Archive

Archive for September, 2009

Scribblenauts

Scribblenauts Launch
Give the man a gold star!

So, Scribblenauts launched recently.  Not much else to say about that.  Games inspire us in crazy ways.

Categories: Gaming, Humor Tags: , ,

Superman vs Science!

September 30, 2009 4 comments

While browsing one of my favorite webcomics, Dinosaur Comics, I came across a magnificent piece of science.  Ben Tippett has come up with a little scientific paper that explains Superman’s powers in a way that makes sense to physics.  He unifies Superman’s powers into one power focused around the ability to alter the inertia of matter.  Quite a fascinating read. 

A Unified Theory of Superman’s Powers

Here’s to you Ben Tippett.  I’d love to meet the man who must hold such a delicious brain.

Categories: Comics, Science Tags: , ,

Top 10 NES Intros

September 29, 2009 1 comment

New article up over at Bam! Kapow!  Top 10 NES Intros.  Check it out and don’t forget to digg it.

Categories: Gaming Tags: , ,

Hardcore a Gaming Definition

September 28, 2009 2 comments

One thing that has popped up in this generation of video games are the terms casual and hardcore.  Unfortunately for us no one ever clearly defined what the hell any of that meant to the gaming culture,  Now we have people bad mouthing one another saying they are more hardcore than the other person

Hardcore

adj.

  1. Intensely loyal; die-hard: a hard-core secessionist; a hard-core golfer.
  2. Stubbornly resistant to improvement or change: hard-core poverty.
  3. Extremely graphic or explicit: hard-core pornography.

You can see that a word with 3 different meanings could lead to a lot of confusion.

I will be going over the types of of gamers who use this term and what it means to them.

The One Genre Gamer

These gamers only play one genre be it First Person Shooter, Fighters, Real Time Strategy, Role Playing, or Sports.  Every other genre can just suck it to these people, if you play anything outside of their opinionated type of genre than you are just not hardcore, and are potentially a fag for having different opinions.

Retro Gamer aka (The Grandpa Gamer)

If you are not form whatever generation they come from, 70s 80s 90s you just do not understand gaming.  The perceive their generation is the Golden Age of gaming, and think that the games this generation are just too easy or pretty much all bad.  Only back in their day were all games the best of the best and there wasn’t a single bad game in the mix.

Also the Politicians never lied back in their day and everything was cheaper, (except video games surprisingly).

The Sadist Player

These people take hardcore by the first word alone, meaning if the game doesn’t kill you within the first five minutes its not good.   To them if  you can’t beat it on the hardest difficulty than you are just a little baby who just can’t handle playing games and should quit.  They also need to collect everything in the game and find every little secret to feel like you completed it.

They spend more time on one single player game than MMORPG players spend playing for one year.  At least they are getting their money’s worth.

The Ranker

Scoring and getting the most kills is what this person is all about if you can’t brag about it you shouldn’t even talk like you’re a gamer.  Found in leader boards talking shit up the best way to shut the them up is to shut them down and just wreck their score, if you focus all your time on that one person they will surely die and lose their ranking.

Tournament Gamer

Just the next step up from the Ranker just they do it more in the professional setting.  They’re all about showing their mad skills in front of people, just so they can claim to be number 1 and earn a t-shirt doing it.

Graphic Whore

If the graphics look remotely like they have any type of characteristic then they just suck.  Games mean one thing in their mind it just has to look good.  They will buy the latest good looking game.  These people tend to be shallow and are the most prominent of the batch gamers.  We all usual go through this phase in adolescents of gaming, but like puberty some people just never grow out of it.

Hematolagnia Gamer (aka Blood Fetish Gamer) It’s a real word google it.

This person only think it is hardcore if the game has massive amounts of killing and blood in it.  Their idea of mature borders criminally psychotic content where if it doesn’t get a M or AO Rating it isn’t worth a damn to play.  Like vampires they need to feed on digital sprites of blood to keep their their idle hands busy.

Big Boy Gamer

Mature means explicit content to them, but unlike the Hematolagnia, blood isn’t the only thing, sex and swear words need to be in it.  Nothing says I am an adult like playing a video game with questionable content.  To them it is the equivalent of looking up naughty words to tell their friends on the playground.

I Play Video Games Gamer.

