Posts Tagged “Opinion”

Getting Your Money’s Worth: A Look At Rewards Programs

In a world full of online passes and additional DLC, many gamers may be feeling a little sore in their wallet regions.  To remedy this, some companies have started offering rewards programs to help consumers feel a greater sense of investment, and get a little extra bang for their buck.  Read On »


posted March 23, 2012 - 8:30 am in Gaming, Opinion by

Misguided Video Games Bill To Do Some Good?

Having played video games for the better part of my 33 years, most of them violent, I staunchly believe that violent video games don’t make people more violent; and regardless of the numerous debunking of “studies” that supposedly proved the point, many people still believe otherwise.  One Oklahoma State Representative by the name of William Fourkiller would be one of those people who do not believe as I do.  However, rather than trying to put a ban on violent video games, attempting to impose a government bureaucracy in the place of the ESRB, or threatening to call the FBI on every media outlet and entity on the planet with an opposing view (like some disbarred Florida attorneys we know), Mr. Fourkiller is trying to pass a law that will do some good; and yet I feel strangely conflicted. Read On »


posted February 9, 2012 - 9:00 am in Gaming, News, Opinion by

Shunning Used Games Will Be Bad For Business


Detroit area consumers shopping for dozens of new and used titles at a local Gameplay retailer.

Rumors have been running rampant lately that the “Xbox 720,” that is, Microsoft’s next generation console, won’t be able to play used games.  Microsoft, of course, has dismissed this as merely “rumor and speculation,” but without denying it outright, and the internet has most certainly become lively regarding this possibility.  Most recently, Volition designer Jameson Durall spoke out about the rumor saying, “Personally I think this would be a fantastic change for our business and even though the consumers would be up in arms about it at first…they will grow to understand why and that it won’t kill them.” Read On »


posted February 8, 2012 - 8:33 am in Gaming, Opinion by

Call of Duty: Well Developed or Well Marketed?

Call of Duty is a gaming powerhouse.  An instantly recognized name that attracts millions of gamers with every release, earning accolades from players and critics alike.  It’s arguably the most well-known franchise on the market today, able to attract and keep a diverse and dedicated fanbase.

But is it really as good as all that?  Call of Duty, despite its mammoth popularity, is a franchise that has offered little to the industry as a whole.  Though its sales figures are enviable, other first-person shooters surpass it in terms of gameplay variability, technological progression, and storytelling ability.  Call of Duty is, at its core, a ten-year-old game wrapped in a modern package. Read On »


posted January 6, 2012 - 9:00 am in Gaming, Opinion by

We Don’t Work For Sarif – Syndicate

As previously discussed, evolution is a necessary thing.  Both the original Syndicate and its sequel were objective-based point-and-click affairs managed from an isometric view.  Such a game, unless handled very carefully, will not translate well to the console environment.  Numerous RTS titles have failed in spectacular fashion to illustrate this point, so Starbreeze adapted the IP order to allow it to survive.  It has been reinvented in order to not only meet the wants of the gaming masses, but also to approach a beloved IP from a new direction.

And boy, are people pissed about it. Read On »


posted December 30, 2011 - 8:30 am in Gaming, Opinion by

CES – Life After Microsoft

After 20 years, Microsoft is walking away from the International Consumer Electronics Show…well, sort of.

The story, broken by major outlets yesterday reported that Microsoft would no longer be carrying the presence at the International CES like it has over the last two decades.  With Bill Gates having delivered the annual keynote speech for 11 years; and his successor, Steve Ballmer, delivering the speech for the last four, thinking of a Consumer Electronics Show without Microsoft in the forefront is almost unimaginable.  However, in a blog post yesterday, Microsoft had made some very valid points regarding their departure as the steward of the biggest consumer technology event of the year. Read On »


posted December 22, 2011 - 3:00 pm in Gaming, International CES 2012, Opinion by

The Game Has(n’t) Changed – Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure

Insidious.  Manipulative.  Exploitative.  Mercenary.  Any or all of these words are likely to pop up in whatever review of Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure you so happen to read.  Everyone feels the need to point out the inevitable additional cost gamers, or more likely their parents, are going to incur due to the core design behind Skylanders.  Bait the hook with a competent multiplayer game utilizing cutely designed characters and an interactive gimmick.  Now set the hook by allowing some areas of the game to only be accessed via use of certain characters, which must be purchased separately.  Release just before the holidays; retire. 


Read On »


posted December 12, 2011 - 8:30 am in Gaming, Opinion by

Why It’s Time To Release The Next-Gen Console

Rumors are once again swirling around concerning the next-gen Xbox unveiling.  The media labeled Xbox 720 is speculated to be announced at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show this January.  Of course, we’ve been hearing rumors of a new Xbox reveal preceding just about every major industry event for the last few years (and I actually think it’ll be unveiled at E3 2012); this year it might just happen.  Quite frankly, the industry is pretty much ripe for a new console release, regardless if it’s Microsoft that announces theirs before Sony or vice versa, and here’s why: Read On »


posted December 3, 2011 - 8:30 am in Gaming, Opinion, Technology by

Dark Souls: As It Once Was, So Shall It Be

They’re not ready for this…or are they?

As someone whose gaming career began in the days of the 2600, I have borne witness to a shift in the arc of game design.  Now, most everyone will agree games are ultimately about entertainment.  What changed was the root of that entertainment.  Games now tend towards providing a bit of escapism for the player without them having to put much effort in.  Think of it as an interactive movie where the obstacle, be it a giant monster or arcane puzzle, is merely a plot device moving you on to the next scene.  Those who wish for a greater challenge have the option to increase the difficulty, but rare now is the game where the difficulty simply “Is”.  Dark Souls, like its spiritual predecessor Demons Souls, is such a game.

Damn kids, in my day this was considered a mid-boss.

Some of you already get it, others of you require a frame of reference (due to my advanced age, no doubt) to really understand what this means.  The entertainment value in many games of the 8 and 16 bit eras was drawn from the challenge they posed.  Battletoads, Ninja Gaiden, Zillion, TMNT, Ghouls and Ghosts, Shinobi, and R-Type come to mind.  Read On »


posted July 21, 2011 - 12:30 pm in Gaming, Opinion by

Put the Snake Back in the Box…

Dear Kojima Hideo-san, please make a third Zone of the Enders game.  It is nearing the ten year mark and we have rumors, and naught else.  Jehuty was so awesome I forgave you for Leo Stenbuck, the most irritating protagonist this side of EVERYONE in Shining Force Neo and roughly half the cast of Evangelion …And speaking of heavy-handed philosophy in a format unsuited for it using characters who only manage to make those watching… Read On »


posted June 29, 2011 - 8:30 am in Gaming, Opinion by