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Jesse Cortez's blog

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:


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. “I’m sorry….I just really want to shake your hand and say thanks.” 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 haven’t 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 don’t 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 I’ll 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, TCG’s 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 I’d 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 didn’t get like a group pic, I’ll 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 that’s about it. I don’t know how to end this either, so I’ll just do it here.




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? It’s 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 I’ve pretty much achieved a total synthesis of my target compound! (YAYAYAY!) Hopefully I’ll 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, I’m not going to lie….I’ve 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 can’t stop playing. Dexter345 even asked me if we will EVER play games together again, and I want to say that we will…but I’m not too sure :P

Which brings me to this week’s topic. FIGHTING GAMES!

Here is the prompt that I send out to our panel


"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 that’s 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 week’s panel consists of deBLOO, Detry, Zserv, and Nikmonroe. Read on to find out their thoughts!


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 player’s 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 and 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.


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.


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.


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 didn’t play much SFII in the arcades, but I devoured Super Street Fighter II Turbo on my Super Nintendo. I don’t 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.


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 Next”, 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. :)


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?


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.


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?!


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.


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.


I hate to become topic master here, but what are everyone’s stances on 'playing cheap'? Does it exist? To me, being beaten isn’t 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


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 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:



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:


"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!


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 ( 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, “Hey he sounds familiar, I think that's Seth Green. That's gotta be Seth Green.” 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.


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.


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!


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 Pokémon 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.


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?


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"


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.


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 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!


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.

PSP…hmmm…I 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.


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 don’t 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?


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 the number of PS3 MMO's a wise thing?


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 year’s 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).


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.


I'm curious...what did you guys think of Sony's venture into motion control? From what I hear (I haven’t 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 isn’t 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?


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.


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.


The Last Guardian = Neverending Story

Falcor? Is that you?


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


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 people’s 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.


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.


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://]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 always, if you are interested in being a panelist, send me an email at tactixpimp at 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

10:11 AM on 06.10.2009

Dtoid Community Discusses E3 Edition: Nintendo

Welcome back to part 2 of the epic E3 Destructoid Community Discusses! On Monday, we brought you impressions of Microsoft's presentation by Dtoid community members (which you can check out here. For today's edition, we bring you impressions of Gatorsax2010, Eternalplayer, Wexx, and ScottyG about Nintendo's show. Read on to find out what they thought!


Alright, let's get the ball rolling!

Overall, this was a HUGE improvement over last year's E3. Nintendo had an interesting mix of "meh" and things that made me gasp and jump out of my chair this year. I really don't understand the Wii Vitality Sensor. I know it's too big of a development to just quietly announce, but I'm sure they knew the response at E3 would be underwhelming. Wii Fit Plus, I understand why they're making it. I'm not one of the people that are against games like that, they just don't appeal to me, personally. My only question is whether it will sell as outrageously well as the first one. Having worked at a Target when the original came out, I was picking them up left and right for family members. I don't think they used it for more than two weeks.

What a great conference for Mario, though! New Super Mario Bros. Wii sounds like a lot of fun. It's funny, a few days after RetroforceGO wonders why there aren't more multiplayer platformers, the king himself gets in on the action. Mario Galaxy 2 looks awesome too. The addition of Yoshi looks like it will add quite a bit to the experience. In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with adding only a few new wrinkles to gameplay that's already an established winner. All of the new DSi stuff really makes me want to pick one up (especially WarioWare: DIY).

The most important announcement, to me, is Team Ninja's Metroid: Other M. When they were showing the space scenes, and then a woman, my thoughts were, "This couldn't possibly be Metroid, could it?" Then, the guy (who is apparently Adam Malkovich) said "Any objections, lady?" And I gasped. Loudly. The gameplay looks like a mix of action, platforming, and some FPS sections, too. I'm simultaneously excited and scared to death of what this means for the franchise. It looks like it's more story-based than other games. And with Adam, Ridley, and Metroids all present, I have no idea where it could fit in the timeline. The Metroid series is possibly my favorite series in all of gaming, so it holds a special place in my heart. Hopefully this game is as awesome as it could be. (Also, I wonder how Retro feels about having the series they brought to 3D given to another developer?)


I am also really stoked for not one but TWO new Mario games. I know its common perception to ask Nintendo to come up with new IPs, but I'm of the opinion that all I want from Nintendo is for them to do what they do best...make Mario games which make me feel like a kid again when I play them. While I feel Nintendo didnt have any "groundbreaking" announcements like the PSP Go or the Project Natal stuff, I feel they answered their critics that said that Nintendo has forgotten the hardcore crowd. With the Mario games, Metroid: Other M, Mario and Luigi, and Golden Sun, not too mention the third party games coming out such as Dead Space Extraction, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and Red Steel, I think they are coming back to us :D

Grandma and grandpa and keep their Wii Fit Plus and little pulse thingy (???????) as long as Nintendo keeps up these games on the horizon.


While Nintendo's conference wasn't as bad as last year, there was still a lot of casual crap that I didn't really care for. They're still looking for what makes them the most money, and they're trying out the super casual thing, as well as the hardcore stuff, which is great, because it brings stuff like GOLDEN FUCKING SUN back into the limelight.


Eh... to be honest, SMB Wii looks too much like the DS New SMB, which was way too floaty and loose for my liking. SMG2 and NMH2 however, look amazing. :)

Also, just saw the Metroid video... Team Ninja? Really? Ugh...

Not only that, but it looks even more story driven than Metroid Prime 3 was, which to me isn't the point of Metroid.


Overall the thing was very good coming from the Nintendo, we have seen the last few years. I think this presser was great compared to last years especially. Shying away from Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort, we had some amazing announcements. To start off Golden Sun DS was a pleasant and much welcomed surprise .Two new big Mario titles and two Mario spin-offs was really exciting. Super Mario Galaxy 2 had me screaming on the inside, totally took me by surprise as I had gotten use to one 3D-Mario per Nintendo console! Throwing in a brand new platformer was just icing for me. New SMB Wii looked like the DS counterpart which I hope means this is a Wiiware title! Beyond Red Steel 2, I'm not that big into The Conduit or Darkside Chronicles but I know some people are which is good that they have all type of gamers covered. Metroid: Other M shocked me and looks to be a return to classic Metroid. It might not be strictly 2D but it looks like it will have 2D sequences which has me pumped! Go third person Samus, GO!

New Super Mario Bros Wii trailer...I'm SO PUMPED!

Tactix I just saw the SMB Wii and Mario Galaxy 2 trailers. And I have to say these games look amazing!

First of all Mario Galaxy 2 seems to have tons of new worlds to explore which is good and the level design looks as good as ever, with one exciting level that I caught a glimpse of...One of them seemed to have Giant Goombas in it! Which reminds me of SMB3's Giant Land (way cool :D)

And ScottyG, even though SMB Wii looked like it will control sort of like the DS Mario game, I gasped in amazement at the fact that there will be 4 player co-op on the same screen....WHERE YOU CAN PICK UP YOUR CO-OP BUDDIES!!!!!!! This game mechanic reminds me all too well of Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers (one of my favorite NES games) and has made me SO excited for this game. I cant wait to pick up my friends and throw them in bottomless pits or in front of Bullet Bills.....:D



I hope New Super Mario Bros Wii is online could you just imagine it?


