Saturday, October 30, 2010

Early Halloween Greetings

It's still the 30th in my time zone. >.>

As if it hasn't been obvious, I haven't posted this weekend. All thanks to Halloween. It's the only holiday I celebrate, so I go big. Lots of decorations, food, and sewing to take up my free time.

But I wanted to take a second, say hi to the readers (hi!) and post up a picture of the pumpkins I carved this year. Of course they are geeky and of course they are related to video games. And I realize that the Prince is a little wonky, but it was meant to be a simple cut and go pumpkin. Big Daddy took up enough time that I didn't want to fuss with the Prince. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

FarmVille Is Not THAT Important

A mother in Jacksonville plead guilty for shaking her three month old child for interrupting her game of FarmVille. Really, I don't know what else to say. The article speaks for itself. I thought the WoW obsession was bad. FarmVille is becoming a growing problem in the realm of internet addiction. And I'm sure it's making a lot of psychiatrists very happy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

If You Have An Hour To Kill...

Monthly contributor Tim Rogers has provided an article for Kotaku regarding MMO's. Final Fantasy XI in particular. It's a lengthy read. If you want to be lazy, here's the gist of it:

Tim has an online friend whom he has known for years but never knew that he played Final Fantasy XI. So he took a few hours one day to talk with his friend and determine why he plays. Tim knows squat about MMO's or any of the terminology. There are a few paragraphs about fun-stealers, some relation to gaming in Korea, how gold selling changes the game play, Fable II, FarmVille, Facebook, and chess. Whatever the main point of the column was, it got lost about a third of the way through.

I bring this up because I found the article quite interesting to see from the perspective of someone who has never been involved in MMO's. And in Tim's case, he really was clueless. He had to ask his friend about a myriad of terms that are common to most gamers. Even what gold farming/selling was. Which is a surprise since Tim speaks in the article about playing Gears of War, along with Fable and a myriad of other console games. Even things such as "guild" needed to be explained. Not what I was expecting. The most hard core console gamers that I know who never pick up PC games know what a guild is. World of Warcraft has seeped into the minds of all.

What I did like about the article was the first third before it delineated into non-sequiturs. The dialogue between Tim and his friend opened up why Final Fantasy XI works and doesn't in the MMO world. I also appreciated that Tim wasn't for or against the learning aspects of FFXI. I say that because his friend has a form of autism and FFXI helped him to become more social, i.e. not be as awkward around other people in what is considered "normal." And the fact that this is coming from a non-MMO gamer made the article more appealing.

The concepts that Tim's friend brings to the table are blunt. He plays the game as a means of learning what it is like to run a corporation. So he bought a linkshell and started his own business. In so many ways running a guild is just like running a company. And people wonder why I don't want to work in another corporation. Tim's friend calls the endgame linkshells fun-stealers. I couldn't agree more. When you get to the point in a game where you have to act like you're running a business, the fun stops. The fun of the game becomes broken down to a job where you pay (in hours and in monetary value) with meager hopes that you will achieve some form of pixilated gear. This part spoke to me greatly, and it's something I have experienced a multitude of times (most recently as Monday, and the article was posted Tuesday >.>).

The endgame linkshells, guilds, etc. they all change how people perceive MMO's. What you may believe is fun has now become a job. At one point, we all become fun-stealers in order to obtain that last little bit of high end gear. How depressing. And that's why I still keep my social linkshell around. Anytime I feel that someone is trying to take the fun out of the game, arguing over pixilated gear, I know that I have my social ls available to keep me in check. We all have the same mentality about keeping the game fun. We do the things that we want to do, such as go on missions, advance the story-line, play with the silly holiday events, because we enjoy those aspects of the game. It's not about the hardcore life of endgame. A good number of people could learn from Tim's friend. He's looking at FFXI from a good perspective and it can be applied to all MMO's. What's wrong with playing a game for fun?

