2012 was a landmark year if those doomsday movies are to be believed. The year marked some great games that change the way we look at the medium, but also had yet another deluge of weak titles that we expected to be better. Much like 2011, the big AAA titles were a bit of a wash in one way or another. But it was smaller games that really brought something new to the table, and we are here to celebrate them.
I bought this game purely from the quick look that Vinny and Jeff did a couple of months ago, and it was well worth the purchase. charming characters, gorgeous art design, and clever writing. The game is your standard point-and-click adventure game that parodies practically every fantasy game that came before it. Shop keepers are addicted to playing an online fantasy RPG that has no dragons, Orcs or magic but include Post Offices, and tax returns. The game isn't without problems, I encountered a game ending bug that wouldn't let me progress. Making me replay a full hour's worth up till that point. And it is an adventure game, meaning you need to click on EVERYTHING! But it's still a charming game well worth your time, if you like adventure games. You can buy it on Steam.
The soundtrack to The Walking Dead can barely be called a soundtrack as they tended to me stock repetitive sounds that merely only added to the atmospehre or distracted. Until the end credits of the final episode in which a licensed song is used, and it couldn't be a more befitting song. Take Us Back by Alela Diane is about the desire to return to the way things were and how beautiful life was then.
Runner-Ups: I Was Born For This (Journey), Honor For All (Dishonored), Leaving Earth (Mass Effect 3)
With Persona 4 Golden coming to Vita I was really in the mood for anything Persona. With the Endurance Run, I already knew how Persona 4 ended. Which means that Persona 3 would be the logical choice. Unbeknownst to me, there was an Atlus sale on PSN, everyone of their games was 50% off. So I bought Persona 3 off PSN for only $5. I'll come right out and say it, Persona 4 is a better game, it made a lot of the mechanics in 3 much more streamlined and more convient. Persona 3's story is much slower paced (If you can believe that), You can't control your party members, you can't start your social links with your party members till halfway through the game. However, Persona 3 is still a very good game. I'm more than 60 hours in, and I can't wait to finish it. If you wanted to play Persona 4, but already know how it ends from the Endurance Run, then Persona 3 Fes will definitely satisfy that desire. You can also have a social link with Tanaka!
Runner-Ups: Grand Theft Auto IV, Fallout: New Vegas
This is perhaps the most subjective category in a post about subjective categories. And by no means is it the only one, but I felt that this category needed to be added since 2012 will be known as the year of controversial endings. It would be nice to point out the games that did well. Each game listed here and the runner ups did their endings differently. Dishonored however, had 3 different endings, but depending on how you played throughout the game (High Chaos, Low Chaos) the entire end level will be completely different. Low Chaos means that the end level is bright and sunny, though not exactly cheery. High chaos means the level will be dark, stormy and well...chaotic. Me and a friend both played the game differently, and we both had a different experience. Best of all, the multiple endings are hidden from you. It's not "PRESS BUTTON TO RECEIVE ENDING" but your ending is depended on how you played through the game, and how you actually beat it. What a concept, eh?
Runner-Ups: Journey, The Walking Dead, Spec-Ops: The Line
OH EA, you were starting to create good will with gamers this generation. You were the most hated during the PS2 era, but it wasn't long till Activision took that title. But I guess you missed it and continue to go out of your way to nickle and dime your customers and treat them like crap while doing it. Whether it's cutting out content for pre-orders, online passes for single player games, rushing unfinished games out the door, and creating a terrible free-to-play system for your MMO. You're going down a bad road and your dragging Bioware with you.
2012 was a landmark year if those doomsday movies are to be believed. The year marked some great games that change the way we look at the medium, but also had yet another deluge of weak titles that we expected to be better. Much like 2011, the big AAA titles were a bit of a wash in one way or another. But it was smaller games that really brought something new to the table, and we are here to celebrate them.
The soundtrack to Journey from Austin Wintory, is easily one of the best soundtracks to a video game I’ve ever heard. I was actually angry that it wasn’t available for purchase until a week or two after the game came out, and I tend to get my music through…less reputable means. The string orchestra is both relaxing and uplifting. People say that music makes 60% of a film, and the same is true for Journey. I couldn’t imagine loving Journey as much as I would, had the music not been as strong as it is here.
