Daavpuke / Member

Forum Posts Following Followers
13769 506 359

Daavpuke Blog

Yar's Revenge is a dish best served late

by on

This just can't get anymore "Blast from the past!" In a recent announcement, Atari has revealed to be rebooting their cIassic Yar's Revenge. From 1981

Original Atari 2600 Yar's Revenge


This ancient space shooter was a one-of-a-kind in strange and flashy graphics, when it came to the Atari 2600. It had something to do with strange colors and trying to destroy the evil Qotile on the other side of the screen. I'm sure there's a much better explanation, but my memory since I was 5 or so is quite hazy.

In any case, the 2011 set remake will take many a liberty on the concept as the teaser trailer hints to an anime-styIed mech game, with incredible likeness towards Hideo Kojima's Zone Of The Enders franchise. The development team, Killspace Entertainment, will be made up of ex-members from Obsidian and Pandemic and be set to appear on Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

One can only wonder if Atari will be able to salvage this dinosaur and bring something novel to the table.

Please share your comments on whether or not it is wise to remake a blocky, 8bit game into a full-fledged next gen marvel.

Film Review - Wall Street 2 Money Never Sleeps

by on

Daavpuke Wall Street 2 Money Never Sleeps

Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps

Completely forgettable film, with equally forgettable performances from the whole uninspired cast. Even Michael Douglas makes a lukewarm appearance as if he were pitching straight from a prompter. Shia LeBoeuf might be an accurate teen loser in Transformers, but as a successful money shark none of his actions ever come off as believable, be they emotional or calculated. Not even the cameo from Charlie Sheen does anything from the movie and it all comes over as very forced and unappealing. Lasting almost 2 hours, the movie takes a full hour to get out of its prologue state and actually give you content to look forward to; only do die back out a dozen minutes later. Predictable turns and love interests in an overall shallow plot finish this movie off; to make it an experience no one is really waiting for. It's watchable, but you'll be bored; very bored.


Rating: 3.5/10

Debate: Where Does Violence Lay? - The Video Game Stigma

by on

I'm sure you're all aware that recently video games have been under a certain amount of criticism. It's even been targeted to such extent, that the Supreme Court had to bow their heads over the matter, after the California law had been shot down in all other courts. The subject was handled much the same in all instances: Even though some games might be "ultra-violent," it's hard to differentiate them from any other media in the past. From books, fairy tales and comics to films, cartoons, tv shows, but even music; every new media sometimes pushes buttons of decency and that upsets a certain amount of people. But even within this arguable debate of deplorable behavior, denying people the right to express themselves would demand a serious alteration of the First amendment, which entails freedom of speech, amongst others.

Luckily, the Supreme Court Justices had a very objective head on their shoulders and realized that one media is no different from another one and banning one would ultimately open the door for peeves in other fields. "Some of the Grimm's fairy tales are quite grim, are you going to ban them, too?" said Justice Antonin Scalia. Later, Justice Elena Kagan (the youngest Justice) added: "You think Mortal Kombat is prohibited by this statute? It is an iconic game which I am sure half the clerks who work for us spent considerable time in their adolescence playing." It's comforting to see that they had a good understanding of not only their underlings, but also the people as a whole.


Mortal Kombat


But what was most surprising to me, is that this entire vendetta is being rallied by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger. This man effectively has hundreds of virtual kills to his name, made a living by tearing off heads and is probably an inspiration to a load of games, like I don't know, Terminator? I'm not saying he doesn't have the right to uphold decent morals and values, but isn't it a little harsh to criticize what basically made the man the political powerhouse he is today? Surely he must've seen this retrospect before going on this campaign?

I stumbled upon all this absurdity when 3 game related murders hit the media in the short span of days. We've all heard a sporadic murder tied to Counterstrike or such "deviant" games, but never in succession. As always, these stories were very remotely linked to a game, much in the manner that it could be linked to cheeseburger, because people consume it on a regular basis. One I cannot mention, because the acts are so deplorable, I literally became nauseated just reading about it. It's been floating around the site, so I'm sure you've heard about the World Of Warcraft murder. The other story was about a man who beat his friend to death after a match of Madden, where his friend had been boasting too much, after alleged cheating.

Now, both those games have a certain degree of adrenaline raising action. But I discovered another case, where people wouldn't expect deadly force to be a jumping point from one's experience in-game. I wrote a quaint article about it, which was the starting point about this debate. For those not into redirection, I will post the entire article below:


On the lighter side of game news, a 22 year old mother from Jacksonville, Florida has pleaded guilty to second degree murder.

