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7:54 AM on 08.19.2008  

Is Gaming the Same?



Being a 23 gamer, I was thinking how much gaming has changed since I first picked up the gray (now orange) lightscope pistol and blasted ducks out of a sky... 'p'yo gangsta' style. I remember how getting a new game used to be fun in it's own right, and having friends over to play even single player games was a blast. DuckTales, for instance, was fun just watching. I mean, looking at all the 8-bit goodness, the awesome controls, and familar characters, it was just as awesome to watch as it was to play.

Growing up during the time of the epic Genesis/SNES days (and the other consoles that never mattered), it wasn't like it was today. I'm sure anyone remembers the commercials with SEGA and it's "Nintendon't" ad campaign. Or the "Only on Nintendo" stamp for most every really classic game. Still, it was in good fun if anything. I owned the SNES and then traded it for a Genesis with SEGA CD, but it wasn't because I thought the SNES sucked. I loved it. I had Legend of Mystical Ninja, and to me, that was one of the best SNES games ever made. I traded it because I had played a SEGA before and I wanted to try out the SEGA CD, and because my dad bought me several games to go with the CD. Ultimately, the SEGA CD sucked and I only really enjoyed this stupid Sherlock Holmes game and some robot fighting game, but I didn't hate SEGA either. I just didn't think like that. Games are games, and back then, my gaming console was for gaming and for having my friends come over and try out their gaming skills. We traded games among ourselves. We borrowed games. We just had a lot of fun with gaming back then and created a lot of memories, because when Russia decides to EMP bomb people for sticking their nose into their business, that's all that is going to matter.

Today, gaming has changed and sometimes I think it's changed for the worst. One of the things that I really just hate about gaming today are the people associated with it. We're talking about the little smartellic kids on Xbox Live/PSN that cuss you out, call you "n***ers" or "rednecks", talk about how their 12 year old wangs are bigger than yours, or they start singing in their mic some retard pop song they heard on the radio. Better yet, with the introduction to the cameras, sometimes you can't even play UNO without someone playing with his Jimmy Carter or my absolute favorite (and why I quit playing UNO with any camera support), two dudes rehearsing Brokeback Mountain. Then there's the forums guys and the bloggers, and this only goes for a few of them. These are the guys that all they do is jump on the internet to type up their hatred for the opposing gaming system and how much such and such game is so fun. The people blogging and re-reading the EULA of the forums, I often wonder if they're even gamers. I mean, if you blog and check the interwebs all day for gaming news, how are you gaming? I read the Drudgereport all day but that doesn't make me a journalist. However, this doesn't mean I hate the gaming community, just a large chunk of it. The newcomers that just picked up on the hobby to "be like the rest".

Side note before the flamewars begin, I blog and read gaming news to wake up most of the time. I usually never touch gaming websites to read up on things unless I'm waking up or if I'm waiting for something to patch via PC gaming or if I'm listening to music and just relaxing.

The thing I hate about gaming today is the bickering. Instead of playing games on whatever system you have or whatever system you love, we have to load gasoline into our mouths and fingertips and 'light it up' on the forums and to our friends about how X console sucks. Who freakin' cares? I have gripes about each system and a ton of love for each. That's just how electronics work. I love my Mustang GT and all it's gas sucking power, but I hate several features on it. I never even try to debate with the morons that think Mustang's suck. Why do they suck? Because they're popular? Since when did having something popular suck? I didn't buy a Mustang because it was popular. I bought it because I liked how it sounded and because I already had a Cobalt and didn't need another one (I'm married, so I need two cars). But man, it's really to the point where it's getting hard to want to stay a console gamer. I say that but even the PC crowd has joined in. I love PC Gamer, but I'm tired of hearing about how PC gaming isn't dead or how the PC rules over the console. These are retarded arguments. I own all of the systems and a good gaming PC, however, I never seriously think, "Man, I wasted my money on that. I never play it.". The Wii, for example, is my least played console, but it's because I moved for college and I don't have a lot of friends that can just come over and play with me. Back home, I played my Wii all the time, mainly just for the bowling game. Bowling and pool are my favorite activities that involve real social life, but with my Wii, I don't have to spend money doing at least the bowling aspect. Do I hate the Wii now that I hardly play it? No, and it's because it's freakin' Nintendo. I love Nintendo. I think they're doing things a little dumb right now, but my brother, my wife, some of my friends, and I are really excited about Animal Crossing's new game and that Wii Music game. I don't think Wii Music will be game of the year, but I think it will be fun to just beat on a virtual drum and play some air guitar. The PS3 has a big sucky list of features, and with some of the features that are my favorite, such as Trophies, I don't think they even bother getting developers to embrace it as much as they should. The 360 I have problems with, but really, it's just the reasoning behind me spending a dime for Xbox Live and it's pointless features. That and hardware failures. Do I never play it? Absolutely not! Even if I bought all my games for the PS3 as my mainstream gaming console, I'm desperately awaiting Fable II and Gears of War 2. I just don't understand why people on the internet find it necessary to argue over something so futile. Let's embrace copied features. Let's embrace free online play. Let's just have fun playing games. We're not commercials for these fatcat corporations, so why argue over it?

