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    • Microtransactions: Are they really a problem?

      4 years ago

      SincereSuperman

      Editor’s Note: If you’re looking for some reading on the subject of microtransactions, I highly recommend checking out Jim Sterling’s rebuttal to Cliffy B’s piece (which SincereSuperman uses as a source for this article) and Ben Kuchera’s recent editorial about EA’s current financial state. Whether you agree with one side or the other, it’s always best to read up on both sides to gain perspective. 

      Great piece by the way SS! 
       
      Let me level with you, g1s. I don't like microtransactions. That's my personal opinion on the subject. That said, I don't think microtransactions deserve the overwhelming hate they've received from gamers, and I don't think it's fair to expect the publishers to not incorporate into their game transactions that customers have proven to be willing to pay for.

      Recently, Electronic Arts' CFO Blake Jorgensen had this to say about microtransactions and customer satisfaction:

      "We are building into all of our games the ability to pay for things along the way; to get to a higher level, to buy a new characters; to buy a truck or gun or whatever it might be," Jorgensen said. "And consumers are enjoying and embracing that way of business."

      Both Mass Effect 3 and Dead Space 3 incorporate microtransactions in some form. It appears to be working, because, like he said, they are building the option into all of their games.

      Cliff Bleszinski (Cliffy B), who recently left the gaming industry, spoke out against the gaming community in defense of EA and their business practices:

       "I'm going to come right out and say it. I'm tired of EA being seen as "the bad guy." I think it's *** that EA has the "scumbag EA" memes on Reddit and that Good Guy Valve can Do No Wrong. Don't get me wrong - I'm a huge fan of Gabe and co most everything they do. (Remember, I bought that custom portal turret that took over the internet a while back and I have friends over there.) However, it blows my mind that somehow gamers don't seem to get that Valve is a business, just like any other, and when Valve charges $100 for an engagement ring in Team Fortress 2 it's somehow "cool" yet when EA wants to sell something similar it's seen as "evil." Yes, guys, I hate to break it to you, as awesome as Valve is they're also a company that seeks to make as much money as possible. They're just way better at their image control."

      I don't particularly care for Cliff or his games, but I have to agree with him here. What sets Valve apart from EA? The fact that they're quirky?

      It's quite clear to me that both EA and Valve care about their customers. They ARE businesses in the gaming INDUSTRY, so they are trying to make as much money as possible in the most efficient way while keeping their customers satisfied. That's the ideal every good capitalistic company strives for. 

      So let's get to the meat of the debate. Are microtransactions damaging to the gaming industry at the moment?

      The answer is no.

      Let's continue to look at EA as an example. Mass Effect 3 uses microtransactions. However, you are never required to purchase them and the multiplayer never feels cheap or undervalued if you don't spend money. The single player doesn't include microtransactions at all. Truth be told, I actually like the way EA and Bioware handled microtransactions in Mass Effect 3.

      Now, let's take a look at Dead Space 3. The microtransactions in this game are more disruptive. They intrude on the single player. Does this throw the game out of balance? No. In fact, Dead Space 3 is rather easy compared to its predecessors, even without purchasing any of the microtransactions. You never have to look at the microtransactions to enjoy the full game. I think refusing to purchase this game on the grounds that it includes microtransactions is an immature response, assuming that is the only reason. But, it is your money and you are free to spend it how you like. My advice: don't spend money on the microtransactions. Just the game. Show them what you're willing to pay for. I don't like the fact that microtransactions are in the game, so I haven't bought any.

       

      So, like I said, as it stands now microtransactions are not a problem. I don't like seeing them, but it's not about what I like. If people are willing to pay for them, we will be seeing more of them. That's the truth of the matter. 

      I do foresee a potential issue with microtransactions in full $60+ games.

      What will stop publishers from throwing off game balance and forcing customers to buy the microtransactions if they want to stand any chance against their richer or more hardcore brethren?

      Other than customer dissatisfaction, nothing.

      We've seen it most recently with Square Enix's abysmal puke-fest, Final Fantasy: All the Bravest. Release a game with the name "Final Fantasy" and people will buy it, regardless. That's a shitty, messed up mentality that should be uprooted like a weed and thrown into a fire. Square Enix should be ashamed for releasing such a blatant cash grab. Literally. We should shame them for it. Write letters, send emails, make phone calls...etc. Refuse to buy the game and then tell them that this kind of behavior is unacceptable. Like a dog, wag your finger and tell them no. Bad Square. Go back to making ground-breaking, genre-defining games worthy of our money. Don't tarnish a brand name for the sake of a quick buck. It's disgusting.

