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cosmostein77 Blog

Game of the Year

I like the bracket style "game of the year" voting,

However I do find it interesting that both Mass Effect 3 and Far Cry 3 that are both finalists for game of the year both failed to win Shooter of the Year and RPG of the Year Respectively according to the Editors.

What's with the PS3 Move?

I finally got roped into buying the PS3 move.

After a layer of dust an inch thick on my Wii, and a Kinect that is yet to be fired up over the last three months you would think I would have learnt my leason as it pertains to gimmicks.

Future Shop was selling the Tiger Woods + Move Bundle for 79.99 and I have a 25 Dollar Gift Card so I figured why not?

The first thing that struck me was how expensive of a system the Move is;

Full price for a move and cam is 99.99, then you need a Nav controller, and the Charging Station becomes a must depending on how many USB ports are already occupied by your other PS3 stuff.

You are easily at the cost of a Kinect to have the hardware needed to support one player at a time, yikes.

Setting it all up is pretty straightforward save for an issue I had downloading the updates for Tiger Woods,

The thing that really gets me is that I can have four people playing Kinect or a bunch of people playing Wii within the current configuration of my gaming room without having to move anything around.

With the Move, I found I needed to move my coffee table to the side and be much further back then I have experienced with the Kinect. That can be a bit of an issue when I am just one person and basically just trying to swing the move like a golf club.

Maybe I am just doing it wrong but this thing seems destine for the closet...

What a boring year for gaming.

What an overwhelming and resounding "meh" 2010 in terms of gaming ended up being.

The year started off well enough with Mass Effect 2 which was pretty well everything I could have hoped, but then it just got stale.

GOW3 helped the 1st quarter, but I normally don't find myself struggling to find something to play so early in the year.

The first thing that comes to mind when I look back at 2010 is that everyone got lazy.

Battlefield Bad Company II, A Rehashed Street Fighter 4, Yet another Halo, Another Rock Band, Another COD, and of course after five years finally we see GT5 which was okay but not worth the wait.

Given my choice of the three Forza's released between GT4 and GT5, I will have to opt for Forza.

Even RDR was simply a take off of a last gen concept.

How tragic is it that the best original IP this year was Vanquish, which was nice but was it ever short.

Next year seems to be a continuation of the same derivative mindset of 2010.

LBP2, Two Worlds 2, Dead Space 2, Killzone 3, and I am sure Nintendo will find a way to cram Mario into some new role.

Maybe Mario Bocce Ball?

Hunted and LA Noire are about it in terms of the new IPs with some promise for next year.

I almost have to wonder if this current generation of consoles has gone on too long, and developers are just bored?

Fable 3 now?

Clearly I am out of touch with today's gaming industry.

It was bound to happen sooner or later, I mean I have been an avid gamer since the 1980's and I am normally on the same page as most reviewers in the most general of senses. If a game is a 10 or 9 not so much, but normally if a game is above average or not, or below average or not.

Over the last six months I have simply lost it. I am not one to buy games or avoid games based solely on reviews, however I have found games in the past that were off my radar that scored very well have often become fast tracked into my console and for that alone I consider reviews to be relevent.

When Vanquish secured a 9.0 on Gamespot I was very interested in it, because its not the sort of game I buy early into its release, it would have been something I picked up later. However in this case the 9.0 fast tracked it.

It at its core is a futuristic shooter which is over in ten hours and gives me zero reason to pick it up again after the fact. Much like R&C was punished for this fact, Vanquish suffers no ills because of it.

Vanquish was interesting, but its no where near on the level of something like Fallout: New Vegas, however we see a pretty large gap between the two.

Now we have Fable III. What I find most interesting about this fact is for the first time in a while Ms. Cosmo was able to pick up a game into a series (which normally rewards people who have played the last few and punishes newbs) and pick it up fairly quickly. The parts of the game that were convoluted for the sake of being convoluted were removed and replaced with something that every gamer could grasp.

I can play Fable my way; if I want to be a magic user solely I still have the option of beefing up ranged and melee should their be a time I feel I may need them, and moving around the map is less of a pain.

For this sin, the game is rewarded with a 7.5 score even though it offers perhaps the graphic perfection we had hoped for in the second one, and the length we hoped for in the first. The game has improved itself as a whole and has made itself accessable for the millions who may try it for the first time, yet the entire review seems to focus on issues like compassion for in game characters which in my opinion really does rely very heavily on taste and at best is arbitrary.

I have no doubt there will be a choir of those singing REVIEWS DONT MATTER

And I will fully agree with that, however I find that reviewers who punish games for becoming accessable to new gamers simply do nothing but cut off their nose to spite their faces.

Fallout: New Vegas. Really?

Its really tragic. I still read Gamespot as my primary source of gaming information while its become very clear that I am part of a rapidly shrinking demographic.

