SSX 3-The Best Snowboarding Game

From 2000 to about 2008 Electronic Arts had a department called EA Sports Big. This section of EA made sports games that were over the top and bizarre. Primarily the games they made were just fun to play. Arguably the best of these crazy sports games was SSX3, a snowboarding  game with unrealistic tricks and a wonderful sound track. I played the shit out of this game and would gladly pay $60 for an HD remake. This game easily makes my Top 5 games of all time. But instead of making a super lengthy post on why this game is so great I will let TheRussianBadger do it for me.

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Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – Story Impressions

Story telling in video games is something that can either make or break a game. In some cases, there are games that are basically all story like visual novels. Or there are other games like Saints Row that are an excuse to shoot things. Then there are games that are in the middle that have a good story mixed with good game play.  For me, a good example of this is Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. It was set hundreds of years before any of the movies which allowed it creative freedom to set its self apart. Also it’s a Star Wars title which never hurts. But today we are going to talk about Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s story.

For a full disclosure the last Call of Duty I have played, from beginning to end, was Modern Warfare 3. So this will be what I took away from a story play through that I watched on YouTube.

*SPOLIERS AHEAD*

One of the first things that I noticed was that Space John Snow, Kit Harington, comes off as a generic villain who is really evil. Which is fairly evident after the first mission when Admiral Salen Kotch, Space Jon Snow, captures the player. Admiral Kotch gives a monolog about how the player cares for his men wellbeing. Then goes and shoots one of his own men and tells the player that the players compassion is a weakness that won’t allow them to win. This was the set up to the rest of the game which is that not everyone is coming home alive.

In Infinite Wards’ defense this is something that is usually not talked about in First Person Shooters. Most FPS’s will have all the generic bad guys die while most, if not all, the friendly NPC’s live. The fact the Infinite Warfare acknowledges that tales of victory don’t always end with everyone living is nice. But the problem is that this game has not so subtle hints that people are going to die. When you play as the main protagonist Commander Nick Reyes he starts out as an idealist leader who believes that he can bring everyone home. In between the first two missions Reyes has very short conversations with two other characters about how being in charge means sending people to their deaths. Which is odd, since those same people end up dying. In fact, just about anyone who mentioned the perils of leading ended up dead.  I personally feel that if they didn’t try to foreshadow everyone’s death, the death scenes would have meant more.

Beside everyone dying, the overall tone of the story just reminded me of every Gundam series I have every watched. For the most part, the story of any Gundam series goes like this. People of Earth become able to colonize parts of outer space. The people of the space colonies become tired of living under the rule of Earth and want independence. Space colonies start a war with Earth and either try to destroy or take over Earth. The only difference with Infinite Warfare is the enemy sees Earth as weak and worth conquering. I personally find this type of plot just an excuse to have a large scale war. But I still find it enjoyable because the stories during the conflict are interesting, usually.  Though I would like it if this type of plot was fleshed out more. For example, the colonies were tired of following laws set by the people of Earth that only really make sense on Earth. Or they were being overly worked and most of the profits went back to Earth. I would just like something more to why one would go to war with a planet.

When it comes to the performances, I feel that no one just was going through the motions. It seemed that all of the voice actors really tried to give a good performance. The problem was that most of the characters were one dimensional and I didn’t find any of them that interesting. Except for Ethan who was a robot. The only character that felt like they had more than two emotions. Everyone else seemed to either be happy when no pew pew and mad when pew pew. Also I feel that he had the best death scene but they left his name off the memorial wall at the end.  Robot Lives Matter!

In conclusion I feel that, from a story stand point, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare tries for a more emotional pull but falls short since the brands strength has always been solid shooting mechanics. But I do appreciate them trying even though even though it looks like its trying a bit too hard to be Halo at times.(The Raven drop ship looks like the Pelican from Halo.)

Grave Danger – Greenlight

 

Grave Danger is a 2D side scrolling adventure about solving puzzles with a unique group of heroes. Each character must pull their weight and traverse the world to safety. Run, jump, climb, float, shoot, and slice your way through puzzles involving teamwork and precision!

Alternate between each hero: Dante the cowboy, Elliot the wizard, and Malice the reaper. Use their different abilities to solve puzzles and make their way out of trouble. Manage your party and keep everyone alive. Nobody likes a dead teammate. Don’t leave your heroes unattended in a dangerous spot or they might get beat up!

