Tag: Kotaku

My unpublished Comm 436 video game trend story

My unpublished Comm 436 video game trend story

One of my favorite classes this past semester was Communications 436: Entertainment Reporting, which was taught by OC Register reporter Paul Hodgins.

While his lectures were perhaps a little vaguely laid out for my tastes, that was readily made up for by the interesting auxiliary bits he included during each three-hour class period — namely the mock newsroom sessions where we were able to write-up pieces in short bursts of time and design fake newspapers/websites/etc.

It was just the kind of cool real-life skills practice I haven’t seen come out of too many classes that aren’t taught by the Daily Titan advisor, for example.

Bonnie loves using her classes to feed into the newspaper for content generation.

The other thing I really liked about Professor Hodgins’ class was the fact that it offered the opportunity to write about subjects I might not have gotten to otherwise — more Lifestyle reporting practice, for example.

One example of that was the weekly beat report based on video game news, something I’m still deciding whether or not I want to keep up in the long run.

Because video games were my beat for every facet of the class, I also got to write some genuine articles in a few different styles. Ironically, the news story I pulled together about violence in video games was the only one I got out in print. However, I am still working on a profile piece the class initiated that I’m hoping to put out next semester.

The only piece that I never had the intent to publish was a trend story regarding the rise of the ‘battle royale’ genre of gaming. My sources for the story were Kyle Bender and Jared Eprem, the Titan’s spring 2018 Editor-in-Chief and Sports Editor.

Yeah, not exactly sources to use for a story if I wanted it published as something unbiased and legit.

Despite that, I was proud of how this article as a whole shaped up considering its somewhat last-minute nature. Because of that, I didn’t want it to just rot away in my school desktop folder.

So I figure what better way to put it out there than using my personal blog! Just consider it a sample of how I can write about a different subject more than an actual professional piece.

This pre-write is a little long as is, so I’m going to cut the story itself under a read more. If you enjoy it, please let me know! I’m always open to any and all feedback I can get.

Continue reading “My unpublished Comm 436 video game trend story”

Entertainment Beat Report – May 4, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – May 4, 2018

My apologies for missing last week oh devoted(?) fanbase. Looking at terrible restaurants around CSUF took up a whole lot of my time.

But now that that’s out-of-the-way I have way more free time and a hell of a lot less stress. So let’s talk about some video game news, shall we?


Upcoming President of Nintendo wants to focus on Mobile

The eternal gaming juggernaut Nintendo recently announced that its current president, Tatsumi Kimishima, will be stepping down in June.

He will become an advisor to the company’s next president (assuming stockholders agree) Shuntaro Furukawa, according to Kotaku.

Since Kimishima took the helm of the video game world’s most recognizable company following the unfortunate death of Satoru Iwata, it was brought back into an upswing thanks to the transition from the unsuccessful Wii U into the quite well-received Nintendo Switch.

Interestingly enough, one thing I learned from Kotaku Features Editor Chris Kohler’s article here is the fact that the current executive is not only going to be the sixth president of Nintendo ever, but also the first to take over during a thriving period of the company’s history.

Furukawa is supposedly interested in not just keeping up the success of the mobile hybrid console currently printing money for Nintendo, but also looking to take more advantage of the iPhone and Android gaming market.

As someone who rather obsessively plays Fire Emblem Heroes, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links and has had stints with both Pokémon GO and Super Mario Run, I’m pretty interested in that choice.

Though I do hope a large chunk of their focus remains on the classic gaming model more than the free-to-start ‘gotcha’ games.


Nintendo Labo kits face mediocre sales

Sticking with the Nintendo side of the world, let’s talk about Nintendo Labo again.

It’s a subject I’ve discussed before because it’s an interesting experiment all things being equal. For those of you who are unaware, Nintendo Labo is a series of arts-and-crafts kits in which Nintendo Switch owners can build objects out of cardboard that will allow them to play mini-games.

As the video above shows, there are objects like fishing poles, motorcycles and even a backpack that lets you imitate the giant robot you always wished you could pilot.

That’s Iron Giant for me, I’d say.

I’ve spent a good amount of time thinking and talking about Labo around here because I’m honestly interested in the idea behind it. As a current fan of things like Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project (a podcast featuring the ex-Mythbusters star), I appreciate the benefits to encouraging kids with a creative making project.

On top of that, the early reception to Labo seemed rather positive. This article by Eurogamer writer Robert Purchase really sums things up rather well in my opinion.

