Friday, December 19, 2014

TvR Tag Tournament, Round 1 - Are Season Passes Worth the Price?
Welcome to the first edition of TvR Tag Tournament! Tiger and Rabbit welcome a special guest as they challenge The Partner to pick a side. With season passes becoming the norm in the video game industry, this team of fluffy friends tries to answer the question, are season passes worth the price?


Rabbit: Mic oh test… mic oh test… one, two, three-

Tiger: What are you doing?

Rabbit: I’m making sure everything sounds good, this is the first time we’ve had a guest come on and I want to make sure things go well. Plus, this is the first time we’ve done this with Skype since we usually just sit in the same room and start talking.

Tiger: *sighs* Another Microsoft product.

Rabbit: Hey, it was either that or… is AOL even still around?

Tiger: Oh great, *throws up hands* way to date us, Rabbit.

Rabbit: Sorry, I’m just rambling, I’m nervous. This is so exciting, I can’t wait. What do you think he’ll be like? I mean I know we know him and all, but oh my gosh-

Tiger: *pulls Rabbit’s ears* Oooookay… enough of that. Calm down. Geez. He’s not even online yet and you’re freaking out. We’ve known The Partner for a long time now; he’s a cool bird so this will be fun.

Rabbit: But you know… ^in a whisper^ he’s so mysterious. I mean we had to contact him via a dead drop and no phone calls. He’s always so careful so he won’t be traced or have his identity revealed.

Tiger: Yeah, he does have this kind of mafia-ish vibe to him. Maybe you should ask him?

Rabbit: ^eyes go wide^ He’d probably strangle me with my ears if I did.

Tiger: *laughs* I don’t think he’d go that far… probably.

Rabbit: Probably?!

Eagle: Am I coming in okay?

Rabbit: Oh, there he is!

Tiger: Let’s get this show on the road and introduce our guest. Coming all the way from who knows where, please give a warm welcome to Eagle, The Partner!

Rabbit: ^cheers^

Tiger: *claps*

Eagle: Season's greetings to you two.

Rabbit: Oh my gosh, don't you just love the holidays? It's so festive and cozy, I love it.

Eagle: You seem more… peppy than usual, Rabbit.

Rabbit: It's all the hot coco!

Tiger: That's spiked with a mountain of marshmallows.

Rabbit: I like marshmallows.

Eagle: Seems they make you the opposite of mallow.

Tiger: They turn her into a crazy-eyed sugar monster, that's what they do.

Rabbit: Hey! ^crosses arms^ Anyway, you should be peppy for the holidays!

Tiger: I wish people weren't so festive and I wish they'd stop ringing those damned bells all the time.

Eagle: They can be festive all they want, so long as it's not at my front door.

Tiger: Yes, I find carolers very creepy and stalker-ish, and mostly tone-deaf.

Rabbit: You two aren't being very festive at all. Where's your holiday cheer?

Tiger: I'm saving mine for a real holiday like "sleep in until noon" day.

Eagle: <looks side to side> I'd tell you, but… you know…

Rabbit: ^gasps^

Tiger: He's joking Rabbit, at least I think he is…

Eagle: <small laugh> Don't worry. We've been acquainted long enough. You're safe, <pauses> for now…

Rabbit: ^sniffles^

Tiger: *pats Rabbit on head* Our fine feathered friend wouldn't be that cruel.

Eagle: Not during the holidays.

Rabbit: Yes, everyone has holiday spirit even our mysterious guest! Except for Tiger, ^whispers to Eagle^ she's been grumpy lately.

Tiger: I heard that.

Rabbit: Well it's true.

Tiger: It's because I've had to pay a ton of extra money for all these games that have been coming out!

Rabbit: Why?

Tiger: These stupid season passes, that’s why! Freaking season passes.

Eagle: The joys of gaming advancements.

Tiger: Yeah, we didn't have this problem in the days of the PlayStation 2.

Rabbit: Is it really a problem? As I understand it, season passes are just DLC bundles that have discounted prices compared to buying each piece of DLC separately?

Eagle: That's true. But more games are getting them and they are being announced before the games even come out.

Tiger: The price has started to go up too. Most passes were around $19.99 but I've seen a few $29.99 passes come out lately. And what about the content, is that content really worth it?

