More Reviews
REVIEWS Atelier Ayesha Plus: The Alchemi Review
Atelier Ayesha Plus is a new entry in a classic-JRPG series with a pretty paintjob, but does the classic formula still hold up?

Dying Light Review
Developer Techland addresses zombies again in a new light.
More Previews
PREVIEWS The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Ma Preview
I wish I could claim some mastery over this topsy-turvy classic starring elf boy who saves princess. Predictable, right?
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES RUGBY 15
Release date: 02/01/15

DEAD OR ALIVE 5 Last Round
Release date: 02/17/15

Dragon Ball XENOVERSE
Release date: 02/24/15


LATEST FEATURES Kingston HyperX Cloud II Headset Review
Kingston's HyperX Cloud II is a mid-range USB Headset with an onboard sound board. So how does it sound compared to the pros?

Developer Spotlight: Kojima Productions
As we barrel toward this year's Game Developers Conference, the GR crew takes a look at some of the most talented devs in the industry.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES PlayStation Downloads January & February 2015 - Monopoly, January's Free PS+ Games
Have you been playing online with your PlayStation devices? Make sure to get these free games for the month of January in our weekly update feature.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437
Finally Broke My Crowdfunding Rule
By oblivion437
Posted on 01/12/15
I've had a long-standing rule to avoid getting involved in any sort of crowdfunded activities.  I didn't donate to Shadowrun or Wasteland, but I did buy and enjoy both of them (I'm plugging both of those games right now, just so you know they're good).  I haven't...

MEMBER BLOG

UrbanMasque UrbanMasque's Blog
PROFILE
How much time is too much time?
Posted on Monday, January 5 2015 @ 16:54:37 Eastern

This member blog post was promoted to the GameRevolution homepage.


How much time is too much time?

If you are doing something you enjoy, is it possible to spend too much time doing it?  Obviously, you want to put a limit on how many kittens you kill in a day, but if you feel the same way I do about gaming I’d imagine you’re thinking that you don’t have ENOUGH time in the day to play.  How could you feel any other way unless it was your profession, and very few people are in the position to be able to do this for a living.  If you’re playing some single-player game and never have any intention of joining the multiplayer universe, then playing games is a lot like watching a Netflix series to you.  You can do it at your own leisure.  

For me and the other controller chuckers who want to test our mettle against the masses, just playing the game isn’t enough.  I don’t know that just playing the games are enough for me, because I also want to be good at them.  Nothing upsets me more than being talked down to over voice chat after being housed by someone who still has a bedtime. As much as these online communities upset us they also entertain us and are part of the game’s experience. The sad reality about these communities is that they are nomadic and have short shelf lives. Once the popularity dies down or the next big title pops up, people are going to inevitably migrate and then you’re left playing with yourself again, except you don’t feel as satisfied after the climax.  

There's obviously a correlation between the amount of time you invest in a hobby or game (singleplayer or multiplayer) and your skill level.  You have to learn the game’s mechanics. You have to find exploits. Some people even take the time to calculate the advantages based on in-game equipment and items.  A lot of us aging game aficionados have multiple responsibilities and the idea of perfecting a soon-to-be-dead game seems fruitless. Families, jobs, significant others, as well as real-world errands can sometimes seem like burdens when all you really want to do is sit down in your favorite lounge chair, wearing nothing but you boxers, with the game of your choice running and tune Everything THE FUCK OUT!  (sorry).. The Call of Duty: Ghosts trailer seems to sum this up perfectly for me, and almost seems like a dream come true.   

There is this idea with the older generation (boomers n such - I'm looking at you mom) or the less-than-tech savvy that playing is just a solitary activity and you’re staring into a soulless machine ruining your vision and dumbing yourself down.  Which is and isn’t true in some instances, but are the friendships you make in game, the online communities you're apart of, the play dates or clan matches any less legitimate or hold less weight than the drinking sessions you schedule in with your buddies at the local pub or the fancy dinner with you're prodded to attend with your in-laws? We’re still sitting around shooting the ****, the only difference is the IRL people are within arm’s reach.

Truth be told there are a number of games I would love to play and fantasize about all the cool things potentially waiting for me in game, but when I also think about the amount of time needed to invest in the game in order to achieve trophies or become reasonably competitive I get sad.  Maybe it's me getting a little nostalgic with age and reminiscing on a time when I could wake up, go right to my computer, and spend 7+ hours in an MMORPG.  The time dedication is what impresses me the most when I watch Twitch streams and speedruns.  I’m not impressed by the amount of viewers, the quality of the stream, the actions per minute, or the witty banter - I’m impressed by the assumed amount of time these people spend playing in order to be acknowledged as the Best of the Best.  The difference is spending 20 hours+ a week in a billiard hall becoming a shark is a badge of honor to some, but to those same people spending 20+ a week on a console/PC game is a waste.

