J.A. plays Call of Duty Infinite Warfare badly Part 1: There is crack in my faceplate


We have much respect for the great streamers and gameplayers out there with awesome flawless videos of excellent play, this isn’t one of those videos, but hey we got Call of Duty and he didn’t die too much so it’s not all bad.

You don’t get the show #13: Infinite Failure


We start the show discussing inappropriate place you might decide to do some gaming like a wedding or a funeral or the bathroom which people seem to think is just great.

Then we dive into our main story, the Epic fail of Call of Duty Infinite Warfare with its PC port splitting its playerbase between Steam gamers and those who purchased the game from the Microsoft Store leading to lackluster player numbers on both platforms.

Finally, with one day before the 2016 election we call for gamers to get out and vote.

The Obsolete Gamer Show – John Rodd

We all love video game music in one way or another. Often we do not even realize exactly why, that it takes the work of a talented sound engineer to put together the sounds and music in just the right way to give the story true impact and emotion.

John Rodd is one of those engineers and one of the best in the business. His credits include work on Breaking Bad, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and recently, Star Wars Battlefront along with many more.

John takes us through his history from sneaking into see Star Wars at age 11 to working with huge names in the entertainment industry. He also told us about his craft and what it takes to bring emotion to a story be it in television, video games or film.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: James C. Burns

We had a chance to talk with actor James C. Burns about his film, Coldwater also talked about his iconic character from Call of Duty Black Ops, Frank Woods.

If you like what you see check out our website at: http://obsoletegamer.com/ and please subscribe to our channel.

The James C. Burns Show

The James C. Burns Show

For this episode of the Obsolete Gamer Show we talked with actor James C. Burns about his upcoming film Coldwater which will be release in select theaters, iTunes and video on demand on August 15th.

james c burns - coldwater

 

Now gamers may know him best as Frank Woods from the Call of Duty Black Ops series. Check out cool video from his YouTube channel where he takes us on a quick tour of Vicon, where motion capture for the Call of Duty Black Ops series is done.

Earlier in the week we did a Gamer Profile on Mr. Burns where he told us about his favorite classic game, Space Invaders. In our interview (after some small technical difficulties) we started off talking about his start with Treyarch and what it was like playing Frank Woods and the values and skills he brought from being a professional hockey coach to being an actor.

james c burns - nam zombies

His experience teaching kids as well as playing Frank Woods was an important factor when it came to playing Colonel Frank Reichert in Coldwater. We also talked about an upcoming project he is working on called, Nam Zombies:

Nam Zombies is about a covert Special Forces unit that discovers the existence of the undead in the jungles of Vietnam during the cold war era. It’s like Predator meets Platoon meets Resident Evil and toss in Frank Woods and that sounds pretty awesome to us.

All in all, it was an awesome interview so check it out and let us know what you think.

Call of Duty: Finest Hour

 call of duty-finest-hour
Though it may be overshadowed by it’s Modern Warfare and Black Ops big brothers, I still regard it as one of the better WWII shooters out there and fine addition to the Call of Duty series.
 call of duty-finest-hour
I think my favorite catch to this game, is that it goes to all major sides to the Eastern front. You take control of Soviet, American, and British troops. All them have their memorable moments, weapons, and areas such as Germany, Stalingrad, and North Africa. I think my favorite mission is the one with the Russian sniper lady with all the Nazis coming to attack the building she was in.
call of duty-finest-hour
I suppose it might get a little lost in the WWII crowd, and wasn’t greatly reviewed, but it was one of the first enjoyable WWII shooters for me. Though I do have to say the multi-player was crap, though only available through the PS2 and Xbox version which I’m sure have been shut-down.

Violent video game debate goes back decades

video game violence

In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings in December, the debate over violent video games is being waged once again.

Just before Christmas, National Rifle Association spokesman Wayne LaPierre made controversial remarks about violent video games in a public press conference. Over the past week, Vice President Joe Biden invited representatives from the video game industry to a panel discussion about the gun control and violence topic. On January 10, New Jersey governor Chris Christie also noted violent video games as what he believes to be a factor in violence.

“You cannot tell me that a kid sitting in a basement for hours playing Call of Duty and killing people over and over and over again does not desensitize that child to the real life effects of violence,” Christie said.

The topic of video game violence has been going on almost since the day the general public first became aware of video games. In 1976, Exidy’s Death Race became the first video game to spark such discussion. A game which challenged players to run over stick figures with cars,Death Race made national news headlines on shows such as 60 Minutes and created such an outcry that many video arcades removed the game.

Stern classic Berzerk also sparked similar discussion in 1981, especially after 19-year-old Jeff Dailey died of a heart attack shortly after playing the game. Similar to remarks recently made about games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Berzerk found itself criticized by then-National Coalition on Television Violence chairman Dr. Thomas Radecki.

“In this game you’re a stick figure with a handgun,” Radecki said in 1981. “The object is to kill as many other stick figures as possible before they kill you. This type of role-playing practice is certain to have long-term harmful effects on the player. It teaches violent reactions. These games are training the next generation of Americans to be even more violent than our current adult generation, already the most violent in American history.”

According to a FactCheck.org posting on December 20, there were 3.59 gun murders per 100,000 people in 2010, the lowest rate since 1981, the same year Dr. Radecki made his statement about Berzerk and similar video games.

A number of gamers from the 1981 generation of grew up to become lawyers, business owners and doctors. Joel West, the 1982 world champion on Berzerk, is a conservative Christian and father who still plays the classic today. Another notable name who has made a living in the gaming world says despite thousands of hours of gaming, including Berzerk, he did not turn out violent.

Berzerk was one of my favorite arcade games back in the early eighties,” said former Electronic Gaming Monthly writer ‘Trickman’ Terry Minnich. “Today, I own an original Berzerk machine and it is still one of my favorite games. I’ve played every type of game. No matter how bad I am doing, I never kick or punch the machine or throw a controller in anger. I never have and don’t believe I ever will.”

Minnich went on to point out that some members of the early gaming generation, instead of becoming violent, went on to create a major impact on the world today.

“Some of the first geeks and nerds started in that generation,” he said. “The famous ones went on to found Apple and Microsoft and helped usher in the technology we enjoy today. I think that generation turned out pretty well overall.”

Subscription fee for Call of Duty Multiplayer?

Here it seems as Mr. Pachter is not clear on the history of FPS games nor the current climate for subscription based MMO’s.~J.A. Laraque

Subscription fee for Fee for Call of Duty Multiplayer?

How many of you remember playing games like Doom, Duke Nukem and Quake online and enjoyed hours of “free” play time. Not only could you play online for free, but there were maps that were created by players as well as mods that you could enjoy all for free. A game like Quake 2 could be played for years because of this and with LAN support we were in a golden age of multiplayer.

pay-to-play

Well it seems if Michael Pachter had his way we would all be playing a subscription free to play today’s multiplayer games like Call of Duty Black Ops 2. You can read the source article over on Gamespot, but here are some of the key quotes.

“I know the game sells billions of dollars. Activision did a bad thing with Call of Duty from a profit perspective,” Pachter said. “They trained gamers that you can buy a game and play it all year, ten hours a week, forever, and you never have to pay again. You just wait for the next Call of Duty. I promise you there are plenty of people, numbering in the millions, who play one game, which is Call of Duty, and they never stop.”

This is interesting as it makes me think of a drug dealer who gets someone hooked then raises the price. He is right in that many people are really into their COD multiplayer and many would pay for the service. We already see the awful premium service you can sign up for to receive new maps.

The mention of training gamers is important as well, just like many gamers became used to paying a certain monthly amount for MMO’s many gamers still remember old FPS games you could play online with hundreds of maps all for free and most of us would not accept a pay service. However, newer gamers and admittedly, those who may not actually be shelling out the cash, may be more inclined to pay such a free.

