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4:06 PM on 12.07.2012

2012: Born-Again Virgins and Liquor




Like all average-joe love stories the more attractive partner has someone on the side, the less attractive one probably drinks because even though they don't readily acknowledge the lack of morality in their promiscuous other half their liver is 5 steps ahead of them and slowly increasing gravity for the rest of their body so they fall face first into a pile of dog shit. I promise I'm going somewhere with this.

2012 started with me face first in a pile of dog shit. Figuratively. It was the beginning of the part of my life I'd like to call "Post Traumatic Why Did I Invest So Much Into That Stupid Game Disorder". The root cause of this disorder was about 3 years of World of Warcraft that came to an abrupt halt after the dissolution of my guild. Once I had nobody to hold me...let's call it 'accountable' for not playing WoW and keeping up with the game I realized how much that game, and it's community, just kind of suckered me into playing even with the growing distaste I developed for it (this is the drunk part of the metaphor) and it took smashing my face in shit to realize it.

Not all was lost though; I quit WoW, I got rid of the neck-beard, and I said 'Hello' to the sun. Quitting WoW was like that feeling you get when you finally pee after holding it in all day but multiplied by 10. I broke off all the anti-social behaviors and met society again for the first time in a while. I started seeing new people (games), getting reacquainted with long-lost friends (games), and rubbing one out on the couch instead of the computer chair (that's actually what it sounds like). It was a re-introduction to games that I'd passed up because of WoW and a chance at developing a hunger for the ideas of games in development.

I was no longer limited by the presence of my slutty ex and could now experience all sorts of things and give chances where I wouldn't have before; Fat chicks (strategy games), fit chicks (shooters), nerds (RPGs), weeaboos (JRPGs), those overly obsessive gym-sluts (fighters). My boner was entering all sorts of new people and discovering a world that I never would have known about.

This is the part where I tell you the sex stories.



I knew Lost Odyssey for a while. We talked a bit when we initially met but it never went anywhere. She expected a level of commitment off the bat that I just wasn't willing to give. We rekindled our relationship on a lonely night and ended up in the throes of lust until the wee hours of the morning. These booty calls would continue every other night until we agreed to see other people at the climax of our carnal relationship.


I was always a bit frightened of the gym rats. I was always pretty athletic but never very good in a gym but I decided at the behest of a friend to try it out because I looked like I had the body type for some good muscle. I met Mortal Kombat 9 as a consequence of this. We aren't perfect for each other but every now and then, when the mood is right, we rock each other in ways no others can. I have a new appreciation and enjoyment in these types of girls.


This one is an involved story. The mother hates me by now, but I was always good with the Halo sisters. I enjoyed the first ones company and I probably would have married the second one had I not come out of my whirlwind of lust in time. I caught the third sister at a bad time and we didn't really hit it off as much. While not quite in the same vein as the first 3 sisters, Reach was good to me. We understood each other's boundaries and had a good time but it was never meant to last, but then I met Halo 4. I was apprehensive at first. I banged all the other Halo sisters and wasn't sure what she thought of me and she wasn't quite legal yet, but I was anticipating her nonetheless. Her 18th birthday was met with fountains of sweat and positions straight from the pages of the Kama Sutra and she made her sisters look lesser in comparison. I can see this relationship going places.


Borderlands 2 is a story similar to the Halos. I knew her sister and we had a ton of fun, especially with groups. She just had all the toys and was down for anything with anyone. Rumor had it that Borderlands 2 was the same as her sister but better in almost every way and rumor couldn't have been any more right. Usually I'm pretty bad about sharing my love interests but Borderlands 2 is all the better for it. Going in with buddies has never been more fun in my opinion. Be sure to use protection though because as fun as she is, this kind of group love comes with some potential bugs.


Lastly, I'd like to mention XCOM. It was obvious when I met her that she used to be a big girl that lost a lot of weight, but I'm a nice guy and I'm okay with that. I mean it's all about the personality right? Oh, who am I kidding? It's about how good they are in bed. I was cautious about XCOM and kind of gazed from afar. I was interested but I didn't want to get in too deep with a girl I might not enjoy the company of. I decided to ask her out on a date one afternoon when I noticed there was a deal online and it'd be a cheap one. We surprisingly had a great time. I'd always had a mind for the more subtle things in life but XCOM brought it out of me more than I'd ever known was possible. She still had the sensibilities and reservations she acquired over the years of fatness, but her weight loss has made her a lot more exciting.



