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May 29, 2015

Half-Life 2: Episode Two (Review of Game)


Two plus two equals four. Half-Life 4 confirmed!

Wait.

Release Date: October 2007

Developer/Publisher: Valve Corporation

Platforms: Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, OS X, Linux

Genre: First-Person Shooter

May 27, 2015

Half-Life 2: Episode Two (Content Guide)




Intro: As promised (against my better judgement, as we tend change our review schedule a la Valve with game releases), here's my Content Guide for Episode Two.

Noticeably more brutal than it's predecessor, this game requires careful reading for fans of the series. Without further goodbye...sorry, adieu, here's our Content Guide for Half-Life 2: Episode Two.

Reviewed By: KVR (Head Writer)

Verdict: Caution Advised (For Brutal Scenes of Violence)

Strongest Content: Violence

Recommended Age: 16+


May 25, 2015

KVR Gaming Update 86: Dumela!

Hello everyone! I'm quickly posting this update before I'm off to learn some more Northern Sotho from a friend of mine. (In case you're wondering, yes, the title is a word in Sotho. It means "hello" when addressing one person.)

Firstly, don't forget to tune on Wednesday for the Half-Life 2: Episode Two Content Guide, and Friday for the Review. I've also decided that I'm going to *try* and be more secretive about which games I'm reviewing.

This avoids a severe problem I had in the past (and still have to this day), where I give my word and never fulfil it. It's a bad habit I really want to drop, so this is a big step in the right direction.

This does not mean, however, that I can't give hints about what I *want* to do: After Half-Life 2's Episodic reviews are complete, I want to do another do another review of a controversial game. I may need to do another review before the controversial one, as it is a rather long game.

I've been neglecting the indie game scene, so I want to make a review of a short, sweet and special indie game as well. I have one in my mind, but I make no promises.

Alright, I'm off for my Sotho lessons. I'll speak to you guys soon. Šalang gabotse!

May 24, 2015

KVR Gaming Feature: The Effects of Cyberbullying

Hello again, everyone. Last time, we had a very superficial overview of cyberbullying, one which only scratched the surface of this rather horrific subject.

I want to go over a few effects of cyberbullying. As I was heavily upset upon reading the stories of teenagers killing themselves after being harassed online, this article will not feature those stories, and instead focus on the general effects of cyberbullying.

Here are a few points to recognise if you or your child have been bullied, online or offline:

1. Low-Self Esteem: Being degraded has this effect on the human mind. Teenagers are already lacking in self-confidence as it is, so being bullied (especially online) leads to even more issues with self-esteem.

2. Disruption of Sleeping Patterns: In my own limited experience with cyberbullying and personal attacks, it's rather hard to fall asleep when hurtful remarks are still drifting around in your subconscious. If you/your child have frequent problems with insomnia, this is to be noted.

3. Increased Irritability/Anger: This comes from personal experience. Being degraded and "torn down" leads to aggressive episodes, as well as making you far more easily agitated when in certain situations.

4. Loss of Interest in Normal Activities: This most likely results from the next point. Victims are far less likely to engage in social events and find themselves withdrawing from society more often than usual. They also stop finding enjoyment in what they previously loved to do.

5. Onset of Anxiety/Depression: Probably the worst effect of cyberbullying is the resulting depression. Depression is widely misunderstood as it is, so this makes it incredibly hard for victims to speak up and eventually deal with their issues.

6. Countless More: There are so many issues related to cyberbullying that it's kind of hard to narrow everything down. One only needs to know that this is severe to grasp the dangers of this practice.

That's it for this week. I know this was a rather short post, but I hope it was informative enough to show you the effects of cyberbullying. 

Tune in next week where I give some solutions to this epidemic. It's not something one can ever hope to eradicate, yet we are able to significantly reduce it.

Until next week. Stay safe, and happy gaming!

May 22, 2015

Half-Life 2: Episode One (Review of Game)


Golly, it sure was a long time since I posted an actual review, right folks? :D

Basic Plot: After the catastrophic events of Half-Life 2, Episode One picks up immediately where the main game left off, taking the player through the ruins of the Eastern European dystopia, City 17.

