Tag Archives: Xbox One

#455 When is it OK to remake of a game?

It seems that a new recent trend with many Gaming companies is to release a fresh batch of remakes of old games to celebrate the start of the new console gaming generation.

So far we have Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3DS, Wind Waker HD, Majora Mask 3DS, on Nintendo’s devices. The Master Chief Collection and Last of Us are the major exclusive releases for Microsoft’s and Sony’s console respectively.

Last week I celebrated the release of Binding of Isaac Rebirth on PC and it’s debut on PS4 but that is not the only contender on this gaming trend. Lately we also have the official re-release of Grand Theft Auto 5, Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs for the new consoles.

Everyone has some stance when it comes to buying video games, there are those on the internet who are excited for these games to come out for their new devices, and other have gone to the forums proclaiming that these and most remakes are just a cheap trick pulled by these gaming companies to get a quick buck as filler content before they can announce their proper next current generation game.

I land somewhere in the middle, so for today I am going to provide my personal checklist to answer the question, “When is it ok to buy a remake of a game?”

I have been meaning to talk about this issue for ages, with the rumor of GTA V for the Xbox 1 and PlayStation 4 but I felt like I needed more games in this category before I could talk about it.

I have been meaning to talk about this issue for ages, with the rumor of GTA V for the Xbox 1 and PlayStation 4 but I felt like I needed more games in this category before I could talk about it.

 

 

**The first thing on my list is when the old game is ported to a new engine.**

 

We see this with Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire being ported to the X/Y 3DS engine, with Binding of Isaac moving away from being coded on flash and I can not speak for the Halo development team but I assume their Xbox One games as well.

I suspect that it took quite a bit of time remaking the entire region  from the old pixelized world

I suspect that it took quite a bit of time remaking the entire region from the old pixelated world

Being ported to a new engine means that the developers actually put effort into recreating the old world with the new technological tools they had since the game first came out, proving it is not just an upgraded port of the old game. As Edmund McMillen said in his F.A.Q, moving away from flash was able to have the freedom to add more content and have the game better reflect what the type of game he wanted from the beginning.

**New content added….beyond the bundled DLC**

I can only talk about Pokemon ORAS and Binding of Isaac with confidence but both games have added more content to their base game. Just like porting the game to a new engine added content is there as a sign that the game developers put some serious thought and effort into remaking the game to provide more content and reason to justify the decision for the consumer to rebuy the game again.

With Pokemon we have the game play advances we have all come to know and love since the old Gameboy Advance games like the inclusion of  fairy types and mega evolution but on top of that we get the recently advertised feature the new Hidden Move, Soar, giving the players the ability to roam around the Hoenn region as the next logical step for HM02, Fly.

With Binding of Isaac, we have all content from the basic game and the Wrath of Lamb DLC already in the game, but even with all of that the game was just about half the content, the people behind Binding added more items, trinkets, enemies, bosses and levels. With all the returning the old and new items the game has been balanced and tinkered with to provide better synergize with different types of tear shots from all the possible item combinations.

So much added content that within the week of being the only non-stream PC game I played in the last week I have not even begun to scratch the surface of the added content,.

So much added content that within the week of being the only non-stream PC game I played in the last week I have not even begun to scratch the surface of the added content,.

The last and most important criteria for buying a remade game, in my opinion, is:

 

**A remanded game that could still be needed even with backwards compatibility**

 

Backwards compatibility has been a big issue with me with this gaming generation, as well as others, when there was the announcement that newest consoles, aside from Nintendo, could not and would not play any of their games from previous generation’s library. This category focuses on all the games I have not mentioned yet like The Last of Us, Halo 3 & 4, and all the other third-party games remakes.

This leads me to a major question I have with these recent AAA remakes, as a PC gamer is “Why”? Why would anyone play and even pay full price for the same game again with just a graphical upgrade? To side with people I mentioned earlier, It does seem a bit lazy just porting an old game to the PS4 and Xbox One and it only happens that because of the technical ability of the platforms these game developers chose to work with. I do not recall much from the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 launch library but I do not remember just after the last gen was revealed a major influx of remastered old  PS2 and Xbox games for everyone to buy again.

You can give Nintendo flack for rehashing established Intellectual Properties and reselling their old games on every new platform but at least it is new to the device, like we see with the NES/SNES ports on the 3DS or old games that dates back two generations, like we see with Zelda Wind Waker, and where credit is due, half of the Halo collection.

