Giant Bomb News

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Worth Reading: 07/28/2014

Remember when I said last week would be the only time Kim Kardashian showed up on Giant Bomb? I lied.

I don't have much to say this week. I'll let this poem by nine-year-old Sam Daly do the talking.

"Ode to Waluigi," By Sam Daly

Oh, purple-moustached clever Waluigi.

Thou art such a genius when it is thy time to attack Mario and Luigi!

How thou attach springs to thy shoes, know I not!

Why dost thou not have thy own video fame?

Art thou enraged that thou dost not have one?

Why dost thou fight the Mario brothers?

Thou art negative and wicked when shooting fireballs at thy green plumber, thy foe!

Why art thou always cranky?

Art thy purple knickers in a knot?

Perchance Alvin Earthworm annoyed thou with his YouTube video.

Why art thou so tall and slim?

Perchance a Power Flower fell in you mouth when thou wast a baby.

Why dost thou wear a purple suit?

I like thy violet outfit for its unique hue.

Shouldst thy brother Wario and thou fight so repeatedly?

Is Bowser the Dragon-turtle your fiendish companion?

I dost wonder what it wouldst be like to be friends with Bowser and thou.

Dost thou own the Vicious Petey Piranha Flower?

Dost thou like the kind Princess Peach?

If thou couldst own a Yoshi wouldst thou?

Thou art so sly and crafty our slippery Waluigi.

Dost thou fight Geno the Explorer dangerously?

Why art thou not in Super Smash Bros Brawl?

Perchance thou art sad for being excluded from that rough game.

Why art thou so nimble when thou escape the police?

Thy symbol is an upside down L.

Oh, thou art sneaky, secretive and tricky, mine own Waluigi!

Hey, You Should Play This

And You Should Read These, Too

I figured Kim Kardashian would only be making a brief appearance here at Giant Bomb, but I can't help that people have been writing some really brilliant pieces about her foray into video games with Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. Last week, we looked at the game through the lens of free-to-play monetization mechanics, and how many players probably don't engage with how gross they are (or don't care, more likely). This week, Gita Jackson finds herself developing empathy for Kim Kardashian as a person, and how the game, while hyperbolic and cartoonish, represents both the glamour and tragedy of celebrity life.

"Clearly, I do not want to live in this world, although it’s a nice diversion from the world in which I am not famous. For Mrs. Kardashian West, however, this isn’t a diversion. This is her reality. She doesn’t have a choice on whether or not she is scrutinized. She had a choice when her sex tape was released—be forever known as a woman who had a sex tape, or try and take control of that situation. She no longer gets to have “off the clock.” When Mrs. Kardashian West wakes up, she is working. When she goes grocery shopping, she is working. When she is with her family, she is working. Every word she speaks and outfit she puts on and decision she makes must be made in respect to the fact that it will be recorded and analyzed. This is reflected in the game, as well. I managed to escape the E-List by buying a nice outfit and thereby gaining more in-game fans. There is no visible metric for when or how this happens, and when I saw the notification, I was a little startled. Although the game makes sure you never forget that you’re always being watched, it doesn’t exactly spell out how closely."

As we near the release of Super Smash Bros., I'm hoping to finally start delving into this community. What makes the Smash fandom so unique is the push-and-pull with its creator, and Joshua Calixto outlines why Super Smash Bros. Melee, the game at the center of Smash competitions, is both a blessing and a curse for Masahiro Sakurai. Smash was purposely created to allow players intimidated by fighting games an opportunity to participate in the genre. While both Sakurai and Nintendo have acknowledged the passion the competitive scene has for Melee, it seems there's lingering resentment.

"Initially, Super Smash Bros. was supposed to feel like the tricycle race to Virtua Fighter’sTour de France, the mini-golf to Street Fighter’s Pebble Beach. As an unapologetically simple and cartoonish 2D fighter spattered with zany weapon drops, it didn’t matter that some characters were ridiculously overpowered, or that the outcome of a match often boiled down to the spawn location of a nasty Bob-omb. For lots of players, the series has always felt best when experienced like a dark and curvy waterslide: fun and thrilling, but incalculable in scope or result.