Runner-Ups: Halo 4 by Neil Davidge, Mass Effect 3 by Clint Mansell
Simply put, the story of Spec Ops: The Line through me for a loop several times. And as someone who never finished watching Apocalypse Now, I had no idea how it would go or even end. For the first time there was Modern Military Shooter that wasn't an over-the-top Jingoistic exercise. Now some people aren't going to be blown away by the story, it certainly isn't the first of its kind, since it's based on an actual book that has already had an adaptation. It certainly is worth a play for its story alone.
Runner-Ups: The Walking Dead, Dishonored
The 10 minute long trailer for MGS:GZ left many people aghast at it's breath taking visuals and nonsensical setting that could only come from Kojima's convoluted yet entertaining mind. Why use lazors to cover up helicopter insignia? Cuz nano machines! The visuals and choice of music make this a memorable trailer that may actually be representable of how the actual game will be like. Unlike Dead Island's beautiful yet deceptive trailer of last year. Definitely will be looking for this game when it comes to release day.
Runner-Ups: Dishonored, Mass Effect 3
I can't remember the last time a video game character tug at my heart strings as much as Clementine. The simple feat of making me care about a virtual character as I would a real person is an accomplishment in and of itself. And add that it was a child character is nothing short of a miracle. Child characters in video games have historically been disastrous. Need I remind you of the kids from Heavy Rain? Perhaps it's because Clementine is voiced by an adult, Melissa Hutchison and not once did I notice it was an adult. Clementine is perfectly written, modeled, and voiced. If you need yet one more reason to play The Walking Dead, Clementine is that reason.
This year had a lot of heated comments and debates, but none were nearly as ugly, in the public's eye, as the closure of Curt Schilling's company 38 Studios. The lesson to be taken from the whole debacle is to never mix business with politics. There's not a single person involved in this situation whose hands aren't dirty in some way. Schilling was too ambitious, Rhode Island Ex-Governor was too naive, the current governor was too cut throat. The closure went from bad to worse at the flip of the switch.
What is truly horrid about this are the actual employees of the company who got caught unawares of how dire their jobs were hanging. Some employees lost their health insurance just as babies were being born. Some had made mortgage loans only days before the closure. Entire families were moved to a new state hoping for a new life, only to be shot down in an instant. When a game company closes it's not the IPs or the games that are gone or sold, but many people's lives were shattered when the news hit. At the very least many other companies were generous enough to hire some of the employees after the closure. The industry banded together to help them plant a new life and maybe get back on track. Naivety is what ultimately led to the closure of 38 Studios. A lot of people got into a business they didn't know a lot about and weren't prepared for with nothing more than a dream and willpower. Too bad it was all shattered, and it's still not over yet.
JRPGs aren’t really a genre I partake very often. I rarely finish them for one reason or another. Either they’re too damn long or because they haven’t really evolved with the times. The last one I played was Final Fantasy 13, and I immediately lost interest when it dumped me into the Calm Lands 2.0. And that was all I played this generation. Western RPGs however have become one of my favorite types ever since Fallout 3 took over months of my life. Lately friends of mine have been bringing this game up all the time. After the 3rd or 4th thousandth time, I decided to pick up a copy of the game and see what so special about this game. And chronicle my adventure. We'll see how long this lasts...
The game starts off in a city 30 or so years in the future. A man and child are taking refuge in a supermarket. In a snow covered New York? Presumably the world has become a post apocalyptic world. The setting and characters feel oddly familiar.
Barely holding on to hope or even health, the child is coughing and appears to be at death’s door. They’re soon interrupted by Shades…basically The Heartless from Kingdom Hearts. From here Nier attacks them with a sword and a book from which magic spews out and becomes the official pea shooter. What follows is an overlong series of enemy waves, oddly enough throughout the fights, you level up incredibly fast. By the time you’re finished with the fights you’re already level 35. Either the game is almost over – or the end game level is in the tens of thousands.
After the battle, Nier returns to Yonah to find she’s dying, but it’s okay, she has a cookie she wants you to have! What follows is quite odd. Yonah dies and Nier calls out for help-fade to white and the game goes over 1000 years into the future. Nier is in a house with Yonah who has a mild cough. Many questions flow through my head when this happens, but the number one question is, What about the cookie?!
Anyway, Nier tells her this story about these flowers called “Moon Tears” and how if you have one they can grant you wishes. And with that obvious plot line introduced, he walks out and goes to the library.
