Alex_V Comments

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  • Gearbox announces new multiplayer FPS Battleborn

  • Alex_V 08/07/2014

    Like other successful MOBAs, presumably this will be free to play? Reply +4
  • Free-to-play Zoo Tycoon Friends announced for PC and Windows Phone

  • Alex_V 08/07/2014

    @melnificent

    I think you're misrepresenting the ruling and what it means. What can be said in an advert, or how a game can be described in common parlance or on a gaming website, are completely different things.

    There is also nothing in the ruling restricting how EA refers to its game ('free to play' or 'free to download' is not mentioned at all). Only that it should carry indications as to the nature of the in-app purchases in future.
    Reply +2
  • Alex_V 08/07/2014

    I think this is potentially the better format for a light-hearted sim like this. The challenge, as always, is to make the content engaging in itself, rather than just a means to an end in terms of micro-transactions. Reply +1
  • Remembering Rick Dangerous, the original tomb raider

  • Alex_V 06/07/2014

    Much beloved as it was, I do remember thinking back then that RD really wasn't a very good game. It was too arbitrary and too hard for non-obsessives. I think it caught the imagination at the time, but that's really about it. Reply +1
  • Editor's blog: I am sexist

  • Alex_V 19/06/2014

    Well said Tom, what a fantastic piece of writing. I honestly couldn't agree more. Not about you specifically, but about 'us'. Reply +1
  • Why online shooting peaked with Bungie's decade-old Halo 2

  • Alex_V 16/06/2014

    @Ajent

    Halo 1 wasn't online on the Xbox, but it was on the PC. And was multiplayer on LAN through Xbox I believe.

    I have absolutely no problem with people loving the game. But I do think, if we're writing about a game from a decade ago in retrospect, that more energy needs to be spent properly placing it in its context. The fact that we loved it at the time and still do does not automatically make it 'revolutionary'. It may have felt so at the time, but after ten years surely the blinkers can come off.

    If there is a way of describing just how it was revolutionary then I'd welcome hearing it. But the fact that it built on Halo 1, and it built on more than a decade of legacy from PC shooters, is not irrelevant. If we want to be accurate about it we can't just ignore everything else. That's lazy imo.
    Reply 0
  • Alex_V 10/06/2014

    @binky

    >>> It was clear from the article that the revolution was clearly aimed at console rather than PC.

    Agreed. But we're looking at the game from the perspective of its place in gaming history now. In a vacuum where other shooters didn't already exist, it was revolutionary. Looking back on its place in the history of all games it wasn't. I think an article written now should reflect that to some extent.
    Reply 0
  • Alex_V 10/06/2014

    @Ajent

    >>> Also, in my opinion, Halo 2 brought a number of features into the mainstream - regen health, only two weapons, vehicular combat.

    Wasn't it Halo 1 that did that?
    Reply 0
  • Alex_V 09/06/2014

    I love enthusiasm, but not hyperbole. This was a popular and mainstream shooter certainly, but I don't think it has any great claim to being revolutionary. Especially when compared to the likes of Unreal Tournament or Counter-Strike: Source or Far Cry or Half-Life 2 or Doom 3 from earlier the same year. Or indeed the decade of previous shooters that it took inspiration from. Reply +11
  • Rollercoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile review

  • Alex_V 18/04/2014

    I'm one of those horrible people who have absolutely no problem with different models of gaming being used to enable the free-to-play market. But this sounds very disappointing - not only an up-front price to pay, but the technical limitations sound game-breaking. Reply -1
  • Hitman: Absolution and Deadlight are April's Games with Gold offerings

  • Alex_V 31/03/2014

    Just to correct a number of posts, these games are not free. They come as part of a subscription package, as does the PS plus selection. Reply -1
  • EGX Rezzed Game of the Show 2014

  • Alex_V 30/03/2014

    Enjoyed a brief visit. The best game I played was Dungeon of the Endless, but One Spear Arena was also incredible. Reply +2
  • Rollercoaster Tycoon 4 on PC will be "completely different", Atari promises

  • Alex_V 24/03/2014

    No need to pre-judge either version. If it doesn't appeal, then don't play it.