Rabbit: Well I remember buying the season passes for the Telltale games, which bundled all the episodes at a discounted price. That wasn't too bad but I could see it becoming an issue for games that have their passes announced before the game's released. Makes you wonder if they couldn't have just included it in the main game instead of selling it piece by piece.

Tiger: Sono toori!

Eagle: Those are a little different. Those season passes are the complete game when it comes to Telltale Games' games.

Rabbit: Very true but the games don't force you to buy the season passes, all that content is in addition to the main game. So if you really like the game, you can get more content or skip it if the main game wasn't that great.
Tiger: Look at Far Cry 4; it’s requiring the season pass for a specific multiplayer mode. I hate when they do that. If they have this mode then why don't they just put it in the game for everyone to play? By keeping this one mode behind a paywall, that mode won't ever get played.

Eagle: Sorry Rabbit, but I've got to agree with Tiger on this one.

Tiger: If they don't hold back different modes, they tend to sell a season pass and leave out a bunch of DLC content like The Last of Us. I bought that season pass assuming I'd get all of their multiplayer item offerings only to find that I still had to pay upwards of $8.99 per DLC bundle because the items weren't included in the season pass.

Eagle: Look at Borderlands 2, they had a season pass and still had several other DLC additions not included in it.

Tiger: Yes, it's frustrating when they leave content out because you feel like you've purchased a season pass for nothing. Like the Killzone: Shadow Fall pass, I'm still not sure what I got in the pass and what they just gave out free to everyone.

Rabbit: There are some cool things publishers have done with season passes like the Assassin's Creed: Unity one where they offered that 2D side-scrolling game with the Asian chick in it.

Tiger: That was cool but I'd rather have that left out of the pass and pay $19.99 instead of $29.99 and getting a game I won't ever play.

Eagle: I've never fancied Assassin's Creed myself. That download game however caught my eye.

Rabbit: I thought it was interesting to include that in the season pass. There are a few games I actually wish had the season pass just due to the discounts I would have got from buying them bundled versus separately. Like Ridge Racer.

Tiger: Rock Band.

Rabbit: Don't even start in on Rock Band; you wasted so much money on DLC for that game.

Tiger: *shrugs* It was fun at the time.

Eagle: <laughs> Glad I never got caught in that sinkhole.

Tiger: If you want to talk sinkholes, ask Rabbit what she's spent on Skylanders.

Rabbit: Hey! That's off topic.

Eagle: I've some idea. <whispers to Tiger> I even smuggled some over to her.

Tiger: Such an enabler you are, Eagle.

Rabbit: Now if Skylanders had a season pass, I would totally get that but for the most part I don't buy the passes. I think the last season pass I picked up was for Darksiders II and I never did get around to playing that game.

Tiger: I have purchased quite a few from the really terrible like the Killzone one to ones that offered a lot of value, like the one for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Overall though, I feel that they are just trying to make more money where they can. I mean most of this content should be in the game already, especially when they announce the passes before launch date. Adding another $30 to a $60 game purchase is just an insane amount of money to ask for when a lot of that extra content aren't even expansions. Look at Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor's leaderboard challenge mode for example, which totally should have been built into the game.

Eagle: The only season pass I can remember buying was the Killzone season pass.

Tiger: That is a terrible season pass. So many skins and spotlight moves aren't even included in that!
Rabbit: Okay, so I think it's time for us to get down to business and answer the question, are season passes worth the price? Why don't you go first, Tiger?

Tiger: Okay, I'll fire away on this one. I definitely say that they aren't worth the price, not anymore at least. With the rising prices of the passes and the decreasing amount of content, especially quality content, that they aren't worth getting anymore. Heck, like I said before, most of this content should be included in the game already. A season pass no longer feels like a discounted bundle but a rip off of "hey, we made all this stuff for the game that you just bought, but we're going to charge you another $30 for it!" What say you, Rabbit?