2012 was a year for discovery, new and old, and while only a few are mentioned here I'm happy to say that I haven't banged any under an 8 so far. How's that for pushing your luck? Maybe the only part of that metaphor that's a little off was being the less attractive partner.   read


8:30 PM on 11.16.2012

The Backlog

So, backlogging games is kind of inevitable anymore with all these awesome games coming out at a pretty speedy pace. This has lead to quite a handsome build-up of games I still haven't gotten to play through even once, because every opportunity I would have had is filled by something new and shiny. This blog is my list of backlogged games and what exactly about them is "backlogged" since I'm a multiple play-through kind of guy. I'll also have the regular rotation of games I have that tend to rob me of backlog time. If anyone has suggestions about what to approach next as I likely haven't even been through the halfway point of the majority of these games, feel free to "win me over" if you like.

Boxed Games
Alan Wake - DLC add-ons
Bayonetta - about 60% through the game
Condemned - 3 or 4 levels into the game
RIddick: Dark Athena - Beat Butcher Bay (again) and never really got into the Dark Athena part.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - DLC
Divinity II - Just got dragon-form
Dragon Age II - The last portion of the game/a couple of the DLCs
Dragon's Dogma - 2nd playthrough
Duke Nukem Forever - Got to the monster-truck part
El Shaddai - Barely even started
Fable 2 - DLC
Fist of the North Star - Halfway through Ken's story
Lost Odyssey - Got this one years ago and only got to the first "worm boss".
Majin and The Forsaken Kingdom - 2nd dungeon area
Metro 2033 - Ranger Mode
Nier - Just started
Overlord - about halfway through
Portal 2 - Co-Op (still need a co-op partner for the 360 if anyone is down for it)
Rayman: Origins - 2nd or 3rd area
Red Faction: Armageddon - 10-15% into the game
Resident Evil 5 - DLC
Sacred 2 - about 30% in before my buddy stopped playing with me
Shadows of the Damned - First boss
Witcher 2 - 2nd playthrough
Kingdoms of Amalur - 60%? Just the story, side-quests out the ass
Assassins Creed 2 - maybe 40% in?
Midnight Club: LA - 30% in or so

XBLA/XBLIG/Games of Demand
A Kingdom for Keflings
Banjo-Tooie - 25%
Blocks that Matter
Braid - 2 puzzles completed
Clash of Heroes - 5 - 10%
Crysis 1 - Just beat the first invisible guys
Dead Block - got through most with couch co-op, not as fun solo
Dungeon Fighter LIVE - not very far, though it seems to be a game you don't really 'beat'
Earthworm Jim HD - Submarine level...this game is cruel
Fez - 30% in? This game keeps me side-tracked
From Dust - towards the end I believe
Gatling Gears - 50%?
Guardian Heroes - Got 2 endings, but co-op is more fun
Hell Yeah! - about 20 monsters killed
I Am Alive - 5% in maybe. Just found his old apartment
Islands of Wakfu - drunk purchase, kinda weird, only played a little bit.
Joe Danger SE - stopped at about 30% when I got aggravated at the last couple of lab challenges
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light - maybe 40%. Same deal with co-op
Mark of the NInja - last level or 2nd to last, then the 2nd playthrough
Orcs Must Die - Just started basically
Outland - 3 bosses down
Penny Arcade Episode 1 - at the pier fairground area with the clowns
Plants vs. Zombies - haven't played much at all.
Rayman 3 HD - Beat the original, didn't have the same drive in this one. About 30% in
Shadow Complex - just got the achievement for running across the lake
Sonic Adventure - completed sonic's mode
Spelunky - got to the ice caverns
Splosion man - about halfway
Stacking - same
Super Meat Boy - at the very last level in light mode and just can't beat it
Tales of Vesperia - Just recently got the ability to fly around the map
The Dishwasher - the beginning
Trenched - same deal with co-op
Toy Soldiers: Cold War - about halfway into the campaign
Trine 2 - 4th level or so
Unbound Saga - for it when it was like...80 points on sale but never played it