Callofduty-black-ops2

Pachter also said:

“That’s just like the people who play World of Warcraft and never stop, yet the World of Warcraft guys are paying $180 a year, and the Call of Duty guys are paying $60. So who’s got a better model?” he said. “This multiplayer thing being free was a mistake. I don’t think anybody ever envisioned it would be this big. It’s a mistake because it keeps those people from buying and playing other games.”

Here it seems as Mr. Pachter is not clear on the history of FPS games nor the current climate for subscription based MMO’s. First, FPS online games, or a game with an online component, has always been popular and though the Call of Duty series did set records it should not have been a big surprise that people would navigate to a good online FPS and play it. He mentions World of Warcraft, but if you look at games like EQ2, Conan, DC Online, Star Wars Online and many other MMO’s that started out as a paid service they are now switching to free to play.

It seem as if to many companies point to WoW and believe they can be next incarnation, but reports show even WoW is bleeding members and is heading toward a free to play model of their own. Then you have games like Guild Wars 2 on the MMO side and Tribes and Planetside 2 on the FPS side and the question you have to ask is, how can a move to charge for multiplayer do anything but hurt the brand?

Pachter pointed at juggernaut Activision about their upcoming titled rumored to be called Destiny and said it will be subscription based adding; “Activision’s going to try it, because they’re greedy pigs, and they’re bold,”

activision-bungie-destiny

I did not know greed is bold but I digress. We do not know exactly what Destiny will bring and even if it does cost monthly there is no guarantee it will be successful, just ask SOE. We as gamers will put up with a lot more than we claim we will. Many of us screamed when Everquest raised their subscription rates and yet we still played. However, we can only take so much and as we get older and money is tighter the same thing that happened with MMO’s will happen everywhere else. We will pick and choose a game that works for us and our budget and dump the rest.

In the end, the hopes of people like Pachter is to “train” the upcoming generation to be used to these fees. Many are used to paying for small things in F2P MMO’s and used to paying small amounts for mobile games and music, so what is a few extra dollars a month for Modern Warfare 4? COD is a powerful title, but it does not stand alone and I am sure other FPS games would love to take advantage of a move like this if it is made. I guess the only question that remains is, if this was done would you pay?

Goin’ Out West: Running the gauntlet at E3 2012

Goin’ Out West: Running the gauntlet at E3 2012

E3 2012 has come and gone, bringing forth tons of people, announcements, events and bleary-eyed game journalists who haven’t had a real meal in a week.

I was not among them.  While I attended the full event this year I did not go to cover it.  There are easily tens of thousands of others who went to do just that, so I chose not to.  I went with my other professional priorities in mind instead, leaving the thousands of blogs about the new Call of Dutygame or Nintendo‘s press conference to others.  I do not classify myself as a gaming journalist nor is reporting and writing all that I do in gaming.

e3_2012

That being said there seems to be expectations from followers of my columns here and social media.  Several e-mails have been asking me where my coverage is, despite numerous public statements that I was not going to E3 to report on it.  Only now am I writing this in an attempt to satiate those who seem to expect it while also showing what I was really out there to do.

Therefore this E3 column will be different as I provide short stories and thoughts on my adventures in Los Angeles this year.

Tuesday, June 5 –

e3_2012

I always skip the Monday press conferences, knowing whatever I missed can quickly be watched from a comfortable chair later and knowing whatever is shown is going to be seen when I walk the floor anyway.  I rolled into the event on Tuesday morning instead.

Got to walk the floor very little on Tuesday as I caught up with business contacts and potential business contacts along with some friends.  Notable moment came from the VIP area atop the Microsoft booth when I met Philadelphia Eagles wide reciever DeSean Jackson.  He is as tiny in person as he is fast on the field, but quite friendly.  No, I did not let him know I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan.

Wednesday, June 6 –

e3_2012

Hit E3 early this day to meet-up with veteran video game journalist Rusel DeMaria, a man who has been writing about video games longer than a lot of the gaming media in attendence have been playing.  Also got to catch up with Spy Hunter world champion Paul Dean, who is always an interesting guy to talk to.

The most interesting portion of the day for me started late afternoon as the Los Angeles Kings fans began to arrive to the area.  A lot of tension existed in the area that day, as if the Kings won the Stanley Cup that night there may have been quite a moment in an area surrounded by other video game events.

Met up with Twin Galaxies founder Walter Day at the Nokiato help him out with some stuff he needed to do for the Video Games Live event taking place there that night.  This became a point for multi-tasking, as the VIP party for VGL was going on at the same time as the red carpet premiere of the film noobz at the theatre down the street.  After becoming one of the few people on earth to see exactly how Billy Mitchell primps his hair a group of us walked from the Nokia and past a sea of hockey fans and alert LAPD to the red carpet premiere.

e3_2012

It was a while before our turn to walk to red carpet, where actor/producer Blake Freeman was presented with a historic award and trading card for the film.  I have to look for footage of a media interview with actor Ron Livingston to see if my accidental blurting out of “Holy ****, the guy from Office Space!” can be heard.  Exactly 45 minutes late for the Video Games Live party we had to skip the screening of the film and head for the door.

As soon as he hit the front door of the theatre, Walter Daysuddenly ran off at a full sprint.  I turned around to see the rest of our group had not yet caught up with us, then back to see Walter still running at a surprisingly high speed.  Not knowing what else to do I took off after him, as a 63-year-old man in a referee uniform shouldn’t run through a pack of hockey fans alone.

We plowed through the barricades in front of the Nokia as I tried to keep up with Walter.  He ran right into the main theatre with me after him as people we starting to take their seats.  I truly hope someone out there got cellphone video of me and Walter Day’s run through the streets of Downtown Los Angeles.  If you do, please post it or send it to me.  It has to be quite a sight.

Plopping down in the Video Games Live VIP party I noticed two things.  I was sweating half to death and the godfather of video games himself, Nolan Bushnell, was sitting 5 feet from me.  Was an honor to finally meet him, even if I was short of breath at the time.

Also glad that the LA Kings lost that night.  Not only was I not prepared to spend the night in a riot scene but a popular story subject in this space, Rachel Lara, might have been a red skidmark on the pavement outside if they had.  Luckily she arrived through the exiting hockey fans in tact that night.

Thursday, June 8 –

e3_2012

This day marked the first day of the event that I actually got to play anything.  To sum that up, those who complain that football games are the same thing every year will find the new physics in Madden NFL 13 really do change the feel of the game in a big way and that I think Nintendo’s Wii U will catch on well with those that made the original Wii a big success.

A great surprise came to me this morning as me and Walter Day met up at the Nintendo booth along with Guinness World Records’ Gaz Deaves to present Isaiah Triforce Johnson with awards for his successful attempts at being the first-in-line to purchase numerous Nintendo consoles at launch.  The surprise came in the form of Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime along with a photo op alongside him.  Quite a hard fellow to get to, it was a fun thing to happen to me, even if the photos I saw later claimed I was Gaz Deaves.  I can’t quite imagine him with my haircut.

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Later hit the G4tv set for Walter to present Nikole Zivalichwith an award as well only to have the fun surprise of getting one myself while there.

For the rest of the event I got to walk the floor with Walter Day, meet up with some more folks and end up in more cellphone photos than I can count.  Ironically, despite not going to E3 to report on it I ended up meeting more people and becoming more exhausted than I have at any previous E3 event.  I am also still catching up on the trailers I actually failed to find the time to see while out there.

e3_2012

Quite a fun time overall, and the slideshow to the left will show some of these very adventures.  If anyone reading this also has photos or videos of the happenings mentioned here please Tweet them to me @OriginalPSP or send them to my website at PatrickScottPatterson.com.