Not to shove aside the social aspects, the one thing that has kept me playing FFXI is the forced human interaction. To get to the next story plot, the next mission, the next whatever, you need to work with other people. I'm going to keep this brief since that could be a giant article in itself, but it's the need to work with others in FFXI says a lot about the human experience. I'd recommend reading the article. If it becomes too droll, as I said Tim loses his focus about a third of the way through, read up to the first embedded video.

Oh and apologies for the random pictures. I wanted to use something from my massive stash that didn't give away any story pieces from the most recent expansion pack, and didn't give any character names.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Microsoft Plans To Open Online Shop

For video games that is. On Friday, Microsoft announced that they are working on opening an online, download only store for PC games. The estimated date is November 15th of this year, just in time for holiday shopping. The website will be  which I'm sure will be linked to directly a billion times.

It'll be an integration of the Xbox Live and Windows Live services. On Xbox Live online, PC not your Xbox system, you have the option to download from your PC to your Xbox system. At least sometimes when it decides to work. This will be a more direct to PC transaction.

The Marketplace is boasting over 100 titles, including Grand Theft Auto IV and Fable. Nothing has been mentioned about pricing. So it seems like it'll be a lot of games that came out 2-3 years ago for PC. >.> If Microsoft can provide the right price, it'll be a good boost to their holiday sales.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Whoops! Sony Foobared Again

Sony has officially announced a recall on all PS3 copies of Shaun White Skateboarding as of Friday. Needless to say, that'll delay the release date for PS3 owners.

"There was a manufacturing issue with a misprinted disc at Sony Computer Entertainment America and the wrong version of the Shaun White Skateboarding PlayStation 3 game was shipped to retailers. We're working with Ubisoft to correct the issue. New PS3 copies of the game will be shipped to North American retailers by Thursday, Oct. 28 and it will be available by that weekend."

The theory going around is that the wrong game was placed in all of the boxes, possibly Shaun White's Snowboarding. Some websites are calling out a conspiracy. My vote is someone was being lazy and/or not paying attention and made a really big slip up. Someone is going to get fired on Monday, that's for sure. >.> If you have somehow managed to get the game before the release date, you should probably take it back to the retailer for a refund.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Take a Tour at Trion Worlds!

Yeah I'm showboating this one because my brother works there, but I think this video gives a much more REALISTIC view of how a gaming studio looks like. As well as the corporate retailers. It's very bland and very beige. Not as cool as you'd like to imagine. You can view the tour here. My brother is at 7:03, the one that needs to shave. >.> I know we would all love to imagine that it's a cool building, with lots of toys and geeky things all over the place. And there are a few figurines on people's desks here and there. But really, everything is so corporate with rules and regulations. The fun can get sucked out of you quite fast. At least that's been my experience. Not saying that about Trion since I haven't been there. XD

More about Trion Worlds and the game Rift, check out their website.

Blizzcon 2010

It begins today and...holy crap that's a lot of news about Diablo 3. >.>

The best place for Blizzcon news would be Kotaku, as they have sent a crew out there in full this year. It'll be a lot of stuff about World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2, and Diablo 3. Oh, and Tenacious D will be around for a concert. Not Ozzy Osbourne from last year, but I'd take it. If you happen to be in the area of the Anaheim Convention Center over the weekend, there are a few single day passes left. I'd go for the costume contest, but that's just me. The big draw will be announcements over Diablo 3 and the new WoW expansion pack. *shrugs* I'd care more if Starcraft 2 would run on my computer.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Facebook Numbers, In Picture Form

So if you ever were curious about how big the Facebook has become in the gaming arena, here you go.

The stat that seems to be catching people off guard, but doesn't surprise me, is that 69% of gamers on Facebook are female. Not surprising as women do make up for more then 50% of the gaming market, with an emphasis on casual games. And FarmVille is certainly casual.

Also not surprising that developer Zynga is one of the top on Facebook with FarmVille and Texas HoldEm Poker.

