Category Archives: Editorials

The Phantoms of Kojima Productions

Over the past week, we here at RealGamerNewz have been having some interesting discussions about the upcoming cloven Metal Gear Solid V. Speculations have mostly been about what consoles both parts will be featured on, and while both parts have been confirmed for PS3 and XBOX 360, with no release dates yet offered by Kojima or Konami, it’s fairly safe to assume that there will be at least versions of them on next gen consoles. The Fox engine just seems too powerful for them to limit themselves on their flagship game in their marquee series to current gen gaming devices. All the footage that we’ve seen so far, from last year’s announcement of Ground Zeroes to last week’s reveal of the full Phantom Pain trailer has been running on a PC construct, so it’s certainly possible that they’ll release PC versions as well.
There’s also been a lot of speculation about the potential story elements of the new games. At first there was some confusion over the main character of The Phantom Pain, but that was dispelled by Kojima’s interview with Game Trailers. However, one theory that was put forward was very interesting: the possibility of clones playing a factor in the story. I didn’t think it was plausible at first, but then I started to consider some things we know, and given that we have no context, it certainly becomes POSSIBLE (besides, it’s always fun to speculate). Firstly, I personally don’t remember Big Boss ever having had a prosthetic/bionic hand, so I consulted my Metal Gear Solid Database and found nothing in Big Boss’s bio (though this database was written before even Peacewalker was released, so some ret-conning wouldn’t be out of the question).

Another possible sign is the glaring absence of David Hayter as the voice of Big Boss. He’s voiced Big Boss in three previous games, and is one of the staples of the American version of the franchise. While Solid Snake shares Hayter’s voice with Big Boss, the other two confirmed Big Boss clones do not. Liquid and Solidus are played by James Flinders aka Cam Clarke and John Cygan respectively. Kojima claims that they didn’t ask Hayter back because they were essentially “rebooting” the franchise, so to add to a new flavor of gameplay they would have a fresh voice for Big Boss. A lot of people are wondering if this is another of Kojima’s clever ruses, even after Hayter posted on the subject online, and if that’s the case, a Big Boss clone certainly wouldn’t preclude him from appearing as the ACTUAL Big Boss in the game.

“V” is also an interesting element to the game. Not only because they’ve changed their numbering system for the title from the Arabic numeral set (which has been used in all numbered sequels) to the Roman numeral set, but also because of the mysterious quote which closes the trailer: “V has come to.” Could “V” be the codename of this clone? Does that imply that there could be other clones? For instance, the bandaged man, “Ishmael,” seemingly voiced by Keifer Sutherland in the gameplay demo?

It would require a different cloning technique as a story conceit than the Les Enfant Terribles project, since the brothers were preteens in 1984, when The Phantom Pain is set. Perhaps Big Boss’s memories have been imprinted on this clone by Psycho Mantis, which would explain the hallucinations and the appearance of a shadowy Volgin phantom in the hospital. Perhaps that’s the meaning of the phantom pain, remembering pain that he never really had. Again, this is all speculation, and probably way off the mark.

What this article is really about are some questions that haven’t even been asked yet. Namely, will there be a new Metal Gear Online featured with either part of the new game, and is The Phantom Pain the “Project Ogre” that was being developed on the Fox engine? Kojima first teased “Project Ogre” in an interview with CNN when he was touting the new Fox Engine, and said “The kind of game I’m making is some game that has a very wide entrance, a very open entrance… Rather than making something very cinematic, [I plan to] make something very free.” We know that Metal Gear Solid V is going to be an open world game, however, after the reveal of Ground Zeroes last year, there was a lot of speculation as to whether it was the aforementioned Project Ogre.

Kojima emphatically dispelled those thoughts, tweeting that “While I am happy to know people liked MGS Ground Zeroes, I’m sick & tired of people keep asking me ‘is that project Ogre’ here in Seattle everyday. Project Ogre is what the project that Ogre appears. Ogre does not appear in MGS Ground Zeroes.” So where do we stand now that we have another part of MGSV? Does “Ogre” appear in The Phantom Pain? If not do we have yet even MORE to look forward to from Kojima Productions in the near future? Kojima’s pseudonym for the Phantom Pain “Joakim Mogren” contains not only an anagram of Kojima (Joakim=Kojima) but also “Ogre” at the center (mOGREn). Is that a coincidence? With Kojima, is anything coincidence?

