Take a Stand Against Weak Games

BY TYREEC SAUNDERS // APRIL 29, 2015 //

Do you like where video games are going? No? Neither do I.

Today’s video games are becoming less innovative. They’re rehashed ideas, cash-grab remakes, and rushed and unfinished games. Gamers are having less replay ability and there are fewer linear story lines—meaning there is so much free roam that you get confused on what to do.

Buy a pre-order game and they give you extra content, but that content should have been in the game to begin with. And games cost between $60 and $140, depending if you want to get future content for a lower price when it’s released.

The Order, 1886
The Order, 1886

These are not good days to be a gamer.

Video games are better graphics-wise, but it’s the content that has always—and will always—matter. Take “The Order: 1886.” It’s a great game idea of a secret order that hunts a secret society of werewolves. By far the greatest game visually, it features “flawless transistor,” meaning people cannot tell when cut scenes end due to the amazing graphics. But its focus on cut scenes and graphics is its biggest downfall.

There are a lot of quick-time events (QTE), or pointless fillers, when during a cut scene you will be prompted to complete a series of button presses to move on in the story. With the focus of the game being on werewolves, I find it interesting that you only see them three times throughout the whole game—and when you do it involves repetitive QTE and terrible fighting. The enemies make the same moves over and over, and it’s not just the enemies. Your companions can only watch you bleed out instead of help you.

Overall, the game feels half done—like many other games, including “Battlefield Hardline,” “Assassins Creed Unity,” and “Evolve,” to name a few.

Game companies are getting by, giving us games based on a great idea but filled with content we’ve seen before. And we keep supporting them by pre-ordering their games! By pre-ordering we are telling them, “Yes, we will buy your game even though it’s unfinished.” Wash, rinse, repeat.

We gamers need to stop giving them this safety net. It’s time we take a chapter from their stories. Let’s not help them by pre-ordering their unfinished games, and instead watch them bleed out. Then, perhaps games will start moving in a better direction.

Powering Up

BY CHRIS WILSON // NOV. 27, 2012 //

The Communication Department introduced a new concentration this semester. Although still in development, video game studies has already attracted a number of students.

The communication department has introduced a new video games studies concentration. // COURTESY PHOTO //

Professor Robert MacDougall, the coordinator of the concentration, said current students have been requesting a video game major in recent years. Moreover, many video game companies are headquartered in New England; in all, it’s a $16 billion industry in the United States, according to the research firm NPD Group.

MacDougall said the college doesn’t have a goal for the number of students it wants in the concentration, but hopes it will serve as a real draw for prospective students. Some courses will be offered through the Communication Department, while others will be through Applied Technology.

Curry first offered a course in video gaming during the fall 2011 semester. Based on video game theory and research, the course enabled students to become familiar with the history and status, or “state-of-the-art,” of the video game industry. A second course, which is running this fall, is titled Video Games: A Cultural History. MacDougall, who teaches both classes, said the plan is to use these two as introductory courses, with students moving on to technology-based courses that the college already offers. These include Digital Video Editing and Digital Audio Production.

David Gebhardt, a sophomore politics and history major in the Cultural History course, doesn’t intend to work in the industry, instead wanting a career in international affairs. Nonetheless, “I do love learning about video games and what they inspired,” he said.

Wii the People

BY AJ SPIRITO // OCT. 23, 2012 // 

Say you and your friends are looking for a way to bond with each other while getting some casual exercise. Tennis anyone? Oh, wait. It’s pouring rain outside. How about bowling? We don’t have a ride.

The Nintendo Wii isn’t the most common gaming system at Curry, but it involves more physical movement than others. // PHOTO BY NICK IRONSIDE //

Well I’ve got one way to settle this, and it’s a tiny little machine by the name of Nintendo Wii.

The Wii is an amazing gaming console that allows the player to physically take control of the game. You can play tennis, bowling, boxing, baseball, and even golf. If you walk around Curry, you may not find many people with the Wii due to the high popularity of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

However, some intense Wii gaming has taken place over at the North Campus Residence Hall. One of the most intense games is the classic “Mario Kart.” This game allows you to choose your character and race against 11 other opponents. There is no better moment in video gaming than a close finish in a good old “Mario Kart” race. Each player will begin yelling at the other as well as the TV once the race winds down to a finish.

Something really cool about the Wii is that you can buy your own fitness game and do actual workouts. The Wii will send you feedback on your progress. The majority of people don’t realize that “Wii Fitness” can be worth just as much as your daily trip to the gym. So if it’s pouring rain outside or it’s white out conditions during a snowstorm
you will still be able to get some exercise. The exercise will just be in Nintendo style.

When you hear people saying that the Nintendo Wii is nothing compared to the all-mighty Xbox and Playstation, just remember you can’t really get a workout from sitting down pressing buttons.

I recommend you put down the potato chips, get off your couch, and spring into some Wii action as soon as you can on campus. It makes for a great time with your friends while you break a sweat!

Football and War on Campus

BY A.J. SPIRITO // OCT. 4, 2012 //

When the pens and books go away after a hardcore study session or a long day of classes, floor-mates and fellow students join in on endless video gaming fun. Here at Curry, the excitement can be heard echoing down the hallways.

Madden 13 is one of the most popular video games on Curry’s campus. // PHOTO BY A.J. SPIRITO //

In North Campus Residence Hall, the gaming has been intense this semester. The most popular video games are “Call of Duty,” “NCAA Football,” “Skyrim” and Madden 13.

When Madden 13 comes on, it’s like a magnet for Curry students—they are seemingly pulled into someone’s room to watch the action unfold. You would think an actual NFL game was being played, as people cheer and yell at each play. Cheers are often followed by trash-talking, which can get a little uncomfortable at times. But, hey, it’s part of the experience!

Madden sometimes gets so intense that tournaments are even set up. Each player tries to survive to earn the title of “Madden Champion.” Strategy often takes a backseat to hometown loyalty, as students usually choose to play as their favorite team. As a Patriot fan, I always choose New England and its “golden boy” quarterback, Tom Brady.

While football gaming can sometimes get rough, it’s nothing when compared to other games. If you walk down the halls of NCRH and hear gunshots or grenades going off, there is no need to worry. Someone is probably knee deep in some “Call of Duty” chaos. Arguably the most popular game to date, “Call of Duty” is a clear favorite of students here at Curry.

In “Call of Duty,” you are given the option to play against another player in your room or you can team up with your whole floor and take on people miles away thanks to Xbox Live. This feature is what makes C.O.D. so popular. You can pretty much have a virtual war with people from all over the world on one game system.

Video games are more popular than ever, and Curry students love them with a passion. Whether you’re tossing up a game-winning Hail Mary pass in “Madden 13,” or crawling through the explosion riddled battlefields of “Call of Duty,” you can always bet on having a wicked time with your friends.