Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Gamesfurk`s E3 2008: GTA: Chinatown Wars Update

Here is the old post
New facts:

Note: All information is not officially approved.
  • More than 20 hours of gameplay
  • More than 70 missions
  • Cooperative playing via Wi-Fi possible
  • Four multiplayer games
  • Multiplayer Online Racing mode
  • Minigames, such as sniping
Of course, Gamesfurk will continue to update for you.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Too many Casual-Games ! Hardcore-Gamers are outraged

Most of the hardcore Nintendo fans are disappointed from Nintendo`s new formula- making games everyone can play easily. I might sound dumb, but only hardcore gamers might understand me. Well, just read on to know what I mean, because I don`t want a such long intro..... You could buy yourself a yo-yo and have more fun....if you`re a hardcore gamer. What does the industry say to this "casual boom"?

How did it come to this? Can Nintendo turn the casual-truck in hardcore-paradise ? What`s a casual truck ? I don`t really know. What happened with "quality",with "wit", with "oh my god, what the hell?!"-moments ? Let me tell you how it was back in the Nintendo 64 era with reviewing video games :

As we reviewers decided which games we review and which we push under the blanket, we just needed to take a look at release dates. Back then there wasn`t any big assortment of releases - de facto every new release was worth a preview, because every game was a potential hit.

Well, that changed over the years: Everyday the postman drags a bunch of Wii and DS-games into the editorial department or whatever. Games that don`t really bring our "gamer-heart" into a surge of emotions: crude, immature, callow and half-baked mini-games for the younger audience, soulless quizzes, "come hell or high water"-programmed hopping games with butt-ugly box-art and so on. In short, we have appetite for good games on the Wii or DS.

On the following bunch of 50+ sentences ( I counted:)), Gamesfurk will show you what my readers, but also the gaming industry says to this "casual phenomenon". Here is my opinion : I like games that are accessible for everybody. What I blister on are insubstantial, little games without any tiny piece of wit, that are only produced for the fast cash now and then.

One thing: Edutainment. I hate that genre. It is nice to learn things, for example Brain Age or English Training. But that is the limit. The Wii and DS features decline to a "Well, let`s use the new technology,because every game has it"-type of working. The Wii and DS now are pretty similar to a educational computer. The whole formula is nice, but the developers forgot the actual goal: good video games that make fun. Take a look in the past: The only edutainment Nintendo games I know were Donkey Jr. Math and a Mario game where you learn to type.

I am showing the red card to following bad habits of the gaming industry:

Opening doors via Wii-Mote

In some games like Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None you open the door as if your Wii Remote is a doorknob. That works bad, but is also pretty stupid after 3 hours of playing the game. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption solved this problem, so why can`t the casual industry do it ?

Not even a twist of challenge

I know a few games that are really hard. Super Metriod, Ninja Gaiden, Cybernoid,
and almost every arcade game I have played over the years. But I also know a few games that you can literally play from not even thinking. Or puzzles that can be nearly solved by there selfs! Nancy Drew and the Deadly Secret of Olde World Park is one of these games. The difficulty of the game is so low, that there isn`t even one challenge in the game, let alone a part where you have to think.

Minigames without any substance

No one had a problem with the stone mini-game in Ocarina of Time. The slides in Super Mario 64 was a excellent diversion from jumping on goombas and kicking King Bowser Koopa`s virtual butt to save the princess. It was only a tiny, fun element in a humongous game. But at present, humongous games around the mini-games are vanished, disappeared and mostly forgotten. I have nothing against mini-games, but they must be good. A good mini-game collection: Warioware. A bad one: Game Party from Midway.

Game Over after five hours

Really a bulky, big, comprehensive, enormous, extensive, heavyset, large, wide-ranging and lengthy game: Iron Man for the Wii. You can`t never finish this game. Star Trek: Conquest is also lengthy. I have got to cry if some doesn`t know that this is meant ironic. :( Dear Publishers, please dare to make longer games !

Piece of plastic

The Rolling Rocker was the stupidest accessory ever. Only a piece of plastic. After twenty years, the same crap happens again : Why do I need a plastic wheel ? Why do I need a synthetic billard queue or a plastic tennis racket for my Wii-Mote ? Does make more fun? No. Controllers are still the best.

