Game journalism and The Last of Us.

I really like The Last of Us. But it's also helped continue to make me dislike gaming journalism.

I myself have ran into sound glitches, graphical glitches, and other general problems like "super gamey" parts. And even just for a bit, when a game is so strongly designed for a cinematic experience and not much else, those type of things can bring that experience to a screeching halt, and make you remember that you're playing a game.

The problem is though, I shouldn't have to remember that I'm playing a game. I want it to be a game. What I'm saying is, in a game that is very linear and that basically has one purpose, I've had a different experience than what it seems like most of the universal acclaim have had with it. But not because of me, because of the game and the way it's designed.

Games are so special, but not necessarily because of stuff like the way The Last of Us is designed, (although in certain ways, it is very special) but because of the fact that no one else will quite have the same experience you're having because you're pressing the buttons. Gameplay will always be, and should be, the true life blood of games. You don't need direction to create an immersive experience, you just need yourself in control and a game that doesn't get in the way of that, whether they use any sort of direction or not.

The Last of Us was not designed with gameplay in mind. It was designed with immersion in mind, and how to build the gameplay around that. But because of that, the game shoots itself in the foot at times because it breaks it's own illusion with the fact that it still is a video game and still has the problems of one. It's almost as if it hates that it's a game sometimes.

It's still a very awesome game, and I'm not trying to attack it. Not all games should be the same, and it strives for an ambition that not many other games have. Naughty Dog truly has done incredible things with the PS3 hardware, and It deserves a large amount of the praise it's gotten. This is about game journalism, not the game itself, and it's just depressing to see that things like super fancy graphics and gaming constantly trying to chase down and lick Hollywood's scrotum seems to make so many of these major gaming journalist blind to anything else, especially stuff that really matters.

Oh, and this is in no way targeting the Giant Bomb review. To be honest, I haven't even read it yet. I plan to after this.

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Don't ever order from the Capcom Store.

Ever.

I'm sure pretty much everyone knows about what happened with the "99% economic shipping guaranteed release date delivery" by now.

http://www.capcom-unity.com/snow_infernus/blog/2011/01/20/marvel_vs_capcom_3_-_look_what_we_got

Of course, that did not end up being the case. Many people got their copies a week late, some weeks late, and I shit you not, some nearly a month late. I even heard some say the never got their copy at all, and Capcom canceled their orders without any notification.

So that was a debacle. Of course, that article was a lie. Or if you don't agree with that word, then it was no doubt an incredibly unorganized and un honest way of doing business. I understand things can get messed up in shipping, but any company that cares doesn't promise thousands of their loyal fans that are willing to order directly from them release date delivery on one of the most hyped games of all time without at least having some sort of organized idea if that would work. 

I don't know of a single person that actually got their's on release date. And whats worse, they left them all in the dark. No one could get in contact with them, and if they did they would tell the customer that they were lying about the article, even though it is still clearly posted on Capcom Unity. Thousands of people had no idea if their packages had even shipped, let alone if they were being moved, for upwards of two weeks.

So yeh that happened. Finally, of course after the game was in most of the people that wanted it's hands and most were playing it too hard to even care, they admitted that their methods didn't work out. Of course by this time, only a small number were listening. They then decided to offer a compensation for these issues, which sounded interesting. They then revealed what that compensation was.

http://www.capcom-unity.com/djay/blog/2011/03/11/we_want_to_make_it_up_to_you_?pg=27

A free strategy guide! How can you be mad at them now right? I mean, great things have been said about this guide, and that's pretty much 20 bucks they are handing you for free right? Hell yeh Capcom! You're looking good!

But wait...That article was posted nearly five weeks ago. Why has no one gotten the e-mail confirmation they promised? Why has no one heard zero information regarding this subject since it was posted?

Because they lied. Again. By this time they know that most of the people that got fucked over by them don't even care anymore, and to everyone else that sees the article it makes them look great. I mean, surely if they posted that on their main blog, they eventually satisfied all those customers that "thought they had forgotten about them."

No, they didn't. What's left of us who actually care are all back in that same situation that happened when the game was ordered. Sitting in the dark, with no updates, and no reason whatsoever to think they give a damn.

