DanWhitehead Comments

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  • Psychedelic space shooter Futuridium headed to PS4

  • DanWhitehead 09/04/2014

    @Gambit1977 This basically is an updated version of Uridium, but done in 3D. The iOS version tips its hat to Andrew Braybrook in the credits. Reply +1
  • Game jam reality show cancelled as indies wouldn't put up with its s***

  • DanWhitehead 01/04/2014

    @DwarfyP @MrDurandPierre @The_B Jared Rosen did an epic write up over at Indie Statik, and from the timeline described there it seems that the contracts weren't even seen until the developers had arrived in LA, some of them having flown in from hundreds of miles away. Walking off under those circumstances is a big deal - I certainly don't blame them for sticking around and trying to make it work. Reply +7
  • Alien Isolation: "I didn't expect smiling and laughing"

  • DanWhitehead 28/03/2014

    @vert1go That would be the game mentioned at the end of the feature. Reply +1
  • Rampage review

  • DanWhitehead 26/03/2014

    You actually only get points for sets of coloured civilians.
    Racist.
    Reply +22
  • Betrayer review

  • DanWhitehead 25/03/2014

    @spekkeh "edit: wait, there's no end goal?"

    There is an end goal, but it's not spelled out. It's more an ongoing realisation of what's happened/happening than a "Do this to save the world" scenario.
    Reply +6
  • Out There review

  • DanWhitehead 14/03/2014

    @poobob Definitely. The alien language aspect seems to be a direct reference to Captain Blood. Reply +4
  • Heroes of Dragon Age review

  • DanWhitehead 03/03/2014

    @Widge "I'd be intrigued to hear how the F2P done right games fare in terms of revenue. I fear that what we deem as F2P done right may not actually earn the companies any money."

    League of Legends made $624m in 2013. World of Tanks made $372m. Neither has a reputation for gouging players, and both have enormous and dedicated player bases. It can be done.
    Reply +16
  • Video: Let's Replay Crash Team Racing

  • DanWhitehead 02/03/2014

    This reminded me I need to download CTR onto my Vita. Which I am now doing.

    Crash Team Racing had a better arena mode and better track design than Mario Kart (at that time). It also had a fun single player mode with an open hub area rather than selecting tracks through a menu.

    Also, let the record show that if you'd invited me to take part in this video I would have CRUSHED YOU BOTH.

    Just saying.
    Reply +20
  • Rovers Return: reinventing the ARG with Extrasolar

  • DanWhitehead 24/02/2014

    @jellyBelly "The first thing we do is reject you"... Reply +3
  • CandySwipe dev: King "taking the food out of my family's mouth"

  • DanWhitehead 13/02/2014

    @ShiftyGeezer "This isn't entirely King's fault. The IP system is like that - use it or lose it. If you don't defend a trademark, you lose the rights to it, which means the system requires companies to bully each other."

    This is certainly true, and explains the "Saga" claim.

    What has happened here is rather different though. CandySwipe predates Candy Crush, so King bought the rights to an even older game that happened to have "candy" in the title - Candy Crusher - purely for the purpose of nailing this indie developer. King can now claim it has prior rights to the "candy" name, even though it had nothing to do with the making of Candy Crusher.

    It's gaming the system, in a pretty vindictive way, using King's wealth to retroactively invalidate CandySwipe's trademark. It's petty disgusting behaviour, directed at a tiny indie developer that posed no real threat to their business.
    Reply +6
  • Controversy over Bluetooth ZX Spectrum keyboard

  • DanWhitehead 03/02/2014

    @TrevHead Lords of Midnight is already out on iOS - not through Elite - and Doomdark's Revenge is coming soon. Reply 0
  • DanWhitehead 03/02/2014

    @X201 It now belongs to Sky, which bought Amstrad. There's some confusion as to whether Elite has the rights to the design, as the Kickstarter pitch rather notably doesn't name the licensor it's struck a deal with. Reply +4
  • First shots of the Sly Cooper film due 2016

  • DanWhitehead 28/01/2014

    Rainmaker Entertainment, the studio behind this, is best known for the absolutely wretched CGI Barbie direct-to-DVD movies, which feature some of the worst animation I've seen. Reply +6
  • Wintry survival sim Midwinter is getting a remake in 2015

  • DanWhitehead 09/01/2014

    @Maturin Cable cars are already in the game and working. Combat/sniping is still being designed, but the plan is to include everything from the original - where relevant - and more. Reply +6
  • DanWhitehead 09/01/2014

    Absolutely no plans to dumb down. If anything, we're going to be going deeper with the strategy aspects, character swapping etc. There's a lot that couldn't be done on the Amiga that we can do today. Reply +12
  • DanWhitehead 09/01/2014

    Do you have any idea how hard it is to freeze the whole of America as a viral marketing stunt? I'm knackered. Reply +25
  • Is 2014 the year of virtual reality?

