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The value of games

Link to my blog

The last few years we have seen indie games come forward and have another take on games and their pricing. Games no longer cost 60 bucks everywhere. Games have different price structures and no longer have the same price structure we have seen before. Not long ago you could have seen a three hour game cost 60 bucks, and a 100 hour game costing the same.

Adam Sessler makes a good point about the importance of length before he left Rev3Games and lost his mind on twitter.

A short game, does not always mean it’s not worth it. There are many games that aren’t that long, but are still one of the best experiences you can get out there. Let’s take Journey for example. That game is only a few hours long and yet you can play it several times. You can also have a different experience everytime you play it. There is also Valiant Hearts. A game that has a very contained story and it is only a few hours long. Those hours you do play it, is told in such a manner that it works within the limitations of the game. It’s better to try to keep it short and well made, instead of having a lot of filler in the game.

Another example of how Adam puts it in context.

I am personally fine with games that are priced less if they do not have a lot of gameplay time. You are after all paying less. However when I do pay for a game at full price, I want something that lasts more than 4 hours. That needs to be stressed. The gameplay needs to be there and so does the time you can put into it. A game that is paid for that demands full price, needs to have such a value to keep you interested in it for a few days.

People can make the point that we can buy the game when it’s cheaper, but that does not stress the fact that it’s full price on release. A game that you pay full price for should not take less than a workday to finish. You should have something you can enjoy for at least a day or more in my opinion. Games are expensive, but we also have to realize that games are expensive to make as well.

Telltale Games make games that are episodic and wander into territory that not really other developer do. You get games that focus on gameplay and on your choices in the game. These games are not too long either, but don’t ask you to pay full price for these games. Telltale shows us that you can make something different, at a reasonable price with quality if you like that type of game.

There are Free-To-Play games that give you lots of gameplay, the quality isn’t always there though. It gives you lots of gameplay most of the time, but no real quality. There are games that i personally liked that fall into this category. Star Wars: The Old Republic and DC Unverse Online fall into this. Both have enjoyable story, great multiplayer and great gameplay. It never feels like there is a pay-to-win model in the games. You can have grinding in such a game, without ever making it feel punishing for not paying. It is possible to make long games, without paying for them and make them fun to play.

A game should no longer be valued by the length it gives you. It should be valued by the value it gives you while you are playing it. Wether it is 2 hours or 200 hours. That should should not really matter. You want to get your money’s worth and it’s not always the most expensive

Let me know if you feel the same way or have any criticism on this opinion.

Don't blame games for what happens in the real world

Games have been linked to real world violence or even misogyni. But the reasearch has been clear. Games do not have any correlation with what happens in the real world. The same goes with any other art aswell. Music, Movies, TV, Comic Books, etc. None of these art forms have anything to do with harming other people. If someone does something to another person, you can't blame games on it. Because there are several other factors that have to be accounted for. Yet everytime some sort of shooting happens, it gets blamed on games.

Even before Adam Sessler's downward spiral, he had some good discussions about the topic on tv. There are numerous others incidents of discussion on tv though. But Jack Thompson did his best by trying to blame violence on video games. Most people can tell the difference between a game and reality. Those who can't might need help mentally.

One can argue that there are age restrictions for games. That can be harmful right? So can movies? There is a reason children aren't suppose to be exposed to some themes of life until they completely understand them. Games do not harm children. There are age appropriate games or art for children. They don't need to see everything, because they don't understand it or can deal with it properly. That's why they aren't sold to everyone.

For someone to suggest that any game causes violence even after all the research is ignorant and does to know what they're talking about. You can disagree or not like art, but it does not make people hurt each other

My expectation from the big three this year

Nintendo:

I expect them to continue making great first party games. I still don't think they're going to gain or overtake X1 in sales. But i think the console is going to be more popular with the release of Zelda and other big titles. I really want Nintendo to stay relevant. I hope the console also gets cheaper, as i am writing this it's still 650 bucks or so to get here. It's really the only reason i haven't gotten it already is because i think it's too expensive. I still think that the console has a lot to offer though.

