Monday, November 24, 2003

i think that what makes some older games unplayable is improvements in the engine that the games run ontop of.

see, the problem with old gran turismos is that they aren't as sophisticated as gt3a. same problem with current gt contenders. in my opinion, need for speed, test drive, and the countless other, far worse driving sims out there (tokyo xtreme, project gotham) just don't simulate well enough. after the experience of racing in gt3a, the superlative experience that was gt2 becomes lost in the mire of other sims that aren't as good as the new gran turismo. it's a curse.

similarly, older 3d shooters are not much fun anymore. doom can still be fun, but it's no quake. the 2.5d makes all the maps essentially planar, and not being able to jump something that you miss immediately. what's worse, though, is wolf3d. no intersections of the map, no changes in elevation, no variance in ammunition. it's a milestone in id's history and i appreciate it for that, but i wouldn't want to play the single player or a deathmatch on that engine.

my feeling on fighting games is that you can totally go back. same with platform games. they're not different. you can do most of the same things -- a couple of extras these days, but nothing special. so you can't block in the air. that's like the difference between mario one and three -- being able to pick up shells, for instance. where the split comes is when tekken came out. once you could sidestep, everything changed, and i can't play a capcom game anymore. so i guess that's a conditional yes.

i'll have to defer to someone else on the subject of sports games. to me it's more or less the same to play tecmobowl or madden 2k3. but that's cause i don't really give a shit. what would revolutionize the genre (this may have happened to a degree already) is to take out this element of control-focus-change. when you play a game, you want to be the center of attention -- i have no problem with that. but i don't like that you always control whoever has the ball (you can choose to switch up a little, as i recall). what i would like to see is a suite of sports games where you only control one player. either you get a bunch of friends to do the rest of the work (whoa, that would be fun) or put that computer to work running the rest of the guys around the field/rink/court if you're fucking no-friends loser.

Friday, November 21, 2003

So that raises an interesting question: are there certain genres of games that you can't step back to?? The GT reference makes a good point, I never like playing older model driving games. Are there other makes of games like that? We're not talking replay values, we're talking about playing after years have gone by and another generation of game has been made.

I'll assert that you can step back to RPG's because really they haven't moved very far between FFI and FFXI. Sure ,the graphics are radically different, but the basic elements of the game haven't changed and they haven't (in my opinion) made anything that is so radically awesome that it hurts to play older model games. But really, I'm in the RPG for the story and the completion level, and that doesn't get better with time (and can get worse).

We've established that driving games are hard to step back to. I'll argue that it is tough to step back to fighting games. Going back to Street Fighter one is just crap. You can't block in the air, there aren't many moves. It is just tough. Actually this is a hard one to defend. I think it holds true to the capcom and KoF games, but SC2 isn't really that much better than SC1 so I can see stepping back with that game. And then one game that I can definetely see stepping back to is Smash Brothers (versus Melee) the second one didn't offer much. So maybe fighting games are on the fence. Surely this will have to be explored more.

well, there's a whole lot of posting going on. yah final fantasy vii 2 -- like final fantasy x 2. woot. god that game (7) was incredible.

so i talked to m48002xb last night. he just got a full-time design job (which we all know is really anti-easy). he is pretty psyched. we talked forever about the same shit we always talk about, so that was fun. it's as if we were never apart. he's thinking about buying a car. the mazda 6, subaru wrx, and used audi tt all made his short list. ha ha. we'll see what happens. also, he said something that we all should have known, but probably none of us ever thought about -- you can never go back to an older gran turismo. we both loved both gt1 and 2 -- played the fuck out of 2, i mean, you know. but it's painful to play (just like any other 'driving simulator') after the sublime experience that is gran turismo3 a-spec. i can't wait until 4 comes out (january?) and we can say, god what a pitiful excuse for a driving game was gt3a.

wouldn't you know. the day that mario kart arrives is the same day that i get my first big project. that's ok. i'll play. maybe this afternoon. but i sure do like the hours that i suddenly racked up this week. woo!
Oh, shit I almost forgot why I posted. There is word of a new FFVII coming out. I read about it on PA and went to the site. Looks pretty good.

