I'm from Brazil. A country from South America some of you might have heard about someday. Or not. It's a lovely place with many beautiful women and a lovely warmth. Actually, it's much like the U.S., there's a little less money, the women still like rich people and the heat is insufferable if you actually live here and is not spending 5 days on the shoreline. Whatever.
I study Social Sciences (A.k.a. Engineering dropout who gave up on financial success and instead went on to suck at life), and I really like it. My point of views usually differ from the capitalist moral value center, so bear with me if you're actually interested in anything I said, which you are if you've actually read this.
I'm 1.67 meters tall (that's 5'7", you moron!), white skinned, green eyes, blonde hair. Not that you actually care. I don't, that's why I don't post a picture.
Yes. I am actually addicted to them. I have managed to keep it at bay for the past two or three years. I had all the symptons of addiction, including the shakes and the mood swings. But, and there's always one, isn't any activity that can bring pleasure possibly addictive? So what's the difference? My father is addicted to work, always has been, nobody cares, he's actually quite well to do and very much admired. Doesn't make him a better father and nobody wants to put him in treatment for it.
To sum it up: anything you like can be addictive, even pain, if you're into that sorta thing, but whether it's a admirable or despicable depends only on what conservative assholes think.
Thanks to our much beloved activision, now we all can have the pleasure to play Modern Warfare 2 on the pc paying 10 bucks extra. So yeah, fuck you Activision, at least the other retail companies aren't trying to fuck us up like that. You see, EA made a step in the right direction selling Bad Company 2 for the 49,99 dollars it deserves. Great game.
Now, if you excuse me, I'm gonna preorder Splinter Cell: conviction from a nice retailer who will charge me 49,99 for a nice stealth/action game...
What the fuck just happened? Did the flood gates were opened and I just did not notice? Actually I did. Back in December I wrote a piece about the cost of games and how the fact that Modern Warfare 2 was a success sale on PC even with the high price point, it allowed retailers to get the dicks up their mouths and understand we will pay more for the same, even for less, as long as they advertise enough to make us believe WE need to take part in this. Pretty sad.
With that said, I'm gonna go to Wonderland now, a place where I can buy two games for 23 dollars and have tons of fun. Maybe even more than with Conviction, which I now think is overrated as much as it is overpriced.
I am, of course, talking about Beat Hazard, who is 25% Off on steam, going for 7,49 and Lead and Gold, who sells for 14,99 and is a ton of fun. Gonna buy it now.
Holy fuck Trine is 5.00 bucks on Steam!
And thank god for this diverse industry!
The pont of this is to illustrate how much WE have the power to decide who wins in the videogame world. As much as playing Mario and saving the princess changes the fate of the Mario World, the handful of bucks we dish out to play some games can make or break this industry. Not only this, we can shape its path in the right direction. By choosing beat Hazard and Lead and Gold over Splinter Cell: Conviction (I think you should do the same) I'm not just saving up, I'm doing POLITICS.
So I advise everyone else to do the same, trade your bullshit 60 dollar Banana Sundae for a few cups of simple Ice Cream who will probably give you a lot more fun, although at a cost of a lot less flair. Choose your poison carefully, it's not just your pocket that will hurt, it may be the future too.
Now do yourself a favor and buy Trine for 5,00 dollars. It's SOOOO worth it.
It's very easy to come to destructoid and pick on Activision, Ubisoft or EA. Either because invasive and punishing DRM, bad business practises that try to suck money out of our pockets like a vacuum cleaner or because they fire their staff right before they'd get paid.
So, because it's EASY and LOGICAL, I'm gonna do just that. But not in an overzealous way. Because when the years balance is run, they will be still in the business, making tons of money from selling games. And while it may bother us that posess a critical view of the industry, it is absolutely irrelevant to them whether they are producing quality titles or the next Guitar Hero: Modern Warfare, the word on their minds is profitability. And boy, do they have it.
And that's it, really. Despite not liking what Activision does, by releasing 8 guitar heroes a year they might be flooding the market just a little, but with the diminished costs of making the same game with bonus tracks, they don't really care that it sells low, the money is still rolling in. Who cares that Modern Warfare is reusing everything from the first game to create the levels of intensity and tension that the first game so masterfully introduced? Who cares that the chopper is out of fuel EVERY time you need it and you have to rush to it? Who cares that because the sniper level was a huge sucess they decided to make it happen three times in the same length of time? It sold 1 billion dollars in a week. So I'll recapitulate: despite not liking what Activision does, you really have to admire their ability to steal your wallet.
Wii Shovelware? Genius. Costs almost nothing to produce, sells a bazillion copies and makes stockholders happy. When everyone in this caotic world is trying to get by without losing their job and house in the process, they are literally printing money off of naive clientele. Two questions impose themselves: How the hell did they do it? And, most importantly, why didn't I think of that?
As we are preparing to celebrate three decades of videogaming, you have to stand in awe of how much these guys manage to trick the consumer into buying horsecrap. It's tremendously difficult to fool a large amount of people, especially when it comes to reaching deep into their pockets. Not only that, but to keep regaining their confidence time and time again. Think of the truckloads of iPhone apps that are redundantly stupid and still manage to make a living in the App store. It truly is an incredible feat, to lure so many people into spending their (sometimes) hard-earned cash into some truly bland wastes of lifetime. I ask you again: How the hell did they do it?
It matters not. It is a reality and it's not going away any time soon, as motion controls seem to draw endless crowds to the consoles and videogames continue to grow as an Industry, I'd like to call a round of applause to all the shitty, lazy, backstabbing sons-o-bitches in the gaming industry, who make their names by releasing low-quality shovelware and still earn some money.
