Slow News Days

But we hear that the next few days could get interesting, as the Supreme Court may or may not finally get around to rule on OgabeCare.

Also, in other news that give us hope, E3 is finally over. To those of you who don’t know what E3 is, and let us tell you that we envy your blissful ignorance, it’s a yearly event where every single game publisher in the world get together to tell the adoring masses (that would be almost exclusively editors and writers for gaming magazines) just how wonderful their next half a dozen projects are going to be. As opposed to the half-finished dreck they’ve been pushing out for the last decade, we suppose, but they never quite say that out loud for some reason.

Then all of the gaming magazine drones, after they’ve spent days trying to get a snapshot of themselves standing next to a giant styrofoam Pikachu while wearing an Authentic Replica Mass Effect 3 Helmet (and wearing it backwards, usually, but they wouldn’t know if it were pointed out to them with a ball peen hammer to the forehead) in between an endless quest to get at least one of the scantily clad booth babes to not so much look at them approvingly, but at least refrain from throwing up on them, go home to their gaming magazines to dutifully copy every last bit of hyperbolic hype they’ve been fed by the publishers’ PR flacks, using words like “novel”, “gritty”, “groundbreaking” and “MMO” a lot. And we do mean a LOT.

So why does it relieve us when that spectacle is over? Because that’s ALL they write about for weeks and weeks on end, and there’s only so much vaporware hyping and extremely badly photoshopped images of reviewers kissing Princess Zelda’s foam boobs we can stand.

It’s bad enough that magazines and websites are already overflowing with that meaningless crap the rest of the year, but during and around E3 it reaches critical mass.

Here’s a dirty little secret, reviewers: We don’t give a flying hamsterfuck what awesome, fantastic, groundbreaking, gritty and, of course, massively multiplayer wonder games may or may not come out in some unspecified future, we’d much rather hear about what actually exists which, as it were, isn’t all that much, seeing as how most of the publishers are too busy delaying their promised wonder games month after month until they just quietly quit talking about them or sell the rights off to some poor schmuck publisher who’ll never finish it.

No, we don’t. Not even in the very least little bit. And when the “games to come” seem to consist almost entirely of remakes and threehundredandsixtyseventh iterations of concepts that reached their saturation points back in the 90s, we’re even less encouraged by it. Oh yay, UbiSoft is already working hard on Assassin’s Creed LXVIII, rumored to break new ground by being set on the dark side of the moon in the 23rd century, featuring an innovative interface, a gritty environment and the promise of, you guessed it, multiplayer. Again. Only better this time.

We can barely contain our excitement!

Cut. It. Out!

[Deep breath] ANYway… Now that it’s over, perhaps there will be some actual reviews to be read. You know, of stuff you can actually buy in stores. Which will all suck, seeing as how every single new game out there has to have at least some zombies in there, even if it’s a train simulator, or because they were published before they were finished because the publisher couldn’t find a poor schmuck to sell the rights to and, dammit, there’s a holiday coming up. Push it out the door. We can patch it later. Maybe. Look, a squirrel!

So what was the point here? None, really.

As we said: Slow news days.

Thatisall.

19 comments

  1. 1
    Boryon growls and barks:

    I used to read IGN for my gaming news. Then a colleague pointed out that I really ought to read Rock, Paper, Shotgun instead, especially as I know the partner of one of the major contributors. In the last few months, I’ve bought about 10 games as a result of reading that website.

    Ok, most of those were due to buying humble bundle V, but hey, donate to charity and get a load of indy games? I’m up for that!

  2. 2
    Emperor Misha I growls and barks:

    I still use IGN a lot, especially for reviews. The reason being that, among all of the “big” ones, they tend to hand out reviews to people who actually know and care about the genre they’re reviewing, and they have people on staff who cover all of them.

    Unlike Gamespot, for instance, who went rapidly downhill once their entire review staff ended up consisting of people who played nothing but MMORPGs and FPSs. Not that there’s anything wrong with either genre, but if you assign a review of IL-2 Sturmovik to a pimpled late-teen who plays nothing but World of Warcraft, the review will be as you might expect. You wouldn’t want me to review NBA 2K12 for instance. No matter how excellent it might be, I’d have a “1 out of 5″ rating in mind before I even saw the loading screen.

    Another reason I like IGN is that their reviewers, of any genre (and I’m willing to play quite a few), are very open about what they like and, more importantly, why they like it when they describe various features of a game. They also go into a great deal of detail in that respect, unlike Gamespot reviewers who, and I know I keep picking on them but that’s because they really are that terrible, are more likely to say useless shit like “damn, OMG, the graphics are, like, you know, awesome, dude, because.. Awesome!” Or they’re quite happy to slam a perfectly great single player game because they can’t play it online with their pimpled friends due to its lack of multiplayer.

