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Next-Gen myths (Talking about Current Gen)

We all have a hype o´meter regarding things we want, be it games, movies, books, music records, etc. Most of the time, we idealize this thing we want, giving it either too much praise, or picturing it as the second coming. But not all folks are the same. Some of us, actually end up liking what we get, others, just placed their minds in the whole second coming thing, and get totally dissapointed with what they get. This ideas created a lot of myths regarding what Next Gen should be, so lets point a few.

  1. If one game reaches amazing graphics, all games should be able to do the same: There is a whole lot of different ways of developing games. And there are a whole lot of different genres of games. Some games are stricty linear, others give a little bit more of freedom, others have a lot of effects going on in the screen at real time at the same moment, and others give you whole places to explore. Most of the gamers know nothing about the developing process, and unlike people like myself, they didn´t even took the time to learn a little bit of how it is done (not coding, but the proccess as a whole).
    There is a big difference between developing a game like Uncharted, and doing a game as expansive as Grand Theft Auto 4, or a game with many explosions and individual AIs as in Metal Gear Solid 4.
    For starters, games as Uncharted have a lower focus on stuff as horizon, pop-up, etc. Mostly because of their lineal nature, which even if you are outside, the map is a corridor. Thats why games as Gears of War and Uncharted can reach such amazing levels of graphics.
    On the other hand, we have games as Metal Gear Solid 4, and even on a lesser extent, Resistance. Metal Gear Solid 4 uses really low res textures on the stages, as in the previous games, it sacrifices them in order to aim that power to character resolution, which is among the best in videogames, and in some points, close to a "High" setted Crysis. This games focus their power on other stuff, explosions with lots of particles (the explosion clouds on MGS4 are just amazing, specially in Act 2), the Hedgehog grenade in Resistance, which, if you take your time, is composed of individual needles, that act as single objects, not as a group.
    Finally, we have the "Sandbox" games. This games use a lot of power from the console, the constant loadings, the expansive areas, the multiple objects, and to that, they have to add the speed at which we move in that world, if we go to fast, the objects have to appear even faster. Or the distance at which they appear. I remember that I could never finish San Andreas because I was stuck in a mission, where I was asked to fly and deliver a box, but I had to go in low altitude, suddenly, I found myself near a forest, and trees would appear 10 feet in front of me, which equals death. Thats why sandbox games restrict themselves, to either less on-screen objects with no area loadings, or closed areas (Assassins Creed) with lots of object.
  2. New Gen, New Game Controls: This has to be the biggest misconception ever. Old timers as myself, found that the same happened when the jump was made from PS to PS2. Its a lie, a complete lie. In fact, after 2 years, you could count the "innovative" games with one hand (ICO, Devil May Cry, Zone of the Enders, Metal Gear Solid 2, and possibly Final Fantasy X). This gen will be faced with the same. After 1 year, we had 2 games that where "different" from the rest: Dead Rising and Gears of War. after more than 2 years we now can include Metal Gear Solid 4 in the pack. But as you see, we are not that different from previous gens. It has to be understanded that it is not easy to make a new set of controls, just look at how badly received was Lair, a game that got criticized for a controller flaw (though I dont agree, and I sort of know why it got killed in the West). People is not ready for "big" jumps, and wants something more familiar. Games as ICO, Shadow of the Colossus and Okami offered great and fresh gameplay, but apparently not many cared. This gen wont be different, get ready when Heavy Rains flops in sales as Indigo Prophecy did before.
  3. Innovation: The biggest discussion today in System Wars, and in gaming communities in general is in regards to Innovation. Are games as Little Big Planet and Braid actually innovating? Or are they doing what PCs have done in the past? Why is this happening? I will call it to lack of education on behalf of the ones who deny innovation. By deffinition, Innovate is "Introduce something new". In general terms, then any creator in a console is not something innovative, because it has been a feature in many PCs. But that comes from reading, and not from understanding. To understand something, one must have a certain level of "brains", and this is acquired in the school, high-school and university. If you take your time, you will notice that most games are actully innovating in some sort of way. Innovation has to be measured too. For example, Resistance is not your usual FPS, as most would believe. Why do I say this? Because Resistance innovates from other areas, something that Insomniac has always been good at: "Weapons". Most of Resistance arsennal is completely unique, from the Hedgehog grenades to the Far Eye Quick Motion skill, or a 40 player online mode, etc.