The Rotation
Halo 4
Borderlands 2
Battlefield 1943
Operation Raccoon City
Mortal Kombat 9


Writing that out makes me realize I have a really bad problem not finishing games. Also, my 'blog series' is still in the works. Usually pretty beat at the end of the day and I'd rather take a load off with some gaming as opposed to wrangling some rampant thoughts.   read


7:41 PM on 10.30.2012

The Beef Series



I've been around D-toid for a little bit now, at least "socially" around, and while I love the community, actually communicating with a variety of people about games and the industry has made me come to the realization that there are some things I genuinely hate about it. This kind of gave me the idea to vent about it with a series instead of trying to cram it all into one post. I will try to spread it out and give myself some time to organize my thoughts without trying to be too over-bearing about them. The more I think about these issues there's a lot of these more "real world" parallels I could draw (though I probably won't) that just comment on things in general regardless of the industry, but make them more palatable for me to communicate in the trappings of gaming and gaming culture.

This is just a rough outline of the topics I plan to discuss so feel free to check back if you feel like reading my rants in the future. These also aren't in any specific order.

1. "Entitlements" and why I put it in quotations
2. The Divide - 'Casual' vs 'Hardcore' and my hatred of MP communities
3. Hipsters and game snobs
4. "We had it first!" and why it is different than number 3 (I realize this is ambiguous)

Feel free to throw possible ideas in the comments on things I could 'socialize' about if I feel the inspiration.   read


12:15 AM on 10.25.2012

The Specter of Creativity

So, ever since I can remember I've definitely been more 'right brained' for lack of a better term. Present me with a calculator and some paint and I'll paint the calculator. I'm one of those assholes who can find some kind of hidden meaning in anything. It's just how my brain works.

Actually, hold on. I feel like this blog deserves some kind of backstory so I'll try to elaborate as smoothly as possible. The razor is a little dull though right now so expect some bumps. To put it lightly, I have some really fucking weird dreams. Not weird. Fucking weird. A good and fairly recent example had me painted blue, wearing a sombrero the size of a convertible, parachuting out of an airplane with Burt Reynolds (the sombrero was my parachute). It was like something that would have come out of Saints Row The Third if it didn't suck. This is also on the low end of the weird spectrum. They've been know to be much stranger.

So, to cut to the reason for the detour. I started writing down all the details of the dreams I could remember since my freshman year of highschool. Slowly I've built a catalogue of my demented sub-conscious. Ever since I started this these ideas that defy reality have entered my conscious thought processes so now this unhindered creativity is at a constant drip. The problem is, however, that I'm not sure how positive a thing that is.

The title of this blog is meant very literally. Specter; something that haunts or perturbs the mind. A phantasm. I'm very literally haunted by my creativity. To mention I have severe Attention Deficit Disorder might actually explain some of the anxiety towards this creative apparition. I go from being a relatively attentive student to imagining what would happen if the instructor was wearing a pirate outfit and speaking Mandarin. I find myself putting everyone I meet into weird out of this world scenarios all the time without even meaning to. By now it's just a natural process. Meet new person, talk to them, have strange "waking dreams" involving them. Most people tend to get a kick out of me telling them all the stories I cook up , and as far as my music and art goes its wonderful but the more I go down this path the more it feels like this little shit-head feeding me the ideas is pulling off some elaborate long-con to turn me into a spectacle.   read


6:05 PM on 09.07.2012

Injustice: Possibly convenient name?


Since I'm on a fighting game kick recently, I think I'll throw my attention at Netherrealm's next game Injustice. Coming off the success of MK9 I can't blame them for wanting to make a game specific to the DC universe. MK vs DC lacked the impact of MK and from what I seen, didn't have the roster a lot of people might have liked to see from DC. Having played a good amount of MK9's story mode I can definitely see them throwing in a comic-book style series of events if they keep the same idea going with it, however, that is not the focus of this article. With a fighting game comes the concern of a deep roster of characters that are enjoyable to the people playing, especially when connected to DC with their mound and mounds of potential characters.

