#egmr » Caveshen http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Fri, 01 Aug 2014 21:42:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Who’s Watching Guardians Of The Galaxy Today? http://egmr.net/2014/08/whos-watching-guardians-galaxy-today/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/whos-watching-guardians-galaxy-today/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 08:15:59 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152969 Or: Get Hyped! To many people in the world, today is the first day of August; the eighth month on the Gregorian calendar, a new month of internet bandwidth or […]

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Or: Get Hyped!

To many people in the world, today is the first day of August; the eighth month on the Gregorian calendar, a new month of internet bandwidth or perhaps just a sign of how fast the year is passing everyone buy. A month for women. A month for cupcakes. A month for birthdays, if you’re a member of my family.

But to geeks around the world, and to me especially, August, and specifically today, means one thing that one thing only:

Finally moving out of my parents’ house. Guardians of the Galaxy!

I cannot fully explain with words, just how much this movie excites me. There are a few reasons why. For one, I’m just a ridiculously massive (not fat) fan of comic books that don’t take themselves too seriously, and Guardians of the Galaxy has always strode that line between serious and hilarious. For another, this movie has all the looks of a new franchise and could very easily eclipse Star Wars in the coming years. Sure, the world isn’t as starved for good sci-fi as it was back in the eighties, but that doesn’t mean this movie won’t make waves.

Mostly though, I’m just so damn excited at the idea of Marvel finally letting seriousness take a backseat and having some fun with something for a change. I mean yeah, the recent Captain America movie was an entertaining watch, and so was Iron Man 3, but for me there was a key factor missing and that’s fun. They were doing a lot of serious acting in those films, but were they having fun while doing it?

Cue Andy from Parks & Rec.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about why you should care about the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. If you need more convincing then go and check out that link. For now, how about we open up the comments section for discussion about the film that opened on Rotten Tomatoes with 100% and has been receiving almost unanimous amounts of high praise, to the point that I have had to do a media blackout just to keep from gouging out my eyeballs in anticipation.

Guardians of the Galaxy. Are you watching it soon, and how much are you looking forward to it? Perhaps we can have a movie discussion in a separate article a week from now, after we’ve all watched it and cum (came? cummed?) everywhere. For now, let’s get hyped!

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Fox Should Sit Down And Shut Up Because The Deadpool Movie Looks Amazing http://egmr.net/2014/08/deadpool-movie-looks-fittingly-amazing/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/deadpool-movie-looks-fittingly-amazing/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 07:30:49 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152937 In the aftermath of Comic Con 2014, two of the biggest things on the internet in the past week were actually leaked trailers. One of them was actually from the […]

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In the aftermath of Comic Con 2014, two of the biggest things on the internet in the past week were actually leaked trailers. One of them was actually from the event itself; the Superman/Batman (I prefer saying it that way) teaser, which was excellent fan service but ultimately superficial. Far better, and not at all present at the show, was the leaked Deadpool test footage.

We’re going to take a risk and embed the video up above until it gets pulled — hi lawyers — so that you can watch the awesomeness unfold. Make no mistake: This is absolutely the Deadpool movie the world has been clamouring for.

The test footage, just under two minutes long and entirely computer generated, comes from the masterminds at Blur Studios on behalf of 20th Century Fox. It was leaked online this past week in what initially seemed like an in-studio breach but later was rumoured to be a hack. This makes sense when you consider that a lot of Blur Studios employees initially shared the link with the world, and were just glad to see it out there. Not long after, they were effectively silenced.

Even Deadpool creator Robert Liefield had some words to say on the matter:

Fox lawyers have been throwing copyright holds out left, right and centre to ensure that nobody else sees the test footage and uploaded videos are pulled from every possible site; even sites that syndicate and embed videos from other sites are being hit with legal warnings; which means we should expect an email soon, I expect.

Just in case that does happen, here’s a write-up of the trailer by Mashable:

The clip opens with Deadpool in full red costume and mask, sitting on a highway overpass, while drawing with crayons and singing/swaying along to Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” on a cheap transistor radio marked “Wade” (Wade Wilson is his real name). We get a taste of why Deadpool is called “the Merc with a Mouth” as he smart-asses straight into the camera.

That’s an important style choice, because as Deadpool readers know, he’s the only character to break the fourth wall in the comics: Not only does he talk directly to the reader, but he’s often self-referential, spoofing superhero tropes and committing other comic-book no-nos. But that’s Deadpool for you.

Then Deadpool spots his mark: central casting-type thugs in black vehicles. He jumps several hundred feet to the freeway, below, smashing through the sunroof of a Cadillac Escalade and landing in the middle seat; with a few choice sass-offs to the occupants, the extraordinarily violent ass-kicking begins. One passenger is thrown under the vehicle, another gets his neck snapped. All that’s left is the driver.

Deadpool yanks the emergency brake, and the vehicle overturns and flips wildly through the air toward a motorcyclist who’s clearly part of the cavalcade, because he opens fire on the tumbling vehicle with a machine gun. As it rolls toward the biker, Deadpool’s head pops up in the broken sunroof, and he holds up his drawing: It’s a childish rendering of Deadpool beheading a motorcyclist with his double swords — a hand-drawn prophecy that then immediately comes true.

Deadpool being Deadpool, he can’t resist a final comic flourish: The window of the now-stopped vehicle rolls down, and we see the motorcyclist’s removed head (helmet included) pop up — Deadpool is using it as a hand-puppet.

[snip]

Curiously, the clip ends with Deadpool waving into the camera, and saying, “Hi, Tom!” — not a known reference in Deadpool’s comic book world, but probably well-known to Fox. It’s likely a sly nod to Tom Rothman, who was chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment until his resignation in September 2012. The footage was likely made well before then, when a Deadpool script was still actively kicking around at the studio.

The thing is, it’s kind of a fucking brilliant trailer and if anything, serves even further to justify fans’ overwhelming desire to see a Deadpool movie make it to cinema screens. So why is Fox holding back like this? Perhaps it’s because brutal, bloody and bodacious is not their style and they’d rather keep it to PG13 fare for maximum audience exposure?

Maybe so but Deadpool’s fanbase is massive and no self-respecting comic book fan would shun the opportunity to watch it; then again, perhaps we’re just mistaking what studios see as catering to families using comic books, as them catering to us as consumers… a common error, I suppose.

I really wish that Fox would step up and give us the kinds of movies that would make them by far and away the better studio than Disney, with their Marvel Cinematic Universe. A proper, adult-oriented X-Men movie has already happened in Days of Future Past, there are widespread reports of an X-Force movie in the coming years. So why not a standalone movie for the likes of Deadpool and Cable? Arguably just as popular as Wolverine; far more interesting as well.

Stagnation and playing safe is going to be the death of comic book movies. You heard it here first.

What do you think of the footage, if you’ve seen it? Would you watch this movie? Also, to studios, once a trailer leaks and everyone has seen it, what is the point of pulling it and throwing around copyright claims? You know you can’t beat the internet, right? Why try? Because you’ll lose the copyright hold if you don’t? Perhaps try not being so damn secretive then. It isn’t the worst idea in the world.

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eGamer Podcast #91: Because Science http://egmr.net/2014/07/egamer-podcast-91-science/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/egamer-podcast-91-science/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 09:00:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152672 Recorded: 29 July 2014 Welcome to episode ninety-one of the eGamer Podcast, now with a million percent more off-topic than last week… because that makes complete sense. Also, science! Topics […]

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Recorded: 29 July 2014

Welcome to episode ninety-one of the eGamer Podcast, now with a million percent more off-topic than last week… because that makes complete sense. Also, science!

Topics discussed this week include Comic Con 2014, PS4 price cuts and reading books.

Here are the shownotes for this week’s episode:

  • We start off with some Jew jokes!
  • Things get serious for a moment.
  • Aaaaaand we’re back to random lols.
  • How’s that GS4 though?
  • Let’s talk Comic Con 2014.
  • The Hobbit, and other fantasy books we love.
  • Is the PS4 getting a price cut soon?
  • Did you know that AMD owns Raptr?
  • Who could best play Ellie in The Last of Us?
  • Shit gets super serious again.
  • We answer your questions.
  • Adam posts some bonus content.
  • AG responds in the post-credits.

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to the RSS feed so you never miss an episode. Enjoy.

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | RSS

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Here’s 21 Of The Coolest Things That Happened At Comic Con 2014 http://egmr.net/2014/07/heres-21-coolest-things-happened-comic-con-2014/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/heres-21-coolest-things-happened-comic-con-2014/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:15:44 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152676 Just one more Comic Con 2014 related article. For those of you who’ve watched all of the panels and seen the cosplays and the P Diddy videos, here is a […]

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Just one more Comic Con 2014 related article. For those of you who’ve watched all of the panels and seen the cosplays and the P Diddy videos, here is a list of twenty-one amazing things that happened at this year’s event. Found on 9GAG, of all places.

Let us know in the comments, which was your favourite. Mine is almost definitely Mark Ruffalo’s reaction to Paul Rudd. ROFL.

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August’s Games With Gold Lineup Is Looking Great http://egmr.net/2014/07/augusts-games-gold-lineup-looking-great/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/augusts-games-gold-lineup-looking-great/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:15:59 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152562 Since Microsoft released the Games With Gold program last year in June, we have received a mixed bag of games nobody wants to play ever, and games that are actually […]

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Since Microsoft released the Games With Gold program last year in June, we have received a mixed bag of games nobody wants to play ever, and games that are actually really fun and worthy additions to the program. The idea is that if you have an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription then you’re rewarded each month with two games, absolutely free of charge.

This month fell more into the former category, with games that people have not felt much inclination to own. The previous month was far, far better. And again next month (August), we’re going to be getting some games that we can really enjoy owning.

Xbox One players, across the entirety of August you will be able to download the following two games:

  • Crimson Dragon — spiritual successor to the Panzer Dragoon series.
  • Space Suit Zero: Director’s Cut — an ID@Xbox space simulator.

Xbox 360 owners will also get two games:

  • Motocross Madness — available between August 1st and 15th.
  • Dishonored — available between August 16th and 31st.

One Xbox LIVE Gold account will do it, if you own both consoles. The games can also be accessed once the subscription expires if you’re on Xbox 360, however not the case on Xbox One.

A better showing from Microsoft this month, wouldn’t you say? Let us know if you’ll be picking up these games when they’re available.

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Our 91st Podcast Records Tonight — Ask Us Things http://egmr.net/2014/07/91st-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/91st-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:00:23 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152547 “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” True believers, tonight we record episode ninety-one of the eGamer Podcast, and in this […]

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“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

True believers, tonight we record episode ninety-one of the eGamer Podcast, and in this article we want you all to get involved in yet another in our series of weekly internet creations, with words and stuff. Because socialist reasons but also it’s just fun to partake in things.

What we’d simply love from you is the following: Think up some really cool questions, whether it pertains to gaming or anything else. Then scroll down to the comments section and post those questions to us. Congratulations, you’ve just added your little piece of participation to our podcast. And we love you for it.

Then be sure to check out either the site, our Libsyn page, iTunes or our RSS feed later in the week for the podcast, which will have all the answers and more. Tell your friends!

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Everything You Need To Know About San Diego Comic Con 2014 In Five Infographs http://egmr.net/2014/07/everything-need-know-san-diego-comic-con-2014-five-infographs/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/everything-need-know-san-diego-comic-con-2014-five-infographs/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:00:03 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152552 Everyone loves infographs, right? What better way to learn anything on the internet… you know, besides picking up a proper book and reading. But hey! We’re not here to judge. […]

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Everyone loves infographs, right? What better way to learn anything on the internet… you know, besides picking up a proper book and reading. But hey! We’re not here to judge.

In case you missed it — and really, how could you — this past weekend saw San Diego hosting yet another Comic Con, complete with massive announcements mostly along the lines of comic book movies and Game of Thrones panels, and the guys over at Way To Blue decided to capture every day of the event based on Twitter activity, in infographs. So without further ado, here are the five pictures that best capture the five days of San Diego Comic Con 2014. Remember that you can click each one to enlarge it, and see it in better detail.

 

Day 1

Comic-Con-Day-1-Infographic-UK-version

 

Day 2

Comic-Con-Day-2-Infographic-UK

 

Day 3

Comic-Con-Day-3-Infographic-UK

 

Day 4

Comic-Con-2014-Day-4-Infographic-UK

 

Day 5

Comic-Con-Round-Up-Day-5-UK

There you have it. All five days. Now don’t forget to Google the Batman/Superman leaked trailer, and gawk at the awesome that is soon to come.

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Be A Space Cowboy In Firefly Online With The Actual Cast Of The Series http://egmr.net/2014/07/space-cowboy-firefly-online-actual-cast-series/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/space-cowboy-firefly-online-actual-cast-series/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:15:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152528 Firefly is an almost universally acknowledged special thing from the mind of Joss Whedon, and fans of the series such as myself have had our hopes dashed time and time […]

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Firefly is an almost universally acknowledged special thing from the mind of Joss Whedon, and fans of the series such as myself have had our hopes dashed time and time again. The series was cancelled a long, long time ago now and yet it still lives on in each person who watched and thoroughly enjoyed it.

What other series took cowboys, space and the Chinese language, and mixed it all together so effortlessly?

But did you know that there’s going to be a Firefly game coming out? That’s right, it’s called Firefly Online and while it’s by no means a triple-A experience it’s still a game about the series, and that should earn it at least a look. Doubly so because the entire cast of the series will be reuniting for the game.

That’s right, you can meet the entirety of the crew of Firefly, voiced by their actual actors, in Firefly Online. Check out the video above, which has some gameplay footage for you to behold, as well as a special cameo. And then let us know in the comments if you’re as intrigued by this project as I am.

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Critique Is Healthy For Your Movie Experiences http://egmr.net/2014/07/critique-healthy-movie-experiences/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/critique-healthy-movie-experiences/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:15:18 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152291 Oftentimes the word ‘critic’ is confused with the word ‘cynic’. A cynic is someone who is always suspicious and mistrusting of something, assuming it will fail before it has ever […]

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Oftentimes the word ‘critic’ is confused with the word ‘cynic’. A cynic is someone who is always suspicious and mistrusting of something, assuming it will fail before it has ever begun. Related: jaded. A critic on the other hand is someone who is capable of communicating their impressions of something, and who has the capability of distinguishing between their various reactions to something.

As an example, let’s say you’ve just watched the end of Titanic, which I’m sure you all know by now. When Jack is freezing to death and Rose is on the door-raft, our emotional response to this scene is that of sadness, despondence, dread perhaps. We cry for the sadness of the situation. We are upset at their bittersweet ending. However our logical response, ideally, would be to wonder why Rose does not simply help Jack up and onto the door-raft so that they can share it, or take turns perhaps. Confused, we would perhaps keep watching and see the cuteness of the ending but ultimately understand that it was overly dramatised with the direct intention of garnering emotional response.

Likewise with any other movie, a whole new world of thought is opened up to you when you start to think critically (read: for yourself) while watching them. Likewise, games, music and pretty much anything else. The great thing? You don’t have to actually be a qualified critic, either. You just have to be able to read what isn’t necessarily explicitly there.

Let’s take another example, using the Elysium. This movie is about Matt Damon being born to the lower-class, the proles, whatever you’d like to call them, then having an accident and requiring surgery that can only happen in the upper-class area of the world he lives in. The upper class meanwhile, are being snobbish and keeping their resources to themselves. Great movie with great conflict, right? Ultimately though, it is an allegory of the current situation about illegal immigrants and the United States of America. They have better health care, better education, a better economy, and yet a lot of citizens will actively turn away immigrants because, “They’re taking our jobs!” Or equivalent internet meme.

Being critical of a movie does not mean being negative about it. It just means having the acuity to see both the bigger and the smaller picture. I quite enjoyed Elysium in this case, and I was quite delighted by its portrayal of the world. I was taken by the actors (although Jodie Foster was… weird, in it) and their roles in the story. Especially South-African-born Sharlto Copley. What a great actor. In that sense, my enjoyment of the movie was only amplified by my being able to see what was really going on behind the presentation layer. Although, yes, it could also ruin the experience.

For our final example, we’ll use The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Great web-swinging sequences, really funny dialogue including some of the best Spidey one-liners since the original comic books, a delightfully cute coupling of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. But ultimately (no pun intended) a terrible movie and quite possibly the worst portrayal of Peter Parker out of his Spider-Man suit ever. Ever. Yes, not even Toby Maguire was that terrible.

