An editorial discussing my opinions about why the game industry needs to stop making so many games based on movies.
Okay. I hate to say it, but I will. I'm a fiend for a creative product. Call me crazy, call me stupid, call me a bad consumer, whatever. If I have to wear these titles - and many others - because I dislike games based on movies, then so be it.
In the tough economic climate facing the US today, game publishers are more and more likely to push developers to use their pre-owned properties; it just so happens that a good chunk of these pre-owned properties are movie licenses. I understand that there are a few games - and I'm using that term loosely, because it's actually a very select few - that are based on movie properties that make total sense; perhaps a few of these movies were begging to be made into a good game. Take, for instance, The Godfather. I love the game to death, and I happen to be a huge fan of the movie trilogy. I happen to think that The Godfather was begging for a good sandbox experience, and the developers did a great job creating just that. It's a great fun game that understood its own concept, executed it well, and managed to stick to the source material without becoming to constrained by it. On the other end of the spectrum, developers today make a lot of games based on movies that just don't seem to stick too well with me. As an example of that, let's use...any game based on a movie made by Pixar. I'm sorry, but did Up really need a video game? The truth is the publisher used that license to leach a moderate amount of success off of the movie. It's not like you watch Up and think You know...this really should be made into a video game.
Blandness breeds blandness, and if the game industry doesn't decide to take chances and push away some of this mediocrity, we're going to have consoles with software lineups bloated with movie tie-ins and shovelware (whoops...sorry Wii...low blow). My advice to the game developers is to take some chances, try to create some new properties, and I'm sure there are enough open-minded games out there who are willing to give it a shot.
Besides...if I'm wrong you can always go back to making Pixar tie-ins.
Games I feel should be in the 3DS
To me, the 3DS lineup is kinda lame, most of the titles are whatever and a few are cool. But to me so far its mostly weird ports and old re-releases, not all of them are bad, but screw nintendogs and games from the 64 that we have had re-released on gamecube AND wii and wii downlaods and DS.
Heres what I think should be included
First is GOTCHA FORCE released in 2003 on the Gamecube. It wasn't a popular game at all and never got a sequal, but it is perfect for the 3DS. Basially these tiny robots called "borgs" land on Earth and some kids find them and they go apeshit with epic battles against evil and so on, dinosaurs fighting flying saucers, battleships firing at ninjas and demons slashing at knights. The story mode is finding out who is behind what evil and fighting your way to the top , while you collect and fuse more borgs together to grow your army. The game has HUNDREDS and hundreds of characters, who can level up and have altered versions that change their stats and movesets, also theirs characters that can Fusion to make a super character, so in a way, thousands of characters. The game is 2v2 fighting and ofcourse never had online. It is a wacky hectic japanese seizured out game that actually was too intense for the camecube and the framerate would hella slow down during intense matches and would be visually orgasmic in 3D. Each team can have as many borgs as your points will allow. So once your Samurai dies, your dragon will come out and so on, basically even though its 2v2 you have to kill like 50 guys until the match is over. On the camecube, you could transfer borg data to play with your friends, and in Japan the had the game setup at stores so you can challenge people. Also while you battle, you build up a meter, if it fills up and your partner didnt run out of borgs, you guys can basically go super saiyan for a few seconds and ass-rape everything. With the 3DS roaming VS play they demonstrated with SSF4, that would go great with this game, and it brings a pokemon style gotta catch em all feeling to it since theirs so much variety and characters, that it would definately get people hooked. (by the way, the main character does the Shining Finger straight from G Gundam and a the HeroBorg leader can do hadoukens and tatsumaki who wouldn't love that?)
Heres an AMAZING video to give you an idea (it really picks up in the second half)
Second Would have to be F-Zero GX for the gamecube, that also came out in 2003. Honestly, who has beat this game? The only down-side is that it was the hardest game I have played in my life and only completed half of it. But just like Gotcha Force, it was a frantic game. It is the fastest racing game I have ever played and some levels dont allow me to blink. You can customize machine parts and a drivers to your own personal need which was cool. The game already had nice grahpics and was eye popping enough, it seems perfect for the 3DS, and once again, it was a great multiplayer game that never got to see online play. Its a racing game with a spin atack, not much I can say about it besides it was insane and didn't get much attention.
