Games Corner, Week 15 2016

Hello everyone! Welcome to the revival of a weekly series of articles called Games Corner, where we chat about all sorts of stuff to do with gaming that has happened in the past week. Let's get into it!

 

April 12th - A tale of 2 games

When The Division launched on March 8th, everyone had the same question on the tip of their tongues - how would this game compare to Destiny? So far the two games have generally kept things fairly separate and civil, though there is no denying that the two games fanbases share quite a large Venn diagram.

This Tuesday just gone saw two major updates hit the MMO-like games - Destiny finally received it's first actual content update since The Taken King, while The Division saw the introduction of it's first incursion (basically their version of a raid.) Both, thankfully, were 100% free.

Buzz from the Destiny side seems to be not exactly amazing, but not extremely flat either - in actuality, it seems to be exactly what was expected. Given Destiny's track record when it comes to content and the stories surrounding how difficult it seems to be to create it, it ultimately seemed like a decent bump in stuff to do for those lapsed players to come check out.

On the flip side with The Division, the receival of the new content is similarly mixed, but again - new free content? Sure. Having some end-game stuff to do is always a great thing when you're into this type of experience.

Where the ball drops is in the conflict. Is one game's player count dipping thanks to the others? At this stage, neither company has said so, and given that these are relatively small updates it's likely to not make to much of a difference. Does The Division have a massive paid DLC content drop to rival the rumored Destiny expansion come September? No doubt it will be a long road ahead for both games.

Have you played either of the two updates? Have you played both and prefer one over the other? Let me know in the comments!

 

Growing up on the Seedy Underbelly of the Internet

This recent Kotaku article by Patricia Hernandez is focused on a comic collection all about growing up in a time when the internet was much more of an unknown quantity. Before Facebook and Twitter, in a time when Google was still working on it’s famous algorithm and internet video was laughable, the internet was a very different place - which turned out to be a refuge of sorts for plenty of young teens around the world. Not that it isn't still that to the teens of today, but like all nostalgic memories, it was different.

I feel lucky to have grown up in a time where this new thing existed that connected people worldwide, yet was completely anonymous; this idea that took work to understand yet held infinite possibility. The internet of course is still that way, but the ubiquitous nature of the web has in a way democratised and tamed what once was a wild open playground for anyone to explore, whether it be as large as the world around them or as small as their own identity - most notably without the repercussions that come along with mistakes made online today.

Reading this article got me thinking pretty deeply about the freedom I once felt with this wonderful thing. The social networks before social networks - Myspace, MSN, Piczo. The random holes you would end up going down simply by clicking link after link. Knowing how to navigate and understand this thing that I knew the "old people" didn't. One of the largest social connections I had for many years, where I literally spent thousands of hours - a little game called Runescape. Hell, I even remember my Dad telling me that if there were any websites I wanted to visit on the brand new laptop, I should write them down so I could look at them when the next fortnightly visit rolled around - to which I returned with my Star Wars Episode 1 notepad with 2 pages of addresses, including the local hairdresser and Bendigo Bank websites (I was 8.)

We currently live in an age with increasingly shorter attention spans and an unending hunger for “new content”. While I’m just as guilty of the next of this, it’s sometimes good to reflect on the experiences we’ve already had.

The comic that the article is based on was created by Merritt Kopas, which is a collection of artwork from various artists who created their pieces based on quotes provided by Kopas. While I haven’t checked out the comic yet, the article itself was definitely an engaging read.

you can find the comic Internet Murder Revenge Fantasy here, and read the article in full here.

 

Play Time

This past week hasn’t been much of a big one for me when it comes gaming, due to being at OzComicCon last weekend (which was awesome by the way) as well as taking on a ton of new work at my real job. That doesn’t mean I played nothing though!

Traveling is often a great time to sneak in some portable gaming, so I did manage to squeeze in some 3DS time over the last weekend - the prime candidate being Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. Though I prefer playing it on an N64 controller on a big screen, that game is just so good that it works on handhelds as well. I had put this game down years ago, so as I loaded up the save file I had no idea where the game would put me. Oh, of course, the water temple. Yup, now I remember, that’s exactly where (and why) I stopped playing last time. I'm happy to say that I once again made it through that temple.

Apart from that little adventure, I have managed to put some time into two other titles. The first of which is the Final Fantasy 15 Platinum Demo, which, I’ll be honest, has moved me from the “hmm even though FF1 is the only Final Fantasy I’ve played, this one is actually getting me kind of interested” to the “oh… yeah nah, I don’t want to play this” camp. The movement, jumping, combat… everything felt super clunky. Maybe it was just me, but well… I won’t be picking that game up come September 30.

The second game I put a few hours into this week is, of course, Stardew Valley. I’ve technically finished the game, having put 90+ hours into it already, but… that game has a zen that just helps me wind down. I’ve found myself playing a couple of days before bed each night and it’s been great. I will have a full article about the game (maybe even more than one) up soon, over the next few days I’d say. Spoilers: that game is fantastic.

 

Roundup

Well, that rounds out my thoughts on the gaming world this week. It’s been a good one! So now, I pass the talking stick to you: have you been playing anything lately that’s really caught your imagination? Are there any stories in the gaming sphere that you just really want to chat about? Do you absolutely hate this new format for Games Corner? Feel free to drop a comment below!