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6:16 PM on 02.10.2010

Happy Birthday Jonathan Ross!

Today is a special day, cause everyone's favorite wine-drinking, Survivor-loving, Blanka-playing editor is one year older!




So, here's to Jonathan Ross, also known as Aerox! Thanks for all the Fanboy Fridays and for being an amazing person!

I especially want to thank you for being so accommodating and letting me crash at your place anytime I want to visit the most wonderful people of DtoidLA. If it weren't for you, I probably would never have slid down a humongous slide, been tricked on going on Colossus, and had a blast in West Hollywood :D

Here are some pics just for JRo! Everyone enjoy, and wish Jonathan a Happy Birthday!!





  read


12:45 PM on 02.06.2010

Snooki Saturday! [NVGR]

f you aren't aware of the wonder that is Jersey Shore, you should be. This show has it all, drunken parties, fights, and duck phones. But above all, this show has one of the greatest people on the face of the earth, the queen of the guidettes herself, Snooki.



In honor of the second season of Jersey Shore, which means a return of Snooki to our TV screens. To honor this occasion I present to you an offshoot of Tyra Tuesday...

SNOOKI SATURDAY!


Watch as she answers the duck phone!



Watch as she eats a pickle!



Watch as Snooki prepares for the red carpet!



Watch as she gives the weather forecast!
[embed]162650:27160[/embed]

Snooki also has great words of wisdom for you all....

"When I woke up I was like what did I do last night? Like what did I do? I fucked up... story of my life."

"I tried to eat but I couldn't get it in my freakin' mouth 'cause I'm disabled."

"I hate guys. Iím turning lesbian. I swear."   read


8:29 PM on 01.23.2010

I win Dtoid Secret Santa. The end.

There have been many epic gifts presented to members of the community thanks to the Dtoid Secret Santa organized by Cataract. Its cool to see how generous we are to each other and just shows how Destructoid is unlike any other gaming community on the internet.

And while I would hate to make this a pissing contest about who got the best gift, I'm going to....because my gift is the greatest gift ever received.

EVER.

I was at work when my boss called and said there was a poster tube in his mailbox downstairs. I was surprised cause I hadn't ordered anything recently. I went down to check out what it was and who it was from, when I read a familiar name. Andy Butler. Gandysampras.

I was elated to find that he had drawn my name, since its no secret I think he is a very very adorable man. What could he possibly get me that would fit in a poster tube? A poster, perhaps?

And it is with great jubilation that I present to you, the greatest Dtoid secret santa gift in history.



Yes. That is Corican, Gandysampras, and Nobrein, in a very sexy picture taken just for ME. If we werent oceans apart, I would most definitely make sweet passionate love to all three of you, individually, or together....your choice.

This poster is now affixed on my ceiling, so you can be the first thing I see in the morning, and the last thing I see before I sleep.

THANK YOU SO MUCH to Gandy, Corican, Nobrein for posing so seductively, Halfleft for taking the picture, and Hollie for lending your room (and I'm so jealous of you for being there BTW).

MUCH LOVE! <3 <3 <3 <3   read


1:07 PM on 12.11.2009

Internet famous for 5 seconds! [Shortblog]

This Wednesday, DtoidSF had a chance to go to Umloud, a Child's Play Charity Event. While a proper recap blog is coming soon (with pictures!), I just had to share this...

I'm internet famous on Gamepro for 5 seconds!

Check the 0:27 mark to see me rocking a high note in the Dtoid shirt, as well as Stella Wong and ErbilT jamming it out on bass and guitar! (Ben PerLee is there on drums! I swear!)

[embed]157630:25722[/embed]

:D   read


2:20 PM on 11.03.2009

Dtoid Community Discusses pt 19: Digital Distribution

Its been too long since I last did one of these. I want to go into detail with how busy I've been with work and stuff like that, but if I did that, every single of these posts would have the same introduction.

BLAH BLAH I'm busy BLAH BLAH I'll be better about posting more often BLAH

So I'll just stop there.

Welcome back to another edition of Dtoid Community Discusses (DCD)! If you are new to this concept, the idea is that I choose a topic related to gaming and then ask community members to discuss this topic in a roundtable format moderating along the way. After about a week or so of enthralling email discussion, I take the nuggets of gold, edit slightly for grammar (never content :P) and post it up here with pretty pictures!

I'm really stoked that I'm at part 19. Thats a lot of discussion! Soon, DCD will be old enough to buy liquor without the need of a fake ID! <3

I apologize...I just realized how scrappy I am tonight. I'll just cut to the chase. This edition of DCD focuses on digital distribution. There have been loads of stories covering the future of digital distribution ever since the PSPGo was released. I was curious to find out what some of our community members thought of this, so our panel this week consists of Joshhest, Gatsby, and Kauza! Here is the prompt as presented to them:

Digital distribution

""With the launch of the PSPGo, a lot of thought has been given towards the concept of digital distribution of videogames. Basically, from many critics' ideas, PSPGo is doing it completely wrong. The launch of a system which focuses solely on digital distribution as a means of releasing games seems to be having some of problems being accepted by gamers in general.

So my main question: is digital distribution the way of the future? What is holding it back from being more popular for gaming as opposed to, say, the iTunes model of buying songs? When has digital distribution been successful? (Steam?)"

Read on to find out what they had to say!



Kauza

I think a main problem right now with digital distribution on the PSP Go is a lack of choice on the part of the consumer. Originally, a long time ago, it was thought that Sony would be pushing digital distribution for the PSP2, which would have been a brand new console. It sounded like a decent idea. Then even after the PSP Go was introduced, people figured "Oh, I'll be able to play all of my old games because of license transfers." But neither of these options exist now. It's either "buy the PSP Go and abandon your existing library" or "Don't buy the PSP Go at all." I suppose you could own both, but what's the point?

