A gamer from the South Side of Chicago. Currently going to college for a Computer Science degree and looking into a course for C# certification so I can become a business applications programmer (gaming programming just isn't worth it).
What do I do?
Play games, play sports (european and american football), read a lot, go to the pub (need a new one, got banned from my old one), program crappy little applications, and so on.
Games I am currently playing...
Warcraft 3 mod Defense of the Ancients (DOTA)
Team Fortress 2
Super Mario Galaxy
Titan Quest: Immortal Throne
Dynasty Warriors 6
No More Heroes
Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
Looking Forward to Demigod
Next Pro Evolution Soccer
Smash Bros Brawl
Fallout 3 (sort of)
Left 4 Dead
Many months ago when I saw/read about the Japanese getting a Persona 3 "expansion" game, I was green with envy. As great as Persona 3's ending was, it had one of those typical "Vague" Japanese endings where you have no clue what could have happened. So when I heard that Atlus was going to bring FES to the States I almost did a dance for joy at work.
What I didn't see coming was how boring this extra chapter was going to be so far. I will try not to spoil it for anyone but they should have called the game "P3: Tartarus edition" because you spend the majority of the time in "dungeons" fighting your way to the next level and so forth.
Yeah I would do the same if I had to go through Tartarus some more
Tartarus was my least favorite part of P3 but it had plenty of things to divert your attention from it: The relationship mini game, Persona fusing, quests, and going to school. But after you beat "The Journey" in FES and play "The Answer" all that goes away and you are pretty much stuck just dungeon crawling.
Granted when you finally do get to story tidbits it is very rewarding. Luckily the game doesn't fail in that department. Still I was hoping to go into this game with the same kind of Persona 3 feel and instead most of the draws of P3 get taken away and I'm left with just *sigh* Tartarus...
As negative as this post has seemed to be I would still recommend FES for closure on the first game and I would especially recommend it if you have never played Persona 3 before.
So you may wonder what would be so great about buying the SimCity Box that is coming out? I mean, it contains all the previous SimCity games you most likely played (or tried to play) and the less enjoyable SimCity Societies. So why on earth would you spend $40 dollars to get SimCity Societies/SimCity 4 and its expansions? Because you can get a chance to play with the Creature Creator in Spore of course!
Yes that seems to be the draw of this product slated for June release, according to IGN. You get the chance to create your alien creature from its initial evolution stage and you can evolve it from each of its proper stages so that you may see what options you have to create before the game comes out.
No sarcasm implied but I am sold on this. For me to get a chance at "fiddling" with one of Spores main draws is enough for me to shell out $40 for the enjoyable SimCity 4 that I have played many times and perhaps see what all the negativity is about when it comes to SimCity Societies.
So how about you kids? Are you going to dive into this "publicity stunt" or you going to say "nay" and wait patiently for Spore to come out at the end of the year (that is if it doesn't get pushed back)?
This thought came upon me when I just got done beating Advance Wars: Days of Ruin (which for some reason the last missions is 15x harder than any other mission in the game).
I am sitting on the train, quick saving and reloading constantly after I make wrong move after wrong move and send my squadron of bombers and groups of tanks to their demise. After many restarts and mild tantrums later I finally manage to beat the mission.
So I am sitting on the train in anticipation, waiting through the ending and the credits to see what great mode or object I might have unlocked. My reward for winning? Calder. That’s all there was.
I was confused for a moment. "Didn't the other Advance Wars have a hard mode?" I thought. Shouldn't there also be more CO's in the game? So since I beat the game I looked online and saw that the game had none of these. So I was a bit pissed of course to realize that I pretty much have no reason to play the game now except to beat the training missions to get no rewards except to boast to others saying that I have done so.
I brought these points up to my friend and told him how disappointed I was with Days of Ruin and he responded with "Well it's probably because they added online play".
Which finally brings me to the point of my post: Online play should not be a reason to leave out single player content in a game. The last Advance Wars DS had me playing for years with the ability to earn exp for your favorite CO and assign skills. Also, by giving me the ability to play the campaign on hard it made earning the various medals a whole lot easier. Now if I want to earn medals I have to play free maps and the same campaign over and that seems to be the only reason to pick up Days of Ruin again unless you want to play online.
Hellgate: London to me also seemed to fall under this category. I pre-ordered this game expecting to get a great Diablo-like single player experience. What do I receive in return? Bland story with no voice acting or good cut scenes and somewhat broken game mechanics. Eventually patches would come out but to my surprised the majority of them were geared to the online play. More content and extra gear and special dye kits if you were to play the online experience. And if you pay monthly you get better maps and all other sorts of goods.
