There have been a lot of little grips swirling around in my brain for a while now and Iím going to puke them onto the page and see where it goes from there. Iíll apologize in advance if you get any on you.
First off I love the whining that has corresponded with the latest offering from Team Roomba. http://www.destructoid.com/the-team-fortress-2-griefers-are-back-in-town-and-still-cruelly-funny-60861.phtml Seems nothing ever changes in the FPS world as griefing is still popular and so it people bitching about it. Speaking of which why is fucking with people referred to as griefing? It has to be the gayest term for screwing with gamers ever. I for one think itís gay as hell and perhaps we need to hold a contest to come up with a better term. Why not just call it fucking with people and be done with it. I could see the abbreviation FWP catching on just like TK (team killing) or SW (spawn whore) did. Doing shit like this is also a way for server owners on the PC side to come up with something creative and funny to punish these guys if you need to. I recall playing on a server back during the original COD that had this skin of Cartman as he appeared in the Special Olympics episode. If you acted like a retard you got stuck with that skin for a certain amount of time. They also worked it so that you ran about as fast and had all the skill level that Cartman would. So for the length of your punishment you became cannon fodder. It was hilarious to watch and it cut down on the amount of dumb asses on the server.
My second issue is with fan boys and just straight out of the ass bias. My specific example would be the pile of steaming poo that is Sony Defense Force. http://www.sonydefenseforce.com/I really donít care that the site exists I just really donít understand the point. Sites proclaiming rapid almost psycho like love for a particular console or game is fine but the fact that they run down other companyís products is the confusing part. Personally I think the guys that run the site are so collectively butt hurt over the PS3 less than stellar debut and game catalogue that they just need to lash out. Lashing out at Sony would cause to much mental damage so they trash everyone elseís products. I know there are other sites like this out there this one just happens to have popped on to my radar lately. Maybe Iíll start a site called Fan Boy Defense Force that advocates birth control being placed in Mountain Dew and fast food.
The last one is more of a memorial than a bitch fest. Some time between Dec 26 and the first part of 2008 I will be purchasing an Xbox360. While this fact is quite trivial to 95% of the gaming world itís kind of a milestone for me. Since 1990 or so I have gamed on PCís and so making the transition has been a tough choice. I will always love the PC and never forget the hours and hours of fun itís provided but its time for a change. So if you see me crop up on XBL in the next few weeks be gentle as for the first time in years Iíll truly be a noob.
Platform style games are normally last on the list of games I want to play. Anything from Mario to The Tomb Raider series fall into this genre in my mind. Part of the problem is no patience on the playerís part. Itís hard to say if itís the jumping insane chasms or having to collect 97 dingle berries before meeting a mind numbingly difficult boss that just drive my blood pressure through the roof. Iíd take a 12 hour run through an RPG or slaughtering idiots online in an FPS over platforms any day. Lately with the goodness that is Game Tap I have been venturing a little more into platform games and the rage that normally accompanies playing them has warped into some insane obsession with beating the damn things.
The rage usually starts when I have to run the same jumping sequence over and over and it appears that the game is quite picky about how itís done. If youíre not hanging just at the edge of the ledge youíre suspended from you miss the next ledge. If youíre sitting at 22.5 degrees on the vertical pole you just scaled like a monkey and the game expects you to be at 22.3 degrees then your fucked my friend. Itís probably going to take 5 attempts or a degree in geometry to figure this shit out. Most of the time after three or four of these ass raping sequences I throw a tantrum that would make a three year old blush and never play the game again. Which, sucks because I hate quitting anything and these games routinely make me tap out like a bitch. That wouldnít be so bad if my massive failure didnít ride around in my brain for weeks afterwards.
So I downloaded Game Tap and the first title snagged was Blood Rayne. This one annoyed me and yet the obsession of beating the bastard was too much to make me quit. Yet it didnít dawn on me until I started playing Tomb Raider Legend just how warped my view on these games was becoming. Playing it would cause a stroke inducing blood rage and yet 30 minutes later I would be right back at it until I finally beat the bastard on hard tonight. Medically getting this worked up over a video game probably isnít healthy and yet I feel rather proud to be able to finish them instead of quitting like usual. No matter how much I grow to love them though, I still wonít play anything with the word Hitman in the title.
It seems that some hardcore gamers arenít too happy with Nintendoís latest offering the Wii. Some of this is due to the system being less powerful than its two competitors systems. The fact that it requires 12 digit friend codes to connect with other players online has been another common complaint. The systems lack of horse power has kept game makers away from it to a certain extent so this leads to their being less block buster titles for the system. All of this is well known and has been debated all over the internet and yet hardcore gamers miss one simple fact time and time again. The Wii wasnít designed solely for the snarky cynical gamer crowd.
