I normally play games on easy, sometimes on normal. I totally get how people could enjoy the skill/challenge of beating a game. But I really dig games for the immersion and interactive narratives I can't find in any other medium. Brutally hard hard games just get in the way for me. Some people skip cut scenes; some play on easy. It all depends on what you want from your game.
Oncomouse's forum posts
Maybe this post is popping up again because a lot of people are upset by the change?
Personally I wont be paying a dime because I don't think the content is worth it. I donate to shows like Radio Lab or This American Life because they have stellar professional production and content I can't get anywhere else. I like polished content and analysis with a side of bonus fun. I used to put up with Giant Bomb's shenanigans to get to the moments of coherent and insightful analysis from guys who've been doing this longer than almost anyone else.
Now they want people to finance them so they can do more goofy shit and less solid content. If you want to pay for that, it's cool but not for me. There are more than enough places to get solid gaming content for free. Over the years this site seems to have become more and more about the staff than what they cover - a personality cult about four guys who happen to really like video games. If there's a market for that, good for them. But I'll be going elsewhere.
That's true. Gamestop is bad for everyone in the industry except Gamestop. They fuck the buyer, the seller, and the publishers.
I'd never buy used if it was only a 5-dollar difference. But sometimes, often, the gap is a lot larger, especially on sites like Goozex or eBay. I remember getting GTA IV about four or five months after release for less than $30 on eBay when it was still going for close to full price at retail.
I feel the same way. I'm a dirty Bioware fanboy and tend to buy most of their stuff new because I know I'll get my money out of it and I want to support the developer. But for most games, I'll buy used.
There's been a lot bubs being hubbed lately about used video games and how they potentially hurt the industry. It's an interesting topic for a number of reasons. First of all, games are pretty damn expensive. It's difficult to think of a more expensive hobby that doesn't involves making tiny lines on mirrors or cooking things in spoons. That cost drives players to towards alternate methods of buying games other than plunking down $60 at Best Buy.
Some players will outright pirate games. This is easier to do on the PC but there are mod chips or other accessories out there for pretty much all the consoles and handhelds. I'd never go that route but I do buy mostly used games. Some in the industry would argue I'm just as big a part of the problem. I try to avoid Gamestop and it's parasitic, exploitative brethren. But eBay/Half.com and services like Goozex keep most of the money in the hands of the players instead of lining corporate pockets. But that money still doesn't filter back to the studios. I buy used because I can't afford to buy new. I love video games and play a lot of them. I wouldn't be able to do that at full retail price. But I'm hurting the industry I love by buying at prices I can handle.
This is important because games have a weird business model. These multi-million dollar productions get one shot to make their money back and typically have a shorter lifespan than a mayfly. Most media industries don't work like this; they double or triple dip -- sometimes more. Books come out first in hardcover because the publishers can charge more for a nice edition. Big fans will buy that book new even though they're getting gouged to get it right away and in a nice edition. Later, that same book will come out in a mass market paperback for a fraction of the price. If you're willing to wait, you can save a lot of scratch. I know the consoles all have variations on the greatest hits lines availaible at discount but those are only games that have already been successful.
Film has a similar model. If you're a big fan or movie buff you'll pay a premium to see a movie the way it was intended, on a giant screen with a kick ass sound system and overpriced concessions. But then there's that secondary market of home video plus a whole hell of a lot of other ways to option those rights.
Video games need a similar secondary market controlled by the publishers and studios to keep money coming in... and i think it's already there.
The $60 disc should still be the equivalent of the hardcover book or theatrical release. It's the nice, if a little pricey version for hardcore fans and enthusiasts. It'll only be available for alimited time at a premium price. Then get the damn things off the shelf, Disney vault style. From then on, maybe six month to a year later, always make a version available as a cheap digital download. Make services like Steam or Miicrosoft's Games on Demand a defacto, default option. There's little reason to not put every game on a digital distribution service eventually. PC games are mostly there but consoles (at least next gen) should follow suit.
There aren't any storage or production costs for digital distribution outside of hard drive space and a little bandwidth. If Nintendo can charge $10 for old N64 games on the Virtual Console, surely Sony and Microsoft could keep a larger back catalog of $15 oldie goldies and overlooked gems. These could be the paperbacks of the videogame world. If I'm really looking forward to a game, I'll buy it knew and get a nice physical thing to put on my shelf. Otherwise, I'm ok waiting for a cheaper digital version or taking a chance on something that may have slipped under my radar the first time.
