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DamnILoveGames Blog

Should Female Equality Really Be So Highly Prioritised Right Now?

Tomb Raider. Not really my cup of tea, but gender doesn't play into my likes and dislikes.

Yes, I'm adding to the cesspool of female equality articles on Gamespot, so if you don't like the sound of that (and I wouldn't blame you) then walk away now. I'm going to keep this short.

Anyway, those of you who keep up with gaming news will have realised by now that women are putting their feet down in what is largely a male dominated industry, and are asking for a more positive representation in games that are either strong or relatable; a fair request if I say so myself. Personally, while given the choice I'll play as a male, I'll happily play as a female if needs be. Now, I could ramble on for ages about the whole thing, and have done in the past, but instead I wonder if it's really worth the kerfuffle that it's causing right now.

DLC 'tis but a scratch till EA turns it into a gash and rams their fist into it.

Undoubtedly it's an important subject, but given how clear it is that the industry is taking a lot of questionable turns and is employing a lot of shady tactics and men with million dollar haircuts, shouldn't both male AND female gamers be more worried about this sort of stuff instead of the shape some polygons form? To be honest, I'd rather my hobby weren't trying to have me ripped off left, right, and centre, than make sure my character is a Black, Asian transgender bisexual balancing cancer and the hardships of raising children while simultaneously combatting corrupt super soldiers. We see so many other problems: HD remakes of HD remakes, silly DLC and mega-transaction choices, a reluctance to create sequels to still beloved franchises, rushed sequels to franchises representing everything wrong with gaming, game breaking bugs, pre-order BS, poor ports, false advertising, always online, lacking innovation in AAA, the list goes on and on and on.

So there you have it. Is equality an issue worth dealing with? Yes, but I think the question is, 'is it really the best time to deal with it'? I don't think so, honestly. We've got a million problems, and making it grow to a million and one isn't really helping. Nor is the fact that when it DOES come to dealing with the issue, it becomes a shit flinging match of who can offend who more, and everyone reverts back to an immature 7 year old who's just started to learn swear words. I've no doubt the fact I'm a male probably means all of this is instantly a load of crap and that nothing I say counts for anything on the matter, but there's a time and a place for a lot of stuff, and I don't feel like it's the right time to be discussing this issue as a main priority. Apologies if I've offended anyone, but if you're buying a game because the protagonist has boobs and don't care about the quality nor how much your wallet is bleeding to death in a hospital bed as you play it, then there's no other word for you than a 'fool'.

A nutter's view on Game Scores! (may contain traces of opinions)

Ah, game scores. The whole debacle of what they stand for and how they should be used has only gone and gathered some more attention. I'm glad, because it means that I can finally say what my outlook is on scores and it will hold a lot more relevance considering the current time. If you read anything on here in the news section, you'll probably have heard about Gamespot getting rid of the middle ground '.5' in their scores, and they even went as far as writing an article explaining a load of stuff of which I will not be delving into because this is my view. Speaking of which, I still haven't told you what I think, and I know that a lot of people agree with this.

I honestly don't think a game score should exist in the first place. Why? Because little Timmy Opinionated gets in a huff every time his treasured possession doesn't receive a score that he deems acceptable. Oh no, no, no, no, no. Do not believe you are entitled to criticise the very game that he holds so dear, otherwise you'll fear the wrath of his text based anger and he'll attack you and your family and dream of mutilating you...or so I presume. You see, we are unfortunately a lazy species for the most part, and many people feel it's much more efficient to look at a number and then decide on whether they should lead the Third Reich against you, rather than read what the reviewer has put their time and logic into and then decide on leading the Third Reich against you. And this frustrates me. I would rather people take a few minutes out of their day to read the reviewers reasons and their likes and dislikes of the game and then take from that what they will, what they believe does and doesn't matter to them, accept that the reviewer has an opinion and then move on. Of course that will never happen but it would be nice, wouldn't it?

