We can’t be perfect all the time, and since many of us (if not all) have separate full-time jobs that pry us away from video games, its bound to happen that we have a little slip up now and then. Luckily matt’s here to save the day and publish a post for all our die hard fans. (and by that i mean we have none, so it’s hard for them to die…)

So unfortunately real life got in the way of our benevolent leader this weekend, and clearly, everything gets broken…

anyone want to help glue this back together?

Saturday, 4:16 pm – Ricky

We went bigger, longer, stronger (where we host Andrew Carvalho and talk a lot)

Through the miracle of the interwebs, Andrew Carvalho is in the house for this installment of the cast. We get to know more about the man behind one of our favourite games last year, Sound Shapes, lavish praise on the Toronto game dev scene, and then we do a deep dive on Playstation 4 and the next generation

  • Sound Shapes
  • Max Payne 3
  • Borderlands 2
  • Antichamber
  • Offshore Fishing
  • PS4

Gamentary Round 19 – February 23 2013 (right click and “Save As” to download the mp3, or use the player below)

Friday, 6:15 pm – matt

but can your “aging” computer rig even power those features?

I just prefer playing games on a gorgeous 40″+ television screen. I paid under $350 for my tv and $99 bucks for the xbox.

but I’ve always been a console guy.

Friday, 6:01 pm – Ricky

Why get Tomb Raider on PC? Ah, an excellent question. Here are the answers:

  • Very high resolution textures with up to 16x the amount of data
  • Detail Tessellation to enhance the detail on many surfaces in the game
  • Higher quality shadows
  • High quality bokeh depth of field with near-blur
  • Tessellation algorithms used to smooth out geometry
  • Improved cloth, SSAO, quality wetness effects, and post-filter effects.
  • LOD quality is adjustable for better quality on higher-end machines.

I don’t know what half of that shit is, but I want it.

Also, I’m sad to say it, but I already own most of the titles in the XBox sale. Hence, the Challenge! Play dem games. I’m getting back into Assassin’s Creed 3, and it’s just not scratching the itch the way previous iterations have. It’s still a bunch of fun, but I’m not nearly as obsessed with doing every little side mission or finding every useless collectable. Maybe that’s a good thing?

Friday. 12:34 pm – matt

well… today we say goodbye to GameSpy and 1UP… GameSpy barely even works anymore:

http://pc.gamespy.com/articles/122/1227460p1.html

Friday. 12:15 pm – matt

i wouldnt worry about picking up tomb raider, im sure someone is looking out for you…. 🙂

despite it debuting originally on a pc back in ’95 (i think it was?) why not get it on xbox with all that multiplayer goodness?

mlb the show is the best baseball series out there, but thats not saying much… the best baseball simulation of the worst professional sports league makes it comparable to winnning a ugliest person contest. you may feel a little good about winning the contest however….

oh and just to further screw with the 2013 backlog challenge i present: THE RIDICULOUS XBOX SALE up to 85% off: http://ca.ign.com/articles/2013/02/22/the-xbox-live-ultimate-game-sale-starts-february-26?abthid=5127a7b0b525f1245500007d

•Assassins Creed
•Assassins Creed 2
•Batman Arkham Asylum
•Batman Arkham city
•Bioshock
•Borderlands
•Borderlands 2
•Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
•Call of Juarez
•Call of Duty 2
•Call of Duty 3
•Call of Duty: Black Ops
•Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
•Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
•Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
•Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
•Call of Duty: World at War
•Code Veronica
•Dark Messiah of Might and Magic: Elements
•Dead Island
•Dirt 2
•Dishonored
•El Shaddai Ascension of the Metatron
•Fable III
•Fallout 3
•Fallout 3 New Vegas
•GRID
•Halo 3
•Halo 4
•Halo Reach
•Halo Wars
•Kane & Lynch Dead Men
•Left for Dead 2
•Max Payne 3
•Metal Gear Solid HD
•Metal Gear Solid Peacewalker
•Mortal Kombat
•Mortal Kombat vs. DCU
•Orange Box
•Portal 2
•Raccoon City
•Rainbow Six Vegas
•Rayman Raving Rabbids
•Resident Evil 4
•Resident Evil 5
•Resident Evil 6
•Red Dead Redemption
•Revelations
•Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution
•Street Fighter IV
•Street Fighter X Tekken
•Super Streetfighter IV Arcade Edition
•TC’s H.A.W.X.
•Tekken 6
•Tekken Tag Tournament 2
•The Darkness
•The King of Fighters XIII
•Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
•Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2
•Tomb Raider Legend
•Virtua Fighter 5