My imagination says it would be awesome...the realist in me is scared for lag-filled frustration gameplay (a la Smash Bros. Brawl) where I'm trying to skype with people I'm playing with.

It cooould work fine, but at the same time, I'm a big proponent of the best co-op sessions are the ones where your friends are in the same room. So if they don't include online, I won't be that upset.


I didn't think there was too much "casual crap" (although I'm one of those people that really hates those labels). Wii Fit is a huge moneymaker for them, so the sequel shouldn't really be a surprise. Ditto for Wii Sports Resort. Plus, in my opinion, at least, Wii Sports Resort looks like it could be pretty fun. I know the original Wii Sports is pretty much a tech demo, but it's also lots of fun (I still play the occasional Bowling or Baseball game), and this looks to continue that trend.

Tactix, I have to agree with a lot of the things you said. Where Nintendo has excelled in multiplayer is in making a fun experience for everyone in the room. It wouldn't surprise me if NSMB Wii doesn't have online play, but I really wouldn't be disappointed. I like seeing my brother's face when I stomp him into a pit in the DS version, so this won't be any different. :P On the topic of Mario, Brian Crecente's Hair Palace is reporting that Galaxy 2 will be "90% new," with a few of the levels being variations on levels from the original. Does that bother anyone? I don't care, as Miyamoto said they'd be variations, and I'd imagine they'd be optimized to make use of the new gameplay elements. Plus, the vast majority will be brand new levels. Some of the comenters there were really being Debbie Downers about it, though…I could care less, I just want it. :D But I have to finish the original first! Stupid school got in my way. I need to make better use of my summer!

{Reminder: these three discussions were happening at the same time}


No one else will talk about Sony. WTF people, get over that rotund Italian pedofile with a mustache named Mario. He's bald under that cap I say, flipping bald!

Tactix fanboy....


It's a good thing you guys don't mind because Miyamoto just confirmed no online for the game. Oh well, I have to say that Nintendo was catering to the hardcore this year. I too hate the "casual and hardcore" labels but imagine if you were one of these new gamers that are starting out with the Wii. You have two games that really appeal to you and the rest was all classical gaming type stuff.

It's is a little disappointing to hear about the 10% rehash but some levels in Galaxy were really amazing so hopefully they will pick the best of the bunch to put out. I'm glad the reason they are returning to Galaxy is because they had so many ideas they couldn't explore them all. I felt like some of the stuff they did in that game was ingenious but still the whole concept of playing with gravity like that had some more to be explored and it looks like they feel the same way. Just imagine if they had decided to put out Super mario 64 2 back in the day. We would have all lost our mind back then and its the same for me now. Here's hoping that there is something to spice it up, I would love to see Wart make a return!

Mario and Luigi 3 explores Bowser in a humorous way again and for some reason I can never get enough of that. I just think there is so many ways you could develop him, I already kinda have a bleeding heart for the guy. Unfortunately, it's a bit embarassing to admit but something that always makes me unsettled in games or even movies is the whole going into other people's bodies. So hopefully I can soldier through this game.

So was anyone convinced to buy a DSi during the conference. I've been on the edge for a while and it looks like I'm staying there. I want wario ware DYI more than anything but it looks like I'll have to wait until they announce some more intresting games that you need a DSi for (or until hey come out with a pink one!).


Eternalplayer, I definitely want a DSi now thanks to Wario. And I only just got a Lite (thanks, Dtoid!). Also, I forgot to mention how completely pumped I am for Bowser's Inside Story. I love all Mario RPG games, I love the Mario & Luigi series, and I love Bowser, especially as portrayed in the RPGs.

The Metroid fanboy in me wants more people to talk about Other M! I just watched the trailer again. Looks like it may have some side- scrolling elements! And in addition to Ridley and Adam, Mother Brain from Super Metroid makes an appearance! And is that Sylux's body in the snow? I may have to force myself to finish Hunters. I also may end up watching this 100 more times to see what info I might be able to glean from it.


Ugh, Hunters. I got stuck in that game and never beat it. But yeah, Other M looks awesome, at first I thought it was going to be the side scroller that everyone has wanted for years, but then I saw the first person sequences and frowned a little bit. It still looks like it'll be a fun game, though. I'm interested to see how more hand-to-hand combat will change the way that game feels, along with a more focused story.

Metroid: Other M by Team Ninja..are you excited or skeptical?


Not part of the conference, but Miyamoto apparently said in his invite- only seminar that they wanted to show off the new Zelda, but it wasn't ready. He said it would be out 2010 at the earliest, though it might (read: will) take longer. He even showed off concept art (which wasn't allowed to be photographed, though it apparently looked TP-esque). [You can find that image here – Tactix]

Maybe it's because I've been conditioned to love Nintendo since I was about 2, but I definitely thought this year's E3 was a step in the right direction. I was really impressed with most of Nintendo's big announcements, and impressions from people at E3 are promising. I'm also really surprised at the amount of speculation the new Zelda art has generated, and I have to give a shout-out to what has a chance to become my favorite DS game of the year, Scribblenauts (don't believe me? Look at this:

In a broader sense, this really was a great E3 for all of the Big 3. Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft all had some great announcements. It makes me wish I had more money time. Everybody wins!


Thats all for the Nintendo edition! Stay tuned on Friday for the final edition, where we discuss Sony's conference!   read

9:51 AM on 06.08.2009

Dtoid Community Discusses E3 Edition: Microsoft

Welcome to an extra special edition of Dtoid Community Discusses! Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that E3 happened last week. Destructoid has brought you the greatest coverage of one of the largest game conventions, from psychic predictions, an epic KarE3oke party, and loads of liveblogging and video interviews. With all this new information that came out last week, there is TONS to talk about! Like our buddies over at Failcast, DCD has taken on an interesting format this week. Through last week, while E3 was going on, a large panel of Destructoid community members discussed the big three presentations in different discussion threads.

First up, was Microsoft and its very interesting show. What did Dtoid Community members have to say about this show? Members of this discussion included Wexx, Ryu89, BunnyRabbit2, ScottyG and Guttlesswonder. Read on to find out what they thought!


It starts!

So the Microsoft show finished and I want to get your first impressions of the news. The show started with tons of games announced, such as Beatles Rock Band, the new Tony Hawk game, and then teasing Halo: Reach and showing a bit (finally of Alan Wake). Then things went crazy....Xbox Live started showing off all its new collaborations such as, Facebook, and even Twitter (!), not to mention what I wanted from the start...a LiveParty system that allowed you to watch movies with your friends (can you say ShiMuNi anyone?)

Then we got a couple of *not* surprises, such as the fact that the 360 was getting a MGS game featuring Raiden called MGS: Rising, and also motion controls. But this motion control that we knew was coming could not have been anticipated. Called Project Natal, it involves using a motion capture camera that has face recognition and will allow you to play games by just moving your body. Peter Molyneaux was even on hand to introduce us to Milo, his first project using this new technology. Twitter has been going crazy calling Natal the coming of Skynet, and who knows if they are actually right? And that wrapped the show.

So....whatdya think?! Are you excited for the games? Does XBLA really need all these new functionalities? Is the Wii doomed?


I wasn't really that impressed by the Microsoft conference. Sure, New Metal Gear game being exclusive and Left 4 Dead 2 is kind of cool, but I don't really see the Natal thing coming into its own in the near future. All they showed were tech demos, and unless they already have some developers putting some real games on it, I don't see the point of it, other than looking like an asshat switching your movies with your hands.