Alexandra V. Tobias told the authorities she got angry when her son of 3 months, Dylan Lee Edmondson, was crying during her FarmVille session. This upset her crop tending ritual so much she shook her baby to death for it. She told investigators that she shook her son, smoked a cigarette to calm down and then shook him again. It is possible the child 'hit his head' during this occurrence.


Wholesome values in FarmVille.

Tobias' sentence could lead her to live her remaining days in prison, though prosecutor Richard Mantei said state guidelines might make that 25 to 50 years. What will become of the Facebook farm during all this time one can wonder.

Now, how is this 'light news' you say, with an expression of disgust? Well, since FarmVille is no more an actual game than getting up is not actual work. But mainly, it immediately made me think of this: Do you think all those organizations out to destroy 'violent' and 'obscene' video games will jump on the evil of FarmVille?


Oh, come on, Ryan! You did that on purpose!

Since the days of Mortal Kombat and Doom, to Manhunt and Grand Theft Auto and so on, people such as Jack Thompson have been out to put the blame on video games, instead of parenting. The mere fact that this man is pinned an 'activist' shatters my idealism. Regardless, logic dictates that the severe addiction factor of the social media giant should now be investigated and frowned upon by these purists.

Yours truly guesses that many an addicted secretary will 'persuade' officials that the game is wholesome and teaches decent values, such as farming and more farming. Especially since Zynga recently overtook Electronic Arts in market value, with $5.51 billion as opposed to EA's measly $5.22 billion, things might get played down in general.

I wonder if Zynga can market this as a Halloween special somehow… Too soon?


"Do you think all those organizations out to destroy 'violent' and 'obscene' video games will jump on the evil of FarmVille?" This question raised a few other questions in my mind. All of which ultimately came back to the stem question:

Where does violence lay?

It's easy to see the malignant force behind a game like grand Theft Auto and put the condescending finger upon it; but what of FarmVille? A game that is stereotyped to be played "only by your mom" with cuddly visuals and next to no evil can hardly be called deplorable. And yet the severe addictive gameplay, which also strikes many WoW players, drove someone to use the game as a catalyst for murder. So why has no one gone after such games as a target for banning? There's obviously the same tie to be found that drove all other murders.

Daav and Grand Theft Auto
GTA Virtual Kill Count: Extremely High / Hunger For Live Babies: Surprisingly Low


The answer to that is that violence does not lay in a game; it can't lay in a game. A game can, at best, only be a catalyst for violence, but the act is to be rested upon the shoulders of man. This doesn't mean games cannot 'encourage' violence by gratifying it or, in worse scenarios, even make it seem cool. If I were a few generations older, I'd be hard pressed to see the value a game like Manhunt could offer any person, child or otherwise. It's a game about gruesome murder and nothing else. You excel by butchering people in a world that only knows violence and the more horrid the kill, the better for your advancement. Market it like that and you'll have every soccer mom in a 200 mile radius out with pitchforks and torches at your door; to educate you of course, because violence with pitchforks is wrong. But the point here is that some games do use violence as a way to advertise the game. But horror and slasher movies have done that for ages as well; even Little Red Riding Hood had feral murder and stabbings.

That's where not only parenting comes into play, but also common sense. You can put the blame on parents all you like, but you're not a helpless creature your entire life. Granted, you'll need a little boost at first to shape morals, values and so on, but a teen can acquire knowledge from a plethora of media, without the help from his parents, if he is willing to learn. From here on out, if you choose certain values over others and resort to violence, it is your decision to do so and your responsibility in the end. If you've acquired the basic understanding that violence hurts, destroys and is punishable by law and you still choose to act upon it, you can expect that to backfire on you. Everyone loses control sometimes and there's no shame in that, we all have ups and downs. But murder or other heinous acts, such as torture, are usually thought out actions you choose to act upon willingly. No matter the amount of pushing you received from a certain corner, such as gratifying games, it is not the game that leads you to harm, it was you who created that decision.

So, how does someone go from thought to act? Well, just like anything in life, certain people have a predisposition to low impulse control for instance. This could trigger a reaction response a lot sooner than others. But also like everything, you have to take in account the factors of both nature's genes and the nurture aspect of an education. The nature vs. nurture debate is a long one on itself, but it basically means that both inheritance and your environment shape you how you are in certain ways. I tend most towards the nurture side of things, as it is your teachings that make you believe what you believe. There's a few amount of factors that could thus lead a person to violence, such as a hostile home environment, but also bad parenting. Yes, there's still that and let me explain why:

If you suffer from a poor education and are left to govern yourself from an early age, there is no way to guarantee an explorative mind. Without more complex thinking patterns, your mind stays in the more primal region that stems from your need of survival and self-satisfaction. Complacency is one of your infant stages in which you take what you need when that need applies, with no concern for or even knowledge of the outside world. If you don't realize that other people exist as you do, it is not hard to imagine you can't fathom that hurting them is bad. In fact, you couldn't even envision it as hurting, as you only know harm to yourself. Just like you can't 'hurt' a table, you'll not understand harm to others. I don't want to explain a full psychology course, but we all know our primal urges and if you're stuck on that level, that will be harmful later in life.


