Tag Archives: Ubi-soft

Evolving our lives!

This article is not for the faint of heart. This is not for the people who think that life is all sunny and joy. So if you are any of these people, then read not on and return when my next story comes online.

You see, in my mental world I am about to pick up an axe, I sneak upon the man who has no idea what is about to happen. I sneak, slowly into the den, the door was open this warm September and he likely hoped for the breeze to cool him down. Suddenly he feel one hot gush of water over his chest, he looks down, it is not water. It is the hot blood gushing from his skull, the blood that rains is his, he cannot shout out, blood is everywhere, he falls on the rug with a ‘thump’, he is no more! I hear the voice from the kitchen ‘what was that dear! Are you alright?‘ I hear the footsteps, she is not walking fast. I move to the left into the shadows, I see her silhouette, she seems to see the blood and that what was left of her husband. I had already placed the hunting knife in my left hand; it slices through her throat in less than a second. She goes down on her knees, looking at me, not having any idea why she is getting hurt. She had died before her head hit the ground.

I get the knife and the axe and roll them in linen. I grab the bottle from the bag and place the knife and the axe within the canvas bag with linen coating. I add ammonia to mask the scent of the blood, in case a police dog gets near. I look at my feet; they are covered in lamb coated overshoes. My overall is thin but sturdy. I take out the billy club. I slowly walk to the staircase; I hear the sounds of gunfire from a video game. I sneak up slowly and see that the door of the room is ajar. A boy sites with his back to me, it is time to put on my ski mask. I slowly sneak in and observe the equipment and I hit him hard to the side of the head and quickly turn the sound up by a lot. Not hard enough to kill him, that is not my goal. He is reeling at the edge of losing consciousness; I slap his face hard with an open hand. The leather glove makes the sound more intense. I pull him up and hit him in the gut with enough strength; he buckles over gasping for air. He looks up in sheer terror. I gag him with duct tape and cuff his wrists at the back, I drag him downstairs.

I place the cable ties on his thumbs and index fingers as close to the Opponens Pollicis as possible. He looks at the bodies of his parents, he is now truly afraid. I look at him and say “Zoe Quinn and Phil Fish did not care for your harassment!” I put the mask on his face; the nails will slowly but not fatally bite into his face. Last I tighten cable ties as much as possible. Within the hour, amputation will be the only option left to him. His life will never ever be about gaming of harassing again! I walk away with the bag in my hand, not giving the little troll a second look. Within the hour all evidence that I ever existed will be gone, so will I and he will only know fear until his dying day!

This is just a story! This is nothing more than a rant of frustration, dressed in the cloth of a short story, dealing with my frustration like Percy Bysshe Shelley, Stephen King or Virginia Woolf. Although I tend to take the high road, this time it is Slate who has the high moral ground (at http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2014/08/zoe_quinn_harassment_a_letter_to_a_young_male_gamer.html), it is an excellent article by David Auerbach about more than just a gaming scandal. I am all about gaming; I have always been all about gaming. The fact that more and more women are entering this field is filling me with joy. Yes, for now this market is all about the man, but consider that over time, we have seen women leading in artistic fields. We have given our souls to Diablo, Minecraft, Oblivion, Fallout and a league of other games. Would it not be great if we get another wave of amazing games? For now Tombraider has sold itself short. The game is nowhere near the first two which broke the mould of good gaming. We saw the rise and fall of Origin, Rare and several others, all bringing us great games. Now women come and I hope we see a host of amazing games to follow. So when I see such hate and harassment from men (99.4233% sure that the harassers are not women) it just pisses me off. The fact that these people are not hunted into extinction gets to me to some degree. I did not get the hate people showed because Caroline Criado-Perez successfully championed for Jane Austen to be the new figure on the ten pound note. For the same reason I do not get the fact that Zoe Quinn is persecuted either. The idea to bring the awareness of depression is a great idea; I wish I had thought of it. It had several review, our own Tim Biggs of the Sydney Morning Herald wrote “Tim Biggs, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, also stressed the lack of fun in the game, and went on to say that the game was ‘a testing and, at times, a boring experience to go through.’ However, he praised the game’s execution, and acknowledged its importance as a tool for raising awareness of depression and for helping its sufferers“.

