HRDKyoSaNim / Member

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HRDKyoSaNim Blog

The only thing I have to say about this whole scandal revolving around Jeff... refer back to an editorial I made a long time ago. It was never given a place on the Soapbox here on GS...I wonder why?

I would specifically like you to pay close attention to this paragraph:

"In this world of ours, money talks and bs walks. Famitsu 360 is a 360 magazine. The sponsoring and promotion for Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 have been rather intense for thisgame over the past month. DOAX2 received a 35/40 and Capcom's flagship title Lost Planet 'only' got a 34/40. What we may be seeing is Famitsu refraining from biting the hand that feeds. Then again, maybe they were the only ones ballsy enough to admit to a truer value of the game."

No need for Medics anymore?

I recently finished my first run through of Splinter Cell: Double Agent. I noticed while playing it that it follows a certain trend which is a little disappointing to me...No health bar. Instead, you're allowed to take a number of shots, then findcover and go back out to receive another wave of punishment and take out as many NPCs as you canbefore your "shields" are completely depleted. Being that I currently graduated college with a degree in a medical field (Physical Therapy), it looks like I'll be out of a job in the near future, where humans can eat lead and self-regenerateat a superhuman rate like Wolverine, lol.

Seriously now, not onlyare we seeing the disappearance of the health bar before our very eyes, there aregames out where you just cannot die, such as Prey. There has been a lot of debate back and forth as to whether games have become too easy. Those who argue in favor of easier games say that there are more casual gamers now than ever, and it only makes sense for the industry to cater to this ever-increasing breed of gamer. Some even say that there are too many games being released that are simply too difficult, pointing out games like the new Ninja Gaiden. They credit this to the video game industry being stuck in the mindset of the days of arcades, where the goal was to take as many coins away from users as possible. If it were easy, people would've beat the game on one credit of course, and they wouldn't make much money. They argue that games should become an interactive form of story-telling, removing focus onthe fast-twitch hand-eye coordination that has been videogaming traditionally. However, I argue in the opposite direction. I think that there has been a huge shift in attention towards the casual gamer, many times leaving traditional gamers out in the cold when it is implemented in games/genres where it simply shouldn't exist.

I don't really mind the existence of casual games. They have their place. They welcome new gamers into the world of video games, which is always a good thing. However, I don't think every game developer should make every one of their games with the casual gamer in mind. There comes a point where it's detrimental to the plausibility and gameplay of the game, which brings me back to Splinter Cell: Double Agent. When the first Splinter Cell came out, there was a health bar, and specific save points. You had to find medpacs to replenish your health, and sometimes between saves, you would find yourself with low health forging on in hope that you'll find a medpac soon. Because of the limited save opportunities, you would find yourself needing to go back a couple saves and repeat a lot of the stage because you used your gadgets too liberally earlier on in the stage. I think that was very frustrating and liked it when they made the move to unlimited saves. That could save every time you think you went through a section well, and more specifically, in another slot when you weren't so sure, so that you don't have to go way back in the level for a good save. I thought this was good enough to bring the difficulty level down a bit, but now Ubisoft decided to follow this trend of doing away with the health bar. Now, it may work in sci-fi shooters because the protagonists in games like GearsoW and Halo have huge armor with regenerating shields. However, it's a little hard to believe that someone with a common era bullet proof vest can continuous eat shots and just shake it off (not to mention shots to the unprotectedarms and legs). It's not really that which bothers me that much either, because you have to always suspend some form of disbelief when playing videogames. What bothers me is that it completely changes the gameplay. Other than having a relatively limited supply of ammo, you could theoretically play the game as a third person shooter, because you're no longer penalized with health depletions after being shot. It's a stealth game, and yet you can go through the whole game without feeling the repurcussions of going through levels recklessly. In a way, that cheapens the gameplay, at least for me. No doubt, you can still go through the game the way it was intended, but you know that the option is there for someone to go through the game with no challenge but can enjoy the story unfurling before them. Video games are not mere interactive movies...They are meant to challenge players. I have played NG, and while it is most certainly difficult, it makes completing sections of the game feel that much more rewarding. All of us were little kids at one point, nubs who were struggling to figure out how to make the controller follow your will, discovering useful strategies to be successful during the different encounters a game offered you. For sure that casual and new gamers should have a safe-haven of easy games to feel welcomed to. However, I don't think that every game released now should be made with casual gamer in mind. And I think that casual gamers should be encouraged to make the move eventually. If they want to experience a great game with a fulfilling story, they should eventually be forced to know how much more rewarding it is when you had to go through challenges to get that experience.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell for Xbox - Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Xbox Game - Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Xbox Video Game

It's time for American parents to place responsibility upon themselves...

