I wrote a blog a while ago called 'disillusionment with the Wii' which basically described how I traded my Wii in for and Xbox-360 because I was sick of the low quality of games available for the console and the patronising attitude that Nintendo seemed to adopt with it's customers.
Boy; Did I dodge a bullet there eh? Collette mentioned in a post about how about 30% of Wii games are not even reviewed- probably because they are a bunch of shovelware crap and I can honestly say that I saw this one coming. The only thing that kept me with the Wii for so long was (a) because I have always been a Nintendoid and (b) because of the Virtual Console. It all got too much for me when I saw the upcoming games schedule for Wii and XBox 360 and saw "Streetfighter 4" "Resident Evil 5" and "FIFA 10" coming out on the '360 and some cheap Dead Rising port coming out for Nintendo's white box.
It now seems that the XBLA has overtaken even the virtual console in terms of quality games. At one time I would have a giggle at Topher Cantlers XBLA reviews on RF Go, but more recently (before the short break anyway) he had nothing but good things to say, and with games like Braid, Castle Crashers, Shadow Complex, Castlevania SOTN, Zombie Apocalypse, Trials HD, Battlefield 1945, Monkey Island, Worms 2 and 'Splosion man (to name a few) I cannot but agree. Virtual console is now second best.
I would be interested to see what the opinions are of people that have stuck with the Wii until now. What is keeping you attached to the little white box, or do you also have a PS3 or Xbox 360 to slake your gaming thirst? Do you agree with me that the only 'big name' titles that the Wii gets is crappy ports created by the software houses 'b' team (probably the same bunch that does the DS port)? Do you think that decent Wii games like Mario Kart, Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 and Wii Sports resort justify you actually owning a Wii?
I opened my wardrobe yesterday morning and realised that a couple of the shirts that I still wear for work are over ten years old. Aside from being a little faded they are still in perfectly good condition, and I wear them at least once a fortnight- buttons intact, collar still stiff.
It made me think about quality and longevity, and how this is a rare thing these days. I remember some guy coming to tune the engine of my car and telling me that there is absolutely no reason why a car shouldn't have a twenty year warranty if the engine and body was created with the craft and attention that it should be. It is all to do with reducing lifespans of vehicles, making new cars and making more money he said.
I think that this can also be applied to videogames- we have the whole silly issue going on with the 'Left 4 Dead' sequel, with people complaining that there shouldn't actually be a sequel, but the updates as promised and we also have the annual sporting updates like Madden, FIFA and the golfing games. I suppose it could be argued that these games are little more than updates anyway, and with the internet being as common as it is today, then why can't we just buy a patch rather than fork out big money for the game in CD format?
Some of the best games that I have played, I still own in their original format because they stand the test of time. Games like Chrono Trigger, Ocarina of time, Super Mario World and Resident Evil 4 I still love these games now as much as I did then, and in many ways they are irreplacable and have not (arguably) been bettered. Some of the worlds that you experience in these games (especially some of the RPG's) are beautiful and whimsical places that you really don't want to leave- some of the games that last the test of time are so well designed and so beautiful that they still look and play good 15 years on.
I suppose I am wondering why games cannot evolve rather than 'new editions' and 'sequels' taking their place. Why can't the game designers create a brilliant and beautiful game from day one? Why do I have to fork out another £40 for FIFA 10, when they could have easily updated FIFA 09? Is it just an excuse to make more money are am I being too cynical?
Forums and the people I interact with on forums tend to make me look at myself as a person- there are so many different types of people out there that go and interact on forums that it can be enlightening as well as annoying. On a forum you can never truly win an argument, you cannot truly put forward the intended meaning behind what you are saying and you cannot help it when conversations spawn out of control because someone misread your original post.
The reason I bring this all up is because I have recently been banned from the fourth forum that I have had the pleasure to be a member of- because I am innuendous and offensive. This seems to be a recurring theme actually, and although I am unreliable to you as a reader because I am biased towards my own cause I will try and explain why forums and I tend not to get along.
Forums tend to be 'family friendly' places for what that is worth- on the internet where you get paedophiles roaming, readily available porn and information on all types of drugs and crime, it is apparently a huge ''no-no'' to write a five minute counter argument containing the word 'shit.' It doesn't matter that you've actually put quite a lot of thought into a post- if there is anything remotely rude in there you deserve a huge slap on the wrists.
It then doesn't help that you actually object to being warned- this really puts you in the moderators bad books. They don't like it when you question their authoritaah. They point you in the direction of the forum rules; which are usually a grey area and need the application of common sense; something that a lot of moderators and forum regulars don't seem able to apply.
This leads to the inevitable ban. I am not sayng that all mods are idiots; far from it, but at the end of the day you have to have a certain amount of nerdiness instilled in you before you can wear that treasured 'moderator' badge, and you can like and dislike people just as anyone else can. I have actually been banned for immaturity by a 16 year old moderator- and I'm 27. It is annoying in a way because I think that immaturity is in the eye of the beholder, and if someone is genuinley offended because I mention the word 'genitals' then they are the immature one in my book.
I come away from that 'banned' screen and question whether or not I really am an arsehole. I don't think that I am. I have lots of friends and family that all get along well with me, and in reality I am certainly a lover and not a hater. There are actually no people that I know who I have every really fallen out with. I work hard, I get paid and I enjoy the relationship that I have with my fiance who I've been with for the best part of a decade. I like to watch my brother play football (soccer), I take my labrador on walks twice a day and I bring the neighbours bin in for him on a Friday. I spend my time in forums when work is quiet, or my fiance is out and I have no chores to do. I certainly don't see myself as a troll.
