Considering that I’m supposed to talk about games all the time, ostensibly at least, I haven’t been doing a lot of that recently. I haven’t even been playing them, much to my 360’s chagrin. No…I’ve been knee deep in the bane of any university student, my dissertation.
*sound of thunder*
Nobody likes essays, and they’re odious enough when you have to write 2,000 words on something that doesn’t really interest you. Quintuple that and it’s simply painful. I chose a journalism subject that was closer to my heart than most, blogging and citizen journalism, but writing is a lot less fun when you can’t slip an innuendo in there or joke about that time you swapped the picture on Ken Kutaragi’s Wikipedia page for one of Kim Jong-Il.
It’s due in 27 days and I’ve written a bit over 5,000 words, with the aim of getting at least another thousand down before the Easter break ends. This being the last couple of months of my last year at uni, things are complicated by assorted other projects and impending exams, which at the rate I’m going will necessarily be over-the-weekend jobbies. How I wish they’d stagger deadlines instead of encouraging us to put everything off until the week before. I could procrastinate for England.
I know what would make this better, though, and it involves Games for Windows Live. How about some achievements for Microsoft Word?
News about games journalism! Hooray!
The whole thing seems to be over now, but last night gaming blog Kotaku got into trouble with Sony for posting a rumour about what Sony was set to unveil at next week’s GDC. Sony told them not to, they did anyway, and Sony blacklisted them from all their mailing lists and future press events.
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that I was entirely on Kotaku’s side on this issue. As is often the case lately, I don’t know why Sony acted the way that they did. All throwing the toys out of the pram and trying to blackmail Kotaku did was give credibility to the story, whereas the usual “we do not comment on rumours or speculation” would have at least kept people guessing until next week. The way Sony acted the only possible outcome was for Kotaku to come out smelling of roses, simply because when it’s announced everyone sees that they got the scoop and didn’t give in when the big boys tried to bully them.
Of course, the majority of people supported Kotaku’s stand, but what surprised me when trawling forums was that a number of people were congratulating Sony on not putting up with such insolence, even going as far as to criticise Kotaku’s journalism, such as in this quote from IGN’s PS3 forum:
“Sounds like Kotaku got what they deserve. […] Seriously. Did these guys take any journalism courses at all?”
That sums up what far too many journalists reporting on this industry seem to think: that “journalism” means “typing up press releases” and taking what they’re given, which is often the complete opposite of what journalism should be. I’m not going to make myself look stupid by invoking some of the great investigative journalists because I have no illusions of reporting on this industry being comparable to anything what has been brought to light by political journalists in the past, but being cowed by any of the big industry figures is not journalism.
Bravo Kotaku. Now I hope you walk into that media event next week with a massive, proud grin on your face. You won that round.
I really don’t understand 1UP’s review of Call of Duty 3. 6.5 isn’t a bad score but generally qualifies as “above average”, which this game really isn’t. COD2 is arguably still the best game on the 360 and, while COD3 doesn’t mess with the formula too much, it looks great, sounds astounding, and gives the multiplayer an overhaul.
OK, so it’s possibly more like COD2.5, but an expanded version of an excellent game is still an excellent game. It currently averages out on Game Rankings to 86% at the moment which seems fair next to the low 90’s that COD2 was getting.
I don’t know…I enjoy 1UP – especially their podcast and The 1UP Show – but it seems like they sometimes try to be controversial and edgy for the sake of it. It’s not unusual for their reviews to differ dramatically from IGN and GameSpot, who used to be renowned for overrating and underrating respectively. Just the other day I was completely thrown off by the negativity in Dan Hsu’s Gears of War review, in which they eventually gave it…a perfect ten.
The last section of that review possibly justified it and the fact that it became the centrepiece of the 360 fanboy argument against the impending PS3 and Wii definitely helped their ad revenue, but surely a fantastic game with some niggling flaws is a 9 on anybody’s scale? Maybe I’ll change my tune when I finally play it next week.
Another site now has the dubious pleasure of hosting content written by me. This time it’s Pro-G, a UK-based gaming site, which has my review of Castlevania: Curse of Darkness on PS2 available here (I know it’s been out in the States for ages, but we’re just getting it now) which is a slight comedown after my previous Castlevania stupor but to be fair isn’t as outright bad as I expected. I was surprised because I was looking forward to bashing it (negative reviews are often the most fun to write) but ended up getting at least some fun out of it.
As long as they’ll have me I should be writing more stuff in the future for them, so subscribe to their RSS feed because it’s a nice little site with some good content.