This way, publishers could undercut and bypass the used market, maintain a better back catalog like a music or book store, and keep money flowing into developers pockets where it belongs. They're so close already but they need to go full bore with this. I don't want physical products to go away anytime soon but I'd like to think of them more like vinyl records - great for collectors and true fans but secondary to cheaper, more accessible and more convenient digital downloads.
What about you guys? Do you buy used games? From where? How do you feel that impacts the industry?
@Hyuzen: There are default character models for male and female Shepard but I don't really think there's a canon version of the story. Even if you start ME 2 without importing a character it asks you to set some basic variables. I'm not overly attached to my Shepard as a character but I am to the story (s)he was a part of. My favorite aspect of video games is the unique narrative opportunities they provide. That's why I love Mass Effect so much. Strip that away and it's still decent but no longer special. I wouldn't be so much pissy about not seeing my Shepard on the screen as disappointing they made a version of a narrative with all the most interesting parts stripped away. Tell an original, canon story and you avoid that problem is all.
The whole coins thing is super shady. Those same coins can also be used to scout opponents in online games. So if you're willing to spend real world money you can give yourself a leg up in fake football. What a joke. I wonder how many people will actually fall for this.
Word on the street is a Mass Effect movie is happening. Avi Arad is set to produce and there's been talk of getting a hotshot screen writer. So far, so good. But then Bioware dropped a bombshell that caused me to lose almost all hope; they started hinting at casting choices for Commander Sheppard. While the obvious choice may be to do a direct adaptation of the excellent story in the first game, it's also the worst choice.
While the overall story arc may be the same for everyone (become a Specter and stop Saren from bringing the Reapers back to the galaxy), it's the devilish and branching details that make it a special experience. Everyone who played the game has their own Shepard(s). Trying to put a cannon version on the big screen would upset the core audience but also be too dense for a casual cineplex audience.
There is, however, a great solution if the producers would just have the balls to go for it. Allow me to geek out and explain it in detail.
Bioware has become adept in recent years at spreading their stories across multiple media. Besides the main Mass Effect games, there's the iPhone game, comics, and a trilogy of... decent novels penned by the games' head writer. Those novels hold the key, especially the first one.
That first book, Revelation, follows a young Lieutenant Anderson, who would grow up to be the Keith David-voiced Captain Anderson in the game series. This is only a few years after humans have discovered the Prothean technology that lets them travel beyond the solar system. In fact, humans have yet to encounter any other intelligent life in the galaxy.
That all changes when a human ship accidentally enters Turain space. And start a first contact war. Strangely enough, the book skips ahead at this point, only glossing over the events of the war and moving on to tell a different tale. Why would they do this? Because it's the perfect plot for a movie.
Think about it. This would be an interesting story for fans of the game series but more importantly would be a much more accessible story for a core audience. The protagonists would be meeting all these weird aliens and learning about Citadel politics right along with the audience. There would be some great first act excuses for big space battles with lots of explosions. Follow an original character stationed on a battleship.
At some point (as mentioned in the novel) the Council steps in to mediate peace talks. Have that main character get assigned to a security detail protecting an ambassador on the Citadel. Throw in some crazy plot twist about an assassination attempt on the council or something and have the human save the day, showing the Council humans are worthy of place at the galactic table.
It's a self contained story that could stand on its own for a casual viewer yet fill in a huge chunk of the mythos for the hardcore fans. Doing a straight adaptation of the games is the worst of all worlds. It will alienate fans of the game while likely being far too confusing for the masses with its dense back story. But the Turian/Human war could be the first great video game movie.
Bioware has already showed they know how to do complimentary cross-media content. Those novels and comics aren't rehashes of the game's plot. Why shouldn't a major motion picture, the crown jewel in any media franchise, get the same attention and respect? What do you guys think?
Is anyone else having problems with the kicking game online? I understand there's going to be some lag in an online game but this is a real problem. The kick meter is so jerky, stopping and starting so sporadically, that I nor my opponent can kick extra points, let alone field goals. Hell, keeping a kick off in bounds is a challenge. This is the first year I've taken the plunge this gen and bought Madden new and played it online. Has it been this bad in previous years? It's a shame. I'm enjoying the game but online is BROKEN.