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  • detnap 2:41 pm on April 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Uncharted=Earl Grey. (Earl Grey is not my cup of tea) 


    I have an xbox 360. That is more than enough for my gaming needs. Sure, there are a few titles that are exclusive to the PS3, but they are mostly avoidable giving the length of time an average person has to live. I can only play through so many games so even if I do miss a few big titles, it’s not a problem because my list of games is ever increasing, not shrinking.

    Recently though, I picked up a PS3, partially due to its media playing abilities. I’ve ranted against the PS2 and the PS1, even though I’ve owned both, so the PS3 would be no different really. I don’t have anything against it technically (unlike the PS1 and PS2 which were weaker in terms of pure 3d hardware than their contempories) but I felt the expense and the bumbling Sony did during launch did detract from it.

    Now, I think it’s a solid system, and in a closed ecosystem (ie, none of my friends have a 360) I would say that it’s nice. It has a few advantages (bluray) and a few things missing (media center extender) compared to a 360, but I would be able to live with it.

    Now, one of the exclusives that I keep hearing about is this Uncharted. (More …)

  • detnap 10:32 pm on April 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: desire, kojima, zone of the enders   

    Zone of the Enders 3? Yes, please. 

    So, who wants a ZoE3?


    (More …)

    • phokal 9:06 am on April 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Nice link. I edited it up a bit to be a bit more post-like.

      And yes, I’d like one. ZoE2 is definitely on my top # list of games. Ever.

  • detnap 5:02 am on April 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: David Thorne, , DSi, Final Fantasy 4, money printing machines, Professor Layton   

    Nintendo DSi 


    Nintendo likes money. People like giving Nintendo money. It is a win win situation for all that is involved. You would think that generally a company has to release a compelling product to have people give them money, but oh ho, not where Nintendo’s concerned.

    (More …)

    • phokal 12:25 pm on April 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Wait, you traded in your DS Lite and only got $50 off? I thought gamestop offered $70. Or are you including tax?

      Overall, I think the DSi is cool, but just doesn’t feel like enough of an upgrade over the regular DS Lite. I guess if a bunch of games come out that force the camera functionality, or a sweet DLC title, but otherwise the DS Lite is still a nice piece of tech.

    • euphoricdream 3:30 pm on April 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Nintendo’s hand held strategy has *always* been of longevity and iterative hardware upgrades. I have only given in to upgrade fever once, the DS -> DS Lite upgrade… which was a sexy upgrade, but didn’t really *matter* in the end. The only one I consider to be necessary was the Advance -> SP upgrade which I didn’t bother with… I just straight up sold it in a fit of eye strain rage.

      Although the DSi upgrade feels forced, I think DLC is going to invigorate the DS platform far more than camera games will. Depends on what kind of crap they are going to dump on the service. One thing that is certain: it will sell a *gazillion* units just because.

      I just don’t see myself plunging for the upgrade though, sans hardware failure. What I do want is another Hotel Dusk… or maybe just ScummVM.

    • detnap 7:52 am on April 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, When I traded in my phat DS, I only got $50 back.

      I think fever is a good term for it, because to be honest, I didn’t even play my old DS in a long while. I do have a hard time rationalizing the purchase of the new DSi, but I think that’s why nintendo’s so brilliant. They don’t target the logical parts of the brain, just the parts that, well, want to give them money.

      I do hope that there will be some good new online games, but I think that’s difficult since they effectively cut their potential audience from the current full DS install base to just the new DSi purchasers. Sure, there’s a beefier processor in the new DSi, but is that enough of a draw? If the quality of downloadable games isn’t as good as the physical games, will the download service languish like the xna?

    • euphoricdream 11:38 am on April 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hah. I forgot about the ds phat moniker.

      I’m also guilty of not playing a DS in awhile. It comes and goes in waves. The DS is a *great* platform, but I just haven’t kept up with it. Seems like the number of titles I care about fell off really quickly sometime last year.

      You make a good point. It will mostly be crapware with a gem here and there. Although, a few quality VC titles could change my mind. The other problem is kids don’t have direct access to credit cards and the like. Cheaper titles may mean an easier sell to parents, but still… they can’t just go ahead and get points whenever they damn well please.

      Just admit it though, you got the DSi because you miss Kai’s Power Goo.