This was not the kind of Super Smash Bros. experience that professional players showed up to watch at last weekend’s 2014 Evolution Championship Series--EVO for short--in Las Vegas. Nowadays, the competitive scene comprises experts who have mostly ditched Brawl and item-based interactions to focus entirely on the complex techniques, breakneck tempo, and aggressive combo systems of Melee. The game might be more than 12 years old, but it’s in the middle of a competitive renaissance right now, and the final round of this year’s Melee tournament brought in more than 100 thousand concurrent viewers."

If You Click It, It Will Play

These Crowdfunding Projects Look Pretty Cool

  • Zoya Street wants to write a history of mobile games covering 1998 through 2008.
  • Jenny LeClue might be the cutest looking horror adventure game I've ever seen.
  • After Reset hopes to resurrect the gameplay styling of Fallout and other classic RPGs.

Tweets That Make You Go "Hmmmmmm"

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by Hailinel

This was posted early, it seems.

Online
Posted by EuanDewar

Ya blew it.

Posted by Yummylee

I do usually enjoy Brad Muir's unbridled enthusiasm and positivity, but I can't agree with him about the trash talking thing. Obviously there's always a line, but it's just banter, and there's no harm if you're engaging in a little ribbing during a game with friends who know you're only joking.

Online
Posted by Slag
Posted by Yummylee
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Posted by conmulligan

I remember reading Isaiah Taylor's piece shortly after GTA V's launch. Made me really uncomfortable about Lamar after the fact.

Posted by joshwent

Woah. that weekend just flew by!

Posted by Video_Game_King

  • NeoGAF reimagines modern video games as though they were developed for PSOne.

How is it that some of these games look more interesting than their modern day counterparts?

Edited by SharkMan

I watched the black vs white video, pretty cool that you have that listed here, I never really thought there weren't any black dudes in game journalism, i just assumed there probably was.... Just not that many, since i hadn't seen much.

Edited by SpaceInsomniac

@conmulligan said:

I remember reading Isaiah Taylor's piece shortly after GTA V's launch. Made me really uncomfortable about Lamar after the fact.

But the entire article was basically an example of "do as I say and not as I do." It also reminds me of how Kat Williams and Spike Lee said Django Unchained was racist because it was made by a white guy. When you think about it, that's an incredibly disrespectful and irresponsible claim to make, as it suggests that both white people and black people involved in the project knowingly participated in something racist / harmful / disrespectful / etc.

Loved the hip hop gamer video, though. Full agreement with him, or at least the overall point he was making.

Posted by rmanthorp

Dave Lang Announcer Pack for Dota 2!

Moderator
Posted by tbk
@patrickklepek said:

  • NeoGAF reimagines modern video games as though they were developed for PSOne.

How is it that some of these games look more interesting than their modern day counterparts?

that Dota burn in the GAF thread.

Posted by rahulricky

The love affair between Giant Bomb and Idle Thumbs continues unabated

Posted by threeOCT

Dave Lang Announcer Pack for Dota 2!

Your middle tower is trouble, you stupid fuck!

Posted by KDR_11k

@sharkman said:

I watched the black vs white video, pretty cool that you have that listed here, I never really thought there weren't any black dudes in game journalism, i just assumed there probably was.... Just not that many, since i hadn't seen much.

I don't know what most game journos look like so I couldn't say I've seen any :P.

Posted by csl316

I'm uncomfortable with all this Waluigi talk lately.

Posted by liquidsnakegfer9

Patrick, you really should take a look into Project M, its a whole mod for smash bros brawl you play off an sd card that reworks the entire game to be more supportive of competitive play while also adding additional characters and stages. It amazes me because its a real testament as to how crazy the competitive smash community is that they would go so far as to mod a wii game.

Posted by irishalwaystaken

Just as a heads up, that Dota article is 5 years old, and written by someone who is not looked upon fondly by Dota players, he destroyed a community in order to (very obnoxiously) advertise his new game

Posted by Kete

Posted by Fitzgerald

That Smash Bros article is a great read, thanks!