AVGN
This man is a Cereal Killer. True Story!


In the FarmVille case, an addiction can be a further evolution from this basic concept, which drives a person to react upon the basic frustration reaction of violence. As you can't acknowledge the effect you have of your force versus an infant, you'll act upon your impulses sooner than others. This is even more apparent in the World Of Warcraft murder, where the culprits obviously stated to show no feeling of consideration whatsoever, outside that of their own self-satisfaction. They acted because they wanted to. It's what they desired at that point and that desire was to be fulfilled; it's that simple, tragically.

This should prove that violence cannot be pinned down to a certain media, but should revert to individuals. In what is usually referred to as "unhinged" persons, every case should be evaluated on a case by case basis, before jumping to conclusions. Almost all deplorable acts have an anxious finger waiting to point the blame at someone. We've seen it happen with music at Columbine, we've witnessed Counterstrike being blamed at Virginia Tech, but even Orson Welles created panic back in 1938, with mere words! When people lose sight of better judgment or, even worse, lack it altogether, we should learn to investigate before pointing. Why did a man beat down his friend over a Madden game? Was Brett Favre telling him to do it or did the man have demons behind him that weren't wearing helmets? Where are the parents of the children as they're playing GTA? Are they giving the children a context of reality versus imagination or just kicking back with a beer?

You can spew a million questions that go on forever, but sometimes, just sometimes, asking questions is a good thing! If anything, it makes you stop and think and that gives you time to reflect and see the bigger picture before zoning in on the first sign of misbehavior. It's not because some games are an easier target than others, that this puts them on trial per se. As we've seen even seemingly harmless media can drive people to atrocity, you can't judge others on a different standard. Sure, I've been playing Mortal Kombat since the early 90's, but I never went out to murder anyone with a grappling hook. I even have dozens of hours behind me on Carmageddon, but I'm literally terrified of traffic. In addition, I also enjoy prancing about in Animal Crossing and Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door is one of my favorite games of all time. Are those games malignant? I sure hope not, because literally billions of people have played Mario games and I'd hate to see all of them pitted against oneanother.

Just use common sense.

I encourage you all to reflect upon this matter and share and discuss your thoughts, beliefs and opinions about the factor of violence and 'deviance' in video games.

INTERVIEW: RoflGames

by on

[Editor's Note: I recently started looking into Independant Developers. After doing some research, I found a developer who was busy creating a Fable demake. The love of both genres compelled me to do an interview, to which he agreed. This is about 75% of that interview.]



A quick visit to the site of RoflGames.com will tell you that they like pixel art. Jo-Remi Madsen spearheads this small company and produces games in the fashion of old, amongst whom a remake of the Fable franchise. Not so much because he loved the game, but the concept behind it. It also comes to no surprise the pixel programmer can be found on Minecraft, delving away. NoobFeed contacted the man to find out more about his passion for games, his projects and programming.



Daav: First off, thank you for taking the time to do an interview, sir. Do you spend a lot of your time programming professionally or is it more of a runaway hobby?


Jo-Remi: Programming on D-Pad Studio I do professionally, while programming on Roflgames I do as a hobby. Programming, wheter as a job or a hobby, I love every minute of it.

Daav
: Do you run RoflGames alone or with other people?


Jo-Remi: Roflgames.com is a personal project of mine, but I tend to bring team members in on my projects. Simon, my friend and collegue at D-Pad Studio, is going to help me spruce Fableous up for its demo release, and often I get great help from musical artists around the web, notably Vinter In Hollywood, who's made many soundtracks for my games.


Daav: For everyone who doesn't yet know you and doesn't know what your company implies; what can you tell us about yourself and what you do with RoflGames?


Jo-Remi: I've simply loved video games since I was little. Owning two controllers for my NES, I usually played games with my sister and my friends. Playing and sharing my games back then was fun, so I decided to take my hobby a step further, by creating my own games.

My love for sharing games gave birth to my website, Roflgames, where I share my most polished projects. Every game created for the site thus far has been created using my old-school pixel graphics, and are free to download and play. They range from shooters to RPGs, the latter being my favorite genre.

