5 Conclusions - 09/03/18

March 9, 2018

A regular look at gaming-related stories from the past week or so whereby conclusions are drawn from anything and everything. These may be incredibly well reasoned based on events from the week. Alternatively, they may be highly speculative, drawn from very little evidence. More likely, they will be somewhere in between.

Conclusion One: The world of Lordran never fails to cause wonder

One of the very best things about Dark Souls is its world — Lordran. At various points during the game you realise that everything is connected and sometimes in surprising ways (aside from the painted world of course, and Anor Londo if you insist). It is fabulous when you unlock a shortcut back to an area you’ve been a while ago and even more delightful when you gaze upon one area from another due to the spatial orientation of them in the overall world. It’s rather breathtaking.

A Twitter user known as @DriftItem created the below image which is Lordran in grey, with orange markers showing bloodstains — where people have died — and blue marks where people have left messages, possibly offers of help but more likely calls for said help.

Here’s a version with some notable locations noted. What’s most wonderful in my opinion is the fact that at Firelink Shrine — the hub of Lordran and the safest place in the entire game — is a particularly dense death spot.

Conclusion Two: The 3DS really isn’t dead

With the success of the Nintendo Switch and the fact it is a brilliant home console and just as fantastic a portable one, many had presumed that the 3DS would slowly fade away. Based on this week’s Nintendo Direct that’s not the case — not yet, anyway.

A remake of the original Luigi’s Mansion was announced, as well as a new Warioware game and a remake of Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story — a DS RPG from the last decade — and a new chapter: Bowser Jr.’s Story. This is quite the cavalcade of top releases, even if part of it is a selection of remakes. For a handheld that has been usurped, but still owned by many, this is regardless a fabulous surprise.

Conclusion Three: Oculus Rift virtual (no) reality?

People make mistakes, companies will have problems and end users will get upset. This happens time and time again in many walks of life. Learn from what has happened and don’t make the same mistake a second time.

This is all well and good but every now and then something quite monumental happens and although you can apply the above approach and stages, each stage is probably a little bit more intense. Especially when you have people who can let you know how upset they are on the internet. Oculus had such a problem this week.

All of the Oculus headsets around the world stopped working according to Techcrunch.. All of them. Unsurprisingly this meant people were in all manner of uproar. It seems a security certificate had lapsed. It’s now been fixed but much of a day nobody could escape reality and enter their preferred virtual reality by way of their Oculus Rift. This is not something Oculus will want to happen ever again.

Conclusion Four: A watershed moment for games?

After the most recent school shooting in the USA, President Trump made some comments in relation to the gaming (and movie) industry says Fortune.com:

“We have to look at the Internet because a lot of bad things are happening to young kids and young minds and their minds are being formed, and we have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they’re seeing it,” Trump said. “And also video games. I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts. And you go the further step, and that’s the movies. You see these movies, and they’re so violent. And yet a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn’t involved, but killing is involved, and maybe they have to put a rating system for that.”

Now there’s already a rating system for films and games in the USA and Europe. So the meeting which is being organised to discuss games, films and these horrible events is likely to go into more and whilst every avenue possible must be explored to help stop such terrible incidents, there is always a question as to whether games and films do cause this  — or are just something on the periphery that has no real impact.

We cannot comment as it’s not anything we’re qualified to talk about. We do however hope that people’s enjoyment of gaming can continue — whatever results from this meeting.

In the meeting there will be games executives present — both Take-Two and Bethesda will attend, whilst EA and Activision will not — as well as representatives from the industry trade group and the USA ratings board, the ESRB. Let’s all hope that through this meeting and subsequent work, whatever results really does help with the challenge America faces as well as retaining the experience that only games can bring.

Conclusion Five: The UK games industry is massive - with more to come

It isn’t a surprise to learn that the UK games industry is massive. This has been true for quite some time now. Yet the industry keeps growing, reaching a record-breaking £5.11 billion in 2017 according to the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, thanks to pretty much everything you can think of. In particular console hardware (think Nintendo Switch primarily) and PC hardware (Virtual Reality headsets — hopefully ones that work) really pushed the spending.

It’s lovely to think that the hobby we all hold so dear continues to become bigger and more important in general to the UK and the world. It’s doubly pleasing that despite the pressures of the world and the economic challenges we all face daily, the escapism of gaming is providing joy to so many in so many ways.

Wastelands' thrilling finale means it's a step up from Rules, but it makes a few missteps in its handling of the brothers’ relationship to get there.
Luciano Howard

I've been gaming for 30+ years on the Commodore VIC-20 to the Nintendo Switch and most things in-between. I enjoy all kinds of games but if I had to pick a couple right now, I'd say I adore Mario and love Dark Souls. I can talk about either ad infinitum...