Rewards in Gaming

Rewards for consuming entertainment is a novel invention that is unique to the medium of games. By investing time into them and achieving certain goals players are given various gifts within the games to encourage further investment.

In more narrative games, the rewards are the experience the player gains in itself. Like in movies or books, we are rewarded with sentimental attachments to characters, resolving plot arcs and witnessing great events. Where games differ though is in the rewards tied to mechanics and gameplay. Continue reading

7 Days of Games – 19/02/18

The week is the 19th of February 2018 and it has mostly been pretty dour. President Trump tried to alleviate my ongoing mid-life crisis by taking me back to my youth in the 90s with the assertion that real world violence is influenced by digital violence in games. Relating to this are the discussions suggesting taxing violent games like one would tax alcohol, cigarettes and other things bad for your health. History of course remembers how Grand Theft Auto directly inspired the torture methods of the inquisition and how those patriotic early Americans burned women at the stake after extended playing of Outlast.

Speaking of historical sins, Dynasty Warriors 9 came out to about as much enthusiasm as shown by its own AI. Apparently taking a regular Warriors map and spreading it so thinly across a massive open world then removing iconic weapons from characters doesn’t go down particularly well, even in a fanbase that has seen more copy and pasted games released baring PS2 era graphics than there are twelve year olds on Xbox live who have slept with your mother. It is easy to say that despite the already stale yet fresh in the eyes of Tecmo Koei addition of an open world, the gaming community seems completely burned out on the franchise.

Speaking of Burnout, Burnout 3 isn’t being remastered but Paradise is. The fact that the series is still somehow twitching is a good sign but then it is still owned by EA so maybe a swift rock to the head would be the greatest mercy.

Something else that could use the mercy of being put out of it’s existential misery is the hopes of Half Life fans. After the twin disappointments of Valves card game, Artifact, and the Portal spinoff, Bridge Constructor Portal, another nail in the coffin of Valve fan’s dreams come with the preorder bonus of Gordan Freeman ‘s outfit in the PC edition of Final Fantasy XV. Not content with culturally appropriating the clothes of Middle-Eastern Assassins, Noctus can now don the iconic clothes of a mute scientist with a crowbar. The behemoths won’t know what hit them. To be fair though, a launch price of £34.99 is a great show of good will and does a lot to alleviate the pain of the endless Half Life 3 taunts.

Something that’s pain only seems to be growing is the Metal Gear franchise. Metal Gear Survive released and ironically signals the death of the series. Industry Satan Konami had access to the Fox engine and all of the things that made Metal Gear great aside from the obvious gaping blackhole that is Hideo Kojima yet only managed to churn out a generic zombie survival game that’s only unique feature was to give said zombies shiny unicorn horns because reasons. Fans who hoped to see Metal Gear live on post Kojima were not given a confidence boost by this uninspired effort. Fingers crossed for Metal Gear pachinko, eh?

To round off this round up, reviews have started to roll in for medieval life simulator, Kingdom Come Deliverance. The reception has seemed overall positive aside from some glaring bugs, but then Bethesda has conditioned us to associate sword based rpgs with more bugs than Pixar’s Bug’s Life. The game has the potential to wrestle the coveted award for ‘Most janky rpg that people still love’ from Bethesda’s hands while they are too busy trying to port Skyrim to the Tamogochi. I joke but here I am replaying Dark Souls 3 in anticipation of Dark Souls remastered on the Switch. We all become that which we hate in the end.

Digital Duels: Talion (Shadow of Morder/War) vs Geralt of Rivia (The Witcher series)

The internet loves to pit characters against one another in hypothetical fights to see who would win. In the RPG sphere there are two characters that most often get debated. The Witcher series has master witcher Geralt of Rivia while Shadow of Mordor introduced us to Gondorian captain and wraith host Talion. But who would come out on top in a fight? Continue reading

The continental split in gaming.

2017 was an interesting year in gaming. We had a strong first half that tapered off into a weaker second half. Mostly though, it highlighted a growing rift in the industry that I’ve been observing for a few years now: The commercial vs the creative.

As AAA game have dived further down the path of maximum monetization we are seeing a pushback. These games are, without a doubt, still massive sellers that dominate the charts, but gamer frustration at the poor business practices, lack of consumer empathy and drought of originality is beginning to show.

Look at any top games of the year for 2017 and you will see that the ‘top dogs’ are starkly lacking. Titanic games like Call of Duty, Destiny 2, Shadow of War and Star Wars Battlefront 2 had the budgets and talent to succeed but only achieved anger from the public, Battlefront 2 potentially having inadvertently drawing the battle-lines in the microtransaction war for the year to come as governments are now stepping in. Continue reading

Divinity Original Sin 2 – Getting good (or at least good enough to not rage quit the game on Classic difficulty)

Image result for divinity original sin 2Divinity Original Sin 2 is an excellent RPG filled with character, depth and charm. It is a new take on old school RPGs where variety is king and every little thing can be interacted with to fundamentally change each encounter. With this comes a snag though. That old school mentality holds true with the difficulty.

I am not against difficult games. Anyone who has read this site know of my love for Dark Souls. I like to be challenged. DOS2 also has several difficulty options so players can adjust on the fly where the challenge needs to be.That being said, I started my first playthrough on Classic (normal) difficulty and I have been having a real rough time of it. Continue reading

Elder Scrolls in the new age of RPGs

Bethesda is the king of RPG games. The Elder Scrolls series was seen by many as the peak of the genre, with Skyrim becoming massively popular and rising to become the 11th highest selling game of all time. Anybody who has been to this site before knows my opinions on the game. It is enjoyable enough but lacks the depth that many RPG players look for in their games. Despite this, the figures speak for themselves.


It has been over six years now since Skyrim’s release without any word on the next entry in the series. We know that it will be made, just not when. Can Bethesda retain their crown though when Elder Scrolls VI is released?
Continue reading

A study of microtransactions in games

The business practice of selling small in-game content to players has become a reluctant norm of the modern gaming industry. The audience reaction to this varies widely between utter disgust to complete indifference. There are arguments for and against them but I am here to try and layout the argument for why they represent a very real threat to the medium that we all love.

The key argument I most often see in favour of microtransactions is that game developers and publishers are businesses that need to make money. The more impassive take the stance that if you don’t want them then nobody is forcing players to buy them. Both of these facts are true but don’t accurately reflect reality.

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Below is my evidence on why all players should take a stand against this business practice. Continue reading