Monday, February 25, 2008

EA trying to buy Take-Two

When I saw the headline EA makes a bid for Take-Two my reaction was probably the same as millions of gamers across the world. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. This is simply another case of EA trying to buy out the competition. It's a fact that if the buy out goes through that EA will no longer have any competition in the sports game market. Which honestly I could care less about because I don't care a single bit about sports. What does worry me however is that if EA is taking this approach in sports games they will do it with other genre's as well. And as we have all seen EA games suffer in quality and no I don't consider Burnout a EA game yes it is released by EA but Burnout was great even before EA bought Criterion.

Another thing I don't like is that EA are franchise whores and not the good kind like Square-Enix. Whereas SE will take years to get a game right and make it perfect EA spits out yearly crap piles just to make money. Just think would Bioshock be good if they released it every year? No it would get worn out and start to suck. And if EA gets their hands on Take-Two that will no doubt happen. Some will say but what about Dead Space and Army of Two those look like good original EA games. On the surface that may be true but Army of Two was delayed by a massive amount of time and a lot of rumors spread that it was because the game was so bad. As for Dead Space I simply see that as a Bioshock ripoff with a bit of Resident Evil and space thrown in just to look original. Granted that both these games could be great and prove me wrong but if that happens then they too will fall victim to being whored out year after year.

It scares me to think that in 50 years the only company in gaming would be EA. While thats a little extreme is it really that hard to imagine? If that was to happen the only good new and original games would be coming from Japan as I doubt EA could buy many companies there. The sad part is that most of these buyouts do benefit the share holders of the companies being bought and as such they could care less about the industry as long as they get paid. It's sad that if EA wants to keep doing this that there is really no way to stop them. EA CEO John Riccitiello has said it's not about killing off competition but to me thats exactly what it is. I mean look at Madden after EA bought the NFL exclusivity the Madden games have been the same old same old each year just roster updates and not much more. With the amount of money EA has why don't they just use it to make better games and prove to people they aren't trying to become a monopoly. I guess that is just wishful thinking. I guess the only thing we can hope for is that if buyouts continue like this that Microsoft and Sony get there first at least games wont fall as far that way.

UPDATE: While not much related to the purchase of Take-Two this does seem funny. As I stated in my article EA buying Take-Two would eliminate sports game competition. Not true says EA CEO John Riccitiello stating that Wii Sports and Hot Shots Golf would be there main rivals. I got a good laugh out of that. Wii sports isn't competition as everyone who owns a Wii owns Wii sports. Hot Shots Golf is a great game but in no way tries to be a Golf simulator as Tiger Woods does. Obviously John was stretching here to defend the decision to purchase Take-Two.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Is GDC the new E3?

So with all the big news coming out of GDC already many may be wondering is GDC the new E3? In the past E3 was the place where all the bombshell news was released. However last years E3 saw almost no big announcements at all. GDC is only 3 days in and already we have more big news then all of last years E3. Gears Of War 2(meh) Ninja Gaiden II release date June 3(yay) and we might finally get to play some of the XNA games Microsoft talked about so much and we can even play some of them on our Zunes.

GDC isn't even over yet as we have yet to see what most of the bigger developers have to say. So is GDC the new E3 or will E3 make up for last years lack luster showing? It will be pretty hard for E3 to make the industry buzz like it used to.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Devil May Cry 4

So after much wait I have finally got my hands on Devil May Cry 4 and wow I must say I'm impressed. First off I played the game on the PS3 but I played on the demo on both platforms and I think the PS3 is the better choice. The PS3 requires a install but the install makes loading almost nonexistent and when you do see a loading screen it only lasts about 1-3 seconds. I also think the PS3 version has slightly sharper graphics. That being said the game is great no matter the platform.

As some may know Dante the DMC main stay takes a back seat most of the game to new comer Nero. Don't fret as you will be playing as Dante later in the game. DMC 4's story takes place in the City of Fortuna which at the beginning seems like any other overly religious community. Dante comes and seemingly for no reason kills the leader of this city. Nero takes it upon himself to get to the bottom of what has happened and the twists and turns begin. Now for those who don't like the fact that Dante isn't the main character I don't think you need to worry. In fact by the end of the game I found myself liking Nero far more then I ever liked Dante.

The games graphics are very very impressive. On PS3 second only to Uncharted. Devil May Cry 4 in my opinion has the best graphics on the 360 although I would bet some would argue that point. I just like the art style DMC4 brings and therefore like its look more then I would for say Gears Of War. Anyway back on track, the game has incredibly detailed character models and some extremely beautiful locals. The animations are also top notch its easy to see that Capcom gave DMC4 very high production value.

On the game play front not much is new. Playing Dante is very close to DMC3 only you can change styles on the fly instead of each mission simply press up, down, left or right on the D pad to select one of the 4 styles. Nero functions differently but DMC fans will be right at home. Nero has the unique Devil Bringer. With this tool he can grab and throw most enemies even most bosses for big damage. Over the course of the game the Devil Bringer will gain new abilities such as being able to grab from afar and pull the enemy to you or grabbing a enemy and using it as a shield. As is the DMC way you will be trying to rack up huge combos in a effort to boost your style rating which at the end of each mission will be used to grant you proud souls which can be exchanged for new upgrades. Variety is key as spamming the same move may be easy but it won't result in a good rank which in the long run hurts you as you will have less new moves to use against your foes. In a way the game forces you to be creative in your fighting or suffer. Some may think this is a bad thing however I found it made the game far less repetitive.

So all in all while Devil May Cry 4 doesn't do much new its still a incredible game with astonishing production values. It's definitely a game that you can show off to friends to make them say wow. Any action fan should throughly enjoy Devil May Cry 4 and other should give it a shot.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Best Wii game ever?

So whats the best Wii game ever you ask? I'll tell you it's No More Heros. Now before all the fan boys go nuts let me it explain. No More Heros isn't better then Zelda or better then Mario it's simply different.

There is more style in 5 minutes of No More Heros then there is in the entirety of any other game out there. First off the graphics No More Heros uses is a Cel Shaded style and while that itself is nothing new the art style displayed is awesome.

Next we have the story which I won't spoil a bit of. This is one of those games where everything is so damn funny that you can't wait for the next cut scene. The voice acting for the main characters in the story is great. The game has such a wild sense of humor as is to be expected from Suda 51. There is a lot of otaku humor and if you are a otaku you will get a kick out of some of the jokes. Each character is unique and fun to watch and there are a lot of them. You will be fighting your way to number 1 and each new boss has their own distinct personality some are cool, some are scary and some are just plain nuts.

The game play is where the game really shines. No More Heros has some of the best combat controls seen on the Wii which is amazing when you consider how simplistic the combat really is. You are basically just pressing the A button over and over while moving the Wiimote in the right direction. While there is a bit more to it then that it's basically what it boils down to. What I think makes up for that is that there is always so much going on that you won't really notice that you are more or less just pressing the same button.

Now the game isn't perfect as there are a few issues. There is a lot of pop up in the games open world sections. The open world sections themselves are a bit weak as they seem more or less just a in between for the missions. There is also a bit of collision detection problems in the open world aspect as well. In all honesty most of the games problems stem from the open world aspect of the game. However after playing it it's hard to imagine another way the game could have been done without the open world aspect.

Ok so No More Heros isn't the best game on the Wii but it is by far the most original and stylish. If you own a Wii you owe it to yourself to play this game, the only reason you shouldn't would be if you are not a fan of violence. Otherwise this game should be in your collection.