Tag Archives: Assassin’s Creed

#420 A Response to “Are We Becoming Too Critical Of Video Games?”

For today’s post it is another response to one of Gamemoir’s Question of the Day posts from earlier this week. The post (found right HERE) talks about the abnormal amount of cynical criticism videogame players have with recently released AAA games when it comes to user reviews on meta-critic, using the Watch_Dogs backlash as the example.

I should get a frequent flyer card for how many responses I made because of them

I should get a frequent flyer card for how many responses I made because of them

Well you know where this one post is going, I am not going to be dedicating an entire blog post to echo someone else’s opinions, when it comes to the recent game releases we as consumers should never demand less our the amount of critical comments from ourselves, in fact I think we need all the critical observations we have right now and more so to ensure that only the best gets recognized.

Many – if not all – of complaints of Watch_Dogs spawned from Ubisoft’s over-promising features on their next big new IP game and under-delivering. From the launch of Watch_dogs we saw Ubisoft made the executive decision to hack off Week One DLC, create console specific and exclusive DLC, gimp the graphics on the PC version of the game and shoehorning in an unstable DRM service…ALL while advertising Watch_Dogs as a next great next gen game.

a next gen system that was released on the previous console as well.....hmmmmm

a next gen system that was released on the previous console as well…..hmmmmm

On the flip side there is hardly any criticisms towards games that simply told you exactly what it was going do and delivered it in spades.Just compare what promises given from Nintendo when they announced their most recent Mario Wii U game to the promises and designs from Ubisoft’s Watch_Dog reveal.

That is not the say that every game ever released by anyone should be held up the gaming standard of the cream of the crop, just like movies titles can be released two different -although VERY simplified- categories;

The first one is the fun to watch but stays in the comfort zone of slight immaturity, like what we see from Kirby titles and the over the top silliness of the Deadpool game. Or continuing with the movie parallel, the Die Hard series or any major summer action blockbuster movies It is there just to satisfy that itch in our brains of seeing stuff explode and have mindless fun.

The other category is the more appealing release for both consumers and gaming developers desires, the academy award winning titles that pushes the envelope of what it means to be a part of that media, the Spec Ops: the Line, the Walking Dead seasons, or the effects caused within the gaming world with the release of coveted, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

The reason Zelda OoT was so big was because it was the first time there was such a big paradigm shift a series. Going from a top down 2d to a full 3d third person open world game.

The reason Zelda OoT was so big was because it was the first time there was such a big paradigm shift a series. Going from a top down 2d to a full 3d third person open world game.

 

The problem with a perceived too much criticisms of games is when a company advertise a new release claiming it to win awards and show the true powers of what it means to be a game in the advertisements and lead up and gives us a run of the mill open world game with nothing new to offer. It is like going in to see Gravity in 3D IMAX and end up watching it in one of the smallest non-3D screens, it is still the same movie but the expected experience is completely different from the what we got.

There will always be people who constantly act as the nitpickers in movies, comics, music, and games but it is important not to let their complaints of not entering every house in an open world game drown out the legit critical claims of the game and the industry.

As patrons of this of a field of arts that is still just developing, we also need to be hyper critical of executive policies that would hurt the medium on the whole, like say rehashing franchises, excessive sequels, shoehorned in product placements, and practices that are only in place to line the higher up’s wallets instead of furthering the advancement of the media as a whole.


tmnt2014

 

 

But I want to know what you think, after reading the question from Gamemoir and my response here, where do you side with the about of criticisms in the gaming world?

 


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#372 Games from my Backlog for the month of May

Congratulations everyone! We made it through the harsh winter that seemed to invade April and at least for the most of us have finally arrived to that fabled season called Spring with the start of May. As tradition with a new month I need to go through my gaming backlog to pick a handful of games to work through for the next 31 days.

Last month I choose the first Assassin Creed, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, and The Swapper and over all I had a bit of an uninteresting gaming month. I played Assassin’s Creed in the hopes that I will be hooked on the series and then marathon through the other three main/major Assassin Creed titles so that I could be all caught up with the Assassin’s Creed story for whenever Ubisoft announces the next installment to the series. But I played about an hour of the game and I hate to say it but the game just did not click for me. I have had other games that were on the Games from my Backlog projects that I could not get through because it just did not get way the game was presented (see Dishonored and Serious Sam 3). I always hate when it happens because if I am to believe that videogames are considered art I feel like I am doing a disservice to the creative team behind the game who put weeks or months of hard work into the project and I just can not enjoy it because of my own personal taste.

