hazuki87 / Member

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Best Games of Last Gen

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Now that the last gen is pretty much over its possible to note the best games of the last generation.

The games that came out on either the Xbox, the PS2, the GameCube or the Dreamcast


Shenmue
Shenmue II
Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future
Shadow of the Colossus
Guitar Hero
Indigo Prophecy
GTA: Vice City
GTA: San Andreas
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Resident Evil
Resident Evil 4
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Metroid Prime
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Freedom Fighters
Halo: Combat Evolved
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow

All of these are games I've played and think are worthy of being noted as the best of the last generation.

Oblivion and Sony's DRM

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I've been playing Oblivion for the past two weeks and I'm blown away by the depth. I've been spending countless hours trying to find a cure for vampirism not to mention playing through the actual storyline or sidequests. Its the first game to make me happy with my 360 because Call of Duty 2, Perfect Dark 0, and G.R.A.W, while good, didn't have the same effect.

I also want to say that the Revolution will be the system to own come November. It will sell like crazy die to price point and VC but for me its about the games. Actualy its more about the VC and the games.

Meanwhile Sony's attempts to push DRM on people by having them buy a Blu-Ray player that doubles as a player of mediocre games wil fail. The casual gamer won't spend the money and will be drawn by the "old school" aspect of the Rev.

X360 more than satisfactory

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After considerable play time with my 360 I'd like to say that I am quite pleased with the system. The interface/front-end is very useful and well thought out. The system runs well overall and I've had few problems.

One major problem I have though is with the disc-scratching that occours when the system is moved from an upright position onto its side. They made a big deal about the fact that it could be done and about how the light changes and such and forgot to mention that if you play a game while this happens, that game is ruined. It gave me the opportunity though to take back PD0 and get Call of Duty 2 a far superior game.

Backwards compatability is good but could be better. I am pretty sure that the reason I had to start Half-Life 2 over was due to a hardware incompatability error. The entire physics engine just stopped working about 1/2 way through the game.

That was a pain in the aSS

Game of the Year

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     I had a difficult time when I was deciding who to vote for in the Game of the Year part of the Reader's Choice Awards. I didnt play too many of the new games this year mainly because there wasn't much of intrest to me this year and my 360 hasn't come yet.  However the games I did consider weren't the normal contenders. Most people probably would pick Resident Evil 4 or something else but I found that I had the most fun playing two games on my least favorite console that most will overlook. The console was the PS2 and the games were Indigo Prophecy and Shadow of the Colossus different games with similarities in that they aren't like anything out there and they're very off the radar of the average consumer. Resident Evil 4 (GC) was surely a contender as was games like Meteos and Brothers in Arms, but those two games did more for me than anything that was released this year. In the end I choose Shadow of the Colossus over Indigo Prophecy only because the end of Indigo was a tad bit disapointing and because of the times it bored me while Shadow was engaging throughout.

I always seem to have obscure picks for my favorites like Shenmue, Ecco the Dolphin, Eternal Darkness, Freedom Fighters, and such. Actually the last time my favorite game in a year was typical was probably on the Nintendo 64 with titles like Zelda, Goldeneye and Perfect Dark otherwise it seems that the overlooked game is usually the best one.

Still no 360

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I have yet to get my Christmas present, an Xbox 360, despite the fact that I am in posession of an unused Perfect Dark Zero and a library of XBox games I haven't been able to play since my system broke about 6 months ago. The crap service from Microsoft and retailers really digusts me. There is no excuse for this sort of stunt and it only makes it worse when the annoyed 16 year old punk from Best Buy, Circuit City or wherever needs to act all bothered that you asked about it. I still want the 360 and will get it but my opinion of Microsoft has really gone down the drains. (As far as my XBox related opinion goes, my opinion of them in the computer software business was already pretty awful)

Crap Launches

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     Everyone likes to complain about the XBox 360 launch and how there aren't really any solid must-have titles. Perfect Dark Zero is very iffy at this point and although I loved the first one there still is a bit of fear in me that they might have blown it. Madden 360 doesn't wow me like NFL2K did. The graphical leap is much less and it seems more like a realy polished version of current gen football rather than the next step. Condemmed should be good but nobody is buying a system for it, and Oblivion got sent back. PGR3 is a racing game, nobody realy want their big launch game to be a racer, and DOA4 is no Soul Caliber.

     Speaking of Soul Caliber the Dreamcast, the failed miserable Dreamcast according to the avaerage idiot out there, had probably one of the greatest launches of all time. Soul Caliber, Sonic Adventure, NFL2K, and several other games made it clear that THIS was the next generation in gaming. Maybe the GameCube, PS2, and XBox launches sucked because we had seen it all before on the Dreamcast. All three of these systems had subpar launches that failed to excite anybody. PS2 had NOTHING, GameCube had little more, and XBox admittedly had Halo but everything else was meh. They marketed titles like Blood Wake, Wave Race, Luigi's Mansion, and The Bouncer. These games weren't awful (well as far as my examples go The Bouncer and Blood Wake did suck, but I mean in general) but nothing to plop down 200 or 300 bucks for because this is the future. Whereas the Dreamcast was well worth the purchase. The difference is that the Dreamcast's library did not stay strong over time and except for the sports games, Shenmue, Ecco, and Sonic Adventure 2 nothing was all too exciting. Whereas the PS2 GameCube and XBox managed to get better over the course of their lives and in actuality managed to do so quite fast.

