Archive for May, 2013

Thank You, Gamers!

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , , on May 22, 2013 by Rabidgames

Yesterday, Microsoft tried to woo us with their Xbox One presentation.Well, that fell flat. No one was impressed.

But the real shitstorm started with the back and forth when some MS executives started praising their glorious ideas of “online once a day keeps piracy away” and especially the incredibly dumb sermon “with the 360, your son can play YOUR game in HIS room. With the Xbox One, he can play YOUR game on YOUR console (only)”.

They really thought we were that dumb, didn’t they?

Thankfully, the rebel alliance of gaminghood managed to strike back: Microsoft got bucket loads of ridicule, scorn and good old sarcasm heaped onto their stunned heads. Thanks guys, thank you very much. It really seems everyone in Redmond was deluded into believing we would all be happy sheep bleating “Xbox One!, Xbox One!” after being fed a lacklustre demonstration of Big Brother Kinect and EA exclusive slavery. Miraculously, we are still one step away from being completely braindead consumer pets!

Now, the big question is: Will Microsoft learn from the fallout? Will Sony be able to exploit Microsoft’s attempted suicide? Will they even backpedal on treating us like mere criminals just because we dare to sell our games (and thereby get money to buy more games, a fact easily forgotten)? Fuck knows. Let’s just celebrate today’s shitstorm, folks!

Rabidgames smiles: Sometimes, the internet can make you angry. And sometimes, it makes you happy – especially considering the irony 90% of the ridicule was typed on Windows devices …

Xbox One: Will Games Be An Afterthought?

Posted in Gaming these days ..., News with tags , , , , on May 21, 2013 by Rabidgames

Well, now that the dust has settled and the hype has died down – very quickly, by the way, what’s there to say about the Xbox One?

Well, if you happen to be a fan of the social media craze or if you like to talk to Kinect (which can now read your emotions better than your wife/husband/parent), you might be happy Microsoft bunny.

If we talk about games, it’s different. Sure, EA is now a big partner, and FIFA’s Ultimate Team (which is not more than yet another microtransaction-fueled rip-off machine) will be an exclusive, there’s going to be new Halos and Forzas (who would have thought?), and oh yes, we got new material of the coming overhyped Call of Duty: Ghosts which might get yet another special deal on the Xbox One. Well, look at that:

This fucking patriotic shit looks like a fucking recruitment ad for some fucking army. It disgusts Rabidgames to no end! Of course, there’s no gameplay material, just shiny pictures glorifying war. Hooray!

Oh, there’s another revolutionary idea! Apparently, we can use our TV to … watch TV! Thanks to the Xbox One. Thank you Microsoft. You’re the best.

There’s some more news trickling in, and all of it is bullshit: No backwards compatibility, and a fee for used games. Seriously, fuck off, you greedy cunts!

Rabidgames is annoyed: Sony 1, Microsoft -1. That’s all.

Capcom Did It Again … Another DLC Rant

Posted in Gaming these days ..., News with tags , , , on May 18, 2013 by Rabidgames

It’s a shame. And it’s a disgrace. First, Capcom released Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen for half-price including ALL of the previous DLC. That’s definitely a big plus, isn’t it? Is it Capcom on its way to redemption?

No. Instead of redeeming for their DLC policy – as in Disc Locked Content – they start their mischievous practices once more: Just in time for the release of Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, there was a cosmetic pack for 160 MS points, and now we can purchase an armour pack for 240 MS points. Even worse, just look at the junk that armour DLC contains:

It’s ridiculous. The headgear ranges from boring to stupid, and the arm gear is the only decent looking one – and yet, it’s way too expensive. But dear Capcom, here’s the question: Why the fuck can’t you give us a complete game? Just for fucking once? It can’t be that hard!

Seriously – could you imagine buying a DVD where you have to pay an extra 5 quid so you can watch the deleted scenes? Could you imagine buying a book where you have to pay to unlock the view point of another character? Well, could you? No? Then why the fuck do we keep playing this fucking game? Are we stupid?

And don’t get Rabidgames wrong, it’s not just Capcom taking the piss! That incredible story about Metro: Last Light and the Ranger difficulty, the one “as it’s meant to be played”, well, the one which is DLC (free for those who pre-ordered but still taken out of the game)? Bioware and their history of giving us a DLC trunk (Origins), DLC characters (that golem and that archer, Zaeed), and of course our dear old friend Javik with some of his sound files ALREADY IN  the retail version of Mass Effect 3? And then we have Ubisoft and 385.082 different versions of all their games, making it impossible to purchase a complete version of the game – while paying full price, of course. And we’re talking about full-fleshed missions cut out of games’ bodies here. Fuck all of you!

