Podcast Episode 8 delayed 1 day due to weather and co-hosts.

18 06 2010

Hey everybody bad news, I have no co-host tonight for family/personal reasons so I am going to postpone the show tell tomorrow night when we will be joined by EttenCo, also there are huge electrical storms coming and I am not sure I would have enough time to get everything recorded.  We’ll be covering all the hottest E3 topics including Kinect, PSN Plus, 3DS, and a slew of new and interesting games tomorrow night so you can either listen to it this weekend while having some fun or save it to brighten up your monday.  As always you can follow me on Twitter @Zackysmack, or email me at zackysmack@hotmail.com.  I hope you checked out the PSP Go article its a great read, please comment folks, love to hear back from you.  Also be sure to mark July 4th on your calendar because that is when the new site will be launching.  So sorry about the delay but I think Etten is going to add a lot to the show tomorrow so tune back in then.  Thanks everybody, Peace.





The Zacky And Friends Know It All Show: Episode 6

4 06 2010

Hello again everyone, time for episode 6, and boy have we got a great for you today.  No less then 2 hosts come at you tonight with brand new recording equipment and microphones, dissecting the gaming news and rumors from the week.  First starting with a traditional movie review of the sleeper hit ‘The Human Centipede’, we follow that up with ‘what have you been playing?’ and then roll right into our taste in games we have been buying lately, after that its all about ModNation racers and Killzone 3.  Finally finishing things up with some rumor killers.  As always the show is very explicit and because of the two hosts is now twice the length, clocking in at around 1:10:00.  Be sure to follow me on twitter @Zackysmack or email me at Zackysmack@hotmail.com.

Catch the show on the iTunes store or here at PodBean: http://zackysmack.podbean.com/





(Not weekly)News roundup, May 10th edition.

11 05 2010

Hey everybody it’s time for a news roundup (dropping the ‘weekly’ from the title for obvious reasons) as we get closer to E3 the amount of news starting to leak out is fricken ridiculous so I figured it was my duty to start sifting through some of it.  Although I will be clear that this is not E3 predictions, this is just de-bunking things in the news right now.  As always make sure to follow me on Twitter for work related hilarity @zackysmack, or hit up my email zackysmack@hotmail.com for any questions comments or concerns you may have, and last but not least you can find my podcast on the iTunes store by searching ‘Zacky knows it all show’ or catch it on podbean.  So take part in the Zacky community folks.

Logo

As fair and balanced as Fox News.

LittleBIGPlanet 2 first looks hit the intertubz today.  Verdict: I am still grinning

LBP Logo

Like this, only with a '2'.

I remember when I got LBP, I was really excited to play it and even more excited to jump into the online world and start making stuff.  Well after the first few days I realized the controls were lacking somewhat which really hurt the whole platforming aspect of it and the creation tools were….how can I put this….about as difficult as trying to have sex with someone while wearing a chastity belt, yeah that metaphor works pretty well.   Some people made great things (which the admin’s promptly deleted) but most people didn’t, most people tried to make one to two levels and then just gave up and played levels made by those select few with enough crippling social skill issues to actually make a vaguely playable level.  That is not to say it’s a bad game, on the contrary it was a brilliant game, the ideas and concepts it opened people up to were nothing short of incredible, it was fun and cute, and generally made everyone feel pretty comfortable with playing it.  But as far as delivering on its promise of fun easy tools that would let anyone make God of War in a night, well in that aspect it fell woefully short of expectations, much like Bionic Commando – ZING!

Bionic Commando

$10 at Best Buy, no shit, cheaper then Haze.

A sequel was inevitable, the game sold well and is currently in Meta-critics top 10 games (which technically mean absolutely fucking nothing), so today the first batch of screens, trailers, previews, and website launches hit the net and I spent a good part of my morning reading through them.  Now because of what I listed in the first paragraph I think it’s safe to say I was somewhat skeptical of the sequel, but for once my lack of editing skills comes in handy as ‘was’ is the proper word to use here.  I am excited for this game, no let me rephrase that, I have been smiling sense 9am this morning when I read what I read.  The depth to the toolset that is now being created is, to quote Ghandi ‘Totally fucking insane’ (Editors note:   Ghandi should be replaced with Alex Evans from Media Molecule.)

Alex Evans

In my defense he kind of looks like Ghandi.

Let me just give you a short list here; dynamic camera angles, programmable NPC bots, CPU chips to allow programmable vehicles and events, ability to record voiceovers, ability to design cutscenes, and web integration with your own sub-domain so you can link people levels to download on facebook and shit.  That is just the new features they listed today, what this means for the idiots out there is that it’s no longer a platforming game that allows you to make more platforming games.  It is now a platforming game that lets you make any game.  The adjustable camera allows for top down shooters, top down racers, and RTS games.   The NPC’s and cutscene integration allow you to make story driven games as well as RPG’s.  I could go on but honestly it will be more fun if you just think of things you can do yourself.  Layers of complexity are not all that has been added however, they have simplified and streamlined the toolset.  The biggest thing is the CPU however, now you no longer require a 1600’s style set of switches to make something work, the  CPU allows you to engineer whatever you want, hell you can change the control scheme around if you want and implement(please don’t) SIXAXIS.

SIXAXIS

Seriously do not use it.

The long and short is that the level of new stuff is so impressive that I am excited for this game all over again, my mind is already racing with things to do in the game, and this time it might actually be possible.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 comes with a DVD that teaches you how to play. Verdict: That is the dumbest and smartest thing I have ever heard.

Okay, I don’t like Nintendo, I especially don’t like the Wii, mostly because it’s a children’s toy for children and old people, and it is not a video game console.  It dropped that moniker about a year ago, and if you disagree then you can fuck right off and go back to writing Samus fan-fic you useless fanboy idiot.  So when Nintendo said there going to include a DVD with SMG2 that teaches you how to waggle your remote and hit ‘A’, you probably expected me to be spewing all kinds of hate towards the little white (black now too) box.  Get ready for a shock here because I actually think it’s a good idea, sure initially I sat and made fun of it with my roommate for literally hours, but after a few days to think about it I start to see why this is a good idea…..well sort of.

Box Art

Pictured Above: A Good Idea.

You see Nintendo, for all they do that pisses me off, still will drive the industry on occasion, and sometimes in a positive way.  In this case Nintendo helped pave the way for motion control, and although I am not a fan of the Wii mote, I am warming up the PS Move and project Natal as being effective ways to actually help video games at least be more accessible to the average folk.  With development costs spiraling out of control like my lingering connection to human beings, there is a point where the gamer nation is going to have to accept a certain amount of casual gamer pandering is required to fuel Call of Duty 900.  So in that regard the idea of a disc to help parents and their children learn how to play a game that is significantly more complicated than that boxart lets on, is something that I am more or less behind.  In the end the disc in theory is a good idea that will help people not to be so frustrated, but theory, as John Oppenheimer learned, is a dangerous thing that can sometimes blow up in your face.

Atomic Blast

IN THE FACE!!!!

Now that was obviously the reasoning behind ‘Smartest’ now the reason it is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.  To put it quite simply; the DVD doesn’t actually work in the insanely unpowered Wii.  That’s right folks, people who are already technically retarded will crack open there game case and see a handy instructional DVD.  They will then put that DVD into their Wii at which point nothing will happen, said people will then most likely take the game back to the store and complain that they got a corrupt disc.  This will begin a horrible cycle of buying and returning and general levels of frustration.  Let’s assume eventually you figure out the disc needs to go into a DVD player, in order to really use the disc you will then have to have two tv’s in your living room or wherever you’re playing, in order to see the instructions and be able to apply them to the game.  So what family with the level of retardation required to need this disc is going to have two independent tv’s in their main family room?

Family

These people are certainly retarded enough.

Overall the concept is good at its base level but like most things Nintendo, it’s just that: a concept, a poorly realized idea that someone at Nintendo had a few months back and no one else bothered to put any thought into.

Remedy has said there entire studio depends on Alan Wake doing well.  Verdict: Why is it on 360 then?

Box Art

Admittedly a cool box.

Alan Wake has been getting great reviews, praising the story and atmosphere of the game as well as the interesting innovations in lighting and gameplay mechanics.  Okay sunshine, what kind of game does that sound like to you?  ‘3RD Person action Zack’ No shit, I mean what console do you assume a game with those attributes will be on?  The obvious answer is PC, which isn’t even a console you idiot, it’s no surprise that Remedy has always been a PC developer.  Those snobby pricks with high end gaming rigs love to brag about interesting and innovative games that seem to flourish on their platform, but if we then eliminate the PC’s from the mix what happens?  When you think of games that take risks with different story telling techniques, different gameplay mechanics, and main characters with traits that vaguely resemble humans, do you typically then think of those games being associated with the 360?  No of course not, the 360’s bread and butter are hardcore FPS.  See that’s my point here, this game is too interesting to be on the 360.

Halo

See its interesting and new, and also not real.

Now this isn’t just a strong PS3 bias that I have been accused of having, and still maintain that I don’t have, (Seriously I crucify Sony regularly) speaking here.  I am honestly trying to help Remedy out because I love Remedy; they made Max Payne which is one of my favorite game series of all time.  Earlier last week they stated that they pretty much staked the entire company on Alan Wake, which if you consider it’s a 360 exclusive title and the questions I posed above then you begin to see why I don’t understand the decision to bet your future on a 360 game.

