Loot Boxes in Shadow of War

God Damn it, Warner Brothers Games. How many times do we have to watch the triple A gaming industry try to shoot itself in the feet to try and bleed out more cash from its customers? How many bad business practices and anti-consumer moves do we have to see before enough is enough. Will it ever be enough? Increasingly I doubt it.

*sigh* So, the incident that has sparked this is the announcement that WB Games will be adding loot boxes to Shadow of War. Loot boxes are shady enough at the best of times, but for a single player game that is full retail price and has paid DLC, it is simply shameless. Continue reading

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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

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

The Failures of Fable and how it could have Survived.

Since the unfortunate news this month that Lionhead Studios is being closed and Fable Legends has been cancelled, it got me thinking about the Fable series as a whole and where it went wrong. I was a huge fan of the original Fable and even though it under delivered on Peter Molyneux’s promises, (go figure), it is still to this day in my top ten games.

So where did it all go wrong? Fable 1, (and its expansion The Lost Chapters), was a great game but does not hold up so well today in its mechanics. As such I can understand why people who didn’t play it originally would not like it. All the same though, it approached the RPG genre in a refreshing way. It was more of a fairytale setting than the more common high fantasy and relied heavily on its strong sense of British humour. It was also able to create the perfect balance between having a character that players can role-play to their whims while having a strong story, something that even modern games like Fallout 4 struggled with. There was revenge to be had and mysteries about your family to discover while the daunting villain of Jack of Blades always loomed on the horizon. Continue reading

Opinion – Use of the Term ‘Gamer’

Gamer. It is a pretty loaded term in modern society, isn’t it? Between negative press, dilution into mainstream entertainment and a breakdown within the gaming community, there has been growing opinion that the term ‘gamer’ has become redundant or elitist. I would like to put forward an argument to counter this rising sentiment.

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Outward perception of gamers by some people.

For me, gamer has always been a term of acceptance, a label that applied to me that wasn’t directly insulting. When I first started playing video games it was still seen as a social stigma. Words that are positive now such as geek and nerd were insults back in the Nineties and gamers were outcast basement-dwellers. Games were an escape and finding others who played games was the only way that I could make friends since my social anxiety has always made small talk difficult. Gamers back then were kindred spirits in a hostile world. It was an ‘us versus them’ type mentality so there was no room for infighting. Continue reading