Annoying Aspects of Gaming: Online Multiplayer Edition
- Sep 24, 2010 4:28 pm GMT
- 278 Comments
It is well known, all of us gamers love competition, as do many people. Competition not only proves how good you are at something, it gives you bragging rights. Not only that, but when you shove your finger in your friends face and yell "I OWNED YOU" or loudly scream into your headset "noob!" just remember competition got you into this name calling frenzy of hilarious proportions. But there's only one place we gamers go to, to get that competition edge more than anywhere else. That place is the internet and as much as we don't like to admit it, we are truly obsessed and ready for more. As I did with FPS games, welcome to my guide of the most annoying online gaming aspects, reading this will truly make you want to scream in agreement.
It's horribly annoying and a majority of the time you end up swearing at your screen for it to stop. Nothing is more annoying in online gaming than the ever bothersome Lag. He is like the neighbor from Home Improvement but instead of trying to help he just knocks over your whole fence. It can not only destroy a kill streak or horde attack, it will instantaneously freeze your whole game, making you writhe in anger as you curse your machine. Why is it caused? It is mainly from the frame rate of a games engine or your connection. Even, at times, it can actually be your disk (as seen in single player).
Amongst the most annoying parts of lag, it is dying. No matter what title you're playing whether it's; Call of Duty Modern Warfare 1 or 2, Bioshock 2, Counter Strike, Battlefield Bad Company 2, or even Super Smash Brothers Brawl, dying is the most annoying outcome of this horrible lag.
Its ridiculous, it's horrible, it's the most annoying thing ever, no matter what you want to say about it, lag is that weird uncle that embarrasses you in front of your girlfriend (yes I just put that).
Wait, why am I not moving?
This category is major shout out to Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Halo players. Boosters or hackers as they are usually called are the rats and cheaters of the gaming world. Now don't deny it, we love cheats, I mean c'mon Gamespot's popular for cheats, we just love to get the easy way out. But these people take that little infidelity and boost it 2 times worse than using a Brady Games cheat code booklet. Yet again, don't lie you wish you could boost too if you knew how. But the fact is, if you don't or never have, it's almost worse than lag. We've seen it all, 1,000,000 point kills, floating in the air, one kill gets you a level upgrade, and the worst, cheating in games by never dying even when being shot in the end.
Now of recently Infinity Ward has done something cool to point out these cheating little pests. Whenever you see an enemy or allies gamertag above their head, Controller buttons will appear above their head. I think this is genius, whenever you see these people, simply leave the match. So kudos to you (Infinity Ward) for having such a genius idea!
Another reason boosters are annoying is because they take away the fun from competition. Competition is supposed to be the best of your "OWN" skills against another opponent, not by the help of some outside aid. Boosters are like steroid taking baseball players, the more they do the more powerful they become. They're looked upon badly, cursed, and even banned. Should boosters be banned? Most definitely, the only bad part is they can just make another account and keep doing so. It's just sad to know they can't win on their own, and just play like everybody else that's playing. Where's the satisfaction? You can't say you earned it, or "I worked hard" because then you would be a liar too.
The list can go on forever, for the sake of all that built up anger, let it out, It's alright, just comment about what ticks you off, there's bound to be something.
I keep shooting but he wont die!
Visual Glitches and Hiccups
Now most of us can handle little pesky visual pop-ins. You know what I mean, that occasional tree, rock, truck tire, or hole in the wall that magically appears during playing or when lag occurs, no big deal. But when I go into a giant mountain side or wall in the corner and I magically find this secret area that I can shoot from and no one would ever see me, is a problem. It's almost as bad as those pesky little Boosters. It's like boosting minus that evil flash drive in the controller drive. This problem becomes extremely apparent when in a Cage Deathmatch with a friend or some random person. You will spend 5 minutes sprinting trying to find them, and then boom they shoot you with a .50 Cal a hundred feet in the air or totally outside the map in a peach looking glitch background.
What also applies is when you're playing a Real Time Strategy game online and this massive amount of enemy units appear from the side of a mountain. Your sneaky little opponent hid his troops in there and waiting for the right time to strike, not only is this really annoying and cheap, it's technically cheating.
Glitches and bugs stink, it's all so true, but none more than on online multiplayer.
Where'd that tree come from?
Balance issue's/Development mistakes
When developers are making games, sometimes they don't notice things. Sometimes it's either graphical flaws, menu problems, or the most annoying of all, balancing out fairness of the multiplayer. Not only can balancing cause problems amongst all gamers, it usually sparks demands for patches and other updates to fix these problems. No other problem has been more troublesome than the "Michael Myers" set up in Modern Warfare 2. When Commando and Lightweight pro are mixed it results in extreme speed and unfair shanks that happen from literally 11 feet away. Infinity Ward didn't do all that much to fix the problem, but they did do a little. Also in Killzone 2 when using the Arc Rifle, although not always available to be used, it's still immense power couldn't be stopped. The little reload's and intense strength of the bolts were pretty much instant death for any opponent in your way.
Development mistakes can also be match making and how the games work. Like when the first Modern Warfare was made, also now evident in Halo Reach, Host ended matches can now cause huge gaps in the intensity of matches as they either take a long time to straighten out or end the match completely. This problem of "hosting" is now not as much of a problem as it was 2 years ago due to trial and error but even now like in Reach, it is still evident. Also along with mistakes, is the way the menus are set-up. Sometimes the menu's are hard t maneuver through are make finding matches or even getting to matchmaking difficult. In the earlier years of online multiplayer these problems were indeed evident. Even now in recent time, Command and Conquers Red Alert 3 had big menu problems as I was confused for an hour and half as I tried to connect and finally start matches.
These balancing issues and mistakes aren't as much as a problem as the other annoyances, but they still play a role in things that make multiplayer sometimes frustrating.
What I like to call, Squeakers
You may be saying "What the heck is a squeaker?" but this type of gamer is online every single day and night. This section of my editorial is meant to be humorous, so if you take offense, it would be good fun to laugh with us. These people are the annoying gamers who have headsets and abuse their power, those kids that while in the Halo lobby won't stop talking or are playing some annoying Danish techno music. Also these annoying gamers are "Mute fodder" those kids that constantly get muted for; singing, talking so loud you can't even tell them to shut up because they're so loud, pretend they are older than they really are, or talking smack right in front of your face. I borrow this term from a Youtube video that gave a whole lesson on what exactly they are. It made me crack up in laughter so much that I thought I should share with exactly who they are and how annoying they can be.
Woa! Chill out!
Multiplayer gaming is fun and adds much more replay ability and worth to your gaming purchases. It gives us gamers a way to pit our skills against others and even meet new people to play with you. But all things have flaws and even though they can ruin things for you sometimes. There's no doubt that multiplayer is still an extremely enjoyable addition to gaming and it is here to stay
Older Portable Games Need To Come Back
- Sep 20, 2010 4:54 pm GMT
- 149 Comments
Downloadable games have been a big part of this console generation. Playstation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and the Wii Virtual Console have hundreds of games available to download, with many of them being either remade or unaltered console games from generations past.
