Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday Woes and Joys

First off I hope everyone out there is enjoying their holidays. Been pretty decent here, got to see my sister and nephews, pigged out on plenty of holiday feasts, been genuinely good. Now its a time for a run down of holiday gaming.

The Good: Steam Christmas sales are in full swing, this being the first one I've ever partaken in, I feel I am like a small child again buying all these massive numbers of games for cheap. To those that never have been around for a steam year end sale, it honestly is incredible. quite literally over a thousand games all for %ages off to same degree, many to the point of "absolute steal". I've already scored many games I've been meaning to pick up due in part to these sales.  Of course there were some absolute fails I skipped too. (Assassins Creed for $15. honestly a good buy, BUT I remembered that it would have the same shitty DRM as 1. and that makes it not worth even .50$)

The Bad: How am I not surprised the bad would come from a console yet again. I bought Borderlands GOTY ed. on whim only to get it in the mail and read the cover to receive a very disappointing shock.

"Voucher for all 4 dlcs included"

This was partly my fault, I should have read closer, but come the fuck on, a Voucher!? Why did you think I held off buying this game in the first place Gearbox? Cause I quite frankly wanted digital backup of the game with everything included, so in case say I need to grab them and PSN happens to be down (or even more likely, I decide to get the game back out in around 5 years and PSN support for the game has already been pulled/shelved) I can just pop in the disk and install them.

I know the logic for this, "Vouchers can't end up on a used game shelf." well frankly to that I say "fuck you". Just cause you want to curb used game sale, everyone, including those that never-very rarely have ever traded in games, get to suffer. This is NOT how you do it guys, be prepared to just piss off more gamers.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Are they even trying?

Being American (hey don't hate me, I didn't want to be born here either) and it being November, my thoughts as any good American turn to Thanksgiving and of course even further to Black Friday, the special day of the year where you can score deals on so many things that over half of the cumulative sales for all American retail for the year are made on that day alone.

Now Video games don't usually do HUGE savings like other products on Black Friday, but they still do try to at least entice a bit usually, so I was keeping an eye on gaming retailers for anything interesting. The biggest one being watched, like them or hate the, of course was Game Stop.

Well finally their ad was leaked and I don't know about you but, unless you like Sports games it was extremely lackluster. Even COLLODOOTY people got nothing for them in this sale. Which bares to me the thought "are they even trying?" or did they just slap together a shitty sale just to make sure people can't say they didn't have one?

One thing is for sure, GameSTOOP doesn't get any money from me this year, and I actually am quite happy with that. They are a horrible company with industry ties and the less money I give them the better. This ended up less an article more a rant but maybe yet amazon or steam may redeem this pretty poor showing for Black Friday goers, I'll try to keep readers posted.

Is Nothing Safe From Scamcom?

I was originally going to write a review for Assassin's Creed Brotherhood... But I recently stumbled across this little app on the iTunes Appstore and my head just hit the desk. The amount of attempted cash scamming/bleeding in this... a freaking iPhone App... is unbelievable...

The app in question is called Capcom Arcade. It's effectively a miniature attempt at recreating Microsoft's Game Room for XBLA. A virtual arcade with old and beloved retro classics from yesteryear, when games were great, and games were not vessels for scam locking and cutting of content for the sake of bleeding cash from the customer. The app is a Free* download from the App Store. That's the good part.

Unfortunately that's the only good part.

The app may be free to download, and in Scamcom's own words, they intended it to 'simulate the experience' of going to an arcade in the days when arcades still existed. So to allow for this to happen, guess what... Every game BA DUM TISS... costs tokens to play. You are given 3 free tickets for free plays per day. That entitles you to play any of the 4 games currently featured. On offer are Street Fighter II (the original World Warrior, not Champion Edition), 1942, Ghouls and Ghosts and Commando. All of these are great, great titles in their time, and their value has not diminished today. These are retro classics that really should be played by everyone.

Just don't use this app to do it.

When your 3 free tickets run out, you can go to the virtual counter and 'purchase more tokens' to play. Guess how?... Yep, $0.99... lets just say one dollar... per ten tokens. That may sound cheap as games back in the day were a quarter a play, but... That was at the arcade, that had running costs and all that. This is a freaking iPhone game... Having to pay per play on a freaking PHONE GAME is beyond ludicrous. If paying per play isn't your thing, you can always 'buy the arcade machine' for $2.99... which gives you unlimited plays.

So lets see now... For this 'free' game... In order to actually 'own' it, and play it as much as you like when you like, you have to shell out a total of $12. A small amount for a console or PC title but a very princely sum for a mobile app. Not even Street Fighter 4 for iPhone cost that much and SF4 is a VERY worthwhile purchase. Additionally, true to Scamcom's asspain cash bleeding norm nowadays... Included are also a number of 'special features' aka cheats for each title. Back in the days of yesteryear, cheats were unlocked by completing the game, or by entering in a button combination of some sort. In today's scam locked content age, they are unlocked only by Visa or Mastercard. Each 'special feature' costs another dollar, and there are 2 available for SF2, 3 for 1942, 4 for Ghouls and Ghosts and 3 for Commando. So to own this little Free* app outright and to own every aspect and feature of it, you must shell out the RIDICULOUS amount of $24.

So much for free app.

Again, to all the blind, brainwashed sheep going BUT IT'S OPTIONAL bla bla yadda yadda spare me your tired old rhetoric. The cheats may be optional but that is HARDLY the point. The point is they EXIST in a cash locked form, that they are even ALLOWED TO EXIST IN THIS FORM, should be a crime in itself.

Oh... Did I mention that even if you were to pay said princely sum... The app contains ADVERTISEMENTS, that cannot be disabled?... Words fail me at this point as to how low Scamcom have fallen in their attempt to scrape for the tiniest nickel from anywhere they can get it.

