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Jass5991 Blog

SimCity (2013): Maxis and EA, Did ya think about quota?

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I suppose it is a rant, though I am not too sure.

Ah SimCity. The game that was much talked about and raved over for all the right reasons pre-launched, and the game that was raged on post-launch. I'd just like to talk about it's always online connectivity.

For starters, how much space do those calculations take up? Bytes? Kilobytes? Megabytes?! And of course, you are, as you claim, "always sending calculations to the servers to take the load off the computer." If that were the case, then surely the complex calculations could take megabytes of data.

Then, of course, there are the cloud saves. When I look through SimCity 4's save files, they are no larger than 1 megabyte. But the again, we are talking about a game that came out in 2003, then subsequently in 2010, according to Wikipedia. Ignoring the 2010 date, I wonder how large the new SimCity save files are. Megabytes at the very least I should think. And, what if I'm on the road and I want to play SimCity? Well, easy really. I open SimCity 4. That is what your cloud-service and Always-On policy have made me do. To be honest, I don't really mind. It's great to see a developer pushing gamers to their older games. Brings life back into it.

I'm raging against these online services because of 1 main thing: Quota. In Malaysia, the most common internet service has a quota of, at most, 40Gb, which would come in at close to RM200. Of course, after conversion, it may not seem like much, but try imagining 200 of your currency to pay for a service that, during quota, offers up to 4mb/s of internet speeds, but cuts you down to 10kb/s after. With all this data being sent in, I think I could safely say I'd only be able to play SimCity by not surfing the web at all.

No, I have not bought SimCity yet. I am not someone who buys a game on day 1. I might buy SimCity, if they fix all these issues. If not, then I'll just look to the local game shop, or not at all.

Rayman Legends Delay: My Opinion

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Before I begin, let me just clarify I am a PC gamer.

I had read a few blog posts and read some articles, so I feel I am quite well prepared to give my opinion. This delay sucks.

The good hardworking people at Ubisoft have worked their butts off trying to get our limbless hero's next outing ready for a well-timed February release. The stage was set. All was prepared. All they had to do was just wait for the release date. Unfortunately, it does not go as planned.

"Hey guys. We know you worked your arses off the past few months, and we really appreciate it, but the game is not coming out this week. Nah, we thought it would be better if we delayed it to September so it can come out for other platforms. Yeah, sorry for the news." -Marketing Dude in Ubisoft

The unanimous thoughts of all the employees? "FUUUUUUUUUUU-" BUT, they had to keep it in to keep their jobs.

It is so easy for the guys who do more thinking than doing. They just tell you to jump, you say how high. But the one who has to jump, he has to factor in height, energy requirement, and finally, actually do it. Who do you think has to do more work, the Doer, or the Thinker?

While I am glad it will be coming out to multiple platforms, I can't help feel sorry for these guys who have to slave over the an already done game to prepare it for new platforms. While, true, I am sad it is not coming to PC (cross fingers), it does not mean they can be treated this way. Ubisoft should know better. They've been at it for quite awhile now.

My heart goes out to these poor, sad individuals, once more forced to do something when it seemed the end was nigh.  I wish Ubisoft had used a possible solution from one of the blogs I'd read, "Release it for WiiU now, release it for others later." Best of luck to these guys. Stay strong.

Music in Video Games

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left4deadcornfield.jpg

http://www.co-optimus.com/images/upload/image/left4deadcornfield.jpg You're playing Left 4 Dead (1/2). You've decided to turn off the music to make it the most "realistic". (but let's be honest here, zombie virus. Seriously?) Suddenly, it's the horde! You're blasting away at these undead beings, and yet, something's missing. There's no rolling drumbeat in the background. There was no choir before they came in. It's just you (maybe screaming in your headset), your gun, and two or three grunts at a time from your foe. It feels, flat. I will be honest here. When I'm doing menial household chores or playing an active sport, a particular song or tune comes into my mind and makes that activity feel somewhat manageable. Let's face it. In all audio-visual media, music is key to conveying emotions. The rolling drumbeat in L4D1/2 increases the urgency of the situation. The harpsi-chords playing as you cross rooftops in Assassins Creed 2 make you feel like one of the Renaissance era Italians, and makes you excited to know what's on the other side of that chimney. The strings or horn prior to an enlarged shark attacking some boat or beach increase the intensity of the situation. The orchestral music in Kingdoms of Amalur add a sense of epicness to the enemies you are facing. Music, is as important as the graphics, perhaps even more so, in video games. The music in video games adds depth to a current situation, it makes the player express emotion when something occurs, and it makes a situation more "real". Without music, games just would not be today. Even games of the 8bit era had some rudimentary form of music. Games today have embraced 3-dimensional spaces, but music has layered on a fourth as well. An example of a game that was greatly applauded for it's music as well as gameplay was Portal 1 and 2. In both games, it was hard to forget the ending song after having gone through more test chambers than a lab-rat. In fact, in Portal 2, music was given more importance. In each level, each element had it's own musical thee to it, from the lasers to the triggers. When all of it had finally come together, it formed a harmony, a sort of, "Congratulations! You solved it!" message. Music in games is unfortunately overlooked in many games, under-appreciated. It needs to be brought forward that games just would not be the same without music. Even simple Flash games, such as Realm of the Mad God, has it's own music to complement what's going on on-screen. In a nutshell. Music complements games in a way nothing else can. They are the yin to the yang, because without it, the games feel flat and boring. It's high time people are aware of their importance. In fact, I dare anyone to play their favourite game muted. Then tell me if it is the same, just as enjoyable, as it was with it's music. Please sound off in the comments. After all, without music, that battle against the horde just might not be the same.