In today’s era of day one patches, rushed games and quality assurance practices not being followed too well, it’s not surprising that articles about glitches are common. Whether it’s the Lumiose City glitch in Pokemon X and Y, the three million ways to break Mario & Luigi Paper Jam or Super Mario Maker’s invincibility bug, these things are the subject of numerous articles across an almost infinite number of gaming websites.
But how about when the glitch isn’t real?
How about when someone on Reddit makes up a fake glitch for a popular new game? Like say, The Division?
Because that’s exactly what happened. Reddit user el2mador wrote a post on the subreddit for The Division about how enemy mobs could kill the APC for you. Unfortunately for anyone who tried it, the glitch didn’t work. It was a hoax meant to see how much attention a post about a bug in the game could get.
The gaming press fell for it hook, line and sinker.
And what’s worse, I don’t mean a couple of small websites or independent bloggers fell for it. I mean the likes of IGN and Gamespot reported on it as fact. Despite you know, not actually testing whether it worked. Here’s a list of all the different sites who posted about the ‘exploit’:
Note that the above links are archived, since quite a few were deleted since the hoax was revealed. Personally, I’m not a fan of that, it comes across as trying to ‘hide’ your mistakes. These sites should have done what real newspapers do, issued a correction in the article stating that they were fooled by a hoax.
But that aside, what do I think of the situation? Well to be honest, I’d say it brings to light two major issues when it comes to video games and the media.
Number 1 is how dodgy glitch reporting is in general. Think about it. Let’s say you find a glitch being discussed online and there’s no proof that it’s real.
Now, let’s assume you test it and it doesn’t seem to work. What’s the situation here?
Well, it could be any number of things really:
The glitch could be a hoax like in this situation. It’s not a massively common situation, but it does happen, and it’s happened before Th Division was even a game. Did you know that both times Maple Treeway was in a Mario Kart game, someone faked a glitch shortcut for it? Yeah, that’s a real story. People made fake videos showing non existent glitches on the track for both the Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7 versions.
You might have messed up somewhere along the line, perhaps because the instructions given were vague or poorly written. This is a depressingly common occurrence, and a great example can be seen here:
If Paper Mario attempts to defeat one of the Paper Fuzzies before they attack, just before they attack, the game will crash, making the system reset.
That’s an item on Mario Wiki’s page for Mario & Luigi Paper Jam glitches. Don’t get it? Nor do I, and I’ve tried everything to see if this glitch works. Do you attack them on your own turn? Counterattack them on theirs? Use a specific attack? Kill them? Don’t kill them? It’s very unclear and a complete toss up as to whether you’ve figured out what the original writer meant.
The specific copy of the game used by the glitch finder could be broken. If a disc and cartridge has a factory defect, it can cause bugs. If the battery starts to fail, it can cause bugs. If it gets corrupted while being downloaded, it can cause bugs. And on a computer? God help you there, because the amount of possible operating system, driver and device combinations approaches infinite.
Glitches also aren’t always that easy to test. Like these ones:
A journalist will struggle enormously at trying to get frame specific actions to work correctly. And it’s not much better in cases like online multiplayer games, where the behaviour of other players or the AI has to be taken into consideration for some of them to work.
Lag doesn’t help either. If a game lags massively, then the effect can resemble a ton of glitches or a hacker modifying the game for an easy win. As many, many Mario Kart players complaining about people falling off Rainbow Road (then warping back on afterwards) will make clear.
And then there’s plain old human memory, which isn’t anywhere near as good as we think it is. It’s very easy for people to get fake memories if they’re convinced that something unusual actually happened, or for them to get confused and think something strange occurred when it was merely something more benign.
So that’s one thing it teaches us. That reports of glitches on forums and social media are incredibly hard to verify, and might well be utterly wrong.
The second thing it proves is how little fact checking the media does nowadays. I mean, while it would certainly be hard to prove/disprove this particular bug exists, it could be done to within reasonable doubt if the journalist went around, tried the game for a while, asked other people’s opinion, etc. But modern journalism doesn’t allow for that. It wants quickly written articles put up the second the news breaks out, not deeply researched pieces that come out at a rate of two or three articles a week. So as per usual, fact checking is ignored, comments on Reddit are taken as gospel and the media jumps on a ‘hot’ story about a game that’s already being heavily criticised for other things.
Either way, let this teach you all a couple of important lessons; the media does no fact checking, and glitches are extremely hard to verify one way or another.
With four games and an RPG spinoff, the Five Nights at Freddy’s series has become an incredibly successful series even with its simple concept and gameplay.
But the story has been wrapped up. We know who the murderer was and what became of him. We know what caused the bite of ’87. And hey, with Fazbear’s Frights burning down in the third game, we even see the story of the ghost children reach its conclusion. What room is there for yet another game?
Well, you’d better ask Scott Cawthon, because yet another game has been teased. Titled Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location, the game takes place at what is presumably another location. With its own animatronics, one of whichs seems to be a clown like monster. Here’s the teaser picture from the official site:
So what can I say about this?
Two things actually.
