Monday, July 4, 2011

Why more gamers are more against dlcs nowadays than in the past ?

If you look at my previous entries, you could get the impression that I am totally against DLC's. Actually I am more against them than favoring them but not totally against them. Anyway, comparing the situation to a year ago I think many more are against the dlcs than before. Why ? Here are my reasons.

1- Consciousness. Right now there is a solid consciousness over dlcs, in the past, when they were emerging and not that popular most people did not know what to think or how to react to dlcs. Tons of articles and discussion influenced people and now they totally know how to feel on dlcs.

2- Too many Dlcs. Dlcs kept coming and coming, even when there were only a few dlcs back in the day, people did not really care about them since they were featuring only extra content. Nowadays some dlcs are vital for the full experience.

3- Games with regular Dlcs vs Games with no Dlcs. Call of Duty genre vs BF Bad Company. While you pay 15 $ for 4 maps, you get all free for BF BC2. This is just one example. There are more like that. When that happens usually the light bulb in people's head is turned on.

4- No change of plans. They still introduce same amount of dlcs for their new titles and seems like they never listen to what gamers say about dlcs. Game companies are totally ignorant in that matter.

5- Weak content. Imagine you pay some amount of money for that extra content and it doesn't justify the price tag... Frustrating really.

6-Lack of trust. When you see already introduced add-ons before a game is released - dragon age II exiled prince , couldn't they include it in the full game ? - trust issues begin. People think that specific content is extracted from the game to make extra money when It could have been included in the full game where you pay almost 60 $.

Well, those are my reasons basically. Game studios should be very careful with those dlcs, it's quite dangerous as it could hurt that company's image easily and turn their fans into enemies.

If I were them, I would only introduce dlcs after some time that the game is released. And ideally the content would justify the price tag and not upset the gamers who tend not to buy those add-ons.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

E3 2011 is a big disappointment

What ???? How come it is a disappointment ? PS VITA , Wii U, Assasins's Creed Revelations, Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Mass Effect 3, Elder Scrolls Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, Tomb Raider and much more...

No guys it's a disappointment. And a HUGE one.

* Now tell me who did not expect Sony to unveil PS VITA ? We already knew it was coming. It's not a big deal. Okay, PS VITA is a big deal, but it's not a surprise to see it on E3.

* Wii U ? I don't really care about Wii U and I think it's not a big deal at all with all due respect.

* The top games that are announced or demonstrated for the first time ;

* Mass Effect 3. We already knew they would demonstrate it.. No surprise
* A.Creed Revelations. Same thing.
* Skyrim... Same thing.
* Tomb Raider... Maybe not as much as the ones above but it was expected as well.
* Ghost Recon Future Soldier. Same thing
* Battlefield 3. Same thing.
* Modern Warfare 3... Same thing...

So tell me why it's not a disappoinment ? If there was no such thing as E3 and the new gameplay videos were released by those games up there seperately there wouldn't be any difference. No difference at all.

No difference for us ! By us I mean the ones who can not or did not attend the E3, who couldn't get their hands on it.

What would satisfy me :

* Announcement of a new PS or Xbox console
* More details or any update about Thief 4
* Any announcement of a new Doom game
* Any update on Diablo III
* Any update on Max Payne 3. What happened to Max Payne 3 ? Dead already ?
* Any announcement of a new Splinter Cell or Rainbow Six or Prince of Persia game
* Any update on Beyond Good And Evil 2
* Any new title by a solid game studio, a new IP

Those are my personal ideas thus they are subjective. You may agree or disagree but those are my points basically. Of course I am happy to see updates, new gameplay videos of those AAA games but they are not new or surprise to me and most of us at all. We already knew how it would be... The biggest thing could be seeing Tomb Raider , AC Revelations and Skyrim's gameplay perhaps, because we haven't seen it before.

L.A. Noire Impressions

Any title by Rockstar excites the gamers.With GTA and Max Payne on their resume it's not hard to predict why.When L.A. Noire was announced, many thought that L.A. Noire would have a similar effect like Red Dead Redemption - Game of the year 2010 - in 2011.Although the game looks like a sandbox action adventure like Mafia, Red Dead Redemption or GTA, it's safe to say L.A. Noire is quite different than them and unique in some ways.