As far as a new MGO, there’s been a new iteration with each of the last two numbered titles in the series, and Kojima has professed his desire to make more social games. He did so with Portable Ops and Peace Walker on the PSP, and Metal Gear Solid: Social Ops for mobile devices. It’s still early in the reveal process so I’d bet that we’ll get some info on a new MGO as we get closer to a release, maybe at E3, but knowing Kojima’s fondness for TGS, that’s more likely.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Samuel Woodruff on 20130404 and was last modified on 20130407 .

Tristans Twisted World: The Walking Dead Survival Instinct is not that bad

Over the years I have played many games, both good and bad but when I heard since this game was awful I stayed away from it. Yesterday I got some time with the PS3 version game and was actually surprised it was not that bad. It consist of what every zombie game has; just fighting zombies.

This makes me think people saw one review then everyone started copying each other and flipping out for now reason thinking this game is awful. I also think this game was never given a proper chance due to the TellTale Games The Walking Dead. That game is one of the best games of all time already so this to go up against that probably has a lot to do with backlash, with people comparing the two.

After playing the title with hands-on experience, I’ve decided I will soon get the title to play through it because it was just a very fun game similar to Dead Island and Call of Duty Zombies in gameplay aspects, alluring me to see for myself what many have been missing out on.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Tristan Werbe on 20130402 and was last modified on 20130402 .

Tristans Twisted World: Best Female Characters in Video Games

Sometimes there are strong male characters in the lead but sometimes they have strong women behind them. Were gonna go through and name some the best female characters in video games.

Lara Croft is a household name that in her new game finally got her character fleshed out a lot more which finally gave her a story in a way.

Lighting is a very powerful character in terms of strength and her whole character in general.

Faith is someone you can make Ezio and Drake look like morons in terms of story and climbing.

Liara is one of bioware’s best made characters but she can handle herself well and changes over the Mass Effect series.

How could you not love Joanna Dark? I mean come on.

Cortana the AI that wants to be human but realizes she is just a machine kinda sad but she is the real main character of Halo in a sense.

Samus Aran is by far one of the most powerful ladies in gaming and whats under that suit?

A fairly new character that has earned her place which if you played the new BioShock Elizabeth is awesome.

Jade in Beyond Good and Evil hmmmm where have of heard of that before?

Now there are many more characters we can name off but these are a few and this is a call for more stronger female characters in gaming.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Tristan Werbe on 20130401 and was last modified on 20130401 .

Tristans Twisted World: BioShock Infinite is racist and ruins the christian way…..wait what?

There has been some backlash to this amazing game for some reasons involving racism and the apparent Christian evil. People have taken this out of context in many different ways it is kinda sad. Before you jump the bullet I would like to explain myself a bit here to why I am saying this to you. It is a clarification as I have had experiences with these things in real life. I also am very good at history and know a lot about what was going in the year 1912.

Racism: BioShock Infinite has some racist elements yes. But the fact is that the time period it was in and you could tell some of these are from the south from there accents. The African American people has Americans should know where treated badly by many people from both the north and south. They were believed to be beneath them which in my personal opinion is not true. Ken Levine is and was not being racist it is realistic due to the time but the Prophets word does push it more so in some senses.

Christian: Father Comstock may be from the Christian way of life but that is not what he is spreading at all. He is using his own personal beliefs to make people think that certain things are right. True Christian’s believe all people are equal no matter if racism is brought in it is not true. Stop reading right there if you think I do not know what I am talking I have been off and on in the Christian way of life so I know what I am talking about. Christian people love everyone cause Jesus loved everyone no matter what. People sometimes mistake cults like the “KKK” and many other things like “God Hates Gays” which he does not people should read the Bible a little closer before the flip out. Now at the moment no I am not following the path of Christians I am doing my own thing since I declined by baptism for personal reasons. But no the Comstock cult has nothing really to do with Christians cause that is not what it is.

