I'm WeasleX(tm) and I've been a gamer since I was 5 years old. I remember writing code from PC magazines my dad had, I think the first one I completed was one modeled after the board game battleship. Since then I've been a gamer, from PC (mostly) to console's, I've been addicted to video games.
I build some games using RM2K3, and I have a custom built PC rig I've built myself. Thus, I think it's safe to say that for right now, I'm a PC gaming fan. Even if I own an Xbox360, and a PS3, the PC has remained my number one gaming device.
So that's me in a nutshell, besides the facts that I like long walks by the beach, getting caught in the rain, I'm not into vodka, I'm into champagne. lol
Looking up some things on the internet can be scary, and seeing so called 'Christian' forums are a bit of a fright for me. Now, don't get me wrong, religious beliefs are a great thing in this world, and I'm for freedom of speech and freedom of thought. With that said... I don't think some of these people have a clue what they are arguing about. They rant about this violent video game, and that violent video game, ranting on and on and on... Yet, I doubt they've picked up a controller, or a keyboard and had a throw down with any of the titles they seem to rant about.
ADULT OR NOT ADULT! THAT, IS THE QUESTION!
These people don't know that some games were made for adults in mind.
Would I let my child play Mass Effect 1? NO, he's under age and it does have nudity, he's too young for it.
Would I let my teen play it? Yes, he's old enough to comprehend what he's playing.
Does that make me a bad parent/person? NO! In fact, it makes me a responsible one for actually getting involved with my kids life.
It's like every media out there ever, yet we, like people with Alzheimer's seem to instantly forget that with movie's, books, ect. there's subjects that are appropriate for young people, and adults alike. An adult shouldn't have to be subjected to watching Sesame Street, a child shouldn't be forced to sit through Freddie Kruger. That's just the way it is, as an adult, I tend to enjoy a good sci fi game, or an action packed thriller like Bioshock, or Far Cry. Though a child should not play them till they are older, that's why we have the ESRB rating system. It's on the box, in plain English, maybe we should use it more often! RAWR!!!
By the way, ESRB, it's tougher than it is for a movie rating. I can get killing, swearing, heavy drinking in a PG-13 movie, but I get slapped with a mature rating if it's in a video game. For those less informed than most, here's a link to ESRB, read it, learn it, use it.
WHEN I WAS HIS AGE...
Dinosaurs roamed the earth, and you had to walk, bare foot, uphill, barefoot both ways in a blizzard, for miles, I get it. Pong was probably the rage for you, but times have changed, video games aren't just a child's toy anymore, in fact the average age of a 'gamer' is in their 30's. We're voting age, (HINT HINT REPUBLICANS/DEMOCRATS), we grew up with the Atari, or Nintendo and have graduated into something more. Just like every media form before and after, we need something for just us, we need something age appropriate for us.
WELL, ITS INTERACTIVE, SO THAT MAKES IT DANGEROUS.
I am sick and tired of every politician, evangelist, NRA, Nass Car Fan, ect. making this argument. You know what else is interactive, a gun, and last time I checked, games haven't been built to kill a person. I'm not a finger pointer, but it would seem to me, guns have been blamed for more deaths than that of a video game. Google a picture of someone that was once alive, and then shot dead. Google may just crash because of the volume of pictures. Seriously though, more people have died in Chicago in shooting related instance's than those serving in Afghanistan or Iraq combined in ONE YEAR ALONE, thats a statistic you can take to the bank. (I wish I was making this one up too...)
Yet, NRA claims guns don't kill people... People killed people. I'm pretty sure a gun freaking helped!!! These same people blame it on games, drugs, gangs, violence in society, everyone but themselves... Yet, gun violence keeps increasing as well as gun sales. Kinda makes you wonder who the NRA represents, certainly not gun manufacturers. (sarcasm) No, I'm not saying ban guns, but maybe, we need to grow up and start some down to earth, sensible gun control laws on a Federal level for once.
