Archive for the ‘Editorial’ Category

About Monique Thanks for Ruining Settlers 7
April 2nd, 2010 by Monique
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Settlers 7: A game I won As the DRM failboat continues to capsize at Ubisoft, and gamers find themselves unable to even log into the newly released Settlers 7 to verify the legitimacy of the game upon release, I have to wonder: are these launch problems just a poorly timed April Fool’s joke?

Well, it’s April 2nd now, and their support forum complaints are still piling up, so I guess not. It’s a shame because in general I enjoy strategy games and was interested in trying out series for the first time - but if it’s as broken as it sounds, this gamer isn’t planning on supporting Ubisoft’s stupid DRM choices with her money any time soon. And Settlers 7 looked damn good, too.

All of this just speaks of a larger issue at hand, too. It’s starting to become evident that gaming companies are grasping at straws for explanations for their lower sales and that piracy has become the new scapegoat. It all started with Crysis developers and higher-ups explaining a couple of years ago that its lackluster sales hinged fully on piracy; a surprising disregard for the inability of the majority of gamers to run the game on their systems without serious overhauls to their rigs. Funnily enough, there’s a lot of video game companies that are selling their titles fine and don’t seem too stuck on pigeonholing their problems into the piracy excuse. Unfortunately for the Settlers series, Ubisoft doesn’t seem to be one.

But let’s be honest here, I don’t think Valve needed to do anything special for Left 4 Dead 2, and I’m fairly certain Borderlands did well despite extremely relaxed DRM on Gearbox’s behalf. Man up or get out, Ubisoft - or at least stop ruining games before they’re even released.

About Suzie Grand Theft Auto: The MMO? No thanks!
February 11th, 2009 by Suzie
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Sex, Lies and Video GamesA couple of weeks ago, Jon, from The Clockwork Manual, sent me an email. What, he asked, do you think about a Grand Theft Auto MMO? In fact, he did more than just ask what I thought. He wrote a post on why it would rock.

If there’s one thing Rockstar can do better than any other developer in the world it’s create a bustling metropolis that feels lived in by the thousands of characters seen roaming the streets. How easy then, would it be to see other players filling the shoes of the people you pass by in the street without a second glance. That taxi driver that dropped you off at your mission marker could be someone on the other side of the world, saving up a little more in-game cash to hire some protection. That hotdog vendor you just paid could be someone else playing a minigame in between missions.

You can read the entire email here, and he’s definitely persuasive. But somehow - I wasn’t convinced. It took me a while to figure out why, but in the end I sent him an email back. Here it is:
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About Brittany Where Guitar Hero Has Gone Wrong
November 7th, 2008 by Brittany
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guitar_hero_logo.gifIf you’ve been a follower of my posts since my time at Girls Don’t Game, then you probably know by now that rhythm and music games hold a very special place in my heart. With that said, I’ve been a fan of Guitar Hero since I was following the success of Guitar Freaks in Japan. I’d always wished we could have something similar Stateside. And one magical day, I got my wish: Guitar Hero was born.

Mixing some classic rock favorites with more modern hits, Guitar Hero opened up a whole new world of rhythm gaming to American audiences who may have never touched this kind of game before. However, since its inception and the torch passed to Activision, the franchise has gone just a bit downhill. What do I think is wrong with the whole thing, and why? Read on and find out.

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About Brittany Top Ten Most Annoying Online Gamers
October 24th, 2008 by Brittany
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xbox360-headset.jpgWe’ve all been there. We’ve all sat in the lobby listening to some wannabe rapper spouting lines about popping caps in people’s (fill in the blank), or that kid who isn’t even old enough to be in the game to start with. And some of us have even endured hounding from members of the opposite sex hoping to get some pictures or voice chat for their trouble.

Some of them aren’t even interested in getting much gaming done at all. They just want to complain or mess things up for others.

If you haven’t seen them, now you will. They’ve been conveniently collected in one place. For your entertainment: the top ten most annoying online gamers.

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About Brittany The Overachiever
October 17th, 2008 by Brittany
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xbox_achievements_gow.bmpAfter finally obtaining my Xbox 360 this past May, I was instantly entranced by the achievement system put in place. Having witnessed friends racking up points for their gamerscore, I always knew it was something I’d be quite interested in. With every new game purchase, a door was opened to the potential of a usual 1k of gamerscore to be added to my online persona.

Points? Milestones for completing certain objectives in-game? Genius. However, as time marched on I was introduced to the more ugly, cheap world of the in-game reward system, and the people that inhabited it. As I struggled to complete a game by Xbox Live’s standards, I realized that this would be impossible in a number of ways.

So, achievements–the bane of some gamers’ existence, and the reason some load up the disc tray and even bother signing in. How do I feel about them? Read on to find out, and earn 50 points of gamerscore.

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About Suzie Character Control
October 9th, 2008 by Suzie
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Fl0wA couple of weeks back, Jon and I went to logger-heads over the issue of cutscenes. Of course, a topic like this needs to be returned to - and Jon did exactly that in his return email to me. Since I always need to have the last word, naturally I replied.

Jon,

I think, perhaps, we want video games to do different things. You want video games to tell a story. A cohesive story, that follows the rules of characterization and plot. When we read a book, we don’t expect silent and masked protagonists. When we watch a movie, we don’t expect to influence the dialogue on screen.

Video games are - I believe - currently evolving. They balance two different demands, and many times these two demands are completely opposed to each other. The first demand is that of interactive entertainment. Whether that’s racing a timer whilst organising oddly shaped building blocks to stop them building up to the top of the screen - or pitting your spiky-haired warrior against an array of peculiar monsters.

The second demand is narrative. This is the why, the where, the when. I can build stats for the sake of winning, or I can build stats so that I can be better able to take down the evil psychopath threatening to destroy the world. Either way I’m building stats, but with a story wrapped around it I can at least be motivated, or moved.
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