Giant Bomb News

193 Comments

Worth Reading: 05/09/2014

Don't worry, I'm not about to turn Worth Reading into feature where I just read links into a camera for an hour.

Thanks for all the enthusiastic comments about my Kinect video from last week! It's given me a great deal of pause about what I might be able to produce for the site in the future, but it's early days yet on that.

Not every story makes sense for video. This video was particularly applicable because of the way Kinect works. It really came together pretty naturally.Just writing an article and having a slidehshow of photos probably wouldn't be very effective. Still, I'm now considering new ways to bring you stories on Giant Bomb, and an edited video piece is a new prospect. That's exciting!

A few people have been asking for an equivalent video for the PlayStation 4's voice control. I don't own PS4's camera, but that's something I could change, if enough people are looking for it. Lemme know. I have another story in mind for my next video piece, which would actually be a feature told through edited video, but I'm not sure if it it'll work.

Hey, You Should Play This

And You Should Read These, Too

If you, like me, have generally lost faith in Square Enix's ability to produce an appealing Final Fantasy game, consider reading this thorough, exhaustive, and alarmingly honest profile of the franchise. It appears the minds behind Final Fantasy are more than aware of its shortcomings, even if it's not clear what the future direction of the series is. But hearing its decision makers humbly explaining how they're trying to turn the ship around gives me, for the first time in a while, enormous confidence in the future of Final Fantasy.

"He began our conversation by thanking me warmly for USgamer's review of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Granted, our review of Lightning Returns came in toward the high end of the Metacritic aggregate, but it wasn't the highest critical rating by far. Not only that, but our text was decidedly blunt in its criticism of the game's weaknesses. I referred to the story as "dumb" and the visuals as "a hot mess," while Pete dinged it for its "clunkiness" – not really words you'd expect to inspire gratitude. As Kitase spoke, though, I began to realize that our frankness was precisely what he appreciated about the review.

What was meant to be an interview was quickly turned on its ear as Kitase reversed the usual interview format. Could I expound more on my Lightning Returns criticisms, he asked? What makes for a good Japanese-to-English localization? What do Americans look for in RPGs? How had Final Fantasy XV's trailer been received? And so on, for more than an hour."

It's weird to say that I haven't played The Thing. (That's not entirely true. I've played maybe 20 minutes on PS2.) But I recently discovered there's a working PC version of the game, and this feature on the game's development might have pushed me over the edge. It's clear The Thing was made from a place of love, and there's something to be said about allowing a studio to adapt a property long after its initial relevance. It allowed the developers to focus on a good game that captured what people loved about the film, rather than simply creating an interactive version of the movie. That seems to be where many licensed properties go wrong.

"Nevertheless, most of the features planned by the design team made it into the final game. At the centre was a ground-breaking fear, trust and infection model that was vital if The Thing was to maintain a thematic connection with the movie. Fear was represented by the squad mates' reaction to the conditions around them; lead a nervous soldier into multiple stressful situations or expose him to one blood-spattered wall too many and an unpleasant end was in store for either the unfortunate soldier, the player, or both. 'The fear system worked but it was a bit simplistic,' remembers Curtis. 'Keeping your team sane was a matter of avoiding corpses, blood stains and darkness; but it did produce some great reactions from the squad mates. Some of them were quite rare like the electrocution suicide.' Getting your team to trust you was merely a matter of protecting them and/or keeping them well stocked with ammunition; unfortunately the system for infection didn't work quite as well, limited by technology and the template of the game itself."

If You Click It, It Will Play

These Crowdfunding Projects Look Pretty Cool

  • Loading Human looks to craft a narrative built around being a VR game.
  • The Way might be the resurrection of Another World that we all deserve.
  • The Source was part of that recent wave of PS4 indies recently announced.

Tweets That Make You Go "Hmmmmmm"

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Patrick Klepek on Google+
217 Comments
Edited by Fobwashed

That dinosaur costume is so goddamn boss!

Thanks for this nice list to tide me over for the weekend Mr. Klepeck =]

Online
Posted by RitzkriegRap

"Vide". First line, second paragraph. :P

Hope you salvage your Tomodachi feature, sounded potentially interesting despite Nintendo's apology.

Posted by Sergio

Samantha Allen's article is not really worth reading. I'm glad at least one game journalist out there called it out as going overboard.

Edited by EveretteScott

I actually enjoyed The Thing game. I remember it coming out and I was so excited. Since the movie is my favorite I figured I'd like it regardless but I thoroughly ending up having fun with my time.

