Yes, This Is About Dean Takahashi Playing Cuphead

cuphead-1

I’ve never felt compelled to comment on the ‘video game journalists should be good at video games’ debate, because most of the time, I see a bunch of internet trolls doing what they do best (er, worst): lampooning a person who’s alright at games, just not one of the elite. You don’t have to write like Mozart to be a composer, you don’t need to make films like Spielberg to be a filmmaker, nor do you need to be the best gamer in the world to write about video games. That said, if you ARE writing about games, you should, at the very least, be a gamer.

But Dean Takahashi, a journalist with VentureBeat, doesn’t seem like one. His time with the Cuphead demo at Gamescom 2017 is the most cringe-inducing thing I’ve seen all year.

No, seriously. Cuphead is already notorious for being difficult, but Dean wasn’t playing some mid-game thumb-buster of a level. No, he was playing the tutorial. Badly. The first minute alone made me wonder if this guy had ever played a platformer before. The game walks you through some basics, such as jumping and the ability to jump and dash at the same time. It took Dean over two minutes to grasp this concept. He was supposed to reach a ledge too high off the ground, and he’d accomplish this, obviously, by jumping on the short platform behind him and then executing the ‘jump and dash’ move. He stayed on the ground though, jumping against a wall time and time again. Common sense should have dictated, “Hey, this isn’t working out for me. What am I doing wrong? That ledge is obviously too high from where I’m standing, so what can I do to gain some ground?” My 7 year old would crush this – you know, because he has common sense – but Dean, for some reason, just couldn’t figure it out. His justification for this?

Twitter: “It didn’t say, “Stand on rock, which is farther away, because dash will take you higher and farther than you can jump.””

If I didn’t know better, I’d say we were in The Twilight Zone… but this is reality. A very, very sad one, at that.

I don’t ask much from people who provide game footage to the masses, but Dean’s job is to write about video games. If he can’t pull off basic moves using mechanics which have been around since the Nintendo Entertainment System… I’m sorry, but that absolutely means his credibility deserves to be flushed down the toilet. His footage gives the impression that his experience with games is minimal at best, and if that’s true, nearly everything he writes is meaningless. While it isn’t important as a member of the gaming press to be a great gamer, what a writer in this industry absolutely MUST be is a SEASONED gamer. You know, someone who’s seen and played a wide range of titles and can, at the very least, understand and perform the basics. Dean, however, comes off looking like he’s never played a game before. I usually never advocate for someone in this industry to lose their job over their level of skill, but this seems like a fireable offense.

You could argue that because this footage was taken at Gamescom, Dean was probably distracted and also a little nervous because the devs were undoubtedly watching his every move. In return, I’d merely say you probably haven’t watched the video. Please do so. All of it. I’ve only talked about the first minute thus far, but in the rest he’s constantly running straight into enemies, leaping to his death, and even has trouble with aiming the spray gun (think Contra) the main character’s using.

You know what? Did I say this video was cringe-worthy? Let me rescind that. It’s the most hilarious unintentionally funny video of the year.

And the Twitter hilarity doesn’t end there, by the way. Dean Takahashi is also challenging people who are criticizing him to do better:

“spoken by someone who hasn’t played yet. Do me a favor and capture your first honest 26 minutes.”

I’ll tell you what, Dean. When I get my Xbox One X later this year, I’ll do just that. I’ll stream my first 26 minutes and I guarantee I’ll take way less time to beat the tutorial than you did.

But hold on gamers, I’m not done yet. I have to point the finger at you a moment.

While Dean has basically exposed himself to be full of crap with every key he strikes, one thing his video does not prove is that video game press as a whole is terrible at games. Unfortunately, a lot of gamers are condemning video game journalism as a whole due to this guy’s inability to leap on a platform and press two buttons. That’s like saying every director in Hollywood is a talentless hack just because you didn’t like Michael Bay.

One user on Twitter writes:

“Game journalists are incredibly bad at video games. It’s painful to watch this. How do they think they’re qualified to write about games?”