Fableous Higher Def
Higher definition rendition of Fableous


Daav
: You are creating a downgraded remake about Lionhead Studios' Fable franchise, called 'Fableous'. I loved how you mentioned: "I've experienced Fable to be a so-so game, but the ideas behind its concept are so fantastic." I remember when its previous name 'Project Ego' would be uttered by a Dutch magazine every month and discuss in large detail all the things they were trying to do. I also felt disappointed that the finished product delivered a lot less than its words promised. Hypes sometimes ruin the fun for people.

So, isn't it hard to create more with less? Or does the simple aspect allow you to be more creative and implement more things in less space? What are your thoughts on the matter?


Jo-Remi
: Project Ego made me choose Xbox back in the day. I was enthralled by the first screens I saw from Project Ego, and started imagining how the game was going to be. Those images are still in my memory today, and the first Fable never really made those images come to life. I've done a lot of personal Fable projects since then, (including a Chicken-Kicking mini-game), but now I found the opportunity to share one of those projects on the web before the release of Fable 3.

It's so incredibly easy to create more with less! All one needs to know is how to use 'less'. Many developers today focus on 'more', while people using 'less' are getting ahead. People using 'less', are often referred to as Indie Developers, the small solo artists/rock bands of the game development industry. I'm one of the proudest Indie developers you'll find, and damn it if 'less' is going to stop me from creating incredible games.

Fableous Market


Daav
: Tell us all we need to know about Fableous. Your thoughts about the concept are amazing; it shows you really pondered the matter deeply and that's commendable to say the least. So, what will all be available in Fableous? What can fans expect?


Jo-Remi: Fast combat, a highly interactive world, incorporated with deep and easy to understand mechanics. Fans can expect a fun and flowing game that does not halter or stop. Too many games stop the player from interacting with the world.

I'll use Fable 2 as an excellent example: Every time your dog sniffs out a treasure, you bring your character over to dig for it. Digging for the treasure brings on a cutscene for 5 seconds, as you watch and wait, unable to interact. The player in this example, usually waited 5 seconds for a small money bag, which in Fable 2, is not worth waiting or even dig for. Games are made to be interactive, not to be a sequence of 'wait-and-sees'.

Daav
: Do you think Lionhead will appreciate the sentiment and do you intend to give them notice of your project?


Jo-Remi: If they do, my wish came through. I'm a sucker for Lionhead and if I owned Lionhead Studios, I'd make a tower out of it and invade England. Either that or create epic games from my office. If they do take notice of the project, I will skip and jump like a little girl home from school and I'd shed golden tears going to sleep. I'm the hardest of workers and I'd love for my work to get noticed. It already has by many fans. *skippedy, skip*.

Fableous Combat System
Fableous Combat System


Daav
: Former Microsoft big-shot Ed Fries recently made headlines by recreating Halo for the Atari 2600. Are you planning on making Fableous into an actual release for an old platform or will it be available for download only? What information can you give us about your release plans?


Jo-Remi: Where I'm going with the project is quite clear. Now that I've started, it's hard to stop. It's a great way to learn and master game-design, more so than a school could ever teach. My website updates every Thursday with info on my spare-time projects.

I usually also make a point out of honoring longtime fans, donators and contributors, by giving them screen time in my games. Screen time usually ranges from naming enemies, bosses, characters or locations after the person in question. In Fableous, I'll add donator/contributors names to characters, tombstones and map areas or weapons, if they so wish. It's a great little way for me to honor supporters.

Fableous Fishing System
Fableous Fishing System


Daav
: I, for one, would love to see Fableous coming out on a platform like the Nintendo Entertainment System, which is currently on the rise since Battle Kid came out. But moving on; RoflGames already created some games and is still busy with others. What can you tell us about your finished products and what are you currently still working on with RoflGames?


Jo-Remi: I've seen Battle Kid, it looks awesome! I love when Indie developers do homebrew! Thanks to nostalgias, the good old NES may never die.

Dungeon Chaos was the project that made me decide to create a website. It got so many plays and fans got curious, so I decided to start telling the fans about my games. All my games are under constant revision, as I'm never quite happy with them before they are perfect. So I've only got a few finished projects. Being a Programmer, a Keeper of Syntax, Defender of Code, I've become accustomed to things having to be perfect before they are complete; nothing or all; zero or one.

Concepts are what I share mostly on Roflgames, in which I can include the Adventure Of The Galactic Snupp, The Rim and Pirate Boat Voyage. All these games will be developed when I'm finished with all my other duties. I've got a huge job ahead of me. Luckily, I'm a workaholic.




Daav: Do you have any idea if your games are popular in demand, how many people have played it and so on? Do you get a lot of feedback from your projects?


