[video=KnMzwTbw5bwNvjLf] PENNY ARCADE - Comic Strip KOTAKU - Rumour SHACKNEWS - Confirmation GAMESPOT Cancel Subscription Block Adds I know... Not even news at this point. But I was looking through my friends blogs... and my friends of friends blogs, and I noticed how AWESOME it is. Not Jeff's firing, but the consequence of C|NET's actions. Almost literally, every gamespot member is talking about it. Every gamespot member is outraged at the lack of journalistic integrity displayed here (ever heard of a conflict of interests you blinkered morons?). I've read on several blogs about people dropping their subscriptions to GS, and F'N EH! Good for you. I had already cancelled mine, cause GS already sucked. Glitchspot now becomes corporate B!tc#spot. Keep moving down... there's only $#!Tspot left to cover. What I'm really trying to say is, if you HAVE NOT posted your outrage blog... DO SO! Get it out. These boneheads need to hear it. These corrupt suits and wimps need to see that they are here FOR us and BECAUSE of us, and we want Jeff. And without us they are nothing. So light up the servers. And mark them all as editorials. Let the mother f*ck*r burn. Wherever Jeff is, I hope he's plotting out his triumph over this dark stain. I will miss him. And I'd also like to point out that the cowards at IO / EIDOS should NOT come out of this unscathed. In fact I'd go so far as to say drop all objectivity for the moment and vote K&L down to 1 from it's whopping 2.6 and of course do not purchase into this tripe.
This is basically just an excuse to draw attention to my new layout wrapped in a blog :) But it WAS inspired by what I've been figuring on the past little while. Wanna know what that is? SURE you do... Video games are violent. No $#!T you say. Of course they are. They always have been. PacMan was so freakin' violent he had to kill his victims over and over again, and they were dead to begin with. Mario likes to drop shrooms before he crushes confused angelic turtles. And Sonic... well he's more like a drunk driver hitting pretty much anything in his coke-induced flurries (notice how much of a crack head he becomes when he drops his change). It makes me think. WTF? Can't we do anything else in a fantasy game? Must we always crush, punch and shoot? Probably. But wouldn't it be great if just a few more games (aside from sports and puzzle) weren't based on POINT A > (lots of death) > POINT B? I've been so immersed in this mindset that I can think of very few alternatives. And those end up being violent in the end regardless. Like my concept for a game where the point is to die, not live. You have to make peaceful people beat the crap out of you instead of avoiding death by the hands of your attackers. I'd call the game "The Sack", and have the cutest little hero be your avatar, just to make it more painful looking when you achieve your goal. Maybe throw in some mama-joke mini-games to piss off potential assailants. Regardless of that jibba jabba ... like the layout? It's what I think Mario would be today if the property were owned by Capcom. A little more poop in the sewer. A little more bounce on the princess. But all around the same $#!T-kicking on drugs we all grew up with :lol: "Rated E for eliminate!"