I remember watching a playroom stream where the broadcaster was around the early to mids 20’s age range, male, in shape, and reasonably attractive.  I bring that up only because someone asked him in chat, “Hey dude, you always stream by yourself – where’s your girlfriend?”  His reply struck me as somewhat true, but sad.  He said, “If you’re serious about this (games), having a girlfriend is impossible.” Now I don’t know how socially awkward he is in person, but the vibe I got from him was that he could potentially have a girlfriend, but he opted instead to spend his time playing games.  I know that sounds like the standard virgin cop out, but to me it seemed legit and he seemed sincere.  He made a conscience choice to pursue his hobby vs. pursuing and maintaining a relationship.  Again, piling assumption on top of assumption, the more competitive you get with the e-sports the more likely this is to be true.

I’m sure most of the people reading this are familiar with the DOTA 2 Championships recently showcased on ESPN.  Maybe it's just a result of getting older, but I know the thought crossed your mind about how much time they must spend practicing and memorizing the game dynamics.  I’d love to interview some of those players about their social or private lives and how much of an intrusion it has been - if at all. How much time do you “play” per day/week/month? Do you have any specific incidents where playing games has caused some turbulence in your real life? Have you ever missed any in-person life activities, opting instead to play with your friends online? Does the game you play, the forum you visit, or the trophies and hours logged legitimize your gaming time or you as a “gamer”? Congratulations - you’ve earned a virtual trophy that you’ll never get to hold and few people understand the significance of… but I’ll be goddamned if it doesn’t feel good achieve that little icon.  Throw an Oculus on my face, and feed me intravenously - because I'm about ready to be plugged into the Matrix, permanently.

[The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of GameRevolution, but we believe it's worthy of being featured on our site. This article, posted on January 5th, has been lightly edited for grammar and style. You can find more Vox Pop articles here. ~ Ed. Nick Tan]

[ 0 Comments ]        [ Post a Comment ]
"How do I make him jump?"
Posted on Wednesday, May 14 2014 @ 11:55:42 Eastern

This member blog post was promoted to the GameRevolution homepage.
Fact: Games are beneficial to a child's development and help improve the quality of your life. Well, this isn't really a fact as mush as it is a strong opinion, but seriously though, anyone who says otherwise is lying to themselves or are too disconnected from modern electronics to grasp the concept of a console for any other purpose besides playing an updated version of Pong.
 
The digital divide is very real. Just ask anyone who has tried to teach their significant other how to play with them in a co-op console game and has cringed at how their partner is holding the controller. I know most of you know this feel. Or perhaps you’ve watched your cousin play a flight simulator and then move their arms and body along with the controller. If not, give someone a Vita and map which controls they use, if they can find the L and R triggers, or if they even identify it as touchscreen. Painful. Do not let these people around the Oculus Rift. They will be a danger to themselves and everyone around them. This experience has cemented the idea in my mind that people would much rather be told what to do, then to exhaust the gray matter figuring it out. This isn't true for gamers; we feel like we're on the slow bus if someone has to give us a detailed explanation on controls or interface (or maybe it's just me).

On the eve of the release of devices like the PlayStation’s Morpheus or the Oculus, we can only assume the line in the sand will be much thicker between “Those who game” and “Those who do not”. Facebook, in its infinite wisdom, is attempting to partially bridge the gap between the casuals and the hardcore, but I’m going to guess that within 3 months of its release you’ll be able to tell who has some frame of reference for what they are experiencing in VR and who is still sporting training wheels. I feel like this line in the sand will extend past gaming and outline which segments/demographics in society are falling behind technologically.
 
My family is on the East Coast and I currently live on the West Coast, so I did the logical thing anyone in my situation would do if they had family they wanted to keep in touch with over a large distance - I bought my mother a Chromebook in order to Skype and Gchat with her. Remotely, trying to teach my mother how to use it almost cost me my sanity. This little common sense experiment got ridiculous when I had to explain, over the phone, what the power symbol looked like in order to turn it on. 3 months and several gray hairs later - she's pinging me non-stop about wanting to video chat and sending me stupid YouTube links via email. *whew*
 
But at the very beginning, I started asking her questions - questions that I'd like you all to answer in your head like "Where would you expect that button to be?" The first time you pick up a controller on a different console, how long does it take you to adjust? Where would your initial guess be if I asked you which icon was the action button on the controller? For us, unlike our parents, it does not feel like we're learning a different language; instead it's more like we're adjusting to the local dialect. I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir, but I see this in my job everyday in the tiniest ways. Being “gamers” (I know some of you hate this moniker) means that we aren’t scared to push buttons and go, “hmmm.. what does this thing do if I interact with it?” Or “What happens if I place this object here?”  You do it in your everyday life and you don’t even realize it – on websites, your streaming profiles, your devices, and home entertainment systems.
 
We’ve also come to expect certain things that seem theoretically possible, but are disappointing when they don’t pan out as expected. For example, see ShadeTail’s post about the lack of integration on his PC for a USB controller. This seems like a simple task, especially since the controller plugs directly in. I’ve experienced this frustration firsthand with the PS controller on the Ouya. Being able to identify instances like this help push the industry to be better by making us a very educated consumer base that can easily identify when we’re being grifted. 
 