I was playing Castlevania: The Adventure: Rebirth the other day when I started thinking… when will we start getting more cla$$ic portable games to download?
Think of the possibilities. The recently released Metroid: Other M made a big deal about being a sequel to Super Metroid, a SNES game available for download on the Wii's virtual console. But I'm sure there are plenty of younger gamers who never played the game where Super Metroid's story began, Metroid II: The Return of Samus for the original Game Boy. Fans of Solid Snake recently enjoyed Metal Gear Solid:Peace Walker for the PSP. How many of those fans missed out on Metal Gear Solid: Ghost Babel, released on the Game Boy in 2000?
I could go on, but you get the point. With the PSP 2 and 3DS on their way, this would be a perfect time for both Nintendo and Sony to start a new download service for older portable games. Heck, we don't even need to wait for a new portable gaming device. The existing storefront on the big 3 consoles would do just fine. Every Game Boy game getting the "Rebirth" treatment is probably too much to ask for, but I'm sure there are plenty of gamers out there who wouldn't mind playing portable games on their TVs that look just like they once did. Over one million people have downloaded Super Mario Bros. 3 on the virtual console. Even in today's world of 60 inch HDTVs, I'm sure a good portion of those same people would be willing to play Super Mario Land in all its black and white, low rez glory in the comfort of their living rooms. The PS3 already has PSP games on their download service, you just have to transfer them to your PSP in order to play them. Would it really be that hard to get those same games to play directly on the PS3? Sure, it might hurt PSP sales, but giving the PSP a year or two exclusivity window could fix that.
I mentioned Super Mario Land in that last paragraph. That game hasn't been for sale outside the used game market for two decades. It's so old I couldn't find a single review of it in any major gaming site to link to for this blog. How many Mario fans reading this have never even heard of that game, I wonder. Making that game available for download in some form would fix that sad state of affairs.
Retro gaming has been big business for years, with no sign of slowing down. No matter how those older portable games are given to us, there are a whole lot of gamers who would gladly scoop them up. Game companies can't leave all that profit on the table forever. Someday, somehow, those portable cla$$ics will make a comeback. I just hope it's not too far in the future.
What older portable games would you like a second chance to play?
Are You a . . . Quitter?
- Sep 17, 2010 7:26 pm GMT
- 238 Comments
It's no fun getting embarrased in Madden. During one particularly horrendous game against my roommate, I three three consecutive picks -- down 35-7, I called game over before the start of the second half. Hopefully, when you do this with a friend, they take it easy on you. After all, everyone has an off day (or an off month).
On the other hand, it's much easier to quit when you're playing online. It's anonymous, there aren't really many penalties (besides the quit percentage they tag you with), and you don't have to deal with those people ever again.
Being a Bad Sport
There are lots of reasons to quit, of course. If someone is being a particularly bad sport about things -- taunting, running up the score, going for it on fourth-and-long with the lead (in other words, acting like the '07 Patriots) -- then I can sympathize with dropping the game. It's no fun to take a beating when the other guy's acting like a jerk. A twelve-year old jerk. Dropping homophobic slurs left and right. Yeah, we've all been there, at least if we've played a few games of Halo or Gears of War.
However, I also think it goes the other way. If your opponent is beating you fair and square, you shouldn't quit even if you're losing by 30. If they're patiently running the ball and running down the clock, and playing a lot of conservative defenses against your offense . . . then that's really the best you can expect. It's not like they can just gift you touchdowns, and you're certainly getting a valuable chance to practice against a better opponent.
I bring this up because I recently resumed playing Madden online. I induced quits in my first three games, leading me to feel mildly frustrated. I was racking up wins, but I never got to actually play a full game! This was especially annoying because I'm actually much weaker on defense than offense, which meant that a) it's not like I killed any of my opponents, they could definitely move the ball against me; and b) I really wanted the practice!
Finally, I got a complete game in my fourth try. I went up 21-0, and the score was 42-7 heading into the fourth quarter. By that point, I'd been running the ball on pretty much every play (I finished the game with 13 passes, and 35+ rushes). But my opponent kept plugging away, and he started hitting deep bombs on me in the fourth quarter -- before I knew it, the margin was rapidly shrinking. A 50-yard touchdown to T.O. - 42-14. A streak from Chad Ochocinco - 42-21. But I kept running the ball (thank God for Chris Johnson's speed!), and ended up winning 49-28.
It might have been a blowout, but I really admired my opponent after that game. He stuck to it and got quite a few big strikes on me in that fourth quarter (which he or she won, 21-7).
Most of us, I'm sure, agree that there's something to admire in sticking it out until the bitter end. I'm also sure that most of us have been on the other side, wondering why we're wasting a valuable half-hour valiantly denying the inevitable loss.
So, I ask the members of the Gamespot community: are you a quitter?
All Time Villains: The Final Four Updated
- Sep 16, 2010 10:26 pm GMT
- 106 Comments
The All Time Greatest Villain competition has been interesting to say the least. I suppose that each of us who chose to take part in the process has had our fair share of ups and downs, victories and defeats. Some of you found the choices baffling, others didn't mind all that much. Some of you are just having fun, and others are out for blood. But no matter where you fall in terms of how you view this contest, you all need to realize something:
This contest is in no way fair.
There I said it. It's bunkum, hooey. For a contest about totally fictional characters that inhabit imaginary worlds, there is a surprising lack of credibility to be found. And no, I'm not talking about Joker and Vader being included as options.
What I am talking about here is omissions. Four villains have been left off of this list that should have been there from the start, and their absence completely destroys the validity of the contest. Why? Simple.
The four villains that have been left out would have completely and utterly destroyed anyone or anything they came up against. They are the baddest of the bad, the worst of the worst. Leaving them out is like trying to decide which is the worst sandwich on the face of the planet and refusing to account for the McRibb.
And so, I give you what the final four should have looked like if there were any justice in the universe. Good luck deciding. You're gonna need it.
Why He's Evil: Has unleashed a slew of movies "based" upon video games upon the world. "Based" is in quotes because calling his movies faithful to their source material is like calling Taco Bell "food." Calling them "good" is like punching yourself in the crotch and calling it "progress."
Why He's Evil: Led a crusade against violent video games. Convinced that violent games are simply training sims for sociopaths. Told his mom that he'd come by for dinner one night and totally didn't show up or call or anything.
I'm at a loss for who would win this fight. Moving on to our other combatants:
Supreme Overlord of Activision
Why He's Evil: Wants to take the fun out of making video games. Also, I hear he made a Cancer Gun in his basement. I have no idea what that means but it scares the hell out of me.
Former busboy at Denny's
Why He's Evil: Making children (and adults) cry on Christmas morning. Or Mid-June. Or whatever. Hates America. When asked why he does what he does by a six year old, he made that motion with his hands where you pretend like your turning a crank until your middle finger is extended.
