I’m happy to say that I had yet another Q&A session with a fellow games reviewer and YouTube personality, Vertical Sprite. For the last year or so, he has been composed of the most in-depth and compelling reviews I’ve ever heard and has since been increasing in popularity, garnishing over 200 subscribers on his YouTube channel and branching out into other forms of gaming entertainment, such as live gameplay broadcasts through Twitch, as well as being continuously active through social media, including through his Twitter and Facebook pages. In our Q&A, I asked him his opinions of the current state of gaming, how he sees it going within the next few years, and what he loves most about the medium, and the answers Vertical Sprite gave were extremely compelling and insightful, to say the least:
What did you think of 2014 in gaming, and what was your pick for the game of the year?
In a word 2014 for me was mixed. The games I thought would impress me never did, and games that weren’t on my radar blew me away. I looked forward to Destiny so much when it finally arrived it was a serious letdown, As was The Evil Within, which I felt so strongly about that I even made a video on why I stopped playing. In these cases maybe it was me over-hyping it in my mind or not expecting the experience I actually got. Yet almost as an afterthought I bought The Last Of Us Re-mastered on PS4 and couldn’t put it down. Not being a “new game” in 2014 means it won’t be my pick, but for me, the story was gripping, heartbreaking and proved what terrific medium games can be at making you empathize with the character and get a certain message across. A close runner-up for the 2014 game of the year is actually DLC, BioShock Burial At Sea Part 2. It was a brilliantly paced return to rapture, which even managed to tie all of the games together. Pure genius. My pick for the 2014 Game Of The Year is Wolfenstein The New Order. If it hadn’t come as a free game with the console I certainly wouldn’t have bought it. But after the opening level, I just found it a fantastic single-player experience with a lot of fresh ideas and a surprisingly adult approach to storytelling. Yes, it had its faults, but I had an absolute blast with it.
What do you think the future holds for the industry?
It’s an exciting time for sure, but also a very volatile one. Gaming, in general, is only getting bigger and those that used to scoff at gamers can now be found glued to their phone playing Candy Crush. Games are everywhere on many different platforms but for me, the core experience isn’t as satisfying as it used to be; the production costs of games have soared, however. The quality control of games, in general, has plummeted. Remember that time you brought a new game and it didn’t need patching on day one? No? Well, that’s exactly what I am talking about. It almost feels like developers are under pressure to please everyone and still ship on a certain deadline, which ultimately isn’t possible.
What are you currently playing, or reviewing, at the moment?
At the moment I am currently playing (and reviewing) Shadow Of Mordor & Valiant Hearts. After that, I plan to move on to Transistor, Limbo, and try to keep a mix of old and new games being covered on the channel. It’s an odd one really because in gaming release schedules aren’t a constant. You can go for months with nothing then 4 AAA games come out at once. I try to stagger releases over the quiet months and sometimes even pick games up 50% as a result. But current games I keep dipping in and out of are Killer Instinct (as they keep release new characters) and Diablo 3 with friends … that game has seriously no right to be as replayable as it is!
What would you like to see happen in the eighth generation of gaming?
Not really sure I can do this answer justice but I will try… because for me it’s a worrying time. For every new title that shows quality through gameplay, story, or fresh mechanics, there seem to be several titles that exist only to rip the consumer off with micro-transactions or DLC. But games aside, console wars rage on, and the endless arguments about resolution or frame rate parity bog down websites when we could all just be sitting back with our platform of choice enjoying the actual game. As long as media outlets or sources that fuel pointless stories about console A vs. Console B, there will always be a troll ready to answer the call. I think if your happy with the choice you made you certainly don’t have to justify it to anyone, especially some stranger online. Apart from wanting more exclusive single-player experiences, I would like more risks to be taken. Gamers are very savvy when it comes to games and as the generations that play them get older, they know what they want. Yet gone are the days of simply going into a shop to buy a game and play 100% of the content on the disk. Season pass content is announced before an actual game is out, and then we get the dreaded “pre-order bonuses”. Some of the most different experiences for me this year have come from the most unlikely places…Five Nights At Freddy’s, the “PT” demo, and the “nemesis” system in Shadow Of Mordor spring to mind, and none of them were hyped in any way! From a simple flash animation that makes you jump or a complex hierarchy that you can influence the more variation in games for me …the better. For the 8th generation gaming? Tighter experiences with 100% feature-complete game that isn’t afraid to tackle more adult themes.
What game are you looking forward to most in 2015?
On my “watch list” for 2015 so far is Evolve, Batman Arkham Knight, and Resident Evil Revelations 2, if only for the return of Barry Burton! If they come out in 2015 I am also planning to cover Halo 5 and Uncharted 4.
What do you love most about video games?
Games can sell an experience or tell a story in a way no other medium can. Anyone can watch a film or listen to a music track and regardless of enjoyment; it’s the same outcome. But when I finished the suicide mission in Mass Effect that was “My” Shepard and team. In Fallout 3 it was a conscious decision for me to spare an entire town from being nuked. Games can make you feel emotion because for many hours in the game you have to become this person, live their story and then decide whether to pull the trigger or go through with a certain objective. Other times this choice can be cruelly taken away like the “would you kindly” plot twist in BioShock or after investing heavily in John Marston’s story see an outcome that was brutal and gut-wrenching. Games get a lot of bad press and some of it is justified but they also deserve praise for what they do right. So what do I love most about video games? When a friend says they “had nothing to do so watched a film” I can reply “well…. I saved a galaxy from the reapers.”
Vertical Sprite also decided to make a YouTube video of our Q&A, and a link to his video is below:
You can also follow Vertical Sprite via the following links:
But I’d like to thank Vertical Sprite for agreeing to the Q&A and to wish him the best of luck with the YouTube channel.
Scouse Gamer 88