Posts Tagged ‘Editorial’

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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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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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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.

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Sony, You’ve Just Been Put On Notice

May 12, 2008

Aaron Greenberg, director of Product Management for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live, has thrown down the gauntlet in an interview with Destructoid, calling Sony out in a form we rarely see outside of internet forums. What could the basis of his argument be, considering his wallet is being filled (one can imagine rather heartily) by Microsoft’s golden checkbook? Sony’s string of endless delays and overall failure to honor the multitude of promises they’ve made. For his full, unadulterated response to Destructoid’s question, read on my friends, read on.

I know a lot of folks enjoy watching the console wars and we would never underestimate our competition. But answer to your question specifically, didn’t Sony promise all of this last year including Home as well? We have been fighting Sony’s promises from the day we entered the market and if you remember at that time it was all about PS2 being an online cybercity with partner announcements from the likes of RealNetworks and AOL. Then three years ago at E3 they showed what PS3 games would supposedly look like with the Killzone 2 video, that we are now learning will ship four years later. That means that we will have shipped Gears of War and Gears of War 2 before they can even get Killzone out the door. Think back to GDC 2007 when Sony promised to leap ahead in online with the Sony Home unveil. Here we are two years later and multiple delays for a product that has appears to have little to no buzz. Where are the achievements? The friends list integration across all games? Where is the long-promised video store? Where are all the other products using and networking with their CELL chip? How come Blu-ray did not result in better games? What happened with Sixaxis and rumble? Where is the complete 1080p game library we were promised? If Blu-ray as they said would be such a catalyst to PS3 console sales, then why have PS3 sales over the past couple months not seen any lift since the format victory?

Wow. Strong words indeed. But why should we believe him? He is, after all, a representative of Microsoft, one of Sony’s prime competitors in the console space. What weight do his words carry, considering his position? If it isn’t immediately apparent, think back to what Sony has promised over the years. Think back to all of the claims Mr. Greenberg addressed in his comment. Now, tell me how many of those promises Sony has actually delivered on. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. For the record, I am on the side of the fence that agrees with everything Greenberg said. Seeing this made me, as a PS3 owner, stare reality in the face and I quickly realized that everything he said is the truth, pure and simple. He brought to light many of Sony’s missteps and reasons why the PS3 is viewed in the eyes of many as a cheap Blu-Ray player and less as a gaming console.

Now, when this news broke, people have been bashing Aaron Greenberg left and right for his comments, calling him immature, defensive and of course, consistently playing the Three Red Lights of Death” card. What I haven’t seen are legitimate reasons why his argument is wrong, faulty, invalid, etc.

Well, in my experience, it’s pretty hard to argue against the truth.

I’ve been following the Playstation 3 since the rumors of its creation first began to swirl all those years ago when it was revealed that Sony was developing a new type of microprocessor to power their new beast. I remember E3 3005 when Sony officially pulled the curtains back, unveiling the PS3 to the world. Sony was riding high in those days. Heads held so high they were in danger of being hit by passenger jets, they touted the Playstation 3’s supposed advantages over the Xbox 360, saying the Playstation 3 was twice as powerful as the competition and could produce games that ran in native 1080p resolution at sixty frames per second, showing off “target rendered” trailers for upcoming games such as Killzone 2 and Motorstorm, which took the gaming world by storm and left similar offerings on the Xbox 360 in their high resolution dust. For a time, the Playstation 3 was on top of the world. Sony was now touting the Playstation 3’s uncanny ability to output games at 120 frames per second and continued to hold firm to their claims that the Playstation 3’s hardware could out perform the Xbox 360’s at every turn. Certainly lofty promises to live up to, promises I was growing increasingly skeptical of. It was all too good to be true and makes me recall a recent proverb.

Don’t drink the Kool-aid!

When the Playstation 3 officially launched and as the months following passed by the wayside, gamers were forced to realize that the wool had been pulled over their eyes. Where was the 1080p? Where is the proof that the Playstation 3 is twice as powerful as the Xbox 360? At GDC 2007, Sony once again wowed audiences by showing their answer to Xbox Live in the form of “Home”, an interactive online social gathering for Playstation 3 users in which they could interact with fellow users with their own 3D avatars. Here we are, over a year later and it has suffered a fair share of delays. Where’s my Xbox Live-killing Home? Most importantly of all, where’s my killer-apps?

