How Did Minecraft Become a Smash Hit?

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Minecraft is an odd game; it’s basically virtual Legos set in an 8-bit world. It’s one of those weird things that just becomes super popular, yet nobody really knows how; kind of like Gangnam Style. The success of Minecraft is most likely never going to be replicated by Mojang, just like Gentleman never had the pop-culture impact that its predecessor did (Yes, I’m legitimately comparing Psy and Minecraft; don’t act like you’ve never watched Minecraft Style).

Aside from a lot of luck, what turned Minecraft into an empire including action figures, T-shirts, replica weapons, Lego sets, music, (such as the new “In Real Life” album by Tryhardninja; it’s actually a pretty good CD with Minecraft themed and inspired songs) and an entire gaming community that has generated billions of views on YouTube. How did that happen? Here’s what I think:

Continue reading “How Did Minecraft Become a Smash Hit?”

My Opinion on… Subtitles and Quick Time Events. Great Features; Badly Implemented

Nowadays, it’s very common for video games to feature Quick Time Events, or QTEs. Just quickly thinking back on the library of games I’ve played in the past couple of years, I can specifically remember that Tomb Raider, Resident Evil 5, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Black Ops II, and Modern Warfare 3 all implemented some type of a QTE. In short, QTEs are used in most blockbuster titles. Subtitles have been used in virtually every game I’ve played this generation. Considering that developers have years of experience implementing these features into their titles, why do they still stink?
Continue reading “My Opinion on… Subtitles and Quick Time Events. Great Features; Badly Implemented”

Breaking News! Nintendo 2DS Announced at Amazing Price.

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In an announcement that nobody saw coming, Nintendo announced the newest member of their handheld family: the 2DS. This system ditches the clamshell design of the previous DS and opts for this new, strange shape, but it looks to be a decent size that will be comfortable to hold. So, other than the shape, what makes this any different than the 3DS we’re used to? Continue reading “Breaking News! Nintendo 2DS Announced at Amazing Price.”

My Opinion on…Sexism in Gaming

Games are like celebrities. Some games feature good role models, (male and female) but others can be raunchy and inappropriate. Just like some celebrities rely on their physical features and tabloid articles to sell their movies or songs, some games use glittering female eye candy to sell copies, even if there is no decent gameplay underneath them.

Obviously, games like the original Tomb Raider titles contained elements of both worlds: there was a decent game to be played, but then the female lead role was glorified and objectified based on her physical appearance. It’s highly degrading to see a perfectly good game marred by insanely over exaggerated sexual content, but it happens very often. Here’s what I think about sexism in gaming. Continue reading “My Opinion on…Sexism in Gaming”

The Great Controller Debate: Xbox 360 Vs. PS3 Controllers

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     Many people believe that the Xbox 360 has the best controller in gaming history. Others don’t buy that and insist that the PS3 remote is better. Of course, this debate is one completely up to user preference. For example, the smaller PS3 remote is better for smaller hands.

     I’ve spent a lot of time with both the PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers. I like them both, but neither are perfect; they both have some flaws. In this article, I’m going to rate the two controllers based on their components, and at the end, you’ll see the composite results. Let’s get started! Continue reading “The Great Controller Debate: Xbox 360 Vs. PS3 Controllers”

My Opinion on…. Emulation. Should it be Legal, or is it Piracy?

I’ll be honest with you; I hadn’t heard much about the debate on emulation until Nathan (his YouTube channel is at the end of the article) told me about it this week. I knew emulation was controversial, but I had no idea it went so far as to involve lawsuits and government action. So, in this article, I’ll share with you my opinion on the legality and acceptability of emulation. Continue reading “My Opinion on…. Emulation. Should it be Legal, or is it Piracy?”

My Opinion on… Profanity in Games. Is It Really Necessary?

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It’s a commonly known fact to gamers and non-gamers alike that Teen and Mature rated video games often have a fair amount of profanity. Some of this profanity is acceptable, or at the very least, understandable. I think that when your leg gets blown off by a grenade, you probably have the right to drop a swear word or two.

     On the other hand, many games feature extensive profanity, and it is quite unnerving. I’m not an overly sensitive person; I play violent video games, and the violence doesn’t disturb me. The excess profanity, however, grinds my gears like no other. When developers cause their characters to swear just for the sake of swearing, it makes me wonder what the purpose is. There seems to be no reason for it.

     Continue reading “My Opinion on… Profanity in Games. Is It Really Necessary?”

Campaign Review of Halo Wars: Score of 8

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      Halo Wars has caught some flak over the years for being very unlike other entries in the Halo series. After all, all six other entries have been first person shooters, whereas Wars has been the only title to differ. Halo Wars is a Real Time Strategy game, and in my opinion, it feels like a Halo game at its core despite that gameplay difference.

     Halo Wars is a great entry for Halo fans, but it is not to be approached in the same manner as other Halo titles. RTS enthusiasts will find a steep difficulty curve with many variants in level design and objectives. If a player can overcome the difficulty (and canon discrepancies, for Halo fanatics like me) there is an enjoyable experience to be found at the end of the eight hour campaign. Overall, this campaign scores an 8/10, in my book. Continue reading “Campaign Review of Halo Wars: Score of 8”

Xbox One Vs. PS4…. Vs. Wii U?

Xbox One Vs. PS4 Vs. Wii U
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     The Xbox One vs. Playstation 4 debate has been quite hot lately, especially after the explosive displays at E3 this year. Lots of websites and magazines have offered views on the new systems from Microsoft and Sony, but many fail to give the Wii U much credit; more on that later.

     With so much information about the Xbox One and PS4, it can be tough to decide which system to pick at launch. In the following paragraphs, I’ll tell you what I know about the systems so far, and what all this information means to me when it’s compacted into one question: which system should I choose?

Continue reading “Xbox One Vs. PS4…. Vs. Wii U?”

Intro To My Blog

If you’re reading this, most likely you’re a friend of mine on Facebook that I told to come read this blog. I’m not sure if you even want to be here reading this, so I’ll make this as to the point as possible.

I love video games. The concept of an interactive media that allows us to interact with virtual characters with such emotion blows my mind. I love playing a good game, sitting back, and saying “wow; that was just amazing.” It’s exhilarating, don’t you think?

But although I love video games, there are a lot of problems in the industry. There is a lot of corruption, and we need to be aware of the game industry and the happenings. We are, after all, the customers that are buying the games. They need to hear us, and we need to know what they’re doing as well.

With that being said, this blog will explore many aspects of gaming as a pastime and as an industry. There is a lot to be said, especially with the next-gen console hype. You’ll hear my opinion in every post, whether you agree with it or not. Feel free to let me know where you stand; I love to hear different viewpoints! Also, I’ll try to write some reviews of games (new and old), and I’ll keep you posted as to new rumors and other interesting tidbits of information as they present themselves.

Most importantly, I hope to write articles that will make you think; that’s what I’m here to do.
I’m excited to share thoughts with you all; let this be the first post in a great journey toward bettering the gaming community.
Matt Shiflet