My favorite game from Nintendo is still Mario Kart 64, and i want to try the newer Mario Karts since i haven't had a Nintendo console since the N64 days. I expect the 3DS to continue doing well. They've done a real good job with that. Nintendo really knows how to do to their handhelds. I do think Nintendo has a lot of potential this year. They showed that they can still make awesome games for their consoles. I think they are going to be second this year when it comes to games. That's because i think their first party is going to be so solid that they're going to finish strong. We still don't know most of the titles coming out from them, but they're going to do great work with them. Let's hope they are going to release a new Mario game this year.

Microsoft:

I don't think the Xbox One is in the best position right now. I do think they're going to have a better year than this year. I thought they had a better year than Sony when it came to exclusives, but not as good as Nintendo's year. I do think that they are going to regain some territory with the Tomb Raider timed exclusive and some other games. But i don't think they're going to have a better year than Nintendo or Sony.

They just have too little compelling titles coming out for my taste and for most people's taste i think. Halo isn't going to be enough to make them stay relevant. Halo does sell well, but they can't continue to just rely on that title alone to make them money. They need to make other games or new ip's. Forza 6 is bound to come out with some new amazing gameplay and graphics. It's probably going to be the best rated racing games again. Turn 10 is an amazing studio with lots of great people there.

I want to be wrong about this, but i don't think i am. The current price for it here is around 800 bucks, and for that price it is not really worth it at the moment. It's a little cheaper other places in europe, but for the games out for it right now it isn't worth it in my opinion. If you do like the few exclusives they do release however, it is worth it for you. They do know how to make games at Microsoft, i just think they're too far in between to justify a purchase.

Sony:

Sony did not have the best year when it came to the exclusives. They did have Little Big Planet 3, but they also had the disaster of Driveclub. I bought Driveclub on launch (yeah i know). That game was unplayable for at least two weeks. They better get their act together with these games. Not everyone is going to buy a PS4 if they release broken games out of the gate. Not that Halo Master Chief Collection was any better, they still had Sunset Overdrive and Forza Horizon as two other big titles to rely on.

Sony did show however, if they stick with their gameplan, that they have the best lineup currently for 2015 overall. They have big multiplatform games coming and great exclusives. How all of them turn out is yet to be determined. But there is no doubt that Sony promotes different kind of games a lot. Indie games have been heavily promoted on Sony's consoles the last few years. You can choose from more games, some of them you might not like. Some of them you might though.

I will expect Sony is going to have the best year overall with the momentum they've carried from 2014. They need to show us why we bought this console was worth the price. So it's going to be a big year for Sony to prove that the console is not just hype

Backlog: January 2015

  • Uncharted 2 & 3
  • Metal Gear Solid 1-4
  • Ratchet & Clank HD
  • God of War 3
  • Sonic & All-Stars Transformed
  • Okami HD
  • Dishonored
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  • Fallout New Vegas
  • Catherine
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown
  • Malicious
  • Kingdoms of Amalur
  • Shadow of the Colusssus
  • Ico
  • When Vikings Attack
  • Jak and Dexter Trilogy
  • NHL 12
  • F1 Race Stars
  • Demon Souls
  • Flow
  • Dead or Alive 5
  • Infamous 2
  • Dead Island
  • Hotline Miami
  • Guacamelee
  • Motorstorm RC
  • SSX
  • Borderlands 2
  • Dragons Dogma
  • Bioshock Infinite
  • Metro Last Light
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • Sly Cooper Thieves in Time
  • Brothers a Tale of Two Sons
  • Max Payne 3
  • God of War Ascension
  • Sly Cooper Thieves in Time
  • Lone Survivor
  • Tales of Symphonia
  • Dead Space 3
  • Fez
  • Jurassic Park
  • Tales of Symphonia
  • Luftrausers
  • The Hungry Horde
  • The Binding of Isaac
  • Frozen Synapse Prime
  • Steamworld Dig
  • Need for Speed Shift 2 Unleashed
  • Fight Night Champion
  • FIFA Street
  • GTA IV
  • Mirrors Edge
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2
  • Deadly Premonition
  • Final Horizon
  • Titan Attacks
  • Hitman Trilogy HD
  • 360:
  • The Beatles Rock Band
  • Mark Of the Ninja
  • Dust: An Elysian Tale
  • Prototype
  • Gears of War 2 & 3
  • Street Fighter X Tekken
  • Skate 3
  • Fable 2
  • Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
  • Tekken 6
  • Halo 3 & Reach
  • Syndicate