I remember my brothers and I playing this game on the Wii almost more than any other wii game besides Mario Kart and Smash

I remember my brothers and I playing this game on the Wii almost more than any other wii game besides Mario Kart and Smash

But that is just my opinion, I want to know what you think, what are the criteria for buying remade/remastered games? Feel free to leave a comment below.


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#420 A Response to “Are We Becoming Too Critical Of Video Games?”

For today’s post it is another response to one of Gamemoir’s Question of the Day posts from earlier this week. The post (found right HERE) talks about the abnormal amount of cynical criticism videogame players have with recently released AAA games when it comes to user reviews on meta-critic, using the Watch_Dogs backlash as the example.

I should get a frequent flyer card for how many responses I made because of them

I should get a frequent flyer card for how many responses I made because of them

Well you know where this one post is going, I am not going to be dedicating an entire blog post to echo someone else’s opinions, when it comes to the recent game releases we as consumers should never demand less our the amount of critical comments from ourselves, in fact I think we need all the critical observations we have right now and more so to ensure that only the best gets recognized.

Many – if not all – of complaints of Watch_Dogs spawned from Ubisoft’s over-promising features on their next big new IP game and under-delivering. From the launch of Watch_dogs we saw Ubisoft made the executive decision to hack off Week One DLC, create console specific and exclusive DLC, gimp the graphics on the PC version of the game and shoehorning in an unstable DRM service…ALL while advertising Watch_Dogs as a next great next gen game.

a next gen system that was released on the previous console as well.....hmmmmm

a next gen system that was released on the previous console as well…..hmmmmm

On the flip side there is hardly any criticisms towards games that simply told you exactly what it was going do and delivered it in spades.Just compare what promises given from Nintendo when they announced their most recent Mario Wii U game to the promises and designs from Ubisoft’s Watch_Dog reveal.

That is not the say that every game ever released by anyone should be held up the gaming standard of the cream of the crop, just like movies titles can be released two different -although VERY simplified- categories;

The first one is the fun to watch but stays in the comfort zone of slight immaturity, like what we see from Kirby titles and the over the top silliness of the Deadpool game. Or continuing with the movie parallel, the Die Hard series or any major summer action blockbuster movies It is there just to satisfy that itch in our brains of seeing stuff explode and have mindless fun.

The other category is the more appealing release for both consumers and gaming developers desires, the academy award winning titles that pushes the envelope of what it means to be a part of that media, the Spec Ops: the Line, the Walking Dead seasons, or the effects caused within the gaming world with the release of coveted, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

The reason Zelda OoT was so big was because it was the first time there was such a big paradigm shift a series. Going from a top down 2d to a full 3d third person open world game.

The reason Zelda OoT was so big was because it was the first time there was such a big paradigm shift a series. Going from a top down 2d to a full 3d third person open world game.

 

The problem with a perceived too much criticisms of games is when a company advertise a new release claiming it to win awards and show the true powers of what it means to be a game in the advertisements and lead up and gives us a run of the mill open world game with nothing new to offer. It is like going in to see Gravity in 3D IMAX and end up watching it in one of the smallest non-3D screens, it is still the same movie but the expected experience is completely different from the what we got.

There will always be people who constantly act as the nitpickers in movies, comics, music, and games but it is important not to let their complaints of not entering every house in an open world game drown out the legit critical claims of the game and the industry.

As patrons of this of a field of arts that is still just developing, we also need to be hyper critical of executive policies that would hurt the medium on the whole, like say rehashing franchises, excessive sequels, shoehorned in product placements, and practices that are only in place to line the higher up’s wallets instead of furthering the advancement of the media as a whole.


tmnt2014

 

 

But I want to know what you think, after reading the question from Gamemoir and my response here, where do you side with the about of criticisms in the gaming world?

 


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#396 Buying Games vs Buying Game Time

Two things happened in the fast world of videogames that caught my eye that I want to discuss. Recently both EA and Sony announced and started rolling out their plans to sell American/Western players game time subscriptions to their recent AAA games

 

 

This is nothing new, in the Asian gaming market this method is a popular way of paying for their MMO subscription Blizzard has already have this option available for the Eastern World of Warcraft Players.

The question is now, “Can this new payment option of paying for hours instead of the right for a game work in the west?”

 

For the sake of keeping this blog post related to videogames and steering away from an American Studies term paper, I am going to not talk too much about the mentality and/or philosophy of American purchasing habit but I will say that the American dream is owning a white picket fenced house.