In essence, he argues that Labo is expensive and somewhat cumbersome to pull together on top of being something that isn’t incredibly fun alone… But for kids, it’s rather magical.

However, despite the positivity surrounding these cardboard variety kits, they don’t appear to be selling well in Japan since launching on April 20.

Kotaku reports that of the two variety kits currently available, the cheaper variety kit has sold 40 to 60 percent of its stock while the more flashy robot kit has only sold 20 to 40 percent of its stock.

In my opinion, it would be a shame if Labo disappeared into the same failing obscurity of experiments like the Virtual Boy… But at the same time I don’t exactly have the $60 to throw at things that might be just below my age demographic and overall interest level.

So I guess I don’t exactly have any ground to stand on in terms of saying we should support it. I think we should, but I probably won’t own any cardboard anytime soon.


New Overwatch Hero already receiving adjustments for being overpowered

Brigitte, the Swedish mechanical engineer who acts as a mix of a healer/tank unit, recently took Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch by storm.

She’s already getting nerved for taking it a little TOO much by storm.

Just about a day after she got released into the game, Blizzard is already working on balancing the character who seems to be ruffling many feathers among tank-hero players especially, according to PC Gamer… And just about anyone else reporting on the subject.

Now I’m not exactly a regular player of Overwatch, so I can’t necessarily explain the importance and impact of making Brigitte’s ultimate skill only buff character armor by 100 rather than 150, or increasing the cooldown on her stun attack from five to six seconds.

What I can tell you is that my friends who still play Overwatch regularly have noticed her impact and have complained about her.

So good on Blizzard for staying so on top of keeping their game fair.


Harry Potter’s mobile game bows to player criticism

“‘Yer a mobile game, Harry.”

As I mentioned up above, I’ve become more of a fan of mobile games as of late. However… I actually wasn’t aware there was a game based on the Harry Potter novels that dropped toward the end of April.

Apparently that’s not such a bad thing, because the game apparently succumbed to the dreaded microtransaction plague. That’s to bad because I enjoy Harry Potter a lot and it’s a shame that the game is being held back by lousy money practices.

Or is it?

The game has gotten so much negative press over its microtransaction system that it has apparently cut them out down, according to this article by IGN. Or technically Eurogamer since that’s who they source. But I already used Eurogamer so… Diversity.

But wait, there’s more. Supposedly that discounted price has only been seen by some users. Not everyone.

Talk about drama!

I can’t exactly speak to the game’s quality since I haven’t played it, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if this controversy buries it or not.


Steam implements more controller use variety

Valve’s gaming platform Steam has added compatibility with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.

That’s uhh… Really all there is to say on this subject, honestly.

It’s a cool idea, as Xbox controllers have become famous in part for being used on Steam, and this shows just another facet of the Nintendo Switch’s staying power overall.

But honestly what else can I add to that particular conversation? I don’t have a Pro Controller since I enjoy just using the Joy Cons. But if I did, I would appreciate being able to use it on my Steam games.

Probably.


That’s about all I have to say this week, and it may be almost everything I have to say altogether. If that makes sense?

I guess it wouldn’t unless you knew that next week is the last day of classes for the Spring 2018 semester. As a result, it will be the week that we get our beat reports examined by the professor.

I’m not sure if I’m going to keep up this experiment after the allotted time period. I do enjoy it, but I’m not sure it’s really my style right now.

If you’re interested in my keeping up this facet of my blog, feel free to let me know in the comments down below. I’d appreciate the input!

I would also appreciate knowing if there was any gaming news I missed, by the way. Because repeated ending phrase is repeated as always.

Entertainment Beat Report – April 12, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – April 12, 2018

As it turns out, I must be using the momentum from my Daily Titan post earlier this week to my advantage. Sometimes I astound myself with the way I can just go dark for days on end when I know I’ll enjoy myself after I manage to get out multiple posts in a row.

It’s just a satisfying feeling, man.

But that’s neither here nor there. This is a place to talk about video games. Not any of that real life garbage.

There’s probably some news going back a few weeks that I missed, but honestly I’m going to focus this entertainment beat report on a couple of really big things that have happened just recently in the video game realms that I follow.

So, without further adieu.


Overwatch League player terminated over sexual misconduct allegations

That’s right, we’re starting off with the heavy stuff today folks.

Jonathan Sanchez, a player known as “DreamKazper” from the Boston Uprising team taking part in Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch League tournament, had his contract terminated on Sunday when allegations went around that the 21-year-old was sexually involved with a 14-year-old fan.