  • DanWhitehead 04/01/2014

    @Spong " Not to mention it'll be no fun to watch as a spectator."

    Not true. Watching someone play Dreadhalls is just as much fun as playing it yourself. People take turns to ride Rift rollercoasters, and part of the appeal is seeing your friends freak out while sitting in a chair. Just look at the popularity of Rift gameplay videos on YouTube.

    To clarify, I'm not saying that VR is going to replace "normal" games or anything like that. Just that, right now, it's a far more interesting and exciting experience than waiting to see what the 2014 Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty games will be.
    Reply +6
  • Republique: Episode 1 review

  • DanWhitehead 20/12/2013

    @poobob He actually makes his living now as a pretty hardcore right wing talk radio star, which makes his role as a propagandist in this dystopian tale rather...interesting. Reply +3
  • Minecraft out on PS3 this week

  • DanWhitehead 17/12/2013

    @J.C Inevitably, someone has modded the PC version to run in Oculus Rift: https://share.oculusvr.com/app/minecrift Reply 0
  • Activision is "exploring ways" to resurrect Crash Bandicoot

  • DanWhitehead 25/11/2013

    I still expect him to turn up as a Skylander. Reply 0
  • Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW! review

  • DanWhitehead 15/11/2013

    @Olemak "I find it hard to understand how a review including the sequence of words "a remake of four-player coin-op classic Gauntlet" could end up with a 4, but them's the breaks I guess."

    Imagine a remake of Gauntlet with less than ten enemies on-screen at any time. That's how.
    Reply 0
  • Rockstar hopes new GTA Online patch out today

  • DanWhitehead 01/10/2013

    The update is live now. Reply +1
  • Warning! Don't stand your Xbox One vertically

  • DanWhitehead 20/09/2013

    They're worried that if you stand it vertically, prehistoric monkeys will touch it, learn how to kill each other with bones and the next thing you know, mankind is on a mission to Jupiter. Reply +189
  • Retrospective: Grand Theft Auto 4

  • DanWhitehead 08/09/2013

    @menage "So narrative disconnect is a positive now?"

    I wouldn't say that disconnect itself is a positive, but it is an inevitable by-product of Rockstar trying to tell a more interesting emotional story in a genre driven by mayhem and excess, and I think that striving to create a more meaningful and dramatic experience using these tools is absolutely a positive step, even if it means a few noisy gear changes along the way.
    Reply +40
  • DanWhitehead 08/09/2013

    @MarketZero Ray Stantz? Reply +37
  • Disney Infinity review

  • DanWhitehead 23/08/2013

    @ZuluHero My little girl is 6, and currently crazy about The Incredibles, so she really enjoyed just running around as Elastigirl. That's about it though - she enjoyed running around in one section of the game.

    She wasn't much bothered with doing any of the missions, and lost interest in the Toy Box creation stuff almost immediately. She didn't want to play Pirates of the Caribbean at all, and quite liked Monsters University until she said "This is the same as The Incredibles but without The Incredibles" and we had to switch back.

    So I think kids will enjoy it, because there's a baseline "running around" level of fun inherent in the concept, but I'm not convinced kids will LOVE Infinity. It's more that they'll love some of the brands that are included in Infinity, so the game gets carried along on existing passion rather than creating any of its own.
    Reply +23
  • The Drowning review

  • DanWhitehead 08/08/2013

    @The_Asking

    "I would have liked this review to be more clear that it's not saying "micro-transactions are bad" but rather it's saying "the micro-transactions in this game are overpriced/intrusive etc".

    You mean like perhaps pointing out that the game has a level that's impossible to beat without a certain weapon that it then tries to sell you after you fail? And maybe taking a screenshot of that intrusive micro-transaction to illustrate the point?
    Reply +11
  • DanWhitehead 08/08/2013

    @The_Asking

    "Adding in a level that you have to pay to beat seems reasonable. It means that everything up to that level is like a demo at the end of which you pay to continue."

    No. No no no. Nope.

    A demo which reached a certain point and then asked you to pay to unlock the rest of the game would be fine. That's how Doom worked, and it worked brilliantly. You know what you're paying for - the rest of the game.

    That's not what happens in The Drowning. There's a level - very early on in the game - which is impossible to beat when you first play it. You're running around, shooting enemies to no effect, unaware that the game has no intention of letting you succeed at this point, no matter how well you play. That it's the set up for a very crude prod in the wallet - the vendor screenshot in the review is exactly what you see after you've failed that level - just makes it despicable, in my opinion.

    And the problem with IAP like this is that it's not finite. It's a constant drip feed of resources running low, of progress being drawn out, not so that you'll pay once but so you will keep on paying. You don't know what you're paying for. How long until there's another level designed to cockblock the player, forcing them to fail so they spend more money?