I'm honestly more partial to Marvel myself. I've always been fond of The Hulk, and more recently Thor (less due to the movie and his newfound 'fame' and more to the nickname I got from a professor) but the idea of a fighting game exclusive to comic books has me giddy, especially when coming from Ed Boon. So I'd like to take this blog-time to lay out characters I'd like to see in the game and then hopefully have some people add in their 2 cents.


1. Lobo



This is less for me and more for everyone I see wanting him in the game. Every time I see Injustice mentioned Lobo isn't far behind. A, for lack of a better term, badass alien bounty hunter who has duked it out pretty evenly with Supes a few times and has an attitude to match seems like a good fit for the game, especially when you consider how they are handling gadget/power characters.

2. Black Adam



I don't know much about the character other than the origin of his powers via "SHAZAM", but he seems to be a good fit as a power character for the game on the level of Superman and I really dig his design.

3. Deathstroke



An awesome answer for a gadget character from what I've seen of him. Could have a good emphasis on projectiles but at the same time have the option for hand to hand. Something akin to Nightwing, but more emphasis on manipulation (I'm thinking cyrax-esque)

4. The Green Lantern/Sinestro



Doesn't really need any explaining, it'd be like this games Sub-Zero/Scorpion. Green Lantern is almost a shoe-in for the game and having Sinestro to be his antithesis seems like a no-brainer.

5. Power Girl



Boob physics

6. Doomsday



Practically DC's answer to the Hulk I definitely have to pull for him since I won't be seeing Mr. Green in this game. Solomon Grundy shows how well they can pull off the "big and lumbering" character so I'd love to see Doomsday around to take it to the extreme.   read


6:52 PM on 09.05.2012

Rage Blog: Xbox 360 D-Pad

I won't profess to be a talented practitioner of button combos and timing frames because I'm not, but I do enjoy a select amount of fighting games. The thing about fighting games, and in turn button combos, is the precision required to pull off these combos with split-second timing and complete accuracy. If I need to string together a combo sequence and my controller fails to read the input I am giving it, the hardware has failed me and is in-turn making the gameplay worse where it wouldn't be normally. This has become more painfully obvious to me lately as I've been playing Mortal Kombat 9, especially on some of the more gimmicky fights. In this case Shao Kahn.

He's not altogether difficult as his moves are pretty easy to read and the characters I'm given I am able to counter his moves pretty well, but that hinges on whether or not my controller actually decides to read the input. Something as simple as the controller reading an up as a left or right, can very literally throw the fight in the favor of the cheap, asshole ruler of Outworld. 8 times I will execute Raiden's teleport to take advantage of Shao Kahn's long animations, and 10 times after that Raiden will just jump or backstep and turn into an easy target. Same input every time, with vastly different results. The fight itself is cheap, but it's also a boss in a fighting game; it's to be expected. The downfall comes from the terrible D-Pad Microsoft decided to produce in its controllers.

Overall, I really enjoy the Xbox controller for every game I play; the issue comes down only to fighting games but it's so glaring it all-together makes me want to smash it into the face of whoever thought it was a good design. Pressing up, and it registering right is not only not okay, it's crippling. It's less obvious on more "mash friendly" characters like Kitana where I can combo all day and not worry about what I'm pressing too much, but on a character like Raiden where precision is a little more necessary (especially in this fight) it's unacceptable.

I realize fight sticks among other things will alleviate the rage pains the controller causes, but honestly why can't Microsoft just put out a competent D-Pad? it honestly doesn't even need to be amazing, it just needs to be accurate. I've found videos online of people modding their controllers and improving the D-Pad with something as cheap as a Pringles lid. Some guy took 5-10 minutes taking his controller apart and putting a circular piece of cheap plastic on the D-Pad and instantly makes it much more accurate and playable. It makes me wonder how it ever got passed testing/QA if this simple fix makes the D-Pad way better.

So, Microsoft, I doubt you'll see this but I'm sure you've received plenty of feedback regarding the D-Pad on your controllers so can you please, for the love of my hairline and fractured knuckles, take this one to the drawing board and make a D-Pad that isn't a complete steaming pile of shit for the next Xbox? It's really the only thing wrong with an otherwise amazing controller.   read


6:13 PM on 06.01.2012

What's the big deal?