I did buy Assassin’s Creed 2 when it was also on sale and I have heard from friends that the second game has of all the plot of the first Assassin’s Creed with improved gameplay. So I might return to the series one day but for now it is going to be placed in the category of media that I just do not ‘get’ right next to first person shooters, medical dramas, and country music.

the hours I spent playing TF2 and listening to one or two country songs does prove that I can enjoy the occasional out-liners

the hours I spent playing TF2 and listening to one or two country songs does prove that I can enjoy the occasional outliners

 

Next on the chopping block was Giana Sisters: Twisted Dream, this game was added because it was an indie 2D platformer game with a bit of a difficulty curve to it, but this was another game that just did not do it for me. the game had some cool ideas, like changing between two different sisters with their own platformer power and when you switch between the sisters the background, obstacles, and monsters seamlessly change as well. and there are plenty of gems and hidden secrets throughout the stages that you can collect but the problem I had with it was that I have played better. That’s partially my fault my love for the 2D platformer started when I started playing Super Meat Boy and it continued when played They Bleed Pixels and Cloudberry Kingdom and when you started with such high expectations it can be hard to enjoy anything below that incredibly high standard. It may have some edge of your seat difficulty in its later stages but it just took too long for me to get there, especially since the other games had their difficulty curve start getting steep after you get through the introduction.

It is still a good game and it is well designed and the art direction was great but I just a good game.

It is still a good game and it is well designed and the art direction was great but I just a good game.

 

The Swapper was the saving grace of the month, but ironically enough I did not have enough time to dedicate too much time for this game. I will be quoting what everyone else have said about the game, that it is a wonderful 2D indie game that could be the spiritual successor of the Portal series. It had amazing atmosphere and it tells you imminently that something is wrong with the world you are suddenly thrown into. My only comment is that if you are a moderate follower of the Science Fiction genre you will be able to guess the big twist the moment you get the cloning gun. Besides that it is still an amazing game.

For better or worse I now have three fewer games on my backlog and now it is the time of the post to pick a handful of other titles to play for this month. This month I think I will go back to only picking two games because between my full-time job, blogging, and starting a Twitch channel my spare time is going to more scarce now that ever before.

Although looking back getting into streaming through Twitch is the best thing that could happen because now I have a set time four times a week to sit down and play videogames, previously that time have been taken up by just mindlessly browsing the internet, procrastinating on the idea of starting up a game.

Although looking back getting into streaming through Twitch is the best thing that could happen because now I have a set time four times a week to sit down and play videogames, previously that time have been taken up by just mindlessly browsing the internet, procrastinating on the idea of starting up a game.

 

For the month of my two games are going to be Poker Night at the Inventory 2 and  The Bridge. I have played a bit of Poker Night 2 but I have yet to complete the game by winning all of the trophies  like I did with the first Poker Night at the Inventory game. Trust me even though I swear to never use the cosmetic TF2 items that does not stop me from wanting to collect them all.

 

Plus I love a good poker match.

Plus I love a good poker match.

 

I picked The Bridge because it appeared on my Steam Library through one of the many, many Humble Bundles and it looks like a fun mind shattering game that takes a lot of cues from the famous works of MC Escher so why not?

"Why not?" a question that has caused so much hassle for me in my life.

“Why not?” a question that has caused so much hassle for me in my life.

 


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#360 2048’s evil lure of ‘just one more game’

Last night, after work I meant to crack into some of the new games I have been meaning to get into for this month but I ended up playing a fan made Pokemon version of 2048. Pokemon 2048 is just like a normal game of 2048 but it is much better because it has Pokemon in it. (See Pokemon Snap)

It is just like a normal game of 2048 but it is much better because it has Pokemon in it. (See Pokemon Snap)

2048 is a great game of resource management because the higher scoring tiles will give you more points you don’t use them as much as the low scoring tiles and all the while the higher points take up valuable space which is something you have balance and plan around towards the end of the game.

 

I thought that I would play a quick game of 2048 while checking on my email and various other things I do after work, acting as warm up for my other more complex games.

The problem is that because this game is short, sweet, and based on random number generators I got suckered into reloading after facing the game over screen for ‘just one more game’. Then BAM! I check the time and it ends up being far too late into the night to start the game I was planning on that night.

My apologizes Assassin's Creed, you were just no match the challenge of beating my high-score in a matching tile game

My apologizes Assassin’s Creed, you were just no match the challenge of beating my high-score in a matching tile game. Next time it will be different

 

This is not the first game that robbed a night of and I would to call out the game like, Team Fortress 2, Binding of Isaac, 2048 and I am sure many other titles out there that lures you in with a quick game, and simple controls but it usually ends up sucking out of your play time, a valuable and precious resource now that I have a full-time job and responsibilities like the rest of the adult working force.

