It’s amazing sometimes the memories, or a place in time, that a particular song, or a distinct smell can bring a person back to. And just now I got hit with a one-two punch from my music player, armed and loaded with over twenty-four thousand tracks, and set to shuffle. And just like that – epiphany. Just now (actually a week ago today, as of this posting) I was listening to Jonathan Coultan/Ellen McLain’s Still Alive, followed by Godley & Creme’s Cry, and a thought that has been brewing in the back of my mind for sometime now, finally bubbled up to the top – and then as I said before, epiphany; sad, sad epiphany actually. The best gaming moments of this console generation, have very likely already come and gone . . . years ago.
Summer of Arcade, Xbox LIVE Arcade’s annual promotion marking the middle of summer every year, turns 5 this year, and looking back over the 19 games released over the previous four years, I am not shocked that I own 13 of them. The annual promo usually brings out the best of the digital offerings every year, and 2012 looks to be no different.
Of the five games on offer this summer, at least three of them will go down as instant classics, not to mention day one purchases by yours truly. It would have been four day one purchases, but I no longer give money to help sponsor the corporate wrongdoings of Activision. Pretty much meaning that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD is a no-buy for me; even if you paid me to purchase it – I’d just take your money, and still would not buy the game with it.
That aside, it looks to be a great summer line up, with a few surprises thrown in. And I for one cannot wait until the festivities kick on in late July. Look past the break to see the highlights of this year’s Summer of Arcade.
Jason Roberts over at Lens of Truth, wrote a great op-ed about the trend of game publishers forcing gamers to have to buy into online passes. I would highly recommend taking out the time to read the original piece, titled, The Online Pass Strikes Again, before continuing beyond this point.
I’ve been seeing this piece linked around quite a bit over the past 24 hours: saw several links for it shared on my Twitter feed, a couple shares for it on my Facebook wall, seen it show up at Reddit, among other places. The piece really seems to be striking a raw nerve with gamers everywhere. And it should, as quite frankly, the piece is spot on, and paints a pretty grim picture for the future of the hobby. Especially as costs associated with game development (currently between $30 million to $50 million for the average multi-platform game) are due to double, and potentially triple with the release of next-gen hardware right around the corner. (more…)