The game developers love to chat about their game before they are released. They proudly talk about how great the story would be, how great the graphics and the gameplay would be. Normally what we see when we get our hands on is quite different than the developers claim. About L.A. Noire, before getting our hands on, the game was dubbed as another GTA where you control the cops this time and make several crime investigation. However, L.A. Noire is more similar to Heavy Rain than it is to GTA.

First of all the game is not sandbox. It might be called "semi sandbox" - it's a term that I came up with- perhaps. Sure you can roam around the city of L.A. but there are not enough attractions. There are only a few things that you can do such as finding hidden cars, interfering street crimes and discovering new locations. So mostly, you keep track on the main plot and figure out how to solve crimes one by one and getting promoted in the process.

And yes, investigation and interrogation are the most important aspects of the game. The combat is minimal and composed of high rate of chasing criminals and low rate of having a shooutout with them. That might disappoint some how expected to see more action. But it is the reason why I would compare this game to Heavy Rain than to compare it with GTA

So What's good, what's bad at L.A. Noire ?

***** Facial animations are awesome ! It is one of the best we have seen so far if not the best. Also interestingly - i say interestingly because that doesn't happen often - L.A. Noire is a game that is designed on a strong technical aspect - facial animations - . If it wasn't that good, interrogation part would be completely useless. It is interesting because normally the game is built on different aspects and technical side is just a polish for them, not the case with L.A. Noire though.

*** Interrogations are fun because it's almost real - the facial animations again and the voice acting also - but
--- They are short. You only have 2 or 3 questions to ask to a person in a interrogation at average. I wish it was more.

*** Investigation is fun but..
--- Crime solving is not.. Because it is scripted. I wish we had a chance to fail in a case. What I mean by fail is not dying in a shooutout. What I mean is, accusing a wrong person and sending him to jail.

--- Also I wish we had a chance to explain WHO made the crime WITH WHAT and WHY at the end of each cases. Since we can not do such thing, it feels like we are playing a game that is scripted heavily and we are gonna solve the crimes no matter what which could also mean ;

--- The game is easy. Too easy for hardcore gamers actually. But why we like this game so much ?

Because it is fun to play and it is a type of game that we don't have often and also we love to solve the crimes, investigate the crime scenes and etc. It's great to play as a cop, or as a detective and the city looks good even though there are not many attractions it still feels great to go up and down in the city of angels.

I would rate L.A. Noire as 8 out of 10 and as another solid game by Rockstar.

Game of the year ? Not likely. Maybe not even a candidate for it. But it's still unique in some ways - facial animations are incredible - and the story is quite engaging, making L.A. Noire to have at least a look at the game for any gamer.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The sports games should be reviewed differently

There are some common tools that they all use for reviewing games no matter what the genre and the platform of the games are. Also there are some tiny details which makes a game great other than good or an all time classic other than great. Those tiny details that add up to the overall quality of the game are a real factor in making the game great or an all time classic.

What I mean is, whenever a RPG game comes out, you review it with common tools then genre-wise you dig deep and analyse if it`s a good RPG game or not by making comparison with all time RPGS games or the games with succesful formulas in the past. It is different for RPG games, FPS games , adventure games and etc.. And it should be different for sports games as well.

You may ask at this point :
Is it not ? Aren`t they reviewing them differently ?

I believe most of them are not, that`s why I come up with this blog post.

I don`t wanna bore you with psychological stuff but the main reason why many play video games is to have fun. However the fun factors comes from different things. Some like to just play, kill time and have fun no matter what. Some love to play and win, if they lose they don`t have fun. Some only have fun when they play co-op, some enjoy single player games. And for sports games, fun for me and for many comes out of realism.

A sports game is as fun as it is close to real.

