BuzzWords (July 27)
We live in a time of excess and instant gratification, but, above all else, we live in a time of buzzwords. Buzzwords control the landscape of the world; politics, sports, and, of course, video games are all manipulated by these simple words and phrases. As a result of their power, Buzzwords must be embraced. This is where the embracing begins.
Friends, I have a shameful admission to bestow upon your idle ears: I love SimCity Social. No matter how blatantly it sells itself out to advertising while encouraging in-application purchases, I can’t help but keep playing it.
I’m a terrible person.
“OnLive signs deal with Ouya” – Eurogamer
I’m not sold on the Ouya. Having once owned an Android-based phone, I know a thing or two about the type of experiences one can have on a low-rent clone of Apple’s mobile operating system. On the other end of the spectrum, I also happen to know a thing or two about the type of experiences one can expect to find on OnLive, a streaming service that offers users a library of high-end games which can be played regardless of platform and system requirements. In what can only be considered an outstanding coup, Ouya inked a deal that will see OnLive content on the new, open-source console.
I’m still not sold on the Ouya, but word that the system will launch with a large, preexisting library of games has nudged me a few smidgens in the direction of being sold. After all, when examined from a statistical perspective, the Ouya seems to be a fantastic steal of a console.
To the stats!
Ouya By the Numbers
- Price: $99
Yes, I’m well aware that I only prepared one stat; this was as intentional as it was lazy.
As a value prospect, the Ouya is tough to beat; for only $99, consumers gain access to new hardware with its own lineup of games, the competition’s lineup of games, and more ROMs than a .zip file on Megaupload a slick controller that wouldn’t look out of place in Batman’s tool chest. That certainly seems like a good deal.
I’m not sold on the Ouya being a system for me – I have a depressingly overwhelming amount of devices that can play OnLive and ROMs – but I’m getting closer by the day. For the regular consumer, though, I’m starting to see little reason for hesitation.
“Randy Pitchford can’t believe you haven’t copied Borderlands yet, game industry” – Joystiq
Slow your roll, bro.
Borderlands is a fun game; it’s not for me, but I can see why it has been such a success for Gearbox Software and its CEO, Randy Pitchford. That said, I wouldn’t exactly give Borderlands or its sequel credit for being original. When reading this story, all I could think about was the time earlier this summer when Cliff Bleszinski, the man responsible for cover-based combat and regenerating health, accused today’s video games of being too easy; Pitchford’s statements are Bleszinskian.
Let’s return to the stats once more and analyze the “innovative” mechanics behind Borderlands.
To the stats!..again!
Borderlands’ Chemical Makeup
- Diablo: 50%
- Fallout 3: 25%
- Every Game in the First-Person Shooter Genre: 25%
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall seeing “original mechanics” anywhere on that broad collection of statistics. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Video games, like all forms of entertainment, are suspect to being borrowed from. In fact, I’d argue that liberal borrowing from others is how most good things come about. For example, take a healthy gander over at Blizzard; for years, the studio has been heralded as one of the industry’s top developers though much of what they’ve created had been done before they came along and perfected it. More recently, Darksiders evolved into a respected franchise after it melded God of War and The Legend of Zelda together in a combination akin only to mixing peanut butter and chocolate.
It doesn’t bug me that Randy Pitchford is the CEO of a developer whose main claim to fame is a game with derivative concepts; however, it does bug me that Pitchford presents himself and his studio as holier than thou when Borderlands is itself a bundle of stolen mechanics. Hypocrisy of that nature is best left to Cliff Bleszinski.
“Sony: Burning Vitas Not The Result Of A Product Malfunction” – PSX Extreme
This is terrifying.
As any self-respecting nerd does, I own a down-right silly amount of portable devices. All of those handheld electronics include batteries which require regular recharging. I’ve always held the thought in the back of my mind that, at any given moment, the items I’ve spent so much of my personal savings on could go up in flames, but I’ve always regarded those thoughts as mere paranoia. Now, the cognition once belonging to the back of my mind has moved to the forefront of my conscious in a concerted effort to drive me crazy as I fight tooth and nail to keep my PlayStation Vita from going the way of so many ill-fated Sims.
Since learning of the searing outbreak, Sony has taken to defending themselves and their product by declaring the burned platforms a result of user interference. The flames, they suggest, are caused by water and other objects being inserted into the device alongside the recharging plug.
See also: it’s your fault. To prove exactly how much of it is your fault, let’s go to the stats!
To the stats!…this time with feeling!
The PlayStation Vita Burning and How Much of it is Your Fault
- Your Fault: 100%
- Sony’s Fault: 0%
I am sincerely terrified that my beloved hardware could go up in flames like so many of my hopes and dreams have in the past. I’m even more terrified by the fact that Sony is outright shirking their responsibility and blaming the few, the proud, and the emblazoned that have actually purchased a PlayStation Vita.
When your platform is in last place, isn’t your job to do anything you can to please the consumer?
Drew Robbins – Fiery Passion