Posted by HockeyJohnston

If I want to watch a 1v1 fighter, it's going to be Street Fighter. It was great to watch good players on the Nintendo E3 stream play Smash the way I play Smash: 4 players, items on. Too bad I can't find that stuff more regularly, so it's back to checking out Dota2 and SFIV if I'm in the mood for something esports-y.

Posted by Dan_CiTi

What do the competitive / serious Smash Bros. players think of Smash Bros. 4 so far? I love Melee as much as the next guy, but I'd love for the new game to be great and adopted by the hardcore, just for the sake of variety.

Posted by MooseyMcMan

You know, I think it's cool that Atari wants to appeal to the LGBT community, but everything about what Atari is doing just screams "cash-grab" in a way that kinda offends me.

Moderator
Edited by R3DT1D3

@irishalwaystaken: From what I've heard from LoL friends, he's not even respected in that community either. I mean, how could you take someone who believes this seriously: http://i.imgur.com/KBFtVn8.gif

Edited by Brodehouse

HipHopGamer had me, especially in the 'one video' section, until he started talking about "90% of people are shallow, but I'm not, and I believe in things even before I see them". For one, starting off with the assumption that everyone other than you is stupid is exactly what I want to get away from current games journalism. And then the 'faith and by the grace of god' thing turns me all the way off.

Much like Giant Bomb, HHG has a niche outside of the massive major media corporations (although it can be argued Giant Bomb is broad now). He expresses himself, and it just so happens that a decent amount of people want to see it. Geoff Keighley is not expressing himself, Geoff Keighley is conforming to the standards and norms of a TV host in order to host things on TV. Geoff Keighley acts the way he does in order to appeal to the broadest amount of people because that's his job. HHG acts the way he does because that's who he is inside and he wants to express it. These are not the same thing, and I just feel it's... I don't know, unfair? It seems a little shallow to dress and act however you want, and then be upset that it's not broadly appealing. It seems even more unfair to criticize people who have to conform to be broadly appealing.

I work, and I personally don't want to be overbearingly pleasant and friendly and talk in a very light tone of voice to everyone I see, without using any profanity or bringing up any topics that could potentially turn people off, because my boss does not care that I get to express myself. I like profanity, I like controversial topics, I like edgy humor, but I don't get to do any of that at my job because my employment is not about me expressing myself. I have to do whatever is broadly appealing and remove any personal element that might offend. And I just feel as if HHG would look at me and go "see, they're only hiring this kind of person" and I would feel unfairly judged.

If he's getting mad that Brooklyn accents are looked down upon by the middle, yeah, he's right, and it's unfair. So do rural southern accents. So are working class Hispanic accents. It's unfair, but it has way more to do with assumptions about class and education than simple race or gender or whatever. People who can't communicate articulately get treated as stupid and worthless every single day. Despite having a vocabulary I find it very difficult to express myself in voice, and people treat me like I'm stupid for it every single day. This is not a race thing, this is a language and metacognitive thing.

edit: It's nice to see @jadegl 's write up get noticed by the staff. It always kind of bugged me that it appeared the Giant Bomb staff spent more time reading NeoGAF than their own users. Nice to see that's starting to change.

edit the second: I also really enjoy that article about Vivienne from Dragon Age Inquisition. We have the E3 trailer running at my store and she captures my attention every time. Her robe-thing has got this real lounge singer vibe that I dig, she looks like she's about to bust out some jazz standards. I will say that I don't know exactly who or what that article is supposed to prove or fix. I'm relieved at this point that it didn't try to point the finger at all gamers or all Americans or all whites or something stupid like that, but I just wonder what readers are supposed to take from it. I'm glad to see a games journalist not throwing their entire audience under the bus as if the Clean Faces mod in Skyrim is somehow their fault, but I don't know what you gain by preaching to the converted. Oh well, it got me an article about Vivienne.

Posted by RedParka

@conmulligan said:

I remember reading Isaiah Taylor's piece shortly after GTA V's launch. Made me really uncomfortable about Lamar after the fact.