In the meantime I rest in this window between E3 and ComicCon as I hope and pray for no more downtown street runs.

Know Your History: Call of Duty critics should note the Pac-Man run of 1982

Welcome to the first edition of Know Your History, a new regular feature in this space.

know your history

Consumer market video games have existed for more than 40 years now, and with such a milestone comes a great deal of history.  Many of the current topics in video gaming can be compared to events of the past but are often treated as if they are first-time happenings.  This column aims to draw on the history of the industry and culture as it relates to current hot topics in the gaming world.

With the recent announcement of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, critics of the best-selling CoD series have been quite vocal.  They state that a new Call of Duty game each year is simply too much and that each game doesn’t bring enough new material or changes in gameplay.

30 years ago there was a popular game series that drew the same criticisms in time.  Eager to follow up on the record-breaking success of Pac-Man, Bally Midway brought not one, not two, not three but FOUR new Pac-Man games to the arcades of 1982.

Ms Pac-Man 1982

Ms. Pac-Man started the march of sequels.  Released in January 1982, this first Pac-Man follow-up added more colors, moving fruit and multiple mazes to the popular Pac-Manformula and took the top of the arcade earnings chart with ease.

Super Pac-Man

Super Pac-Man was the first Namco-produced sequel and came out later in the year.  Adding gates and keys, bonus rounds and a super pill to the maze chase concept, Super Pac came on strong at first but quickly slid off the earnings charts.

Pac-Man Plus

Pac-Man Plus was an upgrade kit for existing Pac-Manmachines in need of an earnings boost, released by Midway after pressure from arcade operators who were facing legal action for installing “enhancement kits” from other sources in order to twart the patterns players had developed for the original game.

Baby Pac-Man Pinball

Baby Pac-Man rounded out the 1982 Pac-Man games by attempting to merge a maze video game with a small pinball machine.  The game failed to make much of a splash and is difficult to locate today.

Call of Duty critics might point at this and note that frequent sequels is far from a new concept in the world of video gaming and has actually moved far faster in the past.  Two more Pac-Man-related arcade titles came out in 1983 as well.

Also worth note is the fact that historians blame Super Pac-Man‘s quick fade from popularity to be due to the massive changes in the basic Pac-Man gameplay concept.  Ms. Pac-Man, however, changed little to the basic concept of the game and simply added new screens and features while running on the hardware of the previous game.  Ms. Pac-Mansold a record number of arcade machines in the United States and continues to hold the record to the modern day.  Ms. Pac-Man machines can still be found in many locations across the country, the only one of the four 1982 Pac sequels to do so.

While annual releases to popular game titles may seem like a topic of note to the gaming world of today, it doesn’t mean it is a new concept when one knows their history.

Does upcoming film help gaming or further stereotype it?

After more than 30 years in gaming, I have always found the different ways gaming is portrayed in the mainstream interesting.  Sometimes I find humor in it, sometimes it’s made me mad and still other times it has made me shake my head.

Today’s gaming culture is far gone from the “kids thing” it used to be painted as, even if a great deal of the mainstream media still paints it that way.  With celebrities becoming more involved and museums recognizing video gaming history, it could be said that gaming culture has finally reached the same level of respect as other forms of entertainment such as television and film.

Noobz-Movie-Poster

This summer a video gaming film is set to debut.  Noobz, a film about a gaming team heading off to a major gaming tournament, is set to make it’s worldwide debut on June 6 at the Nokia Theatre, right as the E3 Expo is in town.

Upon watching the trailer I am given mixed emotions.  Some of it made me chuckle a little, such as the little kid on the other end of the XBox headset, the team name being spelled as “riegn” (the type of horrible misspelling one cannot play a game online without coming across), and a little homage to classic arcade gaming.

However, I can’t help but feel this film also pushes stereotypes of video gamers that simply don’t apply to the majority of gamers today.  The film seems to feature a number of foul-mouthed little kids, girlfriends that hate games and bash their boyfriends for playing them and loudmouthed stoner types that simply have nothing else to do.

I feel I speak for a large number of gamers out there when I say I tired of the “video gamers are basement dwelling virgins” stereotype a long time ago.  As a happily married man and father of two children, I can tell you firsthand that I know more die-hard gamers just like me, with families and an awareness of the world around them.  My wife is also a gamer, something else that is pretty common these days as well.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB1zJU08IiA[/youtube]

Basically, I’m mixed.  I want to say that anything that puts gaming center stage is a good thing for gaming culture, but I’m also reminded that this isn’t the first time I felt this kind of embarassment as well.  I was annoyed at how The Wizard and Video Power portrayed gamers back in the day and have a similar gut feeling about Noobz now.  The trailer reminds me more of why I started going into private party chats on Call of Duty instead of listening to the main lobby.

Therefore I am opening up the floor for discussion about this one.  Please take a moment to watch the trailer to your left and comment below or contact me via Twitter or direct message if you like.

Is Noobz a good thing for gaming culture, or does it base itself off of too many gaming stereotypes?

 

Classic Games you would give as gifts today

Video Game Stocking

True story, I was in a Kay Bee toy store several years before they closed and was looking for some discounted games. An older woman comes in and asks about the Playstation2 which was brand new at the time. The guy behind the counter tells her the Atari Jaguar would be much better liked for her son and showed her a wonder bundle of games and told her he could give them all to her for one special price.

Well, if you know anything about the Atari Jaguar you know any kid would not want that over a brand new PS2. Now yes, I could have said something, but I was an evil teenager at the time and I was hoping to be there after the holidays when she would have to return it in a panic.

I was thinking about that story the other day and with the holidays almost here I thought about great games that would make great gifts today. Now of course if you gave most people an old game instead of something new like Call of Duty or Skyrim they would freak. However, what if it would be appreciated, what classic game would you proudly give as a gift?

Sonic 2

Sonic 2

For me this was Sonic perfection, the level design the music and everything in-between made this a great game. Even today it is the type of game you can load up and enjoy a quick run through. It may not have the graphics of today, but people are liking Sonic Generations and its look back to classic Sonic so as a retro stocking stuffer this game would be received well.

Super Mario RPG

Super Mario RPG

When you mix the fun world of Mario with the RPG nature of the Squaresoft games you get an adventure that stands the test of time. Super Mario RPG had it all, a good storyline, great characters, wonderful music and a fun battle system with boss fights and secret areas and the game was pretty long to boot. Compared to later games like Final Fantasy 7, it may seem lacking, but in its time it was ahead of its day and led to many great Paper Mario games.

Final Fantasy 7

final-fantasy-7

Speaking of FF7, most people crown this game the king of the series and even though you might get tired of seeing people pretend they are Sephiroth or horrible cosplay of Tifa, the game itself was a masterpiece. Again we have the perfect combination of story, characters, gameplay and music and all were rated five stars. Many gamers still want a remake and not the one on the PSP. No doubt the painted ground and other outdated graphics might look strange to today’s gamer, but for a classic game this must rank as one of the all-time greats.

Super Castlevania

Super Castlevania

How many of you have played this in some form in the last year or so. For many it is like going to church, you do it once or twice a year. Super Castlevania is one of those games that every once in a while you have to play through because of how fun it was and I have to toss  STON in there as well because they were both so well done that even with outdated graphics the game is still awesome. The point is that great games are great games regardless of their outdated look. Castlevania was fun to play and it did not matter if that bat looked more like a dust bunny or that the whip was seriously pixelated. Once you saw someone playing it or a video or even a mention you most likely loaded it up yourself. Come on, you know right now you are thinking about it.

Stocking Stuffer

Now obviously there are a ton of great games I missed, but that is for you to tell us. In fact we will make it a contest. Tell us what classic game would be worth giving as a gift this holiday season and the best written one will be featured in an article and you will win a prize. Detail is the key here and the better you make your case the better your chance to win. Even if you do not want to participate in the contest we want to know which game you think should be on this list.

