Howardian

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Do video games still exist?

I don't mean to be reactionary, I'm aware games exist, but I repeat my question, do video games still exist?

I'm not a nostalgic type of fellow, but remember the days when Uncharted 2 Assassin's Creed 2 Batman Battlefield 2 Gears of War 1 Witcher 1 both Max Payne games Crysis Far Cry CoD multiplayer Red Orchestra etc.... were all over the place? Remember when the world was buzzing with quality games on a constant basis?

Years such as 1998, 2004, 2007, 2011, where are they? Can you name a year from the past 7 years that compares to those 4 examples?

Where are the big games nowadays? RDR2..... Spiderman.... God of War.... that's it? One big nice title every 6 months?

We sit and wait for Cyberpunk and Last of Us 2 while completely bored and have nothing to play. Watch Dogs is a disappointment, Far Cry 5 is empty and meaningless, The Division is a peace of shit, many games are cheap unimaginative money-grabs, every multiplayer game is copying PUBG and failing at it, Steam is crammed with random indie side-scrolling titles that provide no enjoyment...

Where's the mutliplayer insanity we used to have? There was a time where you had 15 different multiplayer titles to choose from, from CoD-type shooters to Starcraft to WOW..... Now it's either PUBG, Minecraft, Fortnite, GTA V or Football Manager. Battlefield and CoD have completely lost their touch.

Right now, what are you playing? When was the last time a game really excited you? How often does that happen to you per year nowadays? How can you NOT be bored of DOTA, PUBG, Minecraft and CS GO by now?

I have nothing against anime, but I predict that most of the answers will be anime titles, because it seems that's the only genre pumping out games!

48 Comments

No words can describe how good this game feels

This game is excellent because instead of provoking the critic in me, it provokes the child whose jaw dropped the first time he drove a car in GTA 2, or looked up and saw the Halo ring in the sky, etc.

The sheer bliss you (or I) feel when running out of the city into the juxtaposing desert is overwhelming.

I thought Witcher 3's world building will never be topped in my mind, and then this game came along, and went to the top of the list without even trying, despite not having the same level of terrain detail and variety as W3. A fucking Assassin's Creed game has an open world that compels me more than Witcher 3 or Just Cause 2 - what sorcery is this?

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This game is my GOTY simply because, on top of - what in my opinion is - flawless quests, combat, stealth possibilities, architecture, enemy and animal AI, and exploration, it makes me say shit OUT LOUD all the damn time! I must've whispered to myself "just beautiful!" a hundred times now while making my way through the endless dunes and mountains of this desert. And the ability to teleport into the eagle and see my surroundings from the sky is a touch of genius.

Every time I plunge into an underground tomb I get chills because for the first time in any video game, it 100% feels real, like you're THERE in a cold moldy hallway underneath a pyramid, escaping from the scorching sun outside, walking in dead silence that is intermittently broken by a breeze making its way down to the dark halls of the deserted tomb and eroding the walls with the flying sand it brought with it.

Witcher 3 felt fantastical, Uncharted 2 felt cinematic, AC:O feels real.

I've found myself occasionally pausing for a moment to take in just how good it feels to explore this game. The desert is so harsh and unfriendly, yet so simple and straightforward, and though it is silent, it is more hard-hitting than an exploding battlefield.

This is why I pay money for games, to be astounded like this, with refreshing gameplay that is wrapped up in a perfect game world.

I haven't said these words since 2009 but, Assassin's Creed is my game of the year.

8 Comments

Giant Bomb/internet nostalgia is a strange new form of feeling

Over the years I've occasionally visited this website, and I find myself sometimes remembering some of the cool moments and quotes that stuck with me.

The internet has become a new form of memory lane where you find yourself reminiscing about people you don't know! (internet personalities & fellow users). Now thankfully I do "have a life," on a small scale nothing grandiose, so I'm not the kinda guy who lives solely on the internet, but it still is a big part of my consciousness.

I wonder what it will be like for us in the future. We are the first generation to "live" in this virtual world, at least partially, and create collective, anonymous memories in it!