  • detnap 1:34 pm on March 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , My Name is Bruce   

    Et Tu Bruce? 


    Bruce Campbell. More awesome than an Afroed Samurai (even with an Afroed Samurai being very awesome).

    He was popularized in as Ash Williams in Army of Darkness, with the bandwagoneers jumping back and viewing his other previous works such as Evil Dead 1 and subsequently, Evil Dead 2. That should be enough for his name to live on forever.

    (More …)

    • phokal 4:31 pm on March 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Sounds disappointing. The hype may have just been too high.

      Would you say it is still worth a watch?

    • phokal 4:32 pm on March 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      And, yea, Bruce should be fighting at least dozens of,…things, rather than just one.

      His ‘character’ is always the badass who takes one multiple things/enemies. Just fighting and running from a single thing for the whole movie doesn’t give the same vibe.

  • detnap 3:36 pm on March 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Afro Samurai, Samuel L. Jackson   

    Afro Samurai – Play it 


    That’s right. Afro Samurai. It is awesome. (More …)

    • greghorrorshow 8:57 am on March 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Nice review man, I was the opposite – didn’t expect much of it but thought it was pretty cool. Can you change the inverted x axis in the full game? See below for my thoughts on the game if you’re interested.


      Check out my Afro Samurai demo impressions -http://greghorrorshow.wordpress.com/2009/03/06/afro-samurai-demo-impressions/

    • detnap 11:09 am on March 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Camera is broken in the game (there is no way to un-invert the camera). I had a difficult time with it, but i just didn’t use it much and I just used the right stick click to center the camera.

      I think I spent most of my time using the focus attack. I didn’t even know that there was a meter really, i just hit someone a few times and then went into focus mode to cut off their feet and hands. I think people who got tired of the game did a lot more standard attacks.

    • phokal 6:35 pm on March 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Nice review. Josh says everyone has a mediocre game that they “get” while most people don’t. Josh’s was Lost Planet, Yours seems to be Afro Samurai. I also want to play Afro after seeing the anime. Looks quite fun. I like hack and slash. Last one I tried was DMC4, which proved to be a bit on the difficult, tedious side, since enemies took a LOT of hits.

  • detnap 2:31 pm on January 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Survival Guide, World War Z,   

    World War Z. A Post Modern History of the Zombie Invasion 


    Zombies are fun. Recently, there have been a lot of good material where zombies have re-entered our lives. They are so delightfully cliche that no matter where you see them, there is a familiarity that is enjoyable. Between Walking Dead and Left 4 Dead, that’s a lot of different mediums with Zombies. You would think that a “history” book, without all its fancy pictures and graphics would be left out of the zombie fun, but we see that books can still be enjoyable.

    World War Z is an oral history of the Zombie invasion. Written by the same author as the one who wrote The Zombie Survival Guide, this book is based on the premise that a Zombie Invasion had happened, and in the aftermath, someone interviewed various survivors of the event and recorded their stories. It is a great concept and he gives his characters their own unique personalities. While I was reading though, I always had the author in the back of my mind.

    (More …)

    • mike andersen 2:19 pm on February 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      dude, that is pretty good. i’m saving the poster.

  • detnap 3:18 pm on December 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , EA, ,   

    I'm Scared 


    This past holiday season, we’ve seen a few new pieces of IP come out of EA. I think EA is tired of being called a treadmill and want to show that they can create games as well as release roster updates.

    Of course, both of the new titles, while doing well critically, did poorly at the checkout counter. The new Prince of Persia tried a few new things, moving away from the hardcore market, and as far as I can tell, they are being punished for it. Would it have sold better as a direct offspring of the existing franchise? Those have to be the questions that are being asked right now for the sequel. It is better for the gamer if the industry introduced new things (think Guitar Hero or Wii, both are interesting ideas that entertained millions)

    Of course, if the companies aren’t rewarded with profits, that kills their motivation to introduce new concepts. As much as I am a fan of sequels, there has to be an exhaustion point where we when the audience wants something new, the industry can’t deliver it to them. (I think the Japanese developers have suffered from something similar. They have become accustomed to developing a certain genre or series, and now that the rest of the industry has shifted, they are having a difficult time keeping up in terms of technology).

    This isn’t a call to arms or anything like that, it’s just an observation that even though gamers say that they want innovation, the majority of gamers are perfectly content with the status quo.

