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10:47 PM on 08.16.2010

Why Computer Gaming COULD be the future.

I've been going through quite a struggle in the current generation of gaming. I've wanted a playstation 3 for quite a while as well as a newer PC(custom made of course). Problem is almost all my funds go towards college loans. Well I've come to the realization that I can't have my cake and eat it too. Many of the recent games I've been playing are ps2 titles, and older ones for the NES, SNES, famicom, super famicom, and famicom disk system(since they're cheap). Been watching several older gamers(around my age, some older) on youtube talk about old shit. Like Lazy Game Reviews:

[embed]181592:32261[/embed]

As a youngin' I thought when I'd be this age I'd be able to purchase systems and games to my heart's delight. But there's too many options out there and too little cash in my wallet. So I talked to my good friend who's been a staunch advocate for pc gaming for the past 10 years. The most recent console he owns is a n64. At first I was antagonistic towards him, saying how a ps3 is a cheaper platform and has more games that I want to play. But little by little, I started to fall in love with pc's again. Let me try to list all the key points that came up during our discussion.

1.) If I were to upgrade my 5+ years old computer to current gaming standards, I would have to pay around 300 bucks.(all those parts pretty much add up to a whole new system) And while a ps3 would also cost 300 bucks, I would still have to pay extra for controllers, and other hardware depending on the game.

2.) While online console gaming has come quite far since the days of SegaNet, there are still several issues that need to be worked out. Several games still experience lag. Many features are left out of games which are commonplace on pc games. (online multiplayer is still new for games that aren't fps's) Online play for console games is heavily dependent on support from the company. Dedicated servers, mods, patches, etc. are far more common with pc titles.

3.) The cost of pc games is generally cheaper. Several games are available on platforms on Steam for insanely low prices practically every week. Also combined with the fact that practically every pc title that comes out now is available for digital release, I no longer have to go 20 miles to the nearest bestbuy to pick up zeno clash when I can simply download it. True story, I actually had to go quite far to find King of Fighters '98 soon after its release. Less popular titles are harder to find due to them being on physical media. Making console game sales heavily reliant on advertising.

4.) PCs as a solitary, stable gaming platform are still relatively new. Watching several LGRs and other's videos, I realized that in the 80s and 90s, several different operating systems were around. This meant that for a long time, games were not simply for "PCs" but for "Tandy compatible" or DOS systems. Also, I always thought that computers originally had more impressive graphics and the technological gap between consoles and computers was decreasing. (in terms of games) However, I noticed that several games out in the 80s and 90s weren't as impressive, popular, or as frequently released as NES or SNES games. Yet, during certain other eras, like the late 90s and early 2000s, there was a definite boom of computer gaming with 3d shooters and online gaming.

5.) Consoles are becoming more like computers. I thought this especially when the 360 came out. Now, even installs are becoming quite common with console titles. No longer do console games have that advantage of being quickly accessible. Consider this:

[embed]181592:32262[/embed]

Look at that. A 20+ year old system with dirty cartridges. STILL, all you gotta do is blow, insert, and turn on. Voila, right at the game's startup screen.

Now Look here:

[embed]181592:32263[/embed]

Loading screens. Sure individually they are pretty fast but look at all the shit you have to go through to get to the game! And this is AFTER you boot up the system and navigate through the system GUI. Now I'm not saying that you don't have to do this on a pc. Quite the contrary, seeing how my point was that consoles are becoming more like computers.

6.) Consoles are becoming more expensive, computers are getting cheaper and consoles are not as well made anymore. Remember how much the ps3 initially cost?

Oh yeah.
[embed]181592:32264[/embed]

What did it have like a 60 gb hard drive? Several heating issues? And I don't think I need to say anything about the 360.(100 dollar wireless adapter?) Even my wii gives me trouble sometimes, freezing or refusing to boot up entirely without me unplugging and replugging the power cord. Even before that I remember my friends ps2's were breaking right and left when they were about 3 years old. My SNES, NES, and twin famicom are still running smoothly though.

