Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This Is Going To Be One Long Gaming Generation

Today I just remembered about four years ago I waited in the cold and rain for hours to be one of the first people to get my hands on one of those fat black shiny boxes we call the PS3. Fours years, how time flies, its crazy and nearly four years for the Wii and five for the Xbox 360. Then I started thinking to myself, this gaming generation should be coming to a close...but the end is no where in sight.

This generation is different from the last due to the colossal investments Sony and Microsoft made when they were developing their consoles. These companies need to make their money back at the very least and they would enjoy making a profit as well. This is why Playstation Move and Kinect were created, to extend the consoles life cycles so that the consoles this generation can be profitable.

But what about the Wii you might ask. Well the Wii has been somewhat of a wild card this generation, I never suspected that I would become half as popular as it currently is. I think that Nintendo will just milk the Wii for everything its got and swim in their sea of money. I mean it would be nice if Nintendo introduced a "next-gen" incarnation of the Wii with HD visuals, a hard drive; you know all the basics that a next-gen console has. A console that would cater more to the hardcore gamers like me, none of this casual gaming nonsense. To me it is logical since Nintendo would theoretically would have a head start in the latest generation of gaming (I still consider the Wii as previous generation technology).

But this is all just wishful thinking, it seems like we are in the long haul for this one. With a gaming generation with an end no where in sight, I feel like my launch Day PS3 was worth every dollar.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

So Many Sequals, So Little Time...

Like many of you know, Call of Duty: Black Ops (COD7) was released recently and it got me thinking. I really don't like how COD games are released every year like it's some kind of sports game and I feel like this diminishes the video games quality.

I feel that COD games have been getting progressively worse after COD 4, it seems like the developers can get away with creating games that fail to impress me while maintaining record sales numbers. If they wanted to, the developers could release a half-assed game and still make a mint off of it due to the fact that the consumers are sheep, purchasing the game because its track record and being somewhat "loyal" to the franchise. Honestly, if a new game is released every year, even with 2 alternating developer teams (each team creates a game every 2 years) I feel that the developers are more inclined to minimize the improvements in each installment to allow them to save time. For example, I still fell like the last 2 COD games look like crap compared to games like Killzone 3 and Crysis 2. It's like the more recent games in the COD franchise hardly look better than COD 4 which was released quite some time ago.

What I'm trying to say is that the COD games look and feel dated and the developers don't really have any incentive to make huge improvements in each new COD because they would not be able to crank out COD games annually and be swimming cash like they are as we speak. So hopefully at some point the developers will space out the launches of these games, put more effort into them. I want a game that has more atmosphere, you know more stuff going on in the background and weather that sort of thing. I want better visuals(significantly better) because the games look like an attractive woman that didn't age very well. Above all, I a damn single player experience!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Have Beef With Online Multiplayer

Over the years I have realized there can be a divide between gamers who only want to play online multi-player games (mp) and those who only care about single player (sp). Personally, sp is far more important to me than mp, that being said I do enjoy mp games.

The thing is when it comes down to developing games, both a sp and mp experience is not always necessary. Often I find when the decision is made to add an mp component to an sp game, the mp can detract from the overall experience and vice versa. Like sometimes it will just feel half-assed and unnecessary. Prime example, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (COD6), it honestly had the shortest sp I have ever played in this gaming generation; it took me around 5 hours to complete it. I found, the plot extremely convoluted and it was not conveyed properly, the game could at least had some decent cutscenes to enhance the experience slightly. It just seemed that they developers devoted all their efforts to creating the mp because most people who purchase COD buy it for the mp. Well why couldn't COD6 just be like MAG or Warhawk, where the games are mp only and cost less than the average retail price for a game. It seems to make to me, but that's just me.

These days it seems like developers are going through this "Me Too" phase where every game must have a mp component and most of the time ends up hurting the sp. I know there is a huge market for mp games but there is no point of trying to appeal to both sp and mp players if the game quality will end up suffering.