In the case of TASM2 though, it was even an outwardly bad movie in parts, without any trace of an actual storyline other than, “Young man spends entire movie predicting bad thing that will ultimately happen but you didn’t think it would happen but it did… unless you read the comics and knew already.” Electro’s scenes were great, with the dubstep-infused soundtrack almost as if his presence was actively affecting the movie. Green Goblin looked weird but served well enough to be creepy and eerily entertaining. But what exactly was TASM2 about? Because there are two massive failings I can immediately identify: For one, Peter Parker is not meant to be ‘cute’ or ‘pretty’ or whatever. Andrew Garfield, great actor though he is, is a terrible Peter Parker for this reason. When out of his Spider-Man costume, you’re supposed to be anxious to see him get back because Peter Parker is so boring and mundane by comparison. In contrast, the movie presented an unrealistically cute nerdy kid who is supposed to be a science genius, yet needs to YouTube tutorials about batteries, why? The other failing of the movie is that Peter never really learns anything throughout the film. This is supposed to be the movie about the guy who has every possible kind of bad thing happen to him, and yet still does the responsible and right thing. It’s a tragic comedy in that respect, like the Shakespearean stories of old.

What we got instead was two and a bit hours of two characters breaking up and getting back together again, only for the thing they feared to end up happening anyway, but it’s okay because she said she wanted it. Meanwhile, two side characters caused some damage in a city and therefore warranted the appearance of the costumed superhero. Apart from that, the movie was absolute sequel-bait and in this case, I wish I could just switch off my brain and enjoy the visuals but it’s just so damn hard.

The thing is, I consider myself more enriched by being critical of a movie. I don’t mean overthinking and analysing every single minute detail of a movie — it’s a common joke about art that you could make anyone believe that something is about anything if you only let them apply their thought process to it — but rather just not being passive about whatever you’re watching. Think about what just happened. Ponder on possible paradoxes. Consider the characters and their roles in the story, as well as their relationships with each other.

Critique is important; it’s healthy, and it will absolutely benefit your viewing experience.

Nothing is quite so rewarding about watching a movie, as being able to understand the themes and underlying messages that a director or producer is trying to convey. After all, that’s kind of the point of the movie, isn’t it? So the next time you go to watch a movie, hopefully Guardians of the Galaxy, remember to question everything (why?), ask yourself why Starlord is the way he is, or why Rocket gets upset when people call him Raccoon, or indeed what motivates Drax to be his brutish self. Think of Ronan the Accuser and the Collector and try to understand their motivations. If something happens later on, try to connect it back to what happened earlier on and see if it fits. It sounds like work but I promise you, you’ll enjoy it and you’ll never look at movies the same again.

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Local eSports Is Srsbsns http://egmr.net/2014/07/local-esports-srsbsns/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/local-esports-srsbsns/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:15:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152286 There’s a fine line between journalism and anything that gaming websites actually do; often we like to blur that line and simply ride it because it makes more sense to […]

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There’s a fine line between journalism and anything that gaming websites actually do; often we like to blur that line and simply ride it because it makes more sense to let people think we’re journalists than to try and correct them by saying that we didn’t actually study journalism but we still do the same job, more or less. In a way, this is very liberating because it means that we have some creative freedoms that even regular journalists do not have.

For example, I recently reported on a Call of Duty tournament that happened in Joburg. Now this report comprised only the results of the competition, as well as some basic information of the structure and layout of the event as well as a picture or two. It was all taken directly from a press statement emailed to us by a local communications company. Typically, we at eGamer do not really cover eSports a lot — and we’ve had our reasons for this. I on the other hand, quite enjoy eSports. I like watching it, I like talking about it, I think it’s a great way to keep people from killing each other IRL (although, conversely, curing cancer I suppose) and I even fancy myself able to participate in it if I was only more serious about my gaming (sue me for not wanting to take anything seriously in my gaming).

So naturally I thought where was the harm in reporting on what would otherwise be a quite robotic news piece that shared the results of said Call of Duty competition. To add a little flair (or spice, since I’m Indian), I decided to inject a little humour into the article; I honestly just thought it would be good for a laugh or two, and it would still help to promote local eSports, and that would be that. You know, a tongue-in-cheek way of going about otherwise mundane reporting.

The result? Well: A venerable shitstorm erupted.

At first I couldn’t really figure out why. I mean, I told a few edgy jokes but here at eGamer we don’t shy away from making some controversial jokes if it means our readers get a laugh out of it. We’ve made jokes about the holocaust — aka the worst thing to ever happen to the world in recorded human history — and at least one article a week contains the word cunt, so where was the harm in making a few jokes while providing coverage of a local eSports tournament that was already being covered by most sites here in SA anyway?

Then I realised that it wasn’t actually what I wrote but rather how it was painted; rather, some person talked about it as being an attack on the local Call of Duty community, and another person talked about it being an example of shitty journalism, and the negative stigma carried through to others who opened the site — some, for the first time — with an already pessimistic perspective, looking for a fight. Immediately they saw the words I meant in a joking light, in a far darker version because of this predisposition. The comments section blew up with people who were offended by what a bad writer I am, because I hadn’t been doing this for years or anything. Someone even tried hacking into my Xbox LIVE Account that evening.

And why, exactly? Because of a perceived notion of offence? Taken, mind you, not given. Because I meant no offence in my article. It is only what people chose to see.

Meanwhile, I got in contact with Team F34R online and conveyed my sincere apologies for upsetting their players. And I meant that. And I didn’t make a spectacle about it (until now, I guess?) or make a fight online with those sharing my article in these negative ways; I simply apologised to the relevant parties and moved on. Because that’s what you do when an article that is intended well, gets misconstrued. You don’t immediately write off an entire website, call for the article’s deletion and then claim to boycott a particular writer’s articles. All of you who said that and are now reading this, welcome back.

Then I realised what it was, and what the difference was between all those who were taking offence and all those who weren’t: Their level of interest in eSports. Well, that and their loyalty to MWEB; I’m still trying to figure out why those readers took offence. See, a lot of people who read the article and either watch eSports, play Call of Duty or just enjoy local tournaments, actually came out in support of me. A fair few sent me private messages via email, Twitter and Steam, to say that they saw my side and were okay with my article. Some even admitted to enjoying the read. And after all, it was just a quick article on the results of a tournament, not some lengthy discourse on everything wrong with eSports.

But the people who took genuine offence — besides F34R, who obviously had every right to since I made jokes at their players’ expense, something I have profusely apologised for now, as previously mentioned — seemed to be those folks who had a passionate and vested interest in eSports. The ones who ate, slept and breathed eSports. And while there was a part of me, a scorned and retaliatory side that wanted to remind them that there are more important things in the world than videogames, the gamer in me understood where they were coming from; they were certainly not used to my style of writing and they expected reporting along the lines of this:

A massive tournament was hosted this weekend with XYZ game. Congrats to Team ABC for taking the ultimate first prize. Thanks to sponsors ABC123 and XYZ456 for making it all possible. This competition was hosted by MWEB, with kind permission from the MSSA.

And obviously, that’s not my style. I want to tell you guys the news, and I want to promote local eSports, but I want to do it in my way. So I made a joke about the representation of the winning team (mind you, I made those jokes because I felt a personal relation to F34R, having watched their games so much) and about how it’s been years since we reported on a CoD eSports tournament. And I made a joke about 60FPS because Call of Duty is a 60FPS tournament and I still remember how many people said various games that don’t run at 60FPS couldn’t be taken seriously for eSports tournaments. And I even took a shot at the idea of a 3rd/4th playoff, which is something I ranted about — along with new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, mind you — regarding the FIFA World Cup as well — because after all, just how cruel is it to ask players whose hopes of playing in the final were dashed, to now play again and possibly lose again… poor Brazil.

These jokes fell into my style of writing, and our site’s way of talking about games. A lot of the local eSports players who picked up the article — whether led here in the hopes of a fight or not — were far more used to serious-business articles that only reported on the results and ensured to thank anyone and everyone who made it possible, and call it growth. Meanwhile, people like myself who mind you, have been pushing for more local tournaments for a long time now get misconstrued as haters or ‘shitty journalists’ because we had the nerve, the gall, the audacity, to try and be entertaining while providing that coverage.

Case in point, did everybody just miss my other eSports article that week about the MSI Beat IT Dota 2 competition? Or perhaps the infograph on Dota 2′s The International 4 wherein I mentioned a few reasons why that’s great for gaming? Perhaps they weren’t around when I was talking about Dota 2 one day being screened on ESPN? Have I made my point yet?

It’s great that we have such passionate people in the local community. It really is, because it means that we can use that passion to fuel growth. The thing about growth is, and this is also kind of a life lesson, you need to be able to take a joke every now and again. How can eSports purport growth when an admittedly misguided but well-intended article about a tournament is met with such fervent criticism of its content — which once again it must be emphasised, came from someone who has supported local eSports for years. Rather than call for article deletions, writer firings and so on, why not just discuss in the comments why it was offensive, ask for an explanation and move on?

I have to admit, it has made me not want to report on eSports in future. And that’s a big thing for me because, if you ask anyone else on the site, I’m kind of the only person who really pushes the topic these days. But now I can clearly see why the others don’t have any time for it. It’s a minefield. Like religion, almost. You cannot personalise your articles about it because that would purport criticism, and it’s all above criticism because if you criticise, you’re obviously hampering the growth of the community. No, guys. We’re trying to help. We’re providing coverage. We’re talking about it. We’re getting others talking about it (isn’t that what most sponsors typically want to see anyway?) whether or not it’s in a good light. You’re the guys who are attacking us and then making us not want to provide said coverage. You’re the ones hampering the growth.

And that truly saddens me. Once again, I’d like to add in my sincere apologies to F34R for any harm caused by the article. To J4K3Z (who has been around professionally since Call of Duty 4, so basically forever) and FROST (who outright obliterates people double or even triple his age, much to their embarrassment), you guys rock, I meant absolutely no disrespect whatsoever, and I will continue to watch your games with the awe and reverence I’ve always felt. Keep on pushing yourself and performing like the local stars you are. I hope one day to see you guys representing SA internationally. And on that day, I will be both watching and supporting. To the rest of the local eSports community, I say this with love: The internet is not nearly as serious as you think it is.

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eGamer Podcast #90: Everybody Take A Shot http://egmr.net/2014/07/egamer-podcast-90-everybody-take-shot/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/egamer-podcast-90-everybody-take-shot/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:00:11 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152149 Recorded: 22 July 2014 Welcome to episode ninety of the eGamer Podcast, where we’re hoping to break new ground in the world and just spend the entire thing talking about […]

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Recorded: 22 July 2014

Welcome to episode ninety of the eGamer Podcast, where we’re hoping to break new ground in the world and just spend the entire thing talking about videogames. Ironically, it’s also a week in which we’ve invited along someone who should be familiar to everyone who listens to the podcast. Their existence is still entirely questionable, but we’ll leave you all to decide about it.

Topics discussed this week include Naughty Dog’s indoctrination, life in 1080p and funny things we found on the internet.

Here are the shownotes for this week’s episode:

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to the RSS feed so you never miss an episode. Enjoy.

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | RSS

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F34R Adept Proved As Much In Last Weekend’s Call Of Duty Ghosts Tournament [Updated] http://egmr.net/2014/07/f34r-adept-proved-much-last-weekends-call-duty-ghosts-tournament/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/f34r-adept-proved-much-last-weekends-call-duty-ghosts-tournament/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:15:16 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152107 An eSports article about Call of Duty? What is this, 2011?! This past weekend saw another big Call of Duty tournament, this time to the tune of Ghosts, as MWEB […]

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An eSports article about Call of Duty? What is this, 2011?!

This past weekend saw another big Call of Duty tournament, this time to the tune of Ghosts, as MWEB GameZone hosted the Master Series Ghosts LAN in Joburg. A total of fifteen teams partook in the proceedings and the ultimate winners were Xbox Call of Duty team F34R ADEPT — pictured above, complete with token brown guy and stereotype-filling kid.

Because 60FPS.

The tournament played out over the entire weekend, with Saturday hosting the pool stages and Sunday hosting semi-finals, 3rd/4th playoffs because fuck logic and the eventual final, entirely console-based. Who even uses PCs anymore, right?

The final itself was played between F34R ADEPT and Insane Gaming, with the latter fighting their way from 1-4 down all the way to 4-5, but then losing another round and ending up 4-6.

Here is a list of winning teams and their members, for those who feel compelled to read about such things:

The winning team members – Ismail Jacobs (F34R J4K3Z), Andrew Harris (F34R DREW), Rory Burmiester (F34R HAZARDS) and Kyle Nortje (F34R FROST) won a combined R5 000 in kalahari.com vouchers and Red Bulletin SIGG Flasks.

Team Insane Gaming – Kaelin Govender (Insane Tankerr), Dylan Evans (Insane QualaTee), Jason Louw and (Insane Beyond) and Callum Lumley (Insane Blizzard), walked away with a combined R3 000 in kalahari.com vouchers and Red Bull Racing Caps.

Third place went to Team Origin, who won R2 000 in kalahari.com vouchers and Red Bull Racing Caps. Team Origin is made up of Warwick Long (Origin Aeroh), Jaco Moolman (Origin Deqa), Ryan Williams (Origin Astryan) and Donovan Barrett (Origin Flamez).

Fourth place was claimed by Team Paragon Elite – Connor Nicolson (Savage TPE), Cameron Sheasby (ApeXGoD TPE), Zandre van der Berg (TBGBrutal TPE) and Keaton Smith (Cerberus TPE) – who won racing caps.

“We have a great, competitive console community in South Africa and we love rewarding their passion by investing in tournaments like these to boost the growth of professional gaming in South Africa,” says head of Digital and Gaming at MWEB, Des Kurz. “We’re really proud of all our top Call of Duty teams who took part in this tournament. Our next major gaming event in September will also focus on Xbox (but not on Call of Duty) and it’s going to be spectacular so watch this space!”

Here’s me hoping for a Gears of War 3 tournament.

UPDATE: Okay, it’s clear that this article has caused something of a shitstorm, so I am going to try and clear up a few points and hopefully we can all stop being so damn sensitive about this.

  1. The first line of this article is not a shot at Call of Duty, but rather a referential joke pointed at the site — that’s right, I took a shot at eGamer for basically not having done any CoD eSports articles since 2011. We actually stopped doing eSports for a while, and I thought it would be funny to point out that it’s been so long. I don’t know why people thought it was a shot at CoD.
  2. This article was the result of a press statement with the results of a LAN Tournament. We typically don’t do this sort of thing (wonder why?) but I said fuck it, I’ll go ahead and write about it and add some humour to make it a little more interesting. Its only purpose is to report on the winners and other finalists in the tournament. That’s it. This is not some opinion column, so again, I don’t see why people are taking it as a shot at CoD.
  3. I have a lot of respect for both eSports players and the community in general; I don’t know J4K3Z and FROST personally, but I do know of them (having watched streams before) and I did not think I was being inappropriate with my humour there — after all, I was once a ‘stereotype-filling kid’ who played Call of Duty and I am, of course, a ‘token brown guy’ in my own right. I saw these little quips as funny, not offensive. At least that’s how I meant them. My sincerest apologies to Team F3AR ADEPT for any offence here; you guys rock and I’m sorry if my quips were a bit over the top.
  4. My views on the 3rd/4th playoff are the same for any tournament. I tweeted about the FIFA World Cup not needing one. I think that it’s silly to ask two teams who just lost their chance to be in the final, to then play more games and have to deal with possibly losing again. It’s actually cruel if you think about it. This was not a shot at the CoD tournament or its organisers, but rather a shot at tournament structures in general.
  5. The schedule of games, itself, was taken straight from the press release; if it is incorrect then you should definitely email Atmosphere Communications about it.
  6. It’s important to remember that eGamer does not exist to promote good PR; we are a site that exists to talk about games. Therefore we cater to gamers, not press or the industry itself. Were games talked about in this article?

