Monday, June 25, 2012

Why Reggie is Wrong for Calling Gamers "Insatiable"

"What's wrong with me" is that I don't have enough Reggie in my life.
Last week, you may have read Kotaku's post about a conversation with Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime regarding the "core gamer."  He essentially blamed the bad blood between many of today's "hardcore gamers" and Nintendo on a refusal to ever be satisfied or content with what's being offered.  Now, the general claim that gamers are an entitled bunch is defensible enough.  One merely needs to look at the myriad outcries against DLC, DRM, "online passes," HD rereleases, retailer-exclusive pre-order bonuses, and the fact that every Tom, Dick and Harry now feels the need to create a petition every time something doesn't quite go his way.  The Mass Effect 3 ending controversy and the petition for a non-GFWL PC version of Dark Souls stand out as some of this year's douchey-er "give me more!" spectacles.

But "the Regginator" invokes different reasoning when he calls out gamers.  And I'm here to tell you why, while the general sentiment is correct, the logic behind it missed the mark entirely.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Filly's Weekly Highlights: June 17 - 23

Well, I decided I'd do this thing where I give a rundown of my personal highlights every week, and offer my humble two cents.

New Releases:  Pok√©mon Conquest; Quantum Conundrum (PC)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Indie RPG "Boot Hill Heroes" Is Old School with a Hint of New

For the past month or so, my 360 has been getting less use, while my modest "Little Laptop That Could" has been getting more love.  With no access to the Xbox Live that fueled my Gears 3 multiplayer addiction, and my general lack of motivation to turn the system on, I turned to Steam's budget-friendly indie selection, bought twelve games (thanks, Humble  Indie Bundle!) and accrued a sizable wish list.  So, it's safe to say my interest in indie projects has been piqued recently, and this new-found interest comes just in time for Operation Rainfall's interview with the developers of the upcoming retro-flavored RPG, Boot Hill Heroes.
The great thing about indie games is, of course, that the developers are free to do things that big publishers might write off as too "dated" or "niche" to be worth their funding.  Boot Hill Heroes has embraced the vocal niche that is classic JRPG fans as a game whose primary influences include Earthbound/Mother 2, Final Fantasy VI, and Tales of Vesperia.  In the interview, they mention other Super Nintendo staples like Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, and Super Mario RPG.  Sure, we've seen a lot of 16-bit RPGs... but not so much in recent years.  The game also puts a little twist on the classic JRPG, taking place in an old Western setting--something drastically underused in video games, let alone RPGs, and a far cry from the typical fantasy backdrop that is the genre's bread and butter.

Better yet, the money that developers Dave and Ben received in vast excess of their original $5,000 Kickstarter goal is going into the polishing and tweaking of the game--and addition of online co-op.  Their FAQ writes:
The game features a team of four characters – Kid, Doc, Moon, and Rosy. A single player can control the entire party, or friends can play cooperatively by taking controlling [sic] of certain characters. Players can seamlessly drop-in and drop-out just by picking up an Xbox controller (or an input device for the Windows version). The menu system is designed so that four players can simultaneously manage their characters’ equipment and abilities.
The way they explain it in their Operation Rainfall interview makes it sound like the familiar, Active Time Battle systems of Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger, effectively busting the myth that co-op only allows for real-time battle systems.  Finally, it looks like the game will have plenty of personality.  I love that the top reward tier, reserved for one very generous contributor, is "the title of Mayor of Kickstart Creek," which allows them to design the cheekily named town to their own liking, and a role as an NPC in the game.  Lower reward tiers grant donors NPC status as well.  It looks like they're taking a lot of inspiration from the fans, and want to interact with and include them in this undertaking.
Overall, this has quickly become one of my most anticipated games, and thankfully, the wait isn't too terribly long; it will be out in October for Windows and Xbox Live Indie Games.  The classic JRPG may have had its own Gilded Age in the 90s, but that doesn't mean some of us don't long for a blast from the past every now and then--especially when the developers attempt to do some new things with the genre, as well.  The fact that the developers clearly put so much heart and soul into their project is icing on the cake.

What indie games are you looking forward to?  Pssst:  the Steam Summer Sale is coming up.  You're welcome.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The "Magic" PS Vita Games I Want

I've made it no secret on Twitter and other corners of the interwebs that I just don't match the (formerly) rampant enthusiasm surrounding Sony's newest portable system.  Prior to the system's launch, Sony swore that the little handheld's launch line-up would set the world on fire, but now that Spring came and went, I'm still not seeing the amazing software library that was promised; and neither are even some of the most vocal Sony fanatics.

So, for me, the PS Vita's early library isn't all it was first cracked up to be--and even though it's typical for such a new system to have sparse software offerings, it remains a disappointment for those who bought into Sony's promises.  But hopefully, that's starting to change.  As someone who really enjoys the quirkier side of video games, I thought it was great news when a Sony representative told Destructoid that they do, in fact, care about the "magic" of niche and indie titles.  Below is a list of the unique and charming Vita exclusives that have my attention, and could finally persuade me to buy the system... once memory card prices drop.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

E3 2012: Nintendon't Live Up to the Hype

Well, I held off an extra day to make my comments on Nintendo's E3 2012 offerings, due to their unexpected announcement that they would have a 3DS-dedicated conference this evening.

Sadly, that was one of the only surprises Nintendo had to offer this year.

Monday, June 4, 2012

E3 2012: Microsoft Continues to Underwhelm

Being the responsible college student I am, I actually went to class today, and used my fancy new DVR to record Microsoft's keynote.  Now that I'm finished watching it, here are my thoughts.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Beyond Good and Evil: How Gears of War 3 Should Have Ended

Please note that this post is teeming with Gears of War 2 and Gears of War 3 campaign spoilers.  They have NOT been hidden for your convenience, as they were in my Alice 2 review.  If you want to avoid spoilers, please stop reading here.

No, this isn't about Nietzsche's book or Michel Ancel's 2003 action-adventure game.