Journalism vs. Ranting: Quality in Distress

When Anita Sarkeesian first started her kickstarter, it was like kicking a hornet’s nest. She received a lot of hate for her proposed video series named “Tropes vs. Women”. The video would look at the various tropes which depict women in a poor light and to inform the viewers of the misrepresentation of women. Gaming communities often scorned her, but she was equally praised and defended for her aim. Ultimately, the reason for both her praise and ridicule was not the content or her proposal or kickstarter specifically, but rather that she was a woman voicing her opinion.

There are few articles or videos on the internet that serve to justify the praise or contempt. That is not to say that none exist. A particularly well presented two-part video series about Sarkeesian by Cameron Rodgers is one example of the few that justify the negative attention that she has received.

Before I truly begin, I would like readers to be made aware that criticism towards Sarkeesian is not criticism towards the feminist movement within the videogame industry. Whilst it may be great that “videogame feminism” is getting the attention that it deserves, that is no reason for her to be above criticism. In fact, she owes it to feminists to ensure that she does this video series right.

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DmC: Devil May Cry

DmC: Devil May Cry, Box art, ReviewDmC: Devil May Cry is the latest entry and reboot of the Devil May Cry franchise, featuring a brand new cast and storyline. The title is so different compared to previous releases that it has spawned massive controversy, revealing the very worst in the games industry. Gaming outlets would insult fans and constantly revel in trying to show them up. Conversely, fans would focus on any minor gripe that they could to project DmC as a failure.

As a fan of Devil May Cry, myself, it’s hard not to be disappointed. The characters that I enjoyed have been replaced, the series has become darker and less crazy, and even the gameplay has been altered to fit Ninja Theory’s artistic designs.  Regardless, DmC is a reboot, and such changes are to be expected. I defended the game from some of the sillier criticisms from the start, but does the game actually deserve the criticism it gets? Is it the failure that fans claim?

Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Ninja Theory
Genre: Action//Hack-and-Slash, Brawler; Fantasy
Platform: PlayStation 3(Reviewed), Xbox 360, Windows PC
Release Date: 15th January, 2013 (NA/EU); 17th January, 2013 (JP)
PEGI: 16+

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The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker Logo for HD Retrospective

4 Things You’ll Love (Again) in Wind Waker Wii U

The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker Logo for HD Retrospective

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker is a divisive game for some fans of the Zelda franchise. Some hail it as the literal second coming of Christ, others despise it for its gorgeous, “cartoonish” cel-shaded graphics and “boring” sailing. The truth is most people don’t really care about rating every Zelda game every single day, and that most people enjoyed Wind Waker and recognise that it’s a real nice, solidly put together game, and one of the best games on the Nintendo GameCube (alongside Super Mario Sunshine, Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes and Bratz: Rock Angelz). Have you been living in a cave since 2000? Or did you simply contract amnesia? Here are some of the delights in store for you from Wind Waker Wii U, and some of the “tun[ing] up the overall gaming experience” we might see.

1. Exploring the Great Sea

One of the most noticeable things about Wind Waker is the water. It’s all over the place. That great expanse – The Great Sea – is the Hyrule Field of Wind Waker, so expect to be seeing a lot of it. The Great Sea is much larger than Hyrule Field, though, consisting of 49 sections in a 7×7 grid, most of which contain an island of their own, all of which contain at least one oddity of some sort. A lot of the islands are completely optional and don’t even have to be explored, which makes it all the more rewarding and exciting to do so. You can control the wind to make sailing faster, and eventually unlock fast travel, so most of the time the sailing isn’t even a drag. Some people found using the Wind Waker in the middle of sailing a little bit time-consuming and irritating, but it’s possible that the Wii U controllers will allow this to be much more seamless as part of the “tune up”. Will this mean that people who hated the sailing in Wind Waker the first time will suddenly find it enjoyable? Probably not. But it may be that the people who loved it the first time will find it even more enjoyable. At the very least the people that enjoyed it the first time will find the same amount of enjoyment from it again, and that’s all you can really ask for in a remake. Prepare to set sail.

2. The Best Collectables

If there is one thing people love in Zelda games it’s collectables. Optional items, hidden rupee caches, pieces of heart – you all know the drill. If you excitedly confront a Zelda fan and tell them you’ve just beaten a Zelda game but have not collected all of the heart pieces they will likely scoff in your face. Wind Waker had arguably some of the hardest, but most fun collectables. On Windfall island you can obtain a pictobox – a camera – and after a slightly convoluted (though normal by Zelda standards) side-quest you can obtain an upgrade that allows you to take colour photographs. Take these to the sculptor on Forest Haven (accessed by mind-controlling a seagull into hitting a switch) and he will make you a sculpture of the subject of the photograph (if it’s good enough). There are 134 of these detailed, great-to-look-at models to collect. And they require a playthrough on New Game + to unlock too, so you can get pre-pictograph ones (mainly a few boss monsters). They are great to look at in the Gamecube version, but imagine how they will look in glorious 1080p. Very 1080p-ish, probably. Who wants to bet that there will be an option to use the gamepad as the pictobox too? That would be kind of neat.

