Minecraft just got competitive…

I believe an interesting point was raised with regard to a competitive multiplayer format for Minecraft. One of the most popular mods that offered such an experience, is the “Hunger Games” (inspired and named after the popular dystopian action thriller novel and movie franchise) which receive similar treatment to the Magic: The Gathering community format, EDH / Commander. Magic’s Commander format started off as community development game using MtG and was eventually recognised by the game’s creators by printing official Commander decks. In a similar fashion, the Hunger Games has more or less been recognised by Mojang and 4J with the introduction of Battle as the first available mode for (Console Edition’s) Minigame suite along with a map pack made exclusively for this new mode.
So does this mean the Minigame suite is going to serve as the officially recognised competitive multiplayer formats for Minecraft across all console (XBOX 360, PlayStation 3, XBOX One, PlayStation 4, Vita and Wii U) editions?

It’s a very real possibility!

Anyway, if you’re hungry for Battle I will be playing my fair share on XBOX One, PlayStation, Vita and Wii U.

DooM: Past, Present and Future…

Doom – Whether you love it or hate it, this is a piece computer game history!
The trivia concerning Doom’s development is interesting, as this game originally started as project to make a game that would use the Aliens license. Instead, (creators) Id Software chose to make something original to allow for creative freedom. The game draws inspiration from multiple influences – The name alone, was taken from a quote featured in The Colour of Money made by character portrayed by Tom Cruise in response being asked what was inside his cue case. While abandoning a licensed tie-in for Aliens, that didn’t stop the boys at Id from using the movie as another inspiration. On top of that you have both the Evil Dead movies and Id’s Dungeons & Dragons sessions among the game’s major inspirational influences. Whilst you had a team full of creative minds behind Id Software at the time, the driving force came from both John Carmack and John Romero.
Doom itself is a highly controversial game on it’s subject matter alone, especially when you’re talking about Satanic imagery around religious folk. But talking into account that this franchise was one of the first to market violence in computer games prior to the introduction of game classification is another factor as to why Doom is so controversial. Controversy aside, Doom was the game-changer that perfected the first-person shooter and introduced the world to network multiplayer along with coining the gaming term “Deathmatch”.
Doom is a first-person action horror in a science-fiction setting that puts you into shoes of a Space Marine stationed on the Martian moon, Phobos. The whole point of Doom, is to clean up the mess of stupidly powerful corporate conglomerate (not to mention stupidly immoral and just plain stupid in general) after their experiments into inter-dimensional transportation quite literally unleashes Hell itself! So, you’re probably thinking the Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC – said stupidly powerful corporate conglomerate) sounds a lot like Umbrella Corporation… Here’s the thing, Doom was sporting a story (even though the first two weren’t exactly story-driven games) with a powerful and immoral mega corporation before Resident Evil / Biohazard (Japanese Title) ever did – But I digress.
Doom and Doom II: Hell on Earth focused purely on gameplay over narrative expositions setting the tone for the franchise. These games made use of clever level design that allowed the designers to hide secret areas and levels that could easily prove tricky to find. At the same time, the core action used lighting, traps and the idle sounds of your enemies ranging from (possessed) “Former Humans” to a wide assortment of demonic foes in order to create a terror-filled atmosphere. It was that terror that came from being ambushed while clutching onto a loaded shotgun by a blood-lusting demon in a dark corridor – Only for the terror to turn into rage in split second, providing you with a rather disturbing but potentially intoxicating adrenaline rush as result of pulling the trigger spattering said foe over any dimly lit decor. This terror exists even in a Deathmatches, as your opponents can come flying out of nowhere suddenly engaging them in a “Quickdraw” gunfight with rocket launchers! Whilst it’s possible to take up cover and pick off foes, you will quickly learn that Doom whether Solo/Co-op or competitive is a matter of “The Quick and The Dead”.
Doom 3, while not an actual sequel (but a reboot) it serves as the Doom “Trilogy’s” narrative exposition. The game is very much a rich story-driven experience in comparison to it’s predecessors, but still manages embrace the terror-factor that made the original games so awesome. However, the multiplayer component plays like an afterthought as it feels very bare bones with only four player deathmatch and no option to fight among demon hordes. Overall, Doom 3 is a rich single player game that provides actual narrative behind the games.
The standout feature behind the franchise is both it’s richly diverse user generated content and mod support along the community behind it all. From map-packs, texture packs, total conversions to mods like Brutal Doom that take the original game to the next level.