Vita:

  • Gravity Rush
  • Uncharted: Golden Abyss
  • Stealth Inc
  • Sine Mora
  • Hotline Miami
  • Guacamelee
  • Dragons Crown
  • Jak and Daxter trilogy HD
  • Motorstorm RC
  • Oddworld HD
  • Assassin's Creed Liberation
  • Soul Sacrifice
  • Blazblue Continuum Shift
  • Dynasty Warriors Next
  • Final Fantasy X-2
  • Maramusa Rebirth
  • Sly Cooper Thieves in Time
  • Lone Survivor
  • Lego Harry Potter
  • Fez
  • Doki Doki Universe
  • Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7
  • Lego Batman 2
  • TxK
  • Joe Danger
  • TxK
  • Rainbow Moon
  • Indoor Sports
  • Football Manager 2014

PS4

  • Contrast
  • Mercenary Kings
  • Stick it to the Man
  • Trine 2
  • PixelJunk Shooter
  • Road Not Taken
  • Vessel
  • Towerfall Ascension
  • Sportsfriends
  • Velocity 2X
  • Spelunky
  • Dust An Elysian Tale
  • Pix The Cat
  • Transistor
  • Need for Speed Rivals
  • Valiant Hearts
  • Dust an Elysian Tale
  • Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare
  • Wolf Among Us
  • Injustice Gods Among Us
  • Secret Ponchos
  • The Last of Us Remastered

Games finished:

  • Pro Evolution Soccer 15
  • Dragon Age Inquisition
  • Valiant Hearts
  • Mafia 2
  • Beyond Two Souls
  • DMC
  • Walking Dead Season 1 & 2 (PS4)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Look to the past

This is not a blog thread of how much better games were in the past. This is more of a reminder of all the games you can explore from the previous gen. There are so many good games you can get for good deals. They are more than worthy of a playthrough. Don't just buy into all the day 1 stuff, when you can get 5 or 6 awesome games for the same price. I am going to make that my goal for 2015.

We have so many games that we can choose from and they are dirt cheap now. Go and watch some reviews or look at metacritic and watch some gameplay. There are just a ton of games from last generation that you should try out. I am trying to go into my backlog and get games on sale for last gen as much as possible before i fully go to the 8th gen.

You guys should also try out the diversity we got from the last gen, and i don't mean just re-buy remastered games. Try to get games for a cheap buck and have loads of fun. It's not always the newest games that are the best. What i am trying to say is don't waste your money on something brand spanking new that might not work. Buy something that is known to be good, which you can get for a cheap buck.

There are loads of games i haven't tried yet, and i am doing that right now. Are you doing this or have you abandoned last gen?

Games that i think have been overlooked

So here are some of the games that people might have overlooked or not given it a second thought. That might be because of several different reasons or incidents, but i am going to list those who i deserve a recomendation that didn't get it from the mainstream media. You can judge me, but this is just my opinion.

  • Dragonball Z: Budokai 3 HD

Now you might have missed this game in the PS2 days, but now you can buy it on the PS3 and even get two games for the price of one. You get the first Budokai games and the third one. This is my favorite fighting game, and the only one i could ever really get into. I don't think any fighting game imho, has the same kind of depth and tactic and progression in it than this game. You can level each character up to lvl 99, choose abilities, there is a storymode for several characters and there's an additional arena mode where you can really test your skills. I recomend this for fans of Dragonball Z or even just regular fighting fans.

