Aftermath/The End – Pacific Rim

 

Technically part 2 of the Pacific Rim review on Video Game Armada. Here we talk about the stuff we couldn’t in part 1. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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The End – BioShock Infinite ending

BioShock-Infinite-(The-End)

 

Hmmm… Well it looks like 2013 is going to be the year of firsts for Armada as well because we’re going to unleash another new segment here called ‘The End’ where we give you our opinion about the ending of a work of a story – primarily video games. And what better game to first talk about then BioShock Infinite’s ending. Now it’s been a couple weeks now so I’m safe to assume the majority of players bought the game and seen the ending already. However if you’re one of two people who has not seen the ending and doesn’t want it ruined for you please leave come back when you’re ready. For the rest of us, here’s the ending recap:

 

 

 

I’ve enjoy the game immensely, I’ve reviewed it to that effect but to be honest – this was the worst ending of all three games so far… Why? Because I saw nearly the entire plot coming: I knew Anna DeWitt / Elizabeth was Booker’s daughter, I knew Vox Populi would turn against me in the second half of the game, I knew the Lutece twins weren’t twins but alternate reality versions of themselves (and that they would never make sense in the story), and of course Booker DeWitt was in fact alternate reality Zachary Hale Comstock. How did I see this coming? Because not only did they borrow heavy from the BioShock games but other entertainment medias. What non-BioShock elements did they borrow from, well let’s see, there’s Lost, Sliders, the Jet Li Movie ‘The One’ and even Hypertime from the DC Universe. I’m sure there are more examples out there but these are enough. Where these other works did their take the whole ‘alternate realities’ in a somewhat the original way; BioShock Infinite ending just mashed all these elements in, added some questionable (and confusing) science, and called it a conclusion. And you know what, I’ve could have ignored all of that because fiction has a habit of copying other fiction (intentionally or not), but what I can’t condone is the fact the Infinite was the original and the sequel uninspiredly retold.

 

The original BioShock’s reveal

 

The first game’s outcome was brilliant, a masterwork of storytelling that questions whether we are our choices or are we choices made by others. The characters are awesome, just an enjoyable in general. The sequel characters were less memorable but the main baddie wanted to convert her daughter into a powerful symbol of her ideals (sounds familiar right). Also the main character in the sequel, named Delta, want’s to save the daughter from her fate and in turn the daughter sees Delta as a father figure (again familiar right). Its ending was less epic than the first but, I left satisfied. Infinite sums up like this: let make rapture again, but in the sky this time, and have only one little sister but make her the literal daughter of the main character and the antagonist at the same time, have nearly all the plot secondary characters killed off very easily like Andrew Ryan but without important subtext on the why, and finally end on the high note of lighthouses, magic science, and a non-noble sacrifice that, in the grand scheme of infinite parallel universes, is pointless.

 

BioShock 2 endings

 

 

Even that, that, is something I could give a pass to, but, and I mean it this time, the true issue I have against Infinite is the lack of choice. BioShock 1 & 2 allowed me to choose in key moments various outcomes (mainly good or evil, but still) that would affect the overall outcome.  In Infinite the choices are stupid, pointless, and had very little to no bearing in the story at all. For BioShock that’s freaken ridiculous. So what I’m supposed to accept fate as is, there’s no changing in so let your multiple dimensional daughters drown you in a baptismal pool for the good of the world? No, no BioShock Infinite, ending failure. In the end we have the power to transverse time and space and to see infinite number of worlds, outcomes, and choices and the story chooses to settle on one solution – the dumbest one possible because the plot demanded it. No. BioShock I expect better out of you, I expect, when it comes to story, you bring it – you didn’t this time. The game is great but its story’s a letdown and even though there’s DLCs in the future I’m not quite sure how they’ll be used story wise (my guess would be they just unlock new areas to explore).

 

I’m sorry if I went off the deep end there, but I wanted BioShock Infinite to be the next great chapter in the series. Not some reboot/rewrite of the first two games with an ending that’s equally lazy. It robs the player of being part of the BioShock universe (multiverse) and lacks the satisfactions of doing something meaningful in their world. Sadly like Halo 4 and WWE 13, BioShock Infinite will be one game that does everything right accept the most important thing, and what that thing is depends on the game, for Infinite it’s the ending and the outlining story. Not much to do now but to trade the game in and hope the next BioShock returns to form.