(help!)

Friday. 10:34 am – Ricky

Rather than dwell on what we cannot have, let’s turn our attention to nearby horizon!

March 5th, 2013 is going to be one helluva day. We get SimCity and Tomb Raider “reboots”, arguably the biggest releases of the bunch. But sneaking in is MLB 13: The Show, which matt can attest is a THE baseball series, and possible South Park: The Stick of Truth, though we haven’t heard anything about the series since Ubisoft picked up the publishing rights from THQ.

I’ve already purchased my 1st of 3 games for the year: SimCity, the Digital Deluxe edition no less. I was a huge city building fan back in my glory days of PC, and this is shaping up to be a rebirth for the franchise that started it all. That said, I’m also really interested in Tomb Raider. Unfortunately, the recent release of the recommended specs has made me realize that I’ll soon be creeping into the “Medium” settings for games, migrating from being on “High for the past 2 years. I’m running a GTX 480, and I don’t currently have any intention to upgrade, but we’ll see how things go with SimCity… and maybe Tomb Raider….

Here are the recommended Tomb Raider specs, for anyone interested:

  • Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
  • DirectX 11 graphics card with 1GB Video RAM:
    • AMD Radeon HD 4870
    • nVidia GTX 480 (Editor’s note: waaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa)
  • Quad core CPU:
    • AMD Phenom II X2 565
    • Intel Core i5-750
  • 4GB Memory

Friday, 9:36 am – Gavin

For those who missed the press conference, here’s the abridged version:

Thursday, 5:55 pm – matt

(screaming LOUDLY)

besides we all need to quit our jobs and focus all attention to this site.

Thursday, 3:59 pm – Gavin

I’m sure eventually my boss will discover this page and will know instantly why I haven’t finished my latest project.

I believe we established ages ago that Nintendo didn’t start the screen-on-a-controller trend. However, while credit can be given to Sega for that, their screen was a one-way screen. Unless I’m mistaken, the DS was the first console that allowed for interactivity through the second screen. But of course, all ideas are just ripped off from everyone, everywhere. Considering all this, the Wii-U demonstrates a remarkable lack of innovation. The second screen as an input-based concept has been around for the better part of a decade, and as a general concept for 15 years. Online play has been around as a thing for decades. The analog stick in a handheld controller? The natural extension of a joystick. Nintendo may have brought it to the handheld controller, but it’s mechanically similar to all kinds of peripherals that predate it. Online marketplace for games? Well, I doubt Steam invented it, but they’ve been around since well before XBLA and the Playstation Store, that’s for sure. As such, matt’s theory holds up – nothing is new, and we’re all just screaming as loud as we can!

Thursday, 3:45 pm – matt

noone, I mean NOONE looked at the Blu-Ray and said, “hey at least the Xbox has HD-DVD” because as I can attest, HD-DVD was first off terrible. it also wasnt even announced at launch, it was a throw in afterwards when Xbox owners complained about lack of HD Movies.

Technically, and I know this is going to be hard for people to believe, but Nintendo didnt actually start this whole screen on a controller. back with PSP GO gamers could hook up the PSP to the PS3 and use it as a controller, which was then replicated by the VITA, and certainly came out BEFORE the wii-U… and before that, the dreamcast was kicking around with dual screens, so is everyone just ripping everyone else off and hoping their fanboys scream the loudest?

