I'm am a dedicated PC gamer who believes that everyone deserves to hear the facts. I have beta tested multiple games in the past and have been known to outright tell developers what needs to be done to make it tolerable of a game. That's why it's beta right?
Nonetheless, gaming has been a hobby for me since I was a wee little lad. My favorite console of all time would be the SNES(even if I only ever played it a few times) with the N64 following that then the Gamecube. Nothing will ever compare to those consoles. Ever.
You know enough. The personals can be found out if you get to know me.
I'm still sad about the loss of THQ. I'm probably not the only one still feeling like they lost a piece of their childhood even though most of the Ips have went under new management. I'm just sad that a piece of gaming history has ceased to exist and that the stuff you physically own with a THQ logo on it is going to be so sad to see. I feel like right now that I should tell you about my childhood and how i've kind of grown up with THQ by my side.
My first official THQ game would have to have been the licensed WWE title called Wrestlemania 2000. This was on the Nintendo 64 and was such a fun game that both me and my younger brother would play. We really bonded over this game because we had fun screwing around. My favorite part was when we would go into the wrestler customization feature and customize our own wrestlers. I would be the type of guy to make a really funny looking wrestler then give him a really funny name to suit him. This brought many many laughs to my brother and I.
On a serious note, we did love to play the game. I think this was the only time I really bonded with my younger brother when I was growing up because we would always play this game together and have some fun. I know it caused problems for my mom because whenever we were in the living room, we would typically be playing this game. I have yet to replay this game again but nonetheless it is my first official memory of THQ and where my journey to play there games begin.
My second venture into the world of THQ would be the game Destroy All Humans!. I always found this game extremely amusing and also it scared me a little bit when I was younger. It scared me a lot less though due to the voice acting of Richard Steven Horvitz who I am a big fan of. This little game was a gem because of the fact that it was a cheesy alien game in which you're trying to take over the Earth. This made me a die hard fan of the series. However, I started to gain interest in another series after this one.
My third venture actually started with a war game, Frontlines: Fuel of War, the predecessor to the Homefront game. This game I found interesting because this was on Xbox 360 and I loved playing the demo on it. I don't know why but I always thought that despite the drawbacks, it had some pretty fun mechanics. It was the THQ version of a Battlefield game. Some might say that it was a little bad but to me it was one of those great games that I couldn't stop playing. I remember playing this game demo all the way up until release. I wouldn't pick it up the full game until after the next one.
The fourth venture and probably the one which has made me have some regrets. Not because it's bad but because I don't own my physical copy anymore which I used to have. This is my first game I ever preordered. The game is Red Faction: Guerilla and I have had little to none experience with that series at the time of preordering it. I originally preoredred it at GameStop which was when I actually liked them. Back then I had little to no idea about the series except seeing a few videos on the past games on Youtube.
Could I play it back then? No. Why? Because I preordered it for PC. I don't remember exactly what type of PC I had but it couldn't even launch the game. It took me a few years to even get a rudimentary PC to even launch it with frame rate drops but that wasn't good enough for me so I just didn't play it. This lead me to just sell it off on some site because I didn't feel I had a reason to keep it. This is where the regrets come into play because I really miss feeling like I was owning a piece of THQ history. Luckily, my story doesn't end here.
The moment I got a fairly compatible PC(Which I will tell you is not the one I currently own now.) is where I hit probably the best THQ game I have ever played. This would be Saints Row 2. I saw a playthrough of the first one on Youtube which gained me interest in the series. I didn't get to play it till the second but it was a wise choice. I downloaded the second and started playing this game. Me, as The Boss, in such a wonderful game has never felt so sad for a game. Saints Row 2 is one of those milestones in my life because it is a rather sad and truly emotional game. You feel sadness because many of your homies die who you connect with and it feels almost as if you're losing friends who you trust the most. Every time someone died Saints Row 2, i'm pretty sure there was tears forming in my eyes. It was such a sad game that it was almost impossible for me to stop playing as I get revenge on all of those who took out my friends. This wouldn't be the last Saints Row though....
Unknowingly, I did play Darksiders. I didn't know until I played it from the Humble THQ Bundle that I have indeed played it in the past. It was actually because of OnLive which I had a trial to use and Darksiders was one of the game which it allowed me to play. I couldn't remember if I was any good but I did play some of the first level despite my connection issues and the constant lag which I was having but I still played it. It was awesome and will never be forgotten as a game which i'm sure a lot of you like just as much as I do now. I might not have played Darksiders lately in awhile but I still feel that it is my duty to play every THQ game at least once.
