This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about the importance of a very key factor when discussing future games or plans for content. It’s all about Setting Expectations!
Expectations?: So recently we’ve had two really good examples of how NOT to set fan expectations both prior to announcing something and afterwards. The Diablo Immortal Issue, and Final Fantasy XV’s cancellation of almost every future DLC and PC support.
Diablo Immortal: Let’s get this one out of the way first. Blizzard royally screwed up with the announcement of Diablo Immortal at the recent Blizzcon. I don’t think I remember them screwing up so bad, ever. There was the Real ID fiasco that occurred years ago, but that wasn’t as bad I think. They could and had plans to announce not only Diablo Immortal, but also Diablo 4 as well at the end of that announcement. Instead they just announced Immortal, which was a huge freaking mistake. First hardcore gamers in general, and PC gamers in particular, all hate the idea of Mobile games, add in the fact that Blizzard was teaming up with NetEase to make Diablo Immortal and the whole situation looked like a huge betrayal of the Diablo fanbase. One of the developers incredibly poor response during a particularly pointed question during a Q&A session later only exacerbated the issue. They should have gone with their first plan, as it was would have been much better. People would’ve been upset, and arguably rightly so in some views. Having multiple teams working on separate projects for Diablo could be seen as overly ambitious, and division of potential labor towards the quicker goal of completing Diablo 4, as well as the blatant cash grab that was the initial response to Diablo Immortal. I don’t agree with the direction of making a Diablo game for mobile, first it seems like it could easily be a poor clone, and while the demo available was apparently okay, that was a controlled demo that was made to showcase the best of the game. The rest of the game could easily be a huge disappointment, and the response from the people who played the demo doesn’t rule out that possibility. The Blizzard seal of quality has meaning, and if they handle this poorly they could end up repeating Bungie’s mistakes that cost them pretty much every shred of credibility with the gaming community.
Final Fantasy XV: The loss of Director Hajime Tabata seems to be the root issue of this issue, and frankly it’s a huge disappointment. I was really looking forward to playing the second wave of DLC, and because it was announced I hadn’t touched the first wave of DLC. Now I’m not sure I will for a good while. I’ll probably have fun with the Final Fantasy XIV crossover stuff, but I’m highly saddened that Square Enix is cutting back on the entire DLC plan they had for 2019 and beyond. Unlike many, I was looking forward to seeing a different ending that would’ve been included in the Noctis DLC, as while I really enjoyed most of the game and the story, the later portions of the story were incredibly depressing. Knowing that we lost this DLC is highly discouraging and a huge black mark on Square Enix’s record of making Final Fantasy games for me.
How can Developers handle expectation better?: Honestly, knowing their consumers better would prevent many of these issues in my opinion. Nintendo lost many hardcore gamers with their decision to cater to the casual market with the Wii, and they are still feeling the repercussions of that decision still. Granted that the Switch is a huge success, but they lost a lot of trust with the decision to pursue gimmicky controls with the DS and Wii. Others should take note of their mistakes and keep them in mind when they are planning announcements.
This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic that often annoys me. It’s Product Placement in Games!
Product Placement?: So real world brands, like Coca Cola or Subway. Sometimes in games you’ll find parodies of real world businesses, like Up and Atom for In and Out Burgers in Grand Theft Auto V. But other times you’ll find actual brands in the games you play. Sometimes this is amusing, like in Final Fantasy XV where not only was there a helmet for Noctis to wear proudly proclaiming Cup Noodles odd placement in the game, but there was an entire side Quest where you hunted an incredibly difficult monster in order to find a good topping for it. It was beyond bizarre, but it didn’t feel immersion breaking. Almost, but not quite. Considering that American Express, and Coleman were also prominently featured in the game that is quite a feat. Other games that have done it well are games like Skate, which features tons of different brands.
But not always?: Right, sometimes it’s just plain annoying. Like the Subway products in Uncharted 3. That was just immersion breaking, and just out of place.
The odd: Some of them are just plain weird though, like EverQuest II having an in game spot where you could order a pizza and get it delivered from Pizza Hut.
That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. Are there any games which feature Product Placement that you feel I should’ve mentioned? Leave your answers in the comments below!
Hey all, I’m back with another answer to a question I receive a lot for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! It’s whether To Platinum or Not!
