Archive for January, 2010
Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
I know for obvious reasons that MAG will only ever be released on a Sony system, but (theoretically speaking) wouldn’t MAG be a bigger success on the PC? MAG, because of the nature of its game play, will always rely very heavily on 3 important factors for winning: controls, teamwork, and luck.
The last of those, luck, is the worst part of playing a first person shooter. Anyone who’s played a shooter before can tell you a story about how they won or lost a match because of the random appearance of some player or vehicle; or about the unforgiving kiss of an unlucky re-spawn. Basically, luck is an unforgiving [censored], and it is not a factor we need to worry about, because it can’t be controlled. Whatever happens will happen no matter where you play MAG.
After that you’re relying on controls and teamwork to get you though, and while I accept that MAG will be a console shooter, I don’t feel like it will live up to its potential on a console. You see, none of the consoles on the market offer everything that a gamer needs. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all great pieces of hardware, but we no longer live in a world were you choose a console based on what it offers. This time around you’re picking the console that fits your lifestyle the best, and because of that, no console will have everything that all games or gamers need.
For example, if you don’t care about teamwork, then get yourself an Xbox360. Microsoft has given their console great graphics, great games to play, and multi-media capabilities. The one thing they can’t control though is who buys that console, and sadly the people buying the Xbox don’t seem to care about playing as a team. Although I can’t say that’s true for everyone on Xbox Live (XBL), but 3 years of XBL has shown us that many XBL users would rather hurt then help their fellow users. In fact, the last Nielsen Wire “State of the Video Gamer” report confirms that the majority of active XBL users are 12 – 17 years old, and while no one has statistical information for this, it is widely believed that 12-year-olds on XBL are some of the rudest people in the world. Simply put, MAG would not do well on the Xbox, because XBL is a place to fuel rivalries, not make friends.
The Wii, as a system, would also be a terrible choice for MAG. The Wii is a party game giant that is dominating the market right now. There is no denying that, but the problem with shooters on the Wii may never get solved; because, that problem is currently making Nintendo tons of money.
That problem is also obviously the Wii’s motion controls. The Wii-mote has never truly offered the 1 to 1 motion control that it promised at launch. Motion controls on the Wii are so loose that gaming media groups have long since dubbed them waggle controls. This is because accurate movements with the Wii-mote are not necessary to play Wii games. Random movement, like when a dog wags its tail, are all you’ll need to play a Wii game. Heck, (in my opinion) even the introduction of Wii-motion-plus has (made it better, but has) not made it responses 1-to-1 accurate. This has led to a long history of shooters having a hard time on the Wii, because of how much a shooter rely on precise controls. At the moment, the motion control technology on the market is simply not good enough to work well with a 3-D shooting environment. If MAG was released on the Wii today, it would be a very frustrating game to control, so frustrating many people would probably not play it for long.
Believe it or not, mouths will also be a source of trouble for MAG on the PlayStation Network (PSN). All of my experience on the PSN leads me to believe that about 3 out of every 10 PSN members actively use a headset. That number is low because of the fact that Sony doesn’t provide a packed in headset with their consoles. Not packing in a headset has caused the PSN to be segmented into a small group that bought the headset (or got one with SOCOM), and a larger group that does not have the ability to communicate vocally over the PSN. That inability to communicate instantly will not sink the good ship MAG, but in a teamwork heavy game like this one, it will certainly diminish the overall experience. Basic communications can still be made in the game, but the majority of those communiques are boiled down to placing markers on everyone’s map that say, ‘go here and shoot anything you see.’ On top of that, these communiques will probably also fail to account for every detail that needs to be communicated, were as a headset could.
This is also not the first time I’ve played a game like this. Back in my PC days, when Battlefield 2 was first released, I tried a similar thing to MAG called 21st Century Warfare. 1 of the rules to join this little tournament was that you had to have a microphone, and that rule was made for a good reason. On maps big enough to hold 256 gamers, you’ll really need to have everyone talking to get a good picture of the whole battle, and react to changes as need. Because very few people on the PSN talk, critical changes in the battles will either: a) happen without anyone noticing, or b) will be done before reinforcements can be dispatched. Simply put, the virtual battlefield is a dynamic environment that is confusing to start with. Putting it on a console were very few people chat will add a second layer of dense confusion, and that will make this teamwork heavy game less fun for us hardcore players (many may even rage quit).
So where would a game like MAG excel? The only system on the market that can make MAG a great experience is the PC. The PC is the most versatile gaming platform around. While a console should be picked to fit your lifestyle, a gaming PC can be constantly altered and optimized for any game. Plus, the extreme cost of PC gaming usually ensures that only adults who truly care about gaming will play at that level. The fact that 49% of all PC gamers are between 25 and 49 helps too. The PC will also offer better controls then a Wii. This is because the PC relies on the highly accurate combination of a keyboard and mouse. The PlayStation problem of no one talking is harder to solve. How do you convince them to buy a headset on the PC if you can’t get them to get one on the PS3. Well its not a perfect solution, but the fact that you can pick up a cheap wired microphone for under $10 helps; also, many PCs pack in a cheap microphone anyhow. When compared to PS3 gamers, the number of PC gamers with headsets should already be statistically higher.
But these are just reasons for picking the PC over the consoles. The reason MAG should have been a PC game, in and of itself, is because of the experience. You can obviously play this game on a console, but you don’t play MAG to play a first person shooter. There are hundreds of games out there that allow you to just fire a gun. No, you play MAG because you want an experience. You want to play soldier and be part of an army. You’ll still be able to shoot the gun on the console, but given the current state of consoles, it will only be possible to play soldier on the PC. That’s why MAG should have been a PC title.