 

 

 

 

 

Wanted! Alive and Localized – Dragon Quest X

Wanted!-Dragon-Quest-X

 

You know when I (and many gamers) made the call to bring Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney 5 to the rest of the world – Capcom wisely listened. Not only was it was a pretty neat cause and effect but it gave me the idea for a new segment called: Wanted! Alive and Localized. Where I make an impassionate plea to make certain awesome games available worldwide, like today subject Dragon Quest X. Now I’ll be honest here, the Dragon Quest series of games, at most, I’ve played once in a while. In fact the only games in the series I played were DQ VI (I think) & IX so I’m in no way an authority. However as a gamer of good standing I’ve come to find those two games were proof enough for me that Dragon Quest X would be good to localize. The DQ games are unique for both uphold the transitional RPG ways, but at the same time forward-thinking by trying something new every new sequel. What did Dragon Quest X do differently? Well besides being one of the first RPGs to be on a next gen (Wii U) game console but they took the leap and went MMO. Now, now, I hear the rabble now: “Consoles MMOs sucks” and/or “DQ X is not doing well.”

 

 

Yes, yes MMOs on consoles don’t generally do well, but if there’s one time tested property that could make a console MMO work it would be SquareEnix (so long as Final Fantasy has nothing to do with it we’ll be ok). As for the game itself not doing well in Japan, that’s not because the game is bad, but because new MMOs has a tough time breaking through when there are so many MMOs out already. It’s probably going to take months before this one gains any steam – all the more reason why Dragon Quest X should be localized: more markets, more players, more money. Despite the few things set against it I’m pretty sure this title will hit the world at large sooner rather than later; if for nothing else to give people a new game to play on the Wii U with. But hey I don’t care the reason as long as we get it:

 

SquareEnix: “Well Dragon Quest X will hit the European and North American markets to appease the cosmic entity Cthulhu.”

Me: “You said we’re getting Dragon Quest X?

SquareEnix: “Yes.”

Me: “Sweet.”

 

 

 

Armada-pedia Update – f00b

Hey, hey, hey people I got a new Armada-pedia word today. Sorry I haven’t posted in a few days but I’ve been playing DC Universe Online since it went Free to Play (F2P); if it didn’t glitch up, shut down, and make me wait to play – it would be an excellent game. However it is thanks to this game that heard a new word being born: f00b. Check it out.

Product Placement Guide – Nintendo 3DS

 

Ladies and gentlemen this has been a long time coming for me (and the video game world in general); ever since last year’s E3 I knew this product was ‘the one’. The one that’s going to change everything, the one that’s show the difference between revolutionary and carbon copyoff (see Playstation Move & Xbox Kinect – last time I promise), and finally the one I’ll make my love ones buy because of my resent birthday (get of my lawn you kids). So essentially this will be a couple of firsts for the product placement review: one being this will be the first ‘high-end’ product I’ll be reviewing (meaning the product itself cost more than $100); and two this will be the first product I didn’t have to buy myself (just like a real tech journalist – awesome). So enough banter and fanfare let get down to the nitty gritty…

 

 

The Look:

Don’t expect much from the box here people; recent years Nintendo has stress the minimalist look and they continue that here. The container of my ‘Cosmo Black’ Nintendo 3DS has very little on it: the background is nothing more than metallic black on the top and bottom on the box while white in the middle. Front & center the star of the show, the Nintendo 3DS, or rather its picture, and to its left are the words ‘Nintendo 3DS’ (just in case you forgot what you were buying, heh). Up top, nothing but ‘Cosmo Black’, Nintendo, and a barcode; the right and bottom – even less. Now on the left are some warning about using 3D for little kids and prohibits unauthorized modifications on the actual unit itself. The back is where all the action is because it provides a brief description of what your buying, what features is has (at start up/without updates), Nintendo boilerplates and ESRB ratings.