    Then we get to games as LBP and Braid. Lets start with Braid. Braid at simple sight looks like your usual platformer, but, if you actually see it, you find that it has many cool concepts, from its "bizarre" story, to its time controlling skills. Then we have LBP, a game that will allow us to create levels (for 1-4 users), monsters, bosses, and even link levels and add a story behind them. Was anything similar seen on Consoles before? Yes. Was it actually user friendly? No. Games as RPG Maker and the like offered you the possibility of creating your things, but they either lacked customization options, or a simple interface that allowed us to express our mind with no trouble.
  4. Graphics have to be all amazing: There is one thing that we have lost. This one thing did not hurted last gen games, but apparently, for the media in the West countries, graphics have turned into the most important factor in a game score. What am I meaning? Games as Crysis got their scores from their beautiful graphics, yes, Crysis graphics, and effects are unrivalled, but the game has no personality. It feels like more of the same, and offers nothing actually new. All the superpowers granted by the Nano suits appeared in previous games, and the openness is not that great, considering that objectives are lineal as hell. But thats not my point. What Im going is, games as the recently released Disgaea 3 are suffering from this tendency. There is no actual need of changing the graphics, they are games, and the most important thing should be gameplay (Though I normally prefer story over gameplay). Games as Disgaea will continue to suffer from this, until one day, everything is back to 1 (yep, quoting Big Boss :D). We will never go back to zero, but we can go back to 1, in terms of reviews.
  5. Online mode as a must: If there is one thing that can kill many games, then thats the inclusion of online modes. For one hand, the dedication that is lost from the Single Player mode due to the inclusion of the mode, but we also have games being destroyed and cancelled due to the lack of such mode. This is not the future of gaming, yes, some games can be made to have online, but there is no need to force the mode into every game. If not, we will get things as GTA4 online mode which are completely tacked on. What happened to the lasting sp experiences? Also, online gave ways to user milking, with map packs, extra weapons, etc. In some games, such extra content (especially for games that usually work only on consoles) is not a bad thing, lets say that Square Enix releases a paid patch for Final Fantasy XIII that includes the extras of their international editions, that is something actually usefull, because, they would most likely charge less for it, but also, the gamer would not have to have 2 copies of the game.
    But other games, as Call of Duty 4, Warhawk, Halo 3, etc, should not charge for their packs, or wait a little bit and realease them as a pack. In this place, I have to save Warhawk from the list, as they actually do that, along with the new booster pack, they include the bundle, which saves you a lot, lot of money.
  6. New Generation, Cheaper or equally priced games: Now this is something most here are either too young to understand, or just too stupid. Prices have increased, and its not just the oil price. As a country evolves, and grows, its workforce becomes stronger. It gets paid better, and buys more thanks to that. Because of that, developers start to charge more for their work, which in turn increases the price of the game. But that is not alone, then we have the dev-cycle. In order to keep with today standards, some companies take their time to clean the game. This does not means that after many years you will release a master piece. Mediocre games are made in a matter of months, good games normally take 1, 1.5 years at most, and great games take from 2-5 years to make (consider that such games spend a lot of time in the developing table). As previously mentioned, a long dev-cycle is not necessary implying a great game, as well as a short dev-cycle a mediocre one. But in general looks, its that way.
  7. Consoles are onlyfor gaming: This could be the most "pro-Sony" point of the whole blog, but its actually something that I consider as the best thing, this new gen has brought us. Consoles are not just gaming places anymore, yes, as PCs are mostly working places, consoles are still gaming places. But, times are moving, the market is evolving, and so that you dont stay back in time, you have to move ahead of the others, and go with the flow. Adding many extra features is not a bad choice for a new gen console. Not having them is a bad idea. Just look at how many times MS had to change their offers in the 360 adapting to things Sony either included or announced.
    This is because such things are actually sought by us, the market, even if you say "I dont give a flying rat poo", the market speaks otherwise. The first thing we have to understand, (something that most of us went through when we entered in the university for the first time) is that you are nothing. You alone are worth nothing, not even your ideas. The only way to make yourself somebody, is to be able to affect something. In this case; sales. Companies move depending on what the market wants. Thats why companies do what they do. It is when they dont listen to their market that errors are commited.
    The market this time said they wanted more features in their console, Sony and MS are delivering such things. And Im loving it. Now we dont have tosit on a chair to watch our series episodes or movies in the PC, we can do so in our living rooms, or our own rooms. We can even navigate the internet, connect to other computers to share content, and even chat through our consoles whithout being tied to computers. This is the biggest advancement of this gen.
Ok, thats all Ive got till now. If I consider that there are others worth including, I will add them later too.
Hope you all like it, will see you soon, or so I say :D

