So, if you check
there is more stuff on what will become more and more common each
day. Yes, I'm talking about something related to Sony or Microsoft
bashing the other side. In this case, it's ATI talking smack about
the role of Nvidia and the RSX graphics processor versus ATI's Xenos.
I know, this is not in the least bit news. Seriously, will ATI or
Nvidia either stop and say, "we f#%$ed up! Our competitor is
better and we're teh lamezor!"? No, that won't happen.
In this case, ATI
is saying that their unified pipeline will be less taxing on games,
and thus the unified pipeline will make a faster overall processor
experience. Is it true? I think that's all, ultimately, up to the
developers. I mean whatever the final specs for a system are, it's
really up to the game developers on how hard they press to squeeze a
little extra power out of the available hardware.
Also, ATI shed
some light, as they see it at least, on the backwards-compatibility
thing with the 360. According to ATI, the 360 won't be backwards
compatible as much as it will have an emulator that will let the 360
play XBox titles. ATI claims this is due to too many differences in
the hardware and programming methods to take advantage of the
hardware in the current-generation. So, this emulator will either be
included or downloadable for the 360. Either way, that's where this
sticky subject is landing.
Anyway, I wanted
to get in a good deal of Rise of Kasai this weekend. I did get some
time with RoK, but nearly as much as I would have if the game didn't
infuriate me so much with bad AI. I played one level. I couldn't
stand anymore. I was placed in a role, as Rau, to snipe the archers,
who were the only real threat to Tati, by partner. Well, instead of
waiting for me to do my job, Tati liked to run into the best place
to be hit by the largest number of archers...and then she would sit
there, taking massive damage. Then, when she died, I had to start
again from the last save and see her do the same shit again.
To make matters
worse, we both can use health pick-ups, and she can be greedy when
she doesn't need health, and stupid when she does. One time she
grabbed a max health increase (which also refills one's health) that
I needed, despite her health and max health both being higher than
mine. That left me struggling for about 30 minutes. Finally I found
some health, and then she was badly injured. So, I left the next
health pick-up for her and she did the stupid choice; leaving the
health behind, dying, and making me repeat the last 15
RoK could've been
an awesome game. All it really needed, more than anything, more than
good AI, more than the same graphical feel of the original Mark of
Kri, was a simple command button. I really would be able to enjoy
this button if the GTA:SA-style command system of "stay"
and "come" were implemented. Oh well...I'll probably not
finish this game, just because of this blasted AI. I will keep
trying, but I'm only about half way through, and my patience is
running on empty.
Anyway, I feel
sorta crap-tacular today. I'm just going to log out about now.
Well, it's another
day with not a whole lot to talk about. So, you'll have to excuse me
if I keep things overly short.
About the only
real news that interested me today is that Nintendo is not planning
to support HD on the Revolution. I read it at Gamespot
that Nintendo plans to completely ignore the HD owning segment of
the geek world. On one hand, this means not a damned thing.
Seriously, how many of the average game players own HD? Not all that
many. However, at the same time, Nintendo could add support quite
easily to at least please these few people. They don't have to
design their system to run best on HD, like how Sony and Microsoft
are doing, but at least show some support by treating it like it
should be; as an option.
HD is still
somewhat elusive, at least for now. The price of an HD TV is a
little beyond the affordability of most geeks, or most people of any
type. However, the prices are dropping, and the prices are
expecting, in particular, to drop by a good amount in the next 2-3
years. During that time, the Revolution will be mid-life. So, why
design a system that will probably be a joke after it's been out for
only a couple years. Now is the perfect time for Nintendo to realize
the mistakes of the past, such as supporting the wrong media (like
carts instead of CDs in the N64 era), by taking a little initiative.
While I don't think nearly a quarter of the 360 and PS3 owners will
take advantage of HD when the systems launch, it's hard to know how
this will turn out when the major breakthroughs, that are soon
expected with HD affordability, come about. I do know, at least,
Nintendo is not being so damned arrogant to pull a Sony with the
concept of people having two identical sized side-by-side HD TVs,
but support of a single HDTV is a good bonus on a console in this
day and age.
Oh well...in the
end, Nintendo has lost touch with technology, Sony has lost touch
with reality, and Microsoft is an evil empire...but at least MS will
make a good console while the others are either insulting or out of
the common man's (or woman's) price range.
