Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
I'm pretty sus about this show. She's using too many 'Glad' products, which tells me they're the main sponsor. The entire show plays like an extended informercial for Glad with some recipes thrown in.
Everything on TV these days is about making as much money as possible. Product placement and sponsorship crap means that programs are less about what the content is and more about what products they pitch us in the ad break. The same thing has been happening in our video games too.
I remember playing Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, the best game in the series (I haven't played Conviction yet), and in one cut scene I noticed there was a packet of Air Waves gum next to a radio. The packet was in a corner and I accepted it as subtle advertising. I mean, why wouldn't a person put their gum next to a radio? But later in the game Sam is boarding a helicopter on his next mission to kill a political figure in true Tom Clancy fashion when he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a packet of cool refreshing soothing Airwaves Gum! That minty tastes lasts for hours! BUY IT NOW YOU WANT AIRWAVES GUM SAM FISHER CHEWS IT
AND SAM FISHER KILLS PEOPLE
SAM FISHER WILL KILL YOU IF YOU DON'T BUY AIRWAVES GUM
HE WILL FIND YOU
AND HE WILL RAPE YOU
.. so he pops a minty capsule into his mouth and some guy in the copter shoots him a smile in recognition. The inclusion of the product in the cut scene is bad enough, but to have the main character directly interact with the product is inexcusable. But the clincher for me was that knowing smile the guy gave him. That split second smile made that entire sequence a full blown commercial. I half expected Sam to turn to him and say.
“Say there, would you care for some Airwaves gum?!”
“AIRWAVES GUM!! BLOW ME DOWN AND FUCK MY MOTHER! I FUCKING LOVE AIRWAVES GUM!”
Then both characters turn to the screen.
“Airwaves Gum, buy it and chew the FUCK OUT OF IT YOU MINDLESS CONSUMER WHORE”
Unfortunately Airwaves Gum isn't sold in Australia, so when I raced to the store with a wad of bills in one hand and my dick in the other I was disappointed....
.. and promptly arrested for indecent exposure.
Friday, September 3, 2010
The retail chains began to sell “collectors editions” of games that came with this guide, and maybe a poster or two, then there were “game of the year editions” that added very little, maybe packaged some expansion packs with the game if it were a PC port onto Xbox (see: Morrowind). This was all well and good, as you didn't need the collectors or limited editions to enjoy the full gaming experience.
With this current generation however, things are starting to change. Collectors editions are serious business, gone are the days of a single game with a small bonus, you now have a game that comes with a behind the scenes dvd, a soundtrack, a poster, a book about some kind of crap, an action figure, night vision goggles, all in a custom box. And you HAVE to have it.
The only time I came close to buying a collectors pack was when Arkham Asylum came out with a Batarang, but when I ordered it the employee at my EB games store was kind enough to tell me the Batarang was a plastic piece of shit and looked nothing like the one in the catalog. He them pulled this hunk of plastic out from behind the desk to prove he was “no foolies”.
Again, you don't need all this shit to enjoy the full experience, they market the fuck out of it so you think you do, but in all honesty, you're never going to watch that behind the scenes DVD, and you'll play the soundtrack once in your car. So the industry stepped it up again.
Today it's quite common for games to include actual in-game items that are exclusive to certain retail chains, you don't need to buy the collectors pack any more, all you need to do is pre-order the game and you'll get your rare golden AK47 or alternative costume. Now I see this image and it scares me.
An extra hour of gameplay? The bonus quests are probably non-crucial, but the problem is where will it stop? When will it get to the point where you have to buy 2 copies of the game for all 3 systems from different retailers to enjoy the full gaming experience? They've done this before with additional features, like the Ada Wong level on the PS2 port of Resident Evil 4, and the Joker fight stages in the PS3 Arkham Asylum, these may be afterthoughts to grab attention, but when will we see the day where a large chunk of the story in a game is “Best Buy Exclusive”? It will be a sad day in the gaming world when the retailers decide on what content we're able to access. But the way things are going it's only a matter of time until you're shelling out 400 dollars for the Ultra-sex-mega-edition of Call of Duty XXIV with in-game naked stripper mode exclusive to EB Games, packaged inside a working combat shotgun dildo and optional happy ending massage by a trained masseuse when you pre-order the game.
It's supposed to be about the games, not the knickknacks they tack on them.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
In Arkham Asylum Harley Quinn donned a rather sexually appealing nurses outfit with a skirt just long enough to cover her assets. That of course didn't stop the most dedicated of us using Batman's crouch and zoom abilities to try to sneak a quick peek at her underpants (or hopefully lack thereof) as she pranced back and forth behind an electric field taunting Batman towards the start of the game. She even briefly talked about her 'new uniform' in her first appearance.
When the game was released I don't remember anyone having an outcry of her nurse's outfit, despite it being a completely new look for her. They accepted this Harley as traditional Harley in a different costume, one themed towards the medical environment she was in. But this group of people can't comprehend now that she's moved into the city that a nurse's outfit doesn't really fit in any more. Maybe because briefly in the teaser trailer she still wore it and they've accepted it rigidly in their minds that a new costume is incomprehensible, or maybe they have a thing against the more industrial gothic look of her new gear. But watching the trailer and looking at the screens her new look fits in perfectly with the new surroundings and dark undertones of this game series.
Then there are the people who rabidly scream down the walls that Harley should be in her classic jester hat and one piece suit costume, with a giant mallet and oversized pistol to boot I'm sure... this won't work, as much as I like Harley's original look, it just does not fit in with the style of the game. Standing among tattooed heavies that look so grimy you can practically smell them, if she were to rock up all clean and colourful and slapstick she would be nothing but a novelty in the game. In the screenshot at the top of this article not only does she fit in, but she looks way more authoritative than usual, instead of a bumbling fool in love she has some power and influence behind her. Which I feel would be a nice progression for her.
And speaking of tattoos, many people have pointed out that Harley isn't the type to have tattoos, how would they know? What is their basis behind this argument? To me it sounds perfectly normal for an obsessed girl to tattoo the name and face of her object of affection onto their body. And hell, it might not even be a real tattoo. Did you think about that?
If people should be upset about anything it's Two Face. One of the better villains out there in the Batman universe, Harvey Dent's face wasn't the only thing that was scarred by the acid thrown at him in a courtroom (or elaborate trap set up by Heath Ledger), he became a man with no moral sense of right and wrong, leaving everything up to chance.
The game is still a year off the release date, and we're yet to see any of the characters in action. A picture can say a thousand words, but judging the game on them alone is a waste of everyone's time.