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11:26 PM on 11.24.2007

Why Are People Still Fighting Over Wii?

As you could see on the DToid homepage, Amazon sold out of 1,400 Wii's in ten minutes.

How is this possible? I still don't understand. I am a Wii owner. If you look through the halls of "The Internets" you will find many Wii owners. And, they will mostly all tell you the same: don't waste your money.

Yet, people continue to buy the thing in spite of its only 3 great games (and 2-3 "good" games), no online play, sloppy ports, terrible minigame packs, and pre-last gen graphics on 90% of its software. I see no reason to purchase a Wii in the face of the Xbox 360 lineup or the PS3's utility. Yet, they sell on.

If the release of Super Smash Bros. with its online play were still on target for December, I might say the Wii is a slight buy this Christmas combined with Mario, but it's not. If you're like me, the most played Wii game you had was Wii Sports Bowling. And you haven't played it for 5 months, and at least 3 weeks have gone without you even turning your Wii on.

What gives people? Are you buying the unavailability hype, in preperation for future titles? Are you buying the Wii because of its price point? I just don't get it. Enlighten me.   read

1:55 PM on 11.23.2007

Rock Band Availability: Extreme

The new blog system ate the last upload, so this one will be much less eloquent.

Walmart. Central Illinois. Noon. Black Friday. 50ish Rock Band bundles.

I wouldn't start believing the unavailability hype on this. Seems like people are still trying to buy Wii, but as a Wii owner I would tell you it's not the best puchase in the world, and are steering clear of Rock Band.

Unless they started the day with 5,000 bundles, but I somehow doubt that.   read

2:46 AM on 09.24.2007

Enemy Voice Chat DISABLED in Halo 3 Ranked Matches

Uh oh. Looks like anti-Halo fanboy response #2--"I don't want to get called names by 12 year olds"--just flew out the window. A solid decision by the Bungie team.

"In addition, enemy player voice is disabled in game in Ranked Playlists. This is because these playlists are about the contest, and not about being Chatty Mc Chatterson. Some people love the art of trash talking above all else—there is a home for you, but it isn’t a Ranked Playlist. The scoreboard does all of the trash talking here."

At   read

4:40 PM on 09.20.2007

4 Game Marketing Decisions Worse Than Halo 3

Frankly, I've had it up to here with people jumping on the "I hate Halo because of the marketing" bandwagon. I get it. You are a cool hipster who shops at thrift stores, hates capitalism, and liked "[insert form of entertainment] before it was cool." Good for you. Time for a history lesson son, because shit could have been a lot fucking worse.

4. Turok: Baby Name Hunter

Back in the before time, the long long ago (2002), Acclaim was set to release Turok: Evolution, seemingly unaware that the series had peaked at Turok 2. How did they decide to market this eventual turd of a game? By paying someone $10,000 to name their baby Turok. Hit the link for a bunch of other ridiculous shit Acclaim tried to do, like buying advertisement space on tombstones.

3. God of Gore

Enough said? Super good fun times at a Sony God of War II press event.

2. Pretty Much Everything Sony Has Ever Done With The PSP. EVER.

There is almost too much to list. They created a fake fansite with two d-bags rapping, released a bunch of racially charged billboards, hired graffiti artists to deface buildings, and encouraged people to kill themselves.

1. It's So Rad

Stop yourself for a second and remember you were 10 when you saw this--probably not the most objective consumer on the planet. Imagine this movie came out today, and the final game he had to play was Halo 3.

What should you take away from this? You should be happy video games aren't the bastard child of the entertainment industry anymore, so we don't have to deal with shit like that again.

Yes, every year or so a couple games will be such huge blockbusters they will command media attention the level of blockbuster films, but so what? The only reason you see them so much is because you choose to read video game blogs, magazines, etc. If you did the same with say, a movie, and read Variety, you would see the same thing except for a film. It's selection bias, pure and simple. You have brought yourself to the marketing, not the other way around.

Now, shut up about how much you hate Halo 3's marketing, that way when you buy it because no one is playing anything else on Xbox Live, you won't have to eat so much crow.   read

1:27 PM on 09.18.2007

Reason 15,768 Nintendo Hates You: No SSBB Online Stats

If you read Destructoid, you are probably what Nintendo would call "hardcore." If you are "hardcore," Nintendo couldn't give two shits about you. If Nintendo couldn't give two shits about you, they will ruin their games just to taunt you, because little Billy Casual Game Player will buy their game anyway. They don't need you anymore. And they just proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt in today's Smash Bros. Dojo update.

No, Janey, I will not. Whatever that means.

Go read it to get the full effect of how terrible it is, but here is a quick recap.No Online Stat Tracking. No Online Voice Chat. Friend Codes. Admitting the game will lag balls. No way to tell who you are playing against with random opponents. No way to add random opponents to your friends list.

