Category Archives: Opinion

Unnecessary topics surrounding video games

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Wow. So many constraints. Definitely click this one to see it in its full glory.

Gaming has changed. It’s no longer about fun gameplay, pretty graphics, or cool characters. It’s an endless series of gender battles, fought by misogynists and feminists. Gaming, and its consumption of life, has become a well-oiled machine.

Gaming has changed.

There’s no need to continue on. You get the point. If you’ve ever played Metal Gear Solid 4, you may recognize that quote. Well, not that exact quote, but something like it. And it fits. An industry built on delivering fun experiences other media couldn’t deliver is now under attack. At least that’s how I feel.

I feel it’s under attack not because a lot of games feel the same or because they cost too much or anything like that. It’s under attack because of things that don’t really relate all that much to gaming in the first place: accurate gender, race, and sexual representation.

While I certainly agree with a lot of things said about these various topics, I still feel it isn’t right. It isn’t right when a review focuses on a game’s representation of its characters more than its actual gameplay mechanics. It isn’t right when a game is hated simply because the protagonist is male or praised simply because the protagonist is female.

It isn’t right when politics and ideologies take precedence over fun.

It’s right when you read more, of course.

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Funniest video game commercials

Fine, I admit, I don’t have a real post today. It’s been a busy week, though I suppose that really isn’t a great excuse. My dog ate my computer. Is that a better one?

Next week I certainly plan on a new real post. I’ll be reviewing all four map packs for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. I’ll break them down and explain what you’re getting in each pack and give it a score out of 10. I’ll also explain which one I think is most worth your money. So if you can only ever get one map pack for Black Ops 2, you’ll most likely want to get the one I’ll be recommending at the end of the review.

If you’re part of the millions who like Call of Duty, then you’ll love next week’s post. And if you’re part of the millions who can’t stand the game series, then you’ll obviously hate next week’s post and you may even plot to kill me. That’s fine. I completely understand

That’s all for today. Wait, no, I forgot the important part. Here’s a YouTube video containing some of my favourite game commercials. It’s not my video, but it’s still enjoyable. Hope this will somewhat tide you over until next week!

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Angry Birds: An empire of forced popularity

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Ignoring that chump on the bottom right, all these games are part of the same series.

Asking someone today if they’ve heard the name Angry Birds is like asking someone in the 90s if they’ve heard the name Pokémon. If they say no, they’re likely so far removed from the world or you’re talking to a rock. Angry Birds is huge. There are plenty of games on nearly every device imaginable (just wait until the microwave-compatible version is released), there are toys, toons, and an upcoming movie.

But why? Why is this franchise so popular? I’ve played some of the games and I’ve enjoyed the hell out of them. For a time. Now all I can do is sit here and ask myself why this series that began in December 2009 is still going strong in August 2013 with much more to come. Please tell me you feel the same way

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Lara Croft: Product of sexism?

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You KNEW this image was going to be used again.

I’m making good on my promise from my review of 2013’s Tomb Raider: I’m finally going to give my opinions on why I believe Lara Croft is an excellent female video game character. With so much social justice and feminism hullabaloo suddenly surrounding video games (WHY?! They’re supposed to be fun), it’s hard to look at any female character in a video game without analyzing her as not only a character, but as a representative of an entire gender.

This doesn’t apply to male characters because any “harmful” image of a man in video games is obviously a fantasy that only serves to empower men. With such few female characters present in games, let alone playable in games, game creators will continue to be criticized for the way in which they portray this gender.

Lara Croft was one of the first great female characters who could take on any of her male counterparts in a variety of areas. Even now, she still is. She’s smart, independent, agile, adept at combat, curious, and much more. She isn’t merely a male character in a female body. She’s actually her own person.

So that should be enough to not upset women who both play and analyze video games, right?  Don’t be too sure about that…

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I’m not mad, just disappointed…

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I actually cry for those who got so hyped on this game. I can’t imagine actually experiencing disappointment so devastating.

We’ve all been there: a new game is announced and all the trailers and gameplay videos make it look amazing. A playable demo comes out a few weeks before the game is released and you still think the game is going to be awesome. You buy it and begin playing it, but something isn’t right. You’re not sure what it is so you continue playing it. You beat the game and you feel… regret? Regret for purchasing it? But how can this be? It looked so good!

Yep, that’s the crushing feeling of disappointment. Whether it was industry hype or friends’ excitement, whether it was cool trailers or a fun playable demo, you can’t help but feel the game didn’t live up to expectations. Maybe it just wasn’t for you. Maybe the game was a success overall and you were one of the few who didn’t like it. That’s fine, people have different taste. But maybe everyone felt disappointed after playing the game and it became one of the few, the proud: The Most Disappointing Games Ever. SporeDaikatanaEnter the Matrix… There are so many games on this list.

I’m not here to regurgitate that list, however. I’m here to share with you the top five games that disappointed me the most and why they did. Maybe most people will agree with me, saying, “Yeah, that game was pretty trash.” Others might disagree, saying, “No, you’re pretty trash.” That’s fine. If I insult your favourite game, I apologize. In fact, if I do insult your favourite game, I would love to hear why you like it in the comments section below. I want to see if there’s any way I can give the game a second chance and enjoy it.

I’ve done enough lead-in to the topic. Here are five games that really disappointed me. You know you want to read more

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That’ll teach you to not pirate games!

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You blew your cover, Spyro! She knows you didn’t buy your own game!

Have you ever played a pirated game? No, don’t answer that. Someone might be listening and then you’ll get charged. Because piracy is the exact same thing as stealing an item despite the fact you’re merely making a copy of something. Yep. Of course.

If you ever have played a pirated game, you may have encountered a few problems right away. Sometimes the game asks you for a keycode which generally only comes with legitimate copies. Other times you may have to enter a specific word or phrase found only in the manual. Smart people with illegal copies have found ways around these anti-piracy features while unlucky people with legally purchased copies may be screwed over. If you bought a used game from a friend or retailer and it didn’t include the manual, you may be out of luck.

For years, most game developers relied on those methods to keep people busy, whether it was at work making money to buy the game or at home devising ways to get pirated copies to work. Some game developers didn’t want to settle with the tried-and-true tactics, however. Some developers were so crazy they came up with the most diabolical, most entertaining, and most elaborate forms of anti-piracy known to gamers. And their games became famous for screwing over pirates in the greatest ways possible.

These are some of those games. Now you’re intrigued, aren’t you?

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Storytelling in games: How it should be done

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Good story, poor storytelling. Don’t worry, I’ll teach you the difference.

Games can now tell a story on par with your average film. Okay, that’s not saying much, but the medium has certainly come a long way since its humble roots. There is now a focus on delivering not only fun gameplay but also a deep and layered story. Sometimes the gameplay drives the game, its fun mechanics enticing gamers to play “just one more level.” Other times the story drives the game, its complex characters and plot drawing players in to play “until the next cutscene.”

Film writers are now getting in on the action. David S. Goyer, famous for helping write the Dark Knight trilogy and the latest Superman film Man of Steel, helped give the Call of Duty series a decent story in the two Black Ops installments. Book of Eli writer Gary Whitta is one of several people who brought the world of the Walking Dead to the video game world. And the list of screenwriters-turned-video game writers keeps growing.

This isn’t necessarily a good thing. Let me tell you more

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