Rabbit: I think season passes are worth it if you're a good gamer, do your research, and not just buy them blindly like someone I know. ^points at Tiger^ They are not something that has to be purchased and most of the time, you know that the content isn't going to be anything meaningful or affect the main game. The only exception was the DLC for The Last of Us and that wasn't limited to the season pass so anyone could have easily picked it up outside of the pass. I think if you really love a game and want all the content you can get, the amount you save with the season pass is worth it. If you weren’t fond of the game, no harm done because you don’t have to spend the extra money to get content that’s not meaningful to the game. Plus, so many of the passes nowadays announce what’s inside so you know what you’re buying into. Don’t like what you see, you can save your money and buy something else instead, like a pet dinosaur! Okay Eagle, you have the last word on the matter.

Eagle: Most of the times I find the value offered by season passes to be lacking. You know, the old man in me has been against DLC from the start. Mostly for the reason Tiger said previously, these season passes feel like they are taking content from the games for extra money. However, The Evil Within is a game with a season pass offering that might just be calling me name. With that, the content is completely separate from the main game, letting you play as different characters for a spell.

Rabbit: Hopefully that season pass will sell well and encourage other developers and publishers to put quality content into their passes over fluff.

Tiger: Thanks everyone for reading our first entry of TvR Tag Tournament and a special thanks to Eagle for taking the time out of his busy schedule to join us.

Eagle: Never too busy for you two, some of my favorite furry friends.

Rabbit: Aww! You’re our favorite feathered friend!

Tiger: That's it for us; see you all in two weeks-

Rabbit: Hold it right there! ^throws up hands^ You're forgetting something.

Tiger: And what's that?

Rabbit: This!

Are Season Passes Worth the Price?

Tiger      vs      Eagle      vs      Rabbit

Random Happy Time, 8 O'Clock! - Smuggling New Year's Resolutions!
Rabbit introduces Eagle to the ways of Random Happy Time while discussing the gang’s resolutions for 2015. Tiger also discusses smuggling with Eagle in this edition of Random Happy Time!


Tiger: ( ̄へ ̄) Oh geez. *rubs forhead*

Rabbit: My favorite part of the blog! (๑>ᴗ<๑)

Tiger: Do we all have to stick around for this? I mean, Eagle hasn't done one of these yet, so I could leave it up to you two to finish this-

Rabbit: Nope! You both have to participate, it's in the contract!

Eagle: There was a contract? 【・ヘ・?】

Rabbit: Yup, bundled together with your unmarked bills and copies of various import video games.

Tiger: I don't think you were supposed to mention that…

Eagle: Seems you got one past me. Not many who can do that… <glares>

Rabbit: ^snickers^ Anyway, I want to talk about our New Year's resolutions since it's almost 2015! What's your resolution for next year, Eagle?

Eagle: I'd like to try to finish at least two more games next year than I did this year, even with my hectic schedule.

Rabbit: That's a great resolution! ヽ(;^o^ヽ) Mine is to eat more toast, try to beat at least six, no let's say give games, and buy myself a cute stuffed llama! What's yours, Tiger?

Tiger: Well, nothing remotely close to either of you. Actually, I don't believe in doing resolutions. If you want to change something, why wait until a new year to do it? Just suck it up and change right then and there.

Rabbit: Again, you aren't being festive. See mon! You gotta join in the fun.

Tiger: Well, maybe not so much a resolution but... *looks at Eagle* why have you smuggled things for Rabbit but not for me? I totally think you should smuggle something for me next year and I already know what. It's not like it's that illegal, I just can't really get it up here in this state per say…

Eagle: (・⊝・∞) You’ve never asked before.

Tiger: Well, I'm asking now. I'm cashing in my chips, I'm serious. February, I will have items for you to procure for me.

Rabbit: This is suddenly going from random happy to random scary. Stop it you too, it's terrible!

Eagle: Don't worry, Rabbit. You will not be harmed by this. At least… I don't think you will. Then again, it would depend on Tiger's demands. (`Θ´)

Tiger: *laughs maniacally*

Rabbit: ^whimpers^ 〈(゜。゜) Okay everybunny, I think that's enough of this! Thanks all you Qgers, Qbbits, and now Qgles out there for reading and we all wish you merry holidays and a happy New Year!

Eagle: Thanks for having me. It was interesting.

Tiger: Freedom!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Q Attack, Round 5 - Should There be More Holiday Themed Video Games?
The holidays are upon us and TvR is joining in the festivities with this holiday themed Q Attack. Tiger and Rabbit talk holiday themed video games and recall their fond holiday gaming moments.