Why? Why should those who just wanted to play the game for the grind get rewarded online while the single player community gets shafted? If this was their intention they should have just released it as a MMORPG that has a optional monthly fee.
I've seen many other games over the years that seem to use this same philosophy as well. Companies and developers seem to sacrifice features for the main game just so that the multiplayer experience can exist or for the online to be a better experience.
Although I haven't agreed with Bethesda recently on how they handled Oblivion and how Fallout 3 is looking, I respect how they say no to online/multiplayer play so that they can concentrate fully on the main game. I wish more companies would take a cue for Bethesda or just put forth the effort to make a complete game and not just skimp on some features so that they can tout an online play.
It is hard for me to do so but even I will admit that console gaming is at this moment a much stronger platform than the PC. Many companies are switching from developing on PCs to Consoles and most games that were once thought to be PC exclusives or first releases are now dual released on the console or released with the console in mind (Oblivion and Fallout 3). It sucks to admit this but unfortunately it seems to be a fact.
But to state that PC gamers, especially those who worship the FPS genre are moving to the Xbox360 or the PS3 is simply moronic. Who out there can state that they prefer the 2 or 3 great FPS on the 360 or PS3 over the majority of FPS on the PC and that they prefer to play it with a Controller than a mouse and keyboard? Well Id Software's business development director (and now top class douchebag) Steve Nix believes so. Here is what he had to say about the issue:
March 20, 2008 - According to GamesIndustry.biz, id Software's business development director, Steve Nix, thinks that hardcore PC gamers are moving to the consoles. He believes that the first person shooter genre on the consoles have become too big to ignore.
"I know that I have friends who are considered core gamers, who years ago were just keyboard and mouse guys. Now, when a game ships on all platforms, they buy the console version, even though the PC version is sitting there and they have a PC that would run it perfectly well," said Nix.
Greg Stone of Nerve Software, who is porting Enemy Territories: Quake Wars to the consoles, concurred with Nix's sentiments, "I'm a guy that used to play on PCs, and now I'm totally console… It's so much money to keep up with the bleeding edge of technology on the PC, and it really just is easier to take a console and say, well, this is good enough. I think that's the way it is for me and for a lot of people at this point in time."
My mind was just blown when I read this. His supposed "Core" gamers prefer to buy a FPS on the console over the PC? Either Counter Strike was too tough for these guys growing up or Stevie's friends aren't true PC gamers. Perhaps I'm being stereotypical a bit but I don't know any PC gamer who would prefer to play any FPS with a controller and I can say that with all honesty.
Then his buddy at Nerve Software goes on to stating that PCs cost too much to keep up with. I can understand any console gamer to make this statement and I could understand where they are coming from. But both men work in the PC industry and have been for quite some time so the fact that both of them have fallen into the "PCs are too expensive" crowd just baffles me. Any PC gamer knows how to built a PC for around $700 to $800 and make it last for 2 to 3 years and apparently two guys in the industry don't?
Maybe I am overreacting here but it is guys like Steve Nix who keep forcing the stereotypes of PC gaming when they have no business making comments about it at all. Steve is a business development director and despite him and his so called "core" gamer friends having pro console opinions (which is fine) doesn't give him the right to go to IGN and proclaim the console as the "New King of FPS gaming".
I remember a time when I was able to "play the hell out of a game". For example, not only did I get all the endings in Chrono Trigger but I played the game til I maxed out everyones Speed, Magic, and Power with the proper tabs. I would play the Kings Quest games over and over to try to get the max points. I would give myself goals in games such as Rock N Roll Racing where I made myself stick with the starter car to beat the game.
Now things have seemed to change. Playing a game through more than once nearly kills me of boredom. Unless something has a special unlockable or multiple endings (not crappy ones like Bioshock) I usually play a game through once, possibly skipping over some missions and items and then putting the game away for good.
Persona 3 for example. Fantastic game but I could only play through it once. I could go back and get all the persona, go through the "hard" doors in Tartarus, beat all the quests, and max out all my social links. But just the simple thought of doing so just bores me. I can't think of any reason to play it again when I am just going to get the same ending as before.
When I was younger I was able to create little intrinsic goals for myself and now I need something physical (in game terms I guess) to keep me playing a game if it isn't a sports game or a multiplayer one.
Does this happen with anyone else? And if so is it a maturity thing or just simply "Gaming" yourself out?