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?)

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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.

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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?

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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 – Final Thoughts (Updated Review)

Image result for nier automataHaving had a few weeks to mull over Nier Automata since completing it and taking the time to read/watch several reviews, I’d like to layout my final thoughts on the game and offer a closing review that coves the game’s whole scope rather than my first impressions review. Obviously there are spoilers ahead.

I’m not planning to retread old grown. My more general thoughts haven changed so for mechanics and the like you can read though my original review here, and for my feelings after Ending E that cover a major theme of the game then you can check out this.

My original score for Nier Automata was an 8, which in my system is a god score. Too much hyperbole exists within reviews now with many looking at anything less than a 9 as somehow bad. But for me, some of my all time favourite games I would score as low as 7 because to me a score should include mechanics, scope, characters, story and enjoyment. Something that I absolutely loved could be clunky and sparse of content while something I personally hate could be a masterpiece. In my head, an 8 is a great game that I would recommend to everyone. Continue reading

Review – Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City DLC.

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The final ever piece of Dark Souls content has been release for a few weeks now, giving fans plenty of time to fight through the fresh terrors and study the obscure clues to piece together some semblance of lore. But how does this final bit of content compare with the grand legacy that the Dark Souls series has created?

Well, it is certainly more Dark Souls. The enemies, the level designs and everything else feel like they belong with the rest of the game. They got the tone right and produced more great content which is really all that most fans want. We got more weapons, spells and armour to play with and new challenges to overcome. And boy were there some challenges. Continue reading

Nier Automata – The beauty of ending E (Spoilers)

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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

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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