  • Star Wars: The Old Republic

This is an amazing game, and if my pc wouldn't screw things up when i try to play this game, then i would still play it. The story mode is exquisite for a mmo game. I've played through 3 of the main campaigns and one is better than the other. I personally liked the Jedi Knight story the most, because of its epic scale. I also played through the Trooper and the Jedi Consular. I also started on other ones, but i didn't get finished with those stories because of issues. The pvp is also very fun, and very asymmetric compared to other mmo's i've played. If you only want to play it for the story, then this is more than enough.

  • Heroes: Might and Magic 3

This is a game i can not recomend enough. It is perfect for anything really. You can try to play it alone and try to conquer the enemy or you could play co op with friends and take turns to play. Such a deep turn based game, with economy, army building and strategy. It's not just about winning all the battles, it's about winning the war. Making sacrifices and making calculated decisions is part of this game.

  • Pro Evolution Soccer series

This is a series that i have close to my heart. I've played every single one of the series. I can not recommend this series enough. I think this game, at least now, is the best football game on the market. I've loved this series since the SNES days where it has just stood out in my mind compared to other games. It's my favorite sport game and if anyone does like this sport, i strongly recomend it. This game never feels like a rip off to me. The only thing that makes me angry is that FIFA is basicly holding teams and league hostage so that Konami can't acquire all the teams for the game.

  • Need for Speed Underground 1 & 2

These two games just stand out much to me when it comes to the Need for Speed series. I've played the NFS games since the PS1. The diversity of races, locations, cars, and tracks were just amazing for the time. It had draft, sprint, races and drift races in the games. The games were just so well made, that i just loved them from the start. They are still my favorite arcade racing games of all time. It's just a shame that these games have not had any sequels or attention since the PS2 days, it is a real shame. The only kind of sequel we got was Need for Speed Carbon. That one was going another direction of the two others and made me kinda lose the interest in the series.

  • Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

This game has gotten way too little coverage. War for Cybetron didn't really find its ground imho. But in the second game, it really came to its own. Variation in levels and pace in the singleplayer and just so much content in the multiplayer. It is a game that has been completely overlooked by most people, even though it's a really solid game. There are enough classes and maps in the singleplayer alone to make it worth playing through just for that money alone. The singleplayer lasts about 10 hours or so. But those are so worth it. The multiplayer was also very fun with a horde mode aswell in there. You can upgrade the class you choose there aswell.

  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

I think this gem also flew under the radar when it came out. From the immortal cat, to the dog slicing. This game is just so over the top and amazing that everyone should check it out just for the bosses alone. Even though the story isn't the focus of this game, i found serious undertones in this game. Even somewhat sympathizing with the bosses, where they showe that even how cruel they are through the game. Before you take down some of these bosses, just shows you they are exactly like you and never had real choice. The slicing of all those soldiers is also very satisfying, but also makes you think that these guys are forced to do it.

  • Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

Some may have heard of it, but this game has the best tutorial that i have ever played. The humor and so little fucks that are given is just flat out amazing. It's not as big as Far Cry 3, but it's just as good to play if not better. The dragons in the game give whole other dynamic compared to just the animals in the regular Far Cry 3. The level up system is also much simpler, where you just earn stats. There is also just as much to do as Far Cry 3, where you can just wander around and do whatever you want. The story also takes stabs at itself and it is a homage to the 80's with the action heroes.

Virtual Reality is a gimmick that's not going to catch on

I don't think personally every single gamer out there is going to play through VR headsets. Now don't get me wrong, i do think a lot of people will enjoy this. But overall, i think gamers will reject it. It's only going to give an alternate perspective, but not improve it.

It doesn't really change the way we play games. It only changes your point of view and how the player can control the line of sight. The game is still the same. It does hold potential for some games, but it won't suit every game i think. Among the Sleep is a game that is perfect for this i feel.

In the end i think it's going to be an accessory for gamers, but not much more. For those who want to get it, i won't stop you. I just don't buy into this imho. I do think it has other applictations as virtual tourism, selling houses, etc. But for gaming it's only an add-on than a game changer.

What do you guys think? Am i wrong?

