Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Shoutout

Every now and then I read something so good that I must share it with others. IGN.com had a guest blogger on today, speaking about Piracy and the entitlement mentality of those who practice it. I've focused on piracy to some degree before, but this one is rather eloquent. Here's the link.

Friday, April 26, 2013

What is a MMO?

I made a comment on a MMO website, that any online-only game counts as a MMO. I was quickly told how much I didn’t know about games, amongst other things. I didn’t say anything, but it got me thinking about how we define MMO’s now and into the future. When I was younger, an MMO fell into two categories, West and East. The Western MMO was all subscription based and tended to be considered AAA, even if the quality varied. On the other hand the Eastern MMO tended to be F2P, dated, and grind heavy by the standards of the time. It’s from here that Eastern MMO’s got the moniker of being ‘grind-fests’.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Best of the Best VII

Here lies the broken dreams, the forgotten promises, the disappeared but not unloved. Here are the children of entertainment, television, video games, and movies that nearly saw success but were cut down before their time. In the words of the immortal John Keats, ‘Here lies one whose name was writ on water’:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Eorzea Reborn

I finally got into the Final Fantasy XIV beta last week. A Realm Reborn is pretty much exactly what I thought it would be. Classic Final Fantasy MMO with a slightly modern flavor to it. It is however, nothing that is going to impress the new generation of jaded MMO gamers. I say that with a touch of sarcasm, but I believe that FFXIV will likely endear itself to the MMO gamer that started playing the genre before World of Warcraft. While the game has many of the modern nuances of quests, solo gameplay, and most of the modern conveniences of today’s MMO’s; it also harkens back to the Everquest era of party-first gameplay.

Monday, April 15, 2013


It's not often that I talk about a single episode of a television show, so when I do you'll know that I was impressed. I just saw the first episode of Defiance, the new SyFy show in partnership with Trion, the MMO developer. 

Defiance surprised me from the start, familiar names graced the credit roll; Rockne S. Bannon of Farscape fame, actors and actresses that I recognized from some of my favorite shows. I've said before that the first 15 minutes surprised me with how good it was, but it was the last 75 that had me smiling in the end. Little old ladies with the devil in their eyes, acquiescent and motherly wives who'd make Machiavelli smile in pride; Defiance refused to be pigeonholed. At the center of the storm were two people, a father and daughter, not of blood but tightly woven together all the same.

All of this ensures that Defiance will be my most anticipated show from this side of the pond. Whether or not it continues the excellent threads that it showed in the series premiere I can't say, but I can't say it won't be fun watching.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chronicles of the Old Republic

I’ve been playing a lot of The Old Republic of late, these past couple weeks. Taking advantage of the March Double XP Weekend, I’ve managed to level a few alts and taken my Jedi Knight to 50. It has been enlightening to finally finish off the story side of the Republic. I’ve taken quite a few Republic characters past chapter 1 of the storyline, but I always got bogged down in Balmora.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Doctor Will See You Now

Gamesindustry International has a phenomenal interview from Dr. Greg. I've made no secret my love of BioWare and what they accomplished in the last decade; but this interview is pure gold for anyone who loves the industry. Here is the link.

How to Tell a Great Story

I’ve been watching a lot of serialized television lately. Justified, the Hannibal premiere (it was quite excellent), Sherlock, even The Following for a bit; serialized television is my favorite genre of television. I love character development, and standalone television rarely does character development well. From the premiere to the series finale, little is ever done to make a character different from start to finish. It would be as if a person never grew, never changed, never learned life lessons. The standalone form of television has grown quite popular these days, especially in conjunction with the procedural that Law & Order, CSI, NCIS, and its ilk have made so famous. And while I will forever love the great procedurals I grew up with, I grow increasingly weary of the format so often used by the television industry.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Long Live the King

Robert Joseph Ebert, famed film critic, died Thursday after a long battle with cancer. He was one part of the critical duo with Gene Siskel. Ebert, served with distinction at the Chicago Sun-Times for more than 40 years, received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, and published many books.

When I was growing up, Siskel and Eberts’ ‘two thumbs up’ meant a movie was worth watching. After Siskel passed away, it was Ebert and Roeper. Though I enjoyed watching them late night to some degree, it never had the same charm. Most gamers know Ebert for his later years, especially with respect to the divide between video games and movies. I believe that Ebert saw video games as the rising challenger duking it out for supremacy with his beloved medium. However, even when he questioned the nature of video games and whether they’d ever truly become art, he always left room for advancement. While I disagree with his final judgment, I’ve never been to the Sistine Chapel, I’ve never seen any of the great masters up close; attempting to compare Mass Effect 3 to Starry Night then, would be facetious and make a joke of a most interesting question.

It’s a tricky question anyways, undoubtedly art becomes art after the testing of time, and if there’s one thing that video games lack, it is the passing of centuries. Still in his final years Ebert was brave, not only in how he fought cancer but how he strove to see new things, not many of his fellow critics dared to journey outside their area of expertise, fewer still bothered to make the journey eyes wide open as he did. In an industry that is increasingly blind to the changing landscape of entertainment, Ebert was a voice looking forward to the future that must come. Robert Ebert left giant footsteps for those that follow, he will be missed.