Thursday, November 4, 2010

Edumacation, Enslaved Didn't Sell, the Cursed Crusade, and The Walking Dead  


Felt like I kind of phoned it in last night… didn't sit quite right with me. Let's try this again.


Misc: Every year I go to a local community college for "a thing" that I can't really talk about, but what ends up happening is that I get to see a ton of PowerPoint presentations put on by students. I end up complaining about it every year, and this time is no different.

The thing that really gets me is that the quality of these presentations is so abysmally low that I'm shocked anyone would have the balls to stand up in front of a class and present them. For every two that are ‘pretty good’ or ‘not too bad’, I see at least ten or twelve that are absolutely horrible. Multiple typos and misspellings, points that are complete tangents to the subject, people reading as though they've just learned and mispronouncing things they've written themselves.

I've heard it said a few times that community college is the new high school, and I guess that's proving to be true. The sad thing is that most of these people who don't appear to have functional English skills have no problem configuring hardware, incorporating videos and music, quickly shifting files back and forth and troubleshooting the computers they're working on. I think it's great that these students are so technology-literate, but what about being a little more facile with the written and spoken forms of the language they use every day?

Of course, I realize that I'm making a gross generalization about community college students based on a small sample that I saw this week, and I'm certain that there are plenty of students out there who are absolutely brilliant… they just didn't appear to be present.

Anyway, there's probably a point to be made here about the shifting nature of our culture and how "old-fashioned reading and writing" are no longer seen as relevant in an internet society, but that thought is a little too sad for me to contemplate right now...


Games: Jennifer Allen over at Resolution Magazine in the UK was gracious enough to forward a link to THIS ARTICLE, in which writer Mark Raymond discusses likely reasons why the recent Enslaved has underperformed spectacularly, as some would say.

It's a very well-written piece and exactly sums up my own thoughts-- specifically that the buy-in price of $60 is much too high for a game which is known to be a "one time through" kind of experience, in addition to its status as an unfamiliar IP.

Why wouldn't you buy a game starring these three?
If you ask me, this situation with Enslaved was exactly the sort of instance when the industry should have rolled out a lower price point to reflect the relatively small amount of content on the disc, in addition to enticing more people on a budget to take a risk on something that they may or may not like. As much as I hate to say it, $60 is just too much for a game of this sort and as a critic, I would've had a much easier time recommending Enslaved if it had launched at $30 or even $40.

It sucks to factor economics into the critical equation, but that's just real life. I sincerely hope that the industry will snap out of this one-price-point-rules-them-all mentality and realizes that the people buying their games aren't made of money.


Games: Speaking of new IPs, today Atlus announced a brand-new one: The Cursed Crusade. Not much is known about it, but it seems as though they might be trying to capitalize a bit on the success of their recent superstar (and my game of the year for 2009) Demon’s Souls… And you know what? That would be absolutely all right with me. Check out the DEBUT TRAILER and see what you think. It's certainly got my attention.


TV: If you read this blog, then you know that I am a huge fan of Robert Kirkman’s comic, The Walking Dead. In case you didn't know (although you likely already do) the first episode of the television adaptation aired last Sunday, and it did not disappoint.

Directed by Frank Darabont, the premiere episode perfectly captured the tone and feel of the subject matter in a way that I could have only hoped for. If the rest of the series lives up to the standard that was set here, then this is going to be a spectacular series not to be missed… BUT, in case you did miss the premiere, it's available to be viewed for free by clicking on THIS LINK.

Oh, and before you do, please be warned that since this series is about survival in a post-zombie apocalypse, it's pretty raw stuff. Plenty of graphic violence, gory scenes, and the setting is mighty bleak. It's a hell of a lot more intense than most shows I see on TV, so please keep that in mind.

It's spectacular, but perhaps not for everyone.


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2 comments: to “ Edumacation, Enslaved Didn't Sell, the Cursed Crusade, and The Walking Dead


    Hey Brad,

    I am currently in college right now. I attend a four-year private, liberal arts school and I have sat through many presentations by my fellow students.

    What you are seeing is the norm now no matter where you look. Powerpoint gets a bad rap even though it is a VERY powerful piece of software, it just comes down to a user. As a person who has more or less just recently come out of high school, I can tell you the abilities of PP are never explored in public schools beyond the most basic 'insert text' and 'insert pictures' stuff. No one teaches the tech so no one knows how to use it.

    Secondly, I don't know exactly what kind of presentations you were viewing, but knowing college kids, I can say with almost 100% confidence that 90% of the presentations were put together the night before. And this is not because the students were real busy with other school work, but 50% of kids will take EVERY OPPORTUNITY they can get to drink alcohol. Everyone knows college kids drink, but I really don't think a lot of people understand how bad it is. No, they just don't drink on weekends, they usually drink Monday nights and wednesday nights, and not just a little, but blackout drunk. I am not an abolitionist, I enjoy a good IPA now and then, but I have to admit I would characterize the problem as nearly out of control.

    So it is not that they are illiterate, although some actually may be, it is the fact that these people just do not put the time into their work to make it presentable. You can see this everywhere. They would rather party than do their work, and they complain when they have to do any amount of work.


    Also, thanks for posting the link to the Cursed Crusade teaser trailer. Hadn't seen or heard of that yet, but it looks absolutely amazing.