Third is Marvel Nemises : Rise of the Imperfects released in 2005 on ps2,gamecube and xbox, with ports to psp and DS. Many of sites gave this game a low review (around the 6's) but it was really good. The only down-side was story mode was a bit linear and many re-used enemies, but the multiplayer is where its at. The game starts with The Thing finding some Aliens and fucking them up, turns out their Leader is making"imperfects" to take over the world or some crap. The Imerfects were similiar to the marvel cast in powers or stregnth, but altered abilities and movesets (the rivalry was great). Like Solara was a female version of Human Torch who used martial arts and Hazmat was a Toxic version of spiderman and Venom. The cast was great and so was the fighting. The game had a sort of top over view. and the levels you fight on were pretty big and everyhting was destroyable The game had a energy bar, which in a way powered up some of your moves or let you run/fly, you also had a Rage Mode to use and Finisher Moves. Magneto would pick up a bus , fly up and throw it down at Daredevil and The Thing would punch a barrel and it would go flying at Wolverines face and explode, prettty sweet. Characters had special abilities, storm, johnny ohn, magneto, Niles and iron man , solara and human torch could fly, but some take up more energy to fly. The Wink and praragon could teleport, spiderman hazmat and venom would crawl on walls,web sling and pick up items from a far. The game has seen its handhelp version on PSP (which switched some characters around) and DS, the 3DS would play an even better role.
Have you guys played these games? What do you think about the videos and would they be good on 3DS? Leave a comment below.
By: iorilamia May 19, 2011 | 7 Comments
Handful of games coming up in the next couple of months and I've been thinking about which will truly be worth my money.
Video games are expensive now a days and the cool swag you get from special editions costs even more. Also basically every game that comes out markets pre-order bonuses, coursing you to spend that $60+ first day even more. I am not a fan of renting because I take my time with games. Also I hate returning them for a lower price than I paid for, sometimes feel like I might as well keep it and try to make the best out of it. So what has always been the biggest importance to me was Replay Value. The ability to play a game more than once and enjoy it, to want to play through it again and the options to experience new things (besides mere achievement hunting ; boring) is what I enjoy. The lack of that in many games has driven me to play only games with multi payer features the last few years.
Here is what I think of the four games I have been keeping my eye out on coming out in the next couple of months, and how my feelings have changed for them overtime leading to how I ultimately think / what I'm waiting to see.
1. inFAMOUS 2 - Jun 7 2011
I only played a little of the first game but I did definitely enjoy it. Luckily the video and previews on this sequel have been very informative. The single player (like the first) has 2 paths to go through, good side fighting bad guys and saving/ protecting the public and bad side, where you destroy the shit out of everything. Alright, that is already 2 play throughs, but what makes the game worth it? The fighting is absolutely epic. The main character Cole of course has many creative electrical super-powers (and even more with pre-orders / special edition). Besides flying around and making cool explosions, he has a melee weapon that involves very brutal combat. Besides playing through the story twice with wicked ass-kickings, what makes the game really shine is the Mission Editor. This time around you can create your own missions, or play other persons missions online! The possibilities are endless from what ive seen, turning the game into a shooter, plat former or basically whatever you can think of.
Now the pre-order bonus isn't necessary, but since i am already sold on the game i might as well. Gold Melee weapon from Amazon, Bad guy skin from BestBuy, Lightning Hook (basically the Bulletstorm Leash, go fuck yourself gimmick game) from Gamestop, which is where I'm getting it and Electric Grenade from Wallmart. The $100 Hero edition adds in a bag, belt and a comic ; lame. Also they all get Uncharted 3 Beta. Long Story short, this game 2-sided play through mixed with epic combat and a flexible mission editor will keep it far from boring.
All of your inFAMOUS2 info in one place http://gouki.com/Catalog/Details/infamous-2
2. Alice: Madness Returns- Jun 14
Alice Madness Returns is another sequel game. The original was a PC mind-fuck action adventure horror game that not many people played. What brings a lot of hype to this sequel is the amazing story behind it and the feel/ style. This single player game is filled with bloody combat as Alice fights twisted figures in her once again Demented Wonderland. The downside is that it looks extremely repetitive. I was very excited following this game until they simply just wasn't showing enough, but then it seemed like the game didn't have much at all. The slicing, dicing and shooting with ridiculous amounts of blood spurting around is cool, but how long does that last? Ok, there are some plat forming elements, that look really pretty and Wonderland-ish, involving invisible things and fairy-tale esque powers Alice has.
A great sale point is when you buy the game, you also get the original as DLC! But that still doesn't convince me to drop $60+. Also the pre-order bonus is weak-sauce. Cd's are cool, but it isn't even real, it's a digital download Cd. Upside is that the music is pretty sweet in this game. In the end, cool visuals and a creepy-sick story is awesome, but that just makes it a rental :P The gameplay has some eerie effects but is basic for the most part. I still keep my eye on this game but at the moment, it has been taken off of my "Buy" list. I wish they would show us a reason to play it more than once besides enjoying the story and increased difficulty.
