How To Write Every Minecraft Article Ever

I know everyone does those “How to be a game journalist” type posts. But every single one that I’ve read has been total nonsense. Practice writing? Have something interesting to say? What kind of dime store garbage advice is that? It’s about time that someone wrote the definitive how-to on game journalism that was filed with actual useful information. And as an auto industry executive that has never worked a day in any kind of journalism, i think I’m qualified to be writing it.

No way could I fit everything about being the best game journalist ever into one post. So this will be a series. Today we are going to focus on what is called by some the be the bread and butter of story writing. Minecraft.

Before we start, you’ll need two things to be able to write all the Minecraft articles ever.
1. Some Scissors
2. A Tophat

Firstly, copy those few sentences of text below into a word document. Then print out all the handy tables and cut them up using the cutting guides. Put all the slips of paper into a tophat and pick one of each colour out at random. Just write what is on that bit of paper where indicated in the text and you’re done.

“Well it was only a matter of time before someone made a (Green paper slip) Minecraft version of (Red paper slip). But this is no ordinary attempt at (Red paper slip). The creation is getting a lot of attention on the internet because (Blue paper slip). What do you guys think? Awesome or waste of time?

<Video or Photos>”

MinecraftTable1

MinecraftTable2

MinecraftTable3

And there you have it. You’ll have front page worthy Minecraft articles for the rest of your life. Welcome to game journalism.

Until next time,
Dr Ruffle B. Berg
Connoisseur of video games & professional banjo player

Review: Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider will always hold a special place in my heart. When I was about 10 I broke my arm and spent a little bit of time in the hospital getting it all sorted, as a sort of “Sucks that your arm broke” present, my dad got me the original Tomb Raider and I’ve been a fan (Sort of) ever since (Kinda) So how did this reboot hold up? Meh, it had its moments.

I know Tomb Raider as that series that was really awesome from the starting gun and has gotten progressively worse with every single instalment. This latest Tomb Raider game I had seen almost zero press for and besides that literal clusterfuck of opinions about that scene where Lara almost apparently gets raped (Spoilers: No she doesn’t) I had no idea what I was getting into.

Character development is key

Character development is key

The game starts off well enough, after your ship crashes on a mysterious island, scattering your crew and leaving you stranded with no gear. You slowly have to gather equipment and food for survival while making your way back to the others and making sense of where the hell you are. The first few hours really are the best this game has to offer, they are brilliantly paced as you’ll spend time exploring the island, fighting the occasional generic bad guy and uncovering what is the start of the mystery of the island. Unfortunately it all starts going downhill and fast.

It’s almost like the developers ran out of faith in their own product about 5 hours in. Before you know it you’ll just be going from gunfight to gunfight, fighting wave after wave of cannon fodder. It’s good that they want to add a little action to this series. But this is ridiculous. It got so tedious towards the end that i was actually swearing at the TV whenever i had to spend the next half an hour doing the exact same thing I’d 15 times in a row.

How do these gunfights play? Ever played Uncharted? Well, pretty much that.

I swear, Lara could get off this island by building a bridge of the bodies of people she’s killed. I seem to remember the original Tomb Raider having a great sense of action and it only had 4 people to kill across the entire game. This reboot doesn’t achieve that with hundreds of enemies. What’s hilarious is that it tries to portray one of the generic enemies as the leader of the pack by virtue of the fact that he has a beard. That’s their idea of character development. Having a beard.

No replay value

No replay value

The first time Lara kills someone they play it off as a huge moral breakdown, Lara can hardly believe how easy it was to kill someone. I was thinking they would be setting up Lara to become a cold blooded killer Jason Brody style. But no, it’s never mentioned again and she seems to have no moral qualms about mowing down the entire population after that.

