Lucien’s First Take: Horizon Zero Dawn: E3 2015 Trailer

Meant to get to this earlier, but I’ve been working this new job and it’s been taking up a lot of my free time.  The job is dull as dirt, but it pays the bills.  I live on my own, so I got a lot more to worry about.  But I’m not lamenting the bachelor life.  Not completely, anyway.  A topic for another day.  This year’s E3 was pretty lackluster, in a lot of areas.  Microsoft’s conference was boring.  The games they announced are the games we have come to expect from them.  Aside from the backward-compatibility stuff, there were no surprises.  Don’t get me started on Nintendo.  If that company doesn’t do some MAJOR course corrections, their time in the console market is done.  Though, that might be for the best.  Honestly, if they weren’t trying so hard to make consoles, and just ditch that and went third-party and the handheld market, they could make more money.  But that’s not what we’re here to talk about.

Sony came out swinging, and their conference burned the fucking house down.  From the announcement of the Shenmue III Kickstarter campaign, to the unveiling of a remake (FINALLY!) of Final Fantasy VII, and the exhuming of The Last Guardian from the vaporware graveyard.  Any one of those things would have won it for them.  But they also introduced a new IP.  One that is one of the most gorgeous and unique concepts I’ve seen in a game in a LONG time, and it has got me intrigued, in a way that only Sony marketing can do.  For whatever reason, these people do it right.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  Let’s see the trailer.

For whatever reason, Sony knows how to do their marketing just right.  The first time we hear about a game, it’s done in a teaser.  Something to get people talking.  Then, there is little or nothing said for a year, and the next E3, we get a gameplay trailer.  It isn’t something so huge that it spoils the whole game.  These people aren’t Microsoft or Ubisoft.  We get a couple launch trailers and TV spots, and the game is out.  This formula has been going for a while, and you know what – it works!  When I saw that there was a new Uncharted game coming out, I was less than pleased.  Didn’t they bring that franchise to a nice conclusion?  Why keep it going?  Then they released little snippets of gameplay, and I couldn’t help it – I was hooked.

I vaguely recall hearing the name of this game some time ago, but there was little about what it is.  Horizon Zero Dawn?  Is that a military shooter?  What is this?  Sony decided to pull out the stops, and give us a nice taste of what looks to be a phenomenal fucking game.  Combining Assassin’s Creed style stealth with Tomb Raider platforming and bow mechanics, with a backdrop of a very post-apocalyptic world that is filled with tribal societies and…robot fucking dinosaurs!  Robot dinosaurs.  A game where I can kill robot dinosaurs already has me.  But the cool setting, the AMAZING visuals, and the post-apocalyptic backdrop has me hooked.  Plus, this isn’t one of those games where it’s right after the apocalypse.  It’s understood that whatever happened to us, it’s long since past.  This is generations afterwards, when new societies have grown and live their own way.  None of this “we’ll go back to the way things used to be” nonsense.  I like that.

But the thing that gets me the most – how new and fresh this feels. This game is a breath of fresh air in a time when the industry needs it.  For so long, gamers have been clamoring for games that try new things and take risks.  This game is a definite risk, and it could all be a pile of shit.  But the fact that the first major announcement for this game is a gameplay trailer, with mechanics as slick as this, gives me hope that this gamble will pay off, and I am planning on having my money ready to endorse it.  Let’s hope it’s money well spent, unlike Arkham Knight, which is nothing but wasted potential.

Initial Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

The Ego on These People is AMAZING… (A response to Silicon Republic)

After the disasters at E3 and game developers like Gilles Matouba coming forward and stepping up against them, SJWs are not feeling the love, these days.  As is typical with them, now that the gaming industry and not just the players has a bone to pick with them, they are trying to piggy-back on the frustration that gamers like me have with the industry, and use that to sell a new narrative – gamers are great.  The industry is the problem.  I recently watched a video on Screw-Attack where Bob Chipman (the most lonely man in the world, if you ever watch his videos where he plays all the characters) where he talked about how great gaming is and how gamers are just tops.  Then there was that article by Kotaku about all gamers are the best gamers of last year.  Revisionist history is nothing new to SJWs.  Indeed, going where they think the wind blow is par for the course, with them.  Not one of them has a spine, so yeah.

Now, entering the ring is, who else – Brianna Wu!

Oh, wait, that’s not right.  That’s the reaction that she seems to genuinely believe she gets.  Let’s amend this to be a little more accurate.

There we go!  That’s more fitting.  After having been shown to be all cashed in at the talent bank, and doing anything she possibly can to stay even a little bit relevant, Wu has gotten another 5th Estate publication to kiss her ass.  It’s getting more than a little sad, at this point.  The publication is called Silicon Republic.  Here’s a link to the article.  Let’s talk about it.

Entrepreneur, engineer and games developer Brianna Wu looks back on the whole Gamergate controversy as being reflective of a wider problem in the video games industry and not just the players.

Right out of the gate with the ass-kissing.  Very nice.

“I don’t necessarily blame the players for Gamergate – I think they were responding to a culture that is set from the top down. They are swimming in a toxic ocean – when women are not represented in games and game media tells the players we don’t belong there.”