Get in on the madness here http://gouki.com/Catalog/Details/alice-madness-returns
3. SSF4 AE- Jun 28
Well this is a given. I'm a big fan of SSF4. Playing AE at the mall has given me the incentive to buy the AE dlc (I was going to regardless ;p) This newer version of SF4 personally is awesome for two amazing reasons. My characters got buffed overall (the nerfs were minor) and the top tier charge characters that dominated got nerfed pretty hard (except Bison). There isn't much to say here. Unless you don't own SSF4 and you are wondering "what cool stuff do I get for pre-ordering?" you get a lame Oni Bobble Head Doll thing, might even just be a plush. SF4 series has done a great job being one of the most simple / technical fighting games with great fundamentals that lead into many advanced techniques. The AE versions brings 4 new characters and all the old characters have been changed in some way, either buffs, nerfs or both, a definite must buy for fighting game fans.
SSF4 Arcade Edition News and Details http://gouki.com/Catalog/Details/super-street-fighter-iv-arcade-edition
4. Catherine -July 26
Catherine is a adult mystery plat forming rpg. Interesting genre mix isn't it? I've been following this game since the Japan release and have been extremely back and fourth whether to buy it. The story obviously is the main feature. You play as Vincent, a dude who has bros and a girlfriend, then he wakes up with another chick, starts having crazy dreams and people start dying in the real world with relationship problems. the action part of the game is the dream world where Vincent frantically climbs blocks, it isn't as boring as you think. The game is rather difficult and makes you use your head. He gets points and power ups a long the way as well. What makes the game playable multiple times is that there are several endings. The game is supposed to take around 20 hours to complete the first time around and the higher difficulties are absolutely insane (in the original JP version they had to send out a patch because the game was too hard on the first setting, this will be the default in our version). Besides trying to escape gnarly monsters eating you in the dream world, you also interact in the real world. How you answer texts or not answering them at all, talk to your friends and comunciate with others around you shapes the story to one of its many endings to keep you interested there is a little multiplayer as well. Basically a head to head tower climbing mode to see who reaches the top first or survives the longest.
The Pre-order bonus to Catherine is more than enough. You get a saucey Artbook (meh) and a real Cd. The music to this game is simply amazing and worth it. For $20 more you get the "Love is Over Edition" which consists of a Pizza box from in-game, Vincent's Boxers, a pillow case with Catherine on it and a Empty Hearts shirt (which is what I really want). In the end, with a long and intriguing single player with several possibilities and some fun multiplayer stuff to toy around with, I will be picking up Catherine.
Everything you need to know about Catherine here http://gouki.com/catalog/details/catherine
Any of these games on your radars jimmies, which ones seem worth buying to you? Maybe some of the pre-order bonuses got you sold or Bonus $pecial editions. Leave a comment on what you think.
By: BatRastered Aug 15, 2013 | 2 Comments
Borderlands 2 improved on the original in many areas: story, graphics, depth of skill trees to name a few. But overall it doesn't have that super fun looting hook that the original had. Here's 10 things we hate about the sequel.
Borderlands 2 improved on the original in many areas: story, graphics, depth of skill trees to name a few. But overall it doesn't have that super fun looting hook that the original had. Here's 10 things we hate about the sequel.
10. Follow Randy Pitchford on Twitter if you want gold keys, no way to earn them in-game.
There's a big gold treasure chest in Sanctuary (the main city) that can only be opened with a golden key. It's guaranteed to have purple rarity items in it every time you open it. Quest reward? Nah... just follow Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford's twitter and you'll have more keys than you know what to do with. There's no other way to get them. Kinda lame.
9. DLC that doesn't give you any rewards for your maxed out characters.
In the original Borderlands, the DLC would give you bonus backpack space, additional skill points, and a giant bank. BL2's DLC doesn't give you any of this. Once you hit the max level and have used all your eridum upgrades for ammo/backpack space, there's nothing for your character to get in the DLC save for some unique weapons. Most of those suck too (see point 3).
8. Umpteen currencies
Borderlands 1 had money... the economy was way off though as you'd often be displayed at $9999999 and not be able to see how much money you actually had. Many guns showed this price too. Instead of just fixing this in the sequel Gearbox added Eridium as a secondary currency to buy ammo and backpack upgrades. Then, in the DLC, they introduced Seraph Crystals and Torgue Tokens. This plus the golden keys, gave us 5 numbers to track that only worked in certain areas.
7. Anemic backpack space
Before DLC, the original BL maxed out at 42 backpack slots. BL2 maxed out at 27. Wait, what? The bank introduced in Borderlands' second DLC (Moxxi) also stored up to 42 items while the BL2 bank (included in the main game) only stored 16, it has since been upped to 20, while the backpack has gone to 33. Meanwhile, in the original, you could get up to a 60 item backpack if you got all the DLC and lucked out in some of the second quests.