For today I just want to talk about the viability for the game time pass can comfortably work in the PC and Consoles on this side of the world.

 

Could this work on PCs?

This is very tough to say, just like the Asian Market I could say that it could be more efficient (money wise) to paid subscription MMOs I would say that if we are not already in the mists of the F2P + microtransaction MMOg trend it could stand a better chance.

Not mentioned: Dota 2, League, and every other ARTS/Moba game

Not mentioned: Dota 2, League of Legends, and every other ARTS/Moba game

 

But as we saw with EA advertisement, there are plans to sell game time for AAA multiplayer game titles, like Titanfall. At this point this could be successful if we did not have the likes of Steam Sales. While we do not legally own the games titles on Steam we do have unlimited game time forever, that we all got for pennies on the dollar.

 

I very much doubt that Steam will adopt this renting games per hour payment method for their non-MMO multiplayer games, unless huge lobbyists from the Activision, Ubisoft, and other game companies. Until then I think game time passes are going to only expand on the EA/Origin exclusives, which might benefit them in the long run by giving the company a different edge over steam in the free online market.

 

It *could* work but it needs to be done properly.

It *could* work but it needs to be done properly.

 

But PC is not the only platform for gaming, so lets take a look at consoles.

 

Can this work on Consoles?

This is a strong possibility for a new payment option for the consoles. I, and everyone else, have said it before but this console generation is built around a constant internet connection and with that the game time passes could be implemented with ease. Especially with the (unwanted) push to an always online connection, with that connection there would be an easy way for companies accurately keep track on how much time you bought for a game and a up to the minute statues on how much time you have left.

Especially with the multiple multiplayer games that comes out yearly for the console library with the Xbox One and PS4, This could act as a nice sample for players to get a legit hands on feel for the games they might be hesitant buying. In the old days, what I just described was called a ‘demo’.

Imagine the giveaways, every Origin/PS4 player gets 5 free hours of titanfall 2 (when ever that drops) or when a classic PlayStation game comes back to the PS4 shop.

Imagine the giveaways, every Origin/PS4 player gets 5 free hours of titanfall 2 (whenever that drops) or when a classic PlayStation game comes back to the PS4 shop.

 

With the early introduction of this payment plans I am hesitant about it simply because it is new in the West and we already have a certain mindset and we have another popular MMO payment option, by supporting F2P PC games through microtransactions.

As I said, it could provide a nice legit sample of the gameplay of the newest AAA console games but there might be a need to keep an eye on the price of renting vs the price of going out and buying a secondhand copy of the game somewhere else.

 

I will say that it is always nice to have a variety of ways to consume videogames to lower the barrier to entry for everyone, whether it be playing on PC, consoles, smart phones, or how you play those games or different payment plans. The problem with companies becoming early adopters for new plans is that it is far too soon to know if this plan will fail or usher in a new trend of gaming.

 


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#395 The Bipartisan Lego Company

Monday’s Steam Summer Daily Sales had it’s scheduled update and with that The Lego series went on sale for the amazing price cut of 75% off. With that I was able to pick up two items that have been on my wishlist for quite a while.

I saw a kid playing Batman 2 and when he flew around the city as the Man of Steal, the classic Christopher Reeves theme song started playing  Insta-buy just on that fact alone.

I saw a kid playing Batman 2 and when he flew around the city as the Man of Steel, the classic Christopher Reeves theme song started playing  Insta-buy just on that fact alone.

 

As I was hitting the ‘purchase for myself’ button I came to the realization that I was just about to buy both a Marvel and DC comics licensed game that was created and produced by the same third party game developer team. Which blew my mind.

It seems that in today’s gaming industry world, that third party companies are forced to side with one game company over the other. In the past of years we have seen the company pairings of Sony’s PlayStation for Taco Bell, we have seen multiple promotions for Mountain Dew and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and One and we have even seen Nintendo making Mario Spaghettios with Campbells.

it’s funny to see that Pepsi-Mnt Dew or just Pepsi never tried to double dip with both consoles market/fan bases considering that Pepsi and Taco Bell are both owned by the Yum! Brands, Inc.

it’s funny to see that Pepsi-Mtn Dew or just Pepsi never tried to double dip with both consoles market/fan bases considering that Pepsi and Taco Bell are both owned by the Yum! Brands, Inc.