How can this be a serious question? Where does this idea come from, that all game journalists are incredibly bad at video games? The gaming community can, and should, do better than this. Say whatever you want about Dean Takahashi or that yahoo from Polygon that couldn’t play Doom that well, but jumping to extreme of labeling every journalist as ‘bad at games’ is a stretch that instantly illegitimates your comments. If you want your voice to be heard, throwing the ‘general’ blanket over everything isn’t going to get it done.

Advertisements

Greatness Delayed Podcast – Sony Helps This Cast Live Up To Its Name

ByteSizePodLogoBlack

Mike and Gus discuss NYCC, some new vidyagames, and a whole bunch of Sony’s latest stumbles.

Download – Right Click, Save As

Who IS Batman In The Next Open World Game?

img_4226

In the wake of our confirmation that one of the numerous villains you’d be facing in the next open world Batman game is The Judge, there’s still one VERY big question about this game which people have been dying to get confirmation of (you already know if you’ve been listening to the podcast, though).

Originally, I had reported the protagonist under the cowl this time would be ‘Batman’s son’.  As I, myself, am Batman illiterate, I wasn’t aware that this information would have been perceived as controversial.  The outlets which ran my story had decided to slap Damian Wayne’s name on this, but they were jumping the gun, and I spent a good amount of energy attempting to set the record straight.

Honestly, Batman’s son could have been anyone.  Depending on how many ‘universes’ you’re willing to take into consideration:  Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Clark Wayne, Terry McGinnis, Tallant Wayne, Ibn al Xu’ffasch (yeah, I’ve been doing a little research)… and I don’t even know if that exhausts all the possibilities.  You can argue alternate timelines, people he loved LIKE sons, or anyone that’s been ‘developed’ rather than naturally created isn’t a connection that shouldn’t be considered.  But, fact of the matter is, if the game’s development studio is willing to change the face of Batman in gaming from Bruce to… well, someone else… then theoretically, they could go in any direction they please.  As long as the player spends most, if not all of the game as a dude dressed as Batman, will game sales ultimately be affected?  Doubtful.

In light of the recent information that’s come along, however, I made sure to inquire about the true identity of Batman in the new game.

And Damian Wayne it is. 

Batman_Damian_Wayne_001

To my understanding, Damian is the only TRUE son of Batman in the main continuity, so I guess the devs ARE trying to stay within that particular universe.

With people guessing Damian would be in the new game, I’ve seen opinions split down the middle.  Some just don’t want to lose Kevin Conroy behind the mic, others are too used to seeing Bruce Wayne as the Bat, and some just flat out dislike Damian’s reckless behavior… or at least, reckless when compared to Bruce’s vigilante-in-hiding styling.  On the other hand, there are plenty of others who genuinely prefer the fresh take that Damian has provided to a character that had been established for decades without TOO much change.

For additional news on this game – and there WILL be more – make sure to add bytesizeimpressions.com to your favorites list in your browser, and check out the podcast, which is available to stream or download on this site, or through iTunes Podcasts if you live in North America.  After all, we did break the true identity of this Batman on the podcast first…

 

Greatness Delayed Podcast – Pokemon Violence Gambling Disclosures

ByteSizePodLogoBlack

Mike and Gus discuss the Nintendo Mini, Pokemon Go, violence in video games, CS:GO gambling, Shadow of Mordor disclosures, and more!

 

Download Link (Right Click, Save As)

Listen Up, Fanboys

make_love__not_console_wars_by_ry_spirit-d76t3l6

E3 was supposed to be Christmas for gamers.  Sure, the conferences exist mostly to appease investors, but this should have been the one time of year internet hate mongers set their differences aside, treat each other like human beings, and rejoice in a weeklong celebration.  Instead, what I’ve seen is a resurgence of the console wars, and it looks even sillier than it did at the beginning of the generation.

Since when did ‘fan’ become synonymous with gnarling your face and spitting the most putrid bile imaginable?  Like, why is this even a thing?  From where I’m sitting, it seems like all it takes is a difference of opinion.  Forget context, forget reason.  Hell, a number of the attacks I’ve seen on the net are completely unsolicited.

