Happy New Year, everyone! It’s officially 2016, and that means we can look forward with a smile and look back and wonder what the hell happened last year! 2015 was certainly an interesting year, and it’s good to look back sometimes and take a look at the top stories on Armed Gamer and what’s happened since!
5. Tales from a Retro Retail Store (By Emily Horton) – 6,175 pageviews
Here’s a story that’s sort of a sequel to another really popular article from the year before called ‘The Horrors of Videogame Retail‘. Since leaving the corporate store, Emily took to working at an indie game store and shares some of her experiences. Since writing the article Emily has had an exciting year of her own. She’s finished up with her schoolwork and now works as a veterinary technician. She games when she can, though after speaking to her recently it seems like she has a pretty full schedule. Best of luck, Emily, hope to see you writing here again soon!
4. “Realistic” Versions of female Videogame Characters (By Deborah Crocker) – 7,486 pageviews
Here’s an article that caused a decent amount of controversy. Deborah wrote an article in response to Bulimia.com’s own article that took female game characters and gave them “realistic” bodies. Mostly this involved using photoshop to remove muscle definition and expand waistlines. Deborah certainly seemed unhappy that the organization changed the characters without care to the character’s background or personality. While a few comments agreed with Deborah, I also remember seeing a few that seemed to think she was attacking overweight people and saying they don’t belong. After rereading the article, I don’t agree with that assessment. I don’t think Deborah was saying fat people are bad or wrong or should be shamed, but rather that showing someone love regardless of their body size doesn’t mean minimizing physically fit people or saying that those who are fit are creating an “impossible” standard for men and women. Some of the characters Bulimia.com chose to highlight as “impossible” weren’t actually impossible.
Adding on to those thoughts, Deborah states “Dear God, reviewing this article was painful. You might say female video game characters all have the same body type, but I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that nearly all of those characters are involved in fighting, or at least get a lot of exercise. Skinny isn’t bad. People who go to gyms aren’t doing it to make fun of larger people – they’re doing it to improve their bodies. And as someone who’s trying to lose weight, this “fat acceptance” movement is doing far more harm than good.”
3. Infinite Crisis: Armed Gamer Review (by Zach Martinez) – 9,265 pageviews
For those who don’t remember, Infinite Crisis was a MOBA starring the characters from DC Comics. In this review, Zach details his views on the game including what he thought worked (the roster was fantastic), but the controls and balancing made teh game rather obnoxious to play. Also, it was decently buggy and what maps you could play on any given day were sometimes a bit dodgy. Of course, then, there are also queue times: they could take FOREVER. That all being said… the game didn’t last. Less than a month later, the game was cancelled. With no further comment than its forum post, Turbine ceased development on the game and closed its servers completely on August 14th. RIP Infinite Crisis. We barely knew ye.
I asked Zach for his thoughts now that the game has shuttered and he said “2015 is officially over and looking back at editorials and reviews, the one that possibly brought back the most memories from last year was my Infinite Crisis review. In it I praise the game’s idea and genuine attempt to be an original MOBA. However, people were too stuck on trying to call it a LoL clone. The developers, Turbine, made some questionable decisions throughout the years in closed/open beta. However, Warner Bros ended up canceling the game. It was due to a lack of players. Which was no surprise. The game always had queue time issues. However, the main root of the problem was the characters included in the game. People wanted characters like Deadshot and Deathstroke and while I appreciated characters like Swamp Thing and Starro getting some love, even I can’t deny this game needed memorable faces to quickly gain players. It is a shame because the developers had hundreds of people (including myself) give away skin codes every week. The game showed promise and I loved the community interactivity from the developers. I liked the game because I am a DC Comics fan. It was later revealed that of the five upcoming characters, three were the highest requested. It was canceled too early but the playerbase was just too low to take the hit. RIP Infinite Crisis. Maybe you can make a comeback like Marvel Heroes.”
2. Five RPG Mistakes That Shouldn’t Keep Happening (by Deborah Crocker) – 13,700 pageviews
Seriously, don’t we all get tired of some of these points? Like you can save an entire goddamn continent, slay like 5 dragons, and NPCs still think you’re just some random guy. Or how about some super clunky AI? I know that was one of my major complaints of Dragon Age: Inquisition. Honestly, I can even see a few of these problems in Fallout 4.
Almost a year later, Deborah at least sees progress now, saying “Surprisingly (for the most part), a lot of upcoming games seem to be attempting to revert these mistakes. But sadly, a lot of the current games, especially older MMOs, don’t seem to be taking any steps to improve these issues. LOTRO, for example, is in desperate need of an overhaul in both graphics and gameplay, and has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to still be relevant among games like WoW and TESO. But as much as I complained about the issues in the article, it looks like there’s been at least a small attempt for future games to avert this, and I’m happy enough to see that.”
1. Why Revolution 60 Is Offensive in Every Way (by Deborah Crocker) – 31,944 pageviews
Holy shit did this article break the goddamn site. No, I’m not even kidding. I can even remember the day after this article was posted. I was hungover as fuck coming back from my brother-in-law’s bachelor party when I started getting messages from my friends about the site being down .I checked Google analytics and I had like 500 people on the site at once. It was pandemonium. The traffic didn’t return to normal for like another 3 days. It got linked everywhere, including Reddit and a few other sites as people claimed Deborah (a PoC) was finally telling it as it is. Apparently she still gets messages and emails from people telling her how awesome the article is/was. Hell, it still gets an absurd amount of traffic even today.
For those who don’t know, Revolution 60 is a game created by Brianna Wu, a woman who is in many ways anti-GamerGate and who has successfully managed to rustle their jimmies many a time. A lot of other sites seemed to praise the game for its all-female cast and being made by a primarily female game studio… but that was about it. Deborah came along and trashed the game for its terrible gameplay, awful graphical fidelity and aesthetics, and the fact that despite its claims to having a more diverse cast… it was pretty much all white women with hourglass shaped bodies. Honestly, just give the article a read, I can barely even express my joy when I first read and edited her article because it was hilarious.
I asked Deborah for her thoughts on this article and she said: “I’ve always wanted to give honest opinions on games, regardless of the content or who made it. When I looked over some of the early reviews for Revolution 60….I was disgusted. They were fawning over the game, refusing to acknowledge its multiple shortcomings for the sake of not pissing off Gamergate. I guess I just went into this with the mentality of, “What can they REALLY do to me?” I wasn’t expecting the reception at all, and I sincerely appreciate the comments and messages I’ve gotten from all of you about this!”
Honorable Mention: Five Problems with Dragon Age: Inquisition (by Zach Martinez) – 10,178 pageviews
Speaking of rustled jimmies, here’s an article that’s STILL controversial. People still find this article and complain about it or track down Zach to tell him how write/wrong he was. It’s also an article that, despite being published in 2014, brings a lot of traffic to the site. It’s still one of our more popular article, and it’s no wonder why. Zach went after the latest brainchild of a beloved developer, calling out a lot of the flaws he found in the game. While I disagree with him on a lot of points, I definitely can’t help but appreciate what he said and of course the traffic we still get because of the article.
When asked for comment, all Zach said is he enjoys sipping on fanboy tears.
So that wraps it up for 2015’s top stories! Let’s hope for an even better 2016, everyone! What more do you want to see from Armed Gamer? What were some of your favorite articles or features? Let us know in the comments!