They actual talk more about playing video games than actually playing video games.  Found in the gaming forums you can spot these people on how many posts they make and how fast they reply to a response usually within 3 minutes.   They say their hardcore but they only play a half an hour of games for every 4 hours their on the internet saying “how much they play games”.  They are the biggest posers of all, which is means they have the saddest life since they a basically idolizing gaming, when it’s more fun to actually play them.

Although it is awesome now that a geek group actual has people trying pose like them.

The Consumer Whore Gamer

It’s sad when we have two types of whores on a list and neither one about getting sex.   These people are pretty much see an advertisement and get that game, it doesn’t matter what the game is about it’s just the newest game and they need it.

Easily swayed from one game to the next, who ever pumps the most money in marketing wins to them.  They tend to miss out in a lot of great games but since they have the newest gamer they think they are getting the best game.

Corporate Gamer aka ( Fan Boy or Girl)

Possibility the worst of the worst, they are more about corporate mascots than actually playing games.  The game could down right suck but if is an exclusive to their console of choice they consider it a win and won’t stop talking about it.  Much like the consumer whore they eat up most of the marketing done on a game.  They will brag to no end on how much their consoles game made and is number one even though they have no facts to back it up.

Well that’s the list of definitions of Hardcore means to these gamers, best advice stop using the word since it’s just an overused under defined term that douchey game journalist use.  Also let me ask you one thing has anyone of your friends called themselves Hardcore Gamers in real life probably not if they had everyone would just beat them up for being such an asshole.

Capcom Vs Everything

September 25, 2009 4 comments
Everyone vs Capcom

Everyone vs Capcom

I just heard that Capcom is thinking of doing a new Vs but with who. They asked for fans to come up with combinations I will look at the pros and cons of some of the major and not so major team ups.
Capcom

Vs Disney

PROS – Since Disney owns Marvel now it may be more of a reality that this would happen.

They also have the most unique lineup of characters.  From the more realistic types, Tron, and Pirates of the Caribbean, to their icon characters of Mickey Mouse and Donald and their movie characters Aladdin, Beast and the Incredibles.  I would like to see Darkwing Duck, Duck Tales, Gummy Bears, Tale Spin and Gargoyles make the roster though.

CONS – Disney is kind of stickler when it comes to other companies using their properties Square Enix even had problems with them on the making of Kingdom Hearts to this day even with the money and fame its got.  They hold a tight legal contract on everything Disney property so they might be hard to work with.

Vs Nintendo

PROS-  It would be a great match of mascots on each end, Two of the biggest video game companies going head to head, nothing wrong with either one.  Nintendo is also fairly good with working with other video game companies on their games such as Team Ninja in the new Metroid, and Smash Brothers getting characters from other game companies.

CONS-   Nintendo already has their own great fighting game.  So it would seem to be almost like a waste of a VS game if the franchise didn’t reach out into other markets or companies and just have them bring the Capcom characters in (Ultra Smash Brothers) or whatever the next game will be called.  I feel this would be the best possible solution.

Vs Square-Enix

PROS-  Square Enix has some of the best video game franchise to date, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Kingdom Hearts and urrrh Bouncer.  Sound I think everyone would be stocked to see something like this in a team up.  Also Square seem pretty cool in pimping out their franchise so I couldn’t see too much of a problem in legal issues.

CONS- At first this sounds cool, but I feel like we would get just a list of characters that are too similar to really make it anything really special. There are so many generic character archetypes, that we might as well just have Thief, Fighter, Wizard,  Black Belt in the line up, Compare Yuffie and Rikku seriously their the same character type.  Yuna, Aeris tragic heroine , Cloud, Sephiroth and Squall emo, Tidus and Vaan whining bitches. Maybe they could add in some summons to mix it up a bit but I like variety in my games.  (I am nitpicking though because I still think it would be a great team up of all time.)

Vs Sega

PROS- Sega, they started to try and make a come back I think something like this could really help them out and maybe get them some recognition, they have been in the game business as long as Capcom and have the same amount mascots to use that are just unique and awesome and some that have long been dead could find new life.

CONS- The roster would probably be everyone in the sonic universe, but not mention Alex Kidd, Vector Man. Space Harrier, that dude in OutRun his special power could be flipping a car on you.  This actually would be cool, but I would want every character they can think of from the 80s and 90s era too, not just everyone one in the sonic universe or just in the recent year of games to make it seem relevant.  What’s great about the Vs games is it allows them to bring back retired mascots and maybe spark some new interests.

