Top 10 Gamer Ripoffs

xblEven though many people live in a fantasy world where video game companies only exist to make fun things for cool people, the reality is that they also exist to take away our money. This is a fundamental truth that you can’t escape, and I won’t believe otherwise until someone starts giving me free video games.

That being said, sometimes gamers really get the raw end of the deal. Wired has put together a list of the top 10 ripoffs in the video game realm. They hit the nail on the head pretty well, especially the idea that the same game should be cheaper to download than it is for the physical disc, as well as the high cost of repackaged old school games with little to no new features. I also wholeheartedly agree with their numero uno, but you’ll have to read it to see it.

I think if they missed anything at all, it would be the handling of DLC right now. Sure, it’s not bad just yet, but it seems headed down some shady pathways. Anywho, what do you guys think the biggest ripoffs are in gaming, and what do you think of the list?

Source- Wired

Today’s WTF: No LAN For StarCraft II

sc2Blizzard, Blizzard. You seem so content to make it into the WTF parties these days. While lately I’ve been upset with the amount of whining and fussing that gamers tend to go on and on about, I can’t help but sympathize a little on this one.

As of right now, it seems that there is no planned LAN support for StarCraft II, the long-awaited sequel to one of the greatest RTS games of all freaking time. I find this to be a little curious, especially seeing as how nearly every LAN party I’ve ever seen or heard of has some folks ready to drop in on some StarCraft-ing action. To me, this reads like a calculated move to force users onto Battle.net, which reportedly might come with a fee this time around.

LAN support seems like a no-brainer to me, especially on a multiplayer game like this. Looks like you’ll have to alter the game just to play at a LAN party. Bad move, Blizzard. You continue to develop the perception that you like to throw your fans under your collective bus.

So what do you guys think? Is this WTF worthy?

Source- Destructoid

N64: Remembering the Multiplayer Madness

n64One of the first games I ever played with more than 2 people was Doom on the PC, when a friend of mine had several computers set up on a LAN. We would go over there after school and just kill each other for hours at a time. I had never experienced anything like it.

Multiplayer gaming is relatively new to the gaming world, having come to the forefront in maybe only the last 15 years or so. Growing up, playing games was always a single player ordeal, me and my fingers against cpu minions as I whittled away the summer hours beating whatever new piece of software I had in my possession. However, that all changed with PC gaming going online, and eventually, the home console.
Continue reading N64: Remembering the Multiplayer Madness

Uncharted Movie Wishlist

unchartedLately, there’s been a lot of buzz about an upcoming Uncharted movie, which is apparently in the works. Personally, after playing this game, it’s one of the few games that could easily make a silver screen transition, mainly due to its completely cinematic presentation.

In response to all this rumor-mongering, MTV has posted its wishlist for an Uncharted movie, filling out the cast with talents such as Nathan Fillion, Emily Rose, Powers Boothe and then some. I think they all seem to be a pretty decent fit, but it got me thinking about what other game movies need an actor wishlist.

I would for real pee myself over a Metal Gear Solid movie with Josh Holloway from Lost or Hugh Jackman as Snake. Or maybe a Super Mario Bros movie with Dennis Hopper as Koopa. Oh wait… All joking aside, what would be your dream cast for some of your favorite video game movies?

Source- MTV

GamerSushi Asks: Changing Your Favorites?

ff7We all have games that we have adored throughout the years, returning to play them again and again. Typically, it’s hard for us to see the games we love as anything but perfect, having put them up on a pedestal. Occasionally though we will tear off the rose colored glasses and start to see the cracks in their armor.

For instance, I wish that Final Fantasy VII had a class system. While the materia system was a good idea, it was implemented in such a way that every character was just the same person with a different skin. Nothing strategic at all about how you formated your party. Likewise, with some of my more recent favorites, I wish that Call of Duty 4 had some kind of co-op mode, or that Halo 3 had a Horde mode a la Gears of War 2.

So what about you guys? What do you think you would change about some of your favorite games? Go!

