Friday, November 4, 2016

#EXTRALIFE FTW! Join Us! Be A Hero!


Hello and welcome back. It's a beautiful day, but that's only because it's Friday, and I'm fracking done with this week. Instead of complaining about my week, or going on a rant about what's grinding my gears today; I wanted to a take a little bit time to be serious, and talk to you about Extra Life.

Extra Life is a charity that was established to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. The money they raise is used to pay for research, purchase life-saving equipment, and pay for uncompensated care. Their hospitals treat every patient that comes to them, without regard or concern for a child's family's ability to pay. CMN states that their mission, is to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. All of the donations raised make it possible for them to do that!

The Extra Life movement was founded by Jeromy Adams, in 2008 in memory of Victoria Enmon, with the support of SarcasticGamer.com. Victoria's story, and the story of Extra Life can be found in the video below:



To celebrate the life of Victoria and help raise needed funds to help kids, hold the Extra Life National Game Day. This 24 hour gaming marathon will be held Saturday, November 5th this year. This year, BaicunnPress.com will be teaming up with RUM Gaming for Game Day. If you'd like to get involved, head on over to Extra-Life.org, signup and/ or donate. You can start your own team, or join a team to help. If you'd like, cruize over to RUM Gaming to join in with us. They're a good people, that are always welcoming. Also on their page, you'll find links to their Extra Life campaigns, and the live stream. We'll be playing 7Days, Paladins, Warface, ARK, Arma3, LoL, and more. Just as a warning, the language at times can get a little salty, but it's always in good fun.

If you don't fell like signing up or joining a team, please use the Widgets below or in the sidebar to donate. This is such and important cause, and we can really help so many kids. Thank you again, for your continued  support of BaicunnPress. Hopefully, I'll be talking to some of you very soon via Discord. I look forward to gaming with you.

-Chali Baicunn

*Addendum*
We manged raise $465 during the Extra Life Game Day. We will definitely be returning for this event next year. If you want to get involved, you can raise money and setup your own Game Day any day of the year. Just go check out extra-life.org.






Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Do Androids Dream?

Ello ello! I hope that you're all having a fantastic day. We've made it halfway into week and we just have to push through to Friday now. I assume like me you've put some thought into AI and what that may mean for humanity. Personally, this chipper looking bastard to the left, introduced me to the ethical implications of how we define life, and got me thinking about; "Is there is a line when it comes to AI?" If so, "Where is it?" And then The AI question creeps into the mind; "If we made AI, would or could they turn against humanity?" Well thanks to Google we're now at the point where AI entities can hide stuff from us... If they wanted. 

Last week, Martín Abadi and David G. Andersen with Google's Google Brain project announced that 2 of their neural network AIs (Alice & Bob) had generated their own encryption method, allowing them to hide messages between them from a third neural network AI (Eve), that was attempting read the message. 

Abadi and Andersen, set this experiment up, by assigning each neural networks with specific tasks. Alice was instructed to pass a secret message to Bob, and Eve was tasked with figuring out how to intercept and read the message. After, about 15,000 attempts, Alice and Bob were able to simultaneously start using the same encryption method. In the end Alice was able to encrypt a 16 bit message, without Eve being able to fully decrypt the message. The actions of these 2 neural  networks are no complicated that the researchers are unable to explain how it happened, or by what encryption method was used. It seems to me that we may need to wondering if androids dream of electric sheep.

Thanks for stopping by again. I appreciate your support. Make sure you keep checking in for more new content. So what do you think? Is AI good or bad thing for mankind? Are we an evolutionary dead end working toward our own demise? Make sure to let us know what you think. Don't forget to follow @BaicunnPress on Twitter and join the BaicunnPress Nation over on Facebook at @BaicunnPress. Also don't forget that this Saturday (11/5/16) is Extra Life. BaiclunnPress is teaming up with @RUM_Gaming to raise money for sick kids and the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. We've taken down some adds on our site to make way links to donate. Be safe, have fun, and don't quit your job, you're halfway done with this week. (I'm probably projecting) 

-Chali Baicunn 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Titanfall 2: Bang Bang... The War Of 2 Titans Has Begun

Ello Ello! Thanks for stopping by today. I hope your Tuesday isn't too shit, and that your Halloween weekend festivities were full of booze, frivolity, with extra dose of slutty halloween costumes. (Slutty pirate hookers are a personal favorite of mine.) With all that was going on, I have to ask, "What in the actual fuck is going on with Titanfall 2's release?"

*FULL DISCLOSURE* I have not tracked the release of Titanfall 2. This is a bit of 2 parter; 1) I only played Titanfall a handful of times. 2) I don't know any Titanfall fanboys. *Correction, I don't know anyone who has such a raging hard on for Titanfall, that they use every opportunity they have to extol the virtues of the title. The only reason I found out about the release date was because the following launch trailer was at the top of my YouTube feed:



After watching the launch trailer, I had to know more... As I have stated in several Star Wars Battlefront posts; I'm a sucker for the alluring ways of cinematic trailers produced by EA's militant propaganda machine (Marketing Department). But I digress.