    IGN, on the other hand, will certainly mention the lack of multiplayer and how that might disappoint fans of that (as well they should), but they won’t let that influence their review of the single player experience beyond stating that if you like multiplayer to the point where it’s a deciding factor, you’ll probably be disappointed.

    And I hasten to add that I have nothing at all against multiplayer, as a matter of fact I’d love to play more of it, I just don’t have the time to dive into it properly. But I digress.

    So, for general reviews, I like IGN. Of course, if it’s something in a hobby horse genre of mine, such as “ridiculously detailed military simulations that border on the pathological in their anal retentive obsession with authenticity to the point where you won’t know your arse from your elbow until you’ve studied them for weeks”, I’ll turn to more specialized sites like SimHQ as well, because they’re as crazy as I am about that shit.

    Thanks for the tip about Rock, Paper, Shotgun, though. They’re going on my reading list!

    As to Humble Bundle V, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one. That offer was just too good to ignore. Even at 3 times the average bid (for the uninitiated, you pay what you want from nothing at all upwards, but get a bonus game if you pay above the average bid so far. No, I’m not kidding. You can get it for absolutely free, the whole package minus one if you’re stingy enough) I’d still only paid the fair price for one game, $20, and I got to hand a lot of that to a charity of my choice. What’s not to love? And if anybody thinks that’s a stupid business model, I’d like to tell you that it had made more than $2,000,000 when I got mine, and that was about 24 hours after the launch. What? You can only make money of software if you charge $60 a pop? Eat my shit, arseholes, and take your “piracy is killing the industry” bull crap with you.

    I’m going off on a tangent here, but it’s one well worth pursuing: I repeat, this was a bundle of great games in their own right, and you had the option to not pay anything at all for them (that would be the financial equivalent of piracy, the scourge that, according to all major publishers, is the only reason “forcing” them to treat their customers as beta-testing rape victims who are also criminals for not submitting to the rape), yet somehow people were more than willing to pay for them anyway.

    And the same goes for the music industry which has been doomed, DOOMED according to record companies ever since the tape recorder was invented. Yet people still make music. Interesting, that.

    People WILL pay for quality because people aren’t stupid. They know too that if they don’t, then the people making quality will stop making it and find a different line of work, which will suck garbanzo beans for the consumers of their product which is no longer available. Symbiosis, I believe it’s what it’s called.

    Instead we have software developers designing ever more intrusive and damaging DRM crapware to “protect their investment” while wondering why nobody buys their shit anymore. Here’s a hint, and I’m one of the survivors of UbiSoft’s misguided collaboration with the StarForce malware “anti-piracy protection” gimmick: We stop buying your shit because we don’t want our rigs to be infected by your malevolent viruses, and viruses is the right term for them.

    I have, I admit, before demos became widely available, tried out “pirated” copies of software to see whether I liked them or not. I don’t like shelling out money I don’t have for something that turns out to be shit. Call it a “test drive”. But I have never, EVER failed to buy the full version if the initial copy turned out to be worth actual money. Because the guys and girls who wrote the code deserve my dollars so they can produce more code that I’ll love.

    You don’t like that? Fine. I don’t have to try out your stuff. I can just ignore it altogether. Plenty of fish in the sea. Then watch your sales plummet.

    But this is turning into a whole other subject, so I’ll stop here.

    [Addendum]: OK, so I won’t. I just have to add this. The piracy “industry” have also, in my opinion, shot themselves in the foot by introducing so much crapware to their downloads that your average resident malware scanner will have a nervous breakdown the first time you try to install their junk. In other words: A lot of them have become exactly the thing they originally claimed to be a protest against. But that’s good. It only makes people like me want even more to reward good work by pushing money to the original developers. Not that I needed encouragement, but it might encourage others who otherwise might lean towards the “theft of other people’s property” model.

  3. 3
    Boryon growls and barks:

    Emperor Misha I says:

    I still use IGN a lot, especially for reviews. The reason being that, among all of the “big” ones, they tend to hand out reviews to people who actually know and care about the genre they’re reviewing, and they have people on staff who cover all of them.

    I still read IGN. My problem with them isn’t so much the quality of what they do, but what they cover. For example, Warlock, a nice turn based 4X game that came out recently. I heard about it in advance on RPS, saw comments about the beta etc. If IGN had anything about it before the review a few weeks after release, I completely missed it (and I check most days).

