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So, some may say E3 isn't quite what it was. Can you blame them? E3 was at its peak one million square feet of gaming overload and booth babes, where gamers would be sweating over the hype of the event and its booth babes. Today, that E3 is no more, and that makes some people sad.
Fret not! There are plenty of up and coming conventions to be had. The one that comes to mind is PAX, which is quickly becoming a replacement for E3. From a news standpoint it's not there, but from the crowds standpoint its there. Of course, there are the venerable shows, like the Tokyo Games Show and Games Convention Leipzig. But, the big bad American Games Conference known as E3 is just a shadow of its former self, and it makes me sad.
E3 is generally a time of gaming news. Chances are that there will be some of those sort of announcements at the event again. But in the internet age, such news comes every day. Did you know E3 is in two weeks? Do you even care?
For me, E3 has lost its luster. Gone are the day of big booths and busty booth babes. Gone are the days of being really, really excited about what might be announced at E3. (MEGATON) It's just not there anymore, but that's what I think. How about you, what do you think about E3? Share my opinion, or perhaps your opinion is a bit darker or sunnier than mine?
E3 is in fact a shadow of its former self, and the shadow the old E3 left behind has lost a lot of what made E3 in fact E3. It's sad, and perhaps the ESA will release that some day and bring back the amazing Trade Show we know and love as E3.
You know, I happen to live in Cincinnati. It’s sort of an advertising / marketing Mecca. That’s bound to happen when Procter and Gamble happens to be based in your city. You know, Ivory Soap, Tide, Pringles, Gillette, Old Spice, Febreeze, etc… that company. Not to mention all of their recent divestures, we are home to the company who spends lots of money on their brands. In fact, they spend the most money of any company. So, certainly, we in Cincinnati have a company who knows how to do things right. God bless P&G. They make Cincinnati proud.
Some companies try very hard to be good at advertising. They try very hard to project an image. They’re so good that they do so at the expense of royally ticking off their old fan base. Nintendo seems to be that brand. It’s sad though, as they try to be just like Apple, but that’s hard when you have people like Laurent Fischer.
Continue reading The Cynical Gamer #6: Laurent Fischer
So, believe it or not, but I am actually a gamer. I know, wow! The cynical gamer is a gamer! It may frighten you to know then that I do not own a 360 or PS3. Rather, I own that technologically inferior Wii. I used to think that was a bad deal, but then I realized that when I do play the system I am absolutely enthralled. Who’d a thunk it? Thanks, Okami! (and NMH, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Paper Mario, Metroid Corruption, and Twilight Princess). Truly, in the mounds of shovel ware, there are some winners.
WiiWare – how I am excited for this downloadable medium. Games like Eternity’s Child and World of Goo, in addition to Strongbad’s Game for Cool and Attractive People, certainly have my interest. On launch day (well, the day after actually), I decided to by Lost Winds. It was a gamble for me, for it was developed by Frontier. Ugh. They developed RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, and that game crushed by top of the line laptop. (at least it was 4 years ago) So, I had low, and at the same time high expectations for the game. Turns out that the game is pretty darn good, but then, I noticed something, and it made me rather unhappy.
On the download screen, Lost Winds takes up about 250 blocks on the Wii. It was then I saw how much space I had left on my internal memory, about 500 blocks. Ouch. I guess I can download one or two more games before Nintendo, in their infinite wisdom, decides that I should start deleting things in order to obtain newer releases. I only have a few Virtual Console games on my Wii, and Lost Winds, so, this development has my head scratching.
What the hell, Nintendo? Do you really want to stifle people from spending money on your wares? Do you really wish to not utilize the SD card slot or USB for additional storage? Do you really think 512MB of internal memory is enough? If you did, then you certainly must have a clearer idea of what people like me want. I guess that I don’t actually know what I want. But, thankfully, you do, and you’re limiting me to 512MB of downloads. Bravo, Nintendo! Bravo!
So, Nintendo, is your head so far up your ass that you can’t see that people are willing to spend money to populate more than 512MB worth of space? Do you really think that everyone is going to only by NES games to populate the Wii Channel list that is horizontally expansive? Do you think people are going to want to constantly delete and re-add games whenever they want to play something? I sure hope not.
512MB is a miniscule chunk of space to bestow on a console with downloadable content. Perhaps it’s time for a larger storage solution for the Wii. Certainly, we gamers hope that Nintendo is doing what is necessary to afford us more space. Until that time, we gamers will continue to be frustrated by the prospect that we’ll have to delete something to add something new. On a console that tries to reach out to the elusive “casual gamer”, ease of operation should be paramount. It’s clear though that the ease of dealing with downloadable content is not. It’s time for that to change.
There are many big developers out there. Such Behemoths as Activision, Nintendo, and the evil empire we know as EA. Love or hate, these behemoths tend shape the future of the gaming world, for better or worse. On the other end of the spectrum, we’ll have the fallen angels, where certain companies have just fallen out of favor. Such is the story for Atari. No, not the old Atari that was cool and caused the video game collapse in the 80s, but the current, sad, sorry Atari that was originally Infogrames / Hasbro Interactive. What went wrong, and what the hell are you doing?