Is that enough? Maybe that doesn't sound so bad to you, but imagine if they ripped all those features out of Halo 3. The game would be an empty husk. Nintendo is not making the game they should be, simply because they can get away with it now. Let's look at these one at a time.

1) No Online Stat Tracking

There is simply no excuse for this. Is it that hard to tally up wins and losses and create a leaderboard? And don't even try to feed me this bullshit about how stats will give people an excuse to disconnect--COUNT DISCONNECTS AS A FUCKING LOSS. Fixed that problem, didn't we?

2) No Online Voice Chat

Oh no! Someone said a swear! It's called a mute option. If you are afraid of little Billy getting T-bagged and called names, just give the option of turning voice chat on or off. Maybe they simply don't have their net code right to have voice chat, and if that is the case, it is an even bigger problem. Fix your joke of an online network Nintendo.

3) Friend Codes

Everyone should hate these to death. If you are in the "it's just like a phone number, what's the big deal" camp, I hate you. Again, Nintendo is throwing the Baby out with the bath water. If someone has a bad name, ban that name. Simple, huh? This problem greatly ties in with number 5 and 6.

4) Admitting The Game Will Lag

Instead of creating any sort of matchmaking system that shows you where the opponents you are playing are located, or a network where the effect of location on latency are minimized, Nintendo just opts to tell you the game will lag, deal with it. Have you ever heard a company admit their game will run slowly? No, so what this problem means is that SSBB is damn near unplayable online with random opponents who may not be near you.

5)No Way To Tell Who You Are Playing Against

Way to feed the rivavlry and competitive spirit. Every single player is anonymous, and combined with stat tracking, finally besting someone who routinely beats you will never occur, since you have no idea who it was. They should change this mode to "Super Smash Brothers Moral Victory." Did I just beat one of the best Samus players in the world, or was that little Billy Casual?

6) No Way To Add Random Opponents To Your Friends List

Social networking with competitive players you enjoyed? No thanks. Again, imagine XBL or PSN if you could only add people you have actually physically met before to your friends list. Probably removes quite a few people, doesn't it? In a game like this, adding people you play should be a routine feature in every game. Nintendo doesn't subscribe to that philosophy though.

Nintendo, you are alienating the people who supported you before you came up with waving your arms around like a mad man and convinced people it was the wave of the future. You say you don't need the hardcore gamer, but why not have both? If you would just take the time to do these things right, you could sell a lot of consoles to the 360 and PS3 owners, who you otherwise don't care about. Why would you turn that down?   read

3:06 PM on 09.17.2007

3-Day Gaming Binge Ends In Death, No Loot Dropped

Another Chinese death in a gaming cafe. After the man slumped over, the 100 other patrons apparently fled the cafe, probably to head to another cafe that wouldn't be shut down. That gold's not going to farm itself.

I'd really like to know what he was playing, but as you can imagine, my money is on WoW.

Via AP   read

10:05 PM on 09.16.2007

Devil's Advocate: What's Wrong With Bioshock

I've been thinking about doing some posts about some of the hotter, better reviewed titles that have been released... and then saying why they suck. Not that they are bad games, but many times as gamers we tend to overlook the flaws in our favorite games and push the hype train along. When, or "if" rather, an intelligent discussion about the flaws in a popular or well reviewed game occurs, it usually quickly breaks down into "FANBOY!" and "[expletive deleted]" threads. Hopefully, we can discuss what is wrong with some great games, get all the information out there, and see what there is to improve in the world of video game design.

Now, I will never discuss a game I haven't completed or at least played substantially. That's rule one. Too often we have commentary on games that is secondary or tertiary--just rehashing what someone read in a review without having played the game.

Rule two: if you can't intelligently discuss the game, then please don't comment. If you have a relevant counterpoint, then by all means post it. But if your response is "STFU," then don't.

So, let's get started.

What's Wrong With Bioshock

For the record, I played the 360 version to completion, on hard.

1) It's too damn short.

This game ends quickly. Really quickly. And if you were one of the people who started the game on one of the lower difficulty levels, even faster than that. You can, and should, extend the length of the game by looking at all of the great art direction work in the game, but for $60, in terms of entertainment time, there are better bargains out there. The lack of multiplayer really hurts in the age of Xbox Live.

2) It's too damn easy.

No penalty for dieing? Check. Simplistic boss fights? Check. Plentiful weapons, ammo, and magic? Check, check, check. Experienced gamers can easily breeze through the game on any difficulty setting, and the easier settings are even worse. People have said they would simply kill the Big Daddy's by beating them with the wrench, dieing, and repeating until dead. A little challenge would have been nice.

3) It's too damn hard to tell where you are going.

