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mattykovax Blog

just some things.

First off I am still going to make that union. I was going to use my alt but I just figured I will wait it out with my main account. If anyone has a desire to be a charter member PM me. I need I think four and i want them before I send the invites. And dont just do it to be an officer, read my previous blog first there will be some responsibility.

On the gaming front I am still playing Resident Evil 4 and GTA:SA. I hooked my PS3 up to the internet and downloaded some demos to at least get a taste of what I can expect when I finally get it fixed. My PS2 is still my main console at the moment though.

Friday it will be two weeks since I have smoked a ciggarette and my nerves are starting to calm down. I am also going to try and keep up with my blog more,also I have never explicitly stated it but for those who may have noticed do not expect me to be on on sundays. For the last month I have been treating it as an internet free day and plan on continuing that.

So thats about it for now,just wanted to keep folks updated,

mattykovax.

An idea for a union.

So I resigned from my union as leader (though I am still involved in it) so that I could maybe make a new one in thirty days. This may have been done before but I have my own ideas and people I would like involved. The idea is about blogs. I have friends who write various blogs on various topics and I enjoy reading them. And the only way to get at new blogs of non friends is sifting or the soapbox but that is always editorials about games.

It could be used with myself and officers(who to have the position would have to participate) to get those hardly seen blogs(with the writers permission) to a larger audience. It would be a place to advertise blogs,and also sort of like how to gamespot where people could ask blog related questions. we could use threads to have conversations that are hard in comments, espesially if you look at the soapbox where everyone comments just cause . It could even have an annual blog awards.

Now this is just the seed of the idea but if it is to be I am going to put in work untill I can create a new union so that is more profesional and has morecontent from the get go instead of the haphazard way most are done. I feel the biggest reason for union failure (my own included) is lack of content (non forum board), vision and continued participation and freshness. So If I open this it will be a complete union not just one more message board.

Thoughts? My two things are what do you think and anybody willing to be a charter member and help me get content ready for a real opening. Again this is not just for games and editorials,but all blogs as long as they are good. I would like a place I can discuss both the newest community soapbox user blog and nocoolnamejims latest political piece and samwellx's or Btalyors latest concert blog all in one place without the hassle of comments. And yes I am using names of friends but hopefully it would be successful to the degree we could all get further immersed in blogs we had no clue about and a wider audience for our own.

So again,thoughts? and volunteers?

thanks

mattykovax.

Death of a Warrior.

I am from Massachusettes, I love Tom Brady even though he was not my favorite Quarterback. I truly respect Peyton Manning even though he is flawed, and those flaws kept him to one ring instead of the projected five or six.

Quarterback is not even my favorite position. I like the linemen mostly,both offensive and defensive,run or pass,3-4 or 4-3. And I also have a weak spot for the safety position, Rodney Harrison was one of my favorite players when he was still with San Diego and then he came to the team I root for, the New England Patriots, it was like heaven.

If you cannot tell Football is my favorite sport and I am big into sports as a fan.

But my favorite QB was Steve McNair. He was football. Tough, resilient, a warrior. I remember him with a leg issue and broken ribs bringing his team to the playoffs, not practicing and only playing on sundays. He brought his team to a pivotal game that they lost to the team I love which the pats onlywon on a an iced kick from Adam Vinetari which was so close that even though it was good it was only good because it hit the front of the upright and somehow bounced through the crossbar. If that was a healthy McNair I would be bragging of my favorite teams two rings not three.

Steve also won the Co-MVP that year though it was somehow overshadowed by one Mr. Manning.

I remember the super bowl where one yard would have been a tie. McNair drove a team of nobodies against a rams team that would not meet their demise untill they met my favorite team the pats. And they almost tied,on his guts and bravado. McNair was football to me and when I heard the news I was devastated and my shoulders slumped.

I have lost a hero. No matter how things turn out,the reason behind his death,no one deserves to die like that and on the field he was an inspiration. And I know from my own life not to judge him off the field,we all screw up,its the human condition. But he did not deserve to die. I have truly lost a hero.

R.I.P. Steve McNair.

You are gone but not forgotten, and you will be missed. I will never be able to watch a game again without thinking of you and the fact that you were the true embodiment of the game. Your personal life does not matter, on the feild you gave 100% even when you were not 100%. To me you were a true warrior.

Godbless and I hope you are at peace,

mattykovax.

My life hitting even keel and videogames about zombies.