Well, some readers think we are only cosseted:

"Hello. Are you guys dumb? We have got Alone in the Dark, Okami, The World Ends With You, Secret Files: Tunguska, Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicals: My Life as a King, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Kart Wii, Bully, Apollo Justice, Sonic Chronicles, Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword, Boom Blox, Lego Indiana Jones, Fire Emblem, Deadly Creatures, De Blob, Star Wars:The Force Unleashed, Fire Emlem DS, Lego Batman, Dragon Quest IX, Viva Pinata 2, Pikmin 3, Wario Land Wii, Wii Sports Resort, GTA: Chinatown Wars, Animal Crossing: City Folk and so on ! Cool off !

Now let`s go to the opinion of the industry !!

Note: I collected best of clipping form tons of interviews and bunched them into five.

Here clippings of interview put together from 2K people:

"2K is going to be on the hot seats of Nintendo in near future. These titles will approach to diverse audiences, but I don`t want to classify gamers strict into "casual" or "core", because I personally don`t want to get labeled like that. Fans of strategic games will love Civilization Revolution for DS, while sport enthusiastic gamers will play games like Top Spin, Don King presents Prizefighter, or NHL2K."

Same here with SEGA:

"Sega thanks hardcore gamers, because of them, Sega has its successes. What we do is a mix:Dinosaur King, or games like Sonic Chronicles".

Well, that is enough. Bye.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Wii MotionPlus Question & Answer

After I researched a while in the far.away nirvana called "Internet", I found some interesting news and facts about the near-future Nintendo homeconsole peripheral named Wii MotionPlus. If you don`t know what it is, read this post.

Here we go answering a few questions :
[Your dumb if you need to read following parenthesis(Q=Question,A=Answer)]

Q: How long will this attachment be?
A: Estimated 1.6 inches.

Q: How the hell do you attach the classic controller or the nunchuk to a Wii-Remote with MotionPlus ?
A: Damn, you`re cranky, Mr. Question-Taker. Well, it will have a pass-through extension...port.

Q: Do I have to buy Wii Sports Resort? If yes, how much will it cost ?
A: You can buy it with the Wii Sports Resort, but I would expect it also separate available. Just think how blockheaded it would be to play Wii Sports Resort alone. Not to mention buy Wii Sports Resort two times......I`m not sure how much MotionPlus will cost separate from the Wii Sports Bundle, but the bundle itself will cost 50 $ (Estimated 50€ in Europe).

Q: Can you plug it in a Wii Zapper, which would be useful for shooting more accurate in upcoming games like Call of Duty: World at War ?
A: It would be simple-minded to ask a stupid question like that. "There aren`t dumb questions, only dumb answers. Except by people a lá Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus or Adam Sandler..."-a citation by a paparazzi interview I saw on CNN. Back to topic: I never tried the Wii Zapper out. I don`t want to waste my money on an accessory that only mediocre games support. I would wait until CoD: World at War comes out and read a review on a site called Gamesfurk. That sentence was crap. Really crap.Back to the question, I don`t think so. I trust Nintendo. but maybe the Wii Zapper isn`t accurate after all. If only someone would comment this post and would particularize his experiences with the Wii Zapper....

Q: When will MotionPlus come out?
A: Spring 2009.

Q: I am highly skeptical. Will this piece of plastic be something fun, or will it be just a piece of plastic like the Wii Wheel ?
A: Figur out,only casual gamers use the Wii Wheel....Wii MotionPlus is produced in collaboration with AiLive. AiLive produced this tool for gaming developers working with MotionPlus. It is named LiveMove 2. Watch and enjoy

PS: I wrote following text in this article:

[...]Do you still remember the times, were you thought Red Steel would transfer your movements 1:1?[...]

Well, guess what: Red Steel 2 is one of the first games that will support Wii MotionPlus. What a fortuitousness.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Gamesfurks E3 2008: THE BUMMER SHOW?

Where was Mario? Where was Link? Disappointed faces after the Nintendo press conference. But: There is still hope for core-gamers.

What? It`s already over? As Cammie Dunaway, Vice President for Sales and Marketing at Nintendo of America, said farewell to the E3 conference participants, the fans in the international communities were completely broken ´: No Mario, no Zelda, no Star-Fox, no F-Zero. Only Pikmin 3. What the hell happened ?

