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

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

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

Nier Automata – First Impression Review.

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In an action-packed first quarter to 2017 for games, with such massive titles as Horizon Zero Dawn, Nioh, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mass Effect Andromeda, Platinum game’s sequel to a relatively unknown JRPG: Nier Automata was not the obvious choice to pick up. I had never played the original Nier and neither had I played the Drakenguard series that are Nier’s spiritual ancestor. Added to this, I have never really played any of Platinum’s catalogue either. So why did I choose this game to be my first game of 2017?

Something about Nier stood out for me during the early footage we were shown. It wasn’t the titillation of the scantily clad lead female, 2B, (though I won’t argue against it), and it wasn’t that I particularly like Japanese RPGs. What got me was the style. The aesthetics. The world. The androids were sleek and gothic, the robots strangely endearing and the ruined shell of humanity that formed the landscape was eerily beautiful. This caught my attention and, unlike many other AAA games, nothing came up to cast doubt in my mind. 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.

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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

Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel – Review

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I never reviewed the base game for Dark Souls 3. I loved the game but felt like it was missing something. As such I wanted to wait for the DLC to be released in the hopes of it completing the excellent experience. So for reference, the base game would be a 9/10 for me.

So did the first DLC have what I was looking for? Sadly not. Playing AoA was a strange experience for me since I loved every second of it yet felt nothing but disappointment after about three hours. The reason being that I completed the it within that time. Barring one area where I fell off a tree a few times, I only died once to each of the DLC’s two bosses, and I am far from a good player. Most of the enemies were slow and weak bird fetuses and bloated flies. The bigger Vikings were a fun challenge and I hated the Edward Scissor Hand crows guy in a good way but that was really all of the enemy variety available. The same was true of the areas: they were beautiful and interesting but so short that I felt like a traveler walking straight through the scenes rather than actually visiting them. Continue reading