Friday, February 10, 2017

Weekly Link Round Up

It's Friday! Thank goodness. What a long, demanding week this has been. Am I right? Time for a Weekly Link Round Up to cleanse the palette. Here's the best, and worst gaming news on the internet this week:

- South Park: The Fractured But Whole is being delayed until 2018. Honestly? I'd be okay with it if Ubisoft's pre-order program wasn't crap. The game was announced at E3 2015 as a surprise to fans and gamers. Having seen portions of it at PAX West 2016 and at E3 last year, what was completed looked fairly polished. But it's apparently not enough for Ubisoft or the South Park creative directors. So another year of waiting it is, after already having been delayed once from a December 2016 release. I don't mind games being delayed - for something like South Park where the team has a lot of investment into the quality of the product, that's fine.

But Ubisoft's pre-order system blows. Since pre-ordering the collector's edition (because I'm a South Park fan and they have some neat things I would have bought on my own anyway), I receive a notification every 23 days to confirm I still want my order. Every. 23. Days. And since their site upgrades, my account exists but my order is no longer visible. I've been assured by 3 customer service reps that the order is there, but I can't see it. I can't touch it. I can't make any changes to the order. But I can still confirm I want it every 23 days. So that's the game I get to play until The Fractured But Whole is out. Thanks Ubisoft. #sarcasm

- Kotaku hit it on the head with the one thing so many of us hate about video games: randomness. It's the bane of the MMO gamers experience, but we deal with it because we know that's the only way developers can keep us paying to play. With the recently released Fire Emblem: Heroes for mobile devices, one of the those random factors occurs from the start. Your team becomes a bevy of who's who in the Fire Emblem universe and they are chosen for you. You don't get a say in your party! Enjoy that lovely feature, and lament in it.

- Stanislav Costiuc, a game designer at Ubisoft, has a great op-ed piece on Gamasutra about games don't need to be fun. In fact, games should stop trying to focus on the "fun" aspect and be what they are. And be sure to stick around for the comments, where they continue the discussion on replacing "fun" with "entertaining." It doesn't get salty.

- Need a round up of all of the Superbowl commercials but don't want to suffer through YouTube? Forbes has you covered with all of the nerdy commercials, including TV shows and movies!

- Discord is the new chat go-to for gamers, particularly with Overwatch and Pokémon. But it's also a growing pool of hate and bigotry that have been a challenge to tackle. Discord's rules clearly state that harassment and hate speech is not allowed, but with their small team and no way to provide feedback, it's up to the chat's moderators to handle everything. Moderators who are not trained and have no affiliation with Discord. These are fans of games and other groups who wanted to create a Discord chat for people to meet up and hang out to talk about the things they like. They didn't sign up for harassment. It's a growing problem with no solution in site.

- WhatCulture is getting all up in our feelings with a list of 10 games that will emotionally break you. Unsurprisingly, this list sucks and will cause you to scratch your head. This War of Mine, Inside, and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons are just some of the games listed. Inside is a unique story, but it doesn't stir me emotionally on the same level as Final Fantasy X. When someone says "emotionally break you" I relate that to sobbing on the floor in a fetal position as my heart explodes. It needs to wreck me. NieR will do that. Not This War of Mine.

- Want to better manage your game time? See How To Beat.com for your gaming needs. It's an odd website that requires you to create a login and share your Steam collection so they can review your stats. From there it compiles the information on each game to see how long it took you to finish it, including side quests and miscellaneous attributes. You can also search other games to see if it's worth the time investment to complete it. The Witcher 3 could take you over 100 hours for full completion, and 47 hours on the main story alone. Resident Evil 7 comes to about 8 hours for the main story. It's a fun website to browse, if you're okay with sharing your Steam info. And if it helps a gamer manage their time more efficiently, then it's served it's purpose!

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