Its near the end of the year and it seems like everyone has a Top Ten list of some sort. Top Ten of the year, Top Multiple of Ten of the decade. Well bugger that. Looking at the past gives you less time to do things about the future. Here's a list of six things I'd like to see addressed or changed in the coming year. Why six? Well, because it's divisible by 1, 2, 3 and 6, of course.
#1: PSN Needs Cross Game Voice Chat
Now I know XBL isn't all chocolate and roses, but PSN needs a little help. My biggest complaint with it is the lack of cross/out of game voice chat on the network. My friends from work and I used to play quite a bit of R6:V2 on PSN and it was a royal pain to get a game set up. Connections would be lost. Invites wouldn't go through. It would sometimes take three or four phone calls to get everything lined up. The message system just wasn't cutting it. I'm no expert in this field, but it doesn't look like Sony should have a problem making this happen. In fact if this survey is legit, they're planning on it, if only for paid subscribers. NO Sony, that's a BAD Sony. That's like being told you can only have chop sticks at a sushi joint if you are buying a drink from the bar.
#2: Rapelay and Six Days in Fallujah
I don't condone rape...blah, blah, blah....respect women and human beings in general...blah, blah, blah....OK, that's out of the way. Did I miss something? I thought we were past this. The continued existence of 4chan has led me to believe so. So somebody in a foreign country made a game that had obviously animated graphics that allowed you to do something that's rather tame when compared to some of the erotic literature this country has produced. Well whoopty freakin' do. I'm getting tired of the double standards in media and art. I'd like to see this this game sell like hotcakes just to spite everyone, but since that's not possible, I'd like to see a sequel. And if no ones making one, I'll do it my own damn self. I'll call it Rapelay2 :The Rape-ening:Triple EX+a:Electric Bugaloo. It may be nothing but stick figures in a badly made point and click adventure, but by God, that'd show 'em.
Grow some fucking balls Konami. Start as you mean to finish and see it through to the end. You waited till Atomic Games was up to their eyeballs in this game and then you backed out leaving them hanging in the wind? Stay classy guys. This should never have happened and will hopefully never occur again. If by some miracle Atomic manages to release a game, any game, I'll but it just to show support. I encourage you to do the same.
Game studios and publishers are squandering and misusing what could otherwise be a great thing. I like the concept of DLC, but no one seems to be executing it right. Day/Week One DLC is an abomination that needs to be stopped post haste. If the purpose of DLC is to expand and enhance an existing game to provide more options and gameplay, at least have the decency to wait three weeks or longer before shoving out anything you purposefully held back or were working on when the discs were in production. Your naked greed shames yourself and your fans. Even when it's done with some taste, the DLC we're getting isn't usually the DLC we want. I love Castle Crashers. I haven't gotten any of their DLC, because, frankly, it sucks. I've beaten the game multiple times and I still don't have all the weapons and characters that come in the game unlocked. Why would I want more? What I want is more stages, a second campaign, something to give me more game. Even if the DLC is good, and it usually isn't, the pricing scheme looks like someone is running it under the assumption we're in an airport or movie theater. Buddy, if I don't like the prices, I can walk away. If I payed full retail for a 50+ hour experience, why do you think I'll give you $5 for something that doesn't give me at least 5 more hours of game enjoyment? This needs to change.
#4 Digital Distrubution
Mother 3 was never released outside of Japan. This is one of the greatest tragedies to ever befall the world. The chances of it being officially released on the GBA, DS or DSi for our market are nonexistent. Disregarding the fact that we've got a perfectly wonderful fan translation and most of us here have played it, why isn't Nintendo considering this, and other titles thought risky, for release on the virtual console? I doubt it would take a paid team of professionals more than few months to get it translated and ported. Even having access to it now, I'd still be jostling in the digital line with the rest of you, my $30 metaphorically clenched tightly in my digital fist. Nintendo likely makes a tidy profit without the risk of unsold copies and a weaker than expected demand, and gamers get what they want. Why isn't this happening? PC game companies seem to get this, so what makes the consoles different? There's a market out there for games that aren't in print anymore or never made it across the sea and it's not being met. Digital Distribution seems to be the perfect match. Then there's the ugly fact that when a company releases a game both in store and online, they usually ask the same price. If I'm paying the same price for a physical copy I can loan or sell as I am for a digital copy I can't, why buy digital? It's like the whole industry is failing to understand how good this could be for both us and them. On another note, why didn't we get the Saturn version of SOTN when it got ported? Would that have really been so hard?
#5 In Game Cheat Codes
We need more of these. Tons of old games have these. Few modern games have them and they're needed more then ever. You can't get a cheat device for a modern console without engaging . This console generation is all about the online experience and the big three don't want haxors ruining the multiplayer for everyone. I agree with them on that; I think cheating in a multiplayer game is like admitting to the world that yes, your penis/breasts is/are at the microscopic end of the spectrum (Did you see what I did there? Gender inclusiveness FTW!). But if I want to cheat my heart out in a one player environment, I feel I ought to be able to. Just turn off the achievements/trophy's. Its not about difficulty. Its about dropping a Rhino Tank in the middle of nowhere and going ape shit.
This shit needs to stop. When did the Wii become the Atari 2600? I know it's taking place on all of the consoles, but the Wii seems to be the most hard pressed. You may think this doesn't really affect you, but just imagine if all the money investors were pouring into this crap was being funneled into studios that actually made a good product. We could be missing out on a masterpiece just so some poor kid gets Carnival Games, Ninjabread Man, Action Girlz Racing and Calvin Tucker's Redneck Jamboree from some well meaning relatives for his birthday.
In closing, I'm looking forward to the next year in gaming. Will anything I've talked about change for the better? I hope so. But if being a Mother fan has taught me anything, it's don't hold your breath.