In modern times, I have pretty all the THQ games from the Humble Bundle on my Steam account which hasn't been touched in awhile. This is mostly due to my backlog and the fact that I am awaiting Bioshock: Infinite where i'll play that and beat it which will cause me to regain interest in other games such as Metro 2033, Darksiders, Company of Heroes, and the sort. I might not be playing them now but i'm at least glad to have been part of gaming history with those games. THQ might have had it a little rough but I feel that as a company, they weren't as bad as some others. THQ is perhaps my childhood and defines it quite a bit.
I hope you liked learning about my gaming history with THQ. I still miss you as a company and am keeping that Frontlines physical copy of mine safe because it reminds me of the good ol' days. Thank you for creating some of the best franchises of this and last generation. I hope that you will not be forgotten because you're a company that is unlike any other.
I know, I know. I haven't written a c-blog seriously for awhile now but that's because I haven't had anything to write about. Though today i'm going to be writing about preorders and mostly the pros of them. You're probably guessing a major reason why I'm writing this is because of Aliens: Colonial Marines but since every forum I go on for the most part has had people complaining about preorders now due to what happened, I just need to vent about some of the stuff that is on my mind and get people to see my perspective on everything.
Now that comment above really irritated the hell outa me because this person the Steam forums says that he won't preorder games and never will because of the fact that there is many games which don't live up to the expectations and therefore feels his need to wait until release. Not that I have anything against that but my main irritation is how he thinks preorders are here to bite you in the ass and then cause you to regret your purchase. It's not, obviously, but let me get to the point.
The point is that preorders are actually rather beneficial despite some of the negative ways they have been used and swindled money out of the consumers. The main point is that it is used by the publishers to determine how many people are buying said game and telling if said franchise has big enough of a market to get a wide audience to earn a profit. There's nothing wrong with figuring out how many people are interested in your game. Borderlands 2 broke preorder records for 2K and 2K really relied on those preorder numbers as it really helped to make sure they kept up with demand prior to launch.
The second point is that NOT ALL PREORDERS ARE BAD. It's true. Most preorders are not bad at all and actually are well worth it if the developer is respectable and has produced a great many games and not a single failed game. The new assumption now since A:CM is that every game is now out to steal your money and under deliver. The fact is that this is not true at all. Gearbox is known to under deliver especially with what happened with Duke Nukem Forever and how they typically outsource a lot of their work because they don't have the numbers to do stuff like produce DLC or something along those lines.
Consumers should always look at the development past of a game studio and look to see what games they have produced. This goes well for older franchises because if it is an already established franchise then you should have no worries because of the quality expectations of what you should expect the developer to reach as per the fact they're more than likely to expand on most mechanics and introduce new ideas in the process. You should always know that history prior to preorder as well as if t is an established franchise.
Aliens: Colonial Marines, while a new IP, created by Gearbox which has a questionable past definitely had it coming there way. So by saying that Metro: Last Light, Tomb Raider, Bioshock: Infinite, and a list of other games coming out this month or a few months from now shouldn't offer preorders because of what happened is just bullshit. Preorders aren't as bad as they seem despite a few bad eggs but you have to understand that it has some valid reason for existing. Some preorders obviously offer stuff they'll sell later, and others are just there for those who want a little bit of a head start, and whilst it may seem like it's bad but it's really not.
I feel as thought preorders are really beneficial to any game surviving. This goes especially for the PC indie scene because of how much developers need the money to keep production going and understand how much of an audience their game has. AAA devs might not need that as much but it's beneficial. The game industry needs it even if you think it is suddenly the devil and will no way in any shape or form actually help it keep afloat. Just remember that while A:CM is a pile of shit, there's tons of other games that are in no way, shape, or form going to be just as bad. So stop treating preorders like they're the devil and go find another scrapegoat. Like microtransactions. That's much MUCH worse if you're thinking about the nickle and diming of the consumer.
Sorry for literally no pictures in this blog. That one comment just irritated the hell outa me.
Simulations are either horribly bad or really technical. I happen to play the inbetween mostly because they're not always horribly bad but they tend to have some downfalls due to verging on technical or being technical. Not to say that there's anything wrong with that but it's safe enough to say that simulations are one of my top favorite types of games to play. I'm just such a nerd for them because i've played them in some form over the period of my childhood. I don't know if it is a good or bad thing but perhaps I should just get into why I love simulations.