When we of The Order of The Internet, don't know stuff, we go to our "facts guy". Normal people call it Google (We know it as god like, semi-eternal, mystical figure, that knows and sees all... Even that midget clown porn you were looking at after that whole "scary clown thing" got started). Google showed me the following footage from Vikkstar123:



Naturally at this point, I'm interested. So I seek Google's wise council further. Pearing into the ether, I find that not only is Titanfall2 launching on Xbox One, but it's also launching in parallel with PS4 and PC. In fact, I was a bit taken aback. How could it be that EA would somehow break exclusivity with Microsoft? Seems way too consumer oriented for EA. I watched another gameplay video (see below).





What's this... Single Player Campaign? And it's suppose to be "compelling"?... Nope I don't believe it. It can't be. The publisher of Battlefront and Battlefield: Hardline is going to release a completed game with a proper single player story.... I don't trust it. Read a bit more.... No season pass?.... What? No day one DLC?... I verified that it's an published EA game.  Alright so I'm seriously interested at this point, but I know better than to trust an EA game. If this title is so above the standards usually set by EA, what's multiplayer experience going to be. (BTW, thank you StoneMountain64 for the beta montage.)



Alright. Fuck it, I think I'm sold. Little more Googling, and found out Titanfall 2 was releasing on 10/28... screeching breaks... da fuck!... (I started writing this mid-day on 10/28,) Where the hell is all of the fan fair? Where's the hype I'm accustomed to from EA? Hype is like their thing. It's their lifeblood. And now they're launching a AAA FPS between their blockbuster Franchise and Activision/ Infinity Ward's blockbuster without a whole lot of normal EA PR. What the hell are they thinking? Are they trying to kill this young franchise? 

Then I see it, and why I hadn't before is beyond me. There is an explanation for all of these shockingly non-EA things. And even for this really bizarre release date. It really is simple; SPITE. One of the most basic human emotions, that empowers and emboldens the most hardened of FPS gamers. It's the emotion that makes killing the guy who killed your friends, better than actually having friends.It's that spice in life that seems to make everything task, feel, and appear better.

Are you still confused?...

Titanfall and Titanfall 2 were created by Respawn Entertainment. If that name sounds familiar, and you don't know why, here's some screen grabs from Wikipedia to refresh your memory:



From where I'm sitting it appears that Respawn has decided, and EA agrees; Titanfall 2 will be a direct competitor to Infinite Warfare. With the bad blood in the water between the Activision/Infinity Ward and Respawn, and so many COD fans becoming more and more unhappy with the franchise. This new war of titans is likely to get interesting.

Thanks again for stopping by today. Still working to get the lost content over the last couple of months back up. I appreciate all of your support. What do you think? Is this a just bad timing? Or is this something more deliberate? Make sure to let me know. Also don't forget BaicunnPress.com and RUM Gaming are teaming up for Extra Life this Saturday. Be sure to show your support and donate, or start/ join a team and participate. 

-Chali Baicunn

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Pokemon GO: Bout Damn Time For A Community Event


Hello and welcome back you beautiful bastards. Sorry if it looks like we're missing content, but I've somehow cocked it up, and I'm currently working to resolve the issue. As for today's post, you guys know that when Pokemon GO dropped, I went hard to the paint for the first month. After the hype died and the trespass notices were handed out, I was just tired. And not because of the walking. After crossing level 20, it just became a grind fest. The Baicunn Clan hasn't become completely neglectful of our progress. A few weeks back we took a late night venture through downtown. My son still likes to get out and play a bit, and I oblige him. In reality though, I have just been riding it out and biding my time for trading, dueling, and/ or an event to fall in place. So it looks like I'm getting at least one of the things I wanted this week.

On Monday Niantic released the following video announcement:




Luckily our friends over on the SilphRoad subreddit, have compiled some interesting info (I've screen cap'd their post, but I recommend that you check them out):




I personally believe that this first event is over due. I'd really appreciate a monthly event to help keep my attention. I'm hoping that toward the end of this event we'll finally get a chance at a legendary Pokemon. Mew... Mewtwo? I think it's bout damn time! 

While on the topic of unsolicited expectations. I'd certainly appreciate an update that'd populate more pokemon in more remote locations, but that's not really the point of this post is it? Also as an aside, I'm still just a little bit bitter that the isn't Pokemon IRL. But here's to hoping for an easter egg in today's update. 

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed! Please like and share if you appreciate the content. Before I go, I'd like to encourage you to get involved with #EXTRALIFE by either donating myself or my team for The Children's Miracle Network. This charity event is a 24 hour gaming marathon to raise money to help sick kids out. The event starts on Saturday; 11/5 at midnight and runs until midnight on 11/6. I'll have a stream up during most if not all of the time. I've teamed up with my friends and fellow nerds over at RUM Gaming for this event. They will also have several streams up. If you don't want to give money, please signup and raise money. Thanks again for stopping by, and I will see you later.

-Chali Baicunn

Friday, July 15, 2016

Is Call of Duty's Narrow Skill-Gap Ruining Multiplayer Gaming?


I've heard it said that games like Call of Duty just don't require enough skill to be considered ''hardcore,'' mostly due to their very narrow skill gap, and that developers need to stop pandering to ''casual'' players so that they'll learn how to play more complex games. Just the other day I watched a Youtube video in which a gamer decried the fact that Call of Duty has killstreaks, a ranking system, customizable loadouts, random spawn points, and gadgets that kill instantly, which - in his very popular opinion - allow unskillful players to have a better chance at beating skillful ones, thus destroying a balanced gameplay experience. It is also hypothesized that the reason Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare's trailer stands at almost three million dislikes compared a few hundred thousand likes is also due to this pandering to ''filthy casuals'' and neglecting Call of Duty's hardcore roots, which are steeped in a more grounded and realistic archetype.

