Gris Turns The Personal Into Platforming

Hardship transforms people, and none more so than the protagonist of Nomada Studio’s new title Gris. The Switch/PC title coming in December chronicles a young girl’s journey through the pains of life, her emotional growth transforming her own abilities and the world around her.

The game’s a platformer filled with puzzles and skill-based challenges, but according to the Barcelona-based developer, does not include “danger, frustration, or death.” Regardless, the protagonist’s journey is also reflected in her dress, which gifts new abilities to her that lets her explore new areas in the world.

Gris will be playable this month at Gamescom and PAX West, so we’ll let you know more about the title if we get our hands on it.

Beta Test Gris Turns The Personal Into Platforming

The Walking Dead: The Final Season – Episode 1 Review

After six years, we’re finally reaching the conclusion of Telltale’s The Walking Dead – which also means the end of our time with fan-favorite  character Clementine. Video games rarely give us the opportunity to watch a character grow up over the years, but we’ve seen Clementine go from a naïve and inexperienced little girl to a hardened and resourceful survivor. That transformation came with ups and downs that never recaptured the magic of the debut season, and the first episode of this final season is a reminder of that, with another group of survivors scavenging for food and safety amid the overflow of deadly zombies.
 
We’re back in Clementine’s shoes after spending last season controlling Javier and seeing the apocalypse through the lens of his family. The opener doesn’t really acknowledge much about that time in Clementine’s life, but gets straight into the action with Clementine finally being reunited with A.J., a child she’s tried to take care of since he lost his parents just after birth. Clementine is coming full circle, doing for A.J. what Lee did for her by teaching him the art of survival. While the parallels are overt (alongside shoehorned-in references to Lee), A.J. is the first character we’ve met who hasn’t known a life before the apocalypse. This is intriguing, as most survivors fight because they know things can be better, while A.J. merely accepts his world. The story quickly taps into certain tendencies that have developed in A.J. from living this way; he doesn’t like loud noises, he lacks empathy, and he enters every situation on high alert. That’s about the only new, intriguing thread that surfaces here.
 
The premiere episode has all the staples we’ve come to know from the series: zombie fights, a new group of survivors, and heat-of-the-moment decisions for survival. While these threads are part of the appeal of zombie-apocalypse stories, I often felt like I was just going through the motions with predictable patterns. I could see the betrayals and dangers from a mile away. At times I felt like I was walking into a trap, like when you watch a horror movie and want to yell, “Get out of there!” at oblivious characters. The dialogue options don’t even let you express reservations about these moments, causing a disconnect between the authored story and how players think Clementine should react.

 Clementine has been an interesting character, but this episode is inconsistent with her growth throughout the seasons. Zombie attacks, ally betrayals, and death are commonplace for her, so she should have her guard up. Instead, this episode ignores her years of experience in this world. She’s too trusting, and it feels dishonest to the character. So many times I thought, “Clementine would know better than this.” For instance, a big part of this installment is her forming an alliance with a new group of young survivors that have turned a large, secluded school into their safehouse. While she knows nothing about this group, she instantly joins up with them. I was disappointed that I had to get to know a new set of survivors so quickly; I wanted to get some quality time with just Clementine and AJ. At least the group is diverse, representing different races and sexualities alongside having their own having their own personality quirks and pasts to uncover. A laid-back, kindhearted musician provides a softer, more calming persona, while a closed-off, headstrong woman exemplifies the struggle that comes with living in this depressing landscape after a romantic partner dies.
 
The new season is an upgrade in visuals, looking more akin to The Walking Dead comic. Telltale has also made the interactive sequences more creative, whether it’s killing zombies or harpooning fish. You now have the option to stun, stab, or activate traps to kill zombies, while catching fish becomes a minigame about aiming and timing throwing your harpoon just right. The relationship-building still takes center stage, with you choosing between characters and having your actions affect your favorability with them. I liked that Telltale brought back decisions that let you decide between two places to visit with different characters to bond with at each, allowing you to feel like you need to sacrifice to get the payoffs you want.  
 