Is this really where we’re at?  We’ve struggled for decades to show the world that gamers aren’t childish… and for what?  To ultimately prove that stereotype is true?

Bravo, ladies and gentlemen.  Bravo.

Now, I’m not blanketing my anger over the entirety of the gaming community, but for those of you that have engaged in pointless cock-measurement contests – and you know who you are – I feel a reminder is needed.

In case you’ve forgotten, we’re on the same team… all of us.  So much time is wasted in Sony vs. Microsoft debates, and there’s so much wrong with this I don’t even know where to begin.

How about the fact that this isn’t a two horse race?  Why do people tend to forget about Nintendo?  I know they haven’t done very well with the Wii-U, but it’s still a great platform to play great games on.  Some people even prefer it.  And let’s not forget about the PC, which plays pretty much all third party games and even has some exclusives that can’t be found on consoles.

I don’t think I’m being too idealistic here, either.  If you want to know how dumb it is to compare consoles, just remember that most of what we play are the third party games.  And you know what the conversation centers around when we talk about them?  The games themselves, right?  When you meet up with friends, you might say, “Have you played the new Doom?  It’s freaking awesome!”  They’ll probably nod their heads and say, “Yeah man.  SO much fun!”  Know what they’re NOT going to say?  “Yeah man, totally!  I’ve been playing it on my PS4, and guess what?!  MY DYNAMIC RESOLUTION BUFFER IS BETTER THAN IT IS ON THAT CRAPPY XBOX!”  These conversations don’t happen.  They just don’t.  And when performance IS discussed, it’s because there’s glaring issues that go wayyyyy beyond hardware capability.

See what I’m saying here?  It’s all about the GAMES.  But, since you console warring trolls – again, you know who you are – can’t help but feed your superiority complex, I have a message I want each ‘side’ to consider:

Xbots – You fools.  You damn fools.  Sony fans have been giving you the business for years.  I imagine you’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to show the world you’re classier, more mature… and yet, the moment you felt victory within reach, you lost your minds.  No, really.  You did.  I don’t think you understand just how stupid you’ve looked since the Scorprio was revealed at E3.  It’s been like watching William Wallace’s army in Braveheart when they mooned their enemies… except instead of the ‘freedom’ battle cry, you’ve been banging on about teraflops.  Who cares about freakin’ teraflops?  I don’t.  And you know what’s funny?  Most of you don’t even know what a teraflop is.  All you’ve been doing is parroting the latest buzzword.  And besides, your victory is imagined anyway.  You’re comparing two consoles that have yet to see the light of day.  If that doesn’t make you feel sheepish, then you have a severe lack of self-awareness, my friends.

Sony Ponies – Yeah, the Xbots are coming off like a bunch of delusional lunatics right now, but to be fair, this is how your fan base has looked throughout the entirety of this generation.  900p or 1080p, 30fps or 60fps… who gives a shit?  You act like hardware performance is the most important thing in the world, but if you really felt that way, you’d buy a PC.  It’s really that simple.  Why compare nickels to quarters when you can get those dolla dolla bills, y’all?  And, I know what you’re going to say, too.  “Not everyone can afford a PC!”  True.  Consoles are less expensive than a PC.  There’s no denying that.  But I see a ton of you excited to drop at least another $400 on the Neo… after having already spent $400 on the OG PS4.  That’s $800 in a single generation… just for hardware.  You could have spent that money up front to get a machine that was capable of Neo-like graphics a while ago.  “But Sony are for the players!”  Nope.  They’re not.  They’re the same as any other major corporation out there.  They’ll smile in your face while they reach for the wallet resting in your back pocket.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten a lot of use out of my PS4, but that doesn’t mean I’m comfortable with bowing at Yoshida’s feet.

