Video Game Tuesday: Blacklisting

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering an issue that frustrates me greatly. It’s about Blacklisting.

Last week Kotaku published a very interesting article that infuriated me because of the shortsightedness involved by parties concerned in the article.

The long story short is that Kotaku published leaks about games that would later become Assassin’s Creed Unity, Fallout 4 and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. This put them on a blacklist from Bethesda and Ubisoft.  Some people, who think they are intelligent and aren’t at all close to even being as intelligent as a pile of pond scum, are waving their flags and saying that it was deserved. I say that this is bullshit. Any good journalist will piss people off and if you aren’t doing that you aren’t a journalist.  What Kotaku did was nothing new and despite being one of the biggest websites for gamers in the world, it still got blacklisted. This leads me to think that the people running the companies we love aren’t the people we respect as gamers. We respect good and clever developers and publishers for making games that bring us joy and challenges. We don’t respect them because they can’t take necessary criticism or their product got leaked before being announced without their marketing team’s approval.

Bethesda until last week and Ubisoft until last year around Thanksgiving, were respected developers and publishers whom I always looked forward to seeing what was coming in the future. I’m not going to be bothering with any further Assassin’s Creed or Fallout or Far Cry games until they whip their PR and Marketing teams into line, literally if necessary. I’ve been cheated a bit too much by Ubisoft on games with terrible game-breaking bugs and glitches causing me to be unable to complete games. Bethesda had my respect for years, but after this last week I’ve come to realize that they have stagnated and become like EA. I don’t see innovation or creativity in their games anymore. Skyrim was fun, but it wasn’t anything really new to the Elder Scrolls formula, if anything it was a regression from what Morrowind had.

So when I heard that they blacklisted Kotaku I was furious on Kotaku’s behalf as a fellow journalist and game critic. I don’t hold back on what I see as problems in a game now, I am frank, honest, and brutal to a point in my reviews. Sometimes I even get asked to tone it down, because I’m too brutally honest with my reviews.  I’ve grown a lot since last year when my first review ever was Destiny, and I’ve come to see that sometimes the little guys really do make the best things. Tales of Zestiria was the best game I’ve played all year, easily beating out Destiny: The Taken King for re-playablity and blasting it out of the water in terms of story.  The Tales of team has one person who makes their Battle System. One guy, makes it. That’s outstanding and proves to me that more isn’t necessarily better. So Bethesda and Ubisoft instead of giving us crap like Assassin’s Creed Unity which was broken for over a month and even after being fixed was the single worst game I played last year, make us a game like Tales of Zestiria. Until such a time, you have absolutely no right to offend a critic of your games by blacklisting them. You should be begging them to be your playtesters instead of shunning them.

Video Game Tuesday: Watch_Dogs and what didn’t work

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This week I’m going to talk about what didn’t work well in Watch_Dogs.

Driving: For a game in such a vast city and such importance on being able to escape from the police or other enemies, controlling your vehicle was way too hard. If you wanted an easy way to escape you got on a Motorcycle and weaved through traffic with ease, but if you hit anything that wasn’t destructible you would go flying off the bike. Driving felt like you were sliding on Ice in a platforming game like Mario 64.  I really hope for the inevitable sequel that the driving gets improved vastly so that everything handles much better, and that I don’t feel punished for not using my Sayonara motorcycle or dying mid mission and losing the bike I parked outside the mission area to escape.

Money: I have at least a couple billion in my wallet right now in Watch_Dogs, because I took the time to get all the cash hack upgrades and now I never worry about money anymore. There is a fine line between having way too much money and not enough that you feel like you need to grind for it. Watch_Dogs took the easy way out and decided to give you millions at your fingertip at any time. In fact after about an hour into the game I never worried about money ever again.

Combat: I actually enjoy the combat in Watch_Dogs, but I felt that after unlocking the Spec Ops SMG and Assault Rifle that I was able to blaze through every mission with little difficulty because I could take out enemies with my silenced weapons way too easily.

Side Quests: I loved the side quests in Watch_Dogs, but I really wish that they would give us the Far Cry 3 treatment and give us the option to reset each of the gang hideouts and ctOS mainframe server locations. Update: On August 23rd they added the ability to reset certain sidequests, but not the ability to reset the ctOS mainframes.

Aiden: Look Aiden sounded like a really great character prior to release, but dammit I hate the way he turned out. You made him a gruff Batman wannabe and while I love his look with the long leather coat, I really wish that he wasn’t so shallow. He was so caught up in revenge that he ruined his entire life for it. I hope we get a new main character in the sequel, someone like Jordi, who was my favorite character with T-Bone close behind.

Multiplayer: I loved the multiplayer, in fact currently I’m in the top 1% percentile of players worldwide in Multiplayer. That being said I wish that you had random NPC’s driving on motorcycles around the city. If you spotted someone else on a motorcycle they were always another player and you were obliged to gun them down.

Overall: The game was great, but it doesn’t have the longevity that GTA does, partly because GTA Online is updated so often and people can do so many different things.