    • hintzilla 4:15 pm on December 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      i think boom blox and de blob fit into this conversation as well. 90% of wii games are utter crap, but these games used the wii controls to their benefit, went outside the box, and actually ended up being really enjoyable. but hardly anyone played or bought these titles.

      a lot of people are saying that they want “good” wii games, but those aren’t the games that are selling. it’s stuff like “bratz horsey trainer” that sell well. situations like this, and like detnap mentioned above, are what will deter developers from going outside the box to make something new. theres a huge risk with putting out a game that doesn’t look immediately familiar, and lately it’s proved to not be entirely worth it in most cases.

      your last sentence sums it up perfectly: “even though gamers say that they want innovation, the majority of gamers are perfectly content with the status quo.” most gamers don’t necessarily want a game that’s different and innovative and new and thoughtful, they want call of duty 7, and they want it to be just like call of duty 6 because that’s what they understand and are comfortable with.

    • hintzilla 4:17 pm on December 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      • i should note: i also am looking forward to call of duty 7, but i don’t want my choices to be limited to shooters and sports games. bring on the weird.
    • phokal 12:01 pm on December 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I believe this is mostly true, but then, how do new IPs launch?

      Gears of War had a graphical edge and cover mechanic (which, while not new, no one played Kill.Switch).

      God of War was new, and both the average gamer and the hardcore liked it. I gave the demo disc to my downstairs neighbor, who only played his ps2 sparingly, and he fell in love with it.

      And the big example: Assassin’s Creed. Most gamers, the vocal ones on the forums, *hated* Assassin’s Creed. However, it sold very well for Ubisoft.

      I think the new IPs vs non-new IPs may be a bit flawed. It certainly a part of it, but I think the problem is, every “hardcore” gamer bought Gears2 and Call of Duty: WaW. And that’s it, that’s their budget.

      Some, with a bit more cash, also picked up Left4Dead.

      After that, maybe Fable 2, Fallout 3.

      Then after that: Spiderman, Dead Space, Prince of Persia, Little Big Planet, Persona 4, Mirror’s Edge, Tomb Raider, Valkryia Chronicles, Resistance 2, Mortal Kombat vs. DC, Naruto Ninja Storm, Naruto 2 (xbox), Farcry 2, Endwar, Motorstorm, and the list goes on. How many are going to pick up a title from the 3rd and 4th tiers of this list?

      Casual gamers don’t even know about these games. They aren’t on the Wii.

    • phokal 12:02 pm on December 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      and, man, i Love bloom blox. as does everyone who plays it. casual and hordcore alike. how did it not sell well?

      dammit i’m angry!

    • detnap 1:12 pm on December 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I think for a new IP to launch, there needs to be a “perfect storm”, from the proper amount of advertising to a dearth of other similar games being released at the same time to the proper vibe from the internet/social circles (or however young people get their information from).

      When Gears of War was released, there wasn’t much else in that same category. It was the only game in town, so to speak. But, I’m sure it would have been a different story if it would have launched at the same time, as say, Halo 3. I don’t think it would have enjoyed the same success.

      And even though Assassin’s Creed is a new IP launch success story, it still got CRUSHED by Call of Duty 4 (2 million units vs 1.4). Call of Duty did something similar the month after that too.

      The same thing happened this year, where one month of sales of Call of Duty 5 outsold Little big planet (life to date), Mirror’s Edge (ltd), Dead Space (ltd) combined. The only thing that competes with CoD5 is of course Gears of War 2.

      The point is it’s such an uphill battle with a new IP. With so many units of software being moved, it’s a shame that new ips get lost.

      I think the idea that it’s taken for granted that gamers would buy gow and cod is exactly what we’re seeing. A new ip doesn’t get the automatic “everybody will buy this” statement.

      Also, Boom Box didn’t do so hot the first month, but its sales have picked up a bit. I mean currently, it’s on pace to outsell Mirror’s Edge.

    • phokal 1:23 pm on December 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not going to research what Gears was up against while at work, but it came out on Nov 22? (emergence day), so it was up against the other Holiday titles.

      I’m sure there were some blockbusters, or expected blockbusters, in there.

    • phokal 1:25 pm on December 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      the “perfect storm” theory is pretty good; I mostly agree with that.