So once again life interupted my online time. The good news is my health is okay and the other issue I had which I really do not want to discuss is taken care of, so I should be back on more. My attention has also been diverted by southpark studios. I guess I was the last to know, but once I knew there was a completely legal, official site where I could watch every episode ever, I have been hooked.

On to games. I have bought the resident evil essentialls package. Here is a breakdown of how i feel about it now that i have been playing a little.

Resident Evil:Code Veronica X-Not my favorite of the first wave of resi games,but still pretty good within the framework of the umbrella timeline. I am putting this one for last since I have played through it already years ago.

Resident Evil:Outbreak- I really like this game. While the presentation is old school,the controls are better not the ancient tank style. Great graphics. But what I like best is the fact that instead of being story driven the scenarios make me feel closer to my beloved Zombie Outbreaks. You choose your character and then hell brakes loose. I also like the amount of things they put in that give it vast replay value.

Resident Evil 4-I am ashamed that I am just playing this now. One of the best games I have ever played. Not only did they fix most the gameplay issues but the story still fits the series while at the same time not just being one more "umbrella released zombies" story. I plan on doing some reviews for sure on these.

So thats it for now,

mattykovax.

An E3 aside.

How come people do not understand E3 is not a personal marketing or advertising event. Its for investors and retailers. So many posts I see are "but they said" of course they said,they want to be stocked and sell, Which brings me to my big thing. Sorry ninty fans but motion Control is NOT the wave of the future. gamers are lazy,I can prove that. It has its place but that is it ,its place. Punchout proves that.

MS and sony are not trying to "steal" or even for that matter base their consoles around motion control. They are just trying to convince retailers who sell the wii like crazy even if it does not actually get home use that they can sell to the casual market too.

Why can people not see this. Do I really have to argue like N is a player? Just some thoughts,and I am thinking E3 coverage is bad because the average consumer now thinks this is aimed at them.

E3 day two.

I have to start this off with mentioning something some people on gamespot do not seem to get. This is an industry event,its for the investors and retailers and journalists not us we are just lucky because of the nature of the industry that it gets the coverage that it does. Thats why,much to my chagrin we have been bombarded with all the tween stuff. And it also led to the nintendo debacle.

Whats that you ask? well if you saw the nintendo show it became apperant that they were more concerned with talking numbers and figures than anything else. Must have also been added to by the fact that even with all the coverage the average wii owner does not even know what E3 is. The only thing I found remotely interesting was the new Metroid, butI really cannot say thats enough for me to buy a system.

Sony's PSP coverage was good,and shows they really are trying to up the brand with both releases and the PSPgo. I know a lot of people are making fun of it but its not a replacement its an option. when reading through the forums and you see those people who say the future is digital distribution is the future,that is who sony is marketing.

The PS3 stuff however,while a lot of great games were coming out to me also showed the fact that sony is behind in install base,because it seemed less like a moving forward and more of a look we finally have the games to really compete. And this is coming from someone who only owns a PS3,its not anti sony fanboyism. Though it makes me want to fix my system,something I have not done yet mostly because there were no must have games. It was a good conference but that kind of made them lose out to microsoft who knows they are in a lot of homes and are now focusing on cementing more reasons for you to usethe 360and make it your primary system.

Gamespots coverage was decent, some good demos and interviews,though I must say Tim Schaffer is WEIRD. Great gamemaker but one strange cookie.

Thats my two cents on day two,

mattykovax.

My thoughts and impressions of E3 day 1.

As always this is my opinon, not a technical or journalistic breakdown of all things E3. I have lots of thoughts but I do not want to write a book so I will mainly stick with impressions. Though I do have to say that Crackdown 2 between my experinces with the first game and my general love of the sandbox style pretty much has me decided to forgo fixing my PS3 for now,and get a 360 instead. That is unless Sony blows me away with something.

MICROSOFT: The game lineup was decent as I expected. But then the facebook/twitter anouncment came. At first I was like god no but with thought came a realization. All these companys since at least last gen have been all racing to make the all in one entertainment box for the family connected to the TV, a goal I have supported as long as the hardcore gamer is not left out in the cold. Well it looks to me like MS is on the verge of actually accomplishing that goal. Big win for the gates crew.