Also that last 'tweet' is dumb. I have never felt represented anywhere in video games because I live a life unlike anything usually in video games, regardless of what I am or what I look like. This is the kind of crap I don't see a reason in pointing out other than to ruffle some feathers.

EDIT: Just looked at her twitter, it all makes sense now.

Edited by Fear_the_Booboo

Oh! The Thing is such a great game. It's not a masterpiece, but that love for the movie is felt during the game. Horror game fans should totally play it.

Posted by Zevvion

The Samantha Allen tweet is a bunch of nonsense. I honestly can't name a main videogame character that accurately represents me. Or even vaguely for that matter. Still I think they shouldn't have to represent everyone. There are games where you can recreate yourself in character creator and that's awesome. Not every game needs that. And demanding it is a bit dumb. We need games to be the games they are intended to be. They shouldn't be forced social political statements.

Posted by lesaboteur

@sergio said:

Samantha Allen's article is not really worth reading. I'm glad at least one game journalist out there called it out as going overboard.

You know how people say there's no wrong opinions. Well, this is the wrong opinion.

Posted by gyozilla

"Don't worry, I'm not about to turn Worth Reading into feature where I just read links into a camera for an hour."

Then Good Day, Sir!

Edited by Yummylee

It's interesting to see the developers be so upfront about the failed infection system in The Thing. I can still remember that once I soon learnt that your squad members (most of 'em anyway) becoming infected was scripted, it really deflated a lot of the initial tension there was whence playing the game. I no longer put much care in trying to safeguard my squad members from the infection as chances were they were going to turn anyway, usually right before you face a boss.

It's also really unfortunate that they never got to make the sequel they wanted to then potentially refine the feature. Weird why no one else has yet attempted such a concept, least not to my knowledge. It was still an alright game, but at the end of the day it succeeded only as a fun, gory shooter of the era, and all of its potentially ground breaking psychological elements were, well, broken. It didn't really capture what made the film so great beyond some creepy monster designs and snow.

Now The Warriors... now there's a video game adaptation decades after the movie's release that also manages to perfectly nail down everything that movie was about, and then some.

Posted by Video_Game_King

Not every story makes sense for vide.

I know this is a typo, but it looks enough like a word that it should be one.

Online
Edited by Fear_the_Booboo

@video_game_king: It's a word in french. It makes the sentence sounds like a weird artsy poem.

Posted by patrickklepek

THANKS GUYS.

Staff
Posted by Milkman

@zevvion: I have no opinion on the whole Tomodachi Life thing but including gay relationships in a game is not a social political statement.

Edited by Draxyle

"Don't worry, I'm not about to turn Worth Reading into feature where I just read links into a camera for an hour."

I don't know, it's always amusing to hear it during the URL of the year award,

"Aich tee tee pee, colon slash.."

Posted by SpaceInsomniac

when the day comes that mario can safely kiss a goomba in public, that’s when we’ll know we have won

Why is assumed that the goomba is always a male? This tweet is hateful misogynist trash!

It's easy to say that video games don't have to represent everyone when they always represent you.

Video games almost never represent me. I'm 5'10" and about 110 lbs. I have almost no visible muscles to speak of. The closest that an action-themed video game has come to representing me is Outlast, because I would be hiding in lockers and under beds. And I don't play that game, because a video game representing me doesn't sound like much fun.

But if "male power fantasy" is a thing that makes it okay to make every muscular protagonist look nothing like me, why doesn't it work the same way for women?

The argument seems to be that a large chest on almost every male character is empowering to male gamers, and a large chest on almost every female character is psychologically harmful. Why is that?

Posted by Milkman

Also, I just want to point out that there's an entire article here and almost every comment is about the one sentence on Tomodachi Life. And who's the one that won't shut up about this stuff?

Edited by CorruptedEvil

Glad to see the C2E2 LP panel on there, Chip and Ironicus are my favourite people on the internet.

Posted by LordAndrew

Haven't Mario and Goombella kissed? This feels like it's something that probably happened.

Edited by SpaceInsomniac

@milkman said:

Also, I just want to point out that there's an entire article here and almost every comment is about the one sentence on Tomodachi Life. And who's the one that won't shut up about this stuff?

The people who keep bringing it up (in this case Patrick), and those who suggest that an attack article is "worth reading," especially in light of the fact that the original activist campaign was so careful to avoid finger pointing in the first place.

