Being a person with more than my fair share of brothers, multiplayer gaming was very popular in our house. There was only one TV, and only one NES, or SNES, or N64, or GameCube, etc. Whichever it was, we were either going to have to play together, or find a way to determine whose turn it was. With three out of my four brothers being older, and four out of the five of us being gamers, chances were slim that I was going to be the one playing through any single-player campaigns. When my brothers were home, it was either our oldest brother played something solo, or we all slugged it out in Super Smash Brothers. If either of us younger kids won, sometimes the slugging would stop being digital for a while. At least they didnít shoot us when we won in Goldeneye.
But as much fun as playing an actual multiplayer game was, thereís another form of multiplayer that Iím rather fond of that really stretches the meaning of the word Ďmultiplayerí. I'm talking about story mode tag-team.
There have been many game releases in my life where I, or a friend of mine, was the only one fortunate enough to pick up a game that we were all awaiting the release of. So instead of beating the game and handing it off to the next guy for a playthrough, we would get together, order a pizza, guzzle mountain dew and marathon play the shit out of that game until the end credits rolled. Every time someone died, or a chapter was completed, the controller was handed off.
One of my favorite sessions was when I received Condemned for Xbox 360. Not only was the game new, but the system was new, so we were itching to get our claws into it. Two of my friends came over with a stockpile of junk food and soda, and we sat down on my futon (yeah, futon!) and didnít leave but to evacuate our bladders until that game was done.
I was predetermined to start the first chapter, being that it was my stuff. Riding high on Mountain Dew, I was checking every direction, walking really slow, making sure that nothing was going to jump out and murder me (caffeine makes me jumpy). All the while, my friends quipped about the multiple ways in which I could possibly be disemboweled. I laughed at their jokes, but without actually knowing the full extent of the gore in the game I wasnít so sure that I wasnít going to get my stomach slashed open and bear witness to a blood orgy amongst my spilled organs.
This is part of what's great about playing with friends, though. Friends donít just let you get smacked upside the head with a lead pipe in silence. They let you know that Captain Lead Dick just knocked you across the skull with his abortion factory. They make you think twice about walking through that next doorway. There might be a rapist in there! The commentary is what makes this kind of play great. You can laugh at the criticism knowing that when this chapter ends, or you ultimately fail to complete your task, that itís time to pass the controller, and itís your turn to dole out the witty cynicisms (or not-so-witty ones). Hey, could the 2x4 youíre wielding possibly be compensating for something?
Iíve been doing this for a long time, at least dating back to the N64 days. My friend Tom and I have actually done this on several occasions. We most recently tag-teamed Deadly Premonition to completion this past Halloween. While I know that playing through Deadly Premonition by myself would still have been oddly engrossing, I canít imagine having not played through it with him. He introduced me to an otherwise non-character in the game by giving a voice to the rather excited-looking fish in the loading screens.
The above is an inside joke that none of you will get, but most of you will probably appreciate. You probably have fond memories of tag-teaming a game yourself. It turns any game into a party game... especially when you have a 24 pack of Mountain Dew and some weird-ass friends to play with.
UPDATE: I originally asserted that the camera was placed above the right thumb stick, but this was because my screen capture happened to be taken at just the wrong time. Right between the screen below and the bulleted list of spec on the next slide. What you saw in the original image was one of the bullets from the next slide. You'll be happy to know that the location of the camera is still less than aesthetically pleasing. Sorry for the error!
I actually took the time to unwarp the image of the controller, and it's beyond unusable. There's a reason there's no audio, and I assume it's because this is a college kid in a marketing class of some sort. Check it out:
The first thing I notice is that if the screen is six inches, then the controller is over a foot wide. That would also make the analog sticks and d-pad about 1 3/4 inches apiece, and the face buttons about 1/2 inch. Don't worry, it gets worse. Did you notice where the L and R buttons are? That's right, they expect you to have footlong hotdogs for fingers.
I'm going to wring your neck, then play Cafe!
Aside from these glaring defects, there are a couple smaller issues. Being that the rumored camera appears to be sitting awkwardly on top, the handles are approximately 9 inches long, and is that rather large array of dots to the right of the screen a speaker?
I think it's safe to call this one debunked. Nintendo are far enough beyond their VirtualBoy days not to release something so aesthetically displeasing, and they've never made something this unusable...
If anything we've heard is real or not, we'll know once and for all very soon. Nintendo's E3 press conference is but a mere 16 days away.
The picture above is widely regarded to be the closest fan-made concept to the real thing. It's not the real thing, but I wouldn't mind if it was... it's actually pretty sleek.
This news comes in via Kotaku, who also state that the controller is rumored to have 8 buttons. No mention of triggers, but being that they're THE standard for hardcore shooter fans, they'd be kind of dumb not to have them.
During a recent meeting, an analyst asked Iwata for his opinion of tablets. Iwata acknowledged their appeal, drawing comparisons between the Nintendo DS's touch interactivity.
"Whenever we make a new game console, we've done it without throwing away buttons and the directional pad," Iwata said. "The reason for that it's better to have them, because buttons and directional pads benefit gameplay response."
"Taking this into account," Iwata continued, "Nintendo isn't planning on completely ditching buttons, nor is Nintendo thinking of taking tablets as they are today and implementing them in a game console." -----------
Exciting stuff! A controller with buttons! WHO COMES UP WITH THIS?! :D
Have you seen the picture above? No? Well it came to most blogs' attention yesterday.
Being that there doesn't seem to be a dedicated rumor-man at Dtoid, and Chad is too busy panting heavily into a paper bag to post about anything he might hear, I'm going to do my best to keep up with all the tidbits and keep you all updated.
