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God of War Reviews – Are They All Relevant?

Yo.

Hey.

How you doin’?

It’s been a while, huh? Well… tough.

So today, kiddies, let’s talk about reviews. More specifically, game reviews. Even more specifically (specificallier? Maybe not), game reviews for the new God of War by Santa Monica Studio on the Sony PS4.

GOW-OG-imageThere are plenty of them out there. No doubt you’ve seen your fair share if you’re into that kind of thing. There are the usual over the top, inane gushings of the fanatical fans. There are the more considered, thoughtful and detailed descriptions (both positive and negative) from those who are more interested in the actual game than the IP, developing studio or platform.

And then there are the reviews from people who just seem to want to jump on the reviewing bandwagon for a much publicised triple-A game in order to up their view count.

Gotta get them YouTube views up, even if you are talking shit, amirite? Right!

The first two types are to be expected and welcomed. The fawning, fan-boying reviews are a good benchmark to judge the independent ones by. As in all reviews, you should pay just as much attention to how the reviewer has arrived at their final conclusion as to the actual conclusion itself.

Which brings us to the subject of today’s little rant – those who do reviews because it’s a big name title just for the exposure, even if it’s a game or genre they’re not that interested in.

Now, don’t get me wrong, God of War isn’t the only game this happens to, it just happens to be the most relevant right now as it has only just been released, and I’m still playing it.

Yes, I like the game a lot, but no, I haven’t got a bee in my bonnet because of negative reviews. In fact, some of the bandwagon reviews are completely positive. They’re still talking bullshit though.

As a side note – I happen to write game reviews for an online publication (under a pseudonym), so I do have a vested interest in all of this. No, I’m not going to let you know who I write for, I value my privacy, and I’m not here to advertise for anybody (though if you pay me lots I might consider it). Occasionally I’ll write a personal opinion piece on this blog, which won’t differ too much, it’ll just be a bit more, well, personal.

Anyway, back to it. The game was released last Friday, and the first review I saw for it (not including the journalistic reviews written pre-release after playing advance copies) was an hour after the release. An hour! It happened to be a good review but still, how much playing of the game was done in that hour, bearing in mind the review itself needed to be written in that time too?

A few things from some of these bandwagon reviews that bugged me include –

  • A positive review waxed lyrical about the obvious love and affection between the main character, Kratos, and his son, Atreus, right from the beginning of the game. This isn’t the case at all.
  • One reviewer remarked how they liked the blue paint Kratos wore. The colour is, in fact, red (which is almost blue, I guess, in a certain light. Like total darkness). It’s also a tattoo, not paint.
  • A reviewer stated that their biggest problem with the game was the fact that they had changed the voice actor for Kratos, and he didn’t sound the same as he did in the previous games. This was the main reason for their 6 out of 10 mark.
  • Another reviewer disliked the main attack buttons being the controller’s trigger buttons. A quick look at the game settings reveals this can be changed. The same reviewer also heavily disliked the motion blur and film graining. These can also be lowered or turned off completely in the settings. As a result the reviewer stated that the controls were “ass” (obviously an advanced technical term), and the game made him feel nauseous (nit-picking: nauseated would have been the correct term) because of the blur.
  • A reviewer complained that the game’s map was too cluttered with icons. Yep, you guessed it, these can be altered to suit.
  • Another reviewer commented that while the game looks really good graphically, it would look a whole lot better on a high end PC. Well yes, no shit, Sherlock.
  • The best complaint of all, and a main reason for the reviewer marking the game down, was the fact the game didn’t tell you where the hidden things were, you had to go and look for them. You actually have to go out and search for the hidden items? Damn, no wonder it’s a bad game!

So what’s the point of all this, you may ask? Well, not much, to be honest, just a bit of a rant on my part. But also it stands as a piece of advice to be wary about a lot of “reviews”. Make sure you understand why the reviewer came to their conclusions, and that those reasons make sense to you. The best thing to do is find a reviewer who holds most of the same opinions as yourself, likes most of the same games and game genres as you, and keeps you entertained. Stick with their reviews and take others with a pinch of salt.

