Online play – the kids aren’t alright

Gamasutra recently posted an article about how annoying people in online play may very well be hurting sales. Regardless of whether this is a stretch, any discussion from developers about the problem of griefers is welcome. Like it or not, multiplayer features are becoming critical to the success of a game, so it is important to see those making them look at the issues that surround providing a good online experience. Otherwise all those Gamespot reviews that call for multiplayer everything start to look even sillier.

The more I play Call of Duty 4, the more I notice the trends among idiotic players. Among your older players, the supposed majority of the gaming world, you get your typical racists, wanna be gangsters, and so on. The most annoying of the bunch, the people who frequently teamkill, spam the voice channel, and use foul language and racial slurs until the words lose all meaning, seem to be in the 18 and under crowd. →  You reading at me?

Better Late Than Never — Tyson Reviews the Xbox 360

I showed up a couple of years late to the party that has been the Xbox 360. Thanks to my cheapness and the joys of region encoding, I held off getting Microsoft’s newest system while I was in Japan, vowing to grab one mere minutes upon my return to the United States. Over the past two years I have had bouts of jealousy, smug satisfaction, and concern as I watched the trials and tribulations of the Xbox 360 owner. From red rings of death to the release of Halo 3, I have quietly observed from the sidelines and bided my time. Well, that time has come. Holding true to my promise, I picked up a 360 Elite two days after landing in the US and since then I have been sampling the many facets of the console. →  Look upon my works, ye mighty, and read!

Two years of me – The Christian story

I was asked to write a retrospective of sorts, about myself as a gamer. How I have changed in my time as a writer for this site. It isn’t terribly easy, as at first glance it seems to me that nothing changed at all. I still play a lot of games, of many different genres. But I have changed, most of it in the last year. It has been slow, but certain, and I know that it is only going to progress.

I’m not sure if I like the future gamer that I will be. I’m not sure I even like the gamer I am now. Maybe talking it out will fix things (or maybe I’m just becoming a gurrrrrrl).

When I first joined vl, my company allegiances were something along the lines of “Love Nintendo and Sega, like Microsoft, grudgingly forced to follow Sony.” →  Oops, I did it again.

Geometry Wars (PC) Thoughts

Earlier this week, the premier downloadable-content service, Steam, released Bizarre Creations’ Xbox Live Arcade darling, Geometry Wars for all of its PC users. If you’ve never had the chance to play this old-school romp, then I suggest you go now and click the Buy button. For $2.50 (until Friday), you can’t afford NOT to buy it.

Being a fan of the Xbox 360 original, I wanted to give my short impressions. Basically, you get what’s already on the 360 platform. An extremely hard old-school shooter that has an amazing style. Just make sure to bring your extra large balls to this affair, my dear readers. Geo Wars is not for the faint of heart.

But I wanted to focus on something else for this post. In the PC version, the online Leaderboards are not included. →  Postlanser: Heritage of Read

Xbox to make its first dollar in 2008

Yeah, seven years after the original Xbox was released. If this was the plan all along, there would’ve been no way in Hell that the Xbox project would have been green-lit had it been anyone but Microsoft. It has cost the company billions already, which isn’t a very favorable position when dealing with shareholders.

From eWeek via Next-Gen.biz, Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division, states that through peripherals, software sales (1st and 3rd party titles), and Xbox Live, the Xbox platform will finally see a profit next year. Welcome, Microsoft, to the club that Nintendo has been a part of since, well, forever.

This fact just goes to show you how much money Microsoft can afford to waste on something like a gaming console. They’ve lost billions of dollars in the last seven years, but are still going into the console market with all guns blazing. →  Lords of the Read 2

Console Predictions from a Gamer

After what felt like three bajillion years (which seemed to be filled with pointless bickering), all three systems are finally out on the market, waiting for whomever wants to jump into the next-generation console war. The last few months have been a very telling period for gaming, with the PS3 not performing as well as some would hope, and Nintendo’s new console coming completely out of nowhere with some amazing numbers, especially considering it’s coming off the heels of possibly the worst performing Nintendo console ever, the GameCube. With that in mind, we can get into the nitty gritty: the future. What’s in store for each player in the console war? We can’t say for sure exactly, but we can have fun predicting.

Xbox 360: In a startling revelation that I’ve found while roaming this clogged series of tubes, many people who were on the fence about the 360 went straight for it the moment the PS3 stumbled coming out of the gate last November. →  This better not be as bad as everything else here.

Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 10.6.06

Uwe Boll in talks for a second BloodRayne movie
If you missed the first BloodRayne movie, you owe it to Ed Wood to go see it. It’s not as terribly good as House of the Dead, but its crappiness is better than the mostly just bad Alone in the Dark. I will also be going to see Dungeon Siege on opening knight (hahahahaha, get it?) if anyone wants to join me.

For some odd reason a lot of people hate Boll and want him to have a massive heart attack and die, or at least stop directing movies. I come from the Leprechaun school of horror films (Leprechaun in the Hood is overrated, I recommend Leprechaun in Space) so Boll’s schlock is something I really look forward to. Some argue that movies like BloodRayne keep games from being taken serious. →  The Last Readment

Bugs!!!

However horrendous they may be, bugs and glitches are generally accepted in PC games. This is both because computers vary so drastically that consumers understand making everything work properly with all hardware configurations would be a Herculean task, and also because we have learned to bend over and take it. “Here’s my $50, can I have a game that won’t work for a month until you patch it? Thanks.” So I may still be slightly bitter about bugs in PC games, but nothing prepared me for game breaking bugs in current console games.

I read that Champions of Norrath was rushed and that it was slightly buggy but I didn’t foresee game ending problems. When my roommate and I somehow managed to allow a solid wall to come between us (by my teleportation through rock), the game seemed lost. →  You had me at read more.

And the future shall be as so

Five Predictions for 2006 by Billy

1. Sony and Microsoft are going to duke it out again for the mainstream. While Nintendo is going to fall further into its niche market. However, there will still be several interesting things to look for:

Will the lead Microsoft is taking now really matter, with their dirty shortages trick? Will Sony’s whole root kit thing and failure to use good memory storage really hurt them and allow Microsoft to rule the domestic US game market? I have a feeling that if Sony doesn’t amend its ways and stop the nonsense many game companies will pull out and work more with the Xbox people in an attempt to not lose sales. This will especially be a big deal next holiday season when Xbox 360 and PS3 are going for each others throats. →  Xenosaga 2: Jenseits von Gut und Pöst