I was one of those kids who, when all of the other kids were out playing tag and ring-around-the-rosie, I was on my IBM compatible Windows 3.1 machine programming QBasic games because I enjoyed it. I started learning programming when I was 6 and it didn't take long for 6-year-old me to stump my dad (the computer engineer) so I was self-taught from an early age. My first program was "Hello World" but everything I wrote since then has been a game. I've always been attracted to making video games for some reason. I spent a lot of time when I was younger making MUDs and building mods for Quake, Half-Life and Source. One of the bigger projects I worked on was "The Specialists", a Half-Life mod that was pretty popular back in its day.
While we all wait for the promised marvel of 3D gaming to go mainstream and infiltrate our eyespace, the fine, fine folks of AMD have cooked up something to tide us over. It's the EyeFinity system for your PC (obviously), and it's shaped up to be a pretty robust marvel. On a recent trip to Austin, Texas, I was invited to the AMD campus to check out some of their new technology and products, and I was impressed with their dedication to this new system.
As I write this entry in the wee hours of Monday morning, there are literally dozens of reviews of Medal of Honor that have been completed and will not be read for another day or so. Meanwhile, many more consumers are looking for some sort of indication as to whether Medal of Honor is going to be worth spending $60 on… and they won't find out with much notice before the game's release. See, Electronic Arts is holding reviews hostage by way of embargoes—which basically seal away all reviews until a specified time of the publisher's choosing.
I've been asked on more than one occasion about how I approach the review writing process and what I like to see in reviews. I never have a firm answer, which is kind of unsettling to me since I frequently engage in discussions on the Twitter and such about what reviews should and should not be. There is no one answer to that question, but it does get me thinking about about the half-cocked ramblings I regularly try to pass off as game journalism.
The results for August are in, and while they seem to have shaken Michael Pachter, I'm here to tell you that there should be no surprise. Microsoft's continued success stems from its revisions of the Xbox 360 hardware—first with the $300 250GB model and now with the 4GB $200 model. These are "new", and combined with recent strong sellers like NCAA Football 11 and Madden NFL 11, the Xbox 360 platform has separated itself from the pack over the course of 2010 so far.
It's not too often that a first-party Nintendo release is disappointing, but Metroid: Other M is one of those rare titles. It's been facing adversity on two fronts. The first problem is that the game strayed from Nintendo's recent trend of releasing first-party titles on Sundays by releasing on a Tuesday. The second problem is that the game has been receiving some criticism from various sources on the internet, ranging from issues with the controls to focusing too much on story to even issues with sexism.
What's unfortunate in all of this is that Ledesma's comments have not only damaged relations between the industry and its consumers who read Ledesma's views… but they've also succeeded in widening a rift between the haves and have-nots when it comes to this form of entertainment that we all enjoy. Charges of entitlement are flying back and forth and the argument that video games are a luxury—or even a service—makes what was once touted to be "fun for everyone" into a select group of individuals who are financially fortunate enough to take part.
Some things are better left unsaid. For example, most gaming consumers know that the industry doesn't care about them. The disconnect between the industry and the consumer has never been more evident than it's been during this console generation, as I've mentioned more than a few times before. We've known that the industry treats used game purchasers as second-class citizens—or worse—and this well-publicized "war on used games" has devolved into taking basic gameplay modes away from those looking to not pay $60 apiece for games that may or may not be worth their asking prices.
An E3 wrap-up so enormous, so all-encompassing, we drafted a fifth chair from across the pond to share the load. Sinan Kubba of the Big Red Potion podcast joins us as we tear Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft to shreds. The hate flows freely this week folks; if it gets too depressing jump to the 92-minute mark as we reveal our most anticipated games of the show. It's our longest, most vulgarity-packed podcast ever! Rejoice! Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, the aforementioned Sinan Kubba, and Tim "Billy Big Bang Blitz" Spaeth.
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