Previously I stated that I would have to spend 300 on a new computer system. I was also looking at laptops. 690 for a core i5 system with a 500 gb hard drive, 4 gb of ram, etc. Now, given that this is primarily for school use, the power on that baby is insane given the price. The major stumbling block here that prevents mainstream computers such as this one to play hardcore games is a macho video card. While I have no doubt it would be able to run team fortress 2 no problem, crysis 2 might be a challenge. Even still, it's safe to say that powerful laptops are getting cheaper. Also, it would be foolish to ignore that it is quite common for people today to each have their own personal computer. It's a good thing macs are getting back into gaming. So my basic statement is that if the production of powerful video cards can come down enough so that they can be put in more mainstream systems, more computers can be used as current gen gaming platforms. PC/mac games will still be around for a while just because the platform is so common.

7.) The release of systems in set generations creates a weird spectrum in terms of the quality of games. You know what I'm talking about. Several times at the release of a new system(ps2, ps3, 360) the launch titles absolutely SUCK. And those towards the end of a life cycle tend to rock hard. But can be overlooked.

8.) Waves. I think that best sums up how we should think of the future of gaming platforms. Like I said before, in different times, different platforms were preferred due to the games they offered. However, it is possible that different platforms do not need to compete due to niche differentiation. Coexistence can be attained if different systems focus on different types of games. And with the focus on motion control in console games, it's possible. Who knows. All I know is that pc gaming is alive and well. Hello, Starcraft II? Also consider the current trend with consumer electronics being the ability to use one device to accomplish several different types of tasks.(look at phones)   read


4:49 PM on 05.24.2010

Cougar Man, Donkey Lady, and Gungslinger Dog...RDR Glitches

Anyone who's seen the following videos knows exactly what I'm talking about in the title. Somebody has stumbled across several glitches in their copy of Red Dead Redemption, all of which are character model swaps and are extremely humorous. Just watch. I'm sure there will be more in the future.

[embed]174452:30069[/embed]

[embed]174452:30070[/embed]

[embed]174452:30071[/embed]   read


1:04 PM on 05.20.2010

ZOMG E3 2010 lineup revealed!!



WOWEEEE1 NEW KID ICARUS, EARTHBOUND, MARIO LAND!?!

Wait, take a closer look, here.



Shit's gotta be fake ._.   read


12:55 PM on 05.20.2010

Simon's Supper!

I've been following shamoozal nerdlog for quite some time now. Most posts are about dvd and music releases but every now and then they make mildly amusing cartoons. They even did this entertaining streaming 12 hour nes game marathon. Watching them play through Jackal was great.

Anyway, they made a new video called "Simon's Supper", the second toon of a series they call "Read Only Memory".


[embed]174152:29971[/embed]   read


2:55 PM on 05.13.2010

Unreal!: An interesting study on UT

Almost 8 years ago I was able to procure a copy of Unreal Tournament '99 from my buddy Andrew for free(he didn't play it).

I played it all through my high school years and a bit through college. I never bought one of the newer iterations. I only sampled them via demos. Now that I've been out of college for a year, I haven't played it in quite a while. Hell, it's not even installed on my hard drive. But I wondered something. How popular is the game today? The original Unreal Tournament. And more importantly, how popular is it compared to the newer games?

I really wanted to play the other games too. It was back when vehicles in FPS games were a huge deal. But I really wondered how it would compare against the user created content for UT 99. There were so many damn mutators. And several were and still are incredibly popular. You won't be hard pressed to find a server with instagib shock rifles, strangeloves, and arctic fighter jets. It was a ridiculous game when I played it. Never the same match twice.

[embed]173635:29833[/embed]

I remember sweating at 3 AM as a plucky young nerd. I kept my sister awake by the rampant, frenzied noises of....

clicking. Haha yeah. Fun times. TetsuoG in the house.

Between studying for the MCAT, after finding the velocity of a clown shot out of a cannon at 35 degrees, I sought out the answers to my questions on gametracker.com by way of hard numbers.

Here's what I found:

All three games still have tons of servers. But it's really not worth sifting through all the nonsense. I just sorted by player count, counting all the servers with at least one player on, and all those with at least two(the minimum for an actual match).

Unreal Tournament 99: 173 active servers, 144 with more than one player each.
Unreal Tournament 2004: 103 active servers, 84 possible matches
Unreal Tournament 3: 56 active servers, 40 possible matches

So yea, I knew UT 3 was not a great seller, but damn! Seems like the 1999 GAME OF THE YEAR is still king, baby nearly 11 years after its initial release. Looks like I'll have to jack in one day and reclaim my throne as the mushroom cloud muthafucka. Muthafucka.(I had a Sam Jackson voice pack back in the day)

PC Gaming will never die!!!   read


9:48 PM on 05.04.2010

Forget Super Mario Crossover!