Enough preaching. My last complaint about gaming today are the games. I hate hearing a developer say, "We won't make game X series because it doesn't sale that well.". Bullcrap. It's just not raking in Halo, Gods of War, World of Warcraft, and Mario funds for you. Certain genres quit selling as well, and that just sucks. If anyone used to play adventure games on their PC, they'd really remember more great moments from those than almost any epic shooter battle. I've played just about every adventure game, and almost all of them I loved. Grim Fandango and the Monkey Island series are classic beyond belief. The Legend of Kyrandia stories are terrific tales (actually, they should be best-selling books, but I'm still working on that). But what happened to the tales of kings on quest, searching for booty, and trying to get some? Money. They didn't sell a million copies so they decided the genre wasn't worth trying anymore. Grim Fandango, for anyone who's ever played it, knows how great that game was. However, it didn't sell that well, so instead of marketing the game a little better or re-releasing a better demo, they decided that LucasArts should focus on broken Star Wars games instead, because, as dumb gamers everywhere can testify, that's where the money is at! Luckily, Sam and Max is bringing adventure gaming back. I just hope it last. My other huge complaint is the crap games we get and the price tag along with it. For a PC gamer, it's hard for me not to want to hunt down idiots who think Diablo 3 should be an MMO. I really, really hate the idea of the PC being turned into the MMO gaming market. It's so freakin' retarded. I don't like the idea of having to pay to play my games. I like World of Warcraft, but that's been the only MMO that dragged me in. I recently bought Universe at War for the PC and I remember thinking after trying the first level "this game sucks and belongs only on a console" and "why was this a $50 PC game and a $60 360 game?". I know for a fact that this game didn't require any special programming team or anything to work on it, so why is the price the way it is? I try out a sucky game like that, yet I find a game called Sins of a Solar Empire for $30 and it's 20x more in-debth than most of the full priced games out there. Heck, Orange Box was $50 well spent. That I could see spending hard earned money on full price, even today. But when I see these short, chopped up games today that I have to buy microtransactions to play the final product for $60 a pop, it really just ticks me off.

Last, I wanted to talk about a favorite topic of the industry: piracy. Does piracy hurt the market? Yes and no. Yes, overall, it does, but no, not really. When gaming was first getting really popular, pirates flooded the market. Big time. Worst than today. In Dallas, TX, they have a thing called First Saturday. Back in the day of floppy disk, you could go to Dallas on the first Saturday to a downtown closed off electronic flea market and purchase just about anything, including pirated video games. As a poor kid, that's how I bought copies of DOOM, Wolfenstein, and other classics. Why? $10 for Doom or $1 for the same thing? I bring this up because think of the market back in these days. A video game was not that important back then and not near as mainstream. So a small crew in Dallas known as id Software were making these games, trying to make it, while right outside their office, they have a flea market of people selling their stuff for 90% off. Did it crash the starting industry? No, not at all. id Software is one of the biggest developers out there, and will be for a long time. After beating Wolfenstein, because I loved the game so much, I bought the game. Along with DOOM. They were completely worthy of being purchased at full price. Today, the word "piracy" is a term used when a game sucks really bad or when a game doesn't sell. Capcom recently said piracy was to blame for a lack of sales with Devil May Cry 4 on the PC. No, the marketing team isn't doing a good job on a demographic of people. I'm not going to play a platform or DMC game on the PC, no matter what they add to it. Most PC gamers own a console too, so a game like that is better to play sitting back and relaxing on a couch with a controller. Microsoft claimed piracy was to blame for the lack of Windows Vista sales. It wasn't their clunky programming. Next time you think piracy is killing the market, remember id Software and the early developers who made a lot less money and the pirates who never faced criminal charges for early piracy. They made it, so why can't they make it today?

What's some of the things that aggro your gaming spine today? What's some great memories of early childhood gaming goodness? I really want to hear!

-dryvby, having a brainstorm about a new topic for people bored to tears: old man stories, my gaming days. coming soon...maybe.   read


7:37 AM on 08.14.2008  

How to Review Games Using Numbers

One of the most annoying things I see in this industry is either poorly written or lacks the ability to be fair. This goes for user reviews as well as the best of best gaming reviews. Who has seen a review and thought that is was either too high or too low? Actually, if you notice, the gaming review industry likes to say that most games are around a 6.0 (or 60%) or higher. Any game below that is usually a joke, so they just randomly pick a score to give it. What the industry loves to do, sadly, is say most hyped games are around a level of 8.0 (80%) or higher. And why? Because of the readers. The whinny cry baby audience will scream to the Queen, "Off with their heads!" if they review a game they love and is popular lower than what it really is. I'll give some examples for games on every system

Resistance: The Fall of Man: IGN gave the game a 9.1, while the average reader gave it a 8.8. 1UP gave the game an A, while the readers gave it an A+. GameSpot gave it a 8.6, readers give it a 8.7. Resistance was the first PS3 game I played and I played it right after trying out the new duck-and-cover systems in Rainbow Six: Vegas and Gears of War. This was also a time for co-op campaigns (and still is). I beat the game, tried out the multiplayer, and overally was impressed by the visuals, but the actual gameplay, I just didn't care for. This felt like a highly developed generic shooter. The multiplayer was fun, and for the most part, original to the console. I came from the Xbox 360, which I was lucky to player a 16 player match without lag, and went to this new system that featured 32 or 64 players (can't remember which now) and with the rooms maxed out over a wireless connection, never noticed lag. But still, did it deserve an average of 8.7 across Metacritic? We'll find out later.

Halo 3: Same idea as above. IGN = 9.5, Readers = 8.1. 1Up = B+, Readers = C+. GameSpot = 9.5, Readers = 8.9. As a person who was long awaiting the original Halo (since it was originally going to be a PC exclusive), I absolutely thought this series was going to be the best of the best shooter series ever. We actually traded in a SNES and some games for Halo: Combat Evolved in 2001 before we got the Xbox. The manual kept us entertained for quite some time. I say the most honest of the above reviews for the third installment is the readers of 1Up. Again, we'll find out why later.

Wario Ware: Smooth Moves: IGN = 8.2, Readers = 8.1. 1Up = A-. Readers = A. GameSpot = 9.1, Readers = 8.5. I own this game and I think it's one of the better buys on the Wii at the moment (since at the moment, the VC is the only reason I flip the dust collector on). The problem with this game? Well, it's about 1 hour of gameplay. You have to unlock multiplayer. The games are too simple. So, overally, should it be getting these reviews? Let's find out.