It's good however that the app is indeed a free download from the Appstore. On the Appstore, you are unable to review or comment on an app until you have purchased it. Free download means anyone can get it and review. Do feel free to get it and give it a one-star review, decrying this poor scam attempt for what it is and deny Scamcom any money from it.

For those of you with a jailbroken iOS device and feel like they absolutely must play the games in this form, there is a CCC.plist file in /var/mobile/Applications/CapcomGame/Preferences that controls the level of scam content locking. Edit the file to look like the example below, and everything shall be laid bare to your whim. The best part? Scamcom saw $0.00 from it as they so rightfully deserve. All is right with the world indeed.

PS: Please do NOT ask me how to access the file. Those with jailbroken iOS devices should know how to access the filesystem. If you don't, it's not my job to teach you. Level up your Google Fu and you will get there, young grasshopper.

*aka the 'Freemium' model. Should be called Feemium. There is no free.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Steam is "causing the death of PC gaming"

There are articles as of late false propaganda being spread as of late by retailers that steam is causing the death of PC gaming. Here, here, and here to cite a few. The claim is that steam has a monopoly on PC gaming and it will usher in the collapse of the market.

Do you remember a time when pc games at brick and mortar stores were more than one shelf stuffed in the back?

Do you remember when they tried to stock the latest and best pc games always?

Do you remember when they bothered to price their pc games fairly according to age and popularity?

I can only answer yes to the first one myself and even then that time was so far back its really reaching into my memory for it. Truth of the matter is this, the gaming industry wanted pc gaming to die along time ago, they seriously tried to kill it.

"But why would they do such a thing?" you ask. Simple. PC gaming, unlike consoles, has freedom.

  • There are communities, large ones, that can mod the game freely, adding days/weeks/months of playtime onto a game. Companies didn't like this one bit, if you are still playing X game even months later how are they going to make you shell out $60-100 every 3 months for their games?
  • Full blown piracy exists on the pc. If something is unfair or overpriced, people just steal it. A guy who charges $50 a bottle of water in the desert will get robbed. The open piracy forces companies to be competitive and honest, and they don't like that one bit.
  • PC gamers, not trying to start a flame war or insult people, but seriously are generally more educated. they can sort deals from scams, and can patiently wait a market out. Well how is a company supposed to scam earn record profits when dealing with people like that?
back in the late 90's to early 00's anyone that was a PC gamer saw the rapid decline of their medium being sold in stores, they were pissed but they couldn't do much about it. It was at this time consoles got a lot of strength in the market. But anyone smart knows consoles are very restrictive and controlled (especially current gen). Want that cool fan mod you see for the PC version on your console? Forget it. Want to use trainers to get through the game fast cause you just don't have the time but yet want to see the story? good luck.

If anything steam was what saved the PC industry from dying and companies do not like that one bit. So do not believe the lies retailers are spewing about steam killing the PC industry. If you want a more accurate headline here's one.

Steam hurts our console game sales so we can only afford one Ferrari this year instead of two, BAWWWWWWW.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The New Face of Advertising; YOU

Now I've never been one to play EA's Need for Speed series, so if not for a friend that does this little nasty new development may have slipped by my sights. He was playing the legitimate demo and soon ran across this and sent me a pic, followed by many wtfs, and the like.

Seriously EA? Are you god damn serious? So to even get to play all of what should be used to "entice me to like the game" I have have to advertise it like a virus for you? Whelp I know what game I'll never buy, and such applies to any other games that do this in the future. This is seriously a new low, but to be quite honest I am not all that surprised.

After all game companies have spent years creating a private army that would defend them to the death in the use of Achievements/Trophies/New Hats. This just seems to me more as a test/cash on that investment. I mean if they can get some stupid joe average to advertise for them, why wouldn't they? All I know is that this will end up driving the rift in the gaming culture even wider, but then, is that so bad? Let the fire and brimstone come, maybe then we can see a reset to the industry that is so desperately needed.

Dragon Age II: 45% On Disc Edition

Bit late, but figured I had to take a shot at this because Bioware and EA are currently the shining posterboy example for how to take what is potentially a really good game, and destroy it through scam locking EGGZKLUSIFFS and disc locked/withheld content.

The upcoming Bioware Signature Edition of DA2 will be available if you preorder the full game (read as: 40% of what the game should be). With it comes a bunch of preorder disc locked content much like in the first game. At least this time round, they're not pulling what they did with the first game, where in order to get ALL of the disc locked promo content you would have had to buy the game 7 times. Anyone with a brain obviously pirated all of that shit shortly after the game's release so it's a total non-issue. But... that hasn't stopped them from once again trying to sell a 'limited' or 'collectors' or 'special' edition that gives you nothing but disc locked content.

This is their advertising poster image below:

Sounds quite nice doesn't it? Nice flashy eye catching artwork. Now look closely at what you really get. $20 of additional content! Wow... REALLY?! So, why are people having to pay $20 to unlock what's already on the disc? Why is this being restricted to those who preorder only? Ah yes, of course... because if they didn't offer any incentive at all, then nobody would buy... especially after how many people were rightfully pissed off when they announced the No Withheld Content aka Ultimate Edition of Dragon Age 1, after many ultimately shelled out the extra money for the withheld and scam locked content. Obviously, the Ultimate Edition was the version that should have come out day one, for $60. Not a year later for the price of a new game AFTER the scam locking of content has largely succeeded and pissed off the playerbase.

Either way, this is what they're doing with Dragon Age 2. For the sake of honesty, I felt it was necessary to modify their advertising image very slightly below:

I believe it is more accurate in explaining to the prospective morons buyers who are considering buying this title on day one. Of course, I cannot recommend buying this at all, especially on day one. Wait a year, for the proverbial No Withheld Content Edition to come out instead. If you absolutely must play this on day one, rent or pirate it instead. 