The problem stems from the fact that, for the most part, humanity has been imbued with the obscene mind-set that an opinion can be right or wrong. Let's look at it from an honest standpoint: A review is just a way for the reviewer to get their interpretations and feelings across. That's it. Their review is no more valuable than yours. What's the difference between theirs and yours, besides a pay check, nothing. You're entitled to one, they're entitled to one, your hamster can have one if it wants to (I'm not sure it's intelligent enough to but I've been wrong before). I brought this up earlier today in one of the Gamespot articles revolving around game scores and said that if someone were to claim E.T. were better than GTA 5 they would be completely right. But then they would be completely and utterly wrong. They would be both and neither because there is no definitive way of establishing which one is better. Now I'll go on to tell you what someone who decided to combat my view said:

He claimed that a review was not subjective, rather it was objective. A review should be representative of what the majorities views will be on a particular game. He had played Skyrim and disliked it, however he was not a fan of WRPGs in the first place and thus claiming he shouldn't write a review as a negative review from him would be invalid. To that I say 'bullshit', and I have my reasons. See, I'm not a fan of WRPGs either, obviously not considering I don't even know what the 'W' stands for, however I very much liked Skyrim and could list all of my likes such as there being a lot to do, and dislikes such as a large array of bugs despite them being quite common in games by Bethesda. Does that mean that my review, despite having reasoning behind my feelings, is completely invalid? No, because it's just my opinion. Just like if he wanted to mostly speak negatively of it he would be completely free to do so, and I would take from it what I could and may even consider weighing those reasons against the positive reviews when coming to a purchasing decision. I wouldn't mind, but he's not even a professional reviewer in the first place, his work would end up amidst the vast river of other user reviews, no-one's probably going to be bothered to consider judging him. Even if it weren't considered accurate by the majority of people, he wouldn't be wrong at all.

And onto my final problem, and we all know what specific little review I'm referring to here...THE INSULTS. At the end of the day, it's these that truly make me feel sick to be considered a part of the gaming community. In the -> GTA 5 REVIEW <- (we knew it was coming) Carolyn got all manner of hideous flak for her OPINIONS. Because most people (and 95% of them probably hadn't even played the game) thought that GTA 5 is such a masterpiece that anything less than a 10 was blasphemy. She received insults referring to her gender, death threats and a petition was made to get her fired, all over a bloody number for a game. Now of course some had a go at her for her reasons she disliked the game, and while I too disagreed, I certainly didn't insult her. If you think the game is so perfect, write your own review. Go on, show that you can put in half the effort that she did. I can honestly say if you're one of those people who contributed to the influx of hate towards her you should consider your behaviour disgusting. But then that's just my opinion. In fact, this whole article is my opinion. You could talk about wanting a Rottweiler to bite me in the bollocks and call me a queer weaboo if you'd like.

But then you'd be wrong.

How long until games run out of ideas?