Not only has the above image, sporting a very familiar design in white this time, popped up around the interwebs, but you'll find several other pictures you probably haven't seen, in the gallery. Included in the pictures in the gallery are pictures of what is rumored to be a pre-production model that they're flashing at investor meetings. The white one above is proposed to be a test kit, closer to what the retail model will look like. There was also another slide added from the initial rumored presentation. Now for what's going around in the industry:
More leaks about Project Cafe:
- Nintendo are planning a full reveal of the console, controller and 1st/2nd party games at E3.
- The console is confirmed to be backwards compatible with all Wii/Gamecube titles, and all your VC games will be transferred over once you link your credit card to the system.
- Many 3rd party developers have development kits who are supposedly hard at work to have something to show (and play) at E3.
- 3rd Parties were involved with the development of the console, with requests for what specifications they'd like to see. As of now (which could change) the system runs of a custom built IBM triple-core CPU and has 2gb RAM. The graphics chip is a custom built Radeon R700 chip.
- There is an internal SSD. Size is unknown at this point.
- It will run natively at 1080p.
- The new controller slightly resembles a Gamecube controller with a large LCD screen in the middle of it. The controller is light for its size and looks like a tablet with Gamecube-like prongs to the side. It has dual analogue sticks, face buttons, d-pad and shoulder buttons. No triggers were on the device.
- The screen on the controller is indeed a 6" LCD high resolution (reported 640 x 960 pixels) display. However, Nintendo said in order to keep battery life manageable, the controller doesn't have any hardware to produce graphics itself. The image is simply a video stream directly from the console.
- The controller uses rechargeable lithium ion batteries. Size of the battery is unknown.
- The Wiimote can be used and a new model of Wiimote will be released with the console. This new controller will have overhauled internals allowing for much more precise movement tracking than even the Wiimote Plus had.
- The Project Cafe system development kit is not representative of the final console design. The console is smaller and resembles the Japanese/European SNES models.
- Nintendo have told developers that their online system will be 'the best online experience' that's available on consoles. The whole idea of the machine is to be connected to the internet 24/7. It's being targeted as an online/social console. Friend codes are gone, but no word on whether the online service will be subscription based.
- The Pokemon RPG is the title Nintendo will be showing off their online experience with.
- As reported by other sources, Nintendo is targeting this console to the hardcore gamers once again.
- Nintendo is planning on some sophisticated inter-game communication between the 3DS and the console. Nintendo didn't explain what they're planning on.
To be shown at E3:
- Pikmin 3 (playable, launch title)
- Pokemon RPG (video, launch or near launch title)
- Super Mario Bros title (playable)
- Star Fox (playable)
- Smash Bros 4 (playable)
- Mario Kart (video)
- Zelda (tech demo)
- Metroid (tech demo)
- New IP (video)
- Red Dead Redemption 2 (video)
- Grand Theft Auto "New Title" (video)
- Rayman Legends (playable)
- Red Steel 3 (playable)
- New IP (video)
Project Cafe/3DS rumors - Rareware talk, Retro Studios work, Metroid brand and much more
- Retro Studios is not working on Eternal darkness 2 or Zelda
- Rareware and Nintendo have have had discussions of working on the 3DS
- the idea of working on a revamp of StarFox Adventures was discussed, but seems to have been shelved
- Banjo-Kazooie on 3DS is not out of the question
- much like Viva Pinata on DS, Microsoft thinks that brand extensions on DS could help them sell games on 360
- multiple third parties are working on ports of 360/PS3 games for Project Cafe, with one third party in particular porting a bunch of content
- Nintendo may consider letting the Metroid series cool for awhile after support for the franchise seems to be waning
- Nintendo thinks the Earthbound series makes more sense on portables, but that doesn't confirm anything in the works
- system is once again, more powerful than 360/PS3
The sources at 4Chan haven't stated where they got this information from, so don't spunk in your knickers just yet.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
This time from a more reputable source. Sam Kennedy at 1up has heard quite a lot about Cafe, it seems, and he speaks of it like something from a wet dream. Although honestly, if it's true then I don't think I could particularly blame him... read this.
I hope you bastards going to E3 have fun... don't tell me your name, or I'll find you, kill you, wear your face like a mask and use your credentials to get myself in...
I was hoping to upgrade it into a gaming PC, so I got the case I wanted and built an OK machine by my standards.
I built it using the following:
1) AMD 64 Athlon 3200+ (2.0 Ghz)
2) JETWAY Mobo with 939 CPU bus, 6 PCI slots, and 1 AGP slot (no PCI Express)
3) 1.5 Gigs of Rosewill PC400 RAM (3-piece)
4) Western Digital ATA, 7200 rpm, 250Gig harddrive (not SATA)
5) ATI Radeon 9550 256MB, AGP 8X graphics card
6) Sony DVD-RW Drive
7) Asus 'A'-Drive
8) Aspire Case w/ 370w power supply
9) Standard Silitek $4 keyboard
10) Razor Diamondback lazer gaming mouse
11) An OLD monitor from our original Packard Bell computer, if anyone remembers them...
That's it. It's actually not too much better than any standard computer. But that all cost me $750 nearly three years ago.
Also, I may be able to build the PC, but I have no idea how to overclock it without murdering it. I haven't tried, really.
I just got the Wacom for christmas, so I'm still working on my digital art skillz. I'm updating a sketch I'm working on as I make more progress on it. I'm taking my time as it's my first real project on my Wacom.