After all, incomplete/beta versions of games aren't things that shouldn't be paid for, why should things change now? :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Game Of The Year

Not talking about a specific game per se, but more a general rant this time on the term. What I want to know is when in the hell did the term get so bastardized and corrupted into what it is today? Some examples:

I could go on, really. I believe I've made it clear. What I really want to know is, where do they get off calling their own products 'Game of the Year'? I understand that gaming magazines tend to give that 'accolade' in their reviews based on how much the publishers paid in bribes, but then to have the nerve to put it on your game as if you were implying your game is actually WORTHY of that title?...

All of the publishers guilty of doing this (you know who you are!). Pull your heads out of your asses and smell something other than your own shit for a change. Your games may be good, but they're not THAT good. You don't have the right OR the game worthy of the accolade 'Game of the Year'. In fact, nothing from this entire generation of Disc Locked/Withheld/Scam Content is worthy of that title. 'Triple A' gaming has become everything BUT.

Remember back when games had:

  1. Well developed characters
  2. Engaging storylines
  3. Great, soulful music and impactful sound effects
  4. Exemplary, engaging and innovative gameplay
  5. Immense replay value?
No? Yeah, not surprised. Those of you who are too young, or have just 'grown' into gaming this generation have no idea what we have lost in this day and age of GRAPHICS > ALL. Anyone played the new Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II lately? Beautiful, amazingly detailed and beautiful graphics. Sound isn't too bad either.

So, how long is the game itself, how much gameplay and replay value is there?

What's that? Don't go there? Yeah, thought not.

Games today have no business even being near the 'Game of the Year' tag. Unless a game is of the quality of a masterpiece from a decade ago such as Chrono Trigger (a true, undisputable Game of the Year), don't devalue the accolade any further. Let 'gaming awards' like that retain at least a BIT of value.

If you publishers are in need of some tags to use, below are some suggestions:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Review - Dead Rising 2

"Ex motocross racer Chuck Greene has been framed for an outbreak he didn't start here in Las Vegas Fortune City and has 72 hours to clear his name before military clean up crew arrives. What would you do with 72hrs
in hell?"

As someone that has played both Dead Rising entries this review is going to reflect that.

Graphics: 15%

Everything we've come to expect really of this generation in graphics. Game looks great and crisp, but it does however lose some points because of one thing. Very obvious frame drops in certain situations, one of the most obvious being using any weapon with particle effects (like say the flame sword combo weapon) on the day with gas leaking everywhere. Should be noted this was the ps3 version and your results may very depending on the one you play, I just cannot be fucked to play it on 3 systems.

Sound: 15%

No inherent problems with the sound you'd notice, everything sounds good on both music and Sound effect level, and I didn't run into any deformed sounds/hang up noise in my time playing. As well the voice acting is fine and fits the game for most instances. I do have one gripe however. A lot of the sound is recycled from Dead Rising 1, which isn't a HUGE issue since well its from the same game series, it still sorta takes away from the game a bit.

Controls and Gameplay: 20%

Two words: Fucking. Fun. Killing zombies is very easy and fluid, if you struggle at this game really.... quit video games... na I am kidding, but really if you struggle just think about what you are fighting a bit harder/come more prepared, game is really not that hard. Chuck is very user friendly.

DR2 introduces the combo system in which Chuck, who acts like Macgyver with his duct tape. can combine a variety of items to make new weapons to use on psychopaths or the zombie hoarde. Some of these combinations are complete lulz and bullshit (example: gems + flashlight = light saber) which only adds to the over the top antics of the game.

If just endlessly slaying zombies isn't your goal in life, there is a lengthy main story you can pursue and survivors you can rescue. There are also psychopaths, former Fortune City residents that couldn't handle the zombie outbreak and went insane, to fight.

Length and Replayability: 10%

The main game is long, and supports co-op. If you and a friend enjoy slaying the zombie horde, this will occupy you for some time, even better it supports drop in/drop out co-op, a really good decision on capcom's part in my opinion, allowing people to come and go as they please/have the time to play. It does however lose points on a couple of, what I think, were poor decisions.

No Infinite/survival mode: DR1 had a mode that after you cleared the main story, you could play endlessly with no objectives before you other than to survive. this would have been PERFECT for a co-op concept in DR2. but alas through some sort of near sighted choice this is not available in DR2... hope who ever made that choice got fired.

TIR Online: Seriously? WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!? I mean its a fun little set of minigames that I don't mind playing time to time... then they go and make TIR the main source of gathering money for the main game, there are other methods yes, but they are just as boring as TIR and they even hide unlockables in TIR...
if their was any instance of "trying to force people to Multiplayer" this would be a good example.

What I paid: 20%

I personally got the PS3 version on a special deal for $30, so I made out well. But to those that cannot do that, get the PC version for $40. in all its not above the "costs way too much" threshold of $50-60

Base Score: 80% of 100%

Now here is the fun part. DR is a Capcom series, and Capcom has been proving to be quite the assholes to their "fans" as of late. DR2 is not free from this corruption.

Case Zero, A special "prequal" to DR2, explains the events leading up to what makes Chuck Greene the way he is. This is currently exclusive to 360 owners. And regardless if it ever comes to us later....


Christ... its like they WANT people to hate them. Cause sorry if their plot is to make you buy on one system over the other from this "EGGZCLUSIV" product, it doesn't work for all of us. The ones that are not sheep just see you as douche bags and more and more justified to steal whatever you held from them. Case West is comming soon and I expect more dickery with that one.

Published by major publisher (-5%)
Contains DLC (Disc Locked Content) (-20%)
Contains 'day one' DLC (-5%)
Contains Withheld content (-10%)

Adjusted score: 40% of 100%

Final words: Yikes quite a painful adjustment there wasn't it Capcom? Maybe you need to do some things differently?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

ITT: Brainwashed Corporate Sheep

In this thread, we shit on Dragon Age II's preorder DLC, and have yours truly, versus a typical brainwashed corporate sheep who enjoys the feel of Kotick's dick up his ass so much he cannot see reason. It was somewhat civil, until he decided to use an image reply with me.

Big mistake.

