Karjah / Member

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Karjah Blog

PS4 software in pre-production. The question is why.

For those who may have missed some of the latest gaming rumors both Sony and Microsoft are reported to be developing their next generation of consoles. With WiiU by Nintendo already being announced and presented.

I do however have one big question which Nintendo has already addressed very well in a nice package of just putting the answer in the hands of the players at e3.

What need or want does this new console fill that was missing in the market?

Obviously with the WiiU much like the wii this answer is control and new game-play mechanics implemented via some new form of tech. This is a model Nintendo tried with great success with both the DS and Wii and unfortunately with the 3DS. It's going to really be a hit or miss concept with every new try and when the WiiU comes out we will see how this particular idea has fared.

Of course Sony and Microsoft have to answer the same question as Nintendo did at this years E3. What would we as gamers even want out of a ps4 or 720 that we are not capable of getting with a ps3 or 360?

Let me digress a moment to give some example of past systems filling a niche so you have a better context for the question.

Systems like the playstation and n64 came into being simply to allow new styles of game-play that were not currently possible on a snes or genesis such as fully animated and rendered cut-scenes and 3d game-play. Miyamoto of Nintendo dreamed for years of making a 3d Mario game and even tried the concept on the SNES before settling on having to build a new system capable of doing the job. The Playstation on the other hand tried a new direction with pre-rendered movie like cutscenes and giving a console the ability to do more then just game by playing audio cds.

The ps2 and xbox gave us the additions of Internet play and more complex controllers along with more open and graphically defined worlds with shorter loading times and on console storage of data. The ps3 and 360 added more complex on line interactions and the addition of DLC with streamlined patch updates to games (something the PC market by this point had long mastered). It also tried to introduce new methods of control with mixed success.

Every new generation of consoles fixed problems with previous hardware and introduced new artistic options not previously possible. This brings us back to the original question. What do we as gamers (game developers as well) want from a new console that currently would be impossible to do with current technology we already have.

What would a ps4 add? What would we really want from a new console that would be impossible to add right now? What would dramatically improve our experiences? Until this question has some clear and decisive answers the next generation of consoles should not have any kind of clear identity or even be in development. What makes a new console a necessary innovation in the market?

This question my dear readers I put to you.

adjusting difficulty? Gaming's biggest cop-out?

Ok I just want to say off the bat that I understand challenging the player in a game without making the game too hard or too easy is a huge challenge in game development. I get that and I appreciate a game getting the difficulty right. I really really do. That points aside I have an issue with a few games that I want to address.

Plainly put the argument is this. When the enemies and puzzles in a game constantly put themselves in a state of flux depending on my gameplay it ruins the game for me. Yes I understand that the game mechanic of adjusting difficulty is not a new state of affairs. But for goodness sakes we have had 20 years to learn how to get the difficulty down when making games and we still have to cop out by using this system of self adjusting enemies?

What every happened to good honest game design? It's more then a little confusing when I can start off in a game killing rats with a single blow of my sword and a few hours in all of a sudden the rats can surive a much bigger better sword for two or even three swings? That is a little confusing game developers. Why doesn't that rat just act the way the gameplay has taught me it should act every time?

That and you realize game devlopers that when you do this thing called adjusting difficulty that I the player feel robbed of any kind of progres in terms of power. Frankly that's one of my favorite parts about gaming. Walking into a room that would have kicked your rear and handed it to you in a can 5 hours ago and being able to reverse the situation. It's a feeling that is part of the reason I game.

The part I really don't understand however is how no one seems to have picked up on what Bioware did to solve this problem. Take Baldur's gate for example. The game would adjust encounters based on what level you were when you triggered the encounter. But instead of simply beefing up the monster they simply put in more monsters or less monsters based on your level while the enemies and rewards remained the same. Bascially put you encounter a beholder once and you know what to expect everytime you see a beholder. What you don't know is how many beholders you will encounter the next time through the game in the same spot. Or if you will encounter a diffrent race of beholder with an increased range of spells. But a Grand beholder acts the same each time you encounter one no matter the numbers or area.