      Though 2mil vs. 1.4 mil doesn’t seem like a blow out to me. That seems pretty close, especially CoD4 (game of the year in quality and as an established franchise) vs. AC (got good to ok reviews, and is about islamic assassinations during the crusades…not World War 2 or the War Against Terror).

    • Boramis 1:28 pm on December 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hintzilla, I’m going to have to disagree with you on de Blob. As far as I’m concerned it was yet another “utter crap” game and didn’t use the controls well at all. Jumping could have easily been done using a button press, but they tacked on waggle instead, which just made it harder to play for no benefit at all.

      As for Boom Blox, it sold 450K units through July, which is plenty for a new IP given it’s likely limited development budget. I doubt EA is unhappy with the results.

      Other than that, I agree with phokal that there were just too many games coming out at the end of this year. Prince of Persia and Mirror’s Edge were my top games going into this season, and both of them got bumped by higher profile games that I could play multiplayer.

    • Boramis 1:31 pm on December 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Where are you getting your numbers from? Assassin’s Creed has sold over 6 million units, and CoD4 is over 7 million. Even if it was 3m to 7m, I wouldn’t say one crushed the other. CoD had multiplayer to give it legs; a lot of Assassin’s Creed’s sales probably got siphoned off by used sales.

    • detnap 2:19 pm on December 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Call of Duty 3 came out at the same time that Gears of war did, but if we look at the overall sales (all systems), Call of Duty came out on top. It was just that there weren’t that many games available for the 360 (call of duty was also on the top 10, as well as need for speed).

      Again, the game landscape was different back then.

      As a note, lost planet also topped the charts when it was released. But just imagine if that was released this year, this holiday. It would have been CRUSHED (for real this time)

      It seems that after June of 2007, (First NCAA 07 for the 360) is when it was pretty much a string of sequels in the top spots on the top ten list (only except it seems is Force Unleased, which banks off of Star Wars).

      Maybe new IP has an easier time during the birth of a console, but as it matures, it begins to become harder and harder to break in. (ie, if EA released Mirror’s Edge and Dead Space a year ago, they would have sold fine).

    • detnap 2:34 pm on December 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry, the Assassin’s Creed and CoD4 numbers are for the first month of Sales with NPD numbers. Here, probably resale of games aren’t a huge factor for the replay value that CoD4 has.

      As of June, CoD has sold 10 million
      while Assassin’s Creed is over 6 million in April or so.

      Anyhow, we can say that Assassin’s Creed did well, (as did gears of war, Lost Planet) but when a publisher looks are the sales figures and see 18 months of sequels holding top spots, and just a blip of Assassin’s Creed sitting at number 2 for a couple of months, don’t you think they would rather put their money in an established franchise? So many have gone pretty sour.

      The new-IP posterchild is still second place, and I think people will see that and make decisions based on that.

      I know that there are “too many games” coming out, but that’s the point. When people have the choice between an established franchise and a new ip, people seem to choose the established franchise.

      I think overall, there is a window where you can have a successful launch for a console’s life cycle, and I think we’ve passed that point.

    • Phokal 1:29 pm on December 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      There are a couple of other factors:

      There are some examples of completely new IPs that have pulled this off before, like God of War. Or what about Bioshock?

      There are other examples of established Dev Houses making a new IP or launching off Star Wars -> KOTOR and Jade Empire.

      People choose one game first, then if that is finished or they want additional, they go to more.
      Gears 2 has multiplayer legs, and received great reviews. Mirror’s Edge reviews warned it was frustrating (the main negative that I hear from most of my friends as their personal pet peeve). Dead Space was hardly on my radar; it got a lot of praise but it just looked like a cross between Bioshock and Resident Evil. Since it was still surprising to see “new IP EA games that don’t suck” (skate and boom blox being last year’s predecessors), I didn’t have much hope for it. So, between the 3, I’m going to go with Gears2 first, and if I get bored or have lots of money, then get Mirror’s Edge.

      Some people will be perfectly content buying just 1 game, and then playing only it. It’s not that they look at the other games and don’t want them, they just don’t want to shell out $60 if they are just going to play L4D 3 hrs a day, every day, and never take the disc out of the drive. Other people won’t even have the other games on their radar. They don’t read gaming sites, so they only know about what they see advertised on TV. They need TV advertising (which Assassin’s Creed had) to have new IPs be successful launches when against bigger, already recognized, games.

