Addictive EA Sports Games, 250GB Xbox 360 & Sexual Achievements? – Welcome to the column that played a game for over 200 hours and then was told he couldn’t visit the petting zoo anymore known as Dare to Play the Game.
Kinda like last week, my gaming time was spent with two titles: Peggle and Shadow Complex. I’m about halfway through the Adventure mode again and I still feel confident about 20 million points. I’ve also taken the time to earn some of the Xbox Live achievements and actually beat some fellow players. By no means do I consider myself an expert, but in most situations I can hold my own. My mind is still trying to figure out how to complete some of the objectives in the challenge section but again those are purely when I got some time to kill.
As mentioned, everything I believe about Shadow Complex was true. It *gasp* lived up to the hype. The game has been an awesome experience and I expect that this will be one of the few games that I will probably play again after I beat it. My review was posted this week and can be found right here.
It is interesting that as much as I love the game, it’s one of the games where I feel like I’m missing a few check points and when it comes time for the final boss I’m going be hurting. On purpose, I’m not using any guides (okay I did look up one achievement to understand what it meant), and fumbling in the dark to a large extent. My decision for this was to write a better review and have a more rewarding experience. Sure I’ve used guides on games, I have no shame in admitting that. Heck, I read through the Fallout 3 guide, cover to cover. But most of the time, I buy guides as reference and for maps. And the occasional pretty picture. Okay, you didn’t hear that.
These are the twins: Karissa & Kristina Shannon, Playboy playmates and I believe they are Hugh Hefner’s current girlfriends. Guitar Hero 5 is coming out this week and that means a new Guitar Hero commercial ripping off Tom Cruise in Risky Business. This one involves Playboy bunnies including these two doing their thing with plastic instruments. Wow…so not only does Guitar Hero have to give away a game with the purchase of their product, they have to try to lure guys in with Playmates? *must resist*
You think playing a game for 20-40 hours represents good value? You’re playing the wrong kind of game, pal. You need to be playing sports games, where people bleed their annually-released games dry.
EA Sports Dave Littman – producer on NHL at EA Canada – has told us that “The average EA SPORTS gamer spends 200 to 300 hours playing their favorite sports game each year”. That figure is a combination of both online and offline play. And is for just one game.
Can’t think of too many games outside of WoW, Call of Duty 4 or Halo 3 where we’d be looking at figures like that. And those are one-off games, not regular, annual occurrences.
Sounds absolutely bonkers, I know, but as someone who probably sinks 50-100 hours or so into FIFA each year (amidst having to play pretty much everything else as well), it also sounds entirely plausible. It might be a stretch saying the “average” gamer spends that long, but with many sports games fans picking up one game and one game only (they’re a Madden guy, or an NBA guy, etc), then playing that game for nearly 12 months, there’d still be a sizeable number of people out there racking up hundreds of hours on a single game.
Two to three hundred hours? Really that’s the average EA gamer? I can’t imagine too many people falling into that category. Take a big time sports fan who loves Madden. Doesn’t he have better things to do, like I don’t know watch football? It seems really odd that the average gamer would be playing an EA game close to an hour a day. I try to think back to when I played Madden or even NFL 2k series just for comparison sake. I usually tanked out at around 100. Get through a couple of seasons, maybe a little more and then usually move on to something else. Can’t even think of a game I’ve spent 200-300 hours on except WoW. Of course, there was a time when I played some of the wrestling games constantly, maybe those cracked that barrier. And I’m considered hardcore too. Average, smagerage.
What I want to know is who played this game for 200-300 hours that year. Cause they need help in the worst way. The same with NFL Head Coach, you’re not fooling anybody EA!
One listing for a 250GB Xbox 360 could be an accident. A typo. But two in two days, on opposite ends of the planet, well, that’s something else.
This is an ad from South African retailer BT Games, showing a “Super Elite” Xbox 360 that packs a 250GB HDD. Interesting. Certainly makes the German version seem a lot less like an error and a lot more like a genuine product.
Perhaps even more telling than the South African listing, however, is Microsoft’s response to yesterday’s Amazon Germany reveal. Asked for comment on the supposed leak, Microsoft did not respond with their customary “We don’t comment on rumours and speculation”, instead telling Kotaku “We’ve made no such announcement”. No, you haven’t. A couple of retailers have made it for you!