 

 

The Contents:

 

Now then inside the box you get –

  • 1 Nintendo 3DS Entertainment System (w/ 2 GB SD card & extending stylus)
  • 1 power cord
  • 1 docking cradle
  • 1 instruction manual
  • Assorted leaflets for ‘club nintendo’, ‘Mii Plaza’, and a quick start guide.
  • And 1 pack of ‘AR Cards’ (six cards in the pack), more on this next.

 

 

The Nintendo 3DS (Pt.1):

 

– The following here are functions the Nintendo 3DS are capable of at this point in time  –

 

3D – All the reports I’ve read, heard about, and researched are true… True 3D in my hot little hands without the need of dorky/faux-cool 3D glasses, this is the next true technological achievement in entertainment. Every current handheld device whether it has something to do with gaming or not is now on barrowed time. Sure 3D isn’t very practical for practical purposes like taking notes or keeping addresses, but sooner or later that smart phone or idevice will be used for movies, pictures and yes even gaming. Now imagine those not only improved by looks but by depth as well; the movie ‘Megamind’ during the final battle where building are being flung at you and you flinch, photos you take stand out like never before, and games that use the 3D in such a way players won’t see them coming. This is the future and it starts with Nintendo (as most things do). I’m sorry if my description got a little surreal there; all I really should have said was the 3D is good (which it is). As to accurately describe what it is like, I’ll use the example a good GameStop sales rep told me as I was picking up my 3DS:

“It’s like looking into a window of a house from the outside.”

Which is also true. The Nintendo 3DS games don’t jet from the system but rather allows the player to ‘look into’ the game (and system) itself – perceive it in a 3rd dimension. Characters, objects, landscapes, all, they now have digital substance that I can almost reach through the screen and touch with my fingertips. That’s incredible. Of course this effect only works on 3DS games and the 3DS Home menu but the advance graphics of the 3DS makes regular DS games look pretty good. But speaking of the Home menu…

 

Home Menu – It is from here where the true action begins, players can select the different functions (with their own 3D icons) by scrolling left or right. Or if that too limiting you can always expand your selection outlook further out to make it look like the familiar Wii selection screen – and even further out.

 

Nintendo 3DS Camera – Every handheld personal device has a camera function on it these days but very few take pictures in 3D! Amaze your friends and random strangers as you show them themselves coming to life in the 3DS. Of course this miracle machine doesn’t stop there, you can also add some finer personal touches to your photos like drawing on it, adding effects (like bubbles, flashes, and even dream sequencetizer), and even merging your ugly mug to a pretty young thang – see what your future kids look like. Once you’re done having fun set that bad boy to Slideshow and watch you handy work by yourself or with others on a media of your choice thanks to the SD card. Here’s a few pictures I took while running errands:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nintendo 3DS Sound – Now the sound application is two fold, one is that it can record audio in ten second intervals and can be edited faster, slower, higher, lower or distorted for your entertainment. The second part is that it can be used as a music player like an ipod; put your favorite tracks on a SD cards, insert it into the 3Ds and just tune out the world- literary. If you feel like sharing you can select your elite tunes for StreetPass (more on that later) and any close by 3DS can check out what your listening to.

 

Mii Maker – This should bring back the old school Wii owners here, actually since the Xbox and PlayStation copied off this as well, this bring back everyone who has a current console. Anyway create your own personal chibi of yourself, your friends, your family, random strangers, Gary Busey, anyone. Once your done you can send your lil’ Frankenstein’s to be viewed by all; you can send(or receive) them wirelessly via your Mii Maker, create a QR (Quick Response) code to be scanned by other 3DS’s or heck just save it as a image send it out on a email, post it, whatever you want.

Orvek DeUltros, My avatar, in Mii form!

QR Orvek - add him to your 3DS today!

