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About
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.


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So, E3 came and is now over. After finally watching the conferences of the Big Three, I decided to cast some thoughts on the matter. Of course, they all wanted to be the best, with the biggest games, the best offer. A new generation of the console wars starts later this year, so, I was thinking: who is better positioned to win? So letís start withÖ




Nintendo

Nintendo was the first one to make its move, with the ridiculous named successor of the Wii, the WiiU (hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaÖha!). I really wonder how they decided the name was the best choice. Wii 2 at least would convey the feeling of a successor. WiiU, and the fact they put the gamepad, their tablet controller on front and prominent in its, box, sounds like an accessory. And we all may have heard at least one retailer story about consumers confuse if the WiiU is a new machine or an accessory. †SoÖ

What were they thinking?

Nintendo arrogantly decided that the 100 million Wiis sold since 2006 made every one of those people a loyal fan. They also decided the cheap pricing and different control schemes were another reason for their success, and that people wanted an all new different form to play. It does make sense on a superficial analysis. What they failed to see is that the Wii was a one hit wonder, just another fad that people have gone in droves to be in the trend and forget as soon. Wii sold most in its short first half lifespan and then become almost forgotten after.

Nintendo wished to repeat its success, and invested heavily in the gamepad, but not great came from it. It is neither intuitive nor easy to show off as the Wii is. We donít have many games where using that second screen show how better it is to have it there. Most WiiU owners I know love it just so they can play games on the screen and keep the TV free for others.

Nintendo WiiU have being selling poorly and many 3[sup]rd[/sup] party publishers are just ignoring it, and heavy hitters like FIFA are going to be absent on the console later this year. Nintendo is looking to be turning the WiiU a box that only play their own games, and while it will not kill Nintendo itself, it may put the WiiU in a very bad position.

What they did at E3?

Not much. They made no press conference this year, and with good reason. Their 40 minutes Nintendo Direct showed they only had a handful of Nintendo games to show. They didnít even price cut the system or revealed a surprise new IP. While the new Mario looks a fun, good game as most Mario games are and Bayonetta 2 sounds interesting, most games they show were actually expected, like Mario Kart and Smash Bros. Those Nintendo Directs are great to reassure WiiU owners that the great Nintendo games they likely bought a WiiU to play in first place will come, but it makes neither previous Wii owners nor people who arenít huge fans of Nintendo games wanting one.

What they likely will achieve with their showing?

A 3rd place, with likely GameCube numbers at the end of the generation. The GameCube sold almost 22 million units, which shows how big the actual Nintendo biggest fans community really is. With its price of US$350 for the premium package, the one most people would want, it is dangerously close of the PlayStation 4, and dangerously far of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 prices. Coming the Holidays, people will have both cheaper options with a big library of games and a not that much more expensive option of more powerful hardware that have better multimedia and online capabilities. Without a mass media marketing campaign, Nintendo have very little hope that their wait and see strategy will work.

What they should do?

Price cut. Stop selling the basic package that nobody wants and sell the premium one at that price, while bundling a game like Mario Kart to it. Also, stop sitting in the pile of money they made with Wii and DS sales and start using it to make the WiiU more desirable. When Sony had little 3rd party support with the PS3, they didnít sit in their asses hoping things would change. They made the games themselves.

Nintendo could also use that money to pay for 3[sup]rd[/sup] party support, so spending a little money now to be able to get a lot later would do wonders for them. Nintendo canít just release a new, more powerful WiiU. So they need to stop waiting and do something. Otherwise they will likely be at the bottom, and while Nintendo will not die, the WiiU can.



Microsoft

Microsoft went to E3 with an uphill battle. They needed to get away the bad taste they left in the mouth of their most loyal consumers, the people who bought a 360 to play games, after showing the Xbox One (which goes up there with Nintendo for worst name ever) and concentrating too much on the non-gaming side. Their DRM policies and need for online connection to access your legitimately bought games also was a bad move for them. They needed to get the love of their fans back.

What were they thinking?

That showing game after game after game would fix it. And in a way, they were right. †Games make the system, any system. And they had a strong showing. Metal Gear Soli V, Dead Rising 3 and TitanFall were all great showings. For a second, their stupid DRM and Kinect and TV would look worth it if you could play those games.

To be fair, Microsoft probably researched a lot about how to please their fans and yet trying to gather new consumers. They probably concluded that most of their consumers, the ones who bought a 360, where always connected anyway, love TV and had plenty of money to buy their new box. And in a way, nothing they did is actually wrong in a business side and could reward them in the long term.

What they did at E3?