Now if you are still confused please ask questions in the comments or ask me to revise somethings or add feedback is appreciated have a good day.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Tristan Werbe on 20130401 and was last modified on 20130725 .

Brothers: A Tale of Two Mediums

Starbreeze Studios, makers of the exceptionally excellent, and criminally underappreciated “Chronicles of Riddick” games, released a developer’s diary this week for their upcoming download title, “Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.”  The video goes into detail about the tone of the game, the unique control scheme, and about the emotional journey on which the developers hope to take the players.

The thing that stands out most to me is the cinematic quality that the game’s creative director, Josef Fares, instills in the game. It’s no wonder, since, as he states in the video, Fares started out in film. However, the “cinematic” quality of a game, that is to say, the aesthetic quality of Cinema, can be found in nearly every big title released over the past two generations of consoles. Game-makers have long striven to create “cinematic” games, more and more by increasing the graphical detail and by shifting the plotting to hit particular beats standardized by films. The apex of the modern game seems to be the “playable movie.” There’s nothing wrong with that, after all, Cinema started very much the same way, and eventually, (especially with the introduction of sound) began to emulate the beats of the Theatre, right down to the three-act structure which is still touted in screenwriting books and seminars every day. Whoever said that “everything is a remix” was right. However, having said all that, if what Fares claims is true, “Brothers” possesses a quality of the Cinema that is rare in games: round characters.

It’s a necessity of the medium that most characters in games remain flat, that is, as defined by E.M. Forster, that they do not undergo a change or transformation during the course of the story (just to be clear, it’s no insult to classify a character as flat, after all, Sherlock Holmes, one the of the greatest characters in English Literature is a flat character). It’s hard to set things up for a sequel if the characters all change.

That’s why you have, in something like “Assassin’s Creed,” a flat character in Desmond (the one constant throughout the entire series), who proceeds fairly unchanged throughout the five games in which he is featured, while the Assassins he inhabits all undergo some kind of transformation within their narratives. It’s only when Desmond’s own narrative is hurtling toward a close that he is allowed to become a round character.

If Fares and Starbreeze truly do create a game in which round characters traverse a narrative and come out changed on the other side, then they might come closer than anyone has before to marrying the two mediums of games and Cinema. And I am very excited to see how it unfolds. “Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons” will be released by 505 Games on PC, PSN, and XBLA Spring 2013.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Samuel Woodruff on 20130330 and was last modified on 20130331 .

Video Games: But Is It Art?

The year was 1990.  At age four, I was the youngest of three brothers; separated from my elders by temporal gaps of three and five years, respectively.  My brothers, both of school age, were at home basking in the joys of their summer vacation.  I’ve never known how it came to be (though I suspect it was my eldest brother’s incessant nagging), but one fine June day, my mother presented to us the most mysterious hard molded plastic suitcase upon which my four year old eyes had ever fallen.  The chipped paint on the exterior of the case read “BJ’s Movies,” our local video rental store.  My brothers were extremely excited, which kindled my own excitement, though I had no real notion as to what we were excited about.  My brother most senior (that is, the one who did the nagging) flipped down the two latches and flung open the lid with the vigor of a child on Christmas morning.  Fitted snugly into the foam which had been cut to its blocky shape was a Nintendo Entertainment System, the dream box of a generation of kids born after 1980.  I can still remember the oddly sharp corners of the plastic rectangle that was the console’s controller digging into my palms.  But as the eight-bit graphics of “Super Mario Bros.” danced in front of my eyes, I can’t recall having ever considered that I was bearing witness to a work of art.  Then again, I was only four years old, and the video game itself was just as young in its own development process.  One could say that video games and I grew up together.  And now that we have both crossed into adulthood, I am giving a new consideration to a form of entertainment that now, in that adulthood, strives to be recognized as an art form.