And of course, the best review of all – play the game yourself, whatever it may be, and make up your own mind.

As stated earlier, I’m currently playing the new God of War, and enjoying it immensely, though I can appreciate why some people might not like it as much, if at all. I’ll write a personal opinion piece and post it on here once I’ve completed it.

Maybe.

As always, that shallot.

Laters…

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Posted by on April 24, 2018 in Gaming, Rant

 

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Freedom Through Unity?

Unity in the Community Logo2Can unity can achieve freedom? Yes, of course it can – governments are supposed to be servants of the people, after all. But that only works when the people stand together as one group, one voice. If all a government hears is the clamouring from a myriad of different groups, all demanding their own, individual, wants and needs, then the overall message will be lost in the tumult. A government will then just ignore the commotion, dismissing it as nothing more than background noise, and continue to do as they please.

Far too many groups appear to believe the definition of unity is separatism. “We’ll form a group to demand what we want,” says Group A.

“We feel the same,” says Group B, “but not all your views match ours, so we’ll form our own, separate group.”

And so it goes, on and on.

Unity has only one definition, so strive to stand by that definition. Unity will only work to achieve freedom when all of the oppressed, down-trodden, and forgotten stand united as a whole, regardless of race, colour, religion and sexual orientation. Be one body, speaking with one clear voice, and a government will have no choice but to take notice, to listen to your words.

Do not demand your rights. Your rights already belong to you, they are not a government’s reward system, to be handed out like party favours to those who please them. Remind a government of this, and demand instead that they do as they were elected to do. Demand they cease to be self-serving, and instead revert back to the democratic ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people’.

You want freedom through unity? Then work for it. Stop being so self-centred. Stop being so selfish about your own, individual needs. Put aside your differences, forget your prejudices. Stand shoulder to shoulder with your brothers and sisters from the human race, and speak with one loud and clear voice.

Together we are we, and we will be free.

Just sayin’…

Rant over.

As always, that shallot.

Laters…

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Posted by on February 2, 2017 in Rant, Uncategorized

 

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Oh No, People Are Angry…

It’s been a while, huh? Well, tough. Real life and real work do tend to get in the way a lot of the time. But, anyway…

NMS

No Man’s Sky – yes, that game. Either liked or loathed. I, for one, like it. Yes, I’m well aware of the many flaws it contains. I also understand why they’re there, and appreciate what’s being done about them.

I read an article about how some gamers are angry and upset about what’s in the centre of the galaxy, and so thought I’d have a little rant. The article is available here, but contains spoilers. So, you know, don’t go there if you don’t want to know.

People are angry about what happens when they get to the centre… well, boo fucking hoo. If they’d been paying attention they would have realised that the game was never intended to have an ultimate goal – it was just intended to be an exploration game, one where the developers themselves wouldn’t even know what they would find. If you want to be pedantic – yes, Sean Murray said, when asked, that you could maybe find your way to the centre of the universe. But players are heading to the centre of a galaxy, not the universe, so there is that.

A lot of gamers seem incapable of playing a game for themselves, they need constant direction, they need the game to tell them what to do next. They need to be led, and so, obviously, having an entire galaxy as their playground is completely alien to them (pun maybe intended). These types of gamers are easy to spot – they either hate on the game constantly, or they say they like it but the endless resource farming is way too tedious. But wait! Resource farming? Endless? For why? When asked, they’ll say they need to farm resources in order to have stuff to sell to make money. They’ll expand on this by saying they need more money in order to buy a bigger ship so they have more inventory slots. They need more inventory slots so they can carry more resources at a time, therefore increasing the time spent farming said resources, all in order to be able to make even more money when they sell their bigger resource haul.