Left 4 Dead 2 really rubs me the wrong way for some reason though. Sure, I'm excited for more of that universe, but a sequel, already? The SDK just barely came out a month ago for the first game, shouldn't this just be a patch? I know Microsoft fees for DLC are ridiculous, but seriously? Why change the way you've done business — for, oh, a decade? — to accommodate their decrepit platform that's trying to microtransaction the shit out of its customers. Hell, if they put it out as a DLC pack on the 360 I'd pay for it on the PC. I just don't like the idea of Valve doing a sequel barely a year after the game was released. If they continue this trend I'm not sure what to think of them anymore.

Left 4 Dead 2 teaser trailer. Does it rub you the wrong way?


I pretty much sat here going nuts on most of it. I am sad to say I will be poor when these games come out because I will be buying so many. Crackdown 2, L4D2 and MW2 are all must buys because I enjoyed the first one of each so much. That new Splinter Cell game looks to be pretty much the exact kind of game I am looking for right now. It has the right mix of 24, Jason Bourne and Splinter Cell to be enjoyable as hell and I can't wait for that. Forza 3 looks a blast and the video thing had me very, very impressed.

The Halo stuff I will get just because I am a dirty whore for Bungie and will take anything they give me. Seeing ODST I am reminded of Star Wars: Republic Commando a hell of a lot and that can only be a good thing. Alan Wake looks fun and MGS sounds cool but those are two I'll need more info on to be sure about. Overall MS has impressed me a lot and I'm actually looking forward to the other conferences just to see how they match up to this.


I agree that Left 4 Dead 2 seems kind of like a phone in. Where's Half Life 2 Episode 3? Where's Portal 2, which I was expecting considering how short the original is. On other fronts, ODST looks awesome but it was pretty much what I was expecting in the first place. Alan Wake looks very interesting and I am looking forward to it. The facebook/twitter/ stuff just does not appeal to me. The game that REALLY got to me however was Splinter Cell Conviction. It really looks like a really fluid experience. The floating word stuff is out of place for sure, but I really like it, it gives the game alot of STYLE.

I would like to take this paragraph to talk about Natal. I honestly wasn't expecting to care about it that much. At first I was right, there was casual stuff like the paint thing that really wasn't my thing. However, what Peter Molyneux showed off COULD be groundbreaking, if what’s there isn’t faked like it could totally be. If that video was for real, that means that we are closer to creating true AI. The technology could improve the industry where if you are playing a shooter, for example, and you start taking hits, and your real life face shows frustration, the enemy AI might know to be more aggressive and take advantage of the situation.

Just an idea. What do you guys think?


As a primarily PC Gamer... just... don't mention being willing to pay for PC DLC. :(

I will agree that aside from the director being able to change level layouts on the fly, L4D 2 (they need to change that name into a better pun... Left 4 Dead: 2gether maybe?) seems more like an expansion pack than a sequel. Honestly though I don't blame Valve. It sounds like it's still getting healthy play on the 360, but I've been sick of it on the PC for awhile now (although I might be alone on this). Sorry 360 fans, but I really hope Valve makes this one with the PC primarily in mind.

One thing to note though is that they used the TF2 Scout's bat sound for a melee weapon (presumably a bat). ^_^


True Scotty, but I'd rather pay 15 dollars for all of that stuff, as opposed to $40-$50 for it.


At the moment I would say that Natal is nothing more than a concept video. I would assume that much like the PSeye, something like that would be plagued with a lot of problems such as very specific lighting requirements and the need for other people to remain virtually motionless as you race your car down a virtual road. If they can pull it off it would be nice, however I think it would fall the same as the PSeye, a fun toy but hardly an optimal interface.

As far as the Halo's goes I find ODST/DSTO/TODS/STD to be nothing more than a MOD appearing on an engine that is quickly showing its age, and using an outline style to somewhat mask fact much like Crackdown did. Halo: Reach is the very obvious way for Bungie and MS to keep Master Chief in the forefront of peoples minds without immediately bringing him magically back from the end of Halo 3, which no doubt will happen.

Silent Hill + Twin Peaks + Max Payne = Alan Wake!?!

Does Project Natal look like nothing more than a concept video to you?


Heh, I do like the shot they took at the Wii during the Ricochet demo. Shame the actual product won't be anything even remotely like the family play trailer might lead us to believe.

Man... I nearly wet myself when I saw the Alan Wake videos. Then Sam Lake had to kill my boner by saying Spring 2010... I've been waiting for that game for far too long. :(


With L4D2 I just think people are forgetting that by the time it comes out, L4D will have been out for roughly a year. That game as it stands right now doesn't have the content to still be fresh then. It might well be fun but people will want more. Whereas Valve normally do what they have done with TF2 with the class updates and custom maps, they are this time adding in as much if not more content than was originally in the game before. I have no problem with them charging full price because although little is changing, there is a lot of new content. It was the same with Rainbow Six Vegas 2. Essentially the same thing but with extra bits on top set inside lots of new maps.

Natal has me very interested indeed. The tech demos were impressive but when me and a few of my housemates were bouncing ideas around we really saw the potential in it. There's all sort of fun casual games you could make with it but I think that if used as an extension to the controller rather than a replacement it could lead to all sorts of interesting stuff.


Thats all for the Microsoft conference! Stay tuned on Wednesday, when we discuss Nintendo's conference and then Friday for Sony's!   read

3:14 PM on 06.01.2009

Dtoid Community Discusses pt 16: Emulation and Game Modding

Hey all! Welcome to another edition of Dtoid Community Discusses! It's been a busy couple of weeks for me here, and I'm nearing the completion of my first research project (fingers crossed). Anyway, for those uninitiated, Dtoid Community Discusses is a weekly (or biweekly depending on my grad school) c-blog feature which involves asking Destructoid community members to discuss a topic, which I place in this cblog. You can check out some past discussions on the sidebar (over there).

This week, I went to the forums for some topic ideas, and this one comes from JT706. The topic is emulation and game modding, and here is the topic that I sent out to our panel:


Modding. Its no secret that many gamers like to emulate games and even change them to their own liking. Sometimes game companies just let it slide, while other times, they come down hard with an iron fist (i.e. Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes). In there cease and desist, Square Enix claims that ROM altering and modification is illegal.

However, there are some mods that were successful! Just think of Garry's Mod, and how Valve basically ran with it and is now also making money off of it. Anyway, what do you think of moding/emulating? Is it really illegal? How should game companies deal with the inevitability of it occuring? If you guys could mod any game, what game would you like to see modded and how so? Mother 3 – DO WANT! "

Our panel consists of Technophile, Ckarasu, and on to find out what they thought!


Hmmm. Emulating and its legality is a somewhat tricky question. Personally, I believe people should just buy the game instead of downloading it and denying the publishers and developers the money they deserve (especially if you want a sequel).There are a few exceptions like if the game is out of print, or it was never released in the US. In those cases I believe that it is acceptable to use emulators. I mean, how else am I going to play a translated version of Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden (let alone buy the game)?

Modding games, on the other hand, I have no problem with. Why should company's care what people do with their games so long as they're buying the game? They're still making money, so it shouldn't really matter.


