The Downgrade of Upgrades

This week I published an article about how the better gaming technology seems to get, the worse the experience ends up being for gamers due to lazy and/or greedy development and publishing practices. I published this article on Gaming Rebellion but here’s the introduction:

no games bf

I think it’s fair to say that most gamers today have at least some feeling of like/love for technology. I can code a little bit, build a PC from scratch, troubleshoot most normal level computer issues, and have fixed more than one broken console. I’ve owned every Nintendo and SONY home console (not counting Switch) as well as two of the three Microsoft home consoles and every Sega home console except the Saturn. I’ve owned several handhelds, multiple tablets, multiple mp3 players, and I literally work for a computer component manufacturing company. It is not a ridiculous statement to say that I like technology. Yet it seems to me that as we, by which I mean consumers who call themselves gamers, are forcibly offered “better” technology with each passing generation of consoles, that playing video games has become more expensive and less convenient.

You can read the rest right here. Please check out my Author’s Archive for other articles by me on Gaming Rebellion.

Blog Logo
As always, thanks for reading. Please take the time to follow my blog, leave a comment, and check out some of my other channels if you enjoyed what you read.

Let Players Play Their Way on Gaming Rebellion

This week I published an article about how developers seem to be putting their own opinion based priorities about how their games should be played above those of the consumers at the expense of players’ enjoyment. I focused a lot on Activision and Destiny in this post, but many other developers today are just as guilty. I published this article on Gaming Rebellion but here’s the introduction:

keneddy-quote

I know a number of the ideas put forth in this post are controversial in today’s world of constantly evolving games. I also know that many trolls will chalk the whole thing up to me just crying about things being too hard and that’s fine. What would the internet be without haters? But the general idea is one that I believe resonates with all gamers, both casual and hardcore. Players should be given the ability to enjoy games the way they want to enjoy them regardless of how others feel, as long as those others aren’t seriously affected by it.

You can read the rest right here. Please check out my Author’s Archive for other articles by me on Gaming Rebellion.

cropped-blog-logo.png
As always, thanks for reading. Please take the time to follow my blog, leave a comment, and check out some of my other channels if you enjoyed what you read.

The 52 Challenge 2016 Complete!

I don’t know what year it first came to my attention, but I know that for as long as I’ve been gaming on my own dime I’ve wanted to complete the 52 Challenge. For those of you that don’t know, the 52 Challenge is the task of completing 52 games in a single year. For some this might sound easy, but for people like me it’s quite difficult. Finally after a number of years believing I would never manage to complete this achievement I finally finished it this year with two whole weeks to spare.

For me the 52 Challenge is extremely important and meaningful. I don’t consider it something that no one can do. Actually I consider it something that anyone who commits to can do. But the fact that anyone can do it doesn’t make it any less challenging or any less special in my opinion. The fact that all gamers can accomplish this goal doesn’t mean most of them will. It’s the fact that it’s so hard to commit to even though it’s very doable that makes it special and something worth doing . . . once.

challenge-accepted

The concept of beating 52 games in a year is difficult because even after you get past the challenge of being able to purchase/acquire 52 games in a year you still have to have the time and ability to beat them. There are very few moments in a normal person’s life where all the pieces just easily come together to do it. When you’re a kid you have school and in my case a job even back when I was in elementary school working under the table as a delivery boy. Even if at the pre-college age you do have the time to actually complete 52 games in a year there’s a good chance that you don’t have the money. My parents weren’t wealthy but they did the best they could to be able to provide me with video games as a kid. There was no year before I moved out that they purchased me 52 different games in a single year or could have even if they wanted to.

Similar issues of time and resources come up when you’re in college. I was a full time student with two majors and two minors while also working a job and trying to have some semblance of a social life. I played a lot of games in college. In fact fellow gamers were always impressed by my completion numbers per a semester. But I still never came close to completing 52 in a given year.

52

I think there’s a deadline in life to completing the 52 Challenge as a normal person with a believable amount of money and work responsibilities. Once you get too old and you have a spouse and children it just doesn’t seem like a practical goal to have. Even when you aren’t married and don’t have kids, a relationship can put significant strain and reduction on your gaming time.

