I was in Home, chatting to some people I'd never met and I thought "where have I spoken to people I don't know through the Internet before?"
I pondered it for a while and then I remembered; I regularly speak to people I don't know on Internet message boards. Sometimes I defend the fact there's no point in Home on Internet message boards. Other times I chat with strangers about how there's nothing to do in Home on Internet message boards.
Then I figured something out, commanded my Home avatar to shake his head and went and played a few rounds of bowling with my new digital friends.
Now who's up for some Internet message board bowling while we chat?
Last night Sony finally, finally, finally put an advert on TV that actually communicates to the average consumer something that the Playstation 3 does. There's no exploding paint, dancing babies or Barbie dolls. Just a clean, clear slot that gets the point across.
*sarcastic clapping* Finally Sony, finally. Now can we have a series of these in the same style for: PSN, BluRay, the big exclusives (Mum's playing Singstar, Dad and kids playing LBP, mid-20's playing Killzone 2, etc) with a decent closing statement that simplistically gets across all the main advantages of a PS3. I dunno "Games, BluRay, Free Online". Anything like that. Cheesey, dumb and obvious.
JUST FUCKING RIP THE WII/iPHONE COMMERCIALS FOR GOODNESS SAKE. It's not hard.
Thank you Sony for finally showing that you read ADVERTISING FOR DUMMIES and put out something of relative merit.
Gah, I really, really wish Sony would employ me. I'd sort out at least their gaming division in a couple of months. (N.B. I probably wouldn't but I'd like to think I would).
I've been around to hear the fanboys and the ranting for a fair while now and I've noticed a huge shift in the current "PS3 vs. 360" war.
Y'see console wars used to be all about games: Sonic vs. Mario, Zelda vs. GTA, Halo vs. Killzone, etc. etc. Now all I hear is numbers.
"Yeah well y'see 360 outsold PS3 by 2:1." "But, what of attachment rates and hardware costs. Sony are finally making money on their system whereas RROD continues to cost Microsoft etc. etc."
(disclaimer: discussion used as EXAMPLE not neccessarily factual).
It seems to me the forum goers are more interested in the sales figures of their chosen platform than the actual games. And I don't get it really.
Sure, ever since I got burned with the Dreamcast (which genuinely had the strongest line up of games than any other system I've owned), you do to some degree consider the financial implications of your systems: but purely from a "am I still going to get game x because it looks awesome" point of view.
The sales argument is a big "my system is better" argument for 360 fanboys whereas the "my system is mega powerful" is the argument for PS3 fanboys. Ironically no one else seems to notice that the Wii is the least powerful system and outsells the PS3 and 360's combined sales by 2:1. Hell, the Wii's not even the cheapest anymore.
It kinda renders all the Sony and Microsoft fanboys "arguments" as well, nonsense.
The Daddy of realtime vocal processing is Imogen Heap. Most of you will probably have heard this song at some point, because, well it's absolutely amazing. I saw her live a few years back and when she played this song, it's literally one of the most amazing things I've ever experienced live. It's just incredible. Real goosebumps moment.
So I've noticed a slightly worrying trend occuring on GiantBomb in the last week or so and sadly I hold my hands up and admit I have been a part of it on one occassion.
Forums are difficult places because their intention by nature is to discuss opinions but anyone who has frequented games sites over the last 10 years or so will know this usually causes -- sensitive? -- discussions.
I don't want to go on about fanboys or anything like that (I hate the word myself) I just want to talk about respect for other opinion, really. I'm worried GiantBomb has been getting a bit -- heated? -- lately. There have been a lot of 360/PS3 comparisons floating around which are all ending up in the same way.
Naturally people want to compare the systems but here's the thing, if we can't do it sensibly I'm calling (praying?!) for mods to close these threads down. There have been a few threads that have run their course early on and continued to serve for 2 or 3 pages of flaming. Sadly I've been involved in one of these and again, I admit, I hold my hands high.
My proposition to the mods and other members keep a closer eye on these "comparison" threads ("Should I trade in my 360 for a PS3?"; "PS3 vs 360 graphics"; "PSN is better than Live"). I think the mods have done a great job thus far and it's only in recent weeks GiantBomb has took a slight tumble towards the realms of Eurogamer and Gametrailers. I'm not saying we shouldn't discuss these things -- when GB launched discussions were generally very respectful and interesting but something has changed recently. Which brings me onto my next point.
New members, if there are a few of you goading each other, please try to curb it and take it to another forum if you really must do it.
I only type this as a concerned user. I don't mean to step on toes -- just a quick musing.