    Certainly anyone wanting to play Rollercoaster Tycoon is already well-catered for on PC. I'm not sure what another version of the game will really achieve.
    Reply 0
  • The future of Rare

  • Alex_V 17/03/2014

    People want Rare to be more like Rare's old self, but Rare's more recent daring titles just didn't sell on the 360 - I'm pretty certain that's why they're where they are. I personally thought Viva Pinata was brilliant, and Nuts & Bolts was good too, but they didn't sell.

    It's a bit like the Sonic conundrum - gamers went on for years about how they wanted Sonic to go back to its roots, and when it did it was to lukewarm sales. Gamers say a lot of things...
    Reply +6
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft review

  • Alex_V 15/03/2014

    I think Eurogamer has created a rod for its own back with its constant criticism of free-to-play gaming in recent times, pandering imo to the rather shallow prejudices of 'core gamers'. Because when a great one comes along, much of the readership are simply conditioned to reject it. A shame. Reply 0
  • Console developers need to look at Dungeon Keeper and learn

  • Alex_V 08/02/2014

    I certainly wouldn't deny anyone their right to an opinion, but the views on this topic seem so extreme that there doesn't seem to be room for any other opinions. That's a shame, and a sign that the issue has become driven more by anger than rational debate.

    To those who enjoy the free-to-play market, as I generally do, the arguments just don't ring true. Dungeon Keeper might well be a bad game, but that's exactly all it is. I don't see how anyone has the right to dismiss the whole of a marketplace on the back of one or more bad subjective experiences.

    I see a general problem with labelling some free-to-play mechanics as a scam, and then excusing very similar mechanics from the free-to-play games that you prefer. Or that games enthusiasts have come to accept as the 'exceptions to the rule'. It's a very violent and dismissive way of having an opinion on what you like and don't like.

    There are things that I hate about the traditional console market. You have to pay for a seperate box to join in - exclusionary and fleecing customers. Usually paying extra for controllers etc. You have to pay a subscription to have access to features - fleecing customers. You have to pay for yearly iterations of the same game - fleecing customers. And with IAP, often in the form of DLC, tagged on - fleecing customers. And worst of all you have to pay a price that dwarves most IAP to buy games that you might not even like, or might be awful! And once you get there the games are often very basic, often misogynist and violent and repetitive. I could refer to all of this as a scam, because dammit it costs a small fortune. But I accept that a lot of people like it, and who am I to start moralising about it?
    Reply -5
  • Games of 2013: Candy Crush Saga

  • Alex_V 24/12/2013

    @Percinho I think those are reasonable arguments as to why you don't like Candy Crush. But if other people don't mind, or are happy with those mechanics, then they're more likely to enjoy the game.

    It's not a question of luck vs skill, or good vs evil, but what we like or dislike subjectively.

    There are punitive punishments for bad luck in many, or maybe even most, games. Whether it's being forced to wait, or being knocked back to the start in an arcade game, or losing resources in a strategy game.
    Reply -5
  • Alex_V 24/12/2013

    There's some interesting comments about luck here. Luck is a factor in many great games, from Backgammon to Poker to Tetris to Counter-Strike. It's presence does not necessarily lessen a gaming experience - I would argue it's a crucial element of many of the best.

    Likewise 'pay-to-win' and 'free-to-play' are buzz-phrases that seem to attract criticism on their principles, despite many very successful hardcore gaming experiences using the same approach (League Of Legends, Dota 2, Path Of Exile, World of Tanks etc). Indeed most classic arcade games and shareware releases have a lot in common with this approach. I think we have to be very careful with the word 'evil', which implies a whole lot more than just 'I don't like that'.

    I think Candy Crush is a very well designed game - I admire it. I think there is room for skill and strategy, as Ellie explains. I'd like to see these aspects of the game argued against, rather than just railing against the system itself. Does the debate over free-to-play mechanics have to dominate discussion of every game that uses them?
    Reply -8
  • DayZ alpha review

  • Alex_V 23/12/2013

    Good review, but it is very much geared to those who have already played the mod. As I didn't, I find I still have no idea whether the alpha purchase is considered worthwhile. Reply 0
  • Games of 2013: Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

  • Alex_V 23/12/2013

    Well I thought it was excellent, and is easily one of my games of the year. I thought I'd share as so many of the replies here are negative. Reply +1
  • Crackdown retrospective

