Politics in video games: an aberration, or inevitability?
First and foremost, the following text (and rant) is strictly my opinion and doesn’t represent the stance of Silver Soul Gaming.
I think that most people nowadays agree that now video games have become a form of art. Not only that, but they also became a widespread and influential media resource. And as it happens, both of those areas are rife with the political content of various forms and shapes. Sadly, that trend also hit video games and video game journalism.
Why would I say “sadly”, you may ask? Let me explain. Thing is when politics come into play (in any media, not just in video games), then rationality and objectivity come out of the window. It stops being about the fun and the quality of the content, and it starts being about the message it presents. Combine it with the gaming journalists with a political agenda, and things will get really ugly really fast. In fact, that combination led to the situation when gaming resources refuse to have anything to do with a game just because it doesn’t pander to their political views. That frustrates me to no end.
Of course, there is such a thing called “freedom of expression” which means that the creator can choose whatever theme he wants. Not to mention that there is such a thing as political art. Honestly, I totally agree with that, and political games, while not my cup of tea, have a right to exist. In fact, I respect political artists for their expression of their beliefs, even if I personally disagree with them.
What I don’t respect. however, is pandering. Political art is well and good when it is stated that it was created to convey a message. But if the game was not advertised as such, and it was never stated that it has such a purpose, and it is clear that this message was pushed in without a care for the content’s quality – this is where I draw a line.
And not just me, apparently, as many such games, as well as companies creating and selling them, have faced a pushback from the community. I hope that this trend will die out sooner rather than later, along with its many propagators. I want high-quality content in my games, not a half-baked pandering for this or that agenda.
Once again, I’m not against politics in the art and video games, just make it mesh with the game and setting, make an effort in creating a good game. And, better yet, advertise it as a part of your message.
And get off my gaming journalism lawn with your political bias, ya darn kids!
Your resident Russian and a concerned gamer Darth NYUTON, signing out.
Sony has confirmed its next generation console will be called the PlayStation 5 and discussed some controller changes as well.
Sony confirmed the PS5 name and release date before Holiday 2020 on its own blog. It also detailed two big changes for the controller in the form of haptic feedback to simulate different gameplay experiences. The other change called adaptive triggers, allows developers to program resistance into the L2 and R2 triggers to react differently to things like driving off-road or pulling a bowstring.
The most detail was released in a Wired article this morning which went a little more into the console hardware itself. Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan discussed ray tracing, the solid state drive, and more details on the controller.
The PS5 UI will allow players to preview multiplayer and single player content before starting the game and to download and even delete each part separately. The Wired article also mentions the controller has an improved speaker and a USB Type-C connector. The controller was apparently identical to a PS4 controller (minus the details mentioned above) but I’m hoping the controller will get a cosmetic and ergonomic overhaul before the PS5 launches.
Check out the Wired article above for more details on the controller batter, a discussion with a developer from Bluepoint Games (of last years Shadow of the Colossus remake), and a little more info on what the SSD means for the PlayStation 5.
As of this writing, I’ve been playing Destiny 2 Year 3 for 12 hours. There are very good things, and some not so good things. Grab your ship, we’re going for a ride.
How are things now on the moon? Well, in short, it’s hell. The geography has gotten even worse with giant fissures where cracks in the ground were once seen. The Hive are even more prevalent then back in Destiny, and they’re more powerful now. Needless to say, they’ve been up to no good up here. I won’t say any more than that because of spoilers. But, it’s a fun challenge.
Eris is still up here, brooding (and so can you if you got that pre-order exotic emote). She’s created a Sanctuary up there, or about as good as you can get on the Hive-infested Moon. Here you can watch her brood, pick up bounties, and some other cool stuff that you’ll discover as you progress through the missions of Shadowkeep.
So everyone, whether you’re a new player with New Light, or a veteran who had already reached power cap in Year 2, starts at the new lowest light of 750. This is both good and bad. Good because if you’re like me and haven’t done a bunch of adventures, you can now go do them and get decent rewards for it. Bad for new players because they don’t get the experience of leveling from zero, which to me is essential, but maybe not to others.
Okay, so there has been some controversy over Bungie including a season pass in to the game. Most battle royale style games have season passes which require you to play an absurd amount of games just to get anything good out of it. This one, however, seems to be rewarding both free players and those who purchase it the same at the start. You gain experience here just by doing your normal stuff- campaign, quests, strikes, PvP. It doesn’t take long to gain levels either. In my 12 hours logged (about 2 of those were idle and in menus and such) I’ve gained 8 tiers, almost to the 9th. If you hard push you can gain even faster too.
