I've been asked on more than one occasion about how I approach the review writing process and what I like to see in reviews. I never have a firm answer, which is kind of unsettling to me since I frequently engage in discussions on the Twitter and such about what reviews should and should not be. There is no one answer to that question, but it does get me thinking about about the half-cocked ramblings I regularly try to pass off as game journalism.
The results for August are in, and while they seem to have shaken Michael Pachter, I'm here to tell you that there should be no surprise. Microsoft's continued success stems from its revisions of the Xbox 360 hardware—first with the $300 250GB model and now with the 4GB $200 model. These are "new", and combined with recent strong sellers like NCAA Football 11 and Madden NFL 11, the Xbox 360 platform has separated itself from the pack over the course of 2010 so far.
It's not too often that a first-party Nintendo release is disappointing, but Metroid: Other M is one of those rare titles. It's been facing adversity on two fronts. The first problem is that the game strayed from Nintendo's recent trend of releasing first-party titles on Sundays by releasing on a Tuesday. The second problem is that the game has been receiving some criticism from various sources on the internet, ranging from issues with the controls to focusing too much on story to even issues with sexism.
What's unfortunate in all of this is that Ledesma's comments have not only damaged relations between the industry and its consumers who read Ledesma's views… but they've also succeeded in widening a rift between the haves and have-nots when it comes to this form of entertainment that we all enjoy. Charges of entitlement are flying back and forth and the argument that video games are a luxury—or even a service—makes what was once touted to be "fun for everyone" into a select group of individuals who are financially fortunate enough to take part.
Some things are better left unsaid. For example, most gaming consumers know that the industry doesn't care about them. The disconnect between the industry and the consumer has never been more evident than it's been during this console generation, as I've mentioned more than a few times before. We've known that the industry treats used game purchasers as second-class citizens—or worse—and this well-publicized "war on used games" has devolved into taking basic gameplay modes away from those looking to not pay $60 apiece for games that may or may not be worth their asking prices.
An E3 wrap-up so enormous, so all-encompassing, we drafted a fifth chair from across the pond to share the load. Sinan Kubba of the Big Red Potion podcast joins us as we tear Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft to shreds. The hate flows freely this week folks; if it gets too depressing jump to the 92-minute mark as we reveal our most anticipated games of the show. It's our longest, most vulgarity-packed podcast ever! Rejoice! Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, the aforementioned Sinan Kubba, and Tim "Billy Big Bang Blitz" Spaeth.
Recently I had the pleasure to review Incognito: Episode One, an intriguing title from developer Magrathean Technologies. The game, as the name so aptly implies, is the first in a series of Their CTO, Ron McDowell, was kind enough to answer a few questions for me.
Working in video game retail opens your eyes to a lot of things. You realize that you probably don't agree with a lot of corporate policies. You find that the majority of gaming consumers don't know how to put a disc back in its case. You also see that, despite its good intentions, the ESRB rating system simply does not work when it comes to trying to protect minors from controversial or explicit content. With the recent news that the Supreme Court of the United States is going to review a violent video game law in California that was struck down by the state's 9th Circuit Court, the argument about violent video games has reared its ugly head once again, and it's time for me to throw my hat in the ring on this subject.
With the advent of online connectivity for consoles, developers and publishers alike have been exploring new opportunities for new creative and financial endeavors. While some people may have initially had doubts about the viability of Downloaded Content (DLC), it's become quite clear that this new business/development model has been wildly successful. Without question, all sides agree that DLC is here to stay. However, proper utilization of DLC is still in its infancy, and has much potential for going astray.
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