    RPS however, covers some of the big stuff and quite a lot of the small stuff as well :-)

    So, for general reviews, I like IGN. Of course, if it’s something in a hobby horse genre of mine, such as “ridiculously detailed military simulations that border on the pathological in their anal retentive obsession with authenticity to the point where you won’t know your arse from your elbow until you’ve studied them for weeks”, I’ll turn to more specialized sites like SimHQ as well, because they’re as crazy as I am about that shit.

    Hmm, Total War series? Or the more obscure and even more serious stuff? I don’t have time to play half the games I want to, so I’ve had to give up entire genres like this one.

    As to Humble Bundle V, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one. That offer was just too good to ignore. Even at 3 times the average bid (for the uninitiated, you pay what you want from nothing at all upwards, but get a bonus game if you pay above the average bid so far. No, I’m not kidding. You can get it for absolutely free, the whole package minus one if you’re stingy enough) I’d still only paid the fair price for one game, $20, and I got to hand a lot of that to a charity of my choice. What’s not to love? And if anybody thinks that’s a stupid business model, I’d like to tell you that it had made more than $2,000,000 when I got mine, and that was about 24 hours after the launch. What? You can only make money of software if you charge $60 a pop? Eat my shit, arseholes, and take your “piracy is killing the industry” bull crap with you.

    Did you see some of the donations? Some people were donating over $10,000. The total was somewhere over $5m

    People WILL pay for quality because people aren’t stupid. They know too that if they don’t, then the people making quality will stop making it and find a different line of work, which will suck garbanzo beans for the consumers of their product which is no longer available. Symbiosis, I believe it’s what it’s called.

    I prefer “enlightened self interest” myself :em07:

    Instead we have software developers designing ever more intrusive and damaging DRM crapware to “protect their investment” while wondering why nobody buys their shit anymore. Here’s a hint, and I’m one of the survivors of UbiSoft’s misguided collaboration with the StarForce malware “anti-piracy protection” gimmick: We stop buying your shit because we don’t want our rigs to be infected by your malevolent viruses, and viruses is the right term for them.

    Tell me about it. I also had a run-in with UbiSoft’s StarForce malware and had a fun time cleaning it out. StarForce themselves are much worse. I’ve been known to buy games I don’t have time to play properly just because they’ve told StarForce to take a hike (hi Stardock!)

    Anyway, that’s enough of using up people’s screenspace.

  4. 4
    Boryon growls and barks:

    Oh, Misha, I forgot to add, if you got Bastion in Humble Bundle V, they’ve added another 3 games that you can download: Lone Survivor, Braid and Super Meat Boy.

    Now I just have to find time to play them all…

  5. 5
    TheRoyalFamily growls and barks:

    I don’t even trust IGN anymore, at least not as far as scoring goes. Their reviews are pretty good, until you get to that final bit (the part that actually matters to everyone who isn’t playing the game). 1up is the same way. I actually like Kotaku for that reason – despite the typical Gawker Network liberal slant put into everything, their game reviews are very in-depth and informative, and actually good. Since they don’t bother with score, they just tell you what’s good, and what they didn’t like; and if the article is brownnosing a little too much, the comment section lets you know (and honestly, the comments, taken as a whole, are often better than the articles, which you can’t say for many places at all, let alone gaming sites).

    As far as scoring goes, I only really listen to EGM and Nintendo power. EGM has (or had; I haven’t read them in a while) the three-person scoring, so you get the differing opinions, and why they disagree. Nintendo Power, while the expected hype machine for upcoming stuff, reviews actually existing games fairly.

    Emperor Misha I says:

    hobby horse genre of mine, such as “ridiculously detailed military simulations that border on the pathological in their anal retentive obsession with authenticity to the point where you won’t know your arse from your elbow until you’ve studied them for weeks”, I’ll turn to more specialized sites like SimHQ as well, because they’re as crazy as I am about that shit.

    Have you ever tried the Paradox grand strategy games? Sounds like Hearts of Iron 3 could be up your alley.

  6. 6
    LC Gladiator growls and barks:

    SLOW DAY FER SHURE……………………

    Knowing now that nothing ever happens by chance with Barack Hussein Obama; that everything is, and has been scripted for him by Marxist progressives, shouldn’t folk be looking beyond the obvious on his Executive Order on Amnesty? Is Barack Obama’s Amnesty bombshell removing 800,000 illegal immigrants from the deportation process the X That Marks the Spot to the real reason why his birth certificate remains missing? Is the more valid number taken off the deportation process 800,000 illegal immigrants—and one? Is Obama granting amnesty to himself?

