Loot Boxes illegal in Belgium. Publishers could face a fine or prison sentence.

EuroGamer.net has the story that broke earlier this week:

The Belgian Gaming Commission looked at Star Wars Battlefront 2, FIFA 18, Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and found only Star Wars was not in violation of the country’s gambling legislation – and that’s only because EA stripped out the game’s loot boxes after its launch debacle.

It determined FIFA 18, Overwatch and CS:GO’s loot boxes are a game of chance and so are subject to Belgian gambling law. Battlefront 2, at the time the investigation was conducted, did not have loot boxes, so escapes unscathed.

A statement from Minister of Justice Koen Geens said FIFA 18, Overwatch and CS:GO were therefore illegal and demanded their loot boxes removed. If they’re not, the publishers “risk a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to 800,000 euros”. When minors are involved, those punishments can be doubled, Geens added.

The article goes on to provide a statement from EA, a devilish corporation, that only produces DLC and devises ways to profit from it.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Modern Cult Classics: “Life is Strange”

This one is easily a cult classic. Since the term “cult” derives here from “culture,” then “Life is Strange” has the title pegged.

One glance at the “Life is Strange” subreddit shows you that the game has left behind a sizeable fanbase producing artwork and fan-fiction around the clock.

Although the game received mostly positive reviews upon release, there were a few holdouts. Critics expressed that this may be one of the strongest games of the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure format, however stated that the dialogue and variety of choices were lackluster.

The fans pay no mind to the detractors though and happily express their love for this strong, poignant story.

“But I like Adam Sandler movies.” 👎🏻

They’re almost all bad.

I’m not about to provide an echo chamber for your taste in bad movies. Criticism exists to help pull us away from the ugliness in some films. And boy, especially recently, Sandler’s production company has made some garbage.

I’ve had the conversation too often. Someone expresses they like one of the bad ones, I speak baffled “Really!?” and they defend with “I know. I know. It’s a guilty pleasure and it made me laugh.”

Some of his films are indefensible to the point that the statement above really is the only defense. I call it the “guilty pleasure” defense.

It’s essentially what someone says when they know they can’t form a good enough argument to validate their poor taste.

But the things is, that’s okay.

Continue reading

Scientific inaccuracies diminsh the overall quality of “Gravity”

NASA Scientists think “Gravity” is the worst, most inaccurate space movie ever made.

Okay NASA, calm yourself.

I’ll start this ‘hit’ article with my thoughts on the film: I liked it a lot. It’s claustrophobic, it’s action-packed, there’s a strong character arc and a meaningful conclusion.

Solid.

Upon release, however, you’d think movie critics and professional bloggers never saw a decent space movie in their life. “Gravity” was good, but “Apollo 13” did this story better 20 years prior while maintaining scientifc integriy and being true to the true story.

Continue reading

“You Were Never Really Here” – structure through character

I loved everything about this movie.

I was mostly impressed, however, with the way Lynne Ramsay and her team managed to build up the protagonist without dialogue or clunky exposition, but with imagery.

Some would say “flashback” is a cop out way to create exposition. There are flashbacks in this film, but they are dealt out in a way that coincides with the PTSD of our protagonist as he naviagtes a horrific situation.

Continue reading

Lacking confidence in Damien Chazelle’s “First Man”

Are you excited? It’s going to be an action film!

Boston Globe had a write-up which quoted “First Man” screenwriter Josh Singer.

Here’s an excerpt:

Singer, who won, along with Tom McCarthy, the Academy Award for best original screenplay for “Spotlight,” is emphatic that “First Man” is not a biopic. First and foremost, he says, it’s an action film. That’s what Chazelle, the Rhode Island native who won the best director Oscar for “La La Land,” wanted so that’s what Singer delivered.

Continue reading

Sea of Thieves: Style that severely lacks substance

It should be common knowledge for any aspiring game developers that an audience’s investment in your game is driven by a “reward system.”

Unfortunately the rallied developers at Rare (which has been resurrected as an empty shell of its former self) were more focused on spectacle than good game design.

Companies like EA Games and Ubisoft sabotage their own good games with imbalanced micro-transactions that are “pay-to-win.” Rare didn’t commit this cardinal sin. They did, however, commit the same sin as “No Man’s Sky.”

Continue reading

Rest in Peace Milos Forman

Milos Forman passed away today at age 86.

His most prominently regarded film is objectionally “One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” a film that moved me in so many ways.

CNN’s Nicole Chavez and Carma Hassan posted a solid write-up of the filmmakers biography. Born in Czechoslovakia to parents who would parish in concentration camps during World War II, he was fascinated by theater and immigrated to the United States in 1968.

Continue reading

Spielberg’s laughably misguided views on award disposition

The great Steven Spielberg is terribly, terribly wrong and misguided here.

I’m a huge fan of Spielberg, but the statement he made to ITV News has to be one of the most elitist ones I’ve heard from a successful filmmaker:

“Fewer and fewer filmmakers are going to struggle to raise money, or to compete at Sundance and possibly get one of the specialty labels to release their films theatrically,” he continued. “And more of them are going to let the SVOD [Streaming Video On-Demand] businesses finance their films, maybe with the promise of a slight, one-week theatrical window to qualify for awards But, in fact, once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie.”

The Academy seems to be struggling with a mundane conflict here. Let me break it down for them:

A movie – 1 to 4 hours to flesh out plot and characters sequentially and seamlessly.

A show – 4+ hours serialized episodically where plot and characters grow and change incrementally per episode.

Continue reading