And there you have it: four glaring omissions that would have turned this contest on it's head. Ah well. Maybe next year.
Please note, this was supposed to be funny. I don't really consider any of these guys evil, just misguided and possibly eaters of puppies. But not evil. Thanks for reading.
Update: Thanks to bardos-the-3rd for pointing out that I didn't include info on who these guys are. Also, if you're interested in seeing how I really feel about these guys, check out my latest installment. The truth as I see it, so there
And thanks for all of the comments. Seriously. Funny stuff.
Bungie, I salute you!
- Sep 15, 2010 8:33 am GMT
- 9 Comments
Today I just received in my hot little hands Halo Reach Limited Edition. And let me also say it's my first new Xbox game purchased considering I had that machine for over nine months and only have one pre-owned game called Army of Two (for which I add wasn't a good game). Being a Halo fan I was pretty happy to what this collector's edition will offer me as I know for a fact it gives me some new maps and gear however my main reason was Halsey's journal.
Then I opened the journal.
And I was totally speechless.
This journal is nothing I have expected in my wildest dreams as I was expecting a couple of pages of dribbling. Bungie (the developers) had made this journal very personal to the game as its extremely detailed filled with articles, sketches and even pamphlets like newspaper articles all coupled up in a bubble wrap casing.
Again holy crap!
Now my main purpose for this blog is for starters praise Bungie for their magnificent effort of providing me the Limited Edition and secondly asking you the reader what do you expect from a game.
If you have been tracking me, you'll probably notice I groan a lot about how games are getting simplified and cheap. The way I see is that they (the developers) are trying to pump out games with little substance to hopefully make a quick buck or two. Yet on the other hand you have these draconian DRMs (yes I'm looking at you Ubi soft) trying to protect their intellectual properties (IP) to minimise piracy. I really cannot blame them as after all people are making these games and they need to earn cash like you and me to live.
However I feel that maybe they don't understand what gamers really want. For me what I want is more than just the game. I want aworld full of interesting people and locations. However when I shut down my PC or console, I want my experience to continue in other forms of the media. Other words I wish not to be restricted to load up the game to enter the game. After all we are all living in the digital media so use it. There is still the media of music, television, the internet or simply a novel to read.
Coming back to Halo, Bungie has perfected utilising other forms of the media to enrich their world. They have novels (The Fall of Reach for example), short films, soundtracks and now the journal that arrived with the limited edition. Now I'm not restricted to just the game as I can go beyond the keyboard/controller. I can refer to the journal for updates whilst playing the game (physical), read one of their novels whilst travelling to work, listen to their soundtrack and of course (with fingers crossed) watching their up and coming swell movie.
The beauty of utilising all of these forms of communication is that not one form of communication can effectively tell their story. The game is designed for controlled action (i.e. the player), the novels enriching the storyline in a leisurely pace and the movies for a quick fix. If you combined all of these medias your five senses (yet I'm not sure about the smell though) will be enriched with goodness.
Thankfully other games have done this as well. Some examples are Dead Space (with their 'choose-your-own-adventure' online game, a pretty lousy movie and so forth), Dragon Age: Origins (novels, soundtracks, a cool cloth map in the collector's editionand a wonderful yet active online community) and just to throw in a surprise one for you, Her Interactive. They are the developers for the Nancy Drew games so of course you have novels yet for me the highlight is their forums. Their forums have a weekly quiz (interactive), a post for reviews and a section where you try to guess Nancy's next adventure as at the end of every game Nancy provides a hint for her next destination.
Yet there are some that simply failed like Sacred 2 collector's edition (tattoos) the plastic water bottle (Far Cry 2) - I guess when I'm playing Far Cry 2 I can drink straight out of that bottle aye?!? And lastly Uwe Boll.
So what tickles your fancy?
15% Violence Fight Azghouls (cause I'm soo violent).
October: The Secret Month of WRPG's
- Sep 14, 2010 9:42 am GMT
- 104 Comments
How many of you realize (care) that there is going to be a large WRPG released every week in the month of October? Starting out with Two Worlds 2, then Arcania: Gothic 4 over to Fallout: New Vegas and ending with Fable 3. The second half seems to be outshining the first half when it comes to the hype train but let me tell you why you might not want to dismiss the first couple releases.
Two Worlds II: 10/5/2010 (PC, PS3, 360)
Why you probably don't care: Two Worlds 1 was a mess. Terrible voice work, bad dialogue, and a frame rate that would make a captain of one of 'The Deadliest Catch's' ships nauseous with its jerky motion. Anything the game did good was over shadowed by the things it did really bad. Like eyeing the hot woman across the bar only to realize later on she has a penis it was that kind of disappointment that was in store for you. You can brag to your friends that it had it's good moments but then all they have to do is mention the bad part and your house of cards comes crashing down.
Why you should care: Well for starters the game looks pretty good with previews not mentioning anything about an unstable frame rate, unnatural combat movements and frequent loading times. The game looks very similar to Oblivion but with a much more diverse landscape as seen in the pictures below that derive some architectural design from the orient.
Something tells me we're not in Cyrodiil anymore.
Also Two Worlds II is being written by actual writers, not developers and artists which should launch the dialogue past the mix of old world English and semi modern vernacular. Mayhap you won't want to punch yourself in the ear drums after 4 or 5 conversations.
The crafting system is back and it is being enhanced so that you can dye your clothes and create spells. When thinking of all the things magic can do, did you ever think of casting a spread of fireballs that can engulf your foe in flames and then summon insects from the pits of Hell from the flames? It's like herpes and pubic lice all rolled into one.
Wussy little dragons, not just for weak end bosses anymore.
But seriously, after playing Oblivion and seeing that you were either a high level guy covered in green crystals or dark pointy armor and all your foes had the same fashion sense...That's something not to worry about in TW2 because if you like that suit of armor that you found when you were level 2, if you find crafting items to strengthen that armor then it will last you until you are level 50.
So if you want a game with competing factions to appease, more creative quests and monsters than Oblivion,character creation system where you can create a Necromantic Ranger likeI did then on October 4th there may be a game for you.
Arcania: Gothic 4 10/12/2010 (PC, 360) *PS3 version comes out March 2011
Why you probably don't care: The previous Gothic games were PC only so if you've just played console games then you have no idea what I'm talking about. If you are a PC game you understand that the Gothic series is The Elder Scrolls series' somewhat smarter but uglier and more unstable little step brother who has frequent breakdowns and craps his pants.
Why you should care (maybe): As the conductor of this hype train I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that I'm hitting every stop on this ride in order. Nope I'll probably going straight from Two Worlds 2 to New Vegas.
Looks like we're not in Cyrodiil anymore...notice no loading to go into a town?