Video games teach us things – things like what to look for in everyday life, how to not be scared of exploration, how to create workarounds, how to hack, how to identify bugs – every single GR member is a qualified QA tester, but you wouldn’t think to put that on a resume. These are the things that go unmentioned in gaming, but I’m sure you all know to some extent what I’m talking about. So, when your mom, girlfriend, boss, or politician tells you that you are wasting your time in front of a console – just be sure to remind them of these things and make them feel foolish for missing the boat.

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of GameRevolution, but we believe it's worthy of being featured on our site. This article, posted earlier in May 2014, has been lightly edited for grammar and image inclusion. You can find more Vox Pop articles here. ~Ed. Nick Tan

[ 0 Comments ]        [ Post a Comment ]
An Interesting Trend
Posted on Saturday, December 14 2013 @ 10:48:23 Eastern

This member blog post was promoted to the GameRevolution homepage.
With the release of the PS4 and its Share functionality, I'm sure everyone in the gaming community expected the amount of console streams to increase. Just the sheer curiosity gamers have over what this new button did would aid in generating new and interesting content. This was a given. What wasn't expected, but should have been anticipated, are some of the creative ways people would be using their newfound streaming ability, more specifically the Playroom streams. Tuning in to watch someone play Battlefield 4 or Knack is expected, and the idea of engaging the broadcaster with real-time responses will open the door to more possibilities related to an interactive gaming experience.

In addition to turning their channel into PlayStation's version of LiveJasmin, some users are demonstrating their entrepreneurial spirit by using the cams to promote thier own brand - whether it be a makeshift animal cam, creating game walkthroughs, streaming live shows in podcast format, talking to viewers from their couch, or a medicinal marijuana user showcasing their rolling skills - people are finding their voices with this technology (and getting MASSIVE amounts of viewers while doing so).
Now obviously, with a technology like this and the ability to reach a broadcaster directly while maintaining viewer anonymity, there has also been a large influx of vicious trolling. The interesting part about this dynamic is not only are the broadcasters NOT disturbed by this... but they seem to invite it and have honestly been holding their own in verbal tussles. I'm not even going to lie. I secretly watch streams where the level of trolling goes above passive and just becomes mean - just to see how the broadcaster reacts. Also to see which questions they answer and which ones they ignore. I'd imagine that if you are somewhat familiar with the streaming infrastructure, you'd hit that "Broadcast Gameplay" button fully prepared to be assaulted by comments like, "Your mums a slag," "Shoe on head," "spark up that bubblegum Kush," "clean your f***ing room," and "show me your tits." Needless to say, if you choose to go live, you'd better have some pretty thick skin. It also helps that a large amount of these broadcasters are VISIBLY under the influence when they are live.

Getting back to my main point, I'm more and more impressed when I see people using the tools given to them by a platform and console to venture beyond the scope of what was to be considered "intended use." I will be monitoring, very closely, the channels that gain traction and those channels that die out and become stale. To me this is very exciting, because it is another avenue available to the average Joe to have their voices heard and to drive traffic to the content they create using limited resources. I'm including some images below to help illustrate some of the streams I mentioned above...  I'll let you guess which content gets the most traffic.







Urbz..
out.

The opinions expressed here does not necessarily reflect the views of GameRevolution, but we believe it's worthy of being featured on our site. This article, posted originally on December 9, 2013, has been lightly edited for grammar and image inclusion. You can find more Vox Pop articles here. ~Ed. Nick Tan

[ 0 Comments ]        [ Post a Comment ]
UrbanMasque... Shilling up the place
Posted on Wednesday, September 18 2013 @ 18:47:10 Eastern

While at E3, I asked a significant number of gamers their thoughts on streaming and why they chose one platform rather than the other.  In essence, basically asking, “Why aren’t you streaming your games on Ustream?”  That ...   read more...

[ 0 Comments ]        [ Post a Comment ]
Free Streaming
Posted on Monday, December 24 2012 @ 14:03:00 Eastern


...well ...sort of.

Odds are if you are streaming to Twitch.tv, Livestream or Ustream - you are already interested in streaming and have the infrastructure necessary for maintaining a successful stream. This guide will mos...   read more...

[ 11 Comments ]        [ Post a Comment ]
MMORPG-match.com
Posted on Tuesday, September 6 2011 @ 20:12:30 Eastern

So, the day has finally come! You're going to meet your WoW gf IRL!!! (if you can't follow the acronyms, you probably won't get most of the humor in this blog.. silly nUbs)   Remember, slow the F*** down! Try not to g...   read more...

[ 5 Comments ]        [ Post a Comment ]
Niko Bellic... you're my only friend.
Posted on Monday, May 17 2010 @ 22:50:21 Eastern

Sometimes... I'm driving down the street and I wonder what it would be like to plow into a sidewalk full of pedestrians and children.  I also, wonder what I would be like to take a helicopter to the top of a skyscraper and just start pickin...   read more...

[ 8 Comments ]        [ Post a Comment ]
Totally gay for Vincent.
Posted on Friday, April 17 2009 @ 22:23:19 Eastern

[Not really but, hey if he was real, who knows...]
.
.
. . . . .The recent release of FFXIII's new  trailer has stirred my sleeping love affair with you (the Final Fantasy series).   Winter cannot come soon enough for go...   read more...

[ 0 Comments ]        [ Post a Comment ]