      Ranting aside, EA and Activision have actually been pretty tame when it comes to this stuff. Sure, they both publish some filth, but mostly, they publish strong and diverse titles. Mass Effect 3, Dead Space 3, and Crysis 3 were all published by EA and are all well made games. 

      Capcom, on the other hand, is one of the worst. DLC costumes. DLC stages. DLC characters. DLC dick. I shouldn't be surprised, though, because Capcom has always been this way. Just look at all the Super Nintendo Street Fighter games. DLC before DLC existed. Heck, at least you don't have to purchase another game to unlock everything! DLC fixed that, right?...oh wait...Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 *cough cough*.

      Bioware is guilty with Dragon Age: Origins. There is NOTHING that drags me out of an experience more than to have an NPC I talk to say "Want to help me take this castle back? $14.99 will do!" Or something to that effect. Take that shit and put it in a menu somewhere. Don't put it into the game! This is a role-playing game! I'm playing a ROLE. I don't want my experience to be marred by the real world. That said, the DLC is fine on its own. I just don't want it in the game UNTIL I purchase it.

      Assassin's Creed II was kind of similar. There were chapters missing from the original game. To fill in those chapters, you had to buy the DLC. The way the DLC was presented made the game feel incomplete. Once again, I didn't have a problem with the DLC itself, just the way it was presented to me. 

      Anyway, I don't want this to turn into a full-on DLC debate, but I wanted to stress that there are game companies which could use in game mictransactions badly, like Capcom. We, as gamers, need to prevent this. I'm not saying to boycott the game (especially if it's a game you really want to play), but DO NOT purchase the microtransactions or DLC if you do not want them in future games. If you purchase them, the publishers will think that you want more of them. 

      All in all, I have to say that I don't like microtransactions. I like the feeling that I'm playing a completed game. Microtransactions are not bad right now. They're tolerable, and I don't think publishers are in the wrong to include them, especially when people are willing to pay for them. However, we must prevent them from becoming worse, like Final Fantasy: All the Bravest (refuse to purchase that game because it sucks anyway, microtransactions or not). Refuse to purchase any microtransactions you don't approve of, and make sure to write, email, and call the publishers of the games you want to keep them out of. Be proactive and speak with your wallets.

      That's mostly all I wanted to say g1s. Thoughts? 

       

    • Give me my games, Nintendo!

      5 years ago

      SincereSuperman

      Now, I'll be the first to admit that I didn't read the End User License Agreement when I signed up to use my Wii and download Virtual Console games. Maybe some of you did, and that's awesome, but I'm also assuming that most of you didn't either.

      Apparently, I do not own my Virtual Console games. I own a license to use these games with a specific Wii console. If I ever decide to sell said console, the games are no longer considered mine.

      This, to me, is bullshit. I realize it's my fault for ever agreeing to it in the first place...but without agreeing to it, I couldn't have used the Virtual Console. So I really didn't have much of a choice, as protesting the EULA wouldn't bring about change due to the fact that I'm only 1 person in a sea of Wii users, most of them having already agreed to it.

      I bought a Wii in 2007. It was a Wii very close to launch, when they were extremely hard to come by. I woke up at 6 am and went down to my local Target in hopes of getting a Wii, and my friend Sean and I managed to snag 2 of the 5 Wiis they had in stock that week. I was ecstatic. I brought it home, booted it up, and played Twilight Princess for the rest of that month.

      Enter 2010. I'm a poor college student who is in need of cash. I own a PS3, Xbox 360, and my Wii. Not having played the Wii for a bit, I decided I would sell it for cash and then eventually pick a new one up when I could afford it. I didn't sell any of my physical games, and I saved all of my Virtual Console games to an SD card, so that I would be able to pick them up and play them on this new Wii. Recently, I bought a new, shiny, black Wii. I popped in the SD card, went to load up Majora's Mask...and the game won't start.

      "Huh," I thought. No problem. I'll just give Nintendo a call and see if they can't deactivate the account on the old Wii and move all my purchases to my new Wii. Well...turns out they can't. Or, they can, but they won't. When I explained my situation to the representative, he treated me like a thief or something. "Why did you sell your Wii?" he asked accusingly. I don't have to explain why I sold MY Wii, but I told him about my situation and he just sighed. So after about 45 minutes of banter and me telling him, quite calmly, that I couldn't  lose all of my VC games, he made a call to a supervisor. Well, awesome, maybe the supervisor will help me.

