YukoAsho's comments

Posted by YukoAsho

With the announcement of a 5-install limit for Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 and the problems legitimate consumers have had with Spore, people are once again railing against the evil that is DRM in the PC gaming landscape. Indeed, no form of copy-protection has been able to prove effective, and nearly all of them have proven bothersome, from the minor inconvenience of checking the manual or a CD-Key to the nightmare of online activation. With numerous workarounds for Steam games, it's been proven that even digital distribution doesn't work. That is of course to say nothing of digital distribution plus SecuROM, which did no favors for Bioshock. Indeed, not a single method of protection has proven effective.


However, what is the alternative?


Obviously, there's a massive problem with pre-release copies of the games being leaked, presumably by less-scrupulous employees or game media outlets. However, even the complete eradication of all corruption in every game publisher, disc manufacturing plant and gaming media service would only buy a couple of days worth of protection. Indeed, PC gaming seems like a lost cause, especially compared to console development, in which piracy requires physical tampering of the machine (save for the Dreamcast, but that's another story). So the question then becomes “what can be done?” Without income, games cannot continue to be made. This isn't a charity, after all. The programmers, designers, advertisers and investors aren't going to do something that is a liability simply to please some PC elitists. The continually shrinking PC section at most game stores is a testament to that.


The problem here is that torrents are way too easy to find. A simple search on Google will show you a multitude of torrents for any game you desire (save for older, out of print games, oddly enough). It doesn't matter if it's “evil” megacorp EA's Spore or fan favorite Capcom's Bionic Commando Rearmed, it will be pirated. Therefore, when every company is victimized, we can rule out the idiotic 'solution' offered by pirates: “make your game worth buying.”


Unfortunately, the problem is the lack of any real policing on the Internet. Much of it is the wild, wild west, and sites like Google will lead you to information about how to make a nuclear device, let alone torrents for you to effortlessly steal games. Until we get a policing policy in place that makes people stealing on the Internet as accountable as people stealing from stores, the slow and agonizing death of the PC is all but assured.


However, the policing of the Internet could very well become a nuclear weapon used on a housefly.


I don't think there's any debate: The entertainment industry has more lobbying money than any “digital rights” group. Eventually, we're going to have a much, much larger push toward legislation to clamp down on the problem. Blacklisted websites, over-regulation of ISPs, banned protocols, capped bandwidths, it's all possible with enough lobbying to enough politicians. The Internet as we know it could come to an end, at least in the United States and other countries which respect copyright law. We've already seen the beginnings of this with the DMCA, and it's going to get far worse in a relatively fast manner.


The pirates may not even realize it, but they're going to ruin the Internet long before they ruin these industries. There's too much money at stake for the status quo to continue.

Posted by YukoAsho

Actually, the 360's HDD is snap-on.

Posted by YukoAsho

 

With installs fast becoming a mandatory hindrance for PS3 users, I decided to get a new HDD for it. 320GB, I figured, should be enough. If I only knew what I was setting myself up for.


So I go home from the local Tiger Direct outlet and set about upgrading. At first t was easy enough to just take the caddy out. However, things stopped being easy when it came time to unscrew the old 60GB hard drive from the caddy. Two of the screws stripped when I tried to unscrew them, rendering it impossible to unscrew them.


I grabbed a pair of pliers (PLIERS!), and while they were able to take one screw out, the other screw was so tight that even the pliers weren't working. Frustration and anger of the highest order began to set in, to the point where, out of sheer desperation I tore the HDD out of the caddy. This, however, had the side effect of bending the caddy irreparably. Now I'm stuck waiting for two weeks for Sony to send me a new caddy before I can use my PS3 can be used again.


This is Sony's idea of “user exchangeable”? For this sort of thing to work, the unit has to be easy to pull in and out. Ideally, the compartment should be small enough to where you don't need a caddy at all, but if a caddy is needed, the drive shouldn't be welded to the damned thing.


Suddenly, the Xbox 360's proprietary hard drive seems worth paying for.

Makes you wanna scream, doesn't it?

  
Posted by YukoAsho

What about it?

Posted by YukoAsho

I'm with HellBound here.  I could use one of those kickass capture cards.

Posted by YukoAsho

Recently, Katherine Fletcher over at Channelflip Games has shown us what she believes to be the ten worst games of all time.

  




With some obvious picks and some less-than-obvious selections, Katherine has created a well-rounded sampling of some of the most atrocious crap to ever "grace" the gaming industry.  While hers is qite a list, I thought I'd think about the games I consider to be the cream of the crap, and ask you all what you consider yours.

10: Pac-Man - Atari 2600.
Released during the height of America's "Pac-Man Fever," this game sold seven million units to a userbase of 10 million, a good number by any stretch.  The problem is that Atari had made 11 million cartridges, expecting the game to spur more Atari 2600 hardware sales.  This, however, is not the real problem.  The real problem was that the game that was published went straight from prototype to retail, as Atari was in such a rush to get the game out that they released a concept program rather than taking proper care with the port.  The result was a game with flickering ghosts, a Pac-Man that didn't rotate, and a maze with one warp tunnel at the top/bottom.  The game looked and played nothing like the game America fell in love with, and the resulting dissapointment, combined with E.T., helped to bring the gaming industry to ruin.

  

9: Battletoads - Nintendo Entertainment System.
Difficulty is fine.  Nothing's wrong wth a legitimately challenging game, and the NES had some of the best (Hi there, Guardian Legend).  However, when a game is hard due to simply being cheap, that is lazy.  Battletoads is in this lazy, stupidly difficult category, and it turns a pretty cool game with an off-the-wall style into an exercise in frustration.  Even in games like Ninja Gaiden, there's some room for improvement.  Battletoads offers nothing but frustration, and shows the perils of looking at the "good old days" with rose-tinted glasses.

  


8: Beyond the Beyond - Sony Playstation.
In the time before Final Fantasy VII thrust RPGs into the marketability they enjoy today, RPGs were, to put it mildly, hard to come by.  As such, RPG fans played some downright atrocious games just because we knew that was all the RPG we were going to be playing for a while.  Beyond the Beyond, however, stung especially hard.  This was a game that combined grossly pixelated visuals, bland characters, the most aggressively blatant grind sessions since Vay on the Sega CD, a localization most likely done by the SCEA janitorial staff and that damned sound effect that began with Shining where character speech would be represented by horrible sound effects to create an RPG that was an atrocity even in its time.  Thank God for Suikoden and Wild ARMs.

  


7. Tecmo Secret of the Stars - Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
Another in a long line of RPGs no one would have looked at were it not for the pre-FF7 drought, Tecmo Secret of the Stars (Yes, the publisher's name was IN the title, much like Tecmo Bowl) ups the ante for shitty ass RPGs.  Despite being released well into the SNES' life, the game was barely above Turbografx 16 Hu-Card games.  It also featured a throwaway cast and a story held together with scotch tape and glue.  Most offensive was the battle system, which was criminally simple and underdeveloped.  Indeed, the whole game just screams half-assed.

  

6: Revolution X - Arcade.
Who doesn't love a good lightgun game?  Constant action, legions of enemies, and a brand of chaos that few games can emulate.  However, when the game in question sports the single most uncomfortable and huge gun ever, it's just hard to play.  It doesn't help that the enemies aren't particularly interesting and the Aerosmith tie-in is stupidly blatant.  Memo to developers: we want streamlined guns in our lightgun games.

  


5: The 7th Saga - Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
Another one in the long line of games that were pointlessly hard, The 7th Saga was a game that caused many a thrown controller for the wrong reasons.  No matter what level you were - and trust me, this game was the ultimate grind-a-thon, insta-death was always possible, either by spell or by your enemy simply being too damned hard.  Not only that, but the feeling of reward just isn't there.  Level Ups are slow, as is getting money, the story is subpar even by the standards of the era, and the otherwise beautiful graphics are decidedly sparse outside of towns.  A failure by any definition.

  


4. Rumble Roses XX - Xbox 360.
The rare instance of a laughably bad game that I enjoy despite, the game manages to one-down the previous game in the series by removing the storyline and replacing the already dodgy mud wrestling with a street fight mode which is completely incompatible with the game's fighting style.  The problem with this game, much like the original Rumble Roses, is that the moveset for all the characters is very submission-heavy.  A good wresling game, like a good fighting game, has a great list of characters with diverse personalities and fighting styles.  While the personalities are awesome and sensual, the over-emphasis on submission moves leads to long, mind-numbing bouts.  At least when characters aren't using their context INsensitive supers.  Add a throwaway character creation mode, and you have a pretty crappy game whose existence is only justified by the sheer amount of sexiness held within.

  



BRONZE
3. Dragonball Z Sagas - Nintendo Gamecube.
The game was a cash-in of the lowest order.  While the game featured great video from the series, the actual in-game grahpics were bland, with almost nothing in the way of textures used throughout.  This also combines a minimalistic fighting mechanic and a severe lack of enemy variety to make for one of the dullest cash-in franchise games ever.  There's just no reason for this game to exist.

  

SILVER
2. Xevious - Arcade.
You know ho shooter games are supposed to have a lot of action and tension?  Apparently someone didn't give Namco the memo when Xevious was unleashed.  The graphics were adequate for the time, but the "action" if you could call it that was slower than Space Invaders, and the background music made elevator music seem appealing.  How this game came from the same studio that was pumping out kickass games like Pac-Man and Galaga, I'll never know.

  



GOLD
1. Peggle Deluxe- PC.
I don't hate casual games.  Far from it.  I could sit there in front of Puzzle Bobble, Geometry Wars,Marble Blast Ultra, Puzzle Quest, Magical Drop -- Er, I mean Astro Pop, or Everyday Shooter for hours.  The thing with Peggle is that there's not really any gameplay element to it.  You shoot a ball, then proceed to pray.  It's a lot like a variant of that old The Price Is Right game Plinko, or Lucky Hit from Shenmue II, only more random.  It's not even a game, and I don't get why anyone likes it.

  
Posted by YukoAsho

I'm with Tom here.  Ivy looks fine, it's the lolitacular Talim I'm miffed by.

Posted by YukoAsho

EA learned their lesson when Boom Blox failed.  Stick to quick cash-ins on the Wii.

Posted by YukoAsho

The problem with the Wii is that it's more being bought by people who just want what's popular than are actually interested in gaming.  When you look at the pathetic software sales on anything that isn't Wii Play/Fit or a mascot game, it becomes obvious that most of these Wii owners aren't really entering the market.  It's a lot of dead-end sales which, while fine for Nintendo, aren't going to affect the rest of the industry.

Posted by YukoAsho

For the longest time, I've been a defender of Mr. Ben Croshaw.  I'm not a fan of most gaming media, which is little more than marketing for the major game companies.   However, Yahtzee's so-called "critiquing" style has gotten old.

  


The problem with Yahtzee here is that he's approaching E3 with such a negative agenda as to reduce himself to the caricature he's often been accused of being, someone who bashes only to bash, who ignores the wealth of positives in the subject matter to rip into even the slightest negative.  He purposefully ignores Mirror's Edge, Little Big Planet, Dead Space, Beyond Good and Evil 2, Lips' iPod/Zune compatibility, and anything else that might interfere with is carefully constructed managerie of E3 as a vast wasteland of tired content.

Of course, Yahtzee's got a history of bashing on things that are perfectly fine for the sole reason of being contrary.

  


Also, he goes out of his way to insult JRPGs, anime and Japanese culture in general.

  


At first, it got me giggling, but this, like much of Yahtzee's retreaded themes, have gotten nearly as old and tired as Nintendo Wii.  The E3 video just got to me as a man struggling to stay relevant.  While I appreciate anyone who is willing to stand up and actually criticize something (which is why I'm moving here in the first place), there's a vast difference between being critical and being cynical.  Being critical is the act of looking at something and analyzing it fairly (Jeff Gerstmann).  Being cynical is the mindset that everything is garbage, to the point where this prejudice causes you to ignore anything that might be good, which is Yahtzee here.

The problem with cynicism is the same problem with being a polyana: If you're always negative, the reader/viewer becomes desensitized and less trusting.  It's good to be critical, and it's GREAT to have a contrary opinion, but when you only seek to come off as a negative prick, you are no longer a critic or a valued opinion: You're a talking head.  A pariah.  No different than Glenn  Beck or Rush Limbaugh.  While reviewing is a subjective  art in the end, it's important to have an open mind.  Review a game on its own merits.  No one wants to be a Yahtzee.