Maybe all this is why I liked the early sections of the game so much? The game was too busy trying to explain the mechanics of the game and telling a story that it wasn’t trying to be the same 3rd person shooter you’ve played so many times. And I like that. The game needed more moments where it allows the player to just explore the island and raid tombs and take in the scenery. It’s a shame once that’s all done, you’ll be playing a boring game right till the end.

Lara has an entourage of people with her but I can’t remember any of their names or what they did. Actually I get the feeling their only purpose was to pad out the skin options in multiplayer. That would certainly explain why they are so badly written and their being in the game feels like an absolute afterthought. It’s not all bad, that nerdy stereotype character has some funny shirts. So there is that.

Something about story?

Something about story?

The game also has a feature it calls “Survival vision” where pressing a button will light up important items and enemies in your area. Is Eidos asking that this feature come as standard? Because it’s showing up in a lot of their games. Regardless, it’s done very well here. It’s not so useful “Detective Vision” style that you’ll leave it on all the time and the entire game’s art direction goes out the window. And it’s not useless enough that you use it once in the tutorial and never again.

The story isn’t particularly interesting, but I think it fits. It boils down to this; Lara goes to mysterious island, island is not all that it seems, weird shit starts happening. The mysterious island hiding a dark secret has been done to death but It’s the exact kind of story this game needs. An easy to digest non-confusing  adventure you’d expect to find in a cheap paperback novel in the bargain bin. Just don’t start looking for any kind of logic on this island, you’ll give yourself a nosebleed. If you’ve been paying any attention whatsoever you’ll figure out exactly what’s going to happen within the first 2 hours, I know I did. The story isn’t played out for some shocking twist ending and that’s why it’s so strange that Lara as a character is so slow to put the pieces together. Her inner monologue will be coming to realisations that I made hours ago. It feels weird and it makes Lara come off as really stupid.

Gets boring pretty quickly

Gets boring pretty quickly

Is it too much to ask that Tomb Raider be about you know…raiding tombs? The optional “puzzle” tombs were the most enjoyable part of the game. I put puzzle in quotation marks because they are so mind numbingly easy as well as being very few and far between that you’ll breeze through them in minutes. Not a single one was challenging even in the slightest. Still, it was nice to see some old school platforming. That being said, they feel more like token gesture to the fans than any game defining feature. This game isn’t a puzzle platformer. It isn’t even trying to be.

What’s that you say, multiplayer? I played a few games. It’s the exact same thing you’ve seen in about 50 other games. You’ll grind XP to unlock weapons to change your loadout. You’ll choose from the standard match types like deathmatch and free-for-all. You’ll run into people as soon as you spawn and run the same loop of map over and over ad nauseam because the maps are too small. And you’ll know within the first game if the MP is for you. Or if you’re like me, you’ll play it for about an hour and forget it ever existed. And judging by the length of time it took me to get a game, I’m thinking most people are.

Is this what Tomb Raider has become, a series that is content playing second banana to the Uncharted series? I get the feeling that’s what it took to convince Square to throw their money at turning this series into a triple A game. I couldn’t blame, this series was a dud and taking notes and towards the end just lifting entire sections directly from U3 seems logical. But who cares, right? The next TR game will undoubtedly be next gen and then maybe it’ll try some new things. Maybe Lara in a bikini and riding a motorcycle, how awesome would that be?

Fuck Yeah!

Due to recent cutbacks at Square my review copy arrived before my bribe money did. So I give this game a 6/10

Until next time,
Dr Ruffle B. Berg

Review: Omerta – City of Gangsters

I was totally looking forward to playing what was described to me as XCOM meets that ridiculous gangster from the first and second Home Alone films. Could this finally be the authentic old timey gangster experience that so many other games had tried and failed to deliver? Well, i guess we’ll never know because upon opening the game i was prompted to create an account before i could play.

Why don’t i just cut out the middle man and i give my account details to Russian hackers? We all know that’s where they’ll inevitably end up when this company lose all their player’s details.