I was perusing newgrounds and came across this nifty little game called Enough Plumbers.

It's wayy more original than Super Mario Crossover. You are a plump plumber like character who can create clones of himself every time he touches a coin. You don't need to save every clone, you just need to make it through. There are plenty of creative levels to figure your way out of. Tons of powerups, enemy types and level layouts. Also the plumber's voice is a tad cute too, I must say. It's very fun and very addicting. I just started playing 40 minutes ago and made it through like 20 levels. The music is also quite trippy.

[embed]172868:29598[/embed]   read


9:07 PM on 04.16.2010

Konami vs. Capcom: Potentially the most ambitious crossover!

I've been wishing for this for a very long time. And when the Capcom-unity was asked what crossover vs. game the company should make next, I immediately responded Konami vs. Capcom.

I know, there are several other huge contenders. But for three decades now Capcom and Konami have remained two third party giants with countless great games and characters between them. Yea arc system works has made fighting games too but... Capcom games have not been exclusive to one genre. People have also said Sega and Nintendo but I think that's more a desperate cling to the era of the 16 bit wars. Nintendo vs. Sega would be cool but it just isn't the same in this generation. And either of those pitted against capcom just would not be the same.

Also Konami has made several incredible licensed video games in the past, much like Capcom. If they could get the rights to use those characters like Capcom has with Marvel characters, we could see very interesting matchups. Leonardo vs. Magneto? Strider vs. Homer Simpson?


Better than Altered Beast by far.

Last I checked, Hudson Soft is a subsidiary of Konami. So all those characters could be included as well. Bomber Man vs. Mega Man? Master Higgins vs. Hulk?


Maybe...!

Along with the heavy hitting franchises like Silent Hill, DDR, Metal Gear, Castlevania, and Contra, Konami has made several obscure awesome games that never formed into franchises. Especially on the famicom. I mean if Capcom could have SonSon, why can't Konami put in Rush N' Attack/Green Beret?


Anyone know THIS game? I've got it on my twin famicom.

I know these dreams may be ridiculous. But that is the potential this crossover wields. Crazier stuff has happened.



I mean cmon if you could partner up Takara Hudson Soft and Konami together to have odd matchups like Solid Snake and a Japanese fashion doll (a la Barbie) then I don't think having konami x-men vs. capcom x-men is out of the question.

[embed]171273:29148[/embed]

One of the most badass Konami songs ever.   read


12:53 PM on 04.13.2010

Realism-- Who needs it?

After getting my hair cut from Big Louie at Emilio's Barber Shop, I stopped by the local Play N Trade and picked up a few games on the cheap. Most notably, NBA Jam TE for SNES. I played for only a few seconds. And in that time I managed to sink in two shots past the half court line. Now if this were any other game I would have been surprised. But I played this game to death back in the 90s and even in my college days. A slow moving match which players take turns dunking the ball can get tiring and does happen with NBA Jam. However, once you start to mix up and make up your own rules, a new game is created. It's not inconceivably difficult for players to make full court shots. Because of this, NBA Jam is a wild game that can be enjoyed even if you lose. Watching players make ridiculous shots is half the fun.

But when you try to make a game ultra-realistic, you may end up with funky results. Realistic games are not always focused on fun. Sure, realism may be cool at first, but unless it creates a system of new interactions and gameplay types, it is useless. I don't care to dive in any further. Bottom line-- don't put in elements of realism simply because the idea sounds cool. It has to flow with the game properly.   read


11:34 AM on 03.09.2010

Putting down the controller II - Getting the Gold Chocobo

I consider myself an old gamer even though I am 22 because I really don't feel as excited about games as I used to. This is the second post in a "series" where I bitch about moments in games-- mostly rpgs from the late 90s/early 2000s. That was a time where I'd rush home after school to get to work on whatever rpg I had at the time.

Around the time I got a playstation, I was in 5th grade my friend 'Blake' had been chewing my ear off about how awesome Final Fantasy 7 was. At that point in my life I hadn't played many rpgs; just super mario rpg in 3rd grade and chrono trigger in 4th grade. As a plucky youngster my older brother was always able to beat games faster, more easily, and with all the endings(such was the case with chrono trigger). However, Final Fantasy 7 introduced a change in the status quo. Yes, he did play through the first disc once before we got our own copy of the game. And yes, I did still watch him play everyday. AND YES, I did cry when Aeris died. (I was 9, gimme a break!)


