Handheld Gaming = more, Mobile Gaming = Less

 

As far as handheld gaming, actually a little more than past generations.   I don’t know why, but when I was a kid, the handheld would get hours upon hours of play in my room or just laying randomly around the house.   I just thought it was so cool, especially on the Gamegear that you could take almost-Genesis type games and then go anywhere with them.   I guess why I feel out of games for the most part was due to going backwards when the Gamegear died and then eventually picked up the Gameboy color.   I mean 4 years later and this machine by Nintendo was inferior to a console that I had 4 years earlier.    Yes, the battery life was better, but still no backlight just sucked.

Well now the GBA came along and games for that were amazing to say the least.   So, 2002-ish if any of you remember the afterburner kit for the GBA, it was a hardware mod where you could put your own backlighting into your GBA and then you could play that thing anywhere.   So I was super hardcore with this and I even installed a toggle switch for a off, lowlight, and full-lit mode because it did draw some extra battery life, but it was so worth it.   That is when I got into handheld gaming game again, and between some truly awesome games for the PSP and that classics now on the DS, I play handheld games usually more than consoles now being in college and it being so hard to sit down and flip on my Playstation 3 even for an hour or two.

The mobile gaming scene, I just don’t think games are there for the iPhone, blackberry, smartphones in general.  I mean I use a phone to communicate primary. I do have some music and a few podcasts that I put on my Blackberry, but it is not usually a huge draw on battery life and is for those just in case times when you didn’t bring the iPod cause you never thought you were going to need it, but now you do have some downtime.   But when I want to listen to music, I have a 80gig iPod to carry all my music around.   Now, if I want to play games, the DS or PSP comes with.   And as always, the phone is on me.   It is too hard on the iPhone to play games with no buttons.   I have bought a few for my sisters and play with that every once and again but it is just not something I can see myself investing in anytime soon for that kind of limited experience.   There is a high barrier of cost, games kill the battery on the iPhones which would be a device that I would tend to want to keep my battery life up on incase I do have to make a long call I did not expect or something.

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Playstation 3 and Wii; 2 years later.

Well lets start with the Playstation 3.  I bought mine about 6 months after the console launched; the 60 GB premium edition to be exact.  In all truth, the only reason I bought the Playstation 3 was for the exclusives like; Ratchet and Clank, Drakes Fortune, Haze(at the time it seemed cool and it was dev'd by the Timesplitters crew), Metal Gear Solid 4, as well as others.  I knew I was going to get it but was going to wait until it went down to $300 dollars.  But Gamestop had the 60 GB system, Resistance, and an extra SixAxis controller for $499.99.   So a 60 dollar game and a 40 or 50 dollar controller was enough for me since I was going to pick up both anyways.

So, the Playstation 3 here and today?  I guess the thing that really gets me about it is that Sony is not using the system to its full potential.  I mean the PS3 has free online, is a great media player(blu-ray, networked video and music...ect) and really could play up its better graphics and sound than it already does and try to push developers to go lead sku on the PS3 because of that.

Online is one of their strongest arguments to get a PS3 over a 360 IMO.  ITS FREE and with like 3 months of actual hard work of the Playstation team to just round out the service once and for all to make sure all games had unified friends lists, better in game messaging and invites, mandatory voice support and just in general put some rules in place for what needs to be included so that all games are kind of on the same level which will make everything easier on the consumer side as well and Sony side in that everyone is working with  a same basic groundwork and then go from there.

Next, I do think that the PS3 did kill HD-DVD.  I am not sad that HD-DVD died or glad that Blu-Ray won, I just wanted one to be the new format(although in many aspects the HD-DVD spec was better than the Bluray as far as future proofing, better video, upgradability on all models...ect).  But now that Blu Ray has for the most part won, come on guys, push it.  You are battling Digital Distribution(which I hate with an unending amount of passion, mostly due to; DRM, you not really owning it, time it takes to download stuff, not enough hdd space to really store everything atm, fighting between companies and lack of tech support).  I mean I think that if you could get the PS3 to $299.99 and market it as a Game Machine first and foremost but also as the best Blu-Ray player on the market and cheapest I really think you could start invading all those homes that have those new 42 inch LCD's in their living rooms.  Also, throw the damn remote in to show you are serious!

