From what people are saying, it seems like the game is really poorly designed right now and that Valve would have to make some very fundamental changes to turn it around, but I do still find it hard to believe that that pricing model isn't playing some role. I get that buying up a good deck in Artifact is cheaper than in a lot of physical TCGs, but I think it would be a mistake to just view this as a TCG. It's also a video game and I think a lot of people are going to weigh the cost of getting into this game competitively against the far cheaper cost of other competitive games online, including the virtual TCGs out there. And while Magic may be able to command a lot of money for their cards, it's a very established name with a large existing community. Valve. on the other hand, are trying to get Artifact off the ground for the first time and are doing it against some serious competition. I think for many players "Chuck in $80 for an unproven TCG with a bunch of bad word-of-mouth when there are proven alternatives out there" is a pretty weak proposition. I don't think it's a coincidence that a lot of successful competitive games out there right now started more or less free.
Like a lot of people, I used Gamespot as my main source for video game coverage. I can't quite remember how I got linked to it, but after Jeff was fired from Gamespot, I found the blog page that existed here before Giant Bomb launched, and then signed up on day one.
@gamer_152: UPF is a place to fix it, often UPF is time to look at a game they heard about or was recommended, but they haven’t played it before. Devil daggers is an example of a good one, and one brad has brought back later after spending more time with it. But frequently they are games they haven’t tried before and they goof on it or dunk on it.
I think that it's a bit of stretch to say they regularly mock the new games they try on UPF, but I take your point that that show is as much or as more of a platform for new games as it is for looking at older favourites. I would also say that a lot of the time that games had series dedicated to them in the past, it was because those games had play that could go in many new directions. Titles like The Sims 4 and Mario Maker are centred around creative components, allowing players to construct new experiences, while games like Hitman and PUBG are very mechanically open, meaning players encounter a lot of new dynamics every time they play. Maybe my memory's not great, but I just don't remember as many games of that breed coming out this year. If you do want to see the staff playing older games, however, in 2018 we've had the Die Another Friday series, GBE looking at wrestling games, Gotta God Hand, Mass Alex, the many "old games" streams, Ranking of Fighters, the Extra Life streams, Demo Derby, Breaking Brad, and more.
You're absolutely right that there are children who play Smash, and that it is made to be an approachable game, but there are also a lot of players who treat Smash as a serious, competitive title. The esports Smash scene is pretty enormous. You might just have gotten unlucky in the online, but either way, if you do want to compete in the multiplayer, it's probably a good idea to spend some time sparring with the AI and see where you can get.
I think it's a very strong strategy to not only get people to adopt but also keep them reliably coming back to the service. It's one thing to have some buzz around launch, it's another to have people consistently using your platform. The only thing I would say is that Super Meat Boy is a very popular game from quite a while back now; it feels like everyone and their dog already has a copy. Subnautica is a great pick, but they might have won more people over if their second game was something a little more sought-after.
Obviously, the people posting reviews without playing it are being silly and disingenuous but there are obviously people who were really into the last Fallout, have played this new one, and don't like it. It's not possible to dictate to those people that they must actually like the game; they are being vocal that they don't and we have to incorporate that into our understanding of the audience reaction. As for the long-time Fallout fans out there, if they're interested in Fallout and following the series, I don't think their opinion on it is going to be defined by the Metacritic user score.
A lot of bad games come out but The Quiet Man manages to be terrible in a way you'd think would be impossible for an indie developer, let alone a AAA developer. Even the shabbiest of narrative amateur games manage to convey some kind of story, even if it's a terribly-told one, but The Quiet Man can't do even the most basic storytelling. And most games don't stumble into weird incestually-tinged romance in the way it does. It's definitely pretentious, but it's not pretentious just because of these failures; pretentiousness always comes about from somebody having vastly overblown claims about how profound and meaningful the things they're doing are.
The Quiet Man is pretentious because there are cues in the game showing it wants to be some arthouse experience and there are all these super high-concept statements that the producer made about the game, but at its core, it's just generic, low-grade action garbage. It's really mystifying how the creative lead expected people to feel like they were exploring deep human connections after hitting guys in the face for five hours. It's not even as if they had this conceptually good idea about making a game with a deaf protagonist and then failed to implement it; the game and its creators don't seem to be clear on what it means to be deaf, in the first place. The game and the producer seem to think that being deaf means you can't communicate with other people and that's not how it works at all; that portrayal does a disservice to deaf people. And if this is supposed to be a game simulating deafness then why would you add the sound back in?
So few AAA games are this broken and no video game has ever fucked up in the unique and unimaginable ways that The Quiet Man has.