I am sorry to those people who took genuine offence to what was written here; it was not my intention to offend or upset anyone with this, I only just wanted to spice up an otherwise robotic ‘report’ and I thought we were sorely lacking for eSports coverage, so I ran with it. A lot of you obviously don’t visit here often, judging from the comments below, so you don’t know that I actually adore the Call of Duty series and I’m always defending it as a good series with a lot of merit. Further, I do try to cover local events whenever possible and besides my complete lack of faith in the MSSA, I think that local eSports is growing and doing really well. To think any different of me would be to not know me as a writer, meaning taking this one article entirely on its own, and therefore out of context, and choosing to react a certain way. If gaming has grown as everyone says it has, surely we can be better than reacting in such a way to an article that was well-intended and just seemed to not get the humour across quite right? Am I asking too much?

Again, I’m sorry that so much offence was taken by this article; it was not intended.

Now let’s move on, shall we?

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What Would Dark Souls II Be Like As An eSport? http://egmr.net/2014/07/dark-souls-ii-like-esport/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/dark-souls-ii-like-esport/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:15:27 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151950 Over the past few months since the release of Dark Souls II, it has become increasingly more abundantly clear that the people who love Dark Souls, much like the people […]

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Over the past few months since the release of Dark Souls II, it has become increasingly more abundantly clear that the people who love Dark Souls, much like the people who love Halo or the people who love DotA, are an insufferable bunch of fanboys interspersed with the odd genuinely nice person who’s just trying to enjoy their favourite game and is willing to provide a few tips so that you too can join in their fun and enjoyment; ultimately, overshadowed by the overwhelmingly large — and hostile — fanboy count (shots fired?).

Naturally then, it makes sense to wonder just what Dark Souls II would be like if it too were an eSport, in the same way that Halo, DotA and of course Call of Duty (a franchise also notorious for its fervent fanbase) are eSports; games that are played competitively for sport while commentators narrate the action, kinda. (I mean let’s be honest, anyone who actually plays the game knows that commentators rarely ever know what they’re saying.)

In all honesty though, this video is just a really fun — and honestly, quite entertaining — short look at how it would probably look if someone decided to take Dark Souls II PvP and put it into an eSports format. Have a watch, have a chuckle, comment below to tell us what you think of it. Or me. But preferably it. Who knows? Maybe one day it happens. And then everyone can praise the sun or something.

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Fancy Yourself Worthy Of #TI4? Prove Your Dota 2 Skills At Beat IT http://egmr.net/2014/07/fancy-worthy-ti4-prove-dota-2-skills-beat/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/fancy-worthy-ti4-prove-dota-2-skills-beat/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:30:58 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152103 The International 4 has just ended and the Dota 2 hype is at sky-high levels right now; people who have outright claimed to hate the game tuned in to watch […]

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The International 4 has just ended and the Dota 2 hype is at sky-high levels right now; people who have outright claimed to hate the game tuned in to watch it played competitively this past weekend.

And now for those of you (like me) who legitimately believe you could have competed and held your own at #TI4, an opportunity has arisen to put your money where your proverbial mouth is, with the MSI Beat IT Dota 2 African Qualifier.

If you have what it takes to be a Dota 2 world champion, now is your chance to take part in the first ever qualifier on home soil for the international eSports tournament of the year, the MSI Beat IT 2014 tournament in Taipei, Taiwan.

Slightly conceited to go around calling it the “international eSports tournament of the year” but hey, we won’t judge. Registrations for the Sub-Saharan Qualifiers, which will be hosted by MWEB’s GameZone — because, uncapped users, that’s where all your precious bandwidth is actually going — have opened this week.

“The Beat IT competition started in 2010, but this is the first time that Africa has its own qualifier,” says head of Digital and Gaming at MWEB, Des Kurz. “MWEB is very proud to be associated and to bring our talented gamers such an incredible opportunity for international success. As the largest host of gaming infrastructure in SA, we give priority to gamers on our network, but beyond that, we are passionate about gaming and about creating amazing opportunities for our gamers.”

Okay, that’s enough self-fellatio for one quote.

“We have invited eight of the top Dota 2 teams in South Africa and Namibia, the two countries that have Dota 2 formalised leagues that we know of, to take part. However, our Sub-Saharan qualifiers also make provision for a 32 team stage, which means the top eight teams from that group stage will go head-to-head with the eight invited teams to determine the top four teams that will be taking part in the Africa final.”

From there, a single African team will qualify to represent the continent at the finals in Taipei, Taiwan. Accommodation, travel and laptops for practicing will be provided by MSI. Pretty sweet, right?

So what are you waiting for? Go and form your five-man team and register.

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Our 90th Podcast Records Tonight — Ask Us Things http://egmr.net/2014/07/90th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/90th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 09:00:34 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151944 The nineties were a great time to be alive; mostly because the nineties were a time when I was finally alive. See, I was born in 1990. Other important, noteworthy […]

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The nineties were a great time to be alive; mostly because the nineties were a time when I was finally alive. See, I was born in 1990. Other important, noteworthy events of that year included the reunification of Germany after many long years of being cut down the centre, ladies you know what I’m talking about. (Because I don’t.) In any case, tonight we’ll be recording episode ninety of the eGamer Podcast with just as much German humour as always.

Equally as always, we want to involve as many people as possible in the creation of these something-specials that we put out each week; mostly because we’re ridiculously lazy and unoriginal, just like [insert the name of your most hated developer here]. Here’s how you can help us out: Think up some really cool questions, whether they are related to gaming or comics or movies or music or series or anything really. Then scroll down to the comments section and post them there for us to answer while we’re recording.

Then be sure to check out either the site, our Libsyn page, iTunes or our RSS feed later in the week for the podcast, which will have all the answers and more. Tell your friends!

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Check Out How Dota 2′s #TI4 Prize Pool Stacks Against Other Sporting Events http://egmr.net/2014/07/check-dota-2s-ti4-prize-pool-stacks-sporting-events/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/check-dota-2s-ti4-prize-pool-stacks-sporting-events/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:15:30 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151934 Take a moment to look at that image. Really look at it. Let’s put this into perspective: The viewership of the FIFA World Cup 2014 is staggeringly huge. Just doing […]

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Take a moment to look at that image.

Really look at it.

Let’s put this into perspective: The viewership of the FIFA World Cup 2014 is staggeringly huge. Just doing a quick read-through of total viewer counts on three American television networks took me up to over 50 million, and that’s not even the part of the world that even cares about football. The FIFA World Cup is easily the world’s largest sporting event, followed perhaps by Wimbledon and maybe celebrity sex tapes.

Dota 2 by comparison is a game that only officially released a few years ago, although the DotA custom map for Warcraft III has existed for around ten years now. In the time Dota 2 has been around, there have been three prior ‘The International’ tournaments, which saw popular DotA clans taking on each other, and began at Gamescom a few years ago to immediately massive viewership counts since at that point Dota 2 was still a work-in-progress and not available to the public just yet.

Fast forward a few years and we have The International 4, still a tournament in its infancy, with a prize pool of a third of that of the world’s biggest sporting tournament. And would you believe that a few years ago, so-called gaming journalists were claiming that eSports was dead. Pfft.

What’s even cooler is that most of the money raised for The International 4 was by players of Dota 2, meaning the community. We did that. Or, those of us who spend money on Dota 2 anyway (not me). Through Valve’s ‘Compendium’ which is basically a bundle-offering collectible for Dota 2, we managed to raise over $10 million dollars. Consider if you will that $2.50 out of every Compendium purchase actually went towards this prize pool. Ridiculous, right?

The Compendium includes a bunch of character clothing sets, custom animations, custom hero and other unit designs, custom loading screens, new weather effects, emoticons for chat, announcer voices and the ability to take on daily challenges. The Compendium can then be levelled up either through real-money purchases or using Compendium Points which are unlocked by playing. Either way, levelling up the Compendium earns more cool things. This rewards program has singlehandedly funded one of the most extravagant tournaments in the history of all kinds of sporting, let alone mindsports.

It’s a good thing Valve isn’t the MSSA, amirite?

Thanks creepyLANguy for sharing the infograph above.

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: The MOBA Fad Is The WoW Fad All Over Again http://egmr.net/2014/07/life-universe-gaming-moba-fad-wow-fad/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/life-universe-gaming-moba-fad-wow-fad/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 09:00:27 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151519 And I’m getting a little sick of it now. When will developers and publishers learn that copying something is not going to immediately make you as successful as that thing […]

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And I’m getting a little sick of it now.

When will developers and publishers learn that copying something is not going to immediately make you as successful as that thing (unless the point is not to be successful but to simply chip away some fans?) and there is really no point because like with World of Warcraft, you will put out some great new product that will have all the makings of a game-changer — no pun intended — and then after a few weeks the novelty wears off and people just go back to raiding with their friends in World of Warcraft.

Likewise for MOBAs, the League of Legends addicts will play League of Legends and the Dota 2 addicts will play Dota 2 — with some crossplay by League of Legends addicts who inevitably concede that Dota 2 is the better and more fun offering — but other MOBA games the likes of Demigod, Heroes of Newerth and more have come and gone, and will continue to come and go without making much effort at all, whatsoever. And nobody, not EA nor Activision nor Ubisoft, will be able to change that. So they should all just quit while they’re ahead and try to craft a different game instead of trying to make more games “like” Call of Duty, or World of Warcraft, or indeed Dota 2.

It just won’t work.

End column.

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If only it were that simple — let’s take a closer look at things, for the pure purpose of further fleshing out a point that has already been made.

See as much as we frown upon developers who create effectively copy-pasta by taking all of Call of Duty’s features and putting it into their own games, there is a sizeable market of gamers who actually buy in to this kind of thing. Sure, it didn’t work with Medal of Honor but EA were disinclined to care given how well their Battlefield series was doing, or I assure you they would not have put a halt on new Medal of Honor games. Likewise, various other games have sold adequately well by simply copying the things that the Call of Duty games did. It didn’t require as much effort, it didn’t require a whole lot of innovation, and it still ended up in some form of sales even if the games themselves did not actually win critics over, nor last long in the eyes of gamers. Homefront.

On the other side, games that try to copy World of Warcraft effectively waste their time because players will decide to try it out, and once the novelty wears off, go away. We’ve seen this happen with so, so many MMOs over the years. Who even still remembers Tabula Rasa, or hell, Star Wars: The Old Republic? Now the recently released The Elder Scrolls: Online is rumoured to be headed to free-to-play soon. Only Guild Wars has survived, staggeringly. And the thing is, hosting charges for servers do exist so games that cater to multiplayer audiences need to have some form of income.

This is where games such as League of Legends and Dota 2 have done it ingeniously. Mind you, the advent of the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena is something that a lot of actual DotA players have seen coming for years, in quite the same way that comic book readers are now turning up all over the place going, “See, you guys? I told you this shit was cool!” Not that anybody actually cares who was there first, even though they totally should.

League of Legends and Dota 2 manage to be almost entirely free to play, with their own spins on generating revenue. LoL offers players a roster of champions to choose from per day, while allowing them to either unlock through playing or simply buy out the ability to play a particular favoured hero. Dota meanwhile offers players a whole range of accessories for heroes as well as announcer packs, loading screens, user interfaces and even weather effects. Using The Compendium — basically a collector’s item in-game that unlocks a bunch of stuff upon purchase and then unlocks further stuff the more you invest either money or play-to-unlock compendium points — Valve managed to raise well over $10 million for The International 4, which is taking place right now.

To put that into perspective, the total prize pool for the FIFA fucking Football World Cup that recently ended, was $34 million. That’s right, a game that has effectively been around for around ten years now but only recently hit the international eSports spotlight making it something of a new entry in the eyes of the world, has managed to raise a third of the prize money that was available for the world’s biggest sporting tournament; and our one doesn’t just happen once every four years.

I recently read an article on a local site about why the #TI4 prize pool could be bad for eSports and while every single one of the points raised were outright ridiculous, with very little in the way of proper research or substantiation, there actually was a point that went entirely missed: Other developers will want to get in on that money and the result is an oversaturation of the MOBA market.

It makes sense given how Call of Duty clones exist and are somewhat successful, to copy the MOBA formula and hope to chip away some fans… it just makes a lot less sense when you think of exactly how a developer can hope to do that when everybody is already playing either LoL or Dota. Even Heroes of Newerth couldn’t survive; it only ever became popular in the first place because there wasn’t already a Dota 2 around back then, and not everyone wanted to play a years-old game in Warcraft III anymore. But then we must also consider that there are server charges because a MOBA is an online experience; now it makes even less sense because you’re putting out something to compete with a game that everyone can already play, and for free, and you’re telling them to try out your product instead. But you can’t really charge for it, and you need to have players before you can pander to them, so how exactly is any profit made at all?

Unless a new MOBA goes the route of LoL and Dota 2 in making a sport out of the game itself; LoL has ‘seasons’ while Dota 2 has The International, there’s just no way I can see a profit being made here.

To their credit, at least some MOBA offerings have unique spins and are confident in doing their own thing; consider the ultimately lacklustre but still admirable Awesomenauts, or indeed the DC Comics inspired Infinite Crisis, which is literally a MOBA featuring DC Comics characters including a vampiric Batman. Other games? Not nearly as captivating or original. So how can they exist?

As far as creating something out of nothing, it seems that Blizzard and Valve are the joint rulers of the niche world. They gave us Hearthstone and made us love card games again; Left 4 Dead and made co-op zombie-killing with friends cool; Portal and made puzzle games fun again; even created genuinely exciting RTS games with the recent StarCraft additions. Hell, no pun intended, Blizzard even saved face with the recently released Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. But they’re the only two developers I can think of who are capable of such feats, and even Blizzard’s upcoming MOBA is looking questionable at best.

The rest? I mean, why are they even bothering when everybody and their unborn babies already know that their MOBA offerings will fail? Who is the deluded decision maker at all these development houses convincing the team that they can get a piece of the Dota/LoL pie? Better yet, do you, beloved reader, think they stand anything even remotely resembling a chance? I’d sincerely like to speak to someone who feels that more MOBAs would be a good thing, apart from the fact that there would be more ‘free’ games around, although just how free they are remains to be seen. Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Why You Should Care About The Guardians Of The Galaxy Movie http://egmr.net/2014/07/care-guardians-galaxy-movie/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/care-guardians-galaxy-movie/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 15:00:37 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151813 When The Dark Knight released to the world and blew everyone away, eyes shot open and people stood up and took comic book characters a lot more seriously than they […]

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When The Dark Knight released to the world and blew everyone away, eyes shot open and people stood up and took comic book characters a lot more seriously than they had in the past. With the exception of dark-but-ultimately-comedic Spider-Man and the ever-depressing X-Men, previous comic book movies the likes of the older Batman movies, the Fantastic Four movies and even Hulk erred on the side of comedic relief while trying to present a serious story, and none of them quite pulled it off. Suddenly, dark and gritty was the way to go and the likes of Batman and Iron Man presented a harder, more mature version of the comic book characters; ultimately more appealing to the wider viewing audience without being panned by critics.

Perhaps it was also quite a nice thing that studios were willing to take some risks and create a long-term plan rather than simply shoehorning a license for the purposes of cashing in on a character’s popularity — after all, who really cared about Iron Man before 2008?

It was a great day for comic book characters on the big screen, and it practically opened the doors to more in future. The culmination of this was perhaps mid-2012 where we saw The Avengers, amongst other massive comic-book titles of that year, including a Spider-Man reboot. Now, a few years later, we’ve seen the likes of Kick-Ass and The Dark Knight Rises, and the various Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, and they’ve all had their fair share of mature content with some dark themes and edgy content. But we’ve yet to see something break from that mould. This is actually why I quite enjoyed the Thor movies; they at least endeavoured to introduce some fantasy to the mix.

Not until Guardians of the Galaxy, however, do we finally have something truly insane. Finally, we get to see that more balls-to-the-wall side of the comic book fiction. Finally, we get to witness wacky antics instead of serious, hardcore characters trying to be serious and hardcore. As much as there are brutally dark and gritty comics the likes of The Walking Dead and Kick-Ass, there are also more comedy-oriented comics that set logic aside in favour of fun. And with Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel has finally decided to have some fun.

I suppose if someone told you in 2007 that seven years later, Marvel would be releasing a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, you would have laughed at them and told them to go back to their caves and eat their mom’s lasagne while masturbating to porn and feeling lonely. But in just a few short weeks now, that Guardians of the Galaxy movie is going to be a reality. And I have to say, it absolutely delights me!