The difference between "M for Mature" and "AO for Adults Only" is one year. "M" is 17. "AO" is 18. Big deal, right? I know. "Adults Only", the highest rating in electronic entertainment, is set at an arbitrary cut-off number. It's effect is not to keep 17 year olds from playing "M" rated games for 364 days. Rather it is to keep us, the masses, from playing AO games AT ALL. Effectively AO is to video games what XXX is to movies. Blockbuster, Wallmart, EB will indeed sell "Hostel", but they will not sell "Debby Does Dallas". This is the politically correct fashion in which us North Americans are (for all intents and purposes) banned from indulging in these materials. One problem within my comparison of AO video games to hardcore pornography is that the porn industry has retailers nearly everywhere through which to sell their wares. AO games do not. So one would almost have to resort to ordering such a title online. So sure there's the internet, and there is access to these materials from a select few sources. But the same could be said for drugs, and other truly banned products. And it comes with it's own set of problems, such as not knowing who you're selling to (or buying FROM for that matter). So potentially, if a 10 year old knows how to use a credit card online, then that 10 year old can order a game entirely unfitting for children. So here we are with an entire classification of electronic software being banned in our "free" countries. Let's take that as fact, cause that's the effect of such a rating. Which brings me to Rockstar Games - the undisputed champs of "AO". Most have heard about Manhunt 2 (thanks to Jack Thompson and like-minded scrutinizers), and how it's been banned in Australia, UK etc... And how it's also gone through rings of fire to receive it's "M" rating (from it's initial "AO") here in North America. Now, I've played the original Manhunt, and call me squeamish, but I was literally disgusted. I've never felt so dirty playing a video game before. From it's gory depictions of death, to it's unyielding "snuff-film" vibe, it struck a nerve within me that made me nearly vomit at it's brutal, nihilistic gameplay. That shady voice egging you on as you just want to survive this morbid ordeal. He baits you with potential freedom as he enjoys watching you viciously murder other like-minded sickos, in a blood-soaked maze surrounded by one of the most horrid, most oppressive atmospheres I've seen digitally realized. To me, it's filth unfit for human consumption. That being said, I would never suggest that Rockstar isn't within it's rights to produce this game. Instead what I put forth (bare with me) is that I would have given the original Manhunt an AO rating. And I can't imagine Manhunt 2 being any different, seeing as fans of the first would want an extension of that experience, and dare I say, a deeper brutality with higher, more perverse stakes. Again, also fine by me. I don't like it. I don't play it. Simple. The trouble with giving it an AO is technically setting it apart from other gory titles, such as Resident Evil, Silent Hill and even Mortal Kombat (all rated M). They all have lots of blood, and guts. They all have survival vs. murder as their main theme/gameplay. The one reigning difference I can see would be that Manhunt is presented in reality, whereas the others are framed within a more fantasy-like realm. Zombies and demons replace schizophrenics and sociopaths. Even though I would stamp MH1 & 2 with an AO rating (feeling it's simply MORE mature that "M"ature), I would NOT do it so that it was virtually inaccessible to it's potential audience. I would do it to warn people that this is not simply gore. It's an interactive snuff-film sans the real death. But then the problem is that Wallmart and EB will not stock this AO game, and again, that leads to this political, economical censorship which is far more evil and backwards than producing these sadistic games in the first place. So I've come up with a potential solution. I would put another sex scene in GTAIV, even more graphic than "Hot Coffee". But this time make sure the ESRB sees it up front, and therefor willingly receive an AO rating on GTAIV. Here's the thinking: Seeing as the GTA franchise is one of the highest grossing series of all time, I feel most stores will have little choice but to cave in to finally selling AO rated games. How could they possibly deny such a massive release? Why would they risk that profit for an arbitrary age limit, set only to serve the ideals of people the likes of Hillary Clinton, Jack Thompson and Dr. Phil? Maybe Wallmart could withstand the loss. But I doubt Gamestop could, which would nearly even AO up to the level of hardcore pornography ... w00t? Unfortunately this would never happen for the same reason the stores might have caved in to shelving this AO title. Take Two would never allow it's biggest money-maker to receive an AO rating. It's too risky, even for them. They all answer to their stock-holders. They all play political games for financial gain. And neither of them give two $#!T$ about freedom of expression or the art-form video games are begging to become. So I ask you, what then is the solution to this systematic censorship?