Resident Evil, Clay-Mation Style

Got to love claymation. Seriously, it’s so meticulous to do, I can’t believe that people love to sit there and make awesome things like this Resident Evil video, which pretty much tells the story of the whole first game. This definitely brings back a lot of memories for people like me who played the first one. Epic props to the creator.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mMYfw1txNY[/youtube]

Alpha Protocol Demonstration

So, I’m not quite sold on Alpha Protocol yet. I feel like I flip-flop a little on the game each time I see it. Sometimes it looks like the cool parts of Mass Effect mixed with some Splinter Cell, and other times it just looks like a bad mashup of both of those games. This developer walkthrough has a couple of cool points to it, but I’m still not sure how I feel. All in all, I’m wondering if the game will be a slightly decent substitute while I wait for Mass Effect 2 to come out. Thoughts?

GamerSushi Asks: Frustrating Tasks?

ghostbustersSo over the weekend, I played and finished the Ghostbusters video game. Overall, it wasn’t the best game ever, but it certainly had its decent portions. And heck, it was essentially Ghostbusters 3, so how can you not love it? I’ve been waiting years for more Ghostbusters content, and this provided it.

Anywho, Anthony played the game on easy, so he wouldn’t understand, but one of the game’s biggest issues for me was its “cheap death” mechanic, where it would constantly kill you just out of the blue and with no real way to prevent it. There’s not a very friendly dodge function in the game, so really you just run around and circles and take punishment from bad guys and hope to not get whacked.

Well, one particular part of the game proved to be one of the hardest things I’ve done in a video game. And it kind of sucked.
Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: Frustrating Tasks?

A Little Reason Goes A Long Way

sinkingTake a look at any video game news site and you will be sure to find a story about how the PS3 is in third place in the Console Wars and how Sony should just give up and go the way of Sega and make games and not consoles. Yeah, cause that worked out so well for Sega. But I digress. The Playstation brand has seen rough days but it would foolish to count Sony out just yet.

Now, I understand that costs are very high to make video games and that making games on the PS3 is very complex and probably more expensive. I also understand that 360 has a higher install base, but I have news for you: it’s not that much higher. The 360 has sold about 30 million worldwide compared to the 22 million sold for the PS3.┬áConsider the fact that the PS3 launched a year later and around the same time as the Wii. Factor in the admittely high cost of the PS3 and an 8 million unit lead is nice, but not nearly as big as everyone makes it out to be. From the way people fanboys talk, you would think the 360 has a 112 million unit lead or something. Oh wait…112 million units is the amount that the PS2 outsold the original Xbox by. But you didn’t hear this kind of doomsday talk for the Xbox then, did you? I know I didn’t. And the PS3 has already sold as many units as the original Xbox, which is not a mark of success by any means, but it sure does make you stop and wonder where all this negativity is coming from.

Let’s face it: the PS3 has had a rough launch. The high price and lack of killer games really hurt for a long time. But that time is over. With LittleBigPlanet, Killzone 2, Infamous and God of War III all out or soon to be out, the future for the PS3 is looking very bright. This article is not meant to prop up the PS3 or bring down the Wii or 360. I am merely trying to point out some facts that seem to fall by the wayside in these debates. Sony is not going anywhere and neither is Microsoft or Nintendo. Sony thumped everyone in the last round of consoles, so losing this one isn’t going to be end of the world for them.

Besides, these consoles are just getting going. Nintendo has jumped out to a seemingly insurmountable lead, but Wii sales have already slowed down and while mining the casual market seems to have done them a great service, the loss of the hardcore market might mean that the Wii’s days of ruling the sales charts are over. The 360 and PS3 will only get stronger, so we have a long way to go before this battle in the Console War is over.

Just relax and enjoy the games and try to let the guys who get paid tons of money worry about the business side of things. You want to support your console? Buy new, not used games. Other than that, it’s out of our hands. Except for the controller, of course. Until the Natal comes out.

Video Game Daddies

big-bossMeant to say this earlier, but I guess it’s better late than never: Happy’s Father Day, dudes. Hope you guys have had decent days with your dads, and if not, then I hope you at least got some good gaming time in. Myself, I’ve been playing Star Ocean: The Last Hope all day and might purchase Metal Gear Solid on the PSN.