The 250gb and well I’m just happy. Tickled pink even. This has to happen oh 6 months after I finally get my 120. Okay, I really don’t regret purchasing the 120 at all (especially since I got it for $100). But this brings up the obvious point. It’s great that we get a new bigger drive, are we going to get a new bigger price? The 120 I think started at $179.00 brand new before coming down some. Can we expect a price around $200-$300 for this one? I’m sure Microsoft hates the argument, but a 500gb PC harddrive goes for $100 down at Fry’s (heck less than that). But it is really just memory after all, in a somewhat fancy package. Honestly, I think they should price the 250 at $149 and move the 120 to $99 officially. Nobody cares about the 60 or the 20. Of course, if MS did what I wanted them to do, they would figure out how I could install my external hdd on my 360 (legally) and not have to worry about anything.
The South African advertisement. Oddly enough to the left is an ad for Lips: Number One Hits which comes out in October featuring everything from Lady Gaga to 2Pac (California, oh yeah!). Perhaps South Africa likes to Karaoke?
Mass Effect is a sophisticated, acclaimed video game. It took uninformed flak for its sex scene, which gamers defended as a mature portrayal of the act. But it’s not that different from the depiction of sex in many other games.
Video games, on the whole, perpetuate a transactional model of sex, argues Alex Raymond at GameCritics.com. When you think about it, pursuing sex with an NPC in Mass Effect, however tastefully it was shown, is fundamentally no different from C.J. bedding women in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Sex is presented as a reward, a result only, something won only by making correct choices attenuated to a woman’s shallow preferences, and it’s certainly not shown to be part of the process of a relationship.
The “Ladies Man” achievement in the upcoming Alpha Protocol spy action game – have sex with every woman in the game – really set Raymond’s teeth on edge. This essay focuses not on sex objects, but on sex as an object – a goal only, a commodity, and the damage done by video games reinforcing such concepts.
Update: The first two paragraphs, while based in my analysis, were edited so as not to misrepresent the author’s opinion of Mass Effect.
This design approach is extremely simplistic and perpetuates the commodity model of sex-the player wants sex, they go through certain motions, and they are “rewarded” with what they wanted (like a vending machine). Furthermore, when sex is included in a game, it is generally framed as the end result-the reward-of romance, rather than one aspect of an ongoing relationship/partnership. For example, one gamer commented that the romance in Mass Effect seemed like the romantic interest was really saying, “Keep talking to me and eventually we’ll have sex”. The relationship is not the goal; the goal is the tasteful PG-13 sex scene. The NPC’s thoughts and desires aren’t relevant; what matters is the tactics you use to get what you want. This is a boring mechanic in games and dangerously dehumanizing behavior in real life.
Where the simplistic relationship mechanics really get problematic is when someone makes a game where your protagonist is a James Bond-wannabe and there’s an achievement for sleeping with every woman in the game. I am talking, of course, about Alpha Protocol. The quotes in the linked MTV Multiplayer article are infuriatingly sexist (as well as displaying insultingly limiting definitions of masculinity), but the relevant part is the bit about the “Ladies’ Man” achievement.
It is seriously problematic to have a game where the male player/avatar can have sex with any and every woman in the game. On top of reinforcing the commodity model of sex, it is desperately heteronormative. For all the player’s “choice” of with whom to engage, there’s no possibility that the player might want to have a relationship with another man. It also shows that lesbians just don’t exist in this world, if every single woman is open to a sexual encounter with a man. In addition, it perpetuates the narrative of the Nice Guy (described in Millar’s essay, and elsewhere): that men are entitled to sex from women if they follow the rules and do the right things, or in the case of Alpha Protocol, “select your responses wisely.”
Oh no…Heteronormative!!! Seriously who comes up with this junk? Different games are made by different people. Some are awesome, some are distasteful, some are awesome and distasteful. And for the same games by a different person, they might totally be in reverse. Now comes along a game called Alpha Protocol and has an achievement called Ladies Man which wants you to sleep with every woman in the game. Okay a little bit of rolling of the eyes, but hey it could be an entertaining sub-plot. After all, it is a James-Bond wannabe game and last I remember doesn’t James Bond sleep with every single woman in the movies (at least the main ones)? Why would you not think that somebody would play on that little fact eventually in the world of gaming?
The problem is that people are used to games being Mario. You jump, you shoot some fireballs, you save the princess (which is also Heteronormative I suppose). Somewhere along the way, the games developed a pulse and were no longer just for kids. So naturally, adult games or mature games with adult subject matter appeared. And yes, Dorothy most of these adult games are *gasp* geared towards men and women, not men and men. Why? Cause nerds like big boobs? Well yes, yes they do. But also because there isn’t much of a market for anything else. Fable is one of the rare games that actually allow you to go either way (and everywhere in between) but that’s the exception and not the norm.
