Thursday, July 29, 2010

Is it Just Me or Was The Nintendo 64 Controller Absolute Garbage?

Don't get me wrong I loved the games on the N64 especially Golden Eye since it was pretty much the pioneer of current generation FPS's but the N64 controller was completely horrible.

I think Nintendo really has problems with their controlers the Gamecube controller was pretty bad, it the button layout sucked and the buttons were very oddly shaped. But the N64 controller was far worse than the Gamecube controller in my eyes because I feel that the controller itself had an extremely strange shape. Which in turn made it very awkward to hold, thus making it very very difficult for me to play games effectively. I think since the controller had such a wierd shape the way the buttons were grouped suffered making it difficult to do certain tasks in a game with these controllers. As much as I did love Golden Eye on the N64 the controller made the game suffer by producing a clunky and awkward control scheme.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

No Matter How Hard I Try I Can Never Own a Sports Game

Over the years I was never able to get into sports games, I have never even owned one. Most of my friends think I am crazy or are thoroughly disappointed when they realize that my game collection does not contain a single sports game.

To be honest, I feel that sports games are not as entertaining nor as rewarding as other gaming genres because it is more rewarding to go get off the couch and play the actual sport itself. Maybe sports games are designed for people who play sports but will never be satisfied with their personal skills on the court thus playing with an NBA team makes them feel better. I don't think I will ever know since the only sport that I really play is paintball and I am pretty good at it. More importantly a paintball video game would not give me the same rush of adrenaline that I get on the field when I have to be contantly making split second decisions. Maybe that's it? Maybe sports games just don't give me the same rush and excitement that I get when I am actually physically exerting myself, coordinating strategies and plays with real people in real time.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Final Fantasy 14 Better Not Be $60!

Well since it seems like Final Fantasy Versus 13 will never see the light of day, I am looking forward to trying out Final Fantasy 14 (FF14). I am currently working my way through Final Fantasy 13 (FF13) and I am not liking it very much at this point in time (mind you I am only a couple hours in). Since FF14 is going to be an MMO it would be a nice change since it will give the player more freedom than in FF13 (it's an RPG, your supposed be able to set things up more freely to suit your style of play). FF14 would be the first MMO that I would have played if I do decided to pick it up.

I have one concern, since FF14 is an MMO I am sure there will be a monthly subscription fee, my concern is that Square Enix annoying as they are will give this game the full retail price of $60. If this happens which I do not doubt for a second I will probably reconsider picking this game up because the cost of playing would add up very quickly due to the full retail price. More importantly if the subscription fee is some ridiculous sum of money, count me out Square Enix. I do not know why I still have faith in this developer. I guess I am waiting for them to deliver another great game like Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy 10, so far I have been thoroughly disappointed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stop Making DLC! I Don't Enough Money to Buy All of It!

It seems like every game has DLC (Down loadable content) these days. Sometimes DLC can be acceptable in certain games but common DLC in single player campaigns, that is just wrong!

Honestly I don't mind DLC in the online components of games as long as the DLC does not throw off the balancing in the game. For example map packs in a first person shooter like Killzone 2 or Call of Duty, those are completely fine, they just help extend the replay value of the game which is what the gamers want. But some games like Assassins Creed 2 having parts of the campaign missing, which have to be purchased as DLC is completely unacceptable! Personally I like to Know that when I drop $70 (taxes in Canada do not help game prices at all) on a game I am getting a full game that has a decent length and quality, especially concerning single player games since it seems like single player campaigns are getting shorter and shorter these days. In the future I don't want to be constantly doing micro-transactions for my games, because that will just allow the developers to potentially rip us off and I am pretty sure nobody wants to be spending $100 on a game due to DLC that is necessary to complete the gaming experience.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Me and Sandbox Games Just Don't Mix

I tried and tried and tried, now matter how many sandbox games I play I can never really get into them. I have never finished a single sandbox game before and I feel like I am the only person on earth who doesn't like this genre of games.

It seems like I cannot more than 10-12 hours into any sandbox game. No matter which ones I have played, Need For Speed Most Wanted, GTA4 or Mercenaries to name a few and they just don't seem to entertain me for that long. Don't get me wrong I find the idea of sandbox games and how they have their own worlds created from the ground up and all the little details that make up these worlds. But I feel like I need more linearity in a game. When I say linearity, I am not talking about a game as linear as a side scrolling platformer but a game with a clear and solid objective that I am driven to complete. When I play sandbox game I don't feel like I have a sense of direction, I can only go around and meddle in a sandbox for so long. This is why sandbox games don't tickle my fancy, they make me feel like I am not accomplishing anything because I can do whatever I want, whenever I want.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Kingdom Hearts 3, Where Are You?

