I was originally going to put this at the end of another post I was working on, but as I was writing it, I thought it probably deserved to be it's own post. I'm going to assume that you have at least some knowledge of the CoD scene on YouTube. If not, you can safely skip this post. The post I was originally working on, expect to see within a few days or so.

Hutch revealed that he is quitting. And I mean quitting quitting. He's quit his job at Machinima, he's moving back home from LA, he's not going to be posting videos at all and he's unlikely to be active very much at all on the Internet, whether it be on Twitter or elsewhere. He, for whatever reason, has decided it's time to bow out. I'm talking about this because, I, once upon a time, made Call of Duty YouTube videos. I stopped a few months ago, however, for a number of reasons. Mainly because I wasn't enjoying it any more, and I don't like the direction that the "community" has been heading in for a while now.

But Hutch was one of the good guys. He was the reason I originally started to make videos, and he was the reason a lot of people started to make videos. And, for better or worse, he's the reason the CoD scene on YouTube is as big as it is today. He wasn't the first to make CoD gameplay commentaries, but he was the one that popularised it. Hutch's quitting could (hopefully) be one of the nails in the coffin for the CoD scene on YouTube.

That's one of the reasons why I quit: I hate what the "community" has become. Back when I first started watching CoD videos on YouTube, the community was an actual community. There weren't a whole of people doing it, and the guys that were were faily close-nit; everyone knew everyone else, at least in some respect. Now, the community houses well over a million people. One million plus people is not a community. There are people who have Machinima contracts that have thousands of subscribers, that you will have never heard of, even though they're doing the exact same thing you are. That's how big it's gotten. And with the rise of Machinima and the insane growth of the scene, the focus turned from making videos because you loved making videos to money.

Take some of the bigger channels, WoodysGamertag is a good example. Compare his videos from two years ago to his videos now. Whenever I go to the front page of YouTube and see all the new videos from the people I'm subbed to, all you see is uncreative videos, with titles and thumbnails designed to grab your attention and get as many views as possible, simply so that person can make some money. Now, I have no problem with people making money off their videos, if said videos are actually well made and required effort to make, Stuart being the prime example. It just annoys me when I see people with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, putting up ugly videos that are creatively and intellectually bankrupt, yet getting thousands of views and making enough money to earn a living.

Actual content aside, the fact that some of the big names don't know, or are simply too lazy to make even the most basic steps to make their videos look good. To name a few names, Wings of Redemption, Blame Truth and xJawz are a few that are guilty of putting up videos that are just plain ugly. No colour correction, so everything is just bland and washed out; resampling not disabled, leading to their videos having awful ghosting due to the raw video and rendered output having different frame rates; and low bit-rates, making their videos, combined with the previous things, looking like a compressed ugly mess. Three different things, which take a combined 15 seconds to fix, and yet it makes your video look infinitely nicer. And that's without the boring, uninspired commentary, with them begging you to like and favourite their video. Looking at you, Blame Truth.

And that's why I quit YouTube. I wasn't big, I wasn't popular. I barely had 300 subscribers to my name. But it was something that, once upon a time, I used to really enjoy doing. And it's something Hutch used to enjoy as well, and while the reason he decided to quit is just all speculation, it's clear to see that he didn't have the same spark he had three years ago. The fact he decided to bow out at a high point is something that a few other people should probably think about doing.

Oh wait, no, because they haven't worked a day in their lives and will be fish out of water when the YouTube money dries up.


Not sure you know this or not, but Mass Effect 3 came out last week. You might have heard about it, it's a pretty big game. It's also pretty good. Like really good.


The game released here in the UK on Friday, but I managed to get a copy on Thursday due to my superior choice in online retailers. First class postage sent out a few days in advance is awesome. So I got Mass Effect 3, and I ploughed through it pretty quickly and it's certainly a very enjoyable game. So I'm going to talk a bit about it.

As a heads-up, spoilers are going to be everywhere, major, major spoilers. If you haven't played and/or finished ME3, and don't want some of the finer details (including, but not limited to the actual ending) spoiled, you might want to stop reading right about now. If you're reading this on my blog's homepage, the rest of this entry will be placed after a jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

As the title suggests, these kinds of posts aren't gonna be full-blown reviews, but just talking a little more casually about games I've been playing lately. I think the purpose of these will be mostly for games I want to talk a little bit more in-depth about, without doing an actual review (because, you know, that takes work).

But yes, I've played a little bit of Nexuiz. That is, the new, Illfonic developed XBLA games using CryEngine 3, and not the original free open-source PC game by Alientrap. I have no idea how to properly pronounce that. Some friends and I have been pronouncing it "Nexus", though the original game pronounces it "Nex-ee-us" on it's main menu screen. Either way, it's a silly name. Currently, it's only out on XBLA, but PSN and Steam releases are planned for the future. Hopefully the near future in the case of Steam, because this is a game that I feel will play much, much better on PC.

However, even on Xbox with a controller, this game is surprisingly fun. It's very fun, in fact. To someone who is unfamiliar with the game, it's an arena shoooter, a-lá Quake or Unreal Tournament and is similarly fast-paced, though the very nature of the system it's on slows the gameplay down a little, but is still significantly faster than your average console shooter. Perhaps this is why the game surprised me so much. The thought of playing a Quake-esque game with a console controller is almost absurd. I think Quake 3 is actually available on the XBL marketplace, but god knows what that plays like.

Nexuiz just feels... right with a controller. I'm not saying better than with a mouse and keyboard. This game will obviously play much better with that control setup, but the fact Illfonic have made a fast-paced arena shooter that works well on a console is commendable. In fact, it makes me even more excited for the eventual PC release because, if it plays this well with a controller, it must be phenomenal on PC, right?

The gameplay is pretty typical of these types of shooters. You run around in a small enclosed map shooting dudes with the crazy sci-fun guns also typical of these types of shooters. The main twist is the inclusion of "mutators", effects that can drastically alter the way the game is played for either yourself, your team, or everyone. There are some of the fairly typical ones you would expect: double damage, infinite ammo, etc, but there are also some pretty crazy ones, like inverting everyone's aim, making a random person explode, turning everyone into sombrero-wearing piñatas... some of them are pretty hilarious. And it's the inclusion of things like these that gives the game it's character and shows that the game doesn't take itself too seriously. Which is a good thing.

So, I think I'm gonna try and play more of it, in amongst all the other games I have going on right now (which can be a whole other blog post in and of itself). It's a ton of fun, and a lot of the people I play with think so as well, which is a rare occurrence. There's a demo on the Xbox Live Marketplace if you want to try it out. It limits some features... like playing with friends... but like the Gotham City Impostors demo, is enough to get a jist of how the game plays.