Now how accurate is this study? Well according to the chart, there are up to 265 million Facebook gamers and 290 million play monthly. So the numbers are a little off, but staggering to say the least. Is FarmVille really that addicting? I think I'll stick to Viva Pinata.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Tester 2's Trailer

After last years success of The Tester, the competition to be a game tester at Sony (because that totally pays the big bucks), round 2 is set to air, or rather be downloaded, on the Playstation Network starting November 2nd.

You get the usual reality show clich├ęs. The hot model, Adrian Curry who won the first season of America's Next Top Model, the one guy at Sony who will probably be your boss, and then a random special guests, which are mostly Sony staff members. And of course we have the contests doing crazy challenges, even having to design their own game. I'm sure there's some reason why sending them to train with the military and drawing has some, subtle, importance to being a tester. But really, watching the trailer makes me feel sad for being a gamer. All of the crying, and bickering. Where's the testing? I mean really. What about all of this madness really relates to a job as a tester at Sony? The 80 hour work weeks at minimum wage and no overtime pay to sit in a dark room and feel like your eyes are going to bleed if you look at another computer/television screen. Where's the reality? Opinions?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Phoenix Wright Making A Comeback!

Level 5 in Japan held their annual press conference today, and announced a new title that peaked my interest. Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney. While Phoenix is a Capcom property, the two are working together (with Level 5 doing most of the work) to bring the worlds of Ace Attorney and Layton into one. And honest, that's not a bad idea when you think about it. Attorney is about solving murders via a puzzle method, and Layton solves a lot of puzzles.
Ace Attorney creator Takumi Shuu will be working with Level 5 on this one. So far it's been described as a puzzle game full of contradictions

One of the puzzles shown to the press is called "Trial of the Witch" where Phoenix's client is accused of being a witch (medieval town and all that), and he teams up with Layton and lad to clear his client's name.

What will be different is that the characters of Phoenix and Maya Fey (yep she's there too!) will be animated in cut scenes with Layton. This is a break from the Attorney franchise, which typically shows characters in a manga-like style, two-dimensional sprites with a focus on dialogue. So to see them move, sit, eat, and speak is different. But from this YouTube clip, it looks much better then I had expected. No release date announced yet, so assume sometime in 2011.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Can We Really Stop Bashing Final Fantasy XIII?

We get it. There were a number of Western gamers that didn't like FF13. That didn't stop the game from selling 5 million copies within the first 2 months of it's release. Nor did it stop it from selling a million copies in it's first week of release in the U.S. And all of those reviews? Yeah a lot of them gave FF13 some of the best ratings of any Final Fantasy game.

This isn't a Final Fantasy fan raging. Rather, I'm trying to understand why there are so many people against 13 when the numbers and the reviews don't support them. I'd get it if all of the U.S. gaming magazines hated it. But almost every one of them gave FF13 a fantastic score. Clearly there is a good market in the U.S. for JRPG's.

In a recent interview with Game Developer, Motomu Toriyama and Akihiko Maeda knew that there would be conflicting opinions with the Western gaming market growing, and how that would work with Final Fantasy 13. While they had tested the game with a Western market, it was too late to make fundamental changes to the game to appeal to specific Western tastes. So, scrap a game that has taken years to make to appeal to a small niche, or stick with it? I vote for the latter.

I know that people have been complaining about how linear FF13 is. That it takes away from the traditional town settings and game play that is traditional to Final Fantasy. I've argued before that in many ways, FF13 is a Final Fantasy game. You need the linearity to keep the story in check. If you didn't have the linearity for the first 10 chapters, you wouldn't know what the hell was going on. Also, a big portion of the story is that the characters are trying to not get caught. They are enemies of the planet. They need to avoid being around others. Guess what happens when they enter a town in the 6th and 7th chapters? They get caught by an army. So of course it makes sense that the group wouldn't be jumping from town to town. That's a part of the story!