The Fallout: New Vegas issue simply leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Not because of the score mind you.

Fallout is one of the bigger games to be released in the Chrismas lead-up, its a title that follows up one that sold millions of copies and was generally well rececived by reviewers and gamers alike,

Yet the review is posted the day after its released, really?

The 7.5 score is actually something that I need to credit Gamespot for, because the game is buggy and that needs to be reflected. I hate nothing more then when a reviewer glosses over some major technical issues simply because they are a fan of the content, I found IGN's review to be just that.

What really does bother me however is that that score will stand even after the patches are applied.

This is one aspect of the reviewing system that simply frustrates me to no end. Games like Merc's 2 will forever be tagged a 5.0 based on a pre-release unpatched version of the game which no one will ever play. Don't get me wrong, Merc's 2 even post patched is no better then a 7-ish at best, but its still tragic that there is no hindsight here.

Is Fallout: New Vegas a 7.5?

Pre-Patch, yes.

Is it a 7.5 Post-Patch.

I don't know, and the reality is that none of us will know.

If I were to float a suggestion to the powers that be that will never read my blog, perhaps a second look at some of the more anticipated titles post patch may be worthwhile?

When did Reviewers Start Hating RPGs?

This is not a slight at Gamespot in specific, but rather at reviewers in general.

Its no secret that in terms of the shear amount of RPG's released this has been one of the worst gaming generations for the North America marketplace.

Sure we get a few here and there, but overall its nothing like last generation, or the one prior where the stack on my coffee table was taller then the lamp it sat beside.

It's also not really a surprise, as it seems that reviewers of all stripes are particularly hard on the genre in general.

With developers tying bonuses to metacritic scores its no wonder that RPG's are few and far in between as they seem to get hammered for the same reasons other genres receive praise.

I look at a title like GTA4, solid title, updated graphics (as it was next gen it should have been anyway), same sandbox style freedom, deeper story, however nothing that we have not seen in the sandbox genre before.

It's deemed a 10.

Then I look at something like Lost Odyssey.

Perhaps one of the best story telling games within a genre that is ripe with games that rely heavily on storytelling, updated graphics, similar interface to the more classic turn based RPG's and a new spin on character development

It's deemed a 7.5

Mass Effect 2 & Fallout 3 are two other titles that even though they have received praise, and even though they have taken the classic RPG genre and taken it in a very new and cool direction

At Gamespot there are 9's.

It seems that the secret to scoring a 9.5 or a 10 is pretty simple:

1) Be a First Person Shooter

2) Be a Racing Sim

3) Be a Sandbox Title with updated Graphics

And if you are a Turn Based Strategy Game…


Don't expect to score much better something recycled and redone as Zombie Apocalypse.

The trick seems to be pretty simple, if you are an RPG and you are not Final Fantasy or Part of the Elder Scrolls Saga you just need to improvise.

The second Lost Odyssey shouldn't be called Lost Odyssey 2, no no my friends.

It should be called: Grand Theft Elder Fantasy of War Turismo 2: Guns of the ODST.

And if you can cram the word "Halo" in there you may score the first ever 11.

But seriously,

Am I asking too much to ask for fans of the genre to review games within the genre? Even if it's solely as a second opinion?

Game Informer offers me the Second Opinion on larger scale game, would it be that unreasonable to have a guy on staff who actually plays and enjoys the genres being reviewed?

In a generation ripe with the shooter genre, and millions of people playing them its not unrealistic to have a majority of gamers being shooter fans, and as such the majority of reviewers being the game, but throw me a bone here.

I am 85% of the way through Mass Effect 2, I am not the sort that gushes over titles and I can say that unless the game ends in the same craptastic manner that Infamous did, it may very well be the most rewarding and enjoyable gaming experience of my life, and at a minimum of this generation.

They created a whole new universe with races and places for us to play in, and that's a nine, copy a major US city and let me drive around it in a police car running down hookers and that's a ten?

At first I thought that Lost Odyssey was a blip, or that maybe I just enjoyed it in a level that most others did not, but the more I play games the more I realizes that the better experiences seem to be coming from games the experts feel are 7's or 8's and the odd barely a 9.

Go Figure.

Mass Effect 2 is Beyond Excellent

Any folks who have had a look at my gamer card know I have been enjoying Mass Effect 2 for the better part of the weekend and all I can say is that everything I disliked about the first game has been corrected.

The story is excellent, the characters are excellent,

Buy it tommorow.

Its that good.

DLC for a game I just bought? Really?

Complaining about paying for DLC for a full price retail game is about as hard as arguing that rain is wet.

Its a no-brainer.

However, I have been of the school of thought that DLC in somecases isn't too bad.