You see this Gothic game concerns me in some ways. The first three Gothic games were developed by a German Company called Piranha Bytes and for a legal reason, they aren't allowed to work on Gothic games anymore so they ran off and did Risen. The Gothic series was then handed over to Spellbound, a developer that is world renowned for their smashing Desperado games. Actually I lied. I never heard of them or their games and when I looked up Desperados there's no Antonio Banderas on the cover so I know the games suck. (Just kidding, I would never use Antonio Banderas as a bar for quality, now his slick ebon locks fully rendered…I digress)
Anyways previews of Arcania are mentioning that the combat is actually decent now. Instead of creating a character in the previous Gothic games only to walk up to the first creature in the game, which was usually a boar, and quickly getting your ass handed to you as you stiffly poke at it with all the dueling finesse as a drunk one legged corpse itthe preview statesthe character moves around much more fluidly. This saddens me because the last three games I've run like a girl from the first few creatures in the game and now I won't be able to carry the tradition as the first creature in the game is a mole and the previewer was actually able to kill it. Maybe boar ass-kicking will follow shortly.
Did I make it seem like boars are tough? Well Goblins are like bipedal boars with pointy objects that hang out in groups.
A couple of the other positive things were that the game has very few actual load screens, the world is pretty large and encourages exploration. Other than that it's been pretty quiet on the actual role playing aspects.
Well the previous games were played because of the amount of freedom in the game. There were a bunch of competing factions in the game so most quests had numerous ways to solve them, from slashing everything that gets in your way, to dialogue and sometimes good old fashioned cat burglary. Once you got the item you wanted in a quest you can usually go back to the quest giver and say "Here's your plate you wanted sire, now can I go outside and wash your carriage and maybe warm your slippers for you?" or "15 gold? Pshhh. How about I go outside and aggravate a boar which is known to have this game's poor AI and let it follow me in this room where I will jump on a table, laughing while I watch it raise piggish hell as it kills everyone in this room."
Oh God! There are these things too. Flying boars with tails that are sharp
Like I mentioned before. Two Worlds 2 and New Vegas have a lot more info out about them so I'm not sure if Gothic 4 is ready to make its stop on this hype train or if it's not turning out the way the game was supposed to but I'll be keeping my eyes on this one.
Fallout: New Vegas 10/19/2010 (PC, PS3, 360)
Why you probably don't care: Either you believe that Fallout 3 was Oblivion with guns, you think Fallout 3 should have been a 2d isometric game developed by a groupof people that don't exist anymore or you bought Alpha Protocol and Knights of the Old Republic 2.
Why you should care: Well if it can't be 2d isometric game made by the team that doesn't exist anymore it should be at least made by a team that has a bunch of the more widely known members of the team that doesn't exist. Also if you've only played Kotor 2 and Alpha Protocol then get a gaming PC and pick up Neverwinter Nights 2 and the Mask of the Betrayer expansion.
Looks like we're not in Cyrodiil...with guns anymore...Okay that was the last one.
If those reasons aren't that good then how about the tweaks they've made to the game?
Iron Sights, Improved camera angle on V.A.T.S., Melee weapons have special attacks in V.A.T.S., Hardcore mode that takes into account dehydration, ammo weight and injuries, A new command wheel for giving companions commands, traits are back which give characters bonuses at the cost of a weakness, more use of random items found throughout the wastes that can improve weapons/armor, an improved faction system and even though this isn't confirmed it I believe it will have a better story, characters and dialogue.
Cowboy, gangster and a golf club sporting hero on a onesy? How bad ass can you get?
This is the game I'm looking forward to most this year and since I don't need to spoil the game on my own hype train I'm keeping this blurb pretty short. Support Obisidian, Buy New Vegas and Dungeon Siege III when it comes out!
Fable 3 10/26/2010 (360) *PC version TBD
Why you probably don't care: Peter Molyneux
Why you should care: Now I could have fun with this one. Peter M. has been known to run his mouth off so if I were to say the game sports 256 player multiplayer, A touch system of interaction in which you physically interact with characters, a create a game feature, a system where your weapons level up as much as you use them and you can sell them online, the ability to link the game's bank account to your real life bank account which translates Fable 3's in game money to a real world $1 for every 49,999 gold and a system that your character gets more powerful with the amount of followers and not exp...some of you might believe it.
Looks like we're not in Cyrodiil anymore. Yes I just Molyneux'd all of you!
Rightly so because some of those things are actually in the game. Namely the weapon thing, the touch system and the things about the followers. Also the co-op portion is supposed to be the actual characters not some generic henchmen when a friend or you join someone else's game and the game promises more tough morality choices not only during yourrise to king but also once you get the power of being on the throne.
Now Lionhead is saying that this game isn't an RPG and a lot or previewers are saying that the RPG aspects found in the previous games are even more streamlined and it has even stated that this is an RPG for people that don't like a challenges of today's RPG's. RPG or not, I enjoy the world of Albion for its quirkiness and the ability to fart in people's faces while my dog urinates on their sister's corpse.
Female Avatars, now with 400% less testicles.
So the game is broken up into The Road To Rule and then there's the game that takes place after you ascend the throne. I've never been able to translate the way Lionhead games actually work outand keep me entertained in words so I'll just say that I'm interested in this game.
Disclaimer: as these are WRPG's I am not responsible for any graphical pop in, quest ending bugs, random crashes/freezing, horrible voice acting, lack of options to make your characer a male but look like a girl, so much freedom that you don't know where to go next so the game bores you, main characters with no personality because you don't know how to actually role play in a role playing game, the onslaught of DLC where by the end of it all you'll have paid $148 for a single game or loss of free time.
Let Me Spin You A Tale Of My Minecraft Journey
- Sep 11, 2010 6:53 am GMT
- 98 Comments
This will be a long blog.
TL;DR version: There's this game and it's amazing. Have you heard of it? (Stop here if you can't handle text!)
Well, it's called Minecraft. It's been buzzing about the PC gaming blogs for a while, and I'd say for good measure - it's one of the most creative and fun packed games I've played this side of Audiosurf. I may have to amend a "favorite games ever" list I PM-ed to a curious Gamespotter because of this one.
(PIC: I made this comic because I am funny and I like to express my funny in drawings.)
I will attempt to do this game justice in words. I will not succeed. You can play the C1assic mode for free on the Minecraft website, which I strongly suggest trying. You should make an account too.
Fire up the C1assic mode and you'll find yourself in a randomly created landscape. The 3D world looks eight-bit in tone but it's standard FPS controls. You have an inventory of blocks that you can switch among and place with the right mouse button; the left mouse button destroys blocks. You can create structures, fool around with the world, and play multiplayer (if you can get it working - we couldn't).
You will find this fun. The world is big and enjoyable to explore. The blocks are fun to place and mess with. You will probably make blocky text with obscene words or pictures in them, which is probably more fun than it deserves to be. And then you will start to find that the fun ends eventually, and the novelty wears off.
Fear not. For 10 pounts or 13 dollars, you can have the development version of the game, called Minecraft Alpha. Don't worry, it's pretty stable, and as the game progresses in development the game will still be available to your account. The development is heavy and features get added weekly. They download when you start the game up. It works in Windows, Mac and Linux. It requires Java, just like the C1assic mode, and if you wanted to you could make the system requirements fairly low.