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/47411

  7. 7
    LC Gladiator growls and barks:

    Montana’s state Republican convention this weekend reportedly featured an outhouse labeled “Obama Presidential Library” — complete with a mock bullet hole paint job.

    The Helena Independent Record reported:

    Inside, a fake birth certificate for Barack Hussein Obama made reference to the disproven controversy over the president’s origins. It was stamped “Bull—-.” A graffito advised “For a Good Time call 800-Michelle (crossed out), Hillary (crossed out) and Pelosi (circled in red.)”

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/montana-gop-convention-features-obama-presidential-library-an-outhouse-with-fake-bullet-holes/

  8. 8
    LC Spare Parts growls and barks:

    Nothing’s much fun when your opponents aren’t staring at you across the table. Bridge, Scrabble, and above all Monopoly and variants thereof are the only games that satisfy. You can clobber your friends and not hurt anybody. The deal, draw, roll, and what you do with them the next minute determining the outcome without the unseen unknown code writer and his mindset in the mix make the integrity of any situation absolute. Clearing the screen of ugly monsters and texting the result in a megaTweet amplifies the vacancy and heightens our isolation. The enjoyment fades fast for me.
    I just got my claws on a contraband copy of Redneckopoly and the fridge and all the coolers will be filled and chilled by noon Friday.

  9. 9
    VonZorch Imperial Researcher growls and barks:

    Personally, I never read any game reviews. Of course, I’m still playing Fallout 2 and various mods thereof.

  10. 10
    LC Akornzombie growls and barks:

    If you want a place to go to for a good take on games of all genres, try Penny Arcade.

    VonZorch, I’m playing New Vegas myself.

  11. 11
    Emperor Misha I growls and barks:

    TheRoyalFamily says:

    Have you ever tried the Paradox grand strategy games? Sounds like Hearts of Iron 3 could be up your alley.

    I have indeed. They make truly fantastic strategy games.

    One thing that keeps nagging me about them, though, is their insistence on using “areas” to move around on, but that’s just because I’m an old, toothless, grumpy, grognard “hexes and ZOCs, Afrika Korps, Third Reich, SL and ASL (all of them and their expansions) and, just to prove how nuts I am, even Drang Nach Osten/Unentschieden and yes, I actually did play that one. You haven’t truly lived until you’ve fought the entire East Front on the company/battalion level” kinda guy.

    Now get offa my LAWN!!! :em05:

    But they’re great, they really are, and their attention to detail is truly mindboggling.

    Boryon says:

    Hmm, Total War series?

    Every. Single. One. Of them. I know, it’s sad, innit?

    I dunno, they just blow me away. Ever since I first laid my paws on the first Shogun: Total War I was completely taken by them. Medieval made my heart all a-twitter and Rome , well let’s just say that I almost took to wearing a toga to work.

    OK, I take it back. I haven’t played the latest remake of Shogun, but I’m planning to.

    I don’t know. The whole building a dynasty, 3D maps that you could actually see your armies marching around on (and ZOCs, glorious ZOCs!, even though they don’t have hexes but they don’t need them. I didn’t like the areas of Shogun and Medieval too much, though, but the rest made up for it) and, most of all, the glory of watching and commanding your amassed host in 3D on a real battlefield, individual soldiers tangling, fighting and dying, dust, blood, noise, charges, routs… Be still, my beating heart.

    The only thing that Creative Assembly really do, and I do mean DO need to get their shit together on is the AI. It has gotten a lot better over the years, but still. Seriously. Everything else is picture perfect. For the next installment, just tell the dev team to copy the engine over for the graphics, moving and battle stuff, you can’t improve on that much anyway, and spend half a year doing nothing but creating an AI that is brilliant and acts like a human.

    Nobody would ever be able to touch them in the strategy genre ever again.

    So yes, I do love me a good strategy game, it’s one of my favorite genres. Currently I’m on simulations, though. I tend to go back and forth. Silent Hunter V is what I spend time on right now when I have any, which isn’t often. And before you go “blech!” or, worse still, rush off to pay the $5 that it costs nowadays, let me warn you that it’s utter, distilled, industrial grade crap right out of the box. The ONLY thing that’s impressive about it is the graphics, but those really ARE impressive. Everything else sucks in the stock version. That’s where mods come in. But if you’re not one to want to fiddle around with mods, it’s a bit of a learning curve (but worth it), you don’t want to touch this one. If you are, however, it’ll be the best five bucks you ever spent if you’re into that sort of thing.