StreetPass Mii Plaza – Ok now this is where we get into new territory because before I can explain what Mii Plaza is I must explain what StreetPass & SpotPass are. SpotPass is simply your 3DS communicating with a wireless LAN internet source; from there it will be able to update it’s systems (unlocking unavailable features or just keeping things ship-shape), getting free software, and who knows what other goodies. StreetPass is similar to SpotPass but instead of connecting to the internet, StreetPass connects to other 3DS. When two or more 3DS are connected many different things happen depending on what options each player will allow before the connection. Mainly however for Mii Plaza, StreetPass will (if you allow it) send a copy of your favorite Mii to another 3DS that is if both are close enough to one another and if both are in sleep mode (which is the only way the ‘passes will active). You see players will need those Miis in order too take advantage of everything Mii Plaza has to offer. Not only will you see the S.P. Miis gather in a small plaza for your counting pleasure but you can use them in mini games in plaza. One is a puzzle game where the Miis you meet give you new puzzle pieces to finish it, while in ‘Find Mii’ you’re the king or queen of your kingdom and things are good until you’re captured by ghosts. Now you need other Miis to help you out and slay the ghosts. I must say this is rather cleaver on the part of Nintendo; for trying to get us dungeon lords out of the basements we rule over and get out and socialize, if for nothing else, to recruit Miis and slay evil.  But my friends this is only the tip top of a growing iceberg of fun; the StreetPass is compatible with a lot of games and home applications already unlocking new features or applied bonuses every time the pass is used. Add to the fact that SpotPass can (I’m pretty sure will) add new content regularly.

 

AR Games – Here’s another game changing application, AR (Augmented Reality) Games is basically a collection of mini games that uses the 3DS camera, the AR cards that came with the 3DS, and your own environment, to play. Just put down the question mark box card on any well lit, flat, but mundane surface and watch it come to life through the 3DS screen. Test your skill on the archery range, or maybe your dexterity AR shot, and kick back and relax with some fishing. With the card’s help AR Games provides targets, scenery, menus, produce enemies to fight (Targets won’t be the only thing you’ll be shooting in Archery) and even change the landscape of the 3D environment for added challenge. The other cards (the one with the Nintendo all stars on them) & other options will allow you to also make funny pics with your Miis and the characters on the AR card.

 

Face Raiders – Finally Face Raiders is like AR Games but this one doesn’t need special cards to play – just your face & plenty of room. See, using the camera again the 3DS takes a picture of your face (and later on other people’s faces), stick them on, what I can only call 3D disembodied copter heads, and turn them loose in your living room (or where ever you are at the time). Of course it’s up to you to defeat your own face (and the faces of others) and bring peace to the land. Seeing how the player must turn his whole to body to find the faces flying about, at the same time protecting themselves from the headstrong nuisances as they break through reality like gang busters, is easier said than done.

 

 

Etc – The rest of the stuff that comes with this bad boy is statically data, health warning, system settings, etc. They’re important but nothing we haven’t seen before. But hey, if you want to see how hard you been gaming, and what game the most, you always have the option.

 

 

The Nintendo 3DS (Pt.2):


Man, that was monster the type, even more of a monster to test, research, and play with, but you what – it was a good kind of pain. Let move on to how the 3DS plays, after all what’s good about a awesome piece of tech if it looks good, has a butt load of features, but plays like a three legged mule in a typhoon? Games I used to test the power of the system is two that came with the system (Face Raiders and AR Games) and two I bought (Apollo Justice and Lego Star Wars III the Clone Wars).

 

Face Raiders – Well it started easy enough, the game took my face, made it a floating evil boss (plus minions), and provided easy to shoot (with tennis balls no less) targets. Then they started to move around, bust through the scenery (with the debris coming right at me), and tried to kiss me *shudder*. Finally the bossed showed up, and might I say I never looked so comically intimidating. He was fast, strong, and his metal helmet resisted my tennis balls – to put him down I needed to smack him in the kisser. At the end of the day I was victorious and the evil face me ended up with a afro for his trouble. That was only the first stage and there are six in all offering head exploding good times for all. I had a blast with this game; it’s easy to learn but hard to master, you can’t sit down to play this, as the faces will attack you at all angles. Finally it takes your own face (and the faces of others) and puts it into the game and that’s awesome. There are no problems with the controls and the 3D work as suspected, moving on.

 

AR Games – Like Face Raiders, AR Games uses the world around you as a stage, but unlike Face Raiders this application needs AR cards to play (like I said before). Three games and three art programs plus additional modes purchased using 3DS coins (which can be earned by walking around with the 3DS in sleep mode). The games themselves were fun the first time I’ve played them; I still enjoy fighting that Dragon at the end of Archery. However thanks to needing a well lit area in order for the Nintendo 3DS to scan the card correctly as well as needing 14th inches, 360 degrees around the card to keep it working – the novelty wears off quickly. The art programs are ok, but I have Photoshop if I get inspired with the arty stuff (like Pimp M.O.D.O.K.) so I don’t use them much. All & all not bad, but I rather play Face Raiders.

