Hello and welcome to This Week in Games Coverage, my new weekly feature funded by Patreon where I collect up some of the best writing, podcasts and videos about video games into one place, making it easier to find interesting articles worth reading. This week we have discussion of Game Of The Year 420 BLAZEIT, problems with review embargos and a look at ethnicity in a AAA franchise. In no particular order, here are the articles I want to draw your attention to this week.
First up this week we have a fantastic article over on Paste Magazine from writer Justin Clark about the history of representation when it comes to black lead characters in the Assassins Creed series. It was a piece that opened my eyes in many ways to the importance of some of the things being done in the series in spite of it’s recent negative press. You can read the full article here.
Why Do People Love to Draw Dicks in Games? An Investigative Report
Hmmm, I wonder why I chose not to put an image with this one 😛
Initially posted back in 2013 and this week reposted on Kotaku’s UK counterpart, this article digs into the kind of people who dedicate their lives to replicating phallic shapes within video games. Build a giant working shlong in Minecraft? Maybe replace the world’s fastest hedgehog with the worlds fastest penis. Who are these creators, why do they create and what value does it provide for our industry? The full investigative report can be found here.
What it’s like to jump into Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire as a Pokemon newbie
As someone who started playing Pokemon back with Red and Blue, my perspective on the series can sometimes be a little off balance. Things I assume are common sense or natural parts of the formula due to my lengthy history with the series can look very different to outside eyes like those of Danielle Riendeau over at Polygon. It was rather refreshing to look over the series with the eyes of someone who is new to the whole concept and get a fresh look at what does and does not work about this animal collectathon. Read the full piece here.
Grand Theft Auto is dangerous again – Polygon discussing 3rd to 1st Person Games
Another interesting opinion piece this week on Polygon from Ben Kuchera centres around GTA V’s new 1st person view. This Opinion piece delves into the ways that GTA V starting life as a 3rd person game has impacted it’s transition to 1st person view, and how those aspects help refresh this re-released game. You can read the full article here.
The Jimquisition: The Reviewbisoft Problem
The Jimquisition is always good for a bit of apt critique of the games industry, and this week Jim has his sights set on Ubisoft and their review embargo practices. Simply put, Jim wants people with terrible games to stop hiding reviews from consumers. Video embedded above for this one.
THE HUNT FOR THE HORROR OF AOONI
Based on a fantastic talk from October’s VideoBrains event in London, this feature breaks down a fascinating RPG Maker horror game and how it paces it’s engagement curve when it comes to puzzle solving versus jump scares. It’s a really interesting look at horror using minimal resources and made me eager to give Aooni a look. You can read the full article here.
MEMES, CONTEXT AND TEEN GIRLS: HOW ‘JUST WARLORD THINGS’ RINGS FALSE
Companies love to try and be down with the kids. Meme’s are a cool thing the kids are into. Companies try to use Memes and fail spectacularly. It’s the circle of life.
This wonderful blog post by Apple Cider Mage delves into Blizzard, World of Warcraft and the mistakes made when trying to tweet using the #JustWarlordThings hashtag. It’s a great look at why businesses should stop trying to force themselves into meme culture and can be found here.
There’s no way any game is wackier than GAME OF THE YEAR: 420BLAZEIT
Last up is another post from Polygon that drew my attention to a fascinating satirical game titled GAME OF THE YEAR: 420 BLAZEIT. The game was made as part of a game jam to create FPS games that subvert genre expectations and this satirical experience certainly seems intereresting. You can find out why Polygon had their interest caught by it here.
And there you have it, my reading list for the last seven days of gaming critique. This weekly feature was made possible by the support of my Patreon backers. If you want to throw in $1 per month to help me make writing a viable career, you can do so here.