Not a bit of real
news today. Well, at least there's nothing interesting. When the
majority of news is stuff about a single game going gold, especially
a really lame sounding game, I can't help but feel like I don't give
a damn. Yes, it looks like we've entered the most confusing time of
the year. It's far enough after E3 that major news is not coming
around anymore, and all the E3 reviews are done. However, it's too
soon in the year for anything interesting.
I never could
understand this trend in the game industry, or any industry for that
matter, of having major news and events occur from September
(sometimes late August) through May, and then having nothing at all
for a whole 3 months. To me, and I do speak as a target audience of
this industry, but not as a person in said industry, this seems like
a waste of revenue. I mean if some major studio decided to release a
major title right about now, it would have close to 100% of the
market. The only games being released in this dead period that
comprises the Summer month are those that shouldn't be released
anyway. It's almost like the opposite of the film industry, which
only likes to give us good movies in the summer, and then pushes
crap on us the rest of the year. If either industry realized how
well the other group does in their off months, then the wacky idea
of year-round entertainment could exist. However, that would make
too much sense.
Anyway, look at it
this way; last July, Tales of Symphonia was released for the GCN.
What competition did it have? Well, there was none from the GCN, but
that's because the GCN is pretty devoid of quality year-round.
However, in the other consoles there were no good RPGs, or even
games of other genres. Now, think about this; how well did ToS do?
It sold far greater than Namco could've ever hoped for. It didn't
see well for a GCN title...it sold excellent all across the board
for standards. So, if such a neglected genre, like GCN RPGs, could
do so well in the off-months, maybe it's time for the game industry
to open their eyes and give year round entertainment, and not just
the lameness that will soon be upon us in the Summer, and the
lame-chaos of Autumn.
I know, and I'm
sorry...I was making sense and trying to use logic, while the game
industry seems to be devoid of this whole "common-sense"
thing. Also, what do I know? I'm only their target demographic, not
some know-everything industry genius. Maybe they are right when they
say that money wouldn't be spent on entertainment during the
Summer...assuming children are not given the freedom of Summer
Vacation from school (and thus have plenty of free time to use on
games), and that those of us who work for a living don't see
entertainment the same way year round...and assuming that the movie
industry loses a lot of money from no one wanting to be entertained
in the Summer. Of course all of that is wrong, but let's
nearing the end of Rise of Kasai. I still keep feeling like the
developers flipped a coin while making each stage of each level.
"Ok, it's heads, so this part will be insanely fun!",
"...tails...time to make your AI controlled partner
"special" again...I feel sorry for the poor saps who play
this level". I know it's not how it went, or at least I really
hope this is not how it happened, but it very way should have with
how this game could bounce so quickly from fun to torture.
I only have about
4 levels left, and I am aiming to finish the game before the
weekend. I am also aiming to then write a review before next Friday.
I don't know how this will turn out, but that's my goal. I guess
it's all up to how lame, or how awesome, the final 4 levels are.
Speaking of which, I won't get this game taken down if I stand
around posting all day.
Before I say
anything, I find this link at Gamespot
hilarious. Seriously, when a game is this old, and when the
"sequel" is out, it's like admitting defeat in one way or
another. Mainly it's admitting that EQ2 is a pile of crap is
expansions are still surfacing for the original EQ. Anyway, maybe
it's the sleepiness, or maybe it's my hatred of EQ, but I find this
Ok, now to
something a little less off my usual list of topics. Not that
MMORPGs suck, but they just don't get discussed here since I just
don't care for them.
had another article of great interest to me. This one dealt with how
the game developers, and not the console manufacturers, are looking
at the next generation line up. Most of the article starts as a
fluff piece, with one guy (Itagaki, of DOA fame) looking forward to
Pikmin returning, and the interest of how Nintendo will try to
"revolution"-ize the gaming world. Another guy (Hino, at
Level-5) was pretty excited about the PS3 and called the XBox 360
devoid of having anything "fresh" and pretty much looked
at it like a novelty. Blah, blah, blah.
