Thursday, August 2, 2007

Super Mario, creators super high?

In my quest to rediscover many of the old games I missed due to my MMO addiction I downloaded some Mario Bros stuff for my Wii and picked up a couple Mario games for my DS. I have to say I am having a lot of fun with them. That might have something to do with the fact that I haven't played many good platformers in a long time. They used to be a staple of my gaming diet.

Anyway, as I was playing Super Paper Mario, I couldn't help thinking to myself that the creators of Super Mario Bros were on some serious mind altering drugs. How does one even come up with this stuff? I have a poll on the left side of the blog so you can vote on what you think they were taking when they came up with the idea. If you have something different to vote for, add it to the comments of this post. Hopefully, Blogger will get the polling widget working again soon.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Why do we put up with it?

Carry over problems from game sequel to the next... Case in point: I was playing APF 2k8 last night and I am down 17 -10 with 40 seconds left on the opposition's fifteen yard line, so I call a play and get to the line of scrimmage to resounding boos from my hometown fans. Did they really expect me to kick a field goal in that situation? Overtime ensues and the computer has the ball on their 35 yard line or so with about one minute left to go. It then proceeds to call two running plays and no time outs killing the rest of the clock. Did they want to concede the tie?? Dumb AI decisions with clock management like this and atmosphere in the previous example are a carry over of the NFL 2k series and they still haven't been addressed. Don't get me started on Madden. I could make a laundry list of issues I bet are still carried over in Madden this year. Why do we put up with it? We keep paying more for games each year and putting up with more crap.

APF 2k8 is still a good overall game, but this kind of thing annoys the hell out of me. Maybe there will be a patch, but I doubt it.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Selling my Computer...will ship.

P4 3.2 Ghz HT
2 Gigs of Ram
400 megs of Hard Drive space (On two drives)
Nvidia 7900 GS OC Video card 256 meg ram (for gamers)
on board LAN
Soundblaster XFi sound card
Speakers with Subwoofer
21 Inch Widescreen monitor

Comes with either Windows XP or Windows Vista installed (you choose).

All for the low low price of 800 dollars.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Big deal

So I was playing Wii Sports Golf with my girlfriend this weekend and I had a hole in one. Yeah big deal you say, and so does Nintendo it seems. I got a nice little graphic circled by a kind of wreath thing that said hole in one. That's it. It would have been nice to get a little bit more from the game for this rare feat. Does Nintendo not know what they have with this game? They need to come out with a full featured version of all of the games on the Wii Sports disk. Instead of coming out with another gimmick like the Wii Fit crap like they showed at E3, they need to flesh out titles like Wii Sports.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

What have they done to my hobby?

At the risk of sounding like an old coot, I am gonna post about how my gaming hobby is being ruined by becoming too mainstream. I started gaming back in the day on the Commodore Vic 20 and the game Zork. Needless to say the gaming industry has come a LONG way since then. Some of it has been for the better, some of it not.

There was a time when a game would come with a nice thick manual and involve a significant learning curve. I remember buying games and not even playing them until the next day while I read the manual and learned how to play. I can't remember the last time I bought a game with a manual thicker than fifteen or twenty pages. Ingame tutorials have been helpful, but when it comes down to it the publishers just want you to buy their hint book for another twenty bucks.

Manuals are one thing, I'm okay if I can pick up a game and it is easy to play but hard to master. However, I am increasingly able to do less and less in games than I used to. In order to illustrate my point I am going to use two new racing games recently released for the Xbox 360 -- Forza 2 and DiRT. Both games are well done and fun to play, but my options are significantly limited when compared to old classics like Grand Prix Legends. For one thing, each game starts you out in events without any kind of qualifying run. Forza 2 puts you in position based on how powerful your car is for some reason putting the most powerful cars in front and DiRT starts you out last. What happened to qualifying for position? What is worse is when you do end up racing, the races are only a couple of laps. Has our collective attention span diminished that much? I remember when you could set the number of laps you wanted to race. How does it hurt anything if I want to race twenty laps? I am guessing this has something to do with online records and achievements. Even in DiRT's "exhibition" mode you can only go as high as five laps. The manuals have almost no help on setting up your car for better performance. Again, they want that hint book money.

This is just one minor example of how the gaming hobby is becoming watered down. It seems as time progresses we are given less options all the while paying more money. The future doesn't look too bright either with the success of the Wii and its reliance on the mini game. I would love to see Wii baseball with all the features of a full fledged title, but sadly it is looking more and more like the standard and not the exception.