I'm no lawyer, but I was under the impression that unless you sell it, it's not "illegal" so to speak. Sure, modding the game and distributing it typically violates all sorts of license agreements and terms of use, but "illegal"? I don't think so. Then again, I'm no lawyer.

I think Valve has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to handling the mod community. The support it and they hire from within it. Valve gets a good reputation with the modding community and Valve gets free content. Well, not free in the sense they just take it and upload it, they do their own work on it but I believe the bulk of it is done already. If companies want to support it, they should take a page from Valve. Square is going about it the absolutely wrong way.

Emulating on the other hand, I have to agree with Ckarasu. I just don't think most companies are going to pursue it on a user to user basis. It's too difficult to prove with all that "it's ok if you own a legal copy" stuff. I think they will continue to go after the sites that host the roms rather then individuals, especially now with platforms like the Virtual Console and PSN where this stuff could potentially come out and revenue is lost. As far as older games go anyway. I think emulating or torrenting anything that's come out in the last 4 years or so is just straight up theft.


Yeah, Valve seems to really know how to approach the issue. Instead of getting angry, they actually endorse it. I'm not sure why Square Enix fails to see the profit from this. I guess they're just uptight. I mean, it's not like it would really hurt them to make use of the modding community. Hopefully they'll learn that mods can be a good thing, but I wouldn't count on it.

Technophile makes a good point about emulating. It just isn't worth it for them to go after someone who downloads a ROM. They'll, lose more money and it won't even help solve the problem. I don't think there is an easy way to solve the issue. DRM has done nothing but increase piracy and disdain towards the companies that use it. I suppose the only real way to prevent rampant piracy is to get on the good side of the gaming community. If people like you and want more of your games, then they're less likely to pirate them. It won't solve the problem, but it helps.

...ahead of the curve when it comes to handling the mod community..


It seems that the divide between the companies that promote modding and the ones who try to quash it are clearly defined: PC game companies encourage modding, console game companies try to stamp it out, or at best refuse to acknowledge it.

PC games have been encouraging mods since the original Doom, creating an online modification community that's launched careers and spawned entirely new game franchises- if it weren't for dedicated fans slaving away over keyboards and mouses, we wouldn't have Counterstrike or Team Fortress. In the PC gaming world, modding is so welcomed that newer games such as Civilization 4 and the Elder Scrolls are released with source code either bundled with the software or available online.

Console games, on the other hand, are baffilingly opposed to fan mods. In spite of logging hours and hours of free labor to open up Mother 3 to North American audiences, the most reward the people at are ever going to get from Nintendo is a lack of legal action against them- unlike, say, the group of Smash Bros. Brawl hackers who recently got a C&D before they could release a new character texture pack. Of course, there's also at Chrono Compendium: Crimson Echoes is now the second Chrono Trigger fan game to be stomped on by Square Enix, following CT: Ressurection.

Maybe someone else here can imagine how this policy makes business sense- the shortsighted aim of "stopping piracy" is hardly served by attacking the makers of fan games, and, as Valve and others have proven, the windfall of promoting mods- new games and dedicated employees- far outweigh the imagined profits of legal action.


I'm not much of a PC gamer, so I don't know much about the game modding community, but I do believe that it is something that companies shouldn't get angry about. If anything, a good mod will only cause gamers to want to purchase the game even MORE in order to play the mod. (I'm sure the presence Garry's Mod sold tons of games for the Source engine alone). And some mods are just awesome, like the fact you can change all of the sounds in Left 4 Dead to Randy Savage :D.

I think that since retro games are so big now and companies are trying to cash in with VC and PSN is part of the reason for the huge push to fight piracy. Before companies knew they could make so much money on releasing their own "emulators", it wasn’t a big deal. Now it is.

Anyway, speaking a little about emulation....We know that Nintendo was excited to release a new DSi in part to fight off R4 users, but ALREADY there is a way to emulate games on the DSi. What should Nintendo do about R4's and the like? Do you guys NOT own an R4?


It's funny how all the examples you mentioned against console modding were all Nintendo. Nintendo has always been against anything that isn't officially licensed by them. That's the way they are.

I think the real reason we don't see a whole lot of console mods is because it's a closed box system. Not only do the developers and publishers have to make sure it's on the up and up but they also have to get Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo to allow people to modify their hardware or allow people to distribute mods via their network and that's never going to happen. That's why there will probably never be a "legit" modding community for consoles. Mods are one of the benefits of PC gaming, whereas with consoles you can pretty much guarantee a level playing field competitively (usually, provided people don't hack the game).

I'm all for stopping piracy, but it's never going to go away and attacking legitimate fans isn't the way to do it either. In that I totally agree.

As far as R4's go, never had one. Never modded my psp either. I used to emulate back in the day, but I don't even do that anymore. I've nothing against people who do, I just don't feel right doing it. Not since I started working in the industry anyway and seen how much work goes into making even a crappy remake for XBLA. That and honestly, it's kind of a pain in the ass. Finding roms that aren't messed up or play weird or finding emulators that work right. I'm lazy.

Always against whats isnt officially licensed by them....but anyway, this image came up when I google imaged searched Nintendo, which comes from Cronosblade's cblog. I could think of no better picture to represent Dtoid :P


I believe that console modding can one day become "legit". It may be a while (maybe the next generation of consoles, if there is one). Sooner or later, I think the companies will one day see how profitable it can be. Until then, I guess you will have to go to PC gaming if you want fan made content.

I think another problem (in regards to piracy) comes from how easy the internet makes it to upload and download games. You don't even have to use a Torrent to download them, as there are plenty to find at Mega Upload, Mediafire or Rapidshare. Sure, some are reported, but many seem to remain unnoticed for a while (or are replaced soon after deletion). You simply download, extract and play. It's just too easy, unfortunately.

Like Technophile, I have not hacked my PSP or used an R4. The DS has plenty of good games at affordable prices, so I never felt the need for it. The PSP, on the other hand, doesn't have any games that I'd want to pirate. Besides, I would feel too guilty to actually download a game illegally (for any of the recent consoles, that is). I'm a softie, I know.


I'm just curious, would you all consider things like Game Genie/ Game Shark a light version of console modding? If so, did you use a Game Genie back in the day? I remember my Game Genie added so much playability to the games I had and actually made me want to buy certain games just so I could use it. What were some of your favorite Game Genie codes?


I just wanted to mention that the game shark is awesome and I totally had one. I consider it what it is, basically a hacking tool. It changes the hexadecimal values in the code to do it's work, so I would totally classify that as a hacking tool. It was a genius idea and I honestly hope they made a ton of money off of it. It was probably the closest to modding on console as we will see for a long long time in my opinion.


Anyway, thats all for this week. Stay tuned for next week, when I am planning for some epic DCD E3 coverage! Until then, go play games!   read

11:38 AM on 05.19.2009

Dtoid Community Discusses pt 15: Level Design

Hey there!

Sorry for the day late DCD, but I had an EPIC day of volleyball on Sunday, which cause me to pass out really early and not have time to put this together.....but its here now, so you can stop writing your congressman about the lack of Dtoid Community Discusses this Monday :P

Anyway, this week we have an interesting topic for several of the Dtoid Community members to discuss, and that would be Level Design. This is the prompt as sent out to the panel:


"Level Design. Its an integral part to gaming, and can easily make or break a game. A game that does it right will pratically be unnoticed, but a game that does it wrong makes you curse the developers.