The part that I
found interesting, however, is what Akitoshi Kawatsu (producer of
the SaGa games from Square Enix) said. It quite mirrors what I've
been feeling, and it always makes me feel good to know I'm not the
only one thinking these things. For one, he said that the hardware
specs that have been given don't mean shit. After all, they will all
be able to pull off similar levels of gaming quality. However, the
one detail that hasn't been discussed all that much is going to be
the most important spec; how much memory will be found in each of
these machines? As Kawatsu said;
machines evolve this far, they lose characteristics. As a developer,
I'm most concerned about how much memory they're equipped with--the
more, the better. The other specs aren't that important. I don't
think that their graphic capabilities are too far apart from each
other. Of course, their specs haven't been finalized yet, and we
won't actually know how difficult it is to develop on them until we
try it out,"
I think he's got
to be the first voice in the game industry that's actually talked
intelligently about the new generation. After all, just like how
many geeks are fans/fanboys of a certain system or console maker,
the same goes for game developers. I mean it's obvious that Tecmo
loves Microsoft with all of the XBox exclusive DOA and Ninja Gaiden
type of games. Meanwhile, Capcom loves Nintendo and the GCN with how
they released Viewtiful Joe, etc, first on the GCN.
So, we all need to
realize that when some game developer calls the system they will be
working with as perfect and all the others as crap, it's only due to
a misguided sense of loyalty. In reality, it takes the voice of
someone who's not fully aligned, like a Square Enix (who does both
Sony and Nintendo, right now, and will be moving on to Microsoft
with FFXI) employee to speak in a more neutral voice.
Plus, when he
talked further and said how the additional features, like the USB
ports, will be a waste on most gaming households, I think he might
have hit the nail, the same one that Sony has been ignoring, right
on the head. We, as gaming geeks, are not waiting for our
"entertainment supercomputers". We are waiting for gaming
consoles to play GAMES on. That's it. Like he said, it was once as
easy as putting a game in the machine, and that's all we need. Maybe
Nintendo has it best with the simplicity of the Revolution.
There were some
additional blurbs in this article, like how Yuji Naka (Sonic's
creator) would like to see Sega games downloadable on the
Revolution, that were interesting. I especially think it would be
cool if Sega and Nintendo could come to an understanding that would
put Sega emulation software on the Revolution. I mean if Sega is now
out of the console world, maybe they could share their wealth of
games with someone who is ready to relive their glory days.
In the end,
however, it looks like many of the developers who were spoken with
have a shared opinion on many things. The 360 should be the easiest
to work with, as developers, which should be good for having quicker
releases on some good quality games. The PS3 may be overly
complicated to develop for, but the ceiling is higher for this
console...however, I'm personally betting that with how quickly a
new generation tends to come along, and with the difficulty in
programming on the PS3, that the ceiling will never be
reached...hell, the mid-point between the ceiling and the floor will
not even be reached. As for the Revolution...well, no one knows what
to expect, but it might have some more support than the GCN since it
sounds like just about everyone interviewed seemed to share a strong
interest in the enjoyment that this system could bring.
Anyway, I find
this all pretty funny. In the end, here's my ultimate prediction
(and this should be fun to look back at in about 2 or so years...or
even about 3.5 years when the next generation is making way for the
following next-next-gen consoles); The 360 and the PS3 will offer
very similar games and technology in said games. It'll be just like
the PS2 and the XBox...they both offer very similar games, with XBox
shining in FPS, only because the PS2 analogue sticks suck for aiming
in FPS games. That same thing will continue with the 360 and PS3.
They will both offer the same genres, the same overall quality, and
the same numerous crap-tacular titles to fill in the gaps between
the smaller number of awe inspiring games. Also, this will be the
time for FPS games to enter an overly saturated market. Hell, look
at the 360 launch window games...mostly FPS. Also, with the
additional support of Japanese developers, 360 will put up a far
greater fight than the XBox did.
Nintendo...whatever the controller turns out to be, it will be
mainly kid oriented. I hate to say it, since I love Nintendo, but
they will be too kid friendly, again. It'll be their permanent role
in consoles from the age of the N64 until the day Nintendo
folds...which will only come about when the world ends. They will
always be a guilty pleasure for adults, and just "a
pleasure" for kids. As for games, the Revolution is going to be
too heavy on puzzle games, and on games that defy genres (like the
plankton "game" for the DS).
