Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

February 2015

You are browsing the archive for February 2015.

Day One Game Updates Annoy More Than Expected

February 26, 2015

For the longest time, one of the great things about console gaming was that a game was ready to go, out of the box, and would continue to be so until there was some kind of update. New content, a few fixes, things like that; for the most part, these were welcome, and they didn't really slow down the game much. But these days, we're seeing a lot more day one updates going out, and that's starting to hamper a lot of people's gaming fun. It's getting sufficiently bad that, according to reports, even Sony's not happy about it.

Day one updates are nothing new.

Valve Planning to Join VR Race With SteamVR?

February 25, 2015

We've heard a lot coming out of the virtual reality (VR) stakes of late, with Facebook's Oculus entry taking up a lot of the bandwidth and a host of other competitors from Google to Samsung and beyond looking to get a slice of this long-pent-up market. Now, there's one more product looking to step in, and it's one that should make Facebook terrified, not to mention the rest of the field: Valve's SteamVR.

The new reports suggest that Valve will be showing off the SteamVR system at the upcoming Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, which is said to be a departure from earlier reports in which Valve insisted that no such new hardware was in the works. Of course, given that Valve was holding virtual reality demonstrations as it was back at the Steam Dev Days show in January 2014, it wasn't exactly out of line to suggest that Valve had something up its collective sleeve.

But the actual release of the product is said to be something of a mixed bag in its current form, with the system working spectacularly well by some accounts, but being entirely too bulky to be of much use. The system reportedly requires a full-room setup to produce the fullest effects, and that may well be a pretty big barrier to entry for a lot of users.

Naturally, this is still early-stage stuff; no one else in the market has much risk of Valve taking first-mover advantage and getting its system on shelves first.

Online Cross Platform Gaming: Is It Time?

February 24, 2015

So while looking around for news recently, I spotted a bit that really caught my attention out at IGN. Essentially, it was an opinion piece calling for the removal of the various borders that separate gamers, and allow players who own the same game on different systems to actually play against—or with, depending—each other. That's been enough for some to suggest that it's time to break down those barriers, regardless of the difficulty inherent in such a task.

Even as the IGN post called for the demolition of such barriers, it seemed to quickly recognize just how difficult such a thing would be to actually accomplish. We all know that online gaming is a rapidly growing phenomenon, and one that isn't likely to lose ground any time soon.

Is "The Order: 1886" Long Enough For Prime Time?

February 23, 2015

Recently, word has come out surrounding the upcoming release of “The Order: 1886,” and while the idea of the game itself is exciting, some are discovering that the actual playthrough is a little less so. Indeed, some discovered that a playthrough was taking around six to eight hours, and in some cases, as little as five. A game with that kind of runtime—especially one that's being offered up at the full $60 price tag—is leaving some deeply concerned, but in the end, how long is long enough?

Naturally, some look at such an experience and suggest that, indeed, a six to 10 hour playthrough is nowhere near worth charging $60 for. They wouldn't exactly be out of line, either, especially considering the kind of experiences that could be had elsewhere.

Preserving Gaming's Legacy: The National Toy Hall of Fame's Game Section

February 19, 2015

When's the last time you saw an arcade cabinet of “Revolution X”? Back in the 1990s, you'd find one of these most anywhere there were games to be played. Ever wonder where your old Super Nintendo was? Think you could even find it again if you wanted to?

When Kids Game: The Open Letter to Parents of League of Legends Players

February 18, 2015

There's a document making the rounds of late, and it's one that's raising a noteworthy point about the youngest members of the gaming community. While it raises some good points, it also falls flat on some fronts, and to that end, I'm taking a look at the Open Letter to Parents of League of Legends Players, and some of the response it's already getting.

The Open Letter in question is currently on display out at the Miscellaneous section of the League of Legends message board, and it begins with a reasonable enough premise: League of Legends, the popular massively online battle arena (MOBA) game that has a huge following and even some professional players to its credit, requires a lot of gamers to play, and these are real people engaging in the games in question. So, if someone should happen to drop out, that leaves a team of real-world players scrambling to make up the slack. And that's where the Open Letter starts going a bit off the deep end.

The Open Letter called for parents to more forcefully police their children, which is seldom a bad thing, but it also called for some adjustments that many parents were likely unwilling to make.

Game Violence: Minecraft and First Person Lover

February 12, 2015

Game violence has long been a hot-button topic for gamers, and for those who would rather gamers not be gamers but rather be sports viewers or something else entirely. While some believe that game violence leaves us twisted horrible wrecks of humanity, unable to spawn even basic feelings of tenderness or compassion or even conscience, others believe that the people who believe what was just mentioned are so full of it they squeak when they walk. And recently, we got a look at two examples of video game violence that aren't exactly what you'd expect.