Not really a story Nier…
After talking with the librarian Nier finds that he has one thing to do. Kill every single goddamn sheep in the zone. Not really but he takes odd jobs from people. He later finds his daughter has run off to get herself lost in the abandoned temple across the area. Somehow slipping past the townsfolk, and guards, monsters and traversing over difficult terrain…
Pretty nimble for a bed ridden girl. So you follow the linear paths through the hills and come across a titanic temple sitting on this spire in a crater. You fight through floors and floors of identical rooms to the point I lost track where I was. Oddly enough some rooms change your camera’s orientation so that it becomes top down perspective. Why does it do this, is there a gameplay mechanic that takes advantage of this? Nope it’s just there to distract you from the fact that you’re in the same room only 4 floors up. Eventually you reach the room Yonah is in, and wouldn’t you know it she’s in suspended animation by 2 monster guards. Here is when you are introduced to the game’s McGuffin Grimoire Weiss. Played by Illidan Stormrage. He’s a smart alec of a book that acts as your magic construct. Together you defeat the guards and rescue Yonah and coincidentally the temple starts to crumble for no other reason that to check off the cliché list of modern entertainment. Will I have to carry the girl out by running and dodging falling debris? Nope, they cut away to right outside after the temple crumbles. Slow down there, this is an RPG we can’t have exciting moments too early now.
To be fair there is a bit more to it, when you acquire the book which acts as your magic generator, and certain magical attacks are bound to the shoulder buttons. One is a legitimate pea shooter, and the other is a shadowy spear which you can’t really aim. It automatically aims in the general direction of the enemy, and you can sort of select specific body parts. But aiming that is like digging through cement, it’s clunky and frustrating. Oddly enough, the enemy hit boxes must be big as the spear auto aims in an area that is clearly over the head of the enemy, but it some how manages to strike it. You can swing your weapon while in the air, but you’re never in the air for long and you can’t knock the enemies in the air with you.
Overall the combat at the early levels is pretty unremarkable. Ideally you would use the pea shooter as the enemies like to knock you down when they’re close, but it being a pea shooter, it takes quite a lot to take a single enemy down with it.
Nier is one ugly ass character. Nothing about the look or movement or voice is appealing. Oddly, the Japanese PS3 version, the developer saw fit to change the protagonist to Raiden from MGS. Apparently Japanese players wouldn’t want to play a game with a hero that looks like a half dead drug-addled boxer with Doc Brown hair. Can’t see why.
Purely a story device to tug at the player’s heart strings. Which means shit is gonna happen to her.
The talking book, who acts as your magical construct. He’s also voiced by the same voice actor as Illidan and War. But I like to imagine that Illidan was sucked into a book.
Strangely, despite his name clearly spelled with a W, people pronounce his name as “Vice.” I’m told it’s German for White, but considering his rival book is Grimoire Noir. He should really be called Grimoire Blanc. Whatever, I guess it’s because Nier has some kind of theme surrounding languages. A theme that it has made no attempt to explain as of yet.
That’s basically it at this point; there are some minor characters, Popola which is just a librarian. We’ve yet to run into one of the more…interesting characters. That’ll be for next time.
By far the most memorable aspect of this game is its soundtrack. It’s one of those soundtracks that permeate half of all minecraft videos on YouTube. The other half being the Bayonetta soundtrack. Unfortunately the music can be overbearing sometimes. There are soft sweet songs (of which there are only 3 different ones with a dozen remixes for each) or some overly dramatic song right out of Titus. It’s almost as if those latter songs are trying to emulate Final Fantasy VIII’s opening theme “Liberi Fitali.” Sometimes they’ll play at some really inappropriate moments like killing a sheep will result in some end of the world battle music.
The game actually seems afraid to just stay quite for more than a minute. Probably because the environments and sound design do little to enrich your senses.
This is only the first part in what will no doubt be an overly long trip through this overlooked game. Will I find something of value or will this be yet another mediocre JRPG to add to the growing pile. I’m sure excited to find out.
Welcome to the first of what may be many blogs about the Dungeons and Dragons campaign Eena. Chances are if you’ve been using the Mibbit channel, then you are already well aware of some rumblings of an upcoming D&D campaign. Let me set the record straight and tell you exactly what is up.
I am a noob to Dungeons and Dragons but I have grown interested in playing it, due to viewing many online videos of internet funny people (i.e. Spoony One) playing their own campaigns with friends. And so me and Melody aka Pixels, Pixel Prinny have decided to start a fresh campaign of my own creation. I will be your humble Dungeon Master and I will take you through the world of Eena.
What is Eena?