OK, not the greatest review for a game, but who remembers Superman for the Nintendo 64? I still consider it the very worst game I ever beheld for reviewing!

So, why is there such an overwhelming hate for these women. This all was brought to light because someone speaking out for them (Phil Fish). I did not play his game either, but the movies and the views give an interesting and original game play. So, it does not look like anything Ubi-Soft releases, but consider that ‘their’ Prince of Persia released in the 80’s (Broderbund released it) had no great graphics either, now it is a billion dollar company, we all have to start small.

So what about Zoe Quinn?

Well, the accusation is that she slept with a reporter to get a better review, but that is not entirely correct either. She got harassed shortly after the release and before her ‘ex-boyfriend’ made his claims. So what is it about this particular group of losers who feel so threatened about women in the gaming industry? They must be losers, because if they were not, then they would have their own brands of success, but that seems not to be the case. I think that if anonymous is the idealist it claims to be, then they would stand up for these women and publish the names and addresses of all of these bullies, you see, trolling is all fine, as long as we all know who you are, they become liable. It should stop two issues with one group all at once. But are the allegations true? Actually, does that matter? Perhaps a journalist got ‘lucky’, perhaps not. The real question is, is it a good game?

Yet, the issue does matter, you see, her ex, who is ‘hiding’ on his blog and accuses her of acts. Hiding the fact that the relationship was a bust and she did not stand still, she created something! Motherboard quotes “he accuses Quinn of sleeping with various prominent figures in the video game industry, including a writer at Kotaku“, so basically she knew a few guys, is that criminal? the information motherboard gave (at http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/zoe-quinn-slut-shaming-the-feminist-conspiracy-and-depression-quest) “Gamers have been complaining about corruption in video game journalism for years now” is not new, look at Gamespot and the massive amount of additional visibility that Ubi-Soft enjoys as a sponsor should raise more than just a few flags. But how far does this corruption go? And it is alleged corruption, the question remains, is it really corruption? I started reviewing games in 1988. I got the games, I wrote the articles and I got paid for the published articles. In addition I got to keep the games. I had to pay for the consoles myself (except for 2) and the chief editor kept the Atari Lynx for himself, an act which was slightly irritating, but not the greatest of issues. I went to the ECTS (the UK edition of the E3) a few times, which I paid for myself and deducted it from my taxes. So where is the corruption? I gave an honest review of the game and sometimes if the game was bad I did not bother writing a review for the simple reason that I only got up to 5 pages per issue, why spend it on a bad game, whilst a good game is so much more fun to review. I also tried to steer away from the ‘big titles’ at times; I did not jump onto Command & Conquer in 1995, like everyone else but choose Wing Commander 4, Tekken 2 and Rayman instead. My ex hated Rayman (the end of level laughter), I never regretted my decision. Everyone wrote about Command & Conquer, I showed them different games. The question still remains, why hate Quinn?

Is it because her ex-boyfriend turned out to be a loser? let’s be clear about this, if he was in a relationship and she did cheat on him, he should be angry and walk away, I do not care, it is her life and her choice and if so he is free to walk away and perhaps be angry for a little while, yet he is the only one with the smallest degree to be angry, the other hundreds have absolutely no valid cause for such trolling and harassing behaviour. Consider that we start trolling all the cheaters, the man too! Spam mail would drop to 0%, there would be no bandwidth left for spam mails, which might be a new novel idea to get rid of spam messages.

This is all so stupid, because in the end, the real gamers want to know if the game is any good. In her case, does it matter? Her game was to bring forward awareness of depression, if that works, what could be better? Even if the game is not the greatest one, it is likely to be a whole lot better than Superman on the Nintendo 64. In the end, I hope groups like Anonymous actually do something to help these victims instead of some political agenda, I wonder how ‘loud’ the troll feels when everyone in the street knows their name and where they live, more even if their mommies and daddies realise what losers they are. It is an interesting form of justice!