      The representative picked back up and said "Hey man. Turns out they're willing to make an exception for you."

      I sighed in relief. "Okay, so will they just deactivate that account and let me pick it up on this new Wii?"

      "Not exactly..." he said quietly. "You'll have to get that old Wii back and send both in to us."

      I just kind of sat there in unbelief. "You realize I sold it, right? It could be anywhere."

      "I'm sorry, this is just how it's going to have to be."

      "Um, well, on the off-chance I can't get in touch with the new owner, what do I need to do then?"

      "Just call back and we'll try to get a supervisor to do something."

      After all of this talk, I was upset. I told him thanks for trying and goodbye. Now here I am, left with over $50 of Virtual Console games on an SD card and no way to play them. What's even worse is I have the serial numbers of both Wiis and my Club Nintendo account shows that I purchased both. So it's not like I'm lying or pirating or doing anything else. Nintendo is just bullshitting around and won't let me have my games. I paid good money for these games and I'm a loyal Nintendo customer. I don't feel like this is how they should treat me.

      Why won't Nintendo let me have my games? I think I just want, nay, deserve, to be treated with a little more respect and courtesy.

      Nintendo is content with sitting on its high horse and hiding behind its EULA. Or maybe they don't have the ability to do it remotely. Either way, that's a pretty more online service. It doesn't have to be this way. SONY does it right. They give me a USER ID, which I can use on more than one system. If I want to use a new system, I simply deactivate the old one and use the new one. Simple. Easy. Effective. I can even deactive the ones I don't have over the internet. It's a painless process that Nintendo could learn a lot from. Instead, Nintendo is bullshitting me and making me jump through hoops. And until you get it together, Nintendo, I can't see myself getting a Wii U. Forget the EULA. It's easy to see that I'm sincere. It's easy to see that I don't pirate and I don't steal. These are MY games, and I deserve to have them. I bought a new Wii. I gave you more money. Show me a little courtesy.

    • New Nintendo Pro Controllers; Miiverse; Wii U Tablet Redesign

      5 years ago

      SincereSuperman

      During Nintendo's Pre-E3 conference, Iwata let us know that the Wii U will have new Pro controllers. Kind of resembles a controller most of us already know and love, doesn't it? Regardless, this is welcome news. I am assuming this allows for a 4 player game with 1 tablet and 3 Pro controllers. It also might be more comfortable to play certain games (Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, etc) with this controller. We will just have to wait and see.

      Also announced was Nintendo's new venture into the online territiory. Dubbed "Miiverse," it allows all of us to interact with each other through a cross-game chat. You can access online message boards that everyone is connected to that allow others to help you with your game. You can see what other games people are playing, you can video conference during gaming, and you can even access the Miiverse from smartphones and your 3DS. More information will most likely be revealed at E3.

      And finally, the Wii U Gamepad (the new official name) has seen a redesign. Most notably are the two analogue sticks that replace the circlepads on the original model. Comfort grips have been added to the back, and there is a new NFC Reader/Writer on the front. There is also a television button which allows you to control your television with the Gamepad.

      All in all, quite a few awesome announcements from Nintendo for a Pre-E3 conference. I'm excited to see what they have for us next!

    • Wii U Freezing (and I don't mean it's cold)

      5 years ago

      SincereSuperman

      Everyone excited about the Wii U? Good. Me too.

      I updated to the new firmware with the day one 5GB patch. I updated all my games to the latest firmware. Everything was fine, until I started playing New Super Mario Bros. U. The game freezes on me every 10 seconds. I can't save, because the game only saves after castles. I'll beat maybe two levels, then rage as the console sits there, frozen, with a loud, obnoxious beep going on. The only way to turn it off is to unplug the console.

      This has now happened to me in Nintendoland as well. Thankfully, Call of Duty has not frozen on me, but I will update if it does.

      This is really annoying.

      I scoured the internet in search of a solution. Turns out a lot of people are having the same issue. Nintendo is aware of the problem:

      http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/systems/wiiu/en_na/system_console.jsp?menu=console_troubleshooting&submenu=wup-console-ts-freeze-in-use

      They recommend leaving the console unplugged for 10 seconds (I've done so, doesn't help) and updating to the latest firmware (which I've already done). 

      They call this a "rare" issue and promise that a future firmware update will fix the issues. I guess until then I'll play Call of Duty, or switch over to my 360 and continue playing Halo 4.