I am honestly just trying to help Remedy because as far as I know they have no allegiance to Microsoft Game Studios, this was just a decision they made a few years ago.  Ditch the PC which must have been tough for them, and considering it started development about 5 years ago, the decision to dump the PS3 would have been painfully fucking easy.  So what was left?  Well the 360 of course, it’s essentially a PC anyways.  Hence the reason it’s on the 360, Remedy isn’t getting a lot of money for this, as apparent by the in game advertising and Remedy’s statement of ‘We will be out of business if it doesn’t sell well.’  So in the end there depending on the 360’s owners group to want to go out of their way to try something completely new and interesting.  Which is why I am nervous for Remedy, the 360 crowd isn’t into the whole ‘interesting’ or ‘new’ section of games.  That’s more of a PC and PS3 thing; see Braid, Trine, Heavy Rain, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., LittleBIGPlanet, and Demon’s Souls.

STALKER

In case you didn't know, STALKER is pretty fucked.

Overall my suggestion is that Remedy will probably break even on the 360, but honest to god if they ported it to PS3 I would guess that more PS3 gamers would take a leap on it then 360 gamers.

Call of Duty: Black Ops, or Medal of Honor?  Verdict: *Shrug*

No seriously I haven’t played either one of them so I have no idea which one is better; I don’t think anyone knows which one is better.  But that hasn’t stopped those questions from being raised has it?  At this point we have one Black Ops trailer that is 45 seconds of 1 second cuts, and two Medal of Honor trailers that are just cutscene’s.  Other than that, we know Treyarch is making BO which is typically the kiss of death for any game, and we know EALA is making Medal of Honor, and they typically make RTS games.  So fuck it you know?  Neither of these companies really deserve to be making either of these games anyways so I am just going to have no expectations and hopefully be surprised in a couple of months when I will most likely buy them both.

Medal of Honor

Although I am probably getting this one first.

The rest of you are invited to do the same, or most likely, go to forums and talk about who sucks more cock; Activision or EA because in the end that is all that really matters anyways isn’t it internet?

Miyamoto tells gamers that the Wii is an online platform; then lies more.  Verdict: It’s ranting time!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha oh my god I don’t like Miyamoto very much at all, he is like Phil Harrison used to be at Sony in my opinion.  He is kind of a face they wheel out so everyone will be star struck but the second you actually ask him a question his entire moniker falls apart like an argument about Chuck Norris.  He will always provide the dumbest possible answer, and then probably contradict that answer with an even dumber one.  Granted he is not speaking his native language and native Japanese translates to English about as well as Megan Fox translates to my penis.  But if that was really the issue they probably would have just gotten him a fucking translator by now.

Miyamoto

Needed: A Fucking Translator.

No the issue here is that he is a gamer maker and an average one of those at that, that has somehow gotten into a PR roll with Nintendo where he is forced to answer questions that are well beyond his knowledge base.  When people talk to Cliffy B they ask him how much bigger and more badass his next game is going to be, to which he replies ‘totally fucking bigger, totally fucking badass….er’ and that’s the end of it.  They do not then ask him about EPIC games 5-year online console and pricing strategy because ‘bigger and more badass’ no longer applies.  Miyamoto not only gets asked those questions, he typically feels he is qualified to answer them.  I don’t care if Nintendo saw fit to move him up into some sort of director’s position with the company, it’s at best a figurehead spot he was given to say thanks for all his years of loyal service.

So when asked today about Nintendo’s online strategy he replied that Nintendo is not playing catch up in online features, they are in fact right with everyone else and Nintendo would love it if every Wii was connected to the internet all the time.  Well if that was the case then why didn’t they come with Ethernet ports?  Surely autoconfigured ports are easier then setting up wireless on the Wii?  360’s are the same price and they have an Ethernet port, and a fucking harddrive, although curiously no wireless.  Anyone who says the Wii is an internet ready machine that can match up to Xbox Live and the PSN is an idiot or Miyamoto, who is also an idiot.  Just because you finally released a game with multiplayer functionality (Monster Hunter Tri for the uneducated unwashed masses out there) does not mean you are now an ‘online’ console.  Much like Wii speak does not mean you have headset capability (which no joke is an argument he made a year ago).

Wii-Speak

Not a goddamn headset.

The thing that pisses me off about it more than anything else is that, simply put you let him get away with it, and by ‘you’ I mean those ‘real’ gaming journalists.  When Gabe Newell, Bobby Kotick, Dr. Z, Peter Moore, or literally anyone else in the industry is asked the kinds of questions that Miyamoto is asked, those people respond with good intelligent answers and if they don’t the interviewer proceeds to ask them more questions and generally make them look stoopid.  Notice that some of those people are lower on the totem pole then Miyamoto is now and we still expect them to have answers.  The gaming journalists of the world never ever ask him the tough questions, nor do they go after him when he has the wrong answer, it’s like there too star-struck or too nice or too envious or whatever the reason.  However, I guess its okay that no one else cares because I am pretty sure this shit only really bothers me…..and Garnett FUCKING Lee!

Garnett Lee

Recognize

The best part is later in the same fucking interview Miyamoto said that Nintendo’s online platform is in fact so ridiculously goddamn good that they should probably start charging people to use it.  Yeah that would be great because we could all laugh at the 5 dollars that would bring in monthly from like the 10 people using their Wii’s online to play Animal Crossing.  Whatever, so Miyamoto said something dumb and Nintendo online model is good for 1 of the 5000 games on the system, what an earth shattering announcement by me, next I might tell you that the Sun is hot, or that Bruno Ganz plays a mean Hitler.

Ganz

One mean Hitler.

Peace





Velius’s RPG Weekly: RPG’s of Summer.

1 05 2010

Okay well here is the next installment of RPG weekly by Velius, although its coming a little later than last week its still this week so its going to keep its weekly subtext for now.  Not much more to say except follow me on Twitter @zackysmack if you want some insight and laughs, be sure to email any coherent thoughts to zackysmack@hotmail.com and finally you can get our weekly podcast off the iTunes store, just search for The Zacky Knows It All Show.  Otherwise enjoy the article.

Ahh the summer, beautiful time of the year with the warm rays of the sun and the lively foliage surrounding us it is the perfect time to play some Role Playing Games if you ask me! Of course it’s kind of an unknown what’s coming out in the next few months, we are now out of the insanity that was March for RPGs and now I imagine the catalog of RPGs is starting to dwindle. So if you’re like me and are looking for the next immersive experience look no further, here is a list of some RPGs that are on their way!

Puzzle Quest 2 (Nintendo DS and Xbox Live Arcade)

May 11th

Puzzle Quest was my guilty pleasure, combine addictive simple puzzle games with lengthy stat grinding RPG mechanics is an idea that’s almost doomed to never live past the drawing board. But my god the Aussies working at Infinite Interactive did it, and they did it well. Hell that small studio is solely responsible for launching a new subgenre of RPGs, puzzle RPGs.

Battle Screen

Deadly Combat.

Now coming up is Puzzle Quest 2, the true sequel to the Puzzle Quest Legacy, now don’t get me wrong Galactrix delivered some cool features, but it did not top the experience that Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords Revenge of the Plague Lord had for me when I got it on my Playstation 3. Puzzle Quest 2 promises Isometric style dungeon crawling that on first glance seems to have graphics to compete with the recent String RPG Knights in the Nightmare, delivering a really clean art style that has a cool look to it. Add on that its back to the Square board with match 3 with new Mana gem mechanic, new more diverse character classes, and new spells; well let’s just say I’m very excited for this release.

Environments

3D Dungeon Puzzle Fighting Action? Fuck Yes!

Only complaint I have is its only Xbox Live Arcade and Nintendo DS on release, so will have to end up playing it a second time when its released on PSN…. Well guess there are worse things.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (PSP)

Summer 2010

Back in the day, many moons ago, there was a union of very different minded design principles, Disney and Square-Enix. The game, developed by Square has reached epic levels of fandom through it and its many incarnations. The game is of course Kingdom Hearts, and it has a been a gem in my collection for me, especially Kingdom Hearts 2 which I greatly enjoyed upon playing through it. Something about how it lets itself do the ridiculous combat antics, along with a shifting Anime-esque story which plays out in a true Anime style with lots of twists and over the top action.

Box Art

Following this legacy is a new PSP game in the Kingdom Hearts genus, subtitled Birth By Sleep which makes about as much sense as every other damn Kingdom Heart Subtitle (358/2 Days, Coded, Chain of Memories). This game is a prequel to the events in Kingdom Hearts 1, promising a deliverance of an explanation for all the shit that happens throughout the games and hopefully it will do what a prequel should, which is of course is integrate fully with the story already existing and expand on the universe in a way that doesn’t break the canon.

Screen Shot

It would litereally take 1 hour to fully explain who this guy is.

So, the question is why should everyone else be excited for Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep? Well first question is have you played the first two Kingdom Hearts and enjoyed them? Because if you haven’t this game is not for you, at all. Im expecting very confusing plot twists and without the knowledge of those games you may get lost easily. But if you have played those, well all signs point to this game being the same exciting Action-RPG game play that we have experienced before in the other games, and with a new story to tide us over til they get on the Kingdom Hearts 3 for the PS3!