Rabbit: I love the holidays, don’t you?

Tiger: No, because they’re just marketing ploys to get you to spend money on garbage you don’t need.

Rabbit: But they’re fun and festive. Gift giving is great too! I always try to get zany gifts so people know right away it’s from me.

Tiger: Like that one year you gave someone ten boxes of paperclips.

Rabbit: You’re one to talk. You gave a friend a gasmask and a stuffed horse that had a noose around its neck.

Tiger: Don’t forget I cut off one leg and removed an eye too.

Rabbit: ^shocked face^ Moving on. We celebrated Thanksgiving with turkey and Godzilla. Then after Thanksgiving starts the marathon of Christmas movies!

Tiger: You watch those things, I don’t.

Rabbit: On Christmas Eve we make sugar cookies with lots of sprinkles.

Tiger: I always put a ton of those cinnamon dot thingies on the cookies to make it hard for Santa to eat them.

Rabbit: That’s why you’re on the naughty list. ^shakes head^ I’m always so excited when we wake up on Christmas afternoon to open presents! We get to eat turkey again too.

Tiger: That’s not a typo people. She really does sleep in on Christmas, even when she was little.

Rabbit: It’s too cold to get up early. Anyway, we celebrate New Year’s with a Japanese meal. Yakitori! Yakisoba! Miso soup!

Tiger: Our readers are going to think we only celebrate holidays with food.

Rabbit: We play a lot of games too. I still remember getting Spyro the Dragon for Christmas and playing that non-stop during the holiday break.

Tiger: Ridge Racer and Tekken games have become a holiday tradition too, when we have family visiting.

Rabbit: Remember that one Thanksgiving we put the PS3 camera up and had that weird tech demo-ish non-game game playing.

Tiger: Oh, the one where you could kind of paint different things and make strange designs. What was that called... *thinks to self* Oh! Mesmerize.

Rabbit: That’s it! It wasn’t really a game but it was a fun little interactive piece that used the Eye. We always turned that on in the living room for family to mess with during the holidays. I think of Ratchet & Clank as a holiday series even though there’s not a single holiday mentioned in that game. I used to try and beat every game in the series during Christmas break; it was like my very own Lombax speed run.

Tiger: Assassin’s Creed has the habit of feeling like a holiday game just because it always gets released in November. Is it strange that I get a “Christmas Eve” vibe from Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward?

Rabbit: Yes, that game has nothing to do with Christmas.

Tiger: I know, I just can’t help feeling like that could happen on Christmas Eve.

Rabbit: ^raises eyebrow^

Tiger: There are actually a few holiday themed games we play too. Or at least games that are set around the holidays. A big tradition is playing Costume Quest during October.

Rabbit: I love Costume Quest! It’s such an awesome game and the Halloween theme is so fun. I’m glad they made a sequel.

Tiger: I think that is Double Fine’s first sequel too. Their games are always catchy but I have to admit, Costume Quest is my favorite out of all of them.

Rabbit: I love the unicorn costume.

Tiger: Of course you do. They even had that Christmasy DLC as well, Grubbins on Ice. I know Saint’s Row IV and Borderlands 2 also had some Christmas themed DLC.

Rabbit: I remember in Bully, part of the game was set during the holidays.

Tiger: Yakuza.

Rabbit: What?

Tiger: The Yakuza series is always set around Christmas time. That to me is the most holiday-centric game I have ever played. I usually try to play those near Christmas. The lights from the Red Light District are so festive.

Rabbit: Saint’s Row? Borderlands? Yakuza? I don’t think those are what I would consider “festive” games. Santa needs to permanently ban you from the Nice List.

Tiger: Do you remember all the time we spent in PlayStation Home over the holidays to get the various holiday themed pets and what not?

Rabbit: ^eyes go wide^ OMG! I totally forgot about that. We used to do that every year. That and go for the E3 festivities. Home was pretty fun, especially when you played with friends. I bought so many apartments and furniture sets in there. I think that was my favorite thing to do. I like having those opportunities. So many of our friends we only know online so we can’t celebrate holidays together.

Tiger: You just want one of those Christmas parties ala Lucky Star or Persona 4: The Animation.

