Bungie, developers of such greats hits such as Nerf Shotties To Oblivion (a trilogy), Design CQC Spaces And Punish Players For Adapting To Them, and Popular Weapons Are Bad; are probably right now taking in the current discussions about the PvP meta of Destiny 2. Mind you some of the biggest changes to our Guardians’ kit, including subclass paths turned into ‘two characters’ a subclass, were almost exclusively made in response to Destiny 1’s PvP. I bring this up because right now I’m seeing certain discussions in Destiny forums that are consistent enough to reach Bungie’s ears (please remember, with Bungie it’s often not the strength of the case, it’s how loud and often they hear it). And there are many concerning things people are talking about with a straight face, but the biggest cringe for me is… the vilification of ‘Team Shooting’. Let’s talk about things, shall we?
Hey guys, my name is Jean Kalyx (triaD!). I’m a writer of fantastically exciting things, a commentator of social silliness, an ambitiously aspiring game designer, a rigorous competitive gamer, an opposer of ideological sophistry, a lover of pizza, and a- OH MY GOD I’M BLACK!
So Ashley Valazquez of Not Your Mama’s Gamer, a feminist gaming blog, wrote an odd poem of sorts lamenting the fact that Lara Croft – a Tomb Raider – is fit enough to have a thigh gap. While she’s obviously having a bit more fun with it than the usual diatribes about this sort of thing, I still found it telling enough to wanna respond to it by way of translation. I’m going to break down each passage for you so we may gaze into the mind of somebody who plays games and ends up reflecting on their body. In poetry.
I also wanna preface this by stating I do not like the new Lara Croft. She’s ironically designed to cater to people like Ashley while abandoning the gameplay oriented elements of the actually good Tomb Raider Legend reboot. So keep this in mind.
Update: You may consider this my swan song of my participation in the ongoing games media ethics and culture movement that is #GamerGate. I have a new initiative that I will elaborate on in the future called Return To Gaming (#ReturnToGaming). As it were.
A fine chap, Sean Morrison offered a list of questions for people who support GamerGate. Sean is a journalist and all around decent guy who ventured out to hear the voices of people who make up the movement, and that included voices you may not be familiar. I figured this is the closest thing to being heard and I appreciated the outreach. While he will be compiling the responses in a future piece of his own, he also gave his blessing in posting my full response on this very blog. Because he’s nice, you get it!? Hit the jumpity-jump for my full response to see where I am with GamerGate. He has some interesting questions and I hope to have a two-way with him in a public, real-time way someday.
The trailer for Amazing Spider-Man 2 came out, and it looks great. But this blog isn’t a screencap rundown or a trailer review, because we got those all over the place. Nay, I want to address something that segues into something bigger that itself hints at something grander. Something, something, ya know? You know. You don’t? Well let’s start knowing, dammit! Today’s discussion is about the fan reaction to the trailer, fan bias/hypocrisy, and most importantly something I’m going to call “Super Cynicism”. First, the epic trailer in question:
Hey you! Glad you’re here and I’m sorry I don’t update more often. I do have a few ideas for blog posts including one focused on Bungie’s Destiny, Ubisoft’s The Division, and R*’s GTA Online – and why ‘MMOs’ of this type are awesome and entirely welcome. But for now, Microsoft released an “infographic” telling why their Cloud backup is the bizz-nezz. As some of you know I don’t react well to buzz words and flowery speak that publishers and other companies do to sell their products. And things like this, as ignorable as they are, is the sort of fodder that drives console fanboys to cite when defending their favorite toy. While console fanboy wars is the subject of yet another blog we’re just gonna run through this thing and break it down.
…Because I’m bored and so are you.
In the last few gaming generations a special designation for high budget, tentpole games rose in the industry. They are called AAA Games. In my day they were merely called ‘Killer Apps’, or system sellers that were often exclusive and bleeding production quality. Now they’re multiplatform, marketed during Super Bowls and Playoffs, and more than likely have Steve Blum in there somewhere. They are also shallow, built by committee, aims to satisfy everyone while appealing to no one demographic anyway. They are cookie cutter, expensive, and do little more than sell some gaming engine’s brand. They also sale like pancakes regardless of homogenized quality. Microsoft, ever the innovator, took these ingredients and decided to make a console. The first AAA console is then appropriately called, the Xbox One. Let’s begin.
So EA unleashed Battlefield 4 after a few ‘leaked’ screenshots and a short trailer (none of which worth linking here). The big reveal is topped off with a 17min video of gameplay… from the campaign. I guess it’s worth noting that this game coincides with EA’s new version of the powerful Frostbite engine, which I’m similarly indifferent about. You can get hype if you wish, Battlefield 4’s media dump so far is a big bowl of Meh Flakes. Care to know why?
So Sony holds this press conference revealing the PS4… or at least specs, features, game demos, tech demos, philosophy, and the controller. The actual console wasn’t on display, but I’m guessing it’s going to a black rectangular block with a PS logo on it somewhere. In fact, I’m certain of this – so don’t complain about not seeing it, I just told you what it is. Moving on…
So… there’s this sequel to a great Transformers game coming out in August. It has better visuals, better gameplay variety, better campaign, etc. You can play as Grimlock, leader of the Dinobots. You can play as Bruticus, Decepticon combiner. You can command Metroplex, rival of fellow city-bot Trypticon (seen in War for Cybertron). All of that is nice.
WHERE IS MY GOD DAMN MULTIPLAYER TRAILER?