I think the only practical moment in life where a normal person can seriously hope to complete the 52 Challenge is sometime after college, but before marriage and parenthood, having already found a legitimate job. That’s where I am right now. That doesn’t mean it was a walk in the park though. I still had to maintain my blog, YouTube, Twitch, and Twitter, and Instagram throughout the year, never once missing my normal posting deadlines/behavior all while still maintaining a long term relationship. It’s only because my girlfriend supported me from day one of 2016 in completing this goal that I was able to manage it. She took this goal seriously for whatever reason and made sure to do her best not to get in the way of my dream to complete it. It also comes down to taking it seriously on a personal level. I went into January 1st of this year knowing that I was going to not only attempt but commit to completing the 52 Challenge for the first and most likely only time in my life. A time where I don’t yet have the responsibilities of a family, but also have the resources of a full time job made it possible, but not easy.

excuses-sign

For me, choosing which games to play was just as important as actually playing the games. I made it a point, for the most part, to only choose practical games that wouldn’t take too long or be too much of a hassle to complete. Games like Final Fantasy were out of the question. Towards the end of the year I was behind by several weeks because of work related responsibilities and had to actively seek out short indie titles that could be beaten in a single day. Some weeks I beat three games to make up for lost time. I also have to admit that I wouldn’t have been able to afford to get the right 52 games if not for already having a hefty backlog of very specific titles as well as the free games acquired from PlayStation Plus and my position as a game reviewer. This allowed me access to a number of short indie titles that I never would have purchased or most likely heard of on my own.

The gaming aspect was no walk in the park either. Especially in the last month of the challenge. As my list will show, I went into December needing to finish nine more games. I cleared nine games in the first 16 days of the month. This meant multiple nights a week having to stay up till at least 2 AM and then still showing up for work at 9 AM. I completed the 52 Challenge without missing a day of work or blowing off plans with my girlfriend, but I did have to give up hanging out with friends on multiple occasions. But it wouldn’t be worth doing if it wasn’t challenging and great challenges require sacrifice and dedication.

the-rules-cut

Everyone kind of sets their own rules for the 52 Challenge, but they’re all very similar. Mine were short but strictly adhered to.

  1. Only games I started in 2016 counted towards the completion of the 52 Challenge.
  2. Game could not have already been beaten in previous years and replayed to be counted towards the 52 Challenge.
  3. Completion of a game will be decided on a case by case basis depending on the genre. All story based games require the completion of the main campaign to count.
  4. 100% completion is not a requirement for games to count towards the 52 Challenge except in specific situations.
  5. All 52 games must be completed before January 1st 2017 (local time).
  6. Game must be recorded in log to count towards the completion of the 52 Challenge.

I know some people are much more strict than I and will only count 100% completions towards the 52 Challenge, but I don’t see the trophies as being that important except in a few specific games.

checklist

Without further delay, I submit for your appraisal my completion list for the 52 Challenge 2016.

