New MGSV gameplay demo is glorious

The new MGSV gameplay demo was revealed today, and I’m very impressed by what I’m seeing.  The link to the full definition video is here, and my quick thoughts on it are here:

  • Any one of the buddies you can take along with you would merit it’s own game, but when you combine them all as options, I can hardly believe how many ways you’ll be able to approach missions.
  • The robot is amazing, flat out.  The scanner system, ability to ride it, and drive it super fast and quietly, and everything else it demonstrated kicked ass and had a very valuable functionality in an huge-scale sneaking mission like MGSV has.
  • The need for translators is fantastic, logical, and serves as a perfect illustration of the theme of race and cultural divide, which is at the core of the story this time.
  • The loadout system looks very clean and functional.
  • The shields, helmets, and armor of enemies seem to actually be effective, which is essential to forcing players to think differently, not just double down on stupid.
  • The ability to steal shields and everything else is great, and will no doubt be balanced by the ability to customize your own weapon beyond anything the enemies will usually carry.  Solving the problem of too many guns being available by creating a great suite of customization options is just having your cake and eating it too.
  • The enemy dummies are a fantastic touch, and one that will legitimately screw up players who are too impulsive.
  • And my favorite thing of all, enemies really do learn and adapt to what you’ve been trying before.  This is among my personal, all-time, most wished for features of gaming, period.  The age-old fact that exploitative players love to abuse the predictability of enemies, patterns, and situations in games needs to be met with an equally robust solution of adapting enemies and dynamic challenges.  This immediately turns an otherwise boring and routine cycle into a tempting challenge of cat-and-mouse.

Watch the video directly (without IGN’s website and advertisements) by clicking here.  *(Thanks to this guy’s Twitter post for finding out that trick.)

Steam refunds get reaction from developers

Steam’s new refund policy has opened a discussion about gamer “entitlement” (basic consumer rights) and the never-ending indie developer struggles.  Some think that the new policy will lead to 100% of developers going bankrupt due to the evil gamers abusing the system, while others think that only 90% of developers will go bankrupt.  This new article on Gamasutra interviews different developers to get their reaction.

The results were more interesting than I expected.  Some developers love the idea that angry customers won’t feel stuck with their purchase, which in turn leads to overly negative reviews.  Others appreciated that this will encourage people to try full-priced games, instead of waiting for sales with the knowledge that they wouldn’t be able to return the product if it turns out to be garbage.

I suggest you read it.

#GamerGate crap keeps going on

In case you missed it or forgot, the neofeminist movement is pushing against the largely male gaming community and the game industry itself as a way to position themselves as important people who need to police culture, speak at conventions, become “representatives”, and generally make money by contributing absolutely nothing.

To accomplish this, they bully and pressure everybody they can into picking sides that are unfair and unhelpful — creating a false dichotomy — so that they can build up an army of outraged puppets that will destroy the reputations of anyone who resists them.

This is a recent video I stumbled across.  It surprised me that people are still talking about #GamerGate, but I found it interesting.

SuperBunnyHop follows up on Konami removing his video

George Weidman of SuperBunnyHop is a cool guy who recently made a video about Konami which was taken down due to a copyright claim by Konami.  This is a followup about that video, and it further reinforces the possibility that Konami really is stupid, and they really don’t know what they’re doing at all.

I’ll admit, my theory that the MGSV and Kojima controversy was at least somewhat staged is looking like the less plausible theory these days.  I wonder if Kojima simply predicted something like this would happen, because I still don’t think the parallels to Ground Zeroes is a coincidence.

Anyway, here’s the video, assuming you have seen the original (which has been restored due to YouTube itself rejecting the copyright infringement claim) you should watch it:

Jim Sterling on Konami’s supposed madness

Obviously Jim Sterling is not an expert on the inner workings of Konami, but I found this to be an interesting take on the overall changes happening at Konami right now.  He doesn’t focus too much on Kojimagate, but he does lend credibility to the idea that the company might just be stupid enough to burn that bridge in the worst ways:

Path of Exile and Star Citizen both get more interesting

Path of Exile has announced a new expansion, The Awakening.  On top of a new Act, bosses, items, and all that good content, there’s also a big addition to the legendary Passive Skill Tree: radial passive boosts.  I love this idea, because it turns the physical layout of the skill tree into a puzzle that players can play with.  Basically, certain gems you can earn will have a circle of influence in the skill tree that affects compatible nodes.  If the gem is related to Intelligence modifiers, it will give a boost of some kind to all of the Intelligence-related nodes around it.  I don’t know how you place them (I haven’t researched all of it yet, but I’d guess that skill nodes have colorized sockets now too?) but this alone means that GGG is moving the game in an even crazier, rewarding direction.

Star Citizen has written about their First Person Shooter system, which I find highly interesting.  Like Dark Souls, it will involve a stamina-management system, forcing players to play cautiously and “spend” their stamina on worthwhile action.  Three different “stances” will emphasize different aspects of combat and interaction, and I suggest you read more about how breathing control factors into fighting in space!

IT’S JUST A BOX: Why #AHIDEOKOJIMAGAME Is Misguided

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The embarrassingly naïve outrage over Kojimagate continues on, and although I don’t have time to flesh this out the way that I normally would, I’m going to race through the points and try to point out how silly fans are acting right now.  This isn’t just about the hashtag, but all those fans who are getting upset because they seriously think that Kojima has been betrayed by Konami…

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