Combat

Persona 3 Portable (PSP)

July 16th

Last year Atlus decided to do a port of the first game in their successful Persona Series on the PSP. It didn’t sell gangbusters but it really got a lot of interest and that was apparently enough for the makers of the Mega Ten universe, because now we have a brilliant port to their PS2 Game Persona 3.

Box Art

Now if you don’t know about Persona 3 it is a dungeon crawling / relationship simulation, with the emphasis on Dungeon crawling. Taking place is a modern Japan the game delivers a very creepy vibe along with great ‘simple to learn, hard to master’ combat. Add in the tested and proven system of Persona fusion and this game has depth, serious damn depth. Also unique to this game compared to most Japanese RPGs is that all the characters and party members you get are very down to earth believable people. No extra ordinary or ridiculous character personalities, they act like school kids and they are that much more relatable because of that, really delivering the story of the game.

More Combat

The Playstation Portable port promises to have the same game play as the PS2 version, giving the addictive adventure to you in your handheld is brilliant and scary to think about how much time I get to spend battling through the tower during the Dark Hour, and all the social links I will advance on the side…. Oooooh exciting!!

Dialogue.

Then the mega new feature of the PSP Persona 3 is the ability to play as a Male or Female character, which will inevitably change the different social links available and hopefully have a lot of different dialog options play out through that. Hell that’s worth it to me to buy my THIRD version of Persona 3 (Other two being Persona 3 and Persona 3: FES the expansion).

Menu

Pink menu background? Fucking Sold.

A few negatives to this game however that I feel need to be mentioned, but mostly petty complaints. I’m all for them releasing Persona 3 on the PSP. But I would be if they released a Persona 2 pack on the PSP. For those ‘Not in the Know’ about that game we (America) got only one half of that Persona 2 saga, (Second half) and after going back and playing both of the Persona 2 games (had to use an English patch for one) I can truly say that we need to have those games released on PSP.

Second complaint, is that this isn’t the true Persona 3 experience. Persona 3 FES which was included as an expansion to the original Playstation 2 version of the game is not included in the PSP port. This doesn’t take away from the game play of Persona 3 in any way and it doesn’t suffer for content…. But well ports of games losing features happen to be one of my pet peeves, so I could not get away without mentioning it.

Third Complaint is easy; I want it to be released now!

There we have it, 3 games for the summer all on portables oddly enough, two on PSP for even more super oddness. Was originally going to mention Alpha Protocol (PS3 Xbox360) and Valkyria Chronicles 2 (PSP) but I figure I will wave those off for another day to explain about those.

til Next Time~





March 29th Weekly News Roundup(Not Captain Rantastic’s rant edition)

29 03 2010

Here is the scoop everybody; I am in the middle of beating and writing a review of God of War III.  During that time I decided to sort of merge a couple other ones I was working and add to them to make a news roundup for everyone to enjoy while they waited.  I thought it was pretty good, granted it was kind of pure rantness for 5 pages, but it still made good points.  But apparently you didn’t agree, I got the most response to an article ever on that one, and it was all negative.  The complaints were mostly valid though; the roundup had gone from 12 small articles about actual game news, to 3 large articles about shit no one cared about.  So I am going to make it up to everyone here by a smaller roundup with a focus on pure gaming news.

Here is the second news roundup for everyone, the non rantastic rantathon edition.  As always follow me on Twitter @ zackysmack, or email me at Zackysmack@hotmail.com.  And with that, away we go!

Fox Logo

As fair and balanced as Fox News

Jerry Holkins announced at the start of PAX East that there will be no more Penny Arcade Adventures.  Verdict: That sucks.

Mike and Jerry

I don't know why it didn't sell either Mike and Jerry.

I am a big fan of Penny Arcade, and by that logic was a big fan of their RPG Episodic games.  I bought the first one when it finally debuted on the PSN and was very happy with it; they had great humor to them and generally solid Turn based RPG gameplay.  The first one had a rather odd difficulty curve; I will definitely say that, think of it like two lines intersecting at a 90 degree angle.  Basically the whole game was very easy, and then the final boss fight was an exercise in controller snapping frustration.  I think one of my friends Velius(a contributor on this site) would say that beating the final boss without dying is one of his more proud video game achievements.  So when the next one came out I snapped it up right away, it used a great character importing system and a decent overall story arch.  I think most of all I just really enjoyed reading all the dialogue; it just felt fun to play.  Humor is actually pretty hard to get across in games; something that really makes you laugh out loud is hard to get across because you can’t really time your line delivery when someone is just reading it.  All in all the second one was a vast improvement over the first and so I was more than happy to buy it and beat it, as were most of my friends(Thanks to the wonderful Playstation sharing system).  So like a lot of the Penny Arcade fans I was just kind of waiting around for the next one, because originally it was announced as a 4 part series with HotHead Games.  However some changes went by HotHead in the last few months, thanks to a new publishing deal with EA they are pulling their focus from Penny Arcade and putting it in there other properties.  See HotHead in between Penny Arcade’s came out with a little one known as Braid which turned out to be a great one, and they also have a bevy of interesting projects in the works so I can completely understand their position in accepting the EA money.  It’s a shame that Penny Arcade had to be the victim of this whole deal, but in true Penny Arcade fashion Mike and Jerry have agreed to finish the story on their site.  But I would have really enjoyed playing it out myself.

Fruit Fucker

Come on the villian was a giant robot that raped fruit, how do you not buy that?

Future PSN updates will be moved to Wednesday instead of Thursday.  Verdict:  That was really a no brainer I thought.

Wednesday

Indeed

So the PSN has always done its weekly content updates on Thursday, which is as good a day in the week as any I suppose.  But here is the thing, Xbox does there’s on Wednesday, now I know what you’re thinking, ‘Zack, who the fuck cares when Xbox does theres?’ well voice in my head once again you are gravely ill informed about the situation.  See here is the deal, I already own a PS3 and not a 360, and so it doesn’t really matter to me when they do updates for it, by that logic 360 owners could also give two shits when there store updates.  So why the hell would they change it?  Well the answer is simple of course, for all those people out there that own both consoles, see if you own both then you have to decide which platform you’re going to buy games for.  If the 360 sends out demos on Wednesday and you download it and play it on their well you’re far more likely to buy it for the 360 then the PS3.  Multiplatform titles are something you want to sell tons of, it keeps developers in your good graces.  So Sony is trying to make sure those multiconsole owners play it on the PS3 first.  This all pretty much hinges on Sony starting to update the store earlier then 6pm sense last I checked the 360 does its updates at like 8am.  So this is two parts for Sony, 1 they need to move updates to Wednesday to at least be comparable, 2 they need to do those updates early in the morning.  If Sony can pull that off, which trusts me I doubt they can, they will have taken another step towards being a completely equal service to Xbox Live, now just give me my mother fucking Cross Game Voice chat.

Besides now I get my Zero Punctuation and my PSN update in one day, which makes Wednesday my new favorite day of the week.

Yhatzee

Yay!!! *excited giggle*

Miyamoto says the reason games sales are down is because games lack the quality they used to have.  Verdict: Yeah and you’re one of the worst offenders Miyamoto.

Remember how Wii Music redefined what was really good about games, how it took the rythym game and turned it on its ear, and simultaneously sold millions of copies while being a stunning advancement for gaming as a whole?  You don’t remember that happening?  Was it because Wii Music was an utter failure, and basically boiled down to being able to make the same 5 motions 500 times to generate the shittiest midi file music that you couldn’t even save because the Wii sucks the darkest corner of my balls?  In fact lets really look at Miyamoto as a designer, he made one really great game a while back, Mario, and has pretty much rode that wave through constant and utter failure ever sense then.  Every Mario game until the 64 basically just re-hashed the original, and then he struck lightening with 64 and proceeded to remake that game a billion fucking times again.  Somewhere in there was Pinkman or Pikman which its only real contribution to the gaming world was being the basis for a pretty good Penny Arcade comic.  The thing is that everyone cuts that dude so much slack because of the Rose Colored glasses of Nostalgia.  Ever stop to think maybe the reason most of his recent games haven’t been that good is because he isn’t that good?  Maybe we shouldn’t just listen to him as our source of information, kinda like a Japanese Pete Molyneux, always quick to criticize others but never answer to their own incompetency’s.

Molyneux

Ha ha ha ha its so true too.

I guess his Wii games were pretty good, for Wii games.  See this goes back to the thought that Japan as a whole really struggled to get around the next generation consoles, making games for them with fancy new game engines is just not there strong suit.  So Miyamoto did what Nintendo did, just blatantly ignored technology and its advances in favor of basking in his own former glory.  I guess I just find it hard to keep a straight face when Miyamoto says something like that, because he goes around talking about developing the future of games, and motion sensing being ahead of the curve to the ‘old fashioned’ consoles.  When in all reality he is pretty much just refusing to move forward with games, instead opting to use old technology that he feels safe and secure with, like a warm glass of milk, a favorite blanket, or the knowledge that your creepy uncle isn’t coming over for your birthday.  Something like Heavy Rain is interesting and experimental; Portal and Bioshock started off as experiments in gameplay and storytelling as well and ended up really dazzling.  Now with Move and Natal the big consoles will have everything the Wii doesn’t and everything the Wii does, which will really put him and Nintendo in an awkward spot for justifying their system.  In the end I don’t think games were down from last year because of a drop in quality, I think they were down because MGS5, GTAIV, MW :1 and Halo 3 didn’t come out this year.  In fact I feel from a quality standpoint this was actually a pretty great year for games, and I don’t think Miyamoto really released one hit game, all he really has coming is Galaxy 2 which is just a re-hash of Galaxy 1, so yeah you know what Miyamoto?  Comments like that might work with your Nintendo owners group, but I got over being nostalgic years ago, some guys in there basement made Braid and it was easily better than 80% of the shit you did with the Mario franchise.  Don’t even get me started on the heap of mediocrity that is Zelda, consistently the worst series of games I have ever played, yeah even the N64 ones.  Also the generator of the most fucked up examples of Fan Fiction on the web.

