Archive for the ‘Editorial’ Category

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Why Sony Fanboys Are the Worst of the Bunch

March 13, 2010

Before I get into this editorial/rant, let me set the record straight. I absolutely, positively do not hate Sony itself or the PlayStation brand. I do not blame Sony for the actions of the people who have chosen to stand behind them. I have nothing against the PlayStation brand and I honestly believe that Sony is doing great things with their stable of consoles and handhelds.

Their fanboys on the other hand? They are among the most illogical, irrational, arrogant and all around idiotic group of people I have ever come across. In the past five years of going to various forums and just being in tune with the internet in general as it relates to gaming, I’ve come across just about every type of fanboy you can think of. Microsoft fanboys, Nintendo fanboys, Apple fanboys, even Sega fanboys and none of them, without exception, can compare to Sony fanboys in terms of sheer annoyance.

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Why I Chose a Netbook Over the iPad

February 13, 2010

Yes, I know I’ve been writing a lot about the iPad as of late. Just bear with me here.

Since the announcement of the iPad, the latest in a long line of portable gadgets from Apple, I’ve been thinking long and hard about this thing and trying to find a place for it in my day to day life. While I haven’t exactly caught the iPad fever here, I’ve warmed up a bit to the concept of the device. It’s the sort of device that seems to have a certain niche appeal and will end up polarizing the market. One trip to one of the many gadget blogs and websites out there will show you that it has already done an excellent job of doing just that. In thinking of the iPad, I was drawn to another gadget, a gadget that saw its beginnings in 2007 with the launch of ASUS’s now famous Eee PC.

With the launch of that tiny laptop designed for browsing the net on the go, the netbook was born, and created a new segment of the PC market which has exploded since and made significant gains in terms of marketshare and popularity. These little portable laptops, most of which are powered by Intel’s underpowered (for the purpose of delivering long battery life) but enduring Atom processor, have become a staple among consumers looking for a small device that’s capable of checking email, playing YouTube clips, updating Facebook profiles and writing MS Word documents and be thrown easily into a backpack or purse at a moment’s notice. While Apple has yet to produce a product that could be classified as a netbook, they’ve certainly taken notice. In fact, Steve Jobs aimed a shot at netbooks in his presentation prior to the unveiling of the iPad, calling them slow, clunky and bogged down by “PC” software (an obvious jab at Windows). After hearing this, I began to think, “Are netbooks truly inferior to whatever Apple has cooked up?” Well, after seeing what exactly Apple has created here, I don’t think so.

While it’s quite obvious that netbooks have their limitations, the iPad has quite a few limitations of its own. Quite frankly, I’d even go as far as to say that the iPad has more limitations than the average netbook and I’m going to run down a list of them as I continue on.

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The iPad and Gaming

January 30, 2010

I’ve already posted my initial thoughts on whether or not the iPad needs to exist within Apple’s hardware ecosystem but now I’m going to shift gears and examine what the iPad means for gamers. After all, the main focus of Apple’s iPod Touch refresh last summer was gaming so it’s clear that Apple wants a nice big slice of the portable gaming pie that had previously been dominated by the likes of Nintendo and Sony with their DS and PSP systems. Now, the iPhone and iPod Touch represent logical gaming platforms and legitimate challengers to Nintendo and Sony’s portable gaming dominance because of their competitive price points, abundance of features in and outside of gaming, generally far cheaper prices for games and portability. The iPad on the other hand, is a different story altogether. While it has been said that the iPad will run most of the applications (in this case, meaning games) designed for the iPhone and iPod Touch, the real question is not only whether or not the average Joe will want to play games on the iPad as opposed to the already firmly established Nintendo DS or Sony PSP but whether or not someone will want to play a game on the iPad as opposed to the iPhone or iPod Touch.

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The iPad: Why Does This Need to Exist Again?

January 28, 2010

Before you read, keep in mind that these are my gut reactions and are meant to be taken with a grain of salt.

Earlier today (or yesterday, if you want to get technical) I was in the midst of a History class while Apple unleashed their latest invention upon the world so I missed all of the liveblogs and typical launch fervor that was surely running rampant throughout the internet around 1PM EST but after coming home and seeing just what Apple’s iPad is going to be when it releases in approximately 60 days’ time, I couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed. After the veritable deluge of rumors and speculation that has been spreading through gadget blogs for months now, I was expecting more. I was expecting more or less an Apple netbook (minus the keyboard) running a pared down version of OSX for $500 – $1,000, I was not expecting Apple to unveil what is essentially a giant iPod Touch. Honestly, given its feature set, I have no idea why this thing needs to exist, especially at the prices Apple is charging for the different versions of the thing (and there are a lot of them).

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New Article Spamvertisement

November 18, 2008

Yep, it’s that time of the week where I spam–er…advertise my recently published articles. So, without any further delay, let’s get down to business.

Far Cry 2 Review

The following is an excerpt of my review of Far Cry 2

“Instead of developing the direct sequel to the landmark 2004 shooter Far Cry, Crytek moved on to bigger and better things with their recent PC-exclusive Crysis. To fill the void left in Crytek’s wake, Ubisoft took the reins of the Far Cry franchise and the challenge of developing the true sequel. As is common when a new developer takes over an existing franchise, skeptical gamers have wondered how it well it could fare. With an entirely new setting and more down to earth direction, Far Cry 2 has taken the series to new places, while still retaining much of what made the original so great.”

Justin McBride – Talk Xbox

Full Review

The Problem with Xbox Live DLC

Wow, I really seem to be bashing the hell out of the Xbox 360 with my recent editorials. This is an issue I’ve had problems with for a very long while. Microtransactions have become one of my most hated new trends in gaming today and not for the reasons everyone may think.