I don't think Sony's totally failing here, and I don't think a push toward digital distribution on a handheld is a totally terrible idea. But any consumer will feel discouraged when purchasing choices are taken away. The iPhone, for instance, never had physical games, so there are no false expectations. But the PSP Go, since it is not an entirely new product, has to carry all the baggage from the original PSP, and that includes what gamers have come to expect from it. If some gamers have come to expect the ability to play their existing libraries, they're understandably going to be upset when the new version of the console takes it away. That was Sony's main failure on the console side, but aside from a lack of certain games, I'm pretty happy with the actual games side of PSN's PSP offerings...only I'm enjoying them on my good ol' PSP-3000, and I have no plans to change this.

Gatsby

I don't think that the main issue is lack of choice, but lack of demand rather. While I'm not going to pretend to know the perfect statistics behind everything, I can say with confidence that most people will not opt to buy something through digital distribution when hard copies are readily available. For me, the strengths of digital distribution doesnít entail the ability to get all the latest and greatest titles downloaded. The difference between downloading a game on Steam Day 1 versus driving to Gamestop to buy it is pretty minimal for me.

I feel that the two main services that Digital Distribution is good for right now are, making out-of-production games available for sale again and allowing indie Game Devs the ability to get their games out to the general public. The popularity of games like Braid or even Run Man would be totally impossible in a generation without digital distribution. Knowing what a classic Braid has become, think of all the possible games we may have missed out on last gen or the gen before that due to the inability for indie Game Devs to really get their product out to anyone.

There'll be a time when Digital Distribution can start to rival the popularity of hard copies, but that time isn't now. There's still a pretty large demand for hard copies and there's been a trend of retailers not supporting the PSP-GO because it's existence is counterproductive to their own. And on top of that, I think Digital Distribution is about convenience. There's nothing that's convenient about a system that limits current options, doesn't offer anything knew, and costs two hundred and fifty fucking dollars. Like usual, Sony seems to be catering to a market that doesn't seem to exist.

Joshhest

I realized the other day when Direct2Drive (which I usually hate) was running a massive anniversary sale that I am much more likely to make impulse buys through a digital marketplace than when I hit up the local GameStop.

Not entirely sure why, but I would guess that it has something to do with me not letting my brain have enough time to actually go through the decision-making math that normally runs when I'm trying to weigh costs versus my benefits for a given game...

This may be silly, but the real value of digital distribution to the market as a whole is that it can make games really cheap in certain cases, so the premium you normally place on getting box, DVD, etc. can be brushed aside by the OHMYGODONLYFIVEDOLLARS part of the brain.

But then again I still love looking at CD art, so physical media still has some life left in it. Especially for the hardcore who really love games for their inherent game-ness and just don't want to give it up. Maybe soon Special Edition will mean "with instruction book and DVD".


You can't beat the fresh smell of a new instruction manual :D

Tactix

I wonder what you guys think about the flipside of the coin. When Street Fighter 4 came out, there was quickly talk about the possibility of new kinds of DLC. Sure there were costume options, but for the longest time, it seemed that people expected the characters of Dee Jay and T Hawk to be DLC characters. However, when Capcom announced that it would be a separate disc with lots of new options, some (not all) people cried foul, saying this should have been digitally distributed.

What do you think about Capcom's decision to NOT distribute the new characters and all digitally, but to bring about a second disc?

Joshhest

I have a little bit of trouble with this example because many of us (myself included) saw it coming. From the very beginning, I had an inkling there would be a "Street Fighter IV Hyper Championship Edition SE" and no new-fangled DLC was going to get in Capcom's way if they wanted to toss a whole new disc into the wild.

In a lot of ways I actually appreciate not being nickeled-and-dimed to death on this: I picture myself hugely pissed about spending $5 in Microsoft Moon Money just to buy T-Hawk or Dee Jay. Instead, I look at it as a reasonable value from a company whose business model is to bring out multiple, incremental versions of what is really the same base game.

Let Capcom be Capcom!

Kauza

Yeah, I subscribe to the idea that companies, Capcom included, should do what they want to do, even if it seems blatantly stupid to us (I don't feel that's the case here). To me, it'll eventually lead to a sense of balance in what companies can and can't do with digital distribution. If Capcom wants to do a new disc, they can certainly try it, and if it fails miserably, the company and other companies will learn that they can't do that sort of thing and expect players to let them get away with it. If it does turn out to be what people want, then everyone gets to be happy.

It's similar in some ways to Horse Armor or the Bandai/Namco DLC, which quickly become industry jokes about just how bad digital content distribution can be. While the latter doesn't seem to learn from any of its mistakes, I think other companies have. It's a process that the industry needs to go through: experiment with digital distribution vs. traditional distribution to find a model that is most beneficial to the consumer and the company alike, and the great thing is that we players don't assume the risk. If a company does something stupid, we cry foul by passing on a product.

I think all we can do is continue to take a critical look at things like Super Street Fighter 4, Halo 3: ODST, downloadable episodic content, and so on before making our purchases. Personally, I'll remain indifferent to Capcom's decision until I see just what they offer, and at that point, it'll be easier to decide whether it was a decision that other companies should admire or avoid.



Gatsby

Well, that brings up an interesting point. Is it really profitable for companies to employ digital distribution at this point? There are a lot of things to consider. First off, let's say that Street Fighter went along and decided to distribute each of their characters digitally. If you're a person like me, and only play characters based on how they look, then here's what you're going to do. You're going to say "Well, Juri looks awesome, but I pretty much have zero interest in T Hawk and Dee Jay, so I'm only going to buy Juri." So overall, they may have put work into three different characters, only to have people pick and choose as to which parts of their work are paid for. To a developer, I could see why that type of situation doesn't appeal to them. They're creating a lot of new content, and they want you to help fund ALL of it.

And then there's another thing to consider. Does every single person who bought Street Fighter 4 own a credit card? Street Fighter is rated T for teen, which means that there'll likely be people who can legally buy Super Street Fighter IV in stores, but might not be old enough to buy characters online with their own credit or debit card. If they go a digital only route, they're limiting the amount of people who can buy it. On the other hand, anybody can get cash and waltz into their local Gamestop or Walmart and buy it.

It's interesting to note how games that generally have more Mature ratings tend to shift towards digital distribution first off. Look at Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Has any of Mass Effects DLC ever been sold separately in physical form? Is any of Dragon Age's DLC being sold in physical form? Nope, because there's pretty much no reason why anybody old enough to buy these games shouldn't have access to AT LEAST a debit card.