  1. Arcade Archives: MAGMAX (PS4) – 1/2/16
    • 100% completion.
  2. Bayonetta 2 (Wii U) – 1/3/16
    • Campaign completed.
  3. Sonic Lost World (Wii U) – 1/5/16
    • Campaign completed.
  4. Shovel Knight (Wii U) – 1/11/16
    • Campaign completed.
  5. Arcade Archives: Shanghai 3 (PS4) – 1/12/16
    • 100% completion.
  6. Poker Knight 2 (PC) – 1/13/16
    • All unlocks and bounties acquired.
  7. Rocket League (PS4) – 1/14/16
    • Won the Season Championship
  8. Pikmin 3 (Wii U) – 1/21/16
    • Campaign completed.
  9. Dragon Ball Xenoverse – (PS4) – 2/19/16
    • Main campaign completed.
  10. Arcade Archives: Double Dragon II – The Revenge (PS4) – 3/21/16
    • Campaign completed.
  11. The Division (PS4) – 3/20
    • Campaign completed. Reached main level 30 and DZ level 30.
  12. Just Dance 2015 (Wii U) – 2/28/16
    • Completed all songs with a 3* or higher. Most songs 4/5*.
    • All UPLAY actions completed.
    • Online ranking above 50.
  13. Assassin’s Creed: Rogue (PS3) – 4/6/16
    • Campaign completed.
    • All UPLAY actions completed.
  14. Just Dance 2016 (Wii U) – 4/6/16
    • Completed all songs with a 3* or higher.
    • All UPLAY actions completed.
  15. Metal Gear Solid (PS3) – 4/16/16
    • Campaign completed.
  16. KNACK (PS4) – 5/8/2016
    • Campaign completed.
  17. Metal Gear Solid 2 (PS3) – 5/16/16
    • Campaign completed.
  18. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS3) – 6/9/16
    • Campaign completed.
  19. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3) – 6/18/16
    • Campaign completed.
  20. Arcade Archives: Ikki (PS4) – 6/20/16
    • 100%
  21. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PS3) – 7/4/16
    • Campaign completed.
  22. Metal Gear (PS3 Port) – 7/6/16
    • Campaign completed.
  23. Asemblance (PS4) – 7/3/16
    • Campaign completed.
  24. Super Mario Bros. U (Wii U) – 7/13/2016
    • Campaign completed.
  25. Metal Gear 2 (PS3 Port) – 7/14/16
    • Campaign completed.
  26. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS4) – 7/17/16
    • Campaign completed.
  27. Arcade Archives: Bomb Jack (PS4) – 7/21/16
    • 100% completion.
  28. Arcade Archives: Solomon’s Key (PS4) – 8/12/16
    • 100% completion.
  29. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4) – 9/8/16
    • Campaign completed.
  30. Arcade Archives: Scramble (PS4) – 8/20/16
    • 100% completion.
  31. Super Luigi U (Wii U) – 9/10/16
    • Final Boss defeated.
  32. Assassin’s Creed: Unity (PS4) – 9/18/16
    • Campaign completed.
  33. Tearaway: Unfolded Crafted Edition (PS4) – 10/6/16
    • Campaign Completed.
  34. The Last of Us (PS4) – 11/8/16
    • Campaign completed.
  35. Small Radios Big Televisions (PS4) – 11/12/16
    • 100% completion.
  36. Hyper Light Drifter (PS4) – 11/14/16
    • Campaign completed.
  37. Grand Theft Auto V (PS4) – 11/20/16
    • Campaign completed.
  38. Double Breakout (Wii U) – 11/20/16
    • All stages completed.
  39. Strike Vector Ex (PS4) – 11/21/16
    • Campaign completed.
  40. Attack on Titan (PS4) – 11/25/16
    • Campaign completed.
  41. Journey (PS4) – 11/27/16
    • Campaign completed.
  42. Gone Home (PS4) – 11/28/16
    • Campaign completed.
  43. Contrast (PS4) – 11/30/16
    • Campaign completed.
  44. I, Zombie (PS4) – 12/2/16
    • All levels completed.
  45. Unfinished Swan (PS4) – 12/4/16
    • Campaign completed.
  46. CounterSpy (PS4) – 12/5/16
    • Campaign completed.
  47. One Way Trip (PS4) – 12/5/16
    • Campaign completed.
  48. Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China (PS4) – 12/7/16
    • Campaign completed.
  49. Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India (PS4) – 12/8/16
    • Campaign completed.
  50. Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia (PS4) – 12/10/16
    • Campaign completed.
  51. Transformers: Devastation (PS4) – 12/13/16
    • Campaign completed.
  52. The Order 1886 (PS4) – 12/16/16
    • Campaign completed.

I’m happy to admit that certain games were really bad and that I intentionally played them because I knew they were short and in some cases easier to beat. But I made sure to play all games on the normal difficulty or higher where the option was available. This was not an easy experience that I was able to take casually. I struggled to get through this on time. Certain games were very irritating and as I played more and more I grew less and less patient with tiny flaws and setbacks. Getting stuck for even a few minutes greatly angered me by the time I got to the last 10 games if not before.

great-success-borat-hd

Completing the 52 Challenge also, in my opinion, affected my physical health. The many consecutive late nights were part of it. Also spending way more time gaming and foregoing usual lifestyle habits like my normal workout regimen definitely had an effect, which I am now working to correct. And I was never even that hardcore about working out to begin with. I’m thankful that I actually didn’t gain too much weight over the course of this year.

