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.
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.
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!
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!
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?
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 JudgementWITH the camera for $29.99
So, who am I going to be killing with Nightmare tomorrow? Hit me up on the PSN (dryvby).
[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.