Jo-Remi
: I do, and yes, when people discover my games, they usually come back for more, which is why creating games is such a magnificent hobby and so fun to do. It's hard to stop creating content when people constantly want more. It's a creationist's drug. Feedback on my games has always been positive from the internet, while the people closest to me are the ones who seem to enjoy critiquing my projects, helping me spot gameplay improvements.




Daav
:
You have a post about the pixel craze of the moment, Minecraft, eating away at your development time. For the fans of the popular game, can they know your information for Minecraft and what you are currently 'working' on there?

Jo-Remi: Currently, me and Simon, D-Pad Studio's artist are working on an office. Using my MineCraft server, we're going to use this this building for team meetings. From the meeting room we've got an excellent view over the Pixiffic Ocean, and a busy Viking Village can be spotted on the shore, just below the office balcony. Only thing missing is a woman in the reception. It's just like any other office, but with zombie scratchings at the front doors. It's got a subway railway track as well.

Dungeon Chaos
Roflgames Dungeon Chaos


Daav
: Apparently your efforts didn't go by unnoticed as your team seems to have won a prize at the Norwegian Game Awards. How was that experience for you?

Jo-Remi: One of the first of many great achievements for D-Pad Studio. Norwegian Game Awards was great! We're trying to be humble, but we can't. We love every minute of attention that our games attract and I know one thing for sure: I'll never stop creating games with this team. If my arms were to fall off, I'd program using my toes.


Fableous Lychfield Graveyard
Fableous Lychfield Graveyard


Daav: Despite working on your own projects, you still take the time to promote other developers and websites, such as Zero Punctuation and Angry Video Game Nerd. This again shows your love for games both old and new and that warms my heart. Are there any developers or communities you'd like to mention here and why you'd like to promote them?

Jo-Remi: It would fill the entire page if I were to mention everything that inspires me. Music is one of the things I get obsessed about. In this department I'll mention Vinter In Hollywood and D-Pad's own composer Jonathan Geer, both of who's music I listen to every day.

Among the sites I check about every hour of every day are: TigSource.com, Gametrailers.com, Derren Brown's blog, GamaSutra.com, PixelProspector.com, etc.



Daav
: I won't ask you to 'add anything you'd like here,' as I find that vague and usually doesn't create an original platform, due to the vague nature. I'd simply like to thank you once again for your time and hope your Fableous project (and others) prosper and get the attention they deserve. Jo-Remi Madsen, thank you and good luck.


Jo-Remi: The pleasure is, without question, on my side. ~Jo

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed. (Full interview on NoobFeed)

GHOST OF SPARTA / EVERYTHING 3DS & Loads MOAR!

by on

No one gives a flying fudgepack, but here's an update!

It's been a while, so there' s a few things I left out, but there should still be plenty of yaddayadda.

PREVIEW: God Of War - Ghost Of Sparta (PSP)

PREVIEW: Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team

'Arc'lundra on PSN

GOW GOS

And older news segments:

OnLive Goes Free, again.

World Of Darkness MMO

Duke Nukem is Back! (this has recently been confirmed btw)

Also, there has been more than plenty new things going on on my Youtube Game Channel. It's too much to all put down, so just go to the channel and see what you've all missed out on.

I will state that I recently uploaded Everything About 3DS. If that doesn't tickle your fancy enough, then I also have a huge editorial about the 3DS. If you're interested at all in the new handheld, you might want to browse through it.

3DS

Lastly, I'll just state whatever I'm playing right now. Some of you might already know I've been playing Bejeweled 2. For those that didn't, it's because you don't keep a close enough eye on my blog posts, so shame on yourself. But other than that, I've started, played and am almost through Civilization Revolution DS.I finished Sonic Chronicles DS. And I'm still playing Dragon Crystal, SimCity Creator, Animal Crossing: Wild World, Puzzele Quest 2, Need For Speed World and some other games here and there.

So I hope you have fun checking all that out (or not) and don't forget that all the news (not parts, like here) get published on NoobFeed first, so sign up. Also, most things might end up on my Twitter, so it's a nice way to stay up to date.

So tell me: What are you most excited about?

HD: Horrid Duplicate or Handy Design? - PART 2

by on

- The first part can be found here. Read it and continue here when you are done.

Now, let's go into detail in some games in specific and whether or not it's a good idea to plant this on a new console.

- God Of War Collection: This should be an obvious one to see. Not only is there nothing wrong with the old iterations, but their also considered milestones for their era. Brutally attacking the PS2's performance, both games get a ridiculously stunning visual prowess out of the game. Ask any person only even aware of the series: God Of War delivers on the goods when it comes to graphics. So why update something that doesn't even need it? It's not like it's an 8-bit game to be fully re-rendered into graphical art.