I remember seeing this cover in magazines and flyers EVERYWHERE.

My friends and I were huge nerds back in the day. At birthday parties we would show each other the final battles of whatever game we'd recently beaten. We made several doodles of game characters in class. I would get as many calls about math homework as I did about getting the key to Midgar. Many of us had respectable EGM and GamePro collections at the age of 12.


One of my first issues of gamepro.

By the time Blake's 11th birthday party rolled around, he'd already beaten the game twice or three times. He took the liberty of showing us the final bout against Sephiroth. He pulled out all the stops and used the ultimate of all summons. Knights of the Round. At the time I had not seen anything as spectacularly mind blowingly awesome and I don't believe any video game afterward has impressed me as much.

[embed]166290:28093[/embed]

After that I was determined to get the game and get this summon for myself. Hoo boy. Easier said than done. On MY 11th birthday, Blake was kind enough to get me a copy of the game. I put in a ton of hours into Final Fantasy 7. I loved it immensely. It wasn't too difficult and the cutscenes were just so damn cool. My favorites are probably the motorcycle and weapon attack ones. On Halloween I dressed up as Cid and Blake was Cloud. Our costumes were probably the most difficult to explain. Wouldn't be the last time we'd dress up either as we had to cross-dress for our senior year conversational Spanish project.


No comment.

Anyway, aside from beating baddies left and right, I made it a point to become an excellent Chocobo breeder and racer. I did everything necessary to get the green, blue, and black chocobos. Went to the Icicle place and took a while to get the wonderful chocobo but was so glad when I finally got him. All my babies were prime S-class racing chickadees. Everything was looking great.


I could taste that sexy beast.

Got some Zeio nuts and girded them chocos' loins for some hot lovin'. It's all about the nuts baby. Then Kapow! A...yellow chocobo? I didn't think much of it at first but had a bad feeling in my mind. After several more unsuccessful attempts I started seeing things. Imagining yellow chocobos as gold chocobos, black chocobos as gold chocobos, my little sister as a gold chocobo...

I just went on with the game though. I pushed forward and beat it with ease.(all chars around level 60, just using regular attacks no magic or summons) But I couldn't help but feel that my game was incomplete. I definitely was not able to take on Ruby or Emerald Weapon. And I still had not gotten the Knights of the Round materia!! Sadly, I more or less gave up. With games like Final Fantasy 8, Xenogears, and Grandia coming out soon, I could not be bothered by starting up a new file for FF7. However, every now and then I would come back to the game, trying, but failing to create a gold chocobo. Sure, I had surpassed my brother by beating a game he could not. But I still felt unaccomplished.

Several years went by. Throughout the years I had played several different games but none were as significant to me as Final Fantasy 7. Sure, there were several games that I enjoyed more than that one. But FF7 dominated my life throughout the 6th grade.

Then one day last year during a weekend visit in my senior year of college, I decided to try once more. One final time. If I was not able to breed a gold chocobo then, I would put down the controller for good. I put in the game, putzed around a bit and got down to business. Did everything right and...another yellow chocobo. How disappointing. After all those years, still the same result. There must be a glitch in the game or something preventing me from getting one. <_< >_> Another try couldn't hurt. So I did it once more and... Wow ANOTHER yellow chocobo? Except this one looks a bit funky dunky. Oh wait, that's a gold one!!! After ten long years, I was so goddamn excited to have finally gotten my gold chocobo that I might have danced and yelled a bit.

[embed]166290:28094[/embed]
I felt unstoppable.

I felt like I could take on any task. The MCAT and Medical school did not seem as difficult now. So I went on to get the Knights of the Round materia. I equipped it and went straight to fight Ruby Weapon. Used it, did not have any effect, and had my ass kicked. The End.   read


1:43 PM on 03.04.2010

Little Things in Mega Man 10

So I just downloaded Mega Man 10 today and started playing immediately. After about an hour of play, getting a taste of each of the levels, I already love this game. There are several little things about it that make it particularly awesome.

1.After playing Mega Man 9, this feels like the Mega Man 2 or 3 of this generation's retro revival.
Mega Man 9 introduced many cool mechanics but in retrospect the game didn't seem quite as... MEATY as Mega Man 10 is. For example, the stages look very vibrant and have distinct environments from each other.