Aha!! I have pretty much won everything there is to win in Mario Kart: DD. The game play is best described as different from the old Mario Kart. I'm ok with that, other people seem to have issues. I think that some people basically wanted them to make another Mario Kart, that was the same as the last, but with some new courses, or something. Nintendo seldom just makes another game that is the same as the last (exception the 18 million sidescroller that came out from the SNES and NES, as well as the GB and GBA, mega man in particular). The new Kart is great, it really does allow for cooperative play that is HIGHLY cooperative. That is a interesting aspect of the game. The karts and items are personalized for each of the 16 characters (plus Toad and Toadette makes it 18) which means that you have more to think about than just, who is light who is heavy. The questions are often, do I use Marion for the fireball option, or do I try to get Toad or Baby Mario for the spped boost through golden mushroom or chain chomp? Then there are the kart issues of which players play better on each kart. Then there is the actual game, which is great. The only down side, as I said before is that it needs online support. X-box is kicking everyone's ass with online shit right now, so nintendo needs to catch up. Oh, and Rich worried me by telling me that Nintedo might go the route of Sega and become solely a software developer. That would make me sad. No, that is an understatement. It would make me sad, then furious, then furiously sad until I didn't konw what to do.

In other gaming news, I got to play Mario Party 5 for the 'cube. Mario Party had for a long time been an exception of the rule of Nintendo doesn't just repeat games. The difference between 2 and 3 and 4 just isn't that great. The fake star thing was a big part of it, but that is all. Well, MP5 has a slight difference that might separate it as the game to play when looking for a drinking game. The difference is in the item selection and what it lets you do. Rather than getting items you get capsules. Capsules can do the things that items do, warp to shit, try to steal shit, etc. But the als o can be played on the board to change a square on the board into a different type of square. For example, there is a bank capsule where if you play it on a square that sqaure now becomes the bank and takes money from everyone who passes it. The final type of capsule are action one where you can fuck directly with a person, but they have to be within range. Anyway, it seemed like and interesting change on the game because now the board is static. The only thing I didn't like about it is that they kept the same bonus stars, which we all know are too easy to figure out on the fly. Will this game separate itself from the Mario Party pack? I like to think so, but I'd have to put more time into playing it to convince me that it is better than any of the others.


Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Well, Mario (or Maroi if you can't spell) Kart is here, but there is no Jeremy. Fortunately mikex0r can fill in. I'm not going to give the game as high a rating as Yoshi's Island or any of the Nintendo Prop. games (Sunshine, Metroid, Windwaker), but I think there is more to come from this game. I'm not sure about unlockable status (usually a great way for even a crappy game to keep me entertained). We can unlock new cars when we win Grand Prix mode, but it basically looks like there is only one car for each character (16 in total, more than it seems). I'm still trying to figure out how cars (or karts I guess) are affected when you use different people in them. More research to come. What really needs to be in this game (aside from a "Nintendo Live" conponent) are more courses. Right now there are only 12, and while they are fun, they will get boring if more don't open up. Mikex0r and I will get gold in all the cups before PTI comes on so hopefully that will free up some new courses like in the GBA version of Kart.


Wednesday, November 12, 2003

woo! mario kart. i'll be back just in time. i'm sure that i'll need every second of gameplay that i can manage to keep up with martin. if you haven't seen his whacked out mario kart skills, swing by vegas and play mk64 with him. it's a sight to see.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Note: Maroi Kart Double Dash is "purchased" meaning that either monday or tuesday of next week I will go to EB and pick it up. Hilarity will ensue.

Well, after a less than stellar performance at nationals, life has continued on it's unemployed state. I've even fallen to spplying for a job at Borders, but have yet to hear back.

In good news, I took my Track and Field coaches class this weekend. It was great, as was expected, and further cemented the belief that I want to be coaching at some level (ultimate of course). So now I just have to figure out how I can put myself in that situation.

Also, the video game front is in full effect. With Mario Kart due out next monday, Mario Party 5, and a new Ratchet and Clank coming out, new games abound on top of the existing games (FFTA, Jak II). In addition to all of this, Jason has procured DDR with 2 pad, so that has provided hours of sweat and great game play.

Aside from that there really isn't much going on. I emailed the people in Colorado today, to see what is going on and am avoiding my email so as not to be too anxious and fretful. I don't know if that makes sense logically, but it makes me feel luckier.

Congrats on the job stuff, jeremy. Good luck with the whole work thing.


Friday, November 07, 2003

what are you some kind of mexican jew lizard?

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

so they finally figured out that i don't do any work. fortunately, they weren't any happier about it than i have been. they aren't crazy about paying me all this money for attending meetings when i'm not making them any money. luckily they're not going to do anything about my old pay -- they just want it fixed. well, that's not my problem. the way they're gonna fix it is by giving me more work! woo! so now i won't be sitting around all day waiting to go home, which will presumably make the days go by a little faster. and i'll be able to make some more money. everybody wins.