I mean look a the recent games; Fallout 3 could have been just as great on the PS3 but Bethesda just didn't put the time into it and we now got an incredibly shoddy port of the game.  Next is lack of exclusives.  I guess I was assuming that the PS3 would kind of follow in step with the playstation 2 as far as having the same kind of niche exclusives and have a lot of the JRPG's only on the PS3 but Square is now in love with Microsoft which is fine but I kind of miss the days of console exclusives(I am not a fanboy it just seemed like games came out a lot better in that they were exclusive).  One thing I do have to say though for games is that the exclusives are great; both resistances are amazing, uncharted was what tomb raider should have been for the past how many years, Metal Gear Solid 4 I cannot say enough about, Motor Storm, Ratchet, Warhawk, Little Big planet is a hit and personally I think in every console to really take Xbox and even take a huge chunk away from Nintendo would be to pack in a copy of Little Big Planet, a the new Playstation Eye and a Bluetooth mic for with every console to get everyone started on day one as well as making mics and maybe even video a standard thing.  And for the future we have Killzone 2, God of War III,  and white knight chronicles.  

Now for the Wii.  Well 2 years later and I have a duct taped gamecube with waggle in a new shiney white case.  Come on people, anyone who says the Wii is a next-gen or a totally different console than the Gamecube don’t even give me that crap.  If they would have released all new games past 2006 with a firmware update which would have made a Wii-menu and continued to make GC games and so a waggle peripheral, the gamecube would have been the Wii since they already had an online adapter which well they cut production on even before the release date…

Now would have the Waggle peripheral done as well on the Gamecube; my answer is, hell no!  The gamecube was already dead.  Games were few and far between, graphics were showing their age for hardcore games, no online was a killer in 2005 before the official death of the gamecube and finally it was labeled as a kids lunch box which did not help in the least.  Now fastforward to the Wii launch in 2006, we had waggle, we had a shiny Apple like box, a clean menu system and finally some casual commercials…how the hell did this thing take off like it did?

IMO, the Nintendo Wii is the most useless POS I have ever bought and if you do not agree, you are a fanboy!  Zelda needed no waggle and the GC version was actually better, SSX needed no waggle to make it more fun, Super Paper Mario really did not need the pointing at the screen feature, RE4 was made a little better by the waggle IMO but there was nothing that would have made me buy it again if I was not a super fan of RE games and I also didn’t buy the PS2 version with the extras.  Now we come to super smash bros, well lets just say, most people are using Gamecube controllers which speaks for itself.  No more heros would have been fine on a gamecube controller.  Mario, waggle was used  and it was used in a way that made sense throughout most of the game.  Zak and Wiki kind of did but I don’t think its anything that could have not been done with the GC controller and use of a cursor on screen controlled by the thumbstick.  Metroid Prime 3 benefited a little from waggle but nothing that could not have been done just as good on the GC controller.  So we have 2 games; 2 years later that were really done better because of this new 250 dollar console.

Graphics, well, it’s a camecube smashed inside a white shiny case.  Anyone wants to disprove me, go ahead and try but it is going to be damn hard considering the best looking game is Prime 3 and that looks about the same as Echoes(2) in 480P on the Gamecube.

Sound, well, we are still using Dolby Pro Logic II which is from pretty much 1985…kthx Nintendo.  Please get some actual surround sound because as a gamer I do enjoy a full experience; not just a visual; or in your case a waggle only experience.

So, in conclusion, both consoles failed to meet my expectations for this gen.  Sony in that they are just not even close to working to their full potential on a console which probably should have been the most popular again(price killed it initially).  And the Wii, well its a pretty gamecube that makes you look stupid and collects dust for 6-9 months at a time... I hope you love your new home dust because I could have set 250 dollars in that place but you probably cling a lot better to plastic than paper any day of the week, so I guess my $250 was well spent on dead skin particles floating around!

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Number-one priority game for Christmas 2008?

I am going to have to go with Fallout 3, even though I yet have to pick it up. 

But my list also entails; Dead Space, Resistance 2, Red Alert III, Fable II, FarCry 2, STALKER: Clear Sky,  Left4Dead(maybe...if its too much multiplayer focused I will probably pass since I have like no time to put into a huge multiplayer game with school), Yakuza II, Mirrors Edge, Valkyria Chronicles, Brothers in Arms, Silent Hill: Homecoming, Saints Row 2, Midnight Club and still have yet to pick off Megaman 9 off PSN...

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PS3

I am going for the PS3 version of Bionic Commando: Rearmed for PS3.  No restrictions and the D-pad on the PS3 owns the Xbox360's so its an easy choice!

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I will replay them to play them...

...not to just earn some shiny graphic that says I am worthy.  I was thinking of going back to uncharted but I did wait for a month or two to replay it since I was kinda waiting for the trophies when it was announced the game would be getting them.

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