Xbox DRM – In the age of PC Digital Distrobution
Xbox DRM has been a bane for us all. We have all red ringed our xbox 360’s, and if you haven’t, then you just haven’t used yours enough yet. I’m not sure how they calculate their 10-30% failure rate. I believe it lies closer to 100%. It WILL fail eventually, often within a year and a half. Still, it is probably the system to own if you like to play games (lots of great exclusives), and especially if you like to game online with friends. Once your 360 dies and you (hopefully) get it replaced, you have access to your content. Restricted access that requires the owner be logged on the 360, and in some extreme cases MUST BE ACTIVELY PLAYING. This is to prevent friends from sharing Live content, but it affects us ALL once our first system dies. I have to be logged in just for my friends to have access to FREE GAMER PICS I downloaded while they make their Profile (Local or Live).
PC Gaming, however, has even a bigger hurdle with Piracy. Yet, they are adapting in different ways with their digital distribution. Is there a solution to DRM on either platform that can make consumers happy, while giving businesses profit? The rule of a successful compromise is that neither party leaves happy; but isn’t that necessary for good/repeat business? As a consumer, shouldn’t we BE happy?
The Darkness Progress Report #2
I’ve been slowly working my way back through The Darkness. I have diligently put aside the bigger titles (like GTA IV and Mass Effect) in an effort to finish a half dozen or so “half-finished” games. These aren’t games I have just played, but games I was more than half completed with.
That isn’t to say The Darkness is a bad, or sub-par game. It is actually quite enjoyable and fun. By the Chronicles of Riddick guys (Starbreeze), The Darkness is a well-developed FPS.
It definitely is coming together even better near the end, as you finally have enough Shadow Shield (life) and Ammo to make it through a fire fight without losing either. Early game required a fair amount of hiding while shields could recharge. The game also had a very Half-life 1 feel for the ammo collection. You generally get just barely more than it takes to kill everyone. Every missed shot reduces your overall pool, and sometimes you will find yourself switching from empty guns after killing just a couple of guys.
Luckily, I finally got the Black Hole power and nearly max level of darkness. Continue reading
bloom box has head tracking.
Remember those awesome head tracking vids of the wii? Of course you do; they are old as hell. But this link has been sitting in my archive awhile and I forgot to post it when it was new.
Guess who else saw the videos? That’s right! None other than Steven Spielberg. Well, maybe not him directly, but the people working on his game apparently did.
Thanks for the link, Matt!
For those not hyped about Steven’s game, know this: It’s a puzzle game, it’s cute, it has explosions, it has marching armies of chickens.
Believe the hype.
pLayday: 3/11 – Halo 3
Alright. After last weeks showing, we all learned a valuable lesson:
Space Marines > Marines
Sure, CoD4 may be the new CounterStrike, but it doesn’t have splitscreen. That’s what happens when you are a PC game ported to consoles, rather than a console game. (Console games ported to PC just have ridiculous system requirements).
So let’s go back to a nice staple: Halo 3
Depending on the number of people we get, we can either matchmake, play private matches, or campaign co-op. Any preferences?
I finally beat: Kane and Lynch
A little late for this review, but it will draw inevitable parallels to Army of Two. In order to have those parallels, I have to discuss Kane and Lynch first.
This game got lynched in the reviews. Receiving fairly “eh” to poor scores, not to mention the whole Gamespot fiasco (where a reviewer coincidentally gave the game a low score, ads were removed, and then he, after 10 years, was fired within 24 hours or so). The game was made by the Hitman team in the vain of their other project: Freedom Fighters (which received a very high ~9.6 at Gamespot and is an excellent game). So, where did Kane and Lynch go wrong? Well, first you’d have to prove it did go wrong. Continue reading
N+ is fucking hard
Seriously. It’s very hard. Call of Duty 4 on Veteran? You have AI friends to help you through the hard parts. You have a GUN. In N+? Your only weapon is a self-sacrificing friend in co-op to blow themselves up on some mines. That, and you can jump. Not ON to anything, mind you, ala Mario. Touching them will kill you. But you can jump over them at least. Unless they home in on your position / lock-on and track you.