Now how I got to love simulations isn't exactly because I play it just to play it. I play simulations because I want to understand the experience, if partially, because it allows me to feel or understand how people do the sort of things that most people don't think about everyday. Simulations allow me to experience the life of a pilot like in Microsoft Flight Simulator or deliver goods in simulations like Trainz where I load and unload consists for delivery, or 18 Wheels of Steel whereas i'm a trucker and my job is to deliver goods while traveling across the country. These games all offer unique experiences and each one gives you a perspective of how the lives of people are as they deal with many challenges.
I grew up playing many simulation-ish games. My starting point would definitely have to begin with my Nintendo 64 days when I played quite a few different games that got me closer to the genre as a whole. I remember how when I was younger my mother would go out and leave me at a house of a neighbor who had a son who owned a console. I forgot exactly what console but i'm thinking it was probably a Dreamcast or something. I'd always play this racing game and I loved playing it even if I sucked hardcore because I was just enjoying the experience and trying to learn the best way to play it.
This game was played quite alot. I just love cars blowing up.
As I aged and started to really play games on my Nintendo 64 since I owned one and played it quite alot. I played a racing game quite similar to what I stated on that console but it wasn't the same and I can't bring up the name, Demolition Derby 64 which made me want to experience even more, San Francisco: Rush even if it was arcad-y and a dirt racing game that really made me eventually give in to playing the Dirt series of games in my future. These weren't all the games I owned for my N64 but it was the few games that got me to slowly verge into simulations.
The first RCT in the series and the first one I have ever played. If only Atari didn't suck so much these days.
My mom still had me left off at peoples houses till I got much older and I actually got into Rollercoaster Tycoon once I got much much older but still not adult age old because I was still quite a few years away from it and independence in a majority of my life. RCT was probably one of the simulations or close to sims that I played alongside Airport Tycoon and The Sims. These games made me love to think about certain aspects of the gameplay and how to conquer challenges. Airport Tycoon had me dealing with placement of runways and terminals, RCT had me think of ride layouts and what was profitable, and The Sims allowed me to live a life aside from my current life. Each offering a different perspective on something else.
When I got around 12-13 is when things really started to pick up for my interest in simulations when I got my first version of Trainz. I can't remember what version but it was laggy on the crappy computer we had(I had joined the PC master race without even knowing it) and 18 Wheels of Steel. Both of these games had me playing some different role even if I could barely play Trainz. 18: WoS offered me to the ability to drive tractor trailers and experience the hard life of a trucker who has to deal with traffic, weigh stations, and deadlines. A game which i'll say pushed me so far into the genre that it has been hard getting out of it.
18 Wheels of Steel or the game that I had a problem where I couldn't stop playing. I had a MAJOR problem. I was hooked.
Nowadays at my current age, I still play simulations alongside actual other genres like shooters, platformers, and other stuff. I really can't name every genre I play but there is quite a list. Simulations being one of the top played along with a few others. I probably won't ever grow out of this genre but delve more into it to experience what it has to offer and gain knowledge in an area where i'm a fan of but not interested in as a lifestyle. It's a hobby like my gaming habits and nothing more.
There's a little bit of my life and as to why I feel that simulations rock. I've grown up playing games that have offered different experiences and the simulation genre is just one of the few that I still play today. I really wish that the genre wasn't so niche in terms of popularity but then again that might just mean I want hipsters to join the foray. Anyway, that's enough from this guy. I hope you have some good memories with the genre as I did.
Disclaimer: No images for this blog due to the ranting nature.
Casuals. Oh yes, casuals. Jim Sterling recently covered casuals in his recent Jimquisition and i'm here to bring in another argument into the mix of things because while the whole difficulty curve argument works a little bit, there's much worse consequences out of letting the everyday gamer choose what will succeed and what will fail. This is why my main point isn't about the difficulty curve that most developers are leaning towards but the fact that most developers are not changing the formula of their trademark series which is in the end giving us the same bland game year after year.
Why am I fearing the lack of change in a games formula? It means creative games go to the wayside and bland boring rehashes get tons of sequels. There's a certain dilemma in the industry which has allowed Indie devs to pick up where the AAA developers are only developing to get most of the casuals and not trying their best to change the experience up. That effects everyone because i'm sure alot of different series can change up alot if the developers really tried to do that without trying to make it overly accessible.
My prime example of this most definitely has to be the wide array of SpunkGargleWeeWee games or First Person Shooters which is a genre which is heavily saturated with more or less the same thing. This excludes Metro 2033 and Borderlands due to their unique gameplay nature and the fact that it doesn't follow the few billion dollar franchises like Call of Duty which has become the best example of something that should never continue to keep selling or we risk a stagnation in creativity.
