I hate to see video games going to the silver screen. When most
games come to the theaters at major motion pictures, it leads to
disaster. Blood Rayne, Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Mario, Double
Dragon, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter (horrible way to end the
career of one of the best actors of our time...Raul Julia...sigh),
and many others. It always leads to a vague set of content that can
either be held faithful (Silent Hill) or completely changed
(RE2)...but it always fails to deliver for both fans of the series
in question and general fans of movies.
the rights of City of Heroes have been granted for turning into
a movie and maybe even a show on TV. In the end, this will equal the
same disasterous results as other game movies. However, the
difference is this time it's based off of an MMORPG, which means
there are less rules and less plot for the faithful and a lot of
extra room to butcher some celluloid.
How are they even going to make this content (and lack of content)
into a two hour chunk of "entertainment"? It just doesn't seem
possible to handle without completely wasting the $10 of anyone
stupid enough to contribute to this film's creators' coffers. At
least it should provide a good drunken movie, when it quickly comes
to DVD (under the cover of night, so as to not alarm real movie
buffs) a couple months after it flops in theaters. At least this way
it will only cost a group of people a few dollars to rent it and it
won't add that much to the coffers or notoriety of the idiots behind
it's conception to film.
On a different note, I went out and bought Shivering Isles
yesterday. I figure that I'm playing enough Oblivion to merrit the
purchase of the expansion. I have yet to go to the new lands offered
by this expansion, since OOO and MMM add enough content to keep me
nicely entertained (and I had the Dark Brotherhood quest line to
play through). However, it's nice to see the extra content being
added into parts of the standard Oblivion, as well.
I have yet to see all of the new stuff added by MMM (monster mod to
end all monster mods, in my opinion). I thought I was only running
across some new MMM monsters when I saw what looked a lot like a
dark seducer from Morrowind. Little did I know that this was in
actuality a dark seducer that was added by Shivering Isles. That was
in addition to a hunger (another new creature of the expansion). All
while I was clearing out the mage's tower at the end of the Arrow of
Extrication quest for the thieves guild.
I will probably go to the new areas soon, but I'm taking the advice
of one Shivering Isles walkthrough I found (I wanted to see how to
open the new areas); to raise my armorer score to 50 so I can have a
far easier time restoring my magical equipment to full without
relying on merchants, who are apparently few, expensive, and far
between on the Shivering Isles.
On a final note before I ride off to damage some swords and armor to
raise my armorer score, I just want to say good game to my D&D crew.
I hate to say
it...ok...I like saying it. I really like to say something that only
helps to boost my credibility in saying I am someone who can
understand the game industry
better than a supposed analyst who is paid to understand these
told you so! GTA4 will not be delayed. It will come out on
October 16th, 2007, just like it was originally called by Rockstar.
How did I know this? A few simple facts. For one, Rockstar is not
known for delays. They may have some issues with promises and
content, but release dates are never on the side that fails...mainly
just their business operations are the untrustworthy part of their
Another reason I
knew this would be the case is the reason for the rumored delay. It
was being supposed that GTA4 would be delayed due to the release of
Halo 3 being announced to happen just a couple weeks before GTA4 was
announced to come along. Well, for one thing, I know if I was
Rockstar, and I held a game that was guaranteed to make some major
money and to make some massive sales, I would not change my plans
because some younger superstar (Halo 3)decided to release itself so
close to my already planned date, after I had announced my plans.
Bungee was the company that trespassed on Rockstar's territory, not
the other way around.
is scheduled for a multiplatform release. In other words, it will
come to both the PS3 and the 360. Why would Rockstar delay the game
across the board, when the PS3 is not looking at an abundance of
major hits in this time frame? It would only serve to be a slap in
the face of Rockstar's longest lasting fans; the Sony console
owners. If they delayed GTA4 because of another 360 game, this would
only punish the PS3 fans, and that would not help Rockstar in the
long run as they keep trying to make more fans with each new game
GTA has always
faced some form of competition in the market, and this is nothing
new to them. Halo 3? Big deal. There is always competition, and
unless they aim to delay/release the game next June, they will still
have competition in one form or another.