I see it more and more lately. Pre-order bonuses will be announced and there are people, and generally not even a lot of them, that go from highly anticipating a game as a day one purchase to saying they will now wait until a later date or just not purchase the game at all; presumably because of the pre-order bonuses. Frankly, I just don't quite understand the attitude behind this.

As a "protest" (more like a temper tantrum in my opinion) it's ineffectual because they have no way of knowing that you dislike the idea of pre-order bonuses being store exclusive, or even pre-order bonuses at all. All they see is less purchasing. Granted one could say they see less "day one purchases" and equate that somehow to pre-order bonuses being the reason but I have a strong feeling they just take that as "well people don't want to pay as much" and that's when games just get reduced in price. Halo 4 pre-order bonuses were announced, and they are armor patterns and badge designs. Two completely unnecessary items that only marginally affect your gameplay experience, and that is assuming you actually care about customization that much, yet people bash the game and its publisher/developer for it like they are going to end the world on launch day with their pre-order bonuses.

Is this just typical "gamer hedonism", and by that I mean you have be complaining about SOMETHING or you just aren't gamer enough or do people honestly think that posting a comment on these announcements about how they disapprove of the pre-order bonuses is really going to make in impact?   read


7:29 PM on 01.03.2012

Difficulty and Me (I?)



Like a lot of people, I play games to enjoy myself. I typically do not partake in actions or activities that I do not enjoy because that's the sure sign of a miserable life. If I can avoid making myself miserable, I do so in the fastest way possible. With that said, games are not always the most relaxing or pleasurable things in the world. Whether it is having to deal with incompetence in an online game where teamwork is key to victory or a game is just downright frustrating due to intentional or unintentional spikes in difficult from various contributing factors, gaming can be downright infuriating. To weigh my thoughts in on this I'm going to bring in a few examples of games I find hard, games I don't find hard, and then why I enjoy and/or do not enjoy that given game.

To begin with, we have a notoriously difficult game for most people, Demon's Souls/Dark Souls. This game has such a stigma about it's difficulty that it became a marketing campaign for Dark Souls with the tagline "Prepare to Die", and die you will. This game is brutally difficult, but only to a point. The game and it's difficulty are very symbiotic in that it typically isn't the games fault for being difficult, it is the players. It's entirely possible to get through this massive game in the span of a few hour and no deaths if you know what you are doing and how to defeat enemies. Your first time through the game is going to be littered with deaths, but in my experience, none of them pissed me off. I had plenty of opportunity to realize what mistake I made, realize it was actually my mistake, and then be able to fix it. This is either accomplished by myself, or by using the knowledge of the incredible community this game has fostered. Personally, for this reason I never felt the game was too extreme, and I never felt that I "raged" about dying as I have in other games because the reasons and solutions were so easily accessible to me. For this reason, the supposed difficulty is one that makes the game challenging and enjoyable, it is so wholly a part of the game that the game would be itself without it.

Now we get to Super Meat Boy, another notoriously difficult game, albeit a different monster completely. A very simplistic platformer built as an homage to everything that made classic gaming what it was. Simple, constant design and purely gameplay driven. There are no whistles in this game, maybe a few bells, but you're a wad of meat...that jumps. In my eyes this simplicity is what makes this game so maddening. There are no "other ways" around a certain thing you can't seem to do, or often times what seems like the game just isn't letting you do. You jump, that's it, and a lot of times there's only one way to jump to progress. If you mess up, you have to start the level over again. Giving the game the benefit of fairly short levels is it's only saving grace in my opinion. In a game like Dark Souls I was able to out-think my problems. If my approach didn't work, I'd try a new one until I succeeded. In Super Meat Boy, you monotonously jump into death and repeat the same sections until God smiles on you and you pass through those sawblades or whatever abysmal obstacle has been keeping you held back the last 100 deaths. On top of this the game seemingly taunts you for your failures with a replay of every death you had (while a cool feature) all in on the same screen making your errors all the more obvious. Does this give a sense of satisfaction when you finally succeed? Hell yes, but not because you actually did it. Most of the time I was only happy because I didn't have to see that level again, not because I accomplished something because chances are it was only a lucky jump to begin with.   read