There are two tiers: free and paid. Free season pass is included for everyone and this is where the Season Artifact resides, and it seems pretty well balanced, at the start. There are some tiers where free players get nothing, but up until rank 35 (where you would get Eliana’s Vow) there aren’t many of these. After this, however there are more blank spots, especially as you get above rank 60. Plus, most of the free rewards in the higher tiers are the Nostalgic Engrams from Eververse, so is this really a reward for all the time spent playing?
The paid season pass (included if you bought the deluxe edition of Shadowkeep) is where most of the good rewards lie. Glimmer and XP boosts for you and your fireteam, awesome weapons, and ornaments, as well as more frequent Upgrade Modules are here. Also, if you get the season pass, at rank 1 you get a crate that has Eliana’s Vow and a set of seasonal armor for your class.
Each season can be purchased as a whole set, or individually. The current season is Season of the Undying, which features Vex events and the seasonal artifact- Eye of the Gate Lord- which can be upgraded to give you armor mods and other effects.
Weasels and Squirrels and bugs, oh my!
Squirrels are not good, in this sense, or in legacy Magic The Gathering. If you need context on the latter, Google it. Personal qualms aside, Weasel and Squirrel are error codes dealing with connection issues in Destiny 2. They took down their servers shortly after launch on October 1st because people could not log in. Shut down at 4 pm EST and back up at 9 pm EST, I’d say that’s a decent turnaround for login issues on the first day with new servers on a different service. Bugs are still being found and fixed, including where The Scarlet Keep strike on PC wasn’t performing matchmaking. I ended up beating that strike solo, in just under 40 minutes, and it was actually pretty fun!
Overall, I’m having a blast with this new year and new expansion. I hope that sometime down the line that Bungie adds more free tier rewards and doesn’t just focus on the paid season pass. I’m wishing them luck that their bugs get fixed quickly, and I hope that those who are playing New Light are enjoying their time in the universe. Eyes up Guardian, we’re just getting started.
Vlast plays Destiny 2 on PC and streams on our Twitch channel! Give us a follow and see him liveFriday mornings at 10 am EST.
In yesterday’s Wired article announcing the price drop of PlayStation Now, an interesting bit at the end apparently also announced cross-play is available to all games.
While the focus of the article was the big changes that came to PS Now, like God of War and other major first party games now available on the service, cross-play is discussed at the end. Wired states that “PS4’s cross-play efforts have officially moved out of the beta stage”, strangely with no announcement from Sony.
While cross-play on PS4 has been available for Fortnite and Rocket League for a while this means any game can theoretically do it. PUBG immediately took advantage of the end of the beta and announced the update was live yesterday. With Call of Duty Modern Warfare offering the feature at launch it’s likely many other games will start to add it soon.
As for the PS Now change, the service is available for $59.99 a year now, down from $99.99 previously. The monthly version is down from $20 to $9.99. The previously mentioned God of War, Infamous: Second Son, Uncharted 4, and GTA V were all also made available to download or stream.
Gameinformer reported yesterday that the upcoming Pokemon Sword and Shield games will feature autosaving.
It will be the first time in the franchise’s 20-plus year history players don’t have to pause the game to save. During an interview with game director Shigeru Ohmori, it was only mentioned for the open-world Wild Area, but later clarified it can be used throughout the entire game
But for anyone who feels like that takes away from the Pokemon experience, it’s optional. You can decide for yourself which you’ll want to go with when the game releases next month on November 15.
Destiny 2 is releasing their latest expansion Shadowkeep on Tuesday October 1st. There are a few things players should know before this.
The game will be down for maintainence today, Monday September 30th, for 24 hours. This is to prepare for the move over to Steam and for the launch of Shadowkeep.
From Battle.net to Steam
Remember that you will no longer be able to play via the Battle.net launcher, it will only be available on Steam. If you have not already moved your account over from Battle.net to Steam, you can link your account on Bungie’s website.
Bright Dust changes
Bright dust can no longer be acquired by breaking down Eververse items starting October 1st- they will now break down into legendary shards.
Also, break down any unused mods, they’re permanent with the new update, so you only need one of each.
New Light releases
New Light is the free-to-play version of Destiny 2, meaning that if you’ve been on the fence about playing, jump in! The base game, and all campaigns through Forsaken will be included. Worlds will be unlocked via experience, not campaign progress, with this update.
Pre-load to get a head start
You can pre-load the game on Steam now to get ready for launch tomorrow. It’s almost 80 GB, so free up some space on your drive if you need to.
That’s all, looking forward to seeing new Guardians and returning veterans!