6. Ammo collection mini-game
Do you like opening ammo crates and picking up ammo? Well if you do, you'll love BL2. Due to many guns firing more than one bullet per trigger pull, lowered ammo capacities, and the lack of guns/mods that regen ammo, you'll be scrounging for ammo constantly. God help you if you use a rocket launcher. In a game about guns, I don't know why Gearbox felt it necessary to make the ammo feel so limited.
Borderlands 2 introduced Slag, a debuff element that makes enemies take more damage when you switch to another element type. It's pretty useless in normal mode, but kinda useful in the second playthrough. In the later released 3rd playthrough (UVHM) slag is absolutely necessary. You can't win without it as you'll just burn through all your ammo trying to kill anything that's not slagged. This reduces the types of play styles that you can use and obviously requires you dedicate some of your gear to slag. Bye bye diversity... everyone's the same now.
4. Rabid stalkers
Have you fought these? Ugh... the move faster than you, can down you in two hits, can turn invisible and strike out of nowhere, have a ton of health and don't get distracted by anything. Most annoying ememy in both games and DLC. Runner up is the Rabid skags. They seem completely unbalanced and fighting multiple badasses is easier than dealing with one of these baddies.
3. Terrible guns
For a game about having bazillion-er guns there certainly don't seem to be that many. In fact, it feels like there's less than the first game. If you only count guns that are actually useful, then the number drops even further, eliminating whole manufacturerers of guns. With one or two exceptions (dat kerblaster!) the orange guns in BL2 don't seem as fun to me as the original either. I miss my Maliwan shotties!
2. Orange weapons useless 2 levels later (gets worse the higher the level)
I feel more powerful at level 69 in the original Borderlands while carrying a level 53 gun, than I do at (current max) level 61 in BL2 carrying a level 60 orange weapon. Every level you go higher, the difference one level makes gets bigger too. You need at level gear at all times, and to get some good ones you'll use a golden key that you can only get out of game on twitter.
1. No rewards (drops are awful, chests are worse, vendors LOL)
In Borderlands, a bandit would be shooting you with an epic weapon and upon his death he would drop that weapon. That doesn't happen in BL2, they just drop shit. The chests are full of shit, and the vendors are just laughably filled with white shit. You can play for hours and hours and never see an orange weapon. You probably won't even get an at-level purple unless you have a golden key either. It just feels like you don't get rewarded for playing this game the way you did in the first Borderlands. The only thing that drops anything good are the legendary loot midgets that randomly pop out of ammo crates in the third playthrough (UVHM) and they most often will drop a relic.
An opinion on who are in the top 5 and why.
Marvel Vs Capcom 3 has been out for a good enough time to see who are the extremely powerful and well-rounded characters. I've been thinking, if there was a tier list, who would be in the top 5? I came up with a list, but it is in no particular order. I feel that these 5 characters are all pretty close to each other in some way, being able to tear each other apart X-Factor or not. I'll be going over the strengths that lead me to believe they are the best and the few weaknesses. Keep in mind it is an opinion and I'd love to hear what you have to think about it.
- Best Teleport in the game. Basically instant, can use in 3 directions on ground and air.
- Amazing fireball game. Can be used as offensive, mix-ups with teleport and extremely annoying keep-away with her H fireball in flight mode.
- Her Trap is powerful and annoying. It moves fast, can have more than one out and it can set up for combos and mix-ups with the teleport.
- Great physical combos including her own in air re-launch combo and a overhead you can combo in and out of!
- Has flight mode
- Amazing Supers. Phoenix Rage has great priority, travels full screen at a fast speed and causes wall bounce for DHC combos or Trap combos. Healing Sphere helps desperately with regaining the load of damage she takes from chip. (Red Life)
- Dark Phoenix (Dying with 5 meters) increases her speed and offense. Regular Phoenix is already an extremely tough character to deal with. Dark form makes all of her normals and fireballs hyper-active and extremely hard to dodge. More chip damage as well.
- Dark Phoenix mode also effects her assist, making her Tk Shot one of the best projectile assists.
- Lowest health in the game. Healing Sphere is nice but that only works when opponent is inside. Many Phoenix players die to chip damage when opponent has enough meter. Also people are so focused on Dark Phoenix, that they don't use their meter, handicapping them from finishing combos.
- One of the best rush down characters and with the right assist, it is inevitable for him to get in and open you up
- Beserker Barage, Drill claw , dive kick and Beserker slash are extremely strong, fast and great priority moves. Being able to drill claw in multi directions, cross up with Beserker slash and dive kick into combos makes wolverine extremely versatile in his offense, leaving him with few bad positions during the tides of battle.
- His hyper Fatal Claw can be done in air or ground. Wolverines BnB re-launch combo into this super EASILY does over 40% on most characters. Also his Beserker Barage X and lvl 3 Weapon X are very easy to hit-confirm into.