How dare you forget the existence of the gamecube ricky?!?!?!? How?!??!!? Do you not remember “who wants some coooooookies?” while playing RE4?!?!?!?!

(oh and ff-13 was unfortuantely garbage… but on PS3 and XBOX’s with literally hundreds of better games out there, its not surprise it didnit do well. New super mario unfortunately is a one of only a handful of games people actually gave a shit about on thw wii… is it really fair to compare a third party developer compared to single party that made the freaking system the game is played on?)

what a long gamentary we got going on here!

Thursday, 3:01 pm – Gavin

Imagine if it came in a red box. BOY WOULD YOUR FACE BE…red.

Also, the GameCube came between the N64 and the Wii. On the whole, I can’t comment on the technical improvements between the GameCube and the Wii beyond the obvious motion controls, and the fact that Metroid Prime looked way better on the Wii than the GameCube.

Thursday, 2:07 pm – Ricky

Sorry, maybe I should clarify. There was a lot of hype building up to the meeting, and they delivered what people expected: a glimpse of the new console. Imagine if they would have come out and said “Here’s the future: Chocobos now exclusive to FFXIII-2 Lightning on the Ps3!”. There were any number of things they could have shown or talked about, but everyone went in expecting the next gen system to be “shown”. Granted, we didn’t see it, but let me give you a hint: It’ll come in a black plastic box that you’ll put on your entertainment centre shelf and you’ll never care about how it looks.

I don’t remember a ton about the previous console generation. If I had to guess, I’d say I feel the same way I do every time a new console launches. Frankly, it’s a cycle. There’s an announcement, we get excited. We learn more about the details, we get less excited. It releases, we complain about any number of things, but we’re still happy the “next new shiny thing” is here. Then things progressively get better over the years as the console makers iterate and refine, until you get a decent console. It’s been like this for many, many years and for many console manufacturers. What people, myself included, hope is that consoles developers have learnt all they need to know from this previous generation to launch something more evolved and “finished”. Break the cycle. It’s 2013, let’s get this shit figured out.

Nintendo was the first out of the gate, and they already proved they haven’t learnt certain lessons from the previous generation. It’s really simple: Online connectivity is important, and XBox Live is the best at it right now. At a bare minimum, do what they do. Nintendo didn’t – for example, we’ve talked about how people’s online accounts are attached to one and only one system, versus Xbox Live where I can log in from any system. Simple stuff, but if you don’t learn from the previous generation, you’re going to start off poorly.

I think Sony has learned from some of their mistakes, based on this initial preview. I think there was a bit of “mea culpa” from Sony reps at the conference, both from a development side and the current online connectivity with PSN. They basically admitted that it was bass-ackwards hard to develop for the system at times. They’ve learned, and the parade of developers they showed off was meant to reassure others that PS4 is different to program for compared to the PS3. Connecting with friends using PS4 also seems to be better than ever, where players can jump into each others games and help each other out, or view games together on the fly, or just have their real name attached to their profile (racial slurs: now more real!).

I don’t think this generation is going to be the same as the previous leap in consoles: N64 to Wii, Xbox to Xbox 360 and PS2 to PS3. Nintendo at least proved that much with the Wii to WiiU. Still, I do expect console manufacturers to make smart decisions with their hardware, and so far, Sony has demonstrated that they’re on the right track.

Thursday, 1:50 pm – Gavin

The WiiU hasn’t really proven anything yet because it hasn’t really had much time to prove anything yet – only three months old, remember? Remember the conversations about the PS3 three months in? “Who’s going to buy one? It doesn’t have any games, it’s enormous, and who needs a Blu-Ray player when the 360 has an HD-DVD attachment that you can buy separately? And the PS network sucks.” Those conversations were endless. WiiU hasn’t done anything really new aside from the ability to pull a game from the console and display it on the second screen, which Sony is piggy-backing on with the Vita. But that’s really just an extension of the second-screen theory anyway.