Both the League and his former team have released statements about the scandal that can be seen over in the Game Informer link I put above.

I’ll be honest, I don’t exactly have a lot to say about this subject specifically. I have been following the League a little bit for this class, but I wouldn’t call myself an expert. Certainly not enough to know whether or not losing this player will leave a huge dent in the team’s abilities for the rest of the tournament.

But the fact that this story came out and received the reaction it did is important. In an era where the “Me too” movement seems to be taking down celebrities and other popular figures left and right (with good cause), it’s nice to see that a niche industry like eSports is not immune.

Though the League as a whole does not seem to be having a fantastic first run in regards to its media pull, which overall is somewhat unfortunate. Game Informer also linked to coverage of another case where a player was suspended and fined for derogatory language, and I remember writing a beat report not too long ago about one female commentator receiving death threats.

As an obvious fan of all things video games, I’d like to see a mainstream popular League like this survive beyond these controversies.

I suppose only time will tell.


“Donkey Kong” high score disqualified

Everyone loves Donkey Kong, right?

Well yes, Rare’s Donkey Kong Country series is certainly what people know the hulking ape for nowadays, and those games are undoubtedly wonderful both as experiences in themselves and as developments in gaming history.

But I’m talking about old school arcade Donkey Kong. The game where proto-Mario jumped around on scaffolding to save future New Donk City mayor Pauline from the clutches of the red tie-wearing monkey’s grandfather.

Is Donkey Kong a money? I swear I took a primate class not too long ago but I’m still nowhere near enough of an expert…

Anyway, not the point.

The point is, OG Donkey Kong had a worldwide high score set by a player named Billy Mitchell. Mitchell’s scores was removed from rankings of the game following the discovery that many of them were achieved using an emulator, according to a report by Kotaku.

Heather Alexandra has a pretty in-depth story on the subject that’s fascinating in its level of detail, so I’m going to just recommend you read it off the link I posted above.

If you’re at all interested in the retro gaming scene, you’ll have a good time.


New “God of War” title received stellar reviews

There’s a little-known franchise making waves in the game review circuit right now.

Oh, who am I kidding, anyone who’s reading this likely knows what “God of War” is, as it’s far from ‘little-known.’ The highly acclaimed series will be breaking into the next generation of consoles soon with a new release on the PS4, and people have been hyped for the game since it was announced some time ago.

Like many other people, I will affectionately refer to the game as “Dad of War” because the main character, Kratos, is an older man with a son in this title.

The game’s reviews have begun to trickle out now that there’s about a week before its release, and at this point everything looks to be highly in favor of the new Dad of War. On Metacritic, a site that accumulates review scores from across the web, the game has positive acclaim across the board.

Hell, at least three sites have given everyone’s favorite god-slaying daddy a 100 percent. Even IGN, which is pretty famous for hilariously bad reviews (look at you, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire’s 7.8/10 score for ‘too much water’) gave the game a perfect 10 — literally describing the game as a masterpiece.

After initial reviews like that, the question remains: Will Dad of War truly be as impressive as everyone is letting on?

I won’t personally be able to say given the fact that I don’t own a PS4. But my friends might play it.

If they do, I suppose I’ll get my answer there.


There are also probably a few smaller things I could throw into this, but for the most part it would be items of personal interest like the release of Klei Entertainment’s “Don’t Starve” on the Nintendo Switch.

(Shout out to Klei for liking my tweet. I’ve been noticed by Senpai!)

I love the game to death and played hours on end over Steam, so I’m excited to get to dive into it on a more portable system.

That said, it really is more of a personal item, so I’m going to let you all off early on this post.

I hope you all learned something new here today, and if there’s any big news in the world of video games that I missed, feel free to let me know in the comments down below!

Entertainment Beat Report – March 23, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – March 23, 2018

I could have put out this Beat Report yesterday I suppose, just to keep it aligned with my actual Comm 436 class schedule… But honestly I’ve been fluctuating between Thursdays and Fridays so much with this mini-series that I really don’t think it matters.

So I’m just going to use the midterm for the class that happened yesterday and the fact that I published two blog posts and want to space things out a bit as excuses for my laziness.

That said, let’s see what was news in the world of video gaming this week.


Mario measurements marked via phallus pixels

Let’s be serious for a second.

This is undoubtedly one of the greatest pieces of journalism I have ever had the pleasure of consuming.

