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Category: Opinions

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Welcome to the sixteenth edition of the NAG Online Podcast! In this episode we’re joined by Geoff Burrows and Mark Del and we have an array of topics to discuss this week, from Ubisoft’s shenanigans (again!) to how GTA V on PS4 and Xbox One changes things significantly, to how you shouldn’t trust this one dude in a Russian forum who claims to know something that probably isn’t a thing and people freak out because, “HEY! People lie on the internet? Impossibru!” Also, We learn that Geoff knows a lot about makeup. Join us!

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sad cat

2014 is coming to an end, and as I was reflecting on it, I realised that’s it’s just been an absolutely awful year for gaming.

The awkward console transitional phase brought with it a fair share of problems, and industry greed hit new heights.

Read my list of reasons this year sucked, and then tell me your own in the comments (or, alternatively, you can be that guy and tell me why it was a great year).

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Welcome to the fifteenth episode of the NAG Online Podcast! This is the first podcast that I’m recording and editing on my netbook and MAN… I’m amazed at how anyone gets any serious work done on these things. Maybe I need more memory or a SSD or something.

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gaben christmas

This week was pretty boring. After I ran around the house, naked and screaming when I heard that Blizzard was making an FPS, things have been pretty quiet. Even more so since most of my neighbours packed their houses up and left, presumably afraid the naked screamdance may become a regular Friday night feature.

Overwatch was off the table though (at least until next week) – that one has been talked to death. Depressed by the lack of any other exciting things to discuss, I decided to perk myself up with a bit of Christmas spirit. Sure it’s about six weeks early, but since when did any of my columns really make sense?

So then, this is my list of things for Gaming Father Christmas. And that barrel-bellied, bearded bastard better bring it.

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Overwatch-diversity-image-4

The first thing that struck me about the Overwatch trailer, before anything else, was the fact that this game was trying to appeal to me. This is not something I’m used to experiencing.

Like many female gamers, I grew up with the understanding that most gamers are dudes and that games reflect that. I learned that hyper-sexualised female characters and male-only leads were the norm.

That said, I have always tended to like games that are in general more diverse. Games like the Elder Scrolls series or World of Warcraft, where not only can you play a female character but where there are some damn incredible female lead characters as well. Games that just feel more accepting of me in general, even if they were still very male-focused in many ways.

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In this fourteenth episode of the NAG Online Podcast, we’ve changed things up a bit. We have a different setup of hosts, different topics to talk about and a different structure to follow. Will this work? Will people like it? Can we do better? That’s a question for you, readers and listeners, to answer for us. In the meantime, here’s episode 14 of the podcast featuring myself, Rick and Lauren Das Neves, NAG Online overlord.

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weaver dota 2

There are many ways to skin a cat (seventeen traditional, plus one of my own invention), and there are many ways to approach video game creation and distribution.

Developers and publishers have a choice, and somehow, a lot of the time, they’re still making the wrong one.

Thus, in my infinite wisdom and vast depths of narcissism, I have taken it upon myself to offer four examples of how to do it right, and how to do it oh so very wrong.

Mr Kotick if you’re reading this, you’re welcome.

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hatred_01

Hatred is one of the most juvenile, pornographic, disturbing  games revealed in recent memory. It’s also one of the most interesti— no, wait, come back! Hear me out, sceptics.

To be clear, let me state upfront that I don’t like the premise of Hatred. I find it uncomfortable at best, downright vile at worst. The trailer’s choice of close-up victims is also worrying, given the dev’s alleged political views (more on this in a bit). And if Hatred existed in a vacuum, it’s relevance would be zero. The developers declare it’s a response to video games languishing under some imagined politically-correct critatorship, which seems absurd if you look at the release schedule for next quarter, or the following one, or forever.

Instead, its value lies in its role as a foil to other games, a mirror that reflects rote mechanics, shallow motivations and lazy rationale for the many in-game activities we engage. Similarly, Hatred stands in contrast to the thoughtful and benign approach the industry has taken in the kind of games it puts front and center of the public eye; while the medium is evolving, it still remains a highly commercial enterprise and one where hard-won PR with the general populace is rigorously defended.

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assassins_creed_unity_screenshot_3

I’m noticing a recent trend, and I’m none too happy about it – games being capped at 30fps. Is this even a “recent” trend?

I’m not sure. Maybe it’s been quietly sneaking up on me this whole time and I just haven’t noticed.

Regardless, I’m suitably worked up about it to write a column about how dumb this is, and I’ll even provide proof and stuff.

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I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

“Play Dota 2!” was what came from Chris Kemp’s mic. “But it’s not enough that you just play it”, he elaborated. “I need you to be competent at it.”

With those simple words, my course was set: I was to play Dota 2, against humans, and get a killing spree. Three kills in a row. How bad could it be?

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