There were a lot of articles that Patrick could have picked to talk about this subject, and of course he goes with perhaps the most belligerent of all of them.

Posted by Encephalon

That Jeremy Parish feature was a fascinating read. I've long thought of him as the dude to go to if I want to know about Final Fantasy. As for Square, I hope they take the lessons they learned this generation to heart. I'd love to be excited about a mainline FF again.

Posted by djm389

I really wish that Patrick would have linked to the Gamasutra article he mentioned on "Bombin' in the AM" instead of the Samantha Allen article. The Christian Nutt article is super interesting and he presents his points in a logical and well constructed matter. It is the best article I have read on the controversy and has really illuminated me on the issue. Plus, it is the rare article on the subject that actually describes how the game itself works. On the other hand, I find the Allen article super harsh, self-righteous, and hyperbolic in comparison. It doesn't seem to add anything to the conversation besides letting those agree with here well... keep on agreeing with her and to piss off those who don't agree with her. It is written well enough, but I don't find articles like that productive, while I think the Christian Nutt one is super useful.

For those who want to read the Christian Nutt article, here it is: http://gamasutra.com/blogs/ChristianNutt/20140508/217351/Understanding_Nintendos_Tomodachi_Life_problem.php

Posted by Zevvion

@milkman said:

@zevvion: I have no opinion on the whole Tomodachi Life thing but including gay relationships in a game is not a social political statement.

No, but putting it in for the sake of having it in is dumb. I still remember Ken Levigne's quote in the Giant Bomb interview where he said he wasn't interested in creating a positive gay character or any other. It should make sense in the story he envisions. If it does, then he'll be gay. If not, then no. It shouldn't be forced in for the sake of having it in there.

Posted by epr_prime

@patrickklepek: You don't need the PS4 camera to use the voice controls. The PS4 should have come with a earpiece/mic that plugs into the your controller, that's all you need.

Edited by wemibelec90

Man, I REALLY hate the title of that Final Fantasy article. As someone who thinks the XIII series is the best and most interesting (if admittedly a little flawed for trying to do too much) part of the Final Fantasy franchise, I hate this assumption SE has that they need to "fix" the series with future installments. Doing the same things that every pre-X FF game did is not progressing the series; it just shows that they aren't willing to experiment and try something new, even if it doesn't agree with everyone who plays it.

Edited by OfficerMeatbeef

I hadn't seen The Thing when the game was coming out, but the concepts behind the game intrigued me such that I finally searched the film out. It immediately became one of my all-time favorites. I was really excited for the game.

Sadly, it started out quite strong, but by the end I can't honestly say I wasn't disappointed. Not for lack of trying on the dev's part, you could definitely tell the stumbles were likely simple lack of time to make all those cool innovative systems work as intricately as they needed to, coupled with simple limitations of the hardware gen. The scripted burst-outs and the fact that there was a "soldier" teammate type who literally appeared like twice (maybe even just once!) in the entire game were pretty clear evidence of that.

The failings were pretty expected for a first try at something like that, and this article both made me really happy to hear the passion the devs did indeed have for the project, and super bummed that we'll never get to see the sequel that could very well have cleaned up those gaffes. I'm very curious to see how someone who hasn't played it ends up feeling about it, when they've had a chance to read that article beforehand and have some context for its limitations.

Though perhaps the greatest crime is that had they just made it to last gen, those Unreal Engine shininess shaders would have been just the thing to make the Things look as slimy and gross as they should have, and that would have been half the battle right there.

Online
Posted by Milkman

@zevvion: That's really not the same thing. There are no characters in Tomodachi Life. It's suppose to represent the player.

Edited by Shaanyboi

Holy shit, that Samantha Allen article.

"Behind all the corporate jargon and flowery public-relations language lies hatred, pure and simple."

There's a difference between criticizing a very poor statement by Nintendo and outright slashing at someone's jugular while decrying that they're the devil. This is a fucking ridiculous overreach.

Edited by Video_Game_King

@video_game_king: It's a word in french. It makes the sentence sounds like a weird artsy poem.

It's also a word in English. Apparently, Patrick is black.

How did I not see it sooner?

Online
Edited by Zevvion

@milkman said:

@zevvion: That's really not the same thing. There are no characters in Tomodachi Life. It's suppose to represent the player.

I wasn't specifically talking about Tomodachi Life in that example. It was just a general example. As her comment may have sprouted from that, but also isn't a comment specifically on Tomodachi Life.