For those of you who don’t read a lot of comics, allow me to explain what the Guardians of the Galaxy are, by first explaining how Marvel’s comics work: There are various kinds of comics made by Marvel, likewise DC. On the one side you get the mutants, whose powers come quite literally from evolution. On the other side, the superheroes who gain their powers through some form or the other; think Daredevil, Spider-Man or even the vigilante Punisher. Then there’s the cosmic storylines, which (I stand corrected on this, but) were what Jack Kirby contributed to Marvel Comics, much in the same way he contributed Darkseid to DC — this is probably why Thanos and the aforementioned look so familiar, even though they’re from different franchises. Cosmic powers take things onto a whole other scale of power. Here we speak of galactic proportions and creators, destroyers and guardians. Heralds of all-powerful beings that are like gods in the Marvel universe. Think of the Silver Surfer, Galactus, Thanos (who will feature in the Marvel Cinematic Universe soon), The Dark Phoenix, The Fantastic Four as well as various alien species the likes of the Kree, Skrull and Shi’ar. Cosmic-powered characters are more or less on their own tier of power in the Marvel universe. Above almost all else.

In the galaxy there is a sort-of police force much the same as DC’s Green Lanterns. These folks are called the Nova Corps and it’s effectively the same principle, only instead of rings they have helmets, and they gain cosmic powers through those. The first human Nova Corps was Richard Rider. Like the Green Lanterns, the Nova Corps exist as peacekeepers and galactic police. But like real police, they can only be so preventative without causing diplomatic conflicts; in other words, if something is going down but hasn’t gone down yet, and they have no proof it will go down, they cannot do much. Right? Cue the Guardians of the Galaxy.

The Guardians of the Galaxy, meanwhile, are kind of like a renegade Nova Corps team. They’re comprised of a bunch of bad-attitude characters, each with their own reason for being around, and they’re probably some of the most interesting characters in the Marvel universe. For example, although he isn’t included, Adam Warlock can kill with a thought. And Groot, that massive tree from the trailers voiced by Vin Diesel, is actually from a race of beings that are considered the smartest in the galaxy; their language is so profoundly advanced that all other characters ever hear is, “I am Groot,” when he speaks. Dope, right? I was never the biggest fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy, but like Deadpool, I could not be more excited to see their appearance on the big screen because it’s a sign that comic book movies can take themselves just as seriously (or not) as the comic books upon which they are based.

And that absolutely delights me.

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This is the official Guardians of the Galaxy poster.

This is what Dorkly thought of that poster.

Enough said?

The Guardians of the Galaxy is out in two weeks. Watch it. You can thank me later.

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Competition Prize #4 Reminder: Cooler Master CM Storm Sirus-C Headset Of Destiny http://egmr.net/2014/07/competition-prize-4-reminder-cooler-master-cm-storm-sirus-c-headset-destiny/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/competition-prize-4-reminder-cooler-master-cm-storm-sirus-c-headset-destiny/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 14:15:22 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151800 Hi everyone! Cavie here, filling in for Tech Marco because he was inexplicably drawn away from his duties today; something about family commitments or something. Who even knows with these […]

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Hi everyone! Cavie here, filling in for Tech Marco because he was inexplicably drawn away from his duties today; something about family commitments or something. Who even knows with these kids today…

In his place, I thought I’d take over and finish off the last competition prize reminder article for the week. Since we’ve already done the previous three, it wouldn’t make sense to just skip the fourth, now would it? And no, I don’t say that because I am from a family of four or anything like that. The show must go on, right?

Unfortunately, I have nowhere near the technical prowess and mechanical capability of Tech Marco, with his godlike PC powers and impressively soft beard; what I do have are words and links and pictures, so I will do my best to put those together in some form of cohesive article for you all — look out for my actual review of a headset soon. I’m not even kidding.

So, the final prize is a headset. Not just any headset, but the Cooler Master CM Storm Sirus-C headset, which we reviewed for you a short while ago and you can actually check out in the mini-review-slash-unboxing above. For those of you who don’t know what a headset is, a headset is a thing that goes around the top of your head and sits more or less above or on your ears, and then sounds come out of it. Actually the sounds will come out of it regardless of where you place it, but only if it’s connected. We’ll come back to that. My favourite part of a headset is the part where I can listen to things without other people listening to things; not because I’m selfish and only want to listen to the things myself, but rather because I feel bad when I’m making a ruddy noise and others are around trying to enjoy some peace and quiet.

To that extent, a headset can also be a great way to provide peace and quiet as it muffles out external ambience. Ambience is a word from the dictionary, I checked to be sure. The best way to wear a headset is at an angle where it sits on the absolute middle of your upper head, although some like to wear their headsets diagonally or along the backs of their heads; these people are called idiots. Others try to keep their headsets on their necks when they’re not using them, because they saw that in a rap video that one time.

Headsets have cables. Some don’t, but the good ones do. Some headsets contain different types of cables that plug into different “ports” on the chosen place of connection, be it a PC, console or even television. The Cooler Master CM Storm Sirus-C is great because it has a lot of different port connectors. Port connectors are also called jacks. This particular headset has a USB connector, as well as regular audio connectors which allow for extended connections to other things. It is best explained with this picture:

Glowed out things on a black background!

The thing I really like about this Cooler Master CM Storm Sirus-C headset is its name, because it reminds me of two things: One of them is Batman, because of The Joker saying “why so serious” in The Dark Knight. The other thing it reminds me of is Sirius Black from the Harry Potter franchise. So I guess what this headset actually reminds me of is Gary Oldman. Also, vitamin C, because I love oranges and vitamin C is really good for you; but don’t overdo it or you’ll get explosive diarrhoea. I spelled that correctly without needing spellcheck, I am literally the shit. Not literally.

Finally, and perhaps the greatest part about the Cooler Master CM Storm Sirus-C headset, is that it is currently the fourth and final prize in our month-long competition which has nearly reached its end, and you can enter to win it by clicking here and then following the instructions contained within. Comments in this article will count for this headset because this article was released this week, and comments for this week are what count for this headset. But first you need to have entered in the competition article. So go and do that first. And then keep on commenting. Because really, we all love comments. Secretly, it’s what we desire in the darkest recesses of our minds; more than food or sleep or even sex. So why deny the urge? Just comment.

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Marvel Unveils New Thor, Internet Erupts Because Female http://egmr.net/2014/07/marvel-unveils-new-thor-internet-erupts-female/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/marvel-unveils-new-thor-internet-erupts-female/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 09:00:44 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151804 Thor has existed as a Marvel Comics character for a very, very long time. And while Marvel Comics has never really respected old Viking mythology, the spin thrown on Thor’s […]

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Thor has existed as a Marvel Comics character for a very, very long time. And while Marvel Comics has never really respected old Viking mythology, the spin thrown on Thor’s comics has always been quite unique and interesting. The rainbow bridges and merry blond men holding hands and marching blissfully around a golden city in the sky.

Now after all these years, after introducing the likes of Beta Ray Thor and the unforgettable Frog of Thunder, Marvel are making a drastic change to the Thor meta as we know it; only, it’s really not that drastic at all. See, Marvel have just announced that there’s going to be a brand new Thor series written by Jason Aaron with art from Russell Dauterman. What’s the drastic change? Well it’s in the title, but anyway: Thor is female now.

Well, okay that’s not entirely true. Thor Odinson aka Donald Blake, still exists within the canon. However after fucking up yet again — seriously, this guy nearly wiped out all of existence one time and could only bring it all back by rewinding time thousands of years — he has been disempowered in a delightfully ironic twist, and his powers given to another. A woman, this time.

“The inscription on Thor’s hammer reads ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’ Well it’s time to update that inscription,” explains Marvel editor Wil Moss. “The new Thor continues Marvel’s proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn’t a temporary female substitute – she’s now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!”

Series writer Jason Aaron adds, “This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.”

Inb4 everyone makes jokes about the ‘wrath’ of a thunder god now.

I have to admit, since Thor was always my favourite Avenger it was quite a surprising thing to read on the internet this past week because it meant having to adjust my brain to an entirely different character. However, I’m quite for this change; in fact, I very much welcome it. A lot of the internet has welcomed it, but others have obviously not. In many ways, it’s just the latest in what has become the hottest of hot topics of late, and that’s fair representation of different genders, races and so on.

Good on Marvel for pushing the boundaries and effectively rewriting one of their largest franchise characters, albeit not one of their more popular ones compared to say, Wolverine, Spider-Man or Deadpool. That said, they did also have a black Spider-Man in the mix. So they’re definitely doing good things. Plus they actually legitimately killed off Wolverine this year, so how can you not love them for what they’re doing right now?

The Avengers have always been something of a jock squad for me, I said as much in an article before. So it’s great to see someone besides Carol Danvers getting into the mix now. And yes I know Black Widow exists but I will maintain that she is there mostly to be a sexy badass female character while Wasp is just there to be beaten up, amirite Hank? It’s great to see another female addition to The Avengers and I’m really looking forward to watching the interplay, if that happens in future. And I really hope it does.

In the meantime it will be interesting to discover this new Thor’s origins, what made her worthy, and what became of the now-unworthy Thor of old. What do you think about the new Thor? Let us know in the comments.

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eGamer Podcast #89: The Newbie Louwdown http://egmr.net/2014/07/egamer-podcast-89-newbie-louwdown/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/egamer-podcast-89-newbie-louwdown/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 09:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151626 Recorded: 16 July 2014 Welcome to episode eighty-nine of the eGamer Podcast, because eights and nines are awesome and that’s all you really need to know. Also, tomatoes are fruit. […]

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Recorded: 16 July 2014

Welcome to episode eighty-nine of the eGamer Podcast, because eights and nines are awesome and that’s all you really need to know. Also, tomatoes are fruit. We’ve got a massive cast on this week as our various newbies join the show for one week only.

Topics discussed this week include Alien: Isolation’s content, The Last of Us on PS4 and Assassin’s Creed (duh).

Here are the shownotes for this week’s episode:

  • Meet the newbies.
  • Why are there so many voices, what is all that noise?
  • Obligatory #Thabolicious mention.
  • How will Alien: Isolation manage fifteen hours worth of gameplay?
  • Which games really scared our pants off?
  • We put the Peloma scandal to rest.
  • What on Earth is N4G’s obsession with The Last of Us on PS4?
  • “The BioShock 1″.
  • Our newbies share their favourite games.
  • We share our most tragic gaming opinions of the past.
  • It’s basically an initiation to talk about Assassin’s Creed on the podcast.
  • Why does the world hate Sub Zero?
  • Our newbies tell us which games they’re looking forward to, in October.
  • We answer your questions.

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to the RSS feed so you never miss an episode. Enjoy.

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | RSS

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Breaking: Newbies Invade EGMR, Steal Hamsters, Replace With Selfies http://egmr.net/2014/07/breaking-newbies-invade-egmr-steal-hamsters-replace-selves/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/breaking-newbies-invade-egmr-steal-hamsters-replace-selves/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 11:15:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151499 Last night the eGamer team suffered a break-in at EGMR HQ (Location: Classified). Three unknown assailants found their way inside and stole all of the hamsters (gerbils?) running on the […]

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Last night the eGamer team suffered a break-in at EGMR HQ (Location: Classified). Three unknown assailants found their way inside and stole all of the hamsters (gerbils?) running on the wheels that kept our beloved site going. Thankfully the site did not suffer lasting damage owing to the fact that nobody actually knows if anything is even in working condition in the first place. Meanwhile, caught in the act because someone left the lights on, the three stooges musketeers humans decided that rather than pay the ultimate price for their treachery (being forced to play Ride to Hell: Retribution), they would instead offer up their services and pledge their allegiance to the almighty e-crosshair.

And so we have three new writers on the site.

An alternative introduction, about introductions: The best stories are the ones with characters who come and go throughout the overall storyline. They’re called arcs, and here at eGamer, we are about to enter a new arc in our long-running story; not quite The Walking Dead, but still with more substance than anything New52 ever spat out. Over the past few weeks we have had various applicants for writing positions; a curiously well-timed and entirely unplanned situation, all things considered. Some did not survive the rigorous trials we put them through, however some excelled and today we are happy as can possibly be to announce in this very article, the three fully vetted and duly qualified game lovers (because sports) who will be joining Team EGMR as fully fledged writers.

Welcome Bianca, Dom and Bracken (in alphabetical order) who will be providing us with many great articles and lols, and maybe a controversy or two (it’s just how we roll, man). Don’t worry, this time we’ve made two-hundred-percent sure they are real and we’ve even gone through the trouble of verifying their existences with pictures. Because life lessons, or some such. So without further ado, it is our great pleasure to introduce to you, the newest members of our team:

 

Bianca Louw

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Hello, I am Bianca.

Seeing as I am a female, I’m unquestionably a fake geek gamer girl. I have no idea what I’m doing here, apparently I can write good. However, you can be the judge of that. I’ll be doing opinion pieces, mostly, because I’m also studying analytical chemistry, and that shit’s hard.

I wholeheartedly believe that Spyro and The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion are some of the greatest games ever created. Don’t even try to change my mind on this, I will find you and I will crotch stomp you.

Oh, and I comply to both rule 31 and 32 of the internet, that’s probably why I was hired.

 

Dom van Blerk

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Hi. I’m Dom. You may know me as @Domzor on Twitter. Or CyniKill elsewhere. Or not at all, because I’m not exactly famous or anything. I play videogames sometimes and have an afro all of the time. To be honest, I’m mostly here to even out the Sony to Microsoft fanboi ratio on this site because I own a 360 and I’m not afraid to use it. That was a joke. I’m joking. No fanboys here. Right, guys?

Practically every other writer here has called me a hipster at some point because of my proclivity for indie games (and music). But can you blame me, considering the wealth of great indie games released over the last few years? That came out a bit more hipster than I intended. Oops. Seriously though, indie games FTW.

I’ve been informed I need to make the internet hate me at least once a week so here’s some things that’ll probably get that out of the way in my first week writing here:

• I prefer LoL to Dota, even though I play Dota with Cavie, Azhar and Marco most evenings.
• CoD > Battlefield, n00bs.
• I’ve started but never finished Half Life 2 and both of its episodes. Sorry, Cavie.

Now that I’ve got the hate train rolling, expect to see mostly news and opinions from me. Actually, my first article for EGMR should be up tomorrow. I’m super excited to be working with such a talented team of writers. That includes the other new guys, of course. See ya in the comments section. :>

 

Bracken Lee-Rudolph

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Hi avid readers! I’m Bracken Lee-Rudolph, one of the new EGMR writers (and the best, jk jk). I’m a journalism student at Rhodes University, with the eventual goal of becoming a qualified gaming or technology journalist. What do you mean, “Get a real job”?

I’ve been writing about games for just over two years, and have been with ITF Gaming up until recently. Now I’m here, and excited to be starting a new chapter with EGMR. Wait! Where are you going?

I play an alarming amount of Call of Duty, FIFA and GTA. However, that isn’t the extent of my gaming repertoire (I’d have very little of substance to write about if it was) – I’m willing to play almost anything, from Ni No Kuni to Borderlands and back.

I have an inclination towards high quality audio and voice acting. I feel it adds a lot to a game’s ability to immerse its player and can be a major benefit to both gameplay and narrative. As such, I also find high-end audio equipment such as gaming headsets and home theatre systems incredibly interesting (No, your car sound does not count).

A lot of my writing may be about political concepts – gender representation, inappropriate or gratuitous content and moral concerns being but a few. Feel free to drop me some comments, I love a good flame war. Seriously though, I enjoy discussion and will try to learn from criticism.

Is anyone still reading this? Have some pervy toast (probably NSFW).

And there you have it. Be sure to direct any form of well-wishes, foreshadowed warnings and the obligatory flirtation because lolgirlgamer, in the comments below. And to our new members, we wish you all the best and hope that you all remain loyally #teamegmr for forever. Hashtag bee-eff-eff-4-lyf.

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You Can Help BioWare Shape The Future Of The Mass Effect Series http://egmr.net/2014/07/can-help-bioware-shape-future-mass-effect-series/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/can-help-bioware-shape-future-mass-effect-series/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 09:45:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151521 In their efforts to create the perfect Mass Effect game, BioWare has solicited the help of us, the players, in the form of a consumer survey that will help shape […]

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In their efforts to create the perfect Mass Effect game, BioWare has solicited the help of us, the players, in the form of a consumer survey that will help shape the future of the franchise.

News of this quick little survey came in the form of a tweet by series producer Michael Gamble.