I’ve enjoyed Telltale’s The Walking Dead for its shocking reveals and difficult choices, but not much of that was present in the opener. This premiere does little to excite me for the rest of the season; the set-up feels too predictable and familiar. I’m interested in seeing where Clementine’s story ends and if my choices really shape the type of person A.J. becomes, but this is a weak start. Hopefully, the next episodes can provide something more unique for fans. Right now, the emotional impact is missing, the decisions aren’t hard-hitting, and the twists are easy to see coming.

Beta Test The Walking Dead: The Final Season – Episode 1 Review

Taiwanese Man Set Up 11 Phones On A Bike For Pokemon Go

Have you ever seen those people on Pokemon Go community days that carry around more than one phone to maximize their ability to catch rare Pokemon? Those people are thinking small time. The real hardcore take it to 11.

Chen San-yuan has become a celebrity in Taipei for attaching multiple phones to his bike as he rides around the city. Affectionately known as Uncle Pokemon to locals, Chen’s picture was posted to Reddit earlier this month after he was interviewed by a local news station. Until then, Chen did not even know he was particularly well known.

Pokemon Go does require a connection for the phone and Chen isn’t riding around with a hotspot for all 11 phones, so this Pokemon journey is costing him about $1290 a month. But considering it is keeping him healthy and helping to stave off Alzheimer’s, it seems worth it.

[Source: BBC News]

Beta Test Taiwanese Man Set Up 11 Phones On A Bike For Pokemon Go

A Bunch Of Mouth-Watering Pixels: Modern Gaming’s Best Food

Every advancement in graphics technology is accompanied by a new, goofy method of showing it off. Whether it’s 128 versions of Mario running around a globe for the GameCube, a million Toblerone pieces scattering around in Knack, or 1-2-Switch’s lockpicking minigame demonstrating all those ice cubes inside the Joy-Cons, developers often design around the possibilities of powerful new tech.

But this raises an important question: What about the food? According to statistics I just made up, we spend about 15 percent of our time eating and another 82 percent of our time thinking about eating. In contrast, I only spend about 10 minutes of my time each day thinking about 128 Marios running around and getting into trouble. Do you think each Mario thinks of himself as the true Mario, and the others as imposters? Hopefully, he recognizes that each Mario has the same right to individuality as himself. I’m getting off track here.

There is a criminal lack of gaming centered around the most important part of our lives, the part where we shove food in our face. Nintendo designed Super Mario Sunshine around the gorgeous water simulations new hardware allowed them, but they could have designed an equally gorgeous milkshake simulator or acorn squash bisque-drinking challenge. VR lets gamers hold virtual objects right up in their face to inspect; mostly, this is used to observe how various guns do, in fact, look like guns. But this ability could also be used to approximate a bakery, with all sorts of different loaves of bread and croissants to observe. Which brave developer is going to be the first to let me scrutinize a perfectly risen sourdough loaf?

Fortunately, some modern designers have heard my cries. The past few years have been a golden age of food-simulation, with new lighting techniques and physic systems being applied to the most noble of goals: making me want to eat while I play games. Make sure you’ve got some snacks in the pantry, because this list is going to make you hungry.

 

Final Fantasy XV

I was a Boy Scout as a kid, and one of the best parts of going on a trip was planning all the garbage my friends and I were going to eat. The official rules of camping state that rules of nutrition don’t matter in nature; all that matters is how peach cobbler tastes when you make it in a dutch oven while huddled around a campfire at night.

No one understands this better than the impeccably dressed Ignis Scientia in FFXV. Noctis and his boys are spending long days on the road, fighting wooly mammoths and throwing swords and whatever else a royal posse does on a cross-country trip. At night though, they settle down and Ignis provides them with some legitimately stunning meal selections. Little can pull a group together like well-made food, so it follows that the friendship between FFXV’s spikey-haired lads is one of the most effective parts of the game.

One of my favorite meals from FFXV is the Taelpar harvest galette, a truly mouth-watering remix of a basic fruit dessert. A galette is a pastry that falls somewhere between a calzone and a pie. It folds in on itself enough to just allow a peek at the deliciousness that resides inside. A properly made galette is downright scandalous.