Mirror’s Edge is a 7 out of 10. A big fat 7. I haven’t reviewed it myself because I couldn’t be arsed. You can get plenty of other opinion over at Metacritic should you desire it.
So, why exactly would this particular video gamer give it a 7? Well on the positive side it’s innovative, COLOURFUL, mostly fun and makes you feel badass. On the negative side it’s frustrating, JAGGED, somewhat irritating and makes you feel like ass. Mirror’s Edge is as up and down as a… yoyo?
So anyway - with Mirror’s Edge having it’s fair share of problems I thought it was high-time someone pointed out in detail how you can turn that frown upside down for the inevitable sequel.
Please God no more “I know where to go but have no idea how the fuck I get there” moments. I actually don’t have a problem with runner vision being on everything. Every ledge you need to grasp, every wall you need to wall run, every block you need to climb up. I know they didn’t do it in order to make you think but… I just feel Mirror’s Edge is a game a bit like Sonic - you should spend more time feeling bad ass and less time thinking. Runner vision on everything would allow you to consistently see your way, how to get there and keep the flow of the game constantly moving.
Make Faith tougher or the guards less tough or take out combat all together. There are moments in Mirror’s Edge where you’re like “shit, guards, shit I don’t know where to go, shit if I punch them they’ll kill me, shit if I run past them they’ll kill me, shit… SHIT” and your face will go purple and explode. If there was an easier way of getting past the guards it would be much, much better. A hand gun perhaps would work extremely well? You could pull it out when you need it, get some quick headshots and keep running? Whatever they do the combat needs to be tweaked because I understand the purpose of Faith not being very tough (because she’s not really meant to fight at all) but getting past the guards at times can be frustrating at best.
The graphics could be more simplistic. I’m a big fan of the art direction in Mirror’s Edge. A big fan. It’s so refreshing, so gloriously fresh and clean that it makes me want to cry red, white and blue tears of joy but we all those that have played it know it’s not quite perfect. The problem is, given the nature of the game you’re constantly closed in next to walls and various other elements of scenery. And while the game looks glossy and sassy from a distance, those textures become horribly yucky when up close. The solution? Don’t have textures at all. Am I the only one that thought Mirror’s Edge would look much better if every element of scenery looking like a shiney piece of rubber. The shape of the objects would remain unchanged… I just think it would stand out even more if it went for an entirely minimalistic look.
Get rid of those “animated” cut scenes. Faith is a fucking cool character in my opinion. Celeste is a fucking cool character in my opinion. All the characters are fucking cool characters in my opinion. So how come they never get rendered into cutscenes. If Mirror’s Edge was a bit less video gamey and a bit more Half-Lifey, Dead Spacey, Bioshocky where the story unfolds as you play without “cut-scenes” as such I think it would be a lot, lot, lot, lot, lot more immersive. They need to find a way of getting you more attached to Faith. I’d need to put more thought into how but I loved the way they did the reflections when Faith is hanging from the helicopter. The game is called Mirror’s Edge after all? Perhaps more of a focus on the ol’ looking glass could be made? Everytime I pass glass, everytime I see water, everytime I’m near a metallic surface there’s Faith’s face staring back at me, reacting to what’s going on, beads of sweat on her brow.
More lovely swooshy electronic dream pop. I’m sure one of the things that sold the game to a lot of people was the soundtrack. It may sound odd but it just walked hand in hand with the tone of the game the trailers were setting. So it was a shame to see said soundtrack horrendously underused. Music is a big part of the video game experience even though it’s often the last thing people talk about but I think Mirror’s Edge is the kinda game that would benefit from a real kicking soundtrack. At present the ambient blips and blobs suit the tone but they don’t exactly stand out… it would be interesting to hear the synths swoosh when you’re high up and then the mids and bass shuffle into the mix as you move between varying heights.
Tweak the story please. I realise they’ve kinda already set the story in motion now, and I have no desire to give anything away to those that haven’t played it yet, but please can it be more like Brave New World and 1984. I love the whole dystopian nightmare setting thing… but in this game… I dunno, something felt wrong with the government. From the way they were called “blues” to the way they were constantly trying to kill you. I’d rather it was much more a gothic, frightened world that TOTALLY antithesised the visuals than the current world with pro-wrestlers and just cringey moments.
And that’s how I think they should make Mirror’s Edge 2. Because the basis is there. And it’s fucking great. Don’t get me wrong I love Mirror’s Edge. But you just feel that it could be so, so, so much more.