Back from a suspension

Well, Im keeping this short, since this is not going to be my "main" blog. Im still working on my actual blog post which I will most likely post next week since there are some things I want to sort out first.

Anyway, I was modded again, apparently stating your opinion in Gamespot is worthy of a 7 day suspension so whatever. Mods are the Internet Bush counterparts.

Ok people, just showing that Im alive ;D At least for the moment.

Just in case, this is my Giant Bomb username: DragoonKain1687

and this is my new GB blog:

Ok people, till next time

Carmack says no more to PC

Its not something new to gamers, especially us hardcore gamers that PC gaming is on decline. Though Hermits (the internet slang for PC fans) may deny such decline thanks to some powerful pieces of software as Crysis, the actual PC world is dying, and rapidly. Previously PC exclusive franchises have now made their way into home consoles, with some strong examples as Half Life, Team Fortress and Battlefield.
But what is actually going on with the PC? The first thing that comes to mind, of anyone who knows the "streets" is that piracy is the main reason of this decline. Companies including Capcom (Devil May Cry 4), Crytek (Crysis) and Ubisoft (Assassins Creed) have all reported that their stellar games have suffered a lot of "torrent" downloads, making sales number decrease from their consoles counter parts in some occassions. Recently, Capcom announced a huge number for DMC 4 in terms of illegal downloads. Crysis, the so called best game on the PC only managed to get to 1 million units sold, and Crysis is not one of those niche games. Ubisoft is now suing their printing company for a related accident

This numbers are hurted even more when you see the same game on a console getting as much as double their PC sales, in 2 weeks. After all, even gaming is business, and just like many companies are abandoning exclusive deals, many companies are just jumping ship from a sinking PC. Now the question is, will PC be the next Titanic, or will it be the next hildenburg?

John Carmack may have a little more of insight on this matter. If you call yourself a gamer, you know who this guy is. Carmack is a legendary developer, a Red Bull for the industry. He is the one that pushes hardware to its limits, he made FPS and online gaming popular back in the day with Doom and Ultimate Doom (the online addition to Doom 2). He then pushed the limits with Doom 3 back in 2004. Doom 3 Ultra setting required at least a video card not available at the moment. Doom 3 was 2004s Crysis.

In a recent interview, carmack announced that recent sales of games in PC are not what they used to be, and that on the other hand, home console sales have increased exponentially. He mentiones that PCs are still exploitable, but that they are not going to focus on them anymore. They will still construct the games based on them, but PC are not their target anymore.
PC gamers though should rest at easy since Rage and Doom 4 are still coming to PC. In Carmacks words, "We have an obligation to bring Rage to PCs and I cant imagine a Doom thats not on a PC".

So, Carmacks words could be the final nails on the PC (Actually I hope not cause I used a lot of papers to buy my new rig) if the situation is not changed. Even with EAs supposedly "fail-proof" security system, nothing was attained. Its in my belief that moves as the one of EA will only hurt the industry in the future.

Thanks Microsoft

Well, this is going to be short, and my first, hate blog.

Thanks to Microsoft lack of care for gamers, and big pockets, Final Fantasy will be delayed. Great, now what could be a 4 months wait will most likely be a 8 to 12 months wait. Great, just simply great.

At first, I wasnt angry at FF XIII going multi. Why would I, Im still getting to play the gme, and Im as far as a fanboy as possible, even while I dont own all the consoles. But this, its the drop that breaked the glass.