Saturday, January 23rd, 2010
Hey Got Gamers!
As we start the final week of January, and winter drags on, there are very few things out there to keep your spirits up during these cold winter blues. We, of the Got Game crew, suggest a big helping of the Got Game Podcast (which you can find below this paragraph) to help you through this time. However, please don’t call us in the morning. We’re really not qualified to answer any of your medical questions.
On this edition of Got Game:
- We go over the weekly news, including: the new Rockband Network, and the Apple Tablet
- We talk to Ben Jones of Zipper Interactive about their new Massive Action Game
- We have our reviews of Dark Void and Vancouver 2010: The Official Olympic Game
All that and more on this edition of Got Game!
Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, here is one of the first images of the new Apple Tablet.
Personally, I don’t know if this tablet is a good idea. I am not really feeling the same thrill that Zack has for it. To me it just seems like a big version of the iPhone. However, what about you guys? Do you care about this new Apple product?
Thursday, January 21st, 2010
I was enjoying a clear beverage at a party last weekend when a friend introduced me to a mobile game developer.
You know me… I like me some games… and I like to ask questions.
So I asked this gentleman about his games (2 birds, one stone – what up?!). Not only did he talk to me about them… but he showed me what he’d done, and what he’s working on.
He and his team (XMGstudio) have a couple of games on the App Store already…
Here’s the first one he showed me:
So you’re essentially customizing cars and then working the shift with your finger on a straight-laced drag strip… Cool, simple, effective stuff.
…but here’s why I’m really writing this post.
He gave me a demo of a game that’s out there right now… called Pandemica.
I’m telling you, because I can’t play it on my iPhone (it’s 3Gs only, due to the compass). That, and it’s free until Jan.31.
So if you’ve got a 3Gs – you should definitely check it out… and if you like it, you can vote for it as Best Augmented Reality App of 2009 here: http://www.bestappever.com/v/arap/339263856
Based on what I saw, it already got my vote… but it’s a cool game, done by a cool guy who fronts a Toronto-based company that we couldn’t get on our Independent Developers special a few weeks back.
Monday, January 18th, 2010
Hey Got Gamers!
Very few things in life can evoke raw emotions as easily as the quote, “No! Not the bees! Not the bees! No!” Luckily for you though, this week’s Got Game will evoke a few raw emotions of it’s own; and as usual, you can find the emotion riddled Got Game Podcast for Sunday, January 17, 2010 in the audio file below this line.
On this week’s episode of Got Game:
- Momin recounts a story of goodwill thrust upon him
- We talk to Senior Producer Morgan Grey, from Airtight Games, about the upcoming Dark Void game
- We have our reviews of Darksiders, Army of Two: The 40th Day, and Ken tells us about a DLC card game in Madden10
- Plus some gaming news, and much much more in this week’s show
And finally here is that video that Zack wanted me to post. A video that could only ever be titled: Mega Wicker Man.
However, if you have no idea what the joke is we suggest searching the net for information on Nicholas Cage’s remake of a 1973 film called the Wicker Man. There are some great Wicker Man nuggets out there, and really we wanted to post our favorites to the blog, but we felt that it would be wrong considering the violent nature of some of the scenes in that film. However, if you’re of age, then we think it is certainly worth a look.
Monday, January 11th, 2010
Hey Got Gamers!
This week we have a special treat for you. We had so much to bring you this week, that we got permission to make Got Game twice as long as normal! As always you can find the podcasted edition of this week’s Got Game in the sentence below, but the difference this week is that you’ll find a extra large version.
On this week’s show we:
- Introduce Toronto to its other Triple-A developer(besides Ubisoft Toronto), and this one is already operational; but you’ll have to listen to this week’s show to find out who they are
- Showcase a couple of indy-developers, and their home made games
- Talk to 1 of the creators of an internet show about gamers that’s being picked up by the HBO/Showcase TV channels
- Plus our review of Bayonetta, a review of the new Borderlands DLC, this past week’s gaming news, and much much more!
Also, in my parting shot I talked about this video. Motion controls may already be a thing of the past. Click on this video to see how people are using muscle movements to control devices like video game consoles.
And finally, we talked about Microsoft’s new Gameroom for the Xbox360. It will be a virtual gamespace were 1 or 2 people can play a number of retro games by themselves, in co-op mode, or competitively. However, we never gave you the full list of games during the show (we just ran out of time to do so). It is unclear if this is the list for the rest of time, or if these are just the titles at launch, but this is what Microsoft has confirmed for the Gameroom so far.
- Armor Battle
- Asteroids Deluxe
- Crystal Castles
- Lunar Lander
- Mountain Madness: Super Pro Skiing
- RealSports Tennis
- Red Baron
- Road Fighter
- Sea Battle
- Shao-Lin’s Road
- Space Armada
- Space Hawk
- Star Raiders
- Sub Hunt
- Super Cobra
- Yars’ Revenge
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010
Hey Got Gamers!
I hope you’re enjoying your new year. So far it has been great for me. This year my new year’s resolution is to play more video games; and funny enough, this may be the first year that I accomplish one of my resolutions. Actually to be truthful I made 2 resolutions; the second one was to post a podcasted version of Got Game today, so as always you can find the podcasted version of our last show below this sentence.
On this week’s show:
- We debate the greatest advancements in video gaming this decade
- We talk to a guy who could help you make money from playing games in your own home
- And as always we have some strange news stories from the world of video gaming
All that and more on this edition of GOT GAME!