To the point the game that finally got me to see all this was oblivion. I finally could play the game no longer about 14 hours in becuase the goblins I encountered once were no longer goblins but some insane mass of death that simply took on the form of a goblin and somehow survived more hits with a sword 20 times more powerfull then the one I used to kill my first goblins. It just made no sense to me consdidering the goblins I had encountered only a few short hours ago. That and my head kind of snapped back on when I realized that I was litterly jumping as much as possible through entire towns so I could level up my jumping skill. That's right I'll say it again. Oblivion litterly forces you if you wish to simply jump to jump hours on end to level up your jumping skills. Or you have to fall off as many roofs as you can to level up your tumbling skill.

But hours of crazy acrobatics aside the point I'm trying to make is ultimatly for me Oblivion failed becuase it felt like the game was forcing me to conform to it's system rather then having it's sytem conform to me ironically. I found myself doing things such as jumping all over town and picking locks simply becuase it was the only way to keep playing. it didn't matter if you level up as a warrior or a thief or what skills you used to get there by the end of the game all locks are super hard to open and if you can't open them you get no loot.

So yes the point in case is I cant stand Obliviion and other games that force the player to adapt to the game rather then the game adapting to the player. it totally sapped me of any feeling of getting stronger and made me do silly things that just were not fun to get ahead. I mean looking at gamespots own game guide for the game which they gave a good score indeed give you the advice of playing a very specific way so you level up as slowly as possible while gaining as much power as possible. Bascially put you have to play the game a very specific way to get the most out of it. Last time I checked wasn't Oblvion supposed to be a huge free roaming sandbox RPG? Isn't that a bit conflicting?

Badly adjusting difficulty has got to be one the worst trends in gaming and one of the most fusterating experiences for a player
right up there with bad AI escort missions.

So what are your thoughts? How should a game take difficulty into account? Should it simply be the old easy, medium hard, selection or should games try and adjust to you as you play?

Bye Bye Jeff G

For those not in the know it's flying around the internet right now that Jeff the Editor here at Gamespot got the sack becuase he wrote a bad review on Kane and Lynch one of the sites major sponsers at the moment.

Even Penny Aracde the Famous gaming comic has gone a strip today of the incident. Frankly if it's true then I bet the backlash will be large and harsh. But I ask this. Are you lashing out becuase you agree with Jeff or becuase you don't want to see reviews bought and paid for by large companies.

Hell both are damn good reasons to protest. Screw paying for reviews. Jeff is and continues to be a damn good reviewer who doesn't wait to really speak his mind although I can see now why some games got a higher score under him then the reading of the review puts the game.

Screw anyone who takes a bribe to put good press out the door.

As my own personal protest I've pretended to give a fart about Kane and Lynch and have written a very very very bad review. Please feel free to do as you all wish on your own. This whole situation is a bull's fart to put it half nicely.

Games and Mental Focus: an art?

Martial arts are really starting to become a staple in my life. I have to admit I know it sounds weird but the mental focus I've started to develop from the arts has started to weive it's way into my gaming. :P

Crazy hey.

Anyway besides that It's life as usual for me. Still working as a coffee making barista for a living and still loving it. Finally picked up a copy of Dark Cloud 2 along with resident evil 4 and Mortal Kombat: Decption (Deception was $10!! talk about a deal).

So I guess I'll be happy gaming for a while. here. Resident evil 4 is an excellent game btw and I'd highly recommend it to anyone. Took a bit to get into but the actions solid and well done.

Mortal Kombat is well....Gore and death fighting. what else do you expect from MK. :P It's not as deep as the 2d fighters I've been playing but the fun is still there.

Looks like my skills on the 2d versions with Liu Kang have shown their wear and tear in the 3d versions as his flying kicks and fireballs do next to nothing in 3d when they can simply be sidestepped and easily countered. I've become more of a Sub zero user now although I have also learned that Sindel is a terrific fighter in 3d.

And Dark cloud is just more of a personal thing then anything else. It's an excellent game but certainly not the 9.0 that gamespot would have you beleive I can't beleive I'm saying this but the game is just accually too straitforward for being so large. It's like trying to take oblivion and forcing it all to go down one narrow path. It just doesn't work well and it looses the charm of freedom of action. It's good but it's just missing that last bit of free choice that would make it great.

Anyway enough said. It's a good week.

ps. Thank you gametap for letting Canada have a crack at you. :P Your two week free trail has been totally not worth it but at least I got to play Sam and Max. :P

Life is sweet for gamers right now.

Been a while between blogs now.

