I was looking at review scores before on Metacritic, as I sometimes do when I want to laugh at how pointless the site is, at least in its intended use. I often use it as a set of links to full reviews for games that I have already purchased, in order to find opinions that are well past my buying decision. Occasionally I do use the Metascore, when helping my non-gaming friends when it comes to their occasional games purchases, especially in the field of titles I don’t generally touch, like a sports or racing game. That’s really the only time such a blank score is useful, as these people would not be bothered to dig deeply anyway. They want an objective yes or no as to whether they’re going to buy something, the lack of nuance really doesn’t bother these folk.
That’s fine though. They have an Xbox to play Madden and watch Netflix. They may buy a shooter somewhere in there as well but that is really the extent of it. For these folks, Metacritic is a fine tool, because the flaws don’t present themselves in such an obvious fashion. By using an aggregate of scores from a variety of sites, Metacritic can claim the mantle of “objective” to those not looking too hard. In doing so, it uses the idea that the extremes of either side of a bell curve of scores can be discarded until you burn everything away to a middle point, and wherever that middle lies may be considered to be the “objective” correct score. It was under this flawed assumption, the one that Metacritic no doubt wants people to believe in order to remain relevant; that I came to a funny realization. Continue Reading
It seems like something all the cool kids are doing. So I dunno why I am bothering. Facebook is unfortunately full of people I know in my real life and don’t much want to talk to, so I need a new place to let off the personal steam. Go ahead and take a look if you want, there’s not much there yet. But I plan on letting it be more “me” than other social media is at the moment. As for this blog, I already miss writing. I let myself get caught up in the internet drama of the week, and I am usually better than that. Hopefully I can get back to writing soon. Not that anyone notices. That’s my own fault really. Anyway, look me up on Tumblr:
The culture around video games, from every side has become toxic and sad. I still love games, but for now, I don’t love the internet. Goodbye for now.
There are few times in my life anymore when I am following the Japanese life of a video game. Between the rise of Western developers, and the lack of “big” titles that don’t make it to these shores anymore, following a game as it makes its way through the Land of the Rising Sun seems a bit silly. Plus, it is often the case now Japanese titles come out day and date with the Western versions, at least here in the United States. I think Europe still gets shafted to some degree, and I think games don’t even come out anymore in Australia. But in any case, if a game is worth playing, it often comes out here in the United States. However, that seemed to almost not be the case for Bravely Default, it was believed that it would remain a game staying on Eastern shores, Square Enix not wanting to translate it and publish it outside Japan. The case for this choice was obvious; JRPG’s were not as big in America as the SNES/PS1 days, and the western gamers tended to gravitate to titles with more action in it. Bravely Default is a game firmly rooted in a style of RPG that isn’t so commonly played anymore, at least out here. However, it seems the demand for the game was high, and Nintendo agreed to take over publishing duties for territories outside Japan. With this system in place, North America finally got Bravely Default in February of 2014, and it was worth the wait. Continue Reading
The Playstation Network is home to a lot of old games. If you look at the PS1 Classics section of the Network store, you can find a plethora of Dora the Explorer titles. But past these timeless classics, you can find other passable titles like Final Fantasy VII and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. However, it is often like Sony forgets this section of their digital store even exists. This is very upsetting as there are legitimately great titles sitting in the store, for great prices. Adding even more value to this store is that a ton of these games work on the PS Vita, which make even the most base-level, fine in 1996, but busted-ass in 2014 3D graphics look good with the ultra-sharp screen.
Occasionally, someone at Sony will drunkenly stumble into the PS1 section of their store, and decide they should do something with it. This weekend is such a time it seems. PSN is having what is frankly a great Flash Sale, with many PS1 games, and a few smaller PS3 titles being discounted to 99 cents, whether you have PS Plus or not. I can personally see myself picking up Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, Tekken 2, and Virtua Fighter 2. The RPG’s on this list I actually already own, and I was never into Dino Crisis. However, the list is great all around, but this sale is short lived (ends on Monday, July 14, 3PM Eastern), so hop on your PS3 and/or Vita and get some great games for next to nothing.
Source: Playstation Blog
People often ask me how I like my Vita. More people don’t ask me what I think of my Vita. I find however, that whether or not someone asks me for my opinion on the Playstation Vita, I am giving my opinion of it. I love my Vita. I think it is a fantastic system with a library that is small on its own, but is actually really large if you take into account the extras. It plays PSP games, it plays PS1 games, and it has a lot of great games on its own. What I think gets you the most value in this system though, is the types of games you see in the available library. My PSP got a lot of play not because of the short, quirky games; which were fun, don’t get me wrong. The Japanese-style RPG’s are where the real value is on Sony handhelds. My PSP was a JRPG machine, and my Vita has quickly turned into that as well. Between the PS1 Classics, which include Final Fantasy V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, as well as other venerable series such as Breath of Fire, and the PSP library, which has things like Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions and Persona 3 Portable, the Vita has thousands of gaming hours available in the back catalog alone, often times for cheap.
Despite the massive amount of gaming choices available for the intrepid RPG gamer on the Vita, there are some glaring holes in what is otherwise a stellar library, especially from the PS2 era. While a few of these games are old titles that really have no reason to not be available on the Vita, some are more modern titles that while great on their native systems, would feel a lot better on Sony’s powerful portable. I know at times there would be a great deal of work needed to even think of getting the game on the Vita, but I don’t care. This is a wish-list. Continue Reading
Cliff Bleszinski left Epic Games in 2012, claiming he was retiring from making games. Although he no doubt has the financial stability that could maintain retiring at 37 years of age, it appears the desire to create has returned in force. Although this is no surprise, considering he already talked about coming back to game development last December, to see him officially announce on Twitter that he will be showing off new stuff in the next week is very welcome.
Don’t hold your breath for him to return to Epic however. He has said that he would love to open his own studio in the past, and has a very specific vision for this project. It will be a first-person shooter, Cliff said on the Pointless Podcast back in late 2013. He also stated that it will feel old, “It will be a PC experience that will hearken back to a certain type of game that we cut our teeth on.” He also stated he does not want to do a scripted sequence ever again, and has already let us know it won’t feel like the more modern, Call of Duty type games, instead feeling more like the Unreal style of gameplay he is known for. In the same podcast, he is quoted as saying, “A lot of these kids playing Call of Duty- I don’t think they know what a proper arena shooter is.”