Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sounds like gaming

Must actually play what I buy.

Steam summer sale is still going on and while I haven't gone as mad with it as I might have ... I've not played that much of what I have bought. A lot of that is down to me being in the work type schedule. After a day's staring at a VDU and using my brain to think through the issues, I'm often not actually wanting to cook more brain cells on a game that's going to want me to think quickly.

So I've been watching the gaming instead through youtube channels including Totalbiscuit (as Totalhalibut), Jesse Cos (as Omfgcata), Dodger's coffeh and PressHeart videos and the Yogscast series (too prolific to link). They never forget something absolutely key - games are supposed to be FUN. And they have a lot of fun with making their videos. I laugh a lot when watching them.

Oh and it also lets me check games out to see if :

They're worth spending money on;
They're my type of game;

And other stuff like that. I've watched some of the videos and recognised that while it may well be an excellent game of its type, it's not one I'd be interested in or spend much time on.

In that case, I wonder why I'm reinstalling League of Legends as I type ... And that's instead of getting more into what I have bought on the Steam sale so far :

Beyond Good & Evil - from Sweet SteamGirl
Borderlands - post apocalyptic shooter with radical graphics style
Trine 2 - bought for soundtrack really, sideways scrolling puzzler
Civilisation V - empire building evolved
Civ 4 Colonisation - conquer the New World and then tell the people back home to poke off

But at least I've managed to resist things like Anno 2070 & HOMM6 (bad DRM), Sins of a Solar Empire (not enough discount, think it'd send me back to Moo2), Warlord-Master of the Arcane (unfinished) and a few others. Things like the Total War series - the developers of these have a very long history of pushing out games that are only 90% complete. There's only so much of that behaviour which can be tolerated. Or should be tolerated.

That's one massive problem with the gaming world at the moment. Hype wins over good common sense. It's quite well known that the Total War games and a few others have issues. Most of the top selling games have issues. The Skyrim UI is unusable compared to modded versions of it. Pretty much anything by Bethesda is unstable and everything Ubisoft do is shackled by obsessive and unstable DRM. Yet hype combined with inaccurate and Advertising Biased reviews in magazines leads to these games being bestsellers.

It's a pity really. And it affects other areas of the media like what we see on Telly.

We don't get fed Good Stuff. We get fed stuff that is expected to sell. Revolutionary, "interesting" programmes and games get abandoned in favour of what seems a good bet. We lose good series like A Town Called Eureka, Sanctuary, Firefly, Terra Nova and Defying Gravity and keep stuff like True Blood, Game of Thrones (not seen) and Spartacus. I'm pretty much addicted to vampire stuff, so for me to abandon True Blood after 1 series due to its writing being more boring than watching paint dry suggests something had gone horribly wrong there.

Quick music aside - if we got forcefed the mainstream rubbish all the time in music, we'd be missing out on amazing voices singing about Clowns (Alison Goldfrapp - I could listen to that voice all day).

Sadly it's part of majority rule ... We're a huge collection of minorities. Each minority has its own taste, which while unique overlaps the taste of the other minorities. My sister and I both love Bat For Lashes but we have opposite tastes for Alisha's Attic (love 'em) and Muse (dislike - all sounds the same).

When it comes to getting pushed stuff in the gaming world, companies steer towards what's likely to be popular. Which means :

Lots of first person shooters
Third person shooters
Cutscenes that interfere with the action
On rails games that have skyscraper sized plot hammers
Civ clones and Total War clones

And other stuff like that. It means I've not really got into the modern games (Mass Effect maybe?) like I did classics like Neverwinter Nights, Moo2, Tie Fighter and MoM. Mentioning Tie Fighter - where's the space sims these days ? Those died out because they apparently didn't sell. Well ... the original X Wing kickstarted the sale of many 80486 PCs. (Last century)

And I'll rest on a horrible thought I just had that makes me feel old - one or two readers may not have been born when X Wing and Moo were released ... Lol :-) And they definitely weren't here when I was addicted to BBC classics like Elite & Revs !

PS I wonder how much of that reluctance to game is down to me deep down really wanting to be out somewhere with someone attractive and intelligent enjoying stuff like dinner, movies, shows together ? Playing with yourself can pass the time but playing with others is where the real fun is.

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