- Wolverine has fast normals and a very fast dash.
- Already being a in-your-face type, it is ridiculous that he has a speed-up super; Beserker Charge. It only lasts 5 seconds but helps extend combos and make him more figity and faster than before (In movement and attacks)
- Has a OTG slide, with the right assist this extends his already simple yet damaging combos even more.
- Has a wall-jump when cornered
- Wolverine has good health and some of the best offense and supers in the game. The only disadvantage he has is no projectiles. But Wolverine has so many angles and quick ways to get in, that it doesn't matter. In the end it is up to the player, but for the most part Wolverine is unstoppable.
- Has one of the best damage outputs during X-factor (And very strong without it)
- Can teleport in directions on ground and air. While in air can teleport 3 times before hitting ground.
- Has single-shot gun that does great damage and has good hit stun.
- Can create amazing mix-ups with gunshots followed by teleports and assists
- Can combo after Counter super
- OTG gunshot creates huge team combos whether he is on point or assist
- Has 3 different command grabs, 1 leads into air combo, the other OTG combo
- Great keep away game and really good normals ; can fight either way
- Has 3 counter moves that can be comboed after
- Rhino Charge into low gunshot combo is ridiculously damaging for DHC glitch
- Extremely well rounded character who has almost everything
- Similar to Wolverine, it i hard to say. He can utilize 4 different counters and 3 command grabs vs rush-down types, and can play keep away and do mix ups on projectile spammers. Where Wesker leaves himself open is the air teleports. Air Teleport L and M have slow recovery and are punishable (if your opponent can reach you)
- Aim Master is an amazing projectile. He can shoot forward, diagonal or upwards while on the ground. And in the air can shoot down (OTG leading into super), forward and diagonal. These arrows are multi-hit and very fast, also leading into hit confirm super. This makes Taskmasters keep away extremely annoying.
- Has good reach with his sword and un-bloackable combos that don't need an assist!!!
- Charging star is fast and can go through some projectiles
- Web Swing is simply insane. Taskmasters solo combos are extremely dragged out with this, and can still end in Super.
- Has a counter super and counter move (not combo-able)
- Task is another very well rounded character. Great offense, great keep away and has counters to boot.
- Arrow super is awesome for DHC due to its changed directions
- None really. The web swing is very throw-able, but people don't usually try because if you screw up, you get hit with a easy 50%+ combo. Taskmaster is one of the most solid characters.
5. TRON or ZERO?
I could have easily made a top 6, but top 5 sounds cooler, and makes me think even harder. But in the end I couldn't come to a decsision to pick Zero or Tron. Here is a look at the two, I will let the Gouki members decide. Or maybe you rather have both of them and take someone else out?
- One of the highest HP
- Ridiculous combo-ability. High damage and awesome meter building for a tank character
- Jumping S is extremely annoying and effective. Does great damage, has active frames the ENTIRE time and causes ground bounce.
- Bone Strike is a great get-in move , can be used in air and combos very well
- Has a command grab
- lvl 3 is a command grab
- Both lvl 1 supers are great for DHC and combos well into them by herself
- A long with her already godlike combos, can be extended with the right assist to nearly kill everyone in the game
- Gustaff Fire is one of the best assist in the game. Crazy invinciblity and comes out very fast.
- Her projectile is poor and her only real means of getting in are jumping S and Bone Strike. Once you get around those her mobility to decent, but she has a bigger hit box than most, so she gets bullied a bit. Smart keep away can keep her at bay.
- Zero has some of the best normals in the game. A long with great reach and priority, the Shipugga makes it so much better. Great vs super-armor characters as well.
- Charged Buster is amazing. Zero can instantly let it go at any moment, when it is lvl 3 and he is airborne, it leads into a combo.
- Has a decent SRK
- Hadangeki is a great projectile as well
- Sentsuizan is an amazing air strike that is combo-able and lightning fast. He also has a fake version, confusing opponents.
- Raikousen is another fast air combo-able move.
- His teleport makes things very tricky. It is fast and has great recovery. with the right assist you can make effective cross-ups, and in the air he can attack afterwards.
- The clone super makes his already beastly offense even more fearsome, allowing him to do extremely damaging combos. Can also 100% kill everyone(?) when used in DHC glitch with the right combos.
- One of the few lvl 3's in the game that isnt a full cinamatic, giving it better combo-ability.
- Amazing back dash and very long forward dash. Mixed in with his teleports and high prioritized multi-hit normals, his footsies are great.
- Has a OTG super.
