The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa – Impressions

I don’t yet know what to make of The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa. Seemingly developed by one guy in Russia, The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa sees you play as a directionless high school thug who is threatened with expulsion from his school, which he hardly attends due to spending all his time getting into gang fights. It’s like a tribute to NES classic River City Ransom or some sorta slice of life anime like Cromartie High School which I’ve never watched but Deguello says is a parody.

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Year Walk – Starving on Wii U

Once a year there is a tradition among gamers to sit in their house alone until midnight. No contact with the outside world is allowed, and you must deprive yourself of nutrients for the whole day before exploring a magical world at night and finding your true purpose.

Wait no, that’s just a normal week. One of these Thursday night journeys led me to Year Walk on my Wii U, as I walked all the way to the end of the eShop.

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Gaming Paralysis

It’s Sunday afternoon, I have no pending deadlines, the weekend chores are done and my partner has offered to cook dinner. I have hours ahead of me I want to dedicate to playing a game. I go to pick one and… can’t. A paralysis of choice. I have too much to play and if I’m not decisive, I’ll fritter away the next three hours, playing nothing, with only a vague recollection of internet memes to remember the day by.

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Thinking of building a gaming PC? Don’t!

Despite the overwhelming market dominance of gaming on consoles seemingly only challenged by gaming on what we used to call telephones, graphics card manufacturer nVidia are predicting a surge in the uptake of PC gaming. Do you want to be part of this hip new trend? You shouldn’t! But the stories are intoxicating, aren’t they? Tales of dedicated multiplayer servers. Rumours of true high definition gaming, powered by multicore CPUs that unleash the true power of exotic European developed game engines. Implausibly large multiplayer games supporting thousands of players simultaneously. Rumours of wonderful indie game distribution networks and those preposterously good value Steam sales. But then if you go out and look at some PCs in shops they’re all so expensive you might begin to wonder just what the big fuss regarding the PS3 launch price was even over. Then you hear another rumour, that you can save money and build a PC yourself! It all sounds too enticing and you find yourself wondering that maybe you should buy some components off the shelf and craft your very own PC. Well don’t.

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Two ways to do a content subscription service

Those of you who’ve been paying careful attention to Electronic Arts, and really you have no excuse not to, would know they’re pretty interested in this whole internet thing and how it could be leveraged to provide a constant revenue stream from increasingly dependent consumers. They’ve been pulling their games from Steam and relaunched Origin, the developer of Ultima they purchased a decade ago, as a digital distribution client, the only place to buy new multi million dollar MMO: Star Wars: The Old Republic. And then they ruined my birthday by announcing a subscription service to their sports games.

Now here’s what EA are planning to do.

  • The privilege of downloading their sports games a few days before EB Games put it on display and slap pre-owned stickers on last year’s edition.
  • Discounts on downloadable content, including on disc DLC.
  • Permission to use that purchased content on future roster updates.
  • Stats recorded on a webpage that you can browse with your internet communication gizmo.
  • A little badge so everyone knows you’re an idiot paying for the above.

I know right, some sort of joke. The very fact that EA’s offering, if I can indulge you and call it that, can be summarised down to five bulletpoints shows you everything wrong with their approach. You can’t summarise Xbox Live or Steam in 5 dot points and you shouldn’t be able to summarise EA’s either. If EA want to charge a subscription then they have to at least be on that level, offer a service of their own on the scale of Xbox Live. They’re a big company and their sport games cater to a big market – they can do it. God knows they want to do it but they’re too cowardly to try. The next few paragraphs I’m going to envision how they should run a subscription service that fosters the kind of sycophantic devotees, who’ll maintain their subscriptions indefinitely.

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Friend Codes

Friend Codes are a controversial online schematic that can mildly be described as cumbersome.  The IDEA behind Friend Codes is a good one, but the execution of this idea has until recently been poorly lacking.

However, with the announcement of the universality of Friend Codes for the 3DS, the Friend Code system rises from unwieldy to a viable alternative that’s even superior in many ways to alternate online systems.

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Holed In

With the east coast of Australia underwater, the North American continent buried under snow and the Korean peninsula on the brink of nuclear war, gamers across the world have even more reason to bunker down on the comfort of their couches and the warmths of their computer. The dangerous world outside does present a problem though; how to acquire more games? The leader in digital distribution has capitalised on this captive market and this year’s Steam sales have been destructive to gamer wallets. It’s been a storm of it’s own to weather, one in our mind, to restrain ourselves and avoid the perils of credit card debt.

fuck
Pending transactions on my credit card bill.

There is some sort of addictive quality to cheap games. I’ve bought games I previously had no interest in like Mass Effect. I heard the second one won a few awards this year so I got that and then though I might as well get the first so I know what’s going on. Then there’s other games, like Assassin’s Creed that I thought I bought, but in the long line of transactions I guess I haven’t. There are other games that I’ve decided for one reason or another to just wait and buy at the last moment of the sale, like Eufloria. There’s other games like the Tomb Raider spinoff thing but I didn’t get that, despite it going on sale twice. There’s also SimCity 4. It’s on sale right now, I’ve already bought this game twice but my brain is telling me if I get it on steam, I wont need the CD!

And of course, in typical steam sale tradition, the only games I’ve played while hiding from the jellyfish that infest this retirement village my parents call home are SimCity 4 and Osmos, which I picked up from the Humble Bundle. Might post some Osmos impressions tomorrow or tonight, it’s an absorbing (lol puns) game.