My appologies I know that even without comments some people enjoy reading these things. :)

So I've decided that thanks to super mario galaxy, Red steel, Metroid prime and Mario galaxys that a wii is worth the price.  I've got the money in the bank and come Monday I will be first in line to get a wii. 

That out of the way for gaming I am also moving right away into a nice place with a new t.v and concrete walls. which means a lot more gaming and a lot cheaper rent for a better place.

Things are looking up.  I also found out today that I'm getting a raise in Q2 (january, Febuary, March) at my work on top of the one I normally get with my yearly reveiw.  So I'm pretty happy right now

Sam and Max is being put out. More remakes possible?

What's your dream remake?

Yes this topic had to hit the blogs eventually and here it is. :)

I'd have to say personally that I'd LOVE someone to remake maniac mansion in 3d.  The game had that quirky blow up a hamster in a microwave, aliens that eat wax fruit humor.  It was dark but funny and it was the first game I saw that took multiple ending to a new level of gameplay intigration.

Beerfest! Excellent cinema! Now drink! Shnel!

Beerfest is the greatest guy movie in years.

If you are male and you have the night off go and see this movie.  It's very very worth it.  Bring as many other guys as you can.

I havn't laughed that hard in a movie in a long long time.

Lots of boobs as well make for a nice bonus. The only real reason the movie gets an R rating is becuase so many women end up shirtless at some point by comical means 90% of the time.

Excellent film.  I just wish this was more of an adult site so I could go into greater detail at the genius of this comedy.

Seriously who is gaming aimed at now cost wise!?

Man it amazes me how much gamers can be a consumer by sheer shiny things.

You all spend money on these 2000 dollars+ tvs simply becuase microsoft and sony tell you to. You all pay for your online play access despite the fact that for everyone else it's free. paying for maps...yep you bet hook line and sinker.

Cameras, controllers, and other add-ons. Yep.

sorry but I am not about to spend 3000 dollars + on gaming in a few years. That's absolutly an out of hand price for what you get. When will people wake up a bit and realize that prices can only go up unless you take a stand and don't buy the overpriced tripe some companies put out.

Thank you.

Games, Pirating, Pre played, and you the gamer.

Pirating of games is really starting to become a huge problem for the industry.  Year after year companies spend millions of dollars trying to protect their software.

I think we are all overlooking one major factor though.  This is kind of a copy and paste from a forum post I made earlier but you get the idea:

He's absolutly right that all of us at some point or another have broken the law. But point in case how many of us do it again and again and again with the exact same law? Not many.

Not to mention there is one other huge ramifacation of pirating. If a developer doesn't sell enough copies of a game they will be less likely to make another game like it or build on it's ideas. Buying a game is more then just money it sends a statement of approval to a developer to continue making games which benefits the consumer with more product being put out on the marketplace.

That's my huge problem with both pre played games and with pirating. It limits the amount of new games coming into the marketplace which results in a lack of expansion on games.

Does that make any sense? I'm not saying that if you like the idea alone you should buy a game to show support (goodness knows I enjoyed what prey tried to do but I'm not about to spend money to tell them to take another shot) but rather you should buy a game to show you enjoy the game and thus show that you want more. Or rather you want to see an expansion on the idea.

Bottom line for a developer isn't always how much money they make. Some titles like Hitman Blood money come out at a discount price despite being in development for 4 years. They bothered in the end with the discount price becuase they knew enough people wanted more that it would work out.

Two jobs too tired.

For the record don't even try and work two jobs at once for any reason unless you are like me really needing a few extra things in your life.

I love my coffee bar job (barista-crazy job title I know I'm not a big fan of it myslef sounds snobby) but man I tell after getting off that one it's a dread to have to go work that second kitchen job to  make the christmas and furniture payments meet. 

Thankfully this is only for a few months but in the meantime i'll be doing a lot less blog posts. :(

as of now basically it's get up at 4am,  shower, eat, check gamespot, check e-mail, plan out day, go to work at 5AM.

Get off at 11AM come home make phone calls to  real life people so my social life isn't a total craphole then go out to work again at 2PM.  Work until 10 sometimes midnight.

Wake up at 4AM and repeat.

Thank god  I have a ton of  free coffee from work.  Good coffee too not that canary drizzle they serve in a lot of places.

anyway forgive my little rant. :)

You guys have a good day.
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