Archive for the ‘virtual worlds/video games’ Category

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BioWare writer blasted for being female
BioWare writer blasted for being female

The internet had one of its periodic explosions over something inconsequential this weekend (not Whitney Houston) which, as it's prone to do, became Massive Drama as the initial issue was exacerbated and then picked up by more mainstream awareness. In this particular example, BioWare employee Jennifer Hepler joined Twitter. If, like me, the significance of this action flew over your head allow me to explain what I've learned from my deep minutes of research into her identity.

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21 February 2012
Jim Sterling reminds us how good gays behave [UPDATE] With response
Jim Sterling reminds us how good gays behave [UPDATE] With response

I do not like Jim Sterling. This isn't anything I'd really classify as a recent or sudden discovery, but rather — much like with 4chan trolls in general — something I prefer not to talk about much because Jim Sterling is the sort of individual who thrives on negative feedback, seeking to inspire as much of it as he can to validate some stylised image of himself as a Disaffected Internet Cool Kid. As a regular writer for Destructoid (amongst other places) he typifies the mentality that makes most people think of immature, greasy basement dwellers when "gamer" is said out loud.

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1 January 2012
Flashpoints, or how I learned to like The Old Republic
Flashpoints, or how I learned to like The Old Republic

I didn't really have high hopes for BioWare's foray into the crowded MMOG field — I've consistently tried out most releases since WoW came out so many millions of players ago and the results have ranged from interesting to boring, but never long-lasting. It wasn't that SWTOR itself was particularly bad, but if it hadn't been for the discovery of Flashpoints shortly after leaving the starting area I might have walked away from the game thinking it nothing more than pretty cut-scenes framing "kill ten rats" quests.

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26 December 2011
Capcom's latest attempt at dissuading customers from buying its games
Capcom's latest attempt at dissuading customers from buying its games

Ever willing to push the bar when it comes to new innovations in dispelling the sort of feelings traditionally associated with that activity known as gaming, publishers are going to great lengths to attach chains to legitimate purchases in the misguided (and overwhelmingly unsupported) notion that it will prevent piracy. Almost as terrifying to publishers as piracy is the used-game industry, and to this end more and more are including one-time use codes for significant pieces of content that are only available to second-hand buyers if they pony over twenty bucks for new keys. With this in mind, seemingly, Capcom has released a title for the Nintendo 3DS, Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D, which has its own innovative twist on the DRM schemes of yore: the cartridge contains a single saved game file which cannot be reset or deleted, locking the player to a single route of progression through the game.

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3 July 2011
Duke Nukem Forever, or how the gaming industry has finally finished puberty
Duke Nukem Forever, or how the gaming industry has finally finished puberty

At its heart, Duke Nukem Forever is a first person shooter that basks in its own heritage, more interested in reminding the player of how awesome Duke is — and by extension, the series itself — rather than providing any new reason to think so. "I'm amazing because I think I am" is the motto of 2011's Duke, and Gearbox's implementation seems more interested in being offensive for the sake of it than for any sense of funny.

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14 June 2011
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Ruminating on "League of Legends"
Ruminating on "League of Legends"

The "Defence of the Ancients" genre has exploded in recent history, inspired in part by highly successful spin-off titles such as League of Legends. In turn developed by some of the people involved in the original Warcraft 3 custom map, "LoL" has won a number of prestigious awards and boasts a userbase in the millions. I first tested a review beta of it back in September 2009 and while my initial impressions were not at all favourable, a few months ago I started playing it again out of curiosity at its immense success given the lacklustre experience I had originally.

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4 May 2011
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Epic Citadel raises the bar for iOS videogames
Epic Citadel raises the bar for iOS videogames

Epic Games' Unreal Engine has been the backbone for a ridiculous number of titles. At Apple's music event Wednesday, they announced an upcoming action-RPG titled Project Sword that would finally put Vice President Mark Rein's comments that devices like the iPad had the same graphics capabilities as consoles to the test. Epic has certainly had a lot of nice things to say for the iPad, calling it the "console of the future," but until now it's been hard to see them quantify that comment with concrete examples.

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2 September 2010
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