So yesterday I made a little trip to downtown Toronto to watch a bit of the Honda Indy which was an enjoyable but very loud experience ( ear plugs are a must!). While I was down there I visited many comic book stores and in every single one of those stores I saw sets of Kingdom Hearts action figures. The sight of the action figures made me realize that sadly we have been without a console version of Kingdom Hearts for a few years now.

Damn you Square Enix! Damn you! Why can't you spend your time delivering content that the fans instead of creating mediocre installments to the hypocritically named Final Fantasy series. It seems like Square Enix just feels like doing their own thing lately considering they tease us with Final Fantasy 7 and do not deliver, they teased us with announcing Final Fantasy Versus 13; yet nothing has turned up. Now with the Kingdom Hearts series, seriously I do not want to buy a Nintendo DS and/or a PSP to play the latest games in the series that I and many other love so much. All I want is a full length console game, something to end the series nicely, all I want I Kingdom Hearts 3 but I have a feeling it won't be coming. So, Square Enix if you are not going to make any of these games that I mentioned earlier, get off your ass now and make a game that is worth my time and money!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Call Me Lazy But I'm Not Getting Off of My Couch

With the Xbox 360 and PS3 motion control peripherals launch date closing in, I began to think. This whole idea of motion control is cool and all but aside from the games potentially all being horrible failures I realized I am so lazy that I will not get off my couch to play games.

I know I am a couch potato, but honestly I play games when I am relaxing, I don't want to be flailing my arms around like a lunatic during my down time. This is my main reason why my gaming time consists of a few simple things: Me, a couch and some kind of high fat snack with a high salt content. As you can tell I am not a very active person, I loath cardiovascular activity in any shape or form and have to force myself to do it or be pressured by my friends. So breaking a sweat during my gaming time is not going to happen (well maybe due to me playing a highly tense and horrific game). So there you have it, this one of my main reasons why I am so against this whole motion control movement; I don't like the fact that it is required to stand up or move around my living room like a lunatic. Call me lazy but keep in mind I doubt most gamers will get off their asses to play some mini golf.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why Do Iphone Games Suck?

Pretty much everyone I know owns and itouch or an iphone these days and they are always playing these ridiculous games from the app store. I know, I shouldn't judge because I own an itouch as well and I do play the games from time to time. The thing about the games that annoys me is the fact that the fun factor from the games is incredibly brief.

Personally, the only games I play are Tap Tap Revenge or Word Warp. I feel that they are somewhat entertaining but I only really play them when I am waiting in line at the doctors office or when I'm bored out of my mind sitting on a subway train. I can't seem to figure out why there is no lasting appeal to the games. Maybe the ones I play are really repetitive and have nothing new to offer me gameplay wise. Why can't the be games on the iphone be like the Pokemon games on the gameboy, which can last for hours and hours and would keep me occupied and would be thoroughly entertaining. I am just tired of playing all these short mini games lately, considering I need something that can occupy me for at least an hour at a time. I want to be able to enjoy the games, I would assume that in this day and age an iphone or itouch would have the capacity to allow us to play games that are decently long. Maybe I need to get out more and search around in the app store, maybe I will find something that will please me. Until I find something I am not installing anymore games on my itouch, they are just a waste of space.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Game Soundtracks: They Complete the Experience

When I play my games I appreciate having an all around entertaining experience and there are several components to this kind of experience in my eyes. There are the visuals, the gameplay and the soundtrack to name a few. I am going to focus on the soundtrack because I feel it is an integral part of the whole gaming experience.

In my eyes video games are just like movies in the sense that if it lacks a good soundtrack it will be difficult to be successful. It is like watching a horror movie on mute, so a good soundtrack can help make a better game. I personally love music, pretty much every genre possible and I believe that good music will always have a place in video games. For example Little Big Planet on the PS3 had a great soundtrack, as well as Halo 3: ODST which probably had the best soundtrack in the whole Halo series.In addition, God of War 3 had a soundtrack, that made the game even more epic and added to the experience. But I must say by far Need for Speed 3: Hot pursuit had one of the best game soundtracks. The soundtrack of this game was mostly electronic music which was perfect for a racing game, and I even think this game introduced me to electronic music; which has become the genre that I listen to most.