The review industry has a huge problem, and it's the same problem with critics of anything. It's like we don't want to hurt the feelings of the products we review. If you haven't noticed, our products we review have no souls. They're not going to cry in a corner over you not thinking they're "teh best game evar". Instead, they're going to do what they're meant to do and that's be played when we're bored enough to play. With that in mind, that's follow these simple steps to writing "teh best reviews evar", and quit wasting people's time and screwed up how we really feel because we're scared some jerk on the internet won't like us if we say such-and-such game was alright, or just flat out sucked.



How to Review Video Games Using Numbers

Review Score: With any website, or any magazine, they have a set aside premise as to how to overall rate your game. If I'm in a hurry and I want to check what a game received, I head over to a few review sites and check the overall score and the overall beef with the game. However, over time, I realized reviews just aren't cutting it. I'm seeing a lot of sub-par games getting Great reviews or even the Perfect reviews (which is ironic that a game can be perfect and during the full review, the reviewer points out some flaws with the game). Let's examine the scoring tree on a generic level for all. Scoring a game between 0-2 means the game is "Broken". A perfect example of a game that should be in the class is Carmageddon 64. The game was truly not finished and possibly never beta tested.

A score of 2-3 means the game was "Crap". A game that should go in here is a game that's completed, but just lacks in everything, such as graphics, gameplay, sounds, music, and controls. I truly wish I had an example but I don't.

A score of 3-4 means the game was "Bad". I'd like to point out there's an actual difference between a Bad game and a Crap game. Crappy game titles are the games you probably wouldn't bother playing to the second level, or at least never beat the game. A Bad game is a game you could finish, but it's just so poorly written that it's hard to finish the game, but you could at least play through it, if you have the time.

A score of 4-5 means the game was poor. Again, there's a difference between Bad and Poor. Poor is a step above Bad. Poor just means it would have been a pretty good game if it were on a bigger team, probably had a bigger budget, somewhere in that matter.

A score of 5-6 means the game is "Mediocre". What exactly does that mean? Basically, it's a game that's not the best and not the worst. It has it's moments, but has it's flaws. We've all played them, yet, most of us will kick it above that 5-6 mark just because we're thinking in our heads "Well, I at least enjoyed it.". That's wrong. If the good and bad are about equal in comparison, then give the game a 5-6. It's not a bad thing. We all have secret games were know are horrible in the eyes of the gaming industry, but we still enjoy them. They're not great games, or even good games. They're just games that are slightly fun to play. My shamed game is Postal 2. I bought the game when it came out, without reading reviews, and enjoyed it all the way through. I thought it had some amazing ideas, was pushing the limits of what you could do, the gasoline effects were fun to play with, yet I agreed with a lot of reviews that the game suffers from lazy programming. I'd say it's fair to say the game is in this level, and I love this game.

Next off is a score between 6-7, which are games that are "Fair". Fair is often thought of as a bad thing. Absolutely not! Let's review the definition of fair. Fair basically means the game would be tolerably good. In a sense, fair still means the game is good, just has more flaws than a good game. Who sees a game in thiscategory and never buys the game? If you do, you need to learn to read. These are still fun games, sometimes to a great degree, but they have some bad taste they leave in your mouth. Today's fair games are usually patched, making them more good games than anything. But we really need to pay attention to the words that associate the numbers. Jeff from old-GameSpot gave Kane & Lynch: Dead Men a 6.0. That's probably the only honest review he's given himself, but still, the game wasn't bad, it wasn't generic, it was just a fair game. A sort of been there, done that, if you will. But sometimes clones can be amazing fun. Look at the new hype, Braid.

Back to the reviewing parts, 7-8 games are games that a Good. When did Good become Bad? When fanboys took offense to their games being rated anything other than G-d-like. This is the section that starts getting stupid with idiots thinking a game they liked deserved a score higher than good. Good is good. Good should be where most of the Great games are, or even the Superb games. I'd give you the definition of Good, but that would spoil your supper.

Games of 8-9 mean they were Great. Great and good are almost the same thing. As we can tell from this number list, going up one notch is all you're doing. You're saying, "Hey, this game was fun, but this game was better because it did this a bit better.". Why must so many idiots be in the world to think that if a game didn't get a 8 or better, it sucked? When did good become bad? When did fair become bad? For that matter, when did mediocre become a bad thing? People, learn to read! It's important that we understand the number system. It's really annoying to see games reviewed to the extreme. It's almost like we should just adopt a Clint Eastwood star system. The Good, the bad, and the ugly, if you will. I'd say about only 5% of the great games out there deserve it.

Then we have the 9-9.9 system, which is Superb. This score should only be awarded to games that are completely original, completely new in almost every way, have great stories, have great gameplay, and have downright killer everything. The only thing breaking it from being a 10, the best of the best, is a minor flaw. Nothing that even should be patched, just something minor. I can check any website and pull up a review and show you where a game in this area received some type of " here's the flaws" section, and there's a list. If there has to be a list of flaws, drop it back a notch. It's a great game, but great still isn't bad.

Finally, there's the growing-in-popularity number 10. The number that we've been seeing given away like condoms to middle schoolers. A 10 means perfect, correct? And we know perfect means flawless. So why in the world do I see games like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 receiving a perfect? Or Grand Theft Auto 4? Or Metal Gear Solid 4? I mean, yes, they're near perfect, but that's why the powers that be adopted the 9-9.9 score in the first place! It's annoying to read a perfect review and then hear "...graphics stutter...", "...random slowdowns...", or "...more like watching a movie...". Do these college geeks that run these websites and magazines actually know what the heck the rating system is about?