Contrary to Ricky’s opinion, I would say that it’s much, much too early to say if the PS4 has delivered on any hype. Let’s not get carried away – we’re less than 24 hours removed from the simple announcement of its existence and we haven’t even seen what the console looks like yet.

The Vita is a more fulsome device. You’d bloody well expect so, considering it’s $50 less expensive than the entire WiiU entry bundle! And matt, remind me how well the 13th iteration of Final Fantasy was received compared to Super Mario Galaxy 2…

Thursday, 1:32 pm – Ricky

Let’s not all pile on to Gavin. Nintendo does some things really well – I just don’t think the Wii-U has proven itself to be one of those things just yet. Where the DS and Wii innovated, the Wii-U feels like it took the “safe” road, pulling together ideas that are already being done elsewhere and dropping them into a Nintendo branded box. Don’t get me wrong: Sony and Microsoft often do the same. They repackage and reimagine, but they rarely reinvent. That said, I feel like the way Sony have pulled together existing ideas, refined them for the console buyer and plopped them into a high-powered beast of a machine (compared to existing consoles, of course, not necessarily PCs) is exactly what we wanted to see from the PS4.

Sure, there are still details coming out (turns out you won’t always need to be online, and the system will in fact play used games), and we’ll need to wait on the the price and look of the system, but it’s tough to deny that they delivered on what seemed to be an insurmountable level of hype.

Thursday, 1:00 pm – matt

hello Gavin…. 🙂

ff7 did something ff5 didnt do, make rpg’s relevant to casual gamers. until f7 came out, NOT EVEN I would play them because they were covered in nerd dirt. ff7 changed a lot, like the first time Mario went 3D on the 64 (and how good does that game look today? well i guess we can just wait for the 13th re-release on the wii u to find out).

i don’t think its fair to compare the ps4 and vita set up to a wii u, because on the go, the wii u game pad still needs a power outlet, and only plays wii u games. The vita can stream ps4 games, and also play vita games. does the touch screen still work for the wii u gamepad on the go or does it just become a screen?

oh wait, is that the sound of nintendo cheaping out again? of course they would put in a lower resolution screen on a the bigger wii u gamepad than the vita, because, i guess to nintendo, that just makes sense…

Thursday, 11:19 am – Gavin

Twitter post

Oh Reggie, you’re such a card

Thursday, 10:34 am – Gavin

Listening to/watching the conference as well. Some interesting stuff, some questionable stuff.

8gb of RAM is huge, but on x86 architecture, doesn’t that mean that it can only use 4gb of RAM at any given time? Please correct me if I’m wrong. Hopefully the x86 architecture is easier to use as a platform for development – the PS3 was a notorious nightmare for development amongst smaller studios. It sounds powerful as heck though, which bodes well for technical achievements in the next generation.

The Dualshock 4 controller looked interesting and specifically appeared to have better ergonomics than the PS3 controller, but I have to say, I don’t like the look of it. That lit section of the controller looked a bit out of place. However, I won’t complain about aesthetics beyond “it looks weird”. Function over form, obviously.

Portable streaming is a neat idea, but I don’t see that being a massive selling point. One, it’s not like you’re streaming PS4 titles to the Vita while you’re on the subway. It’s the same limited wifi-based functionality as the WiiU, except that the PS4 appears to support all games streaming to the Vita, whereas not all games are supported on the WiiU. Two, you need to own a Vita. Nintendo supports streaming to the Gamepad natively (on a bigger screen, too), at a maximum price of $350 for the deluxe set. How much is a PS4 going to cost? And then add to that the cost of the Vita, currently $250. I would expect a price drop on the Vita (if for no other reason than its poor sales figures), but still, how much of a drop could we expect? $50? So it’s still a $200 peripheral (with respect to the PS4, obviously – I think the Vita is a beautiful system).