  • Alex_V 25/11/2013

    @Bombonera

    The sequel is very similar to the first game. Very enjoyable too imo.
    Reply 0
  • Killzone dev Guerrilla confirms work on new IP has begun

  • Alex_V 30/09/2013

    I'm not a fan of their highly generic shooters. Hope they have an original idea up their sleeve, but bearing their track record in mind this is unlikely. Reply -12
  • The happiness of Michel Ancel, the Rayman legend

  • Alex_V 28/08/2013

    @TonyHarrison

    The last 2D Mario game on the Wii sold 27m copies according the vgchartz. I'm sure Rayman Legends will settle for a tenth of that.
    Reply 0
  • Alex_V 28/08/2013

    I just can't accept that making a child-friendly Mario-style 2D platformer can be classed as 'taking a risk' in the industry! Especially as a sequel to an existing success.

    Is it just PR bluster from Ancel or does he really believe that?
    Reply 0
  • The Elder Scrolls Online dev explains decision to charge £9 monthly subscription

  • Alex_V 22/08/2013

    As long as the game is good enough, the business model really won't matter to anyone. Reply +3
  • Fez 2 cancelled, Fish swims away from the game industry

  • Alex_V 28/07/2013

    What a shame that how somebody comes across in the media is seen as more important than their creative output.

    I don't feel I have the right to judge someone's personality on the back of tweets and interviews. Yet it seems most here and elsewhere have no problem at all abusing somebody they don't know on the internet.

    I suppose the message to others in the industry is this. Don't communicate, don't give opinions, don't risk making mistakes, above all try not to be visible. Because the internet will hate you for it.
    Reply +7
  • Désilets: 1666 "was to be the new Assassin's Creed"

  • Alex_V 09/07/2013

    @dirtysteve Where does he whine in this article? Reply +5
  • XBLA's Summer of Arcade lineup dated and priced

  • Alex_V 09/07/2013

    This year it literally is only the Summer of Arcade, seeing as the console will be defunct by the Autumn and the games don't carry over... Reply -5
  • Beautiful PC indie game Proteus confirmed for PS3 and Vita

  • Alex_V 01/07/2013

    I think it's great that another audience can experience this.

    At the same time, I do think it's a time-sink for so many talented developers, who tend to get sucked into doing ports of their game rather than creating something new.
    Reply +2
  • Hidden in Plain Sight - Ouya review

  • Alex_V 01/07/2013

    Great to see an Ouya review - there seems to be a major lack of information around the net on Ouya titles. Reply 0
  • Nintendo retreats into its shell at E3

  • Alex_V 12/06/2013

    I think Nintendo will be fine once they get a Kart game and a Mario out - their games are usually great. I don't agree with all their choices, and they do seem desperately over-reliant on 2D-based platforming titles, but they're still Nintendo and once everything they've got planned gets released it will doubtless be a very solid bunch of games. Reply 0
  • Sword and Sworcery dev Capybara developing Below for Xbox One

  • Alex_V 10/06/2013

    Praying for a PC version. Looks really novel and inventive. Reply +1
  • Curiosity cut the crap

  • Alex_V 05/06/2013

    Once again I detect that the distaste shown for Curiosity is really the subconscious dislike of anything that uses a different business model. Or that employs non-skill-based gameplay.

    I love the fact that Molyneux tries to enthuse players, and is ambitious with his ideas and execution. I'd take any number of his grand failures rather than the leaden fare that is produced by much of the mainstream.
    Reply -12
  • What EA Sports' new Ignite engine means for a game like FIFA 14

  • Alex_V 22/05/2013

    @SaintDeamon I never said big improvements don't matter. And I never said graphics don't matter to me. Apart from that, great comeback. Reply 0
  • Alex_V 22/05/2013

    As you're implying, 3D crowds will do next to nothing to actually improve Fifa.

    I'd expect their next iteration will have only cosmetic differences between current and next-gen, unless they want to piss off a huge proportion of their existing consumers.
    Reply +15
  • Xbox One shows flickers of visionary promise but misses an opportunity to prove it with games

  • Alex_V 22/05/2013

    Nice piece of writing.

    My personal reaction is very simple. I use game rentals to try out a variety of games, and it sounds like I can't do that on the next Xbox. So I'll try to avoid getting one. I think for all the promises and the buzzwords and the new features, most decisions on whether to buy will be based on similar fairly practical considerations.