Anywho, in honor of Dad Day, Kotaku has posted a pretty interesting article about the best and worst fathers in video game history. They actually take a comprehensive look at dads across all genres, selecting the good and bad including Big Boss, Eli Vance, Sam Fisher and many more. I highly recommend reading it.

Personally, my vote for best has to go to Eli Vance, and worst probably has to go to Big Boss. What do you guys think? Also, if you did anything particularly rad for Father’s Day, feel free to share.

Source- Kotaku

The Worst Online Gamers

online-gamersNothing is worse when playing a game online than getting stuck with some jerk on your own team. I mean, getting matched up against them is bad enough, but when you’re on the same team with them, you just have to put up with their garbage for the entire time you play, rather than just the occasional match-up. And the worst part about it is these jerks come up in all shapes and sizes.

So what are these different types of losers? GamesRadar has cataloged them in a recent article titled the 9 Worst Types of Gamer to Have on Your Team, and I have to say it’s pretty accurate. They run down the gobshite (trashtalker), the mute, the drill sergeant, the lone wolf and even the damsel, who always needs saving. There are plenty more, and all of them are hilarious, so I’d recommend reading up on the whole thing.

Which type of online gamer do you hate the most? Which category do you fall into? I’m part drill sergeant and part griefer. Woot!

Source- GamesRadar

Your System Sucks: A Rant About Fanboys

fanboy-3A few months ago, I wrote a feature about the things that are wrong with the gaming industry on the whole. Some of that had to do with the games themselves, some of it had to with the journalists that covered and reviewed them, and some of it had to do with the gamers that played them. In terms of gamers that are hurting gaming and its culture unknowingly, console and even PC fanboys rank right at the top.

What is a fanboy? A fanboy used to be someone that just played and loved their system or machine exclusively. I think we’ve all done this at some point in our lives. I remember loving the Sega Genesis and the Nintendo 64 and being just fine with not owning the rival systems.
Continue reading Your System Sucks: A Rant About Fanboys

Does Metal Gear Solid Need Better Writing?

mgs4-lolFor the last decade, Metal Gear Solid has been one of the staple franchises for the Playstation brand. It made its mark on home consoles with incredible action, awesome 3D gameplay, cinematic presentation and also, its twisty story. However, how has the writing held up over the years?

A recent CNET article blasted Kojima productions for saying that they’re going to be building a new graphical engine for the next MGS game. The author asserts that what is needed is better writing, rather than better graphics. While some Sony fanboys have jumped into the fracas, I can’t help but wonder if the author has a point. Sure, MGS has a pretty cool story. But writing and story are two different animals. You can tell a good story but still be an awful writer, and vice versa.

Personally, I found some of the writing in the latest MGS game to be ridiculously heavy handed, preachy and nonsensical at its worst. However, the story still stands among gaming’s greats, easily. So what do you guys think? Does MGS need better writing? Do video games need better writing in general?

Source- CNET

A Final Fantasy VIII Character Study

ff8I think I may have found one of my new favorite gaming articles ever. While there are many Final Fantasy games that have been praised over the years, none seem to be more divisive than Final Fantasy VIII, starring Squall and Rinoa. Some people hated the magic system, some hated the story, and some simply hated the fact that it wasn’t Final Fantasy VII.

Despite all that, though, Pop Matters has written an in-depth piece about Final Fantasy VIII called Remembering the Orphan, dissecting the things that really made the game shine, especially its attention to human relationships. The main thrust of the article has to do with the focus on the orphaned characters, who through the use of magic and battle begin to lose their memories and thus, their innocence. It really provides an eye-opening look at the game, with an attention to detail that most don’t often give to video games.

Even though I wasn’t crazy about Final Fantasy VIII, I really do think that had to do more with my age and what I expected from the game. Reading this article really makes me want to go back and play it and give it another look. And to be honest, I really would love to see more articles like this out of the gaming community, because it was fascinating.

What do you guys think? What are your thoughts on Final Fantasy VIII?