4:18 PM on 11.28.2011

Tales from Skyrim: Finding Awe



Crunch. My iron clad feet made the tundra speak as I sprinted through the night to my destination. It was almost impossible not to stop and stare as I ran by streams alight with torchbugs, but the Jarl needed his dragonslayer. I spotted Irileth near the tower that was my destination; her torch revealing the position of many guards under her command. They seemed prepared as they could be given the situation. There was a roar and a beating of wings. I have never seen or heard a dragon, bu there is only one creature that can command that much respect through sound alone.

We searched the skies, but the night hid him well. The guards were taking blind shots at short glimpses of the creature, but to no avail; it was more agile than it's size would have you believe. Arrows whistled through the air just behind the creature, as if it was cutting it close to taunt it's enemies. As if it was a sign the heaven's cracked and rain poured forth, seemingly caused by the immense power of the creature goading us.

"Are you a coward, dragon? Why do you not face us?"

My reply was quick and final as the dragon landed and sent a stream of flame battering against me. I leapt from my perch on the ruins, he was fast so I needed to be faster. I could not find him without the vantage of height, but I could hear him raging around the tower. The scream of a guard was shortlived as I rounded that corner and watched the beast devour him. I took the opening and swung battleaxe with a strength only a Nord could wield. If you invade these lands dragon, you will have me to contend with.

My axe connected and the impact cause the dragon to shudder. It feels pain, and I am able to draw it's blood. I will kill this beast. The dragon took to the skies after sensing the threat I now posed. I nocked an arrow and followed it through the air, waiting for my opportunity. The dragon began to dive, it's maw widened to pour forth flame. The swift twang of my bowstring echoed in the ruins as my arrow pierced the dragons hide and sent it colliding with the ground. Now was my chance.

I sank my axe into the beast repeatedly and it was growing weak; writhing from my blows upon it's skull. Taking advantage of it's anguish, I mounted it's head. It tried to throw me but I held. This dragon was a threat, and the land of Skyrim need be rid of it, so I held. I sank the blade of the axe into the dragon as it let out it's last breath, and collapsed on the ground beneath me. In the light of the torches of the guards I began to see the creature deteriorate.

"What is this?"

Power poured from the dragon, circling around me. This phenomenon had me perplexed, and the guards stood with hushed faces.

"You must be dragonborn!" exclaimed a guard.

"What is this...dragonborn?" I asked.

I was told the tale of powerful men able to learn the language of dragons, and to use them.

"Shout, use your voice, it is the only true way to know"

"FUS"

I belted the word, not knowing the meaning or the power it held, but the effects were noticeable. The guard stood in amazement.

"You are, you truly are dragonborn!"

Irileth was quick to dismiss the talk and discuss the reality of the situation. Whether I was this dragonborn or not, I just killed a dragon, and that was all we needed. I was to return to the Jarl and notify him immediately.

I made my way to Whiterun, my head racing with thoughts of the Dragonborn.

"Hrogdolf, the Dragonborn"

It sounded silly, but there was no denying the fact that I was able to speak power...whatever it meant. I reached the gates of Whiterun to the sound of thunder, but it wasn't a natural thunder. I looked to the mountains, expecting another dragon, but instead I heard a single word. Echoing off the ridge, it held destiny in it's grasp as it reached my ears.

"DOVAHKIIN!!"   read


9:58 AM on 11.09.2011

Today in Indie



As per usual on days I don't have class, I tend to float about in the Xbox Live marketplace seeing if there are any new videos to download and watch or anything else I might be interested. Lo and behold I stumble upon this little gem, DLC Quest. The "cover art" caught my eye in the XBLIG tab so I quickly downloaded the demo for what is a hilarious satire of the industry's obsession with downloadable content.

While I personally enjoy DLC for games I'd like to play more of, I can really see how it can go south, and this just takes it to the extreme and satirizes it's balls off. From the beginning of the game your character can only move right, can't jump, can't go left, has no animations, there's no game sound...well...until you buy the DLC. In classic platforming fashion, you jump around to get coins and once you have enough...you buy the DLC. Outside of the manner it approaches DLC, it has a lot of nods to gaming's stereotypical pitfalls with lots of "inside jokes" pertaining to the industry and game design.

