The Game Awards 2019 (Round-Up) — Daily Gaming Report

The Game Awards 2019 (Source: GameSpot) – The Game Awards happened tonight, December 12th, live from Los Angeles, California.  In case you missed it, The Game Awards streamed live on YouTube and was hosted by the show’s creator, Geoff Keighley.  The most notable moments include: The brand new Xbox console, Xbox Series X, trailer, The Muppets . . .”

via A Round-Up Of The Game Awards 2019 — Daily Gaming Report

Watch the awards here:

 

Bungie Explains Why Some Destiny 2 Eververse Content Costs Silver Only — Game Rant

“The microtransaction side of Destiny 2 known as Eververse has had a complicated history ever since it was first introduced in the first game.  Its addition post-launch and periods of time, especially at the launch of Destiny 2, when it felt as though really good content was locked behind its paywall among other issues have left many players feeling slighted by Bungie’s implementation of Eververse that has not always appeared very player-friendly. . . .”

via Bungie Explains Why Some Destiny 2 Eververse Content Costs Silver Only — Game Rant – Feed

 

Can we all just play some games together?

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

Politics is becoming way too tribal these days and I’m becoming more inclined to simply opt out of the process altogether.  Why state my opinion if I’ll just get taken out of context and demonized by my opponents?  Why try to promote truth when most people don’t care about truth?  I’ll just stick to my dead-end jobs and enjoy my days off with some video games.

 

Destiny 2 5_16_2019 11_48_35 AM
A Hunter meets a Titan on Nessus (Destiny 2).

 

I think the best way to be politically involved is in your local community (at least).  Your home community will have the most effects on your daily life and your daily interactions can have some influence on the local culture (however small that influence may be).  Perhaps the keys to countering rising political tribalism lie in expanding your personal interactions on the local level.  Every facet of your life should not be a part of some grand political fight, that kind of life grows exhausting very fast.  We need to remember to take time away from our personal politics to just spend time with people – no politics, no grand-standing, no partisan bullshit – just spending time with your peers casually bantering with one another (like people used to do in the days before internet connections).

Personally, I would love to find some gamers in Albuquerque just to get together with a couple times a week and talk about video games for a couple hours.  Maybe I should start a “No Politics” club to attract more intelligent people. 😀 lol Maybe I can even bring back the Know Nothing Party. 🙂

Btw, my Blizzard gamertag is “Crabb90#1566” if any Destiny players want to jump into the Crucible with me. 😉

What if the Vex came to Earth IRL?

Peace?  War?  Total annihilation?

 

Apex Legends bashes through a wall into the battle royale genre.

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

There is a new battle royale game available that blows Fortnite out of the water.  With over ten million players in its first week upon launch, Apex Legends is geared to compete in the rising gaming genre that pits players in an arena-style map to fight to the death.

Did I mention that the game is free to download? 🙂

One reason that I prefer Apex Legends to Fortnite is the greater details in the gameplay.  Fortnite‘s cartoonish asthetic gives it an immature and child-like feel, limiting my suspension of disbelief in the fictional world.  That child-like feel combined with the fact that there are no unique characters in the canon makes the environment too superficial.  It’s true that Fortnite players can customize their appearance through the purchasing of various skins but it is purely for aesthetic purposes.  Apex Legends players have a choice of a select group of characters to play in the map and each character has unique abilites to use in combat.  The characters not only add variability to the gameplay but also add to the lore of the story.

You can decide for yourself which character is best for your style of gameplay but here’s a subjective guide of the characters from YouTube user “ImMarksman.”

Another reason why Apex Legends is superior to Fortnite is the more intricate map.  The little details in the terrain (more rocks to use for cover, more ledges to climb up on for a better view, the various paths you can take from one end of the map the another, etc.) make all the difference in the battle royale genre, a genre that is inherently limited by a set map that gets smaller the longer you play.

 

ApexLegends-map
Image Source: <https://venturebeat.com/2019/02/04/apex-legends-hands-on-gameplay-videos-highlight-fresh-battle-royale-tactics/>.

 

An unfortunate down-side to Apex Legends is that the game currently has no solo mode, you are forced to play in a team of three players.  That specific caveat would not be a  problem if more players would speak to each other cooperatively over the built-in voice chat.  In most matches, you’ll find players (like myself) wandering off on their own and not even attempting to coordinate with each other.  Those more solitary players would prefer a solo mode.

Despite the forced team play, Apex Legends is fantastic for newcomers and veterans alike, it has a beautifully designed map with detailed twists and turns that make for endless possibilities for potential strategies with rumors of more maps in the works from creator Respawn Entertainment.  I recommend this game to anyone craving some mindless competition while still looking for some decent world-building.

Kotaku Writer Lamenting at “Red Dead Redemption 2” NPC’s for Lack of Realism

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

Over the past few days, there has been much hype within the gaming media sphere around the release of “Red Dead Redemption 2,” the sequel to the popular adventure game taking place in the wild American West of the latter 18th century.  Rockstar Games open-world western places the player in a fantasy of the nostalgic freedom that the old American West once promised and that many Americans today romanticize.  However; one writer at Kotaku has a particular grievance with the games realism regarding its non-player characters (NPC’s) or characters not controlled by human players.  The writer, Heather Alexandra, initially praises the game for its committment to quality in its character-to-character interactions but then explains that, as one continues through the game, interactions with the NPC’s start to feel stale and unreal.

“On the surface, NPCs aspire to the same level of detail, acting out what seem to be full lives.  An angry saloon-goer tosses someone through the window for sleeping with his wife; a clumsy rider stops to calm their horse only to get kicked in the head.  These moments try to suggest the world is full of people going about their lives, but when contrasted with the rest of the game’s level of detail, they are woefully artificial.  The seams start to show, and it’s obvious that Red Dead Redemption 2’s people only exist in relation to me and are defined solely by what I can do to them (Heather Alexandra, Kotaku, 2018).”

Did you catch that?

“The seams start to show, and it’s obvious that Red Dead Redemption 2’s ‘people’ [the NPC’s] only exist in relation to me and are defined solely by what I can do to them (Ibid.).”

That’s because they are not real people, simply animations created for the benefit of the gamer.

If we want to give Miss Alexandra the benefit of the doubt, we could argue in her favor that she is criticizing the failure of current artificial intelligence standards to recreate a realistic human-to-human interaction but shouldn’t that be needless to say?  I think we’re some time away before a computer can fool a human into thinking that its in fact not a computer, artificial intelligence isn’t quite that advanced at this point in history.

Video games are ultimately for the purpose of entertainment, everything created within the game for the gamer to enjoy at his/her leisure.  The difference between a video game and a movie lies largely in the interaction between the user and the source.  Video games  allow the user to act in a way that they would not really act with other humans.  Movies are strictly one-way with the user watching other humans play out a scene.  The reason why there is more emphasis placed on human actors than animations is because there is more of an impetus for the actor to portray the specific character properly and accurately.  (I don’t mean to demean voice actors here.)

What am I trying to convey here?  Video game critics should not be focusing in on realism when regarding a human’s interactions with animations.  There are obvious limits on computer-generated characters and a sense of perspective is important to maintain.

In short, NPC’S ARE NOT REAL PEOPLE.

Ellen DeGeneres Plays Fortnite with Twitch Streamer on Show, Hilarity Follows

Screenshot_2018-10-15 Ellen DeGeneres played Fortnite with Ninja - Daily Gaming Report

SOURCE: Michael Borge, Daily Gaming Report, 2018.

I enjoy watching the older generations attempt to “get down with the kids.”