Are video games art?  Or rather, can video games be art?  Fresh forms of creativity have always had to go through a type of frame test; a kind of qualifying deconstruction to determine whether or not this new form should be considered among the grandest grandeur of that abstract state of being, which is commonly called “art.”  The problem is that the frame can be as diverse as the potential art it is meant to test.  This makes it easy to classify anything as art, or, conjunctively, to disqualify any potential work.  The old saying that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” holds true here, especially in the inherently subjective categorization of what constitutes “art.”  Some believe that video games are not, and cannot be art.  Perhaps most notable among these critics is Pulitzer Prize winning film columnist Roger Ebert, who once famously wrote, “I remain convinced that in principle, video games cannot be art” (Ebert, “Video Games can Never Be Art”).  Yet is it important that Roger Ebert doesn’t believe that games can be art?  Well, if one considers that Ebert was lauded in 2008 in Forbes magazine as the top pundit in America, one may assume that his opinion carries some influence (Van Riper, “Top Pundits in America”).

Ebert’s statement was met with a great deal of ire, from both video game creators and video game consumers.  They felt disrespected.  However, this raises the question in my mind: Why is it important for video games to be classified as an art form?  The entire concept of whether or not games can be art never occurred to me until I considered myself to be an artist.  However, I operate in a distinctly “safe” medium, with my creative outlet having passed the test centuries ago.  Whether or not I’ll ever be juxtaposed in consideration with the mandarins of my field is hardly relevant, for there is no doubt in my mind that I am an artist, and I know that if I had a top pundit discounting my creations, I would also be extremely insulted.

Ebert claims that “No one in or out of the field has ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great poets, filmmakers, and novelists” (Ebert).  That may be the case, but again that is subjective with respect to what is considered “great.”  However, the question at hand is not whether a game has been able to match another form’s “greatness,” but whether games can achieve greatness within their own aesthetic criteria.  One thing to remember about the creators of games is that most didn’t start out with game development in mind.  Many often studied the fine arts before picking up the digital aspect of game creation.  This, however, presses the issue of the devaluation of digital art as a worthy medium.  A certain taboo surrounds digital art, despite the fact that, as Stephen Wilson writing in Leonardo states, “In the late 1960s and in the 1970s some artists and art writers prognosticated enthusiastically about the promise of artworks made with the aid of digital computers” (Wilson, 15).  Yet even as the digital revolution happened, the taste-makers of the art society were resistant to the products of the new digital medium.

Let me pose a rhetorical question: If the greatest novel yet written were to be created on a computer word processor, would that disqualify it from being “art,” simply because it was created on a digital machine?  Why then should any work of art be disqualified for being digital at its genesis?  For a work to be labeled as a work of “art” is an important distinction in modern society.  It carries with it a certain sense of regard, and a certain sense of worth.

But what is “art?”  The more one tries to define it, the more slippery it becomes.  Plato defined art to be an imitation of nature.  Certainly, the definition of art has changed since the time of the Philosophers, but that definition remains persuasive.  Not in the sense of “nature” constituting trees and rocks and streams and the sky, but of the “nature” of all existence, a concept which is inherently mysterious.

One of the requirements for any work to be considered art is for that work to have an audience to experience it.  The tree that falls out of earshot in the woods does not make sound, and the work of art that is not consumed is not art.  No painting is art when viewed in a dark room, and no book is art when its pages are closed.  When they aren’t being experienced, works of art revert to being no more than the sum of their raw materials.  A book is just wood pulp, and a painting is just cloth stretched over a wooden frame.  Jean Cocteau once said that “even the greatest novel ever written is only the dictionary out of order.”  What can be gathered from this is that perhaps art is no more than a matter of intent on the part of the creator.

But of the creator, is only an individual allowed to be credited with the creation of a work?  Yes, according to Ebert, who writes, “I tend to think of art as usually the creation of one artist” (Ebert).  That is a rather harsh limitation to adhere to, especially from a film critic, whose area of expertise is one of the most collaborative arts ever conceived.  Even I, as a strong supporter of the auteur theory, have to concede that film would be a nearly impossible individual endeavor—or at least, no one’s ever tried it.  I would expect Ebert (a man who deals with a medium that Cocteau also suggested “will only become art when its materials are as inexpensive as pencil and paper”) to be more sensitive to emergent art forms.  One of the reasons Ebert cites for games’ incapability to be considered art is that:

“One obvious difference between art and games is that you can win a game. It has rules, points, objectives, and an outcome… there may be created an immersive game without points or rules, but I would say then it ceases to be a game and becomes a representation of a story, a novel, a play, dance, a film. Those are things you cannot win; you can only experience them” (Ebert). 

