Jul 152013
 

 

violent-video-gamesViolence in video games is one topic that comes up a lot when there’s been a mass shooting or an obscure crime. Video games have always had a lot of controversy surrounding them when it comes to touchy subjects like violence, but is it all so needed? And why is the media so quick to jump and blame video games for peoples actions?

There have been many cases where violent video games have been blamed for a criminal’s actions, but the most prominent example I’ve found is the case of Devin Moore.

vice_cityDevin Moore was convicted of murder after the 2003 shooting of two police officers and a dispatcher with a .44 caliber pistol before fleeing the police station in a police cruiser. This sparked off controversy around the recently released Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, as there’s a mission in the game that has you doing the exact thing that Devin did. Moore was sentenced to death by lethal injection, and the victim’s families went on to sue Sony, Take Two, Wal-Mart and GameStop. Devin Moore had allegedly played Vice City for days on end prior to his attack, and the media said that he was trained to kill.

Since then, there have been many more shootings and deaths that the media have tried relentlessly to pin on video games, such as many of the school shootings in the United States. We all know that games can be violent, but they don’t train people to kill others. Video game studios don’t put out messages and step-by-step instructions on how to get away with a crime or murder. Games aren’t real life, and that’s the bottom line.

Some of the criminals in these crimes are underage and can’t fully understand the consequences of their actions. This doesn’t excuse their actions, regardless of their age. Some of the people involved in the crimes, such as Devin Moore, are troubled teenagers with a bad background. Devin was abused by his father and used video games as an escape from his troubles, just like a lot of people do. He lost control of his own actions, unfortunately, and it had a tragic outcome.

manhunt-2009-10-17-01-37-43-601Another murder that video games were blamed for is the murder of Stefan Pakeerah. His friend, Warren Leblanc, after Warren had become obsessed with “Manhunt”, a game for the Playstation 2 and Xbox. Manhunt is described to be more of a psychological experience instead of a game. Because of the brutality of the murder, the media and police linked Manhunt to the murder of Stefan. Once again, I don’t feel like it was just the game that spurred the murder on.

There are plenty of people in the world who play violent video games such as Manhunt, Battlefield, Call of Duty, and many others. Grand Theft Auto is incredibly popular, too. The truth is, you don’t see every gamer who plays these incredibly popular games going out and performing the murders shown in the games that they play.

A majority of the people who enjoy sitting and playing video games use it as an escape from their real world troubles. They aren’t seen as a murder simulator or anything of that nature, but I can understand why the media is quick to jump and blame the violence on video games.

call-of-dutyThe violent content in video games get picked out because it’s the most spoken about thing. There are age restrictions for a reason. While working in a retail store through the Christmas parents, I had many parents come in and ask for advice on whether they should purchase the latest Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto game for their 10-14 year old child. My answer was always the same: No, due to the graphic content of this game, I wouldn’t allow a child to play this game. Did they listen? Nope! At the time of the Devin Moore case, he was 16. He was somehow able to get his hands on an M (Ages 17+) game. Parents should share a bit of the blame, as well as the retailer. The majority of the blame, though, should lie on the criminals and their actions, not on the industry as a whole.

In my opinion, violent content in video games isn’t a big deal in any way. It doesn’t train people to kill others, and it’s not a thing to feel threatened by. People can clearly see the line between violence in video games and violence in real life, and they know right from wrong. I see it as a problem the individual committing the crime has, rather than learnt behavior from virtual reality. I’d love to hear from some of you guys and what your opinions are on the matter. Let me know!

Apr 252012
 

This week, the Bargain Bin is going PlayStation 3 exclusive, bitches. That’s right, we are venturing into the alternative timeline universe, where the Russians fucked up, and all of Europe has been destroyed by the Chimera. Resistance: Fall of Man was developed by Insomniac Games, published by Sony Computer Entertainment and released in late 2006. It was the must own launch title back then and won numerous awards for PlayStation 3 Game of the Year. Sales were great, but many eventual purchasers of the PlayStation 3 may have missed out on a great title. In the following year, Resistance was near the top of the charts for game sales on the PlayStation 3 platform, and earned itself among the first batch of PS3 Greatest Hits titles. The game has aged, as all games do, yet the experience is great, the gameplay is excellent, and for the prices you can find this game for, it is simply a must buy for PS3 owners everywhere.

