What Would Matt Do

I reckon I aim to play some games.

Archive for the ‘360’ Category

Penny Arcade calls out XBox Live Arcade

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Do you remember Uber Entertainment? They are the dudes, and dudettes (that’s right, I said it), that created Monday Night Combat. A very interesting take on the Demigod/DOTA/DTD type game. A really cool game that needed a patch more than a month ago. And why didn’t it get that patch until now? Because Microsoft’s XBox Live Arcade division is required to test everything that goes on the system. And they didn’t get it done for an entire month. Uber delivered the patch to them for QA more than a month ago. And they just recently got it done.

If I did that in my industry, I’d be fired.


Penny Arcade rightfully calls them out.

That is all.

Written by Matt

October 28th, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I has common sense? (updated)

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updated below

I don’t really have anything to rail against or complain about today, but a couple of things caught my interest.

First, I think I made the right call not playing Age of Conan:

Former Producer and Game Director Gaute Godager has chosen to resign from Funcom after working on Age of Conan since the initial conception, and he leaves the company after 16 years. Godager was one of the original founders of Funcom, and leaves a large legacy, having contributed to making Funcom the largest MMO company in Europe. “I have done my very best making this fabulous game, but I have concluded there are elements which I am dissatisfied with. I have decided to act on this, and as a result I have chosen to leave Funcom.

When your lead producer jumps ship this close to the release of an MMO you know you’ve got problems. Not to mention he, Guate Godager (what a name!), had been with the company 16 years before this and it got so bad with AoC he left the company over it. Funcom is probably not the most fun place to work at this point.

 

Second, it turns out Lum may be a whiner. I say we examine the facts to determine said grouser status.

Exhibit A:

Well, Warhammer Online makes you do it EVERY TIME YOU CONNECT.

Get knocked off the server for whatever reason? You get to read the EULA again!

Oh, and there’s two. A EULA *AND* a Code of Conduct. So the installing this game means you actually own my computer is in the first dialog, and the forbidding you to have children until you get realm rank 17 is in the second dialog. And you have to scroll down, then click accept *every time you log in*.

That IS really annoying…but lets hear the counter argument just to be fair.

Exhibit B:

The EULA/CoC should require you to hire legal representation to fully understand your rights. I am not kidding. The document is written for courts by lawyers and doesn’t contain much in terms for the layman. In documents such as that, a simple misuse of the word “the” can crumble the legitimacy of it. End users are not supposed to understand it – they are only supposed to sign off on it. Be thankful that you don’t have to check a box at the end of each line. Be thankful that you do not have to hire legal counsel to review it before agreeing to it – because eventually one of these big companies are going to lose a big law suit and then you will have to – or some other drastic, stupid measure. Take the 5 seconds, powerscroll down, click a check box, click accept, and go play.

The argument is…you have no idea what you’re clicking, so shut the fuck up and click it over and over, asshat. That is a compelling argument if you’re really dumb (check the name of the guys site).

I love it. Lum is a malcontent because Warhammer makes you do something completely unnecessary every single time you want to play the game. Beyond logging, checking for a patch, selecting a server (potentially) and selecting a character, you also have to dilly-fucking-dally with their stupid EULA…multiple times. God damn it Lum, why won’t you shush it already!

I could go over the entire diatribe that Chris F goes into, but it really breaks down to justifying stupid decisions. No other MMO requires it, no other MMO has to do it for legal reasons. And suggesting we should consider ourselves lucky because, "Be thankful that you do not have to hire legal counsel to review it before agreeing to it". Wow. Not WoW, Wow. That’s an incredibly ridiculous argument. But I hear Rove’s people are trying to reach Chris F for help with their facade of a campaign for McCain…oh, and how to best present the idiotic policies of the current administration.

Remember, friends, it’s all right to call a spade a spade. Even if you’re fanboi. As a matter of fact, it’s perfectly all right to call out dumb features AND to still like the game. Crazy.

 

What Would Matt Do: Well, first, I’d probably try to have some level headness about the whole thing. Then again, this is the internet and no one likes sane or rational around these parts.