Image
So, with that in mind i guess all i can review is this static intro screen of what looks to be a nondescript Italian country town. Could be better, i suppose. I give it 2 Italian stereotypes in fedoras out of 10. This won’t be remembered as one of the greats in the static screen of an Italian town genre.

Snakes & Snakes: R18+

If you’re like me then you want Australia to have an r18+ rating for video games. You want it, but you’re not exactly willing do dress up like a fucking zombie and walk down the street to convey maturity or sign the millionth petition.

Well you’re in luck, because this blog is our key to not only finally getting the r18 rating us Australians have always wanted, but getting it in about 5 mins with just the roll of some dice. I’ve created this handy little board game where you can finally be on your way to helping Australia do what the rest of the world did years ago.

The rules are simple, you play as one of the states of Australia (Excluding SA because they cannot win), you start on the Australia square and first one to hit the r18 square wins! Go on, do your part.

Image
C
lick the picture for a more printer friendly version of the game (or to just see what the hell i wrote in those squares). Go ahead and try it out with your friends, or by yourself if you have none. Because getting this R18 rating will be about as useful as the one we actually get.

You’re welcome.

Dr Ruffle B. Berg XXXVLIIII
Video game paranormal investigator & Fake board game enthusiast

WORLD EXCLUSIVE FIRST REVIEW: BioShock Infinite

Image

Editor’s Note: Although the embargo on BioShock Infinite won’t technically be over for about another 5 or so months (give or take) Irrational Games were SO impressed with the quality of my review that they’ve allowed me to publish it early.

In case you’re some sort of sub-species of human that hasn’t developed the ability to think, you’ll know by now that BioShock Infinite is the upcoming masterpiece by Irrational Games and official world record holder for game with the most pre-release hype ever. Ok, I just made that up, but it’s only a matter of time. I’m just going to put it out there; BioShock Infinite by Irrational Games may just be the best thing I’ve ever played. Before I even turned it on it was my frontrunner for GOTY 2012 (And all subsequent years) because the boxart was so awesome. I wasn’t sure this whole “video games” thing was working for developers. But just as I was about to call it a failed venture and move on, BioShock has made me a believer again.

When I put the game into my PS3 a laser shot out that fixed my chronic back pain, made me better with the ladies, instantly doubled my IQ and gave me powers of telepathy. What’s even more impressive is that Irrational have done this without the need for a mandatory install or long loading times. What champs! But enough about that. Let’s talk gameplay.

The gameplay is a perfect blend of shooting, horror, puzzles, RPG, and action. You’d think that being spread over this many genres and attempting to incorporate as much as BioShock does would make the game feel less focused, but you’d be incredibly wrong. Every single aspect of this game could have been a whole game in its own right. It has the innovation of Portal, The storytelling of MGS, the fluid mechanics of Fight Night, the freedom of RDR and the looks of Watch Dogs. These are the things I would be saying, if those games were even a fraction of the genius that this game is. This game really is the new milestone that all future forms of art will be judged.

Image

Throw out every book you own, it’s all downhill from here. This has the greatest story of any form of entertainment ever. Within seconds of the opening dialogue I was entranced by the visual magnum opus that was unfolding infront of me. Every single character is so expertly crafted that I was practically riding a wave of my own tears of sympathy for the protagonist and his lady friend. Even the motivations of the smaller characters are justified with such ironclad logic that it’s impossible to spot anything even resembling a plothole. It’s so excellently written that I refuse to believe that mere mortals wrote it. But then again, we are dealing with Irrational Games. And as we all know, they are gods among men. My only regret is that the story had to end (and it is an amazing ending)

The visuals? Basically this happened when I first saw the masterpiece that is every single texture of this game. At times I could have sworn I was dreaming about the BioShock world inception style because the graphics and voice acting so effortlessly imitated real life. The game really does bend reality with its flawlessness. How it manages to include so many styles of art while never compromising on the overall direction is beyond me. Every level looks better than the last and then every level looks better than that on the second playthrough. This is the work of artisans.

