A Week In Comments

Konami Boob Shooter DLC Short On Boobs
Comment by: beesnipe
Nominated by: N●Gage Croal

I guess you can say that 400 ms points for this character is indeed a FLAT rate

Watch Beyonce Do A Hard Days Work For Nintendo
Comment by: Miksho
Nominated by: bakagaijin

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A thrilling look inside the mind of the Nintendo PR rep:
"Don't look at her chest. Do not look at her chest.
Oh my god look at that chest.
Her lips are soft. Like pillows. I could sleep forever and dream the most fanciful dreams on those pillows.
She is married to a man who could murder me and then rap about it.
The song of my murder would become a number one single.
She smells like flowers in bloom.
Don't look at her chest...again."

What Do Developers Think Will Have The Biggest Impact On The Future Of Gaming?
Comment by: BritBloke916
Nominated by: ThursdayNext

Microtransactions are the future! How the hell else is gamer like myself (mid thirties, marriage, mortgage, kids on the way) supposed to defeat the cobra-like reflexes of the typical teenage online adversary? RAW SPENDING POWER, that's how! Crumble before the might of my disposable income, hell brat! I bought the ubergun, and you have to wait until Christmas!

Max Payne 3 Hits This Winter
Comment by: Maltodextrin
Nominated by: trevortibble

I awoke in my clothes, groggy, disoriented, like a choirboy who didn't know what to do about the priest's actions last Sunday. Blindly fumbling through my routine I located the power button on my computer. The screens flickered to life with the intensity of a Hiroshima morning, while the fans wailed like a dying animal.

Stumbling through data and RSS feeds like a drunken hobo lost in a sewer, I heard a cacophony of voices. Some cried jubilant praises for a promise finally realized, while others screamed snide, cynical remarks, like a lover too often scorned. Whomever was right didn't matter. All that mattered was Max Payne did return.

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Growing Up Games: When Will Mature, Mature?
Comment by: nipsen
Nominated by: —Core—

You know, I disagree. Take Psychonauts - it's made in California, by American developers. And it received good reviews, and has continued to sell extremely well on PC and later on the xbox live marketplace. But it has done so without ever being discussed by "real commenters" as anything but a platformer.

How do you explain that? Are all the players being tricked into trying the game, since they shun sophisticated games like the plague?

Or take your average Japanese role- playing game. It's, like most anime, ultra- light entertainment and a just fun - but it's typically smuggling in themes about religion, technology, development of societies, political considerations, deception, evolving thinking on the part of the protagonist and other characters - all things that you rarely if ever see in a game developed in the west. And they sell pretty well.

So how do you explain that? Many explain it by simply dismissing it: quirky people play quirky games. Or simply declare that the games aren't really that good - obviously people are just getting sucked into the artificial hype. Look at the battle- system, it's so horribly simple! Or: summon great Guardian Forces!

But in either of these examples the most intriguing thing is simply the way the plots and stories in these games are never mentioned. I don't mean to say that they should be analyzed and treated as serious - but you never see any "serious commenters" accept the idea that these games are popular because they explore mature themes (however unseriously).

And that's simply because American commentators don't have the vocabulary to start talking about it. Obviously, I could commend people for trying. But the fact remains - there's no way to officially talk about: religion, sexuality, politics, maturity, philosophy, and so on in the US without it turning into a scandal. Which is why people insist "the audience" is not ready for it.

I don't think that's right. In the worst case, it's a bit like saying teenagers aren't ready for adulthood, so they should be shielded from it forever. But I can easily see that you would have to deal with commentary here carefully and skillfully - so a challenge, maybe, for people who want to create and provoke some thought? Whether it is developers or commentators? Without, for example, being pretentious enough to declare simplistic truths as a way to establish a premise, so everything is explained at the end of a 1200 word article? Or as the case may be, a 20 minute side- quest?

Just a thought.

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DISCUSSION

While I agree with Nipsen that game stories should be taken more seriously, I completely disagree with "themes about religion, technology, development of societies, political considerations, deception, evolving thinking on the part of the protagonist and other characters - all things that you rarely if ever see in a game developed in the west." Mainly the "in the west" part. Look at some of the most popular western games of the past two years: Bioshock, Mass Effect, Fallout 3, Grand Theft Auto 4, and Braid. All those games have flaws, but to say that "the west" doesn't make games that have as deep and interesting plots as "the east" absurd.