Zelda Fic

You know its from the darkest places of the internet when I had to censor the words and cut off the bottom.

Basically Miyamoto I think you’re so far out of touch with things now in the real gaming world, having spent the last 7 or so under a blanket of casual gaming, that comments like that from you hold almost no weight anymore.  Most developers and industry folks really don’t take you that seriously anymore, you’re pretty much that only one that does.

A leaked trailer possibly shows that Hitman 5 will be revealed at E3.  Verdict: I could make a better trailer.

Hitman 5

See, whole sites dedicated to fake Boxart for theoretical games.

Are you aware of fan made trailers?  If not then allow me to sodomize you with the hard dick of knowledge.  Fans of things tend to really like them, and sometimes they want to pay homage to them by making cleaver or funny videos or in some cases a better trailer then the actual game.  So website have sections of their video page call ‘Fan Sections’ where everyone can post fan made videos so as not to cause confusion with people looking for actual trailers.  Which is clearly what this so called ‘leaked’ trailer is, a fan made trailer, its mostly live action, with one or two cuts of CG stuff that looks like it was rendered for the N64.  I was Agent 47 for Halloween one year, my friend EttenCo pretty much is Agent 47, any one of us could have made this trailer.  Let’s not forget that the trailer also opens with the old Eidos logo which doesn’t exist anymore, its SquareEnix Europe or something like that.

Square Enix Europe

Yeah something like that.

Look I don’t doubt that Hitman 5 is in the works, and I really want it to come out because I am a huge fan of series.  But if they were going to tease a next entry they would probably use an actual likeness of Agent 47, and probably the voice of Dianna.  What has been circulating around the net isn’t the real thing; it’s a fan trailer with the E3 date at the end of it.  I wouldn’t hedge my bet that there will be an announcement at E3 for it, and probably a proper trailer.  Honestly though I just can’t understand how something from the Fan section of GameTrailers.com got recognition as a leaked E3 announcement.  It would be like a fat cosplayer getting mistaken for a Sailor Scout.

Sailer Bubba

You had to know Sailor Bubba was gonna pop up on that one.

When asked whether or not they liked review scores the majority of PAX attendees wished we would get rid of them.  Verdict: I completely agree.

You may have noticed that I don’t use a score in my reviews, because I don’t think my 5 pages of rambling opinions can really be boiled down into one number.  Frankly sites that give you a number are ones I really don’t like, I guess it’s nice to just be able to say ‘This is a 7.0, or this is a 9.0’ but that doesn’t really describe a game.  Matt Hazard is a 5 at best, but if you play it you will probably enjoy it enough to justify the cost of it, I mean I can think of plenty of good points, like the great anime style Final Fantasy boss fight or the account manager in multiplayer running gag.  The point is that there is really more to a game then a simple number, and my other two authors on the site agreed without having to really discuss which I thought was interesting.  I asked for articles and I got articles and never did those articles have scores at the end.  The story is that at a panel on review scores at PAX East this year they polled the audience and about 5 people said they liked the score at the end while the rest of them said they didn’t.  I think it’s just for the reasons I described, scores are just too simple for games now a days, the variety of fans and fan bases and player bases are so large that something that a reviewer hates could be completely appealing to someone else.  I enjoyed LAIR and pretty much every reviewer on earth didn’t, my roommate at the time ‘Hulk’ actually sat down and played it to its conclusion because he liked it so much and the last real console game he played was Red Alert on the PS1.  I fucking hated ACII and it was on a lot of game of the year lists, and the rest of history is just littered with examples like that, I am sure you the reader can think of your own.

Scanners

Shit, I asked the readers to think again didn't I?

That’s kind of the real problem isn’t it?  When you have a score most people just read that and head to the comments section to lambast the review or praise the review.  Often forgetting the read the 2-3 pages that explain the score, and if you’re not reading that then how can really use that review to form an opinion for buying the game or not?  I don’t just buy games that get 9’s or higher, I pretty much stick to joystiq.com reviews now and other sites like that because I think I get more out of it that way.  I remember last year at E3 this same issue came up and the chief editor at 1UP basically spent 30 minutes talking about how much he really wished they didn’t have to have review scores but that’s how fans want it.  Well PAX just proved you wrong 1UP, and if there is one thing I have learned over the years it’s that you should always listen to and do exactly as you fans say.

Scanners

Oh god he listend to the fans again didn't he?

You can pay girls to game with you on webcams in normal or naughty play.  Verdict:  I view this as dangerous.

Holy Christ is this dangerous or what?  Gamers have a horrible reputation with normal people as it is.  With are overly sexualized women, completely impossible men, and general fear of anything with a vagina, the games community is viewed as creepy by most of normal society.  I still remember booting up The Saboteur in the same room as my parents and having it go directly into a striptease, which was so horribly embarrassing it wasn’t even funny, same with God of War III or Heavy Rain.  I guess the really weird thing is that if I was watching a movie with nudity or sex in it, no one would view that as a problem but there is just something inherently more dirty about digital tits but I can’t quite figure it out.  Like the stigma attached to hentai fans, there somehow worse porn freaks then someone who just watches good old fashioned real porn with two functional adults.  It doesn’t really make sense but it’s just the culture I suppose.   Now we have GameCrush a website you can visit and pay to play online games with a girl, okay that’s pretty creepy, now here is the best part, you can play in two different options.  1 you play normal and just chat and play and probably pad your scores sense the girls being hired are mostly adult models and webcam girls who can’t play worth shit and option 2 the ‘naughty’ option, which I think you can figure out what happens then.

Batman Sex

Sex, the answer is sex.

Okay well logistically I just don’t get it, when I am trying to play games having a girl yammering into my ear would make it almost impossible to be at all good.  I would probably just end up raging and kill them over and over again.  Now if that girl was trying to have sex with me while I played that game, Christ that would be even worse, winning an online match is hard enough without someone whispering into my ear about how ‘naughty’ or ‘massive’ I am.  The best I could hope for would be to laugh from some truly awful video game puns from the porn model as she desperate tried to make a human connection to a voice on the other end of a microphone.  Something like: ‘Mmmm do you want me to play with your joy stick?’ to which I would reply ‘What?  No of course not, then you would be playing as me and you suck balls at games…..and in real life for that matter.  Hey-Oh!’  I have a hard enough time trying to play with the average online gamer screaming shit into my ear; I can only imagine that it would get that much worse when someone was trying to hit on me during that time.  So it’s not really for people that just want to play, which should have been obvious, which means it’s just for lonely online porn people.  But any slightly smart person would know that you can get mountains of porn for free without having to sacrifice your online stats, so it’s really only for people that want to live out a very specific fantasy in their head.  The question is of course is that group of people big enough to support this site?  The sad thing is that it will probably succeed, I really hope it doesn’t, I hope it fails so hard that the internet itself breaks.  Because then maybe people would stop trying to capitalize on this gamer market by playing to the worst stereotypes possible.

GameFuel

Not only was it a cheap cash in, it was the shittiest soda flavor in decades.

One final note here, girl gamers aren’t a mythical creature, I in fact know quite a few and there good.  No they are not fat hippos, and no they are not the skinny insanely hot emo girl that is the other extreme that comes to mind when someone says gamer girl.  No most of the time there just girls, who enjoy games much like we men do.  It’s a strange concept to accept but hear me out, you know how sometimes you watch a romantic comedy and at the end say to yourself ‘Hey that wasn’t that bad’ well the same thing can happen to girls too, in fact that can just decide to play games and enjoy them a lot.  You have probably played with them before more than a few times, but sadly they can’t use headsets because the second they do everyone will notice it’s a girl and then either kill them out of spite for not having a dick, leave the match out of spite for not having a dick, or hit on them because they do not have a dick.  It’s kinda sad really, some of my best friends are girls and I enjoy playing games with them online but the majority of male players make it so fucking hard for them that they can’t go into public matches.  I honestly have known girls that beat guys in matches and trash talked like guys do all the fucking time and got reported for it and banned for a week.  I mean wow how pathetic are you if you can’t handle getting beaten by a girl.  Seriously world of gamers, grow up.

Beat by Girl

I have said way worse then that and never been banned before.

Peace.

P.S. alright real news and shit, hope you’re happy, I’ll do an E3 prediction in a week or so.