Natal I will not judge for now. I have serious reservations after how the wii turned out and am scared at the idea of shovelware, yet also intriuged. And I do find it significant that Steven Speilberg who finally got big into the support of the industry with the wii claiming that this sort of thing is the wave ofthe future shows up to support this. Lets wait and see. And I am unimpressed with Molyneux's showing,if I have learned one thing in my life as a dissapointed gamer,never trust Peter Molyneux.

Last and more of an aside: Two halos???? I thought bungie left Microsoft so they could focus on new IP's and get away from halo,yet in the period since that announcment all they have done is churn out two more halos. I think the answer to why did I find the series repetitive is that like it or not creative wise bungie is a one trick pony.

EA: Well they have enough decent new stuff coming to not lose the little cred they earned over the last year or two, but enough shovelware and the EAgirlz label not really helping them to earn any new cred either. I will say though for me,a yearly madden gamer everything else was washed away by the thought of online franchise mode, something I have been wishing for since it was in the NFL2k series before they had to stop. Also the actual Gameplay of the Saboteur made all my hype for that game dissapear. the trailers look wonderful but the in game graphics look weak and dated,and the controls look really iffy.

UBISOFT: Or the Ubifailure,take your pick.I am going to avoid rambling about the faults of the actual conference and focus on the message. And it was this,Ubi is now gone casual,except for a few core franchises. The company that was once the opposite of EA that has always been creative and innovative has decided the general mass market is their target. Thats sad. So it was a bigger failure than just the horrible show.

So those are my thoughts on that, I wil be posting my thoughts on each day the following morning, agree, disagree,compliments or arguments as always your thoughts and feedback appreciated.

That was my two cents,

mattykovax.

Just an update.

Just wanted to let my regular readers know whats going on, untill yesterday I had not been on for a week. I did not want to get into this,and I am still not going to get detailed but at the beginning of may I suffered a serious head injury. I had a conscussion but was told there was no brain/lasting damage. However as time has gone on it has affected me both mentally and physically to the point Iam seeking further treatment. I have been getting odd headaches and moments of disorientation,and have also suffered some mood swings and non normal personality behaviour. Its has affected a lot of things so if any of my forum posts in the last month or so offended anyone or seemed uncharataristic that is why,and i apologize.

I have been too busy dealing with this to be online,the good news however is I have caught up on some game playing and will have reviews coming soon. I also have a couple of blog ideas in the works soeven if you do not see me on the boards,pay attention to my blog. I just cannot guarantee how often I will be on untill I know whats going on with my head.

Thanks for your patience with me,

mattykovax.

Some thoughts on making successful movie based games.

I have been thinking on this subject for a little while, and have come up with five points I think could make these types of games more successful, in quality terms not units sold. There has been a lot of trash from E.T. to the present day, a hand full of decent games, and then a very small selection of games that are great. The two that spring to mind for me are Rockstar's The Warriors and Starbreeze's Chronicles of Riddick, Escape from Butcher Bay. I will be using them a bit to make my points, but will also bring up other games.

Point 1. Have a production team that cares about and has a passion for the property.

Both games I mention do this. Another game that was decent that did the same was The Thing. All three of these games were made by teams that actually cared about the property's, in fact going back to older movies to make a game based on something they were passionate about and movies they loved as much as the average guy at home. These were movies they enjoyed, and games they wanted to play.When more company's make movie games for that reason instead of just bidding for the rights for a hot or popular property (like Sega did with the Marvel produced Marvel movies) then the quality and respectability of these games should increase.

Point 2. Give us a reason to think the game will add to our enjoyment of a franchise or character/s.

In other words, when I leave the theater or turn off the DVD I want an experience that adds to and enhances the original product, not just tell the same exact story with some gameplay mechanics thrown in. That is why we want sequels right? So why not apply that theory to the games and other marketing ideas as well. Again I bring up The Warriors, where you get background on all the characters, pretty much a full length story and game leading up to the events of the movie, plus a whole section of the game based on the movie. It satisfied the same desires that sequels and prequels do,it expanded the fiction and the world it is set in and sent me away with twice as much knowledge as I had about the characters and setting before playing.

Point 3. Release the game when it is ready,not rushed for opening weekend.

I think this one is obvious, and is one of the biggest issues with failed movie games. In the rush to have it out with the movie (to gather the most sales) The production is rushed and everything is on a deadline. Why not let the game fully develop? If the game is good who cares if its six months to a year later? Unless its a forgettable property people will still pick it up and maybe even be a little more hungry for the chance to revisit the property in game form. If I have come to expect anything over the years its that most movie games are rushed out like it's acknowledged that they will bad in the hopes of everyone buying it the minute they get out the theaters before realizing they were duped into buying one more horrible licensed game. If the game is good it does not need the hype of opening weekend to sell it.