To some degree I miss reviewing games, I have seen so many classics be born and evolve. I saw underdogs like Broderbund rise and fall, I’ve seen how new generations love the originality of Loderunner, as much as I did when it got released on the CBM-64 and I saw the giant Elite, move from system to system, only to see the concept evolve into Privateer. Later we see part of the original game on tables and PDA’s, now Elite is back in a state of the art version that is to be released this year, still showing the original logo that was on the box of the CBM-64. Yet, the sandbox part, the travels and another side of the foundations of Elite will be seen in 2015, as we explore the galaxy in ‘No Man’s Sky’, in ways the original designer could never imagine (he only had 48Kb to write the program). As my life is drawing closer to an end, I see that timeless games will continue, bringing joy to a new generation and to generations after that, after I am gone. If the world for us as gamers is to move forward then this cannot be only about the man, women should pick up this torch and bring new options and new levels of gaming. In the end it will be a win-win for all gamers.

When we look at long term playing we have seen the big titles, and we all have other thoughts on what makes the great game, but there is also unison, it seems that the bulk all loves Diablo, even since the original release in 1996, it still keeps us busy. Would it not be great if we see new and more surprising games from female developers? Let’s not forget that one of the most famous developers in the early years for gamers was Roberta Williams, co-founder of Sierra-on-line. The bringer of King’s Quest, as early as 1984, a woman was in our gaming midst and she was as good as any of the male developers, letting these trolls win means that we gamers of all genders are missing out, do not let it come to that!

 

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UBI is not going soft!

Another year and another E3 ends for the gaming industry and their devoted disciples, the gamers! Do not think this group to be soft, to be forgiving or to be misguided. They are running beyond 1 billion believers and they all believe in the power of joy from the game. It is a dedicated group. They have existed for over three decades and their numbers still grow.

They are not dressed in clerical outfits worshipping the house of Pong (it’s an Atari thing). They want their games hard, direct and lasting. I truly believed that this group had been deserted by UBI-Soft. I remain true to the feeling that UBI-Soft had gone soft on gaming. There was that Assassins Creed wannabe game regarding pirates (rated much too high), there were a few flops (which any maker will have) and Watchdogs, which was going to be a PS4 launch night game was delayed by a lot. Then we got Watchdogs, which was good, but had been overhyped too much by too many (not all due to UBI-Soft). So, here we have a maker, making a billion plus, losing the game, or so I thought.

I must admit that UBI-Soft is showing true gaming promise, even if some of the cut scenes are massively overdone (but the younger players love them).

There is Far-Cry 4, a game that until recently I would never consider touching. This game must be mentioned for two reasons. I bought the first one on the 360, and I still regard that as the WORST purchase ever! I did not play the second one, yet at some point I did play the third one and it was excellent. The game showed the openness of Midwinter (an old Microprose game), had the interest of many options, choices and sides and left me with a very good aftertaste in my mouth. UBI-Soft turned a fiasco into a winner. As I bash Yves Guillemot around at times, I must be honest enough to admit victory where he (or his minions) makes them.

I think that E3 2014 shows that not only is UBI-Soft back in the game; they are on route of reclaiming the number one development spot (which I considered that they had lost). There is more of course. I loved the Splinter Cell games, but they messed up Blacklist by not setting up the interface for replaying any better (it was the only flaw in my mind).

As for the new games, I was never much for racing, but the Crew has me yearning for the controller to play an ‘open’ racing game! There is a lot we might still wonder, but the presentation shows something that Sony with Drive Club did not deliver from demo day one and now is unlikely to equal. Now THAT is how you set up a game Monseigneur Guillemot!

Getting back to killing people! Whether the streets of Paris are the place to wander in anonymity is matter for another discussion, yet the idea that it will be an open environment game is without a doubt a massive step forward, especially in the light of the size a village like Paris represents. I was not impressed with Black Flag, but bought it regardless (lack of PS4 choices at launch night). It turned out I was right (read the other articles ‘A body blow to gaming‘ on March 6th and ‘Fifth in a trilogy!‘ on December 4th). Yet, the demo I saw in regards to AC Unity has me interested. It could be a massive turn for the better; I will however write fire and brimstone if they revert to the same ruddy glitches I have seen for 4 iterations.

Next, there will be more Tom Clancy in both the new Rainbow Six (not my cup of tea) and ‘the Division’ which seems to be very much my cup of tea.

