Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Subscriptions for Everyone!

Recently, Electronic Arts has begun rolling out its EA Access program where, for a monthly fee, people will be able to play a bunch of their games, both new and old. The service is extremely limited at the moment, only being on the Xbox One after Sony turned it down, but it is making waves as some folks fear that, should it take off, the program could set a nasty precedent whereby other major publishers feel emboldened to erect their own little walled gardens for their IPs as well. Where once it was just a matter of going to a shop, or online digital distributor to get a game, suddenly things could become a lot more complicated, as people have to register multiple accounts with different services while being nickle and dimed on multiple subscriptions to play the games that they're interested in.

Monday, 18 August 2014

The Tired, Bastardized Practice of Exclusivity

Rise of the Tomb Raider exclusivity has ruffled
some feathers.
Last week, Microsoft and Square-Enix made some waves when it was announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be a timed exclusive for the Xbox One. Many a gamer cried fowl, and it's been a parade of interviews ever since by various executives and developers to paint a narrative that this is somehow a good thing.

Traditionally, when I think about exclusivity, it's more to do with a developer or publisher deciding to put a game on a specific platform because they see something special in the system whereby it makes more sense to either make it the only one it shows up on, or at least the lead platform. Be it market dominance, player-base idiosyncrasies, or specifics to the hardware, in these circumstance at least the people making the game are looking at a set of variables and choosing on their own to make a game for that system based on its merits. What we're seeing here with the whole Rise of the Tomb Raider kerfuffle reeks far more of a return to the bad old days of money hatting.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Review: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (360)

World Cup Soccer – the most important month for futbol fans every 4 years, or as we celebrate in North America: as good as reasons as any to go drink at 11 am and not look like you have a "problem." With half of my family coming to Canada this generation, and the other half having lived here in excess of 400 years… the World Cup gets a differing amount of care depending upon whom you are talking to. Needless to say, I cheer for my Dad's country because cheering for Mom's and my homeland would have been a tremendous waste of time in this tournament.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Futzing Around in Final Fantasy XIV

Summoner
Playing as Summoner in Brayflox Longpost.

Once I walked away from World of Warcraft, I figured I was done with MMORPGs, but recently that hasn't been the case.  I've poured an absurd amount of time into Final Fantasy XIV, a game that in quite a lot of ways is very similar to WoW.  Battle mechanics and the whole hot key controls setup are very reminiscent of Blizzard's MMO, yet the game squeezes in all of the Final Fantasy-ness that one would expect from a game to bear the name.  What I'm left with is something that has totally consumed me.

Review: The Last Tinker: City of Colors (PC)

If games could be disassembled and broken down into their “ingredients” The Last Tinker: City of Colors would form neat stylistic piles of Viva Pinata, Little Big Planet, and platforming action and sensibility of Banjo-Kazooie. That doesn't prevent The Last Tinker to convey a charm all it's own – it's often cheery and light-hearted even if though the storyline's main message is a Sesame Street take on BioShock Infinite's racist underbelly and there's an ominous tone throughout (if you think about it too hard).

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Preview: Skylanders Trap Team (Multiplatform)

skylanders trap team
Just like all those times when Joker breaks everyone out of Arkham Asylum, Skylanders: Trap Team features a dramatic prison breakout thanks to the perpetually evil, Chaos, which plunges Skyland into a diabolical hell of violence, drugs, corruption, and organized crime. (I may be slightly overstating this.) Only this time, once the crazy guys are captured, they work for Batman.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Review: EA Sports UFC (Xbox One)

It's been a few years since my last crack at a UFC game, the original Undisputed made by THQ. There have not been many revolutionary new changes to MMA since then, besides the popularity increase of the sport, of course. Any time you switch companies, you are obviously going to switch engines and likely design philosophies. I was a little disappointed to hear that the Fight Night Boxing team was going on hiatus to work on this franchise – I've always enjoyed that franchise and will look forward to it's return down the road.