I got a beef with the ESRB. I know it does a lot of good in regards to protecting the freedom of developers. So this sentiment is not one saying "Bring down the ESRB". But what I do have a problem with is how unbalanced the M rating can be. I understand that the devs want to make the games they want to play. And since these devs are usually 20-40, they prefer a more mature experience. Cool by me. But the ESRB seems to throw M rating on anything these days. And once a game goes M, it's as if the developer then says, "Well if you're going to be like that then I'm simply going to make it more mature. In fact, I'm going to take it to it's peak of maturity." They then add swearing, more blood, partial nudity, and some gratuitous drug use. Again, I have no problem with these themes. In fact I enjoy them a whole lot more often than other game types. It's more about the trend that's inevitable from this point. What will the kids play? Sure there will always be the Jaks and Ratchets and Kameo's of the world. But those games are all of the same ilk. Mario... Well Mario's the exception. He drops shrooms all the time, and never seems to be scrutinized for it. But where is the kid friendly FPS? Where's the kid friendly GoW (both of them)? I know not every game is getting an M rating, but it sure seems that more and more are. The ESRB is no doubt under a magnifying glass the size of Washington. And Hot Coffee did nothing to help this. But who is fighting to get the rating system at least as fair as say, Hollywood's? They show drugs, blood, and partial nudity all the time with a PG13. HBO does it too. I'm sure they have lobbyists to deal with themselves, but when a film comes under such scrutiny, I don't see the ratings boards in those industry's hiding under rocks. Speaking of Hot Coffee... What the hell's all the fuss about anyway? It was rated M to begin with. If your KIDS were playing an adult oriented game (if not the most adult oriented game), that's your own damn fault. And why did you buy them the game shark that voids your warranty to begin with? Parents have a lot of smartening up to do it seems. And why is it that I can show a decapitation of a Bangladeshi prostitute in full gore and get an M, but if you show her boobs while you do that unscrupulous act it's Ao? Seems pretty hypocritical to me. Sorry, I'm ranting. I think my point(s) have been made. I'm sure this all comes from an innate ignorance of the aging population in power. In as little as 10 years this won't be an issue to be sure. But for the sake of art, and for the sake of the future decision makers of the world, look at the freaking box before you buy your kid that "must-have" title. And to the ESRB... Grow a pair. needs you!
I've kept myself informed on upcomming hardware since the launch of the SNES. That particular launch is also the only one where I got to go to a launch party, with a preview of a system. I must have been about 10-11 years old, and my brother, cousin and I went to the Exhibition's big, crazy Cinesphere thing ... Picture a giant, polygonal ball floating over a lake, with tunnels and bridges, all white and silver. And, for about a weeks time, inside was a magical world filled with the best screens of the time, showing the best games of all time, running on the best piece of elecronics of all time, using the best accesories of all time. It was the best thing of all time which also happened to be part two of the first best thing of all time. NES. I'd go there everyday I could and play with this thing that no one owned ... ... And Mario Paint (which I later became obsessed with). Good times were had by all. But I'm not an idiot anymore. And Nintendo's not the best company for generating hype anymore. These days, anyway. But you know who is? Wait, why was that a question. You know who is. Back to my thing here... I'm fairly informed is what I'm saying. I'm not the brightest bulb, but I keeps up wit m'ish, yo. And this generation has been pretty tricky to decide who I'm going to invest in this new-gen. Understand, I think buying two systems is silly at any of their prices. Even back in the "good-ol-days". Back then the software cartridges cost a fortune, by the way. You know what kind of fits I had to throw to get MK1 for SNES (stupid no blood version)? I digress. I gotta go with one system today as well. I've been with the Playstation since the original. I've enjoyed it's backwards compatibility with the PS2. And I used to look forward to the same with the PS3. It housed all of my favourite titles, save a small few, like the Team Ninja stuff. But now that I've finally convinced myself that Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are equally evil, I just don't know. I once was confident that Sony would always have the best software. Now I'm excited by titles like Dead Rising, Gears of War, and Assassins Creed (a whack-load more than Genji and Ridge F'n Racer). I know I'm not going with Nintendo. Not that I think it's a bad system. It's simply that it's not for me, and I have very little confidence that they will have the software that will make me drool, just as I felt XBox 1 had nothing worthy of me dropping my brand (my opinion, relax. It's just that Ninja Gaiden is too damn hard, and Halo is just another high-quality shooter out of many ... to me). This gen Sony's shown me nothing. Well that's not true. They've shown me a fabricated trailer for yet another high-quality FPS. They've shown me that they think I'm an idiot by so 'subtly' holding yet another developers tongue about non-exclusivity (Assassins Creed). They've shown me they know how to generate undeserved hype about the most powerful system that can't prove it's the most powerful. I also have a good feeling that the 3rd parties will be quick to ditch Sony, should it be uncrowned. Which I feel at this point is inevitable. So it looks as though I will sit back a while longer. I feel left out of the loop to an extent. But I can't justify being a fanboy of any of these companies. And since most of the best software comes from 3rd parties ... I'l just have to see ... I'll probably end up with Sony. But I tell ya, 360's lookin' pretty available right now. It hurts almost to think it. Thank god my brother's brand is Nintendo.