Like all these women, and the dozens more who work in the industry.  Yup.  Sure.  Maybe, and I’m just throwing this out here, what Wu says is bullshit  And the truth is that there are plenty of women in the industry to.  Women who are passionate and thrilled to be part of it.  Sure, some of them make bad decision, like Kellee Santiago when she left thatgamecompany to work with Ouya (bet she’s kicking herself right now), but that’s the nature of the game.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.  And I hope that Santiago lands on her feet from the fallout.  I remember that Ted Talk she did where she argued that video games are art.  Good stuff.

She is a well-known entrepreneur in the US games industry where she heads up her own video games company Giant Spacekat. Passionate about games and gaming, Wu is also a respected commentator who writes and produces podcasts about the games industry.

Respected?!  By who?!  Oh, right, the SJW community.  People who read The Mary Sue.  Those types.  Yeah, I’ll just log that away with the rest of the bullshit.

Her passion became a trial and torment in October 2014 when Wu tweeted about sexism in video game culture and ridiculed Gamergate advocates for “fighting an apocalyptic future where women are eight percent of programmers and not three percent”.

It’s moments like these where citations are a great thing.  Because, a citation would help validate this argument.  A citation would help make it clear that there is a point.  Instead, without one, it looks like she’s full of shit.  But GamerGate has been pretty good about archiving everything.  Because we don’t want the SJW censorship machine to roll over us.  We want there to be standing evidence of what’s been done.  As such, there are videos by GG supporters that I can find where they say that more women in the industry is a great thing.  So yeah.

What followed was an indescribable litany of abuse and harassment, where Wu began receiving multiple, specific rape and death threats and her personal details and address were published online, forcing her to flee her home.

LIE! (linked here)

Wu, along with game developer Zoe Quinn and feminist cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian, were subjected to a sustained campaign of misogynistic attacks that were coordinated across online forums, including Reddit, 4chan and 8chan, using the #Gamergate hashtag. The women experienced doxing – the publication of personal documents online – rape threats and even the threat of a mass shooting at a university speaking event.

Let the white-knighting begin!

My parents bought a Nintendo entertainment system in 1985 and they lost me. The moment I played Super Mario Bros 2 where you can play as Princess Peach… I was just gone.

Like EVERY other SJW, she has to establish her credibility with Nintendo.  I’m not gonna say that that isn’t the way it was with man of us.  Not me.  My first gaming system was a Sega Genesis.  Yeah, let that sink in.  I’m that fucking old.  Sad-making.  But it always feels like this is a way to establish credibility.  Not to mention, her first game has to be something that made her “just gone.”  My first game was Echo the Dolphin, and that game pissed me off, because it’s fucking difficult.  I don’t deny, when I got an N64, and then played Ocarina of Time on it, I was pretty stoked.  But it still feels false when Wu says that the first game she played was some great cathartic experience.  If it weren’t the fact that we have proof that Wu is a pathological liar, I might be willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.  Not everyone can have the child-like love for Nintendo that Movie Bob has.

“If a girl is aged one, two or 15, think about all the social pressures they are under – they are discouraged from technology but inculcated into beauty culture.

“Being an engineer is about being in peer groups of other engineers, with approaches to problem-solving, but the truth is girls from zero to 16 are not seeing this. It is intimidating to study engineering in college where the majority of the class are boys and then you go out and try to get your first job in a male-dominated industry.”

I just love these things where Wu talks about how girls are just afraid to get into the industry.  Nice way to cut women out of the discussion.  Again, there isn’t a single link to back any of this up.  After all, who would know more about women than Wu?  Talking to other women?  That’s stupid.  You’re stupid!  And a misogynist, for saying that Wu doesn’t now everything.  Man, these people and their ego.  But don’t worry.  We’re getting to the really big example of astounding ego.  Trust me, it will blow you away.

Moving from unconscious bias to conscious bias, Wu is happy to discuss Gamergate. “We can talk about it, it doesn’t bother me.”

Of course it doesn’t.  So long as you don’t get asked even the mildest difficult question ever, like when you fled the David Pakman Show.  Look up that video.  For real, it’s not a couple minutes into the interview, and she flees.  A work of art, it is.

“When women don’t make games it tells the players we don’t belong there.

Citation, please.

“When women are primarily represented as sex objects professionally, it tells the players that we don’t belong there.

Citation?  Any citation?  Any at all?

I express surprise that the average age of the people that Wu has legal cases with is 36. These are grown men, many with jobs, with families. What on earth were they doing issuing death and rape threats?

God, are you just averse to any kind of supporting evidence?  Does context scare you people?  If this stuff is so prevalent, then finding evidence should be right there.  Why not share some of that with your viewership?  I’m a loser on WordPress and I can link in stuff without any trouble.  How about it?

“The US is a gun-happy culture, it’s a dangerous place. And I have this mob telling people all day long that Brianna Wu is the worst person on Earth – that is basically inciting mob violence. It terrifies me because it could only be a matter of time before someone gets the wrong idea.