Overall I am very thankful that I was able to finally complete the 52 Challenge this year. I wasn’t sure that I was going to make it going into December with a five week deficit. This was an extremely gratifying experience even though it was very difficult and at times both physically and mentally grueling. I have no interest in attempting to do it again next year or most likely ever again, but I am so proud of myself for finally being able to add my name to the list of gamers that have at some point completed this most grueling of gaming challenges.

legendary-big

I would like to take the time to thank all the people who supported me in completing this goal. Thank you for your encouragement, advice, and support whether through Twitter, Facebook, or in person. And of course thank you to my girlfriend for not only putting up with my constant gaming, but also actively supporting me by watching me play at times and encouraging me to keep going and even buy games I didn’t necessarily want to pay for if it meant completing the challenge. 2016 may have been a terrible year, but it was a productive year of gaming . . . at least for me anyways.

Thanks for reading this year whether you started on my old blog page or just recently joined me. I’d like to wish all my readers a Happy New Year and here’s to a great year of gaming and blogging in 2017.

cropped-blog-logo.png
As always, thanks for reading. Please take the time to follow my blog, leave a comment, and check out some of my other channels if you enjoyed what you read.

Welcome Home

Hi,

I’m DJMMT also known as The DOC. Welcome to my gaming blog. For those of you tuning in for the first time, this is not a new blog. In fact it’s been going strong since the very first post on November 8th, 2013. Since that original introductory post, I have been going strong and have never missed a single week of posting. That’s the first promise I’ll make you as a new reader. This blog is consistent. Every week there will be a new post. As the name suggests, this is a gaming blog. Occasionally I dabble in film, television, and comics but I always try to relate it back to gaming in some way or I post two articles in the same week with one being about gaming. That’s the second promise I’ll make to you as a new reader. This is a gaming blog and as such you will get gaming related content on a weekly basis, usually on Wednesday mornings, Pacific Standard Time.

I first started this blog with the goal of talking about serious topics in the gaming community and industry with the hope that somehow I would lead to changing the way people think and ultimately purchase video games. In my own way I wanted to change the ways video games are made and sold from the ground up by focusing on the consumers rather than complaining to developers directly. I truly believe in the power of the dollar and that the gamers, when we rally together, have more power than the industry wants us to realize. Since I started this blog I have seen amazing things happen. Not all of them good things, but many examples of what gamers can do when they organize and speak with one voice. That’s why I continue to write this blog. That’s also why originally this blog was called “Change the Game Blog”. Because like the name suggests, I want to change game development practices. That’s also why my motto is “Don’t change the players, change the games.”

Since the humble beginnings of this blog, a lot has changed. In no small part because of this blog, I am now regularly writing sponsored (games provided, not money) game reviews for one site and gaming related opinion articles for another. This blog also helped me get my current job as a copywriter at a PC components manufacturer called Cooler Master. Because of all the writing I’m now doing, this blog has slowly evolved into a HUB site for my gaming related writing in other places. Many, but not all, of my posts end up being previews of things I’ve published somewhere else. I believe this is important because it makes this page an easy way for my readers to be aware of everything I’m doing in relation to gaming. I understand that it can be seen as an inconvenience for some to have to come to my blog page only to then have to go somewhere else, but currently I don’t get the readership my posts deserve when publishing directly on my own page. Once the situation changes and I’m getting views and comments at a frequency that makes this page more valuable than writing for someone else’s page, I will most certainly publish directly here for the convenience of my readers. Usually this page is used just to display my writing, but I’d like to push it farther than that. I plan on also providing embedded videos of my weekly posts on YouTube as well as information about my streams and other gaming related work. Essentially I’d like this to be a one stop shop for all your gaming needs.