But with that rationale, where does that leave something like fine cuisine?  A chef creates works of art, the goal of which is that they be eaten.  It is an experience, but also a type of “winning.”

Perhaps the issue has to do with what Ebert considers to be a “game” in the first place.  He likens video games to games of chess, or football, in which strategy is used to best an opponent.  Surely, this was true of video games in their infancy, but with the growth technology and resources, video games have sprouted and blossomed into entirely different specimens.  Much like the cinema, whose creation was simple documentation which then grew into its own art form by imitating other art forms such as stage drama and literature, video games have also grown to become their own art form by imitating the cinema.  It’s no longer a matter of “winning” a game; it has become an experience.

Is that experience too immersive?  With film, there always exists a distinct detachment; viewers are always merely voyeurs to the events of a film.  With a video game, however, the player becomes the driving force of the narrative, thereby disintegrating their detachment and being a part of the art.  This is how video games are distinct from films, even if they are emulative.  It is not a passive experience; it is an active one.

Personally, I feel that part of a naysayer’s issue is that they consider games to be a childish endeavor: video games are something that should be outgrown, like baseball cards and comic books.  Now, there is a creative medium that receives much of the same enmity that video games do.  Comic books have been around for decades, since the forties, and yet they are still considered to be infantile in their aims.  In fact, many parallels can be found between the two mediums; consider what Stergios Botzakis writes in The Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy: “When people think of comic-book readers, they typically get a vision of a stunted person who lives in his parents’ basement and spends countless hours arguing the minutiae of his particular popular culture interests,” and that “Comic books are still often regarded as pieces of juvenile, junk culture” (Botzakis, 50).  Why is this?  Is it because the majority of comic books’ readership is made up of a youthful demographic?  Is it because of the fantastic stories that are being told?  If I had replaced “comic books” with “video games” in the quotations, they would both still be accurate.  We’ve established already that an artwork’s content does not determine its status as art; after all, some people think that Jackson Pollock was full of shit, yet there’s no discussion as to whether or not his paintings are art.

As we change the way we live our lives, it’s important for us to continue to question the old guidelines.  There is a notion that somehow everything that has come before us will never be matched in quality.  Pamela G. Taylor and B. Stephen Carpenter writing in Visual Arts Research state that, “As digital technology rapidly invades more aspects of human life and culture than ever before, our ideas of art, and art making are continually questioned” (Taylor and Carpenter, 84).  A place has to be made for new art forms.  I’m inclined to say that just as not all film is art, and not all literature is art, so too not all video games are art.  However, just as some film is art, and some literature is art, so too can some video games be art.  Who knows, perhaps ten years from now, someone will make a game that students will study at a university one hundred years from now.

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Research (Works Cited)

  • Botzakis, Stergios. “Adult Fans of Comic Books: What They Get out of Reading.” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. Vol. 53, No. 1 (Sep., 2009), pp. 50-59. Web. 27 Nov. 2011.
  • Ebert, Roger. “Video Games can Never Be Art.” Roger Ebert’s Journal. 16 Apr. 2010. Web. 26 Nov. 2011.
  • Taylor, Pamela G. and B. Stephen Carpenter. “Mediating Art Education: Digital Kids, Art, and Technology.” Visual Arts Research. Vol. 33, No. 2(65), Child Art After Modernism (2007), pp. 84-95. Web. 27 Nov. 2011.
  • Van Riper, Tom. “Top Pundits in America.” Forbes. 24 Sep. 2007. Web. 28 Nov. 2011.
  • Wilson, Stephen. “Computer Art: Artificial Intelligence and the Arts.” Leonardo. Vol. 16, No. 1 (Winter, 1983), pp. 15-20. Web. 26. Nov. 2011.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Samuel Woodruff on 20130328 and was last modified on 20130820 .

Tristans Twisted World: BioShock Infinite Ending Explained

Some people still do not understand the big time plot twist at the end of BioShock Infinite. As there are many ideas floating around I am here to dissect it for you and give a good sense of what it meant and what really meant.

###SPOILERS###…….WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS FOR BIOSHOCK INFINITE ARE BELOW ONLY LOOK IF YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE GAME.