Find Makarov: Operation Kingfish

Call of Duty-Modern Warfare 3-Find Makarov-Operation Kingfish

“Find Makarov: Operation Kingfish” is the seven-minute sequel to the fan-made, original film, Find Makarov. The real life movie reveals a key moment in Modern Warfare history as Soap recalls one of his most memorable Task Force 141 missions. For more information visit findmakarov.com.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afs8lcfBY7Q[/youtube]

Created by We Can Pretend, Meteoric, The Junction VFX, and Stealing Time
Director: Jeff Chan
Executive Producer: David Fradkin
Producer: Evan Stasyshyn
Stars John Morgan as John “Soap” McTavish

Remake and Reboot

Video Game Remakes

Hollywood is going through a phase at the moment. The “reboot” of films such as Batman Begins, or the remake of titles including “The Taking of Pelham 123”, demonstrates a lack of original ideas and voices. And the games industry seems to be following suit, relying on summer blockbusters and sequels as much as the cinema.

Prince of Persia is a good example. Jordan Mechner’s classic had already undergone an ill-advised leap into 3D before Ubi Soft’s Sands of Time rebooted the story and added the amazing time rewinding feature. The two sequels added little, even with a Wii remake of the Two Thrones giving motion control. And so it was rebooted again, adding a controversial new game mechanic and dividing opinion.

Tomb Raider has also had its share of remaking and rebooting, with Legend and the 10th Anniversary editions. By handing the series over to Crystal Dynamics, Legend got closer to a true 3D world and Anniversary revisited the old locations with new polish.

The Wii is also seeing several of these new “interpretations”, as evidenced by Klonoa. The original game of the series appeared nearly ten years ago on the original Playstation, and was a 2.5D platformer with the player’s movement controlled along set paths. Fast forward and the graphical makeover is very good (the dreadful Americanised character voices less so), but the movement restrictions remain. The old-school game mechanics may feel uncomfortable to the new audience drawn to Wii, but there is a real challenge in there.

Other titles such as Resident Evil Files have had little done to improve them for the new hardware. The Play Control range has featured some gems brought up to date with Wii controls – Pikmin, for example – but Nintendo would be advised to cherry-pick the best titles to update.

Perhaps the most successful reboot has to be Call of Duty. Arriving first on PC, the console-specific versions (Big Red One) were followed by the unusual idea of two developers alternating work on the franchise. But the biggest surprise was waiting for Call of Duty 4. The subtitle Modern Warfare gave it all away – the franchise moved from its World War II setting (and its competitors Medal of Honour and Brothers In Arms) to the present day. However, despite plans to call the 2009 sequel Modern Warfare 2, Activision has gone back and put the Call of Duty tag in front to avoid losing sales.

So rebooting is not all bad news. In the end it would be nice to be swamped with new and original ideas every time we looked at the shelves in our local game store, but the companies cannot be blamed for the fact that the familiar titles (and gameplay styles) will sell more.

Black Ops Bugs and the action taken by Gamers’ Voice

No Bugs
No Bugs

Perhaps you recently played the newest Call of Duty Black Ops game and have and continue to enjoy it. I personally played through the game and though it did not blow me away, it at least played well on my Xbox 360. However, that has not been the case for many gamers from the US and the UK that has had to deal with crippling bugs on their PS3 and PC versions of the game.

After receiving many complaints about the game, Gamers’ Voice, an independent pressure group representing video and computer gamers in the UK that seeks to act as a conduit to make all gamers voices heard in the government and mainstream media said this about the issue on their website.

The view of Gamers’ Voice is that it doesn’t matter how big a game is, it should not be released ‘unfinished’ or with bugs that make the game unplayable, which are words we have seen in a lot of emails to us recently.

Gamers’ Voice accepts that bugs do slip through the net as it’s impossible for developers to find every single bug. We do not accept however allowing entire sections of the PS3 and PC gaming community appearing to be used as game testers for an extended period after a game’s release, yet being asked to pay for the privilege. This is not a tenable way to treat consumers of video games.

This week GV will be filing a formal complaint to the UK consumer protection agency on this issue. Obsolete Gamer was able to get into contact with Gamers Voice UK chairman, Paul Gibson, to get more information on the issues and the actions being taken.

Gamers Voice UK logo
Gamers Voice UK logo

Many US games had no idea about the problems with CODBLOPS especially on the PS3 and PC can you tell as a little about the larger ones?

That’s not what we’ve heard! We’ve had quite a few emails from American gamers who have experienced the same issues as us in the UK. In fact, despite us being UK based, we’ve had emails from people across Europe and Australia too. The main complaint we receive is being not being able to connect to servers online, and there are a whole host of bugs that cause PS3s to freeze and need resetting, as well as similar issues with the PC edition. We seem to be getting new emails every day with a new game-wrecking bug found – we even got a link sent to us from NextGenTactics concerning this.

What was the initial response by Activision on the bugs?

We wrote to them a while ago, but didn’t even get the courtesy of an acknowledgement.

When did you first begin receiving feedback from fans to take action?

Almost as soon as it came out. We’re quite a new group, but we already have a big following on facebook, so people knew there was someone to turn to when their own complaints fell on deaf ears.

What action have you and will you be taking?

We have contacted the government trading standards body in the UK to request their involvement, and beyond that we have a few ideas we can’t discuss just yet.

What would be the response or action on Activision’s part that could solve this issue?

To fix the bugs! The dominant theme of many of the email we gets is one of frustration. It’s a fun game but only if you get to play it. If you can’t get online to play with your friends, or if you console or PC freezes mid-game (we have heard of isolated incidents of damage being caused to PlayStations due to this, although they are not confirmed, yet) then for many the whole game is ruined. If Activision simply ended their silence and said they are working on it, it would be a step in the right direction.

In your opinion do you think that with the legacy of having gamers beta test MMO such as Everquest and World of Warcraft coupled with the availability to patch on consoles and PC that more game companies are slacking off on bug testing and quality control?

That’s not for us to say, although there does seem to be a trend of games with fatal bugs being released recently. This might simply be due to the increasing complexity of the games and their size.

Games for Girls?

Do you really want to see a new achievement every time your girl finds a lost black sheep? If you are one of those guys stupid enough to share your Facebook account with your girl you are gonna look like a complete and total loser.~J.A. Laraque

Games for Girls?

You might wonder why I added the question mark at the end and the reason is because I am not sure if these games are really the ones girls enjoy and play the most, but after doing some research it appears many girl games put these games on their top list.

games 4 girls

So here is how this is going to work. You will get three first takes from me. The first take is the general take on the game. The second take is the positive friendly take and finally the third take is the evil chauvinistic take. Enjoy

The Sims

General: The Sims allows gamers to control their in-game avatar and pretty much everything around them including the house and everything inside it. This game is like taking care of a pet, but the pet is human. The Sim’s offers tons of gameplay options, add-on’s and simple yet interesting fun.

The Nice: The Sims is perfect for women to show their creative side. Let’s face it, 9 times out of 10 a girls is better at creating and running a home than a guy and they have that maternal instinct and strength of will to take care of the Sim.

The Evil: This is the perfect training vessel for future domestic servitude. The only problem with the Sims is she might think you will actually buy all the crap she fills her virtual house with. Perhaps dating sites should have a built in Sim’s game because depending on how the house and the SIm she created is presented could tell you a lot about the woman and her crazy factor. This game is also good because it keeps you busy while you play manly games like Gears of War.

Farmville

General: The Facebook game where you run a farm. You can plant all types of crops and build your farm up to be pretty big. There is also a social aspect where you can trade food and supplies and there are tons of little gifts and events through the year.