However, most of
all, to delay would make Rockstar look like a pushover as they cave
in to Bungee. With Halo 3 being the second game to come along with a
similar release window, this, on the other hand, will make Bungee
look more like the bad guy than Rockstar (afterall, who was in the
October window first? GTA4!). If you cannot afford all of the games
that come out at this window, then it's not Rockstar's fault.
does a good job of lasting sales. GTA games have always continued to
sell long after the release of the game. The game may get the
largest single push in sales at it's release, but it will still get
a lot more, especially with Christmas right around the corner, with
time. The game may lose a few sales in the short run, but it will
still come out well on top of what is being estimated by Rockstar's
marketing team (whatever they thing the final numbers will be).
Anyway, Halo 3 and
GTA4 are not even necessarily tied in to the same audience. FPS fans
may also enjoy GTA4, and vice versa. However, the people who will
obsess over Halo 3 and live it's online games for months to come are
not going to purchase GTA4 if the release is delayed a couple of
weeks anymore than they would delay buying it if it was released two
weeks before Halo 3. Gamers do have priorities, and these priorities
will be met, regardless of timing. I, for example, want GTA4 and
could not give a shit about Halo 3 if I tried. I will buy GTA4 and I
would buy it no matter what. However, if I was a Halo 3 fan, I would
still buy GTA4 first, no matter the timing, and would only get Halo
3 if I had the extra money, since one game has been planned for my
game playing in October since 2006, while the other (Halo 3) is
fresh to the October scene.
Sometimes I swear
that if an industry analyst firm wants to understand how these
things work, it might be time to skip hiring people with fancy
business degrees, and to maybe get a real gamer. I don't mean some
fanatical fanboy type. I mean a level headed gamer who still plays
games for the fun and not for the achievements or bragging rights.
like GTA3 said on the K-JAH radio station; "if you want knowledge,
get yourself a scientist". Well, I have a degree in biology and am
more than ready to share my knowledge.
On that final
note...a simple question, more for myself to ponder than for a
serious answer. Around 1PM today, I found myself just
wondering...When the f#@$ did I become a geneticist, and how can I
undo this shit?
Guitar Hero Encore is a game that I had little interest in.
Well, little interest when compared to GH3 or Rock Band. It just
wasn't interesting me as much as I thought it could have.
I am a fan of the
rock (spelled: R-A-W-K). However, the 1980's butt rock and hair rock
was never something that really got my mental motor running.
Afterall, it's the music that's played to death on every lame car
commercial or other ad aimed at aging yuppies who want to reclaim
However, Dio was
making my mouth water. He was cheesy, but he was also about the
harder sounds of rock. I was pushed over the edge and now interested
seeing more of Iron Maiden. Wrath Child is in GH Encore and I now
have an official need for this game. I hope more real metal comes
along and less of the new wave (sorry, but Flock of Seagulls does
not do it for me and it shouldn't do it for anyone) starts to
surface before this game finally is released. As it stands, I feel
the need for one more major song, and if not...then it will be
another case of a game I want for limited content that I will be
happy to skip and wait for the real encore...GH3.
On a different
note, I normally don't agree with Square Enix (afterall, they are
the people who have shit upon all that I once held to be
dear...including the Mana and FF franchises), but I have to agree
some words laid down by Yoichi Wada, the president of SE.
While I cannot
agree with his ascertain that one needs to factor in the broadband
connection of the PS3 or 360 in order to fully utilize the systems
(it's easy enough to ignore broadband...look at Oblivion...PC, PS3,
and 360 all have internet access, but the game doesn't use it for a
very good final effect), the rest does make sense to me.