 

Apollo Justice, Ace Attorney – The Ace Attorney series is one that perfectly shows why video games is a media beyond all others. Most people only see video games as hyper violence or Wii Sports, not that there’s anything wrong with those, I enjoy both at regular intervals. With Ace Attorney however it tests players with detective work, legal wranglering, and how to put it all together to bring justice to the courtroom. Trust me, its more exciting than it sounds. Now I know regular DS game won’t show in 3D but I wanted to see if it sees plays in general. Well I’m happy to report that everything preformed well; the screen was crisp and clear, the sound was surprising loud, and the D-pad, Thumb pad, and siding stylist interfaced with the five year old without missing a beat. Of course this is all par of the way for backwards capabilities (which Nintendo is very good about), though sadly this is as far as it goes, for there isn’t a GBA slot in this console.

 

Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars – I got to admit, not my first choice for my very first handheld 3D video game, especially since the Lego Star Wars series tend to bored me. But hey I can roll with the punches; and since the only viable candidates (for me anyway) was this, a game I played before (Super Street Fighter IV), and a game I have no interest in (Steel Diver) – I went with the Legos and crossed my fingers. The Lego Star Wars series of games usually follows the events of the movies with there own funny little Lego style humor in them. This time around it’s the Clone Wars cartoon on, you guessed it, Cartoon Network. Now again this series isn’t so bad really, but the whole Lego thing in my Star Wars is like Peanut Butter with my chocolate, and then eat it 3 times day for year – a little goes a long way people. There’s a market for it however and it does score well every new game that comes out; as for me this isn’t a review for the game but of the true 3D of the 3DS. Clone Wars is straight textbook platformer, however thanks to 3D component it gives a new dimension to the most classic gaming genre. Ledges, ridges, parts of the background, and even how some of the enemies come at you have so much real substance now it’s almost unbelievable. Blowing up enemies is also a treat because sometimes the Lego bits come flying at me and make me flinch – excellent. Even the look of the cut scenes are far more improved (even though not in 3D) that I thought for this handheld. The game itself still plays and controls like its predecessors but how it uses the 3D and the vast improvement of its visuals makes this game fun – and I personally excited for what’s to come.

 

 

Problems?

So what’s the catch? I mean the Nintendo 3DS has so much good stuff (in my opinion anyway), there’s got to be a rub, a chink in the armor, a cloud in the silver lining, and so forth. Well… First of all the 3D is great, but it works in such a way that you have to look at the screen straight head otherwise the picture keeps shifting light to dark. This shifting is annoying, especially when you’re trying to play the games that involves you to move, or you’re just moving in general (it is a portable system after all). Another thing I noticed is that the battery life isn’t as stellar as previous Nintendo handhelds, maybe it just me playing it too much (and leaving it on sleep mode overnight) but I swear I recharge this thing more times than not. The two popular problems the Nintendo 3DS has is that players sometimes have headaches playing with 3D on and it freeze from time to time. As of the writing of this article and two weeks of ‘evaluations’ I only had one headache from playing in 3D mode (although that could’ve be from sleeping against a cold wall that night – long story) & the system froze twice. At anytime the 3D can be lowered or shut off if necessary, as for the freezing, well, no current generation system hasn’t froze on me at point or another. These are the only problems I see as problem with the system, anything else can be fixed in system updates.

