Hey U – Give Me Real Controls

The Wii Remote & Nunchuk was last generation’s innovation in violence – still strong today, still better than the competition. This was the method of controlling the last true console Resident Evil experience the world would know: The Umbrella Chronicles.

For the previous console cycle, there’s a seldom-stated lesson Capcom briefly learned (see RE4:Wii) then immediately forgot (see their “HD” games): if you’re pretending to KILL in a video game, do it properly. It’s just a shame we don’t have to pretend anymore: modern games, such as Capcom’s premiere action series, have gotten so smart that they play themselves (step aside Super Guide). The games don’t hesitate to handle much of the excitement on their own, and work hard to convince us that quick-button-context-flashback-retrospection-cutscene was an artistic achievement (“Best QTE of 2012,” is there such a thing?). Opponents of violent gaming love to point out how video games “teach kids how to kill”, but I know that’s rubbish cuz most games suck at that, especially as more games suck at being games. It’s supposed to be like watching a movie, right? Why not an effing GAME? Thru these last couple generations of analog masturbation, popular shooters have more or less surpassed “REALISTIC EVERYTHING” – nevermind the gameplay. And in a (not really) fun twist, “more realism” cheerfully graduated to “more Hollywood”; new gameplay became movies that look like gameplay. “Wow, it’s like playing a game,” – thanks, my confidence in the new generation is at an all-time high.

Before proceeding, I want to be clear that the major ideas in the blocks of text below don’t necessarily apply to every genre or gameplay mechanic. Many of our favorites are derived from things like tennis, team sports, board games, gambling, mazes, vehicles, boxing puppets, and Donkey Kong – there’s no reason to mess with certain core elements. However, TANGIBLE VIRTUAL VIOLENCE has a raw, engrossing quality that the majority of the Industry has not been interested in embracing for some time; fluid human movements seek the spillage of human fluid, yet they insist gamers don’t like movement and just seek Mountain Dew. Trapped in the game industry’s electronic erection contest, the prestigious computing “arms race”, we continue enduring their fake war: fake gameplay and fake value. Cash and companies continue to perish in the high-priced struggle to show violence; rarely do we see genuine imagination towards playing violence. It doesn’t have to be this way; we can still search for decency. Aim off-screen and raise your real arms to rediscover what’s in front of you: the gameplay in your hands.

/wii joke

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FPS on Wii U, will Third Parties drop the ball again?

Anyone who played Conduit 2 knows how good the Wii controller feels for first-person shooters. Not because the game does anything amazing, but because High Voltage were one of the only developers to show up to the FPS party with a Wii game. Call of Duty players laughed at their primitive graphics, Halo players insulted their mothers, and Killzone players were too busy reconnecting to PSN. Not many developers were brave enough to try and sell a game on the absurd basis of “good controls”, so FPS were few and far between on Wii, with launch games Red Steel and Far Cry Vengeance still floating in the top tier of the genre after 6 years. Wii U is just around the corner and negates the graphics problem but brings a new problem: the tablet. The enticing features of the GamePad screen and it’s comfortable grip could doom us to another generation of analog stick shooting.

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I wish the TAKEDOWN kickstarter failed

With the successes of Double Fine’s unnamed adventure game and Wasteland 2Kickstarter is the current darling of the independent gaming community and ‘crowdsourcing’ the hot new buzzword being thrown around by insufferable energetic web 2.0 conmen. Kickstarter hasn’t always been a success though, my favourite unfunded project being the criminals who developed Tony Hawk Ride failing to fund some marble madness clone they wanted to inflict on us. If only the same could be said about smug upstart Serellan’s lame sounding tactical shooter TAKEDOWN.

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Battlefield 3

battlehead
Battlefield 3 is a fucking disgrace and a monument to everything fucked up about gaming in 2011.

So let’s start this by talking about the user experience. You load up Origin, EA’s malvolent store slash game launcher client thing that is not Steam and it has some validation thing that takes way too long. Then you click on Battlefield 3 and it runs another validation thing to make sure you don’t live in the future; once it confirms that you don’t, you can load the game. Except that Battlefield then doesn’t load the game – instead it opts to fire up your web browser and takes you to a website EA calls the Battlelog, some people have called it Facebook For Murderers, others ‘one of the worst ideas in video game history’. Your web browser will be as unprepared as you for Battlelog, forcing you to install two plugins for your web browser to continue. Now so far in this review I’ve talked about what you do when you first play Battlefield 3; I’m going to talk about what I did for a moment: At this point in the process I turned to my one, solitary friend on Origin, who was playing Battlefield 3 at the time, and complained about the validation shit. I said, “all I want to do is shoot cunts!” He laughed and responded with “I hope you like dying.” Now at the time I thought this was just him shit-talking my gaming skills, but in reality it was an ominous warning of what was to come. Battlefield 3 is a game about dying. Continue reading “Battlefield 3”

The Hype War

Hours ago, war broke out across the North American continent – no platform was spared as Electronic Arts invaded, attempting to seize all Activision strongholds on the continent. As we speak, more EA forces are mobilising off the east coast of Australia and there are reports of the EA navy circling Europe from the North Sea to the Black Sea, preparing for an invasion before the week is out. This is of course the Great Gaming War of 2011 and just as the poster above depicts, your kids will ask you about what role you played in this pivotal moment in history.

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How I fell in love with Dragon Quest

Dragon Quest has gone from being a series I’d never played or cared for, to one of my favourite series in gaming in the space of a year. It all started with the release of Dragon Quest IX; I decided to give it a chance because I love most other RPGs on DS and I wanted to see what the series was all about. IX seemed like the most accessible one yet, and the canvass mode also intrigued me.

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