If your still reading then hopefully you have completed BioShock Infinite if not then don’t get mad at me. Now this is the explanation listed below

How Booker is also Comstock: In alternative reality’s Booker was baptized and took a new name and Comstock must have either went back in time or went to different reality’s to get Anna while Booker loses his memory due to the shock and does not gain them back for years. Comstock seems to know everything Booker does because he is him possibly even the same age despite an older appearance.

How Elizabeth is Anna Bookers long lost daughter and why cant Booker remember: She is daughter because he sold her to Comstock to wipe away the debt but then regretted it. Booker might have blocked it so far from his mind he forgot all about it but it was still there. It also could have been an affect of the reality, time, and space tears that were created. This quote does sum it all up though  “The mind of the subject will desperately struggle to create memories where none exist” but that can be taken in many different ways. Another possibility is that the ending or the game in general is all a dream or a trick but doubtful.

Why Booker must die: He must die to “wipe away the debt”. In other words he must die to save the world cause somehow it always gets destroyed cause he never dies at the place where he becomes Comstock in certain reality’s. He saves himself and his daughter as he learned to be a father in the game without knowing it.

The after credits scene: The short clip where he goes to check to see if Anna is in the crib can be taken in many different ways. It could be explained in future DLC or future games. Or it could mean he finally gets to become a father or she is not in the crib maybe one day we will find out.

I hope everyone found this helpful if there are other questions please ask in the comments section.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Tristan Werbe on 20130328 and was last modified on 20130329 .

“The Phantom Pain” and the Pleasure of Pageantry

So now we all know what we’ve suspected since its announcement in December: “The Phantom Pain” is Metal Gear Solid V. Now, full disclosure, I am a bona fide Metal Gear Solid freak (One of my criterions of friendship is how a person responds to “Who are the Patriots?”) and while I am positively giddy about the prospect of not just one, but TWO new Metal Gear Solid games, I am a little melancholy at the revelation. Not because the trailer isn’t amazing (it is) but because I’m going to miss the speculation that came from all the little tastes Kojima gave us. Or rather, Joakim Mogren gave us. Now that we have the news of a new Metal Gear, we can start anticipating just what it’s going to be, but that won’t fill the void of what is gone: pageantry.

Kojima is exactly what a game designer should be, and if there are any in the industry that could safely be labeled an “auteur” he is the one. He is a singular voice amongst a sea of undecipherable noise. His game announcements are nearly as entertaining as the games themselves. But here is where he truly excels as an all around mandarin of the gaming world: his announcements themselves are interactive.

It would be one thing for him to tease us with a countdown clock (which he’s done in the past), and then simply release a kick-ass trailer that gets your blood pumping and turns your agony up to eleven at the thought that you’ll have to wait to play this game. But this whole “Phantom Pain” cycle has truly elevated him to the level of magician. The man has showmanship.

Has there ever been a more dissected bit of gaming intrigue? Even though it didn’t take more than a few hours (or maybe even minutes) for the speculation to be right about “The Phantom Pain” really being MGS5, that didn’t lessen the impact it had on all of us. After all, everyone knows that the magician doesn’t really saw the woman in half, but that doesn’t stop us from trying to figure out how he did it. At one point, speculation about the game reached such a fever pitch that there were some who questioned the reality of an interview with the so called “Mogren.”

Some thought that the bandaged figure might have been a CG creation made to show off Kojima’s new FOX Game Engine. The magician’s work is to simply allow people’s imaginations to run wild, and then sweep the rug out from under them. And in the greatest move of all, Kojima proved us right, and we feel validated and proud of ourselves that “we knew all along.”

Showmanship is a dying art. Viral marketing, while sharing some of the characteristics, is an inadequate replacement. Orson Welles had showmanship. Alfred Hitchcock had showmanship. Stanley Kubrick had showmanship. The David O. Selznicks and the Louis B. Mayers had showmanship. And Hideo Kojima has showmanship. His name belongs among those names, for what he does is just as relevant and memorable. And it is also a hell of a lot of fun. That it has come to an end hopefully does not portend a phantom pain of the pleasure that has gone.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Samuel Woodruff on 20130328 and was last modified on 20130328 .

