Thursday, October 20, 2016

Weekly Link Round Up

What a busy week so far, and lots of random gaming tidbits on the net. So let's have the Weekly Link Round Up to sort out this mess:

- If you're an online gamer, MMO or otherwise, several games are hosting Halloween events for rare collectables or in-game items. A lot of people have freaked out over Overwatch and their smattering of costumes, but don't forget about League of Legends (teased in the article and not listed in the details, wtf?) and Final Fantasy XIV.

- Other then having a horrible article title, (The scariest game of 2016 won't come out until 2017? Well that means it's not the scariest game of 2016) this Inverse article is a friendly reminder that everyone should play the Outlast 2 demo. I won't spoil the details, but it's a good mixture of the scares that you see in the first game along with new fantasy, trippy alternate-realm moments that will freak you out. This is on par with Resident Evil 7 demo good.

- The legal team for the gaming companies in the SAG-AFTRA/voice actors affair, have offered a deal of a 9% pay increase to start as soon as the new contract is ratified. This is more then the 3% every year for 3 years that SAG-AFTRA had asked for, since it would start now rather then accrue over time. Both parties still need to hash out details over the working conditions and providing basic needs, such as stunt coordinators during motion capture sessions, but if they agree, the strike will not happen and the new contract can go into effect as early as December 1st.

- If you don't mind the tiny font, there is a nice comprehensive history of computer games on the Escapist, dating way back to the 1940's. Because yes; computers and games are that old.

- WhatCulture has cobbled together a list of the greatest multiplayer games of the decade. Of course the obvious ones will be on there, such as Call of Duty: Black Ops. But The Last of Us? Whatever drug is being passed around that office needs to be stopped, because TLoU is not a good multiplayer game. It's a hodge-podge of CoD being paraded around as a zombie shooter. It's awful. You get TLoU for the single-player story. Their list editors need to start paying attention to what's being posted.

- Here's your friendly reminder that Change.org petitions are all pomp and no circumstances. Within hours of the announcement of Red Dead Redemption 2 by Rockstar Games (I said I wasn't going to talk about it until they confirmed a name), someone had already posted a petition to get the game onto PC. Red Dead Redemption was console only and some PC users felt slighted by it. Change.org petitions don't do squat. They're a place where people can make their concerns known about a topic, but if no one takes any action, they are moot. And more often then not, it's lip-service to the petition maker as confirmation that other people agree with their views.

Change.org does not send the signatures to anyone. There are no letters mailed out. It's a website that holds almost no value. EA Games did not change the Sim City always-online requirement because of the petition. Millions of their fan base inundated them with the request daily through their forums and customer service center, that it took well over a year for them to drop the "feature." Even then, if you ask anyone today most will see the new Sim City and think that you have to be online to play. Ultimately it's up to the developers and publishers on what to do with a game. If you want to enact change, make your concerns heard directly to them, not a random petition website. And DON'T BUY THE GAME. Seriously dudes (and dudettes). Your wallet is a powerful tool.

- Sci-Fi Addicts has an amusing article about EA Games and why the company loves to ruin our favorite sci-fi games. Funny. Other then the fact that it's a gaming fan ranting about a large company focused on profits, let's bring some reality into that writer's concerns: In all genuine honesty, I don't think anyone at EA is sitting at a big board room table and going "Hey! Let's make Star Wars: Battlefront and take out all the things fans like, but promote it like they are all in there." The choices they make as a team are what they feel is in the best interest for the product. The developers wanted to change up the style and create an online experience that would emphasize the evolution of gamers today. Yes, the end-goal is profit, but the people that work on those teams want the game to be good. They don't like to hear the negative feedback and putdowns. That can cost them their job. While I may not be the holy bastion of EA, at least give the team some credit. They are trying to do what they think is best.

- And finally, what week would not be complete without a listing of the 10 worse superhero games? Enjoy the fruits of gaming greatness with some of the best failures.

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