Nearly every day a new game, or multiple new games are released. This is refreshing after you become bored with whatever you purchased last. You 100% (I actually don't know you that well) that last game and realize there probably isn't that much to do. So you move on and buy the next anticipated purchase on your list of goodies, assuming it's released of course. And what do we do? We get it legally of course, and support Activision and EA all the way (Yeah, fat **** chance in that scenario). Anyway, what this all boils down to is, how long do we feel refreshed by a games new release before it becomes "stale"? You see, like everything, you can only take it so far. There is only so much that can be thought up by the human race, and let's face it, most of the idea's are being used up. Take an FPS for example. No matter how compelling your story, lovable your characters are, or brilliant the level designs have become, we all feel that point were we want a break from shooting things in the face with a gun. Now there are of course, plenty of original idea's out there. I get that, and it's one of the reasons I'm a hardcore gamer in the first place. What? You thought Dance Dance Revolution was the reason I'm gaming and not killing things? Well I have been said to look good in tight outfits. That was sarcasm by the way. Yes, yes I know text can be confusing, but you can look forward to nursery (or kindergarten) in the morning. Anyway back on track. The problem is, although we have a few new idea's and gimmicks in the game world, we have reached that point were they are all capable of being put into a class. You know, things like "adventure", "fighting" "RPG" and so on. Let's take the FPS genre as an example. It is, after all, pretty much the most popular of the lot these days. There is obviously room for different levels and stories, but you always get that first person perspective, and same objective of shooting everything in the testicles and blowing everything up. No matter what FPS it is that you play, you will at some point, do these things I guarantee it. What I like is when games try to take things in a different direction with the mechanics i.e. a complete overhaul on an already existing idea's. Obviously it's hard to come up with something original, but expanding on an idea can be a good alternative. Let's look at Naughty Dogs upcoming title The Last of Us. This takes the whole apocalyptic third person shooter scenario and adds an interesting twist: Emotion. The A.I. and characters are going to seem like real people and I really like the idea of a take on an already existing idea such as this. Most gamers (if you can call them that) are the mindless drones that are happy so long as they have a gun that appears in every war game, and a terrorist called Abdul Al Allahbomb to gun down in a second. So many games take this approach. Use a stereotypical gun in a stereotypical war scenario with stereotypical war soldiers and stereotypical blockbuster explosions that are far more glorified than what the military has to offer. Anyway, the truth is that with each game that is released, the more idea's we run out of. Reboots are solid proof of this. But there's borrowing, and then blatantly copying one another. Furthermore, we have sex. With fighting games it's usually less copying one another as there are very few successful franchise out there, a shame considering they're one of my favourite genre's, and more sex appeal. Sweet mother of Jesus have you seen some of those chicks in fighting games!? They're essentially what every gamer wants his girlfriend (some day you'll get one mate) to look like. To quote Ninja Ninja from the Afro Samurai game they got it all **** ass...****ss". Mai from KOF, Chun Li from Street Fighter, Nina from Tekken, Ivy from Soul Calibur, and everyone in Dead or Alive and Mortal Kombat. These selling points are appearing more and more as marketing schemes and they work. Now obviously I could go on and on and on and on about what every genre has in common, which I guess makes sense if it is, after all, a genre. So I have another little question in here for you rather than dedicating it to a whole new topic. Do you think developers should become more involved with their audience in taking advice on what to implement into games? After all, you play them. Surely you have some good criticisms and advice. Then they could take whatever idea's prove popular or interesting and then ask the fans if they would be intrigued were that idea implemented into the game. I'm talking even one person posting a remotely interesting idea. If they like it then ask if it should be used. And if the fans like the idea then hey, another reason to buy their game!

STOP focussing on the scores!

The title pretty much sums this whole thing up. Seriously, I've begun to question why scores in game reviews are seen as so important. The honest truth is it's better for you to look through the review and then come to a judgement yourself. Recently I read through Gamespot's review of Hitman Absolution; A game I have pre-ordered and been looking forward to for quite some time now. Anyway, I noticed Kevin VanOrd received a lot of grief for rating the game a 7.5. Now do not think for a second I am trying to fight some sort of battle for him, he's a grown man and can do that himself. Rather I 'm ranting about how that little number is more important to people than the review itself. In the words of Peter Griffin "Oh my god. Who...The hell...Caaares?". If you're unaware of what the game received, it got a 7.5 which is, by Gamespot's standards, GOOD! Yes, that means it is a good game. Not bad, but good i.e. fun to play but not without its problems. I cannot help but feel like number rating systems should be demolished completely and we should just focus on the criticisms and appraisals given. Everyone ends up being all up in arms if a game doesn't receive a 9 or higher. I want this to be a shorter article because there isn't too much to say but PLEASE, concentrate on the critique rather than the number. That's what's important!

Is it all going balls up for the games industry?