Now, both games are also some of the best action games out there, still to this day. The first one redefined hack and slash as a whole even and the second, even though much of the same, was an equally epic adventure into people's entrails. Nothing got altered in this sense, it's still is the same amazing experience, but nothing else. Bluepoint Games should've told this project where to go and start creating the next Metroid Prime.

God Of War Kratos Collection

- Ico: Another game known largely for its artful entry into the game world. The story is amazing, but the real treat here is wandering the landscapes in this story of innocent heroism. I almost tear up just thinking about it. But the fact is, the graphical aspect of the game is more than fine, it's art! So, if there is one thing about this game that doesn't feel outdated, it's the visuals. I could understand reworking some of the more rickety controls which irk many people trying to overcome platforms or fend of spirits. But the controls and such will work on the exact same engine; only the framerate will make failing more fluent. That's a largely missed opportunity.

- Shadow Of The Colossus: Almost all from above statement also applies to this game. If they ever saw the opportunity to update the most dreadful exploration aspect of a game I ever witnessed, this would've been the time. Imagine a desolate, interactive plain such as in Fallout where our hero searches for an epic beast. Unfortunately, nothing of the sort will happen and the boring and dreary desert will just look a little nicer while you fall asleep over your controller.

Team Ico characters

- Sly Cooper: I don't see much need in altering a cartoon game, since it's not meant to be that crisp; it's a cartoon. Just like with Team Ico games and others, I'm happy that this will bring some hidden gems back into the public's attention, but the game already exists in the state it came out. You could just press it again or make a new campaign for it, if you really want it to get some attention. All the work for it has been done anyway; no sense doing it again.

- Odin Sphere: Now, this is the only game I'm on the fence about, strangely enough. All above statements still apply, but this is a game that came to fruition very late into the lifespan of thePS2, after the PS3 had already been released. Therefore, a lot of people haven't even heard of this game, while it is brilliant. Not perfect in gameplay, but a jewel nonetheless. Bringing this back into attention might be a good thing for the game. Although again nothing of the actual game will be tweaked and there are still loads of PS2 copies available, so that seems wasteful at best.

Odin Sphere



But why not bring these games back? They're ports and ports exist, what's so bad about them? Well, it is correct that ports exist. Good thing too, since exclusives are annoying for any consumer. But there's a large difference between a port and a lazy port. I can still remember clearly the days that people looked down upon lazy rehashes of the same game. And I'm not talking in nostalgia about how grand Super Mario All-Stars was (since it's the equivalent of this). I'm talking about present day, where people frowned when developers pass off a PC RTS on a console. This still happens today. There is essentially nothing different about that occurrence, which gets harpooned and a HD release, which gets praised. It's a strange world like that.

No work gets done in tweaking or altering gameplay, only graphics get done over. Take for instance Ico, where the controls could use a decent tweaking. Even if the people in charge of reproducing it do that, this would be nothing more than a glorified patch. And last I checked you can't pass off a patch as original work. That's what it basically boils down to: You can't pass of old work as new work, simply because you added some glitter and a few smiley stickers; just enough to distract the 30 second attention span of today's modern young gamer. I can't turn in my article about Ys Seven's coding as a new editorial because I update it; it's an update, it's not a different creation. In the same line if you alter nothing to a game, it's still that game and nothing more. For this same reason I'm not a fan of virtual consoles and all that junk reselling ancient games. I appreciate the fact that developers want to see their masterpieces revived, but there are other ways. This is just the exact same thing. If kids had an interest they would look into tracking down said game and platform and play it then; it's much more fun this way anyway (he said, frantically waving his walking cane).

New Super Mario Bros DS

So, let's have an example of someone who used a game and added to it, as it should: New Super Mario Bros. The name itself couldn't have said it better; it's the same game, but this is actually new! For good cause as well, because the developers went out of their way to rework everything. Simply watch footage of 'old' Super Mario Bros on NES and then come back to the DS version. You'll notice the similarity but it ends there. This is a port fleshed out with such expertise, it deserves nothing but praise to revive a cIassic that already is a masterpiece on its own. That's how it should be done and it would be asinine to accept any lesser from developers and to ourselves.

I'd love to see an update in God Of War where Kratos now has to do a choreographed Quick Time Event (QTE) before leaving the underworld. In an epic dance-off, you can now implement an attachment to your old QTE system and create an unused resource. Or you could have him divert a certain path on the way to Olympus, where he now has a Cooking Mama sequence. I assure you Kratos Cooking Mama will flabbergast any –and everyone that ever plays that game.

How about Ico, where certain monsters trigger a 2D beat'em up battle in a completely new, cel-shaded, visual styIe. Or you could have hidden chambers open up, where a mushroom gives you 3 treasure chests to choose from. You'll now whisk away Yorda in your snazziest horned raccoon suit. I'm just saying, it's not hard for developing geniuses to add subtle (subtler than mine) touches to enhance your experience, instead of merely repeating it.

