Monday, April 19, 2010

Current Gaming

Hello friends, welcome back.

So i've reached the 35 hour mark with Final Fantasy 13. So far this has been an enjoyable adventure and part of me is surprised how this game has managed to grab and HOLD my attention for so long.

I've been saying this the whole time, but I haven't enjoyed an RPG this much since Final Fantasy 8.

Thanks to a good friend of mine, i recently scored a Mad Catz Street Fighter 4 arcade stick on clearance (making room for the Super Street Fighter 4 sticks i assume). I know some of you out there are thinking "Ew Mad Catz?!?" but i have to admit this joystick is very well built, and the price was oh so right ($29.99 w/ free shipping - how could i say no?). The most interesting point about this purchase is that historically, i have been in the control pad camp for playing Street Fighter (this is based around having Street fighter 2 Special Champion Edition and the 6 button pad for the Genesis way back in the day, and then re-enforced by my Sega Saturn and it's flawless rev 2 6 button control pad). It's no secret that the d-pads on both the PS3 and the 360 are terrible (to say the least) for fighting games - and finding one of the Mad Catz Street Fighter 4 pads for a reasonable price was proving to be a pain, so i took the plunge.

I must say, right off the bat the stick felt nice in my hands and on my lap. I must have spent about 20 minutes just clicking the buttons and checking out the stick's action.

I'll report back with an update on the effect on my playing - i am rather rusty at the moment so it's hard to judge. I'm sure i'll also have an update once i get my hands on Super Street Fighter 4.

In other news, i may have found a "game" for the iPhone that's able to hold my attention. X-Plane on the iPhone is VERY worthy of the X-Plane name. I've always loved that flight sim on the PC, but to see it scaled down for the iPhone while retaining most of the core gameplay? Pretty damn impressive.

Until next time!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Handhelds and the future of gaming

I've had this theory that the current gen handheld game systems were a bit of a testing ground for the then next generation home systems.

I also feel some what vindicated with what we ended up with (Look at the ds and then the wii. Both radical departures from the traditional with the touch then motion controls. With the psp and the ps3 I saw that more as a proving ground for the xmb and various media functionality, not to mention local storage media in addition to the game media. Anyway...). Now it seems Nintendo has teased the Nintendo 3DS - and Nintendo has gone on record as feeling that a Wii HD isn't a big enough innovation to make next gen hardware.

A Wii 3D on the otherhand? Nintendo is flush with cash and crazy enough to try it.

I wonder what Sony has in store for the proper PSP sucsessor? (well, besides a ps3 style hypervisor hah!)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Final Fantasy 13 and the lack of remote play (among other things)

So, I've hit the 20 hour mark in Final Fantasy 13 on the PS3 and still enjoying the hell out of it.

That said, why wasn't FF13 designed to use the remote play feature? To me, it seems like a perfect fit (even the controls could be easily mapped to the psp - only difference is the lack of a 2nd analog nub so camera control would have to be done with a combination of keys). It's a really long game and for those of us in a household where we must share the TV with a significant other, it can be hard to really sink in a bunch of time every night.

Basically i'd love the ability to continue my FF13 game while my S.O. watches some of her DVR'ed programs. It just seems like a huge missed opportunity to put remote play to REALLY good use.

In other news, Playstation Move was demo'ed at PAX East and honestly I'm still not sold on the idea. [to be clear, i'm not sold on MS' Project Natal either...] I know i'm going to sound like pretty much every other game blog out there when i say this, but Playstation Move really just feels like a juiced up Wiimote. Nintendo took a huge risk with the Wii and it's control scheme (not to mention tons of flak regarding the motion sensing game play), and yet here we are almost 4 years after the Wii's launch and both MS and Sony are racing to push out competing technology. Suddenly fanboys on both the MS and Sony camps are interested in motion controls because it's now coming from their respective platform of choice.

I find this 180 in opinion both silly and predictable.

Oh and God of War 3... if you own a PS3 you really should own this title. A friend of mine put it best:

"God of War 3 starts where most games end."

I really couldn't say it better myself.

By now I'm sure we've all seen the hilarious GOW3 spot with the angry girlfriend. The best part in this ad imo is the fact that the bulk of the game play footage is from the first level. Starts where most games end INDEED.

Until next time...