The worst of the worst reviews is PC Gamer's Crysis review. It's a prime example of how we should NOT review games, and what most reviewers are doing today. The review states flat out lies to prove that the game was worthy of the score. Anyone that reads PC Gamer is aware of their fear of the dying PC gaming world (which isn't completely true, but the PC gaming community is a dying breed). You can tell they're scared when they cram almost every page with "don't pirate, you hurt the industry" and "reasons PC gaming is not dying". If it's not happening, do what I do with global warming: ignore it. But their review states that Crysis is very open, non-linear, and is the AI is very realistic. I trust PC Gamer, and I still do, but the reviewer obviously just wanted people to think that their "killer app" wasn't a suckfest. Crysis suffered from being linear, sucky AI, and a cheap gimmick of being able to pick up anything in the game (another lie). How many have heard of Crysis because of it's killer graphics or it's cool physics? Well, what PC Gamer didn't tell me, the person who bought the game, is that it's short and once you beat the first 3 missions, you've picked up every item in the game. After that, you'll run into the same huts to blow up, the same looking enemies, and the same exact. Who can enjoy a game that you need to spend an arm and a leg on just to play?

With that, I'd like to present you with honest scores for the games I mentioned above, now that you know what each review number really means. For Resistance: The Fall of Man, I give it a 6.0. I'm still looking forward to the second one, but I'm not holding my breath until then either. For Halo 3, it's a 7.5. I give it that because they still haven't done anything new with the game. It felt like a tweaked version of what we had been playing for years already. And lastly, Wario Ware, I give a 5.5. It was an alright game, but it suffered from length and being too easy. Honest reviews, folks. That's all we're asking for. So next time you decide to rate a game you love or hate that "Clint Eastwood review" of being extreme left, middle, or right, remember that there's some of us that want to bust your face in with an iron for screwing up the Reader review.

-dryvby, writing a new wall of text

EDIT: Since I forgot that DESTRUCTOID is mainly full of 40 year old faggots, I'll change the word perfect so your periods won't bleed onto the new carpet mom put down for you in the basement.

Perfect will be changed to OMGWTFAMAZING or TEHBESTEVAR.   read


3:11 PM on 08.09.2008  

Games of Past: Theme Hospital

First off, welcome to a new edition to blogging. I call it "Games of Past". In other words, my favorite classics. I share these with you to hopefully encourage you to engage in fantastic gameplay and clever design of past experiences. Some of which are being re-marketed today as shiny new products! So gander at the randomness blog of Games of Past! Now, onto the first game...



Back when I was a rat, starting middle school, I received one of many free PC Gamer magazines, one with a game disc with so many dear and classic games (some which will be mentioned in future editions of "Games of Past"). The second game I installed was Theme Hospital, by Bullfrog Productions. Bullfrog created many creative titles for their time, until the Beast, or Electronic Arts, decided to buy them out and then shut them down. This little ditty was much like Theme Park, another popular title, but replaced roller coasters with inflated head poppers and friendly lines to the roller coasters with friendly lines to the crapper.

Theme Hospital is about making money and not killing too many people, much like real hospitals. You start as the head cheese of a small clinic, building convenient soda machines and benches outside of a check up room, hiring and firing doctors, nurses, receptionist, and janitors. Basically, you build rooms according to the customers... I mean, patience you receive . For instance, some patients suffer from inflated heads (drinking beer and sniffing cheese can do that to ya), so the best room for him would be the room where they pop inflated heads. Hopefully, your equipment isn't crap and your doctor isn't a little fed up with his pay, otherwise this bighead is toast. But it's not all work and money your over payed doctors want: you also need to manage a terrific break room. It's fun watching patients kill over in the restroom while the doctor he was waiting on was watching his favorite soap.

Seriously thought, Theme Hospital is an amazing game. It was my first tycoon game that I actually went from demo to purchase, and it was because it was so complex for it's time. Recently, with the release of Xfire's patch to support Theme Hospital, I loaded the old game back up and wow, what a blast. The graphics held up nicely, being an old DOS/Windows game. The gameplay is still a blast, and the game is very much difficult in later levels. There's even some multiplayer, which is still fun, if you can find someone that still plays great older games. Also, console friends need not to worry. PlayStation also released the game back in the day, and from what I've heard, if you live in the UK, you can download the game for your PlayStation 3 and PSP using the PlayStation Store. Lucky devils! I'd download it, if they'd let me. I hope you enjoyed a blast from the past, but I leave you with the games official trailer!

[embed]98979:13754[/embed]

-dryvby, 24 years old soon.   read


2:58 PM on 08.01.2008  

Deals Time Forgot: Genesis Does.

I was watching some of my YouTube crap I've posted up and I guess I never really grasped how great of a deal this was back in the day. Watch!

[embed]97736:13600[/embed]

It's funny, in this day and age, we are happy to see one game bundled with a system. Back in the day of the NES, SNES, Genesis, we just expected a game with purchase. That's why there's so many idiot parents out there today that go to a store, buy a system, and head back home only to realize "Teh haloz not included?! No wai!!".That and because they're idiots. But I remember when my dad bought me my first console. My Nintendo Entertainment System. My games included Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, The Legend of Zelda, and Mike Tyson's Punchout. Of course, being a 4 year old psychopath kid, I played more Duck Hunt shooting the "UFOs", as I called them, rather than anything else. But that was one Christmas. Let me explain why this was amazing. The console was very affordable, the games weren't too much, and my parents were next to hobos! Then the SNES came out with one of my favorite Mario titles, Super Mario World (note: it's also one of the only titles I have in every format for every console available). But freakin' Genesis really had the chief selection. How many games was that? Ah, it's amazing what history teaches us. I highly doubt Nintendo and Sega were making money on these deals, but boy, did both of their consoles sell well. I wish companies would put out a bunch of games for their old consoles. I mean, are they really making money on Perfect Dark Zero anymore?