This is my beef, if the developers want to make a game with both sp and mp, they need do it right. They need to divide their efforts equally between the sp and mp components of the game. If not, make the game sp or mp only, it would save them money and more importantly it would save the consumer money.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gran Turismo 5.......The Wait Is Almost Over

Well guys this one is going to be short because this is only speculation. I have been seeing increased amounts of people talking about Gran Turismo 5's(GT5) launch date closing in. And apparently the creator of the franchise announced that the discs were being stamped yesterday.

This news is getting my hopes up, quite a bit actually. The thing is this game has been pushed back so long that I am always skeptical of announcements regarding the progress of GT5. I remember playing the first demo of GT5 back in December of 2006, pretty much 4 years ago, when I bought my PS3 I was under the impression that GT5 would be released soon after I purchased my PS3. So you can see where my skepticism comes from but the news that came out yesterday is still very promising. So I am crossing my fingers for this game to be released in December before Christmas, mainly because I will probably make a deal with Santa Clause to get me a copy. Also, if GT5 is released during the holidays it will help Sony a great deal by nullifying the Xbox 360's leads in overall units sold. So hopefully, they are actually cranking out these games like they have said, because we all have been waiting an eternity.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halo Reach, Why Can't Your Campaign Be Epic?

I have been waiting for Reach for quite some time now and last weekend I had tbe opportunith to play it. Don't get me wrong the campaign was not bad, I thought the plot was engaging and the ending left me satisfied. I just like the gameplay was missing something.

Compared to the dramatic cutscenes the gameplay seemed a bit lackluster, it was just the usual Halo. I know if it ain't broke don't fix it but the games in the Halo series just fell like carbon copies of each other. One thing that vexes me is that it feels like Reach has barely anything happening on screen, compare it to the Killzone 3 beta and Crysis 2 and it makes me feel like Bungie could have done a lot more, to make the experience more engaging.

I know that it is difficult to bring something new and fresh to the table, especially in the super saturated first person shooter market. But the developers invest all this time and money on these games, so i would expect a little bit more.One example I always go back to is the weather effects in Killzone 2, which are even in the multi-player component of the game, it sets the very dark mood of the game and besides the effects look great and ads some realism. Well what I wanted the most was to get that feeling of scale, you know like in Shadow of the Colossus or God of War 3, something to make me take a step back and admire the epicness (yeah I know I made that word up but you guys get the gist of it), I just felt Reach was missing that and it left me unsatisfied.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Need For Speed Hot Pursuit....(Sigh)

After an eventful Halloween weekend I decide to wind down by downloading the latest Need For Speed (NFS) demo. I was surprised to see the file, size it was around a gig and a half. So I was expecting this demo to be decently long.

I think that was just wishful thinking.There are 2 playable races, one as a cop and one as the street racer. The catch is you can only play the street racer if you convince a friend to download the demo, shenanigans I say! Did I mention I had to create and EA account? Yeah, I had to make an account just to play the demo. So that made me slightly vexed right off the bat.

I appreciate that the developers are getting back to the roots of the NFS series since the older installments before Underground were far superior to the more recent NFS games, so kudos for them. The only thing is, the demo did not seem nearly as entertaining as the last NFS Hot Pursuit. Sadly, the handling seemed pretty bad when I was driving the Nissan 370Z cop car, it was just so hard to drive with the analogue sticks. It was so bad, it was reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto 4. Not to mention the gameplay mechanic involving stopping the racers is a little lackluster,all you have to is hit the car you are chasing until their "health bar" is depleted. I wish it were more like it was in the last NFS Hot pursuit where you actually had to physically had to stop the racer not just rear end their car until it magically just stops when their health reaches 0. Unfortunately for the game it is not very pretty, I know visuals are not everything but when old games like Gran Turismo 5 Prologue look better it annoys me.

With all these negatives, the only positive I could find is that driving high performance exotic cars beats driving a modded civic any day. That being said, the negatives greatly outweigh the positives, so it only seems logical for me to pass on this one.