I recently thought of another interesting question today. One that frightens me no less. I would like to discuss how badly it's all been going for the games industry, and how much longer it can all last. Browsing through the internet recently, I have discovered how many games companies are suffering massive losses.Not a great start considering how much time, money and work games take to make then. These losses are far from small, too. We are talking millions and millions of dollars and pounds disappearing. This made me rather concerned, as I, along with many of you, am a gamer be it hardcore or casual. I have been entertained to no end by video games, so you start to get worried when you hear about $20,000,000 losses, not from one company, but several. I'm not all too surprised either. It takes one stingy bugger with a good argument looking for a chance to make a quick buck to sue a company for a lot of dosh. They are usually the oversensitive or overly selfish individuals who frankly have nothing better to do than make themselves happy. Honestly, they really ************************...me right the hell off. Not only are they dragging a company further down, and limiting the available budget for future productions, they are deriving gamers of a fun experience in the process. Now I won't continue to derive these lowlifes of what negative image they have already received because it will just be me waffling on and cursing a lot, which I don't really like doing. So let's move on shall we? Next up is the marketing tactics, and my favourite one...DLC! Not downloadable content, which while it isn't without its problems, can be good if done correctly. No, I'm talking about disc locked content. The sickening marketing strategy that is the penultimate way of pulling a fast one. Not much else will put people off your product quite as much as giving them half, and then charging you again for the other half. I'm looking at you Capcom! Now I should tell you, I used to respect Capcom, as did many others. But soon enough, the concept of DLC arose and they took their marketing strategies to an all new low. No I don't want 15 more characters that should be on the disc. Or 100 costumes that you couldn't be arsed to add. Well I do, but at least have the common decency to add them in the original bloody disc. When I buy a £35, £40, especially £50 game, I want the whole product there. Not charged to gain access to another half. Capcom are pulling this again with Devil May Cry DMC with their weapon packs and Vergil chapter. It's not out yet and you have it made so put it on for everyone to have! Borderlands can do it right. Bethesda can do it right (despite being immensely buggy). They give you a huge chunk of content that keep you occupied for hours on end at a reasonable price. Not a few costumes for £3.19. And what's more, it isn't locked on the disc. It's completely separate. Obviously this is a major issue that needs to end and now (even though it probably won't)! I could go on, but for the fear of being lectured on using paragraphs I'll start a new point. Next up, multiple releases of the same game is never really a smart move. Again, let's use Capcom as an example of this shall we? There must have been about 10 or more different versions of Street Fighter 2. What you're saying by doing that is "Yeah uh, we can't be bothered to make a new game so we'll slap some more characters and stages into the old one" i.e. LAZY! The problem is the franchise is fun, but taken to stupid levels with small releases that should just all be placed in the next game. We shouldn't be charged full price for another release with a few minor changes. That's just taking the Mick. It's charging too much for incomplete content, and no-one can agree with that can they? Next up is the noticeable amount of change that a game demonstrates. Clearly if something 100% strides away from what made it successful in the first place, that is for the most part, a huge mistake. But rather than talk about that, how about we talk COD? Like it or not, there is no escaping the painstakingly obvious truth that this game has hardly changed since COD 4. Earlier today, my younger brother got Black Ops 2 and, maybe I've been playing too much PC, but the graphics looked even more horrendous than I remembered. Now I don't have anything against COD, it's just so clear that you are blinding yourself from the truth if you cannot see this franchise is being milked so hard the cattle are going to die. Call of Duty has attracted a bunch of hate for this alone, never mind the insanely overpriced map packs which little kids crave like drugs. In fact, speaking of little kids... The fan base can tarnish a games reputation as well. I'm sorry but 20 screaming kids all using words that I don't understand and rubbing their metaphorical testicles on my dead body isn't nice. No body likes a fan boy. They over defend the product that they so dearly love to the point were it's like they spent all those years making the game they like single handed, and anyone who disagrees can suck it. They don't seem to realize that the game devs are adults capable of fighting their own battles, and choose not to, to maintain their dignity, while they on the other hand are losing all of theirs. I lose so much replayability from games purely because the fan base annoys me like hell. I want a decent match or a decent fight, not a verbal debate about why you want to sexually assault my family while I watch.They are indeed a problem. Mainly because they are sore losers who take it personally if I don't stand there and let them win. Tough chance mates. If you run at me with a grenade yelling "Allah hu Ackbar" joke or not, I'm shooting you. And if we have a race I will choose a car faster than yours. And if we are in a fight I will choose the character I have mained. It's a competition, and I am entitled to as much fun as you feel you are. And hey, even if new multiplayer rules and guidelines leading to bans from taboo language may decrease their sales, at least I'll get some peace and quiet. The next point is the polish of a game. If a game is not polished i.e. bug ridden and crawling with hackers and exploits that can be immensely off putting. Sure patches can fix the majority of this stuff up, but they can still pester you. In fact, I refuse to continue my Dishonored playthrough. Why? It's not a bad game no, but a pretty much game breaking bug has happened whereby everyone, upon my loaded game, is instantly alerted to my presence and a whole army comes crashing down on me. Things like this shouldn't be there in the first place. I know that not all of them can be patched or fixed immediately but I expect at least some form of polished work. Games like COD are always swarming with them. The game is rushed and thrown out half made, then subject to exploits and glitches like you wouldn't believe. No I'm not hating on it, I'm being realistic. So many games suffer from glitches these days that it seems there is no escaping them. While this may not be an immensely decisive factor when considering a purchase, it's something we can definitely do without. Another big problem is originality. With each new idea that is invented, it's an idea that cannot be used again otherwise it will be considered a rip off in the future. So many idea's are being used up, that we are deteriorating further and further into the MMS age, as said very well by a good bloke I'm subscribed to named TotalBiscuit, who you have probably heard of. He said it very well. The MMS is essentially Modern Military Shooter. What this is is the same recycled idea of you are an American soldier out on a mission to stop the terrorists...Now there's an idea that we haven't heard a billion times before. Then there's problems like the heavily scripted levels whereby the game pretty much holds your hand the whole way through, and you can only continue so long as the game does what it's meant to. What I mean by this is you can't simply kick down the door blocking your path. Oh no. Your squad mate has to do it for you, because that's all the game allows. Your freedom is too limited and that doesn't make anything fun. It's just boring, scripted crap with the same pretty explosions to desperately try and keep your attention. Anyway, those are just a few of what I am sure is a near never ending list of problems. Unless they are dealt with the games industry will just continue to go downhill. So, over to you. Can you think of any other issues, or do you have anything to say regarding what I have said? Please feel free to post your thoughts and comments, and i will try and reply to as many of you as possible.