Consoles are going
one of two ways. On one hand, there's what Sony and Microsoft have
been up to. Their systems as of late have all relied too much on
technology to improve the gaming experience, while this technology
has only left developers making half-assed games in an attempt to
please tech starved gamers. Broadband is nice, but it should until
be utilized in games that call for it. Single player and single
system multiplayer should still be an important priority for
developers, as it is a priority for many gamers.
visuals are also nice...very nice. However, when the visuals are
still the same, but with slightly improved textures, they don't
serve any real purpose. It's nice to see some more refined visuals
on a lot of games, but if a game doesn't call for this technology
(like RPGs, in particular), then it's only serving to push up the
bottom line as the development cost and time soars to new heights.
The other end of
the spectrum has Nintendo...and no one else. Nintendo has kept their
technology relatively simple by comparison. The Wii is not the GCN
1.5 that many haters seem to imply, but it's still not the same
revolutionary leap in technology that the PS3 and 360 had over their
older counterparts. On top of that, the DS is not the same leap in
handhelds as the PSP. The visuals are low key, the internet
connection is more of an after thought, and the games tend to focus
on something different (game play, not tech whoring).
Nintendo seems to look like the worse option on paper, who is
winning at the end of the day. Ultimately, it is gamers...but
barely. However, of the console makers, Nintendo is pulling out on
top due to the mass appeal and ease of use. While PS3 and 360 have
only pushed the limits, Nintendo keeps altering the limits of what
should and could be expected.
It makes me thing
of the PS2. Two of my favorite lines of games were Katamari and the
NIS games (Disgaea, Lap Pucelle Tactics, Phantom Brave, etc). Both
of these games failed to utilize the technology on hand. Instead,
they went more of the Wii direction...that is to say that they are
focused on giving a fun and simple environment to do some amazing
Katamari and NIS games, too many developers are focused too strongly
on giving gamers the biggest bang for their buck...even if the bang
is hollow and, at the end of the day, a let down when compared to
what could have been done with a different focus (a lot of small
quality bangs over one big empty one).
I'm glad to see
that Square Enix is making Dragon Quest 9 for the DS, and that they
show no remorse in this decision. As it was said, more people could
be reached on the Nintendo platforms. On top of that, RPGs, in
particular, do better when technology is not forced. I look at my FF
collection and I have the best memories from the older ones (pre-FFX).
Why? Because the games focused on fun over trying to make a heavy
dose of eye-candy. When you consider how DQ games are usually very
limited on technology and high on story telling and game mechanics,
I'm glad to see that the best system (the DS) is going to get the
I just hope more
developers start to see this type of logic and I hope they start to
understand the perspective of gamers, not the console makers. We
want fun games. At the end of the day, nice visuals are a good
touch, but some quality is needed in the area of the actual game.
There may be a lot of technology to utilize on the PS3 and 360, but
it's time to stop looking at this situation with a sense of
intimidation. You (game developers) don't need to use everything.
There is a lot to utilize, but there is a lot you can also ignore in
your quest to make a good product that sells and not just a line of
products that boast of high technological achievement while offering
nothing of substance.
I love to hear
when a good company that offers reliably fun games is making a new
title. For example, if I hear that Namco's Tales team is making
something new, I will jump on it. If there's a new Katamari game, or
most things Konami (read: not a 3D Castlevania game), then it'll be
good. If I hear about Bioware making something new, then I aim to
...or I would if I
wasn't hearing about
yet another MMORPG filling an oversaturated market that needs
almost anything besides more MMORPGs. In particular, RPGs are needed
right now for the PC. The PC has been neglected by RPGs, as of late,
and besides Oblivion and the thoughts of a potentially fun (or
potentially crap-tastic) Fallout 3, it seems that no one is looking
at good old RPGs for the PC. In fact, it looks like it's all falling
now onto Bethesda's shoulders to keep the PC RPG fans going.
So, to hear that
Bioware is investing time and resources into an overly saturated
market of a less than compelling genre, I can't help but feel a
little sad and disappointed. Bioware has made too many solid RPGs to
make a move to making anything other than standard RPG games. If it
wasn't for Bioware and Bethesda, I think the PC RPG market would be
in too far of a decline.