Yes FF13 isn't a Western game. But it wasn't meant to be. As the series evolves, it will take into account North American and European tastes and integrate them. Final Fantasy started as a JRPG, and that's what it does best. And there's nothing wrong with sticking to your guns with a series. Just look at Dragon Quest. Nine games and it's still plugging away at the same formula. The only thing that changes in DQ are names and some faces. But it's the same character designs, same situations, same monsters, and it still sells like crazy. (Sometimes keeping things the same and not jacking up the formula isn't a bad thing.) And if we're going to start throwing things at 13, what about 10, or 7? Those completely strayed away from the original Final Fantasy path and no one seemed to complain about those. There are a lot of moments in 10 where you were stuck on one path, following one road. It's very easy to see FF10 as a linear game. People didn't complain about it then, excluding some of the voice acting.

I think we all need to step back, re-evaluate the JRPG genre and keep an open mind. Final Fantasy is the godfather of RPG's and JRPG's. Without it, we wouldn't have the gaming environment that we have today. If there is anything that FF does well it's taking risks. SE is aware that they need to allow for the series to grow if it is going to survive. And I believe that the next iteration of Final Fantasy will take Western tastes into consideration. It's ok to look at a game from one perspective. But to be a good analyst, you need to look at the item from all viewpoints. Is Final Fantasy XIII a good Western RPG? No because it wasn't made as a Western RPG. If Final Fantasy XIII a good Japanese RPG? Big yes on all accounts.

I promise not to have anymore SE oriented posts for the next few days. Seeing the article on Kotaku riled me up. Unless super incredibly major happens. >.>

Saturday, October 16, 2010

And As Much As I Love SE...

I think at this point, there will never be a Kingdom Hearts 3. If you thought the multitude or spin-offs for Final Fantasy VII were bad, Kingdom Hearts has taken the crown.

Kingdom Hearts: Recoded has an official NA release date of January 11, 2011. So what is this version of the KH franchise? It's a retelling of Kingdom Hearts 2 through the diary you kept with Jiminy Cricket. I know. It doesn't make sense to me either. It's also a remake of the 2008 cell phone game released in Japan.

What's different is that there are new battle modes, what SE is calling a branching system that can lead into different abilities for each character. At one point you can turn from the traditional KH fighting style into an RPG or a rail-shooter.

Really, I don't know where to go with any of this. I think we're at 11 Kingdom Hearts games? We've been waiting on KH3 since 2006. So can we just cut the crap and get on with it? I've given up on the spin-offs, because they really don't add or detract from my understanding of the main plot. At one point, people are going to stop buying them. Hopefully. So on with the program please. Thank you!

Friday, October 15, 2010

SquareEnix + Free = Awesome

So I was logging onto Final Fantasy XIV today to see what the new update from last night had brought to the game. A friend bombarded me with messages to check the website. Lo-and-behold, it was a sign from the heavens that sometimes SE will do something nice for it's customers.

Free Trial Extension!

Those who have registered an account from the date of release until October 25th will be given an additional 30 days, on top of their original 30 day free trial, for a total of 60 days.

The reason being? The amount of feedback from the community. According to the statement made on the website, the developers are aware that the game is still needing to work out some kinks, and they want to implement changes within the next month. So to maintain some form of integrity, they're giving us another 30 days to play for free with the new stuff.

The extension will be applied automatically starting October 19th. Users whom free trial periods have expired will be issued an email, so you know when to start paying up.

So thank you SE. You wouldn't see Blizzard or BioWare doing something of this caliber.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Used Games and The Law

Hey. The Dallas Morning news printed something that was sort of worth reading. Who'd a thought.

In all seriousness, the DMN (yes, they call themselves that) has reported a court ruling that could affect sales of used video games. The paper focuses on GameStop because the company is based in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, but the reality is that this ruling could affect other retailers such as Ebay, Amazon, and Best Buy.

Last month, a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a software publisher can prohibit the buyer of their products from reselling it. They have been hammering out the details since then. Previously, retailers were safe under the "first sale" doctrine which allowed buyers to resell products. Libraries and video rental stores fall under this doctrine.