So, did anyone hear about how Manhunt 2 got an AO rating in America, effectively banning it since Sony and Nintendo have policies which clearly prohibit third party developers from releasing such games on their console. HOW STUPID IS THAT?!!! There are indeed adult gamers out there, so why can't they have access to games that are only for them. I know, I know...If they're made available then kids will inevitably get their hands on them somehow. Listen...there are plenty forms of media which contain "Adults Only" content. You know get their hands on those too. BUT!!! The responsibility in those cases is laid upon the ADULTS who participate in these forms of media and the retailers to keep it out of the hands of kids. Why is it that governments, and apparently the video game industry itself, feel the need to police video game content. That is the responsibility of the PARENTS. Why should adult gamers be denied good content? Oh that's right, it's because parents today look to blame and put responsibility on everybody but themselves. So does anyone know if M'Soft also has this policy? They could gain an awesome exclusive if they're the only console company with the grapefruits to say f-u to the politicians' agendas against video gaming. Unfortunately, I don't think they do, and with that, we'll see the death of Manhunt 2 in America, at least in the form it was orginally intended by its developers. They can always of course resubmit the game, which is apparently the route they're choosing.

[UPDATE] Ricardo Torres and Guy Cockergot a chance to sit down with the controversial copy of Manhunt 2. This is the conclusion they came to...

"Based on what we played, Manhunt 2 is shaping up to be a solid, intriguing follow-up to the original. The game's violence and gore, which have become the mother of all lightning rods for the title, are in full effect. But, while they've been ramped up from the original game, they're not exactly going to wreck Western civilization any more than, say, the Saw and Hostel movies--or just about any other of the slasher flicks that come in and out of vogue. What we saw was graphic for sure, and given a slightly unsettling twist by the interactivity offered by the Wii game, but ultimately it's nothing we haven't seen before in other games, movies, or even some television. We're curious to see the form Manhunt 2 ends up taking should Rockstar make changes to get a more retail-friendly rating. The game's violence is part of the dark story it's telling, not an element tossed in for shock value. If films such as Seven or Reservoir Dogs had been toned down, they arguably wouldn't have told the same stories. Hopefully Rockstar can figure something out and keep the game's dark vision intact. We'll keep you posted as Manhunt 2 is prepared for release."

They repeat my point exactly by referencing movies like Saw and Hostel. They apparently feel that the violence is not gratuitous in nature, but instead, a part of the story...a story intended FOR MATURE AUDIENCES!!! I argue then that it is hypocritical for slasher movies to be released while video games get the shaft from government agencies. The problem unfortunately is that video gamers are known to be a slothy breed, and we don't stand up for our rights. Polls have shown that the majority of gamers today are indeed adults, somewhere in the range of 20-30. We have seen from these polls that there event exist golden gamers if you will (sorry if the term has been coined already by someone else), or in other words, gamers who have reached the age of retirement...their golden years. With so many adult gamers, it doesn't make sense to assume that all games are intended for kids' hands anymore. As adult gamers, I feel that we need to become more politically active unless we want to continue to be walked upon. There is no video game lobbying organization that I can think of, yet so many lobbying organizations are against us. A shame really :(

A GS user was able to speak in an interview with one of the people responsible for the banning of this game in Ireland. I'd like to point your attention to that conversation. You can tell me who raised the most valid points:


For the love of all that is decent...just stop!!!