That price tag was too much. After being vilified for months even before their reveal of the box due to the DRM, Kinect and almost everything else, they asked a whole US$500 from gamers to enjoy the machine they were asking to always have a connection to give their permission to you to play the games you paid money to play. They also made a lot of stupid statements after, who only made them looking worse.

They also showed a lot of 3[sup]rd[/sup] party games, and if anything we all learned that 3[sup]rd[/sup] party game exclusives donít remain exclusives forever. TitanFall is already rumored to not really be a Xbone exclusive forever, and it will be available on PC, so no real need to buy the new Xbox for it. And they yet had to show a single benefit of their policies for the consumer, which they failed and keep failing. Oh, and remember, the Xbone is region locked, will be available only in 21 selected countries and if you canít mask your IP, you will not be able to play games even if you import one.

What they likely will achieve with their showing?

Hard to tell, actually. Many 360 fans will justify accepting the higher price tag and the online policies so they can play their favorite Microsoft games. Others, specially the mass market MS wants, are likely to not even know why those policies are bad for them. The Xbone will likely sell well at the holidays, but after that their high price will be hard to swallow. Not only that, when all the problems their DRM policy starts, and they will, it can damage the brand.

I canít see Microsoft getting always with it at that price tag. If the console was cheap, or the games were cheaper, they could have being in a better position. As they are, I can see it selling well in the United States, the market they likely based their whole decisions, but all that TV stuff will make them no favors outside the US.

What they should do?

Microsoft put them in a hard place. They probably canít simple scrap the Kinect to cut costs and sell the Xbone cheaper, and they likely made a lot of 3[sup]rd[/sup] party deals for exclusives on the promise of killing the used game market. So, their only options is to make their executives to stop damaging the brand every time they open their mouths to defend it and to make a huge marketing push to make it seems the bad things will work in favor of the consumer.

Another thing they can do is making the deal with a cable provider to make the Xbone a US$99 machine through subscription, making it seems like a great deal since you could have all you need in a subscription, like LIVE Gold and an internet connection. But that depends of deals in every country they want to sell it, so the Xbone is likely to succeed in its homeland, but not everywhere else.














Sony

Sony has being riding in the good graces of their fans and gaming fans since February. They showed lots of games coming, the specs, and they shut their mouths about DRM, making people wonder, but not damaging them in the process. And after Microsoft made them a hug favor of shooting their feet, Sony had the easiest way to impress the audience and conquer the show.

They could also have killed themselves if they made all the wrong announcements, like a DRM policy, bigger price point and unwanted features. Sony was in the position to win, but the question was would they use the opportunity?

What were they thinking?

That after messing up badly with the PlayStation 3, they needed to make everything right. They listened to the developers and their needs, they asked them to help plan the PS4, they wanted to have more games so they courted the Indies and they wanted to keep costs down, so no new expensive tech.

Also, they held the console final design and many details for E3, so they had a lot of information to share, and their show was one of the most waited of the show. They knew they needed a good showing to keep the entire positive buzz afloat.

What they did at E3?

They passed quickly on the PS Vita and PS3 new and upcoming games, so they could reveal the final hardware for the PS4. It wasnít vastly different from the Xbone, more like a PS2 made love to a PS3. But they knew the plastic wasnít important. They showed plenty of games, including a heavy emphasis in the Indie developers. They showed some new IPs too, something all the fans of games love. Then they started all the good news.

Sony will keep their DRM policy the same as the PS3, so if publishers want to keep the online passes or make online only games like MMOs, they could. Sadly, multiplayer will be paid, which is bad news. But them they announced the price, US$399, and all seemed well.

Cheaper than the Xbone, no problematic DRM policy, no region lock. Sony did all the right moves they needed and showed plenty of games while avoiding the pitfalls Microsoft made for them and fell in.

What they likely will achieve with their showing?

More positive buzz, the preference of the gaming fans and a competitive edge over the Xbone. Sony has the cheapest machine without many of the hooks Microsoft created. †They also have a plethora of first party titles, 3[sup]rd[/sup] party support and Indie support. Meanwhile, they still have the media capabilities to avoid seem to offer less than the Xbone.

Sony is in the best position ever, and all they needed was to listen to the people who matters: the game makers and the players. All those factors make them likely to come on top and if they donít screw anything up in the way, to keep them there.

What they should do?

If Sony wasnít hiding any bad surprises at E3, they just need to invest in market, specially to show off why they are better than their adversaries and keep making games coming, avoiding anything like the drought the PS Vita and the WiiU suffers.

Sony did everything right and if that doesnít goes over their heads, they can return as the number one again.
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Arcades are dead.

