Ok, let's see... Well, I am Brazilian, speak both portuguese and english(none of them properly ;) ), have 32 (Yes I am old, shut up) and work at a cable manufacturer. My first videogame system was an Atari 2600 when I was 8yo, then the Sega Master System at 11, a PC, then all the Playstation Family(PS1, 2 and 3 and the PSP).
Nowadays my primary gaming platform is the PS3 and my favorite game is Battlefield Bad Company 2, so if will wanna play or get some help with a trophie, my PSN ID is Man_w_no_name. Feel free to ask me to add you as a friend. My favorite game of all time is Final Fantasy VII and the worst I have ever saw is Danger Girl for PS1.
Aside gaming I love movies, books, anime and manga, Doctor Who and weirdness. So that is it. Hope to find good friends here at Destructoid.
Thanks to falsenipple for the header image! It is awesome as the creator.
So, Tomb Raider is getting a sequel. I loved the game by its gameplay, as it was fun and good looking, tough its story left a bit to desire. I like the new Lara, and I am cautious optimistic with the sequel. So, my friend Tommy (@teh_tommy) and I discussed what we would love to see in the sequel this week, and here is what we want for Lara’s next raid.
First, we want to see Sam and Lara as partners and a couple. It makes sense story wise, as Lara took great risks to save her, more than it would if Sam was just a friend. Lara even ignored the other survivors safety to save Sam, so it would not be a stretch. Sam is very important to Lara, so it would be nice to see this character development. Of course, this can’t be just a way to use a lesbian romance for titillation to work.
Sam and Lara are both survivors from the last adventure ["A Survivor Is Born" might not have referred to just Lara - Tommy], so they would become more united than before. Of course, Sam wouldn’t want to be just a hassle to the more combat savvy Lara, and would likely train to be on par with her partner/girlfriend, tough in a different way. Sam would be more of a range fighter, or use more stealth approach than Lara.
This could be a nice way to enter a duo dynamic to gameplay, alternating GTAV style between the more fight prone Lara and the more tactical Sam. Sam could have an ability that allows her to create items for both her and Lara, like first aid kits and smoke bombs. Also, she would be more acquainted with ancient mechanisms, making her approach to puzzles different.
For the setting, I would love them to explore a famous myth, like Atlantis. You could have the underwater being inside an air cushion on a sea cave, so you could have an open world city for Lara and Sam to venture. They would need to combine their abilities to open paths on the city (Lara more proficient on the languages and Sam on the mechanisms). You would alternate both characters to solve puzzles [that would also be a good excuse to add co-op if the publisher insisted on having a multiplayer component - Tommy].
Atlantis also lends itself for anachronistic technology, like the Baghdad Batteries powering artificial lights and mechanisms, and several anachronistic machines to be used by Lara and Sam. Of course, some of those mechanisms could be mistaken as supernatural, which could make a nice ‘what is supernatural and what is not’ story.
Atlantis would not be unpopulated, of course. Descendants of its people would leave there, tough in a more feral state, but no ‘hard to kill almost monsters’ type. Lara and Sam would need to deal with them, and they would be mindful of how, as there would not be modern weapons and ammo all around. They would have to rely in more primitive weapons like bows and spears for most of time, saving the ammo they already started for more daring situations.
Weapons, by the way, would be severely limited. Lara would have her dual pistols, Sam could have a sniper rifle, but both would have limited ammo. Sam, as the tech expert, could make some weapons using the ancient tech as basis (think the Gorn cannon from Star Trek) or primitive grenades.
One thing: no damn zombies/monsters/the like. No hard to kill supernatural enemies. They suck, break gameplay and shouldn’t be there. Of course, you could have an apparently supernatural boss that is actually using some old technology.
Lara and Sam, of course, should have some evil adversary. Badman McEvil could be a rival tomb raider that is working for some evil group, but the number of modern enemies should be minimal and the encounters dangerous and meaningful. [And please keep the headshots lethal - Tommy]
An interesting mechanic could be some kind of stress level, but with no UI bar. Lara and Sam could be affected by stress of a hard encounter, or some weird, scary event on Atlantis. The stress would be visible through hands shaking, speaking to self, getting paranoid, and to combat it the player would need to make Sam and Lara interact, through speak (voice commands would fit nice here) and physical interaction, like hugs, hand grabs and kisses, making their relationship not only a story device, but a gameplay device too.