I would like to stand on my soapbox for a minute to describe something that has recently gotten under my skin about GameFAQs:

I am one of the many who bought Forza Motorsport 2. Those of you who also bought the game and care at all for Achievements would have looked at the Acievement points associated with this game, to find that there are four secret achievements. So, I go onto, which is associated to GS as you all probably well know, to see if anyone has discovered what the secret achievements are. There, on the FM2 cheats and codes page, I see something that has plagued GameFAQs for quite some time now...unnecessary information.Listed as unlockables were the Achievements of the game...except for the 4 secret ones. If a person is going onto GameFAQs, it's because they are in possession of a game and need help with something. If they are in possession of that game, they could just find outthe achievements themselves, except for any secret ones of course. I mean, why do people bother writing such superfluous posts? Is it because they figure it helps them level up in GS? Stop! It's just spam, and if you haven't realized, you spent your time to just waste everyone else's who's looking for useful information.

Also on the FM2 GameFAQs page, there's another set of "codes" which "reveal" what cars you get as a prize for each event. This is again, something that is revealed to you, in the game itself. Not only that, but I'm pretty sure that the section detailing the cars you receive is actually from FM1. I think that to solve these problems,the folks at GS should assign someone to review submissions to GameFAQs, before posting them, to assure thequality of the information posted. I know that they rely on people reporting bad codes, but I think it would save everyone some frustration and time, and a pointless post like the first I describedisn't necessarily a "bad code" so it can't be reported.

Wind SCAR!!!

Do you like Inuyasha? I do. I also like a game I came across on the adultswim website featuring characters from the show. It's a turn-based strategy game, and I figured any fans out there should enjoy it like I have. Click HERE if you want to play.

Tired of life???

If you are not 18 or older, then GO NO FURTHER...




Then I'll give you 5 mins. to kill yourself...Actually, will. In most video games, it's game over when you die. In this game, dying is the goal. You'll do anything to get out of a meeting with the boss, even if it means taking your own life... BUT, you only have 5 mins to accomplish this goal. I thought this concept was so funny and original that I would share it with all of you. Click HERE if you're interested.

Do you like Naruto?

If so, then I'm sure you're familiar with the fact that episodes of Naruto air on Cartoon Network, more specifically as a part of Toonami, a block of anime that airs at certain times of the day. Seeing as we're all gamers here, I figured I may direct your attention to a game that the CN website has put up in relation to the show. Nothing spectacular here, just a little flash game that you can kill some time with if you so care to.

If you're into anime but have never gotten a chance to get into the show, learn more about it at the CN website. I think you'll like the show if you ever get a chance to watch it. See you guys on the boards!!!

Nostalgia...Too strong a selling point?

Recently, it was revealed to us, the members of Gamespot, the reviewers' choices for genre awards. One of those genres was of course the fighting game category. In the award category for Best Fighting Game were five games:

(Here's the link for reference)

If you noticed, two of those games are rereleases of very old games, one on the PSP and another on XBLA. Now much to my bafflement, when I clicked on the envelope to find out who won, I saw that UMK3 had been declared victor by the reviewers. If you look at the "Peoples' Choice" votes however, you'd see that 47% of those votes have gone to DOA4.

Here is the explanation as to why the reviewers thought that UMK3 deserved to win:

"After the subpar release of Street Fighter 2, we were worried about the future of arcade fighters on Xbox Live Arcade. Then Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 came along and did everything right, with essentially perfect emulation, entertaining achievements, and an underlying fighting game that may look a little long in the tooth but has proven its longevity with matches raging endlessly on Xbox Live. In fact, given Street Fighter 2's latency problems online, we were pleased to see just how well UMK3 works over the Internet. The game's AI may quickly wear a little thin, but when you've got an endless supply of willing, skilled challengers to play against, who cares?"

Now, I'm not saying that UMK3 isn't a great game, or that it isn't a perfect emulation. However, as fellow Gamespotter flandrien, leader of the Team Ninja Clan, put it in a bulletin post on the unions boards:

"While Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is a sweet addition to the Xbox Live Arcade library, giving it Gamespot's best fighting game of 2006 award, clearly out of nostalgia, is a slap in the face of a cutting edge fighting game like Dead or Alive 4."

OK...Graphics? Let's be serious! Gameplay & content...we're talking about a fighting game that was released in 1995, over 10 years ago! It's clearly going to show it's age in all these aspects. If Ed Boon and the others at Midway saw this I think they'd be laughing their heads off. Never would they think that a rerelease of a game from 11 years ago would receive a review site's top fighting game of 2006 award. See, here's the problem, and to once again borrow the words of flandrien, because I couldn't say it better myself:

"Playing these classics makes them feel young at heart again, you know. If they're consequent, they will not pick Gears of War as best shooter, but instead give the award to Xbox Live Arcade title Doom (sarcasm, I know Doom isn't one of the nominees)."

