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Archive for January, 2013

For your viewing pleasure: Documentary Double Feature

For your viewing pleasure this week, I have two outstanding documentaries that I found in the wonderful land of Netflix. Both deal with the seemingly innate joy that we humans derive from other people’s colorful angry outburst (when it’s not presented at us that it). These films, Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure and Winnebago Man, both come highly recommended if you are at all interested in either laughing at angry creative cussing or deviling in to another person’s mind and learning something about all of us in the process.

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Thoughts on the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer

 

As it is prone to do, the internet was set a flutter with another stylish video game trailer consisting of a superb song by a little known (at least to me) band and flashy visuals that sends throngs of gamers into a frenzy of anticipation. A few months back it was the Bioshock: Infinite trailer that was all the rage but last week CD Projekt, the developers of the amazing Witcher series, dropped their own hype bomb in the form of the Cyberpunk 2077 teaser trailer.

While no containing no gameplay, the teaser introduces us to the world of the RPG, which is based on the pen-and-paper RPG Cyberpunk. In the trailer, bullets are flying toward what at first seems to be an ordinary woman. As the trailer goes on, however, we see that the woman has taken a page from the Deus Ex playbook and modified herself with machinery enhancements that apparently gave her arm blades and bullet resistant armor. These modifications come at price though as these upgrades can lead to insanity as evident by the fact that she has appealingly killed 14 people forcing the police to respond. The camera pans to an armor clad officer about to end the woman’s massacre with a point-blank shot to the head. The trailer ends with what may be a flashback of the woman in a vehicle with the officer and a promise of more information Feb. 5.

This trailer conveys two really interesting potential concepts in the upcoming game from everyone’s favorite Polish Developer. First is the insanity concept; will we be forced to have to carefully decide whether or not to upgrade our character out of fear for losing some level of control? CD Projekt’s Witcher series has a similar system of making decisions of what upgrades to use based on positives and negative with the toxicity level with potions, yet that never really plays a major role in the game. I’m hoping that Cyberpunk 2077 includes a more established and relevant system of upgrades with this insanity concept that makes this title stand out from other cyperpunk (genre not the series) RPGs like Deus Ex. Although taking control away from the player is never a good thing, I would be interested to see if this give-and-take theory to upgrades plays a role in character development.

The second interesting concept that caught my attention in the trailer was the fact that the girl who went bat-shit insane may have been a member of the police force prior to her rampage. From a story standpoint, this can be used in multiple ways to spring twists and emotional moments on the player. A character that we have grown attached to may at one point go psychotic, forcing us to put them out of their insane mind. The Witcher games, in my opinion, have some of the best storylines and believable characters in games and if CD Projekt can reproduce that same quality in Cyperpunk 2077 then the instant insanity notion can go a long way to making a great gaming story.

Now I’ll admit that I can sometime get carried away with the hype that developers conjure up in these teasers, but given my love for the Witcher games I think it’s acceptable for me to get enthusiastic about CD Projekt’s upcoming title. After all the game seems to draw heavy inspiration from amazing works like Blade Runner and Deus Ex (I know it’s based from the pen-and-paper game but c’mon the correlation to these things are apparent.) Plus the trailer ends with the message that information on other title will be released on the February date, which many a Withcer fan have speculated that will news on the third installment of the dark-fantasy RPG, which elicited this reaction from me. So while I eagerly wait the Feb. 5 date of news, I’m going to go on Youtube and listen to the Archive song that is in the trailer. Here’s hoping I don’t read to many hipster comments saying “I liked this song before the Cyperpunk trailer mahhhh.”

How do you consume games?

 

The rate and capacity in which we consume games (and to a lesser extent other media that requires a lot of time from the audience such as books or TV shows) as always interested me. I have often asked my friends how they play their games, in doing so I discovered that everyone rate and capacity of games varies. To clarify, by rate and capacity I mean how fast they play through games and how many games they play at one time. Some friends diligently played one game to its completion without even looking at another title. Others (like myself for the most part) would play buffet of games at one time, playing a variety of genres and even multiple games in a series at once.

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