-dryvby, going back to World of Warcraft now   read


9:26 PM on 07.28.2008  

This Blog Strengthens the Soul of DryvBy

Most horrible post but tomorrow at 6am, I'm going to Walmart to pick up 2 things: Soul Calibur 4 on the PS3 ("NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!" -Vader) and I saw that our local crappy Walmart has Eye of Judgement WITH the camera for $29.99

So, who am I going to be killing with Nightmare tomorrow? Hit me up on the PSN (dryvby).

-dryvby, very excite   read


1:07 PM on 07.22.2008  

Windows Live Free: Why Not Xbox Live?

[insert picture of Anti-Christ...or Peter Moore since they look like brothers]


As I've been saying, XBox Live should be free. It's a generic service when compared to what's out there on the PC market, and I think Microsoft learned that the hard way. No one on a PC is going to pay to play a shooter. That's strictly talking non-console PC gamers. What Microsoft originally did was plaster all of the good features from PC gaming onto a console so non-PC gamers could go "whoa" and drool at such terrific features as voice chat with kids, friends list that doesn't suck as much as the Wii's, and up to 16 player multiplayer! Well, granted that hundreds of politicians use feature number 2 and the PC world has had the others for a while (aside form 16 player multiplayer... try thousands per game), this Windows Live feature didn't really work out like Microsoft bargained, so they did the best they could and made it free. So that means it's time for me to get my Gears of War back out and get those achievements.

Life's sort of like an RPG, and I'm just a crazy gold farmer. But my gold is Trophies and Achievements.

-dryvby   read


2:19 PM on 07.18.2008  

Dear Sony...Please Get Your Head Out of Your Butt

Sony,

I'm not sure if you're aware of why Super Stardust HD had so many people buying it after Trophies were released for it, but let me tell you why: Trophies. Given that Achievements are the primary reason people would buy a game on the 360 (that and your PS3 cost too freakin' much for average folk) over the same game on the PS3, so instead of pushing for things unrelated to games, like a virtual movie store (which is very nice), please focus on what's going to make your system and games sale, and despite a few here-and-there people, Trophies are going to push those numbers. I'd really push developers that have already produced games to check out those Super Stardust HD sales statistics, so please, show them how well it did after you released some Trophies for the game. Granted, not every developer is going to work on the patches for it, but still, if you could get at least 50% of the current games to put some of those lovely treasures in a future patch, I bet you'll see a drastic increase in purchased PS3 games, even older ones.

Your pal,
DryvBy   read


7:49 AM on 07.16.2008  

E3: What Would Have Sucked Less

Let's face it: this years E3 sucked as far as the Big 3's press conferences. I personally didn't like any of them, and frankly, I wish they'd keep the stupid sales figures for staff meetings. I only watch these for the updates on their hardware, new interfaces, and of course, the new games. Luckily, this year for gaming isn't all that great, and I mean luckily. I'm tired of having too many great games come out in the same year. I still haven't beaten a few of last years titles because so many good games came out. At the beginning of the year, I put forth a list of 10 games on my must have, must beat this year list. I haven't had a big interest in any others outside the list aside from games unexpected at the beginning of the year. Unlike some gamers, I have several different systems I play on, and several times a year, I like to go back and play some of my favorite old school titles, rather it be shooting down TIE Fighters on the Gamecube, saving the world from Diablo, or plowing the fields in Harvest Moon. I even play old DOS games on my computer, just for kicks. I've been gaming since my dad first gave me a Nintendo Entertainment System. However, my obsession didn't come until I was introduced to PC gaming, which holds most of my game library (although, PC gaming is about done since developers are just porting things these days).

I did some late-night thinking about E3, how it sucked, and how it would have been as exciting as when the console war race was first beginning, back in 2005/2006. Remember how effin' cool it was to hear about the Wii before it came out? You just had to have one! Then seeing the stunning near-PC gaming quality of a console through the Xbox 360? Or when we first witnessed that the George Forman Grill not only slimmed down those greasy burgers, but it also had Blu-Ray and played video games? Yeah, I don't remember much of the PlayStation 3 back then either, since the 360 was the obvious first choice back in those days. Anyway, here's something that would have popped my bladder with excitement if this was the E3 case.

Microsoft: I honestly don't care if they get Square to give them a bone. That's a good thing. I've been reading a lot of blogs and it seems that my theory that people are completely retarded is correct. "I'm selling my PS3 and buying an Xbox 360 because FFXIII isn't a PS3 exclusive.". It makes absolutely not sense. It's multi-platform now. That's not Microsoft's or Sony's good or bad doings. It's business. When it comes down to it, Square makes an extra buck in the end. Instead of selling 5 million, they can now sell 10 million. It's economics more than business. Long story short, I didn't give a rat's behind about that piece of news.

Microsoft seems to be doing the ol' copy technech, which means that the new Dashboard, their new camera games, all of it, is just a copy of another companies idea. I mean, when is that WiiMote coming to the Xbox 360 again? Instead of announcing crap that I already have on other consoles, announce something amazing. I would have loved to hear, as a game replayer, that the BC list will be fully updated by Christmas, giving me a reason to play Xbox games on their console, opposed to just getting the PS2 versions of previous games since they work 99% of the time, and better. Given that the number one reason the 360 was so successful (obvious wasn't their hardware, or lack of at launch) is because it was first, and because of the almighty Achievement marketing tool, which is absolutely brilliant. Who's played games they hated just to get those Achievements? *raises hand* I'd love to hear that they're putting out patches for some of their Platinum Hits from the previous generation to allow some sort of Achievement Process. Impossible? Not at all. The PlayStation 3 proved you can throw those in after a game has been out a while. While those would have been great, my number one complaint with my 360, aside from the hardware fails (luckily, I didn't get the hardware scratchy ones) is the fact that I have to pay for Xbox Live. Coming from the PC gaming world, it's hard to justify spending one dime on a service such as Xbox Live. When Windows Live came out last year, I expected PC gamers to laugh at it. I was right. There hasn't been that push for Windows Live in games since most hackers will just bypass it anyway. It also doesn't help that they released a horrible port of Gears of War to the PC to support Xbox Live, and a 4-5 year old game known to us as Halo 2. All the features that the Xboxoholics talk about, the voice chat, video chat, match making (which is just quick join to begin with since they never match me with anyone on Halo 3 that's remotely any good), and a buddy list, all have been on the PC for many, many years. Heck, my computer boots with Xfire, which even logs how long I've been on a game. Microsoft needs to get with the times. Paying for their service, which flusters your dashboard with advertisements for Axe, Mountain Dew, or any other product I'd care less about, is a waste of my money. I play on the PS3's free internet service, and with 2.41 out, there's not much difference. There needs to be some tweaks, but hey, it's free. I'm not going to complain.

