So going in to E3 I had very low expectations. I really expected nothing. Going into it I tweeted that I was expecting the highlight of the Sony press conference to be related to Journey… an exaggeration, but gets a point across.
And I owe almost everyone involved in E3, especially Sony, an apology.
One of these things is not like the others
Everyone has games that just click for them… games that you can constantly go back to simply because, no matter how many times you play them, they are always satisfying. Always fun. For some people, this is a classic game from their childhood. For me, there are a few… but the one that stands out the most is Catherine. I love Catherine, and I’ve always struggled with why.
Catherine is an obscure 2011 Atlus game that is incredibly hard to explain – or rationalize. It isn’t a game that fits into any of my favourite genres – it isn’t Metroidvania, it’s not an RTS/MoBA, it’s not a JRPG, it’s not even a Platformer. It isn’t a long game (I streamed the hard difficulty from start to finish in a ~12 hour marathon just last weekend). It isn’t perfect, by any means… so why is it that this game is the one I constantly go fall back on when I’m looking for something to watch, to play, or to stream?
WARNING: Some Spoilers Are Contained Within
Blizzard and I have a lot of history. Some of the first computer games I ever played were Warcraft 1 and Warcraft 2. The first game I ever played online was StarCraft. Blizzard has been a part of my gaming life for at least a decade and a half, if not longer – it’s hard to remember exactly what year it was I got my introduction to them and we hit it off really well. Their games made me happy, and I loved the communities they’d built. For a while, in my eyes they could do no wrong… but over time… that has changed. I think we’ve been drifting apart for a while, and I’ve just had a hard time recognizing it… but recently, it’s been becoming more and more obvious.
I make no secret of the fact that I play League of Legends. A lot. When I’m not watching anime or playing games to review, I’m usually playing League of Legends. Well, that or Diablo 3, but that’s not the subject of this ran… err muses.
League of Legends gets a lot of criticism for the calibre of its community… and, to be fair, so do a lot of other games. I heard the same about StarCraft, the same about World of Warcraft, I hear it about Call of Duty, Xbox Live, and nearly every online game. Having been a part of several gaming communities for a long time, it really bothers me to hear all this negativity imposed upon them. It’s even gotten to such an extreme that people consider it justified that Blizzard removed chat from Hearthstone, a decision that has led to me refusing to support the game.
I’m going to contradict the majority here and say what I feel. The internet really isn’t that bad a place, gaming communities aren’t all that unfriendly, and trolls are not the majority. People, in general, are not that bad and while I do agree that there are bad apples out there, to number them among the majority is simply not realistic, not fair, and grossly exaggerated.
I get a lot of questions whenever I tell people that I don’t like the first person perspective, that it makes games intolerable and nearly unplayable for me. I get even stranger looks when I tell them that the big problem is that I lose my connection to the experience, that it makes things lack that ‘immersive’ quality that games strive for. Until this past year, I never really thought all that much about why that might be. What is it about this perspective and these games that just somehow makes me unable to feel that connection? I don’t suffer from motion sickness, so it isn’t that I’m getting dizzy or ill playing them although I understand that’s a fairly common problem. So I spent some time really thinking about why, and here’s what I came up with. [Read more…]