Why i love Bioware games

The reason i love the Bioware games is because the worlds they create are so great to play in. I loved Neverwinter and Baldurs Gate. But Mass Effect and Dragon Age are my two favorite series they have created. Their focus on choice and story is just so awesome. You can play however you want to play. You can go for neutral, asshole or just an overall good guy.

They have also improved with their gameplay in the recent years. I am really looking forward to the next Mass Effect game. Dragon Age impressed me immensely since i finished it yesterday. I think if the series continues the way of Origins and the latest game, i think it's going to be all good. I really want them to continue in the same

The reason i adore these games from this company is because of the stories. Star Wars: The Old Republic, Mass Effect and Dragon Age have all awesome stories. In Star Wars you can play through the same story several tmes and get different outcomes and play completely different characters. That is what i like so much about these games. They let you play however you want to. Their stories is what stands out to me and they have a special place in my heart.

Are there any developers you guys like or have close to your hearts?

Now is the time for innovation

During the last two years of the generation 7 of gaming consoles, we didn't see any risky new games. We only saw sequels and rehashes. Last of Us and Dishonored were far inbetween and we didn't see a lot of them. Now there is no excuse for developers and to rehash things. Yet we see remaster after remaster, sequel after sequel. Now don't get me wrong, we had a few new ip's this year. That is great. But in 2015 i expect there to be way more games that are new and fresh that haven't been announced yet.

Now there are some games that do something new even though they might now have succeded totally. Destiny is a game i've played a lot. I still would have liked to see some story to it. But it does something bold with strikes, raids and pvp in a game with open areas. Even if you hate Ubisoft, they did release Valiant Hearts, Watch Dogs, The Crew and Child of Light. All of them new ip's. You might not like Watch Dogs or even The Crew. But at least we are seeing new games emerge.

The indie scene is always innovating. So we will see a lot of fresh ideas coming that way like No Man's Sky for example. The indie scene is ripe with ideas that the big companies doesn't want to take.

This coming year i think will set the tone for innovation for gaming. Because we saw a lot of new games during the last generation of games during this period we are about to start in. Let's hope we don't see every games remastered or just sequels all over the place. I want to experience new things Abzu, Rime, No Man's Sky, etc are all what i am looking forward to.

A review of the 7th Generation of consoles

Before i go on and put out what i think of it, i will tell you what consoles i owned. I had a 360 for the most part of the generation and got the PS3 in 2012. I also have a 3DS and a Vita from this generation of gaming. So now that you know where i am coming from i will give my thoughts on the generation as a whole.

I think this generation of games we went through might have been the strangest one. We had 3 winners in all of their own categories. The 360 won with multiplatforms games, gaining ground and the online experience. The Wii sold most consoles and drew the casual gamers in. PS3 had the most unique games, most exclusive good games and the best overall graphics. I wouldn't say there was a clear cut winner, but for me personally it's the PS3. I am a singleplayer kind of guy, and i never really saw the interest for the Wii. So i am going with the PS3.

Gaming overall managed to reach a whole new audience this generation and became bigger than movies and music. This was most apparant for the online aspect of the generation. The 6th generation did have online, but it wasn't as prominent as it was during the 7th generation. It was easier to play with others online than ever before. We also got to see bigger worlds and old genre's getting a new boost. The biggest boost was the FPS genre. They got new life when they came to consoles and became the biggest genre of the 7th generation of gaming.

I've been mostly stuck to the singleplayer experience and i've gotten loads of awesome games i've enjoyed. Batman, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, GTA and other games that i've had loads of fun with. I do think that the online portion of games have gotten a little too much attention sometimes and that the singleplayer has suffered because of it. I really hope that this trend doesn't continue and that multiplayer keeps getting shoehorned into games.

We've also seen Microtransactions and DLC making it into the AAA market. Games that we've already paid full price for are getting in game currency and additional content which most likely most of the time is taken out of the game and sold for a cost. Games are going to suffer if the publishers don't come to realize that these practices are going to hurt them in the long run.

Overall it's been a great console generation, but i do think that the focus has been too much on the multiplayer and the bottom dollar instead of just the games alone. I hope some of them will realize that they're only screwing over their costumers by doing it