By the way the sports game that I`m talking about are not arcade type sports game. I`m not talking about NBa Jam here, what I`m talking about is all those PES, FIFA, NBA 2K , NBA Live, NHL , Madden NFL, Top Spin, Virtua Tennis games. Those games always come up with the suggestion that they are the '' most realistic '' xxx game up to date ( xxx - tennis, basketball, football, soccer etc... )

So the guy who is reviewing a sports game MUST know the dynamics of that sport. He SHOULD know it. If a guy does not really know how to play soccer I do not trust his idea on a soccer game. I can not ! He would not know if the ball shouldn`t float that much in a situation or if a pass should not have gone like that or etc... When a game is suggesting that they are most realistic sports game up to date you should know that sport quite well to analyze it rightly.

I`ll go step by step from now on.

* As I suggested above, the guy who is reviewing a sports game HAS TO know that sport well enough to analyze if it`s realistic or not.

* A sports game should be tested longer. To understand the dynamics of that sports game, you need to play at least 50 matches to really understand the flaws and positive sides of tha game.

* A sports game MUST BE played a lot of times against a human opponent before getting reviewed. The Cpu might be bad, or not sufficent, but if the game is offering you a great gameplay, with a human opponent it could turn out to be a classic. Don`t rely on games vs CPU that much.

* The guy who is reviewing the game must be knowledgeable enough to recognize the players, and decide if the attributes are close to real or if the game lacks licenced teams or players that should have been in the game considering their reputation.

* The ball... Look at it ! Look how it moves, look if moves like a baloon or not. The physics of the ball is very determinant in the success of a ball game.

* And again the attributes of a player. As an example: If a mediocre guy is scoring incredible points in a basketball game, making fadeaway jumpshots over defenders over and over again , i doubt it`s close to real. I mean if you don`t know much about basketball and if you play nba games, let`s say against dallas mavericks, when you see dirk nowitzki making those awkward shots you could come up with the idea that the game is not realistic. That game is realistic indeed but as you don`t know how Dirk is doing in the real world you could have or they could have - the guy who is reviewing the game or playing the game- come up with the idea that the game is not close to real.

To sum up, I do not rely much on the sports game reviews as the most important that I look for in a sports game is realism and I do not believe most of the guys who are reviewing those games have sufficient knowledge about the game itself, players or the clubs to have a verdict on the realism of the game.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Top Spin 4 : Much better than expected

I am not a big tennis fan to be a honest. Football - soccer - and basketball are the ones that I really care and spend my time on. However, that does not mean I dislike tennis, I enjoy watching tennis tournaments and play it myself occasionally.

My experience with the tennis games was limited with the Virtual Tennis series. I enjoyed them most of the time but it took only a small amount of time that I stopped playing them as they start to get boring quite easily.

Top Spin is a bit different. I only played the demo version of Top Spin 3 before the 4th title and even though I enjoyed the demo I did not buy it considering the experience with Virtual Tennis.

After reading much about Top Spin 4, I was quite amazed by how people reacted to it hence I decided to purchase it a week ago. As the topic suggests it , it is way better than I expected, definitely.

What impressed me the most ?

1- Technical aspects of the game. Graphics, animations are amazing. Nadal looks real, Federer looks real, Agassi looks real, Djokovic looks real, all of them looks real !!! And it's not only how they look like, it is also how they move on the court. The animations, 2K Sports' incredible job on signature moves made me feel the game as it was just as realistic as in real life. The physics, the way the ball moves, the way the players move... just impressive. Game mechanic is superb.

2- Career mode. It is not short and it's FUN ! It's easy to develop a tennis player, you never get confused, the tutorials are incredibly good and the menus are quite accessible.

3- Not just the menus, the game is quite accessible. Even if you know little to none about tennis, the game teaches you everything you need to know and make you execute them easily and quickly.

4- Just like every great game, the game is easy to learn but hard to master. This formula always work. Once you learn about the game, you would like to master it. Then you'd start spending time on improving yourself and you'll feel the improvement with the time you put on it. The game simply pushes you more

I am not reviewing the game or anything. I am not telling any stories either. Based on my experience with the game and the article that I am writing at the moment, I am sure people will have some ideas about the game - even if they had some before - . I just emphasized the strongest points of the game and it's up to you to give it a try or not.