Still, it has been getting great reviews for its 4 player co-op-ability. And in this regards, the game is excellent. The game has a stick (go left and right), and a button (jump). You can give the controller to anybody and they will understand what to do. More so than Mario Party, Halo, Raving Rabbids, Rock Band, or any of those other Party Games. The games difficulty may turn some people off, but as long as it is not taken too seriously it is hilarious to watch failure as rag doll parts clear an entire mine field for the rest of your team.
pLayday: 3/4 – Call of Duty 4
I know it isn’t split-screen (and online simultaneously), and not everyone owns it. But Halo 3 two weeks in a row seems a bit lame when most of us have this game. It’s a low hp, high speed match. Think Counterstrike. Larger maps a decent teamplay help a lot. Getting the drop on somebody generally leads to a free kill (much more so often than in Halo).
Experience gained in online matches also directly relates to new class skills, abilities, and guns. There is also a party system similar to Halo’s (though I have yet to use it). It should be fun.
There are many different types of game modes. If anyone has any info on them, or preferences for what we play, post away.
don’t tell me the ending to: The Simpson’s Game
Player 2 doesn’t get achievements. This game is fun, but I can’t imagine playing it single player. Combined, these two facts can kill this game for many of you. I, however, have a couple friends who don’t have 360’s and couldn’t give two shits about achievements. Lucky me.
The game itself is cartoony, but hardly pretty. I haven’t had a chance to try it, but from the game trailers the Naruto game does better cell shading. The game does contain animated cartoon clips for cinematics, which are in all their hd glory. Combined with the humor (and the graphics certainly aren’t bad), the game has a charming presentation. Nothing like running through the “Game Engine” level, where video games are made, passing posters of EA’s Bite Night 2004 (Tyson on the cover), and a skeleton’s in EA’s QA Dept.
It also has made me laugh. I know. I haven’t seen the Simpson’s movie yet, but the show certainly hasn’t done that in awhile. We, the gamers, are certainly the target audience. One of the many level collectibles are “Cliches.” These include things like “Swimming: you can’t swim until the sequel.” or “Exploding Barrels” and “Invisible Barriers.” Each time you find one Comic Book Guy comes up and delivers a clever line of dialog. Greatest gaming references. Ever.
I’ve been having fun with it. The running around Springfield section they brought over from Hit and Run is fairly useless, and completely unfun from a gameplay standpoint. But, the actual levels are classic brawler/platformer levels. It is Lego Star Wars fun without being Lego Star Wars. And we all know we’ve played that game pretty much to death already (released 3 times now?).
pLayday: 2/25 – Halo 3
I hear Halo 3 has been patched. So I throw the disc in. Lo and behold, the first patch for Halo 3 is upon us. And from the servers descended thy AutoUpdate 1, patching ye Halo 3 to version 1 point 1. As it is written:
“omg, did j00 fixz melee, bungholes?”
“Yes. We have patched Halo to 1 point 1. Now Melee damage will no longer favor the advantaged over the disadvantaged, the strong over the weak. Now they will both perish in a flurry of fists if they are of almost equal skill and health. So, shutup n00bs.”
And the peasants rejoiced.
CoD4 Progress Report #1
I’ve slowly been making my way through Call of Duty 4 on Veteran (the hardest) difficulty setting. It isn’t too bad, except for a few key sequences that are exceptionally hard. Ridiculously hard. omg-i’m-going-to-beat-QA-to-death-with-my-controller hard.
If I meet someone who tested these sequences,… they better hope they have quick load handy.
At this point, I am generally abusing the fact that my AI compatriots are invulnerable. I try to have them breach and clear the house first, since if I turn a corner and actually see someone the only breaching done is the kind that keeps you in the shower scrubbing yourself raw and mumbling.