Looking at a game like Warhawk for example; it was a solid title that I paid 39.99 for, and within the last six months paid the 15? bucks in order to add on the three additional expansion packs to the title.

I didn't pay full price for the game, the add on packs originally came at a time where I could see gamers getting bored of the maps and it was a means to refresh the online presence of the game, I am cool with that.

COD4 tossing out some map packs a few months down the line, also something I consider to be reasonable. COD4 shipped as a complete game with single and multiplayer aspects and was worth the full retails, giving me the option months later if I want to expand on that experience is fine.

Fallout 3, GTA4, Mass Effect are all games that as far as I am concerned give me the bang for my buck at full retail and gave me the option to purchase additional content that was over and above the game that in my opinion I got my money's worth for in the first place.

Now we have Borderlands and Dragon Age: Origin.

Both games that I consider to be solid, but games that in my opinion justify their retail price...


Am I alone in being at least a little pissed off that new content for both these games were basically available either when these games came out or within a few weeks?

As far as I am concerned that leads me to believe that the developer held back aspects of the game in order to score a few more bucks by cutting out the middle man and releasing some of the game via DLC.

From a business stance, I get it.

Games cost a ton to develop, and making the money back can be hit or miss, and jobs en mass are lost on the miss

But for a game like Borderlands that became a hit because consumers took a plunge on a game that most experts did not even imagine this level of success in terms of sales really gets me going.

Aside from the odd time (Warhawk) I dont buy dlc, in the case of fallout i bought the add on discs and never bothered with Mothership Zeta because it did not have a disc option.

My concern is that sooner or later I am going to be paying 69.99 for a half finished game, and 30 bucks in DLC for the polish that finishes it off.

Reviewers need to leave their expectations at the door.

What the difference between Dynasty Warriors 6 and Halo ODST?

Dynasty Warriors gets pounded because its "the same formula" whereas Halo ODST gets praised for the same thing?

Why it a game that by the admission of the reviewer "the game's fundamental fighting mechanics are pretty sound. The game's roster has a good variety of different abilities, strategies, and combination attacks, and the pace is good and brisk--about as fast as that of more recent games in the series" reviewed poorly because it was different then the last one, whereas another game in the same genre carbon copies the formula of the game prior is praised?

I am not normally one of the folks who screams and yells about reviewers who score a game I love a few points lower then what I would have given it, because at the end of the day a review is nothing more then an opinion of the one person who played it over the course of the week or so it was reviewed. Things happen that can effect the score one way or another and that I can appriciate.

This "expectation" factor is starting to effect the quality of many reviews, not just here but in general. I find that if a game has a mega marketing budget it seems to have a safety net in terms of its review in the sense that it will not score lower then X, and that I can understand because normally games that mass marketed tend to have a solid development team behind them and normally I am pleased with the result.

Its the latest incarnation of King of the Fighters that has me turned around. It was a game I secured as a freebie during Blockbusters Buy 2 Get 1 Free event which landed me Halo ODST & Magna Carta 2.

Much to my surprise, its pretty entertaining as a multiplayer game. Far more then Tekken 6 is, or Street Fighter 4 was earlier in the year. Its a smooth, clean, fighter, which has a respectable roster of fighters, and allows for a pick-up and play by nearly anyone who has played a figher before.

It looks good, it plays well, and it fill the requirement of a fighting game to a tee.

Yet it scores a 5.0? Really?

The reasoning? Less Characters then the last one, and an online problem that does not exist in the retail version.

Its a game reviewed by a fan of the series, and the problem with that is you either get a game that scores better then it should, or lower then it should because of the expectations of the title.

Far too few reviewers seem to look at a game within the context of the current genre and marketplace and assign it a score based upon how it stakes in comparison to other games within the genre.

How KOFXII score 3.5 points lower then Tekken 6 is simply beyond me.

PS3 the best Blu-Ray Player on the market? Maybe the most fragile.

Come on Sony!

Why can't you have a console that just breaks entirely rather then certain parts just giving out, haven't you learnt anything fron Microsoft?

First my SixAxis launch controller finds itself being unable to hold a charge, no biggie I use a USB cable and it works fine

Then the media center at the front stops reading memory sticks, its all good I can just transfer to an USB key and upload

Wireless (which I HATE using) starts working when it pleases, no problem. I hardwired it.

Now the Blu-Ray player doesn't play Blu-Ray movies, it plays games, I even tried it with a DVD and it works but no blu-rays.

No problem, I bought a stand alone Samsung Blu-Ray player that looks wonderful on top of my Toshiba AD3 HD-DVD player.

But now, its unregistering Bluetooth devices upon shutdown.

At least my 360 had the decency to just RROD and be fixed!

I am going to just grab whatever PS3 model is cheap at Best Buy, and toss in my HD from my existing unit and be done with it.

Thanks Sony.