Survival is another element that needs to be explored. Sam and Lara would need food and water, and finding those resources would be part of gameplay. Lara and Sam would find some old agricultural fields and maybe some fishing ponds they could use. Finding safe places to rest would be needed too, and failing to do so will cause stress and making the characters hard to control.
I think there is a lot of potential to Tomb Raider as a franchise if done right, and would love to see Eidos improving upon the foundation of the reboot. Hopefully, we will get a great game, but I would love to see some ideas Tommy and I discussed there.
[actually, all of them - Tommy]
The Brazilian PS4 is the most expensive in the world. It cost 1850USD. When I heard about it I was disappointed and angry. How Sony could ask such absurd price, specially when the Xbox One is almost half the price? Them I remembered the country I live and asked the right people the right questions.
First, my country have some of the highest taxes in the world. A car price here is 50% taxes. That is right, for each car sold here, half the money goes to our government in the form of several taxes. And those taxes aren't asked just in the moment of the selling. So I asked the guy responsible for our taxes at my job ( I work on a cable making industry that use imported materials), how the count adds up.
See, this is how it works. When Sony bring the PS4 here, they pay the import taxes that can go up to 60% of the price. So a PS4 that costs 399USD goes up to 638,40USD. And that doesn't count the transportation, storage and port fees. After this initial taxes, when Sony sell it to retailers, there are a whole lot of new taxes, like PIS, IPI and Cofins. Those can go up to 40% of the imported price. And since Sony need to add their own cost of distribution and storage, which amounts circa 200USD, so we have 838,40+40% equals 1173,76. And them it have to go to retailers, who don't sell it here at low profits like 15USD. They have all their own costs, that are very high due to the insane Brazilian taxes. So they add their own costs, again something near 200USD, so 1373,76 more a lot of new taxes that can go up to 40% again equals 1923,26 USD.
With current dollar value, the PS4 could go up to 4231,18. So the 3999BRL price is actually someone along the way eating some costs or lowering any profit. So, how Microsoft can sell the Xbone lower? They either got some deal with our government to have lowered taxes and Sony didn't, or MS is eating a lot of a loss to have a bigger user base here. In order of comparison, an iPhone 5 (the vanilla one, not the S) is sold here at 3000BRL(1400USD), so it is not just Sony greed at work.
Sony, as any company, doesn't want to lose money. But they also would be happy to sell as many PS4s here as they could. When they say they aren't happy, I believe them. But different from MS that can eat big loses, Sony is not in a financial situation they can do the same. So they can't just eat the taxes my country asks in order to sell at a competitive price.
That price is a bummer, and I am postponing my PS4 till next year, when I will go to our neighbor country of Paraguay to buy one, where they basically have no taxes. Even if I had to pay the 60% of direct importation at customs, I would get one cheaper than the official price. Sony gets my money, but my greed, utterly corrupt government not. And taxes that could go to education and other services are lost.
Sony just announced PS+ here, it will be 99BRL (45USD). PS4 games will be 179BRL(82USD) which is cheaper than many PS3 games. Sony is launching localized games with Brazilian voice acting as low as 150BRL(68USD). They are trying to do the right thing, but sometimes they can't. The PS4 price is one of those times.
So, as a Brazilian, I hate the PS4 pricing. I would love it was priced right. But after looking at the issue and asking the right people, I can say the PS4 price, that absurd price, really isn't what Sony wanted. It is what they could without losing hundreds of dollars. And I blame my greedy government for it.
I will buy a PS4 eventually. Sadly, my money will not benefit my own country.
PS: A Brazilian site just confirmed the Xbone will be manufactured locally, so this is how Microsoft can sell it cheaper. Sony have plans to do the same, but they are focused on the Chinese factories right now and intend to manufacture the PS4 here sometime in 2014.