They fail to see the irony in all of that, and fail to grasp the simpe reality that they don’t need to do any of it. Ships can be found and repaired, they can go from the starting ship to a 48 slot monster with no monetary cost, they just need to invest a little time and effort. Once they have a ship they’re happy with, in looks and size – it doesn’t even need to be maximum size – the only resources they need to farm are what they need for the upgrades on it, plus the upgrades on their multitool and suit. Once they have all of that, why, exactly do they need to spend hours and hours farming extra resources to sell for extra money? And yes, before somebody shouts out that resources for Warp Cells need to be farmed – to make them from scratch you need very low amounts of Carbon, Plutonium, Zinc, Heridium and Thamium9. All of these are extremely easy to gather in large amounts, and don’t even need to be searched for.

Yes, there’s lots of stuff not in the game that was kind of promised. Yes, that’s annoying. But the developers fault? Sure about that, are you? Ever factored in the time restraints and game changes imposed on them by Sony? Another year, with increased manpower, would’ve seen the game getting released with all it was intended to have. But of course, by then, the completely gaming community generated hype would’ve died down, and that’s obviously something Sony wanted to avoid. It’s the marketing by a giant corporation which prevented a good game from being completely awesome, not a 15 person indie development team.

Just sayin’.

As always, that shallot.

Laters…

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Posted by on August 25, 2016 in Gaming, Rant

 

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What is this ‘FREE’ of which you speak?

Working as a freelance writer is great. I get to work with all kinds of interesting (weird?) people, helping them turn their vision into something tangible. Amongst the mundane scribblings I’m asked to do, from time to time emerges something really interesting, fun, exciting, something I can get my teeth into.
 
But, as with every walk of life, occasionally you come across a first class wanker, who will really try your patience. Such was the case with Yesterday’s Muppet…
 
Me: Hi, you left a message for me to contact you about some work you would like doing?
 
Yesterday’s Muppet: Ah, yes, I would like a new advertising copy written for my company [he then proceeds to describe how his business installs ‘state of the art’ guttering systems]. You will, of course, make it sound like we are the only company worth dealing with out there.
 
Me: Sure, I can do that for you. I’ll need you to provide me with the required word counts, and the expected time frame, so I can provide you with a fair and accurate costing.
 
YM: Costing? You would want to be paid for doing it?
 
Me: [silence for a few seconds as I realise my potential client has just morphed into a flaccid prick] Well, umm, actually, yes, yes I would want to be paid for it, that’s how it works.
 
YM: The way I see it, the fact that you had been afforded the opportunity to work alongside my company will look great on your C.V., enough to impress any future potential clients. Surely that would be compensation enough.
 
Me: [remembering that June is one of my ‘zero tolerance to bullshit’ months (I have 12 of those every year)] Afforded. The. Opportunity. I see. Well, the way I see it, Mr. ****, working with a video game studio who are due to release one of 2016’s most anticipated games in eight week’s time looks good on my C.V.
 
[Deep breath]
 
Me: Working with an international marine wildlife conservation society who are doing their utmost to make this world a better place, despite the best efforts of global corporations and corrupt governments to thwart them, looks good on my C.V.
 
[Another deep breath]
 
Me: And working with… you know what, Mr. ****? Long answer cut short – I will not do it for free. Extolling the virtues of your ‘patented’ guttering system, so you can print it on flyers to hand out at a trade show, is something I’m sure my C.V. will survive without. Unless, of course, you’re willing to trade? I’ll write your advertising copy for free, if you install a guttering system for me, free of charge.
 
YM: [spluttering] Free of charge? We couldn’t possibly install for nothing! What about overheads? Wages?
 
Me: My point exactly. Good day, sir.
 
Calls like that make me wish I still had an old fashioned telephone. Pressing the ‘end call’ button simply cannot compete with the satisfaction of slamming the receiver back down into its cradle.
Still, onwards and upwards, Rodders.
As always, that shallot.
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Posted by on June 16, 2016 in Rant

 

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Contrived E.U. Racism

I’ve been hearing, for quite a while now, that those Brits who wish to leave the E.U. are racist, and don’t want any foreign nationals to set foot on our hallowed shores. This, of course, is utter bullshit. The vast majority of Brits who want to leave are proud of our multinational and multicultural background. The trouble is, the E.U. frowns on non E.U. citizens entering its borders for anything other than a brief holiday.