See what I mean about ego?  Wu, nobody cares about you!  After you trolled yourself on you own Steam page we all just wrote you off as the pathetic hack that you are.  Now, because nobody even wants to look at your ghoulish face anymore or gives your stupidity the time of day, you are going to pathetic publications like this, desperate to have someone, anyone, try and notice you again.  It’s really sad, if you think about it.

“I am unwilling to work in an industry where women can be terrorised out of their jobs so casually by a mob. It has got to change and it has had a terrible effect on my husband, my company and my friends.

So, you’re leaving?  Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

But change is happening, despite the efforts of Gamergate advocates, and it wouldn’t be hard to imagine textbooks in 10 years time where, along with Sarkeesian and Quinn, Wu will be remembered for standing up to Gamergate and changing game culture.

Oh my god!  I gotta remember to breathe!  This is what I wanted to get to.  Sorry it took so long to get here.  This line!  Yes, these women are so awesome that there will be a textbook about them!  What kind of pathetic sycophants are you, Silicon Republic?  This is just hilarious!  Did the writer of this article get promised that she would take him to dinner?  This kind of confirms something I’ve believed about publications that support SJW culture.  They are run by sad little betas who desperately want any woman to give them affection.  Even if it’s just a cookie for being a good boy.

To my mind, the golden age of console gaming was a decade ago when games like Halo 2 and Halo 3 were making way for Call of Duty: Modern Combat. But these were mainly shooters that appealed to a certain machismo. As new consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have arrived, gaming is just like it was a decade ago, only with fancier graphics and effects.

Huh.  Clearly this person never played Journey, The Last of Us, Life is Strange, and the list goes on of games that are unique and buck the trend.  Or look at the vast throwback games to old-school 2D platformers.  That list is endless.  Sure, the newest consoles are having it pretty rough.  But this year’s E3 showed that there are signs that hope may yet exist.  It’s out there, and that makes me happy.

Wu is super-excited about the onset of the Oculus VR technology, but wants to see the dynamics of games change from shooters to more intelligent, articulate and conversational games.

So, she wants companies that are having enough trouble making quality games to just abandon their target audience?  That’s not me talking.  That’s the money.  Grand Theft Auto V was the highest grossing game of all time.  Halo 4 premiered to more money than many Hollywood blockbusters.  You think that game companies just pull numbers out of the ether to justify creating games the way they do?  They have hard data, from marketing research firms that do more heavy lifting than your lazy ass, Wu.  But, again, as I’ve a thousand times – if you want more of these kinds of games, then make them!  Stop demanding that the fucking industry do what your lazy fucking self is unwilling to do.  If you cannot do, don’t demand that others do for you.  I make demands of people who write game stories all the time, and you know what, if I had a chance to be on a team of story-writers for a game company, I’d be all over that like stink on cheese.

Wu is hoping that she could bring about a change in games culture where it isn’t all about how many rounds are left in your gun, but your wits and emotional intelligence. She wants to unleash a new generation of games where narrative and conversation will go hand-in-hand with the power of graphics and processors to create games of breathtaking beauty.

I guess she’s never played The Last of Us, or Bioshock Infinite.  Games that proved that good story-telling can go with gunplay hand-in-hand.  No surprise.

And that’s all I have to say.  Silicon Republic, when you’re done kissing Wu’s ass, I have a piece of advice for ya – citations are your friend.  And don’t give a platform to people who I’m sure like that you said that they’ll be in textbooks.  Sarkeesian is too big a con artist to believe that, but Wu is just crazy enough to buy it.  She’s a believer.  She listened, and believed.

Until next time, a quote,

I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.”  -H.L. Mencken

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Batman: Arkham Knight’s Third Act

I just did a review, and to do that review, I wanted to be as objective as I could.  That’s only fair.  But now I get a chance to be unobjective, and that is what I want to be, because I am SO annoyed at this game.  After how good Arkham City was, having dark and bittersweet elements that actually added so much character to everyone involved in the story, this feels like the ultimate slap in the face.  I’m about to spoil the shit out of the third act of this game, by the way, so if you are so eager to see it for yourself, don’t read on.  Fuck this game.

For starters, the reveal of the Arkham Knight was such a let-down!  It didn’t help that they basically made it clear who he was going to be earlier.  I mean, showing his entire story with the Joker?!  Come on!  Not to mention, the Red Hood story’s been done!  Why take all this potential with a NEW character and then just flush it down the fucking drain with an old one?!  You could have had Damian Wayne, or Anarky.  Part of me was hoping to see Anarky again in this game.  There were so many interesting twists that could have been done with this character.  Have some cool backstory.  But no.  Instead, they go the cliche route.  It was almost too much to stomach.  My interest in this game died the instant I saw that the Knight was revealed to be Jason Todd.  All that wasted potential.