So, this just crossed my mind. Jimmy de Santa, Michael's lazy, idiotic son and Jimmy Hopkins, the badass kid from Bully are the same person. Not only they share a similar appearance overall, but it makes a lot of sense that Jimmy grown up from bully to be the idiot from GTAV.
First, remember that Michael and his wife doesn't have a happy marriage, so it is not much of a stretch that on one moment, they split as she found a more stable man to live with. She dropped Jimmy at the board school so she could have a honeymoon with her new love. Yes, Jimmy mention how many boyfriends she had, but remember, Michael's wife wasn't exactly faithful.
So, you may ask what happened with badass Jimmy. How he become a gullible, lazy asshole? First, Jimmy on Bully wasn't really that smart, he was manipulated a lot of times. This characteristic of naivety remains in older Jimmy. Second, the reality of a highschool is different from the streets, so a kid who is successful in the school environment trying to apply these rules on the outside, real world. Jimmy's school smarts doesn't translate in street smarts.
Third, fast food and weed. After Michael and his wife got back together, it is not a stretch to assume they just let him do whatever he wanted. Indulging in fast food killed his athletics, while weed affected his mind. So, after indulging himself on that, the cool Jimmy become lazy Jimmy in GTAV.
Oh, one last argument. Bully was released in 2006, and if Jimmy was 16 there, he would be 23 today, the same age as Jimmy de Santa.
Well, those are my points. I would love this to be actually what Rockstar did, cause this would be an awesome plot twist. And also because I really want Bully 2.
I have no idea what line of thought gave us the Steampad (as I will always call it). It is different for sure. VALVe must have tried a lot of prototypes and then come to the conclusion that this weird controller is the best suited for what they want from the SteamOS. It have a lot of weird new tech, and the lack of analog sticks is the most visible one. They promise precision on them, but I am unsure. It have a touchscreen on the middle, whose use is up to developers. And other little techs that doesn't matter that much.
While the design is bizarre, it is impossible to judge much without a hands-on. The face buttons weird placement can be its main weakness as it is. How I press A+B or A+X without having to left my thumbs out of the analog pads? Of course, maybe it is easier than I think, but it is the only flaw I can see in a picture alone.
Since there will be a beta first, I can see the final, retail design of it to be quite different due to tester's feedback. So, the controller, the most surprising thing coming of all announcements, is also the most difficulty to qualify. SteamOS sounds neat, Steam machines sounds unnecessary, but that controller is too weird, too hard to judge to make a call.
Of course, you will be able to use 3rd party controllers like the 360 pad on SteamOS, so this is more of an experiment for now. it could either be great or be awful. I bet it will be expensive since it is using untested tech, and a touchscreen and unique touchpads and haptic shenanigans will drive the price closer to a 100USD, I am betting.
So, to me, the Steampad is worth a test drive, and we will need on to decide anything on it. It could be a game changer? Yes, but also can be one of many controllers that tried to be different and failed. One thing for sure: it is a try before buy.
Yes, I believe after yesterday's announcement of the SteamOS, that we will not see a VALVe made SteamBox. VALVe will not risk their money on the venture of making a console-like PC and directly compete with PS4 and Xbone. And they are doing the right thing that will benefit both PC gamers and themselves.
SteamOS is a great idea. VALVe is great at making software, and I don't doubt SteamOS will have a good user interface, easy to use and friendly. The Linux based OS will probably be severely customized to avoid any traps other Linux-based distributions have, and it will be friendly enough to allow anyone interested in PC gaming to play at easy. I also expect easy to update both games and drivers on it.
Since the SteamOS is the most important thing, and it will allow you to stream games from your other PCs to it, I don't expect an actual SteamBox in the sense of a custom made microPC to compete with Sony and Microsoft. Yes, tomorrow we will see VALVe announcing partnerships with PC makers like AlienWare. They will license the SteamOS to anyone interested in putting it in their PCs.
What I expect for tomorrow is the reveal of a minimum spec PC to run the SteamOS and maybe some games. With that, VALVe expect to create a minimum spec PC for all games from now own to follow, making it easier to build a PC to attend the needs of PC gamers in a budget. We will likely see one of those minimum specs machines tomorrow, tough I have no idea if they will try to price it competitive with the PS4/Xbone.