      Also, many people are complaining of the long load times between apps. I've noticed this as well, but it's not that big of a deal for me. I can wait. What IS a big deal is never knowing when my console is going to implode on itself. 

      Anyone else with a Wii U experiencing this? I'm well aware that this is a new console, so there are going to be bugs to iron out, but it's virtually unplayable right now, because I never know when it will freeze up. 

      On the Gamefaqs message boards, there is a poll up about the freezing:

      http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/631516-wii-u/64685340

      Looks like a lot of people have experienced freezing issues. Hopefully Nintendo will keep to their word and a patch will arrive soon. 

    • g1 Wii U Review

      5 years ago

      SincereSuperman

       

      Wii U has finally arrived. Nintendo is taking its first cautious steps from the comfort of Standard Definition into the scary, cutthroat world of High Definition. Can the Wii U match, or even surpass, the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3? Is the hardware much improved, or is the technology still a generation behind the other consoles? Does the Wii U's GamePad offer enough fresh experiences for another revolution like the Wii? Find out in the review below.
       
      This is a review of the Deluxe model of the Wii U. I do not own the 8GB white model, so I cannot review it. For the record, though, my opinion is that the Deluxe model is the better of the two models, for a number of reasons.
       
      First, even though it is 50 dollars more, it comes with a game included: Nintendoland. Nintendoland is the Wii U's answer to Wii Sports. It has a number of interesting attractions, from the Zelda-themed shooting gallery/quest to the Metroid-themed horde mode, and it is definitely worth the extra 50 dollars on its own.
       
      Second, the Deluxe model comes with a charge cradle (separate $9.99), stands for the Wii U so that it can sit vertically, and 32 GB of internal storage (as opposed to 8 GB for the standard model). 
       
      Third, the Deluxe model comes with a special digital offer. From November 18, 2012 to December 31, 2014 Nintendo is giving 10% back in the form of points when you purchase a game from the eshop. For example, when I purchased Super Mario Bros. U for $59.99 on the eshop, I got 599 points. 500 points is equal to $5, which I can then use to purchase more games on the eshop. It's an excellent promotion and, with Nintendoland and the extra storage, makes the Deluxe model a no brainer.
       
      Fourth, it's in black. Black is cool.
       
      With that out of the way, let's get to the review. I will cover the hardware, the software, the games, and my overall thoughts and impressions of the console. 
       
      HARDWARE
       
       
      The Wii U feels and looks very similar to the Wii. You could be forgiven for getting them confused with each other at a glance. Unfortunately, the Wii U comes in a glossy finish. While glossy looks really cool and reflective at first, after handling the system for 5 minutes, it looks like I've had the Wii U for 10 years. Dust and cat hair are very attracted to this console. Despite all of that, I quite like the minimalistic look of the Wii U, and I love the fact that it's much smaller than the Xbox 360 and the PS3. 
       
      Finally, an HD system is packaged with an HDMI cord at launch. It's about time. Like I said before, my model also came with a charge cradle for the GamePad, as well as stands to make the Wii U sit vertically.
       
      As for the GamePad, it feels very light. A lot lighter than it looks. It's the same glossy finish as the console, so fingerprints are inevitable. At first, the GamePad feels a bit awkward to hold. The ridges in the back don't mesh very well with where I hold my hands. It literally looks like they took two Wii Nunchuks and stuck them to the side of a screen. Still, I've adjusted and I very much enjoy using the GamePad. The GamePad charges separately for the console. This has been a negative for most reviewers, but it really doesn't bother me. Besides, I'd rather play with the GamePad charging by my bed than have to stay near the console with a USB cable (which is what you'll be doing anyway. The GamePad has a battery life of 2.5 hours).
       
      One little quirk that bothers me about the GamePad is the screen showing the same image as the television. For some reason, I always have to look down when the GamePad shows the same thing as the television. It's distracting to see the flashing images in front of my face and my eyes naturally shift to the GamePad. This is probably a small side effect of me laying on my bed. If I were sitting and looking up at the t.v., I probably wouldn't even notice the GamePad screen. 
       
      The buttons feel rather plastic and the GamePad feels like a toy more than a controller. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does feel a bit cheaply made when compared to the PS3 or 360 controllers. A lot of people are complaining that the Wii U uses digital triggers instead of analog triggers. This does not bother me and, in fact, I prefer the digital triggers. In Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (and in any shooter, really) the 360 triggers feel heavy and difficult to pull down during long play periods. The Wii U's triggers, on the other hand, are easy to press, so it makes aiming and shooting a breeze. This is really going to be a personal preference, but I prefer the Wii U.
       