Tumblr user “My main is a cook” concocted a recipe for the Taelpar harvest galette from Ignis’ cookbook. It involves oranges, goat cheese, cinnamon, and that trademark flakey crust. Honestly, if you just told me it was pie-like and involved goat cheese, I would have already been on board. Put all those ingredients together, and you’ve got a dish I’d smack out of the hands of the prince of Lucis.   

A fresh-cooked galette, courtesy of Ignis

Monster Hunter World

Monster Hunter is a game of excess. Characters wield swords that weigh approximately 95 pounds and whack dragons the size of apartment buildings around, just for the chance of getting a scale to make their armor prettier. But stripped down to its essentials, Monster Hunter emphasizes effective hunting by way of preparation and planning. The most important part of hunting prep? A hearty meal, of course.

There are two kinds of living things you don’t kill in Monster Hunter. The first are other human beings. The second are Palicoes, sentient cats that wear clothes and talk to each other who are so cute it should be illegal. No one questions the Palicoes, nor should they. This is simply a beautiful world where humans and cats have similar rights and treat each other with respect.

Meowscular Chef takes great pride in his work

Of course, the Palicoes are objectively better than humans. This should be obvious – they have whiskers and tails, after all. Even better though, the Palicoes have culinary skills that our meager homo sapien brains can only dream of. Monster Hunter: World’s head honcho is the Meowscular Chef, an intimidating Palico with one eye who commands a small army of other cats. Working as a team, they cut slabs of meat (don’t ask which monster it came from) on a sizzling stone griddle, stir kiddie-pool sized soup bowls, and throw in some veggie skewers for good measure. When the food is ready, hunters tear into it without modern pleasantries like silverware or chewing.

The best parts of Monster Hunter: World’s food is in the preparation. Little touches stand out; the fatty parts of the meat fold over with realistic weight, and blocks of cheese have a satisfying rind. Sure, an Azure Rathalos has been dragging my ass all over the ancient forest. But if I get to come back to this kind of meal every time I lose, failure doesn’t sting quite as much.

Link preparing to cook some sort of poultry-stuffed pumpkin

 The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

I appreciate Breath of the Wild’s approach to cooking because it closely mirrors my own: throw a bunch of tasty-seeming ingredients in a pan and hope they work. Link just takes a big armful of veggies, meats, and spices and tosses ‘em all in. Like me, he sometimes gets “dubious food,” a pixelated concoction which he chokes down out of stubbornness. More often though, those ingredients come together into something healthy and delicious-looking.

Out of all these games, Breath of the Wild’s food feels the most sustainable for a healthy life. Eating isn’t a special occasion, it’s something we do every day. As such, the mushrooms, meats, and soups that Link subsists on feel tangible, the simple-but-hearty diet of a man on the road. It reminds me of the scene in Princess Mononoke when Ashitaka and Jigo sit in a cave and eat rice porridge. The food isn’t luxurious or complicated, but it’s made by a practiced hand and would probably be perfect after a long day.    

Okayu (rice porridge) in Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke

For my money, the seafood curry in Breath of the Wild comes out as the best all-rounder. With these kinds of straightforward dishes, the difference between adequate and exceptional often comes down to seasoning. Link’s addition of some Goron spice pushes this one over the edge; the shrimp/crab/rice combo also seems very filling, and the description promises that the spice packs a serious kick. 

Persona 4

Not all food is created for the same purpose. Some provides simple sustenance. Some is for celebration, some for mourning. Other times, food is an expression of dominance. On the show Man v. Food, a single man would attempt to consume inhuman portions of everything from hot wings to oysters to pancakes. After seven seasons, the show continues, but the original host has stepped down; food was ultimately victorious.

It’s a tidal wave of beef

In Persona 4, you have just one food-based rival, the mega beef bowl. It is described as a “tidal wave of beef.” You’ve got the opportunity to visit the Aiya Chinese Diner and attempt to eat the entire bowl of in one sitting, a feat you’ll only accomplish with very high stats. If you manage to do so, the bowl is free! Hopefully, Aiya also puts your picture on the wall or something.