The Nice: This is a pretty good intro game if your girl has never played games and strangely enough it can make your World of Warcraft quests seem a lot less stupid when she is collecting dough to bake a pie. The social aspect is great as she can share her achievements with friends and the game runs on almost any PC.

The Evil: Do you really want to see a new achievement every time your girl finds a lost black sheep? If you are one of those guys stupid enough to share your Facebook account with your girl you are gonna look like a complete and total loser. Also, think of all the real chores she could be doing around the house instead of on a virtual farm and finally, 7 out of 10 Farmville players can barely cook in real life, down home indeed!

Dance Dance Revolution

General: Before Rock Band or Guitar Hero there was DDR, the game where you have to dance (or step) to the beat to achieve points. This game is fun in a group and can serve as a good workout as well. All you need is a little room and a love for music and you’re set.

The Nice: Forget Wii Fit at least with DDR you can have some interesting music while shaking it to the beat. Just imagine the love of your life shaking it on the dance floor just for you. This is a great game to team up together and have some fun before you show off your skills to your friends.

The Evil: If you combine bad J-Pop with the lack of rhythm your girl has you are in for a world of hurt. You will be forced to watch the painful display of your woman flailing around the living room knocking things over only to have to tell her she did well. Honestly, the thing to do is bypass all this and get her that sexy stripper pole workout thing. At least with that you can YouTube it and become an internet star.

Mario Kart

General: Go Cart racing at its finest. Mario Kart puts the character of Super Mario Bros. behind the wheel where you can race across a ton of different lands from the Mario universe. The gameplay is fun and the tracks are beautifully designed. This is a great game for all ages and skill types.

The Nice: Mario Kart is the kind of game that will little practice you can become good at it and it is designed to give you friendly competition. Girls will like the Mario world and the cute characters like the princess and Yoshi and will get into the gameplay that offers a scalable challenge without being harsh on first timers.

The Evil: Remember how bad your girl played Super Mario Bros.? How she would contort her whole body when trying to turn or jump the character. Do you really want to put another woman behind the wheel and worst yet she will want you to play. Now the question is do you own her in the game and sleep on the couch or let her win and listen to her playful ribbing for the next 20 years. What if she beats you fair and square, what then, you know murder is illegal right?

World of Warcraft

General: The ultimate MMO. You can create a character from a list of races and classes and play in an immense world of fantasy. Not only will you have tons of things to do, but tons of people to do it with. World of Warcraft can be almost anything you want from a challenging experience to a social outlet where you cook and search for treasure. Seriously, everyone is playing this.

The Nice: Sure it may take some time to get her started in the World of Warcraft if she was never before a gamer, but it can be worth it. If you are a fan of the game then the best thing is to have the person you love spending time with you loving something else you like spending time with. Plus, most girls pick support classes and are notorious for finishing all the quests and events so that can come in very handy for you and maybe even your guild.

The Evil: Do you really want to be a teacher? Honestly, you are looking at three outcomes. One, she will never get the game right and make you look bad and bother you all the time to help her. Two, she will quit out of frustration and hate you for it, but she won’t dump you, oh no, she will force you to quit the game. Third, she becomes too good at the game and it takes over her life even more than it does yours. Her holy priest is picked over your hunter in the guild you helped to create and so she is turning you down for sex so she can finish all the holiday quests. See, this is why you live alone as long as humanly possible.

Do you see what I did there?

All joking aside there will always be games that appeal to one segment of the populous over the other, but is there really such a thing as a girl’s game anymore? I have seen and know many women of various ages that enjoy all games from the Farmville’s to the Call of Duties. Boys will most likely dominate gaming for the foreseeable future, but in that sea of testosterone you will find gamer girls doing the same thing we do, kicking ass and getting our asses kicked.

Are game reviews valid?

Are game reviews valid? by Honorabili

You might read a game review and be enticed to go buy or play a game but is a review really valid? How long did the reviewer play the game? Does it take into account replayability and updates over the life of the game?

The Quality Triangle
The Quality Triangle

I’ve written a bunch of game reviews but I often find myself with the dilemma of when I sit down and think about how effective the review really is. One of the reasons I created Obsolete Gamer is so that I can honestly review games in a reasonable and realistic manner. It’s really really hard to play a game that hasn’t come out yet or has just come out and play it like a crackhead non-stop to try to simulate having played it over a series of days and weeks. The problem with even doing that is that the game will still be new to me within a week timeframe as opposed to the game having been around in my collection for months. One would be more excited about a new game rather than an old one, unless it’s a really old game that was your favorite and you haven’t played in a while and you just found it because you lost it for some reason.

Planet Side cover
Planet Side cover

This question might not just apply to games but to maybe some movies or things like electronics and cars as well. Most reviews that just get mass produced will say this thing is “the next best thing since sliced bread and you must have it!” but they don’t take into account that for instance a car might have a defect that you will only see after owning it for a year or a game will get ruined by the 5th patch because they changed something that fucked up game balance and it will make people flee playing a game like a sinking ship. This especially happens for MMOs which are changing all the time. PlanetSide comes to mind, which a ton of my friends used to play when it was really, really popular. Your best bet it to read a game review by somebody that has the same tastes as you or to read a review written recently about an old game (like what we write here often, ahem).

A problem I have sometimes running Obsolete Gamer is that some reviews I’ve written, in order to keep them valid, I have to go back and play a game and update the review. One game that does this a lot to me is Nation Red, which updates like at least once a month, with new content added ALL THE TIME! I keep track of this for Obsolete Gamer but many sites will just pump out an article and just file it forever in its archives, never ever updating it again. In my book that makes those reviews useless. If you haven’t already checked out our game reviews do so in this section of the website.

Civilization 5 Crash
Civilization 5 Crash

So what’s the point of reviews? I see many as pieces of writing intended to get the reader to buy or play a game. Many get used to hype up the expectations of the potential and existing fanbase to a game or product. Some are genuinely written to try to warn people to stay away from a particularly poorly made game that would just be a waste of time and money for the player. Sure, I’ve played some games that have gotten bad reviews and found them somewhat more pleasant than this horrible picture the media painted for me. For example, I gave Elemental War of Magic a fair chance and actually it was sad that I enjoyed it more than Civilization 5, a game I had pre-ordered for $50 and now hate with a passion. The media crucified Elemental War of Magic because of its many bugs and shortcomings and yes even Stardock admits screwing up and it resulting as a flop but the difference here is that Elemental War of Magic got patched to the point where it’s very much enjoyable now but it still has a bad reputation as opposed to Civilization 5, which is PRAISED to be the strategy game of the year, although in my and in the eyes of every true Civilization game fan, it’s the biggest pile of shit ever made with the Civilization name. The game is months old and still has most of the bugs and missing features I mentioned in my early review of the game. It’s disappointing especially when they are still selling this turd for so much money. If you want to see this rage, visit the Facebook Civilization Page to join in on the fight!

Psychonauts Box, groovy huh?
Psychonauts Box, groovy huh?

This kind of hypocrisy has been around for many years, and not just in the gaming industry. Whatever has the biggest budget will get hyped up and up and some stuff that does deserve attention will sink into obscurity. Let’s look at small games though because it’s easy for people to say that Call of Duty or Halo or World of Warcraft are the best games EVER but let’s look at small games to see where the industry nailed it and where it dropped the ball. The industry rightly praised Plants vs Zombies and Trine and rightly so but it dropped the ball when it came to a classic gem like Psychonauts. You might say “Yeah, Psychonauts got famous later as a cult classic” but seriously, the people who made it needed the money from the game when it came out, not 4-6 years later! Most people pirated Psychonauts or bought it on Steam for $2 when they had its sale or even from Good Old Games. Think about how many people might have been laid off because the game didn’t do well when it was fresh.