I will not deal here trying to figure out why, since there is way too many factors here. But they died long ago, and now we all play games in the comfort of our homes. We play with people from all over the world thanks to our broadband internet. Sometimes we even reunite our friends for a night of games and giggles. But the arcade was not only a place to play games, it was a great opportunity to socialize.

We would met people we didn't know, but because we shared a common interest, we would talk with them sometimes, maybe even befriend them. We would reunite our friends and go there just to mess around or even do a little competition between ourselves. We would laugh, get angry, laugh again and see our quarters being eaten by those machines. Some of those games weren't even that good, but trying to beat it with a friend by your side was great part of the fun.

And that I think was one big mistake that many arcades made. They didn't explored the social aspect.



Imagine if an arcade today was also a place of socialization. Plenty of machines, specially the ones geared toward co-op play or competitive play. Not only that, but all is geared towards the social aspect. You would have a restaurant inside, with waitresses going around the machine serving the people and lounge areas where people could talk and rest.

Not only that, but the arcade would be a connected club of sorts. You would have your personal card, and all machines would be connected to the internet. Insert the card in the machine and it would load your scores, your friends scores and even connect to social services like Twitter and Facebook. And even if you are in a different arcade, all the machines would be connected, allowing you to keep all information up to date. If the game had a console version, it could even connect the accounts.

Of course, someone could point that we could do all that from our homes. But guess what? You can see movies in your home, yet we still go to the theaters. Why? Because it is a social event in our lives. We still take our friends, lovers and family to the movies. Not because it is more convenient, but because it is an opportunity to socialize. To be with people you like, sometimes even meeting new people. If arcades had explored this, turned it into a place where people have gone not just to play games but to meet people, I believe many would be around today.

I don't know if it would be possible to apply this idea today. Arcades, specially in the West, are pretty much gone.But I will always wonder if the arcades could have being as much of a program as going to a bar or to the movies.

I bet they would.

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We have a particular kind of market here, maybe not unique to Brazil, when we talk about games. We call it the Grey Market. The Grey Market is an interesting case, and it is a constant to most Brazilian gamers wanting to buy games with better pricing than white market, but don't want to go the way of the pirates.

See, we pay a lot of taxes over games here, so, original games bought in the white market can cost up to US$100(200 BRL) for console games. It is quite a lot of money for games. You can go to Black Markets and buy bootleg copies for 5-10 bucks(10-20 BRL) but you have no guarantees and those bootleg copies can and likely will damage the expensive console you have. And of course, the guys that made the game will not see a dime of this money.

Enter the Grey Market.



Grey Market stores usually sell original copies of games, usually 15-20% cheaper than White Market stories. And different from the Black Market, they give you a receipt, meaning any problem with the game they will replace it. And those are original copies, meaning the developers receive money for them. For all intents and purposes, the buyer is acquiring a legitimate product and following the law.

The store? Well, not quite. The store is not an illegal store. They have all the permissions needed to operate, pay taxes and sell legitimate, legal products. It is how they acquire the products that aren't so much legit. What they usually do is buying legitimate copies of games overseas, in markets where the taxes aren't as absurd as Brazilian taxes. Usually, a 100% legitimate business would need to declare the products entering in the country to the Federal government and pay any applicable taxes. Except they don't do it.

Those stores smug the products in the country, and usually only declare a small percentage of them, normally the number of games that will be exposed in the store. The rest is stored in another location. If the police or any governmental agent goes to the store, all the products in exhibition have a legal receipt confirming its legal status and that all taxes where paid. Meanwhile, the rest of the stock, that is in a 'secret' location, is safe from any form of penalty.



When a displayed game is sold, they just go to the secret stock and replace the sold game and use the same receipt used before to present to anyone questioning the legality of the product. To the buyer, all seems legit, and he is acquiring a legal product in a legal way. To the developers and publishers, those games were legally sold in their country of origin and they receive their share. The ones getting screwed is the local publishers, selling a more expensive game and the government, that don't receive their taxes.

Of course, if the government wasn't so greed as it is here in Brazil, the White Market would have a more fair chance against the Grey Market. But it isn't the case. Us, Brazilian gamers wanting to not resort to piracy to acquire their games, will gladly use a Grey Market store, even knowing that those games aren't as 'clean' as it seems, to save some money.