Are age ratings really still a warning to parents, or just a number?

My first proper topic that I would like to spark off, and one that I believe is a question that has existed for quite some time. Anyone who has played a game or even watched a film will clearly see the little number in the corner of the box identifying the legal age allowed for someone to have access to that content. Everyone knows that! You don't even have to like them to have seen them there. So what am I fussing about? Now then, I'm not the biggest fan of Call of Duty. In fact I don't even play it. But yet again it manages to weave it's way in as a worthy example for something else. Anybody who goes to pick up a game on the day of yet another Call of Duty's release should instantly see there are a lot of young kids there. Probably a lot more than usual. And yes, they are there for Call of Duty, or 99% of them are anyway. Okay, I believe it's due to it being over hyped yes but that's something completely different and can wait till another day for another rant. Back on topic, the age rating for games such as COD are 18 years of age. However, many parents will still willingly go with their kids to pick up the title and then be on their way. But most of them aren't 18. As a matter of fact, some of them are so small they look like they should still be wearing nappies (that's diapers to the Americans, so I assume). And I suddenly found myself questioning: Are age ratings really an issue or just a number on the box identifying what that content contains? Let's look at it like this. You go there, buy your child (assuming you have one) a game even though it's technically inappropriate for them, but because you are buying it it's legal. Great then! Everybody's happy. The game developers and store get their cut of the cash, your child gets a new game to play for god knows how long, and you get some peace and quiet and time to yourself while they're occupied. But is it really so cut and dry? Now forgive me, I am only 16, however, I have a mature outlook on life so at least hear me out. Heck, I own many games that are 18's and I'm therefore not legally allowed to play them. Don't worry, I'll come back to that later. Anyway, when your child goes on an 18 rated game, they are subject to adult content, and, if multiplayer is included, an adult audience. That can mean all manner of swearing and sexual pre-pubescent conversation. I would know, I've experienced that sort of tosh. And it gets a bit more serious. So so many children these days, feel it is a necessity to own a headset much like it's a necessity to have an iBerry 247H1 phone. And it makes sense as it's easier for them to chat amongst their friends. But they are getting involved in these other conversations. Of course many games have a mute option, but it's only used if the child in question chooses to use it. And that makes me wonder. How much, if at all, is it affecting their personality and how they behave in later life? You get all sorts of tossers yapping on about how games are mentally scarring to children. Causing them to become psychotic unstable Nazi's in hoodies with a fetish for flick knives and a rottweiler named Hannibal, lurking in the shadows ready to shank an unsuspecting elderly lady on her way to the annual bingo tournament. Now that is ultimately quite farfetched, but realistically, the amount of cursing from these kids is mindblowing. It's as though their vocabulary is limited to all things unholy. There's a time and a place, but using it every third word downright silly. Essentially, they all adapt the mindset that you are wrong, they are right, and you can be tortured and burnt at the stake if you believe otherwise. But how did it come to this? I'm aware that a child's upbringing and background in life can play a large part in what they say and how they act, there's no questioning that. But not one of these children is capable of holding a decent conversation without biting your head off and acting as though "stealing their kill" is the equivalent of raping a newborn and destroying everything they've ever known. Of course they are, for the most part safe. But what if they just slightly slip up, and pull this in the wrong place, where they don't have mummy and daddy to fight their corner, or however many miles separating them? Not only that, but so many millions of children are subject to this problem! I understand that companies are trying to combat this. COD's new livestreaming feature stops profanities as have I heard Halo is trying to ban users for this as well (which could essentially harm future sails, something I may also talk about in the future). This is good, it encourages kids to think before they speak, and will hopefully show them that sometimes it's better to say nothing than something they will regret. Kudos to the devs, then, for thinking that one up. It only took them God knows how long. Anyway, I have personally been buying games that are aged too highly for me for years. So feel free to call me a huge bloody hypocrite. However, I luckily know myself well enough to have control over what I do. I've never once considered literally murdering someone, or jacking a car and driving up ramps to escape the military through the influence of a game. For a start you would end up in a huge **** storm, and any sane person knows that real life has no respawns or unlimited health cheats. But that's the thing. What about the children who do suffer from mental related illnesses? What do they think while they're doing this? The effect it's having on them is, realistically bad for the most part. For me, it allows me to let off steam, and I'm sure it does for many others as well. But unfortunately not for everyone. And nearly every game will end up in the hands of the wrong demographic and/or audience. It seems evident, to me at least, that age isn't the deciding factor in determining a purchase. Instead, it's the price point, and whether it is affordable at the current time. So do we really live in a world where the content is mostly irrelevant and the money is more important than this generations well being? Are age ratings really a warning or just another number where there is no difference between 1 and 100? I look forward to hearing the views of actual gamers themselves rather than a load of pansy's with a vendetta against gaming. I have been a hardcore gamer for multiple years now, and would quite fancy a profession in the games industry revolving around the artwork or score. So. What do you think? Why should you and I care? Is this even a necessary issue? So many questions. And I'm sorry if I'm resurrecting an old topic, but with time comes change. And in opinions no less. So what do you think?