      Of course, by spacing out your games, you can manage to get a lot of sales. GTA4 was going to sell a lot of copies, no matter what. But it also helped it was released a few months before the holiday season. Bioshock managed to get out a month before Halo 3, and sold very well to everyone who wanted to shoot stuff, but still didn’t have Halo 3. The average gamer seems to play and beat a game in about a month or two, or the forum gamer when it becomes “cool” to hate on Gears2 and GTA4. So Jan and Feb are actually pretty good months to release a game. We’ll see soon what the next wave will consist of.

  • detnap 4:29 pm on December 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: afro, boondocks, samurai   

    How can something be this awesome? 


    Afro Samurai. The concept is fantastic. Looking forward to it.

    • Phokal 1:16 pm on December 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve got my fingers crossed. Any non-brown, non-FPS gets my attention.

      Not that I dislike brown FPS games (Gears2 = awesome). Just nice to get some variety.

    • detnap 2:45 pm on December 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I know about the fingers crossed thing. Somewhere in the back of my mind is that there might not be a good enough game to back up the concept. I was going to mention it, but I think it’s better to stay positive and pass judgment when it’s released.

    • phokal 6:58 pm on December 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Just got the DVDs for the holidays, which I haven’t seen yet.

      Don’t tell me the ending :)

  • detnap 6:41 pm on October 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , space infestation, wants   

    Dead Space is Now Finished 

    Well, I’m done.

    I don’t have too much more to say other than to say that it’s pretty good. It had a plot that propelled me to continue playing, and I think here we’re seeing the birth of a franchise (with additional media from comics and dvds, probably followed soon by toothbrushes and pogs).

    (More …)

    • phokal 9:14 am on October 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Does that mean it has another damn To Be Continued ending?

      I want *VICTORY* in some of my games these days. When I finish, I want to actually win and have a sense of accomplishment.

      None of this franchise bullshit that seems so popular these days.

      It’s like buying Battlestar Galactica DVD set 2.0 only to realize as you got to the end you had only bought part 1 of X.

      PoP may have been planned a trilogy, but at least each game felt like it had a real ending. In fact, most of the great games have endings. Can you think of any that don’t?

      I didn’t beat Beyond Good and Evil, but so I hear it’s a bit to be continued. Any others though?

    • Boramis 1:14 pm on October 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      BG&E is to be continued, and it was definitely a case of good gameplay and an interesting plot and characters overcoming the lack of an ending.

      I hear KotOR 1&2 are great games, and I’ve heard something about them lacking an ending… ;)

      Personally I think I’ve played too many games where I’ve stopped half-way through though. It’s kind of made me immune to abrupt endings.

    • detnap 6:03 pm on October 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry, i was talking about the additional Dead Space material that EA is producing. It seems that all that universe creation would be a lot of effort for just one game.

      The Dead Space game draws to a solid conclusion in itself.

  • detnap 3:16 pm on October 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: condemned, ,   

    Dead Space 

    I only heard about Dead Space about a week before the release, but I wanted to play it anyway. Most of the games that I want, Fallout 3, Fable 2, I have known about for years, but something about Dead Space struck me right away. My impression was it was going to have a Universe connected with it. An Atmosphere. Most of the games that I like are just simple a matter of

    Step One: Move cursor over antagonist

    Step Two: Pull Trigger

    Story happens in the background, but if the story wasn’t there, I’d probably still have a pretty good time.

    (More …)

    • phokal 4:55 pm on October 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      One other thing you may not have realized: as an EA game, they probably balanced the combat to be accessible.

      You know what that means? You’re one of *those* people.

      You’re natural talent was too high for the difficulty curve. Whereas other plays are randomly missing shots, plugging shots into the chest (not realizing they need to shoot the legs), or not dodging right,…
      you’re just slaughtering them.

      Also, did you get the free DLC suit? It’s only available for another day maybe (or is it gone already :( )

      Lvl 5 xbox suit, or something.

    • detnap 10:52 pm on October 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Ah, you give me too much credit. But at the end of the day, if you upgrade your “pulse cutter” gun, it is very effective at, well, cutting.

      I would recommend starting with a higher difficulty, but after the Call of Duty 4 debacle, (pain) I don’t think I can do that with good conscience.

      I will give final impressions after I finish the game.

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