Weekly(Monthly?) News Roundup March 25th

25 03 2010

Hey ladies and gent’s, quick update here for you.  I will be moving soon, and starting a wonderful new career in the programming industry.  So as promised I will most likely be getting a dedicated hosting service for this site which means it will sadly be moving away from its humble WordPress origins.  Hopefully now there will be a little bit more order to the chaos that is this site; maybe some pages instead of a 500 page long main page, and hopefully an RSS plugin.  I will keep everyone informed of site changes though, and with a steady job and income the thought is that more regular updates will come, I would like to guarantee one article a week.  One final note before we get the weekly news roundup started is that once I get set up in my new place I am going to try my hand at podcasting, sense speaking for 30 minutes yields far more then typing for 30 minutes.  Those will be available for free to anyone that wants them, and hopefully I will have some guests who want to come in and discuss things as well, sense I hear you can just Skype people and record it back.  So without further adu here is some more information on topics and articles that interest me.  As always, follow me on Twitter @Zackysmack or email me at Zackysmack@hotmail.com with any questions comments or ideas, drop a line in the comments section is you feel so inclined.

Fox News Logo

As fair and balanced as Fox News

In case you are new the news roundup here on the site, it’s pretty simple, as the week goes around I write down topics and articles that I found interesting.  Now I come on here, give you the name of the topic, what I think about it, and then try to qualify my statements in my usual insane hard to follow manor.   4 topics this week, generally irritating things, most of it is really fanboy related which was completely on accident.  So if you’re a fanboy prepare to be made fun of by me, who am not a fanboy, which will be explained later.

Assassin’s Creed II’s DRM Server is the bane of the PC gamers existence.  Verdict:  Yeah it is, but its PC Gamers fault that it is.

DRM

Yeah pretty much like that.

I make no bones about it folks, I really don’t like PC gamers and there generally elitist attitude.  I think that if anyone represents a very negative stereotype for what a gamer is, its PC loyalists.  They have this weird attitude that because they bought a PC that gives them every right to rampantly pirate games, and then complain when the companies that make games, stop making PC games and start making console games.  They aren’t selling out you little shits, there trying to go out of business, any PC game maker now can pretty much figure that more than half of the people playing there game didn’t pay for it.  It’s no wonder that the PC has become almost exclusively for the MMO crowd, it’s the only thing you can guarantee people had to pay to play.  They also get RTS games because the console controller can never work for those games, and finally they get some FPS titles albeit about 6 months after I played them on PS3, and then sit around and brag about how much better they are then console players because they have a mouse.  It’s kind of like me bragging about how much faster I am at running then a man who is pulling an elephant.  No shit you’re faster with a mouse, it doesn’t mean you better, just that you have a more response controller.  Some companies are still gracious enough to release PC games from time to time, but because they’re aware of the piracy problem, they try to put measure into place to ensure that people who are playing it, paid for it.  That ladies and gentlemen is when all hell breaks loose, because it’s at that point that every pirate in the world resolves to pirate the ever loving shit out of that game in an effort to prove there a bigger asshole.

Pirate Cat

This image shows the level of intelligence a typical pirate has.

Look if I go to a bank and open a checking account that does not mean I have the right to then walk into the vault and just take anything I want.  Nor does my RewardZone card give me the right to just take games and movies from Best Buy.  So why do PC gamers feel that purchasing a PC gives them the right to pirate games?  You know what?  I wouldn’t even care that much if they just pirated the games, I mean it could be fun watching Publishers try and beat them, like some sort of fun cat and mouse chase movie starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt.  No the reason I really hate them for it, is the whole PC gamer attitude, which is pretty much ‘I own my computer which means anything made for it is also mine by right’  There like evil handlebar mustache wearing land barons from old cowboy movies, I see it therefore it is mine is not course for legality.  Remember 15 years ago when Nintendo pretty much published all their own games, and there were maybe 3-4 3rd party game makers on earth, Sony had to Publish all their own games, and so did Sega.  What happened to cause nearly every single PC publisher and game maker to switch to consoles?  Well that’s an easy one, Pirates; pirates came along and starting stealing massive amounts of money from the game makers, which made those consoles pretty damn appealing.  Do you think studios like 3D realms and id wanted to make console games?  Hell no they didn’t, switching over was annoying and time consuming, no they did it out of necessity.  Because it was either switch over, or go out of business.  Just a few years ago some Greek Mythology game was available on torrent sites a good 4 weeks before its scheduled release, 3 months later the studio had to close and 70 people lost their jobs.  It was around that point that PC gamers had the gall to say the game just didn’t live up to the high PC standards and that’s why it didn’t sell.  Oh I thought it had something to do with 90% of potential customers already owning the fucking thing 4 weeks before it was available for purchase.

Pirates!

The irony is I found an image of a PC pirate game, on a PC torrenting site.

The point is that PC fans are their own worst enemies, they complain and hound anyone who tries to stop them from stealing all their games, and then complain and hound anyone who refuses to release things on the PC.  Modern Warfare 2 cut out a good chunk of the online features that were expected, for their PC release, so how did PC gamers react to this?  By all saying that ‘It’s okay, we will just pirate it then until you give us back our features.  That’ll teach them.’  It’s the equivalent of a 4 year old throwing a tantrum when they don’t get there way, except now it has grave affects on the industry as a whole.  It’s wholly dangerous when your loyal fans get upset over missing features, and feel that if they then steal your product from you, that in 2 years when the next one comes out you’ll give them all those features back.  No they won’t, in 2 years they just won’t release the fucking game for you at all, or they’ll put on game crippling DRM’s like ACII.

DRMs

Seriously if you aren't on the internet you can't play ACII on PC's

That’s the point of the whole article, ACI came out a few years ago for PC and it had something like a 60% pirate rate because Ubisoft was one of the few left who weren’t using Steam and still wanted to make PC games.  Mostly because that was there bread and butter for the last 10 years or so, the PC market I mean.  But this time around they wanted to actually make money on the game so they went ahead and stuck a DRM on the disc that basically crippled you from ever really getting to play the game.  Honest people got shafted when the DRM server crashed and you couldn’t play the game for 2 days or so, as someone who paid for the game that would piss me right off.  So I can understand the honest gamer’s complaint about that, but on the other side of things Ubisoft still has to make money on this if you ever want to see and ACIII.  Naturally when Ubisoft first announced the DRM restriction, pirates hacked the Ubisoft site and left up all kinds of banners saying a DRM crack would be available soon.  The real shame is that that section of the industry got so bad that the bulk of the people feel the appropriate response to anything is to just steal it until the company changes there mind or goes bankrupt.  Honest gamers are getting fucked by those pirating dickheads who have this odd sense of entitlement to them for no real reason other than that fact that they can.  Ubisoft is also getting fucked by those pirates because it forces their hands with DRM’s that just make them look like the real assholes.  Neither side is right, the DRM’s are too far, and the pirates are just idiotic, the poor everyman is caught in the middle.  So the real lesson here is that PC gamers have no one to blame but themselves for the DRM’s and the loss of games, if they would just pay for things they want like everyone else then there wouldn’t be this problem.  If you only like things enough to get them for free then I don’t really think you are a real gamer anyways, you’re just some annoying parasite on the side of real fans and real gamers.

Lamprey

Fuck, Lamprey eels are creepy.

Besides is only being able to install a game 5 times with your DRM really that bad if you think about it?  Your average PC comes with at least a TB of data space and ACII is what 5GB?  Unless you own more than 5 computers that you want to play it on, how is that really a big deal?  I had DRM issues once, know what I did?  I called the fucking number on the back of the fucking box, and talked to a very nice lady from EA who gave me 3 more installs, it took about 5 minutes.  Sense EA spent 3 years and 20 million on the game; I am actually pretty okay with having to make a 5 minute phone call once every 5 years.  Maybe I am just some sort of mutant who doesn’t completely freak out when something that was made for millions of people isn’t exactly the way I want it right out of the box.

Mutant

MUTANT!!!!

Is it acceptable for Aaron Greenberg to re-tweet articles about how shitty Sony fans are?  Verdict: Do fanboys really need his help that much?

Mid last week the shit pretty much hit the fan when Aaron Greenberg(Group Product Manager for Xbox and Xbox Live) tweeted a blog post(not that much unlike mine) titled ‘Why Sony Fanboys are the worst’ or something to that affect.  I get that its Greenberg’s job to promote the Xbox, but I was under the impression that he was supposed to do this with actual numbers, and sales data, and games, and Natal, you know actual physical things that raised good points and arguments.  If some random Xbox person had Tweeted this, well it wouldn’t have really been an issue, but you see Greenberg is at least supposed to maintain an air of professionalism about himself right?  Again if it was a real article written by a professional and not just some Xbox loyalist it probably wouldn’t have mattered.  The thing of it was that the article itself was actually pretty good; it used valid points and examples and made an overall solid argument.

Greenberg

Unrelated Aaron Greenberg picture.

But the title was all you saw on Twitter, and it was all you saw on N4G, and the title was inflammatory, the title was not intelligent or concise.  No the title was just bait to start a flame war, a way to generate comments and get your name out there, much like Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian, something I have tried to shy away from if at all possible.  I am perfectly happy to just have 5 readers if it means I get to wear a cape of integrity.  Granted sometimes my articles appear like fanboy rants, but if you read them I always qualify my arguments and make points, I do it in a humorous way, but it’s still somewhat poignant.  See I used to want to be a fanboy, in fact I used to freely admit it, but no longer, because I realized something that seems to have escaped most people.  Console makers, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, don’t know I exist.  At best I am a number on a sheet of projected sales figures; whether I am online defending them to other nerds makes no difference to them.  Sony is a big company, so if Microsoft, they don’t need me to defend them to anybody, because they don’t care about me, not as a person nor do they care about what you have to say about them.  No Greenberg re-tweets something like this because even though it is unprofessional and in poor taste, it sparks a flame war, which generates people commenting on and promoting the system.  It’s free advertisement, and that’s all they’re really after here.  If Kaz Harai ever tried to use one of my articles to bash a rival console, I would tell him to fuck off, because that’s not what I am trying to promote.