I believe my point in the entire argument is clear without having to restate it. Click on the image to view the full size.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

In Depth on DLC

Being our blog's main namesake and hate I figured it would not hurt to summerize why its the greatest evil in gaming to date.

1. Content that is Withheld: Yep I can already hear the naysayers on this one. "YOU DON'T KNOW IT WAS WITHHELD, STFU." and you don't know that it wasn't, and going simply by presentation it doesn't look good in their favor that might not have been withheld.
Some examples:

  • Assassins Creed 2 PC: The Game Data itself at launch had a folder Named "dlc" which contained the tie in data for Sequence 12 and 13 along with the other small dlcs. AT LAUNCH it had this. Meaning it could have came to us at launch but was chosen to be cut out, continuing on this.
  • Assassins Creed 2: Campaign with Obviously missing levels and makes a very large point to tell you they are missing. Sequence 12 and 13 are "damaged" in the story, and once you pay your "I want a complete game" tax they are repaired. There are other games but this was the one the most blatant showings of cut content to make more money.
  • Dead Rising 1 and Resident Evil 5: Wait that DLC is only 100kb to dl? wow that's some good coding for a new outfit or game play mode to only take up 100k of space. BUZZ WRONG! what you are downloading there is essentially a unlocking key to gain access to data ALREADY ON THE DISK. Companies have learned from this mistake and keep the content off the disk now to try and keep the "illusion" it is new.
  • Dragon Age: "Hi I am a Npc that on a game straight from LAUNCH! follow you around anytime you are in town and try to sell you a special quest that wasn't cut from the game to make more money I swear!" This was a new low Bioware, not only do you cut content from a game to make it less than whole, then you put in a character that FOLLOWS YOU AROUND in town to constantly rub it in that you as a customer got less for your money again.
2. "Its not an expansion! its DLC!" Which is why we get times less for our $20-40 than we used to. Does anyone remember expansion packs? They costed anywhere from $20-40 and got you sometimes as much as the original game in new content to enjoy, now days? That $20 will get you a map pack, or 4 color/costume changes for your character! WHAT A BARGIN! I do find it very hilarious when they try to sell me a fucking palette swap acting like it was "alot of work".

3. Separation of the player base.

"sorry I can't play with you, don't got the new map pack."
"we can still play older maps."
"no, we can't"
"Just owning that pack puts you in a new classification as far as the server is concerned, we cannot play"

Thankfully this one I am seeing alot less, we are slowly winning the battle on this front, mostly due to the fact that the PR damage is disastrous. People couldn't play togather at all if one had the DLC and others didn't. This is getting resolved slowly by "compatibility packs" or "only one person now needs the DLC" the fact of the matter is it never should have happened and they'd love for us to forget that they tried to fuck us over, so that we happily keep lapping up the shit they put in a doggy dish.

Remember folks There are people out there that would like to make you pay ontop of your original payment to see the ending to a game. That IS their plan, and DLC is a stepping stone on that plan. In all you must

(To finish this article please download our add-on pack here. Its only $5 and your contribution will be well appreciated.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Going Way Too Far Again

Once again Blizzard show and prove that they are pioneers. Pioneers in going too far over the goddamn line. The first time was with their Real ID enforcing attempt on the forums. Yeah, we know how that panned out after one of their community staff got dox'd so hard within 15 minutes he probably had to change his name and move house. You'd think they'd have learnt their lesson right? Hah.

Here they go now, with the next episode of 'Going Way Too Far Over The Line'. Now they're banning cheaters from playing StarCraft II. That would be all fine and good, and really, that's fine... except for one rather small tidbit.

They're banning people for cheating in SINGLEPLAYER.

Yeah, you know, the mode that really doesn't affect anyone except the person playing? The mode that is, since time immemorial, the sovereign right of the paying customer to wreck their own game experience for themselves if they so choose?

Yeah, they're banning people from that.


Ok, supposedly they're doing this because Campaign/singleplayer, while played when logged into, will still accrue achievements that are used to unlock online avatar/profile pictures. Now... Since when do achievements actually carry any tangible value?

Oh wait... Modern day gaming... Achievement whores... Right.

See this is what's wrong, this is EVERYTHING that is wrong with modern gaming today. Whether or not someone chooses to cheat in an OFFLINE, SOLO PLAY mode, should be THEIR right to decide, NOT that of a faceless corporation. Remember back 10 or so years ago, when little devices called Action Replay or Gameshark were prominently prevalent? Do you still see them today? No? Ever wonder why? Because the big corporations saw it fit to hunt and destroy the makers of these devices to stop people from fucking with their games... Even in singleplayer modes. While I completely support the use of the B&hammer on online Multiplayer cheaters... Singleplayer has always been at the sole right and discretion of the gamer in question and NO ONE ELSE

If I choose to 'ruin my gaming experience' as you anti-cheaters so happily are apt to label me by cheating in a single player game/mode... That is MY choice, MY right. I paid for the game, I will choose what I do with the game I PAID FOR. As long as I'm not wrecking it for anyone else, it's my right to do what the hell I want with my game.

Now, in the era of achievement whores and gaymerfagscoar, suddenly, transparent achievements are now supposedly 'worth' something, and this something must be protected, even from dirty singleplayer cheaters. If there was ever a stronger case for the achievement/trophy system needing to be destroyed outright, this is it. It's now gotten to a point where the non-existent value of achievements, are infringing upon our rights as people who PAID for a game to play in in a manner we choose to play it. If that means cheating with a 3rd party program SO FUCKING BE IT, such is our right.

But no, now even that small right has been denied us. We no longer own anything of a game we play. So should we consider ourselves blessed to be able to play games under the watchful eye of our new corporate gaming overlords? Thank you, o mighty Cocktivision and our ruler Bobby Kodick, for this latest $60 offering which only lasts 4 hours and we must pay another $150 for Withheld/Disc Locked Content to get another hour out of it... Blessed we must be indeed!

