Crispy Gamer

Recent comments

  • Buying the Hype: Bulletstorm   3 years 44 weeks ago

    I almost bought an Xbox360 because I loved Gears of War so much. I especially love the Horde mode in the second game.

    When I wrote this blog entry I looked at Cliff Bleszinski's wikipedia page and actually forgot that he had worked on Unreal, one of my favorite shooters. Also, it seems that he was involved in publishing a little game called Tyrian, my favorite SHUMP.

    And deathmatch show game? I can't think of the one you are referring too since you said it was recent, but it reminded me of that top-down NES shooter, Smash TV. I love that game.

  • Buying the Hype: Bulletstorm   3 years 44 weeks ago

    I actually didn't like Gears of War, but I love anything with the Unreal name on it.

    Bulletstorm actually looks pretty interesting as it looks a bit more like Unreal than Gears. The fast paced, brutal combat is very characteristic of the series.

    It actually reminds me a bit of a shooter that came out a few years ago. Your character got $$ for every kill and you spent it on better items. Not a new concept mind you, but the twist was that the game was some sort of deathmatch game show.

  • EyeToy... Natal... Kinect: The "Future of Gaming"   3 years 44 weeks ago

    I agree with everything here. I honestly think we will all look back at this period in gaming and collectively think "Wow, we had no fucking idea what kind of games we wanted to play". This whole era of the big 3 consoles grasping at straws, trying desperately to stay ahead of the curve is resulting in a giant brain fart.

  • E3: Nintendo and Sony Live Blog   3 years 44 weeks ago

    Well, That was fun. ^_^
    I like this concept.

  • Corpse Run 007: The secret ingredient, kupo!   3 years 44 weeks ago

    It's also lacking interesting ingredients. I'm sorry but having the big ingredient be spinach is a bit of a let down after the Japanese show did horse mane cartilage

  • First Shot: 3D Dot Game Heroes   3 years 44 weeks ago

    That's a really interesting looking game. I love the odd art style and it reminds me quite a bit of Minecraft.

  • Corpse Run 007: The secret ingredient, kupo!   3 years 45 weeks ago

    I wish this show were still being made. The American knock off is lacking the one thing the original had: authentic Japanese nonsense.

  • Corpse Run 006 by Alex Di Stasi   3 years 45 weeks ago

    Haha, well, reportedly we're getting TF2 today, so he can stop crying a little bit and be merely upset at the lack of L4D.  =P

  • Shuffle Time 004 by Lizzy Dawson   3 years 45 weeks ago

    Hehehe....fanny pack...fuck yeah. Awesome.

  • Corpse Run 006 by Alex Di Stasi   3 years 45 weeks ago

    Instead of a crying Mac child, it should be a righteously defiant one instead ;)

  • American Needle Pokes a Hole in the NFL Gaming Biz   3 years 45 weeks ago

    Great article Alex. I think you're right that Madden will still be around forever, regardless of the American Needle decision. However, from a legal angle, I think a few of your assumptions about the impact of American Needle could be challenged.

    First, NFLP likely can speak for teams in the league -- it just can't do so in an unreasonably non-competitive way under the Sherman Act. For instance, I think under the decision that NFLP can still issue licenses, it just can't grant exclusive licenses to one entity to the exclusion of all others. [Well, technically, it can -- it would just now be very likely to lose a suit challenging that activity.] I don't read anything in the opinion prohibiting NFLP from granting collective licenses to numerous video game companies, or apparel companies, etc.

    Second, I don't think that individual team-licenses are the only option now. As above, I think, as Professor Marc Edelman has argued, that EA's exclusive agreement still remains in play, but that another party now could sue them after they are denied a license that they seek. (On the other hand, one could also probably challenge the activities of a video-game maker who monopolizes 32 exclusive licenses to the exclusion of all other video-game makers as unreasonably non-competitive under the Sherman Act.)