When a game has a great soundtrack, it completely changes the experience of a game that lacks a decent soundtrack. I feel that good soundtracks complements the game very well and makes the player more involved in the game since it sets the whole mood of the game, thus making a great soundtrack essential to a great gaming experience.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Always Was a Gamer, Always Will Be a Gamer

Like many of you out there I started to play video games very frequently as a child. I fell that since I grew up always playing games and that I continue to now, that I will always be a gamer.

I am not sure if many people the same way as I do but I you do, now that gaming is mainstream society does not look down on older gamers and classify them as strange or antisocial. Essentially, society has accepted gamers that are 30+ years old. This makes me happy since playing video games probably will always be a part of my life even if I don't get to play as much as I used to. As long as the games in the future are innovative, entertaining and unique I going to keep on gaming.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Build Quality of Consoles, What Happened?

I am not sure if it is just me being paranoid but it seems like this generation of consoles do not have as good build quality as last generation.

About 8 years ago I decided to save up some of my paper route money buy a PS2. Now 8 years later that old dust filled console is still kicking. I don't think consoles from this generation will be able to withstand the test of time like my PS2 did. But look at what happened to the Xbox 360 this generation, almost all my friends who own a 360 has had it die on them at least once, in the short periods of time that they owned them. The 360 has only been out for 5 years and they have been crapping out from day one due to the red ring of death. By my standards that is just unacceptable. I know that Microsoft wanted to beat the launch of the PS3 so the launched the 360 a year before Sony could launch their $600 piece of machinery. Unfortunately Microsoft's plan backfired due to the high failure rates of their console. Even my first PS3 crapped out on me (mind you I bought mine on launch day); the USB ports were faulty and I had to send it in to be repaired but now PS3's are suffering from the yellow light of death. Although the failure rate of PS3's are not as high as the 360, they seem relatively high. The manufacturers really need to get their act together for the next generation of gaming, since these consoles are such a big investment these days. Sadly, I doubt that happening; they just don't make the consoles like they used to.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Farmville: The Rise of the Facebook games!

Okay well I'm going to blog about something a little different this time around. One of the perks of being a University student is having the freedom of managing your own schedule. Naturally, me being a gamer I spent most of my time playing games instead of studying (which I regret oh so dearly) but this past school year something different happened that I would have never expected. One day I logged onto my Facebook account and I was inundated with requests to join this Facebook game called Farmville.

I decided there would be no harm in giving this simple Facebook game a try, right? I am a little embarrassed to admit this but for about a month or two Farmville consumed my "gaming life". This game became my guilty pleasure unfortunately, it was so addictive I could not help it. I took me a couple days to figure out why Farmville was so highly addictive. My hypothesis is that Farmville is kind of like an MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online game), and like MMO's Farmville contained the major component of that game that is know as "grind". Essentially grind or grinding in video games is bassically spending your pretty much time doing nothing but leveling up you character in the game constantly, always striving to reach the next level so you can unlock some new item or ability. This is why Farmville is so addictive and has its players slaving away, grinding. But for what, to be honest I really don't know.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit: It is back!

So it seems that the folks at EA are finally getting their act together and brought in a decent developer to create the next game in the Need for Speed series (NFS). I was very glad to here that the developer Criterion would make the new NFS, they have a pretty good track record but that is not the most exciting part about this news.
During E3 this year Criterion stated that they are going to replicate the experience we all loved and missed from the first NFS Hot Pursuit games. This means no more silly riced up Civics or Fast and Furious inspired street races and back stories, but rather driving high performance super and hyper cars on the a track trying to out run and outwit the cops and their oh so effective spike strips. I was very surprised by this announcement, I couldn't believe it EA finally decided to publish a potentially good NFS game, probably the first good one in years. I have waited to long for this to happen, the last great NFS was Hot Pursuit 2 on the PS2 and Xbox. That game was good fun, but lately all the recent games in the series seemed they were made solely to please Fast and the Furious fans, that is why I have bought an NFS game in years. But now I am happy that this new Hot Pursuit, will change all of that and we will have another excellent racing game that will allow us to kick back and have a good nostalgic feeling.

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