Epic Ico pose

More than probably this debacle will turn out futile. As Sony spearheads 'CIassics HD', it's safe to say this trend will be coming to pass more often. Not only that, but it's also been confirmed that the Team Ico duplication will be done in 3D, another pointless update. Don't expect anyone to have time left to actually create a game after that making a 3D game 3D-ier.

So, buy into cheap capitalist moves if you must; you're free to feed any machine you'd like. Just know that this only keeps you an inch further away from something that doesn't exist yet and you'd like to see. You can already see the existing product, but if you'd like to pay for it again, it's your choice. If you don't mind getting further away from exciting original content, then buy new old work. Even yours truly sometimes buys the same water bottles and veggies at the local grocery store; I just expect those to be novel as well, not a tomato someone went to get his shinebox for.

Alas, Billy Bats, we knew thee well.

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed.

HD: Horrid Duplicate or Handy Design? - PART 1

by on

High Definition has already set in a while ago. Most people love the addition of watching things in advanced resolutions and that's all dandy for them. Movies have long since picked up on the matter and started releasing their work, or rereleasing it even, to be viewed in this circumstance. Again, it's an understandable move. Movies have a key feature in how their visuals come across and thus updating this illustration enhances the whole experience. But now games have also come into the trend of rereleasing their work with a shiny HD sticker. This is a somewhat lesser understandable move.

Recently, it was announced they were going to bring out Team Ico games once more; specifically Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus. This followed the HD release of God Of War. There are also rumors for a Sly Cooper update, Odin Sphere and Muramasa: The Demon Blade, amongst many others being whispered through at the local water cooler. In fact, Sony is already so adamant on the success of the venture, they've started using box art with the subtitle CIassiccs HD". So, it's safe to assume many other older games are on route to take a second bow. But why is that? What is so fundamentally flawed about the games that they need to be remade? Nothing is wrong with the games; they're just being made to look shinier and new again. But that's good, right? Bright new shiny game, what could be wrong with that?

CIassics HD Sly Raccoon
It's coming, might as well get used to it...

The main aspect of a game is still the part where you can play or 'game' with the product, therefore having the term gameplay. If its key feature was to merely look at it, it would be an interactive movie, Kojima. So, the part where you pick up a controller (or not now) and go about the fictional area of the world is the part of the game you should focus on. A high definition release doesn't really touch that part. It spruces up your characters and background, maybe heightens the framerate, but it leaves the game aspect as it is and as it was. So actually, you'll be playing the same game or an old game if you haven't before; but it will be the same experience as years before, when it was thrown into the savage game market. The rerelease doesn't add anything to an already existing product; it's all cosmetics. So where is the point in playing something old that already is exists in the exact same state? There isn't really a point to it, but it's worse than simple redundancy I'm afraid. I could fathom people wasting their own time; far be it for yours truly to dictate how people piss away their pointless time, looking at shiny objects.

OMG SHINY!

The fact is a HD release takes up time, effort and resources, just like all other work in life. Luckily, all the major prep work is already done, so the only thing left to do is polish up the silverware or maybe give it the ol' spit shine. But it is essentially repeating the same work once over. Allow me to demonstrate (please take into account this is fiction):

A professional company holds a qualified team of 20 people. These people work on games, on any aspect their respective fields contain. From making games, to illustrating artwork, to doing PR, etc; they all have their job to do and do so well.

Now, this company feels it can take on 3 projects with its team. On one end, they have 12 people working on a large multi-platform title. Then they have 5 people working on a handheld title. The remaining 3 people have been told to prepare the newest HD release. Seventeen people are now working on different material. Three people are revising and tweaking old stuff, which might not even be their own, such as BluePoint Games and God Of War. This basically wastes the time of 3 people capable of either aiding their colleagues or creating something novel themselves. Instead, they're busy doing the work that has already been finished and released and passing it off as if it were something new, which is just lazy.

Let's say Level 5 is working its men (and women, you feminist trolls) on releasing the amazing, upcoming Ni No Kuni. The gross amount is working to release the PS3 version in Q2 of 2011. The smaller team is prepared to finish the DS version on December 9, 2010 (that one is actually correct). The 3 remaining people are reworking Team Ico's ventures. These 3 people could've spent time on helping Ni No Kuni getting here as well. There's no point in them creating Ico; that game is already available, it's here, it's done, move on. With their aid, who knows, Ni No Kuni DS could've gotten here by December 9, 2010!