Even game developers have come out and protested against Call of Duty's domination of the FPS market. They say that because Activision is in charge of the #1 FPS franchise, they have the power to dictate gamers' expectations; and as long as Infinity Ward and Treyarch continue to make these chaotic, unrealistic, unstructured Call of Duty games, it'll be a long time before a truly hardcore FPS franchise can gain a major following because gamers have become spoiled. Call of Duty just doesn't have enough complexity to require that players go through a learning phase and master the game's mechanics. Instead, according to developers and gamers alike, Call of Duty just has too much randomness and too many unnecessary variables involved that narrow the skill gap.


Now, if I were to ask most Call of Duty players if they think the game requires skill, I think they would say it absolutely does - at least a little bit. Call of Duty's gameplay mechanics primarily revolve around quick reflexes; it definitely takes skill to manage your movement, aim, and observation of the environment during battles that last literally one to two seconds. Truth be told, just about every modern FPS functions in this frenzied manner. As soon as one player sees another, they either have the physical prowess to dispatch their opponent in an instant, or they're probably dead. So what makes a game like Battlefield strategically superior to Call of Duty? ''It's the killstreaks and ridiculous weapon loadouts that make Call of Duty cheap, and also the random spawn points.'' Ah yes, in this area Battlefield is far superior to Call of Duty....

...Except it isn't, because Battlefield also has customizable loadouts. It may be a more structured loadout system due to the basic classes, but killing enemies is just as frantic and instantaneous, regardless of which weapon you're using. And aren't vehicles like tanks, jets, and helicopters the same as killstreak rewards? Actually, isn't Call of Duty even more skill-based because it requires that players actually prove themselves worthy of an attack chopper or airstrike, whereas Battlefield randomly plops these items around the map? Come to think of it, Battlefield also drops .50 caliber sniper rifles and rocket-launcher emplacements around each map for anyone lucky enough to grab them first. How is this more skill-based than Call of Duty?


To be fair, the primary complaint regarding random spawn points in Call of Duty is that players appear right in the midst of unsuspecting enemies, and are able to get kills without anyone even being aware of their presence. This is a very fair complaint; I've experienced it firsthand on numerous occasions. The thing is, Battlefield has a much worse problem (and no, I'm not just referring to these same random spawns). Because the maps are so large, players are prone to sneak up on each other very easily, simply because no one can keep track of such a large environment at all times. And if you're not being sneaked up on, you're being sniped from someone on a tower five miles away. Be honest, Battlefield is even more cheap than Call of Duty at times.

But I've just got to address this fabled ''skill gap'' that everyone says has been narrowed by Call of Duty. Firstly, even developers will admit that a certain amount of randomness in their games is necessary to maintain balance; otherwise, more experienced players (in regards to both knowledge of the game and also physical prowess) would always dominate less-experienced players. Luck, they say, also helps curb the problem of games simply becoming mathematically-solvable equations, rather than varied, strategically-engaging experiences.


Secondly, rewarding skillful players with more weapons, gadgets, and abilities through leveling up doesn't narrow the skill gap; it widens it. Getting three kills in a row and then being rewarded with yet another useful asset is more of an exclusive snowball effect than an all-encompassing pooling-together of players' skill. It alienates less skillful and dedicated players all the more by elevating those who have succeeded even higher above the rest.

Thirdly, the so-called skill-gap exists for two reasons: Veteran players become more knowledgeable than noobies about each map's layout and how the game works, not to mention they get to hone their reflexes and master the game's mechanics over a long period of time. But if developers simply chose to make their games revolve around pure strategy rather than physical prowess, and empowered all players with access to exhaustive knowledge about every facet of the game rather than making them learn it all themselves, games would be both perfectly balanced and also very strategically engaging for everyone involved. We wouldn't have to have ''veterans'' versus ''noobs,'' and we wouldn't have to narrow the skill gap through randomness and luck.

A game's complexity ultimately boils down to how much it includes players in the decision-making process of play. As long as developers keep this in mind, they won't have to worry about realism or being ''hardcore'' versus ''casual.'' We gamers simply want a gameplay experience that's fun to play on its own merits.


- Ponstory Games

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Pokemon GO: Get Playing Sooner?

Hello again. This is a special bonus post for today. Do you kids want some Pokemon GO. Looks like it's launching today, but if you live in the US and Japan you have to wait for a few hours, I presume. However, due to the magic of the internet, the links to the app has been released.

I was orginally alerted to a possible leak this morning, when my friend sent me following link to a site claiming to have a playable version of Pokemon GO for Android: http://www.apkmirror.com/apk/niantic-inc/pokemon-go/pokemon-go-0-29-0-release/pokemon-go-0-29-0-android-apk-download/

I'm running iOS so I was a bit disappointed. I was especially disappointed when he sent me the following pics:


Nintendo and Niantic are asking fans to wait for the app to be unlocked in their region specifically, but if you don't want to wait, here's the links for iTunes App Store and for the Google Play Store. As an aside, you will need iTunes and a PC for iOS installation.

Have fun. Happy hunting. See you IRL maybe. Till the next post, I send you off with some motivational music.

