300w ago - While I've previously gone through my initial impressions of MLB 2K8 and MLB 08: The Show, I figured it would be interesting to match the two games up in different categories and determine which came out on top.
Of course those with only a 360 don't have a choice in the matter, but it's important to know what is being done well and what isn't both on their own individual terms as well as competitively for the future of these franchises.
The two games headed into release taking completely different paths. 2K8 dramatically changed the central mechanics and practically hid the game as very few videos could be found along with (intentionally or not) submitting the demo too late for it to be out prior to release.
The Show stayed the course while improving its already stellar gameplay, was very open with media, and the demo was several weeks out in front of the release date. Generally those are signs that can be read, and in this case the assumptions that were being made seem to have been accurate.
The most significant change this year was 2K8 switching to Total Pitch Control which solely uses right analog motions. It requires some practice and patience to learn and get comfortable with. I feel they had good intentions and it works relatively well (except for...
300w ago - Every video gamer who owns a next-gen console lives with the constant worry in the back of their mind that their marvelous console is going to "explode" unexpectedly. Weather it be a Playstation 3, Xbox 360, or even a Wii, the most likely cause of a console's death is usually overheating. Such is generally the cause of Playstation 3 malfunctions and Xbox 360's infamous red rings of death.
If there is one thing marketing strategists know about sales, it is that fear is an excelent purchase motivator. In response to gamers' fears about their systems overheating intercoolers have been developed to provide additional airflow and thereby a supposed increase in cooling capacity.
Perhaps the most popular of these intercoolers is the Nyko Xbox 360 intercooler, which is essentially an attachable fan for the back of the console. The great debate out there is weather or not such an intercooler is effective, necessary, or even safe.
My reading on the topic suggests that no, placing an intercooler like the Nyko Xbox model is neither necessary nor completely safe.
For starters, Microsoft has told Xbox users NOT to use the intercooler systems. They are not factory equipped and therefore they void the three year warranty against the red rings of death. Don't you think if Microsoft...
300w ago - Lost Odyssey makes me mad. I shouldn't let it get to me, but I can't help it. I was provoked. 4 discs and 50 hours of hackneyed storytelling punctuated by ponderous cutscenes, fatuous characters, insipid dialogue, and derivative gameplay.
The game is worse than bad. It's bad dressed up as portentous. It's a place you've already been, with deeds you've already done, accompanied by music you've already heard - all "made possible only by the power of Xbox 360Â®."
Why did it have to be this way?
Lost Odyssey is what happens when the primary objective driving a game's creation is fixing a hole. Microsoft lacks a traditional hardcore RPG for the Xbox 360. Final Fantasy can't be purchased for all the money in Redmond, so Microsoft cherry-picks a few FF all-stars, bankrolls their new studio, and orders up a heaping helping of "epic" customized for their white box.
Next comes the hard sell: (all from Microsoft's Lost Odyssey website)
- Unparalleled emotional story
- A new benchmark for the RPG genre
- Plays as an intense and unsettling blockbuster action film.
- Innovative RPG gameplay
- A next-gen RPG masterpiece.
Clearly, empty vessels make the most noise because none of these outrageous statements are true. It's one thing to go the...
300w ago - When I originally proposed this story, I called it "The Saturnization of PlayStation 3" because I saw some striking parallels between the way SEGA handled its ill-fated Saturn game console and the way Sony's been handling its PS3. Of late, though, Sony has shown signs of reasonable intelligence.
While working on the backstory of this article, I became aware that the real analogies are not between SEGA and Sony; they are between Microsoft and SEGA.
When I first mentioned my story idea to John Taylor, a savvy videogames analyst working for Arcadia Investment Corporation, he said, "If I were your editor I would ask, Who remembers the Saturn and why is it relevant?"
I think, though, if you look carefully, you will see parallels.
It has been 12 years since Saturn first appeared, and a lot of people have forgotten about the system, but lessons learned at that time are no less valuable today.
So let's talk history. SEGA, a Japanese company founded by Americans after the Korean War, has a long and successful history in coin-operated entertainment. It also has a history as a console manufacturer, but that history is spotty at best.
In 1986, SEGA made an unsuccessful bid to compete with the Nintendo Entertainment System (known as the...