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Is Narrative more important than Gameplay ?

A lot of folks out there are arguing that Bioshock Infinite is too violent. Sites like Polygon and Kotaku are frowning upon the gory aspects of the games combat. Since Infinite released Ive seen a growing amount of people on Twitter complaining about how reliant the game is on you not simply shooting dudes but cooking them alive, unleashing flesh eating ravens, and electrocuting them until their heads blow off. I think a lot of our gaming community is growing war weary of violent games.

At first I snickered at these comments, it seemed to me that is just folks finding something to bitch about for the sake of doing so. For lack of better phrasing, I wanted to sweep this issue under the rug, think everyone is just a giant vagina and move on with my life. Yet after playing through Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite I find myself crossing the fence. Videogames have a massive creativity issue right now.

Right now I share the same complaints as a lot of you probably have. It doesnt make sense why Lara is mowing down dudes by the dozen. I mean, how many of those guys are on that island? Thats what turned me off to the game. Why cant we have engagements against one or two guys but make those engagements more enticing? Heavy Rain has the player kill less than a handful of people and those were powerful moments. Im no game developer. I dont know how you solve this issue. I saw an article about Infinite asking why it couldnt just be a puzzle game. However, thats equally stupid. How many times in your life have you opened a door by solving a rubix cube?

2303203-gun.jpgThe Walking Dead's few instances of violence were powerful.

I want the combat to remain but have it be more meaningful. Take The Walking Dead for example. That game was fantastic because you werent killing thousands of zombies. Every violent encounter in that game mattered. There was a high level of tension anytime you were thrown into a fight with the undead or even another human because the player never became desensitized to violence. The moments that stuck with me from The Walking Dead were scenes such as Lee and Clementine bonding or the suicide at the end of the first episode. Thankfully TellTale didnt feel the need to throw in a dumb action scene with Lee getting behind a .50 cal.

The issue seems to be that narrative in games is growing faster than the videogame part. Columbia is a fully realized place with a rich back history and breath-taking aesthetics. Infinite sets itself to be a super serious game tackling powerful issues and even being one of the first games to examine religions place in society. I took Infinite very seriously whenever it was time for the plot to develop. Then unfortunately, I walked out a door and into some massive war against me. Its jarring that such a cartoonish level of violence coexists with such serious subject matter. Hysterically the people in the slums opened fire on me for walking too close to their merchandise. The one time the game seemed to break away from fighting, theres an unexplained contrivance forcing the player to engage what are supposed to be allies.

I tolerated it because the combat is fun in Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider. Laras bow is one of the most satisfying weapons Ive used in a game in a long time. The juxtaposition of the videogame part doesnt match the maturity of the narrative. This didnt matter with older games because the plot was just an excuse to get into another room full of dudes to murder. But enemies cant be treated like targets anymore. Lara is a struggling survivor and like Booker is merely defending herself. Games are at the point where the plot is the game and thats making the shooting guys element feel dumb.

Dont ditch the combat and make games strictly an interactive story. At that point I might as well get into movies or books. However, the days of facing waves of nameless enemies have to go. Videogames have evolved beyond needing that. Its time to grow up. I still want my mindless Gears of Wars and Call of Dutys but when a developer wants to make a serious commitment to communicating a message or story, they cant follow the path of the mindless shooter.

Perhaps this is just an audience issue. Do people like you and me just want something from games the masses don't? I'm sure there are plenty of folks that bought Bioshock Infinite not giving a rat's ass about the plot, Elizabeth, or even the setting. Average Joe that shops at GameStop has a specific idea of what a videogame is and doesn't think about what they actually are or can be. But I'm also the kind of guy that paid to see Evil Dead (and loved it) instead of going to the Shakespeare playing downtown.

The Walking Dead

The first season of The Walking Dead is going to have a legacy. This is simply where videogames are going from a storytelling standpoint. I may be jumping the gun, but this game will probably go down as a modern classic. If I had to write down my Top 10 moments in videogames, half of those would come from this game alone. Thats how much of an impact The Walking Dead has had on me. Ive never been as emotionally invested in fiction before. Characters I met in this game were people that felt real, and I connected with theme on an emotional level. Certain moments like the suicide and Kennys story arc were **** up in ways that were never over-the-top and after many turning points in an episodes plot, I had to seriously consider taking a break. I was emotionally exhausted after completing each of the games five episodes.