Kaz

Unrelated Kaz Hirai picture.

I don’t want flame wars, because I don’t think any one group of fanboys is better than another, there is no fanboy caste system.  They’re all the same thing to me; whiny little children who would rather deny the existence of reality then actually deal with the possibility of being wrong.  See everyone is wrong sometimes, I was wrong to by a PSPgo, and Greenberg was wrong to re-tweet that article, and OJ was wrong to murder his wife, and J Edgar Hoover was wrong to order the assassination of J.F.K. and Marilyn Monroe.  Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft all do equal amounts of utterly retarded things from time to time, Sony doesn’t have cross game voice chat, Microsoft charges billions for harddrive expansions, and Nintendo hates people who play games.   Nothing that I or anyone else says is going to magically change that.  The sooner everyone realizes that they are nothing more than numbers on a sales sheet and stops wasting their lives defending someone or something that will never ever give them the slightest bit of thanks for it, the sooner we can actually start getting what we want.

Sales

How video game makers see there fans.

Instead of all the Sony fanboys wasting their time calling Microsoft fanboys idiots, they should spend that time complaining about what is actually wrong, that way it might change.  Microsoft fans could also use their massive numbers to get some changes too, but instead they allow themselves to be played against each other like pawns by a company that stands to profit from there fighting.  If the people who stand to make money from you, tell you that you’re better then someone else because you buy their product, why would you listen to them?  The other side is telling there’s the same thing, then you fight online and they make more money.  Greenberg didn’t do anything that was outside his job description, he just did something that was morally wrong, but no one called him on it they just took the bait and started fighting amongst themselves.

Is EA sueing South Park for its Tiger Woods episode the right thing to do?  Verdict: It’s classic overreacting.

(Editor’s note: At the time this was written EA’s later statements about not suing anybody, hadn’t come out yet, but I am publishing it anyways because my thoughts dead on mirror exactly what EA said.)

South Park

You really gotta worry about people taking this seriously.

Earlier this week South Park came back on the air with an episode about Tiger Woods of course.  The kicker was the skewering of Tiger was based around his video game.  Naturally the day after that aired someone called EA for a comment, which was: “while I personally found the episode quite funny, there are definitely a few copyright infringements in there that I’m sure will be dealt with accordingly” Pretty innocent comment, but as the theme goes this week everyone freaked the fuck out.  See EA never really says they are going to sue anybody, they in fact said that the show was pretty funny.  Legally you can’t sue someone for doing a parody, EA knows that of course which is why they would only consider it if South Park directly broke a copyright agreement which I don’t even think they’re capable of.  As far as I am concerned South Park hasn’t really been funny in a couple of years now, it’s basically just 2 guys Trolling for 30 minutes a week in the hopes of drumming up some controversy.  The amount of negative feedback that was generated by the suspicion that EA might sue somebody was just ridiculous, it’s like everyone on earth just instantly felt the need to defend South Park and its freedom of speech.  In much the same way people feel the need to allow Republicans to speak, or the crazy guy on my street corner who yells at people to stop wearing pants.

Hobo

Alright, well I would probably defend this guy, but he's the exception.

In the end EA never said they were going to sue anyone, the comments they made reflected that, but the majority of the population that cared, just instantly assumed EA was the bad guys in this situation.  Which is the wrong way to think about it, at the worst EA is trying to protect a property that they have a ton of money invested in, and at the best they enjoyed a good healthy parody.  The TV show that is making fun of the situation should never be the good guy, after all regardless of how the show does they have already been paid.  I don’t think EA is a champion of rights or anything, but neither is South Park.   The problem I have is simple; assumptions are a dangerous and slippery slope, and assuming that EA is going to do the dickish thing isn’t actually the safe route anymore, EA has tried really hard to get back into all of our good graces this console generation.  They shake up there franchises and bring out new and interesting titles, but everyone still seems to hate them which I feel is kind of baseless.  It would be nice if people appreciated them for all the concessions they have given ‘us’ over the last few years, because a lot of people lost their jobs over that.

Gamespot now boasts more hits then IGN.  Verdict: One Satan is not better than another.

Lesser of two evils

Sort of the same concept.

This kind of goes back to a lot of the arguments I have made in this article; the second something becomes ‘for profit’ then it ceases to be truly un-bias.  IGN and Gamespot are the biggest sites in the world for video game news and reviews and such, which means they make the most money at it.  So it’s safe to assume they have the most to gain from generating traffic.  Now I am not one of those idiots that think the reviewers take money from publishers to write good scores, heavens know, it’s nothing that direct.  Gamespot just gets money from advertising, and then it’s sort of expected that you will cut a game some slack, and if you don’t then they’re going to fire your ass.

Kane and Lynch

In there defense, I think it was better than a 6.7

IGN on the other hand takes a far less obvious approach to rigging things; the criticism I am about to give is one that IGN is commonly accused of and responds to the criticism quite frequently.  See any major release IGN will always do a ‘first impression’ for, and they will always say it’s the second coming of Christ.  So that will generate a ton of comments from everyone and get everyone to eagerly anticipate the full review.  When the full review comes out it will generally start the same way ‘I know we said this was going to be good, but….’ And then they go on to usually give it one of the lower review scores of any site.  They always maintain that this is the result of there much more stringent review guidelines, but the rest of us can see that that is total bullshit sense most of the time there final review tally has almost nothing to do with the actual score.  I.E. a final tally of 9.6, 9.5, 9.8, 9.4, 9.3 will sometimes equal a 9.0 and other times equal a 10.  No the reason they do this is because all those people who egarlly were anticipating the review will comment the shit out of the article.  They will yell and swear and call them names, but in the end the IGN guys could care less, there advertising revenue goes up.

So see neither one of the two sites are really what I would call ‘honest’ reviewers, they have the art of generating hits down to a science, and that is all there really after.  Gaming is so much of a job to them at this point that this sort of lost the general charm that it has for the rest of us.  They don’t have to pay for their games; therefore it makes them a little more jaded when it comes to reviewing.  Both sites use videos from PS3 to showcase 360 games, and vice versa, sometimes even using PS3 screenshots to help pump Wii games.

Gears of War

IGN is reporting this new game: Gears of Wii

I don’t really think Gamespot is now generating more traffic than IGN, I just think IGN is generating a lot less traffic (as evidenced by all the recent layoffs).  I pretty much stopped getting my gaming news from them about a year ago, I moved on to more independent gaming blogs that are a little less soured by money.  No one in this online world is truly fair about games, I don’t make any money from this site but I would be lying if I said I didn’t hold PS3 in a higher regard then the 360(and a fuckload higher regard than the Wii).  I mean Joystiq posts about 30-40 articles a day, while you’re lucky to get 5 out of IGN.  If anything all this news really shows me is that in the great pie-chart of websites visited there would just be a ton more slices getting traffic.  I mean 5-6 years ago you pretty much had IGN, Gamespot, and 1UP, now your options are much better, and I think a lot of people are sticking with smaller sites with tighter communities and the big ones are suffering as a result.  But as the theme goes today, really the only people IGN has to blame is themselves.

Peace





Weekly News Roundup Volume 2!

20 02 2010

Good news, more content and games reviews are coming, I got friends of mine to write up reviews for Wii and PS3 games that I don’t own or don’t have time to play.  Sense I won’t pay them in anything except love, I can’t guarantee when those articles will be available to me to publish, or when I will get around to uploading them.  For that matter, when WordPress will not glitch up long enough for me to upload something, I swear when I get a job I am going to buy some cheap web hosting for this site.  So yeah if anything is reading this that isn’t the two friends I have writing now, you have a reason to be excited.

Fox News

As fair and balanced as Fox News.

Right-o time for another installment of my weekly news rundown, that isn’t weekly at all.  I have got 6 subjects on the line for today and some of them are pretty good, others are things only I care about.  But sense I wrote it and could give two shits about what you want, so here you go.

Is the 360’s decision to use DVD’s starting to hurt them?  Verdict:  Uh, pretty sure it has been for a while.

FF13 Dvds

What the current 360 situation is.

Okay so everyone needs to dust their brains off here for a second because I am going to ask you to think, ready?  Think back 3 years ago to a time when shiny new HD consoles were just starting to compete with one another.  The Wii was in its only little world of sunshine, daisies, and happiness, blissfully unaware that its only good games for the next 4 years had just come out, and the rest of us were unaware that this wouldn’t matter for some reason.  The 360 was enjoying a healthy dose of ‘hardcore’ dominance with hits like Halo 3 and the surprising dose of excellent that was Gears of War.  The PS3 was just out and attempting the almost impossible task of crawling up the massive hole that Sony and Microsoft had collectively dug for the PS3.  Sony had one big weapon it was using to get customers, the Blu-ray disc, capable of 40GB of data storage, it was supposed to usher in this wonderful new world of gaming where everything would look like a Pixar movie and play as good as Shadow of the Colossus.