Interestingly enough, out of all the games that have been made, the same sorts of levels show up. Underwater levels and temples, lava levels, ice worlds....all these are traditional aspects of level design that either make for very interesting levels, or very VERY frustrating experiences.

What are some of your favorite levels? What are your least favorites? What games have really good level design and which suck? What levels would you like to see that sort of break the mold of what we currently see?"

This week's panel consists of GBreaux, Aborto thefetus, RonBurgandy2010, and Ok_Abacus. Read on to find out what they had to say!


To touch on the topic of levels repeating themselves in various games (i.e. lava and water levels), it's a structure that is easy to fall back on as a designer. Not to mention that game designers today are the game players of yesterday. We all remember playing through Mario and Zelda for hours and probably never once though about level design. But we call say, "YEA you remember the desert part, with the like likes?!" The levels of yesteryear are stuck in our head and when trying to design levels of our own, we revert to what we know. So its no surprise that game designers fall back on what they remember and are fond of. It also doesn't require too much creative thinking when you can just do a grass level or an underwater level, which allows for the designers to focus on other aspects like mechanics or story. Personally, if done right, level design should be as big and meaningful as game mechanics, as subtle and memorable as the music, and as fluid and challenging as game progression.

One aspect of level design that I always find intriguing is this notion of escapism. My oldest memories of playing video games was to leave the real world around me and spend hours in Hyrule, adventuring. This also lead to hours spent in the woods behind my house fighting of Skultullas (banana spiders). Good level design also incorporates immersion. For a player to feel like they have left their surroundings you have to make the in game settings become a second home. The levels should be as real and memorable to the players as the world they left in the first place. You have to give the player a reason to keep coming back. Having the art and mechanics congruent with the rest of the game helps present a realized, believable world. One of the easiest ways to lose players is bad level design. If a player doesn't feel like they belong in the world you present to them, game over.

Zelda wouldn't feel the same if it was in a big city like San Andreas and vice versa. Levels have to fit the setting and action appropriately. Don't give me an underwater level if the game is based on the moon.

In closing, I would say that Psychonauts is one of the best out there as far as level design. The levels stayed challenging, presented something new each level, and nothing ever felt repeated or bland.


Well there's a certain part of level design that's just a continuation of old video game-isms that need to die out. There's a need for variety in levels in a game but the problem is that they end up falling into the "ice level, fire level, earth boss, wind boss".


I know alot of people have problems with the stereotypical fire, water. etc. but personally, I have no problems if a game has levels like these as long as they do something that differentiates itself from other Fire/water levels in other games. Skullmonkeys, one of my all time favorite games, has a lot of levels like this but the games style and humor make these levels stand out and feel drastically different despite having similar settings to other games.

Really, I don't think the setting in a level constitutes bad level design. It could make bad level design insufferable, but a dull setting doesn't always ruin a games level design. What I think makes a game's level design bad or good is how easy it is to navigate through it. If you know what to do and understand what needs to be done to progress in the game then that is good level design. If you reach a point in the game where you have no goddamn idea what it is you are supposed to do or where you are supposed to go, that is bad design. Probably the best example I can think of this is a game I used to play on the Sega Genesis called Chakan. If you never heard of this game, keep it that way. Pretty much every level is like this where you reach a point and you have no idea what you are supposed to do. One level just ends at a brick wall and I had no idea what to do until I learned completely by accident that there were invisible platforms that allowed you to progress. If that isn't bad level design, I don't know what is.

Yes...the floor is LAVA. Yet again.


In my opinion, there are two main types of level design: open-world and linear. The open-world approach gives that designer the opportunity to create a living, breathing, believable world that these characters live in and the story takes place. When done properly, like in Fallout 3, exploration is a reward in itself. During my time in the wasteland I uncovered a mad scientist, a town with a fluctuating government, and a vault that became the home of some demented cult of clones. All of this added to the sense that I was in a living, breathing world that wasn't just the backdrop of some game; I felt like I was there and felt close to the events and bizarre discoveries that came up.

Linear gameplay, while offering much less freedom to explore to the player, gives the designer more power over what the player will feel here, what they will see, what they will do.

Open-world games give the player freedom, but take away freedom from the designer. Think about the Half-Life series. By taking away the option to explore, Valve has instead decided to tailor the limited surroundings the player will encounter to have the player feel and do as they want. In Fallout 3, you don't have to enter that creepy-looking building; there is not really any motivation other than curiosity. In Half-Life, you do the things you do not only because you are forced to by the designer, you want to. There is more motivation than curiosity in play here. Thinking of Ravenholm, you didn't keep going because forward was the only direction; you kept going because you wanted to get the fuck out of there.

There lies the balance that must be maintained. By taking freedom from the player, the designer is able to create a more memorable experience and one that is more likely to give you an adrenalin boost. By giving the player the freedom to explore, the designer is able to make a living world for the player to dick around in and explore. The decision in what approach to use lies in what kind of game experience are you trying to present- focused one or an open one?

Personally, I prefer a linear approach because I tend to keep interest. Some open world games just don't offer any reason to explore and then I lose interest.


As far as linear and non-linear level design, I prefer linear mainly because I find that developers haven't mastered non-linear level design. For the most part, I find the level design or world design or whatever you want to call it in open world games to be really boring and repetitive. Like Ronburgandy2010 said, non-linear level design should reward exploration and I don't think alot of games do that outside of collectibles hidden throughout the world. I really like Elder Scrolls Oblivion, but I have to admit the design behind that world was very poor and I never really had the interest to go out and explore the world outside of the quests because a lot of the world felt like the same patch of forest repeated over and over again. Fallout 3 was definitely a step up from that because the world felt a little more varied and there were alot of things I could find, like the aforementioned vault of insane clones and a crashed alien spaceship with an incredibly powerful weapon at the crash site. I'd definitely like to see Bethesda's next game if the drastic difference in environmental design between Oblivion and Fallout 3 is any indication on Bethesda’s abilities.


Exploration has been a staple in games for decades. Things like Easter eggs, secret weapons and powerups are rewards that have been around for a while, given the player is interested in the game enough to explore. The exploration element really doesn't belong to one type of level design any more than the other. It's just that in open-world games, the designer is building a game around the exploration element of games as a means to give the player more to do, some games just don't really offer much incentive to. Linear games rely much less on exploration, usually offering some bonus content like concept art or the like as a reward, if the game has anything to be found in the first place.

You know who likes to explore and find shiny hidden packages? That guy.


Elder Scrolls definitely had an issue in the open-world design in that there was nothing to do for most of it except walk from point A to point C, occasionally stopping at point B. Which is part of the reason I never understood the hype for the massive game world in Fallout 3. If there's nothing to do, then what’s the point?

GTA4 remedied many of these issues since the game world was packed with a lot to do whether one was on a story mission or not. There were random side missions or people on the street that asked you to do mini-missions. But there was still an issue when it came time to travel on certain story quests or go from one island to another (although getting a taxi and skipping the travel resolved some of that). It injected the constant action, goal-oriented gameplay from linear games into the non-linear or open world scope. That being said, I'm not sure how a game would overcome all the problems of having a massive game world.