Yes, the Square Enix President is Stepping Down… And It’s Your Fault

Yesterday many people reacted to the somber news that the President of Square Enix Yoichi Wada will be stepping down as acting President in the company since the year 2000. Some reacted to this with confusion, they weren’t sure who Wada is or why this was happening and wondered if it meant Square Enix would go broke soon. Others saw it purely as something to laugh at, first EA’s Richotella stepping down just a few days prior and now Square Enix was seeing the resignation of their president. Perhaps some gamers even saw this as a way for highly ranking executives to either A) cut-and-run for damages they did to the industry through what many gamers considered to be malicious publishing practices or B) somehow stage a revolution of sorts by walking out on the company that would do such things. The reality is none of these are truly the perspective we should be focused on, what really went wrong gamers?

Final Fantasy XIII is just three words (say it with me now, ‘thirteen’). But three words that stay in gamers’ mouths and continue to make a bad stink for Square Enix and one of the largest and most passionate RPG fanbases in the world. Even worse, let’s mention ‘thirteen dash’ also known as Final Fantasy XIII-2 or Lightning Returns. These titles are loved by some, and yet they are viewed by many long-term gamers as marks against the record of grace Square Enix and Wada have enjoyed together since his corporate control of the company over the past 13 years. When fans began to feel desperate with their disgust in Final Fantasy XIII’s lack of towns, lack of open-world environments, lack of most next-gen features, they were not able to accept that amazing graphics and a unique new universe with each major installment was enough for Final Fantasy.

Suddenly, fans wanted the old Final Fantasy back. Demands for remakes began to flood Square Enix repeatedly, and although all of their classics are revered as the best by some niche amounts of players, the great majority of these demands all agreed that a Final Fantasy VII would cure all bad fan to developer relations they had perceived as taking place by the subjective disappointment of about half the crowd (or more) that bought Final Fantasy XIII. Putting aside for a moment the fact that Final Fantasy’s most exciting prospect is its concept of reinvention and brand new ideas and universes being introduced with each title.

In Final Fantasy VI we saw the Super Nintendo turn into a storytelling machine that defeated VHS players for depth, soul, and raw emotion with some of the most powerful plot elements and themes ever created. The game’s successor Final Fantasy VII was released to the PlayStation system later down the line and even though these two games have absolutely zero crossover characters, storylines, or plot themes Final Fantasy VII managed to achieve equal or even greater success in terms of art (which was also followed by a huge success in terms of business and sales).

Maybe fans are right, and the Final Fantasy series has taken a turn for the worst. But this isn’t all about Final Fantasy. As Square Enix grew into itself being a major publisher in the western industry they knew Final Fantasy was not the only thing we needed from them. The company began to scoop up companies that were either going under or struggling, even just looking for a new business partner, to release new iterations to strongly revered western IP’s with.

Tomb Raider and Hitman: Absolution are two titles that fans clamored for, much like how FF fans demand FF7 (FFVII) remakes, fans have been dying to see these franchises see a next-generation rebirth as well as play the classics in HD. Square Enix made both of these things possible for Tomb Raider and Hitman developers to deliver with the release of Tomb Raider Trilogy (in High Def) and Hitman Trilogy HD which served as fan service leading up to the release of the Hitman: Absolution and 2013’s Tomb Raider.

Despite giving fans of both the Hitman and Tomb Raider franchises exactly what they wanted, not to mention bringing back Deus Ex before all of this, Square Enix was met with less sales than expected for Tomb Raider’s 2013 entry and the Hitman: Absolution title. Whether the corporation set their goals way too high for a globally downturning economy or not, we aren’t sure. But one thing we know is this. If fans continue to demand rehashes and remakes of the same old IP’s, franchises, and even demand remakes for a particular title (Examples: Socom II, Final Fantasy VII) only to turn around and not heavily invest in these products makes us want to cut the games right here and call their bluff.

Stop. Stop asking for remakes of games. Reminiscing about the good old days is something we all love to do, and should be encouraged. Fantasizing about remakes and trashing newly released product is counter-productive. The statistics are trying to tell us that even though a few hundred thousand forum members and blog contributors try to represent the entire population of millions of gamers by demanding remakes and hyper-criticizing every move a company as large as Square Enix makes, when push comes to shove they are not (and do not represent) the main buyers of games and do not back up their words with their dollars.

