So I'm sitting here watching the Champion's League final between Barcelona and Manchester Utd. It's the biggest club football match in Europe and millions of people tune in to watch it on TV. The half-time whistle blows and the inevitable irony occurs when the presenter says "It's been an action packed half and we have plenty of stuff to talk about with our pundits. So instead of talking about it, we're going to watch some adverts". OK, maybe it wasn't those exact words, but it might as well have been. Either way, the ironic things TV presenters say isn't the point of this blog, it's the content of the adverts.
After an advert for the newest Ford Focus (an advert which claims the car can park itself in a tight space, and proceeds to show the car parking itself in a space big enough for a bus) an advert for Modern Warfare 3 comes on. A game not due out until November. That's 6 months away. Soon after, an advert for Battlefield 3 is shown. A game that is yet to have a solid release date, but is certainly still many months away from release. It got me thinking, who are these adverts aimed at? Are they actually going to do anything to increase sales? And how much does such a prime advertising slot cost?
For some bizarre reason, I'll answer my third question first. After a little bit of googling I found an article from digitalspy.co.uk claiming that a 30 second ad slot during ITV's coverage of the match is estimated to cost £200,000 (that's about $330,000). That's actually less than I was expecting, but remember ITV is only broadcasting to the UK, and I'm willing to bet that Activision and EA would have also had these adverts running on other European stations. It's all going to add up and will end up costing a whole lot of money. And even if it is just a drop in the ocean for a company the size of Activision or EA, what is the benefit? Is an advert this far out really going to help generate sales? If not, the advert is completely pointless, isn't it?
This is how I see it - People like you and I, people who frequent video game websites obviously aren't the target audience. We've already seen the trailers, we've already read about the two levels the press have seen and someone has even put one of the trailers to a fitting new soundtrack. It's pretty safe to say that you're either already hyped for the game, or nothing is going to get you hyped for it. A television advert isn't going to make any difference. So who is it aimed at? It must be the more general game playing public. The type of guy who picks up the latest FIFA, CoD & Need For Speed games, and maybe other games they've seen advertised that look cool. They don't visit Giant Bomb, they don't care about game announcements and they don't watch trailers online.
But do these people care about a game coming out in November? That's so far away, I can just imagine the thought process of one of these guys going from "Sweet, a new CoD game. Can't wait to play that" to "November? Fuck that. Why would I care about this now?" through the course of the advert. And even if it did appeal to them and get them hyped for the game, is it really going to have more of an impact than them seeing an advert for it a week before release? I don't think it will. I certainly can't see the early adverts generating enough sales to offset the cost of them.
That's my two cents on it. It seems mostly common sense. Maybe I'm missing something obvious that the business executives in Activision & EA are aware of.
So in a random PM reporting a thread that needed to be locked, a war has erupted between the British mods and the American mods over the word "revision" and the differences between British English and the dumb American English in general. I thought that I'd create a blog on it for two reasons. Firstly, I'm sure some of the community may be interested in the argument, and secondly, so we can stop annoying the chap who created the PM by constantly replying to it and reply here instead.
It's also worth noting that the debate has spilled over onto twitter:
You may or may not know this, but there is a small section of the Giant Bomb community who have formspring.me pages. Formspring is a social networking type thing which allows you to ask people random questions. Think of it as twitter, but solely for asking & answering questions, and without an annoying character limit. Both myself and ZombiePie have formspring accounts.
Yesterday I decided to ask him the super important question "Who from the Giant Bomb mod team would you have on your zombie team?". I was expecting a quick response listing a couple of names and reasons. I was wrong. ZP went to a huge amount of detail about roles for each of the majority of the moderators. He even wrote on my wall afterwards "I spent more time writing and thinking about your Giant Bomb mod Zombie Team question on formspring than I should have". It seems like a real waste leaving this on formspring where few people will read it (and also, I want to see Hamz decapitate ZP), so here it is:
"I can't decide so I'm gonna just put roles on the majority of the mod team:
Lordofultima would be the heavy lifter and heavy guns experts. He sounds like tough guy so I expect that they can be the main gunner carrying like a Gatling gun or a chainsaw. The reason for this is that everytime I check his twitter he talks about his exercise routine.
