Tag Archives: video games

Real life is boring in comparison: Grand Theft Auto V review (Xbox 360)

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The three musketeers of 2013.

I haven’t beat Grand Theft Auto V yet. I’m not even a third of the way through the game. I’ve been too busy doing other activities that don’t involve missions or advancing the story in any way. I’ve gone golfing, played tennis, flied planes and helicopters, pimped my ride, gone on shooting rampages, outrun cops, received lap dances, and much more.

Most reviews are written after the reviewer has finished the game. This one certainly isn’t and I don’t believe it’s really any less of a review. Why? There’s just so much to do and see that no review of this game is truly a “complete” review. I’ve dabbled in most activities in the game. I’ve done all manners of things in story missions and even optional missions. I’ve done my first big heist, one of several in the game. I haven’t seen the story to its conclusion, but I feel like I’ve played enough of the game to give some strong impressions.

Perhaps I’ll change my mind after finishing the story. In that case, I’ll make another blog post in the future explaining how and why my overall opinion has changed. But for now, let’s look at my thoughts after putting in some serious time with a game bursting with content.

You definitely want to read more, don’t you?

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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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A parent’s guide to buying games

You see this? This isn’t normal. The parents of these kids shouldn’t have let this happen.

We’ve all been there: our parents wouldn’t let us watch a movie because we were “too young” for it. We were told things like, “It’ll make you more violent” or, “You have plenty of time to grow up. Watch it when you’re older.”  We’d stomp and get mad, maybe even throw a tantrum. But no matter what, our parents would stick firm to their beliefs and say we couldn’t watch that movie.

Games are very much the same way. Some games are clearly meant for older players, while others can be enjoyed by just about anybody. Logically, parents would act the same way and shield us from mature games while we’re younger, right?

Nope.

It seems like too many parents have no idea what kind of games their little angels are playing. Then we have the exact opposite, where some parents are far too strict, thinking their children can only play the most non-violent and kid-friendly games. The point is, most parents can’t parent properly as soon as video games are involved.

I’m going to fix that. Here are some obvious things to help you figure out whether little Jimmy should be playing Super Mario’s Family-Friendly Playground Fun or Grizzled Space Marine Who Shoots Aliens and Swears A Lot. If you’re a parent, this is REQUIRED READING

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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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A reboot is born: Tomb Raider review (Xbox 360)

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Lara Croft is reflecting upon how much she’s changed since 1996.

The Tomb Raider franchise had a promising beginning: the first few games delivered on their promises of exploration, careful jumping, fighting dangerous enemies, and unbelievable cup sizes. The games slowly became less successful and soon enough the best Tomb Raider games were called Uncharted. There was an attempt to reboot the franchise in 2006 with Tomb Raider: Legend, which was quite successful, but its sequel, Tomb Raider: Underworld, slowed any momentum the franchised had regained.

Then 2013 happened and Crystal Dynamics, the company responsible for the franchise since Legend, decided to reboot the series yet again. This time, they brought Lara into the modern world and rewrote all of her established history. While still considered a reboot, Legend only changed Lara’s background and still fit into the overall canon. 2013’s Tomb Raider is a brand new start.

This fresh start was necessary for the once-legendary franchise, but will it pave the way to greater adventures or will it seal its own tomb?

I’d like to find out

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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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News of the Week – July 6, 2013

News of the Week

Click the above picture to check out this week’s show.

This week’s top stories include the departure of an important Microsoft employee for, troubles at Double Fine Productions, and a much-needed possible update for SimCity. All that and more in the News of the Week.

Question of the Week: What are your thoughts on the zombie genre (in games, movies, TV, etc.)? Comment below or Tweet me your answers.

Music used in this week’s presentation is “Battle for New York” by Brian Tyler from the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 soundtrack.

If the link to the show doesn’t work, please let me know by Tweeting me or commenting below. Same goes for any previous shows if you happen to check them out. I want to make sure everything works. Thank you!

 

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