What makes this game phenomenal is the writing and characters. The Zombie part of the Zombie Apocalypse doesnt matter too much. This is a group of normal people thrown into extreme situations. It casts a light on both extremes of humanity. By focusing on a small cast, the writing remained tight and focused. The game never painted a picture of the rest of the world or even what was going on down the road from the cast. This was a tale about Lee, Clementine, and the rest of the survivors.

It takes talented voice performers and incredible writing to invest players on this level and treat them like an adult. Every time a character said something to me, one of the response choices is the reaction I thought of in my head. There were few good and bad choices or responses. Every situation in this game is dark. I played Lee how I believe I wouldve reacted in real life. I wouldve given the food to the men performing the hard labor and the children. Sometimes silence was the only reaction I had. Other times, I backed up my best friend. And there were instances I had to square someone away or threaten them for the good of the group.

***Major Spoilers***

Clementine was a true connection to innocence. She is the resemblance of purity in a world gone mad. I made it Lees mission to revolve life around her. Protecting her was my watchword. Every action was done in her best interest. That moment in the farm when I stabbed the man and she gasped after seeing my actions, I felt horrible. In later moments in which I was tempted to do some morally grey things, I held back in fear of her witnessing any negative actions on my part. I trained her to shoot and brought her to Crawfords in hopes of training her to deal with realities of the apocalypse for I came to the realization that I couldnt be there for her forever. I honestly cared about this little girl and sought her satisfaction. That alone is beyond powerful for a work of fiction. I made sure she took care of me at the end and that she kept her hair short.

***End of Major Spoilers***

I wouldnt say The Walking Dead is the watershed moment that halts the videogame train and changes everything. But it has certainly made an impact. I think this is a game well look back on years from now and remember characters like Kenny and the dark moments of Episode 3. For the first time, a videogame has treated me like an adult. Ive never been so interested in a games choices and possibilities. The Walking Dead is about the journey. This is a journey that has cemented itself in my mind and is crazy enough for me to have long conversations about it with total strangers. I went on an emotional ride with these characters, and while that ride was mostly depressing it was a powerful experience that wont leave my mind anytime soon.

Next Generation Consoles

Theres no doubt in my mind that the next generation of consoles come out next year. Games like Star Wars 1313 that are convincingly meant for future consoles only further back up the case for new hardware in the next 15 months. Not to mention that the entire year of 2013 is going to feel like a runner with an unexpected lap. Gears of War: Judgment and God of War: Ascension appear like totally unnecessary fillers in an already long generation. Remember Kameo and Call of Duty 2? That felt like forever ago!

This begs several important questions on what is going on with the rest of the PS3 and 360s lifecycle. Where the hell are high-profile titles like The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy Verses XIII? Are these games simply going to translate to new hardware? Is that why theyve gone dark for so long? Regardless on whats going on with dumb over-dramatic anime games, Im more concerned with how the new consoles will work and how soft the transition form the Xbox 360 to the Durango will be. To be honest, I think using fake code-names for things that havent been confirmed to exist is totally dumb. For the purpose of writing, I guess I have to call the next Xbox something. Achievements are my biggest question. Right now, Im just shy of 70,000 points. Not to say Im playing games on harder difficulties to boost my scores anymore, but its something Im not comfortable with being completely ignored. Some sort of progression that covers every game someone plays on a central profile will exist. When I boot up my Durango and recover my profile will I have 70,000 points? Can I compare my Borderlands achievements wit friends? Would that be fair to new players? The guy who just gets on the Xbox wagon or cant recover his profile for whatever reason starts with zero points. At some point in the Durangos lifecycle the average Gamer Score would probably be like 500,000 points, who the hell is going to care about 10 point achievements? Then what the hell does Microsoft do with the next-next Xbox? Simply transferring Gamer Score isnt the answer, but I also dont want my profile completely ignored.