But the entire article was basically an example of "do as I say and not as I do." It also reminds me of how Kat Williams and Spike Lee said Django Unchained was racist because it was made by a white guy. When you think about it, that's an incredibly disrespectful and irresponsible claim to make, as it suggests that both white people and black people involved in the project knowingly participated in something racist / harmful / disrespectful / etc.

Loved the hip hop gamer video, though. Full agreement with him.

I agree that there is a double standard, but people who are exploiting blacks and black culture don't have to deal directly with repercussions of stereotypes. That doesn't justify the double standard, but one would hope that someone with the same cultural background would treat the material with the care and tact that it would need, if that's possible.

Posted by medacris

@yummylee: When you're playing with friends, yes. That's probably the only place trash talking should take place. Otherwise, with total strangers, it can get complicated. You don't really know them, can't see their facial expressions, etc. It just gets too potentially messy.

Posted by MikaelBoogart

Mrs. Kardashian is also obscenely rich. So... i don't feel so bad about the rigors of her lifestyle as it relates to the paparazzo. Many a very rich person has been able to live in seclusion successfully when desired.

Posted by Yummylee

@medacris said:

@yummylee: When you're playing with friends, yes. That's probably the only place trash talking should take place. Otherwise, with total strangers, it can get complicated. You don't really know them, can't see their facial expressions, etc. It just gets too potentially messy.

Of course, that should all go without saying. I was responding to the idea that the mere concept behind trash talking is bad.

Online
Posted by Jpope

That kid needs to become a poet laureate.

Posted by Yummylee

Mrs. Kardashian is also obscenely rich. So... i don't feel so bad about the rigors of her lifestyle as it relates to the paparazzo. Many a very rich person has been able to live in seclusion successfully when desired.

Yup. The difference with people like the Kim Kardashians and Paris Hiltons of the world is that their entire 'career' basically revolves around putting themselves out there and embracing that sort of lifestyle. I'm to believe that reality show of Kim's is basically just all about following she and her family living their lives.

Online
Posted by Make_Me_Mad

My interactions with friends are probably 50 percent trash talking, more on certain days of the week. I think we'll probably just keep doing our thing as usual if that's alright with Brad Muir.

Edited by Counterclockwork87

My interactions with friends are probably 50 percent trash talking, more on certain days of the week. I think we'll probably just keep doing our thing as usual if that's alright with Brad Muir.

Brad Muir has obviously never played competitive sports.

Posted by kid_gloves

HipHopGamer is a cool guy.

Posted by TDot

Hip Hop Gamer once accidentally elbowed me while he was cheering for project natal at E3 at the ms press conference. He didn't apologize. This is my only beef with him.

Edited by MATATAT

A Dave Lang Dota pack would get me to play Dota regardless of how bad I did.

Edited by MarkWahlberg

Dragone Age: Origins had rather neat toolset that let you build missions and characters n stuff. While a cool idea, I don't think there was much in the way of player made expansions like they'd hoped. I enjoyed it because it let me fiddle with, among other things, NPC appearances. Most of what I did was just little tweaks - removing (or adding!) dumb haircuts, for example - but with some of my party members, I actually did full face changes, including making them not white. I was partially just fooling around, but I also felt like it made the cast a little more interesting (character design was admittedly not Origins' strong point).

So, while on the one hand I can totally understand wanting to fiddle with the appearances of other characters in the game, even just for the fun of experimentation, DeMartino is 100% on point about how it can be pretty unsavory for a number of reasons. Perhaps not quite as gross as Bioware's FemShep Beauty Pageant, but it's the same idea.

Posted by Entreri10

@yummylee said:

I do usually enjoy Brad Muir's unbridled enthusiasm and positivity, but I can't agree with him about the trash talking thing. Obviously there's always a line, but it's just banter, and there's no harm if you're engaging in a little ribbing during a game with friends who know you're only joking.

I agree...I think there's something to be said for trash talking among friends. My co-workers and I love to trash talk each other when playing games together. I think when It comes to strangers I again don't mind and kinda enjoy the playful trash talking, but If its more serious I'll usually just turn off my headset and turn up the music or bombcast that I'm listening to.