Horse Armor. Lulz.

Kauza

I don't know if the credit card thing is a main factor in that decision, but it's definitely interesting to think about. I imagine that most parents would probably be hesitant to connect their own credit cards to an Xbox account. But I imagine that for younger kids, DLC isn't even a thought in their minds. And I do think that digital distribution is pretty profitable, if only for the savings in manufacturing costs. Of course, I don't have figures in front of me to support that; it just seems like it would make sense.

I guess it's just up to companies to see what works, but I think a great product is going to sell no matter what. If you've got some great expansion that no one can live without, I really don't care whether it's put out in physical format, digital downloads, or both. The way things are going, it seems to me that employing both is going to be the safest option. I think some people are going to get pissed no matter what some companies do, but that can be minimized by offering as many options as monetarily possible.

----------------------------------------------------------------

And with that, so ends another edition of Dtoid Community discusses. I hope you enjoyed your time with reading this blog! If you'd like to get involved with a future Dtoid Community Discusses, send me a PM here on dtoid, or find me on IRC so we can exchange emails.

Tune in sometime for my 20th DCD posts in the near future! Later!   read


1:18 PM on 09.09.2009

Team Fedora

I promised I'd do something with the Team Fedora pics, so here it is! I totally learned how to use iMovie, and made a youtube video!

Watch below!

[embed]148027:22323[/embed]

Music: "These are the Days" by Jaime Cullum   read


6:44 PM on 09.08.2009

Post Pax 09

Post Pax 09

As I lie in bed, fever and all, I decided to try to get my post-PAX thoughts in a blog. It took nearly 20 minutes of thinking (and chatting on irc) to even know where to begin. I decided to begin here:

Start:

I was really excited for this PAX, because as you may have read last year, PAX was a life changing experience. (To read that again, click here). I knew that this PAX was going to be something completely different. This time, I had already met TONS of you, gone to a couple of industry events, so even knew the Capcom guys, and had gotten some props for starting the Dtoid Community Discusses and the DtoidSF google group. So this time, there were people there that were actually really excited to meet me!

Another reason I was totally excited was that I had been given the opportunity to BE Mr Destructoid for an hour. That experience was one that I wont ever forget. Last years PAX I was just amazed to meet the man, Niero, himself. This year I was able to assume his character. It was so mindboggling how receptive people were to Mr. Destructoid. Some merely wanted to take a picture with the guy in the robot head, but one girl ran pretty much across the hall saying. ďIím sorryÖ.I just really want to shake your hand and say thanks.Ē That was in itself pretty amazing, and so true for my feeling to Mr. Dtoid himself.



The next highlight I think would have to be the Dtoid panel. Seeing the group that was there, all to support our website, was amazing (same goes with the HAWP panel) And if you havenít seen it yet, the performance by Chad and the community was AMAZING! I was pretty much bouncing in my seat the whole time :D

The show floor! I donít know what to say about the show floor other than I cant say I was there very often. I played a couple of games (which Iíll talk about on the DCD), but more than anything the show floor was just a collection of all the things that make me happy. Videogames, TCGís cosplayers, gaming tournaments, etc. I made a point to even make it to the freeplay area, to beat Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers! (Best game of all time :D)



I made this PAX trip not knowing what to expect, but I also made this trip with my best friend from college, Joshhest. From the moment I introduced you guys, it was exactly what I expected. Everyone in the community welcomed him as if he had been on the site forever, and I just want to say thanks to you all for being such an awesome community.



I wanted to give personal thanks here, but that would be impossible. I KNOW Iíd forget someone and feel horrible. So if I talked to you at all this weekend then I love you more than words can describe. I do want to give a special shoutout to Team Fedora however. I was amazed at how many of you joined the good cause, and although we didnít get like a group pic, Iíll try to put something together celebrating us all :D



Anyway, I need to take a nap to sleep off this stupid flu that I got (that we ALL got) so thatís about it. I donít know how to end this either, so Iíll just do it here.

End:

I LOVE YOU ALL!

CHECK OUT MY PAX PICS!   read


11:11 PM on 08.24.2009

Why I love Destructoid...

You get me on rides I dont want to get on.



I get to go to cool events.



I hang out with the most amazing people regularly



And I know its been shown before, but really it goes without saying...



I love you guys.   read


11:55 AM on 08.18.2009

Dtoid Community Discusses pt 18: Fighting Games

Hey guys! Have you missed me? Itís been so freaking long since I last did a DCD, and for that I apologize. Research has been really busy as of late, but its all for good reason, since Iíve pretty much achieved a total synthesis of my target compound! (YAYAYAY!) Hopefully Iíll get to publish a paper on this fairly soon and I can start a new project. The more projects I complete in grad school, the better!

Also, Iím not going to lieÖ.Iíve been spending ALL my free time engulfed by two games titled BlazBlue and Marvel vs Capcom 2. Thanks to Suff0cat, I have an arcade stick and canít stop playing. Dexter345 even asked me if we will EVER play games together again, and I want to say that we willÖbut Iím not too sure :P

Which brings me to this weekís topic. FIGHTING GAMES!

Here is the prompt that I send out to our panel

Tactix

"Its the year of the fighting game....SFIIHD Remix, followed by SF4, BlazBlue, KoF12, MvC2, and Tekken 6. You could say that fighting games are making a comeback, and I personally think thatís awesome. Fighting games are my favorite type of videogames, so I definitely have tons to be excited for.

This week, I decided we could just talk about what we think of fighting games? Which are you the most excited to play? What do you like in a fighting game? If you are good at fighting games, what advice would you give to those just getting into it?"