Speaking of – why does nothing bad happen in this game?!  Am I the only one who is frustrated?!  Everything turns out okay!  Batman saves the day!  Sure, his identity is revealed, but that’s alright!  Not one person has a problem with it.  Because he sure is such a hero, isn’t he?!  Ugh!  First, Oracle’s alive!  But uh-oh, Robin was kidnapped!  I wonder what will happen to him?  It’s such a fucking mystery.  Then, they have this bit where they go into Bruce’s mind and you see his final struggle with the Joker.  Because that isn’t old hat at all.  For real, it was like the final showdown between the Dark Prince and the Prince in Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones.  I hated that ending too.  Is there a single game that is willing to bump up the darkness?  Is there a single game that is willing to admit that sometimes not everything turns out okay?  I wouldn’t be so mad right now if it weren’t for the fact that the entire fucking game basically just goes – don’t you worry, audience.  You’re Batman.  Batman never loses in any way.  Except in that last game, where he actually lost in a lot of ways.  Let’s pretend that didn’t happen!  Perhaps I should have seen it with the game’s marketing.  That whole “Be the Bat” crap.  Annoying…

Perhaps you think that I’m overthinking this.  But the last game did this so well!  It showed that there was darkness to this character.  Batman had some qualities about himself that were bad, and he was willing to do bad things to achieve his goals.  He had a dark kind of kinship with the Joker, where, in his final moments, the two share a joke.  That was good!  This was not.  This was the ultimate – don’t worry, everybody.  We won’t be going back there again.  Bittersweet?  This is the end of the franchise!  We have to end on a high note, right?!  You an end on a high note, yet still have the ending at least acknowledge that shit can happen.  But nobody died.  Nobody even has lasting damage.  The Arkham Knight even becomes a good guy.  Hooray!

My expectations were so high with this game.  The final game, where Scarecrow invites everybody to a meeting..  I expected this game to have the full monty of cast.  Show us some old favorites, and introduce us to new people.  It would be bigger, more dangerous.

Which brings me to my last problem – why the fuck is the Challenge Mode gone?!  That is such bullshit!  I could honestly weather how bad this game is, if I at least had that.  If I had the Challenge Mode, where I could have some fights and whatnot.  I downloaded the Harley Quinn and Red Hood DLC, and part of me thought that that would mean that we get to see them in the Challenge Mode.  I was even more excited when I saw that Red Hood has guns!  I can kill people?!  Sign me up!  A cool look and everything, this was an awesome character!  So why can’t I play with him and Harley in Challenge Mode?!  Why on Earth was something that basic not in your fucking game?!  Oh, right, so you could have “AR Simulations”, which let you drive around with the Batmobile and other dumb shit.  All the wasted potential.

This game’s story is bad, and thanks to the lack of Challenge Mode, the replayability is next to nil.  If you like the way all this turned out, fine.  Good on you.  For real, like what you do and don’t let naysayers like me bother you.  But I am so disappointed.  So much about this game disappointed me, and now it’s too late.  Fuck it.  I’ll have this vision of the perfect game in the back of my mind, and part of me will always hope that, someday, I’ll see it.

Until next time, a quote,

“Well, here’s the thing. Answers don’t give you everlasting satisfaction, sometimes you have to brace yourself for disappointment. Now think about it. Imagine your favorite TV show. You’ve been through it all. The ups, the downs, the crazy coincidences, and then: BANG! They tell you what it’s all about. Would you be happy? Does it make sense? How come it all ended in a church?”  -Joker, Batman: Arkham City

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Batman: Arkham Knight

Batman Arkham KnightTwo things to clear up before we get too far into this.  First, I got this game on console, so all that stuff with the bullshit on PC, I didn’t have to deal with that.  I am judging this game based on what I have seen and played.  Take that for whatever you will.  Second, I am a story-seeker with games.  A good story is the thing that hooks me.  It can make or break a game for me.  I want you to keep that in mind when I talk about this game, because it will help you understand the score I have given it.

When I first played Arkham Asylum, I was enraptured.  So many cool characters!  Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy reprising their iconic roles!  Everything was so perfect!  Well, okay, there were some hiccups along the way.  Gameplay elements that didn’t work so great.  Oh, and some of the boss fights were a touch predictable.  But if you can handle that, then you were set.  It was the first game of its kind.  A stealth superhero game that wasn’t crap.  In a league all its own.  Then came Arkham City.  If the first game was good, this game was SO much better!  It set the standard for any and all superhero games that I will EVER see.  Ever!  And you know what, I actually liked Arkham Origins too.  It wasn’t as great as the game before it, but it was still a solid experience.  A lot of that was thanks to Troy Baker taking the reigns as the Joker.  He owned that role in a way that only he could.  Was it a lot like the last game?  Yes, but it was still solid.

My expectations for the final game in the franchise were beyond sky-high.  I wanted this game to be the grand finale!  I wanted it to have the whole cast returning to cause trouble, along with some new people.  I wanted to see some of my favorites, like Anarky.  Maybe they could FINALLY give Harley Quinn a role in the game where she isn’t played like a joke.  Where her role isn’t something pathetically stupid.  The trailers came out, and they have this character – the Arkham Knight!  He looks cool.  He kicks Batman’s ass.  My expectations were through the roof!  And…this game disappointed in a lot of ways.  It’s a good game, don’t get me wrong, but this is NOT the game I wanted.  Not even close.

But let’s talk about what this game gets right.  The visuals are a cut above the rest.  It truly looks next-gen, in places.  There were some set-piece moments that had my jaw on the floor.  It’s not Bloodborne levels of beauty, but it’s impressive all the same.  This game will get you, on visual fidelity alone.