As far as games, I'd love to have seen an introduction to old titles that I love, such as Perfect Dark, a new Crimson Skies, and since 2001, I've been waiting for a sequel to Conkers Bad Fur Day, so that would have made me poo myself in excitement. I mean, you have RARE... use them. They created Goldeneye, one of the best shooters of any time! Use them!

Nintendo: Boy, what a bomb fest. Sales figures. Check. Stupid corporate monkeys doing their dance? Check. DS crap. Check. Wii wasn't really as sensitive as we advertised, so now you have to buy a new addition to make it work? Check. Wii Music and Animal Crossing? Whoa, might not be such a snore fest now. Now we can get to the big finale. Oh, that was it? Well, rats on toast! Face it; Nintendo bombed. Big time. The updates I was looking for were those of a new update that allows for at least 720p, even if all their games weren't upscaled, just having a less fuzzy main menu on my big screen would help. A real friend list is what most Wii users want. What's more annoying than remembering that long set of numbers to tell a friend, "Here's my Wii code to join as friends. And best of all, if I add you, and you forget, it won't remind you. Or if I meet you online, I can't friend you!" It's such a suckfest. That entire system should be replaced with a simple, "Yo, my names BobTheBuilder. Add me.". Done and done. That would have excited me to hear. Also, an update to the Mii would be nice. I want to create more funky Miis and have them run on pointless parades. I'd have loved to seen a price drop in all of their Virtual Console games. Frankly, they're too much. Trading a Lincoln for an Italian plumber's first big gig isn't my idea of reasonable. Who doesn't have Super Mario Bros. on another system? Heck, I can buy the real cart for only a buck or two online. The N64 games are reasonable, I'll give them that. But even those, I was hoping for modified versions that allowed for online play. That's what kills me about buying Virtual Console games: no online features. Nothing. Why buy Golden Axe on the Wii when the 360's arcade version (which looks better) is online for the same cost? I'd also like to hear about more N64 games coming to this service. There's around 20, if that. That's not a good number. The Genesis has the most games out, if I remember correctly. No, not good at all. As for anything else, I'd love for them to remember what they said at 2007's E3. They are looking out for hardcore gamers and online features. Yup, I sure feel hardcore offline playing all these incredible games.

Honestly, I don't want Nintendo's games to be all that mature either. I don't care about that, most of the time. Why I even bought the Wii, other than the motion detector, is for the Nintendo products. I didn't like the Gamecube's exclusives most of the time. I thought Super Mario Sunshine was the worst Mario game ever put out. Mario can jump, he doesn't need water jets to float. Remember, Nintendo, when you gave him a cape in SMB3? That was good enough. Use those old methods into a new Super Mario. I want my frog suit! But what the Gamecube missed out on, the Wii isn't picking up on. Animal Crossing, my favorite Gamecube game of all time, was a good idea, but how good is it going to be if it's the same exact game with a bonus city level? No, I want to have thousands upon thousands of items to pick from. I want my house update to be as exciting as it was in Harvest Moon for the SNES. It took so much time to get, making me play that much harder and wiser, to get my house upgrades in that game. Animal Crossing should have the same attributes. There needs to be something in the city that isn't just the size of a mall. Maybe the city could act as an interactive lobby, similar to Phantasy Star Online or PlayStation Home. I want a downloadable shop in the game, where I can get some exclusive things imported into my town via downloadable content. And since the original was on a smaller DVD sized disc, and the new one is going to be on a full DVD, please pack it full of goodies. I mean, a ton of goodies. Give the characters more personality. There's nothing more annoying than going back to my old town a year later and only hearing, "Dude, where the flip you been?". I want to have people start rumors about me. I want to earn their respect again! Well, aside from that, and their new WiiMusic game, there should have been more. Who has been waiting for a new Donkey Kong adventure game? A new Kirby? Kid Icarus? F-Zero? Game that isn't party based, featuring Luigi? Nintendo, you have an arsenal of awesome mascots, all of which are being used like retired old men. They're the Walmart door greeters now, only showing up in public to say "hi" once in a while. Give us, your fans, a freakin' bone! Screw these non-gaming old farts who want to be able to get Fit using a stupid balance board. That's not a video game! I don't want to get in shape. One of the joys of this lazy addiction is that I get to relax.

