The Rep of Games

Video games can seem elusive to some people, particularly those who feel it offers too steep a learning curve. It’s not uncommon for someone to come across a gamer engrossed in a screen, only to stare at it with a bit of contempt at the perceived convolution. Role-playing games can seem deceptively difficult, but they ultimately only require a relatively short amount of time investment before a novice gamer becomes acclimated to the controls and stat-based game play.

 

Of course, some people don’t like games merely because they find them too childish or useless. While it’s true that video games can certainly sap an individual’s time, it’s unfair to suggest they don’t offer any merit or substance. In fact, there are many games that feature sprawling stories, vivid characterizations, inspiring visuals and orchestrated music that can rival other forms of entertainment by leaps and bounds.

 

Video games aren’t just a time waster either, they can also help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, which can be especially helpful to those struggling with mood disorders and other mental health problems. Video games also have the power to teach. A recent study conducted by Brown University aimed to find the key behind video game related skills and how this information may be applied to environments outside the virtual world.

 

First-person shooters were used in the study, including Halo: Reach and Starcraft 2. These games are based on real-time action and players need to have quick reflexes. Even players who are quite experienced can have trouble going head to head against the most elite players.

 

The study found that the most skilled players didn’t dedicate their every waking second to playing the game at all. In fact, data suggests that those who play twice as often are likely to be less skilled. The results of the study concluded that a methodical, yet moderate approach to the game would net the highest rate of skill.

 

This study seems to indicate that video games can be an interesting tool to help people understand other avenues of thought and discipline. Whether it’s breaking the cycle of anxiety, broadening artistic horizons or understanding skill acquisition, games seem to have more importance than their reputation would dictate.

 

 

 

Ride 2 Finally Available on PlayStation 4

Now that Ride 2 has been released for the PlayStation 4, motorcycle racing game enthusiasts have another game to add to their collection. Many of those who played the original Ride may have been wondering whether Milestone, the game’s developers, have finely tuned the right elements to give a fun, yet realistic enough racing experience.

 

Reviews from a variety of video game publications and amateur game reviewers on forums and social media have been mixed. Some have enjoyed the game a lot and believe it does very well as a sequel to the original Ride. However, a few others have complained that the game falls short in many places.

 

Just like some car racing games like Forza and Gran Turismo, Ride 2 offers a career mode that lets players earn virtual cash, climb through rankings and unlock a variety of vehicles and other interesting options, such as newer and more challenging tracks to race on. This is one element of the game that a few reviewers have found poor. Advancing through your racing career in Ride 2 takes a lot of effort, yet the reward seems to be insufficient. Even though the game offers a wide range of bikes to ride, they have a “generic” feeling and the racing experience quickly becomes repetitive.

 

The in-helmet camera option is another element of the game that left several reviewers disappointed. While such a view is meant to bring more realism to racing games, this unfortunately doesn’t happen in Ride 2. Everything seems normal until you hit your first turn. The view from the helmet stays completely straight, while the bike visible at the bottom of the screen is leaning as you take corners. This can make it hard to use visual cues to determine whether you should lean your bike more or less during turns.

 

One welcome element is the ability to choose between different kinds of motorcycles to race, such as dirt and road bikes, when you begin your career. However, finding out which events and tracks your bike can go on requires digging through a few menu layers.

 

In the end, none of the problems with Ride 2 are serious enough to make the game worthless. However, those who buy the game should expect a racing experience that is average and doesn’t really bring anything innovative.

 

Does Sony Need A New Playstation To Keep Their Lead In The Console Wars?

The Playstation 4 has been a smashing success for Sony, precisely when the ailing Japanese company needed it the most. The abysmal response to the Playstation 3 at its launch, combined with the massive R&D and marketing costs that went into developing the system, set the Playstation brand back. Thankfully for Sony, it was Microsoft’s turn to trip over themselves during this latest console generation, and Sony has been all to happy to leapfrog their competition. With such a huge lead, should Sony continue to play it safe and stick with the same Playstation 4 console that launched in November of 2013? Would they be better off focusing on the games, and not the hardware? Sony themselves may provide the answers to these questions on September 7th, when they hold a press event in New York City to most likely discuss their plans for the future.

That future, according to industry insiders, could very well be in the hands of Sony’s newest Playstation product, codenamed “Neo.”. With Microsoft already working on a newer, more powerful console nicknamed “Scorpio”, Sony needs to provide a response. With so many Playstation 4 consoles already in homes, will consumers be willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for yet another piece of hardware? It will be up to Sony to offer a value proposition that appeals to gamers, but I don’t think the currently rumored enhancements that the Playstation Neo are said to have will be enough. 4K gaming sounds like an enticing improvement, but not many people own 4K televisions, and those who don’t are probably more than happy with their current HDTV’s. Virtual Reality will be another feature that Sony will no doubt promote with the Neo. Getting demo kiosks into stores so that people can try VR for themselves will be a crucial, and costly, step that Sony must take if they want their brand of VR to be a success.

Sony is once again the king of the console hill, but it’s in a constant battle with Microsoft to stay on top. Will the Neo be the thing that cements the Playstation brand at the peak, or will the weight of a new piece of hardware be too heavy of a burden?