 

Even with Third Party game developers have seen the exclusive deals with one of the big three console companies, the most obvious is the deals Sony has with gaming companies (Ubisoft) providing special and unique downloadable content for the PlayStation version of the game.

An hour more content just a fragmented part of gaming/Assassin's Creed comunity because they decided to play on a PS3, instead of an Xbox or PC

An hour more content just a fragmented part of gaming/Assassin’s Creed community because they decided to play on a PS3, instead of an Xbox or PC

 

And During my years at PAX East over the multiple and multiple game developers panels everyone there constantly talk about how gaming retail companies like Best Buy, GameStop, and even Walmart goes up to these developers demanding/begging to be given an exclusive DLC, special editions of the game, or physical giveaway with the game’s launch.

With the exclusive nature of promotional gaming world, it feels a bit like some the most diverse version of national politics. Creating a atmosphere where people who subscribes to one party or belief are expected to constantly and exclusively side with that one side for the rest of their careers.

With all of of the exclusiveness deals and contracts going on it is surprising and refreshing to see a company work across the aisle to get the two major competing media companies to licence almost all of their creative universe and images to create a 3rd party game.

Something that is a bit more awe inspiring than that is how the Lego games have been able to grab other big name film licensees like, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Harry Potter saga and LucasArts’s Indiana Jones and Star Wars series.

 

When Lego approced DC and then Marvel it didn't hurt that they had an established track record of amazing games

When Lego approached DC and then Marvel it didn’t hurt that they had an established track record of amazing games

 

 


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#389 Is there a true need for Exclusives?

E3 is wrapping up and while I am still trying to up on the various streams and press releases that I missed because of work for the next few day. While I am still surfing through Twitch and the YouTube highlights, one of the biggest E3 related news that I want to talk about is the announcement that Dead Rising 3 (a Xbox One launch title) and Grand Theft Auto 5 will be coming to the PC. With those two games going  multi-platform and moving to the PC I do have to ask, is there a need for third-party console exclusives any more?

I am not naive enough to claim that Super Mario 3D World should be ported to the PlayStation 4, because I know the importance of keeping Mario, Master Chief and Kratos as the respective console mascots. Between Capcom’s Dead Rising 3 and Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto and the old news of Kingdom Hearts 3 moving to the Xbox One and during the time where game developers have the first hands on experience with the new consoles, I  think we need to ask the question again.

As of right now the current generation of Microsoft and Sony console’s specs are so similar that there is no real reason why one game should be able to run on either One or the other (4). I understand that back in the day Sega’s Sonic games were created to advertise the Sega Genesis’s processing power compared to Nintendo’s NES and Super Nintendo. And during that time of the early 90’s there was a bunch of different consoles that had different controllers that provided different input controls that game developers needed to properly code. Right now there only advertised different in the two newest consoles, when it comes to gameplay and game performance, is the 720p vs 1080p resolution.

I do not need to say how good of a business model for 3 third-party videogame developers to constantly and only go multi-platform in the future and not even bother with the promotional exclusives with the console companies. Just going exclusively multi-platform means that these companies do not end up isolating their fan base or potential customers, which I know they do not want to do because these videogame companies are still porting their new AAA games to the last generation consoles (Be MOP #383)

But I want to bounce this question back to you guys reading at home, what do you think about the consoles exclusives (both first and third-party exclusives) with a gaming generation being so similar and standardized specs and controls? And where is the PC copy of Kingdom Hearts?

I think the only possible exception to my little rant to console exclusives should/may be titles that could not survive without divine intervention like what we saw with Platinum Games and Nintendo.

 

speaking of I cant wait go get around to buying a Wii U

speaking of I cant wait go get around to buying a Wii U


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#383 When Can We Move Away from the Last Gen?

This past few weeks we have seen some impressive modern game releases in the gaming world. Ubisoft’s Watch_Dogs went live and the newest games from the Far Cry  and Lego Batman series were just announced. As expected all of these games are for the current Xbox One and PlayStation 4, generation, but these newest games will also receive a port for the last generation consoles as well. Watch_Dogs was suppose to be a system seller for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, how can Ubisoft do that if people can still buy it on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360?

