GISMOS_11 - That's some mean shit right there.

Well, we've made it to the snake eyes version of the Gismos. Miraculous really, considering all the jobs our staff has recently procured. Due to my recent acquisition of the Bubonic Plague and my microphone somehow also getting sick and choosing not to work our intro will be absent this episode. At the very least i can transcribe what i would have said and it goes something like this:

Here we go again friends in this episode 11 of the Gismos.

The recently released "Tom Clancys The Division" has your character answering a 'call to arms.' The takeaway is that your a specialized citizen- a firefighter, ex marine, medic, doctor or technician of some sort who has been chosen to....essentially become a remorseless killer.

How much longer can this hypocrisy of the 'hero' video game character droll on for? Is it heroic to round a street corner and open fucking fire at anyone wearing a hood? Who shoots first is ultimately irrelevant as the outcome is always the same. you live they die. Your characters typical blaz'e reaction to the whole thing is almost as bad as the act itself.

But its all justified isn't it? Your sent by...someone, to find the cause of the virus outbreak and bring a stop to those responsible without any attempt at conversation- just the old buck-em and scram tactic. Its amazing that the games involving murder simply run the motions
with absolutely no regard for your characters actions withing the narrative. Cuz everybody's a killer, so why bother explaining it?

I've just recently become hyper aware of the contradiction facing many games today- whos the bad guy here really? I just can't ignore it anymore. Many would argue that its just a game and shooting things is good enougt for them. But i say why settle for bare bones mindlessness? its time for games to grow up with the players.

P / H : PARAGRAPH & HAIKU

                                                                                                                If I could turn back time...

                                                                                                                If I could turn back time...

Very few of us have the time to play every video game we start all the way through to completion. It's just a fact of life, and the sooner you accept it, the sooner you will be at peace. This doesn’t necessarily mean these games are bad, or not worth playing, it just isn't in the cards at the time. We at Evade Gizmo are not immune to this phenomena, and want you to know that it's OK, it happens to everyone, including us.  We do, however, want to recognize the games that we have sunk some time into, anywhere from 2-20 hours. Think of this column as our version of a quick look. And of course as one would obviously expect, the best way to objectively express our feelings about a game we haven't taken the time to complete, is through the use of ninth century Japanese poetry.

Yoshi's Woolly World
Wii U

Hours played : 10

                                                         goddamn is this game bright.... you may need sunglasses if you are hung over

                                                         goddamn is this game bright.... you may need sunglasses if you are hung over

Yoshi's Woolly World is a vibrant, charming and polished 2-D platformer released last fall for the Wii U console. The latest in the series is evocative of a personal favorite of mine, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, and tends to succeed in hitting most of the same notes that game hit back in 1996. The main issue i have is that this game came out in 2015, and if it weren't for the updated art style and visual fidelity, you might think you were actually playing a Super Nintendo title from 1996. Yoshi shoots eggs, flutter jumps, pops question clouds to reveal hidden paths, and tongue fucks everything and anything in his path. Indeed the whole routine is back, but now in yarn form! There are 5 worlds to explore, each with 8 stages and plenty of bells and whistles to unlock, but ultimately the whole package feels underwhelming as a full blown $70 title in today’s market. If you are really hungry for a great side scroller on the Wii U, pick up Shovel Knight or Super Mario Maker instead for unmatched value and incredible developer support.

Design recycled
Yoshi Plods through the motions
The wool looks super
                                                     “ Remember Alf (Yoshi)? hes back, in pog (woll) form!”

                                                     “Remember Alf (Yoshi)? hes back, in pog (woll) form!”

Facry Primal
X1/Ps4/PC

Hours played: 6

                                                            I found myself kneeling to pet my steel-eyed wolf friend after every encounter

                                                            I found myself kneeling to pet my steel-eyed wolf friend after every encounter

By now most everyone has heard all about Farcry Primal, as the game has been scrutinized to death in the media over the last few weeks. Much of the reason for the exhuberent amount of coverage can be blamed on the slower game release schedule in January and February, as well as the multi-million dollar marketing push by publisher Ubisoft. However, a lot of the attention the game is receiving seems to be over the speculation that Primal started its life as a Blood dragon-esque add on for Farcy 4, and somehow evolved into a full priced retail product, leaving gamers to question the value in purchasing Primal at full price. On that note, I have little new or groundbreaking to offer, instead, I echo many of the statements already made about the latest Ubi open world romp; it's a solid game for those who yearn for more Farcry. Its brutal, visceral and finds some truly unique ways around the old guns and helicopters model of the last couple games (the beast mastery is easily my favorite addition). There is very little story to speak of, you will be seeking out and killing other humans using spears, arrows, and plenty of melee combat, which can feel jerky, imprecise and unsatisfying at times. The increased focus on hunting, gathering and crafting makes Primal feel more like a survival-lite game than a true story based open world experience that we would come to expect from a full-blown $70 Farcry title. Proceed with caution, and if your on the fence, maybe pick it up used in a few months, as I would expect a short single player campaign with no multiplayer will translate into a plethora of used copies at your local game shop. 