Yes, as I see it, UBI-Soft is waking up to smell the need of the gamers and they are implying in their presentations that they are meeting the challenge. Time will tell, but I am a lot more positive about the course Yves Guillemot is taking UBI-Soft. I reckon that Next Gen gaming is finally getting a secure spot in the future.

When it comes down to Next Gen, I am not done yet. I have spoken out against Microsoft (or Micro$oft) in past items more than once. The image they left in 2013 drove me powerfully away from Xbox One and straight into the arms of Sony, which I considered to be the true consoles for a long time (PlayStation One, Two, Three and Four). Their approach of an ‘entertainment’ system in 2013 left me without a doubt that even though they seemed clued in with the Xbox 360, the top of Microsoft forgot what gaming was all about and came up with a half-baked device. I still think that the Xbox one is flawed on several levels, but their presentation on upcoming games does show that they are trying to figure it out. Their show was indeed really good (against Sony’s presentation which had slipped slightly) and the funny remark by Peter Molyneux in regards to Fable Legends that ‘it needs more dog‘ (via Twitter).

There is one more issue that I want to raise at present. It is all about the delays. Part of this is because of places like Gamespot, part of this is because of the Marketing divisions of places like UBI-Soft (and many others) and most of it is because of a truckload of gamers. Yes, I agree I want to play all the games today or even tomorrow, but a good game requires waiting at time. A good game will be done when it is done. So when we see a list of games like Batman: Arkham Knight, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, The Order: 1886, Quantum Break, Dying Light and The Division that will not make it to the console in 2014, gamers need to stop crying like little bitches! We (me and millions of gamers) want to play a 90% plus game that is legend, not a game that became mediocre like Thief, because someone at marketing pushed for a quicker deadline. The difference between Arkham City (90%) and Viking: Battle for Asgard (50%) is both timing and vision. We cannot do anything about a lack of vision (something the delayed games are not in short supply of) and timing is what we should give them, even though the valid issue remains ‘why show anything at E3-2013’, which is a discussion for another day; let me assure you of that. If we get back to UBI-Soft, then we must admit that Watchdog, with a 500 page hint guide shows that this game is loaded with stuff. It ended up being an 80% game, on release date this would have been a mere 45% rated joke.

We should never be dependent on ratings, that evidence is seen when we look at Gamespot with AC4 Black flag at 90%, which was too high and Thief at 60% was unfairly low (in my opinion). Yet, they are indicators of what we might want to spend money on. Games will always be overhyped by all (including me), it is influenced by what we played (Thief 1+2) and what we expect to see (the Thief demo at E3 2013). So will the next Rise of the Tomb Raider learn from the mistakes (as I see them) that they made with the 2013 release?

Time and patience will tell!

 

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Sony customers deceived?

It is not a new story. We have seen delay after delay on several titles. It is however time to look at the issue surrounding this. First, the game many people will not care about, but it is one of the largest played franchises. The title is Minecraft and it was said to be a launch day title. It has shown itself too be a massive hit on PC and Xbox360, so the fact that it was going to grace the shores of Sony was good news. It was delayed on the PS3, and when it came just before Christmas it showed that the graphic improvements as we saw the shading on the PS3 it gave us a clear indication that the game on NextGen would be well worth it. It has not come yet and it is now said to be delayed until June 2014. That gives it a delay of 3 quarters. That same delay is now shared with Watchdogs and Driveclub. The game Watchdogs has at least a little amount of excuse as it clearly stated the delay a week before the launch of the PS4. But these delays show a deeper issue. Either Sony marketing is not managing their issues correctly and in fear of desertion are willing to keep the gamers for too long in the dark, or we see a level of miscommunication between console and software houses that should not be acceptable in any way, shape or form. Which is the correct one?

I leave that up to the reader, but consider how this list of delayed games is growing. Witcher 3 was announced for later this year. Now it will not be seen until February 2015. In this case, like with Watchdogs the gamer gets a timely announcement, yet the amount of delays are now adding up and gamers should consider themselves as investors into a new gaming system, yet they get no return on investment. Is that fair?