- Like most of the people on this list. None. The only downside to playing Zero is his low HP (not as bad as Phoenix though :p)
And that is my top "5". Please add your insight to who you think should be or not be on the list, how would you alter it? I till can't decide on Tron or Zero, both of them are so beast. Or maybe you don't agree on some of the stuff ; this is opinionated. Leave a comment below and if you didn't know, my PSN is iorilamia ;D
A brand new editorial from yours truly: should we be tired of sequels?
I have a confession to make, if you don't mind: I'm tired of sequels. I've played a handful of them from this generation; even when the overall quality of the game is shining (Uncharted 2, for instance), I hate the sense of deja vu that I experience. And it doesn't help that it seems like half the games that come out anymore end with a number.
I mentioned Uncharted 2, so let's start there. Is it an improvement over the original? Most certainly; I think that's a fair assessment. And while I did notice those improvements when I was playing, it hardly seemed to matter much in the end. By the end of the first one, I was pretty tired of Nathan "Cocksucking" Drake's adventures (yes, I hate Nathan Drake as a character!). I wasn't very far into Uncharted 2 before I could barely take it anymore. If I hadn't spent $40 on the game and felt obligated to continue, I would have quit then and there.
Now let's look at Mass Effect 2. Again, there were great improvements made over the first Mass Effect - although admittedly, the first Mass Effect was much superior to the first Uncharted. The problem was that I felt like I could have popped in the first Mass Effect and gotten such a similar experience that it was hardly exciting. In fact, at one point I did start playing the first one, and I barely skipped a beat. And for the record, Shepherd wasn't much more interesting than Nathan Drake, so as far as I'm concerned they can both go take a flying leap together.
I think I'm starting to see the problem here: video game characters aren't typically interesting enough to span out multiple stories and remain interesting. Maybe that's why I beat Fable 2 with a smile and groaned my way through Uncharted 2, even though Fable 2 was a vastly inferior game.
And what about the gameplay? Do the gameplay "evolutions" amount to all that much? Did Bioware's changes make Mass Effect 2 feel like much more than the first one? I didn't think so. Mass Effect 1 was fresh; Mass Effect 2 was polished but basically more of the same. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm a bit concerned that we're willing to wait two years and pay full price again for refinements that really should have been there in the first place. Oh yeah, and you're also getting a sloppy-seconds story too. I guess there's that much.
So what would I have you do? Would I have you give the industry the finger until they decide to stop rehashing? No, not at all. What I would like is for gamers to demand higher-quality the first time around; I would like the gaming community to care about quality instead of what the hype machine is putting out.
Maybe if we do that, crappy refinement sequels will be weeded out, and we can be left with the sequels that really matter - and all that extra downtime would let developers give us new experiences. Talk about your win-win.
My opinion on RPGs on handheld systems.
So I've been playing Star Ocean: First Departure on the PSP. It's a good game - you can find my first impressions on here somewhere - but as I was playing it, I started thinking about RPGs on handhelds. Are RPGs really fit to be on handheld systems? I remember back when I was playing Pokemon on the Gameboy Color, It was great fun, and a huge part of the reason it was fun was because you could save anywhere, at any time, and pick the game up any time later and continue. Anyone who's an RPG gamer can probably relate to this frustration: Well, I stopped playing X for a couple of weeks, and now I have to start all over; I can't remember what was happening. It can be the most frustrating thing in the world, and the frustration increases tenfold on a system that you may only pick up twice a month.
RPGs are story-driven, and they require a high level of commitment in order to beat them. From my experience with people who play handhelds, they can't or won't give that sort of commitment to a handheld system. They want their DS or PSP for short spurts of fun while they're waiting for something else. If I look back to Pokemon, I remember being able to play that for a mere five minutes and turning it off; good times indeed. Then I look at First Departure, and I see a problem. I was in a dungeon, and I spent forty minutes in this one dungeon. The dungeon had exactly two save points throughout, and ironically both were placed near the tail end of the dungeon. Had I gotten halfway through the dungeon and then that something happened and I had to turn the PSP off, I would have been screwed. And if I was going to go a couple weeks before I turned my PSP back on, I'd be even more screwed.
This isn't a problem that plauges First Departure exclusively, either. I went a whopping two weeks without playing Crisis Core, and I suddenly realized it was time to start over. Needless to say, in my frustration I decided to play something else instead. I really, really wanted to play Crisis Core, but the idea of starting over was revolting at best.
I hope game designers can take a lesson from all of this. RPGs can be great on handheld systems so long as they're designed from the ground up as a handheld experience. Designers need to consider things such as distance between save points and lengths of time spend absent from the game. Once these two things are considered, maybe we'll end going full circle and getting a great handheld RPG that plays like Pokemon.
By: iorilamia May 24, 2011 | 11 Comments
Some of the top fighting games have gone into a trend of having crazy comeback mechanics. This goes beyond your regular super move. Ultras, Red-Mode,Critical Counter and the controversial X-Factor have been relatively new. Are they good to have?