Still, props to DICE and EA for doing something totally, totally different.
Haha - first off I have to do the typical disclaimer bit - I own a Playstation, I like my Playstation, couldn't care less about who prefers and buys whichever products so long as they are open minded, etc, etc, etc.
But here's the thing - as a regular user of PSN (every day) I have a few complaints with their coverage of the PSN, which I appeciate is said peoples opinion (although in places it moves more into just plain unawareness), but I feel as a video games show on a multiplatform website they fail in giving out the correct information that MAY influence other gamers. And that's always been my complaint with GameTrailers. But hey I'm not here to trash talk a particular website - I'm just here to clarify a few things I felt were a little unfair in this video. Granted Geoff Keighley remains his impartial, professional self.
So what exactly is wrong with this discussion. Well all the opinionated stuff I agree with them: I don't particularly want to make a digital apartment in Playstation Home.
What is wrong - a number of things: I am by no means ever saying PSN is as robust as Live. It's not. That's fact. If you compare the two today Live is the superior service. But here's the thing - the three panelists have obviously not used PSN in the last few months. That might well come down to a problem with Sony's marketing - they're not pushing this stuff as well as they should and I've made posts about Sony's marketing next to Microsoft's marketing in the past. But if we're just looking at the direct comparison of the Network services.
Firstly Pachter is way, way off the mark when he says only a million are playing PSN online. I have about 10 friends on my account that I regularly play with on a daily basis. There are 10 people already. And Sony announced today that there are 14 million active accounts. This could be skewed by duplicate accounts no doubt but I'm certain there are a lot, lot, lot more than 1 million people playing PSN regularly. A game like Quantum Of Solace already has thousands of people logged on the leaderboards and as you can imagine the likes of COD and Resistance are jam packed with gamers. Really Pachter - only a million? Does he really believe it's a sparse wasteland because that's what he's implying right.
Rebecca Swanner points out she prefers the "more hardcore experience of XBOX where she can meet her friends and jump into a game". OK. So last time she used PSN was a good few years back when the Playstation 3 launched and everyone was worried. Well, um... does she know that you have friends lists, can message your friends, see what your friends are playing, jump into a game with your friend, message your buddies whilst playing via the XMB, etc. etc. Pretty much everything you can do in XBOX Live. Again, probably not as robust but the point is PSN allows you to do all the important stuff XBOX Live allows you to do.
Finally Pachter assuming that PSN is filled with "people you don't want to play with". Wrong, wrong, wrong. I've probably spent a good 500+ hours on PSN, possibly considerably more and I have witnessed, to memory, one heated argument in COD4. I owned an XBOX for many years with XBOX Live and have been called every name under the sun hundreds of times. In fact it got to the point where I certainly never wore a mic on my XBOX anymore - to a degree where it was a conscious decision to me choosing a PS3 over the 360. I HATE muting idiot players - depending on the game - it's time consuming and irritating. I have to do it on PSN every now and then - probably muted 6 players in the past week. And yeah I'm sure a BIG part of that is the fact that you have to buy a mic for PSN but... Pachter... really? More idiots on PSN than Live? Really?
No doubt people are going to come onto this post and say "omgbut you are clearly teh PS3z fanboy nd this is just opinionz" and yes - opinion it may be. But did no one else feel that these people had clearly not spent any time with PSN for months, maybe years? Shouldn't they be getting people who have a good OVERVIEW like Mr. Gerstmann etc to do these videos?
There's just a lot of misinformation in that video. If it wasn't intended then they really should clarify themselves.
Quantum Of Solace is obviously the latest Bond game to tie in with the new movie. It's out on just about every system you could imagine, ever.
What I liked:
Quantum Of Solace uses the Call Of Duty 4 engine. That means every bullet feels ultra satisfying, the multiplayer matchmaking algorithm is wonderful and everything just feels smooth as fuck in the gameplay.
The cover system is well implemented - you'll be able to run towards any nearby walls and snap Bond behind them allowing for some pop-and-shoot gameplay. You'll need to use the cover too if you want to survive as the game has been tweaked with this in mind. The levels are well designed to include enough unique spaces to hide behind.
Early on in the game some of the environments look phenomonal. Bright, colourful and exaggerated. I'd almost like to say it has a lovely look to it but... well it only looks great sometimes.
The train level was better than most Goldeneye levels. When you race to jump across the seperating train, run through the rain and watch Daniel Craig's clothes drip when in cover -- it looks brilliant and the level has some awesome set pieces.
The Golden Gun multiplayer mode is great fun. This mode has players competing to takedown the person with the Golden Gun.