If we consider the quote “This is the list of games planned to launch for the PlayStation 4 between Day 1 and the end of March 2014” and we see the delays of Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty (spring 2014), The Witness (mid 2014) and Wolfenstein: The New Order (may 2014) then you can understand how we should get worried. This all is even worse for Oddworld, which is a revamp of the original PS1 game, now for the PS4, which means that most issues of this game would have been known long before the console came out. So it all adds up. These last few titles are not that much delayed as they were launch window titles, but the delay still counts towards to overall lack of games. Infamous is still on track and Thief got released on time, it is the bad rating of Thief (in my view slightly undeserved) that still ends up having a negative impact, which is not to be ignored.

I must also admit on the other side of the scales that Sony has been trying to offer a level of overkill for the members of PlayStation Plus. They are throwing everything but the kitchen sink in that direction. Even though not all on PS4 (some on PS3), the amount of quality games (including Killzone) that could be freely downloaded must be acknowledged. I think that this is what gives them a little more time for now.

In the end we will see more delays. The Crew (a racing game) is also delayed, but then on all platforms, so it is not just a Sony ‘issue’. So why is this all such a massive issue for gamers?

Consider the ‘advertisement’ we all saw on the game Drive club. Sony has been beating us to death with it and it did look really good. Now, the way it was shown and the fact that it was a launch day title was not just an error. It was in my view a blatant form of intentional misrepresentation. If we consider the path of any game; development-testing-alpha-testing-beta-testing and then the gold master, the fact that a game has 3 quarters delay means that they were in a place long before the alpha stage. This means that it had been known for some time that there was no way to get this game out in time, so how was the ‘demo’ arranged? Consider the ‘implied’ votes on the score in the rolling demo. All this points getting back to ‘utter deception’ show us that the hands of Sony are not clean in this regard either.

So even though I am (and remain for now) a huge Sony fan, we must hold them to account for both their actions and in-actions, if not, then indeed some gamers might consider that the safest move is to move towards the Xbox One (even with the architectural flaws it currently has). In some cases the games have been delayed on both systems, but consider that Titanfall has a 90% rating and as Forza also got rated that high, shows that racing fans can at least get their racing freak on with an Xbox One, something currently not possible on the PS4. Those who have read my other blogs might know that I have been highly criticising against the XB1, I have also stated more than once that a console can only survive if it releases top games. At present the scales of balance are moving away from Sony as the games are more and more getting delayed. This is the lesson that was imprinted into the heads of members of the board of directors of Sony with a sledgehammer when we saw the issues on PS2 and PS3. It seems that they still have not learned this lesson. It is hard to blame them for the failing of other software houses, yet the fact that it is happening again with the PS4 should turn on many red lights in Sony HQ. I reckon it takes one more delayed top title for the PS4 to start making a sales shift and start changing the balance of power for NextGen consoles. No matter what hype some acclaimed ‘experts’ throw at you for 1080i resolution and frame rate. The first is that this level of quality is rarely offered by games, and in the end a good game is a good game, no matter what resolution it runs on. It does not matter if the PS4 shows graphic superiority, not having the games is what stops people buying the console in the first place.

 

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Fifth in a trilogy!

Yes, there is a new PlayStation and it stands to reason that Ubi-soft would be there trying to cash in on a relic item. Yes, it is time to use the Assassins Creed brand to pass of some buccaneer’s game.
First, let’s look at the good part. The graphics! There is no doubt that the graphics are of an entirely different level. This game, in that regard stands out, or perhaps better, the PS4 does. They took Abstergo to another field and I must admit that this part works out. So as we get into the game we see the first Island which is the intro; it shows one small flaw which AC always had when you try to manoeuvre a running person. I reckon that this is just what it is and that is fair enough. So, we see the intro where we climb, where we look and synchronise. Yes, it looks like an Assassin’s Creed game. Now we go into that ruddy Prince of Persia approach and we have to run after another person and of course we miss and we synchronize. The first irritation comes. Now we go towards the sneaking which is fair enough and we slaughter. That is the intro! We now know how to proceed.  I have no issue with this part. It is not the worst part in teaching a player the controls of the game.

We swim to the boat and the next stop is Havana!