Most of all, too
many MMORPGs now are just falling into a state of oblivion upon
their release. WoW has claimed dominance, and new MMORPGs, like the
D&D one, Star Wars Galaxies, and whatever else is forced on the
market are pretty much doomed to obscurity. It's time for game
makers to push forward with the more content heavy of titles and
less on the games that are an easy paycheck (if they succeed) due to
the low price of server maintenance when compared to the high price
of $10-$15 per month access fees.
Plus, Bioware has
usually done a good job with the multiplayer aspects of their RPGs.
Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate, and Icewind Dale have all granted
the same fun feeling of forming a team of about six or more players
at a time and having, at the same time, a game that offered content
worthy of playing (read: a plot) with both a group of friends and by
At least I have
Oblivion to keep me happy for a long time. Hopefully, by the time
I'm in need for another game, besides the fall offerings for the Wii
and GTA 4, some new RPG will rise from the PC ashes.
Gamespot has an interesting article about Sir Howard Stringer
(Sony CEO). It makes me think of how much I'd like to live in a
state of oblivious fanboyism. Not to talk too much crap of Sony
(since I do that too much and really find it wearing thin), but I
have a few things I need to say.
For one, Stringer
lives in a fantasy world if he believes what he said. Ok. The PS3
does indeed need a price cut to boost sales. That much is obvious,
and it's good to see that Sony's higher ups are now looking at that
option. However, that's not the full story. While the Wii has sold
more, it's price was only part of the equation. The larger factor is
that Nintendo made a system that's intuitive, easy to get into, and
has some entertaining games (Wii Sports, Zelda, and Wario...well,
Wario is more from month one...) from day 1. Also, it's easy enough
and fun enough to draw in non-gamers, which is basically the holy
grail for console makers. While gamers are loyal customers, it's the
non-gamers who make up the majority of the population, and they are
ready to spend money, just like gamers...they just need the
However, the talk
about how the PS3 is on track to do like the Playstation and the PS2
is complete bullshit. First of all, the PSX did so well because it
only had one true level of competition...Sega's Saturn. However,
Sega shot themselves in the foot with their unexpected release, poor
game selection, and the annoying fact that they pissed off a lot of
consumers in the previous generation with two expensive and useless
peripherals (Sega CD and 32X). The PSX was set for domination before
it was even released. When you toss in how the N64 was already being
seen as a joke before it's launch (cartridge on a modern console?),
the PSX was set.
The PS2 was also
in a good position to start. They had to first endure with the
Dreamcast, which still suffered from third party support (no EA
equals no love from many gamers) and a lack of fans (from past Sega
mistakes...now including the failed Saturn). Then they had the
remainder of Nintendo's failed N64 attacks...which by then was
seeing a release of one or two games every few months, and most of
the games were pretty bad. The only competition wouldn't come for an
extra year from either a new Nintendo console (GCN) or from
Microsoft (XBox). Nintendo had already shot themselves in the foot a
few times with the Virtual Boy and N64, and the lack of games and
support for either. Microsoft was unheard of, the first US console
maker (which implies a lack of support from the land of video game
goodness; Japan) since Atari disappeared, and they had angered
enough people with Windows to have already made a few enemies from
While the XBox did
end up doing some good, the GCN only had loyal Nintendo fanboys and
fangirls to keep them running. This just put the PS2 in prime
position to conquer all, primarily due to an early release. This
helped to win over a lot of third party support, which made victory
However, in modern
times, we have the PSP and the PS3.
The PSP has done a lot to hurt Sony and disillusioned fans. It
has simply failed when eyed versus the DS or the GBA. The PSP showed
Sony's arrogance and contempt for naysayers. This gave us a portable
that was expensive, had little in the way of quality games, and also
gave a portable that had it's potential stunted by Sony's refusal to
allow homebrew (which could have easily changed the portable game
world). Many features were wasted (WiFi for the first year) or
pointless (UMD movies and music), which just bloated the price of
the portable system to unrealistic levels. Then there is and was the
lack of quality titles. Even GTA turned out lame (and even was
ported for those who wanted it on a real system). When you toss in
the dead pixels, bad square button, and lack of a second set of
shoulder buttons and a second analogue stick, it just felt really
tacky and like a waste of $250 (now less, but that's what I got mine
for...before I sold it...one of the few systems I ever sold and the
only one I didn't need the money for when I got rid of it...this is
from a person with a Jaguar, Lynx, 3DO, and Virtual Boy).
