Long time no discuss! Its been a crazy month with the Anniversary party and GDC happenings here in San Francisco
that its been pretty hard to keep my blogging going. Coupled with the fact that grad school has been really busy lately, and I basically needed to take last week off from posting a discusses. But things have slowed just a bit, so here we go!
Like I mentioned before, GDC happened recently....and therefore there is alot to discuss. As always, here is the topic I sent out to the panel
This week’s topic of conversation is GDC. First off, we saw lots of things from Nintendo, such as Rock and Roll Climber and the new Zelda game. We also saw the unveiling of OnLive, which has the potential to turn the gaming industry on its head. And we also got some "on the street" discussion from our own editors about PSP2 rumors. :D
What did you guys think of all the GDC coverage? Were you pleased with what was announced? What are you excited about/ not excited about?
This week's panel consists of Dexter345, Guagloves, Bwark-Kupo, and Batthink. Read on to see what they had to say!
I'll start us off with something on Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. I personally find the choice of a train as primary transportation to be particularly odd, for a few reasons. Most prominently, though, it seems like a step backward, in terms of freedom. In both Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass, Link is on a boat - able to move in any direction he pleases across the open sea. If you see a mountain in the distance, you can set your course and sail to it. A train, on the other hand, only goes where the tracks can take it. I'm sure Nintendo will make a fine game worthy of the Zelda name, but I am afraid that the sense of freedom in overworld exploration will be completely quashed in comparison.
Dexter, I agree with your concerns about the exploration in Spirit Tracks, but at the same time it is nice to see Nintendo change things up a little bit instead of just giving us more of the same. From the looks of things in the trailer they showed, it looks like you will be able to say what track you want to travel on if it splits. I like exploring overworlds in Zelda, but at the same time I tend to want to get to the next dungeon/area as quick as I can since I tend to enjoy those parts the most apart from the puzzles.
So I guess there are positives and negatives to the new transport then. Who knows, maybe Nintendo have found a way of releasing a bit of memory that could have otherwise been used on an empty bit of sea.
Although I'm not a big fan of the Zelda series, the trailer did get me interested in the game. Nintendo-wise, however, this can't be said for Rock N' Roll Climber, which looked like a game that didn't feature much beyond the climbing gameplay; my confidence in PunchOut!! Wii still depends on whether the developers can resist dumbing it down (at least you have the choice of either motion-control or regular-control). I'd feel more confident with third-party offerings like Ninokuni (Level 5) and especially the two Final Fantasy games (Square-Enix), FF IV: The After Years and My Life As A Darklord. The only thing I'm concerned about here; couldn't Square have devised a better set of hair-colours for their Darklord?
Rock 'N' Roll Climber is a bizarre idea. It looks like the type of game that I would play in an arcade, once. I can't imagine it being made into a full retail game. Personally, I'd much rather go to an indoor rock gym. But then, none of the indoor rock gyms have electric guitars set up at the top.
As for Dark Lord hair colors, do you mean this
? That is a pretty terrible combination, and it does nothing to make me think "Dark Lord." Really though, if they had gone with something more obvious (black and purple, for instance), then people would just call her a Goth chick. Still, I agree, that wouldn't be as bad as having blonde and light blue hair.
I'm an ecstatic about Spirits Tracks, though I'm also starting to wonder about the lack of exploration that is likely to come with limiting the player to train tracks. Perhaps Nintendo is focusing on creating a more linear Zelda title as opposed to the huge open ended worlds we saw in Phantom Hourglass and Wind Waker. Hopefully this would allow for more creativity in the dungeons and more in-depth boss fights. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see.
To be honest, I didn't pay all that much attention to non-Nintendo GDC announcements. I think that the only reason that I payed so much attention to the Nintendo GDC announcements stems from the fact that we so rarely hear anything out of Nintendo that excites us anymore. Damn, I just realized need to get around to finishing FFIV DS so that I can play The After Years. I guess I know what I'll be doing on the flight home tomorrow.
When it comes tot the in-depth boss fights in Spirit Tracks, I am hopeful, but not at all optimistic. Even in the short trailer we've seen so far, it looks like they are sticking to the standard Zelda boss formula: use the item obtained in the dungeon to stun the boss, then slash it a bunch with your sword, then repeat until you win. I would really love to see more creative boss fights in Spirit Tracks, because as it stands, I already know how to beat every boss in every new Zelda game they make.
Omg...this image is amazing :D
Like some of you guys said, I'm excited myself for the next Zelda...but mostly cause its means Nintendo hasn't completely forgotten about their core audience and is still looking out for us :P (and I also love cel-shaded Link). I agree that the train seems a little weird, but that just means he can be in a conductors outfit and look adorable! CHOOO CHOOO!!
Anyway, what do you guys think of the OnLive announcement? That was something that nobody really saw coming, and that many people are critical about it actually happening. Will OnLive be the console killer some headlines were claiming? Is what OnLive is attempting to do even possible?
Yes, a lot of people on Destructoid find the claims regarding OnLive unbelievable. I haven't really got a lot of money to play with, so this won't be an option unless I have a sizeable pay-rise. If I did have the resources, I would wait until the service is released and the claims are validated. I say good luck to Warner, though.
And yes, Dexter, I do mean those hair colours. I dare anyone to cosplay as that Darklord and risk being laughed at. ¬_¬
I think OnLive is a cool idea, but I don't think it could work right now. Maybe in a couple of years when internet conncetion speeds assumingly improve. It sounds like you need a pretty beefy connection up/down for this to even work properly. I can understand them charging a monthly fee to use the service but if they make people pay for games on top of that I'm not sure if I would be that inclined to use it. Personally, I still like having physical products.