Games are sort of like cars in the economic sense: they degrade in value over time. The money they make for the developer the most is earned when they are new and fresh. When they are on sale because they flopped or they’re old is marginal. The money the developer gets from ebgames or some other place selling you a used copy is NOTHING. I’m not saying go out there and buy every game because I do believe some stuff should have never come out and is not even worth downloading a pirated copy (a topic for another article), but if you do LOVE a game, whether you played it a friends house, got a demo, or are playing a warez copy, do try to buy it to pay back the creators and people whose life was spent writing that game. The economy is a democracy in the sense that you vote with your wallet. If you like the games made by certain authors and programmers and studios, keep them in business. Don’t you want your friends to do well?

Odium, a game few have played with like no reviews
Odium, a game few have played with like no reviews

I’m getting sidetracked, so going back to reviews, if you can’t find a good review for a game or a review at all, do a little research instead. See if there are people who posted information on forums regarding the quality of a game. Some stuff might be too new and small for people to review or it might be just really really BAD. Sometimes that’s a way to tell but sometimes the game might just be a lost gem that you have found. Give games a chance and don’t always go with what the mass media wants you to play. I don’t know how busy your life is, but try to not let people make a decision for you. This also doesn’t apply to just games as well but life as a whole. Discover something you will like. Try out a new genre if you’re bored of gaming in general or go out and do something else to get a new perspective. This might keep you from burning out on something.

Who knows what may happen? You might just find a game that becomes a new favorite of yours and you might end up like us writing reviews on them yourselves and websites like this one or maybe this one as well. ;] Just make sure that you honestly share your opinion on a game… To yourself be true and to others as well, if you can. Save people the aggravation of buying a lemon!

Games Coming Out December 2010 For PC

TRON hot girl
TRON hot girl

Games Coming Out December 2010 For PC by Honorabili

I can’t believe December is such a weak month this year but then again not that many studios are going to be suicidal enough to go up against a WoW expansion…Read More

Commercial Wars: Best use of Awesome

awesomeness demotivational poster Barley
awesomeness demotivational poster Barley

A great commercial like a great movie trailer can really hype people up to go see or buy it. Sometimes the video is much better than the game, but sometimes you are surprised to find the trailer matches the film. When a company takes the time to put real money and effort into a video game commercial and it comes out awesome it earns respect regardless of the game. This week we take a look at some of the best video game commercials that just look awesome in the way it was put together.

Sega Dreamcast: Thief

The Sega Dreamcast was one of the most awesome consoles that never really got the credit it should have. This commercial embodies the awesomeness of the console and the games behind it. You have to love when a company takes a movie-like approach to a game. The action, the humor and even the dialog all match and you spend the entire time into what’s going on. By the time you see the final splash telling you about the Dreamcast you’ve already purchased it.

Call of Duty: A Soldier in All of Us

Sure, this is a brand new commercial, but as we said Obsolete Gamer profiles good games regardless of when it was made. In this case the game takes a cool thought that we are all playing this war game and we come from different backgrounds. I love the fact that they add many different types of people and it comes together so well that you have to give it its praise. There was just enough humor and spirit to complement the action, beautifully done.

Halo Reach: Deliver Hope

Yet another modern game and yet another spectacular display of visuals with a perfect blend of music, heart and action. You did not need to hear loud booming explosions. You did not need to hear the screams of the dying. You did not need to hear one word, all was told to you visually with a light side dish of audio mastery. Yes, a commercial can do all that and “Deliver Hope” did it.

Vote or Die

Here we have three different action oriented videos that deliver awesome and so much more. Now the question is which one of the three did it best? The choice is yours.

[poll id=”11″]

GAMES COMING OUT FOR CONSOLES: NOV 9TH 2010

Call of duty Black Ops release date
Call of duty Black Ops release date

You’re finally coming down from the sugar high ready to get back to gaming, so, let’s get to it. We are in a lull period between holidays and it seems with the election the push of top games have been lessened. This week will be the shortest console preview in Obsolete Gamers short history as only one game gets the nod for purchase.

Call of Duty: Black Ops

First let me start by saying that I was not happy with many of Activision’s decisions involving the COD franchise, especially when it game to network and multiplayer support. In addition I was not pleased that the common wisdom of pushing out a Call of Duty game in one form or another every year was now a company requirement. There have been debates across the internet questioning if Call of Duty is the best modern warfare game out there with games like Medal of Honor stepping it up. However, if there is one thing that’s for certain it’s that they know how to get you hype for a game from its trailers to the information I have read on the game.

Call of Duty Black Ops adds a little something new with the good parts of something old. The over the top firefights are still there (for better or worse) and you have new features such as varied weapon modes. Anyone who knows the term Black Ops knows it means covert top secret missions, normally where if you are caught you are out of luck. In this installment the game takes place in various time periods and locations from Russia to Vietnam and more.

The single player mode has been enhanced with small things done within missions like controlling troop movements from a plane high above the earth and it really matters where you send them. Also little things like the banter between the NPC’s and your player who actually have a voice and opinions and uses them.

Variety is the spice of life and what has made Call of Duty so much fun for me was the various ways you completed your mission and Black Ops continues giving you more, even more than Modern Warfare 2. In the single player you will find a mixture of stealth using the element of surprise to make your way through the enemy’s base. You can snipe your enemy from far away or move in for the silent kill using your knife or the crossbow.

On other missions you have the run and gun that Call of Duty is known for, repelling from Helicopters in a hot zone and calling in airstrikes on buildings just across from your position is a staple. Sure, the fighting might not be realistic, but when you breach a building and see the slow motion camera kick in before firing an explosive arrow into the gut of the bad guys you we be glad realism was checked at the door.

Single player is great and all but it is multiplayer that can determine whether a game will be a hit or a quick rent and beat. Treyarch has kept many of the multiplayer aspects from Call of Duty that we like and add in a few new things and one of the coolest ones is the wager match.

Anyone who has played the newer Call of Duty games knows you level up using experience points and there are tree’s you use to unlock new weapons and accessories. While the EXP leveling system is still there you also earn CP which is the equivalent to cash. In some matches you earn CP and XP and in others you earn only one or the other. So let’s say you have a lot of CP but not enough XP to buy that new gun, well now you can purchase it using CP. Now you might ask, how do you end up with way more CP than XP? Well, one way is the wager matches.

In wager matches you can enter into specific maps where you bet your CP points on who will be the winner. The winners are the top three people in the game but everyone has to bet. One can either quickly win or lose CP but at least you can’t lose XP. The match types for wager matches are pretty cool to including a game called One in the Chamber, where you only have three lives and one bullet. You have to kill someone to get their gun and hope he didn’t waste his ammo. In another match you start with a handgun but as you kill someone with it you get another gun. There are 20 total guns and you have to kill your opponent with each to progress, but here’s the kicker. If you are knifed you lose a level and the gun that goes with it which will make for some interesting online games I can imagine.

Now for you newbies to Call of Duty this might seem overwhelming but fear not because in Black Ops you can train against the AI in multiplayer tactics to learn how not to get owned. You can go up against the computer in various scenarios to give you a feeling for the game. Now of course there is no substitute for a human player but at least this lets you get your feet wet before your head does.

Once you are out in the field you can view how you did in the theater. For Halo fans you will be used to this section. The game automatically records your game and you can decide to keep it to see how you did and what you did wrong as well us upload and share footage with your friends and enemies alike.

Speaking of enemies, you can make custom emblems and logos within Black Ops and place them on your gun for the world to see. It’s a pretty good customizer too so you can make clan symbols or just something to make you stand out in a crowd of bodies. Also, you can even customize your reticle so when you kill someone and they view your screen they can remember it’s you and maybe get some revenge.