    As Edelman argues: "After the American Needle case, a video game maker who has been excluded from the right to purchase the trademark of any individual NFL team by NFL Properties, or all the NFL teams overall, would step into similar shoes as American Needle. However, that does not mean that a company that is excluded from the video game market would have the immediate legal right to license these trademarks. Rather, much like American Needle, the Supreme Court’s recent ruling would merely allow them to sue for this right and get beyond the point of the case’s dismissal on single entity grounds, and to the point where the conduct could actually be reviewed on the merits to determine whether it’s more pro-competitive or anti-competitive." http://www.ripten.com/2010/05/28/sports-antitrust-law-professor-explains....

    On a purely non-legal angle, this article made it clear that I obviously have not played Madden games in a long time. In the older Madden games, run blocking was totally irrelevant -- because you could just run around the entire defense easily with any RB with decent speed. The Detroit Lions were unstoppable in Madden '94 -- because they had Barry Sanders. As were the Bills (Thurman Thomas); Giants (Rodney Hampton); Cowboys (Emmit Smith); etc.

  • You got anime in my Deus Ex   3 years 45 weeks ago

    Great rundown. As always, it will come down to gameplay and story for me, but I agree that the anime themes are...disheartening.

  • EA Sports Active (Wii)   3 years 45 weeks ago

    People who play games for the predominant purpose of working out are not the same people who play games with more challenging, dynamic game play that happen to give you a bit of exercise. Games and players must focus on working out or playing well.

    When I was younger I would play DDR for exercise. I played on work out mode where there are only 1/4 steps, and you can't fail. I wasn't actually too good at the game in "regular" mode and failed epically when it came to playing DDR in an actual arcade (but that is more because you have to step hard on the arcade steps while you need a very light step on home mats or else you'll complete tear them to shreds).

    I think these fitness games are a complete stroke of genius from a commercial stand point. Weight loss is a huge industry and most people will try anything as long as it isn't eating healthy and hitting the gym a few times a week.

  • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier   3 years 46 weeks ago

    "No Mr. Robot that's fire, don't step on that!" That line gets me every time.

  • A Few Thoughts on a (Still Mostly) Untapped Market   3 years 46 weeks ago

    As a girl gamer who 10 years ago was running around the web crying "GIRLS ARE GAMERS TOO", I feel like I have a bit of myself invested in this cause. I do agree that the entire Sims series is quite popular and I rather enjoyed playing SimCity and SimAnt at my local library growing up. But I was also into the Mario, Kirby, and Zelda market. I played Boogerman which I'm sure was not marketed toward girls. And I secretly played Doom when my mom wasn't looking . . . EEP!

    Now I may not be the hardcore gamer that I once was with life eating up my video game time. Now I mostly play what I consider to be games marketed more toward girls (rhythm games and puzzle games and the occasional RPG).

    But yeah, I do agree that Barbie or Mary-Kate and Ashley isn't a strong way to market to females. I have memories of working at GameStop and having a mom come in and ask me what games would be good for her 11 year old *girl*. She put an emphasis on girl for who knows what reason. I grasped and suggested something ridiculous. Then I thought, hey, let's see if this mom knows what her daughter plays? Turns out the girl is a platformer. Don't know why knowing that she was a girl would effect my suggestion.

    Anyway, I think that the major games for girls (other than the flash games, and really who doesn't love playing defend the castle until you're so ridiculously overpowered that the game can autorun?) are the soap operas. You know what I'm talking about. The one game that immediately comes to mind is Final Fantasy 8. Talk about drama. Now, I happen to love Final Fantasy 8. I also happen to love games like Killer 7 (although I never finished it because something would always come up and I'd drop the game for a few weeks and by the time I got back to it I forgot the control system and had to relearn it all over again so I never managed to make it to the finish). I mean for real. We've all seen the pictures at the conventions. Most of the cosplay girls are Final Fantasy freaks. Sure you might find a Lara Croft somewhere in there, but I think you're going to find far more Rikkus.

    But there are guys who like FFs and girls who like bloody beat-em-ups. I mean, nothing spells stress relief like jumping into a game of Dead Rising and mowing down a bunch of zombies. I don't think that we should try to appeal to men or women or boys or girls or the elderly. We should just hope that a good quality game comes out (because quite frankly, there can never be too many really GREAT games).