Point 4. Sometimes it pays to have the right development team,not the highest bidder.

Sega as I mentioned did whatever is done in the videogame world to acquire rights, and we ended up with the crapfest and broken gameplay that is Iron Man. On the other hand, X-Men Origins:Wolverine is a success,and it actually breaks all the rules I set forth. Why? Because the license was handed to Ravensoft who after two X-Men games and Marvel:Ultimate Alliance have proven they know how to make a good superhero game in general and know the character in particular. Sometimes it just needs to be put in the hands of a team that already knows what they are doing. If they already know what they are doing and have done that sort thing before, sometimes that trumps originality or development time, especially if the studio wants the game rushed.

Point 5. Make a game that can stand on its own.

This is the most important thing. After the license and fan service, do you have a good game? And I do not mean competent, I mean good. A good example though not a movie is the last Simpsons Game. If you like them it's a game you must play,and you never really get bored because its not a horrible game. But strip away the license and it's depressingly average. You might as well play Ratchet and Clank. And that is the thing,when you strip away the license,is it still a good game? And I return to my primary examples. If you take out Vin Diesel, the character based on him and the mythology, You still have a groundbreaking mix of stealth and FPS in a story based on escaping the toughest prison planet in the galaxy. Same with The Warriors. Strip away the movie characters and names, the references and storylines. And you still have a late 70's early 80's comic style extravaganza of gangs, street crime and the best beat'em up action since the SNES/Genesis era. So make a game that is worth playing, and the license is just icing on the cake.

So those are my thoughts. This is just a surface examination, but I honestly think even following these five simple steps could greatly enhance the amount of good licensed movie games. I know I am no expert, but the games that have followed those criteria were not only enjoyable to me but lots of other people that play games from everything I have read and conversations I have had.

So thats my two cents,

mattykovax.

PT.4: San Andreas and concluding my thoughts.

San Andreas, a tale of two games. Or an identity crisis, not sure which, all I know is whileI love it and is my second favorite of the three it has doneas much to dissapoint me as it has make me happy. Okay the good is the graphics,while it still has its issues the pop up and draw distance is slightly improved. There is a whole state and the loads are few and far between,and disguised well when they show up. I think the experience system for vehicles and guns was also great. The more you do it the better you should get,just like real life.

Now the straight bad. Eating, the gym, all the extra maintnence for no real reason. If you go ona mission or date side mission and eat you should not have to worry about getting fat, but you do. Better hit the gym. And there are really no places in the game other than the date missions where its is really applicable. Also the amount of padding. Everyone always talks about how there is so much to do but have you ever really took the time to look at some of these things? B-Ball. A pool game I never play. A triatholon with a bunch of NPC's and the cluckin bell mascot. For every Burglary type extra there is a boat school. Seriously thereis a lot of filler where money, time and code could have gone into improving some of the important parts of the game,or making more real missions. But Rockstar must have felt that instead of putting one more kickass plane mission it was more important to add more cone challenges and BMX glowing orb missions. That was a mistake in my book.

But the biggest issue was the story. I should have loved it. In 1992 I was 15. I was listening to helmet and L7 and faith no more and easy-e and NWA and Tom Petty. I watched Boyz in the hood and Menace to Society when they came out. And they totally nailed it as well as they did the eighties. They had the best cast,best voice actors,best setting,best story to begin with,best characters. Everything, and than somewhere after san fierro they blew it. All of a sudden it goes from former gangsta being manipulated by crooked cops to working for the CIA, stealing secret alien technology, and pretty much everything in las venturas that seemed tacked on. If they had jumped from the end of the san fierro part, left Toreno dead and found a way to get you back to los santos before the riots in a more believable form, I would think the story probably would have CRUSHED VC. But as it is , it destroyed itself.

So thats my wrap up. My order is III,SA,VC. But as I have pointed out they are all great,and all excell at different things. I have to give the box as a complete package a 10,there are a couple years worth of gameplay, the evolution of a series, and they are still fun even as last gen games. Best franchise ever in my book.

Next time I plan on discussing my thoughts on how to make a movie based game,thank you to all those that stuck with me through this series.

Untill next time,

mattykovax.

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