-Chali Baicunn



 

Battlefront After Bespin DLC: Part 2 - So Fucking Done! There Is No Hope For This!

Good morning you beautiful bastards! Thank you for stopping by the blog today. I hope that you've all gotten through the weekend's festivities with your limbs, property, and pride intact. I do apologize for the delay of this post. In Part 1 I asked current players what they thought about the game after the release of the Bespin DLC and the accompanying patch. This post will be my opinions and views about the game up this point. This will be the last post I make about Battlefront unless some very substantial changes are made.

Where to start.. Where to start... Well I guess I'll talk about the good first. Lobby wait times seem to minimal. I'm playing on PS4, so it may be bad on another platform. Game mechanics seem more balanced, but honestly "balance" is completely subjective sans a weapon or ability that's completely OP. Bespin maps are fun, but I found that every match on Carbon Freezing Chamber seemed to devolve into a game of "which team has more dioxin grenades?" At first, it was fun, and then the shit just wore on, and on, and on. The addition of new weapons was nice...

So to the not so good parts. Primarily, this game is more of a bitter disappointment than Jar Jar Binks. If that's not a scathing indictment of the shallow and hollow husk that this game is. Fucking seriously! This shit is the Kim Kardashian of video games. It starts of all pretty, then after spending some time with it, you're just like, "Why the fuck do people care that you exist? You provide nothing of any substance." I just don't get it. Hut Contracts... Meh... Good thought, but fucking terrible execution. Objectives don't always get counted. Then you have to enter playlists in order play DLC specific maps. I'm not sure if this is an attempt to obscure what would be entirely empty lobbies, or if some how DICE and EA have both forgotten that "game type" lobbies are a thing in other games. Ugh, and there's still no real/ terribly interesting solo play. By now, I was hoping that maybe.. just maybe, EA would have offered some kind of appeasement token. Throw us a fucking bone here. Something, anything.. Shit I'm not terribly picky. As long as the shit is entertaining and actually functional... I think I'd be okay with that. And who the fuck at Disney is signing off on these licenses?

It just fucking now hit me. I don't know why I was blind to it before. This is kind of off topic, but it just may explain the flaccid performance of this game. The relationship between EA and Disney seems to have that oddly calm Steve Jobs and Bill Gates feel to it.

In this story Disney is Steve Jobs and EA is Bill Gates. they're both basically fucking assholes pretending to be innovators, while creating derivative tripe because, well this is 'Merica and we seem to really love that shit 'round here. Disney more or less gave EA's R&D a literal dick load of money by licensing the use of the Star Wars franchise, much like Apple did with Microsoft and DOS. And when Disney isn't looking, EA is over in the corner finishing the development on the new game engine that was suppose to be powering Battlefront. They more or less rushed the product to market, and the title says Star Wars, so it was certainly going to sell. Now that EA has finally polished their dev work, and is about to launch a full title under Battlefield 1 which seems to show more promise (a pretty substantial amount more that Battlefront). In the end, Disney will probably become a bigger asshole, and will have a nervous break down, and then maybe get cancer after investing heavily in portable music device and 3D animation (I'm leaving out the death part because it seems a bit too insensitive?..). And fucking EA is just gonna keep on going, not giving fuck, and doing whatever they want. And people are still going to buy their shit because.. well, I don't know why. Maybe because of the hypetrain, engineered and driven by the zealous and militant marketing wing of EA. Maybe I'm wrong, but seriously, Disney, I'd dump EA if I were you.

So, after my long winded, esoteric, and dare I say angst-y diatribe, here are my final thoughts on Battlefront  This game was over-hyped. EA toyed with our emotions and our money (which Big Perm would argue that they're the same thing.) The community seems to be desperate for someone or something to save them, or just put them out of their misery. Seriously, if you put any kind of thought into buying this game... Don't! It's a hollow excuse for a game, and sucks the testicles of a medium sized equine usually used for the carrying of goods and people in dry harsh environments.

So what do you think? Am I right? Am I wrong? Have I been unfair? Let me know. As always, thank you for stopping by the blog. Don't forget to follow on Twitter at @BaicunnPress. I'll have a post up in the very near future with a video interview I did with Rick, the US Community Leader for Warhorse Studios.

I'll see you soon.

-Chali Baicunn

Friday, July 1, 2016

Battlefront After Bespin DLC: Part 1 - What Players Think About The Game In It's Current State

Ello ello poppets! Thanks for stopping by today. If you are a regular reader of the blog, then you'll know that I have been quite critical of Battlefront and EA. With the release of Bespin DLC and the significant patch that accompanied it, I wanted to get a feel of what other players are thinking and feeling at this point. I figure the game is about halfway through it's life cycle, and now is probably the best time to do this post. This will be a 2 part post. The first part will be feedback from players, and the second part will be opinion. I have intentionally avoided playing since Bespin and patch release, in order to do this post. I hope you enjoy, and as always your feedback is welcome. 

I put forth the following thread out on /r/battlefront & Star Wars Battlefront Community Forums:

"Hello Everyone, and good day to you.

My name is Chali and I run a blog at baicunnpress.com. I'm looking for player feedback regarding the state of the game after the release of Bespin and the patch that accompanied it for a blog post. I have been quite critical of EA and Battlefront in several posts, and I'd like to know what other players think.
A few of the questions I have are:

What were your initial thoughts/ feelings about the game, and have those changes?

