obtuse and more irritating to get through and the abilities are mostly uninteresting or just copies of the original games plasmids. And speaking on that, the vigors are just reskinnned plasmids, just without any of the lore, intrigue or even real relation to the universe that Bioshock and even a game that I consider in some ways to be better, Bioshock 2 had. Thereís no interwoven lore, the world is just there, the physics shit is fucking pretentious and the main villain and city are uninteresting, especially considering Rapture and Andrew Ryan. I don't like how no one took this game to task for its issues, because maybe I am being pretty critical but the game is not as perfect as advertised. It got talked up and talked up and talked up, and even when I tempered expectations I was left disappointed. Itís weaker than Bioshock, lore wise and world building wise and I just don't like it. I also really don't like how a game that did everything better than this one was overshadowed by this one because it was so hyped and deep and shit. Itís not that deep, and when you have a line like "The city doesn't float cause of the balloons, it floats cause physics!!!" you know itís trying to be that game without understanding that by trying and not doing it falls flat.†


While this game is worth a play through, you should beware the hype, as I personally felt it was far weaker than advertised. Go play the much better Bioshock, or even Bioshock 2, or hell, go play Spec ops if you want to play a truly great game, and if you want to see what this game could've been, go play the game it helped push away from the periphery, Metro Last light, because that game for all its flaws actually proves why it deserves it accolades, and doesnít just whisk you away from the people drama, which is quite good in Inifinite when no main characters are involved. Play the game once without listening to literally every conversation, and then do another where you listen to everything, and in that second play through you are going to find that hours of content are added, that could have easily been skipped and ignored. It doesnít force them on you, and it goes the extra mile to make it mean something that you listen to deepen and enrich the world. The metro is interesting, and I just feel like in some ways both games are similar, but Metro shows what Infinite had the potential to be if it unstuck its head from its own ass and tried.†


I mentioned this before briefly, but I want to explain more the mechanical issues I have to further elaborate. Now, at first combat feels fine and goes alright and its actually fun. But as the game progresses the battles are more confined and less dynamic, and simply throw tough, high damage enemies that sap the fun away. Additionally the game has only two gun slots, only a few plasmid slots, no progression at all-which is fair enough- and most irritating though perhaps most petty of all, the guns donít show upgrades, making said upgrades feel ethereal and meaningless. It removes a sense of ownership, and it hurts the combats intensity. It also gets irritating to have to constantly look around for different weapons or be deprived of a favorite weapon because its not in this level, thereís no ammo why would you want to use it, player? Thatís a little petty, but considering the legacy that hangs over it, I donít see why you didnít just leave it in. Maybe to attract the ďgunbroĒ audience, but do you really think that said audience is so afraid of multiple gun slots? Or is that something the industry believes, so it must be true! Because it feels like that. And it makes the combat feel a lot weaker than it should, even if the skyhooks are a somewhat interesting mechanic that are ultimately wasted more on the combat than exploration.†

Ludonarrative Dissonance

I have no problem with the level of violence, none whatsoever. The combat is my issue, not the blood and graphic kills, though I can see why some people might have issues. Still itís a nonissue for me, so donít think thatís my problem with anything in the game, because the rest of the game is my problem with the game.

Graphics and Aesthetic design

The game looks pretty good; itís very pretty and colorful which surprises me. Arenít you afraid bright colors will scare away the ďgunbrosĒ? They canít tolerate anything thatís not brown and gray!!!! Itís odd that this was an excuse for the combat, but not the actually very pretty coloring and nice graphics. Aesthetic wise it looks good too, I do like the 30ís patriotic vibe, though eventually it kind of sweeps this away for fire and chaos, which doesnít serve quite as well but it still feels alright so I can live with it. Enemy design is a bit lazy though, as thereís not a huge amount of troop variety in unit type throughout the game, even if there are some unique concepts. But for the majority of the game itís the same troop subtypes, even if they are different factionally. Also what the hell is up with their eyes? Some have glowing eyes and thatís never explained and that kind of bugs me. Sorry, thatís really nit picky, but yeah overall I like the look and aesthetics. Credit where its due.†


If you let those blacks free, they will burn the city down!

Yeah, guess who tended to think that? Hint: Civil War.

Guess what happens at the end of infinite? Spoiler alert: What the racists thought would happen if said statement was allowed to pass.

This one seems tenuous, perhaps, but the Vox donít just take over Columbia, they burn it to the fucking ground. Or at least try to. And while I can see that as part of the pretentious point that both sides can be corrupted with power, it still comes across leaving a sour taste. Perhaps this one can be interpreted differently by different people, but it seems like immediately making the Vox the villains and making them seem a lot worse than the founders-who didnít burn the city down-comes across as a little unevenly skewed. Might be just me and the person who originally put the thought in my head, but I canít quite shake it.†

So thatís my overall thoughts, finally out for the world to see. Feel free to comment, I would like to know how you feel regardless of disagreement or agreement. It augments my understanding, and hey, maybe I can alter my blog post to be a bit better and provide a better read for more discussion. Hope to discuss soon!
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[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]*For now [/font]
[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Back again all, and ready to type.†[/font]

As most of you who have seen or heard from the Sony press conference have heard, Sony won. Now I wonít lie and say I havenít always preferred them, but I think itís important to think about why they won, and perhaps examine how Microsoft could step up their game. Competition is good, and Microsoft needs to get its head out of its ass if it wants to ensure we reap the benefits of said competition. I figure the best way to do this, is to examine why Sony is winning in the court of public opinion. Obvious to some, yet still important to try and begin dialogues to see how everyone feels.
Sonyís used game stance
This was the most surprising part of the presentation for me, as I expected some form of control, at least on a publisher level but nothing was mentioned right now. That might be to ride the PR wave that has buoyed Sony to this point, or it may be something that will never pop up but I think itís great. By doing this not only does Sony alienate [u]no[/u] core gamers or push away Gamestop, but it actually encourages them and reaps the benefits of that love they will get, when store shelves need stocking.