Vs Adult Swim

PROS-  Find a list of characters from TV that would fit in better than a fighting game.  Hell, Adult swim could make their own fighting game with these characters and people would buy it up.  You got some of the best characters too choose from Venture Brothers, Metalocalypse,  Frisky Dingo, Harvey Birdman, Aqua Teen, Robot Chicken, Sealab, Titan Maximus.

CONS-  I just hate to think of the legal battle to get the characters in, but hey Tatsunoko had some problems and that worked out.

Vs EA

PROS- They recently started to actually try and push new games lately and something like this fans could react too positively.  They had some problems in the fiscal year of annual returns so a game like this would help them in the long run of establishing themselves as not just the sports game company.

CONS-  They would just update the roster every year adding different costumes

Vs Image Comics

PROS- They have the comics to make a list of characters that could make 10 Vs games with Capcom and it would please every type of person. Capcom is known for working with comic books so this could be right up their ally and maybe even outshine even the Marvel Vs game.

CONS-  They don’t own the right to the characters it would be basically making deals with the creators, it would take longer than the making the game itself to go through all the legal details of each creators rights.

Vs DC

PROS- It would be as epic as Marvel, well maybe.

CONS- The Blood bath begins between those loyal to Marvel vs Capcom and those to the DC vs Capcom no one is safe to go on a game forum again.
 

Vs Vertigo-

PROS-  Everyone says DC comics, I rather see Vertigo their subsidiary. You could have John Constantine, Sandman, Preacher, Book of Magic Hunter, Mister E, at least if the do DC to think of these characters to be put in to it.  There is a lot of potential for the characters that could be brought in.

CONS- It’s own by DC so more than likely they would rather go for the DC comics than these comics, some are well know well others may fall the way side.


Vs Saturday Morning Cartoons

PROS- How awesome could it be if they could get character rights to a nearly every major 80’s 90s and 00s Saturday morning cartoon character, Transformers fighting Carebears.  Teddy Ruxpin beating on Smurfs, Rainbow Bright bitch slapping Strawberry Shortcake, Johnny Quest fighting GI Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles killing TMNT.  God this would be just EPIC.

CONS- Man I don’t even want to think of the legal battles they would have to go through to put characters from nearly every major 80s 90s, and 00s Saturday cartoons.  To me this is a pipe dream that someone would have to sell their soul to get done.
Vs Fox

PROS-  You could beat on Family Guy and the Simpsons which ever one you despise more at this point.

CONS- Half way though making the game Fox would cancel out of the deal.  Feeling it’s taking too long to make.

Vs Todd Mcfarlane

PROS- Alright spawn was getting old, but he still has some of the most creative if not disturbing characters to choose from with his line of toy, he could work with American McGee.

CONS- You could never play this game in the dark for fear of wetting your pants.

Vs Star wars

PROS- You could beat on Jar Jar Binks all day long.  This could also rinse the your mouth of the last horrible Star Wars fighting game, Masters of Teras Kasi, god just saying the name makes me want to brush my teeth.

CONS- You would have Jar Jar Binks being a character in otherwise great game.

Vs Lucas Arts

PROS- I think this is better, you get your star wars characters, and all the original characters outside of star wars, Grim fandango, Sam and Max, Guybrush Threepwood, Maniac Mansion (Day of the Tentacle) and that new game they are making right now about dreams.

CONS- There is still a chance Jar Jar Binks could be in the game still.

Vs Valve and Blizzard

PROS- I think both of these together would be great, Blizzard would add the extra bit of fantasy and Sci Fi with Warcraft and Starcraft Diablo, while Valve added the horror and modern characters with Team Fortress, Portal, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, you can’t tell me they couldn’t find characters out of them, the cake would not be a lie.

CONS – Honestly if I could think of one I would mention it.

Vs Rare-

PRO- It may not be the glory of what it was but they do have the characters to back them up for a Vs game and really doesn’t that all that matters.

CONS- Microsoft would mess it up someway from happening so don’t get your hopes up.

Vs Microsoft-

PROS- They use both Rare, Bungie and any other game company they buy up in the mean time to get the characters.  Also Xbox live would be excellent on for multiplayer they can even make it downloadable to save the hassle of driving to the store.