Maybe it is the old 'road rage' scenario where some quiet old lady becomes a real jerk when she has the protection of a tonne of metal and some locked doors around her. Just like she's sort of untouchable in her car, I am untouchable on a forum.
I like to express myself on forums- I usually put a lot of thought into my posts, but I also refuse to be spoken down to by idiots. But as I say- you can't win an argument on a forum.
I have a chocolate labrador retriever called 'Campbell' (after Evil Dead Actor Bruce) that could fill a novel of 'Marley and me' proportions. This is the lovable little brute that did the biggest and wettest crap I have seen in a long time at the end someones driveway whilst they were stood on their step having an evening cigarette. I wouldn't have minded as much, had he not already done a 'number two' not two minutes before on which I used the only poop bag I had on me.
He also stopped to open his bottom one time smack bang in the middle of a busy road whilst we were crossing- holding up traffic as he crouched there with his back legs shaking.
What has this got to do with video-gaming? 'Sods Law' thats what. The fact that when you least want it, least expect it or are least equipped, something will come across and slap you right in the face. I have made real-life sporting predictions based on 'sods law'; A mass of absolute power, undefeated in years versus an underdog that hasn't won in ages..? Sods law that the book makers will be defied and the underdog triumphs.
I had a similar experience on-line with FIFA 10, though the same can apply to any on-line game.
I was sad enough to go to a local 24 hour store and queue for the game- surrounded by geeks and nerds of all proportions, and including a couple of really big muthas in shopmobility scooters. I got home, went to bed and the next morning played and won seven on-line matches in a row. I was on a streak, I felt unbeatable and then sods law kicked in and I lost 14 matches on the trot.
However, sods law isn't satisfied in just raising your hopes and dashing them- there is usually an added twist and in my case it was in the form of me leading my final game last night by three goals to zero with about two in-game minutes left and still managing to lose 4-3. I sat there with myhead in my hands- part frustrated by the fact that I had let four incredulously lucky goals in within a short period of time and part embarassed that I had my head in my hands.
It was also sods law that the guy that beat me also happened to be one of the most arrogant despots that I have had the misfortune to play on XBL. A Spanish fellow, he wound down the last few seconds by showboating, and goading me through the headset. I suppose a problem shared is a problem halves- so have any of you guys experienced 'sods law' at it's worse?
I finally battled my way to my first cup final on FIFA Ultimate Team (xbox 360) without a booking, with a 80-70-70 team and without using a game modifying card (That's good!). The guy I played in the cup final had a much better team than me, but I played him anyway.
Within the first five game minutes I hit the post and forced his keeper into a save and after that he played all his gameplay cards on me. These cards are basically modifiers that alter the game by reducing your stats in some way.
It was like running in quicksand, and for some reason my 2nd defender couldn't be called either (I don't know if he genuinley cheated for this or not...) . He effectivley killed off the cup final in the first half and was 6-0 up at half time.
Please don't think I'm a moaner here- I am not usually one to moan too much about on-line games, I lost a semi-final before and congradulated the guy that beat me, & I know winning isn't everything, but this guy really took liberties and bogged down my team, despite me already having the handicap of a weaker team as it was. I lost a cup final that I worked pretty hard to get to- and it's frustrating.
I just wanted to post this up to make sure this guy didn't cheat again on any of you. Could you please let him know that cheating isn't right? I texted him and he just insulted me back- but if a few of us let him know, he might not do it again. I don't want you to abuse the guy or anything- just let him know that he's a cheat.
His gamertag was 'dodmor.' You can contact me with any opinions- my gamertag is 'Garybuller'
Usually after listening to an Episode of 'Retroforce Go' I find myself wanting to play one of the games that they have been discussing. It must be the enthusiasm that they put into their love of the games, but it is also a lot to do with my deep love of retro games in general. That is why I was really pleased to see games like 'Megaman 9' come out last year, amongst other retro releases on the Virtual Console and DS. I was even more elated when I saw that the 'Sega Megadrive Ultimate Collection' (Sonic Ultimate Colllection in the USA) was coming out for the xbox 360.
With over forty games on one budget price disc you cannot complain. The value actually works out much, much better than if I was to buy the same games on virtual console. I like the way the game is presented, and I think that the HD element gives the graphics a fresh new lease of life. The controls aren't that bad either.
Thanks to this compilation I get the chance to make a start on games like the 'Phantasy Star' and 'Golden Axe' series that I never touched back in the day (due to being a huge Nintendoid) and I also get the chance to revisit some of the classic games that I downloaded from the virtual console and then lost when I formatted and traded in my Wii. I have already started on 'Sonic The Hedgehog 2' and found it to be pretty amazing.
The problem lies in that I am now an adult, and because of this life seems to take a front seat and gaming is something that is lower on my list of priorities than I would like. I can no longer sit down for days on end hammering a game to completion, although I made an exception for Resident Evil 5. I have a mortgage, a fiance and a job- and I like to invest as much time as I can into making a better life for myself and my partner. I just have to content myself with an hour here and an hour there, which is why 'Retroforce Go' quenches some of my thirst and also why retro games in their nature are ideal.
I find most modern games (sports games aside) are very difficult to pick up and play for short hour long bursts, yet platformers and old school RPG's seemed suited for this. I spent the whole of September 2008 playing Chrono Trigger (after hearing about it on 'RF Go') an hour here and an hour there to completion and I loved it. The same applied with Super Mario RPG. I suppose that is why I still view the games so fondly, as they're still easily accessible now. And is it just me or do the 16 bit graphics in particular still look amazing when N64 and Playstation stuff looks awful?
Anyway- does anyone else not have as much time for gaming as they would like? Anyone growing up and feeling that they're losing touch with their gamer roots? What do you think of these 'retro' collections?