This weekís panel consists of deBLOO, Detry, Zserv, and Nikmonroe. Read on to find out their thoughts!



deBLOO

I think a good fighting game depends solely on the player. After the revolution from Street Fighter 2, developers had the winning formula: responsive controls, great visuals and allowing players to face each other. If a fighting game had those present, a community and loyal following was almost always born. Another great thing about the genre is the playerís influence on a games direction. When Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo dropped a lot of game mechanics sprung from the players. Things like Kara canceling and Chain (Renda) canceling, never planned by devs, became a norm in the way you played. And obviously, the social aspect makes the genre shine. Nothing beats showing clear dominance over another player while they are standing right next to you in an arcade or at home on a console. I grew up in a richly diverse neighborhood full of so many cultures, but none of that mattered when the quarters were in, or the 2P pressed start, and the select fighter screen was on. Fighting games really gave me something to relate to with other people- people I normally wouldn't socialize with. I was able to create many relationships and experience many cultures that I have carried with me to this day as a result.

As for being "good" at fighting games...A lot of things can mean that. I consider myself a patient player. It gives me an advantage, I wait till my opponent makes a mistake then capitalize. Other Dtoiders like KD_Alpha are more technical about it and get a better understanding of the games we play to get an advantage; he also has a great reaction time. Cataract has the wonderful ability to read (download as the slang goes) the opponent and adapt on the fly. Senisan is an aggressive and relentless player, he doesn't give his opponent much time to react and implement strategy. I say identify where you excel and work on the things you don't. Also, you must be willing to spend A LOT of time learning the match ups. Playing with other people constantly will give you a fresh look on your game. I suggest visiting great websites like eventhubs.com and shoryuken.com that provide a lot of useful information like tips and strategies. Going to youtube and watching top players can help you on how to handle certain situations as well as how certain characters are played efficiently. Don't forget to practice either.

At the moment I'm trying to get my hands on BlazBlue and waiting on news of a fabled "Street Fighter IV Dash (Championship Edition)". I'm excited to play MvC 2 soon; it will be my first time playing that.

Nikmonroe

I've haven't really played enough fighting games to go as in depth as some of you guys but there have been a couple that I have enjoyed over the years. The first one I really got into was Tekken 3 on the PSOne. For some reason, something about that game really clicked with me and I ended up wasting hours on it with my friends trying to unlock everything in the game. Soul Caliber 2 on the Dreamcast was another one that took up a lot of my time. There was just so much to unlock and it was such a joy to play, both alone and with friends. For some reason though, I've never managed to get into the Street Fighter series, it's just always come across as too technical and competitive of a game for somebody who just wants to play casually.

Zserv

I just have grown to appreciate fighting games, simply because they're one of the most skill based game genre's out there. You have to be able to think and react instantly, come up with a strategy, and have the means to pull off aforementioned strategy. It's like super-chess, man.

Tactix

deBloo..I cant wait to play you so you can tell me what kind of player I am :D

Anyway, I've been a fighting game fan for as far back as I can remember. For me, I didnít play much SFII in the arcades, but I devoured Super Street Fighter II Turbo on my Super Nintendo. I donít know if that necessarily came first, but around the same time I was also so into Killer Instinct for the consoles, and even played lots of Primal Rage at the local pizza parlor. After those games you could say I was hooked on the genre and played almost every fighting game I could get my hands on :D


Yeeesssss! Primal Rage. One of the games that started it all.

Zserv

Honestly, I didn't get into fighters until very recently; Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. I'm very new to the genre, so I'm still getting my knowledge on the different series etc. Without a doubt, if 2007 was the year of the shooter, 2009 is the year of the fighter. Why? Street Fighter IV, man. We've had a steady release of new fighting games for years; but with SSFIITHDR, you had to know it would bring in both old and new players. Then, you bring in Street Fighter IV, that surge alone drastically changed how many people you'd see at competitions. If you've seen "I Got NextĒ, they even talk about how a competition with normally 50 or so people had well over 300. With the ability to just buy an arcade stick, and play your fighters at home, now the east coast (which was predominantly the weaker coast for fighters) has just as much chance at getting good as the west. Now, if you KNOW a games going to be big, like Street Fighter IV, you're gonna try to release soon after it. Why? People just bought an 80 or 150-dollar arcade stick dude. You think they want it for just one game? If you release a game that can be used with it near the same time, the consumer doesn't think "Oh, great, another fighting game." They think "more chance to use my fightstick!" The producer still gets their dough, and we get great games. :)

Tactix

When it comes to fighting games...what kind of fighter would you say you are? Are you the type of fighter that likes to choose the fast characters, or do you like to play as the big heavy hitters? Personally I like to play as the characters that people hardly play as (for instance, El Fuerte, Amingo, or Carl Clover from SF4, MvC2 and BlazBlue respectively). Sometimes this gives me an edge on people who have hardly played against these characters :D. I've received tons of compliments on my abilities to play these characters well, and that makes me feel good :D

Also, did you guys get the chance to watch any of the EVO coverage? If so, what did you think of the way it was handled and what did you think about the caliber of gameplay?

ZServ

I play weird. On SFIITHDR, I started with Ryu, and about 3 matches in switched to Chun-Li. She's now my main for HD Remix. SFIV, however, I play Sakura and Balrog. MVC2 it goes Sakura, Cable, and Iron Man. Sometimes Mega Man.

(I suck with Sakura on SFIV, fyi)

On EVO? I loved what I saw of it; the caliber of gameplay was at a level I can only hope to ever come close to. It actually inspired me to buy my TE stick.

Detry

My gameplay varies on my mood and how drunk I am. It also depends on how YOU play. I tend to not play 'cheap', but if I feel you are being cheap then ILL CHEAP YOUR MOTHERFUCKING ASS RIGHT BACK. HOW YOU LIKE IT?! HOW YOU LIKE IT NOW?! YEA MOTHERFUCKER DIDN'T FEEL SO GOOD DID IT?!

DICK.

But I want to see your best game. Sometimes I'll even show mercy just to try and get your best game. Good sportsmanship is a virtue. I don't mind losing because I learn something from it. I also don't want to totally dominate you because then I learn nothing; I want to be able to take something constructive away from each match I play.

deBLOO

I'm always attracted to the fast, damaging characters. Ever since I first started playing SF, Ken was just always my main. But Akuma has become my main in SF:IV. He's a bit hard to play with (since he has very low health and a very hard ultra and super to work with) but he is a powerhouse with a lot of tools to generate offense and bring the pain. On MvC2 I have yet to find my "definitive team" but I'm having the most success with Cyclops/Ken/Venom at the moment. Of course I trade Ken's spot for Akuma to mix things up once in a while.