In other words,
and to conclude this rambling of mine...the next generation will be
just like this generation. Games will matter more than abilities on
the consoles. FPS will drown all other genres on the 360 and PS3.
The Revolution will have more puzzle and miscellaneous genres than
you would ever want...and a lot of them will be aimed for kids.
However, most importantly, it will be memory that defines how well a
console can be played...like how GTA is better on the XBox, just
because it has more memory than the PS2 and thus has a better draw
distance. To quote someone...maybe it's a Pepsi
commercial..."the future is now".
Since I'm saying,
for the who-knows-how-many-times, that there's no news again, I
think it's safe to say that the Summer game season is in full swing.
I was hoping for a little more time before it fully hit, but it
seems that now is the time for the boredom to begin.
At least I have
some games to keep me entertained when the game news can't do so.
I've been hitting a lot of time on Rise of Kasai and Hot Shots Golf:
Open Tee. On one hand, I think I could write a review for Hot Shots
in an instant. I mean this is not just a game that it's easy to
invest large chinks of time into, but it's hella addictive and fun.
I've never been much of a golf person, not counting Mario Golf,
which shouldn't count since it's so cartoony. However, Hot Shots,
which uses a fairly deep golf mechanic system, is really fun to get
into. Maybe it's the cartoony coating they stuff on such a deep golf
game, or maybe it's because it's an actual golf game that keeps the
controls simple enough to enough, but complex enough to get away
with some realistic golfing experiences (well, realistic for a video
game). Who knows? In the end, I can just say that when I want a
quick time killer, I keep finding myself going to Hot Shots...plus,
with the PSP sleep option, I can drop it in a minute's notice and
not have to worry about how I have 5 more holes I need to play
through to finish the current round.
On the other hand,
Rise of Kasai is not quite as addictive or enjoyable. I'm really
trying, but I can't finish this game. The worst part, like I've said
before, is that this is a great game, with wonderful visuals, great
sounds, and an awesome plot...but the AI of your required partner is
so damned lame that you'll find yourself dying when you get no
assistance, or you'll find the game ending as your partner triggers
yet another ambush and dies.
here's one great instance of what I have had to deal with. Playing
as Rau, who's your typical barbarian (big guy, has a sword, axe,
staff/spear, and a bow...and likes to throw people into walls and
then impale them with his sword to finish the job), while the AI
plays Tati (Rau's sister...who's very fast and ferocious, and has
some nice mine-like weapons), I was getting ready, with Tati, to
ambush a few sentries. If they have enough warning, they will call
for help, and then things get ugly. So, I move into position, bow in
hand. Two sentries are present; one is walking, the other is
standing still. I get ready to shoot the standing one, as soon as
the moving one faces away. Then I will kill the moving one, and that
will be that. So, I shoot the two sentries, in that order, and am
ready to move into the next area. However, Tati decided to place a
mine in the middle of the next narrow hallway we must travel. I
think she was preparing to kill the moving sentries with
it...however, since I killed him, I'm now left with an active mine
that I'll have to trigger...which will take about 90% of my health.
That would be bad, if I hadn't been injured earlier while trying to
save Tati after she triggered an ambush. So, I do the only thing
possible...walk right into the mine and die...no other choice. Game
over. The last save point was about 15 minutes ago, so now I'll have
to do it all over again.
I should mention
that on the second attempt, I waited for Tati to lay the mine that
killed me, and she didn't do so. She let me kill the sentries. So,
basically, I had to waste about 15 minutes just because Tati felt
like doing something stupid one time, but wouldn't do it the second
time. Which also shows that it's not poorly devised programs that
the AI runs...they actually formulate these stupid actions on the
I also had to face
the same dragon boss, once again, that kicked my ass so badly a few
days back. Only this time it was two dragons and twice the number of
guards. I love wasting about 2 hours on retrying a boss since my
partner is too stupid to do her job of protecting me while I take
out the bosses. At least I only have 3 levels left, and then I'll be
Anyway, I'm not
sure how much I'll get accomplished with RoK this weekend. I know I
said I was aiming to finish it. However, my schedule has suddenly
filled, and I think my only really open time would be better spent
watching Batman Begins than to play a small area of RoK over and
over as Tati unintentionally sends me to an early grave.
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