Image

Overall, this game redefines the words first person shooter. Actually, we may have to redefine every single word in any language ever written because there are no superlatives capable of explaining the sheer magnitude that is the brilliance of this game. It is, without question, the greatest artistic undertaking in the history of life in this universe.

Is it possible to give this life experience a score out of ten? No, because every moment I spent with this game was the happiest of my life. You remember that feeling when you were a baby that you finally became aware of your own existence? That mind blowing realization that you are a human being with free will is the same thing you will feel every single minute of every hour spent in this game.

∞/10

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I’ve got a press event for the PlayStation 6 in Las Vegas to go to. Ciao, as the Americans say.

Dr. Ruffle Bartholomew Berg VII,
Professional opinion for hire.

I Am Your Executive Vice President Of Moral Outrage

Dear Sir,

What if i told you that all the front page articles, forum posts, video blogs, twitter trends and online press you wanted was not only at your fingertips waiting for you to claim it, but totally 100% free? It may sound too good to be true, but not if you have me on board as your Executive Vice President of Moral Outrage.

In the fast-paced world of moral outrage, you simply can’t afford to be left behind the pack. I promise to keep your company on the cutting edge of what’s offensive to gamers. I guarantee an increase in those sweet day-1 controversy sales by up to 45% in year one alone. With my 24 years experience of annoying gamers, i will create a strategy to have every single game journalist, website and uninformed news reporter talking about your game.

The aspects of your company i will improve as the Executive Vice President of Moral Outrage are:
Proper interview training for your staff; I’ll teach them to say things so quote-worthy that even the smallest offhanded remark will be on the front page of all the outlets for weeks. For example, a common interview question “How long is the game” rather than give a normal answer you will say “Not long enough for me to explain it to a moron such as yourself” Alternatively, you may be asked “Let’s talk about the multiplayer” and you will reply “I’d rather talk about the entire level dedicated to chasing down and killing the last known panda in existence” You’ll basically be speaking in headlines at that point.

Proper Marketing Techniques; Does your company still release trailers the normal way? Maybe having a countdown to make it a little special? If the answer is yes, then you’re doing it wrong. Make these people work for your PR tablescraps. Have them like and share your social media status, make them retweet something 100,000 times. Make them record themselves tapdancing around a sombrero and upload it to YouTube. Only after they’ve jumped through the required amount of hoops do you release the first trailer that consists of 90% stock footage of those girls in bikinis shooting guns, or maybe just half naked nuns.

Community Engagement; In addition to the services above, i will properly engage  the community for maximum possible moral offence. I will do this via methods including but not limited to: Arranging fake religious boycotts of your game, incredibly stupid explanations of why on-disc DLC was required and calling all the fans idiots on the official forums at least once a week.

Too much controversy you ask? No such thing. We all know gamers are all bark and no bite. No one will ever refuse to buy a game because they object to it on moral grounds. We may as well cash-in on that. You need to recognise that controversy press is the future of marketing. With my help your marketing budget will consist only of my salary. This could potentially mean a reduction in costs of over 5%

Please note that my employment is conditional based on the following assumptions:
1. I will not work with any women as their involvement in the video game industry is an ongoing lie perpetuated by the leftist game media and the illuminati.

2. I require a twice hourly 20 min break to browse online looking for poorly written articles and give them traffic and attention they would have otherwise never seen.

3. Company car + Fuel allowance

Please send a letter of interest via my twitter account. And remember, we will get results.

Regards,
Dr Ruffle B. Berg

No agencies, please.

Create Your Own Video Game Box Art In 4 Easy Steps

I wrote a very comprehensive guide on how to create some modern day video game box art. The guys at Kotaku were nice enough to run it and you should probably go read it and agree with me.

                                                      Create You Own Video Game Box Art In 4 Easy Steps

I’m totally right, right?