Kotaku staff writer Gita Jackson wins all of the awards this week for taking mathematical calculations done by a Twitter user based on the promotional art for Mario Tennis Aces that assesses how large Luigi’s junk is, and using that result to extrapolate on determining the official sizes of other characters in the Mario universe.

That’s real, people.

My inclusion of this story above the actual big news this week may be a joke, but I genuinely do think this is an amazingly funny story that’s worth a little bit of your time to read.

Never before have I seen the word ‘penis’ put into a story three times in such an unironic way, and it’s just wonderful.

But that said, on with the real headlining news this week.


The 2018 Game Developers Conference

As much as I’ve been checked out from the gaming scene this week, undoubtedly the biggest thing that happened was GDC 2018 in San Francisco.

The annual conference took place from March 19 to 23 in the Moscone Center and frankly has so many different things to talk about that I’m not entirely sure where to start.

At the Game Developers Choice Awards, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild won Game of the Year. It was joined in the pantheon of winners by Night in the Woods, winner of the Excellence in Narrative award and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, Cuphead, which got Best Visual Art and Best Debut Game, Horizon Zero Dawn, which won Best Technology, and more.

Atari showed off a prototype of its newest upcoming console, which is crazy considering they have not had one since the Atari Jaguar in 1993.

More game developers were kept out of the conference thanks to President Trump’s travel ban, according to a Polygon article.

Really all of this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of everything that happened over the conference’s four days. It’s worth going back and just looking over everything that happened as far as announcements and speakers and whatever else, but I don’t think I’m going to delve too deep right now.

There’s more news to discuss, after all.


‘Sea of Thieves’ launch faces server problems

Rare’s latest game, the much anticipated pirate swashbuckling simulator Sea of Thieves, has not had the smoothest sailing opening to the public.

There have apparently been so many server-related problems afflicting players that Rare is taking the game down tomorrow to perform maintenance. That’s not really a super good sign as far as first impressions go.

The game has also received middling reviews (here are a couple of them: 1 – 2), so whether or not this one is as big a staying power as people were anticipating it would be is in limbo at the moment.


‘A Way Out’ offers players opportunities to play together without spending a lot

This one was a suggestion straight from my buddy Mitchell.

A new prison break-themed co-operative game, A Way Out apparently allows players to join a friend’s session of the game so long as they have the demo. No need to buy two copies, according to an article on Kotaku by a familiar writer.

This is an interesting concept put into the game by the developers at Hazelight… Though I can’t help but cynically reflect on the fact that this feature existed on the Nintendo DS for years.

Though if it’s inclusion here implies the feature may make a feasible comeback in the near future, who am I to complain?


Sort of a shorter report this week, in part due to my aforementioned laziness and in part due to me not exactly coming across a lot of ‘big news’ to go over.

I mean sure I could talk about the Deviljho again now that he has been unleashed in Monster Hunter World, but you can just check out my last report for details on that.

In the meantime, it’s about time that I head home to start Spring Break. I’ll likely post a few things over the week with whatever extra time I scrounge up, but for the most part I think I’m going to just relax and enjoy it a bit.

If there’s any other gaming news you picked up on that I didn’t, let me know about it in the comments below!

Entertainment Beat Report – March 15, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – March 15, 2018

I know this is exactly what I said on my last post, but I don’t believe I have a quippy opening to put up before this beat report. It’s just a standard round-up of the video game news from this last week thanks to some help from my friends that have way more time to pay attention to it than I do.

So I won’t waste too much time. Let’s see what the news of the week is in the video game world so I can continue to appease my lord in Comm 436.


New “Tomb Raider” film adaptation prepares for release

Probably the biggest mainstream video game news is the upcoming release of Roar Uthaug’s new adaptation of the 1996 classic game Tomb Raider. Or I suppose this adaptation is more based in the world of the 2013 reboot, Tomb Raider: A Survivor is Born, but those are semantics we don’t necessarily need to go into here.

The new Tomb Raider will be out on Friday with Alicia Vikander (known most arguably for her work as Ava in Ex Machina) starring in the titular role.

As of this writing the movie has a 7.2 out of 10 on the Internet Movie Database and a 48 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. While not fantastic, these scores are better than the 2001 Tomb Raider adaptation with Angelina Jolie, which got a 5.8 out of 10 on IMDB and a 20 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

So who knows, there may be potential for this to at least be a fun movie.