EVO was amazing this year. The level of play was amazing as always. Street Fighter IV, being the most popular game these days (BlazBlue is looking like it will top it), brought ALOT of new people. And that really broke the mold of seeing the same people in top 8. The 5 on 5 SF:IV Regional brought, the first for the time ever, a Wildcard team to pass the first round. They went on to the final match losing to East Coast. The only thing negative I see from this year was how SNK was nowhere to be found. I don't really like SNK fighter all that much, but I know lots of Dtoiders that do and since EVO is the place to compete I was really hoping to see some top level play. Hopefully with the release of KoFXII on consoles next year will have this.

Zserv

I hate to become topic master here, but what are everyoneís stances on 'playing cheap'? Does it exist? To me, being beaten isnít a matter of the other person having more skill or being better; but rather them having better execution. If a Ryu who did nothing but Hadouken and Shoryuken me kills me, does it mean he beat me cheaply? No, because I had every chance to dodge those moves elsewhere. A fault in execution on my part gave him room to work with, allowing him to execute. I LET him beat me, by failing to meet the standards he set for me.

What's your guys' take on it?


Playing cheap does exist....its Cable

Nikmonroe

Well, I hate it when people play cheap. It reminds me of playing with a child who's found the one move they know and spam it over and over until they win, then they won't shut up about it. I had a friend that always played as Nightmare and would always do a move where he would just swing his sword side to side knocking me to the ground making it hard for me to get a shot in to retaliate. If I'm going to lose when I'm playing a fighting game I'd rather lose against somebody who is playing properly than somebody smacking buttons and repeating move over and over.

-------------------------------------------------------

Thats all for this week! Hope you enjoyed it, and if you want to get your ass handed to you by Carl or Iron Tager in BlazBlue or by Amingo, BBHood, and Tron Bonne in MvC2, send me a game invite (GT: Tactixpimp)

I will be playing. :D   read


11:57 AM on 07.29.2009

Happy Birthday Ben PerLee!

A Very Special Birthday Story.....by Tactix

One day there was a guy named Ben PerLee. He got dressed all fancy pants like this:



But then his umbrella broke...



and it made Ben like this:



And he decided to take a nap in sadness, but his friends came over to surprise him like this!



and this!



HAPPY BIRTHDAY! They said, and made him a funfetti cake like this:



The END


------------------------

Happy Birthday goes out to one of my best friends on Destructoid, Mr. Ben PerLee. He is turning 22 today so make sure to wish him a happy birthday and post as many chicken pictures in the comments.

Trust me. He will love it.

<3   read


4:03 PM on 06.29.2009

Dtoid Community Discusses pt 17: Triple A Titles

Hey all! Its time for another Dtoid Community Discusses! This past weekend was Pride in SF so I'm typing this up after a long, gay weekend of fun. As always, I've assembled a panel of members of the Dtoid community to talk about a topic. This week the topic is "Triple A Titles", courtesy of megaStryke. This is the topic question as posed to the panel:

Tactix

"As megaStryke mentioned, there is a sort of Hollywood model in the gaming industry nowadays, with all of the big name games having HUGE production values. Games spend so much on getting celebrity voice actors, tons of time in R&D, and basically having to spend lots of money just so certain people will pay attention to them.

However, I feel like some of the greatest games (read: retro) didn't need A-list celebrities and producers...there are tons of titles that you can imagine that bring just as much fun gameplay at just the fraction of the cost. So my question to you guys is: how do you feel about the trend of the industry to these higher production value games? Do you miss the days when games were cheap and simple, yet still fun? Might we see a return to making games cheaper due to the fact that the economy sucks right now? What are your favorite high-production games, and was that production value necessary?"

This weeks panel consists of Pendelton21, megaStryke, and Zodiac Eclipse! Read on to see what they think!



Pendelton21

To be honest, one of my favorite things in games are celebrity voice actors. Some of my favorite characters in games are voiced by big names like Terry Gilliam, John DiMaggio, and (coming up soon) Jack Black. I, for one, like this turn towards getting A-list actors to join on games, bringing them into a wider audience (i.e. people who have seen their movies). Hell, this has been going on for a while: anyone ever play Apocalypse with Bruce Willis (http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Apocalypse_(video_game))? This is a trend that I'm happy the gaming industry is keeping up in so-called "A-list" titles.

On the subject of making cheaper games, I'd like to bring up indie games: some games made by a guy in a basement somewhere can get more fun out of me than an A-list title. As one Rev. Anthony can attest to, indie games have been making a huge boom recently in the gaming world, with such hot titles as Cave Story, Everyday Shooter, and World of Goo. This just gives credence to the notion that bling bling, money ain't a thang; who could honestly say that Assassin's Creed (an A-list title) is more fun than, say, N (an indie title)? No matter what gaming market we're in, there's gonna be someone who, with only a few dollars, make a more compelling game than a multi-million dollar blockbuster.

Zodiac Eclipse

I guess I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum than Pendelton. When I'm playing a game, I like to be pretty much immersed in my experience. That means that unless there is some glitchy mechanic that hinders my gameplay, I have no concept of trivial matters such as music and who's playing the main characters voice. If anything, a recognizable voice throws me off because then I'm more focused on trying to figure out who the voice is instead of who the character is that I'm supposed to be interacting with. An example would be "Joker" in Mass Effect. Whenever he went on his rant about being the poor little sick kid all I could think was, ďHey he sounds familiar, I think that's Seth Green. That's gotta be Seth Green.Ē Sure I could've just looked in the manual and saw that I was indeed correct and moved on, but instead every time he had dialogue I was back to thinking of him as Seth Green instead of Jeff "Joker" Moreau. I can understand the appeal to having big name celebrities do the voices for your game, bringing in an audience of their fans, giving gamers a little extra, but if their voice is too recognizable and they aren't playing themselves then it can pull me out of the story, next thing you know I'm counting polygons, its a downhill slide.