Source

Here is another shameless plug for a game made by some really talented people that I know. This time its JB Gaming and I would really appreciate it if my lovely readers would vote for them on Steam Greenlight. Every vote counts!

JB Gaming Twitter

Grave Danger Twitter

JB Gaming YouTube

 

Skyrim Special Edition – Just Mod It

Skyrim Special Edition has come out this past Thursday and according to steam reviews people have mixed feelings. From what I have seen their are two camps when it comes to impressions. One camp, the one I am in, is happy with the visual changes for the special edition. Then their is the other camp that is just so butt hurt. Some of the complaints are that it is very laggy, still buggy and not worth the money if you had to pay for it. Then their are the unhappy reviews from those who had to pay for it and are made that it lacks any new content. A good portion of these negative reviews feel that Bethesda basically ripped them off. To those people I say that they should have payed more attention.

According to a blog post on Bethesda’s site they listed out what was going to be in the special edition:

  • Mod support on consoles
  • Remastered art and effects
  • Volumetric lighting (“God Rays”)
  • Dynamic Depth of Field
  • Screen-space reflections
  • New snow and water shaders

Soruce

Now tell me where it says that they  would add new content? All they really promised was a fresh coat of paint for their aging game and mods for consoles. So for those who are complaining about the lack of new content just need to stop. Now in regards to the fact that the game has performance issues should not be a surprise to anyone because that is what modders are for in Bethesda’s eyes. So any one who was really hoping for a solid game out of the box were a bit delusional. But that is not to say a remastered game should not work fine from the word go. But we are talking about Bethesda and as long as we keep buying they will keep releasing buggy games.

Personally, I feel the game looks greatly improved and has worked for me so far. The real test is when I mod the fuck out of my game. Though for those who are new to Skyrim modding you should go to Skyrim Gems and Skyrim Nexus for your modding needs. Also get the unofficial patches. They work wonders.

 

BYOB on Greenlight – Go Vote

Bring Your Own Base is a base building first person shooter made by Anvilhead Studios. Since I am friends with many of the members of Anvilhead, I am asking my readers to go vote for them on Steam Greenlight.

Bring Your Own Base (BYOB) is a free-to-play, multiplayer, FPS. Players can build a base before bringing it into an arena to battle along with 3 other players. Take turns attacking and defending while trying to loot each other’s resources and return them back to your own base.

When not battling, take time to customize your base, character, platform and much much more. Scan our library of top rated bases, download them and improve upon their design.

If you enjoyed the trailer above, please consider voting for BYOB on Steam Greenlight. Also follow them on Twitter and check out the Anvilhead Studio website for future updates.

Anvilhead Twitter

Anvilhead YouTube

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sexism in Gaming – Retrospective

In the past few days, thanks to our dysfunctional political system, the talk of sexual assault and general sexism towards women is front in center. Now I am not going to talk about any one politics but this seems like a good time for personal reflection. Three years ago I wrote an article about Sexism in Gaming. In the time that has passed my views on many things have changed and have become more diverse. I also feel during this time the video game industry has gotten better about how female characters are portrayed.

An example of this gradual improvement is the female character design from Mortal Kombat 9 to 10. In MK 9, all the female characters essentially had the same body type of a large breasted supermodel. Plus, their base outfits were basically character specific bikinis. An ideal game for a young boy or girl who just hit puberty. But not ideal for getting past the idea that women are eye candy. Though for me personally, I do not fault Mortal Kombat 9 for not having women with realistic figures mostly because the entire game is not based in reality. There is a four armed behemoth that can tear people apart. Or characters can receive major trauma to major organs and get back up like nothing happened. So having women in a bikini that can cut people into tiny pieces is not out of place for this game. With that said, having all the women’s breasts defy gravity was not necessary to improve the game play.

mk-9-story-mode-sonya-blade-22090272-640-360

Sonya Blade from MK9

Now in Mortal Kombat 10 I feel that there were many intentional design changes for all the female characters. For example, all of the female characters have their own believable body types, instead of copying and pasting like in MK 9. Also there are no female skins that are just blatant eye candy. Now there are several skins that show some skin but nothing that’s just screams “fan service”. Another thing about the skins is that pretty much all of them would be practical to wear in a fight. Which is nice as long as you are not the one to have a fatality used on them. At that point it really doesn’t matter what one wears.

sonya_2render

Sonya Blade from MK10, see a difference.