In other news, I downloaded a true old gem, which means that sadly it was not in the "right" way. That Gem is Dino Crisis 2. I forgotted how much I loved it. Sadly its still too short. I thought that after all this years, I would be having a harder time with it, but gladly, the system was so great back then that it was not hard to get into it again. For those who dont know, Dino Crisis 2 is the actual father of both Devil May Cry and Resident Evil 4. It was the first Survival game to sport full action trades, as run and gun (which is extremely cool), combos, points, rewards and no set number of enemies.

Another game that I have started playing again in the PC is Halo, it was a great game back in the day, still it was hellishly overrated, especially the PC edition that should have gotten no higher that 8. Still, its strongest point is its soundtrack, which is actually the only thing I like about it.

I dont play the PC much, my forte is on consoles, so when I name a PC game, start picturing me playing it for 15 minutes and then leaving it, since I prefer to play on consoles, and its much better for my eyes since Im farther from the screen.

I got Soul Calibur 4, and a Week Earlier!!!!

Yeah, apparently some stores received it earlier, or at least the distributors released it earlier. Thanks to this, my importer managed to grab a couple of copies and I bought one. Now, from what Ive heard, its safest to play until the 29 unloged just to avoid an IP ban in the console, so Im gonna be offline when I play this. Now, on my opinion of the game.

I love it. The presentation is good though it could have used a regular store instead of needing us to go to character creation to purchase the items. The SP mode has 4 modes (redundancy:P): Story, Tower of Souls, Arcade and Training. Story is our usual story mode, pick a character, and play through his story (5 stages only, most of the time its you against 3 to 4 enemies). Tower of Souls is a 60 floor survival battle divided into 60 events, each with its own restrictions and prizes. The first stage lets you tag team 2 characters (havent tried the upper ones) There is also the option to descend, but its locked so maybe its unlocked when you finish it.

You can customize every character, adding them some slick skills to increase stats, or gain new moves (I mean every character as in the story ones too including Vader). The gameplay is great, feels much lighter than SC 3 but at the same time has all the same old movements (cant change much on a series that is so good. The new characters (so far Ive unlocked Angol Fear and Shura) feel good, though so far Ive tried only Shura and Vader.

Shura is a great figther, she has 2 Katanas, and those familiar with japanese lore may know her also. The design was made by the Gantz team (which is why she was my most expected character). She combines Takis ninja moves with Mitsurugi moves, though she has an arsenal of herself, including a really cool move that teleports her back 2 steps, then launchs her to the enemy (its a double edge move, since you can get a ring out).

Now, the character most were expecting: Vader. Adding Star Wars to any games is sure to displease many. Why? Because even though SW is an extremely big franchise, its still a love or hate thing, thats why we will see reviewers who love this, and others who hate it. Im a SW fan since I was 4. I carry SW in my veins :P and I always loved the idea to have them here from day, one, though Yoda never pleased me since I dont like the new movies as much as I like the oldies.

Vader has a wide variety of moves (I just now learned to use the force). Most of his force moves involve infusing the sword with it to execute powerful moves. He also has other moves, a really strong push and the usual pull move. You can also raise enemies with the force. But, many thought that the force was going to overpower this guys. Truth is that it doesnt, it only takes 3-4 uses to deplete the bar, and you cant use them again until you have enough power. And believe me, the battle will be over before that happens. His moves are sometimes sluggish, sometimes not. He has a mix. He also has some counter moves, that protect him from back attacks, which give him an edge. His force powers though dont reach far distances, so you will need to be close to use them. His grabs are good, and really powerfull. Its good how he retains his fighting style from Return of the Jedi (that movei was first titled: Revenge of the Jedi. Funny isnt it?:D) so its a good character.

Ohh by the way, the install is optional, the game though needs an update as soon as you insert it 1.01. The install is more or less 2.4 gigs and the save takes 2mb. Each created character though occupies more space.

Character creation is back, this time it has been improved, now you can change the body shape and the voice pitch too. You can also use japanese voices if you want, but Vader goes to japanese too which turns into something very funny.

Havent tried the online yet, Im afraid that Im going to be banned, but Im writing an email saying Im from an Argentinean gaming magazines (have some friends in that editorial) just in case.