Then there’s the voice acting.  This game brought some A-list cast, even if SO many of them are under-utilized.  They didn’t get Arleen Sorkin to reprise her role as Harley Quinn, but you know what, I’m cool with that.  The person they got wasn’t quite as annoying as in Arkham City.  They even brought back a cast member who I thought was gone, and had said that he was out of the series.  That was a bit of a shock.  At first, I thought it was a reveal too soon.  But it grew on me after a while.  That game has a great cast, and it is fun to hear them doing their iconic roles.

The stuff controlling the Batmobile is…pretty cool, for the most part.  But then there is this one area, close to the end of this game, where that car is the biggest pain in the fucking ass that has ever been.  No joke, I lost my shit with that vehicle more than once.  It gets very frustrating.  However, when it is out in the open, and they give you the ability to travel freely, it is cool.

Now, on to what you all are probably waiting for, if you like reading negative material.  The problems.  This is gonna get a little long.  If you are expecting me to rip into this game, don’t hold your breath.  I will say that I am very disappointed.  But it is still a fun game.  This game makes me think back to Arkham Origins.  It’s fun, but fun to a point..  In fact, so much of this game reminds me of that one.  Did the people who made it come on board this team?

I was expecting this game to be so much bigger and better than the last!  The explorable area in this game was less than Origins!  I shit you not!  Or maybe it just seemed that way, with the break-neck speeds of the Batmobile.  Still, I expected to have all of Gotham as my playground.  For this game taking up over 50 gigs on my PS4, I figured that I was going to have the city as my toybox to play with.  A smaller area wouldn’t be so bad, if there was more to do there.  But there wasn’t  There just wasn’t!  It is so annoying how little there was to do here.  Which brings me to my second problem…

This game was so lacking in characters! When Poison Ivy said that Scarecrow had a meeting and everyone was there, I expected this game’s cast to be fucking epic!  But it’s not!  That’s so frustrating, to me.  I was hoping that maybe we could see some new characters.  Like Babydoll or Ventriloquist. Or Great White Shark.  Part of me was really hoping that the Arkham Knight was Anarky.  A little older, and more seasoned.  He learned from his beating and then came back, more determined than ever.  There were so many places that this game could have shined in every way, but it just plain didn’t.  Every piece of great opportunity was wasted.  Or hell, maybe it will be in that stupid fucking Season Pass.  I hate that crap.  You have to pay more money to get the whole game.  That’s bullshit.

Oh, and get this – no more Challenge Mode!  What the fuck?!  You bring in Catwoman, Nightwing, Robin, Harley Quinn and even Red Hood into this game!  Why is there no Challenge Mode to play with them?!  That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.  One of my biggest fun points in Arkham City was the Challenge Mode, and seeing how well I could do.  Believe it or not, Robin was my favorite character to play in those.  Nightwing was a close second.  With the cool bits with Harley and Red Hood, they made combat with them feel cool!  Why on Earth am I not seeing more of them?!  Why make their parts in the game so miniscule?!  Why does this game feel half done?!

Speaking of half done, I won’t spoil who the Arkham Knight is, but the reveal of that character was so awful!  I saw it coming from a mile away!  The game even goes out of it’s way to pretty much have a cutscene where you might as well have a giant light saying, “he’s the villain!”  This was so uninspired!  They had some moments of good build-up for this character.  There is this great cutscene where the Knight and the Bat are going mono-a-mono, seeming to be evenly matched, and when Batman thinks he is getting the upper hand, he asks in a way that seems both furious and desperate, “who are you?!”  But this reveal was terrible.  I won’t spoil it, for the people who do want to know, but if you pay attention to the plot, it literally has a spotlight when it wants you to know who this guy is.  Just another chance for something creative, where it totally goes to shit.  What’s more, it feels like riffing on something else.  A DC animated film that I think is pretty awesome.  I wonder if they got the same guy to reprise his role.  Huh.

What was I hoping for with this character?  I was hoping that they would have something like in Metal Gear Solid 4, where you return to Shadow Moses.  After he’s beaten Scarecrow, and he’s got almost nothing left, he gets a last message from the Arkham Knight, telling him to go to the Asylum, and that’s where they finish it.  Both of them are beaten and broken.  They kick the shit out of each other, and that’s when Batman finally finds out who this guy is.  You have the Bat coming to terms with just how awful it all is, and having to face of who he has become.  Maybe give Harley a chance for some cruel revenge.  Like after everything is sorted, she shows up and puts a bullet through Batman’s chest.  Doesn’t that sound intense?!

In fact, this game goes so far out of its way to not have any legitimate darkness!  They hint at dark things, but it all works out in the end.  Oh boy!  That’s so wonderful!  Isn’t that just great?!  Because dark elements that work out in bittersweet ways might make the story more engaging.  Can’t have that!  This is a superhero power fantasy!  And we all know that in those, the hero always wins and nothing ever truly happens to cause him to maybe grow as a person.  Oh, sure, in the previous game, the city was falling apart, your girl was dead and the closest thing you had to a friend was in your arms as you left the theater.  But that’s was just a fluke!  Now we’re back to formula!

