Marginalisation in games.

(Note – This is kinda political, although it isn’t. I am noting something that I have observed which is neither good nor bad. I try to present it in as balanced a way as I can, but that doesn’t mean much these days. The issues are complex and subjective.

Also, I might come across as defensive or entitled, but that isn’t my aim. I’ve come to terms with most of this, not through some sense of optimism but rather a looming nihilism.

Feel free to disagree but let’s keep it civil, eh?)

Image result for comic con

Marginilisation in games is something that is being discussed more and more within the industry itself and the wider media sphere. Progressivism and diversity are big buzzwords that have been drawing a lot of emotions from both sides of a widening political divide. Is the media spin that gaming is still a straight white male environment hostile to other groups a fair representation though? Continue reading

Bethesda’s Creation Club – Are paid mods the future?

As a struggling writer pumping hours of hard work and passion into my craft, I can certainly understand wanting to get paid for that effort. I don’t think there is anyone out there who doesn’t think that certain game modders release work to a high standard. Many games are near unplayable without mod patches while other games are given a wealth of post release content, often offering a better experience than what the developers managed, that keeps a game’s community thriving for years.

Image result for creation club

Yet the topic of paying mod creators never fails to put people on edge. We can all remember the catastrophe that marked Bethesda’s fist attempt at monetising mods. In a rare win for consumers, two giant corporations backed down on making easy money due to how unpopular and flawed the system was. But now Bethesda has cut out Steam and is back for a second attempt. Continue reading

Dark Souls 2 – Is it really a souls game?

Image result for dark souls 2

Dark Souls 2 is an interesting game. It was the first ‘main-steam’ Souls game to release after DS1 rose to become a beloved title after its launch. Initially there was a consensus that it was a letdown. Now though the tide has turned and a large section of the fanbase will crucify anyone that criticises the game. I’ve watched Youtube videos that analyse the game with massive dislike bars just for explaining why they felt that it didn’t live up to its reputation while much of that fan hate has turned to Dark Souls 3.

I am a big fan of the original Dark Souls. It easily tops my list of favourite games. As such I was very excited to play the sequel. I didn’t expect it to quite live up to the first because, how could it? DS1 is like lightning in a bottle. The planets aligned and a damn near perfect game was released. The chances of another game living up to that was slim so I tempered my expectation. Hype is a gamer’s worst enemy after all. Continue reading

Nier Automata – The beauty of ending E (Spoilers)

Image result for nier automata ending e

I recently posted my review of Nier Automata after completing ending A. I have now completed the final main ending (E) and have some thoughts that I need to put to paper. I will be talking about ending E so you have been warned.

In my initial review my biggest issue was with the characters. I felt that they lacked depth. I can safely say that this was resolved as the game progressed, especially in the case of 9S. I got a lot of hours out of the game and fully recommend the game to everyone.

That isn’t what I want to write about today though. I want to write about a moment that made me surprisingly emotional. The game is filled with tragedy but it was the end credits for ending E that really it me in the feels.  Continue reading

Parent Gaming Prima – Raising Children in the Video Game Generation

Image result for video games

I’ve debated this topic with myself for a while now but haven’t really commented on it due to not being a parent myself. However, I did grow up from a young age surrounded by video games and am now an adult who watches the industry closely. I have seen the gaming climate shift from nerdy pariahs stigmatised by society to a mainstream activity that has become a core part of modern day life. I have seen communities change and have witnessed the good and bad of gaming’s rise to power.

With this knowledge I want to impart some advice for parents bringing up children in this digital era. Parents who themselves are already gamers will know and understand most of these points but if you are unfamiliar with the medium then it can be a mystical and complicated concept to tackle. You cannot avoid it though. Your children will be exposed to games so it is vital that you give them the correct support because it is far too easy for games to create bad habits in children. Continue reading

The Nintendo Switch Needs to Switch up Nintendo.

When Nintendo first announced the Switch I was excited. This kind of surprised me though since I have never really owned a Nintendo console. Sure, I’ve owned several handhelds from the Gameboy to the 2DS but they have literally just been dedicated Pokemon machines. We also had a household Wii that saw action with Wii Sports Resort and Link’s Crossbow Training but little else.

Image result for nintendo switch

The Switch was an interesting concept. A console/handheld hybrid sounded cool and the initial trailer was pleasantly devoid of any gimmicks beyond this portability. They were showing off Skyrim which suggested stronger links with third party developers and most of the actors were young adults instead of children. It looked like they were trying to market the Switch as a more matured console, still fun but aimed at the people closer to my own age who had grown up with Nintendo and still made up a massive portion of sales despite Nintendo’s drive to be a child-oriented company. Their move with the Wii U to add Bayonetta 2 to their exclusive list and include her in Smash Brothers was a step in the right direction so maybe they were learning. Continue reading

Overwatch: In Defence of Bastion.

Anyone with even the faintest connection to gaming has by now been exposed to the fleet of anger and bitterness towards Blizzard’s Overwatch character Bastion. This little robot has raised the ire of certain players who claim that he is overpowered or boring. They complain that he always gets the play of the game and remark that he needs no skill to use.

When I got the chance to play Overwatch in the open beta I was instantly drawn to Bastion. He is a cute, nature loving robot who doubles as a Gatling gun and communicates using Walle like beeps. And it is true that he is a very straight forward character that anybody can play. He can heal himself and can rip through characters in seconds in his turret form. I really enjoyed using him. Continue reading