Explore the wild
Tame your inner animal
charge less for this game

Life Is Strange
X1/PS4/PC

hours played: 3

                                                              And suddenly a picturesque picnic on the train tracks turned into a nightmare.... 

                                                              And suddenly a picturesque picnic on the train tracks turned into a nightmare.... 

Every now and then when I play a video game, I catch myself in the moment and stop to think; why am I enjoying this? What is it about this that is appealing to me? That happened to me a couple times in the opening hours of life is strange, the story about Max, a young, gifted photography student trying to fit in after getting accepted to a prestigious art academy in the eerily named Arcadia Bay. Max finds its hard enough to fit in, but when she discovers she has the ability to manipulate time, things get understandably more complicated. Early on in the first episode, there was a sequence where I had to persuade the local group of 'mean girls' to vacate the front steps of our shared dorm (they wouldn't let me in, the bitches). After exploring and observing the details of the area, I fiddled around with a nearby custodians paint can and a set of automatic sprinklers, I hid nearby making sure I had a good view of the area and used my ability to rewind time. Success! The sprinklers expectantly went off on the janitor, who dropped the paint can, which splashed onto the rude girls dress. Eureka! As the Zelda chime went off in my head I strolled up smugly and pretended to be concerned for her, earning some brownie points with the cool group to be cashed in at a later date. The satisfaction set in and I couldn't help but grin sheepishly. I sort of felt like Agent 47... if he were an awkward teenage girl with the ability to rewind time and a penchant for photography. Which brings me back to my original point… why the hell am I enjoying this so much? I'm not exactly sure what it says about me, but the combination of lovely visuals, ultra cheesy dialogue and a budding sci-fi mystery to explore is enough to keep me coming back, at least for now. The game is worth checking out for fans of adventure games, and you should be able to get all 5 episodes packaged together on sale, I picked it up on the PSN store for $10. 

Clouds toil about
We dance in the storm of time
Bitches get dealt with

Thats all for now! Stay tuned for more masterful poetry and ultra-poignant commentary!

EG.

THE VENT: NINTENDO NX 900P? EXCUSE ME?

nintendo game over.jpg

 

The VENT is a special place. It will allow us to spew negative mental annotations off the record with no regard for any ones feelings. A huge portion of criticisms tend to be unconsciously edited; trading off a negative trait for a positive one. Here it's more of an unapologetic rant.  Sometimes ranting is good for the soul; issues you may have difficulty shedding can sometimes be shrugged to the floor with a proper vent. So that you may then focus and articulate your creative energy in a more constructive manner.

 What follows is a passionate gamers untamed perspective on some recent Nintendo NX news. Lets welcome Kevin McKenzie to the EG conversation!

 Buck up, stud.

 Buck up, stud.

Anyone following gaming blogs on the regular have heard this by now. For all you weekend warrior gamers with any mild curiosity; what I'm about to say shouldn't surprise you. That being said be advised and brace yourself: some speculative news about Nintendo NX has come to light, and to my complete lack of surprise, some of it is rubbing members of the video gaming world the wrong way. Much like the reaction you would expect by petting your cat from tail to head,  The Nintendo community is currently fidgety and wide-eyed with their claws out, quite uncertain as to what to do next.

 Perhaps a brief back story is in order; Nintendo has had a pretty lackluster couple of years financially. The Wii U is all but considered a failure, selling less than 12 million units worldwide since launching in 2012.  While perhaps this isn't a 'Virtual Boy' level travesty,  I cant imagine that Nintendo is passing out cigars every time the sales reports come in.  The 3ds, while certainly no slouch in sales figures, also failed to achieve the targets put in place by predecessors such as the Nintendo DS, GBA and the beloved original dot matrix wonder, the Game Boy. The current 'Nintendo Network' used for connecting players on both consoles draws the ire of gamers for not being user friendly or stable. Software releases for both systems have been few and far between, and with the exception of Super Mario Maker, the titles being released recently have not lived up to the level of quality that a longtime Nintendo fan would and should expect. With the future game release lineup looking as lean as a skinless chicken breast for both the Wii U and the 3ds, Nintendo is understandably starting to look towards the future.

But there's one big problem with that, we are still smack dab in the middle of the Wii U life cycle... aren't we?

Perhaps, as some have speculated, we are closer to the end of the Wii U's life cycle than most of us had hoped. It seems that Nintendo has sent out a survey with some information about their next generation console (codenamed NX) to a number of clients. One such client decided he was going to out the big N and post some delicate information contained in the survey on social media, which was then picked up by Geek.com and a number of game news outlets. This information should be taken with a spoonful of salt as all rumor should, at this time no actual official announcements have been made about the configuration or specs of the NX console.  However, there are a few very interesting details contained within.

                                Nintendo has been doing some flip-flopping as of late...

                            Nintendo has been doing some flip-flopping as of late...

 

The leak states some obvious information: games like Mario, Zelda & the Donkey Kong franchises will continue to exist(!!!), but it also includes some juicy morsels of news for the internet to feast upon and regurgitate or digest as desired.  One of the major takeaways,  it would appear, is that they are sticking with a similar set up to the Wii U, as “gameplay flows between Nintendo NX console and Nintendo NX hand held device." Previously patent information had leaked suggesting this kind of streaming, but utilizing a newer,  fully portable hand held device extending the streaming range, perhaps over WIFI or 4g. Much like a JJ Abrams reboot, the news is somewhat expected, definitely intriguing,  but not all together earth shattering.