The Story

You begin the game in 1945, as an American Soldier named Nathan Hale. The soft voice of a woman tells you of the outbreak of the Chimera, an alien race that has quickly taken over most of Europe. After the Chimera spread across Russia and into western Europe, the dug through the channel, making their way to England. This is where the story of Resistance: Fall of Man takes place. American troops are sent into England to help with support. In exchange for our troops, weapons and tanks, the Brits promised to give us something that was beyond our creative abilities. Of course you won’t find out what the details of the exchange  until later. From there, you are taken on a ride throughout the English countryside, smashing Chimera and taking all their swag. The game plays solely in the first person perspective, except for the few times you operate vehicles such as tanks.

The Gameplay

The gameplay in Resistance: Fall of Man is some of the smoothest you will ever see. The aiming mechanic is spot on, and strafing through the world seems as crisp as possible. The game features the basic story mode, as well as both cooperative play and versus multiplayer. The online versus multiplayer obviously wont garner the same amount of fun as it once had, due to the lack of players available to play with. But if you can find those players out there, you can still create clans and custom games. As of December 2008, both of the downloadable map packs for Resistance: Fall of Man were offered for free as a holiday gift from Insomniac Games in anticipation for Resistance 2, so what little experience you can have with the versus multiplayer has now been expanded free of charge.

Audio/Visual

When comparing the game to recently released titles, you can clearly tell that Resistance: Fall of Man has aged. The graphics are good, no doubt, but they are nothing compared to the likes of Resistance 3. The audio in the game seems a tad bland. It doesn’t do a great job of trying to get you into the story or the battle. It just seems like randomly generated English phrases muttered by your fellow soldiers, or insults slurred in you direction from the attacking Chimera. This is all to be expected of course as Resistance was a launch title for the PlayStation 3 and is nearly six years old.

The Verdict

Although the game appears to have aged a bit, and does not offer trophy support, it is still a great buy. You can easily find the game in the used section of your local retailer, and if not, can find it very quickly online. You can still buy new copies of the game for pretty cheap, since it was released as a PS3 Greatest Hit, but for the prices you can find them at used, it is recommended that you take that route. All in all, Resistance: Fall of Man is a great game. It has smooth controls that any first person shooter (FPS) fan can appreciate and it has a variety of multiplayer modes. You can find Resistance: Fall of Man at the following locations, online prices do not include shipping and handling.

  • GameStop – Used in-store or online for $4.99. $4.50 if you are a Pro Member.
  • Best Buy - Used online for $9.99.
  • Wal-Mart - New for $25.55, available online only.
  • New Egg - New for $27.99.
  • Amazon.com - New starting at $16.91. Used starting at $2.75.

 

 

 

Feb 212012
 

We all know that making the greatest games ever does not mean they will beome universal successes. We see that now with games such as Xenoblade (which you haven’t got, nyaah) and Soul Bubbles. Then we get angry when crap mini game collections sell well mainly because of mums.

But most mini game collections are actually failures. Many many collections simply flop because of a lack of publicity and quality. So it seems as if making a typical casual game isn’t the way to be a commercial hit, so how do you do it?

This man knows how!

Well firstly, you need to get your games in supermarkets. Yes, Wal-Mart is the key to success. Mums, who are they key to success nowadays, do not go into Gamestop or CEX. When they buy games, it will be while on the weekly shop. So the publisher needs to spend the money its on the shelf next to the cabbages.

