Mac's Blog I just say what comes into my head…

4Apr/110

Kotaku guy has it right…

Was doing my lunch time perusal of the gaming news and stuffs, and I came across an interesting article mentioning how games have lost their immersion factor.

Why dont i lose myself in games anymore

I completely agree with a lot of the points raised, and have lots of new points of my own, which have caused me to dislike most of the modern day RPG games, as lets face it I only really care about RPG games...

Where did world maps go?
If you go back to the old NES and SNES rpg games you will see that most of them have some form of world map, where you can waste hours just wandering round into pointless areas and occasionally finding hidden treasures. One of my favourite 16bit rpg games was Dungeons & Dragons - Warriors of the eternal sun, which consisted of a huge world map and lots of multiple dungeons scattered round the world. You were rewarded for going off the tracks of the normal path and trying to explore the world they have given you. Same thing in Final Fantasy VII/VIII/IX, you have a world map and you can go off investigating for lots of other hidden treasures.

Now jumping forward to modern rpg games, such as Final Fantasy XIII where there is no such thing as a world map. There is barely the idea of freedom, you are lucky if an area you are exploring has more than 1 path to follow. It makes me feel like the game designers think I am an idiot, and am unable to cope with free choice and many options. Final Fantasy X and the every other inbetween seems to have taken this sort of approach...

How do fancy graphics make up for shit stories?
Staying with FFXIII, my next point on the linear ranting roadmap is graphics. FFXIII is a graphical masterpiece as far as rpg games go, however this doesn't mean it is worth playing. I couldn't care how detailed the character is graphically if they are completely pointless as far as the storyline goes, and it makes me angry that almost all major rpg makers these days feel that they have to all compete on graphics and leave storyline as a minor addition to their technical demo.

If you think back to FFVII where they mixed 2d and 3d to make the game look detailed but also allow the characters to be animated in 3d, it looked great and the storyline elements were brilliant. I completely understand the argument that these days it is probably harder to get someone to make 2d style graphics than it is to get someone to do 3d style graphics, but that doesn't mean you should just try and go for the best possible graphics possible, just find a theme and stick with it... Even if it is a 3d game that *looks* 2d like Paper Mario. Concentrate on what makes an rpg game fun and immersive, the story and characters...

Why try and fix something that isnt broken???!?
How many different battle and equipment systems have you seen recently in rpg games? I assume quite a few... I don't mind them trying out different things, but what does annoy me is when I have to work with an equipment or battle system that makes no sense to a player. Take FFX as an example, there is no clear distinguishing factor as to if a new weapon is better than an old one... where are the stats?? This again is an example of where they think the modern gamer wants less information on the game mechanics, they cannot handle dmg or hit related information... I WANT MORE STATISTICS... why does Pokemon keep so many players coming back? It sure as hell ain't for the story, its because you can try to collect the most powerful pokemon and tweak them to be exactly what you want.

I spent hours on FFVII trying to optimise my equipment and materia, it was a simple system to understand but difficult to master. You could spend lots of time trying to make sure you have got all your blue materia with the right green materia and that you have the best possible slots filled while keeping the equipment quite damaging. It all made sense, even Suikoden had a similar sort of system with its runes and weapons, so you knew that your items would do X damage and the runes would enhance them, making them better against certain monsters.

Why get rid of all this information, maybe they think that it is less immersive as you have to break away from the actual gameplay to equip your items and tally up the numbers, but its completely the opposite and it gets you more immersed in the game, paying attention to all aspects of your character.

Voice acting and realistic animation ftw?
I am torn between if voice acting is really worth it in rpg games, part of me likes it and in games like Tales of Symphonia the voices helped make the game. However in others they just break everything, take White Knight Chronicles as an example, where you find a huge hog looking guy who sounds like a comedic Al capone. Same sort of thing for the animations, some games pull it off well, whereas others try to put in too much detail and just look silly. I really think less is more when it comes to character animation, FFVII and games of that era had it perfect for me, they did a few primitive animations and you as the player were left to fill in the blanks with your imagination. Allowing you to interpret the characters however you want, and this is one of the key things for me personally, being able to use my imagination in rpg games.

