It's the weekend, buddy! Relax, and enjoy a slice of insightful gaming writing from the week that was.
Hey, You Should Read These
I couldn't stop laughing when fellow Kotaku writer Patricia Hernandez tweeted her estimated download time for Grand Theft Auto V on PC: more than a year. I didn't know Steam was even capable of estimating times that long, and it's a little scary! All jokes aside, game sizes continue to get bigger and bigger, but our pipes aren't getting faster and faster to accommodate. Daniel Sims looked at where we've been and where we're going, and the the pattern is clear: more, more, more. You have to feel for folks experiencing this shift in areas without decent Internet.
"Even pirates are concerned with download size, some perhaps turning toward it for relief from oversized games. A popular trend among pirate sites is offering "repacks" — versions of games where they have compressed textures, audio, and videos to drastically reduce the initial download size before decompressing with special installers. Some repacks have audio support stripped down to one language.
Wolfenstein: The New Order on Steam requires a 40GB download, but there are repacks available that are only 15GB. Battlefield 4 is a 25GB download from Origin, but there are repacks sitting at 17GB. The assets in repacks, however, aren't always completely lossless compared to the official version."
There might not be a better essay explaining why Bloodborne works than this piece by Tim Rogers. Heck, the title does a better job explaining the appeal than my thousands of words from a few weeks ago: you are the experience points. It's so true! Sure, you do upgrade a character, but that only takes you so far. You have to press the buttons and survive the journey. I love the sense of progress when playing through one of these games and visiting an old area again. It's a cakewalk, and not because you're suddenly overleveled, it's because you know what to do.
"In the Souls games, too, if complete crushing victory is your goal, The Graphics Are The True Evil. These games are near-humorless in their pressing, thorough, ornate schlock-horror presentation. Every newSouls game sees me into an adjustment period. It takes several hours to tune the guitar of my brain until I am ready to Just Put It On And Hang Out. For those first few hours, a Souls game is a Sipping Drink. The mood of the games pulls me in; I struggle with remembering the old controls and learning my new weapons and enemies. The mood of the graphics and sound intensifies the learning curve.
After a few hours, I've moved forward into the game. I understand that I need to go somewhere. I've met a boss I have not been able to kill. I've collected my fair share of frustrations and complaints (mostly I'm complaining about being frustrated). This on-ramp is my "education" about the game. Eventually, part of this game is going to become Business. I am going to get serious about always killing every type of enemy in the appropriate way. I am going to learn when I can be impatient, and then I'm going to be impatient as much as a responsible person can be. Eventually, I'll be able to play the game with the sun up outside and the lights on in the living room as I tinker with the business element of the game."
Oh, And This Other Stuff
- newdarkcloud examined Dragon Age: Inquisition in the context of other BioWare games.
- Tom Chick made Hand to Fate, a card game brought to life, sound irresistible.
- Paolo Pedercini mocked the video game industry's desire to be called "art."
- Mike Williams looked back at Jade Empire, an RPG game most people have forgotten.
- Ed Smith tried to argue BioShock 2 is the most interesting of the Rapture-set games.
- Gaming Feminism pointed out what makes Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3 so interesting.
- Nick Wanserski concluded Tidus is the worst dressed of all the Final Fantasy characters.
- Ashley Barry looked at media's portrayal of female vampires, including Bloodrayne.
- Bob Mackey worried Yokai Watch is about to forget what makes it so special.
- Leigh Alexander found two developers who came up with a game idea simultaneously.