Of course there will be a ton of new multiplayer maps from various missions you’ve played as well as multiplayer only maps. You will also get a number of new weapons to use including shotguns, crossbows and even a user guided missile.

Overall from what I have heard, read and watched it looks as if Call of Duty Black Ops will be a pretty good game. Honestly if you are a fan of the franchise it is a must have and the additions to multiplayer will give it a longevity that is important to many gamers in hard economic times. If you need a break from Halo but want that same high paced action on planet earth then COD is your game. You can pick up Call of Duty Black Ops pretty much everywhere on November 9th.

See you next week!

Community Profile: Meet A Gamer

Meet A Gamer logo
Meet A Gamer logo

Meet A Gamer

It has long been a criticism that gaming can and does lead to anti-social behavior. The vision of children and adults alike playing away for hours on end in a cold damp basement has caused many parents to cringe at the thought of letting their kids get into gaming. While it is certainly true that becoming too addictive to games can pull one away from other important aspects of their lives including social interactions, it has also been proven that many gamers have found their own community within the gaming world.

Just as there are those who flock to sports bars to find companionship with sports fans, the same is done with gamers. It started with groups of friends getting together to play games and expanded with the internet to forums, chat rooms and user groups. Today with the explosion of social groups and communication tools such as Ventrilo, Instant Messaging and Facebook, gamers can connect with other gamers in a way just a decade ago was not possible.

In our weeklong look at gaming communities we first wanted to discuss the growing social interaction between gamers. When one begins playing games they will quickly find friends they can play and communicate with through online lobbies and programs such as Xbox Live and Playstation Network. In addition with online groups and social media such as Facebook, gamers can find their niche be it FPS games, MMO’s or even classic gaming.

What about a social site that is just for gamers? Perhaps the next big thing in social media is not a general place where everyone can meet, but more specific places where people who share the same hobbies or likes can congregate. The question is can something like this work? As a former owner and administrator of many message boards I can testify to the difficulty of getting users to come to your forum with so many others out there.

However, the culture of gaming is different. A place where you know everyone is a gamer just like you might be a haven. Connecting with new gamers from around the world and being able to share everything from videos, to music to pictures could be very appealing.

Enter Meet A Gamer a social networking site where gamers can create a profile and interact with each other. You can discuss games, chat, and even meet up in your favorite game. Obsolete Gamer had a chance to talk with one of the owners of Meet A Gamer and we had some questions on what it was like to start your very own social gaming network.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet A Gamer advert
Meet A Gamer advert

Obsolete Gamer: How did you come up with the idea for Meet A Gamer?

Nick: Well I was gaming with some local high school buddies of mine and after a while I felt like it was getting too boring and need new people to start playing with.  I slept on it and figured out there was no “social network” for gamers.  So making Meet a Gamer was the perfect concept to find new gamers to play with.

Obsolete Gamer: Can you give us an overview on why you created Meet A Gamer?

Nick: To expand people with new gaming friend.  Creating a way to be able to find the better group to play video games with and of course socially.

Obsolete Gamer:  How difficult was it to create and get the word out to gamers to join?

Nick: It has been very difficult of course, since people use Facebook/Myspace/Twitter etc.  They feel that they don’t need another social network to deal with.  But then when people give it a try they notice it is a great addition with the other social networks because now they can have facebook/myspace for personal use and have a MeetaGamer account for gaming!

Obsolete Gamer:  What did you want your site to bring to gamers?

Nick: I wanted the site to allow gamers to overcome the trash talking and become more social.  Giving gamers the chance to actually meet new gamers without being beaten in a game or harassed.

Obsolete Gamer: How important is social networking to gamers?

Nick: With the way social networking took a spin in the past 6 years it’s really allowing the gaming community unite and kind of give the chance to build a gaming experience they have never experienced before.

Meet A Gamer logo
Meet A Gamer logo

Obsolete Gamer: How has the overall response been to your site by gamers and non-gamers alike?

Nick: The problem I noticed the older generation that played Atari feel that if you only play Halo and Call of Duty series, you are not considered a true gamer.  We all know that is the most played multiplayer on the xbox 360 platform.  Definition of a true gamer is if you play video games, not what type of video games you play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obsolete Gamer:  What is your gaming background?

Nick: What is gaming?  Just kidding, I’ve been gaming since I was a really little kid started off playing Mario Bros series on the original Nintendo, when you had to blow into the cartridge of the game to get it to play.  And I was really addicted to Excitebike that game had me going for hours.  I finally moved on to Super Nintendo, Sega, and now the next generation consoles.  I am really into the Call of Duty series now.  I’ve tried out the Wii and Playstation 3 but it really isn’t for me.  Those two consoles are collecting tons of dust right now!

Obsolete Gamer:  What is your favorite classic games and why?

Nick: Excitebike has to be my favorite classic game because when I was little I would tell my parents I was sick so I couldn’t go to school.  And I would play that game for hours on end.  I am not sure why that game made me so addicted but it was a blast!

Obsolete Gamer:  What are you playing now?

Nick: Right now I have just been playing NHL 11.  I got bored of Modern Warfare 2 and Madden 11 too quickly.  I am really excited to see what Black Ops has in store for us gamers!

Obsolete Gamer:  In your opinion how important is the online community to gaming and gaming culture?

Nick: If the online community can adapt to the gaming culture it will allow an expansion of networking.  Giving the chance for developers to listen to the people.  If we can all somehow stomp our feet and grab the attention of gaming companies now just imagine what could happen in 5 years!

I would like to thank Obsolete Gamer for contacting us, it was a great pleasure!

Want to join this up and coming social site and connect with gamers? Then check out Meet A Gamer.

Exploring Expo Expectations

The E3 Expo is a lot like a roller-coaster. There’s the anticipation of that first hill (the build-up to the show with hints of what’s coming), the sudden drop into the exciting parts (the actual announcements and reveals) and the slowing down as the ride comes into the station (wading through discarded goodie bags and leaflets to the exit).

But the worrying thing is that the industry as a whole seems to be on rails, heading in one direction and with very little opportunity for change or an unexpected twist in the layout. You know what you are going to get, because you can look ahead and see what’s coming. There’s another first-person shooter, another open-world driving game with online challenges, and another action game with button-bashing combos and QTE’s. Is that what we really want?

There were three major trends at the show – motion control, 3D and artistic style.

Nintendo had arguably the best showing, thanks in no small part to the new 3DS with its display that does not require special glasses and long list of familiar franchises for launch day. There are many fans that argue that Nintendo is not doing anything innovative by relying on Zelda, Starfox and Mario, but dig deeper and there are some interesting ideas in there. Skyward Sword on Wii relies on MotionPlus, Pilotwings is making a welcome return after a long absence and the same with Starfox. Of course, the Wii already has motion gaming, but the much-vaunted Vitality Sensor seemed to make little or no impression. But Kirby’s Epic Yarn did on me – a clever combination of how the game looks (everything is made of fabric) and taking that a step further to change how the game plays (with areas hidden by zips that can be opened, or gaps that can be crossed by pulling a thread to “gather” the background up).

Microsoft concentrated on Kinect and its take on motion gaming, the previous name of Natal falling by the wayside. As commentators continue to dissect whether the interface works with a seated player, the actual line-up seems a little underwhelming. A virtual pet game, sports, dancing… nothing grabs the attention as much as the Milo demo from last year. Gears of War 3 and Halo Reach will be big sellers, but do they really add much that is new?

Sony tried to set up a smokescreen around its Move controllers, quoting prices from a low level to make it sound cheaper than Kinect… which it will be if you already own a Playstation Eye camera. If you don’t then that will be an extra expense, along with the Sony nunchuck equivalent. Killzone 3 had one major gimmick to offer, one of the first console games to be playable in 3D – but as Nintendo pointed out, it does require the player to wear special glasses and possess a 3D ready TV. How many people will be in the same boat as early HD adopters, unaware that they cannot get 3D pictures without an appropriate 3D source? This is something the PS3 can do thanks to a firmware update, but it’s down to how it is used. One disappointment for Sony was the lack of further detail on The Last Guardian, from the team behind Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.