It was kind of predicted that there will be no Hardcore-games. But hey: There is still hope. Hope that we core-gamers are going to be noticed. Hope, we can believe in......sorry. That catch-phrase was awful. But I`m still happy. Nintendo said that they will prefer to show casual games like Wii Play, Wii Fit, Mario Kart DS or Dr. Kawashima.The good thing: Nintendo didn`t forget us. Stuff like Wii MotionPlus is also interesting for the producers of core-games.

Imagine a Zelda game with 1:1 sword movements. How awesome would that be?! Do you still remember the times, were you thought Red Steel would transfer your movements 1:1? Technically, it wasn`t possible back then. Back then. Sounds like Red Steel is 3..4 years old. Back then is too harsh. To be exact, it wasn`t possible until now.

Somehow weird, but smart: The Wii MotionPlus thing was announced two hours before the start of the Xbox360-E3-conference. I think it was a strategy against the motion Controller of Microsoft, which was and hopefully is just a rumor. If not, Nintendo has a problem. MotionPlus is available with Wii Sports Resort, which will cost estimated 50$. Europeans will have a similar price.

One more question : Why didn`t the Wii offer that since the launch? A 1:1 movement would be awesome and Nintendo would be richer. But I think this is better like this, because they would have rushed it if it would available at the launch. Smart wise-cracks observed something: The accessory is too big for the safety jacket. I expect a new jacket included in Wii Sports Resort. Another negative aspect: The batteries will live shorter with this.

It`s nice to here that not every publisher forgot us hardcore-gamers. Interesting: The product portfolio of Electronic Arts. The giant continues successful and profitable game names like Need for Speed and creates new series like Boogie ( a second installment was already announced earlier this year). Example: The 2009 versions of FIFA, Madden NFL,Tiger Woods PGA Tour, and NBA Live will have a addition in there titles: All-Play.

"WTF does that mean?", you might ask yourself. Well, let us say that Core-gamer get the used action-packed game, but casual-gamers can just play without pressing through oh so long menus and options. Will it effect the market ? I don`t know. But it is not a bad start.

Otherwise, games like MySims or Boogies now have their own games: Boogie SuperStar, and MySims Kingdom. Ubisoft does the same with Prince of Persia and Nintendo with Toon Link : They don`t experiment on new games and possible game series, but instead work on spin-offs of successful game and on the game itself. What is the meaning of this strategy ?The answer,my friend is MONEY

But there are also developers that hate casual-games just like us. For example, High Voltage Games. They`re busy with the programming of the shooter The Conduit-but because of exclusive deals, nobody can show the pictures before High Voltage Games finds a publisher. Even I can`t :(

The Conduit will be playable online with 16-players, will use the VoiceChat "WiiSpeak" (Available with the new Animal Crossing, probably also available by its self too) and have awesome graphics. The developers are really crazy with the details: They work fastidious, fussy, persnickety,squeamish and precise. But not every publisher likeser this: A publish (no name included in the news article) asked the High Voltage Games team: Who will buy this? Which audience likes this?

I will claim the boycott of that anonymous publisher. What were they thinking ?! Hello ?! There are real gamers out there, that are sick of Barbies trying to catch wild ponies,rip-offs, quizzes, bad mini-games, music simulations and other crap that I can buy in supermarket discounters (not kidding) fpr 20-30$ !! OK, just because a game is cheap doesn`t mean it`s bad. For example Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition or Sam & Max: Season One (I will do a preview). Brain Age was interesting, I must admit, but every other casual game that even an elder can finish in 2 hours just is stupid.

"Yes, we`re making it!", said Shigeru Miyamoto. He meant the game Pikmin 3. To be true, I never played Pikmin 1 or 2...but it has a huge fan community. Let`s see if the new audience will like Captain Olimar. He did suck in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Another thing that Nintendo profits from: casual-gamers could like core-games and buy them. The Nintendo Wii would be a magnet of potential future gamers, because it brings the Wii closer to non-gamers. Enough said. That is only a speculation.

Well, I`m optimistic. Nintendo needs us hardcore fans because we will buy their games in good and weak times. This biz is wacky, but Nintendo did make it. There still good, and I am somehow proud of being a Nintendo fan.

Wii Salute !