I’d also like this to be an interactive space so anything I post will have an open comments section and I will respond to all comments right here. Even if the article is posted somewhere else, feel free to comment here and I will answer it directly as soon as I can. I’d also like your feedback and suggestions. If there’s something you’d like to see written, discussed, or recorded please feel free to leave me a comment or use the contact page to message me directly. I’m always happy to discuss the things my readers want to discuss because that’s the ultimate purpose of this blog. This is a place for gamers to discuss serious gaming related topics.

For my long time followers, or just anyone whose seen my original blog on IGN, you’re probably wondering why after all this time would I change blog spaces. The answer is simple. IGN is a broken mess and has been for a long time. When I first started blogging, I thought it would be a great place to write about games. Gamers were coming there anyway so why not? First of all, it’s terrible for non-IGN sponsored writers because getting to the blog section is not super convenient or apparent on the site. Second, IGN does little to nothing to promote dedicated bloggers. But technically that’s not their job so whatever.

The main reason I left is that the back end of the site is totally screwed up and has been for quite some time. This wasn’t always true, but for the past several months the problems have only gotten worse. Often my blog link doesn’t work. When you try to click it from my Twitter bio and other places I have it posted, you will often get a 404 page. I can’t explain why this is because the blog is live and I publish(ed) new content every week, but often the link just refuses to work. This is true for many blogs on the site by the way. I’ve taken the time to check around. The account status updates no longer work. If you go to my page and look at the status, it will say “This week I published an article about how devs need to take responsibility for faulty coding & not punish players for using non-hacking exploits.” The date will say # of months since posted. Last time I checked it was four. The reason for this lack of updating is not because I haven’t tried to update it. It’s because it no longer allows me to update it. It’s stuck on that status and though I have contacted IGN support numerous times about the issue it was never fixed. Another big problem is that the follower counter is broken. It always reads zero even though I had more than 50 followers when it finally stopped working. The followers are still there. I can still go check them in the followers page. But the front page counter is broken and always reads zero. Because of issues like these, I finally decided that it was time to branch out and start my own WordPress.

Expect the same great quality and consistency with none of the technical issues. And now we’ve got some new bells and whistles like my Instagram feed, dedicated side links, and way nicer banners. But this day does not just commemorate a better, cleaner looking blog. All my channels are being revamped as part of the process. You may have noticed my logo has been updated and new banners have been created that weren’t present on my original blog. This is also true on my Twitter profile, YouTube channel, and my Twitch channel. This isn’t just a new coat of paint though. There will be some noticeable changes/improvements.

On YT you will start seeing better quality videos. The two biggest problems with my channel were sound, and graphics in a far off but definitely noticeable second. The sound issues have been improved vastly. You can now actually hear the commentary and the gameplay. If you’re using speakers or a headset you should have no audio problems and if you’re using laptop speakers it should be at least doable. Hopefully I’ll be able to improve the sound quality even more in the near future once I purchase a better mic. My Twitch channel will finally become active. I’ve finally gotten a PS4 camera and the other tools I need to stream at least some content at an acceptable level. The stream schedule is not set in stone yet, but streaming will start this week and may already have by the time you read this post. And in the near future this will be expanding to PC gaming. I’ve been saving for a long time to build a new PC and I’m finally getting the project going. I already have the case, power supply, and SSD thanks in no small part to a sponsorship from Cooler Master. I’m waiting to hear about some other possible sponsorships and then I will purchase the rest of the necessary parts out of pocket. This will be a build that allows for Full HD streaming and recording with a high quality microphone so that you can enjoy my content the way it was meant to be experienced. I’ve also started an Instagram that can be viewed on the right side of this blog. Feel free to follow me for all gaming related pictures.

I’d like to take this time to thank all my loyal readers who have stuck with me through the good times and the bad. I know your time is valuable and that taking the time to read someone’s content is no small commitment. Especially when it’s as long as some of my stuff is. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read my stuff and it’s because of you that companies and websites alike have given me the opportunity to write for them. You are greatly valued as a part of this process and if possible I would like to start doing some sort of giveaways to loyal and active readers as a small token of my thanks.

For new readers, thank you for taking the time to check out this space and I hope you decide to come back and experience what I have to offer. The first real post will of course be published next week. Thanks for reading.

Sincerely,

DJMMT aka The DOC

Blog Logo