Archive | June 2017

“We’ll be in touch soon.”

Yeah, okay sure you will – why don’t you just tell me that I did not get the job already? Save everyone the trouble of guessing and we can move on, both mentally and physically so to speak. Buzzwords is what hiring managers like to use to keep people “at ease” about the loss of opportunity in a market with ever shrinking opportunities as jobs are made redundant or are shipped overseas because, well, it’s cheaper.


Great, so here we are in year three of looking for work and nothing thus far has panned out. There were some gigs here and there but all were low pay or very short term, and all ended before we could even make a real difference – is this what college professors talked about when they spoke of: “opportunities?” They market to us all these wonderful stories of how getting this degree and that degree alongside a certificate and what not will land us work, and yet here I sit with my education, graduated, alongside countless others wondering: “where are all the jobs they spoke of?”


One example is policing; they said back in 2010: “retirements and openings are expected in the coming five years…” Right, now it’s 2017 – seven years onwards – and not a single opening is spotted. Quite the opposite in fact, these departments take in two to five people a year, and most are overseas cops looking for opportunity here in Canada. Locally trained and educated are being shoved aside for cops who come from beyond, and while some may argue that this could be better than hiring unskilled recruits imagine if the officer was a corrupt virus to begin with and managed to slip under the radar into another police force? Yeah, more police brutality stories are coming – ye be warned.


Next we have engineering and computer science fields; reality check all the jobs are state-side. Engineers who graduated in Ontario are stuck applying for work at Sobeys – a grocery store chain. Computer science folks may have it easier, but now we see staff from cheaper jurisdictions being shipped into Canada to fill in gaps that would cost a fortune if they hired locally – good game lads, good game. Plus even if the gig is high-paying, it is in the United States of America – with the attitude towards foreigners down there good luck finding work.


Finally we have marketing and accounting grads; the market is so saturated that my former classmates who were in those programs are working at Best Buy nearly 3 years after graduation – nice (sarcasm). Again they were told by councilors and high school advisors to: “get an education, it’ll be worth it.” Right okay maybe down the line sure, and maybe I am being short-sighted, but last I checked this dream was further marketed to us as a way to: “quickly improve one’s situation,” not a: “wait ten years and see what happens!”


Pretty soon the country will complain that not enough kids are being born; reality check old folks we cannot afford to birth children, they cost a fortune in today’s world. Housing is also an issue; rent is through the roof (2,000.00 per month for a studio flat) and the joker of a mayor of Vancouver is Mr.Big business yet people still elect him because money grows on trees and they like high taxes and more out-of-control spending.


This sort of behaviour continues we will see this country decline; the government is a failure, the people are unable to get ahead, hiring managers vomit out buzzwords to avoid hiring locals, the university system lies to us, and the world moves on without us – good game everybody.


Small details: footsteps in Gears of War 4.

Bit of an odd topic but I thought I’d cover it here for today. Playing a new character in Gears 4 I noticed that the sound is different depending on what that character is wearing. Take E-day Anya for example, she is just in her duty fatigues and has no armour on; thus the sound she makes when sprinting is just heavy boots slamming against the pavement. Now take Sam, Sam wears armour (the version I use anyways) so when she sprints the armour is audible and you can hear things like straps and plates shifting as she runs (plus there are plates over her boots so that is also audible when she sprints).


The UIR trooper was sort of hard to notice at first – his sound was a heavy metallic yet plastic noise that comes about when sprinting. This could be in part due to the fact that their armour might be made of a different material or what not, but my examples still stand with regards to the topic. These small details are what makes this game different (for me at least) from Gears of War 3 and back towards 1 where all you ever got regardless of character gear was a heavy: “shook, shook, shook” when sprinting from cover to cover. Just little bits like this make the game all that more enjoyable – I place a strong emphasis on sound and art design when it comes to immersion. Anyways folks that was all I wanted to discuss for today; thank you all for reading and I shall see you next time.

E3 2017 after action discussion.

Right, while the convention floor is still active the press conferences have been over for a day or two now – time to talk about what I liked and what I disliked from the various conferences. Starting things off we have the dislikes; that stupid VR headset that Sony is pushing onto the market. Sure I get it, the company wants to sell new tech to consumers; with that said I feel that it is going to go the way of the Kinect and just be a trend for a while before people realize just how annoying the device can be especially to those who wear glasses, or suffer from motion sickness. Now I can hear the comments now: “get contacts you noob,” or “get drugs and get better noob;” right okay you try putting a piece of plastic onto a sensitive eyeball and see how “fun” that can be, and no a person should not have to buy drugs just to overcome motion sickness for a consumer device – the only time the pills for motion sickness are needed is if they are traveling or they serve onboard a warship and need it to get through the day (or any seafaring vessel for that matter – this is from a memory of a documentary showcasing submariners).