First off, I'd like to comment about the war going on right now. Not the war on Iraq, the war on terror, the war on Bush or even the war on drugs. The one about the plastic boxes in our living/bed rooms. The CONSOLE WAR!! *gong* It doesn't exist. It's a manufactured idea. Moving on... Here are my predictions of who will lead what and why in the new-gen. I figure I better get this onto some provable format so I can gloat when I'm right. And if I'm wrong I can always delete it and deny that I ever blog ... ever. Note that all predictions are for roughly for 2010 so that we're right in the groove with each, not allowing for any whiny fan-boy excuses about who came out first, or who's factory had a meltdown. So here goes, starting with my least favourite company in the world... Microsoft's XBox 360 What I think about it: This system is great. Great games (finally), with powerful hardware pushing some damn fine graphics. And to boot it's got the best DESIGNED controller on the market. I hate this system, simply because I hate it's makers. I still think the first XBox is crap, but I certainly can't deny that Microsoft has actually released a good product with the 360, even it if is designed to steal your soul in exchange for some ... what are these idiots fighting for again? ... OH. Um, magical experience chips (or something). XBox 360 in 2010: I predict that GTA4 will be a MASSIVE victory for XBox this generation. Halo3 will easily be one of the highest selling games of all time. Gears of War 2 will be a pile of crap. But overall they will be hard to beat with the advanced release of their system. But they will still be "beaten." They will not sell the most hardware OR software. They will make a lot of money by raping their consumers using Live. But over all they will be the middle-bar system, that ends up looking like more of a toy than the Wii does. On the plus side, they will not take such a licking this time around. They will get way better 3rd party support. And they will be a highly respected, and proven console manufacturer who knows how to keep the competition scared. And finally, they will outsell PS3 hardware. Nintendo's Wii What I think about it: I think the Wii is a thing of beauty. It brings me back to the old-school, where a game console was something to be shared with friends, and you'd feel a certain euphoria when getting into a game. Back then it wasn't something I'd say "Okay console ... just let me bury my face in the sand for five hours and I promise I'll buy some more wireless controllers that suck." The Wii is pure genius. I ain't buying one, it's underpowered, it's kinda funny looking. But it's great none the less and it comes with a game. Bravo Nintendo! That's kicking it old-school. And I look forward to playing some good games on it when I get the chance. Wii in 2010: This is where I feel I'm in the minority in my predictions. I think the Wii (even though greatly anticipated for it's newness) is an underestimated competitor this round. I know people are hyped about playing it like me, but I don't hear many people hyped about BUYING it. Or buying any games for it either (with the exception of Zelda ... I guess). But despite ALL that, I think the Wii will be the leading hardware seller this generation. Just as the DS poops all over the PSP, the Wii shall poop on our two "favourite" console war-mongerers, Phony and Microshaft. The price is perfect. The old-school revolution will be great for young and old, letting us remember why games exist in the first place. And in an over-politicized world, where gaming is coming under some serious fire by any country ruled by white men, Wii will be the default purchase for parents with children crying in Wall-Marts all over the world. On the downside, their games won't sell other than at Christmas time. Sony's Playstation 3 What I think about it: This is the console for me. Yes, it's horribly over-priced, and if I hear one more idiot say "well think about what you're getting for your money," I'm going to freak. I want a console to play games, not something that will turn the lights on and off in my neighbor's house, or drop tiny nukes on yappy dogs. I'm behind Sony, because they house my favourite software. That's all. Sony has shot themselves in the foot at least 10 times in the hype period of the last 6 YEARS! And they will pay. But it's the most powerful system. It's free to play online. And the sixaxis is