First, we go out to Sweden, where the game “First Person Lover” was developed as part of a marketing campaign for Swedish clothier Bjorn Borg, according to reports. Players dress characters in the Bjorn Borg 2015 spring / summer line then go forth to “strip the hate away,” by using a series of love-themed weapons—the kiss gun, the petal shotgun, the rainbow crossbow, the bubble blaster, and the teddy grenade—to peel off the clothes of our enemies and replace said clothes with Bjorn Borg apparel, thus ridding the world of hatred, ostensibly unless you've instead joined the Big 'n' Tall Resistance.

Then we go to Turkey, where the Turkish government is reportedly looking to ban a certain violent video game for its effects on children and families.

Bethesda Readies First Ever Press Conference for E3

February 11, 2015

If you're thinking about the upcoming Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) event, well, you're not alone by any stretch of the imagination. No, E3 is a little over four months out now, and that's not at all too early to wonder what will show up for the big event. Indeed, one particular point has been demonstrated, and Bethesda will be having its first ever press conference at E3. Speculation about just what will be shown is already starting to run, and of course, some very big names are coming up.

The first point many are considering is Doom. It was originally called Doom 4, but now it's just being called Doom. That's enough to raise a few hackles, but is Doom sufficient to make a press conference around?

Cheap Games, Or, Nintendo's New Comeback Plan

February 10, 2015

There will be some who object to that headline, noting that—as LL Cool J was once famously heard to remark—Nintendo can't have a comeback, as it's been here for years. In that sense, they would have a point, but Nintendo also hasn't been top of the heap for quite some time, either, and nowadays that's no exception. However, whatever you call it, Nintendo has a plan to help it recover from recent losses, and this time around, it's not a plan that will likely make users cringe. This time, it's all about the games, and all about lowering game prices.

A simple yet usually brilliant plan, Nintendo is planning to perk up its sales by bringing out more low-cost software, offering software for “a few hundred yen,” according to reports.

The Legend of Zelda: Netflix Version?

February 9, 2015

Most of us, I think, can point to one video game or another that was turned into a movie or television show that never should have had that particular privilege. Most of us likely remember the cruel prank the universe played on us known as the Super Mario Bros movie, and can probably name at least three others just off the top of the head. But every so often, there's an idea that comes along that might just work—anyone else think an Alan Wake television series would do all right—and one of these might just be Netflix's rumored plans to bring The Legend of Zelda to its streaming video shores.

The current reports suggest that such a beastie would be presented as a kind of Game of Thrones that's fit for “a wider audience”, which means a lot less nudity and probably violence as well. Naturally, it will also boast a lot of the action-adventure plot action that the series is so far famous for, and at last report, Nintendo was currently working very closely with Netflix to ensure that the whole thing went off without a hitch.

At last report, Nintendo was easily as embarrassed by Super Mario Bros as we were to watch it, so Nintendo has been extremely wary of further adaptation.

The Virtual Reality Market in 2015: Shaking Things Up

February 5, 2015

When even South Park is willing to take on the Oculus Rift, as it did in an episode not too long ago, it's clear that the mainstream is pretty well ready for virtual reality (VR). A recent look at the market from K Zero, meanwhile, suggests that this is a market that's really primed for growth, and in a big way. The report from K Zero suggests a market that will reach $7 billion just by 2018, and that's going to mean some very big changes.

Already the market is starting to get its big names lined up. Facebook and Oculus, of course, are right on the tip of the spear, if not the actual needle point itself.

Does Final Fantasy XIV Have the Key to MMO Longevity?

February 4, 2015

For those out there who play “Final Fantasy XIV,” there's something exciting coming up. It recently started up, and will be running until February 16. Known as “Valentione's Day,” it's a parallel of the real-life Valentine's Day event set for February 14, and it's going to offer up some special deals for the player base. But while this isn't a totally original idea, is it perhaps one of the bigger ideas in gaming?

Valentione's Day will bring with it the Paramour Chocobo barding system, a tabletop cake, a heart / firework thing, and some outdoor furnishings.

Nintendo's Creator's Program: Tragedy or Disaster?

February 3, 2015

You know, there really are only so many times in life you actually get to watch a company shoot itself in the foot. The last one I remember, as far as games go, was back in 2013 where Microsoft slammed into rock bottom with its Xbox One announcements at E3 and then spent the next six months flailing wildly to try and make up that lost ground. While Microsoft actually did make up quite a bit of said losses, the same may not be said for Nintendo, who seems to have done its level best to make a bad situation much, much worse with its new Creator's Program.

The Nintendo Creator's Program, as it's called, started when Nintendo became a multichannel network on YouTube, and it...invited...those who use Nintendo content in Let's Play videos and the like to join in. An MCN, for those not familiar, is a lot like Machinima or the like, where a bunch of independent channels get together and work under one banner.

Five Nights At Freddy's 3: Too Much, Too Soon?

February 2, 2015

It's a funny question to be asking, especially when it comes to video games. The wait for any news at all about “Fallout 4” has been nothing short of breathless. “Half-Life 3” has been on most gamers' hotly-anticipated lists for a little over a decade now. “Duke Nukem Forever,” once a joke—now just a sad joke now that it's been released—spent around 14 years in “development”.

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