Pixelated Pints Returns In The Glorious Episode 10 – Featuring The Nose Tampon!

Obligatory Guardians Of The Galaxy

Guardians is all the talk amongst comic book fans and the non-geek folk alike.  Fred wants everyone to know (including Chip Cella of The B-Team) that he has NOT seen it yet.  I haven’t seen it yet either but it is definitely on the must-watch list.  Sadly, it’s hard for me to go to movie theaters because we have a large family and, well, people are idiots at theaters.

Please turn off your cell phones..  And leave your kids at home.  kthxgg

I am Groot.

Groot Loops Cereal - I Am Groot - You Are Groot - We Are Groot

If you want an in-depth look at Guardians Of The Galaxy over the past several decades, check out Agents Of SHIELDcast.  I’m sure Fred and Heffe will be reporting back with his findings well.  Until then, let’s keep this a spoiler-free zone, friends!

Nose Tampon & Fred’s Recovery

Fred assures us that he is making a speedy recovery and we’re glad to have him back so we can officially-OFFICIALLY welcome Pixelated Pints to the GANG!  That said, try not to give him a hard time about the nasaly sounding voice.  Honestly, I kinda like the Keith Sweat tone to his voice now. *smirk*

Brace Yourself - That Wizard Is Coming

 Destiny Beta Talk..  Again

“That wizard came from the moon!”

Apparently, the wizard is no longer from the moon.  If you don’t know what we’re talking about, check out Fred’s favorite web site (sarcasm) for a little background:

http://www.polygon.com/2014/6/20/5828892/that-wizard-came-from-the-moon-shirt-destiny-bungie

Fred discusses his feelings on Destiny and why he canceled his pre-order.

If you miss out on the zeitgeist of this game, you will be very lonely.

Heffe likes Destiny.  Fred is not a fan.  His argument (and I am paraphrasing):

What happens if you try to play the Titanfall campaign now?  Disappointment.  Destiny might be different but will the consistent updates be enough.  Still, is Destiny the flavor of the moment.  Will it be relevant in two years?  And WTF is that zeitgeist stuff that keeps coming up on Pixelated Pints Episode 10?

zeitgeist – n. the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time.

I agree with Fred’s sentiment.  This is actually why I am taking a break from console gaming.  It feels that a lot of games are hot for a week or a few months, then they suck thereafter.  There aren’t many console games I can think of that you can go back to at any time or join late without feeling like you missed out on the full experience.  Destiny has one thing on it’s side: at least it’s not an EA game!

Kickstarter Projects And Explaining “Investment”

Fred has a big problem with Kickstarter.  Heffe sits back while Fred rants a bit.  Fred’s biggest problem is that media outlets refer to Kickstarter backing as “investing”, which is misleading.  Do backers/pledgers really feel that they are entitled to something in return?

Heffe agrees that Kickstarter projects are not investments because there is no profit sharing.  Does material result qualifies as ROI (Return On Investment)?  What do you think?  You can e-mail PP at pixelatedpints@gmail.com or leave us a VM with your thoughts at (206) 415-4987 so we can discuss further.  Don’t be shy – share your thoughts with the GANG!

The infamous Potato Salad Kickstarter project returns.  Fred jokes that the project had a better ROI than most other crowdfunding efforts.  LOL..  Now that may be true indeed!

Here’s a Kickstarter we’d love for you to support: Fire With Fire!  FwF is a PvP TD (Tower Defense) game in the spirit of Tower Wars or Warcraft III customs designed by our pal Theory with music from one of our biggest supporters – Stephen Gibson a.k.a. Esgee!

EA Access: Value Or Rip-Off?

For $30 a year or around $6 a month, you can subscribe to EA Access.  Think Netflix for video games.  While the EA library is very sports-heavy, you can play gems like Battlefield 4 and Peggle 2 FOR FREE for as long as they are available in the library.  It is worth noting that this will be a download service with limited availability.

Sony must have seen this as a conflict of interest since they have their stinker of a streaming service, Playstation NOw.  Sony turned EA Access and now it will be an XBox One exclusive.  Even if you are not interested in the free offerings and yesteryear’s hits, the biggest benefit of the service will be early access granting you a 5-day headstart on new releases.