The backwards compatibility issue would bother me, if I owned any PS-x hardware prior. The idea that they’re investigating cloud-based backwards compatibility sounds great, but even if they do actually get that up and running, you’re still going to have to buy every single game you wish to re-purchase. Nintendo made users re-purchase their Virtual Console games, but a) only if they wanted remote Gamepad support, and b) for a permanently reduced price of $1 per game. Users could still play their games using the Gamepad without paying a dime more if they wanted; the extra price was just for remote support.

But man…dat power. 8gb of GDDR5? Even if the system can’t use all of that, that’s still drool-worthy. I don’t even have that in my PC GAMING MASTER RACE laptop. That obliterates the WiiU’s 2gb of GDDR3. And an octo-core processor? Here, eat my ass, tri-core WiiU. However, I wonder how that will affect the price of the system. Sony got hit hard when they launched due to pricing; not only was it effectively inaccessible, but they didn’t even charge enough. Sony lost huge money on the PS3’s hardware. Are they doing the same this time around? Can they afford to do the same this time around?

And finally, what type of conference announcing a new console doesn’t even show you the new console? Weird.

Thursday, 9:02 am – Ricky

Well, it’s here. And it’s called the PlayStation 4.

I’m only just getting around to watching (listening mostly) the conference this morning, but here are some initial thoughts:

Great looking system architecture with plenty of power: I’m interested in getting our podcast guest Andrew Carvalho’s opinion on developing for the PS3- a notoriously difficult task – this coming Friday, compared with the potential hardware changes announced for PS4.

The new controller: A headphone jack!? What a novel idea. Seriously though, the stereo camera, touch screen and light bar are all interesting additions. Hope it has a comfortable feel to it, but it doesn’t seem overly bulky.

Gaikai streaming: Stream a game at the touch of a button to give it a try, or start playing it before it finishes downloading. Or use the Vita to stream from the PS4 to the Vita and transfer your gaming to the handheld. Uh oh, Nintendo.

Sharing: I’m a bit of a video game voyeur. I like tuning into Twitch.tv and watching other people play games. Sounds like this is integrated directly into the PS4. I also love that the system is continuously recording, and I can share my most recent actions or gameplay at the touch of a button.

Game demos: I’m looking forward to watching the new Destiny, Deep Down and Watchdogs footage. More on that tonight!

Thursday, 8:44 am – Gavin

Well, again, a few points of order:

1. The PS1 has been around for much longer than the DS, so its games have had time to leave their impressions. The DS is a good ten years younger than the PS1. Nobody doubts the power of the PS1 at all, or its influence. The influence of the DS is evident vis-a-vis hardware moreso than software, for reasons explained in previous comments.

2. If it makes you feel any better, the previous best-selling console was the PS2, not the PS1. The DS beat the PS1 ages ago.

Also, potentially unpopular opinion time: with the exception of horrendous 3D graphics that have aged like festering cheese, FFVII didn’t do anything better than FFVI.

Wednesday, 2:35 pm – matt

I still cant classify the DS as a console. To me a console is plugged into a television and played at home (or in the hatch of a 2000 VW golf! YEAH BABY!). The cost of not only the hardware itself, but the games are substantially cheaper on portable platforms since the GameBoy, so I find it an unfair comparison of the sub-hundred dollar DS to a $250+ console and $60+ software. I see it similar to a digital point and shoot camera to a DSLR. Point and shoots are cheap, readily available, and are used by people of all ages from very young to elderly. DSLR’s however are substantially more expensive, not as common, and used mostly by people who are familiar with cameras and rarely used by very young kids.

Are both cameras? Sure of course they are, however one is going to give you a much more robust experience than the other. Im clearly having a hard time with the recent news that the DS “surpassed” the playstation one as the greatest highest selling console of all time.
To me just think about the classic titles the playstation had, and the unbelievable impact the system had on the future of gaming, then think about all the re-releases on the DS and how “great” they were. Can anyone name a DS title that has helped shaped the landscape of gaming today like FF7 did? Parappa the Rapper? Tomb Raider? Driver? Gran Turismo? MGS? Driver? Tony Hawk?

didn’t think so…

Wednesday, 11:21 am – Gavin

Two points of order today.