Eena is the land in which our campaign will take place. A Map of it can be found here. Eena is a relatively peaceful land populated by mostly humans. As Humans tend to do, there have been recent political tensions between the three kingdoms of Eena: Mosic to the East, Abura to the North and Niad to the South. Each kingdom holds a major capital city, Abura has Pereld, Mosic has Honund, and Niad has Tan-Derah. In the middle of all of this is a neutral city in the center-Baniton City.
What is the lore surrounding this land?
It began as far back as four thousand years ago. Long before there were any elves or Dwarves, there existed a race now known as The Ancients or The Illuminated Ones, (depending on who you ask).
Who are the Ancients?
They were Proto-Humans, they lived in harmony with the gods, and together they created the glorious city of Awbel in the West. Their legacy and power hand been passed down through generation for thousands of years. However, as time passed, future generations showed less and less powers of their parents.
This greatly concerned The Ancients as they approached the Gods for answers and a solution to their problem. The Gods were puzzled by this phenomenon. They (the Gods) convened to discuss the situation. They sent out their best Champion, Dynar Mah; to search for an answer. She traveled past the Obsidian Mountains on her quest, the first ever to do so. But she never returned.
As the centuries moved forward, The Ancient’s population dwindled to almost oblivion. Mortal Man had grown to such a formidable size that friction formed between the two. The mortals felt abused and inferior to their forefathers that a civil war broke out. It was a massacre, one that left their prosperous civilization in shambles.
Not a single Ancient survived the war. Mortal Man had declared dominance over their forefathers. Because of their cruelty and destruction, the Mortals left the great city to burn and moved past the Obsidian Mountains to form their own civilization. The Gods were so distressed by these events that they wailed in pain for a hundred years. The whole of the planet could hear their cries and the planet itself wept. The ground gave way just outside the great city and in its wake left a vortex in the sea. This effectively cut the once great city off from the rest of the world.
What happened to Dynar Mah?
Many people, to this day, believe that Dynar Mah will return and with her will be Man’s answer for reclaiming The Ancients’ lost power. They pray that it will bring about a new age of prosperity. This is known as the Great Return.
What you can expect from the campaign
Hollar back to me
The DM will be using the Ventrillo server, to speak with you, but you may choose to only use the chat feature with in the Open RPG. The program we will be using to play our games. You will not have to use vent. But you will have to be connected to it, that way you can hear what the DM is saying. If you aren't uncomfortable using the Vent then you may speak through it if you want. But everyone else will be texting their character interactions with the DM.
Use common sense.
I know the idea of common sense may seem pointless in a fantastical setting, but it really goes a long way. If you need to enter a castle, but have to speak to the guard first, go and speak to the guard. Don’t think you can be sly and climb over the wall and sneak into the castle. NPCs are not real, but they will react and behave as close to human as possible. They can be reasoned with, they can be intimidated, and they can be bought.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat…who skins cats?!! Gross.
Be creative. There’s never a single solution to anything. Even in combat. Say you’re fighting a Lich in a room full of braziers; you may want to use those braziers to dump burning oil on top of the monster! Not only will it now take fire damage for a few turns but you’ve also set a portion of the room on fire to take out smaller enemies. Of course being too careless will result in not only burning yourself but your party mates as well.
Be creative but not crazy. Don’t try to MacGuyver your way out of situations; it’s not going to work.
Don’t take things at face value.
Never assume you have the full story. NPCs will try to hide things from you, either to save themselves or to hinder your own progress. This is where checks like Insight come into play. If you feel that the NPC is not giving you all the information, you may opt to delve deeper into their secrets. Information is valuable, the right information can make your adventure much more rewarding; the wrong information will cause more trouble than it’s worth.
Also, when going through a dungeon it is important to search each and every room. Many dungeons hold secrets such as treasures, alternate paths, or clues for your current quest. This will also help identify traps. Traps are common and if not careful could result in character death, which brings us to our next topic.
Death is permanent.
A staple of D&D is the Perma-Death. Usually only granted to players who do royally stupid things. Play smart and you shouldn’t have to worry about this. There are rituals that can resurrect dead characters but they are not at all easy, or cheap. Best to simply play safe.
There is no XP.
Now before you overreact, please note that there is still some XP, but not from killing monsters. Tracking character XP can be a tedious and messy issue, especially if a player cannot make it to a session-missing out on all that XP. Your characters will level at the same time as everyone else at certain points in the campaign. You can gain additional XP from effective role playing though. However this is for rare cases that often catch the DM off guard and result in a nice or humorous exchange with the character and NPC.
