Hello one and all; my sincere apologies once again for a lack of blogging output over the last month or so, but I’ve been kind of busy…buying and moving into a house! What you will find below if some of the choicer stories that made the headlines over the past month.
Headlines For 27th April to 3rd May
If you remember a couple of months back, a group of former Rare employees broke off to create their own studio, Playtonic Games, with the intent to create a spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie. The project was subsequently revealed to be Yooka-Laylee, a colourful platformer featuring a chameleon and it’s bat sidekick in a 3D enviroment packed with good old collectibles.
A Kickstarter campaign was set up to help fund development of the game to the tune of £175,000. They raised that total in less than 45 minutes.
As I write this article now, I’m delighted to say that the figure stands at a whopping £1,480,866 – that amount means that a number of stretch goals were met that will result in the game having a 2-4 player multiplayer mode, an N64 style shader mode and a simultaneous release across PC, PS4, Xbox One and Wii U platforms. While the game is only set to come out in October next year, the incredibly positive feedback towards the project does put a smile across my face – it suggests that the love and enthusiasm for the classic platformer genre isn’t quite dead as feared.
The Independent Games Developers Association (Tiga) has stated this week in an interview that video games deserve to be officially classified as ‘cultural products’ in the UK, alongside television, film and animation.
The CEO of Tiga, Dr Richard Wilson, commented that “recognizing games as cultural products would untie the red tape which unfairly prevents EU member state governments from supporting their national video game sectors” – video games are currently recognized as software under EU law, which resulted in a long drawn out process to get tax breaks for UK game companies (which was finally approved by the European Commission in March); the argument made by Tiga is that this would not have been the case had games enjoyed the same benefits as film or TV.
The latest financial analysis by Tiga would certainly suggest that such a move would be in the Government’s interests; estimating that video games generate up to £93 billion worldwide compared to $88.3 billion for films and a surprisingly low $15 billion for music. On a personal note, I think that to declare video games as cultural products is a perfectly logically decision – the impact they have on modern life, not only from a financial standpoint, means they deserve to be celebrated and remembered as much as the next number one single or box-office hit.
Bungie have claimed that O’Donnell left on amicable terms, and that his departure from the company has not affected the progress of Destiny, set for release on multiple platforms on September 9th 2014.
If I had to make a relatively useless comparison, Sleeping Dogs is like one of those fancy cocktails you find hidden on the menu at a bar: it has all the delicious ingredients and initially it has quite a kick, but pretty soon you are left wishing you had ordered something with a bit more substance and volume – like a large pint of (insert favourite drink here). It has the potential to become much more than the picked up remains of a True Crime game, but in the end is unable to quite fulfill its high ambitions. Continue reading Top Dog Or Hounded By Mistakes? – Sleeping Dogs Review→
For all intensive purposes, Final Fantasy XIII-2 shouldn’t exist. Final Fantasy XIII was not the new age hit that Square Enix hoped it would be; in fact it did the opposite and split much of the fanbase with its questionable plot and automated battling. The decision to make a direct sequel, tailored more to a Western audience, is questionable at best then. Strangely though, for whatever reason the premise works – XIII-2 is a much better game than the original, but still suffers from quite a few of the problems that made XIII a disappointment. Continue reading Paradoxes, Paradoxes Everywhere – Final Fantasy XIII-2 Review→