The original case was from an individual, Timothy Vernor, whom was selling copies of Autodesk's AutoCAD design software via eBay. Autodesk complained to eBay cliaming violation of copyright, to which Vernor protested. eBay sided with Vernor and the suing began. Whether or not the copies Vernor was selling were purchased legitimately or illegal copies of the original program, is unknown. 

There is some surprise that the appeals court made such a decision, and many legal experts believe that this ruling won't be upheld at the next level. Simply because it would affect everything from libraries to garage sales to pawn shops to major retailers.

I can understand the argument from both sides of the fence. On the one hand, retailers reserve the right to sell something second hand. They purchased a product from it's previous owner, and wish to provide it to another end-user at a lower price. On the other side, second hand sales means the software publisher gets nothing. They only receive a cut of the new product that is shipped to a retailer. (Basically retailer buys the product from the publisher for a value and the retailer can only sell that product at a certain price point, keeping profits minus the monetary value paid to the publisher for the initial purchase of said product.) In essence, the publishers feel cheated that they don't receive a cut of that second hand sale. Because this is America and all people care about is money, not the fact that someone is playing your game and you are able to continue producing such a product.

For some companies such as eBay and GameStop, second hand sales make up a huge chunk of their profits. eBay in particular is an online garage sale of used items. And while eBay can work without video games, GameStop can not. The article says roughly 30% of profits are from used games sales, but I know better. It's more then that. There's a reason why you see the walls of every store littered with used games, and half a shelf for new games. Used games sell. People are ok with buying video games second hand because of the discounts. And really, it comes down to the all-mighty dollar. If software companies want a share of the used games market, that means less used games will be available for sale. Prices on used games will increase so that retailers will maintain some margin of profit. Which trickles down to the consumer, because now that $15.98 buyback value will go down to $10.50 so that profit can be made.

It'll be an interesting outcome if the higher courts rule with the appeals court.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

TV coming to U.S. Xbox Owners

If you thought watching Netflix on your console was great, well now TV will be coming to your homes from you systems! Not that it's already been going on in other countries for a few years now. But that's ok. Better late then never.

Microsoft and the Xobx360 have partnered with AT&T to bring U-verse to Xbox Live. For $99, you can request an Xbox Kit from AT&T, which includes a technician to come to your home and install some required software on your system. You also need to have one U-verse subscriber in your home in order to actually receive television streaming to your 360. Subscriptions can start at a base of $10 a month.

Having been apart of AT&T's track record, I think I'll pass. Verizon Fios wins the universe of all things television/internet/phone.

Basically your Xbox 360 will be turned into a receiver, or a set-top box that you would receive for cable from a cable company. The service will be launched this Friday, October 15th. AT&T has graciously provided a video via their YouTube channel, on how convoluted the process is to hook-up to U-verse. Though it's better then nothing.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Remember that game from Spieldberg and EA?

They've been talking about it for years. He even stopped by at E3 to gush about the project. But, EA spokespeople have confirmed the LMNO has been canceled. Though they are stressing that they are maintaining a good, working relationship with Mr. Spieldberg. Not that I believe it. Spieldberg has had a tumultuous history with video games. He's basically the one that started the whole movie video game market. What movie these days doesn't have a video game involved? I'm sure Get Him To The Greek will have theirs out soon. >.>

What's amusing is that he's ok with video games, but hates cut scenes. At one point in time he was quoted as stating that video games don't hold the emotional string that movies do. Clearly he's never playing a Final Fantasy game. You would think that a man of his stature would see the beauty of cut scenes.

According to former EA employees, politics in the office kept the game from being finalized. Whatever the case may be, I wouldn't hold my breath on a non-Spieldberg movie game to be a reality. It's a little disappointing though. LMNO conceptually sounded like a good game.

Monday, October 11, 2010

You got Link in my LBP2!

While many of us are saddened (mostly me) that Little Big Planet 2 was pushed back to a 2011 release, there are those who have been helping out in the beta to help tweak the little things.

If anyone knows anything about Little Big Planet number one, the first thing everyone attempted to do was try to recreate levels from other games. And make lots of roller coasters. Because we are a creative group of gamers.