In the Alpha, you spawn in a randomly made world yet again, but this time, it's bigger. A lot bigger. You travel and there's always more to see. In fact, the game's new world size is now about as big it ever needs to be (roughly eight times the surface area of the Earth) and all of it is not only randomly generated, but randomly generated well.
(PIC: I went to the tallest mountain I had nearby my home and planted lots of dirt so I could see very far. All for you guys.)
Yes, you will see things you will not believe to be random. Waterfalls, cascading about in beautiful faux-eight-bit glory. Caves that go on for miles and hold many a monster guarding treasure. Floating hunks of architecture that you can climb and see a view so magnificent that draw distance has been ruined for any other game in the future - they can't beat this.
Another difference is that you no longer have a ton of blocks right away. Rather, you must hunt and find them. In the beginning, you will be punching dirt with your bare hands to harvest it, but as you colect and discover more materials you will find more complex materials, some that need tools to be extracted from the ground or wall. You can combine and craft these items to make tools, decorations, torches, armor or weapons.
But time is a factor. Because everytime the sun goes down, the monsters spawn. And the monsters are more powerful than you. They are harder. They are better. They are faster. They are stronger. They have a ton of hit points. They're not especially smart, but without resources, you cannot win with intellect alone. So for the first few nights, you must go about building yourself a homebase to return to, so that you can cover everything in dirt and hide from the monsters, peeking out every so often to see if night has passed. (The game's difficulty can be customized. Normal is what I am describing. Peaceful has no monsters at all; easy has a few, and hard has a ton everywhere.)
When you die, you lose all of your materials that you've collected and return to the very first spawn point you were created at, so it's usually a good idea to keep your base well stocked with resources and easy to find in relation to the spawn point. You can make blocky little chests to put your blocky little offerings inside of. You will probably die in the beginning, before you understand how the monsters and the world works. Unless you play too cautiously, when in that case the game will be a very slow and plodding affair that you probably won't enjoy very much. Risks are a part of the game.
When day breaks, it's time to explore for treasure; usually this means hunting down the next resource you want for the next item to make your travel easier. This is a game about travel; you want to have tools to make travel easier because exploring this world is fun. So you go out and find some ore and mine that for a while, and return and craft your new tools while the monsters lurk in the night. Surprises are everywhere, though, so don't expect a smooth sail every day. And when you eventually become strong enough, you can battle the monsters and continue your adventures in the nighttime.
My friend described this game best: "I'm finding all of these things, but it's more fun because I actually want to, not because the game is telling me I have to."
Keep in mind that while Minecraft is solid and stable, it's updated a lot. So secrets get added, new modes are planned (including an adventure mode that's more like an RPG) and new blocks, new monsters, new world structures, etc. Last Friday the developer added a compass that can point you the the direction of your spawn point so that you can find your way back home, for example. Furthermore, wWhat has been spoken of here is not set in stone and things may change in the future, and I look forward to it. There's a lot of potential here. Multiplayer mode is the priority, apparently, which sounds amazing.
My first game I didn't realize I needed a home base, so I started out and explored. Night fell, and monsters spawned. I went to a very tall mountain that luckily didn't have many monsters for some reason. I watched the monsters move about while looking at how the game dealt with the day/night cycle (hint: it gets REALLY dark). I almost got into a fight with a spider but I accidentally fell off some cliffs and it didn't bother to follow. I moved on during the day and found some lava oozing from side of a mountain, which I started to manipulate by building an island inside of. It was fun for a while, but I was careless and I fell in and died. I respawned and was killed by monsters almost immediately.
I realized that I was playing more in the way I was playing the C1assic version, which wouldn't work. So I deleted that and made a new world. I spawned on a beach that was tapering off of a large mountain with a huge cave in it, with a nice little grassy peninsula nearby the beachfront that had some mildly lowered terrain.
I went to work, harvesting dirt for a minute or two. Then I went over to the lowered peninsula and forced a choke point by the water by removing some of the land mass. Then I dug out some of the plain and then built a roof out of the dirt. It wasn't quite dark yet, so I explored the immediate area and collected wood from trees. There was one especially large tree that gave me nearly 30 blocks of wood!
Then I went back into my little hut house and went to work. By using the Minecraft wiki and the crafting window I created a building bench, which allows you to build more complex items. Usually you have to make patterns in a 2x2 square grid, but the advanced bench gives you a 3x3 grid for cooler loot.
(PIC: The sun rises and the monsters get set on fire. My face is peeking out of my home.)
Day came. I went outside and used leftover dirt as well as some sand (which is mostly useless because it actually follows the laws of gravity, unlike dirt - lolwut?) and made a very large tower above my house so that if I got lost I could find it again. I wanted to stay up there until the monsters were gone the next next night, but I fell off and died.
It was still night when I respawned, and I was wigging out because there were monsters on the loose, so I darted over to my house - which I had forgot to close up with dirt - and there was some sort of zombie thing inside of my living room! I whacked it with a chunk of dirt until it died, but I had lost a lot of health so I closed up the house and hid until day came.
I realized that the water separating the spawn point and my house was an issue to cross at night, so I made a very skinny bridge that I could cross easily but no AI could traverse. Then I harvested more materials, hid at night, and then went on the hunt for stone and coal.
Coal was important because with some wood and some coal you can make torches, which I needed for not only my house, but for the surrounding area so I could see at night. Also, to explore the huge cave nearby, I would need some fire to light my way. I used my toolbench to make a wooden pickaxe, which wasn't very good but would work for moment. I went over to the mountain the cave was built and hacked at the stone until my wooden pickaxe broke, and then I returned home, made a stone pickaxe, went back to the mountain and hacked at the stone until I struck coal.
I harvested as much of the coal as I could, made a bunch of torches and, because I had created an almost perfect little platform in the face of the mountain, planted the torch as a guide. Its dim light cast into the darkness. I returned home as the sun was setting, and boxed myself in for the night.
I turned my attention to my house, which was wasn't very homely. I started to dig, and I made a basement. I accidentally opened my house to water twice, but I was able to plug the holes and the water drained out. I kept on digging and then accidentally found a cave.
Cave might be an understatement. I cound a catacomb, a vast maze that was breathtaking to behold. I explored it for a bit and then left, afraid I was going to find monsters. So I went upstairs, made a pickaxe, a sword, and a dozen torches, and descended.
There were audio cues of monsters, but I didn't see any. I slipped over to the waterfall and looked down into it to see if there was anything, and then I turned and HOLY BUCKETS MONSTER. It exploded and I died, my items scattered across the cave floor.
I went back to go get them. I was still in the safety of the torches' light, so I looked around and then hopped up to safety...and then fell. Stupid me.
It was dark. Small rustles could be heard echoing from the caves' depths. How deep was it, I wondered. And how do I get out? I found a few chunks of stone and hopped up them like stairs, and followed the path that wound around the area that I had placed my torches before.
A sound. Something's there. I froze, my sword at the ready. Nothing.