But fuck us, too! All of us. After all, we eagerly open our mouths and swallow the shit hurled at us. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “yeah, those 2 pounds ain’t too bad” or “but … but that horse armour looks so super cool!” Except … do it ten times, and you’ve paid 20 quid for (hopefully) useless cosmetic stuff. Although it has to be said this kind of “one weapon here, one armour there” DLC does not even enrage Rabidgames to no end. The flaming kind of rage is reserved for the special guests; the Javiks, the Ranger modes and the locked-away-by-pre-order-contents.

It’s easy to believe bullshit PR farts such “digital sales are the backbone of the industry – without it, we couldn’t afford to produce AAA games”. Why bullshit you ask? Look at Skyrim – no pre-order DLCs, no Day 1 DLC, three expansion packs with no relevance to the main game. Plus, you know, those guys put some effort into their DLC! And then, there’s CD Projekt Red and The Witcher 2. It has been said before here, and it will most likely be said many times again – if a small team can give away tons of new content to us FOR FREE, why can’t the big guns?

And no, EA abandoning their online passes only sounds good at first sight – or does anybody actually believe this is a sign of kind-hearted compassion or charity? There’s a storm brewing.

Rabidgames rages: What is more annoying? Corporate gaming exploiting us, or us apathetic sheep consuming without thought? Hard to say. But the worst is yet to come: Always-online, tying accounts to one console, streaming, Free-to-play/Pay-to-Win or micro-transactions in single player games are all ominous heralds already rearing their ugly heads. We’re bound for self-imposed digital slavery, and we’re choosing it willingly.

Dead Island Riptide or Same Old Fun?

Posted in Played & Explained with tags , on May 16, 2013 by Rabidgames

Apparently, there has been some confusion about Dead Island Riptide; it is not Dead Island 2, and yet, it is a full priced game, not an add-on. Well, that sucks. Look at Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen and you see how it’s done properly. Then again, we should put it into perspective: Why treat Riptide differently from FIFA 201x, the boring Assassin’s Creed Revelations or, let’s say, the annual same WWE games? Exactly, we shouldn’t.

That out of the way, here’s another thing: don’t listen to most of the reviews out there. It’s the second Dead Island game, and still people (even professionals) are comparing it to Left 4 Dead or that other zombie game (pick your favourite) … And for the last fucking time, Dead Island is a motherfucking Action RPG!!! Compare Riptide with Diablo 2 or Borderlands, that’s perfectly fine, but not with Resident Rising 4 Dead, for fuck’s sake! Or would you compare GTA to Call of Duty because both have guns?

Alright, enough with the rants. Except, let’s rant about the weakness of Dead Island Riptide: the technical aspects. It’s horrible. Whatever bug or glitch comes to mind, you’ll find it. Mission markers disappearing, food having no effect on your character, zombies appearing out of nowhere 5 meters before or behind you – it’s all in there. It’s a shame Techland did not learn anything from the sometimes pretty much broken first Dead Island. Yes, Riptide is a bit smoother, but it’s still technically shabby. Here’s a taste of it:

The worst thing though: Even after an obligatory Day 1 patch, there are no awesome legendary weapons in Riptide. Rabidgames has played the game for 40 hours, and there have been only a couple of generic orange/gold/yellow weapons – not a single legendary one. Let’s hope it’ll be patched … but chances are it’ll be a costly DLC pack called “Legendary weapons – only 400 MS points!” …

Alright, rant time is over. Actually, Riptide is a rollercoaster of fun! If you loved Dead Island, you’ll love Riptide. If you didn’t, well, don’t even look at the game then. Fair enough. It’s more or less a direct sequel – gameplaywise and storywise. It’s still solid B movie level, it’s still gory as we like it (red and rare), and it’s still the same zombie dismembering fun. If you play alone, you still have to be careful, you’re quickly overwhelmed even by 4 Walkers, and carefully navigating dark cellars might reward you with a Zombie sucking your brains out out of the dark.

Okay, there is some new stuff: Base defence is the best novelty; you can level up your base staff’s weapons or shops, and occasionally, you have to coordinate the defence against zombie hordes. And believe Rabidgames, hordes is the correct word here! Those missions are the most fun to be had in Riptide.

There are also new zombie types to be found in the new Dead Island: Grenadiers who throw guts at you (easy-peasy), Wrestlers who pound you into the ground (avoid close contact, mines take care of them easily), and those fucking Screamers killing you (erm, just hack away at them if you can, otherwise, run!). There are also some new weapons (mines, more grenades, sniper rifles and even a freaking missile launcher) to make life easier in the new 2.5 maps. And you can use boats! Hooray – except they’re horrible to steer! The missions are a bit more varied although most of them are still of the “go there, kill X and pick up Z while I wonder Y” category.

Long story short, Dead Island Riptide is meaty yet expensive fast food for the fans of the genre (mind you, the Action RPG genre). One more thing though: The game begs to be played in analogue mode. The control to slash heads whenever you want is definitely worth the initial weirdness of the analogue controls.

