Why Games Journalism Matters

Games journalism has been under fire for years, with good reason: it’s been viewed as corrupt because of stories like:

  • Doritosgate, a complex controversy that involves blatant product advertising by games journo Geoff Keighley; a Eurogamer article about conflicts of interest faced by certain journos; and legal action by Lauren Wainwright, one of the journos mentioned in the article.
  • Gerstmann-gate, where games critic Jeff Gerstmann was terminated at GameSpot due to pressure from publisher Eidos over the website’s low Kane & Lynch review score.
  • GameJournoPros, a private mailing list of games journalists and industry insiders who discuss what to cover/ignore, and how to handle said coverage.

Some may scoff at the idea of ethics in games journalism – maybe because they think the idea of consumers pushing for honesty in games journalism isn’t that important, especially when compared to other global issues like armed conflict and poverty.

Others may even laugh at the very concept of games “journalism” because ever since its inception, members of the press were more fans than journalists, and that the medium functioned mainly to promote games, as opposed to actual journalism which is essential in helping democracy function.

Clearly, games journalism doesn’t hold as much weight as key international problems. This, however, doesn’t mean that games journalism doesn’t matter because it does.


Nintendo’s Mini NES is a missed opportunity

Mini NES
Outside the 30 games that came with Nintendo’s Mini NES console, there is no way you can put in additional ones. According to a report by Engadget, the device can’t connect to the internet or any other external storage devices. And no, the cartridge chamber doesn’t open either.

That means you’re stuck with the following preloaded games:

  • Balloon Fight
  • Bubble Bobble
  • Castlevania
  • Castlevania ii: Simon’s Quest
  • Donkey Kong
  • Donkey Kong Jr.
  • Double Dragon II: The Revenge
  • Dr. Mario
  • Excitebike
  • Final Fantasy
  • Galaga
  • Ghosts ‘N Goblins
  • Gradius
  • Ice Climber
  • Kid Icarus
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Mario Bros.
  • Mega Man 2
  • Metroid
  • Ninja Gaiden
  • Pac-Man
  • Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
  • StarTropics
  • Super C
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Tecmo Bowl
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Yes, it’s a terrific line-up, especially with a device that costs only $60, but I can’t help but feel that this is a missed opportunity for the Kyoto-based console maker. Here are several reasons why:

Kerbal Space Program is coming to consoles this week


Remember that goofy-yet-realistic space flight simulator for the PC called Kerbal Space Program? It was so good that NASA and businessman/engineer/inventor Elon Musk publicly expressed their love for the game.

According to Kerbal Space Program developer Squad, the game will be available in the U.S. via digital download on PlayStation 4 this July 12 and Xbox One on July 15.

Destiny reviews are quite mixed


Before its shooter Destiny came out last week, Bungie, a game developer known for creating the Halo series, warned that early reviews of its new game won’t likely reflect the actual experience. Well, it’s been almost a week since Destiny’s release and the trickle of reviews have now turned into a steady stream of analyses.

Here are some snippets from a few notable Destiny reviews:

Alien: Isolation system specs revealed

Alien Isolation Xenomorph
This Xenomorph is crossing her fingers (offscreen) because she’s not sure if Alien: Isolation would be good.

You’re probably hoping that Alien: Isolation would be the great Alien game that Aliens: Colonial Marines never was. However, we’ll never know this for sure until the game is actually released. Fortunately, the wait isn’t too far off: according to developer Creative Assembly, Alien: Isolation has gone gold.

Not only that–Creative Assembly has also revealed the system requirements for Alien: Isolation on the PC. They are as follows:


GTA V release dates for PS4, Xbox One, PC finally announced

GTA V Michael
Expect GTA V to be shinier on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

It’s official: Grand Theft Auto V is coming to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 18, 2014. And finally, after a tumultuous wait (which involved a petition with more than 700,000 signatures), GTA V will arrive on the PC on January 27, 2015.

According to Rockstar Games, these three versions of GTA V will come with a number of improvements, which include:

  • Improved draw distances
  • Higher resolutions
  • Additional weapons, vehicles and stuff to do
  • More animals to shoot
  • Denser traffic
  • Thicker foliage
  • Enhanced damage and weather effects
  • Over 100 additional songs and DJ mixes

Rockstar also announced that it has an incentive for those who pre-order: you get $500,000 in-game cash for your Story Mode and $500,000 for your Grand Theft Auto Online in-game bank account.

While I don’t recommend pre-ordering games since you’re not sure how good the final product would actually be, GTA V seems pretty much a done deal in terms of quality. Nevertheless, I suggest you hold off on pre-ordering on the PC. Remember how Rockstar handled the PC version of GTA IV?

By the way, if you’re so enamoured by current-gen shiny visuals that you decided to get the prettier versions of GTA V, you can transfer your existing GTA Online characters and progression to either the PS4, Xbox One or PC.