It also needs to be original but familiar. Most mums will be on a tight budget, so if they buy something they are after something they are sure they’ll like, and remember they don’t and won’t do the research beforehand, so they have to judge on the back of the box. Will they buy anything unique? No, they’re not sure whether their kid, who they are buying the game for, will like it. But won’t they buy the same old thing though? Course not, have you ever bought a child under a ten a toy similar to something they already have? They will be mardy (Yorkshire slang translation: Upset) and act up. The mums won’t bother with that.

This child has already got Carnival Games, yet her mother has got her Game Party. She is underrreacting in my opinion.

Oh and remember that it has to be child friendly. Thanks to various awareness programs, parents are more aware of the age rating system. This will hopefully prevent parents from buying some uber violent game for their five year old, like what used to happen. Now, they will check it. Also, no way to realistic games, it has to be cartoony. Even semi cartoony things can sometimes make it in, but usually real life will not be bought.

The key thing however is price. As I’ve mentioned before mums are on a tight budget and will not want a game that will seriously bump up the bill at the tills. So that $60 blockbuster game? No way. But somehing half that, is much more appealing. This was the reason Just Dance was a success, it was cheap and looked good on the shelves.

It also sold because you can BOOGIE

But there has been many an original game that has been sold at a supermarket for a cheap price that is child friendly. I bought the excellent A Boy and his Blob for a bargain £8 from my local Morrisons. So is there anything extra? Well yes, something that publishers can’t control. Gossip.

While many will call me sexist for saying this, women enjoy to talk about stuff. They will give each other advice on make up, clothes and obviously relationships. Sometimes, and this will make some of you have a crisis I’m sure, they talk about video games. They will say its good and trust that opinion completely and buy it. And it goes on. Just Dance, Wii Fit and many others fed off this great marketing resource. Heck, Twitter and Facebook makes this even more prominent.

This bird is a wet dream for admen. Though they don't have a feather fetish unlike actors.

So you can have best publishing and developing team in the world making a game directly aimed at the whole family but if you don’t manage to get tongues wagging, the money men will be taking your stuff for repayment.

Sep 062011
 

Unless this is your first time on the internet, and if so beware of scary people on Omegle, you’ll know that there are a band of gamers who call themselves hardcore. They will complain about 99.9% of games because they aren’t hard enough for them to never complete, they are too colourful or are aimed at a family audience. These basement dwellers may not be seem that influential, but they could ruin gaming for the rest of us and for future generations.

The problem mainly is that this hardcore contingent are very loud. So loud in fact that many developers might consider them as the main voice for gamers, and not just as a load of idiots who have nothing better to do. So lets take Super Mario Galaxy as an example. The hardcore complained about this game a lot, mainly because Nintendo are their main enemy due to the fact they are aiming for the more profitable family market than the hardcore, and said it was too easy and therefore it was the worst game in the world. They also complained about the story because you know, Mario always has an AAA story. Even though Nintendo did make the sequel harder, it still wasn’t hard enough.

They won’t just complain about games though, they will complain about gamers. They seem to all share a common hatred of the new type of gamer found by Nintendo, the family gamer. You know the kind, mums who will see a cheap game on the shelf during a shopping trip to Wal-Mart, and will buy it for a laugh later. Its why games like Just Dance have been such a hit. However according to the hardcore, they don’t deserve the right to game. Because they don’t buy the latest Zelda, which is crap you know because its not Majora’s Mask, or go on the forums and vent their anger on how Nintendo have betrayed gamers, they don’t deserve to have a half an hour stint on Wii Fit doing some Yoga and having a check up on their weight.

Now as I’ve mentioned, the hardcore want every game be Mega Man hard. For us older gamers this might sound great but eventually, we are going to stop gaming for one reason or another. However this shouldn’t matter as our kids will be getting into gaming? Right? Well lets say every game was as hard as Mega Man. Can you see the kids with their short attention spans really staying with it for so long? They will become disinterested and unless they have gamers for parents, which I didn’t, who will push them and help them, they will give up. Plus non-gamer parents wouldn’t complain, because games are very expensive so why should they buy them, for a chance that the kid will get interested.