I'm getting off point though: The fact is, a video game is a form of media that is, in fact interactive. So are many other things in life, that doesn't mean we will instantly imitate what we see or do in a video game. Sim City is about planing and developing a city, that doesn't mean I'm going to instantly start becoming a city planner. GTA is about... well, it's one giant sandbox style game where you can do anything, most of it, very illegal, that doesn't mean I became a criminal overnight because I started playing it.
ART FORM SHAMART FORM!
Apparently, video games have become more and more of an art form, one that should be respected, but seldom are. Some are grotesque but make you ask very hard, yet important questions. Super Columbine Massacre RPG!!! Is actually a real game, that asks the user to take the roll of two killers at Columbine. It's based off of an actual event, and it was the first time gamers were apart of any form of important conversation. It makes you uncomfortable, but on purpose, while playing it. SCMRPG, was never meant to be entertaining, but since it was a video game, we tend to think that, as a rule, it should be. Yet, SCMRPG never was, nor was that it's intended purpose, it made you think, as you were taking the roll of a killer. Some of it made me very sad to play, because I knew this actually happened for real.
This game is, a good example of an art form seen in a video game, no where does it say you have to like it, but it's art none the less. There are other games out there that are similar in form, in that they have a message to say while playing it. Some are very interesting, some, I feel uncomfortable, playing, yet all are an art form in their own right and I have respect for a developer who has the monkey's to do something like this.
Yet, because it's a video game, because it's interactive, many who are outside the walls of 'gamers' see it as anything but pure utter crap. Ignorant interpretation, is still interpretation of an art form. I only feel pity for those who can't understand this form of art, and have found myself lacking in patients in dealing with them. I simply, walk away, you can hate a game with a message, but at least play the damn game to try and understand that message instead of, flat out, calling it crap. Your point would have more meaning, and many would at least, validate your argument because you played it. A good example of what I'm trying to say: Saying Michelangelo's David is pure pornography, without actually seeing it.
POINT!?! YA HAVE ONE?
Point is, you can't blame any form of media for making a person violent, media is of itself, not inherently dangerous. Sadly, because there are many who don't, or won't except video games as a media norm, will always want to see it's demise. Those who are ignorant or are intolerable to any media form, will always exist, I can't nor will I even try to persuade them to change their ways, I just don't have the energy to waste my time on that.
Still, every now and then, I need to rant, I need to get it out of my system. Instead of going out and 'killing everyone' because I played a 'violent video game' I, instead, rant on a pointless blog, because that how I, as a person who enjoys video games, deals with issues that bug me. That's just my two cents though, which is worth just that, two cents.
Granted, I don't normally do reviews, but since everyone else is doing one of FF14 A Realm Reborn, I thought I'd try my best to take a crack at this, seeing as I've played this game and actually like it. I say, actually like it, because, it surprised me. I am not the kind of person to like Final Fantasy games, the last one I liked was FF6, AKA FF3 in America. I've played them all, for better or for worse, and hated most. The only reason I waste my hard earned money on them at all is mostly for nostalgia, and I usually wait till they drop in price to $10 in a bargain bin. ANYWAY~ Disclaimer is now done, on with the review.
8 out of 10
Most MMO's are a remake of World of Warcraft, with no thought of trying to be new or innovative, if it's an MMO chance's are, your playing a rehash of WoW. FF14 does not stray from this, it's a very, 'in the box thinking,' typical MMO. With that said, however, it's more of a polished version of your typical MMO. Everything from combat to questing is done to your standard MMO, it's everything you've seen before, there's nothing new. Yet, I can't help but give the gameplay an 8 out of 10, for one reason, it's well polished.
Quests are old school, but are completed at a much faster pace. The standard, gather, mob kill, escort, and delivery are all there, however, it's done fast and done right. You don't have to kill 100 boars for 5 stupid livers. Instead, if it say's you need to collect 6 livers, then kill 6, and then your off to the next quest. Re-spawns are fast, so you don't need to wait for mobs to drop. This fast paced questing, is just better, in my opinion. Apart from WoW, I seem to get gratification faster, finish a quest fast, on to the next, done, next, done, next. Honestly, this fast paced style should be added in every MMO.