If this is seriously how gaming is going to go, where we do not even have the right to decide how we choose to play our games even in singleplayer/solo play/offline modes that do not realistically impact on the gaming experience of others. Then seriously, it can all go fuck itself.  Cheating, or not cheating isn't even the point here. The point is simple: Singleplayer was our LAST REMAINING SOVEREIGN RIGHT in a gaming world where our rights are fast being taken away by more and more forced online Big Brother watchdog type systems hell bent on trying to dictate to us HOW, WHERE and WHEN we should play our games.

Now, in the eyes of Blizzard, we don't even have that right.

So what the fuck are we paying for then?! Oh that's right, the EULA... We don't own anything. So for good money paid to the company, we still own nothing, and have no rights and no recourse. Why even bother buying then? Why bother paying when you have no rights in a Stalinesque police state where the overlord is always right? Why bother doing the right thing at all? 

I know for one, if this is how Blizzard's games are going to be from now, with forced lock in online to even play single player modes... Then consider me a lost customer for life, as well as a Blizzard pirate for life. If my money doesn't even buy me the basic right over my single player experience, then fuck doing the right thing. I will quite happily pirate any and all Blizzard product from now on, and I know I am not the only one holding this sentiment after this news.

After all, if you pirate, you still have your basic sovereign rights and control, away from the eyes of our watchful gaming overlords. In this generation of stolen rights, a jailbroken PS3, a jtagged Xbox360 and a PC with not a single piece of paid software is indeed the way to go.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Nobody is safe

As Posted in an earlier article Item mall is the bane to good games.
An Australian acquaintance of mine who is a notorious Valve loyal, particularly Team fortress 2
(no seriously I think the guy even would own a Heavy dakimakura if it were possible).
pointed out this latest update for his game and didn't understand the hate surrounding it.

I told him its not the initial update that is the problem, just some cosmetics? fine, there is no real problem if you REALLY want to have X look by paying some minute money. however of course it did not end there.

I soon learned from a few other people who play the game and frequent the chat room that there were items you could buy that gave STAT BONUSES for real money.


I'm very much happy that I never put much faith in Valve like many others have, I simply watched from the sidelines waiting for them to make their move, and now they have. Will they unleash unholy, hobby killing, evil the likes of Activision has seen? That I doubt, but they most certainly are no longer pure. As one that doesn't play TF2 as well this doesn't directly affect me, but I am also intelligent enough to realize that it COULD effect me someday, in some game down the road.

Those don't seem to get it through their heads, you buy, the precedence is set. Voting with your wallet only works at the very beginning instance, if the tactic succeeds once, it will have to fail 10 times over before it gets undone from being a market norm. This is why nearly every game has withheld content and now many have cash shops and nearly no single player experience.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Politically Correct "false" movement

This Article today made me quite irritated. For those not in the know, allow me to fill you in.

EA with their Medal of Honor series, which I don't play nor normally have an interest in, decided on their latest installment to controversially allow in their game to let you play as the Taliban as one of the factions for death match. Now in my home country of burning any book that isn't the Bible and fucking apple pies, this did not go over well. Interest groups, and by interest I mean nobody's but their own, decided that was "improper" and moved to silence that.

EA stuck to their guns for a while and refused to change, which I respected them for, but in the end likely out fear the game wouldn't sell cause of all the negative PR these idiots were generating, gave in and changed them from "Taliban" to "Opposing Force".

Yep. you heard me right. All that was changed was the name.

They are still terrorists, they still look as stereotype as you can get, but they aren't "Taliban" so everything is sunshine and roses for these people I've dubbed "The people with too much time on their hands". These people, since they have no lives or shit to do, feel that in their infinite spare time think they need to tell the other 99.8% of the world what is right and proper. Going to give you a small hint here.

Most "intelligent" people don't want to view the world through tinted windows, especially in something as harmless as a game. Something that fails me completely is how these idiots thought this was going to be harmful in anyway, I mean I hate ALL forms of censorship, but I can understand why people manipulate with it if there is something to gain from it. So what could possibly been gained here? Nothing is what. It is not like the game glorified the terrorists or something, so once again its a pointless censorship and wasted energy that could have have been directed somewhere else my fellow braindead Americans.

But I know none of this is reaching the people that need to hear it, and if it were to, they'd deny or shift blame, cause that is what their kind is best at, being childish and never doing anything good for this world, instead they shit it up for others.

Final word is this. I had no intent on ever playing this game but I still liked that someone was going to try to have something out there that on at least some levels not spoken through a filter.
But cause of the "Paranoid Parents Association" which includes 60 year old bible thumpers, soccer moms who have to release the extra energy from the speed they consumed to keep up with their over active, nosy lives and politicians who love shit like this cause it provides a nice distraction from them passing bills that fuck you out of ever retiring and lining their pockets with your former pension money, we can't even have that.

Thank you again PPA for saving us when we didn't need or want to be saved.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

$onic the Overpriced-Hog 4

Sega will officially launch Sonic 4 Episode I in October, finally, after months of withholding (a PartnerNet version was leaked about 3 months ago or so). It'll drop on the following dates with the following prices:

  • Xbox Live Arcade: October 13th (1200 MSP)
  • Playstation Network: October 12th ($14.99 USD)
  • Nintendo WiiWare: October 11th (1500 Wii Points)

I tried the early leak and to be honest? The game is quite good. It's actually as close as we can hope to a proper oldskool 2d Sonic game as we're ever going to get in this day and age. The early version had a homing/lock on attack of sorts, which just SCREAMED 'easy moad'. Many did not like it and hopefully early feedback, albeit unsolicited, would have made Sega reconsider it. However even if that feature is left in, it's not a huge issue... You can simply opt to not use it.

That's not the problem really... The game, from what I have personally tried, is very good, even for an early beta version it was very solid and, amazingly, quite fun. That's not the problem at all.