I saw that I was close to the area that was safe. I just needed to hollow out this stone so that I could jump cleanly toward the flattened area by the waterfall. I did, took a running jump, and KABOOM! A monster exploded to the left, clipping my health and throwing me from my position right to the safe area. I almost had a heart attack, so I breathed carefully and walked back up to my house, careful to shut the way behind me with dirt.
Thus, my first few hours of Minecraft.
My friend's world had lots of snow. I hear that was an issue with his planning and strategies. He also had a ton of basements in his lair, though my terrifying cave beat his.
I took more pictures and uploaded them to Gamespot. I might take some more pictures later.
Concerning immersion, indie and art
- Aug 24, 2010 4:09 am GMT
- 5 Comments
Amidst all the incredible indie games I've discovered recently; or during my playthroughs of Final Fantasy IX and Chrono Trigger earlier this year; or after my summer streak of completing surprisingly awesome Tomb Raider: Anniversary, polished SW: Republic Commando, superb Riddick: Escape from Butcher's Bay, & dynamic Starcraft 2 terran campaign; at one point or another I started thinking about what makes a game truly great for me.
All games should be able to immerse the player. I love a good RPG (and as far as Baldur's Gate 2, Planescape: Torment or Witcher go, the immersion factor was off the scales) but most of the time I want to be immersed in a game world without having to read a whole book via NPC dialogues. This is where the design combined with refined and subtle mechanics has to shine.
To immerse the players, a game needs to tackle their imagination. There obviously isn't just one way of accomplishing this. The problem is most gamers do not need or expect that kind of polish in games. It's same with movies and books. When something is new, unrecognizable or hard to connect with a previous experience, depth isn't all that much of an issue - it becomes one later on. I see it like this: the person immersing and interacting with the given world is actually seeking the truth of that world. The more that world is true to itself and the more it makes sense in its own invented confines, the more thorough the immersion will be. As the person (gamer, reader, watcher) consumes more and more products/art, he begins to recognize patterns and a lot of what-if questions get answered. He becomes interested in different layers of the same subject matter, or interested in different issues completely. This is when the 'lies' and flaws of a given fictional world get more visible, making the immersion less magical and in the end - less enjoyable. Some games pass the test , and some don't.
Now, people who label games as entertainment and nothing more (as if it was a ride on a rollercoaster) are basically trying to define art. It can't be done. Writing, drawing or any kind of creative force put into motion is entirely subjective and can't be bounded by any rules or regulations. If those rules exist though, their only purpose can be to help us understand that creative force, where it comes from, and help us use it to the fullest potential.
Because the core thing that makes any art great and beautiful is truth. That truth (beauty, greatness) comes from 'connecting the dots' in a way we didn't think possible, it comes from reading between the lines and seeing behind the picture, it comes from connecting with the artist on a level resonating with mutual understanding and love. In that sense, every little rock on every beach in the world, every ray of light falling shyly through a window, every contour of anything... can be beautiful. Can be art.
That being said, how can anybody claim games are not art when they evoke all of these emotions and inner reactions in so many people? When they often have such depth - forcing a person to rethink himself?
When they make you experience something extraordinary?
Here are some of the best indie games I've played - they accomplish all of the above very successfuly:
Cave Story (Pixel) - I discovered it a few months ago and it blew me away. It single-handedly made me fall in love with platformers again.
Machinarium + Samorost 1,2 (Amanita Design) ? The most beautiful adventure games since the Syberia series.
Braid (Number None) - Brought retro platforming back to mainstream, I love it.
Glum Buster (CosMind) - It does so much with so little. Very intriguing and magical.
Talesworth Adventure (MrJinx) - This flash game is being released in episodes and everything about it rocks.
Give Up, Robot (Matt Thorson) - Best grappling-hook game since 1988. And the music kicks major 455.
They need to be fed (Jesse Venbrux) - This inovative platformer does everything right.
VVVVVV (Terry Cavanagh) - If nostalgia hits you whenever you hear '8-bit platforming', you have to try this. Also try 'Don't look back' by the same guy.
World of Goo (2D Boy) - Clever, quirky, hipnotizing.
Defense Grid: The Awakening (Hidden Path Entertainment) - Perfect tower defense game.
Plants vs Zombies (Popcap) - Best casual game ever.
Trine 1,2 (Frozenbyte) - Somebody liked Lost Vikings too!
(Super) Meat Boy (Team Meat) - I finished the flash version and can't wait for the sequel.
Knytt Stories (Nifflas) & Untitled Story (YMM) - Perfect for rainy afternoons.
Noitu Love 2 (Konjak) - I'm hooked!
Puzzle Dimension (Doctor Entertainment) - Unevenly difficult + a lot of trial and error in the later stages but it's still one of the best puzzle games since the Incredible Machine and Bumpy.
Aquaria (Bit Blot) - Underwater exploration, intriguing magic system, the soundtrack, the visuals; Loom meets Commander Keen. Awesome!
My non-indie all-time favorites (overall quality multiplied by nostalgia factor):
Heart of Darkness, Planescape: Torment, Monkey Island, Rune, NFS Porsche, Project IGI, Airfix Dogfighter, Super Mario 64, Startopia, Psychonauts, Chrono Trigger, Syberia, Commander Keen IV, Heroes Of Might and Magic III, Witcher, Portal, Guild Wars, Final Fantasy IX, Tomb Raider: Anniversary, Bionic Commando Rearmed, Okami.
Narrative and Skill: Two Paradigms of Gaming
- Aug 23, 2010 6:14 pm GMT
- 50 Comments
There are two stereotypes that always come to mind when one thinks of gamers. The first, and perhaps the most common, is of the antisocial, unathletic nerd, the kid who spent a lot of time by himself reading and playing video games. The other stereotype, a newer one, is of the jock or fratboy gamer -- oftentimes they were an athlete during their high school days, and now relive their glory days playing Madden or MLB 11: The Show.
Of course, gamers rarely tend to fit neatly into such stereotypes. But their prevalence as cultural conceptions speaks to a divide that lies at the heart of modern video games. Broadly speaking, this divide is the difference between games as narrative -- interactive novels or films -- and games as competition -- e-sport, driven by practicing specific skills.
Early games, of course, integrated both elements. I remember playing Super Mario World, which has a crude narrative -- the story of Mario's journey is a paradigmatic romance (in the medieval sense), an adventure in which the hero vanquishes his foes and seeks out his princess. It was also a devilishly difficult game, and required a lot of reflexes and other skills, and levels that could be defeated only through dedicated repetition.
As games grew in complexity, these two elements have diverged and become more clearly defined by virtue of this division. Sports games as a genre, for instance, are almost entirely competitive games. There is very little "story" to speak of, even in these titles' franchise or dynasty modes, and the main fun derives from one's initial incompetence and the fairly arduous process of improving and mastering the game (watch a friend play All-Madden for the first time, and you'll see what I mean). Other genres have developed into expressive media, telling quite intricate stories that may even be beyond the grasp of film -- Mass Effect 2, for instance, seems like more of a television series or serial.