Has EA made any honest changes to get the game to where you believe it should be?

What could EA do to address any of your concerns?

Is the new patch working/ did it properly balance the game?

Any other thoughts you have.

Please only reply if you don't mind being attributed in my post.
Thanks for any feedback."


I didn't let the threads run too long to avoid any trolls. Ironically, the cynical bastards over on the Battlefront Community Forum, mostly treated me as if I were squeaky troll or with the smugness that only comes with being dedicated wholly to a bad game that gets insulted a lot.



Luckily, I did get two legitimate replies though:




  I also received the following replies on reddit:



It seems to me that those still playing and active in both the game and community seem to be dedicated, but are disappointed.

Before closing up the thread I asked this final question:

"If you are unhappy with the game, why keep playing, and/ or why continue to visit the community forums?"  

I received the following two replies:





That's the end of Part 1, I'll be playing Battlefront this weekend, and putting up Part 2 at the end of it. What are your thoughts? Be sure to let me know in the comments or on Twitter. Thanks again for stopping by. 

-Chali Baicunn

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Shocking Sales Numbers Show Almost No Gamers Play Games!



Guys, I just got done reading an article about Uncharted 4's record-breaking sales, and I have just got to share the statistics with you. In just the first week, it sold over 2.7 million copies, and in the following month it has sold nearly a million more. What an accomplishment. What a testament to the awe-inspiring artistry of Naughty Dog and friends. What an eternal bit of proof that Uncharted is still one of the greatest game series of all time, if not more than that.

Who can even compete with Naughty Dog? I mean, they're just so incredible at what they do; what makes any other developer think they can match its success? The nerve. The arrogance! They might as well stop making games altogether after the success of Uncharted. Surely no one will ever match its success after securing such an immense fan-base. Why, just think! 2.7 million gamers all bought Uncharted 4, out of who knows how many.

Hey, wait a second. Just how many gamers are there in the world? It can't be much more than 2.7 million. Those sales numbers wouldn't be breaking news if there were more than, say, five million gamers on the planet. Let's Google the number of gamers surveyed around the world and confirm Naughty Dog's supremacy.


What?! There are 1.2 billion gamers in the world? How can this be? Well, I guess since there are more than 400,000,000 people in America alone it's not surprising; at least a couple hundred million Americans must play games. And China has a population of 1.3 billion, so there's a few hundred million more gamers. Huh... I guess it's not so preposterous. And look at the date of the survey! November 25, 2013. That was almost three years ago! There must be millions more gamers by now if you consider how quickly the industry is growing.

How very deceptive of Playstation Magazine to make me think Naughty Dog had made some sort of outstanding achievement. They only managed to appeal to 1/400 of the entire gaming population! The buffoons. The nitwits! The absolute madmen. There's nothing impressive about them at all!

''But Pon, hold your horses! Just because 1.2 billion people play video games doesn't mean Naughty Dog is a failure! The Playstation 4 only just came out three years ago, and it's only sold 40 million units. You can't expect all 1.2 billion gamers to go out and buy Uncharted 4. The most you should expect is 40 million, and even that's a stretch! You've gotta understand people's various tastes.''

Darn it, you're so right. Just because more than a billion people around the world love playing games doesn't mean they ought to want to play the best games out there, such as Uncharted 4. It's totally understandable.

Actually, that's crazy. If Uncharted was truly one of the greatest video games in the whole world, and really contained an undeniably brilliant storyline, every person who played it would be urging all of their family and friends to go out and buy a PS4 so they could play it, and they wouldn't cease to pressure them into doing it until it had been done. The fact that more than 90% of those 1.2 billion people don't feel motivated to go out and buy the PS4 (or any console) is proof that the industry doesn't have that universally acclaimed stroke of genius that simply everyone must experience. This industry is filled to the brim with an untapped player base, and the top game publishers don't even seem to realize it. Who even says 1.2 billion is the limit? If someone managed to create the kind of game I'm talking about, it would introduce millions more people to video games; perhaps a billion more.

There is one one solitary example I can use to prove this point, but it obviously doesn't lie in the video game industry.


When Star Wars first came to theaters, its meaningful characters, breathtaking worlds, and iconic imagery were irresistible to the entire world, drawing enormous crowds which stretched around whole city blocks. Fans were not only insisting that their friends go and watch it, but they themselves were returning to the theater to watch it again and again for their own enjoyment. Star Wars was a definitive game-changer, and to this day its sequels draw record-breaking viewership.

Where is the Star Wars of the gaming industry? Where is that irresistible game, with that overwhelmingly powerful story which no one can turn down without feeling like they're missing out big-time? We don't have it yet, but it's an inevitability. Star Wars isn't even the pinnacle of storytelling. Think of the possibilities waiting to be unleashed on us!

I'm sure many people think they're satisfied with the current games we're stuck with, but I only see room for improvement. Gamers are not experiencing the best this industry has to offer. A few million copies getting sold really shouldn't astonish anyone. It's just a fact of life that in any industry with a large consumer-base, there will always be an audience for lame products. This principle applies to every industry; if you've got millions of people shopping for something, a certain percentage of them are guaranteed to be indifferent about the quality of the stuff they buy, and thus end up supporting awful companies. I'll be impressed (and you should be, too) when a game manages to sell 500,000,000+ copies as soon as it releases, not 2.7 million copies out of 1.2 billion people!