Yet for the hardcore, the games aimed at children are the Devil’s spawn itself. Yes games like Wii Party, Nintendogs and the Rabbids games are more aimed at children are easier but that is because children now have a shorter attention span, and if they get frustrated with a game, they will just give up and go do something else productive, like squash bugs. Eventually though, the children will move onto harder games, like the Mario games. Eventually they will probably come onto websites like this because they want to avoid the rubbish, kids do know what rubbish is when they play it but when you’ve convinced your mum to part with $60 for a game that you now don’t like you are not going to admit it, and hopefully become a sane gamer.

So how could the hardcore ruin gaming for not just us normal people, but for the entire industry. Well lets imagine a hypothetical world where the developers make games solely for the hardcore. So every game is a sequel to cult serieses or a JRPG, because the other genres were liked by too many people. The games are rock hard and need the patience of a saint and massive amounts of spare time to complete. Now, will mums ever pick a cheap game up for their kids for a laugh in front of the tv? Will you ever see that charming sight of a 6 year old boy grabbing at their mum’s shirt and begging for a game? No, you won’t.

I’m sure now that the hardcore are loving this and are now rushing to the comments section telling me why this wouldn’t be a great world. Well in six months you’d find out. You’d be seeing countless studios going under until all developers and publishers have gone bust. It’s be another video games crash, unlikely to be resurrected again.

This is simply because the hardcore aren’t that many. Go have a look at an average gaming forum, but then sign up to ours. Look at the member count and quarter it to find all the ahrdcore members on that forum. I’d estimate that just double that is how many hardcore gamers are in the world. Not a massive amout is there? Thats when the games the hardcore love are actually released, they become commercial failures. When a game is aimed at the family though, it normally picks up a lot of sales. Mario Kart Wii, which was scorned because it evened the playing field, sold ridiculous amounts. Heck despite Wii Fit’s hefty price tag, that was a success.

The reason family games sell more is because of female nature. Women talk a lot, which is why you need to think very carefully about what you say when around them, and they will talk about games. They will talk about how much fun Just Dance is, show it off when they come around next time, and the friend will often buy it. Its called Word of Mouth success, and is the main reason the Wii is a success. The hardcore seem to think they are better than normal people, so they will often only have a small band of friends that are excluded from other social groups. How can they spread the word a game is awesome when no one will talk to them?

So what should we do to the hardcore to make sure gaming doesn’t go bust? We can’t kill them, shame, but what we can do is generate a voice for the general gaming populace. We are in much bigger numbers than the hardcore, so we can make a bigger voice. Or we could ignore the hardcore, and they will get bored and realise that the games that are made specially for them, aren’t that good.

Sep 032011
 

Some comment have been going around the interwebs over the past few hours, reporting that some Wal-Mart stores have been placing the upcoming zombie RPG, Dead Island, up for sale. Now normally no one would believe that news if they just heard it, but we did some searching and found a video posted by Byakuya3721 , clearly showing both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions behind the standard protective glass cases.

If you notice, however, there is no price tag on either version of the game, so it makes us wonder just how legitemite this video could be. Although retail employees have had a history of releasing video games a tad earlier than they should, let’s just hope this is one of those times. Even though it is likely that this is just an isolated incident, we checked a few local Wal-Mart locations, but to no avail.  Also, we would like to know, Byakuya3721, did you try and buy the game? We hope so!

You can check out the video above, or head on over to Byakuya3721‘s channel to watch.

Jul 032011
 

Tomorrow is Independence Day and you know what that means; grilling, swimming, fireworks and SALES! This week is no exception for gamers as there are great deals to be had all over the place. Take a look at some of the discounts on games and systems in this weeks Games on the Cheap.

Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart has the Sony PlayStation Move on sale for $92.96 and includes: PS3 Move controller, PS3 Eye Camera and a copy of Sports Champions.

Best Buy

Best Buy has a few games on sale this week.