Sony: Sony's presentation was cool for one reason: LittleBigPlanet's PowerPoint presentation. That, my friends, would keep me awake any time during a meeting at work. Beyond that, it was more of what we've seen above. Nothing exciting, just a few "Hmm" ideas. For instance the video store. Are you kidding me? E3 should be about the games, not movies. I have two sources for video: Best Buy and Amazon. I can buy a Blu-ray at Amazon for the same price most rental places charge, so why not own the disc rather than fill up my hardrive with movies I'll hardly watch? I don't care about the PSP, and honestly, you handheld-only gamers, you're not gamers. Your're micro-gamers. These handhelds from Nintendo and Sony should be kept on a separate note. Granted, the DS/PSP is a huge seller and all, but most of us who have them only have them to take our hobby with us. I'm satisfied with one game a year on my DS. Heck, I still haven't finished Final Fantasy III on mine, so until then, I'm not remotely excited to hear about portable system news. As what I wanted to hear, I wanted to hear a huge Trophy announcement, giving me a reason to buy my games on the PS3 other than the 360. Trophies are a lot more fun than I thought. I've almost got all the ones on the PS3 available at this time, so given that I'm now officially sick of Super Stardust HD, I'm ready for more. I want my home in Home to be filled with Trophies, making people think how little of a life I have (and is true!). So far, the Trophy support is at a minimum. I would love to get Guitar Hero World Tour on the PS3, but without Trophies, I'd feel a little ripped. Achievements give me the satisfaction of looking back at my 'work' and seeing how well I did in these games. That's why they're addicting. Giving us Trophies and then not supporting them is like giving your son a Ferrari and no gas or keys. He can just look at it. Another feature I don't really hear anyone pushing is one thing I think Microsoft has a huge advantage over: multiple account log-ins. My brother can load his memory card into my 360, load into his profile, and get achievements and ranks in games while playing with me on my console. It's a nice feature. As for right now, when we played through Rainbow Six Vegas 2 on the PS3, I had to beat the game, and then he had to beat the game. After playing through that game once, the second time around was twice as painful. I'm hoping they hear that request for the future.

Sony really doesn't have a mascot for me. This is actually the first PlayStation I've bought and wanted. Last generation, I bought the PlayStation 2 for the Grand Theft Auto series, Metal Gear Solid series, and some of the RPGs. Later, God of War came out, so I guess that could be their mascot.I don't know; I'm actually unfamiliar with a lot of the exciting titles they announced, such as SOCOM (which my brother tells me was actually fun for it's time) or those platform games. I haven't really tried those games out. I'm more of a guy that remembers hearing about the PlayStation as being the big one (back in it's initial release time) as being Final Fantasy, Resident Evil, and Twisted Metal. Since Final Fantasy is multiplatform now, along with Evil, I guess that just leaves Twisted Metal. I'd have loved to hear a new Metal game, but I don't think that will happen. I don't think Twisted Metal Black was a huge seller, especially since it was pretty much the last one. The original PlayStation had 4 of them. The PS2 only received one. That sucks for fans of vehicle combat games. That's pretty much a dead genre. Granted, Vigilante 8 is coming to the XBLA soon, but that's all we get? Destruction is always fun, so why not give us some? I never played KillZone, so I'm not sure how that game is going to be. I just wish they'd have pushed for some more exclusives. Maybe some more JRPGs.

Oh, and for the foolish at hearted people out there, no, the 360 will never get Metal Gear Solid 4. That game is way too powerful. It filled up an entire 50GB Blu-ray, and the dude that made it was saying it still wasn't enough. I'm tired of reading morons say that everywhere you turn around.

Of all the games that were announced and previewed, which is really exciting your pants right now? I'm still thinking Fallout 3 for game of the year. I'm just wondering if the 360 version is going to be of a much lower scale, like Oblivion was when compared to the PS3 and PC. I hope not. I want everyone to equally enjoy that game. I know I will. Several times. Other than Fallout 3, I'd say Diablo 3 has been the biggest shock this year and of every game, I'm most excited about that game.

-dryvby, thanks for reading   read


1:39 PM on 07.08.2008  

Are Trophies the New Achievements?

Well, it's been a week (and for some, a few hours) since firmware 2.4 was released for the PlayStation 3. Of all the sweet new add-ons, what I was really waiting for were the "achievement clones", or Trophies. However, I didn't expect trophies to be more addicting than the Achievements. I still love the achievement system, but from the start, it had it's flaws. For starters, the gaming community is sometimes the worst community on the internet, complaining that some achievements were too hard. I personally have always thought the achievements should be very difficult to get. I mean, they're called achievements for a reason, right? One of my personal favorite achievements is the Quake IV achievements. They're all very hard to obtain, but I feel pretty special when my 300+ is beating out most of the XBox 360 community. But then easy with crappy little no-sale games like this one. So everyone ended up playing games that they'd never intentionally buy because the game sucked, but it had easy achievements. It cheapens the experience. I mean, what's my 25K Gamerscore if almost everyone can get it?

Trophies can follow that same boat, but I'm hoping it ends up being different. The leveling up process is pretty cool, and a good start for me to want to obtain achievements. It's more mental than anything, but it feels like my trophies count for a hill of beans when I notice I've 'dinged' my profile. The other obvious benefit is when PlayStation Home is released and we can step inside our own Trophy Room. As for me, I did what 90% of PS3 owners did. I bought Super Stardust HD and the expansion to get those Trophies, trying out this new system. I love it. It's just like the Achievement system with it's pop-ups, but it feels so much better to see a set of Bronze to Platinum trophies on my profile rather than a meaningless number. The numbers don't really mean the achievement was hard. To get a gold trophy is bliss, but the unknown platinum trophy is going to show who's the gamer gods, and who's just out for leveling up their profiles. By the way, I wish I'd have bought Super Stardust HD before trophies. It's madfun when I'm bored (but not as fun as PixelJunk Monsters co-op)

The downfall? Well, even with the current list of games out there, there's still not enough. I'm hoping game companies wise up to the benefits of patching their older games (as well as future games) to support trophies. Me personally, I'm no longer buying multiplatform games on the Xbox 360. I'm switching over to the PS3. I finally have some real life friends that own one, including Jman, my favorite of favorite cousins. But I'm still hoping that the games that I currently own, including the arcade games, are patched sooner or later. I'd replay Call of Duty 3 and 4 for the Trophies. I'd even replay the most god-awful PS3/X360 game in the world. So please, developers, if you want to cash in on your older games and watch sales shoot through the roof, just patch your old games with Trophies. I have a healthy wallet and I'll gladly slam some bones down for older/newer games with Trophies.