Joseppie would be the quiet type that's a sprinter and ninja like. Not one to be underestimated and good with his hands. He would be the guy that randomly saves your life when you are expecting to die and his importance despite being the "Mr. Blue" type character is highlighted.
CitizenKane would be the equivalent to Frank West. A brash an energetic go getter that views the Zombie Invasion as something that can promote his career. He's covered wars you know. Sometimes gets into more trouble than he should.
Marino would be the brains with his encyclopedic knowledge. A multifaceted polymath that may not look imposing but can do more than you think. His encyclopedic knowledge can come up with numerous solutions to the trials we face.
TheBeast with his expertise in web design and development would make him the best techie. A hacker or computers/electronics expert could prove an important role when we need to get into buildings for supplies and stuff. He could also fashion tools and items to use.
erinfizz would be the medic/nurse because she literally likes anyone she meets and only wants to help people. She also likes animals especially kitties.
Matty you would be the comic relief that every now and then comes up with a miraculous solution to even the most perplexing and dire situation. Kind of like Ellis from Left 4 Dead 2. You would also be the driver for any vehicles we come across with. You prefer to use shotguns and enjoy the up close and personal technique.
mracoon is kind of good at Team Fortress 2 so I'm think he has good hand eye coordination so he would be like a sniper or a scout. I lean towards scout because having someone who can map out the area would be very useful
MB and Hamz would be the dueling leaders. Not to suggest that they would be at each others throats, but they would be more like Spock and Kirk. They wouldn't be like Gene Hackman and Ernest Borgnine from The Poseidon Adventure there would be no feuding. They would each provide leadership and advice that while not similar would always work cohesively to make our group stronger and capable of dealing with any situation possible.
And me? Well ZombiePie would be the fish out of water character. You know the guy that;s always delusional does stupid shit like bump into a car signaling the car alarm thereby attracting the attention of a zombie horde. I would also complain a lot and ask where we can find amenities that no longer exist like television or strip clubs. Why do you keep me because none of you want to feel responsible for leaving someone behind.
SO there's my Giant Bomb Mod zombie survival team. Pretty impressive isn't it?
P.S. If you post this on the forums I'm pretty sure Hamz would have my head. So go right ahead."
For what it's worth, I would probably reverse mine and ZP's roles, but aside from that, I really can't argue with anything on there.
SUNDERLAND BEAT CHELSEA 3-0 AT STAMFORD BRIDGE!!!!!!!!!!!!! SUNDERLAND BEAT CHELSEA 3-0 AT STAMFORD BRIDGE!!!!!!!!!!!!! SUNDERLAND BEAT CHELSEA 3-0 AT STAMFORD BRIDGE!!!!!!!!!!!!! SUNDERLAND BEAT CHELSEA 3-0 AT STAMFORD BRIDGE!!!!!!!!!!!!! SUNDERLAND BEAT CHELSEA 3-0 AT STAMFORD BRIDGE!!!!!!!!!!!!! SUNDERLAND BEAT CHELSEA 3-0 AT STAMFORD BRIDGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Welcome to the first in a series of blogs I call "Better Late Than Never" in which I will document my playthrough of a game that so many Giant Bombers hold close to their heart - Persona 4. Prior to the Endurance Run I had very little knowledge of the Persona series, yet the Endurance Run had intrigued me, and after watching about a dozen or so episodes, I had decided I wanted to play it for myself, so I stopped watching the ER to avoid spoiling the game for me, and purchased a copy of the game (well, I actually purchased two copies of it accidentally, but I'll go into that another time). However, I'm easily distracted, and never even put the disk into my trusty PS2.
So here I am, nearly a year later, and I've finally got around to playing some Persona 4. The first hour and a half or so seemed extremely boring. It was probably just because I had already seen it when watching the Endurance Run. It's just setting up the story, and has virtually no gameplay, and I already knew what happened. I just wanted to get to playing the goddamn game. But it did refresh my memory and set up the story quite well, so I can't really complain. One of the main things I was reminded of is how insanely Japanese the game is. Everything from the anime cut scenes to the storyline itself just screams out "DUDE!!!! JAPAN!!!". From the constant usage of Japanese honorifics like -san and -senpai to going to school on a Saturday, it's all mad Japanese. And that's really awesome.