 

P.S. – An honorable mention goes to lamethrower’s Bill and his late review of Mass Effect. It’s decently funny, but it has the best little graphic to describe the reality of ME’s conversation trees. And while that might be the truth of the matter, I think they did a pretty good job with the illusion of choice. Even if ME is just a SeXBOX game.

 

Update:

I may have touched on a button or two (see Update #2) with our good friend over at I Has PC. Other than the name of his site and his apparent tendency to jump overboard on things, I see no reason for us to get into a tif. Why can’t we all just get along?

Also, this is an awesome way to consider the extra clicks. Nice, Zubon.

 

 

Written by Matt

September 18th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Microsoft tells Ensemble to hit the road jack

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Apparently the plan to buy up dev houses and keep them internally is becoming unfashionable and Microsoft is letting go one the most successful development houses they own after they ship Halo Wars. Why? Well, because of the bottom line of course. I’ve been told that and I pretty much believe it…and I’m sure it’s related to whatever business plan of the year is for big game companies like Microsoft. They’ll divest now, then in a year or three, they will buy big again. The ebb and flow of life if you will.

The sad part is that Ensemble gets shoved out the door while Microsoft can’t decide what to do with itself. They have made some of the best RTSes ever created. I’d suggest that Age of Mythology was their best (with the expansion), but I think that’s just personal opinion as I have a soft spot for mythology in general.

I hope the new studio forming out of the mess of Microsoft’s dismissal of Ensemble is kick ass and they like having their freedom again:

After the closure, the Ensemble leadership team will form a new studio and has agreed to provide ongoing support for Halo Wars as well as work on other projects with Microsoft Game Studios

Much like Bungie, they are going to be an external resource instead of an internal one now. Whatever. I guess to keep the investors happy, you need to make it look like you’re doing something, even if that something can be qualified as moving the same box back and forth and calling it progress.

 

What Would Matt Do: If I were Lionhead, I’d be very wary. They are about to release Fable 2 and right after a big game release is when guys like Microsoft and Sony like to cut dev houses.

Written by Matt

September 10th, 2008 at 12:06 pm

Demos galore and Bionic Commando: Rearmed

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I moved recently and being severely lazy (I’m so lazy I’m not going to express how lazy I am beyond that), I hadn’t hooked up my 360 to the internets again until last Friday. I ended up with the Force Unleashed demo, the Too Human demo, Madden XX and a few others I can’t really remember (doesn’t bode well for them does it) and Bionic Commando:Rearmed. I did download the demo for BC:R, but after playing for 5 min, I bought the full game. With that in mind, lets start the destruction, er review, process:

Madden XX

I really liked the football test, though it wasn’t learning about football so much as learning about Madden, but it still interesting. The gameplay demo was shite. I couldn’t even play a full quarter, just a simulation of the last few minutes of the Superbowl. Bleh. I have heard good things about Madden this year and I may end up buying it, but the demo didn’t really do much to sway me one way or another.

Status: Deleted, may purchase later.

Force Unleashed

Did anyone else notice that I get force powers, a light saber and directions like "no one is to be left alive!"? That’s pretty much a win for me at that point. That gameplay reminds me a lot of a smoother flowing God of War, but with force powers and light sabers. Thankfully there are less QTEs than GoW and you’re destroying star war guys with awesome options of force lightning, saber or push attacks…OR, combining them into some awesome force of destruction of which the universe hath no name!

To be fair, the powers aren’t combined as well as they could be, the force power bar is a lousy mechanic in terms of inguenity (I’d might have to spend time coming up some options I’d like to see more later) and overall it’s not as smoothly tied together as it could be. Agreed completely. But even with it’s design flaws, it still has light sabers, force powers and fun.

Status: Will Buy and will play demo until I can do so.

Too Human

Hmmm…  I don’t really know here. I wanted to like it more I think. I also played it right after playing Force Unleashed, so it’s kind of unfair in that you can’t jump around crazy like and meld the powers together. I don’t think I’m going to make a call on this one at the moment. As crazy as Dyack is, I still think it’s got something to it. I’m going to give it another chance in a day or three.

Status: Undecided. Will give another chance.

Bionic Commando:Rearmed

I already bought this bad boy and will play it until I can’t stand it anymore…which ought to be a good long time. It has, and I kid you not, the exact feel of the first one, additions that don’t break but enhance the original, coop play (I can’t stress how awesome this is), amazing graphics, great feel and flair and it’s old school hard and unforgiving.