The player returns as the silent Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist turned resistance leader after a scientific experiment gone wrong. Along with his youthful companion, Alyx Vance, Gordon sets off on a journey to escape City 17 after a reactor meltdown threatens to destroy what's left of the city, and, quite alarmingly, the remains of the resistance.

Release Date: June 2006

Developer/Publisher: Valve Software

Platforms: Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, OS X, Linux (!!!)

Genre: First-Person Shooter

May 20, 2015

Half-Life 2: Episode One (Content Guide)


Intro: Hi everyone! After some deliberation, and a whole lot of soul-searching, I made huge list of important games to review. Since the Half-Life series is so famous, I've decided to start with the two episodes Valve produced and infamously abandoned after promising Episode Three.

Without further adieu, here's my CG of my Half-Life 2: Episode One. Happy gaming!

Reviewed By: KVR (Head Writer)

Verdict: Teenage Gamers* (For Gory Violence and Moderate Language

*Word of Caution. Read Conclusion.


May 18, 2015

KVR Gaming Update 85: 1/2 Life 1/4

Buenos días! For this week, we're shaking things up a bit. We're going back a few years and focusing on older games.
 
For the next two weeks, we'll take a look at Half Life 2: Episode One and Two. Yes, a return to one of the most famous (and infamous) series' in gaming. Aren't you guys excited? I'm excited. I'm always excited.

As for those promised articles, I'll have another one up this Sunday. No more delays! Cyberbullying is a very important topic, and I intend to keep raising awareness to its effects.

I hope you'll have a great week further. Don't forget to tune in for the following reviews. I'm sure you'll enjoy them and find them very useful.

Have a great day, and happy gaming!

May 15, 2015

Mortal Kombat X (Thoughts & Impressions)


An excuse for senseless gore or...um, more? Let's find out in this short analysis...

Release Date: April 2015

Developer: NetherRealm Studios

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Platforms: Windows, iOS, Android, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4

Genre: Fighting

May 13, 2015

Mortal Kombat Content Guide



Test your might!

Or just how much super-gory-ultra-disgustingly-nausea-inducingly-sickening content you can stomach. One of the two.

Reviewed By: KVR (Head Writer)

Verdict: Mature Gamers Only (For Extremely Graphic Violence)

Recommended Age: 18+

Strongest Content: Violence


May 11, 2015

KVR Gaming Update 84: Mortal Conflict

Hello everyone. This will not be an "article" week. Truth be told, I've been delaying the next post in my "Dangers of Cyberbullying" series due to the fact that I've gotten rather upset reading the statistics of teen suicide and stories behind them.

It's not exactly something I enjoy reading, since I could also have been there at a certain point during my life, but wisely chose not to pursue online gaming further after some bad experiences at the age of 10-12. Yes, even when I was that young, I realised that it was better not to be part of the online community, being as fragile as I was.

Anyway, I'll have to start work on the article eventually, right after I've posted my newest Content Guide. Mortal Kombat X is super violent, yet there's not a lot else which could cause concern.

I'm still trying to figure out the violence in MKX is worth the Not Recommended rating, based on the sheer brutality of it all. If you're going to be playing the game to the fullest, there's going to be a huge amount of gore and ultra-gruesome finishing moves.

My verdict will be made known on Wednesday. Until then, I hope you guys have a great week ahead. God bless, and see you guys next time!

May 04, 2015

KVR Gaming Feature: Cyberbullying and The Problem with Anonymity

Hello everyone! Before I begin this article, I just want to note that my Game of Thrones Content Guide will be updated this Wednesday, along with the Thoughts & Impressions on Friday.

I originally wanted to post a Mortal Kombat CG (Content Guide), but decided against it as there's still too much content left and I don't want to post a half-baked attempt for you guys.

Anyhooey, here's the first KVR Gaming Feature in quite some time. Let's get right to it!

***

For about a year, give or take a few months, I've had a desire, call it an urge, to branch out into online activism. I wasn't sure what I was branching out towards, but it seemed like a necessity.