So with the new reboot coming out on May 13th, I will be honest about having mixed feelings about the game – So on that note, I am curious enough to give the game the benefit of the doubt. Initially having watched some E3 presentation footage of the single player experience, I found that the game resembled too much of Quake Live than Doom. Hearing that the original design for the Doom reboot was too much like Call of Duty and wasn’t “Doomy Enough”?
Not Doomy enough is basically saying the game isn’t terrifying and that’s what I currently think of the new game so far.

With that said, I will pick up a copy at my leisure and give it a go. If it plays like the homage to Brutal Doom as quoted by those to receive it more positively, then I may end up keeping Doom… Just don’t expect me to be playing the PC version, as I clearly will be playing Project Brutality instead.

Standing the test of time…

For those of you who’ve been enjoying a life of gaming since the 1980s will probably have witnessed new technological innovations hit the scene. For example the transitions from cassette media to optical media and floppy disks to various forms of flash media (eg. SD Cards, Key-Drives aka USB Thumbdrives, etc.) and the internet for the general public. But! There have also been technological flops, that been nothing more than passing fads.

I could talk about three dimensional entertainment, but that has come and gone so many times it really isn’t funny. However, I will give credit to Nintendo for there clever use of the medium as experienced from the 3DS systems.
Virtual Reality, technology that has existed since the late 1930s. Initially it was used for art and entertainment, but has gained deeper meaningful appreciation from industrial applications of the technology.

VR Entertainment something I saw in the old laser tag arenas setup with the arcade games back when I first saw it in action during the mid-1990s. Back then, VR gaming was primarily an experience for PC. With the new wave of VR, I cannot say I am overly excited for it as the technology only caters toward a certain niche of gamers and those marketing fail to understand that.
First off, lets talk numbers here – You’re looking at anywhere between AU$500 – AU$1000+ for a VR rig alone, and that’s not including any compatible software or hardware to be “VR Ready”!
Next up, is the niche – In a gaming capacity, VR is most ideal for some taking a hardcore simulation to next level offering some deep immersion for the enthusiasts who use and/or play them. Having said that, you’re looking at a peripheral that in the same league as other simulator apparatuses (eg. HOTAS, driving wheels, simulator cockpits, etc.). So looking at VR rigs that way you can appreciate the asking price as you would expect to outlay a fair chuck of change to build a simulator.
And Finally, the marketing is all wrong! – I appreciate having technology that offers an intimate viewing experience for a mainstream gaming audience, but I can think of better practical ways. But when the bulk your initial software lineup is nothing more than shovelware (eg. Glorified Tech-Demos, On-Rails Interactive Movies, sloppy implementations, etc.), you’re practically advertising your VR Experience as nothing more than a gimmick! Intimate viewing experience for gamers are why portable CES units (eg. 3DS, Vita, iPhone, etc.) exist!
Outside of interactive entertainment, Virtual Reality offers greater potential for industrial applications (eg. Education, Training, Tourism, Therapy, Remote Control, etc.) of the technology and comes across as “Wasted” when offered to mainstream gaming in comparison.

Do the words “There is nothing new under the sun” mean anything to you?

Minecraft Let’s Play Series Anyone?

How’s this for ideas…

I’m thinking, maybe starting a Minecraft play session series on YouTube.  I know I’m a little late to that party by jumping on that bandwagon – But what if I focused on spreading an entire “Hardcore” game across a season?
For those who know Minecraft on the PC, you can not only choose to play Creative and Survival, but you also have the Hardcore mode.  Hardcore plays like Survival, but when your character die your game ends and the world you built is deleted, pretty much what old-school gamer’s know to be “Ironman Mode” (one game save that automatic self-deletes if you “fail”).
So I if I go ahead with this, I will be playing from a completely random generated world (no seed codes) for an entire season.  Because of YouTube constraints I would like to keep episodes around the ten minute mark, even though the limit about fifteen.  Would Minecraft Hardcore mode play sessions for regular YouTube content work?