So here we need to deal with the graphic people of this game. The intro showed that they were good, but here we have evidence that they cheated! I accuse those graphic designers that they traveled back in time, the used their Handycam to film Havana and then they just rendered it. It looks THAT authentic. It must be said, graphically the AC series never disappointed. This is just way beyond that! Walking through the streets is a joy. We now get the repetition of viewpoints, which in truth is the one repetition I do enjoy. We see groups of dancers that we can hire (that is what they seem to call courtesans in Havana in 1715 apparently) and there are others around. We need to save pirates, to get them to become part of the crew and we need to chase shanties like the pages of an almanac. The one idiotic part I truly hate! At least in this game they are much clearer to see. We see the return of the pigeon nests for assassination jobs. We have seen it all before and there is no new part so far. Beyond the graphics this game is to be regarded as redundant! The stupid part (as I see it) is that if Yves Guillemot had thought this trough (always blame the guy at the top), he could have made it into a legendary pirate game! Veering away from the AC logo, whether it was Abstergo founded or not could have made this a truly great start, now it is a faded repetition at best. The unworthy end of what was once a great brand. I get the issues they have since Watchdogs has been delayed, but this could and should have gone a lot better. So, as I moved through several chapters, I see the missions for what they are, utterly repetitive! Apart from the graphics there is nothing to different this from Assassins Creed 3, which was already a letdown of what was once a great brand.

If I go over all of this, then what was unique has evolved into nothingness. My reasoning in this is? Well, when you try to get all kind of groups into one game, you end up pleasing no one at all. This is what I personally think had happened. Instead of pleasing a group, they wanted to please the AC group, the Prince of Persia group and the slice and dice group.

The reason why this angers me is because this could have been a truly great game (and it currently does NOT deserve the 89 rating Gamespot gave it). Consider this could have been a Pirate RPG. The elements are mostly there. This could have been the true Pirate game that Sid Meier wished for (but was stopped from making due to the technology in the 80’s). There is another side to all this. That side is actually Gamespot. I do not always agree with their ratings, but for the most they are within a certain scope. This rating is way overboard. Perhaps the relentless advertising of this game on Gamespot (whenever you refreshed the browser window) had something to do with it. I am not kidding! For weeks Black Flag was the ONLY trailer we got to see. Perhaps their deck was stacked?

It related to all this because the hype for a fake game had to be maintained (for the shareholders).

What could have been the start of a third line of RPG, one that would show Bethesda that they are not alone in the RPG field, turned out to be slightly less than mediocre. Ubi-soft had turned the coward card (IMHO)! This is likely due to an age where the billion dollar company needs to appease the shareholders (who mostly are clueless on games). That wild step, if they had taken it, might have been proof why Ubi-soft had become so big. And it could have been a legendary launch for the PS4. Yet, no! It had to be bland and repetitive. I reckon that Watchdogs might soon be the last big hit if the game actually delivers on the hype that we were shown. Because from what I saw, Ubi needs a big win in a massive way. However, no matter what, the one team that did truly deliver in this game was the graphic team. They are the only reason that this game stands out at all.

There will be another consequence for them. If the game ‘Thief’ does indeed deliver next march, then those who turned to the AC game because they loved Thief, will walk away from the AC ‘brand’. If that happens, what will be the consequence for Assassins Creed as Ubi-soft did not step up to the plate when they were supposed to do? Time will tell!

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Pricing a Sony game!

If you followed the changes, then it is clear that the console war is currently getting fought and they are now going for all kinds of niche based solutions to keep a handle on greed (as in, to make it more money in any way they can).

In these hard economic times we are all trying to find a solution to make ends meet. If we focus on the gamers, then we see a group of people that is massively represented by those still being tertiary students and many of them are younger than that. So, this is a group that is not overly wealthy. Even the working population that might be into gaming is trying to make ends meet and they too are not swimming in loads of cash. It was in this environment that places like EB-Games are making decent cash to sell pre-owned games. When you do not have a load of cash, getting a pre-owned game at $15-$50 is a lot more appealing than getting the newly packed unused version at $89-$119.