The problem is two things:
  1. Episode I
  2. The Price
If the early leaked version is anything to go by, you get 4 Acts (stages) per Episode as well as a full 7 bonus stages. How many episodes  they intend to do is up in the air really, I'd guesstimate 3, maybe 4 episodes. The early version already let you collect all 7 Chaos Emeralds, and yes, Super Sonic is in, and playable within the normal game and not just on select stages tailored for the DBZ mode.

Problem is: $14.99 for 4 Acts?... I'm not the only one saying it, but that is SERIOUSLY pushing the envelope. Don't just take my word on it, look around the various major gaming sites. Everyone is saying the price of what may be 1/3 or 1/4th of a game is really, really pushing it. They'll never sell a full completed title at $60 either, they know it... The most I would personally pay for a complete Sonic 4 game is $40. At the current price, assuming they go 4 episodes... It would be $60.

Thanks, but no thanks Sega. It's a fun little game, I must admit that much, but it isn't worth $60. Even a Sonic 3 & Knuckles HD remake wouldn't sell for that. If this is the final pricing, then my purchase of this has just officially been reconsidered.

Shame, I was actually looking forward to buying this. Maybe when it goes on (inevitable) sale perhaps.

Paying To Beta Test

According to this poast on Kotaku... Bioware is coming out with an Ultimate Edition for Dragon Age: Origins.

I know I'm not the only one who thought, on day one, when the game was first announced that 'oo, nice, must try this!'.

Then when all the withheld content/disc locked content was announced, along with the fact you had to buy the same game multiple times in order to get ALL of the game made many prospective buyers go 'Ok fuck this shit...'

So now, over a year later, after all the idiots who DID pay for the withheld content have been bled dry, Bioware and EA are probably hoping they can entice the original 'would have bought' people back with this little number. Well, to that I say:


This was the version that SHOULD have been released from day one. If this had been what had come out last year initially, then I would have put down my $60 quite happily. Oh, did I mention that Bioware had the absolute balls to say that 'the entire game + withheld content is worth $114 USD' and that people are getting a DEAL by buying this little number for $59.99? So... They are saying that yes, even with Dragon Age 2 just around the corner, they are justifying selling a year old game in the format it SHOULD have been sold in from day one, for full new game price...

I also know what half of you are going to say at this point, let me sum it all~ up below because I've heard this all before:

  • It's not withheld content, they really weren't finished making the game at the time!
  • It's OPTIONAL content! If you don't like it don't buy it!
  • It's their game, they can charge what they want for it!
  • For what you're getting for $114 it's a BARGAIN!
  • People like you are why the PC gaming industry is dying!
Yes, yes, yes, I'm sure.

I'm very sure all the scam DLC was real! It was so real that you had to buy the same game several times to get it all at launch! It's so optional that they have NPC's in game that tell you to purchase it before you can enter this area/do this quest! Yes! It's all REAL DLC!

...And Halo: Reach is teh BEZT GAEM EVAR!!


*deep breath*

All I can say at this point is good luck Bioware, those who were going to purchase it, like yours truly, have already made our decision to never support your scamming ways, ever. We will nevar pay for your gaem either out of principle or just sheer anger alone. Yes, haters gonna hate, and I choose to hate. 

To those of you who say it's because of people like us who are killing the PC gaem industry, I say very simply: If this is what the industry has become... If games like this, are going to continue being sold in this manner... In this chopped up, episodic, withheld, disc locked manner, then it can just go fucking die.

Those of you who really want to play DA:O in it's entirety? A subliminal suggestion is the image below.

Yes, lets kill the PC game industry further! Why not! I mean, after all...


Thursday, September 23, 2010

On Trophies and Achievements

Gaming is quite a unpredictable thing. Things that should have been completely harmless become some of the biggest problems with gaming to date, and its all because of the Human element.

Achivements when they first debuted, really were harmless in my eyes, they were just one more thing you could do with your game and they gave you a external rating that showed what you've played and what you "accomplished". No harm with this when taken in moderation.

But humans do not know moderation.

It really was not long before people started gauging their own self worth as a gamer by their score and playing games they didn't like for the pure sake of increasing their "worth score". As now we come to the problem we have today.

I am going to give you a hint. Having that gamer score of 500000 is not going to get that cute chick working at the corner 7/11 you've been eyeballing for months to suddenly want your cock. nobody cares about your score BUT YOU.

Well ok. I lie a bit. Some gamers may look at your trophies and achievements a bit, but I can with absolute certainty assure you that they don't care about your "overall e-penis length" I'll use me for an example. when I look at someone's trophies I am looking at two things really.

- What they play on average, to get a generalization of their gaming preferences.
- CERTAIN achievements which I think are REAL ones. (getting "Mr perfect" in mega man 9 is a REAL feat. pausing the game in the Simpsons Road Rage is not)

If anything, those that "grind" gamerscore/trophy level on stupid games? all you show to us is how worthless a human being you are. Your 6 platinums all in Disney games do not impress anyone. Your youtube channel that shows your "gallery of trophies" just shows you REALLY need laid.

To the Achivement/trophy whores of the world. You should really make this your next one.

Picture worth a thousand words

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On the Subject of F2P Games and Microtransactions

A few years back I was sitting at the computer bull shiting with a friend on what we could play togather, being whole continents apart the amount of things we can play are very limited. For while we tried "free to play mmos" because it was something we all could run, worked fun over long distances (ie latancy doesn't really hurt a non realtime game as badly) and once more we THOUGHT it would be cheap to play.

Boy were we ever wrong.

Over the years we played many "Free to play" games.

Trickster Online
Atlantica Online

And all of them disappointed, but not in the way you'd expect. The games themselves were very fun and engaging. confused? What could possibly be wrong you ask? well the problem was quite simple. There never was never an end to the spending you were required to get the full game out of a "free game".