This is also a well known fact as Nintendo stated from pretty much day one that they wanted to broaden their demographic with this system. You need look no further than the advertising for the Wii. Most of the T.V. ads show whole families playing the damn thing, from Mom and Dad to the kids and even grandma gets in on the act. It was a smart move on Nintendoís part as there was no way they could compete with the monster systems that Sony and Microsoft had produced and they saw ruin in that route so they marketed more towards kids and families. It seems to be working as their keeping just ahead of the Xbox360 in sales and their just slaughtering Sony. In purely scientific terms this means their selling an ass load of Wiiís. If the internet griping is any indication there arenít as many of them going to hardcore gamers as say the 360 or PS3.
All of this has seemed to leave some of Nintendoís most ardent defenders feeling betrayed. You know them, the ones who have owned and loved every previous Nintendo system. Now they spend their time alternating between shitting on the Wii every chance they get and professing as much virtual love as possible to the system they bought instead. Makes you wonder how much of this hate is drawn from these gamerís childhood memories of days they shared with their SNES or GBís while hidden in a fort made out of couch cushions. Itís more probable than most people think. A good chunk of the current generation of gamers cut their teeth on the big Nís consoles and itís hard to come to terms with the realization that theyíve out grown their childhood friendís idea of fun. Sure the goodness of titles like Mario Galaxy have kept some of this very jaded group on board but itís a safe bet that many more jumped ship even if they wont admit it. Even more wonít admit to their Nintendo hate being based on the age old itís cool to hate them theory.
Some people are voicing the opinion that Wii fad will soon end and the sales numbers will lag. More than likely if sales do see a decline a price drop on the system will pick them right back up again as Nintendo isnít run by stupid people. Even if Wii numbers drop off Nintendo has done exactly what they set out to do. By broadening their demographic beyond the 15 to 30 year old range they have ensured that each console after the Wii will survive and flourish no matter how much anti fan boyís slag them. They have found a niche market that so many companies strive for. There isnít a damn thing wrong with that. Itís ruffled some feathers on the Hardcore gamer front but in the end Nintendo has hit one out of the park with the Wii no matter what the haters may say.
You know itís kind of sickening to be a PC gamer these days. Many of my Brethren have become screaming assholes when it comes to people choosing consoles over the PC. I am actually shocked that some dumb shits still consider consoles nothing more than kidís toys as that just ridiculous. What most of these fools fail to realize is they more than likely started on a console. I know I did as my first actually gaming device that I owned was an Atari2600 console. It was when I got a commodore 64 that I became a PC gamer.
From there I went to an Amiga and then to Microsoft based PCís. As I progressed I slowly taught myself how to build and maintain the bastards from soup to nuts and I just stayed with them. Thing is consoles have made huge leaps since the original Nintendo systems came out and I am to the point I want one and yet I still hesitate at the prospect of plunking down 400-600 bucks for one of the current systems. Part of it has to due with I canít work on them like I can my PC. I also donít really like the idea of paying to play on the internet. Itís why I refuse to play games like WOW, its bad enough I have to give 50-60 bucks per title let alone more money to play the stupid things.
The other side of the coin is although the initial cost of most consoles systems is pretty high, their still cheaper than decent PCís and donít require upgrading. I figure most of the current systems are good to go for the next 5 or 6 years before they develop new ones. My PC on the other hand will probably need a small up grade at the end of next year. So that would be some savings if I bought a console although not near as much as some of the anti PC crowd would love for you to think. My current rig cost me 900 bucks shipped to me from Dell. While it isnít a top of the line gaming monster, it is more than capable of handling games like Bioshock, COD4 and the Orange Box. You can probably add another 300 bucks to that cost to upgrade my rig slightly and have a damn good system for the next couple of years. The consoleís still are a better value, but this myth that it requires 2500 or more to have a competent PC rig is just stupid.
What it comes down to is games and people to play them with. Most of my buddies have consoles and they canít afford even the minimum cost to maintain a PC like I do. Enough of the titles I want to play on PC are also on consoles so I wouldnít lose anything there. Combine that with plenty of friends to blow up shit with and I think I will finally submit to the console world and get an Xbox360 in early 08. Hey I may be starting a new chapter in my gaming history but that doesnít mean I canít still be Microsoftís bitch.
So now that Cnet/Gamespot has come out with their side of the story on why they fired Jeff Gerstmann I thought I would pick apart the bones of the whole issue and see if I as a humble gamer can make any sense of the mess.
First thing we as gamers heard was Jeff had been fired for giving Kane&Lynch a less than stellar review. This made some sense as the whole site was skinned with the games advertising. Couple that with the immediate yanking of both the text and video review of the game. This caused the gaming community to explode with rage over what was seen as Gamespot caving to advertiser pressure.