Fortengard in the “chat” says EA Access will be a paywall within paywall..  And EA is notorious for nickel-and-diming consumers.  As much as I dislike EA, I see the value for your buck.

For some reason, everyone picks on EA.

Fred and Heffe urge gamers to stop complaining about the free stuff we’re getting now with, say, XBox LIVE Games With Gold.  Console gaming is really trying to drive value for gamers.

To put things into perspective, SNK is charging $9 for their Neo-Geo renting services, when you can own the games for that much.  What??  Now, who would be better-suited to do a streaming or rental type subsciption service?  Activision, Ubisoft, Square-Enix, Deep Silver..   What library would get us excited about getting freebies?

Defining Value In Preorders/Retail

One of the recurring themes we have here at GANG is the matter of preorders and retail pricing.  With that, there’s stuff like early access games and Steam Greenlight.

Are preorders and early access good for the consumer?

I’m not a fan of pricing on the console.  When you consider the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) for console gaming, you’re easily spending thousands upon thousands of dollars in a two to five-year span..  Even if you are a “casual” gamer.  PC offers an investment that will last you longer.  The initial entry point can be rough but, after that, there is value around every corner.

Preorders I feel are losing their appeal.  The bonus content rarely warrants the initial buy-in.  For most of us, waiting for a sale makes more sense, unless we are worried about missing out on the zeitgeist for the particular game.  Essentially, we’re paying for the water-cooler conversations and the bragging rights that come with being early adopters.

Fred notes that PC pricing will always be more competitive than console pricing because they have abandoned the retail model long ago.  Consoles also subsidize the hardware cost through attachments, which keeps the initial cost lower than comparable gaming PCs.  Fred goes on to say that early access is a great idea but it needs to be quarantined from the completed games because a lot of these games never quite get “finished”.

Here’s my argument: early access games are often no different than a lot of full retail offerings..  Except you’re paying less for them.  There is less risk with PC gaming.  You get more value for your buck on the PC front, whereas console games are removing value from initial releases more and more.  Just look at how many iterations of Street Fighter IV there are!  And let’s not even get started on the DLCs and locked on-disc content…  Meh.

Unfocused Focus Groups..  And The Decline In US Education

Focus groups still have a place but do gaming companies and their research/marketing partners have any clue what they are doing?  Fred will tell you the answer is a resounding NO!  To illustrate this, he shares a story of a highly-educated woman who suggest a game with Kratos in a World War II setting.  Yup, because WW2 hasn’t been the theme of any game before.

Are focus groups too unfocused to accomplish anything of value?  Value..  There’s that dirty word again.  Furthermore, is US education getting that bad?  Come on, we must have better ideas than that Kratos crap!

Is Minecraft Is Over-Rated?

MOE-JANG pops up into the discussion.  Is Notch a total douche?  What is he doing with the tons of money that Minecraft has made him?

The PP crew agrees that Minecraft is an over-rated POS.  What do you think?  If you ask this guy, Scrolls is the real Mojang game of note.

For more rants and drunken gaming goodness, visit the PP crew at http://pixelatedpints.com/ and PixelatedPints on Google+/YouTube!

E3 2014 Predictions And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter #E3Live #E32014

UPDATE:  Watching the Twitch E3 preview with @DJwheat and gang.  In just a few minutes, Microsoft is doing their Day 0 press conference.  There’s a lot of wishing and hoping for Fallout 4 (and a new Gears Of War).  That sounds AWESOME to me but I won’t hold my breath, simply because Bethesda has already shot down that notion and they’ll want to let Elder Scrolls Online marinate a while first.  The next Fallout won’t be for at least another year or two.  What do you guys, think?

In the past week, everyone has been asking me if I am excited about E3.  I don’t know how to answer without sounding like a bitter old man or being a wet towel..  Truth is: I’ve barely given E3 much thought.  Everything I want from gaming is here and now so it was not a big deal to me..  Then, during HorsePLAY! LIVE EP25, TCollins89 asked why E3 is on weekdays. It got me thinking:

E3 is not for the everyday or common gamer.  So what is it really about and does it really matter?