Posted by Wintermute

@conmulligan said:

I remember reading Isaiah Taylor's piece shortly after GTA V's launch. Made me really uncomfortable about Lamar after the fact.

But the entire article was basically an example of "do as I say and not as I do." It also reminds me of how Kat Williams and Spike Lee said Django Unchained was racist because it was made by a white guy. When you think about it, that's an incredibly disrespectful and irresponsible claim to make, as it suggests that both white people and black people involved in the project knowingly participated in something racist / harmful / disrespectful / etc.

Loved the hip hop gamer video, though. Full agreement with him.

Yeah, his articles suggests that he's allowed to and does say it. But, not in "mixed" company. I assume because he would feel awkward/ashamed to do so. And then lambastes Rockstar for not also feeling awkward/ashamed and suggests that word should be stricken from essentially all games. And there is no suggestion that he himself will stop or that he thinks the artists who make the music and movies he enjoys should stop.

Hey, why not just say everyone should try and stop using a hurtful word and make this world a better place instead of picking on Rockstar for making a lot of money with a product that uses that word(just like Jay-Z)?

Edited by Mr_Creeper

HipHopGamer had me, especially in the 'one video' section, until he started talking about "90% of people are shallow, but I'm not, and I believe in things even before I see them". For one, starting off with the assumption that everyone other than you is stupid is exactly what I want to get away from current games journalism. And then the 'faith and by the grace of god' thing turns me all the way off.

Much like Giant Bomb, HHG has a niche outside of the massive major media corporations (although it can be argued Giant Bomb is broad now). He expresses himself, and it just so happens that a decent amount of people want to see it. Geoff Keighley is not expressing himself, Geoff Keighley is conforming to the standards and norms of a TV host in order to host things on TV. Geoff Keighley acts the way he does in order to appeal to the broadest amount of people because that's his job. HHG acts the way he does because that's who he is inside and he wants to express it. These are not the same thing, and I just feel it's... I don't know, unfair? It seems a little shallow to dress and act however you want, and then be upset that it's not broadly appealing. It seems even more unfair to criticize people who have to conform to be broadly appealing.

I work, and I personally don't want to be overbearingly pleasant and friendly and talk in a very light tone of voice to everyone I see, without using any profanity or bringing up any topics that could potentially turn people off, because my boss does not care that I get to express myself. I like profanity, I like controversial topics, I like edgy humor, but I don't get to do any of that at my job because my employment is not about me expressing myself. I have to do whatever is broadly appealing and remove any personal element that might offend. And I just feel as if HHG would look at me and go "see, they're only hiring this kind of person" and I would feel unfairly judged.

If he's getting mad that Brooklyn accents are looked down upon by the middle, yeah, he's right, and it's unfair. So do rural southern accents. So are working class Hispanic accents. It's unfair, but it has way more to do with assumptions about class and education than simple race or gender or whatever. People who can't communicate articulately get treated as stupid and worthless every single day. Despite having a vocabulary I find it very difficult to express myself in voice, and people treat me like I'm stupid for it every single day. This is not a race thing, this is a language and metacognitive thing.

You really put how I was feeling about that video into words.He doesn't want to "conform" and would rather do his own thing, that's awesome; but please don't put down the people that do because they are trying to get ahead in life. They're fitting in just the same way his mannerisms and style allow him to fit in with the people he wants to relate to.

Posted by joshwent

You know, I think it's cool that Atari wants to appeal to the LGBT community, but everything about what Atari is doing just screams "cash-grab" in a way that kinda offends me.

It's a very interesting situation that deserves way more thought than I have the time for now, but I think one road block is how difficult it is to try and appeal directly to the LGBT crowd, without presenting an exaggerated caricature of those folks.

Whereas you can very directly appeal to an "Urban" audience with games like Getting Up by including all sorts of street culture stuff or Def Jam Rapstar through Hip Hop , gay folks just don't have that kind of clearly defined culture.