    The one chance they have is to unveil such an amazing set of upcoming games at E3 that people like me won't be able to pass them up. And given Microsoft's exclusives over the past few years, that seems unlikely.
    Reply +7
  • Saturday Soapbox: IP Freely?

  • Alex_V 18/05/2013

    When there's no incentive for big name creators to do their best work for a publisher, we all suffer.
    True, but I think the more that talented creators break free from the console blockbuster market and move into indies, the more we may all benefit in the end. I think of David Braben making his pet project (his new Elite) rather than just Kinect titles for Microsoft. I hope Desilets can find a similar niche market for what he might want to create next.

    The benefit to us is, in theory, creators staying true to their vision, and also perhaps scaling their ambitions to niche markets, rather than the pressure of taking on COD or Assassins Creed in peak season. It might mean someone like Desilets making more games more quickly, and having to spend less time on man management or production values - good news imo.

    I want talented people to stop getting sucked into 4-year development periods for huge games where ideas eventually get watered down for a mass market anyway.
    Reply +4
  • Saturday Soapbox: The high cost of free-to-play

  • Alex_V 14/04/2013

    @TrevHead Obviously I disagree. I don't find them aggressive on the whole - I certainly don't think it's fair to tar them all with the same brush.

    I don't think you can disregard arcades simply on a pricepoint. £20 was a whole lot more back in the heyday of the arcades. Some f2p games ask for very little in terms of transactions.

    I unlocked everything in TripleTown for just £2 I think. It's one of the best games I've played in recent years, and to accuse it of being pervasive and aggressive is more than a little unfair. It's scandalous actually.
    Reply -2
  • Alex_V 14/04/2013

    @Broken_Hands I don't deny there is psychology involved. But there is in any game, including all of the arcade classics that required coins to be inserted - heck they were often put alongside casino-style games. Why are free to play games a special case - it's an extraordinary claim with little hard fact to support it.

    Many casino games and bookmakers offer activities that are a mixture of skill and luck - much more akin to classic games like backgammon or poker than free to play games. The compulsion to gamble is just as akin to consumerism in general as it is to an in-game transaction. Again, why are free to play games considered a special case here?

    I honestly think it's a dreadful example of tabloid-style moral outrage. The use of stock outrage to dismiss something people don't like, by associating it with other activities that society consider morally questionable.

    Once could just as easily compare the psychology of the long-form console games with hypnotic addiction, anti-social behaviour, to copycat activities in real life. Of course we accept that is ludicrous, but we can't then turn around and accuse another type of game of similar cardboard-thin criticisms.

    And, it seems to me, the games that get the real criticism are the casual games. Not the free to play MMOs or action games, which have all the same payment models but seem to get spared the criticism. Rank hypocrisy I'm afraid.
    Reply -2
  • Alex_V 14/04/2013

    ...a psychology that has its roots not in entertainment media but in casinos, bookmakers and payday loans.
    I honestly can't see the logic of this statement.

    Casino games are games of chance. Very few free to play games offer that kind of gaming mechanic. Of course you could say that casino games offer you the chance to play multiple times in a go, but so does buying sweets or anything else for that matter. There just isn't a connection.

    Bookmakers offer wagered odds on sporting and other events. Absolutely nothing to do with the free-to-play model.

    Payday loans? The provision of money via a loan at poorer terms to allow quick cash. If anything this is the opposite of the free to play model, where transactions are designed to offer better terms than the alternative.

    The only connection I can actually see is one of moral relativism. Ie 'these things are considered morally repugnant, and so are free to play games'. It's the sort of heavily-implied twisted logic you'd expect from the pulpit or perhaps from shock-jock radio or tabloid journalism, but not from Eurogamer. In my opinion of course.
    Reply -2
  • Alex_V 13/04/2013

    Just because nobody has expressed this yet, I'm happy to open myself up to abuse and say that I've enjoyed a number of free to play games. As games. I actually like the business model. I like to try first, and then support the developer if I like what I find. If I don't like the game, I stop playing. I don't like the full retail model, because I end up paying full price for games I rarely feel I get value out of.