3. Tingle (Tuner)

If there’s one thing better than an enjoying a finely crafted Zelda experience it’s enjoying a finely crafted Zelda experience with a pal. However, there are just some times when sitting on the couch and occasionally swapping the control back and forth while one of you eats pizza or uses the bathroom isn’t enough. That’s where the tingle tuner comes in. What’s that? You didn’t know Wind Waker had a co-op mode? Well I’ve got news for you: it does. As all six people who owned a GameCube/Game Boy Advance link cable will tell you, you can plug your GBA into a controller port and by using the tingle tuner a second player can control Tingle. Tingle is more of a supporting role, having access to a map on the GBA screen, and has the ability to help the player by locating treasure of even dropping bombs into the fray. Gee, sounds an awful lot like some of the asymmetric multiplayer that utlises the Wii U’s Gamepad – I wonder what Nintendo will do with this re-release.

4. Atmosphere, and the Rest of the Game

Because it’s just a really great game, packed with the classic and fun dungeoning you love, pirates, and a haunting tale about the repercussions of a post-Ocarina of Time world without their Hero of Time. Just as equally as you have the iconic Windfall Island with its happy music and cast of quirky characters with numerous delightful side-quests, you also have unnerving and unsettling elements – terrifying tornadoes, ghost ships, giant octorocks. Just like the sea the game is based around, Wind Waker was a game both beautiful and slightly unsettling. The remake looks like it will make the game even more beautiful, and will hopefully accentuate the unique atmosphere that Wind Waker carried so well. While Nintendo haven’t gone into specifics about what “tun[ing] up the overall gaming experience” actually means, it’s clear there’s a lot of sweet things they could coerce from the already solid frame – most of which involve using the GamePad to increase the flow of the game. Only time will tell for sure, but there’s a lot of reasons you should love Wind Waker, so it only stands to reason you should love all of those things again in Wind Waker Wii U.

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The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man Box Art, ReviewHaving been a fan of Spider-Man for years, the kid inside of me is always excited when a new Spider-Man game hits the shelves. The Amazing Spider-Man is more than just a game though, it’s an extension of the movie which I also thoroughly enjoyed. Following up from the movie, this title is set in the aftermath of Dr. Connors’ discovery. Needless to say, there are spoilers for the movie.

Publisher: Activision
Developer: Beenox
Genre: Action-Adventure//Sandbox, Fantasy
Platforms: Xbox 360 (Reviewed), PlayStation 3, Windows PC, Wii, Wii U, 3DS
Release Date: 29th June, 2012 (EU)
Rating: 16 (PEGI)

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Dante poking his heart.

Game Fan Destroys Journalism out of Spite

Dante poking his heart.

Rare is there a case in which a videogame was met with such vitriol as DmC: Devil May Cry. The new Devil May Cry even generated animosity between fans and the gaming press, but ultimately, the press failed to highlight either side of the debate like good journalists should. Yes, this is one of those articles again, and so soon after the last one.

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The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt Announced Logo

CD Projekt RED Confirms Their “Final Witcher Game”, Celebrates With Sale

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt Announced Logo

Publisher CD Projekt RED confirms The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt as the final iteration of the series, set to take place in a large open world environment. To celebrate, the publisher has put previous Witcher titles on sale for three days.

CD Projekt RED announced the latest iteration of their The Witcher franchise this evening via press release. The new title, named The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, will be the “final Witcher game from the studio”.  The press release does not confirm if this will be the final The Witcher title, however.

Players will take the role of a witcher who seeks to “save his loved ones.”

The press release also notes that the game will feature an open world environment, describing it as, “larger than any other in [role-playing game] history.” Players will be able to sail ships, as well as take advantage of horses to traverse the landscape. There will also be no quick-time events.

Head of CD Projeckt RED, Adam Badowski said, “Players will freely travel through woods, lakes, mountains, cities, and villages. Each region is inhabited by distinct populations with their own customs, legends and problems.  The world of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is [thirty] times bigger than The Witcher 2.” Badowski continues, adding that, “[Y]ou can explore freely with no artificial boundaries. The war-ravaged world is so huge that to reach further places you will need to ride a horse or sail a boat to get there. A world where your choices have truly epic consequences.”

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be released in 2014. It will be launched on “all high-end platforms”. The press release does not identify the specific platforms that CD Projekt RED define as “high-end.”

Both The Witcher titles will be on sale on both GOG and Steam for half price for seventy-two hours. Xbox 360 owners will be able to purchase The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition for £19.99/€29.99/$29.99, which has been reduced to these prices permanently.