As per last week that commercial game is changing fast on two fronts. The first one is the TPP (Trans Pacific Pact), if this one gets pushed through (the Australian liberal government was trying to do this in secret, but several sources are now openly aware of it), that pact will be an option for Microsoft AND Sony to make even more money than before (as in charge us more for products, as discussed in my previous blog). So, the fact that we in Australia pay on average 35%-60% more on a game was perhaps not enough margin, which will mean that new games will find even less appeal.

But have no fear, Sony (Microsoft too) already has a solution to stop alternatives. In the updates last week, my PlayStation 3 was shown a new agreement and we either agree with this or we lose the online options, which is disastrous for ALL gamers owning a PlayStation.

In this new agreement it stated:

7. Resale
7.1 You must not resell either Disc-Based or Software downloads, unless expressly authorised by us and, if the publisher is another company, additionally by the publisher.

So, the end of pre-owned games has come. Basically, until they can check and enforce it, we are breaking the law, which might give Sony the option to cancel our PSN account and once they can check whether a game is new or not (perhaps they already can), they will just charge us an additional fee or shut the game(r) down. The agreement has many more needles involving unlocking regions, reverse engineering and so on. There are a few sides to that, but in that regard, personally, I think that any company would want to protect their own product, which is fair enough.

Did anyone realise this? So, not only are they greed driven on selling new games, they are destroying a commercial part that has not ever been illegal. Many expected this, but most did not see this coming from both sides at the same time.

No matter how we go next, whether we go to download games, which means Sony stops paying a lot more corporate tax in Australia (and other nations too), or we end up paying way too much for games. So, nextgen consoles will now start to show that it will cost us (more).

In regards to borrowing, Sony never stopped others borrowing a friend’s game. For Sony it is just good business, however, the console game has changed and will keep on changing a little longer at high cost to many of us. So, it is important to see that they never lied; they just did not mention other changes.

So our world is changing fast and it starts changing faster and more extreme as per the end of this year. It is interesting how America, who claims to have high morals, will sell others down the track to big business for simple greed; this is how I see the TPP.

Consider that this could be the end of gaming as we know it. If you think that this is exaggerated, consider that good games are original games (or come directly from them). EA and UBI-Soft are showing us less and less originality. (An 11th version of a sport game or a 4th sequel to Assassins Creed is not an original). Our hopes were with the Indie developers who come with that golden idea that will invigorate us with the passion of a new gaming era. As the TPP reads (for as far as I read parts of them), the pact is there to push IP powers to the US and its allies (where these big businesses are based). This is not what IP was about, it was always about protecting innovation, not for big business to exploit and to hammer down their interests to their extent.

In gaming, innovation has not come from big business for a long time!

Consider Minecraft and Catherine, some will not call them great games, the first one is massively addictive, both are originals. Even next year’s release of ‘the Evil Within’ which comes from a small player called Tango Gameworks should be seen as an original. Even though many of their staff come from Capcom, this new player has the creative mind that brought us Resident Evil. It is important to protect these small developers, even (or better especially) if they are not from Japan or USA. Forcing them under some IP umbrella designed by the TPP was never the goal (this is how I see this going in the future). When innovation goes, games (or art) will suffer first! That has been proven more than once. So how will you feel about a $500 console when big business decides what makes a good game? Consider that NONE of the big boys (in those days) wanted to publish the game Lemmings. I remember that it only got out because some people at Psygnosis were not too busy. It became one of the most successful games EVER to make it to the home computers and to my knowledge the only game EVER to be released on most 8-bit and 16 bit systems (it was a really addictive game).

If we look at 2013, then in my view, ‘The Last of Us’ (by naughty dog) and ‘Beyond Two Souls’ might be the actual original games of 2013, even though the latter one is based on the Heavy Rain engine, so originality is a little bit of an issue there. If you want to see another example of originality then ‘Dragon Story’ comes to mind. Even though I think that they made several greed driven mistakes via their IOS edition, this game could be on Nintendo, the game that will compete with Pokémon. If they grow the engine beyond what they have now, it could become a mega seller for the younger players on any console if they add more game play to what they have.