I'm not really sure there's anything that can be done to make open-worlds more interesting. Think of your daily life. You are living in an open-world setting, there's a world going on around you. You want to explore the city, go ahead, the only reward you may find is a hobo and a mugging. Games have a base in real life (somewhere), and in the open-world design, there's not much else they can do. I really can't see open-world level design evolving much more.

There lies the balance that must be maintained. By taking freedom from the player, the designer is able to create a more memorable experience and one that is more likely to give you an adrenalin boost. By giving the player the freedom to explore, the designer is able to make a living world for the player to dick around in and explore. The decision in what approach to use lies in what kind of game experience are you trying to present- focused one or an open one?


Bioshock played the line very well in design between linear and non-linear. On one hand, the game was fairly straightforward with clear goals and confined spaces, however it explicitly rewards players for exploration with the audiotapes and the weapon upgrade machines. Even in working in the small area underwater, it manages to combine action with exploration in ways that I'm not sure the Elder Scrolls or Fallouts of the world do.


Yeah, Bioshock was one of those games that appear to give more freedom than is actually offered. While it promotes exploration, it has a very rigid, very linear design. It's not linear to the extreme that the Half-Life series is however. It gives the sensation of an open-world/linear world hybrid.

In Bioshock, the player is placed in a number of individual, self-contained levels throughout the course of the game, likening back to a time when your progress could actually be expressed with a level number. Each of these levels is a collection of hallways, courtyards, theaters, etc. What gives the player the sensation that they are in a large, open world is that the levels are set up so that they span in all directions with hallways and corridors connecting the level and making it traversable by many points. The levels are large in themselves, not necessarily keeping a major theme throughout the area (the ice level, water temple, etc.), which makes the environments much more varied and divers, feeling more like a world rather than a section of it. The idea of randomly wandering enemies is another brilliant way in which they gave the impression of a large, breathing world without actually making one.

However, I feel that it stays strictly with the linear genre, it's just crafted so that it feels like a hybrid, it's still very much a linear game.


Well what I've gotten from this DCD is that Bioshock is one of the best games ever made and Fallout/Elder Scrolls are terribly overrated. Please send any and all hate mail to Tactix :)

RonBurgandy2010 (who is utterly amazing)

Wow, that's grossly incorrect.


You can only send me hate mail if its in the form of a song :P


RonBurgandy2010 (did I mention he is brilliant? Brilliant.)

I searched "fuck you" on youtube and got this, I didn't even bother listening to it.



Well, thats all for this week! Hope you enjoyed the discussion, and as always, if you want to be a part of a future discussion, PM your email address to me and I can add you to the list! Until next week!

HEARTS! <3 <3 <3   read

11:19 AM on 05.04.2009

Dtoid Community Discusses pt 14: Competitive Gaming

Welcome back to another edition of Dtoid Community Discusses, the C-blog series where Destructoid community members talk about a topic related to videogames. This series used to be weekly, but due to how busy I've been, and the fact that my internet was down, its been a while since the last edition. Anyway, this week, our panel consists of Tdiddy, Eternalplayer2345, Icarus and Madninja, and the topic was "competitive gaming". Here is the prompt I sent out to them:


Competitive Gaming. I had the chance to go to the SFIV National Tournament Finals that was hosted by EVO, Capcom and Gamestop. It was quite awesome to see people competing in a video game not only for bragging rights, but also for great prizes.

This made want to ask you guys, what do you think of competitive gaming? Do you enjoy watching games being played competitively or is it just a "for fun" activity? What do you think of organizations such as EVO and WCG that are trying to bring this competitive nature of gaming to the forefront and arguably more mainstream. Will competitive gaming ever be mainstream? Why is Fatal1ty such a douche?

Read on to see what they thought!

Yes....that is Bearforce One


My first experience with competitive gaming was at 2007 Comic Con where they were having a SF2 tournament and this huge crowd was gathering to watch these two guys play a game. The crowd cheered, hooted and yelled for these two guys and showed me the energy that could be had at watching two good players battle each other out.

Point being, I think competitive gaming is fun to watch if it is the right game. Counterstrike works because the game is not difficult for an audience to get their heads around (basically point and shoot) but has enough depth that people who know about the game can enjoy the game being played by very skilled players.


I think one of the problems with making competitive gaming mainstream is the fact that games that are being played competitively change every few years. The audience at large is not gonna attach any interest if the "sport" gets an overhaul every couple of years. Even if you only change up the graphics, you run into the problem that a shooting game might not appeal to everyone same as with racing games. I think the closest we may get could quite ironically be sports video games.

If you want to get into non-sports games you run into the problem above. In South Korea, Starcraft is practically a national pastime, but this may be because the lack of availability with other types of games. I still need to see how the Starcraft II launch and adaptation pans out in South Korea before I can make any serious judgment about the adaptability of competitive games as a mainstream sport.


Well you can already judge that theory with Street Fighter- the latest version just came out and there are already big tournaments for the game. I think Starcraft 2 will do well because the time period between the two was so long that the game will sell and be used in competitions. Sports don't keep the same rules for years so if a game comes out after a long enough period then I see no problem with the game being used is a competitive fashion.


I think that another thing that is holding competitive gaming back from being mainstream is that regardless of how mainstream gaming is actually becoming, its the casual market that is becoming well known. And I don't know about you, but I doubt that people would be interested in watching a Wii Fit competition.

It seems like the organized events for competitive gaming focus alot on the hardcore group of games, like the Starcrafts and the Halo's which turn mainstream people away from watching gaming competitions. And without ratings and interest, gaming competitions won't be mainstream.

What do you guys think of this? Should there be more casual gaming competitions? (I think Peggle would be awesome competitively :P)


As I see it, having more casual gaming competitions would not work, in a large league or competition. There really aren’t that many casual games that have that head to head element. These games multiplayer modes are more of watching one player for a round, followed by the next player trying to top that score until the end. One of the elements that drew me into the Championship Gaming Series, when it was on DirecTV's original content channel, was the head to elements of each game. For those who don't know, the CGS was run like sports franchises, not just a bunch of individuals in a row. There were leagues all around the world, with a few franchises in each league. 4 games were played, Dead or Alive 4 (male and female), Fifa 08, Counterstrike and Project Gotham Racing 4, with the scores of those games added up for a total team score. That drew me in, because it added layers to the competition, such as overall team strategy and rivalries, especially in DoA4. Its a shame that the CGS folded, because I really thought they were the closest to figuring out how to market competitive gaming.

A major problem has to be the inability to find a few marketable personalities to be the face of competitive gaming leagues. Every successful sports league has personable, as well as talented, players in them. Who exactly is the face of competitive gaming? Fatal1ty? I'm not discrediting his gaming abilities, his skill has been proven time and time again, but that guy is boring as hell. The only reason his name is out there has to do with him being the first person to win a million dollar prize and his "fame" after that. I believe his main game is Quake 3 (if I am not mistaken), which really isn’t on many people's current playlists.


I think it’s fine if you have individuals who can draw people in, but it seems like only gamers who really pay attention to competitive gaming in the first place are going to know about these individuals. I am sure most causal gamers and perhaps even some hardcore gamers don’t know who Fatal1ty is. I think having marketable personalities can keep people interested in competitive gaming, but I don’ think it will be initially draws them into it.


When you say Halo and Starcraft turns people away because they aren't mainstream I don't think you notice how many effing units both those games have sold. If those types of games turn people away I have no idea what will get them into watching competitive gaming.