Did you see it...the problem...the reviewers let nostalgia get the best of them. However, and I've said this in a previous editorial, reviewers must remain as objective as possible. It is their responsibility to the gaming community. Another good point raised by flandrien:

"What's the relevance of a 'best of 2006' award if you're handing it out to the umpteenth port of a game that appeared way back in 1995? What kind of signal are you sending to the industry and to the gamers? That 10 years of evolution in the fighting game genre equals to nothing?"

Now, you're probably thinking, "Oh he's just a fanboy, going on a rant 'cuz the reviewers didn't pick his beloved game." I am not a fanboy. Ask anyone of the members of The Team Ninja Clan. I've decreased my popularity on that board many-a-time to defend fighting games other than DOA. I would have most certainly been happier with Tekken: Dark Ressurection winning than UMK3. Tekken: DR did a great deal to evolve the fighting genre on the portable platform. The fact of the matter is, UMK3 won based solely on the nostalgia of the reviewers.

Fortunately, this category can still have it's saving grace in the readers' choice awards. Make sure to cast your vote!

Politics in video game reviews...

Warning: This editorial contains mature subject matter. If you are not of appropriate age, avert your eyes:P

This issue came up when discussing the low scores given to DOAX2 on the Team Ninja Clan Board, and I wanted to make this topic into an editorial blog post.


  • Gamespot: 5.9
  • IGN: 6.4/10
    TeamXbox: 6.7/10
    1UP: 4/10

As you could see, it got rather low scores from American reviewing sources. However, the question is, did it really deserve such low scores. The fact of the matter is, it brings great joy to gamers, including of course but not limited to DOA fans, guys and girls alike. Now, anyone who knows American history knows that America was founded in large part by Puritans, some of the most prude people the world has ever known. The truth is, that culture still perseveres to a certain extent to this day. Yes...there's sex, drugs and violence available for the viewing pleasure of those of age (theoretically), but there's still a stigma about nudity and sexuality. Though the U.S. is probably the biggest producer and exporter of pornographic materials, there's shamefulness surrounding it in this country. In Europe, nudity is not a big deal. You see it on tv ads in primetime. In many touristic areas, every beach is a topless beach. There's no separation due to shame and embarrasment. I'm not saying that porn is a good thing and we should all embrace it, in fact I believe otherwise. However, I also believe that there's nothing inherently wrong with nudity. However, my point is that nudity and sexual content in this country is desired in one's personal life, but must be shunned publicly. Let's not be hypocrits folks. 

This stigma about nudity and sexuality is magnified tenfold when portrayed in certain art forms. To admit sexual pleasure from "cartoons" or CGI is especially taboo. You know, I find this interesting...GTA has been known for it's portrayal of sex in video games. In its early days, this meant taking a hooker into your car. Now, they don't actually show you having sex, but with suggestive audio and the car bouncing all around (How funny is it when you would switch views to the side of the car and they were both just sitting there even though the car looked like it hydraulics?), the suggestion was clearly there. Later on, you still had this option, along with pimping, or spending the night at your gf's house, which offered plenty of interesting audio to let you know what was going on. Though GTA games get hammered by the politicians, certain parent and Christian groups, and the general media, their scores from reviewers have never suffered. Here's the reason why. They never cross the line of sexual discomfort. The sexuality in the game is more like a big joke. Take as another example:


Gamespot score: 8.1

Gamespot score: 6.6

Now, is the gameplay between the two really that different. I think there's another matter at hand here. In the quick summary of the review it says: "and the game's sense of sexuality is still rather unseemly." So, it's blatantly stated right there... visual sexuality in a game can hurt the game's rating in this country. The funny thing is, WWE SvR 2007 has diva matches in it. However, it's not a major part of the game, which makes it easily overlooked. Also, I think it's more socially acceptable because they're based on real-life women, instead of "ridiculously idealized polygonal female models" as so graciously stated in the review summary for DOAX2.