To sum up most of my ranting, I wish they would let the player use their imagination more. I don't want to be spoon fed every little detail and storyline arc, I want to have to figure out some of it for myself. I think this is why a lot of people think books are better than films, as the reader makes up a mental picture of the world and characters, whereas in films you see an actor who may not be who you imagined, making it different to what you would want.

Maybe I am wrong, as I am no game designer, but I really think that if things do not change soon the console rpg will be a dying breed... although I cannot wait for Skyrim :)

31Jan/070

PSP…. that thing still exists?

Other day while checking on Amazon i noticed that they had some dirt cheap PSP games... The PSP was one of the consoles I regretted buying, its lack of games coupled with high price point makes it pretty dump. I know there are alot of PSP fanboys who love the crappy remakes and the shoddy puzzle/sports games on it.

Only games i have bought on my PSP so far were bargains, well from a price point of view anyway...lol

Worms

If you imagine getting worms 2, making the general graphics look a tad cheaper and rushed. Then throw in some POINTLESS animated 3D background that makes the FPS cry out in pain. Wasn't impressed, i would have prefered Worms 2 on there, im sure they also took out ALOT of stuff that was in Worms 2 and other worms games in this title... whats the point?

Lumines

Well this game wasn't too much of a let down, it lived up to its word of being a fun music/puzzle game, i am still a tad confused by alot of it but it makes nice beats and has a tetris/columns feel to it...

MGS : Acid

This game is a bit long winded but at the same time a bit short, i mean granted it will possibly take you a minimum of 15 hours to complete if you are <a href="http://www.rapsheet.co.uk/Images/Characters/Manape.jpg" target="_BLANK">doom ape tactic man</a>, but the only reason it takes so long is because its just soooo slow to play. Not that i mind, as im a patient gamer, as long as there is a good reason for me to wait through lots of dialog and action, i will wait... and i think this game was a decent purchase at <£20...

Street Fighter Alpha 3

PSX game with a couple of extra modes and a local wireless mode, why not put an online mode in?

I think i have some other games but they are not worth mentioning. So at this point i was wondering if i should risk buying some more, which i think may be a waste of money... but if it provides SOME entertainment it may be worth it...

I think i REALLY should get the articles section up and running so i can rant about this sort of stuff in there opposed to in here, but its not so im gonna keep ranting.

When i bought the PSP originally i was hoping to have some fun multiplayers online, not on a local wifi network, but online with other players, there are like 2 games that use this... I was also expecting alot of decent RPG games, Suikoden I+II as well as some new PSP ones... Suikoden doesn't look like its getting released over here and all the other PSP offerings are a tad dump, or just crappy remakes, hell i think they even have SNES standard games being re-released.

Another BIG reason why i wanted one was because there was alot of talk of PSX emulation on the PSP so i could play through Chrono Cross or any other PSX games i never got round to playing, but then Sony decide you HAVE to have a PS3 to get access to this stuff... Why not just cut out the middle man and put it on the PSP directly?

Sony want to make money, if they let PSP owners directly buy PSX games im sure they will sell ALOT more, and they may do this in the future, but as a PSP owner for a year and a bit i feel neglected by them and pretty gutted that i wasted so much money on the bag of crap that is the PSP...

I could rant all day but i cant be bothered atm... Most of the people i live with are ill at the moment, including Jen. I think she has tried to infect me too as i can feel the crappy cough coming on. Should have big [URL]http://gamecube.gaming-universe.de/screens/gcn_biohazard.jpg[NAME]biohazard symbols[/URL] round the house, hope they all get well soon!

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16Dec/060

The Royal Wii

Well after trying to track a Wii down after about a week or so, i've had no luck and apparently a guy at Game says there are no more Wii coming into the UK until 2007. Which isn't the end of the world, but when your a gamer its always nice to have a new console to play, especially when you're on holiday from work...