Needless to say, different demands and expectations come with these two broad categories of games. And, though we don't often think about it, the narrative-skill split has defined many of the trends of the last decade in gaming. For better or worse, the last ten years have been defined by the full realization of the narrative mode of gaming -- a realization made possible by technological advances such as improved facial animation, scripted events (the exemplar being the Half-Life series), and intelligent AI.
The first major trend one should notice, if one has been gaming for a while, is how games have consistently grown shorter. The average first-person shooter's campaign now lasts around six to eight hours long, and even role-playing games have grown leaner with time. Mass Effect 2, for instance, was easily finished in 25-30 hours, while Bioware's previous generation flagship, Knights of the Old Republic, was closer to 40. The diminution in games' length corresponds to the development of tighter, more cinematic narratives. And, given the exponential increase in big game budgets, and the exponential increase in the detail developers must pack into every second of game, this trend will only be exacerbated in the next generation.
The second major trend is the decreasing difficulty of narrative games. I would argue that this is no coincidence. As games converge with film, they will continue to grow easier -- Heavy Rain is a good example of where the industry could end up. After all, there's no such thing as a "hard" movie, or a movie that forces you to replay certain scenes and thereby disrupts its storytelling. Fairly undemanding difficulty is a hallmark of the recent generation's greatest titles -- Uncharted 2 and Mass Effect 2 immediately coming to mind.
The third trend -- and arguably the biggest one in the last ten years -- has been the flourishing of online gaming. If short, easy, but utterly engaging games represent the pinnacle of gaming's narrative pole, then Xbox Live and Battle.Net are the exemplar of its opposite. With ranking systems and constant competition, games such as Halo 3 or Starcraft 2 have completely stripped out the need for story and replaced it with a sandbox in which people are playing a de facto sport. In fact, many people barely bother with the single-player components of those titles, excellent as they are.
The question for the next generation of video game developers is this: now that these two paradigms have been fully realized in separate contexts, will it be possible to reintegrate them into a greater whole? Imagine a real-time strategy game in which hundreds of opponents fight a dynamic war on a map ranging hundreds of square miles, or an eight-gen Call of Duty title in which you and 1,000 other players storm the beaches of Normandy (or the battlegrounds of the Middle East). Such ideas have been dreamt of, certainly -- there have been massively multiplayer shooters and strategy games in the past, though they were usually plagued by technical problems. The failures of the past, however, do not determine the future; they only delay it. Is a reunion of narrative and skill finally within our grasp?
The Top 10 Bands Who Deserve Their Own Rock Band or Guitar Hero Game
- Aug 20, 2010 5:39 pm GMT
- 344 Comments
With a new Guitar Hero game set to release on September 28, 2010, and Rock Band 3 slated to drop on October 26, 2010, it would seem the music genre, after being relatively quiet this year, is poised to try and make a comeback. In June, when Green Day Rock Band was released, there was quite a bit of debate about whether Green Day deserved its own full on Rock Band game. No one really questioned that The Beatles deserved one and no one really complained about Metallica getting a GH game of its own. With the Warriors of Rock set-list now released, I started to wonder what other bands out there deserve their own RB or GH game. I came up with my Top 10.
A caveat here: In compiling this list, I took a long look at what is already out there for many bands as far as DLC are concerned. In doing so, many worthy bands were eliminated from consideration. For instance, many have said Nirvana deserves their own game. But, probably 75% of their music has already been released through DLC. Even if a compilation was made, such as Guitar Hero Grunge, and you used Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden, a ton of those bands music is already out there. The same can be said for bands like The Foo Fighters, Queen, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and The Who. Also, some of the newer but popular acts, like Linkin Park, Muse, or The Offspring don't really have enough out there to justify a full game. I figure you need at least 30-40 songs to put on a disc to pull a full game off without pulling a GH Van Halen type of scenario where you have great Van Halen songs mixed in with a bunch of stuff that makes little sense. The one band/person I left off that might be really worthy is Jimi Hendrix. Obviously, he is one of the all time great guitarists. But, when Axis Bold as Live was released as DLC, it probably made it so that you could not get away with a full Hendrix game. Maybe if they put some Stevie Ray Vaughn, Steve Vai, and Joe Satriani on there and really delved deep into their libraries, then you would have a true Guitar Hero game. There are other close calls, such as Nine Inch Nails, KORN, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, or Social Distortion that could possibly be considered as well.
With that as a disclaimer, here is my Top 10 (in reverse order):
10. The Doors- With the introduction of the keyboard peripheral in RB3, a Doors game is now quite plausible. Right now the only Doors title really out there is "Love Me Two Times" and that is a pretty sad representation for one of the best voices in rock history, Jim Morrison. There are some really great songs that would be fun to play, such as "Break on Through", "Light My Fire", "LA Woman", "Back Door Man", "Roadhouse Blues", etc. A Doors game would also be fun if the story mode was wrapped around the life of Jim Morrison. Rising to the top only to spiral into an avalanche of drugs, booze, and women, is certainly going to run the risk of an M rating, but I think music games need to embrace the M rating anyway. The Doors are #10 on my list.
9. AC/DC- Yes, I know there was an entire Live track pack of AC/DC released. But, I always had issues with this. For one, you could only get the track pack from Wal-Mart and it has never been released as DLC. I, for one, do not relish the thought of going into Wal-Mart for my gaming needs. Second, while the track pack is excellent, a lot of the songs aren't up to par when compared to the studio versions. Songs like "Dirty Deeds", "You Shook Me", "Hells Bells", "Highway to Hell". Etc, are OK as far as the Live versions go, but the studio versions are probablybetter. "For Those About To Rock" is another one. Plus, there are some really great AC/DC songs MIA. Songs like "Problem Child", "Let Me Put My Love Into You", "It's a Long Way To The Top", "Who Made Who", "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution", etc., are missing and would be fun to play. And, let's be honest here guys…who doesn't want to play "Big Balls" with their friends. OK…that came out sounding weird, but you get the point. AC/DC is #9 on my list.
8. KISS- A KISS RB or GH game has a ton of potential. If it is set up like Beatles or Green Day RB, you can chronicle the history of one of rock's most iconic bands through the past 30+ years. It would start with the early makeup days, then go through their unmasked phase, the return to their makeup, super-heroish roots. KISS has always had great stage sets and I can see Harmonix or Neversoft having fun here. From a skill level, KISS songs are probably not the most challenging, but there is some great music out there, nonetheless, that we have not had a chance to play yet. Many of KISS's biggest hits are already out there ("Rock & Roll All Nite", "Detroit Rock City", "Love Gun", etc) but lots of others are missing. For instance, "Hotter Than Hell", "Deuce", "Heavens On Fire", "Tears Are Falling", "God Gave Rock And Roll", "Black Diamond", and many others, combined with the real "story" potential of a KISS based game, put KISS #8 on my list.