Mob's react similar to WoW as well, with a twist or two. For one, if the mob is aggressive, it will not attack you unless it's facing you. Even if that mob is 20 times your level, it still can't attack you unless it faces you. This is probably the single most NEW thing I've seen in an MMO actually do, and FF14 serves this up well. The second twist is, that if a mob is doing a huge attack, it'll indicate that by showing a red square/circle on where the attack will land. This give's you a chance to dodge the attack if your fast enough. Though, this isn't new, it's been done before in GW2. Still, it's nice to see that FF14 is trying to mix up the combat a bit.
Finally, you have a FATE system similar to Warhammer, this actually helps you level faster, though, to get gear, you will still want to quest. Thus, if you feel you're being left behind in the level market, run a few FATES and you'll be back in the game. Again, this system is nothing new, but FATE's appear more frequently, and if your too high a level for one, you can be synched down if you want.
8 out of 10
The graphics are just pure unfiltered AWESOME. I don't have many issues with the graphics save for that they reuse the textures a wee bit too much. Though, so does every MMO in existence, so I won't begrudge them too much. What I would have liked to see, is more graphic settings, instead of the basic ones they have. I have a higher end machine, and I'd rather just pick the settings, rather than have some automated system pick them. I'm annoyed by this because I usually switch everything to high/ultra high, and now... I have to trust that this automated system can figure that out, which, in the best of cases, usually puts performance ahead of graphics. (Of which, my set up can do both, if given the chance.)
7 out of 10
My only main issue with FF14, was sound, which seems like an odd thing to complain about, but hear me out. In FF14 there are cut scenes which are well done graphically, however, they have limited voice acting. Now, I don't mind if you decide to add voice acting in the game, but FF14 is a good example of how this is done wrong. Some cut scenes have voice acting, and it's well and good, but for the majority, it's non-existent. In some case's you have one cut scene with voice acting, and 10 similar cut scene's without. Such, annoy's the crap out of me, and I would have liked to see them fleshed out more.
Now, I don't know about the Japanese version, if they are or are not fully fleshed out, I can not say for sure. However, if they are fully fleshed out, and the North American/euro isn't, I can only say that you can't do one group while leaving out the next. This is the one, and only thing, that really could use another coat of polish.
10 out of 10
Instead of forcing a 20 man raid, or a 5 man instance, FF14 does something better than every MMO I've played. It doesn't force you to do them. Sure, there's a story attached to this game, but the instance's and raids, are more of a side quest than the main dish of the story. In fact, you could solo the whole story without being forced to join a group. If every MMO did this, I think I'd enjoy MMO's more than I have through the years. Mostly because, I avoid 20 man raids, (since there isn't enough gear to go around for everyone, and gathering up a 20 man group is like pulling teeth sometimes.) Now, I can enjoy the story, without dreading when I won't be able to play through it.
8.5 out of 10
Everyone will give this game a 9 or a 10, honestly, I'm going for the 8.5. Mostly because it does the old concepts, there's nothing new here. However, FF14 does old MMO concepts, but does them the way THEY SHOULD BE DONE. They reward the player, instead of punishing him/her. Questing is fast paced, leveling done equally fast, inventory management is less of a pain, porting from one area to the next allows the game to be played faster. Just overall, a better WoW by far, and well polished by many standards. Accompany that with great graphics, in depth story, and a great multiplayer experience, you've got yourself a hit MMO.
Does everything your MMO does, still not complaining about this too much, though, I kinda wish we had a new concept or two thrown at us.
Stability is still an issue, the game is down for maintenance every day to every other day.
Endgame will be ready in a patch, thus, no endgame thus far.