 

 

Final Ranking:

While I’m happy to say that the Nintendo 3DS is the fasting selling Nintendo portable in history (discounting Japan for obvious reasons), which makes me happy but many major news brands review the 3DS differently from one another. Even Adam Sessler was generally disappointed with the machine, saying that it didn’t have a strong enough library of games at launch and the 3D wasn’t as good as it was at E3. Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t do things half way, I wait and take my time because a rushed job don’t help me or you. I could have put up a quick little somethin’-somethin’ that very day just to say I did, like some obnoxious poster saying ‘First!’ on a message board. I could have describe the features in quick little bullet points or whatever I found on Wikipedia. I could have even bagged on the stylist, like the stylist was beneath me like poor man’s techno elitist. I what I did do however was play the thing: played it in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night. Played it at home, at work, on the road, got it dirty, got it greasy, and wiped it off. Played DS games on it, 3DS games on it, played sitting up, sitting down, the camera, the recorder, the Mii maker, and got Miis via QR codes via the internet and watched an amusing 3D video featuring ‘Ok Go’(came with the first system update). I not only played this but I allowed several others to try it to confirm my finding – including the one man bureaucracy True Backlash & the tech diva Blu. I’ve said all this to say that myself and all I let play this have come to the same conclusion: the Nintendo 3DS F’N good, period. It’s not perfect, but what gaming consoles it? The PS3 was $600 at launch, Xbox 360? Red Ring of Death, something that’s still a problem today (although slight). Wii wasn’t even readily available until a year and half after its launch. Speaking of launch, launch titles have always been habitually pushed late on console launches, why should the 3DS be singled out? I know, I wanted to Kid Icarus too, but I think I can wait to make sure I get the best 3D experience on my handheld – in most cases extra time = less problems when games come out.

 

But I’m starting to repeat myself again so I’ll wrap it up like this: worst case scenario it is Nintendo DSi 2.0, best case scenario it is the most advanced media device you’ll put in your pocket, backed by a time tested master of handheld games that remains undefeated for over twenty years, and in the long run will only get better from here. Remember though this is a gaming device, if you like video games more than checking your twitter page, get the 3DS; if not the iPad 2 is also available.

PlayStation Move & Xbox Kinect – Don’t buy the hype

Phew! Dropped a deuce this time!

Hello all, my name is Boss Bronze; I am known as and by many things. The one thing I am truly proud of however is that I’m the one, true, Omnigamer (or Gaming Guru in some circles); that means in the world of video games the buck stops with me. I’ve grown up with video games (and other technologies) since the Atari 2600 (and the IBM PC Jr); I’ve played, rated, traded, advised, researched, and put into business cards (in middle school no less) gaming before ‘the game’ had a name. I say this not to stroke my own ego (insert your joke here) but to say I’ve seen a lot of shovelware peripherals come and go through a systems’ lifetime. I thought for sure I’ve seen the current consoles poor showings as well, but when I heard about both Sony and Microsoft going into motion controls for their product I knew I was wrong. Now the Playstation ‘Move’ and the Xbox ‘Kinect’ are out and about for the Christmas season this year – people I implore you do not buy this (or rather these). Now, now, I know what you all are either thinking or saying right now:

“Why not buy them? I love <obligatory console>.”

Or

“The Wii is for kids and their games look horrible unlike <obligatory console>.”

Or even

“You’re a Nintendo fan boy who doesn’t like <obligatory console> stealing the Wii’s thunder!”

Well even if those statements are true (the 3rd one especially) it doesn’t negate the fact the <obligatory consoles> were never intended (or built) for motion controls and all they really are is Sony and Microsoft’s attempt to milk the same cash cow Nintendo dairy farmed for the past four years. At this point in time I can not see any way the <obligatory consoles> can improve what the Wii has already done (outside the visual). Just look at the Move for a second; the control interface is… Similar to the Wii. Eerily similar. So similar in fact that one could dare say it’s an unimaginative direct rip off – and they would be right. Sure they (and you know who you are) would tell you a whole technical book of $50 words on how the technology works with their eye camera, gyroscopes, accelerometers, and the ridiculous mutli-colored sphere on the main remote. They also would say that the games are at a higher caliber and for a more mature audience, but at the end of the day –

This

 

 

 

Is this  with games so mirrored aftered the Wii, you can almost smell the Xerox off their launch titles. For example…

 

 

 

 

This

 

 

 

 

Is this, with a face-lift

 

 

 

 

 

This

 

 

 

 

Is this, without the fun or whimsy

 

 

 

 

 

This

 

 

 

 

Is this, if it was called ‘Eyepet’ and featured a mutant furry instead of a real animal.