OnLive scares me. If it did work the way they advertised it, something I'm very doubtful about, it would effectively eliminate physical media. Perhaps I'm being too pessimistic, but I want OnLive to fail and fail hard. Looking past the loss of ownership that comes with a service like this, I feel that I shouldn't have to pay a monthly fee to access the games that I payed full price for. What would happen if I couldn't afford the monthly fee anymore? From what I've seen, I'd lose access to all of the games that I payed retail prices for. That just doesn't sit well with me. To top it all off, I'm a huge collector. Building up a stack of video games is part of what has me hooked to gaming.
Honestly, I can't fathom OnLive working as advertised. They say they have come up with entirely new technology for it, and the guys behind it sound really enthusiastic about what they're doing, but given that I can't even stream Netflix without it having to buffer, I am having a hard time believing that I will be able to use OnLive and not perceive any sort of lag between my input and the video on screen. If it works like they say it will, it sounds incredible, and it'd be my solution for getting into PC gaming without having to spend a ton on a rig.
I think OnLive is a cool idea, but I don't think it could work right now. Maybe in a couple of years when internet connection speeds assumingly improve. It sounds like you need a pretty beefy connection up/down for this to even work properly. I can understand them charging a monthly fee to use the service but if they make people pay for games on top of that I'm not sure if I would be that inclined to use it. Personally, I still like having physical products.
OnLive....the end of console gaming or something unfeasible?
That seems to be the consensus of what I'm reading. OnLive, while a cool idea, may not be even completely feasible or the end of the consoles like some people are making it out to be.
That brings me to one of the last things to discuss from that week...the second PSP. If you guys haven't checked it our, our very own Nick Chester, Dale North, and Conrad Zimmerman did an extra special Destructoid Discusses on the streets of San Francisco where they brought up the rumors flying around GDC about the new PSP. They mentioned that it was going to be the size of a Blackberry, get rid of the UMD (thank god) and have a PS store with hundreds of PS1 titles ready for download on day one.
What are your thoughts on these rumors? Does this sound like something you'd buy? Will it give the DS a run for its money?
Tactix, I'm losing track of all these different types of portables that Nintendo and Sony keep putting out. I already have both a DS and PSP, and whilst I would like a DS Lite or a PSP Slim in the future, I wouldn't want another portable afterwards of the same type unless it was radically different than the others. Releasing a third or fourth one in these financial conditions is ridiculous.
That said, getting rid of the UMD and allowing the ability to focus on download sounds cool enough. I might skip a Slim version of the PSP for that. However, the library of games to download needs to be better than the current set offered on PSN. I also think that Sony have done well to keep the PSP on the shelves compared to previous handhelds that faced up to the Nintendo-developed ones. People may scoff at how well it is doing by itself, but compare it to the Game Gear, Atari Lynx and Neo Geo Pocket, and you'll see it has done extremely well. It's just a bit of a risk in this present environment.
Make the DSi and this PSP the last ones in their generation, please....
I like the idea of a PSP with out UMD. Having the entire PSP library downloadable would be great since titles like Lumines and Gitaroo Man Lives! are hard to find now a days so it would be great to be able to download them assuming the pricing for these games would be reasonable. Having some sort of built in store on the PSP would be nice as well if the system does go to downloadable titles. I don't know if not having UMD would make me buy a PSP but having PS1 titles available at launch would certainly be compelling. I guess it would depend on the price point and how often they would add titles to the PS1 library.
So for the sake of discussion I'll assume the rumors are true. It's kind of annoying, because I just got a PSP finally last Christmas, and now it will be pretty much obsolete. On the one hand, I like that they're getting rid of the UMD, because load times and handhelds just don't make sense, but then on the other hand, I'll have to keep my current PSP around in case I want to play the handful of PSP games I've got so far.
I suppose if you don't think of it as a PSP but as the successor to the PSP, it stings a bit less, like how an N64 doesn't play SNES games, but if they are still calling it a PSP, it seems a little dodgy that it won't be able to play PSP games.
One thing I hope they implement for the next PSP is a dual analog setup. It makes no sense that you can play PS1 games on it, when several PS1 games required two analog sticks.
New PSP Rumors brought to you by our own editors....damn they looked fly walking the streets of SF
I'm about to make a comparison that is a bit of a stretch, so to all of you reading, please bare with me. During the last generation we had the Playstation 2, a console that enjoyed success across continents, compelling third party developers the world over to develop original and exciting new properties. This generation we haven't had a console like that. The 360 hasn't enjoyed success in Japan and the Playstation 3's high price point has kept it from topping the charts.
My point is, the only console that's shown that kind of market potential this generation is the DS. For that reason alone, I can't bring myself to invest in a Playstation Portable. The DS has so much potential in it's library of games. So far Nintedo has put out three DS's over the course of five years. That's really not so bad if you think about it. The first one was criticized for its shape and weight, so Nintedo fixed that. That's just an upgrade.
The DSi is the first portable from Nintendo to offer us something new, larger screens, a download service, and two touch screens. If you don't want to upgrade, don't upgrade. No one is forcing you to.
There you have it! I hope you enjoyed this weeks discussion! As always, if you want in on a discussion, send me an email to [email protected]
with your Dtoid username in the subject line! See you next week! <3