Well those who are helping with testing are, of course, making levels based off of other games. Such as Legend of Zelda, with a platformer edge.

My favorite? Flower in LBP2. It's To check out more, here is the LBP2 YouTube channel.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New X-Men Game

With New York Comic-Con taking place this weekend, it would only make sense to announce a new comic book inspired video game.

X-Men Destiny will have a completely new cast of mutants where the environment will change based on the player's choices. Think of Heavy Rain with super powers.

The trailer released at NYCC is very comicbook-like. Zooming in on character outlines as they produce additional characters, locations, and intense voice overs. A wonderful teaser to have fans begging for more.

But that's about all we know. Some people are speculating that it'll be more of an RPG game, and less of an action/adventure that superhero games are known for. It's hard to say where things will go from here. Superhero games don't have the best track record. Batman Arkham Asylum is the best so far because it went to a non-comicbook developer, SquareEnix. If they want any hope for Destiny, their best bet is to outsource asap.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Google Honors Lennon

If there is one being in this entire universe I would want to meet, it would be John Lennon. I'm pretty sure Link would come in second.

Today we honor his 70th birthday. I still support his message of peace and love. A wise and creative man that was taken too early from us.

Thanks again Google for being Google.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Video Games and Education - Early Sunday Edition

With October here, just about every news station and morning television show is on a kick of having a series about the nation’s educational system. It always starts about this time of year because kids are back in school, and all of them are in October. What better time to freak out parents then to do it while their child is in school.

There’s even a documentary out entitled Waiting for Superman. Which, with its most recent buzz boost, will probably be in a theatre near you very soon. The film focuses on a series of children and their families doing whatever they can to help get their child a better education. And how screwed up the U.S. school system is.

As an adult looking back at my public school education, I can understand why people want to talk about making changes. My core classes did nothing to prepare me for the real world and college. The only classes that I was able to take and apply to my future were the film/television/radio and computer courses in the honors academic program that I was in. Everything else was a waste of time. And that’s not what school should be. I’m not surprised that the U.S. is one of the lowest in match and science education. My response was “I took math and science in high school?” I remember the teachers but I don’t remember the material. What I mostly remember was how crappy our football team was. That should not be the focus of a child’s education. Which is why I fully agree with Lewis Black’s comments during last nights The Daily Show (which happens once in a blue moon):

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Back in Black - Education Crisis
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Yep, I’m joining the bash on education bandwagon with everyone else, but with good intent. This isn’t meant to scare parents about sending their children to school, as news stations would love to do right now. I’d like to argue for the good of video games in assisting children with learning.

There’s a member of my family who has a learning disability. Numbers would easily flip around, and sometimes letters within a word. The help he was receiving at school was non-existent. At one point in high school, the assistance center decided that his disability had magically been cured. A lot of help that was.

As a suggestion from a family doctor, he turned to video games. This was back before voices took over the soundtrack. Things were heavily text based. And it amazed me to see how much his reading improved by playing a video game. To the point where it was helping to improve his math skills. He was able to better focus on words and problems in a manner that worked best for him. It’s something that still works for him to this day, nearly 10 years later. He reads books for fun now. He’s never done that before. All thanks to video games, when no one else was willing to help.

I bring this up as an alternative to parents with kids that are having trouble in school. Don’t discount video games as a means of learning. And I’m not talking about LeapFrog or any of those games that are intended to help children learn. I’m referring to traditional RPG’s and adventure games that were intended for fun, with learning as a hidden side affect. The problem that comes up time and time again is that children do not want to be forced into learning. A video game can’t force a child to learn. The learning aspect needs to be hidden. And that’s why it worked so well for our family.

That’s not to say that I don’t agree with learning games. Both the early development games as well as the range of DS titles such as Brain Age and My InsertLanguageHere Teacher games do benefit children and adults. Rather the traditional games shouldn’t be passed up because they are not outwardly educational. Even the new Rock Band game will help you learn how to play the guitar. What a perfect way to get a child to learn. Try thinking out of the box. It’ll help your child.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Jungle?