Oh, and one more point. If you're thinking of boycotting video games until developers come up with something better, you need to understand something: It is impossible to boycott any kind of product unless there's a better alternative for people to choose. This is ultimately why the Playstation 4 was utterly crushing the Xbox One when they were both announced, because gamers had a better alternative to Microsoft's ridiculous DRM policies. If they hadn't reversed their decision, the PS4 would be the only viable next-gen console in this generation. And likewise, when that perfect masterpiece of a game does come along, and it objectively innovates beyond anything ever seen before, it will replace all products before it and become the new standard of quality. That's how innovation works: People don't know what they want until you give it to them, but when they do get it, they can never go back to the old standard. That's why we don't use oil lamps anymore, 'cause a guy named Thomas Edison gave us the electric light.

Cheers, and thanks for reading!

- Ponstory Games

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Midweek Break Down: New Walking Dead Characters, Michael John McLeod Douche Canoe Award, and More


Hello, and welcome back. We're halfway through the week and it's time for The Midweek Breakdown. If you're new to the blog, The Midweek Breakdown is where I bring you few quick bits of nerd news.

Possible big news for Walking Dead fans. According to Jon Ausiello from TVLine.com , two new main characters will be introduced in episode 6 of the upcoming season of The Walking Dead. The TVLine reports states that the characters will be named Naomi and Jennie. Naomi is described as, "
 ...a grandmotherly type who, having lost so many loved ones, is now willing to do whatever it takes not to have to bury any more." While Jennie is said to be "...a sunny-side-up kinda teenager ... who sounds a lot like Beth 2.0, “kind, with a world-weary toughness.”" I personally feel like there is no replacement for Beth, but it'll be interesting to if this actually happens. 

In other possibly exciting news, Pokemon GO beta will end tomorrow. It's probably deeply depressing for those field testers currently playing, but it means that we're probably looking at about two weeks before the rest of get the chance to be the very best, like no one ever was.

While we're talking about trying to be the best, Overwatch is officially more popular in South Korean gaming cafes than LoL. According to the report by Gamermetrics , Overwatch is being played by 30% or players in South Korean bangs (Korean internet cafe/ gaming room paid for by the hour), while 27.8% are playing League. Is this a possible new trend? Could this be the beginning fo the end for LoL in Korea?.. Probably not, but it's interesting. 



As a friendly PSA to the readers, when gaming don't forget to move around, sleep, and eat. You'd think that this would go without saying, but an unidentified teen in China was recently found by police passed out in some bushes. The teen had ran away from home 10 days earlier, and had spent 6 of those days in an internet cafe before running out of money and wandering the streets. The most shocking part is that, when this gamer was found, his feet were covered in sores and smelled of infection. (Jesus rook... You need another hobby.) 


And in a final bit of news, I want to dedicate a new award to a very special person. This award is being named and given in honor of all of the butt hurt try-hards out there, that just can't deal with loosing. Without further ado, I give you the Michael John McLeod Douche Canoe Award. Our first recipient is none other than Michael John McLeod. Michael recently filed a class action law suit against Valve claiming that he lost money gambling on CS: GO. The key to his suit centers around Valve being complicit if not outright supporting illegal online gambling on Counter Strike matches. Still no word on if the law suit will move forward, but I think it's a safe bet that Michael McLeod should avoid Steam game lobbies. 

Well that's it for this week's Midweek Breakdown. What do you think about everything discussed here today? Thank you for stopping by again. I'm working on a few more posts, that I hope to get out today and/ or tomorrow. Please remember to follow on Twitter at @BaicunnPress to receive alerts when new content drops. 

-Chali Baicunn  

Friday, June 24, 2016

Japanese Video Game Jesus Returns To Save Us From Mediocrity

Happy fan-fucking-tastic Friday, you beautiful bastards! Thank you for stopping by the blog. I'd like to take a few minutes of your time to talk to you about our lord and savior; Japanese Video Game Jesus...

Have you heard of the Great Konami Tribulation, and the wise sage that was forced to bare the cross of Metal Gear alone? The Konami council issued their decrees struggling to stifle and control his genius. When the board failed, they engage him in a destructive battle. Their hope was to destroy The Kojima's reputation by sabotaging his project. When the dust settled, he told the world that he would return to our realm soon. Since then many claimed they had heard whispers of a new project, but still others had said it was too soon for his return. I'd like to let you know that The Kojima has risen! Returning to E3 with the simple words of, "I'm back.". After his proclamation, he delivered unto us the following visual koan:



Are you now gripped by confusion and question? What in the holy fuckery did you just watch? Ah... you see that's the method of the teacher. Much like the great zen masters, Hideo Kojima knows that the pupil must ponder the questions raised. And at the moment that great doubt has been provoked, the master delivers just enough knowledge that the student can unravel the twisted strands of the knot.

Alright, I'll stop fucking around now, before someone thinks I'm legitimately about to start a personality cult like Scientology... Sorry I meant North Korea.

So it's been established that the Death Stranding trailer was a little mind fucking. Thankfully Wired Magazine did an interview with Hideo Kojima, that both clears a few things up and muddles the water more. 