Also why does this have to be accepted by the mainstream? Some sports do fine without being mainstream and if the gaming community at large cultivates the underground gaming leagues then they could thrive. Icarus is right, marketable personalities help, but it won't bring my uncle into watching MLG matches anytime soon.


That brings up an interesting point, if competitive gaming was to become mainstream, what exactly should we consider mainstream? Can we honestly expect gaming to join the likes of football and soccer, should it be on par with golf and tennis, or should we set the bar more towards competitive eating and bowling professionals? It is true we need personalities but competitive gaming has the potential to allow a lot more people to actually participate. People can have pick-up games of football but unless your atleast in college level no one takes you seriously. With gaming your scored would get posted right up there with everyone, making the barrier between pro and amateur at least in terms of partcipation blur.

This is of course assuming competitive gaming gets a good start in the mainstream market that captures people's attention. How exactly are we going to accomplish that? Can the appeal to the average joe only be made after the penetration of games finally captures most of the non-gaming pie. Does gaming need to finally be accepted as its own medium by the public before we can move into this serious competitive gaming? I think the MLG is still appealing to an incredibly niche market, even more so than competitive eating is. We may have our priorities a bit wrong here.


Yes....I was hoping some one would bring up Fatal1ty. I was discussing with a non-gamer about how Fatal1ty is probably the most well-known professional gamer, and yet, I think the majority of gamers think he is a giant douche. The fact that Penny Arcade sent a press statement out saying that not only was Fatal1ty NOT coming to PAX, but that "Seriously, if he even tries to come we'll kick him out." That doesn't bode well for finding a "face" of competitive gaming. And knowing the kind of personalities that are usually attracted to competitive gaming (read: douchenozzles) I think finding a spokesperson will be hard to come by.

It also doesn’t help that with reality television being all important nowadays that recently that the show WCG Ultimate Gamer was created on Sci Fi. Have you guys seen this? Suff0cat twittered about how horrendous this show was and I was just wondering if you guys shared that sentiment.

WCG Ultimate Gamer: An attempt to bring competitive gaming to TV.....and fails.


As far as WCG Ultimate Gamer goes, I haven’t seen it but I would imagine any combination of reality TV and gaming would be a bad mix. And what other sports have ever had reality TV shows? Conceptually, it sounds sort of silly and I doubt people would take competitive gaming seriously after watching something like that. But like I said I haven't watched it before, so perhaps I shouldn't judge. Perhaps you could you describe it a bit, for those of us who are unfamiliar with it.


Yes, WCG Ultimate Gamer is probably the best worst show on TV. By that, I mean it is the best at being the worst show on TV. Imagine if you could, a show that combined Survivor, the Real World and Video games. Take that and add a bunch of shit, then you get WCG Ultimate Gamer. The show does what are called "real life" challenges to start off an episode, like in the NBA Live episode they had a slam dunk contest off of a diving board judged by Darryl "Chocolate Thunder" Dawkins, Spud Webb and Lisa Leslie. Now the guy who won the competiton got to choose who would go against the girl that came in last place. They had a fight earlier in the day and as a sports gamer, he decided to take her out in the elimination game. Only on WCG Ultimate Gamer, can you find greatness like that.

But the absolute "best" and funniest part of the show has to be the commentary during the games. This show is marketed toward gamers, but they set up and explain the games as if you've never heard of them. During a game of Virtua Fighter 4, they had to explain what a life bar is!! Now, as a gamer, if you don't know what a life bar is, you're doing it all wrong. The show is on Hulu and I really hope that the readers will go watch at least the first episode to marvel at drama, stupidity and crazy product placement. I mean, the choice of game is quite bad. I think the only game they played that came out over a year ago was Virtua Fighter on the 360, I mean at near the end of the show they had to play a cell phone racing game for immunity!! A CELL PHONE RACING GAME! The show takes itself way too seriously and could do so much better if it laughed at itself, much like the gaming community is able to do.


I just watched a bit of WCG Ultimate Gamer and it was pretty terrible, like Tdiddy said. Interestingly though it highlights some of the issues I was talking about earlier. On the one hand, you have the WCG wanting to appeal to hardcore gamers by having a show about competitive gaming, but then it is diluted with reality television in order to appeal to the mainstream market. The problem is that these are completely distinct viewer markets and trying to have a show that appeals to both is difficult. As I stated earlier, defining what competitive gaming is trying to achieve will dictate how you promote it and who you market it to, and here I think the WCG lost focus of who their audience was.

And just to address some of the questions raised by Eternalplayer, I think it is possible for competitive gaming to move into the mainstream and it can appeal to non-gamers, although I am doubtful it will ever come close to the sort of popularity that sports like football have. Regardless, I think it is still too soon to try and make that move. I do think there is some correlation to games being accepted as a medium in the mainstream, and that that acceptance will come eventually with more time. Until then though, there are still parts of the gaming community who don’t pay much attention to competitive gaming and the focus right now should be on trying to build interest amongst those individuals. Once a modest following is developed then it becomes much easier to market competitive gaming to non-gamers and perhaps gain even bigger sponsors for these events.


I am defining success as it is successful to its audience, and competitive gaming's audience is the hardcore gamer or the guy who buys just one game and just loves the crap out of the game. Those people will looks up anything and everything when it comes to the game they like. And with the regularness of people it should be like most sports, when the guy/girl wants to quit they can and someone new and fresh will take their spot. Also that brings up something I love about leagues of games, anyone can play in these, ANYONE! An eight year old kid, women (which doesn't happen in most sport leagues) heck even my grandma can be in a league if she wanted to.

The mainstream won't get into competitive gaming as a whole but they will get into the game they buy and play a lot of. Now I want to watch this show you guys are talking about. I just want to see what they do with the idea of competitive gaming on TV but it doesn't sound like it is successful anyway. I think Icarus is right, the gaming community as a whole, with sites like Penny Arcade and the very awesome Dtoid, can help build a base for competitive gaming. Once it has a base it can branch off to do new and different things (but the internet doesn't like the new). I am now remembering an old GFW Radio where they talk about a book on Counterstrike that has a lot of cool ideas on how to broadcast gaming as a sport.


I still think that to really breakout, we would need games that are really easy for everyone to jump into, a game that can stand the test of time. We would need it to be easy to understand but nearly impossible to master. In would also be nice to be cross-platform so that all console owners could participate or, even better, have a stand alone console like the Pac-man joysticks to enthrall the public. When I think of people tuning in to watch this game or these games being played each week, I think the games would need to have a bit of the same feeling a speed run does. Speed runs are something you can do but you find it entertaining to see it done much better.

I also think the reason this is not just a gamer fantasy and plausible is for precisely the reason Madninja brought up. ANYONE can play these games, making their appeal outshine nearly, if not all, other spectator sports out there. I don't know if publishers are willing to take the risk for a new type of game that has the appeal I talk about, but until one does it might be very long until we see competitive gaming become popular.   read

11:59 AM on 04.13.2009

Dtoid Community Discusses pt 13: Videogame Movies

Welcome to another edition of Dtoid Community Discusses! I hope everyone had a good weekend....I'm currently at the airport with my brother, Elem08, as we wait for the plane that takes me away from Easter fun and back to work :(. So I thought what better way to spend this hour long wait for the plane than by putting a DCD together!