As for a return to cheaper games, I don't see that happening anytime soon. I think we'll see more companies playing it safer, by releasing more sequels to already popular IP's, but the companies know that gamers are a fickle bunch and their expectations will not wane just because of economic slumps. In a way it's better to be an indie developer in this climate because you can take more risks whereas the bigger companies have too many shareholders to answer to if a game flops.

megaStryke

Before I get into the meat and potatoes, I want to clarify what you said about retro titles not needing massive production values to deliver a solid experience. If you are talking about modern games with an aged aesthetic, of course they are cheaper to produce. If you are talking about games of the retro era (whenever you consider that to be), that's another matter entirely. As time passes, the AAA productions on, say, the NES would appear less and less distinguishable from the less-costly endeavors, but that's not to say their development and marketing budgets weren't worlds apart.

In any case, this doesn't just concern retro games. This concerns any game that gets glossed over just because it doesn't have a hundred-foot poster on the side of a building. Without naming specific cases, you hear about companies firing off gargantuan sales targets for their latest masterpiece because for some reason the one million milestone is not a good enough goal anymore. Games need to sell three, four, five million copies to justify whatever investment they placed into them. On the same token, those games wouldn't need to sell that much if they were scaled back ever so slightly. It creates this false measure of success that just can't be met on a consistent basis.

Tactix

I guess retro is not really a good indicator of how much was spent or produced on a game because, like you said, even games that may have a sort of old school look to them, could still have tons of money spent in other areas such as gigantic billboards. As far as games that get overlooked, I definitely think that is a large reason why companies have to spend so much on games or even just stick to making sequels of pre-existing popular titles. For example, Zack and Wiki was an excellent game, but it was (sadly) largely overlooked. If there were huge FFXIII billboards showing this game would things have been different?

Another thing I wonder is what was the thought process behind a game such as Halo:ODST. I'm sure that the gameplay/story could easily have been an original shooter game, but do you think at all that placing the Halo name on it will make it seem more of a triple A title and thus sell lots better than if it were just another shooter?


Thats a huuuuuge billboard!

megaStryke

Exactly. Companies don't trust original ideas on their own merits so they shoehorn some recognizable characters to help spread awareness. That's why Mario is bigger than Coca-Cola. I suppose the plan is that you capture an audience with something familiar and in the process introduce them to something fresh and creative with the hope that they'll be more receptive to new ideas in the future. I don't know how often that works out, though.

Something else I'd like to mention is handheld gaming. Ever since the original Game Boy, handhelds have always been second-rate among the media and gamers. As popular and as good as these games can be, they are seen as lesser experiences because they don't appear on big boy consoles. It's like, yeah, the DS has perhaps the most diverse library of games today but the consensus is that the heavy-hitting industry-movers are the Bioshocks and the GTAs. I mean, until this past year you never, EVER saw a handheld game win Best of Show at E3 regardless of how impressive it may be. Scribblenauts pulled it off and that makes me happy. On the same token, it took perhaps the most outrageous game mechanic in the past decade for the media to accept that a handheld game can make some real waves. As popular as it was when it came out, I don't think even Pokťmon gained that level of acceptance. It's baffling.

Zodiac Eclipse

Let's backtrack a moment to the idea that companies use recognizable characters as a way of avoiding new ideas. I think to some extent the problem does lay with the developers feeling like recycling popular ideas is a safer bet, but let's face facts, we eat it up. How many Pokemon sequels are there? What about Final Fantasy's or Halo games? Gamers know and trust these titles so of course if you slap the name on a similar product with slightly tweaked mechanics it's a guaranteed hit. The trick is finding a balance between releasing these familiar titles to pay the bills and giving us something new and exciting to keep us interested. As much as gamers complain about the lack of innovation as of late you still have a ton of games that slip right under the radar. Nobody even realizes they were great until they are declared unsuccessful, then suddenly everyone wants to come out of the woodwork and cry about how they didn't get the support they needed to be a hit.

Advertising is great for driving hype, and we'd all like to think we are smart enough not to buy into the game company's propaganda, but the numbers don't lie. Big Ad campaigns for big name titles bring in big money. Unproven games are slipped into the mix occasionally, but they aren't likely to pull the same numbers as the big boys so they are written off. The game companies can't afford to put all their eggs in a Scribblenauts basket. Yes it's an amazing concept, but that doesn't guarantee sales and I think we're all past the idea of thinking that the devs are lying awake at night worrying about pleasing fans and personal integrity over meeting sales goals. No company survives that way.

At this point its easy to throw up our hands and cry foul, but if we wanted to be more proactive we would be spreading the word ourselves about these smaller worthwhile titles. 'Word of mouth' is still one of the best and most trusted forms of advertising. All the million-dollar ad budgets have the same goal, getting us to talk about their game. There is no reason why we as consumers can't promote the games we think are more worthy of being noticed. It might not lead to any sort of equality in established -vs- original game advertising, but it will at least show companies that we're receptive to new titles and want more then just Final Halo Bros Brawl.

megaStryke

Let's back away from sales and advertising so that we may zero in on the consumers that WE are most familiar with: ourselves. The people that visit Destructoid, Kotaku, Joystiq, the gamers with the most varied tastes and the most disposable income. Whereas most gamers keep to a small set of games, the people reading THIS are the ones who buy games in bulk, who hunt down the most obscure titles, who try to find the diamonds in the rough. I would expect us of all people to not be swayed by flash and pizzazz, yet we are just as susceptible.

For example, when we talk of AAA games, we speak of games that not only have massive budgets but also Metacritic ratings above 80. Or 85. Or 90. Or 87.3. Or whatever cutoff we decide best serves our quality arguments. Presentation is a big part of these scores, so it's to be expected that very few small projects would hit those high scores as a result of a lack of features that we've come to expect in AAA fare. That's not to say I couldn't enjoy a low budget game that only scored a 75 more than a bombastic affair that scored a 95. Given how many people rag on Twilight Princess despite its 95 score, I think my point is clear.