CONS- Everyone would use Master Chief to tea bag you at the end of every battle

Vs PS3

PROS- The Sony without worrying about competition from other consoles would allow Capcom to fully utilize the PS3’s awesome ability and push the graphic to the point that would make your eyes bleed from loosing all your tears in enjoyment of the sweet succulent look of the eye candy that they gave you.

CONS- God of War, Drakes Fortune, Infamous, and Sack Boy aren’t enough to make up the roster that’s like what 4 characters to choose from, hardly memorable.

Vs Konami-

PROS-  The Arcade of this would make competition on a whole new level both companies are known for their Arcades and this would lead to the most epic showdown ever.

CONS- These competitions would force people to the breaking point of getting pwned since their can only be one true victor the rest would feel like they wasted their entire time practicing to play in the tournament.

Man I think I covered a lot of possible and not so possible Vs for Capcom

Categories: Gaming Tags: , ,

The Last Guardian

I’m a huge fan of the Team Ico set of games.   Ico, Shadow of Colossus, and now The Last Guardian.  A video was revealed recently at the TGS giving us a little insight into the creation of the creature that will be accompanying the boy in the game.  I’m equal parts excited and concerned about this game as it approaches.  My main concern is that, judging by the emotional layout of the prior games, this can’t possibly end well.  I already imagine either the boy or the creature will end up dying by the end of the game.  From the interview though it seems like they are trying to surprise us though.  This is something that the games thus far have really done.  They really feel like an adventure or journey.  You start off with no background really.  You’re put into this mysterious world with just a basic guideline to go by and its up to you to explore and uncover the world as you go along.  I’m eager to see if they really will end up surprising me with the ending of this game, but man are the tears sure to flow with this one.

What’s Wrong With In-Game Advertisement

There is a problem that..BUY SODA..has become all too..SEE THE NEW HANNAH MONTANA MOVIE..rampant in video games as..ENLARGE YOUR PENIS FOR PENNIES A DAY..of late.  I’m speaking of in-game advertising.

This is a heated topic that has been discussed everywhere you can find anyone talking about video games.  We have all experienced it at some point whether we are aware of it or not.  It’s actually been around since about 1978, but it is only recently that it’s truly becoming big in the game industry.  Let’s examine some of the more glaring issues with it.

Immersion:

Most of us play video games to take a break from reality and entertain ourselves by visiting a different place and having adventures as a soldier, knight, racecar driver, pilot, or prince of the cosmos.  In order for any video game to work effectively in the next generation you will have to have some sense of immersion in the game.   This is the feeling where you forget that you’re sitting on your couch playing a game, and instead are more concerned about that tank that just drove into sight or that the evil boss just killed your girlfriend.

So where does in-game advertising come into play?  Advertising and game companies would have you believe that it actually promotes immersion.  It feels more like a real world to see real world advertisements on buildings and newsstands.  The fact is that it can work, but not all of the time. In a sports game, it would actually hurt immersion I think to not see the real world advertisements that line the walls in a baseball stadium, or to look up and not see the Goodyear blimp in a football game.  This is a case where it can help because these are real life sports and with real life advertisements it works for immersion.  This can be held true in racing games as well.  Seeing real billboards or the emblems/decals on certain cars can actually add to the immersion.  A clear example of adding to realism is Crazy Taxi.  In Crazy Taxi you are required to take people to some real world locations.  This isn’t overt and it makes the city feel more real.


How are there no fat people in Crazy Taxi?

The bad side however is when the advertisement has the adverse effect and completely knocks you out of your immersive feeling.  Here is a prime example that I recorded myself a while back even before I thought about this article.

You might say they really “dropped the bomb” on this one….

If you can’t make it out, this is an advertisement for Gamestop that I came across while playing Prototype.  This is part of a deal I believe they made since there are two Gamestop/Prototype advertisements that run on tv and the Gamestop TV network.  This specific advertisement just completely destroyed all immersion I had in the game.  Basically what I was staring at was a giant reminder that screamed “Hey! You’re playing a Video Game!”  This is bad.  This is counter productive to enjoying the game and is part of the reason why many people get annoyed by it.  This doesn’t add to the game mainly because there are little to no other real world advertisements in the game.

Another big issue is how the advertisements are done, when they are done.  They are always super bright in contrast to the rest of the world.  The adverts are made to stand out amongst the background, and often don’t apply to the lighting that’s currently in place in the environment.  Drawing your attention to an advertisement is normal, but when you apply that to a movie or a game it feels more like an irritation.

