In response to "What Happens in New Vegas" from the Escapist Forum: Christ, this article reads like the QA report from hell. Isn't it a known fact by this point that Obsidian is incapable of putting out a game that actually works without needing to be patched? Seriously, this is insane. The sheer number of glitches, bugs, and all-out console freezes is completely unacceptable. Why on Earth would you pay full price for this game? I don't care how good it is when it actually works. The expectation that you can buy a product that simply doesn't work and this is considered normal is unbelievable to me, especially when it doesn't work to this magnitude.
"Oh but they put out patches to fix it." That's nice. And what about the time between when you bought the game and when they patched it so it actually works? You enjoying that coaster you just paid $60 for? And what about the people who can't take their consoles online, or don't want to? Don't give me any crap about "everybody has an Internet connection so it doesn't matter". It's the principle of the thing. The game is supposed to work out of the box. It's a single-player game; it shouldn't require an Internet connection plus two months waiting for a patch.
I don't expect a perfectly pristine bug-free experience, especially with a game of this level of complexity. What I do expect is to be able to get through the main campaign without my console freezing several dozen times. This game was clearly not ready to be shipped. Tiny bugs slipping through the cracks is one thing. This is just shoddy development, rushed testing and kicking the product out the door before it's finished, and it is inexcusable. Period.
I will personally never purchase any game with Obsidian's name on it, especially if it was just released.
In response to "Digital Serendipity" from the Escapist Forum: I was disappointed that the article didn't mention skiing in Starsiege: Tribes.
"In addition to running and jumping, players are equipped with a jetpack which allows them to accelerate into the air until the armor's energy is used up. In addition to straight-line movement, the jetpack has other versatile uses. It can be used to make short hops whilst zig-zagging to make a player harder to target in open areas. An upward thrust can help the player evade oncoming enemies armed with short-range weapons.
Another method of movement is known as "skiing", and relies on an exploitation of the game's physics engine. If a player taps the jump button with the correct timing whilst descending a hill, their momentum will accumulate. High speeds can be achieved this way, and if this momentum takes the player to the crest of another hill, the jetpack can be used to rapidly propel them across the map. This technique was later developed into a game feature by Dynamix for Tribes 2."
It added to the game and was so easy to do that I had no idea it was an exploit at the time. I thought it was just a skill I needed to learn.
Ah, Tribes. So much fun was had playing that series.
In response to "The Minus Touch" from the Escapist Forum: I've never been much of an explorer - part of why I wouldn't be very good at that kind of QA.
I can see the appeal, though. To discover a place not meant for you to see, with quirks not in the original game. It's like the myth of the river Styx, where your memories and dreams come to haunt you, only in video game form. The junkyard where the forgotten and disabled parts go.
... Too bad I lack the patience for the repetitive acts needed to find these, that made them sound really cool.
Back during the early Lich King era, I ran into a bizarre portal glitch in WoW where I disconnected while taking a portal to or from Undercity and Northrend, not sure which order, where my client displayed the Eastern Kingdoms landscape but the server knew I was still in Northrend.
SO, it let me use my flying mount and I got a nice long birds eye tour of the old world and the placeholder art used in Gilneas. There was a singular dwarf NPC standing on a pier at the very western coast of Tirisfal, just sitting there, staring out at the ocean longing, almost as if he was dreaming of going out there, to challenge social stigmas and become the first dwarf to sail the great seas.
I'm surprised that there's been no mention of Halo 2. It's possible it was just in local circles, but Halo 2's multiplayer was absolutely ruined for me once everyone got obsessed with breaking outside of the map limits EVERY SINGLE TIME to just... look around before getting bored and killing each other, which usually led to fights because it was hard to get back. Idiots. The amount of time people spent figuring out exactly the right place to jump, the right place to use a grenade, was just ridiculous.
In response to "My Nintendo Shame" from the Escapist Forum: Meh. This isn't a bad article, but it would have been far more relevant two years ago. Now it doesn't say anything new, plus Nintendo had some truly great 'hardcore' games this year, even though they weren't too innovative.
Personally I'm quite satisfied with what they are doing. I don't care how good their casual games (or their competitor's casual games) are, as long as they release some truly great games once in a while. And no, 2010 wasn't Nintendo's most innovative year. But in the past few years they have come up with the ds, the Wii, some absolutely great and revolutionary games for both systems, and within a few months they'll come up with the 3ds and Kid Icarus, which is basically a new franchise.
I'm not saying that Nintendo is flawless or anything, but I don't think there's a reason to be ashamed when you're still cheering for a new Nintendogame.
The Wii has become like a wine cabinet: It uncommonly has great contributions with delightful vintage flavor, but you have to sift through a lot of boxed Walmart varieties to find them. And, for well-read gamers, it's hard to live off a diet of just good booze.
I agree with a lot of this article. To compare this to television, Nintendo started as the Simpsons with cutting edge themes and ideas, characters to fall back on, and a large appeal. Recently, they have devolved to Family Guy, relying on cheap gags and most importantly ham-fisted nostalgia trips to appeal to the lowest common denominator: everyone. Of course, that isn't Nintendo's problem or fault, and this piece is not putting the blame on Nintendo, the problem is with us, the users and consumers. Just as Family Guy continues to be a wasteland of uncreative and growthless nostalgia, so does Nintendo because we allow it to. We do not challenge Nintendo as a developer, we challenge Sony and we challenge Microsoft all the time, however we do not challenge Nintendo.
Kirby's Epic Yarn and Donkey Kong Country Returns do absolutely nothing to revitalize or revolutionize prior EPs, continue any kind of running plot, or apply technology in any kind of new way. Donkey Kong Country sure as hell did. Kirby and The Crystal Shards sure did. But why should we expect Nintendo to push any envelopes? Not now, over 4 years into a console generation, riiiight? Nintendo as a developer should be held to the same standards as M. Night Shyamalan is as a director. As his films start failing the consumers in quality, we stop watching. As Nintendo's games start failing us as consumers, we will eventually have to stop playing, and as Nintendo fans that is the worst possible outcome. THAT is why this is so crucially important.
Briana's article NEEDED to come out now, not two years ago, it is more plain to see now than it ever has been that we, as consumers, are failing to keep Nintendo a competitive and cutting edge company like we DESERVE it to be. Nintendo has had four years to come out with games for its newest console and it has not met the match set by its closest competitors. We owe it to ourselves as gamers and the medium owes it to itself for a flagship company like Nintendo to come out with the very best games that push the envelope in every single category, but it is My Nintendo Shame to have waited four years for something to happen that may never happen. Gaming doesn't need a quixotic software development company like Nintendo. But gaming DESERVES a dynamic and exciting company like what Nintendo used to be.
TL;DR: Where is the Wii's Pikmin?
On the upside Nintendo's DS has been FANTASTIC. But I guess that is why we have a new handheld before any news on a new console comes out... You can extrapolate from that what you will.