Having to wear a headset and headphones to play games when there is a perfectly good 4k TV in front of you, or a nice large flatscreen or a decent PC monitor is insane – you spend how much money on the TVs and monitors and you want to wear something over your face to play? Why not just throw all that stuff out and stare at a wall instead with your VR headset then – save money in the long run?


VR was marketed heavily at Sony, and this seems to be the direction they wish to go in terms of toys for their console. This is fine by all accounts, but for me in particular I think I will avoid the VR headset; not my cup of tea. Moving along we have EA and their heavy emphasis on sports games; there are other genres out there, you know? Football, soccer, SOCCER! Alright we get it, soccer and football are great sports and people love them – could you stop shoving almost an hour worth of sports games in our faces and show us something new? Medal of Honor could use a revival, and what about Bioware – are they not working on a project? Then again Anthem was announced via the Microsoft conference and to be fair you have to spread things out to keep people interested – I understand the marketing needed to be done here. Still, just nothing but sports for a good 40 minutes was taxing; not a fan of that.


Positives, it was nice to see the Nintendo Switch get some third party games. Not since the Game Cube have we seen some major third party titles appear on a Nintendo device; sure there may be some that I have forgotten but to me it feels like an eternity since we saw something neat like 007 or Full Spectrum Warrior appear on a Nintendo device. Definitely a welcome move in my opinion, one that could see the Switch become more active with gamers as time passes on.


Microsoft unveiling backwards compatible original Xbox games was a nice surprise; without a new Halo or Gears game being announced the conference was entertaining but not exciting. Sure I would like to try out Anthem, but if previous E3 shows have taught me anything it is wait for the final product to be released along with a review – hope is the first step on the road to disappointment. Quotes aside yeah the original Xbox games were fun, and it would be nice to play them again on a modern system. Cross-platform play was also a nice announcement, and while I understand PS4 players are upset over no-crossplay keep in mind that Microsoft owns the Windows platform and the Xbox consoles – crossplay benefits them a lot more than it does Sony which only has the Playstation system. Sony, however, has a lot of strong exclusives so they can market their console as a purely story-driven experience rather than a multiplayer one – see if that format works for them in the long run.


E3 was good; lots to look forward to and lots to despise as they release – such is life as a gamer. Thanks for reading folks, be sure to keep track of Thoughts and Topics for new blog posts, and I shall see you next time.

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Sony’s E3 2017 press conference.

Games, games, and more games – Sony did little talking and just threw out games. This time around the press conference just delivered trailer after trailer, and a lot of the games announced were for the new Playstation VR headset; definitely will not be playing that as I am not a fan of wearing something on top of my glasses. Get motion sick, wear glasses, or just dislike wearing a thing over your face while gaming on your couch? TOO BAD YOU WILL BUY IT TO PLAY ON PLAYSTATION – WE”RE NUMBER 1!!


Frustration aside, they announced some ready-to-go titles like Uncharted The Lost Legacy, what appears to be story DLC for Horizon Zero Dawn, and one other title that I cannot remember off the top of my head at the moment. Overall a good line up for upcoming releases, with some appetizers for the future: God of War, Monster Hunter, and Shadow of the Colossus – amazing stuff.


Starting off with God of War, it seems the protagonist is actually the Kratos from the previous Greek mythology games and it appears that he has migrated north to start a family (I was under the impression that it was a look-alike). Instead of chain-blades and a Spartan shield and spear we have a magical axe that marks a departure from the typical gameplay that we are familiar with; sure axes and chain-blades fight the same but it appears that the axe will perform differently than the older weapons. Apart from that the trailer seems to indicate that Kratos will explore his past as he goes off to fight the Norse gods that inhabit the new region he now lives in.


Monster Hunter, what a strange choice for the Playstation. After hunting a giant dinosaur we see the character sit down to cook meat which, if it is an actual emote, might be a fun animation to play around with in-game. Apart from that my only experience with Monster Hunter was from the Nintendo handheld devices, so it will be a new take on the series – more to come as details unfold.


Finally Shadow of the Colossus – never played it in-depth on the older playstation but I know a lot of people were waiting for a new game; a fan base like that should mean, ideally, that the game is bound to be something special once it hits the market. Apart from the trailer showing off the giant beasts we see little that will inform us of the game; more to come on that one as well I suppose.


Unlike the Ubisoft press conference which featured a bunch of stuff I have absolutely no interest in (Dance games, racing games, sports…) Sony seemed to focus in on what makes its system attractive to its customer base. While it does little to convince folks like myself to cough up the extra dollars to buy a system, the games coming out for the system are unique, fresh, and ultimately fun to play (looks like, anyways) – really looking forward to at least see the story movies as these games come out.