Source- Pop Matters

Uncharted 2 Rooftop Sequence

If you were hiding under some huge rock-like structure during E3, you might have missed some pretty cool videos. One of the coolest ones, and perhaps the video of the show, was the Uncharted 2 rooftop sequence that pitted Drake against a helicopter, some dudes with guns, and awesome platforming. This video really took my breath away during the Sony conference, so if you missed it, here’s your chance to check it out.

Who else thinks this game looks incredible?

Why Motion Control Can’t Truly Work in Hardcore Games

natalMotion control. Everybody’s doing it, I’m told. For months, some of us have bemoaned the coming tidal wave of motion control and what it could mean for the gaming industry and games as a whole. On the positive, it could bring more casual folk into gaming and on the negative, it could just dumb down games as we know it.

GamesRadar has written a particularly convincing argument against motion control after their time with the PS3 and 360’s new motion hardware at E3. They pretty much assert that the demos at E3 have proven that motion control can’t work for hardcore gaming, and this is why the Wii is so full of minigame collections. When you think about it, even the hardcore games on the Wii just use the motion controls as kind of a bonus, while relying on traditional movement with the nunchuck and buttons. Typically, the only way to really eliminate the pain of movement with motion control is to stick the game on rails (a la Wii Sports). Here’s a tidbit from the article about our traditional analog sticks and face buttons:

As much as Molyneux and Iwata might bemoan the evils of the button fascia and dual analogue set-up, both elements evolved into the cultural landscape of gaming for a reason. They seriously bloody work for controlling modern games.

So what do you guys think? Can motion control work for hardcore games? Or will they inhibit the movement we’ve come to enjoy from our normal controllers?

Source- GamesRadar

New Releases: Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

red-factionOver the last month or so some new games have started to hit that I’ve been interested in, but I can’t seem to nail down whether or not I want to play them because of some mixed reviews. The main games in question are Red Faction: Guerrilla, Prototype and InFamous.

The main complaint about Red Faction is that it’s fun to destroy things, but the game is too red. This is a funny complaint considering the game takes place on, I dunno, Mars. The quintessential Red Planet. In addition, I’ve heard that Prototype is fun but nothing special, with similar digs leveled against InFamous as well.

So who’s played these games, and what do you think of them? Go!

Review: The Godfather II

godfather-2I love The Godfather. I have practially memorized the movies, especially the first one and have been known to watch the first two back to back. I enjoyed the first game in this series back on the PS2, so I was looking forward to playing the sequel, especially with the Don’s View I had read so much about.
Continue reading Review: The Godfather II

GamerSushi Asks: What Are You Playing?

videogamesIt’s been a while since I asked what you guys were playing in your free time, so I thought I’d give it a shot, especially since the Summer brings lots of free time with it.

Right now, I’m tackling Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Team Fortress 2, Sacred 2: Fallen Angel and Halo Wars. I’ve been doing my best lately to finish more games, so I’m hoping to be done with Sacred 2 and Star Ocean over the next couple of weeks. After that, I’d like to try out the Wolverine game, or maybe even move on to Fallout 3 finally.

What about you guys? What are you currently playing?

GamerSushi Asks: Making Changes

staroceanI’m playing Star Ocean: The Last Hope right now, and it’s the first JRPG that I’ve played in a good long while. After playing some games like Fallout 3 and Mass Effect, it really feels childish and completely ridiculous in comparison, and really got me thinking a bit about the choices that designers sometimes make in games.

The reason for this is that while I’m overall enjoying the game, there are some things about it that really irritate me, and lead me to ask “why would they do that”. For instance, the game starts with a 30 minute battle tutorial followed by both a 20 minute cut scene and a 2 hour dungeon. How does that even make sense in terms of not boring the person playing it to tears? In addition, there are some minor character and script issues that bug me, such as the annoying item creation character and adding a six year old to the party that ends all her sentences in “kay?”.

Like I said, overall I’m having fun, but there are some simple things that keep this game from being great. What’s the last game that you’ve played that you felt that way about? Solid mechanics, but if it wasn’t for one or two things, you would have loved it? Go!