Starting with the first game we played, Trickster Online. the game was innocent enough at first. cash only got you some grinding boosts and better drills. (The gimmick of trickster was you could drill anywhere for resources to help your game) nothing too bad, then refining came in where you could quite literally gamble your gear to make it more powerful. now the feature was free to use, but it costed money if it fucked up. sounds fair right? and in the beginning it was, then slowly people noted he failed more and more often. The company in charge of the game dismissed that this was all in people's heads, but it was very obvious they had changed the formula to be very unfavorable so that could gain more money.

Around the same time also the first "GACHA" game launched. similar to Gashapon a person could turn real money into coins they popped into a mini game for unique gear and pets. at first there was no problem with this, all it got you was a unique look. as time went on however only the best stat gear was found in these towns, and content was tailored that unless you wear these items, you would NOT survive.

Back with Trickster I was foolish enough to defend this fuckery. Saying very tired lines like "the game needs to make money or the servers will not be able to operate" or "takes some to get some." but really looking back now that was just foolish elitist talk and I helped companies be told "This is completely ok, continue to rape my wallet please."

Fast forward to my final F2P mmo, Atlantica Online. When I joined at first it was the same formula as before at first their Item mall did nothing harmfull, it was only money for fluff. And the game truely rewarded skilled people in the fact they could save money by playing better. I thought to myself "have the companies learned? maybe the dark age has ended."

I should have known better, around 4 months later, the same trends formed, and even worse skill became completely mooted. Being skilled at the game ended up netting you very little in favor of people just buying everything they needed with cash. However if you don't realize the problem with this yet let me enlighten you.

"Why are you "playing" the game then?"

The general concept of a mmo is to get good gear so you can survive in a higher area to get better gear, repeat the process x 9001. If you can just get the gear guess what? You sit there looking like an idiot cause you've just removed all point to be playing. Which is exactly the route Atlantica went and to be quite honest, the route of all "Fee to play" or "pay to win" mmos go. They become very expensive babysitters rather than real games.

Now I personally think if you are going to play a mmo these days. stick to a pay to play mmo, at least they are honest up front about wanting your money. Also.... to be sickeningly honest a Pay mmo is actually CHEAPER than a "free" mmo in the long run if you want your content :/

Another good option is a business model similar to Dungeons and Dragons online. it does free to play but to get the full game you must subscribe. so it becomes "free 2 demo" which is in its own way fine, cause it lets you still try the game before having to pay in, and is still completely honest about "you wont get anywhere without paying"

Best option however is to find pay once multi player games. Support games like Guild Wars, Diablo and others of its buisness model. You pay once and are done. and you alone decide when the fun ends. not someone else.

The Cycle of Decline

This article over at Kotaku is a good example of the state of the industry nowadays. Company comes out on the soapbox crying foul over FUCKING PIIIIIRATES!!! stealing their hard scammed earned dollars and that they are refusing to release gaem on a platform due to the evils of piracy.

Well gee...

Let's take a step back here shall we?...

Let us take a step back in time, back to February the 17th, 2009, when vanilla SF4 was first released. Many were quite happy to jump on and buy the game then when it first came out, yours truly being one of them. We bought, we played, and the game... it was good.

In a happy sappy fappy fairytale world, this little flashback would have ended right here.

Instead, what should have been a near ideal game release, one to be savored and remembered fondly FOR ALL TIEM... Began to show signs of what we shall call the Modern Day Gaming Evil(tm) (MDGE).

The first evil: Costume DLC

The game featured alternate outfits for the characters, many of which were quite nice, and, if this had been a decade ago, unlockable through regular gameplay. Due to MDGE.. Capcom went on to nickel and dime us to unlock these costumes that were already on the disc to begin with.

Not only did that suck, it left a rather filthy taste in the mouth. But many gave in and decided that the game was good enough to allow Capcom their little extra profit. When a game is good enough, and if you like it enough, show support right?

Again, in a happy sappy fappy fairytale world, we'd be stopping right here too...

Now we move onto the second evil: A game upgrade 'patch' being announced and sold as a whole new installment not even 2 months after the vanilla game hit store shelves.

We can argue this utill we're all blue in the face and never get anywhere. Capcom claimed the Super SF4 upgrade was too big, and too major a revision to be a patch, therefore they had to sell it as a whole new game. Personally? I think that's the biggest load of shit since Guilty Gear 2 and it's XX #Reload Slash Final Really No It's Final This Time installments that put me off ever buying another Arksys game until the FINAL final definitive version has come out. No one's a stranger to Capcom and their magical god tier inability to count past 2 for years, instead choosing to rehash the same game as Super Champion Hyper What-Fucking-Ever Edition until the profit books no longer register the Idiot Dollar.

...Then they counted to 3 for the first time in years... and now finally to 4! AND THEY'RE DOING IT AGAIN!

But at least... At LEAST back then, they had the decency to wait until the corpse of the previous game was at least COLD before announcing the next installment. This? Not even 2 months? Sorry, that was a new low even for them. If you could announce it that soon, why not delay the vanilla version for a few more months and release it with the upgrades already in there instead?

...Oh wait, it wouldn't have scammed enough money then, my bad... Forget I asked.

But the fans, being blind, brainwashed and moronic enough they'd make Apple fanboys at a Steve Jobs keynote speech look objective and unbiased, lapped it all up and threw yet more money at the Capcom troll machine for this 'whole new game'.

...Only to find out, OBVIOUSLY, there was YET MORE DISC LOCKED CONTENT that, surprise surprise, they would be nickel and dimed for. Not only that, fast forward a little further today and now we have an announcement of... wait for it!... WITHHELD content, that was more-than-likely stripped out of the final product so they could charge YET MORE money for it later, when the Idiot Dollar from the scam DLC began to die out.

Oh sure, now I hear you say 'It wasn't withheld! They're really just developing it now!' and 'You're angry, bitter and jaded!' and whatever else you want to say.

But, prove me wrong? Go ahead. You can't.

You can't prove me wrong.

None of us know anymore, in this day and age of scam DLC, that DLC really is new addon content. History has shown ever since the beginning of the DLC era that how DLC should have been, and how DLC currently is... Are two very different things.