For example, if I wanted to make a racing game geared at the LGBT audience and every driver was not straight, it would still pretty much just be like any other racing game. And with the games that allow you to have a non-straight PC like the Mass Effect series, the rest of the game is identical to what it is if you chose to not play that way.

So Atari is left trying to get LGBT people's attention by putting rainbow flags all over the fucking place and... not much else. I'd say the better option is to just make some good games that just happen to have some good gay characters in them, including the one you play as. But unless the game is absolutely amazing, it wouldn't capture the numbers of the audience they're going after and leave them not financial able to continue the push. So, in a weird way, I feel bad for them.

But still, what it all comes down to is that you just can't go to a group of people and say, "Here, I made this just for you. It's about you so you'll like it". You make something appealing first, and just try to ensure that they know it's out there. Positive word of mouth can do much more good than pandering promotion.

Or, at the very least, they could start with a less atrociously bad version of this:

Edited by MooseyMcMan

@joshwent: That's exactly what I was getting at, but didn't put the time and effort into writing. The worst part is that even I'm a member of the LGBT community (I'm a B), I don't like rainbows! The bi flag is a bit better (with the pink, blue, and purple), but still, not a fan of rainbows! There really isn't any way to make something like this without either plastering the aforementioned rainbows on everything, or going into a bunch of stereotypes that I won't mention here (but we know what they are).

I'm not even going to comment on that Drag Race video, but yeah. There's some rotten stuff out there.

Moderator
Edited by Brodehouse

@joshwent said:

But still, what it all comes down to is that you just can't go to a group of people and say, "Here, I made this just for you. It's about you so you'll like it".

This concept has rarely been put this succinctly.

Also girl, you better run.

Posted by MrMazz

Yes you posted the Walo Lugi ode I head about it on Idle Thumbs.

Posted by MrMazz

@brodehouse: Well put I was going to post something similar.

I wonder if HHG has read anything by Wesely Morris, he writes on Grantland has won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism and is black.

I'm a white guy and don't think I consciously only look for white writers but also hey more well spoken voices is a good thing. I think HHG delivery undose some of the points he's trying to make but overall I get where he's coming from.

Edited by Video_Game_King

@joshwent said:

So Atari is left trying to get LGBT people's attention by putting rainbow flags all over the fucking place and... not much else.

Why not make a game where sexuality is part of the mechanics? I'm thinking about a dating sim where anybody can date whoever, but you have to put in the work to figuring out your partner's sexuality. Sounds like an interesting idea, at least. It would make LGBT relevant to the material in a way that doesn't speak down to the LGBT community. (In theory, at least. The game still has to be good, as I think you said.)

The worst part is that even I'm a member of the LGBT community (I'm a B), I don't like rainbows! The bi flag is a bit better (with the pink, blue, and purple), but still, not a fan of rainbows!

Also, your post made me think of this:

Posted by joshwent

I'm thinking about a dating sim where anybody can date whoever, but you have to put in the work to figuring out your partner's sexuality.

This would relate to that demographic certainly, but it's doing so by forcing the player to engage with one of the most frustrating and potentially frightening parts of being not-straight.

Like a game with a female protagonist that tries to appeal to women by having the game not playable once a month because her cramps are too bad.

Making sexual orientation part of the gameplay, as you said, is a cool idea, I just honestly can't think of any successful way to do that at the moment. It's a tricky task.

Edited by Brodehouse

@joshwent said:

Making sexual orientation part of the gameplay, as you said, is a cool idea, I just honestly can't think of any successful way to do that at the moment. It's a tricky task.

I thought Dragon Age: Origins did an excellent job of making choosing male/female at the start of the game have crucial pay offs later. To wit, there's a plot-crucial segment where you have to decide if you want or don't want to impregnate someone, and your choice of sex (and the results of the previous major decision) drastically changes the feasibility of doing it, and can change the player's perspective on whether they want to do it. It's one of the best 'web of intrigue' results from player choices I've seen.

Edited by joshwent

@brodehouse: Interesting. Funny you mentioned it, because I just started playing DA: O two days ago. So I can have some good feedback about what you mentioned when I finish it... in about 2 years.

Posted by Coolarman
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