I wonder if anyone else out there has the same problem of choosing the simple and quick game as a way to start your dedicated play time and end up playing and replaying the same game into the night. If so leave a comment, I can not be the only one with this problem.

 


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#359 Games from my Backlog for the month of April

Well it is April and just like the the waning and waxing of the moon it is time to choose few more games from my backlog to focus on playing throughout the new month.

Yesterday I spent my April fools day watching and rewatching the long-awaited update to Homestarrunner.com and marathoning through all of the best Homestarrand Strongbad skits, reliving some of my favorite early internet memories.

the new skit even came with unlockable content that you have to click around and wait for after long enough.

the new skit even came with unlockable content that you have to click around and wait for after long enough.

Although I forgot to update the little box on the right hand side of the site, Last month I played Super Mario 3D Land and Serious Sam 3: BFE (Be MOP #346).  I wrote about both of them in March, one in a positive light about how much fun I had with a new Mario game, while and breaking down what exactly I found enjoyable in the game (Be MOP #346). The other post shedding light on a major gaming character flaw of mine when it comes to playing First Person Shooter games that prevented me from playing past the first ten minutes of Serious Sam (Be MOP #352). Spring cleaning is just around the corner and I am going to need to keep an eye out on those special sea sickness prevention bands because I feel like bad that I could not even get out of the tutorial level.

This month I am going back to three games for my month quota, for the AAA title is the first Assassin’s Creed. I picked up this and the sequel on steam ages ago and it was one of the gaming series that I have been wanting to get through since the release of Assassin IV and no time is like the present to get started.

"No time like the present" eh heh time joke

“No time like the present” eh heh time joke

 

 

For the two token indie games I decided to go with a game that I have heard nothing but good thing around the internet, The Swapper a 2D platformer that centers around using clones of yourself to get through the stage’s puzzles. Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams another 2d platformer that I heard is quite difficult to get through and as my long-standing relationship with Super Meat Boy, They Bleed Pixels, and Cloudberry Kingdom any game that advertise as being a super hard platforming game is almost guaranteed a on spot on my Steam library.

 


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#355 The Sin of Exclusive Content in Multiplatform Games

Watch_Dogs, in preparation for launch, released a video of the exclusive content PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 players will receive with their cop of the game. The video in question can be found HERE and it advertises 60 minutes of non-cosmetic content and gameplay. This is one of greatest sins on the console side of the videogame industry. We are out of the mid to late 90’s console war, there is no need to make content exclusive to one console or another.

I swear I don't have a personal vendetta against this game, it is just brings up a lot of problems I have with the videogame world.

After reading by last post about Watch_Dogs (Be MOP #348) one could claim that I am bias about this game. But I swear I don’t have a personal vendetta against this game, it is just brings up a lot of problems I have with the videogame world.

 

 

I discovered this problem with Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Asylum PS3 only Joker DLC, it was continued with the launch of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed IV and peaked with Watch_Dogs. All of these games have content exclusive DLC only for the PlayStation version of those multiplatform games. I was going to write a top ten blog post about the worst videogame sins and this one was going to take the cake  and rightly so because it is holding content back for the highest bidder.

Because I bought this on Steam I will never be able to play as the Joker.

Because I bought this on Steam I will never be able to play as the Joker.

 

I know that back in the day (read as Generation 5 and 6) the specs on the different types of consoles were so different and varied that it made sense to have the few multiplatform games was going be different and varied but when the hardware between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is so similar that there is no reason to hold back content for one console or another.

I am not delusional, I know the importance exclusive gaming franchise like Mario, God of War, and Halo are to a console allure but holding back content on a game that comes out for all systems, from WiiU to the PC, is unacceptable.

Another great example of this is the recent Metal Gear V game and  how the game advertised an exclusive Raiden and Deja Vu campaign of  for both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 respectively.

I could see what they were going with paying homage to the classic PlayStation game but it still doesn't excuse it from happening

I could see what they were going with paying homage to the classic PlayStation game but it still doesn’t excuse it from happening

 

These tactics are done for the sake of marketing, it is holding segments of videogame content hostage from the paying consumer. As a big Batman fan, if I wanted the full Batman Arkham Asylum gaming experience I would be forced to buy a PlayStation 3, neglecting my frankly better PC gaming laptop, to play as the clown prince of crime himself. I feel bad for the hardcore Metal Gear fans because if they wanted the entire MGSV experience I would have to buy two current generation consoles and two separate versions of the same game.

Again, what kills me is that this is all and only done for the sake of marketing and favoritism.  After spending a weekend I could think of no good reason to continue this practice, it is done for the sake of greed and greed alone without a second thought for the consumers who did not luck out on getting the one gaming system with all the exclusive DLC. That is why it is one of my most hated sin in the videogame industry.

 


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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