[GDPR] Something To Look For In Tech Privacy Policies

GDPR

All these data privacy policy emails you’re probably getting because Europe’s new GDPR rules are coming into effect have basically become a meme at this point. Most people probably aren’t actually reading them, maybe a few have renewed their vigilance over where their data is going. I did an article for Unwinnable last week specifically focusing on Oculus’s privacy changes, and investigating it revealed to me what you should really be thinking about when wondering which social networks or whatever are gonna collect and sell your information.

A really basic question to ask is this: Where does the company make its money? Continue reading

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My Own Guide To the Yakuza Series, I Guess (Since People Keep Asking) [UPDATED]

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Update (May 22, 2018).

So SEGA just announced its also going to release Yakuza 3Yakuza 4, and Yakuza 5 on PS4 over the next couple years. These ports probably won’t come out in English for a long time, and they aren’t going to be exactly like Yakuza 0 and Kiwami. They’re going to be straight ports of the games as they were on PS3, just with a higher resolution and framerate. This means they won’t have the gameplay features 0 introduced like the multiple-fighting-style system or passing random pedestrians in distress. Playing them after the newer games will feel like a serious downgrade in terms of gameplay features.

I think there are generally two paths to go here depending on whether you care more about the gameplay of the Yakuza series or the story arc of the whole saga.

If you care more about the gameplay — the combat system and minigames, just play everything in order of release for whatever hardware you own. If that’s only a PlayStation 4, then start with Yakuza 0 and Kiwami, then just go straight to Yakuza 6, then play Kiwami 2. After that, the PS4 remasters of 3, 4, and 5 might actually be optional. If you want the full emotional impact of the saga and its characters and don’t care about gameplay downgrades, then just play the games in chronological order of when they take place. That means waiting for Kiwami 2, then the upcoming remasters.

Original Post.

There are plenty of guides to SEGA’s Yakuza series that have popped up in the year since Yakuza 0 became the game to finally get the franchise some recognition in western territories after 10 years of longtime fans begging for localizations that then sold very little. The official English website for the franchise has a whole timeline and character spreadsheet. Even still, people keep asking where they should start. When I bought Yakuza 6 the cashier asked me where they should start after I told them I’d played all the previous games. I guess it couldn’t hurt for me to put down my own opinion on where to start based on what systems you own and whether you miss out by skipping any games. Continue reading

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Virtual Console, And The Two Ways Platform Holders Are Maintaining Classic Games

 

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Virtual Console, one of my main hopes for the Nintendo Switch, isn’t coming to the system. Oh classic games are being and will continue to be released for the system, but that wasn’t the point. Virtual Cosnole represented the prospect of something Nintendo seems to have left behind today. Today there seem to be two main ways in which companies are bringing back classic games. Continue reading

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Why Some Games Really Do Deserve Remakes

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I finally started catching up with the Yakuza series a few months ago. I’d played the games since the English version of the original came out in 2006 but fell off at some point after Yakuza 4. After recently finishing 5 and Zero I’ve just started Kiwami — the remake of the original. To me, it feels oddly like a PS2 game, for better or worse. Continue reading

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Taking Stock Of My Reliance On Algorithms (Or Lack Thereof)

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The recent controversies surrounding social networks and what they do to people’s perceptions of reality has gotten me to take a bit of a deeper look at the ones I use and, particularly, the extent to which I rely on algorithms in each one. To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve let algorithms run my life that much at all. The battle over how to curate social media really comes down to one question though: do you trust users or the network to avoid getting users caught up in bubbles? Continue reading

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Arma 3 “Tanks”: More Toys In The Sandbox

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Arma 3’s final expansion, “Tanks,” came out last week and I was able to check it out for a bit. I don’t think anyone else outside hardcore military simulation fans are talking about it so I thought I’d go into it a bit here. Despite my 450+ hours on the game, I definitely wouldn’t say I’m “in deep” with the MilSim crowd.

I remember seeing videos of some other hardcore tank simulator, but I have no idea how Arma 3’s “Tanks” compares to a single-purpose simulator like that. I imagine it’s not as in-depth since it’s a combined-arms game with a far broader spread of gameplay from on-foot to vehicles to aircraft. That being said, what’s in “Tanks” is still somewhat bewildering to someone like me. Continue reading

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Are We Ready To Talk About PS5?

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Some rumblings about a “PlayStation 5” have been going around lately. I either haven’t laid out what I think might happen with the next Sony console or just haven’t done so in at least a couple years. As the current console generation drags on almost two years after the release of upgraded consoles and going on five years since the initial launch of this generation, how much longer do we have to go? Continue reading

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Why A Cult Grew Around Far Cry 2

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It seems like every time a new Far Cry game comes up, somebody has to bring up Far Cry 2. I’m pretty sure I’ve done it more than once on this blog. Before Far Cry 5 came out, USGamer ran an analysis piece about what set Far Cry 2 apart for better or worse. More recently, a video comparing certain minor details between Far Cry 2 and Far Cry 5 has garnered a bit of discussion, and it slightly touches on what I don’t really like about all the Far Cry games that came after Far Cry 2.

To try to run through the main jist concisely, a lot of people didn’t like the 2008 game Far Cry 2 because its world was full of malaria and enemies who attacked players way too often. A lot of other people (like me) liked Far Cry 2 a lot because it tried to bring players into a very systemic and immersive world with lots of factors they were free to deal with however they wanted. The later games in the series stripped out many of Far Cry 2’s elements and in the experience of many became more fun for it. They certainly became more commercially successful. I think the reason some people keep bringing up Far Cry 2 is because it hasn’t gotten a definitive successor. It’s sort of a need that’s been left unfulfilled for a decade. Continue reading

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What’s Next For Splinter Cell?

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A new retail listing suggested we might be getting a new Splinter Cell game this year. Splinter Cell has in some ways been the biggest question mark in Ubisoft’s lineup. It’s the one major franchise Ubisoft hasn’t really talked about in regards to the current console generation. The publisher has gone through some huge changes since the last entry in 2013, and that’s gotta have an affect on what the next Splinter Cell game might be like. Continue reading

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Facebook and My Social Media Drugs

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The #DeleteFacebook trend seems like it might be some kind of turning point in people’s dissatisfaction with social media. After controversies like Cambridge Analytica and Facebook’s influence in Myanmar, It’s almost like many people are finally making a statement that social media has had a net negative affect on their lives. Getting rid of Facebook isn’t an option for me personally, but it’s also the one social network to which I’m the least attached.

Facebook to me right now is really just a tool for a couple very specific purposes: I check in on a particular Facebook group daily (so I have to stay logged in), and I have friends for whom Facebook is my only contact. I don’t really scroll the news feed or keep my timeline updated. I don’t even think I ever cracked 100 friends. That being said, this whole controversy did get me to look back at the permissions of my Facebook apps. Continue reading

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