Heavy Rain

The affore mentioned Pixar/SotC mix.

So Microsoft did something that was so incredibly brilliant, I am shocked to admit it happened, they went out and paid money so all those developers who were strapped for cash because of the massive cost of building new game engines, would release their games on both consoles.  This was good for devs for a couple of reasons, first they got big checks from Microsoft, second developing for the 360 was like developing for the original Xbox or a PC you just had more power on tap so the costs were relatively low, and third it made them all pretty much hate the PS3 for being overly complicated, overly expensive, and there was almost no advantages to it all.  So here you have this massive block of power that is the 360, and next to it you have the PS3 which is undoubtedly more powerful but that power is broken up into a bunch of smaller pieces you have to make worth together, which is hard, and devs are lazy lazy lazy folks, work is like the plague to them.  So Microsoft effectively neutralized the advantage that the PS3 had in hardware, because it was cheaper and easier to make it for the 360, so they did, and then ported it to the PS3.  So basically every game was only as powerful as the 360 could be, not as powerful as the PS3 could be, but see things designed to work on 360 hardware with DVD’s don’t work so well with PS3 hardware and Blu-ray discs.  So we entered into this wonderful world of subpar ports and massive hard drive installs, because a Blu-ray reader is half as fast as a DVD reader so you have to install all the data to the hard drive to make up for it.  So after owning say 10 games in the first year, your entire hard drive has already been eaten up.  I think my best example of this would be DMC4, everyone cried out for Sony’s metaphorical head when they found out DMC4 had a 5GB install on the PS3, when they should have been asking for Capcom’s head.  What the fuck?  Sony didn’t program the damn game, if Capcom can’t figure out how to mask load times that’s their problem, I criticize because Uncharted had already come out and was eyepoppingly good looking with no hard drive install, if they could do it so could you Capcom, but that would have required work.  Orange Box is another one to look at, let’s be clear here, Half-Life 2 is a great game, probably one of the best ever, but Source has never really been a graphics powerhouse.  So when Orange Box got ported to the PS3 it would stand to reason it would look pretty good, christ my 5 year old laptop can play Half-Life 2 pretty flawlessly.  But if you played Orange Box for PS3 you would know that it looks like Half-Life 2 running on the Commodore 64, because all EA did was take the PC code and dump it on a Blu-ray disc, that game had memory leaks you could drive an Aircraft carrier through.

Nimitz

Relativly speaking thats a small Aircraft Carrier.

Sony stood their ground and said ‘In 3 years you’re going to rue the day you decided to make the 360 your lead platform!’ and everyone laughed.  Now 3 years later guess what?  Actually it’s not what you think; about a year ago most studios switched over and made the PS3 the lead platform.  Rockstar started the murmurings when they spent the vast majority of the last year of development complaining about having to cut a lot of shit out of GTAIV because it just wouldn’t fit.  It’s funny because EA D.I.C.E. is one of my favorite targets in the world, they just make it too damn easy, but they were the ones that made the switch.  Mirror’s Edge was lead dev’d on the PS3, and something really remarkable happened as a result, D.I.C.E. came out and said that making PS3 lead was struggle at first but after growing pains it was really fast and allowed them to push the game well beyond what it would have been.  Then people saw MGS4, and Resistance 2, and Killzone 2, they saw the tech demo’s for Heavy Rain, the first shots of God Of War III running.  They found out that Sucker Punch made infamous on an optimized PS2 engine and it looked better then a lot of their lead 360 games that got ported.  It dawned on everyone, Sony was telling the truth.  There system was expensive and cumbersome at launch but it was future proofed for years to come, the 360 was easy at launch but now basic games require 2 discs just to run on the fucking thing.  If you think I am just blowing smoke, think about this, would Microsoft be touting Natal as a relaunch of the system if they had years of power yet to be unlocked?  There games are maxed out so there shifting the focus to something else instead.

Natal

Thank god, it had been a year sense I bought Halo again! RE-FUCKING-JOYCE!

All of this is building up to the rather simple point that the decision to use DVD’s instead of a new media standard was a move Microsoft made to capture the eye of studios struggling with spiraling development costs, and to keep their system cheap to capture new gamers.  But all that was stuff for launch and the 2 years that followed, they had no real concrete plan after that, and now everyone who is willing to admit it, is seeing the cracks in the mighty Microsoft juggernaut.  The DVD’s were always a problem, they were always going to be a bigger and bigger problem with each passing year, id Software was the first major player to say it.  There new title ‘Rage’ was going to have to be severely compressed to fit on 2 Xbox DVD’s, while the PS3 one was 1 disc that ran faster, with less load times and looked better.  The Lost Planet 2 team is lamenting that 30% of their game is going to have to be released as day-1 DLC packs because they can’t fit it on the discs.  Oh yeah in case you weren’t aware that’s why day-1 DLC for Multi-console titles has become big because they can’t fit it on the fucking discs and have to give it back to you right away.  700mb of content is roughly 1/10 of a DVD, so bonus quests and characters and maps and modes have to be sold back to you later.  Sony loves it because developers pay by the mb on the PSN, so now all the sudden the 360 is costing them more money than the PS3, how do you like that?  Payback, as they say, is a bitch.

Payback

Payback, personified.

Sony America’s new PSPgo promotion from an early adopter’s standpoint.  Verdict: My balls hurt from being busted so much.

PSP Go

That is Sony's metaphorical cock, slapping me in the face.

Okay so admittedly that first one was a bit of an anti-360 rant as well as piece about why Microsoft knowingly fucked there users from day 1.  Sense I am nothing if not a fair and balanced individual, lets balance the scales out by talking about how Sony fucked there users from day 1, and then 6 months later decided to slap them in the face for letting themselves get fucked.  I want to make a point clear first, I bought a PSPgo day 1, drove 40 minutes to get it too, so I could use Best Buy coupons to make its price a little easier to swallow.  I really like it, its light, it looks cool, and the idea of a handheld that is digital only is really cool; it opens the door for Sony to do some neat things with it.  Just look at Steam, everybody loves it, hell my 60 year old Dad loves it because it’s easy and intuitive and most importantly it understands that as a digital only delivery platform it can do deals and promotions and still make gobs of money.  You can tell that Sony looked long and hard at the iPhone as a games platform, and how its distribution works, and then they looked at Steam and how it delivers content, and then proceeded to take all those wonderful things they learned and throw them into a fire, and then take the ashes and piss on them, and then launch them into space.

Launch

Bye bye solid advice! We barely knew you!

For me the whole go of online distribution is that you can get things to people cheaper and faster than disc based, which would imply that things for the PSPgo would be cheaper then say the regular PSP, that implication however is dead wrong.  It isn’t cheaper, not even 1 cent cheaper, in fact when you factor in powering the device and paying for the internet connection to download it, it’s probably more expensive.  Let’s start from the beginning though, when the Go launched in America I got a voucher for Rockband Unplugged, it was a completely free game, and could not have cared less about it.  No instead I went and got Patapon 2 and God of War, you know games that people care about and buy systems to play.  Europe got Gran Turismo PSP for free, and got to trade in three PSP UMD discs for download vouches, essentially getting 4 free games for buying the fucking thing.  Weeks later they were giving codes to download LittleBIGPlanet PSP, Assassins Creed Bloodlines, or Motorstorm.  In case you’re wondering that tally is now up to 5 free 40 dollar games, which math teaches me is roughly 200 dollars, which  means European owners paid around 50 bucks for their Go’s.  Japan got similar deals with different games, and months later here in the U.S. the best I have gotten is still Rockband Unplugged.  I think I qualify as a fairly loyal Sony consumer; I am one of maybe 250,000 U.S. PSPgo owners, basically the early adopters that are even allowing Sony to continue with this games Platform.  I have maintained the entire time that eventually Sony will wise up and start giving discounts to Go owners via the PSN, and maybe some game vouches.

Steam

Like another really popular content delivery platform does.

So imagine my joy last week when I found out that they were finally bringing the AC:B and LBP deal to the U.S. all you had to do was register your device on the PSN and you would be sent a voucher…..wait, what the fuck?  What if I already registered my device on the PSN months ago when I bought the fucker and couldn’t use it for 3 days until I got a goddamn wireless signal to do a firmware update sense you can’t do that over a corded connection for some arbitrary reason?  If that’s the case then congratulations you have been completely fucked over by Sony, the deal is only valid for brand new PSN users, therefore only good for brand new Go owners.  The rest of us that spent our hard earned money to support you in your fledgling days are getting nothing out of this whole deal except a big middle finger.  Maybe someday if the whole thing works will get to say we were there, we were good men who would not roll over in the face of a tyrant, we fought for what we believed in, that a world could exist where digital distribution would not cost the same as disc based content, and hardware manufactures would appreciate there consumers a little more, and shortly after that me and my magical unicorn dragon will ride into space and find the kingdom of infinite cake.

Art

This will happen before Sony does something smart with the GO.

Non-littleBIGplanet Avatar pictures were released.  Verdict?  2-7!