Atari, you have some decent franchises. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the Rollercoaster Tycoon
series. Chris Sawyer was a genius, and the fact that the first game was the number one seller the year it came out proved it. Too bad then that you took the series and combined it with shit in Rollercoaster Tycoon 2. A sequel, nah, that was a castration. You tried to make better with the third game in the series, but while it was fun it was a resource hog that slowed to a crawl when your park became too large. Good job destroying that franchise.
Recently, you almost lost your license for Dragonball Games. For you, that certainly would have sucked, as your Budokai games are actually pretty fun. They are perhaps the only gems that are not tarnished in your crown by pieces of shit like My Horse and Me. Is that even proper English? I believe that it should be “My Horse and I”. Great job promoting the further castration of the English Language, in a world where the internet is destroying the written language you’re doing your part by influencing little girls who are too small to use the internet. In time, they’ll join the rest of us on the internet, creating some hideous MySpace page with the welcome statement “Like O My Gawd I am liek so Happy that u r here!” What a sick sad world it is. Thankfully, the economy has collapsed, so these bubblegum girls aren’t going to be able to hide in McMansions anymore. Thank God, perhaps they’ll learn what their poor English will get them in terms of a job. Do you think “Would you like Fries with that?” is hard for them to learn? I don’t think so, but I digress.
Atari, you’re a lost cause. Try as you might, but you’ll never be a behemoth in the gaming world. It’s funny though, because you do try
. You took Phil Harrison from Sony. What the hell? You’re supposed to go out in a blaze of glory, taking the Infogrames stock price with you! But you must not realize that, or perhaps you do, and you just want to ruin poor ol’ Phil. Phil seems to be such a nice guy though, it isn’t as though he’s the one known for “RIIIIIIIDGGEEEE RAAACCER!” No, that’d be Kaz Hirai. What? You say you wanted that guy?
I am sure that with enough money you can get him. I am sure Sony wouldn’t mind to have Phil back, and we’d be happy to see you go down in flames without him.
It’s time for you to smell the roses, Atari. Your time is over, and it’s time for new companies to grow out of your decomposed remains.It is noted that a lot of thought came about regarding the structure of the English language from just writing this article. We really wish our resident grammar Nazi, known to the RFG Community as Arrrhaloymnn was around to give his perspective. There’s nothing quite like a native Dutch Speaker giving a native English speaker his perspective on English grammar. Oh well.
Nintendo! What the hell is wrong with you? Words can describe how frustrated you make me. It's times like today where I wish that you went the way of Sega. You know how to print money for yourself, but in terms of catering to everyone, you've failed. I remember how you said that you wanted to cater to everyone, but now it's obvious that was a crock of shit. Kudos to you Nintendo, we love the shovelware that you promote.
Get this Nintendo - a large population of Wii owners are actually above the age of 18! We're sick of the "Protect the Kids Bullshit!"ť Microsoft does a great job protecting the kids while at the same time providing the best online experience of any console. You, on the other hand, are so preoccupied with "protecting the kids"ť that you neglect the potential sales and desires of your older owners. It pisses us off, and we hate it.
I don't want Carnival Games. I want more games like No More Heroes. I don't want Smash Bros with Friend Codes. I want Smash Bros with Live. I don't want the PS2 version of Rock Band; I want the full fledged version that the 360 and PS3 has. Perhaps you don't realize it Nintendo, but what you're doing now is pissing people like me off because your policies promote developers to port CRAP! I'm sick of this crap, and I am getting rather sick of you.
Continue reading The Cynical Gamer #3: Nintendo
Maxis was a great company. Who didn't love SimCity 2000? Certainly, it's no Stunt Driver, but boy was the game fun. Could you get the Launch Arcos to actually launch? I couldn't. I suck. But hey, at least I could start major floods like the best SimCity players. Floods are something that all the new SimCity games surely miss. Bring them back Maxis. I beg you. Maxis was certainly a great company. Today, however, it is part of the behemoth known as EA. Sure, they still have reign to make potentially amazing games such as Spore, but let's look at the other, unfortunate studios. Take for example Westwood Studios, the original developer of the hugely successful Command and Conquer Series. Red Alert"¦ quality game. Red Alert 2"¦ also a quality game. So you'd think a studio with a series as successful as Command and Conquer would have been allowed to survive, right? Well, you'd be wrong. Instead EA ate them. No more. Completely assimilated. That's apparently what you get for screwing up on an offshoot of your major franchise. Thanks C&C Renegade. So, there went Westwood, and other studios have seen similar fates, becoming less autonomous and on occasion just not existing anymore. Bullfrog? What's that? They've been gone for a while.
