Thursday, April 27, 2017

Weekly Link Round Up

Starting the Round Up early again. There are too many great, and silly stories to pass by on a day like today. Let's jump into it! Here are the best, and worst, video game articles on the internet right now:

- Nintendo announced yesterday that it has partnered with fast-food chain McDonalds for a series of Happy Meal toys available now through May 22nd. This upset PETA, because it's PETA. 'In a statement emailed to GameRevoltuion, PETA said "Nintendo should stay in the business of selling creative video games, not cruel and unhealthy chicken nuggets." ' PETA has had a longstanding feud with multiple fast-food companies and Nintendo for Mario's Tanooki suit. I saw ignore PETA and go enjoy your Happy Meal. They're looking for attention where there's none to be had.

- eSports may be one step closer to the Olympics. Announced April 18th by the Olympic Council of Asia, eSports will make it's debut at their event, the 2022 Asian Games. The Asian Games is the Olympics for Asian countries. With the rising popularity of eSports, it seems like a natural progression. Last year, eSports brought in 214 million unique viewers. Only 4 countries in the world have populations larger then the viewer numbers. We don't know the details yet on what games will be available or how teams will be selected to participate, but you can bet we will all be watching to see what happens.

- WhatCulture is at it again with a list of 9 Ways All Open-World Games Are Starting to Suck. Among the contenders are "pointless upgrade systems," "big is too big," and "crafting systems are boring." Okay first off, Josh Brown, who wrote this article, needs to find better games or actually play the games he's bashing on. Seems like a number of his comments are copy/paste rants from gamer forums. While I think many of us could agree that fetch quests needs to be brought to an end, and some new takes on those side-quests would be appreciated, a number of games have perfected open-world in their own way. The Witcher 3 has a great balance between pacing and gameplay that you feel involved in the action without it losing steam. Horizon: Zero Dawn provides amazing landscapes that change as you cross the relm, as well as a crafting system that is sensible while being enjoyable. Mass Effect: Andromeda's side-quests are to help you terraform a planet so it can become liveable. I don't know about you all, but going to find a source of water for a colony seems like a pretty big deal. While I get what WhatCulture is trying to convey, they've once again missed the mark.

- Not to be outdone on the lists, JOE (with advertisement placement by Microsoft so...thanks for that?) looks at 11 games that re-wrote the gaming rule book. The games that changed how we play while turning the industry on it's head. For a Microsoft sponsored article, this is actually a pretty good list. You have classics such as Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog along with new-commers like Pokémon Go and Minecraft. While I'm not a fan of the sponsored posts, the writer gets a thumbs up on providing a list that makes sense.

- XBox head honcho Phil Spencer is imagining a world where video games become Netflix. The model of paying a monthly fee for unlimited access to content, while allowing developers of all ranges produce content at their pace. Games can be released in episodes like Hitman or all at once, as is the tradition. As more people gain access to broadband connections, the concept isn't that farfetched. Sony and Microsoft both offer a slimmed down version of a Netflix-like service for people to rent games monthly. But what Spencer hopes will happen is that systems will better support developers by providing the tools and servers. It becomes a more open flow of content that could give better content to customers. I think we're a ways off before companies feel willingly to give up their secrets to merge with other servers, but it's a nice dream to have.

- Finally for something random, is Uber CEO's Travis Kalanick really the 2nd best Wii Tennis player in the world? It's one of those odd anecdote's the company uses to make Kalanick more relatable to the general public. So Motherboard decided to research this since no one was refuting the claim, and they found that it's near impossible to justify Kalanick's words. There are 2 issues: which Wii game was this for, as there is no Wii Tennis, and there are no world records available for Wii Sports or Wii Sports Club (according to game record holders Twin Galaxies). Neither of these games held online leaderboards either. People would post to message boards their stats - which was a skill level and not a point value of wins/losses. It's possible that Kalanick spoke about the wrong game and meant Grand Slam Tennis, another Wii title that did have an online scoreboard. Motherboard is still awaiting a response from EA in regards to a copy of the rankings dating back to 2009. But for Wii Sports? It's probably unlikely and Uber needs to drop that tidbit. Who would want that as their claim to fame when you run a billion-dollar company?

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