When I purchased my Playstation 3 back in October of 2007, I thought I was making a purchase that I could easily justify in the coming months with the release of Metal Gear Solid 4, Home and Little Big Planet (which has seen its own share of little delays and disappontments) that would last me well into 2008 when I could expect such hard hitters as Killzone 2, Gran Turismo 5 (the real one, not Prologue) and Final Fantasy XIII to drop and carry me into 2009. Now what do I have to look forward to, to cap off this year? Killzone 2 and Final Fantasy XIII have gotten the boot into 2009 and well, I’ve already reported that Polyphony is doubtful that Gran Turismo 5 will even make it in by the end of 2009. Metal Gear Solid 4 is about the only big exclusive title that Sony has this year and as my current gaming preferences have me buying multiplatform releases on the Xbox 360, I can’t see many games I would honestly buy for the PS3 this year aside from Metal Gear Solid 4 and Resistance 2.

All of these questions go unanswered as Sony can do nothing but shrug their shoulders and continue to reassure me that they are indeed coming. While I appreciate the reason for the delays are to work the kinks out of the final product and the end result will probably be better for it, I just keep thinking to myself that maybe I could’ve waited to jump on the PS3 owning bandwagon. Sure, scoring a fully backward compatible 60 GB system while they lasted was great but that doesn’t count for much when the system just sits there while the Xbox 360 gets the lion’s share of my next-generation gaming love.

Sony, I’m sorry it had to come to this point, but you brought this on yourselves. It’s put up or shut up time. Enough of the empty promises and endless delays, it’s time to deliver, and this is your final notice.

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Nintendo Shoots Itself In the Foot…Again

February 22, 2008

It’s official, Nintendo has lost its fucking mind.

I…I almost don’t know what to say to this but this picture sums up my thoughts quite nicely.

Right now. These people should be replaced by…anyone. Go outside and pick a few random people off of the street, hell, you could even bring in a small colony of monkeys and cut them loose in the offices. Anything would be an improvement at this point.

Why in the holy mother of fuck would you even consider charging for the services offered by the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection? To be blunt, the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection is hardly worth the price of admission as it is but, at the very least, I’m not paying for it so it’s not too hard to swallow. Now, that all changes since Nintendo has announced the “Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Pay And Play.” The mere thought of paying for something as lackluster as the service offered on the Wii and DS Lite makes me sick to my stomach.

In the past, I haven’t been very vocal about how much I despise the Nintendo WFC but I figure now is as good a time as any to vent. My biggest problem with the service is not the lackof services. No, what really brings my blood to a boil is the “Friend Code” system, which is utterly convoluted in concept and even more so in execution. Instead of, God forbid, taking a page from Sony or Microsoft and creating a simple online infrastructure in which each user signs up for a single username that covers all games (ala the Playstation Network or Xbox Live), they choose instead to give each user a series of numbers (usually 12 or so) for them to memorize and hand out to friends. What fun that must be!

“Hey buddy, my Friend Code is 392847-496073! What’s yours?” I mean, that’s obviously much easier than telling your friend “Hey, my online name is The Game21x” right? Want to know the best part? You have a different Friend Code for each online game you play! Doesn’t that sound like fun? Worst of all, some games don’t even allow you to play online if you aren’t playing with friends.

Another of my many annoyances with the service is the incredible restrictions and regulations Nintendo is putting on developers who want to implement online functions in their games. It’s like they want to make their online services as user-unfriendly as possible. Communication in a Wii game is next to impossible or convoluted as all hell due to Nintendo’s restrictions. There are no games on the Wii that support voice chat, and even fewer that allow for even basic forms of text communication, even between friends.

 As it stands now, there are…what…4 games on the Wii that support online multiplayer (Pokemon Battle Revolution, Battalion Wars 2, Mario Strikers Charged and Medal of Honor Heroes)? While there’s likely a few more I’ve missed, but the Wii’s online catalog is sorely lacking in comparison to its closest competitors, the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

All of these problems with the service, and all of a sudden you expect us to pay for it? Seriously? Please tell me this is all one big joke so I can have a good laugh and go back to respecting you again. I can stomach paying $50 a year for Xbox Live because at least Microsoft provides the illusion that I’m getting my money’s worth, and I’m placated by that. The only scenario in which I could see myself paying to play Wii games online is if Nintendo does a complete overhaul of the service and offers something similar to Xbox Live. This would mean a completely new policy on online play, and a release of the choke-chain currently around the necks of any developers wishing to develop online-capable games on the Wii.

Honestly, I don’t see any of those demands being met and as such, I will not be joining the “Pay And Play”party any time soon. Nintendo, I really hate to say this but you have devolved into a shadow of your former self. In this longtime gamer’s (and longtime Nintendo fan) opinion, Nintendo is, in a purely business sense, doing everything right with the Wii…while screwing gamers over in the process. I hate to be so blunt, but Nintendo needs a wake up call, and fast.