Most progressives believe immigration has been of great benefit to our society and economy, and this, of course, is true. But they also believe the E.U. has made this easier by enabling a more tolerant immigration system. Nothing could be further from the truth. Contrary to popular belief it is the E.U. which is racist, not Eurosceptics. Under E.U. rules anybody from an E.U. Member State is allowed to come to this country – ‘no questions asked’ – unless there are exceptional circumstances. No such rules apply to migrants from outside the E.U. As a result, large numbers of E.U. migrants have come to Britain. Not ordinarily a problem, but as overall immigration needs to be controlled, it does pose a dilemma. Reducing E.U. immigration is illegal under E.U. rules, so in order to reduce the overall migration the Government has been forced to apply very strict rules restricting non-E.U. migration. This policy is one of European superiority, with E.U. migrants considered preferable to non-E.U. migrants. We should want to see a system where immigrants are judged by the content of their character and contribution to our country, before they are allowed to settle here, not by their continent of origin. There is no justification for saying ‘yes’ to a Bulgarian builder who has the exact same characteristics as a Nigerian builder who is refused.

This sad reality is one of the reasons Africa as a whole is poor, because many countries do not encourage trade with it, imposing massive trade barriers – with the E.U. being the main culprit. Parts of Africa could compete in the agricultural industry, but the E.U. prevents it from doing so, forcing them into pitiful subsistence farming, condemning generation after generation to poverty. According to James Cleverly MP, “Tariffs mean that in 2014 the whole of Africa made just under $2.4 billion from coffee exports, while Germany made $3.8 billion…without growing a single bean…Germany’s coffee producers need cheap, raw beans to make money, so there is no import tariff on green, unprocessed coffee. That’s why the vast bulk of African coffee exports are unprocessed. But there are import tariffs on processed coffee because it is in the processing, branding, packaging and marketing that Germany makes its money.” This is nothing short of outrageous, and the E.U. elites should be ashamed of themselves.

We hear progressive arguments in favour of the E.U., such as the E.U. giving us workers’ rights. It has not. Time and time again, it’s said the E.U. gave equal pay to men and women. It did not. Our own Equal Pay Act gave us this right in 1970, before we joined the E.U.. It is true to say the E.U. extended these rights, but our Government would have done the same regardless. Workers’ rights have been increasing throughout the world over the last 40 years; the idea the UK would not have introduced similar legislation is fanciful at best. Those who make this argument unfairly compare workers’ rights in the UK back in 1972 with workers’ rights in the E.U. in 2016. It is a false premise – don’t get sucked in by it.

Deep breath… and breathe…

Rant over.

As always, that shallot.

Laters…

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Posted by on May 24, 2016 in Rant

 

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Take. Your. Time.

Today I was going to post a short story I had written last week. It was the first of a series of stories based on a video game (yes, I’m a gamer, have been for the last 35 years).

But… well, my computer ate it. Seriously, it’s vanished into thin air. But no matter, I can rewrite it. There’s no rush, no deadline to be met, and on a positive note, rewriting will hopefully improve upon the original.

It got me thinking though, again, of how most people these days are in a rush, they want everything immediately, they need instant gratification. Which reminded me of a blog post I wrote quite some time ago. So, in the absence of a new story, I’ve decided to repost that brief rant I had.

Over the next few days I’ll attempt to recreate my missing story. Though it may take longer. There is, after all, no rush.

A Take Your Time Rant.

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Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Rant

 

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Pirates Repelled…

RIP pirates - for now.

RIP pirates – for now.

A quick update to conclude the ongoing story of my last two posts.

I’ve had no communication from the file-sharing site, but (drum roll please) clicking the link which took you to the page containing the illegal download links to my story, now results in ‘Page Not Found’ being displayed.

Pirate attack repelled! Victory! A tot of rum for all!
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Posted by on October 8, 2014 in Rant

 

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