Popular Twitch streamer plays Fortnight with rapper Drake

A Twitch streamer named Tyler “Ninja” Blevins broke the record for most concurrent viewers at one time on Wednesday when he played the first person shooter Fortnite alongside Drake, a rapper known (in my circle anyway) for his  ridiculous dance in the Hotline Bling music video from 2015.

Of course he’s far more popular than that, but just to give everyone an idea of where I stand on this whole thing.

Now, when I say he broke records, I mean for non-tournament gameplay. According to the Polygon article I’m looking at, there were over 1.1 million concurrent viewers during an Eleague event in Boston. But for non-tournament events, Ninja’s stream nearly doubled the previous record by amassing 635,000 concurrent viewers at one time.

Apparently, Twitter analytics say that the top four trends that night were all related to the Drake/Ninja stream:

That’s pretty nuts.


Upcoming Monster Hunter World update detailed further

One of gaming’s biggest titles thus far in 2018 has been Capcom’s Monster Hunter: World. As a return of the long-time action-adventure multiplayer title to the Playstation side of the console debate, it brought huge changes to the beloved series that seem to have made the game a bigger hit than ever.

On March 22, it will receive its first major update.

Though that update will primarily be a series of added customizable armor sets and weapon balances, it will also feature the arrival of one of Monster Hunter’s most popular beasts:

The Deviljho.

Affectionately called the angry pickle, Deviljho is a fan-favorite Brute Wyvern that comes from the series’ third generation. It’s known for being a difficult fight with a creature design as terrifying as it is hilarious.

The Deviljho is also known for its claws, which in previous Monster Hunter games have facilitated the creation of items that boost player’s offensive and defensive capabilities.

There isn’t all that much to this piece of news, Monster Hunter just happens to be one of my favorite game series of all time, so I figured I would give it a shout out in my continued attempt to not be jealous of all my friends that are able to play it without me.


British Academy Games Award nominees announced

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) released their nominations for their 2018 games awards.

BAFTA recognizes 16 different categories every year, including “Best Debut Game,” “Best Narrative Game,” “Best Game Beyond Entertainment” and “Best Game Innovation” on top of the obviously expected music, performance and game design categories.

In what’s arguably the biggest category, six games are in the running for “Best Game.”

  • Assassin’s Creed Origins
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • What Remains of Edith Finch

Out of the games I’ve personally played here, I’d want Mario to win, but would probably expect Zelda or Horizon to win.

Though I’ve also heard nothing but good things about Hellblade, so who knows.

Whatever the case may be, these awards will be presented on April 12 in Troxy, London. There are 45 games nominated in the 16 categories, so it’ll be interesting to see how everything plays out there.


Foundation asks Nintendo about putting Dragon Ball protagonist in Smash Bros.

Alright, this is a bit more of a ‘jokey’ news piece… But I’ve seen some other outlets pick it up, so I figure it’s at least worth bringing up as it fits into my interests.

Following the announcement of Super Smash Bros. coming to the Nintendo Switch at the Nintendo Direct last week (which I summed up in my last beat report), one of gaming’s oldest questions came back into the limelight with a much more serious twinge:

Will Nintendo put Goku from Dragon Ball in Super Smash Bros.?

See, as funny as this joke is when it’s just a joke, the fact that Funimation is poking at them about it makes everything that much funnier.

Plus Dragon Ball FighterZ is such a popular fighting game hit that perhaps the idea of Goku appearing in a party fighter like Smash is not so farfetched…

Okay it is farfetched. But interesting to consider all the same.


That’s all I’ve got this week, and it’s about time I wrap things up so I can make it to class.

As usual, let me know what sort of big gaming news you think I missed in the comments! Obviously I can’t be in five places at once, so I know there are some things out there I didn’t get to.

In fact the most obvious video game news I didn’t give a shout out to is the soon-to-be-released Kirby Star Allies. I’m really looking forward to that, and it’ll probably be the next piece of gaming news you see out of me personally.

Entertainment Reporting Beat Overview

Our first assignment for Comm 436 had my class sent out into the wild, wild west of the internet to compile a list of basic details and possible future stories that we can examine throughout the semester.

The professor recommended we utilize our research as the first piece of our compendium of paying attention to the entertainment world, so I figured I would do just that.

This little explanatory introduction is pretty much just here to frame things. I won’t waste too much more time with it, so that said: Enjoy the minor fruits of my labor.


The California Video Game Industry

Local, Major Players:

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Informational Websites:

Possible Story Ideas: