So, being as I live in a fake country, the Slim 360 isn't available here till July and will the equivalent of 350 USDs. The Kinect will be at least $200 USDs, probably 250 by the time it gets here. Shit, all this stuff is made in Asia, right? Asia is like up the road from here, so what gives? Besides, I would rather just push goddamn button. Buttons are nice and mostly work.
Anyway, Games! Having played hell of Medal of Honor games in my youth I am totally excited for the reboot. Similarly interested in the new COD games that have been shown. For me the original Call of Duty is one of the most important modern games. Looking back at the innovations it contained makes worried for the future of the genre. Seeing footage from Crysis 2, playing Crysis 1, playing Half-life 2 and reading about Bulletstorm I fear a move back to the Doom era FPS gameplay.
I guess I just want to aim down the sights and shoot dudes, not put a shitty cross-hair or giant circle on some crappy looking space monster man and hold the trigger for clip or so. That all just seems archaic to me.
Now, all this 3D hub-bub.The idea of glasses-free 3D is appealing to me but, alas, hand-held consoles are not. Just never have the opportunity/necessity to use one. I go two place: Home and Work. Insufficient commute and big TV mean there is no point in owning one. Also, Japanese games ain't my thing.
Glasses 3D? Well I am kinda in the market for a TV, but not a $4000 NZD one that I need silly glasses to use.
I am loving these Quests! And they seem to have revitalized the community. People are being awesome with hints and clues and avoiding spoilers! Definatley what the site need. It's GiantBomb the website the game!
So, I had been playing some COD4. Trying to finish the story on Veteran and getting totally pissed off at the cheapassedness of the whole thing. At least it's not as bad as World At War. Anyway, I decided to go back and finish COD2 on Veteran. So, I threw in the disc, downloaded a "newly" available patch, and started greasing some Nazis. First thing that became immediately apparent was that the enemies didn't respawn, so you could do the whole "sweep and clear" thing. This one game design choice lead to me enjoying my time with COD2 infinitely more than playing COD4. Weird.
Then IT happened. I moved my console, carefully as always, to the living room. I restarted it to see:
So, I only have a 360. But if I had the cash I would definitely pickup a PS3. Games have matured from ports to ground up built for the system. It is still the cheapest BluRay player around with the advantage of having easily updatable firmware to take advantage of the various feature roll outs. The online is progressing steadily. Most importantly it has games that I would like to play.
The Wii, however, isn't even a blip on my radar. Nintendo do not understand the internet, and think what flys in the seemingly unsophisticated Japanese market will cut it in the West. It won't. There are still no Wii games the premise and mechanics of which I find compelling enough to warrant an investment.
Also, as bad as it sounds, what is the point of playing games without some kind of meta-game going on..be it Gamerscore or Trophys.
So, I pre-ordered Fable 2 a while ago in a fit of stupid. Played maybe 4 or 5 hours, and well, too much Sims not enough Game. Basically I just can't be bothered with the relationship stuff. It is clumsy and badly designed. The lack of any proper targeting system coupled with the lack of actual personalities for NPC makes it game over for me. Just give me a goddamn dialogue tree, please! Even if you don't follow the glowing line you end up in the same place due to all the contrived restrictions on travel. "Giant #$%&*@#$%^&^% locked gate....looks like I will have to wait".
I've given up on it more or less, and am going to focus my spare time on Saints Row 2 and Brothers in Arms:Hell Highway till Fallout 3 arrives. I think Ryan absolutely nailed it in his review, Saints Row 2 is the spiritual successor to GTA:SA. Unlike GTA4 it is actually fun.
So I have been playing some Half Life 2 on 360. Talk about archaic . A year after COD and no iron sights? What the hell? Might as well play some Doom. Snipers you can only kill with grenades? WTF. Awful AI, difficulty through cheapassness and frustration. Way to go Valve. Also, Portal is not funny.
I am sure someone has already made this point, but here we go anyway. Bread in the form of a bun is necessary for x to be a hamburger, but it is not sufficient for x to be a hamburger.
If a bun were sufficient for x to be a hamburger, then a hot-dog would be a hamburger. That is just crazy talk. A bun, however, is necessary for x to be a hamburger because without it a bare ground beef patty would count as being a hamburger.
What about a steak in a bun? That I would call a steak sandwich. The meat in a hamburger has to be of minced or ground variety, if it is not then a steak sandwich is a hamburger. This is also crazy talk.
This position, however, leads us to the conclusion that a KFC Original Fillet or Zinger burger is NOT a hamburger because they are whole, un-ground pieces of chicken. Maybe this is just something we have to accept. A Hamburger, abstracted from such frivolities as lettuce, is a ground meat patty in a bun.
Dude, so Giant Bomb is now a Thing. This is hella RAD.
So, I have been playing a heap of Bad Company, NFS:MW and COD4. All great games in their own way.
But I do have an observation about NFS, in fact it probably applies to all "nefarious" driving games. They clutter up the goddamn city with barrels, cones, huge chunks of concrete, other cars, and such as. Now, sure, they are going for realism...but whatever man...either you make it real with car damage etc and blown engines or just !@#$%^& go crazy. No middle ground. In the middle ground lives mediocrity.
Also, I love the psychopathic "quick get in the way of the speeding gangster with a Mac-10" mentaility of all the civilian cars in the GTA games. Dicks all hell of swirving in to your path for no good reason. Creating frustration to add difficulty to your game is a bad move.
Whilst a on the subject of GTA I am just going to right out and say it. Not a huge fan of GTA4. Now, sure, they do a heap of rad things. The combat is much more focused, and easier, now. The cover mechanic is useful, if somewhat broken. The characters are just as 2 dimensional as ever ( this -is- a good thing) and the "ambient" dialogue is rad too.
But it does have problems. Driving is jacked. Either make it realistic or make it unrealistic. Don't make it broken. The story is, contrary to the opinions of most dudes in the know, the stuff of melodrama. I just do not see it's brilliance. It's no Moby Dick, no Heat, no LA Confidential, no Aeneid. I just could not bring myself to care about the characters. Niko is just such a stooge...Give me CJ any day.
In ungame-related news, I am in possession of a DVD of The 36th Chamber of Shaolin that features "directors commentary" by The RZA. How awesome is that? !@#$%^& Awesome.