Team Fortress 2 becomes Free to Play forever

Did you know that Team Fortress 2 is the best multiplayer game in the world today? It’s better than your Calls of Duty, your StarCrafts, your Worlds of Warcraft, and better than Farmvilles too. I’ve talked about how TF2 is better than Metal Gear Online at length. The same points apply to almost anything out there today.

And now it’s just a free thing, that you can have and enjoy.

Thank you, Valve. Thank you for being heroes.

New Team Fortress 2 update + site

The Über Update is upon us.

Featuring some mafia-related gear for the Heavy and Spy, as well as a new map, the update will surely be a doozie! It’s also going to include the “Meet the Medic” video (finally!)

Along with that, the Team Fortress 2 blog has been revamped to include class profiles, update history, comics, and awesome artwork.

Unfortunately, all of this content will cost you a whopping zero dollars.

Oh, and if you don’t own the game, you can now play it FOR FREE this ENTIRE WEEK!

Ravi Singh brags about playing Peace Walker HD

After keeping it a big fat secret from us all, he’s now basking in the glory of his E3 experience and bro status with Ryan Payton.

You can read about it here.

No one likes a bragger, Ravi. Also, thanks. Looks like PWHD (which is what I’m going to call it from now on) is going to be a pretty respectable cash-grab from Kojima Productions after all. Right thumb stick for the win, I say.

As for “MGS3DS”, here’s my initial thoughts: it makes me sick.

MGS3DS is the kind of soulless experiment that illustrates what happens when the Japanese get a taste of success. That’s not racist — that’s just the pattern, they admit it themselves. Oh shut up. Look at how the team developing MGS: Rising decided to not only make the game a prequel but also a new genre, instead of continuing the series properly. That’s game design cowardice. Everyone’s too scared to innovate or take a step in a new direction, wasting perfect opportunities to make new stuff by just remaking the same old stuff for new platforms. Can you imagine a brand new Metal Gear game on the 3DS?

I can. I can imagine it being cool too. My imagination works like that.

The reason why the HD Collection is tolerable is because Peace Walker was begging to be ported to consoles from before it was even released. It really is a major installment in the series, and it deserves a wider audience. Giving MGS2 & 3 to the Xbox crowd feels right as well. But remaking MGS3 for the 3DS? Nobody was asking for that.

EDIT: It may seem contradictory to say that the Rising team is scared to take a step in a new direction while simultaneously complaining that they picked a new genre — a new genre sounds like a new direction, right? — but the issue is a fear of being compared to the “actual” series, or push the story forward in a new direction.

Kojima set up the plot of MGS4 so that it would tie up loose ends and give his team freedom to continue the series with a new story, not so they could shit out a spinoff prequel that hides behind a new genre to avoid being comparable to the major installments.

Why the Wii U will be a great console

The Nintendo Wii U, codenamed “Project Cafe”, was officially unveiled at E3 just days ago. It’s already the subject of much debate and concern. I believe these concerns are stupid, and based on a few critical misconceptions.

The critic’s argument goes like this:

“The Wii was supposed to be revolutionary, but in the end it just sat on our shelves and collected dust! Only some of the first party titles developed by Nintendo were cool, and the rest were crappy. It was a huge disappointment, so therefore we should expect the same from the Wii U.

“The failure of the Kinect and Move motion controls, as well as the mediocrity of the Nintendo 3DS, also reinforce that Nintendo’s strategies are filled with bad ideas and they can’t be trusted to innovate.”

Nintendo Wii U console and controllerEven if I agreed that the Wii was a failure (which I don’t,) it’s a fallacy to argue that its failure translates into some kind of doom spell for the Wii U. In fact the only problem the Wii really had was the misunderstanding of what it was trying to do! And that was thanks to the ridiculous interpretation given by gaming sites and magazines.

For those of us who bothered to pay attention, we know that the Wii was trying to appeal to people who never normally played games. This is called the blue ocean strategy, in which a company targets new demographics instead of always trying to satisfy the same small group of devotees. This was a stroke of genius, even if it made them unpopular in the eys of the old fans. Millions of people who never paid attention to consoles were suddenly intrigued and willing to give videogames a try, so yes, the Wii was a success, not a failure.

However, the game industry (and other millions of gamers) felt betrayed, so they left the Wii out in the cold. The old paradigm was having trouble coping with the fact that Nintendo was returning to it’s family-oriented origins and shrugging off the imaginary “debt” that they owed to the 20-30 year old nerds who supposedly kept the industry afloat. “You can’t break up with me! I’m breaking up with YOU!” The Wii got a bad name for no good reason, and to this day I can’t talk to a fellow gamer without hearing about how the Wii was a “gimmicky failure”. They just can’t comprehend that Nintendo wasn’t trying to impress them, and that’s okay.

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