Rabbit: Or go to a theme park for Christmas like on Cardcaptor Sakura. Ah, Yukito. I just think the holidays are a time to spend with friends and family so it’d be neat to have a multiplayer game we could do that with. Maybe Destiny will have Christmas themed aliens we can kill.
Tiger: So I take it you want more holiday themed games?

Rabbit: Yes, I do enjoy them! I wish we had more of them! I love having a game like Costume Quest that I can play every year to help me celebrate Halloween. There’s nothing like eating turkey and then playing a video game to help you celebrate! I’d love for there to be more holiday themed games out there. It’d be fun to get everyone online and celebrate virtually together. What about you?

Tiger: I’ll pass. As much as I love Costume Quest, it’s bad enough that the holidays invade every other part of our lives; I don’t want to see video games do the same thing. There’s holiday junk in all the stores, you hear the Christmas music from dawn until dusk in December, and even TV shows get into the festivities. No, thank you. Costume Quest was an anomaly for me. It’s a solid game that just happens to have a holiday theme, that’s how I see it. Nope, you can keep all the jolly holiday spirit to yourself. I’m going to stick to my humbug ways.

Rabbit: I hope Santa gives you coal for Christmas. Anyway, that’s it from us! I hope all you Qgers and Qbbits have a great holiday season! Even if you’re a bah-humbug like Tiger, I hope you get to play a ton of games!

Should There be More Holiday Themed Video Games?

Tiger     vs     Rabbit

Random Happy Time, 7 O'Clock! - Holiday Traditions!
Rabbit gets sentimental in this edition of Random Happy Time! as she and Tiger discuss a few holiday traditions. From past traditions to current favorites, Rabbit walks down memory lane, dragging Tiger in tow.


Rabbit: Howdy Qgers and Qbbits! We’re here today to talk about holiday traditions!

Tiger: Didn’t we already discuss some of these already.

Rabbit: I want to chat more about them. Like why we always watch Godzilla on Thanksgiving!

Tiger: (-‸ლ) It’s the terrible Mathew Broderick one too.

Rabbit: We also watch the original one sometimes. Anyway, it always seemed to rain on Thanksgiving where we used to live.

Tiger: There’s a lot of rain in Godzilla too.

Rabbit: Exacto! ヽ(´ー`)ノ That’s why it became a Thanksgiving tradition to watch that movie after dinner. There are a few traditions we don’t do anymore. Do you know which one I miss the most?

Tiger: Which one is that?

Rabbit: We used to open a few presents on Christmas Eve. It wasn’t so much getting to open the presents that I miss, but the reason why we did that.

Tiger: Ah yeah, I remember. We used to open our grandparents gifts on Christmas Eve. Oftentimes they even came over for dinner and everything. Both sets of grandparents have been deceased for a while now so…

Rabbit: We could always tell what we were getting from Nana. She usually gave us one surprise gift but one present was always her handmade slippers.

Tiger: I have so many pairs of those things.

Rabbit: You never wore them. I wore mine all the time that I needed a new pair by the time the next Christmas rolled around.

Tiger: That’s exactly why I didn’t wear mine; I knew one day there wouldn’t be a next pair. So I just save them.

Rabbit: Now I’m all sad. ^sniffles^

Tiger: We do have a new Christmas tradition; do you know what it is?

Rabbit: What?

Tiger: Snow!

Rabbit: Yay! Wait… I don’t like snow. (⁎˃ᆺ˂)

Tiger: Neither do I, it’s just wrong. I do remember the first time we saw snow, we were still pretty little.

Rabbit: I thought the world was ending. I thought snow was what happened when the clouds died and that we’d all die from lack of water. (x_x;)

Tiger: That’s actually kind of coming true down there now.

Rabbit: It’s true that we seem to get snow every Christmas up here. Man, I miss the days when Christmas meant a nice sunny day.

Tiger: Okay, so what did you ask Santa for this year?

Rabbit: I asked for a giant stuffed toast! ヽ(=^・ω・^=)丿 What about you?

Tiger: I asked for a new controller, the camo Dualshock 4! (^~^)

Rabbit: Well I hope we get what we asked for. If you asked Santa for more TvR, you’re going to get your wish! Until next time!