Designed to gauge consumer playing habits and expectations, questions asked include which aspects of the new Mass Effect players are most looking forward to, as well as which RPG elements players would favour based on importance.

Not much news of the next Mass Effect has been revealed just yet, although more has been promised, soon. What we do at least know is that the story will not be related to Shepard and his/her trilogy-long story. BioWare has promised new characters, new enemies and new locations.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and fill in the survey and help BioWare make the best possible Mass Effect game that they can. My paragon tattoo simply demands it.

Let us know in the comments what you’re looking forward to in the next game, or where you’d like it to be set if in the same universe.

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PS4 Will Push Remakes And Aim For Wii Families, According To Sony http://egmr.net/2014/07/ps4-will-push-remakes-aim-wii-families/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/ps4-will-push-remakes-aim-wii-families/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 15:00:26 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151495 When Nintendo released the Wii in 2005, the world rejoiced for what would become the casual gaming console of choice. It also had some great games but for the most […]

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When Nintendo released the Wii in 2005, the world rejoiced for what would become the casual gaming console of choice. It also had some great games but for the most part, families rushed to stores to purchase a new console for their children and Luddites the world over immediately started referring to what was previously “playing playstation” as “playing wii”. Nintendo’s Wii sold over 100 million units and ended up the most successful console of that generation of gaming.

At some point though, those children would be growing up and wanting better experiences out of life. You know, without going outside. Those children might be persuaded by games they know well, with the Wii U’s upcoming line-up, but some of them might opt for an upgrade in the form of either a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.

Sony is hoping that it will be the PS4. Why? Well, according to Sony Computer Entertainment group chief executive Andrew House, the PS4 offers the best opportunity to welcome gamers, casual and hardcore alike, to the current generation of gaming.

“Whether it’s based on this is a really good all-round entertainment device for a family in addition to having great games, our consumer data suggests some of those people are already coming in now and that’s what’s contributing to the really great sales we’ve had,” said House.

He added: “I hesitate to say this because I know committed gamers may roll their eyes about it, but there’s an opportunity with some of the remastering or re-imagining from PS3 franchises that will potentially find an audience that hasn’t played them in the previous generation because they skipped that generation. We’re starting to see signs of that.”

Please excuse me while I roll my eyes about that.

Seriously, why not just include backwards compatibility then? Or just promise that it would be a thing for future, like the rest of the features Sony boasted about at the PS4 reveal.

House went on to compare Disney as the best example of a company that reintroduces classic content to nostalgic audiences, or audiences that may never have experienced it before. Apparently House has never heard of Nintendo; although he certainly seems to be gunning their audience.

What do you think about the PS4 and all of the remakes headed its way? Would you purchase a PS4 if it meant you could finally play The Last of Us via the Remastered Edition? Let us know in the comments.

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Assassin’s Creed Unity Has Its Own Idea Of What Caused The French Revolution http://egmr.net/2014/07/really-behind-french-revolution-assassins-creed-unity-trailer-idea/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/really-behind-french-revolution-assassins-creed-unity-trailer-idea/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 09:45:57 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151406 Historians might have a thing or two to say about the French Revolution but for anyone who has played a Ubisoft game, we are acutely aware of their penchant for […]

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Historians might have a thing or two to say about the French Revolution but for anyone who has played a Ubisoft game, we are acutely aware of their penchant for stretching the truth of what actually happened; in previous games they have painted the likes of George Washington and Niccolò Machiavelli in what you might consider unpopular frames of reference.

Typically, Ubisoft manages to pull it off quite nicely, and so even though the debate about the protagonist’s gender, race and so on rages on, Ubisoft Montreal want to show us exactly what we can expect from the final product, when Assassin’s Creed Unity releases later this year.

And so we have this story trailer, which can be watched above, for the game that is set during a very critical moment in the French Revolution. Most of it is an animus-style rendering rather than gameplay, so it’s not really meant to show us the game but rather just to set the scene.

“Paris, 1789. Commoners starved in the streets while aristocrats squandered the wealth of the nation,” reads the description. “Desperate and angry, they united and revolted against the power at hand and started the Revolution… But did the people truly lead the fight? Or did obscure forces use this time of chaos to spread their power?”

It’s actually a really cool trailer that will fill in a few blanks for those not too clued up on the French Revolution, albeit just its beginnings, and it certainly has the promise of an amazing story. Intriguing though it might be, I am still going to hold out for reviews and see if the game really is the sexist dude-bro co-op-fest it has been marketed as, or if it’s a quality Assassin’s Creed title that builds on Black Flag’s success.

Either way, I guess we’ll see when Unity releases on October 28th for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Will you be picking it up?

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Our 89th Podcast Records Tonight — Ask Us Things http://egmr.net/2014/07/89th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/89th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 09:00:20 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151402 Eight-nine is a really cool number. Why? Because we said it is, so you’ll just have to take our word for it. And as it so happens, tonight we’re going […]

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Eight-nine is a really cool number. Why? Because we said it is, so you’ll just have to take our word for it. And as it so happens, tonight we’re going to be recording episode eighty-nine of the eGamer Podcast, with all the eights and nines that you’ll ever need.

This here little article on ye’ old internet is how you, our beloved readers and commenting… critters (?) get involved. You do so by asking us questions in the form of comments, down below on yonder Disqus section below this here article. Don’t ask me why the Victorian cowboy in me is finding its way out in this text. Ask us anything you’d like, whether it pertains to gaming or not; just leave your questions down below in the comments.

Then be sure to check out either the site, our Libsyn page, iTunes or our RSS feed later in the week for the podcast, which will have all the answers and more. Tell your friends!

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Jaden Smith Might Just Have The Best Tweets On The Internet http://egmr.net/2014/07/jaden-smith-might-just-best-tweets-internet/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/jaden-smith-might-just-best-tweets-internet/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:00:00 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151294 It’s late on a Friday afternoon, we’ve not done that much Off-Topic Friday content today, nobody really wants more gaming news or opinions right now, do they? Well good because […]

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It’s late on a Friday afternoon, we’ve not done that much Off-Topic Friday content today, nobody really wants more gaming news or opinions right now, do they? Well good because more gaming news or opinions is exactly what we’re not doing in this article.

Anyone with a Twitter account probably follows some sort of comedy, parody or satire based account, whether it’s fake Batman tweets, fake Jesus tweets or face horoscope tweets. After all, they’re the most fun. When I first joined Twitter, one of my favourite accounts was called EpicTweets, and it was this American teenager who posted funny things. Then I matured a bit more and subsequently unfollowed her; this happened to coincide with the time she started doing more ads than original tweets — although how much of ‘fun Twitter’ is actually original, you might argue — and so it was that a lot of these accounts started to do ads instead of actual tweets. Time to unfollow the lot of ‘em, eh?

But every now and again one stumbles upon something so profound and at the same time confounding that it can only be described as Twitter gold. Original accounts, quite possibly those of people well-known enough to be verified; celebrities you might say. And they are just as hilariously awesome as any comedy/parody/satire account could ever dream to be. Stuff like Anna Kendrick’s Twitter, or SavedYouAClick. Those pale in comparison to the one shown to me last night by Jesamania, whom most of you by now surely know, take a shot etc. (It’s a podcast reference, n00bs.) It was the Twitter account of one Jaden Smith. Also known as Will Smith’s kid, or if you’ve ever watched After Earth, that god-awful child protagonist. Originally spoken about in an episode of The Comedy Button, I had finally been shown some of his tweets and the result was tears. From laughter. Maybe I’m just a mean person.

Here are some examples of his emphatic tweets. Bonus: Try to imagine these tweets as the titles for articles on this very site.


 


 


 


 


 

You can check out his entire Twitter profile here.

Do you have any similar Twitter accounts you follow, that you’d like to share? Original tweets from actual people that are just hilarious. Perhaps because they’re bizarre or obscure, perhaps because they’re just completely mental, or perhaps because they’re so damn real that you can’t help but love them. Let us know in the comments, and we hope this gave you a few chuckles this Friday afternoon.

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eGamer Podcast #88: Gimmicky Games Journalism http://egmr.net/2014/07/egamer-podcast-88-gimmicky-games-journalism/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/egamer-podcast-88-gimmicky-games-journalism/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 09:00:23 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151074 Recorded: 08 July 2014 Welcome to episode eighty-eight of the eGamer Podcast, now with a million percent more Mumble disconnects. Our sincere apologies for this week’s episode cutting out as […]

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Recorded: 08 July 2014

Welcome to episode eighty-eight of the eGamer Podcast, now with a million percent more Mumble disconnects. Our sincere apologies for this week’s episode cutting out as much as it did; it was an uncontrollable server issue that we’re going to work on resolving for future episodes. Perhaps today is just a fucked up day? In any case, we made it work and we have something for you all to listen to. And we’ll be back and at full strength next week.

Topics discussed this week include Oculus VR, the reason for gaming websites, and developer freedom.

Here are the shownotes for this week’s episode:

  • People just looooooove screaming ‘clickbait’.
  • Is VR really worth it or is it just a gimmick?
  • Are we just too taken by new technology?
  • There’s a big difference between novelty and core functionality.
  • A lesson in distraction and chaos theory.
  • What are games to gamers?
  • Why do gaming news websites even exist?
  • Glorified PR or hard-hitting opinions and original content? You decide.
  • Is there such a thing as an objective review?
  • Are publishers being bullies with licenses and IP rights?
  • We take a moment to praise good publisher practices.
  • Some other stuff happens. (Sorry I got distracted.)
  • We answer your questions!

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to the RSS feed so you never miss an episode. Enjoy.

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | RSS

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Microsoft Exec Hails Twitter As “Greatest Thing Ever” For Indie Devs http://egmr.net/2014/07/microsoft-exec-hails-twitter-greating-thing-ever-indie-devs/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/microsoft-exec-hails-twitter-greating-thing-ever-indie-devs/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 07:30:02 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151188 Twitter is a great place for ideas and concepts to reach fruition. I for one have gravitated towards it because it allows easy and simple interaction without any further invasions […]

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Twitter is a great place for ideas and concepts to reach fruition. I for one have gravitated towards it because it allows easy and simple interaction without any further invasions of privacy or interactive requirements. Of late, the advent of images on timelines has detracted a bit, further so by the new profile designs, but it is still a great place especially if you want to promote something on a massive scale.

It’s for this reason and more that Chris Carla, a Microsoft executive who is in charge of the Xbox One indi program, has called Twitter “the greatest thing ever” for specifically indie developers, because it gives a voice.

Charla made the statement as part of a talk given during the Develop Conference this past week in Brighton, where he described “transparency and openness” as “a program goal of ours from the very beginning”, going on to add that “the rise of Twitter has been the greatest thing ever for independent developers” as “it keeps us under a spotlight, and that’s where we should be”.

That certainly is a valid point when you consider that a lot of the internet-savvy folk dwell on social networks and while Facebook serves to extort its users for money in exchange for interactions, Twitter is a lot more versatile and freely usable; simply tweet something and let the world do the rest for you, via retweets and mentions. Millions and millions of people use Twitter every day.

“I’m really happy to be under the hard light of Twitter, even though it can be painful sometimes,” Charla added. “Being out there, and being able to have a direct relationship with everybody, is essential. We’re never going to stop listening.”

And I for one can respect that. ID@Xbox has been Microsoft’s indie development and self-publishing initiative for the Xbox One ever since the console’s reveal drew some massive criticisms for its lack of indie freedom, quickly rectified by Microsoft and Xbox.

Thus far, almost a hundred developers have signed up for the program; this includes the likes of Crytek, Vlambeer and Double Fine. The first game to be released as part of the program was Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut, back in April.

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This Trailer For Destiny’s Collector’s Editions Looks Incred! http://egmr.net/2014/07/trailer-destinys-collectors-editions-looks-incred/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/trailer-destinys-collectors-editions-looks-incred/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 06:45:37 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151186 In your latest free PR for Bungie’s upcoming super-triple-A title Destiny, we have the three Collector’s Editions that will be available for the game. Now say what you will about […]

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In your latest free PR for Bungie’s upcoming super-triple-A title Destiny, we have the three Collector’s Editions that will be available for the game.

Now say what you will about games releasing as new IP without established fan bases and the like but somehow having Collector’s Editions because that makes all the sense in the world, it stands to reason that in this case, a lot of people really want to get their hands on Destiny. Whether that will remain the case long after its release — like TitanFall didn’t — remains to be seen, but Bungie are certainly going to push as many sales they can, and rightly so.

In service of that, they have released the trailer above, which you can check out to see what’s included in the three Collector’s Editions previously detailed earlier this week. These include the Ghost Edition, Limited Edition and digital-exclusive Digital Guardian Edition.

The Digital Guardian Edition is available for pre-order right now, and will set you back $89.99/£84.99. The Limited Edition will cost $99.99/£94.99 while the Ghost Edition will cost $149.99/£149.99 and can be considered the bells-and-whistles version of the game. For those with too much money burning holes in their pockets, and no idea how to spend it.

All Collector’s Editions will come with an included Expansion Pass, allowing access to the first two expansions that will be released post-launch for the game. Failing which, it will cost you $34.99/£34.99. South African pricing will be confirmed at a later stage.

Destiny releases worldwide on September 9th, just in time for the day the USA wants the world to never forget. All pre-orders come with the Vanguard Armory which includes “early access to weapons, gear and exclusive player emblems.”

Are you looking forward to Bungie’s mega-title? Will you be picking it up when it releases? Let us know in the comments.

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Assassin’s Creed Unity Will Soft-Reboot The Horrendous Present-Day Narrative http://egmr.net/2014/07/assassins-creed-unity-will-soft-reboot-horrendous-present-day-narrative/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/assassins-creed-unity-will-soft-reboot-horrendous-present-day-narrative/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 06:00:16 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151183 The title kinda says it all, doesn’t it? When the Assassin’s Creed franchise first released to the world in late 2007, we have no doubt that Ubisoft had something of […]

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The title kinda says it all, doesn’t it? When the Assassin’s Creed franchise first released to the world in late 2007, we have no doubt that Ubisoft had something of a long term plan for the series. After all, it released with the promise of a trilogy, which meant that we would be getting three solid iterations for the series.

But then Assassin’s Creed II became one of the smash hits of its release year 2009, and suddenly Ubisoft started to see dollar signs everywhere and, it is widely speculated, dropped their trilogy idea in favour of an ongoing series. The result was a modified narrative that was doomed from that moment onwards; like all ongoing stories really.

Fast forward a few years and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag presented a completely different modern-day narrative that while certainly very tongue-in-cheek and meta, is still completely perfunctory and meaningless, and could very much be done entirely without. Still, Ubisoft wishes to be insistent and so it’s nice to hear that with Unity, although it took too much development time to create female protagonists (had to), it’s not just the engine that will start from scratch.

According to creative director Alex Amancio — who no doubt is only saying this to attract newcomers to the series, we are not oblivious to PR statements after all — the series will be a fresh start for the franchise that will re-contextualise the narrative.

“It’s a new start, it’s a new narrative start. That is symbolized by a completely new context for the present day,” he explained. “You’ve seen a little bit of an evolution with Black Flag, [but] we’re not going to do the same thing. What we’re doing with Unity is really the beginning [of] this new cycle of Assassin’s Creed games.”

That sentence might be equal parts gratifying and depressing.

“Because it’s new, we can actually explain it properly because nobody is going to feel like it’s redundant. I would say that Assassin’s Creed Unity is the best entry point for the franchise since [the first Assassin's Creed].”

Typical PR speak aside, it is true that the eighteenth century French revolution setting is quite an attractive one, with protagonist Arno Victor Dorian (or French-Austrian descent) able to explore what Ubisoft is calling its “biggest playground ever” which has been “filled with hundreds of quests, activities and rewards” with some more readily available through DLC no doubt.

In many ways, Assassin’s Creed games have become the Call of Duty games of action adventure. Sure each title on its own represents an interesting take on historical eras previously never able to be interacted with on this level — and that’s great; that’s why they sell so well — but on the most basic level, this series exists to pander to a crowd of gamers who will gladly purchase and play every subsequent release. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think that it was this philosophy that led to the departures of Patrice Desilets and Jade Raymond, the masterminds behind the original game in the series.

But all of that said, Assassin’s Creed: Unity does look promising and I can’t help but feel it will be irresistible to the world once it releases on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, October 28th. Will you be picking it up? My jury is still out; I just want to see what Ubisoft does next to shoot themselves in the foot… assuming there’s any foot left to shoot.