To Platinum?: I mean to complete a game 100% or to unlock all the achievements (Trophies for those PlayStation gamers) in a game. This often involves beating the game on the hardest difficulty and/or doing so in a certain way. Whether that is a time limit or a character level limit, or even just a side quest completion rate it doesn’t really matter. The actual question I get asked however often goes like this, “As a Game Reviewer do you complete a game 100% before writing the review?”.
So do you?: As a general rule of thumb, the answer is a big fat NO. I do not achieve a Platinum Trophy in a game before reviewing it, because for most games that would take way too much time to accomplish. I’ll often do the story and if it’s an RPG any sidequests, before giving a review. There have been exceptions like the one time I reviewed Coffin Dodgers, which is my all time record of lowest score ever for a game I reviewed. Now if a game was to be so short and simple to beat that I was easily able to earn a Platinum trophy in a matter of hours instead of days I might end up going for the Platinum. That is if I find the game worth investing that time into. I have a busy schedule, and while I do what I love which is to review stories in all sorts of various formats, doing that takes up a bunch of time for me. So spending hours upon hours to Platinum a game that I find boring or even just mediocre I won’t bother going for a Platinum.
But have you ever fully completed a game you reviewed?: Yes I have, Final Fantasy XV and InFAMOUS Second Son are both games I’ve completed 100%. Earning the Platinum on Second Son was pretty interesting as you ended up hearing Delsin give you a message upon achieving the final Trophy. That was a fun way to reward the player alongside the Platinum Trophy. I’d love it if more games followed that example.
That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! Do you go for a 100% completion in games you own? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below!
This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about a thing that I’ve seen done way too much in games. It’s all about Quick Time Events!
Quick Time Events?: “A quick time event (QTE) is a method of context-sensitive gameplay in which the player performs actions on the control device shortly after the appearance of an on-screen instruction/prompt. It allows for limited control of the game character during cut scenes or cinematic sequences in the game.” That’s the Wikipedia page on QTEs, and while that is generally how things are done that isn’t always the case.
Really?: Yeah some games like an older Spider-man game (Spiderman 2 I think) had them included in boss fights and you’d fail a fight or something equally unforgiving if you didn’t perform the QTE properly. That hasn’t happened in most AAA games for the last couple years, but it used to be so overused that there are still memes about some really dumb QTEs. The Press F (or X) to Pay Respects for example is from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Was it really necessary to have that occur? I’d say no, although it might have seemed like an awesome idea at the time.
What are some good QTEs?: There’s a few, but generally I find QTEs that aren’t anything more than a single button press to be generally decent. I still hate QTEs and having them appear in boss fights in Final Fantasy XIV definitely caused more than a wipe or two, but those were pretty easy to deal with compared to some of the worse examples (like that Spiderman game).
That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday, are there any really bad or good QTEs that you can remember? Post examples in the comments below.
Hey all I’m back with a list of things I’m praying will happen this year. It’s my Hopes for 2017!
Stormblood: I’m hoping the latest FFXIV expansion will blow my mind as much as Heavensward did. Frankly I love playing the game, though I’ve been so busy recently that I’ve been unable to put in the time I’d like to farm those Extreme Primal Lanners. The latest patch has really shaken up the story quite a bit and I’m excited to see where the story will go from here. Chances it’ll meet or exceed my expectations: Very High.
Final Fantasy XV: I’m hoping that we get some amazing DLC for the game, sure the story has it’s faults, but it was an amazing game nonetheless. Hopefully we’ll get most if not all of the DLC by the end of the year, but I’m doubtful on that front. Chances it’ll meet or exceed my expectations: Decent.
More Visual Novels!: I’ve been delving into the world of Visual Novels recently on my PS4, and frankly I’m loving it. I wish I had more time to play them, but with my busy schedule I’m not able to be the completionist that I want to be. If they can come to the PS4 that would be great, because it’s my only gaming system at this time. Chances it’ll happen: Likely, given the state of porting various games it’s a good chance that it could happen.
Destiny 2: I hope we get what we were supposed to get back in 2014, but frankly I doubt that will ever happen, just like we never got the Fable games we were told about from Peter Molyneux. It needs to have a solid story, excellent gameplay, and a fair gear system that isn’t so damn RNG reliant. Will we get that? I doubt it highly, but it could happen. Chances it’ll meet or exceed my expectations: Not as likely as it will be to see the USA revolt against their orange orangutan of a President, but more than a snowflakes chance in hell. If barely.
That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. What do you hope to see this year? Leave a comment below!