World Of Warcraft has fallen like a very heavy turd dropped from a turd-laden airplane with a special bay that allows it to drop turds. The MMO currently only has 8.3 million active subscribers, down from its peak of 12 million in 2010. Nine years after its release, this game has ashamed everyone by only raking in most of the money in the world every month rather than grabbing all of it.
Bad job, World Of Warcraft. Booooo! Your performance is lousy and I hope everyone involved is crying.
We believed in you. That's what hurts the most. Collectively, society put our trust in your ability to continually gain subscribers for the rest of time. Now it has become apparent that you were never worthy of our trust at all. You barely made it a decade!
We're not angry so much as disappointed. We thought you were taking this seriously.
OUYA Gets More Funding, Continues To Delay The Inevitable
The OUYA team has recently secured $15 million from outside investors. This will allow them to create and ship all those consoles that everyone on Kickstarter paid for but only a handful received. It's almost as if this whole project was a pipe dream, unrealistic in its expectations and projected costs, mismanaged and overhyped from the word go.
Let's recap, shall we? Here's the pitch:
Are you ready to stick it to the man? Instead of paying upwards of $250 for one of the "big three" consoles that let you play actual games, buy a $99 thing that plugs into your tv and farts out cell phone games!
Over 12,000 developers. Some of them are even real!
All of the games will be FREE and by FREE I mean there's demos.
There's going to be a yearly refresh. Why buy one console every five or six years when you can buy one every single year? Take that, "big three" console makers! If you don't upgrade, you might miss out on the newest FREE games!
Early reviews of the OUYA DO NOT COUNT if they are negative, because everyone on Kickstarter secretly bought a beta console. Betas can't be reviewed thanks.
The Problem With MOBAs
Dota 2. League Of Legends. Heroes Of Newerth. Whether you call them MOBAs or Lords Management sims, there are roughly ten thousand of the things being played by an audience roughly twice the population of the Earth. Check out a site like Twitch.tv any time of the day and you'll find dozens of active streams and tournaments being watched by thousands of viewers.
The genre bigger than anything out there. It's also a complete mystery to me.
I understand that these games are finely tuned and allow for all sorts of strategic depth. My problem is that those interesting parts can only be accessed by taking a running leap and smashing through several layers of arbitrary and counter-intuitive nonsense.
There are A.I. dudes called creeps. They march from your base and meet an opposing parade of creeps from the enemy base, where the two sides take turns ineffectually kicking each other's shins for about an hour. You want to kill the enemy creeps, right? Wrong. If you blast them and have fun then the frontline will be pushed toward that enemy base you want to destroy, which is apparently a bad thing. You want to babysit the A.I. frontline, pacing back and forth until you can get the last hit on the enemy to get some coins, so you can buy some gear. After waiting around long enough to get the ideal amount of XP and coins you can become powerful enough to maybe take on someone from the other team. But instead you should probably just run away at the slightest sign of trouble.
Eventually there's fun. I think. I've never been able to get past the ridiculous setup, which feels like a seven year old's house rules for hide and seek. "Okay, the hiders have to keep one eye shut and touch the tree before they hide, and the seeker can look everywhere except the one place where they think someone might be hiding."
Concepts like patience and discretion are terrific. They tend to work better when they are presented as attractive options with clear benefits for newcomers rather than abstractions that only make sense after you've spent enough time fighting your instincts.
Then again, what do I know? The only game stream I care about devotes most of its time to virtual wrestling entrances.
Zeno Clash 2
In place of the first game's relatively small scope and focus on characters like the Father-Mother bird person, there is an EPIC QUEST involving a journey across a very large world, which means I don't give a shit. 4/10
Having immediate access to the blueprints to everything seems like an odd choice in a game that could have used as much exploration and experimentation as possible. 7/10
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Love the price and the concept of creating stand-alone miniature spinoffs of successful games, but the trailer was more entertaining and playing an entire game in dark fog with neon highlights isn't worth the first few moments of amusement. 6/10
The spirit of low effort 1990s licensed side-scrollers lives on. 3/10
This is your typical consumer model throne. If you just want a cheap prop, it's fine. If you want to actually sit like a king, pony up the cash and get yourself a prosumer model. This entry level stuff is more for a duke or baron at best.
Do you wish to know what computers will be doing in the year to come? With a sigh I shall exert the minimal effort it takes to reveal all. Feel free to print out these predictions and share them with your friends via fax.
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