  • First Shot: Alpha Protocol   3 years 46 weeks ago

    Yeah the one thing I've never worried about with Obsidian is the writing. They even managed to steep me in the lore of Faerun (D&D setting), which is no small feat considering how bland and cliche that world is.

    To me, Obsidian is almost like a writing team that moonlight as game developers. Gameplay has always been...adequate. Never quite stellar. And so far, Alpha Protocol is living up to that track record.

    The good news is, for New Vegas, the gameplay and such is already established for them. They just need to add a few bells and whistles (which it seems like they are) and keep the writing strong (very likely) and NV will be great fun.

  • First Shot: Alpha Protocol   3 years 46 weeks ago

    True it is their first original IP as this company. That's a bit iffy of a statement though.

    Obsidian Entertainment's only made: Star Wars:Knights of the Old Republic 2, and Neverwinter Nights 2 (plus expansions) before now (and I liked NWN2 better than NWN1).
    However alot of the people involved in Obsidian came over or founded it after Black Isle Studio went down.
    Black Isle was responsible for: Fallout 1&2 (mostly this crew worked on 2), Icewind Dale, Planescape, and Baldur's Gate. While not their own IPs in many of these cases, these are the western RPGs we use as a benchmark for quality gaming. Not to mention Chris Jones who left Black Isle for a bit to work on Arcanum before returning.

    So while Alpha Protocol is their baby through and through, I think the question isn't "can the pull it off?" but rather "so how well does the current team work togeather and how are their writers doing?"

    Chris Avellone is one of the top designers for both Alpha Protocol and Fallout:New Vegas, so they both have it going for them there.
    What Alpha Protocol has going for it is that the other top designer is Chris Parker and he's got one hell of a list behind him.

    Similarly, what has me slightly worried about Fallout:New Vegas is that the other top designer on the project is Josh Sawyer. His list of credits isn't as flashy and though he has NWN2 on it, the rest is mainly the Icewind Dale series (which was a bit like Baldur's Gate without the story) and those awful console Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance games.

    So things look good for Alpha Protocol.

  • First Shot: Alpha Protocol   3 years 46 weeks ago

    The interesting thing about this game is that it's the ONLY original IP for the company. This will probably be the truest "test" for Obsidian since they are beholden to no one and nothing in terms of narrative or setting rules, ala D&D or Star Wars. The sky is the limit for them in this one, so they will either sink or swim with it, developer credibility-wise.

  • A Few Thoughts on a (Still Mostly) Untapped Market   3 years 46 weeks ago

    Hehehe well no offense to you Crystal, but I don't need a degree in feminism to make basic logical assessments. And appealing to your own "authority" (or my supposed lack thereof) is no way to prove any kind of point. I could just as easily say "I don't think you, Crystal, are quite old or experienced enough to know what you are talking about." Even if I think that's true, I'm not going to bring it up in a debate because it doesn't prove or disprove anything, other than that I don't have a substantive counter argument. So please, let's dispense with the feeble personal swipes and superiority attitudes. I'm debating the ideas you bring up, you should stick to doing the same. Don't make it personal.

    That being said, I agree with you that game should not "aim" at any group. It's like saying "we need more games aimed at Hispanics". It's pretty preposterous when you think of it like that, not to mention degrading and pandering to the group in question. I say just make a fun game and let the chips fall where they may. If a game is good, it's good regardless of which gender prefers it.

  • First Shot: Alpha Protocol   3 years 46 weeks ago

    Obsidian has great roots and they keep getting better and better at making rpgs. To be honest the only reason why I'm keeping an eye on Alpha Protocol is because if it's good, that validate my pollyanna-esk hopes regarding Fallout: New Vegas. ^_^

  • A Few Thoughts on a (Still Mostly) Untapped Market   3 years 46 weeks ago

    While I don't completely agree with the video, and would say it puts too much emphasis and marketing and too little emphasis on difference between men and women when it comes to video game preference, it's here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8ZVZRsy8N8

  • A Few Thoughts on a (Still Mostly) Untapped Market   3 years 46 weeks ago

    I was about to correct myself that I meant games that appealed to everyone with Mario and such, but I realized I already said they were games with no gender focus. I don't think many big titles have really gone for the female demographic while many have gone for the male demographic. Just look at "Wet"--all the posters focus a girl is sexy clothing who looks vaguely turned on and the f-ing title is Wet.