Now where Microsoft went wrong with this is how blunt they were. I think Sony is playing the long game, slowly making obsolete used games with a better service and fazing them out later, when they have a more comfortable position and can either afford to take the PR blow or when their customers are so much more satisfied with new product they donít want used, though there will always be holdouts. Whatever your opinion on this, itís important to note that by doing this they will sell a good amount of systems, and garner good will, but over the long haul will achieve that goal of killing used. Microsoft jumped too early, and too hard, making it easier for Sony to turn the public against them. Microsoft desired the result now, and instead of being clever they simply bluntly stated they were doing it and provided so much misinformation as to create a worse image of their product. That hurt their image, and on that subjectÖ..
Sony vs. Microsoft in the sphere of hardcore gamers
Ah yes, anyone who pays attention to games at all hated what Microsoft was doing, on different levels obviously, but it was the way they did it they pissed us off. This attitude of we need to force you to do because its ultimately good for you permeates Microsoftís corporate culture from windows 8 to the Xbone, and itís not earning them goodwill. But their mistake was not doing all this per se, it was doing it so ham handedly while alienating those who tuned into their conferences.†

Their pre-E3 conference was all about cable, TV, bullshit we donít care about when we tune in. And it was mainly us tuning in, because what casual audience tunes in to a middle of the day conference from a gaming company? No this was their chance to woo gamers, but they spent it on non-game stuff and made it seem as if this game system wasnít for us, and that made it all the more unattractive. Additionally Microsoftís frankly shocking lack of information or indeed misinformation spread and made the system look even worse than it is, and itís already a very unappealing system. That conference foreshadowed the main issue with Microsoft philosophy, namely that
Sony was all about the games
Yeah, there was a bit in the Sony E3 conference about media other than games. It took five-ten minutes.
Let that sink in, while thinking about Sonyís E3 last year, regarding a certain WONDERBOOK.

See the issue wasnít a lack of supply of these features, it just pissed us off that while at the Sony pre-E3 was all about games, and the Microsoft pre was not. And when gamers tune in, we want to know about the games. And Sony delivered, and delivered again while Microsoft talked only about cable and sports tracking at its pre. And while these are actually not terrible, in fact some could be very cool, they shouldíve released this as a press release, not as an event that only gamers would ever watch, pissing off gamers even more when they didnít get enough games. Microsoft mishandled its info and only presented features that while nice werenít what we came to see. And that lost them some goodwill, even though these features might be useful. Its messaging came off as schizophrenic and that really hurt them, allowing Sony to ride the wave of love that came in even though they didnít release all that much info about their own system, which had the potential to be worse. And Sony used that to their advantage, not even having to put out all that much PR, and indeed mocking the Xbone at their own conference, firing direct shots and not even trying to disguise it.
Online always

Simcity. Simcity is a lesson in not learning your lesson, a lesson that Diablo III taught before even that, and one that Microsoft fails to see which will be to its detriment. If its servers ever fail, it will mean not only will online multiplayer be disabled, but unlike the PS3 outage crisis, games will be disabled as well. The system has to check in every 24 hours, or no games for you. And considering the shitty internet a lot of the main demographic of America has, that means it will be a no go for those without internet. Yes, some will say we all have internet nowadays, but some of it is sporadic and some of it doesnít work.†

If you buy a PS4, however, you can play offline, and the PS+ benefits you wouldnít get anyway wonít allow you to play multiplayer you couldnít play anyway. But thatís optional, and considering the fact that Microsoft hasnít even brought up Microsoft live yet, which you will have to pay for most likely, that should worry those who like to play, even when the internet goes down or Microsoftís servers break.† And speaking of that Xbox live, and PS+, those are added onto the cost of a system. This is yet another problem for Microsoft, consideringÖ.
Price difference
How things have flipped. With the Xbox One at 500 dollars and the PS4 at 400 dollars we see an interesting flip in perspective.†

Yet this doesnít include the multiplayer fee, which brings PS4 to 460, and the Xbox one toÖ..no one knows. And since they arenít bringing this up, that means you may be paying upwards of 500 dollars for something that canít play games if the servers die or if you lose internet for more than 24 hours. And thatís going to be a hard sell
What to do?
Microsoft needs to act, and it needs to act fast. I like the competition it provides, hell it made Sony give us rainbows and Easter eggs when alone it wouldíve been a far grimmer market, but they need to start changing their approach. It needs to be all about the games, which they may have started to do, and they should really consider cutting some of the online requirements, at least for now. But if they donít do that, they need good bundles, cheap or free Xbox live, and they need to get their shit sorted out, or risk taking a painful kick to the groin, because though I believe the system will sell well, perhaps better than the PS4 which would be tragic considering how pro gamer it is, it must always remember it couldíve done better. And them not doing well is no good for any of us. And thatís why unless they step up their game in other areas, things may be a bit bleaker ahead for the industry, though collapse is not something I predicate on a wide or small scale.

Share your opinion in the comments; I would like to hear opposing perspectives, things I may have left out, or possible avenues for either company to take, for good or for bad.†
I look forward to the sparring match.

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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!!!!!

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