Now let's say that there is some console like... ohh... the Wii. Just throwing a name. Then there is another that we will call the Xbox 360. Let's also say that the latter receives more high-budget Hollywood-style games and more highly rated games than the former. Just supposing. If one were to express favor of this Wii over the 360, you might hear a number of dissenting voices criticizing this person for "settling for a lesser experience" or for "lowering his standards" or something like that. Could it simply be that this Wii-lover has become disillusioned by the constant throat-cramming by his peers and the game industry of what he should enjoy playing? What he should expect, nay, demand out of a game? That bigger always equals better? That simple pleasures can ONLY be mild distractions until you can sink your teeth into the big slab of beef?

Pendelton21

Wait, are we classifying games as AAA by their review scores? I see games like Daikatana, Malice, and Duke Nukem Forever as AAA games, mainly because of factors during development, such as being made by a big name, or having a huge voice actor. Think about it; if Brutal Legend is a god-awful game, it's still a AAA title. Who here still remembers the Daikatana ads, and being told we were going to be made a certain someone's bitch? AAA, to me, means a title made by a high-profile company or producer that gets a lot of hype and advertising behind it. And, as far as the question asked at the beginning ("Is high-production value necessary?"), look at what the value these games were created on gave us.


"If Brutal Legend is a god-awful game, its still a AAA title"

megaStryke

I personally go by budget alone, but most people take review scores into consideration. It's a combination of large investment and high quality.

Zodiac Eclipse

I think review scores factor in for most people when they are determining if they would actually buy a game, not necessarily if the game is considered AAA or not. If it's being produced by a big company and has a large budget for advertising and production then its going to be AAA even if its a horrible game in the end. As for the high-production value requirement, I think we can all basically agree that it really comes down to feeling like you got your money's worth when you play a game. If it's a 5 hour indie game that is an amazing experience and has replay value it could be worth just as much to you as the AAA title that lasts three times as long and will spawn countless sequels. Unless the production quality is so inferior that it distracts from the gameplay (think blocky people with jerky animations) then cost to produce has little to nothing to do with the overall perceived quality of the finished game.

Mega's rant about the hypothetical Wii and Xbox360 players is less to do with inferior gaming experiences and more to do with the whole casual -vs- hardcore gamer issue, which exists solely in people's minds and is a topic for another day.

megaStryke

I wasn't talking about casual vs. hardcore. If there's a multiplatform game that appears on all platforms, most of us would immediately assume that the Wii version is by and large inferior. Though there may be valid reasons for that particular scenario, we tend to paint the entire library with that brush. Why? Not because the games are "casual" but because any game that may be actually be decent is disregarded for not meeting the standard AAA criteria.

There's not much you and I can personally do to get publishers and developers to come back down to earth. What we can do is to train ourselves to ease up on the infinite AAA hype parade and not to scale back our ever-increasing expectations. Glitz and glamour are fine, but don't let them cloud you judgment and prevent you from enjoying games that might have a little less polish or a little less fanfare.

Zodiac Eclipse

I'm still happy with the overall direction the industry is taking. Yes, some of the costs associated with the bigger titles have become ridiculous, but if the end result is a more competitive market among the big developers and some well deserved recognition for the smaller teams who produce amazing titles with less, then I can't be too disappointed. In the end the true value of a title isn't judged by the budget, but by whether or not you enjoy it and I don't mind letting the game companies fight for my approval.

-----------------------------------------

Well thats all for this week! Stay tuned for another Dtoid Community Discusses soon!   read


10:02 AM on 06.12.2009

Dtoid Community Discusses E3 Edition: Sony

Welcome to the last edition of the E3 coverage of Dtoid Community Discusses! Today, we focus on Sony's presenation...to check out the Microsoft edition and Nintendo edition just click on those links! To read what Guttlesswonder, Tdiddy, ScottyG, and Gatorsax2010 had to say about Sony, read on!



Guttlesswonder

I feel that Sony was able to show a lot of the diversity available in there conference. With games like MAG, GoW3, Last Guardian, ModNation Racers, FF14 and Agent it is obvious that Sony has many exclusives spanning several genres lined up for the PS3 this and next year. I really feel that this is Sony's biggest strength right now. It sucks to see so many of them coming out next year but then again I wont have to spend all my money at once I guess.

PSPÖhmmmÖI just think they don't get hand-helds at all. It seems like they think of the PSP as a Next Gen system first and a hand-held second. Not everything on PS3 needs to be ported over in a gimped fashion. Luckily I have always just wanted a portable PS1, and with FF7 and all the other titles becoming available I may be dusting the little sucker off again.

Tactix

Sony does have lots of games that they announced, but for some reason, none of them have me that excited yet. Not that the games aren't going to be good games....MAG seems like it might be cool, GoW 3 seems like it will be cool, Last Guardian also....the games are all visually stunning, but I was hoping to see a game that was a "system seller" to me, and (personally) none of these games are....yet. I think I need more information on them at least.

Reading the live blog, what Sony did seem to pimp was their PSP Go. And they did seem to try really hard to fix the problem they had before, which was not supporting it with good games. Sony has announced a MGS game, Resident Evil game, downloadable games, basically what appears to be loads of content...however, I'm kinda with Guttless on that I just donít feel they "get" handhelds. From what I've heard from a couple of people over twitter is excitement for the PSP Go...until the price point was revealed at $250 dollars.

Will price point get in the way of the success that the PSP Go could have akin to what happened with the PS3?

Guttlesswonder

I have to agree with the games not being to exciting and I think that was mostly due to the fact that there are no surprises. Considering how you are somewhat a creature of habit when it comes to game preference with Mario and primarily Nintendo products in general, what would it take to get you to purchase a PS3? It seems to me that it is simply cost of entry and product timing which got many people on the Xbox rather that the PS3.

For many people I think that FF13 was gonna be that game but since that ship has sailed it seems Sony has turned to the successor to FF MMO's with number 14. This move seems odd since no other console has any MMO's planned yet the PS3 has at least 2 others in "DC Universe" and "The Agency." This to me seems like PS3 is setting itself to compete with itself. I realize they are all very different, but if they are all subscription based than people will end up choosing which to give their monthly fee to.