Brink (Xbox 360, PS3) and Hunted: The Demon’s Forge (Xbox 360, PS3) are both available for $29.99 and F.3.A.R. (Xbox 360, PS3) is available for $49.99. Also, don’t forget that the Resistance: Dual Pack (PS3)drops on Tuesday, July 5th. It includes Resistance: Fall of Man and Resistance 2, as well as, $10 bucks worth of downloadable content and a Resistance 3 multiplayer skin.

Receive a $50 dollar Best Buy gift card when you purchase a 4GB Xbox 360 console with Kinect for $299.99.

Fallout: New Vegas (Xbox 360, PS3) is on sale for $9.99

Dead Rising 2 (Xbox 360, PS3) is available for $19.99 along with Epic Mickey(Wii) and Metroid: Other M (Wii)

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (Xbox 360, PS3) and Castlevania: Lords of Shadows (Xbox 360, PS3) are both on sale for $29.99.

Homefront (Xbox 360, PS3) and Mortal Kombat (Xbox 360, PS3) are both selling for $39.99 each.

GameStop

Lots of deals at GameStop as usual. Games available on sale for $39.99 are:

  • Duke Nukem (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • F.3.A.R. (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Alice: Madness Returns (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii)
  • Fable III (Xbox 360)
  • Dead Space 2 (Xbox 360)
  • Bulletstorm (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • MLB 11: The Show (PS3)
  • Michael Jackson: The Experience (Wii)

These games are on sale for $29.99!

  • Grand Theft Auto IV Complete (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Medal of Honor (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Final Fantasy XIII (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Kayne and Lynch 2: Dog Days (Xbox 360)
  • Mayhem 3D (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Michael Jackson: The Experience (Xbox 360)
  • MotionSports (Xbox 360)
  • Child of Eden (Xbox 360)
  • Fighter’s Uncaged (Xbox 360)
  • Little Big Planet: GOTY Edition (PS3)
  • Dragon Age Origins: Ultimate Edition (PS3)
  • Time Crisis: Razing Storm (PS3)
  • MLB 2K11 (Wii)
  • NBA 2K11 (Wii)
  • Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters (Wii)
  • Just Dance (Wii)
  • Just Dance 2 (Wii)
  • Top Spin 4 (Wii)
  • Two Worlds II (Xbox 360)

Great deals on games for $19.99 and under!

  • Fallout New Vegas (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360)
  • Saints Row 2 (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Lost Planet 2 (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Alpha Protocol (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • God of War III (PS3) for $14.99!!!!!
  • Dragon Age Origins (PS3)
  • Dragon Age Origins: Awakening (PS3)
  • Assassin’s Creed II (PS3)
  • Just Dance 4 Kids (Wii)
  • Metroid: Other M (Wii)

Direct 2 Drive

Direct 2 Drive is has started its 31 Days of Deals sale and the discounts on high rated games are great. The deals change every day, and over 150 games will go on sale before the end of July, so make sure to check every day at direct2drive.com for more deals on games.

Today’s deals are:

  • Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare for $9.95
  • Company of Heroes Complete Bundle for $19.95
  • Thief: Deadly Shadows for $7.95
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction for $9.95
  • Torchlight for $5.95

Steam

Much like Direct 2 Drive, Steam has a Summer Camp Sale that last from June 3oth – July 10th. Deals change everyday, so make sure to check out store.steampowered.com for new deals everyday.

Sunday’s deals are:

  • Dragon Age II for $35.99
  • Tropico 3 for $3.74
  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 for $19.99
  • Men of War Assault Squad for $8.74
  • Sniper Ghost Warrior for $4.99
  • Arma II for $19.99
  • Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood for $19.99
  • Transformers War for Cybertron for $7.49
  • Kayne & Lynch 2: Dog Days for $4.99
  • Two Worlds II for $17.00
  • Defense Grid: The Awakening for $2.49
  • Torchlight for $2.99

There are tons more deals over at Steam, so make sure to check them out daily for more deals on the game you love.

Well, there you have it. I, once again, have brought you some of the best game deals in all the land. Keep checking back every Sunday at gamingirresponsibly.com for more Games on the Cheap!!