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Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare “Sounds Like A Movie” In This New Trailer http://egmr.net/2014/07/call-duty-advanced-warfare-sounds-like-movie-new-trailer/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/call-duty-advanced-warfare-sounds-like-movie-new-trailer/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:15:23 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151180 Hands up if you called the title of the next Call of Duty game before it was ever announced. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the first truly next-gen game […]

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Hands up if you called the title of the next Call of Duty game before it was ever announced.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the first truly next-gen game in the series, and will be releasing in November this year. It will feature House of Cards star Kevin Spacey playing almost exactly the role that made the series such a massive success; there’s also some futuristic warfare, but really, after Treyarch’s Black Ops II a few years ago, Sledgehammer Games would have to do quite a bit here to impress.

Check out the trailer above which explores the game’s sound design. Audio director Don Veca details “an audio intelligence system that makes virtually every impact and explosion sound unique.”

Apparently the sound design is so great that it will feel as if you’re in a movie; rightly so, given that one of the biggest draws of the Call of Duty series initially was its sound design.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Or: Frank Underwood’s Future) will release November 4th on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and PC. Will you be picking it up?

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Physics Will Be The Focus In Unity 5 http://egmr.net/2014/07/physics-will-focus-unity-5/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/physics-will-focus-unity-5/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 13:30:02 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151085 The one thing that makes me sad about having an AMD graphics card, even though it is by choice, is not being able to enjoy PhysX processing. When I was […]

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The one thing that makes me sad about having an AMD graphics card, even though it is by choice, is not being able to enjoy PhysX processing. When I was younger and PhysX was first introduced, I seriously considered saving up for one of those ridiculously expensive Ageia PhysX cards; then NVidia went and bought out the company and made me super sad.

In any case, the Unity engine is soon to take a step into its fifth iteration with Unity 5, and along with it will come extensive improvements to its physics engine.

“PhysX SDK 3 is a radical redesign of the good old PhysX SDK 2.x. Basically, the PhysX team have taken the best ideas and approaches from 2.x and rewritten the whole SDK from scratch,” reads the Unity blog. “That means the entire codebase is different, all the interfaces are different and most of the functionality is different.”

Several improvements to the SDK have been noted, including better optimisation of Mech Collider scaling, Moving Static Colliders for improved performance, improved continuous collision detection “by an order of magnitude”, better cloth physics and, at last, native support for multicore processing.

PhysX 3 also brings with it a Vehicle SDK which allows for various improvements to vehicle physics in-engine. “PhysX3 has a shiny new Vehicle SDK which we’ve used to implement our WheelCollider component. The new component delivers much more realistic suspension and tire [sic] friction. Plus, it fixes a number of other long-standing issues.”

The changes introduced might render some old functionality unsupported, as the post goes on to explain: “Unity 5.0 physics is not 100% compatible with Unity 4.x. Be prepared to retune your old projects and rewrite some of your physics code when migrating from previous Unity releases.”

The Unity engine has of course gained massive popularity with especially indie developers, and rightly so because it is hands-down one of the most versatile, easy-to-use and cost-effective packages currently available to budding game designers everywhere.

And as the developers of the engine have promised with Unity 5, “we give you physically-based shaders, Real-time Global Illumination across high-end mobile, desktop and consoles, awesome audio, a 64-bit editor and much, much more.”

Check out the video above which released a few months ago, to get a glimpse of what will be possible on the new engine.

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Cliffy B Reveals The Game He’s Been Working On: BlueStreak http://egmr.net/2014/07/cliffy-b-reveals-game-hes-working-bluestreak/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/cliffy-b-reveals-game-hes-working-bluestreak/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 11:15:51 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151081 Remember the image above? That was revealed by former Epic Games lead Cliffy B, or Cliff Bleszinski, or just Cliff, whatever you fancy really. It was a cropped image of […]

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Remember the image above? That was revealed by former Epic Games lead Cliffy B, or Cliff Bleszinski, or just Cliff, whatever you fancy really. It was a cropped image of a game he was working on immediately following his departure from Epic Games. Now after a tweet from the man, we might finally know more.

Behold:

Now of course, that image could be entirely unrelated or even be a scrapped prototype, but now we have some proper confirmation of the game that Cliffy B has been working on since founding his new studio called Boss Key Productions — yeah, the name isn’t exactly what you’d call spectacular; it’s certainly no ‘Epic Games’ but hey!

Boss Key will be partnering up with Korean online games publisher Nexon to create BlueStreak, and according to Cliffy B, there will be no “fake CG trailer showing ‘Gameplay’ because that’s not how Bosskey does it.” So there’s that.

Cliffy B is joined by Guerilla Games co-founder Arjan Brussee, who once served as partner for the Jazz Jackrabbit series of games — although there is no chance of a reboot since the license is owned by someone else now.

Perhaps he’s grown a little weary of waiting for a new Unreal Tournament or Quake arena-based shooter, and has taken matters into his own hands. I for one, am not unhappy about this. How about you?

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Could Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Be Headed To PS4 And Xbox One? http://egmr.net/2014/07/borderlands-pre-sequel-headed-ps4-xbox-one/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/borderlands-pre-sequel-headed-ps4-xbox-one/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:15:56 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=150972 If you’re one of those folks who moved on to next-gen gaming the moment it was available to you, then congratulations on missing out on the likes of Castlevania: Lords […]

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If you’re one of those folks who moved on to next-gen gaming the moment it was available to you, then congratulations on missing out on the likes of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, Dark Souls II, GRiD Autosport and now Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.

However given the amount of games now being developed exclusively for next-gen gaming (current-gen gaming, if you will) it wouldn’t be too farfetched to assume that those games might find their way to next-gen in much the same way that Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us have. Certainly, Gearbox Software isn’t ruling out the possibility of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel making its way to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

“I guess we’re full on developing the PS3, 360 and PC game, and we believe in that too,” said 2K Australia’s Tony Lawrence when asked about the possibility of next-gen releases. “All the Borderlands 2 players are playing on those consoles. That’s the choice they’ve got. So we want to reward those guys. If fans say, ‘hey, we’d really like this on a next-gen console’, well, we’ll think about that, but right now we’re concentrating on the consoles we know.”

2K Australia are of course the primary developers of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, with series creator Gearbox overseeing development for the game that will bridge the gap between the two Borderlands games — hence ‘pre-sequel’ — and attempt to explain the origins and rise to power of Handsome Jack, only one of the best gaming villains ever.

Franchise director Matt Armstrong adds: “The vast majority of our fans still have their Xbox 360 [or PS3]. The other thing is it’s the middle game in a trilogy. Moving it on to next-gen and requiring people to buy new hardware to play the middle entry in a trilogy feels a little disingenuous and we sort of want to respect that.”

Sure, but a lot of your fans have since moved on, so what about them?

“As we said, one day maybe, I don’t know. We’ll think about that, see how people react to the game, how much fun they have and whether or not everyone moves on to the next gen fully next year. For now we’re pretty happy with our choice and I think people are going to be too.”

Come October 17th when the game releases on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, I guess we’ll see. Is it on your radar? And would you be willing to purchase it if it made its way to PS4 / Xbox One? Let us know in the comments.

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The Oculus Rift Is Getting Its Own Developer Conference Soon http://egmr.net/2014/07/oculus-rift-getting-developer-conference/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/oculus-rift-getting-developer-conference/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 10:30:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=150975 Amazing how far building something special and getting critical and mainstream acclaim will get you. Oculus VR has announced a new developer conference which will take place between September 19th […]

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Amazing how far building something special and getting critical and mainstream acclaim will get you.

Oculus VR has announced a new developer conference which will take place between September 19th and 20th in Los Angeles. ‘Oculus Connect’ brings together developers “to share and collaborate in the interest of creating the best virtual reality experiences possible.”

Confirmed keynote speakers will include VR founder Palmer Luckey, CEO Brendan Iribe, CTO John Carmack and chief scientist Michael Abrash. A full session list will be announced closer to the event, and the entire thing will be livestreamed for those who can’t make it to the show. So, us, basically.

What’s really cool is that the mostly developer-centric event will be entirely open to the public, meaning anyone interested in attending will be able to apply via the Oculus Connect website starting this Thursday, July 10th. You can check out the website here or through the source link below.

“In the last two years, we’ve seen more virtual reality content built than in the last two decades, and that’s a direct result of incredible work by the community,” reads the Oculus blog. “With virtual reality’s momentum at an all-time high, this is a unique moment for the developer community to come together to take virtual reality to the next level.”

Because jump-scares and vomit-inducing rollercoaster rides just don’t cut it anymore…

“Attendees will be the first to learn about upcoming Oculus technology, with sessions and workshops led by Oculus engineers and industry pioneers. Developers at the event will also have opportunities to receive design and engineering feedback directly from the Oculus team in hands-on labs.”

While Oculus VR is still technically involved in a legal dispute with ZeniMax Media, who claim that John Carmack stole ideas, something the man has publicly denied, it still goes to show that with a significant cash injection from Facebook’s $2 billion deal, it is possible to make massive inroads in the development community. Hopefully Oculus goes from strength to strength and creates new and fascinating ways to play our games.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Our 88th Podcast Records Tonight — Ask Us Things http://egmr.net/2014/07/88th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/88th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 09:00:20 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=150964 I have a thing for numbers and patterns and pretty much any sort of observable repetition possible. In that sense, I find it kinda neat that tonight, on the 8th […]

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I have a thing for numbers and patterns and pretty much any sort of observable repetition possible. In that sense, I find it kinda neat that tonight, on the 8th of July at 8pm, we’ll be recording episode eighty-eight of the eGamer Podcast. Especially since eight is my favourite number. One of them, certainly. Sure it’s no Answer, but it’s half the fun.

Now, why does this article exist? Well you know why. Don’t you? That’s right, it’s here for you. We want you guys to get involved in the podcast. You do that by thinking up some really cool questions, related to gaming or not, we’re not really fussy about that. Then when you have these questions, scroll down to the comments section and post them to us. Please and thank you!

Then be sure to check out either the site, our Libsyn page, iTunes or our RSS feed later in the week for the podcast, which will have all the answers and more. Tell your friends!

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: I Want No Man’s Sky To Succeed http://egmr.net/2014/07/life-universe-gaming-want-mans-sky-succeed/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/life-universe-gaming-want-mans-sky-succeed/#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 09:00:54 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=150863 “Take my love, take my land. Take me where I cannot stand. I don’t care, I’m still free. You can’t take the sky from me.” Two weeks ago in my […]

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“Take my love, take my land. Take me where I cannot stand. I don’t care, I’m still free. You can’t take the sky from me.”

Two weeks ago in my previous column, I kind of broke the internet when I said that I want Destiny to fail. I didn’t expect that column to be noticed by so many and the resulting backlash I received was… absolutely flattering. Thank you internet. In time I plan on creating a much lengthier elaboration on that column so as to further detail my opinions, thoughts and discussion points. Since I now know people actually care about it that much. For the moment, I thought it would be a neat idea to address those folk who made the assertion that I am just an angry fanboy who is cynical, jaded and incapable of not being negative towards a newly releasing game. You know, a games journalist in 2014.

The thing is, there is a game that I hold in the highest esteem, that is an almost direct comparison to Destiny and yet I consider it to be superior in almost every possible way. And I thought it would be a cool idea (if only just to have a tongue-in-cheek shot at the hundreds of commenting readers who now wish me dead) to list those out in a separate column piece. Specifically, this one. Here, today.

I really like No Man’s Sky. Typically indie gaming doesn’t impress me that much. Apart from Dust: An Elysian Tail, not since the likes of Bastion, Braid and Limbo have I been properly blown away by an independently developed game. Sure by the strictest definition, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is such a game, but I think we are all in some unspoken form of agreement over exactly what constitutes the type of indie game to which I’m referring. A small team, limited resources, the freedom to do as they please within some confines of rationality. That sort of thing.

Before we get going, I think the best way to understand this game to its fullest would be to watch this trailer for it:

Done? Cool. Now. Let’s do this thing in points, shall we?
No Man’s Sky is a better open world.

The beauty of the sci-fi ‘open universe’ (I totally just made that up) setting of No Man’s Sky is that it is not a strictly scripted open world. Things are not particularly placed but rather procedurally generated, which means that you don’t actually know what to expect and so you are truly an explorer. You aren’t simply going through the paces and ticking certain locations off a checklist a la every Bethesda game; you’re actually exploring for yourself and discovering. This is the undeniable beauty of No Man’s Sky.

It’s not about fighting, either. Unlike every other open world game ever. As you would have heard in the trailer, you start off in an uncharted area of the universe, alone. It is then up to you what you wish to do with yourself. At some point you will encounter other players and you might choose to fight them or to explore together. Exploration will take you to various planets that are entirely new to the both of you, with entire ecosystems of their own; you could again choose to kill things in this world and upset the balance, or simply go about your merry way. It further isn’t necessarily a given that you will survive fighting, if you should choose to go that route.

This is organic. This is dynamic. This is an open world. In Destiny players will spend half an hour battling the same monster and eventually take it down and feel good about themselves. In No Man’s Sky, you will explore a world with creatures far larger and every bit as insurmountable as their size should make them seem, and you might opt to fight them anyway and die, or you could simply leave them alone and explore elsewhere. It’s not just about the killing. It’s about more than that. A sci-fi fan would understand.

This, coincidentally, is also the difference between Star Wars movie fans and Star Wars universe fans. Also, Star Trek fans.
No Man’s Sky does not look like other games put together.

Remember “Halo Borderlands” each time someone spoke about Destiny? Well nobody is going to call No Man’s Sky ‘something’ plus ‘something else’. Sure there are some games that inspired No Man’s Sky’s creation. The likes of Elite, for example. But they’re far too old for the younger generation to remember anyway, and really it’s only Destiny that actually compares to No Man’s Sky from the games that are currently in development.

It’s not the regular kind of MMO, so it cannot be compared to the likes of economy simulator EVE Online or every-other-MMORPG-ever World of Warcraft, nor can it be compared to regular singleplayer games such as Skyrim or Grand Theft Auto V. No Man’s Sky is actually unique and therefore, innovative. Innovative by the strictest definition meaning, “featuring new methods; advanced and original”.
No Man’s Sky is possible on (almost) any platform.

Destiny and No Man’s Sky will both be releasing on PS4 first. Those lucky PlayStation 4 owners will have a choice of two undoubtedly great open world sci-fi experiences. However once the exclusivity rights are up, Destiny will head to Xbox One as well — which is likely when I’ll play it — but for the moment, PC gamers are left entirely out in the cold. It’s been oddly polarising watching console gamers who outright hate each other, uniting in their love for Destiny against the PC Master Race.

Don’t worry PC gamers, No Man’s Sky won’t leave you guys out in the cold. While right now it’s only coming out on PS4, the developers have stated their desire to get the game out on as many platforms as possible. That means nobody misses out. Nobody has to suffer exclusivity rights and being discriminated against because developers are either not allowed to or unwilling to release on their preferred platform. And we know how much I hate exclusives in any case.

Hopefully no DRM will be tied to this game; I’d absolutely hate it if a game on this level of awesome was linked to something like uPlay.
No Man’s Sky will not cost hundreds of millions of dollars to develop.

Probably the biggest point in No Man’s Sky’s favour is that the maximum size of the team behind the game is ten. Hello Games, the developer for No Man’s Sky, has four key people involved with the studio. Their previous gaming foray was Joe Danger, which didn’t do too badly on its own. Now, with just a handful of developers, they are creating something truly spectacular. And do you know what? Unlike Activision’s statement that they’re investing upwards of $500 million into Destiny over ten years — although I’ll grant that developer Bungie has since come out and said they don’t even know where Activision pulled that kind of figure from in the first place — Hello Games is not throwing large wads of cash in the direction of No Man’s Sky.

Instead what you get is a self-publishing indie studio that has crafted an experience in which their unbridled love and attention has been poured, and it will release to the world and be a massive success. And there was no gross over-expenditure that might threaten the profit-driven economy that is the games industry. Hello Games actually suffered flooding recently at their studio, and almost all of their equipment was compromised. But did that deter them? To quote Leonardo diCaprio in his latest non-award-winning masterpiece performance: “Absolutely fucking not.”