Lastly, even if you like watching or playing tennis even a little percent, you will have a great time playing this game I am pretty sure about that. The game attracts you immediately and never lets you go. Congrats 2K Sports for the best Top Spin game so far - and probably the best tennis game -

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mortal Kombat 9 Impressions

Not just after getting our hands on the demo,  we were already pumped up for the game since the day 1 that it had been announced. MK fans are quite unique in the gaming world. They are crazy about the game as many fans are about theirs but MK fans are much more influencing and powerful than them all. Game developer Ed Boon said that they listened to those fans and switched back to 2-D fighting with gore and fatalities making a return on the series.

As you may know, the game was launched last week on April 21st in Europe and since that day MK fans are having sleep problems. How they wouldn't ? MK 9 is a BEAST ! The game is full of content and joy. I already knew that it would be full of joy but the content ?

The story mode is a joke... In a good way of course. It's quite long and full of exciting events - and fights -. I actually thought the story mode will be a short one and not a good one. I was wrong. The story mode not only let's you get your hands on most of the characters in the game and learn their ways of fighting, it also let's you know how the roster got together in MK 9.

The challenge tower mode is quite unique and useful in earning points for the krypt and learning the characters' moves. It is quite long and challenging as well.

The classic arcade mode, 2 v 2 fights, rich versus modes and online content makes the game full of exciting content. Unfortunately I couldn't get my hands on the online modes because of the PSN disaster recently.

The content is impressive but gameplay is even more impressive. The way you can link up the combos is so good , you can create many combinations and do some real damage in the battles. Linking the special attacks into x-ray moves, corner combos, breaking up combos in a fast paced environment increases the level of adrenaline. Gameplay wise , MK is one of the best fighting games ever released if not the best.

One of the other things that I liked about the game is the balance of power of the characters in the game. All of them are unique in terms of their fighting styles. Although there would be people who would argue some characters are so superior or weaker against others, I believe otherwise. I am sure I would see a great nightwolf player and a shitty nightwolf player where as a great scorpion and a shitty scorpion player and etc..

There is not much to say other than playing the game, enjoying it, ripping some heads of, trying to pull of some improbable combos, enjoying how the skulls are broken in x-ray moves and blood splatter in fatalities.

Have fun everybody !

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crysis 2 PC : First Impressions

I was not hyped about Crysis 2, deep down inside me I was concerned about it`s success as I thought expanding into consoles won`t do anything good for the series other than increasing sales numbers. Also I was concerned about the game not making the same impact as it did in the previous game as the game takes place in a city rather than an island which would make it seem less visually impressive. Unfortunately - i say unfortunately because i really wished I was wrong and the game was perfect - , I was right about my concerns and there is more to it.

1- Graphic settings is a joke on PC. There is no advanced setttings tab, you can only select your resolution and graphics detail. This is a big minus to a game studio which is proud of being the technology leader of FPS games. Crytek you think you develop the best engine visually and you do not allow me to adjust my antialiasing  setting? Are you kidding me ?

2- Why we can not play the game on dx 11 on pc as you promised ? What happened to the PC friendly game studio Crytek ? $$$ happened I guess.

3- I can not select the game language, there is no such option. The only way to change the game language is to go to game directory, change the english.pak file into something else. It`s 2011 Crytek, you can not put an option in the game for it ?

4- I bought the game originally and yet when I try to log on to servers , I occasionally get a message like ; ` serial is in use ` . Serial in use ? ...

5- Let`s switch to game itself. Crysis was known for smart enemies in single player. They had pretty decent AI in the past. In this game, I only played an hour but the AI is terrible, just terrible ! Even a blind monkey would react to it if his friend is getting killed 3 meters away from him, but some soldiers in the game don`t. It is so frustrating , even though I play the game on 3rd difficulty, AI is still pretty stupid. I prefer to play FPS games online mostly but I thought Crysis 2`s single player would be strong as well.

6- The game does not have a `wow` factor, not the game itself, not the scenario and yes not technically. Crysis had a `wow` factor in the first game with its stunning visuals, now not.

To wrap up, I`m going to spend more time on single and multiplayer of Crysis 2 but my first impressions are pretty poor and I am disappointed about it. Hopefully multiplayer would be much more fun and the game would justify it`s price tag.