When in doubt, assume the worst... It hurts less later.

So... finally... All that above being said, now Capcom come out and say there won't be a PC version because the FUCKING PIIIIIIIIIIRATES are stealing their hard scammed earnt dollars. You know, if Capcom didn't have the amount of Disc Locked Content that it does in SSF4, not to mention all the other evils they pulled previously...a good number would be happy to NOT pirate. But after taking it up the ass repeatedly, can you honestly blame them?

If the industry was smart, there's a good lesson to be learnt here: Don't fucking go off and create more pirates by pissing people off, then get on the soapbox and cry about piracy. Yes, there are always going to be the piratefags that will never buy a game. THOSE PEOPLE WERE NEVER YOUR CUSTOMER IN THE FIRST PLACE. Stopping piracy there will NOT magically create more income for you! Get that through your fucking thick skulls!

But continue to pull the scams that you're pulling now, and you will be creating MORE pirates out of those who originally WOULD have bought your game and have decided not to simply out of anger at being scammed. You companies know exactly how it feels when you get robbed (pirated)... So why scam back? Two wrongs are NOT going to create a right here... It will push the cycle of decline further down to a point where everyone is going to lose at the end of the day.

But then again, looking at the way gaming currently is right now?... That may well be fine, nothing of value is going to be lost after all.

Sonic Adventure - Re-release Review


My First full game review, and we go back to something old. Sonic Adventure re-released this week for PSN (and a week earlier on XBLA, good ol' M$. still buying advance timing I see.) and I figured I'd see if it still holds up to my memories of it. those being it being one of the last decent sonic games.

Graphics 10%

Wow... just wow. did SA really look this bad? I know the game is dated but I do not remember the game, especially the body models of the townsfolk, being this bad. however for the rest of the game it doesn't look "too" terrible considering the game's age. Still it is slightly annoying that given releases like Banjo-Kazooie for XBLA, that tried to update where they could, that Sega would not even bother to polish it even a little bit.

Sound 20%

No real complaints here, the sound track for SA was always good, tracks fit the area that it played in, and all sound effects play with no emulation garble in this emulated port. and of course the classic vocal song "Open your heart".

Controls and Game Play 15%

SA shows clearly the looseness sonic plays that they improved upon in SA2. during loops or "rail" sequences he can still be effected by your movements quite easily, often screwing you over. early example is the boost pad race to escape the whale in sonic's first stage, twice the game pulled me off the track entirely, killing me outright. However aside from the odd glitch the game play is as solid as it always was.

Length & Replayability 20%

The game is decent length on its own, as long as any $60 release they try to shove down our throats these days. And if you like the pet raising Chao, prepare to not see the sun for a few weeks as chao raising will consume your life. they are like tiny little bundles of Everquest in each egg. and for the completionist there are plenty of missions to accomplish and A rankings to achieve.

What I paid 15%

The base game is $9.99 and the dlc? $5. not all that bad when wrapped up in a little bow for $15. however more on this in a minute.

Base Score: 80% out of 100%

Now here comes the "modern fail" as all games have today.

The DLC it touts? is simply the content from the gamecube version which was sold pack in. so they take a game from two gens back, go up one gen they add content and repackage, come to current gen they cut that same content BACK OUT and sell it separately. very rarely has "withheld content" been more clearly obvious than this.

- Published by major publisher (-5%)
- Contains DLC (Disc Locked Content) (-20%)
- Contains Withheld content (-10%)

Adjusted score: 55% out of 100%
Final words: sometimes the past really is better.

Blade Kitten Demo - Impressions

Unfortunately the game is a shade of brown.

Graphics: 20%

The game is 2.5d, so all you 3d > all fags will have stopped reading here, for everyone else the game is a pretty damn pretty 2.5 game, it does some foreground/background manipulation Ala Wario Land virtual boy. (sans the horrible damage to your eyes in later years) the enemies are decently animated. The level offered in the demo was colorful as was Kit, with surprisingly little to no fan service of her throughout the level despite several opportunities to do so.

Sound: 5%

Sounds were honestly rather generic. and music? I can't even remember a level song playing if that says anything about how memorable it was. As for menus and such alot of it plays with a techno/japanese theme which prays on my fear that all this games was trying to be was a easy sale to everyone's inner japanophile. my fears were not that far off.

Controls and Gameplay: 10%

I'd like to give this better but I honestly can't. Kit plays a bit like she's constantly on ice when on the ground, her climbing is fairly fluid and automatic however in contrast. combat as far as the demo went was a joke, lead in when a jump attack and then rape them while they are stunned, I'll give the game a few higher marks cause I'd assume this would get better as the game goes on. For the collector in you this game has alot to please, secrets and treasure in every nook and cranny. and while not used in the demo I'd assume the currency "hex" is spent on upgrades or fluff later on. there sure is plenty of it to find. One major gripe I have with the demo is the fact Kit has regenerating health. which is very pointless in a game with infinite lives. its like giving a two ended lolipop to a toddler, you'd think its a good idea, but it just is silly in the end. I mean how much babying do gamers of this generation need?

Length and Repeatability 10%

The game boasts "12 levels and a assortment of things to find and collect for kit" if my platforming knowledge does me any justice, the game will last 8 hours at most for the straight shooter and around 20 for the stamp collector. that is not all that much for the price it asks for and I can really only see someone playing this once.

What I paid: 20%

Demos are great, at least some companies still let you legitimately try before you buy.

Base score: 65% of 100%

Ah but wait! there is some external fail for all of you out there, before you get out your wallet this game. Popping in the demo greeted me with one additional surprise.

"Episode 1"

So some aids of "modern gaming" spill even into mediocre releases. and for that it will have to suffer a penalty

Adjusted Score: 60% out of 100%
Final words: Could have been a great platformer, and there is a possibility the full game is. but it certainly doesn't sell itself well in the demo.