Persona 4 has the series’ traditional calendar-keeping gameplay. Every day, you can hang with friends and take pop quizzes and shop, just like non-gaming teenagers presumably do (I wouldn’t know). When it’s raining though, many of these activities aren’t available. But rainy days are incidentally the only days when the beef bowl challenge is available. I love this conceit. Everything in the whole city is shut down, the day is ruined, so why not go eat a metric ton of seared meat?

Time to knock the milkshake-drinking smirk off his face

Wolfenstein 2

Have you ever watched a cooking video on YouTube where they don’t try the food at the end? It’s infuriating. Watching someone prepare food is an emotional investment, and if I can’t eat it, I want to be able to live vicariously through someone who does. In gaming, motion capture and animation have recently brought us to a place where characters can give believably rapturous reactions to well-crafted foodstuffs. Unfortunately, one of the best reactions to food in games comes from an absolute piece of garbage. 

In Wolfenstein 2, BJ Blazkowicz must meet a character who runs an old-timey diner in the middle of the Nazi occupation of America. This diner has everything: cheap burgers, coffee, and a true vintage soda fountain. I should point out that a good soda fountain isn’t the blocky thing they have at every McDonalds and Bojangles. It’s a flexible instrument with the ability to produce drinks like an egg cream and a ginger yip, a throwback to a more personalized era of carbonated drinks. The diner also has the proper kind of milkshake; individually blended in a giant metal cup that the owner might let you drink from once your glass is empty.

So when a Nazi captain who’s even more weasel-y than the typical Nazi walks into the diner and orders a strawberry milkshake, it hurts me in my soul. Not only is this punk in a state of not-being-punched, but he’s ordering a handmade dessert that tastes the way summer memories feel. I’ve had a strawberry milkshake. In fact, I’ve had a strawberry milkshake made by the exact same lime-green blender, from a place called Ox and Rabbit in Durham, NC. That place is now shut down. So now I can’t have a strawberry milkshake, but this Nazi can? It’s an absolute injustice. He closes his eyes and takes a long drink, savoring the chunks of strawberry mixed in with the piercing cold of the ice cream. He looks like he enjoys it.

He also gets his brains blown out about two seconds later. No milkshakes for fascists.   

Beta Test A Bunch Of Mouth-Watering Pixels: Modern Gaming’s Best Food

New Zelda Tribute Album Loses The Ocarina, Adds Healthy Dose Of Metal

The Legend of Zelda’s massive following and consistently stunning soundtracks make it a frequent source of inspiration for gaming musicians. We covered a bluegrass cover of Skyward Sword’s iconic theme a while ago, but a new album is now getting in touch with Link’s more hardcore side.

The Temples is a new album from Ro Panuganti, and features eight tracks that manage to be atmospheric while still encouraging some serious head-banging. The songs, all tributes to Ocarina of Time, mix metal and prog-rock influences to form a surprisingly listenable compilation (even if, like me, you’re not typically a fan of the genre). 

The album is available on bandcamp, Spotify, and iTunes. Now is the time to start campaigning for its inclusion in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate soundtrack.

Beta Test New Zelda Tribute Album Loses The Ocarina, Adds Healthy Dose Of Metal

New Wreck-It Ralph Sequel Trailer Looks At Fast Cars And Fun Princesses

Wreck-It Ralph: Ralph Breaks the Internet takes the animated movie out of the realm of video games and into the world of internet jokes and Disney licenses. Check out the short but cute trailer below.

There’s more than a little Fast & Furious in the trailer and we also get to see Vanellope’s further interactions with the other Disney princesses. Wreck-It Ralph: Ralph Breaks the Internet will attempt to break the theaters on November 21.

Beta Test New Wreck-It Ralph Sequel Trailer Looks At Fast Cars And Fun Princesses

What To Expect From Doom Eternal's Campaign, Multiplayer, And More

A day after Doom Eternal’s extensive gameplay reveal at QuakeCon, I sat down with id Software’s Marty Stratton, who serves as the project’s executive producer, and Hugo Martin, creative director, to talk about how the sequel will shake things up for the campaign, combat, multiplayer, and mod scene. Stratton and Martin wouldn’t give away every secret, yet but did dive deep into what we can expect from certain aspects of this sequel.