Role Playing or How to put on your robe and Wizard hat for dummies.
Role playing is arguable the most important part in D&D, it is what gives the world a colorful and rich atmosphere. Remember your characters are their own independent entities in this fantasy world. They all have unique backgrounds and character traits. They think and feel unlike anyone else. They have their own motivations and goals. So it is important that these characters are not simply clones of your own personality. Give them room to breathe and grow. This means affecting a certain attitude for when you are in character.
I encourage all of you to dive into your characters and act the way they would act. Are you a Dragonborn, then why would you be taking crap from a Halfling? Are you a lost soul on a vision quest, then why are you dancing naked on top of mailboxes?
Now, What I expect from you
I expect you all to have fun. D&D is a game if nothing else. And games should be fun. So if you feel you are not having fun, please by all means I encourage you to tell me, maybe we can find a way to help make the game better. I wouldn’t be a good DM if everyone wasn’t enjoying themselves, and that is my biggest fear. I know what I have written so far may be a lot to swallow but I assure you it isn’t that much more work, than what is already expected from you when you first read the player’s handbook.
Before the festivities.
You will need to send me your finished character sheets, please talk to the other players or search online for help. Some of them are more informed on how to do this than me. You will need a full name, a brief physical description of what your character looks like, and what their weapon of choice is, so that I may draw a character portrait for them. You will also need to write a back story to your character, half a page to a full page should be plenty. You may use the map I provided for assistance in locations.
The group alignment makeup is Good-Unaligned. You may want to keep this in mind in case you feel you want to make a dark evil character. We are looking for heroes in this journey, there will be plenty more adventures in the future for more…colorful characters.
That’s all I have to say right now, if you have any questions, please PM me. I will be happy to help. We do not have a set day, but I believe our first session will be coming in the next month or so. Many of us still have school. School takes top priority. Don’t feel bad if you can’t make it to a session. We will likely continue playing, your character is not going anywhere, he/she will be along side the group throughout the entire session.
Please keep in mind, I did not play every game that came out this year. So if there is a character that you feel should be on this list, then it's entirely likely that I did not play their respective games, and thus, know nothing about said character. You are more than welcome to create your own top ten list, I would love to see them. Enjoy! :D
10. War (Darksiders) This dude is one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, more than enough reason to have him on this list.
9. Chuck Greene (Dead Rising 2) Chuck’s masterful ability to create stuff out of junk is without equal. MacGuyver’s got nothing on Chuck. Truly, there is nothing more effective than a roll of duct tape, at least not with Chuck around.
8. Jorge (Halo: Reach) The stoic and brawny Spartan of the Noble Team, he poses the greatest of threats than all the other members. Him being a Spartan-II means that he wasn’t trained to be mass produced like his Spartan-III partners, he was trained to kill foreign enemies and domestic. Also, he can turn any vehicle into a chain-gun mounted kill machine!
7. Tychus Findlay (Starcraft 2) The wise-cracking partner of Jim Raynor may have stolen the show for Starcraft 2. He doesn’t take crap from no one and you certainly don’t want to be on his bad side.
6. Mordin Solus (Mass Effect 2) Perhaps the most likable crew member you pick up along in the game. A brilliant scientist and a hell of a singer make this quirky character well deserved to be on this list.
5. Alan Wake (Alan Wake) A determined writer who will never stop fighting to save his wife. He’s self-sacrificing and creative. Much like the protagonists of the Silent Hill series, Alan Wake is just a regular guy caught up in irregular situations. Plus who else can use light itself as a weapon?
4. Ethan Mars (Heavy Rain) Another regular guy caught in irregular situations is Ethan Mars. A poor father-trying to save his last son from a serial killer, he puts his body through the ringer in this game. He never gives up and will do whatever it takes to save him. Even if it means sacrificing his own life.
3. Agent Frances York Morgan (Deadly Premonition) One of the most peculiar characters of 2010, you can count on him to get the job done. He’s always willing to help out anyone despite trying to solve a series of gruesome murders. Terrible outfits, unshaven, flies buzzin’ around; doesn’t matter to him he’s got a case to solve.