So far, in my book its a 9/10. The music is great as usual, combat is fluid with no FPS drop, the graphics are amazing, stages can be blasted (depending how strong you fall, you will break the floor), armors can be completely destroyed and I forgot to mention. Each main character represents an style, this styles can be leveled up to give them access to new skills. This can be done in any mode too :D.

Gears 2, Fable 2, LBP, KZ2, Resistance 2 and more. Part 1

Even though the E3 show of this year was, to call it in some way, "poor", especially when Miyamoto is asked what he wants to do in the next Zelda, and he says: Bring the series to more people, making it more accessible, which basically means we have to say "Bye Bye Link, been nice to beat Ganondorf and save helpless blondie Zelda".

So after the disaster that was the Nintendo conferece (how long has it been since they had a good one?) we are left with many new (rather old) games that are not only high profile, but will also give us lots of gaming hours. So if you are not one of the closed emoboys in System Wars and own 1 or more of the current gen consoles and just like games for what they are and not where they are, let me present you with my picks for 08 and 09.

Now, this games, are mostly sequels, as probed by numbers, sequels sell more than new ips, though MS has certainly had a great streak at introducing new IPs, with Halo (a series that I will already state now, "I HATE") or Gears of War. Mainly MS succeded here because unlicke Sony or Nintendo (or as I will start calling them if they dont wake up: Kidtendo) they heavily advertised them (Gears received publicity almost on launch time).

So, this are my picks for the year 08 and 09

Developer: Sony Santa Monica Studios (can you believe that someone posted that it was going to be multiplatform¡? Laugh at the stupidity of some, it helps relief stress)

Platform: PlayStation 3

Release date: 2009

What we know?: Nothing, aside from a couple of images from the trailer with Zeus remembering the Titanomachia (the fight between Titans and Gods as well as othe mythological creatures) and saying that Kratos will not only fail, but will suffer, to what Kratos answers, that in the end, there will only be chaos. Chaos, just for those who care, is also the first being, the creator in a way, also, the life cycle is ordered in Chaos then creation with chaos refering to the lack of order, life, etc.

Developer: Square-Enix

Platform: PlayStation 3; XBOX 360

Release date: TBA 2009

What we know?: Not much has been said about Final Fantasy XIII as far as gameplay goes, but we have received some background story for our new Final Fantasy world. The region where we are is called Pulse, centuries ago, the civilization created a ship thats called Cacoon (not the movie) where technology has grown exponentially too. In this world, our story will take place, not much more on the info here, the "heroine" (not confirmed to be the main character yet) is called Lightning, there will also be a partner, a blond guy with a resemblance to Seifer from Final Fantasy VIII. Summons will return, this time they will also be useable as other things, so far Shiva has been comfirmed to act as a motorcycle. The combat system is supposed to be a mix of Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XII.

Developer: Sega

Platform: PlayStation 3

Release date: November 2008

Famitsu Score: 34/40

What we know?: This is not a secret game, and has already been released in Japan. The story will focus on the fight between 2 kingdoms. Our main character will enlist in one, and will for and command an army. The enemies will have an special soldier called Valkyrie that also has special powers. The game is an SRPG (Strategy RPG) with an amazing artistic look. The music is done by the same stuff as Final Fantasy XII so we can expect a quality soundtrack too. The main quest is supposed to take 50-60 hours, the rules here are the same as in any SRPG (they are more similar though to Final Fantasy Tactics) where if a character dies, as long as its not a main character (which is auto Game Over) that character will die in the story too. The game will mix many ****, including traditional RPGs, Action, strategy and Third Person Shooter mechanics.

Developer: Lionhead Studios Published by Microsoft Games

Platform: XBOX 360 (with a possible PC port in the future)

Release date: October 2008.

What we know?: Fable was once released for the not so succesful XBOX. It was a different RPG where our actions changed the course of the story and how people appreciated us. It was innovative and an amazing game. Fable 2 comes from the same studio, under the hands of Mr. Molyneux. What can we expect of it? There are a lot of things that composed Fable, but Fable 2 will not only take those features, but will also add many more, expanding the experience. The artistic look is still the same, as seen in the videos of the game, this time guns will also make an appearance alongside ou blades and spells. We will be able to make a family, and have sons who will grow depending on our actions. We will have more moral choices, that will enhance our experience through the game, but not only that, the game is accompanied by some gorgeous graphics too. This is one of the most waited WRPG (Western Rol Playing Game) for this year, and it deserves that place.