Fighting games takes lots of skill, dexterity and focus. Always generating lots of hype, fighting games are one of the most competitive genre of gaming. But what creates even more excitement are comebacks. Being almost dead and doing a epic combo or seemingly reading what your opponent will do and block/ counterattack to victory displays lots of skill or possibly luck. Comeback mechanics have been in fighting games forever but in the recent years with SF4, MvC3, Tekken 6 and KOF12 we have been exposed to some very interesting comeback factors that do require skill (some more than others) and have changed the outcome on many tournaments and casual play unexpectedly. Some of these mechanics seem reasonable, but a few may need to be altered a little. Here is what I think of them:Read full story...
By: BatRastered Oct 25, 2011 | 2 Comments
After teasing us with Catwoman gameplay trailers and demos at E3, did Rocksteady and WB deliver on the hype?
Given that this is a rant, you can probably guess my answer to that question is "no". First of all you only get 4 Catwoman missions that take place during the campaign. You aren't allowed to switch out dynamically like they showed us at the E3 demo until after the main story is complete and you're in "free roam" mode to finish up any remaining side-quests. That was a huge disappointment to me.
Catwoman gameplay trailer
I'm not even going to complain about the fact that you don't even get the Catwoman missions on the disc, they are instead a DLC code included in the retail package to make some money off of used game sales. That has been covered by numerous other Jimmies already. That and the game works just fine without it.
Actually that's one of my biggest problems with the Catwoman pack, its optional nature makes it feel really tacked-on when you're thrown into a Catwoman mission. Batman is in a precarious position and the game just switches over to Catwoman for a little while doing something completely unrelated (like fighting through Poison Ivy's hideout). There is one interesting point, at the end of the third Catwoman mission, where you're given the option to go out one door to help Batman or the other to leave him on his own. You should check out what happens if you leave the Bat on his own if you have the cat-pack, but it's not worth buying because of it.
Another issue, is you are given the option to upgrade Catwoman's abilities in addition to Batman's. I shouldn't have to tell you what a waste of XP that is given there are only 4 missions. Pro Tip: Upgrade Batman first, only spend upgrades on Catwoman after Batman is maxed. The first two Catwoman missions take place very early in the game (the first, in fact, before you even see Batman) and the last two take place very late in the game (the last after the main story is complete) so there is a very long time in the middle where you will not hear from Catwoman. Save those upgrades!
The Riddler's puzzles for Catwoman are also a bit of a joke. Most of the trophies are simply acquired by using her "cling to the mesh ceiling" ability to collect a trophy that is in plain sight, but seemingly out of reach. Half of those you'd have to walk over anyway to progress through the room. Then there are the ones behind locked doors, these are simply picked up after Batman has unlocked the door earlier in the story. Huge sad face.
I'm playing through the "new game plus" mode right now, and I can't say I'm looking forward to any of the Catwoman scenes, which is disappointing to say the least. You can also use her in the challenge rooms, but they are the exact same rooms as Batman, do you really care to beat-em-up with the Cat instead of the Bat? I don't.
I still love this game, and give it a Buy rating, in fact it is probably my GOTY so far... but don't be afraid to buy it used or borrow from a friend, you won't be missing anything important in the Catwoman DLC. That, at least, you can flush.
With apologies to Richard Llewellyn... How dark was my television that day, too, black in the bright sun.
Jimmy, WTF is with all these dark games lately? I don't mean dark as in gritty storyline, but literaly, as in "I can't see shit", dark.
I first encoutered this development this year while playing through Mass Effect. Now, Mass Effect is not truly a dark game, but there are some very low contrast parts. Specifically I'm refereing to the surface maps when landing on a planet. The map screen consists of a dark blue field with some slightly lighter (but by no means light) blue segments to indicate elevation. I couldn't see the map at all unless I closed all the blinds and even then it was a bit of a struggle.
More recently, Batman Arkham Asylum was released for the PS3 and 360. I loved this game, but you really had to play more than half of it with the "detective mode" on which turned the screen bluish and highlighted the bad guys skeletons in red. There were many parts of this game that were hard to see without it.
Just this week, Halo 3: ODST came out for the XBox 360. This game too has a mode (they call it VISR) that allows enhanced vision. Half the game, again, requires it because it's night and I guess there's no lights on in the city or something. VISR mode highlights all the edges of objects in red (for enemies), green (for allies), or yellow (for objects like building walls). There was a part early on where you have to search through a dark building for a clue, and I swear I was just walking into wall for 5 minutes because I couldn't see shit.
Do the developers of these games play them in the dark exclusively? Can we get them some sunshine? Serioulsy, bump the contrast a little... or throw in a flashlight for my character. Do something so I can see. Wandering around in the dark is not fun for me. Some of us like to play during the day or with a light on so other people in the room can see what they're doing.