2. Jim Raynor (Starcraft 2) This is a controversial choice because Jim Raynor did not make his debut this year, but rather back in 1998. To which I say; that was 12 years ago! He hasn’t appeared in another game since, and Starcraft: Ghost doesn’t count. The very likable protagonist of the Starcraft series continues his battle against his betrayers. Often laid back and sarcastic, he’s always willing to do the right thing no matter the cost.
1. John Marston (Red Dead Redemption) Probably the most straight forward character, he knows what he wants and he does it. He wants to be with his family and be left alone. Despite all the sin and vice that is bestowed upon him, he is like an unmovable rock and will always remain faithful to his wife. So much shit is dumped on Marston that it’s almost unbelievable that he manages to get out of any of it. John Marston is 2010’s Video Game Man of the year.
2010 is about to come to a close and now it’s time for everyone’s favorite thing in the world Top Ten Lists! Our first Top Ten List is the Top Ten Video Game Women of 2010. (I'm also working on the Top Ten Video Game Men of 2010)
For the "Thick-Headed," please keep this in mind that I have not played every game this year, so I cannot comment on characters that appeared in games that I have never played. With that out of the way let's begin. :)
10. Big Sister (Bioshock 2) While the Big Daddies of the first Bioshock were scary initially, they quickly became boring and predictable. This is remedied with the sequel’s main enemy the Big Sister. Quick and limber, she’ll stop at nothing until you are dead. Fear her! FEAR HER!
9. Pit Girl (Monday Night combat) When your armor is melting, and your weapons are crapping out, you know there’s always one person who can be there to lend a hand as well as provide some vocal support. Southern Belles are always the best.
8. Lightning [Claire Farron] (Final Fantasy XIII) This installment’s protagonist is one of very few females of the long beloved series. At first she is cold and distant but has great compassion for her sister and group mates. She also wears a half-cape. More women should wear half-capes.
7. Kat (Halo: Reach) This Spartan 3 is the brains of Noble Team, brilliant and a hell of a computer wiz. It’s also nice that she has a sexy Israeli accent.
6. Veronica (Fallout: New Vegas) The digital incarnation of Felicia Day is in full force here. Not only does she lend her enjoyable voice but also her sparkly personality. This robed woman who roams the wastes all alone can pack quite a punch with her trusty Power Fist. Despite her incredible ability to make guys ‘splode with one punch, her one goal in life is to own a pretty dress. Classy girl.
5. Emily Wyatt (Deadly Premonition) The very definition of the girl next door, a no-nonsense woman who wants to protect those she cares about. She also knows how to clean up well when the time comes. This lovely woman is also one of the most tragic characters of 2010.
4. Oerba Yun Fang (Final Fantasy XIII) This sultry tan-skinned woman is arguably the best character in Final Fantasy XIII. Strong, determined and fiercely loyal to her friends, all coupled together with a sexy Australian accent.
3. Madison Paige (Heavy Rain) Courageous and intelligent, this hot young journalist will stop at nothing to get a story and solve dangerous mysteries. Ever the helpful partner, you can always count on her to put her own body on the line, in more ways than one.
2. Bayonetta (Bayonetta) What can be said about Bayonetta that hasn’t already been said or even attempted to be said? She’s a woman that lacks any definitive description just like her own self-titled game. She fights monsters with her guns, legs, and even hair! Every one of her polygons is designed to be overly seductive. You know you’ll never be cool enough to hang with this unearthly creature. However, despite this she is not our winner for she has one fatal flaw, she’s trying WAY TOO hard.
1. Miranda Lawson (Mass Effect 2) Yes, the biotic femme fatale of Mass Effect 2 is my Video Game Woman of 2010. The most useful team member you pick up immediately is also the one I used all the way throughout the rest of the game. She was bred to be the best woman in the galaxy, and it sure worked since even the developers couldn’t help themselves from having Miranda show off her booty in every shot she’s in.
Ah Electronic Arts. You've pissed me off so much during this year. With your arrogance and complete lack of understanding the used games market-- you sure have been right behind Activision in publishers that deserve great ire. Well the President of Electronic Arts, Frank Gibeau has divulged us on his new idea that single player games will become a thing of the past.
According to Joystiq, Gibeau said in an interview with Develop Online, that they're "very comfortable moving the discussion towards how we make connected gameplay - be it co-operative or multiplayer or online services - as opposed to fire-and-forget, packaged goods only, single-player, 25-hours-and you're out. I think that model is finished."
