The Morning AMp – The Best And Worst of CES 2015

The first month of the new year is usually a pretty quiet time in the video games industry, but it’s a whole different story in the tech industry. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes place every January and it’s basically the Super Bowl of the tech world. Companies of all shapes and sizes come out to Las Vegas and show off their latest wares in hopes of becoming the next big thing. Except this year, there wasn’t really a “next big thing” to show off. It was a lot of the same-old, same-old, and I break it down for Molly and Brian on The Morning AMp. You can listen to the whole segment using the SoundCloud player above.

The Morning AMp – Lizard Squad Ruins Christmas, Molly Plays Hohokum

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for the bunch of lizards DDoS-attacking your video game consoles. Yes, the now-infamous Lizard Squad was up to no good during the holiday break, and I have the scoop for MollyBrian, and our loyal The Morning AMp listeners. Then, we dive into all of the games we played over the break, including Hohokum, Game of Thrones, Halo 5: Guardians, Destiny, and Assassin’s Creed Unity. You can listen to the whole segment using the SoundCloud player above.

 

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!

rapturenewyearOut with the old, in with the new, right? That’s what this whole console generation was supposed to be about. It was supposed to be about new experiences and unprecedented technology. Instead, 2014 proved out that it’s actually about the same-old experiences and games being broken in unprecedented ways.

Sure, it wasn’t all bad. We got games looking to shake up their respective genres like Titanfall. We got sequels to games that so dearly deserved them like Bayonetta 2. We saw a renaissance in licensed games worth a damn like Alien: Isolation and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Lots of great indie titles made huge splashes, like Gang Beasts, Luftrausers, Roundabout, and Hyper Light Drifter. With all these high-highs, it’s still hard not to be disappointed in the low-lows.

Not to mention the vile wickedness of #GamerGate and all it has wrought upon the community at large.

But I have hope. 2015 is a chance to really bring in the new. New positivity to the community. New ideas from developers both big and small. New desire to try something outside of your comfort zone. New motivation to stand up and speak out against those who only aim to hurt others.

Thank you all for making my 2014 a truly remarkable one, and I hope you stick around for what 2015 has in store.

The Morning AMp – Unmanned Drones & Game of Thrones

Did you know that one of the hottest gadgets this holiday season is also at the center of one of the hottest legal controversies of the year? Consumer-grade unmanned drones are technically legal, but the FAA is trying to crack down on folks who fly them irresponsibly. I break it down for Molly and Brian, hosts of The Morning AMp, and then deep-dive into Telltale Games’ latest episodic series based on the hit HBO show Game of Thrones. You can listen to the whole segment using the SoundCloud player above.

The Morning AMp – Holiday Gaming Guide 2014

Everybody loves video games. It’s a fact that’s as true as the sky is blue. But what video games should you get for your loved ones this holiday? Well, do I have 20+ minutes of audio from The Morning AMp for you! Join Molly, Brian, and I as we talk about the latest and greatest including Super Smash Brothers for Wii U, Assassin’s Creed Unity, and more. You can listen to the whole segment using the SoundCloud player above.

The Morning AMp – Net Neutrality and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

The Internet is important. In fact, it’s so important that I spent two hours on a bus stuck in traffic so I could be on The Morning AMp to talk to Molly Adams and Brian Babylon about the White House’s latest statements on Net Neutrality. You know what else is important? Video games. That’s why I also reviewed Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the latest installment of the mega-blockbuster franchise. Does it make up for last year’s less-than-stellar Call of Duty: Ghosts? You can use the SoundCloud player above to find out.

Two Cents – As Advertised

AssassinCreedGlitchThis week saw the release of not one, but two high-profile titles that were not quite ready for prime time. I believe the above screenshot from Assassin’s Creed Unity exemplifies this in ways that I would not be able to articulate with words. Meanwhile, in the past 48 hours, I have only been able to play a total of three matches in Halo: The Master Chief Collection due to server connectivity bugs. Both developers issued statements apologizing for their games’ respective issues and promised that fixes and patches were on the way.

Here’s the thing about that… I just gave you $60. In return, you gave me a broken product and an apology. Neither of those things are the video game you were advertising. Neither of those things were the video game you told me would be releasing when I saw it at E3 2014. It is a disturbing trend that is only becoming more common as AAA game development gets bigger and more expensive.

Why is it becoming more common? Because we’re letting it happen. Video game critics are reviewing and scoring games before multiplayer servers go live, and consumers are pre-ordering and purchasing games before finding out if they actually work. It’s sending the message to publishers that it’s more important to ship the game on its advertised launch date than it is to ship the game you’re actually advertising. “Hey, it doesn’t matter if our game is broken as long as we have a great ad campaign and our pre-order numbers are high.”

I’ll admit that I’ve been a part of the problem plenty of times, but we’re setting a dangerous precedent that I don’t want to contribute to any longer. Millions of players have been burned by this practice time and time again but it doesn’t have to be that way. We hold all of the power in this situation, we just have to choose to use the self-restraint required to exercise it. Even if you’re two days late to the party, it’s better to find out if the party is even happening before showing up.