And while we’re talking about console fanboys being a little too mouthy for their own good, there’s a couple other camps that also need to be addressed:

Nintendo Fans – You are, undoubtedly, the nicest fan base of the bunch… but some of you take your affection for this brand wayyyyy too seriously.  Yes, Nintendo is a great place to play great games that can’t be found elsewhere.  But some of you straight-up pretend that games on other platforms aren’t any fun.  I totally get that we’re inundated with annual franchises and iterative formulas, but I still – and this is coming from someone who loves Nintendo – find plenty of great games to play.  Unfortunately, some of you believe it’s your job to hype the company up, and feed their bottom line by supporting every shitty business decision they’ll ever make.  Folks, on occasion, it’s OK to hold Nintendo’s feet to the fire.  You won’t lose your fan badge.  I promise.  Complaining is the only way to keep major corporations reasonably ‘honest’.  Do you really think having DLC in physical form is a good idea, especially in such short supply?  How about the short charge life on the Wii-U gamepad’s battery?  Have gimmicky controllers ever made any of their games better?  You don’t have to shy away from these issues.  I’ve made my feelings quite clear on Nintendo’s business practices (read here and here), and yet, I still enjoy their games.  I still consider myself a fan.  Crazy, right?

PC Master Race – With a name like ‘master race,’ you’d think some level of ACTUAL superiority would come into play… but oh, the hypocrisy.  You act like gaming on a PC puts you above the squabbles of console fans, yet you actively seek opportunities to fight with them, to let them know how much better your rig is, and likely has been for years.  But at the end of the day, you’re no better than those people, especially since you fight amongst yourselves over which brand of GPU is best.  I see hateful AMD vs. Nvidia arguments far too often, and I’ve only been actively looking in on those conversations since the beginning of 2016.  This year, PC has been my platform of choice, but your community is by far the most negative.  Outside of those pitiful GPU battles, you also come off as spoiled brats who won’t spend more than $5 per game.  Oh, and you try way too hard to justify piracy.  As gamers, we should all want to ensure devs get paid for the games we’re about to enjoy.  I get you want a better deal and all, but even without taking advantage of Ebay-like sites, pricing on PC games have been WAY better than anything I’ve seen in the console market.  There’s zero need to steal stuff.  So, when you cry a game isn’t within your insulting price range, I’ve got zero tears to shed.

Look, at the end of the day, we’re all gamers.  Is it really worth arguing over minor fluctuations in performance?  No.  Of course it isn’t.  For the most part, we’re still playing the same exact games.  There’s only two times off the top of my head where I felt a noticeable difference because of a change in platform:

Dragon Age Origins – Its battle system was designed around a keyboard and mouse, and unfortunately, that means the console iterations had to suffer.  Having played both PC and console versions of Origins, I can tell you that playing on a PC is almost like playing an entirely different game.  I’ll never play this on consoles again.

Diablo III – Oddly enough, Diablo III’s situation is precisely the opposite.  While the mouse and keyboard configuration worked well enough, hacking-and-slashing at a thousand clicks a minute wasn’t very comfortable.  In Blizzard’s quest for more money, however, Diablo III was eventually ported to consoles.  Not content with following in the steps of Dragon Age, Blizzard worked hard on ensuring the game felt nice to play on a controller.  Well, not only does it feel nice, it is, in my opinion, the definitive way to play the game.  Not sure they’ll ever convince me to play the PC version again… unless they patch in controller support at a later date.  Seriously Blizzard, why haven’t you done this yet?!

I’m sure you guys have some other examples where gameplay itself can change from one platform to the next, but point is, these are exceptions to the rule.  So, stop your squabbling.  You’re wasting your time on that ‘mine is better than yours’ crusade.  The cold, hard truth is that each platform comes with its own unique set of flaws.  So, when you make it a point to attack another ‘side’ of the equation… well, you know what they say: “Don’t throw stones in a house of glass.”

My goal today wasn’t to just sit here and sling a bunch of shit talk your way, so please, don’t take it like that.  Instead, I’ve merely attempted to show you all how foolish you look when you behave like children, a look which gamers simply do not need perpetuated by people who aren’t secure in the financial decisions they’ve made.  Game on, everyone… but please, let’s do it quietly, or at the very least, positively.