My main problem with all of this is yet again, somebody is trying to tell me what to play. I agree that this sort of thing is not the most politically correct thing in the world, but unless it is personally offensive to me, then who cares? And if it is personally offensive to me, then I just don’t play the game. Simple as that. I don’t go on some worthless crusade to change games to suit me.
There are millions of people who play video games, I’m not a spokesperson and neither should any single person try to be. Give your opinion and shut up. They are M-rated Mature games, let the adults play the games and stop trying to tell them what to do. If I want to be a ladies man and be James Bond-esque, then so be it. It’s a fantasy world, let me play in it. *breathe*
This is a game where you must defend your power cores using an array of tower types from the invading enemy. The tower types include ones with guns, cannons, missiles, and concussive grenades among others. Naturally, each weapon has advantages and disadvantages. The killing of enemies will net you resources which of course gives you more towers. The game has been on the PC for about 8 months and has received very favorable reviews. It looks intriguing but possibly very addictive. Proceed at your own risk.
In this game, you take control of a pirate ship and play with up to 4 people online or offline battle. It’s light hearted, colorful, a little crazy and should be fun for the young ones in your collective. Or perhaps you might want to act like a pirate for just one day. It’s 800 points, nobody is looking.
This would be #2 in the series. Guybrush is still trying to get rid of the Pox of LeChuck and catch up to his beloved wife. However, this time the pirates have laid siege to the Mer-People. Guybrush must save them and not lose touch with his main goal, to save his wife and rid the world of the nefarious LeChuck. The thriller continues. It’s Monkey Island, of course it’s fun.
A party game packed with mini-games where you shake the Wiimote to “rattle”. Supposedly great fun for single players too and you also have global leaderboards. Somebody stop me before I go insane with all of the fun I’ll have playing this. Just go get Mario Party, you’ll have a better time. Trust me.
One of the greatest rpgs of the 8-bit age. Back when Phantasy Star wasn’t some weird online game that required a monthly fee. Here Alis with her friends, Myau, Odin and Noah must save the Algol solar system from a tyrant king named King Lassic. This game was truly ahead of its time featuring 3-d dungeons, interactive towns and random enemy encounters. The dungeons were vast and required you to literally map out the various floors or implore some good memory. Personally, I used the latter and one of my least favorite memories was playing the game forever and getting to the final dungeon only to then see the cartridge’s battery fail. I loved the game, I wanted to shred the battery in many tiny pieces. The game is highly recommended. For those without a Wii that want to play this or any of the PS games, pick up Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection for 360/PS3.
Guitar Hero 5
SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny
Guitar Hero 5
Guitar Hero 5
Gears of War 2 – GOTY Edition
Guitar Hero 5
Monster Mayhem: Build & Battle
Hardy Boys Treasure on the Tracks
Monster Mayhem: Build & Battle
8-Ball All Stars
Guitar Hero 5 is the natural selection for release of the week. I’m not sure how well it is going to do sales wise. Probably through the roof. Free games, special offers, playboy bunnies, it’s driving the message home in the PR department. It’s going to be hard to resist. The fact that I do like some of the songs contained and really would like to see GH: Van Halen make this a decent purchase. RockBand is still my choice of music game though and all of the free games in the world won’t change that. Whenever I purchase DLC, we know who is going to get the points. Outside of that, we get the usual GOTY edition for Gears of War and Monster Mayhem might be fun for the kiddies. Stay tuned for next week.
My purchase from Amazon came in this week, in it was actually two games for once. The first was Red Dead Revolver for the original Xbox which is also nicely backwards compatible. The sequel I believe comes out next year and I figured the smart thing to do was find a good copy of the original. It should give me some fun hours or at least I hope. The other game I think I mentioned in this column before and that is Madden 08 for the Xbox 360. I honestly had thought about Madden 10 but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Well Madden 08 in Like New condition was a measly $6 on Amazon. It was also the last Madden game to have Michael Vick (as long as you don’t do Live roster updates) and it had his old stats. Since I want to simulate the Eagles this year, I’m going to go ahead and give it a shot with the older game. I’m not changing the whole league (just the Eagles and perhaps trade Favre to the Vikings, silly things like that) and I just want to mess with the playbook. At $6 and some awfully easy achievements (according to the forums), maybe I will play an EA sports game for a while. But somehow I doubt not long enough to equal 200 hours. Have fun kiddoes in whatever you do.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)