New to the whole blogging nonsense.

Hello all. I just thought I would do a quick post saying hello, despite reaching level 8 and it seeming all rather late. I am a Brit as you will soon come to tell, probably by my spelling, words and (what I would like to believe is witty)ranting. Not to mention my more than average use of brackets. Despite the date I joined I have been a companion of Gamespots since quite a young age actually, and only as of recent decided to make an account, and can soon see me wishing I hadn't. I have posted quite a bit so you may have seen my name, not to mention on a previous account which I...kind of lost, I have done reviews as well. However, I would like to post somewhat regularly, though gaming and sixth form can be a hindrance. Nonetheless, I figure this is a brilliant opportunity. I love to write and I'm pursuing my dream of becoming a successful author. I love it, as I am usually very quiet so get the most out of expressing myself over the internet where you can't beat me up and teabag my beaten corpse (Oh I know you won't). Therefore, alongside practicing writing stories, what better way than to write about what has, sadly give or take, been the biggest part of my life, GAMES! And with over 200 with both my PS3 and PS2 combined I like to think of myself as a hardcore gamer. Not to mention my PSP and PC games and of course the fact I've played games since I was two years old on my dads lap. Aah, the fun I had on the Playstation 1. I love to keep up to date with the latest news on video games I'm tracking, and often wind up finding too many I love, so it's good that I don't buy much else. My preferred games are racing, action and fighting games but I will happily play first person shooters and platformers as well. Anywho, it's getting pretty late so I'll wrap it up with saying I look forward to a jolly good chat and a bit of banter on the latest and greatest of gaming news. If you want, spread my name about, if not that's okay as well. Feel free to laugh and joke all you like. Life can be a bit of a drag at times so we can all use one. And I look forward to, what will hopefully be a future of many posts but until then, goodnight.