Final Fantasy XIV, DC Universe and The Agency...is the number of PS3 MMO's a wise thing?

Tdiddy

I still feel that Sony is still reeling from having the exclusivity for Final Fantasy 13 taken from them. I have a feeling that this yearís show would have been, in my own way of summarizing, "Hahaha suck our dicks fanboys, we got Final Fantasy 13". While they had some high quality games, such as The Last Guardian, Uncharted 2 and God Of War 3, we all knew that these games would be shown, in one way or another. There was really nothing we got to see, coming soon, to really make me go oooooh wow.

Its funny you mention that Chris, because that was exactly what I was thinking too. While I thought the DC MMO had some potential and from what I've seen The Agency really intrigues me, because its an MMO that is doing something different, being in the "real world" and not in some fantasy or super hero world. I think that Sony saw the chance at an exclusive from Square Enix and jumped at the chance. Not to raise the ire of any fanboys, but I don't think the 360 could pull this off (yes I am well aware that FFXI is on the 360).

ScottyG

Since I don't own any Sony systems (I barely have time to play what I have now, I'm NOT buying another system :P), nothing really caught my eye too much. MAG does intrigue me though, just to see if they can pull it off or if they're smoking the same thing the OnLive people are.

Tactix

I'm curious...what did you guys think of Sony's venture into motion control? From what I hear (I havenít quite seen the video yet), the demonstration showed it working even better than Wii Motion Plus. However, without the fact that the whole console is based around it (Wii) or the fact that it isnít full body motion controls (Microsoft's Natal), how do you feel it will do? Do you think it will see much support from other developers, or will they simply resort to the Wii to reach the much larger fan base? Likewise, will developers who want very realistic motion controls end up resorting to Natal?

Tdiddy

Their motion control presentation really really impressed me though, initially I thought it was a joke, but as they went on I became very impressed. I think the turning point had to be when they did the demo with the bow and arrow, when he actually had to pull the arrow out of his quiver, draw back the sting and fire. The bow was seemingly shaking from all the tension in the string. I really look forward to that.

ScottyG

I couldn't find any video actually. So is it an upgrade to the Sixaxis, or a whole new controller? I think you hit the nail on the head in that many devs who want to do waggle will stick to the Wii... although given what most devs have done with it so far that might be a good thing.

Since I don't have any Sony products I can't really say I'm excited about all that much from them, although after looking through their videos a few things caught my eye. Of course the Last Guardian trailer looks absolutely stunning. Seems like it'll be a combination of using the kid and the... dog thing to solve puzzles, which could be pretty fun. At least it'll be as atmospheric as the other titles. One that actually caught my eye is PixelJunk Shooter, even though I'm pretty sure that the trailer didn't have anything new.

Tactix

The Last Guardian = Neverending Story

[embed]135333:19928[/embed]
Falcor? Is that you?

ScottyG

Heh, I was wondering what that reminded me of. :P

Guttlesswonder

You can find a copy of the tech demo on Gametrailers here.

So this is how I see the whole thing breaking down. The Wii obviously has a good jump on getting one-one motion to the consumers, however at the moment you are limited to one device at a time. Sword fighting and gun play will work well, however if you need two precise hand motions such as with say archery or iPhone like growing and shrinking Nintendo seems to have no current solution to this, or at least hasn't shown it.

Xbox seems to have a very interesting idea, but it is very vague as to how it works. It maps your body supposedly, but how does it differentiate between multiple peopleís body parts or even your own foot when you kick your legs up on the table. Beyond that there is lighting to consider, clothing and even skin tone. It just seems very pie in the sky to me, and promotional tape just made me laugh.

Sony says right up front that there example is only a tech demo, however compared to Natal they showed exactly how precise and effective their controller will be. Its unfortunate that the hardware looked so wonky but it seemed to work just as well as Motion Plus, if not better. Also the graphical fidelity and physics available on the PS3 would be able to deliver a much more immersive experience than the Wii could.

But at the moment there is only one real show in town, so at least until next spring the Wii is the motion king.

ScottyG

Heh, I like how the guy immediately says "the look is going to change", like he's admitting it looks bad. I will admit though it does look like a sex toy (one to one indeed).

TBH, I really don't get the obsession with all the motion tracking. Aside from a pointer and a few things beyond waggle I just don't see it working. There just isn't the same feedback from actually doing the motions versus trying to match your body with a representation of your body on the screen. Like when the demo guy was having so much trouble just hitting a ball.

Gatorsax2010

Personally, at least with the Wii, the motion controls I've enjoyed the most have been used as enhancements to traditional control schemes with some waggle/pointer functionality thrown in where appropriate (Resident Evil 4, Metroid Prime 3, and Mario Galaxy, for example). NihonTiger wrote a great [url=http:// www.destructoid.com/blogs/NihonTiger90/regarding-e3-project-natal-134]blog[/url] after the Project Natal reveal positing that Microsoft sees their way of motion control as an eventual replacement for controllers. In my opinion, there are far too many games that wouldn't work with Natal for it to be the be-all-end- all of motion controls. Street Fighter Natal would be fun at first, but you can only Shoryuken in your living room so many times without breaking anything.

Meanwhile, Sony's foray into motion (Sixaxis and Dualshock 3 aside) looks to be an enhanced Wiimote. I'm not sure if it will have the pointer functionality of the Wiimote, which is probably its best feature, but for 1:1 motion, it looks top-notch. It will be interesting to see how it compares to Wii Motion Plus in action. Will it be noticeably more accurate? How accurate do motion controls need to be? Is there a point (and this is for developers to decide) where you need to account for human error in motion? Failing because your control is tilted a degree in the wrong direction can't be fun. I predict we'll see some experimentation, but for better or worse, I doubt Sony's "waggle" will go much farther than Nintendo's.

---------

Thats all for DCD's coverage of E3! I hope you enjoyed reading.....as always, if you are interested in being a panelist, send me an email at tactixpimp at gmail.com or send me a PM with your email! I'm probably taking next week off since I will be with Dtoid LA this weekend, but I'll be back with another edition the following week! Until next time!   read


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