Anyway, let me know what you think.

Why Pay?

For those of you all too familiar with MMORPGs and having to pay a regular subscription to play them, you would also know that feeling known as “Subscription Fatigue”. Thanks to Microsoft and Sony, anyone who owns one their current generation computer entertainment systems (eg XBOX One or PlayStation 4) are required to pay a regular subscription in order to play online multiplayer. I can understand the discerning gamer having subscription fatigue relating to console multiplayer, as I myself have reached that point.
Initially, I bought into XBOX 360’s multiplayer scene just to see what it was all about. As for PSN Plus – Given how Sony introduced Plus, offering a VIP program with game rental (“Free” games) and members’ perks (eg discounts, exclusive opportunities, etc.) before it was mandatory for multiplayer on the PS4. I will admit that I quite liked what Sony were offering and thought it very clever of them to entice customers into wanting before they made it a necessity for multiplayer. With the recent hacks along with semi-frequent network outages, I have reached that point where I am questioning the value of actually having to pay for something I get freely on PC and Nintendo systems.

For around $70 (AUD) a year, I can get a bulk deal on my CES subscription service from both Sony and Microsoft. And yet, the only thing I have on PC of that nature is paying for a Minecraft Realm which is easier than paying for third-party server hosting.

Let’s face it, you can do damage-control for PlayStation and XBOX all you like. But it won’t change the fact, that PC users have never had to pay for multiplayer outside of MMOs or renting dedicated servers. You may very well look down on Nintendo, but with their current generation CES lineup (3DS & Wii U) you don’t pay a thing to play online multiplayer.
What I find funny, is that “Console” users refer to PCs as – The “PC Master Race”. As a PC user, we are anything but. If you look at the “Homebrew” roots of the PC, the abundance of choice and the fact we don’t pay for multiplayer like owners of a major CES would, PC is “The Underground” when you take all that into account.

I think I will slowly back away from renewing my subscriptions from here on out…
When that day comes you can either catch me on the PC or my 3DS and Vita if you’re looking for a game.

Back in action!

If you remember my previous work on GAMEGEDDON.COM, I managed to salvage all those review I thought I’d lost when the website crashed.
All my old reviews using the original grading have been updated using my current grading model.  I knew I planned on overhauling GAMEGEDDON.COM, but I no idea it would all go down this way.
A fresh start it is.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy my original content along with the new yet to come.

Later.

Magic: Changing Things Up…

It’s 35 Degree (Celsius) outside and I am having a mug of mead (finishing off the bottle) with a bit on my mind.  Anyway…

Since late last year I’ve been getting into proper Magic: The Gathering (first set – Magic Origins) and actually enjoy it.  I’ve been to a few Friday Night Magic sessions down at my local Good Games and I’ve learned a fair bit (from straight losses), but I am at that point where playing “Standard” has become financially exhausting in order to keep up.  However, rather than simple cash in my amassed collection I figured I’d take to playing the EDH (Elder Dragon Highlander) / Commander format of the game.  From what I’ve seen and experienced of Magic, I highly enjoy that solid mix of a thrilling challenge with good company too much to give up my newfound hobby.

So right now, I’m focusing Commander decks instead of regular ones and hopefully get into a game sometime.

Until then, I will be hitting the occasional FNM Draft matches in the meantime.

Hi Guys

For those of you who remember GAMEGEDDON.COM, I was that guy who wrote all the reviews and content for the site.  Mind you I wasn’t alone as I had help from my family and friends who helped me to keep things going.  Recently GAMEGEDDON.COM went down due to unfortunate technical problems – No it was not hacked!
The brand I was able to build up, was driven by my love for good games and to rather than try to rebuild the domain upon which the brand was built upon I chose to continue publishing my content independently.  So, here we – Welcome to my new blog.

Anyway, stay tuned for more reviews and other gaming related content.

Wolfy