 

 

 

And so on, and so forth…

The only real innovate thing about the Move is that their controllers are powered by an integrated lithium-ion battery pack, recharged via mini USB cable (the same is true for their normal controllers as well). However the problem with anything integrated is that if that part is shot, the product is done (see iPod). Wii and Xbox controllers don’t have that problem when it comes to power supply, if they go I’m only down $3-12, for Move I would have to shell out $35-80.

_

The Move tried to play it safe and ultimately became a clone, but what of the Kinect? Well to its credit it is unique; using its device to “scan” in players of different size and shapes is interesting. Also the ‘instance drop in-drop out’ of a 2nd player makes casual gaming dynamic for the Kinect… However:

As you can see – the very first thing wrong with the Kinect is direct injuries to yourself and others by playing co-op/vs games. Sure, yes, there are examples of property damage due to people not having a good grip on a Wiimote (or not using the strap); but I’ve never heard of one flying off and hitting little jimmy in the pie hole. Which brings me to my next gripe, Kinect is a space hog. Seriously, my gaming area is small, I don’t live in a loft people; now my Wii plays fine in the Tetris-like enclosure I call the Armada nerve center but with the Kinect no such luck. If I lost my mind and bought this thing I wouldn’t be able to make a move without banging into the following:

  • Chair(s)
  • Desk(s)
  • Drawers
  • Other consoles
  • TV
  • Cabinets
  • Baskets
  • Desk lamp
  • Door
  • Etc.

It won’t happen all at once granted, but sooner or later something would have gotten hurt, broken, or both… Adding a second player in that room would be an instance fail, so yes big room fine, small room not so much.

_

Here’s another issue: according to consumer reports and gamespot.com the Kinect camera does have some difficultly reading players in low-light situations. To be fair the Wii controls aren’t always perfect, some functions don’t respond well in certain games. Cameras & motion controls don’t always mix very well as well. That being said since the Kinect has no controllers to support the system the camera should be near flawless – no matter the lighting in the environment. I’ll say something else too, when playing a game on whatever system I like the lights on low or completely off. Not only does right lighting fit the mood of the game, it also cuts down on TV glare, which all gamers know (or should know) makes the games easier to see on the screen. I don’t need some uppity $150 piece of tech not working just because it’s having a hard time seeing me in the dark!

Ok so we covered injuries to yourself and others and (what a surprise) a Microsoft product not working as it should. What’s left you ask, how about the powers that be using the Kinect as a tool for advertisers. The good people at tgdaily.com wrote an article on how this is being done, here’s an excerpt:

“Did you know thanks to the Kinect motion camera, Microsoft can now see how you play your Xbox 360 games? And it wants to send this information to marketers.

Not only can players see content that advertisers display, but advertisers can see who is seeing their advertisements. As Microsoft puts it, advertisers would be able to see physical characteristics of who is behind the Kinect camera, how many people there are, and how much they’re moving around.”

Basically you, your image, and how you play can be used by ad men and women to propel the next line of junk to your eyeballs that you simply ‘must’ buy. Are you an overweight fellow who prefers ‘Kinect Adventures’ sitting down, expect a couple of coupon books for pizza hut heading your way. What about a fitness guru who can do the steps of ‘Your Shape Fitness Evolved’ blindfolded, well one could never have enough Bowflexes right? Enjoy Sonic Free Riders; you might also love some New Jersey swap land. See where I going here?  Microsoft does, and they whole heartily support this if any advertising agencies want in.

I’ll say this once; I play video games to have fun, not to buy crap (or crappy DLC games). If I want to see commercials I’ll turn on a TV and see what’s on, or go to the movies, or go online, or use my cell phone…

_

All of this, all of it can be (for a lack of a better term) ignored – they’re annoying but doesn’t cripple the Kinect.

What does is nothing.

The very gall of the genius who came up with the idea of having the player use nothing but themselves to make progress in a game is asinine. Not to mention a very old idea, I remember using an old web camera nine years ago to play a simple game of basketball (the game was part of the camera’s software). Sure it was fun using my hands and head to knock the balls in the baskets, but I got bored very quickly with that simple, simple game. The Kinect is no different from that old web camera years ago, and its games are just as simple. I played Kinect Adventures, Kinect Sports, and demo boxing game; I swear to you my audience if I didn’t get high scores just by flailing around, then it was giving me static on the simplest things like placing the ball down, putting up your guard in fights, timing errors, not standing the right area, etc.