Now we have the
PS3. The PS3 has the same grounds for battle as the PS2. However,
Sony started things with a propaganda battle...one that resulted in
many lawsuits due to deceptive practices (like when they came up
with a chart of why the PS3 is "less expensive" than the Wii or
360). These lies also angered fans who kept seeing that they would
get less than promised, but for the same price. Dual HDMI? WiFi in
all PS3s? Large supplies at launch? Of course that last one didn't
matter as much with how they turned out selling in the first few
months. Also, to slap two and one whole continents in the face, Sony
dropped Europe and Australia from the simultaneous worldwide launch,
and then they destroyed Lik-Sang (which was one of the key
motivators for European Sony fans, since importing games was one of
the few ways to compliment the neglected European Sony game
Now we have a
console that has failed to materialize any great titles, after over
six months. Meanwhile, Microsoft had the 360 out for an extra year,
and has hit it's stride as of last fall (or maybe late summer), when
Saint's Row, Dead Rising, and Enchanted Arms (not the best game, but
a Japanese RPG on the western console), and then later on Gears of
War. True, the PS3 was not been out as long, and thus should be cut
some slack...at least on paper. The reality is that it doesn't
matter because the truth is simple; Sony and Microsoft are currently
battling it out with the PS3 and 360, and one (360) has more games
and more quality games. The other (PS3) is losing console exclusives
(Assassin's Creed, GTA 4, and potentially more blockbuster titles),
delaying games promised or expected for launch (MGS4 anyone?), and
has yet to show a game worthy of selling a single PS3.
I am a fan of
consoles. I could care less about what is in my living room and what
it's next to. Ok. That's not quite true. I collect all consoles and
I want all of them to succeed, so that I am rewarding for investing
in all of them. This point in mind, I still have not bought a PS3
and don't see it happening in the near future. I will not buy a PS3
until two things happen. The price break would be important (I
refuse to ever pay more than $399, and that must be justified).
However, I need exclusive games that are worth my time. When the PS2
list of awesome franchises is now going to other consoles (GTA4,
again) or are just feeling old and tired (Final Fantasy), it just
doesn't entice this rabid gamer. If the games are essentially going
to be identical across platforms, when it comes to third party
developers, and when Sakaguchi is a 360 supporter, then I cannot see
why I would want a PS3. It's expensive, offers nothing that the 360
doesn't, and it includes features I don't need (PSP connectivity,
another system of points to buy in exchange for games instead of
money, and controllers that are always wireless...sorry, but a 360
controller being PC compatible is a nice bonus on the 360) in the
name of charging a higher price of admission.
If Stringer really
wants to turn around the PS3, I would suggest something more
important. Namely, go with the price break, but don't stop there.
Also, don't be stingy with the price break. If Sony wants to do
well, they should be willing to lose a bit more cash on each
console. They will have the electronics division to recoup losses
(like how Microsoft has the Windows team) for the first year or so.
However, a console that is directly competing with the 360 cannot
afford to give business to it's competition by being equivalent and
needs to get third party love. Show, through generating sales (via
the price break), that you are worthy of more exclusives. Then use
the exclusives to generate more sales. It's a big circle. Win over
some fans to buy the system, use the numbers to win over developers,
then use those new games to win over fans, then use the console
sales to win over more developers...and so on. It's a chicken/egg
thing. It doesn't matter which comes first, but one is needed for
the other, which is needed for the first one.
For Those Who Don't
Have Flash Plug-Ins...
This Site Links
Contact Us Disclaimer