To Japan, where RRXX and DOAX2 were born, as well as hentai. They are apparently not bound to the rule where they must publicly denounce possible arousal from CGI or "cartoons". Famitsu scored DOAX2 a 35/40 (8.75). However, another question actually arises if you look at the situation more closely. Did they score it that way because it's a good game and aren't held back by the game's sexuality, or, is it for another political issue we may find in video game reviewing...

In this world of ours, money talks and bs walks. Famitsu 360 is a 360 magazine The sponsoring and promotion for Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 have been rather intense for this game over the past month. DOAX2 received a 35/40 and Capcom's flagship title Lost Planet "only" got a 34/40. What we may be seeing is Famitsu refraining from biting the hand that feeds. Then again, maybe they were the only ones ballsy enough to admit to a truer value of the game.

Money isn't the only reason one may see inflated scores. They say, it's not what you know, but who you know. This may have been a huge contributing factor to Cliffy B and his dev team's recent success. GOW is a great game, no doubts. However, I've heard many people complaining about it. Usually, superb games get little opposition from the general public. Here's the fact of the matter. Let's compare GOW to Resistance:FOM.

Gamespot score: 9.6

Gamespot score: 8.6

Let's be honest. There's nothing entirely innovative about GOW. It's gameplay is virtually a carbon copy of kill.switch. However, the overall presentation makes it a memorable game. Much in the same way, Resistance:FOM incorporates aspects from various successful FPS games and presents them in spectacular fashion. So, what about GOW makes it worth an entire point more on the rating scale? Could it be because Cliffy B makes such a concerted effort to befriend those in the gaming community. He actually takes time out to interview with editors, invites them to events, and gets to be buddy-buddy with them. In return, reviewers show a little more favor when rating his game. Now, this is of course speculation, but every time I see him, he seems to be buttering up reviewers, and as he puts it, "selling the game."

Long story short, reviewers allow personal favors and politics to influence their scoring of games, whether it be because of cultural stigmas, money involved, or friendships. It's a shame, but it will probably allways be a present part of game reviews.

Special thanks to flandrien and the others at the Team Ninja Clan.

Sixaxis...clever name, but is it a clever concept?


Palindrome: A word, phrase, number or any other sequence of units (such as a strand of DNA) which has the property of reading the same forwards and backwards, character for character, disregarding punctuation. Examples of palindromes are "racecar", "Able was I ere I saw Elba" or "A man, a plan, a canal: Panama." []

With the advent of the PS3, we've learned many things about its next-generation hardware. One of the new hardware we learned about is the system's controller, which is called the "Sixaxis". The PS2 controller was of course the DualShock 2, and the original DualShock of course belonged to the original PS. These were aptly named for their force-feedback vibration capabilities. "However, in Nintendo Wii fashion, the new PlayStation 3 controller will also have motion-sensing capabilities. Sony's Phil Harrison stated that the controller is capable of sensing motion in six degrees: up, down, left, right, forward, and backward."  []

Therefore, this new controller, was very cleverly named with a palindrome (sixaxis) that describes the fact that it senses motion in six directions. However, there is question as to how clever those who head Sony were when they decided that "the controller will no longer feature force-feedback vibration. Sony claims that the feedback vibration would interfere with games that use the motion sensor."  []

Now to me, this sounds like a whole lot of hooplah. "At E3 2006, Nintendo revealed that the controller will have built-in speaker and vibration effects to make games even more immersive. If you use the controller to fire an arrow in Zelda, the controller will make a drawing sound as you pull back on the bow to launch a shot, and the controller will shake on impact if you thrust your controller forward to bash an enemy with your shield."  []

So, if Nintendo is able to do it without interfering with the motion sensor, why can't Sony. I mean, if you're going to just rip off another company's idea, you should do it right...right? Maybe that's just the problem. Maybe the PS3 shouldn't have been designed taking bits and pieces of the other companies' ideas, only to come up with a console that is far too expensive when compared to its competitors. I'm not a fanboy folks. I'm just calling it as I see it. I think the PS3 may be the best of the next-gen systems in terms of sheer hardware capabalities, but I despise their lack of originality and blatant copying. The PS3 has been coming under a lot fire, for the very reasons I've just mentioned. Other forms of media have taken their shots at the PS3, such as the one pictured above, which pokes fun specifically at the "Sixaxis." Here is another one:


So what do you guys think of the Sixaxis? Good idea, or totally bogus?

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