    I watched an video that argued more women don't play video games for the same reason they don't go to Hooters. Games have always been seen as a boys club and women continue to feel excluded, especially when the only pictures they see of women in games are bikini wearing girls on covers, or photographs of promo models (also in bikinis) or implied nudes with women strategically covering up with controllers. That's really another issue entirely.

    A few articles I read made interesting points about Lara Croft. The designer intended her to be a symbol of female power but over the years she appeared in tons of pixilated nude/implied nude pictures in magazines which gave her a sex symbol role she can't break free of. Of course, the big cans help.

    I think the biggest reason why we don't have any obviously female aimed titles is that women are far more likely to play a game aimed at men than the reverse. Socialization deems that boys who are feminine are sissies while girls who are masculine are just tomboys.

    Protagonists don't need to be male or female. I think a neutral male protagonist is better than a hypersexualized female protagonist when it comes to games women would like.

    The point of my article is that we need more games that appeal to everyone, including women, and less games that draw gender lines.

    No offense Brian, but I don't think you have a sufficient background in feminism, gender differences, or marketing to make claims about what kind of entertainment women like. 

  • A Few Thoughts on a (Still Mostly) Untapped Market   3 years 46 weeks ago

    That does bring up an interesting question that isn't often asked. What does a game designed specifically for women look like? Do we go as far as pointing out something like "Barbie Horse Adventures" because it's based on a property enjoyed by mostly young women? Or would a game like Tomb Raider be more along those lines if someone finally put that skank in some long pants and a decent shirt?

    For a game to appeal to women (or be designed with them specifically in mind), what are the attributes that must appear?
    -Does the protagonist have to be female? Many male oriented games have female main characters.
    -Does it have to be non-violent? While generally less violent then men, women are still rather aggressive. Violence is (sadly) built into all humans.

    As you mentioned, many nintendo games can fall into a friendly, neutral category here. And even though women enjoy them, so do men and children. And that's the problem with using something like Mario as an example. It's no help as it tells you less about what women like, and more about what people like.

    I suppose one way would be to find out what games currently on the market have been designed either by women or by female heavy dev teams.

  • A Few Thoughts on a (Still Mostly) Untapped Market   3 years 46 weeks ago

    Right but I think the point of your article was that women need more...meaty...games made specifically for them (or at the very least, not to the exclusion of). Casual games are all well and good, but should we really limit our ambitions by saying "women have casual games...that's good enough." I would hope not.

     

    I guess, in the end though, I don't care for gender divisions in my gaming. A girl that is just as comfortable playing the Sims as she is playing Splinter Cell is my kinda lady. I don't avoid games with a female protagonist or games without violence. So why should we encourage women to feel slighted by the abundance of male protagonists and violence? Let's expect a more mature response from female gamers, and maybe they will live up to it.

     

    As a final random thought, I think more women like entertainment like "The 300" and the new "Spartacus" than men. And those are ultra-violent with a VERY macho sensibility. Another small example of why I don't buy into the false dichotomy.

  • A Few Thoughts on a (Still Mostly) Untapped Market   3 years 46 weeks ago

    I agree with you Chase. I think games are much more gender focused than they used to be. A lot of it is due to better graphics making graphic violence easier. There was a greater tendency for enemies to just disappear when you killed them back in the day. I can think of a ton of games that are 5 or 10 years old that were not gender focused: Spyro the dragon, Mario anything, Crash, Banjo Kazooie, DDR, Legend of Zelda, etc, but can think of very few new additions in the last few years other than music games and new installments of these older series. Of course there were graphically violent, and male skewing games back in the day but there was also less of a tendency to put scantily clad women on the covers of video games.

    As far as women who play mostly non casual games I would guess the female-male ration is about 30/70.

    As far as money goes, casual games are around 1/4 of the market, substantial enough that game developers should care about them. They don't make as much money as games like Call of Duty but they also cost substantially less to produce, so the right casual game will make as much as a popular non casual game when it comes to return on investment.