I laughed harder than I have in a long time today when I popped open YouTube, scrolled through my feed, and watched today’s video. I needed a good laugh after about a week of shoveling snow and salting walkways; we didn’t get as much as everybody else, but it was still a long week and I needed the laugh. The game community can be a harsh and brutal place sometimes; comments hard to read, message boards filled with rage, and even industry layoffs can make writing coverage a serious and sometimes even sad experience. When it shines, however, it really shines. I’m happy there are those who spend their time recording and editing the almost limitless amount of videos on YouTube. It reminds us that gaming isn’t just a hobby, but a culture – and a funny one at that.
What can I say about a video that speaks, or in this case yells, for itself? I’ve posted Chivalry videos in the past, but this is one is much more ridiculous. Playing the game on a low gravity server, YouTuber Rien Antonissen has stumbled onto a ridiculous, hilarious, and oddly poetic world of what medieval combat would look like on the moon. I watched every second of the ten minute long video and was still sad when it was over. There’s no commentary or fancy editing, just the rhythmic hopping of knights in heavy armor, screaming and soaring through the air like children in a bouncy castle – perfection.
It seems the one thing I was worried about with the Ouya (its game library) is the one thing I shouldn’t have. GamesBeat is following the Ouya’s forums which lists of almost 500 confirmed titles including hits like Final Fantasy III and upcoming titles like Double Fine’s Kickstarter adventure game. Some of the titles are fairly obscure, but considering there’s still time before the console is released I’d say it’s a really good start.
With a few new consoles upon us it’s nice to take a look back to other big releases to see what people were saying. Kotaku has done just that, compiling a list of old Game Boy reviews and previews to show what was being said about Nintendo’s maiden hand-held voyage. Some are pretty standard, but others are either oddly accurate or completely off the mark. The media can be, and often is, very wrong with the first impressions of brand new technology (just at look at what’s happened with the recent New York Times review of the Tesla.) A good reminder this year as we’re going to be seeing a lot of this type of journalism with two new consoles on the horizon; sometimes people can be wrong so let’s all see how it pans out before we rush to judgment.
Finally one of my favorite games of all time, System Shock 2, is available digitally through GOG.com. It’s been a long time coming for a game as popular and well known as System Shock 2, the distant cousin the the more recent and more popular Bioshock series. What took so long you ask? Well, Rock Paper Shotgun has a detailed look into the complicated past of a game that everyone wanted to distribute but couldn’t due to legal reasons. It’s an interesting story to say the least, now complete with a happy ending that results in the game being released to the masses. It would have been a shame if this game faded away into nothing, thankfully now those who never played it can, and those who did will again.
So apparently the Wii-U isn’t performing as well as Nintendo had hoped. Gamasutra is reporting that sales for the consoles dropped to somewhere between 45,000 and 59,000 units, pretty terrible considering January 2013 had an extra “leap week” added in. I don’t have a Wii-U, so I can’t comment on any of the hands-on reasons as to why sales are so poor, but from the perspective of a potential customer there just aren’t enough titles to encourage me to fork over the cash for another console. I would, however, be interested in seeing what developers can do with the gamepad, but so far, besides Zombie-U, I haven’t really seen anything that would make me want to buy a console. They’re not in trouble yet, but if the Wii-U doesn’t gain traction, Nintendo is a company we’re all going to having to worry about.