First, Wii-U sales. They’re not exactly hot right now (55,000 units in January – that’s pretty low), compared to other consoles up for grabs, but what’s the reason for that?

Firstly, let’s deal with the elephant in the room – must-have titles. There are quite a few AAA titles out there – Assassin’s Creed 3, CODBLOPS 2, Mass Effect 3, and Batman: Arkham City for starters. But is that enough to make anyone buy a new system? You can already pick up those games for every other system out there. If I really wanted to play those games, I’d probably get them for the 360, even if the experience is markedly better on the Wii-U. Yes, the experience might be better, but is it $350 better? I doubt it.

If you’re looking at major releases worth having (according to the consensus), effectively, there are two for the Wii-U right now – ZombiU and New Super Mario Brothers U. I’ve played NSMBU, and it really is absolutely gorgeous, but is that enough? I loved New Super Mario Brothers Wii – it was a great nostalgic trip and the multiplayer was some of the best I experienced on the Wii, but if you put it up against Mario Galaxy, it loses every single time. Not that that’s a comment on NSMBWii, as Mario Galaxy was outstanding and one of the best games of the decade, but it does contextualize it. “Sure, this is a great game, but I wish it was a Mario Galaxy game” is a thought that pervades many brains.

Is the technology an issue? People hound Nintendo with “GIMMICK!”, which I think is one of the most misunderstood words out there when we’re talking consoles. The Wii lands with motion controls, and everyone rips it, and then three years later, Microsoft and Sony are doing the same, and Microsoft is making Kinect an integral part of its system. People rip the 3DS for the 3D gimmick – yeah, because there’s no chance that 3D anything ever takes off. Poorly implemented 3D is a disaster. Properly implemented 3D leads to the highest box office gross for a movie in history. But the worst is when people rip the second screen and the touch-screen mechanics. Firstly, everyone knows that mobile gaming is an enormous behemoth. And what’s the main interface? That’s right, touch screens. Nintendo has it with the DS. Every smartphone and tablet manufacturer has it. Sony has it with the Vita. Microsoft has the Xbox Smartglass. Ubisoft is examining how to integrate tablet functionality with the PC release of Watch Dogs. So let’s not pretend that touch-screens are this fad that is destined to burn out. As for second-screens? Again, Microsoft is following Nintendo’s footsteps with the Smartglass, just like Ubisoft is trying to do with Watch Dogs and tablets. And to punctuate the point, you only need to look at the sales numbers for the Nintendo DS to realize just how popular that second screen can be. Bestsellingconsoleofalltimesayswhat?

So, Nintendo’s main problems are twofold – the second of which I haven’t hit on yet. Obviously, there simply aren’t enough games out there to make people pick it up. Even if I got over my “don’t buy first-run technology” hump, there’s still the issue of there not being enough games out there. And since it’s a console, I’m not going to be getting a ton of games for $10 like I currently do on Steam. Should I decide to pick one up, this will be a holiday 2013 purchase, I’m assuming. That said, the ZombiU package deal is a pretty good price – WiiU Deluxe, ZombiU, and a pro controller for $390. I can get behind that.

The second problem Nintendo has is MARKETING. Granted, I don’t watch a ton of television as I’m a Netflix junkie (speaking of which – Archer season 3, available now on Canadian Netflix!), but still, there’s almost no marketing for the WiiU at all. When CNN was previewing it back in October, they even referred to it as a new controller for the Wii. A fundamental mistake, but not entirely unforgivable – all media has been focused on the tablet because of its newness, rather than the console as a whole. Nintendo needs to market the system better to the domestic audiences. Us folks on the interwebs know enough about it because we have an avid interest in reading about it, but the Wii was powered by relatively uninformed parents hearing about this great toy for family togetherness. How can the WiiU ever expect those kinds of numbers without a highly competent marketing department?

