NAG Online > Opinions

Category: Opinions

The anxiety was swallowing me whole.

I knew it wouldn’t be pleasant. Much less pretty. Anybody who had listened in to our banter knew it all too well.

It was my turn to be challenged in the weekly Podcast. And I knew my colleagues would take much delight in dredging up the sickest, most sadistic and most inappropriate game-related task that their twisted little minds could conceive. Hooboy.

So Matthew Fick laid it bare. He tried to take a game I enjoyed and turn it inwards against me. List 10 things you hate about Super Meat Boy!, he said. The steaks (sorry, couldn’t resist) were high on this one: failure to meet the criteria would result in public humiliation. So I lumbered on, like a good little soldier. Or an approximation thereof.

But Mr. Fick was to be foiled, for the task he bestowed upon me did not have the will-bending effect he had anticipated. In fact, I saw his challenge and raised him with not 10 but 11 criticisms levelled at my favourite vein-popping platformer. Let’s take it from the top whilst we all grab our mandatory grains of salt and keep our dictionaries open at the definition of “facetious”.

Read more ...

destiny disappointment

So Destiny has finally been released, and it’s… well, okay, I suppose. That’s the general jist of the impressions I’ve received so far, both from players and reviews.

It doesn’t do much wrong, but it doesn’t thrill or excite either. Activision played it safe, and they got a safe, entertaining but ultimately mediocre game out of it.

But, all hope isn’t lost yet. I think that something good may come out of Destiny’s release yet – just not for the people who bought it.

Read more ...

Peasant's Quest title

Hello everyone. Come, take a seat and listen. A while back I challenged Chris Kemp to be a real gamer and play Peggle. He played it for a week, wrote about his experiences, and emerged a broken man. In retaliation, during last week’s Podcast, he challenged me to play a little game called Peasant’s Quest. The game has changed my life. Hit the jump to see how.

Read more ...

gordon freeman half-life

Gaming franchises are the backbone of the industry. New IPs are risky, and success isn’t guaranteed. Established franchises, however, are easy. Bobby Kotick’s daily work duties include eating something spicy, dropping trou’ and laying a large turd on a studio’s desk, which they then polish and release as DLC or, if it’s November, a whole new game. While all the franchises on this list remain popular today, for me, they’ve fallen into the realm of games I no longer care about.

Read more ...


Why are you reading this? Why aren’t you playing Activision’s Destiny – the biggest baddest bestest shooter that ever big-bad-best-shot – right now? Have you been watching the live streams of the game that are floating around the ‘Net? I bet you have, since clearly you don’t already own it. Clearly you’re not engaged with the gaming zeitgeist and are culturally barren. We can’t review it yet, because… well, because it’s a game that requires a bit of time to critically assess, and because we’re in the same boat as you.

Also, there’s one review copy and it’s totally not going to me and I’m totally not miff about it. Activision’s Destiny isn’t an MMO but a shared-world shooter, which means that if you shoot something, someone else will cry about it. But who cares about that? We need to write something about Activistion’s Destiny. It’s launched today, didn’t you know? Unless you’re a True Gamer and got your copy early and changed the servers to Australia so you could stream about your experience and tell everyone that they should totally wait for your review, the one you’re working on in between having so much fun playing right now HOLY SHIT DID YOU SEE THAT WOWZERS.

Read more ...


During my time using the Internet, I’ve discovered that there’s a hard lesson to be learned that everyone goes through at some time or another. It’s a bit like riding a bike and falling for the first time, or your first car crash, or your first blue screen of death, or the first time you get sworn at in a Dota 2 match by someone who claims to have intimate knowledge of your mother. The lesson is that once something is on the Internet, it stays on the Internet. The addendum to that rule is if something is on the Internet, at some point it’ll get accessed by someone you don’t want accessing it.

And once it gets out, it won’t disappear and you’ll be stuck with it for the rest of eternity. 21 young female celebrities learned that lesson recently when their iCloud accounts were hacked and naked photos and private video footage were stolen by a hacker who put the contents of these accounts on 4Chan for all the world to see.