Take me back to the conclusion of Doom. You finished it up and started thinking about the future. What was that aftermath like? What kind of discussions did you have?
Marty Stratton: It was quick. We started planning and pre-production right away. We had post-mortem discussions about what we did right and wrong and what we wanted to do better. There was a lot of research on reviews, YouTube, everything. We took it all in, and tried to figure out where to go from there.

Hugo started with the creative team right away; trying to figure out where we would go next.

Hugo Martin: We also hoped to get the chance to make another one, so the story arc started in 2016. We laid the groundwork for the sequel. There was a ton of work to be done across the board, but in that regard, it was about continuing what we started.

At that point you were showing the world what a new Doom could look like. Now you say you are creating an entire Doom universe. That screams of extensive plans. Can you discuss what we can expect from the Doom universe?
HM: We’re so excited. It’s what we always wanted. It just means [Doom Eternal] has depth and a lot of substance. That’s mostly it – that it’s something that is worth your time.

MS: There’s thought and depth behind every decision, visual, level, and weapon. We tried to build a lot of lore into the codex in Doom 2016. A portion of the audience dives into that. Some people don’t even know it’s there. We think people that do invest in it appreciate it. With Doom Eternal, we want to make sure it’s within arm’s reach if you want it. It’s all there. There are answers to your burning questions.

A lot of people are affected by the game on a visceral level. They love killing the demons. None of that is changing. What is exciting for me are the conversations that happen around this stuff as we build it. They are so amazing and fun. The ideas and lore are thought through by really creative people. We haven’t really put [the lore] out there where people can be a part of it. That’s what I love about story games, stuff like Elder Scrolls. They put it out there where people can get it at varying levels. We want to bring people into that conversation a little bit more. We think what we have is exciting.

Is that lore mostly going to be off to the side in the codex again?
HM: It’s not just lore or backstory. If you want to surf the main game, we have what we call the A story and B story. The A story is the main game, and what the average consumer is going to experience. The B story is context for everything, like who am I talking to, why did that guy interact with me in that way? The key thing when we say “universe” is we want to take the Doom player to places they’ve never been before. That serves the A story. It’s not just about making juicy codex entries, it’s about, as you saw with those locations, taking you to new places. As Marty said, Doom is about killing cool bad guys in amazing places with awesome guns. That’s it. The amazing places part, and the cool demons part, and the awesome guns part fit into that stuff.

“The ballista is kind of an ancient looking weapon. Where does that come from? Do I get to go to that place?” We just want to make sure that Doom has some fantastic set pieces in it. We’re swinging for the fences with this one. We’re going to go to some cool places. Doom universe is just about making the game more awesome and fun.

Let’s talk about the slayer himself. You guys gave him an upgrade…a few upgrades.
HM: It’s the evolution of who he was in Doom 2016. He’s still the same guy, but fictionally speaking, he is constantly modifying his armor. Many people call out: If he is this ancient warrior who has been in this eternal struggle between good and evil, why does his armor look modern? There’s a good answer for that. He’s changing his armor all of the time. He’s upgrading it. Superheroes do it. That’s a part of that genre. We think of him like a superhero. When he upgrades his stuff, he does it with efficiency in mind. From a gameplay perspective, we always think of that first.

The blade in particular is something we thought a lot about. It’s hard for us to glory kill enemies with [the slayer’s] bare hands. Some of the demons are the size of elephants. We would talk about the glory kills, and [the development team] would be like “I can’t do this.” They would put the slayer’s hands on the baron’s face, and they would look like baby hands. We had to give him a tool. He always had to pull parts off of enemies, which he still does, but now he has a utensil to take out large enemies more efficiently. The first glory kill he does in the demo is faster than any in Doom 2016. [The blade] is faster, it can take out big enemies, it looks cool, and adds variety.

MS: We really tried to maintain the dance, flow, and feel of combat. Everything we’ve added is centered around that same dance, just giving you new moves to use on the dance floor. That was always important that it was the same dance. We want it to be a tight game loop where the player is thinking of what to do next. The flamethrower, I don’t know how much it got noticed, but when you shoot a guy who is on fire, there’s a benefit – you get armor shards. It works a little like the chainsaw. It isn’t just cool looking, you get gains from it.