The "poisoned Bond" mission. While gimmicky it was fun controlling Bond's journey from the card game in Casino Royale to the defib in his car. Some of the visual effects are impressive.
What I didn't like:
Single player is ridiculously short. You'll literally only spend about 4 or 5 hours completing the single player portion of the game. Thankfully the hardest difficulty is particularly tough so will keep you occupied for some time.
To boot the single player is relatively linear. There is usually only one route you can take and while the missions are generally well put together; passaged blocked by boxes or strips of fire are particularly "video gamey".
The multiplayer mode "Bond Versus" is too drawn out and frustrating. In this mode one player is Bond, trying to defuse two bombs while all the other players work as a team to take Bond out. Everyone has a turn as Bond and given each round can be 5 minutes long, it's... well... irritating.
The graphics in cutscenes and later levels are horrendous. In the final level I questioned whether I was playing the Playstation 2 version of the game. Clearly more attention was paid in the earlier levels.
The story is tied together by a series of debriefing sequences that become a little muddled throughout.
The title of the game is misleading. Most of the missions in the game are from Casino Royale.
Overall, Quantum Of Solace is definitely a solid shooter. It fails to ever make you feel like Bond and has it's ups and downs in the graphical stakes but if you're happy to overlook the length of the game there is plenty of fun to be had from the competent shooting mechanics and multiplayer modes.
Microsoft have had an absolutely brilliant marketing strategy this generation. Most of you know I have a PS3 (after owning the 360 from launch day and never feeling "ready" for the next generation) and am very happy with my console. I only care about sales to the point of "will games still come out on my console". That aside the "console wars" don't bother me. However I do occassionally get a twinge of confusion - how does the 360 consistently sustain SUCH a lead over the PS3. And here's what I've come up with:
Early release: I believe Microsoft put the 360 out SO early in order to gain a big sales head start. Their decision to just drop the original XBOX as soon as the 360 was launched I presume was to stop current XBOX owners "waiting out" for the next console and try to push them into an immediate upgrade.
Clever pricing: We all know the 360 is considerably cheaper than the PS3. Hugely cheaper. And I think Microsoft have exploited Sony's marketing flaws by dropping the price so cheaply. You see the average consumer looking for a next generation console compares the prices of the two and picks an XBOX every time. What the average consumer won't know is that in order to "spec" a 360 Arcade (for example) up to what a standard PS3 does out of the box makes the prices pretty much the same. For as long as Sony doesn't address this problem Microsoft win in the price war.
"Blocking" people from ever needing another system: With the early release of the 360, it seems to me Microsoft have hooked a core userbase and have done everything they can to keep them. If you go back to when they bought Rare - at the time they were probably one of the most talked about developers in the world. The apple in Nintendo's eye and by purchasing them not only did it stop Nintendo getting games that people were talking about, it also allowed Microsoft to garner an excellent developer (although it's debatable whether you still consider them excellent). If you fast forward to more recent times you see the likes of downloadable content for GTA, Final Fantasy and Tekken. By no means have developers stopped producing for the PS3 (and maybe they would have gone multiformat ANYWAY) but I get the feeling Microsoft like to look at what's popular in other systems back catalogue and then provide them on their system. Again it stops people from ever needing to buy another system.
Making multiformats seem exclusive: Over here in the UK we've had: GTA, Quantum Of Solace, Saints Row 2 adverts all in recent months that don't even mention the games are available on the PS3. Instead they all end with the 360 logo. It's interesting in that if you were not an avid gamer you would think much of these games coming out were on the 360 only.
Using exclusives to their strength: I've yet to see an advert for MGS4 or LBP yet I can't STOP seeing Gears 2 or Fable 2. For me all four of these games are winners but again, the average consumer is more likely to pick up the ones they know more about right?
I personally believe there is not a great deal to choose between the 360 and PS3 but that is all down to personal preference.
I guess these are just my thoughts on what Microsoft has done to ensure they block out the PS3. And Sony haven't responded. Fair play to Microsoft I think they've had an excellent campaign. For me, whatever Sony does now is probably going to be too little too late. Whilst I'm not personally convinced that for my tastes Microsoft have put out the better console it's regardless of my thoughts because they have securely won the marketing war.
Of course Nintendo have had an even better marketing campaign but the similarities between Sony and Microsoft's console are high so it just strikes me as interesting how one has come out so much stronger than the other.
Please can we not turn this into a flame war. Everyones allowed conflicting opinions but that doesn't mean someone is more right than someone else.