So, after the first hour and a half or so the actual game started with a few fights against shadows and Youske's persona. The fighting system already seems really cool. Most of my experience with Japanese RPG's comes from the Final Fantasy series. The FF ATB system always seems to rely on me constantly pressing the X button in order to issue an attack command, mixed with an occasional cure spell, or an attack spell for the bosses. There was a bit more to it than that, but that summarizes it pretty well. Already the Persona 4 battle scheme seems so much more in-depth, with specific enemies being weak to specific attacks, and defending seeming to play more of a significant role. Overall it just seems more strategy based.
Not long after, we ended up in the first dungeon, which just seems extremely bland and uninteresting. It doesn't stand out, it just seems like a generic video game hallway. But ultimately it's fine as a location for the shadows to reside and to have some battles. All went well and I rescued Chie with little trouble.
Next though we return to the real world, and I actually get to explore the world on my own. And now I'm feeling completely overwhelmed. In a way, it seems weird that a game hold your hand through the first couple of ours of a game, and then throw you into the deep end with no warning. It does make sense, since the hand holding was for storytelling purposes, but still, at the moment I haven't got a clue what to do. The whole time management, persona fusion and everything else just seems so crazy. I'm not used to be given this much freedom in a JRPG. So far I've played a few days and I've joined the soccer team, spent some time with Youske and spent some time studying in the library. I have no idea when I should be venturing back into the dungeon to rescue Yukiko, or how much time I should be spending with other people, or anything like that.
Anyways, that's where I am at the moment, about 4 hours in. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it after playing for a while longer. I don't know how often I'll do one of these blogs - it depends how often I have something to say about the game. I'm not going to rush through it - I think if I pace myself I'll have more chance of actually getting through the whole game. And I have other stuff to do, I can't dedicate too much time to playing the game, so I'll be taking it slow and steady.
Once upon a time on a fine November evening, a bear with a green hat and red bow tie is taking a gentle stroll through the Giant Bomb Forums. He is stopping to converse with people. Talking about his favourite video games with some random humour mixed in. Suddenly out of no where, he spots a forum thread titled "is that time again, GB". He is intrigued by such a vague premise. "What is it time for again?" he wonders aloud as his curiosity gets the better of him, and he enters the thread to investigate further. Upon entering the thread, he discovers a horror, an injustice that he could barely comprehend...
IT WAS A USER REQUESTING THAT PEOPLE PUT SANTA HATS ON THEIR AVATAR'S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT WAS HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To understand the full horror of this atrocity, we must revisit the start of this sad tale. "Once upon a time on a fine NOVEMBER evening". The bear was shocked that this could happen so early. He had to do something about it...
The bear quickly rushed to his secret lair, where he hatched a plan. He quickly drew up a shopping list and headed out the door to the supermarket:
Tin Foil Wire Coat Hangers Red Dye No.2 A Sony Walkman Elastic Bands A Car Battery KY Jelly Frozen Pizza Yellow Paint Cider Fork Handles An Audi A4 A Hamster & Hamster Wheel
He returned with his shopping and entered his tool shed. For days bizarre noises came out of the shed, until finally the door opened, and what should exit... A Robot Communist exited the shed. "SAY NO TO SANTA HATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" it shouted "SAY YES TO COMMUNISM AND ROBOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!". The bear had created an anti-christmas pro-communism robot that will forever be known as "Robot Communist". As he walked down the street into the distance on his quest to rid the world of Christmas Hats, the screams of children could be heard. For all fear Robot Communist, and all will fear him for the rest of eternity.
And the moral of this story?
SAY NO TO SANTA HATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SAY YES TO COMMUNISM AND ROBOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I am addicted to buying downloadable games off steam. I have 130 games on steam, and over half of those I haven't even installed, let alone played. I really need to resist the urge to buy games, and actually play them for a change. Yet when the next steam weekend deal comes along, and it's a game that looks decent, I'll buy it. And I probably won't play it, at least for a while.
I need therapy. I have all these great games just sitting there, shouting "Play Me" at me, and yet rather than playing them, I decide to go onto the steam store, and buy buy buy. It drives me crazy. I just can't resist the urge to buy a game when it's staring at me on steam, saying "Buy Me".