HM: Destructible demons are the same. Is [the destruction] all cosmetic only? No. Some of it can be strategic. For example, you can shoot off the gun turret on the Arachnotron. That’s his primary attack, and it can be pretty devastating. If you have good aim, and you want to nerf his abilities – he still has other attacks, though – you can take out that gun. As long as something feels like it is promoting the player to be aggressive, it’s Doom. All of these things, the doom blade, equipment launcher, it’s about being aggressive.

The thing that surprised me the most about the gameplay you showed was how open the spaces were. Are most areas that large?

HM: If the race car gets faster then the race track has to get bigger. That’s basically it. Our race car can do a lot of things now, so the track he’s on has to be bigger. Talking about our traversal combos, when you double jump to a dash into a monkey bar swing use the meat hook and then wall climb, it makes the ambient spaces more dynamic. Having the tools in place as game designers allows for some really interesting moments, and that includes combat.

MS: The stuff happening around you in these levels is crazy; whether you’re experiencing hell on earth on the edge of collapsed buildings or fighting under the BFG 10,000 on Phobos. We’re not just taking you to new places. The experiences you’re getting in places you’ve been, like the UAC, you’ve never seen before in a Doom game. We’ve really taken that next step. The worlds were great in 2016, but the level of s— going on around was never at 10. The sky box was never at 10. This time around, when you look around, you’re going to see you’re in the middle of something big going on.

Can the meat hook latch onto anything?

MS: Just demons.

It has to be made of meat then?

MS: Yup. Exactly.

The meat hook is attached to the super shotgun. Does that mean you need to have that weapon equipped to use the hook?

MS: Yup. The way works is when you have the super shotgun out, you hit the mod button and it shoots it out.

You didn’t go into multiplayer, SnapMap, or mods during your presentation. Can you talk to me about your plans for those things? Todd Howard took Escalation Studios, the team that made SnapMap.

MS: Todd takes everyone. (laughs)

I’ll start with SnapMap. We decided to move away from it. We loved it and thought it was great, but it didn’t scratch the itch we thought maybe it could for people. We touched on the Invasion stuff. That’s a whole part of game we think people are going to have fun with. That was a high-level goal for [Doom Eternal]. We’re also working on a PvP component. We’ll talk about it later. It’s also very Doom, as we like to say. It isn’t a sidecar experience. We are doing that internally. We’ve taken all of that in.

HM: (whispers) It’s awesome.

MS: [The multiplayer] is new and different. We’re also planning for probably the thing that was most requested, which is post-campaign content that we create, not through something like SnapMap.

HM: The campaign, Invasion, PvP, it all feels like Doom this time. There isn’t kind of a separation there where you’re like “I kind of like the MP, but it doesn’t feel like Doom.” We were aware of that. We’re making it internally now. We’re excited about what we have.

Beta Test What To Expect From Doom Eternal’s Campaign, Multiplayer, And More

Video Explores How Octopath Traveler's Music Plays On Nostalgia

Octopath Traveler doesn’t shy away from its inspirations. The turn-based combat, character classes, and pixel-art designs are all firmly rooted in classic JRPGS like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy. However, as evidenced by the many modern graphical filters layered on top of its pixels, the game plants one foot firmly in the present even while emulating the past. In our review, we said that it feels like “a game from an alternate timeline.”

YouTube channel Game Score Fanfare tackles this apparent contradiction in a new video focusing on Octopath’s orchestral soundtrack. Through a detailed analysis of how composers created themes for 16-bit JRPGs, the video demonstrates that simple melodies and specific instrumentation can evoke a powerful emotional response from the player.

Mathew Dyason, creator of Game Score Fanfare, was one of the creators we talked to in our feature on Patreon-funded YouTube channels. Check that piece out here.

Beta Test Video Explores How Octopath Traveler’s Music Plays On Nostalgia

Ninja Says He Doesn't Stream With Women Because It Causes Too Much Gossip

Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, a man on top of the world as perhaps the biggest Twitch streamer out there, says there’s a reason you don’t see him streaming Fortnite with women.

