News We Care About Wrapup – 5.30.08

Beyond good and sequels
Beyond Good and Evil 2 was recently released much to the joy of gaming forums everywhere. Sequels are exciting because it means more of something good. That we long for sequels seems to stem from a few things but most of them point to problems in the industry. It means we expect crap and usually get crap and when a game that’s worth playing actually comes out we want more because the other option is crap. We want sequels because we do not trust developers to make good games. If Ancel is given full reign over his next project and allowed to do what he wants, then let the man create something new. Shadow of the Colossus is the perfect example – a great game by the same designer as a game you love is even better than a sequel. →  Sid Meier’s Alpha Centarticle

Mario Galaxy and gaming mindshare

Super Mario Galaxy is officially out. With any luck, I’ll be the first person on Videolamer to discuss it, though I am probably the only one who doesn’t yet have it (though you are all welcome to buy it for me during my almost ended state of unemployment). That’s okay however, because I’m not really here to discuss the game proper, but the buzz surrounding it. Simply put, this is being called a return to form for Mario, a game that is the rightful successor to Mario 64. This sounds eerily similar to the remarks made about Twilight Princess, which fits the mold created by Ocarina of Time better than any other Zelda to succeed it, even Majora’s Mask. For most people’s money, these are the top two games on the Wii, Metroid Prime notwithstanding. →  Welcome to the Fantasy Zone.

Lame discussion – What makes Metroid Metroid? Part 2

Continued from last weeks Part 1, Matt, Christian and Don discuss what makes Metroid Metroid.

Christian: That’s a major problem the game has. It doesn’t do a good job of convincing people “it’s not a shooter, it’s Metroid.”

Don: I have to agree – that is where MP3 FAILS.

Christian: The opening planet screams “HEY GUYS YOU LIKE HALO RIGHT?” “WE”VE GOT HALO! AND STAR WARS! AND DRAGONS!”

Matt: I think this was more of the fact that it’s the end of a trilogy, and they need to flesh the universe out more.

Don: I, a fairly devout Metroid fan, found the Prime series to be a wedge. A way to get ‘the hardcore’ into a dying (yes, I said it) franchise.

Matt: Wow, can’t say I agree.

Christian: To me, at the very least Nintendo doesn’t know what to do with Metroid. →  Drakenread 2

Does Nintendo care?

With games like WiiFit and Face Training becoming the staple of Nintendo’s wares in this “new generation”, most hardcore gamers are left asking, “Hey, what about me? Where are my kind of games at, son?” I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but Nintendo doesn’t care about you anymore. They have moved on to greener pastures. Which is to say they want your mom’s money now, not yours.

The number one indicator for this theory was their show at the 2007 E3 conference. We had nearly 20 minutes of WiiFit, but only 20 seconds of Mario Kart Wii.

They didn’t want to show more because Nintendo was in front of all the world’s media, and they wanted to send out the word that they’re all about the non-gamers now. That’s why they focused so much on WiiFit. →  Oreshika: Tainted Postlines

Off to a shaky start

This is a little video of my Wii not working right. Any time I try to go to the Wii store to buy Zelda, it eventually locks up on me. The home button still works and the remote movement is still registered, but clicking on buttons ceases to do anything. Comcast has been dropping frequently today so it may be that the Wii doesn’t react well to momentarily losing its connection to the internet. Or it could be that my Wii is broken.

Here’s a pic of it doing this on a different screen. The field with the cursor, actually, all fields refuse to let me enter them.

 →  What is word? Baby don’t read me.

Polarity

Welcome to the world of tomorrow!

If you ever asked yourself why video games were invented, you probably answered that the original creators just wanted to have fun. And, in fact, you’d be correct. The very first video game was created in 1958 by a scientist named William Higinbotham to let people have a little bit of fun at a science fair in Long Island, NY. The fair was mostly centered on nuclear theories and revelations, but Higinbotham thought it made the exhibit a bit scary for the general public, so he made what is now known to be the very first video game: Tennis for Two.

Suffice to say, it was a hit at the show. People were amazed that they could control something on a screen (which was actually a 3-inch radar screen). →  You fool. Don’t you understand? No one wishes to read on…

A.I. woes

I’m currently reading a book on game design. The chapter on AI speaks only of the good that will come with advancing computer intelligence, yet not a word of caution or hesitation is included. I quickly outlined a number of worries I have over advanced AI and decided to bring them to our resident computer science major, Christian. Keep in mind I’m not “against” better AI, I just think it may lead to issues designers will have to deal with. I also find game design discussion to be infinitely enjoyable.

What follows are the initial worries I had and then Christian’s cool headed reponses.

This guy probably wishes he were smart enough to stop, drop and roll.

Jay: In an old interview, Warren Spector spoke of making the AI for Deus Ex 2. →  All the lonely gamers, where do they all belong?