Rumors have been swirling around a Kinect 2 for the Durango for a while. Since the Kinects launch, it has felt like more of a market interest test than a real piece of hardware anyone is going to seriously back up. Sonys Move is just a depressing lack of vision. Im curious how much longer companies are going to think motion control is a thing people are into. Im not convinced that folks want to stand up to play games. Yes, mom bought a Wii Fit because she thought she wanted to lose weight, but whens the last time she busted it out? Happy Action Theater and Dance Central are great to have on standby, but anything beyond that, Im not interested. Is Kinect 2 going to be packed with all systems? Is Sony just saying **** this motion stuff!? Im looking forward to having new shiny things under my TV. Im sure the new consoles will deliver great games. With the current hardware being built back in 2004, I cant imagine what well see with modern tech. Too bad the Wii U will probably be extremely outdated next year.

Also i posted a review of Max Payne 3


do check it out :)

Virus in Video Games

When it comes to apocalyptic scenarios, nothing beats a good virus. Here are some of the most deadliest Viruses out there.


Fallout 3


Prognosis: Various mutations.

Way back before the apocalypse that turned America into a toasty glowing dust bowl, the United States funded research into boosting the human immune system. The result was the Pan-immunity Vinon Project. A complete success...apart from the mutations increased muscle mass, decreased intelligence, and green skin. The military loved it though, and tried to use it to create super soldiers but ultimately made the Super Mutants.


Metal Gear Solid


Prognosis: Death.

Originally a man-made virus created by the Pentgon to kill designated targets by recognizing their DNA Solid Snake got a dose in MGS to take out Arms Tech president Kenneth Baker and the rogue FOXHOUND team. But as the cloned soldier aged, the virus degraded, threatening to kill anyone, not just Snake. Fortunately, Drebin 893 injected him with a newer strain in Metal Gear Solid 4, halting the degradation and saving us all.


Mass Effect 2


Prognosis: Infertility.

Impress everyone by telling them "geno" refers to specific genetic makeup and "phage" is a fancy word for virus. So like FOXDIE, this is a disease that targets specific DNA--in this case, the entire race of war-hungry Krogans. However, rather than kill them, it makes viable pregnancies almost impossible, sending the species toward a slow extinction. Far more distressing, however, is the resulting black market dealing in Krogan testicles, which are believed (falsely) to cure the virus.


Resident Evil


Prognosis: Zombification, mutation.

This is the Gucci of deadly mutating viruses and the one every other knockoff, wannabe disease looks up to. Zombies, lizard creatures, peeled dogs, lumbering mutant abominations--it does it all, with **** Word of warning: For those planning to try it out, don't set up a lab anywhere near, say, a massive populated city. That sort of thing goes down pretty poorly with the World Health Organization.


Dead Space


Prognosis: Recombination , Reanimation

Simply put , you get infected by this by this you grow an extra pair of legs/hands whatever , a hideous mouth and and overwhelming taste for human flesh and you like air ducts for some reason ....and you become terribly hard to kill , your babies have weird tails coming out etc etc

Green Flu

Left 4 Dead


Prognosis: Zombification

Green Flu turns you into a zombie. Repeat: If you catch Green Flu, you turn into a zombie. Later, you might mutate into an even scarier mutant zombie. Oh, also it's airborne and transmittable by bite, so pretty much everyone on earth is a potential victim. The only cure is a shotgun blast to the face, except that there's no real point in even that because frankly, you'll probably turn into a zombie just for having breathed the same air.

The Chimera Virus

Resistance Series



In Resistance: Fall of Man the Chimera are an race of outer-space alien invaders who intend to do to Earth what the Europeans did to the New World, only with Space WEAPONS! Their secret weapon is the Chimera virus, an infectious disease that takes ordinary human beings and turns them into totally disgusting looking human-alien hybrids. Thanks to their space alien ways and germ warfare, they pretty much lay total waste to the nations of Earth.

Blacklight Virus




After infection, the virus "plugs in" and activates the junk DNA in a target, causing biological changes that create (and recreate) a sentient mind inside the infected creature. It acts by affecting the protein encoding regions of the promoter introns in each cell. As a retrovirus, it contains both RNA and the reverse transcriptase enzyme, allowing it to insert its own genetic codes into living cells. It enters, re-purposes and changes the cell, replicating previously dormant non-coding segments of DNA.