Went to go to a party last night, bought the first round, then Jen rings up and is utterly wasted. So Jode and myself went to pick her up and we had to take her home and look after her incase she decided to have a fight with the stairs and deck it... So i missed out on an EXCELLENT pork meal thing that i was booked for, as well as missing out on my share of the booze...

Im still rather pissed at Sony and their stupid PSP publicity, ive noticed a few more advertisements for it on TV. Which i dont mind, but it does get annoying when they are trying to sell something that is pants... They need to get some MORE games on it, as its primarily a games console in my eyes... even though it can do 101 things it is useless as a mp3 player as its too big. Its not amazing as a movie player as you have to encode everything, so you cant just go... hey i want to watch a movie... plop. Even if you do go to watch a movie the battery is not that awesome so would die after one or two, which i guess isnt too bad. Its wifi is decent, and the web browser is ok, although it has problems loading certain websites with lots of images/info on and breaks... if you wanted to search the net on the move you would use a PDA or something anyway...

So with the given points above i would say its only GOOD function is a hand held games console, and as a console its game selection sucks ass. There are some decent games on it... MGS Portable Ops, Suikoden I/II and many others, but us UK gamers have not seen a sniff of these titles and sonys online site is a bag of crap.

It has like 1-3 bad demos on there, and this is like a year or so after its been released... almost a year and a half i think in US. So instead of getting people to waste money on a PSP try to put something worthwhile on it so people WANT to buy one... until that day my PSP is gathering dust waiting to be able to play PS1 games...

Only a week longer at work and then its christmas holidays...!

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30Nov/062

Robots.. and other stuffs

Well today MrDruidKing was telling us about this robocode stuff, and we thought... hey... lets give it a try.

So we all downloaded the SDK thingy and started screwing around, i created a mighty robot called JIMMY HILL... When i say mighty, i acctually mean it was a bag of crap. It would rather skoot around shooting at thin air than acctually shoot another robot. By this time Alex had already created ChuckNorris the robot to own all robots. However by some fluke Jimmy managed to pull a win out of the fight... i think everyone else was a bit suspicious of what we were doing when we were screaming "GO CHUCK" at the screen.

Anyway we all had a big showdown and Jimmy died quite pathetically against Alex/Druids bots, so i gave up...

The Wii

Well ive got the day off in anticipation of its release so im hoping to go get one on the day of release without pre-ordering. I also want to get Zeldump so i can find out how many ways i can make Link die in this new chapter of the series.

If anyone has any ideas of where i can get one on day of release feel free to post in the comments as atm i only have one place in mind... good old PC World, no one ever buys stuff from there so they should have tons of spare Wii's to sell. When i wanted a gamecube on day of release without pre-ordering PC World never let me down!

Still playing Final Fantasy 12, although i died quite badly on some crazy flying ship thing because i was too lazy to control the characters myself. The Gambit System is fairly awesome in the way it allows you to just sit back and let everything just happen without you worrying about stuff... like HOLY CRAP THERES A BLOB OF SLIME EATING MY FACE... who cares let the Gambit System cope with it, while i go and take a dump or something...

Got Grandia III last night too, i love the awesome fighting system in it, its like Grandia II but with some fairly nice improvements... but WHERE THE HELL IS SKYE!. One other thing ive noticed about RPG games as of late, is the fact that they are not that exciting to start, its just like you have to work on the game for a few hours to get to the good stuff.

Final Fantasy VII was awesome, load it up... im on a train... some cool musics on... BAM ive got 2 guards trying to batter me for some unknown reason. Then im blowing up some reactor, and fighting some bosses, and doing more awesome stuff... Why cant more games have great game intros like that.

Jode did make a good point thought that if every game had an intro like that it would not be so awesome anymore, but even so... only Final Fantasy VII and Suikoden II have had fairly awesome intros. Final Fantasy XII wasn't too bad though to be fair, the CGI battle things were awesome and i was quite happy to run around town doing some crappy errands for a bit before i got some action.