Part 2 will contain:

Star Wars the Force Unleashed

Gears of War 2

Resistance 2

Heavy Rain

E3 Press conferences.

Wow, most of us who have seen the E3 be it live through the channels here at GS or their repetitions (some of us still have to work sadly) were presented with some shocking news.

So, we received 3 main events, one for each company with a console in the market, and I wanted to show what I thought of each event.

Lets start with the worst event.
Nintendo. As in the previous E3 event, Nintedo continues to shaft us medium to hardcore gamers and continues to focus on casual who like to play imo morronic games. I mean, we all love those games, but to kill time once in a year or to give them 5 or 10 minutes of our lifes when we dont know what to do. All in all, Nintendo focused a lot in this sort of games, with something that made me eyes bleed called WII MUSIC. Just what the Fu** was that. I mean, I dont think even Penn Jillete would be able to stress the WTF! enough to express my disgust agaisnt that.

After that pathetic thing, we also had a couple of meh announcements, as a new Pokemon, more entertainment for the Wii and possibly a "re-imagine" of the first 2 GTAs called GTA Chinatown or some crap like that. remember people, you can still get GTA and GTA2 for free from the Rockstar website.

Now lets move to one of the big guys, MS. MS held a sort of meh show, much better though than Nintendo. It showcased the games that we all already knew, but held a bomb for the very end. In terms of sales number, it was as big as a bomb as Bioshock coming for te PS3 (which should have been kept a secret till E3) but in terms of Name, and reputation it was way bigger. Im talking about the multiplatform title FF XIII which was until last week, Sony Exclusive. Other than that, (I expect the game to suffer the same fate as DMC 4 though selling more on PS3, but at least it will help double the sales of the title). Then we had more info on HAlo Wars, new info? No, just a confirmation that Master Chief wasnt going to be present in the game. More info on Fable 2, again nothing new, and then Gears of War, MS new flagship. Not much more new material, still looking good.

Finally we had the Sony event, which imo was the only one with new stuff and deserving the best press event of the E3. They talked about numbers and the GH edition for PS3, all using the LBP creation tool which shows the flexibility of the game, then they showed more games, a heavy focus on PSP titles with the main one being Resistance Retribution. More than 130 new games for the PS2 showing Sonys support for it. New PS3 titles as MAG and new trailers for Resistance 2, Motorstorm Pacific Rift, Killzone 2, etc. More info about Home and then usual multiplatform titles. Sony held imo the most charming event, especially with our new host, SackBoy :D

Metal Gear Solid 4 Review

So I finished this game, and Im comfortable enough to say that this is the best piece of software my hands ever touched. Everything from beginning to end is great, the replayability is just inmense. The story unfolds perfectly and the conclusion is just great. Everything is great about it.

So, I just did the review for it, once I translate it into english I will be uploading it here. And you will be able to see a more detailed exposee.


Today or yesterday the open Beta for Spore was made available at The truth is that I wasnt looking forward for this particular game, never been fond of such games. But, against my better judgement, I decided to give it a run.

And I was wrong. Spore is an addiciting game that will let you create creatures and fight with them. the possibilities though are not unlimited, and 99% of your creatures will have cartoon like designs (which killed my idea of creating a Dragon). Apparently to create you creature you will use money to buy the pieces. By pieces I mean body parts, such as eyes, horns, faces, etc. Each piece can then be resized to fit your ugly visage to your liking. This creatures that defy nature itself can then be uploaded to be shared in the Spore Community.

Some samples of creatures:

Ok, will be experimenting a little bit more later on :D.

See Ya all later!

PD: added my new God of War 2 Review, you can check it here: "The End Begins: God of War 2"

Momentary Leave!

Yeah, but it has nothing to do with any of you guys. Im just leaving this place till I finish MGS 4. The game should arrive next week (or since I ordered the LE maybe in 2 to 3 weeks) so during that time, I wont be coming here to avoid possible spoilers from kids. I may end up checking my blog, well, will actually keep you updated through this place most likely.

Anyway, see ya, till next time. Stay Tuned!. Always wanted to say that :P