Especially those small memories that cannot be referenced or joked about with other users.

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For example, today I remembered the GB guys saying "stay frosty" and "oscar mike" during the MW2 craze and I began to have the warm, bittersweet feeling, where you enjoy remembering a thing that happened, but know that it's a long gone thing that will never happen again.

It's easy to celebrate the memories of my family or neighborhood with people around me. It's very hard to celebrate 'stay frosty' and 'oscar mike' (as an example) with anonymous users who have moved on. Which makes my internet memories rather melancholic, as opposed to enjoyable, because they feel isolated and outdated, as opposed to familial memories that can always be revived.

3 Comments

I buy games left and right, dying for one to grab me

This isn't the typical "I got 200 games and nothing to play" syndrome, nor am I jaded from over-playing games. I work for 5 days a week all day, I get about 10 hours of gametime a week.

It's just that games have reached their zenith and maxed out their potential and they largely look and feel the same now. Despite the fact that aesthetic & genre diversity is at an all time high, the mechanics of games and the gameplay just feels like predictable too-familiar design now.

Playing Modern Warfare remastered, "oh shit they're gonna make me shoot all these units of robotic, unintelligent AI around this tank for an hour until they get me out of here"

Portal Stories Mel "these guys obviously tried really hard to continue the Portal universe and expand the scope of the puzzles but.. I don't feel like shooting another portal man, goodbye"

Manhunt 2 "1 hour into it, I've already had enough of sneaking up on guys and moving the mouse around to shank them"

Warshift "why am I doing all this stuff? The clock is running, my time is running out, and I'm sitting here moving units around"

Mirror's Edge Catalyst "jumping from wall to wall was fun in the tutorial, I think I've had my fill"

Skyrim Remastered "Damn, they really want me to sneak underground out of Helgen for an hour and then spend the next 200 hours making daggers and slashing Draugrs in the face? Not going through this again, bye game."

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Games need to require LESS TIME to go through, cut to the CHASE, focus on INTERACTIVE GAMEPLAY that is fun, CUT OUT all the purposeless boring excruciating segments, JUST BE FUN and don't waste my time! Who puts a gun to developers' heads and forces them to make such long, long productions crammed with fatally-boring segments and such repetitive gameplay?!

/rant mode off

69 Comments

The Fine Line Between an Engaging Game and a Time Waster

So many ads that don't look like ads
So many ads that don't look like ads

I don't have much to say in this blog, but ever since I played Don't Starve I had the same epiphany the South Park cast had during the 19th season (with PC principal), which is malicious content disguised as legitimate content. In South Park we learned about ads that are disguised as legitimate news stories. With Don't Starve, I became aware of time-wasting grind games that are disguised as captivating adventures.

Ay-yo your stuff is running out you better collect more stuff so you can be ready to collect more stuff when the stuff you're collecting now runs out aaaaaaand it's gone you should collect more oh shit look at the clock it's your bed time come back to collect stuff tomorrow shit's running out
Ay-yo your stuff is running out you better collect more stuff so you can be ready to collect more stuff when the stuff you're collecting now runs out aaaaaaand it's gone you should collect more oh shit look at the clock it's your bed time come back to collect stuff tomorrow shit's running out

Granted I've only played about 9 hours of No Man's Sky, and the point of this blog is to share the fact that I am torn on whether I'm in for a legitimate refreshing breathtaking experience in outer space, or whether this is Don't Starve all over again: they lure me in with an ambiguous setting and character, a very atmospheric and numbing mood, a vague mission, visually-pleasing aesthetics, they make me grind for hours collecting fuel while the food runs out then collecting food while the fuel runs out (rinse and repeat), until I realize that nothing is waiting for me, my time is being wasted.

It's very difficult to decide whether I'm having fun. On the one hand I like the colorful scenery and the space travel and collecting things so I can build cool things, on the other hand my brain tells me that there doesn't seem to be anything else going on, all I'm doing is grinding, and the nice scenery is not enough to cut it.

Here's hoping that No Man's Sky is not my next Don't Starve.

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