One note to write on before closing this post, Detroit Become Human looks great. Sure it can be a colossal failure, but right now with the info we have available the game looks good. All we ask for is meaningful choices, and it appears to deliver that; furthermore the facial animations are really good, and there are titles where realistic graphics adds to the experience – this is one of those titles. Looking forward I am hopeful that the Playstation will deliver some quality games in the coming year – here is hoping, however, that VR is not going to take over the system completely. Similar to the Kinect the VR headset looks to be a trend and games being developed for the headset is resources taken away from conventional games development – should this be the reality for the system there will be a lot of pissed off gamers.


Anyways folks this concludes the Sony press conference post, thank you all for reading and I shall see you next time.

Bethesda’s press conference.

Right so Bethesda did their press conference last night around 9pm pacific time and it was sort of lackluster. A lot of the announcements throughout the conference were all current issue games (out on the market already) and they were simply adding more to these games (Fallout 4, Skyrim, etc). Yet despite the lack of new titles announced (Wolfenstein 2 was announced – more on that later) I was not entirely disappointed with the Bethesda conference; sure a new title (brand new IP) would have been nice but it is also nice to see them support current games and keep their players happy.


Now the Creators Club kind of has me worried that it would eat away at free mods and replace them with paid ones. Now it seems that this service is for Developer-made mods, but if they start throwing in ordinary Modders into the mix with no free option then I would be worried. Sure Modders deserve to get paid for their work, but you don’t take something that has been free forever and make it mandatory to pay because: “F-you give me money.” When the program gets more details we will know exactly what they are up to over there at the studios.


Alright now to the actual new release: Wolfenstein 2 The New Colossus – wow was that a good looking trailer. Now I will be honest I am not a major fan of the series, however I can see the beauty of said title set in an alternate history where the Axis forces – specifically Germany – have won the war against the allies (and with strange futuristic technology as well). The trailer hinted at the game taking place in the American deep south which could be interesting depending on the writing and the environment design – we shall see.


Wolfenstein 2 looks promising, and the best part about the entire conference was that everything – EVERYTHING – will be out this year (unless they push it back – it can happen folks, it can happen). Overall the conference was not terrible, but it wasn’t all to exciting either; this of course is dependent upon the viewer and what their expectations were going in. Anyways folks that’s it for this one, thanks for reading and I shall see you next time.


Hello folks,


Just finished the Microsoft Press Conference for E3 2017 and they announced Xbox original games will be backwards compatible on Xbox One – wow. Initial thought: “surprise?” However after the feeling had sunk in it is great, we will see Crimson Skies along with other classic Xbox games coming to Xbox One this fall, and here is hoping Unreal Championship 2 will appear as well.


The press conference itself didn’t announced much regarding Xbox games; they only teased it with the opening animation for the original Xbox, and everything before and after was exclusive games from big and small studios and showcasing their main line up. The press conference itself was good, and it was better than EA so at least there was that. Looking forward to later on we have Bethesda tonight, and Sony and Ubisoft tomorrow.


Let us see what else E3 has in store for us: thank you all for reading and I shall see you next time.

E3 2017.

E3 is just around the corner, and I am quite excited to see what is in store for us as the press conferences begin to roll on the weekend. Interesting thing to note is now they seem to have the press conferences on the weekends with Sony and Nintendo working on Monday and Tuesday in that order. This sort of started about a year ago when Bethesda did their press conference for E3 on a Sunday – I can recall watching it on my machine as they unveiled Doom and Fallout 4 in a single release. This isn’t a bad idea as a lot of people would love to watch the conferences live (myself included) but may lack the time to do so as it lands on a work day. Now with this new set up people can enjoy their gaming news while still on a weekend – say goodbye spouses and +1s because the gamers will be completing an annual ritual in honour of gaming!


Right now as it stands there is only one game I an keeping an eye on and that is Battlefront 2. Being a story set between the Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens and from the Imperial perspective I am hopeful that the game will turn out to be every bit as enjoyable as the trailers advertised. Looking back at some trailers and press conference previews for games in the past, these polished advertisements can land us in a pool of disappointment if the game turns out to be trash – here is hoping it does not follow that path.


Presently Microsoft has no heavy hitters set to be revealed at the show. Right now we know Halo and Gears will not be there, and with those two out of the way it looks like only Sony will have exclusives being previewed – I wonder what Microsoft is up to over in their studios. Sure we “can” expect a Perfect Dark sequel, but I want Unreal Championship 2; now if Microsoft announced Xbox original games coming to Xbox One that will be like GoG announcing a host of classics on their digital distribution platform – I will definitely dig deep to get my hands on a few titles from back in the day.


All in all it is an exciting time to be a gamer, and here is hoping this years’ E3 will deliver on some wonderful previews – I say previews and not games because the end product displayed at E3 is not the final product so we can only review the trailers at face value. Thank you all for reading and I shall see you next time.