I personally thank Microsoft for introducing such a great feature to the gaming world, and Sony for giving us a reason to now buy multiplatform games on their system. As a multiplatform gamer, I'm glad to see that my PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 all have introduced this system. I hope Nintendo opts to make this apart of a future update, joining the bandwagon of "replay".

-dryvby, level 2 PSN player and too lazy to format (the game was that Avatar game...youtube it).   read


7:41 AM on 05.09.2008  

Hating Blizzard: Take two.

Relating to this topic, I noticed a lot of people talk about how their copyright law was a good idea because it "ruins the game". Well, I thought of some other things that ruin World of Warcraft for me, and I think if they decide, comrads, that cheating is an offense worthy of a $750 fine, here's some other things they should consider that annoy people, and ruin gameplay. Because keeping you in line is the job of the government!

Barrens Chat (or any chat) should only be used for discussing the game. Anyone using the global chat to discuss who's penis is bigger or what celebrity sucks or making fun of someone in those chats should be fined. It's really annoying to play a game and have people arguing over why Linux beats Windows. It's unrelated to the game and ruins the RPG atmosphere of the game.

The Horde should be required to play like the Horde would really play. No sitting in town, breaking offense number one (talking in chat all day, lazy level 70s). The Horde is a cruel race, so if you're not destroying the Alliance, then you're not playing the game correctly.

Priest that never heal while in a group is probably the most annoying thing in the game. I hate seeing the group priest looting the items my warrior and team are killing instead of healing me when I need it. It ruins the gameplay for me when I have to run back to an instance and then hope nothing spawned.

Quitting early during a raid/quest is the absolute worst. There's nothing worst than seeing someone in your group say "lawl mom said i g2g eats. sorry guy" and then as he/she leaves, the group disappears and you can't finish whatever you're doing. That ruins the gameplay for me 99% of the time.

You guys get the hint. And you brown nosers to corporate powers, enjoy becoming enraged. Changing laws to benefit a companies agenda is always bad news.

-dryvby   read


3:27 PM on 05.07.2008  

Prepare to hate Blizzard.

Just read this communist garbage. I sure hope that if this is passed, people cheat out of protest. A fine for cheating. Screw your EULA, Blizzard. It's a freakin' video game!

-dryvby   read


9:16 AM on 05.06.2008  

Age of Conan Impressions

I was really excited about this game. The graphics looked amazing. The gore was there. Everything was good until I got into their beta. Boy, they sure know how to doctor up their photos! Age of Conan is a console MMORPG, meaning it's linear and dumbed down to the point where it's not even fun. No wonder it's also being thrown on the 360...

Let us rant...

Character creation is alright, there's a few nice ideas in the creation but still nothing impressive. The three races are either white guy, tan-white guy, or Persian guy. Certain races unlock certain classes a la most any MMORPG. Still, nothing impressive.

The guy I created was the Persian for the assassin class. I normally just build brute warriors because I like DPS and armor, but I wanted to try out another class for this game. Upon loading the game, I looked around at what I was expecting to be an impressive scene of blowing water and nice flora (like those screen shots I kept seeing). Since my computer is pretty beefy, I had the quality to the max using DX10 and all. Yeah, nothing impressive. Actually, the graphics looked a little outdated. I noticed a few glitches in the modeling that was bugging me and with future MMOs coming out with rag dolls, I expected this game to have some impressive animations at least. Nope, nothing but the generic "fall down" animation. The textures are pretty ugly too. The first mission has you saving a slave. Before you can pass the first area, you have to do her little quest. It's really easy. Kill one guy and move on. Anyone that's played MMOs today knows that a nice little addition to playing them is the lack of load screens. This game abolishes that idea and upon entering new areas, you have to actually load. What really threw me off is how linear the game is. I mean, there's a road that you follow and kill things on with a few boring side-paths. You actually can't leave the road. There's nothing but forest wall around it! So, yeah, I can't see myself having fun with a linear MMORPG. The game ran pretty well, aside from some chop (being beta, I understand). That was until you get to the first town. You have a quest similar to Dungeon Siege 2 of getting your chains broken before you can move on to the city. To break the chains, you must do another boring easy quest of collecting some stones that are flickering near some easy mobs. Around this area, I think the game started loading again, or tried to load the textures, in which my frames went from 60 to 2 for no reason. Finally I finished the quest, ran into the city (frames dropped again to 1) then the game crashed. I haven't had the nerve to open the game back up.

The gore is lacking too. There's some decent execution moves, but it's just too generic to be impressed with. Most of the time, I don't even see blood. The only time I saw blood was when I cut one guy's head off, I saw the head disappear instantly and then the mesh of what would be the insides of him, poorly textured I might add. I just don't get this game. I see screen shot after screen shot and video movies of how impressive this game looks, and how open it looks, but it's so linear and poorly designed that I'm just going to end up passing it up. GTA 4 is more MMO than this game and I'm being honest. Maybe Warhammer later this year will impress me.

I did play the other night for a moment on my brother's character. It was my first glimpse into the PvP. The arena is much like the Guild Wars arena in which you capture flags to win. Since I've been doing that since the early days of Quake, this mode just didn't impress me either. I did hear the PvP is going to be open to killing people in the streets anywhere, if you choose the server, but I'm doubting there will be a reward system for PvP. It will just be the jerk thing to do.

I hope no one actually falls for the reviews this game is bound to get. If you want to get a better Conan game, get that console crap Conan game that was a rip of God of War. It's easier on the eyes and actually more fun. This is just sad.

-dryvby   read







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