Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Final Thoughts on GameStop

Here's my final thoughts on the gaming industry and how one very important store chain has changed over time.
WARNING: This video contains graphic language and is not safe for work or school.
This one says it all:
Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Little Originality

            Games on a small device can be just as good as one that is made for a high definition super system. Angry Birds has sold over a half a billion copies and I totally understand why. It’s a blast to play. It’s really funny and it is appealing to the entire family. The game consists of pissed off, suicidal fowl that launch themselves (kamikaze style) into the pigs that have stolen their eggs in order to kill them. It’s kind of disturbing that kids all over the world love this game. The game is so well made that this horrible plot that I just described never really affects the game. It’s all done in good taste. Done the wrong way, this game would have been a disaster. Imagine a version of this game with violent sound effects and blood. Yeah. That’s what I thought.
            Truth be told, I haven’t bought a hand held gaming system in quite a while. The last one I got was the original Sony PSP. I had it for a little over a year and only owned four or five games for it. The reason why I got rid of it was because it was clear that the makers of the games for that system weren’t really trying very hard. Most of them sucked. A few exceptions were the God of War games and GTA: Vice City Stories. Those were good but even they seemed lackluster to me. Mostly because they looked and played like slightly enhanced Playstation 1 games.
            They just couldn’t compare to the older generation of handheld games. One the best games ever made in my book is Kirby’s Dream Land for the original Nintendo Game Boy. This game was a blast. The plot stunk. The main character was a white puff ball that sucked stuff up like a vacuum cleaner. It was easy to play and was a lot of fun. In fact, it still is. The other Game Boy game that was amazing for its time is of course, Pokemon. How can anyone deny the kind of quality that went into that games and the sequels to it?
            Since then, I think that the big name game companies have fallen off of their high horse. They just aren’t making those big name games like they used to. Everything is a sequel or a spin off of some kind. The world loves originality. I think the future of portable games lies in the little development teams like Rovio and others that occupy the App Stores of the world.
We’ve got a long way to go. Technology is only getting better and faster with time. I think there will always be a group or company that will be there at the forefront. Those are the ones who will be successful. A little originality goes a long way.

Irreconcilable Differences

There is a big difference between Call of Duty and Battlefield.  A friend tells me, “It (Battlefield) is way more realistic than C.O.D. The damage is better, the vehicles help vary the gameplay and the action is way more exciting.” The employees of Gamestop are pushing Battlefield 3 like it’s the Second Coming of Christ. Somehow, I just can’t see how every single person that works for that company enjoys playing that game. I literally haven’t talked to one of them that does not enjoy the game. Why is this fascinating to me? Because I have played the game and for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on, I just don’t like it.
            I was recommended by a friend who works at Gamestop to put the $5 down on the game and try the multiplayer demo during it’s beta testing period. I like my friend and I share many opinions of his so I gave it a shot. No pun intended. I played it for a couple minutes and I didn’t enjoy it. It wasn’t easily playable. I had extreme problems with the controls. I usually get the hang of a game pretty easily. This one wasn’t like that. I just couldn’t catch on. The action is amazing; I have to say. The graphics are amazing. The destruction is amazing. There isn’t much about it that didn’t amaze me. For some reason, I just didn’t like it.
            It took me a while to understand the fact that the reason why I did not like it was because the controls weren’t easy and the gameplay was a tad too hectic. The vehicles don’t last long enough, the on the ground gunfights were a little spastic and they didn’t really pack quite the punch that I had hoped.
            This brought me back to Gamestop to get my $5 back. I know it’s only five bucks but I’m cheap. I told the manager at the store that he was full of it and I had him put the $5 on my Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 preorder. The manager and I had a few laughs before he said to me, “Oh, so you’re one of those guys.” I wasn’t sure what he meant and he told me that I was more of a Call of Duty guy rather than a Battlefield guy. “A lot of people prefer one or the other. Not both.”
            I asked him if the two games are kind of becoming like a Mac vs. PC type of competition. One of those things that everybody knows but nobody talks about. He told me that the Battlefield franchise rewards the player who plays more and more. I said that Call of Duty does that too. He mentioned how the game becomes easier to control over time. I told him that the controls were a nuisance and that they were hard to remember. To be honest, we almost got into an argument. I had to stop, chuckle, and thank the man and walk away. I guess I’m just a “Call of Duty guy”.