I don’t really care for tower defense games anymore. The genre has become over-saturated and stale. But I do love Plants vs. Zombies, so when the sequel was released this last month, I was very excited. The cutesy art style and tough, but fair gameplay appealed to me on many levels. I had a ball with the first game and was eager for more. The fact that the game was now free-to-play with microtransactions didn’t give me a bit of pause. I’ve never once been tempted to buy my way through a game before, so why should PvZ 2 be any different?
Well, PopCap has managed to do the unthinkable because I am very close to dropping $5 just to get to the next area. But not because I am failing. On the contrary, I have beaten all the levels required to access the next area. But in order to progress, you need Stars, which are earned by replaying prior levels you have already beaten and completing certain challenges, which grant you Stars. In the first area, this was not an issue. You needed 15 Stars and I had 8, so I only needed 7 more to get things moving. But when I finished the second area, I had 9 Stars, but now you need 30. So I have to grind 21 levels in order to get the Stars required to play further. Continue reading Plants vs. Zombies 2 Grinds To A Halt
A couple of years back, we built the perfect shooter. The results were a lot of fun — in the comments, we put together all of our favorite features to describe the ideal shooting scenario, taking cues from things like Counter-Strike, Goldeneye and more. This time around, I thought we’d tackle a new genre.
I’ve long been intrigued by the MMO genre, but no game can ever put together enough of the right pieces to get me to take that leap into another realm. I’m not a big fan of grinding, paid subscriptions or disconnected point-and-click combat. I’d also love a story that morphs over time, in a way that makes me feel like my actions matter beyond just a stat or a new level number next to my name. I want big worlds, big universes, high stakes and easy accessibility. But maybe I’m just being nitpicky.
So for this feature, we’re going to dig into a variety of options, and discuss what we would love to see in the perfect MMO. Below are the categories and options I came up with. If you don’t like the options, feel free to add your own! Continue reading Workshop: Building the Perfect MMO
In my eyes, Assassin’s Creed is one of the more notable examples of why publishers shouldn’t be afraid to take great risks on a new franchise. It was an IP that nobody had ever experienced, and now it’s one of the powerhouse releases each year, right alongside Call of Duty and Halo. Anybody that has concerns about whether or not new franchises can enter the scene with the other AAA giants need look no further than Altair, Ezio and their ilk.
But is AAA going to be as big of a factor in the next generation as it has been for the current one? Assassin’s Creed 3 Creative Director Alex Hutchinson doesn’t think so. Because of free to play, the rising costs of AAA development and more, Alex joins the ranks of other people that feel that at some point, there will be a change. Only Alex thinks this is coming rather soon. A quote, from the latest issue of Edge.
We’re the last of the dinosaurs. We’re still the monster triple-A game with very large teams [and] multiple studios helping out on different bits. There are fewer and fewer of these games being made, especially as the middle has fallen out.
So, Alex thinks that AAA games are going the way of the buffalo so quickly that Assassin’s Creed 3 will be one of the last? While I agree that at some point the industry is going to have to change to get in line with the expectations of the consumer, I think this is reaching just a bit. If anything, AAA games are bigger now than ever, and only seem to be ramping up at the moment.
I think sometime in the next gen, we’ll see that fizzle out some, but definitely not on the timetable that Hutchison predicts. What do you guys think? Are we looking down the barrel at the end of AAA games? Do you think the industry will change at all? When? Go!
Source – CVG
Well played, Sony.
While there are a number of troublesome trends in the video game industry (as many of you have noted in the Mass Effect 3 DLC discussion), every now and then someone just gets it right. I think because of the anti-consumer nature of the industry at times, it becomes that much more potent when a company does something on our behalf, or something that goes against the grain.
Today, Sony launched a totally free version of Killzone 3’s multiplayer mode for download on PSN. Yes, Killzone, one of their staple franchises. You can play the game with friends, kill random strangers, and even rank up – although past a certain point you’ll need to pay money for continued experience and trophies. Again, that’s hours of entertainment for the grand total of free ninety-nine.
To me, this is a bold and brilliant move by the company that just a few years back tried to tell us their Heavenly Sword player was worth a staggering fee of $599 with a straight face. This is basically the equivalent of Microsoft announcing that Halo: Reach’s multiplayer was going free to play. Obviously, the business side of this is that Sony hopes that it will encourage gamers to buy DLC packs, maps and so forth, but I think the results will be interesting to watch. A number of MMOs didn’t become profitable until they went free-to-play, so I can only guess that this will have a positive effect for Killzone 3 as well.
What do you guys think of this decision? Would you like to see other companies pull something similar with their big franchises? Go!
Source – CVG
When playing video games, all manner of thoughts usually pop into my head. Some are far too graphic to share here and are off-topic besides, but I’ve decided to post my thoughts in a quick-thought format about a variety of topics. Sometimes things don’t warrant a full post by themselves, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still talk about them right? Continue reading Random Encounters
The MMORPG world is quite the cut-throat business and if you want to survive against World of Warcraft then you have to be prepared to make some changes to your subscription model before your game sinks. The current solution to the “WoW Question” is the Free-to-Play option, where the developer makes their game available to everyone, free of charge, and recoups their costs through microtransactions and other options.
Champions Online, which I played and wrote impressions on way back when I first started at GamerSushi, is the newest adherent to this business plan, making the jump to Free-to-Play in the coming weeks. While people will still be able to subscribe for $14.99 a month (called a Gold subscriber), there will also be a new tier available called a Silver membership. While Gold members will retain all the bells and whistles that came with the package before, Silver members are getting the short end of the stick as benefits their thrifty ways.
Continue reading Champions Online Jumps on the Free-to-Play Train