Read more ...


A couple of weeks ago on the NAG Online podcast, Matthew Fick embarrassed himself by telling everybody that he’d been playing Peggle. And, for some reason, he wanted to talk about it. Naturally I humiliated him for his decision, but then he issued a challenge. Play the game for seven days, and write about it.

Challenge accepted, Fick Junior. (An aside, I have no idea which Fick is actually older, but Wesley is the podcast Dad so Matt is forever Junior).

Read more ...

barbie dreamhouse party

I’m writing this column on my birthday. That means, when you’re reading this, my birthday would have been yesterday. So you’ve already missed it. Nice job. Assholes. Anyway, luckily for me I had the day off, which means I spent most of my day playing video games (with four or five minutes carved out for this column).

All that gaming got me thinking on my previous birthdays – what was I playing then? Gaming has been a huge part of my life for the past 20+ years (I turned 27 yesterday, I’m basically Gandalf at this point), and there are very specific years that are partly defined by whatever game I was obsessed with that year.

So then, this list looks at 9 of those years from the past 20, and the gaming memory that I associate with that time in my life. Why 9, you may ask? Because I was too lazy to do 10, and I was worried Dane wouldn’t pay me if I only did 5. You can find my narcissistic indulgence after the jump.

Read more ...

co-optional cast

As you may have seen around these parts, Wesley Fick, Delano, Rick de Klerk and myself have been hosting the NAG Online podcast, with special guests as well as our “team on the ground” reminding us when we screw up or whispering insightful things to us.

We’ve been having a blast with it, and if you haven’t checked them out yet we’d be much appreciative if you did.

I’ve been a podcast nut for a while now, particularly since it makes my long commute something to look forward to every day rather than dread. There’s a podcast out there for almost any interest, and if you haven’t already you absolutely should start listening to them – it’s a great way to pass time when doing other things. To help you get started, I’ve compiled a list of six gaming podcasts I think you’d enjoy. Check it out, then give me your favourites/suggestions in the comments.

Read more ...

No, this isn't really happening. Yet somehow what is happening is worse.

No, this isn’t really happening. Yet somehow what is happening is worse.

I have rewritten this article a number of times in an attempt to make it more rational and fair, but it is difficult to contain the anger I am feeling towards ZeniMax Media, Bethesda Softworks, and id Software’s latest attempt to ruin Quake Live. In what can only be described as a pathetic attempt to commercialise the game ahead of its upcoming release on Steam, numerous fundamental changes to gameplay are being introduced as a default rule set for all public servers and “classic” Quake (i.e. the current, time-honed rule set) is being locked behind a pay wall.

As if ZeniMax preventing John Carmack from delivering his traditional keynote address at QuakeCon this year (a result of the company’s ongoing lawsuit filed against Oculus VR) wasn’t bad enough, they have now decided to sully the image of the father of eSports and one of the most iconic franchises in all of gaming.

Sure, I can pay $35.99 per year to continue playing conventional Quake Live (or simply play Quake III which I already own and don’t need to subscribe to), but the way in which the brand of Quake is being treated with absolutely ridiculous modifications that fundamentally undermine the core deathmatch experience that Quake embodies is simply unacceptable. While the proposed changes have not yet come into force and remain a leaked “rumour”, they have all but been confirmed by the developers and are clearly a desperate attempt to emulate some of the success that shooters such as Call of Duty and Counter-Strike enjoy by mimicking elements of their gameplay. Yes, you read that correctly: fast-paced arena shooter Quake Live is trying to copy slower, team-based tactical shooters by introducing things like selecting loadouts before the start of games. And all of this simply to capitalise on what they believe “new” players on Steam will want. LoadoutsLOADOUTS. Wow, id Software… what has happened to you? [Is anybody else terrified of what lies beyond the jump? – Ed.]

Read more ...


Login / Search

Latest games

Latest opinions