I believe I have said everything I needed to say about Watch_Dogs. The Lego game now there is a series that has the potential for many more blog posts in the future

I believe I have said everything I needed to say about Watch_Dogs. The Lego game now there is a series that has the potential for many more blog posts in the future

 

I understand that gaming companies do this to get the non-converted players too but It would help the industry more of they ignored the old system and perfected the games on the newer, current systems. Right now we are still in that awkward transitioning phrase where the console gaming community, and by extent the gaming industry, are moving from gaming or making games on one set of systems to another system. As a PC gamer I do not want to bring up the mantra that consoles are hold back the gaming industry but it looks like consoles are holding back themselves. Despite what you personally think of the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One’s hardware components we can all agree that the hardware are miles a head than the computer parts used to make the consoles that came out almost ten years ago.

How much content had to be cut to make Watch_Dogs fit on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360? or another way to ask the question is, ‘how much more of the game could have been added if Ubisoft made the game only for the current generation?’ The same question could be asked with the most recent installments of Call of Duty, BattleField or the Lego games. E3 is coming up in less than two weeks and with all events and companies who have waited months to finally announce their latest games, how many of those new titles that will be slated for 2014 and 2015 release date will also be on the last generation? More importantly will the next Skyrim and Fallout, two Bethesda game that are known for their open world exploration, be forced to cut down potential content just so it could be sold to the people who still  have not  upgraded in the next few years? If this trend continues when will we have our first real wave of next-gen games?

At PAX East I heard how the developers pushed the Xbox 360 and PS3 to the limit to make this huge open ended game work on the consoles. Could they do that again on the same systems while trying to raise the bar above Skyrim?

At PAX East I heard how the developers pushed the Xbox 360 and PS3 to the limit to make this huge open-ended game work on the consoles. Could they do that again on the same systems while trying outdo themselves for the next Elder Scrolls game?

 

You would think that, as a PC gamer it should not bother me that much about what the people on the console side of gaming is doing base on the fact I can upgrade my system when ever I want. But because the console market is so influential in the gaming industry, I am anxious for every company to hop on board with the newest version of technology so we can see the next jump in gaming that we have all been promised for a while.

 


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#378 I Spy a growing problem with GameSpy shutting down.

Another news story broke earlier this week with EA officially pulling server support for dozens and dozens of their titles by June 30th 2014, following the announcement that the online matchmaking service, GameSpy, will be closing down at the end of May on top of Nintendo will be moving forward in their plans to phase out Wii and Nintendo DS’s Nintendo Wi-Fi connection by May 20th.

A handy chart of all the Pokemon related content and services going away in the next few days

A handy chart of all the Pokemon related content and services going away in the next few days

 

This is not a new issue and with the next-gen consoles becoming this-gen, one of  gaming company’s current elephants in the meeting room is the question, ‘how long can or should these companies supply support to these old online games after creating a gaming generation with an emphasis on online play?”

On the business side, these video game companies -despite what some people think- do have limited amount of money and they cannot expect to run these servers in-house forever, especially when some of these games are pushing ten years old. but I do believe these companies have some sort of duty to continue providing service to the paying consumers who bought a game with such a heavy focus on online play.

We now have games that sell themselves on the focus on online multiplayer. I do not remember anyone buying Call of Duty, Halo, Battlefield, or TitanFall for the single player story they were bought because they were used a portal to a new world of online play. This trend is partly because of the advancement of internet speed and access but also because of the console company’s choice to focus more on the online play which is not a bad thing, but it does come with the responsibility to care for the product after the game is no longer topping the charts? This is not just  a problem for EA and Activision but for all AAA gaming companies with at least some bit of online support whether it be; online multiplayer,  any exclusive DLC content or digital patches will have to face with the upcoming shift from Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to the new Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

More importantly, what will happen in the gaming community when people who bought a game for the excuse to play online can longer have that ability to connect to the servers, like in the eventual phasing out of the Xbox Live and PlayStation network. What will the reaction when the from all the Halo 4 fans, and the Call of Duty Ghost players when no longer log on to their servers because the network that both games use for online play have gone offline? Not to mention the reaction from the players who will no longer have access to and retrieve or redownload all the indie, digital only games and DLC packs that they have already bought through XBL and PSN

Call me a history fanatic for my love of preservation the past and my concern with this the now obsolete games, but this issue will only be brought up again with more and more gaming services going offline and no longer playable. I wish I had an easy solution to fix this problem, the first go to answer would be to have every gaming company go the way of Valve and let the community have the ability to host servers of their favorite map. The problem is then to execute a major content patch for all consoles that changes exactly how these consoles connects to the internet and which 3rd party servers it connects to, a thought that Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony will not seriously entertain for long.

 


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