1. If this game does play like the previous games, then please try and limit the ties to the first four. Seriously, the plot there has basically been tied up at this point, and it’d be interesting to see a new story start to unfold.
2. Mr Cawthon should really slow down a bit here. Seriously, the franchise started in 2014. Yet in just two years, we’ve gotten four games and a spinoff, with another one due fairly soon. That’s kind of excessive, especially when the basic concept isn’t changing or evolving very much along the way.
Remember, too many games will kill people’s interest in a series. They’ll get fatigue and tune out. Don’t believe me?
Look up Guitar Hero, DJ Hero and their archenemy, Rock Band.
What happened there?
They died. They put out so many games in so little time they basically killed all interest in the virtual band/musican genre. Harmonix nearly got sold off for just fifty dollars and many of Activision’s ‘Hero’ games got canned as well. The cash cow was milked to the point it ran completely dry.
If Five Nights at Freddy’s wants to become a sustainable franchise with a future, then it needs to accept that releasing games multiple times per year is going to cause people to get tired of them. Pumping out games every couple of months is not sustainable.
Still, I’ll say a bit more positive for now. Maybe this will be a massive overhaul for the series which revolutionises the gameplay and keeps the series feeling fresh. There’s always the possibiliy, right?
But what do you think about Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location?
When it comes to MMOs, some genres are more common than others. MMORPGs are ten a penny, as evidenced by everything from Everquest to Runescape and World of Warcraft. MMOFPS games are less common, but gradually growing in popularity. And over in some parts of the world, massive online strategy games are part of the culture.
But did you know that Guitar Hero was going to get one too? Yes, the rhythmn game series was going to get an MMO game. Named ‘Hero World’, it would let you become a global business mogul by building venues and setting up gigs. Here’s a video by Liam Robertson of Unseen64 about the game and its history:
As you can see, they were certainly going for something original here. You had dance offs where your character would battle others in Paper Mario style. You could give in game cash to other players to have them play at your concerts. Heck, you could were even going to be able to connect it to the console games! You know, cross-play. In an Activision Rhythm game of all things…
Either way, I do wish this game had seen the light of day. I mean, it’s not my thing, but it does seem to have a certain amount of depth to the whole experience. And hey, it was honest too (no necessary microtransactions).
But what do you think? Would you have played Hero World if it’d have been released? And should Activision go back to the idea of a music based MMO game?
As you’re probably now well aware, today was April Fool’s Day. As per internet tradition, that means a lot of jokes from companies you’d never in a million years have expected to have a sense of humour.
But while the BBC hasn’t done anything interesting as their spaghetti harvest prank, and old Google is being criticised left and right over its Minions mic joke drop prank, the gaming world has more than made up for it.
So here is a full list of all the gaming related April Fools Day jokes I could find online. Enjoy!
Let’s start with jokes by video game websites then…
Source Gaming is now ‘Sauce’ Gaming. Yeah, that’s a groan worthy pun if I’ve seen one:
Well, it seems we may have been a bit too hasty posting the last story, since evidence has been found that something isn’t quite right with the whole Anamanaguchi game leak thing.
In simple terms, there’s now a fair bit of evidence suggesting that this meltdown is actually a carefully done viral marketing stunt. In other words, they’re hoping the media takes the bait and posts the story thinking its real, in order to drive more downloads of their upcoming game.
So where’s the evidence for this? Well, look at the whois info for one thing. As someone on the subreddit for Anamanaguchi has pointed out, it sometimes lists band member Peter Berkman as the main contact:
Yeah, that’s pretty suspicious, isn’t it? Presumably NHX/Anamanaguchi think so too, since other whois listings have it changed to a mystery man called Mitchell Thule. Unfortunately, they missed this one for some reason. The mobile number also seems to match the one used for the band’s website.
Other evidence against NHX being an ‘independent’ company is stacking up as well. For example, despite apparently being in the video game industry for a while, there’s very little you can find out about them on Google. Indeed, searching for ‘NHX game developer’ or ‘NHX.us’ or anything else of a similar nature brings up absolutely nothing of interest in the search engine. Kind of odd for a company with any real presence, isn’t it? I mean, you’ve got fan game and ROM hack developers with more visibility than these guys, and those people aren’t even trying to draw attention to themselves.
Their ‘leaked’ song is on that domain too. Which isn’t as suspicious as it could be (an awful lot of big companies tend to run internal networks where they share these types of resources), but’s still kind of odd given their rather public ‘falling out’ with said organisation.
That one references a collaboration with Anamanaguchi, some talk about the topic creator being ‘tired of this crap’ and a whole big list of leaked downloads released in a tone suspiciously like the one in their recent Twitter ‘meltdown’. Are you really telling me that history will repeat itself to a tee twice in just three years?
But yeah, the evidence seems fairly clear now; this isn’t a genuine developer/musician fallout, this is a viral marketing stunt meant to promote a new game. After all, things like the Whois info, the suspiciously empty site and the same pattern happening about three years ago seem too suspicious for it to not be a hoax. Nice try you guys, and good job getting us and Destructoid to write about your fictional meltdown, but I’m pretty sure it’s all just a viral marketing stunt now!