This is just one of many games that have come out in the past three years that show women more than just objects. Other examples would include Overwatch and the Call of Duty Franchise. Each of these games have playable female characters that are not just there to fill time. Now there are some people who will say that even, for example, Overwatch’s female characters are still to sexualized. Or that there is not enough diversity with female characters. To those people I say “get over yourself”.

Has the industry as a whole gotten better about having respectable and interesting female characters? Yes. Does the industry still have female characters that appeal to young boys or girls, if they swing that way, that are hitting puberty? Yes. Can the industry do more to have more women in their ranks to make games to appeal to women? Yes. Will the sexualization of women ever completely go away in gaming? No. But can we all push for more games that don’t just show one dimension of an individual or group? Yes.

IP Piracy – Rant

I have beef with major corporations. Not the usual beef of their major greed and general shitiness like Martin Shkreli. My beef is with when movie and game studios complain about piracy. Now to be completely fair, maintaining one’s intellectual property is essential when that product pays your bills. But my problem is when these companies, that hold these major IP’s, complain that piracy causes them to lose money. Which in turn, they say, causes them to lay off employees. The problem with this thinking is that piracy does not make them lose actual money. No one is taking money out of their account. At most, piracy makes these companies miss out on potential dollars.

In most cases if someone pirates a movie or game they probably were not going to buy it to begin with. So I find it hard to believe that these companies are actually losing money when people pirate. At best, if someone pirates the movie and then sells bootleg versions then they have an argument. But if someone pirates a game just for their own personal use, then they are not actually stealing money from the company. With that said, they are stealing money in an abstract way.

If you pirate a game, then you are enjoying content without compensating the people who spent their time and effort to create it. Which is really a douchebag move because if you were to go to work, do your job and not get paid, you would be pissed. By pirating a game you are essentially doing the same thing to the people who created this content. To keep this in prospective, if you pirate a big AAA title game it probably won’t hurt their bottom line. They will just have to be satisfied with making 500 million dollars instead of 501 million dollars. But pirating from a mid to a small indie game may be the difference between them staying open or not.

In general, you should never pirate content because that’s just rude. Though I can understand situations where you would want to pirate content. Such as being a poor college student or the content is not accessible in your country through legal means. The first reasoning to pirate is not completely excusable and should only be done as a last resort. The second reason is completely on the creator of the content. If a major content creator delays the release of an IP for one area while its available in another, people are going to pirate. Even though people will be people, content creators can at least reduce the amount of piracy if they release thier product to everywhere at the same time. If content is easily accessible, then they are less likely to pirate.

For the most part, the claims that piracy is destroying jobs and companies are overly exaggerated. They are just mad that out of the millions of dollars that they already make, they could make another million.  But if too many people pirate then many IP’s may stop being made since the creators have no incentive to do so. So don’t be cheap and pay for content you enjoy.

(As an aside, if you have a favorite artist or game developer that is far from making it big, pay them when you can. Don’t get all butt hurt when they ask for more than $10 for a commissioned work. Don’t be cheap, if you really enjoy their work then you should pay them for their time and skill. If you are not willing to pay, then you obviously don’t care for their work that much. Don’t be that person who wants quality work but only want to pay for subpar work. Don’t Do It.)

Genetic Gaming VS Potent Empire

Genetic Gaming Esports is now on a two game losing streak which puts them at 4-3. They had a rough time against Xstasy losing 16-7. But today, they have a chance to redeem themselves when they face Potent Empire.This is a 5-2 team that will give Genetic Gaming a challenge. Especially now since thier AWP, Sirron, left the team Thursday on good terms. Despite being a man down, Genetic Gaming still has a chance to win. So watch these two teams face off at 7:30pm London Time, 1:30pm Central Time.

For more stats about the match cheak out the ESEA League site. To watch the match, follow Genetic Gaming on Steam and/or Twitter to get the IP Address to watch the match on GOTV.  

Genetic Gaming VS Xstasy

After a week of competition Genetic Gaming Esports unfortunately fell from 15th to  30th after several other teams won. But this Thursday, they have a chance to move back up the ranks when they face Xstasy. This is another 4-2 team, that at face value, seem to be evenly matched. Though on October 6th  at 7pm London Time, 1pm Central Time, Genetic Gaming will face off against Xstasy and will hopefully pull out a win!

To watch the match, follow Genetic Gaming on Steam and/or Twitter to get the IP Address to watch the match on GOTV. Also checkout the ESEA League for more rankings.