After what seems like a thousand years, Destiny, one of the games I was incredibly excited over when it was announced at E3 in 2013, has been released to the public. As someone who didn’t get into the beta (and additionally not having the specs to even play the beta), I’ve been waiting with bated breath to get my hands on it. And now that the moment has come and the initial excitement of playing a new game has passed, I think I feel safe enough giving my opinions on what I’ve played. No, I have not beaten the game yet—I am not one of those people that hit the level cap in the first couple of days. But this article isn’t really about the story anyway. Why? Because there’s not really a story worth caring about. Surprisingly, it’s not Destiny‘s fault either, but this still doesn’t stop the game from being somewhat disappointing in the larger scheme of things. Continue reading
Firefly ended in 2003, and although it returned for a movie in 2005 and has a currently-ongoing comic about the events after the show’s untimely end, producers never did what the show’s fans have been clamoring for them to do: put Firefly back on the air. Since many of the actors have gone on to big parts in shows like Castle and Suits, it doesn’t seem likely that the show ever will go back on air. Thankfully for all Browncoats, though, there’s something else to look forward to: a Firefly online game.
There are certain points in one’s life where you get grandiose ideas about where your life is going, what you’ll be doing, and what you need to do to get there. Points where the world becomes your oyster, and all you need to do is pluck the pearl of opportunity. Points where all of this is laid in front of you… but then you devote yourself to a time-devouring game and you lose an entire week in the blink of an eye. Guess which point this post is about.
Anyone who talks with me on a semi-daily basis knows that I’ve given my current life away to an otherworldly force called SWTOR—that’s Star Wars: The Old Republic for those who haven’t been typing “swtor” into their search
bar what seems like every half hour. I’m actually kind of surprised that I got into the game as much as I did. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Star Wars, and even after reading through some of the lore, I still can’t remember shit besides my hazy recollection of The Empire Strikes Back (which was the best film out of all of them). But then again, this game has more than just the ‘verse going for it and is one of the best “free to play” MMOs available right now. I’ll explain the quotation marks later on.
Yesterday, the White House unveiled “Now is the Time: The President’s plan to protect our children and our communities by reducing gun violence.” Super good! I don’t intend to attack the the President, his plan, or even the fact that he calls for more research into any possible relationships between video games and violence. With the trauma of gun violence being so severe in American culture, encouraging research into what many citizens believe to have a causative relationship with violence, i.e. that violent video games lead to violent crime, is the right call. While it is politically unfortunate that the President seemed unable to find a place for video games in his plan than under the section to “End the Freeze on Gun Violence Research,” (page 8), I don’t think that we have much to worry about regarding any lasting effects on public opinion. We know that all good research into the topic, assuming fair distribution and reporting of research results and data, is going to show that video games and their place in society are nothing to be afraid of.
Here is my point; how do we already know that we have nothing to fear? Hasn’t research already shown that violence in video games has a lasting effect on gamers, causing them to be desensitized to violence and therefore less likely to check impulses toward violent behavior? Since video games are more immersive than other forms of media, doesn’t it stand to reason that they affect a greater ability to impact and change the human psyche? Let’s look into why not. Continue reading
The time has come for me to talk about Dark Souls. It has been on the market for consoles for months, but the PC version only just dropped. Also, it became my new favorite game ever after several hours of play-time back in late April. Dark Souls is an action role-playing game developed by From Software as the spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls, 2009 Game of the Year. I believe Dark Souls is, more than just another great game, a significant and special game which all gaming fans should appreciate even if they don’t play it. It is aptly described as a massively multiplayer, online, single-player game. It is so challenging that its website is preparetodie.com, yet many fans impose progressively more constricting restrictions on themselves to make it harder. Although its Wikipedia page calls the plot minimalistic, Dark Souls features a highly complex and deeply developed plot which continues to generate spirited discussion. It’s a dark fantasy RPG that often feels like survival horror, yet it’s not trendy (maybe that one won’t make sense to anybody else, but I’m so sick of the topical dark fantasy and crappy survival horror that’s been everywhere recently). Because it is easy to describe it in such contradictory and complicated ways, what may be most surprising about Dark Souls is how simple and approachable it really is.
I’ve been trying to clean out my laptop recently, and while deleting programs I didn’t even know I had one thought remained ever-present in my mind: damn, I have a lot of MMOs. If I ever find myself surfing the same sites over and over in the same day, my solution is to look for an MMO to waste my time with. Luckily, this time I didn’t have to look at all. This game was… ‘recommended’ isn’t the right word. ‘Brought to my attention and strongly suggested that I should try it out’.
I’ve played some MMOs sponsored by Aeria before. In fact, I really enjoyed playing Dream of Mirror Online (DOMO), so looking at Grand Fantasia’s cute, anime style I figured it would be in the same vein and the same quality. I was mistaken. Ooooh, was I mistaken. But let’s go over the basics first.