Panasonic announced a new product today, a portal gaming device called The Jungle. I think it takes over The Wii as the worse name for a console.

The portable gaming market has become a competitive business. Though Nintendo and their line of DS systems is still on the top, Sony's PSP and Apples line of IPhones and IPads have been making a dent. Panasonic wants in on the action.

"We began this journey by asking gamers what they wanted," Panasonic said in a statement. "Almost unanimously, we heard calls for online gaming products. Some gamers wanted a handheld, some wanted new content, others new experiences (one dude wanted a tattoo of the Kalphite Queen). In response, the Jungle was born."

The Jungle's focus will be on MMO's according to Panasonic. Why? Because there's an untapped market in protable MMO's of course! How a portable MMO would work, I'm not entirely sure. Every MMO requires some form of sitting down in front of a computer or television screen (in the case of FFXI and PhantasyStar) for a couple of hours. It doesn't really give an option to allow a person to be mobile. But, that's what Panasonic wants to do.

But that's not the big issue. The Jungle is going to run on Linux. I think it would be a fairly accurate assessment that maybe 1% of North America uses Linux. But it's a guess. No one knows the hard numbers. But it is definitely at the bottom of the food chain. If you took the number of MAC users out there and divided it by 2/3rds, that's probably the amount of Linux users that exist in the world.

There are very few games available for Linux, none of them MMO's. Why? Because the user base is so small it's not worth putting the time and effort into creating a Linux version.

"The Linux user base is too small for the financial risk, Linux users are generally savvy enough to make their OS run whatever games they want anyway, and since the Linux community is very DIY minded, they tend to not want to pay for much," said Ryan Seabury, creative director at NetDevil for LEGO Universe. "All of these make it a pretty bleak area to publish games into."

Seabury said that while porting a game from Windows or Mac to Linux isn't rocket science, "it's also usually not worth the cost and it's difficult to find talent with the right expertise."

And he's right. There is no profit to be made to port a product to Linux, even if ever single Linux user were to buy the item. Panasonic clearly wasn't thinking this through. Needless to say, this smells like a failure from a mile away. Not to mention the design is 1980's retro that it makes the classic GameBoy look not as bulky.

Monday, October 04, 2010

“Opposing Force” new title for Medal of Honor

So it’s been well-known that the new Medal of Honor game will allow gamers to play as a current terrorist group. There have been quite a number of stories, such as a defense secretary from the U.K., wanting to ban the game. I have also questioned the taste level of the game. Surprisingly, EA has been backing the developers of the game. It’s still publicity to them, I guess.

But today, the developers have decided to rename the terrorist group as “Opposing Force” stating as a means of respect to those who have died in war by this militant force.

I’m surprised that, that group hasn’t started to complain about using their namesake in a game. It took the U.S. Army threatening to remove themselves from endorsement of the project to get the developers to make the swap.

Barely a week ago, EA was standing behind their product by not caving in to protests. Which is commendable, considering how much I tend to dislike EA. But then they buckled because they would lose an endorsement, which would in turn be a lost of sales. Business at it’s best. *shrugs*

While the developers have stated that the name change will have no affect on the game play, the social media aspect of the outcome is disappointing. This is a game about modern war. In order to fully achieve this, you have to include names of people and groups that have affected the current climate. By removing an aspect and giving a generic identity, it strips away the heart of the game. I understand the situation and I can see why the developers decided to make the change in question. I have the utmost respect for the military women and men who put their lives on the line every day. It's something I could never do. But if it was going to be an issue in the first place, why bother making a modern war game? It's a catch-22 situation. So I'm going to quote South Park. "It's either all ok, or none of it."

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Sunday Musing - Abriged

Blogger is still failing. Apologies for the short posts and loads of links, but I can't seem to get a full post up without blogger crashing.

So here's a wonderful Holiday overview if you're planning on purchasing a current-gen gaming system:

Nintendo Wii
Playstation 3
Xbox 360
Fall 2010 Guide