This Week In Gaming

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Hello again NAGagas, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This week was a little slow on the console news front, but there was plenty of gaming gossip to make up for it. We saw EA get a well-deserved slap on the wrist to cheers of vindicated gamers the world over, then we saw EA blame us for everything. Some suit-monkey has decided Destiny will outsell crack-cocaine in 2014 and Id software has some bittersweet news for Doom fans. Then we have a sexism issue which may or may not be a sexism issue, and also may or may not be resolved. Sound confusing? That’s only because I want you to hit “Read More”.

Console News

Errrrr… well, this is awkward.

Honestly, not much happened this week for consoles that we haven’t already covered. Apparently the Vita has had a mysterious shortage and something happened with the Oculus Rift. I think there’s a new one coming?

It’s still too expensive to be relevant for any of us, so that seems kind of pointless.

One thing, however, that I did find which I quite liked while trawling through Gamespot was a rather enlightening column on graphics settings on the PC.

Everytime we load up a new game we spend a good while tweaking all those abbreviations like FXAA, HBAO and SSAO – but do we actually know what all of it really means? I don’t; I just put ‘em all up as high as I can without losing too many frames – which these days isn’t very high at all.

It’s a nice breakdown of what exactly all these things do, check it out.

Source (no plural): Gamespot


Gaming News

Hey, remember that horrific Dungeon Keeper game EA put out for mobiles a while back? Remember that sense of crushing disappointment when a childhood favourite, reimagined on your smartphone, turned out to give you as good a return on your investment as a broken slot machine?

Of course you do, and just when you had almost forgotten that horror as well. Still, you’ll be pleased to hear that the Advertising Standards Authority over in Britain have actually banned a Dungeon Keeper ad due to misleading customers.

See, customers are misled by thinking that the “Get it for FREE!” text all over the ad means they’ll actually get to build a reasonable dungeon without auctioning off a kidney first. The ASA stepped in, saying “gameplay was severely limited unless in-app purchases were made.”

“From the information available in the ad, players would expect the gameplay progression and their ability to advance to be unhindered by unexpected and excessively onerous delays, and we therefore considered that the length and frequency of these countdown events was beyond that which would be reasonably expected by players.”

It’s kind of a beautiful thing to see the somewhat disgraceful monetisation employed by EA put squarely in its place, vindicating the thousands of gamers who have been saying the exact same thing since it released.

"Polarizing" implies that there's a group of people that actually like paying money to play something. They don't.
“Polarizing” implies that there’s a group of people that actually like paying money to play something. They don’t.

Speaking of money, Bungie’s Destiny looks set to be the biggest game of 2014, if a number cruncher from the US is to be believed.

Cowen and Company research analyst Doug Creutz has compiled pre-order data using an “ordometer” (did he make that up?) which is then correlated to post-launch sales.

I don’t really know what he’s on about, but apparently Destiny has the highest “Ordometer score” of any game from the last four years.

So what does the highest Ordometer score get you in the real world? Between 10 and 15 million copies sold, apparently.

It does also have Halo’s anniversary game ahead of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare though; so I’m sceptical. Perhaps Creutz is just a hardcore Bungie fan?

Does Halo have Academy Award-Winner  Kevin Spacey? Didn't think so.
Does Halo have Academy Award-Winner Kevin Spacey? Didn’t think so.

Good news, Doom fans. At QuakeCon later this month, id software will finally be revealing the long-awaited Doom 4 that we’ve been hearing so much about.

The bad news, however, is that unless you can get to Dallas by the 17th of July, you won’t be seeing it.

Yup, that’s right, according to id the reveal is going to be exclusive to attendees of the conference. That being said, this is the age of the internet, and it feels highly doubtful they’re going to be able to keep much of a lid on it.

Maybe it’s all just a scheme to drive ticket sales.

Hey, remember how I said earlier that EA have gotten really scummy with their micro-transaction policies? Well, according to the publisher’s COO Peter Moore, that’s really just our own fault.

“I think the challenge sometimes is that the growth of gaming… there’s a core that doesn’t quite feel comfortable with that. [GameIndustry’s] readers, the industry in particular. I don’t get frustrated, but I scratch my head at times and say, ‘Look. These are different times.’”

Ah I see, it’s not crooked monetisation schemes, it’s just growth – and we all know how much us core gamers hate that.

Honestly I’m just somewhat flabbergasted that such a huge gaming publisher can be so out of touch with its consumer base. Moore says a bunch of other stuff about the music industry that didn’t make much sense and rolled out some tired metaphor of paddling upstream, but really it’s just the same rationalisation and rhetoric we’ve all gotten used to.

Considering this is the company which held the title of “Worst Company In America” two years running, it seems almost everyone just despises growth.

"We did it, everyone! Back to back wins!"
“We did it, everyone! Back to back wins!”

Sexism in the gaming industry has reared its ugly head once more, but this one is a little less cut and dry.

The International eSports Federation suffered heavy criticism this week for a planned Hearthstone tournament which would have a male-only group and a female-only group.

After the predictable outburst, they quickly amended their decision – to a mixed-gender group and a female-only group.

Wait, what?

I don’t really get any aspect of this. It’s difficult to criticise them for being sexist in the first place, as there were two gender-exclusive groups. Unless, of course, the implication is that women need their own group as they just can’t cut it with the men.

Of course, that implication still exists when you keep the female only group, doesn’t it? What a mess.

Sources: Eurogamer, CVG, Polygon, GamesIndustry, CVG


Upcoming Borderlands title, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel has been flying a little under the radar in the last few weeks. Not to be overshadowed by the likes of Destiny, 2K games has released a new video this week which covers some of the title’s gameplay mechanics.

Something somewhat less under the radar (mostly due to another Ubisoft controversy) is Far Cry 4, the latest sequel to the hit open-world FPS franchise. This new trailer takes you on a tour of the beautiful new environments you’ll be able to explore.

Stupendous 2D scrolling shooter Super Time Force is finally coming to PC, via Steam under the nifty new title of Super Time Force Ultra. Check out the Xbox launch video to whet your appetite.

Deep Silver have announced yet another Dead Island game, this time with developer Fatshark Sweden doing the heavy lifting. Entitled Escape Dead Island, it’s been billed as a “survival-mystery game”, and looks set to follow a similar formula to the original. The announcement has arrived with this brief trailer.

Best of NAG

A lot of interesting and exciting bits of news have come out this week.

Firstly and perhaps most importantly, if you’ve been living under a rock you may not have seen that the Xbox One is finally coming to South Africa, with local bundles and pricing announced. Check that out over here.

Next up we have a kid who can still count his armpit hairs making a totally awesome indie. 12-year old Sam Smith has dropped infinite runner Spacepants on iOS and Android for our amusement – and it’s actually pretty good. Read more and check out the trailer here.

Something you absolutely have to watch is this live-action recreation of the original GTA V trailer by a group of Spanish filmmakers. Seriously, it’s great.

Lastly this week we saw a speedrunning event called SGDQ raise $700,000 for Doctors Without Borders. That in itself is awesome, but I can guarantee that some of these speedruns will have you slackjawed and drooling out the corner of your mouth. Seeing Super Meat Boy done to 106% completion in 90 minutes has had me questioning the very nature of existence. You can find details on the event and a link to the runs here.