      The Wii U Pro controller feels nice. It's lighter than an Xbox 360 controller, but heavier than a PS3 controller. It fits my hands better than a 360 controller, so I really like using it. One thing that bothers me is how the buttons are under the right thumbstick. I've never had a controller like it before, so it takes a while to get used to it. The GamePad is easier to adjust to because the buttons are so big and there's more grip behind the controller, so it's more comfortable to reach the buttons. On the Pro controller, I often find myself hitting the X button instead of the Y button. In a game like Assassin's Creed III, this means I accidentally shoot my pistol instead of assassinating a guard. This may not be a problem for everyone, but it's something I've had to adjust to and has caused me to die or restart multiple times.
       
      Overall, I really like the Wii U hardware and the GamePad is not nearly as unwieldy as it appears to be.
       
      SOFTWARE
       
       
      The Wii U is very similar to the Wii when it comes to menus. The menus look damn near identical, the miis are present, and everything has a minimalistic, simple quality. Funnily enough, this works for Nintendo. No one else would get a pass from me for having such a bare, simple style (well, except Apple), but Nintendo pulls it off well. 
       
      The menus are sluggish. Too sluggish. Navigating anywhere on the console can take between 5 seconds to 30 seconds. Sometimes, this is unacceptable. To do basically anything, you have to twiddle your thumbs for about 5 seconds and that is horrible when you consider how quickly the PS3 and the 360 can be navigated. This is a next generation console. It needs to act like it. The Wii U has 2 GB of RAM, 1 GB of which is dedicated to the system processes. This SHOULD NOT HAPPEN and Nintendo needs to address the issue. 
       
      The same thing can be said for updates. Updates take a ridiculous amount of time to complete when compared to 360 updates. Even PS3 updates, notoriously long and unacceptable, are faster than the Wii U's updates. It's mind-numbing and really shows just how new Nintendo is to online gaming. I had to sit from anywhere between 8 minutes and, at worst, one hour before I was able to play games. 
       
      The eshop is much, much improved from the Wii's virtual console. It's also better than the 3DS's eshop. Still, it can't really compete with the 360's, er, LIVE...store...anyway, it's much better than the past and I commend Nintendo on progressing in the online space. The Miiverse is Nintendo's answer to Playstation Home and Cross-game chat. It's basically a way for people to interact with each other and discuss strategies about the game they're playing. It's a cool system, though I'd also prefer to have a voice chat functionality. 
       
      The internet browser on the Wii U is excellent. It rivals those of computers, and blows the PS3 and 360 browsers out of the water. Plus, using the tablet makes typing things a lot easier than any other controller. 
       
      Unfortunately, for Wii games, you'll have to navigate the Wii menu, which can be accessed from the Wii U's menu. It's convoluted, unnecessary  and, frankly, baffling. Why not allow GamePad and Pro controller support for Virtual Console games? Why do I still need to access the Wii's horrible VC shop to download old games? Why can't it all be under the Wii U's menu? Why? WHY?
       
      I don't know why, but, for whatever reason, this is the course Nintendo has chosen. Maybe they plan on eventually streamlining the whole process, but for now, it's a joke. Still, at least the Wii U is backwards compatible...that's more than can be said for most PS3s and 360s.
       
      At least Nintendo allows you to transfer your VC games from your old Wii to your shiny new Wii U. It's a fairly simple process involving a television, wifi, two Wiimotes, your Wii U and Wii consoles, and an SD card. Little Pikmin carry your info (a la the 3DS transfer system) over to the new console. It's cute and fun to behold. 
       
      Overall, the simple style of Nintendo reigns supreme in the aesthetics department, but Nintendo has a LOT of catching up to do when it comes to their online services. 
       
      GAMES
       
       
       
      The Wii U has one of the best launches of any console I've ever experienced. True, there is no system seller. You won't find a Super Mario 64, a Twilight Princess, or a Halo here, but you will find a diverse library of awesome games.

       

       
      Super Mario Bros. U is the obvious game to choose when buying a Wii U. It's Mario. In HD. Granted, it's a 2D sidescroller, so it's no Galaxy, but it's still a competent game that ranks among the best of the 2D offerings. It still doesn't match Super Mario Bros. 3 or World, though. It's certainly not a system seller.
       