I'm posting about 3/4 from the interview below as it applies directly to this post. However, I recommend you read the whole thing, here:


WIRED: I’ve watched the trailer for Death Stranding and I’m still confused. What the heck is this?
KOJIMA: It’s a teaser, so the only thing I can say is, watch it. You can see the crabs, the whales, all things, they all have these umbilical cables. Norman, as he stands up. It’s a very important part, this connection. That’s the keyword. What people are playing today in open-world action games, or linear action games, it will compare naturally to them. It will feel familiar. But after an hour or two of playing, you will start to feel something different, something new that you haven’t played. The story is about connections, what you call “strands” in psychology—how people are connected.

WIRED: How does that affect gameplay?
KOJIMA: There’s an author that I’m a huge fan of named Kōbō Abe. Among his work is a novel called The Rope. He mentions that the first tool that humanity invented was the stick, to keep away bad things. Right now, looking at today’s online games, you see a lot of sticks—pistols, weapons, things that are the equivalent of the first tool. Abe, in his novel, mentions that after the stick, mankind invented something that keeps things that are important close to you—the rope. In Death Stranding, there will be the equivalent of sticks. But also, I want to tie people together with the equivalent of ropes.

WIRED: So it’s a multiplayer game?
KOJIMA: It’s not so simple. It’s a new system. It’s not as if today you have online gameplay where you fight with guns, and I’m swapping them for ropes.

WIRED: When I hear “stranding” I think of being alone on an island. But you mean it in the sense of strands connecting people.
KOJIMA: I’m using both meanings. Connecting people through gameplay is the basis of the game. Trying to connect one character to another, or to connect life and death.

WIRED: You’ve selected very specific words for this title. Why “death”? Action games all have death in them. Why is it so important here?
KOJIMA: In arcade games, you have this notion of dying, putting another quarter in, and coming back. That hasn’t changed in the 35 years that I’ve been making games. In this game, life and death will be part of that, but I want to give a different twist to that notion.

From the above interview and trailer, it appears that me just might be given a something that is actually new. Not just a plot twist, and not just new art, but something substantially different in the way a game is played. This could be that spark that the games industry has needed since open worlds and first person became common place. 

I'm imagining a game in which your death leads you to some kind of "purgatory". While in purgatory your game play will effect another player's experience. And by helping or hurting the player you either take over their experience, and bring yourself back. Idk though. This is all just speculations at this point, but I'm pretty excited about our community being saved from mediocre games by Japanese Video Game Jesus.

Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate your support. Let me know what you think. Just a few points to add, if you're looking for the novel, "The Rope", it doesn't appear to exist in an english translation, as noted on Reddit, but in this thread a redditor found a copy that had been translated into spanish. If you find an english translation please let me know. If you're interested in following the progress of the game, and those trying to piece it all together go checkout /r/DeathStranding. As always, I hope you have a good day, and I will see you soon.  


-Chali Baicunn 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Midweek Breakdown: Supercell Makes 8.6 Mil, WoW Kills In China, Ghosbuster News, And More

Hello and thank you for stopping by. We've made it halfway through another week working for the man. To help get you through, here's a quick breakdown of some of this news, you should know. *CRINGE WARNING: The following contains an excessive number of force segues.*

The Finnish maker of Clash of Clans; Supercell just sealed a deal with Shenzhen, China-based, Tencent Holdings Ltd. The $8.6 billion deal gives Tencent 84.3% ownership. This raises the valuation of Supercell to $10.2 billion. Supercell's current management will stay on board.

While we're talking about China and a literal shit ton (2 metric assloads; it's science) of money, our gold farming brethren across the Pacific has pushed the WoW movie into record breaking territory. In China alone the movie has grossed around $200 million of it's total box office earnings of around $400 million. The movie also just became the highest grossing video game movie ever. I suspect that all the Chinese WoW fans that went to see it just insured at least another silver screen visit to
Azeroth. Celebration!? You can decide if that's a good or bad thing.



Well since you may be in the mood to party. You may be interested to know that today is the 15 year anniversary of the Arma franchise. If your tired of played out FPS and looking for more of a challenge I highly recommend this franchise. To celebrate Bohemia Interactive is running some awesome deals on their store located here. (This is not a sponsored link. I just really enjoyed the games.)

If bargain shopping is for you, you'll be happier than Bill Murray with a proton pack to know. Sony just announced, that if you buy the Ghostbusters Ultimate Bundle of the upcoming release of the Ghostbusters Movie tie-in game by FireForge Games, you'll receive a free digital copy of the the soon to be released Ghosterbusters movie. The bundle will cost you $65 and will include all DLC and the movie, or you can buy the game for $50. The title is set to launch on July 12th on Xbox, PS4, and PC.



And in other Ghostbuster news, Sony also recently announced that they have greenlit a new Ghostbusters animated series titled, "Ghostbusters: Ecto Force". Ecto Force will be set in 2050 and will expand on the existing cinematic universe. Currently slated for a 2018 release. Here's to hoping my childhood memories of The Real Ghostbusters aren't destroyed by another Ghostbusters cartoon.

And only because I'm tired of the forced segues between paragraphs, and I'm sure you're cringing by now, The first official Power Rangers movie poster has been released. Check it out below:


Just a Friendly PSA: Independence Day: Resurgence releases this Friday. Be sure to check it out and let me know what you think.