    This article seems to be implying there's an insidious mind-control loop going on that parts people with their money. I'm not convinced of that at all, and it sounds dangerously like a David Icke/Alex Jones style conspiracy theory. These are almost without exception games with content, that players can stop playing at any point, and unlike the lottery there is definitely no money reward available. Players pay to have fun, not for any other reason - whether or not you or I like the game is irrelevant, it only matters that somebody does.

    Were buyers of Aliens: Colonial Marines similarly tricked? Sim-City? Are all full retail games therefore guilty by association? Of course not. The same is true of free to play business models. As others have said, so many seem to confuse the business model with the game.
    Reply -13
  • Alex_V 13/04/2013

    It sounds to me like a very similar debate to the one that surrounded Ed Key's game, Proteus. Detractors said 'this isn't a game', 'there is nothing to actually do', 'there's no game there' and then wondered why anyone else bothered to play it. I think whenever games challenge the orthodoxy there will be this reaction. Reply -6
  • Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel review

  • Alex_V 29/03/2013

    @Thunderbolt

    Well clearly lots of people disagree with you - hence the cries!

    I thought Mirror's Edge was daringly original. I hardly ever used the combat so that wasn't a big issue, but I thought the platforming was actually sublime, and actually becomes as instinctive and 'flow-based' as a sports game or fighter.

    Not that I'm desperate for a sequel, as I loved the original game enough. But it's just a shame that standout uniqueness gets ignored if the 'combat was horrible' - it says a lot about modern gamers and the modern industry. Again, hence the cries :).
    Reply 0
  • Alex_V 28/03/2013

    It beggars belief that this game was ever made. To ditch the majestic Mirror's Edge after one game and stretch this to three is utterly bizarre. Reply +47
  • Annualised Assassin's, next-gen and ploughing fields: the boss of Ubisoft Montreal

  • Alex_V 29/03/2013

    At the end of the day, sales are proving beyond doubt that annualised franchises work. Like COD, FIFA, Madden. Millions know what to expect from an Assassin's Creed every year, and will clearly buy the game.

    I like the look of Black Flag, in that it is clearly trying to go in a different direction from AC3. I think the problems with Brotherhood and Revelations were that they were simply too similar to AC2.

    I also think AC3 is underrated by most. Buggy or sloppy at times, and wildly uneven as well, but it was also a unique and daringly original game in many ways and deserves a lot more credit for its high points. I've never swung tree to tree or commanded a ship like that or indeed played a Native American character - if only other mainstream franchises could be so daring with setting and content.
    Reply 0
  • Metro 2033 retrospective

  • Alex_V 10/03/2013

    An excellent piece of writing. I don't see the need to criticise Fallout 3 for what it isn't - the truth for me was that Fallout delivered a similar vibe on a completely different scale to Metro. And like it or not, Fallout does contain the same subway warrens, and bewildered lost occupants. I agree it's not quite the same feel, but close enough that comparisons must be drawn.

    The key point that I think is worth re-iterating here - this is not a game that demands a sequel.
    Reply -1
  • Alex_V 10/03/2013

    @deez Why? Reply +1
  • Code Britannia: Sandy White

  • Alex_V 08/03/2013

    Lovely article, and a legendary title. It still sits on the shelf above my TV. And I can still remember my jaw dropping at just how impressive it was. Thanks Sandy White. Reply +1
  • Saturday Soapbox: Voting with your wallets isn't the whole answer to abusive micro-transactions

  • Alex_V 02/03/2013

    I don't agree with the basic assumption here that EA are doing something wrong (and that when Valve do it it is less wrong).

    games like Real Racing 3 either demonstrate contempt for the values of EA's traditional audience or a complete ignorance of them.
    I don't think an IOS racer is aimed at EA's traditional audience at all. Core gamers have been screaming abuse at IOS and other mobile platforms for years, saying the games are not worthy of their time. What is EA's traditional audience - The SIms fans? Or the Madden crowd?

    If core gamers care so much about racing titles, why did they not support the excellent titles Blur or Split/Second, both of which tanked and saw the developers closed?
    Reply -1
  • Amid growing anger at micro-transactions, CliffyB calls on gamers to vote with their wallets

  • Alex_V 01/03/2013

    Cliff is entirely right, in my opinion. I also think the current outcry about micro-transactions will turn out a storm in a teacup. A bit like the outcry about DLC a few years ago. Reply -1