Whenever the hell it was that I wrote my last news rundown thing I mentioned first off that Deadspace Extraction should release as a PSN and XBL download for 15 bucks and it would probably sell better then the Wii version.  Well were about to find out if that’s true or not because EA is going to do just that, now that reaffirmed the undying love I have for myself, and stroked my ego into a giant ascending whirlwind of flame.  So you can imagine how happy I was when found out that Sony once again read my blog and did exactly what I told them to do by releasing premium avatars that weren’t lBp.  So last week they put out ones based on M.A.G. and I am pretty sure I am going to get the team Raven one, sense Raven is my team and I will admit that despite it being so far in last place in game statistics its frankly embarrassing, I still like them to a punch of hoodie wearing psychos over at S.E.V.R.  Besides I get ball tons of bonus for finishing first all the time.

Raven

See, in context thats worth 50 cents.

This comes down to that same old impression as Home, which is, is it pathetic to buy stuff for an Avatar in a game, even if it is only 50 cents?  Well no I don’t really think it is, weird as this sounds.  See my PSN Avatar is seen by nearly 65 friends on there now.  I buy a new shirt because I don’t want to look like a slob or the same as everyone else and that’s only for about 4-5 real life people that I care enough about to spend money on clothes.  I spend a fuck load more money on games and care about my persona in online gaming a whole fuck load more too, so 50 cents to set myself apart in that world is really pretty worth it to me.  In the end I just wanted to toot my own horn for being right again, much like Michael Pachter does for his industry best 1 out of 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 predictions.

Pachter

He got his own fucking TV show :*(

Yakuza 3 is coming!  Verdict:  Hell yeah it is!

Yakuza 3

This is what popped up when I googled Yakuza 3

So this week a demo for Yakuza 3 was released on the PSN, later that night I was inundated with literally 2 emails asking me how excited I was for that game.  Well the answer I would give is that I don’t think I know anybody that has played any of the other previous Yakuza games or knows anything about them that wasn’t really really really excited when they heard it was coming to the U.S. after a lot of speculations.  For those of you that don’t know, the Yakuza series is probably the best example of the ‘Like GTA but’ genre of games.  However unlike its bastard inbred cousins (Just Cause, Saints Row, etc) Yakuza has never been able to build any sort of U.S. fanbase.  Well not one big enough to justify releasing the games over here.  I mean they have, but every time they do they sell like a 9-year old boy in a chur….uh like a….Starship Enterprise replica at a Star Wars convention i.e. not good.  After which Sega swears up and down that they will never release the next installment over here stateside, but then the next installment makes enough money in Japan that they can and do release it everywhere else.

Yakuza Tatoo

That tatoo ain't cheap folks.

The focus of Yakuza is less on gunplay and general mayhem and more on good cohesive storytelling and good old fashion beat-em-up games.  Like Double Dragon or River City Rampage(or, if you accidentally download a batch of nes games with porn mods, Pussy City Rampage), this game has you fighting with fists of fury.  There’s an interesting notion, why did those kinds of games die off over here?  Japan still loves beat-em-ups, so does Europe, but America just fell out with them, like Healthbars in FPS’s.  Anyways, think Godhand with more than one background, and GTAIV without a brown/grey filter on it and you pretty much have the notion of Yakuza.  The demo was a good start, and I think that Yakuza could really become one of those rare transitional franchises, where something really popular in Japan actually translates well to the U.S. market and sells well here too.  The sort of game that people in the U.S. actually wait for to come out of Japan, if they market it right it could be a success story, here is hoping it is because there a fantastic series of games that really deserve some recognition.  More than likely it’s going to get lost in the March shuffle though, sense that fucking month has become the new November for some reason.

God of War 3

Pictured Above: The likely result of the Yakuza 3 vs. God of War match.

Bobby Kotick says he is not a ‘Dick’.  Verdict:  But he is.

I mean really, the guy is a tremendous dick; this guy releases like 20 Guitar Hero games a year and then fires his employees when they don’t sell well.  He approves making Tony Hawk Ride which is a shitty game with a shitty over priced skate board you have to plug in to use, and then tells console makers there shit is too expensive.  He wants to make MW a pay to play service, you know because it offers you so many awesome features that other online shooters don’t to justify that cost.  In short he is a very short man, with an even shorter amount of integrity, and will gladly hang you and everyone else out to die if it means getting his stock options up 1/10 of a point.  Which makes him the enemy of any gamer that likes originality or new and interesting concepts, and for those of you that think what we think doesn’t matter, remember EA.

Kotick

How Bobby Kotick see's the world.

Remember 10 years ago when they would release Madden 09, Head Coach 09, Player Trainer 09 at the same time and for every mother fucking system on earth?  When they would hold their employees inside at gunpoint and force them to program crap before they would feed them.  Well now they take risks with new and interesting ideas like Mirrors Edge, and shake up established franchises like giving Battlefield a single player aspect/campaign.  That’s because we stopped buying there shit and sent them hate mail up the ass; remember consumers still hold the power here.  The very fact that Kotick is making statements like this shows that he is starting to be slightly concerned about his image with gamers, maybe there dwindling returns on games this year, even MW2 really, is already having an effect on him.

Valve is sure they’ll make games for PS3 in the future.  Verdict: Oh well thank you Valve.

Valve

Valve, cool logo, uncool company.

Well get ready because I think Valve has consistently pissed me off the most of anybody in the world over the past 5 years, and I spent 2 years dating a bi-polar girl.  I really want to know when Valve got this inflated view of themselves as some sort of messiahs of gaming, who could actively ignore, no, who could actively antagonize an entire section of the gaming world for years and then just wake up one day and say ‘Yeah we’ll make some games for you I guess’ and were all supposed to just melt and thank them and throw roses at their feet.  Yes ladies and gentlemen, be thankful because you too can now wait for the rest of time for Half-Life 2 Episode 3 to come out, in the mean time enjoying a completely underwhelming, yet inexplicably popular, dose of mediocrity known as Left 4 Dead.  Seriously I have tried to play L4D no less than 6 times now, and every time I just haven’t gotten why people like it so much.  You run around the exact same environment and fight zombies, the zombies change up now and then but that’s really all the game brings to the table.  It’s graphically unimpressive and the Havok physics are once again laughable at best, with zombies frequently falling onto a board and then launching into the upper atmosphere.

Unleashed

Proper use of Havok Physics.

Source is just freaking old now, and Valve won’t make a new one for anything; they refuse to make HL2:E3, often saying they don’t even know how to end it yet; Left 4 Dead 2 was released recently and couldn’t have impressed me less.  In fact the only thing they made in the last 7 years that has been at all worth it to even play was Portal, and they didn’t even make that, a local college that licensed there engine did.  The last time Valve released a game for a Sony console was the original Half Life for the PS2, 10 fucking years ago.  I would like to think that Sony gamers have gotten along just fine without them for this long, so I don’t really know what Valve expects to happen here.  A Left 4 Dead port will sell like shit, they know that, which means that they would have to make Portal 2 for PS3 or HL2:E3 for PS3 neither of which I would think they would want to do based on some of the stuff they have said over the past 5 years.

Headcrabs

Pic unrelated.

I really wouldn’t have cared that much, I mean there are plenty of people that don’t make PS3 games and I still like them.  Epic Games are great fun; they have Cliffy B who is the logical opposite of Bobby K.  The reason I don’t hate Epic is that every fucking time Cliffy B has opened his mouth for the previous 5 years he has not gone out of his way to insult Sony, the Playstation brand, and anyone that owns one.  This, in case you didn’t know, is exactly what Gabe Newell has done.  Gabe Newell is the fattest man on earth, and it seems he has let all that fat go directly to his head.  I mean some friendly ribbing now and then is okay, but in over the last 5 years he has said, the PS3 is useless, that no sane person would own one or make games for it, Valve would never waste the money to make PS3 games, Left 4 Dead won’t be on PS3 because the community is awful, they didn’t care that Orange Box was awful on PS3 and that none of the patches were released for it.  I mean it’s just classless, you get the impression Kaz Hirai must asked him how far along he was the first time he met him.  He seems to have a completely un-rational hatred for all things Sony; he had neither PS3 development going on, nor any plan for it, so why the hell did he sit there and say it was expensive and complicated all those years?  How did he know it was?  Randy Pitchford the CEO over at Gearbox basically said Gabe was full of shit and should shut up, which, trust me, is what a lot of people out there are thinking.  For that matter the CEO of Insomniac called him a dick on their Podcast, followed by Sucker Punch’s CEO saying Newell needed to lay off Sony and get some work done.  Even their own quotes show an unnecessary level of hate, they didn’t even care that their own game sucked on the PS3, and how can you not care that something you made isn’t any good?

Orange Box

Pictured Above: Something that was not well done.

If you don’t want to make PS3 games, then fine don’t, no one is forcing you too.  But you can’t expect to do and say the things he has said for the previous few years and then all the sudden realize that there is money to be made, and then change your entire attitude toward something.  Maybe if they apologized or something it would be better, but when they come out and say ‘Yeah I guess we can’ there still acting like some emo-child you asked to go into the sunlight.  It’s the most backhanded compliment I have heard in a while, I would tell you to boycott there shit to teach them a lesson but that would just give Newell more ammunition in his quest.  No I would ask that you look at the simple merits of what you’re being presented with, with all the great stuff available for you to get on PS3, are you really missing the Valve stuff that much?  Don’t be a crying baby like Newell, approach this intelligently and with dignity, leave the crying and dick jokes to yours truly.

Arnold

Hey Gabe, Arnold has some words for you.

Peace.