Now let's all gear up for Guitar Hero 19: Legends of Indian Classical Music
This is a blog about a great deal of disappointment.
When I bought my new gaming rig, I was anxious, no, ecstatic to play games again. For the past two years I've been living with mostly not playing anything because of the lack of a platform that could handle the latest gen.
So, here I was, thrilled to finally be able to play everything that's been on hold so far. I played the first Mass Effect and didn't really like it, I played the second Mass Effect and loved it, I played Call of Duty 4 and loved it, I played some League of LEgends with friends and it was mild fun with bad moments, I played a lot of Team Fortress 2 and Day of Defeat Source which were okay, but with the sad multiplayer holdups, but that's another blog's worth.
So I've been living the dream right? Finally playing everything I want, with the gaming rig I wanted, enjoying myself all I can? Not so much. My currently feeling is saturation. I've always been a fan of shooters, I've played pretty much every well-spoken shooter of the last 10 years, even the half-life of fame, which I own and original copy from 1999. So why am I depressed at the prospect of playing games? Is it just me or are we delving into repetition territory?
I feel that shooter games are dying in their current model, they're good, they've nailed many aspects of gameplay like no other genre did. The way shooting a weapon feels is unmatched in recent years, some narrative aspects of first person are also very fine tuned. Everything about them seems to fall into place. Almost too much into place. And therein lies the problem. They have become predictable in every aspect, you can change the way Sniper Rifles control a little, you can change the amount of bullets it takes to kill a man, you can tweak and tune the recoil and aiming of weapons, you can bring in a trend of using Iron Sight for aiming, but in the end, you're still having the same experience.
OMG, it's gonna blow up if you don't stop... something
Even in the narrative field, you can bet your ass on russians enemies at some point in pretty much any shooter. Believe me, if they're not Russian they're an alien russian depiction. You can imagine some groundbreaking event unleashed by a crazy and powerful enemy who is a complete douchebag with no political tate and yet controls a very large army who follows him blindly. My god, even Hitler had to mass some wits to take the country down the drain with him. You can also bet on an unnamed, unknown WMD threat that you must stop before the end of the world.
I feel really sad because to me, being in First Person always allowed such an intimacy in the scenarios and emotions that a shooter can create, and everytime I put on a shooter game these days I get these increasingly larger scenarios and stakes that seem to depress the world or the galaxy or the universe and I just can't take anymore of the same. I think I'll go play some rpg or strategy game and get bored of them in 5 games again.
Worthy nominations go to Bioshock, for it's intimate, atmospheric gameplay, with all it's problems, it was fun like the System Shock 2 in so many good ways and for some levels in Modern Warfare 2, where they explored this intimate revenge thing that really made me happy.
So, as I read through this incredibly insightful blog here, all I could think of was the final section, where he urges you to actually think: how much damage can this cause to me? In the end, it is what it is and we gamers are no different from the other apolitical types out there. We don't really care about things unless they directly affect us. And sometimes, even when they do, we're too numbed or fearful to act in reprise or do something about it.
Now, some of you may argue: Petitions! We have them! The Left 4 Dead 2 was one petition you could sign on. It didn't work, among other reasons, because it was made for the wrong reasons, but at least it should some gamer momentum, ready to defend our interests. Regardless of the results, it should be a testaments to what organized internet wankery can do. Or is it?
So tell me, then, why is it that Activision can up the price of Modern Warfare 2 by 10 dollars, to a whopping 59,99 to the PC, even after stripping Dedicated Servers from it? Why can Ubisoft install absurd DRM on all of it's games from now on? Why can EA do the same? Why can they shut down multiplayer servers from games they've sold last year? Why?
walkyourpath said on his blog that the road to hell is paved with good exceptions. I beg to differ, the road to hell, in our case, is paved with inaction and acceptance of "things you can't help". You would think that an industry that moves billions of dollars yearly and is prone to so much controversy as videogames should have some kind of regulation over it, like, customer protection for example? Is it so absurd to have someone looking after your interests? Someone to make sure that they can't throw shit like "3 install discs" like in Assault on Dark Athena, or stupid DRM that boots you from your game? Shouldn't there be MINIMUM standards. There are minimum prices to pay for games, why can't you have minimum rights to them?
If you say this out loud, Glenn Beck will call you a hell-bent progressivist and a socialist maniac, who will lead your country to fascism and Stalinism at the same time. Apply his logic(?) for a second and think like this: if you keep letting people with money shove shit in your direction and you not only accept it, but eat it, you are paving the way for being screwed forever and without return. Just like it happened to so many people's jobs in the 70s and in this new recession. Make sure you do something about it.
Ever read comments over a controversial piece of text? OF COURSE YOU DID. You're at destructoid. Home of some of the most ubiquitous haters this holy internets of ours has to offer. As well of some of the more baiting examples of critical writing ever seen. (Don't hide Jim, I'm looking at you!)
Oh well, funny moments happen all the time, but I especially like the ones where someone who can speak less english than a newborn, tongless tasmanian devil having a seizure comes up and shouts: THERE! You're doing it wrong!
Man, what a world it must be for them. 12 years old and he can find flaws in grown ups arguments. They're participating in their share of virtual reality. They're seeing the world through a critique's lens... wait. No. Not really, they're just being jerks and having no clue about what they're saying. Like this one.
He didn't say "Sorry, I missed the point entirely, I'll just return to the bottomless pit of depression and self-loathing I live in, just beside that basement in parents house at the age of 30." But hey, it's not a perfect world. Is it?