I know there's more of you out there that were screwed over. Speak up. Let's get our voice through. Force someone at Capcom to say SOMETHING about this situation. Either help reveal them for the bullshit that they are, our figure out were our damn guides are.  And even if you weren't effected, if you think this situation is messed up, help our voice be heard.

We were lied to, twice. Don't just let this childish way of doing business just slip under the radar.    

EDIT: Just got update, Capcom actually has spoken about this subject, just a few hours ago. Most likely because of all the comments calling them out in the original article.

http://www.capcom-unity.com/djay/blog/2011/04/12/mvc3_strategy_guides_shipping_soon!

While this is great news that they've spoken up about it, I'll believe it when I see it. I won't be holding my breath. Also, seven weeks past the games release date isn't exactly great compensation.

16 Comments

The fighting genre needs new players, or it will be dust again.

I love the fighting game genre. It's probably my favorite genre, especially for competitive gaming. I have to admit, when I say fighting game genre, I'm really referring to Capcom fighters. I went through a phase when I was young where I really enjoyed Tekken 3, but no fighting game has come close to captivating and engulfing me as much as SF2, Marvel Super Heroes (in the Ci-Ci's Pizza arcade), MvC2, and SF4/SSF4 each did.

That's why it makes me sad to see Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 offer little to no support for new players. Simple mode doesn't count. It's just a waste of space that would've have been much better suited to be filled by a tutorial for normal mode. Considering that normal mode is the actual game, and simple mode is half of it, it just seems like it's almost made to make the line between good players and new/bad players even more visible. Simple mode is a completely different control scheme and basically a different game. It seems like it would be even harder for someone that used simple mode to to transfer to normal mode. Not to mention, there's no tutorial for that either. So I guess they intended it to be the "press buttons" mode.

I know much of it was because of the name alone, but SF4 was a revolution. Somehow it brought fighting games back to their peak in one release, and it was amazing to see. The world felt like an arcade again. Me and my friend, who lives two states away from me now, that have played SF2 for a decade met up just to play SF4 straight for nearly a week. And at parties at my house, even when there were people there I didn't know, I could say "Do you guys remember Street Fighter? Yeh, they made a new one". And in minutes, our big screen TV would be lit up with hadokens from random people I haven't met, and I would kick their ass with Dan.

Now with the release of MvC3, It seems like that revival is on a downward spiral. We live in an age where for a game to be successful (and I'm using that word purely in financial terms) it needs to be able to capture the hardcore and the casual audience, and It's like they are pushing away the casual audience from them as far as possible. If anything, the casual audience is MORE important these days than the hardcore. With games like Carnival Games selling bank on the Wii.

There is no assistance for new players other than the manual, and there's a reason why those things are 3 pages long now in games like CoD and AC. Because casual players don't want to read them. And yes I know this has been mentioned a thousand times, but the lack of spectator mode really puts a hurting on the arcade feel that fighting game fans and generally everyone that enjoys these games love so much.

Please note that this is not about the quality of the gameplay in MvC3. I love this game to death, and I've probably put in more hours than you have. But that's the reason why I hate this. I want more. I want maybe a Darkstalkers revival (I never got to play the original). I want continued support for MvC3 and SSF4. I want the world to be engulfed in fighting games again.

A good fighting game is just a thing of magic that not many other games can replicate, and the more that experience it, the better. I know there are going to be people that say "we don't need scrubs and newbies in this game", but the fact is, these days, we do need them, and it's about time that we accept that we are outnumbered. Capcom these days needs as many people playing it's game as possible for it to be successful. Not just the ones that loved MvC2 or other fighting games, but people that have never thrown a hadoken in their life. But it doesn't seem to have a good strategy for gaining these people.

I'm not saying dumb down our fighting games, hell no. I'm saying offer a hand for new players to try to get into them. Let them know what the magic series is. Let them know what Hyper combos are. Let them know what assist types are. That way they can get a taste, and decide for themselves whether they want to continue the trek or not. Instead of being face to face with a brick wall that says "Hardcore only."

I'm sure these games will be a success with the community and survive at tourneys, and for some people that's all they need. But I want complete success, because it leads to more success, and more games/content for us to sink our teeth into.

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