That’s a perfect mixture and the best way to recreate old games. I’m stunned by how well they did. I wish they would update all of the old games I played when I was a kid (starting with Ikari Warriors or River Raid) and make them as awesome as this one is.

My only complaint at this point is that it’s really hard. Really really hard. And that’s not really a complaint so much as a statement of fact. I loved the original, but I forgotten over the years how hard it was. And we still only get three guys per level, but we do get to save inbetween levels, so it’s not so bad when you have to turn your system off (I used to have my nintendo running for days to keep my game saved).

Oh, and if anyone knows a cheat for more guys, that would be great. My brother is a thief and won’t stop stealing my guys. :D

Status: Bought and love it.

 

What Would Matt Do: Apparently I’ll play a lot of games. It was a good weekend.

Written by Matt

August 25th, 2008 at 11:55 am

The internet is alive with the sound of idiots.

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That’s not particularly new I know, but it’s not everyday a presidential candidate decides to take on the geek nation

It may be typical of the pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd to disparage a fellow countryman’s memory of war from the comfort of mom’s basement

Wow, way to be retarded. This is from McCain’s official blog site. Impressive. Michael Goldfarb (the original poster of quip) did try to take it back later with this:

If my comments caused any harm or hurt to the hard working Americans who play Dungeons & Dragons, I apologize. This campaign is committed to increasing the strength, constitution, dexterity, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma scores of every American.

Apology for idiotic comment or not, Lum deftly states the realities of the situation:

Someone needs to let Granddad McCain know that since he left the military in 1937, quite a few of today’s Generation Kill actually not only play Dungeons and Dragons – THEY PLAY MMOs. One of the things Sanya Weathers made a point of doing at Mythic (you know, when not disparaging McCain’s memories from her mom’s basement) was making sure that military DAOC players deployed to Iraq had all their subscription worries taken care of. You know, since they had other things on their mind and all, like bullets.

But, you know, it’s typical of the pro-McCain Sarsparilla and Goofy Golf crowd to disparage a fellow politican’s reputation from the comfort of Karl Rove’s basement.

Ok, so Goldfarb takes a shot at the internet geeks in general and then realizes that’s probably not the best idea in today’s culture. As a matter of fact, since McCain has no idea how the internet or technology in general works, you’d think Goldfarb would be trying to bring them into the fold, not alienate them. That takes the cake for this months You’re Just Dumb Award™.

 

Only by a close call did Goldfarb win the award though. Apparently Dennis Dyack is on the move…away from neogaf. He’s been banned. I can’t say I’m incredibly surprised. Dyack, much like some other developers out there, likes shoot his mouth off and make random comments about people and the like when his game/company (or just for shits and giggles) is called into question. It’s both hilarious and sad. Well, more hilarious than anything. It reminds me of things like .plan updates from back in the day.

 

And while not an asshole (well, it depends who you ask), Bill Roper gave a serious run for the award with his interview on 1UP:

GFW: At what point did you guys feel like maybe you shouldn’t have done the hybrid model? Was it before or after you launched Hellgate?

BR: Before we launched.

GFW: So you already knew…

BR: We knew before we launched. There was enough feedback from people where we realized, yeah, we probably made a mistake. But at that point…the train had left the station.

It does sound like there wasn’t much choice at that point, but there had to be something. It’s lacking in responsibility at best to release a product you know is broken, sell lifetime subscriptions and go around pimping the game and pretending everything is hunky dory even though you knew it wasn’t before the release. I know time/money/resources constraints often lead the way, but Roper and company killed not just his company, but two others (the hosting company and an art company or something like that) when they released a product they knew just wasn’t up to snuff. They put countless people out of jobs, including themselves, and disrespected a lot of people by releasing a knowingly b0rked game.

 

What Would Matt Do: There you have it. The internet is still full of idiots and while my heart goes out to all of the people that lost their jobs with Flagship going down, I can’t have that much pity for Roper himself or his top level guys that knew. I’d pretty damn upset if I had been working there and they released the product in such a state.

Written by Matt

August 21st, 2008 at 10:49 am