So just to be clear, the President of EA, says that single player games will inevitably be replaced with multiplayer games. Not the dumbest of viewpoints, after all, with the Call of Duty series dominating the multiplayer market, how can anyone not think that multiplayer will continue to grow? However, to think that single player focused games will lose all support in favor of multiplayer games is not only ridiculous but quite frightening.
There's plenty of single player games that are perfectly fine on their own without being hindered by some tacked on multiplayer.
Alan Wake Heavy Rain Enslaved Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Limbo Mass Effect 2 Bayonetta Darksiders
Just to name a few from this year alone. Some games just don't lend themselves well to multiplayer, co-operative or competitive. However, I'm sure the President of EA knows this...
Also not all developers can afford to buy and maintain servers for online actions. Personally I'd say they're are too many online multiplayer games. It's gotten to the point that unless you can take on Call of Duty then you might as well have not bothered working on an expensive multiplayer mode. Most gamers play one online game and one online game only. People don't have the time or even the money to dedicate for multiple online games.
It really begs the question as to why President Gibeau would go and say such a stupid thing. Clearly he should know that not all games can be multiplayer focused. I mean what would he have to gain from every game going online?
There's no use wondering, it's all very clear. It benefits EA because of their shady new project. Designed to make consumers pay extra money for something that is completely legal and has been around for as long as video games have. Pay extra money for online support that they will inevitably take down in two years. Don't buy into this corporate bullshit. Single-player games are going nowhere and Frank Gibeau should stop lying to people.
Many commentors have made some criticisms, some more constructive than others, that Frank Gibeau is not strictly talking about multiplayer. Rather "Online Connectivity." However, what this means is not made entirely clear. Does he mean DLC, facebook/ twitter integration, social media, leaderboards? Or all of the above? Why do games need a social media aspect? Isn't that left up to the makers of the consoles? The X Box 360 already has all those features why do games need to add them?
Despite my blunder for not reading the whole article, I still stand by my original statment that not all games should have this "Online Connectivity." A game should be able to stand on its own and not the bells and whistles attached to it for the shear sake of extending it's life.
No "online feature" was going to save Alan Wake from its fate. No leaderboard is going to make Limbo a better experience. The Cerberus Network attached to Mass Effect 2, didn't improve it in anyway, it didn't need it. It was already a great game. No one bought Mass Effect 2 because of it either. The Cerberus Network was pointless and Gibeau's comments are pointless. A game can be just fine on it's own and it shouldn't have to rely on the latest craze in order to be successful. Joystiq article 31 Comments
I’m not typically one to remember my dreams after waking up. Every now and then though, some dream comes along that just defies everything and becomes truly memorable but not because they were great but because they were odd. I’d like to share three specific dreams that I’ve had in the past couple of days.
Dream number one: Video game related
I’m inside Red Dead Redemption, playing John Marston, I’m rolling with a posse through this empty farm. Till I slowly turn my head and from behind this huge barn house erupts this HUGE building sized radscorpion! It breaks through the building and begins chasing me. I run away for dear life. I jump over this fence and the dream ends.
Dream number two: Job related
I’ve been jobless for 8 months now, but I’ve had dreams in which I am repeating the same mistakes and problems I’ve had when I did have a job. They tend to revolve around me rushing to get dressed for work as I’m running late. So this dream I was at school, and I’m running from one side of school to the other, trying to get ready to go to work. “I need to take a shower, run over to the Student union.” I need to brush my teeth, go over to the art building.” Eventually I get a call from my manager and he’s really pissed, but his voice is like that of an evil madman from action movies. Dream ends.
Dream number three: Brothel related.
I’m in a car with this British guy, whose Youtube videos I watch all the time. I’ve traveled to England for the first time, and he’s taking me to a hotel. I guess we’re friends in this dream? I don’t know, I’ve never even thought about contacting him in real life.
Anyway, we pull up to these shops and I notice this huge building that’s called “Prostitute Academy,” or something like that. I point to it and begin laughing at how silly such a thing is. He pulls into the parking lot and we walk in. He goes to their front desk and I wander around, apparently in the same building is another counter where you can order food. Naturally I never question why we’re here, so I gaze around and there’s this vending machine for comics. Why? Maybe because I make comics??? Again, I don’t know.