End of rant.
DLC's that where ...bleh
I've been hooked on buying DLC for a couple of years now. But not everything is perfect. The only DLC from several games that have let me down was the second one from Red Dead Redemption. The second DLC; Legends and Killers. I bought it as soon as it was released! This DLC brought us Tomahawks, new characters and new pvp maps. But this DLC has simple reasons as to why it was a dissapointment, but it being $10 was alright.
- They are basically a heavier and further traveling throwing knife. The appealing part is that they where big and rugged looking. Seeing a huge tomahawk sticking out of someones face and back is pretty win. A long with jimmy-ass achievments for this weapon and realizing its a updated/harder to use version of a throwing knife with less amo really looses how special it is after a bit.
- We got 10 new characters. They where 10 of the main characters/ favorites from Red Dead Revolver. This was awesome for nostalgia, but people who never played the original game loved not only the looks of them, but the awesome one liners they spout out. Buffalo Soldier yellin at fools to man up and stop being pussies while Red Harlow backs him is for the win. Characters where the only part of the DLC i don't regret.
- Not all of these are "new". Some of the maps where ones we already had in multiplayer but it would be a level that did not have TDM before, or it only had TDM, now in the DLC it has grab the bag. Besides that the DLC brings many of awesome stages that where fun to pvp in. The downside, the major downside is the lack of specifics you get when you want to play a game. You can only select legends and killers FFA or Team games. You have no idea what your going to get. Hey I really want to play these new maps in a team death match, OH, the last 6 games I got where all free for all capture the bag followed by free for all deathmatch. This became very agrivating and got many of people to just go back to their original maps while waiting for the next epic dlc's. Heres a vid from IGN promoting it.
Too bad you can't rent DLC, this rant turned into a type of review. FLUSH IT! aka...dont buy it. (the other DLC are very worth it though)
DLC that seemed like a complete waste that wasn't even considered was KOF12's background music. It was the sexy jazzy music from kof 98 but for $5 for a song or two? How about I just play it on youtube while i play?
I want to know what DLC really let you guys down or just pissed you off. Or any that where just not appealing at all/pointless? Leave a comment below about your experiences. (Maybe it will give us some insight before we purchase some)
By: BatRastered Jul 2, 2012 | 2 Comments
Sony Computer Entertainment today announced that it entered into a definitive agreement on June 30, 2012 (Japan Time) to acquire Gaikai Inc., the world's leading interactive cloud-based gaming company, what will this mean for the PS4?
I'm not sold on network powered gaming yet. Having the processing power in the cloud means you don't have to buy hardware, and it means the operating company can upgrade the hardware at any time without bothering you, but the input and display lag has to kill certain genres of games. Would you play an FPS or a fighting game with noticeable lag, for instance? For a single-player cinematic experience, this system would be tough to beat (like Uncharted's campaign) though I think even some action games would need to be tweaked to be a bit more forgiving of timing based actions.
Sure, the internet is getting faster all the time, but that's just download and upload speed... bandwidth. The real issue is latency, which is how long it takes your signal to go from your computer (or device) to the servers and for information (in this case a screen image) to come back again. This is limited by how far away you are from the servers and the speed of light. There's not much Gaikai can do about the later, so they solve this problem by co-locating servers closer to population areas... having East coast and West coast datacenters is common as is having European and Asian area datacenters. That said, I wouldn't expect there to be datacenters all over the U.S.A. If you live in the middle of nowhere, you're probably out of luck as far as latency goes. Your only option is to move to New York or San Francisco (or somewhere closer to them).
Anyway, what does all this have to do with the PS4? Well, for starters, you may already have the hardware in your house now:
"By combining Gaikai's resources including its technological strength and engineering talent with SCE's extensive game platform knowledge and experience, SCE will provide users with unparalleled cloud entertainment experiences," said Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "SCE will deliver a world-class cloud-streaming service that allows users to instantly enjoy a broad array of content ranging from immersive core games with rich graphics to casual content anytime, anywhere on a variety of internet-connected devices." - Source: Sony Press Release
Hey, you know what's an "internet-connected device"? The PS3! What else? Most Sony TV's sold today. Sony could easily put a Gaikai app on the PS3 dashboard... they probably will do this whether or not they release an actual hardware PS4. Not having to release new system hardware would save the company a ton of money. More than enough to cover the $380 million (USD) they spent on Gaikai. It's hard to say why Sonly would have purchased Gaikai if they didn't plan to integrate it into the Playstation brand, though I guess stranger things have happened.
What do you think? Is cloud gaming in your future or will they have to pry physical hardware from your cold, dead hands?
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