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January 31, 2012 / Notmaker

Adwatch: Why Dr. Pepper is Cool with Their “Women Suck” Ads

So, by now, everyone has seen the Dr. Pepper TEN ads where some guy in a guy cliché talks about how women just can’t understand Dr. Pepper and how awesome it is to be a man and understand why Dr. Pepper is the shit.  Understandably, this ruffled a few feathers.

I was going to write a long post about the difficulty in altering the course of social intertia and how, like with most forms of social prejudice,  jokes like this are really not okay regardless of intention because of the way advertising and exposure keeps already ingrained ideas more firmly ingrained.

And then I saw this other commercial, and decided I didn’t need to write anything.  This, right here (or the attitude contained therein), is why Dr. Pepper thought their ad direction was just fine.

Obviously, the ad agency and Progresso thinks that they’re tapping into a socially-ingrained fear of American woman.  They’re probably right.  Still doesn’t make it okay.

January 30, 2012 / Notmaker

Capcom Totally Trolls Mega Man Fans in Epic Fashion

So Mega Man fans of various kinds have been making a big on-going Internet fuss over how Mega Man wasn’t featured in the various versions of Marvel vs Capcom 3 despite having been in Marvel vs Capcom 2, one of Capcom’s most iconic characters, best franchise, yada, yada, yada.

So Capcom decided to add Mega Man to the cast of Street Fighter X Tekken.  Just not the Mega Man fans expected.

That’s right, they used bad box art Mega Man instead of real Mega Man.  Well played, Capcom.  Well…played.

January 13, 2012 / Notmaker

Modern Warfare 3: A statement on the US Economy through its players?

Things I have heard while playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 that weren’t the typical teenage-trash-talk-homophobic-slurs-BS:

“This is my last one; my kids are coming home soon, so it’s gotta be family-friendly [after that], know what I mean?”

“Son, I’m looking for him, but until I get there, you’re going to have to keep your head-down and aim more carefully.”

“The wife and I want another but I just got laid off and she doesn’t have much take-home so it’s not a good time”

“Oops, hold on, the baby’s crying, be right back”

“Gerber puts so many chemicals into their food, you really shouldn’t using it” (followed by much arguing)

Please note: Aside from that last one, none of these were isolated examples.  I have heard them (and variations thereof) on multiple occasions on different days at different times.

I always knew intellectually that the poor economy has contributed to a greater number of stay-at-home dads, I just wan’t expecting Modern Warfare to be the thing providing me with empirical evidence.

November 7, 2011 / Notmaker

The greatest movie I’ve ever played (Uncharted 3 review)

Uncharted 3 Promo ShotFrom a game design standpoint, the Uncharted games are not the greatest games in the world.  It’s gameplay has been done better elsewhere, in the likes of Assassin’s Creed and action-shooter hybrids like Mass Effect and Gears of War.  It’s not even the most seemless action-gaming experience like God of War.

And yet, Uncharted 3, just like the two previous iterations, is one of the most fun, rewarding action-gaming experiences I’ve ever had whose actual enjoyment blasts it past most of those previously mentioned games as an overall experience.
Read more…

September 13, 2011 / Notmaker

First Impressions: The Gunstringer (and Fruit Ninja Kinect)

The titular GunstringerOkay, so the same people behind the awesome ‘Splosion Man just came out with their first Kinect game, the Gunstringer.   It’s a goofy, totally cheesed-out rail shooter based on Wild West marionette shows…no, really, that’s what it is.  With your left hand, you control the movement of the puppet, the titular main character, and with your right, you aim and make shooting motions to shoot.

Gameplay Vid after break

August 29, 2011 / Notmaker

Well-played, EA (“FemShep” default design finalized)

So the final votes are in and tallied, please welcome your new official (female) Commander Shepard!!!

…who looks almost exactly the same as the original default female Shepard.

Look, I grant that I love the art.  The fire in the eyes, the wild hair, the action shot, the stylized (if a bit silly) armor, the use of the tech arm, it’s awesome looking!

But seriously, EA, congrats, you played your audience like a fiddle.  The design you wanted won out, and you drummed up a month of serious internet juice all focused on your highly anticipated (but unfortunately delayed) blockbuster game.  While I’m sure that no one in the office automatically assumed that the heavily researched default design in the original game would win out, I’ll bet there’s more than a little backslapping going on for successfully re-confirming design choices made back in 2005.

August 17, 2011 / Notmaker

Oh, Now We’re Voting on Her Hair-color…

So apparently, the first vote was for hair-style only (h/t Kotaku), despite the different-colored hair and not all the faces and skin-color being the same….

I am totally cool with the idea of FB voting for this kind of thing (since 75% of the players are going to re-design their Shepard, anyway), but this is really starting to feel like they didn’t have this one planned out that well (or, for the conspiracy theorists, planned it just well enough to get folks to choose the one they wanted anyways ;P ).  Granted, at this point in the process, there’s not a lot of good financial reasons to get more scientific than they need to be, but am I the only one who thinks that the re-color job on the art just looks kind of bad in the larger images?

Of course, I’m also in the extreme minority who thinks that EA should offer a just-in-time premium printing version of the box art where people can pay an additional $75 to get a picture of their own Shepard from ME2 on their ME3 box art.

What can I say, I like shiny personalized things!

August 12, 2011 / Notmaker

Swiss Police Trying to Ban The Darkness II

Does he look like a political protester or something?
[h/t: Kotaku]
Okay, so the Swiss Christian Police Association is trying to get The Darkness II banned because it will be possible, within the context of playing mob assassin and demonically-possessed protagonist Jackie Estacado, to shoot police officers.
Felix Ceccato, president of the CPV, explains: “When police in England are the target of mobs running amok, it is important that police are not portrayed as the enemy.”

What about everyone else?

August 3, 2011 / Notmaker

Isn’t it Time for This: Webcam-Converted In-Game Avatars?

Make-up during the end of the world?  Classy.

In light of all the brouhaha (which actually has an officially correct spelling, #thingsyoulearn) and counter-haha over the female version of Shepard being voted on as alternate Mass Effect 3 box art (not sure what was wrong with the original default design, but w/e), there’s something that’s been tickling in the back of head for a while now:

Since so many games, including Mass Effect, offer the option of closely customizing the look of your character (and 80% of Mass Effect players customize their character anyways), I wonder why some enterprising developer hasn’t bother to create an option to take a webcam shot of yourself, and have your PC/console re-render your face into the game? PC webcams have been able to discern facial features for years, and the Xbox 360 Kinect just released a feature which does that almost exactly.

Now, not everyone uses the same philosophy when creating a game avatar, but I suspect many people like creating creators that are at least somewhat based on themselves, and wouldn’t it be a cool option to have?

June 15, 2011 / Notmaker

Just Cause Developer Coming to NYC this Fall

Just Cause creators Avalanche Studios coming to NYC this fall.[h/t Gamasutra]

For you NYC-area game industry folks, it has just been announced that Avalanche Studios, developers of the Just Cause games released by Square-Enix, will be opening a studio this fall in New York City.  Though exact physical details have yet to be released to the public, they are already looking to hire talented new folks with experience in AAA development environments to staff the new location.

Senior Game Programmer
Senior Systems Programmer
Character Artist
Lead Game Designer

Expect more in the days and weeks to come, so bookmark their website!

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