Fast forward to Monday and we had a very pathetic excuse post from the Cnet that didnít appease anyone. The community was still on fire and people where bailing on Gamespot in hordes. Yesterday some of the senior Editors for the spot posted a pod cast that attempted to explain what happened to Jeff and why we as gamers should still trust them for honest reviews. The overall rage of gamers was cooled by the audio but it still was just a band aid being applied to a pumping artery.
Today the Editorial crew made a post with more detail on why Jeff was fired and while parts of it made sense there was still the feeling that they could have explained themselves even better. Itís understood that theyíre working within the constraints of NDAís, California state laws and possible a man with a pistol say ďjust post what we wrote and maybe your family wont be shotĒ. Ok so I made that last part up but listening to the audio yesterday that thought crossed my mind once or twice.
All of this paraphrasing leads us to my personal opinion as a simple gamer thatís followed the debacle. It appears Cnet corporate didnít realize the type of audience they where dealing with. Gamers as a group are one of the most vocal consumer groups around. If Cnet had been smart they would have figured out a way to explain this mess late day one or day two at the latest. I believe the other editors at the spot that they didnít have clue about this decision. Corporations make decisions like this constantly without warning the part of the company itís going to effect.
The Skinning of the site with Kane&Lynch adverts are a coincidence that as Gamespot has said they where bought weeks in advance and I believe them. The reviews I could personally go either way on. The video review wasnít the quality of other video reviews I have seen on the site so its yanking is just another coincidence. The part I donít buy is on the Text review. If the games score, achievements and demerits werenít altered why screw with the text. It doesnít make sense to me and alas smells a bit fishy.
If you boil all the down you get the most pertinent piece of information I have heard all week. Jeff was fired due to an internal review by management. In most cases if youíre under an internal review you have managed to piss someone off big time. Who he pissed off and why we will never know. If the timing of this firing is any indication I would have to guess it was game makers. They have admitted Edios wasnít pleased with the review and maybe that was the final straw. Cnet couldnít tolerate having him around anymore due to his review style and the accompanied complaintís from game companies. I know this much, there is no way Edios alone caused this firing by itself. If the company involved was EA or Actiblizzard maybe but freaking Edios isnít even capable of making a decent game let alone a decent threat. This of course now leads gamers to wonder if they can trust the reviews they read on Gamespot or anywhere else for that matter. My advice would be to continue reading applying a pinch or a pound of salt as needed.
I love playing FPS games online they can be an absolute blast if you find a good group to play with. Problem is I have a disease that precludes me from become part of a good group. Iíve had this dreaded affliction since MOHAA and my gaming life has never been the same since. My malady is known as Ilovesnipingdumbasses or in laymanís terms I prefer to play as a sniper. No matter what I do I canít seem to make people understand its not my fault that I get such glee from blowing peoples heads apart at long distances, Iím just wired that way.
Problem is most of my fellow gamers really hate snipers. They hate it almost as much as the dreaded shotgun and it makes my life miserable. Typically I can last a night maybe two on most servers before I am asked to leave and the fucked up part is I donít spawn camp. Right there is part of the reason people like me have gotten such a horrid rep, some jack off just has to get that .50 cal and sit looking right down on the enemies spawn point. Now even I have to admit if I could only get 2 maybe 3 steps before getting fragged it would piss me off too.
Thing is I donít play like that and I prefer my prey to be unaware and paying attention to something else. My tactic is to find an out of the way corner where I can view the path between teams spawns. That way my target gets complacent after having made it quite a ways from his base and only then will I make his melon into a canoe. I had people so frustrated one night in Desert Combat that I had 4 tanks and a chopper surrounding the building I was using. I mean come now fucking tanks and choppers just for one poor little sniper? Christ I really must have made them mad. Best part was I made a mad dash out the door and managed to give the fucking tank goons the slip.
As always happens that's when the whining started on vent. Ban that fucker heís cheating or quit being a sniper you dick. I less than politely told them either they needed to get better at beating me or just mod the damn sniper guns off the server. Sadly they didnít do either, the next night when I showed up one of the servers owner politely asked me to leave or he was going to ban me. I understood his dilemma, as I had slaughtered two of his spray and pray golden boys repeatedly the night before. So once again like a desert Bedouin I searched for a new home.
Actually that was just before I cut back on gaming and I havenít played a FPS online since. My love of sniping had nothing to do with that, life just got in the way for a while and I havenít felt like dealing with it lately. Thing is I will be getting a 360 soon and then I will return and sniping once more. For those who hate people like me I would like you to remember two things. First, the guns are in the games so Iím going to use them until enough whining takes place to get them removed. Second, would you kindly stick your head out a wee bit more, thanks that will do nicely.