Tag Archives: Game

“Your Feedback Matters” – Microsoft Listen To Criticism and Change Everything.

Hardware developers have no respect for sleeping schedules I tell ya….

Today, Microsoft announced that it would remove the dreaded DRM and used-game policies that everyone has been so anxious about. Previously, your Xbox One would need to check in to the Xbox servers once every 24-hours to verify files. Microsoft tried to calm the waters by saying that the files that would be transferred were so small you could tether your phone to your Xbox for this check-in. Alas, the masses had spoken and they didn’t want to be anywhere near this DRM.

The used game policy was just as confusing and frustrating for consumers (even I’m still trying to get my head around the ex-policy). And that’s partly Microsoft’s fault, they weren’t very clear in explaining how trading and lending games. But they’re now changing the policy so that used games are handled the same way they’re handled on your Xbox 360; whether that’s a good or bad thing.

What’s new? The Xbox One is now region free which is something I’ve wanted for years. For too long have we been punished in Australia for our location and thus, we get games about a month behind the world (which the exception of one or two games to keep the unruly masses at bay) so now, you don’t have to wait. I’m a sucker for pre-order shinies so I might still have to wait, but at least I’ve got the choice to get a game in advance.

There’s an article on Gizmodo that outlines the ways that this change could really suck for the customer. It’s a really good read. I’d suggest going in with an open mind and seeing how it changes your mind on things.

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SEGA Bids Farewell to its Australian Development House

According to both Gamasutra and Kotaku AU, SEGA is closing down the Australian arm of its development studio later this year.

After last year’s staff layoffs, this closure may come as no surprise to some watching the market closely. While the media release doesn’t say how many employees will be affected, this recent closure adds to the worrying trend of Australian development houses. Team Bondi closed its doors in 2011 after the controversy that struck with the Triple-A game, “L.A. Noire.”

Not only this, but this is the second development house to be killed off by their parent company this week.

Disney representatives announced that it would be shifting LucasArts to a new licensing format instead of a internal development studio. LucasArts were responsible for Psychonauts and Grim Fandango and had been working on Star Wars: 1313, which had great interest from gamers.

Whatever games these development house had in store for us will either be sold to other developers or left to linger in the world of “what if?”

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GAME Australia goes into Administration.

The Australian gaming industry took another blow today with brick-and-mortar store GAME announcing it’s going into administration. Sending emails to their stores and confirming the story with Kotaku, all the speculation about whether the Australian arm of the company would follow its UK brethren who entered administration earlier this year. While it looked good for the brief period between GAME UK’s march store closures and now, it’s clear that we won’t see pretty purple signs in our shopping centres for much longer.

It was good while it lasted.

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The Sound of Music

There are a lot of elements that go into a game but there are a lot of things that are over-looked because of gameplay or scripting. The thing that I find drawing myself into a game is music.

Games like Bastion and Mass Effect are praised for their musical score and for good reason. You can have amazing graphics, deep characters and amazing scripting but if you don’t have something to tie it all together; your audience may just miss the message. And sometimes, music just happens to take over.

Take the aforementioned Mass Effect. It’s not a secret that I wasn’t a huge fan of the series until lately and even not I’m still not entirely sold on the game but something I adored was the effort that went into the soundtrack. Mass Effect 2 soundtrack was composed by a guy named Jimmy “Big Giant Circles” Hinson and for me, the sound made the game. In addition to the work that made the game, he’s released unused music for Mass Effect 2. (Available here) Continue reading

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How Will Breaking Street Date Affect Gamers in Australia?

Batman as he was depicted in Batman: The Anima...

In the last two months, three games have broken street date in Australia: Batman, Battlefield 3 and as of today, Skyrim. While most gamers are happy that they don’t have to wait for the release date for games, I’m not entirely pleased with the whole situation. This could have a shocking effect on gaming in Australia.

For those who aren’t familiar, a street date is a date set by the publishers for when a game is released. If the game breaks that, it means that the game is being sold earlier. From the couple of people I know who work in a bricks-and-mortar games shop, this can be a pricey mistake with penalties upwards of AU$20,000 for releasing a game pre-maturely.

Australia seems to be suffering from pre-mature release syndrome and it isn’t just the stores that suffer. Since we have the worst track record for breaking the date with games, what’s stopping publishers from delaying the game even longer and “punish us” persay? Isn’t half the fun of pre-ordering a game or getting the game on the day of release the launch day parties and such? Getting excited for the game with all the marketing and anticipation of going to a midnight launch; seeing all the other people who have been anxious to get their hands on the game. Something about a broken street date makes it seem like a wastes effort. My boyfriend picked up Skyrim today and it doesn’t even unlock till midnight, so what’s the point?

Breaking street date might not hurt us now, but I can see in the future that publishers might not choose to ship certain games to Australia without some kind of iron-clad agreement signed from sellers to say that they’ll accept any penalties for releasing the game early. It’ll be the only way to ensure that publishers get the outcome they want without it being spoiled by retailers.

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My Friend Steals my Xbox, Suddenly Converts (Blogspot Post)

Xbox logo

Image via Wikipedia

“Addie, you love me right?”
“May be, why?”
“Can I borrow the Sexbawks for a little while?”
“Why?”
“’cause…”

This is a conversation with my friend, who I’ll call Jerkface to protect his identity. He is on school holidays and has decided this week would be the week that he’d steal my beloved Xbox and play Assassin’s Creed 2.

What’s interesting about this is he’s a PC gamer, and by rights would be my enemy if the platform wars ever decided to break free of the internet. Also, I know he’s got money to buy the game. You know, he probably would if Ubisoft didn’t have that silly “Permanent connection to internet” DRM that’s been rubbing people the wrong way.

Anyway, I think I’m starting to slowly turn him towards way of thinking about console! He even thought about buying an Elite. Not that he’ll ever admit it. If he keeps following my lead, he’ll be swooning like a woman when Nathan Fillon is on Castle.

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How-To: Get Your Girlfriend into Gaming.

I see the same question asked around the interwebs, “How do I get my girlfriend into gaming?” There’s a two real answers to that question.

Answer one:

You can’t. Sadly, your girlfriend is not one of us and she is never to be assimilated in to our culture. Don’t stop loving her for that. I’m sure she’s a nice person anyway.

Answer two:

Success! Your girlfriend has shown interest in our world! You may be able to bring her into the hive mind with a few handy ideas:

  1. Sit with her and try to keep your harsh instruction to a minimum. If she’s stuck try “Hey, try looking over at (object x)! Last time I played his game, I think that did something.” You’re not telling her what do you, just a helpful suggestion.
  2. Don’t start off with CoD or Halo. Not only is the opinion of this writer that CoD is a horrific game, it’s not a good starting point. Beginners (under no circumstances are you call your lady a noob. She will smack you down) will probably find the learning curve of an FPS to be too overwhelming. Try an RPG, something that your girlfriend customise to what she’d want. If she plays a new character, she’ll feel as if it’s her game and not just borrowing it off her.
  3. DO NOT TAKE THE CONTROLLER OFF HER.
  4. Don’t play two player. If you’re playing a game that you’ve already played, you’ll speed through and get frustrated with her which will only lead to fighting and hurt feelings.

If your girlfriend has shown interest but none of these tips help, you’ve tried your best, she tried her best but she’s not a gamer. If you succeed in your quest, don’t rush her. Take it in baby steps. You’ve just introduced your lady to a whole new world which is wide, often scary and very overwhelming for a new player. Introduce her to new games similar to the ones she’s enjoying or enjoyed and then expand on themes. Soon enough you might find that she’d enjoy CoD or Halo and even beat you from time to time!

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