If you are one of the gamers that has been demanding a new Hitman, demanding a Hitman HD Remake, you got both. If you are one of those gamers that has been itching for a new Tomb Raider, scratching for more Tomb Raider remakes, all of your dreams just came true. Except you had the wrong dream, you’re bored of the same old IP’s and you should have demanded innovation and new experiences instead of trying to relive the past which was golden and perfect in its moment. I’m all for Retro games, I still play from time to time. However, there’s no recreating that first moment, and not all games age well.

Unfortunately the big picture is this industry’s obsession with retro-fitting every game from the past into the new production formulas of today should be as shunned as it is in the Film industry. If a company wants to set out to do the best remake they can make, we should encourage them to keep in mind that we need new content as well. And if a company releases new content, buy it. The mass extinction of good ideas is a result of poor support from those who claim to live for the innovation of this industry but are much more focused on their Platinum trophies and Gamerscore. If you are one of these gamers, it’s your fault that the President of Square Enix is stepping down.

As gamers we all need to take a deep breath and stop putting more strain than is already on the developer to publisher relationship by making selfish demands the community as a whole doesn’t need and won’t financially support.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20130327 and was last modified on 20130327 .

Female Heros “Less Profitable” Because Publishers Aren’t Giving Them a Chance

According to a new statistic released today by video game researchers, studies have been used to show that female characters in video games serving as the main character provide less profit to publishers than male character driven games such as Halo or Gears.

After the explosive success of the latest Tomb Raider title by Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix it is almost negligent for researchers to continue this line of thinking when these same studies have also revealed that female characters receive less than half the funding for advertisement as their male companions on the average game release.

The success of breakaway title Mirror’s Edge is also pointed to as a strong source of inspiration for the gaming community as the upcoming title Remember Me is being chosen for debate amongst fans and speculators who may be considering things from the investment side of things.

If you aren’t giving a game the proper investment, nobody will know it exists. Tomb Raider was successful because it’s a great game, but it’s also successful because of a never-ending rainstorm of news, impressions, and videos that were positively reinforcing the fact that the game was good to consumers leading up to and post-launch release date. As mentioned earlier, Halo is one game that does some of the most notable launch week sales numbers in the industry meanwhile Halo 3 received $55 Million in advertising funds to help propel it to where it is today. Games featuring females are largely not getting investments anywhere near the titles that feature male protagonists meaning they are never really given a chance to do big sales in the first place. And publishers know it.

However, we feel the need as gamers to urge developers and publishers that female protagonists in games are worth investing in. Games should always be judged by their gameplay and fun factor, and not by their fashion statement. The marketability of gaming may have become mainstream as an overall business, however the titles in question such as Remember Me are not depending on market trends and shouldn’t have funding subject to it. Some of the most innovative titles in terms of gameplay include Mirror’s Edge by DICE and the Mass Effect series by Bioware feature the ability to play as a female and yet experience the latest gaming technology has to offer.

There’s also no need to release studies trying to convince us that it is financially unstable for gaming publishers with mammoth millions to invest the same in a female character-based game as they do a male. How many games released in the past console generation that were hyped to launch only to never be heard from again and become abandoned when early Reviews and Impressions came from the media and real, live gaming communities alike unleashed their findings that these games were just as mediocre and generic as their competitors, or worse the times when a game was not even worthy of being mentioned by gamers much less criticized.

Instead of conforming to a reality that was caused by lack of funding, poor decisions, random bad luck or timing, and a number of many other various factors contributing to low sales, let’s not blame it on the entire female gender further alienating one of the largest demographics in the industry. Investment and the goal of any game featuring a female protagonist should in fact be that their title will be the game that breaks the mold for the female hero. We are highly anticipating the release of Remember Me and you can read our Tomb Raider Review here if you want to see how we feel about the results of females in the game industry. In short, less complaining researchers and publishers and more groundbreaking gameplay and investment in awareness advertising for genuinely good games.

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Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20130325 and was last modified on 20130325 .