Monday, March 16, 2009


Whenever I see another Wii game, or any other casual game, trying to make more sales by featuring a picture of mom or grandma playing the game, I'm constantly reminded of how powerful the casual audience has become; there are just too many to ignore. And this is inevitably shaping today's game industry, and I don't like the way it's going.

To make more money off of this massive audience, more and more developers are trying to make more (and not necessarily better) casual games that can appeal to the normal, non-gamer audience. And by doing so, the quality of games is lowered. For a longest time, people relied on market's competitiveness to advance the market forward, resulting better and better games. But if there's just so many not-so-well-informed consumers eating up any trash games devs put out, who'd try hard to create a triple-A, high-quality title costing them a pile of gold in developing it?

Game has been nothing more than toy as long as humanity existed. Now that we've developed technology to finally thrust game forward and turn it into something more meaningful, we're suddenly struck with this very distracting second renaissance of casual games. I just hope the troubling situation of today's Japanese game development doesn't become a global trend.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Library of Games - 03/13/2009

Below is the list of all the game systems and titles I own. I'll be updating this list as I acquire new titles, and also link any of my own reviews if and when I write them.

  • Microsoft Xbox 360:

    1. Armored Core 4
    2. Armored Core: For Answer
    3. Assassin's Creed
    4. Blue Dragon
    5. Braid
    6. Call of Duty 4
    7. Castle Crashers
    8. Chromehounds
    9. Clive Barker's Jericho
    10. Dead Space
    11. Fable 2 Limited Edition
    12. Forza Motorsport 2
    13. Gears of War
    14. Gears of War 2
    15. Hail To The Chimp
    16. Hexic
    17. The Last Remnant
    18. Lost Odyssey
    19. Mass Effect
    20. Mirror's Edge
    21. Project Sylpheed
    22. Rez HD
    23. Soul Calibur 4
    24. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent
    25. Tom Clancy's EndWar
    26. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2
    27. Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise
  • Sony PlayStation 2:

    1. Ace Combat 5
    2. Final Fantasy XII
    3. Guitar Hero 3: Legend of Rock
    4. Killzone
    5. Odin Sphere
    6. Okami
    7. Musashi Samurai Legend
    8. Persona 3: FES
    9. Persona 4
    10. Prince of Persia: Sand of Time
    11. Shadow of Colossus
    12. Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria
  • PC:

    1. Diablo II
    2. Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
    3. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
    4. The Longest Journey
    5. Starcraft
    6. Starcraft: Brood War
    7. World of Warcraft
    8. World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade

Hmm, I thought I had more games than this. Am I missing any games that I should play or own?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Comparison Videos. Nothing More Than Flame Bait

I was one of them who were really interested in these videos that compare graphics of each system when a multi-platform game is released. But that quickly grew old, as there isn't really a notable difference to be found--developers quickly mastered working on each platforms, and most multi-platform games are pretty non-differentiable. Here's what I had to say to GameTrailer's Street Fighter IV PS3/360 Comparison Video:

I strongly doubt these videos will do anything more than starting yet another fanboyism war.

The difference between the consoles will be drawn not by 3rd party, multi-platform games, but by exclusive titles like inFamous. Because those are the ones that will really try to take advantage of a given platform.

That said, I think there will be more PS3 exclusives in the future, given that their hardware spec and architecture can provide some extra juice. 360 being easy to work on, any 3rd party game on 360 will also come out on PS3, unless Gabe Newell's behind it. :PTo MS's credit, since they have price advantage, they can retire their machine earlier and introduce another, more powerful system that can top PS3's power, and go ahead in the race while Sony's still tied to that system since they need to make up for the dev cost and all.

So,, you can stop making these pointless video.

Leave Those Long Lasting Games in the Past.

Here's a comment I left on an article on EA Games Europe senior VP Patrick Söderlund's response to EA's last year-end's underperformed quarterly result. This article, where he talks about his positive view of the result, wasn't what triggered my comment. It was another comment that basically blamed EA's new IPs' having short playtime for the disappointing result.

I am with a lot of people who backs Dead Space, and that length of a game does not define its quality.

While we would love never-ending stream of content with great gameplay to occupy our time, the audience of today's games is growing up. More and more are getting jobs and starting families. And thus, shorter games that packs tight and deep content are thriving over ridiculously (in my opinion) long games of the past.

For instance, I used to love playing RPG games like FF series that took above 40~50 hours to finish. But now, with a job, I just don't have time for games like that. It's taking me months to finish Lost Odyssey right now. And do I think that drawn-out-to-death playtime necessary? Absolutely not. They could've cut so many parts and end up with much much tighter and cohesive story, and ultimately, overall fun.

I think Dead Space got it right. It's pace, playtime, everything was right on the target, and I hope more games like that comes out.