2. The new enemy types and stage mechanics are pretty damn cool.
Yea the last game had pretty cool new enemies too but in Mega Man 10 I was hit with an array of different enemies in every stage. Learning how to fight against them can cost you a few lives, often stressing the importance of reflex and timing. When you learn how to play properly, you can easily fly through a level without a scratch. Also, don't be surprised if the screen is covered in enemies.

3. Reused enemies and mechanics.
It's probably just me, but I think it's really cool that they also kept certain enemies and mechanics. The bomb platforms, disappearing blocks, sniper joe, flying shield, legless metool(interesting new weapon included) and walking metool! The only things I haven't seen yet are giant animal flavored robots. Also there are interesting twists. Enemies that you may expect to do one thing instead do another. For example, you will come across a bird that drops an egg like the one in Mega Man 2. However, instead of letting out several smaller birds, the egg instead charges towards you like a torpedo. Stay sharp!

4. The Minibosses
These were a big part of Mega Man 9, just like #3, but I noticed something interesting. Maybe I'm going insane but it seems like the ones I encountered are reminiscent of old bosses. Goal Keeper Gutsman? Heat Man Birds? Bright Man Generator thing? Ok maybe the last one was a stretch but it's cool. These minibosses are fairly challenging and it can take some time to take them down. Sure, you may know HOW to do it, but actually doing it is a different story. I never could dodge heat man's high angle fire shots!

5. The soundtrack is a beast all its own
The music in this game is very energetic in my opinion. But it isn't quite as memorable or hummable. That isn't to say it's bad. While I can hum Snake Man's theme till the day I flatline in the hospital, Solar Man's theme is equally badass. Even if I have no idea how it goes although I played it like 10 minutes ago. Each 8 bit title definitely had a different sound. And this game is no exception.

[embed]165836:27980[/embed]

HOWEVER! a few of the songs are quite memorable in their own right. They're quite complex and KICK ASS.

[embed]165836:27982[/embed]

6. Branching pathways
In a few of the levels, I noticed that there are branching pathways. I don't remember if this was in Mega Man 9 but it makes the game feel more refined and replayable. Not to mention larger.

Sure Mega Man 10 and 9 may be difficult, but for good reason. People need to remember that games are sometimes just that; games. They are momentary distractions from the real world where we put our skills to the test. I would play these games over 4-6 any day. Why? because these games contain the elements which made the first games fun, difficult, and infinitely replayable. Cool mechanics, interesting enemies, crisp graphics, appropriate music, and tight as fuck gameplay. I know it's been said a million times over but if you suck at this game it's your own fault.

  read


9:03 AM on 02.25.2010

SSFIV Prediction: Hakan

Okay so for those of you who don't know, there was a post(which has since been removed) on capcom-unity a while back listing all the new characters in SSFIV. So far it's been correct.

I'm sure everyone noticed the 10th character being teased at the end of the last trailer by way of flowing oil and funny accent.

What I am most curious about is Hakan's appearance. He is supposed to be either Turkish or Arab and I think I can predict what he will look like quite accurately.

If he is Arab, I think he will just be a shirtless buff wrestler with an Arabian headdress.Maybe resemble Omar Sharif's character In Lawerence of Arabia?



Also I am curious to see which Arab country they pick but am almost certain it would be Saudi Arabia.

On the other hand, if he is Turkish, I think he will look like an old timey strong man a la Koca Yusuf?



THE TERRIBLE TURK.

Hakan seems like a fairly common Turkish name and oil wrestling is also Turkish, still a popular sport to this day. So I dunno, they might go for a more modern image.

Either way, I'm pretty sure the new character, regardless of name or nationality will be brown and have a moustache!   read


6:31 PM on 02.16.2010

Why Square-Enix reeks of unprofessionalism.

[embed]163964:27516[/embed]

I am a frequent viewer of most things on http://www.thatguywiththeglasses.com, especially Lordkat who has his own series titled "Until We Win" where he beats difficult games and shows how he does it.

Recently he received a cease and desist "letter" from Square-Enix America about Project XI, a Final Fantasy XI server emulator

In the video above he discusses how they are wrong, unprofessional, and pathetic.

Damn I really hate Square Enix. Companies like them and Capcom are responsible for dumbing down the public's tastes as they milk them for all the ports and re-releases they make.

Lordkat is pretty ballsy and his reply letter reflects that. I commend him!

I also think that gaming blogs should be more interested in the gaming community instead of the industry. Any thoughts?   read


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