What a wonderful world us gamers live in.

Thanks For Reading

One Reason Why it's cool to admit that you're a GAMER.

Take a hard look at yourself. You're fat, pale, and the closest you've gotten with a girl is when you held Stacy's hand in Middle School before you gained all that weight. Look at your phone. No one in your contacts besides mom? All of this is because you're a pathetic nerd. Wait, non of that is true?

I read an article from Cracked titled "5 Reasons It's Still Not Cool to Admit You're a Gamer", written by David Wong. The author clearly exists in some parallel universe were anyone who ever touched a gamepad is cursed with eternal virginity. Half his arguments are statements about the game industry that "real people" wouldn't even be aware of. I mean, do your non-gaming friends know what the hell DRM and DLC even are!?

Ign's GameScoop podcast has a segment called "Knockin' Boots". This is were the listeners email in their questions regarding love and sex. The segment is actually pretty funny, and surprisingly enlightening. However, a user asked if he should "break it" to his girlfriend that he plays games. Is that code for he's having a homosexual affair? Doing drugs? He's a Taliban spy sent to America? Or deep-down is he ashamed to own a Playstation?

Why would anyone hide a hobby? Unless of course that hobby includes teddy bears and tea-parties. We all have our secrets. However, videogames are socially acceptable and often times utilized as a social tool. Not many of my friends are hardcore gamers by a longshot, but they all own a 360 and they all play games. I'm puzzled as to why anyone would be embarrassed to be a gamer. Lets take the obvious, impressing females. No, your date doesn't care about that purple drop you looted in WoW last night, but you being a gamer isn't going to be a deal-breaker if she was thinking about giving you some.

I've dated some attractive girls in my life. I never dated a "gamer girl", but all of them were actually interested in learning to play games. Or at least didn't care about how I spent my free time. Females typically have a mind set that outside the Wii, videogames are just a guy-thing. Our girls go shopping, we play Halo. Tell your love-interest you enjoy gaming, but like any subject she may not care about, don't go on about it.

I'm probably more into games than anyone that knows me has ever met. I love reading reviews and news and my life is planed with a job in game journalism in mind. However, I'm not a loser. I'm healthy, in-shape, I'm social, I go to parties most weekends.

There exists a type of person that makes us look bad. It's that guy. You know, that guy. That guy who wears his faded black "For the Horde!" T-Shirt, reads Manga at school and doesn't have good hygiene.There's also that muscle-head guy who always shows-off how many push-ups he can do in 2 minutes (I can do 43), that guy who talks about his car too much, and that guy who drinks too much (I drank like 2 whole cases a couple of weeks ago). So every activity has its ****

How do you like your reviews written?

For me, videogame reviews come in two forms. Reviews can either be long and informative regarding the game itself with a few sprinkled opinions, or be short and to the point. I'm more on the longer review side (not too long, just a little long mind you).

Longer reviews serve a purpose. But there are extremes on this side of writing that kind of grosses me out. I'm sure you all have seen the7 PAGE GTA 4 REVIEWwritten byIGN's (now former employee)Hilary Goldstein. I have to give the review credit for being informative. the man had 5,363 words to articulate why GTA IV is awesome. Some readers out there do like to know literally everything about a game before purchase. I don't believe they need to know how every little mechanic works to make that purchasing decision, but some people just find the act of reading about stuff they like enticing.

I'm a fan of reading. In fact, I just read 800 pages of why Steve Jobs is an artist and an **** But I have things to do in my life. Maybe I have a great volume of stuff to read. Being a writer means being able to communicate with your audience, but also showing some restraint. Shorter reviews get to the point, but may ignore some elements that some people might find meaningful.

Do you trust your reviewers to decide what's important? Hilary Goldstein's review goes intoeverythingabout GTA IV, along with well-articulated opinions. I can appriciate the long-ass discussion piece but I think I can hold the writer that can say more with less with more respect.

My favorite reviews **** break down a game to the core:

Is this game good or bad?