Which makes it even more of an accomplishment considering:
No Man’s Sky stole the show at E3 2014.

Absolutely. Unequivocally. Unashamedly. Irrefutably. Inimitably. No other game had such an effect on the world as No Man’s Sky. Even the Xbox One exclusive Sunset Overdrive didn’t cause this much of a stir during either the press conferences or the actual show itself. E3 2014 was indisputably No Man’s Sky’s for the taking. And do you know what else didn’t steal the show in quite the way everyone has been going on about it?

That’s right. Destiny.

If you caught the Firefly lyrics at the beginning then congratulations; you’ll probably love No Man’s Sky. Earlier on, I used the comparison of Star Wars movie fans and Star Trek fans. In many ways, No Man’s Sky is the Star Trek to Destiny’s Star Wars. One is about exploration, diplomacy and the wonder of the universe, with a small budget and a handful of people working to create something special with very little. The other is an exercise in excess that while quite entertaining and with its fair share of action and thrills, could never truly justify the fervent following that it has garnered. No matter how much cash that following is willing to part with.

We obviously know how that has played out, many years later. Fucking JJ Abrams… still, while I continue to expect Destiny to sell amazingly well and I expect a lot of gamers (including myself) to play and enjoy it, I stand by my belief that No Man’s Sky is a game for the dreamers, the explorers and the proud sci-fi geeks who watch Cosmos: A Space Odyssey and read Stephen Hawking books and know that games can be so much more than guns and battles. And that is why I want No Man’s Sky to succeed. Because it bloody well deserves as much.

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Transformers Movies Exist For A Reason, It’s Just Not A Very Good One http://egmr.net/2014/07/transformers-movies-exist-reason-just-good-one/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/transformers-movies-exist-reason-just-good-one/#comments Fri, 04 Jul 2014 10:00:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=150807 Off-topic Fridays are always such fun. If you’re not a regular around here, on off-topic Fridays we take the opportunity to talk about things other than gaming. TV series, movies, […]

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Off-topic Fridays are always such fun. If you’re not a regular around here, on off-topic Fridays we take the opportunity to talk about things other than gaming. TV series, movies, comic books, those sorts of things. It’s just a little change of pace from the rest of the week of hardcore gaming news and opinions. And today I thought we could talk about the Transformers movies for a bit.

I haven’t watched Transformers: Age of Extinction. I have no plans to watch it in cinema, even though I know that the best way to watch it would be in something like IMAX 3D. I’ve turned down invites from friends to go and watch it. If I ever get around to doing so, it will be at home on some form of digital device, and just because I happened to have nothing else to watch at the time.

It’s weird because a few years ago I absolutely adored the Transformers movies.

Let me take you back a few years to 2007, when I watched the first Transformers movie. I loved it! It had alien robots that turned into cars, and fought each other. It had some dweeby looking actor who somehow managed to be entertaining in a comedic relief sort of way. It had John Torturro. What wasn’t to love? Except for Megan ‘gratuitous sex appeal with misshapen thumbs’ Fox, of course. Then a few years later I watched the sequel, Revenge of the Fallen, and I adored even that!

You need to understand the extent of this: I went onto various internet forums and hotly debated my opinions, and then I went and watched the movie a second time just to be sure and I loved it even more the second time. I couldn’t get why people thought it was a bad movie. It was funny, it was entertaining, it was more alien robots turning into cars and fighting each other. A few years later, I watched the third Transformers movie, Dark of the Moon, on release weekend. I enjoyed this one, too. But I had started to spot the cracks a bit.

Fast forward to 2014 and I feel like a complete fucking idiot for having liked any of those movies. Make no mistake, this article serves as my confession of shame. I see now just how dreadfully awfully terribly pathetically unashamedly embarrassingly irrevocably unequivocally [you get the picture] bad those movies are. The first one. Terrible. The second one. Worse. The third one. A brave attempt but still ridiculous.

Plot holes everywhere. Plain bad storytelling. And worst of all, pandering of brands to the masses. And at that moment of realisation, I hated Michael Bay. I hated him even though I adored, and still do, Armageddon and Bad Boys II — the latter which I consider to be the best buddy-cop movie since 21 Jump Street. And then I watched the following video:

And holy shit, the dude actually makes sense. Doesn’t he? Granted, he actually thought Transformers: Age of Extinction was a decent movie and still I felt nothing for wanting to watch it. But the points made in that video are sound. We go and watch his movies, and then we complain about them afterwards. So who is really at fault here?

The thing about the Transformers movies is that they fill that summer blockbuster schedule under what’s called ‘popcorn movies’ where you switch off your brain and just watch. And that’s fine. That’s great, actually. There are a lot of people on holiday who would gladly watch a movie that required them to do little thinking and just sit back and be entertained for a few hours. Perfect. But here’s the thing: I watched Edge of Tomorrow, absolutely a summer blockbuster and a Tom Cruise movie at that, and I can tell you with confidence that it is simply on another fucking level of great.

You seriously just don’t know how great it is, until you watch it and see for yourself. And now I’m expected to dumb myself down even further for a Transformers movie. No. I just can’t. In a future article, I’d like to talk about why being critical of movies is a healthy and beneficial thing for a person but for now, just understand that once your mind is opened to the logical inaccuracies and the completely nonsensical plot structure of the movies — often ignored in favour of emotional engagement — you will never be able to look at a Transformers movie without immediately feeling ashamed and embarrassed that you ever enjoyed them.

Still, I suppose if people are going out and watching them then it’s no point hating on Michael Bay for making them. The question is, is there a problem here? Are our standards just too low, that all we really need are alien robots turning into cars and fighting each other? Also, where was everyone during the far, far better Pacific Rim? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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The Superman Suit Looks Incredible In Dawn Of Justice http://egmr.net/2014/07/superman-suit-looks-incredible-dawn-justice/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/superman-suit-looks-incredible-dawn-justice/#comments Fri, 04 Jul 2014 09:00:20 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=150804 It’s not an ‘S’ it’s the symbol for Hope. Behold, the new suit for Superman as sported by that beautiful example of a man, Henry Cavill. This is the first […]

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It’s not an ‘S’ it’s the symbol for Hope.

Behold, the new suit for Superman as sported by that beautiful example of a man, Henry Cavill. This is the first official look at the man of steel as he will be presented in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Speaking of the movie, director Zack Snyder has stated that the ‘sorta-kinda sequel’ to Man of Steel will be thicker, denser and more epic than Man of Steel… although really, those are words that could go both ways. It will build towards a proposed Justice League movie which is currently planned for a 2018 release.

Asked about the inclusion of a veteran Batman, Snyder explained that it would be cooler to see a crusty old Batman beating up baddies. On the title, Snyder elaborated on the “v”, stating that it was used instead of the “vs.” as a means of keeping it “from being a straight ‘versus’ movie, even in the most subtle way.”

Snyder also revealed that Ben Affleck, whom we all know will be playing Batman, and Henry Cavill have begun shooting, with Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot “working out and getting buffed and ripped” before joining filming later.

But does anyone really care about that? Look at how awe-inspiring that Superman costume is. Just. Look at it!

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Analysts Predict Destiny To Sell Like Next-Gen Hotcakes, Pre-Orders Sky High http://egmr.net/2014/07/analysts-predict-destiny-sell-like-next-gen-hotcakes-pre-orders-sky-high/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/analysts-predict-destiny-sell-like-next-gen-hotcakes-pre-orders-sky-high/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 12:00:47 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=150717 Analysts tend to put the “anal” in “analysis” and so we typically refrain from commenting on speculation — especially because it can be proven wrong in the long run and […]

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Analysts tend to put the “anal” in “analysis” and so we typically refrain from commenting on speculation — especially because it can be proven wrong in the long run and we like to deal with facts — but since the internet is so intent on proving me wrong, perhaps this one time we can make an exception.

With Bungie’s Destiny, Activision are hoping to break every sales record possible and create sort of franchise that could easily justify an investment that ballparks at around $500 million. So they might be pleased as punch to discover that according to North American pre-order data compiled by Cowen and Company research analyst Doug Creutz, Destiny may be on track to become the best-selling game of 2014.

Keep in mind, this means beating out the soon-to-be-releasing next-gen versions of Grand Theft Auto V as well as the recently released Watch_Dogs, as well as everything else this year.

But it goes even further than that. Cowen has created an ‘Ordometer’ which tracks US software pre-orders and then correlates the results with post-launch sales, measuring data every week from E3 to the end of the year, for Xbox and PlayStation titles. And Destiny has generated the highest Ordometer score of any game tracked over the past four years. Which means the original Grand Theft Auto V as well.

“Lolwut.”

Creutz goes on to predict that the ‘Halo Borderlands’ shooter from Bungie will sell between ten and fifteen million copies this year. Here’s the full list tabled for your convenience:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

As you can see, the likes Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Assassin’s Creed Unity and Battlefield: Hardline are also right up there, although obviously not nearly as high. It should be mentioned that this prediction is by no means accurate, since Black Ops II started out quite low on this list in 2012 but was the best-selling game of that year. So while my jury remains firmly out, come September 9th it would seem a lot of people are going to be picking up and playing themselves some Destiny.

What do you think of these predictions? Accurate? Relevant to our local market? Let us know in the comments.

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On The Topic Of Remakes, Remasters And HD Collections http://egmr.net/2014/07/topic-remakes-remasters-hd-collections/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/topic-remakes-remasters-hd-collections/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 10:00:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=149917 Nobody wants more of the same. And yet when that more of the same is something really good, everyone wants more of the same. Nobody loves a remake. And yet […]

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Nobody wants more of the same. And yet when that more of the same is something really good, everyone wants more of the same.

Nobody loves a remake. And yet when that remake is of something we adore, everyone wants a remake.

The thing is, remakes are bad. And you should feel bad. Yet why do I so desperately want to get my hands on a shiny new Xbox One and then purchase and play through Grand Theft Auto V again, when I’ve already done so on Xbox 360? Is it nostalgia? Of course not, I’m just a graphics whore. Okay sure, but then why do I also want to get my hands on a PlayStation 4 so I can play Grim Fandango when the HD remake comes out? …

Hmm. Maybe there’s something here. Or, better yet, maybe there isn’t and I just need to learn to leave the past in the past and move on to making more memories with new things. But then again, I am quite human, as are we all.

Still, they really are a bad thing and the gaming industry would do well not to dwell on the past and milk nostalgia points. So. Let’s take a look at a few of the big issues with remakes, remasters and HD collections, starting with:

 

Backwards compatibility (what they don’t want you to know)

The first and biggest disappointment of both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 was that neither console was backwards compatible. This means that your massive collection of Xbox 360 or PS3 titles, or both, are stuck on your now very much older Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, and if you want to sell the consoles then you might as well let go of all of those games as well, because they will effectively be reduced to coasters thereafter.

Console manufacturers have stated that the lack of backwards compatibility is due to technical reasons, but I think we can all universally agree that it’s bullshit and if the manufacturers really wanted the feature in, they’d put the feature in. Am I right, Microsoft? In any case, both manufacturers now benefit from Cloud technology, and so backwards compatibility could easily have been achieved with the ‘power of the Cloud’, indeed it is on PlayStation with Gaikai offering up their services for the streaming of old PSOne and PS2 titles.

Furthermore, remasters of recent titles such as The Last of Us and the aforementioned Grand Theft Auto V have further served to prove that yes, backwards compatibility can be possible with minimal effort put in by developers. Even if the remastered ‘next-gen’ — for the purposes of this article — titles look outstandingly more beautiful than they do on the ageing ‘previous-gen’ — again, for the purposes of this article — they’re still just graphical upgrades and could just as easily have been provided through a digital DLC pack that included such things as high-res textures, physics effects and so on, if backwards compatibility was a thing.

But it could never be a thing because now developers can charge you the same price, if not more, for an older game that they’ve just done a quick reworking on. Which leads me to…

 

Same game, lower effort, higher price

So what we effectively get here is nostalgia and graphics whores getting what they want. You know, the lazy ones who either can’t afford or are just too stupid technologically inept to build themselves PCs. We are getting the same game as before, so no massive new changes to script, storytelling and so on. But this time we get it with allegedly higher quality audio although nobody can actually tell the difference (except of course for those pretentious twats audiophiles who claim to ‘see’ audio) and better textures.

Aaaaaand that’s about it really. Mind you, it is quite a massive attraction, even I’ll admit that — but then again as I’ve stated, I am something of a graphics whore myself.

The end result? Developers have taken an older game that they’ve already made money on, slapped on some new textures and a fresh coat of paint, and with barely minimal effort coded it for the new consoles (if at all, let’s be honest), and then released it at the same, if not a higher price. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition released a year after the original Tomb Raider released, and it cost around the price as the original Tomb Raider did on release. That is ridiculous, new game or not. The Last of Us on PS4 might cost slightly cheaper, but is it really enough to justify the asking price when it’s just the same game again (with DLC) but with slightly better graphics? Grand Theft Auto V looks fucking incredible, and yet, it’s still down to just a fresh coat of paint and a hearty, healthy, full retail price tag.

Sure, I hear some of you arguing that hey, a lot of people haven’t played Grand Theft Auto V or The Last of Us before and now they can do so on their new next-gen consoles. But to you I ask, what were they doing before? And if they were gamers, who happened to have fucking previous-gen consoles, can they not now go and buy those games on the older consoles for even cheaper? The Last of Us can be found for around R250 now (SA price) whereas the full-price release was around R700. Enough said?

And hey, why not have some cool cheap older games for next-gen? It will obviously sell well because it’s cheap and people just bought an expensive new consoles so they might appreciate cheap, and because it took barely any effort to push through to next-gen, publishers can still turn a profit! No, to ask full price for a game that is already out and has minimal changes made to it is what I call greed. Plain and simple. There’s also one other thing:

 

It’s a waste of precious resources

So let’s say you argue that I’m talking out of my ass and the development costs for taking a game to next-gen are actually astronomically high, so I should just shut up and sit down and be grateful that I’m getting to play what I’ve already played before, first world problems young adult that I am. Okay, so then why did the developers not take those costs and throw them at creating new IP, or something equally fresh? Why dwell on past successes? Because they know it will sell? Isn’t that just a little bit anti-consumer?

Just because a game was successful in the past, does not necessarily make it successful in the future. Just ask the Silent Hill HD Collection. In future we’re getting the likes of Halo: Master Chief Edition, which is apparently completely rebuilt, meaning from the ground up, with new everything but essentially the core experiences of the old games. Why? Why not just make a new Halo game? I know they’re making Halo 5: Gaydians Guardians, but why not also work on a new Halo Wars or a sequel to the critically acclaimed ODST? Surely that would be better than Master Chief Remastered: Greatest Hits Collection Featuring Halo Jesus.

Every cent spent on bringing an old game to next-gen, as much as it looks fucking awesome seeing these games in action on the new (PC gamers laugh now) technology, is a cent wasted on something that could have come to next-gen through backwards compatibility and perhaps a high-res texture pack as paid DLC, or something. But hey, why bother with new IP when you can just sell the old games again and make all the profits in the world? And gamers will of course eat it all up and then wonder why there isn’t more new IP in the world. Flabbergasted at the sales of the latest Call of Duty title.

I promise you, half the gamers who will buy the likes of The Last of Us on PS4 and GTA V on next-gen will only play it for a short while to see the graphics, and then forget about it until there’s nothing else left to play. Meanwhile their older previous-gen copy of the game looks on in horror as it has been so effortlessly replaced by its owner, like last week’s stockings or an estranged lover. Or equality in a Ubisoft game.

Developers should be making new IP, not wasting their time on remakes and remasters and HD collections. Gamers need to make space in their lives for the creation of new memories. Change is tough but together, we can all get through it. A better way to put it: Imagine all the The Last of Us level award-winning games we aren’t getting because developers aren’t trying new things and pushing new paradigms? Enough said?

 

Exceptions to the rule… kinda

Now there are two exceptions to this. One of them is the Game of the Year edition of a game. This one has a very functional place in gaming, and that is that it allows gamers who either do not purchase DLC or cannot gain access to DLC — perhaps they don’t have the best internet, or what have you — to purchase a game they like, with all of its DLC included. And if it’s not all of the DLC included, don’t fucking buy it. Simple as that.