Let me say again – do not take this as me thinking that this is a terrible game.  All things considered, it’s not.  But it isn’t the game I was hoping for.  Not even close.  After how dark and serious the previous game got, with all the elements in it, and even a great twist at the end, I was hoping that more would come from it.  Instead, this game was a step backwards.  And now the franchise is done.  What a pity.  But for the best, I guess.  They could only make it worst from here.  Maybe their next game will be better

Final Verdict
6 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

An Ode to Fabio

Woe be the nickname I hath stricken you with
Thine art heard it before knowing who it referred to
In the moving picture with the little fish who was lost
Thine hath been flattered by the comparison
However unfitting though it may be

Thou art the leader of thine family
Strong and noble in thou actions
Be it hunting the wild moose, or flaw in the smoking carriage
Thou hath done many things
Most of which are rather impress, though some…not so much

Verily I say, the patriarch has been a proud teacher
Whether it be the endless spiel about safety in smoking carriages
Or safety in the smoking sled
Thou art’s wisdom lingers with us, and shall until the end of our days
Lest we end up a carriage driver like the Mother, Spirits forbid

Many adventure into faraway lands, thou hast undertaken
Whether it be the island paradise of Kona, or the wet beaches of Seward
Thou hast conquered the mighty salmon!
Many times over
Bringing home a banquet to feed thine family

Wherever thou travels, he does not go alone
Indeed, there is a large white hound who follows
Never far from his master, the loyal mutt goes
He even layeth upon thine lap when thou watches moving pictures
A privilege that was unheard of, in your younger years

Thou takes great comfort in the moving pictures
But there be-ith a man whom you take great offense
He speaks of weather, in a way you find unsatisfactory
Yet thy son finds him quite knowledgeable.
Woe be this dichotomy in the home!

In the future, thou plans to rest from employment
Verily, the wife hopes that thou art find other things to do
Lest you get up in her business and she doth strike you, roughly
Unto thine retirement, good fortunes be
Tho, in all seriousness, do find things to keep thou busy

Thine does not like the son’s cat
Thou art not give her enough attention
Nor the wife
It must be constant
For she is a cat

Yet, in this year of our Lloyd, let us reflect on thine accomplishments
Thou art built a three-story home!
Almost by oneself!
Thou art had two children
One smarmy and charming and writing this Ode

And yet, as the year continues, let us hope for better things
That thou will find peace and contentment
Tho, as is more likely, thou art shall complain about all the things that need doing
Because it’s not as if you have plenty of time
Like, all that retirement time

With that in mind, we say – a happy fatherly day to you, man with the nickname – Fabio
And to all the other fathers, may yours be good as well
But not as good as his
Just saying, he has seniority

Until next time, a quote,

“Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no fibs.”  – Oliver Goldsmith

Peace out,

Maverick

Is Gaming Hype Wrong? (A response to George Weidman)

Something you all should know about me – I am a HUGE Kingdom Hearts fan.  I know, it’s shocking, what with my two Top 10 lists about worlds and characters I want to see in Kingdom Hearts III.  When me, my cousin Griffin and my girly-mate Mandy got to the end of Kingdom Hearts II, the three of us were excited beyond belief at where the franchise went next.  We talked, long into the night, about what we wanted to see.  What Disney worlds we were eager to see brought to life.  This was when Pixar was in its hayday, so we wanted to see some of their worlds.  Still do, actually.  So much eagerness.  Young passion that was stoked.  Then we waited.  And we waited.  And we waited.  But it never came.  It never was talked about.  There were handheld games after handheld games, but they all felt like something tacked on.  Aside from Birth by Sleep, that is.  Eventually, our hopes kind of faded and we moved on.  Granted, the three of us aren’t a trio anymore.  In fact, my cousin, the brother I never had, is dead to me.  And my girly-mate has kind of gone in her own direction, and I in mine.

However, when I saw a teaser at E3 last year, that finally showed me that Kingdom Hearts III was coming, I was over the moon!  So much excitement!  The franchise I grew up with was back!  And it looked better than ever.  But that was a teaser.  I wasn’t about to get very excited until I saw some gameplay.  At this year’s E3, I saw just that.  And it looks amazing!  The visuals are astounding.  The gameplay looks smooth.  The world looks massive.  I would have liked to see more worlds, but still.  Everything I saw gave me confidence that this game was going to own.  I can’t wait to see what comes next!  That childlike love was back, and I don’t regret that.

Today, I saw a video on a channel that I am subscribed to on YouTube, called Super Bunnyhop.  It is run by a guy named George Weidman.  In it, he lamented this year’s E3, and made a lot of stabs at the industry and those who consume this, like what we are watching is wrong, and our endorsement of what E3 represents is wrong as well.  I think I’ll let him state his case.  That’s only fair.

An interesting case, he makes.  I don’t always agree with George on his opinions.  But that’s a good thing.  It’s good that I can listen to someone I don’t always agree with and at least be open to their opinion.  Unlike the SJW crowd, I don’t live in an echo chamber.  Alternate opinions can give you new perspectives, and that’s a good thing to have in life.  Still, I don’t always agree with his opinions, and in this case, I felt the need to voice my discontent.