    How long before the currency systems are tweaked so that each IAP has less actual value than the one before? How long before getting four stars on a level is pitched just hard enough to make it impossible for X per cent of players? How long before the so-called "rare" items needed to progress increase in number and scarcity? It never ends. Once you've told the player that the experience can and will be made patently unfair just to try and sell you a sniper rifle, the contract is broken. There are dozens of ways in which The Drowning's gameplay and structure can be used to drive the player towards payment, not through choice but coercion.

    That's the greediness that IAP encourage. Suddenly, the customer isn't just on the hook for the price of a game but, potentially, primed to pay far more than they ever would normally. That's when the gameplay design bends to accommodate the payment model. Why charge the player 69p a time to unlock ten levels, when you can design those levels so they end up paying much more, theoretically without end? It's gross.

    "If you download a game like this, you should do so expecting to and being ok with paying for some micro-transactions, and if you review it you should review it in the context of what it is."

    I don't mind paying for in-game content as long as I feel like it's my choice and that it enhances the experience. When it's blatant "you will keep losing or grinding until you buy something" pressure tactics then that, to me, is obscene and an abuse of the relationship between player and game.

    The line about "all roads lead to micro-transactions" needs to be taken in the context of the whole review which, I think makes it quite clear that the model being used here is an unpleasant one.
    Reply +14
  • DanWhitehead 08/08/2013

    @The_Asking

    "That's why even with normal console games a review will tell you if it feels over priced or good value for money."

    A review really shouldn't do this, though, as the price is not part of the creative work being reviewed. Sometimes it's hard to avoid, but in the case of F2P titles like this, the cost of the game is inextricably tied to the gameplay - in fact the gameplay is designed around it.

    "this review makes that sounds like that's not the case-it makes it sound like, no matter how fun or is, it will always loose marks it you can't avoid the micro-transactions, which I don't think I'd fair as that's this games only source of income."

    Just because a game is free doesn't mean that anything the developer/publisher decides to do to make money from it is acceptable. If The Drowning was free, but asked you to pay to unlock each new area when you reached it, I wouldn't have a problem with that. When a game introduces a level that is literally impossible for the player to beat, just to goad them into spending money, that's wrong.

    This is the problem with bad F2P - it dictates the game design. It means progress is tied to finite resources that must be constantly topped up, and players are limited as to how far they can get through their own skill, because the system demands that they be held back in order to make paying seem more attractive. There are ways that F2P can work but these "spend 69.99 on expendable meaningless in-game currency" mechanics are poisonous.
    Reply +12
  • Gone Home arrives at your home in a fortnight

  • DanWhitehead 02/08/2013

    @Rogueywon How did Fullbright not attending a show censor a panel they weren't involved with? That makes no sense. Reply +13
  • Superfrog HD review

  • DanWhitehead 01/08/2013

    @MrTomFTW Good call on Soccer Kid. A new version of that with today's physics would be pretty great. Reply +2
  • DanWhitehead 01/08/2013

    @RawShark The Addams Family was great, although it wasn't an Amiga exclusive. Reply +1
  • Ouya hopes to boost exclusive games development with $1m fund

  • DanWhitehead 18/07/2013

    @StooMonster If all Ouya is buying is a six month exclusivity window, that makes even less business sense. It's almost as if they're subsidising developers on the understanding that they won't make any money from Ouya sales and will be taking their games to iOS and other Android platforms the second the six months are up. Reply +5
  • Phoenix Wright gets hardcore in M-rated Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies

  • DanWhitehead 18/07/2013

    The first case in the game involves a high school student bombing a courthouse. Too similar to the Boston attacks, perhaps? Not saying that justifies the rating but it's not impossible. Reply +2
  • Konami Code unlocks dinosaur in hat on Vogue website

  • DanWhitehead 10/07/2013

    @Der_tolle_Emil You don't have to re-enter the code - just keep hitting A. Infinite dinosaurs! Reply +4
  • Ride to Hell: Retribution review

  • DanWhitehead 10/07/2013

    It's truly hypnotic in its complete and shameless awfulness. It's actually quite special. We don't often get to see commercially released games that get LITERALLY EVERYTHING wrong, and I kind of feel it's worth playing just so you can properly calibrate where the bottom of the barrel is.

    It's the Birdemic of gaming.
    Reply +59
  • Dark review

  • DanWhitehead 08/07/2013

    @PearOfAnguish "Huh? So you don't need to drink the blood of the vampire that bit you? Is this EG being confused, or is that actually the plot."

    That is actually the plot. If a vampire bites you and kills you, you come back as a half vampire and must drink their blood in return or you become a ghoul. Except if you drink the blood of a really old or powerful vampire. That works as well. Apparently.

    Not to mention, you spend literally the whole game biting and killing people, thus creating hundreds of potential vampires.
    Reply +3
  • Ouya or ou-nah?

