When SimCity launched a few days ago with one of the worst features in the width and breadth of modern gaming – the requirement that you remain connected to the internet 100% of the time, even to play single-player – I knew we were in for trouble. With SimCity, there’s supposedly a lot of online perks to the connectedness, but come on – we know it’s just DRM to keep out the pirates. We’ve seen this before. Spore. Diablo III. Assassin’s Creed II. Not a single one has turned out well for either the end consumer or the developer’s public image.
In the days leading up to the game’s public debut, anticipation was high. The review scores (based on “final” review code, but also on empty servers) were terrific. People were excited! But then the day arrived, bringing with it multi-hour queues to play a single-player game. And that’s when you’re even able to connect. Continue reading
For $9.99, I picked up a copy of Hasbro Family Game Night 4: The Game Show on Black Friday. Something fun and light to play with the girlfriend, you know. After having a good experience with the original FGN a few years ago, I was curious to see how far they’d come. And Kinect stuff, too? Should be good. The games themselves are okay, if a lot more “video game-y” than past Game Nights. But when compared to the earlier entries in the series, it’s obvious just how little EA tried (or cared) this time around.
Then I got to thinking: this isn’t a problem limited to Hasbro and EA. But it is a perfect small-scale example of many of the problems with games today. Continue reading
EA’s Medal of Honor Warfighter is coming out in October. To help promote the game, EA’s marketing people wanted to come up with something more unique and original than the usual YouTube/TV commercial/game magazine advertisement campaign. “What’s related to our game that we could sell?” one marketing person said to another. The light bulbs go off above their heads at the same time as they turn to the camera: “GUNS!”
That’s right, EA decided to partner with a handful of real, actual weapon manufacturers to make authentic Medal of Honor branded merchandise. You like shootin’ them brown people in authentic, real-world locations, Mr. ‘Murrica? Well how about you buy that same gun you love to use in the game to shoot stuff in real life! They’re also selling clothing, and various other weapon accessories like scopes, clips, and the like. Oh, and don’t forget the sweet tomahawk pictured above. For charity! Continue reading