Anthem’s GaaS Effect

Anthem has had a lot of news, stories, and hype/antihype leading up to its release. It finally came out last Friday, but also came out the Friday before that, and there were beta demos for two more weekends before that. Of course, you had to have a VIP preorder to play the first beta weekend, and you had to have some sort of VIP preorder to play it last weekend, and some VIPs could only play for 10 hours total while others could play as much as they want.

On top of that, each version of this game (all in a month’s time frame) was a different build. The beta, of course, was a build from several months before people actually played it. The VIP access build from a week ago was closer to the final version, but was missing a key “day one” patch that was scheduled to be released this past Friday on the “official” day one but ended up being put out earlier in the week after enough VIPs complained about their Anthem experience.

Are you having trouble following all this? You’re not alone. This convoluted process in the lead up to Anthem’s “official” release has left nearly a month-long stream of varying impressions from reviewers, streamers, and regular joes. It’s been hard to keep track of who’s played on what patch and what the actual current condition of the game is. And since there have been a lot of complaints – from loading times to bugged quests to confusion on how to play – knowing the state of Anthem can be it’s own puzzle, especially if you are a person who didn’t pre-order and was waiting for actual, final game version impressions before jumping in.

This is a problem for Anthem, but also a problem for the industry as a whole as Games as a Service becomes more popular.

Continue reading “Anthem’s GaaS Effect”

TV Theory: Person of Interest

A friend of mine, after reading some of my articles where I mentioned being burnt out, recommended that I dive into the well of things I already have an opinion on instead of trying to constantly chase “new” content and keeping up-to-date with recent news. And he’s right: the fast-paced internet world really does get into my head sometimes because you really need to be on top of things. For example, everyone and their mother is currently writing articles on Apex Legends because that’s the current new hotness.

And sure, I could cobble together something about Apex Legends as a free-to-play battle royale shooter and how it’s affecting the industry. But I don’t really care that much about it. It’d be a lot of me staring at my computer, trying to come up with ways to make an interesting point that someone has made already somewhere on the internet.

So instead of being trendy, I’m going to take this time and talk about one of my favorite TV shows of all-time: Person of Interest.

Continue reading “TV Theory: Person of Interest”

Kingdom Hearts 3 & Disney’s Controlling Hand

I’ve been playing Kingdom Hearts 3 and it’s been an up and down journey. While on the one hand I’m enjoying the moment to moment gameplay and there have been some genuinely great scenes and events, there’s also been something missing from a lot of the worlds so far.

Kingdom Hearts as a series is ostensibly about being able to interact with the Disney worlds and characters you love. It’s what attracted hordes of children and teenagers to the series when it debuted in the early 2000s. There was something magical about getting to explore Agrabah with Aladdin and swim through the ocean with Ariel.

But some of that magic is missing in KH3. Perhaps it’s because the Disney of 2019 is different from the Disney of 2002, but there is a corporate oppression lurking in the shadows of KH3’s overall design. I just completed Arendelle, the world based on Disney’s Frozen, and it was by far the worst and most glaringly obvious showing of Disney’s influence on the game. And considering I’m a person who hasn’t seen Frozen but was still frustrated with the world…well, that’s saying something.

Spoilers for KH3 Disney worlds and their plots will follow – no spoilers for any overarching KH plots will be in this article.

Continue reading “Kingdom Hearts 3 & Disney’s Controlling Hand”

PS4 Screen Captures: A Brief Interlude

So for the month of January I pledged to have content on my blog every weekday for the whole month, and I succeeded at that. However, it was when I found myself laying face-down on the floor of my apartment on a Saturday afternoon, stressed out to the point of breaking simply because of the pressure of accomplishment that I had put on myself, that I thought maybe I should ease up a bit on my ambitions. (My girlfriend also helped me a great deal with this matter.)

It’s tough coming up with constant content for the internet, and sometimes you create things that people may never even read, watch, or listen to. So I decided to take a break from posting long-form articles this week, relax, play some video games, and do some self-care over forcing myself to write.

As such, this isn’t truly a long-form article: instead after the break I’m just going to be uploading and showing off some of my favorite photo captures that I’ve gotten over the long history of my PS4 use. So enjoy that, and I’ll see you tomorrow for a top 5 and next week I’ll be resuming writing in some capacity! (Warning: very image heavy, obviously!)

Continue reading “PS4 Screen Captures: A Brief Interlude”

TMan’s 2018 PS4 Stats

So Sony is doing a neat thing for US PlayStation users where they compiled a list of relevant stats for your PS4 playtime. While they’ve stated the data may not be 100% accurate it’s still fairly close to correct. You can check it out here if you want if you’re a US PS4 owner.

I’m posting this as a little bonus to the top 5 since I find this data neat and wanted to share, but don’t want to dedicate a full day just to these stats. Anyway, fun stats after the cut!

Continue reading “TMan’s 2018 PS4 Stats”

TMan’s Top 5: Favorite Robot Masters

Hello again! It’s the last Friday of January, which means it’s been four weeks of continuous daily updates of some form! I’ve been doing pretty well with my New Year’s Resolution and I appreciate everyone who has been reading and keeping up with everything I’ve written! Next week Kingdom Hearts 3 is dropping which is going to be the first test of my commitment to daily writing since I’m going to want to do nothing but play through that as quick as possible.

But before we get to that, it’s time for another Top 5! This week, after a little bit of deliberation, I decided to dig around and re-explore one of my favorite series of all time – the Mega Man series – and list my top 5 favorite Robot Masters! Enjoy!

Continue reading “TMan’s Top 5: Favorite Robot Masters”

Bandersnatch: Expanding The Gaming Medium

This past weekend my friends and I got together and watched Bandersnatch – the standalone Black Mirror episode/movie on Netflix. It was highly talked about when it released at the end of December last year, but I had put off watching it in favor of making it a group activity. My friends and I had fun playing both Until Dawn and Hidden Agenda (although we all agreed the former was way better than the latter) and this was likely going to be a similar experience.

Bandersnatch was touted as a kind of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure movie where you get to make choices for the protagonist and affect the ending of the episode. It ended up being very similar to a Telltale game or Until Dawn – where two choices were presented to you and you had a time limit as to decide which way to direct the character. The group seemed to have a lot of fun with it and the episode itself was pretty entertaining – over the course of about three hours we managed to see most of what the episode had to offer.

The idea of an interactive story has been around for a while – after all Choose Your Own Adventure as books for kids have been around since the 1980s. However Bandersnatch was definitely targeted towards adults and adds an interesting data point towards the future of interactive media (especially with virtual reality possibly just around the corner). But Bandersnatch’s viewer engagement also intersects with the world of gaming and how they give you choices, and I’d like to take a moment and talk for a little bit about Bandersnatch, games like Until Dawn and Telltale choice-based games, and games like Mass Effect which also offer the illusion of choice.

Since it came out several weeks ago, I’m going to be talking very openly about Bandersnatch, so just as a warning spoilers will follow for the Black Mirror episode as well as some of the games I just previously listed. You’ve been warned.

Continue reading “Bandersnatch: Expanding The Gaming Medium”