The Bioshock map system has a few problems. First, by not using floors, and instead using arrows, it's often a brutal headache to figure out where a set of stairs will take you. The garden area is especially bad, with twisting corridors and multiple levels. The way the maps is drawn on the screen, you can take a step backward in the game, and you will be far away on the map from where you were, making it difficult to try to get back somewhere by point of reference.

On another note, there were times where picking up audio clues while fighting chattering monsters and music playing, I would miss a key point of the audio clue. Specifically, I missed a keycode to an elevator thanks to bad synch with subtitles and the previous audio problem.

4) The story is a derivative rehash.

For a game that pushes its story as one of the main selling points, it just wasn't all that great. Especially if you played System Shock 2. If you had, you probably saw the ending coming a loooong way away, since it is essentially the same damn story, but underwater. This was probably the area I was let down the most by the game. Obviously, this is an issue of taste, and if you haven't played System Shock 2 (and you should) the story isn't as obvious, but I expected more out of Bioshock in this area. Video games have a long way to go in this department, and hiring professional writers would be a good start.

5) The open-ended gameplay ins't all that open-ended.

Remember watching the video where the developer played through part of the wharf area three different ways? Not so much in reality. Often, the game is so easy as to make setting traps a waste of time. The "choices" you have in the game really aren't all that different (although there are different endings) in terms of changing the gameplay.

The open-endedness was hurt a lot by the Bathysphere system, which sort of knocked down the walls, revealing that the game is really a system of clearly delineated levels. Finish one, move one. No one likes backtracking, but in a living city like Rapture, it seemed a lot less seamless then it was sold as.

So, there you have it. I enjoyed Bioshock, but I did think the scores it received probably were a bit too high, and it will be interesting to see how it stands up next to Halo 3 (although they are very different games). I haven't thought of the next game I'll post about, it may be Twilight Princess, but I haven't decided.

What are your thoughts on Bioshock?   read

1:29 PM on 09.09.2007

*Spoiler Alert*? Is This Ad Really Ruining Halo 3?

People have been flipping balls over recent Halo 3 "Believe" ads, claiming they are ruining the ending of the game for them. Enough people have freaked out that Bungie has come out and said the creators of the advertisement do not have access to the ending of the game.

PR people are usually intimately familiar with their product, but the halo timeline is like a ball of noodles with ends flailing about everywhere. If it is true, however, why in the hell would their ad campaign just make shit up? Weird.

Here is a link to the offending ad. You have to make some leaps of logic and grammar to get out of it what some people are, but enter at your own risk.   read

12:33 PM on 09.06.2007

A Coalition of Straight Up Ballers

Apparently the international language of sport (basketball in this case), isn't all that international. The NBA LIVE 08 demo just made it to Xbox Live, unless you live in one of the following strangely decided countries -- Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden.

I don't want to live in a world where one side of the chunnel can ball and the other cannot. First the black plauge, and now this. Europeans can't catch a break.

Via Major Nelson   read

6:13 PM on 09.05.2007

Next Gen Castlevania In The Works?

Koji Igarashi talks about the future of the Castlevania series over on Game Trailers. He hints at his next project for next gen consoles, including the Wii. Please god don't let that wii motion whip control throw out my shoulder.   read

5:46 PM on 09.05.2007

Smash Bros. Dojo Just As Confused As You Are

Frankly, I've lost all faith in these updates after these two shots and descriptions:

It's Meta Knight, whose introduction was delayed for some reason. He's Kirby's...rival?

Uhm, ok, I guess? Playing up the mystery, maybe?

You recover a little damage when you eat it. Is this for real?

Is which part real? The part where you recover a little damage, the part where you eat it, or the part where this game comes out without online play and I go nuts. Get it? Get it!?

Via Smash Bros. DOJO!!   read

11:21 PM on 09.04.2007

And We've Reached A New Low


Along with the complete obliteration of the letter S, you can look forward to this:

Bratz Ponyz sees you arrive on the Ponyz archipelago to participate in the prestigious Ponyz Town beauty pageant, ‘Passion for Fashion'. The competition takes place over a year and gives you the chance to develop your artistic talent through a series of challenges based around fashion and beauty. In addition, between each challenge you are completely free to explore the gorgeous tropical islands, meet and befriend the inhabitants, and participate in a variety of fun activities.

Combining every little girl's innate love of both ponies and the fashion which made the Bratz famous, Ponyz are a dream come true for Bratz fans! Bratz Ponyz for Nintendo DS stimulates the player's imagination and creativity while satisfying their passion for fashion. So take a trip to the magical archipelago and have fun with the hippest horse friends a girl could ever have!

Play and interact with Bonita, Dita, Shayla, Celeste, Sashay, Pursia, Trina and Anya – 8 kickin' Ponyz with sass and style!

That description is full of comedy gold. Ironically, the names of those Ponyz are the same names of all the girls I knew in high school who had chlamydia.

Via EB Games   read

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