The front desk calls my name and I go to it, and my British friend is now gone. Apparently he wanted me to experience British lifestyle by ordering me a prostitute. What a guy… but this prostitute was some old scrawny lady reaching her 70s. She gives me a half-hug and asked if I was okay with her being as old as she was. I was being polite and said, “Uh, yeah…sure, it’s okay…I guess.” She takes me through this door into this huge room which I guess is a waiting room of sorts as random people are sitting around in these booths similar to a Dennys, but no tables and no one’s eating, then she takes me through another room which is like a locker room. I’m nervous as all hell because I’m a virgin and I never wanted my first time to be with some prostitute, let alone a 70 year old one. I curse my friend under my breath for making me go through this, but I man up and begin thinking, this won’t be so bad.
Then we go through the main room, and rather it being a private intimate room, it’s like a bath house with long rows of tables, with people having sex on them, all neatly packed on individual tables. Each six foot of space is reserved for each couple. And there’s dozens of people hear, apparently I’m just supposed to hop up on this table and go to town with another couple having sex a foot away from me. I lie and tell her that I need to go to the locker room to disrobe, so I left her there and walked out of the building, but not before I get a refund from the front desk.
It’s here where I don’t immediately wake up but rather I very slowly wake, my whole body felt weird. I guess I was able to take hold of my dream and I decided that I wanted to confront my friend who was grabbing a snack at a café next door. I grab him and throw him against the car and tell him that he can’t pull tricks on me like that, that there our boundaries that are to be enforced. And that’s when I woke up. Weird.
I don’t really know what to make of these dreams, sure I guess that the first dream means that I play too many games, and the second dream means that I still feel guilty from all the mistakes I made when I had a job, but what about the third dream? I guess if I had to take a stab at it, I suppose it means that I feel pressured into sex, which I don’t know is really true. Even then, why the hell was it the British dude from Youtube that did it?
Again, I don’t know, dream 2 and dream 3 all happened last night. Maybe I should write down my dreams for future research. Maybe there’s some meaning behind them or maybe not…
Now I'm usually the first one to roll my eyes at any political and religious threads, but this time I have to get something off my chest. Now I'm a Republican but I consider myself a Centrist or at most a moderate Conservative. This doesn't mean that I don't give everyone a chance, I voted for Obama at the election after all. Save your stone. >_> But I've been highly political in my years and it was horrible, it ate away at me and made me a bitter and spiteful person when dealing with absolute asshole on various political boards. So I had decided that for 2010 I would avoid politics at all costs, unfortunately I didn't realize that this year was going to be an election year. Arrgh. I think Al Pacino said it best in Godfather 3.
So I guess I have a lot of catching up to do. Sure I could not vote, but since when has not voting ever fixed anything? I've been receiving pamphlets and practice ballots for the past couple of months. I finally opened one up and began my research on the governor candidates for California. What I found was less than optimistic.
Let's see, who's on the ballot for California Governor:
Carlos Alvarez (Peace and Freedom Party) a 23 year old retail worker- I shit you not! I didn't even know you could be that young and run for Governor. Makes me kinda interested in running myself and seeing who'll vote for me. He's an Ultra-Liberal, but considering his highest experience was bag boy at Vons is enough for me to not vote for him.
Laura Wells (Green Party) No one knows anything about this chick. All I could find was that she got arrested once for trespassing at some politcal fundraiser that she was invited to. Sucks for her I guess, But not enough for me to vote for her at this time.
Meg Whitman (Republican Party) Hired and fired her undocumented houskeeper. She was president of Ebay, so that's cool I guess.
Dale F. Ogden (Libertarian Party) Denies global warming and called Arnold Schwarzenegger "Idiot-in-Chief" on his official website. Way to keep it professional Dale...
Jerry Brown (Democratic Party) Dude's in his 70s!!! He was governor of California for two separate terms... in the 1970s and 80s!
Chelene Nightingale (American Independent Party) An Ultra-Conservative "actress" that ran a repair business or something.
I guess I can't complain too much, California was a fuckin' circus when the Recall happened (which is how Arnold became governor) Everybody and their dog decided to run for governor like it was the hippest thing to do.
When people like Mary Carey were taken seriously enough to be put on the ballot then you know things have gone tits up.
Anyway, going back to this year's election. It's not the worst California has had, but by God is it pretty bad. If only you guys could see my face. Hold on...
This comic was started by my close friend Lisa. I asked her to buy me a Carmine shirt from Comic Con, and in exchange she wanted to be in my comic. Thus this particular strip was born. I can't quite fathom why I decided to reference Rigaud's portrait of Louis the XIV, it was just the first thing that popped into my head so I went with it. If you want to see more of my comics, then please visit my site at www.cma.smackjeeves.com