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Showing posts from January, 2011
The Sony NGP is Drool Worthy

OK, I kind of take back what I said about Sony being stupid. I still think they should have teased the PSP2 or Next Generation Portable prior to the press conference but by God is this machine delicious!

Specs first:

CPU: ARM® Cortex™-A9 core (4 core)GPU: SGX543MP4+External Dimensions: Approx. 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth) (tentative, excludes largest projection)Rear touch pad: Multi touch pad (capacitive type)Cameras: Front camera, Rear cameraSound: Built-in stereo speakers, Built-in microphoneSensors: Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), Three-axis electronic compassLocation: Built-in GPS, Wi-Fi location service supportKeys / Switches: PS button, Power button, Directional buttons (Up/Down/Right/Left), Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square), Shoulder buttons (Right/Left), Right stick, Left stick, START button, SELECT button, Volume buttonsWireless communications: Mobile network connectiv…
I am convinced that Sony is inherently stupid.

The PlayStation brand is an incredibly strong one but they completely mishandled it in the launch of the PlayStation 3 years ago. They entered the current generation market with an arrogance that was built on the market dominance of the PlayStation 2 but mishandled nearly every aspect:

-Horrible development policies and a machine that while powerful was incredibly difficult to develop for
-Senior people saying you are basically stupid if you don't buy it and that it is worth any price (I agree but the message was delivered horribly).
-Fairly weak launch lineup with few games that convinced people to spend 500 dollars for the console.
-A non-existent online strategy with no release games and weak multiplayer potentially as compared to the robust Xbox Live experience.

I could talk about many more aspects that failed (including the recent and mishandled PlayStation Move launch) but instead I want to focus on some unreleased hardware that Sony…
I had an EBgames gift card and when I was making a pre-order I saw the recent game Singularity reduced to 10 dollars. I had heard mixed things about the game but for 10 dollars (and just enough left on my card) I figured why the heck not.

I found myself with a few hours free and dug into the game. The premise of Singularity centers around a new material called E-99 that was found in the 50’s era USSR area and experimented upon. The material was found on an island and a research base was founded there and shuttered after a huge E-99 related explosion killed everyone. You are an American soldier on a black op to investigate weird satellite interference centered on the island.

Once you land you discover that the island is devastated but still carries some secrets. E-99 has practical temporal related applications and an aftereffect of the explosion rips you through time to the 1950’s where you stumble upon and save a military scientist named Demichev on the island. This scientist was …
What you see above this text is the first 'official' picture of the X-Men: First Class cast in costume. Left to right, we see: Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert, January Jones as Emma Frost, Jason Flemyng as Azazel, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Lucas Till as Havoc, Zoe Kravitz as Angel Salvadore, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, and James McAvoy as Charles Xavier.

I have major fucking issues with what I see in this image. I understand that making a comic book movie property involves many groups who know nothing about comics but this is fucking ridiculous. Not everything is wrong, but what is spits in the face of the parts they did get right:

From Left to Right -
-Alright, this is set in the 60's which would place Magneto in his young 30's, Fassbender fits this bill and I like his look.
-Moira is an old love interest of Charles Xavier, so she looks just fine as well. She is appropriate to the stryline as well because she has always worked towards …
So there is a new Spider-Man movie coming out and it is a reboot of the franchise. I don't even want to talk about that. I understand the need to start fresh with Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire out of the picture, but I have to discuss the sheer awfulness that is this reveal of the new costume:

Let's dissect shall we?

-First what is with the look of the actor? Did we not learn that an Emo Spider-man/Peter Parker is bad? The kid (and no offense to him) looks like he stepped out of Team Jacob's camp after Twilight stopped filming
-The suit is all wrong starting with the logo, what is that squiggle on his chest?
-Without a belt it looks just wrong, there is no flow from the top of th suit to the bottom.
-The material makes it look like those Fantastic Four outfits, it is all wrong and looks cheap and not what you would expect from Spider-Man
-No webbing design on the suit at all? Even the top portion looks wrong.

I can't state enough how much I hate the design. Look through e…
Well it is a new year and there are a ton of new games on the horizon. I am playing a weird montage of games right now as I await some new releases.

Batman – Arkham Asylum – I played this and finished it in 2009 and had an urge to replay. This is an amazing game and playing it in hard takes a deliberate skill that is surprising me. Great stealth play, amazing gadgets, and collectibles I love to search for and combat that is fun and challenging (and still the only game that does group combat well).

Final Fantasy XII – Right at the end, about to fight Behemoth but want to finish a number of hunts for swag and some sheer grinding. I may be able to beat Behemoth now but want to enjoy the world for a bit longer.

Final Fantasy XIII – Still digging into this but having an issue putting serious time into it, I am probably about 80% done, so will work through it. The game is ‘open’ now and I can engage in hunts/missions as I explore but playing it in line with Final Fantasy XII makes me real…
Microsoft proudly announced at CES that they sold 8 million Kinects, Sony will soon lie about selling (shipping) a bunch more Move units, I just can’t care about either product. Both technologies are great in their own ways but as a launch and a new innovation it is a completely wasted effort.

The big issue with each technology is the installed user base of the consoles themselves. There are 51.2 million Xbox 360’s and 42.6 million PS3’s in homes around the world. This means that if you are developing a big AAA game for either platform you will automatically choose to make it console native (instead of Move or Kinect native). Why would you spend 20, 30 or even 40 million dollars developing a game that only a 6th or less of your installed base can play? The logistics don’t work and it means we will never see a triple A Kinect game, but we might see a Move one.

Why the Move? Well Kinect is a unique beast, you generally need to stand, there is no controller and it is pretty hard to t…
If you want definitive proof on how badly Square Enix screwed up Final Fantasy XIII look no further then Final Fantasy XII for the answer. Final Fantasy XII was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it is far, far superior to FF XIII in nearly many ways and demonstrates the huge step backwards Square Enix made in the series. Let’s break it down shall we?

Character design - FF XII– While Vaan isn’t the most appealing character he has a boyish charm that comes through. He wants to be a sky pirate and once he sees the life and the horrors of the world he realizes it isn’t glamour and thrills only. Vaan works in this game because he suits the world and the mythos. But in Final Fantasy many times the best characters are the other party members in this case it is especially true. Balthier, Fran and Basch are some of the best games in the Final Fantasy series, especially Balthier. This is Errol Flynn in digital form, he is arrogant, capable, charismatic and 100% rogue with…
Long time no Blog. It has been a busy month or so but I am back in the swing and plan to blog some. The big change in my gaming world has been my purchase of an iPhone 4 and realized that gaming on this platform is a really big deal.

The iPhone is a wonderful gaming platform for many types of games in particular for the small form factor and play anywhere ability. The display is amazing and touch controls are more response then you could ever have imagined a few years ago.

The other major plus to the iPhone as a gaming platform is the pricing model and availability of purchasing games. The AppStore (while cludgy at times) is available on the phone and games can be purchased anytime, anywhere although larger ones need a wireless connection to download. The pricing model is unbelievable. Many quality games are only 99 cents or slightly more. There is literally hundreds of fun as hell games like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Rage, Star Defense and more at less than a buck.

This pricing …