Without any kind of controller as an indicator on where, what and how; all you’ll be doing is looking stupid – and getting tired of (and from) it.

Where does Microsoft plan to go from here with their ‘no controller’ approach? Their best, most popular games are heavy based on their current form of controls. There is no way the Kinect style of play can handle those meaty titles unless you turn the next Halo game into a rail shooter or the next Fable into a choose your own adventure e-book.

*sigh*

This all may sound like the ravings of a mad, Omnigamer, but I speak the truth on a matter more mine than anyone’s. The reasons I gave are why both the Move and the Kinect are not only bad ideas to buy for the Christmas season, but will simply fail in the months to come. Xbox 360 dominates by their games, while the PS3 their hardware, if they try to fight to Nintendo at their own game not only will they lose, but lose big – after all Nintendo biggest powerhouse ain’t coming from the Wii next year…

The Nintendo 3DS is only a few short months away

 

 

Well I’ve said my piece and I thank you all for indulging me, this is Boss Bronze saying good night and pleasant grinding on Cata, I wish I was there.

TBL’s Character Select Screen – Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds pt. 5

 

TrueBackLash is back with part 5 of my

 

 

…character coverage. We’re at the final stretch for now folks, today I scope out the six remaining characters until more are confirmed. You ready? Good, let’s get to it.


Arthur
Company: Capcom
Series: Ghosts ‘n Goblins
– The knight ready to save a princess from the underworld, Sir Arthur, along with Thor appeared in MvC1 as a helper character. Now, he’s a full fledged character and he’s ready to take on all comers. I vaguely remember playing, Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, but I know this little guy is loaded with special attacks, so I’m guessing he’s a range fighter. His supers also look like they have to deal with treasure chests. I’ll know more when the game is out, but with his appearance in Namco X Capcom, his cameos in Capcom Fighting Jam and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, plus his enemy Red Arremer in SNK vs. Capcom Chaos, you know Capcom wanted him in a fighting game for a long time.


Nathan Spencer
Company: Capcom
Series: Bionic Commando
– It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Rad in action, but my goodness, I’ve never seen so much bodily harm inflicted on a person with one arm. With that stretchy robo-arm of his, long range attacks seem like his specialty. A good addition overall due to the most recent game being fresh in everyone’s mind.


Viewtiful Joe
Company: Capcom
Series: Viewtiful Joe
– Hero of Movie Land, Viewtiful Joe is one of two characters that came from Tatsunoko vs. Capcom on the way here. I love the Viewtiful Joe series, but his TvC moves didn’t speak to me. Hopefully, he’s improved since then, but we’ll see. If anything, Joe’s great for a laugh.


Zero
Company: Capcom
Series: Mega Man X, Mega Man Zero
– Like Viewtiful Joe, Zero debut in TvC. Unlike Joe’s moves though, Zero’s moves rule and they look like they do again in MvC3. Zero is a pretty balanced fighter with tons of Melee attacks including some from his legendary Z-Saber and long range attacks from his Z-Buster. Can’t wait to see him in action.


Jill Valentine
Company: Capcom
Series: Resident Evil
– Jill Valentine returns for a second MvC game, here she’s a downloadabe character. Even more jarring is her redesign, it’s so different. It makes me wonder if she’s going to have the same moves of if they are going to be changed dramatically. Also, why does she remind me of Samus from Metroid? hmm… Anyway, if she has the same awesome moves, I’ll give her a shot.


Shuma-Gorath
Company: Marvel
Series: Dr. Strange
– Awesome to see such an obscure Marvel character once again get to be in a MvC game, even if he is DLC this time. Deep down, I knew he was going to be in the game. Can’t wait to break out the Chaos Dimension and Pwning fools. Using exploding eyeballs too, sweet.

Well, that’s all I got, for Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Keep watching for… what? WHO WAS JUST ANNOUNCED TODAY!!!!?

(Come back for pt. 6 for Storm and Crimson Viper).