Thank you for stopping by again, and dealing with the cringe-worthy transitions. I hope you enjoyed. As always, I appreciate your support. Please be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

-Chali Baicunn

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Zombies, Zombies, and Yet More Zombies?

WE'RE SORRY BUT DO TO THE INCOMPETENCE OF THE SITE ADMIN, THE ENTIRE SMUG AND FUNNY INTRO (FRAMING THE PREMISE OF THIS PIECE) HAS BEEN LOST. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LAUGH AT HIS FAILURES. ALL RELEVANT INFORMATION IS STILL LISTED BELOW.


The newest addition to the fray, seems to be coming in hot with its E3 trailer and gameplay, but will it going out cold. I'm sceptical, but that's mostly because there's no real info about it. At this point, all I know is that Sony's Bend Studios has been rumored to be working on the title for some time. In Days Gone, you'll be playing as protagonist/ possible anti-hero Deacon St. John (just as an aside this name feels gimmicky/ cliche/ lazy/ WASPy (is that even an adjective?) to me), and is set 2 years after an pandemic has reduced the majority of mankind to "freakers". They're like zombies, just not dead.


Bend is promising that this title will be like no other before it, with a more or less open map and dynamic weather. They are also stating that resource and sound management are going to be serious business. But more importantly, Bend is also reporting that they are still tweaking and optimizing the Unreal 4 engine so squeeze a few more zombies (sorry freakers) onto the screen.


The trailer seems to contradict the claims of open worldness being pushed by Bend. It's not bad trailer. In fact, I kinda like it. It just feels like it's a trailer for a strong narrative driven story, not for an open world post apocalyptic road trip. Check it out below:





The first view of the gameplay didn't really strike me as anything special. I mean, it definitely seemed like the intensity was turned up to about a 15, but other than that it just seemed like a straightforward third person shooter with modern graphics. On my second viewing, I noticed something. It's something that both bugged me and intrigued me. If you're paying attention, you'll notice that Deacon grabs an oil filter from the truck and proceeds to affix it to his pistol to be used as a suppressor. This I like. I like the ability to interact and craft in the field on the fly, but, and this may just be me. But the easy by which the oil filter is magically glued to the barrel, and the accompanying yet incorrect "mag being ran home" sound that knocked me out of the experience for a moment. And what the hell does this jackass need a suppressor for? He's been revving the piss out of his bike, and yelling for the last minute and a half. So, I'm probably being petty, and I realize this game is still early. I'm just saying... Just watch below:



Below is another quick bit of info from PlayStation Access:





I think this game has promise. I get the feeling that this could be the weird FarCy/ GTA with zombies game that we never really realized we wanted. Ultimately, I believe the success or failure of this new title rides on a fully developed story and the ability to deliver an intense player experience. No word yet on a release date or if this will be available on any platform outside of PlayStation.


State of Decay 2


The long awaited sequel to upstart State of Decay was just unveiled. Creators, Undead Labs promises that the follow up will be bigger and better than before. Many a fanboy was devastated to hear that the sequel will not be an MMO. However, with 4 player drop in drop out co-op, an open world, and the ability to play as multiple characters that can all experience permanent death, the tile shows promise. I'm going to need to see more before it gets the nod from me. Check out the trailer below:




No exact release date given, but this Unreal 4 powered Microsoft exclusive is set to hit the market in 2017.


Walking Dead Season 3 Ep 3


I'm not going to dive too much into details to avoid spoilers. If you've played Telltale's episodic TWD series, the you know that I know that we know they're generally pretty good game. If you haven't played it's time you move out from under that time wasting rock called WoW. Jokes aside I recommend you check the out. Below is the official E3 trailer for Season 3 Ep:




If you're interested, Season 3 Episode 3 launches this fall on all the usual platforms


Dead Rising 4


Making a return after it's brief hiatus is the Dead Rising series. Everyone's favorite chaos engine is scheduled to launch this winter holiday on PC and Xbox. It will be remaining exclusive fore a year before going to PS4. A lot of new weapons have been added along with the ability to map individual weapons to face buttons on the controller. In my mind it may not be fair to add Dead Rising to this list of judgement regarding the overuse of zombies in games. This is because, after the first Dead Rising I stopped thinking of the zombies as zombies. They were just targets... Then I realized that maybe this whole time zombies were being used, to absolve the player of guilt. You don't feel bad about the seriously fucked up things you do to them.. Well because, fuck them they're zombies. After that hit me, I lost interest, the illusion had been broken. However, check out the trailer and gameplay below, and make you own decisions:







Resident Evil 7: biohazard


Another returning champ, debuted at 3 this year; Resident Evil 7 appears to be a return to the survival horror roots of the franchise. Seems to me that it could be terrifying. Current release is set for January 24th 2017. Check out the videos below:






The gameplay footage has actually received some pretty negative attention from squeakers. It seems that fans have been bitching at Capcom for awhile about bringing back the classic feel, but now people still aren't happy because they wanted a bit more action to it. Jesus Christ folks! Which do you want Res 2 or Raccoon City? Also, Capcom better not screw the pooch on this one. Some in the gaming community are still bitter about Street Fighter.


And that's the end guys. So what do you think? Was I fair? Is it time to stop with the zombies? Can we all just agree to meet back at E3 next year with a more original adversary? Thank you for stopping by, and thank you for sticking it out through a longer post. As always, I look forward to our feedback. Please be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.


-Chali Baicunn