Anyway, a whole lot of rhetoric in there. Bottom line, it’s not the facets of the console that are the cause of its declining sales numbers. It’s the fact that there aren’t any games that are pushing people to buy the system. But of course, this kind of thing happens all the time. Go back and look at the launch titles for the 360 and PS3 and tell me those companies didn’t suffer the exact same issue. And while we’re at it, let’s look at the sales numbers for the 360 and PS3 three months from launch. Here’s a hint: they sucked too.

Anyway, moving on. Aliens: Colonial Marines is a disaster and we all know it. A small segment of the Internet is happy with the game, but by and large, everyone is ripping it. $60 for a game that looks like an early 360 game is inexcusable. Now I’m the first person to say that a game shouldn’t be judged for its graphics. However, there’s a point where you simply can’t defend poor graphics. The Wii employed intentional art styles in plenty of its games – 3D cartoon in Mario Galaxy, cel-shaded in Skyward Sword, MadWorld’s highly-contrasting comic styles – and those games looked GORGEOUS. And then when designers tried to go for realism – Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Modern Warfare: Reflex, Red Steel, they realized how underpowered the Wii was compared to other systems. Womp womp. Laurels for the former, darts for the latter. If you’re going for an intentionally unrealistic/”less than realistic” style and you succeed, your graphics department has done what it was supposed to do. If you go for realistic and you fail, your graphics department has failed. End of story. Graphics are never the be-all and end-all of a game, but that doesn’t mean that developers have carte-blanche to create a game that looks poor.

So what’s the deal with Aliens: CM’s graphics? Well, for one, it’s a console release with a PC port, which always leads to worse graphics on the PC than the system can handle. But even so, it’s 2013. Games shouldn’t look like 2008 releases. Developers have had 7 years to get used to the 360 and PS3’s capabilities. Games like Fable 3 and Uncharted 3 drop and they look phenomenal, thoroughly maximizing the capabilities of the systems. So what happened to Aliens: CM? I’ll leave you with this video:

Comparing the demo of Aliens: CM to the release.

We’ve talked about defeated expectations in the past, but that often tends to be related to something intangible, like that ethereal “fun factor”, or difficulty, or whatever. We’ve all listened to Peter Molyneux promise us the moon in Fable games, only to be disappointed (I still love 1 and 2 with all my heart). But even then, there’s a difference between ideals and products. We can only hold Molyneux responsible for so much before we say “OK, yeah he promised us this two years from release, I guess it was too difficult to include, whatever.” Still not great, but excusable to a point.

So why is everyone mad at Gearbox? Well, there’s the intangible – terrible AI, dull characters, bad writing. There’s the tangible – 6 hour campaign (seriously? It’s 2013. Come on). But then, these are things that you couldn’t accurately predict six months ago, when pre-orders started. The problem what Gearbox did regarding graphics/animation – the bait-and-switch. Consumers were promised a certain level of graphical quality and demos were released showing that. Obviously there will be differences between a pre-release demo and the final product, but having there be that much of a change? That’s effectively false advertising. No wonder there’s such an outrage.

Funny note – having been out for only a week, there’s already been a $10 price drop on Steam for the game.

Wednesday, 8:38 am – Ricky

Almost forgot – It wouldn’t be a press conference without bingo!

L2UPUP0

FREE KAZ!

Wednesday, 8:07 am – Ricky

Well, looks like the cat is out of the bag. Both Kotaku and IGN are reporting early information about the PS4 – or whatever it’s eventually called, since “4” sounds the same as “death” in some Asian languages.. Apparently, it’ll come in 2 flavors: $429 and $529, though it’s not clear what the difference is between the two SKUs, but it’s pretty safe to assume one has a bigger hard drive than the other.

