Sunday, February 24, 2013

The PlayStation 4 is Real (Kind Of). New Toys. New Games. New Everything.

While we may not know what it looks like, we do know it's called PlayStation 4 (not Orbis), and Sony says it's "not just next-gen tech in a box", but it will "reconceptualize how you'll play." Sony is promising a "personalized" experience, while accessing content is going to be easier, with "greater fidelity".

From what Sony has shown, it looks like they're on their way.

The Controller
Hey, look! Another Sony leaked product that was right. Again.

We finally have the first major revision to the controller's exterior since analog sticks were added to the first DualShock. First and foremost, the one revision I'm psyched for is the elongation of the handles; it looks to add about 1" to their lengths. For someone who has goddamned gorilla hands, this is great news, and one reason why I've hated the DualShock controllers all these years. The DualShock 4 includes a touchpad directly on the front, akin to the rear touchpad on the Vita, which is clickable, ala BlackBerry Storm (yes, I know, that is a horrible reference).

The Share button (cornered between the D-Pad and touchpad) allows you to snap photos or upload videos of your gameplay to Facebook (no word on YouTube), as a sort of PVR functionality (more on this later). Opposite of the Share button is the Options button; this is the merging of the Start and Select buttons into one function. The analog sticks have been altered slightly, but still sport their convex appearance, but with a lip around the edge, similar to the Xbox 360's "transforming D-Pad" controller's thumbsticks.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Two Titles I Expect to be Unveiled at Sony's Wednesday Presser

With Sony's conference just a few days away, people are getting too goddamned antsy (this kid, included), about what they could reveal.

I have a few things I'd like to see, but most importantly, there are two games I expect from Sony at their conference, one in particular that better be there.

The first you see above, Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Problem is, the fucking thing has been known to the public for too goddamned long, and in development for over 7 years (seven!!!). We've also seen the bastardization of the series, thanks to the awful Final Fantasy XIII, and it's released sequel, and announced second sequel. The other triplet, Type-0, was released on the PSP, and released only in Japan, with no plans of a localization in the US or EU. This Fabula Crystallis Nova project is a fucking joke, and Square Enix needs to back away, cut their losses, and move forward. Best way to do that? Rebranding. I don't care if they change the game - we don't even know what or how Versus will play like - but I can say this: change the name. We need to get away from the clusterfuck that is XIII and get moving. 

Versus needs to be renamed as Final Fantasy XV, and if Sony wants to move units, keep it a Sony exclusive. End of story.

This isn't the game I whole-heartedly expect at the show. Matter of fact, I don't even have an itch to see it. At this point, Square needs to come down off its high horse, get on TV, and say "it's coming, here's a 10 minute trailer of footage and gameplay, and it's being released on this date. And, you know what, fuck it, you guys have waited so long, just take it. Don't give us your money, just take the game as retribution for making you wait so long." Of course that won't happen.

What game do I expect to be shown?

Infamous 3.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Destroyed Controller's Best of 2012 Awards

The 4th annual Destroyed Controller "Best of" results are in! 

::two months late::

Wait, what?

With two major hardware releases last year, the introduction of a new generation of gaming is afoot. While it's a handheld with little support to-date, and Nintendo's newest system with about a 30+ deep catalogue, we still had a hell of a year. We saw the valiant return of Master Chief, a new ancestor for Desmond Miles, the new strain of a no-so-quite-zombie-creating virus, a new contender for "Badass Assassin", and many others.

Which games were the ones worth playing? Let's find out, shall we?

As before, here's the rules:
  • GOTY for a specific platform must be a system exclusive title
  • With the aforementioned, multiplatform titles have their own category to keep bitching to a minimum
  • With the addition of remakes/revivals and their own section, these games cannot be awarded, nor are eligible, for a GOTY award for a platform or genre
  • If a system was not played, a GOTY award will not be awarded (derp)
  • 2012's Eligible platforms: Xbox 360PS3, Wii U, PC/Mac, 3DS, and Vita.
  • You'll notice the absence of a downloadable platform (ex: XBLA, PSN). This is all merged into one: Best Downloadable
  • Runners-up will be listed in the order of how well they performed; the higher up the list, the more of a fight they put up.

Most of the categories introduced remain as well:
  • Biggest Surprise - Something that completely floored me that it has to be mentioned...and given it's own award.
  • Don't Bother Releasing It - This is for those demos that were so damned bad, the game itself fell off of my radar.
  • Worst Game of the Year - This ain't just for the best game of the year, but I'm awarding a Razzie to the worst game of the year.
  • Most Anticipated for 2013 - Self explanatory.
  • Best and Worst Idea - Essentially, things that came from people's thought-processing pool of thoughts that either were awesomely epic, or epically horrendous.
  • Action/AdventureFirst and Third Person Shooters, and Platformers are all under the whole "Genre" moniker.
  • Best HD Compilation - With an abundance of these little fuckers making a larger appearance, they've gotten their own section.
  • Most Underrated Game - Working retail, you try your goddamned hardest to get people to listen to your recommendations, but all they want is the same fucking thing over and over. People are afraid of change, so this is where I give recognition to those games that were overlooked, and shouldn't have been.
Ed. Note: Page formatting got all janky on me before publishing. Considering how blogger works, my resources are limited, and, simply put, shit's all fucked up.

Masachika Kawata on Resident Evil: "We should always start by asking how do we make the games better"

Late last week, I ran a piece, calling for a reboot of Resident Evil. Today, Video Gamer ran an interview piece with Masachika Kawata, the producer of the series as of late, who keeps going on and on about how screwed the franchise is. First, he said it's up for a slight reboot. Now, he's come a few words short of basically saying "we fucked up".

Kawata-san began to reflect on the recent history of the series, saying "I think certainly looking at the last year or two, there probably were a few too many." Now, he never offered an apology for the series' awful games for the past two years, but at least there's some soul-searching going on: "I think we learned last year that putting on a lot of titles would not necessarily win over gamers. At the same time, I don't think we should just stagger them out artificially because that's the solution to the problem we have."

Finally, he offers up a quasi-solution for a possible stability to the franchise's future: "We should always start by asking how do we make the games better. And if the solution to making the games better is to have a more staggered release than we've had recently then that's something we'll do. But we'll do it for that reason and not just for flipping what we've done already."

The issue with the the franchise isn't this divide between "survival horror" and "action shooter", or putting out too many games. The franchise is now split between two "eras", so to speak: Ante Quattuor (Before 4) and the Common Era, and is now known for two distinctive gameplay types. Capcom, rather than stick with one or the other in one release, tries to blend the two into one package. Sadly, they're not meshing the two gameplay styles together. They're dividing the game, literally, with the two styles. Revelations has your "classic" gameplay under Jill, while your current, or "common" gameplay, packaged with Chris. During no point in the game do the two styles mesh with each other. The same can be said with 6, but with three characters; replace Jill with Leon, and inject your shark-jumping with Wesker Jr. Jake.

Capcom wants to appeal to everyone with one game, but that's nigh impossible. The problem with appealing to everyone is having a clashing of ideas that don't compliment each other. By including four different campaigns, you're telling the story across four different characters, with different play-styles. That might sound fun, and even great on paper ("There's something for everyone!"), but things start to a bad way. When you're being chased by a wall of fire and an exploding tanker down a highway, leaping from a tractor trailer onto a hovering helicopter with a zombie latching onto your leg, only to have said helicopter crash into a building and land precariously into a giant, suspended LCD-based display, surrounded by zombies, shit starts to get weird.

Resident Evil 6 wasn't just a bad Resident Evil game. It was a bad game. Period.