Posted by RonGalaxy

Please do a feature where you play The Thing. That would be pretty rad!

Posted by MATATAT

I've always wanted to try The Thing game. I played a demo of it on the PS2 and that's about it.

Edited by Gaff

@zevvion: Your misspelling in Ken Levine's surname makes him look like a relative to Avril Lavigne, which just makes me uncomfortable.

@encephalon: T-Frog Jeremy Parish is one of the few game journalists I would call "erudite". I highly recommend his new side-project, Game Boy World, an insane undertaking cataloguing all Game Boy games. (@patrickklepek, you should really get him on Bombin' the AM for that!). I would like him more if he didn't change domains so often: toastyfrog, gamespite, telebunny, 2-dimensions.com now?

Posted by Hailinel

@shaanyboi: Yeah. There is nothing worth reading there unless you'd like to read a histrionic screed that's arguably far more hateful than anything Nintendo wrote in that press release.

Online
Posted by yoshisaur

I just want to be able to log onto the internet and not be told I'm a misogynistic bastard because I enjoy saving the princess in distress, and have to endure every politically correct media-representative saying "Not that it's wrong to like X/Y" whenever they mention a relationship in a video game, as if its politically incorrect to want to be sexually attracted to a woman as a male (or vice versa).

Where's my elitist support party that villainizes everyone that doesn't think like me?

Edited by Robopengy

How sad is it I knew that was a screenshot of the Thing from the front page picture link to this article?

Posted by FinalDasa

This is easily one of my favorite features on GB. A great snapshot of a week's worth of work.

Keep it up!

Online
Posted by Salvatron

can't wait to read that FF article when i get off work. thanks for droppin those HOT LINKZ patrick!

Edited by Hamborgini

Poor Geop looks really uncomfortable to be there.

Posted by Slag

Notch is a one hit wonder?

Isn't a little early in his career to slap that label on him?

Man, I REALLY hate the title of that Final Fantasy article. As someone who thinks the XIII series is the best and most interesting (if admittedly a little flawed for trying to do too much) part of the Final Fantasy franchise, I hate this assumption SE has that they need to "fix" the series with future installments. Doing the same things that every pre-X FF game did is not progressing the series; it just shows that they aren't willing to experiment and try something new, even if it doesn't agree with everyone who plays it.

I thought what was encouraging about the article was that Square seems to have an open mind to changing the series since reception and sales of Xiii have been below expectations. I don't think you will see them go back to the old SNES ways just because Bravely Default was well liked.

Maybe just focus more budget on story instead of graphics, which wouldn't be a bad thing.

I think you will see Square experiment more not less. Experimenting is a big part of what made FF successful, if anything it's too similar to other products now where it once used to have a competitive edge in story telling. But I do think you might see there games be lower budget instead of Massive lavish productions like we've gotten accustomed to post FF Vii.

Posted by Vuud

It's easy to say that video games don't have to represent everyone when they always represent you.

I thought I was the only fat Italian plumber special forces tier 1 operator space marine elf half-vampire Jedi King of England.

Edited by OfficerMeatbeef
@kindgineer said:

I just want to be able to log onto the internet and not be told I'm a misogynistic bastard because I enjoy saving the princess in distress, and have to endure every politically correct media-representative saying "Not that it's wrong to like X/Y" whenever they mention a relationship in a video game, as if its politically incorrect to want to be sexually attracted to a woman as a male (or vice versa).

Maybe we'll get that when 95% of games don't star men, most every woman who shows up doesn't have to be "rescued" at some point, and most big game companies don't straight-out believe a game won't sell with a female protagonist.

Online
Edited by Yummylee

How sad is it I knew that was a screenshot of the Thing from the front page picture link to this article?

...Not at all?

Posted by wemibelec90

@slag said:

Maybe just focus more budget on story instead of graphics, which wouldn't be a bad thing.

This is a good point and highlights a problem I see in many modern games. Everybody is so focused on making their games look more real that they don't also focus on making them feel real. While FFXIII was a visual treat, I remember it for its combat system. Later games in the trilogy had the problem of looking a bit janky (due to time constraints and separate studios doing developments, I'm sure), but they built upon the world in a way that is unlike anything I've seen in an RPG. THIS is more of what I want to see from games, using the medium to tell better and more interactive stories. Amazing graphics can help me fall into a world, sure, but the story is infinitely more important.

Posted by SgtSphynx

That Final Fantasy article was a very good read.