So, that is how many Brazilian gamers buy original games here. I know it is not the ideal situation, but as I said, from the buyer's part, we aren't doing nothing illegal, even knowing those games aren't exactly 'legal' and you can't blame someone doing everything under the law to save money. Maybe when our government stop being greed, we will see some change.
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ManWithNoName
10:33 AM on 12.22.2012



It seems that every time a new game is announced, people fastly goes to find something to complain about. I don't care why they do that. If it is for attention, if it is because they aren't loved back home, it doesn't really matter. I am, by nature, a cautiously optimistic. I don't look at a new game searching for things to hate. Neither I close my eyes to the obvious problems I may see. But when a new game is announced, I always expect it to be good and hope the developers can make it so.

Maybe third is a charm. And I really dig her new outfit.

Many times I saw people complaining about a new game when all they know is that a new game is being made. They will complain about the name chosen, the studio developing it, the publisher. And that is with not seeing anything of the game itself. And when the first screenshots appear, a new wave of complaints happens. About the art style, the characters, the setting. When people want to say something is bad, they will grab anything they can to justify their wishes.

I dislike this kind of attitude because it generate prejudice towards the game. As soon as those person put in their heads a game is bad, based solely in the minimum amount of information the game creators released, it is harder and harder to make those first impressions, no matter how wrong they are, go away. people don't like to be wrong, and they like even less admitting they were wrong. Once they decided with that bare minimum information that a game is bad, no matter how the new videos, demos and even the game itself turns out, they already desire it to be bad. And instead of assuming they weren't right, they will cling in the tiniest of things that can make then say 'I told you this game was bad. I was right.'

I still feel this is more Kingdom Hearts gameplay than Assassin's Creed

I feel a bit sorry for those people with this kind of mentality. This usually make it hard to them to have a good time playing games, since they already go there with a predisposition in taking every minor issue and make it seems as a game breaking problem. They will never be able to fully enjoy games that they decided it as bad and were never disposition to give the a chance.

So, I will keep hoping games turn out good, no matter how much the initial signs shows otherwise. I will let to pass final judgement only when I finally able to play it, be it on demo form or final form. And by doing so, I know the chance of being disappointed is bigger, but also is the chance of being gladly surprised with a good game, while being all negative means the chances of enjoying a game will decrease severely.

Well, that is it. Just a bit of ranting before the holidays. Hope you all have a great time. Till next year.

It looks like, Lightning can strike twice. YEEEEAAAAAHHHHH!!!!
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It is a quite common thing I read about games, specially about games people didn't like, that they couldn't relate to the characters. And then I started wondered: exactly what they mean with that? What it means to relate to? In my head, being able to relate means that you and the characters have something in common. Something in the story of such character resonate with your situation in particular and you feel 'closer to home' with the character situation.

But when people start saying they don't like a character because they can't relate to it, I always wonder if they really need a character to 'relate' with them so they can like it. Because, honestly, there is not a great number of characters you can 'relate' to, if you go with the definition I have in my head. To have relationship or connection with a character.

For example, how do you relate with Nathan Drake, for example? How many people have the archaeological knowledge he have? Or the climbing skills? Or was an orphan raised by a treasure hunter? How many people have gone in search of lost treasures while having to deal with others shooting at you? You can't relate with Drake's situation at all. Or better, there isn't many people that can relate with Drake's circumstances.

Yet a lot of people like him. You don't need to relate to someone to like him/her. The same goes for other characters like Mario. Mario have the personality of... well, he don't really have one and yet people like him. You can't relate to Mario, because aren't a Italian plumber trying to save a princes from a dragon/turtle guy. Yet you can like him.

Even more reality grounded game characters are hard to relate too. Take GTA IV Niko Bellic. How you can relate with a former Serbian soldier that migrated to America and got involved with organized crime? Or any first person military shooter out there? Most of people that play those games never served in military, making it hard to relate to it and its characters. Yet millions of people love those games.

If you say you can relate with this guy, either you are a dangerous criminal or you are delusional.

I could understand, for example, relating to characters in more real life situations. For example, it would be easier to someone relate to Junpei from Persona 3 because like him you grow up with an abusive, alcoholic father. Or Kanji of Persona 4 because like him you were made fun for not having hobbies that fit the gender stereotype society expect of you. But the fact you can relate to the characters doesn't mean you will like them.

See, to relate and to like aren't the same thing, nor they are a requirement to each other. I for example love Garrus from Mass Effect and no one can say they can really relate to him. You like him because he is fun, a badass and are always there covering your back. But if you say you can relate to him, you don't know what 'to relate' means. Or that I have a completely different meaning of what to relate mean in my head than you do.

Can I relate to Garrus? In no way at all. This doesn't stop me from liking him.