7. Black Sabbath/ Ozzy Osbourne- True, Sabbath and Ozzy are not one and the same. But, a game based on the Ozzy led Black Sabbath that would then segue into Ozzy's career really makes sense. Pretty much all the Black Sabbath songs we have seen so far, such as "NIB", "Paranoid", and "War Pigs" have been cover versions and not the originals. We have not had a chance to play "Iron Man" as a full band as it has not been revisited since the original GH. Other great Sabbath songs are missing, such as "Snowblind", "The Wizard", "Changes" and "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath". You could even through in "The Mob Rules" from the Ronnie James Dio days just for good measure. But, when the game transitioned to Ozzy's solo career, there is some real potential here. OK, yes, "Crazy Train" and "Mr. Crowley" were on GH World Tour. But beyond that, it's like an abyss. There is nothing from "Diary of a Madman" out there. No "Over The Mountain", "Flying High Again", "You Can't Kill Rock & Roll", etc. Other solid titles like "Shot In The Dark" are missing. "Bark At The Moon" was sort of redone for GH Smash Hits. But, there is a lot of great music from Black Sabbath and Ozzy that could be used to create a solid RB or GH title. Black Sabbath and Ozzy get the #7 spot on my list.
6. Pink Floyd- There are 3 bands in my Top 10 who have absolutely nothing out on either RB or GH and if you are a fan of the genre, it's quasi criminal that these bands have nada out there. Pink Floyd is the first of these bands. Now, Pink Floyd does not appeal to everyone and I know that. But, an album like "The Wall" needs to be released either as DLC or as part of a full on Pink Floyd game. Beyond that, songs like "Money", "Brain Damage"and "Wish You Were Here" are all worthy of inclusion in a RB or GH game. Beyond that, the presentation of a Pink Floyd game would be a lot of fun. If you have ever seen the movie version of "The Wall" you can relate to what I mean. Even some of Floyd's later stuff, such as "Learning to Fly" is worthy of release. Pink Floyd is one of those enigmatic bands that defined what rock was all about in the late 70's and early 80's and for this reason, Pink Floyd draws the #6 spot on my list.
5. R.E.M.- Here is another tremendous band woefully underrepresented in either GH or RB. Basically, you have "The One I Love", "Losing My Religion" and "Orange Crush" and a couple of other songs that are not nearly as well known. But, where is "Radio Free Europe" or "It's the End Of The World" or "Stand" or even "Hurt"? R.E.M is one of those bands that has been around forever and has released a ton of great material, but not much of it has been put out yet. Their library is deep enough, and diverse enough, to warrant a full game and I, for one, would welcome a R.E.M. based GH or RB game. R.E.M. is #5 on my list.
4. The Rolling Stones- During the era when The Beatles were rising to super stardom, the one band mentioned in the same breath as The Fab Four were The Rolling Stones. For over 40 years, The Stones have been belting out quality songs. On the virtual stage, we have only received a smattering of their offerings. We have gotten a few Live versions of hits like "Satisfaction", and "Under My Thumb" . "Paint it Black" was on GH3 and "Honkey Tonk Woman" was released for Band Hero. Beyond that, there is not much. Notably absent are great songs like "Start Me Up", "Get off of My Cloud", "Beast of Burden", "Hang Fire", "Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown", "Time Is On My Side", and "Ruby Tuesday", just to name a few. The Stones have more than enough material to justify a full RB or GH game and if it even loosely follows The Beatles or Green Day RB format, it would be a very worthy title to add to your library. The Rolling Stones are #4 on my list.
3. Rush- Many of us have been asking for a full game version of Canada's finest export since ice hockey. The prog rock trio, from a musical standpoint, is as solid as they come, despite Geddy Lee's less than spectacular vocals. Neil Peart is generally regarded as one of the greatest drummers ever. What Geddy lacks in vocals, he makes up for on the bass guitar. And Alex Lifeson is no slouch on guitar. There has been some Rush released so far. Notably, all of "Moving Pictures" is available as DLC. "The Trees" is on RB2. Vault versions of "Working Man" are available. But, wow, is there a ton of great music that has not seen the light of day as of yet. None of "Fly By Night" has been released. "2112" is coming out for Warriors of Rock, but the entire "B" side of that album is still unaccounted for. Then there are songs like "Xanadu", "Freewill", "La Villa Strangiato" and just about anything else off of "A Farewell To Kings", "Permanent Waves" or "Hemispheres" that are worthy of being released. RB3's keyboard peripheral opens up songs like "Subdivisions", "Distant Early Warning", or even "Big Money". Even Rush's more recent songs would be interesting and fun to play. Rush has been around for 30 years now and their songs offer a real musical challenge. Rush absolutely needs to have their own game and they are #3 on my list.
2. U2- Here is the second band that has nothing on RB or GH yet and this is truly a travesty. U2 has been making great music since the early 80's and none of it is available. Just think of what we are missing: "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "Pride", "Where The Streets Have No Name", "With or Without You", "One", "It's a Beautiful Day", "Sweetest Thing"…I could go on for a very long time. Bono is a tremendous singer and U2's music has a melodic quality balanced nicely by some technically challenging sections and songs. Their songs are catchy, poppy, and yet they still know how to rock. Many people I have talked to always ask me when U2 will be available for RB or GH. I sincerely hope the answer to that is soon. U2 is #2 on my list.
1. Led Zeppelin- It's hard to argue against Led Zeppelin for the #1 spot. These guys pretty much made hard rock and heavy metal an accepted part of the musical landscape and none of their music is available yet. Musically, Led Zep is as solid a group as you will find. Robert Plant could sing; Jimmy Page…c'mon now…how many people play guitar with a violin bow? John Paul Jones…a great name for a great bassist. And John Bonham is one of those rare drummers who you can compare to Neil Peart. The songs we are missing just make me want to cringe: "Good Times, Bad Times", "Rock and Roll", "Heartbreaker", "Immigrant Song", "Houses of the Holy", "Communication Breakdown", "All of My Love", "Kashmir", "Nobody's Fault But Mine" and, of course, the song regarded by many as the greatest song in rock history, "Stairway To Heaven". There are so many others. A Led Zeppelin RB or GH makes so much sense it is rather scary. No band out there had as much influence on rock music as Led Zeppelin. They are #1 on the list and I know many of you will concur with me on this one.
So, there you have it. Ten bands that you could easily justify as being worthy of having their own Rock Band or Guitar Hero games. If nothing else, we should get a bunch more DLC from any of them. Many of us complain that there is no innovation left in the music genre. That may be true. But, perhaps if the music being released was better and more worthy of what many of us think of when we think of rock, huge innovations might not be necessary. In the end, when Lady Ga Ga has more material available on Rock Band or Guitar Hero then Led Zeppelin…well something is just very, very wrong with that picture.
Get Your Awesome Blogs Featured
Want to be spotlighted? We'll consider every GameSpot blog post marked with the category "editorial" for inclusion. Sound off!
- Last updated: Jan 1, 1970 12:00 am GMT