The GotY edition offers most gamers a chance to acquire the game as well as all post-release content for the game in one easily accessible and self-contained package. No need for a hard drive with backups and so on. Everything simply exists on the disc. This is the best way to pick up a game that you initially skipped on, or purchase a game you adored, to add to your collection. The original (vanilla) discs can then be sold off or what have you. This is an accepted business model and one that I am absolutely comfortable with, because effectively, the GotY edition always comes with more content than the original.

The other exception is really old games that simply cannot exist on the current generation of consoles. Or perhaps must-play games that have aged terribly. For example, I would absolutely play a complete reworking of Half-Life, Final Fantasy VII or indeed the upcoming Grim Fandango on PS4. I was quick to purchase Beyond Good & Evil HD on my Xbox 360 as well. If a game simply cannot function on current software, or is finicky at best to get working right anymore, then yes, absolutely, release a new version of it. Not a remaster but a complete remake. In these cases, I consider these to be soft-reboots rather than HD Collections the likes of Hitman or Silent Hill, where basically the bump-mapping and other graphical dials are turned up but the basic engine and game remain intact.

If you must remake a game, remake an old one and start from scratch. The final product should be the equivalent of watching a Transformers cartoon from the eighties, and then watching the most recent Transformers movie. But with better dialogue, acting, story, and pretty much everything that isn’t robot porn. Or, Pacific Rim. That is the only acceptable version, for me, of any remake, remaster or HD collection. One that is necessitated by its ‘must-play’ qualities but simply cannot exist in its original guise anymore because the world has progressed too far forward. Do you disagree? Do you think differently about something else? Let us know in the comments.

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eGamer Podcast #87: Press Gay To Start http://egmr.net/2014/07/egamer-podcast-87-press-options-start/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/egamer-podcast-87-press-options-start/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 09:00:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=150575 Recorded: 01 July 2014 Welcome to episode eighty-seven of the eGamer Podcast, which takes things in a “fully gay” direction. It’s another short one with a lot of gaming talk […]

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Recorded: 01 July 2014

Welcome to episode eighty-seven of the eGamer Podcast, which takes things in a “fully gay” direction. It’s another short one with a lot of gaming talk and a little more for fans of other things as well.

Topics discussed include BioWare’s “fully gay” character, transformative experiences and the evolution of videogames.

Here are the shownotes for this week’s episode:

  • World Cup, guys! Sportsy sports is sportsing hard!
  • We’re all “fully gay” about BioWare.
  • Political correctness and choosing your words better.
  • Just how new is AC Unity’s new engine?
  • Trebzz’s predictions are ridiculous.
  • We’ve been busy in the transfer market this off-season.
  • The 60FPS experience is ‘transformative’ apparently.
  • Speaking of Transformers…
  • Why are we discussing the 300 sequel now?
  • Zack Snyder’s movie-directing is something else, hey?
  • Read Adam’s thesis here.
  • We answer your questions.

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to the RSS feed so you never miss an episode. Enjoy.

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | RSS

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Forget Gran Turismo 7, Project Cars Has A Publisher And Release Window http://egmr.net/2014/07/forget-gran-turismo-7-project-cars-publisher-release-date/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/forget-gran-turismo-7-project-cars-publisher-release-date/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 08:00:24 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=150711 If you’re a petrol-head and a gamer then up until now you’ve favoured either the Forza or Gran Turismo series for your one-stop vehicular pornography, unless you’re a casual gamer […]

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If you’re a petrol-head and a gamer then up until now you’ve favoured either the Forza or Gran Turismo series for your one-stop vehicular pornography, unless you’re a casual gamer (or brown person) and opted instead for Need for Speed. So you can be forgiven for going, “Project What?” That is, until you actually see Project Cars in action and are left completely flabbergasted at just how insanely good this game looks.

It’s got to the point now when games the likes of Forza Motorsport 5, The Crew, Drive Club, Need for Speed Rivals and even the freshly announced Gran Turismo 7 all pale in comparison… although I suppose the latter hasn’t really shown us much just yet anyway. Don’t believe us? Check out the trailer above and see for yourself.

The only problem with the Slightly Mad Studios developed game is that because the developer is now effectively independent, having left EA after Shift 2 Unleashed, Project Cars has been left without a publisher. Until now, anyway. Step forward, Namco Bandai Bandai Namco, the publisher that will take on most gaming developments that show promise. And so it was this time, again.

“Bandai Namco Games are the perfect partners to bring our pioneering community-driven game to players around the world,” said studio head Ian Bell. Quick factoid: Slightly Mad Studios has a local branch located in Cape Town. The more you know…

Having missed its original 2013 launch window when the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions were cancelled in favour of PS4 and Xbox One versions, Project Cars will now release in November together with a PC version, with support for SteamOS and Oculus Rift / Project Morpheus.

“Crowd-funded by a passionate community that has been involved in the development process throughout to create their ultimate racing experience, Project CARS allows you to create a driver, pick from a huge variety of motorsports, and shift into high gear to chase a number of Historic Goals and ultimate recognition in the Hall Of Game,” reads the official PR. “Then test your skills online either in competitive fully-loaded race weekends, leaderboard-based time challenges, or continually-updated community events – sometimes for real-world prizes.”

If you’re a petrol-head gamer then how this isn’t exciting you is anyone’s guess. But tell us about it anyway in the comments!

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Chaos Squad Brings Frenetic Eight-Player Cooperative To Sunset Overdrive http://egmr.net/2014/07/chaos-squad-brings-frenetic-eight-player-cooperative-sunset-overdrive/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/chaos-squad-brings-frenetic-eight-player-cooperative-sunset-overdrive/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 06:00:58 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=150714 If you’re ever asked to describe Sunset Overdrive to someone who rarely plays games, you would be excused for calling it uniquely crazy, wildly innovative or just plain damn fun. […]

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If you’re ever asked to describe Sunset Overdrive to someone who rarely plays games, you would be excused for calling it uniquely crazy, wildly innovative or just plain damn fun. I prefer to call it the poster game for what can happen when publishers operate out of their vacuum and discover that videogames are about more than more of the same.

Insomniac Games probably had a hard time convincing Electronic Arts to allow them to develop the FUSE game they had originally planned, with the final product being a watered down and outright boring cooperative experience that showed some promise in gameplay but was utterly flat and lifeless compared to the trailer initially shown for it. A few years later, cue Sunset Overdrive and with Microsoft as the publisher, this game is looking like a strong contender for selling Xbox Ones when it releases to the world.

And now we get a trailer that details the game’s online cooperative mode Chaos Squad, which allows up to eight players to team up for special missions using the same customisable characters from the singleplayer campaign. While playing singleplayer, you simply step into a phone booth of sorts and you’re effectively in the cooperative mode from then on, allowed to choose between two missions at a time, each in different locations and with different objectives.

By the end of the miniature campaign, the higher the team’s “Chaos” is, the more difficult the ultimate “Night Defense” mission becomes, which is kind of like Gears of War’s horde mode, spawning waves of monsters for the Sunset City defenders to battle, with the use of carefully placed traps and the like. Players who push their Chaos rating higher will be rewarded with extra goods for completing this final horde-mode-style mission, which includes weapons that can then be taken back into the singleplayer campaign.

Sunset Overdrive is looking better and better each time we see it, and we’ve still got a few months to go so you can bet your ass that the final game is going to be insane. Are you looking forward to it? Comment and let us know how you feel.

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Xbox One Now Taking Pre-Orders, Free Games With Bundles http://egmr.net/2014/07/xbox-one-now-taking-pre-orders-free-games-bundles/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/xbox-one-now-taking-pre-orders-free-games-bundles/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 06:00:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=150595 With the Xbox One just a few months away now, you can bet your ass there’ll be sensational demand come September 23rd and more than a few disappointed faces. In […]

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With the Xbox One just a few months away now, you can bet your ass there’ll be sensational demand come September 23rd and more than a few disappointed faces.

In an attempt to curb this, as well as just incentivise some early commitment the Xbox ZA team have worked to bring out two special pre-order bundles for the Xbox One, one with Kinect and one without, that include free copies of Forza Motorsport 5 and FIFA 15, when it’s out.

Here’s what the official statement says:

  • Fans will be able to choose to pre-order a bundle, which will include the new Xbox One console — featuring a 500GB hard drive, Blu-ray player and built-in Wi-Fi — one Xbox One Wireless Controller, an HDMI cable, a chat headset, a free 14-day trial of Xbox Live Gold for new members, and digital copies of Forza Motorsport 5 and EA SPORTS™ FIFA 15, all for only R6,299.99 while stocks last.
     
  • We’re also excited to announce a second limited edition pre-order bundle which will include the Xbox One console with the all new Kinect, one Xbox One Day One limited edition Wireless Controller, an HDMI cable, a chat headset, a free 14-day trial of Xbox Live Gold for new members and a digital copy of EA SPORTS™ FIFA 15 and Dance Central Spotlight for only R7,999.99 while stocks last.

To clarify, those free games are digital copies meaning you should prepare your internet connection if you wish to pre-order either of these bundles. Still, it’s a pretty cool gesture from Xbox ZA, almost an acceptable apology for the year-long delay that was entirely out of their hands to begin with.

Hopefully every single one of the big Xbox One titles to have released since the console dropped around the same time last year, will be out and available for purchase on day one. In the meantime if you’re interested in these pre-order bundles, check your nearest retailer soon.

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BioWare Stirs Up Trouble With A Gay Character In Dragon Age: Inquisition http://egmr.net/2014/07/bioware-stirs-trouble-gay-character-dragon-age-inquisition/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/bioware-stirs-trouble-gay-character-dragon-age-inquisition/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 15:00:26 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=150562 Behold, the first “fully gay” male character that BioWare writer David Gaider has written for Dragon Age: Inquisition. And the latest cause of a controversial shitstorm that is the result […]

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Behold, the first “fully gay” male character that BioWare writer David Gaider has written for Dragon Age: Inquisition. And the latest cause of a controversial shitstorm that is the result of even going anywhere near the LGBT community.

“Dorian is gay–he is, in fact, the first fully gay character I’ve had the opportunity to write,” said Gaider on the BioWare blog. “It added an interesting dimension to his back story, considering he comes from a place where “perfection” is the face that every mage puts on and anything that smacks of deviancy is shameful and meant to be hidden. Dorian’s refusal to play along with that façade is seen as stubborn and pointless by his family, which has contributed to his status as a pariah.”

When questioned on whether he was happy with Dorian’s character, he replied, “I suppose this aspect of Dorian will make him controversial in some corners, but I was glad to include it. It made writing Dorian a very personal experience for me, and I’m hopeful that will make him seem like a fully realized character to fans in the end.”

Of course, immediately following this Gaider received some backlash from the community for calling Dorian ‘fully’ gay, as if to downplay bisexuality and so on. Here’s his tweeted response that followed:

Now I’m all for political correctness, but this is BioWare we’re talking about, and he’s not exactly going, “OH HEY LOOK AT THIS FULL HOMO CHARACTER I CREATED!” He was sharing something on a blog about developers sharing things, and he felt very strongly about the character. Enough so that he wanted to share that.

Yes, I admit, he could have worded that sentence a lot better. But guys, this is BioWare we’re talking about. In a world where representation has become such a contentious topic, BioWare have long been creating characters the likes of Knights of the Old Republic character Juhani, Dragon Age character Anders, as well as Mass Effect 3 characters Traynor and Cortez, all of whom were openly gay. Then there were the bisexual characters of Dragon Age’s Leliana and Zevran, as well as Mass Effect’s Liara. BioWare may not be the perfect developer, and at times they may get it completely wrong but hey, at least they’re trying.

How many other studios can you say that about? And what was it everyone was criticising Ubisoft about again?

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Our 87th Podcast Records Tonight — Ask Us Things http://egmr.net/2014/07/87th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/87th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 09:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=150481 Half your year has passed and you’ve barely even noticed it. Before too long, the entire year will have passed you by and left you dumbfounded, wondering where your year […]

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Half your year has passed and you’ve barely even noticed it. Before too long, the entire year will have passed you by and left you dumbfounded, wondering where your year went to and how it could be 2015 already. Disappointed, you opt instead to look forward to a better year… because that always works out greatly, right?

But hey! Not only is it July, but it’s also time for episode eighty-seven of the eGamer Podcast, which we promise you is far less morbid than that intro. This article is your chance to get involved in the recording, which should ideally take place tonight. How do you that? Ask us questions! Anything you’d like, whether it pertains to gaming or not. Hit up the comments and go crazy.

Then be sure to check out either the site, our Libsyn page, iTunes or our RSS feed later in the week for the podcast, which will have all the answers and more. Tell your friends!

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Jade Raymond Criticises Mobile Gaming But Gives Its Integration A Cool New Name http://egmr.net/2014/06/jade-raymond-criticises-mobile-gaming-gives-integration-cool-new-name/ http://egmr.net/2014/06/jade-raymond-criticises-mobile-gaming-gives-integration-cool-new-name/#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 14:00:18 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=150447 Love it or hate it, mobile gaming is a massive market that creates millions of dollars worth of daily profits for those who have taken full advantage and created an […]

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Love it or hate it, mobile gaming is a massive market that creates millions of dollars worth of daily profits for those who have taken full advantage and created an established user base. But Ubisoft Toronto managing director Jade Raymond has had some choice words to share about the mobile games market, and we’re here today to tell you all about those words.

“Mobile has attracted more people to gaming, but there hasn’t been such a creative boom,” explained Raymond during a Gamelab conference in Barcelona in which she discussed wearable technology, virtual reality and how it would all shape the future of gaming, together with mobile. “What passes for innovation on mobile is the recycling of 40 year old game design, with real world gambling and money stuck on top of it.”

And one needn’t look further than something like Candy Crush Saga to see this sort of archaic gameplay mechanic in action.

“These days though, I’m spending a lot more time on mobile games than I am on consoles. The form factor of mobile games is much more adapted to modern life. It fits our reality.”

She goes on to say: “Mobile gaming will become more integrated into our way of life as times goes on, and I like to call this transition ‘ambient gaming’.”

While mobile games themselves may be creatively lacking, Raymond believes that other possibilities may be opened up through the promotion of ambient gaming.

“We’ve gone from a world of undivided attention, to a world of multi-tasking,” she said. “Play has always been a way to practise real world skills, and in order to maximise our time here on earth we’re looking to be productive, and turn mundane into entertainment. The world is becoming an even more connected and tightly integrated place. It’s normal now to be in constant communication with everyone you know, and I think we can make our real world environment playable.”

I’m not sure if it’s still politically correct to say this, but I truly adore Jade Raymond. Ever since seeing her introduce Assassin’s Creed at E3 2007. She has a passion for gaming that inspires me, and it has always been a dream of mine to meet her one day and thank her for all the work she’s done. This isn’t just because she’s a female, as anyone who knows of my love for Jim Sterling will tell you.

In any case, what do you think of ‘ambient gaming’ as a means of creating a new way to play games in future? Or is all of this mobile gaming stuff just not for you? I know it isn’t for me.

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eGamer Podcast #86: Waiting For The Next Steam Sale http://egmr.net/2014/06/egamer-podcast-86-waiting-next-steam-sale/ http://egmr.net/2014/06/egamer-podcast-86-waiting-next-steam-sale/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 09:00:46 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=150274 Recorded: 25 June 2014 Welcome to episode eighty-six of the eGamer Podcast which is minimal but maximal. We’re still trying to figure it out as well. There’s almost exclusively gaming […]

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Recorded: 25 June 2014

Welcome to episode eighty-six of the eGamer Podcast which is minimal but maximal. We’re still trying to figure it out as well. There’s almost exclusively gaming talk this week — owing to pretty much no movies or series having released recently, that we’ve watched — so enjoy a full podcast of actual relevance! Unlike Crytek…

Topics discussed this week include Crytek’s woes, Destiny’s long-term plan, and Ubisoft not knowing WTF.

Here are the shownotes for this week’s episode:

  • Joke of the week: Batman: Arkham Origins ‘Complete Edition’
  • Crytek are still doing their best to be relevant.
  • It’s the battle of the gaming engines!
  • Is Destiny’s ten-year plan workable?
  • The semantics of missing the point of an article.
  • You get an MMO, you get an MMO, everybody gets an MMO!
  • How does Guild Wars survive without a subscription model?
  • More Destiny talk.
  • Does Ubisoft even know WTF they’re doing right now?
  • We answer your questions.

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to the RSS feed so you never miss an episode. Enjoy.

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | RSS

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