      Zombi U is a dark, scary, survival-horror game. The graphics are bad, but this is a launch title. Look past the graphics, the minimalistic story, and the jank melee combat. This is definitely better than the reviews are letting on. Give it a fair shake. I'd compare it to Dark Souls if Dark Souls had bad combat and zombies. At the very least, rent it.
       
      Assassin's Creed III is just as good on the Wii U as it is on other consoles. No more, no less. The Wii U has no trophy or achievement system, though, so if that is a factor I would look elsewhere. If you've played it on other consoles, move on, otherwise give it a shot. It's one of the best games of the year.
       
      Mass Effect 3 is in the same boat as ACIII. If you haven't played Mass Effect 1 or 2, I would highly, highly recommend picking up the trilogy for 60 dollars on 360 or PS3. If you've played the game on other consoles, there's really nothing new here to draw you in. I LOVE playing this game with my television off (more on that in a sec) so there's that, but I can only recommend this game to Mass Effect die-hards.
       
      Nintendoland. Do NOT buy this game if you don't get the Deluxe system. It's not worth 65 dollars. However, it is worth about 30 dollars and if you can find it for that then by all means purchase it. This is the Wii Sports of the Wii U. It becomes a blast to play with friends, so make sure you gather about 5 Wii remotes and nunchuks. It's an interesting experiment, with a lot more content than it first appears to have.
       
      Ninja Gaiden 3 for Wii U is the best version of Ninja Gaiden 3. Period. If that interests you, pick it up. It's a surprisingly competent game, with a lot of improvements from the PS3/360 versions. It's basically a new game. Try it out if you're into Ninja Gaiden or curious about the series.
       
      Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is just fine on the Wii U. The Wii U's online rarely messes up and the multiplayer is just as fun to play on WII U as it is on other consoles. One caveat though: there aren't many people playing the game, because not many people have a Wii U right now. Team Deathmatch is almost exclusively played, so don't bother trying to play any Free-for-all matches.
       
      As far as launch games go, take your pick from those. They're all worth a look and they're diverse enough that there's something for everyone. Pikmin 3 is on the horizon and, of course, a Metroid, Zelda, 3D Mario, etc. are probably on their way at some point.
       
      COMPARISON TO THE XBOX 360 AND PLAYSTATION 3
       
      The Wii U is more powerful than the 360 and the PS3. That said, almost all of the launch games are ports, 2D Mario has never been graphically intensive, and there is no 1st-party game besides Mario. So, the Wii U's power cannot be seen in the launch games. Sure, they all look great, but there's nothing that sets them apart graphically from the 360 or PS3 versions. 
       
      Until we get a brand new, 1080p Metroid, Zelda, or Mario, we're stuck with people looking down on the Wii U in comparison to consoles that have not even been announced yet.
       
      That's the funny thing about these comparisons. The Next Xbox and the PS4 do not exist. We know absolutely nothing about them. Yet, people are still making comparisons. Those consoles are one or two years off at least (if they even exist), so the Wii U has plenty of time to flex its muscles at the competition. Never judge a console at launch.
       
      In comparison to the dated 360 and PS3, the Wii U has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to Nintendo's online strategy. I'd like a system-wide achievement system (though not necessary at all) and I would really like cross-game voice chat. The menus are sluggish and the updates take forever. Still, Nintendo has a certain charm that can't be matched by either Sony or Microsoft. The Miiverse is a very intimate way to interact with others, and I have yet to see a single curse word, derogatory remark, or otherwise. It's nice not to deal with the 10 years olds that frequent Xbox Live.
       
      FINAL THOUGHTS AND OVERALL IMPRESSIONS
       
      The Wii U is personal. That's something I've come to understand after using it for a week. It's mine. It's intimate. I can share my thoughts with others online, but in a nice, comfortable way. There's no shouting, no flaming...just people communicating. If this changes, so be it. But I sincerely hope it doesn't. 
       
      Even though the online and the menus need work, even though there aren't that many games available for the console right now, even though the backwards compatibility is baffling, even though there is no cross game chat, even though there are so many negatives about the console at the moment...I wholeheartedly recommend you get one. 
       
      It's when I've gotten home after a long day at work, I change into my pajamas, I lie down on my bed...and I play my Wii U on the GamePad. The television is off, the lights are off, and it's just me and the GamePad. I can't really describe it, but at times, the Wii U feels like a handheld system. Much more personal than the Wii, PS3, 360, or any other console before it. It's more comfortable than a Vita, more comfortable than a 3DS...there's nothing quite like playing Mass Effect 3 on the GamePad in the darkness of my room late at night. And it's a feeling I haven't experienced before with a console. It actually harkens back to the days of when I used to play my GBA beneath the covers late at night so that my parents wouldn't see or hear. 
       