I think many people are using 'I can't relate to them' just as an excuse to not outright say 'I don't like them'. When you say you don't like someone, be it a real person or a character, it is something somewhat abstract and that doesn't have a logical explanation. By saying you can't relate to, it is something you can try to explain, so it sounds more logical and not open to argument than just 'I don't like them'. And yet, it make it seems that you can only like something if this something can, somehow, have some kind of link with your own circumstances, which is stupid.

Yes, of course there is things that sound more closer to you than others and it is easier to like them because of it. But it is not always the case, and definitely you don't need to relate to like. People use the 'I can't relate to them' too easy, in situations where there is no way to relate as exchangeable with 'I don't like them'. They are wrong.

So, before saying 'I don't like that character in that game because I can't relate to', stop and think: are you really disliking him because his/her circumstances doesn't have anything in common with yours or you just dislike him/her? Saying you just dislike a character is easier and way more honest than trying to relate with someone whose situation is unlikely yours no matter what.
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Gameplay is the most important aspect on any game. A game with poor graphics, sound and lack of story can still be an awesome game if it have fun gameplay. That is how many indie games and some old games become famous. Tetris need no story, no fancy graphics to be fun. If its addicting gameplay is there, you enjoy it. The same goes for the first Mario games, that are still famous for its great gameplay.

Far Cry 3 have great gameplay. And fancy graphics. And it is a lot of fun to play it. Except its story sucks. It is one of the biggest disappointments I had with the game. the problem, you see, is that the story drags in some points and move too fast in others. And that really hurt this game to me, since I love a good story.

Spoilers ahead!

See, you are parachuting with your friends and land in a island full of pirates, slave traders and a local tribe fighting each other. How the guy flying the plane didn't warn the group of 20-somethings about it is a mystery never solved in the game. Anyway, you land, pirates capture you and your friends and after killing your military trained brother, you are rescued by the local tribe, who helps you train to rescue your other brother and friends.

Training, unfortunately, resumes to giving you a tattoo, that automatically train you in hunting and shooting with a varied arsenal of weapons. If they spent a bit more time making sure you felt an untrained guy turning into a warrior would have helped. Nope, you just magically become a hardened veteran better than most pirates and privateers in the island.

As you rescue your friends, you spend zero time with them, knowing them, discovering why you should care about them. They are just generic 20-somethings, with generic personalities. You have no reason to care about their fate, because the game didn't made you care. They don't help you, they rarely call, they make their presence as forgettable as they could. And they should being the driving force of the story. They just aren't.

The other group of friends are the natives trying to get their island back to themselves. But the only two natives with major roles aren't likable at all. Dennis, the guy who should being your mentor, pass too much time being 'wise' and 'mysterious' that you feel no connection with him. The other one, Citra, the leader of the tribe, is another character you spend little time with and while she is beautiful and all, she is empty of real character. She is as much of an eye candy than your girlfriend, and is as must as useful as her.

Of course, all this would be excused if the villains of the game were memorable. They really aren't. While Vaas, the pirate leader and local psycho is well portrayed, he is just another obstacle, and after passing half the game trying to kill the guy, he dies in a very anti-climatic way. He is crazy, yes, and he overflow with craziness, but you, as what is common with the game, spent too little time interacting with him to care. It is something that happens with all the other two main villains. you hate them more because they annoy you to no end than anything else. They are all obstacles in you having fun with the game.

FUCK YOU! Stop bothering me! I have Komodo dragons to skin!

By the end, you are presented with the only choice of the game story. The locals kidnap that bunch of 20 somethings you are supposed to care about and make you choose between saving them and leave the island or kill them and become the king of the tribe. That tribe you don't really care about. Because the only person who showed concern with the main character well being is his girlfriend, I choose to save them.

But in reality, the game made nothing to make your decision hard. You don't find yourself torn between Citra and your friends. You don't care about both. Your decisions is more out of curiosity to see how it ends than because you develop any special connection with the characters. and that is a shame.

She is just pretty. That is all.

And all the story missions do something I hate. They take away all the freedom you have during the game and lashes you to do what they want you to. Forcing you to go stealth in missions you could otherwise do different, or making you doing menial jobs for the sake of its weak story frustrated me to no end. And while most missions taking away your freedom is justified story wise, I hate it, because this game is a game made with freedom to do lots of things your way in mind.

Gameplay wise, Far Cry 3 was one of the best games this year. All you do is fun and you can do a lot of things. But that is outside the main story, which is a shame. This is one case of weak story making a game worse than it is. Of getting in the way of the great game. and that is why while Far Cry 3 is incredibly fun, it is not one of my favorites this year.

Weeee!
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