Did you guys here the most recent Podtoid? Rev and the gang basically went all MST3K on one of the most epic videogame movies, Street Fighter. (Its an awesome show, and would LOVE to hear more like it!....maybe a Dtoid Science Theater 3K?) Anyway, I decided that this weeks topic would be videogame movies. Since videogames started becoming more and more mainstream, Hollywood has tried to capitalize on this new medium, to horrible results. Here is the quesion I posed to the panel!

"It's no surprise that the success of videogames has caused Hollywood to try to capitalize on them, and try to make Box Office bucks adapting video games to the big screen. From a Hollywood standpoint its almost a no-brainer, the story, background, and characters are highly laid out already, so all it takes is a big budget, some CGI, and BAM!- the millions of gamers will come out and see the movies, making tons of money for the studios!

Sadly many things have gone wrong in videogame adaptations. Namely, they suck. Most recently, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li did HORRIBLY and for the longest time had a 1% on Rotten Tomatoes. Other movies that did relatively ok at the Box Office just demolished the source material and made gamers completely dissatisfied.

What will it take to make a good videogame movie? What are some of the best/worst ones you've seen? Will the fact that game companies Capcom getting involved with the movies help or hinder them?"

This weeks panel comprised of a couple of statements from Wexx, Mid3vol, Suff0cat, and Bleach Boy. Read on to see what we had to say!

Suff0cat requested this picture......his love of Paramore knows no bounds.


Well, the first Video game inspired — if we want to call it that — movie that I saw was Super Mario Bros., and we all know how terrible that was. I don't remember it that well, as I wasn't old enough to remember it when it came out, so I'll probably reference more modern movies for the rest of the panel. But the things I do remember about the Mario movie were all just...really weird. I think I might not torrent it so I can see it again and refresh(?) my memory.

As for how I feel about the more modern movies, like the Resident Evil and Silent Hill movies, I feel that most of them stand pretty well on their own. For example, other than Pyramid Head appearing in the Silent Hill movie I felt that it held up pretty well on its own, as the Silent Hill games don't really have an overarching plot, other than the fact that most of the protagonists were kinda-sorta related, and the fact that they were all set in the same town. They pretty much nailed the setting, and the pacing was pretty good as well.

I've never seen an Uwe Boll film.


Uwe Boll is the greatest film maker ever! Discuss


Hahaha, Suff…Have you guys seen Uwe Boll movies? I have actually stayed away from them ALL so I don’t even know how bad they are....why are they so bad?


Whoa whoa, you've never seen a Uwe Boll movie?! Dude you are missing out. Between the Z-List casts, his complete inability to tell a coherant story, and the gratuitous sex scenes for the sake of having sex scenes. Cinema at it's finest.


Have you guys seen Far Cry the movie? I highly recommend you watching it with friends on a drunk night. Its really bad acting, but it's like, awesomely bad. There is a guy who delivers food to the island who gets caught up in the mess and adds a comedic factor to everything.


It seems like I’ll have to watch one of these Uwe Boll movies after all. :P

Anyway, back in the day I liked the Super Mario movie, but I was just really weird. I remember thinking, "Wait! Koopa isn't a person! Goombas aren't really big people with small heads!" I do kinda like that the movie made the world their "own" and turned Mushroom Kingdom into this gritty, New York style world, but then the question comes of how far away can a movie be from the source material and still be considered a video game movie.

For more modern movies, I actually really enjoyed Silent Hill....I feel like that movie captured the feel of the games very well and also had lots of iconic scenes from the games that I remember really freaked me out. It was cool to see these moments captured on the big screen. Just dont get me started on Resident Evil...I mean the first movie was entertaining and all, but as IRC knows, I have a deep-rooted hatred for Milla Jovovich/Alice.



But... she was so awesome when there were all of those clones of her naked in those tubes!

I really didn't like the Resident Evil Movies. I watched the first 2, and then I was bribed to go see the third one (someone paid for me), and I just lost it when she had the psychic powers bullshit. I really hope they aren't making another one, even though they left it open for YET ANOTHER sequel, which just makes it obvious that these movies are just there to milk cash out of people based on the fact that they like the franchise. As long as this crap is funding more good games (doubtful), I don't care, but they're raping the stuff I love, and I want it to stop.


For the sake of this discussion I saw "Postal". I really can't say it was THAT bad, but if that movie was the best he had to offer, that’s kinda sad.

Anyway, Suff, Bleach Boy and I were talking this weekend about how our favorite videogame movie was Mortal Kombat. Besides the fact that it had a wicked awesome song (MORTAL KOOOOOOOMBAT!!!), there was a pretty cohesive story, and lots of fan service. (People using their actual moves in the movie, like Johnny Cage's Punch-in-the-nuts)

You guys remember Mortal Kombat? How'd you feel about it versus Street Fighter?

Bleach Boy

I think Postal is a great cult film. It didn't try and take it self seriously at all and in the end I believe it paid off.

I like Mortal Kombat so much because out of all of the video games movies I have seen, it is the most faithful adaptation. All of the costumes are perfect and the story was alright enough to keep me entertained. As for Street Fighter though, I find it great because it is so bad. The concept of the story worked, but it was very poorly executed and the dialogue was atrocious as well.


To be completely honest though, I'm not really a big fan of video game movies, at least ones that we've been seeing lately. If they're supplemental to the story line, like the Dead Space movie (haven't seen it), then I'm fine with it. Movies that are just using the setting and plot of the games and attempting to make a movie out of it just feel cheap and not as immersive as the games to me (save Silent Hill, kinda). Sure, most of the scenes that they use in the movies are cut scenes anyway, but I'd still like to have the control over the pacing of the action sequences.

Now, on the subject of fighting game movies: I only saw bits and pieces of these when I was a kid, so my memory of them isn't that great (I think I might rent Street Fighter at least, before I listen to the episode of Podtoid). I'm fine with the fighting game movies, as the story in fighting games generally isn't presented too well in the games. The player typically has to turn to other mediums to get it, such as the instruction manual, a fan site/forum, comic books, or in the case of Mortal Kombat/Street Fighter, the movies (however loosely based on the plot they are). It's cool to see something visualized into a film cross-medium, like Watchmen, but there are a lot of movies that just shouldn't exist, like the Bloodrayne movie.

For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday


As far as the future of videogames are concerned, it seems like some game companies, such as Capcom, have interest in getting more involved with this side of the entertainment by having a greater say in the process. Do you guys think this is ultimately a good idea? Sure the companies will know more about the characters and storylines, but will this just turn out to be an example of “too many cooks in the kitchen”?


For the fans of the stories in the games, I think the game developers taking more control over the films is a great idea. I don't think any respectable studio that wants their game to be well represented in a film would hire Uwe Boll to direct it (unless... you know, they want that). I'd like for more game movies to tie in with the plots of the games better, or at least make sense when looked at in comparison to the games.

The bad ones are entertaining, to an extent though. If the developers don't care about how people that don't keep up with games see their product, then that's great, bring on the Postals, and the Far Cry’s.


I hope you've enjoyed this week's edition of DCD! As always, if you'd like to get on the list of panel members, send me an email at tactixpimp at! Otherwise, feel free to continue the discussion below in the comments! What do you think of videogame movies? Are you excited for the prospect of any of them (such as the recently announced Shadow of the Colossus one)?

Until next week!   read

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