But for me, there were some interesting games that intrigued me with their art. As well as the aforementioned Kirby, thegamecompany’s Journey and the XBLA game Limbo (with its silhouettes) looked very different. Gruesome scrolling beat ‘em up Shank has a good pedigree, but the one I really took to was Rock of Ages. A strange combination of art history, Katamari Damacy and real time strategy, this is one I will be following in the coming months.

Christmas sales will be all about Call of Duty, Medal of Honour, Rock Band 3 and familiar names, plus people in the UK scrambling to beat the VAT hike. Like last year there will be titles slipping into the first quarter of 2011 – for example, id Software’s Rage – to avoid the heavy hitters, and they could be overshadowed even then. And of course the countdown to another E3 will begin.

I Want This Motherf#$^in’ 3D Out of My Motherf%$@in’ Games!

3D Blood Gaming
3D Blood Gaming

I’m one of those guys that can look at a piece of technology and already label its longevity either positively or negatively. For example, I don’t see Tablet PCs going anywhere for real household use. It plays a useful role in business for IT professionals but I don’t see Little Annie and her brother Marcus finding any pivotal use in one three years from now. The practicality of tablets being used every day is nil, in my opinion. My disgust for tablets and their strong marketing push is dwarfed, however, by the tsunami of shit encompassing visual media in the form of 3D. Never have I seen such a strong push in new media as I have for 3D. As a matter of fact, I think aside from the use of motion sensor technology, E3’s main hailstorm of shit pellets came from the boisterous and unrelenting gimmick of 3D in games. I know a lot of people are now looking forward to wearing fake sunglasses indoors so they can feel like a member of the Cure while playing Gran Turismo in their sweaty Ed Hardy shirts. Good job! You’re still a douche.

When I saw Avatar was being marketed as a 3D movie I was fine with that because it said from the get-go that it was slating to be a 3D movie. It was specifically made to enhance this experience and there wasn’t enough 3D in movies around that time. Then this “Fern Gully” rip off got huge and popular and now every movie that was made for 2D is quickly adding a 3D experience. I admit though, I am a bit of a hypocrite and have seen plenty of movies in 3D since then. Alice in Wonderland had to have been the worst use of the technology thus far next to Toy Story 3 (was there even anything popping out in this movie?). I constantly vow to myself to never buy a 3D movie ticket, a 3D television, and now a 3D video game.

Do they really need to push 3D into household use? Isn’t it bad enough it already strains your eyes in the theater. If I wanted shit to come flying at me I’d go outside and have someone throw a rock at my face. There’s no need for the Blades of Athena to swirl and twirl by the nape of my nose while Kratos dismembers a God. A grenade shooting shrapnel near my eye in Call of Duty won’t enhance my experience. The last thing I want in a video game is to pause the game and drool at the beauty of the objects hovering around me (in certain viewing angles only please!). One cannot even begin to fathom the strain put onto a gamer’s eyes after a 4-5 hour Halo binge. 3D does not increase the experience of anything. It isn’t stimulating whatsoever and doesn’t need to be put into interactive media. It is a gimmick of smoke and mirrors. It’s like showing your friend what happens when you put a Mentos in Diet Coke. Sure it’s cool the first 4 bottles then you realize things get pricey and it isn’t as cool past the third bottle. I hope this addition to gaming ends as swiftly as the Virtual Game Boy.

Today in Video Game History – June 9th

Activision logo black and white
Activision logo black and white

The company that has brought us Guitar Hero, Call of Duty and tons more went public on June 9th 1983.

Here are some key dates for the company thanks to Fundinguniverse.com

1979: Activision is founded.
1980: Designs and sells its first Atari 2600 game series, Pitfall!
1983: Company goes public.
1988: Activision becomes Mediagenic.
1991: Robert Kotick and Brian Kelly acquire Mediagenic.
1992: Company is restructured, reincorporated, and again named Activision.
1997: Revenues hit $189.2 million, 119 percent over previous year’s $86.6 million.
1998: Revenues snowball to $312.1 million.
1999: Revenues top $436.5 million; income increases by 193 percent to $15.3 million.

News Bits from the Modern World #1

News on games and the gaming industry brought to you in anti-TLDR format for the morning of April 12, 2010.

Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare logo
Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare logo

We learned over the weekend that CODMW3 is in production which isn’t a surprise to many critics who believed that Activision would now be pushing to release new versions of their game once a year. Though Activision is not saying exactly when it will be released we can wager a guess that it will be just in time for the holidays. The question is, will people be willing to buy a COD game every year and will releasing these sequels so quickly lower the overall quality?

Gears of War logo
Gears of War logo

First Conan now Jim Fallon, GOW3 was to debut on Light Night, but it was spoiled when Microsoft confirmed the titles release for April 2011, oh well at least he still has one of the best house bands out there.

Games coming out March 2010 for PC

Supreme Commander 2
Supreme Commander 2

Games coming out March 2010 for PC by Honorabili

A lot of people were interested in this kind of article so here are my picks for what might be good coming this March 2010, for PC.

Supreme Commander 2, March 2 for PC

Battlefield: Bad Company 2, March 2 for PC

Sam and Max 2 Beyond Time and Space, March 9 for PC

Assassin’s Creed 2, March 8 for PC, March 16 via Steam for PC

Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 2 Chaos Rising, March 11 for PC

Command & Conquer 4, March 16 for PC

Metro 2033, March 16 for PC

Dragon Age Origins: Awakening, March 16 for PC

Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom, March 23 for PC

Just Cause 2, March 23 for PC

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, March 30 for PC

Mount & Blade: Warband, March 30 for PC

Description/Feedback/Why do we care?:

Supreme Commander 2
I want to see what sort of influence Square-Enix will have on the development on this RTS game. I also wonder if I will need to buy another PC just for this one. ;-]

Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Battlefield always competes (on PC) against Call of Duty. Will this take the crown from COD:MW2?

Sam and Max 2 Beyond Time and Space
More Sam and Max insanity and humor, which most adventure gamers crave.

Assassin’s Creed 2
Will Ubisoft remove the online only DRM that they claim to have implemented on this PC release? We’ll see. That will dictate on whether I will buy it or not. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here.

Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 2 Chaos Rising
I’m looking forward to this expansion pack making up for all the downfalls of the first game that many purists of DoW1 complain about. I have no beef with DoW2 so if they don’t, I’ll still probably enjoy this.

Command & Conquer 4
The C&C series is a money maker for EA. Let’s see if they will have the action of the first game. I didn’t like C&C 3 that much. I find the Red Alert titles more fun.

Metro 2033
Stalker, Fatherland, and Iron Storm come to mind when I saw the trailer for this game. Let’s see if it will blend the atmosphere of those movies and games correctly.

Dragon Age Origins: Awakening
I didn’t like the first game because I found the dialogue to drag on and the A.I. to literally be annoying and retarded. However, a lot of people like this game. Just giving you a heads-up on it and maybe, just maybe, the A.I. will be fixed on this one.

Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom
People in the States don’t know Settlers much but this is a huge series of classic RTS games that are very popular in Europe. I’ve played the original on Amiga a lot and Settlers 2 and 3 a lot back in the late 90s.

Just Cause 2
More GTA clone with a Tropico/Mercenaries 2 twist to it? Sign me up.

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City
Kind of sad that this is finally coming out for PC but since I didn’t play this one on console and a lot of people like it, it might be good.

Mount & Blade: Warband
A ton of multiplayer functionality and more has been added to this expansion pack for Mount & Blade.