Sunday, December 1, 2013

Weekly Roundup - November 24-30, 2013

For most places around the world, Friday 29 November was just another Friday, in the USA it was the epic consumerism frenzy of Black Friday; a magical day where credit card companies celebrate with only the finest champagne distilled from unicorn blood as the average consumer racks up crushing debt that they will take at least a year to repay. Also this week, Steam improves its service, Shenmue 3 isn't in the pipe, Twitch bans the PlayStation Playroom, and the Warcraft movie gets scared of Star Wars.


Black Friday and Steam Autumn Sale!
I wrote a bit last week about my disdain for the hype surrounding Black Friday (for those who aren't aware it's basically the biggest shopping day in the USA). In short, I feel that the so-called deals are few and far between and genuine door-crashers haven't been around in over a decade. On the other hand, I always love the Steam sales. Even though you can sometimes find titles for less elsewhere, the sheer amount of stuff that goes on deep discount makes checking in daily fun. This time around I am not on the lookout for a deal on any title in particular but have 5 euros sitting in my steam wallet just in case something catches my fancy.

Steam Reviews
More news for Steam! The long-speculated reviews feature has finally been implemented which allows for the community at large to post easily post game recommendations. Previously, this type of information was only available through the forums or through an incredibly limited comment section so the additional feature can be considered a quality of life improvement. I've always liked how Steam makes the critical reception of the games they host readily available (prominently featured meta-critic scores are awesome!) and this is just another way for consumers to pick the product that is right for them.

Shenmue 3 Psych
Shenmue was one of the most intriguing Dreamcast games and was one of the first games to use quick-time events. While the gameplay has not aged well (along with the graphics) many people have a fondness for this genre blending title. Naturally, when word that a trademark patent was filed for Shenmue 3, people got excited. Generally a trademark filing is the first step to an actual announce of a new game and are surprisingly reliable. Unfortunately for fans, this time around the application was deemed as fake/fraudulent by Sega who have steadfastly denied that another Shenmue is in the works. Personally, I was never a huge fan of the series so this wasn't too heartbreaking. 

Twitch Tits
I won't go too in depth here as I wrote a full piece on Geek Binge outlining my opinions, but suffice it to say that I am unimpressed. Basically the PlayStation Playroom allowed for users to easily stream to Twitch and the service was abused in a manner of hours with all sorts of lewd images going up. Twitch rightly reacted with swift bans and suspension of service to the Playroom.

Warcraft Movie Delayed
I have mixed feelings about the the release of a movie centered around Warcraft. On one hand, the mythos of Warcraft is pretty awesome and I feel that there is enough content to write a solid script around. On the other, movies based off of video games typically suck. In any case, all signs point that the Warcraft movie is a go (after spending several years in limbo) and this delay speaks more to marketing than anything else. The previous release date of December 2015 would coincide directly with the next Star Wars film and would certainly have choked box office potential. Warcraft is getting a huge budget and will likely need to break 400 million at the box office just to break even, so I don't blame them for getting a bit apprehensive about competing with Star Wars.