Why is the game good or bad?

Who should play it?



Some games require more discussion than others. There are places for each review **** each with their own strengths and weaknesses.Do you like Highly detailed long-ass reviews (Although i do indulge in such reviews rarely)? Or do you prefer streamlined opinions that still answer the question of if you should play the game or not effectivly?

Videogames are supposed to be fun. Don't overthink. Have fun

Getting Hyped For E3 Or Not?

So I wondering fellow Gamers, what has you excited the most about this years E3?

Rumors of new consoles?

More info on the Wii U?

Any games you are looking forward to seeing?

Personally I just want info on this:


any guesses ?

Now I Remember Why I Don't Shop At Gamestop

First Visit:

I came in to buy a Rock Band Track Pack for my lil brother for Christmas. The Track Packs all come with codesto download the tracks to yourXboxso you can play with any version of Rock Band. The only "New" copy Gamestop had was the display copy which was already opened. They assured me it had never been used and it certainly looked that way so I went ahead and made the purchase since 1) Christmas was only a few days away and 2) It was a bit older so no other retailer sold them. Unfortunately, it was not the track pack my brother wanted so I brought it back to Gamestop for a return. Problem was, they wouldn't take it back as "New" since it was already opened and I could have used the download code already. They would only accept a trade-in as if it were a used game. So I am supposed to take your word for it that the game is unused but when I try to return it, you don't take mine? The game was only $15 at that point so it was hardly worth fighting over so I just ate the cost and bought my brother another track pack as well.

Second Visit:

I came in and bought 2 used games and Gamestop employee asks me if I want to buy a $15 Gamestop membership. Basically, I would save 10% on used games saving me $4 that day. It didn't seem worth it for me because I usually buy New and I don't usually buy games at Gamestop. But then the guy tells me that in addition to the 10% savings, I could bring back my receipt tomorrow and pick up a 3rd game for "free" - the membership pays for itself. Seemed like a sweet deal, why wouldn't everyone take it? Here's why: When I came in the next day, they were running a Buy 2, Get 1 Free promotion on used games. I didn't need the membership to participate in that deal which means I essentially paid $11 for a game I would have otherwise gotten for free.

LAST Visit:

As I was searching for my "free" game, I found 4 copies of Crysis 2. I spend a good 10 minutes examining the boxes and manual and picked the one that was in the best condition. I brought it to the register and the guy rang me up. He pulled the disc from the drawer, put it in the box and bagged the game. When I brought it home, I found the disc to be in poor condition - like it was previously owned by a 9 year old. So of the4 copies you had in stock and seeing how I examined the copies, you decide to give me the one in the poorest condition? The worst part is, the guy didn't even give me the case and manual I selected.

Adit942's Guide to Videogames

Do you find yourself getting lost inFinal Fantasy XIII? Do you not know your d-pad from your face buttons? Maybe you aren't the best Super Street Fighter 4player. Then look no further! These exclusive pro-tips used by MLGplayers,John Carmack, and Captain Picardwill increase your gaming ability by 100%! Training of this magnitude can cost people hundreds of dollars! However, I'm giving them to you for FREE! Simply post your social security number, full name, drivers license number, bank account number, last three schools you attended, two phone numbers, mother's maiden name, your doctor's information, your employer's information, address, age, and credit card number below. :P

1. Shoot those guys!
In most games, you're typically defending yourself against waves of relentless foes or mercilessly murdering anyone that doesn't look like you. In Call Of Duty, it's easy. The player simply has to hold down the trigger and proceed to walk forward. However, titles like Fallout 3orGrand Theft Autothrow some curve balls.

Depending on how the game is designed, there may be civilians or other targets you don't want to harm through collateral damage. Killing a pedestrian in Grand Theft Auto will trigger a fight with local law enforcement. In Fallout 3 you run the risk of killing a potential ally or quest giver. Other people in the game's world may frown upon murder, therefore hindering your future progress.Some games may require you to be more tactical in how you approach encounters such as Arma. In Left 4 Dead,it's imperative the player knows the layout of the level and have constant situational awareness. While Left 4 Dead doesn'trelyon Headshotsor tactical play, there's a strong emphasis on coordinated play and controlling the situation.