EA likes to buy companies. In the past, they would assimilate the companies, but recently their CEO mentioned that this model just was not a good idea. Of course, this statement was made right around the acquisition of a high profile developer. You may know them as Bioware. They make good games. Most recently they released Mass Effect, and before that they had hits such as Jade Empire and Neverwinter Nights. Hugely successful. Congrats to them. But you got to wonder, will their success keep them from becoming a footnote in EA's corporate history? Sure, EA says that assimilation is a bad thing, but was that just said to placate the masses of people who find Bioware to be the be all end all of developers? (I'm looking at you, Tan) History shows they have no problem making developers part of the bigger EA. So, is that fate subject to Bioware? What could it take? A bad game? A whim of the CEO? Nothing? Who knows? But what I do know is that I'd take Mr. Riccitiello's comments with a grain of salt. It might make a future assimilation even more stinging than it should be.
So, why am I writing this article? Is it because there is a Blizzard Warning out right now and I am cooped up in the house, or is it because EA is trying to become ultra-mega EA upon the purchase of either Take Two or perhaps Ubisoft. Maybe it's both. But yeah, doesn't EA's Grand Theft Auto sound delightfully evil? The Evil Publisher, with what is considered by some to be the devil's game. How delightfully maniacal. Damn you EA for owning Maxis. You'll get my money for that. But, will you or will you not keep your future and new acquisitions autonomous? I certainly hope that you do, but at the same time I certainly will not keep my hopes up.
Hey there, name's Dave. I run this here site. I am generally a bright cheery fellow on this site. However, if you know in me in real life, I am the ultimate cynic. Doom, doom, and doom. So, I've decided on occasion to treat you to my brutally honest, cynical side. Friends that personally know me may get a kick out of this, while others may be infuriated with the statements I have to make. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy my spin.
I wrote this lovely review of No More Heroes. It's a nice game. Seriously. However, reading through comments I see comments belittling the game because it has "waggle". Well, la de da. I hate Halo because of its control. No thanks. There is one difference though - I've played Halo. Sure, you may not enjoy the "waggle" motions that get old (see Zelda), but trust me, this game is nothing like Zelda. The game makes "waggle" fun and rewarding. Finishing moves are completed via the "waggle," and to be honest, it's executed well. As are throws and wrestling moves initiated by "waggle." Never before has the "waggle" felt so good. I may even go so far as to say that the waggle of No More Heroes is better than that of Zack and Wiki. But, I digress.
I can't help but think that people who attack the motion controls of the Wii have some type of ulterior motive. Motion control, if executed properly, can be done really well, such as in No More Heroes or Even Mario Galaxy. It can also be piped into a shovelware title, and made to exhibit behaviors inherent of crap. Similarly, the same can be said for other systems. Do I look to play sims or RTS's on a console? Hell no. But look, there are games like the Sims or Theme Park World, and soon to be Halo Wars. Give me a computer to play these genres on. Even games with "normal" control can suck. Do I need to start naming shitty games with normal control? Nah, you're all smart, I bet you can think of your own.
Don't get me wrong - the Wii is currently the home of shovelware and crap. However, there are those gems in the landfill. In time, the frequency of these gems may increase, but who knows. Certainly it is a worrying thought for anyone who owns a Wii and also wishes for more than Casual Crap. The DS eventually became great, I certainly hope the same for the Wii.
So, those who dismiss motion control as "waggle," why? Did you get burned out on the Wii by playing too many crappy games, or do you possess inherent fanboyism? Maybe you're just getting old. I hear that as you age you get more resistant towards new ideas, perhaps that's it? Can you hear your bones rattling? That might be it.
Do yourself a favor. Take a deep breath. Think about why you hate or love motion control. Can you change your view of motion control? Are you willing to change your view? Perhaps you will as more good games are released with motion control. There might be a few you enjoy. All I know is that I feel bad for people like Suda51. Great concept and execution, dismissed for its "waggle". Certainly, a shame.
People have been sneering at the price of the PS3. They say it is expensive. You know, this statement is correct. However, I find it troubling that many of these people that say the Playstation 3 is overly expensive have no problem laying down the money for Microsoft's 360. I find such actions humorous. Let's analyze what I perceive as the true costs of these two systems, in terms of what they have to offer and what hidden costs lie with the system. Perhaps, we'll be enlightened after this discussion. Perhaps you'll be enraged. Chances are though that my arguments are pretty decent, and perhaps it will make take a second look at which system you ultimately end up purchasing.
Continue reading PS3 or 360? Why not Make an Informed Decision?
As I sit hear, listening to the Future of Rock and Roll
, I was pondering what my next article should be. I sit hear, enjoying the music, listening to the smooth melodies of the indie rock scene. Feel the emotion, the magic, the rhythm. Music is a powerful medium. Music can be one of the best ways to convey emotion and mood without saying a word. Truly, music is an important part of games. From the 8-bit era to today, music has been an integral part of games. Think of the classics. The Mario Theme. The Zelda Theme, and many more, they're all great. Let's take the time to reminisce on the past, and identify the history of game music as it is today.
Continue reading Game Music through the Ages... Why is Game Music so Popular?