Latest Happenings and Musings:
Back into the usual habit of tasks, pressing along as best I can. Hello all. Glad to see the response to the previous personal musing, means a lot. What to talk about today…well, the past couple of days has been me trying to get homework done and tonight I finally got a respite. Got my computer homework done, early too which was nice. So I’m planning on spending the next couple of days reading and trying to stay ahead of the classes as best I can. We’ll see if I succeed. Work and school have been pretty good so far. Now I’ve got work on days that I don’t have school except for Friday and I like that a lot better. I have to wake up early every day though but I’m never that productive in the mornings so its no big deal. Not much else to talk about today otherwise. Hopefully tomorrow is a little bit more exciting ;).
Its about time I started talking about what games I’ve been playing. I haven’t done that for a month except the random mention on Twitter due to finals. So here goes. I’ve been playing Age of Wonders – Shadow Magic with a couple of friends of mine when we can. Pretty old 4X-like game and I’ve been finding that to be quite enjoyable. I got quite a few games over Christmas break via gifts and very cheap Steam sales. So far I’ve completed Home which was a crap game and is not worth your time. Seriously, wasted an hour or so on that game and regret ever buying it. Not how I wanted to start out 2013. I finished up Thomas Was Alone, To The Moon and The Walking Dead games, not all at once obviously. Thomas Was Alone was a nicely done story with some weak platforming elements. Not sure if I’ll review it or not. To The Moon was enjoyable enough but I don’t feel it had the same effect on me like it did so many others. The Walking Dead is probably the only point-and-click game I’ll ever recommend, it was just that fun to play. Not likely going to review that game as I feel its too far out of my normal genre interests to give a good enough opinion on it. Plus, its been reviewed to death and I don’t think I could really add anything interesting to it. I also deleted “Titan Quest” on my desktop, a game from THQ, when I realized it was an aRPG game. I already have one aRPG (Torchlight II) and I’ve barely touched it. I don’t need to add more to the pile.
So what am I currently playing? Well, a combination of different games. Oh, I guess I didn’t mention that I got an XBOX 360 controller for my PC. It was on sale so I grabbed it while I could. The difference it makes for platformers and racing games blew my mind. Just couldn’t stop raving about it for days, its just that good. Which is great because I have quite a few platformers to play now as well as a racing game coming up soon, Distance. So, best purchase I made all year as far as accessories goes. Granted, its the only accessory I bought all of last year…hmm. Anyway, so if a game says “recommended for controllers”, take the devs seriously and use a controller with it. Your gaming experience will be so much better. It is about time I got a controller anyway, as my brothers have better controller skills than I do and that just isn’t acceptable. ;). Anyway, GAMES. Games. I’ve been playing Saints Row The Third which has been ridiculous and mindless fun. I can see the appeal of open-world games now. Only problem is, that promises to be a giant time sink. *shudder*. I don’t need more of those. Also been playing Transformers: War for Cybertron which is fairly meh but cool enough as well as Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams & Mark of the Ninja. Giana Sisters and Mark of the Ninja have been truly enjoyable platformers and I’m looking forward to just enjoying my time with them. I’m in no rush to complete them. So I’m basically playing catch up on last year’s games. And its been a lot of fun. I’ll be sure to talk about it more…or well as best I can as the year goes on.
Tech and Gaming News To Read:
Here we are, talking about Apple yet again. Apple published a new set of guidelines for what can and cannot be on the Apple App Store. Normally, you would need a lawyer to read these new terms because they’re so full of legalese but this time, you don’t need one. Apple is being surprisingly more casually written than most. As you read it, it gives you a pretty good idea of what Apple considers ok and not ok on their iTunes store. However, Apple’s attitude towards videogames is incredibly disappointing. In the terms they stated “We view Apps different than books or songs, which we do not curate. If you want to criticize a religion, write a book. If you want to describe sex, write a book or a song or create a medical app. It can get complicated but we have decided to not allow certain kinds of content in the App Store”. And the worst part is right here: We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, ‘I’ll know it when I see it'”. Apple went on to state that they will continue to police the store and not allow anything too mature because parental controls are never enabled.
Quite frankly, Apple’s gone too far at this point. This is the same company which allows broken apps on their store (while denying access to perfectly usable apps) on their App store has now stated that ‘they know best’ and will not allow games they consider too controversial? What a joke! The “I’ll know it when I see it” line is just awesomely bad, vague and can be used to justify a lot of things as far as their store is considered. I would go far as to say that Apple could be infringing on the First Amendment Rights with that statement too but that’s a little difficult to tell. I’m no lawyer after all. Its funny that this comes from the same company that have allowed multiple scam apps that were completely broken to get to the top of the charts before stopping them. I don’t know if people were ever refunded their money for buying those. And the fact that Apple has this issue with controversial games but not any other controversial media is incredibly biased of them. Videogames can handle controversial material just as well as any other media, if not better. Holding videogames back simply because you find them too controversial is just…idk, wrong. Or does Apple want to be stuck with the bajillion farmville clones it has on the store now? Trust me Apple, you don’t.
At the end of the day, I’m glad I’m leaving the iOS platform soon. I do not trust Apple to police their store and decide what is and isn’t right for me. I don’t like Apple’s bias against videogames as they have clearly shown here. Apple can go toss off for all I care at this point. This shouldn’t be acceptable to any of us. And if any devs read about this news, they shouldn’t develop their games for iOS anymore because it could be blocked for any reason now. Its sad to see Apple do this. Its even more annoying that Apple is becoming even more controlling now. Its really hard to trust one company to manage an app store like this. I’m leaving and that’s a certainty now. I have no wish to have my experience on mobile controlled by them any longer. You shouldn’t either. There are perfectly acceptable substitutes now which do a lot more than the iOS platform will ever be allowed at this point, go check them out.
Audio of Note:
Lindsey Stirling and the Piano Guys mix it up for the Mission Impossible theme. Really well done song and its cool to see these two groups play a song together.
Peter Hollens does an extremely well done acappella version of the Misty Mountains, the main theme of the Hobbit movie. I quite enjoyed it.
Photos To See:
Decided to keep this section after some deliberation but I’ll be working on improving the content and look over the next couple of weeks, whenever I figure out how ;). So keep your eyes out…
Interesting Videos To Watch:
Totalbiscuit takes a look at 10,000,000. Yeah, that’s the name of a game, its kind of a silly title. An interesting-looking game but the randomness and lack of strategy makes it kind of a boring game for the PC. Its probably ok on mobile but I have no interest in it. I also am not amused by the fact that it costs 3X more on PC than it does on mobile. Not cool guys.
MoonshineFox continues his Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams series and is on the second level of the main campaign. While he claims he is not doing a completionist run on this game, I noticed he collected all the crystals anyway. I know dude, its addicting. 😉
Meanwhile, on the Island, Jesse nearly has a heart attack when something tries to take a bite out of his leg in Far Cry 3. Laughed my butt off in this one, you need to watch it to see. Poor Jesse, he never saw it coming…
And until next time, I hope you enjoyed this personal musing!…