      The N64 and PS1 didn't have super launches either, nor did the DS and PSP (although the PSP is going nowhere fast). The point, if there is one, is that the launch doesn't matter. People will buy the system no matter what and you can only have faith things will get better. Point #2 is that nobody is taking advantage of the possibilities that the 360 presents and if they did the first place you'd see it would be in a ridiculously good Madden instead of this incremental upgrade we will recieve. (On a side note they really stripped the game down to its basics meaning we have Madden 2002 with good graphics... good/bad you decide, I was thinking that they were cramming too much crap into the franchise anyway).

I'd also like to say that Perfect Dark Zero realy puts the 360 as an advantage as its not too often that a potentially really good GAME is available at launch which at the same time is the one game looked foward too. Maybe this will be a good launch after all.


Shenmue III

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     Myself and many others have been waiting for what feels like forever for the conclusion to one of the greatest games ever (actually its THE greatest). Shenmue II came out to lackluster reviews by a media who at the time didnt appreciate story in games. Now it seems like they obsess over it with similar games getting higher raitings. Also it wasn't marketed so nobody bought it. Shenmue III looked like a poor investment for SEGA and since then nothing but rumors and reports that have gone nowhere have emerged. The games did well on the Dreamcast but were expensive to make and made little in the way of returns. SEGA for once made the smart move to discontinue the series without saying a word. However many in SEGA want the third part released and now indications point to the fact that AM2 is working to do just that. A report by Adam Doree on Klizko Games states that a source within SEGA informed him that the game is mostly finished and its production is awaiting a hardware deal on the next generation, and that it was almost shown this year at E3. IGN has picked up on the story and the message boards were once again alive with theories and such. But we've all experienced disapointment before and I am skeptical of the report. Skeptical but very hopeful. I for now am going to assume we will see the series on the next generation of consoles.
   

Google- Comcast

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Google and Comcast are joining up in their attempts to purchase AOL form Time Warner. Everybody sees that Google is going towards complete market dominance soon. Visualize this possible future:

Google and Comcast buy AOL and then at some point close to now merge. Google as the dominant company now has control over cable, ISP, search, browsing, phone, and pretty much every telecommunications aspect that exists. It wouldnt be long untill they began to rival Microsoft and they would likely buy even more companies. Then they develop their own computer operating systems and maybe some manufacturers. With the way they're spreading out it looks like they'll be everywhere in 5 years.

The people who run google aren't dumb either, they know the business and they know how to properly consolodate communications together.

The good: Google makes good products, it also would benefit from a consumer standpoint to have all communications inter related and compatable with each other, it makes things easier.

The bad: Once Microsoft is gone (bought presumably) Google will be the BIGGEST monopoly ever. More than AT&T or Carnegie Steel. They would own everything. Print and television media likely would be unable to compete with the vast information power of Google making them hold onto the press as well. Monopoly in the press is a bad ides.

Their very rise to the top may be stifled by laws that are made to prevent this kind of thing.

I for one would like a Google monopoly they're a great company and to have the media completely controlled by them would make things easier, the products they put out are cool to put it simply. However if this chain of events went down you'd have a company that would be more powerful than anything in American history.

Of course this is pure speculation but its well known what they intend to do eventually. Comcast and AOL seems to be only the first big step.

Note: They havent at all expressed a desire to aquire Comcast that is pure speculation

Ubisoft

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Earlier this generation it seemed that Ubisoft was going to take EA's place as the biggest publisher in the industry, and they seemed on track to become the best. Both of those seem to still be likely but things have cooled down. Ubisoft was achieving success by releasing games that were both successful and good and unique. EA on the other hand was, and still is, content to pump out sequils and rehases based on existing intellectual properties. Prince of Persia, Splinter Cell, Brothers in Arms, Beyond Good & Evil all were games that were acclaimed by the media, new and innovative, and with the exception of BG&E were successful. There were many more examples to cite as well. Now Ubisoft is getting ready to put out their third Brothers in Arms game, and Prince of Persia game, along with a fourth Splinter Cell game. The other Tom Clancy games are being milked as well.

Its a business of course and they need to get profits but perhaps they should have waited untill they became king of the industry and gobbled up EA before deciding to rest on their laurels. Ubisoft still coming up with new games that further the industry but they have certainly slowed down. I hope they dont continue to follow this pattern or they'll become another Electronic Arts and likely be assimilated by them.

It also is important for me to mention that the properties owned  by Ubisoft are far better than those owned by EA as far as quality goes. EA has subsidaries like EA Sports, Westwood, and Maxis but these groups have nothing new to offer anymore and as their parent company only put out rehashes. Command and Conquer, Sim-related games, and Madden arent as progressive as they once were.

Ubisoft seems to be going the same way and hopefully their next generation games can add something before they die from their own mediocrity. Splinter Cell need to make a jump like the one between the first two and the next BIA for PS3 has to be more than the expansion pack we got in Earned in Blood.