Rabidgames feasts: If it wasn’t for the questionable pricing and the ridiculous amount of technical issues, Dead Island Riptide could have well been a serious blockbuster. The way things are, however, it is a nice light snack for connoisseurs of the hacking and slashing arts; there’s great fun to be had for a while, but the flavour needs to be improved if it is there to stay.

Will Watch Dogs Merge Realities?

Posted in News with tags , , on May 11, 2013 by Rabidgames

Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs surely is an ambitious project. A new video from Eurogamer (accompanied by this article) portrays how ambitious it really is:

It all looks pretty good: The graphics, the open world, the options (stealth, violence, hacking), the random stuff about the inhabitants of Watch Dogs’ world, the side missions … and of course, the intriguing player-to-player interaction which could really stand out:

“That person was a real player carrying out an objective within their own game who had unknowingly become part of your city. Sometimes you will be told if another player will be watching you during these objectives. Sometimes you won’t.”

That just sounds like next-gen multiplayer – and it sounds like fun! Imagine playing Watch Dogs and trailing someone, but you can never be sure if he’s man or machine (on a side note – it would be awesome if the AI in such missions would show erratic behaviour as well).

Rabidgames is excited: Watch Dogs has the potential to be a serious contender to GTA V and Bioshock Infinite in the battle for GOTY. If Ubisoft have learned from the flaws of their other brand names (nonsensical story in Far Cry 3, bugs and linear missions in Assassin’s Creed 3), Watch Dogs will be an amazing game.

Another Saints Row IV Trailer, Another Worry Raised

Posted in News with tags , , , , on May 9, 2013 by Rabidgames

Well, to make it short, there’s a video from PAX which highlights some of the new stuff in Saints Row IV:

Yes, monster trucks are back in Saints Row IV, and the guitaRPG looks awesome. But unfortunately, that’s about it.

Seriously, it’s too much of everything. That mess is not Saints Row anymore. Superpowers and that focus on melee stuff just looks like the bastard child of Prototype and Crackdown with a postnatal Matrix injection. And worst of all, it all seems terribly random. And really … a dubstep gun? It’s not funny anymore, and it’s not 2012 anymore.

It really seems we’ll get the Saints Row The Third expansion Enter the Dominatrix as full priced game. Great.

Rabidgames is disillusioned: Well, that doesn’t look like the Saints Row we used to love. It looks like a silly montage of reanimated slapstick humour, repeated over and over again. Saints Row IV might willingly pave the way for GTA V to reclaim the sandbox throne – without even putting up much of a fight.

The Axis of Evil: Disney, EA and Poor Old Star Wars …

Posted in Gaming these days ..., News with tags , , , on May 8, 2013 by Rabidgames

So you thought it was a bad day when Lucas sold out his heritage to Disney? Oh boy, that story now feels like a good time back then!

Now we know that Electronic “Arts” has the license to bleed the last life out of the Star Wars franchise. Granted, The Force Unleashed 2 was awfully short … but EA? Seriously? E fuckin’ A?

But hey, maybe it’s not the end of the world. Let’s have a look what might happen in the future in a galaxy far away:

Star Wars: Battlefield of Hoth – DICE delivers a pure Battlefield experience including TIE fighters and AT/ATs. Actually, that one could be cool!

Star Wars in Dead Space – Of course, it’s going to be a co-op only horror experience set in the darkest corners of the universe … or probably just in your local Tatooine pub next door. Sadly, you’ll be able to use the force via micro-transaction only.

FIFA Star Wars – Imagine an epic final between the Empire and Droids in the Death Star. Or what about Jedi vs Ewoks in a tree stadium? And the, you can finally build your Ultimate Dream Team: Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Yoda and Chewbacca all in one hell of a team!

Mass Effect vs Star Wars – A previously unknown mass portal opens a door to another galaxy far, far away. Including Shepard’s 495th clone and the infamous day 1 DLC “From the Cinder of the Old Republic“. Plus, the ending depends on the colour of your light saber!

Star Wars: Burnout – How many X-Wings can you crash in one go? And let’s play bowling with asteroid fields! Another fine Premium to Play experience delivered by EA.

Command & Conquer Coruscant – Control the armies of the brave Jedi forces or the ominous armies of Darth Kane! No one knows if it’s going to be F2P and MP only though … who needs a fucking campaign these days anyway?

Mercenaries: The Fett Dynasty – A galaxy-stretching open world experience where your loyalty belongs to currency. Your goal? Blow shit up, of course! Rumours are we might be able to control the Death Star!