      And that's the best thing about the Wii U for me. It brings that Nintendo magic that somehow melts my cynicism and allows me to play games with a child-like wonder, something that Sony and Microsoft have never been able to give me.
       
      For this, I recommend the Wii U. Also, it's a Nintendo console. So, Zelda eventually. So...reason enough for me.
       
      Thanks for reading :] 
    • Gamestop Sold Out of Premium Wii U In One Day

      5 years ago

      SincereSuperman

      Were you excited about the Wii U? Looking to get the premium version? If you wanted to pre-order at Gamestop, you may be out of luck.

      After only 24 hours, employees at Gamestop began to receive emails from the company telling them to discontinue all pre-orders for the 32 GB premium version of the Wii U. Below this was advice to offer their customers the ability to pre-order the 8 GB basic version and a copy of Nintendo Land separately.

      Many customers were outraged that they couldn't pre-order the premium version of the Wii U, which, in my opinion, is the only version of the Wii U worth getting.

      Does this mean that Nintendo is doing very well and the Wii U is off to a great start? Or does this mean that Nintendo is really, really low on stock and can't afford to ship more than a few premium Wii U's? Or is this Nintendo intentionally keeping a short supply in order to increase demand?

      Time will tell.

      Edit: It is worth noting that you can still pre-order the premium Wii U off of Gamestop's website, though there is no site to store option and, of course, Gamestop reserves the right to cancel your pre-order at any time.

    • Resident Evil 6 Demo Review (possible spoilers)

      5 years ago

      SincereSuperman

      RESIDENT EVIL

      Does this name strike fear into your heart? Does it elicit emotions of frustration? Do you hear the voice of the guy on the title screen say RESIDENT EVIL  in your head everytime you read it?

      No matter what emotion the name Resident Evil draws from inside you, you've probably come in contact with at least one of the Resident Evil games. Most people will be familiar with Resident Evil 4 (pictured above), which came out on the Gamecube to critical acclaim. It was quite a change from the past Resident Evils, removing the fixed camera angles in favor of a 3rd-person behind the shoulder view. 

      Depending on when you first started playing Resident Evil games, you either really enjoy this change or you might despise this change. Frankly, I've been playing Resident Evil games since Resident Evil 2, and even though 2 was really, really good, I think 4 is where the series took off. 5 had some misteps in comparison to 4, but the gameplay was much improved and the weapon system was much better. If you disagree with me, that's perfectly fine, but it's important to understand that I feel we should move away from tank controls completely in leu of a much more fluid movement system. Resident Evil 6 looks to do that and many people are unhappy about it. I'm not in this camp. I'm eccstatic that they're changing the series in this way.

      With that in mind, let's get to the topic at hand. 

      RESIDENT EVIL 6

      I purchased Dragon's Dogma twice (once for 360, once for PS3) just so I could try out the demo on both consoles. Yes, I do waste money and, yes, I am crazy about Resident Evil games. Keeping that in mind, this review is going to first be about the demo itself, then I'm going to compare the 360 and PS3 versions and see which one is better. Now, understand that this is a demo and it is in no way a true representation of the final product, but I think it's interesting to see how far they are in development as of this demo. Alright, with all that said, let's get to the review:

      There are 3 sections to the demo. Leon's story, Chris' story, and Jake's story. None of them are very long, but they give you an insight to the direction Capcom wants to take the series. Basically, it boils down to:

      Leon's story- Scares

      Chris' story- Action

      Jake's story- Mix of both action and scares

      Before I delve in to each of these stories, I'm going to give my feelings on the graphics, sound, controls, and overall presentation of the demo.

      GRAPHICS- The game looks really good. Capcom has definitely improved from 5 (which also looked damn good when it came out) with ambient lighting and character animations. Cutscenes and gameplay look identical, and a lot of character interaction/banter takes place within the game. The guns smoke when fired, lights look natural, human expressions look natural, and, overall, everything has a natural, movie-quality feel to it.

      SOUND- The game sounds great. Gunfire sounds right. Footsteps, voices, and general sounds are good. The music (when it's actually playing) is fine and fits the scenes, usually when action is going on.