It's an old school turn based strategy game with a small but intense fan base, and chances are, you've never even heard of it. It's called Dominions, designed by Illwinter. Though the series has been around for awhile, the reason I'm bringing up Dominions now, is because the latest game, Dominions IV has just been pre-released in a beta form on Desura. The last game, Dominions 3, was published in 2006 by Shrapnel games, who's famous for the Space Empires series. Probably another game you've never heard of. In any event, the release of Dominions IV was a bit of a shock to the fan base of Dominions. We only were informed by Illwinter at the beginning of August. Even those close to the Illwinter staff had no clue of it's inception. Everyone was under the impression that the Dominions series was dead and gone forever, fortunately, this is not so.
The game takes place with mythology, unit's are designed with that in mind. You have Minotaur's, Cyclops, dragons, ect. Each nation is unique, and fields many unique units and spells that you can cast. You start off by designing a pretender god, and your goal is to trump other pretenders and become a true god. You can do this in various ways, with priests, using Thrones of Ascension, spells, or the most common, Military to conquer other territories. If it sounds too simple, that's because I'm simplifying it. It's a bit more complex than just, take over territory with overwhelming force, or just Ascend x number of thrones. There's magic spells to research, items to forge and equip on your generals, a vast tree of spells to cast, military units to be recruited, and priests to be used as Prophets.
Let's not forget the vast different military units there are in this game. Some are just hulks, like Elephant Riders, they take a lot of resources to build, but are worth it. The Elephant Riders trample over everything in their path... However, this comes with a cost of it's own, if they get low in moral, they become frightened and stampede in the opposite direction... Towards your own units... and squish them to get away from the battle. There's Spider Cavalry, which uses web's to freeze enemy units, the troops on the spiders have spears to stab opponents while the spiders use their fangs, it's a double threat. Yet again, there's a downside, most spider riders use light armor, so... the rider usually dies, BUT the spider usually still survives and is trained to kill your enemy's even after the rider is dead. (COOL HUH!?!)
There are many other unit's like this, such as the C'tis faction, which has a mix of light and heavy units. Since the faction is Lizards, all their units look like walking lizards. With the C'tis Faction, they have Death, Nature, and some Astral as their main source of magic. They have chariots but the bulk of the military is in Infantry which are effective at what they do, and are quick to build, for the most part. This is a good example of different race's built in the game.
Chances are, this is the best turn based strategy game, you've never heard of, and the downside is the graphics, which... are still done in old school pixels. Let's also not forget that Dominions IV is still in BETA, sooo... every update with probably kill any saves you have. Still, the game is addicting as hell, and I'd play it any day over the number of high end RTS games we have now.
Type: EA Blames on a Google search, go ahead, I'll wait... ... ... ...
Surprised? So was I when I was looking up EA blames Steam. I found that EA blames a lot of different groups, they pretty much blame everyone except themselves. They absolutely refuse to take the blame for anything, in their eyes, it's not EA, its you. Now, keep in mind that EA is not the only company that does this. In fact many big company's deflect blame for fear of losing one thing, share holders. (Nope, not gamers, we're second base to a Share Holder) Though again, in a corporate stand point, this makes more sense to do. Share Holders have more money, are willing to shovel it in, and allows a company like EA, to grow, with that said however, this is where things start to get dicey.
With them getting the golden Stinky from The Consumerist this year and with their AAA trading status going along with it, one might think that it may be time to rethink this whole, blame everyone but ourselves. One may also think that doing some PR repair work may definitely be needed, and we are finally starting to see that, with the new return policy from the Origin Network.* Even if the return policy is a bit limited, it's better than just being stuck with it. This may stem from what happened with Sim City, and it's recent nerd rage regarding the game. I can only speculate, but I'm getting off topic.
At the top of this pen is a point, GET THERE
My whole point is, that maybe instead of upsetting the apple cart more, and pointing fingers, maybe it's time for a new approach. If EA just listened to it's customer base for 2 seconds, it may find out ways of improving it's business structure, instead of dismissing, enraging, ignoring, and more importantly, pointing fingers. Instead of..."We can do better." It should we: "We've done many things to upset our customers, we'll start doing 180's NOW." <- Excepts responsibility and shows that they are willing to fix issues.
