Saturday, December 14, 2013

Let's take a look at a week in gaming from 12/11/13 to 12/13/13. Below is a feature discussing some of the most anticipated RPGs coming to next gen consoles.

December 11th 2013
A little known game called Democracy 3 released earlier this year and was lauded as “The Ultimate Political Strategy Game.” In this political and economical simulator, you can control and adjust everything from taxes, to research funds, to normalizing the death penalty, and to reinstating the draft. It is both a niche game of interest and an educational tool for those who seek for a more interactive lesson on politics brought to us by Cliff Harris’ studio Positech Games.
Harris sought to advertise their latest game on Gamespot, who’s owned by CBS. However the advertisement was rejected. Here’s the conversation as posted by Harris:
"Message from the publisher: I’m sorry, but your ad banner is inappropriate."
"so… why exactly? Or do I just spend my money elsewhere?"
" apologize, but we can not promote any politics as this is a sensitive topic."
This sediment effectively stifles the maturation of video games. There have been several games that discuss controversial topics including slavery, abortion, prison pregnancy, and Anne Frank’s experience in the Holocaust. It’s difficult to comprehend that a medium which has received incessant criticism over the past two decades for juvenile and violent content, that once it steers away from the stereotypes and the conventions, games like Choice Texas and now Democracy 3 are panned for their content.
Cliff Harris makes a profound point in response to CBS’s and Gamespot’s rejection:
" WTF? I bet ads for games like hitman, or GTA, or games where you get slow-mo closeups of people’s skulls being blasted apart by high-caliber bullets are just fine. But discuss income tax? OH NOES THE WORLD WILL END! I saw a clip of mortal kombat on that charlie brooker doumenatry that made me feel sick, but apparently we as an industry are just FINE with that… It’s stuff like this that sometimes makes me ashamed to be in this industry. Half of the industry wants to be grown up and accepted as art, the other half have the mentality of seven year olds. I’m pretty cynical, but I never expected my ads for a game about government-simulation to be too controversial to be shown (for money no less…).
My next game will be gratuitous homicide battles. I bet everyone will let me promote that one eh?"
Note: I caution folks not to point the finger at Gamespot, but at CBS. We don't know Gamespot's involvement or weight that they have in making decisions in approving advertising as it seems that CBS's influence supersedes the website's, just as the same case might have occurred if IGN was still owned by FOX.
Source: Positech
VIA: Polygon

December 12th 2013
What’s your definition of a real job?
Is it being a social worker like me? Working an office job, or earning some salary income between the hours of 9-5? Is it working in retail, landscaping, or nursing?
Working a job is doing a service, whether that may be for entertainment or making someone else’s life more convenient and/or better for monetary compensation.
And yes, [that] includes YouTubers.
It’s been rather difficult to ignore or avoid the metaphorical s**t storm YouTube has bestowed upon its users. This week YouTube issued its Content ID (their version of a copyright infringement tracker) which track YouTube videos, particularly those with attached advertisements, and if there’s any content – whether that may be video or audio, they will be flagged and the revenue generated from advertisement will be terminated.
Content ID has been catastrophic to the gaming community on YouTube, to internet personalities who earn their keep posting videos on YouTube of Lets Play commentaries, reviews, and any uploads that utilize game footage. Many of these personalities dedicate themselves full time after having had quit their conventional jobs and threw their entire weight behind building video empires, building reputation, and making money for it.
Doing something you love isn’t always a cake walk. Any reputable video game journalist will tell you that their job isn’t easy. I myself loose hours reading material and writing blogs 5-6 days a week. I can’t imagine what these YouTube users sacrifice working nearly double the amount of hours of a traditional work week writing content, setting up equipment, editing footage, maintaining their creative energy day in and day out producing the content we enjoy on YouTube.
YouTube is effectively loosing apart of its identity with Content ID. YouTube once could pride itself as an intuitive platform where creative minds could channel their passion in a form of expression and make money for it. That’s an incredible opportunity to be able to provide. But this week, YouTube has ripped that livelihood out of people’s hands, ripped that opportunity for those who have just gotten started, and ripped the very existence of that community.
Here’s what the very outlandish, and often violent Francis has calmly and profoundly stated in response to this:

Originally reported on December 11th 2013
With the reveal the next Fallout after Kotaku’s investigative work combing through documents obtained from a Kotaku reader, RPG fans have become increasingly excited for what the genre will bring next gen. Here are some massive role playing games set to release on new hardware.
Fallout (untitled)

We can’t call it Fallout 4 just yet, just like we cant call the new Uncharted game Uncharted 4 until official confirmation. The build up to the next installment in the rightfully renowned RPG series has been a blue balling wang tease for quite some time. The Boston setting rumors, the countdown site, the weeks and days leading up to the VGX. The latest documents obtained by Kotaku are all but confirmed by Bethesda, and we can begin to cautiously get excited for another Fallout game.
The information revealed is extensive casting and character descriptions. The mechanics and design of the game itself remains under wraps. But the simple notion of knowing a Fallout game is in development is enough to make us salivate. Fallouts 3 and New Vegas were massive titles in quite the literal sense. These, along with Oblivion and Skyrim, matched the scope of the Fallout games of last gen. Within both franchises, we’ve clearly seen the hardware work to its fullest, never able to perform perfectly. Just the thought alone of a Fallout game taking advantage of next gen technology is exciting to say the least. Just imagine a better looking, better running Fallout game without the many bugs that have plagued the series last gen. But we can be certain that the next Fallout game won’t just be a better looking, better performing one. Whoever is behind this project (ehem… Bethesda) is going to add a lot more than just pretty graphics.
The Witcher 3

The Witcher 2 was one of the most underappreciated RPGs of last generation. It too was in many ways subject to the limitations of the available hardware at the time. Even on PC, The Witcher 2 was narrower in scope. With only a few locations that instilled a sense of scale, this RPG was sectioned off into self contained hub spaces which was likely in compensation to the insanely lush and detailed environments. It played to its strengths as a more linear experience with one of the best lores in RPG history, even outclassing some of the best stories told in the genre.
The Witcher 3 reeks of next gen; not just in the sheer size and eye watering visuals, but in narrative ambition too. The Witcher 3 looks to carry over the series’ level of storytelling and populate it across the vast worlds you explore in it. Mature telling, unapologetically complex combat system, and a massive world to explore, it’s almost as if the bar is being set too high too early with The Witcher 3.
Dragon Age: Inquisition

This isn’t a popular sediment, but Dragon Age 2 is one of my favorite RPGs of all time, flaws and all. Bioware took their exceptional talents in character development and outclassed themselves in this loosely relevant follow up to Dragon Age: Origins. But even for those who hated Dragon Age 2, Inquisition looks to be the perfect marriage between what Dragon Age 2 was trying to do, and what Dragon Age: Origins fans missed about the franchise.
Like many next gen titles we’re looking forward to, Dragon Age: Inquisition is properly large, and from the demo we’ve seen earlier last month, it's properly seamless as well with no visible load times shown. Full character customization is back from Dragon Age: Origins allowing you to equip armor, weapons, and equipment to all of your party members. The dialogue encounters have also said to have evolved, not only factoring decisions made, but which characters are present during the conversation, and allegedly character stats as well. Lastly, we’ve also gotten a brief look at the full issuing command screen, returning for those who missed it in Dragon Age 2. One-to one action combat isn’t going anywhere, and I’m glad for it; but more strategic fans will appreciate the tactical option for combat.
Final Fantasy XV

Before seeing the inevitable fifteenth proper installment of the very popular Final Fantasy series, I was convinced that this next game would have its work cut out for it after the very divisive, and by many accounts, flawed, Final Fantasy XIII. That is, until I saw this extended E3 video:
Final Fantasy XV doesn’t just look to take inspiration from Kingdom Hearts’ combat system, it draws direct inspiration from their cinematic direction, most notably Final Fantasy: Advent Children. This gameplay video doesn’t only make Final Fantasy XV look to be one of the best action RPGs of next gen, but I’ll be the first to say that – again, based on footage – one of the best action games of next gen.
Honorable mentions include…
… The Division, The Elder Scrolls Online, Destiny, Kingdom Hearts 3, and quite possibly the recently revealed No Man’s Sky.
What RPGs are you looking forward to next gen?

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