  • DanWhitehead 28/06/2013

    @Prodigy_BE "the whole 'shoddy controller' comment is of no importance."

    Unless the person buying it doesn't have an Xbox 360 or PS3 to cannibalise for peripherals, in which case a shoddy controller is very important.

    That's the big problem with Ouya: it assumes that the audience buying it is aware of, and forgiving of, its weird little foibles. Now that it's on sale in the big boy world, that can't be taken for granted.
    Reply +24
  • DanWhitehead 28/06/2013

    @mashk A wired Xbox 360 controller works fine - and the difference in performance from the official Ouya pad is striking. PS3 controllers also work via Bluetooth.

    Put it this way: if the Ouya joypad was a third party controller for PlayStation or Xbox, you'd ask for your money back.
    Reply +21
  • Curiosity dispelled: Peter Molyneux reveals what's inside the cube

  • DanWhitehead 26/05/2013

    The real prize is that everyone is now talking about Project Godus. Reply +19
  • Nintendo now claiming ad revenue for YouTube Let's Play videos

  • DanWhitehead 17/05/2013

    @skunkfish

    "I would suspect that the commercial nature in this case goes against 'fair use'."

    It shouldn't do. Everyone is proceeding under the assumption that these videos are made by people who are profiting just from putting Nintendo's content up on YouTube. They aren't - or the vast majority of them aren't. They're putting GAMES CONTENT up on YouTube. Nobody would argue that Eurogamer - a commercial venture - owes Nintendo all its ad revenue when we run articles that use Nintendo's content. This is no different. It's just these uploaders are almost all amateurs, and the content is them talking over a video.

    This is a case of old law crashing into new media, and Nintendo has picked the wrong side.
    Reply +4
  • DanWhitehead 17/05/2013

    @Faramis

    "Of course, it is their IP, they have right to demand some kind of revenue from it..."

    I'm not sure they do. Fair Use ensures that everyone is free to use sections of a copyrighted work for the purposes of criticism or commentary. As long as you're not streaming the whole game and claiming authorship, a Let's Play video should fall under that. It's like a publisher saying that a games website should hand over all its ad revenue because it used their screenshots.
    Reply +4
  • Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon review

  • DanWhitehead 01/05/2013

    @SaintDaveUK That's actually a fantastic comparison, and as a huge fan of Timesplitters 2 I'm ashamed it didn't occur to me. The two games definitely have a lot in common. Reply 0
  • Among the Sleep crawls to Kickstarter

  • DanWhitehead 19/04/2013

    It's the Jack the Nipper remake I've been waiting for. Reply +1
  • Molyneux adds option to re-grow Curiosity cube

  • DanWhitehead 19/04/2013

    Reply +30
  • Team Bondi staff sacked, Whore of the Orient development on hold - report

  • DanWhitehead 18/04/2013

    @X201 I think "fired" would be the one most applicable to misconduct. "Get the sack" likely derives from the days when tradesmen carried their own tools from job to job in a bag. When they were no longer required, they were literally "given the sack" so they could move on.

    THIS HAS BEEN YOUR THURSDAY MORNING DOSE OF LINGUISTIC PEDANTRY.
    Reply +36
  • Saturday Soapbox: The high cost of free-to-play

  • DanWhitehead 13/04/2013

    @solidsnakeckw That's basically the idea behind the rather fun satirical XBLIG title DLC Quest - http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-GB/Product/DLC-Quest/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d802585509c7 Reply 0
  • DanWhitehead 13/04/2013

    @Bluetooth "You can equate this to the old arcade machines "back in my day" (I'm still youngm dammit!)... but the key difference is that when you put that 1 coin for another go, it was physical money. The same money that you knew would prevent you from buying other stuff."

    The key difference, I think, is that the value of the money spent depended on your skill. As you got better at the game, the less coins you had to put in the slot. Not to mention, the price stayed the same - pressing continue for the fifth time did not cost ten times as much as the first.

    Also, they had, you know, gameplay.

    So while there are similarities in the way they could eat away at your pocket money, the psychology was very different.
    Reply +7
  • DanWhitehead 13/04/2013

    @Master09 I'm wary of slippery slope arguments, but it's clear that the microtransactions in Dead Space 3 were a tentative toe dipped into a much larger pool. If sales for DS3 were disappointing, as rumoured, but the figures showed people were willing to buy unnecessary in-game upgrades then you can guarantee there are numbers being crunched to see how much they could make if the game was free and the upgrades were necessary. Then it becomes a question of how the game can be designed to nudge the player towards making a payment. Then more payments. And more. Traditional retail doesn't work any more. F2P is seen as a license to print money. These are conversations that are happening, I guarantee it. Reply +29
  • Nintendo shutting down Wii channels and online services

  • DanWhitehead 12/04/2013

    said Mario.
    This killed me.
    Reply +40