Topics I've Started
06.01.2013 @ 11:022012 was an interesting year for Video Games, one that certainly got a lot more diversity mixed in it than 2011. We got games like the Unfinished Swan and Journey which, despite the odds, managed to get into mainstream media and be recognized as compared to full fledged retail releases like the Halos and Assassin’s Creeds.That’s an incredibly amazing feat, and it currently puts us in a weird transitory year that seems to have a lot more secrets in the works for us.
More importantly however, the year had such a diverse selection of titles that it made choosing my favorite games of the year that much more daunting.
But finally I managed to choose my top 5 games of 2012 and here they are, in no particular order:
- The Walking Dead: This game deserves quite a lot of praise when it comes to the way it used storytelling and character development as a mechanism to get me completely hooked on it. The Walking Dead made me care SO MUCH about the choices I made, that it became extremely hard watching their consequences unfold. Morality is a concept that the Walking Dead by Telltale doesn't take lightly, and that shows throughout every shred of the entire experience.
- Journey: thatgamecompany has certainly created a series of interesting games with Flower and Flow, though none of their previous pieces of work come close to what Journey was able to achieve. Explaining what Journey is is in fact a pretty hard thing to do. Some call it an unparalleled experience, others simply ask you to just pick up the controller and enjoy the sheer beauty of the world you are about to set foot into. I however, would tell you that Journey is certainly unlike any game you've ever played before. So if you have a PS3, go pick it up NOW, because it's worth every penny paid.
- Sleeping Dogs: I was excited about Sleeping Dogs the moment I first heard about it. Setting an open-world Sandbox game in Hong Kong was something that I really wanted to see done well in a Video Game. Sleeping Dogs nailed it right on the head. It didn't necessarily bring in anything revolutionary, but it combined a different set of solid mechanics really well. The game had an engrossing story, enjoyable combat, and a world filled with tons things to do. It nits all those pieces together well enough to create quite the memorable experience.
- Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward The sequel to 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors was everything that I wanted and more. It took the depth of it's predecessor and just expanded it immensely. It introduced a set of new charecters that were all interesting, and had backgrounds that screamed "I NEED TO KNOW MORE" . It also had puzzles that were much harder than the first game, and that required a lot more thinking to go through successfully. If you were a fan of 999, then VLR is what you need. I'm 12 hours in and it doesn't look like I'm stopping anytime soon.
- Mark of the Ninja Stealth done right. That's how I would describe Mark of the Ninja. The 2D Side-scrolling Stealth game does the genre justice by bringing every bit of awesome the genre could offer and wrapping it together for your enjoyment. A slick presentation, gorgeous visuals, and gameplay that is both open and rewarding is what sets this game apart from the pack. Loved every bit of my time with it.
I discuss and explain my choices further in today’s video:
How about you guys, what were you favorite games of the past year?
19.11.2012 @ 20:12Video Game piracy was huge, and to some extent it still is, in the Middle East. Growing up, everyone used to pirate games. It was the norm and essentially everyone just accepted it. There were several reasons as to why that happened. Prime among them were limited availability in legitimate retail copies & completely absurd pricing for the titles available.
If you were lucky enough to find a retail copy of a game you wanted to buy, then its usually ridiculously overpriced. Sometimes triple the original price it's supposed to be sold at. That discouraged most people from picking up legitimate retail copies of games.
In recent years however, especially since the launch of the Playstation 3, piracy decreased dramatically. Shops around the region started selling games at their proper prices and that slowly pushed more people away from piracy. Add to that how essential Online play has become, and you've got a move that shifted the Video Game completely within the region.
Since I was born and raised in the tiny Middle Eastern country of Bahrain, I wanted to share my own experience with Video Game Piracy.So I put up a video talking about why Piracy was so prevalent in the region, how Piracy negatively affected us, and what happened since that led to a move away from Video Game Piracy.
What's your experience like with Piracy?
01.11.2012 @ 22:38Day 1 patches are becoming the norm these days.
The most recent example of a game abusing the system is Medal Of honor: Warfighter. The game was shipped out barely running and a huge Day 1 patch was put out to essentially make the game playable. There are plenty of developers out there that are going the same route EA did with Medal Of Honor and I believe it's getting out of hand. Patches were implemented as system that allows further tweaking to the game after it's out in the market. Currently however, plenty of developers are putting out games with lack of polish and just relying on patching the game at a later time.
So what if you weren't able to access the Internet on the day of purchase, or had issues downloading the patch? Are you supposed to play a near beta version of the game?
This discussion also leads into consumer entitlement. What are you buying when you pick up a retail copy? Is it ok for the developer to give you, what is essentially, an incomplete product and then promise a day 1 fix?
I talk more in one of my videos, so feel free to check it out .
26.10.2012 @ 12:23DRM has been a pain in the last couple of years and publishers have implemented a system that actually punishes it's own consumers. In an attempt to fight off piracy, so many restrictions were put in place such as being "always online" to limit the amount of copies pirated. While the idea of protecting your product is understandable, the way DRM has been implement is far FAR from what the system is supposed to do.
That's why I really love services like gog.com which takes DRM and throw it out the door. They put the consumers in front rather than worrying about using a system that has proved, time and time again, to be constantly ineffective in reducing the amounts of copies pirated.
So in the video below I express my opinion on why we as a community should support DRM-Free services like gog.com and how that can possibly cause a shift in the industry to move away from DRM:
24.10.2012 @ 09:45I'm a big fan of CD Projekt RED.
I love what they did with the Witcher series and how amazing their interaction is with their own fanbase. They love to constantly respond to criticism brought up by the community and effectively improve their games time after time. They want to create rich and mature experiences without any compromises, something that many other developers shy away from.
A couple of months ago we got teased with a brand new project that CD Projekt RED was working on. While the name at the time was unknown, we knew the new game was based on Cyberpunk 2020, the original pen and paper game set in the Cyberpunk universe. More importantly, the creator of that game. Mike Pondsmith, was announced to be working together directly with CD Projekt RED to ensure that the game portrays the universe as accurately as possible.
Personally I was only introduced to Cyberpunk a couple of months ago. My friend convinced me to watch Blade Runner and I came out of the movie thinking this was definitely one of my favorite Sci-Fi movies ever. I eventually began to research Cyberpunk and was utterly fascinated with the concept and idea behind it.
Now that some new details are up, I'm really excited about this game. Everything about it seems highly interesting and the team working behind it have yet to disappoint.
I also made a Youtube video expressing my thoughts on the game, so check it if you want:
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