Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Weee-ooo.

Ok, I’ve got that out of my system now. But come on, really? You’d have thought the big N would have learned their lesson with naming by now…

Anyway, I thought that now E3 is over, I’d start arranging my rambling and dangerous thoughts into something vaguely coherent. Today I’m exploring my thoughts on the newly announced Nintendo Wii-U; some Ninty fanboys may want to look away now…

The nPad

It would be daft to start anywhere other than the elephant in the room; that controller. It’s like the bastard offspring of a DS and an iPad, and frankly doesn’t live up to the lofty heights of either parent. It looks like a FisherPrice toy, and enjoys something of an identity crisis as I can see. Is it a controller? Is it a handheld? Is it a tablet? I’d put my money on Nintendo trying to use it as all three, and coming up short.

wiiPad

wiiPad

To be fair to it, it’s certainly innovative. The idea of switching between handheld and console is certainly an interesting one, and used innovatively could be a fantastic step forward for the industry. However, I have concerns. It has been announced that so far there only plans for one of these controllers to be used with a console at a time; other players will be forced onto wiimotes/classic controllers. Not so impressive.

Also, I can see Sony sneaking up and stealing Nintendo’s thunder with the Vita. It’s close to PS3 spec, and will inevitably interact with the console in the future – Naughty Dog have already stated that the Uncharted game for Vita will interact with Uncharted 3 on PS3. Sony has a track record here, too; the remote play function of the PSP is not well known, but it was fantastically implemented. In trying to be too clever, Nintendo could be late to their own party.

PS Vita - Weeoo killer?

Spec

So far we know that the Wii-U will handle up to 1080p graphics, but we so far have no details on actual spec. Several third party developers have said that their cross-platform games will appear on the Wii-U, but that raises some questions for me. If the Wii-U is (as rumoured) of superior spec to even the PS3, will the ports take advantage of this, or be straight ports from the other consoles, thus rendering the extra spec pointless? Or will they be optimised, but inevitably take longer to arrive, thus leaving the Wii-U at a time lag disadvantage?

As with the previous couple of generations, the Wii-U will live or die on its first party exclusives. Rabid fanboys will eat up the inevitable HD iterations of Zelda, Mario and the like, but will that be enough to sway other gamers that have already been spoiled by the HD class of Xbox360 and PS3? Nintendo’s leap into HD isn’t nearly as jaw dropping as Microsoft’s and Sony’s, simply because it is already the norm.

Price

A big one, this. How much will the controller drive up the price of the system? Are Nintendo going to have to abandon (to an extend) the ‘casual’ market that made the Wii so successful? Will the hardware and more ‘serious’ games appeal to a generation of gamers that’s already shelled out for one or both of the established HD giants enough to part with yet more cash? Ninty have so far proved recession proof by driving into a new market, but trying to step back into an already (over?)saturated marketplace in challenging economic conditions will certainly represent a big gamble. Indeed, Iwata himself has said that this new console ‘won’t be cheap‘.

Until more is announced about the Wii-U, I’m certainly not leaping on the ‘day one purchase’ bandwagon. Rabid Nintendo fanboys won’t care a jot about anything I’ve just said; they’ll just be salivating at yet another facsimile Zelda adventure made shinier with HD graphics. But what about everyone else? The floating gamer that just likes to bust out Wii-Sports or Rock Band every now and then?

Let me know your thoughts on the new console. It would be interesting to see what effect the announcement has really had.

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Once again it’s that time of year; when every gamer prepares themselves for a week of non-stop information about what to expect from the industry in the next year. This E3 is one that promises to be one to remember for a number of reasons, from the long list of high quality titles, to the potential for new console announcements. The run up to E3 has left us with a many questions about many of the potential releases that will come in the next twelve months and beyond. Read on to find out about the ones you need to be aware of.
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I’ve kept quiet for long enough on this subject. I find it difficult to speak about; simply because the total onslaught of opposition I have on the topic. It’s no surprise to anyone that a good portion of video gamers are ridiculously devoted to certain games. Some gamers would defend them, even in face of indisputable evidence, that a certain feature was poor in comparison to anotherSome of them are ‘fan boys’, some are people who genuinely enjoy the game and some are just jumping on the bandwagon because they love a good bit of mindless devotion. It’s for these reasons that I tentatively approach the subject of one of the worlds biggest first person shooters: Halo.

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Multiplayer Mayhem (I Miss You)

Posted: May 22, 2011 by iancox1986 in Features, General
Tags: , ,

Multiplayer Mayhem

So after a long hiatus from writing (I’m blaming the combination of a broken finger and an even more broken laptop), I thought it was about time I bored the internet with my thoughts
again. The basis for this blog struck me a few weeks ago – those of you not living under a rock will, of course, realise that this was slap bang in the middle of the PSN down time.
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Today’s gaming industry is a fast moving one. Trends come and go, games flourish or wither depending on a large number of variables – developers on the climb one month, find themselves languishing and in danger the next. At the heart of the goings on is the game and the humble gamer. Generally we are an easy bunch to please. I know that we have a reputation for being a fickle crowd, but those people I truly believe are in a minority. There’s plenty of variety out there currently and getting hold of games has never been easier or cheaper. Are we really getting value for our money though? Are developers giving us what they were ten years ago? In some ways that humble gamer has never had it better but in others we’re being robbed.
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I’m not a bad gamer. Not by a long shot. When it comes to first person shooters I’ve pulled off some insane shit over the years. I’ve made that last second kill in deathmatch, grabbed the last point in a game of capture the flag, and literally been the last man standing. This is usually a mix of my own skill and that of the people I’m fighting with. I’m responsible for me. I kill the enemy. We win. As that annoying meerkat from the idiot box says “Simples” I also tend to be not be too bad at other game genres. While there are dozens to chose from, I can hold my own in racing, puzzle, sports, action and adventure games. However when it comes to Real Time Strategy games or RTS as they shall be known from here, I’m hopeless. Utterly Utterly hopeless.
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Portal: Cutting into the cake of innovation

Posted: April 17, 2011 by CptToffer in Features
Tags: , , ,

Hello Antiherogamers. Welcome to today’s post, where we look at Portal and imminent release of Portal 2. This post does contain some spoilers, so consider yourselves warned. This week sees the release of arguably one of the most anticipated games of 2011. As we all wait, anticipation reaching mind bogglingly high levels, we should look back at just why so many people are now “thinking with portals”
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