DISCLAIMER:  What you are about to read is an editorial.  This, like anything else on Geeky Antics, is the opinion of me, the author.  I may ruffle some feathers but I am being honest and open here.  Keep an open mind.  I am not trying to belittle anyone.  We can disagree peacefully!

As far as I’m concerned, E3 is a glorified trade show meant to hype up gamers who, somehow, can’t get enough content or want more fuel for the console wars. It is geared towards marketers, suits, developers, and journalists.  Think about this:

How many of the presenters actually PLAY games?  Are they gamers first or marketing/business people first?  I reckon the latter is often the case.

For most, E3 is just an excuse for a change of scenery or time off from work. I would venture to say the only way you are looking forward to E3 is if you want the social experience or are super hardcore about gaming (i.e. you have to play every single major game that is released).  This is wishful thinking but I think I’d care more about console gaming again if the entry points were more appealing, at least for the software itself.

That may sound harsh but I think I have finally converted back to PC for good. There are countless reasons but, for me, it’s simply because all my friends are sharded amongst different games and the PC offers too much bang for your buck to even consider dedicated console gaming. I can’t justify the cost or budget the time for a console right now.  As a family man, it does not help that my kids are growing up and playing games with daddy is no longer cool.  Without the bonding experience, console gaming is ho-hum.  I just don’t have the time or interest to do single-player games.

I love my XBox 360 but, for the first time in around ten years, I have let my XBox LIVE subscription lapse for more than two months. My video game wall of shame beckons yet I do not feel compelled to fire her up. I am satisfied by my options on the PC and I don’t have to worry about the hidden costs or suddenly finding that online support has been shut down.

Granted, I have been mostly playing Hearthstone, League of Legends, and SolForge lately but I have a library of games on the PC that excites me every time I look at it. With my consoles, I have mostly felt depression and regret for the past generation or so. I will eventually get an XBox One to play with friends but I do not feel left out of the water cooler conversations.

Now, I can already hear people saying that E3 is about electronic entertainment (hence the name E3 – Electronic Entertainment Expo) as a whole. That is true but it can’t be denied that the expo focuses on the gaming consoles more than anything. With that in mind, consider this fact:

During the transitionary period between console generations, we can’t expect fresh, innovative games. The developers will stick to the console with the greater install base until they figure out how to take advantage of the new framework.

I have nothing against Watch Dogs or Titanfall. I just don’t think they are system sellers for me.  They are the games that are good now because there is nothing else.  Besides, after how Microsoft botched up the original XBox to 360 transition, I think they will play it smart and keep the 360 going for another two to three years.

Glorious PC Master Race - Dirty Console Peasants

[ source: comicvine.com ]

I am no elitist but the future of gaming has been on mobile devices and the PC.. For a while now. $300-500 gets you solid upgrades for your PC and you’re good for a while. With consoles, you have the hidden costs of accessories, DLCs, micro transactions, macro transactions, forced annual releases, preferred server access, season passes, etc. Yeah, I am a smidge jaded and cynical..   But I am also hopeful, especially with so many brilliant small studios and indie developers paving the way (THANK YOU)!

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Woman Crush Wednesday – Jaimie Alexander (Lady Sif – Thor)

Tonight I will be joining Chip Cella and Andy Uruqhart over at the Agents of SHIELDcast so this g33k Grrl (emphasis on the “Grrrrrr”)pick by our friends at Be Like Water comes right on time. I just saw the Thor: Dark World movie and loved it, possibly more than the first. Lady Sif is definitely easy on the eyes.. We hope to see more of her on the S.H.I.E.L.D. show..  Giggity.

I bet we’re all curious to see how many people will be cosplaying Lady Sif now that she seems to be a mainstay.  Now, on a more serious note, do you think Lady Sif added more substance to the S.H.I.E.L.D. show?  Better yet…

Lady Sif – Sizzle or fizzle?

Let us know in the comments and be sure to visit our friends at their respective blogs, Facebook pages, podcasts, etc!