a great steal (thanks again Nintendo!). Playstation 3 in 2010: MGS4 will be one of the best games of all time. Square will push more software, than the Bush administration pushes undemocratic-democracy. This system will see a lot of art-house games as well, keeping the system fresh. And it's backwards compatibility will keep it's fan-base as tame as ... well ME. Sony will dominate in Software. There is no question in my mind that Sony will have to fight hard to keep up with the other two this time around. But it's 3rd party support will be unmatched. And it's 1st party titles will put the others to shame. On the severe downside, I see Sony taking MASSIVE losses this generation, threatening the future of the industry as we know it. The move to such an expensive system is pigeon-holing the market, squeezing many long-time gamers out completely, while completely dismissing the casual market, at the same time spitting in the face of any parent who wants to buy a system so their kids can shotgun hookers (which I guess ain't that bad in retrospect). Recap XBox 360 : Middle rung (again). Won't lead in anything, but will come out with good profits. Wii : HUGE hardware sales, and an expanded user-base. Playstation 3 : Top software pusher, but takes an unprecedented loss or revenue in order to achieve it. In closing, there will be no "winner". They will all have their strengths, but none will be able to claim what Sony claims with the PS1 and 2. But there's a few things I will say for sure: -This will be the most political generation of games -This will be another make-or-break generation, completely reliant on how much crap us gamers can put up with and what the big guys do about it -This generation will have to give us something truly new to survive, not just shinier water ( or more ducks :roll: ) Thanks for reading. Hit me back in four years.
Is it really the goal to be the very first person in the world to own a PS3? I doubt that's the motivation. In Japan and California there are line-up spottings a full week before launch. Who are these people? And you just know now that it's been reported it's all going to go to hell in a wall-mart basket. I'm sure a few of you have read the story Gamespot posted and thought "Well I better get out there." Please don't. I implore you. Remain patient, for it's a virtue, and be vigilant (not in that code orange sort of way). Don't go out there and film these loonies, because you know G4 and MSNBC (along with everyone else with a camera and no real reporting skill) will be there just as long as these poor fools. All part of the hype machine ... known as the PS3. Don't get me wrong, I'm as excited as you are about the new-gen monster currently being let out of it's Rancor pit, but do you really want to send the message to Sony, saying "Sure, price your system whatever you want in pathetic numbers with broken promises to entire continents of gamers, and I'll still fight my way up along to the top of the MK: Armageddon-esque Pyramid you've created solely for the purpose of being the first on my block to do the happy happy joy joy dance" ... "Baaaaaaaaa!" Is anyone excited to buy the first lemon? Is anyone excited to be number 18 in that Best Buy line? Damn straight they're not. As well, we shouldn't be excited to watch these goomba's who have dropped skool and work for a week to pay through the nose for an unproven system, with a fairly limited, and uninspired launch line-up. I realise by writing this I've become something of a cog in Sony's wheel-of-fortune. I just had to throw a caution out there for all of you who feel that pinch in the pit of your stomach, thinking to yourself "These people are crazy. How will I ever get one of these things with maniacs like this in the world." Believe me, Sony will be plenty happy to sell you a console once they have produced enough systems so that anyone can stroll into their nearest EB and pick one up calmly, without worrying about the PS3-jacker in the parking lot. Just as they're plenty happy to see psychopaths lose their lively hoods to be the proud owner of a video game console, while the equally psychotic media rubbernecks the chaos. Let's all pray no one gets killed. Though maybe if someone does, Sony will save enough on advertising due to Fox and CNN repeating the story every 15 minutes to drop the price a couple of cents by 2008. dQuarters out. (reporting from a bunker nowhere near a strip-mall)