A rumor wouldn’t be a rumor without some speculation: “Finally, the source suggests ‘that every PS4 will come with a PlayStation Eye; that a new spectating feature will let you watch other friends play games from your console’s dashboard, even when you don’t own the game they’re playing; and that the console will support local network play via Vita.’ ”

Kotaku also talks about a premium service like Xbox Live: “[…] our source says “most” of the PS4’s online features will require a premium subscription to use. Sony’s new online service will be called PlayStation World, our source says, replacing PlayStation Plus.”. I’m paid up on Playstation plus until early 2015, so I’m hoping there’s some sort of roll-over between the two services. We’ll know more tonight when the Playstation conference begins at 6PM EST!

Tuesday, 2:48 pm – matt

well i did buy FF9 from the Playstation network this morning before the sale ended. I figured when the hell else will i get a chance to save on the classic game so might as well take advantage. i quickly skimmed through the revengeance review and it was pretty much what i expected; slash stuff, fast action game with short confusing story. im sure ill check it out in the near future. after a price drop. or two…

Tuesday, 11:12 am – Ricky

It’s Tuuuuuuuuesday, which means new releases! This week, we experience cyborg overload with Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and Crysis 3. Both are pulling in respectable reviews so far – check out the PC round-up of Crysis 3 (out on all platforms) on Metacritic, at 79 right now, and the Xbox 360 one for Metal Gear (console-only), currently at 82. That looks like an abomination on my screen, but you get the gist of it.

It’s also a good day for me, as my itch has been scratched by another! Gavin generously gifted me a copy of To the Moon on Steam, and I can’t wait to give it a try. I’ll definitely put some hours in so we can have a good discussion going on the podcast this week.

Monday, 7:54 pm – Ricky

Let’s not call it laziness. Instead, let’s call it forgetfulness.

With all the advances in modern technology, it’s easy to automate things. When I make a new post, I have it set to automatically post to our Twitter feed. When I update my Challenge spreadsheet on Google Docs, it automatically saves. And normally, I prepare the weekly post over the weekend and set it to automatically publish on the Monday morning.

I didn’t do that this week, because I forgot about it.

You see, while technology can help provide us with an easier life, it still hinges on our own ability to use it. If I keep my email open all day and only focus on what comes in, I’d very rarely get any other work done. My Blackberry is also a blessing and a curse. But the reason I didn’t post wasn’t work related: I was travelling with my family for the long weekend that most of Canada enjoys. So thanks matt for being from the part of Canada that didn’t have today off! And for starting the week off for us too, I guess.

With the travelling, I didn’t play any games. I did start and mostly finish the March issue of Game Informer. There were some really great feature articles in this one, including a great piece about writing in games. Featuring writers from The Walking Dead and Assassin’s Creed, the writer paints a very bright and optimistic picture for the future of games. He likens the industry’s current state to that of films in the 1920s, a decade that saw that medium grow leaps and bounds in terms of story delivery. It’s a great read – if you don’t have access to the paper copy, Zinio has your hookup.

Speaking of Assassin’s Creed, I have a couple of days this week set aside for gaming, and AC3 is at the top of the list. We also have Andrew Carvalho coming on the podcast on Friday to help wrap-up the week! And lest we forget, big announcements are coming down the pipe from Bungie and Playstation – I’ll give my POV on the Bungie announcement tomorrow, but here’s an IGN article to get you up to speed, then we’ll talk the Playstation announcement on and after the livestream on the 20th. Should be good!

Monday, 4:18 pm – matt

Hey everyone – matt here kicking off a new week of gamentary. I have been following Ricky’s lead and trying to finish up Dead Island for the Xbox. It certainly is not the best game to ever be released I am extremely happy I picked up the game of the year edition for only $20. It can be quite challenging to play as a single player game, but even with just one dedicated friend playing the game we arent having an overly difficult time navigating the story so far. the bonus character of Ryder White was included in the GOTY, but I dont know if its something I’ll be able to play through a second time, even with a new character. theres always just so many games being released.

Speaking of new games always being released, I noticed the all Final Fantasy titles on the Playstation Network have gone on sale 50% off. I really would like to pick up FF9, and at only 5$ I dont see how I wont buy it, I just cant help but wonder when I would even be able to play it…

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