Here’s the thing, George, I am with you on a lot of parts of this.  There is a lot of bullshit associated with E3.  The spectacle can take priority over the quality of content.  Gaming companies can spend inordinate amounts of time whoring themselves out to their consumers.  But, that’s kind of the point of this event, isn’t it?  To reach out to consumers and promote your material?  Sure, they could do it in a less gimmicky sort of way, but this entire event is to showcase gaming.  What’s wrong with that?  What’s wrong with an event that promotes video games and allows gamers to come and see what they want to see up close?  Is it because of all the bullshit?  I’d actually get your argument, if it is.  Might even be with you, to a point.  If we could just cut the fat and the grand-standing at E3, that would be excellent.

That doesn’t sound like the argument you’re making, though.  It sounds like you’re getting on gamers for participating in this at all.  Like it is gamers’ fault that we get excited about new games.  Yeah, the teaser for the Final Fantasy VII remake was just a teaser.  Just like the teaser for Kingdom Hearts III was just a teaser last year.  Just like a movie teaser is just a teaser.  These things exist for that purpose – to tease.  To get people talking.  Then, you have a trailer from the game itself, and we get more context.  That gets people talking even more.  It’s called the hype train.  When done well, it gives people enough information to give them a general sense of wonder, yet leaves room for surprises.

I can hear the counter-argument – but come on!  Look at how many games pretty much spoil everything in their promotion!  Again, I agree with that.  There can be a little too much advertisement.  That’s a hype train not done well.  When gamers know everything to expect from a game.  There are also the ones that give us false expectations.  That was the problem with last year, and the big games like Watch Dogs and Destiny.  There was too much hype, for games that were not bad, but not that great either.  Rather run of the mill.  Though, honestly, if our expectations had been a little lower, do you think we would have been as bothered by that.

The thing I take the most umbrage with as at the end of the video.  When you say that it’s better to just go into something blind.  I disagree with that.  Rather strongly.  This is our money we’re risking.  You don’t think that maybe we should get some idea where our money is going?  I get that AAA companies have no obligation to tell us, but it’s in their best interests.  Do you really want to spend money on a game without having some idea that your money is being well spent.  But I can hear – that’s why reviews are made!  I majored in Journalism and Public Communication, George.  I got my Bachelor’s in it.  Wanna know something – I learned about marketing.  To this day, do you know what the best form of marketing is – word of mouth.  It does more to sell a product than any review will EVER do.  I like watching Angry Joe or even you talk about a game, but the truth is that I often look at a game’s trailer and gameplay footage and judge for myself whether or not I think it will be a good game.

It’s the reason that I am now enamored with the game Life is Strange.  I saw the trailer, and heard people talking about how it was “SJW: The Video Game.”  I got annoyed at that statement, because nobody had even played the game yet.  Later on, the SJWs would actually be annoyed at the game because it is written by men.  Go figure.  But the trailer intrigued, and I wanted to see more.  That’s how the game got me.  And I’m glad that I did see that trailer.  If I hadn’t, then I might never have known.

There’s nothing wrong with getting people interested in a product.  That’s how you sell anything.  If nobody hears about a game, and then somebody sees it on the shelf, do you think they are going to play it?  Or do you think that they will see the trailer, as I did, and then think – I think I might like that game!  If they do, then they tell their friends, and the word of mouth chain grows.

I think the problem that you have is the spectacle.  And I’m with ya.  Really, I am.  There is too damn much of it.  But, I am not about to guilt gamers for loving getting hyped about a product.  Because if we didn’t get excited about gaming, then what the fuck are doing in this hobby?  We do this because we love it?  Right?

Until next time, a quote,

“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.”  – Gloria Steinem

Peace out,

Maverik

Deus Ex, SJWs, and ‘Mechanical Apartheid’ (A response to Gilles Matouba)

This E3 was awesome, for gamers like me.  I got to see The Last Guardian come back into the light of day!  I got to see Final Fantasy VII FINALLY getting a remake.  Why it took this long for Square Enix to pull their head out of their ass is beyond me.  Naturally, the announcements that I am most stoked for came from Sony.  Once-again, they burned the fucking house down.  Microsoft has GOT to be stirring in resentment.  Watch the reveal trailer for the Final Fantasy VII remake.  See the audience reactions at the end.  People are on their feet screaming.  That’s not something that you can easily top.  So yeah, a good time to be a gamer.

But it wasn’t great to be an SJW.  The moral outrage police decided that they were going to get their panties in a bunch over everything.  Whether it be Tipper Gore – I mean Anita Sarkeesian! – railing against violence in doom, or slut-shaming the female character on her E3 press pass (which, you’d think that she would shut her fucking mouth and just be grateful that she got an invitation at all.  Kotaku and Polygon didn’t!), she definitely did the open-mouth-insert-foot dance this year.  However, there was another instance that made the social justice crowd look even worse.