    Photo-realistic graphics, seas that will actually make you want you to go get some Dramamine and the command of a U-Boat in WWII. If you liked the movie Das Boot, you’ll be living it. But it’s junk out of the box, so don’t expect anything but disappointment if modding stuff isn’t up your alley.

    Anyway, my tastes run in different directions. I loved GTA IV, Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty too so I’m not against FPSs at all. They’re great entertainment and if they offer a good storyline too, they’re awesome. I just don’t have time and, more importantly, the MONEY to keep up with them all right now, so I tend to stick with stuff that will keep me occupied for a couple of months at least.

    LC Akornzombie says:

    VonZorch, I’m playing New Vegas myself.

    Case in point. AWESOME awesomeness. Post-apocalypse done right, ever since the first Fallout. Even though it’s, dammit, “gritty.” But the story line, the atmosphere, everything about it just drags me in. I even spent a while tweaking, modifying and Bob knows what else a few years ago “downgrading” my PC so it could play the first two again, even though Fallout III was out at the time. That’s how awesome that series is.

    But I do carry on, don’t I?

  12. 12
    LC Alric growls and barks:

    Emperor Misha I says:
    LC Akornzombie says:
    VonZorch, I’m playing New Vegas myself.

    Case in point. AWESOME awesomeness. Post-apocalypse done right, ever since the first Fallout. Even though it’s, dammit, “gritty.” But the story line, the atmosphere, everything about it just drags me in. I even spent a while tweaking, modifying and Bob knows what else a few years ago “downgrading” my PC so it could play the first two again, even though Fallout III was out at the time. That’s how awesome that series is.
    But I do carry on, don’t I?

    I hear you on the Fallout games. I got the whole original collection again from Gathering of Games back when it was offered for free a few months ago. I don’t think I ever got around to beating New Vegas, but right now I’m stuck in Skyrim. Damn is that game immersive (and much less buggy than New Vegas). Plenty of cool mods for that one too.

  13. 13
    LC BU1 IMotBP growls and barks:

    I game on a console, but it seems that my tastes still run pretty similar to everyone here. Right now the four games that get the most play out of every thing I have are Fallout III, New Vegas, Oblivion, and Skyrim… Bethesda just seems to have the whole open world thing down pat and mastered.

  14. 14
    LC Patton growls and barks:

    Last year Steam had a massive sale on Paradox games, and I took the opportunity to buy nearly all of them. All but the new Crusader Kings II, and I hope to get that soon. And, Fallout, wonderful fallout. I’ve beaten all four Fallout games, and at one point I played so much Fallout 3 I could have sung any of the songs off the radio in Fallout 3 from memory. I don’t, because my singing voice has been declared a war crime by the United Nations and an executable offense in sixteen countries. But I could.

  15. 15
    Emperor Misha I growls and barks:

    LC Patton says:

    I don’t, because my singing voice has been declared a war crime by the United Nations and an executable offense in sixteen countries. But I could.

    Let’s go sunning,
    It’s so good for you
    Let’s go sunning
    Beneath the sky of blue
    Greet the sun every morn
    Feel as free and happy as the day you were born

    Let’s go native
    Sun your cares away
    Be creative
    Learn to live and play
    Pretty flowers need the sun
    This applies to everyone

    I know, I know. Now you can’t get it out of your brain group housing again. Why should I suffer alone? MWAHAHAHAHAHA!

    [Walking off, humming]

    I don’t want to set the world on fire,
    I just want to start, a flame in your heart…

  16. 16
    LC Patton growls and barks:

    Hello America, this is John Henry Eden your President. There are some things we should talk about…

  17. 17
    Boryon growls and barks:

    Thankfully, I kicked the fallout 3 bug some time ago (but that robot was damn cool!). I’ve avoided Skyrim for the moment, but will probably pick up the GotY edition when it comes out. I’ve been playing the Elder Scrolls games since Arena :-)

    Current timesink is Diablo 3, because it’s so damn funny with friends. Nothing like having a bunch of friends around with their laptops around, beer, pizza, cake and the nutter playing a wizard yelling out “LASER BEAMS!” in a Dr Evil voice every time he uses the frost beam spell.

  18. 18
    L.O.R. Ankle biter growls and barks:

    I play a kind of game different than anybody else on this site, by the measure of this thread. Text games called MUDs, and I prefer roleplay to hack ‘n slash. No graphics to speak of, the words are the only way you get a picture of what’s going on…
    I prefer the medieval fantasy genre and my characters are never warriors by trade, though they are most definitely not pacifists.

  19. 19
    Boryon growls and barks:

    Heh, it’s been a decade or so since I last played a MUD. The MMO genre has yet to catch up with the MUDs in some ways.