Why is a stagnation in new ideas bad? This means that developers will not try to reinvent something which is old to become new. The Indie scene has definitely gotten the AAA devs to really try a tiny bit more but it's not enough to make a major impact on the game development scene as a whole. The stagnation will eventually rot up the industry to the point where one or two games will definitely dominate said genre for a majority of people and those few who play an odd game will become rare and harder to find than a casual.
The worst part of all of this is that the best companies are starting to fall. The ones with the most creative dev teams is falling and my best example of that is THQ. Without THQ, we wouldn't have some of the best gaming series which are not typical than any other game in said genre. They are a company which while trying to do something new, is also failing to make a profit. Casuals have effected the market so much that it's risking handing over our favorite IPs to the worst companies in existence such as EA, Ubisoft, or Activision-Blizzard. If we start to lose the good games for the bland then we all deserve what is coming if we don't question if the developers are really going for something new or not.
My question to the readers is what can be done to keep developers on their feet who contribute more to the industry than let the least creative ones thrive? Is there a way we can fix our problem or is another crash inevitable where even more of the gaming market could potentially be eaten up by foreign competitors? Would it eventually give a monopoly to one or two companies? Those are my questions. I ask you to answer them.
2012 was a pretty eventful year for me as a gamer. I got a nice new rig which is pretty mid range for what it is but it can handle the different things that I throw at it. This has allowed me to get back into my back log and get rid of a few games that I have never truly have had an opportunity to play or experience. Some are in Alphas still and others are full blown AAA releases but each has been a good moment in time. So, shall we begin? I say we do.
The first gaming moment of this year would definitely have to be me barging through Skyrim with my character who oddly has had problems here and there. My journey through the beautiful world started due to me being in the wrong place at the wrong time which got me caught with Ulfric Stormcloak. I was on enemy lines and I probably shouldn't have been there but I didn't care. I got caught by my fellow Imperials. I promise that I didn't mean to be caught in the Empires way. My clone did it. I mean it.
My best moment even after being taken prisoner had in Skyrim definitely had to be that joyous moment when I beat Alduin. It's not that he was a hard person to beat but because he was an antagonist who has tried really hard to remain immortal for as long as he possibly can being that he's a dragon. You know, dragons, the things that breathe fire and sing songs to children. It's not to say that they don't do that when they're attacking places like Whiterun. It's safe to say that I have fought many a-dragons and that i'm the Dovahkiin. Got it, home boy/girl/it/thing?
My other gaming moment has to be going through Most Wanted and Carbon again. Both games bring back some pretty good memories of a time when Electronic Arts actually made fairly good games that whilst being yearly iterations, they also improved each time. Most Wanted brought back those moments of really stressful pursuits where no one man is the best at dodging cops because even if you know the routine, it's never that easy. It's always hard to see the future when it comes to racing games and I still fail at recovering from my screw ups a majority of the time.
Most Wanted has the blacklist to be thankful for as the original game has that ability to make you irritated at the main antagonist because you have a beautifully fast ride and then it gets taken right from under you because someone doesn't understand fair play. Carbon just had that moment where I understood that i'm doing someone elses work and i'm not going to do that because i'm more qualified to run the city than Darius is. I'm also not some super rich punk like he is either which adds onto my undying hatred for him.
My third gaming moment is an indie game which isn't even near release but it still has kept my attention due to the developer. I'm a big Wolfire Games fan due to their unique style of games that they make that aren't traditional. I'm listing Overgrowth Alpha as that interesting game that isn't really a game yet due to how it's still an Alpha plus the fact there isn't no actual story just yet. It's still runs like a charm in high 1080p and allows me to be a beast beast while I try to take out other animals which are out to get me. The uniqueness of the game and how it plays is why it is well deserved as my top gaming moment as I have never enjoyed something that much which has no HUD.
My last gaming moment has to be Metro 2033. I'm late to the game and I understand that but it's one of those games I can't put down. The feeling of the Dark Ones constantly around the corner, feeling like I might die any moment, and that every last bit of ammo counts as you can't just spray in pray as that is about as useful as hitting the enemy with a pencil. Pencils aren't super effective against mutants. I'd know. I tried it once. I don't recommend you do or else you're going to be chased through a post apocalyptic Moscow and it'll feel like you're doing your own version of the Olympics.
The above is all my gaming moments that I feel is really worthy of writing about. Each moment within' itself is unique because they all offer unique experiences in one way or another. None of these moments are similar at all as I always want something that isn't what a traditional AAA publisher feels like milking to death. They'll always be unique moments and will expand into next year as alot of these games still need to be completed or the developer needs to get the game physically complete. I'll give them time though. Now let me go back to my games...