Regardless of whatever game you're playing, if you're given a gun you need to shoot dudes who want to shoot you. Not shooting guys will result in failure. If all the enemies are dead, there's no one that can kill you, right?

2. Get that stuff

A voluminous amount of games revolve around gathering resources in order to properly play or merely progress.World Of Warcraft, Torchlight, and Diabloare primarily about collecting "phat loot". It's all about getting a sword that deals larger DPS, bigger shoulder pads, or a more powerful wand. Not looting bodieswill run you the risk of missing out on rare items and useful potions.

It's not all about the loot. In certain games, the player will have toscavengefor ammo and other items in order to survive. Gathering weapons and ammo in Haloisn'tnecessarilydesigned for players to explore the enviornment and discover a hidden chest or something. But in other games likeandBioshock, the bulk of your inventory won't be gathered by simply walking over your dead foes.

It takes some getting used to understanding the differences of which games willenticeyou to explore for new stuff.The Legend of Zeldarevolves around solvingenvironmentalpuzzles to access new items, World of Warcraft asks players to complete quests and kill difficult bosses for a chance to get new items, and in Call of Duty you simply walk over corpses to gather ammo automatically.Regardless of what game you're playing, you have to get stuff to be successful.

3. Don't get hit

It's a simple concept. Most failure in games are due to the playerdying. Dying is typically a result of the player getting hit by a lethal attack from an enemy. Not getting hit should be at the top of any gamer's priority list, for it's imperative for success. If you follow this simple rule, you can be the next world champion inStreet Fighteror Halo. Maybe you want to be at the top of theSmash TVleaderboards or want to finishMega Man 9? This is a crucial tip for anyone who plays videogames.

4. Talk to those people

A lot of progression in modern videogames revolves around having the playerengagein conversation withNPCs.Characters in the game world can have quests, tips, or in some cases items to give to the player. Most people of interest have some visual indication that can be a viable asset to the player. This can be an exclamation mark over their heads, they can be standing in a glowing circle, or in some cases standing in an obvious spot that catches the player's eye.

In most cases when you're playing videogames, if something catches your eye it's probably worth checking out. Now we're getting into an age were the game's plot can rest on how god or bad you treat other characters. You might be able to get certain things out of people by being an **** but treating other characters with a positive moral compass might earn you rewards down the road.

5. Use More Skill

So you can't control weither or not you get hit. The puzzles are too hard. Is this your fault, or is the game just jacked up? In most situations it's your fault. If you're unable to get your kill/death ratio in the positives while playing Quake,using more skill will probably improve your game. A lot of people complain about not being able to play fighting game correctly. Well, if you utilize more skill you will be hard-pressed to not find better performance in your game.

I play a Tank in World of Warcraft. It was hard for me to generate and maintain the aggro I needed to keep mobs off of my DPS guys. This is when I came up with the idea to use more skill. After that, I'm holding 5 mobs at once and I'm the only member of my party that's taking damage. My healer loves me!

6. Don't S**k

If you fail at using more skill, you might suffer from an illness called S**king . Well, have you thought ? When a player , it's hard for them to win or even simply progress through a single player game.

When gamers simply not s**k , their success rate in videogames go up 100%. Remember, no one likes a s**tbag .

7. Shoot better

A lot of games involve shooting. In the last decade especially, shooting has become reliant on accuracy. Headshots should take priority in the majority of modern shooting games. Players that shoot center mass or not even hit their target won't be having good scores in Halo and will have a rough time getting through Left 4 Dead.

Shooting better will result in more enemies being killed faster, thus eliminating all obsticles and allow easier progress through a game or guarentee victory in an online match. Shoot those guys! In most cases you want to shoot dudes in the head and shoot dudes quickly. Speed is key!

8. Stop Dying
And here's the granddaddy of all tips, stop dying. Virtually all games are designed for players to overcome an obstacle.Failure to do so typically involves in-game death which wins the player nothing other than a gameover screen. You may be able to survive skipping over a couple of the above tips but whatever you do, do not skip number 8.