All that aside, it's extremely charming for what it is, and the gameplay really is quite good considering the backseat it could have taken to the humor. At 80 MS points, I'd say it's more than worthy of a purchase for some quick entertainment at the sake of gaming and it's modern woes.

View the trailer here   read


5:00 PM on 10.21.2011

Next Generation Say Wha!?


The rumor bug seems to have gotten everyone talking about the next big thing in consoles, whether the PS4 or the Xbox 720 (if they name it that I will die a little inside). However, in a generation where content is built upon consistently through downloading, and frankly one where the games already look phenomenal, what will this mean for backwards compatibility.

The 360 and PS3 both severely dropped the ball when it came to this. The 360 having fairly shoddy software emulation for an extremely selective, and often-times questionable list of games (Barbie games and not Stranger's Wrath?) and the PS3 just ended up dropping it completely to shave costs. The question I want answered the most, which while it's still even early to ask it with no tangible information out about the next consoles from Sony and Microsoft, what will you do with all these games I own, both downloaded and hard-copy, and all the subsequent downloaded content I have for them?

Will both companies implement some sort of "cloud" service for these old games, will we be able to transfer and play them on the new machines as-is? I can easily see this subject making or breaking these consoles if it isn't addressed logically, and responsibly. While I can't say I have any intention to get rid of my 360 the day the next one hits, there's something to be said about your console being able to play the previous ones library and still support what has been an extremely long console generation of added content.   read


1:45 PM on 10.15.2011

A Few More Pennies In The Jar



In the recent year or so, anti-used gaming schemes have become a big contention point in a seemingly activist attitude towards video games. Whether from the extremely ridiculous "single save" scheme from Capcom to the more common "online pass", publishers are trying harder and harder to stick their fingers into the pie of used game sales. In this little write-up I'm going to pay my two-cents and throw my thoughts into the arena.

Coming from a purely logical standpoint, it more than makes sense that publishers (developers too probably, but the publishers are the ones lighting up the room) would like to see some more money back from their investments. A potential 120 dollars from two NEW buyers would be just 60 dollars from a NEW/USED duo, can be disconcerting from a purely business of money view. While there are many ways other than these passes to increase new sales or get money out of used purchasers (here's looking at you DLC), the online pass seems to be becoming the de facto method by the industry, but herein lie(s) the problem(s).

For starters, there wouldn't be so many outspoken individuals if this was a completely logical idea. The publishers making such a fuss are already the ones that make the most money, which in turn paints them in the fat, greedy oil baron archetype and we all just LOVE those guys don't we? Their defense is that online servers cost money, but not only is this arbitrary with all the DLC they release, not all games have dedicated servers. Even the ones that do wouldn't suffer, as Destructoid's own Jim Sterling has pointed out, "two can't be made from one". A person who buys new then trades his game in also gives away his "slot" to play online, which is then purchased by the new buyer regardless of if he plays online or not, and if he doesn't that's essentially making things cheaper for the publisher anyways.

Online passes also have the potential of crippling the online community in the long-run and ripping people off if they don't have the knowledge of its current status. Who is to say that a year from now people will still be playing the game that the publisher just gladly forced an unknowing user into buying? That's money that did nothing. Could this be fixed? Sure, remove online passes when the population is dwindling. That poses even more issues though. When is it time to remove it? Would publishers even care? Wouldn't this just further hinder the longevity of these games?

As a whole, I think publishers and/or developers wanting more capital for their projects is a completely logical thing, but I also think online passes are the wrong way to do it. Make your games "untradeable"; if people like your games enough they won't throw them at Gamestop for store credit (which brings up the used market allowing new purchases but that's another story). Give more incentives to buy new than just "oh, well, if I buy used I'll have to pay for this completely stupid thing to get all the content the game was shipped with". While this argument seems to be completely polarizing, with people wanting to burn down these big publishers and people defending their right to make money of their own games, I think most people can agree that almost forcing people into this new policy of blocking content and all its potential repercussions is NOT the way to do it.   read





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