Speaking with PolygonBlevins revealed the reason he doesn’t stream himself playing Fortnite with female streamers is because it invites far too much gossip and “clickbait” articles. “If I have one conversation with one female streamer where we’re playing with one another,” Blevins told Polygon, “that is going to be taken and going to be put on every single video and be clickbait forever.”

Twitch viewership can be slightly more intimate affair for the people who do it, at least compared to many of the people who cover games in various other ways. There’s a feeling that you’re slowly familiarizing yourself with the person you’re watching, and many streamers give off a welcoming attitude that gives viewers an itch to get to know them and ask questions about their personal lives. So when big-time streamers show themselves playing with each other viewers begin to ask: what is their relationship? And when it comes to men and women streaming together, the question becomes: Are they dating?

Blevins has decided to sidestep this issue by never streaming with women and part of the reason for this is his wife. Blevins is married to fellow streamer Jessica “Jghosty” Blevins, and two often appear on stream together. So in order to avoid rumors that he might be dating someone else, he won’t stream with another woman. “That was me being, ‘I love our relationship,’ and, ‘No — I’m not even gonna put you through that,'” Blevins told Polygon.

Speaking on whether this decision has caused any blowback from female streamers who could benefit from being from being on his streams (the way many of the men he streams with get followers and views just by being in his orbit), Blevins is quick to say he hasn’t seen any of it himself. “There hasn’t been a single female gamer or streamer on Twitch or anything like that who’s been upset about that,” he told Polygon. “I honestly think that… it’s just kinda like a respect thing.”

[Source: Polygon]

 

On one side, if Ninja wants to avoid the rumor mill entirely and not cause him or his wife any grief that might come with gossip videos and such, so be it. But it does reinforce the idea that men and women can’t be friends with each other without there being some sort of romantic undertone between them, which is an unfortunate side effect of his choice.

Beta Test Ninja Says He Doesn’t Stream With Women Because It Causes Too Much Gossip

Bethesda Challenges Definition Of Reselling Games With Legal Action

Although the recently-detailed Fallout 76 has major online components, Bethesda is one of the publishers championing the creation of single-player games. But these games tend to be more prone to being resold, and according to a recent report, it may also be championing legal action against people trying to resell their games after buying them.

According to Polygon, Philadelphia resident Ryan Hupp purchased a copy of The Evil Within 2 with the intention of later getting a PlayStation 4 to play it on. He eventually decided to upgrade his PC instead, which made the sealed PS4 copy of the game he had useless. So like many people with a game they no longer want to keep, he decided to throw it up on the Amazon Marketplace. He posted it as “new” since he hadn’t broken the seal on it yet.

After posting the listing, Hupp received a letter from Bethesda’s legal firm, Vorys. The letter threatened him to take the listing down or face legal action. Vorys stated that because Hupp was not “an authorized reseller,” reselling the copy was unlawful. They also stated Hupp posting the listing as “new” instead of “used” was false-advertising, since the resold copy no longer had the manufacturer’s warranty and could therefore not be considered new. And because the game could not be considered new, reselling the game as it was listed was not protected by the First Sale Doctrine, which enables second-hand markets for physical products like video games, including resale and rentals.

As Polygon points out, this is standard operating procedure for Vorys, who has a page on its website telling companies that only a single material difference from the genuince product the creator of the item sells is necessary to nullify the First Sale Doctrine protection, and that a material difference doesn’t have to be physical (hence the letter leaning on the lack of a manufacturer’s warranty to justify legal action).

Hupp quickly took his listing down, but isn’t too happy about it. “I understand the legal arguments Bethesda are relying on, and accept that they have some legitimate interest in determining how their products are sold at retail,” Hupp told Polygon. “But threatening individual customers with lawsuits for selling games they own is a massive overreach.”

 

While it’s possible Hupp could still repost the listing and just file it as used and maybe get away with it, why risk further threatening letters and legal action? Hupp likely doesn’t have the resources to fight a lawsuit, which makes backing down his best move, even if he might have legal ground to stand on. That said, if a consumer rights organization were take the issue up in court, it could lead to some interesting legal precedent down the road. Hopefully Hupp can find someone to find a buyer for his copy of The Evil Within 2.

Beta Test Bethesda Challenges Definition Of Reselling Games With Legal Action