Yes, 2013 had great games, but they were all sequels beyond the ones I mentioned (I apologise for any titles I missed), so if we are to grow as gamers, then we need originality! The changes as we see them will drive us all to other systems and perhaps that might become the very expensive lesson that Sony and Microsoft will have to learn the hard way. Consider the option of getting that Google console for $99 and buy (and play) a ‘Minecraft like’ game on that! Over a hundred hours of fun for the price of a single Sony/Microsoft game.

Gamers do not like to get boxed in, both Sony and Microsoft better learn this fast!
If consumers who are into gaming would consider waiting no less than three months before they buy a next Gen console. They might end up getting a much better deal in both the short run and the long run. How much damage are Sony and Microsoft willing to suffer? Holding a 16 billion dollar industry at ransom is currently the only option I can think of, especially as governments (Australia included) are very willing to give the keys (and powers) of Intellectual Property unjustly to big business.

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Stealing cars for fun

Last week GTA5 was released. GTA stands for Grand Theft Auto. I remember the very first one on the PC (long long time ago). I thought it was fun and had an original streak. To be honest, it was fun, but never really my cup of tea. That part I learned when I bought the fourth one (after many years of not virtually stealing cars). I have nothing negative on the game. It looked good, but I didn’t get into the game, this happens. Does that make it a bad game?

No!

It just makes it a game (many) other people like. So, because of that I did not go out to get the fifth one (also, I am severely broke).

Others will enjoy the game and most will love it. Fair enough!

The fact that some call it 10/10 is debatable (perfection in gaming is rare), so when I saw that Gamespot gave it 9/10 I shrugged my shoulders. 9/10 is really good, so many would buy that game in an instant reading that game score.

There are additional issues for me to not go for a perfect score. In my mind the more perfect a game is, the smaller its population. I reviewed games in the past and my first perfect score was for a game called Ultima 7. I myself am an RPG fan; many knew this so when they saw that they knew that my score was biased (as a review tends to be) and based on my love for RPG. That game was made in the age when we were dependant on DOS and those graphics were truly exceptional. But let us get back to stealing cars on a console. Gamers come in all shapes and sizes. When you invest 200 million Euro in a video game, you are either a true visionary or you are skating on thin ice on the edge of an abyss called insanity (often these two are the same).

So, as I saw some of the initial results, it seems that the makers are about to make a billion dollars on a game. Good luck! I wish them all the best in all sincerity!

When you are willing to take that much of a risk, you deserve those levels of profit. I truly mean this!

My reservation remains true. The larger a gaming population you want to attract, the larger the chance that you do no such thing. Ubisoft with Assassins Creed is in my view evidence of that. Adding things left right and centre and as such, more glitches, more issues and less joy (read additional frustration).

Until today, when I saw the latest ‘Feedbackula’ (at http://au.gamespot.com/shows/feedbackula/?event=gta-v-review-revulsion-20130920) I got seriously weirded out.

Some reviewers are good, some are bad, but to go after these reviewers in personal abuse is taking it way too far. So watch the video and stand by your reviewers. Were these reviews wrong? Not really! Like me, some reviewers look at certain items in a game.

A reviewer called Caroline called the game a Misogynistic experience. For those unaware of a dictionary, it explains misogynistic as “hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women“. Well that part seems to be proven in the past and what I read in the present. Let’s not forget that in GTA-IV the game was about the Eastern European Mafia. Not the group that seems to hold women in high regard.

It is interesting that the playable main character cannot be a woman.

I will not judge that on fairness because of the environment of the game. This game is as politically incorrect as it tends to get and as the game is all about non-legal pursuits that tends to happen, also fun is that the video game is about to make a billion, whilst last year in Canada, actual car thefts (as in Grand Theft Auto for real) costed the Canadian population around a billion dollar, just a funny coincidence.

But this is not about the actual thefts.

I am actually not sure whether this should be about freedom of speech, freedom of opinion or obsession, but I do know it is about not accepting trolling. The reviewers seemed to have given their honest opinions. They spoke out what they felt was the case, making for the freedom of speech. However the obsession of GTA fans seems to be out of control. Why the abuse? If you think that the review is so perfect and deserves a 10/10, then add your own review on Gamespot, which I do regularly for games I like.

Trolling on Gamespot is so uncool and so ungeeky that I reckon that the trolling was never done by true gamers.

Enjoy gaming and have a nice day!

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