VALVe played smart. There is few risks attached by just letting others making the PCs attempting to compete with consoles. Their OS will be popular with PC gamers making their own PCs, and any newcomer will be able to choose several configurations and prices that fit their needs. If they also include the basic PC functionality like web browsers, Skype and other stuff keeping it easy to use, I can see the PC gamer using SteamOS as their OS of choice.
I was wary that a SteamBox would have no reason to exist, as it would not find a place for itself. But by making the OS the real star, and letting others risk their money on this, I can see the SteamOS succeed big way, maybe even becoming a true competitor against Windows. Now I am really excited to see how it will work.
That said, I think is worth to be cautious too. I doubt the SteamOS will work perfectly at launch, and I would be wary of expecting too much out of it. Remember, there is not as many Linux games as Windows games, and if the SteamOS take its time to gaining market share, this will not change immediately, unless VALVe forces developers to develop to it if they want to be on Steam, which is a bad idea.
Also, there is the real chance of the first versions of SteamOS to not run as smoothly as expected, and to not attend all the needs of PC users at start. And again, those SteamBoxes could not convince people to drop consoles for them so easily, specially if they don't have the marketing push.
So, yes, SteamOS is a great idea, and it doesn't need an SteamBox to succeed. It could create a more unified and easier to use PC gaming scene, and I think it can succeed. But being a bit cautious is always good, and I will eagerly await for more details before passing final judgement. But for now, SteamOS is an interesting idea that I am glad to see happening.
This is a question you need to make a lot before celebrating the existence of it. And all boils down to what the Steam Box will be able to offer beyond both a traditional gaming PC and a console. And to that, specs and specially pricing will be the key to make it a successful product VS turning it out as a big failure that wasn't able to live on its promises.
Remember, the OUYA also promised a lot and under delivered a lot. Of course, different from OUYA, VALVe is a huge company with lots of money to hire competent engineers and developers in order to deliver a quality product. I don't doubt that both hardware and software(here, the OS) will be solid. But good hardware and good software is not enough. The main question VALVe need to ask themselves is: to whom we are selling this?
Let's suppose they want to compete against Sony and Microsoft. They will need to offer either a way better hardware or a compelling price point, but those are mutually exclusive. Good hardware costs money. The better the hardware, the more expensive it is. The PS4 isn't 400USD and have the specs it have just because, Sony knew they needed to find the balance between power and costs.
If the Steam Box is very powerful AND expensive, why should I expend money on that and not on a traditional PC? Let's suppose it have i5 Core, with nVidia GTX600 or more powerful, 8GB RAM. That will likely cost you 500USD or more. A GTX600+ card alone can draw you off 150USD+. So, if you already have a decent PC, you could get way more power using that money to upgrade it.
If they make it cheap, like a PS4, then they will have to go to weaker hardware, and why someone would expend money on a machine who will be barely better than a PS4? Remember, all those Ultra Graphics need a very expensive hardware, and if you can only get the same experience as a console, why bother?
Sure, PC games tend to be cheap on the mid to long term (when sales come about, specially). But many people want to play games closer to launch, and if the experience isn't better, they will stick with consoles.
It is also important to remember Steam Box is likely to use Linux, an OS many are unfamiliar with. While I don't doubt VALVe will use its own version for it, it will keep more casual users outside. And if they make a machine easy to upgrade as a normal PC, costs will add up too. Not only that, look at how many games are Linux compatible. Not as many as Windows.
So, a Steam Box as rumored would only appeal to the traditional, more dedicated gamer, who likely would have a competent gaming PC and/or consoles. The more broad audience would not find the appeal for it. I can't see anyone who would buy it unless VALVe can find a neat balance on price and power. And even so they would need a broad marketing campaign.
A Steam Box have little appeal to dedicated PC gamers who would prefer to make their own machine and to console gamers who would need a great deal with great specs to sway over. If VALVe can't find an audience whose Steam Box fit, it will turn out to be just another niche product.
In the end, I can't see a Steam Box being that exciting. It will likely being a neat product for few people. But even so, it will be interesting to see what it can do and what lessons we can learn from it.