After a rough and emotionally scarring year, I focused on simply picking up the pieces without putting much thought into what I'll be doing with my future. Come late January, and things changed.

The urge shifted from "rebuilding" to "building". My film career wasn't going to start itself. My exams were not going to ace themselves. Nor was my site going to build its own community. From then, until now, I've been focusing on working towards this goals, slowly but surely.

During this time, I also took the opportunity to get back into gaming. After making a commitment to finish the games I started, I've been really enjoying games for the first time since my teenage years. (Well, my early teenage years.)

Everything was just "peachy" and "rosy" and all kinds of "fruity", except for one, nagging, little thing: Throughout my years in the gaming community, I've noticed a particular type of "nastiness" which didn't quite exist in real life. 

It was as if there was a certain kind of evil which loomed over the gaming community, causing otherwise upstanding citizens to become complete monsters when faced with conquering foes in a simple Multiplayer game.

If you're reading this, and fit into my age range (16-25), you've more than likely had your own nasty experience with the unique and vicious bullying only known to the internet. The anonymity of the web allows for vile, malicious and downright hateful comments to spread like wildfire, all without the consequences and social alienation of real life.

Online gaming is rampant with reviling comments and trash talk which not even the most ruthless of sociopaths would say to their victims. Sexism and misogyny pulse through the veins of multiplayer lobbies, with female gamers constantly harassed as a result of making their gender known. Homophobia is also an extreme problem on the internet.

Multiplayer clans and online friends often gang up on other clans or persons, exacting a "mob revenge" type of vigilante justice on griefers, hackers or noobs. (Griefer is a person who intentionally ruins the game for others. Noobs are "newbies", people who often play the game poorly due to a lack of experience.)

Bullying doesn't need to be clarified. We've all been "put down" or attacked by our friends, family, or even complete strangers. But in my relatively little research on cyberbullying, it shows that technology can make the hurtful act of bullying even more prevalent in children's lives.

Cyberbullying is just as bad as normal bullying. Some research even suggests that it's worse than "real" bullying, due to the relative lack of consequence and minimisation of empathy, causing ruthlessness and harassment like none other.

The most upsetting of all, is that, just like real life bullying, cyberbullying is linked to a spate of teen suicides, who had their lives cut short by the  severe depression caused by the hurtful comments of online users, and even close friends, all through the use of technology.

As you can see, cyberbullying poses a very real threat to young and old alike, and it needs to be stopped as soon as possible. The only question is: How?

Well, the answer is the saddest of all: It can't be. There are many ways one can attempt to fight this epidemic, but none of them will ever stop cyberbullying as a whole. Human nature is too vile and corrupt for such a thing to happen. We'll never be able to entirely stop it.

However, there is hope. We CAN try to significantly reduce it. There are many ways to stop your children/friends/family from being attacked online. Mobile applications like Whatsapp and BBM allow users to block bullies from harassing them.

Facebook has a strict anti-hate speech policy, and as a result, will help fight any cases of cyberbullying. YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, also has ways to report offending users and help make the large community a much friendlier place.

Recently, Killing Floor 2 developer added a controversial new addendum to their EULA, which stated that any users who bully or harass others will immediately have their game keys revoked. This may seem a bit harsh, as users can get easily banned for saying something they didn't mean as an insult. 

I just want to make it clear: KVR Gaming aims to make a friendly, thriving community filled with people able to ask hard questions and get honest, respectful and informative answers. Heated discussions are allowed and even encouraged, as long as they don't descend into personal attacks and insults.

Additionally, KVR Gaming will, from this point onwards, make it our goal to give gamers and parents useful, clear and concise information on how to stop cyberbullying in online gaming, and even outside of online gaming.

After all, we are about promoting safety in all kinds of electronic media, including sites like YouTube, Facebook, and related. It may take time before we're able to provide any substantial information on the aforementioned, but rest assured: We will make it our goal.

Thank you very much for reading this article. Have a great week ahead, and many happy returns. Kyle out!