Rabidgames pukes: No, this news is bad news. EA might be successful, but the price is too high for us few old school gamers: gleichschaltung of all games, forced MP, online passes and micro transactions, no more innovation – say hello to a new generation of stale Star Wars themed shooters. Needless to say, Rabidgames would be an incredibly happy Sith Lord if proven wrong …

New Saints Row IV Trailer Shows Some Crazy Presidential Shit

Posted in News with tags , , , on May 7, 2013 by Rabidgames

Well, we knew Saints Row IV would be crazy as chickenshit on crack. But the latest trailer shows it goes beyond insanity and back. Watch for yourself:

Well, it might still be Saints Row, although with a healthy does of Crackdown and Prototype infused, but that just seems too much.

We’ll be playing the president of the USf’nA and we’ll have super powers to kick some alien ass. Saints Row The Third made the mistake of putting crazy fucking insane shit before stuff like … gameplay, narrative or good characters.

Even the lifeblood of the Saints Row Series, freedom, took a hit; customisation was worse (less clothes, no fighting styles, the same cribs all over the place), gangs could not be tackled in whatever order we wanted to, hell, they didn’t even fight amongst each other anymore, and exploring Steelport was dull – no hidden caves, weird graveyards or pink sea bunnies anymore.

Rabidgames is sceptical: Of course, Saints Row IV will probably still be tons of fun, but the question is – what about depth? Saints Row 2 felt like Tarantino, The Third felt more like a Bay movie … if done wrong, Saints Row IV could end up like an Uwe Boll movie – rather embarassing to watch and play …

What The Video Game Industry Can Learn From Netflix

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , on May 5, 2013 by Rabidgames

“The best way to combat piracy isn’t legislatively or criminally but by giving good options.”

These are the words of Netflix “Chief Content Officer” – let’s call him boss – Ted Sarandos. And it’s a simple truth told in a recent interview. Piracy is a problem everywhere – movie industry, music industry, book industry, and of course the video games industry. For many years, the big players in the industry preferred going to courts – remember the old Napster and poor Lars Ulrich?

Now it’s more about lobbying governments to introduce harsh anti-piracy regulations and to force all ISPs to store all our data for years – and making it available to the vultures of the industries, lawyers. But then again, some people have woken up and realised you can make money with making your customers happy – think about Spotify, Netflix and their likes. Certainly, that’s the future. Why would you download movies or TV shows via Bit Torrent when you could also watch them instantly? Of course, people with slow internet connections don’t profit, but they weren’t able to pirate stuff beforehand, too. And yes, Netflix also suffers from late additions to its roster for various reasons (especially outside the U.S.), and new movies are still a rare sight. Oh, and there should be more Jackie Chan flicks!

Now let’s have a look at the video games industry. Nintendo knows nothing about online marketing, that’s for sure, and Microsoft still sticks to paying for Xbox LIVE Gold without us getting anything worthwhile in return. That’s the last century approach. Sony, however, got it right with PlayStation Plus; pay a minor fee and get a couple of free games (or more) a month. This just sounds like the future.

If we have to rely on streaming or downloading games (a prospect not exactly welcomed by collectors of physical media such as Rabidgames), this future should at least contain value for money. And Sony’s approach definitely sounds better than the traditional “pay 40 quid up front” if we cannot sell it again if the game is crap.

Rabidgames wonders: The content world has changed – be it for better or worse. And it is up to the three giants to react to that change. One option is always online and no more second hand games, yes. But is treating gamers like criminals and idiots really the right approach? Is PS Plus a sign of things to come? Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo should embrace change. Yes, you can!

Scientific Thougths about Mass Effect 3 … An Excuse For The Ending?

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , , , , , on May 4, 2013 by Rabidgames

Rabidgames has found this rather interesting article.Yes, discussions about that Mass Effect 3 ending are so 2012, but whatever.

One guy explains the story of Mass Effect 3 quite sciencey with the Kardashev scale and the Drake Equation … wait what? Just read the article, damn it! Or, well, just listen to this rather amazing definition of the latter by Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper:

Got it? Back to the article. He might have a point. In a nutshell: Whatever happens in any galaxy, there will inevitably be war between someone and someone else’s buddy. Our real lives are proof enough of this theory (still Type 0), the Mass Effect story proves it as well (the space faring races are Type 1, the Reapers Type 2, The Crucible Type 3). Of course, the assumption is that all sentient species developing technologies are aggressive as humans could be flawed from the beginning but let’s not concern ourselves with puny details. Maybe Mass Effect 3 is built on this theory.

Apart from all the fascinating science, there is also plenty of talk about the well-known issues of Mass Effect 3’s plot, but he also clarifies some misconceptions (IT supporters might disagree there). Well, it’s not as interesting as the scientific theories, but it’s still a good read.

Rabidgames mumbles: It’s an interesting theory, that’s for sure. If you believe the ending might have something to do with science … well, one or two writers might have something in mind, yes, but when facing the convoluted mess the ending still is, it’s rather unlikely – why should one theory replace another?