In a game where you spend most of the time hanging, I would be concerned about my armpit stench as well.

Take this as an example.  It’s an obstacle in the world and you can’t help but notice it.  Sure neon signs at dark are meant to be noticed, but this seems a bit too much.

Another problem with immersion and in game advertisements is that often times they just don’t fit.  This is a huge problem because it destroys the environment around you and makes the world feel fake.

For that matter, why is this advertisement by a factory in a desert.

Look at this image from Battlefield 2142.  If I’m fighting a war in 2142, why am I seeing an advertisement for a movie being released on Blu-Ray next month.  This doesn’t make sense and just messes up the environments feeling.

Solution:

If you’re going to have advertisements, then make them more seamless.  Movies have been doing it for decades.  An example is any scene of people eating where they are drinking a soda.  If the soda can is in the shot you can be guaranteed that the logo will be facing the camera no matter what the angle is.  Most people don’t notice this because it’s subtle and doesn’t draw attention away from the scene.  This tactic wouldn’t work in a videogame of course because you should be able to walk around something without it always facing you.  There are other things you can do though.  You can put a billboard along a common route taken in the game for example, but don’t have it be in the player’s way.

Another thing you can do to make it work is apply the advertisement to the game.  If your game is set in the future, then advertise for a silly version of a known product in the future.  An example of this is the Pepsi placement in Back to the Future II.  Another way to make it work is to make a humorous advert.  Take Prototype for example.  You could have an advertisement like “Exhausted from running up buildings and throwing tanks? Get some energy back with Gatorade.”

Kinda feels like what many companies are using my money for.

Money:

One of the main points regarding in-game advertising is that we are paying to be advertised to.  The basic principle is why are we paying 60$ for one game with no-ads and the same 60$ for a game that has ads that are constantly being updated.  Now advertising is prevalent in all forms of media, but the problem is that the price reflects that.  Magazines have advertisements because it helps pay for the cost or releasing said magazine to the consumer at such a low rate.  Television has advertisements to help pay for the production costs of the show.  When the shows are released on DVD, there is a flat rate to watch the show without commercials.  The same should be applied to games.  Can you imagine what would happen to DVD sales if the DVD’s had constant updated commercials you were forced to watch?

I’m not trying to complain that I want my games to be free or nonsense like that.  I’m just staying that if I’m going to be paying money to get advertised to, then I want to see something for it.

Solution:

An example would be that if a game has in-game advertising, then it is a little bit cheaper.  If I’m playing an MMO that has a monthly fee, then make that monthly fee a bit cheaper.  If the advertisements are being used so that the game can continue to generate revenue after launch, then I expect DLC to be free.  Recently there were rumors of advertisements being placed directly on the Xbox 360 dashboard backgrounds.  If they are going to do this then we need to have a reduction in the fee for Xbox Live Gold.

Screw Big Brother.  I Want GLaDOS watching over me.

Privacy:

This is one of the more touchy subjects.  Games with in-game advertisements can sometimes provide too much feedback to the advertising agency.  Things are recorded such as the player’s playtime, time they look at the ad, what angle they view the ad, how often they see it and other such data.  This is very uncomfortable for most people and feels incredibly invasive.  It’s one thing to watch a commercial on TV, and another thing to have a camera on you while you do it to determine how long you watched, what you were wearing, what were you eating, etc.

Solution:

First and foremost, this should never be hidden.  If you are monitoring a player for any reason other than trying to make the game better, the player has a right to know.  I don’t mean in some miniscule little fine print on the back of the box.  There should be a clearly visible warning that your data is being monitored.  This should also really be entirely optional.  If we want to opt out of being monitored we should have the right to.  True, you could always just not play the game, but there’s a better solution.  Give us a reason to opt-in.  As mentioned before the biggest issue is we feel we are being profited upon without a benefit to us.  Let us choose to be watched and give us a reason for doing so such as a special in-game item or experience points we can use towards something.  Nothing game breaking, but any benefit is more than enough incentive for most of us to be ok with being monitored.

Conclusion:

A lot of this has been said before, but very rarely do the articles seem to look at it as a bad thing.  Most regard it as a great new source of revenue for the game companies instead of acknowledging the complaints of the players.  Presented here are a number of solutions that can validate in-game advertising to a number of people.

Sound Off Geeklat: In-Game Advertising Yay or Nay?

Categories: Gaming Tags: , ,
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