Check out the full article here or the N4G listing here.

Thanks everyone for checking out my latest Articles and let me know what you think!

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So, Metal Gear Solid 4 is Finally Here…

June 12, 2008

Why am I not excited?

After all the months of waiting, after saying repeatedly that this is the reason I bought a Playstation 3, after all the times I’ve said I’m getting it day one, here I sit in front of my computer with my copy of the collector’s edition still waiting in the back room at GameStop instead of in my PS3’s waiting disc drive. I should know, I was the one who put it back there when I walked in for work earlier today.

What’s the deal? Is there something wrong with me? What am I missing? It’s been a long time coming but the excitement…it’s just not there. I’m not even a little excited for it, not even a modicum of hype exists within me right now. As much as I hate to say this (and I know Metal Gear fans the world over will hate me for this as well), Metal Gear Solid 4 is just another game to me.

But for a second here, let me delve into my past experiences with the series. I’ve never been a big fan of the Metal Gear Solid series. The only Metal Gear Solid games I’ve ever played through to the end are Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. This is strange because I own many, many games in Metal Gear Solid collection, spanning various consoles, as you can see from the pictures below.

(By the way, the Metal Gear Solid 3 you see on the lower left of the first picture is the original Snake Eater. The cover art you see is from an EGM pullout with replacement cover art. Pretty cool eh?)

Despite owning all of these games, as I stated before, I’ve only completed two of them. I’ve never been sucked into the series like its legions of fans. Sure, the storytelling is great and the cutscenes are enjoyable (albeit incredibly long in some cases) to sit through but the gameplay has never really grabbed me. I can see its appeal, but not when it relates to me.

Again, the question I must ask is…what’s wrong with this picture? Metal Gear Solid 4 is bar none, the most hyped exclusive game for the PS3. It’s the game to get for the PS3 and…I don’t own it and to be honest, I don’t know when I’m going to get it.Hell, the game is getting nines from just about every reviewing outlet worth its salt. While it’s easy to say the reviewers merely bought into the hype, I don’t think that’s the case here. I guess I can attribute my sudden frugality to the fact that I’ve been trying to budget myself, seeing as I’ve got an HDTV purchase coming up very soon (that’s also why I haven’t added Ninja Gaiden 2 to my collection yet). But there’s some games that transcend budgets. Some games are so good that, no matter what, you can afford to buy. I recognize Metal Gear Solid 4 as one of those games…or at least…I think I do.

So. I guess I can end this post here as I still haven’t convinced myself that I truly need to get this game now or in the near future. Before a bunch of Metal Gear fans (or maybe fanboys…) rip my head off, please note that I’m not trying to bash the game or diminish its importance in any way, shape or form. I’m just not excited for it at the time being. Perhaps this will change in time, perhaps not. Perhaps I need to play it before I’ll see the proverbial light and rush back to GameStop and finally pick up my copy.

Or hey, maybe I’m just crazy.

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Gaming Journalism Has Hit a New Low

May 27, 2008

With the release of Ninja Gaiden 2 fast approaching, reviews of this highly anticipated action title are beginning to pour in and so far, the game has been getting pretty mixed reviews. But…one review in particular stands out from the crowd and that review is from GamesRadar. It doesn’t stand out for its score or for a superb writing style…no…it stands out for something far worse. So, what could be so terrible as to prompt me to write an editorial piece with the horribly hyperbolic title I’ve stamped on it? Well, since I’ve caught your attention, read on.

The following is a direct quote from GamesRadar’s review of Ninja Gaiden 2.

The saving grace here is the fanbase. If you’re in this group, there’s no reason why you won’t love Ninja Gaiden 2, despite its faults. You don’t care about next-gen graphics, level design and fairness, right? You like having Tomonobu Itagaki stamp on your ego, rob you of your sanity and piss down your throat.

Now I don’t have a problem with the rest of the review, despite the fact that the reviewer sounds like the game pissed him off halfway through and decided to use the review to vent his frustrations. My problem is with that comment, a comment I find to be rather unprofessional and unbecoming of a man in his position. He blatantly insults the intelligence of fans of Team Ninja’s (Tomonobu Itagaki’s studio, for those who don’t know) games, reducing them to the level of blind sheep that will, no matter what the cost, follow their shepherd where ever he leads them, even into the depths of hell.

Yes, the game is going to be difficult, that much we can be sure of considering the series’ pedigree. I wonder though, should I buy this game and love it, despite its flaws, would that make me one of the folks who don’t care about next-gen graphics, level design and fairness? Would I be allowing Tomonobu Itagaki to stamp on my ego, rob me of my sanity and…well, I’m not going to repeat that last part. Or, perhaps, would I just be enjoying the game for what it is? A hearty challenge.

The trick to successfully pulling off a level of difficulty that’s so high, almost to the point of being cheap is to give the player an immense sense of satisfaction and worth, having overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. This is something Ninja Gaiden pulled off on the Xbox and what I expect Ninja Gaiden 2 is going to do on the Xbox 360. But I’m getting away from the topic, aren’t I?

I find it ridiculous that a reviewer would say such things about a game’s fanbase. Words such as those, which can be very easily perceived as insulting toward many readers, have no place in a professional review or anywhere else, really. Perhaps I’m taking things out of context here. Perhaps those words weren’t meant to sound so condescending. Maybe the game is as punishingly difficult, to the point of being cheap, as the review states. I guess we’ll see soon enough when the game releases next week and I submit to having my ego stepped on.