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About
Myself:

I am a Ph. D. chemist from the University of California, Berkeley. I have been playing videogames since as long as I can remember! My past favorite games include Secret of Mana, TMNT: Turtles in Time, the Resident Evil series (Jill is SUCH as master of unlocking), FFVII, Smash Bros Melee, and many others.

I've definitely gone through phases in my gaming "career". I used to LOVE fighting games in the time of Tekken Tag and Marvel vs Capcom II (my favorite fighting game), but now I find myself drawn to the more story driven games, and very recently, the music games....:)

But....fighting games are making a comeback! SFIV! MvC3! BlazBlue! Beware everyone, Tactix has put a quarter on the screen and is challenging you for battle!


It was mere chance that brought me to Destructoid back in early 2007, and through it all I've stayed because of the great writing staff, a community that cares, and lots of new internet and IRL friends. Destructoid has changed my life. True story.


If you live in the SF Bay Area, check out the DtoidSanFrancisco C-blog and join the Google Group!

DtoidSanFrancisco

Check out the past installments of my DTOID COMMUNITY DISCUSSES! Series:

Part 1: DLC
Part 2: Achievements
Part 3: Gaming Journalism
Part 4: Next Next-Gen Consoles
Part 5: Retro Renaissance
Part 6: Games That Suck
Part 7: Educational Games
Part 8: Evolution of Gaming Music
Part 9: Gaming Merchandise
Part 10: Iconic Games
Part 11: DESTRUCTOID!
Part 12: GDC
Part 13: Videogame Movies
Part 14: Competitive Gaming
Part 15: Level Design
Part 16: Emulation and Game Modding
E3 Edition: Microsoft
E3 Edition: Nintendo
E3 Edition: Sony
Part 17: Triple A Titles
Part 18: Fighting Games
Part 19: Digital Distribution



Card courtesy of TheGHost


Rock Band tag courtesy of CutieHoney

Thanks guys!


Last but not least, Chad Concelmo and I are the same person. Go ahead and ask him. :P

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Jesse Cortez
6:44 PM on 09.08.2009

Post Pax 09

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

Start:

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

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



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

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



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



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



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

End:

I LOVE YOU ALL!

CHECK OUT MY PAX PICS!
Photo








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.
Photo Photo Photo








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

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

Which brings me to this weekís topic. FIGHTING GAMES!

Here is the prompt that I send out to our panel

Tactix

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

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

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



deBLOO

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

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

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

Nikmonroe

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

Zserv

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

Tactix

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

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


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

Zserv

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

Tactix

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

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

ZServ

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

(I suck with Sakura on SFIV, fyi)

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

Detry

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

DICK.

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

deBLOO

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

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

Zserv

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

What's your guys' take on it?


Playing cheap does exist....its Cable

Nikmonroe

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

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

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

I will be playing. :D








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

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



But then his umbrella broke...



and it made Ben like this:



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



and this!



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



The END


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

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

Trust me. He will love it.

<3








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

Tactix

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

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

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



Pendelton21

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

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

Zodiac Eclipse

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

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

megaStryke

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

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

Tactix

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

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


Thats a huuuuuge billboard!

megaStryke

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

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

Zodiac Eclipse

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

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

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

megaStryke

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

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

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

Pendelton21

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


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

megaStryke

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

Zodiac Eclipse

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

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

megaStryke

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

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

Zodiac Eclipse

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

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








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



Guttlesswonder

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

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

Tactix

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

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

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

Guttlesswonder

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

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


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

Tdiddy

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

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

ScottyG

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

Tactix

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

Tdiddy

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

ScottyG

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

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

Tactix

The Last Guardian = Neverending Story


Falcor? Is that you?

ScottyG

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

Guttlesswonder

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

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

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

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

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

ScottyG

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

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

Gatorsax2010

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

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

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