JUMP FORCE, a fighting game developed by Spike Chunsoft and published by Bandai Namco, is now available via Xbox Game Pass (on console only). I’m interested in anime games, so I figured I’d take a shot at it. My childhood was fueled by these shonen comics, and I’m glad that they made a fighting game where they can go head to head against one another to see who comes out on top (I’m rooting for Naruto).
The “Tweet Review”
JUMP FORCE is a fun game on its own, and better when fighting with friends. A lot like Dragon Ball Xenoverse, the animation and fights are well done. Non-story missions lack a bit in content, but free fights are fun. I also fought as Josuke. Fun times.
The “Normal” Review
Okay, if you’re still reading this, you want some more details. I’ll be happy to oblige.
Beginning of the Journey
The story begins with your character being saved from the brink of death by Trunks and being transformed into a hero. That’s really what happens, by the workings of a magic cube. Bare with me here.
After this, you fight off the invading forces of soldiers called Venoms led by Frieza and various other shonen villains, and then are transported to the home base of the Jump Force, or J-Force as they’re called in the game.
You are tasked to join a squad- Alpha, Beta, or Gamma- and team up with them to go on missions. Alpha fights off the invaders (Dragon Ball captain, Goku), Beta retakes control of lost territory and finds new fighters to join the J-Force (One Piece captain, Luffy), and Gamma is in control of espionage (Naruto captain, Naruto clearly).
There are three different mission types: Free, Extra, and Key. The team you join determines what kind of story (Key) missions you will go on. However, because your character is an important asset to the J-Force, you will regularly be given Extra Missions where you will join members of the other teams to complete them. Example: You do a mission to rescue Vegeta, who then joins Beta team, and then you do a mission with him later on regardless of if you’re on Beta team or not.
Free missions work a lot like the system in Dragon Ball Xenoverse where you can go fight teams of enemy combatants to earn money and items to make your characters stronger. They range from easy to very hard difficulty, and the higher difficulties give better rewards. You’ll have to do these missions multiple times to get all the items, or you can buy most of them from the shop at each team base at a premium price.
The Extra and Free missions are one and done fights as far as I’ve experienced, but I’m still relatively low level, around 15. Once you complete a mission, another higher leveled one may come up after it. I hope that they will have more steps or waves of enemies to each mission, like the mission system in Xenoverse, with the higher difficulties.
With skills available from multiple shonen universes, you can create a character specific to how you want to play. My current character has a move each from One Piece, Naruto, Dragon Ball, and one more that I can’t remember off the top of my head. He plays really well for being a beginner character, good mix of close and ranged attacks. He’s also wearing a Josuke costume, because he can.
Some skills have you dash towards your opponent to make impact, others fire projectiles, and some are ranged attacks. Still others have an initial button press to create an effect or attack, then if you hit the button again, the attack goes off, like Hellzone Grenade. The large number of skills you can unlock allows for a ton of customization, so don’t be afraid to try out new skills.
Ultimate skills aren’t something that can be used all the time. You need to fill your Awakening gauge to at least 50% to use one. You do this by preforming combos, and taking damage. Awakening causes different effects for each character who uses it; for example: Goku goes Super Saiyan and Gon gets that impossibly long hair and ages like eight years for a massive power buff.
Combat is done in teams of three, and you’re able to call in the others for support attacks and to switch to them when you wish. There is a cooldown on this so be careful. There is no guard limit (so far that I’ve encountered), so guard whenever possible because it can even block ultimate attacks. The CPU likes to spam guard though, so break through it with a Smash attack (that’s actually what it’s called). Use your skills, keep the combo going, and you’ll get the win in no time.
You can also fight against other players online and in local offline battles, but I haven’t tried this out yet. I’m waiting on my friend to wrestle it away from his brother so we can play together. If it’s anything like Xenoverse, these battles are the highlight of the game because it makes you think on your feet, not follow the motions of the CPU.
The animation throughout the game is well done, and it shows in the details they put into the combat. Breaking ground, particle effects from attacks like Spirit Bomb, and the smoothness of movement make it just plain fun to play, and that’s what I like about this game.
Despite the missions being run-of-the-mill fights for rewards, the fights themselves are what make this game great. The combinations of skills and teammates, paired with how well combat flows (when the CPU isn’t spamming guard) make it fun to play. Will I play this game all the time? No, because I would get bored really quickly. But, I will play this game whenever I’m in the mood to fight Dio as Josuke, or just kick Frieza around as Kenshin or whoever else I want to play as at that time.
Silver Soul Gaming is not affiliated with Microsoft, Xbox, or any other affiliates. This is not sponsored content.