In the newest trailer for Eidos’ newest game, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, there is a statement about the situation in the trailer.  Calling it, “mechanical apartheid.”  This term, naturally, got SJWs to rail on Twitter and Tumblr about how it’s totally racist and how awful the developers of the game are for even thinking of it.  Naturally, this is “white privilege!”  Because those awful white developers are such awful people!  Except, oh, right, the developer who came up with term, and who modeled this game based on what that term means, is black.  His name is Gilles Matouba, and needless to say, he’s pissed.  Rightfully so.  Very pissed, in fact.  So pissed that he has taken to the KotakuInAction sub-reddit to voice his disdain.  Here’s a link to what he said.  Let’s talk about it.

Hi KiA

Sorry for the typos and weird syntax, english is not my mother tongue. I am Gilles Matouba and there is a thin chance of you knowing me. Still, I am a veteran french game developer with 15 years of experience in the industry. Mostly at Ubisoft and Eidos Montreal. Until september 2014 I was the Game Director of DXMD at Eidos Montreal. 3 years ago Andre Vu, the Brand Director of the DX franchise, and I coined the term ‘Mechanical Apartheid’. Thing is… I am Black (& French…). And Andre is Asian (& French).

An impressive resume, these two gentlemen have. Clearly, they know their shit.  I wonder if I should take their words over the words of moral police?  Just a question.

When we decided to go all-in on delivering the experience to play as Adam Jensen, an Augmented, in a world agressively segragating his own kind, we actually wanted to offer to our audience something unique. Something that was close and very personal to us: The experience of being torn between 2 worlds and 2 identities. Augs calling you the ‘uncle Tom’ of the non-augs, non-augs always insecure when you’re around, always deeply being scared or appaled by your mechanical body. Somehow, it was our own individual stories… We wanted to share a little part of our own life experience (on a super dramatized degree, of course) as visible minorities in a world of prejudices sometimes not well tailored for us.

That makes sense.  Contrary to what SJWs believe, art imitates life.  That’s a fact.  When you see in a game like Xenogears that one of the characters was a child prostitute so he could help feed his starving family, that isn’t glorifying child prostitution or anything like that.  It’s showing that there were people out there who have had to do that.  It’s a real-life example of history.  Keep that in mind when you decide to say that someone using an element of real-life culture in a video game is making light of something that happens in the real world.

Or better yet, actually know something about art through the centuries.  Look at the art after World War I and World War II.  Look at the art of the 60’s and 70’s.  Tell me that art is never affected by life after that.

We also used the reference of south africa, israel, even brasil, french and american ghettos and any country ressorting to walls in order to segratgate a part of their own population. We meant it. This was important to us to not half-ass these analogies. BECAUSE THIS IS DEUS EX.

Dedication to one’s craft.  Another thing that SJWs wouldn’t know shit about.  Aside from online click-tivism, what do they do…?

Racism is a ey dark part of our human nature and we wanted to treat this subject. It was especially important for ME to treat this. So it makes me sad and angry that these ignorant people just ASSUME that everyone behind this game is ill-spirited, stupid, and more importantly for me, that they that they are all WHITE. (For them devs==white, gamers==white)

It is insulting.  Just like when Tim Schafer decides to go up on a stage and use a sock puppet to mock and deride women and minorities who don’t agree with him.  It’s insulting, immature, and it makes them look like asshats.  Which is what they are.  This idea that gamers and gaming culture is just a bunch of white man-children is as insulting as it is untrue.  But don’t tell them that.  Logic just gets in the way of a good narrative.  Or a bad one, in this case.

What these bloggers and tweeters did to me here is beyond mere insults: They have degraded me and have literally erased my identity as a black developer and as a black creator that just wanted to share a piece of himself with this game. I wish that they will feel bad about it. I wish they will have the decency to apologize of their gross false assumptions and accusations. To apologize to all the people back in Quebec that have been working hard FOR YEARS to make this game to happen. But since they have no spine, no shame and no self respect they will simply ignore this post (once again denying me voice, legitimacy and identity) and will at best move on another AAA target to toss their freshly defecated shit at. They don’t deserve anyone’s attention. They don’t deserve our industry, our games and the dedication we put into them. They disgust me.

I believe that that speaks for itself.

The tide of the culture was has turned.  SJWs are now not even having a place at the table.  Look at what’s happened with Kotaku, Neo-GAF, and Polygon recently.  Look at how E3 is embracing sites like Tech Raptor.  Developers have had enough.  They are sick of these moral arbiters trying to tell them how to make their games, so they don’t get their wittle feewings hurts.  SJWs are beginning to see that gaming is more and more united against them.  Their place at the table is barren, and that’s a good thing.  Because these people don’t deserve a place at the table.

Gilles, I feel for what happened to you.  You came to GamerGate and appealed to us, and we have your back.  What’s been done to you is wrong.  The worst part is, you will NEVER get your apology from people like Sarkeesian.  Ever.  They’re too busy using you and yours as a shield to deflect criticism.  If any of them were to honestly look at themselves and what they’ve become, then I don’t know what they would do.  They might get a little…maturity! *Gasp*  But don’t tell Tim Schafer.  He’s too busy playing with his sock puppets, and wasting people’s money.

Until next time, a quote,

“TL : DR Asian guy and black guy came up with the term Mechanical Apartheid 3 years ago. Black guy not happy about the SJW shit tweets and wants to call them out and expose their stupidity. Black guy is not their shield.”  -Gilles Matouba

Peace out,

Maverick