Wait what; that's the exact same date? Well of course it is; like mentioned these are professionals. They'll take on projects they feel they can finish within in an allotted time. This isn't Daikatana, where Romero spent so much time shouting random things, it basically ruined him. Well, except if you don't count going away from Ion Storm, the creators of Deus Ex, to go work for LOLapps in the end, the creators of Critter Island. My point here is that their talent is 'wasted' on doing something already done, instead of helping to create novel work. Not only that, but someone is sinking funds into old material, bringing in resources and space. Three months spent shining up graphics, a hundred thousand dollars in man hours for the project, 3 office cubicles allotted towards making the release, it's all for naught. This in the end is harmful to gamers wanting games.

OH HAI
Imagine all the people...

Note that harmful is in the most indirect and feeble way possible. The developers aren't coming to your home, to destroy your previous copies of games and cutting you up with the shards. But compare it to someone coughing next to you, without having the courtesy to holding his hand up. This act of lazy opportunism may not do much against you; it's not even a direct attack to your person or anything meant to be harmful. But because that person chose to be lazy and not have the effort of holding up his hand, your immune system gets to deal with germs and you could get sick; be it ever so slight. A High Definition release is like a cough in the face; not the end of the world but it's a bit rude and it might smell a bit, you lazybones.

*To be continued*

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed.

Update 08/09: NEWS, EVEN MORE PREVIEWS, Unboxing & Twitter.

by on

...And the dish ran away with your mom. True story.

Anyways, here's a recap of what I've been doing on NoobFeed. I've churned out quite a few things lately, but it seems to be a slow news week this week.

EA's MMA Scandinavian Cancel

Epic (Mickey) Collector's Edition

Ghost Of Sparta Bundle

EU's 275K MMORPG (GOTY!)

PIGS FLY!

DUKE NUKEM BABY


Yes, that's a lot of news. But that's far from all I did. I also concentrated on some hard work and did 2 previews in the term of one week:

Lost Horizon (PC) - A point and Click Adventure that takes the genre back to its glory days.

R.U.S.E. (PS3) - A deceptive Real-Time Strategy (RTS) with amazing detail.

Some of these videos were the result of truly crippling hard work. I had to go out and get new equipment and try to adjust my overall working methods. It took me 4 days of basically lost work to convert to a new system and I'm still exhausted of it today. So any feedback is really appreciated, now more than ever, to justify all this effort.

You may have noticed that these videos aren't available on Gamespot. Well, that's because GS still hasn't fixed their upload issues. It's getting rather ridiculous now. Especially since I had a surprise video I wanted to share exclusively with the Eternal roleplay Union. So, my apologies to them, but you can watch the video on my Youtube Game Channel. For those of you who have read my previous work, you'll be even more pleasantly surprised, so really go check that one out! Seriously though GS, @staff & @JodyR, can we expect a fix soon or should I just abandon trying to upload here altogether?

In personal gaming experience, I've been in a non-gaming mood for a while now. Sonic Chronicles has lost any fun appeal it used to have in the beginning, though I did make it to Chapter 7 just now. Unfortunately, I know that I'm not even in the middle of the game yet. I'll try and push on later.

Animal Crossing Wild World

I played some more Animal Crossing: Wild World and should be reaching the end of a large payment shortly. I also redecorated my entire house to have a cIassical theme on the main floor (with a grand piano as my center piece).Upstairs was turned into a rec room, like the one I used to have on Gamecube. Except that version had actual NES games in it. Can you imagine that? Prior to all this DLC nonsense, developers actually gave old games away (as it should be)!

But there is one plus side to my game slump: I realised that Puzzle Quest 2 is one of the greatest games you can play when you don't feel like playing at all. Really all it is, is clicking 1 button, so you can do that while slouched away. I might also note that the PC version is greatly superior to that of consoles...yet again. So suck on that, anti-pc gamers (Hi @Calvinsora).

Puzzle Quest 2 PC Mage

Oh, and I purchased way too many games this month. Well, I always do. But this time I really went overboard... Apart from my other purchases you can watch here, I'm also receiving 6 other games in the mail in 2 weeks and I'm compelled to go pick up 2 more games I noticed around, after doing some research on them. Some of you (like @charizard1605) might be pleased with some of those games though, so stay tuned!

But seriously, if any of you reading this live near Europe and you want to help me play these games, I'd be grateful. Yes, that's right, I'd thank you to come play my games. It's a strange world out there.

On a final note: I actually made a Twitter Account! So if anyone wants to know what I'm doing even before I do it, follow me to get all the recent updates on my gaming life.

In any case, I'm glad this turned out to be a lengthy blog about much more than just news upadates. As always, pretty please feedback me, ad nauseum.

Your pal and semi-pro treedoctor, Daav.