I doubt that they will even try any of this, which is why your seeing this blog here, than say, ignore and dismiss nerd rage Origin forums. While I'm on the subject of dismissing your customer base, maybe the one way of getting that AAA trading status back (EA) is through your customer base... Maybe, just maybe, instead of putting Share Holders first, you put the people you sell stuff to first. Maybe, instead of making us go to other forms of distribution, like Steam, you should welcome us with open arms. Allow us to give you feedback, which isn't a weakness, it's something Valve does far better than EA.
With that said, I'm WeasleX(TM) and this is my two cents EA, please don't blame me for your next round of failures.
Yep, you heard it here first, PC Gaming is dead. It's no more, it's pusing up roses, now someone should start telling that to PC gamers, because, apparently we didn't get the memo. I say we, because I'm a PC gamer and like all of us, I didn't get the memo either. Apparently, PC sales are in a slow steady decline, and apparently everyone is supposed to be lumped into said number and conform to this.
Now, since I work in retail, I meet a lot of people, and some of these people think I'm an idiot for still clinging to my PC. One customer in particular thought me odd to still own a PC at all. The fact is that, yes, PC sales are in decline, and yes most people are switching to a tablet or smart phone for there computer needs, which happen to be used for checking emails, paying bills, using social networks such as Twitter, ect. For those, a mobile platform is more suited than a hulk of a beast that is a PC, which really can't be dragged everywhere.
With that said there is one thing that a mobile platform doesn't have which a PC does, which is that a PC is much more powerful. This limits what can be developed for a mobile platform. You still can't play a rousing game of ME 3 on a smart phone, but there's not much need to. The reason is because many PC gamers that exist tend to be on the hardcore side of gaming, though there are still a lot of casual gamers in the PC market today.
WHAT DOES PC'S OFFER TO THE HARDCORE?
Well, it offers quite a bit actually. Games that happen to be particularly higher end quality require a higher end set of equipment, of which many hard core PC gamers tend to have. We also like to brag about our equipment too... though we may be trying to over compin... err... never mind. The point is, with all this raw power, we can out pace, out shine, out run a console any day, month or year, 24/7 365. Did I mention that we've got more power than a console?
Raw power alone doesn't mean we're the greater giant of the gaming community, for that we need to have games too. For such, PC gaming also has more distribution via the internet in the form of Steam, Gog, Desura and yes... (sigh) even origin. Which, oddly enough, wasn't in full swing until a few years ago. Steam alone has often been heralded as ushering forth a 'Golden Age' for PC gaming. With this powerful combo, one being more power in a PC, and the other with a large access to games at lower than normal prices, it equals the opposite for what the PC market is doing. Which is, instead of a decline, the gaming market is actually growing, by some figures, as high as 8% in 2013.
GAH!!! ITS ALIVE!!! PC GAMING IS ALIVE!!!
The truth hurts, since console gaming right now is in decline and PC gaming is on the rise. Though this may just be a fluke until the industry starts releasing it's 'next gen' consoles, which, as I'm writing this, is pretty soon. Though, I tend to be optimistic, since E3 seemed to have a PC release along with a console release for many gaming titles. A few things worry me, such as the lack of a release or mention of release for Bungies Destiny. Still, with Wild Star, or Titan's Fall being slated for release to PC, I tend to think that PC gaming is still well in it's golden age.
In conclusion, is PC gaming dead? Well, if it is, then maybe someone should tell us, maybe those same people who tell us that we should be extinct should drop the controller, pick up a keyboard and play Half Life or Civ 5. Maybe, just maybe, PC gaming isn't dead, dying or even near life support, maybe, PC gaming is kicking a$$ and taking names.
This is WeasleX and that's just my two cents, which is worth just that, two cents.