Then there is a section of the survey detailing 'what comes in the box'; contained within is a Nintendo NX console, Game controller, HDMI cable and sensor bar.  First it's interesting to note that the “NX handheld device” is presumably not included in the box, unless they are referring to it as the 'game controller' which is unlikely.  Perhaps we are looking at a segmented purchase for those consumers who wish to take their NX gaming on the go, and if that's so, that could be a big gamble for those of us who expect a complete experience from a new console without having to make additional purchases.  After all, this is a video game console, not an ever expanding set of Lego.   The other interesting part of this section of the survey, was the sensor bar being included in the box. Like waggle gaming? GOOD! Because there is so much more of it heading your way! This does stick out to me as a potential red herring however; why on gods green earth would they need to include a sensor bar with the console? Playstation 4 and Smart Tvs have been utilizing motion controls without the need for external sensor bars of any kind, and they work very well.  I am by no means against motion controls in gaming, but it concerns me that Nintendo may not be willing to take some of the technological leaps to improve user experience that have become common place with their competitors.

 Those who have been following Nintendo over the course of the last 10 years may see a trend, and even start to wonder if Nintendo is purposely under powering their consoles to make a profit off of the machine itself at launch time, rather than recouping minimal console profits through software and long term usage, as is the industry standard.  

On that note, enough of the appetizers, on to the main course of this leak: “Gameplay graphics at 900p / 60fps”. 

 

"Excuse me?..."

 

"Pardon?..."

 

I like 60 fps but what was that first part again?

 Ohhhh. 900p. I see.

While I do applaud the decision to enforce a 60fps frame rate on titles, giving the impression that the new box will not support full 1080p gaming could be the most telling thing about the whole show.  Are they perhaps under powering the console so that the portable unit will be able to play all the games while not connected to the base unit?  Or is it a case of “HD doesn't matter” as it was with the Wii? Could simply be a fundamental misunderstanding of just how many HD television sets are in households today? What do people in Japan use to watch all those wacky game shows????

Things were looking SO positive for nintendo just 5 short years ago.... whats Next?

Things were looking SO positive for nintendo just 5 short years ago.... whats Next?

Noticing a pattern here!?

Noticing a pattern here!?

 

What I speculatively take away from this is that Nintendo is putting out a system of equal or lesser power to its current competitors, 2 years into their life cycles. 2 YEARS!  This can even be seen as a downgrade from the Wii U, which offers game play in full 1080p.  How will this new console fare 3 years from now when its competitors are gearing up for their next generation? Will Nintendo be announcing the successor to the NX in 2019 because its not able to keep up with the competitors? Will Nintendo have to restructure into a software based company and abandon all of us who grew up on the NES much like Sega did in the early 2000's???? QUICK, LETS ALL PANIC!!! (Ok, deep breaths Kevin, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.)

Graphic capability isn't everything – but as we've all seen with Nintendos recent track record – powering your system appropriately ties in directly with the potential for console longevity.  There are many other questions to be answered, such as how they are going to get 3rd party developers interested in creating for their platforms again, what the price point will be, and does Nintendo have a legacy plan for those who purchased a Wii U to make up for the systems abnormally short life cycle?

The leak in full . The user cropped the picture as to not reveal any personal information.... Likely the doings of Gannondorf,  Wario or perhaps even the king of the koopas himself, lord Bowzer?? Ill shut up.

The leak in full . The user cropped the picture as to not reveal any personal information.... Likely the doings of Gannondorf,  Wario or perhaps even the king of the koopas himself, lord Bowzer?? Ill shut up.

 We are just going to have to wait and see. There is one positive I take out of this; The console is likely not yet finalized as they are still asking for consumer opinion on it.  This is the perfect time to tell Nintendo exactly what you want- or don't want from their next generation of hardware. Tweet them, write them, post on Reddit, text Reggie or snapchat with Miyamoto san, do whatever you have to do and make sure your opinion is voiced.  If this project turns out to be a misstep, it could be their last.

Even the greatest visionary can require guidance.

I believe in you Nintendo. Just not at 900p.

 - Kevin McKenzie

 

 

Gosmos_03 - 2016 BIG GAME HUNT

If you type 'videogames 2016' into Google what comes up is one anticipated title after another. All we see at Evade Gismo in place of said games are clocks. Big analogue motherfuckers; grand daddy hands ticking away. Sure they're magnificent and opulent. But would you put 20 of them in your bedroom at once?  It's a veritable nerdgasm of a life well wasted.

'Oh this time...this time, this years gonna be amazing...this could be the best year for games, like,  ever!" Says everybody at the beginning of every year since the 80's. If you shut your eyes and hope hard enough  and hold your breath long enough you might hear the flap or buzz of the videogame fairy next to your ear asking you about your game budget for the year. 

The lineup is promising. What will you be playing this year?