      CONTROLS- Here is where many people will be upset with the game. There's going to be two camps. People that hate the new controls and people that love the new controls. I am in the latter camp. Movement is smooth (you can move while aiming!!!) and actions are generally easier to pull off than they have ever been before. Melee is now designated to one button (L2 on PS3, RB on Xbox) and is relatively easy to pull off. Aiming is pretty similar to Dead Space 2, which is definitely a good thing. Camera controls on 360 were kind of clunky, but it appears they fixed them in the PS3 version. The biggest change from previous entries in the series (aside from completely moving away from tank controls) is the implementation of, what I like to call, the dodge, duck, dip, dive, and cover system. While aiming, you can press X or A to dodge attacks, and if you hold a direction down, you'll do an acrobitic leap on the ground, which you can then continue firing from. At first, I hated this new system. It felt superfluous and unneccessary. Fortunately, after playing around with it for a while, I grew to love it. Soon enough I was sliding around popping off headshots from the ground, then rolling into cover. It was quite a show. Speaking of cover, there is a cover system in the game, though it's kind of difficult to find at first. To get into cover, you must first be aiming, then go up to a wall/object. An icon should pop up on the screen prompting you to press X/A and go into cover. It works fine, though it's kind of unwieldy in comparison to Gears of War or Uncharted. Overall, I'm really digging the new controls and I urge you all to give them a chance. Play through Chris' story a few times and get them down. I think you'll like them.

      OVERALL PRESENTATION- Looking at the demo as a whole, this is one of the best I've ever played. The graphics are great, the sound fits, the controls take some getting used to (but eventually rock!), and I really enjoyed my time with it. There's also a lot of customization in the game. You can change the color of your dot sight, you can switch from dot sight to laser sight, you can make all of the characters left or right handed, you can change aiming speed, camera speed, camera position, etc. Also, everyone accesses  the menu from their cell phones, which are all different. The asthetics are really nice, because the menu and inventory systems are different and personal for each character. All that said, there's one major/minor complaint I have with this demo. You can never pause! If you press start it brings up the menu, but the action doesn't stop. This was done so that Co-op would work, but it's like this in the single-player too. I hope they change that, for my sake. I don't want to leave a boss fight because I have to pee.

      Alright. Now that my impressions of the demo are out of the way, let's take a look at each individual story, as well as the co op elements involved. I'm not going to give you a play by play, just a general review of what happened and how I felt.

      LEON'S STORY- Leon's story was slow. Very slow. It was meant to introduce you to the controls and also provide a scary, dark atmosphere. The first thing I noticed was that there is no inventory management for your Co-op partner. That is a great thing. It was something that always annoyed me about Resident Evil 5 and I'm glad it's gone. For the most part, Leon's story was meant to be tense, but I was honestly rather bored and I won't be replaying this part again (I played it 3 times).

      CHRIS' STORY- This was by far my favorite story of the demo. You got to really experience the co-op and action of the game. You take Chris through the rooftops of China with his partner Piers. One thing my friend and I noticed was that items can be picked up by each partner, so you don't have to worry about leaving your friend some ammo or skill points or anything. Oh yeah, skill points are introduced here, but you don't get to use them. From what I've read, they're used to upgrade your characters and skill sets a la Mercenaries 3D. You really need to conserve your ammo for this one. Aim for the head and take steady shots. 

      JAKE'S STORY- This was an interesting one. My friend and I died the first time because we didn't know you have to run at the start. I loved the banter between Jake and Sherry, it was cute and corny and yeah. You fight some giant beast...guy...thing...kinda like Nemesis or Tyrant. It was a pretty intense battle, but it was over too quickly. This is where I really got into using the dodge, duck, dip, dive, and cover system. It makes the fight flashy and a lot easier than trying to fight normally. 

      PS3 vs 360 COMPARISON- The Xbox's demo came out quite a while before the PS3's did, so I'm assuming Capcom patched it up and made it prettier for the PS3 version on purpose. The 360 had screen tearing during cutscenes, a horrendous camera, and some other sloppy elements. None of that was in the PS3 version. Both of them had voices that were out of sync, but I have a feeling they were using the Japanese animations and will change that for the final release. If not, oh well, but I really hope they do.

      CONCLUSION AND FINAL THOUGHTS- I am even more excited for this game than before I played the demo. Many will say that the series is moving too far away from its roots, but...I say that's a good thing. It's not a generic action shooter like Call of Duty, so don't worry. There's still plenty of tense moments to come, and the B-movie script and acting is genuine Resident Evil. Don't lose faith in the series, dear g1s, and look forward to the release on October 2nd of this year.

      Love you g1s! This is SincereSuperman signing off. Peace!

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