I'm also somewhat addicted to steam achievements. Ever since Giant Bomb got achievement support, I've wanted more achievements. And this worsens my buying spree because I'll see a game that has steam achievements, and buy it, mostly for the achievements. GODDAMN YOU GIANT BOMB!!! YOU'VE MADE ME AN ACHIEVEMENT WHORE!!!!!!!!!!!
So, if anyone knows of a good psychologist in the north east of England, let me know. Oh, and he's got to be cheap, because I haven't got a lot of money after spending it all on steam games.
Hello and welcome to MattyFTM's soon to be world famous Wiki Points Report. I've decided to do a semi-regular blog detailing what I've been doing to edit the site recently, and gained wiki points from. I'm hoping it may inspire new people to get involved in the wiki part of the site and/or be interesting for current wiki editors to see what I've been up to. Or failing those, It's a way to waste a small part of my life, which is something I'm always looking to do. So without further ado here is my Wiki Points Report.
With the release of Tales of Monkey Island, and The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, I've been getting my hands dirty with some of the Monkey Island pages. For starters, I wrote a full plot summary of Episode 1 of Tales of Monkey Island: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal, and added a little bit to the gameplay section of the page. Also, I've written a couple of summary paragraphs for the the main location in the episode, Flotsam Island.
Zool, there's a game from my childhood. I remember playing it on the Amiga when I was a child. At the time I sucked at it. Anyway, this is one of the wiki pages I've been meaning to get to since the site launched. I had forgotten it for a long while, until a forum thread from FlamingHobo reminded me that the first edit I did on giant bomb was to create the Zool Character Page. This inspired me to go and write something on the completely empty game page.
Stop 'N Swop
While browsing the Recently Created Concept pages, I noticed someone had created a Stop 'N Swop page. That's a great concept, I thought, why didn't I think of that? But rather than sulking about not creating the page, I set about writing a detailed summary about what Stop 'N Swop was, and quotes from games that mention the infamous and mysterious Stop 'N Swop from Banjo Kazooie.
Sunderland AFC are my beloved football team (soccer team to you weird Americans). After adding a bunch of concepts to the FIFA 10 page, and realizing that a bunch of football clubs have pages, I decided to create one for Sunderland. I added info about it's history, it's current state, and it's inclusion in games. I also added some info to the already exiting page about our stadium, The Stadium Of Light.
Retro Points: Pandemonium 1 & 2
This is the part of my blog when I look back at edits I made a while ago. Today, it's Pandemonium! and Pandemonium 2 I'm looking at. These 2.5D platformers from the PlayStation era are a couple of games I have fond memories of. They followed Sorceress, Nikki and Jester, Fargus in their quests to save the world. Naturally, these games demand half decent wiki pages, so I set out to do just that by writing plot summaries and gameplay summaries for both. I even included a small segment about differences between the western and Japanese releases of these games.
That's it for this blog. I hope you at least partially enjoyed this blog. I don't know how often I'm going to do these blogs, I guess it'll depend on how much wiki editing I do. Or I might completely forget and never do them again, like I did with my top 30 games ever list. Either way, Goodnight Comrades. 13 Comments
La la la la, La la la la, La la la la la la, La la la la!!!!!!!!!
I'm celebrating today, because my football (soccer to you weird Americans) team, Sunderland, have avoided relegation from the English Premier League and both of our local rivals, Newcastle and Middlesbrough have been relegated. It's extremely hilarious. It's fantastic. Words can't describe how happy I am.
I've been in the pub since 3 o'clock (now it's after 10 o'clock). First watching the football on the telly, and then celebrating the fantastic outcome. We've been celebrating like mad. Singing footballing songs, laughing at the crying Geordies on the TV, singing along to songs on the jukebox. It was just a fantastic. We played a few rounds of dominoes, while still celebrating, and just generally had a fantastic time. Many beers (and a couple of whiskeys) have been drank, and it's just a fantastic day.
I'm watching the matches on Match of the Day now, and I've still got a huge smile on my face. This is amazingly funny.
EDIT: I completely forgot to mention our shirt burning extravaganza. We burned a Newcastle shirt in celebration of this event. It was Brilliant.